Thursday, September 29, 2011

rosemary bread party!

Ahhhh...if I were magic I would make everything smell like fresh rosemary! Well, that or chocolate cake. But today we are talking homemade ROSEMARY bread. If you've been to Macaroni Grill you know all about this delight! I love dried herbs & use LOTS of dried rosemary but for this recipe you must buy fresh, you'll thank me later!

Rosemary Bread

Yield: 2 small loaves


1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped rosemary (2-3 stalks)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
Kosher salt (optional)


1. In a large mixing bowl combine yeast, sugar & water; set aside for 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon stir in olive oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Mix in 1 tablespoon of the chopped rosemary.

2. Knead by hand for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease all surfaces of the dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.

3. Punch dough down and divide dough in half. Let dough rest for 5 minutes. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Shape into 2 small loaves. Sprinkle remaining tablespoon of rosemary over the loaves & lightly press it into the dough. Cover, let rise in a warm place until nearly double (35-45 minutes). Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light browned. Immediately remove from baking sheets to wire rack & brush with butter & sprinkle with kosher salt.

Friday, September 23, 2011

peanut butter pie party!

Today I made a peanut butter pie & shared it with people I love. Then I hugged them like there's no tomorrow, to celebrate life, because some things can't wait!

Peanut butter pie has always been one of Mark's favorites & I make it very rarely. After reading this post FOR MIKEY from food blogger, Jenny Perillo, I knew that it was past time for a peanut butter pie at our house. I adapted Jenny's recipe shown in her post. This recipe sounds much more complicated than it is. Don't be intimidated by my wordy recipe.

Peanut Butter Pie

Yield: 10 servings

pie ingredients:
8 ounces Oreo cookies
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
additional chopped peanuts, optional for garnish
Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped, optional for garnish
directions for pie:
1. Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.
2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on half power until melted. Stir in butter & corn syrup. Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
3. Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar. Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.
4. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream). Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pour the filling into the prepared spring form pan.
5. Put your ganaches in separate sandwich bags or decorating bags, snip the tip & drizzle over the entire pie. Top with chopped Reese's peanut butter cups and additional chopped nuts. Serve with whipped cream.
Drizzle ganaches on top, if using. I put my garaches in separate sandwich bags or decorating bags, snip the tip & drizzle. Refrigerate pie for three hours or overnight before serving. I like it served frozen. In the freezer it stays about the consistency of ice cream.
Chocolate Ganache (optional for garnish)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon light corn syrup
Prepare chocolate ganache by barely heating cream in microwave, it only takes a few seconds & pouring it over the chocolate chips. Let sit to melt the chocolate for a few seconds. Then stir until melted & shiny. Stir in the corn syrup.
Peanut Butter Ganache (optional for garnish)
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon light corn syrup
Prepare the peanut butter ganache exactly the same as the chocolate except using peanut butter chips.
Whipped Cream (optional for garnish)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a chilled small mixing bowl, beat cream until soft peaks begin to form. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until soft peaks form. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
*I used all of these optional garnishes: Chocolate ganache, peanut butter ganache, additional chopped peanuts, chopped Reese's peanut butter cups & whipped cream

Monday, September 19, 2011

watermelon smoothie party!

A perfectly ripened watermelon is one of summer’s true pleasures. There are many tips to help you choose the perfect watermelon including tap, thump, listen & smell. I always just find a produce guy & ask him to pick one out for me. Smoothies are refreshing, healthy & pretty! And so versatile, use whatever yogurt, juice & fruit you have.

Watermelon Smoothie



½ cup raspberry flavored yogurt
3 T frozen oj concentrate
¼ cup water
2 cups watermelon chunks, seeds removed
½ cup strawberries or blueberries
1 glass of crushed ice


1. Blend it up & enjoy!

Friday, September 16, 2011

cupcake party!

Cupcakes are my signature dessert! Coming soon is my favorite buttercream frosting recipe. In the meantime, check out THIS recipe for delicious frosting!

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