Blogger Bites


Several days ago Abby of MixItBakeIt shared a recipe for Pepperoni Rolls with Kayte who then shared it with me. The result of all this sharing was a day of bread baking with Kayte. And that bread baking resulted in a tasty little treat that was a hit with everyone in her house and in mine.

Think of them as home made Hot Pockets but WAY WAY better. The pepperoni is microwaved until the pepperoni renders its fat and then some of the fat is added into the bread instead of butter. The flavor of the pepperoni is part of the dough. Inside the dough are sticks of pepperoni and I added cheese sticks (which didn’t melt).

The only alteration I made in the recipe, besides adding the cheese, was to have less meat than was called for. The recipe called for four pieces and I only used one. It really needed more, but I didn’t have enough. As it was I filled two of the eight pockets with deli ham and shredded cheddar cheese. THAT was good too.

These came out beautifully browned because of the egg wash and the dough stayed soft but slightly chewy. You could fill these with just about anything. Like mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce instead of dipping them in the sauce. OR you fill them just with tons of shredded cheese. Or taco meat. Or use butter in the dough and fill them with jam or chocolate. Like I said. Endless possibilities.

Kayte has them posted on her blog and when Abby posts them we will link to the recipe. So come on back later.

There is just something about trying out recipes that normal, everyday people have made and liked. Many cookbooks come from test kitchens. They aren’t about what ‘real’ ‘normal’ people have made. Not saying there aren’t some great cookbooks out there. I have a few some okay LOTS in my library that acome from everyday people. But making/baking/cooking a dish/dessert found on another blogger’s page is different. And there are lots of terrific bloggers out there (You know who you are) who are cooking from their homes and sharing wonderful recipes with us.

I now have a go-to roll recipe that I use at least once a week.

I found this recipe on Romaine’s blog – Salad in a Jar.The dough starts in the bread machine and then you can make loaves or rolls. I prefer the rolls and have made them tons of times in different shapes and sizes. We especially love making larger (10 – 12) rolls to use for lunch. I usually weigh out 2.5 oz per roll. But they are also great for dinner rolls.

Finding a simple to fix dinner entree is not easy either. But Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures managed to find it.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork which I served on Romaine’s rolls. Perfect match. Tracey adapted the recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles (who got it, sort of, from her brother) and I changed it just by adding Tony’s creole seasoning. Since the first time I made it about 2 months ago I have made it twice more. Yes!! It’s that good and that simple.

And why you are visiting Tracey check out her Potato-Bacon Tart which she ‘borrowed’ from Melissa d’Arabian the New Food Network Star.

I made 3 small tortes from the recipe – each one different.

Clockwise from the top: Just as Tracey wrote it; mixed with Cheddar Cheese instead of Gruyere; topped with provolone. It was ALL good.

And of course you have to have dessert. How about Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pound Cake? Jessica posted this one earlier this week and it was just too good to pass up asap!

This was SOOO good. Chocolate chips. PB chips. PB in the batter. How can you go wrong with that. Well, you can’t (except i over baked it just a tad). Perfect simple dessert.

Thanks to all my blogger buddies who keep coming up with these excellent recipes whether adapted from cookbooks or self created. You have made my meal planning so much easier.

I finally picked up Ellie’s second cookbook – So Easy. And it is a great companion to her The Food You Crave. The CEinMB group uses both plus her online recipes. I have found that many of the recipes in the books ARE on line, but I like to have the book in front of me. Just call me (Really) Old School. This weeks recipe – Marinated Chicken and Grape Skewers – was not one my Wonderful Family would enjoy, so I offer you a rewind of a recipe I missed.

    Chicken-Mushroom Quesadillas

This was Marthe’s Pick for October 2009, before I joined the group and you can find the recipe on her site.

The reason I picked the quesadilla is because of Tracey. She started talking about quesadillas on Twitter.l She posted a great BBQ Portobello Quesadilla recipe on her blog. And then someone else mentioned them and then I decided I HAD to have a quesadilla.

I was lost.

I am so easily manipulated.

I ate them for 4 days in a row they were so good. Well, one recipe DOES make 4 servings. I couldn’t eat it just once. Not possible.

My apologies to Elina of Healthy and Sane. Don’t hold my family’s tastes against me.

I have so much fun reading foodie blogs. Over the past year since I have been ‘seriously’ studying the recipes I try to find time to actually try them. And every once in a while I actually do. Thus the title Blogger Bites. Over the past few weeks I have made:

General Tso's Chicken

General Tso's Chicken

I saw this dish first on Tracey’s Site At Tracey’s Culinary Adventures where you can find the recipe. Thanks, Tracey. This was really good. Tracey has some great recipes.

I also tried Tracey’s

She is also a Tuesdays With Dorie Baker, a member of Sweet Melissa Sundays and Martha Stewarts Cupcake Club. Visit, you won’t regret it.

One of the first bloggers I began following was Terri at A Daily Obsession. She has some tremendous recipes one of which was :

Terri is in Malaysia so many of her ingredients are not available for me. But I still love reading her blog. And have tons of her recipes marked.

Well, I just wanted to share.

Bill's big Carrot Cake....

Bill's Big Carrot Cake....

Okay!!! Now that I have your attention. You will notice that it is not a picture of Dorie’s Brioche Plum Tart!! I still have some of that fantastic Carrot Cake from Dorie (and this is a catch-up) and this Zucchini Bread left. I just couldn’t bring myself to make a tart as well.

Zuchinni Bread

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread
- recipe from Colorado Farmer’s Market Cookbook.
    3 eggs, beaten
    2 cups sugar (I used 1/2 sugar and 1/2 Splendra)
    2 tsp vanilla
    1 tsp almond extract
    1 cup veggie oil
    2 cups grated zucchini
    3 cups flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    1 cup shredded or grated coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar, vanilla, almond extract and oil. Blend well. Add in zucchini.
Sift together dry ingredients. Blend with egg mixture. Fold in nuts and coconut. Divide the batter between 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 1 hour. (This will also make 1 regular loaf and 3 mini loaves or 6 mini loaves.)


I served the Carrot Cake with Home Made Vanilla Ice Cream. DSC03864
Of course, THEN I was in an ice cream mode, so I made some more

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

The recipe for the Cheesecake Ice Cream came from Megan of My Baking Adventures. And I added about 1/2 – 2/4 cup of pureed strawberries. Can I tell you HOW GOOD this was??? And next time I want to add some graham cracker crust to the ice cream itself. I could have eaten the whole container BY MYSELF. But I shared – a little!!!


And THEN because I was in Cheesecake mode – I made this:

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake


Regular cheesecake layered with chocolate, then caramel, then chopped pecans on top of the crust. (One mistake – don’t use a ganache that will harden LIKE A ROCK – makes it hard to heat) I also swirled a little chocolate in the cheesecake itself.

Had enough yet??? Okay. UNCLE!!!

But I will leave you with just a photo or two!!

Mandevilla (B'day gift from The Son)

Mandevilla (B'day gift from The Hunk)


DSC03866 The ONE good thing about summer in the Deep South!!!

My apologies to Denise of Chez Us for not baking with her this week.


Thanks for taking the time to come by for a visit and a bite!

Yes, I didn’t think it would come this soon, but it has. Predicting 101/102 degrees for the next 3/4 days. Now, I know some of you in the West – Arizona, New Mexico, are used to that . And I know that it is not unusual around Phoenix to have several days of hotter weather, but it’s the humidity here that gets you, not so much the heat. So with the heat index it will closer to 110/115 for the next few days. So, yes, IT IS TOO HOT TO BAKE!!! Sorry! I never thought I would say that, but, it’s true. Fellow Foodies – No TWD today. But head on over the Tuesday’s with Dorie and see how the rest of the group fared with Andrea’s Pick – Coconut-Roasted Pineapple Dacquoise.

Since I didn’t bake, I will tell you about some Blogger Bytes from the kitchen.

DSC03760

      Spicy Shrimp and Pasta

This is a quick, easy, and delicious seafood dish from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. Tracey used fettuccine. She modified the recipe from The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch who had participated in the Presto Pasta Night. It came originally from Cooking Light using Penne Pasta. WHEW!! I used just plain broad noodles (cause I just didn’t feel like making pasta). No matter what pasta you use, use this recipe – it’s good. Thanks to Tracey and Shelby. GREAT dish!!

DSC03751

      Chicago Style Chicken Vesuvio

Thanks to Marie at Proud Italian Cook for this yummy chicken dish. It has it all – flavor, GARLIC, peas, potatoes, wine. Delicious!!!

Whew!!! Finals are over. Summer is here. Maybe I will finally have time to have some fun in the kitchen. I didn’t get to the TWD this week, but I am looking forward to the Lemon Tart next week. And I can take my time cause the semester is over, my Son is graduating from High School, and I going to do some experimentation with bread, baking, and cooking. I used some fellow bloggers ideas this week, just a couple. Thanks to Joelen of Joelen’s Culinary Adventures for the Pork Chop fried with Panko Bread crumbs. I usually use just flour, but the Panko were soooo much better.DSC03597(I really need to practice my presentation skills!!!!!) This is the way from now on. I know, I know — fried is not good for you, but we don’t do it THAT often.

The other blogger bite comes from Grace at A Southern Grace. She posted some Pecan Pie Muffins that were absolutely heavenly. And please follow her suggestion to use muffin papers, because they will stick to the pan even if you slather it in butter/spray.DSC03505 Mine aren’t much to look at, but don’t let that fool you. These. Are. Darn. Good!!! DARN GOOD!!!.

In addition to those, tonight was the Band Banquet and Seniors were to bring the dessert. I gave The Hunk several choices – Banana Pudding, Dump Cake, Punch Bowl Cake, Cupcakes. He chose Banana Pudding. Remember how mom used to make it. Just pudding with some bananas and nillas thrown in and around. Well, bloggers, times have changed – big time. Now it is bigger and better. This recipe has been around for a while, but here it is again in case you get the craving.

    Banana Pudding
      1 5.? ounce package vanilla pudding ( I prefer to use Banana Pudding when I can find it)
      1 14.? ounce sweetened condensed milk
      2 cups milk (some recipes use 2.5 cups, but I prefer a little less)
      1 regular container whipped topping (not the big one)
      Vanilla Wafers
      Sliced Bananas.

    Mix together the pudding and milk until well blended. Fold in the whipped topping. (Some recipes call for 1/2 of the container, some called for all – I used about 2/3 of the container.) Layer the wafers, then the bananas. Pour at least half of the pudding over the top. Repeat. Top with wafers/bananas or whipped cream.

I made a triple recipe and ended up with enough to fill a 7 quart bowl (and they ate. it. all!!!) This is all I had left.DSC03595Three little ramekins. Two bites each. Good. Just enough.

What do you think of when you think of lemons? Summer? Lemonade? Long hot days? Sherbet? Yep!! They all work for me. So while we are still in the grips of Winter (some gripped harder than others), maybe thoughts of lemon will get us through. If you close your eyes, maybe!


Maybe that is what the TWDers are trying to do this month. Bring about thoughts of summer and warmer weather. Last week we made Lemon Cup Custard. This week, thanks to Liliana of My Cookbook Addictionwe made French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze. dsc03346

The common point of both of these desserts was Lemon. The Glaze was a Lemon Marmalade Glaze. These little cakes had just enough lemon to make them very tasty, but the Glaze took it over the top. Pretty! Shiny! Tangy! The cakes had good crumb and were very easy to put together. No stacks of pots/pans/dishes with this one. No chocolate (which I will be ready for in a couple of weeks….) We had a choice of a loaf or a small layer cake. Following the lead of Caitlin and others I decided to make mini bundt cakes.

Perfect! I used all AP flour because I didn’t have any almonds at the time. Other than that I followed the recipe as Dorie wrote it.


Now the cake calls for a glaze of Lemon Marmalade. Not in stores – not anywhere. So I made my own. I used a very simple recipe I found on Julie’s Site – Simple Cooking

    Microwave Lemon Marmalade

      3 large or 4 small lemons
      1½ metric cups water
      3 metric cups white sugar

    1. Quarter lemons, discard seeds. Chop lemons finely by hand, or use a food processor for a more jam-like end product.
    2. Place into deep dish with water, cook in microwave on HIGH 10 minutes or until lemon rind is tender. 3. Stir in sugar, cook on HIGH 18 minutes or until jam sets when tested on cold saucer; stir occasionally during cooking.

    4. Stand 5 minutes before pouring into hot sterilized jars, seal when cold.dsc03355

    Makes about 3 cups.

As Marie says – Easy Peasy!! And really good, too.


We enjoyed these, but I had a thought there had to be something could make them better. It had to be something lemony. Aha!!! Sherbet!! It was a natural. I had two naked lemons in the fridge. Why?? You ask. Well, last week’s custard called for zest, but no lemon juice. This week’s recipe called for zest, but, again, no lemon juice. There was no way I was going to let two perfectly good “nekkid” lemons go to waste. Search Time. I prefer to used recipes from my fellow food bloggers and found a recipe at Dessert First by Anita aka Pastry Girl.

    Lemon Sherbet
      1 cup lemon juice
      1 cup milk
      1 cup cream
      1 cup sugar
      Lemon Zest

    Place lemon juice in a bowl. Add a blend of the milk and cream. Add in zest and then sugar. Mix. Place in ice cream freezer.


    Tart! Mouth puckering Tart! Creamy! Delicious!

I didn’t use the zest. DUH!!! That’s how I got here in the first place. dsc03352It was the perfect accompaniment to the little lemon cakelets.


Thanks to all of you who have these great recipes to share. They do make life a little easier?

I have stopped buying cookbooks – well, sorta, kinda, maybe. Why??? You ask!!! Well, with so many good great cooks in the bloggersphere it just seems like a ‘waist’ of shelf space — sorta, kinda, maybe. If I want to try something new I go to my blogging friends and try their recipes. Thus, the title, “Blogger Bites“. A couple of weeks ago I tried Paula Deene’s Chicken Enchilada Recipe. Family did not care for at all asked me not to make it again, please. Since then I have been determined to find a recipe that they did ask me to make again. Search, search, search. Read, read, read. Scribble, scribble, scribble. By the time I had finished all the research, I had decided I liked several ‘bites’ so decided to try my luck at combining a few ideas into one. BINGO!!!dsc032691

Now, this was GOOD!!!


My thanks to Amy at Nook and Pantry for her enchilada recipe. And for her Mexican Rice concoction, too. I combined her ideas with Alan’s from Allstar Mexican Food. And then I went to Elizabeth of My Home Cooking. Her site was a great site for some step by step instructions. Between the three of them I came up with a pretty good ‘concoction’ myself for enchiladas.

    Beef Enchiladas
      1.5 pounds ground chuck
      3/4 cup onions, diced
      2 cloves garlic, diced
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/4 tsp pepper
      2 Tbl chili powder
      1/2 tsp oregano
      1 – 1.5 tsp cumin
      3 – 4 cups Tomato sauce
      10 – 12 8″ corn or flour tortillas
      Shredded cheddar or Mexican mix cheese

    Preheat oven to 450.
    Brown ground beef until no longer pink. Remove from pan leaving grease in pan. Brown onions and garlic in pan. Add chili, oregano, chili and continue browning until onions and garlic are tender. Pour in tomato sauce and simmer about 20 minutes. Remove about 1/2 – 3/4 cup sauce from pan and put aside. Add ground beef and simmer about 10 more minutes.

As for the tortillas, I found different ways of preparing them. Amy said she wrapped hers in foil and warmed while oven was heating. Elizabeth quickly fried hers to soften. Either way works. Since I didn’t want to fry I simply used Amy’s idea.

    dsc03268

    Gently dip warmed tortillas in some sauce (I actually cheated and used canned enchilada sauce for this) in a shallow dish. Remove to plate and place about 1/4 – 1/2 cup sauce w/ beef, and shredded cheese on tortilla. (This is where Elizabeth’s instructions came in really handy.) Slide onto baking dish. Pour reserved meatless sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle shedded cheese over whole. Bake 20 – 25 minutes until cheese is well melted. (But not toooo long or cheese will be too brown and harden – and I speak from experience here!)

ENJOY!!!


Hubs and The Hunk DID like these. And although a little messy to make, well worth it.

Ah, the smell of baking bread. There is nothing like it. I have been known to bake bread overnight just so I can have that wonderful aroma to wake up to in the morning. And driving by a bakery, it is a wonder I haven’t crashed more than once since I tend to close my eyes and sigh at the very waft of fresh bread in the air. Of course, knowing WHEN the bread factory is actually baking bread is a fun fact and an excuse to drive down their road. But I digress…


So going to try a new bread because I am making Crock Pot Chile tonight. Needed something besides crackers to go with it. And not in the mood for cornbread (altho’ Dories Corn Muffins would go perfectly with this as other TWDers suggested a couple of weeks ago.)

    Taco Cheddar Bread
      1 Cup + 2 Tbl water
      3 cups bread flour
      1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
      1 Tbl Taco Seasoning (Dry Package or home made)dsc03196
      1 Tbl sugar
      3/4 tsp. salt
      Package yeast.

    As usual I used my bread machine to make the dough. When processed (?) remove and let rise on pizza stone for about 2 hours until doubled in size. Bake until golden brown (about 20/25 minutes) at 375 degrees

There is more to this story.

I am using Jennifer’s recipe from Cooking for Comfort. Jennifer’s chili recipe is super simple and since it is crock pot cooked you can multi-task all day long….

    Jennifer’s Slow Cooker Chili
      1 lb ground beefdsc03194
      1 onion (diced or chunks)
      1 pepper (I use green)(diced or chunks)(I left this out as Hubs doesn’t like)
      2 cloves of garlic, pressed
      2-29 ounce cans of tomato sauce
      2 (14 or so ounces)cans of beans (you can use light or dark kidney beans, pinto beans, any beans you choose)
      1 tablespoon of sugar
      1 packet of chili seasoning mix (hot or mild, depends on your preference)


    Brown ground beef with onion and pepper, add garlic at last minute. Drain and put in slow cooker. Pour tomato sauce and beans into slow cooker. Add sugar and chili seasoning mix into slow cooker, stir until combined. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Garnish with tortilla chips, grated onion, cheddar cheese. Enjoy! (This chili freezes well.)


I am also tired of buying Taco Seasoning, so tried one I had (source???) in my notebook for a while.

    * 2 tsp. chili powder (up to 2Tbl. depending on your tastes
    * 1.5 tsp. paprika
    * 1 tsp. onion powder
    * 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp salt
    * 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    * 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    * 1/2 tsp. oregano
    * dash of ground cayenne pepper to taste, depending on how hot you like it
    * freshly ground black pepper to taste

So, how was it. I liked the bread. Once I put out the fire and turned on my other oven. What? Wait! What did she say? Yeah! Yeah! You read it right. Once I put out the fire….. Seems when I turned the oven on to preheat to bake the bread, someone uh, somehow… Okay, fine I had put a plastic bowl in the oven because company was coming and I just wanted to get it out of site. Yes, I forgot it. Turned on the oven. Next thing I know the kitchen is full of smoke and the oven is ON FIRE. Yes, on fire. Did you know plastic actually burns – very well. It was like I had a wood burning stove. fireFlames rising high. Good thing there is a bottom in the oven because I have a wood floor in the kitchen. Sorry, no pics. Was trying too hard to put out the fire. Fire Extinguisher – the ultimate kitchen gadget. Windows open. Door open, Fans on full force. So then I had to bake the bread elsewhere. Stone doesn’t fit in convectiondsc03191Had to transfer it to a smaller pan. And as you can see it DEFLATED when I tried to move it. **SIGH** So I let it sit a spell, baked it, and it came out better than I expected.dsc03192 Needed more flavoring, but not bad bread. Would be good toasted.

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