Sunday, August 26, 2012

Make your own edible food paint for pastry!

I was making a pie the other day for my friends birthday and I wanted to add a little pizazz to it! I still had a bunch of my egg wash left over so I added a few drops of food dye into it and viola! here you have it! a fun and super easy way to add a little color to your pastry... Enjoy! 

1 egg
2 tbsp water
food dye 

directions: whisk egg and water togethor, add a few drops of food dye to reach desired color, mix well. Using your finger or a paint brush, paint desired design onto pastry. Bake and enjoy! 

My heart is Sherlocked on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Ever since it was recently brought to my attention that BBC had come out with a Television Series based around Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous Criminal Investigation books, Sherlock Holmes. I have been excited yet skeptical to see it. The Sherlock Holmes books have been a childhood favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. These books were the reason I once aspired to become a homicide detective, that is before I found a career path a little less bloody (only slightly). Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books were written with beautiful elegance and his plots were brimming with anticipation and suspense. So you could imagine my skepticism when I found out someone was once again trying to remake my favorite pieces of literature. The Pilot started with an Episode titles, a study in pink. A play off of Sir Arthur's First Novel, the introduction to Sherlock Holmes; A Study in Scarlette. Now when I first saw this I was not only thrilled as A Study in Scarlette is one of my favorites of the series but also perplexed because I couldn't fathom why they would change the name to A Study in Pink. As I watched the Episode I noticed that it was based in modern time london which gave it a rather unique appeal. However, The story line did not match up with novel and therefore made me feel not only a bit frustrated but also sad at the same time. 
A Study in Scarlet is one of the most beautiful tales of love, passion, and struggle I have yet to come across. Set in the Mid-West America's, Utah to be specific. It is a tale of a lone nomad and a precious little girl, survived by her 2 parents who perished in the extreme desert sun from dehydration and starvation. 
 The lone nomad rescues the young girl and decides to raise her as his own. He carried her in a travel sac for miles until he could go no more, set and ready to die by the desert sun, he clutched the girl in his arms and rested what he imagined to be his final rest. Just in the nick of time they are rescued by a convoy of travelling Mormons who rescue to the two on the sole condition that they will take hold of their religion wholeheartedly. Left with little choice the man agrees and begins to build a life with in the Mormon community. 
This man raises the small girl into a fine young woman. It is only when she finds love outside the Mormon community that troubles arise. In a terrifying decision, the family abandons their religion and runs for freedom in a struggle between life and death... 
This was a something that was never even hinted upon in the Pilot of the show. It was what I felt to be, the most beautiful part of this story. Instead the show reflects the man to be a psychotic serial killer with a God complex.  I will not deny that the show was very intriguing and I did in fact absolutely love Benedict Cumberbatch as the character of sir Sherlock Holmes and the fact that it was based in modern day was a concept I instantly fell in love with. All in all I think the show will turn out to be quiet wonderful as long as I am willing to set my pickyness aside and enjoy it for what it is, another one of what I am sure will be Steven Moffat's masterpieces. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Creole bean stew

So simple, so easy, and so delicious! The best way I can describe this soup is that it will make you wanna "giddy'up" on somebody after you've finished a bowl! This soup would be perfect for a cold winters day, however I was dumb enough to make it in the middle of august on one of the hottest days of the year. It was still equally delicious and totally worth the 12 degree shower I had to take afterwards just to cool down. I hope you love this ragin' cajun dish and much as I did... Enjoy! 

21/2 cups 17 bean soup mix ( Just the dried beans, soaked in water overnight ) 
4 carrots ( chopped ) 
1 medium walla walla sweet onion ( chopped ) 
4 cloves garlic ( minced ) 
1 quart chicken stock 
1 quart vegetable stock 
1 tsp. salt & white pepper 
1 tbsp. Creole seasoning 
1 tsp. oregano 
2 tbsp. sriracha sauce 
1 tsp. paprika 
1/4 cup flour 
1/4 cup butter 
1/2 tsp. chili garlic paste 

In a large crockpot, add beans, carrots, onion, garlic, stock, spices, and sriracha. 

Cover with lid and cook for 6 hours on high. In a small pan melt butter and chile garlic paste. 

Stirring constantly add flour until smooth to form a rue. 

Cook rue for a minute or two to cook out the flavor of the raw flour. 

Scoop some of the broth into the rue to thin it out a bit and pour the rue into the beans. Cook the beans a few minutes longer to thicken the stew up and serve alongside a nice buttery biscuit or some good old fashioned cornbread, an ice cold glass of ice tea, and of course a good friend to share it all with. 

If you want to add some extra protein to this dish, some smoked ham (cut into cubes) would make a great addition!  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Poppin' Paper Bag Popcorn

This is such a great trick for those movie nights with friends. Make individual popcorn bags! These are great for the slumber parties for the kids, movie nights with friends, or even a simple snack to take to work. It provides easy clean-up and best of all you won't have to worry about the harmful chemicals brought on by microwave popcorn... Enjoy! 

1/4 cup popping corn 
1 brown paper lunch bag 
small piece of tape


Open the brown paper sack, fill with popping corn and fold the edge over on the bag then tape it shut. 

Microwave for 1:30 - 3 minutes, depending on microwave and how long it takes to pop most of it. Remove from microwave when popping slow's down to 1- second intervals. Remove from microwave, peel off the tape, open the bag and enjoy! 

Best served with your favorite topping, a nice cold beverage, and a great movie! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

We No Speak Americano Pasta salad

This salad is perfect for a nice summer evening. This italian-american fusion style dish is zesty and full of life! Share this salad on the beach, at the park, near a waterfall, or where ever your heart desires! But being outside is a must when enjoying this delicious dish... Enjoy! 

1/2 small red onion ( Diced small ) 
2 tomatoes ( Diced ) 
3 tbsp. Cilantro ( Minced ) 
2 cups Garden Pasta 
1 head Romaine lettuce ( chopped ) 
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
3 tbsp. Balsalmic Vinegar 
1 tsp. Basil ( Dried or fresh ) 
1/2 tsp. Oregano ( dried ) 
1 tsp. Garlic Powder 
1/4 tsp. Salt 
1/2 tsp. Lemon Pepper 
Pepperoncini ( Sliced, Optional ) 
1/4 cup olives ( sliced, Optional ) 
1/4 cup Romano ( Grated )

Boil pasta, drain, and rinse with cold water to chill. 

In a large bowl, whisk together Olive Oil, Vinegar, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and lemon pepper. 

Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss lightly to coat. 

Serve alongside some crusty bread, a nice glass of wine, and a picnic table in the park. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Blackheart Sangria

This sinfully delicious sangria was inspired by none other than Joan Jett the blackhearts. Sangria is a wonderful excuse to "Punk" up your fruit! This sweet and juicy wine packs a powerful punch... Enjoy! 


1 bottle Red Wine ( I prefer to use a cabernet sauvignon )
1 handul black cherries 
1 handful blueberries 
2 blood oranges 
1 nectarine 
1 wedge of melon ( i like honeydew) 
2 tbsp. Sugar
1/4 Cup Brandy
2 Cup Vermouth
Ice (optional)
Club soda (optional)

Remove stems and pits from cherries. Cut the blood orange into round slices. Remove pit from nectarine and cut into wedges. Remove rind from honey dew and cut into bite size pieces. rinse the blueberries. 

Place fruit in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar.

Gently press the fruit with a wooden spoon, extracting some of the juices but not pulverizing the flesh.

Drizzle a small amount of brandy over the fruit.

Allow the bowl of fruit mixture to settle for at least 15 minutes. Give it enough time to absorb the brandy and sugar.

Empty the bottle of red wine into a wine carafe ( if you don't have a carafe a nice pitcher will do as well ) 

Spoon the fruit mixture into the pitcher and stir in the vermouth.

Place the sangria in the refrigerator and allow ingredients to settle overnight, or at least 8-12 hours.

Serve with or without ice. Add a drizzle of club soda to glass if desired.

Best served on a warm summer evening with plenty of friends and some good pasta.

Friday, August 3, 2012

DIY Doctor Who Party

I talk a lot about serving food for dinner parties, small gatherings, and community functions. I feel that food is best enjoyed when surrounded with love, laughter, and adventure. To me food is not just a life source, it is an experience. It is an opportunity to create something new, something wonderful, and something worth sharing with the people you care most about in this world. That is why I strive to create dishes to please wonderful people like you... Enjoy! 

For Drinks you will need:
TARDIS Jello Shots
Sonic Screwdrivers
Captain Jack's 

For food you will need:
Doctor Who-sier Pie
Tiny TARDIS Pies ( Brought to you by BBC America )
Doctor Who Companion Cookies 

For Activities! try your hand at The Doctor Who Drinking Game Brought to you by the wonderful people at!

Did you run short on time? What about having your guests decorate your Doctor Who Companion Cookies as a fun interactive project, the best part is you get to eat your creations! 

If crafts are more your game, make some fun Cybermen Costumes! provided by Bonnie Burton and her new youtube show #DIYGeek. Or you can try your hand at Adipose Plushies brought to you by the lovely folks at

Looking to game? Pick up a copy of Doctor Who: The eternity Clock at your local video game store. If you are like me and prefer the Table Top versions of games, head to your local comic book store ( In my case, Matt's Calvacade of Comics ) and pick up the latest Doctor Who: Time Wars family board game.

Now lets talk decoration!

If you are not into the whole DIY Decorations you can purchase plenty of Doctor Who party decorations at but if DIY is your thing Pinterest has plenty of ideas for aprons, cakes, door covers, and much much more!

Now, just add plenty of friends and let the good times commence! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Proclaimers Raspberry Scones

Raspberry's and Scones are just as much a part of Scotland as the Rockin' 80's band The Proclaimers are. The Proclaimers, most commonly known for their song "I'm gonna be" ( I would walk 500 miles ), are  a Scottish band composed of identical twin brothers Charlie and Craig Reid. This scottish recipe is a tribute to their awesome music... Enjoy! 

4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter ( Cold, cubed ) 
1 cup sour cream 
dash of milk
2 pints raspberries ( fresh )
Additional sugar for dipping ( I like to use vanilla sugar, found at specialty spice store ) 

Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 

Work in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.

 Add sour cream and just enough milk to make dough into a soft mixture. ( not too wet )

 Gently fold in berries. Spoon dough into 3-ounce pieces. ( about 1/3 cup ) 

Dip tops in sugar and place on greased cookie sheet. 

Bake at 325°F until golden brown – approximately 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve with a nice cup of tea and some good scottish music! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Doctor Who Companion Cookies

These yummy cookies are almost as sweet as the companions themselves! Serve these at a Doctor Who party as a fun activity to decorate! You can also use the recipe to cut out other Doctor Who themed bits such a daleks, the TARDIS, Ood communication devices, or whatever else your heart(s) desire! If you don't have doctor who cookie cutters make your own by simply cutting out a picture of the item you want, placing it over the flattened dough, and using a small sharp pairing knife, cutting around the edges of the picture to create the shape of your item. Decorate accordingly...Enjoy! 

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. 

Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix flour, baking powder and salt; add to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.

 Do not chill the dough. Divide the dough into 2 balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball into a circle ( approximately 12 in. wide and 1/8 in. thick ) 

don’t make them thicker than this or your cutout may lose its shape during baking

 Dip cookie cutters in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 6-7 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

Allow to cool completely then decorate with royal icing. 

Ingredients for Royal Icing:
1 large egg white
1 1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar, divided
food coloring 
sprinkles, dragees, small candies,etc. ( For decoration ) 

In a microwave-safe bowl, stir egg white and 2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar until thoroughly combined.

Microwave on high until the mixture reaches 160°F on an instant-read thermometer (it should not exceed 175°F), 30 to 60 seconds.

 If you need to take more than one temperature reading, wash the thermometer thoroughly or dip it into a mug of boiling water before taking additional readings.

Add the remaining 2/3 cup of sifted powdered sugar and beat on high speed until the icing is cool and holds stiff peaks. If the icing is not stiff enough, add more powdered sugar.

Color, if desired, with food coloring (the color will intensify as the icing stands). 

The icing can be stored in a covered container for up to 3 days; press a piece of wax or parchment paper directly against the surface to prevent drying. The icing can be rebeaten if necessary. 

To pipe, use a small pastry bag fitted with a fine tip, or cut off the corner of a sealable plastic bag or the tip of a parchment paper cone.

 Best served with a tall glass of milk and decorated plenty of Dragees or as the Doctor liked to call them "Edible ball bearings" 

Are you a Doctor Who fan? Tell us what you loved most about decorating these fun cookies in the comment section!