Friday, December 23, 2011


...has claimed another victim.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Random question.

When two opposing sides both fight and shed blood and commit atrocities in the name of god, how do you know which one, if either, actually does have god on their side?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yule Recipes, Day 7: After Dinner Mint Triangles

[From The Pampered Chef(r) Season's Best Recipe Collection (Fall/Winter 2010)]

This cool and creamy dessert is the perfect way to end a meal.

2 pkg (10 oz/283 g each) fudge-covered mint cookies
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter (1 stick)
1-1/4 cup (300 mL) semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Filling & Topping
10 oz (300 g) vanilla almond bark or confectioner's coating candy melts
1 pkg (8 oz/250 g) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp (5 mL) peppermint extract
6 drops green food coloring
1/4 cup (50 mL) semi-sweet chocolate morsels

  1. For crust, place half of the cookies in large resealable plastic bag; crush into very fine crumbs using flat end of Meat Tenderizer. Place crumbs into Stainless (4-qt/4-L) Mixing Bowl; repeat with remaining cookies. Place butter and chocolate morsels in Small Batter Bowl; microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 1 - 1-1/2 minute or until butter is melted.Stir until smooth. Add chocolate mixture to crumbs; mix until all crumbs are moistened. Spread evenly over Medium Sheet Pan; using hands, firmly pack evenly into pan. Place in freezer at least 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for filling, place almond bark into Large Micro-Cooker(r). Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with Classic Scraper until bark is mostly melted. Remove from microwave; stir until smooth. Whisk in extract and food coloring until smooth. Add bark; whisk well. Spread filling over crust; set aside.
  3. Place remaining chocolate morsels into (1-cup/250-mL) Prep Bowl; microwave uncovered, on HIGH 30-45 seconds or until melted, stirring every 15 seconds. Place small resealable plastic bag into Measure-All(r) Cup. Pour chocolate into corner of bag. Twist top of bag; secure. Cut corner off of bag. Drizzle chocolate over filling. Let stand until chocolate is firm. Cut dessert into 16 rectangles (four rows of four rectangles each). Cut in half diagonally to make 32 triangles.
Yield: 32 triangles (16 servings)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Yule Recipes, Day 6: Warm Spumoni Swirl Brownies

[From The Pampered Chef® Season’s Best™ Recipe Collection (Fall/Winter 2010).]

Rich chocolate brownies are swirled with cherry- and pistachio-flavored cream cheeses for a simple, festive dessert

½ cup (125 mL) plus ¾ tsp (4 mL) vegetable oil, divided
¼ cup (50 mL) shelled pistachios
1 jar (10 oz) maraschino cherries, drained (about 30 cherries), divided
8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, divided
¼ cup (50 mL) powdered sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) almond extract
5 drops each green and red food coloring
1 pkg (18-21 oz or 450 g) fudge brownie mix
3 eggs
¼ cup (50 mL) water
Additional pistachios, coarsely chopped (optional)

1.       Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Lightly brush Large Bar Pan with 2/4 tsp (4 mL) of the oil using Chef’s Silicone Basting Brush. Grate pistachios with Rotary Grater. Finely chop cherries with Food Chopper; blot dry with paper towels.
2.       In Small Batter Bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar; whisk until smooth. Place half of cream cheese mixture into (2-cup/500-mL) Prep Bowl. Add pistachios, almond extract and green food coloring; mix well. To remaining cream cheese mixture, add half of the cherries and red food coloring; mix well. Attach open star tip to Easy Accent® Decorator; fill with both cream cheese mixtures.
3.       In Stainless (4-qt/4-L) Mixing Bowl, combine brownie mix, eggs, remaining oil, remaining cherries and water; mix well. Pour batter into pan. Pipe cream cheese mixtures lengthwise over batter in four rows. Gently swirl using flat edge of Small Spreader, creating a marbled effect. Bake 18-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into center comes out with moist fudgy crumbs attached.
4.       Remove pan from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool 2-3 minutes. Cut into 24 squares. If desired, drizzle with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with additional chopped pistachios. Serve warm.

Yield: 24 servings

Monday, December 5, 2011

Yule Recipes, Day 5: Caramel-Banana Ravioli

[From The Pampered Chef® Season’s Best™ Recipe Collection (Fall/Winter 2010).]

No one will ever guess that it takes only five ingredients to create this rich and satisfying dessert!

2 firm medium bananas
3 rolls (1.7 oz each) milk chocolate-covered chewy caramels, unwrapped (24 pieces total)
2 pkg (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls with no seams
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) Caramel Sauce

1.       Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Lightly brush Large Bar Pan with vegetable oil. Using Santoku Knife, slice bananas diagonally into twenty-four ¼-in-thick (6-mm_ slices. Cut caramels in half.
2.       Unroll one package of dough onto bottom of pan, gently shaping to form a rectangle. (Do no stretch. Dough will not cover entire bottom of pan.) Arrange banana slices over dough in for rows  of six each, spacing ¾ in (2 cm) apart. Top each banana slice with two caramel halves. Unroll remaining dough directly over filling, matching edges and shaping to fit.Press firmly around filling to seal; pinch together any tears.
3.       Using Pastry Cutter fitted with fluted wheel, trim and discard edges of dough; cut into 24 ravioli. Using Mini-Serving Spatula, separate ravioli over pan. Add sugar to Flour/Sugar Shaker; sprinkle over ravioli. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove ravioli to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool 2 minutes. Place on serving plates; drizzle with sauce.

Yield: 24 ravioli (12 servings)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Yule Recipes, Day 4: Chocolate-Raspberry Cookie Trifle

[From The Pampered Chef® Season’s Best™ Recipe Collection (Fall/Winter 2010).]

Chocolate-raspberry ganache, white chocolate mousse filling and vanilla wafers create appealing colors and textures that make this trifle great for any occasion.

1 cup (250 mL) milk
1 pkg (3.3 oz or 102 g) white chocolate or vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
1 container (16 oz) frozen whipped topping (6-1/2 cups/1.5 L), thawed, divided
1 cup (250 mL) milk chocolate morsels
1 jar (12 oz or 250 mL) seedless raspberry jam, divided
1 bag (12 oz or 340 g) frozen sweetened raspberries (not in syrup), thawed
1 box (12 oz or 340 g) vanilla wafers, divided

  1. For filling, in Stainless (4-qt/4-L) Mixing Bowl, combine milk and pudding mix; whisk until pudding mixture begins to thicken. Reserve ½ cup (125 mL) of the whipped topping in Measure-All® Cup. Gently fold remaining whipped topping into pudding mixture. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. For ganache, combine chocolate morsels, reserved whipped topping and half of the jam in Small Batter Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 40-60 seconds or until melted, stirring after each 20-second interval. Stir until smooth. Reserve ¼ cup (50 mL) in (1-cup/250-mL) Prep Bowl for garnish.
  3. Place remaining jam into another Prep Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30-60 seconds or until melted. Place berries into Classic Batter Bowl. Pour jam over berries; stir gently. Set aside 16 cookies for garnish; break remaining cookies in half.
  4. To assemble trifle, place one-third of the broken cookies into Trifle Bowl. Layer one-third of the raspberry mixture evenly over cookies. Top with one-third of the pudding mixture and one-third of the ganache. Repeat layers two more times, finish with a smooth layer of ganache.
  5. Dip reserved whole cookies halfway into reserved ganache; place into top of trifle.
Yield: 16 servings

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The girl cat's assassination attempt.

I opened the dryer to remove a load of laundry, and before I had even straightened back up with an armful of clothes, the girl cat came running to jump into the dryer. She ALWAYS does this. So I started throwing wet clothes into the dryer on top of her. She didn't like that and got the hell out.

I put a load into the washer, started it, and rushed back to my seat on the couch. Little did I know that Girl Cat was lurking under the side table, hidden behind a shopping bag. She came streaking out, timing it perfectly, and tripped me! I yelped, "Oh my God!" and threw my hands out in front of me, landing ungracefully onto the couch. If I hadn't reacted so quickly, I might have busted my head on the coffee table!

A few minutes later a bleary-eyed Fiance emerged from hibernation in his Man Cave, and inquired about the commotion that had awoken him from his slumber. Girl Cat, hearing her master, came prancing out of the kitchen, her belly fat swaying comically from side to side. I pointed at the assassin and told him, "Your cat tried to kill me!" I related the events described in the previous paragraph, and he just looked at me in that bleary-eyed and unimpressed manner, and responded, "Why don't you stop acting so goofy?" Having said that, he turned and went back into his Cave to hibernate for a few more hours.

I suspect a conspiracy.

Batter Bowl Mix Gift Ideas for under $20!

Are you in the St Louis/Scott Air Force Base are and trying to find some new gift ideas for this holiday season? These cute bowls are $17.00 (or 5 bowls for $75) and I will fill them and have them ready to go for you! Family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, teachers, gift exchanges, etc; whomever you're shopping for, consider giving them one of these bowls!

Order by December 12th, and I can have them ready for pick-up at my house on December 19th, between 10 AM and 5 PM. If you need to schedule another pick-up time, just let me know.

Save time this holiday season, give them something they can keep on using, and let me do the work for you! Choose from one of these four recipes:

Celebration Cookie Mix
A great gift idea for teachers and coworkers! Cranberries, chocolate morsels and pecan look lovely when layered in our Small Batter Bowl.

Batter Bowl Brownie Mix
Simply layer the brownie ingredients like sand art, and give it to the chocolate lover in your life! 

Cowboy Chili Mix
A hearty gift that will stick to their ribs. Perfect for coaches and football fans!
Harvest Pumpkin Bread Mix
An excellent fall and winter gift! The recipient of this mix will think of you fondly when baking and savoring these spiced pumpkin loaves.

Each bowl will include a ribbon and a gift tag with the recipe.

E-mail me today to order one of these neat gifts!

Yule Recipes, Day 3: Decadent Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

[From The Pampered Chef® Season’s Best™ Recipe Collection (Fall/Winter 2010).]

Grated hazelnuts give this cake an interesting flavor and texture.

Nonstick cooking spray with flour
3/4 cup (175 mL) whole blanched hazelnuts without skins, divided
1 small pkg (9 oz.250 g) devil's food cake mix
1 jar (13 oz or 400 g) chocolate hazelnut spread, divided
1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream
1 egg
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided (3 cups/750 mL)

  1. Preheat ove to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Spray one Torte Pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Place an 8-in (20-cm) circle of Parchment Paper over center of pan. Using Rotary Grater, grate 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the hazelnuts into Stainless (4-qt/4 L) Mixing Bowl. Add cake mix, 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the hazelnut spread, sour cream and egg; mix well with Small Mix ‘N Scraper®. Pour batter into pan; spread evenly. Bake 12-14 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  2. Remove pan from over to Stackable Cooling Rack; let stand 2 minutes. Invert cake onto cooling rack; remove pan and parchement. Cool 10 minutes. Transfer cake well-side up to Cake Pedestal.
  3. Meanwhile, for filling, combine remaining hazelnut spread and 1-1/2 cup (375 mL) of the whipped topping in Classic Batter Bowl; mix until smooth with Mix ‘N Scraper®. Spread filling evenly into well of cake until Small Spreader. Attach open star tip Easy Accent® Decorator; fill with remaining whipped topping. Pipe whipped topping over filling in a lattice pattern; grate remaining hazelnuts over cake.
Yield: 16 servings

Friday, December 2, 2011

Yule Recipes, Day 2: Easy Limoncello

[From The Pampered Chef® Season’s Best™ Recipe Collection (Fall/Winter 2010).]

This classic Italian after-dinner liqueur is prepared quickly in the microwave with fresh lemons and lemon sorbet.

3 lemons
1 carton (14 oz) of lemon sorbet (1 ¾ cups/425 mL), softened
1 cup (250 mL) citrus-flavored vodka
2/3 cup (150 mL) of sugar

  1. Avoiding white pith, lightly peel lemons using Serrated Peeler. Thinly slice lemon zest with Santoku Knife. Place lemon zest, sorbet, vodka, and sugar in Large Micro-Cooker®. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 5-7 minutes or until just starting to simmer (do not boil). Carefully remove from microwave; cool 10 minutes.
  2. Strain limoncello into Small Batter Bowl using (5-in/13-cm) Strainer. Serve over ice in four Dots Martini Glasses.

Yield: 4 servings

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Yule Recipes, Day 1: Pomegranate-Ginger Cooler

[From The Pampered Chef® Season’s Best™ Recipe Collection (Fall/Winter 2010).]

This colorful and refreshing cocktail can be enjoyed year-round!

1 4-in (10 cm) piece of peeled fresh ginger root
1 can (12 oz) of frozen pomegranate-cherry juice concentrate, thawed
5 or 6 limes
3 cups (750 mL) of chilled club soda
1 bottle (750 mL) of sparkling wine such as spumante
4 cups (1 L) ice plus additional for serving

  1. Using Food Chopper, finely chop ginger root. Place ginger root and juice concentrate into Large Micro-Cooker®. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 6-7 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Carefully remove from microwave; cool 10 minutes. Meanwhile, juice limes with Juicer to measure ¼ cup (50 mL).
  2. Using (5-in/13-cm) Strainer, strain pomegranate mixture and lime juice into Family-Size Quik-Stir® Pitcher discard ginger. Slowly add club soda and sparkling wine; plunge gently to mix. Carefully add ice; plunge gently. Place additional ice in eight Dots Stemware glasses; pour beverage over ice. (For non-alcoholic version, substitute an additional 3 cups of club soda for the sparkling wine.)

Yield: 8 servings