Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I find it so hard to believe that 2010 is coming to a close!  We've had a great year, and I hope you have too!  Here are just a few highlights of what happened in 2010 in this Foodie's life....

  • January 21st -- I started this cooking blog.  :)
  • Memorial Day -- My hubby and I found out where we were going to move in less than 3 months.
  • July 20th -- My hubby defended his Dissertation for his PhD.  
  • July 31st- August 3rd -- We (along with my parents) moved over 1700miles from Northern Colorado to the Research Triangle in North Carolina.
  • September -- Held ADM's first giveaway with the help of
  • October -- I purchased my own domain and moved my whole cooking blog to!
  • November -- Gave away the very first ADM apron.
  • December -- ADM continues to grow and can now be found on several blog listings such as:  Sheblogs, NCblogs, BlogTopSites and FoodieBlogRoll!
  • December 31st--258th post was published on ADM!  :)  That's a lot of writing, and even more cooking and baking!
I really want to thank you all for allowing me into your kitchen and letting me share my life!  A lot has happened and a lot of it wouldn't have happened if it weren't for you!  ADM has been a great adventure to undertake this year, and I can't wait for many more to come!  So thanks for reading.  Thanks for following on fb and/or Twitter.  And thanks for letting me in your kitchens!  :)  

I have a lot planned for 2011.  But as always, I would love to hear the ideas, suggestions and requests you have!  So send them my way!  :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On a cold winter night....

....would you offer your blood to the wolf with the red roses?

Without googling it, can you name that song?  And/Or the artist?  The first part starts out a little differently...but I had to change it to work with this time of the year.  :)

Hope everyone is doing well!  I just thought I'd post another quick way to make hot chocolate with things you already have around the house.  Milk and Hershey's Syrup!  You may have had it this before....but really how could you go wrong with Hershey's?  It's just so good.  :)

Just heat some milk up in a pot and add Hershey's syrup until it is your desired chocolatiness (yes I like to make up words) and then stir it up (while still heating) with a whisk!  That way you'll get some froth on the top, which is always my favorite part!  :)  Simple.  Good.  And perfect for a cold wintery night!  :)  Or maybe a hot summer one.... ;)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Carolina Haystacks

Well, I'm sure you've heard of Hawaiian Haystacks.  And you may even already know they are one of my favorite dishes.  So here's my Carolina version of that meal.  I was thinking of calling it "Chicken n Rice" since everybody loves Chicken n Dumpins here...but I went with Carolina Haystacks, so people would hopefully more know what I was talking about.  On to the recipe...

Carolina Haystacks:
Cooked Rice (I prefer brown, but any works.)
1/2 lb. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, diced
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 T. Onion, diced
2 T. Butter
2 Carrots
1/2 c. Water
1/2 to 1 c. Milk
1 c. Pineapple, crushed
1/4 c. Coconut, shredded
Salt/Pepper to taste

1.  In a skillet saute the garlic, onion and chicken until the chicken is cooked through.
2.  Add water, milk and carrots cook for about 10 minutes.
3.  Add pineapple and coconut and simmer for another 10 minutes.  (Can add a little flour to thicken if needed.)
4.  Add salt/pepper to taste.
5.  Serve over rice.
4 servings

Turkey leftovers can be used in place of the chicken.  Just saute the onion and garlic first and then add diced turkey and continue as directed.  :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hi!  I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  I hope you all get to spend this very special holiday (and my very favorite holiday) with those you hold dear.  Whether you're spending it with family, friends or have to be away from home, I hope you have a great time celebrating the reason we are here today!  I appreciate all my readers, and can't wait to show you what I have planned for the coming weeks!  :)

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Easy Peasy Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic is a handy thing to have around!  Plus, it makes your house smell just heavenly!  (As long as you like garlic...) You can add roasted garlic to mashed potatoes, other dishes or add it to olive oil for dipping your bread in.  Thanks to Rachael Ray, I have this easy peasy way of roasting it!  :)
All you do is grab some garlic.  Cut off the tops.  Drizzle some Olive Oil on the exposed part.  Wrap in foil and bake for about 45 minutes at 375degrees.  Then, viola!  You have roasted garlic!  :)  You can just squeeze the garlic out once it's cooled slightly.  (Refer to pics above.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Easy Punch

This summer I posted an easy punch that I grew up with.  Well, here's a variation of it that I've had (and enjoyed) several times since we've been in the South.

2(+) liters Ginger Ale
1/2 gal. Sherbet (Any flavor works, but Lime is my fave still.)

Just Pour Ginger Ale in a punch bowl and slowly add in slightly melted sherbet.  Stir and serve!  (You may need to break up the sherbet, and you can do so with the serving ladle or other spatula or such.)

This is great for showers (bridal or baby), parties (holiday or other) or just a family gathering!  Yum!  It's so's almost and possible addictive!  :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Double Chocolate Biscotti

Well, you can probably really tell now, that I love biscotti.  Not just like or enjoy, but actually love it.  :)  So, I made some more and I know you'll really enjoy these!  Chocolate, some more chocolate and some optional nuts!  Yum!  :)  These are great by themselves and also go well with coffee or hot cocoa like this or this!  :)

Double Chocolate Biscotti
3 eggs (or equivalent egg substitute)
1 c.  Sugar
1/2 c. Butter or Shortening
1 t.  Vanilla
1 t. Baking Powder
1/2 t. Baking Soda
1/4 c. cocoa (or more if desired)
3 c. Flour
1/4 choc chips (or more if desired)
1/2 c. Almonds, or other nuts Optional

1.  Preheat the oven to 350degrees.  Cream together eggs, sugar and butter.
2.  Mix in vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa.
3.  Slowly mix in flour until well blended.
4.  Add chocolate chips and optional almonds and just mix until combined.
 5.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.  Then shape dough into one or two long logs.  Flatten to about 3/4"-1" thick like so.
 6.  Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  They'll look like this after 20 minutes. (Below)
 7.  Once they are cool enough to touch, one by one place on a cutting board and cut into 1" pieces.  (Cut them on the bias for a slightly bigger and much pretty biscotti!)
 8.  Place each piece back on the baking sheet like so, and bake for another 10 minutes on each side.
  Cool on cooling rack, store in airtight container and serve with coffee, tea, hot cocoa or by themselves!  :)
 Enjoy!  Yum....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Anise Biscotti

I don't know about you, but I love biscotti.  I had it for the first time back in 1999, when I was on a vacation in California with my family.  I loved it then, and still just love it now!  I made it for the first time when I worked at the Coffee Shop.  Now, from time to time I do like to make it at home.  It's a nice thing to have around for company, especially around tea/coffee time.  So, I thought I'd post my latest recipe for Anise Biscotti here.  It's a traditional biscotti (basically a twice baked cookie) and has a nice liquorice flavor from the anise.  :)

Anise Biscotti:
1/2 c.  Shortening or Butter
2 c.  Sugar
2 T.  Anise seeds
2 t.  Baking Powder
1 t.  Vanilla
1 t.  Salt
4  Eggs
4 c.  Flour

1.  Start out by preheating the oven to 350degrees. 
 2.  Mix the shortening and sugar together.
 3.  Add the eggs, salt, baking powder, vanilla and anise seeds and mix.
 3.  Mix in the flour until well combined.  It will be sticky.
4.  Spread the dough onto a foil or parchment lined baking sheet, so it's about 1" thick.  (Like so.)
 5.  Bake for 25 minutes.
 6.  Let it cool for about 5 minutes, and then transfer to a cutting board.  With a sharp knife cut into about 3/4" strips like so.
 7.  Continue to cut the biscotti.  Don't fret if the top cracks a little.  It's all good...and goes with the territory.
 8.  Place the biscotti on their side on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Then turn to the other side and bake another 10 minutes.  (I had to use two baking sheets once the biscotti were cut, just fyi.)
 Let cool and then store in airtight containers for up to a month or so.  Although, I can pretty much guarantee they won't last that long.  I bet this batch of mine will last through the weekend...if that.  I love 'em and so does my sweetie.  :)
Yum.  Yum.  Yum.  Dip them.  Dunk them. Nibble or chomp.  They will be crispy, crunchy, sweet anisey goodness!  :)  Enjoy!!!
Also try dipping them in chocolate like this... 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chocolaty Treats and Gifts

Who doesn't like a little chocolate covered treat?  In fact, isn't just about everything better with chocolate?   I've even heard of chocolate covered grasshoppers....and while you won't ever see me posting a recipe for still does sounds intriguing right.  ha!  Anyway, in this post I'll give you some ideas for making goodies for yourself, family and friends!  :)  Because after all, who doesn't like chocolate?  Ok....maybe people who are allergic to it.  You get my point though.  Most people love chocolate, so it makes a great gift or snack at a party!  I think Chocolate covered strawberries would have to be up there with my very favorite foods....and here are some others that are close...
Chocolate Covered Almonds... 
 Melt chocolate (microwave it slowly or use a double boiler) then with a tongs dip in almonds.  Place said chocolaty almonds on a plate covered in waxed paper to cool.  
 Then top with crushed peppermint or drizzled chocolate for a professional look.

Chocolate covered Biscotti and Candy Cane
 Dip or brush melted chocolate over the biscotti as shown.  For candy canes, unwrap the bottom part of the candy and cut off excess wrapper.  Then dip the exposed candy into melted chocolate like so.   :)
Yum! and easy!
 Chocolate Dipped Spoons
As you saw in my post yesterday, chocolate dipped spoons make a great addition to a hot cocoa basket!  Just dip spoons in melted chocolate and add marshmallows if desired.  :)

This isn't a chocolate dipped treat, but it's a great chocolaty one!  Easy, fun and festive!  :) 

When giving as a gift an easy (and green) option is to put the chocolaty goodies into a canning jar and trim with fabric like so.  Super easy, fun, festive and inexpensive! (and reusable)  :)

And in case you haven't heard, I'm now on Twitter and Facebook!  So check ADM out on either (or both) of those for the latest info!  :)  

Friday, December 17, 2010

How to Make a Hot Cocoa Gift Basket

Some people are hard to shop for. Others are easy to shop for. Then, there are all the Holiday parties to attend and hostess gifts to give. It's always more affordable and special to make gifts yourself. So, why not make this great hot cocoa basket this year! It's simple to put together, and will please any recipient. Perfect for a hostess gift, friend or family member this season!

What you'll need:
Cloth or towel
2 mugs (matching is best)
Spoons dipped in chocolate or Candy canes
Hot cocoa mix (homemade, Williams-Sonoma Style or store-bought)
Plastic Wrapping

How to assemble the basket:
1. Place the cloth or towel neatly in the bottom of the basket.
2. Arrange the hot cocoa mix in the middle of the basket with the mugs on either side.
3. Place chocolate dipped spoons or candy canes inside the mugs. (Refer to picture below.)
4. You can place addition ribbon (bows) on the mugs and/or hot cocoa.
5. Wrap up in plastic wrapping and tie a bow with the ribbon at the top. (Refer to picture above.)
5 Variations:

1. Different themes for the mugs and towel in the basket. Color of their kitchen, Coffee lovers, Chefs, etc...

2. Add more than just two mugs. Family of 3? Give 3 mugs. Family of 4? Give 4 mugs, etc...

3. Give a variety of different flavors of hot chocolate. White, Dark, Mint, Cinnamon, etc... That will make this gift even bigger and better than it already would be!

4. Give tea, coffee and hot cocoa along with the mugs in the basket for a more well rounded gift truly perfect for anyone on your list!

5. In addition to the original basket above, add a gift card (or two) to a local (or chain) coffee shop! That way they can enjoy your gift on the go as well as at home!

I've given these to several people throughout the years and they've always been a big hit! Feel free to get creative with the shape and size of the basket, because it will give this gift a whole different feel. Have fun and happy gifting!

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  We all love it.  So here's an easier way to make it, and you can make as much or as little as you'd like.  For one, two or twenty.  :)  Enjoy....
What you'll need:
Ramekins (about 6-8 oz ones)
Topping: (For each serving)
1 t. Butter 
1 T. Brown Sugar 
1-2 T. Crushed Pineapple 
Cake: (For each serving)
Drop of Vanilla
1/4 t. Baking Soda
1/4 t. Baking Powder
3 T. Flour
1 T. Pineapple Juice
1 T. Milk
(You can easily double, triple, etc...this recipe depending on how many people you are making this for, and how many ramekins you have!  If you would rather do this in a regular pan, use this recipe!)

 1.  Preheat the oven to 350degrees.  Start out by putting the butter, brown sugar and crushed pineapple in the bottom of each ramekin.  Then melt in the mixture in the bottoms of the ramekins by placing them in the oven for a few minutes.
 2.  Mix together the cake batter.
 3.  Carefully pour the batter into each ramekin.  It will look like this with the topping (which is on the bottom) coming up the sides.  :)
4.  Bake the little cakes for 15-20 minutes or until nice and golden.  Like the pics above!
5.  Place a small plate on top of the ramekin and carefully (with potholder) flip over the cake.  It will look like this!  If the cake doesn't slide out at first, run a knife around the edge of the ramekin.  And if a little bit of the pineapple is still in the bottom of a ramekin just scoop it out on top of the cake.  It will be just fine. :)
Yum-O!  And perfectly portioned!  And completely cholesterol free! :)  Yum.  Yum.  You may have to just eat more than one....  hehe  :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Easy Peppermint Bark

This is a perfect treat for Christmas Eve, Day or for a gift!  It's also pretty easy to make!  I comes out marbled in this easy version, and it's very festive!  Enjoy!  :)

Three ingredients:  Real White Chocolate, Peppermint candies and Quality Dark Chocolate!
1.  In a double boiler melt about 4 oz. of dark chocolate.   (Simple double boiler=metal bowl (or pan) over a pot with 1" of boiling water.  Don't let the bowl/pan touch the water below.)  Don't you just love the look of melted chocolate?  I do...
 2.  Turn a cookie sheet upside down, put a layer of foil or waxed paper and lightly grease with butter. (Like so...)
 3.  Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, pour it carefully on the prepared cookie sheet.  Smooth it down into a thin layer (and rectangle) with a frosting spatula. Like so...
 4.  Place the chocolate in the fridge for about 10 minutes to set.
 5.  Melt about 4 oz. of white chocolate in the double boiler.
 6.  Crush peppermint candy.  (I unwrapped mine, placed them in a ziploc bag and hit it with the handle of a large spatula until crushed.)
 7.  With a clean frosting spatula smear the white chocolate over the chocolate layer.  This will result in a marbling effect like below.  While white chocolate is still warm and melty, sprinkle your desired amount of crushed peppermint candies on top.
 8.  Place in the fridge overnight (or at least 5 hours).
 9.  Take the bark out of the fridge, and place it on a cutting board.  (With or without foil/waxed paper.)
 10.  Start cutting the bark into pieces.  I  started like this above....
 ...and ended up with something like this.  :)
 Yum.  Yum.  Yum.
Stick into baggies, gift bags or jars when giving for gifts!  :)

Have fun and happy melting!  :)
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