Monday, August 3, 2009

Tatertots and Jello: My First Blogoversary: Favorite Things Giveaway

Tatertots and Jello: My First Blogoversary: Favorite Things Giveaway

i love this site, she has such great stuff. I think i spent a good hour looking at her blog.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Apricot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Black-Pepper Sauce

From Martha Stewart

Serves 4
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 pork tenderloin (1 to 1 1/4 pounds)
* 16 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise keeping root intact, plus 1/3 cup coarsely chopped shallots, for sauce (about 2)
* 1 jar (10 ounces) all-fruit apricot jam
* 1/2 cup low-sodium canned chicken broth
* 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
* 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries
* 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs (optional), for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add pork and halved shallots to skillet. Brown pork on all sides, turning occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
2. Brush pork in skillet with half the jam; drizzle 2 tablespoons broth over shallots. Transfer skillet to oven. Roast, turning shallots occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 155 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes.
3. Remove skillet from oven. Using tongs, transfer pork and shallots to a plate. Let pork rest (it will continue to cook; temperature should reach 160 degrees).
4. Place skillet over medium-high heat; add remaining chopped shallots. Sprinkle with salt; add remaining jam and 6 tablespoons broth. Deglaze skillet, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon; add cranberries, vinegar, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until berries are juicy, about 5 minutes. Stir in chopped thyme.
5. Slice pork; divide among plates. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired. Serve with cranberry pan sauce and shallots.

First published: December 2003

Fresh Apricot Tart

From Martha Stewart

Serves 12

* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
* 3 ounces whole blanched almonds (about 3/4 cup)
* 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* Pinch of salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
* 3 tablespoons blanched sliced almonds
* 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
* Pinch of salt
* 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 6 tablespoons almond flour or very finely ground blanched almonds
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
* 6 tablespoons half-and-half
* 10 to 12 fresh apricots, halved and stones removed
* Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


1. To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.with rack in center. Brush and 8-by-11-inch tart pan with removable bottom with butter.
2. Place the almonds and 1 tablespoon sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until the almonds are finely ground. Add the butter, and process until combined. Pulse in the flour, the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon sugar, and the almond extract until combined.
3. Transfer the crumbly dough to the prepared pan. Using your fingers, pat out dough evenly to make a thin crust along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Chill the crust 30 minutes.
4. Bake crust until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
5. To make the filling and assemble the tart: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almond slices in a single layer in a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Shake the pan halfway through baking to make sure the nuts toast evenly. Set aside.
6. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, salt, all-purpose flour, almond flour, and baking powder; whisk together. Whisk in the eggs, melted butter, and half-and-half until well combined. Pour the filling into the baked crust.
7. Arrange the apricot halves, cut-sides up, on top of the filling, packing the fruit closely together. Sprinkle the tops of the apricots with the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the entire tart.
8. Bake the tart until the filling is puffed and golden brown, 60 to 70 minutes, rotating the pan after 30 minutes for even browning. Transfer tart to a wire rack to cool. Unmold, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

First published: April 1999

Apricot Pecan Waffles

1 pound fresh apricots
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon canola oil
¼ cup finely chopped pecans
3 large egg whites

1. Heat waffle iron. Dice apricots. Combine whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and 1 tablespoon sugar; set aside.

2. Whisk together buttermilk, egg yolk, vanilla, and oil. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in apricots and pecans.

3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until firm peaks form and egg whites are shiny. Stir ¼ of egg whites into waffle batter. Fold in remaining egg whites.

4. Measure 2/3 cup batter for each waffle.

Source: California Apricot Council

Apricot Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup milk powder
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups pitted and diced fresh apricots
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
1 tablespoon white sugar, or to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
2. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar, egg, and butter until smooth. Mix the milk, water, and vanilla into the batter, stirring until well blended. Pour the batter into the flour and beat until smooth.
3. Spread the batter into a greased 8 inch square pan, and sprinkle the diced apricots evenly over the top. Dust with cinnamon and sugar.
4. Bake in the preheated oven approximately 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cupcakes

from: Hersheys
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
VARIATIONS:ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13×9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.
CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tall and Creamy Cheesecake

Dorie Greenspan

For the crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
2 pounds (four 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two*
*I used 1 cup heavy cream and 1/3 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9-inch springform pan—choose one that has sides that are 2 3/4 inches high (if the sides are lower, you will have cheesecake batter leftover)—and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil; put the pan on a baking sheet.

Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. (I do this with my fingers.) Turn the ingredients into the buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Don’t worry if the sides are not perfectly even or if the crumbs reach above or below the midway mark on the sides—this doesn’t have to be a precision job. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.

Place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

To make the cheesecake:
Put a kettle of water on to boil.

Working in a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft and lives up to the creamy part of its name, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition—you want a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.

Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in the roaster pan.

Give the batter a few stirs with a rubber spatula, just to make sure that nothing has been left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, and scrape the batter into the springform pan. The batter will reach the brim of the pan. (If you have a pan with lower sides and have leftover batter, you can bake the batter in a buttered ramekin or small soufflé mold.) Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the spapril-09-116ringform pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven’s heat and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour.

After 1 hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster—be careful, there may be some hot water in the aluminum foil—remove the foil. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.

When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours, although overnight would be better.

Remove the sides of the springform pan— I use a hairdryer to do this (use the dryer to warm the sides of the pan and ever so slightly melt the edges of the cake)—and set the cake, still on the pan’s base, on a serving platter. The easiest way to cut cheesecake is to use a long, thin knife that has been run under hot water and lightly wiped. Keep warming the knife as you cut slices of the cake.

Wrapped well, the cake will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or for up to 2 months in the freezer. It’s best to defrost the still-wrapped cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Banana Cheesecake Bars

(from Confessions of a Bake-aholic)

adapted from Food and Family (I prefer whipped cream to cool whip and mine took a little longer to bake)

1 pkg. (2-layer size) white cake mix, divided
4 eggs, divided
3 Tbsp. oil
2/3 cup packed brown sugar, divided
2 bananas, sliced
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-1/2 cups milk
whipped cream
Heat oven to 300ºF. Reserve 1 cup dry cake mix. Mix remaining cake mix with 1 egg, oil and 1/3 cup brown sugar with mixer. (Mixture will be crumbly.) Press onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of greased 13x9-inch baking pan; top with bananas.
Beat cream cheese and remaining brown sugar with mixer. Add reserved cake mix, remaining eggs and lemon juice; beat 1 min. Blend in milk. (Batter will be VERY thin.) Pour into crust.
Bake 45 to 60 min. or until center is almost set. Start checking at 45 minutes. Just open the oven door and jostle the pan a little.
Cool. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Top with whipped cream and a sliced banana. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Butterscotch Pecan Perfection Pie

This simple pie with a Southern flair is the perfect sweet ending to any traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Estimated Times:
Preparation - 15 min | Cooking - 40 min | Cooling Time - 3 hrs refrigerating | Yields - 10 servings


  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell*
  • 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Flavored Morsels, divided
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups whipped cream (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 350º F.

MELT 1 1/3 cups morsels in medium, uncovered microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted.

ADD corn syrup, eggs, flour and salt to melted morsels. Beat on medium until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour pecan mixture into pie shell.

BAKE for 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out with little bits of filling attached. If browning too quickly, cover with foil. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Refrigerate 1 hour or until serving time.

baking sheet with wax paper.

PLACE remaining morsels in heavy-duty plastic bag. Microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 30 to 45 seconds; knead. Microwave at 10- to 15-second intervals, kneading until smooth. Cut tiny corner from bag. Drizzle 10 circular designs about 2 inches high and wide onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes or until firm.

PLACE 10 dollops of whipped cream around edge of pie. Remove drizzle designs from refrigerator. With tip of knife, gently remove designs from wax paper and insert, standing up, into dollops. Serve immediately.

If using frozen pie shell, use deep-dish style. Do not thaw. Bake on baking sheet.

1/3 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels can also be melted and made into drizzle designs instead of the Butterscotch Flavored Morsels.
Two shallow (2-cup volume) pie shells can be substituted for the one deep-dish pie shell. Follow directions above and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Vinny's Salmon

salmon filet (I usually buy it from costco)
lemon pepper
mayonnaise (I use hellman's light)
parmesan cheese

put tin foil on bottom of cookie sheet, place salmon on tin foin
sprinkle generously with lemon pepper
spread mayo on so that you can't see salmon through the mayo (not too thick!)
sprinkle generously with mayonnaise

bake in 375 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes depending on how thick the salmon is. Just enough to cook it through so that it is light and flaky!! Then broil it for just a minute or so to let the parmesan brown lightly. I know the ingredients sound weird but it is seriously so yummy, anyone that has had it just love the flavor, even if you aren't a fish fan!