August 31, 2012

gorilla bread

this is an over-the-top "monkey bread" recipe from paula deen. i've made it a zillion times and it's always crowd-pleasin'.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (12 oz) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count each)
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
preheat oven to 350 degrees.

spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.  mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.  in a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside.  cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes.  press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar.  place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese and roll the biscuits in the cinnamon sugar.  sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan.  place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan.  sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle 1/2 cup of nuts.  layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup nuts.  bake for 30 minutes.  remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.  place a plate on top and invert.

here's what i have to say about that...i find it needs to bake for 40 minutes.  also, you don't have to be that careful with the amount of cinnamon sugar you put in the biscuits before you add the cream cheese cubes; in fact, i sprinkle it on pretty heavily.  also, don't let it rest longer than 5 minutes after you pull it out of the oven; the topping and some of the biscuits will stick to the pan and it messes up the presentation.

here's a link to the recipe on  i notice in her video she says she bakes it for 50-60 minutes, but the original recipe calls for 30 minutes.  again, i have had the best results at 40 minutes.

August 20, 2012

the new chocolate chip cookie

we're all familiar with the old "tried and true" recipe that's on the back of the nestle's package, but after 30 some years of using this recipe, i have a new "go to" chocolate chip cookie recipe.  i find the cookies are not only delicious-er, but stay soft long-er.  this recipe is from the back of a safeway brand package of chocolate chips.  the measurements and ingredients are exact, i've just "enhanced" with my commentary and suggestions.

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed golden brown sugar (i use light, personal preference)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (don't cheat, get the real stuff)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-12oz package chocolate chips (i use more)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, optional (i always optional)
in large mixing bowl and using electric mixer, mix butter until creamy.  mix in brown and granulated sugars, salt and vanilla, until fluffy.  mix in egg and baking soda.  add flour.  mix on low until incorporated.  fold in chocolate chips and nuts.  drop onto greased or sprayed baking sheets (i just use parchment paper).  bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until tops are set when lightly pressed with fingertips and color is golden.  let stand 2 minutes, then remove to racks.  store in airtight container.  makes about 5 dozen cookies.

okay, first off, i have to warn you...when you test the cookies with your fingertips, cookies WILL BE HOT.  just a little caveat.  don't want the mcdonald's hot-coffee-in-the-lap lawyer knocking on my door.  that poor lady.  but i don't hold mcdonald's responsible.  i dated her grandson.  i'm off point.....

5 dozen cookies.  that's 1 dozen (12) multiplied by 5.  that's 60 cookies.  somethins' wrong with my oven because i only get about 24 cookies.  either i make them too big or i eat too many before they actually make it into the cookie jar.

i'm not posting a photo of the cookies.  you know what a chocolate chip cookie looks like, and it's possible i may be trying to cover for not having any left to photograph.  just sayin'.

August 11, 2012

Our new home

this is the front of the house.
it needs paint.  
this is the foyer.  it needs paint.
this is the family room.  it needs paint.
this is the living room.  it needs paint.
  lots of paint.
this is the dining "room".  it needs paint.
this is the big scary kitchen.  looks like 
the bridge of the enterprise.  i hope it
cleans itself.  i found a button on the
stove-thingy that says "self-cleaning",
but i don't see one on the refrigerator
 or the granite.  this room needs paint.
this is the back of the house.  
the painting can wait.