Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Years

Life is too short to be sad
So make choices that make you happy

Life is too short to go without
So do the things you want while and when you can

Life is too short
To ever let an "I love you"
be left unsaid

So say it

Say you love those you love often
And mean it when you say it

No word has more power than love.

Be careful and generous with it.

Live a life with minimal regrets
Be happy now

Be yourself
Love yourself

Go into the New Year with a positive attitude and a goal to be happy and bring happiness with you where you go!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Salted Caramel Brownies

Salted Caramel Brownies


About 1 Cup Caramel Sauce*

1/2 Cup Butter
3 Ounces Dark or Semisweet Chocolate
2/3 Cups Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
2/3 Cups Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt

Pinches of Coarse, Kosher, or Flaked Sea Salt

Other Things:

Cooking Spray
9X9X2 Baking Tin


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium sauce pan melt the chocolate and butter together until just smooth over a low-medium heat. Remove from heat for 10 minutes.

Spray the cooking tin with cooking spray, set aside.

Add in the sugar and vanilla to the chocolate and whisk smooth.

Whisk in the eggs, one at a time and whisk well until smooth and glossy.

In a small bowl sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.

Slowly sift the flour mixture into the chocolate and stir in with a wooden spoon. Once everything is smooth and blended. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake or the brownies will be dry.

While brownies are still warm and in the tin pour the caramel sauce over top in an even layer.

Sprinkle a small amount of the kosher, coarse, or flaked salt over the caramel. Allow everything to cool.

Slice into small squares and serve.


* One Ingredient Caramel, Butterscotch Sauce or your personal favorite will work


Been on a baking marathon tonight! I love the holidays!

Other Places:

Something else wonderful for the holidays:

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fudge

Tastes almost just like a Reese Cup


Peanut Butter Layer

1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Peanut Butter, smooth is best I think, but Chunky should work as well
1 Teaspoon or 2 Vanilla
3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

Chocolate Layer

7 Ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/2 Cups Dark, Bittersweet, or Semisweet Chocolate Chips
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Butter

Other Things Required:

9X9X2 Baking Tin
Cooking Spray
Parchment Paper
Two Pots
Stainless Steel Bowl


Mist the cooking tin with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper, and mist with cooking spray again.

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter and peanut butter together until smooth and creamy and evenly blended together. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Whisk in the powdered sugar roughly 1/3 cup at a time. Mixing well between each addition.

Pour the peanut butter layer into the baking tin and gently smooth into an even layer. Set aside for the time being.

Set a medium sauce pan over high heat to boil with about 1-2 inches of water in the pan.

In the stainless steel bowl measure in the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate, salt and the butter. Place the bowl over the simmering water, creating a water bath. Whisk everything together over the simmering water until the chocolate has melted and everything is perfectly smooth.

Using a fork gently make some groove lines over the entire surface of the peanut butter layer. This helps keep the two layers together when you cut it.

Pour the still warm chocolate layer over the peanut butter layer, smooth until even. Be quick the chocolate will set very swiftly.

Chill in the fridge until completely cool and set. To serve cut into 1 inch squares with a sharp knife. Keep in an air tight container in the fridge when not serving.



My man-friend had a guys night today. They came over after their dinner and drinks and walked into my baking storm, this was the hit of the evening. Plus it was super easy which makes it a keeper in my books.

Other Places:

I also made Short Bread tonight, also a massive hit.

Spicy Pulled Chicken

Spicy Pulled Chicken

Goes great in tacos when you aren't in the mood for the typical beef filling. Plus Slow cooker recipe!! Who Doesn't love to come home to fresh made dinner?


2-4 Bone in Chicken Breasts, or Thighs
1 Onion, Chopped
2-4 Tablespoons Chili Powder
2-4 Teaspoons Cumin Powder
Water or Chicken Stock
4 ounce Can of Green Chilies 
1/4 Cup Salsa


If desired lightly mist the slow cooker insert with cooking spray. Add about 1 cup of water or chicken stock, and whisk in the chili powder and the cumin. Add 1/2 of the chopped onion to the insert. Place the chicken breasts in the insert, add enough water to just about cover the chicken breasts. Toss the remaining onion half over top of everything else.

Turn the slow cooker on and cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on high.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove from slow cooker with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Allow to cool lightly, and then carefully with two forks shred the chicken, carefully removing any bones or unpalatable pieces.

Once Chicken is evenly shredded, add enough of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker to make the chicken moist and juicy but not soggy. Add the entire can of chilies and the salsa and stir to mix together.

Transfer chicken to a casserole dish and keep warm until ready to eat.

Spicy Chicken can be used in tacos or enchiladas, for a sandwich filling, or just about anything else you want.

I made tacos with home made shells, and filled them with shredded lettuce, diced peppers, cheese and green onions.



This was a serious boy-friend pleaser, he really likes the spice blend in this particular spicy chicken.

Also if you aren't a fan of spicy, you could also make BBQ style pulled chicken by omitting the chili powder and cumin from the slow cooker when cooking the chicken. Then leave out the salsa and green chilies after shredding the chicken and instead stir in some of the cooking liquid to keep it moist and about 1/2-1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. Then you have pulled chicken just like pulled pork.

Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Dinner Party Ideas!

Exciting new page alert! I have been slowly building up a list of suggestions for dinner pairings, which would be great for nights when someone is having a dinner party! I plan to keep adding to this page from time to time.

Check it out here, or to the right under the "Spaces" headline.

Hope you enjoy!

Miss BB

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Home Made Corn Tortillas and Variations

Home Made Tortillas with Maseca


2 Cups Maseca Corn Flour
1 1/2 Cups Water
Pinch Salt


Preheat a dry cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Do not oil or grease. Dry pan is key.

loosely measure the flour and salt into a bowl. sift together. Add the water and mix with your hands until a soft dough forms that does not readily stick to your hands or crumble apart. If mixture is too dry add water one tablespoon at a time, if mixture is too wet add one more tablespoon of flour and mix again.

Divide dough into 16 even balls.

Either between two sheets of parchment paper or on a plastic wrap lined tortilla press, flatten the dough balls into tortillas that are about 1/2-1/4 centimeter thick.

Fry the flattened dough for a minute on each side, transfer cooked tortillas to a clean towel and hold warm until finished cooking the whole batch.

Tortillas can be re steamed and heated to use as soft corn tortillas.

You can bake the tortillas over two oven racks and make crunchy home made taco shells, they aren't quite the same as store bought, but at least you will know what is in them and when they were made. To make crunchy shells bake over two oven racks for about 7-10 minutes at 375°F.

Or finally you can lightly fry the cooked tortillas in hot oil for about a minute and make tostada or cut into smaller wedges for tortilla chips like restaurants make.



I know tacos aren't the most festive recipe for Christmas time, but my tummy wants to eat, what it wants to eat and I will not apologize for that!

Also Maseca is the only kind of corn flour I can get in ready supply and is thus the only one I have really experimented with. It is quite fine and I have the white variety and so far I have really enjoyed it. I have used corn grits and corn meal in recipes  because but this is really something quite different from those. It isn't too expensive and while I might not buy it all the time, I will at least keep experimenting with the bag I do have!

Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Scottish Shortbread

Scottish Shortbread


3 Cups Flour
1 Cup Butter, lightly chilled, easily cut into cubes, but not totally soft
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cups Sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In the bowl of a food processor with a blade or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a sturdy fork, combine the flour, sugar, and salt until blended.

Cut the butter into cubes an pulse or mix until mixture is sandy and grainy.

Lightly mist a 8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray. If desired line bottom with parchment paper as well.

Press the dough into the pan and try and make the top as smooth and even as possible. You can also brush the top with a bit of milk to help blend in any crumbs.

Score into squares and if desired, prick the top of each square with a fork.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and almost firm to the touch.

Run a knife along the score lines again. Allow to cool before removing from pan. The cut squares should come out easily once cooled.

Store in an air tight container.

A little bit of frosting on these cookies is also pretty good.



Yay for Christmas/Holiday season! Time for turkey dinners, and pies, and cakes, and cookies, and all the wonderful things!

Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Basil

Spicy Mexican Shredded Roast Beef

Spicy Mexican Shredded Roast Beef

Ideal for enchiladas or a different spin on a taco filling. Or on top of nachos, in fajitas. .  . you get the idea.


1-3 Pound Beef Blade Roast
6 Cloves Garlic
1 Small Onion
1-4 Tablespoons Chili Powder
2-4 Teaspoons Cumin
Enough water or broth to nearly cover the roast in the slow cooker
4 Ounce Can Green Chilies


Roughly chop the onion, an finely mince the garlic cloves.

Arrange half the onion and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker insert.

Add enough broth or water to not quite cover the roast in the slow cooker.

Sprinkle the chili powder and cumin powder over top of the roast.

Arrange the other half of the onions and garlic on top of the roast.

Turn slow cooker on, either 4-5 hours on high, or 6-8 on low.

After cooking the beef, remove the beef from the broth with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl. Shred the beef with two forks by gently pulling it apart. Add about 1/3-4/5 Cups of broth from the slow cooker to the shredded beef, just enough so the shredded beef looks juicy. Add the entire can of chilies to the shredded roast beef and stir to mix in evenly.

Beef is now ready to be used in tacos, enchiladas, on nachos, etc.



I use this to make enchilada's at home, cook the beef in the slow cooker all day, shred and finish it when you get home from work, roll into a few tortillas with a little cheese, and toast in the oven. Serve with enchilada sauce, salsa, sour cream or what ever makes you happy. Quick and easy dinner is a nice dinner I think.

Also this is my man-friends new favorite meal, he even eats it as leftovers the next day and that almost never happens.

Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Fish Cakes and Caper Sauce

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Apple Upside Down Cake

Apple Upside Down Cake with Brown Sugar and Spice


2 Apples, I like to use Granny Smith
Cooking Spray
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1-2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Cardamom
2/3 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter, cubed, at room temperature
2 Eggs, at room temperature
1-2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Milk

Special Tools:

Tube or Bunt pan, Very well sprayed with cooking spray.


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spray the bunt or tube pan very well with cooking spray. Or butter and flour the entire pan.

In a small bowl combine the brown sugar with the ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Sift together well and set aside.

In a stand mixer with a paddle or with electric hand mixers beat the white sugar with the cubed butter until light, fluffy an pale yellow. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Beat in vanilla. Set aside.

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Peel both apples. Quarter and remove the core from one apple, and slice into very thin slices. Shred the other apple using a cheese grater into small bits, leaving out the core.

Sprinkle 1/4 of the brown sugar and spice mixture into the bottom of the well greased tube or bunt pan. Arrange the thinly sliced apples over the entire bottom of the pan into one thin even layer. Sprinkle another 1/4 of the brown sugar mixture over the top of the apples.

Mix the shredded apple into the egg, sugar, and butter mixture along with the flour mixture and milk. Blend well until combined.

Pour 1/2 the prepared cake batter over top of the apples. sprinkle the remaining brown sugar mixture over the top of the cake layer. Pour the remaining batter over top and spread out evenly.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to stand in pan 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter.

Serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream for best results.



Best if eaten while still warm. This cake is nice but only lasts about two days. Goes great with ice cream or whipped cream.

Other Places:

What was Cooking one year ago?

Festive Maple and Cloves Ham

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Curry Spice Blend

Home Made Curry Powder


3 Tablespoons Ground Coriander*
4 Teaspoons Turmeric Powder
3 Teaspoons Cumin Powder
1-2 Teaspoons Ground Black Pepper*
1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Chili Flakes
1 Teaspoon Cardamom Powder*
3 Teaspoons Cinnamon Powder(or 2-3 inches cinnamon stick, toasted and powdered*)
1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves*
1/2 Ground Ginger Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds, Ground*
2 Teaspoons Mustard Seeds, Ground*
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2-3 Teaspoons Paprika

* If you have whole spices instead of ground, don't worry! In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the measured amount of whole spices until the fragrances pop or bloom (you can really smell them strongly)  then transfer toasted spices to a mortar and grind with a pestle or you can grind the spices in a spice grinder, blender, clean coffee bean grinder etc. Then mix the freshly ground spices into the rest of the ingredients.


As required, lightly toast and grind any whole spices you are using. Measure out the rest of the ingredients into a small bowl. Stir all the ground spices together. Store in an air tight container for pretty much ever. . .  or until the spices no longer smell strongly.

Makes a little less than a cup of spice blend. Which seems like a lot until you realize that you often use 2-6 tablespoons of it at once in a recipe.

Use in curries, soups, on veggies, in dips etc.



You can adjust the spices in this recipe to better suit your tastes. Things like turmeric, cayenne, crushed chilies and cumin will add more heat. Ginger, fennel, cloves, ginger will add a little bit of sweetness to compensate the spice, an the others bring complexity to the final combined flavors. If you know you really like the flavor of one of the spices, try adding more of that spice as a way to start experimenting. Just keep track of the changes you make, or else you could end up with the perfect curry spice in a jar, but no way to recreate it again. Which would be sad.

Always keep notes! This is my training as a biologist coming back. . . always keep clear and dated notes to know what you were doing in case something awesome happens.

Happy spice blending!

Other Places:

How about Trying to make a curry?

Coconut Curried Chicken

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Black Bean and Seafood Noodles

Black Bean Noodle Stir Fry


2-4 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
1 inch Peeled Ginger Root, finely minced
1/4 Cup sliced Green Onions
1/4 Cup Black Bean Sauce
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Mirin or Sugar
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seed Oil

2-4 Servings Plain ramen, rice or alternate noodle of your choice, prepared according to package
1/2 Cup Diced Squid Tube (About 1 inch square)
1/2 Cup Cooked Shrimp

1 Bunch Sliced Enoki Mushrooms
Julienne Carrots
1/2 Cup Edamame

You can Also sub a cooked diced chicken breast for the seafood


Heat a large skillet over medium heat and oil lightly. Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare the noodles according to the package directions.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and oil lightly.

Add the minced garlic and ginger and stir fry cook for about 2-5 minutes.

Add the Black bean sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, and sesame seed oil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

When small skillet is heated, lightly fry the diced squid lightly, only about 1-2 minutes until squid is just cooked through. Overcooked squid turns to rubber.

Add the cooked shrimp to the sauce skillet, and the cooked squid. Add any other vegetables as desired.

Before serving, stir in the green onions, and toss the sauce with the noodles.

Serve hot.



Fresh squid is best but hard to come by in some places. If you can't get fresh squid look for flash frozen squid that have been individually frozen, and then slowly defrost over night in the fridge. Also be careful to not over cook the squid because it really does turn to rubber when over cooked and that is why a lot of people think they don't like squid. I am sure if people tried fresh fried squid they would love it.

Other Places:

Spicy Squid Chips

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Life Lesson. . .

I am never going to use a silicone bunt baking pan again. I had been using one for a few years and I had also been having some trouble with my cakes not baking properly. Resulting in cakes which were overcooked and burnt on top and pretty much raw in the middle. Not pretty and I hate it when my baking fails.

So I thought about it and I realized that a bunt pan is a special pan because of the tube in the middle that will radiate heat through the middle of the cake, ensuring a more even baking for the entire cake. However with a silicone pan, there is no heat radiation like there is in a metal pan because Silicone is an insulating material. Also the heavier a pan is, the more evenly it radiates heat. Silicone is super lightweight which means it will react to heat fluctuations in the oven much more quickly. Which will affect how the cake bakes.

So don't bother getting a silicone bunt pan to bake with. You will regret it. Get a solid, heavy, non-stick metal pan instead.

However my six cup silicone muffin pan works great, and it is extra deep resulting in big fluffy muffins. I also enjoy the silicone baking mat I have for putting under cookies and things, and the bread pan also works well for me. The only one I have had consistent problems with is the bunt pan. Strange.


Miss Busy Bee

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Spiced White Chocolate Pumpkin Monkey Bread

Pumpkin Monkey Bread

The white chocolate is stuffed inside each pull-apart bite!

It's pretty easy to make, it just takes a bit of time.


Monkey Bread

4 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Egg
.25-.3 Ounces Active Yeast
3+ Cups Flour
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon Cardamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves


2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon Cardamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4-1/2 Cup Melted Butter

2 Cups White Chocolate Chips

Cooking Spray

Special Tools:

Bunt Pan


In a small sauce pan over low heat melt the butter, add the water and dissolve in the 1/4 cup of sugar. Check that the temperature is only warm and not hot, then add the yeast, stir to dissolve and allow to stand about 5-10 minutes, until the yeast starts to proof.

In a medium bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, egg, and cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cardamon, ground cloves and salt.

In a stand mixer measure out 2 cups of flour and fit the mixer with the blade attachment.

When yeast is proofed, add the pumpkin mixture and yeast mixture to the flour. Blend with the blade until a very very soft dough forms. Add in about 1 cup of flour gradually while you continue to mix until dough comes away from edges.

Switch to the dough hook and knead dough for 5 minutes, adding more flour if needed. Trying to keep the dough as light as possible.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface, knead again until dough is no longer too sticky.

Grease a large bowl, place the dough in the greased bowl and cover and allow to rise until double in size. Roughly 60-90 minutes.

To prepare glaze, melt the butter in a small bowl, and stir together the sugar and spices in a separate bowl.

Once dough has risen cut dough into small ounce sized chunks. Place a few white chocolate chips in the middle of the dough and roll into a ball. Dip in melted butter and arrange in a well greased bunt pan. Repeat with all the dough.

Allow the assembled cake to rise an additional 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Bake risen cake for 30-50 minutes, until puffed, golden and each bite feels hollow when tapped.

Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a platter carefully.



So yummy, but it does take an awful long time to make it. Be careful to make sure that your bake the cake all the way through. Doughy bites are not very yummy.

Other Places:

Monday, 20 October 2014

Pumpkin Time!

Pumpkin Puree and Pumpkin Seeds!

A simple couple of recipes but I always forget the specifics because I literally only roast pumpkin once a year. You can spice the puree up and use it in pies, muffins, cakes, cookies, etc. Whatever you normally use pumpkin pie filling for. Also I choose to roast my pumpkin to cook it, because this method helps retain most of the nutrients, or at least does a better job than boiling. Also I would never use the microwave to cook pumpkin. . .Slowly roasting in the oven is the best way.

Also select a small brightly orange colored pumpkin for the best flavor.

Home Made Pumpkin Puree

1 Sweet Pumpkin or Pie Pumpkin

Special Tools:

Tin foil
Food processor
Fine Sieve


Wash the outside of the pumpkin and pat dry.

Slice the pumpkin in half, and scoop out the seeds and stringy pulpy bits, hold on the seeds in a small bowl.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Slice off the stem and root bits of the pumpkin from the top and bottom. Cover the pumkin halves with toil foil, and place cut side down on a roasting sheet.

Bake in heated oven for about 90 minutes. Or until pumpkin is tender.

Allow pumpkin to cool, and mash, puree, pulse in a food processor etc, until you have a smooth puree. You can pass the puree through a sieve to get it really smooth.


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


Pumpkin Seeds
1-2 Teaspoons Oil or Melted Butter

Seasonings of your choice.


Bring a pot of well salted water to a boil.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Wash any of the remaining pulp from the pumpkin seeds.

Boil pumpkin seeds in salted water for 10 minutes.

Drain through a colander, dry with paper towels, and toss with either the oil or butter. Spread evenly on a baking pan and bake for 10-35 minutes in heated oven. Bake for ten minutes, then check every five or ten minutes thereafter until the pumpkin seeds are as crunchy as you like them. Stir them around slightly, but always spread them out evenly on the pan.

Gently season with salt or a seasoning blend of your choice, serve warm and fresh for best results. They will also keep on the counter for a couple days in a sealed ziplock or container.



Happy Halloween!

Other Places:


Friday, 17 October 2014

S'mores Cheesecake

Original Recipe from Yummly, from a blog called Cookies and Cups. It's pretty adorable.

However this recipe was not so adorable.

Followed it perfectly and had several problems. First the instructions say to prepare the crust and press it into the pan and arrange some marshmallows and chocolate sauce in the bottom. Then to prepare the filling/cheese cake base and fold in some more marshmallows. Not sure why but all my marshmallows floated to the top of the cheesecake batter. . . None were folded into the batter they all floated. Plus when I went to pour the cheesecake into the springform pan all the marshmallows and chocolate sauce I arranged nicely also floated to the top of everything! ARRG!

To top it off I followed all the baking instructions and had a lot of butter melt out of the bottom of the dessert while it melted. Bad enough to make a mess in my oven but to also waste butter? Dear goodness that is a travesty in my books.

Finally the damn thing never baked all the way through, never set even after chilling for two days.

Complete failure on ability to replicate this recipe, and to make me feel even worse, I re-read the whole blog post and turns out the bloggers husband made the perfect cake. . . I think he might have kept a few things secret because I sure as heck did not succeed with this one.

At least I have delightful friends who were kind enough to quickly eat the evidence of my failure and hide it forever. It tasted good, and the slightly under-set cheesecake filling did kind of enhance the melty-gooey-ness of a s'mores.

So let us play Bob the Builder, can we fix this? YES WE CAN.

S'mores Cheese Cake


Roughly 2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
3-5 Tablespoons Melted Butter

2 (8 Ounce) Packs of cream cheese
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract

2 Cups Mini Marshmallows (divided into 1/3 and 2/3 portions)
1/4 Cup Warm Chocolate Sauce
1/3 Cup Chocolate Chips

More Chocolate Sauce as Garnish

Optional Garnish:

Chocolate Shavings 
Cookie Crumbs

Special Tools:

10 inch Spring Form Pan


Preheat oven to 325°F. Allow cheesecake, sour cream, and eggs to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes on the counter should do it.

Combine Graham crumbs and about 3 Tablespoons of butter together, mix until fine and evenly blended. If mixture is too dry add more melted butter 1 tablespoon at a time

Grease the spring form pan. 

Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pan create a nice smooth even crust for the cheese cake.

Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes.

While the crusts are lightly baking, Prepare the cheese cake filling.

Cream the cream cheese with an electric mixer or stand mixer, until smooth. Add the sugar and cream well. Add the eggs one at a time and mix after each one. Add the flour and vanilla and blend. Slowly add the sour cream and blend together until smooth.

Once crusts have finished baking, raise oven temperature to 450°F.

Allow the crusts to cool for a few minutes before adding the filling. This also gives our oven a chance to preheat for round two.

Pour about 1/3 Cup of mini marshmallows into the bottom of the baked crust. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over top, and then drizzle about 1/4 Cup of chocolate sauce over everything on the bottom.

Fold about 2/3 cup mini marshmallows into the cheese cake filling.

Pour the filling into the crust slowly and carefully.

Bake the cheese cakes at 450°F for about 10 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 250°F, do not open the oven and continue to bake for about 1 hour or until the filling has set. Which means it doesn't jiggle when you touch the middle. Be gentle, you don't want to leave a mark in the top.

If your cheese cake is slightly under after an hour heat oven to 200°F, and bake in 10 minute intervals until done.

If top gets too dark during extra cooking time, cover with foil to protect it from excess heat.

Allow cake to chill in fridge over night.

Garnish top of cake with chocolate sauce and other toppings as desired.



Cheese cakes are my mother's specialty. . . It is really depressing when one doesn't turn out for me but I think the blogger just forgot a few ingredients in her cheese cake filling, I think it needed a little more starch to set properly.

Other Places:

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Queen Bee's Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala


1-2 Pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (About 4-6)


1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk (I used a lite coconut milk)
1/2 Lime, Juiced, and save the squeezed half
1/2 inch Ginger Root
3-4 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Coriander
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 Tablespoons Sesame Seed Oil


1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Onion
5-6 Cloves Garlic
1 inch Ginger Root
1/4 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
2 Tablespoons Garam Masala
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
1-3 Tablespoons Curry Powder
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 Teaspoons Sugar
1 Can Diced or Crushed Tomatoes
3/4 Cup Coconut Milk
1/2 Lime, Juiced
Pepper to taste


Sliced Green Onion
Chopped Parsley or Coriander Leaves
Serve with White or Basmati Rice

Special Tools:

Large Skillet
Broiler Pan or a large sheet pan with a rack over top


Prepare the marinade by mixing the Buttermilk, Coconut Milk,Lime juice and the half squeezed lime half, the Ginger Root minced, the Cloves Garlic minced, Salt, Cumin, Coriander, Cayenne Pepper and the Sesame Seed Oil.

Thinly slice the chicken and mix the chicken slices with the marinade in a large bowl, turn the chicken to coat it all in the sauce. Allow to marinade about 30 minutes, or overnight.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and heat the olive oil.

Finely dice the onion and stir fry for about 8-10 minutes in heated skillet. Seasoning onion well with pepper.

Mince the garlic cloves and ginger root. Add minced garlic and ginger root to the skillet along with the tomato paste. Stir fry for about 3 more minutes.

Add the can of tomatoes, Coconut milk, sugar, 1 tablespoon of curry powder, the chili powder, garam masala, cumin and turmeric. Stir well and bring everything to a boil. Once boiling add the juice of 1 lime half.

Allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

Now is a good time to start cooking some rice. . .

Turn oven to broil and allow to heat. Line your broiler pan or sheet pan with tin foil. Is using using a sheet pan, put the wire rack over top.

Strain the chicken from the marinade and arrange on the rack.

Broil chicken for 6-9 minutes, turn and broil an additional 6-9 minutes. Chicken should be cooked through and have a slight golden toasty color.

To serve, arrange rice on one side of the plate, chicken on the other and spoon a generous portion of sauce down the middle of the plate. Garnish with sliced green onion and either parsley or coriander leaves, chopped.



Home made curry! Not from a prepared spice blend! Always makes me feel pretty accomplished, but I seem to really love curry lately.

Other Places:

Goes well with:

Naan Bread

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Garlic-Miso Pork

Garlic-Miso Pork

Pictured with some Fried Rice


2-4 Pork Chops or 1 Pork Tenderloin
4 Tablespoons White Miso Paste
4-6 Cloves Garlic
2-3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

1 small Onion
1-2 Cups Beef or Vegetable Stock

Special Tools:

Cast Iron Skillet, or Stainless Steel that is oven safe will make life a lot easier.

Also a mortar and pestle will be helpful to make the garlic paste.


Heat a large cast iron skillet or regular skillet over medium heat. Oil the skillet once heated.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Dice the onion, set aside.

Crush the garlic into a smooth paste, stir in the miso paste and rice vinegar. Stir until evenly blended and smooth.

Rub about 1/2-2/3 of the miso paste mixture over the entire surface of the pork chops or pork tenderloin. Cover the entire surface in a thin, even layer. Season well with pepper. Allow pork and miso to marinate together for between 5 and 10 minutes.

Add the onion to the heated skillet and stir fry gently until onions are translucent and beginning to soften. Move the onions to the edges of the pan.

Add the pork to the skillet and fry for about 5 minutes on each side, getting a nice sear on all sides of the pork.

Once the pork is seared on all sides, add the stock and the remaining miso-garlic mixture to the skillet and transfer the whole skillet to the oven to finish cooking the pork all the way through. Usually takes at least 25 minutes to finish cooking the pork through or upwards of 45-60 minutes. I recommend using a meat thermometer to make sure.

When pork is cooked through, transfer to a plate and tent with foil to rest for about 5 minutes. Serve with some of the remaining liquid from the skillet drizzled over the top of the pork.



Savagely good. I had even accidentally slightly over cooked the pork but I didn't even mind because the miso-garlic glaze is so good on it.

Also I plan to try this recipe on some chicken breasts soon, I will let you know how that turns out.

Other Places:

How about something seasonal/ What was cooking last year?

Apple Crisp

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Buttermilk Muffin Batter

Buttermilk Muffins


2 1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Allspice
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/3 Cup Buttermilk
1 Egg

3/4 Cup Chocolate Chips or Blueberries, or your favorite muffin add in


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Line or grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, alt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and all spice. Make a well in the center and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small microwave safe bowl. In a medium bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk and vanilla.

Pour the buttermilk mixture and melted butter into the well of the dry ingredients. Mix well into a batter. If batter is too dry or thick add some extra buttermilk about 2-3 tablespoons at a time.

Stir in chocolate chips or blueberries.

Spoon batter into muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, until baked through and lightly golden on top.



Buttermilk might be quickly becoming one of my most favorite ingredients to cook with. Makes delightful baked goods, is excellent to use in a chicken brine, and savory biscuits. Buttermilk makes me happy!

Other Places:

What was cooking (roughly) one year ago?

Baked Veggie Dumplings

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Curried Beef and Vegetables

Not sure what kind of curry this is, but it was easy to make, easy to eat, and had  a nice mild spicy-savory taste to it. Similar to my recipe for Aaloo Keema, a traditional spicy Pakistani Curry. Now I don't know about you but I get bored of ground beef sometimes and this is a nice recipe to change things up a bit.

Curried Beef and Vegetables


2-4 Servings White Rice, Cooked
1 Pound Ground Beef
1 1/2 Tablespoons Mirin (or sugar or honey)
2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
2-3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2-4 Teaspoons Sriracha Sauce, or a Chili-Garlic Sauce
1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1-2 Tablespoons Corn Starch

1 Red Pepper, diced
3-5 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Vegetable oil
Cracked Black Pepper

1 Can diced Tomatoes, undrained
2 Cups Shredded Lettuce Leaves (Pack the leaves in your measuring cup. They will wilt and shrink a lot in size in the final dish)

Sesame Seeds, as Garnish (About a tablespoon will do)


Set a large cast iron skillet, or wok or frying pan to medium heat. Lightly oil the pan with about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.

In a small bowl mix together 2-3 Cloves or minced Garlic, the Mirin, Fish Sauce, Soy Sauce, Sriracha sauce, Curry Powder, Cumin, Garam Masala and Corn Starch. Whisk everything together well. Set aside, this is our curry sauce.

Dice the red pepper. Stir fry the red pepper in the heated pan for about 5-10 minutes. Add 3-5 cloves of minced garlic, season everything with cracked black pepper and stir fry an additional minute.

Add the ground beef and scramble-cook the beef until no longer pink and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Drain off any fat from the cooked beef.

Add the can of diced tomatoes, juice and all. Add the curry sauce and stir well to blend. Bring everything to boil stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to a simmer and reduce sauce for 25-35 minutes, until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. More sour from lemon juice, more sweet from mirin, more salt from soy sauce or fish sauce,and more spice from either extra sriracha or cumin powder. If the curry feels too mild to you add an extra half tablespoon of curry powder. Allow sauce to simmer for a few additional minutes after adjusting seasonings and taste again. Repeat until you are happy with the sauce.

Fold the shredded lettuce leaves into the curry, until they are fully under the sauce. Cook until lettuce is just wilted and is a bright green color, only about 2-3 minutes.

To serve, ladle curry over top of rice in a bowl and sprinkle some sesame seeds over the top.



I am still not the biggest fan of super spicy food but I am trying to expand my palate a bit and try some new foods.  This is a sort of hybrid curry, it isn't quite Thai or Vietnamese or middle Eastern but more of a mash up of some elements from all over the place, but it is a mash up that works pretty darn well and best of all for me it isn't too spicy but has lots of flavor to back it up. Plus it uses up some ingredients I have had sitting in the fridge for a bit. Waste not want not!

Other Places:

Not the right kind of Curry? How about:

Aaloo Keema
Thai Fish Curry
Honey Curry Glazed Chicken
Coconut Curried Chicken

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Basque Piperade

Basque Piperade with Soft Poached Egg

A fancy stewed tomato dish best served with lots of toasted bread.


1 Can diced or crushed Tomatoes
1-2 Red Bell Peppers
6-8 Cloves Garlic
1 White or Yellow Onion

1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Chillies
3-4 Teaspoons Smoked Paprika
1/2-1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1-2 Teaspoons Pepper

2-4 Fresh Eggs (one per person ideally)

1 Baguette or Ciabatta loaf
Olive Oil

Fresh Chopped Parsley, for Garnish


Set oven to broil. Slice the bell pepper in half and brush all over both sides with olive oil. Broil in oven 3-4 minutes at a time until charred slightly all over. Remove from oven and set aside.

Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic cloves. Set aside

Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium heat. Coat lightly with oil.

Stir fry the onions and garlic for about 7-10 minutes, until onions are beginning to soften.

Add the spices and stir well. Allow spices and onions to cook until fragrant.

Peel the outer skin off the charred bell pepper and chop into small pieces.

Add the chopped bell pepper and the undrained can of tomatoes to the skillet. Stir well to blend everything together.

Reduce heat to low and simmer 35-30 minutes.

Heat oven to 450°F.

Either transfer entire skillet to oven or ladle the tomato mixture into serving ramekins.

Crack the egg into a small bowl and arrange in the tomato stew, either around the skillet or the center or small ramekins.

Bake in oven for 7-10 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are set and the yolk is still runny.

Toast the bread for the final 4-5 minutes of cook time.

Serve hot, with toast and a spoon. Garnish the top of the eggs with fresh chopped parsley.



This can be a side to a meal, an appetizer or a meatless main course. It is awesome, so warm and comforting. Pus in addition to being a yummy recipe, this is affordable, easy and pretty quick. And if you do it all in the one skillet, it is pretty much a one pot meal.

Other Places:

How about another French Classic? Weeping Roast and Potatoes, a cut of lamb or beef is roasted over top of onions and potatoes, so the roast juices seep down into the potatoes adding a lot of flavor. Throw a salad or some steamed veggies along side this recipe and you have a complete meal worthy of company.

Thursday, 25 September 2014



Traditional in Korea, served all nice and pretty like this, so you can stir it into a heap and eat it. Perfect meal.


200 Grams, Fresh sliced deli Roast Beef, thinly sliced

1 Bunch Enoki Mushrooms, or 4-8 Caps from other Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Cup Julienne Carrot
1 Sliced Red Bell Pepper
1 Cup Fresh Spinach
1 Cup Bean Sprouts
1/2 Cup Green Onion
1 Tablespoon Lightly Toasted Sesame Seeds
Thinly sliced Nori
4 Servings White Grain Rice, cooked
4 Eggs

Beef Sauce:

2 Teaspoons Mirin
3-4 Cloves Garlic
1 Inch Ginger Root
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil

Garnish Sauce:

4 Tablespoons Spicy Korean Red Bean Paste
1-2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1-2 Cloves minced Garlic
Small amount of hot water

For Bean Sprouts:

1 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

For Mushrooms:

2 Teaspoons Mirin
1-2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Sesame oil

For Carrot:

1 Teaspoon Soy
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil


Rice Vinegar
Cooking Oil

Special Tools:

Large Skillet or Cast Iron Skillet
Large Tray
Large oven safe bowls or nine inch pie plates, one per serving


Preheat oven to 420°F.

Set a small pot of salted water on to boil.

Preheat a large skillet or cast iron skillet onto a medium heat.

Start cooking rice if you haven't already cooked some.

Prepare the Garnish Sauce, in a small bowl stir together the spicy Korean red bean paste, rice vinegar, and 1 clove of garlic. If the sauce is too thick smooth it with about 1/2 Tablespoon of hot water and stir again. It should be a smooth runny sauce. Taste it too make sure it is too your liking. If it is too spicy add some honey or mirin about 1-2 Teaspoons at a time to balance. If you want more spice you can add 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper, some extra spicy red bean paste. Remember to only make small additions, stir well and then taste again to balance the final sauce. Cover and set aside in fridge when satisfied. 

In a medium bowl stir together the Mirin, Garlic, Ginger Root and Sesame Oil. Pile the deli roast beef into a pile and use a sharp knife to shred it into small ragged slices and pieces. Stir the beef into the beef sauce until evenly coated and allow to marinate for about 15 minutes.

While the beef is marinating, slice and prepare all the vegetables as described, slice the mushrooms and peppers, julienne the carrot, finely slice the green onion, peel the ginger root and peel all the garlic you will need. Slice or shred the nori into small slivers for garnish.

Remove the eggs from the fridge and set on counter.

If the water is boiling, add the bean sprouts and cook for 20 minutes. Once cooked, drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Toss cooked bean sprouts with 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Fill a small pot with a lid with about 1 inch of water. Salt and bring to a boil. Add the spinach and cover for about 2-3 minutes, until spinach has wilted and is bright green. Strain from water, lightly season with rice vinegar. Just enough to add flavor but not enough to saturate. Set spinach aside on the tray.

Lightly oil the heated skillet. Add the sliced red pepper, and season with salt and pepper. Lightly saute for about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to the large tray.

If the skillet is dry, lightly re-oil. Add the julienne carrot as well as 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Fry for about 1 minute and transfer to the large try.

If the skillet is dry, lightly re-oil. Add the sliced mushrooms, 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons mirin. Fry for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon Sesame oil. Cook an additional minute. Transfer to large tray.

Spoon the cooked rice into the oven safe serving dishes. Cover the bottom and create and even base.

Place filled rice bowls into hot oven.

If the skillet is dry, lightly re-oil once again. Add the sliced beef, marinade and all and cook for about 3-5 minutes until heated through and most of the liquid has evaporated. turn off the burner.

Remove the rice bowls from the oven one at a time and arrange a little of each cooked vegetable form the tray in small piles around the outside edge of each rice bowl. Make it pretty. Once the vegetables are arranged, crack the egg and pour into the center of the bowl. Return to oven and do the process with each of the rice bowls.

Keep a careful eye on the eggs. You basically just want the white, to turn solid white, the yolk should remain pretty runny. Remove each rice bowl when the egg white has cooked. Add the heated beef to the rice bowl.

Drizzle some of the prepared red sauce evenly over the prepared bibimbap. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, sliced green onion and a small bunch of sliced nori.

Serve hot, and eat by stirring the whole thing together.



This is not an easy recipe, it is long and it has many parts. But it is well worth it! Plus it makes my future husband to be pretty happy.

Also you can use as many of the ingredients listed as you want or just use the ones you like. But I do suggest you give the beansprouts a try, they are quite good and according to my husband to be "made it taste more like the stuff he had from street carts", and he swears he ate a lot of it while he was living in Korea, so I trust him a little bit.

Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Well not exactly cooking but useful information! How to regenerate Green Onions, very useful if you are like me and love green onions on almost everything. This trick works well for a few weeks to a few months but eventually you will need a fresh green onion to start again with.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Aioli and Mayonnaise From Scratch!

So simple as long as you are willing to put in some elbow grease!

The difference between aioli and mayonnaise is basically that aioli has a garlic paste mixed in and mayonnaise does not. So you can either follow the instructions for making the garlic paste and make aioli or skip it and make a plain mayonnaise. You can also add extra seasonings to either the home made aioli or mayonnaise, I like to add some curry powder or paprika and then dip fresh home fries in it.

Aioli and Mayonnaise


2 Egg Yolks
1 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

Garlic Paste:

3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt


1-2 Teaspoons Curry Powder or Paprika, or a spice blend of your choice


To prepare Garlic Paste:

With a mortar and pestle or in a small bowl with a sturdy spoon smash and mash the minced garlic with the salt until it is a smooth and even paste.

To Prepare Mayonnaise or Aioli:

Add the egg yolks to a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine the two together. If you are adding garlic paste, whisk it into the lightly beaten egg yolks.

Add about 2-3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil to the bowl, whisk vigorously until the egg and oil are emulsified, or completely blended together.

Continue to add the olive oil, several tablespoons at a time until about 1/2 cup has been incorporated. Whisk in the lemon juice until blended in.

Continue to whisk the olive oil in slowly. Just a few tablespoons at a time, whisking until emulsified before adding more olive oil.

Slow and steady whisking is key or else everything is going to split into a terrible oily mess.

Once all the olive oil is whisked in the mayonnaise or aioli should be thick and similar to what you find premade at the store.

If your sauce has split into a terrible oily mess, fear not! Things can sometimes be saved. In another bowl add one more egg yolk. Working with about 1 tablespoon at a time of your split sauce, whisk it into the fresh egg yolk. Being sure to fully whisk before adding more. Slow and steady add the olive oil while thoroughly whisking in between each addition. hopefully that solves things!



I find this to be a fickle recipe, it works perfectly some days for me, and other days I do not reach success. Oh well, can't be perfect all the time!

Other places:

If this recipe just isn't working out, I have a way to cheat!

Simple Aioli

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Thai Fish Curry

Thai Fish Curry


2-4 Halibut Fillet De-boned and skinned (Or another meaty white fish)
Vegetable oil
1 Onion
2-3 Cloves Garlic
2-4 Teaspoons Curry Powder
2 Cups Vegetable or chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Light Coconut Milk (Shake the can before you open it)
1 Diced Tomato
Juice and zest of one Lemon or Lime

Finely sliced Green Onion
Spinach Leaves
Salt and Pepper

Cooked Rice to Serve along side


Preheat a large high walled skillet or wok with a tight fitting lid, to a medium high heat. Add enough oil to lightly coat the skillet. Allow the oil to heat.

Finely dice the onion and garlic cloves, add to skillet, season with salt and pepper and saute until onions are soft and translucent. At least 10-15 minutes. Add the curry powder and diced tomatoes. Cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken stock, citrus juice and zest, as well as coconut milk. Stir well. Allow sauce to simmer an additional 15-25 minutes, until sauce reduces to about 2 cups of liquid.

Taste the sauce, Adjust seasoning as needed. It should be pretty spicy, if it isn't to your preferred spice level add some extra curry powder, or about 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder. This is our poaching liquid.

Season the halibut on both sides with salt and pepper well. Submerge the fillets in the poaching liquid.

Cover the skillet and poach the fillets for about 7 minutes, until just tender, opaque and beginning to flake.

While the fish cooks, arrange spinach leaves in a soup bowl for each fillet to cover bottom, and slice green onions.

When fish is cooked, transfer to the spinach lined bowls, ladle some of the sauce over top, including some tomatoes and onions. Garnish with sliced green onions.

Serve along side rice.



A Future Mr Busy Bee Approved Recipe.

Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Horseradish Crusted Pot Roast