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Mastering Making Up Your Own Recipes

This title is a little misleading, although, sometimes I do make up my own recipes.

My latest creations have been Egg bake and Pad Thai. That’s right this little Croatian girl is making Pad Thai.

Egg bakes have been around for ever and you can google (Or pinterest) a bunch of different recipes pretty easily. My Mom has been making it for years and it’s a Christmas morning staple. Shoot, if she reads this and knows I know how to make it then she’s going to make me bring it on Christmas morning! (Can’t do it, gotta run!)

Anyways, Mom is the master of cooking and making up recipes off the top of her head. I’ve always thought she was wickedly smart for being able to do this. However, I’ve started doing it too. Maybe my future kids will think I’m wicked smart now.

In the past Mom has made multiple kinds of egg bake but my favorite is always the sausage egg bake. Some make it with potatoes or tater tots and they are always my least favorite ones. If I want a potato I’ll eat a potato. Last night I made egg bake for dinner with a recipe I pretty much pulled out of my guza.

Egg Bake Recipe:

6-8 slices of Italian white bread, cubed
1-pork sausage, cooked
6-8 eggs, beat with a splash of milk,
salt and pepper to taste
and topped with about a bag of cheddar cheese.

After the sausage was cooked I tossed everything into a grease lined casserole dish and bake it at 350 for 50 minutes. Since this is a breakfast recipe I covered it with maple syrup. I don’t know why but I love syrup on my sausage and eggs.

Forgot to take a picture until days later.
Forgot to take a picture until days later.

I have a secret love for Pad Thai but the last time I had it I found half a cockroach in my food and haven’t been able to eat it at restaurants since. Sometimes I really really miss it but just can’t get over the cockroach in it so I go without it. Then I started looking up recipes and it’s really not hard to make at home!

Pad Thai Recipe

Rice Noodles-Target carries them
Brown Sugar
soy sauce
2 eggs
chicken-I used 1 breast
lime
vegetable oil
cilantro (actually I didn’t use cilantro)
sriracha
scallions
garlic
peanuts

I wasn’t really measuring so good luck with that part. I soaked the rice noodles, the directions are on the package and while they were soaking I pan cooked some chicken breasts and make my sauce. My sauce is just lime juice, sriracha, soy sauce and brown sugar. Then I heated some vegetable oil and garlic in a large pan. (we have this wok looking thing, no idea where it came from).

Toss in scallions to oil, add eggs to scramblish. Once the eggs are cooked transfer to a plate but toss the rice noodles (drained) into the same pan. Add sauce mixture and toss til warm. Add in some chopped up chicken and transfer to serving plates. Top with peanuts.

Looks good!
Looks good!

I wasn’t happy with how it came out. I followed the directions for the noodles on the packaging but they were still hard. Maybe it was a really old package¬† of noodles? Despite the noodles being too hard, Ryan said he loved it. He’s so smart ūüėČ

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Hurry and go make this: Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Sheet Cake

I’m going to be very very serious here. This may be the best pumpkin recipe there is. Not only that it is fairly easy and I messed up twice on it and it still tastes good.

I found the recipe here, surprisingly I didn’t find it on Pinterest. However, I did pin it there later. Notice how my picture look pretty much nothing like what they were supposed to come out as.

Ingredients
Ingredients

The best part about this recipe was you pretty much dump all the ingredients together and bake. Nothing complicated.

pre-oven
pre-oven

Drizzled with butter and brown sugar. Then I swirled it a little to get this look.

In the oven
In the oven

I probably should have used a bigger sheet cake pan as the cake was very close to going over.

Hi Bodhi
Hi Bodhi

As it was baking I realized I forgot to put cinnamon in the brown sugar and butter glaze.
So I added it to the top when I took it out of the oven.

Forgot an ingredient
Forgot an ingredient

You are supposed to top it with icing made of heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar. I forgot to buy heavy whipping cream so I tried to use regular milk instead. It didn’t work though.

Finished product..minus the icing
Finished product..minus the icing

Even though I need to use a bigger pan, forgot the cinnamon and added it later and didn’t use an icing it still came out great.

However, I think I should make it one more time just to make it without all the mistakes. And maybe add pecans to the top….

Have you ever messed up a recipe and it still came out really good? I made cookies once and accidentally doubled the butter. The cookies came out really good though still.

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Humble Wine Bar

Last night I attended the family and friends opening of Dan Deagan’s new restaurant, Humble Wine Bar. Humble is located just down the street from Deagan’s original restaurant and is just what Lakewood needed. A wine bar AND A PATIO!

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Humble Wine Bar Patio

The interior of Humble is a large open space but your eyes will be drawn to the giant pizza oven. I loved being able to watch the pizza’s being made and cooking in the oven.

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Humble Wine Bar Oven

I broke rule number one of going to a wine bar and ordered a beer instead. I couldn’t help myself! They had multiple craft beers on tap, my favorite Columbus Brewing Company’s Bodhi, being one of them. There is a large selection of bottles to choose from as well. So the beer and wine lovers are both happy. If mixed drinks are your thing, there is even a selection of that and some specialty ones are listed on the drink menu.

View of the bar area
View of the bar area

I couldn’t decide which pizza to try first so I did things a little backwards and had dessert pizza first. It was delicious! My husband who is not a dessert person was very happy with the strawberry dessert pizza.

Dessert Pizza
Dessert Pizza

I then made my way over to a cheese & meat board. In all honesty, I was just there to dig into the prosciutto.

Cured meats and cheeses
Cured meats and cheeses

I finally dug into some pizzas, the Mushroom (mushrooms, roasted garlic, tallegio and rosemary) and Lardo (roasted garlic, fontina, talledio and rosemary) pizzas were my favorites. Although I saw a margherita and sausage one I can’t wait to try next time.

Mushroom pizza fresh out of the oven.
Mushroom pizza fresh out of the oven.

I have a feeling Humble is going to be an easy favorite in the Lakewood area. Perfect for date night, girls night out and catching up with friends.

Hi friends! Let's hang out here again soon!
Hi friends! Let’s hang out here again soon!

As I was leaving I tried to snap a picture of the rest of the space and all the tables but I was too short. I stole this pictures from Humble’s Facebook page though.

Humble's dining area
Humble’s dining area

Humble Wine Bar officially opens today! Head over, check out the space, grab a drink and dig into some of their delicious pizza. (My stomach is now growling and I wish I had some of that Lardo pizza for my second breakfast right now.)

Humble Wine Bar. 15400 Detroit Avenue. Lakewood OH. 44107
Tues-Fri: 4pm-Close
Sat & Sun: 11am-Close

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Hooked On Brussels

Originally I was going to write a Wedding Wednesday update post….until I realized that it’s only Tuesday. So since I’m not talking about weddings or running you get BRUSSELS SPROUTS! Plus I was talking about Brussels Sprouts on twitter today.

I wish I could tell you I was kidding but we go through 3lbs of Brussels sprouts a week. I cook them the same way every time and still am not sick of them. Ryan requests them almost every night. Just don’t tell him how easy they are to make. I still have him convinced that I can cook and not just chop things up and throw them in the oven. Which is pretty much what I do.

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • lightly spray pan ( I use a rectangular glass pan)
  • rinse the brussels, cut off the ends and if they are big I cut them in half or quarters

1brussels

  • put them in the pan, lightly coat with some olive oil, salt and pepper
  • cook for 20-30 mins (I usually do close to 30)

2brussels

  • sprinkle a little balsamic vinegar on top, toss them around so they all feel the love and that’s it.
They really weren't as dark as they look. I was just hovering over them.
They really weren’t as dark as they look. I was just hovering over them.

You can fancy them up and toss in some bacon, dried cranberries or goat cheese. Sometimes we do all 3 but usually it’s just bacon.

Quick and easy dinner and it looks like I know how to cook. ūüôā

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Crepes For One

Every recipe I know for crepes, makes 20 crepes. That’s awesome…when you are cooking for a bunch of people. What about when you just want 1 crepe.

Well, I searched the internet and I found a recipe for 1 crepe! Actually, it made a crepe and a half but close enough.

Crepe for One Recipe:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk

Cooking a crepe is kind of like cooking a pancake. Spray the pan, get the pan hot and dump in the mixture. It doesn’t bubble but you can pretty much tell when it is ready to flip over.

Single crepe
Single crepe

Chop up your favorite filling items. I like strawberries, bananas & nutella. Another favorite is baked apples. Or if your in a pinch, use jelly.

The fixings
The fixings

Put the crepe on a flat surface, add your filling items and roll it up!

mmmmm
mmmmm

I cut up too much fruit so I just ate the rest on the side.

Breakfast for dinner anyone? I eat eggs and toast or cereal for dinner almost every night. I am a weirdo.

P.S. We don’t call them crepes we call them palacinka ūüôā

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Pumpkin Party 2012 & A Recipe

What better way to celebrate fall than with a pumpkin themed party and a couple craft beers.

  

We had a bunch of our friends over to celebrate and asked them all to bring a pumpkin dish. We had a ton of awesome dishes. Some of the entrees¬†included Pumpkin risotto, pumpkin lasagna, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin salsa, pumpkin chili¬†and pumpkin pizzas. Some of the desserts¬†included pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin snickerdoodles, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin fluff, pumpkin chex mix and pumpkin muffins. There were probably at least 12 more that I didn’t list.

 

Which is probably why there are all these leftovers we still have to eat…or take to work ūüėČ

Now here is the recipe for the cupcakes I made.

Pumpkin cupcakes made with Southern Tier Pumking beer with pumpkin pie frosting.

Cupcakes:

  • White cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup Southern Tier Pumking beer
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Bake cupcakes as stated on the box.

Frosting: Recipe I found on Pinterest

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425. Spread frosting mix in a well greased pan and cook for 35-40 mins. Cool in a refrigerator and then scoop into a frosting bag.

  

Themes are my favorite, especially themed parties.

What are your favorite themed parties?

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Birthday Pig Roasts

I am pretty sure that most families don’t roast pigs for Birthdays.¬†That being said,¬†it’s obvious we aren’t normal. We also named the pig we roasted. Say hello to Sadie!

Hello Dinner!

We’ve been roasting pigs, lambs and sometimes chickens for my little sister’s birthday ever since she was born. Even though we celebrated on Saturday, she officially turns 9 today! Happy Birthday DoodleBug! ¬†Also, we had 2 people celebrating their 50th and 60th birthday ( I won’t mention names…Hi Mom! Hi Dave!)¬†so even more reason to celebrate and eat 3 different cakes.

Birthday Girl

When¬†I asked my¬†sister what she wanted for her birthday she responded “pajamas and a volleyball”. Such a simple girl and yet I bought her none of those things. Trust me, I still spoiled her like a good big sister does.

I can’t believe next year my sister will be in the double digits! She’s growing up way too fast. And by too fast, I mean she’s almost as tall as me. Hopefully I’ll hit my growth spurt at 30, I think it’s a couple years late.

What’s something you request for your birthday? I always ask for my mom to make me chimichangas (which I think are actually enchiladas but we’re not changing the name now). And pineapple orange cake ( and I don’t even like pineapples).

 

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Fondue And A Giveaway For YOU!

We have a winner!!!!! SuperEli23 who said

“And my favorite things to fondue are marshmallows and angel food cake. Although it is well known that Mike and I both love cheese in all shapes and forms. Your pictures are making me hungry, stop it!”
 

Email me your address and I’ll send you the giftcard!!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On Monday night instead of going home to whip up a hearty bowl of cereal for dinner, I headed to the Melting Pot¬†in Fairview Park’s Westgate Plaza for some Fondue goodness. In case you didn’t know, the last Monday of the month is their¬†“Spa Night“.¬†Complementary¬†chair and hand massages¬†from the Aveda¬†students as¬†well as a chance to learn about their products.

After meeting up with a few fellow bloggers (Mary, Tracy, Crystal, Charlene and Tabs), we grabbed some drinks and got started with the first course. The first course was Cheese fondues paired with Chateau Ste Michelle Pinot Gris for the wine drinkers or Sam Adams Boston Lager for the beer drinkers.

                    

There were 8 of us total so we had 3 different fondue cheeses to try, the Fiesta Cheddar, Spinach and Artichoke and the Wisconsin Trio Cheese. Dipping choices were artisan breads, green apples, tortilla chips (they must have known I was coming) and fresh veggies. All were amazing but the Fiesta Cheddar has a soft place in my heart and was my favorite that night.

Our second course¬†was the salad course and I choose the California salad. Leafy greens, tomatoes, GORGONZOLA cheese (sorry one of my favs), candied pecans and raspberry walnut vinaigrette. It was really hard to pretend I was a lady and not shovel this salad into my mouth. I was holding back from licking my plate. I also love salads so I may be a little biased. This course was paired with Murphy Goode Chardonnay or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I am a fan of chardonnay but don’t recall having this wine before, it’s a new favorite to add to the list.

The third course¬†was the meat course, paired with Coppola Claret red wine or Stone IPA. The meats served were, lobster tail, seasoned shrimp, angus¬†sirloin, pork tenderloin, BUFFALO CHICKEN (amazing!) and mushroom sacchetti’s. Sacchetti’s¬†are these small purse-like pasta thingys that are filled with mushrooms. I wasn’t really interested in trying them but gave them a shot and they were really good.

The waiter pointed out each of the meats on the plate and told us cooking times for each of them. That may sound confusing but it wasn’t. The different sauces, now that can get confusing. Luckily, our waiter was kind enough to explain them twice and told us which ones went best with each item. I love sauces or anything I can dip into these were all so good that I can’t even pick a favorite. The trio of sauces pictured below is the teriyaki, ginger plum and milk curry, not pictured but we also had a Green Goddess, Gorgonzola Pot and Garlic dijon butter sauces as well.

  

We took a small break and had hand and chair massages after the third course. It was really stressful eating all that food. Just kidding.

For the fourth course, the chocolate course, we had Cookies and Cream Marshmallow Dream, Yin Yang and Snickers fondues. I wish I could tell you that I had a favorite but they were all honestly really good. You can’t go wrong with chocolate. This course was paired with 337 Cabernet or Rogue Chocolate Stout.

  

We had a variety of things to dip, strawberries and bananas (which I do all the time at home), cheesecake, brownies, pond cake, oreo¬†coated marshmallows (it’s ok to drool, I did), graham gracker¬†coated marshmallows and rice krispies.

My only complaint about the Melting Pot, and I have this every time I go, is that I eat too much! The food is so good that I eat until I am completely stuffed….and then some ūüėČ

Totally normal to take pictures with your server right? We couldn’t help it, he did an amazing job and explained everything to us….even while we took a 1000 pictures as he was talking.

While at The Melting Pot I learned about their Happy Hour that they have M-F from 4-7 (Westgate¬†only). Half priced cheeses and chocolate fondues in the bar area and discounted drinks as well. I guess you guys know where you’ll be able to find me.

Now how¬†about a nice little giveaway ūüôā The Melting Pot is giving a gift card away to one lucky reader (ok I know most of you skim and just look at pictures but we’ll include you too). $25 gift card to use at the Fairview Park (Westgate) location or the Lyndhurst (Legacy Village) location.

You have until Thursday July 5th at 12pm Cleveland time ūüėČ to enter. I will pick a winner that day! To Enter leave a separate comment for each one of these that you do.

1.) Follow the @MeltingPotCleve on Twitter.

2.) Tweet about the giveaway.

3.) Like them on Facebook.

4.) Tell me your favorite thing to dip in fondue. (for me it’s tortilla chips and marshmallows)

Disclosure: The giftcard and dinner at the melting pot that I received were amazing and in return I blogged about it. Practically rocket science. They gave me good food so I gave them a good review.

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Frrrriday Favs: Chocolate Cake

This may be one of my favorite things to bake, mostly because it is so easy but also because it is delicious! Also, I am not a huge fan of frosting but love cool whip!

DSCN2157
Finished product

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of any type of chocolate cake
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 1 jar of chocolate sundae syrup
  • 1 jar of caramel sundae syrup
  • 1 bag of heath bar bits
  • 1 container of cool whip

Instructions:

  • Bake the chocolate cake as you normally would and let cool.
  • Once cool, poke holes in the cake using a large spoon (or the end of a spoon).
  • Pour 1 can of condensed milk over the entire cake and let it soak in (about 30 mins to an hour)
  • Pour jar of chocolate syrup over the condensed milk and let soak in (you may need to heat the chocolate syrup up to pour it on top)
  • Pour jar of caramel syrup over the chocolate syrup.

DSCN2151 DSCN2152 DSCN2153

  • Next, sprinkle a thin layer of heath bar bits over the caramel layer.

DSCN2155

  • Cover the cake with cool whip

DSCN2156

  • Top with the rest of the heath bar bits

DSCN2157

  • And enjoy! oops doesn’t last long!

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I have heard this cake called by another name but will not call it that since my family reads my blog ūüôā or at least I think they do….

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Coooooooookies

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

It is no joke that I have serious mad love for cookies. I gave them up for lent one year and let’s just say I won’t be doing that again. Last night I headed over to my family’s house and got to work making some sugar cookies. My mom makes at least 5 different kinds of cookies for Christmas every year but saves the sugar cookies for me and my sister.¬†

 

Baking with an 8 year old¬†is hard work, why are they so opinionated and they never stop talking “sissy, sissy sissy”. In the picture you can’t tell but my sister has on summer clothes (shorts and a flowery tank top), it was almost 60 yesterday, weird for December in Cleveland. Yet I still had on sweat pants and long sleeves. My sister is always hot and I am always cold. We couldn’t be more different.

Smurf Cookies!

We have tons of cookie cutter so of course my sister wanted to use ever single one. Sorry mom for all the extra dishes. I like to get creative with my cookies and somehow we ended up with blue frosting this year, so naturally I had to make smurf cookies.

Gingerbread Men

We had a little extra time so we decided to whip up some gingerbread men while we were at it. I am not sure if gingerbread men are supposed to have sprinkles but little sister puts sprinkles on everything!

I forgot to bring some cookies home with me so I am craving them now that I am writing this post!

What is your favorite Christmas cookie?