Sunday, March 18, 2012

Whistle-Stop Apple Crisp

All my life, I've been a dreamer. It usually starts out with something I'm doing or watching or reading and I just start dreaming from there. If I'm cooking or baking something, I picture myself owning my own little deli or bakery in a small town. People saying things like "Tina's cupcakes are to die for!" or "Have you tried Tina's place? Her food is wonderful!". Or, I could be totally into a series of movies or books and dreaming of that... When I started watching the Fast and Furious franchise, I always pictured myself living the sly life in Mexico. Maybe even running into Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in hopes of them asking me to join their crew. Lately, I've been reading and watching The Twilight Saga. So, basically, I'm dreaming of tall, dark and handsome Vampires that ooze sex! No worries, my husband knows all about it. TEAM EDWARD!!!

Anyhoo, yesterday, my husband and I were shopping at the local Farmers' Market shopping for weekend treats. Store-made potato salad, locally grown produce, whatever... My husband came across this box of Whistle-Stop Apple Crisp and asked me if I'd make it. I immediately thought of Idgy in Fried Green Tomatoes! DUUHHH!!! Of course, I'd make it!!!

It was so easy! I love it when I find something so yummy and it's such a breeze to make because the box provides everything for you! All I needed was 4 apples and 5 tablespoons of melted butter. It came with the crumb mix and... VOILA!!!! It was like eating apple pie without all the time and work that goes into it.

I know you're probably thinking to yourself "why is she showcasing a box of Apple Crisp mix on her blog?". Well, this is why...
  1. Not everything can be homemade, right? Well, if you ever come across this mix, buy it! It's so worth it. Passing along a good brand name is just as good as passing along a homemade recipe from your grandmother. Plus, they have COOKBOOKS!!! (Whistle-Stop Cafe Online Store) And...
  2. I spent the weekend making lots of yummy food (from a box AND from scratch) and I thought this would be a good way to get myself back into blogging. By starting off on something easy. Trust me - there's more to come!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

C'mon Hallmark, Why No Happy Belated Pound Cake Day Card?

What's not to love about a recipe as simple as a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs, and a pound of flour?  Different sources say that the pound cake was invented in the early 1800's because most people couldn't read recipes so it was an easy way to make a cake.  Even though I can read a recipe (which may be debatable if you see some of my screw ups) I love a poundcake, its something I make when I need to use up eggs or I don't want to make a trip to the store, so I was so happy to see that Pound Cake has its own holiday!!

National Pound Cake Day is officially March 4th, and I had every intention of posting this man-pleasing poundcake on Sunday night, but I was traveling through some icy weather and didn't arrive until entirely too late to start typing - unfortunately Hallmark doesn't make a "Happy Belated Pound Cake Day" card so please forgive me!  Since you get a ton of batter from this pound cake you can make a lot of different things from the batter.  Most people use a traditional bundt cake but for this recipe, I used two thirds of the batter to make 4 mini loaves of pound cake, and I poured the remaining one third of batter into a regular loaf pan to crumble up for the cake pops. 

This cake is a real man pleaser because it is really nice and dense, it looks like bread, it isn't sugary sweet and you can taste the bourbon, which is partly why I decided to make cake pops to give a girly spin to this manly cake. 

Bourbon Pecan Pound Cake
This recipe, slightly adapted from (and by slightly adapted, I doubled the Bourbon)

For the "His" Version
1 ½ cups butter, softened
1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened (I used low-fat and
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup Bourbon (I highly recommend Woodford Reserve)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cups pecans, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 325.  In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, cream together the sugar, cream cheese, and sugar, stopping to occasionally scrape down the sides until combined.  Turn the mixer on low and add the eggs one at a time.  Sift together the salt and the flour and add a cup of the flour mixture, followed by 1/4 cup of the bourbon, and then alternate until you add the last of the flour.  Stir in the vanilla and the pecans.  Prepare your pans by greasing and flouring them.  Divide 2/3rds of the batter among 4 mini laof pans and pour the remaining 1/3 into a normal sized bread pan or if you prefer more of a traditional pound cake, pour into a 12 cup bundt pan.  Bake for one hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cakes cool completely on a rack.

For the "Hers" Version
Makes 16 cake pops

1/3 of the "His" Version Pound Cake, cooked, cooled, and dark edges trimmed off
1 can Cream Cheese Frosting, I used Duncan Hines
10oz White Candy Melts
1/2 cup Pecans, chopped
16 lollipop sticks

Shred the pound cake until it is the texture of sand, mix in the can of cream cheese frosting until a ball forms and it is the consistency of Play-Doh.  Wrap dough with plastic and chill for an hour.  Divide dough in half, then in half again, half again, and finally one last half again for 16 chunks of dough.  Roll each chunk into a ball. Then melt a handful of the candy melts and dip the lollipop stick into the candy melts, then stick it into the dough ball to secure it, work on a parchment covered cookie sheet so that you can stick all of the pops into the freezer when the sticks are inserted.  Leave in the freezer for 30 min to an hour for the pops to firm up.  Melt the rest of your candy melts, and dip your pops into the candy melts and top with the chopped pecans.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Let's Celebrate National Cheese Doodle Day with Caramel Crunch Cheese Doodles!

Its National Cheese Doodle Day, and no other cheese doodle is closer to my heart than good ole crunchy Cheetos.  The spicy ones are awesome in a bloody mary, and if you have a bag getting stale, throw them in a food processor and they coat a piece of chicken pretty nicely.  I have to admit that I never thought of them as a good partner to a crunchy caramel coating until I stumbled across this recipe on  I was pretty sure this would go into the recipe fail folder, but the ingredients were cheap, and more importanly, already in my pantry, so I gave it a whirl and I am glad I did - the taste reminds me of those popcorn tins you get at christmas with the cheese and caramel popcorn inside - I LOVE to remove the divider and mix the cheese and caramel corn together and this is exactly what it tastes like.  I did mess around with the quantities of the original recipe a little because if a little caramel crunch is good a lot of caramel crunch is better! 

Caramel Crunch Cheese Doodles
slightly adapted from

3/4 Cup  Unsalted Butter
3/4 Cup  Granulated Sugar
3/4 Cup  Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup  Clear Karo Syrup
1 tsp  Vanilla
1/4 tsp  Baking Soda
9 oz bag of Crunchy Cheetos

Prehear oven to 250.  Put the butter, sugars, and syrup in a 3qt saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, stir continously for 5 min and then remove from heat, stir in vanilla and baking soda until combined and add Cheetos to pan, stirring to coat.  Dump the gooey Cheetos mixture out on to a parchment lined cookie sheet spreading into a single layer and put into the oven for 60 minutes, stirring every 20.  Put the cookie sheet on a rack to cool and break into pieces when it is cool to the touch.

I cannot wait for the next movie night to debut this treat, and really who am I kidding, I'll probably sneak a bag of it into the theater to munch on at the Lorax...


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Whooooopie...Under 200 Calorie Breakfast Sandwiches

What can I say, I'm a joiner - if there is a bandwagon to hop on - COUNT...ME...IN!  Riding the bandwagon recently has meant two things: I am the proud owner of whoopie pie pan AND its time for a January diet.  I will admit that I haven't made whoopie pies in it, but it was awfully handy to make uniform sized egg patties for breakfast sandwiches. 

If I don't plan ahead, my morning will end with a pastry or 4 in my mouth, so I make these sandwiches in bulk, wrap them in saran, put them in a freezer bag and then microwave them all week when I am ready for breakfast. 

If you're a fan of the Sausage McMuffin - this is for you!  I have made it over
to only be 187 calories! 

What you'll need for 6 Muffins:
  • Light English Muffins
  • Fat Free Sharp Cheddar Slices
  • Turkey Sausage Patties
  • 12 Tablespoons of Egg Beaters (2T per whoopie pie pan cavity)

Place 2T of Egg Beaters in each of 6 whoopie pie pan cavities.  If you don't have a whoopie pie pan, use a jumbo muffin tin or 6 ramekins and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. 

After your eggs are complete, its time to assemble the sandwiches.  Open each English Muffin and place a slice of cheese on the bottom half of the muffin, place the sausage patty on top of the cheese and then the egg on top of the sausage.  Put the top half of the muffin on top and wrap in saran and freeze. 

To reheat, remove saran and wrap in a paper towel.  Microwave for 45 seconds on 50%, then flip the sandwich over and microwave 45 more seconds on 50%. 

Hope you enjoy your easy breakfast!


Thirty on Thursday: Tissue Paper Plate

Have you ever found something you know you love but you have no idea what you're going to do with it?  Well I saw this tissue paper and while I had no idea what I was going to do with it, I had to have it.  Fast forward a couple of days, I needed some Valentine appetizer plates. (Ok, maybe need is a strong word - but c'mon who doesn't need cute plates?!?)  Well if you want a cheap, easy, and fast way to make some custom plates - you've come to the right place.

What you'll need:
  • Clear glass plate - the one I chose is $1.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Tissue paper of your choosing (fabric works well too)
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Plastic plate or vinyl tablecloth to protect your work surface
  • Scissors

Place your plate upside down on your protective surface - I used a paper plate, but use whatever you have handy, and put the tissue paper over it, smoothing it out and then running your hand along the edge to score the paper where you should cut.

Cut out your tissue paper just inside the ridge from where you scored the paper with your hand so that it is a little smaller than your plate - that way there is no paper hanging over the edges. 

Take the foam brush and dip it into your Mod Podge and paint a thin layer on the back of the plate, place the tissue paper print side down so that when you flip it back over you can see the print through the top of the glass plate.

Smooth out the wrinkles starting in the middle and smoothing out to the corners.  Paint another thin layer of Mod Podge over the back side of the paper to seal it and let it sit to dry.

let dry for 20 minutes and you'll have this!

Seriously easy and super fast!!  Take thirty minutes this Thursday and make yourself a fun (and cheap) plate!  You NEED it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Monday was my girlfriend's birthday. To celebrate, she decided to gather all of her friends at her favorite sushi restaurant for dinner that night. None of us knew each other. The only common denominator was her. Everyone got along fabulously over a delicious sushi dinner.

As it turned out, one of the guests was a Pastry Chef. I didn't really get a chance to talk to him because he was sitting on the same side of the table I was on and his girlfriend was sitting between us. However, at one point, I overheard him talking about Celebrity Chefs being more celebrity than chef and this is where I found my way in to the conversation... I gave him a "review" of a cookbook I'd recently purchased.

Last week, I had purchased some new cookbooks. Among my purchases were The Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Everyday Pasta by Giada and Guy Fieri Food Cookin' It Livin' It Lovin' It. Of course, Barefoot Contessa and Giada were a major score! They are in my top favorites for Celebrity Chefs. As you know, I ♥ Ina Garten! But, the Guy Fieri cookbook was a total waste of money, in my opinion. If I had to give it a rating out of 5 stars, I would only give it 1. And here is why...

(Side Note: I was shocked at how many good reviews the book has received... Just sayin'!)

To me, a cookbook should be passionate. It should not only highlight the chef's recipes and their love for the food but, inspire you to want to cook their recipes. It should give you tips, tricks and techniques to make cooking their recipes easier. If you ever pick up a cookbook by The Barefoot Contessa, she will not only show you tips and tricks, she will also have certain things like What NOT to serve at a dinner party or The top 5 items you should have in your pantry.  To me that is super helpful!

Not Guy Fieri. The first part of the book where a chef would generally open up and talk about what they love and how they feel about cooking and entertaining, Guy Fieri had numerous chapters about his rise to stardom. There were multiple pages written by himself, his family, friends and business associates saying what a great guy he is. He was not speaking from the heart of a person that wants to share his love for food and teach others how to cook his favorite recipes, he was speaking like a man that was boasting about his claim to fame and all the "things" that came with it.

Unlike The Barefoot Contessa giving you the Top 5 things you should have in your pantry to help you cook her recipes, Guy gave you a 3 page list of what HE has in HIS pantry. Instead of the most commonly used appliances best used for his recipes, he gave you a complete inventory of HIS appliances in HIS kitchen. It gave me a headache! Then came the recipes...

Recipes, in my opinion, should have ingredients that are, for the most part, commonly found in the grocery store. Ingredients you've actually heard of! And, the ingredients you purchase shouldn't empty your bank account. Not only did I not know what some of the ingredients were but, every recipe had way too many ingredients! The entire recipe would be 3 pages long and the first page was ingredients only! That's insane! Also, everything in his book was very Southern California cooking. So not my style at all.

So, as you can see, I was very disappointed. This guy is more of a celebrity than a chef. I love watching him on Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off but that's it. He's a great personality, a lot of fun. But to say that I want to cook his food? Ummm, no! It reminds me of a clip I heard in the news a while back about how Martha Stewart commented that "Rachael Ray is not a cook, she's an entertainer" (see link here). At the time, I thought it sounded snobbish and harsh... not anymore. Now, I know exactly what she meant. Not that I was ever a HUGE Rachael Ray fan before but she and Guy are definitely more celebrities than chefs. And I guess that's why they're hosting a show together about others doing the cooking and not themselves.

Here's a piece of advice... If you want to cook any of Guy Fieri's food, don't buy his cookbook, go to his page on the Food Network website and browse there for some of his recipes. You'll save yourself $20 on Amazon and still get what you want.

Until next time...

~Tina, The Other Egg

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chicken + Peanut Butter = Delish!

Update - If you liked this yummy curry soup, come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset for a whole stockpot full of great recipes!!

I have been craving the spicy food lately, even with the really warm winter we have been having, there is nothing better than a warm bowl of spicy soup on a winter day!  I went looking for a curry recipe that used the ingredients that I had in the cupboard already and I found this super easy one on

Easy Peanut Butter Curry

Every time I read peanut butter and chicken together, in the same soup, I'm a little weirded out.  I mean you wouldn't have a chicken and peanut butter sandwich, right?  But this Peanut Butter Curry was super easy and fantastic!  For the original recipe, visit the link above, here is my adapted version that is a little spicier and includes more vegetables

  • 3/4 C smooth peanut butter

  • 2 C low-sodium chicken broth

  • 3 T madras curry paste

  • 1 can (13 2/3-ounce) unsweetened light coconut milk

  • 1 can (14 1/2-ounce) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 pkg (8 ounce) sliced mushrooms

  • 1/2 C shredded carrots

  • Coat a pan with non stick spray and cook the chicken breasts, set chicken breasts aside and shred the chicken using two forks.  Using the same pan saute the mushrooms and carrots over medium heat until the carrots are soft. 

    In a large saucepan, whisk broth and curry paste. Heat over medium heat to boiling.  Whisk in coconut milk and peanut butter, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, chicken, mushrooms, carrots and cook until heated through. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve with lime wedges, if desired.

    Site Design by Designer Blogs