Sunday, June 24, 2007

The King of Benedict

The King of Benedict, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

I will post this recipe tomorrow. . . it's late and I'm sleepy.
See you tomorrow!

Sweet-n-Spicy Roasted Bacon & More.

I made brunch, well more like Brupper (brunch, supper) today for Lauren, Asher, and Thomas. We enjoyed 2 bottles of champagne while they all patiently waited for me to finish up all components of this extremely satisfying meal.

Todays Brupper included:

- My famous sweet-n-spicy bacon
- Scones rolled in powdered sugar and baked
- Slow roasted baby red, and yukon gold potatoes with red/green peppers, shallots, and red onion.
- Fresh Fruit Salad
- King Crab and Avocado Benedict on a Savory Waffle

I am going to post recipes for the bacon, and potaotes first. I will post a recipe for the Waffle King Crab Benedict following this.

This bacon is almost like a bacon candy. The texture is not that of normal fried bacon. I roast it in the oven at a high heat for quite some time, while it sits in a bath of brown sugar and cayene. The end result is sticky, spicy, crunchy and quite possibly the best bacon ever.

The potatoes can't be beat. I often struggle when I go out to restaurants because I find that were I making what they were serving, I could do a much better job (I think I may have mentioned this in a previous post so I'll try not to rant here). There are exceptions however, like Thai food, and Sushi, I cannot make those as good here at home. Back to the potatoes, like I said they can't be beat. They are rich, brown, crispy, sweet (like the red pepper, don't worry no sugar here, only on the bacon), salty, and buttery. They kind of melt in your mouth, granted, I par boil them, and then allow them to pan roast for 1-2 hours slowly in a vat of butter. What potato wouldn't be good when prepared like that? They don't come out too rich or buttery, or oily or fatty. They're just perfect, just melt in your mouth perfect.

Alright enough of my raving. Here are the recipes:

Recipe: Sweet-N-Spicy Bacon


- 12 slices thick cut bacon (we buy it at the deli, not packaged)
- 12 TBL brown sugar
- 2 tsp. Cayene (I eyeball the amount, so you should probably experiment with the ratio of sugar/cayene)
- Pepper to taste (I generally buy pepper bacon)


1. Line a sided baking sheet with tin foil.
2. Lay each slice of bacon out on the sheet
3. Sprinkle 1/2 TBL over each slice and rub onto bacon
4. Flip and repeat step 3
5. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then flip the bacon over
6. Bake for another 10-15 mintues depending on your crisp preference (we like it more on the crispy side)

Recipe: Slow Roasted Potatoes


- One Red Pepper thinly sliced
- One Green Pepper thinly sliced
- One red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 large shallot thinly sliced
- 3 red potatoes
- 3 yukon gold potatoes
- 1 TBL olive oil
- 6 TBL butter
- salt and pepper to taste


1. Par boil the potatoes in a large pot of boiling water
2. Quarter the potatoes (when cooled a bit, of course)
3. Put 3 TBL butter and olive oil in a grill pan (or other large frying pan with sides) and heat until butter is melted. Keep heat on a medium/low setting.
4. Add potatoes to the pan, then peppers, onion and shallot.
5. Cook on the medium/low heat (adjusting as needed) for 1 hour or more.
6. Add additional butter as needed to keep the peppers and onions properly caramelizing.
7. Eat.

Soooo good. You can't find better potatoes at a restaurant. Seriously. I've tried.

Vanilla Sugar

Sucre vanillé, originally uploaded by Sara?.

Ashers mom called this morning requesting to know how, exactly, to make vanilla sugar. And since it is listed in a few of my recipes I thought it wise to post the "recipe" directly on the blog.

Vanilla sugar is extremely easy to make and can be used in a variety (if not all) of your baked goods. The longer the vanilla sugar sits, the stronger and more flavorful it will be. In my opinion, it gives things a touch of elegence. For example, throw a tablespoon in your next batch of whipped cream, or a dash in your coffee, for a subtle, yet delicious substitute for normal sugar. And telling your guests that the whipped cream has been sweetened with vanilla sugar will generally impress them all the more!

To make vanilla sugar:


1-2 cups granulated white sugar (depending on how intense you want the vanilla flavor to be)
1 vanilla bean


1. Pour your vanilla sugar into a jar.
2. Scrape most of the beans out of the pod, into the sugar, and stir with a spoon.
3. Place entire scraped bean into the jar and sugar.
4. Store in a cool, dry, dark place (your cupboard) for weeks, up to months. Remember, the longer it sits, the stronger it gets!

So simple, so elegant, so fun!

Friday, June 22, 2007

"If I were a dessert, I'd be this dessert" - Lauren

Happy Summer Everyone! 

Yesterday was summer solstice, and I wanted to do something special, something that says summer. In the afternoon my boss left to run some errands, when she came back she told me that on one of her stops someone was selling strawberry shortcake. Good strawberry shortcake. Then she proceeded to tell me that she makes pretty good strawberry shortcake, but that the kind she just had was nearly better than hers. . . this got me thinking. I've never made strawberry shortcake! I enjoy it for the most part. . . the only thing I find about strawberry shortcake when I buy it at festivals and street fairs, is that the biscuit is always like a buttermilk biscuit you'd serve alongside friend chicken, or some blander version thereof you might top with sausage and gravy. 

I am a firm believer in sweets. And my stance on strawberry shortcake is that the base should be a sweet, almost scone like biscuit, not a dry bland biscuit. I know there is great debate out there on the perfect biscuit pairing for this dessert. I know a lot of people prefer a blander biscuit, and a sweeter strawberry mixture or whip cream. I prefer it the opposite way around, and ladies and gents, I've found my dream recipe. I've never tasted a strawberry shortcake as delicious as this in my life. It is the holy grail of strawberry shortcake. Asher, Thomas, and Lauren could not agree more. 

Lauren proclaimed, that no joke, this was the best dessert she'd ever had her entire life. Best she ever tasted. This coming from a girl who 3 minutes before was speaking of a dessert in New Mexico that is comprised of sweet bread balls, topped with and frying in a sugar butter mixture. She knows good home cooked food. And I take her compliments to be some of the greatest I've ever received. I also place them in very high regard. Asher is no fool when it comes to food either. I have a good panel of judges here at my house, and in general I get rave reviews. But I think this dessert knocked their socks off, almost quite literally!

Please try. And enjoy. If you're anything like us, you will find this recipe knock your socks off-tastic! I pair the sweet biscuit with a less sweet honey whip cream, and lightly vanilla sugared strawberries. 
I will be making this again very soon. It's really, really simple. And is quite possibly, the greatest dessert ever, especially for a warm summer day! 

Recipe: Mallorys Strawberry Shortcake


For biscuit:

- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cups sugar sifted with flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 5 TBL butter
- 2/3 cup of heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla 

For Strawberries:

- 1 16 oz box of strawberries sliced
- 4 TBL vanilla sugar

For Whipped Cream:

- 1 8oz. container of quality whippping cream (we buy a glass bottle full directly from a farm in Lynden, it's amazing)
- 2 TBL honey ( or more or less, depending on your taste preference)


For Biscuits:

1. Sift all dry ingredients together into mixer.
2. Add 5 cut up TBL cold butter to flour mixture, with paddle attachement beat until mixture is pebbly. 
3. Add vanilla to whip cream and slowly pour into mixer on low-medium speed. Dough will not come together completely but will get wet. Stop mixer and hand knead lightly until dough can be formed into individual biscuits. 
4. Free form, hand shape your biscuits (I made mine heart shaped). 
5. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake in 425 degree oven for 10-15 mintues. (It will take longer the larger the biscuits get). 

While the biscuits are cooking:

Whipped Cream:

1. Place jar of cream into mixer with whisk attachement, beat on high speed until almost light and fluffy.
2. Add honey and beat until light and fluffy. 
3. Transfer to nice glass bowl for serving.


1. Place sliced strawberries in glass bowl for serving. 
2. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar and allow them to sit until biscuits are done. 


1. Cut warm biscuit in half.
2. Place a large spoonful or two of strawberries on the inside. Followed by a large dollop of two of the whip cream. 
3. Place top of biscuit on that, and ladle another large spoonful of strawberries atop that to finish things off. 
4. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6 depending on biscuit size. Mine were large, so it served the four of us. 

Enjoy this dessert. It's a real treat.

Enjoying the Outdoors

Simple Italian Pasta, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

I love this time of year. It's not excruciatingly hot yet, like most of July and August. In fact it's been raining on and off, but the air is still warm. Last night the clouds broke away to reveal a gorgeous evening for the first day of summer, and the perfect opportunity to have dinner with Asher and Lauren on the back porch.

I'm trying to be really cost effective for the next two weeks because Thomas and I are trying to save most of the money we have and bring in for a 4 day trip we are taking to Portland/Salem for Kelli and Nicks wedding. We are so excited about our trip, we have never been on a real getaway together (unless you count camping), so we're both really happy and want to make sure we have plenty of money to have a great time!

Therefore I'm trying to use what I've got in my fridge, maybe with a few cheap items here and there purchased at the groceria. I've done a pretty good job so far, this, and the Asian Shrimp Noodle dish utilized most things I have in my cupboard. What I love about these dishes is that they're full on flavor, and beauty, but low on cost. They're blog worthy, and still cheap and easy. How wonderful!

This pasta is a combination of leftover pizza sauce (spaghetti sauce), fresh tomato, basil, mozarella balls, spicy italian sausage barbequed (because you have to bbq on the first day of summer) and a sprinkling of asiago. So good, but so little time/indgredients and money. Perfecto!

Recipe: First Day of Summer Italian Pasta Bowl


- 1 lb. box rotini
- 1/2 cup sweet tomato sauce (spag. sauce)
- 3 vine tomatoes (cherry would be good too) diced
- 1/2 lb. small mozarella balls quartered
- 10 large fresh basil leaves ribboned
- 3 large italian sausages barbequed and chopped to desired size
- 1/4 cup finely grated asiago for garnish


1. Boil pasta 7-9 minutes in salted water
2. Put chopped tomatoes, sauce, mozarella and basil in large bowl, mix together and season with salt and pepper.
3. Stain pasta and immediately throw into the tomato mixture bowl (piping hot, it will cause the mozarella to melt just a bit and heat up the sausage, delicious).
4. Serve in a large pasta bowl, in the sun, with asiago on the side!

Hello Summer!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Simple & Delicious.

Asian Shrimp Salad, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

Two of my favorite things. I love it when I can come home after rushing around all day and throw together something utterly delicious, that's healthy, and also takes minimal effort to prepare. I feel so accomplished, like I've done something grand. It's almost more satisfying then those meals that take forever to prepare/and or cook.

This recipe is a prime example of that. Most everything I had laying around (even the shrimp, which is not recommended on pizza by the way).

Recipe: Spicy Asian Shrimp Noodles


- 1 package rice noodles
- 1/2 lb. shrimp
- 2 medium carrots grated
- 1/8 cup spicy teriyaki sauce
- 1/8 cup sweet chilli sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1/4 lime juice
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. fish sauce
- 3 cloves garlic minced


1.Mix the teriyaki sauce, and the sweet chilli sauce together
2. Skewer the shrimp and grill on grill pan or bbq, brushing with teriyaki/chilli sauce (reserving the rest for the pasta).
3. Prepare noodles according to package (generally you boil water and then pour the boiling water over the noodles in a covered bowl, allowing to sit 2-5 mintues).
4. Put everthing between cilantro and garlic into a jar or shaker and shake well. Pour this over the pasta, toss.
5. Add shrimp and crushed peanuts if you like.

And viola!
Simple, easy, and really very scrumptious!

When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie. . That's Amore!

Raynes Pre-baked Pizza Pie, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

For Rayne's Birthday we had a "make your own pizza" night as well as an outdoor movie, The Godfather. It was lovely. Like I said in a previous post, birthdays this year are going to be on a much smaller scale, still wonderful, but not as grandiose. And this was just that, intimate, delicious, and still very special.

Make your own pizza night made me realize just how much I love cooking with people, and not just for them. Everyone was in the kitchen kneading, rolling, saucing, sprinkling toppings and baking. All drinking sparkling apple wine with raspberries and lemon zest, talking, playing and laughing together.

And the pizza itself was AMAZING! Quite possibly the greatest pizza I've ever had. I cheated, and bought dough from Fairhaven Pizza located just down the street. I love their whole wheat crust, but our pizzas were better than any I've had there. If you want to hold your own "make your own pizza night" might I suggest you buy your pizza crust (makes things easier), and as far as toppings go here are some suggesstions (what we had):

- sliced shitake
- caramelized onion
- kalamata olives
- red onion
- white onion
- fresh basil
- spicy italian sausage
- asiago
- dubliner cheese
- feta
- marinated artichoke hearts
- fresh mini mozorella balls
- avocado (not good)
- shrimp (also, not good)
- green onion
- garlic (both roasted, and fresh)
- tomato
- red pepper
- orange pepper

I think that's all of it, and it was truly fantastic.
I highly recommend cooking with people sometimes as opposed to cooking for them, or being cooked for. It really brings everyone together, and was absolutely perfect for a birthday celebration.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How to Eat a Pizza

How to Eat a Pizza, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

You will be seeing a lot more of make your own pizza night, otherwise known as "Rayne's Seventeenth Birthday Party"!

Stay tuned. . .

Breakfast of Champions. . .

Super Potatoes, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

Champions that lay around the house in their pajamas all Sunday morning that is. I had a rough week last week, and Sunday just reminded me that Monday was just around the corner.

Super potatoes is at the top of "Mallorys Favorite Breakfasts" list for sure. They're everything I love, fried in a pan and topped with lots of cheese. Because of this, we only eat them once every few months. In fact it may have been close to a year since my last batch of super potatoes. We got the idea from a local diner, and with most food, I was able to make them better. I find that most places (especially concerning breakfasts) don't put enough stuff into their super potatoes. There are never enough veggies, certainly not enough cheese, and generally no egg. I get that all these things when used in copious amounts would cost an establishment extra money, so in my opinion it's worth it to make these at home. You can add as much stuff as you want, and you generally have enough leftover for a quick breakfast monday morning. I warn you though, re-heating this Monday morning will make you long for another lazy Sunday morning. . .

Recipe: Super Potatoes


1 bag of frozen cube hashbrown potatoes
1/2 red onion sliced
2 or 3 cloves garlic minced
8 breakfast links (fresh, none of that pre-cooked shit)
4 slices bacon diced
2 fresh sweet tomatoes diced
salt and pepper to taste
3 TBL olive oil
3 TBL butter
3 eggs
1 cup of shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar and Dubliner)


1. Saute sausage, bacon, onion, garlic and olive oil in a deep frying pan, until sausage is cooked and onion begins to soften.
2. Add butter, allow to melt.
3. Add potatoes.
4. Cook all of this together on medium heat for about a half an hour. Stirring occasionally until potatoes begin to brown.
4. Add egg, cook an additional 3-5 minutes.
5. Stir in cheese (reserve a handful), and fresh tomato, cook another 1-2 minutes.
6. Top with reserved cheese. Turn off pan, and allow cheese to melt.

I like it with ketchup. Thomas with hot sauce. Plain is just as delicious.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cheese, for Dessert?

Top., originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

Alright so this post is nearly two weeks in the making. When we had cheese night I decided we needed something sweet for dessert, and it only seemed appropriate to have a cheese related dessert. I've watched enough food tv, especially Everyday Italian (the girl likes Mascarpone), to whip something up sans a recipe. I already had some whipping cream on hand, I also had strawberries, all I needed was some Mascarpone and something cruncy and sweet to pull my idea together.

What I came up with was a layered dessert that featured a mixture of whip cream folded into a sweet vanilla bean mascarpone, layered with sweet strawberries, and a mixture of two different kinds of cookies, chocolate and almond.

This dessert is light, extremely delicious, and because there are so many layers it has an amazing but cohesive complexity. It's like a party in your mouth!

Recipe: Layered Mascarpone Dessert


1 double chocolate cookie 1 almond cookie crumbled
8 oz. of mascarpone
4 oz. cream
6 Tablespoons of Vanilla Sugar
25 strawberries sliced and sugared

For mascarpone cream:

1. Whip cream with 3 TBL of vanilla sugar. Transfer to a medium sized bowl.
2. Whip mascarpone with the remaining 3 TBL of vanilla sugar until light and fluffy (appx. 5 minutes)
3. Gently fold whip cream into mascarpone.
4. Put mixture into a piping bag.


1. Pipe layer of mascarpone into bottom of champagne or martini glass.
2. Top with layer of strawberry slices.
3. Pipe another layer of mascarpone
4. Top with layer of cookie crumbs
5. Repeat steps 1-5 until you get to the top of your glass with a mascarpone layer. Garnish with whatever you like, I used a sprig of mint, a strawberr slice, and a light dusting of cookie crumbs.

I love light desserts, and this one fits the bill. It's sweet, airy, crunchy, and slighty fruity. Yum! Enjoy!


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cheese Night

Our Cheese Spread, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

I'll tell you something, if you spend a Monday evening as if it were a Saturday evening you'll feel much better that the next day is Tuesday, and for most of us, the second day of that long stretch known as the work week.

I love cheese, most any cheese really, but I especially love a good artisan cheese. Lauren and her parents went to a cheese festival in Seattle and brought back numerous blocks, wheels, and wedges. We were fortunate enough to have her offer to bring a few over for a cheese night.

I stopped by Youngstocks and picked up a plethora of fruit, Vis for Rockshrimp, and Avenue Bread for a large baguette. I made a delicious simple, fresh shrimp "salad" with the rockshrimp, we cut and toasted the baguette with olive oil and rubbed fresh garlic all over it, and sliced up the apples, grapes, strawberries and kiwi. I had a sheet of puff pastry left over from some other dinner fete, so I sliced that up in squares and baked them plain.

We drank two bottles of wine, ate cheese, fruit, shrimp, and baguette in the warm glow of candlelight as night slowly fell. Before I knew it we were surrounded by black, and the clock read nearly eleven. I guess time really does fly when you're with those you love. We finished the night with a cheese dessert (to follow), and a few warm cups of sweet tea. I don't think I've had such a lovely Monday. . .ever.

Thanks Lauren and Asher, it was such a pleasure to start off our week with you both especially in such a lovely way. . .


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Under Construction.

under construction., originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

I'm trying to find a much better template for my blog, and I'm struggling, so you may see it look silly, and be changing a lot over the next few days.

I found this picture in my many thousands on the computer, the most construction related photograph I think I might have. . . .

Sunday, June 03, 2007

You can't judge a book by it's cover. Or can you?

Nutella Cake., originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

As I may have already mentioned I am rarely if ever 100% pleased with anything I bake. However, I think this could be to my advantage. I remember reading an interview in some magazine on some celebrity about how they were never 100% satisfied with their work, but that they believed that this was a good thing because they were always striving for better thus honing their skills and making them better at their craft. If that makes sense. Therefore I feel that my criticism of my food will simply make me strive for better the next time, ultimately resulting in a (hopefully) better product. Plus, when it comes to baking I don't believe in perfection, there is always room for improvement. Most people (Lauren) who eat my food may disagree, most everything I make seems to go over really well. But I generally can find little things I'd like to change about the flavor or texture etc. This doesn't, however, mean I don't enjoy what I make, not in the least. This cake is a prime example.

This cake is extremely good, yet shockingly bad for you. I won't give you the nutrition facts because I don't want it to deter you from trying it, because hey, you could die tomorrow and your ghost may feel really sad it never once had the pleasure of devouring a piece nutella cake. It's a Nigella Lawson recipe from her How To Be A Domestic Goddess cookbook. I changed one thing, instead of a dark chocolate ganache I covered it with a nutella ganache, which I think was much better. Although this cake has a whole jar of Nutella the flavor really doesn't shine through, but the nutella ganache really helps it do just that. I think a dark chocolate ganache would've just further masked the Nutella. I've read this in other blog posts about this cake, so I was prepared to tweak the recipe a bit to try to magnify the Nutella properties.

When taken out of the oven this cake has quite the dome, which will shortly fall (from what I saw of all the pictures floating around on the web, this was supposed to happen). Because of this the cake looks almost like a brownie, or torte, it looks as though it would be very dense, and thick, with little to no crumb. But it's not that at all. This cake has a lot of air and is surprisingly light in your mouth, probably due to the 6 whipped egg whites and no flour. It also has a lot of crumb. So I was put off by the texture, since my mind was expecting this dark, rich, thick cake. It is dark, and rich I guess, but not thick. In all of the posts I read they didn't mention this. And the pictures are quite misleading, even mine. It does not taste how the picture looks. This does not mean that it doesn't taste good, but it is more dry than to be expected. It still has a wonderful chocolate flavor to it, and the toasted nuts give the texture a boost of flavor and crunch. The Nutella ganache is what really put it over the edge for me. It was extremely rich and gooey, and gives it a moistness the cake is lacking. I think I may have bordered on disliking the cake had I not finished it with the Nutella ganache. Instead of posting the entire recipe, you can find it here:

To make a Nutella ganache I simply used about 1/4 cup of Nutella and a few Tablespoons of heavy cream, cooked over low heat until it was the perfect spreading consistency.

I served this cake with a small scoop of Hazelnut Gelato, they made a perfect (yet devilishly bad for you) pair.