Giant Souffle Muffins with Strawberry Sauce

I saw these giant pancake souffle muffins on The Noble Pig and had to make them immediately. These would be perfect for brunch. 
They were so light and airy, simply delightful I tell you! 

Pancake Souffle Muffins with Spiced Strawberry Pinot JamAdapted from Fine Cooking
Makes 24 muffins

Nonstick Cooking Spray
10.5 oz (2-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
4.5 oz. (1 cup plus 2 Tbs) cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 oz (6 Tbs) unsalted butter, melted  and cooled slightly
6 Tbs granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/3 cups buttermilk, room temperature
Confectioners sugar, jam, maple syrup

Position rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400o F.  Liberally spray two 12-cup muffin pans with cooking spray.  Don't miss a spot.

In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large, clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed to firm (but not dry) peaks, 2 to 3 minutes.  Set aside.

In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the mixer on the medium-high speed until thick, ribbony, and lemon-yellow, about 6 minutes.  Add the melted butter, sugar and vanilla; mix on medium-low speed until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add one-third of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed.  Add one-third of the buttermilk and mix to combine.  Alternate adding the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk, ending with the buttermilk and mixing until just combined.  With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter, leaving some streaks.  (The batter may be prepared up to this point up to 2 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

Fill the muffin cups to the rim.  Bake, rotating the pans after 10 minutes, until browned on top and puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out dry, about 20 minutes.

To remove muffins, gently swirl an offset spatula around each muffin and pop it out.


Gnocchi with Slow Cooked Pork Rib Ragu

Since my gnocchi last month came out so good I decided to give it another go with a pork rib ragu this time. I saw the original recipe for the ragu {HERE} on a blog I love called Closet Cooking.

This recipe is RICH, and VERY flavorful! It melts in your mouth. LOVE!
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds beef short ribs or pork ribs, 2-3 inches long
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
  • 1 piece parmigano reggiano (parmesan) rind, optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  1. Soak the mushrooms in 1/2 cup boiling water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Sear the short ribs until brown on all sides and set aside.
  4. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the oil and fat from the pan and reduce to medium heat.
  5. Add the onions, celery and carrots and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and anchovy paste and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  7. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan.
  8. Add the ribs, the mushrooms and their liquid, tomato puree, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, thyme, rosemary, fennel, parmigano reggiano rind, bay leaves, salt and pepper and enough beef stock to cover the ribs.
  9. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to a preheated 350F oven and cook until the meet is falling off the bones, about 3 hours.
  10. Remove the beef from the pan, set aside to cool
  11. Puree the sauce.
  12. Pull the meet of the bone, shred it, return it to the sauce and simmer to thicken if desired.


Gnocchi Recipe
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, about 2 large ones
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Prick the potatoes a few times with a fork.
  2. Bake in a preheated 400F oven until tender, about an hour.
  3. Scoop the inside out of the potatoes and mash them.
  4. Mix in the egg and enough of the flour to form a soft dough that is not too sticky to work with.
  5. Knead the dough for a minute and then roll it out into 4 long thin rolls about 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Cut the rolls into 1/2 inch pieces and then roll the pieces in flour lightly shaking off any excess.
  7. Roll the pieces over a gnocchi board or a fork to give them the ridges.
  8. Cook the gnocchi in boiling water in small batches until it floats to the surface, about 2-3 minutes, remove and drain 


A week in My World

Here's a few iPhone shots to sum up my week. 

Everyone said it would probably take longer for life with 2 babies 14 months apart to get easy and fun but luckily we are already there. 
The first 6 weeks were ROUGH!!! But now I couldn't be happier these 2 are so close in age. They already play together and make each other laugh. It's so cute. I'm so glad they have each other. I can't imagine it any other way.

GG and her daddy! How precious are they?

4 months and 2 weeks old already and getting soooooo cute.

Daddy's Girl

When Milton wakes up from his nap he's REALLY cranky for about an hour so I put him on my back and he calms down.

He gives her kisses all day long. LOVE IT!

GG in her new bonnet.

Snuggles with mama

And this one is my favorite. Here you can see just what I mean about me being so glad they are so close in age. They love each other so much. It just fills me with joy!


A Little Giveaway Just for the Heck of It

Okay folks, I have been seriously cleaning out my closet including shoes and accessories. I have been feeling so empowered by my weight loss. It feels great to really see results when you focus and work at it. I have lost 25 pounds so far. I am finally out of the plus sizes. YAY!!! I am almost half way there already and sooooooo excited about it. I still have 35 pounds to go but I know I can do it. 
I bought a BUNCH of stuff from Forever 21 the other day to celebrate. I figure it's cheap enough that I can afford to buy some new outfits even if I won't fit in them soon. 
Anyway, As I was cleaning out my closet I noticed that I still have this lovely J.Crew necklace that I have NEVER worn. Nope. Not even once. 
Its really cute. It's long and hangs about mid chest. This length, although really cute, isn't great for me because I am well endowed. Anyway since it's J. Crew and brand spankin new I thought maybe I'd just give it to one of you since you all make me so happy everyday.

Enter to win it! Open Worldwide! The giveaway will end Friday June 4th.

Please share with me your most helpful and successful weight loss tip! 

That's it! And Thanks so much. I love you all to death! You just make me happy all the time! 


Fresh Fettuccini

Fresh Pasta:
1 1/2 cup semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water

Mix salt and flour. Pour flour mixture onto counter top and make a well. Crack 2 eggs in the center of the flour well and beat with a fork. Now ad water and olive oil and slowly mix with flour. Once all the ingredients are mixed, knead dough with your hands for about 10 minuets adding small amounts of semolina flour as needed. The dough ball should not be sticky. It should be manageable.  Let the dough rest in a plastic bag or rag for 30 minuets. Now roll in pasta roller or with a rolling pin to desired thickness and cut. 
Boil in a large pot of salted water for 1-4 minuets. As soon as the pasta floats, it's done. Enjoy!

For these noodles I used {THIS} spaghetti bolognese recipe! 


New York Times Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Please so yourself a favor and make these chocolate chip cookies! THEY ARE AMAZING!!!! 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Jacques Torres
Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt.
1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.


Blast From The Past

Recently I was digging in an old keep sake box looking for something and I found this newspaper clipping so I thought I'd share it. I thought it was funny seeing me so young as a waitress. I was a waitress for 12 years by the way. I actually really miss it. It was so much fun. Being a waitress is actually very similar to being a nurse. It's just that the multitasking and running around I'm doing now is much more important but the same job skills really.

This was a restaurant called Reginelli's in New Orleans. It's bizarre because the morning that we evacuated for Katrina I had actually gone into work and the owner's called and said to board up the windows and close the shop so we did and I've never been back since that morning 6 years ago.

I really miss living in New Orleans. It was  a REALLY big adjustment for me when I first moved there and then I grew to L*O*V*E  it. I have only been back once since hurricane Katrina. I really wish we could get back there more. We just missed Jazz Fest which was always one of mine and my hubby favorites. We loved the Jazz and Gospel tents. Mainly I miss the AMAZING food in New Orleans.  Oh it makes me crazy just thinking about it. I had never had food that amazing in a all my life. It's a whole different experience down there. MISS IT!!
If you ever get the chance to visit to New Orleans, I HIGHLY recommend it!


Shrimp, artichoke and shitake mushroom penne with mascarpone cream sauce

2-3 artichoke hearts cooked and quartered
2 hand fulls of shitake mushrooms, cleaned
4 cloves of garlic through garlic press
25-40 raw shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper 
2 tablespoons butter for cooking
1 pound pasta

. Steam artichoke hearts for about 20 minuets. Set aside to cool. Peel and clean. Cut hearts into 4. Boil 2 quarts of salted water for pasta. In a large frying pan saute garlic and mushrooms in butter until slightly wilted, about 5-10 minuets. Now add artichoke hearts, cream,  mascarpone cheese, and salt and pepper. Lastly add the shrimp and cook until just pink, only a few minuets. Turn off heat and add your pasta directly into sauce when ready.


Je T'aime........Ma douce

This is my newest idea. I thought an egg carton would be an adorable way to package cake balls for a Valentine's Day gift, birthday gift, shower or anniversary gift.
 I used the maraschino twine from The Twinery to make my letters and I glue gunned them on.
I used {THIS} recipe for the red velvet cake to make the cake balls and I dipped them in white chocolate and white chocolate shavings.
What do you think? These 2 were my first attempts so I'm sure if I practiced I could get them a little more polished looking. I have been dabbling with the idea of opening my own catering business and I think these would be a great addition.

This one says, "I love You, My Sweet" in French

This one says, " a little sweet, for you my darling"
After making them, I decided I likes the first one much better because it was shorter and easier to read. It'a all about trial and error.


Ginger 4 Months

 I just had to share this video with you all because it's way too cute. Little Ginger learned to laugh a few weeks ago and it is so darling. I can't believe how fast the time is going. She is so big already.


Bacon, Cheddar, Herb Cupcakes and My Birthday Part 2

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup milk
Corn sliced off 2 corn cobbs
1/3 cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used rosemary, thyme and chives)
3/4 cups cooked chopped bacon

for topping:
( a note about the topping. This TOTALLY unnecessary. I made it to top the cupcakes to look cute and it was delicious but these would be great without it. Mu husband preferred it without)

8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese(room temp)
1/4 cup sour cream (room temp)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Spray 2 muffin pans with non stick cooking spray. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl. Now in another bowl, mix together all the remaining ingredients. Then mix wet and dry ingredients together. Scoop into muffin pans. Bake  at 350 degrees for 12-15 min or until golden.
For topping beat all ingredients at room temperature and pipe onto cupcakes. Garnish with fresh herbs.

My Birthday Part 2
So here is a little update about the second half of my birthday celebration. I must admit I got VERY spoiled this years. For about 2 years prior to this we didn't do gifts for anniversary, birthdays, or even Christmas because our finances were so tight. Now that I have gone back to work it has given us just a little bit of wiggle room so I guess my hubby took advantage off it and bought me some wonderful gifts. I had one of the best birthday's I've had in a long time.

He surprised me with this AMAZING vintage waffle iron that had never been used, straight out of the box. Isn't it cute? You better bet I tried it out Immediately. We had homemade waffles for my birthday breakfast and this Sunday I'm planning on making cheddar cheese waffles and fried chicken! I LOVE this gift! 

He also surprised me with a new Le Crueset. We have a le crueset dutch oven and a larger le creuset stew pot in the same color but this is perfect for smaller meals. LOVE IT!!!

And, my favorite birthday gift of all an emerald pendant to go with my ruby pendant that I got when Little Milton was born. And it's from the same local jeweler who made all our wedding rings.

Let's just say I was stunned!!!! 
Isn't it gorgeous?

love. love. love.

Here it is with the necklace I already had from when little Milton was born. I LOVE it. I'm so wearing it everyday. 

So, I think it's safe to say my birthday was AMAZING this year. Isn't my hubby the greatest?



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