Walnut Brownie Pie

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I am on vacation from my job as a cake decorator so what do I spend most of my day doing? I spend several hours of my vacation day looking at cakes on Instagram and watching a cake on YouTube on how to decorate cakes, specifically how to do various ruffle style cakes.

This isn’t a recipe for cake. This is a recipe for a lovely brownie for two. The first time I made this recipe I didn’t have a 6″ spring form pan. I used a 6″glass pie pan instead and it worked just fine. So enjoy your brownie while I resume my cake free vacation.

Walnut Brownie Pie

¼ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup flour
3 TBS baking cocoa
¼ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup powdered sugar
1 TBS baking cocoa
2 ½ tsp milk
In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour and cocoa. Slowly add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the walnuts. Coat a 6 inch round spring form pan with cooking spray and dust with sugar. Add batter. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degree for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Remove sides. In a small bowl, mix frosting ingredients together and spread over the brownie. Serve

Porcupine Meatballs

IMG_1405 (3)My mom would tell you she isn’t a very good cook. I would disagree. My mom is a great cook. She just isn’t a fancy cook and that is okay. When I was a kid, she worked outside the home, first demonstrating that new fangled gadget, the microwave and then in her own business. So when it came to feeding her family she didn’t have time to spend hours hunting down hard to find ingredients or spend hours standing over a stove. My mom needed meals she could get on the table in a timely manner and that her family would eat. Not always an easy thing to do with three kids.

Porcupine meatballs were a favorite meal of mine was a kid and still are as an adult. I tweaked the recipe to remove the processed instant rice and cream of tomato soup all without adding any cooking time or changing the flavor of the recipe. I like to serve a baked potato on the side so I can smother it with the tomato gravy.

Porcupine Meatballs

¼ cup long grained white rice
¼ cup water
½ tsp salt
dash pepper
dash garlic powder
½ lb ground beef
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
½ cup water
1 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire
In a bowl combine ¼ cup water, rice, salt, pepper, garlic powder and ground beef. Mix well. Shape into 1 ½ inch balls. In a large skillet, brown the meatballs and drain off the fat. Combine the tomato sauce, ½ cup water, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well and pour the sauce over the meatballs. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes until meatballs are cooked and rice is tender.
Adapted from my Mom’s recipe

Spice Rubs

This post is for Audrey over at Lady Melady, My Castle, My Food. Recently she had a run in with a rancid dry rub she had purchased and it seems to put her off spice rubs, not that I blame her. I have had these rub recipes in my post stockpile for quite some time so I thought I would share. When done right, spice rubs are amazing things. They can take a boring piece of meat and turn it into something special. Spice rubs can be used in many things besides meat. They can flavor soups, veggies, and pasta. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a spice rub show up on Chopped during the dessert round someday.

The following recipes are for two traditional rubs. I didn’t tweak these recipes in any way other than to reduce the amount it made. Just rub as much or as little of the spice mix onto the meat as you want and cook it as usual. If you need more rub the recipe is easily doubled or even tripled.

Carolina Spice Rub

1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp brown sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
1 TBS paprika
Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container. Use as a rub for chicken or pork.

Kansas City Spice Rub

2 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS paprika
¾ tsp black pepper
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp chili powder
¾ tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container. Use as a rub for chicken or pork.

Stir Fry Sauces

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Stir fries are a great way to use up the little bits of meats and vegetables that accumulate over the course of the week. You know the stuff I am talking about, those meats and vegetables that aren’t enough to make a meal but are too much to throw away. You can use things like leftover cabbage, celery, carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, green beans, baby corn, pork, chicken or beef. What you use for the vegetables and protein doesn’t really matter because what really makes a stir fry shine is the sauce.

I have been collecting and trying different stir fry sauces from different sources for years. I have even attempted my creating my very own from stuff I had in my fridge. Here are a few of my favorites. All the ingredients should be easy to find at your local grocery store.

I never really measure my vegetables when I make a stir fry. When my 3 quart frying pan is full I stop. Have all the vegetables chopped and the sauce made before you start cooking once the first veggies hit the pan things move very quickly.

Mollie's Stir Fry Sauce

¼ cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS rice or distilled white vinegar
1 TBS ketchup
2 tsp fresh ginger, mince
1 tsp dark sesame oil
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Adapted from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest

Sesame Oyster Sauce

1 TBS minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp chili garlic sauce
½ cup water
1 ½ TBS cornstarch
Mix all the ingredients together and stir well. Use over a stir fry of pork, mushrooms, green onions and cashews

Julie’s Stir Fry Sauce

¼ cup soy sauce
2 TBS hoisin sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour over sautéed stir fry vegetables and cook until slightly thickened.

This is the recipe I created

Rhubarb Pie


Only 19 more days until I go on my trip to Minneapolis with my friend, Steph. We are both big fans of the CW show, Supernatural and we are going to the very first Supernatural convention in Minnesota. I am very excited. I haven’t been on a trip in a very long time and Steph and I always have a good time no matter what we do.

The problem with going on trips is that they are expensive so I am saving every penny I can between now and the convention. This means eating at home or at a home made meal and not spend a penny more than I have to until I leave for my trip. This doesn’t mean that I have to eat nothing but ramen noodles for the next three weeks. One of the great things about being able to cook is that I can eat and eat well, even when I am strictly budgeting my money.

I can even afford to have dessert. Rhubarb is my second favorite fruit. I use it in the spring and summer when I can’t get fresh cranberries. The apartments on either side of mine have huge patches of rhubarb that no one ever uses so I got permission to use them and boy have I been using them. This pie is sweet and tangy and everything rhubarb pie is meant to be. So don’t worry, Dean. Whenever you and Sam are hunting in North Dakota there will always be pie for you.

Rhubarb Pie

2 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed
2 cups boiling water
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ TBS all-purpose flour
½ tsp quick cooking Tapioca
3 TBS lightly beaten egg
1 tsp cold water
Pastry dough for 5 inch double crust
1 ½ tsp butter
Place the rhubarb in a colander; pour the boiling water over the rhubarb and allow to drain. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, flour and tapioca. Add the drained rhubarb and toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cold water. Stir into the rhubarb mixture. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll one half of the dough into a 1/8 inch thick circle; transfer to a 5” deep pie plate. Trim even with the rim. Add filling; roll the remaining dough into 1/8 inch thick circle, slightly larger then the pie plate. Place over filling and trim, seal and flute the edges. Cut slits in the top and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 350 degrees. Bake 40-50 minutes longer until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.