Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gorilla Bread

Class started again yesterday...

Gross, I know.

That break felt about as long as a blink.

I remember when I used to be so excited to go to school. I used to LOVE school. I loved it so much that in 4th grade I decided to sleep on the living room floor the night before the first day of school...in my yellow, green and blue velvet dress, and white tights, and my black mary janes...

No joke, my mom woke me up that morning for school and I shot out of that sleeping bag so fast and declared in my annoyingly high-pitched 9-year-old voice "I'm Reaaaddddyyyy!!"

I don't even know that I ate that morning. I am pretty sure I grabbed my barbie back-pack that always looked like it was swallowing me and ran to the corner of my street to wait for the bus.

We had it made back in elementary school. I mean who else remembers how incredibly awesome it was to have a pizza party, where you could eat at your desks! Whaaaat?!

And the bake sales...oh the bake sales...There was always someone who made that "monkey bread". I never knew what the stuff was except that the more I ate, the more I fell in love.

What happened to this enthusiasm for learning and waking up in the morning? That, I don't know. Now, the only thing that gets me out of bed is the smell of coffee coming from my kitchen (thank God I can set that thing ahead of time), peanut butter banana oatmeal and the promise that the weekend is that much closer.

I don't have the promise of monkey bread or pizza parties anymore. But, I did stumble upon this "gorilla bread" and was immediately taken back to the "monkey bread days". Yep, I am so making this.


I meant to only have one piece but one turned into 1 1/2 which turned into 2 and that turned into 2 1/2 and then I think I had a sugar black-out...

That's okay with me because this stuff rocks. I am telling you, make it...it's a Paula Deen recipe which means there is an abundance of sugar and butter...you know it's good.

What makes this stuff better than monkey bread? Yes, I said better...there is cream cheese in it! It's monkey bread with creamy goodness.

Yeah, I thought that might get you to go to the grocery store.

Good choice my friend...good choice.

Gorilla Bread
From foodnetwork.com


1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside.

Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan.

Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cut-Out Cookies

As of about 15 minutes ago I finished reading my latest book "The Help". Already the grieving process has started (if you read my last post, you'll understand).

Now I am just incredibly eager for the movie to come out...2 months from now...perhaps I should have waited to read the book...

But who am I kidding? Patience is not a trait I am familiar with.

You people who are patient are lucky...just saying.

I'm the kind of person who gets antsy when a person is 5 minutes late. By the 6th minute I have convinced myself that something horrible has happened to them...

I often check my school's web site shortly after I take an exam as I am dying to know how horrible I did so I have an excuse to indulge in chocolate gelato....

I paint my nails only to have them ruined in a matter of minutes because I decide that 17 seconds to dry is more than enough time....

And yes, I even watch a pot of lukewarm water and pray to the cooking God's to "hurry it up already! water should be boiling after 2 minutes! easily!"

I could learn a thing or two from you patient people.

This post may come as a shock to you all. Cut-out cookies are not for impatient people. And yes, I know this. But they make such darned good gifts that I can't help myself.

Another thing about me...I tend to think that I can somehow cheat the "time" system by holding my breath and squinting my eyes when I try to complete these tasks in which patience is vital. Such as cut-out cookies.

My cut-out cookies don't come out as pretty as the cake decorator at work (her patience baffles me!) While I find detail important, I also find it impossible to pay attention to.

A little tip for those of you who, like me, curse at the hairdryer every morning you are drying your hair (because "OH MY GOD" it takes too darn long)...if you pair your panic-inducing, time-consuming, detail-oriented activity with a freshly lit candle and a glass of riesling or sweet red wine, your experience shall consists of a little less jaw-clenching and a little more breathing (I can't imagine holding your breath is that good for you)...

And word on the street is a little red wine is. And some dark chocolate. Always allow for some dark chocolate.

Cut-Out Cookies

From Foodnetwork.com


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Royal Icing:
1/4 cup cold water
3 tablespoons meringue powder
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Food coloring, optional


In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and almond extract until combined.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until smooth. Wrap dough in heavy-duty plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with assorted snowflake cookie cutters and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Chill dough 15 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are very lightly browned. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

Paint cookies with Edible Paint Icing. Garnish with silver dragees, sugar pearls and sparkling sugar, if desired.

Royal Icing:
In a medium bowl, combine water and meringue powder; whisk until foamy. Whisk in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Add food coloring, if desired. Use immediately.

NOTE: If you can't find meringue powder you can easily make royal icing by whipping egg whites, a touch of vanilla extract, and powdered sugar together until you get the right consistency (it should be thick, white and glossy). Just thin out that icing with a touch of water.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lighter Egg Salad

I love reading books that are movies...I like to read the books first of course. But I love seeing the books being played out on the big screen and seeing whether or not what I imagined in my mind is what I will see on the screen...

I am the type of person who likes to give something my all so when I start a book, I am hooked. Mentally, I go to a place where nobody can reach me, and I don't want to come back until my nails can be chewed no more, my eyelids are so heavy and my eyes burn so much I can't take it anymore...

I tend to finish books in less than a week...If there is a movie, I HAVE to see it right away. Yes I am guilty of this with "The Notebook", the "Twilight" series, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" series, and now "The Help".

Yes, I just started "The Help" last night and am now about 150 pages in. I am taking a quick break because my eyes were starting to glaze over and I was beginning to forget what real life was like...I was mentally on the cotton fields and developed a thick southern accent.

Basically, I give books so much of myself that when I finish them I am genuinely sad. I read so quickly and am so eager to finish, but when I do there is always a tiny grieving process I go through. If it is a good book, I don't want it to end!

Then, also my life feels so boring, so mundane and irrelevant. Why am I not hiding from my parents in a passionate relationship with a man I am not supposed to love? Why don't I have a vampire boyfriend? Or a mob of Russian spies conspiring against me? Hmph!

I am now getting anxious again to discover what is going to happen next in my current reading endeavor...

I can't really relate books to egg salad...exept that in "The Help" the women have a bridge club meeting and eat deviled eggs...there...that's how I am making books relevant to this post.

Take that!

I have always loved egg salad but am not fond of all of the fat and cholesterol in the yolks. After Easter, I was left with a dozen pastel-colored eggs that looked like they were done by 3-year-olds when in fact they were done by a 23 and 24-year-old...

Don't believe me?

See? Impressive right?

Well hey, we have been out of practice for years. It aint like riding a bike.

Anyways, I turned to my trusted healthy recipe "friend" Ellie Krieger and played around with her recipe. Here's what I got.

Lighter Egg Salad
Adapted from foodnetwork.com


8 hard boiled eggs
4 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/4 cup white onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons pickled relish
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsely, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste


Dice 4 whole eggs and 4 egg whites and put into a small bowl. Add the mayonnaise and mustard and stir with a fork, mashing somewhat for desired consistency. Stir in onions, relish, parsely and season with paprika, salt and pepper.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Herbed Cheesy Polenta

It's official...I have the worst luck with technology. I actually think I repel properly functioning technology.

Earlier this week actually, my touchscreen phone stopped responding to touch. There were dead spots all over and it was causing me intense grief. It actually decided just for the hell of it to delete all of my contacts...great! I decided to order a new digitizer and install it myself. You can probably assume where this is gong to go...

Much to my surprise my new screen arrived 2 days later...alas! I can access the outside world! I was a nervous wreck when I was taking apart my phone but I somehow managed. I removed the crappy screen and when I had just attached my new screen with super glue....but when I tried to remove my hand, it was stuck...

Are you kidding me?!

I had managed to get super glue all over the brand new shiny screen. The screen still worked but the glue bothered me so much that I tried to clean it and scrape it off. While scraping (I am so dumb) I scratched the screen. This caused it not to work at all...in fact it was even worse than the first screen...

I was again forced to order yet another screen. Thankfully this one came again very quickly. I was a nervous wreck installing this one, trying to be super careful and slow with the super glue. I held my breath the entire time and was able to breath a sigh of relief when I removed my hands to find them and my screen glue-free!


I was screwing in the very last of the screws into the back of my phone when I heard a crack. "Oh no no no no no!" I flip my phone over and find that my LCD screen has cracked down the middle.

I give...

The only fix I have now is a glass of wine and dark chocolate.

In other news it is Father's day! My dad is hundreds of miles away and I miss him dearly. I know we will make up for the missed holiday over food and beer the next time I see him, so I have that to look forward to. I miss you and your mullet and even your fanny pack dad! :)

Herbed Cheesy Polenta
From foodnetwork.com


6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
3/4 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Bring the water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, milk, butter, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and pepper, and stir until the butter and cheese melt. Transfer the polenta to a bowl and serve.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Granola

Does anybody else find post-it notes to be one of the best inventions ever? Yes, it's something so simple...sticky little pieces of paper...but I use them ALL the time...

I wish I had thought of those...

I wish I had thought of many things actually...like Facebook, or groupon...or peanut butter. I swear I cannot get enough peanut butter. As a kid I would sit in front of the boob tube watching "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" marathons while spooning an entire jar of Jiff in my face.

Crunchy or creamy? Creamy for sure...More peanut butter or jelly? Peanut butter...duh! Should peanut butter and banana's get married? YES!

I already posted one of my favorite breakfasts that I eat nearly every morning...my peanut butter banana oatmeal...this stuff is what gets me out of bed...I was inspired to make a granola with the same flavors. Its delicious, and healthy and has lots of protein...woot woot!

I have noticed that along with post-it notes I use a lot of "dot dot dots" you know...those?

Peanut Butter Banana Granola
Dame Good


1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
5 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons canola oil
pinch of salt


Heat oven to 350F

Heat peanut butter in the microwave for 20 seconds on high. Stir, then microwave again for 20 more seconds to melt the peanut butter, making it easier to stir. Mash  banana with a fork. Combine peanut butter, banana, vanilla, honey and oil in a medium bowl and mix well.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, peanuts, brown sugar and salt. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Divide the granola in 2 and spread evenly on the baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the trays, stir and rotate and bake again for an additional 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, turn the oven off and remove the trays again and stir the granola, breaking up the chunks. After 5 minutes put the trays back in the oven (that should be turned off) to allow the granola to sit in the oven and finish baking for 15 more minutes.

After 15 minutes remove the trays and allow granola to cool. Store in airtight containers.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Chocolate Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

I love stand-up comedy. I find it most funny when they joke about something you can relate to. One night, when I should have gone to bed early I was distracted by some comedy special and the comedian was making me literally laugh out loud. It was probably 2 AM and I was alone, in my full bed and fuzzy brightly colored cupcake pajama bottoms giggling like a little girl.

The comedian brought up how when you buy clothes there is always an extra button or two attached to the tag. He brought to my attention "why do they give you buttons? why can't they just sew the (bleep!) shirt well enough so that I don't need an extra button!?"

It was funnier when he said it.

But seriously, why is that? Whenever I do happen to lose a button I can never find that extra one anyway. It's quite annoying.

What possessed me to write about this on my blog? I just found some spare buttons in my desk drawer...and yes, I chuckled to myself.

This dessert is another thing I love. I mean really really love. I have declared my love countless times for chocolate and cream cheese and this beauty pairs the two. It's delicious, and yes, I made it for myself...and only myself.

This, I never do. I tend to bake for others...if I were always baking for myself I would be immobile...if you catch my drift....

But this here was a treat to myself...for those endless days of gym, class work, sleep, gym, class, work, sleep...repeat...repeat...repeat....

This got me through my days. This had me salivating in class...salivating at the bar in fact...salivating in my sleep. This will forever be that special treat I will make myself whenever I need it...because we all need that little "me" treat. 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Adapted from ConfessionsofaCookbookQueen.com


Chocolate Velvet Cake Batter:
3/4 cups dark chocolate chocolate morsels
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 egg white
1 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cold butter, cut up
4 oz neufchatel cream cheese (1/2 package), softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon flour
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon skim milk


For Chocolate Velvet Cake Batter:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 1 9 inch springform pan.

Melt dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl at HIGH for 30 second intervals until melted. Stir until smooth.

Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer, beating about 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating until just blended.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until just blended after each addition. Gradually add 1/2 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in vanilla. Spoon evenly into springform pans.

For toppings:
Stir together 3/4 cups flour and brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture until crumbly. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; add granulated sugar and 1/2 tablespoon flour, beating until blended. Add egg and 1/4 tsp vanilla, beating until blended.

Dollop cream cheese mixture over cake batter, and gently swirl through cake batter with a knife. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture evenly over cakes.

Bake for 45 minutes or until set. Let cool on a wire rack.

Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Drizzle evenly over tops of coffee cake.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reuben Calzones with Horseradish Carraway Dip

Hello all! The strawberry festival was great. I have returned home and now have a slight waddle to my step. I could be sad about it but it is so worth it to stuff my face with malt vinegar drenched fries and fried dough covered in powdered sugar and strawberry topping...

Oh, I ate way more than that though...I also inhaled my annual texas tenderloin...dripping in grease and all. I gulped a strawberry smoothie which was probably half sugar and also a strawberry lemon shake-up.

Needless to say, I have a lot of work to do at the gym this week. I mean a lot...the damage I did to my body in two days cannot be undone easily...but everything was oh...so...gooood!

This dish here is something I came up with after making my buffalo chicken stromboli. I used the same dough base recipe but made it with rye flour (you can't have a reuben without rye).

I also wanted a dipping sauce and was inspired by this sauce I had at a restaurant here in German Village called Old Mohawk. It was some kind of horseradish carraway seed dip. I didn't hit the nail on the head, but I got close enough...I was satisfied.

Reuben Calzones
Dame Good

This makes 4 large calzones (feeds 8), 6 medium calzones, or 8 small calzones.


1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups rye flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

12 ounces lean corned beef
32 ounces sauerkraut, drained
6 oz (8 slices) reduced-fat swiss cheese
1 cup reduced-fat thousand island dressing

1 cup fat-free sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons horseradish
3/4 teaspoon carraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon dried parsely
1/2 teaspoon chopped onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)


The earlier you make the dip the better. The longer it sits, the better it tastes. Mix together all of the dip ingredients and refrigerate until the calzones are baked and ready to be served.

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top and let stand 5-10 minutes, or until foamy.

Stir the olive oil, honey and salt into the yeast mixture. Start to mix in all of the flour. When mostly mixed, transfer the dough to a mixer with a dough hook. Once mixed, sprinkle in the dried oregano, garlic powder and onion powder.

Tip dough onto a floured surface and knead until the ball is smooth and the seasoning is mixed in. Put the dough in a large oiled bowl. Spray the dough with cooking spray or roll around in oil so it is completely covered. Cover with a towel or saran wrap and let stand in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

When the dough is doubled, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into two even pieces. Form into a tight ball and let rise an additional 45 min-1 hour.

(These directions are for the 4 large calzones. One of these can feed 2 people)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Divide the dough into 4 even pieces. Try your best to roll each out into a thin 10-in circle. Spread 1/4 cup of the thousand island on half of the dough. Layer two pieces of swiss cheese on top of that. On top of the cheese, layer 3 ounces of the corned beef. Top the corned beef with 1 cup of sauerkraut.

Fold the other half of the dough over the half with all of the fillings. Fold over and pinch the edges so they are tightly sealed.

Poke the calzone a few times with a fork to allow steam to escape. Brush with egg wash and place calzone on a lightly greased baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Strawberry Waffles

It has been a little while since my last post...shame on me. I assure you all though that this doesn't mean I haven't been doing my thing in the kitchen...in fact I have something baking in the oven this second.

I've just been busy...very very busy. Sure that is the most widely used and heard excuse in the book. But it's true I tell you.

It's the last week of class until "summer vacation" which for me is like 18 days that will feel like 18 hours. We all know what the last week of class is like....having no motivation and really struggling to tie up all the loose ends to make sure you pass and move on to the next torturous quarter.

I love college but school and I don't get along. If college could be college without classes I would stay forever. Honestly...well sans "the freshman 15" that is. That wasn't too fun. Am I right or am I right? Boys, you don't know what I'm talking about so scoff away...

Speaking of gaining weight...last year I did a post on my hometowns annual strawberry festival. It is one of my most favorite times of the year and guess what?! It's this weekend. I am heading home in a couple hours and thought I would squeeze in a little time to nurture Dame Good Eats. I'm going to Troy in a pair of skinny jeans and coming back to Columbus in stretchy pants. Just you wait and see...

I would take pictures but to have such a thing documented would be rather embarrassing.

In honor of the strawberry festival I would like to post this recipe I found too interesting to leave alone. I had some extra strawberries from the strawberry tiramisu I made and was looking for something different to do with them...If there is an excuse to use Shawn's waffle maker I'm grabbing a hold of it and holding on tight.

Strawberry waffles....yeah...I know...I too was all "waaaaaah?!" (for those of you who have a pug and know what the questionable/confused head tilt is, that is what I did).

They're tasty...different...but tasty fo sho. Strawberry waffles+fresh strawberries+whipped cream+syrup=done and done.

Now wish me and my arteries good luck this weekend. Please and thank you!

Strawberry Waffles
From food.com

Serves 3


1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons sugar substitute (Splenda)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced strawberry
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons natural applesauce or 2 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg


Combine flours, flax seed, Splenda, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized bowl with a whisk. Form a well in the center in preparation of wet ingredients.

Into a blender, place strawberries, milk, applesauce (or yogurt), vanilla and egg and puree until smooth.

Add the wet strawberry mixture to the dry flour mixture and whisk just until all is moistened. Do not overmix.

Spoon about 1/2 cup batter onto preheated waffle iron that's been coated with cooking spray. Cook until done and crispy.

Serve hot with toppings of your choice: sugar-free syrup, Cool Whip Free and extra sliced strawberries.
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