Brine – Bag friendly? Doubtful…


I have always been a huge fan of the retail chain Williams-Sonoma. I have several books, pans, and other cooking utensils that I love, have lasted for years, and still look as good as new. Yet even the greats can have their faux pas. Enter Brining Bags. Aka, a beautifully packaged, romantically marketed glorified zip loc bags created to hold way more weight than I’m comfortable putting in a plastic bag.


To my cooks and aspiring cooks out there, picture this, Thanksgiving Eve, prepping a 20 pound turkey to be brined in a few gallons of aromatic liquid, and you’re going to trust a bag??? I will buy one of these when Trojan creates them!

If you’re into brining and don’t want to end up with a salmonella laden wading pool in your kitchen, consider a large stock pot. You’ll thank me. I am not the “accidental” chef without cause.


Ice Cream Cake, Part 2

Last night I was having some friends over for a FOS date, plus an excuse to have someone to watch Glee with. Having three guests also gave me the delightful opportunity to make my Ice Cream Cake.

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Old Pics from My Catering Days

I came across these pics this morning, and I’m glad I found them. I used to have them all up on an MSN spaces site, but I lost the content when they migrated over here to Word Press (I had so rarely used the site at that point, I don’t even know if I knew how to log in anymore).

In any case, here’s some fun stuff I used to do. Pardon the photo quality, many of these 2003/2004 cell phone pics.

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Quick Cheesecake Brownies

Whenever I want to bring a homemade-esque dessert to an event and I want to do it in a pinch, I revert back to semi-homemade tactics and make cheesecake brownies. They are ridiculously easy, versatile, and best of all, taste phenomenal.

Now the reason I say semi-homemade is because I prefer boxed brownie mix over making brownies from scratch. Not to say that brownies from scratch are difficult, but for some reason I have always preferred the taste of Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines in my mouth (that’s what she said, anyone?). Plus, we’re talking about doing stuff in a pinch.

To make the browines, you follow the recipe on the box as indicated. Pour the batter in your pan, and set aside, do not bake immediately.

For the cheesecake topping you’ll need:

  • One 8 ounce block or container cream cheese, softened
  • One cup sugar
  • One egg
  • A teaspoon or two of vanilla
  • OPTIONAL – Your desired flavoring or coloring – a liqueur, food dye if you’re feeling festive, syrup such as butterscotch, etc.

Cream the sugar and cream cheese with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer until smooth. Mix in egg, vanilla, and optional flavorings. Spread the mixture over your brownie batter. You may either marble topping in swirling around with a knife, or you can smooth it on top to keep it a separate layer. Bake according to brownie package directions. It’s that easy!

An example of green cheesecake brownies I made for a Jets-themed party. All it took was a few drops of green food coloring in the cheesecake mixture.

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Ice Cream Cakes

I have been longing for an occasion to create an ice cream cake lately, particularly one with Carvel-style crunchies. In doing some research here on the interwebs, sources say Carvel crunchies can be made with their flying saucer cookies (like chocolate wafer cookies) and magic shell.

Now, I being psycho, did my research and a side-by-side comparison of ingredients in the Flying Saucer cookies, the cookie crumb topping from Blue Bunny Chocolate Lovers Ice Cream Sundae Cone (another favorite of mine in terms of crunch), and Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers. All of them had similar ingredients such as enriched flour, cocoa, sugar, and everyone’s favorite heart stopper (literally), partially hydrogenated oil.

Having done my research, I feel pretty good about putting one of these bad boys together, along with some other ice cream novelties I’ve been wanting to create at home but haven’t had a reason beyond this blog to do so. Continue reading