Monthly Archives: March 2011

Black Licorice Toffee: Mary Bench

Either you love it or you hate it…well…I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE black licorice of any sort.  Plain black licorice, ice-cream, jelly beans…you name it and I will eat it and LOVE every ounce of it.  My friends mom made these a few years ago and I just found the recipe again.  They are absolutely delicious (that is if you like black licorice).   Do you love it?

1 Cup butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups sugar
2 tsp anise or licorice oil
1 1/2 light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp black paste

Use some butter to coat pan.  Add milk, syrup, salt sugar and butter.  Cook over medium heat, stir constantly up to 240 at sea level.  Stir to medium firmness.  Remove from heat, add paste, and oil.  Stir.  Pour into 9×13 pan.


Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas: Lindsay Bench

This was a nice change from the regular enchiladas that I usually make.  It wasn’t Ernie’s favorite but he’s kind of an old man and like to stick with what he knows.  I thought they were delic…thanks Lindz for the recipe 🙂

1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
1 Tb. chili powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds chicken, cooked and shredded (I usually boil mine in salted boiling water until cooked through – about 20 minutes)

Stir together honey, lime juice, chili powder and garlic powder until combined. Add cooked, shredded chicken and let sit on counter and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2 10 ounce cans green enchilada sauce (I use the mild)
1 c. half and half
flour tortillas (I buy the pack of 10)
shredded colby jack cheese

Mix enchilada sauce with half and half. Spread roughly 3/4 c. of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 X 13 ” baking dish. Fill flour tortillas with marinated chicken and shredded cheese, roll-up, then place side-by-side in the baking dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas and top with more cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.

Chunky Monkey Cinnamon French Toast: Kneaders Style

If you have been to Kneaders (which is located in Utah) I hope you have tried their all you can eat french toast.  It is to DIE for.  Since being out in DC we haven’t gotten our fix so I went in search of finding the recipe and low and behold I found something so similar it was almost exactly alike.  We had a Sunday of sugar overload and ate it for breakfast and dinner.  I got it from The Changeable Table which has great pics that goes along with the directions.  I didn’t take any pics but seriously mine look identical to the ones on this blog…and almost identical to Kneaders.



1-1/2 cups nonfat dry milk
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs active dry yeast
8 cups (+ or – ) all purpose flour
1 tsp (heaping) baking powder
1 tsp (scant) baking soda
1 Tbs salt
4 cups HOT tap water
1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup melted butter (I only used about 3/4 cup and it seemed like plenty)
2 cups sugar
2 Tbs cinnamon
brown sugar
additional melted butter if needed

This recipe makes about 6-8 loaves (a great recipe to make and give to friends and neighbors…or a hungry husband and family) depending on how big your bread pans are.  I bought some extra tin ones from the grocery store and they were quite a bit smaller.

Combine dry milk, 1 cup sugar, 2 Tbs yeast, 5 cups of the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a large mixer (I use my large capacity Bosch bread mixer)

Cover with lid, and pulse till dry ingredients are well mixed.

Add the 4 cups hot water and the vegetable oil.  Pulse gently at lowest speed until barely combined.  Scrape down sides and continue beating until smooth.

Add enough additional flour until the dough cleans the sides of the mixing bowl (I used about 9 cups).

Add about 2 Tbs vegetable oil to the bottom of a large mixing bowl.  Place dough in bowl, turning over to coat the top surface.   Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double.

In the meantime, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the filling.  Melt the butter in a large pourable container.  Assemble tools for cutting nearby.

Prepare your pans by lining with squares of parchment.  (Yes, it’s worth it!)  You won’t need to get fancy with the parchment, just press it down into the bottom and up the sides of the pans.  This will make it so much easier to remove from the pans with all that ooey-gooey sugar/caramel mixture.  (And it also makes it easier to push into a bread bag without sticking to the sides…)

Turn dough onto countertop.  The oil should prevent it from sticking, but add additional oil if needed.

Roll dough into a large rectangle – it will take up your entire work surface it seems! (I couldn’t even fit all the dough on my counter)

Pour a generous coating of melted butter over the dough, spreading to the edges with a spatula.  Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.  Add a healthy covering of brown sugar.

Roll loosely, cinnamon roll style.  (Be sure it’s loose!)

Using a dough (or bench) scraper, cut diagonally into 1” slices at a 45 degree angle.  Now, cut diagonally the other direction, in an “X” pattern.  You may wish to roughly chop it a few more times, depending on how “chunky” you like the bread.

Pour a little melted butter into the bottom of each parchment-lined loaf pan.  Heap the chopped dough into pans.  Adjust to even out the dough.  If you have any extra melted butter, you can drizzle it over each loaf – then sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar mixture.

Allow dough to rise till double.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 – 30 minutes, being careful to check for a doughy center.  If it’s still a bit doughy, give it a few more minutes.  Allow to rest in pans for about 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks.

Ernie could eat this bread just the way it is, but for the true Kneaders experience we made it into French Toast and made the carmel syrup to go with it, and topped it with strawberries…the only thing we left out was whipping cream on top but that is an easy fix.

Caramel Syrup:
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup light Karo syrup

Kale Chips

I’ve made these before after I made the Zuppa Toscana and had left over kale, and we made pizza tonight and thought this would go perfect with the meal.  It’s something different than just a salad or veggies.  I think they are super yummy and totally easy.

1 bunch of Kale
Olive Oil to coat
Salt to taste

Directions:  Wash and dry the kale and cut the main vein out placing the bite size leaves in a bowl, then drizzle with olive oil and salt toss and then place on a cookie sheet (I used parchment paper for easy clean up).   Set the oven to 350 and bake for about 15 minutes.

Enjoy a crunchy salty yummy side dish!!!

Spinach Chicken Pasta Salad with Teriyaki Vinaigrette: Melskitchencafe

A friend of mine made this and I had some at her house and she sent me over to this recipe at Mels Kitchen Cafe. As Roman said,  “it was delicious”  Definitely a keeper for summer days when you don’t want to cook.

The recipe says to marinate the pasta in the marinate for at least an hour but I didn’t and it turned out great.

1 cup canola oil
1/3 – 2/3 cup bottled teriyaki sauce (I used 1/3 cup but you may want to add more depending on your taste)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

16 oz. bow tie pasta, cooked al dente, drained and cooled
1 bag fresh spinach (9 – 10 oz)
6 oz. craisins
2 (11 oz.) cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and slivered
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
6 oz. honey roasted peanuts
2 cups cooked chicken, tossed with 2-3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

In a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients and blend until well combined and smooth. Mix about 1 cup of the dressing with the cooked pasta in a large bowl and marinate for at least one hour (Judy has left this step out many times with still great results). Combine the remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Just before serving, add pasta and toss. Add dressing to taste and toss. Serve immediately.


Skewered Chicken Satay: Food Network

I have been craving something curry and I ran across this recipe, and knew I had to try it.  I love curry and peanut sauce so this seemed perfect.  This is suppose to be done on the grill but I just baked it in the oven and then broiled it for a couple of minutes on each side to get that grilled effect.


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 20 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
  • Vegetable oil, for grilling
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Peanut sauce, recipe follows


Combine the yogurt, ginger, garlic, and curry powder in a shallow mixing bowl, stir to combine. Place the chicken strips in the yogurt marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at up to 2 hours.

Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked skewers working the skewer in and out of the meat, down the middle of the piece, so that it stays in place during grilling.  Place the skewered chicken on a broiling pan and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes (or until chicken is done).  I rotated mine about half way through.  Then I broiled them for a minute of each side and then served.   I just served it with brown rice, and the cilantro on the side (I love cilantro and Ernie doesn’t so I just put some cut up cilantro in my peanut sauce and it was super good).

Peanut Sauce: (I cheated and just bought peanut sauce at the store, but I’m sure this is yummy)

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons red chili paste, such as sambal
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish

Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, red chili paste, brown sugar, and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Puree to combine. While the motor is running, drizzle in the hot water to thin out the sauce, you may not need all of it. Pour the sauce into a nice serving bowl and garnish with the chopped peanuts. Serve with chicken satay.