Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Cookies

I love the Christmas season. It is that time of the year where people give back to the less fortunate and shower their loved ones with gifts and affection.

I love to buy things for my family and see their faces when they open each and every gift.

Yes, I love this holiday. Yet there is one thing that I love the most. I love desserts and treats.

Thanksgiving is the time where perfect my side dishes and come up with new side dish recipes, but for Christmas… Christmas is the time when I break out the flour, eggs and sugar and get cracking on all sorts of Christmas goodies.

 I get to experiment with all types of flavors and ideas. Chocolate always makes an appearance but I don't stop there. Sometimes I get tropical by adding bananas, pineapples and mangoes to everything from cheesecake, cookies and cupcakes.

There is no stopping the limits to the goodies that I can produce. My favorite and my traditional treat are Christmas cookies. Everyone loves a good Christmas cookie so I spent all year perfecting new recipes discovering new flavors that can go together to make incredible cookies.

Last year I discovered that I love the taste of chocolate and cherries together. Not that it was a new experience, but I had not had a really good cookie that combined the two extremely well. That is until I discovered the delicious flavor that can be when you mix white chocolate and cherries. So I came up with an incredible cookie that I will love to share with you.


Here is my favorite cookie recipe.
White Chocolate Cherry Cookies  
1 cup or 2 sticks of softened butter   
1 cup of packed brown sugar             
1 cup of granulated sugar                     
2 large eggs                                                
1 teaspoon of vanilla                              
3  cups all purpose flour                            
1 teaspoon of baking soda                  
½ teaspoon of salt                                       
¾ cup of dried cherries   
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and beat until just combined.  Set aside. Sift together flour soda and salt. Add milk to the butter mixture and then add the flour mixture in thirds. Fold in white Chocolate and dried cherries. Do not over mix. Drop 1 inch balls on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 ounces red food coloring
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
Pinch salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy in a bowl. Mix in food coloring and cocoa powdered paste to the creamed butter. In a bowl, whisk together eggs with buttermilk and add to batter. Mix in vinegar and vanilla, and then add flour and baking soda in by thirds gradually. Mix until combined but do not over mix.
Butter two round cake pans. Pour half of the batter into each and smooth the top to even the batter out. Bake cake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan.
When cakes are cooled, top bottom layer with whatever frosting you like.  Top the top layer with frosting and serve.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cherry Cordial Cupcakes


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 eggs

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup milk

1 can of Cherry Pie filling.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Cut a hole in the cupcakes. Be sure to keep the tops.  Fill each cupcake with some of the cherry pie filling.  Put the tops back onto the cupcakes.
Frost with your favorite frosting when cool.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tips for a Stress Free Holiday

If your family is anything like my family, there can be lots of stress surrounding the holidays. It can make you so stressed and so overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do that sometimes you just don't do any of it. Trust me I feel your pain. I too have suffered from the stress. But I've come up with a few ways to get rid of some extra stress. Here are some of my tips to help make things a little easier.

1.) Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!

– To try to do everything yourself. If you have friends children or that has been around give them some of the test to do delegate the work to them. That will take the wraps off of your to do list and give you time to breathe.


2.) Make lists!

– It lessens the stress of the list everything out. Grocery lists chore lists can make things easier. Plus you feel better checking things off the list.


3.) Prepping is key!

– When he comes to that special dinner everything ahead of time planning make Mac & cheese today of? Prep all of your ingredients before the night before. It will save you time and headache the next day.


4.) The store always helps!

– Don't be afraid to take help from the store. You can buy things that are already prepped.  Shorten your prep time for your holiday cooking by utilizing this tip. 


5.) Take time to focus!

– Lastly, take 10 minutes each day to just and do nothing. It helps to clear your mind and get you focused and prepared to check the list.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cheesy Roast Beef Monte Cristo


12 slices of Roast Beef
4 slices of bread (wheat or white)
6 slices of American Cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp parsley flakes
¼ cup of shredded cheese
1 tbsp of butter for frying.


On 1 slice of bread place 1 slice of American cheese. Cover with 3 slices of roast beef.  On top of the roast beef place another slice of American cheese. Place 3 more slices of roast beef and another slice of cheese. Cover with another piece of bread.  Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients and create another sandwich.   Set both sandwiches to the side. 

Butter a skillet and place it on medium heat.

In a bowl beat together the eggs, the shredded cheese and the parsley.  Dunk the sandwiches into the egg mixture until both sides of sandwiches are coated in the egg mixture.  Cook the sandwiches until the egg looks cooked through and the cheese is melted.

Slice on a plate and serve.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup


16oz package of fine egg noodles
3 chicken thighs
½ cup of sliced onions
½ cup sliced bell pepper
2 32 oz boxes of chicken broth
2 tsp of black pepper
½ cup seasoning salt
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
½ cup of red wine vinegar
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried basil (can use fresh basil)
2 tsp dried parsley flakes (can use fresh parsley)

Step 1: Preheat a skillet with oil for frying.  Also get crock pot ready.

Step 2: In a small bowl mix all of the dry ingredients and set aside. In another small bowl mix together the lemon juice, hot sauce and vinegar.

Step 3: In a medium bowl, put in the chicken thighs, half of the dry ingredients and half of the vinegar mixture. Mix until chicken is coated. Let sit for 15 minutes and then move on to step 4.

Step 4: If the oil is ready for frying, place the chicken thighs in the skillet and fry them for 3 minutes on each side. *The point is not to cook them through, but to get some color of the skin.

Step 5: Put Onions and Bell peppers into Crock pot.

Step 6: To the crock pot, add the rest of the ingredients (the chicken thighs, rest of the dry ingredients and vinegar mixture, the chicken broth). *DO NOT ADD EGG NOODLES YET!!!*

Turn the crock pot on high and cook for 4-5 hrs.

Step 7: Add Egg noodles and let simmer until tender.

Step 8: Serve.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

BBQ Chicken Wings for Father's Day

On Father’s Day, I like to make the special men my life an incredible meal.  My husband and most of the meal in my life love anything fried, anything that has to do with chicken and anything smothered in an incredible sauce.  So for the men in my life I like to make them my famous fried chicken wings smothered in my fabulous Chipotle Cooking with Patt’s BBQ Sauce.

Here is the recipe for Cooking With Patt’s BBQ Chicken Wings


Chicken wings

12 chicken wings

3 cups of flour

1 ½ tsp of Pepper

½ tbsp of Garlic powder

½ tbsp of Lemon pepper

1 tsp of paprika

1 tsp of Basil

½ tbsp of Onion powder

½ cup of seasoning salt

1 tsp of garlic salt

Directions for Chicken

Preheat the deep fryer to 350 degrees F.  In a large Ziploc freezer bag or a large plastic bag, Put the flour and the rest of the seasonings into the bag. Coat the Chicken wings with the flour mixture.    Deep fry the wings for 15 minutes. 

Cover them in your favorite BBQ sauce or in Cooking With Patt’s Chipotle BBQ Sauce.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Red Velvet Pancakes: My new favorite Breakfast!

I am always at IHOP.  I just love pancakes and they have a very delicious spread. Well I visited one day and was surprised when they had Red Velvet Pancakes.  I really love anything Red velvet and was so intrigued when I sat down to a nice warm stack. They were so delicious I had to tell everyone.  Well, I decided that I needed to have them whenever I wanted them so…I decided to come up with my own recipe for Red velvet Pancakes.

My entire family loved them and I ended up making them every Sunday for Breakfast…with bacon of course!

Here is my special recipe for Red Velvet Pancakes.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

½ oz of red food coloring

1/4 cup melted butter


Whisk the flour, white sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt together in a bowl until evenly blended; set aside. Beat the eggs in a separate mixing bowl until smooth. Whisk in 1/4 cup milk with the buttermilk. Then whisk in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, vinegar, and food coloring. Stir in the flour mixture in thirds until moistened. Drizzle in the melted butter, and stir until the butter has been blended into the mixture.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle over medium-high heat. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto the griddle, and cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry. Flip, and cook until browned on the other side.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

My daughter and I visited our local grocery store and decided that we wanted something sweet. We decided that we would try their Boston Cream Pie donuts. They were so delicious and they gave me a great idea. I decided that I would make some Boston Cream pie cupcakes.

I made them for the family and they loved them. They were all eaten in just one day. I decided that I would share that delicious Recipe with you.

Boston Crème Pie Cupcakes


1 1/4 cups flour

Click to see savings1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt.

¼ cup cocoa powder

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Click to see savings1 cup sugar

Click to see savings2 large eggs

Click to see savings1 2/3 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 box of vanilla pudding

Chocolate icing (store bought or homemade)



Prepare filling first. Whisk together the vanilla pudding mix and 1 cup of the whole milk. Set aside.

Heat oven to 350° F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, stirring after each addition. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating it with the rest of the milk and mixing just until incorporated. Add the vanilla.

Divide the batter among 12 cupcake tins with paper liners. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cut holes in the middle of the cupcakes removing some of the cake. Save the cut out portions to put back onto the cupcake. Fill the middle of some of the vanilla pudding filling. Place the tops back on the cupcakes. Frost with chocolate icing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Banana Pudding Cupcakes

My Family loves banana Pudding for all occasions. 

We just have a fondness for bananas.  When I was looking for a great dessert to make for mother’s day I decided to make banana pudding. 

Though we enjoy it so much, I was tired of having it the same old way.  I decided to come up with a recipe for banana pudding cupcakes that will give us the same flavors that we love and still be different from the usual.

Here is my recipe for Banana Pudding cupcakes.


1 1/4 cups flour

Click to see saving1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Click to see savings3/4 cup sugar

Click to see savi2 large eggs

Click to s1 2/3 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

½ cup of crushed Vanilla wafers

1 box of banana pudding mix



Prepare filling first. Whisk together the banana pudding mix and 1 cup of the whole milk. Set aside.

Heat oven to 350° F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a bowl of beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, stirring after each addition. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating it with the rest of the milk and mixing just until incorporated. Add the vanilla and fold in half of the crushed vanilla wafers.
Divide the batter among 12 cupcake tins with paper liners. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut holes in the middle of the cupcakes removing some of the cake. Save the cut out portions to put back onto the cupcake. Fill the middle of some of the banana pudding filling and some of the crushed vanilla wafers. Place the tops back on the cupcakes. Frost and decorate. Use some of the crushed wafers to sprinkle on top.   

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kitchen Staple #5: Lemons

I normally have a massive sweet tooth. I love everything that is sweet and despises things tht are bitter or sour.

Yet I really love lemons. I have to have lemons, lemon juice, or lemon pepper in the house to add that perfect taste of lemon to any recipe that I have.
From savory to sweet and sour lemons add such flavor to many meals.
They are bright and they brighten up any dish. I follow in my mother’s foot steps by adding a touch of lemon juice to my spaghetti sauce. It brightens up the other flavors.

It has a fresh flavor and my children and I love to come up with new bright and refreshing Lemon recipes for the Spring.

Cooking with Patt lemon Recipes

v  Pink Lemonade cheesecake

v  Lemon Basil Chicken

v  Spicy Lemon Basil Chicken Noodle Soup

v  Lemon Iced tea

v  Lemon Rice

Friday, April 6, 2012

Kitchen Staple #4: Bell peppers (Red, Yellow, Green and Orange)

My husband is weird.  He claims that he hates bell peppers and just like onions he would never eat them, However when I make Fajitas he is game to give them a try. It boggles my mind because that meal is full of peppers and onions.
My daughter was so used to seeing the green peppers that I tried to trick her by switching up the colors.

She was not fooled. When I collected her plate, I noticed they were all draped across the side. She had picked them all out.

I feel that they do not know what they are missing.  I eat them in everything especially salads and pizza. They are so yummy.  I am trying to convince them of this but they still refuse to eat them.

Oh Well, more for me.

Here are some tasty recipes to get those picky family members eating delicious and yummy bell peppers of all colors!

My favorite Recipes that include bell peppers as a staple

*      Pepper Steak and Rice

*      Sausage and peppers

*      Fajitas

*      Shrimp and Red pepper Linguine

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kitchen Staple #3: Potatoes

So, I decided that I wanted to make homemade potato chips.  I sliced potatoes and deep fried them and they actually came out really delicious. I was so impressed with myself.  My family was too as they gobbled up those potato chips.  I made so many that I decided that I would put them in plastic storage bags so the kids could eat them the next day.

Bad idea.

They next day they were all soggy and nasty.

But don’t get me wrong; though I have made some mistakes with cooking potatoes, I absolutely love them.   They are so delicious. You can use them to make anything tastier.  I noticed that potatoes are the first things that my kids eat when they begin to start eating table food.

I love them because you can do anything with them. You can mash them, fry them, bake them, sauté them.  Anyway you cook them they can be a fabulous meal.  In my family for some reason it is a meal of comfort

I try to always have a bag of potatoes in my kitchen in case I need a side dish or forget to buy a bag of French fries at the store.  I keep them around just in case I decided to make a breakfast scramble on a whim. 

Facts about Potatoes

v  A potato is about 80% water and 20% solid.

v  United States potato lovers consumed more than 4 million tons of French Fries in various shapes and sizes.

v  The average American eats 140 pounds of potatoes per year. Germans eat more than 200 pounds per year.

v  The highest volume baked potato restaurant, The Hot Potato, is located in Plaza las Americas in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

v  One of the most fun items on our list of potato facts is that the potato was the first food ever to be grown in outer space.

v  Potatoes are one of the most important crops in the entire world. They fall at number four on the list of important crops, with only corn, wheat, and rice beating them out for importance.

v  After dairy products, potatoes are the second most consumed food in all of the United States.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kitchen Staple #2: Onions

My mother used to tell me that when I was little I would sneak into the kitchen and take little bites out of the onions in the refrigerator. 

I guess it’s easy to say that I love onions.  I have always loved them. I like them every way I can possible have them.  I can eat them grilled, baked, fried, sautéed etc.  I see them as my number two staples that should be kept in the house at all times.

I love to cook with them; I love them raw on burgers and on tacos. I make sure I have plenty of them on my pizza and on sub sandwiches. I order extra onions when I am eating fast food and I love the way my house smells when I cook with them.

The problem” My family hates them.

My husband cannot stand them.  Whenever we get burgers he picks them off.  It’s fine with me.  I just add them to my burger. 

My daughter is so picky about them.  She hates them.

It is a contentious subject in my house. I have reverted to grating them just so I can sneak in the flavor. And you know what, that is not enough for them. It drives me crazy.  

My husband and my daughters think they are disgusting.  The problem is that I see them as staples in my kitchen.  I rarely cook anything that does not include onions in some way shape or form. 

Then there was a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Sun shining on me and my onion dilemma. I looked up one day and caught my 10 month old daughter in the refrigerator. I look over at her and I realized she snuck an onion from the crisper.  She was munching on it and I could not do anything but smile. Like mother, like daughter. I finally have an ally!

What do you know about onions?

Yellow Onions

Yellow Onions are full-flavored and are a reliable standby for cooking almost anything. Yellow onions turn a rich, dark brown when cooked and give French Onion Soup its tangy sweet flavor.

           Red Onions

Red Onions, with their wonderful color, are a good choice for lots of fresh uses or for grilling, charbroiling, and roasting.

White Onions

White Onions are often used in prepared salads, white sauces, and is the traditional onion for classic Mexican cuisine. They have a golden color and sweet flavor when sautéed.

Onion Color, Flavor, Usage Guide

This chart was created to serve as a guide for helping you choose what kind of onion to use in a recipe. Feel free to let your own tastes, preferences, and creativity along with this chart guide you to your own decision. The most important thing to remember is "bring on the onions" and enjoy!

Note: Crop size in the chart below is approximate. Remember, flavor and usage info are general guidelines for each color and type.

Variety or Type
Raw Flavor/Texture
Best Usage
Yellow Onion:
All-purpose and most popular, approximately 87% of the U.S. onion crop is comprised of yellow varieties. The most well-known sweet onions are yellow. The best type of onion for caramelizing is a yellow storage variety. Cooking brings out this variety's nutty, mellow, often sweet, quality when caramelized.
crisp, juicy, mild flavor with a slightly sweet ending with little to no after-taste
raw, lightly cooked, sautéed, or grilled
Fresh, Mild
March - August
crisp, juicy, mild to slightly pungent with a faint after-taste
raw, lightly cooked, sautéed, or grilled
strong onion flavor, mild after-taste
grilled, sautéed, caramelized, baked, or roasted
Red Onion:
About 8% of the U.S. onion crop is red. They have gained popularity in the past decade, especially in foodservice on salads and sandwiches because of their color.
crisp, very mild onion flavor
raw, grilled, or roasted
Fresh, Mild
bright tones, slightly less water content than yellow with a slightly pungent ending
raw, grilled, or roasted
sharp, spicy, and moderate to very pungent
raw, grilled, or roasted
White Onion:
Approximately 5% of U.S. onion production is dedicated to white onions. They are commonly used in white sauces, potato and pasta salads, and in Mexican or Southwest cuisine. Due to the compact nature of their cell structure, white onions do not store quite as long as other varieties.
Fresh, Mild
moderately pungent and clean finish, very little after-taste
raw, grilled, sautéed, or lightly cooked
modertaley pungent to very pungent and full flavored, but finishes with a cleaner and crisper flavor in comparison to yellow and red storage varieties.
raw, grilled, sautéed, or lightly cooked
Preparation Tips:
1. Cut onions as close to cooking or serving time as possible. An onion’s flavor deteriorates and its aroma intensifies over time.
2. High heat makes onions bitter. When sauteeing onions, always use low or medium heat.
3. Chopped or sliced onions can be refrigerated for up to 7 days in sealed containers.