Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Timeless Treasures - Russian Tea Cakes

Whether you call them Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes, these treasures will melt in your mouth!   Always on our Christmas Cookie making list, there are so many variations of the recipe.   What I am sharing with you today is the best of my best - tweaked here and there - but with amazing results.

Russian Tea Cakes

  • 1 C butter, softened
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 t salt
  • Powdered Sugar to roll in
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cream butter with 1/2 C powdered sugar and vanilla in a large bowl.  Stir in flour, nuts and salt until the dough holds together.   With clean hands, roll dough into 1 inch balls and place about 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.   Bake 10 - 12 minutes or until set but not brown.   Remove from cookie sheet, cool slightly, then roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar.  This makes about 40 cookies.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's Chili Time

The weather in Austin, Texas finally is indicative of CHILI!   I've been waiting for months to make my special recipe and here it is!   Trey is making chili and eggs for breakfast right now - leftovers are awesome!   This is the recipe that won the People Choice Award at the Steiner Ranch Chili Cook-off!

Stacey Rider's Rough Shot Chili
  • 4 slices Jalapeno bacon
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 fire roasted jalapenos
  • 1, 8 oz pkg turkey chorizo
  • 1, 12 oz pkg sausage
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 lbs. Sirloin, ground
  • 3 bottles Shiner Bock Dark Beer
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • 1 jar Dona Maria Adobo
  • 3 T Ancho Chili Powder 
  • 3 T Cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
Frying the jalapeno bacon

Beginning to fire roast my own jalapeno's

peeled, seeds removed and chopped up

I trim the fat and cube the sirloin first

A nice, rough grind

Been simmering for an hour

Directions:  In a heavy duty large stock pot, saute chopped bacon until crisp.   Remove to paper towel for later use.   Using bacon drippings, saute onions until slightly caramelized.   Add chopped fire roasted jalapenos and saute a few minutes more.   Add chorizo and sausage and cook through.   Transfer mixture to a bowl and reserve for later use.    

Add the olive oil to the stock pot and brown the sirloin until cooked through.   Add onion mixture back into pot, stirring well.   Pour in beer and chicken broth and bring to a boil.   Add adobo and spices then season to taste with salt and pepper.   Stir well and reduce to low heat and simmer for an hour or so, stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom.

To serve, I garnish with cheese, guacamole, and Crema with toasted cumin seeds.  

Surprise Birthday Luncheon for Sara Pickett

My best friend Sara Pickett turned 45 on the 24th!   She is the person who does it all; juggles a family, a home and a career beautifully.   We surprised her with a birthday luncheon of Roasted Chicken with Rosemary Panini Sandwiches, Salads, custom ice cream cakes from Shakes and Pumpkin Martins!   She was completely caught off guard and we had a blast.


 Sara and her 92 year old grandmother Nana Tutu

Roasted Chicken Panini's with caramelized onions, radicchio and rosemary

 Custom Ice Cream Cakes from Shakes

Happy Birthday MY FRIEND!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Layered Dessert

Peanut butter and chocolate make a great combination.    This frozen dessert takes those two flavors and layers them into deliciousness.   Makes a pretty presentation for fancy parties or for family meals.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Layered Dessert

  • 12 Nutter Butter Cookies or any other peanut butter sandwich cookie
  • 2 T butter, melted
  • 2 T cream (from pint of cream below)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 C creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 3 T powdered sugar
  • 6 squares (3 oz) Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate
Directions: In a food processor, blend cookies, melted butter, cream and vanilla until crumbly.   Line a large loaf pan with parchment paper and press cookie mixture into the bottom of the loaf pan.

In a food processor, mix cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla until well blended.   In a separate bowl, beat heavy whipping cream on high until peaks form and add powdered sugar.   Fold cream into peanut butter mixture.   Reserve about 1 C of mixture in a separate bowl and add melted chocolate, mix well to blend.   Spoon half of the remaining mixture over crust.  Top with chocolate mixture and then add remaining peanut butter mixture.   Freeze for at least 3 hours or until firm.   Dessert will easily lift out of pan so it can be sliced.   I topped mine with a bit of crushed cookie.   This is really, REALLY good!

Images from the Cranberry Demo at Faraday's

Here's a pictorial from my Cranberry Sauce demo at Faraday's Kitchen Store two weeks ago.   Had such a wonderful time and the Faraday's Kitchen is the perfect set up for any cook or chef!

Ready to serve to my clients and customers!

Roasted Chicken with my homemade Cranberry Sauce.

Grilled Medallions of Pork Tenderloin with my homemade Cranberry Sauce.

Brie with my homemade Cranberry Sauce.

Blakely and Sharon from Faraday's Kitchen Store.

Making my homemade Cranberry Sauce and canning it for the customers.

I won my category in the Holiday Magic Baking Contest!

Here is the link to the Faraday's Blog where my winning recipe is posted!  I won the "other" category in the Holiday Magic Baking Contest for my Apple and Cranberry Dumplings.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Brie En Croute with Cranberries and Pecans

The Holidays have arrived and here is a simple recipe for an appetizer that everyone will love.   If you are running on limited time, use the premade pie crust rounds found in the refrigerated sections of your grocery store.

Brie en Croute with Cranberries and Pecans

Ingredients:   Pie Crust (recipe below), 1 Whole Baby Brie, 1/3 C. Halved Pecans, 1/3 C. Dried Cranberries, 3 T Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, 1 egg, beaten

Pie Crust: 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling, 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, 6 to 8 Tbsp ice water

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and pulse again.

Directions:   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   In a food processor, make pie crust.   Pat into 2 rounds, wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for an hour.   Once chilled, roll each round out to 1/8 thickness.   Place 1 pie crust round onto a baking sheet.   Place the whole Baby Brie in the center.   Add pecans and then dried cranberries on top of the Brie.   Pour the Raspberry Chipotle over the cranberries and bring the crust up and over.   Press together at the top using a bit of water to seal the crust.   Cut leaves from the other crust and use water to affix then to the top in a decorative manner. 

 Brush entire crust with beaten egg and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown.   Remove from the oven and let the Brie en Croute rest for a few minutes so the cheese can set a bit before you serve with the crackers of your choice.   This will store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

FREE Cranberry Sauce demo and tasting TODAY!

Join me TODAY at 1:30 in the Faraday's Kitchen Store kitchen for my Cranberry Sauce demo and tasting.  Just say NO to the can!   You'll be amazed at how versatile this sauce is and everyone gets to take home their own jar.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Warm Pumpkin Bread with a side of creamy cheesecake sauce

My house still smells wonderful after baking several loaves of my Pumpkin Bread.   I made up a quick Cheesecake Sauce and with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top this dessert is complete.   Did I say dessert?   How about for a snack, breakfast... we eat it all throughout the day!   Enjoy!

Warm Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 C brown sugar
  • 1 C white sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 tn ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1 C chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Directions:   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans. 
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water,sugars and vanilla until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended.   Add chopped nuts if desired.   Pour into the prepared pans. 
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cheesecake Sauce
  • 1 pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 4 T half and half
Directions:   In a bowl cream the cream cheese with the powdered sugar.   Add vanilla, mix then add the half and half, a tablespoon at a time until you have a creamy sauce consistency.   Add a dollop to your warm pumpkin bread and dust with cinnamon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cooking Workshop and Tasting this Sunday!

Celebrate the Holidays, Autumn, and the cooler weather with CRANBERRIES!   This versatile condiment accentuates not only that Holiday Turkey, but Roast Chicken, Pork or cheese.   It's the perfect addition to any sandwich, appetizer or snack.   My motto is say no to the can.

Please join me for a workshop and tasting at

Faraday's Kitchen Store
1501 Ranch Road 620 North, Suite A, Lakeway
Sunday, November 7th at 1:30 

Not only will you come away amazed at this tangy taste, but you'll say NO to the CAN and take home a little jar for your very own.

For more information contact me, Stacey Rider, at 512-432-8122