Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pie Day 2018: Baklava Pie

We did it!  Our first Pie Day Pie.

The recipe was a compilation of several that I found online...

Pie Filling:
Mix together: 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
~ 2 T honey
1 t vanilla
5 T melted butter
Then add 3 eggs - mix well so they do not scramble
And add 2 1/2 c roughly cut walnuts, almonds, pecans and about 5 dates.

Defrost phyllo dough
Melt 12 T butter
Combine 1/3 c sugar and 1 T cinnamon
On parchment paper, put a sheet of phyllo dough and brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar mixture.
Repeat about 10 to 12 times, rotating some of the sheets so they are in different directions.
Put a pie plate on the top and flip over using the parchment paper so the crust is in the pie plate!

Put the pie filling in the pie and fold the ends of the crust so it hugs the pie. The center will not be covered.

Put on a parchment covered pan and into 375 degree oven  for 45 minutes, or  until the crust is crispy.

During the 45 minutes of baking make a syrup of:
~1/4 c water, ~1/4 sugar, ~2 T honey, juice from one half of lemon
Cook until it foams and boils, take off heat and cool

When the pie is done, spoon the syrup on the pie and let the pie cool to room temp.

Serve with whipped cream.

If we were to make this again, I think we would add more phyllo dough sheets!

Jamie Oliver was the online author I found with the syrup idea.  He also had his recipe written so the filling was prepared first, then the crust.  Made so much sense. He had his on a baking tray instead of a pie pan. Erin McDowell's recipe amounts were in cups so I used them for the amounts of things, instead of trying convert metric.  Ann Clark made her pie using regular pie crust. Erin McDonald added allspice, but I didn't have any so skipped that. Giada made hers in a little muffin tins, which sounded great until I saw the date and then looked for baklava pie. (In the comments people said they didn't like the cloves in her ingredients.)  and the first recipe I found, by Renu Jain Chandarana was also using little muffin pans, sounded delicious, but I decided on the pie format.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Rachel Ray: Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

Downloaded 3-9-18

This was perfect for three people.  

Served with:

  1. Stir Fry Vegetables from the grocery store (onions, red and green bell pepper, mushrooms) Put on tray and 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

  2. String Beans Microwaved then put on tray in oven to warm up

  3. Left over rice

Total:25 minPrep:10 minCook:15 min Yield: 4 servings Level: Easy 

Nutrition Info Healthy

Rachael's Quick Lemon Chicken (02:52)

How to Cook Perfect Rice (02:16)

Stir-Fry Basics (01:27)

How to Make Chicken Stock (01:55)

How to Zest Citrus (02:05)


1 1/2 pounds chicken breast or chicken tenders, cut into chunks
1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons wok or vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan (preferred brand: House of Tsang)
1 tablespoon (a splash) white or rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
8 ounces (1 cup) prepared lemon curd
1/4 cup hot water
1 lemon, zested
2 scallions, thinly sliced or 20 blades fresh chives, finely chopped

Directions:   Watch how to make this recipe.

Coat the chunked chicken lightly in flour, seasoned with a little salt. Heat a large skillet or a wok-shaped nonstick pan over high heat. Stir fry chicken until golden, 3 or 4 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan and return pan to heat. Reduce heat to medium.

Add a splash of vinegar to the pan and let it evaporate. Add stock or broth to the pan and scrape up any drippings with a whisk. Thin curd by stirring in a little hot water. Add curd to broth and whisk to combine. Add chicken back to the pan and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken sauce and finish cooking chicken pieces through. Remove the pan from heat, add the scallions or chives and zest, and toss chicken pieces well to combine zest and scallions or chives evenly throughout the sauce.

Rachel Ray's Cook's Note:
Wok oil infused with ginger and garlic is usually available on the International Foods aisle in many markets. Chicken broths and stocks are available in resealable paper containers, making storage of remaining product easy and on hand in the refrigerator; they are found in the soup aisle. Lemon curd is a sweet lemon spread available in most markets. It is on the jam/jelly aisle.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Royal Walnut Cake


Royal Walnut Cake (There is a video showing how to make!)

5.0 from 31 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
This Royal Walnut Cake is truly delicious and loaded with toasted walnuts from top to bottom. The Russian buttercream frosting made with sweetened condensed milk is tantalizingly good!
Skill Level: Medium
Cost To Make: $18-$22
Serving: 9-inch two layer cake


For the Walnut Cake:

  • 2 cups Fisher Brand Walnuts (halves and pieces)
  • 6 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder

For the Russian Buttercream:

  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk (2/3 of a 14 oz can)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

For the Simple Cake Syrup (stir these ingredients together):

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 Tbsp rum – I used Bacardi golden rum*

For the Chocolate Sauce/ Ganache:

  • 4 oz (or ¼ lb by weight, or ⅔ cup by dry measuring cup) semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream


How to Make the Royal Walnut Cake:

  1. Toast 2 cups walnuts on a dry skillet over medium/high heat until fragrant and golden (5 minutes), tossing often. Cool to room temperature then finely chop or pulse in food processor.
  2. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line the bottoms of two 9" baking pans with parchment paper (do not grease the pan). In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat eggs for 1 minute until foam. With mixer on, add 1 cup sugar in a steady stream then beat on high speed 8 minutes. Batter will be fluffy and a thick ribbon will form when you lift up batter.
  3. Whisk together 1 cup flour and ½ tsp baking powder and sift it into the egg mixture in 3 increments. Gently fold in ¼ of your cooled chopped nuts and divide batter evenly between 2 prepared pans. Bake right away in fully preheated oven at 350˚F for 23-28 min(I find it's perfect at 25 min). Let rest in the pans 5 min then run a thin spatula or knife around the edges of pan to loosen cake and transfer cakes to wire rack to cool completely to room temp.

How to Make Russian Buttercream:

  1. In a small sauce pan, off the heat, whisk together 2 egg yolks, ¾ cup condensed milk, 1 Tbsp water, and ½ tsp vanilla until smooth.
  2. Place over low heat. Continue stirring frequently and stir constantly as it starts to thicken – DO NOT BOIL. When it’s ready, it will be the consistency of uncooked sweetened condensed milk. Total time on the stove: 5-7 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and let custard cool completely to room temp. It will thicken more as it cools.
  3. Beat softened butter in a mixer with whisk attachment for 5 minutes on high speed until white and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add room temp custard mixture 1 heaping Tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed for a few seconds with each addition. Once all of the custard is incorporated, scrape down the bowl and beat another 2 minutes on high speed. Reserve 1 cup of cream and set aside (you'll use this to coat the top and sides of cake). Fold in ¼ of your toasted cooled nuts into remaining big batch of cream.

Assembling the Walnut Cake:

  1. Line the edges of a cake platter with strips of parchment paper (this will make cleanup easier). Place first cake layer on the platter and spoon half of the syrup evenly over the top. Top with all of your walnut buttercream and spread evenly. Add the next cake layer and spoon the remaining syrup over the top. Coat the sides and top of the cake evenly with remaining 1 cup of buttercream.
  2. Apply the remaining finely chopped walnuts to the sides of the cake only, scooping it on with your hand and gently pressing for the nuts to adhere to the frosting. Now make your ganache (see below). Once ganache has rested 5-10 minutes, spread it evenly over the top of the cake, allowing some of it to drip down the sides of the cake. Let cake rest until ganache is set (you can refrigerate 30 min if desired).

How to Make Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Place ¼ lb of chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. Pour ½ cup heavy cream into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. When it's just at a uniform simmer, pour over the chocolate chips ensuring chocolate is fully submerged in cream. Cover bowl with lid and let sit at room temp 15 min then whisk until a silky chocolate sauce forms. Let ganache rest 5-10 min to thicken slightly but still be loose enough to pour over the cake and drip down the sides.


*if you don't want to use rum, add a splash of vanilla or 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, or add it to taste
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fisher nuts. The opinions and text are all mine. Check out all of the Fisher Nuts recipes for more beautiful holiday inspiration!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Friendsgiving #4 2017

We hosted our 4th Friendsgiving.  This year the others seemed busy so the meal was made here, and folks brought cheeses, crackers, and wine (3 types of cheese and Milton's yummy crackers), freshly made olive bread with an assortment of oil and vinegar to dig it in, and delicious pumpkin chip cookies. Also special beers were shared.

Vegetable Tray from Store
Spicy Kale
Roasted Beets and Sweet Potato and Yams
Baked Beans
Dessert: Marie Calendar Pies (Double Cream Lemon and Dutch Apple)

Afterwards we played a board game Secret Hitler.


1.  Tri-Tip - purchased at Costco it came pre-spiced.  Just put it on a grate on a tray and baked.  Served with horseradish sauce.  Delicious.  We bought two packages of meat and didn't even finish the first one  so we way over bought this!

2.  Spicy Kale -

Delicious - had to be timed so it was the last thing out of the oven though...

Chili-Roasted Kale 

Chili-Roasted Kale

  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In

Recipe By:SJRJA
"This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite methods of preparing broccoli and cauliflower - roasting at high heat with the bold flavor of chili powder. The result with kale is a little outrageous - fiery flavor with a unique crispy texture!"


  • 4 cups kale, washed and stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Place the kale into a large mixing bowl, and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss until evenly coated, then sprinkle with the chili powder and kosher salt, and toss again. Spread the seasoned kale onto a baking sheet.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then stir the kale, and continue roasting until the edges become brown and a little crispy, 5 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Liege belgian waffles:

Liege belgian waffles:

3 1/2 Cups Bread Flour
1 Packet Dry Yeast
3/4 Cup Lukewarm Milk (~105 F)
8 oz softened butter (2 sticks)
2 eggs
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Cinnamon (optional)
1 Bag Lars' Own Belgian Pearl Sugar

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk. Gradually add all ingredients and the flour into the yeast/milk mix except for the pearl sugar. Let dough rise until it doubles in size (approx 30 minutes). Add pearl sugar and fold in. Divide dough into small patties about 3 to 4 ounces each (roughly an ice cream scoop). Bake in a heated and greased waffle iron.

Serve drizzled with chocolate, fruit, whipped cream.



Sunday, October 30, 2016

Romeo & Julieta Wine Cafe

Went to

Just slightly too much food - but we ate it all!

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms
White mushrooms stuffed with lumps of crab, sautéed, and topped with parmesan & mozzarella cheese then baked. Garnished with a spicy Portuguese Churrasco Sauce and served on a bed of lettuce and tomato slices.

Pierogis & Fresh Dill Cucumber Salad
Choose 4 pierogis sautéed with either Bacon or Veggie Style (Butter & Bread Crumbs) served on a bed of fresh spinach and cucumber salad. Beef, Spinach, Beef & Spinach, Kraut, Kraut & Mushroom, Potato & Cheese, and Potato & Cheddar Cheese. (We had kraut and mushroom and beef and spinach)

Pulled Pork Sliders (4)
Sweet & Spicy BBQ pulled pork with sautéed onions & cabbage on a soft warm bun. Served with sweet potato fries or seasoned curley fries (We had mixed fries)

Brie Cheese & Strawberries
Warn brie cheese topped with sliced strawberries and drizzled with a fig balsamic glaze

Flatbread Pizza Julieta Fig
Caramelized onions in a fig sauce with sliced dried figs, goat cheese, bacon, and shaved parmesan cheese. After it's baked it's topped with fresh arugula and drizzled with a fig balsamic reduction