Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Wicked Good" Egg Casserole

"Wicked Good" Egg Casserole

1 (8 ounce) package Kraft Deli Deluxe Sharp Cheddar Slices
3 Tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
14 large eggs
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Grease a 9" X 13" baking dish. Cover bottom of dish with cheese slices.
Top the cheese slices with dots of butter. In a small bowl, mix together
1/2 & 1/2, salt and mustard. Set aside. In a separate large bowl, beat
eggs with chives. Pour half of cream mixture over cheese. Pour eggs over
cream mixture, then top with remaining cream mixture. Sprinkle with
grated cheddar cheese and sprinkle lightly with paprika. (may be covered
with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight at this point)

Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 40 minutes. Cut into squares and
serve immediately. (Serves 8)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hypertufa Pots

Hypertufa Pots
Martha Stewart

Make beautiful garden containers that will last for years with this wonderful hypertufa technique. The term "hypertufa" refers to a type of artificial stone, and is a conglomerate of the words "tufa," a natural volcanic rock, and "hyper," a prefix meaning excessively or extremely; hypertufa are extremely rock-like containers.

You can use almost anything that has an interesting shape for a mold, such as an old tub, bin, or nursery pot. Keep in mind that this mixture is an approximation, and not an exact science -- you can play around with the measurements.

This recipe will make really light pots; if you want heavier, sturdier pots, simply add more cement to the mixture.

Tools and Materials

* Rubber gloves
* Dust mask
* Perlite
* Peat moss
* Portland cement
* Cement pigment (optional)
* Acrylic fibers (if making larger-size pot)
* Plastic tub
* Water
* Spray cooking oil
* Mold (Martha used a nursery pot)
* Small wooden dowel (optional)
* Plastic bags
* Wire brush or sandpaper
* Buttermilk (optional)

Hypertufa Pots How-To
1. Wearing rubber gloves and a dust mask to avoid breathing cement dust, mix 3 parts perlite, 3 parts peat moss, and 2 parts Portland cement in a plastic tub. If desired, add cement pigment for color. If making a large pot, add acrylic fibers for strength.

2. Add water to tub, a bit at a time, until the mixture has the consistency of moist cottage cheese.

3. Spray inside of mold with cooking oil. Push a handful of wet hypertufa mixture firmly against the bottom of the mold. Repeat until you have made a bottom base that is approximately 1 inch thick. Push handfuls of wet hypertufa mixture firmly against the sides of container approximately 3/4 inches in thickness. Continue until rim of mold is reached. Press bottom and sides firmly to remove air pockets.

4. Create drainage hole by pushing finger or small dowell through the bottom of mold so that it penetrates the hypertufa mixture.

5. Cover with plastic bag, let dry for about 48 hours.

6. Take off plastic bag and remove pot from mold (pot with be slightly wet). Using a wire brush or sandpaper sponge, rough up the surface of the hypertufa for a more rustic appearance. Let sit for 2 to 3 weeks to dry completely.

7. If desired, coat pot with buttermilk and moss; the moss will grow around the pot.

Peat moss, perlite, and Portland cement are available at The Home Depot or your local hardware store or garden center. Acrylic fibers can be found at craft, hardware, and building supply stores.

Planting Succulents in Hypertufa Pots
Hypertufa pots are extremely versatile; many plants will grow well in them, including all types of succulents. Completely weatherproof, these pots work indoors or out and can freeze and thaw naturally as a result of their porous nature.

When planting, be sure to cover the drainage hole with a pottery shard to prevent soil from washing away. Half-fill container with potting soil suitable for succulents, such as Scotts Cactus Mix, or make your own with 3 parts high-quality soil-free potting soil, 1 part coarse sand, and 1 part perlite.

Arrange succulents on top of soil. Once happy with their placement, fill in around the root balls with potting mix, firming it down -- the base of the plants and the top of the soil should be 1/2 to 1 inch below the container rim; gently water. Top soil with pebbles or crushed stones for a neat finished appearance, if desired.

Yoga Towel

Yoga Towel
Martha Stewart

Keep this easy-to-make towel on hand when exercising or practicing yoga.

Tools and Materials
Terry cloth bath towel (about 30 by 56 inches)
Tailor chalk
Sewing machine
Coordinating thread

Yoga Towel How-To
1. Begin by cutting towel in half lengthwise. To establish center line, fold towel in half lengthwise and pin along crease. Open towel and draw a line along pins with tailor chalk. Cut down line with sharp scissors, removing pins while cutting.

2. Using a zigzag stitch on a sewing machine, sew along the entire raw edge of the towel. Fold zigzagged edge over half an inch and pin in place. With a straight stitch, sew folded edge in place 1/4 inch from fold.

Wax Bowl Centerpiece

Wax Bowl Centerpiece
Martha Stewart

Complete any table setting with a stunning wax bowl centerpiece filled with floating candles.

Wax Bowl Tools and Materials
3/4 pound paraffin

1/4 pound beeswax

1 teaspoon Vybar

One ivory colorant chip

Double boiler designated for candle-making

Metal mixing bowl

Oven mitts or hot pads

Tub of cold water


Dried greenery

Mini pine cones

Dried star anise

Dried berries or rose hips

Warm skillet or heated cookie sheet

Floating candles (homemade or store-bought)

Wax Bowl How-To
1. Melt paraffin, beeswax, Vybar, and colorant chip together in a double boiler to make wax.

2. Pour hot wax into metal mixing bowl, almost to the top. Using oven mitts or hot pads, carefully place mixing bowl to float in tub of cold water. Wax will begin to set.

3. Using chopsticks, place greenery, mini pine cones, and star anise or other natural embellishments in wax in desired design. Toss in berries for pop of color.

4. Let wax cool about 2 1/2 to 4 minutes, until film forms over top of bowl.

5. Cut through film with chopsticks and pour out excess wax.

6. Pour a small amount of hot wax back into bowl. Swish wax around bowl to melt off excess wax from greenery and berries; pour out excess wax. Cool in freezer for 15 minutes until wax bowl cleanly pops out of mixing bowl.

7. Finish bowl by pressing rim for a few seconds onto a warm skillet or heated cookie sheet that is used only for wax and crafts.

8. Fill wax bowl with room temperature water, and add floating candles.

Floating Candles Tools and Materials
Muffin tin

Cooking spray

Double boiler


Candle wicks with base

Floating Candles How-To
1. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. Melt wax in double boiler. Pour hot wax into muffin tin.

3. Add wicks to wax when bottom of wax begins to deepen in color. Let cool. Pop out candles.

Wax bowl-making kits are available at Greenery, such as dried cedar, is available at Other tools and materials can be found at most crafts stores.

Copyright 2010 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

Cookie-Press Cookies

Cookie-Press Cookies
Martha Stewart

Treat the cookie lover on your holiday gift list to a batch of these sweet sugar cookies, adapted from "The Martha Stewart Living Christmas Cookbook."


Makes 2 to 3 dozen.

* 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 large egg yolks
* 3 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
* Confectioners' Sugar Glaze
* Food coloring, preferably gel-paste, for decorating
* Sanding sugar, for decorating
* Nonpareils, for decorating
* Silver dragees, for decorating


1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, flour, salt, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
3. Fit cookie press with desired disk and fill with dough. Press out shapes onto prepared baking sheets. Transfer to refrigerator until chilled, about 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until cookies are lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
5. To decorate, tint confectioners' sugar glaze as desired (dividing it among a few bowls to make different colors, if desired). Dip cookies in glaze and decorate with sanding sugar, nonpareils, or dragees. Or place glaze in a small pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip (such as No. 3) and decorate as desired. To pipe another color glaze on a glaze-dipped cookie, let glaze set before piping the second color. Let set, at least 2 hours before serving or storing. Cookies can be stored, between layers of parchment, up to 1 week at room temperature in airtight containers.

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies
Martha Stewart

Use this recipe along with our Royal Icing to make the following decorated holiday cookies:


Makes about 2 dozen 4-inch cookies.

* 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and more if needed
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
* 2 cups sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* Royal Icing


1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Turn out dough, and divide in half. Flatten each half into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to just under 1/4-inch thick, adding more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Chill in refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut out cookies using desired cutters or templates. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets as you work. Roll out scraps, and repeat once. Repeat with remaining disk of dough. Chill cookies in freezer until very firm, about 15 minutes.
3. Bake cookies, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Decorate with Royal Icing. (Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week.)¤tslide=1&page=1

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies with Green Sprinkles

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies with Green Sprinkles
Martha Stewart

Green sprinkles add a festive touch to these fudgy chocolate brownies, adapted from the "Martha Stewart Baking Handbook."


Makes 2 dozen.

* 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
* 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
* 2 1/4 cups sugar
* 6 large eggs
* 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* Green sprinkles, for topping


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking sheet. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the two long sides. Set aside. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and salt.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula; scatter green sprinkles over top. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Run a knife or offset spatula around the edges of the pan. Using parchment paper, lift brownies out of pan and onto the rack. Transfer to a cutting board; cut into 2-inch squares. Brownies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Buche de Noel

Buche de Noel
Martha Stewart

Make this recipe for Buche de Noel from Johnny Iuzzini for an unforgettable holiday dessert.


Serves 10 to 12.

* 5 large egg yolks
* 1 1/3 cups sugar
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 4 large egg whites
* Chocolate Ganache
* Chestnut Pastry Cream
* 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
* Marzipan, or 8 ounces store-bought marzipan
* Confectioners' sugar, for dusting work surface and decorating
* Meringue Mushrooms


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm. Attach bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until room temperature. Add vegetable oil and 5 tablespoons water; fold to combine.
3. In a large bowl, sift together cocoa powder, baking soda, and flour; set aside. In another bowl attached to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add egg whites. Add remaining 1 cup sugar to egg whites in 3 batches, whisking to dissolve the sugar after each addition; continue to beat egg whites until firm but not dry. Fold flour mixture into egg yolk mixture, alternating with egg white mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.
4. Spread mixture evenly into prepared baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake until springy to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately lift cake out of baking sheet using parchment paper and transfer to another baking sheet. Let cool to room temperature.
5. Place parchment paper side down, on work surface. Trim about 1 inch from all sides of the cake and discard trimmings. Spread cake evenly with 1/4 of the ganache; let stand until set. Spread chestnut pastry cream evenly over the layer of ganache; sprinkle with toasted almonds.
6. On a clean work surface, roll marzipan into a log 17 inches in length. Position the cake on your work surface with the long side of the cake parallel to the edge of your work surface. Place marzipan near the edge of the long side nearest to the edge of your work surface. Begin rolling cake to enclose marzipan, pulling away the parchment paper as you roll. Use the paper to then wrap the rolled cake, twisting each end to fit the size of the cake. Transfer cake to freezer and freeze for 1 hour.
7. Unwrap cake and trim 1/4 inch from each end. Cut each end on the diagonal to form a small triangular piece from each end. Place a wire rack over a sheet pan and place cake on top of rack. Pour 1/2 of the remaining ganache over the cake. Adhere triangles to the sides of the cake to form branches. Pour remaining ganache over the cut pieces to glaze.
8. Transfer cake to a serving platter. Dip your index finger into a small bowl of confectioners' sugar and make a fingerprint in the center of all four cut sides. Using two different-size small round cookie cutters or glasses, dip the edges into confectioners' sugar and place around the fingerprints to form the rings in a cut log. Decorate cake and platter with meringue mushrooms. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Original Recipe French Toast

Original Recipe French Toast

Servings: 4
"Thick slices of sweet bread are the perfect base for French toast."
4 (1 inch thick) slices King's Hawaiian®
Sweet Bread
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Butter or oil for frying
Maple syrup
1. Slice bread crosswise so that each slice is about 1-inch thick. Cut larger slices into halves or thirds, if desired. Set aside.
2. In a shallow mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
3. Quickly dip slices (do not soak) in egg mixture and cook until golden brown on both sides.
4. Keep egg mixture stirred and spices well blended.
5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with warm maple syrup.

Saucy Baked Chops

Saucy Baked Chops
recipe by: kraft

prep time 5 min
total time 50 min
makes 4 servings

What You Need!
4 bone-in center-cut pork chops (1 lb.)
1/2 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce
2 Tbsp. orange marmalade
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. garlic powder
Make It!

HEAT oven to 400ºF.

PLACE chops in 8-inch square baking dish.

MIX remaining ingredients; spoon over chops.

BAKE 45 min. or until chops are done (160ºF).

Apple-Blackberry Pie with "Fall Leaves"

Apple-Blackberry Pie with "Fall Leaves"
Martha Stewart

An all-butter pate brisee is the pinnacle of pie-making, rewarding bakers with a golden and delicately tender crust. Filled with sweet, jammy blackberries and tart apples, and then topped with a forest of pastry leaves, the piecrust is an impressive accomplishment worthy of the season's most important meal. This is an advanced-level recipe.


Makes one 9-inch double-crust pie.

* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 1/2 pounds assorted apples (such as Cortland, Empire, Granny Smith, Jonagold, and Macoun), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
* 10 ounces (2 1/4 cups) fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed
* "Fall Leaves" Pate Brisee
* 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
* 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
* Sanding sugar, for sprinkling


1. Whisk together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add apples and blackberries, and toss to coat. Pour filling into prepared piecrust, and dot with butter.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in lowest position. Meanwhile, brush rim of piecrust with egg wash. Arrange dough leaves over filling, creating a spiral from the edge into the center, overlapping leaves slightly to cover pie but leaving some openings. Lightly brush tops of leaves with egg wash as you work, to help them adhere. Once filling is covered with leaves, lightly brush top of entire pie with egg wash. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Freeze for 30 minutes.
3. Place pie on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake pie, rotating sheet halfway through, until juices are bubbling in the center and crust is golden brown, 1 hour and 45 minutes to 1 hour and 55 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. (Pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)

"Fall Leaves" Pate Brisee

"Fall Leaves" Pate Brisee
Martha Stewart

Use this recipe as a crust for our Apple-Blackberry Pie.


Makes one 9-inch double crust.

* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
* 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


1. Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds.
2. Evenly drizzle 1/4 cup water over mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together (it should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse. Divide dough in half. Place each half on a piece of plastic wrap, and wrap. Press dough into 2 disks using a rolling pin. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight. (Dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw before using.)
3. Roll 1 disk of dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim edge flush with rim. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
4. Roll remaining disk to 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface. Transfer to a piece of parchment. Cut out 18 leaves, rerolling scraps if needed, using 3 1/2-inch leaf-shaped cutters ( Transfer leaves to another piece of parchment; chill if needed. Gently press the dull edge of a paring knife into leaves to create veins. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

English Toffee Pecan Pie

English Toffee Pecan Pie
Martha Stewart

This mouthwatering recipe from audience member Marjorie Johnson took home the blue ribbon at our first pie contest.


Makes one 9-inch pie.

* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup cold leaf lard, cut into pieces
* 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
* 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
* 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 2/3 cup light corn syrup
* 1/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
* 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
* 1 cup toffee bits
* 1 cup chopped pecans
* 22 pecan halves, for garnish


1. Make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in lard and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about the size of peas. Sprinkle with water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix lightly with a fork after each addition, until mixture is moistened. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and shape into a flattened disk. Wrap in plastic; transfer to refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.
2. Lightly flour a pastry cloth and roll out dough on cloth, using a covered rolling pin, to a 12-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick. With a dry pastry brush, sweep off excess flour; fit dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim to a 1/2-inch overhang all around. Fold under and crimp edges.
3. Make the filling: Preheat oven with a rack set in the lower third to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, almond extract, toffee bits, and chopped pecans.

4. Pour filling into pie crust. Top with pecans by evenly spacing 14 of them around the outer edge of pie filling. Make a second row by evenly spacing seven pecans in a smaller circle in the center; place 1 pecan in center.
5. Transfer pie to oven; bake for 20 minutes. Cover with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil and continue baking until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dipped Gingersnaps

Dipped Gingersnaps

2c. sugar
1 1/2c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2c. molasses
4c. flour
4tsp baking soda
1TBSP ground ginger
2tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp salt
addititional sugar
20-24 ounces of vanilla or white chips

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and oil. Beat in eggs. Stir in molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt, gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Shape into 3/4 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until cookie springs back when lightly touched. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a small saucepan, melt chips. (I do this in a mixing bowl in the microwave). Dip the cookies halfway into the melted chips; shake off excess. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets until set.