Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Please everyone stay safe – and enjoy the candy! 😉

If you have any leftover Halloween candy – why not add what you have left to some chocolate brownies!?

Click here for the recipe… (feel free to substitute any type of candy for the peanut butter cups! Experiment – and have fun!)



A Sweet Giveaway

Want to win a copy of “Food Network – Sweet”!? My friends over at “Crown Publishing” and “Blogging for Books” are giving YOU an opportunity to WIN!


Fill out this form…

It’s SO easy to enter – GOOD LUCK!

In order to participate, please make sure you include my blog URL in the form. My blog URL is: https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com

Winners will be alerted by email.

Contest ends: November 25th, 2014


(I reviewed this book awhile back and LOVED IT! Check out my review here – https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/cookbook-corner-food-network-sweet/)

Cookbook Corner – Miss Vickie’s Kitchen

Today’s “Cookbook Corner” is all about…

Miss Vickie's Kitchen Cookbook Blog

“Miss Vickie’s Kitchen” By: Vickie Kerr

I was given this cookbook by my friend Jenny and I couldn’t have been more thrilled! I was so excited to get this book, and it’s lived up to my expectations!

Miss Vickie is the creator of “Miss Vickie’s Potato Chips” – which I love – so if her name looks and sounds familiar…that is why.

The cookbook is FILLED with family history, memories and “screenshots” from the past – which I absolutely love! I love cookbooks that have back history (and meaning) to them. I love hearing how the cookbook was “born” and what its inspiration was. Miss Vickie takes her readers behind the scenes of her business and it’s a fascinating look…

This is her first cookbook and it’s gorgeous! The pictures in this book, almost one for each recipe, take up a WHOLE page and I love it! It’s really worth the price of the book just for the photos! But…let’s be real here for just a minute…the recipes are AMAZING too! Read on…

The book is divided up into 6 main categories. They are…

Appetizers – I tried the “Artichoke Spinach Dip” (page 5) and it was probably one of the best versions of this I’ve ever had. It wasn’t too rich or too heavy – it was just right. I used this recipe alongside my recipe for my homemade tortilla chips (in my cookbook that’s in the works) and it was beyond delicious! As soon as you get this book, turn to page 5 and make this recipe FIRST!

Salads and Sides – I tried the “Egg Salad” (page 17) and it was really good! I’m always interested in seeing how different recipes differ for this dish, and this one was a delicious “staple” version of the original. Also included in this chapter is “Vickie’s Tuna Salad” (page 21), “Boiled New Potatoes with Butter” (page 24), “Vickie’s Potato Chips” (page 31 and next on my list to try), among others.

Soups, Stews, and Casseroles – The homemade “Chicken Stock” (page 40) looks delicious (I’ve marked it to try) as well as the “French Onion Soup” (page 42). Also included is her “Shepherd’s Pie” (page 50), and “Macaroni and Beef Casserole” (page 52). There are other delicious looking recipes that I’ll come back and revisit this winter.

Meat and Seafood – Included in this chapter is Miss Vickie’s “Meatloaf” (page 56), “Prime Rib au Jus” (page 60), “Roast Chicken and Gravy” (page 66) and “Shrimp Tacos” (page 73), among a few others.

Desserts and Baking – This was (of course) my favorite category! I marked a TON of recipes to try – a few of which being… “Apple Crisp” (page 79), “Granddad’s Cookies” (page 84), “Flourless Chocolate Cake” (page 90), “Banana Muffins” (page 101), “Lemon Meringue Pie” (page 108), and “Lemon Curd Tarts” (page 111). So many amazingly delicious photos in this chapter too!

Preserving and Pickling – This had recipes like “Freezer Jam” (page 116), “Rhubarb Sauce” (page 118) and “Garlic Dill Pickles” (page 121), among others that looked good. I have page 119 marked for next years corn season.

All in all, this book contained not only delicious (and HUGE) photographs, but just as delicious recipes – that (so far) have been HUGE in flavor.

I was really impressed with Miss Vickie’s first cookbook, and I’m looking forward to hearing more from her.

To order Miss Vickie’s cookbook, browse her recipes, YouTube videos, blog and MORE, please click here…

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.


Cookbook Corner – Homemade Decadence

Happy Wednesday! Today’s new “Cookbook Corner” goes to…

Joy the Baker Cookbook Corner

“Joy the Baker: Homemade Decadence” By: Joy Wilson

This book is the sequel to Joy’s first book, “Joy the Baker” and is delightfully charming. The cover photo took my attention right away – a cake lined around with pretzels. I’ve always loved the sweet and salty combination, and the whole “chocolate / pretzel” thing has always been in my eyesight. The cake, called “Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pretzel Layer Cake” can be found on page 190 and contains a “Salted Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting” – I mean really… How bad could that be!?

Browsing through the book the first thing you will notice is the photographs. Beautiful photos that immediately make you hungry – or at least, they did me.

The book is divided up into 5 categories…

Brunch / Cookies, Brownies and Bars / Pies, Crumbles and Cobblers / Layer Cakes, Cupcakes, and Skillet Cakes / Ice Cream Social

Brunch contained one of my favorite photographs in the entire book (page 15). Joy talks about the different ways to “top toast”, and although simple…it’s really quite interesting. I love the chocolate hazelnut spread with rainbow jimmies option – but maybe that is just a personal preference.

Cookies, Brownies, and Bars contained quite a few recipes I marked to try including “Chocolate Malted Oatmeal Cookies with Salted Peanuts” (page 79), “Blackberry Pie Cookies” (page 91), and “Set It and Don’t Forget It Cookies” (page 104).

Pies, Crumbles and Cobblers contained a recipe that my Grandma and I might try this coming weekend, “Salty Pretzel Crust” (page 130) which looks amazing – and so simple…why didn’t I think of this!? I will also be trying the “Double-Crusted Lemon-Blueberry Pie” (page 139). And speaking of wondering why I didn’t think of something – why didn’t I think of adding peanut butter to banana pudding!? Why? I don’t know – but Joy DID and you can try it on page 148 – I’ll be trying this for Thanksgiving.

Layer Cakes, Cupcakes and Skillet Cakes contains one of my favorite recipes in the book “Lemon-Honey Yellow Cake” (page 183) and just looks and sounds amazing. It contains “Lemon-Honey Cream Cheese Frosting” – be still my heart! Ha! 😉 It also contains a “Vegan Chocolate Cake” (page 196) and a recipe for “Brown Sugar Cupcakes” (YUM – page 211). Oh – and let’s not forget the “Under-baked Chocolate Chip Skillet Cake” (page 221), which basically just sounds like a huge under-baked cookie – not bad!

Ice Cream Social contains tons of delicious ice creams such as “Salted Dark Chocolate and Orange” (page 228), “Blueberry-Goat Cheese” (page 235), and “Brown Sugar-Cream Cheese” (page 237).

I recommend this book for those who love cookbooks with great pictures, sweet and salty combinations, lovers of brunch and lovers of desserts and ice cream. It’s really a treasure to add to your cookbook collection – you’ll be glad you did.

To learn more about “Joy the Baker”, please click here…

To buy “Homemade Decadence”, please click here…

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. I received this book from “Blogging for Books” for this review. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.


Chew This – Lemon and Butter Oven Pancakes

Today is the official publication day of my “CHEW THIS” column in “The Courier-Times” and I’m so excited to be sharing this recipe with everyone! These pancakes bring to me, a load of childhood memories. My Great Grandma Flora and I would eat pancakes down at my Grandma Barbra’s house EVERY DAY! I don’t think we missed a day (or a pancake) for several years.

It was almost like a tradition – and something that I still remember fondly today…

Make sure and pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think! These pancakes are delicious topped with butter and maple syrup – or even powdered sugar and fresh berries!

Oven Pancakes Blog

Lemon and Butter Oven Pancakes



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Cookbook Corner – Ovenly

This week’s “Cookbook Corner” is…

Ovenly Cookbook Blog

“Ovenly” By: Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin

This cookbook is quickly become one of my new favorites! The cookbook is “Sweet and Salty Recipes from New York’s Most Creative Bakery” (tagline on front) and sweet and salty is right – and I love it!

The cover, for one reason or another really drew me in… I loved the white cake with the dark chocolate interior being cut open and placed against a darker background. A lot of the current cookbooks have a bright “theme” – if not “loud” that almost screams to the reader “Choose me! Buy me!” which I like…but not all the time. The front of this cookbook is dark, simple and different – and I like that.

I also like the fact that it’s written by a bakery, and by the actual owners. I also like how each of the authors (and owners, developers if you will…) wrote their own introductions. It really gave a “feel” for what each bring to the book and to the recipes.

In case you’re wondering – the delicious cake on the front is their “Black Chocolate Stout Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream” (page 140). How many different verbs could be used in that recipe title that would make your mouth water!? Ha! 😉

The book is filled with amazing recipes (that of course are mostly sweet and salty) and is made up of the following categories…

Scones and Biscuits / Quick Breads and Coffee Cakes / Muffins / Cookies and Shortbreads / Pies and Tarts / Brownies and Bars / Cakes and Cupcakes / Baking for the Holidays / Fillings, Frostings and Sauces / Bar Snacks.

I marked several recipes to try such as their “Cheddar Mustard Scones” (page 28), “Poppy Seed, Prune and Lemon Coffee Cake” (page 45), “Pumpkin Olive Oil Loaf” (page 47), “Salted Apple Bread” (page 50), “Blueberry Cornflake Muffins” (page 58), “Jelly Doughnut Muffins” (page 69), “Muffin Bread Pudding” (page 70 – loved the story to this recipe too!), “Chocolate Truffle Cookies” (page 87), “Blue Cheese Apple Pie with Toasted Walnuts” (page 102), “Salty Super Dark Chocolate Brownies” (page 127), “Gooey Honey Blondies” (page 131), “Brooklyn Blackout Cake” (page 142), “Chocolate Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping” (page 153) and “Salted Dark Chocolate Pudding” (page 184) to name…just a few!

I highly recommend this book for dessert lovers everywhere! If you like baking, love eating desserts, and always seem to crave something sweet AND salty – this is for you!

To buy this book, please click here…

To read their blog, please click here…

To meet the bakers (and authors), please click here…

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.


2-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

Yesterday, I made an AMAZING chocolate cake…in a MUG…in the microwave! Yes – you read that right!

I’m not sure I had ever had anything like this before. AND I admit that I was (at first) a little…against the fact of making a cake in the microwave. I figured – why make a cake in a MUG when you could make a regular size cake and eat on it for days!?

Well, I’m “seeing the light” now, and I understand why people would want a “mug cake”. It’s easy, fast, individual sized, and so delicious!

The recipe I used came from “Lucky Peach”. I’ve included the recipe below – but here is their official posting, recipe and story… http://lky.ph/post/43087441437/mug-cake-for-lonelyhearts

Chocolate Mug Cake Blog

Lucky Peach’s Two-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small or medium coffee mug (microwave safe)

Add the egg, milk and vegetable oil to a small or medium coffee mug and whisk together. Next, add the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, and unsweetened cocoa powder, and mix thoroughly until everything is combined. Finally, add in the chocolate chips, pure vanilla extract and salt and mix again.

Put your mug into a 1000-watt microwave for 2 minutes.

The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed.

Allow to cool and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT! (This can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous.)

Note: Mine served one – me… 😉


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Hasselback Potatoes

I’m sure if you have Facebook or Pinterest, you’ve seen this recipe (or some version of) floating around. I’ve had a ton of people send the link (or recipe) to me and ask “Does this really work!?” or “Have you tried this???” To answer everyone’s questions – yes and yes. Yes, I’ve tried them, and yes it works…and they are so quick, easy and delicious, you won’t believe it!

I have tried this “recipe” with a variety of potatoes (different sizes, colors, etc.) and it really works on ALL types. All you have to do is adjust the baking time.

If you are afraid of cutting the potato and NOT going all the way through (it CAN be a challenge…) my friend Jenny suggested to “put a wooden spoon or dowel next to the potato for easier cutting and to not cut through the potato!” I thought this was a fabulous tip! Thanks Jenny! 😉

Jenny also suggested an awesome and FUN name for these when getting kids to eat them – “Potato Books”! How cute is that! I’ll have to use that…

You can top these with anything once out of the oven! Sour cream, butter, chives, bacon, parm cheese, garlic… Experiment and have fun with this!

Sliced larger with oliver oil salt and pepper blog

Hasselback Potatoes (with olive oil, salt and pepper)

The following recipe uses 5 large baking potatoes. This recipe can easily be doubled to make more.

5 large baking potatoes
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper

Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F.

Wash, scrub and dry the potatoes.

Carefully using a sharp knife, cut the potatoes down the length from one end to the other – being CAREFUL not to slice through the entire potato.

Once they are all cut open (see picture above for a guideline) place them into a shallow baking dish.

Drizzle on the olive oil, and sprinkle on the salt and pepper.

Using clean hands, rub the olive oil, salt and pepper into each potato, coating the entire potato. (I do this because I eat the skin and I want the skin to be crisp and flavorful.)

Place into preheated oven for 1 hour – 1 hour 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. (Use less time of course if you are using smaller potatoes.)

Take out, cool slightly and top with desired toppings.


Sliced smaller with herbs blog

(Above is a photo of some smaller golden potatoes I used this method on – and sprinkled them with fresh herbs right out of the oven…)

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