The name can be pronounced in two ways, and that's exactly the dual purpose of this site: Cooking IS kewl and I really hope it's gonna be a kewl community Cooking School!
So let’s get started...

Marisa loves PURPLE!
Oh yes, my beautiful niece does love purple - with a passion!!! I saw this recipe months ago and saved it to make as her birthday cake. Yes, I know that there are lots of ways to make a cake purple, but this had some really decadent ingredients. I was originally going to make it exactly as shown.
(photo from Sweet&SavoryMeals.com)
As a busy young adult who works full-time, is about to get her Master's degree, and now lives an hour and a half away, plans changed at the last moment from a Sunday afternoon to a Friday evening – just 30 minutes after I would be getting home from work. The open edges of this beautiful cake would not allow for prepping the mini-cakes ahead – it would dry out SO quickly! I consulted with my friend Maria (who does cakes and catering as a side gig) and we agreed I could make CAKE layers a few days ahead and FREEZE! She said it would not only keep it fresh, it would make frosting easier – I liked that!! Since it was my niece, I opted for my heart shaped pans. So on Wednesday evening I made the cake batter as instructed – OH MY, is this thick and rich (that's the vanilla and food coloring gel nestling, just to show the consistency)!!!
Seriously, you need an offset spatula to spread to the edges! I added the prescribed amount of gel coloring, added just a touch more... And something in me told me to only bake one layer.
It came out much lighter than I'd hoped,
so I added about the same amount of coloring to the remaining batter and baked another layer... better, but... Yep, more coloring!!! TADA!!! Trimmed the crowns and edges, packaged in heavy duty aluminum foil and froze. Thursday night I made a double batch of the buttercream frosting – I probably could have gotten by with one and a half batches, but ya know, you can never have too much buttercream!!! I might have been picky, but I wanted just a touch more lemon flavor (already using the zest and juice of a lemon per batch), so I added a splash (maybe a Tblsp?) of lemon oil – I didn't regret it!
As you can see, I schmeared the middle of each layer and did the piping around the edges. I wanted it pretty, but I wasn't about to waste my time, lol. BE CAREFUL AS YOU ADD EACH LAYER OF CAKE!!! You only get one shot at dropping it on the previous without destroying the beauty you just created!
Piped the entire top layer - really not that difficult and OH SO WORTH IT!
Garnished with blackberries, with more to place around the serving platter.
The ombre was NOT intentional, but it certainly worked! The cake was rich and decadent as well as beautiful! Easy in each step, and the way I did it worked on a tight schedule. Had batter and frosting leftover, so I even made a one layer for my friend. This is a keeper for SO many reasons – if I want to do a lime/margarita version, or peach, or cherry, or blueberry... I can always change up the coloring and extracts!
Enjoy <3

Posted by Linda :
Monday 18 March 2019 - 01:17:52
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Good Advice!

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 28 July 2018 - 22:00:57
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I wish I'd thought of that - wait, I DID
I love coconut oil! There are so many uses: conditioning your hair, facial scrubs (add 1 tsp baking soda to 2Tblsp oil, blend, massage into skin. after 5 minutes splash with lukewarm water until "grit" is gone. massage again and let remaining oil absorb), I've even seen where you mix it with turmeric and use it to brush your teeth?!? Yeah, really. But we're talking about cooking.

Unless you keep your house a whole lot warmer than mine, coconut oil tends to be very solid and difficult to scoop out of the jar. Somehow I don't think it's a good idea to melt and harden and melt and harden... but I've done it. And then one day it hit me...

This is all you need:

Yes, that's a turkey baster and an ice cube tray. Got it wink? I placed the sealed jar in some very warm (NOT boiling) water, and when it was fully clear proceeded. Open carefully and use the baster to draw and deposit the melted oil. Be careful not to siphon into the bulb - I can tell you from experience it's a PAIN to clean!

Let it sit at room temperature for several hours. Even though it might LOOK solid, the last thing you want is one leaking and making one big ball.

In cool weather these can be stored on the counter - but when it starts getting warmer store in the fridge. And guess what? I measured the volume of the "cubes" in my tray - almost exactly a half (.53) tablespoon! Now isn't THAT convenient cheesey

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 22 April 2018 - 18:01:10
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the IDEAL keto dessert
Keto is about limiting carbs, a moderate amount of protein, and a whole bunch of fat! Now what dessert fits that profile better than cheesecake!!!?!?!
With a food processor, it's incredibly easy to pulse a bunch of nuts and seeds to make a delectable crust!!
You're looking at almond flour, cinnamon, coconut oil, golden flax seeds, cup for cup sugar substitute ( the recipe I used calls for pecans, but I didn't have any so I used some whole almonds....)
Then it simply says to mix all the other stuff together
Beat the cream cheese until smooth, add the non-sugar, coconut flour, flavorings... and then add the eggs ONE BY ONE!!! Whip each until fully combined, and THEN add the sour and heavy cream...
As obnoxious as it is, I highly recommend the extremely slow method of cooling: an hour with the oven off, another half hour in the oven with the door open, overnight in the fridge... Trust me, it will be worth the wait!!

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 31 March 2018 - 23:43:50
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Pizza in half an hour?
I made my first cauliflower pizza a few years back when my sis-in-law started having issues with gluten.
In my new endeavor with keto, they have become a staple! Now, the original recipe I found didn't use cauli - simply eggs and cheese. I tried it, very good, but since I had a ton of cauli rice I've since added about a cup to his 4 eggs and 6 oz of shredded cheese (I prefer moz).
Just spread it out on some parchment,
Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes. Let it kewl a touch before you proceed (but turn your oven up to 450F).
Most brands of spaghetti/tomato sauce have sugar - so either make your own or simply use tomato PASTE!
Spread it out - you don't need much!
SEASON!!! I used garlic powder, oregano, and dried onion.
Up to this point, your entire crust plus the cheese for topping has about 1000 calories, or more importantly, 15 net carbs. How you top it depends on you, so I can't guide you there - but I used some precooked hot Italian sausage and diced green pepper to top mine last night.
We've already accounted for another 4oz (1 cup) of shredded moz or provolone (I like them mixed!)
Ten minutes at 450F... Oh so good! I usually slice into six pieces - the original recipe says this serves 2, but I never eat more than two slices at a time - it's THAT satisfying!!!
(and, ahem, I HAVE eaten an entire frozen pizza in an evening... frown )

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 18 March 2018 - 20:34:24
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Simple changes!
I've been learning a lot on my keto journey – and loving every bite of it!! Okay, after three weeks I was on a special roadtrip for Valentine's Day and ate pasta and bread and home-fries (separate meals!!!)... Even that mild "binge" taught me -of that bunch I miss bread the most, so I'm experimenting! I've stocked up on some previously unusual ingredients like xanthum gum, acacia, psyllium husks... I already had some almond and coconut flour, and chia and flax are familiar names at least wink Those are important for replacing gluten items - but not for day to day life. Most meals, I'm learning, can be carb reduced by pretty simple means – I really enjoyed this recipe for beef stew, and it really wasn't very different than what I'd made before. The techniques discussed apply to ANY meat and veg prep, and the fact that this is low carb is pure bonus!
So what's the difference? Those ain't potatoes – that's a large celery root peeled and cut in a large dice. CHECK THIS OUT!!! Fewer calories, fewer carbs, more nutrients... Okay, it's ugly – but when slowly simmered as in this beef stew I PROMISE that if you didn't know, you wouldn't know!!! Adding just small cuts of carrot instead of tons of carrot still give you the eye appeal, and removes tons of calories/carbs... Almost forgot - instead of peas I used small cuts of green beans - same reason, fewer carbs but still looks "right"? MY adjustment to this recipe was that I felt it needed a tad of thickening, so instead of using a roux or other starch, I added maybe a half teaspoon of xantham gum and in just a moment I had that silky mouth feel I'd missed! Don't get me wrong – I'm not trying to convert anyone! In fact, this is simply a grand experiment towards my own health. As with any new endeavor, I'm enjoying the experimentation – I hope you continue to read along cheesey As always, your stories and experiences are welcome!

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 17 February 2018 - 22:44:54
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Yeah, I'm still alive... lol
I really like my job of the last several months and I've achieved a "permanent" status! And if I say so myself, I'm mighty good at it!! The things is... it's long, sometimes stressful days - mandatory overtime from time to time - and worst of all? It's a DESK job! My "steps" have dropped to a third of what they were for years, my muscle tone is fading and I don't have the time or energy to make a concentrated effort in that direction. But what I HAVE done is a ton of research on a Keto diet. This high protein/lo carb method has been around for years under many names. For sure, it's a great way to drop 10 pounds of water weight before a doctor's appointment or a hot date. Let's face it - no diet will work if the food or volume or restrictions suck (oops!). I'm doing this for me, for a committed month, just to see? I'll definitely share the best recipes as we go along, but rest assured, I have no intention of limiting the possibilities of postings here - I've still got to do my part for family and other events, lol! Whatever your dietary leanings, this one is easy and delicious! A quiche is a great thing, and this crustless version is totally enjoyable.
I had some mushrooms as well, so I sauteed them with the spinach. Breakfast for me for over a week - and about 10 minutes effort? Yeah, that's good eating!

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 28 January 2018 - 00:43:11
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Sweet AND Savory Apps – can't lose, right?
I saw this idea all over the web, even the local news – an apple and caramel cheese ball coated with pecans... It's SOOOO good!! I chose to use some Dulce du Leche for my sweet sauce – awesome!
In fact, Mom enjoyed it so much on Thanksgiving that she asked me to make it again for Christmas. Haha!! I'd realized that, and had already made another batch! Done. For the savory, I'd made this Roasted Cauliflower recipe for the potluck at work, and my... it was good as a side, but in my mind it tasted like a supreme dip! Ok... spread...
It has an interesting tomato based sauce, and instead of goat cheese I had “cheaped out” and used cream cheese – but dang, it worked!!! For the Thanksgiving app I used two 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese, doubled up on the the spices, and added an extra splash of tomato sauce. Hearty crackers (Triscuits) were perfect. I've been having some computer issues, and not nearly enough time available to fix - so please forgive me if I post this without any pics and add them as I can get them ready - but I didn't want you to miss out <3

Posted by Linda :
Monday 18 December 2017 - 00:14:10
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Ghoulish Pizza
SO sorry I'm late with this!!! I happened to catch the tail end of the show, and Mario Batali had prepared this perfectly ghoulish pizza - which I simply HAD to make!
Awesome, right? And it tastes even better. I already had some pizza dough that I'd made using King Arthur's recipe, but I cooked them using the skillet technique from Mario - you've got to try it!!! Just like grilling pizzas, you've got a partially cooked crust with a crisp bottom that all you have to do is add your toppings and bake or broil a bit more. A "keeper" technique wink So, you slowly saute your onions in an oil/butter combo, and then simmer for a bit in some diluted balsamic vinegar with just a touch of sugar. This element I've made before, and even if the idea of the pizza escapes you, these onions are delicious!!! You spread some creamy goat cheese over the top of the crusts and garnish with the onion!!!
A couple comments here: as a viewer pointed out in the comments, add the olive oil to the goat cheese to make it easier to spread. I ended up adding more than the recipe called for, but I got the texture I wanted. Personally, I'd go with a bit more cheese as well... I hadn't purchased enough cipollini and that's why you see some sloppy rings. I made a second batch of the balsamic glazed onion, using plain old yellow onions... The cipollini were definitely the "ghoulier", but we didn't really notice a difference in the flavor. Now, we can't forget the "blood sauce" - a simmered mixture of equal parts red wine and sugar. I simply couldn't resist this brand -
cheesey Only a cup went into the sauce, and this was a very nice, dry Cabernet Sauvignon at a very reasonable price. Pop the pizzas under the broiler to your desired "darkness" and drizzle with the sauce.
You need not make it horrid looking, but the flavor combinations are sublime. I found a bit of salt and pepper accentuated the sweet, salty and savoriness of the dish. This is a dish worthy of year round enjoyment!

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 11 November 2017 - 00:41:45
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Sweet and Salty and Seasonal ;-)
This makes an incredibly big batch, so have some airtight containers ready!!! But it's easy as can be: Toss the "salty" together (rice chex, pretzels, bugles)...
Gently bake with a glaze (butter, brown sugar, vanilla)...
Now, ME? I would have stopped here - those are peanut butter and chocolate pieces...
but it IS a holiday that's all about the sugar !!
It's on dozens of sites, but this is the one that I used for Harvest Chex Mix!

Posted by Linda :
Monday 30 October 2017 - 01:18:10
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