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NRW: Blackberry-Cornmeal Muffins

18 Nov


  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour 
  • ½ cup fine-ground yellow cornmeal 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 to 2 containers (6 ounces each) fresh blackberries (frozen worked fine too)


1. Preheat oven to 375°… make sure the temp is correct of the berries will sink to the bottom of the cake. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and melted butter; pour over flour mixture, whisking to combine.
2. Fill each lined cup with a scant ¼ cup batter. Top batter with blackberries (3 to 4 berries per cup), then sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
3. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until evenly browned on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are baked, but will keep up to 2 days at room temperature in airtight containers.



Since You’re Getting NRW on Friday…

13 Nov

Here are two recipes for you to work with. Sorry for the delay, school is kicking my butt!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

  • 1 pkg (2 layer size) of spice cake mix 
  • 1 pkg(3.4oz) of Jello-O vanilla flavor Instant pudding 
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin 
  • 1 pkg of Philidephia cream cheese(or any cream cheese), Softened 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 4 eggS

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare cake batter as directed. Add dry pudding mix and pumpkin; mix well.
  3. Spoon mixture into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.
  4. Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Blend in sugar & 1 egg; spoon over batter. Swirl gently with small spoon. Bake 18-21 minutes(more like 25 but keep checking at 20 minutes) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks. Cool completely.
Thank you Bambamgotchatwice for the following recipe!
Chocolate Toffee Bites

  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 Cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 Cup cold butter, cut into pieces 
  • 1 Cup whole pecans, toasted (or 1 Cup ground almonds) 
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar 
  • 2/3 Cup butter 
  • 2 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


1) Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9*13in pan with parchment paper
2) Mix the flour, 1 Cup brown sugar, and cold butter cut into pieces until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs by cutting the butter into the flour and sugar
3) Pour mixture into prepared pan (mixture will be very dry), and press down evenly, then sprinkle nuts evenly over mixture and set aside
4) In a small saucepan melt butter and 1/2 Cup brown sugar stirring constantly until mixture begins to boil
5) Let mixture boil for one minute then pour evenly over nuts in prepared pan
6) Bake for 18-20min until topping starts to bubble
7) Remove from oven and evenly sprinkle chocolate chips on top while pan is still hot
8) Let stand for 3-5 min then spread the chocolate evenly to cover entire pan
9) Place in fridge to cool then cut into squares



NRW: Pecan Crusted Bourbon Chicken

4 Nov

Because I’m in a happy hour state of mind :~)


  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans  
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs 
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter, melted  
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard  
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 2 2/3 tablespoons bourbon whiskey 
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce  
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes 
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions


  1. Stir together the pecans, bread crumbs, and 2 tablespoons of clarified butter. Spread the mixture out on a plate. Press the chicken breasts into the mixture to coat on both sides.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of clarified butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the coated chicken breasts in the pan, and fry on both sides for about 2 minutes each. 
  3. place the chicken in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until done. 
  4. In a small saucepan, whisk together the Dijon mustard, brown sugar, bourbon, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, then remove from the burner, and whisk in the 3/4 cup of unsalted butter one piece at a time. Do not return to the heat. 
  5. Arrange the chicken breasts on a large serving plate. Pour the sauce over the chicken, and sprinkle with green onion.



Yummy Potato Soup

28 Oct

Because tonight I need comfort food…


  • 3lbs of potatoes, scrubbed and pierced in several places
  • 1tbsp. of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped onions
  • 2 tbsp. of minced garlic
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz) of garlic broth
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of pepper
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • crumbled bacon
  • chopped scallions


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Bake the potatoes 1 hour or until tender when pierced. Peel when their cool enough to handle.
  3. Melt the butter in a 4 – 6 qt pot over medium low heat. Stir in onions and garlic, cover and cook 10 minutes until soft, but not brown.
  4. Add 2/3 of the potatoes and mash. Add broth, milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring occassionally.
  5. Cut remaining potatoes into small cubes, add to soup, and stir gently to reheat.
  6. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and chopped scallions.



NRW: Angel Hair Pasta in a Garlic Butter Sauce

21 Oct

For the past two days I have served this with every meal we’ve had, mainly because hubby says it’s addictive. It’s fast and easy, and good all by itself. Enjoy!


  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound of angel hair pasta


  1. Cook pasta until al dente
  2. Melt butter on medium low heat
  3. Add the garlic, pepper, and salt to the butter and stir
  4. Pour sauce over pasta, mixing well.
  5. Plate pasta, and sprinkle paremesan cheese on top

You could always add some broccoli to this dish, like I did today. Tuesday we enjoyed it with lobster and crab stuffed tilapia, and today with steak. Yummo!
~Hidden Gem

NRW: Cream Cheese Bacon Crescents

14 Oct


  • 1 tub (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
  • 3 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cooked, crumbled
  • 2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls  


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix cream cheese spread and bacon in small bowl until well blended.  
  2. Separate each can of dough into 8 triangles each. Cut each triangle in half lengthwise. Spread each dough triangle with 1 generous tsp. cream cheese mixture. Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle and rolling to opposite point. Place, point sides down, on ungreased baking sheet. 
  3. Bake 12 to 15 min. or until golden brown. Serve warm.

NRW: Toowoomba Pasta

30 Sep

My first year of college I lost 20lbs due to depression. Hey, I was 18 living in the most depressing city ever, Pittsburgh, and experiencing family problems back home that I could do nothing about. I couldn’t take it for another semester, so I found myself in Charlotte for my Sophomore year. It is there that I found sunshine, happiness, glee, and the freshman (sophomore?) 15. The former had to do with those Carolina blue skies, but the latter happened because of my friends over zealousness with eating at Outback Steakhouse. There were two things I was guaranteed to get back then: kookaburra wings and the Toowoomba Pasta. Yummo! It wasn’t until I began working there that I stopped eating there (well, I still go to get the wings!). The fat content? Out of Control! I couldn’t deal.

Sunday my mother wanted to go to Outback for dinner, and I reluctantly agreed. I looked at the menu and low and behold, they no longer serve the Toowoomba Pasta! Craziness! Then I remembered a knottie friend (aka virtual friends you make on sent me a Toowoomba Pasta recipe knock off quite a few months ago, and it was on! I decided I would make it this week, just for old times sake. I never ever ever would’ve imagine how delicious it would turn out! Although I must admit, I do feel like I’m going to go into cardiac arrest at any moment. I was feeling like my girl Paula Dean while making it. Heavy cream and a whole lotta butter? Lawd have mercy! Make at your own risk!


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups quartered baby portabella mushrooms  
  • 1 lb raw shrimp (tails off and de-veined, substitute 1/2 for crawfish if available)  
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion (about 2-3)  
  • 16 ounces fettuccine pasta (I am guessing on the amount of pasta since I make two batches of Easy Homemade Fresh Pasta (Gluten Free)) 
  • shredded fresh parmesan cheese

1. Cook fettuccine as directed.
2. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add cream, ketchup and spices. Whisk together and bring to a boil. Continue to simmer and reduce while you continue with the rest of the recipe, stirring occasionally with a wire whisk. (most of the cream will boil away, leaving you with a dark orange sauce).
3. In a separate small skillet, sauté mushrooms in olive oil until soft. Add mushrooms to simmering sauce.
4. Cook shrimp (and crawfish if available) in the small skillet in olive oil just until pink and add to sauce. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
5. Toss with cooked fettuccine and serve immediately lightly topped with finely shredded fresh parmesan cheese.