Weekly Menu

Get out of that same ol’ recipe rut and try one of these delicious and easy recipes this week! This week I highly recommend making the Whiskey Pulled Pork Shepherd’s Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust and the Thick ‘n Creamy Loaded Potato Soup!

Happy Sunday TKW Family! WOW, can you believe that Halloween is next week? I honestly forgot about Halloween. I mean I go shopping a few times a week and see the decorations (hell, they’ve been out since July) but for some reason I thought it was weeks away. It wasn’t until I was on Facebook and I started see posts from parties or parades did I put two and two together. Old age I guess. When you were little, did you have a favorite Halloween costume? I mean we’re talking as soon as you got it from the store you wore it weeks before Halloween, maybe slept in it and then a few more weeks afterwards til your parents begged you to take it off? I did. It was Barbie and it was beautiful.

I begged my Mom to pretty, pretty please buy me this Barbie costume for our 4th grade Halloween parade (hey this was a big deal!) and then to go trick or treating in. Now this costume was, by today’s standards, pretty lame. It had a blue silk skirt, a red sash and white button down shirt, a tiara that had daggers on the end of it to make it stick into your skull and a plastic mask of her face. Now let me talk about this mask for a second. It was hard plastic that went over your face and the only thing that held it on were these white stretchy thin bands that always, ALWAYS got stuck in your hair and pulled out every friggen baby hair you had when you tried to get it off. The eye holes NEVER lined up and the mouth had a hole the size of a straw. This mask made me look like a homeless beauty queen that had been stuck in the gutter for years, makeup all smeared, bright red lips and blue eye-shadowed eye lids.

…and I loved it!

Since I was chubby the skirt was snug and that white shirt was a no go but I still wore that costume with pride. I wore it everyday, around the house, to the store and even to bed. That costume made me feel like a Princess. When I go to the stores now and I see little kids wearing their Spiderman costumes or Princess Jasmine ensembles I can’t help but smile and remember my plastic-faced Barbie costume.

Do you sneak your kid’s Halloween candy?

Three Days in Mexico with Altos Tequila

From Jalisco to Mexico City, find out all about my amazing trip with Altos Tequila. Distillery tour, historic markets, ATV tour of the agave fields, an incredible hands-on cooking lesson and, of course, tequila tasting.

This post is being sponsored by The Daily Meal and Altos Tequila featuring a distillery tour, copious tequila tastings and an opportunity of a lifetime. All opinions of these ABSOLUTELY AMAZING products are mine.

When I received the word that I was to partake in a whirlwind adventure involving foreign travel, distillery tours, cooking classes in Mexico and tequila tastings I pretty much-starting packing immediately – even before I informed Mr. Fantabulous. Looking at the itinerary, it was a jam-packed three-day jaunt starting from Jalisco and ending in Mexico City. What stuck out for me were 3 things: Olmeca Altos distillery tour and tasting, Mexican cooking experience, and cocktail class, and “pack an outfit that you don’t mind getting dirty or leaving behind”. That last part I was so stoked about. Anytime I can get my hands dirty and get in the thick of things, I’m game!

Day One – Arrival at Olmeca Distillery

Hitting the airport at dark o’thirty in the morning, I welcomed the 5 hour flight for some snooze time. Arriving at the airport I met some fellow writers and hit the ground running. Instead of heading to our hacienda we kicked off this trip with a tour of the Destilería Colonial de Jalisco in Los Altos with Maestro Tequilero Jesús Hernandez. Pulling up to this beautiful place we were immediately met with libations and snacks. As I stood there and gazed upon the beautiful stone building, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the beauty of this place. From the fields of Blue Agave plants to the red soil, it truly was captivating.

Altos Tequila For a smooth, sophisticated tequila, go with Altos Tequila!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Difference between yeasts

On today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer find out the difference between Active Dry yeast and Instant Rapid-Rise yeast when it comes to bread and dough. Does it make a difference?  Find out today!

So when I first started this blog I was kind of shocked that many had a fear of making bread or doughs; like it didn’t make sense. I thought “didn’t everyone grow up making homemade bread like I did?” but I was mistaken (my apologies). I totally understand that fear as while making dough is only a few simple ingredients – flour, water, salt, yeast, the process itself can be intimidating. But even before that the type of flour and yeast makes a difference. If you want a chewier type bread, that has pull/tug when you bite it – you use bread flour. When you want a softer type bread with not as much chew, you use all purpose. That’s the easy part.

But what about yeast? When you go to the store you have a few options: Active Dry, Instant/Rapid-Rise and Cake yeast (we won’t get into that as not many use the cake yeast that much or only in certain applications). I, personally, use cake yeast but it’s in certain types of pizza doughs or nut rolls.  But today let’s just dish about active dry and instant yeast.

Are they interchangeable? Does it really matter?

Well…sort of.

To keep your yeast fresher longer, store it in the fridge or freezer!

Weekly Menu

Get out of that same ol’ recipe rut and try one of these delicious and easy recipes this week! This week I highly recommend making the Ultimate Pork Cutlets and the BBQ Meatloaf Stacks!

Happy Sunday TKW Family!  Now that Fall is here in the ‘burgh, we tend to gravitate more towards comfort foods. Where I live the leaves are falling and are EVERYWHERE, the days, while still warm turn to chilly at night. The weather is odd to be honest. If you leave the house in the morning, you need a sweater or light jacket but by say 10:30am you’re hot and when you leave work you put on the AC. By 6:30pm you’re cold so on goes the furnace, fuzzy socks and sweater. I wonder what it’ll be like when we finally move out West and we don’t have to deal with these types of things. For those of you that were used to the 4 seasons or snow at Christmas and moved out west, was it hard to get used to?

I used to say “I could never imagine Christmas without snow” but I honestly can’t remember the last time we had a white Christmas. It’s like our winters with snow don’t really happen until February. Oh sure we get the butt-cold weather (seriously that’s the worse) but no real snow. *shrugs* But right now, our focus is on the leaves. Having 5 acres where you HAVE to pick up the leaves simply put, sucks! You can’t leave it on the ground as they kill the grass. My next house – I want a non-shedding tree, non-growing grass and no bugs. LOL So yeah, pretty much I’m living in Lego-Land!

This weekend I was (still am) super busy in the kitchen working on recipes and upcoming posts. Like right now I have pizza dough proofing in a cast iron skillet for maybe a breakfast pizza. I haven’t decided on that yet. Plus I have 2 casseroles to make and a chicken sheet pan dinner. But I’m tired today. Last week was just busy and we traveled all over the place to get these bar stools for the downstairs. So they opened up an At Home store here and if you’ve never been in one, you MUST!  They remind me of a way larger Home Goods (which you all know is my favorite store) but with a little bit of everything. So you all know Mr. Fantabulous HATES shopping (he doesn’t count Home Depot or Lowes as shopping as that’s necessary stuff – I guess underwear or milk aren’t necessities?!) but when we were out the one day I told him I wanted to check out the store to see if they had items we could use for the house once we’re finished with the remodel.
I need a week of Sundays!

Ultimate Cookie Butter Cream Pie

An Oreo® Cookie Butter cookie crust with a layer of chocolate ganache and the most decadent, dreamy, creamy cookie butter cream filling you could ever imagine! It’s truly bliss in every single bite!

Now before we delve into this I know what you’re thinking “can I use peanut butter instead?” and the answer is “Yes!” It’s pretty much an even swap plus a bit more sugar but trust me when I say this, don’t!  Don’t go the ‘instead’ route or crinkle up your nose because you’ve never had let alone heard of cookie butter. I love peanut butter but cookie butter, oh how I LOVE YOU! It’s seriously the next best thing since peanut butter, bacon (well okay.. NOTHING is better than bacon), chocolate, Vin Diesel, sprinkles, teacup piggies and air! It’s basically ground Speculass (Speculoos) cookies mixed with spices and some coconut oil that is seriously AWESOME in a jar!  It has the same creamy texture as peanut butter but no nuts whatsoever.

So step away from the creamy peanut butter and trust me on this one. This pie is the ULTIMATE!

Ultimate Cookie Butter Cream Pie

Okay so let me fill you in on the back story of how this came to be as it wasn’t even a thought in my head to make. I had gone to Walmart for my weekly shopping excursion and half way through the store I got hungry. Like we’re not talking a little hungry but A LOT hungry!  Like to the point I was scrounging through my purse to find something, anything to tide me over. FYI – cough drops do NOT help when you’re starving but my throat never felt better. LOL Anyway, as I was pushing my buggy (yes I’m from Pittsburgh and we call our shopping carts ‘buggies’) when on the end cap of the aisle was this glorious display of Oreo cookies. And there it was, as if the heavens were shining down on that single package. “Oreo Cookie Butter Cookies”. Wait, what??? What is this?
This pie is going to be your go-to let me impress someone pie!

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