Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Using Fruit and Chocolate Chips in Cake

Love to bake cakes, muffins and cupcakes but hate it when you add fruit or chocolate chips to the batter only to have them fall to the bottom of the dessert? Find out on today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer the bakery secret to prevent it from falling!

So you picked the perfect basket of blueberries or bought the most amazing chocolate chips. Your stomach is grumbling at the thought of those luscious items in your best cake or muffin. You whip up the batter (while sneaking a few tastes for yourself). You add in those luscious berries or sinful chocolate chips being ever-so-careful not to crush them or break them. You hold your breath as you put the pan into the oven and then you sit there, staring at the oven door silently willing time go faster just so you can eat the end result. You pull it out of the oven and the smell just consumes you but you wait till they cool as you know better. Finally, it’s time to cut it and <insert failure sound> all of those gorgeous berries you cradled so lovingly, all of those sinful chips all fell to the bottom of the dessert leaving you with nothing more than a layer of disappointment.

Has this happened to you? Yeah, me too. Sucks, huh? Oh sure I’ll still eat the dessert but to be honest, the flavor isn’t quite the same. You get too much of fruit or chocolate (though let’s be real, is there ever a thing of too much chocolate?) in one bite and none in the other. The ratio of cake/muffin to mix-in is way off. Plus to be honest, if it’s muffin or cake you’ll end up with a soggy bottom from the fruit. And let’s be real here, no one wants a soggy bottom! But today I have a super simple trick to help you fix this and prevent it in the future!
No more falling mix-ins with this tip!

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 Apple Crumb Cake with Apple Cider Glaze and the 10 Minute Pressure Cooker Chicken Barbacoa Soft Wraps!

Happy Sunday TKW Family!  How are things in your world?  Dish – what’s the best/most funnest (yes I said funnest – go with it) thing you did and or ate?  For me I’d say it’s two things:

  1. The Fantabulous in-laws spent the weekend at our house.
  2. The second best thing was the Italian Braciole I made for them.

I absolutely love my in-laws to pieces and would love nothing more than to have them move in with us. They are both in their 80’s and while they are as spry as can be, their house is just too much for them to take care of. Since we live an hour away it’s not like we can just pop over and do their grass after work. Now Mama Fantabulous tells me she’s not going anywhere but I just smile and tell her “That’s okay Ma. I’ll just kidnap you one of these days.” And that’s when she tells me she’ll put a hit out on me. Hahaha… gotta love that woman!

The second thing was the braciole. So Mama Fantabulous for years would talk about how she always use to make it but that she hadn’t made it in years because it’s just the two of them and it’s time-consuming. So I took to Google to see what braciole actually was. First I had to figure out how to spell it. All I’m going to say is “thank you google for understanding what’s in my head when I butcher the spelling of words”. LOL Once I got that and realized it’s honestly nothing more than just a piece of flattened beef, stuffed with “stuff” and then rolled up super tight like a cinnamon roll. Once you do that you deglaze the pan, add in some tomatoes with sauce, put the rolls in the pan, cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Yeah, it’s that easy. And what’s great about it, is you get to stuff it with whatever you want. You want bacon, cheese and chopped veggies – go for it. For me, I decided to more of an Italian route. I toasted up some pine nuts and breadcrumbs. To that I added some cheeses, peppers, golden raisins and a few other items. Mama Fantabulous helped me tie it up. Normally you would pan sear it off then do the whole tomato/tomato sauce thing and put it in the oven but we had other plans. I took Mama Fantabulous shopping.

Of course we hit up Home Goods which is my all time favorite store. Next, I took her to At Home which is brand new to Pittsburgh. She was awestruck. Seeing her face light and up and hear her say “Oh Lori, look at this!”, “OHHHH Look at that!!!” was priceless.
Take today to be lazy!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Perfect Stove Top Rice

On today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer, learn some of the basics when it comes to cooking rice on the stove top and some common cooking mistakes.

Nowadays there’s a piece of specialized kitchen equipment for every food you want to make. We have grills, fryers, steamers, rice cookers and so forth but do we really need a gadget for every single thing? Probably not. Sure it would be nice but not everyone has a 10,000 sqft house with unlimited cabinet space or closets. Today let’s take a step back and go old school like our parents did and actually make rice in a pot on the stove. Yes the stove. No microwaves, no steamers, no pressure cookers. Just a pot and lid.

What prompted this was a question I posted on Facebook asking you guys what’s one food/recipe you struggle with making. Mine is just simple skillet boneless chicken. It’s more often a miss than a hit with me but I’ll get it right and get it consistent. Well one of the comments that many of you made was about rice. Just simple rice on the stove.

So with rice the rule of thumb is usually a 2:1 ratio of water to dried rice. I say usually as that ratio depends on the type of rice AND the length of the grain that you’re cooking. It can be rather confusing. Too much water and your rice is gummy, not enough and it’s hard and crunchy. Hopefully this post will help take some of the guessing out of it for you.

Try cooking rice in the pot for a great flavor!

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 Hot Damn! Honey Butter Sriracha Roasted Chicken and the Creole Cajun Shrimp Po’Boy!

Happy Sunday TKW Family! Before I get started I want to take a moment to say a prayer for those, these past few weeks, that have been struck with such devastating blasts from Mother Nature. From Hurricane Harvey to now Hurricane Irma it’s heartbreaking. Then that 8.1 earthquake in Mexico… I’m at a loss for words. Love and continued prayers to those impacted by this. May God keep you out of harms way. Please, whatever you can do to help out, do so. Even a silent prayer helps.

On a more personal note, THANK YOU ALL so much for your continued love and prayers for Mr. Fantabulous. He’s on the mend but it’s a slow process and unfortunately on top of the infectious disease he contracted, we both have a nasty virus (cold) that has hit us hard. But to be honest I kind of expected us to get a cold as it’s the change in seasons here in Pittsburgh plus it didn’t help us going from 110F weather to the 50’sF pretty much in one day. The bad part is we’ve pretty much done nothing but sleep or feel crappy. But at least we’re feeling crappy together, right?  That whole “in sickness and health” marriage clause is in effect now.

Today should be a fun day as I’m going to a dear friend’s bridal shower. She’s a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland therefore her shower is themed as such. We’re to wear our tea attire and maddest hat. I’m actually really excited as I get to see her plus some other friends and it gets me out of the house for a bit. The only down size is I am wearing a dress. I. HATE. Dresses! Even as a child I hated dresses and skirts. Perhaps it’s from my always being the fat kid and my chubby thighs rubbing together, dunno. BUT tis her day and I want to make her happy.

Since we’ve been sick, I’ve been making pots of soup for us as honestly that’s about the only thing we want to eat. Well that and pizza. I always want pizza. Plus with Fall in the air soup is like a requirement in my house. From now until April (because that’s when it’ll finally start to warm back up here), you will always find one batch of soup in my fridge. Do you have a favorite Fall soup that you always have on hand?

It’s soup and chili weather!

Sheet Pan Applewood Bacon Top Pork Tenderloin with Herbed Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Get your deliciousness on with this one pan meal! Sheet Pan Applewood Bacon Top Pork Tenderloin, Herbed Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts is the perfect meal when you want simple, delicious and it all done on one pan!

Question, who, after a long and busy day, wants to stand over a stove cooking dinner tonight while using multiple pots and pans and then, once you’re done eating, washing all of those dirty dishes?  Anyone? Yeah, I thought not.. no one wants to do that. Well okay, I kind of like washing dishes by hand as it’s therapeutic and that’s the one time I’m in the kitchen and not bothered. Most hate washing dishes.

If you’re in that group that hates it then you are going to love this recipe! You have one dirty pan to wash and that’s questionable if you use heavy duty foil!. In that case, you really have no pans to wash. AND if you wanted you wouldn’t even have to use plates; just eat off of the pan. AND you could skip using forks and just eat it caveman-style. But unless you go all barbaric and rip the pork tenderloin with your hands, you’ll need one sharp knife to cut the pork. So literally one knife (and about 42 napkins) and you’re ready to eat!

Sheet Pan Applewood Bacon Top Pork Tenderloin, Herbed Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

When I think about sheet pan cooking I think of my Mom. She was the queen of sheet pan cooking. If it could be made on a sheet pan she was doing it. It was easy, little to no clean-up and she could make full meals. Now, to be honest, Mom would have multiple sheet pans in the oven at once as one was typically all meat and the other pan were veggies. And yes, she still would put stuff on the stovetop to which every meal was like a mini Thanksgiving but she cooked for a small army.

Do you have a favorite sheet pan recipe?

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