Monday, November 26, 2012

Million Dollar Property Monday

This week's Million Dollar Property is a lovely and renovated Provencal villa in Villefranche sur MeVillefranche, France.  Although renovated, the home has its original stone floors and beamed ceilings.  Overlooking the Bay of Villefranche, the grounds feature citrus and olive trees.  The cottage has 6 bedrooms and 6 full bathrooms.  You can visit Sotheby's listing here.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Homemade Ranch Dressing

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tbs lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp onion powder
sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp fresh dill

1. Combine sour cream, buttermilk, and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl

2. Whisk until mixed well

3. Add rest of ingredients and whisk

4. Pour into a covered dressing holder

Refrigerate for at least an hour before use

Shake well before each use

Recipe and Image via

Smokestack's Chicken Wings

1 tbsp. kosher salt
2¼ tsp. sweet paprika
1½ tsp. garlic powder
1½ tsp. onion powder
1½ tsp. dried thyme
1½ tsp. dried Oregano
¾ tsp. ground black pepper
¾ tsp. ground white pepper
½ tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. cayenne
2½ lb. chicken wings
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
½ cup mild hot sauce
¼cup Old Bay seasoning Juice of 1 lemon

1. In a bowl, whisk together salt, paprika, garlic and onion powders, thyme, oregano, both peppers, sage, and cayenne. Toss wings with spices in bowl; chill 4 hours.

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Whisk together butter, hot sauce, Old Bay, and lemon juice in a large bowl, and then pour half into another large bowl; set both aside.

3. Prepare your grill using the kettle grill, bullet smoker, or gas grill method, (see links for instructions) using oak wood chunks or chips (see Fuel and Flavor). Place chicken wings on grill grate. Maintaining a temperature of 225°-250° (if using a kettle grill or bullet smoker, replenish fire with unlit coals, as needed, to maintain temperature; see instructions) cook, turning once, for 20 minutes. Toss chicken wings in half the sauce; return to grill and cook until well browned and tender, about 25 minutes. Toss chicken wings in remaining bowl of sauce and serve.

Recipe and Images via Saveur

Fiery Oven-Baked Chicken Wings

2 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
4 tsp. onion powder
4 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tsp. brown sugar
fresh-ground black pepper

1 cup Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1 cup good quality barbecue sauce
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
4 tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce (optional)

1. For the rub: Combine spices in a large bowl, adding salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste. Toss the wings in the spice mixture, and let wings sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Arrange wings on wire racks set on sheet trays. Place the wings in a cold oven and set for 275º. Cook for 30 minutes, until the fat begins to render and drip down onto the trays.

3. Raise oven temperature to 475º. Continue to cook wings until golden brown and crispy, about 30-45 minutes more, rotating the trays and flipping the wings halfway through the cooking. If the wings are not crispy after 45 minutes, run them under the broiler until crispiness is achieved. After the wings are crispy, let them cool slightly. Cut chicken into wings and drumettes, if desired.

4. For the sauce: Mix hot sauce and barbecue sauce together. Pour half the sauce around the edges of a large bowl.  Add the wings and toss to coat, adding reserved sauce as necessary. Serve immediately with celery, carrots, and blue cheese sauce for dipping.

Recipe and Image via Saveur

Harissa Hot Wings


Canola oil, for frying
2 lbs. chicken wings, separated into 2 pieces
8 oz. jarred or homemade harissa
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Yogurt and mint dipping sauce, for serving

1. Heat oven to 200°. Pour oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven to a depth of 2" and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 400°. Working in two batches, add chicken wings to oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 10–12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer wings to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and transfer to oven.

2. Meanwhile, put harissa, butter, zest, and juice into a medium heat-proof bowl. Set bowl over a pot of boiling water until butter is melted and sauce is hot, whisking to combine. Transfer chicken wings to the bowl and toss to combine. Serve with yogurt and mint dipping sauce.

Recipe and Image via Saveur

Korean Fried Chicken Wings

 Canola oil, for frying
 5 cloves garlic
 1 1½" piece peeled ginger
 3 tbsp. soy sauce
 3 tbsp. gojujang (Korean chile paste)
 1 ½ tbsp. rice vinegar
 1 tbsp. Asian sesame oil
 1 tbsp. honey
 2/3 cup flour
 1 tbsp. cornstarch
 16 chicken wings (about 1¾ lbs.)

 1. Pour oil into a 6-qt. pot to a depth of 2". Heat over medium-high heat until a thermometer reads 350°. Chop garlic and ginger in a food processor. Add soy, gojujang, vinegar, sesame oil, and honey; purée. Put sauce into a bowl.?

 2. Whisk flour, cornstarch, and 2/3 cup water in another bowl. Add chicken; toss. Working in 3 batches, fry chicken until golden, 6–8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Return oil to 350°. Fry chicken until crisp, 6–8 minutes more. Drain again. Toss chicken in sauce.

Recipe and Image via Saveur

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

For the batter
 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
 3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
 1 teaspoon coarse salt
 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
 1/3 cup buttermilk
 1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can)
 3/4 cup light brown sugar
 2 large eggs

For the sugar coating
 3/4 cup granulated sugar
 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups. Make batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine.

Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Working with one at a time, remove muffins from pan, brush all over with butter, then toss to coat in sugar mixture. Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe and Image via Martha Stewart

Monday, November 19, 2012

Million Dollar Property Monday

This week's property is located in the mountains of Sun Valley.  On the market for $9,500,000, the estate has 7 bedrooms, 8 bathroom, in an interior of over 12,000 sq. ft.  The elegant property has an Italian wine cafe and a terrace featuring an infinity pool.  You can view Sotheby's listing here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Blood Orange Champagne Cocktails

2 1/4 cups freshly squeezed or frozen blood-orange juice
2 750-ml bottles champagne, chilled

Pour 3 tablespoons juice in each champagne flute. Fill flutes with champagne, and serve.

Recipe and Image via Martha Stewart

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chocolate-Pecan Chess Pie

1/2 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
1/2 cup butter
2 (1-oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking squares
1 (5-oz.) can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups pecan halves and pieces
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350°. Roll piecrust into a 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under, and crimp.

Microwave butter and chocolate squares in a large microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in evaporated milk, eggs, and 1 tsp. vanilla.

Stir together granulated sugar and next 3 ingredients. Add sugar mixture to chocolate mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared crust.

Bake pie at 350° for 40 minutes. Stir together pecans, next 2 ingredients, and remaining 1 tsp. vanilla; sprinkle over pie. Bake 10 more minutes or until set. Remove from oven to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

Recipe and Image via

Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie

1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon or water
4 large eggs
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 teaspoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.

Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto bottom of piecrust; set aside.

Combine corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk about one-fourth hot mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot mixture, whisking constantly. Pour filling into prepared piecrust.

Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until set; cool on wire rack.

Recipe and Image via

Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites

3 cups chopped pecans
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 (2.1-oz.) packages frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells

Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.

Stir together sugar and corn syrup in a medium bowl. Stir in pecans, eggs, and next 3 ingredients.

Spoon about 1 heaping teaspoonful pecan mixture into each pastry shell, and place on 2 large baking sheets.

Bake at 350º for 20 to 22 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks, and let cool completely (about 30 minutes). Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Mini Pecan Pies: Substitute 1 1/2 (8-oz.) packages frozen tart shells for frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 2. Spoon about 1/4 cup pecan mixture into each tart shell. Place tart shells on a large baking sheet. Proceed with recipe as directed in Step 4, increasing bake time to 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Garnish with currants, if desired. Makes 1 dozen. Prep: 15 min., Bake: 30 min.

Recipe and Image via

Pecan Pie Brownies


1 (2-pound) frozen pecan pie, thawed
1/2 cup butter
1 3/4 cups (11.5-ounce package) semisweet chocolate chunks
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Vegetable cooking spray


Cut pie into cubes. Set aside.

Microwave 1/2 cup butter and chocolate chunks in a glass bowl at HIGH 1 minute. Stir and microwave 1 more minute. Stir until mixture is smooth.

Beat chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, milk, and half of pie cubes at low speed with a heavy-duty stand mixer until blended.

Add flour and baking powder, stirring with a wooden spoon until blended. Stir remaining half of pie cubes into batter. (Batter will be thick.) Spoon batter into a 13- x 9-inch pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350º for 50 minutes. Cool brownies completely on a wire rack. Cut into triangles or squares.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Mrs. Edward's Frozen Pecan Pie

Recipe and Image via

Pecan Cheesecake Pie

1/2 (15-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs, divided
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
1 cup light corn syrup

Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pie plate according to package directions. Fold edges under, and crimp.

Beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture into piecrust; sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.

Whisk together corn syrup and remaining 3 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla; pour mixture over pecans. Place pie on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350° on lowest oven rack 50 to 55 minutes or until pie is set. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour or until completely cool. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 2 days.

Recipe and Image via

Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie

1/2 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons bourbon
1 1/2 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 325°. Fit piecrust into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet; sprinkle piecrust with powdered sugar.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl until foamy; whisk in brown sugar and next 6 ingredients. Pour mixture into piecrust, and top with pecan halves.

Bake at 325° for 30 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 300°, and bake 30 more minutes. Turn oven off, and let pie stand in oven, with door closed, 3 hours.

Recipe and Image via