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Chicken & Dumplings

It can get chilly here in the Steel City. What’s one to do when you’re rolling solo? When you don’t have a significant other to snuggle up to.

Well I, head to the kitchen to whip up a pot of chicken and dumplings.

Chicken and dumplings in a white bowl

This is more than enough comfort for me. Yes, it would be lovely to have my dream guy next to me but at the current moment, I’m rolling solo.

Now onto the good stuff. Here’s the recipe …

Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 Cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 Cup chopped celery
  • 1 Cup sliced carrots (use your judgment – I use 2)
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 9 Cups of chicken and vegetable broth (If you’re worried about the sodium then get lower-sodium broth already made or make your own). I use Bouillons. I use more water to cut down on the sodium. Fix according to the directions on the box and add an additional 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 4 Tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • 4 Cups of cooked shredded chicken breast

Directions:

Chicken

  • I sautee my chicken in canola oil until done
  • For the seasonings I use, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder and McCormick® Grill Mates Montreal Chicken seasonings
  • I like for my chicken to be a little blacken
  • I cook the chicken before preparing the soup

Soup

  • In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter
  • Cook onion, celery, and carrots in the butter until tender about 5 minutes. Use your own judgment
  • Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes
  • Pour in chicken broth, basil, oregano, bay leaf, and the parsley, poultry seasoning,
  • Taste before adding salt
  • Add pepper
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes
  • Add the chicken then simmer again for about 10 minutes until chicken melts in your mouth

Homemade Drop Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 Cup lukewarm water
  • 1 Carton (32 oz) Progresso®Chicken or Beef Broth (Again I make own using the bouillons)

Directions:

  • Add all dry ingredients to a medium bowl and combine well
  • Add oil and mix with a fork.
  • Gradually add water to achieve your desired consistency
  • Bring broth to a boil and add dumplings by the spoonful.
  • Cook 5 minutes or until cooked through in the center

And that’s it, Ladies and Gentlemen … Bon appétit Y’all.

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s chit-chat about this. What are your thoughts? You can leave your comment in the section below. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

You can listen to the podcast on iTunesSpotify, Amazon, or Pandora.

Don’t forget to join me on Instagram, Twitter, and the Facebook page. I also have a YouTube channel. I will be adding videos very soon so subscribe and hit the notification button so you’ll be notified when the videos come out. Don’t forget to sign up for the emails to get on the VIP list.

So until we meet again my dear Friend, “Stay Cool, Classy, and Keep on Killing it. NEVER give up! NEVER be denied! You’re NEVER too old! NEVER look back!

With love,

Kimberly

Cheers!
Kimberly Ann Hawes
KH

Everything is better, “Over Cocktails or Coffee!” ~~kah

King Cake

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love New Orleans. It’s my second favorite city in which I’m in love with.  New York City (Brooklyn) is my first and Charleston, SC is my third.

The Sunday before Mardi Gras I got the urge to make a King Cake. Since I didn’t make it to NOLA for this insane day of celebration. I celebrated here in Pittsburgh by cooking up my own King Cake.

King cake cinnamon buns in a circle with icing and green, yellow and purple sprinkles

Before I get into the recipe here’s a little history behind the King Cake courtesy of New Orleans Showcase® (source).

Mardi Gras season begins on January 6, of each year and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent. One of the wonderful traditions of Mardi Gras, and probably the most delicious, is the King Cake.

On the Christian calendar, the 12th day after Christmas is celebrated as the date that the gift-bearing Magi visited the baby Jesus. This day, January 6, is known by several names, including “Epiphany”, “Twelfth Night”, or “Kings Day”. The celebration of this event has evolved over the centuries, with each culture adding its own unique rituals. The New Orleans tradition, borrowing heavily from European influences, is believed to have begun in the 1870’s. As part of this celebration, it is now traditional to bake a cake in honor of the three kings – the King Cake. King Cakes are oval-shaped to symbolize the unity of faiths. Each cake is decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors – purple representing justice, green representing faith, and gold representing power. A small baby, symbolizing the baby Jesus, is traditionally hidden inside each King Cake.

In New Orleans, King Cake parties are held throughout the Mardi Gras season. In offices, classrooms, and homes throughout the city, King Cakes are sliced and enjoyed by all. Like the Biblical story, the “search for the baby” adds excitement, as each person waits to see in which slice of cake the baby will be discovered. While custom holds that the person who “finds” the baby will be rewarded with “good luck”, that person is also traditionally responsible for bringing the King Cake to the next party or gathering.

The “traditional” King Cake is made from twisted strands of cinnamon dough, covered by poured sugar and sprinkled with purple, green and gold colored sugar. Today, many additional varieties of King Cake are also available by adding cream cheese, or other fillings to the “traditional” King Cake

Now onto the good stuff the recipe…

This recipe is going to blow your mind on how easy it is to make. I searched high and low for something simple and quick to conjure up.

There are a ton of recipes out there but they take entirely too much time to make.

You are going to high five me when you see how easy it is to make.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 (17.5 oz) cans jumbo cinnamon rolls with icing
  • Yellow, Green, Purple Sprinkles – Instructions on how to make your own sugar color sprinkles below

Directions:

  • Heat oven 350° (I put mine at 325°F)
  • Brush Bundy pan with melted butter.
  • Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon
  • Sprinkle buttered Bundt pan evenly with the sugar mixture
  • Arrange cinnamon rolls around the prepared pan, overlapping one another
  • Pour the remaining butter over the rolls
  • Bake for 35 minutes (Check after 20 minutes with a toothpick. If it’s clear they’re done)
  • Let cool for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a cake plate
  • Pour frosting over the top and then add the homemade icing on top of that
  • Decorate with the yellow, green and purple sprinkles

Since the rolls didn’t come with enough icing I made my own.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz of cream cheese softened
  • 7 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of vanilla (you know what I’m going to say – I add a 1 Teaspoon)
  • 2 Tablespoons of milk (I add more milk for my desired consistency)
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of salt

Directions:

  • Beat together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl until creamy
  • Mix in the vanilla and milk
  • Gradually mix in the confectioner sugar and until smooth and fluffy

Make your own green, yellow and purple sprinkles.

  • You’ll need 3 ziplock bags
  • Fill each ziplock bags with a 1/4 cup sugar
  • Food color (yellow, green, red and blue)
  • If you have the liquid start off by using 1 drop for the yellow and 1 drop for the green) For the purple add 1 drop of blue and 1 drop of red and shake then spread them over the cake alternating each color
  • I wasn’t able to find the liquid so I had to use the gel.
  • With the gel, you’re going to have to experiment by starting off with a drop or 2. When you add the gel into the ziplock bag you’re going to have work through the sugar and gel together by massaging with your hands until you get the color you fancy

Bon appétit Y’all.

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s chit-chat about this. What are your thoughts? You can leave your comment in the section below. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

You can listen to the podcast on iTunesSpotify, Amazon, or Pandora.

Don’t forget to join me on Instagram, Twitter, and the Facebook page. I also have a YouTube channel. I will be adding videos very soon so subscribe and hit the notification button so you’ll be notified when the videos come out. Don’t forget to sign up for the emails to get on that VIP list.

So until we meet again my dear Friend, “Stay Cool, Classy, and Keep on Killing it. NEVER give up! NEVER be denied! You’re NEVER too old! NEVER look back!

With love,

Kimberly

Cheers!
Kimberly Ann Hawes
KH

Cheers!

Everything is better, “Over Cocktails or Coffee!” ~~kah

My Madies

Hiya Ladies and Gentlemen, I like to call this post, my sweet tooth connection. If I’m not seeking out the best cupcake spots, then I’m baking up something to feed my sugar addiction.

On this particular day, it was the Madeline cookie. I despise Starbucks coffee. But the only good thing that I experienced from Starbucks was their Madeline cookie.

When I’m at Barnes and Noble, which is at least once a week. I wander off into Starbucks to get their Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème. I always look for the Madeline cookies and without disappointment, there aren’t any. I even ask the barista if they have any, and I get the same answer, we haven’t carried them in a long time.

Saturday or Sunday, you’ll find me at the local flea markets. This particular Sunday, I stumbled upon a room where they get items from estate sales. As I’m sauntering through the isles. WHAT did I FIND? Yes, a Madeline cookie pan.

I was so excited. I was even more excited that it was only fifty cents.

I wasted no time in finding the perfect recipe. Then I was off to the supermarket (my favorite hangout spot) to get the ingredients so I could start making my Madies. 🙂

And voilà my Madeline.

These little cookies/cake are scented with a hint of lemon zest and vanilla bean. These little pieces of heaven go quite well with a cup of coffee (my preference) or tea.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Vanilla bean
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. I love vanilla so I use a teaspoon
  • 6 Tablespoons of unsalted (I use salted) butter, melted and cooled

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl, combine the sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla bean. Use your fingers to rub the zest and bean into the sugar, releasing their aromatic oils. Then add the eggs
  • Use your stand mixer (KitchenAid) with the paddle attachment to beat the sugar mixture on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes until the mixture is pale and thick
  • Add the vanilla extract
  • Use a spatula to fold in the melted butter, then the flour
  • Cover and refrigerate the batter for 3 hours
  • Preheat over to 400 (I prefer 325), grease and flour the Madeline pan
  • Fill the shells with the chilled batter until almost full. You may have to wet your fingers to stop them from sticking to you.
  • Bake until centers are puffed and edges are golden brown, about 10-12. I would check them after 8 minutes to be on the safe. Everyone’s stove is different. I don’t want you to burn them.
  • Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then pop them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Madeline’s are best the day they are made. Trust they’re not a next day cookie.

These are great for an after-dinner dessert if you’re entertaining. You can get a little creative and serve them with a scoop of triple vanilla ice cream. Yes, I love vanilla. Or you can use just regular vanilla ice cream. Whatever tickles your fancy.

Bon appétit Y’all.

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s chit-chat about this. What are your thoughts? You can leave your comment in the section below. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

You can listen to the podcast on iTunesSpotify, Amazon, or Pandora.

Don’t forget to join me on Instagram, Twitter, and the Facebook page. I also have a YouTube channel. I will be adding videos very soon so subscribe and hit the notification button so you’ll be notified when the videos come out. Don’t forget to sign up for the emails to get on the VIP list.

So until we meet again my dear Friend, “Stay Cool, Classy, and Keep on Killing it. NEVER give up! NEVER be denied! You’re NEVER too old! NEVER look back!

With love,

Kimberly

Cheers!
Kimberly Ann Hawes
KH

Everything is better, “Over Cocktails or Coffee!” ~~kah

Beef & Broccoli

Hello, my, gorgeous Ladies and Gentlemen, what’s cooking, beef & broccoli, “Crockpot Style.” Cooking has become my go-to activity when I’m stressed when my mind starts to wander or if I have some deep-rooted problem that needs to be solved.

white dish with chicken and broccoli with chopsticks

I literally get excited, going to the supermarket, picking out items (along with items I don’t need), then heading home for some kick-ass cooking. The recipes I post will be for 2 servings. If you’re dining solo, you’ll have leftovers. If you get lucky and snag a date voilà dinner for two.

When I’m cooking, I literally lose myself. I have the music going, a couple of glasses or a bottle of wine or champagne. Since I no longer, “have” to cook for the kiddies, I love cooking.

So let’s get this party started with this sumptuous crock-pot style dish. I use my crock-pot a lot, especially on the weekends. I’ll prepare my meal, head out, and run all my errands (shoe/sunglasses shopping, lip gloss, fresh flowers, wine, champagne, Jack Daniels, the usual items). When I come home, dinner is ready!

While preparing this dish, I got acquainted with a bottle of White Zinfandel from Sutter Home, while listening to one of my favorite stations on Pandora, click to listen. If it doesn’t come up, the station is called Emancipator Radio. white-zinfandel-details_0_0

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
1 Cup beef consommé
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
3 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoon cooled sauce from the crock-pot after being cooked
Fresh broccoli florets, as many, as desired
hot cooked rice

Instructions:

      1. Brown your beef before placing in the crockpot. (Season the beef with a little salt/pepper, garlic/onion powder — optional, throw them into a brown paper bag (old school) or plastic zip-lock of flour — you can season the flour instead, then right into the hot skillet). I used peanut oil for this dish. You’re only browning so you don’t need a lot of oil. Enough to cover the bottom of the skillet. I also use a cast-iron skillet for browning.
      2. Place beef in a crock-pot.
      3. In a small bowl, combine consommé, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, and garlic. Pour over the beef and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
      4. Now grab a pot, pour the sauce from the crock-pot into the pot and stir in the cornstarch until smooth, then add back to the crock-pot. Stir well to combine. (If your sauce is not thickening, try bringing your sauce to a boil on the stovetop with the cornstarch mixture. Boil until your desired consistency is reached).
      5. Add broccoli to the crock-pot. Stir to combine.
      6. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes on high (the sauce has to boil for it to thicken).
      7. Serve over hot cooked rice.

    You can listen to the podcast on iTunesSpotify, Amazon, or Pandora.

    Don’t forget to join me on Instagram, Twitter, and the Facebook page. I also have a YouTube channel. I will be adding videos very soon so subscribe and hit the notification button so you’ll be notified when the videos come out. Don’t forget to sign up for the emails to get on the VIP list.

  1. So until we meet again my dear Friend, “Stay Cool, Classy, and Keep on Killing it. NEVER give up! NEVER be denied! You’re NEVER too old! NEVER look back!
  1. With love,

    Kimberly

  1. Cheers!
    Kimberly Ann Hawes
    KH

    Everything is better, “Over Cocktails or Coffee!” ~~kah

Sunday Dinner Date…

It’s Sunday and you have a dinner date! What to do? What to wear? What to cook? Well, calm down because Kimma has your back. How about..”Braised Short Ribs” it’s easy and delish! You can’t go wrong with this one and you’ll date will be pleasingly impressed.

Good things could follow after a meal like this if your rap game is on point. That’s another post.

Flour, Salt & Pepper
Beef… Short Ribs (any amount – I made 8 ribs)
1/4 C butter
1 C Onions, chopped
1 C Beef Broth
3/4 C Red Wine Vinegar
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1/4 C Hot Sauce
2 TBSP Bourbon Glaze (or ketchup)
2 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
2 TBSP minced Garlic

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Coat ribs w/flour, s & p. Brown ribs in butter in a Dutch Oven. Remove ribs. Add onions until soft. Return ribs to Dutch Oven. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over ribs. Cover and bake 2 – 2 1/2 hours, until tender.

Serve over mashed potatoes, gravy, string beans, and biscuits.

Decorating Tip:

dinner setting with white dishes, white roses and glasses of orange juice

If I do an 8 to 8, I try and keep the table setting cozy but formal. You can create your own theme like a Mardi Gras, 80’s theme that’s beautiful in throwing your own Dinner party, you can do and create what you want.

You can listen to the podcast on iTunesSpotify, Amazon, or Pandora.

Don’t forget to join me on Instagram, Twitter, and the Facebook page. I also have a YouTube channel. I will be adding videos very soon so subscribe and hit the notification button so you’ll be notified when the videos come out. Don’t forget to sign up for the emails to get on the VIP list.

So until we meet again my dear Friend, “Stay Cool, Classy, and Keep on Killing it. NEVER give up! NEVER be denied! You’re NEVER too old! NEVER look back!

With love,

Kimberly

Cheers!
Kimberly Ann Hawes
KH