Life, Love and my passion for cooking

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Carson City, NV, United States
I grew up in Illinois in a small town. I moved to California in May of 2000.In that time I have experienced life, love and my passion for cooking. We now live in Nevada. I hope to take my passion for cooking to a new level.


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Friday, December 28, 2012

cookies and beer

Chocolate stout cookies with salted caramel frosting

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1Tbsp dark cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
6 ounces stout- I used Murphy's stout
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1 bag of salted pretzels
Salted Caramel Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
Pinch of salt
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream- I use the whipping cream from Trader Joes.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powders, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
Beat butter with sugars with a mixer using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and egg and beat to combine. With the mixer on low, add flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the beer. Beat just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.
Chill dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes or until firm enough to scoop.
Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350°F for 15-17 minutes or until tops spring back lightly when touched. Cool on pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Salted Caramel Frosting
In a medium saucepan, melt butter, salt and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil unstirred for 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and immediately whisk in cream.  Whisk in vanilla. Cool 5-10 minutes, and then stir in 1 cup powdered sugar. Whisk briskly to smooth out any lumps. Add powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking briskly between each addition, until frosting is firm enough that the whisk tracks don’t sink all the way back into the frosting.
Crush the pretzels in a ziploc bag. Sprinkle them on the cookies. Press down lightly so the pretzels stick. The cookies will keep in an air tight container for a few days.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Leaha's spicy white chicken chili

1 whole 3-4 pound chicken
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 whole garlic bulb (top cut off)
1 fresh rosemary sprig (or dried chopped rosemary)
1 large sweet onion (chopped)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
1 yellow bell pepper (chopped)
2 jalapenos (chopped with seeds)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dried ground red hot peppers
(a great mixture from my moms garden in Illinois)
1 can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can black beans or another can of cannellini beans
1 cup chicken broth (divided)
Cilantro for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400. Heat up a dutch oven or deep pan with a tablespoon canola oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on each side. Place the chicken breast side down and brown it for 4 minutes. Once it is brown turn off the heat leave the chicken in the pan or dutch oven. Flip the chicken back over. Place the garlic bulb inside the cavity along with the rosemary sprigs. If you are using dried chopped rosemary just rub it all over the chicken. Then add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Bake the chicken for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, get a bowl and chop all your veggies. The onion, bell peppers and jalapenos. Add your herbs and spices to the veggies and mix well. Set the bowl of veggies aside while the chicken is cooking.
When the chicken is done the internal temp will reach 165. Test the chickens dark meat for the internal temp. The dark meat takes the longest to cook. Also the juices will run clear and chicken will fall apart. Remove the chicken from the pan and place the chicken on a cutting board to rest and cool while you prepare the chili.
The chicken will have left a wonderful juice at the bottom of the dutch oven or pan. Bring the juices to a small simmer on the stove. Add the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth and two tablespoons of flour. Whisk until the mixture is thick. Then add all your veggies, if when you add your veggies the mixture seems too thick add a little more chicken broth. Let the veggies simmer for 10 minutes.
While the veggies are simmering prepare the chicken for the chili. Separate the white meat and dark meat from the chicken. Shred the chicken up and put it in a bowl. Then add it to the veggie mixture. Then add your beans and stir. let it simmer for a few minutes to warm up the beans. Top with cilantro serve and enjoy!