Sunday, December 16, 2018

Peggy''s Shortbread Cookies

Happy Sunday friends!

I am going to warn you this blog post will be fairly short.  There will be an update on my YouTube channel about my eyes, so make sure to watch for it.  They aren't cooperating to say the least.  I can't see well enough to do a very long post,  I am frustrated and it is especially hard when I had such huge amounts of family recipes planned for here and the YouTube channel.  If you aren't subscribed come join me!  There is more than cooking, there are tons of life stuff, crafts, etc.  There is pretty much nothing that is off limits there.  (Sounds questionable doesn't it?)ChefWannabe's Life

My sister Peggy is precious.  She and I have a special relationship and she is the baker of all bakers!  This woman is awesome in the kitchen!  She used to always be famous for her sugar cookies, now it is her shortbread cookies!  You can leave them plain, add chopped pecans to make them Pecan Sandies, or dip in chocolate, which is what I did!  I dipped ad drizzled!  I did chocolate on some and cherry on others!

Here is the recipe......

3/4 lb Softened butter (unsalted)
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1/ tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. 
Mix all ingredients just until it holds together.  If you dough is a bit wet or sticky add another 1/ cup of flour.  
Roll out fairly thick and cut into whatever shapes you fancy and bake for 9-11 minutes! 

Remember shortbread cookies are supposed to be a bit crumbly and these are perfection!
You could also frost these with buttercream at Christmas and cut into shapes!

Oh the places these cookies will take you....!

ENJOY and thanks sissy!


Saturday, December 8, 2018

5 Cups of Something Cookies


It has been awhile you guys!  As most of you know I have undergone 2 eye surgeries in the last 6 weeks which have simply rendered me unable to cook or bake really at all until a couple of days ago.  It was the best feeling to be able to get in the kitchen and jut get away from life for awhile and bake  Christmas is coming and I had planed such a great barrage of cookie recipes from my family.  I am sorry this eye stuff all came up so suddenly but it is how it worked out and it had to be done.  Don't worry though, I will still get you some fun and very versatile recipes.

Speaking of versatile, this recipe is one of the most versatile I have seen.  My sister Peggy was in for a super quick visit recently and she brought me this recipe.  It is one she makes at the holidays and when I saw the recipe I knew immediately I had to make it and share it.  While I made this with ingredients of my choice, this would be a perfect recipe for your end of the baking train recipes.  You could use up whatever you have left on hand which makes complete sense to me and it will to you as well.

This is a base recipe and the you add 1 cup, of 6 more ingredients.  Genius!  The options you guys, endless.  ENDLESS! (Just on a side note, I am typing this entire thing with my eyes closed because it is easier than the blurriness of my vision right now.  I am just imagining the spell check is going to have to work in overdrive.)

I am going to give you some options for your "5 cups"....
I know you can come up with them on your own, but, you might not have thought of some of these!

cornflakes, rice krispies, coconut, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, ay chips, M^M's, nuuts, peaut butter, oatmeal, cocoa kirspies, crushed up pretzels, mallow bits, golden get my point.

This is why I think it would be a great recipe to use up leftovers on.  All t hose odds and ends of what you have left from your other recipes.

Here we go!

1 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brow sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
5 cups of something else

Get your oven preheated to 350 degrees F.  Cream together shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Add flour, baking soda and salt, mic to combine.  Add your 5 cups of any combination of ingredients.

Drop by small scopp or teaspoons on greased cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for 9-10 minutes.  Take them out and let them cool 10 minutes.  They will seem MAYBE under cooked but they aren't!  Trust me.  Let them cook and bacm, get a glass of milk and ejoy your Christmas tree!

I used sprinkles on some of mine to fight the "brown cookie syndrome".  I think this would easily be a non issue with red and green candies, etc.  Oh the possibilities!

I hope you are enjoying your holiday preperations!


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Homemade Cannoli

Good Evening my friends!
This blog has been a little hard to get out to you.  As you know I also have a YouTube channel and this recipe is also going there.  What you also know is I am 2 weeks out of a cornea transplant.  I am only able to sit at the computer about 20 minutes at a time before I have to rest my eye.  However, since nobody has time for that kind of nonsense, I have my eye patch on and I am getting this out to you this evening come hell or high water!

 My daughter in law has literally been asking me to make these with her for 4 years.  Yes, seriously.  I don't know what caused me to dive into this 6 days out of surgery but I did.  It was a fun day spent together and the outcome was nothing short of heaven.  Jersey girls looking for real cannoli in the midwest doesn't usually work out so well for us.  No pudding, no custard.  The fakery must be stopped!  This filling is true sweetened ricotta, with a custard like base.  It is perfection.  Just the way we love them!

Use chocolate chips or don't.  Use dried pieces of fruit or don't.  Use pistachios, or don't.  These are your cannolis!  I like mine plain, but we did most with chocolate chips!  It isn't a hard process but it is a bit of a lengthy one.  You WILL NEED CANNOLI FORMS!  You can find them almost anywhere these days!

2 cups Flour
2 TBSP Butter
2 TBSP Sugar (White Granulated)
2 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa
1 TSP Cinnamon
1/2 cup Seltzer Water or Marsala Wine

(You can do this in a bowl with a fork or pastry cutter, but I am using my food processor)
In your food processor add, flour, butter, sugar, cocoa and cinnamon.  Pule until ingredients are in crumbs.  Add in seltzer water slowly, pulsiing until mixture is combined.  Your dough should be wet enough to hold together but not sticky.  If it is a little dry add a bit more water, if it is sticky add just a wee bit more flour, it is pretty forgiving that way.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.

2 cups Milk
3/4 cup Cornstarch
2 cups Sugar
2 LBS Ricotta Cheese
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1-2 cups Mini Chocolate Chips

NOTE: This will make extra filling.  I will put a link at the end for a recipe to use it for, or freeze it for later cannoli making!
In a large pot add milk, cornstarch and sugar.  Slowly bring to a boil and stir constantly until thickened.  Transfer to a bowl and let sit, covered, in the refrigerator until COMPLETELY cooled!  When it is cooled, place mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer or use a hand mixer and add ricotta cheese and vanilla.  Mix until smooth and well combined.  I used the whisk attachment on mine for about 30 seconds at the end.  Place back in the refrigerator.

To make the shells, roll out your dough as thin as possible without it ripping.  Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut circles out of the dough.  Wrap around your cannoli forms and using an egg wash, brush the sides that lay on each other to seal your shell!  Continue with all of your dough or as with as many forms as you have.

Heat oil to 350 degrees and fry a few at a time until golden brown.  About 4-6 minutes.  Place on a paper towel lined cookie sheet, let sit for a couple of minutes and remove form.  You may need to use tongs, if they are still hot.  Make sure to let the shells cool completely to make sure they are as done and hardened as they should be (the first batch) so you can adjust if needed!

When all of your shells are fried and cooled, using a piping bag or food storage bag with the corner cut off to fill your cannolis!  Make sure to add a few chocolate chips to the ends so they can be seen!

Buon Appetito!

SAVE THAT EXTRA FILLING!  Freeze it and use it for the holidays or later with this recipe!
Mini Cannoli Bites

Sunday, October 14, 2018

White Chocolate Pumpkin Nut Muffins

Hello my friends!

I am coming to you from my office, sitting at my desk with fluffy socks, leggings and a sweatshirt.  FALL HAS FALLEN!  At least I hope it has.  I mean, the heater isn't coming on anytime soon, but, it is supposed to freeze tonight I believe.  I would like to see more of the sun but I am grateful for what I get.

As most of you know, I go in Tuesday for a right eye cornea transplant.  I had intended to get more recipes out but the last couple of weeks have been filled with nerves, to do lists and did I mention, nerves?  It has been hard to concentrate but hopefully I will get a few ready for you to be able to post while I am down.

This recipe is one I started making last fall.  It is super easy, super, "Fall-ish", and super good, which is definitely the most important part!  We love muffins at our house and you will find a ton of muffin recipes on my website.  I will link to some others at the end!

Here is what you will need:
White Cake Mix
15 oz can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp cinnamon (you can also use pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts of your choice (I used slivered almonds, YUM)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  This recipe should yield about 16 muffins.  Line  your muffin tin with liners and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix until combined.  You could use your stand mixer, but it is so easy to mix up quickly by hand, don't create the extra dishes for yourself!  Well, unless you want to!  You will get a thick batter.
Divide mixture into the muffin pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.  When a toothpick inserted comes out with no wet batter they are done.

Make sure to cut one in half while still warm and add a pat of butter and drizzle of honey!  I might be an expert on this particular muffin!

Enjoy my friends and thank you for stopping by!  Make sure to check out the video as well!

Other Muffin Recipes You Might Love!

Banana Crumble Muffins
BLueberries and Cream Crunch Muffins
Cranberry Almond Muffins
Chocolate Covered Cherry Muffins

Monday, September 17, 2018

Ricotta Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

Happy End of Summer!  It is basically fall in my opinion.  I mean I finally broke out all my pumpkin decor the other day and with a complete "bite me summer" attitude I raised the pumpkin decor with pride and joy!

As we all know, the end of the summer means end of gardens.  Boo!  But those last few tomatoes, the last few of this and that all needs used up.  Waste not, want not, right?!  This recipe is perfect for those little tomatoes you don't want to bother canning.  Use these for a party, for a side dish, or little snacks for anything!

It is an easy recipe, and I did include a video.  Please don't forget to hit subscribe on my YouTube Channel here

Enjoy this easy recipe ad if you feel so inclined, make your own ricotta cheese using my recipe here!

This recipe will actually make 12-16 individual tomatoes.

1/3 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp salt
up to 1tsp milk

Combine all ingredients except milk.  Add just enough milk to make filling the tomatoes easy.  Set aside.

Prepare your tomatoes by cutting a whole out of the middle.  Do not let it go clear to the bottom or your filling will run out.  If you want to use a clean finger or thumb an widen the area to be filled with cheese feel free.

Feel free to sprinkle some basil, red paper flakes, or salt on top before serving!


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Updates, Social Media, And Unicorns Oh My!

Hello!  Hello!  Hello!

I decided since Facebook doesn't want to show my posts to everyone with me paying for it, I would try and get information to you this way!  We shall see!  If you want to follow me, keep up with me or enjoy my content here, and on YouTube please keep reading!

I would love to have you follow my website directly.  On the right hand column you will see a section called "Followers".  Just click FOLLOW!  Nothing else involved.  You can also choose to get email updates of new posts. At the bottom of that column you will see "Follow By Email".  You will not get spam, you will only get notifications when I post a new blog/recipe post!

YOU TUBE: ChefWannabe's Life
I am LOVING making videos for you guys!  Recipes, hauls, my journey with eye disease, mental illness, and "Keepin' It Real" videos about life in general.  I craft, do DIY's, and home decor.  I would be more than honored to have you hit SUBSCRIBE  I post new video alerts on FB as well but, well you know how that goes.  Please always remember to give me a LIKE (thumbs up) and leave your comments, that really helps me so much!

INSTAGRAM: ftchefwannabe
This is where it is at these days!  You can find me at, ftchefwannabe.  Again, I would love to have you.  I am going to be doing ore live streams on Instagram, and would like to build my presence there as well.  Instagram is hot right now, so make sure to come find me!

I don't think I need to explain the awesomeness of Pinterest, do I?  Follow my different boards, including a board of just my YouTube videos as well!

This is my original social media website!  So long ago!  Make sure to hover your mouse over the FOLLOWING box under the banner, and hit SEE FIRST to make sure to always see my posts.  Do it for any page you enjoy that you don't see often enough!  Thank you for your interaction there as well!

OK friends, it is time for me to go get prepped to film a new video and write a new blog post for you.  I want you to know I still do this blog and recipes because I love it, but the truth of the matter is, it isn't enough.  Social media is a must and I have fallen in love with YouTube and the interaction I get with you all there too!

I would be so grateful if you would share this post, or any of my links, share my YT channel to friends who might enjoy them!  I am so grateful for the friendships, the support, and the fulfillment I get from having each one of you in my life and part of my Chefwannabe Family!
 I do a live stream video on my YouTube Channel.  We talk about EVERYTHING!  Join us!  
8pm CST  
Pacific Time: 6pm
Mountain: 7pm
Eastern: 9pm

With this all being said, I wish you a great day, and abundant blessings always!


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Happy last day of August!

I imagine many of you have sent children, grandchildren, neighborhood children all back to school or are about to.  While it was an uneventful summer for us, that is OK, I would take uneventful over risking bad events any day!  I hope you all enjoyed the season of sun and fun!!

 If you are like me, you are ready for fall, and you are ready to hit it hard!  Along with that, for me anyway, comes being back in the kitchen making more homemade foods.  I find in the summer I do a lot of "cheating" because it is just to hot to be in the kitchen!

My husband was asking for homemade tapioca pudding so I threw this video in as well for you visual people!  (Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel!)

Without further adieu, let's get to this delicious homemade pudding! 

1/2 cup small tapioca pearls
1 cup water

4 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla extract

PRESOAK your tapioca pearl in a bowl of water.  Let sit 6-8 hours.

In a cold saucepan, add in DRAINED tapioca pearls, milk, and sugar.  Mix to combine.  Over medium heat, bring to a simmer and simmer until the pearls are soft.  It can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes.  It depends on the size of pearls you are using, and how long it takes them to soften the rest of the way!  Stick with it and stir often!  NO BOILING just a nice simmer.

Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.  Add in a ladle of hot tapioca mixture to temper the eggs.  mix together and add one more ladle to bring the temperature of the eggs up so when you add them to the pudding mixture they won't scramble.  When that is accomplished add back into the pudding mixture and simmer another 3-5 minutes, until the pudding mixture separates on the back of a spoon or close to it.  Add in vanilla, mix it in completely, pour into a bowl and either serve warm or chilled!

ENJOY this delicious treat!  In fact, send it to school in your children's lunches!  YUM!