Monday, February 21, 2011

Honey Oat Beer Bread

So I just made this today....twice. No joke. Kc came home, took a tiny taste of the first loaf and was asking when I was going to make more. I happen to have another random bottle of beer in the fridge so I told him if he helped I'd make it again right now. This is pretty flippin' good bread, folks!

Honey Oat Beer Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle beer
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Drizzle honey over the dry ingredients.

Then pour the beer on top.

Mix just until blended.

Spoon into the prepared loaf pan. Drizzle melted butter over the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. A knife inserted into the top of the loaf should come out clean.

Please go make this. You don't even need a mixer, I mean c'mon! I'm serving up some with a smidge of butter with out noodles and meatballs tonight. Nom.

Dining Around NYC - Maraca's & Hunter's Steak & Ale House

We have eaten out entirely too much this past month. BUT we did have some great food and even better times going out.

First up was a brunch trip to NYC's Maraca's. It had been recommended by a friend (thanks Scott) and I had wanted to try it for a while. It's located at 33 Greenwich Ave in NYC.  KC & I met up with 2 old friends that I went to High School with for brunch 2 Sundays ago. it was great! They have a $10 all you can drink for an hour and a half and have decent choices to pick. I (along with my 2 friends) had Mimosa's and KC had frozen Strawberry Maragrita's. They never let the glasses get half empty (of half full, you pick). Seriously I have no idea how much I drank (A LOT) but I was feeling reaaaaly good afterwards.

The food was  good too! KC & I both had the Egg, Bacon, Cheese Quesadilla. It's described on Their Brunch Menu as: scrambled eggs, bacon, peppers, onion and cheese in a grilled flour tortilla. It came with these really buttery mashed sweet potatoes. Really tasty stuff. We sat for about 2 hours and drank all we could of that $10 deal! I def suggest checking this place out if you are looking for a good brunch deal in NYC!
The other place we checked out is a local restaurant called Hunter's Steak & Ale House. It's located at 9494 4th Ave in Brooklyn.  I picked it because it was walking distance from our house and we had a gift cert that we wanted to use for this spot. We went on Valentine's day. Turned out to be a really nice, affordable dinner.

I had a sprite (I wasn't really over the drinking at Maracas the day before LOL) and KC had a Guinness. The only snafu we ran into was that at first we were told we couldn't use the gift cert because of the holiday, even tho when i called i specifically stated it was through eventually the waitress came and told us we could use it.

We shared the Grilled Portobello Mushroom with Goat Cheese. It was more of a salad with the mushroom on top but it was YUMMY! The salad was dressed with a tasty vinegarette. 

Strangely we had no steak at the steak house, next time i suppose. I had the Salmon with Garlic Butter, Baked Potato & Spinach. KC had the  Double Stuffed Pork Chops Stuffed w/ Mozz, Mushrooms & Bacon, Galric Mashed & Spinach. Really good, hearty food. Their Dinner Menu!

I was hoping to make it to dessert but I was so stuffed after all that food! The whole meal, after the gift cert was added was about $40! Great deal, esp. for a TON of food.  

We have had great luck as of late on new places! I'm excited that KC has weekends off again so we can check out new brunch places! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Cookies- My first official sale!

Happy Valentine's Day!

A great friend of mine wanted  me to bake her some cookies for her to give her Valentine this year. She is a hugely creative and supportive friend who almost wants my baking business to get off the ground more than me! 

She wanted some Chocolate, White Chocolate Chip, Cherry Cookies. Not a problem. 

I found a neat recipe for a roll out cookie that was more like a brownie, added the chips and chopped maraschino Cherries and we were in business! 

Stephy's Valentine Treats

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

I found the dough to be very crumbly and I worried it would come together as a ball for rolling, but it did, luckily. I pre-made the dough and rolled it out the next day, thats just because I didn't have time the first day to bake off the cookies.

After a bit of working the dough and warming it up some, rolling it out was super easy and went fast. My hands were too much of a mess to take pics tho, but once I made them I had them in a Tupperware before packing them up and I did remember to take a picture then! 
She hadn't asked for hearts, I just thought it was a cute idea. I also had a bit of leftover frosting from last weeks cupcakes so I frosted and sprinkled up a few to go on top of the soon to be packed basket. 

All Valentine'd up.... 
Once she saw it was a bit frou-frou we toned it down a bit and this was the final  product:
I made my first official sale as a baker!!!! Thanks so much Stephy! 

See, a happy Kat's Konfections customer! 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dining Around NYC - Cipriani Dolci

I want to make this blog into a business, eventually, i'd love to bake for a living , feed people and watch them smile when they eat my goodies. But I also just love food. So When I do end up going out in NYC or Brooklyn (where we live) I will try and do a post on the meal. I don't plan it to be a review, just how we liked it and what we had. If i remember I'll take pictures too!

Our 6th Anniversary was Feb 4th 2011.

Of course we went out to dinner. I love an excuse to get all dressed up  so we did just that. We had trouble deciding on a spot though and ended up randomly going into a place and it worked out great.

My husband, KC , is a networking tech in NYC. His company does internet connections for tons of spots around town. They do the 'nets for a place called Cipriani. Cipriani has a mini version of their catering hall inside Grand Central Station. Subsequently we renewed our vows last year inside Grand Central, in the main room, on the steps directly across from what is known as Cipriani Doclci.

Here's a picture from the renewal, and to the left side you can see the restaurant, sorta, its under the left most of the three windows. Trust me, its there!

Anyway, walked right up and were seated, which was great because it was a Friday night.. It was a really beautiful place to eat, and got us all sentimental.

Lucky for us it was also Restaurant Week (which turned into Restaurant Month) in NYC, so a 3 course meal was $35! Great deal, especially in Midtown Manhattan.

I found the menu HERE. We ate off the dinner menu.

For drinks I had a Bellini & KC had a Guinness. There was a great bread basket brought to us, with nice crusty bread and bread sticks, a nice variety.

For our 3 course we chose:

First Course: We both chose -The Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Salad

Main Course: Kat - Lobster Risotto
                      KC - The Filet

Dessert: Kat - Chocolate Cake
              KC - Vanilla Meringue Cake

The dessert also came with some little cookies as well, chocolate, vanilla & lemon meringue.

This was a great meal!!!! We both loved all of our food. No pictures of the food, we were too busy eating and enjoying the wonderful view to remember. We did get our waiter to snap one picture  of  us after dinner tho!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Oatmeal maple Syrup Muffins (With Fruit AND With Chips)

The oatmeal baking continues! I needed to find some other creative way to make a dent  in all the damn oatmeal I still have left. So I found this recipe. In the interest of trying to eat a bit better I have been making less sweets and trying to make savory or healthier stuff. Plus my hubby is not too into sweets these days- crazy right- and he's my official  taste tester. I thought a muffin would work to fill all these criteria. That and I had maple syrup in the fridge because we couldn't help ourselves last time at Coscto when we saw it. No will power I tell ya!

After making these muffins and eating most of them myself for breakfast all week, heated slightly with a bit of butter on them, with my morning coffee.....I made them again! They were THAT GOOD. I used the exact same base recipe and instead of fruit I added chocolate and white chocolate chips to them.

Make these, really. Whatever variation!


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup half-and-half (i used whole milk)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Fruit (I used about 3/4 cup of frozen berries we had)
Chips (I used about 3/4 cup of mixed chocolate and white chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Beat in maple syrup, egg, cream and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture just long enough to incorporate. Fold in fruit or chips. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

(please don't notice the icky midget size oven)
Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from pans and place on a wire rack to cool before serving.

They are really so yummy. The fruit was really nice in them. The chips seemed to make the maple flavor more pronounced, So good.

it's stinky and raining out today so I may make another batch of them and throw in my please-use-me-now-or loose-me-forever bananas i have from this week. Maple & Banana- can't go wrong!

Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ Plus A Bonus ~ A Recipe Revisited!

I have a good friend from a Disney message board that i frequent (if by frequent you mean compulsively check 3 times a day) that has recently lost her husband way too young. She doesn't live nearby so it was really hard to do anything for her. The only thing I could think of was - Bake her something!  People always feed loss, and after talking with her about how it would be nice to share a big 'ole bottle of booze to fend of the grief I decided to put said booze into a cookie. Thats the next best thing right?

So this is for you Kristel, and for Doug, gone way too soon, R.I.P.


½ cup sweet softened butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup Bailey’s original Irish cream (i used 2 nips, perfect amount)
2 ¼ cups cake flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips (this is approx, as long as they all have lots of chips its all good!)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cream together butter, sugars and egg until fluffy. Add vanilla and Bailey’s Irish cream.
Mix the dry ingredients and blend them into the creamed mixture. Add chips.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Cool on a wire baking rack.

They were packed up and shipped and actually made it in one piece! Truth be told, I saved a few for us too, and they were YUMMY!


I recently revisited an old favorite cupcake because we  were visiting some friends with a new house in NJ last weekend. My friend, Angela, told me chocolate anything so I made her my chocolate chip cookie cupcakes. I even made chocolate frosting for the first time too. Recipe can be found Here!

They went over great- her 5 year old could not stop telling me how great they were! A happy kid equals a happy baker!