Thursday, May 26, 2011

Put the Drum in Drumsticks...

What you need
1/4 cup basting oil
Mix 1/4 cup Canola oil, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp dried parsley, 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
Let sit for five minutes.

1/4 cup McCormick BBQ seasoning (I like to use the sweet ones but any will do)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Mix all ingredients above. Set aside.

3 lbs Chicken drumsticks. Can also use chicken split breasts and thighs (bone in).


1. Add chicken to BBQ seasoning. Tossing to coat. Marinate covered, 6-8 hours in refrigerator. I like to marinate mine for 24 hours. Tossing half way through time.

2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Transfer chicken to baking sheet. Bake 2 hours, or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven. Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Place chicken on grill and turn down grill to mid-low. Close lid. Grill for 3 minutes turn over and grill for another three minutes. Remove from grill and serve.

You can also broil the chicken. Adjust rack to 6 inches from heat. Broil chicken 5-8 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

South Carolina Girl's Trip

Charleston, South Carolina. What a city full of history, architecture, food, hot looking guys, and boohags.

The houses where out of this world, colorful and beautiful.

This is the jail house that freaked me out; literally. My friend and I went on a haunted ghost tour. Half way through it, I chickened out and ran out. I think it took me more courage to run out on my own more then anything. The history behind this place was CRAZY!!!

Me sitting out side of Battery park.

More pictures of Battery Park

The cemetery's there where great. They were everywhere. In neighborhood, behind houses, churches, in the middle of no where. You would just be walking and there one would be.

Now, here is a story. My friend Emily and I started asking around for a good place to have dinner. We were told to go to a place called Justine's, it was across the street from the fire department. As we were standing in line to go into the restaurant (45 minute wait). These good looking firemen kept us entertained. What a sight it was.
Needless to say I was not happy with the food.

My friend Emily and I. Friends for 21 years. WOW!!!
Thanks for one of the best trips of my life. When can we do it again?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chocolate Mousse for our Chocolate Cake....

That is what Jack-Jack and I have been saying all week. "Chocolate mousse for our chocolate cake." But, you have to say it with an English accent. I don't know why, you just do.
I'm so obsessed with my chocolate cake recipe(below) that I've decided to make some chocolate mousse to go in the middle of it. And can I say, hello heaven. Talk about divine, it does not get any better then this.
This is how obsessed I am with my chocolate cake that I can't stop thinking of things to go in the middle or on top of it. Strawberry cream filling, topped with strawberries. Raspberry cream filling, topped with raspberries. coconut cream filling topped with roasted coconut. Orange cream filling topped with orange zest. The possibilities are endless.
I've decided that when I open up my Bed and Breakfast/restaurant my dessert will be based off of this one chocolate cake.
Here is the Chocolate mousse recipe to go with the chocolate cake.

  • 2 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped

  • Garnish: lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer


Heat 3/4 cup cream in a 1-quart heavy saucepan until hot. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a metal bowl until combined well, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 160°F on thermometer. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a glass bowl in a microwave at 50 percent power 3 to 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Whisk custard into chocolate until smooth, then cool.

Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk one fourth of cream into chocolate custard to lighten, then fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly.

Spoon mousse into 8 (6-ounce) stemmed glasses or ramekins and chill, covered, at least 6 hours. Let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving.

Cooks' notes:• Mousse can be chilled up to 1 day.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

A week ago it was my turn to host Bunko night and our theme was Martha Stewart. I decided to do Martha's Chicken Cordon Bleu. Or I should say Emeril's Chicken Cordon Bleu, I figured since he made it on the Martha show it is still a Martha's recipe. After studying the recipe I decided to stick with the main ingredients but revise the instructions to better suit me and the time limit that I had.
I started the morning of my party and went to town by pounding 8 chicken breast (doubled recipe) to the proper size (1/4inch thick). It took about 40 minutes. Of course I would pound a breast then add the cheese and prosciutto to the chicken then roll it by holding it together with tooth picks. Place on cookie sheet. Repeat process with remaining chicken. When finished, cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge. About 20 minutes before cooking I then dipped the chicken into the flour, egg, and bread crumbs. I figured I would have more time to bake the chicken instead of pan frying them. Baked for 35 minutes at 375 degrees and turn over half way through cooking time. Remove toothpicks and enjoy. I have to say my way was easier and it gave me time in between to do the things that I needed to do to get ready for the party. Feel free to do it Martha's way. Either way I think you will be truly satisfied.

  • 4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces sliced Swiss cheese (4 to 6 slices)
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto or Black Forest ham
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence or Creole Seasoning
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup fine unseasoned dried bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Cut each piece of chicken in half horizontally and place each piece between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet, pound out to a 1/4-inch thickness.
  2. Place the 8 chicken pieces on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide cheese evenly between 4 pieces of chicken. Arrange prosciutto slices evenly over cheese; top with remaining 4 pieces of chicken. Tuck in any cheese or prosciutto that extends over the edges. Secure chicken pieces together using toothpicks along the edges to form a "sandwich."
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  4. Place flour in a shallow dish; season with 1 tablespoon essence. In another shallow dish, mix together eggs and milk using a fork. Place bread crumbs in a third shallow dish; season with remaining 2 teaspoons Essence. Dip a chicken "sandwich" in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip chicken in egg mixture, followed by seasoned breadcrumbs; transfer to a plate. Repeat process with remaining chicken "sandwiches."
  5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken "sandwiches" in skillet and cook, until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn chicken and cook 2 minutes more.
  6. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and place in oven. Cook until cheese is melted and bubbly and chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove toothpicks and serve immediately.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Starting A-New

I've decided to not end my blogging. However, I feel I don't have many things to blog about I would like to try and start blogging once a week by putting up a weekly recipe. I've tried to do this a while back but I did not keep up with it. I'm trying again.
I don't know if I will be good at keeping up with what is going on in the Benson house hold but I will try. You might find better luck by checking out Justin's blog.

"Made with love." That is what I tell Hannah when ever she asks me, "mom, how did you make this? Or mom, what is in this?"
"I made it with love." That is how I look at cooking, weather I am creating something my own or following along in a recipe I try my hardest to do my best. I try and put all that I got into the dish that I am making. Sometimes I might not have had that much love that day and it just didn't turn out right. I don't stop, I find another recipe and I keep going.
Cooking for me is a passion, and hope someday to make it a career. My family and sometimes my neighbors are my ginny-pigs. Thank goodness I have more hits then I do mishaps. Of course my neighbors would never know that.
I would like to share with you all my talent and give you a recipe once a week that I hope you will enjoy. Remember, when you make it with LOVE it tastes so much better.

We all love chocolate and I have found the best chocolate cake recipe that you will EVER have!!!! I find it to be better then any restaurant cakes, it is that good. All I have to say is there is a LOT of LOVE that goes into this recipe.

Giant Chocolate Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache and Edible Flowers

Instead of using edible flowers you can sprinkle the cake with shaved chocolate(my favorite), or garnish it with raspberry's, strawberry's, there is just so much you can do with this recipe.
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Edible flowers* (for decoration)

Special equipment:
  • 1 12-inch round cake pan with 2-inch-high sides


For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-inch round cake pan with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper round. Spray parchment paper with nonstick spray. Dust pan with flour, tapping out any excess. Sift 2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Sift cocoa into another medium bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over cocoa; whisk to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add butter to egg mixture and beat until blended. Beat in cocoa mixture. Add buttermilk and vanilla; beat to blend. Add dry ingredients and beat on low just to blend. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35-38 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Place chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Bring cream and sugar to boil in medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Carefully pour hot cream mixture into bowl with chocolate. Let stand 1 minute. Whisk until melted and smooth. Chill ganache until thickened and spreadable, about 1 hour.

Carefully invert cake onto large cake plate. Gently remove parchment paper. Spread ganache over top and sides of cake and allow ganache to set, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before decorating.

Decorate cake with edible flowers. Cut into wedges and serve.

* Available at some supermarkets and at farmers’ markets. Use only those flowers that have been grown without pesticides.