Monday, July 31, 2017

Ready for fall...who's with me?

Tomorrow is August 1! September will be here before we know it and that means fall is just around the corner. Fall is my favorite season, with winter coming in a close second. So, get ready to see autumn inspired recipes coming from this blog!

Several days ago, I had a taste for pumpkin, I made pumpkin spice coffee creamer and it hit the spot!
I use French Vanilla, non-dairy coffee creamer (powder) and I add cinnamon, cloves and ginger to taste. You can see in this picture, how it looks before I shake it up...

You could also use regular flavored powder creamer and add your own sugar then add the ground spices. I prefer using the vanilla creamer because it is already sweetened.

Happy soon to be pumpkin spice season, everyone!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 4th, Red, White and Blue shortbread

Happy Firecracker weekend!

For your red, white and blue pleasure, I have made a batch of shortbread with preserves and a crumble topping!

I do make these to sell for my bakery: The Fiery Whisk and because of that, I can not reveal my exact recipe. However, I can still help you whip up a batch for the sparkly weekend. How, you may ask? Take a look:

First, bake a batch of Easy Shortbread

Second, before baking, choose your favorite flavor of preserves. I chose blueberry, strawberry and fig. Spread the preserves over the shortbread before baking.

Lastly, combine a quick Streusel topping (Here is a recipe from the baking goddess herself, Martha Stewart.)

Add your topping over the preserve layer and bake according to the Easy Shortbread recipe directions. now have your own, buttery, tasty, satisfying, red, white and blue shortbread dessert for Firecracker weekend.

Happy Baking!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Reese's cup caramel popcorn recipe

Popcorn. It is the perfect snack for any season! Eat it plain or add sweet or savory flavors for a special snack.

What do I do with popcorn, you may ask...
I make a sweet and sticky treat! Many of us have tried caramel popcorn, but have you tried HOMEMADE caramel popcorn with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups added in? Chances are, the answer is no. It's not too late! Try this easy recipe today.

It took a total of 15 minutes to make this exquisitely sweet treat.

Reese's Cup Caramel Popcorn

  • 1 bag of microwave popcorn (SkinnyPop has great options)*
  • 6 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (Use 8 for more peanut butter goodness)

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons butter, salted
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup, clear
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pop corn and then pour into a large bowl (I like the That's a Bowl from Tupperware).
Shake the bowl so that any un-popped seeds fall to the bottom.
Remove popped kernels by placing them back into the microwave bag.
Dump out un-popped kernels into the trash.
Place popped kernels back into the bowl.

Add sugar, butter and syrup into a microwave safe glass bowl (I like to use a large Pyrex measuring
Place mixture into microwave for 1 minute.
Remove and stir.
Place back into microwave for 1 minute.
Remove and add baking soda.
Stir well (mixture will fizz up).

Pour over popcorn.
Mix well with a spoon and be sure each piece of popcorn is coated with caramel.

While popcorn cools, unwrap and cut peanut butter cups. Cut into small pieces.
Add to Caramel corn and mix until combined.

Tip: If the popcorn is still hot, the chocolate will melt. I prefer to have my bits un-melted, but the choice is yours.

* I absolutely love that SkinnyPop is Non-GMO! In addition, it is free from artificial flavors and ingredients! Click here to read more about SkinnyPop.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mom serves screwed up banana pudding dessert... due to toddler induced insanity

What does this title really mean? First, you must read this: Why a 3 Year Old Can Prohibit Proper Baking

Then, you will understand the title of this post as well as what I am going to write next...

I was distraught. I was frustrated. And I was ready for a glass of wine. By time we went over to my in-laws for Father's Day, I was heavily feeling all three. The melt-downs were at an all time high...for my 3 year old and for ME!

I got through the dreaded banana pudding recipe. Yes, I did. I covered it and placed it in the fridge until it was time to travel to my in-laws house for our Chinese food dinner. The pecan pie looks fabulous, if I might add. The banana pudding sure looked pretty, but how it was going to taste was up for grabs.

After dinner, my sweet husband cleared our plates and placed both desserts onto the table...along with plates, forks, so forth and so on. He scooped out banana pudding on to everyone's plate and also gave us each a wedge of pie....which looked amazing, but I may have already mentioned that.

Keep in mind, no one was aware of what transpired during the making of the banana pudding. As far as they all knew, I followed the recipe and it was going to be spectacular! (Just as it was the last time I made it.) As the family baker, people come to expect perfection...sad, but true.

We all dug in to our dessert plates and everyone OOOHHHED and AHHHED over how wonderful the desserts were. I was shocked! The banana pudding was edible! It was over the top sweet, but edible! I thought the texture was off...almost a little gritty, but no one else said anything about it tasting like sandpaper, so I kept my mouth shut.

Can you guess who liked it the most? My 3 year old! The one who created the recipe havoc to begin with. Such is life!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Why a 3 year old can prohibit proper baking...

Happy Daddy's Day to all! As a treat for my husband and his dad today, I graciously baked a chocolate pecan pie AND banana pudding!
Upon waking this morning, I began the baking spree. First, I made my famous chocolate pecan pie...with a homemade pie crust, of course. My 3 year old sat in awe as I taught her how to make a crust and prepare the pie. Before I knew it, poof, bam, pow...the pie was in the oven. That was easy and kind of fun!

Then, I started on the banana pudding. Not just any banana pudding, the Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding!  This truly is the best I have tasted to date. Little miss was hungry so, before I got too far, I made her something to eat. As she ate, I began assembling this amazing pudding dessert. I didn't get very far before she asked for a snack. Sooooo, like any good mommy, I got her a snack. Then, things got crazy.
I placed the Chessman cookies into the bottom of the 9x13 baking dish. She decided she wanted to EAT the cookies. She was reprimanded and then I explained that those cookies need to stay in the dish in order for me to make the banana pudding. Well.....that did not fly. A meltdown ensued. I recognized her desire for a cookie, so I gave her a couple of crumbs from the Chessman cookies after she calmed down. That wasn't good enough. I gave her one of her cookies that come in a tin. After she ate it, she began banging the tin on the counter, which created a loud, horrible clanking noise. I asked her to stop and it continued. At the end of my rope, I grabbed the tin and yelled, "STOP!" And you guessed it...another melt down.
At this point, Daddy's morning to sleep in was over and he came downstairs to help out mommy.
Keep in mind, through all of this, I am TRYING to assemble the pudding! After I cut the bananas and placed them on top of the already arranged cookies, I realized that I screwed up the pudding mixture. Great. Just great.
I forgot the MILK! I mixed the box of pudding in with the sweetened condensed milk instead of regular milk. Well, too bad. I continued making the dessert. It is now in the fridge. I will let you know how it turned out!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

New Jersey coffee cake cookies!

If you know me, you know that I am a New Jersey girl at heart. Which is why I came up with my recipe for New Jersey Coffee cake...that you can view HERE. It has more crumb than cake....just the way a coffee cake should be!

I then decided to try and make this magnificent creation in cookie form. And guess what? I did and it was a success. Which brings us to why we are here today...For the recipe! So, without further delay, here it is:

NJ Coffee Cake Cookies
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 10 tbsp. butter, salted
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter, soft
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 - 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Powdered sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 350*.
Line 2 cookie sheets with non-stick foil.

Prepare crumb topping mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut in butter. Mix with pastry cutter until combined and crumbly. If you don't have a pastry cutter, use your hands! Set aside.

Cream together butter, shortening, brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon.
Add eggs and vanilla and continue to mix.
Add dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt.
Mix until dough forms.
Scoop mixture onto prepared baking sheet with an ice cream scoop.
Make an indent in each cookie with the back of the ice cream scoop.
Add crumb topping onto each cookie. Add as much as possible and press it into each cookie.

Bake 10 minutes or until golden on top.

Cool and dust with powdered sugar.

*This recipe was adapted from cookies and cups!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Fiery Whisk Bakery

Well, well, well...would you like me to fill you in on a couple of life changing events? Sure you would!

The Fiery Whisk Bakery. Yep, it's mine. I am starting a new at home bakery and having my kitchen FDA approved. By doing this, I can sell from home, to stores or at events such as Farmers Markets or Fairs. I will be baking most of the same items I baked with Tastenc. As always, I will add new items as I perfect new recipes.

I have also applied to a local college! You read that correctly...My plan is to start as a part-time student working towards my Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts (BPA). I am so excited about this!!!
The only was this is possible is because I have a supportive and loving husband who wants to see me be happy and succeed. He encourages me to open my own bakery every time I pull something out of the oven. I am a fortunate and thankful lady!

I have applied for a name change on my business page on Facebook (Tastenc) and am waiting for approval. They denied it because I have changed it once already so, I appealed it and attached a copy of my legal paperwork for their review. It's a simple name change, Facebook! The old name is no longer legal! So, if you check it out, it still reads "Tastenc" but, the new art is there as is @thefierywhiskbakery.

The Fiery Whisk Bakery on Facebook Please visit and "like".

Thank you for your interest and support. I will post again when I am starting to take orders!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day Gifts: Savory Spice Shop

If Mom enjoys cooking or baking, take a trip to the Savory Spice Shop in Raleigh. Load her up on spices so she can cook her favorite meals or bake her favorite treats!

We chose a Wing Seasoning kit for Mom. We also decided on nutmeg, a nutmeg grinder and some Mole spice.

As you walk through the shop, you will find recipe cards for the taking. We chose recipes we know mom will enjoy. Then, I tied them up with a pretty ribbon as part of her gift.

Visit Savory Spice Shop online to see all of the wonderful items they offer: Savory Spice Shop: Lafayette Village, 8470 Honeycutt Road, Raleigh, NC 27615, Suite 108.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sergio's Pizza...Yey or Nay?

We ordered a cheese pie from Sergio's Pizza this weekend. We order from the Sergio's located in Wakefield Crossing: 13200 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh 27614, 919.554.1000

We live in Wake Forest. Usually, we place our order for pick up, but this time we opted for delivery.

We have many other pizza options to choose from, but continue to order form this Sergio's time and time again. The customer service this weekend was exemplary! The lady who took my order was patient with me, as I was trying to decide which side to order with our pie. I chose the cheese fry option because I have been craving fries for a week! They definitely hit the spot.

The cheese pie was excellent as always. It is never greasy and the cheese they use is top notch! The crust is perfect for folding and never too thick and gummy.

Coming from a Jersey girl who knows her pie, this Sergio's Pizza location comes recommended by me!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Chubby's Tacos for Cinco de Mayo...Yes, please!

Chubby's Tacos is great for ANY day of the week! But, if you need an excuse for taco night, Cinco de Mayo is the perfect one.

They have THE MOST AMAZING sweet potato and black bean tacos and tortilla chips come with every order. Add on a cup of queso and you are set!

Something new at Chubby's; If you key in your phone number on the little screen at the register, after so many items purchased, you get a FREE large queso with your order.

I frequent the Chubby's located at: 10511 Shadowlawn Drive, Raleigh, NC. I have never been disappointed with my food or customer service at this location. You should check it out! Short on time? Call ahead and place your order to go 919.846.7044.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Lemon water...Drink it!

Every morning I squeeze a fresh lemon using my hand juicer. I pour the first half I squeeze into a large glass and fill it with water. I place the juice from the other half in the fridge so I can do the same thing later in the day.

I do like the flavor of lemon, but to be quite honest, I am not the lemons biggest fan as far as the tart flavor it leaves in my mouth. Then, why do you drink lemon water, Deanna? Let me tell you why...

First off, lemons turn alkaline after they enter our body. Yes, they are an acidic fruit, but that changes after they are digested. My reason for doing this is to decrease inflammation in my body. An alkaline body is a healthier body.

If you are interested in learning more about lemons and their health benefits, Check Out This Article.

If you enjoy hot tea, another excellent way to drink your lemon juice is to add it to your mug! Need sweetness...add a smidge of honey.

There is not a drop of juice left in that lemon!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Thank you Betty Crocker for recognizing me!

I am truly honored that Betty Crocker recognized me and sent this letter and coupon in the mail! I am unsure as to how they got my name and address, but that is OK with me!

I will definitely be posting my creation and recipe right here. I will be sure to tag Betty on social media as well :)

Just in case you are unaware, I am a published author. I have two novels published and just completed my third. Each novel has recipes published at the end! There is always a thread of cooking and baking through each of my books.

What's next, you might ask....well....I am working on a Comfort Food Cookbook! I am excited about this cookbook as each recipe tells a story. That is all I can say without giving too much away. I promise to keep you posted on the progress!

Thank you everyone for your support!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Best pizza in Raleigh: Camos Brothers Pizza is now located only in Fuquay

Camos Brothers Pizza used to be located at: Celebration At Six Forks, 7321 Six Forks Road in Raleigh,
They are now only available at 2916 N Main Street in Fuquay Varina, NC. 

From the crust to the cheese, Camos Brothers offers the best tasting pizza around. This is because they use fresh products and make your food to order. They don’t just make pizzas either! Of course you can order one of their specialty pizzas with crazy names such as: FUGAZZETTA, DA BRONX or HELL’S KITCHEN. You can also choose to order a calzone, stromboli, hero, pasta dish or salad.

Definitely give the garlic knots a try and why not add a cannoli for dessert while you are at it?

Looking for a quick pizza lunch? Check out the lunch special that gives you two slices of cheese pizza and a soda for $5.99!

Camos Brothers offers authentic New York style pizzas. If you are from up North or from the South, this is the perfect place to go for a taste of New York pie! If you are having a party or event, they also offer catering. The food options for catering are not limited to a certain menu either. You can order anything from the full menu.

Camos Brothers is open 7 days a week.

*Photo taken from Bing

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Savory Spice Shop Raleigh: Pick up your Holiday spices here!

If you live in the Raleigh, NC area, you will find a quaint little place tucked away in Lafayette Village Shopping Center called The Savory Spice Shop.

At The Savory Spice Shop, you will find spices off all kinds ranging from sweet to savory. If you are looking for Indonesian cinnamon, they have it. If you are looking for powdered honey, they have that too! From white pepper to nacho cheese spice, they have it all.

In addition to great spices, the shop also offers fabulous customer service. Upon entering the store, you are greeted with a smile and welcome from the employees. The shop owners are kind, outgoing and extremely friendly. 

They will encourage you to take home the printed recipes they have sitting throughout the shop AND taste the sample spices they have labeled "tester" on the shelves. You will then be informed that if you pour out too much, to just toss it onto the floor. This is what allows the shop the savory spice smell that brings comfort to the customers.

So, next time you are in Raleigh, NC, be sure to stop by the shop and say, "Hello"!
Savory Spice Shop
8470 Honeycutt Road, #108
Raleigh, NC 27615

Easy chocolate chip pie recipe, perfect for Easter

This chocolate chip pie recipe is super simple to make! You can use 2 pre-made pie crusts to speed up the preparation time.

Chocolate chip and walnut pie
  • 1 cup Karo syrup, clear
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick margarine or butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 unbaked pie crusts
Preheat oven to 375*.
Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and whisk until well combined. 
Pour into pie crusts.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Check the center of each pie to assure they are baked all the way through. If the centers are still runny, put back into the over for increments of 5 minutes until baked through.