Awesome Almond Biscotti

Emm YUMMO!  I decided to bake one of Mike’s favorites today and thought I’d share the recipe and a quick picture guide in biscotti making.  I dare say the finished presentation looks pretty good but not nearly as good as they taste!  The recipe originated from a patient at my office.

So preheat that hot pot (oven) of yours to 350 degrees and lets get mixing ~  These are the only ingredients you’ll need.  Looks pretty easy right?  It really is!

This is how your dough should look once you’ve finished mixing it.  Go ahead and plop it on the counter like I have and give er a little log shape like I did.  The dough should be fairly easy to handle and should NOT stick to your fingers if it does add more flour a little at a time until it’s not sticky anymore.

Now cut your log in half and make two logs out of it.  Place both logs on your pre-greased and floured cookie sheet and shape like I did into about 2″ x 10″ logs.  Your logs should look something like this.

Now stick em in the hot pot for 25-30 minutes until golden.  Umm I must say this is the FANCIEST oven I’ve ever used much less owned in my entire life!  I mean I’m really just a chick from the sticks who is undoubtedly thrilled with this loaded appliance.  Amen for gas ranges and ovens that bake evenly!

Pull your logs out and they should look something like this

Lower oven temp to 300 degrees.  Let your logs cool for 10 minutes and then slice those babies up into 1/2″ slices

Place the slices back onto the cookie sheet(s).  Place your cookie sheet(s) back into your hot pot and bake 20 minutes longer, until surface is golden and crisp.  See those two lonely floating pieces?  Well those two are the heal of one log.  I have to admit that I LOVE these little guys . . . I will eat two of them at this stage and eat the other two once they’ve been baked for their final time.

Friends and family who’ve had these little pieces of almondie heaven leave droll on my counter tops.  So if you enjoy almond flavor you must give them a try.  You’ll notice in the recipe to follow that you can change the nuts and flavoring and use the basic dough to make ANY flavor biscotti you like.


3 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup granulated sugar

2-4 teaspoons almond extract

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with oil; add sugar and almond extract.  Continue beating about 5 minutes until mixture is thick and pale.  Fold in chopped almonds.

Sift flour with baking powder.  Stir into egg mixture using wooden spoon then hands, if necessary.

Shape dough into 2 logs about 2″ x 10″ each, and arrange on cookie sheet.  Using a wet spatula, flatten top, and smooth sides of logs. ***Note from Brandi:  I don’t use a wet spatula to shape my logs, I just use my hands and add a little bit of flour onto the log to give it a tiny bit of a floured surface and makes it easier to shape.

Bake 25 – 30 minutes until golden.  Remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Let logs cool on cookie sheet about 10 minutes.  Cut into 1/2″ slices using a serrated knife.  Lay slices flat on cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes longer, until surface is golden and crisp.

When done, transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool.  Store in airtight container.

Side Note:  You can change the nuts & flavoring.  Add dried orange flavored cranberries and orange extract.  Use this as a basic dough and add whatever you like.

What happens on the Day before Memorial Day?

Well in our lives we spend the entire weekend celebrating Memorial Day OUT on the boat or just hanging ON the boat IN the marina with all of our friends.  Here’s a glimpse of our day.

Mike got the dink in the water and everyone knows this is Scottie’s boat.  He was all paws when he saw it go in and pitched a doggie anxiety fit for a ride.

Then there was Cosmo (our friends sheep dog)

Who perched himself way up high for a birds eye view of our odd bunch here –

Scottie was also curious of the odd bunch and why all the racket that awoke him from his breezy afternoon nap.

Then there was fishing and of course your apt to find multiple people throwing a line into the water to see what today’s catch will be.  Our very good friend Mike Malone –

Also our friend Mark and his iddy bitty catch that Scottie just had to get a lick of.  He’s so gross but crazy mad for fishing!

And look who paid us a visit, Crystal (my sister-in-law) who does not visit often, decided to pop in along with her boyfriend (Mike) for first time introductions.

And of course myself and Mike were amongst the crowd of activities.  I had to hand the camera over to my other sister-in-law (Carla) for this pic . . . thank you Carla!

Then Jeff Fox’s weather report held true.  Look what started rolling in on us.  I didn’t get a pic of what transpired but let me just say we got a mad amount of hard poring rain and hail.  YIKES!

Now we turn to Scottie sniffing his way

over to this . . . steamed clams.  He LOVES clams and not only does he eat the clam itself, he will lick the juice from the shell and chews off the leg that’s commonly left on the shell.  He’s a true boating dog!  By the way the collar Scottie has on is a new collar made by me entitled “The Picnic Series”.  It’s blue, yellow and white plaid.  Perfect for this weekend and dang cute I might add!

All in all it was a fabulous day relaxing with friends and family.  Memorial Day itself we are having Bridget, Jeremy and Isabella down on the boat for the day.  So I’ll have pics from this also, stay tuned.

March is in like a lion!

Seriously guys there wasn’t a lick of snow to be found on the ground yesterday and mother nature wasn’t happy about that so she plastered the Northeast with 14 inches of snow.  The winds have been whipping and the temps are plunging to single digits tonight.  Ahh yeah I did just use a lot of adjectives . . . must sound like the weather man.  All I have to say is that the saying better hold true which means March will go out like a lamb.  We’ve certainly had our fair share of snow, cold temps and bitter wind chills this winter.  Brrrrr

I enjoyed a cup of black tea and a snack this afternoon.  The cookie is a maple cream cookie direct from Vermont.  So bad but so good!

What the???  You with the blond fur . . . get the . . . move your slimy nose away from . . . Hey you furry thing get away from my maple cookie boy!  A bit of subject blur there as I didn’t expect to be taking a picture of a “moving” subject.  I swear this little devil can smell food from anywhere in this house.

Well I’m off to prepare our dinner for this evening . . . the weather has called for something warm and yummy so it’s wine braised chicken with wild rice and green beans.  Oh can’t wait to eat!  Good night

Time To Schedule Time For Food And Beer!

Last year we had my father’s birthday party (video) at the East Side Resturant, everyone who joined had such a great time we figured we do it again (but without the birthday party).

Their website has been updated and worth checking out.

So now it comes time to schedule it.

Who is coming and when should we go?! Email us or leave a comment (we are thinking Feb 21 or 22).

A Lunch Date During Work Hours . . . Oh We Are Bad!

Yeah Yeah I know Latonya, I was suppose to post about this Thursday night but you know how things just get in the way sometimes right?

So my sister girlfriend Latonya and I slipped out of the office on Thursday to grab lunch at one of our favorite places in New Haven well actually it’s in Westville ~ AKA part of New Haven, CT.  Such a quaint place really . . . called Deja Brew.  In the spring, summer and fall the owner has bowls of water set out for all the neighborhood dogs.  She also gives treats to the dogs.  Hmmm . . . I’m thinking I should turn her onto Scottie Buddy Boys treats don’t cha think?  Please forgive me with this picture, it’s really unbecoming of the place AKA a bad picture 😦  But hey, I’m still learning right?

Look at how beautifully they’ve decorated the fire place . . . oh this is the perfect place for two girlfriends to gossip while having lunch.  I was disappointed that I couldn’t get a larger view of the fireplace . . . I was restricted by my fixed lens (50 mm) and I couldn’t back up any further Uggghhh . . . “Ahhhh da gon it, I need a dang camera bag so I can carry all my lenses.”  You get the idea anyways right? 🙂

And how pretty is this picture of my girlfriend?  Latonya ya gorgeous diva girl . . . this was my favorite picture of you from all the shots I took.  Beautiful smile, love your hair and your glasses!  Side note to Latonya:  All of the other shots I took looked like you had a tree growing out of your a** LMAO!!!

And lastly a picture of my current favorite drink from Deja Brew . . . Frozen Green Tea Frappe.  Oh this is sooo yummy!

If you live nearby I’d definitely recommend this place for a nice lunch date with a girlfriend.  Word from the wise though . . . if interested in ordering their soup ask if it’s homemade or not.  They have a habit of serving some of their soups from the can ~ Go figure ~ listen you can’t serve canned soup in a cafe like this ~ what is the owner thinking ugghh.  They do make some homemade soups, you just need to ask which is homemade.


Darcie’s Injured & Another Recipe

Well after one week of med’s for Pele he’s back to good health.  However we continued to see drops of blood on the tile floor ~ for the life of us couldn’t figure out which cat it was coming from and more importantly WHY?  It’s been stressing me out the last couple days.  Wellllll . . . this morning while cleaning up the mess, Darcie (our kitty) was sitting next to me when I noticed she was licking her paw with intensity.  Wala, upon investigation her nail was growing into her paw pad.  After a quick trip to the vet, he removed the nail, shot her up with an anitbiotic and off we were sent with another weeks worth of liquid antibiotics.  She’s a little under the weather and her paw is sore but otherwise is doing well.  I think we’ve had our share of pet issues . . . hope it’s quite for awhile now for mind sake and for wallet sake.

I made one of Mike’s favorite meals last night ~ Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili ~

1 1/2 lb ground beef

1 cup chopped onion

1 can (15oz) tomato sauce

2 cups water

8 oz spaghetti, cooked

1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

shredded cheddar cheese

chopped onion

Cincinnati Spice Blend:

2 Tb chili powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground allspice

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1.  Cook ground beef and the one cup of onion in large saucepan over medium-high heat until beef is no longer pink, drain.

2.  Add spice blend, tomato sauce and water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 45 min. (do not cover), stirring occasionally.

3.  Serve chili over spaghetti.  Top with kideny beans, shredded cheddar cheese, and chipped onions, as desired.  Makes 4 cups.

My side notes: We don’t add the kidney beans, cheddar cheese and raw onions atop of our meal.  For us it’s never been a necessary part of the meal and is so yummy without it.  We do add freshly grated parmesan cheese though.

Hope you enjoy . . . Bon Appetit

Sickies and Soup

Today started off with a trip to the vet’s office for Pele (our black kitty) who hasn’t been feeling well.  Doc says he has an infection (down south ~ you know where the food makes it’s final departure) so off we went with an oral liquid med to be given 3 x/day.  Now listen I’ve been a space cadet the last couple of days cuz I haven’t been feeling well either which brings me to realizing I should’ve asked Doc if they offer Pele’s meds in pill form but Miss Space Cadet wasn’t thinking.  This cat is aweful with liquids . . . for some reason he foams at the mouth and this time was no different.  So get this, the med smells like bananas which means it must taste like bananas. . . cats don’t eat bananas so why would vet people think this flavor would be enticing for a cat?  If looks could kill Mike and I’d be dead.  This is bound to make for a great experience 3 x/day for the next FIVE days UGGGHHH!

Kitty Kat’s doctors office in Stratford . . . Dr Busek.

So Mike and I are both sick with some sort of sinus/head/throat cold.  I figured with the temperature almost sub zero and our house full of sickies it’d be the perfect time to make a big pot of soup.  Oh and yes it certainly is one of my favorites and I’m hoping you guys will love it as well.  If you love sausage, kale and cannellini beans you will love this soup.  So easy to make



1 TB extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 pound precooked pork sausage, such as kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4″ pieces.  I substitute with one roll of regular flavored Jimmy Dean Sausage.

Three 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, dranied and rinsed.  I only use 2 cans otherwise two much bean

2 garlic cloves, chopped.  I use 4-5 cloves cuz I like garlic.

2 cups chicken broth.  I use 3 cups cuz I like broth in my soup & 2 cups doesn’t give you broth to write home about.

1 bay leaf (dried)

1 small bunch kale, leaves stripped from stems and coarsely chopped (about 4 packed cups)

Salt and ground pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 6 minutes.  Add the beans and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, bay leaf and kale and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.  Discard the bay leaf.  Season the stew to taste with salt and pepper and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and the cheese.

Bon Appetit 🙂

A Little Cuteness and A Short Funny Story

Here’s The Cuteness ~ Simply Adorable Cuteness With Brown Eyes Sweet As Chocolate.  Speaking of chocolate, I just finished a cup of Starbuck’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate and threw the cup in my studio trash (small trash can that’s easily accessible to short little animals or those 2-legged children).  Well I heard rummaging to my right and what do you know this cute furry thing is trying to lick the remnants of hot chocolate.  Darn it I can’t even put trash in the trash around here ~ HA!

K . . . now the short funny story ~

We’re having dinner out tonight and there’s music playing but not too awefully loud.  It’s at a level were you can hear one another talk ~ well with exception of Mike ~ he’s either got cabbage in his ears or I’ve got a mouth full of cabbage.  Still haven’t decided where the cabbage was but the conversation went like this:

Me:  You’re new diamond cut jeans were delivered by the UPS man today.

Mike:  Yeah, I saw that . . . they’re too long though

Me:  Those jeans you wore today are too big, I’m going to sell them on Ebay.

Mike:  HUH?  “How was the horse you ate today?”  LOL

Me:  You’re such a dork!

Now how in the world did he get that statement out of what I really said?  Get that cabbage out of your ears boy!  Thank you for stopping by our corner of the world, until next time Good Night.

Can You Guess What’s Cooking?

Guess we’re all back to our schedules tomorrow huh?  With that being said I’m back in the kitchen after being aloof for two weeks now.  She (the kitchen) and I are becoming acquainted again . . .

Alright lets get started with my charades here . . . What’s this look like it’s gonna be?

Emmm . . . Guess again.  Here’s another picture and I bet I know what you’re thinking!

Nooooooo it’s not warm apple pie!  It’s Chicken Pot Pie.  This means I win right? HeHeHe

This is so simple to make and is a perfect winter meal and also very tasty!  And aaahhh yeah, I do make my own crust.  Here’s the recipe taken straight from Better Homes and Gardens.  She’s a lovely little cookbook with very good traditional recipes.

~ Preheat Oven 450 degrees
1 10-ounce package frozen peas & carrots (I use whatever I have for veggies)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms (I must omit this one due to picky spouse)
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
3 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley (I use 1 tsp dried parsley in place of the fresh)
1/4 cup diced pimiento (can’t find pimiento? use the jarred roasted red peppers instead)

1.  Prepare your crust (can use an already made one…just thaw it out first).

2.  In a saucepan cook onion and mushrooms in butter till tender.  Stir in flour; salt; thyme and pepper.  Add chicken broth and milk all at once.  Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.  Stir in veggies, chicken or turkey, parsley, and pimiento; cook till bubbly.

3.  Pour mixture into your prepared pie crust.  Cover mixture with another pie crust and flute (pinch) edges of pastry and cut slits in the top for steam to escape.  Bake for 12 – 15 min or till pasty is golden brown.

Enjoy and Good Night!

Mike & Dave’s Birthday

Having our birthday dinner again.

Birthday dinner was at Fratelli’s in Derby this year.

Birthday Guys.  Listen the iPhone is good for many things but surely not for taking a good quality picture.

Dave and Gina (Love you my dear friends . . . thank you so much for continuing our annual tradition!)

Me and my guy . . .

Dinner was acceptable, atmosphere was comfortable and the company was the best part of all!  Gina & Dave, I LOVE the personalized embroidered hand towels!  I’ll have to bank that gift idea to use for someone down the line.  I missed the note you wrote on the gift and noticed it when I got home and was unwrapping the ornament.  Gracious note and we too value our friendship with you.