Thursday, December 6, 2018

Gingerbread Cake, Grinch Bites and Rosemary-Bourbon Holiday Appetizer

Grinch Bites

Holiday Margarita Key Lime Pie with
Pretzel-Graham Crust
(with Grinch-y Hearts for the Holidays)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 cup finely crushed graham crackers- about  7 crackers
½ cup finely crushed salted pretzels
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
2 TBS granulated sugar
6 TBS melted unsalted butter
In a food processor, finely chop the graham crackers and pretzels.  Add sugar, salt and melted butter to combine. Mixture will resemble wet sand.  Makes 48 mini cupcakes.  Use mini cupcake liners in lime green or Grinch green.  Add 1-2 teaspoons of graham-pretzel mixture to each mini cupcake, Press the crust down using the back of a small spoon or the end of a wooden spoon.  Set aside.

(1) 8-ounce softened cream cheese
½ Cup sour cream
¾ Cup key lime juice (If using fresh key limes, consider using a clean garlic press to make quick work of the tiny key limes.  Cut in half and then squeeze with press over a bowl. I use Nellie and Joe’s Famous Key Lime Juice.
(1) 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 drop of green food coloring (optional)

In a food processor, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy with no lumps.  Add in sour cream, lime juice and sweetened condensed milk.  Continue to blend well until the mixture is smooth, silky and emulsified.
Pour 1 Tablespoon of the key lime mixture into prepared mini pretzel-graham cupcake holders.
Bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven.  The mini key lime pies will set and be less glossy after the 10 minutes.
Do not brown the top of the cupcakes.

Chill cupcakes well, for a least 4 hours up to overnight.
Top with fresh whipped cream and add a single large red heart candy sprinkle for Grinch-y bites during the holidays.  My large red heart sprinkles came from: Cincinnati Cake and Candy, they offer shipping if you are not local.

Whipped Cream
½ pint heavy whipping cream
3 TBS powdered sugar
(If you really want a margarita-esque pie, add a shot of triple sec to the cream before whipping -optional.)
On low speed of a mixer, whip cream sugar and optional alcohol if using.  After it thickens a bit, mix on medium high until thick if keeps shape.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip and decorate each cupcake.

Gingerbread Cake
Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen

Preheat oven, middle racks
350 degrees
3 8-inch cake rounds (2 cups of batter each)
2 medium loaf pans (3 cups of batter each)

3 large eggs room temperature
1 cup brown sugar packed
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter-room temperature
1/3 cup molasses
1 cup water

3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

4 Tablespoons melted butter
1-2 Tablespoons spiced dark rum—to taste
7-10 heaping Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar –added one at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Butter Cream Frosting Recipe: for frosting a layer cake
4 sticks of softened unsalted butter
5-7 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt

Whip the butter on high speed with a mixer.  Once butter is light and airy, begin adding the sugar about ½ cup at a time on low speed.  Add the vanilla and the salt and continue to incorporate the sugar until you reach the desired consistency.  TIPS: The key to light frosting that spreads beautifully is to really whip the butter.  Use good butter for best flavor.  If you should happen to add too much confectioner’s sugar and the frosting becomes too thick, thin with a teaspoon or two of heavy cream.

Direction for cake:
Combine the softened butter and sugars and the lemon zest.  Blend well using mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes.  Add the oil and mix until smooth.  Add the molasses, and the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the spices, gently mix together using a fork. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, making sure all the flour is incorporated. Batter will be thick, slowly add the one cup of water, adding about ¼ cup at a time until the batter is smooth and silky.  Stir in the diced crystallized ginger by hand, and scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl, do not over mix batter.

Pour batter evenly into three greased, parchment lined 8 or 9 inch round cake pans, or two decorative loaf pans, generously sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.   Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until set, toothpick will come out with no batter.
If baking the loaf pans, bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center.
Remove the cakes from the pans onto a wire cooling rack while the cakes are still very warm-(within 5 minutes of removing them from the oven…otherwise the cakes will stick to the pan)  Remove the parchment paper and let cool completely before frosting or glazing the cakes.
It may be helpful to frost between the layers and apply a crumb coat, refrigerate for 20 minutes to help cake firm up and then continue frosting.
Refrigerate cake when finished.  Cake flavor is best if allowed to chill overnight.  Remove from refrigerator 1-2 hours before serving.
For decorations consider using: Trader Joe’s Mini Gingerbread People, Mini gingerbread houses, or gingersnap cookies.

Saucy Rosemary & Bourbon Holiday Appetizer

1 ½ cups ketchup
¾ cup bourbon
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp grated onion
1 tsp rosemary
Pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a medium saucepan.
Cook slowly, at a low simmer on the stove top, for at least two hours.  Add mini cocktail sausages and meatballs; simmer for 30 minutes more and serve.  Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.  

NordicWare Pans-Williams-Sonoma
Holiday Spatulas: Williams-Sonoma
Penzey's Spices, Hyde Park Location
Grinch Hearts- Sprinkles- Cincinnati Cake and Candy

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cherry Cranberry Pie and A Family Tradition

Thanksgiving is one of my favorites holidays.

I was thinking about why that might be... 

(and truly, there are too many reasons 
to count)

Of course, I love having the family
 all in one place...cozy and making memories...

The smells...the house and all those warm, 
beautiful baking smells... Oh, to
walk into a home that is 
cooking a Thanksgiving's glorious.

and I love all the traditions our
 family has carved out over the years...

but most of all..
 ... it might be, 
because of ... 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Baking Classes and More!

Good afternoon friends,

October is almost half-way through!!
 How can this be??  
It won't be too much longer before we
 are celebrating all the great holidays
in November and December.  
If you're local...or plan to be in the 
greater Cincinnati area in the next 6 weeks...  
there are some fun classes to take...  Join the fun!!

I have some exciting events coming up that
 I wanted to share with you. I have a series of baking 
classes on deck.  
The first one is tomorrow... yes!!  
I can hardly believe it's already here...

The first class is 10/11/18 6-8PM and there are just a few seats left.  
The class: Pies...Apple and Pecan...yes, the award winning pies 
and all my best baking tips and tricks. 

 Everything you have every wanted to know...
and everything helpful I can think to tell you!!

This wonderful class is a hands-on class. Students will make
will take home miniature apple pies, 
baked in class, a pie shell made from the award winning
 dough and the ingredients to make your very 
own pecan pie at home.  
Samples of both the apple and pecan
 pies will be shared.

Next month... Pumpkin Cake and More.  We will learn about this two-time best-of-show cake...why its' a perfect dessert for decorating ideas.... including additional autumn treats.  Students will make pumpkin cake cupcakes, frosting and lean easy but high-impact piping techniques.  Additionally, students will create other festive garnishes, including molded candy pumpkins, chocolate turkey designs and creative ways to add a flourish to their holiday tables.  This event is 11/1, 6-8 PM.

For December  12/11, A Yule Log Workshop... Make and Take your very own Yule Log and all of the many amazing add-ons that make this magical dessert come to life: meringue toad stools, chocolate cherry mice, almond pine cones, snowflakes and sugared "berries and "pine". 5:30-8:30 PM.

All of the above classes can be booked via: 
Out of Thyme Kitchen Studio.Out of Thyme Kitchen Studio

What is Out of Thyme Kitchen Studio??  It's genius!!  Chef Jaime Carmody offers a full-service, commercial kitchen and event space located on Montgomery Rd. in Symmes Twp. The studio offers freshly made take-home meals, call-ahead ordering, baked goods, personal chef services, monthly cooking classes and private culinary events.  Special thanks to Chef Jaime and her team for offering my classes this holiday season.

Last...but not least... Eat Drink and Be Merry!!
A Holiday Crafting Party:   12/4/2018 6:30-8:30 PM

Please join us for some HOLIDAY CHEER!  A festive evening is planned for you and your friends.  I will share some of my favorite holiday entertaining ideas, a craft and edible creations.  Enjoy an easy-to-follow chocolate dipping demo, followed by a ‘Make and Take Pretzel Dipping Bar’ complete with cheerful wrappings and ribbons to create delicious ‘homemade’ edible treats.  Create a sweetly-sentimental holiday ornament, “Home for the Holidays” as featured on Hometalk.  Sip a festive adult holiday beverage: the “Santa-Claus-Mopolitan and sample one of my favorite crowd-pleasing appetizers!!  Finally, enjoy an award-winning sample of one of the most requested dessert recipes…Don’t miss this fun night out!  Guests will receive: Make and Take Dipped Pretzels, Crafted Ornament, Recipes, Samples and Bonus Holiday Ideas.  This event is sponsored by the Village of Fairfax Craft Connection.  Ticket Information can be found by visiting: 

Happy Wednesday!!    xo

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Harvest Party...for grown-ups...

I've graduated...

I'm no longer a room-parent...
I've turned in my visitor sticker...
but somehow...this time of the year,
I'm drawn to super-cute treats and snacks!

I'm ready for another school-party... but...

My kids have moved on...

they've passed through
 the grade-school hallways
and have happily
entered into jr. high and high school...

The timing was just right...the kids were ready to move on,
... even if I wasn't.

I still have an outlet for all this super-cute fun!! 
 I have you!! 

--Today on Fox19... it's like a harvest party for grown-ups!!

Pretzel Rods
White Candy Melts
Candy Eyes
Disposable Piping Bag

Pretzel Rods
1/2 of and Oreo or round cookie
6 candy corn pieces
1-pumpkin spiced chocolate chip or yellow candy for beak
Dark Chocolate, and Red Candy Melts
Candy Eyes
Disposable Piping Bag

Round Cookie Mold-Wilton- available-JoAnn's, Michael's
Orange, green and brown candy melts
Oreo Thins

Witch Fingers:-photo coming soon.
Pretzel; Rods
Wilton Finger Mold-JoAnn's
Light and Dark Green Candy Melts
Wilton Pretzel Bags
Spider Ring- Target

Recipe For Harvest Snack Mix:
Harvest Snack Mix:
2 Cups Chex Corn Cereal
2 Cups Rice Chex
2 Cups Chex Honey Nut Cheerios
2 Cups Chex Cinnamon Cereal
2 Cups Bite-Size Pretzel Sticks or Waffle Shapes
2 Cups Bugles
1 Cup Cheeze-It Crackers
1-2 Cups Nuts (I used peanuts, but pecans or mixed nuts would be great too)
***add the next ingredients after snack mix has cooled.
1-2 Cups Dried Cranberries
2 Cups Prepared Caramel Corn
1 Cup Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Candy Corn, Candy Pumpkins

Mix the cereals and snacks together in a very large baking dish.  set aside. (Reserve the dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, candy corn/pumpkins, and caramel corn until after mix has cooled)

On the stove top, heat:
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Once melted add 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice,  1/4 teaspoon allspice stir.
Let come to a boil.  Stir frequently.

Pour the hot, brown sugar/butter mixture over the cereal/nut/snack mix that is waiting in the baking dish.  Gently coat all the cereal, nuts, pretzels, bugles, and cheese crackers with the sauce.

Bake in a 250 degree oven.  Stirring every 15 minutes for 30-45 minutes.  Let cool.  

Once cool, add the candy corn, candy pumpkins, dried cranberries, caramel corn and pumpkin seeds. Serve.

This is a fun way to display your snack mix at a party...
print the graphic and attach to a clear container.

I'm thirsty from all this party planning!!

Bourbon-Cinnamon Apple Cider Cocktails: 
1/2 gallon of apple cider (8 cups)
2 cups bourbon
2 cups apple schnapps
2 cinnamon sticks
Add together and let chill for 2 hours to overnight.
Just before guests arrive, add 1 two-liter of Ginger Ale (8 cups)
Add apple slices and garnishes
Rim glasses with cinnamon/sugar 
Add ice to a glass and pour.  

1 part apple cider (3 oz)
1 part ginger ale (3 oz)
1 shot bourbon
1 shot apple schnapps
If you care for a stronger cocktail, add additional bourbon to taste.
Pour over ice, garnish and enjoy.

For garnish, slice apples across the middle to get beautiful full circles.  Use a small star cookie cutter to remove apple center/seeds. Place apple slice in glass or on rim.


Monday, September 3, 2018

Bengal Brownies and Tailgating Favorites!!

Who Dey!! 
 It's the beginning of 
football season in every corner of 
the USA.  
Here in my hometown...many of
 us root for the Bengals...

Today...I'm sharing with you a delicious brownie 
recipe that you can adapt
 to your own team colors...
or make for really any occasion.  

For today we are making the orange and dark
 chocolate (black) to match our team colors. 
These brownies are a delicious dark chocolate 
fudge-like brownie topped with a sweet cream cheese swirl.

Bengal Brownies
Dark Chocolate Brownies with a Cream Cheese Swirl
Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen

½ cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick melted butter
2 large eggs
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp espresso powder
 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder

1 brick, 8 ounces cream cheese-softened
1 egg
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup sour cream
Orange food gel/coloring

In a medium bowl stir together the sugars, eggs, melted butter, salt, espresso powder and vanilla extract.  Sift together the flour, dark cocoa powder and baking powder.  Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients.  Stir until combined.  Pour into a parchment lined 8x8 pan, RESERVING ¼ cup of the brownie batter for the topping.

Mix together the softened cream cheese, egg, vanilla, sugar and sour cream. Mix until smooth.  Add enough food coloring to get desired orange intensity.  Spread the cream cheese batter on top of the brownie batter.

Add dollops of the reserved brownie batter on top of the orange cream cheese mixture.  Using a toothpick, swirl the chocolate brownie batter into the orange cream cheese mixture.

Bake on the middle rack of a pre heated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the brownies are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleanly. Do not over bake.
Let cool completely before cutting. Lift brownies from pan using parchment paper for easy cutting.

Optional: Change cream cheese food coloring to match other team colors, or leave plain.

*** Yes, you can use a boxed brownie mix instead … I like Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge brand if I’m not baking from scratch…

Do you need something amazing 
to go with the brownies??
Try this beer cheese, served either
 warm or cold...perfect for apple slices and soft pretzels.

Served warm, I love it with Southern Style Pulled Pork Nachos!!


Beer Cheese Sauce and Southern Style Pulled Pork Nachos
Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen

2 TBS butter
2 TBS all purpose flour
½ tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp paprika
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper – to taste
4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 of a standard brick)
2 cups shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 can or bottle of your favorite beer- use enough to reach desired consistency

In a saucepan over medium heat melt the butter and add the flour, let cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the cream cheese and melt into the butter flour mixture.  Add in the mustard, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce, stir well.  Add the shredded cheddar cheese.  Once the cheese begins to melt slowly add the beer, start with ½ cup… stir as the cheese dip melts and add more beer a little at a time to reach desired consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with pretzels, apple slices or uses as a sauce for Southern Style Pulled Pork Nachos.

Southern Style Pulled Pork Nachos serves 4-6 adults
·         For a crowd increase the following amounts
Tortilla Chips 2 bags
Pre-made pulled pork –warmed  1 lb
Baked Beans- use your favorite- warmed and saucy
Red onions sliced thin
Jalapenos sliced
Warm BBQ sauce- use your favorite
Creamy coleslaw- use your favorite
Warm beer cheese sauce
Sour cream

Warm tortilla chips, and add toppings.  Enjoy!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Cheddar Cheese Bread and Blueberry Muffins

Hi friends!!

Here are the recipes from today's Fox19 segment.  I'll be back later today to share all the fun details about the 2018 fair season. ...with photos....   ;)

TIP: The best place to get Cracker Barrel Cheese...has been Wal-mart...for $1.99 - $2.98 per/ bar... that's pretty good...compared to the 5.98 I have paid at other stores.

See you later.


First Place & Best of Show Cheddar Cheese Bread
Ohio State Fair 2018
Recipe by: Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen Blog

Baking temperature: 350 degrees
Baking time: 35-40 minutes
Yield: 2  loaves

·         2 bars of Cracker Barrel brand sharp cheddar cheese (cube one bar, grate one bar)
·         2 Tablespoons instant yeast
·         1 cup warm water (no hotter than 110 degrees) + 1 tsp sugar
·         ½ cup room temperature buttermilk  (may use 2% milk as a substitute)
·         2 ½ tsp salt
·         3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
·         1 tsp dry mustard
·         ¼ cup vegetable oil
·         2 large eggs-room temperature
·         2 Tbsp softened unsalted butter
·         5-6 cups all purpose flour

·         ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt, 2 Tbsp melted butter

·         In a large measuring cup, combine the warm water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar.  Stir together  and set aside for 10 minutes.
·         In a large stand mixer combine the flour, salt, sugar and dry mustard.
·         On low speed, add the buttermilk, eggs, oil, and yeast mixture.
·         Slowly add the flour, one cup at a time, until the dough comes away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
·         Once dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl, add the softened butter. Mix only until the butter is incorporated.
·         Let dough rest, covered, in a warm place for 30-40 minutes, up to one hour.  The dough should be doubled in size.
·         For the cheese, grate 2 cups (1 bar)—set aside. Next, slice the second bar of cheese into ½ inch sized cubes—set aside. (The cheese will be split between each of the loaves)
·         Once dough has doubled in size, split the dough into two equal parts—for two loaves.
·         Roll out the first half of the dough into a large 12” x 1 5” rectangle, Sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded cheese onto the dough rectangle and roll up as you would a cinnamon roll, creating a dough/cheese spiral log.
·         Slice the cheese-filled dough log into 1 inch pieces and random shapes.
·         Fill a greased 9-inch bread pan with half of the cut dough spirals, adding a layer of cubed cheese to the middle and continue filling the bread pan with the remaining dough spirals.  Top the dough with a few pieces of additional cubed cheese.  Cover the filled bread pan and let rise 30-45 minutes.   The dough will fill in all the voids as it rises a second time.
·         Repeat this process, making a second loaf.
·         Before baking, brush the tops of the risen dough in both bread pans with melted butter and a light sprinkling of coarse salt. 
·         Bake on middle rack of a pre heated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until bread is baked to a golden brown. Use foil to cover for the last 10 minutes if over-browning occurs.

·         Use a paring knife around the inside edges of bread pan, loosen any cheese from the sides, gently remove bread from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.  Be sure to remove bread from the pan while the bread is still warm and the cheese is still soft.

A few How-To photos for EASY Cheese Bread Making:

  Add yeast... let it bubble.

Be gentle with the dough. Let rise covered until doubled. 

Punch down. Turn out onto floured surface. Roll dough into a rectangle.

Fill with cheese...

Roll like you would a cinnamon roll...slice and place in greased pan.

Let rise a second time... butter and bake.

For the Pumpkin-Shaped Bread: (above recipe will make two pumpkin-shaped loaves)

Roll up the dough as usual into a log filled with cheese, but instead of cutting the dough—simply connect the ends, creating a round shape.  

     Using 4 pieces of (12 -14 inch in length) butcher's twine.  Criss cross the twine on lightly floured parchment.  Place the dough in the center of the twine. Gather up the ends of the twine (lifting the pieces of twine around the dough) leaving a little slack. 
       Tie the strings together at the top of the dough round.  The twine should not be tight.  

      Lift the dough on the parchment paper into a round 9-inch cast iron skillet or Dutch oven.  Allow dough to rise for 30-45 minutes.  
      Brush dough and twine with melted butter.  Bake for 35 minutes or until golden and baked to an internal temperature 
     of 190 degrees.

First Place Blueberry Muffins

Ohio State Fair 2018
Recipe by: Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen Blog

Baking temperature: 350 degrees
Baking time: 30 minutes
Yield: 24 muffins


·         1 stick (8 Tbsp) softened unsalted butter
·         1 cup granulated sugar
·         2 cups all purpose flour
·         2 tsp baking powder
·         ½ tsp salt
·         ½ cup buttermilk
·         ¼ cup pineapple juice
·         1  large egg
·         1 tsp vanilla
·         1 tsp fresh lemon zest
·         1 tsp lemon juice
·          2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over for stems and rinsed

·         ¼ cup granulated sugar-sprinkled, OR a crumb top: 4 Tbs softened butter, ¼ cup flour, ¼ cup sugar, mixed with fork until crumbly.

·         In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder.  Set aside.
·         In a mixer, on low speed, cream the butter and the sugar.  Add the egg, vanilla, pineapple juice, lemon juice and zest.
·         Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk.
·         Fold the fresh blueberries into the batter.
·         Fill a muffin tin with cupcake liners; fill each liner half way with batter.  Be sure to use a scoop for uniform-sized  muffins that bake at the same rate.
·         Top each muffin with a sprinkling of ½ tsp of sugar or crumb topping.
·         Bake on middle rack of a pre heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until muffins are just beginning to brown and a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center of each muffin.
·         Allow muffins to rest 5 minutes in the pan. Remove muffins from the pan to cool on a wire rack.

Update:  A little bit about the 2018 Fair Season...
12 new blue ribbons were added and three best-of-show ribbons were won!

The Best-of-Shows: Pie, Yeast Breads, and Jam/Preserves

Cheese Bread (Ohio State Fair)
Banana Cream Pie (Butler County Fair)
Strawberry Jam (Butler County Fair)

First Places Ribbons included: Apple Pie: Ohio State Fair, Biscuits, Berry Pie, Cherry Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Yeast Coffee Cake, Cinnamon Rolls (Ohio State Fair), Blueberry Muffins (Ohio State Fair)!

And yes... all of the recipes are here on the blog.  Enjoy.