Friday, April 27, 2012

How to make delicious soup

So i promised you another recipe blog and I'm about to deliver. It's Friday which means that for most of you your weekend will be here in less than 1 hour. Here in Indiana it's going to be pretty blustery this weekend. I'm not gonna lie. I'm totally one of those people who always gets frustrated about the weather in Indiana. I mean... how can you not?? When it's hitting 60+ in January and then it's 45 at the end of April?? COME ON! I'm fine if it's just normal wintery coldness and mild spring temps but this is outrageous. But I'm well aware that if I don't like it I can move or just stop complaining. Since I just scored an awesome apartment I guess moving's out of the option so I better just shut my mouth and get on with the recipes.

So as I said earlier... it's cold this weekend here in the War-City. The PERFECT weather to put on your hoodies and your big fluffy socks and throw all this into a crockpot and leave it for 8 hours until dinner. Oh. Yum. This is one of my favorite soup recipes as well as one of my favorite crock pot meals! It's like comfort meets ease and delciousness. Hope you try this one out and as always if you do try it let me know what you think!

***Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
½ cup chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 ounce) Rotel diced tomatoes and jalapenos
1 package (10 ounce) frozen corn
½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup bell pepper, diced
1 can (10 ounce) Enchilada sauce
2 whole chicken breasts
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

What you'll do:
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour; keep stirring until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and add the chicken broth and ½ cup milk, a little at a time, stirring to keep smooth. Return to heat. Bring sauce to a gentle boil; cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens. In a large bowl, whisk together the enchilada sauce and chicken broth mixture . Gradually whisk in remaining milk until smooth. Set aside.

In a crockpot, combine drained beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, and bell pepper. Place the chicken breasts on top of the mixture. Pour sauce mixture over ingredients in cooker. Cover; cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. When you are ready to serve, remove chicken and cut or shred into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken back into the soup, mix together. Top with cheese and serve. I topped ours with slices of avocado, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips***

We have some great entrees this coming week here at Crazy Day. Even I get to be in on the action this week (my famous manicotti:). Keep checking the facebook for updates and we look forward to seeing you all next week!

“Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.”-Samuel Pepys

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stephanie on being gluten free, tuna casserole, and calling Paula Deen out...

Bonjour Readers!

I was just talking to Tracy about all my shennanigans in my high school french class (like the time I did an avant garde piece complete with drums and scarf dancing??)and so the french greeting felt appropriate. Today is a special one for the blog because it's another staff interview! (i actually started to write intervention...whoops). Today we'll be profiling Stephanie Hapner an award winning and critically acclaimed chef and foodie. One of my favorite things about Stephanie is that she's pocket sized. She will probably punch me for saying that. While she may be pocket sized her food and her attitude are larger than life. Her zest for life and cooking always amazes me and I'm sure I'm not the only one:).

To set the stage I had to do this interview on a stool in the kitchen while Steph buzzed between the sink washing dishes and the stove where she was cooking and baking. You really can't get her to sit for a second to do anything... unless it's to brainstorm and drink some tea. But that's about it.

So Stephanie, you're our resident "free" specialist. You can do anything for special dietary restrictions... what made you start cooking like that?

I have my own dietary restrictions but the reason I started cooking things the way I do now was because of my son.

What's your favorite gluten free goodie that you make?

I like to bake and I like to do things that are uncommon. I like to do filled cupcakes and tarts stuff that's different and not like everyone else's. When it comes down to it I'm a recipe developer.

Ok, so if you have no dietary limitations what's your favorite thing to make?

My mom's lasagna or homemade mac and cheese. But I don't want to make it...I want her to make it.

What's the first thing you ever made in the kitchen?

Tuna Casserole.

How do you feel about Tuna Casserole now?

I never make it. Never... If I were to make it ever again it would be with grilled tuna planks. It would be all gourmet...which is not what you think of when you think of tuna casserole.

What's the cooking utensil you can't live without?

That's hard when you're gluten free! I couldn't live without my kitchenade 6qt stand mixer, my food processor, and my flour sifter.

Umm... you know that's more than one thing right??

I KNOW!! I said it's hard when your gluten free! See... I'm a complicated sort.

Your kitchen's on fire you save??

wait, my house or just my kitchen?? cause if my kitchen's on fire my whole house is on fire...

Let's say in this scenario that it's just your kitchen

I would grab my kitchenade mixer... helllooooo! My photo albums!! so yeah, our kitchen's REALLY small. We're modest people;)

Who was influential in your cooking development?

My dad showed me how to bake my frist cake and bread. My mom showed me everything else and PIES! Even canned minced meat pies. When I was growing up we had a huge garden. We had red currant berries and gooseberries any fruit you name it. We even had green gauge plums.

What are green gauge plums??

They're really sweet plums.

If anyone could eat your food who would you want it to be??

OH! There's more than one...

Of course there is...

It would be Sarah Maltan, Nigella Lawson because I think she has overcome a lot of things and she could appreciate not only WHAT i do but why I do it. Donatella Arpiah too! Also, I'd like to do a Paula Deen throwdown and make one of her recipes gluten free. Your move Paula...

Finally what's the best piece of cooking advice you can give to someone?

Never ever ever apologize for your food. Tell your story.

hope you enjoyed getting to know us just a little better. i just made a batch of sweet tea and there are hot from the oven chocolate chip cookies. get over here because stuff is FLYING out the door! See you back here tomorrow with a recipe blog.

Love, K;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

heroes...and how you can be one...

Happy Monday! It truly is. After all my travels I'm back at home base. (sigh) it feels REALLY good. This past week I got to go to an AWESOME trade show in Indy. I was definitely out of my element. It was for firefighters and there's pretty much no convincing anyone that I'm a firefighter especially after I ask questions like "so how do you take the one sprayer thing and hook it up to that one hooky thing? where do you keep that giant trampoline thingy? do you know those one people from Jersey Shore?!" So as I was standing in line for an hour and a half to meet Troy and Jake from Swamp People (who are SO amazing) I found myself surrounded by legit firemen. I asked them loads of questions about where they were from and how many years they had been firefighters. I'm sure they felt like they were standing in line with the riddler but it was my only defense mechanism not to sound like a complete idiot. Finally they asked me what I did for a living. After hearing all their stories of heroism and bravery there was a split second when I thought... "ok, what tops their stories?" and since my only answer to that was "astronaut" I told them what I did. That I worked at Crazy Day Gourmet. I was no firefighter, I was no hero...but these big burly guys' eyes lit up and they asked me all kinds of cooking and baking questions. It was SO much fun. I even got to give them a recipe (did i mention we were in line for-ev-er??). And that’s when I realized that food really IS the great common denominator. Everyone must eat to survive and when you can eat really DELICIOUS food it’s even better. From then on when they passed me during the conference or stopped by my booth they said “hey it’s the cupcake girl!!”… a nickname that I’m totally cool with☺. I'm not sure I ever understood until just at that moment how much food brings us together. I never thought I'd have ANYTHING to talk to those guys about. I never thought they'd want to talk to me about food. Everyone has to eat. The process of doing that not only gives us energy and fuel for our lives but also fuel for our souls. I think back to the most special times with my family and it includes us eating around the dinner table. Or having long talks long after the plates have been cleared. Food can bring us together. But what if someone doesn't have that opportunity? Here at Crazy Day Gourmet we've started a project called "Care Like Crazy" and there are 2 different things we do in our Care like Crazy campaign. The first is that for every 10 dinner entrees we sell we are partnering with Fellowship Missions to give a gift certificate to a family in need who may not be able to have a healthy hot dinner together. The 2nd is that for every 10 dozen baked goods we sell we'll donate baked treats to a local school for a child's birthday who would not be able to celebrate otherwise. Here in our school districts children can no longer bring treats from home making it difficult for some people to afford those special school treats. There is nothing you have to do except order your food and baked goods from us! We'll do the rest and keep you posted about how many people YOU are reaching just by getting your food from Crazy Day Gourmet!:) Also, if you have someone in mind that you'd like to nominate for the birthday treats or the meal let us know by sending us a Facebook message! Speaking of facebook... Have you checked out all the updates about our food this week?? I have to tell you... I ordered some cupcakes for my sister-in-law's birthday and they were SO yummy. I also should tell you... my new favorite thing at the store is Tracy's salsa. Holy. Business. I'm not just saying this because Tracy's my dear friend, or my boss, or my homeslice, but because it's literally the best salsa I've ever had. I almost exclusively eat pico de gallo because of the chunky quality so when I saw that it was less chunky than I was used to I was skeptical. But no joke... it's my favorite salsa:). Get yourself into the store to get some of your own. I'd suggest getting the bigger size because it's one of those things that you'll open a bag of tortilla chips and this salsa and you'll realize you've even the entire thing and feel slightly ashamed but oddly proud of yourself. I hope to see all of your faces the rest of this week! much love-k:) It's difficult to believe that people are still starving in this country because food isn't available. -Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's get cookin'! An offsite post...

Greetings from a few hours away!

I feel like the last week I have been a world traveler. Well, world may be exaggerating it a bit. I was able to go with my dad and brother to visit family in Pennsylvania over the weekend and now I’m in Indy doing one of my other jobs. In between traveling, packing and unpacking and then packing again, and trying to find time to hang out with my puppy I was able to stop in to the store and see what awesomeness I am missing. You lucky people being in town and everything. Have you stopped in this week? Since I’m not there to EAT all the sweets you have a great chance to score all the really REALLY good stuff. Also, I’m a little jealous that while I was there in Pennsylvania all the girls back at the store got to see my really handsome husband who stopped in for some lunch (and to glare at the bakery case for me). Now I’m hanging out with him while we work so I’m not AS upset.

Like I said earlier I got to travel with my dad and my youngest brother to Pennsylvania so they could be here for the first day of trout season (which was Saturday.) Something you may not know about me is that I grew up fishing. My grandpa and my dad are both avid fishermen and I was learning how to clean a fish properly when I was five (“sure five year old karyn, just take this incredibly sharp boning knife and go to town!-my grandpa). I actually came to PA not for the fishing but for hanging out with my grandparents…and for the food.

If you’ve ever had the privilege of being in “the cove” then you’ll know everything I’m talking about and nothing will be a surprise to you. If you haven’t been to this small slice of heaven on earth read on… your food life will be changed forever.

I’ve never been anywhere else in the country where there’s more delicious food or home-cooking wizards per capita than here. My great grandma Pearl was one of those wizards. She became a homemaker during the great depression so the woman could make a meal out of anything. She was tough, she was sweet, she would always offer you a warm hug, and an opinion, and send you on your way. I learned how to cook with heart and butter and goodness from her. My great grandma passed away a few years ago and since then, when I’ve been back, my grandma has passed along recipes she’s had for years. One of which I’ll share with you later!

Back in the cove there are so many places I LOVE to eat. The unfortunate part is that many times I’m only back for a few days and have to hit all the eateries in like a 3 day time span…which is not enough. A few of the must haves for me are Ritchey’s ice cream, OX ROAST (from Rhoades), something from Sheetz, raisin filled cookies (which all the girls tried back at the store… they can vouch, it’s not as terrible as it sounds), and gobs. Oh…gobs. I can’t explain to anyone why I love them SO much I just do. It’s like a whoopie pie but the cream is harder and the cake is drier. It’s like a whoopie pie that sat out too long…which shouldn’t be good but it is.

So as I sat outside on the picnic table waiting for my dad to get back from buying minnows and staring at the mountains I wanted to share with you a recipe from the cove. This is special for a number of reasons. This is my dad’s favorite cake. Ever. (he’s getting it for his birthday and you would think me saying this would ruin the surprise but unless this gets onto some hilarious you tube video it’s doubtful that my father will see it.) My great grandma’s sister used to make this cake. The place I got this recipe was from my great grandma’s old recipe book. Now, it’s my first recipe I’m posting on the blog. The girls will also be happy since I’ve been slow in getting this recipe to them… that’s a 2 birds 1 stone situation right there! So without further ado here’s Ada’s Chocolate Cake…


-2 Cups of sugar
-2 egg yolks
-1 cup cooking oil (like canola/veggie)
-1 tsp. vanilla
-1 cup lukewarm sour milk
-3 cups of flour
-5 heaping tsp. of cocoa
-1 cup boiling water
-2 tsp. baking soda
For Frosting:
-1 ½ cups of sugar
-2 egg whites
-1 tbsp white syrup (this is a corn syrup)
-1 tsp vanilla
-5 tbsp. cold water
-pinch of salt
-fine shredded coconut

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl Mix sugar, egg yolks, oil, and vanilla. Once that is mixed together then add the warm milk. In a smaller separate bowl mix together flour and cocoa. Once that is mixed add it to the above mix. Dissolved baking soda in boiling water and add that last. Bake in a 9x13 pan or 2 round cake pans for about 45 minutes or until knife can go into the middle of the cake and come out clean. Let cool before topping with the icing.

For the icing place all ingredients in a double boiler. Cook for 10 minutes beating with an electric mixer until done. It should be a finer more sugary consistency than a thick buttercream frosting. Top cake with fine toasted coconut.

PS, I know the warm sour milk sounds SUPER weird. Apparently back in the day the milk man would sell you day old milk for super cheap? I used buttermilk at room temperature and it turned out fine. There is a way to sour your milk but I think it’s truly fine without that sour component.

I hope you try this recipe out!:) Let me know if you attempt to pull off this cake creation!:) I know that Pearl and Ada would be VERY proud you're trying out their recipe!


All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much. -George Harrison

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Interviews, Cupcakes, And my Nemesis... the bakery case.

Happy Wednesday!!:)

We're in full swing over here at Crazy Day. The girls are baking and prepping super YUMMY treats and I've sat down in the corner chair with an iced tea (AND A CUPCAKE) and my lap top. It's a happy Wednesday indeed. Also, the bakery case and I are still at odds with one another. This time I'm looking directly at it but since I'm eating a cupcake while glaring at it I MAY be sending it mixed messages.

Speaking of cupcakes and my nemesis, the bakery case, there are some DELICIOUS treats in there right now. Stephanie still has a few of her gluten free gold cupcakes and brownies in the case. Have you tried her apple pie stuffed cupcakes?? The amazing thing about Steph's gluten free goodies is that they're so good you won't even know what's missing. I'm convinced that the only way she can make that happen is through trickery and magic and superior cooking alchemy. I'll let you know if I discover a bunsen burner, test tubes, and schematics back in her cooking station... We have gluten free spiced chai, apple pie, dark chocolate raspberry, and dark chocolate (with GANACHE!!) cupcakes. Tracy has some red velvet, mint chocolate chip, german chocolate, and orange creamsicle cupcakes (the last 2 JUST came out of the oven... they're not even iced yet!!)

Today (and for the next week or two) we'll be profiling our staff. Anymore when I see the phrase "profiling" someone I immediately think of a cop drama. Where the 2 tough and street savvy investigators have to turn to the adorable (should be read...NERDY) tech geek who tells them that they're not looking for a bald body builder but a 5'2 soccer mom in the suburbs (GASP!!) So consider me your tech geek as I introduce to you... Tracy Nichols.

Karyn: (opens kitchen door...) Hey Tracy, I'm going to profile you ok because I need to put something up on the blog.
Tracy: Ummm, Ok.

My favorite food is...

My favorite thing to make is...

I think the best cooking ingredient is...
Roasted Garlic

My favorite cocktail is...
Peach Bellini

First Dish I Ever Made was...
Probably cookies, I think.

My fondest kitchen memory is...
Probably decorating my own wedding cake

My biggest kitchen disaster to date was...
I've burned myself more times than I can possibly count.

My kitchen alter ego would be best described as...
Lucille Ball

My favorite chef/food network personality is...
I'm a big fan of Paula Deen. I really just want to say "How we doin Ya'll??" and "Let's start out with a stick of butter"

I would love/be most surprised if this celebrity showed up in my store...
Bobby Flay saying "Are you ready for a throwdown?!?"

The best cooking/kitchen advice I can give is...
Three Things... 1. Don't be afraid to try something new. 2. Going along with that, your friends make the best taste testers/ guinea pigs and 3. Keep burn cream in your fridge.

That's the end of our first get to know your crazy day girls segment. We hope you stop in for a hot cup of coffee or tea, a cupcake or two, and maybe you can even grab something for dinner! I mean, please come in... before I eat any more of the cupcakes.

"Food should be fun."-Thomas Keller

Monday, April 9, 2012

Grand (re)Opening!

Happy Monday afternoon to you all!

Let's be honest... sometimes Mondays can be a real bummer. Your weekend has come and gone, the next weekend seems so far away, and perhaps you are reading this while sitting behind a desk in an office that has no window and slightly resembles the fortress of solitude. I have to say, I have been there before. But not today. Today is our grand (re)opening here at Crazy Day Gourmet and we're bouncing around all in happy spirits. All the lack of sleep, and the hair pulling out, and the feelings of wanting to punch tiny koala bears in the face has subsided and the excitement has just taken over (no actual Koala Bears were harmed in the process...they're just too darn cute).

Let me tell you all the juicy details of this week!
We'll be having a different soup and salad everyday! You can check our Facebook page for what soup/salad is on that day.

We are also REALLY excited about our new coffee, tea, chai, mocha, frozen hot chocolate, and even a red velvet frozen drink. All of our coffee and tea is provided by Intelligentsia coffee out of Chicago (and have I mentioned that I have been in love with it for 4 years?!?) and our chai and frozen coffee drinks are provided by Big Train. We also have a drive thru so if you need a quickie (wait for it...) drink just drive on through and visit me (karyn).

Our entrees are running a little differently. We'll have up to 3 different entrees for you to choose from all week long. So if you feel like enchiladas on Tuesday night and then again on Thursday night you can come and get it both times (ya know if you like enchiladas as much as I do). This week we've got lasagna and chicken and wild rice and also potato crusted Quiches, veggie noodle lasagna bolognese, roasted pork loin with seasoned sweet potatoes, cajun cabbage rolls, and cajun stuffed peppers. The cajun stuffed peppers are amazing. Seriously, I'm an incredibly picky eater and I had a few bites for lunch today and could have probably eaten the entire thing but I wasn't sure how to sneak it away from Stephanie. We were also able to adjust our prices just a bit to better suit your budget! Definitely loads of stuff to check out.

Our bakery case is brand new and STUFFED. I'm sitting in front of it right now and i can just feel it looking at me... I want to look at it but I know that if I do I'll eat another cookie or one of the cupcakes. The bakery case, it beckons to me. One cupcake I keep eyeing is the dark chocolate cupcake. It's gluten free which may conjure up a vision of eating cardboard in your head but Stephanie is a master of tasty treats. 2 words will take this cupcake over the top... chocolate ganache. You can't go wrong with a chocolate cupcake, with chocolate chips, covered with a chocolate ganache. I mean... be serious. A new cupcake that I'm SO excited to try is Tracy's Sunday Brunch Cupcake. It's a cinnamon butter cupcake with maple frosting on top and it's sprinkled with...ready?? Bacon. But not just any bacon, no...PANCETTA. The sprinkles are meat. This is a man cupcake if I ever saw one. You may look dainty eating a cupcake but if anyone gives you grief you can just point to your manly chest hair, your mom tattoo on your arm, and the bacon on your cupcake and tell them only a real man could eat this dessert!

Have I made you hungry yet? Is there a puddle of drool in front of your keyboard? Well, we're open til 6 tonight and the rest of the week from 11am to 6pm. Tomorrow we'll be having Tasty Tuesday... which means there will be some YUMMY samples. The soup may sound intimidating but it's SO stinking good and if you have any doubts come in tomorrow to get a sample and I promise you'll walk out with a bowl (or 5!). I'll also be showcasing some of our YUMMY tea and coffee. I look forward to saying hi to all of you this week:)