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Recipe Remake: Crunchy Caramel Corn


Crunchy Caramel Corn | doughseedough.net

I’ve been making this caramel corn for years now, and it still hasn’t let me down. The results are consistently good and it couldn’t be easier. My step-dad loves this popcorn so much that I started making it for him for Christmas. This past holiday, I stuffed a 3-foot tall stocking full of caramel corn… and included some gift certificates for more batches of it throughout the year. He cashed in one of the gift certificates recently and here are the results. It was so irresistible that I ended up making two batches – one for him, and one for Mike and me. We may or may not have eaten the entire batch in just a few short days.

Crunchy Caramel Corn | doughseedough.net

Feel free to use more or less popcorn. I’ve started to use closer to 8 quarts of popcorn so that the caramel is a bit lighter and you get the occasional piece that isn’t 100% coated in caramel. Use just 6 quarts for a very in-your-face sweet, sweet caramel corn.

Crunchy Caramel Corn | doughseedough.net

Crunchy Caramel Popcorn
makes 6 – 8 quarts

3/4 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 – 8 quarts air-popped popcorn

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Line three baking pans with foil or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Allow to boil, unstirred, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla.
  3. Pour popcorn onto baking pans, dividing evenly between three pans.
  4. Pour caramel in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Stir gently, breaking up large pieces. Serve immediately or store in air-tight container.


Tips for clean up – soak the pot and utensils in hot water. The sticky caramel will melt right off and there will be minimal scrubbing required. The foil in the pans will give you a quick, easy clean up. Just crumple up and toss!


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Fresh Pineapple Salsa

I’ve been loving the spring weather this week. All the snow is gone and the temps have been warm enough for me to run in a tee. Mike and I are hoping to take advantage of this weather by going on a nice, long hike and with the pups this weekend and then grilling out after. Fingers crossed that the forecast is wrong and that it doesn’t rain!

This pineapple salsa is sweet with the perfect amount of heat. It’s super versatile, too. I ate it with chicken, with pretzel thins, and even just straight-up with a spoon.

Fresh Pineapple Salsa | doughseedough.net

Fresh Pineapple Salsa

1/2 pineapple peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a large nonreactive bowl, stir together pineapple, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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DSD Goes to St. Louis!

Mike and I spent a week eating, drinking, and sight-seeing our way through St. Louis. It was my first time in the wonderful city, and Mike hadn’t been for years. I am still glowing from the trip – the weather was wonderful for almost the entire time and the city had so many awesome free activities. As always, though, food was my focus. Here’s a rundown of where and what we ate. As a bonus, you get some lovely iPhone photos as well (sorry, I wasn’t about to schlep my DSLR around with me everywhere!)

Blueberry HillBlueberry Hill St. Louis | doughseedough.net

This restaurant seems to be a large tourist trap. And we fell for it. Hard. Sure, the restaurant was filled with memorabilia, but it was our least favorite meal of the week.

What we ordered:

  • Buffalo Fries: “A bit spicy”
  • Reuben: “One of the best in St. Louis. Now larger! Corned beef on grilled marble rye with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and 1000 Island dressing”
  • Chili Mac: “Hearty portion of macaroni topped with our award-winning spicy chili”

The fries were pretty standard and nothing special. They had a little spice to them, but calling them “a bit spicy” is a stretch. I’m not sure why they claim to have one of the best Reuben’s in St. Louis. The corned beef looked like it was from a package and the sauerkraut was flavorless. I am a little blown away that there are so many reviews that claim the Reuben is the best. The chili mac was the best of the three. The chili was mildly spiced and pretty tasty, but the mac that was served with it was overcooked. At least the beer was good! Rating: C.

Bogart’s Smoke House 

Bogart's St. Louis | doughseedough.net

Mike and I spent the morning at the Soulard Farmer’s Market and walked passed Bogarts on the way to our car. We remembered that our AirBnB host had mentioned it as a popular BBQ spot, so we decided to go in and catch an early lunch (brunch?). We had a short wait with about 5 people in front of us; this gave us the opportunity to decide what we wanted to order. The food came out minutes after we sat down and… damn. There’s a reason the line was out the door and around the corner when we left!


What we ordered:

  • Burnt Ends Sandwich with Pit Baked Beans and BBQ Pork Skins
  • Beef Brisket Sandwich with Deviled Egg Potato Salad and Fire & Ice Pickles

This meal was phenomenal. The burnt ends and brisket were both wonderful and really well cooked. We tried all four of the sauces they had on the table:

  • Sweet Maegan Ann: “Sweet and Smokey KC Style”
  • VooDoo Sauce: “On a heat scale of 1 to 10, it’s an 8!”
  • Pineapple Express: “Made with pineapple juice, so a sweet start and a tangy finish”
  • Mad Maddie’s Vinegar: “North Carolina style vinegar sauce”

VooDoo was our fave. I would rate it maybe a 3 or 4 on the heat scale, but it was definitely tasty. The Sweet Maegan Ann and Pineapple Express were overly sweet for me, and Mad Maddie’s Vinegar was just not my style. I love vinegar, but not on my BBQ! I loved the beans and the potato salad sides. I gave Mike the evil eye whenever he took a bite because I wanted it all to myself (I need to learn to share). They also passed out some chicken wings while we were eating and that was pretty darn tasty as well. I don’t think they have wings on the menu, but they should be!  As a bonus, they also had an allergen menu posted on the wall. Rating: A.

Square One Brewery & Distillery

Square One Brewery & Distillery St. Louis | doughseedough.net

We did our fair share of brewery and winery tours during our time in STL, but we decided to dine at Square One because its menu looked pretty darn good.

What we ordered:

  • Rain Crow Farm Stout-Braised Pot Roast: “Local grass-fed beef, slow-roasted beef in a rich stout demi-glace,  served with garlic mashed potatoes  & fresh vegetables”
  • Sunday Fried Chicken Platter Special: this delicious chicken came with vegetables, mac & cheese, and a biscuit
  • Chocolate Stout Brownie with Caramel Sauce and Ice Cream
  • Whiskey flight & a cocktail

Mike’s fried chicken was the better of the two entrees. The fried chicken was perfectly crispy and succulent. I’m not a huge fan of fried chicken, but I definitely took a few bites of Mike’s dinner! My pot roast was hearty, but what I really wanted was a huge bowl of their mac & cheese with a piece of fried chicken. If you ever have a chance to eat at Square One on a Sunday, get there early and order the fried chicken! The dessert was phenomenal. I cried sweet tears of joy as I took my first bite of dairy-loaded dessert since November. Pure bliss. The whiskeys were good according to Mike, but he only had one favorite. My cocktail was decent, but nothing special. Rating: A-.

Bailey’s Range

Bailey's Range St. Louis | doughseedough.netI was immediately drawn to the huge table in the middle of this restaurant. It was packed when we went on Monday night. We got a table on the second level and were able to watch the cooks do their thing in the kitchen down below. This burger-centric restaurant was pretty cool. I wish I had gotten a little more adventurous and gotten a burger with cheese because their menu is fantastic. I was reeling a bit from my last cheesy meals, though, so I thought I would dial it back.


What we ordered:

  • Basic Burger: beef patty, catsup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles
  • American Burger: “beef patty, fried mac’n’cheese patty, bacon, house sauce, sriracha mayo”
  • Fries with horsey mayo and sriracha catsup

loved their homemade ketchup. Mike’s American Burger was perfect: cooked to order and topped with a mess of mac & cheese. Even my Basic Burger was good – it was cooked well and the beer bun and homemade ketchup made it not-so-boring. That said, I still regret not getting a more interesting burger. The dipping sauces totally outshone the fries, though. Step up your fry game, Bailey’s Range. Rating: B.

Fountain on Locust Fountain on Locust St. Louis | doughseedough.net

The restaurant claims to be the most photographed restaurant in St. Louis, so I had to check it out. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good the food and drinks were.

What we ordered:

  • Pesto Chicken: “Grilled chicken smothered in melted mozzarella cheese with our house-made pesto sauce on a light and delicious deep focaccia crust, with side of St. Louis City Salad”
  • Blackhawk: “Sliced Certified Angus Beef, roasted red pepper and a delicious goat cheese, olive oil, garlic and fresh basil spread, w/ lettuce and tomato on Vienna rolls w/ side”
  • Signature Polish Dill Pickle Soup: “From a secret family recipe, an elegant potato based soup with crushed dill pickles”
  • Sprocket: “Start your engine with Fireball Whiskey, Ginger Ale and Hard Apple Cider”
  • Buck Wilde: “Whiskey lovers, tehre’s a celebrity in the house! Rye Whiskey, Dry Vermouth, Chartreuse, fresh squeezed lemon juice and a dash of Bitters – just like Buck himself”

The dill pickle soup was one of my favorite dishes of this entire trip. I’ve never had anything quite like it before and I had to stop myself from licking the bowl clean. I’m hoping to recreate this at home sometime soon, because I need a steady supply of this soup in my life. It reminded me of dill pickle potato chips but in soup form and 1000x tastier. Both entrees were above average and the portions were big. We were both insanely happy with our cocktails as well. I wish we had saved room for one of their adult milkshakes :) We almost went back for another meal, but ultimately decided that we shouldn’t repeat restaurants during our trip. For the quality of the food and the price, you really can’t be beat! Rating: A.

Broadway Oyster Bar 

Broadway Oyster Bar St. Louis | doughseedough.net

This restaurant was packed on Thursday night. We managed to snag a table in the front room with a great view of the live music. Neither of us were really hungry because we had gotten beer and apps at the hotel a few hours prior. I’m kicking myself for wasting stomach space on that because the food here was way tastier than the hotel stuff. I wish we had been able to stay longer for the band that started at 8:30, but a tornado siren and some pretty intense thunderstorms drove us back into our hotel room. Sad face.


What we ordered:

  • Mussels: “Steamed in a tomato garlic white wine broth”
  • Sampler Platter: “For the undecided, includes Gumbo Ya Ya, Jambalaya, Red Beans & Rice & Crawfish Étouffée”
    • Gumbo Ya Ya: “Our version of this classic Cajun soup. The best in town!”
    • Jambalaya: “A traditional Creole rice dish containing shrimp, chicken, andouille & ham”
    • Red Beans & Rice: “A rich bean stew containing our special recipe andouille sausage & house smoked tasso”
    • Crawfish Étouffée: “A classic Cajun dish featuring lots of sautéed crawfish tail meat

The mussels were great and we couldn’t get enough of the broth that it came in. We were sopping it up with our bread, and when we ran out of bread, we started slurping it with a spoon. Classy. I thought that the crawfish étouffée was the best dish in the sampler platter, followed by the jambalaya and red beans & rice. The gumbo wasn’t my favorite; it had a strange coffee-like taste to me. I didn’t find any of the food to be spicy enough, but they had a nice assortment of hot sauce at the table that I could use to my heart’s content. Rating: B+.

The Aftermath: I’m compensating for my last week of overindulgence with salads for (almost) every meal. (And yes, I did tried toasted ravioli. It didn’t impress me all that much ;) )

City Museum St. Louis | doughseedough.net

Eatin’ burgers at City Museum!


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Lemon-Raspberry Muffins {dairy-free}

I’m a big fan of keeping the freezer stocked with cinnamon rolls, muffins and other goodies. I love being able to grab something, microwave it for a few seconds, and have an easy breakfast or snack. Right now, I’ve got whole wheat cinnamon rolls and lemon poppyseed muffins in the freezer. This week, I added some  lemon-raspberry muffins to the mix.

Lemon-Raspberry Muffins {dairy-free} | doughseedough.net

Oh my deliciousness. They were the little burst of sunshine that I needed this week. So, if you find yourself with an hour of free time this weekend, make these muffins.

Lemon-Raspberry Muffins {dairy-free} | doughseedough.net


Lemon-Raspberry Muffins {dairy-free}

makes 16 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut cream*
1/2 cup plain soy milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 muffin tins with 16 paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut cream, soy milk, canola oil, applesauce, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Fold in raspberries.
  5. Fill prepared muffin tins two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.


*to get coconut cream, let a can of full-fat coconut milk sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Open the can carefully without shaking. Scoop off the thick cream that rises to the top of the can. Reserve the rest of the coconut milk for another use

recipe slightly adapted from

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Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies

Still here? You didn’t run away at the mention of chickpea + chocolate + blondie? Good. Trust me – these are delicious. They don’t taste anything like beans. All you get is a chewy, delicious peanut buttery blondie studded with chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies | doughseedough.net

The weird thing is, I actually found the unbaked batter to be tastier than the baked product. So you choose – bake it or just eat the batter by the spoonful. I won’t judge.

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies | doughseedough.net

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies

15 ounce can low-sodium chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, divided

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8×8 square pan and set aside.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas well. Remove and discard the skins from the chickpeas. Place the skinned chickpeas into the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Add in baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, vanilla, oats, and peanut butter. Blend until very smooth.
  3. Mix in 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips and spread into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until golden brown on top, being careful not to overcook. The blondies will appear to be undercooked, but they will firm as they cool.
  4. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 16 pieces and serving.


recipe slightly adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

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Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

I’ve been on a peanut butter kick lately. The rate at which I’m whipping through jars of peanut butter is kind of alarming. Peanut butter on toast with bananas or with some orange marmalade is a daily occurrence. Sometimes, I just eat a spoonful of peanut butter. I made these cookies because I needed another way to get peanut butter into my mouth. These peanut butter cookies are amazing. Soft and chewy and oh-so-addictive. They also happen to be the perfect Wisco to St. Louis road trip snack. Portable peanut buttery goodness.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies | doughseedough.net



I kind of regret not making more. Because the drive back home from STL is going to be very, very sad ;)  Do yourself a favor and make a double batch right away.


Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies | doughseedough.net



Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together baking flour, baking soda, sugar, and brown sugar. Stir in peanut butter, applesauce, and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
  3. Roll dough into balls about one inch in diameter and place two inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until cookies are golden brown and cracked on top. Let cool completely on baking sheet.


recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

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Hoisin-Lime Chicken with Zucchini

This recipe involves a little bit of planning since you have to prepare a marinade, let it cool, and then marinate the chicken for a few hours, but the results are worth it. Once the marinade is prepared, and the chicken is in the fridge, the rest is easy – grill and enjoy!

Hoisin-Lime Chicken with Zucchini | doughseedough.net

Hoisin-Lime Chicken with Zucchini

2 1/4 cups hoisin-lime sauce, divided (recipe below)
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, plus more for garnish
4 zucchini, halved lengthwise
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups of hoisin-lime sauce and sambal oelek in a large non-reactive container or bowl. Add the chicken and scallions and toss well. Cover and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for 2 – 24 hours. Turn the chicken at least one time. Thirty minutes before cooking, add the zucchini and toss to coat.
  2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Remove chicken from marinade and grill, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, about 8 – 12 minutes.
  3. Remove zucchini from the marinade and cook, tuning once, until brown, about 8 minutes. Discard the marinade.
  4. While chicken and zucchini are being grilled, pour marinade into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened.
  5. Slice the zucchini and chicken diagonally and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle with reserved 3/4 cup marinade and garnish with additional sliced green onions, if desired.


Hoisin-Lime Sauce

1/4 cup canola oil, divided
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 cups hoisin sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Stir in lime juice.
  2. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend, drizzling in remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil and the 1/4 cup chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cool completely before using.


recipes from Ming Tsai


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