Tuesday, October 30, 2012


The thing I hate about contests is that I want everyone to win. : (  
I want to send all my wonderful readers cookies!  Truly - I do!  
I am going to have to go with 2 winners on this one.

1.  Angela Miceli- I like the challenge of coming up with a gluten free pie crust recipe - just in time for the Holidays!


2.  Carl - yes, a facebook page and youtube channel are a good idea!  

So - congrats to you both!  Be sure to email me your addresses or where you want the cookies sent!  whiskedaway2@gmail.com

Thanks for all of the great ideas!  I wrote them down and am going to try and implement many of them!

Have a great Monday!

eat your heart out,

Dagny : )

p.s. stayed tuned for a new cooking video to be released some time this week!

So I have some news.  I got braces...and yes - this means I have reentered nerd land...to be honest, I am not quite sure I ever left it.  This means I can't eat a lot of the things I usually eat.  Recently I have been craving these Chocolate Chewy cookies, and since I can't eat them myself I figured I would give them to you to enjoy for me!  How does that sound to you?

I just realized this blog is almost 4 years old! Holy purple cows!!!  Can you believe I have posted almost 300 posts?  I am in shock!  Sounds like a good time to give away some cookies!

I want your feedback.  Your HONEST to God feedback!  What would you like me to post a recipe for on my blog?  What do you think I could work on improving on my blog?  Pictures are a given - I took the first steps to improving that - and bought a DSLR camera - now all I have to do is get around to learning how to use the darn thing. : )  One day soon!!!  Do you have any formatting suggestions?  How could I increase the number of readers?  I value your opinion!!!

photo courtesy of Kirsten O'Leary

Now I don't expect you to do all this work for free.  This is America - nothing is free...oh wait...never mind don't get me started on that can of worms!  I am fully prepared to bribe you with these cookies.  I know how the system works : )  So you all have 3 days to submit your advice or suggestions to me.  The advice or comment I like best will win a 10 count Chocolate Chewy Cookie gift box.  You can choose to have it sent to yourself or to a friend.

So here are the rules!

1) Comment on this post with some advice or feedback for me on how to improve my blog, or a dish you would like to see a recipe for.

2) This Friday I will choose a winner and send them a cookie gift box!

3)  Check back to see if you won so you can send me your address!

May the odds be ever in your favor!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Camping in the Great outdoors and Pumpkin Waffles

Stop the presses folks...I went camping!  I hadn't been camping in over 12 years!  The last time I went camping was in the middle of the summer in Texas - it was so miserable, hot, and terrible I swore I would never do it again.  Not too sure how or why I agreed to go on this trip - but it was fun!

Now, don't get me wrong - I am not a sissy diva girl.  I hate the color pink, I never wear heels, I laughed when Rose let go of Jack's hand in the Titanic, and when I break a nail I cry out in pain over the pain of it not because I am sad my nail is broken.  I also love nature...but in a controlled way.  If there is a chance that I will encounter a creepy crawly or a snake I will freak out and run away.  Sleeping on the ground in a tent...hum, sounded uncomfortable...but it wasn't!

Another thing I was worried about was my terrible foodie snob side becoming very obvious to the people I went camping with.  I don't eat pre-packaged foods.  I have to have vegetables at least once a day or I die.  I cry if there is no fruit, and I don't drink milk.  After writing this I take it back, maybe I am a Diva - just not in your typical way. : )  In the end it all worked out - I ate lots of grapefruit oranges, vegetables, and some delicious breakfasts with burnt bacon on the side.  Yum.

The trip was awesome.  We canoed through some pretty swamps- and almost died due to a crazy member of our canoe - no names needed - you know who you are!  We ate lots of camp food - including something new to me called "Hobo pack" - a bunch of meat and vegetables cut up wrapped in foil and cooked over hot coals.  Very delicious after a day out in the sun.  Of course we had smores - how could we not?  We played Mafia around the campfire for a few hours - such a different game when you can't see people's faces blushing.  Overall we had a great time and became one with nature!  Looking forward to camping again sometime this Fall!

Now this recipe has nothing to do with camping - instead it has everything to do with Fall.  You will never guess what special ingredient it calls for...PUMPKIN!  No way - bet you didn't see that one coming : )  Just kidding - I do believe the last few posts all had to do with pumpkin recipes.  What can I say - I love pumpkin!

In other news - this weekend I am throwing a mystery dinner party called "Once Upon a murder" - it is a fairy tale themed party.  I have so much fun planning parties - and can't wait to dress up like Rap-unzel.  Promise to do a post about the party soon!  Stay tuned!  Do you have any fun Halloween plans?

Oh...and a recipe would be helpful too now that I think about it. : )  These are some wicked easy pumpkin waffles to whip up in a flash!  Of course as always I recommend them being served with hot REAL maple syrup and some whipped mascarpone cheese, ricotta, or heavy cream.  I usually make a bunch of extra waffles on the weekend and then keep them in the fridge and toast them throughout the week for breakfast.  Makes a lame Monday so much more bearable! : )  

Deliciously Spiced Pumpkin Waffles
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 2/3 cups milk (almond, coconut, rice, or buttermilk also works here)
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl. In a second bowl, add eggs, sugar, pumpkin, milk, and butter; beat well. Gently fold in the flour mixture. Spoon in about 3/4 cup of batter into the waffle iron. Cook each waffle for 4-5 minutes. This recipe makes approximately 5 waffles on my waffle iron.

Make these waffles, listen to this song, go camping with your friends, and eat your heart out!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins and the Changing Seasons

About a year ago I started working at my Dad's office.  I spent the year leading up to that unemployed, dealing with some health issues, trying to decide if I wanted to open my dream bakery, and experiencing the loss of two people in my family that were near and dear to my heart.  Needless to say it was a difficult year.  I started working at my Dad's office with the idea that it would be temporary and just help pay the bills while I figured out my next step.  As the year progressed my plan changed.

As the Fall season begins and the earth around us transforms I find myself thinking about how we all go through different seasons in our own lives.  For me - that year of struggle and loss was my winter. This past year has been my Fall - a lot of things changed.

I never felt a peace about moving forward with a bakery with my health issues and financial insecurities, and as a result I decided to set aside that dream for a while and move forward with my life with a new plan.  I also decided to get my finances in order and focus on demolishing my student loans I had acquired from 6 years of school, and 2 degrees.  I am proud to say I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and am almost rid of those blasted loans.  I also decided to change my mind about my adamant refusal to live in Texas and live with the Parents.  I let that go, and accepted the fact that as of now God wanted me at home.  Next I choose to stop complaining about the lack of Catholic community in our area, and finally kicked myself into motion and started a Young Adult Group for a few churches in the area.

I feel like the next season of my life will be my Springtime.  The job is good - the people I work with are wonderful, gracious, and kind.  I have a community again, and God has blessed our Church group with continued growth.  Most days living with the parents isn't so bad : ).  I am making plans for lots of upcoming trips and adventures.  I bought a camera and am learning how to use it.  I have an awesome dog...can't believe I am saying that - since I am not a dog person.  I have a family who loves me, and I have friends who are without a doubt the most amazing people I ever could have met.

I guess the point of this post is just me realizing that life isn't always easy, and it isn't always hard.  All people struggle, all people experience loss and heart break - but they also have love, peace, and joy.  Some days are good, some are bad, but the awesome thing is that life is always changing and our seasons are always switching over.  So maybe today you have a dark cloud over your heart, but have hope that tomorrow the sun will come out and sky will be clear and blue.  God has a plan for you, and he is holding you in His hands.  Trust that He will see you through whatever season you are going through.

Some of you might see this recipe and think that I have gone the way of the Paleo.  It is not so.  I like trying recipes that are food allergy friendly since I know so many people who eat this way, and since I get requests for recipes like this.

Now if you are looking for a pumpkin muffin recipe that tastes like a real pumpkin muffin with flour - keep looking.  A lot of people say it is possible to make gluten free/dairy free food that tastes the same as gluten filled/dairy filled food - but really, it isn't.  I am not saying you can't make something that tastes good, I am just saying that it will never taste the same.  So quit trying to convince yourself it will.

These muffins are good.  They are weird, but still tasty.  When you bake with alternative flours the texture is always altered.  These muffins have a slight spongy texture to them.  They look pretty, and were actually really good when I toasted them and ate them with blueberry jam.  I froze half the batch since I knew I wouldn't be able to eat them all that quickly.  They make a nice filling breakfast - and with all that almond flour and pumpkin in them - they are high in protein and fiber.  I didn't have that much almond flour on hand so I cut the recipe in half - and it turned out great!

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

3 cups almond flour
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 TBS Molasses (optional - If you add this it makes them non Paleo)
6 eggs
2 TBS Tapioca starch
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large bowl mix together almond flour, pumpkin, oil, syrup, molasses -if using- and eggs until there are no more clumps.
Mix in the starch, spice, salt, and baking soda until smooth and combined.
Pour into lined muffin tins 3/4 full.
Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Turn the oven off and let the muffins cool in there with the door slightly ajar.
Store at room temp for 2-3 days or freeze.  

Listen to this song, make these muffins, be grateful for what you have and Eat your heart out!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Top 5 Baking Gadgets

Now that I have my new camera I have all these ideas in my head of fun posts to do.  I also want to start doing some more video posts...of course that will mean I have to look half way decent when I cook...that might be a problem for me.  Or I could just wear a mask while I cook...pretty sure we have a Ronald Reagan mask lying around somewhere.  Come on, who wouldn't want to cook with Reagan?

When my little sister got married 2 years ago she asked me what she should register for things in the kitchen. After thinking about it for a while I came up with this list of kitchen must haves.  I use these gadgets many times a week and thought you might like to hear about them too! : )

Whisked Away 2's
Top 5 Baking Gadgets

1.  Kitchen Aid Standing Mixer

I don't remember life before my mixer.  This gift was the best and most useful gift I have ever been given.  It allows you to make cookies in under 5 minutes!  It is awesome!  You can let it mix while you walk away and get other ingredients prepped, or do the dishes.  It is AMAZING!  Growing up we never had a stand mixer, just numerous hand held ones that quickly burnt out from my over zealous mixing habits.  I didn't get my first stand mixer until 2 years after college.  This appliance really helped light the fire for my passion for baking.  My first mixer lasted about a year then it sparked and fizzled and wouldn't start back up.  I called kitchenaid crying and they promptly sent me a new one and a tissue box.  AMAZING customer service!  My current mixer is now 5 years old, and I love it.  Sometimes I have nightmares about it breaking down...I finally decided to start an emergency mixer fund just in case that nightmare comes true.  Dave Ramsey would be proud.  For a while my Mom was determined to keep it stored in the cabinets  but since I use it so much I finally convinced her it deserved a place of honor on the counter top.
My mixer was $200 on sale at Kohls.  I also highly recommend the tilt head version and not the bowl lift one.  I originally bought the bowl lift one, but after 2 days with it I returned it and got the tilt head one.  The bowl lift one was clunky and awkward to work with, of course that is my personal preference.

If you don't bake all that much, but would like to start - I would recommend this appliance.  On the other hand, if you don't bake all that much and don't want to start learning then don't get this mixer.

2.  Parchment Paper

This isn't really a gadget or an appliance, but it really is vital for good baking results.  I never used parchment paper before Pastry school, and when I did start using it I was shocked I had never used it before.  Parchment paper is great for 2 main reasons.  1)  It helps your product not stick to the pan - which means it stays nice and pretty and easily peels off the paper.  2) It helps your product not stick to the pan - which means you spend less time cleaning all those darn baked on crusty parts that are usually stuck on the pan.  Seriously cuts back on clean up time like you wouldn't believe.

Parchment paper is also great for making piping bags

The cheapest and best way to buy parchment paper is to go to your local Restaurant Supply store and buy the paper in bulk.  It will cost from $40-$60, but it will last you forever!  I have had my latest box for 2 years now, and am just now finishing it off.  If you buy the stuff on the roll from the grocery store it costs a ton - and won't last very long.

3.  Rolling Pin

If you plan on making iced cookies or a lot of pies you need a good rolling pin.  I have 2 rolling pins.  A super heavy marble one, and a thin tapered wooden one.
I use the marble one for making iced cookies.  I really like how heavy it is, and when you use the spacer bands it works well to make a uniform cookie.  I use the tapered one for pies and tarts.  In case you missed my post about how to make iced cookies - be sure to check it out.

Rolling pins are also very useful for pounding things...in case you can't find your hammer.  They also make you look like a professional baker when you hold one in your hand and pose for a picture.

4.  Mixing Bowls

I am a firm believer that one can never have too many mixing bowls.  The more bowls you have the less often you have to wash bowls while in the process of an endless day of baking.  Of course in the end you have to wash them all, but during the process you can get away with washing less. : )  This is also another reason why it is so nice to have so many brothers and sisters - they make excellent dish washers. 
I love this set of mixing bowls and always use them!

5.  Good Spatula
A good spatula with a long handle is essential to good bowl scraping.  If you think about how many cookies are lost every year due to poor bowl scraping you would be shocked.  I recently heard about a government funded program to stop these injustices called "No cookie left behind."  Word on the street is that the President is going to make sure that every American household has a good spatula in their kitchen.  
After all, everyone is entitled to one.

By the way, are you watching round one of the Presidential debates tonight?



Not the ones that you stick under your armpit, but the ones that you stick into pots full of boiling sugar.  I make a lot of heaven bars, and that means I make a lot of caramel sauce.  My nifty thermometer helps me make perfect caramel sauce every time!  It is also very helpful when cooking meat and making any kind of candy where the sugar needs to be cooked to certain temperatures.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Roasted Apple Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

For someone who isn't a huge fan of cupcakes I sure do post a lot of cupcake recipes.  I take pride in being a walking contradiction.  I wonder what a walking contradiction would look like?  I feel like he would be wearing flip flops and and suit...just saying.

This recipe was recently posted on Smitten Kitchen.  I really like her recipes, but she makes them so long and complicated looking.  I like to shorten the words and make it look way more doable and less intimidating.  The recipe was originally a cake, but I shrunk it into cupcakes and used a different frosting recipe...because nothing goes better with apples than caramel!

In other news my niece and I have begun planning for her Halloween costume.  I asked her what she wanted to be this year and was shocked when she said "The Mad Hatter, but the girl one."  Super stoked to make this costume!  Of course she already started nagging me about it and will probably do so until we make it.  Hopefully it will turn out as awesome as we are planning it too!

This is what we are aiming for...so...we will see how it turns out!!!

What was or is your all-time favorite Halloween costume?  My list is pretty lame and typical - probably the standard kid's list.

Clown - about a million times, Angel, Mary the Mother of God, Soccer Player, Princess, Ballerina, One of the Three Musketeers, The Ice Queen, Storm from X-men, One of the Three Blind Mice...and I think that about sums it up.

This year I am hosting a Mystery Dinner Halloween Party - all with Characters from the 1920's. 

Do you have any fun Halloween plans or traditions?  Let me know!

Roasted Apple Cupcakes 

with Salted Caramel Frosting

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

3 medium apples, any variety you like to bake with, peeled, quartered and cored

Place the prepared apples on a parchment lined pan and bake in 375°F oven until slightly browned about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Then chop up into bite sized pieces. 

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Line muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the following and set aside:

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking soda
1 TBS baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg

In a separate small bowl whisk together the following and set aside:

3/4 cup honey

2 1/4 cup applesauce

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter brown sugar until very fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl between every other addition.

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup dark-brown sugar (or light brown + 1 TBS of molasses)
3 large eggs

Add the honey/applesauce mixture and mix until combined.  The batter might look broken at this point because of the high water content (from the applesauce)- no worries just keep going.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Then fold in the chopped roasted apples.   stirring between each addition.  Fill each muffin liner about 3/4 full.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes until tops spring back when lightly touched and toothpick comes out clean.  Set aside and cool completely before frosting.  

Salted Caramel Frosting 
adapted from Carla's Confections Blog

 Place the following in a small saucepan and cook over medium/high heat:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 TBSP Water

Stir just a little to get the mixture going.  Bring to a boil and stop stirring.  Continue cooking until mixture turns a nice caramel color - about 7 minutes.  Keep a close watch on this as it will be white and then quickly turn brown and burn if you don't watch it.  Make sure it turns a golden brown color, and doesn't smell burnt.  If it does smell burnt you cooked it too long.  Just start over.  Once caramel color is obtained remove from heat and stir in cream and vanilla.

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla

Let cool for 30 minutes.  In separate bowl cream butter and salt until fluffy.

1 1/2 cups of butter, softened
1/4 tsp sea salt or kosher salt

Then add the following and mix until smooth and fully combined:

4 cups powdered sugar

Slowly add in the cooled caramel mixture and mix until combined.
Frost cooled cupcakes!

Make these cupcakes, listen to this song, make your Halloween costume and eat your heart out!