Simply Decadent Owner

Simply Decadent Owner
Hey, It's me, Tawnya

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Feta Salad

Since opening the restaurant I have found that there are many people who don't like to eat meat. I have tried to understand this, but with no avail. I have to admit I love my beef and piggy. This is one of the salads that we have at the restaurant.

Red and Green leaf lettuce, shredded

Chopped cucumber, I use english cucumber

Chopped black olives

Sliced red onion

Chopped tomato

Crumbled Feta cheese

You can use any kind of dressing that you like. Balsamic vinaigrette is a good choice.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oriental Veggie Salad

Oriental Veggie Salad

I love this salad because it is so versatile. I use veggies that are in season and have the most flavor. Sometimes I just throw together what we have at the restaurant and we might have a new salad each day with the same basic concept. Here is the basics and you use your imagination to create a salad that would be tasty to your tummy. Here goes:

3 cups sugar snap peas
2 English cucumbers, cut into quarters longwise and diced
3 cups baby bella mushrooms
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 green pepper thinly sliced
1 red pepper thinly sliced
1 orange pepper thinly sliced
3 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup broccoli, cut into tiny florets


1 cup Hoisin Sauce
1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sesame oil
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tsp sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut and prep all of your veggies and place into a large bowl. Put all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour over veggies and mix well. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours until serving so that flavors can meld with the veggies. Don't forget to use your imagination and try this will different veggies. Good luck and happy eating.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Dream of Cheesecakes

You know, when I started catering back in 2004 I had not one clue how to make a cheesecake. Well, I decided that was one of the first things I better learn how to make and make well. I found a recipe online and adapted some of the flavors a bit and it is now my base cheesecake. This is such a simple recipe and turns out very pretty if you "baby it" a little.

3 8 oz. bricks of cream cheese, soft
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 bag of white chocolate chips, melted and smooth
4 eggs, added one at a time
1 tsp extract or oil

I make a variety of crusts, oreo, crumbled scone, graham, butter cookies. Use your imagination. I just add a bit of sugar and a little bit of melted butter and mix together and press into the bottom of my springform pan. Take vegetable spray and spray around the inside of the ring of the pan and then cut strips of parchment paper and put inside to make a ring to prevent sticking. Preheat the oven to 300.

Start making the cheesecake by adding the cream cheese to your mixer and mixing until smooth. Then you add the condensed milk, white chocolate and the eggs, one at a time. Then you need to decide what kind of cheesecake you are doing. I say we do a reeces cup cheesecake. So, you want to add a chocolate extract or a peanut butter or even a good vanilla will work. Then, take and cut up about 1 1/2 cups of reece cups into small chunks and mix into the batter. Pour into the prepared pan. Jiggle the pan a bit to make sure the cake is settled and take your spatula and smooth out the top. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 50-55 minutes. Just until is set in the center. Then turn off the oven and open the door a crack and leave for about 1 hour. Then move on into the freezer or refrigerator. Let set for at least 8 to 10 hours. If you froze your cake, let thaw a bit and then take off the ring and the parchment and slice into 12-16 slices. You can garnish with more chopped reece cups and drizzle with chocolate and melted peanut butter. Use your imagination. The options are endless.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Honeycomb Candy

Oh my gosh. I have been wanting to make this candy for ages. I looked for the recipe, but really didn't know what it was called, but I knew what it looked and tasted like. Well, my friend Bridget at @Bridget_Cooks from Australia sent me this recipe. Yummy and it is so easy. Just don't plan on being able to eat just one piece, unless you break it in very, very large pieces.. So here goes,

1 cup sugar

1 cup Dark Corn Syrup

1 Tbsp Vinegar

1 Tbsp Baking Soda

Prepare a 9x13 inch pan by lining with foil and spraying with vegetable spray. In a large heavy saucepan add the sugar, corn syrup and vinegar. Make sure that your pan is large enough because when you add the baking soda it will expand. Put the pan with the sugar, syrup and vinegar on the stovetop and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil without stirring until thermometer registers 300 degrees (hard crack stage). Take off of the heat at add in the baking soda and stir in. Quickly pour into prepared pan to stop cooking and to avoid burning. Allow to cool and set. Lift out and break into pieces.

Thank you Bridget.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oriental Chicken Wrap

Well, today was an awesome day. I have a ton of gray hair and I feel like I have run a marathon, but it was awesome nonetheless. At the restaurant I made Oriental Chicken Wraps and they were so easy and very tasty. So here goes.....

Boil 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, drain, cool and shred

In a large bowl add,
3 cups matchstick carrots
5 cups shredded napa cabbage
2 red peppers cut into matchsticks
2 yellow peppers cut into matchsticks
2 orange peppers cut into matchsticks
2 cups of mushrooms diced up
1/2 red onion very thinly sliced and separated into rings
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

For the Dressing:
1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
3 garlic cloves minced
3/4 cup good olive oil
2 cups Marzetti's Oriental Sesame dressing

Whisk ingredients together and pour over the veggies in the bowl and mix well, then add the chicken, mixing well. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. I use 10" tortilla wraps and put about 3/4 cup mix in the center and roll up. You can use some of the dressing on the side if you want for a little extra yummmy value.

This will make about 15 wraps. You could also serve this hot if you wish, we just like it cold at the restaurant.

Happy Wrapping... :0)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's Simply Decadent: Coconut Pecan Icing

Thanks to Barbara, here is another recipe link...

Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

I am in charge of making cinnamon rolls for a large group of ladies in September and I will be using the Bread Bakers Apprentice Recipe so, for all of you out there that love cinnamon rolls i will be working on them this week, to perfect my skill of course. I will make sure and take lots of pics for you to enjoy, less calories that way.

White Chocolate Addiction

Here is another adaptable recipe. Really the only thing that you need is 2 bags white chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons real butter. Everything else is based on what your tastes are. Be careful..there is a warning attached....If you sit down with the whole bowl of this mix you will eat it all....Now I am speaking from experience here, my hips are warning you to beware. So, here are some of the things that customers and family have enjoyed in the past.

First you take the 2 bags of white chocolate chip and the 2 tablespoons of butter and melt slowly in the microwave or in the top of a double boiler. In a large bowl put:

mini m&m's
salted peanuts
rice chex
honey nut cherrios
candy corn
peanut m&m's
You want about 12-15 cups of yummies. Pour your melted chocolate mixture over the top and stir until all of the yummies are coated. When fully coated spread out on parchment lined cookie sheets until dry. Then you can break into pieces and bag up for friends, or like I said, eat it yourself. Enjoy making different variations. Fruit loops makes a really pretty one for kids parties also.

Yummy Bars

At the restaurant we are always looking for new dessert recipes to wow the customers. I do improvise many times as I am sure most of you do, but sometimes you just get in a rut when in a hurry. Here is a great recipe that will be so adaptable to what you have on hand and is a great way to change things up. I never use exact ingredients so you will always have a new treat.

You will need:

1 box graham cracker crumbs
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup sugar

Melt the butter and then add in the crumbs and sugar. Pat this into a 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. This will smell yummy while baking. The next items you will need:

1 can sweetened condensed milk
chocolate chips (about 1 bag)
any dried fruit

Put your chips of choice over the crust then top with a few other items you have and then drizzle all with your can of sweetened condensed milk. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

To make your cutting and plating a lot easier I like to line my pan with a long strip of parchment that overlaps on the 9" sides so you can lift out your yummy creations. Sometimes these are called 7 layer bars, but you use your imagination and the possibilities are endless.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Coconut Pecan Icing

A few weeks ago I was craving a german chocolate cake with the yummy coconut pecan icing. Well I was in the "creating" mood and decided I would make my own icing. I could eat this icing with a spoon right out of the bowl, again I have done this but I don't recommend. I think that each spoonful went right to my hips...not good.

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp vanilla

Stir together the first 4 ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and just starts to boil. Stir in remaining ingredients and cool to room temperature. Use to ice cake, sugar cookies or serve warm over ice cream...Very yummy.

Cheesy Delight

Well, I actually have time to post something. The last week flew by with catering, kids starting school and just life in general. I wanted to post something that was on the savory side, so we have Cheesy Artichoke Dip. I make this dip frequently for parties and it is so good. You could even eat it as a cold dip if you wish. I say that because one day out of desperation for a snack I did and it was pretty good I must say.

1 can drained artichoke hears, chopped (14 oz.)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated parmesan, divided
1 Tbsp chopped onion
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1/4 tsp garlic salt

In a bowl, combine artichoke hearts, mayo, mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan, onion, parsley and garlic salt. Spoon into an ungreased 1 quart baking dish. Top with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes at 350.

I have even added 1/2 cup canned or frozen spinach. Just make sure that it is drained really well or it makes it watery. I serve this with a variety of dipping items. Crackers, tortilla chips, bagel chips or crusty bread.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Orange Sauce

I love to cook with citrus and I love oranges. I do a lot of pork loin chops for catering jobs. Honey Mustard is popular, but I like to do apricot glaze or this orange sauce is a good choice.

Orange Sauce

2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp orange zest
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup orange marmalade

In a small saucepan over medium heat stir together all of the ingredients until the sugar and marmalade are melted. It is then ready to use.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pumpkin Sweet Treats

Well hello everyone. This week has been crazy. I have wanted to post and it seems every time I make a yummy recipe I don't have time or the energy. This is a yummy treat that you can't stop eating. It is really good with graham crackers or vanilla cream cookies. I like to serve it in small pumpkins for pretty display.

Sweet Pumpkin Spread

8 oz. soft cream cheese
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Beat cream cheese until creamy and smooth; add pumpkin, milk, vanilla and spices, mix well. Stir in pecans. Spoon into a bowl or hollowed out small pumpkin. Keep chilled until serving. Makes 2 cups

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Blueberry Blast

Hello all of my foodie friends. I have been busy, busy in the kitchen. I have about 6 gallons of fresh blueberries and I am looking for some new recipes to make with them. I would love to hear if anyone has a great recipe to share. They are just so pretty and tasty. I am thinking of some blueberry preserves. I have a lovely bar cookie that has a shortbread crust and then a layer of preserves or caramel and then nuts, ect.
My coconut balls have been selling as quick as I can make them. You all should try them. Just like a mounds bar. I have to hide them in the kitchen or I want to eat more than I sell. I will be posting a few decadent recipes tomorrow. See you all soon.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Butterscotch Chip Cookies

Okay, I know everyone has their own "favorite" butterscotch ccokie recipe. Maybe one that belonged to great grandma or Aunt Jane, but this one is hard to resist. As a child I was allergic to chocolate, I know horrible, so most of my treats included butterscotch. Here is one that I really enjoy.

1 cup butter
1 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp baking powder
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp butterscotch flavoring or you can use good vanilla
2 cups mini butterscotch chips or regular, I like the minis the best

In the bowl of your best mixer (Mine is Big Red) cream the butter and the sugar until nice and light and fluffy. Then, add the eggs and flavoring of your choice and on low speed add your baking powder and flour. Mix until nicely incorporated. Then add your chips and mix in well.

Oven temp is 380 degrees. I use a large cookie scoop, almost a 1/4 of a cup and roll into a ball and then roll into sugar. Place on a cookie sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Press down with a flat object to flatten out the cookies till they are about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. These will be baked for 11 minutes. They will look light when they come out, but let them rest on the sheet for about 5 minutes to cool and then remove. You can use any chips, I have also used this recipe and done butterscotch and chocolate mini chips. Use your imagination. You can also make them a little smaller and adjust your baking time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Italian Cream Cake

Well everyone for the last week I have had this incredible urge to bake everything in every cookbook and magazine I have. Believe me when I say, i could feed a whole country if I baked from all of them. I have quite an addiction to cooking magazines and cookbooks. I love them. I hate to admit, but I actually keep a few beside the bed to read when I go to bed at night. Now, how crazy is Oh well, I kind of enjoy crazy. I made an Italian Cream Cake and thought that you would all love to try it. It is so delightful.

1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter (yes, the real thing)
1/2 cup shortening (I use Butter Crisco)
2 cups white granuated sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flaked coconut
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour


8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter (yes, real thing again--you can't beat it)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cups sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease 3 - 9 inch round cake pans. in a small bowl, dissolve the baking sode in the buttermilk, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter, shortening and white sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk mixture, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 cup coconut, baking powder and flour. Stir until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean. Allow to cool.

To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 1 tsp vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Mix in a small amount of cream to attain the desired consistency. Stir in the chopped nuts and remaining coconut. Spread between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Coconut Balls

Well, if you all knew me at all you would know that I am horribly addicted to Mounds candy bars. The dreamy coconut and that dark chocolate....aahh Well, daydreaming and drooling aside I decided that we needed to carry them in the restaurant dessert case. Hopefully I will have willpower to not give into temptation....not my strong suit when it comes to...well when it comes to food in general. So here goes.

10 cups sweetened coconut
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
5 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp real vanilla or you can use a coconut flavoring if you want to be stronger

I start with putting 1/2 of the coconut, 1 can of sweet milk into the bowl of my electric mixer. As the ingredients are incorporated add the remaining coconut and sweet milk and then slowly begin to add the powdered sugar. Last, but not least, you need to add the vanilla. If, for some reason, your mixture is really sticky you can add a little more powdered sugar.

After the mixing is finished I take the bowl over to my workspace and on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat start scooping your dreaming filling into balls. I use a cookie scoop. The size is completely up to you. If I am using these for a dessert buffet I use a small scoop. But, for the in the restaurant, I use a 1/4 cup scoop so people will get a nice large piece. I sell them by the piece.

After you have all of your balls rolls and placed on your cookie sheets, I place them in the freezer while you melt your chocolate. For the chocolate i use Belgian milk chocolate mixed with semi sweet. It is up to you what type or brand you use. Get it melted and then pull out the coconut balls from the freezer and start dipping. The chocolate should set pretty quickly because of the cold temperature of the coconut filling. If you want to make garnishment on the top you can toast a bit of coconut and sprinkle on top of each one before the chocolate is set.

I will be posting a picture of these tomorrow after I get mine dipped.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oreo Balls

These little gems are so tasty and so addictive. You have to make plenty because they won't stay around long.

4 - 8oz. bricks cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar
2 pkgs oreos, crushed

Mix cream cheese in a stand mixer bowl until creamy. Add milk, mix until incorporated and slowly start adding powdered sugar until somewhat stiff. You will then need to add about 1/3 of the oreos and mix well.

Take your bowl to the counter and on cookie sheets lined with parchment make walnut sized balls and then roll in the remaining crushed oreos.

We store these in the refrigerator or a refrigerated dessert case. They look really nice drizzled with chocolate when you serve them.

Good luck and enjoy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hawaiian Coleslaw

Here is another favorite at the restaurant. This slaw is sweet and crunchy and nice anytime of year.

1/2 cup sliced almonds
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 can pineapple tidbits, drained (8 oz) --or substitute fresh, I think fresh is much better
1 can mandarin oranges, drained (8 oz.)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 medium red onion, diced
3/4 cup mayo
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp milk

Combine mayo, vinegar, sugar and milk. Coat remaining ingredients and refrigerate.

Oriental Pork Salad

Here is the simple salad that goes with the Oriental Vinaigrette posted earlier. You can use pork, chicken, tofu or just go veggie.

4 cups shredded pork
1 cup matchstick carrots
1 cup beansprouts
3/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 slivered almonds

Combine ingredients and coat with oriental vinaigrette. Refrigerate until serving.
This salad is good as it is or served in a wrap. I made eggroll bowls to serve it in.

Take eggroll wrappers, brush lightly on each side with olive oil and place on undersides of jumbo muffin tins. Bake at 325 for about 12 minutes. Leave on for 10 minutes to cool and then you have a nice little cup for your salad.
This is also nice for dessert bowls also.

Crazy for Cranberries

Hello everyone,

Well, I was going through the freezer thinking that I wanted to make something different for the dessert case at the cafe and I found some frozen cranberries. I love cranberries, whether fresh or dried. I've had this recipe for a while, but had never gotten around to making it, so bring out the frozen cranberries and wahla, Cranberry Nut Bars. Everyone went crazy. I had to make 2 more batches that day, they all sold out. So here is the yummy recipe if you want to try for yourself, very easy.

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 tsp orange extract

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs on medium speed about 5 minutes, until thick. Gradually add sugar, beating until thoroughly blended. Add flour and butter, blend well. Add cranberries, nuts and extract. Mixing just until combined. Spread evenly in a greased 8 inch square pan. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: I even tried a batch with frozen blueberries and it was yummy.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This is a new vinaigrette dressing that I found in a magazine that is fantastic. My customers really enjoy it and it gives lots of flavor without having to use a lot of dressing on a salad.

Oriental Vinaigrette:
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup light olive oil

In a blender combine all but olive oil; process until smooth. With blender on, add oil in a slow steady stream.

Hope you all enjoy this as much as my customers and I have been.
Hello everyone!

This is all new to me, so you will have to bear with me as I start on my journey of blogging. I will post a few recipes that I mentioned this week as soon as I get the hang of all of this. See you all in just a bit.

About Me

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Brazil, Indiana, United States
I have a restaurant in Brazil, Indiana named Simply Decadent Cafe & Catering. I also do full event catering along with wedding/party planning. I must admit I am horribly addicted to coffee and wild cherry diet pepsi along with chocolate. I love listening to my MP3 player while I cook and have been known to dance around the kitchen a little. Have to make the kitchen fun don't we? I don't have any formal kitchen training, but have learned a lot over the years from a few fantastic cooks, my grandma being one of them. I love trying new recipes and my customers are always willing to be my taste testers.

Sigma Kappa Party

Sigma Kappa Party
Dessert Buffet