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Friday, October 21, 2016

Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

Pin It Jack-O'-Lantern Cookies

Jack-O'-Lantern Cookies
Around Halloween, you see Jack-O'-Lantern pumpkins in front of porches, windows and in retail stores everywhere decorated in different ways, some scary and others are pure works of art. These days, you can buy them with the design and lighted. For those of us who want the effect, but not the work of carving a real one, even artificial Jack-O'-Lanterns are a great option. I was thrilled when I came across Tovolo Jack-O-Lantern Cookie Cutters and ordered a set. The set includes the pumpkin cookie cutter and six reversible templates. For the cookie and royal icing recipe and directions, click Pumpkin Spice Autumn Cookies.

A Jack-O'-Lantern cookie
Once your dough has chilled, roll out and dip the pumpkin cutter and the imprints in a little all purpose flour so the dough does not stick to it.

A Jack-O'-Lantern cookie
After you make the shape with the cookie cutter, press down with the template to make the impression on the dough. It is super easy to do. Just repeat until you are done.

A Jack-O'-Lantern cookie
Once you have your dough imprinted, take a small brush and gently wipe away any excess flour.

A silly looking Jack-O'-Lantern cookie
To color the design imprints after the cookies were completely cooled, I used a black AmeriColor Gourmet Writer Food Decorating Pen. I waited about 1 hour for it to set, and then did piped a border outline around the design using orange royal icing.  After 1/2 hour, I filled the cookie with flood icing consistency.

A Jack-O'-Lantern cookie
On one of the cookies, I tried to cover up a black mark that somehow got on the orange icing, but I noticed it after the icing dried and when I added a little more icing on top, it made it worse and left bumps. Thus, one of my jack-o'-lantern cookies has zits or looks like he is working up a sweat. Hee, hee... My advice never do try to do this once the icing has dried. I learned my lesson. Duh.

Dip the templates in flour before making the impressions
 Let the cookies dry for 5-6 hours or overnight.

Cookies cut out with impressions done

Another option I have seen on Pinterest is to tint the dough orange and just color the imprinted sections with black royal icing and/or sprinkles or sanding sugar of different colors.

To read about the history of the Jack O'Lantern, visit:

To order Jack-O-Lantern cookie cutters set, visit:


-Sophia/Two Frys

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Woodland Themed Cookies

Pin It Woodland Themed Cookies

Woodland Themed Cookies
I had fun decorating these Woodland Themed Cookies. I used the following cookie cutters: moose, owl, squirrel and hedgehog. My mother-in-law loves hedgehogs, so I made two in her honor and named one Laurlee and the other me (Sophia). I made the cookies using the recipe from my previous post, Pumpkin Spice Autumn Cookies.

Moose Cookies
Moose, close-up
I waited about 5-6 hours for the royal icing to dry to make the eyes, nose and mouth of my moose. If you do not, it may smear so waiting is best.

Hedgehogs Laurlee and Sophia ;)
Sophia the hedgehog
Laurlee the hedgehog
To add some character to the hedgehogs, I added two Wilton flower decorations since they are girls and like to look pretty. To make the nose and eyes, I used a black AmeriColor Gourmet Writer Food Decorating Pen.

Three Wise Owls
Owls are so intriguing and beautiful to me. These three Wise Owls are friends and the teachers of the hedgehogs, squirrels, and moose they share the woods with and are always on the lookout for predators.

Two Squirrels
These two squirrels are a couple and they are adorable. I love squirrels and we have so many on campus where I work. I have seen a squirrel eating pizza out of the garbage.

I hope you try the recipe (link above) and make some animal cookies with your loved ones. You can keep the designs simple as the ones I have here and include your children to bake and decorate with you.


-Sophia/Two Frys

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Autumn Cookies

Pin It Pumpkin Spice Autumn Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Autumn Cookies
I fell and hurt my knees a few days ago and was home all weekend, so I baked to keep my mind off the swelling and pain. I baked Pumpkin Spice Cookies adapted from a Sweetopia recipe (see link below). I reduced the granulated and brown sugars, and used light brown instead of brown sugar since that is what I had on hand. I also increased some of the spices to my liking for a real good pumpkin spice flavor. Our apartment smelled like pumpkin spice as the cookies baked in the oven. I share the recipe below.

Pumpkin Spice Cookie Ingredients

Yield: 3 Dozen Cookies (less if you use large cutters)

2 cups (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened and each stick cut into 8 cubes

2 Extra Large Eggs

1/4 cup Pumpkin Purée

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 cup Lightly packed Light Brown Sugar

5 cups All Purpose Flour (King Arthur)

2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger

1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

2 teaspoons Ground All-Spice

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

Leaves, close-up

Cut each stick of softened butter into 8 pieces.

Sift flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all-spice, and salt in large bowl and combine with whisk or spatula; put aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment on low to medium speed. Mix until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.

Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix again for 5-10 seconds more.

Add pumpkin purée, vanilla extract, and eggs one at a time and mix just until incorporated. Scrape down bowl with spatula and mix again for another 5 seconds.

Slowly add flour mixture and mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes.

When dough clumps around paddle attachment it is ready. Do not overmix.

Leaves, close-up
Leaves, close-up
Form dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and cool in fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Take 1/4 of the dough, use rolling pin and roll out between 2 pieces of parchment paper to desired thickness, dip cutters in a little flour, and cut out shapes. Repeat rolling the dough and cutting shapes until you use it all.

If your cookies have a little flour on them gently use a brush to wipe away before chilling.

Place shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and space apart 2 inches.

A must do: put cookies in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before baking. They hold their shape and do not spread when baking if you do this.

Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned. My cookies baked in 12 minutes.

Let cookies cool in baking sheet for 3 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

Let cookie sheets cool completely before you bake again. I put the cookie sheet in the freezer for 5 minutes. Repeat until you have baked all the cookies.

Acorns, close-up

Large Batch Royal Icing

8 Egg Whites

8 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

12 cups Powdered/Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla Extract

Sprinkles in glass bowls

In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar, set aside.

Squeeze lemon juice into small bowl, set aside.

Separate yolks and add egg whites in a medium size bowl.

Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to egg whites and whisk together until combined.

Transfer egg white mixture to stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment, and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.

Add vanilla extract and mix for 5-10 seconds.

With mixer speed on low, slowly add sifted sugar and beat on low until smooth.

If needed, you may add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the right consistency. Watch the Joy of Baking (link at the end) video for both Flooding Consistency and Piping Consistency Royal Icing. If you prefer a recipe using Meringue Powder, it is also available at this link.

I separated the icing in plastic containers with lids according to the different colors I needed for tinting.

I used AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color in lemon yellow, orange, chocolate brown, and super black. To make the dark brown, I added more chocolate brown until I reached the color I needed. Just add a little at a time. Remember, if you add to much at once you can't fix it.

Keep the containers covered until you are ready to color.

Royal Icing in Squeeze Bottles in Super Black, Lemon Yellow, Orange, Brown, Dark Brown
AmeriColor Gourmet Writer Food Decorating Pens
I transferred the icing immediately into Squeeze Bottles using a funnel to prevent spilling. Keep the squeeze bottle tips covered. If the Royal Icing hardens due to exposure to air, use a spray bottle and squirt a little water and shake bottle well holding the tip with your finger. Test the icing consistency on a paper towel before decorating the cookie.

I outlined the cookies and waited 1/2 hour and then filled them.

Use a paintbrush or cookie stick to reach edges and use tip of cookie stick or a toothpick to pop any air bubbles.

For sprinkles, I used Wilton Flowers (for the hedgehogs - Woodland Theme Cookies post tomorrow), Wilton Chocolate Jimmies, CK Products Sanding Sugar in brown, gold and orange.

I used AmeriColor Gourmet Writer Food Decorating Pens to outline design on the cookie before icing and to add fine details. Always keep the decorating pens in the fridge in the packaging they come in and remove 1/2 hour before using them. When you are done, store them in the fridge until the next time you need them.

Let cookies dry overnight.

For the Royal Icing recipe and video tutorial, visit Joy of Baking:

For the Pumpkin Spice Cut-Out Cookies recipe, visit Sweetopia:


-Sophia/Two Frys

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Acorn Squash

Pin It Acorn Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash with cinnamon
I love autumn and cooking with squash while they are in season. This roasted acorn squash is simple to prepare and goes great with chicken, pork and veggies. Acorn Squash is a little less sweeter than Butternut Squash and on my half, I sprinkled Ground Cinnamon all over just before serving. I love the taste and smell of squash and it is good for you too. You can leave out the cinnamon or sprinkle a little brown sugar before baking if you want it sweeter.

Yummy Acorn Squash

1 Acorn Squash

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (California Olive Ranch)

Coarse Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

1 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

Acorn Squash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut Acorn Squash in half.

Using a spoon gently remove the seeds.

With a knife, score each half with a knife about 5-6 times straight across.

Brush with olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper.

Place with flesh side up in baking sheet.

Place in center rack of oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Sprinkly cinnamon over the top.

Let squash rest for 5 minutes.


-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Veggie Pasta Salad

Pin It Veggie Pasta Salad

Veggie Pasta Salad
I love making this Veggie Pasta Salad and it is so refreshing during hot summer days. Even though it is September, NY is in the brink of a heatwave and this pasta salad was fitting for Labor Day. This recipe is very easy to put together and it is so yummy. The only thing bad about this recipe is you do not want to stop eating it. The tangy dressing, the crunch of the veggies and great tasting pasta make this a satisfying and hearty meal. The more time it is chilled in the fridge the better, so go for at least 3-4 hours or more if you have the time. Recipe below.

Peppers, Broccoli, and Onions sauteeing

1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced

1 Orange Bell Pepper, sliced

6 Radishes, sliced and halved

1 bunch of fresh Broccoli Florets, cut

1/4 Yellow Onion, chopped

1 cup Shredded Carrots

1 container Grape Tomatoes

1 bunch of Parsley, roughly chopped

Veggie Pasta Salad, chilled and ready to be eaten!

Coarse Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup Light Italian Dressing (or more if desired)

1 bag Wacky Mac Veggie spirals (Tomato, Beet and Spinach Blend)

Veggie Pasta Salad, so yummy!

In a huge pot, add salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil in bowling water and cook veggie spirals 1 minute shy of Al Dente according to package directions.

Drain and set aside.

Season broccoli, peppers and onions with salt and pepper.

Add olive oil to skillet on medium heat and sautee broccoli, peppers and onions for 5 minutes or so.

Cool veggies.

In a large bowl, add veggie spirals, broccoli, peppers, onions, carrots, radishes, tomatoes and combine.

Add Italian Dressing and combine.

Add Parsley and mix together.

Cover and chill in fridge for at least 2-3 hours before you serve and add a little more dressing to taste if desired.


-Sophia/Two Frys

Friday, September 9, 2016

Apple Pie

Pin It Apple Pie

Apple Pie
I asked my coworker Carole what she would like me to bake for her birthday, and she requested Apple Pie. She is not a fan of tart apples so for her pie, I used 6 Gala Apples and 3 Granny Smith Apples and 3 Gala Apples for our pie, which is the perfect combination of sweet and tart. For the pie crust, I use Ina Garten's (see link below) Pie Crust recipe and instructions. You can make the pie crust a day or two ahead and keep it covered in the fridge until ready to use. Bring the pie crust to room temperature before rolling out the dough. I use Paula Dean's apple shape cutout that I put over the crust. I doubled the recipe and the one below is for the sweet-tart pie, but use Gala or any other sweet apple you prefer. The crust is light and flaky, and I reduced the sugar by 1/2 cup and you wouldn't even notice it since the lemon juice and all the spices develop the flavors together beautifully. The sweetness is balanced by the tart Granny Smith Apples. You really need to make this Apple Pie! Recipe below.

Apple Pie Ingredients
3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced

3 Gala Apples, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup Turbinado Sugar + 1 teaspoon to sprinkle over the crust

1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar, lightly packed

2 tablespoons, All Purpose Flour (King Arthur)

1/4 teaspoon, Coarse Salt

1 teaspoon, ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon, ground Nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon, ground Allspice

3 tablespoons, freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

1 Egg beaten + 2 tablespoons water for Egg Wash

2 tablespoons Butter, cold and cut into small cubes

Apple Pie slice

See link below for Ina Garten Pie Crust recipe.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Lightly beat egg with a fork in a small bowl with water; set aside.

Peel and slice apples using a corer and add to a large bowl.

Add lemon juice and combine.

Add the sugars, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and and mix the ingredients.

Place apple mixture into pie dish over crust.

Add butter cubes over the apple filling.

Top with second pie crust. Take excess crust and tuck in and seal together, and with the tines of a fork press down all around the crust.

Make 4-6 slits on the top of crust and add decorative apple cutout.

Brush the crust lightly with egg wash and sprinkle turbinado sugar over the crust.

Bake Apple Pie for 40-55 minutes until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. My pies took 50 minutes to bake.

Cover the edge of the crust with a pie shield or with cut strips of aluminum foil and remove after 20 minutes to prevent burnt edges. If you do not own a pie shield, I recommend you purchase one. I use Mrs. Anderson's Pie Crust Shield.

After you take the Apple Pie out of the oven, let it cool completely on a wire rack for 2 hours before serving.

For the Ina Garten Pie Crust recipe, please visit:


-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Asian BBQ Chicken Legs

Pin It Baked Chicken Legs with Hoboken Eddie's Asian BBQ Sauce

Chicken Legs with Hoboken Eddie's Asian BBQ Sauce
I love chicken legs and baked them using Hoboken Eddie's Asian BBQ Sauce. It is as Eddie describes it on the label, Asian BBQ is "a sweet non-smokey Asian BBQ finishing sauce." I marinated the chicken for three hours, and then baked the legs for 50 minutes. The results were amazing! The chicken legs were sweet and tangy, and packed with a robust Asian inspired flavor profile from the ingredients below. Some of Asian BBQ ingredients are: ketchup, distilled vinegar, grape jelly, brown sugar, molasses, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Cherry peppers, Cajun seasoning, and chili powder. The heat is mild, and I love the balanced taste from the combination of the ingredients. Nothing overpowers and the chicken is so satisfying, and sticky, finger licking good. I will use the remaining sauce on stir fry soon. Please see below for recipe.

Chicken Legs with Hoboken Eddie's Asian BBQ Sauce

Organic Chicken Legs  (I used 5 legs)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Coarse Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

1 cup Hoboken Eddie's Asian BBQ Sauce

Chicken Legs with Hoboken Eddie's Asian BBQ Sauce

Wash and pat dry chicken legs. 

Place on a plate, sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil, and season with coarse salt and cracked black pepper.

Add seasoned legs to a large ziploc bag, and then Asian BBQ Sauce. Seal and gently massage chicken. 

Place ziploc bag over a plate and marinate in fridge for 3-4 hours.

Remove from fridge 1/2 hour before baking.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Add marinated chicken legs to glass baking dish making sure to use all the sauce in the ziploc bag and pour over the legs.

Bake for 50 minutes and then turn over half way through cooking time.

Remove from oven, and let chicken rest for 5 minutes. 

Serve with a side dish.


To order Asian BBQ Sauce and for further information, please visit Hoboken Eddie's:

"Like" Hoboken Eddie's on Facebook:

-Sophia/Two Frys

Friday, September 2, 2016

Zucchini Mushroom Spaghetti

Pin It Zucchini Mushroom Spaghetti with Ground Turkey

Yummy Zucchini Mushroom Spaghetti with Ground Turkey
I have been cutting back on pasta lately but earlier this week, I had a serious craving for spaghetti. After coming home from work tired and hungry, I made Zucchini Mushroom Spaghetti with Ground Turkey in 30 minutes. Omit the ground turkey for a vegetarian option. The zucchini and mushrooms elevate the pasta, and the healthy ground turkey rounds out this dish. It is a comforting meal, hearty, yummy and filling. I did not add onions or garlic, but add if you desire. I highly recommend this spaghetti recipe. See recipe below.

Zucchini Mushroom Spaghetti

1 lb. Organic Ground Turkey

1 lb. Spaghetti (I used Barilla Whole Grain Thin Spaghetti)

1 jar Pasta Sauce (I used Barilla or make homemade if you have time)

1/2 teaspoon Tomato Paste

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 cups Sliced Shiitake Mushrooms

2 Zucchini, each sliced and halved

Bunch fresh Parsley, roughly chopped

Coarse Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning

1 Bay Leaf

1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Ground turkey, mushrooms and zucchini cooking

Roughly chop a bunch of parsley; set aside.

Clean mushrooms with a paper towel.

Slice zucchini and then each slice in half.

Season mushrooms and zucchini with coarse salt and cracked black pepper.

With a skillet on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and when hot add ground turkey.

Cover and cook for about 7 minutes stirring often, and then add sliced zucchini and mushrooms. Continue cooking.

After 5 minutes add pasta sauce, tomato paste, bay leaf, and Italian seasoning. Stir, cover, and simmer on low heat for 6-7 minutes.

This is the pasta I used. Barilla is my fave.
On high heat, bring a large pot of water to boil.

Add coarse salt.

Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.

Add the spaghetti and cook to Al Dente, according to box directions.

Before draining spaghetti, reserve about 3/4 cup of starchy pasta water.

Drain spaghetti and return to pot.

Remove bay leaf and add ingredients in skillet to pasta pot, then the reserved pasta water, and stir.

Add shredded Mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese and combine.

Add parsley and combine.

Add more Parmesan cheese over the top if desired.


-Sophia/Two Frys

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

J&K Brenner's Garlic Lime

Pin It J&K Brenner's Garlic Lime Hot Sauce
By J&K Brenner's Sauce and Spice Co.

J&K Brenner's Garlic Lime Hot Sauce on a monster burrito
I met Kendall and Jordan Brenner years ago at the Brooklyn Chile Pepper Fiesta. I have been a friend and fan ever since. I am always happy to see Kendall at local events when I run into him. J&K Brenner's All Natural Original Garlic Lime Hot Sauce is a great sauce in their versatile and ever growing product lineup of spicy goods. Garlic Lime has a medium heat and a thin consistency. It has the liquidity of a Louisiana style hot sauce. I like the bold flavor profile of the sauce, but wish it was just a tad thicker.

J&K Brenner's Garlic Lime Hot Sauce works great on Mexican foods like burritos (pictured), and added to thick spicy salsa to kick it up a notch. Garlic Lime is not too heavy on the lime, but offers the right balance and a fresh taste. The bold flavors of the Habaneros and garlic shine through. Some of the spicy and savory ingredients in Garlic Lime are: Habanero Chiles, garlic, onion, cider vinegar, lime juice, natural lime flavor, and kosher salt.

J&K Brenner's Garlic Lime Hot Sauce
All in all, Garlic Lime is a great sauce to add medium Habanero heat to your fave dishes. I also use Garlic Lime on steamed vegetables as it pairs well. Garlic Lime also compliments rice dishes bringing up the heat and rounding out flavor. The Brenner's line of hot sauces and spices are highly recommended by Two Frys. I also enjoy the newer BBQ and Dipping Sauces they now offer. Future coverage on these sauces are upcoming on Two Frys. Try out Garlic Lime and bring it to your dinner table today. Keep up the great work J&K Brenner's AKA Hot-Cha-Waa-Cha Sauce and Spice Co. Get some!

For further information on J&K Brenner's Sauce and Spice Co., please visit:

"Like" J&K Brenner's Sauce and Spice Co. on Facebook:

-Allen/Two Frys

Monday, August 29, 2016

Terlingua Smoked Chipotle

Pin It Terlingua Smoked Chipotle
By Terlingua Sauce Company

Terlingua Smoked Chipotle
Terlingua Smoked Chipotle Sauce comes from my hometown in Livermore, CA. Terlingua has unique artwork on their bottle labels, and I love the whole Southwestern Spaghetti Western design. The art has a skeletal gunslinger with Chiles and an armadillo in a graveyard with Chiles. The artwork is great, and the different hot sauce varieties all feature unique artwork.

The Smoke Chipotle is a flavorful sauce. I used it on Mexican food: tacos, Spanish rice, black beans, and on Two Frys Burrito Bowls (pictured). I enjoyed the flavors from the blend of peppers, cilantro, salt, onions, vinegar, liquid smoke, and spices. The texture of the sauce is a medium thickness, and the bottle comes with a dripper insert.

Terlingua Smoke Chipotle
The flavors are good and well developed in this savory hot sauce. On the heat scale, Terlingua is mild to medium. Terlingua is a sauce most can enjoy without the major burn of some sauces on the market. I like the taste, but am not a fan of liquid smoke in hot sauces. I use liquid smoke in meats, but do not care for it in hot sauces.

Close-up of Terlingua Smoke Chipotle on Two Frys Burrito Bowls
The liquid smoke is overpowering for me but otherwise, Terlingua is bold and has a robust flavor profile. I actually smell the liquid smoke above any smoked peppers and wish it was the opposite way around. Terlingua offer other sauces so be sure to check out the "Site 300" Sauce, as well as the Barbeque Sauce product line. This was a great first time tasting of a hometown hot sauce. I look forward to new sauces from Terlingua and when you order online, get more than one at a time.

For further information about Terlingua Sauce Company, please visit:

"Like" Terlingua Sauce Company on Facebook:

-Allen/Two Frys