Inner Chef

Enjoy your kitchen, your food and your inner chef


No Bake Cookies

No-Bake Cookies

2 Cups granulated sugar

8 Tablespoon (1 stick) unsalted butter

½ cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

⅓ cup baking cocoa

½ cup peanut butter

3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)


In medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter, milk, and cocoa.

Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Continue boiling 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, oats and vanilla.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let stand until firm. Store tightly covered.

Serving Tips: *If using old fashioned oats, cool mixture in saucepan 5 minutes.


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Winter Produce

Winter Produce

We automatically know what produce is in season during the warmer months and how expensive they become during the colder months. You may be surprised to find out the delicious produce that is in season for us during the winter. You can find the produce at a cheaper price and still get great flavors for your cooking and baking needs.

  1. Mustard greens
  2. Collard greens
  3. Kale
  4. Sweet potatoes
  5. Bartlett pears
  6. Anjou pears
  7. Fennel bulbs
  8. Pineapple
  9. Cranberries
  10. Brussels Sprouts
  11. Lemon
  12. Lime
  13. Clementine
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Blood oranges
  16. Navel oranges
  17. Turnips
  18. Rutabaga
  19. Parsnip

So, grab some winter produce and start experiencing the amazement of flavor.

Many supermarkets and local produce shops will allow you to try produce that is new to you. Just ask. Don’t let the look of something shy you away from tasting it. You may be pleasantly surprised.


winter produce2




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Quinoa Caprese Casserole

Quinoa Caprese Casserole       5 servings

(Better Homes & Garden 16th Edition)

Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

½ tsp. salt

1 ½ cups purchased marinara sauce

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

⅔ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

⅓ cup whipping cream

½ tsp. crushed red pepper

¼ tsp. black pepper

1 ½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)

¾ cup shredded fresh basil

6 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes

Crusty Italian bread, optional

  1. PREHEAT oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray, set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, quinoa and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork; set aside.
  2. COMBINE marinara sauce and tomato paste in a large saucepan. Stir over low heat until smooth. Stir in Parmesan cheese, cream, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Add cooked quinoa; mix gently. Using a rubber spatula, fold in ¾ cup of the tomatoes, the shredded mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup of the basil. Spoon quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly. Top with fresh mozzarella cheese.
  3. BAKE, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining ¾ cup tomatoes and the remaining ½ cup basil. If desired, serve with bread.
Better Homes & Garden

Better Homes & Garden


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No-Bake Caramel Popcorn Drops

No-Bake Caramel-Popcorn Drops

(Original recipe from


6 cups popped popcorn

3 cups square pretzels, broken in half

2 cups mixed nuts, coarsely chopped

20 ounce package vanilla-flavor candy coating, coarsely chopped

2/3 cup caramel-flavor ice cream topping


In an extra-large bowl combine popcorn, pretzels, mixed nuts, and raisins.

In a medium heavy saucepan cook and stir candy coating over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in caramel topping.

Pour melted coating mixture over popcorn mixture. Stir gently to coat. Turn onto waxed paper-lined baking sheet and toss until mixture is covered by coating mixture. Drop mixture by rounded tablespoons onto a tray lined with waxed paper. Let stand until set.

To Store:

Place cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Inner Chef Notes:

  • Work quickly when mixing the popcorn mixture with the melted candy mixture. I had to use 2 spoons.
  • When I added the caramel sauce to the melted candy coating; it began to get thick, real fast. I had to put the pan on low heat and stir until it came to the correct consistency to coat the popcorn mixture. Be careful not to burn the coating mixture.



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The Perfect Prime Rib!

You will not believe just how easy it is to get the perfect prime rib! I didn’t believe it at first….until it came out of the oven and we sliced it. PERFECT!

We found this recipe on “About”. This is word for word how they described how to make this perfect prime rib.

There are some Inner Chef Notes for you that I will share right now.

     1. Our prime rib weighed in at 17.2 pounds and we cut it in half. This meant that we hade to weigh each individual piece. It came to 43 minutes total cook time (yep….that’s it!)

     2. We used Private Selection Crust Rub instead of just plain salt and pepper and it was aromatic and so delicious!



“This technique produces a perfectly medium-rare prime rib with a gorgeous brown crust on the outside. It works best for smaller prime ribs of between 4 and 8 pounds. For a bone-in prime rib, figure two servings per rib, while a boneless roast will yield two servings per pound.

The key to this method is knowing the exact weight of your prime rib. Just copy it off the label, write it on a Post-it and stick it on your fridge. I say this because I know how easy it is to just tear off the butcher paper and throw it away, and you really don’t want to have to go digging through the trash to find the label.

Also, you don’t actually need a meat thermometer with this technique, although if you’re paranoid you can certainly use one anyway.

  • 1 boneless or bone-in beef rib roast, trimmed and tied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Prep Time:1,440 minutes
  • Cook Time:160 minutes
  • Total Time:1,600 minutes
    1. The night before you are going to cook the prime rib, unwrap the roast and let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator. This will dry out the surface, which makes it easier to get a nice brown color on the roast
    2. Three hours before you want to begin cooking, take the roast out of the fridge and place it on a cutting board at room temperature
    3. Half an hour before you start roasting, pre-heat your oven to 500°F and season the roast generously with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    4. Now it’s time to do your calculation. All you do is multiply the weight of your roast by five. That’s your total roasting time, in minutes. Sounds crazy, right? But stay with me
    5. For instance, if you have a four-pound roast, 4 × 5 = 20 minutes. An eight-pound roast? 8 × 5 = 40 minutes. Remember that number
    6. When you’re ready to cook, set the roast in a roasting pan with a rack, fat-side-up for a boneless prime rib. Or for a bone-in prime rib, skip the roasting rack and just set the roast bone-side-down in the roasting pan. If you’re nervous about this crazy technique, you can insert a meat thermometer or a digital probe thermometer into the deepest part of the meat, being careful not to hit bone. If nothing else, it will provide you with some peace of mind
    7. All right, now put the roast in the oven and roast it for exactly however many minutes you calculated above. When the time’s up, turn off the oven and walk away. Don’t open the oven door for any reason for the next two hours
    8. I’ll say it again because it bears repeating: Do not open the oven door, for any reason, for the next two hours.
    9. In two hours, take the prime rib out of the oven, carve and serve right away. If you did use a thermometer, you’ll see that the internal temperature of the meat has reached 130°F — in other words, perfect medium-rare. How easy was that?”

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