Author Archives: Cynthia Starchak


download  – What’s that? Rum Chata for breakfast? Why the hell not?! The perfect weekend morning treat, this fast and easy recipe is sure to become one of your rise-and-shine favorites. Surprise that certain someone this weekend with golden slices of this comforting specialty.


  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Rum Chata
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 slices white breadrum-chata-french-toast-062
  • Syrup

Using a whisk or fork, beat the eggs, milk, Rum Chata and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip slices of bread into egg mixture. Grill bread in skillet until golden brown, roughly 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden. Serve with syrup.  Top with fresh or frozen berries and / or chopped walnuts.

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues:  You may need to add extra butter to the skillet between batches when preparing this recipe. The toast is great made with thick slices of bread, but if you only have a loaf of sliced white bread on hand, feel free to use it.

Cynthia Says: Coffee laced with more Rum Chata!




– Here’s a fast and simple take on a pasta staple. Fast food chicken nuggets help you beat the clock and keep the kitchen clean. Best of all, it’s loaded with hearty, stick-to-your-ribs appeal!




  • 1/2 box fettuccine (from a 16-ounce box)  OH HECK – If you gotta use up the spaghetti go right ahead.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 (4 ounce) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 10 fast-food chicken nuggets
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
  • Parmesan cheese  Recipes-Chicken-Nuggets-11


  • Prepare fettuccine according to box directions. (Save remaining fettuccine for another meal.)
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms.
  • Sauté for 4 minutes or until onions are nearly translucent.
  • Add chicken nuggets, and sauté until nuggets are coated with oil and warmed through; about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in Alfredo sauce.
  • Drain pasta and add to Alfredo mixture.
  • Top individual servings with Parmesan cheese.

Ruthie tested this recipe with McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues:  After adding the Alfredo sauce, stir in a handful of frozen peas, some broccoli  or a few dashes of dried parsley flakes for a little color. Replace the fettuccine with spaghetti or small tube pasta if you’d like. This dish is easy to double for dinners of eight guests, and you’ll use up that extra pasta as well!

  Cynthia Says:  Well Chianti…. Duh.



4785591818_83fa1e144f_b Shredded Beef Wet Burritos   – Stuck indoors at work on a glorious Spring day?  Take heart! there’s daylight left as we move towards the solstice. Stop for some fast food burritos and trick them out for the enjoyment of one and all “al fresco”. Covered with a savory sauce and lots of cheese, these no-fuss burritos can’t be beat!  Another one that is SO easy we don’t have to post the printable.


  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce – its on the shelf just look for it
  • 4 fast-food beef burritos no lettuce – stop at the Bell on the way home
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can diced jalapenos, drained
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  OR you can slap them on the grill in the baking dish…. indirect heat
  • Spritz a 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Spread 2 tablespoon enchilada sauce in bottom of dish.
  • Set burritos in dish.
  • Top with remaining enchilada sauce, jalapenos and cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and burritos are heated through.  This will go faster in the grill…. check frequently to avoid scorching

Ruthie tested this recipe with Taco Bell Beef Burritos.

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues:  Buy basic burritos. Avoid those filled with lettuce. You can also top the burritos with sliced black olives if you’d like before baking. If you buy the burritos ahead of time and store them in the fridge, be sure to warm them through in the microwave before assembling this dish.  Go nuts! Get Creative!  Add Stuff! Broccoli – Guac –  whatever!  YUM

Cynthia Says:  MARGARITA! Because.  frozen-margarita



bacon ciin rolls


– WHAT? – Yes–you read that correctly. Bacon.  Stuffed.  Cinnamon.  Rolls.   Holy balls! If you’ve never baked anything before, this is a great place to start. Two ingredients, a sweet-savory combo and bacon! These are ideal for lazy Sunday mornings, brunch donations or treating last-night’s trick!

Did I mention….BACON?!


INGREDIENTS: There’s only TWO!

  • 5 bacon strips
  • 1 (17.5 ounce) tube Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls with Icing

DIRECTIONS: Seriously, soooo easy even Cynthia can do this with a snootful  rolin rolls

  • Prepare bacon strips according to package directions just until cooked.
  • Drain on paper towels. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove packaged icing and set aside.
  • Slice cinnamon roll dough into five rolls (if not already pre-sliced).
  • Carefully unroll a cinnamon roll and top with a slice of bacon.
  • Re-roll. Repeat with remaining cinnamon rolls and bacon.
  • Set rolls on a baking sheet spritzed with cooking spray or covered with parchment paper.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Drizzle with icing.
  • Refrigerate leftovers.

This one is so easy we don’t need to include a printable….. just get some dough in a tube and some bacon – roll the bacon in the dough and cook!

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues: Be sure to purchase the cinnamon rolls that come in a tube, and not those that come frozen in a pan. You can try preparing this recipe without cooking the bacon first. Just be sure the bacon is sliced thin and is cooked through via the oven before serving the rolls. These cinnamon treats are actually better the next day. Simply reheat in the microwave for a minute or two.

December-2011-f-009-300x168Cynthia Says: WOOF! Talk about an EASY patio pleaser.   Bring it on with my Best Bloody and you got yourself a head start on some early summer brunch time! Marty Dean! Bring Auntie the SPECIAL Tomato juice! NO SIPPIN.

 Cynthia’s Best Bloody   

Super Sunshine Cake

baconmacandcheee-038  – Hey if you cant wait for Spring (which by the by happened on March 21 and THAT’S over with now and its still snowing….. but I digress.) Whip yourself up this easy Sunshine cake. Because EVERYBODY needs CAKE.

Yes you make it with a box… but like we say in Ruthies Bitchin Kitchen….. If you have to open the box and add stuff, you made it from scratch. It’s so simple you don’t even need to drag out the mixer.

Aunt Gladys started to make this for the Easter dinner because her lamb cakes always end up looking like rabid dogs.




  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (11 oz.) Mandarin oranges        bad lamb


  • 1 container (8 oz.) cool whip
  • 1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding (you can use sugar free if you are thinking about swim suit season)
  • 1 can (15 1/2 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice
  • Fresh strawberries optional


  • Preheat oven to 350*F.
  • In a large bowl, mix all of the cake ingredients until moist.
  • Beat by hand for 2 minutes.
  • Coat a 13″ x 9″ pan with non-stick spray.
  • Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, mix together all of the frosting ingredients until well blended.
  • Spread over cake.
  • Store in the refrigerator.
  • Add the fresh strawberries when serving. Or dice them and mix them into the frosting

NOTE: You can make a layer cake: Impress the friends and fam. Bake in two 9″ pans for 25 minutes, or until they test done. Place the cooled layers on platter and spread frosting on bottom layer, then place top layer on top and frost top and sides.

Cynthia Says: Serve for your Easter Fete with a nice domestic bubbly.

Can you hear the patio furniture calling?

Heres a printable: Sunshine Cake

Ruthie Spanks the Monkey (Bread)

tight shot with monkey


–  Fresh from Episode 9 of the Bitchin’ Kitchen web series, this appetizer comes from Jeff and Tony of Jackson, and it friggin’ rocks! Featuring lots of melted cheese, pepperoni and a golden crust, it comes together in minutes. Bake it in a bundt pan for easy flair but you can use a 13×9-inch baking dish, too.  Ruthie and Cynthia imagine it’s a great party pleaser!



  • 2 (16 ounce) cans of Jumbo Buttermilk Biscuits
  • 1 (5 ounce) package sliced pepperoni       bundt pan dump
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Pizza or spaghetti sauce 


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Separate biscuits and cut into quarters.
  • Cut the pepperoni slices into halves.
  • In a large bowl, combine the biscuits, pepperoni and oil.
  • Stir in green pepper, Mozzarella cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.
  • Set mixture into a bundt pan, fluted tube pan or 13×9-inch baking dish heavily coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

done in pan If baking in a bundt pan or tube pan, invert warm loaf onto a serving plate. Serve warm with sauce for dipping. Refrigerate leftovers.

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues:   This loaf is best served straight from the oven. If baking in a bundt/tube pan, you may need to run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the loaf a bit. You can use grated Parmesan cheese with great results, but the final loaf may not be quite as cheesy. Don’t like green peppers? Leave ‘em out? Like sliced black olives or chopped onion on your pizza? Add them to the recipe. This makes a wonderful appetizer, but you can serve it alongside salad and/or soup for a kick-ass meal.

Cynthia Says: I baked up a panful and THEN realized I had the date of the party wrong!  Separated it into sections, bagged in ziplocks (Dear Lord what would be do without ziplocks?) and popped into the freezer.  At party time I microwaved the sections till they were just warm and the result was quite adequate.

girls wide endClick for the printable recipe: Pizza Monkey Bread ENJOY!  We did.  

Praise the Lard

praise-the-lard  –  Lard.  Its not just for breakfast anymore!  Neighbor Melly Sue just brought over the traditional pre lenten Pazckis… which, we all know, must be deep fried in LARD…. not Crisco – Not Shortening – LARD.



Few of you may realize that real LARD is a THING.  It is rendered, that is boiled off of – the fat IMAG0534(back fat) of our porcine friends.  Sorry Vegans.

Well when you deep fry something in lard…. you end up with a pot of melted lard and the conversation over coffee and Pazckis turned to what to do with the leftovers.  As we contemplated this dicey problem…. looking out the kitchen window at the chickadees – which are taking on a blue hue on account of the cold…. we chorused in unison.. SUET BALLS!

So we fired up the old laptop and got THIS gem from the old Farmers Almanac:

670px-Making-Bird-Food-Suet-Cakes-7Suet Cake

  • 2 parts melted fat (bacon fat, suet, or lard)
  • 2 parts yellow cornmeal
  • 1 part peanut butter

Mix all ingredients together and cook for a few minutes. Pour into small containers (tuna fish cans are good), and refrigerate or freeze until needed.  As it cools you can add some bird seed mix or not – its good either way.  Mixture can also be stuffed into 1-inch holes drilled in small logs to hang from trees. The recipe can be made all year long as long as you accumulate fat. Fasten containers securely to trees or feeders.  suet300x285

You can buy a suet cage at your local hardware store.  Or recycle net bags from onions.  If you can keep the squirrels out the birds will love you for it!




– Fresh from Episode 8 of Ruthie’s Bitchin’ Kitchen!  Perfect for Valentine’s Day gift-giving, this no-fuss fudge comes from Cheryl of Milwaukee. She’s used Kahlua but Cynthia likes hers with a splash of the “Cookin’ Whiskey”.   – You know, the kind that comes in the plastic bottle for $2.99? Feel free to add your own twist! “The key is to keep stirring the mixture on the stovetop,” she explains. “Keep track of the time. If you stop too soon, it can be a bit grainy.”



Ingredients:  Sugar – Sugar – More Sugar – Marshmallows – Alcohol – Butter and Chocolate

  • 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup Kahlua or Whiskey…. Whatever.  kahlua
  • 5 cups sugar (2 pounds)  My GOD! you Can TASTE the Diabetes!
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk (use whole…. its richer)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 25 large marshmallows, halved
  • 5 ounces 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)

Directions:  (Go to YouTube for a video HowTo….)

  • Foil and butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.   Leave ‘handles” on the sidesbutter the foil
  • Whisk powdered sugar and Kahlua or Whiskey in a large bowl; set aside.
  • Combine sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla in a large pot with a heavy bottom.
  • Stir continuously until mixture comes to a boil.
  • Continue stirring, while boiling, for 4 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Stir marshmallows and chocolate into sugar mixture until completely blended.
  • Stir in alcohol mixture until completely blended.  pour in pan
  • Pour into foil-lined baking dish.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Cut into bite sized pieces before serving.

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues:

Feel free to toss in some chopped walnuts or pecans into the mixture if you’d like! When lining the pan with foil, extend the foil beyond the edges of the pan. This way, after it refrigerates, you can use the foil “handles” to lift the entire block of fudge out of the pan at once, making it easy to cut into uniform pieces.    lift

Cynthia Says:

Uniform bite size pieces? Give me a BREAK! This is so good you’ll want to eat the whole 13×9 block in one sitting.

Heres the PDF:  Kahlua Fudge



Spinach, BEET & Goat Cheese Pizza





–  Over at the Starchak trailer, Winter is getting old.  We need some comfort food to BEET the Winter Blues.  (HA HA) So I made this up and ran over to Ruthie’s with a bottle of cheap red. Not only is it deeellishous…  It’s a great way to enhance a dull and boring frozen pizza.  Seriously, its like a silk purse from a sow’s ear as they say.  And of course if you discard all packaging your guests will believe you made it from scratch.  Like Ruthie says, ….. its not a lie if you had to open more than one package.



  • essential-everyday-beets-sliced-175520Cheap frozen cheese pizza. (it is against the Starchak  code if you spend more than $2.99)
  • Can of sliced beets – REGULAR NOT PICKLED
  • Package of steam-able chopped spinach (steam-able chopped is easier to thaw.  Also it has less water in it so your Za wont get soggy).
  • Goat cheese log
  • Shredded mozzarella












  • Put the beets in a colander and rinse – drain well.
  • Open the steam-able package of spinach and put a few handfuls in a microwave safe bowl. (re close the package you can use the leftovers later).
  • Microwave to thaw.
  • Top the pizza with 4 or 5 rounds of beets – theres enough beets in the can for three so if you are only making one you will have leftovers – Store them in the fridge for later.  Beets are good and good for ya.
  • Put some goat cheese rounds between the beets
  • Spread spinach over and top with a few handfuls of shredded mozzarella.
  • Bake in 375 oven till crust is nice and golden.
  • Switch to broil and broil the top so everything is nice and crusty.  


  • YUM!





TWO Cookies from ONE Dough

cookies done


– Here’s a quick and easy cookie dough that gets you TWO different kinds of cookies! As seen in Episode 7 of Ruthies Bitchin Kitchen!  Read all about it here and watch the video on our YouTube Channel. Click HERE for a link.  Don’t forget to subscribe for future fun!

First you need to prepare the basic dough recipe for BOTH the Christmas slice cookies and the German Chocolate drops.

Ruthies Bitchin Cookie Dough


  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.    Cookie dough
  • Beat in the extract and the sweetened condensed milk.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt;
  • Gradually beat into the creamed mixture until well combined and a dough forms.
  • Divide dough into five 1-cup portions,
  • Roll each portion into a log, 10-inches  long.
  • Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Use dough in Simple Christmas Slice Cookies and/or German Chocolate Cookies.

Ruthie’s Sticky Note: If making the German Chocolate Cookies the same day, simply set 2 cups of dough aside and proceed with that recipe. Roll and wrap the remaining the dough for future use or for Simple Christmas Slice Cookies 

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues

You can freeze the dough logs for up to 3 months, too, which is great for last minute needs, late snack attacks, etc. Swap out the almond extract with peppermint if you’d like…but note that the peppermint dough may not work when using the dough with German Chocolate Cookies.


Simple Christmas Slice Cookies

  • 3 cups Ruthie’s Bitchin’ Cookie Dough
  • Jimmies, colored sugar, frosting optional


  • Take the dough out of the refrigerator for 5 minutes to soften for easy, consistent slicing.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut rolls into 1/4-inch slices and set on baking sheets spritzed with nonstick spray.  rolling
  • If decorating with jimmies or colored sugar, do so now.
  • Bake at 350° for 7-9 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.
  • If decorating with frosting, do so once cookies are completely cool.

German Chocolate Cookies

  • 2 cups Ruthie’s Bitchin’ Cookie Dough
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • Chocolate frosting
  • Chopped pecans


  • Take the dough out of the refrigerator for 10 minutes to soften.
  • scoopCombine the dough, coconut, cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and milk in a large bowl.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Drop dough by tablespoon onto baking sheets spritzed with nonstick spray.
  • Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  • Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.
  • Frost cooled cookies and top with nuts  or Jimmies.  cokkies done

Ruthie’s Culinary Clues: Lining cookie sheets with parchment paper prevents burning and makes cleanup a snap! If your cookies are spreading too much when baking – the baking sheet is too warm from the last batch. Rinse sheets off in cold water and dry between batches if necessary. Cooling racks not only help cookies cool faster, but they help keep the texture of the bottom of the cookie intact.


Click here for the Printable Recipes:  Ruthies Bitchin Cookie Dough  TWO Cookies_ONE Dough