Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fondant cake

The cake I made for my nieces 1st communion this weekend. I had lots of help :)
My 3rd fondant cake!!! The cake itself was DELICIOUS!!!! The BEST I've ever made from scratch!!!
Love the details and the sparkles!!

White/Green cookies....

Ingredients:

1/2 cup shortening (I usually just use shortening for these)
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of sugar
1tsp vanilla
Optional : sugar for rolling food coloring

Directions:

Mix the sugar, shortening and butter till creamed then add the egg and vanilla. Mix till combined then add the dry ingredients. Roll the dough into balls and roll in the sugar then press with a fork like a PB cookie. Bake @350 degrees for 8-10 min.
 Conner wanted green cookies so we made green cookies!!! They just melt in your mouth!!
I think they would look even prettier pink!!!
My kids sure loved them!!!

BBQ Chicken Braid....


Dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
In a large mixer bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Filling:

  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil



Turn the dough out onto a flowered surface.
Roll the other portion into about an 11X17-inch rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, knife, or dough cutter, cut 1-inch wide strips in towards the center, starting on the long sides. There should be a solid strip about 3 inches wide down the center, with the cut strips forming a fringe down each side. 
 Mix a little of the bbq with the onions and the rest with the shredded chicken.
I grilled my chicken on our fancy little grill that I got from my mom and dad.
fill the center with the chicken onions, cheese and basil.
Start at one end and braid the dough. I used a little egg wash at the end brushed the top to give it a little shine. 
It's a little tricky moving the braid to the cookie sheet so mine did not come out very pretty but ohhh boy was it yummy. 
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!!

Printable Recipe 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Crepes.....

Basic Crepe recipe:  
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I only used 1/3 cup next time will use even less)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 6 tbsp butter melted
Directions:

Whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Whisk together milk, vanilla and eggs. Gradually add milk mixture to flour mixture, whisking until smooth.  Whisk in melted butter. Strain through a fine sieve, discard lumps (I skipped this part). Refrigerate batter for at least 2 hours or overnight (I made mine right away).

Put 1 tsp oil in a small fry pan or crepe pan on med heat until just before it starts to smoke. Remove from heat and pour 2 tbsp batter and swirl pan in a circular motion to coat. Cook until edges are golden and flip. (I made mine on my cool griddle without using any extra oil).
Filling:
  • We had ours with fresh strawberries , bananas and whipped cream but the possibilities are endless. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Potatoes....

Potatoes, paprika, sea salt, chipotle, pepper, rosemary, and a some olive oil.....
All that you need to make these beauties.....so yummy. Bake @450 degrees for 20-30 min.
Ohhh yummmmm!!!!

Herbs....

Fresh Herbs are always nice to have on hand in cooking. Currently living in an apartment we do not have a garden but always manage to have a few pots of fresh herbs out on the patio.
So easy to plant and so nice to be able to enjoy later. These little hands helped :)
I did buy a rosemary bush and we will be enjoying baked texas style fresh rosemary potatoes later tonight....yum!!!
So yummy!!!
Trust me if Conner can do it anyone can....go plant some right now to enjoy all summer long!!!

Stir Fry.....

I really liked this recipe I tried from from Pioneer Woman. Pretty simple to make!!! I used broccoli, mushrooms, peppers and asparagus for my vegetables and I used corn starch instead of arrowroot as my thickening agent. Ohh and now that I'm looking at her recipe again I did not use the cilantro but that would have been a nice fresh addition.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Doughnut muffins.....


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking power
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Zest of ½ an orange
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbs buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For topping:
  • 4 tbs butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar, for rolling
  • 1 tbs cinnamon, for rolling

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a muffin tin with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
  • In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color. Add in all the vegetable oil, all the buttermilk, vanilla extract and mix well.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg; add this to the wet mixture.Divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While muffins are baking, melt butter in one bowl and in another bowl pour in the ½ cup sugar, plus 1tbs cinnamon.
  • When muffins are done, take muffin one by one and brush top of muffin with melted butter then dip into cinnamon sugar mixture. Cool on a wire rack.Makes 12 muffins.

Baked mac-n-cheese....


 


Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups gobbetti pasta (or any noodle shape you prefer)NOTE: I used 4 cups of  uncooked pasta
  • Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese (cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon all- purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs that are lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup grated onion
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese) 

Directions:

Boil the pasta in salted water until tender. Remove and drain. Place the drained pasta into the baking dish of your choice. My mom used a cast iron pan, but you can use a 9×13x2 baking dish or whatever else you like. Mix in the cubed cheddar cheese.

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Take the flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl. Stir them together so that everything is evenly mixed together.

Add the sour cream, and eggs. With a wire whisk mix all ingredients together until mixture is evenly incorporated.

To the mixture, Whisk in the onion, half and half, heavy cream, and Worcestershire until it is thoroughly blended together.

Pour this mixture over the pasta and cheese and then stir everything together. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top and then place into the oven.

Put in the oven for 30-35 minutes and then let cool for 10 minutes. The cooling is necessary to allow the mac and cheese to set up.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cookies for Target....

I baked 80 cookies yesterday and decorated all of them today. They are for Neal's safety meeting at work tomorrow.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

White Chocolate Raspberry swirl Cheesecake.....

 
Raspberry Sauce
  • 1 bag (12 oz) frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbsp water
Crust
  • 12 to 15 whole chocolate graham crackers, depending on brand (see Step 3)
  • 1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) cold butter, cut up
Filling
  • 3 bricks (8 oz each) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufch√Ętel), softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz white baking chocolate, melted as pkg directs
  • Garnish - Raspberries and small mint sprigs
Method

Raspberry Sauce:
Press raspberries with a rubber spatula through a fine strainer set over a small saucepan; discard pulp and seeds. Stir in sugar. Heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Stir cornstarch mixture into raspberry mixture and bring to a boil, stirring just until thickened. Cool and keep aside to use later.

I also used a few drops of red food coloring for my sauce just to give it a more vibrant color.

Heat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8 x 3-in. springform pan with nonstick spray.

Crust:
Break graham crackers into food processor. Process until fine crumbs form. Measure crumbs (you’ll need 11/2 cups), processing more if necessary. Add butter; process until crumbs are evenly moistened. Transfer to prepared pan; pat firmly over bottom and a scant 2 in. up sides (no need to be even).

Filling:
Beat cream cheese, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed, scraping down sides occasionally, until smooth. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended. Beat in sour cream and vanilla, then white chocolate until blended. Pour into crust.

To Decorate:
Starting 1 in. from edge of pan, using photo as a guide, drop 12 evenly spaced 1/2-in. round puddles of raspberry sauce in a circle on cake batter. Make a second circle of 1/4-in. puddles 1 in. from first circle and a third ring of very small puddles 1 in. from second circle. Starting with outer circle, pull tip of a toothpick through each puddle to form hearts. Pull pick through puddles in second circle in opposite direction. Repeat direction used in first circle in inside ring of puddles. Refrigerate remaining sauce to serve with cheesecake.

Bake cake 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 250°F and bake 11/4 hours or until center just barely jiggles when shaken. Turn off oven (leave door closed); cool cake in oven 1 hour, then remove pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Carefully run a thin knife around edge of pan to release cake. Remove pan sides; place cake on a serving plate. Place in cake keeper or cover with a bowl or pot. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

About 1 hour before serving: Remove cake and sauce to room temperature. Garnish cake with raspberries and mint sprigs. Serve with the sauce.

Planning Tip: The cake can be completed up to 4-days ahead. Refrigerate covered and remove 1 hour prior to serving.

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