27 December 2010

Rolled Cake

The other day I experimented with cake layers. And some fondant. I made a little cake, Red Velvet, but I didn’t stack layers – I rolled them. It made a very interesting pattern when cut through the center. I got the idea from a lady in Austria. She makes amazing cakes, and all of them are rolled up instead of stacked up.

I decided at the last minute that a packet of cocoa would be my inspiration. Here’s what I came up with.

The center wasn’t quite the spiral it was supposed to be, but I thought it was ok for my first attempt.  Next time I’ll let the cake cool all the way before I start to mess with it.

22 November 2010

Black Forest Cupcakes

I used to think I didn’t like cherries. I wouldn’t eat anything that was cherry flavored, or had cherries in it. Especially cherry pie, the texture scares me (but I love the filling part of cherry pie filling). Except fresh cherries.

But lately I have discovered that I’m a bit obsessed with chocolate cherry shakes from Brahms. Not a huge fan of the chunks in the bottom, but I live with them because the rest of the shake is marvelous.

To celebrate the fact that I got to dance at a party, I decided to make chocolate cherry cupcakes, and I knew the perfect place to find them: Annie’s Eats and her Black Forest Cupcakes. She has never failed me in having an intriguing recipe when I’m at a loss.

Here is my modified version.

Black Forest Cupcakes

1 2/3 c Flour
2/3 c Cocoa Powder, sifted
1 1/2 t Baking Soda
1 t Salt
1 t Instant Coffee
8 T Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c Sugar
2 Eggs
1 t Vanilla
1 1/2 c Cream, soured (or Buttermilk)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the sections of two cupcake pans. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and coffee powder together. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full. Bake 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (check these early, they were slightly dry at 18 minutes for me). Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

1 package Dried Cherries
1 1/2 c Water, to cover cherries
2 T Sugar
Maraschino cherry juice or cherry liqueur

To make the filling, add dried cherries to a sauce pan and add enough water to cover them. Mix in the sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. When most of the water has been soaked up, mash with a wooden spoon or potato masher until the cherries are no longer completely intact. When only a thick syrup is left of the liquid add the liqueur or cherry juice. (I used both)

To fill the cupcakes, remove a portion from the center of each cupcake. (I used a strawberry huller, but a paring knife will work just as well) Spoon in about 2-3 teaspoons of the cherry compote. Brush cherry juice or liqueur over the cupcakes, be generous.

1 1/4 c Whipping Cream
6-7 T Powdered Sugar
1 t Vanilla

Pour the cream into a large bowl. Add in the powdered sugar and the vanilla. Using a hand mixer, start beating on medium speed, slowly increasing as the cream begins to thicken up to high speed. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

Frost the filled cupcakes with the whipped cream. Garnish as desired with a cherry and chocolate shavings. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

19 September 2010

Pizza Dough

While visiting my family, in my mountains, I made a pizza. It was a beautiful pizza. Until I tried to move it from the cutting board to the pizza stone. Then it got a little mushed, but it turned out looking alright and it tasted amazing.

I used a new recipe for the dough. I found it on Annie’s Eats. Pretty much anything that she posts will be amazing, so I wasn’t too worried. And following my normal pattern of reading the recipe and discarding half the instructions, I made some changes. But it turned out quite well. And it worked for breadsticks. Mmmm… pizza.

Pizza Dough

½ c Warm Water (about 110° from the tap should be fine)
1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) Instant Yeast
1 ¼ c Water (room temperature)
2 T Olive Oil
4 c Flour, plus more for dusting
1 ½ t Salt
1-2 T Basil
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let it set while combining room temperature water, oil, salt, basil and garlic in the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. After about 5 minutes add the yeast mixture.

Add the flour 1-2 cups at a time until the dough gets thick and sticky. Switch to the hook attachment and start adding flour more slowly. When the dough is barely sticky place it in a greased bowl and cover with plastic or a damp cloth. Allow to rise in a warm place until it doubles.

Roll out into the desired crust shape, cover with your favorite pizza toppings and bake until golden.


10 September 2010

Pesto Pasta with Poached Chicken

To go with the Mushroom Bundles I made some pasta with pesto sauce and vegetables and poached chicken. I finally found some wagonwheel pasta. I have been looking for it for ages. It has been pretty elusive.

I found the inspiration for my pasta on Food.com. It used to be Recipezaar.com.

True to my usual lack of discipline I only used the recipe as a basis of what I actually did. Here’s my version of this pasta.

Pesto Pasta with Poached Chicken

2 c Wagonwheel Pasta, uncooked
1 lb Chicken Breast. I use boneless, skinless
1/2 c White Wine
1 c Fresh Basil Leaves
1/2 c Pine Nuts, toasted
1/4 c Olive Oil
1 c Bell Pepper, chopped. I used a package of baby bell peppers with red, orange, and yellow and sliced them into rings
1 c Broccoli Florettes
1 Tomato, chopped

Cook pasta as directed.

When the pasta is cooking poach the chicken in about a tablespoon of olive oil and white wine. I put it in the pan, put the lid on and leave it for 10-15 minutes.

While the chicken cooks puree the basil and pine nuts in a food processor. Slowly drizzle the olive oil over the mixture until it forms the desired pesto consistency.

When the chicken is cooked through cut it into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces and return to the pan. Add the pesto, peppers, broccoli and tomato. Mix well. Add the pasta, mix and garnish with the remaining pine nuts.

09 September 2010

Mushroom Phyllo Bundles

I made some dinners for my parents while on vacay. One of them included some mushrooms bundled into some phyllo sheets. They were pretty tasty. I found them on The Pioneer Woman. She has lots of good recipes on her blog.

The mushroom bundles were relatively easy to make, the most difficult part was working with the thinner-than-paper phyllo sheets. They are so fragile, and rip at the slightest provocation.

To make it easier I pulled five sheets at a time, and didn’t butter between each. I also used olive oil for most of them, on just the last layer. I did put it on pretty generously.

Also, I forgot the parmesan and used about a tablespoon of minced garlic.

Mushroom Phyllo Bundles

1 pkg Phyllo Dough, thawed
4 T (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter
4 c Mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 c Dry White Wine
1/3 c Parmesan, grated

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until it begins to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook for about a minute, until they begin to soften. Add the wine and cook until the liquid is reduced, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Prepare the phyllo sheets. Brush olive oil or melted butter over 5 sheets, individually or all together. (Be sure to cover unused sheets with a damp cloth so they don’t dry out.) Cut into 4 or 6 rectangles. I did 6 because I had large sheets. Place about a tablespoon of the mushroom mixture in the center of each piece. Sprinkle parmesan over the mushrooms, and then bunch the sheets together to make a little packet around the mushrooms. Place on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375*F for 15 minutes, or until the tops of the wrappers are lightly golden. Serve hot.

02 September 2010

Creme Brulee

Today I made Crème Brulee and Chocolate Mousse. But I’ll post the mousse later, when I remember to take pictures. It was light and creamy and nothing like I imagined. PS it was an experiment. Cupcake has been harassing me for ages to make it for her. And then she didn’t even come to dinner to try it.

My parents say they’re having it for breakfast tomorrow.

I even didn’t think it was too bad and I’m not a custard fan. It was probably the vanilla bean that I used. It was a first for me. They smell pretty amazing.

I did cheat and not add the crack. If you want to do that, after the cups have chilled, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the top and melt it with a hand torch, or very carefully in the oven, set to broil.

Crème Brulee

4 c Whipping Cream
1 whole Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise (or 1 T Vanilla Extract)
10 Egg Yolks
¾ c Sugar
6 T Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Pour cream into a saucepan. Add vanilla and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. While cream is simmering whip egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow and thick.

Strain cream using a fine mesh strainer.

Whip yolks while very slowly drizzling in warm cream. Go slow so the eggs don't cook!

Place ramekins onto a rimmed baking sheet. Pour custard mixture into ramekins (I had 11 small custard cups). Pour water in bottom of baking sheet until it comes halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 24 minutes, or until just set. Do not allow to get brown.

Cool ramekins on countertop, and chill for at least 2-3 hours. Cover in plastic wrap to prevent a layer to form on top.

Recipe from Pioneer Woman

30 June 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate High Hats

I saw these on Jamie’s Green Kitchen a long time ago. I’ve always been intrigued with the way they look, but was hesitant to make them. I thought that the peanut butter would be overwhelming.

It’s not, and they’re pretty fantastic. Although, naturally, I didn’t follow the entire recipe. I’ve given up on the Swiss Meringue Buttercream combination. The eggs and butter never stay stiff enough. And I don’t like the way it tastes. What I did turned out quite well. The cake recipe came from the cookbook Baking easy-to-make great home bakes by Carole Clements

Best-Ever Chocolate Cake
1/2 c Unsalted Butter
1 c Cake Flour
1/2 c Cocoa Powder
1 t Baking Powder
1/8 t Salt
6 Eggs
1 c Sugar
2 t Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in cupcake pan.

Melt the butter over low heat; skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Set aside

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together three times. Set aside

Place eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of hot water. Beat with an electric mixer until the eggs double in volume and are thick enough to leave a ribbon trail, about 10 minutes. Add the vanilla.

Sift over the dry ingredients in three batches, folding carefully after each addition. Fold in the butter.

Divide the batter between the cups and bake about 18 minutes, until done. The cake will spring back when pressed, or a toothpick inserted will come out clean.

2 tubs Cool Whip
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 c Peanut Butter

Combine the peanut butter and cream cheese. Fold in the Cool Whip.

When the cupcakes have cooled cut a small slit into each one. Using a large tip for a piping bag, insert into the slit and fill each cupcake with the Cool Whip mixture. Then top the cupcakes with a generous portion of the frosting.

Chill the cupcakes until the frosting is set.

12 oz Semisweet Chocolate Chips
3 T Vegetable Oil

Melt chocolate over double boiler. Add the oil and stir until smooth. Pour into a deep container, such as a 2 c liquid measuring cup. Dip each cupcake in the chocolate so that the frosting is coated. Chill until ready to serve.

11 June 2010

Oreo Cupcakes

I finally remembered to take a picture so that I can post! 

Today I made Cookies and Cream Cupcakes, a recipe I found on Annie's Eats.  I didn't eat any because I was too stuffed to even think about trying one, but the roughnecks seem to like them.

They involve a lot of Oreos. I used nearly a full package, and I just used the wafers for garnish. Annie prefers using a sandwich.

One of the company men just stopped in to comment on them.

Co Man: Hi

Me: Hi

Co Man: I just wanted to say thank you for the cupcakes. I really like the Oreo things, they’re really good.

*Well, I’m glad you like the “Oreo things”, kid.

Here’s my modified recipe:

Oreo Cupcakes

24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2¼ c Flour
1 t Baking Powder
½ t Salt
½ c Butter, room temperature
1 2/3 c Sugar
3 Egg Whites, at room temperature
2 t Almond Extract
1 c milk
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

8 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature

4 c Powdered Sugar, sifted
2 T Heavy Cream

In a small bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, mix the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg whites and mix well. Next add the almond extract. Alternate adding, and mixing, the flour mixture and the milk. When well combined add the cookie pieces.

Place a cookie half in the bottom of each lined well of a cupcake pan. Add batter over the cookies, filling the wells nearly to the top. Bake at 350 degF for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cupcakes cool, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and cream. Beat until smooth. Pipe over cupcakes and garnish with a cookie half and/or crumbs.

18 April 2010

"Dying for Chocolate" Cookies

Today I couldn't sleep.  At noon I gave up and decided to make cookies.  For some reason I decided to make Pudding Cookies, even thought I didn't really like them.  But this time I only had chocolate pudding, and almond extract.  They turned out really well.  I just need to come up with a name for them, now.

Update: Cupcake gave me the idea of DDD or DD's Death because one of the company men said I was killing them.  Since it wasn't a DD that said it, I updated it a little.
PS  Right after I took this picture I accidentally moved the spoon.  And one of the cookies fell in.  It immediately turned to mush, but it was tasty mush.

"Dying for Chocolate" Cookies

1 c Butter
1 c Sugar
1 T Molasses
2 med Eggs
1 1/2 t Almond Extract
1/2 c Raspberry Jam
2 c Flour
1 t Baking Soda
1 sm pkg Chocolate Pudding
1 c Chocolate Chips

Mix the butter, sugar and molasses.  Wisk together the eggs, almond extract and jam.  Add to sugar mixture.  Add the flour, pudding mix, and baking soda and mix well.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  (I did this all by hand, so I didn't cream the butter.)  Drop by rounded teaspoon onto a greased cookie pan.  Bake at 375 for 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven soft, and let rest on the pan for 5 minutes.  Move to wire rack to finish cooling. 

So far these have been well recieved.  The DD told me they were "incredible" and one company man told me I was killing them.  At least they'll die happy, of chocolate overdose.

PS These are FAR better then the other Pudding Cookies

15 April 2010

Tuna Salad

I grew up thinking that tuna salad was tuna, mayo and pickles.  While that combination is passable, I never really liked it.  I discovered, while in school, that tuna can be the garnish to an amazing salad.  Also I'm not the biggest fan of mayonnaise.  Every time I make it it turns out a bit differently, but it is exciting to be able to experiment and almost always end up with a good dip or sandwich.

I like adding fruit for just a hint of sweetness.  And I have tried just about anything to substitute for mayonnaise.  Last night I discovered a solution.  Most of the time I've had to use just a little to keep the salad together, and used mustard for the rest of the dressing.  I found that Laughing Cow Cheese is perfect, no mayo required.

So, whenever I get a craving for some tuna I grab my chopper and anything I have in the fridge.

Tuna Salad

1 can or packet of Tuna
2 wedges of Laughing Cow spreadable cheese (I used original swiss)

Any or all of the following
Red or Green Pepper
Green Onion

Plum (The best tuna salad I made was with a plum.)

Chop the fruit and veggies into small pieces.  (The smaller they are the easier they are to dip, or spread on crackers)  Mix into the tuna and cheese with a fork.

Serve with:
Over spinach or lettuce.

Almost Orange Julius

I don't get it very often, but every time I go to the mall and stop at Orange Julius I wonder why I don't stop there more.  It makes me think of school shopping trips to the outlet malls.  Lots of people, lots of walking, and lots of sun. 

I was really excited when I found a recipe for it.  But somehow I never got around to trying it.  When I found this super easy recipe for a close substitute in Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke, I tried it right away.  And it's pretty good, for a fake. 

Fake Orange Julius

6 c Orange Juice
1 sm. pkg Vanilla Pudding (makes 2 cups)
1 pkg Dream Whip (makes 2 cups)

In a blender combine 3 cups orange juice, the pudding mix and the dream whip.  Blend it well.  Pour into a pitcher.  Add the final 3 cups of orange juice and stir well.  Serve over ice. 

This could also be blended with ice for a slushy, combined with vodka for a screwdriver, or just plain.  So far I've had it plain, but it's good enough that I'll keep making it.  Maybe some day I'll try some other combinations. 

01 April 2010

Yummy! Peach Cobbler

I just read another book by Joanne Fluke.  She writes some funny murder mysteries, but the best part is the recipes.  And the majority of them are baked goods!  This one was called Peach Cobbler Murder, so naturally I had to try the peach cobbler. 

It turned out pretty amazing.

Peach Cobbler

10 c Frozen Sliced Peaches (about 2 1/2 lbs)
2 T Lemon Juice
1 1/2 c Sugar
1/4 t Salt
3/4 c Flour
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/2 c Butter, melted

Let peaches thaw for about 10 minutes.  Mix flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon and toss with peaches.  Spread into greased 9x13 cake pan.  Sprinkle any extra flour mixture over the top. 

Melt the butter and drizzle it over the peaches, then cover with foil.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350 deg.

1 c Flour
1 c Sugar
1 1/2 t Baking Powder
1/4 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Salt
1/4 c Butter, softened
2 Eggs, beaten

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Cut in the butter.  Add eggs and mix.

Drop spoonfuls over the peaches. (It doesn't have to be smooth or completely cover the fruit.  It will grow as it bakes)

Bake for 50 minutes at 350 deg.*

*I started checking mine at about 30 minutes, and at 40 it was perfect.

Serve hot with ice cream, cold with whipped cream, or however YOU like it!

30 March 2010

Breakfast Sandwiches

I made some breakfast sandwiches for the rig crew a few days ago.  They were kinda fun. And they weren't bad for having egg and sausage in them.  I made a Frittata, cut it into squares and put it on some Biscuits.


Eggs, scrambled

Frittatas are not very exact recipes.  Just throw in whatever you are craving at the moment and bind it with eggs.

In an oven-proof frying pan* combine everything and pour the eggs over it.  Cook over medium heat until the bottom is set, but the top is uncooked.

Place in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes until the frittata is cooked through. 

*If the pan has a plastic handle, wrap it securely with foil before placing it in the oven.

Cut the frittata into 2 1/2 to 3 inch squares and sandwich it on split biscuits.  Enjoy hot or cold.

Minty Chocolate Cupcakes

I finally have a new post!  With good pictures from my real camera, if I can just remember where I put it.

Just kidding.  I am trying to make sure the camera, charger and cables all stay together any time I'm not taking pictures.  Only semi successfully, but I still know where all three are.

A while ago I was home for a couple days and made some cupcakes.  I have no idea what recipe I used. Probably Hot Water Devil's Food Cake.  With mint rather than vanilla.  I got some Andes Mints and put a half in the batter of each cupcake before baking.

Then I made some frosting.  I didn't have all I needed for Cream Cheese Frosting, and I didn't really want it that sweet.  My solution: Marshmallows.

Marshmallow Frosting

8 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 c Butter
1 pkg Mini Marshmallows

Combine in a double boiler until the marshmallows have melted.  Glop this on the cupcakes while it's still hot.  It's really stretchy and difficult when it cools.  I stuck mine in a pastry bag and drew some squiggles.  They were fast and easy and I think they look pretty cool.  And it was just the right amount for me.

09 February 2010

Lemon Pielets

When I made the S'more Cupcakes I also made some mini lemon pies.  I made it because I was craving some lemon pie, and I just got a mini cupcake pan.  That in itself is reason to create.  These took a little time, but they were really pretty easy.  And they were a HUGE hit. 

Usually the cupcakes I take in sit around for 3 days before I can take my plate back, but the 4 dozen of these I took in were gone the next morning.

Lemon Pielets
2/3 c Shortening
2 c Flour
2-4 T Cold Water

Cut the flour into the shortening.  Add the water 1 T at a time and mix until the mixture just sticks together.  Generously flour a surface for rolling.  Roll to 1/8 inch thick.  Cut with a biscuit cutter and place in muffin tin.  The edges will crinkle a bit, just smooth them down with a thumb.  Bake at 425*F for about 7-8 minutes, until golden.  Turn out onto a rack to cool.

1/2 c Cornstarch
1 c Sugar      (Let me check on this one, I'm going by memory right now)
1 c Boiling Water
1/3 c Lemon Juice
1 t Vanilla
2 T Cold Butter
2 Egg Yolks

In a sauce pan combine the sugar and cornstarch.  Slowly add the water and place over medium heat.  Stir constantly until the mixture starts to thicken and bubble.  (It should be like pudding)  Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla.  Mix until butter melts.  Add egg yolks and mix well.

When the filling is cool enough to handle, pipe it into the crusts.  Using a spoon would also work, but piping looks nicer.


I know, I know.  You are amazed, but being the nice person I am and knowing that I am one of very few that doesn't like this stuff, I made it anyway.

1/2 c Boiling Water
1 c Sugar
1/4 c Meringue Powder

Mix water and sugar until sugar dissolves.  Let set until room temperature.  Add meringue powder and beat until stiff.  Pip on top of pies and bake until the peaks begin to turn golden.

You can also use the egg whites for this, but being anti-Meringue, I can't tell you how to do this.  Maybe ask my mom.  She knows.

PS.  I just found this SUPER AWSOME blog that tells you gow to do all the cool things you see on the SUPER AWSOMEST cakes!

02 February 2010

Smore Treats!

Last night I made some new cupcakes I found on Jamie's Green Kitchen.  They looked like lots of fun.  S'more Cupcakes!

I'm not sure if they turned out exactly as they should, I only had 1 cup of graham crackers.  I had to cut everything back by a third, and they are VERY crumbly.  But they're pretty. 

Notice the frosting is drippy and gooey...it's not supposed to be, but I have many problems with egg whites right now.  This is my third attempt at making something with them, and failing.  :(  The darn things just won't stay fluffy.

31 January 2010

It's Electric! Sugar Cookies

Today I made sugar cookies.  This is not a particularly spectacular achievement, I've made sugar cookies lots of times.  I remember making them with my gramma and wanting them to look like the ones in books, and being sorely disappointed.  But then I was in second grade and had no idea how long those cookies took to make.  Today I know.  These sugar cookies were to decorate.

The cookies were not bad, but not Gramma's.  They were nice because I could roll them out over and over without drying and crumbling.  But I rolled them a bit thin, and ended up with Dad cookies, which is to say darker than they should be.  Don't worry.  None of them are actually burnt.

I started out by piping an outline of thick icing.  I thought this would be horribly difficult because both Annie and Bakerella said it was really hard.  Turns out it went pretty smoothly.  I am putting the credit for this anomaly on all the henna parties we had.  Ssshhh I know the cupcake ones are upside down.  Let me tell the story.

Then I thinned the icing a bit and started filling in the middle of the cookies.  I just got the food colors.  They are a past rather than a liquid, and it comes out really fast.  So the colors are ELECTRIC!  Just wait and see.  I had to take a break before I did the pink and read some Cake Wrecks.  Laughter is good relief after hunching over cookies for a few hours.

They turned out pretty awsome for a first try.  Although after a while the colors start bluring the eyesight they're so bright!

Some day I'll get my camera charger and get some better pictures.  The cupcake on the bottom left is my favorite.  I like the little drip in the "icing".

29 January 2010


I was browsing through some of the posts that show up on the blogs I follow and happened upon the most hilarious link ever:  Cake Wrecks

There are some beautiful cakes.  And lots of horrendous cakes.  And excellent humor.  I've been laughing non-stop for the past hour an a half.  I need to stop reading, but I'm hooked. 

P.S. It's been snowing, so I've had lots of time to bake.  Sadly my camera battery is dead and my phone doesn't take very good pictures.  I'll start posting again as soon as I get the charger back...

27 January 2010

Crash and Burn

Whoa, there sparky.  Getting a little ahead of yourself there.  This is not working right.  But they do look pretty when finished...

I tried making the Creme Brulee Cupcakes again last night.  Not so much.  Something in that recipe is not quite right.  I had to add about 1 1/2 c of buttermilk to make it more like cupcakes and less like cookies.  I'm sure they would have made great cookies, but I wanted cupcakes.  This is another recipe that I'll have to tweek before posting it again.  In the mean time, if you want some Caramel French Vanilla Cookies, I have a wonderful recipe.

UPDATE: I made them again, again. And they turned out fine. Evidentally I just can't follow directions.

22 January 2010

Red Velvet

Last night I made some Red Velvet Cupcakes.  I didn't have cake flour, or buttermilk, but considering the limitations they turned out alright.  They looked quite pretty, though.

I took them to my group dance lesson.  They were favorably accepted.  One of the dancers told me I was his future second wife. 

They were a bit coarse for my taste.  I'm pretty sure the flour had some affect on that.  I think I scraped by with the buttermilk: I used half sour cream and half milk.  I'll have to try again, with all the ingredients.  Then perhaps I'll make more changes to perfect them.  I used a RecipeZaar recipe.  That site is quite handy in a pinch, or even when you're bored.  I used my Cream Cheese Frosting, that I used for the cookies, on top.

I'll post a recipe when I've found one that is just PERFECT.

10 January 2010


Today is my lil' sister's birthday!  Happy Birthday, Cupcake.  (She's getting old!)  Hahahahahahaha...

Last night I made some Crepes.  Sadly I did not think to take any pictures.  They were quite lovely, too.  Although: the fruit had seen better days, and I didn't add enough sugar to the whipped cream.  I had some strawberries, that were rather sad.  And some blackberries, that were not too bad.  When I ran out of fresh fruit I used canned pie filling. 

I figured the crepes probably would not last, so after I ate 3, I put the rest together for the rig crew.  They asked me for the recipe! Hahahaha. 

Here you go, rig crew...

1 c Flour
1 1/2 c Milk
2 Eggs
1 T Oil
1/4 t salt
Optional: 2 T Sugar or Honey

Whisk together the oil and eggs.  Add the milk, and whisk in. Sift in the flour. 

Heat a frying pan or griddle.  Pour 1/4-1/3 c batter on a hot pan.  (Water should sizzle when you sprinkle it on the pan)  Tilt the pan so the batter runs to the edges, as thin as possible.  Cook until firm, and golden on the bottom.  Flip onto a plate and fill with desired yummies. 

I added a little honey to my mix, since I was making sweet crepes.  This is probably not necessary, but it was tasty.

Ideas for filling:
Fresh fruit
Whipped cream
Pie filling
Eggs and bacon/sausage
Broccoli and Cheese
Chicken and veggies

The possibilities are endless...

08 January 2010

Winter Fare: Zuppa Toscana

What next, what next...

I have several items on the menu, but I am not sure what to post.  I suppose since it is winter, and even Texas is freezing I'll post some soup.  It is delicious soup.  I have had it the past two days for dinner, and yesterday for lunch.  I will probably have it for lunch again today (it makes a WHOLE lot for one person).

I found this soup on Annie's Eats, and thought it looked amazing, not to mention it's Cupcake's favorite soup at Olive Garden.  She is very jealous.  But not to worry, she has Polenta.

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. Italian Sausage
1 lg Onion, chopped

3-4 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 c White Wine
1/2 t Red Pepper Flakes
2 Russet Potatoes, in 1/2 inch chunks
2 c Kale, fresh chopped
3 c Chicken Broth
2 1/2 c Water
1 c Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook the sausage in a large pot or pan, cut into bite sized pieces.  I used a pot so I only dirtied one cooking vessel.  When the sausage is cooked through remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon. 
In the drippings, saute the onion until tender, 5-7 minutes.  Then add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook just until fragrant.  Add the wine to remove the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  (I used water since alcohol is not allowed on rigs)  Add the potatoes, kale, chicken broth and water to the onions.  Add the sausage.  Bring to a boil on medium high heat, then lower to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add the cream, salt and pepper.  Mix together and serve immediately.  (I didn't quite use 1 cup of cream, following Annie's suggestion that it was almost too rich and it turned out beautifully)

07 January 2010

Strawberries 'n Scones

The other day I made English Scones.  That's what the recipe said.  Since I only had one while I was in England, and it was all kind of a blur, I can't say "yea" or "nay".  But they were good.  I'll have to make them for the local England expert, Cupcake.  She'll remember. 

We tried to have Cream Tea while in Brighton, but it was too close to Christmas and all the shoppes were closed.  Cream Tea, from my understanding, consists of English Tea, Milk and Sugar, Scones, Clotted Cream and Raspberry Jam.  Please ask Claire to be certain. 

Photo from Cakes Direct

I didn't have true Cream Tea, not having Clotted Cream or Raspberry Jam.  But I did enjoy some fresh strawberries and honey on mine.  And they were nice and toasty warm.  Mmmmmm...

English Cream Scones
Recipe from recipezaar.com

2 c Flour
2 T Sugar
1 T Baking Powder
1/2 t Salt
1/4 c Shortening
2 Eggs
1/2 c Milk

Preheat oven to 450 *F

Whisk together the eggs and milk. 

In another bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the shortening.  Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the egg and milk mixture.  Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.  This will be sticky.

Generously flour a work surface and turn out the dough.  Flour hands, and work to ensure mix is consistent. (Not too much!)  Pat to a 3/4 inch thick and cut into desired shape.  (I made a square about 12 inches across and cut it into 8 triangles)  Place on ungreased baking sheet and cook for 12-15 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden. 

Enjoy with your favorite topping.

Some ideas:
Pie filling
Fresh Sliced Strawberries

06 January 2010

Chicken Curry

While staying on the rigs I don't always have everything I need for a meal, since I am not very good at planning ahead.  I have sort of a fuzzy picture of what I want to make.  Fuzzy enough that I forget some of the main components.  So I make something up.  I've done that for a couple days now.  I made a sort of goulash with rice.  I made spaghetti and meatballs with penne and hot Italian sausage. And last night I made Chicken Curry. 

I was pretty much out of everything except chicken and a bag of vegetables.  I had been trying to decide what to do for most of the afternoon.  Finally I went to my cupboard and just looked to see what was left:
Animal Crackers
Baking Soda
Curry Powder
Individual box of Pad Thai

In the fridge:
1/4 c Milk
Old Strawberries
Ranch Dressing

Not much in the way of options.

I've made Curried Chicken Salad a few times.  I had the Curry and Mayonnaise....naturally it would have to be Chicken Curry.  It turned out alright, and looked pretty, too.

Chicken Curry
The Chicken:
Your favorite chicken (I used 3 chicken brease tenders)
Frozen veggies (I used Asian Style)

The Noodles:
Cellophane Noodles

The Sauce:
1/2 c Mayonnaise
2 T Milk
2-3 T Curry Powder

The Instructions:
Cook the chicken in a pan large enough to hold it and the veggies.  I used about 1 T Olive Oil to keep it from sticking, put the chicken over medium low heat, and put the lid on.  The chicken stays nice and moist/tender this way and it does not burn. 

Prepare the Cellophane Noodles as directed on the package.

When the chicken is 4-5 minutes from being done, add the veggies.  I cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, but this is not necessary.  Cover again and finish cooking.

In a bowl whisk together the Mayonnaise and Curry.  Add the milk slowly, while whisking, until it reaches the desired consistency.  Mine was just thick enough that it didn't drizzle when I put it on the chicken. 

When the chicken and noodles are done, arrange the chicken over the noodles and pour the sauce over the top.  I added a pinch of sea salt to the top and, voilla!

03 January 2010

A New Blog

I decided the other day to get a new background for my lovely little blog.  It turns out if you want an interesting one you have to download it, and then post it in html.  Then you must figure out where all the little bloopers are so that it will actually work.  I was even so ambitious as to want to make my own header.  That was a lot of work. 

And then I realized I lost all my little additions.  I guess that's something I can live with, because JUST LOOK AT IT!!!!  I took Cupcake's drawing for my "Kitchen" and updated it a little because paint has some pixilation problems with ink drawings.  I have to say, I'm quite proud of how it turned out. 

In the process I created a new blog to save my posts, just in case.  I kinda like the way that one turned out as well.  So I've decided to keep it and use it for my "non food related" posts.  So if you want to see my adventures that's where you'll have to go. 

Exploits in the "Real" World

In the mean time, I've been experimenting a little with puff pastry (sadly I bought it) and I'll take some pictures to add here.  Someday I will make my own, but the rig kitchens are lacking in anything out of the realms of VERY basic cooking.