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.