09 September 2011

Buttermilk Cinnamon Almond Strawberry Shortcake

I made a cake yesterday.  
I wanted to make a white cake because I had a bunch of egg whites leftover from making ice cream.  But when I was ready to make the batter I didn’t have my computer with me.  
I decided to forge on anyway.  I used the mini whisk I have here and beat the eggs until they were foamy.  Then I added some sugar, cinnamon and almond extract.  Almond extract smells divine.  It only takes a drop to make the whole trailer stop smelling like dirty boys.
Next I melted some butter and added it slowly to the egg mixture.  Then a bit of buttermilk.  When it was nice and foamy I added some flour and baking powder.  After a touch more buttermilk and it had a consistency that I liked.  
So I spread it into 3 pans and let it cook for a while.  
The cakes are more dense than I’d hoped, but it worked well when I put the strawberry filling between the layers.
Lastly I spread a really thin layer of buttercream frosting over the whole thing, because I only had a little bit of powdered sugar.  
And voila!  My “Strawberry Thing”, as George calls it.

05 September 2011

Snickerdoodle Sandwiches

My new friend, Beth, and I made ice cream yesterday.  She had just gotten a new ice cream maker she NEEDED to try.  
So we used the basic recipe that came with the machine.  

It turned out rich and creamy and amazing.
We had to share it, so I made some cookies for sandwiches.  Snickerdoodle cookies.  Then we handed out mini ice cream sandwiches to the roughnecks.  
I think they were a hit.  

  • I used 3 t Baking Powder instead of Baking Soda and Cream of Tartar
I found the recipe at Food.com

03 September 2011

Red Velvet Layered Cake

I made a cake yesterday.  I am still experimenting and searching to find the perfect Red Velvet cake.  
So far the cookies are still better, but they don’t translate well into cake.  It makes me sad.  
The most recent on I tried was from Food Network.  
It turned out pretty well.  I have to try it again.  This attempt ended up slightly dry from overcooking.  It was only 5 minutes, but next time I need a timer.  
The Cream Cheese Frosting was not so sweet as the other recipes I’ve used.  It was very rich, though.  
I was rather proud of myself.  I frosted it with a butter knife.  It was pretty smooth for the utensil used.  

05 March 2011

Caramel Brownie Sundae

I had leftover batter from the chocolate cupcakes, so I made a round cake. It ended up looking rather like a brownie.

Also I have 6 jars of caramel leftover from my caramel sauce trials. So I had to make a sundae. A Caramel Brownie Sundae. It was amazing.

Caramel Brownie Sundae
1 piece of Brownie or Cake
2 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
Caramel Sauce
Maraschino Cherry juice

03 March 2011

Margarita Pizza

Today I made pizza for dinner, Margarita Pizza.

With fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil. And fresh Mozzarella.

It was amazing. I wish I could have eaten 5 more pieces.

Margarita Pizza
Pizza Dough for 1 pizza
4 T Olive Oil
1 t Minced Garlic
2 Tomatoes, sliced
¼- ½ c Basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 c Fresh Mozzarella, sliced

Brush 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on a baking pan and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Roll the pizza dough to fit the desired pan. Brush the remaining olive oil over the dough. Spread the garlic over the dough. Layer the tomatoes evenly around the crust. Sprinkle the basil over the tomatoes. Lay the cheese slices over the top, spaced evenly.

Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, turning once to bake all sides evenly.

Transfer to a cutting board and allow the pizza to cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

02 March 2011

Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Today I made cupcakes. Chocolate ones. Birthday ones. But I don’t know anyone who had a birthday. I made them because it’s the best ever chocolate cake recipe. Hershey’s Hot Water Devil’s Food Cake. It has been THE birthday cake in our family since before I can remember.

I also made THE birthday frosting. Hershey’s One Bowl Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. But today I made it with vanilla, instead of orange.

But the star of today’s show was the caramel. I used the caramel sauce from Annie’s Eats. I filled the cupcakes with the sauce. Then I drizzled it over the top to garnish. They turned out very pretty. And I have lots of left-over caramel for ice cream sundaes.

I ended up with two types of caramel because I didn’t let the first batch cook long enough. But it is still very good. Tastes like English toffee. The second batch was darker and had more of a caramel flavor. It’s what I used for the cupcakes.

Caramel Sauce:
½ c Unsalted Butter
1 c Sugar
1 c Heavy Cream
¼ t Vanilla
A pinch of Salt

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar begins to foam and turn dark. It will look and smell like it’s on the verge of burning. Remove from the heat and add the heavy cream. Stir until the sauce is smooth (you may need to return it to the heat to smooth it out), then mix in the vanilla and salt. Let cool.

Source: Annie's Eats

15 February 2011

Éclairs, Take II

I tried to make Éclairs again.

This time they turned out much cuter. I used a pastry bag to pipe them out on to the pan. It worked quite well once I got the hang of finishing the puff. The pastry is extremely sticky. That’s why they have some funky tails and Mohawks.

I also dipped them in chocolate this time. So they really were éclairs. They were fun, itty bitty things. They ended up about three inches long and an inch and a half wide.

Sadly, the cream from MyBakingdom didn’t set properly so I made an emergency batch of pudding from a box. I was rather disappointed at how much everyone loved it.

26 January 2011


Recently, when I was home for a week and dancing as usual, Shawn asked me what I was going to bring the next day. I didn’t have anything planned so I asked what he’d suggest. Immediately he said éclairs. He was joking and quite obviously didn’t expect me to actually make them. They are quite intimidating. They seem so fancy and elegant that they have to be hard to make, right?

Turns out they’re not so bad. Probably I’ll make these quite often. Also I learned a new trick today to pipe them through a pastry bag rather than shape them by hand. This is a very good idea, and probably will reduce the time shaping them by 5/6. They also take a very long time to cook, but that leaves time to make the filling at the glaze (I cheated and didn’t make the glaze because, as usual, they took slightly more time than I expected, and I procrastinated a bit too much).

But they were still pretty amazing. And Shawn immediately hid half of them to take home. I should have told him I slaved over them for 23 hours, but I wasn’t quite that quick.

Choux Pastry

½ c Butter
1 c Water
¼ t Salt
1 c Flour
4 Eggs


In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the water. Add salt and flour, and stir until a sticky batter is formed, it should glom together in a ball in the pan. Remove the pastry from heat, and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat it until it begins to be glossy about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the batter is smooth.

Using a spatula, scoop the dough into a pastry bag with a large round tip. Pipe into strips about 4 inches long, 1 inch wide and ½ and inch tall. Bake the éclairs for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back. Bake for another 20 minutes. Finally, reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 10 minutes more, until the éclairs are golden brown. Transfer the éclairs to a wire cooling rack and allow them to cool.

Here is a good tutorial for the whole process. I haven’t tried her filling yet, but I’ll experiment on a few before posting my favorite.

13 January 2011

Tortilla Soup

Probably you should get a pen and paper right now. 
You need to make a grocery list.
Lately I have been craving all things hot and steamy: tea, cocoa, soup, stew, anything that can be used to warm up after a cold snowy afternoon. Not that I’ve seen any of those recently. The coldest it’s gotten here is mid 30s. But having those things makes me feel like winter is happening. The way it used to with snow turtles and skiing and ice skating and snow angels.

I was wishing for another option since I’ve been drinking a steady stream of tea and cocoa, so when I saw a recipe for Tortilla Soup on Pioneer Woman I jumped on it. I like Tortilla Soup and have been wanting a recipe since my friend Catherine made it for us when I used to watch her kiddies.

I was scared because I think this soup can be finicky. I have encountered several versions at restaurants that I have disliked. But I went for it and it was amazing. It still is.

There's some sour cream and guacamole hiding in there as well.
I didn't have the foresight to wait and put them on top to make it pretty.
At the moment I am disgusted with myself because I can’t even finish one bowl even though I’ve been looking forward to it all day, and I was starving, and it is delicious. Please try it. Here is my modified version.

Tortilla Soup

2 T Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Chicken Breasts
1 T Chili Powder
1 t Cumin
Salt to taste

Sprinkle chili powder, cumin and salt over chicken breast (save the remainder for the broth). Heat oil to medium-low heat in a frying pan or wok, I used a pot large enough for the whole recipe. Add the minced garlic and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cover the pan tightly. Allow the chicken to cook through, about 15 minutes or so (I start checking it at about 10, because it gets dried out and tough very quickly). Remove the chicken from heat. Shred the chicken using two forks.

½ c Chopped Green Onion
1 ea. Green Bell Pepper and Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 can Rotel Tomatoes with Green Chilies
16 oz. Chicken Broth
1 ½ oz. Tomato Paste
1 can Black Beans, partially drained
5 c Water

Add the garlic and drippings from the chicken to the pot or slow cooker the soup is to be cooked in, add another tablespoon of oil if necessary. Heat to medium high and add the onions, cook until translucent (2-3 minutes). Add the peppers and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken, Rotel tomatoes, chicken broth, beans and tomato paste. Stir together and add the water. Add remaining chili powder, cumin and salt to taste. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn down to low heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

6 whole 6” Corn Tortillas, I chose the red ones
Sour Cream
Guacamole or Avocados
Shredded cheese
Diced onion

Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the tortillas into uniform strips about 1 cm wide by 4-5 cm long. Spread over baking sheet. Place the oven rack about 6 inches from the top of the oven. Turn on the broiler and put the tortilla strips in the oven. After 2-3 minutes remove the tortilla strips, turn them with a spatula and spread them back out. Repeat this process until they are the desired crispy-ness.

Serve the soup and top with any of the desired garnishes.


Sooo full.

02 January 2011

Experimenting with Blogger

Here are some random memories in my attempt to learn how to post photos as thumbnails.  It didn't work.
Cupcake's Flat in Brighton

Cupcake at her flat in Brighton

My buddes, they still ask for me when their parents have Date Night

Pot Pie.  I don't know what kind.

My first attempt at Truffles, and photography.

Cupcake's Duck Face

Ancient recipes.  Ok, they're only 40 years old.

Toad in the Hole, from my Brittish cookbook.

Italian Wedding Soup at the cabin.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins. 

Mini Bundt Pan

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies.  BEST. EVER!

Almost Cupcake Pops.  I don't have enough patience.

12 layer cake, hundred layer cake, thousand layer cake...
it gets longer every time I talk to Lindsay and Eric.  They liked it

Cookie time was almost every afternoon. 
Eli liked to crack the eggs, Cavan liked to use the electic mixer.