Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wilton's Classic Buttercream Icing

Wilton's Classic Buttercream Icing- Stiff Consistency (doubled)
Yield: 6 cups

2 c solid white vegetable shortening
2 sticks unsalted butter, soften (not part of the original recipe)
2 tsp flavoring (vanilla, almond or butter, add more if you want)
2 T water (only add to produce a thinner consistency)
2 lb. confectioners sugar (about 8 c.)
2 T meringue powder
2 pinches salt (optional, salt adds flavor to the buttercream and reduces the sweetness)

Cream shortening, butter and flavoring. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together. Blend an additional minute or two until creamy.

Medium Consistency: add 1 T of water and mix thoroughly

Thin Consistency: add 2 T of water and mix thoroughly

Friday, September 5, 2008

Wilton Cake: Course 1, Cake 3

So this week for the final class of course one I decided to try out Katie's (of Good Thing's Catered) strawberry cake. I only ate a small amount but I think it turned out pretty good. I would recommend eating this cake soon after making it, I tried a piece a few days after (ok maybe 5 days later) and it didn't taste as good. I forgot to take a picture of the inside of the cake.

Strawberry Layer Cake:

2 1/4 c. cake flour
3/4 c. strawberry puree,room temperature (homemade or you can find store bought in form of a good quality strawberry daiquiri mix as well)
1/4 c. milk , at room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. sugar 4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened (not melted)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8 or 9 in pans line outside with heavy duty foil and spray inside with baking spray with flour(I skipped the foil and the flour).
In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended.
In bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine.
Continue beating at slow speed and add butter.
Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.
Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined.
Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and hand beat for 30 more seconds.
Divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth tops.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time will vary).
Let cakes rest in pan for about 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks.
Let cakes cool completely (about 2 hours).

Wilton Cake: Course 1, Cake 2

This cake is amazing, if you are a pumpkin fan like I am you have to try it. It taste like pumpkin pie that's actually a cake. I sent this cake to work with Dan and his co-workers loved it too. I am planning on making it again for his office for Thanksgiving. This cake is also my cake for the second Wilton cake for course two. Overall I am fairly happy with the way it turned out. Sadly I did not get a picture of the inside of the cake, maybe I'll remember next time.

Pumpkin Spice Cake:

Joy of Baking


1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (270 grams) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin (about 1/2 of a 15 ounce can)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (200 grams) sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
For Frosting:
8 ounces (228 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
Butter and flour (or spray with Baker's Joyor Pam) two - 8 or 9 inch cake pans. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. (I sifted them)
Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter in half and then pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes (mine baked in 18 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert and remove the cakes from their pans.
Cool completely before frosting.

Wilton Cake: Course 1, Cake 1

I finally found a Wilton class that was convient to where I live and to my schedule. I have been wanting to take these classes for awhile to brush up and to learn new skills. I think mycake turned out pretty well, except the colors were a little bolder than I would have liked. The bonus is that the cake taste great too.

Blueberry Cake with blueberry glaze and buttercream icing:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.5c blueberries

1T sugar
2/3c Ocean Spray Blueberry Cranberry Juice
1/8c Bircardi Gold Rum
2T sugar

Heat over medium heat, whisking gently until reduced some.

Brush the glaze onto the cooled cake and allow to soak into before icing.


Set rack at the middle level in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Butter the bottom of two 9-inch round or one 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

Line bottom with parchment or waxed paper or spray pans with Pam like I did.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture then add half the milk mixture.
Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Scape the bowl and beater often.
Add blueberries and sugar to food processor and blend for about one minute. Gently fold blueberries into finished cake batter.
Pour the batter into prepared pan(s) and smooth top with metal spatula. Bake cake(s) about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.
Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, remove paper and let cool completely.

Pumpkin Pancakes

I am looking forward to fall and what a great first fall recipe these pancakes are. I have already made these twice because they are a true crowd pleaser. *These pancakes take longer to cook than most pancakes because they are thick* They also reheat well and are pretty good cold. Try topping them with real maple syrup and cool whip.
Pumpkin Pancakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk (1 1/4 c milk ¼ c half and half)
12 oz pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar

1. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Apple Pie

Last weekend we went to visit some of Dan's family and since I know that apple pie is his and his baby sister's favorite and that she doesn't know how to make one; this was the perfect time to show her how to make it. Hopefully now that she knows how easy it is she will feel comfortable enough to make it on her own. She said that she liked using the pastry blender. Because I was teaching her how to make the pie I actually measured out the ingredients that I used which I never do for apple pie.

Apple Pie:Double Batch Pie Crust (Recipe found under July)

3 T brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp apple pie spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ginger
1/8 tsp all spice
6 T sugar
1 T water
5-6 apples thinly sliced & peeled (we used 3 Gala & 2 Granny Smith)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Wash, peel and slice apple thin.
Add all remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly.
Prepare pie dough according to directions.
Roll out dough and place into pie plate.
Fill crust with apples (I left out the "juice from the apples")
Top with a lattice top.

Lattice top directions:
Roll out pie dough.
Cut dough into 1/2 strips that are about 9 inches long.
Weave dough alternating pieces to create a basket weave.
Dab small pieces of butter all over the pie (the size of peas)
Sprinkle crust with sugar before baking.
Bake for 35 minutes or until crust in golden brown.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peanut Butter M&M's

These cookies are one of my favorite which says a lot considering that I'm normally not a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies. I have actually made these cookies several times but have not taken a picture of them so that I could include them in my blog. These cookies are great with different mix-ins (different types of chocolate, butterscotch and different nuts.) Anyway, I have been wanting to make these again and had the perfect opportunity last week because I need to do a documentation panel of the learning of a child. I decided to make these with my two year old neighbor and we had a blast. He even told me that he's better at stirring than I am.

Also known as: Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup peanut butter M&M's

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy.
Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
Stir in the chocolate chips and peanut butter M&M's by hand using a spoon.
Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
Bake for 13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted.

Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fresh Blueberries!

Today was a great day, Dan and I went out to breakfast, did a little shopping, and on the way home I convinced him to pick blueberries with me. It was a lot of work, especially since it was nearly 100 degrees out today. Dan pooped out about 10 minutes before I did and went to sit in the car with the A/C on full blast while I finished picking. I for see lots of blueberry recipes coming within the next few days/weeks. We picked 3 pounds, so I am storing them in the freezer.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Easter Tea Ring

This bread was delicious, but I can not take any of the credit for it. That's because my talented husband made it for us. I hope that he makes it again sometime soon.
Recipe by Jenny Shapter author of Bread Machine (We adapted the filling)
6 T milk
1 egg
2 c. bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 T sugar
2 T butter
1 tsp yeast

For the filling:
1/4 chopped almonds
1/4 chopped cranberries
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 brown sugar
1 T melted butter

For the glaze:
3-4 T orange juice
3 T powered sugar

Steps 1 & 2 may need to be reversed based on the type of bread machine that you own.
1. Add flour, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the yeast.
2. Pour the milk, eggs and melted butter into the bread machine pan.
3. Set the bread machine to the dough setting, use basic dough setting if available. Press start and lightly oil a baking sheet.
4. When the dough cycle has finished, remove the dough from the bread pan. Place it on a lighly floured surface. Punch the dough down gently and roll it into a 12 by 18 inch rectangle.
5. Chop the almonds and cranberries (a food processor works well). Melt the butter and mix in cinnamon, brush over the dough. Sprinkle almonds and cranberries over dough, top with brown sugar.
6. Starting with the long edge, roll up the rectangle of dough, similar to rolling a jelly roll. Turn the dough so that the seam is underneath.
7. Curl the dough into a circle, brush with a little bit of milk to seal. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
8. Using a pair of cooking scissors, snip through the circle at 1 inch intervals, cutting 3/4 of the way through the roll. Twist the sections so that they start to fall sideways.
9. Cover the ring with lightly oiled plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until the dough is well risen and puffy.
10. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
11. Bake the ring for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
12. While the ring is still warm, prepare the glaze and drizzle over the ring.


I decided to make Calzones after having awesome calzones on our honeymoon last month in Venice. They were the biggest calzones that Dan and I have ever had. Sadly I was not able to finish mine and had to leave behind the leftovers (our room did not have an empty mini fridge). Anyways I think the ones that I made turned out pretty good. The best part is that they are so large that they are two meals in one. Which is always a plus for nights that I have class.

Basic Pizza Dough:
3 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 c warm water (110 degrees F)
1 tsp yeast
2 T honey
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to bread machine according to it's directions.

Vegetarian Calzone:
1/4 c Quorn vegetarian chicken cubes
1 T diced onion
2 T large dice green bell pepper
1/2 part skim ricotta cheese
fresh black pepper to taste
Oregano to taste
1/3 c mozzarella cheese
1/2 c fresh spinach

Pepperoni Calzone:
20 pepperoni slices
1 T diced onion
2 T large dice green bell pepper
1/2 part skim ricotta cheese
fresh black pepper to taste
Oregano to taste
1/3 c mozzarella cheese
1/2 c fresh spinach
1 T sliced black olives
1 T sliced mushrooms

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Divide dough in half and roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness
3. Mix ricotta and mozzarella cheeses with pepper and oregano and set aside
4. Layer ingredients, I started with spinach and ended with the cheese mixture, be sure to keep the filling to one side. Also leave a small space around the edges.
5. Fold dough in half and seal calzone with a fork.
6. Place calzones on prepared cookie sheet (I use foil and cooking spray for faster clean up)
7. Bake Calzones in Preheated oven for 20 minutes (crust will be golden brown)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


After making these waffles I never want to eat waffles from a mix again. I can't wait to make these again and top them with a yummy fruit syrup. This recipe makes a lot of waffles, more than Dan and I could eat in one serving. Thankfully the batter stays fresh for a few days in tightly sealed. I think I had the batter in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Joy of Cooking

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, well beaten
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (use 4 Tbsp for reduced fat and 16 Tbsp for the crispiest most delicious waffles ever, tip from "Good Things Catered" which you can find here:
1 1/2 c. milk
In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients. (I sifted them)
In another bowl whisk together eggs, butter and milk.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.
Gently whisk them together with a few strokes. (The batter should have a pebbled look, similar to muffin batter)
If you wish, fold in about 1/2 c. of mix in of choice.-Spoon 1/2 c. of batter (or the amount recommended by waffle iron manufacturer) on hot iron.
Bake until golden brown.
My batch made 10 waffles

Arroz con gandules

Arroz con gandules (Rice with pigeon peas)

This dish has become a staple in our house and was a staple for Dan when he was growing up. I'm suprised that I have not blogged about it before. I'm also suprised that we have not made it for my parents yet, so I jumped on the chance to make it for the 4th when my mom said she wanted pork for dinner. We always make enough to have leftovers, and I often eat it as a meal itself because its so good.

1 ½ c White rice
half a can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and/or
half a can gandules (pigeon peas)
Sazon Seasoning (half packet, found in the Latin section)
½ c. diced ham (optional)
2 TB- 3TB. sofritio/recaito found in the Latin freezer section
Adobo to taste (a Latin seasoning salt)
1 TB. olive oil

Rinse rice 2-3 times to remove some of the starch
Add 2 ¾ c. water assuming the rice retained app. ¼ c
Add Adobo, sofritio/recaito, sazon, and oil
Heat at ¾ power, bring to a boil, wait about 12 mins. For water level to just dip below level of rice, the surface will bubble and the rice will have dimples
Immediately remove from heat, turn heat to low, turn rice 2-3 times after adding the remaining ingredients,
Cover and allow to cook for 15- 20 mins (until rice is tender)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Skyline Chili

I use to eat something similar when I was a waitress in college minus the meat sauce. So when I found this recipe on Delicious Meliscious blog I knew I had to make it. I made it vegetarian and to half the recipe. Also even though I halved the recipe it still makes a ton, thankfully it freezes well. To see the orginal recipe and to check out Melissa's great blog click this link:

24 oz vegetarian beef crumbles (2 bags of Morning Star Crumbles)
2 c. water
1 lg. onions, chopped (leave small amount aside to top chili before eating)
2 (16 oz.) kidney beans
16 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 tbsp. chili powder or more
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate squares
3/4 tsp. salt
2 drops Tabasco sauce

In an 8 quart kettle combine hamburger, water and onions; simmer for 30 minutes. Then add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 2 or 3 hours, uncovered. Serve with steamed buns, hot dogs, onions and cheese or serve over spaghetti noodles, onions and cheese.

Blueberry Pie

I have been wanting to make something with blueberries for the past few months, but for some reason never got around to it. Well yesterday was the day, I found this recipe on Annie's Eats and because it looked so good and she raved about it, I decided I should make it too. Plus blueberries are on sale this week, so its the perfect excuss to make it.

Blueberry Pie:

2 rolled-out rounds (see recipe below)

4 cups blueberries
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
1 tbsp. water

Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the rolled-out dough rounds. Set pan aside in a cool place until ready to fill.

To make the filling, place the blueberries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat evenly. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the berries and toss to distribute evenly. Immediately transfer to the dough-lined pan. Dot with butter pieces. Place the remaining dough round on top of the pie and trim the excess from the bottom and top rounds. Crimp the dough rounds together to seal the edges. Be sure to cut vents in the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking.

Refrigerate the pie until the dough is firm, 20-30 minutes. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375°. In a small bowl beat the egg and water with a fork to make an egg wash. Brush onto the top crust just before baking.

Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling, 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely to set, 1 to 2 hours. Serve at room temperature or rewarm in a 350° oven for 10 to 15 minutes just before serving.

Basic Pie Dough

Basic Pie Dough:
Williams Sonoma

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4-inch cubes
3-4 Tbs. very cold water

To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.

To make the dough in a stand mixer, fit the mixer with the paddle attachment, and stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix on low speed just until the dough pulls together.

Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. (Although many dough recipes call for chilling the dough at this point, this dough should be rolled out immediately for the best results.) Lightly flour the work surface, then flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out into a round at least 12 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. Makes enough dough for one 9-inch single-crust pie or one 10-inch galette.

To make a double-crust pie: Double the recipe, cut the dough in half and pat each half into a round, flat disk. Roll out one disk into a 12-inch round as directed and line the pan or dish. Press any scraps trimmed from the first round into the bottom of the second disk. Roll out the second dough disk into a round at least 12 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make a lattice top: Double the recipe, cut the dough in half and pat one half into a round, flat disk. Roll out the disk into a 12-inch round as directed and line the pan or dish. Trim the edge of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Press any scraps trimmed from the first round into the bottom of the remaining dough half. Pat the dough into a rectangle and roll out into a rectangular shape about 1/8 inch thick. Trim to cut out a 14-by-11-inch rectangle and refrigerate until ready to use.

Nut Dough Variation: Add 2 Tbs. ground toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts to the flour mixture and proceed as directed. Make-Ahead Tip: Pie dough may be made ahead and frozen for up to 2 months. To freeze, place the dough round on a 12-inch cardboard circle and wrap it well with plastic wrap. Alternatively, use the round to line a pie pan or dish, flute the edge and wrap well.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Potato Leek Soup

This soup is so good that I can't wait to make it again. For tips on preparing leeks check out this video:

Recipe by: Alton Brown

1 pound leeks, cleaned and dark green sections removed, approximately 4 to 5 medium (chopped into small pieces)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heavy pinch kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
14 ounces, approximately 3 small, Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
1 quart vegetable broth or 28 oz vegetable broth + 4 oz water
1 cup heavy cream 1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon snipped chives (optional)

1. In a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
2. Add the leeks and a heavy pinch of salt and sweat for 5 minutes.
3. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are tender, approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the potatoes and the vegetable broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 20 minutes.
6. Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth.
7. Stir in the heavy cream, buttermilk, and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
8. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately, or chill and serve cold.

*I don't have an immersion blender so I used a standard blender.

Cupcakes for Reid:

Basic Vanilla Cake
Country Living
1 ½ c sifted cake flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ c unsalted butter softened
1 c sugar
2 large eggs room temperature
½ tsp clear vanilla extract
½ c whole milk

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake pan. I spray my cupcake liners with pam.
2. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
3. Beat in the butter one heaping 1/4 teaspoonful at a time, using an electric mixer set on low speed, until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
4. Beat in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles fine damp sand.
5. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
6. Add the vanilla and milk, and beat on medium-high, just until blended. Do not over-beat.
7. Bake for 20 minutes; keep an eye on them so they do not over cook.

The original recipe says to bake at 400 degrees; I found this to be to high and made the tops of my cupcakes a little crispy. Thankfully I made these cupcakes for my 2 year old neighbor and he thought they were great.

French Bread

I made this bread this week to show Dan that I know how to make bread from scratch. He didn't believe me at first because I hadn't made any at home before now. Unfortunately the picture that I took didn't turn out; hopefully I'll have better luck next time.

French Bread:
2 packages of dry yeast
2 ½ cups warm water
1 tsp. sugar
6 c. all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp salt

1. Make sure water temperature is 110 to 115 degrees F. Place water in a large bowl and sprinkle with yeast and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes until yeast dissolves and starts to bubble.

2. Stir in 2 cups flour and salt. Cover and let rise for ½ hour.

3. Then gradually stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. (Knead by pressing the dough, then folding over and pressing with the heel of your hand.) Then clean the large mixing bowl, grease it with vegetable shortening, and place the dough in the bowl. Turn it in the bowl so that the dough is greased (this will prevent the dough from cracking as it rises.)

4. Cover the dough and let rise at room temperature for about 2 ½ hours, until doubled in bulk. With your fist, punch down the dough. Divide in half and place one half on a lightly floured surface.

5. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a 12X6” rectangle. Starting with the 12” side, roll up tightly. Seal seams and edges by pinching. Repeat with remaining dough.

6. Grease a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves on prepared sheet. Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour.

7. Pre heat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray the loaves with a small amount of water, then using a blade, make a few slashes across the top of each loaf. Bake for 25-30 minutes until loaves are golden brown.

8. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on wire rack.

Apple French Toast

Apple French Toast
Idea from:

French toast:
5 eggs

½ c whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 loaf french bread, cut into 1 inch-thick slices

2 Gala apples

4 T unsalted butter
½ brown sugar
¼ c whole milk

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
2. In a casserole dish, crack eggs and add milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined then lay bread slices in mixture to coat and absorb it all, turning occasionally.
3. In a small sauce pan over medium high heat melt the butter and sugar, stirring frenquently, until the sugar has carmelized.
4. While the sugar is melting, peel and core apples and cut into slices.
5. Remove from heat and gently risk in the whole milk.
6. Add sliced apples to syrup mixture
7. Top french toast with apples and syrup
8. Bake for 40-45 minutes

Fettuccini Alfredo

Basic Egg Pasta:
4 large eggs (7/8 c)
1 T water
3 ½ c sifted all purpose flour
½ tsp salt

1. Place eggs, water, flour, and salt in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater. Turn to speed 2 and mix 30 seconds.
2. Exchange flat beater for dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and knead for 2 minutes.
3. Remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 1-2 minutes.
4. Let dough rest for 20 minutes.
5. Divide dough into four pieces before processing with pasta sheet roller attachment.
Yeild: 1 ¼ pounds of dough
I normally half this recipe.

Alfredo Sauce:
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp white pepper

1. In saucepan over medium high heat, bring the cream and butter to a boil.
2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
3. Add cheese and white pepper, whisk until smooth.

Chicken to go with the sauce:
2 chicken breasts cubed
1 T garlic
2 T sliced mushrooms
Adobo & Oregano to taste

1. Spray skillet with Pam and heat to medium to medium high
2. Cook seasoned chicken thoroughly, turning chicken regularly
3. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook for about one minute

Vegetarian Alternative:
1 c frozen vegetarian chicken (I used the Quorn brand, cubed)
½ c fresh spinach (washed)
½ T garlic 1 T water
Adobo & Oregano to taste

1. Spray skillet with Pam and heat to medium
2. Add Vegetarian chicken, seasoning, garlic and water to pan, cook 5-7 minutes
3. Add spinach, cook 2-3 minutes

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Red Velvet Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting

This is one of my favorite types of cake, and the best red velvet cake I've ever had.

Red Velvet Cake:
(not sure where I got this recipe)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray 2 nine inch cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.
Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart.
Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.)
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using.

May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days or freeze in a tightly sealed container (rewhip before using again).

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
By: Quakers

2 sticks margarine or butter softened
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
½ c granulated sugar
2 eggs (I use egg beaters)
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt (optional, I use it)
3 c Quaker Oats (uncooked) (I added an additional ½ to ¾ c)
1 c raisins (I added an additional ¼ c) (I soaked my raisins in warm water with vanilla extract for 10 minutes)

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, mix well.
Stir in oats and raisins; mix well.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared (cooking spray works best) cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, remove to wire rack.

Makes 3 dozen

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Yellow Cake

Yellow Cake
from bakingbites

2 ½ cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup butter, softened (I used margarine)
3 eggs (I used egg beaters)
1 cup milk (I used skim)
2 tsp vanilla extract (I used clear)
1 drop Yellow Food Coloring
Preheat oven to 350F.

Spray 2 nine inch round cake pans with non stick spray.

Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar and, using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed to blend. Cut butter into 4 or 5 chunks and drop into the bowl with the flour. Blend on low speed until mixture looks sandy and no large chunks of butter remain, 1-2 minutes.
In a large measuring cup, combine eggs, milk, vanilla and food coloring. Beat lightly with a fork until combined. With the mixer on low, pour 1 cup of the egg mixture into the bowl. Turn speed up to medium and beat for 1 ½ minutes. Reduce speed back to low and pour in the rest of the egg mixture. Continue to beat at low speed for an additional 30 seconds, until liquid is fully incorporated.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for a few more seconds. Pour into prepared pans and spread batter evenly with a spatula. Tap gently a few times to eliminate any bubbles.

Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.

Frost with Chocolate Frosting or your favorite icing.

Chocolate Crème Brûlée

8 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp chocolate syrup
2 tsp cocoa
Use more chocolate for a stronger chocolate flavor.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Stir egg yolks and sugar together until sugar is dissolved and mixture is light yellow. Add cream and vanilla, stir until combined.

Pour through strainer (I used a colander) over a bowl to remove bubbles.

Place towel in bottom of large baking dish/roasting pan. Pour cream mixture into 6 ramekins (depending on size) and place in baking dish on towel.

Place dish holding ramekins onto oven shelf. Pour hot water in to baking dish (Turn up a corner of the towel and pour the hot water under the towel so not to splash the creme brulees) halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 40-50 minutes, depending on size of ramekins. Take out oven and let cool in water bath.
Chill thoroughly for at least 2 hours, up to 2 days.
If you don't have a hand torch, you can use your broiler-- just keep an eye on it! :)

I used turbinadao sugar for the caramelized tops, or you can use demerara (they are similar)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Twice Baked Red Potatoes

10 small/ medium red potatoes
¼ c skim milk
2 tbsp reduced fat sour cream
2 tbsp 1/3 less fat cream cheese
2 tbsp butter or margarine
Adobo to taste (type of seasoning salt)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2-3 oz 2% milk sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


-Thoroughly wash and dry potatoes and pierce the skin several times with a fork then wrap in foil.

-Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees (check them at 30 minutes because mine were finished at this time)

-Let potatoes slightly cool and using a small spoon (I found that using a baby spoon works well), scoop out main portion of each potato half, leaving a solid shell.

-Place scooped out potato into bowl with cheeses, sour cream, butter, spices, and skim milk.

-Mix together with a hand mixture for 1-2 minutes.

-Prepare baking sheet.

-Carefully spoon mixture into the shell of the potatoes using a spoon or it can be piped in.
-Place potatoes onto baking sheet.-Bake filled potatoes until heated thoroughly, browning slightly on top, approximately 10 minutes.

My 1st Post

I have decided to jump on the blogger bandwagon. I'm a lacto ovo vegetarian so this blog will have some meat less recipes. I also love to bake therefore I foresee this blog being at least half baking related. Since blogging is new for me please disregard any errors I might make.
Thank you,