Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bride of Frankenstein (the cake version)

Here is my cake for Halloween spooky food contest. It took longer than I thought it would, but it also turned out better than I thought it would.

I used 2 bread loaf pans to make the cake (3 cups of cake mix per pan), one was for the hair and the other for the face. The cake mix is just a basic red velvet cake. I made sure there was plenty of icing between the 2 cakes as a 'paste'.

What do you think?
(Keep in mind this is only my 3rd cake)

The face close up:

The hair close up:

And just another pictures because I actually did it!

This is the cake mix----ewwww! I had red on everything.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wilton course 1/ class 3

This week was clown week. My instructor asked me before class if I had a fear of clowns;)
The summer of 1977 (the year I was born) my instructor was a clown for Ringling Brothers. How cool is that?

Here are the pictures from this week's class. I made an oreo cake this week. Vicki, from Healthy eats and Sinful treats made it for her clown cake as well. Oreo Cake recipe

Preparing the cake:
Looks yummy!

The Clowns:
I really thought this would be horrible and I would not make a good clown. The bag was "striped" with 3 colors (rose, violet and leafy green). I really like the look of the striping.

Not so bad, right?

Adding the flowers:
I added the flowers I learned in class too.

What do you think?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wilton course 1/Class 2

I love this class! I'm so happy that I finally signed up. I can't wait to learn more. Here is the progression of my first cake.

Icing the cake:
Took me 2 hours to get it this uneven:) I used thick icing when I should have used the thin.

Star tips:
In class I only time to add the orange. This was easier than I thought it would be. It's not perfect and I know it will take time, but I don't think I did that bad for my first time.

Playing around:

I couldn't just send my cake to Aaron's work without more color.

Note: black is a very hard color to make.....

Writing and piping:

I learned how to copy over the practice writing, so you can see my freestyle is not very good at all. I hope I get better at free hand writing.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Honey Peanut Cupcakes

I was a busy bee this weekend. (okay I just wanted to use the busy bee stuff because this recipe used a lot of honey) I spent most of the weekend in the kitchen. Friday night I started the cupcakes and the bread. Saturday, we had a little party so I made a pasta dish, taco cups, spinach dip, stuffed strawberries and of course I had to bake my cake today for my class tomorrow.

I am sick of the kitchen right now.

I found the honey Peanut cupakes on Cupcake by Chockylit. Just the name alone makes you want to make them. They are the perfect comfort food, sweet and salty.

The cupcakes went very well at the party! I had some left over icing and I gave some to my mother in law to put on pancakes. She is going to report back to me. I was going to make waffles this morning, but I just didn't feel like it and I was too lazy to go get milk from the store.

Honey Peanut Cupcakes:

Honey Peanut Cupcakes~9 cupcakes / 350 degree oven
2 tablespoons peanuts, unsalted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup + 1 tablespoon flour (cake if you have it, otherwise all-purpose)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons grape seed oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons whole milk
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup thick honey
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter1/4 cup sugar
1. Chop peanuts together with the salt and set aside. If you can’t find unsalted peanuts use the salted but only add a pinch of additional salt. Taste the chopped nuts and make sure they are salty.

2. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder into the bowl of a standing mixer.

3. In a medium bowl, combine oil, milk, egg yolks, and honey. Stir to combine.

4. On a low setting, start to beat the dry mixture and slowly add the wet. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until incorporated.

5. Transfer mixture to another bowl. Wash and dry mixer bowl.

6. Whip egg whites with whip attachment on medium-high speed until foamy. With the mixer on medium speed, add cream of tarter and slowly add sugar. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.

7. Scoop a cupful of the stiff egg whites into the batter and stir to combine. This should lighten up the batter.

8. Transfer the batter to the egg whites and gently fold until there are no more streaks of egg white.

9. Fill cupcake cups about 1/3 full. The sprinkle peanut/salt mixture over top. Fill with batter up to 2/3s full and bake at 350 F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

The recipe said it only made 9 cupcakes, so I decided I would make 4 batches, yeah not a smart move. I got 60, yes that's right 60 cupcakes. My only guess is that it she used fresh honey, very thick and I had store bought.

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting: (there are not enough words to describe this)
4 ounces or 1/2 package of Philly cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter1-2 cups sifted powdered sugar (I used closer to the 2 cups per batch)
2 tablespoons thick honey (I used 3 1/2 tablespoons per batch)

1. Bring butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment.
3. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and the honey. Beat until combined.
5. Add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.

1. Frost.
2. Topped with chopped, salted peanuts.

Cream Cheese Swirl Bread

This week the Dorie pick was the Raisin swirl bread. I have been looking at this recipe since I bought the book, I knew I wanted to make some changes. Aaron and I had cream cheese bread on our honeymoon and it was awesome. I keep looking for recipes for it, but I haven't found anything. When I saw this recipe I started thinking I just can just leave out the sweet stuff and replace it with the cream cheese. I'm glad I did:)

It is really good, but still not like what we had on the honeymoon. I will just keep trying. The recipe below is the Dorie recipe and what's in red is what I did.

For the Bread
1 packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar, plus a pinch more
1 1/4 cups just barely warm while milk
1/2 stick butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1/2 orange (did not add)
Pinch of nutmeg (did not add)
3 3/4 to 4 cups flour

For the filling (this is what I just replaced with 2 Cream Cheese 8 oz packages)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 cup moist raisins (steamed and dried if necessary)
3 tablespoons butter softened so it's spreadable.

Put the yeast in a small bowl, add a pinch of sugar and 1/4 cup of the warm milk, stir it together and let it rest for 3 minutes. It should soften.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the rest of the 1 cup milk, the butter and the 1/4 cup sugar. Mix on low speed until combine, then add the salt, egg, vanilla, zest and nutmet and continue to stir on low for another minute. Add the yeast mixture and stir for one minute more.

With the mixer off, add 2 3/4 cups flour and begin mixing again on low speed until the flour is just worked in. Switch to the dough hook and with the mixer on speed setting 2 beat the dough for a few minutes. The dough should begin coming together off the sides of the bowl. If it doesn't add up to 1/4 cup flour on tablespoon at a time until it does. Kneed the dough for 3 minutes more until it is smooth and shiny. The dough should be very soft.

In a large buttered bowl, turn out the dough and cover tightly with cling wrap. In a warm place, allow the dough to double in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Once fully risen, turn the dough out onto a large piece of cling wrap and either refrigerate overnight,
or freeze for 30 minutes.

For the filling: Combine the sugar cinnamon and cocoa powder. Remove your dough from the refrigerator/freezer and on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 12/18 inch rectangle. Using your fingers, spread the butter on the bread, then sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture and finally spread the raisins in an even layer.

Butter a 9x5" loaf pan. (I did not use loaf pan) Roll the dough snugly, beginning with a short end. Place the dough seam-side down in the loaf pan and tuck the ends under. Cover with a sheet of parchment or wax paper, put in a warm place and allow to rise for another 45 minutes or so.
Preheat the oven to 375. Once the dough is risen, brush the final tablespoon of melted butter over the top, place on a baking sheet and put on the center rack in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then place a piece of tinfoil over the loaf and continue to bake for about another 25 minutes.
Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and bring to room temperature.

I think next time I will use more cream cheese. The bread as it cooked soaked up some of the cream cheese, but the bread is very moist.

Cake Release Recipe!

I had my first cake decorating class last Monday. This week I am required to bake a cake to decorate tomorrow. God, I hope I am good at this. I am the only one in the class, so hopefully that means I will have focused attention on ME:) Just the way I like it!

Anywho, I just made my first cake and couldn't believe how easy it came out of the pans. Cake release is awesome. My instructor gave me the recipe. It's too good not to share.

equal parts: (you can make it with any amount-just make sure it is equal parts)
1 cup flour
1 cup crisco
1 cup oil

Instructor said to store it tightly covered in a glass jar. No need to put it in the fridge.

Mix with an eletric mixer and Ta-Da! I coated my pans evenly with it. When the cake was cooling in the pans you could just see the cake coming off the sides, just waiting for me to turn them over to put on the cooling trays!

Good stuff!

Stay tuned for the cake decorated;)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quesadilla night... Fiesta (His and Hers)

I had to make 2 different types of quesadilla's, Aaron likes the basic chicken and cheese. I on the other hand wanted to try and mimic what I had at Moe's. At Moe's its called Instant friend. If I am being honest I liked tonight's better. I made it exactly the way I wanted.

The best invention ever, a quesadilla maker. I love mine! I finally got it back out after we moved. Why did I ever put it a way?

Let's start with mine...

3 large mushrooms chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 can of black beans
1/2 of a tomato chopped
Olive oil
Chili Powder
Garlic Salt
Salt and pepper to taste
Mexican cheese mix

Heat Olive Oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) and saute onions until they are tender. Add Mushrooms and tomatos and saute for another 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle chili powder, garlic salt, salt and pepper. I just eyed what I would like of the chili powder and garlic salt (not set amount). Mix it in and let saute for another 2-3 minutes.

Heat black beans in a different pan.
On the tortilla, place cheese, then add black beans, and vegetable mix. (In any order)

- changes for next time, I will use fresh garlic cloves and lime juice. (maybe even some Jose Cuervo)
Aaron's Turn:

(this was enough for 2 Quesadillas)

1 pound of chicken breast
Mexican cheese
Chili Powder
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook chicken on a skillet (I add a little water to keep it tender). Sprinkle chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

On a tortilla add chicken and cheese.

Just add a margarita.... mmmmmm....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Not Your Momma's Meatloaf

This was a bad time to be a veg head. This smelled so good cooking. I have to be honest I tasted the meatloaf and DA-YUM it's delicious. Aaron seemed to enjoy it as well. I think he had 2 or three servings of it. It's really, really good. It was hard to only have one bite.

Honestly, I am not sure where I got this recipe I viewed about 10 today looking for the perfect one. I copied and pasted in email to print it. I really didn't think we would like it. I promised myself I would never make meatloaf, because I would never eat my mom's. I didn't like the name meatloaf. I bet her meatloaf is good, but I was too stubborn to try it.

2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup chopped peeled onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/4 teaspoons ground sage
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Worchestershire sauce
2/3 cup bread crumbs
4 slices bacon
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, combine milk ,eggs and Worcestershire sauce. Mix in beef mixture. Add bread crumbs.
Grease a large sheet of aluminum foil, place bacon on foil. Mold mixture over bacon. Refrigerate 2 hours, or over night. (I did not let it sit for 2 hours, I cooked it right away)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place meatloaf on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour.
Combine ketchup, brown sugar, salt, mustard and pepper. Open foil , drain any juice. Spoon ketchup mixture over meatloaf and bake, uncovered, an additional 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Mock Fried Rice

Let's first start with a shout out to The Baking Bailey. This was a very good rice and very easy. The recipe is her basic recipe and the red are my changes or what I added in:

1/2 head raw cauliflower- grated (I used broccoli)
3 green onions sliced (white and greens separated) - I didn't use green onion
1 clove garlic minced (I probably used 3)
1/2 teaspoon ginger minced- I used 3/4 teaspoon
3 tablespoons soy sauce- I used 5 tablespoons
3 eggs beaten- used 2 eggs
Olive Oil
Any cooked meat you like ( I used chicken but you could use beef, pork, shrimp, etc)- I didn't use meat

My add in:
1/2 cup of cabbage
1/2 can of bamboo shoots
1/2 can of water chestnuts
2 carrots chopped
I used 2 1/2 cups of rice

Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil. Satay white parts of onion and garlic for 1 minute. Add grated cauliflower (this is where I added my extra ingredients) and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add soy sauce, ginger, green parts of onion and meat (if you are adding meat). Push "rice" mixture to one side add beaten eggs. Mix eggs and "rice" together. Once the eggs are no longer wet you are done.