Sunday, March 28, 2010
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In your stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Slowly add to butter mixture. Add cranberries and chocolate chips and stir until well combined.
Friday, March 26, 2010
This dip is great for making ahead of time and warming it up when you're ready to eat. Make this for your next party and people will beg for the recipe.
I apologize in advance for this picture. It does not do the dip justice at all.
Jalapeno Popper Dip
Adapted from: Big Red Kitchen
2- 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1- 4 ounce can chopped green chilies
2 jalapenos, diced
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
In a food processor or stand mixer add cream cheese, mayo, cheese, peppers and chilies and process until smooth. You do not need to drain the peppers. Spread the dip into a greased 2 quart casserole. In a zip top plastic bag mix bread crumbs and the other 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the dip and bake in a 375° oven for about 20 minutes.
Serve with tortilla chips, celery sticks, carrots or crackers.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
From: Baking Blonde
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350.
Soak raisins in a bowl of warm water with a dash of vanilla. Let sit while you mix other ingredients. Strain before using.
In large bowl or mixer, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins, stir until well distributed.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
1 medium potato per person
onion to taste
Penzey's Mural of Flavor
Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Dice onion.
Lay out a piece of foil for each potato. Top each piece of foil with potato, onion, spices and a pat of butter. Gather up the 4 corners together at the top. Do not seal - the steam needs a place to escape.
Place on grill on indirect heat for 30 minutes. You can also bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Be careful when you open the pack because some steam will still be trapped in there.
Friday, March 19, 2010
We make it pretty much according to the website he found it on with a few exceptions. We leave out the mushrooms, and instead of using all heavy cream, we use half heavy cream and half half and half. Wow - that was a lot of halfs.
This pasta also reheats really well. Sometimes I think it's better the second day.
Cajun Chicken Pasta
1/2 pound linguine pasta
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
butter or olive oil
2 red bell pepper, sliced
2 green bell pepper, sliced
8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 green onion, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Place the chicken and the Cajun seasoning in a plastic bag. Shake to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the chicken in butter or olive oil until almost tender (5 to 7 minutes).
Add the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, mushrooms and green onion. Saute and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat.
Add the cream, basil, lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder and ground black pepper. Heat through. Add the cooked linguine, toss and heat through. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
From: Leslie Sarna
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup milk, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Fill the cupcake pans with cupcake liners or grease cake pans (2 9x2 inch round or whatever shape you feel like) with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper or waxed paper. Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, or kitchen aid mixer bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and mix them into the flour mixture on low speed. The mix should be lumpy. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Mix on medium for another minute. Add the eggs one at a time and mixing in between each addition. Pour the batter into the cupcake pan or the two pans equally. Bake 15-20 minutes for cupcakes and about 30-35 minutes for the cakes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.
There were are few minor mishaps with the cake. I sliced my finger open on the grater when I tried to clean up. I was not feeling well, so my husband tried to help out by making the cream cheese frosting - well I walked in just in time to stop him from adding 2 1/2 cups of flour to the bowl (he was reading the cake recipe). Then last, but not least, I do not have a cake carrier so he offered to 'fashion a carrying device.' I said yes -please do! Well he made a wonderful creation of bowl, plate and a lot of tape. It even had a handle. The handle however could not stand up to the weight of the cake. It broke as we were walking in the door to the party and the cake landed on its side and rolled over. This is the finished product after re-frosting it. Sad, but delicious.
If you are looking for a basic carrot cake recipe this one was perfect. Dense, moist and the icing was just right. I will definitely make it again!
I made a few changes/adjustments to the original recipe.
-The recipe as I found it was for cupcakes, but I used two 8 inch square pans and baked them for 40 minutes.
-I did not have enough oil, so I only used a little over 1 cup of oil instead of 1 1/2 cups and it turned out just fine.
-I doubled the frosting recipe and had a little left over.
-I left out the cloves because I don't like cloves.
Simple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
From: Cooks Illustrated
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp table salt
1 lb. medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots), peeled
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil , safflower oil, or canola oil
5 Tbsp unsalted butter softened, but still cool
1 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar (4 1/2 ounces)
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside.
In food processor fitted with large shredding disk, shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); set aside.
In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or in large bowl and using hand-held mixer), beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds.
Reduce speed to medium; with mixer running, add oil in slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against inside of bowl (if oil begins to splatter, reduce speed to low until oil is incorporated, then resume adding oil). Increase speed to high and mix until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer.
Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
My next feat, was to find a frosting that would compliment the cake, and not include raw eggs since I'm allergic to them. I found a blog where she made Dorie's cake with a raspberry buttercream and was sold.
I don't have a great picture of it because it was gone so fast, but let me tell you it was delicious. I am still not a great decorator, so it wasn't much to look at, but the taste made up for it. The only change I made to the recipe below is I was out of lemon extract, so I added an extra tsp of lemon zest.
Dorie's Perfect Party Cake
From: Apple a Day
2¼ c. (9 oz.) cake flour
1 TBSP baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1¼ c. whole milk or buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1½ c. (10½ oz.) sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 TBSP or 4 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp. pure lemon extract
20 TBSP (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp. salt
1 TBSP raspberry liquor or 1 1/2 tsp. raspberry extract
2 TBSP heavy cream gel food coloring, if desired
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean.
Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
Add confectioners' sugar and salt. Beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until the mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds.
Scrape bowl, add liquor or extract, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about ten seconds. If using gel food color, add at this time.
Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about four minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
Place strips of wax paper on a cake stand forming a square the size of the round cake. Place bottom cake on way papers. With a serrated knife, shave off top layer of cake so that it is flat. Spread about 2/3 of a cup of preserves on top. Place second layer of cake on top of the preserves. Frost with room temperature butter cream. Remove wax paper before serving.