Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fit for a Princess!

One of the most cutest little people named Ava was turning 3 and her mom was having a Princess party for her. Of course … she needed a cake to fit the perfect occasion!

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Once it was at location I was able to add the wand and a couple more gumpaste flowers!

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The crown was easy to make and I did it 2 weeks in advance. I had to do 2 because my daughter also wanted a princess cake…

This was hers right after I painted it…

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This was my daughters cake…

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Yes… TWO Princess cakes in ONE weekend… it worked to my advantage!

Oh… lest not forget the cupcakes!! I sent these to my daughters class!

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

November 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge ~ Crostata

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Well….this was a fail in my book. I am horrible with dough. Just horrible. I read up on the tips… you know… to make dough… such as freezing butter after you grate it.. etc. Well, my dough was just alright. I still couldn’t get it out of the glass pan.

I choose a sweet dessert to serve with Thanksgiving dinner. Chocolate. I have been on a chocolate kick recently and it is showing in my hips. Well, next week no more. I have to let the chocolate go. ::sigh:: It’s going to be more of a challenge then I can admit to. But I have to do it.

I layered Strawberries in my chocolate ganache to make this pie. It looked rough… yes it did… when I took this picture the pie wasn’t set and I was rushing to get it to our Thanksgiving dinner location.

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This pie was rich!! Oh my goodness, the chocolate was to die for. I mean… shoot Chocolate Ganache with Bermuda Black Rum in it.. well… the taste was phenomenal.

Thanks again for a great Daring Bakers Challenge… I will try it again… practice does make perfect.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Yeah.. that part one movie coming out that’s not Twilight.

Okay… I am a twi-hard. But I haven’t had an opportunity to do a Twilight cake. However, I guess Harry rules.. and truthfully the Deathly Hallows movie looks pretty awesome and almost makes me want to read the entire series.  Almost being the operative word.

Okay, Damon is having a sleep over and my 11 year old son is attending. His gift?… cake! His mom has no clue I do these types of cakes so I am anxious to see her face more then I am to see the birthday boy’s.

It is not as complex as the Harry Potter cake from March this year, but I love it just as much.

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I love snitch. I had no idea how I was going to do his wings but fondant and toothpicks stuck in a ball of dry gumpaste are awesome…

Also I wanted to throw the scarf on the cake and not place it… but it kind of looks like a mixture of both. The fondant was stretching a lot while trying to throw it and then it started ripping so I had to place the rest of it carefully on the book cake. Grrrrrrrrrr. But sometimes in fixing something you don’t like.. well… it can end up worse. So the scarf stayed as is and I worked with it. I wish the camera could show more of the scarf texture. I was quite proud of it :)

Sigh… the things we cake people go through in the world of cake!

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Anyway, Damon.. Happy Birthday man.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And even more…!

Yes…cake.

 

We’re backyard friends.. .the Backyardigans!!!

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just chillin….

daydreaming and spreading happy birthday cheer!

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Peace OUT! I love this cake.. so girlie so simple so sparkly!!

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UP UP AND AWAY… Ben had a great airplane theme and mom gave me the invites to model from! So cute… again.. simple but cute!!

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Mom threw a great party too.. boy I tell you… some great event planners I have met….

Birthday boy Ben even had a shirt to match! how cute is that….?? love it!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Cakes! Cakes. More Cake?

not been bloggin… but been bakin. Haven't had much time to try new recipes… haven't had time to blog. But I must time manage better.  Sleep too…

Anyway, I had time for cakes :)

Lets get on to the pictures…

 

It’s Minnie! This party was awesome… every single detail was great… I attempted a buttercream creation but guess what..it was humid as heck that day and it was September. hmmmmm… still too early to do a tier buttercream cake. As we delivered I watched my buttercream sweat. I was not impressed but regardless the cake still was cute and all her details made it work! Who doesn’t love Minnie Mouse!?!

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Hello Kitty was loads of fun… 11 year old Kamri loved it. I loved it too… and check out that buttercream… near flawless!! :) Much better day for Buttercream.. whooo hoooo….

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How about these cute cupcake wrappers I found on etsy.com.  Awesomeness…

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His life on a cake… Paul sold houses, been married 60 years, loved his cabin and was a pilot in WWII. Amazing. His family wanted all this to be represented on a cake… and boy… it was special…

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It’s Halloween Time!! I baked cupcakes for my daughters class…. how fun…. LOVED THEM!!!

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What a cute pumpkin… but the mummy was my favorite…

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SLAM DUNK!!  This was a rush and I soooo wish I had more time to do it but I was okay with it! Red Velvet ball on Vanilla net.. oh yeah. The theme was basketball and it was held at an Athletic Club. Andrew’s mom did a great job with the decor… down to the gold stars on the table which matched the cake!! lol….

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 2010 Daring Bakers ~ Doughnuts!

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The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

Love doughnuts and never thought I would make them… although I have always wanted to. Soooo happy this was a challenge and I had time to participate.

My kids where happy too :)

The recipe we used was really easy…

You can find it HERE!

Thanks Lori for an extremely delicious recipe choice that went without fail!! Whoo hoooo…..

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Strawberry Arbor Mist Cake

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I wanted to try something different for Labor Day. I loved the Champagne Cake I did but I wanted something fruity too.

So I used Arbor Mist… Strawberry Flavor and substituted it for the milk in my yellow cake recipe and I used Strawberry Yogurt instead of sour cream.

My biggest error was using Almond Extract… not that anybody else that ate it cared… but I did. I am not a fan of Almond and too me it overpowered the strawberry.  But the cake was gone in 2 minutes… so I guess it was just me and my Almond extract disliking ways.

The cake was a beautiful pink inside… I forgot to get pictures of it when it was cut! We all know it is hard to get a great pink when making strawberry cake so I added a few drops of food coloring to make that pink pop.

I filled it with fresh strawberries… so pretty… thanks to the help of hubby who sliced them up for me!

I did a rustic decoration job with Buttercream. I LOVE RUSTIC CAKES!!! So bakery looking delicious!! I must do more ….

Again… so pretty… I had to share….

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Force is totally with this.

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Luka requested YODA for his birthday and Luka got Yoda for his birthday.

After a brief hiatus from cakes I had fun with this one. Total satisfaction.

YODA was 20 percent lemon cake. My new oven proved a little challenging with the shape of the bowl that I used for this one. I needed to use a carved bowl and I had my old oven temperament down to a “T”. This oven is a newbie… so despite using the same recipe as I did with Elmo’s Lemon cake… this oven said patooey. It tasted the same but had some settling that I didn’t like. However, YODA still over-ruled.  The rest of the cake was vanilla. In total YODA was 7 layers of cake goodness filled with buttercream.

HOWEVER, the hardest part of the cake was easy to me and the easy part was hard. Why for? Sooo not sure… but that is the world of cake. Unpredictable.

I was terrified of sculpting YODA’s face… and it was so easy… like I did it before… but hadn’t.

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I was over confident in doing his cape and ears.  Well, they ended up being the hardest part.

Trying to drape the cape was difficult… and the ears well, lets say they tried to defy gravity more then once.

But, it came together. And despite some minor disasters… especially in travelling to get him to the lucky birthday boy’s party in the park… I was proud of him. Thank goodness for travelling with some  extra fondant and a rolling pin and some edible glue. With the crowd of children that surrounded me while I was repairing made me more nervous then YODA himself.

He was seriously so realistic that I felt I was on the set of Star Wars. It was eerily weird.

My children reacted the same way. One running the opposite way when he saw it…and the other screaming.

Luka thank you for choosing YODA… cool… totally dude.

 

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fish Chowder for the Soul


I love Trader Joes… who doesn’t?? They offer package foods that are also healthy. Yeah, its possible to get package foods with no preservatives these days. Funny how you pay more for food that has no added bad stuff huh? But, TJ’s is quite reasonable in the price arena.


I usually have items that I pick up from TJ’s without fail. Included in that list is Vegetable Chips… shoot for $1.99 a bag you can’t go wrong. They have these awesome baked chips, I love getting the flex seed tortilla chips (ohhh dip them in a pineapple salsa from Harry and Davids…mixed with cream cheese..heaven). Along with their Feta Cheese, Naan, Mandarin Chicken and nut mixes I have a small list just to keep it all under control at TJ’s. That is very hard to do.


This week I bought cod. I love cod fish but get bored eating it the same way. This package was about 4 bucks for a pound of cod. And low and behold there was a recipe on the label. SCORE~


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EASY FISH CHOWDER


adapted from Trader Joes Cod Pieces label


1/2 stick of unsalted butter


1 large onion


1 to 2 cloves of chopped garlic


1 large potato peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes


2 tbsp flour


2 cup vegetable or chicken broth


2 cup milk or half and half


1 lb cod pieces


salt and pepper to taste


I also added: Baby Bella mushrooms, Old Bay Seafood Seasoning


Directions



Melt butter in 2 qt saucepan. Sauté onion and garlic (and mushrooms if you are adding them) until soft. Add Potato and cook over low heat until potato begins to soften. Season with salt and pepper (and Old Bay) to taste. Sprinkle flour and stir gently over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add liquids and cook over low heat until soup begins to thicken. Gently stir in cod and continue cooking until fish is completely cooked. Taste for seasoning and add addition salt and pepper if necessary.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Zucchini and Yellow Squash and Onions, OH MY!

recipe adapted from: allrecipes.com


Yeah, okay follow the trend setting here. I am trying to eat a little better. Yes indeed. I bake so much that if my family can eat a little better during the day then I wont feel guilty about have cake and other baked goods around for them devour.


I also now enjoy Spinning and Zumba. But that's another blog.


Carrying on… Publix had a sale on Zucchini and Yellow Squash and I couldn’t resist. I wanted to do something different other then the normal marinate in Italian dressing and grill them on the George. I searched in the oh so famous allrecipes.com and found this.


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“Grilled Lemon Pepper Zucchini”, but I didn’t grill it I baked it. and I didn’t have red bell peppers so I used some salsa… that sold me… the salsa was the kicker.


Recipe


Ingredients

2 small yellow squash, sliced


2 small zucchini sliced, sliced


1 small onion, diced


1 red bell pepper, minced ( I used salsa)


1 1/2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil ( I didn’t measure any of my seasonings. Bad habit I have)


1 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning


Directions


Preheat Grill (or oven to 350 degrees)


Combine all ingredients and wrap in aluminum foil and seal into a packet.


Place packet on grill and cook 30 minutes turning every 5 to 10 mins. Or bake in oven for 40 mins.


Take out and enjoy. I warn you when you sample a zucchini you may not want to stop eating them.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lentils are good

stew recipe adapted from: Fresh paint Blogspot


Despite the fact that you all may not think so. But I do. I am a convert. As you can tell.. my blog loves lentils just as much as it likes cakes. I have Lentil Loaf and Lentil Patties you can find on this blog. I even Stuffed Zucchini with lovely lentils. Now here I am presenting Lentil Stew.


Lentil Stew is pretty much anything you throw together with Lentils and it takes a stew like appearance. There are no rules. Seriously. 1 2 3 and you are there. Lentil heaven.


For this one I had a cup of lentils and cut up some baby bella mushrooms (my fave) and chopped some onion. I seasoned it with Rosemary, Oregano, Basil (loads of basil…yum), a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and sea salt and black pepper. Oh I add a Maggie cube for some FLAVA opps I mean flavor.


I cooked these in the microwave! Gasp!! Yes I did… I just added 3 cups of water to the lentil mix in a Pyrex dish and heated them at 70 percent power for 30 minutes. I checked after that to see if the water had dried up (it didn’t, but if so add some more) then did another 20 minutes at 70 percent power.


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There are soooo many variations for this stew just like any stew or soup. Stewed tomatoes can also be added for that extra pop. I would have added them but didn’t have any in the pantry.


Now go ahead and make you some of these here lentils… and throw them down with some healthy brown rice…


Yeah, I got to eat healthy every now and then. Have to offset the over consumption of the cakes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Baby Shower Blues

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Not really blues, but I like the sound of the title. I did this cake for a special friend of mine… her little bundles of baby boy is due soon and a shower was thrown for her.

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This cake was an easy one… I only drew maybe 10 designs… sometimes it takes me more because I always want to do so much. I was glad that the colors were decided for me by the host of the party!

I had fun doing the bassinet. I really wanted to do a stroller but I ran out of time. It was interesting because when you do objects out of fondant it can take a while before it starts to look like what you intended it to be! This started looking like a bonnet.. then a shoe!! I was beginning to get discouraged.. but I knew once I pushed on to the completed object it would be what it was supposed to be.

The cake was basic white cake with buttercream. The top tier was white Satin Ice fondant I died to an ivory hue and the bottom tier was chocolate Satin Ice fondant. The adornments are all fondant but the bassinet and the flowers are gumpaste I made using fondant and tylose powder.

I really like doing baby shower cakes. I find them to be beautiful yet whimsical. I guess it depends on what look you are going for.

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Baby teddy was removable… he matched the decor of the cake table perfectly!!

Congratulations to the mother and father to be!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Champagne cake and Ginger Ale money…

My mom always used to say something close to that. We would go shopping and I would pick out something that I loved and look at the price and die. And she would giggle and say “Champagne Taste and Ginger ale money!”

Gotta love her.

Anniversary cake I did last month proved more challenging to me that anything… Why? It had to go on a plane…and it wasn’t a non-stop flight! Oh the pressure…

I couldn’t do too much in decoration… but I didn’t want it too look to dull either. So I played it safe.

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I kept it simple…so simple that even if I put the words Happy Anniversary on it it would have off set the whole cake. Don’t think I didn’t do the words… I did.. I placed them on the cake.. around the cake… nothing satisfied me. I was a nervous wreck with this one.

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The flowers were crazy! I loved them. Chocolate rose with bronze luster dust to highlight. The fondant was ivory Satin Ice. I probably could have done the roses a bit smaller.. .but I just loved them!

It was humid in my house too. The fondant swirls kept falling as the edible glue would take extra long to stick them to the cake. My cake began to sweat as so did I. Now, I have the air-condition set to 50 when I do any cakes! Decorating in the summer heat is stress!! But all a learning process…

Okay, the cake.  Champagne Cake with Champagne Buttercream and Strawberry Buttercream to fill.

Oh… yeah….. Champagne, Chocolate and Strawberries…

Turn off the lights hon.. Let’s eat cake.

Friday, August 27, 2010

August 2010 Daring Bakers ~ Baked Alaska and/or Ice Cream Petit Fours

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

Call me a loser but I didn’t do it. I had all intentions to complete this because it was my birthday month and petite fours would have been perfect little birthday cakes for me. But when it came around to that time the last thing I wanted was to be in the kitchen. 

This is ridiculous. Seriously I have no other excuse but to say simply that “life got in the way.”

August 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge ~ Ice Cream Petit Fours

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The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

We had a choice this month. We could make Ice Cream Petit Fours or Baked Alaska! As long as we prepared the Brown Butter pound Cake from the recipe provided… and we did ice cream from scratch!

I really want an ice cream maker. But I did my own ice cream using this recipe! It came out more like a sherbet but it was really tasty and tart. I really liked it and will definitely use it again…

I did the ice cream on one day and the pound cake the next. I followed all the steps and then I stopped at one. I had the ice cream sandwiched in between the cake layers a little too long in my freezer. It still tasted good but I could never find the time to get the petit fours together.

Now I didn’t have a small square pan (oh wow… the shocker..me a bake… no small square pan!!) so I used a round pan. Then… I got lazy.. I didn’t feel like cutting out the small petit fours… I used a round cookie cutter that wasn’t quite that petit. Anyway, it was delicious… once I poured a chocolate ganache over the top of them it didn’t matter what size they were!!!

Again… this was a great challenge.. the Brown Butter Pound cake was really good on its own as well!

Here's the recipe and the directions to make this great summer treat!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Strawberry Blueberry Buckle

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I have had this recipe for like ahhhh, 2 years??!! Never made it until today! It’s been so long that I have had it printed that I don’t remember whose blog I retrieved it from. All I remember is that whomever blog it was on.. the picture was so enticing. I had to make it. Unfortunately, it took me this long. Well, I won’t make that horrible mistake again. Mistake being waiting so long, not actually making it. Cause this recipe was, sorry is a winner!


Such a cool summery treat. I always buy blueberries and strawberries when they are in season. How can you resist especially with them being so inexpensive at this time. And they look so good too.


So, today, I had an excessive amount of blueberries and strawberries. I wanted to make some blueberry muffins. I have a great recipe for blueberry muffins… it is so yummy that you can’t just eat one muffin. Wait, rewind… back to buckle.


I am not sure why they call this dessert a buckle. Does one buckle at the knees when they taste it? I almost did. Is it so heavy with delicious berries that it buckles your baking pan? Nah… it is so light. Hmmmmm, well to anyone reading my rambling if you know the answer, please feel free to leave it in my comments.


Oh, and another favor…if any of my foodie buddies recognize this recipe from another blog.. .please leave a comment on who you think it belongs to so I can credit them. I owe them lots of credit for this one.


Recipe


source: unknown


Ingredients


1 cup sifted all purpose flour


1 tsp baking powder


1/4 tsp salt


1/4 cup butter


1/2 cup granulated sugar


1 egg


2 tsps grated lemon rind(I didn’t have any lemon so I used extract and subtracted 2 tsp of the milk to off set the wet ingredients)


2 tbsps of lemon juice


1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds ( I omitted)


1/4 cup milk


1 1/4 cups sliced fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed and drained.


1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed and drained


Topping:


1/2 cup sifted all purpose flour


1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar


1/4 cup butter


Directions


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 8 x 8 baking pan


Sift together flour, baking powder and salt onto wax paper


Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer set high speed until light and fluffy.


Beat in egg, lemon rind and juice. Stir in nuts (if using), then milk.


Stil in dry ingredients, then berries.


Spread into prepared pan.


Prepare streusel topping buy mixing flour and brown sugar in small bowl. cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.


Sprinkle the streusel in an even layer over the batter.


Bake for 40 mins or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean and cake begins to pull away from sides.


Cool on wire rack.


Cut and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.



I attempted making whipped topping with evaporated milk. It was nerve wrecking because I didn’t think it would come together… but it was possible and it was good.


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The above whipped delicacy was made possible by Google. Well, I had to Google my butt off to see if heavy cream can be substituted with evaporated milk. That was all I had in the house. Apparently, if you place the milk in an ice cube tray and place in freezer for about 30 mins until the edges started to crystallize you can use it as you would heavy cream! Place the not quite frozen ice cubed milk in the cold mixing bowl and beat with cold beaters and in about a minute you have frothy milk!


Look… just do this…


1 cup evaporated milk ( I used a full fat one because the more fat the better the consistency)


1/2 cup powdered sugar


1 tsp vanilla extract


Beat the cold cream for about 1 minute until frothy. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat some more for about 2 mins. Serve immediately.


Read the recipe for yourself at Very Best Baking.


I know the recipe says serve immediately but Hubby wasn’t home when I served this to the kids. So I threw the whole stainless steel bowl in the fridge and it was still good and stable when he was home and ready to indulge.

Get your Fish on with this Cod and Veggie Casserole

I am loving one dish cooking. If I can cram everything in one pot and cook, I am a happy wife. If it looks pretty, my kids are happy kids. If it taste good, Hubby is a happy Hubby.


I love Cod too. Mostly salted Cod. Any other Cod you kind of have to make it taste like something by covering it up with something.


This is that dish.


Ohhh Yeah, chicka chicka… cheeewww bow bow… for some reason that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off song wont go away while I type this post.


Okay…back to the schedule program dish.


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Although this is a one dish dish, it doesn’t contain a starch item. So I did some brown rice to help soak up some of the sauce.


The preparation of this dish is easy and it cooks in 25 mins. Great.


Recipe


source: adapted from Food.com


Ingredients


1 lb Cod


1/4 tsp salt


1/2 tsp pepper


1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning


1 medium tomato, fresh and sliced thick


1/4 sliced red pepper


1/4 sliced green pepper


1 tbsp chopped red onion


1 tbsp chopped green onion


1/2 pd fresh asparagus spears


vegetable oil cooking spray


Directions


Preheat Oven to 375 degrees


Spray medium size casserole dish with vegetable oil cooking spray


Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of Cod and place in dish.


Place tomato on Cod then sprinkle with the peppers and onions. Add Cajun spices.


Top with asparagus spears and sprinkle green onion. Then add some more Cajun seasoning if desired.


Spray with vegetable spray.


Cover casserole and bake for 25 mins or until fish flakes easy with fork.



Serves 2! Recipe can be easily doubled or tripled!!


Uncover… scoop on to plate and Enjoy!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Easy Baked Breakfast Casserole

Easy Brkfast Casserole


I am so not a breakfast person. I mean, come on…how many post of breakfast food do you see on this blog. I am not a morning person so I leave the beating of eggs up to Hubby.


However, there are times I need to step up to the stove and battle the pancakes or bacon or eggs or whatever. I do this while wishing that the kids would just crave the toaster Eggo waffles… or how about those awfully sweet pop-tarts that I tend to indulge in from time to time.


I needed to incorporate breakfast into more of a baking project in order for me to enjoy it. Thus, this recipe was perfect. And I will proudly say that I have a few more up my sleeve that will soon be posted.


Easy for me first thing in the morning is always good!


Recipe



adapted from here! Food.com


Ingredients


10 to 12 eggs


12 ounces grated cheddar cheese


2 (4 ounce cans) chilies (I used green peppers)


salt and pepper


I added chopped tomato and more grated cheese when there was 10 minutes of cooking time left.


Directions


Spread grated cheese in a 9 x 13 inch pan that has been buttered.


Spread green chilies evenly over the cheese.


Beat eggs and add salt and pepper to taste.


Pour the eggs over the cheese and green chilies.


Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until set.


Cut into squares and serve.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Oven Fried Fish

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Not having a stove has forced me into trying something that is supposed to look or taste fried without being fried. I have always been curious about this non frying but baking technique but not enough to actually do it. I felt like fried fish, no stove. Beggars can’t be chooser.


Home-ec101.com has a fish and chip recipe that is oven fried/baked/whatever. It is actually pretty good.


I marinated fillets of Whiting in a Kosher Steak Seasoning from Publix Grocery Store for 25 minutes. Love that stuff on burgers, steak and fish… you name it. It makes it all good!


I then followed the recipe as best as I could with what I had on hand. Instead of white cornmeal I had yellow and I had seasoned breadcrumbs only. Those changes only added to the great flavor. Within 10 minutes of oven baking/frying/whatever time, the fish was ready!


So check out the recipe here at Home-ec101.


Oven Fried Fish


Its a good recipe as I adapted it and I am sure it is great as written too. I now think I have converted to a rookie fried like baked in oven something or the other. Ohhh, what about using this recipe with boneless chicken!! Yea, The possibilities are endless!

I Love David.

Davids Yellow Cake1

David’s Yellow Cake that is. I have to tell you something. Yes, its a confession. I was a box cake baker a long long long time ago. Yes, yes, it is true. Until, I decided I liked baking enough to bake my own cake. And luckily with some minor research I met David.

I met David through his cake. Okay, I didn’t really meet him…but I can honestly say that his cake is sooooo delish that I almost know him because I make it often. Does that count? This cake was my first recipe I used to make a cake from scratch. I was so proud that I did it, I did it again and again. Getting better and better with research and practice.

Doesn’t his cake look good, minus that little flour ball left from me flouring the Bundt pan to death. Which is a no no by the way. Tip… you must have equal amount of shortening to flour to ensure proper disheveling removal of your cake from the pan.  I wasn’t taking any chances with this puppy. I again, was baking this in my lovely Tiny Toaster Oster Oven.  This time knocking down the cooking temperature by 25 degrees. YES! Perfection.  Thank you David!! I will give you a call sometime to personally thank you and take you to dinner. I am sure hubby won’t mind as he loves this cake too.

DAVID’S YELLOW CAKE RECIPE

source: Allrecipes.com

Ingredients

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups white sugar

8 egg yolks (I hate wasting yolks so I used 5 whole eggs instead)

3/4 cup milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (I dropped temp to 325 degrees when using toaster oven I think I will try in my regular oven too.)

Grease and flour 2 - 8 inch round pans. ( I used a Bundt pan this time…both come out perfect)

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.

Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly tapped.

Cool 15 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks. ( I normally cool for 10.)

Okay, how about I had no butter to make buttercream frosting. I could not make my FAVORITE buttercream frosting!! Oh, the horror. I only use that one and it calls for all shortening but I substitute half unsalted butter for the shortening! How was I going to make it without any butter. Ew! the thought of a buttercream using all shortening frightened me! But I had no choice.  So I found a recipe using ingredients that I had on hand…well almost.

Kittencal is a veteran in the frosting area. I love her Chocolate Buttercream recipe which was used for the Naruto Cake.  I came across her Extra Creamy Fluffy White Frosting and gave it a go.

It was sooooooooooooo good. To my surprise. It didn’t taste like a blab of grease! I found a new recipe for frosting I love.

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EXTRA CREAMY FLUFFY WHITE FROSTING RECIPE

source : adapted from food dot com

Ingredients

1 cup of white Crisco

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups confectioners sugar sifted

1/2 cup un~whipped heavy cream (I used evaporated milk)

Directions

In a bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the shortening, salt, vanilla and half of the icing sugar and beat until very smooth.

Add in milk (or whipping cream) and beat well.

Add in remaining icing sugar to desired texture and beat until fluffy and creamy.

 

I love this moist cake people.  I love this fluffy light frosting. Great combination. David, I must get your autograph next time you pop by.  You superstar you.

My Tiny Convention Toaster Oven & The One Bowl Mocha Devil Food Cake

Well, I am certainly challenging myself. We have recently moved and had not arranged to get the gas turned on. Well, I had to learn to cook using only our microwave, George Forman Grill and our lovely Oster Toaster Oven. Just until our lovely gas man cometh that is.


I pushed myself and I was having fun with it. This semi - somewhat process cooking is a breeze. Throw a steam bag of veggies in the microwave for 7 mins and taaa daaa .. bam… beautiful corn, asparagus and carrots courtesy of Birdseye. And delicious I must add. WOW, there’s 10 minute rice! Pop it in the microwave and POW …it’s rice! Heck, throw some thyme, paprika, pepper and a veggie bouillon cube in it and you have flavored quickie rice. Meat? No problemo. Grill some chicken seasoned with some Lipton Herb and Garlic Soup mix… yum.


Okay, so how about I bake me a cake in the toaster oven. Yeah, you heard me. Simple. With the right oven you can. I was craving cake and craving baking. I chose to dig in my pantry and found some Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate that I had bought to make my Luscious Sour Cream Chocolate Cake. I remembered that Ghirardelli had some recipes on the inside of the wrapping that I wanted to try.


Truthfully, I am not big on Devils food cake. But I wanted to try it anyway. Ghirardelli has a One Bowl Devil Cake that look like it was delicious. It was okay, yes just okay. It was moist and rose great in my oven. I couldn’t fit both 8 inch round pans in the oven so I did a no no which was let one pan sit out. Trick to that is place a damp cloth over the batter while you wait. Despite this waiting on the side the second cake rose fine.


Please note that this picture was taking with my mobile phone as my camera was nowhere to be found due to our move :(


Devils Food Cake_edited


I had leveled and frosted this beauty with a recipe I also found on the back of the wrapper called Ghirardelli Mocha Buttercream Frosting. Both recipes are posted for your convenience.


As said, I am not a big Devil Food Cake lover… this cake tasted better the next day. I also think that because the oven is smaller I should have dropped the temperature by 25 degrees. Needless to say the cake was eaten in two days :)


Recipe


source : Ghirardelli wrapper


Ingredients


2 cups sifted cake flour


1 1/2cups sugar


2 tsp baking soda


1/2 tsp cream of tartar


1/2 tsp salt


1 cup shortening


1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I had none on hand so subbed 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice with enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups)


3 eggs


1 1/2 tsp vanilla


4 oz Ghirardelli Unsweetened Chocolate, melted



Directions



Sift cake flour, sugar, soda, cream of tartar and salt into large mixer bowl. Add shortening, half the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Mix in remaining buttermilk and melted chocolate. Beat additional 2 minutes. Spread into 9 by 13" greased cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan. ( I never cool in pan… i can’t let cakes sit in a pan for more then 10 mins…it just doesn’t seem right)



Okay.. on to the Delicious Ghirardelli Mocha Buttercream Frosting.


Recipe


Ingredients


source: Ghirardelli Wrapper


4 ounces (1 baking bar) Ghirardelli Unsweetened Chocolate


2 tsp granulated instant coffee


2 tbsp boiling water


2/3 cup butter


2 cups confectioners' sugar


1/3 cup milk


1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract



Directions


Melt the chocolate.


Stir occasionally until the chocolate is smooth.


Dissolve the instant coffee granules in the boiling water.


Stir the coffee mixture into the chocolate and set aside.


In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until fluffy.


Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth.


Add the melted chocolate and mix until well combined.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge ~ Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

 

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Suita of Suita's world – life and food.  Suita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

Yah Yah… I couldn’t make it.  I really wanted to. But couldn’t. I even had the flavors all planned out. Vanilla sponge cake with coconut and pineapple ice cream with a pineapple filling. 

My excuse. My move was a week later then planned.

Good news. I have a new oven. Hip Hip hooray!! Now what fun it is going to be to adjust to this one! I don’t mind though. I love new.

So, Daring Bakers, as much as I wanted to make my own ice cream… I must chuck it up… and on to the next month. Can’t wait to see what it is.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge ~ Chocolate Pavlovas

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard


Too bad I couldn’t participate. June was a busy month. With out of town company and preparing to move for July…plus a birthday. We was a tad bit busy in this house.


I do want to try Chocolate Pavlovas though. Anything chocolate is right up my alley.


Check out Dawn’s blog Doable and Delicious to see how delicious they look! Thanks Dawn, when I try them I will let you know how I made out!


In the meantime, I need to collect some boxes to get to packing…..

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Elmo’s World!

My son turned 2! Unbelievable..just seems like yesterday I held his little tiny body in my hands! Hey, they certainly grow fast. Don’t blink!


My eldest son was tired of fondant. However, I had already decided that I was going to do buttercream anyway. I wanted to do something different but familiar to him. I researched Umizoomi…which is a show that he loves and so do I. But Umizoomi is better in fondant. Then I thought most two year olds love Elmo and it is so familiar. So here is Elmo.


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The hardest thing about Elmo was getting the buttercream a great red color. I think next time I will buy it! I also wanted to give him a birthday hat but I was running out of time. I did get a little sloppy with it as you see a dollop of buttercream by his feet.


My son was getting very impatient with me. He would come in the kitchen and demand his cake. He had every right too, after all it was 9pm. How come I can get everyone else’s cake ready in time but not my own child's?


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Anyway, it was so worth the wait. The fur was the most fun!


When Elmo was cut his flavor was a great lemon cake with raspberry filling. I tried a new recipe that was inspired by someone named Mellissa who gave me a few tips. That’s all I have. Mellissa..I don’t know if she has a blog that I can refer you too, but anyway, I will share what I have adapted from her tips on this lemon cake. Now, before I share the recipe..I must note that this cake was more of a pound cake texture which surprised me. But it was good. It had a great moist crumb, and the density of it proved very good to support the cake.


Lemon Pound Cake




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Ingredients


5 cups cake flour


3 1/3 cups sugar


2 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder


2 tsp salt


1 cup lemon juice (the bottle was fine but fresh is best)


1 cup unsalted butter


16oz plain yogurt (i used fat free)


1 tbsp lemon extract


5 whole eggs


Zest of 4 lemons ( I wanted a really strong flavor so I am sure you can cut this down to 2 or 3)



Directions


Sift flour then add other dry ingredients and mix with whisk.


Add eggs, butter and sour cream.


Beat on high for 2 mins


Stop mixer and add lemon extract and lemon juice and zest.


Beat for another 2 mins on high.


Pour into pans.


Bake at 350 for approx 45 mins or until cake tester comes out clean.


This recipe makes 10 cups of batter(which is ALOT). You can cut it in half if you need a two layer 8 inch cake only.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Naruto is the man!!

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And this mad almost defeated me. His top half wouldn’t support his bottom half. I had to give him new bottoms!! I was truly sad because I did an awesome job on his bottom half!!

I contemplated just using his top half but I thought it would be freaky if it was half of Naruto… isn’t he supposed to be awesome…? So having half of him..well…wouldn’t that show his defeat?

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My next challenge is that I didn’t have the green dye that I wanted for the top of the cake. So I was not happy with it.. To me it didn’t flow with the rest of the colors.  But the cake must go on.

My next challenge was because I gave him a new bottom half he didn’t have the days of drying time he should have. So I had to form the legs on the cake! Oh gosh, I don’t like putting gumpaste figures in the fridge. Never have and don’t want to try. The cake needed to stay firm to support him. Technically I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I cranked up the air condition and let the entire cake sit next to it. See, my house was hot.  My central air wasn’t keeping the house cold.  It caused much condensation issues with my fondant. Normally its no problem when the fondant condenses..you just have to stick it in front of a fan or real cool area and let it dry. It can be scary because even as I applied the fondant it was sweating.  It was hard for me to smooth.

 

I had tried a different technique with this cake called “Cake Speckle”. I wasn’t sure if the not so smoothness of my fondant was because of this. I will definitely do a post about cake speckle soon. Look out for it! But here is a peek of what it looks like! This was chocolate cake with chocolate buttercreme and strawberry filling!!

 

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In this end.. the cake came together. Naruto sat on top..well until we got the cake to the destination.. then under him a crack formed!!  It was sweltering!

Bottom line..again…I learned from this cake. Would I do things differently next time I have a cake like this to do? Yes indeed! Working in the summer with fondant is certainly an experience!! And we have a whole lotta summer left!!

Here’s a treat for you.. the recipe for the Chocolate Buttercreme! Hand’s down the best I have tasted!

Chocolate Buttercream

Recipe Source: Recipezaar

*Kittencal’s Buttercream Icing*

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

2 2/3 cups confectioner’s sugar

1/3 cup half and half cream or milk or whipping cream (I prefer heavy whipping cream)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

~ADD ONE OF THE FOLLOWING~

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (for light)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (for medium) ( I use this)

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (for dark rich)

 

    Directions

    Cream the butter in a small bowl.

    Blend in the desired amount of cocoa powder *

    Then add vanilla, confectioners sugar*, alternately with the cream.

    Beat with an electric mixer, until the desired texture is achieved.

     

    *Note..I sifted my cocoa powder and confectioners sugar together then added them prior to vanilla and cream.

    This recipe makes 2 cups. Ah, I’d like to add that you may want to double it because it is highly likely that you will be “tasting” this a bit more then usual! Make sure you have some for the cake!!