Friday, April 29, 2011

It’s Official.

Pasties are not my friend. Unless I am eating them.

Okay.. wait.. the other official news in that Prince William has married Kate Middleton. So we have a new Princess. And although I wasn’t to gaga about the wedding, the bug bite me last night. I wanted to see her dress, I wanted to see the chemistry between them. I wanted to eat British food. See where that went? Wedding…dress…food…? Okay, moving on.

Turns out I did a cooking class in my first year of high school. I had to either do cooking, sewing or art. I choice art for the rest of my high school years because my goodness, cooking was just not my forte. :/

I dug around for my old Food and Nutrition class note book. Voila!

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Yeah… I still have it. Looks as if I really was attentive in class. Colored the banner and shield with my red pen. Cute.

Anyway, I decided to make something quick and British. Most of the recipes in my Food and Nutrition class book are British as was my teacher Ms Grey.

Cheese and Onion Pasties.  Oh yum. These things were delicious! Oh I was happy cause I was about to make me something British and delighful and in celebration of the Royal nuptials!

FAIL!!!

I am not great at dough. I think I don’t go into making it with a positive attitude so it bombs on me from inception. Anyway, I tried. And I will keep trying. Usually my problem is that the butter melts in my hands and I never get the breadcrumb effect when I rub it in the flour mixture. This time.. that didn’t happen. It was perfect! But.. my dough was brittle. I added more cold water to it but I felt like I was going to destroy the texture of the dough. Anyway, I somehow got through it and made something to resemble a dough like consistency!

Then I put my pasties in the oven only to pull them out and see that my seams busted.

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Oozing out of the seams was cheese and onion. Onion and cheese oozing. Although this sounds delicious it just didn’t look pretty.

My faith in my dough making abilities dwindled more.

It won’t stop me though. I love a challenge. I will keep doughing until I get it right. In the meantime.. you must try these delicious cheese and onion pasties.

Shortcrust Pastry Recipe:

source: the food and nutrition class of Ms Grey

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tbsp margarine (I used butter)

2 tbsp shortening

1/4 tsp salt

2 to 3 tablespoons ice cold water.

Directions:

Sift flour and salt into a bowl

Add in margarine and shortening and cut it in with a round bladed knife.

Rub in with fingertips until mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

Add 2 tbsp water and stir with knife. If it doesn’t start to bind(form into large lumps) then add a little more water.

When the mixture starts to bind, gather together by hand and form into a smooth ball.

Wrap up in cling wrap and set in fridge or use immediately for recipe of your choice.

Cheese and Onion Pasties Recipe:

source: the food and nutrition class of Ms Grey

 

1 cup Shortcrust Pastry

2 ounces of grated cheese

1 small onion, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 beaten egg

 

Directions

Roll out pastry to 1/8 thick and cut into 6 circles (use the lid of a jar as a guide)

Chop onion and mix with grated cheese and half of beaten egg

Add salt and pepper

Damp the edges of the pastry circles and divide the mixture evenly into the centre of each

Bring the edges together and press firmly to seal and pinch or flute to neaten

Brush sides with beaten eggs to glaze and prick once or twice.

Place on lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes to lightly brown.

 

For your Pastry Kings and Queens out there that make this recipe.. please feel free to share the link to a picture and share tips in my comments! I love a tip or two or three :)

And do enjoy it. These were DELICIOUS!! It was quite fitting to have these in honor of our new Royal Highness!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Metemgee (Metem)… Can I call it Heaven Stew?

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I was first introduced to this Guyanese dish over a friends house. I was intrigued by it. It didn’t taste at all like I imagined. And I imagined it wouldn’t taste that great because of how it looked. But you can’t judge a book by its cover…or in this case a stew by its ingredients.

Push forward a year or two and my mother in law served it to us when we were over for dinner. I was elated because I love it. She had a few different ingredients then the one I first had but it was even better.

I began the hunt for the Metemgee aka Metem recipe. Now I hunted for it because just as you ask anybody for the recipe you get “Oh, I put a little of this and some of that and then you do this and add that…” Since I bake I love having a base recipe with measurements that I can start with. Then of course I can play with it after to make it suit my taste. I never could get it.  One of hubby’s aunt kindly emailed me a recipe for it! I was anxious to try it…but life got in the way. I then lost it in email inbox cyberspace and never asked for it again. Then…then I saw it.

I love perusing Jehan can Cook blog. Jehan’s blog is based on Guyanese cuisine. Its a great blog as hubby’s family is Guyanese and I tell you, their food is awesome! So tasty and so flavorful…I have literally been introduced to a whole new world through Guyanese food.

Because I tend to cook some Bermudian dishes for hubby and kids I would like to be able to cook Guyanese food for them as well. I know I won’t be able to get it just as his mom does. I have already come to terms that I will never get my mom’s famous Scallop potatoes cooked just like she does. So I am not even trying.. I just wanted to be able to make it and make it taste good!

Jehan shared her recipe in which I used the exact same ingredients. The only thing I did differently was change the order of how I added them to the pot. I am going to share my way of doing this. But if you want to see how she differs the recipe then please check out the link I will provide. I thank her for sharing this. And I can’t wait to try some more of her recipes!

Metemgee Recipe:

recipe: adapted from Jehan Can Cook

1 tablespoon oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves minced garlic

1 14 ounce can of coconut cream

3 cups water

10 sprigs of thyme

2 scallion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pound salted codfish

1/2 pound cassava, cut into 3 inch pieces ( Note.. cassava here in the USA is also called YUCCA)

2 white sweet potato, medium size and cut into 3 inch pieces

2 plantains

 

and…

Dumplings

Recipe:

this is to be added during last 10 minutes of cooking Metemgee

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup self rising flour

1/4 sugar

1/2 cup milk

dash of salt

For dumplings… mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Add milk and mix. Take some dough and roll in palm of hands (should be enough to fit in palm) then form a log like shape.  Do this with the rest of dough and set them aside.

 

Directions:

In large pot heat oil and add onions. Sautee until tender about 4 minutes and add garlic. Sautee for additional minute.

Add coconut cream, water, thyme and scallion and pepper and bring to a boil.

Cut up salted cod in large chunks and add to pot. Add cassava(yucca) and simmer for 35 minutes.

Add plantain and sweet potato. Simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.

Add prepared dumplings and cover the pot. Do not take cover of pot for 10 minutes to allow dumplings to steam.

Turn off pot and remove dumplings.

Metemgee is ready to serve with your dumplings!!

 

I am sure people prepare this dish in many different ways. If you have a helpful tip please share in the comments. I found this way to work for me. It was great to have Jehan’s recipe to start me making this delicious dish. It will be in regular rotation in my household.

Monday, April 25, 2011

More Brownies.

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These are good. I haven’t decided which brownie recipe I like the best though. I always make these brownies but wanted to give another recipe a fair chance.

I was very pleased. Even though I made some changes. Yes, sometimes change is good. In this case change was very good because it made me a believer that I can enjoy a less fudgy brownie.

This recipe makes a cake like brownie. But not to cakey. I am not a huge fan of brownies with cake texture. So if you are like me and love a fudgy brownie then you may like this recipe too.

What I also love about this recipe is the cracked up surface. It has the soft almost cake like with a hint of fudge and crunchy top that makes this brownie mouth pleasing.

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Recipe:

source: adapted from Kittencal’s Extreme Chocolate Brownies

2/3 cups butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

4 cups (24 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Grease 9 x 13 pan

In large bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Bring butter, sugar and water to a boil in saucepan. Stir constantly until butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Approximately 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 4 cups chocolate chips until melted. Tip: Let chips rest in butter mixture for about 2 minutes then mix. This allows chips to soften and you will get less lumps.

Beat in vanilla to the chocolate mixture.

In separate bowl beat eggs then add them gradually to the chocolate mixture. Mix well.

Add chocolate mixture to the flour/baking soda/salt. Mix well to combine.

Spread in prepared pan.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Be careful not to over bake!

Tip: Best way to cut brownies is with a plastic knife while warm. :)

Enjoy!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bunny Bait! Sure to catch you a bunny!

source : Sing for your Supper

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So I spotted this bait over at Sing for your Supper and I absolutely had to make it for the kids tonight.

As I type they are enjoying it. They helped to make it too which made it all the more exciting!

I had candy melts here which I used as the binder for the popcorn and the pretzels and m&m’s. So good. This is the perfect treat for your salty and sweet craving!

I.can’t.stop.eating.it. 

So head over to Amy’s blog and check out the recipe!

Really, Amy… thank you for sharing this great find! This will be a traditional at my house for years to come!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

FINALLY! Hot Cross Buns!

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Every year on Good Friday when I was growing up we always had Hot Cross Buns and in between them we stuffed Codfish cakes. I would smother ketchup on mine and enjoy. Couldn’t stop at one either. Two was always enough because they were filling… but your mouth wanted more.

Everybody made their buns different. And those who made buns were always mighty proud. We always bought our buns from the bakery! It wasn’t anything wrong with that because the bakery buns were good too!

Now that I have my own family and I bake, I wanted to make my own buns. Since my mother doesn’t make buns… but makes a great farine pie and other Bermuda goodies that will be featured on this blog soon.. I had to find a recipe that I was going to keep.

I mentioned on an oh so popular social networking website that I wanted to make some hot cross buns and a good friend of mine sent me a recipe.

This good friend, Juliana Swan… I used to work with at a hotel in Bermuda. She was like our mom of the front desk! Juliana mostly worked nights but when we would come on for first shift she had the front desk in tip tip order for “her girls". It was great when we had the odd occasion of working with her during the day if she had to fill in for someone. We would tell her our “problems” and she was always more then willing to offer advise.

Now years later Juliana has left me a tip top recipe for Hot Cross Buns. Just one more thing that I have to thank her for…

I feel honored that she shared and allowed me to share with you.

Recipe:

source: Juliana Swan

“Never Fail” Hot Cross Buns

Mix together:

3 cups of hot milk

1 1/2 cup butter Crisco sticks (I used regular Crisco), cut up in pieces

2 1/2 cups sugar (I used half brown sugar)

3 tsp salt

 

In 3/4 cup warm water add:

3 tsp sugar, then dissolve/stir in 3 yeast packages (4 preferred)

Let rise

 

Beat 4 eggs

Mix together in large bowl :

12 cups of flour (5 lbs)

1 box raisins or currants (optional)

2 tsp allspice (suggested pumpkin pie spice as substitution)

4 1/2 tsp cinnamon

 

Add all tree liquids to flour mixture and knead for 15 minutes in to a sticky ball.

Let rise in warm place for approximately 1 hour

Roll into small balls.

Make crosses with knife.

Let rise again.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes

::This makes 3 dozen buns::

 

 

Optional… Brush with melted butter and/or dust with icing sugar.  I made an icing sugar from Food.com and it complimented the Hot Cross Buns very well!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip.

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For those of you that have never heard of Buffalo Chicken Dip then you have seriously been living under a rock. Or on one. Like you, 7 years ago I had never heard of this stuff. Then I just kept seeing “Crack dip recipe” everywhere. Seriously, everybody would ask for the stuff. I decided to investigate. Saw the recipe.. it looked good but I never tried it until this year. Now I am a fan. And if you have an 11 year old son like mine then you need to make it and hide it. Serve to him in portions. My son will eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.

Buffalo Chicken Dip aka “Crack dip” is very addictive. It can be enjoyed with crusty French bread, crackers, celery or corn chips. Any way you chose to dip it you will enjoy it.

Mostly the dip is cooked on the stovetop in a large sauce pan or frying pan. I did my dip in the Crockpot. Honestly, throwing all the ingredients in the Crockpot was just plain old easier. I do enjoy it both ways … but there is something about having to do little work and obtaining a big taste that is great in my books.

Here’s the recipe and what I did…

Recipe:

adapted from: Food.com

2 10 ounce cans of chicken (or you can cook some chicken breast and dice them yourselves)

2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese

3/4 cup of Franks Red Hot Sauce (you can use any hot sauce but Frank has a buffalo sauce to.die.for.)

1/2 cup Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup Blue Cheese Dressing

2 cups mild cheddar cheese

 

Directions:

Throw all ingredients in Crockpot for one hour on high. Then mix ingredients and switch Crockpot settings to warm for 1 hour then it is ready to serve! You can keep it in the Crockpot on warm for easier self serve plus it will keep the dip warm.

 

If you wish to do this on the stove check on the Food.com link for directions!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Care for Baked Pancakes?

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Bueller…Bueller?


Usually when you add baked in front of any popular food entree that is enjoyed fried you get a few pauses and raised eyebrows.


Baked pancakes have been around forever but I know they are rarely made in my household. I have never had them growing up, nor over anyone’s house… or heck… never seen them on a restaurant menu either.


I have been making these for the past year because sometime I don’t feel like looking at my stove. Simple as that.


This past weekend, I had guest staying over from out of the country. I knew I was going to make them pancakes before they had to get on their early flight home. Baked Pancakes would allow me to still enjoy the morning with them without slaving over a hot griddle.


Well… they liked the baked pancakes. Keep in mind I feel that these pancakes are pretty much just a vessel. I would definitely put powdered sugar on them or syrup. I add a twist to them by adding a brown sugar syrup. Yeah.. I know.. totally defeats the whole healthy baked better for you pancake. Right? Listen.. I said baked.. I never mentioned healthy. Some things you just gotta enjoy and let the guilt or the gym hit you afterwards.


This is for you Jenita.


Recipe:


source: adapted from Food.com


Ingredients


1/4 cup butter


1/2 cup flour


1/2 cup milk


2 eggs, beaten




Directions


Preheat oven to 425 degrees


Melt butter in an 8" or 9" pie pan ( I melt butter in microwave)


While that's melting, mix together the flour, milk and 2 beaten eggs.


The batter will be lumpy


Pour over the melted margarine


DO NOT MIX.


Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until sides rise and middle is cooked


I usually get 4 to 6 servings!


While pancake is baking I whip up 3/4 cup of brown sugar with 1 tsp vanilla and 2 tbsp water. This makes a thick brown sugar syrup. I pour on pancake once out of oven. If this is too much feel free to cut syrup recipe in half.


I also have to add. The funny thing about this recipe is that the shape of your baked pancake will always be different! It rises any which way it wants.. then deflates once out of oven! Its truly funny to watch.


Enjoy with your favorite fruits or sausages, bacon, eggs or all!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cake Updates! Got to keep them coming!

 

Cake Updates

Who doesn’t love Coach? I know I do. So when asked to do a coach purse cake I jumped at the opportunity. She asked that I model the cake after her very own favorite purse. Also, that a picture of her daughter be added and something that represented she loves to work out.

Score….

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I love the zipper!

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This cake was fashioned to look Phenix’s pet. She has a Dwarf Rabbit. I didn’t even know there was such a thing! But with some pictures I was able to carve and paint this red velvet cake to look like her pet!

rabbit

 

For an awesome Sweet 16 party at Le Fais Do Do, Atlanta. The colors requested were Purple and Gold. The design was all me!  It was the first time I made dragees. I needed them to be different sizes and I ran them threw some White Sparkle Luster dust. Beautiful. Also a first was using Isomalt to make the gems that are on the second tier. What fun are those!

This is one of the largest cakes I have made so far! This cake was heavy!! I had fun doing the ruffles too!

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My best friend had her birthday party at an Ethiopian club.  The setting was perfect for this…

selam

 

 

I love baby shower cakes! I had the awesome job of doing 3 recently!

Another purple beauty! A belly cake!!

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with cupcakes too….

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This one is from my phone.. oops… how I did a cake and totally forgot to take pictures with my digital point and shoot!??!!

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Want to see the diapers?

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I also had a request to do a past design. I put a spin on it.

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Well… with summer coming I am going to take some time to test out new recipes. We shall see if they work for me. I am looking forward to it.. and I am sure my family is too.

Behold… its Peanut Butter Cookies

again.

 

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But these ones are an old favorite in my house.

While in high school I knew someone named Anna. Anna and I have lost touch over the years. Yeah, can you imagine losing touch with someone when there is all these social networking sites going on. Well, Anna was on Facebook, then she wasn’t. So I have no clue where she is or what she is doing.

I could probably ask some other high school friends that I am in contact with. But for some reason I think Anna doesn’t want to be found. I mean we loss touch before. Found each other. Loss touch again and found each other once more. Now well, you get the picture.

I have fond memories of Anna and visiting her at her home. Amongst those memories are her peanut butter cookies. They were really good and I hounded her for the recipe.

She gave in :)

I have the recipe on a old yellow lined legal pad paper. Its crumpled up and you can see the creases in it more then the writing on it. But it is good enough to see Anna’s delicate cursive writing… good enough to see her recipe.

I don’t know if this is truly her recipe. Not sure where she got it from. So, because of that.. I will call this recipe her recipe.

Anna’s Peanut Butter Cookies

Recipe:

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup sugar (and extra in plate to roll dough in after shaping)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 

Directions:

Stir together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a mixer bowl beat butter for 30 seconds.

Add peanut butter and sugars.  Beat until fluffy.

Add egg and vanilla and beat well. 

Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture. Beat until well combined.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in a dish with granulated sugar. 

Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. 

Place tines of fork in sugar and criss-cross the batter. 

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Cool about 1 minute before removing to a wire rack.

Makes 48. (I somehow only get 32)