Friday, July 30, 2010
I do a lot of browsing of other blogs, especially at night with the laptop sitting in my lap. And in case you hadn't noticed, there's a whole passel of food blogs out there. Most of them are average and then every once in a while you come across a real gem. That's what I found at http://vanillakitchen.blogspot.com/
She had this marvelous strawberry shortcake that I couldn't resist making. The presentation is a bit more elegant that the usual shortcake. That's what I love about it, it looks so gosh dang pretty.
1 package of frozen puff pastry cups
1 can of whipped cream
Ingredients for the strawberries:
½ pound strawberries, washed, hulled & chopped
2 TB white sugar
1 TB fresh lemon juice
a splash or two of pure vanilla extract
It’s best to get the strawberries done first as you want them to sit for a while at room temp before serving. I like to let mine sit for at least an hour or two before serving (room temp).
Ingredients for White Chocolate Ganache:
a small saucepan or double boiler
14 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
1-2 TB butter
(you can halve this recipe as this makes a lot). Melt white chocolate, heavy cream, and extract over a double boiler. Do not boil. You need to stir this A LOT. It will take a long time before it gets to a thick consistency. Now if you want a little bit of shine to your Ganache add some butter into it just after you take it off the heat. When it’s melted then add butter and take off heat immediately. Stir to combine butter completely. Keep stirring. And stirring. I like to let my Ganache sit a bit before using; the longer it sits the thicker it gets.
Purchase frozen puff pastry cups and bake according to package directions. Fill each cup with marinated strawberries, then top with the warm chocolate ganache, then top with freshly whipped cream, then devour! The puff pastry cups do not keep well overnight, so it's best to eat them right up, but I think you have no problems with that.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Little did I know when I purchased that fabric. That it would sit in the corner of our home office for the next two and half years, tormenting me. I made every excuse possible not to begin cutting into that bolt of expensive material for fear I would make a terrible mistake.
Yes, I realize how pathetic that is. I had become wimpy Moogie. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I came to my senses. I was no longer going to let a bolt of fabric intimidate me. So I picked up my scissors and made my first cut. It was all a breeze from there. And I not so humbly wallowed in Pap's well deserved praise.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
These are so gosh dang delicious. I think y'all need to hurry over to my house, sit a spell, and enjoy a big old slice. Okay... I reckon y'all need directions. So go to ol lady Compton's old house and make a right, take the pond road for a while, then turn left where Bubba's pet pig Bessie got mashed by the semi, then keep on driving to the big rock, go south a piece (if you get to the fork you have gone too far) there will be a dirt road you cant see and it will be the house over yonder. I'll be waitin for ya...
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 (18.25-ounce) package German chocolate cake mix
4 large eggs, divided
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange chopped pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
2. Stir together cake mix, 1 egg, butter, and toasted pecan; press mixture into bottom of a lightly greased 13-x9-inch pan.
3. Beat sugar, cream cheese, and remaining 3 eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour powdered sugar mixture over batter in pan, spreading to edges.
4. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour. Let cool 1 hour or until completely cool. Cut cake into 2-1/2 to 3-inch squares.
German Chocolate Cheesecake
Monday, July 26, 2010
I didn't want to wait till fall to make this fabulous soup. The temperature could just do whatever it damned pleased, I wanted Roasted Corn and Bacon Chowder, and I wanted it NOW!!
10 ears roasted corn
2 TBS good olive oil
18 slices of bacon, cooked (buy the good stuff)
3 large celery ribs, chopped finely
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 baking potatoes, peeled, and diced into small pieces
4 cups whole milk
2 cans creamed corn (or 1 cup heavy cream can be substituted)
1. Preheat grill. Husk corn and desilk. Brush with olive oil.
2. When grill is preheated turn on low and grill corn turning frequently for 10 minutes. Some kernels will be browned. Do not let them char or burn. Transfer to a plate and cool.
3. When cool scrape corn kernels off cob using a sharp knife. Invert a small bowl in a large wide bowl. Stand ear of corn on the stalk end. Holding the ear with one hand at the top, scrape the blade end of a sharp knife from top to bottom of the ear. Kernels will come off the cob and fall into the bowl. Scrape the corn cob clean. Set kernels aside.
4. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay out bacon on 2 large rimmed sheet pans. Bake for 20-30 minutes, switching position of baking sheets half way through baking. When crisp remove from oven and cool. Do not discard grease from 1 pan.
5. Cut celery and onion and add to large stock pot. When bacon is done add bacon grease to stock pot with onions and celery. Cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
6. Add all grilled corn kernels but 1/2 cup to stock pot. Add potatoes, milk and creamed corn. On gentle heat bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
7. Ladle into bowls and add extra corn and bacon to garnish along with a little fresh parsley if desired.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I must say.... it did not disappoint!
1 large bottle of Dry Red Wine
½ Cup Brandy (I used Peach flavor)
½ Cup Triple Sec
¼ Cup Lemon Juice (I used freshly squeezed)
½ Cup Frozen Lemonade Concentrate
½ Cup Frozen Grape Juice Concentrate
½ Cup Orange Juice
¼ Cup Fine White Sugar
2 Cups Lemon-Lime Soda (optional)
Fruit, sliced as a floating garnish:
1 Lemon, sliced into thin rounds
1 Lime, sliced into thin rounds
1 Orange, sliced into small wedges
(I also added 1 Peach, sliced into small wedges, and several small chunks of fresh pineapple.)
8 Maraschino Cherries
1. In a very large pitcher or bowl, mix wine, brandy, Triple Sec, juices (fresh and frozen concentrates), and sugar.
2. Slice fruit and float in punch mixture.
3. Refrigerate well chilled (or overnight, for best flavor).
4. Mix with Soda (lemon-lime or Club soda), just before serving for fizzy sangria.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I have a bit of a confession to make – I hate the sweltering heat of summer. Yes, I know I live in Atlanta. But this weather makes me tired, irritable, and melts me into a sticky puddle every time I venture outside.
For example, today the temperature reached a lovely 98 degrees. The sun's rays poured down through the cloudless blue sky, heating the pavement to a temperature that would blister and burst unprotected feet. I know that to be true because I burnt the dickens on the bottom of both feet while at the pool. Lesson learned; always wear sandals to the edge of pool.
I realize there are those who seek out such sultry weather. But on a day like today, I like to pretend I'm snuggled inside a warm (well equipped with ... TV, cable, high speed Internet, and lots of yummy food) cabin on a snow capped mountain. My hands wrapped around a mug of hot chocolate spiked with some sort of liqueur and a good book in my lap. Now comes the "but" part. I only want to be at this magical world of snow for one day.... two at the most. Anything more than that, I'll go bonkers from the cold, early dark nights of winter.
Okay, enough of my meteoroligical intolerance. I'm just going to chill out on the recliner with my little burned piggies.
Ingredients for Cake:
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup cola soft drink
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter, softened
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Ingredients for Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup cola soft drink
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Directions for Cake Batter:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange chopped pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
2. Combine cola and buttermilk.
3. Beat butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat at low speed just until blended.
4. Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with cola mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in marshmallows. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13 x 9 inch pan.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Pour Classic Cola Frosting over warm cake; sprinkle with pecans.
Directions for Frosting:
1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar and vanilla. Use immediately.
Cucumbers are another of summers fresh bounty that I have been enjoying a lot lately. It's because we have a bartering system going on with our neighbor. We give him tomatoes and then he gives us cucumbers.
I really like cucumbers on warm summer days as they are nice and juicy and cold from the fridge. But every once in a while it is nice to try something different. And this cool and creamy cucumber salad is a great way to do so. (makes 4 servings)
1 large cucumber (sliced)
1/4 cup red onion (sliced)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 handful dill (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix everything and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Making this recipe gave me an opportunity to shop and browse at the liqueur store. I felt like a kid in the candy store and wanted one of each. Sometimes, I just buy mini-bottles of assorted things that I want to try. Then if I don't like it, then I don't have a whole bottle just sitting and collecting dust.
Ingredients for Spiked Pineapple Cupcakes:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 tablespoons rum
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup sweet-and-sour mix (recipe follows)
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 tablespoons blue Curacao
A few drops blue food coloring
Ingredients for Rum Pineapple Topping:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons rum
10 pineapple rings
Ingredients for Finishing:
spiked whipped cream (recipe follows)
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut (toasted or untoasted)
10 maraschino cherries
Ingredients for Sweet-and-Sour Mix
1 cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup lime juice
Ingredients for Spiked Whipped Cream:
3 cups (1 pint) heavy cream, cold
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons liquor, wine, or liqueur
Food coloring, if desired
Directions for Cupcake Batter:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10 ramekins or one cupcake pan. (Pineapple rings can fit into most ramekins, large cupcake cups, or mini cake molds; or cut pineapple into wedges to fit your pan.)
2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs. Stir in vanilla, rum, pineapple juice, and sweet-and-sour mix. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Transfer one-third of the batter into a separate bowl and stir in blue Curacao and food coloring.
3. For the topping: In a saucepan over medium heat, stir butter and brown sugar 3 minutes, or until melted. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Drop a spoonful of sauce and a pineapple ring into each ramekin or cupcake cup. Spoon yellow batter into pans. Refrigerate 30 minutes (chilling keeps the colored layers separate). Add blue batter, filling each cup almost to the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
4. For the Sweet-and-Sour Mix: Boil 1 cup water; stir in sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and add lemon and lime juices. Using a funnel, pour into an airtight bottle and refrigerate. Store chilled up to 1 month. Makes about 3 cups.
5. For the Spiked Whipped Cream: In a mixing bowl, beat cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in liqueur with a rubber spatula. Tint with a few drops of food coloring. Makes about 3 cups.
6. Finish: Loosen cooled cakes with knife. Press a tray to the cupcake pan or ramekins; flip over to unmold. Top each with spiked whipped cream, coconut, and a maraschino cherry.
Makes 10-12 cupcakes.
Recipe adapted from Booze Cakes.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Ingredients for Brownie Layer:
6 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for Truffle Cheesecake Layer:
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounce package) Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips, divided
1/2 teaspoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch springform pan.
2. For Brownie Layer, stir together melted butter, 1-1/4 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add 2 eggs; stir until blended. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt; blend well. Spread in prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until brownie layer pulls away from sides of pan.
3. Meanwhile for Truffle Cheesecake Layer, beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar with electric mixer on medium speed in large bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in 4 eggs, heavy cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well blended.
4. Set aside 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Place remaining chips in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at Medium (50%) 1-1/2 minutes or until chips are melted and smooth when stirred. Gradually blend melted chocolate into cheesecake batter.
5. Remove Brownie Layer from oven and immediately spoon cheesecake mixture over brownie. Return to oven; continue baking 45 to 50 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven to wire rack. With knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Cool to room temperature. Remove side of pan.
6. Place remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at Medium 30 seconds or until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Drizzle over top of cheesecake. Cover; refrigerate several hours until cold. Garnish as desired. Cover and refrigerate leftover cheesecake.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Ingredients for Vanilla Cream Filling:
2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Reserve 30 vanilla wafers; pulse remaining vanilla wafers in a food processor 8 to 10 times or until coarsely crushed. (Yield is about 2-1/2 cups.) Stir together crushed vanilla wafers and butter until blended. Firmly press on bottom, up sides, and onto lip of a 9-inch pie plate.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool 30 minutes or until completely cool.
3. Arrange half of banana slices over bottom of crust. Prepare Vanilla Cream Filling, and spread 3.4-cup hot filling over bananas; top with 20 reserved vanilla wafers. Spread 3/4 cup hot filling over vanilla wafers, and top with remaining half of banana slices. Spread remaining hot filling (about 1 cup) over banana slices. (Filling will be about 1/4-inch higher than top edge of crust.
4. Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread meringue over hot filling, sealing edges.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and let cool on a wire rack 1 hour or until completely cool. Coarsely crush remaining 10 vanilla wafers, and sprinkle over top of pie. Cover and chill 4 hours.
Directions for Vanilla Cream Filling:
1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture reaches the thickness of chilled pudding. (It will just begin to bubble and will be thick enough to hold soft peaks when whisk is lifted.) Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Use immediately.
For my version: Using 4 (6 ounce containers), I cut the recipe into 1/3. I followed the directions for the temperature and times.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I'd seen this contest announcement two weeks ago and decided then not to enter. To tell the truth, I'm not that good at making up my own recipes. And my life is busy enough right now, I didn't want the added stress of creating a new cupcake recipe. But, today, I happened upon the contest page again and gave it a second thought.
Mmmm.... the mystery ingredient was tea. Here again, I have another confession. I'm not crazy about the taste of tea, any tea. Why would I want to get involved in this competition? My answer is, I have no idea. How could tea added to a recipe satisfy my chocolate dessert craving?
Magically, an hour later, I found myself at the grocery store browsing the tea section. There were many to choose from, but none of them really made me excited. Just as I was about to throw in the towel and leave. I noticed a box that mentioned chocolate and raspberry truffle. Whoa.... mama! As a lover of decadent desserts, this tea now had my attention.
So I created a cupcake batter incorporating the tea by infusing it into the milk. I also added a chocolate ganche filling to the baked cupcake. Finally, I capped it with a mountain of raspberry Chantilly.
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted, plus additional for dusting pans
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
9 large egg whites
2 Kalahari Raspberry Truffle tea sachets
1. Arrange oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
2. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In small bowl, combine milk and vanilla.
3. In a small saucepan, add milk and bring to a slow simmer. Remove from heat and add 2 tea sachets. Let steep for 5 minutes, then remove tea bags. Mix in vanilla and sugar, let milk cool.
4. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar on moderate speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add 1/2 of flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add milk mixture and beat until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined, then raise speed to moderately high and beat 10 seconds. Transfer to large bowl.
4. In clean bowl of electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.
5. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into batter to lighten. Gently fold in remaining 2/3 of egg whites until just incorporated. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.
6. Bake until tops are springy to touch and testers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pans on racks 30 minutes.
Ingredients for Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 pint heavy cream
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup raspberry jam
Directions for Whipped Cream Frosting:
Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add jam, whip until stiff peaks form. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.
Ingredients for chocolate ganache:
3/4 cup heavy cream
9 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate or bittersweet chocolate
1. Put the cream in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and immediately sprinkle the chocolate into the cream. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The heat of the cream should melt the chocolate. Gently stir the ganache until smooth. If the chocolate is not melting, place over very low heat, stirring often, until melted, taking care not to scorch the chocolate. Scrape into an airtight container and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
To fill cupcakes, cut out a small cone shape from each, set aside pieces. Roll ganche into small balls that will fill each hole. Use reserved cupcake pieces to seal hole. Pipe on frosting and ENJOY!