Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday......Spring Haircuts!


Riley is getting ready for Spring
with a new Haircut!
Hope we do not get anymore snow!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dorie's Coconut Teacake

This week's selection comes from Carmen of Carmen Cooks . She chose Coconut Tea Cake for this week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe. Dorie mentions that it is a little dry from the regular cake that you may be used to. But, if your familiar with teacake you know this is the way it should be. This would be great with a berry compote.



I changed it up a bit by adding spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice...and in place of coconut milk,(which I didn't have on hand), I used buttermilk with coconut extract and lots of Meyer's Dark Rum. For the finishing touch....after baking I brushed with rum. Then drizzled white chocolate on top with toasted coconut to garnish.



I baked it in a Bundt pan and then sliced in thin. It turned out pretty good with all the changes.
We give this 4 glasses of milk,
for utter goodness!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Orange Tian DB

The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.
I had never heard of Tian before this. When I looked it up, I was coming up with savory layered items, such as Mexican dip. It turns out that it’s a layered dessert. In this citrusy version it is made up of a pate sablĂ©e with orange marmalade, a flavored (again with marmalade) and stabilized whipped cream, topped with fresh orange segments. It should have been garnishes with caramel sauce, but I ran out of time. I might make this again, but I wasn't totally thrilled.
Go check out the other interesting marmalades and beautiful Tians that many of my more Daring friends have made. The detailed challenge recipe can be found on Jennifer’s blog.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Getting Baked in Hawaii....I'm Jealous!

My Friends are in Hawaii right now on Spring Break.
I have to make a confession......
I couldn't be more jealous!
Look at that view above, and the beautiful blue water.
With the warm weather and sandy beaches,
It doesn't get much better than that!

Unless of course, your Cabana Boy brings you one of these!

This is my version of a Baked Hawaiian.


Most of you have probably had Baked Alaska at one point in your life. Well this is very similar and easy to put together. The hardest part is making the meringue. So if you want to skip that part, just add whip topping instead.


Assembly:

**For the bottom I used Pineapple Upside down cake, cutting it into a circle.

**On top of that a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, Then I placed it in the freezer for an hour

**Then a piped a glossy meringue to cover it, you can then broil it under your broiler. Or use a lovely browning touch , which will give you nice coverage.

**I served it with a caramel rum sauce, and garnished with pineapple chunks and pineapple leaves. Pineapples are now $2.25 in stores.

If you can't make it to Hawaii,

give this dessert a try!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dulce de Leche Duos

OMG......... Dulce de Leche? Yummo! Dulce de Leche in the cookie batter, then sandwiched between two cookies? These were delish for sure. As I said before, I make these recipes on the day of. So I am just finishing these and it is like 9:00 pm. I only had one half.......and now can't wait for tomorrow to try some more. I changed it up bit adding some chocolate fudge frosting in the middle. I should have added a little Sea Salt on top. That will be next time. Mine came out thicker than the other TWDers. Almost like a baby whoopie pie.

Most grocery stores now carry Dulce de Leche in a can, in the international aisle. Otherwise known as sweet milk in Spanish, like a milky caramel. But, if you can't find it, you can place a open can of sweetened condensed milk in a crock pot on low, overnight with about 2 inches of water.


Many thanks to Jodie of Beansy Loves Cake for hosting and selecting Dulce de Leche Duos as this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.


We give this 5 glasses of Milk
for utter goodness!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chocolate Raspberry Tart

This week it is Raspberries and Chocolate. What a wonderful combination. Many thanks to Rachelle of Mommy? I'm Hungry! for picking this recipe for our Tuesdays with Dorie choice this week. This was easy, simple, and delicious. I decided this week to go with my rectangular tart pan found at my hot spot, HomeGoods. It has a removable bottom which is great when it comes to easy out of the pan. And I couldn't help but add some white chocolate drizzle on top.

For the recipe check out Rachelle blog HERE.
We give this 4 glasses of milk.
for utter goodness!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

With St Patricks Day right around the corner, I'm baking up some Soda Bread. My soda bread has caraway seed in it , which is traditional. I have made so much soda bread in my life, I think I could do it in my sleep sometimes. I serve mine warm with Orange Marmalade, which is so awesome!


IRISH SODA BREAD

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tbl. of caraway seeds
Directions
**Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan, or a cast iron round pan.
**Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, seeds, and baking soda. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix just until moistened. Stir in butter. Pour into prepared pan.
**Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil for several hours, or overnight, for best flavor.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Colcannon for St. Patty's Day

Another beer demo this weekend, just in time for St. Patrick's Day. The Holland based Heineken was the sponsor of this event. Maybe because the bottle and company colors are green they decided to push it during this Holiday. It would be hard to come up with a April Tulip based theme, don't you think? When I first read the directions, I wasn't sure how it would turn out. But it was delicious and the beer really added to the flavor! It also had an interesting folklore that went along with it.




Colcannon, a traditional Irish dish associated with Halloween, is made with potatoes and savoy cabbage and served with a well of butter in its center. It’s simple and delicious and comes with folklore that I think some of my ladies will enjoy. The tale concerns the fate of unmarried women who would put the first and last spoonfuls of Halloween Colcannon into a stocking and hang it on their doors. Their shared belief was that the first man who walked through the door would become their husband.
The second bit of blarney revolved around the selection of a cabbage from that garden by a blindfolded, unmarried woman. The cabbage she selected would be used to make a Colcannon into which a ring was hidden. Of course, the person who found the ring would be the next to marry.

Colcannon

Ingredients
1 pound cabbage chopped
2 pound potatoes sliced
1 medium onion chopped
8 oz. Heineken
2 scallion chopped
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup butter
1 Tbl. Real Bacon Bits

Directions

**In a deep frying pan with 1 Tlb. of olive oil, layer the potatoes, onion, cabbage, in that order. Then add the beer , cover and simmer 2o minutes.
**When potatoes are tender, smashed them. Add the scallion. milk, butter, salt and pepper, continue to mix in.
**Add in the bacon bits, and serve up hot as a side dish!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Girl Scouts!

Our fearless leader Juliette Gordon Low


Today marks the 98th birthday of the organized group known as the Girl Scouts.
March 12th, commemorates the day in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low officially registered the organization's first 18 girl members in Savannah, Georgia. The group is still going strong after all these years with over 3 million members nation wide. More than 50 million American women enjoyed Girl Scouting during their childhood—and that number continues to grow as Girl Scouts of the USA continues to inspire, challenge, and empower girls everywhere. I am a lifetime member, and my daughters have been members since they were 5 years old.



My oldest daughter in 3rd grade Brownies.

The last few months have been the season for the girls to sell their boxes of delicious treats. Everyone has their favorites, and some even buy enough to put away into the freezer for special times. To savour at a later date.

If you have the time you can replicate these cookies. Some take more time then you would think, with their mixing, chilling, rolling,baking, assembling, and dipping.
Tired yet?

I was able to find one of the easier ones...
Do Si Do Peanut Butter Cookies
These are actually very tasty...Give them a try!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (courtesy of Recipes.com)
Ingredients:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup quick cooking oats
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


Directions:
1. In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir.
3. Using a cookie scoop, make uniform cookie dough balls and then cut them in half down the center. Roll each half into a ball and place them onto a greased baking sheet pressing each mound down with the palm of your hand to 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or until cookies are a light brown.
4. To Make Filling: Cream 3 tablespoons butter with the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and the cream. Fill the filling into a pastry bag or large ziplock bag (cutting the corner to make a make-shift pastry bag) and squeeze filling onto half of the cooled cookies, then top with the other half to form sandwiches. Enjoy!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blue Plate Meatloaf Anyone??

My family loves meatloaf. This is one meal I can get everyone to eat. And I make more then enough for leftover meatloaf sandwiches. The secret to anything made with ground meat is to add a little spinach to the mix, whether your making meatloaf, meatballs, or your own hamburger concoction for the grill. The spinach will always make it moist and delicious and will add some good vitamins too! Serve with a nice heap of mashed potatoes and a veggie, and your all set...

DIRECTIONS
- In Medium bowl mix the following:

*1/4 c. sauteed chopped celery
*1/4 c. sauteed chopped onion and peppers
*2 1/2 lbs. ground beef and pork /or ground turkey
*1 Tbls. Worcester sauce
*1/2 c. seasoned breadcrumbs
*2 tsp. basil
* 1/2 c. chopped spinach (previously frozen and drained)
*1/3 c. ketchup
*2 tsp. minced garlic
*2 eggs
**It can be hard to mix with a spoon , so don't be shy dig in with your hands. It is best not to over mix so don't use a mixer!
*What you want to do is form 2 or 3 longer, skinnier loaves (They bake quicker), in a roaster pan.
*Bake covered for 40 to 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Then take off cover and add ketchup on top if you like, or your favorite sauce, and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
*Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
Guarantee you will LOVE it!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Big Kid Thumbprints TWD



This week's choice of thumbprints reminds me of Holiday time. I usually only make these a very few times a year. But, after trying these I think I'll make them more. Dorie had a little twist of adding more than a cup of ground hazelnuts, equal to the flour. I didn't have any hazelnuts on hand. So I did a half and half mix of almond flour and ground pecans. Then I added a couple of tablespoons of Hazelnut flavoring I use for coffee. Dorie boiled the jam before putting it in the thumbprint after baking. Which made the jam set up nicely. Great idea!


Great thanks go out to Mike from Ugly Food for an Ugly Dude (cute title...don't ya think?) for hosting this week's Tuesday With Dorie pick! You can get the recipe from Mike's blog, or turn to page 164 of Baking From My Home to Yours by the fabulous Dorie Greenspan.

We give this 4 glasses of milk
for utter goodness!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever....

A family favorite in this house..... These are the ever delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Super easy, no fail , healthy cookies... Best when under baked just a tad. Soft and Chewy.....


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
INGREDIENTS
1 c. margarine
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. AP flour
2 c. Quick Oats
12 oz. chocolate chips
1/2 c. sweetened coconut flakes

DIRECTIONS
** Cream together the margarine, brown and white sugar.
**Add in the eggs and vanilla and continue to mix.
**Add in the flour, oats, salt,and baking soda
**When mixed add in chips and coconut, until blended in.
**Scoop onto a prepared cookie sheet (3 x 4) bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
You won't believe how good they are!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday and Kitchen Gadget Envy....

Nothing says wordless better than finding a lovely green stove like this in my country kitchen. I was actually looking at these in apple green or red, but the price tag was beyond my reach....



Wordless is dreaming of a built in one of these, for the single serving cup of Joe in the morning or anytime....


Or the perfect copper pot to beat your egg whites in....



Or the cutest brownie pan from William-Sonoma....




Or Wordless is ending the day with a perfecting grilled Cajun Chicken Panini....





Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!




Every year across America, school children are celebrating Dr. Suess's Birthday, which is today. I bet if you visited your local elementary school on this day, you would see many black cats with their stove pipe, red and white striped hats. Or how about Thing 1 or Thing 2? My favorite of course, is that Black Cat...the costume hangs in my closet, for any occasion that might come up!


Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as the beloved Dr. Seuss, was born on March 2, 1904 on Howard Street here in Springfield, Massachusetts. His mother, Henrietta Seuss Geisel, often soothed her children to sleep by "chanting" rhymes remembered from her youth. Ted credited his mother with both his ability and desire to create the rhymes for which he became so well known.

So as you go through the day, think of that special Dr. Suess book or saying that comes to mind, because who doesn't know "Green eggs and Ham said Sam I Am." And like me and many others, it will probably give you a nice grin from ear to ear......


Toasted Coconut Custard Tart TWD

Put the Lime in the Coconut ....
and Shake it all up!
This week, Beryl of Cinemon Girl chose Toasted-Coconut Custard Tart for our baking pleasure. You can find the recipe on the Cinemon Girl blog or better yet, on pages 344 and 345 of Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home to Yours".
I did a little changing it up by taking out the spices and adding in a little lime juice. It gave it a little island feel. When toasting the coconut be sure to keep an eye on it. You think it may never get done. And then poof ....it's burnt! Even though the kids aren't coconut fans, the tart went over well! I made it in a lovely 7 inch tart pan, I picked up at HomeGoods...5.99!
What a deal!!!!
We give this 4 glasses of milk,
for utter goodness!

Monday, March 1, 2010

One of those days......

Ever have one of those days where things just weren't going your way? A dreary winter day, cold and rainy, with more rain coming in....Your wondering where is the Sun? and when will this sinus infection virus leave our house?...
My mind drifts as I imagine tulips and daffodils..and SPRING!


and of course, lying on a nice warm beach soaking up the sun.
Perhaps I'll play that Sheryl Crow song that I love over and over ...to get me in the mood...
"I'm gonna soak up the sun,
I'm gonna tell everyone To lighten up!"