Monday, November 16, 2009

Banana Bread x 2 and Goulash :)

Sooo I wanted banana bread so I can have something for a quick breakfast.
So I made a regular for my dad :) and a Chocolate Chip for me :D
Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teasp baking powder

½ teasp baking soda

½ teasp salt

½ teasp ground cinnamon

½ cup margarine, softened

¾ cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 medium, ripe DOLE® Bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)

¼ cup sour cream

1 teasp vanilla extract

1 cup chopped almonds or walnuts, toasted


Directions:

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl; set aside.

Beat margarine and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Beat in bananas, sour cream and vanilla until blended. Add in flour mixture; beat until just blended. Stir in nuts.

Pour into 9 x 5-inch baking pan sprayed with vegetable cooking spray.

Bake at 350°F., 55 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes.



Now that it is cooled, I am going to go cut a piece :)

And I need supper/lunch for the week so I made Goulash Yum!!! it just needs a little more ketchup
Goulash ( recipe from my mom)
Cook some ground beef, and garlic.....I just cooked as much as I thought would be appropriate for the pan size. I cooked up two cups of elbow pasta, and put half the pasta in the pan, then the ground beef garlic mixture, and lots of ketchup! Then the rest of the pasta and I mixed. I kept adding ketchup till I thought it was enough, grated some cheese on top and then stuck it in the already 350 degree oven for about 20 min. It was delish! and hopefully it stays yummy for the week.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Little Help :)

**I love baking for many reasons. It's therapeutic, creative, cerebral. Chemistry meets artistry. And then there's the sharing and eating of the results, and well, that just makes you feel good all over. A great recipe is more than just a formula, it's like a character in a great story. Sometimes you stumble across a new recipe that helps you create your own stories and memories with people you love, and sometimes you're lucky enough to be given a recipe that you just know has made memories for people you'll probably never meet. I love that most of all.**


I am searching for the perfect shortbread recipe for Gregory for Christmas .... So this week I am making shortbreads ...if you have any recipes that you think are wonderful pass them along, and when I find the perfect one in my own opinion, I'll post it :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thanksgiving

Well for Thanksgiving this year I made two things, one for my sister and the other just because it was so pretty I couldn't resist.

One was Kraft's Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake most everything I make from kraft turns out amazing, other than the things that call for boxed mix, which I usually don't even try cause that's not how I bake.

Ingredients:
18 Peek Freans Ginger Crisps (Crushed, About two cups)
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter melted
3 pkg Cream Cheese softened
1 Cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash ground cloves

Method:

HEAT oven to 350°F.

COMBINE cookie crumbs, nuts and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

BEAT cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each just until blended. Remove 1 cup plain batter. Stir remaining sugar, pumpkin and spices into remaining batter.

SPOON half the pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of half the plain batter. Repeat layers; swirl with knife.

BAKE 45 min. or until centre is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.




The Second was an Apple Tart Cake, it was just so pretty when I stumbled upon the website that I had to make it. I got the recipe and saw the wonderful pictures on Food Loves Writing's blog, here is her recipe and pictures.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into a few pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 large Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced as thinly as you can into similar-shaped slices (if they’re too thick, they’ll be more noticeable in the finished cake, rather than soft and caramelized)


For topping:
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.

Combine the sugar, flour and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitting with a steel blade attachment (did I tell you I got a food processor for my birthday?? I LOVE IT SO MUCH). Pulse to mix, then add the butter, and pulse until no large lumps remain. Add the vanilla and the egg, and blend well—mine looked a little like cookie dough, but the original recipe likens it to cornmeal, so I’d imagine either is fine. Plop this mixture into the prepared springform pan and spread it evenly around the bottom. Try to form the edges to curve up a little on the sides, like the rim of a very low pie crust.

Starting from the outsides (this is the only way that works for me, and yes, I’ve tried starting from the insides), arrange the apples in a tight, circular pattern. You will feel like there are way too many apples to fit, you really will, but just fit them in there as tightly as you can. It will work.

Slide the pan into the oven, and bake for 45 minutes. While the cake bakes, you can make the topping: Combine the ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk to blend well. Then set it aside.


After the cake has baked for 45 minutes, remove it from the oven and spoon the topping evenly over it. Bake for another 30 minutes or so, until the topping looks set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, and cool for 20 minutes. Then run a thin knife around the edge to release any areas that may have stuck, and remove the sides of the pan. Feel free to swoon at how beautiful it looks—I sure did. Cool completely before serving.

Note: This cake is a perfect make-ahead recipe, which is what I did Friday night, planning for dinner with a friend Saturday. Just wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature until you’re ready to eat it. Oh, and, by the way, it was wonderful with vanilla ice cream on top.

Yield: One cake, about 8 servings


Monday, September 14, 2009

Muffin and Cupcake madness


This is my stand mixer, that is right my very own kitchen aid stand mixer, not my mom's mine :) and it's the pink breast cancer one :) I loooove it, so the very first thing I created with it had to be for someone I love, who else but my friend Erin :)


Soo since my workterm started I have been making alot of muffins... I just love them. But before I get into the muffins I will give you some pictures of the Chocolate mint cupcakes that I made for Erin one of my good friends :)

Adapted From Martha Stewart's Cookbook Cupcakes:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup of Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 lg eggs
3/4 cups buttermilk
3 tbsp veg oil
1 tsp peppermint extract
3/4 cup warm water


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract, and the water; beat on low speed until smooth and combined, scraping down sides as needed.

2. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 min. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks to cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
I didn't make the icing because I made so many cupcakes I didn't want to screw up the icing and have to make more, I bought icing from the supermarket and added peppermint extract to it. The purple and green sprinkles I got at the bulk barn for a pretty good price I will definitely buy them again and use them for other creations, like the rainbow star cake I will be making for Krystle soon :)

I don't have any muffin pictures uploaded yet but I will Post the recipes just because i want you to go make them now and love them so much :)

Blueberry Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
ok well the crumble is good and makes it more like a mini coffee cake.....but isn't necessary the second time I made these I just sprinkled some sugar on top and it was scrumptious.

what I have done for different variations....

Blueberry Banana Variation:
I add some vanilla, as well as a banana and substitute in brown sugar for the white and use buttermilk instead of regular milk. I also cut down the amount of oil from 1/3 to 1/4 because it left a oil puddle on the bottom of my muffin pans.

Apple Cinnamon Variation:
I left out the blueberries, and added one cup of chopped apple that I had coated in cinnamon sugar and added about 1/2 tsp or less of cinnamon to the batter. As well I made the same substations that I did for the blueberry banana (buttermilk, brown sugar, cut the oil and a splash of vanilla)

The base of this recipe has so many things that can be done to them .... I think next sunday I will make strawberry chocolate :) yummm

Go make some muffins :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Smmores Cookies! YUM









Ingredients:

¾ cup of butter room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar*

2 lrg eggs*

2 teasp vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups graham cracker crumbs*

2 teasp baking powder

½ teasp salt

3 giant sized milk chocolate bars (I used Hershey's)

1 7.5 oz jar of marshmallow fluff (or more if you want a thicker layer of marshmallow)

*Healthy Swaps: I used 3/4 cup of sugar as opposed to 1 full cup, egg whites instead of whole eggs , and I crushed Low Fat graham crackers for my graham cracker crumbs. (2 egg whites per egg called for)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan.


In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate medium sized bowl whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until combined (use low speed on electric mixer).


Divide dough in half. Press half of the dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place the chocolate bars in a layer on top of the dough. I fit two giant Hershey bars side by side and then almost all of the third one, I had to take off one column of squares on the third Hershey bar and then laid it next to the other two. Whatever kind you use, if necessary break the chocolate to get it to fit in a single layer over the graham cracker. Spread marshmallow fluff over chocolate layer. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough with your hands into small square shingles and laying them together).


Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.


I don't know how many bars the recipe makes because we started digging in before cutting them with any organization...oops! My guess is it makes around 28 depending how big you cut them.



Wednesday, August 5, 2009

List for after Finals

Soooo I have been studying for exams and haven't had time to make anything ... well I made s'mores cookies but haven't uploaded the pictures yet soo they will also come after finals when I make more things again.

On the list so far is:
-Pumpkin cheesecake for my sister
-Rainbow star cake for my Krystle :)
-Red velvet cheesecake for Agusta
-Red velvet cupcakes for me ( or maybe Greg's house warming)
-Spinach Laced Brownies...I need to know if you can taste the spinach!
-Lemon Poppy seed pound cake ( cause I forgot to take pictures before and I loooove lemon and poppyseed)

I'm sure there are more I just cant think of it at the moment :)
Hopefully that makes you want to come take a peek after the weekend of the 15th :)


Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Ceramic Muffin Pans + Lemons and Poppyseeds= Lemon Poppyseed Muffins :)


So yesterday I was having a bad day and decided to go to winners and look around. I was really hoping for a new Matt & Nat purse I wanted to be there but there was nothing in the way of purses :( not that I need another one, but still lol. While there I saw these beautiful ceramic muffin pans, but there was no price on them. I picked up one and walked around and got some other little things.... got to the cash and said I don't know how much this is, but if it's less than 10$ I'll buy two cause there is another one there without a price as well.
When she came back I ended up getting two :)

So I had to test them out today before I pack them away in my hope chest, and they are wonderful. I made my favorite fast breakfast food since my mother decided to introduce me to lemon poppyseed I have just been in love with it. Sooo here are my pictures of my beautiful muffin pans and my yummy lemon poppyseed muffins along with the recipe of course :) Enjoy!

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 lg eggs
3/4 cup plain yogurt (I used vanilla Activia it's so yummy)
the juice and zest of 1 medium lemon (I zested a lemon and used 1 tbsp of real lemon but next time I will use 2 tbsp of real lemon)
2 cups flour
3 tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp baking powder



Directions:
Cream together butter and sugar.
Beat in eggs, yogurt and lemon juice and zest.
Combine flour, poppyseeds, salt, and baking powder. and fold into yogurt mixture.

Divide evenly between 12 muffin cups or well greased and flowered muffin pan.



Bake at 350 for about 20 min (mine took 25), until a toothpick comes out with one or two crumbs on it. Cool on wire rack.






YUM!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pizza on the BBQ :D

Today and yesterday were sooo nice, I really wanted to Barbecue. Yesterday was too windy, and I had plans to go out to supper and see the new Harry Potter. So the plan for today was to make this for the first time ever, and if I do say so myself it was awesome. And I will probably make it again next week when I'm bored.

Pizza Dough:

1 1/2 c. warm (105-115 degrees) water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 1/2 c. flour

Directions:

In a large bowl (the bowl of your mixer, if you have one), combine water, sugar, and yeast (the water has to be this temp to activate the yeast). Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.
Add salt and stir. Add 1 1/2 c. flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour (usually between 3-4 cups, depending on your elevation and your humidity) until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.

Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl. (I just butter a bowl and cover it with a dishtowel, I also left it in the sun to rise)

Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Remove from bowl and shape into your desired pizza shape.

Greg made a pizza slice shaped pizza, mine ended up looking like PEI I just flattened it.




To Prepare the pizza (I used these directions I got from this site http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/07/cooking-class-bbq-grilled-pizza.html) :

Toppings: I suggest going a little lighter than normal on the toppings for a few reasons.
1. It will keep the pizzas easy to work with and easy to move around, etc.
2. The toppings will cook faster and be sure to be done if they're not piled on heavy.
3. Probably the biggest reason- the grill adds so much flavor and texture that you don't want (or need) to overpower it. Grilled pizza works great sauce-less, or try it with marinara, bbq, orgarlic alfredo.

Alright- let's do this step-by step.
First you need to preheat your grill. This is an important step. The rack needs to be nice and hot so the dough will start cooking immediately and the overall temperature needs to be hot in order to act like an oven when the lid is closed. I set my gas grill to medium-high heat, and leave the lid shut.
Next, get all of your toppings ready. You have to move very quickly while on the grill so everything needs to be prepared and easy to grab. I usually set up a platter with everything I need and keep it next to the grill.

You'll need: 1. Your toppings (cut, sliced, shredded, etc.) including sauce. 2. Some olive oil and a brush to brush it on. 3. A spoon to spread on sauce 4. A large spatula to flip the pizza When your dough is ready, roll it out with a rolling pin, or even just use your hands to press and stretch it. Now listen. Throw all of your preconceived pizza notions out the window. You don't need to make round pizza. No rules! Don't you feel daring??

Size: I find it easiest to make several small pizzas, especially if you're trying this for the first time. If you want to go big, don't go much larger than 2 pizzas per this recipe. That's about a 9-10" max. I like to do 4 small pizzas. You get a good 6-8" pizza that will easily feed one very hungry adult or a couple of hungry kids. Another benefit of doing several smaller pizzas is that you can try out a bunch of different topping combos. Kids love having their own! Once your dough is flattened out, drizzle a little olive oil on one side and brush it around

Now comes the fun part. Toss that puppy (oil side down) straight on the grill and then shut the lid immediately. You'll want the heat to stay inside so it acts like an oven and cooks the dough. The timing all depends on the heat of the grill and the thickness of the dough. But it usually only takes about 5 minutes or less. Have a spatula handy to lift up the dough and check it. You'll want to see nice brown grill marks, but avoid burning it. If you can tell that your dough is cooking too fast and too hot, you may want to use indirect heat. For a gas grill with multiple burners, turn off the burner directly under the pizza, but leave the others on. For a charcoal grill, move the charcoal to one side of the grill and place the pizza on the other side.

As soon as you flip it grab that tray with your toppings and put them on the cooked side right away. Shut the lid again and leave it shut. The second side cooks pretty fast. If the bottom of your pizza is done, but the top still needs to cook, you can place it on an upper rack if you have one.

Take a peek at the bottom crust and as soon as it's done and your cheese is all melty, grab a spatula and pull it off. I like to make a bunch of small pizzas and throw them all on cutting boards in the middle of the table and just let everyone cut into them.




If you have never done this, go start now so you can eat it tonight!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

M&M Cookies

I forgot to take pictures :(

I made M&M Cookies for Heidi's birthday but sadly I forgot to take pictures.

But the recipe has been requested by many sooo here it is :

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time: 10min Bake: 8-10 min per sheet Cool: 2min **Makes: about 4 doz

Ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 ounces of chocolate chips (about 1 3/4 cup or so) ** I subbed in M&M's obviously**

Directions:
-Heat oven to 375.
- beat sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff) stir in chocolate chips ( or addition of your choice).
-drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
-bake 8-10 min or until lightly browned (centers will be soft). Cool 1 to 2 min; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.


Everyone who ate them enjoyed :) Hope you do too :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Who doesn't like cheesecake??

Domino Muffins :)
Recipe from my God Mommy

I made these a long time ago, and remembered I had pictures so I am going to give you the recipe... these are soooo good :) I forgot to put the chocolate chips in the cheese cake, next time I will remember that :D

Ingredients

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

½ cup cocoa

2 cups water

cup oil (I use olive)

2 tbsp white vinegar

2 teasp vanilla

2 teasp soda


FILLING

1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz)

1 beaten egg

cup sugar

teasp salt

6 oz chocolate chips


Directions


Mix well. (I usually mix the dry then add the wet.) Pour into two greased muffin tins.

Drop small amount of filling (see below) into each. Do not stir. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Mix well except chocolate chips.

Add chips last. Drop into chocolate muffins.

These freeze really well. You can use regular sized muffin pans or the small ones.

I have made up to 36 in the past. Depends on how big you want them to be.

You know they are done when the cream cheese starts to brown slightly.