Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cupcakes



I made these for my sisters baby shower. These were not only adorable, they tasted amazing (if I can say so myself... and I DO! ... hehehe). She just adopted twins... hurray! They are tiny and beautiful! But more about that on my family blog. This is about food and cute food!

I made 64 cupcakes! I made Nutella cream filled ones with Nuttella frosting, Coconut cream filled ones with pina coloda frosting,, Raspberry filled with Cream Cheese icing, and vanilla pudding filled ones with butter cream frosting.
 (I wish I would have written down the cupcake recipes, but I didn't. I will try to remember them and post them.)

Here is a description on how I made the peas in the pod and flowers: 


I made the peas and flowers out of fondant 4 days earlier. I used Wilson's brand fondant and and kneaded the color in to get the exact colors I wanted. (tip: use powdered sugar when it gets sticky.. but only add as needed as to not dry out the fondant).

I used a tad of brown, yellow and pink to make flesh color peas and obviously green for the pea pod. I cut the pea pod using the center of it a small canning lid and used a butter knife to cut it (using the outside of it made too big of a pea pod). I waited for the baby peas to dry before I folded them into pod so they could keep their shape. I wet the edges with a clean, small paint brush to clean them up a bit and wet the center for the baby peas to fit in. Then folded them to look like the peas. I wet the edges to stick them together. I let them dry overnight then hand painted the faces on.

I used a cookie cutter for the flowers, put the flowers in bent aluminum foil to give them a curved 3D look.I made a paste out of powdered sugar and water to glue two of them together. I made the circles, let them dry enough to handle, (put on a sheet of paper to catch left over glitter) then painted them to get them wet and sprinkled them with edible glitter.( I didn't even know that stuff existed. It made them a million times cuter.. thanks Heather!) Then used the "glue" to stick them to the flowers. I sprinkled the left over the cupcakes.

Artisan Bread


This came from my friend Amiee, one of the best cooks I know! (her blog rollmeouttahere.blogspot.com)

This bread was RIDICULOUSLY easy, the only thing is that you have to remember to make it first thing in the morning. It is the perfect bread for working moms. You make the bread in the morning the same time you stick something in the crock pot. When you come in, throw it in the oven. (which is why it is labeled with crock-pot even though you don't cook it in the crock pot).

3 c. flour (i used half all purpose, half bread flour, not sure it matters?)
1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. warm water

Let yeast & salt dissolve into warm water. Then add flour. Mix well (I used a bosch but I think you could just do this by hand). If you are used to making bread, you will be very worried at how "loose," wet and sticky the dough is when you're done adding flour. That's Ok. We want it to be that way. Place dough mix in a covered bowl and let it sit out at room temperature for at least 8 to 10 hours (I've also been told that doing it overnight works just fine, too).

When the time is up, you'll need to find a large oven-proof covered pan. I used a dutch oven pot. Preheat oven AND covered pan to 475 degrees.

Then put a LOT of flour on your counter. Plop your dough out into the flour (mine was so "loose" that I had to scoop it out with a spoon!) and COAT it with flour and shape into an oval shape.

Take pan out of oven and grease the bottom. Carefully and quickly pick up your dough and place it into the oven. Bake for around 20-30 minutes with the lid ON. Then remove lid and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until browned. Cool on wire rack so heat can escape and keep the bread crusty.

YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS! FYI: I used this bread with crab cakes and red pepper sauce. YUUUMMY to sob up the sauce.

*NOTE* If you have left overs, don't wrap in plastic, rather put it in a brown paper bag or wrap it in a cloth.

I want to try it with whole wheat flour next time or with herbs, like rosemary and pepper.

I think it would also be great dipped in balsamic vinegar, olive oil and Parmesan cheese, yummy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Kneaders Chicken Salad

These are perfect for brunch, baby showers or parties. Everyone loves them and they are about 1/8 of the price at Kneaders. Kneaders I love ya, but why are you so dang expensive... you are worth it though!!

Makes about 10 Croissants

Cooked chicken (6 half skinless/boneless breasts. Baked and cubed).

1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 tbs salt
1/2 tbs pepper
1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/4 cup sour cream
6 cups celery (usually 4 stocks-just until it looks like enough)
3/4 cups green onion (about 1 small bunch)

Bake the chicken in olive oil, kosher salt and pepper until juices run clear. (30-45 mins). While that is cooking mix the vinegar, salt, pepper, mayonnaise and sour cream together.

Once the chicken is cooled, mix celery, green onion and chicken in separate bowl. Mix all ingredients together and taste. Let set overnight for best flavor.

Serve on Croissants.



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chicken Black Bean and Corn Enchilada Casserole

A weight watchers recipe that actually taste good enough to eat on non-weight watching days;) but here are the stats just in case you were wondering. (of course I don't use fat free cheese.. NASTY.. and I use real sour cream and olives to top it.)

POINTS Value: 6
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 60 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

1 2/3 oz Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce Mix, or equivalent product (use a 1.62 oz package)

6 oz canned tomato paste 8 cup(s) water, divided 2 tbsp canola oil

1 cup(s) onion(s), chopped

1/2 cup(s) green pepper(s), chopped 1 medium garlic clove(s), minced

1 1/2 cup(s) uncooked yellow cornmeal 1 spray(s) cooking spray

15 oz canned black beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz canned yellow corn, drained and rinsed

2 cup(s) cooked chicken breast, skinless, diced

1 1/2 cup(s) Kraft Free Shredded Cheddar Cheese, or other brand

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare enchilada sauce according to package directions using tomato paste and 3 cups of water. (You will end up with 3 cups of sauce total.)
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove 1 cup of onion mixture and place in a large mixing bowl; set aside. Stir 3 cups of water into remaining onion mixture and bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, add cornmeal to remaining 2 cups of water in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Gradually add cornmeal mixture to boiling water-onion mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until cornmeal is thickened, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Coat a 9 X 13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread cornmeal mixture evenly over bottom of dish.
  • Spoon beans, corn and chicken into reserved onion mixture; combine thoroughly.
  • Spread half of enchilada sauce over cornmeal layer. Top with all of bean mixture and then remaining enchilada sauce; sprinkle with cheese. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 45 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve. (Note: This recipe is a bit saucy. For a firmer consistency, reduce the amount of enchilada sauce by 1/2 to 1/3.)

Banana Bread

Very moist banana bread! Yummy!

In small bowl mix :

2 1/4 C flour
1/2 Box vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

In mixer bowl cream together:
1 C butter
3/4 brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/3 C over ripe bananas (aprx 5 bananas)

add dry ingredients. Pour batter in greased bread pans, dividing equally.
Bake 350 for 60-65 mins.