Friday, December 31, 2010

New Recipes!!

I have chose the Spicy Pulled Pork on page 94! It looks like a tasty recipe and hopefully we will all enjoy it.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Last week I made these cupcakes for a little Christmas Eve treat.  I followed Tarin's example by opting for cupcakes instead of a cake and they worked out great.  This recipe was obviously a bit harder than making a cake from a box but it was fun.  We did have some cake flour so I sifted that once and the batter turned out very light and fluffy.  My frosting turned out more like icing but I am sure I could have put more powdered sugar in to thicken it up.  It worked out just fine and tasted delicious:)  Everyone liked the cupcakes and they tasty light and fluffy.  They weren't very chocolatey at all and were more like red vanilla. Is that how they are suppose to be or did I make a mistake?? Anyway these were pretty and fun to make! 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Audrey's Cinnamon Roll's

Dough ready to roll out
all rolled out

butter, cinnamon and sugar on and ready to roll up

Ready to cut up
Ready to rise

Fresh out of the oven

All iced up

Ready to eat!
I made these a week before Christmas as I was giving some of them to friends. I followed the recipe and it was fairly simple. The dough was very easy to make and to work with, you just have to not rush with adding the yeast too soon :) I don't think that my logs were as long as hers, so I didn't get as many rolls as she said, but that was fine. I used the aluminum pie tins as I was giving some of them away. They baked just fine, but I would like to try them in a thicker pan, as I think that they will cook more evenly that way. Also, I think that I needed to add more milk than I did to the icing as it was a little too thick, but it worked out. I only iced the cinnamon rolls in the pans that I was giving away, as not all of my family likes icing on theirs. I usually just let my family ice their own. I have never had maple icing on cinnamon rolls before and I really like it. We did think that the rolls were very sweet, so the next time I would cut back on the sugar. It was another fun recipe to make, especially at this time of year.

Dana & Audrey's Breakfast Puff's

Dana mixing up the muffins
butter and cinnamon mixture

Muffins baking

Muffins ready to eat

Brandon was our first taster
Dinner all plated up :)
We decided to have a breakfast for dinner meal also, like some of you. We like to do that sometimes, since I don't cook breakfast very often. Dana made the muffins while I cooked the rest of the meal. She followed the recipe and decided to make them bigger than what was suggested and they turned out great! They are a dense muffin, but very tasty. Our muffin lovers really liked them and they did freeze great, just as she suggested. What's nice about this recipe is that the ingredients are ones that I usually have. You can also use these for a dessert :)
Fun recipe to make, thanks!

Dana & Audrey's Fried Chicken

Dana getting the breading for the chicken ready to go.
Dana and Brock making sure that the chicken tasted good :)

One chicken dinner ready to eat!
We soaked the chicken overnight like she suggested and the chicken was very tender and tasty. We cooked it up like she said and it wasn't too bad to cook it. We found it somewhat greasy, so we think that the next time we cook it, that we will put it on a rack in the oven instead of the baking sheet, so that more of the grease will drip off. We also cooked the Buttermilk Biscuits, but since that wasn't an official picked recipe, we will post it another time :) For our veggie we sauteed some spinach and garlic in olive oil and that tasted good. I think that we will cook this recipe again with a few changes :) Thanks for the good recipe pick !

Dana & Audrey's Soup & Salad

Our soup ingredients
Dana cooking the onions
Adding the seasonings
Ready to eat!
This was a fun recipe to cook up. Usually we just open up a can of tomato soup and zap it in the microwave. We followed the recipe, except we didn't add the sherry. It would be interesting to try it with the sherry in it. Also, some of us liked the chunks of tomato and some didn't. Also we put in the 6 tablespoons of sugar that Ree does and that was way too sweet!
The Ranch dressing and lettuce wedges were also fun to make, since we usually just set out store bought dressing and torn up lettuce in a bowl. The dressing was very easy to make and of course the lettuce wedges easy also. Some of us liked the dressing and some didn't. I don't care for mayonnaise, so I didn't care for it. Dana said that she and Brandon made some and let it sit longer and they liked it better. I'm happy with my store bought dressing :)
I think that we would make both of these recipes again, but with some changes to suit our family's tastes better :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Red Velvet Cake

This was a fun cake to make, I have to admit that I did make this into cupcakes instead because I didn't want to get stuck with a really rich, double layer cake only half eaten. I also wanted to get this posted for you guys in case you're interested in trying this for a Christmas dessert.

I started out just as the recipe stated. Since I didn't have any cake flour I just sifted my normal flour 4x instead. (I find that the more you sift the fluffier your batter turns out.)

I loved the buttermilk mixture, it was fun to see the little reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar.

And I just alternated the dry ingredients with the wet mixture three times. And my batter turned out beautiful! It was so light and fluffy.

Now the biggest thing for me was getting the color right. I didn't want it to turn out pink so I went to Joann's and picked out a tub of Red-Red and Burgundy. I mixed them 50/50 which was about 1 ounce of food coloring in total. (I definitely recommend that you get a gel food coloring because the liquid ones tend to make your batters or icings runny and changes the flavor too much.) Also when I mixed the food coloring + cocoa into the batter I used a spatula to mix it to keep from "overbeating" it.

Also even though I work with food coloring all the time and was as neat as possible I still ended up a victim of the red. So I suggest you wear a pair of gloves while you work with the food coloring so you don't have red hands for the next few days. If you get some on you counters or mixers--squirt some liquid dish detergent on it and rub it out with a paper towel!

After that I scooped the batter into my muffins tins, the recipe made 20 muffins.

And then I cooked them at 350 for about 25 minutes. (Since I cooked 2 trays at once it was a little bit longer.)  When I pulled them out I let them cool in the pan for about 20 minutes and then I moved them to a cooling rack for another 20 minutes.

I was surprised that she didn't mention this in the instructions, but when you're icing anything you need to make sure your cake is completely cool! Especially if you're making a double layer cake. If not, the icing will start to push out in the center and it will look like your cake is busting at the seams...and no amount of icing on the outside rim will fix that. So the moral is to give your cake time to cool before you add the icing! I got a little crazy and did some the normal cream cheese color and then for the other half, dyed the icing green!

After frosting all those cupcakes I did notice that the frosting was getting a little soft, so I put them in the fridge for 20 minutes and then pulled one out to taste. And it was delish. It was really moist and my knife cut through it really easily. This is definitely a keeper.  

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls X2

It was a surprisingly quiet afternoon on Thursday and the house was pretty much clean so I decided now would be a perfect time to try out the cinnamon roll recipe.  The dough was very easy to mix up which I was not expecting.  I usually make the cinnamon rolls in the bread maker so it can do all the kneading, mixing and rising for me but this recipe wasn’t bad at all.  I cut the recipe in half but it still made plenty and I filled 3 1/2 pie tins.  I put them in the oven before leaving to go on a run and instructed Sean to take them out when the buzzer went off and put the frosting on.  Long story short two pans were still in the oven and were pretty toasty at this point.  I was planning to give some to neighbors so I made 1/4 of a batch the next day but I must have messed up the yeast because they didn’t rise as much.  The first batch turned out great.  They were pretty easy to make and I will probably make these again! 


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jacki’s Review of Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls were quite easy to make and very, very good!  I halved the recipe because it made quite a lot and I was not planning on giving any away.  My dough was pretty soft and I think I needed just a bit more flour and next time I will roll the dough out just a bit more.  My maple icing probably could have been a little thinner and next time I will not use as much on the rolls.  It just seemed like too much icing.  But, I liked this recipe and I will definitely make these again some day- very yummy.

Cooking in the oven:

Jacki's Pics 002

Just frosted – I know, PW’s look way better than mine and the icing is kind of thick.   ooops… looks like I got carried away when I was checking the center for doneness (and tastiness:))

Jacki's Pics 003 

Sorry – I forgot to take a picture of an individual roll.  If you have made these and get a chance to post about it I would love to hear your review. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Week of the 19th-25th

So for next week I'll be baking the red velvet cake. It seemed appropriate for Christmas time. Hope everyone's in a sweet mood!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Biscuits and Fried Chicken for Leon

Ok, Leon has been bagging me to make this fried chicken and sure enough it was easy and very tasty. I used chicken thighs and chicken tenders that we had in the freezer and that was perfect. I seasoned the chicken before soaking in the buttermilk and I also added some delicious smoked paprika I got from Spain that made the chicken even better hmmmmmmmmm. Leon and the boys asked me to double the recipe so I did and we had leftovers and the chicken tasted even better.

We also enjoyed the biscuits I have never made biscuits so I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn up. Alexandro helped me to cut the biscuits we don't have round cookie cutters so we used a cup, it was perfect!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jacki’s Review of French Breakfast Puffs

I made these this morning for breakfast and they were a nice switch from the usual hot or cold cereal.  They were pretty easy and straight forward to make.  I followed the recipe as directed except I halved it.  Half a recipe made 7 muffins but I filled the cups a little full so it could have made 8 I think.  Hope you all get a chance to try out this recipe and post about it. 

the dip and roll process:

Jacki's Pics 005

finished product:

Jacki's Pics 006

breakfast of scrambled eggs w/ cheese, OJ and French breakfast puff:

Jacki's Pics 007

Friday, December 10, 2010

Leslee’s French Breakfast Puffs

I made these tasty little things on Monday night  for a  “breakfast dinner”.  The whole recipe was easy to follow and they cooked up nicely.  I didn’t make any changes.  Sean said that he thought they were vey good.  He did say they were a little more dense so they were pretty filling.  I made myself some plain gluten free muffins and then rolled them in butter and the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  They were very tasty!


My little helper mixing things up…


The finished product…