Posts Tagged ‘Cook’


Cinnamon Roll Cake Recipe.

There it is.  I follow the recipe nearly exactly except I bake it for 34 minutes so that it’s golden brown all over the top.  I also cut the icing recipe in half, except I keep the full amount of vanilla, and drizzle it.

Delish.  And a household favorite.  It’s so delicious and homey and yes, it’s full of butter.  I cut it into 24 servings.  I also make sure to share it.  A lot.

 

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Today I had to figure out how to use most or all of five pounds of chicken breast.  Luckily for me, I figured out how to use the grinder attachment to my Kitchen Aid thingie.  I trimmed five of seven large chicken breasts and ground them up using the larger of the two grinding circles.  I added two eggs, some garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and 1 1/4 cups of plain panko bread crumbs (because they’re lactose free)and blended until it was just mixed.  After heating up a large, deep frying pan I added some oil and formed large meatballs.  They were large enough to fit inside both of my hands when they’re cupped together.  After forming each chicken meatball, I just placed them in the pan and let each side brown and crisp.  When they got to the point where they wouldn’t stand up on the un-crisped sides, I just put the lid on and turned the heat down so that they could cook all the way through.

This vegetarian taste-tested them and they were delicious, and I admit that I had to eat an entire meatball with my potatoes and green beans.  That’s the first time I’ve actually wanted meat since going veggie in August.  I can already feel my stomach asking WTF I was thinking, so I’m making some green tea.  Oh well, it was worth it.  Let’s see if I’m saying the same thing tomorrow re. pain issues.  I’ve already been feeling puffy and swollen, with squishy-feeling joints.

They were a huge hit with the girls.  In fact, Gracie, the pickiest picky eater ever, ate three of these gigantic meatballs, and doused them with Frank’s Red Hot.  She wouldn’t eat anything else.  The girl loves meatballs cooked in a pan, but won’t eat them poached in marinara sauce.  I don’t even care that she wouldn’t eat the potatoes or green beans.  I’ll make her pumpkin muffins later and she’ll get some good vitamins from those.  She also enjoys V-8, and The Mister gets low salt, so she can have some of that too.  But she’s FULL and that’s a good thing.

I would share pictures, but the meatballs were etted up before I could take any.

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Don’t let the prettiness fool you… this is failed cooked caramel icing.

Notice the lovely “whipped” texture?

Oh wait… no, it’s not.  It shattered.

Shattered Failed Cooked Caramel Icing

It did taste good, as long as it wasn’t too thick to bite into.  The birthday girl was ecstatic and the girls (including a guest) thought it was delicious.  The Mister wouldn’t try it, though.  He probably didn’t want to break a tooth.

I should have used my Lactose Free Soft Caramel recipe that I blogged a while back.  That would have been lovely and soft drizzled all over the cake.  Ah well.  I’ll know for next time.  To never have a next time when it comes to cooking icing ever again.

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I’ve come to the disastrous, disappointing, but self-reflective conclusion that I will simply never, ever, ever, ever, EVER turn out a proper cooked icing recipe.  Ever.

Not cooked caramel.

Not cooked confectioner’s sugar.

Not cooked white sugar.

Not cooked brown sugar.

Not cooked vanilla.

None.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  They’re a failure in my kitchen.  It’s not my fault, really.  I follow the directions, I use the appropriate utensils and equipment, and I simply don’t get the desired results in the claimed time frame.  Eff that, I don’t get the desired results in ANY time frame.  I’ve gotten scorched, overcooked, crumbly, drippy, soupy, watery, crusty, oily, flat… really anything other than fluffy and/or spreadable or dip-able.

I’ve tried the same recipe twice now in less than a week because today is Gracie’s tenth birthday and the girl loves caramel.  She wants caramel cake.  The cake part, well, I have that down pat.  But the icing? Yeah.  NO.  It looks lovely, but no where near fluffy after following all of the directions.  It cooled before it could get anywhere near “fluffy.”  So I heated it up again.  Same results, so this time I just poured it over the cake.

Now I have caramel candy topping the cake.  Whatevs, dudes.  I choose to believe that cooked icings exist in the same realm as Bigfoot, Atlantis, mermaids, and fairies.  I’m not thrilled about a candy topped cake because now I can’t put candles in her cake now.  I’m not even sure I can cut it.

I should say that Gracie is THRILLED that there are little chunks of drizzled caramel candy around the cake, and big chunks that I scraped off of the spoon I used for stirring after it cooled.  She doesn’t even care that it’s crunching.  It’s CARAMEL.  I hope she enjoys the cake as much.

This is the icing recipe I used.  I’ll leave the link, but I did NOT use the caramel cake recipe where the link leads.

Caramel Icing
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into a few chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt, generous
1/4 cup milk (Jessica used lactose-free milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Put the dark brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan, and melt them together over medium heat, stirring often. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the milk and vanilla. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dump in the confectioners’ sugar all at once and beat with a wooden spoon until the icing is thickened and smooth. Quickly ice the cupcakes by holding each by the base and dipping the tops in the hot icing, rolling them slightly to coat evenly. Turn them quickly upright so the icing will even out while it’s still warm and will set smoothly. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/caramel-cupcakes-478376?oc=linkback

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Didn’t I recently blog about how much of a bad idea it is to ask my middle daughter to quantify and compare her feelings on things? I might not have.  Well, if I didn’t I will now.

It’s a bad idea to ask her to quantify and compare her feelings because I’m learning that it’s either difficult or impossible.  In some instances the choice is clear.

Mommy: Gracie, which do you like better: pumpkin muffins or rotted goat cheese?
Gracie: PUMPKIN MUFFINS! SHUT UP! That was a BAD CHOICE!

If I offer other types of choices where she has to quantify her feelings or how much she likes something, especially if she likes something over another something, she looks at me blankly or gets frustrated.

Mommy: Gracie, which do you like better: pumpkin muffins or apple muffins?
Gracie: I… but… YOU CAN NOT MAKE ME CHOICE THOSE! THAT WAS A BAD! CHOICE!
Mommy: Do you like both?
Gracie: I eat both.
Mommy: Do you like pumpkin more than apple?
Gracie: YOU ask TOO MANY QUESTIONS!
Mommy: If I make muffins right now, which muffins would you like me to make?
Gracie: Pumpkin.

If I ask her leading questions about her day, about new things we did or tried, it’s very similar.

Mommy: Gracie, did you have art class today?
Gracie: We did leaf impressions.  I colored them…
Mommy:  How much did you enjoy it?
Gracie: Ummmm… that is not a very good question.
Mommy: Did you like coloring with real leaves?
Gracie: I had fun.
Mommy: A lot of fun?
Gracie: I don’t know.
Mommy: Okay.  Did you like coloring leaf impressions so much that you would like to teach your sisters and me how to do them at home?
Gracie: NO! Never ask me again! Leaves belong outside!

Mommy: Gracie, did you have pizza?
Gracie: I had pizza! It had pepperoni!
Mommy: Was there cheese pizza too?
Gracie: Yes. I had pepperoni.
Mommy: Do you like plain cheese pizza too?
Gracie: It is PIZZA.
Mommy:  Which flavor do you like better? Plain cheese with nothing else? Or pepperoni?
Gracie: I like PIZZA!
Mommy: If I ordered you a pizza right now, what kind would you want me to order?
Gracie: Pepperoni.

She must think I have this weird obsession that requires her to quantify everything.  I’m learning how to rephrase and break the habit of adding, “how much” and other qualifiers onto questions with her.  I think that’s really what throws her off.  I should probably simply present two choices and ask her which one she wants and let HER be the one to choose to clarify as needed.  She also doesn’t necessarily see where I’m going with a line of questioning, so she sees things as pointless.  I have to also learn to just get to the point and be a lot more direct with her.  I would save her a lot of frustration.

Thinking about it, she doesn’t use very many qualifiers in her speech.  She doesn’t use “a lot” or “a little” when she talks about liking things or disliking things.  She simply says she likes it, dislikes it, loves it, or hates it.  That’s it.  Four descriptors.  When she loves someone, she just loves them.  She doesn’t love someone MORE than someone else unless it’s her baby cousins.  Because, duh, she clearly loves babies MORE than anyone else.

I really look forward to more expansive conversations when she’s older, if she’ll allow it.  I have to be careful right now because if she gets too upset by too much questioning I risk triggering a meltdown or overly frustrating her enough that she’ll shut down and refuse to speak for a while.

Or maybe I have it all wrong.  Any insight?

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Pumpkin Muffins With Streusel Topping

Pumpkin Muffins With Streusel Topping

This morning was a rough morning.  We usually stretch out the summer skirts for The Girl as long as possible since she loves wearing them so much.  This year seems cooler sooner than the last couple of years, so we’re transitioning her a little sooner into pants.  She’s not happy.  Part of the bribery process was telling her I would make something with the can of pumpkin that I bought for her a few days ago.  She kept asking for Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies but the chips have milk in them, so I kept trying to get her to choose a pumpkin recipe.  For pants? She wants chocolate.  I told her that if she can wear pants every single day this week without having a meltdown then I’ll make her a batch of Tollhouse on Saturday.

I was going to research a pumpkin recipe after the girls got home from school so that she could help me find something and expected her to ask for the Libby’s Iced Pumpkin Cookies, but I got a call from the pediatrician asking why I didn’t bring the two youngers in for their flu shots yesterday.  Oops.

If you ever read my entry from last year’s flu shot drama, you’ll understand why I enlisted help from my husband this year.  It still wasn’t pleasant but at least I had some muscle with me this time for The Girl.  The  Eldest already had hers last week at her physical, and The Youngest took hers like a champ.  It was Meltdown City for The Girl, however, and she was the Meltdown Mayor.  It still wasn’t as bad as last year.  I think it’ll be difficult to ever top last year.

When it was over, he sort of looked like a dear in the headlights.  He sat in the car, looking a little stunned to me.  I chattered on and on about how well it went and how good the girls were.  The Eldest and The Youngest commented on how that was the easiest, least dramatic year ever.  Again… stunned.

When we got home, The Girl decided on pumpkin muffins and I found the best recipe ever.  She ate three already, maybe four.  The recipe made 24, for crying out loud.  I think that’s a pretty good reward for being so good (relatively speaking).  I mean, this year I came away without any bruises from the event.  That’s a win.  No one bled profusely.  That’s a win too.  Only one child cried.  Another win.  The child that cried is still talking to me.  All around win.

The Best Pumpkin Muffin Recipe EverPumpkin Muffins with Streusel Topping

Submitted By: BRETTNSHARA
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Ready In: 55 Minutes
Servings: 18 (actually it’s 24)
“Moist and hearty pumpkin-oat muffins are topped with a brown sugar and oat streusel perfect for a quick breakfast or a holiday brunch.”
INGREDIENTS:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil (replaced with 10 tsp melted butter with excellent results)
1/2 cup applesauce
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins (optional)

Topping (double this or you’ll be short):
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons rolled oats
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease or line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Whisk pumpkin puree, 1 cup brown sugar, white sugar, vegetable oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a separate large bowl. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture; mix well. Fold in raisins.
3. Beat 1/4 cup brown sugar with butter in a bowl until creamy and smooth. Whisk 2 tablespoons oats and 2 tablespoons flour, using a fork, into sugar-butter mixture until streusel topping is crumbly.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle each muffin with streusel topping.
5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2012 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 10/9/2012

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I made some lovely lactose-free chewy caramels last night.  They’re to die for, and I only had to adapt a recipe a little bit, as opposed to making it 100% unrecognizable.  They’re definitely not vegan nor are they safe if you have a whey allergy, and I’m not sure what the adjustments to make should be in that case.  My apologies.  But if you’re looking simply for “Lactose Free Chewy Caramel” then this may be an option.

What started out looking like this:

Caramels:
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy whipping cream (has a 36-40% butterfat content)
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (210 grams) packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Butter an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) baking pan.

In a heavy medium sized saucepan, stir together the cream, sugars, and salt. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture boils, with a heatproof pastry brush that has been dipped in warm water, wash down the sides of the saucepan to remove any sugar crystals that may have formed. Clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Boil the mixture over medium high heat (do not stir) until the temperature reaches 245 degrees F (118 degrees C). (If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan, wash them down with a heatproof pastry brush that has been dipped in warm water.)

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the caramel into your prepared pan and let cool, undisturbed, for at least eight hours, or overnight.

With a sharp knife, (oiled with a tasteless vegetable oil, like safflower), and with a sawing motion, cut into squares or rectangles. These caramels can be stored at room temperature, between layers of wax paper, for several days. Caramels make a nice gift, especially when wrapped in wax paper or cellophane.

Makes about 48 pieces. Preparation time40 minutes. 

Adapted From:

Rosen, Michael J.Baking from the Heart. Broadway Books. New York: 2004.

Source for Recipe: http://www.joyofbaking.com/candy/Caramels.html

Now looks like this:

Lactose-Free Caramels:
Ingredients
1 cup Lactaid whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick or 8 TB) salted butter
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3-to-4 TB cornstarch

Butter an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) baking pan.

Mix sugars and cornstarch together until well blended in a mixing bowl.  In a heavy medium sized saucepan, stir together the milk and butter until the butter is melted.  Add the sugars and stir until melted.  Place the saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture boils, with a heatproof pastry brush that has been dipped in warm water, wash down the sides of the saucepan to remove any sugar crystals that may have formed. Clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Boil the mixture over medium high heat (do not stir) until the temperature reaches 245 degrees F (118 degrees C). (If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan, wash them down with a heatproof pastry brush that has been dipped in warm water.)

If you don’t have a candy thermometer, watch the color and thickness of the mixture.  The mixture should be foamy as it boils, and darken in color over the space of 30-40 minutes.  It should also have thickened noticeably but still be bubbly and foamy.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.  Pour the caramel into your prepared pan and let cool, undisturbed, for at least eight hours, or overnight.

With a sharp knife, (oiled with a tasteless vegetable oil, like safflower), and with a sawing motion, cut into squares or rectangles. These caramels can be stored at room temperature, between layers of wax paper, for several days. Caramels make a nice gift, especially when wrapped in wax paper or cellophane.

Makes about 48 pieces. Preparation time 40 minutes.

Adapted From:

Rosen, Michael J.Baking from the Heart. Broadway Books. New York: 2004.

I made the caramels with great success! I replaced the CREAM in the recipe with LACTAID WHOLE MILK.  I used one cup of milk and 1 stick of butter.  I also increased the amount of brown sugar by 1/2 cup and ended up having to add 3-to-4 TB of cornstarch to help it get to the right consistency.  I forgot to use an 8X8 so it came out too thin, but DELICIOUS.  Definitely  nice and chewy, but not stuck-in-your-teeth chewy.

And my children, even the ones without lactose-intolerance, can’t get enough of these caramels.

 

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