Posts Tagged ‘Recipe’


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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English: Blueberries.

English: Blueberries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few days ago I made my mom’s Blueberry Muffins.  They were gone in less than 18 hours.  The plan was to make them again yesterday after picking some up after the girls got home from school and The Mister gave me the checkbook to run a couple of errands.  When I came home I put them in the fridge, hidden, and ran next door to feed the neighbor’s bunny and check to make sure their house was secure.  I was gone for maybe 15 or 20 minutes.

 

When I came back, Gracie was standing at the front door with an empty blueberry tin.  Well, it was nearly empty.

 

“Look! There are four mushy, stale blueberries! Yuck!”  and she looked a little nervous, like she’d been caught in the act.

“Wow! Is that container from the blueberries we made the other day?”

“Um, I… um…”

I realized I needed to change tact a bit.  She doesn’t quite understand the concept of time the same way we do, so “the other day” could mean “a year ago” to her or it could mean tomorrow.

 

“Remember when we made blueberries a few days ago? We made blueberries on Monday.  It’s Wednesday.  Is this container from Monday?”

::squeaks:: “I don’t know!”

It’s time to try a different way again.

 

“Gracie, are those the blueberries I just bought today? Did you eat the whole thing?”

“NO! YOU’RE A LIAR!”

“But… honey did you eat the blueberries that were in the fridge? All by yourself?”

::squeaks:: “I don’t know!”

“I was going to make blueberries with them, but if you ate them it’s okay to tell me the truth.  I’m happy you got fresh fruit into you.  I’m just surprised you ate the whole thing.”

“I DID NOT! YOU’RE A LIAR!”

“Okay, but I can TELL you ate them all! Your lips are blue! It’s just better to tell the truth.  That way you won’t get in trouble.”

She gripped that pint tin for dear life, her knuckles white, her eyes desperate.  I thought she was desperate for me to believe that she hadn’t eaten all of those blueberries on her own.  I really was fine with the fact that she ate all of them.

 

::with tears::  “I tell the troof.  I not ate them all.  There are four mushy ones!”

It’s all in the details, Mom.  It’s all in the details.

 

 

 

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electric Waffle iron

I used an iron just like this by Sunbeam

I’m making these for supper per child request.  Two of my kids love breakfast for supper, and it’s been a while since we’ve had waffles.

I found this recipe for waffles on AllRecipes.com more than five years ago and it’s my go-to recipe.  I don’t make any other waffle recipes.  It’s easy and delicious, which is what I need. I love that I can make this for the girls and keep it lactose-free for my middle daughter too just by using her Lactaid milk.  I do like to clabber the milk with some lemon juice.

I suspect that these can easily be made gluten-free for those who have Celiac Disease.  I actually just found a gluten-free cooking blog called Gluten Free Cooking School (ckick here) and she actually has a recipe for gluten free flour mix (click here) that she uses for pancakes.

Fluffy Waffles:
(Jessica, found on AllRecipes)
Makes 9-10 med-large waffles
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
2 eggs, separated

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat waffle iron. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk, oil and egg yolks until mixture is smooth. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter.

Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden; serve hot.

Jessica’s Notes: Added 1 TB sugar to flour mixture; reviews of the recipe on AllRecipes suggested 3 TB sugar + 1 tsp of vanilla to sweeten up waffles but 1 TB was delicious & still appropriate for the waffles to be either savory or sweet.

EDIT:  These really are great waffles.  I’ve blogged about them twice now.

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Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine

I really don’t like bananas.  I detest them, actually, so heaven knows why I like this recipe but I do! It’s really good as a bread as written but it’s also great made into muffins.  The kids love this recipe, even the super-picky one! I think I’ve shared it on Facebook before but it’s just such a shareable recipe.  🙂  Enjoy! I’m about to make some for tomorrow’s breakfast.  The girls are tired of cereal and I can’t blame them.

[Edited to add: I always forget to add this, but I add ground cinnamon to this recipe.  When I’m putting the dry ingredients together I always think, “Hmm, I’m forgetting something, it must be cinnamon or nutmeg” so I add a teaspoon of cinnamon.  It’s not supposed to go in, but my brain thinks it needs it.  It’s actually perfect for the recipe so it’s a nice addition.]

Banana-Oatmeal Bread:
(Cooking Light Magazine)
1 ½ cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup oats (can also use flavored packets of oatmeal)
1 cup mashed bananas
1/3 cup buttermilk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. Combine banana, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a small bowl or measuring cup.
4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
5. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Cool on a wire rack, in the pan, for about 15 minutes (I left mine in longer and it was fine).
7. Remove the bread from the pan after 15 minutes and cool thoroughly on the rack.

*Jessica’s notes: I used lactose-free fat-free milk instead of buttermilk, and simply added about 1 TB of vinegar. Also used a nonstick bread pan.

[*new note: add 1 tsp of cinnamon to dry ingredients]

* Amy’s notes: I used two packets of apple cinnamon instant oatmeal and will add pecans next time.

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I’m making this recipe tonight.  It’s an appetizer, and it’s to die for.  I’m making a couple of alterations, but they’re not really noteworthy here other than I’m doubling the recipe and leaving out onions and then the crushed red pepper will be on the side for anyone who wants to sprinkle it on their own pieces.  Okay maybe that is noteworthy.  One other note then.  I couldn’t find French bread at the grocery store (by the way, Price Chopper, you have EVERY bread except French bread, how is that?) so I found a “Vienna Baguette” and had them slice it up for me in the bakery at Price Chopper. Then they just put the sliced loaf into a plastic bag for me.

I’ll try to upload some pictures later because they’re really pretty little bites of heaven.  I’m trying to think of where I originally found the recipe.  I think it was my America’s Favorite Brand Names Recipes… but don’t hold me to that.  Something I’m pleased about is my middle daughter, who is lactose intolerant, will be able to have this tonight since the cheese is Kraft shredded mozzarella (part skim, but not with the Philly in it) because it has 0 grams of lactose.  She’s so picky but loves tomatoes and cheese and Dijon.

Savory Bruschetta:
(Jessica)
Crouton Bread Ingredients:
1 long thin loaf of French bread (18 )
½ cup regular or reduced fat mayo
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 TBS chopped green onion if desired
1 clove minced/chopped garlic or equivalent garlic powder
3/4 tsp dried oregano or basil leaves

To make Crouton Bread:
*Slice bread crosswise into ½ inch slices
*paint both sides of each slice of bread w/ pastry brush & place in cookie sheet
*toast under broiler for about 1 minute or until lightly toasted
*flip bread over and toast again, same way

Bruschetta Topping Ingredients:
1 lb ripe plum tomatoes…cored, seeded & chopped
1 cup finely chopped fennel bulb or celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
3 TBS dijon mustard
3 TBS olive oil
3 TBS balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes if desired
1-2 cups shredded melting cheese

To make Bruschetta:
*combine all Bruschetta topping ingredients except the cheese.
*toss until well-blended
*may allow to marinate over-night if desired
*Drop about 1-2 TB of Bruschetta Topping onto the toasted bread slices.
*Sprinkle with cheese.
*Toast under broiler until cheese is melted.
*Serve

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A Teaspoon with Baking powder

Image via Wikipedia

I usually make this for Christmas or New Year’s Day breakfast. It’s actually more of a coffee cake, but it’s an American-style coffee cake meaning that it doesn’t have coffee in it.  You serve it with coffee. It doesn’t have a streusel (crumb) topping the way I do it (in a scalloped bunt pan) but you could if you use the right pan. I sometimes make two in loaf pans, but again without the streusel topping if I do it that way.  But since it doesn’t have streusel topping, it’s “bread.”

I successfully alter this recipe using lactose-free milk (NOT soy milk) and add a touch of lemon juice or vinegar to clabber it. If I have enough butter, I use butter over shortening because it tastes better.  When I bring it somewhere like a class party or to someone’s home I like to pre-slice it and then sprinkle it with a dusting of powdering/confectioner’s sugar.

Since I use a bunt pan, I add the batter in layers so that between layers I can sprinkle “extra” cinnamon sugar and then swirl it with a knife. It turns out better that way and actually swirls nicely.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread:
(Bren, the original host on BabyCenter‘s Recipe Swap)

1/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 Tbs. cinnamon
2 Tbs. sugar

In large mixing bowl, cream shortening & sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.

Spread half of the batter in two greased & lightly floured 8″ x 4″ x 2″ loaf pans. Combine cinnamon & sugar; sprinkle half over batter. Spread remaining batter; sprinkle with other half of cinnamon-sugar. Bake at F. 350 for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 in pans before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 2 loaves.

*Jessica’s notes:
1. Successfully made this recipe in a bundt pan & treated it like a “cake” recipe; excellent this way and serves beautifully for company; also delicious thinly sliced, then toasted and dabbed with cream cheese.
2. Also successfully made this recipe using half whole wheat flour, and soured fat free milk (added 1 TB white vinegar to milk) and not buttermilk.

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