31 May 2009

A Drinkable Cupcake for Dinner!

A drinkable cupcake........Whaaaaaaaat??? But it's not what you think. It's cupcake wine, and it's what I had for dinner last night!

Let me start off by telling you about me and my wine connoisseurness. Basically....I'm a wine pro, and here's why:

1) I'll drink almost any wine. Almost.
2) I've been to Napa Valley for wine tasting once with my cousin Shannon (Enter shout-out here: Hey Shannon!!!). She's the same cousin who leaves me comments under the alias of "Best Cousin Ever" and things of that nature.
3) I buy wine based purely on price and awesomeness of the label.
4) I've seen Sideways.

Total qualification. Right? Right.........

Anywho. I've seen this Cupcake wine before, but never in my grocery store, and this time, I had to have it. It was only $12.99 and plus, look how cute it is!

This 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and enticing, with displays of soft tannins, flavors of blackberry, dark cherry, plums, mocha and a touch of oak.

My professional review of Cupcake Cabernet Sauvignon:
Price? - I like it!
Taste? - I like it!
Buy Again? - Definitely!

I also purchased a good fallback wine of mine. Any wine with a label like this, and called Gnarly Head is a winner in my book. It looks nice on my wine rack. Plus, it's only $9.99 and it tastes good too!

My professional review of Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin (Lodi Zifandel):
Price? - Gnarly!
Taste? - Gnarly!
Buy Again? - Definitely!


30 May 2009

Buttermilk Biscuits

I hate throwing food out. I hate throwing food out I haven't even opened even more.

I've had a container of buttermilk sitting in my fridge for almost too long now, and I refuse to throw it out. Why, why, why, don't they make buttermilk in smaller bottles??? So often I buy it for one or two recipes, and barely use half of it before it goes bad. And that is why the biscuits were made tonight - to attempt to use up some of this buttermilk. I need more ideas, any suggestions?

These biscuits are so easy to make. From start to finish maybe 20 minutes. And while they were baking, I was able to clean everything up, which was even better. Thanks Alton Brown for another great quick recipe. I love Alton Brown. I love Good Eats. But I don't have cable. And I miss the food network. *sigh*

I would have spruced these up if I had more ingredients, but like I said previously, I'm trying to deplete my food inventory, and it's going really well. Which means: I have no food. No perishable food at least. Which means: I've been eating like crap lately. Lots-O-Carbs.

This recipe makes about a dozen, so I'll be able to freeze them. And then I can make egg, taylor ham & cheese biscuits to bring to work. And then I will take pictures of them. And then I will show you. And then you will be drooling on your keyboard. It will be glorious!!!


My advice: Don't buy biscuits in a can. Once you try these, you will see how simple they are, and you won't go back.

Go ahead, try 'em:


Southern Biscuits

Alton Brown

Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don't want the fats to melt.)
  3. Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
  4. Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round.
  5. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that's life.)
  6. Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

28 May 2009

Bagels, Take 1

Bagels.....I have the same 'thing' about bagels as I do about pizza. A nice big fat bagel with just enough crunch and just enough chewiness is hard to come by outside of the Tri-State Area. Luckily for me, there is an awesome bagel place within 2 miles of my house. They are delicious and out of character for Maine, and every time I go in there, I swear, I get worried that they will change their recipe. I panic that one day they will want their bagels to taste like Maine, and not the New York ball of delicious jewish dough they already are. It's also the only place I've found Boar's Head meats since I've been here. And they carry taylor ham (not so Jewish), which I think is near impossible to find outside of New Jersey. Mmm...artery clogging taylor ham, delicious! I'll save the taylor ham for another post...back to the bagels.


I don't have the recipe because it was pulled it out of a book that I do not own. The recipe seemed fine, but the execution of the bagel, well, not so awesome.

The first problem came when the dough was too dry. The second problem came when the dough was over kneaded. By a very, very, very, VERY long time. And that was enough problems to have our bagels too small, and much much MUCH too tough.

They were still fun to make, and I look forward to a second attempt. To redeem myself for the bagel destruction!!!

26 May 2009

Attack of the Giant Shrimp!

I've been craving seafood lately. Preferably lobsters and scallops. I've been putting it off for a while, but today I had some extra cash in my pocket, so I stopped down at Hallowell Seafood on my lunch break and picked up some scallops that were on special and 2 gigantic shrimp (or prawns I suppose). These shrimp were huge...comparable to the size of small lobster tail. I couldn't wait to start cooking with them.


I decided on butterflying the shrimp and stuffing them with a mixture of veggies and scallops. I cooked some black rice for a nice contrast, sauteed some local spinach I also picked up today, and pan seared a couple of other scallops. It hit the spot and looked pretty too!

I was able to freeze half of the scallops and also have left overs. It ended up being a really good deal, and a nice treat!

uncooked


mmmmmmmmmmmmm...

25 May 2009

Scibec (or Scibek) Sizzler

After reading the new Food Network magazine and seeing the special "50 Burgers in 50 States", it made me want to try them all. Really. I think that would be awesome. Like, really awesome....

This weekend I tried the Scibek(c) Sizzler at The Shopping Bag in Burlington, Vermont. Only 49 more to go! It was a beautiful day, and a big fat juicy burger on a park bench overlooking Lake Champlain (keeping an eye out for Champ) was the perfect way to end it.

When I began this post I noticed that the burgers name is spelt differently by Food Network then by the store itself. Whoops! Take a look:


the store

The place was nothing fancy, just your typical corner store, a place for the neighborhood punks to buy their booze and smokes. We bought burgers and waited outside while they cooked on a tiny grill.

tiny grill
I wasn't all that hungry, but I couldn't NOT order one...I was excited!!!

take a look at this sucker! 1/2 lb of beef w/ seasonings, bacon,
2 types of cheese (cheddar and American I think), lettuce, onions,
pickles, tomatoes, and some sort of mayo based sauce.


Overall, it was a good burger based on the combination of greasiness, quantity of toppings, and a gorgeous day. It was agreed that although the meat itself wasn't the greatest and there are probably better burgers in Vermont, we definitely wouldn't turn this officially slutty burger down. And for only $4.99, who would?


21 May 2009

Orzo, Dear Orzo....

I'm trying to eat up all of those things tucked waaayyyy back in the freezer and cabinets, but I have to tackle the produce first. It's going slow...but steady!


This turned out to be a really tasty 'throw it all together' meal, and it was even better the next day for lunch, even cold! Vegetable-y, light, but cheesy and creamy all at the same time. And it's been a while since I've had orzo, and I almost forgot how much I'm in love with this pasta.

Here's what I did (I think):

Ingredients
  • 2 sun dried tomato chicken sausage links, cubed
  • 1 corn on the cob
  • 1 handful asparagus
  • 1 whole roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 box orzo
  • approx 1/8 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp butter, sliced smaller
  • crushed red pepper
  • parsley
  • garlic powder
Directions
  1. Put corn on the cob in a Ziploc bag with some butter and seasonings (parsley, garlic powder - anything you want). Close bag only 75%. Nuke for 1 minute, flip over, nuke for another minute. Let cool enough to handle, then slice corn off of cob.
  2. Boil water & cook orzo until al dente...not a minute more. Drain.
  3. While boiling orzo, cut asparagus into 1 inch sections, and steam just a few minutes. Make sure it's cooked but still crunchy. Drain.
  4. Slice roasted red pepper.
  5. Put a slab of butter on bottom of pot you used to cook the pasta, turn on med-low. Add heavy cream. Stir a bit. Return pasta to pan and add corn, asparagus, roasted red pepper, sausage. Add parmesan cheese and seasonings.
Eat. And then eat again!

The corn might sound weird, but it really helped with the flavors and textures. I love meals like this!
Woo!

20 May 2009

Eggholes!

So the other night I was on the phone with my friend Jenn trying to figure out what she should make for dinner, and quick. So she gives me a brief inventory of her supplies. I suggested eggs, she agreed. Since Jenn also likes dip-dip eggs, I suggested she make it a little more fun by creating her first "egg in a hole". Then I was craving it all night. The next morning I made my own.

The pictures aren't that great looking (which kinda defeats the purpose of the blog), but it definitely tasted good, and that's the part that counts, right?



It's very simple, but a little more of a unique way to have eggs and toast.

Egg in a Hole
  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Butter
  1. Let a few slabs of butter melt in a pan on medium heat. Throw a few slices of bread in the pan, toast lightly on each side.
  2. Remove bread and cut a hole in the middle.
  3. Return to pan and crack an egg in the center of each piece of bread. Cook for a few minutes then flip. Cook white completely, leaving the yolk runny.

18 May 2009

Black & Whites

These...are...really...good...
That's all I have to say today...


Black & Whites
Epicurious - Gourmet

For cookies
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
For icings
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
Make cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.
  4. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well.
  5. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
  6. Spoon 1/4 cups of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes.
  7. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill (to cool quickly), about 5 minutes.
Make icings while cookies chill:
  1. Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth.
  2. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as white icing.
Ice cookies:
  1. Turn cookies flat sides up, then spread white icing over half of each and chocolate over other half.

Kacey's Tip: Make a little extra icing, just in case!


17 May 2009

Tequila!

I'm a loner Dottie. A rebel.



Whenever I think of tequila, this image pops into my head of Pee-Wee dancing on the bar in those crazy shoes. Some may find it funny, some may find it disturbing. I find it a little of both. I'm a dork.

Anyways......

Last weekend I obtained a TON of strawberries. I knew I couldn't eat them all, so I put some sugar on them, waited until they got nice and soft and threw them in the freezer for another day. Another day came, I was going to hang out with Hasty's in the afternoon and was planning on bringing something sweet. Perfect! I knew I had to use the strawberries. I was originally thinking to make strawberry cupcakes with strawberry buttercream icing, but I've been there, done that. (Note to self: Make awesome strawberry cake again for blog)

So at 10am I cracked open the bottle of tequila.



At 10am it seemed like a lot of tequila, but at 9pm, Brianne and I decided that although you could occasionally taste some tequila, it could probably use a bit more. I also left out the triple sec, maybe that would help too. The pretzel crust was awesome. Overall this is a very tasty summertime dessert that I would definitely make again.

Strawberry Margarita Pie
www.crumbcity.blogspot.com

crust
  • 1 1/2 cups pretzel crumbs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  1. combine pretzels, butter and sugar and press into pie pan. Bake at 350 until crust begins to brown, 7-8 minutes. Watch closely to prevent burning. Cool completely.
filling
  • about 1 pound strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup tequila (or to taste...the more tequila you use, the softer the frozen pie will be)
  • juice of 1-2 limes, depending on how much you like lime
  • 1 tablespoon triple sec if you've got it (you probably won't miss it)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or two cups Cool Whip, if you must)
  1. Blend everything except for the cream until smooth. I used my immersion blender, but you could use a blender or hand mixer. Pretend you're making a milkshake. At this point, you could drink it, but it's much nicer frozen.
  2. Whip cream separately, then fold into strawberry mixture. Taste and add lime juice and tequila until it's a creamy version of your favorite strawberry margarita.
  3. Pour filling into cooled crust and freeze for several hours. Serve with a tequila garnish.

So next time your in the mood for a frozen margarita pie....Be sure and tell 'em Large Marge sent ya!

16 May 2009

Every Rose Has Its Thorn...

Wanna see my first roses I've ever made out of icing? I thought so.

Be prepared to be impressed...



Viola!

And no, they don't meet all those fancy-smancy cake decorator rules. But you know what I say? Who cares! Not every rose looks the same, especially mine made out of icing. Plus, they still taste good.

Be impressed...cause I was.

14 May 2009

BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I call a sandwich such as this a glorified grilled cheese sandwich. Come to think of it, lots of basic turned nicer food I make I call 'glorified blah blah blah'. I'm gonna have to think of a new saying.

I had some left over artisan bread from the bake sale (I had to keep a loaf to make sure it was okay to donate!) and some awesome BBQ chicken (that my mom brought me, thanks mom!). Add some cheese and it's the perfect lunch!



I slapped some butter on the bread, threw it in a pan, put on colby jack cheese, spinach, BBQ chicken, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella cheese. It was oooey-gooey and delicious. And it looks good too.


13 May 2009

Risotto

This risotto will be the first recipe from my cookbook challenge (which I've lowered my goals to only 1 recipe per cookbook I own). I was hungry, and was only going to make something with the ingredients I had on hand. So I grabbed my Rachael Ray 365:No Repeats book, flipped open to page 272 and decided to make my own version of her Boo-sotto. You can find the original recipe here.

The only thing missing....a nice big glass of wine...I really should have stopped at the store. Bummer....



Here is what I did:

Kac-sotto
my take on Rachael Ray's Boo-sotto

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 12 oz arborio rice
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 white mushrooms, sliced
  • Approx 10 stems asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces & steamed slightly
  • 2 handfuls of Maine shrimp
  • 1/2 cup cooking wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock (kept warm)
  • 1 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • crushed red pepper
  • fresh ground salt & pepper
  • dried parsley
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add EVOO, garlic, onions, and mushrooms. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
  2. Add rice & asparagus cook 2 - 3 more minutes.
  3. Add wine & cook away, approx. 1 minute.
  4. Add about a 1/2 cup of chicken stock, and add shrimp. Cook until evaporated. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  5. Stir constantly, adding 1/2 cup of stock at a time, approximately 25 minutes or until rice is al dente & very starchy. Stir in cheese & serve with parsley.

11 May 2009

Mini Turkey Meatloafs

When I was younger I never really cared for meatloaf. Something about a food called "Meat-Loaf" just did not sound appealing. But then, for some strange reason about a year or two ago, I had a craving for meatloaf. I found a recipe using ground turkey, I loved it, and I don't know if I want to try anything else. What I like about meatloaf is you can add anything you have available to it, which is why mine tastes different all the time...but always tastes good.

Below is a picture of a mini ground turkey meatloaf with homemade tomato sauce on top, sitting on mashed cauliflower & peas, on top of parmesan cheese, on top of sauteed garlic spinach, on top of a piece of toasted seeded wheat bread.


Turkey Meatloaf
by Me...recipe subject to change on a regular basis
  • approx 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 cups breadcrumbs (any kind - I used seasoned italian)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (I used roasted red pepper this time)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (I used yellow this time)
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • dried oregano
  • dried basil
  • dried parsley
  • crushed red pepper
  • homemade tomato sauce
  1. Chop bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Saute in a tbsp of olive oil until soft. Cool slightly.
  2. Place ground turkey in large bowl. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, beaten egg, breadcrumbs, worcestershire sauce, cheese, and dried herbs.
  3. Throw in sauteed veggies and smush until combined. I use my hands...no fancy shmancy wooden spoons here.
  4. Oil loaf pan (in this case, muffin pan) and place meat inside. Press into loaf but do not pack hard. Top with tomato sauce
  5. Place in preheated oven @ 375degrees for 45 minutes (25-30 for muffin pans).

meat muffins!

Mamma Mary's Mothers Day Pizza

My parents came to visit this weekend, which was very exciting because they haven't been to visit me in a very long time. It was just the three of us, plus Sammy (my cat) and Bosco (the dog). My mom got to pick what we ate for Mother's Day (of course!), and amongst many other things we consumed that day, she wanted to make homemade pizza. (she had never made pizza dough before!).



I have this thing about pizza. So do my parents. I was always skeptical about making pizza because I just love good pizza so much. So call me a snob, or picky, or whatever you want, but I know what I like, and I don't like Maine pizza. It's weird and chewy and crappy. The dough is crappy, the sauce is crappy, and the toppings are crappy. I might be generalizing a bit too much, because there are some pizza's that I will eat, and some that are good. But nothing can compare to my New Jersey pizza. Nothing. They use the perfect amount of dough, cheese, and sauce. The toppings are fresh and tasty. And don't even get me started on "maine calzones"...what a joke........go ahead, call me a bitch if you want. I only feel bad you don't know the difference.

Back to OUR pizza. We used my homemade tomato sauce (gravy for those ginneys out there), and fresh basil that we picked up at Longfellow's earlier that day, with slices of garlic, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, Parmesan, and some seasonings. It tasted impressive.

moms first pizza


woah! nice catch dad!







Thin Crust Pizza Dough Recipe
makes 2 pizzas, 12 inches each - Adapted from pinkbites
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for kneading) (you can substitute some with whole wheat flour)
  • 1 package of dry active yeast (7 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 200ml (7 oz) of warm water.
  1. Whisk all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil and the warm water and bring it together with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  3. Hand knead dough for about 7(ish) minutes until well together, stretchy, still wet, but smooth. (Original recipe called for the use of a stand mixer, but I don't have one, yet, and it came out just fine by hand.
  4. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled clean bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let it rest for at least 1 hour in a dry, warm spot.
  5. Preheat oven to 475 degrees with the pizza stone placed in the middle rack.
  6. Punch down dough with your fist (flour your hands first).
  7. Transfer dough to a well floured surface and knead lightly, adding a little flour as necessary just until it comes together in a ball. Cut dough in half, wrap excess dough if not using it right away and store in the refrigerator.
  8. Prepare the pizza peel (aka rimless cookie sheet) by sprinkling it with cornmeal. Stretch/roll pizza dough to approximately 12 inches round or whatever shape you want. Top pizza as desired.
  9. Using the pizza peel (cookie sheet), slide the pizza onto the pizza stone. Bake it for about 10 minutes or until dough is browned and topping is cooked. To remove the pizza from the oven, use a tong to pull the pizza back into the peel. Let sit a minute or so, then slice and serve!

07 May 2009

Boxed Can Rock!



I have this thing about boxed cake mix. Specifically chocolate cake mix. I have an even bigger thing about boxed brownie mix. But that will be in a later post. I loved boxed chocolate cake mix. I could eat the whole thing, just dry and powdery, straight out of the box. But then once the oil, water, and eggs are mixed in....Oooolala... The texture of chocolate boxed caked has it's own unique texture and taste. Always moist and soft, but springy and a little chewy.

I was originally going to make homemade reduced sugar cupcakes for a birthday at work tomorrow. But then I wasn't feeling too good, went home early, and decided that since Pillsbury has concocted a reduced sugar cake mix/icing, and I will have to take advantage.



Review of reduced sugar boxed cake mix: Cake was good, moist, springy, chocolaty, and although it tasted a little different than regular sugar, I would use this again.

Review of reduced sugar icing: Tasted okay, almost a 'marshmallowy' texture. Strange. I would definitely try to find a homemade reduced sugar recipe.

***Tip: Don't be fooled to think that just because it has less sugar then normal, it is healthy for you, and end up eating 2 of these. Especially when you already have a belly ache. Oy Vey...

06 May 2009

Junk Food Chicken



My sister & I were recently talking about a dinner my mom use to make and called Junk Food Chicken. It wasn't made too often, but I remember loving it.

Apparently Rachael tried to recreate this dish the same weekend I tried also. TRIED is the key word here. We both tried to take a slightly healthier approach to this. We both used boneless skinless chicken breasts and baked it instead of frying it. Both came out bland. I ended up dipping the chicken in honey while eating it, and it was much better. I also made twice baked potatoes, but those didn't come out too hot either.

Lesson learned: When mom says use the greasy part of the chicken and fry in oil. Fry in oil dammit! There's a reason it's called Junk Food Chicken for pete's sake. (who is pete, and why do we care about his sake?)

Oh yeah, an apology for low quality pictures lately. My camera has definitely seen better days, and that was a long time ago. It's been used and abused and in need of a replacement I just haven't bought yet.

Junk Food Chicken
from mom - the way it should be...we think
  • chicken parts from whole chicken
  • potato chips (whatever type suits your fancy)
  • rice crispies
  • oil
  1. crush equal parts potato chips and rice crispies in a large ziploc bag. Throw chicken parts in and shake, shake, shake until coated.
  2. heat oil in large pan.
  3. throw (gently place) chicken in hot oil.
  4. fry for a few minutes until crispy, then turn over and fry until no longer pink in the center.
  5. eat!!!

I would probably season the chicken with salt and pepper before coating with chips. If using boneless skinless chicken breast again, I'll probably coat the chicken in honey before adding chips.

I've been posting a lot of greasy things, huh? I really have been eating healthier than that, I swear. I also realized I never posted the recipe for that cold soba noodle salad that I served with the sushi. I've updated that post to include the recipe.


03 May 2009

Sushi Balls & Cake Rolls

Today was the third KVB baking day. In the past we've made Car Bomb! cupcakes and a Chocolate Armagnac Cake. It was my turn to host this monthly gathering. I was a little nervous for the following reasons:

1) I wanted to make sure our food came out good and I would be an okay host, and more importantly,

2) My kitchen is small. Like, really small. Until today, I don't think more than 2 people have ever been NEAR the kitchen while cooking/baking was going on. And trust me, even with only 2 people...it wasn't pretty. So after I decided to put a table in the kitchen to create more counter space...it was interesting. I think we did pretty well, and apparently is wasn't TOO tight because Brianne & Victoria even had room to wash all of my dishes! Thanks guys!!!!

I think
Bakerella's cake pops are super cute, and thought they would be fun to decorate and use for the Bake for Hope Bake sale on Wednesday. We originally wanted to make the cake pops look like boobies (what else would you make for a breast cancer bake sale???) But it's not as easy at it looks to mold cake into a breast and put it on a stick. It was a mutual decision to just decorate them with pink & white icing.


***An apology to all those people who were looking to purchase tasty boobies. But I promise that these are just as scrumptious, and even better looking!***

cake pops!


ready to go!


Of course we needed to have lunch too. While the cake pops were in the freezer hardening, we prepared a couple of sushi rolls. I had never made sushi before, and thought it would be a fun hands on lunch idea. I was very excited while we each made our own rolls, and they all came out awesome. I wasn't sure if sushi would be enough, so the night before I whipped up an asian noodle salad.


nice veggie shot brianne!



my first sushi roll!


yummy goodness


Glorified California Roll (Ingredients)

  • nori
  • sushi rice (cooked & prepared)
  • avocado
  • carrots
  • imitation crab meat
  • cucumber
  • mushrooms
  • sesame seeds
  • wasabi paste
  • spicy mayo (4 parts mayo 1 part garlic chili paste)

Cold Soba Noodle Salad

adapted from The Love of Cooking

I usually eyeball salad, so however much of each ingredient you like will work.

Salad

  • 1lb cooked & cooled soba noodles
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • a couple of baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • grated carrots
  • chopped peanuts
  • toasted sesame seeds

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic
  1. combine dressing ingredients and let sit for an hour or more.
  2. combine all salad ingredients.
  3. toss salad with dressing.
  4. let sit a few hours for salad to absorb dressing.

01 May 2009

The Great Cookbook Challenge



Cookbooks are cool. No doubt about it. The only thing not cool about having lots of cookbooks is that you rarely cook enough recipes to make it worth paying for. This is why I:
  1. Copy recipes out of other peoples cookbooks
  2. Buy good quality cookbooks from used book stores
  3. Started this challenge.
Not that I own a TON of cookbooks, but I own enough to know that I haven't utilized each of them to their potential. I know that I will never cook all of those recipes in that picture. But I also know that I haven't even tried. The cookbooks I own are a collection of gifts, family hand-me-downs, local books from places I've been, and a couple of random ones that looked good (along with a variety of magazines I have yet to tear apart and put in my recipe binder).

Tonight, I am officially challenging myself to cook 3 recipes from each book/magazine I own. This may not sound like a lot, but take a look at that picture above. I count 17 books. That's 51 meals. That's not including the magazines I have. That's at least 51 specific meals for me alone to make and eat. The catch to this whole thing is...I cannot buy another food magazine or cookbook until I cook all of that.
And trust me, this shouldn't take (too) long because there's a whole list of cookbooks that I want.

At least I'll be eating good...for a while.

P.S. If you feel the need to add cookbooks to my collection, I will in no way object. Even if it means I must cook 3 recipes from it, and blog about them. Don't twist my arm...please...