Archives for June 2008

Danish Braid My Daring Bakers First Challenge

First on why I decided to join the Daring Bakers…One evening I was gazing at the photos on Tastespotting (R.I.P), and I saw all of these beautiful layered cakes popping up all over the place. I clicked on one of the photos and it linked to the Daring Bakers, who are a group of crazy […]

Sleeping Beauty Birthday Cake

What a pain in the butt, that damn Sleeping Beauty!! Well my daughter who turns 3 today has been talking about having a Sleeping Beauty Birthday Party since she was 2! Seriously, she mentions it a few times a week! She has an unhealthy obsession with Sleeping Beauty and ALL(and I mean all) things Pink!!! […]

Summer Strawberries

Ok, ENOUGH is ENOUGH…enough of the healthy food, lets get back to the butter, lard and cholesterol elevating food!!!! Lets talk about how we can make a bowl of delicious and healthy for you Strawberries shorten the length of you life!! He he!! The best person to look towards for this advice is Paula Deen. […]

Some healthy Fare!!!!

Ok, I got some constructive criticism on my blog today from someone who will remain nameless…STEVE!! The request was for more healthy food! He is my brother-in-law and another one of my official taste tasters! I DO cook healthy, I really do! We eat dinner at the dinner table EVERY night as a family, no […]

A WHOPPER of a cupcake!!!

In my endless pursuit to search the entire food blog word, I landed on the cutest site Peanut Butter And Julie. Her food are just beautiful and she is a fellow Daring Baker. I saw this recipe on her site and I just knew I had to make it. I love Love Whoppers. And it […]

Happy Fathers Day..with man food..grrrrrr

The way to a mans heart is through his stomach..right? Well letting him sleep in on Fathers Day helps as well. And just figures the kids got up at 6:30..so there was no sleeping in for me. Keeping them quite so their daddy could sleep a little later than usual was another issue for me!Well […]

Banana Bread Perfected!!! (in my opinion)

I know I know..People can get really defensive about their own Banana Bread. But I have tasted some peoples(who will remain nameless) who claim theirs is the best..and only when I tasted it I wish I had a dog to slide it under the table to! My mom gave me a basic banana bread recipe […]

BRILLIANT IDEA

Cathy over at the Noble Pig had a great idea! I should become the next tastespotting.As I told her I am computer illiterate.I really think people need an out let for showing their wonderful masterpieces and people need somewhere to look for new ideas!Lets give this a try..hey if it doesn’t work..it doesn’t work! This […]

SAD SAD SAD SAD day!

R.I.P TASTESPOTTING For the last few days I have been doing my 100 checks of Tastespotting a day. And it seemed to be stuck on that same ol pasta and green bean pot(lucky bastard..bet they got lots of traffic)! Well this morning BEFORE I even got my morning cup of coffee(ya, thats how important Tastespoting […]

Another one of my P.M.S cures

These might look a tad bit familiar. Last month I made a delicious P.M.S cure cookie. This is another take on that ever so popular Reese’s Cup Peanut Butter Cookie. However this time it is in a bite sized brownie. I actually had 2 packages of those mini Reese’s cup baking pieces in the pantry […]

BOSTON CREAM CUPCAKES

Man, those pesky grocery stores know what they are doing. You know, how they strategically place all of those have to have but don’t need items up at the check out. Like the purse size tissues, breath spray, finger nail files, eyeglass screwdrivers, as seen on TV furniture movers and oh yeah, those damn Food […]

Just good ol’ Strawberry Cake

Confession: I have never had Strawberry Cake. At least not that I can recall. Was I somehow deprived as a child and young adult? Well that all changed when I saw the May/June 2008 issue of Paula Deens Magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen. She is holding a lovely piece of Strawberry Cake on the front […]

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Danish Braid My Daring Bakers First Challenge


First on why I decided to join the Daring Bakers…One evening I was gazing at the photos on Tastespotting (R.I.P), and I saw all of these beautiful layered cakes popping up all over the place. I clicked on one of the photos and it linked to the Daring Bakers, who are a group of crazy cooks who enter a challenge every month to make something out of the ordinary. The May challenge was a Opera Cake..I read through the other blogs and saw that it had something like 14 pages of directions! You have got to be kidding me..14 pages to bake a cake???I was intrigued from the photos..here is one at Addicted Sweet Tooth.

So I just knew I had to join this club so I would be challenged every month to make something I would in no way ever make on my own!

June 2008…my first challenge with the Daring Bakers. Thanks to Kelly of Sass and Veracity and to Ben of What’s Cookin‘? for this wonderful challenge. What did they choose…..

A DANISH BRAID. What the hell is a Danish Braid? A Pastry..oh no a pastry. That meant I was going to have to use those packets of yeast that have been sitting in my pantry for who knows how long! Well the challenge was posted on June 1st, and even though we had one month to complete the it, my obsessive personality took over my whole being. And I had the challenge completed in less than 24 hours! I swear, once I get something in my head, I just cant stop until its done! I actually lost sleep that night trying to figure out what my fillings were going to be in the Braids! Sad, isnt it? Oh well, I guess that makes me who I am!

Here are the lengthy directions as they were provided

DANISH DOUGHMakes 2-1/2 pounds dough
IngredientsFor the dough (Detrempe)

1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1/2 cup whole milk

1/3 cup sugar

Zest of 1 orange, finely grated

3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

2 large eggs, chilled

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt
For the butter block (Beurrage)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
DOUGH

Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.Without a standing mixer: Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well. Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain. Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even. Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges. When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.
BUTTER BLOCK

1. Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.
2. After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
APPLE FILLING
Makes enough for two braidsIngredients
4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 – 8 minutes. Then add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.
DANISH BRAID Makes enough for 2 large braids
Ingredients
1 recipe Danish Dough (see below)

2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves (see below)
For the egg wash:

1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
3. Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.
Egg Wash

Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.
Proofing and Baking

1. Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.

2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.

3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month
My Fillings:

Guava and cream cheese

Maple Cinnamon cream cheese frosting
I have no idea on how many photos I took of these bad boys..but it was a TON
So here are a few of them!!

Rolling out the dough

Before the oven


FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN

Maple Cream cheese all dressed Up

As you can see I needed more filling..I will know for next time!

With the extra scraps of dough, I made this little plate for my hubby for when he got home!


Check out all of the other wonderful braids on the Daring Bakers Blogroll!

Sleeping Beauty Birthday Cake

sleeping beautyWhat a pain in the butt, that damn Sleeping Beauty!! Well my daughter who turns 3 today has been talking about having a Sleeping Beauty Birthday Party since she was 2! Seriously, she mentions it a few times a week! She has an unhealthy obsession with Sleeping Beauty and ALL(and I mean all) things Pink!!! I had this crazy idea one day that I was going to make her birthday cake instead of doing the sensible thing and calling Publix and ordering one! I also though it would be cheaper making one myself. Ha! Boy was I wrong!

This cake was a whole bunch of firsts for me. First time making and using fondant, using any icing tip other than for writing on a generic cake, making a cake this size.. etc..! I would hate to think how much this cake cost me. I didn’t have any supplies to make this mammoth cake! No pan, no tips, etc. I had a vision on what I wanted the cake to look like , but I had NO CLUE on how to execute it! Let me tell you..I lost sleep over this one folks!!!! I had to research fondant, butter cream, cake filling, baking a 16″ round double layer cake, the whole Barbie on top thing. Well lets just say I knew NOTHING!! And who knew those silver dragee balls would be so hard to find. Seems like the states of California has deemed the non-safe!
After countless hours of research on the web. I had my plan of attack. It took me a few days in stages to make this massive cake! First I made the Sleeping Beauties part of the cake. I purchased the Wilton Wonder mold for the bottom of her dress. I choose a Strawberry cake for her dress. I had to take her legs off to shove her in the cake formed like the bottom of her dress. I covered the skirt part with fondant and other decorations. And covered her boobies with fondant too.
Then the bottom cake was a standard yellow cake with Butter cream icing and a strawberry filling! Everything was edible on the cake(except for Sleeping Beauties upper body).
I have to say, all and all I am very pleased with the final product, especially since it was my first cake! Next time, I think I will take the easy non stressful route and call the bakery!!
Well here is her photo shoot!




Summer Strawberries

Ok, ENOUGH is ENOUGH…enough of the healthy food, lets get back to the butter, lard and cholesterol elevating food!!!! Lets talk about how we can make a bowl of delicious and healthy for you Strawberries shorten the length of you life!! He he!! The best person to look towards for this advice is Paula Deen. She is the queen of yummy, not so good for you food and I just love it all!! I have rarely had a bad Paula Deen recipe! I might have baked these about 2 minutes too long. So watch your baking time!! If you are having a sweet tooth, this is the recipe for you. These are REALLY sweet!

Strawberry Ooey Gooey Butter Cake


1 (18 1/4 ounce) package strawberry cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 large eggs, divided
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) box confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberry
sweetened whipped cream(optional)
Strawberry for garnish garnish(optional)

Directions
1 Preheat oven to 350°.
2 Lightly grease a 13×9-inch baking pan.
3 In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, and 1 egg.
4 Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
5 In a separate large bowl, beat cream cheese and 3 eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
6 Gradually beat in confectioners¹ sugar until combined.
7 Stir in strawberries.
8 Spoon mixture over cake mixture; bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is set.
9 Cool completely; cut into squares to serve.
10 Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and strawberries, if desired.

Some healthy Fare!!!!

Ok, I got some constructive criticism on my blog today from someone who will remain nameless…STEVE!! The request was for more healthy food! He is my brother-in-law and another one of my official taste tasters!

I DO cook healthy, I really do! We eat dinner at the dinner table EVERY night as a family, no matter how busy our lives get. I think that is EXTREMELY important in the raising of children! I have all the major food groups covered for dinner(well, except for chocolate) and no fried foods! As I told Steve the major reason I don’t post any of my dinners is because my photos rely of the natural morning light. Even though my camera is awesome, just using the flash on it alone makes everything look unappetising(as you will se in this posts photos)! I am currently in the market for an indoor light so I can take more photos..and not look like such a nerd in the mornings standing out side of my house, strategically holding up my food so I can get the perfect lighting! I hear the Lowel Ego light is good, at least that is what Kevin at Closet Cooking told me. Check out his site..his food and photos are amazing! So until I get around to getting one of those lights, my dinner selections for posts will be limited, because I hate posting ugly photos! So to make that nameless person happy..STEVE, I will post a more healthy option. The photo is horrid, but the chicken is delicious! Fall off the bone delicious! It is adapted from Cooks Illustrated..French Chicken in a Pot(I would link it here, but it wont show because it is a paid membership site)

The cooking times in the recipe are for a 4 1/2- to 5-pound bird. A 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound chicken will take about an hour to cook, and a 5- to 6-pound bird will take close to 2 hours. We developed this recipe to work with a 5- to 8-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. If using a 5-quart pot, do not cook a chicken larger than 5 pounds. Use the best chicken available, such as a Bell & Evans. If using a kosher chicken, reduce the kosher salt to 1 teaspoon (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt). If you choose not to serve the skin with the chicken, simply remove it before carving. The amount of jus will vary depending on the size of the chicken; season it with about 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice for every 1/4 cup.

INGREDIENTS
1 whole organic roasting chicken (4 1/2 to 5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded, wings tucked under back
2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion , chopped medium (about 1/2 cup)
1 small stalk celery , chopped medium (about 1/4 cup)
6 medium garlic cloves , peeled and trimmed
1 bay leaf
1 medium sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Add chicken breast-side down; scatter onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary (if using) around chicken. Cook until breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon inserted into cavity of bird, flip chicken breast-side up and cook until chicken and vegetables are well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove Dutch oven from heat; place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, 80 to 110 minutes.
2. Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with foil, and rest 20 minutes. Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids (you should have about 3/4 cup juices). Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, then pour into saucepan and set over low heat. Carve chicken, adding any accumulated juices to saucepan. Stir lemon juice into jus to taste.

Looks kinda strange that you don’t add any liquid to the recipe right? I though so as well! Well, when you read the article in Cooks Illustrated it states when you add liquid it will dilute the flavor and when you don’t use any liquid it make the flavors more concentrated. Ok, that make sense! Please don’t let the photo put you off! This really is a mouth watering bird.

********TIP*****
I always brine my chicken for 12- 24 hours before I use it.
Brine..I never measure anything out, sorry, so these are estimations!

1/4 cup Kosher salt
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning

But bird into a Gallon Freezer Zip lock bag..add all ingredients..fill the bag full of water, making sure Mr. Bird is fully covered with liquid. Throw him in the fridge and let him soak for 12-24 hours. Just make sure you rinse him well when you take him out of the bag!!

I forgot to be politically correct..Mr. or Mrs. Bird…sorry!

A WHOPPER of a cupcake!!!

In my endless pursuit to search the entire food blog word, I landed on the cutest site Peanut Butter And Julie. Her food are just beautiful and she is a fellow Daring Baker. I saw this recipe on her site and I just knew I had to make it. I love Love Whoppers. And it I had a jar of Malted milk Powder that needed to be used!These are probably in my top 5 favorite cupcakes now. The cake is very delicate, not spongy or dense like others. And they have the slightest spice flavor in them with the nuttiness of the malted milk powder! My sister Erika who has been a self professed life long Nutmeg hatter! I had her try these before she knew there was nutmeg in them. She loved them! I said, HA there is nutmeg in there. Perplexed, she said “may be I do like nutmeg after all!
Makes about 30 cupcakes
Ingredients:
For the cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
1 cup flour
1 cup malted-milk powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups cold water
4 large egg whites, room temperature
For the frosting
1 pound butter, softened
3 tablespoons heavy cream
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Malted milk balls for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Place 2 oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 cupcake tins with 24 cupcake liners and spray them with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, malted milk powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and shortening at medium speed. Slowly add the sugar and vanilla and beat at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the ice water and occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Fill the cupcake liners a little more than halfway with the batter. Bake the cupcakes for 20-22 minutes, switching positions halfway through, until they are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the tins for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat the baking process with any remaining batter.
Prepare the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract. Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed until creamy and of desired consistency.
Ice them how you see fit,,however you want them to look!
Top the cupcakes with malted milk balls.

Happy Fathers Day..with man food..grrrrrr


The way to a mans heart is through his stomach..right? Well letting him sleep in on Fathers Day helps as well. And just figures the kids got up at 6:30..so there was no sleeping in for me. Keeping them quite so their daddy could sleep a little later than usual was another issue for me!
Well I knew I had to make all my husbands favorites today. Breakfast..Blueberry Pancakes(which I will post about later..cause I am just too darn tired tonight to post a long post about a whole days worth of food)! Lunch..just a simple turkey sandwich
And the manly of all manly dinners…Meatloaf and mashed potatoes!

Meatloaf gets such a bad wrap! Try it my way and it will be one of your new favorites!!!

I am such a dork! Seriously, who basket weaves their bacon on top of their meatloaf?? Me!

Super Moist Meatloaf

2 lbs organic ground beef 80/20
2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 Tbsp fresh ground pepper
2 eggs lightly beaten
3/4 Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 large onion chopped fine
Topping
3 Tbsp ketchup
3 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 lb bacon
Preheat oven to 350.
Saute onion in olive oil for about 5-8 minutes until transparent
Mix all ingredients for meatloaf until incorporated. Don’t over handle or it might become tough!
Form into loaf shape in 9×13 pan lined with non stick foil
For the topping..mix ketchup and mustard together and smooth over top and sides of meatloaf.
Cover the entire top of loaf with the bacon!(YUM)
Bake for 1 1/4 hours and let rest for about 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Angel Mashed Potatoes
3 lbs red potatoes peeled
4 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
milk to desired consistency
Boil potatoes until tender…drain…while potatoes are draining, heat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Place the potatoes in a ricer. Rice them into the sauce pan with the butter and cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add milk to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
**I named then Angel Mashed Potatoes because last Thanksgiving, my brother in law Steve described them as Angels landing on a white cloud!

Banana Bread Perfected!!! (in my opinion)

I know I know..People can get really defensive about their own Banana Bread. But I have tasted some peoples(who will remain nameless) who claim theirs is the best..and only when I tasted it I wish I had a dog to slide it under the table to! My mom gave me a basic banana bread recipe some years ago. It was the best I had ever tasted. Sooooo, off of that basic recipe I have built the Ultimate Banana Bread..my secret ingredients are..Toasted walnuts, coconut and blueberries.

Not to toot my own horn..but is has been proclaimed to be the best banana bread many people have ever tasted! And I often get request for my SUPER moist, SUPER bananaee, SUPER delicious bread! So here goes for all of the world to have it. Once you make this you will have a hard time going back to any other recipe.

 

EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH BUTTER!!!!!!!!!!!

Banana Bread Perfected!!! (in my opinion)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
A moist Banana Bread
Ingredients
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups ap flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 large nasty looking ripe bananas. smooshed up real good
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ to 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut
  • ¾ cup blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Lightly grease TWO 8in x 3¾in x 2½in pans( I use the Hefty EZ elegance pans)
  3. Cream together butter and sugar with hand mixer or stand mixer.
  4. Add egg one at a time, mixing well in between each addition.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking pwdr and baking soda.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk..always start and end with the flour.
  7. Add bananas, vanilla, nuts and coconut and stir until combined. Fold in blueberries.
  8. Pour the batter into both pans evenly. Sprinkle some blueberries on top for a garnish.
  9. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out of the center with only slight crumbs on it.
  10. Try to let it cool before cutting into it..but I can never wait that long before digging in and slathering some butter on it!
  11. Tips***
Notes
To toast the walnuts, just place in large skillet over medium heat and cook until fragrant and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Usually around 5 to 8 minutes. I use the two smaller pans because I found that if you make one large loaf the bottom tends to burn before the middle is done. And besides 2 loafs is better than one.

BRILLIANT IDEA

Cathy over at the Noble Pig had a great idea! I should become the next tastespotting.
As I told her I am computer illiterate.
I really think people need an out let for showing their wonderful masterpieces and people need somewhere to look for new ideas!
Lets give this a try..hey if it doesn’t work..it doesn’t work!

This is what I will do..
I will put a link on my site called…hmmm..I cant think of one right now..any ideas?

Then people can email me with their photos and the link to that post and I will post them on my site in the unnamed as of yet link. Like tastespotting I am sure I would be able to get to all the submissions. But I would do my best!!

Does this sound like a plan?

****New plan**** here is the new blog name for my idea Daring Food
and again if it doesn’t work..at least I tried!!!!!

SAD SAD SAD SAD day!

R.I.P TASTESPOTTING
For the last few days I have been doing my 100 checks of Tastespotting a day. And it seemed to be stuck on that same ol pasta and green bean pot(lucky bastard..bet they got lots of traffic)!
Well this morning BEFORE I even got my morning cup of coffee(ya, thats how important Tastespoting is to me), I turned on my computer and go to my most valued web site and THIS is what I see. What, I yelp!!! You have got to be kidding me! Do you rememer throughout school when something fun was always ruined by that ONE person! Well I am guessing that might be what happened..maybe copyright issues with people posting other photos??? That is my take!
Tastespotting actually saved me from quitting my blog. I felt for a while I was blogging to outterspace to some foreign martians with no comments to be had. Well I posted a picture on Tastespotting and BAM! My blog was finally view by someone other than E.T.! And how woluld I have found everyone elses fabulous blogs. I got sooo many divine recipes from people posting their delicious photos. **sniff sniff**
I hope people still visit my site even without my posts on Tastespotting! PLEASE don’t abandon me!!!! I need an outlet for my cooking addiction!!LOL

I suppose I will have to dress in black today with one of those hideous black vails over my face in mourning! Someone let me know if there is another Tastespotting type of site out there I can get addicted to!

P.S. Take a tissue!

Another one of my P.M.S cures

These might look a tad bit familiar. Last month I made a delicious P.M.S cure cookie.
This is another take on that ever so popular Reese’s Cup Peanut Butter Cookie.
However this time it is in a bite sized brownie. I actually had 2 packages of those mini Reese’s cup baking pieces in the pantry that I have been wanting to use. I was a little disappointed in them though. They are very cute itty bitty Reese’s Cups( about the size of a pencil eraser), But I wasnt satisified with them in flavor. The amount of peanut butter in them was minuscule. So I decided to just chop up my own Miniature Reese’s cups. It was my husbands idea for the bite sized brownies(kudos to him). They are soooooooooo yummy. Again the universe unites with Chocolate and Peanut butter. Seriously folks…can it get any better than that? Ok, maybe the $30 million lottery! But hell hasn’t frozen over quite yet..so I am going to stick with the brownies!!!
Chopping
the
Chocolate!!!

BITE SIZE REESE’S CUP BROWNIES

1 1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
6 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
12 Tbsp(1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
20 Miniature Reece’s cups unwrapped and chopped, plus extra for topping if you wish

1.Preheat oven to 325 and adjust rack to middle position.
2.Grease mini muffin tins.
3.Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl and set aside.
4.Melt chocolate and butter over double boiler and stir occasionally until smooth.
5.Gradually whisk in sugar to chocolate and butter mixture.
6.Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each one until thoroughly combined. align=
7.Whisk in vanilla
8. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth.
9.Fold in Reece’s pieces

Spoon mixture into mini muffin tins by the heaping tablespoon full and top with extra chopped up Reece’s pieces if you wish.
Bake for 12 minutes.
Let rest in pan for about 5 minutes before cooling on wire rack.
Makes about 50

BOSTON CREAM CUPCAKES

Man, those pesky grocery stores know what they are doing. You know, how they strategically place all of those have to have but don’t need items up at the check out. Like the purse size tissues, breath spray, finger nail files, eyeglass screwdrivers, as seen on TV furniture movers and oh yeah, those damn Food based magazines. I know all of you foodies have noticed the Paula Deen’s Chocolate Celebration magazine. My first trip to the grocery I picked it up and put it back down because of the $8.99 price tag. But my second trip, I was weak, very very weak. I threw it up on the conveyor at the last second. I am glad I did, there are sooooo many yummy looking chocolate goodies in there. Well my sister Erika picked up the magazine while at my house and requested I make her the Boston Cream Cupcakes. Request and I shall make!!!!!!

BOSTON CREAM CUPCAKES
1 (18.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
Prepare cupcake per box directions. Let them cool completely
In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, cream,powdered sugar, milk and sour cream. Beat at medium speed until stiff peaks form.
Now you have two options in getting that delicious cream into the cupcakes.
-AS WRITTEN-Spoon mixture into a squeeze bottle with a long narrow tip. Insert into top of cupcake,, and squeeze about 1 tablespoon pudding mixture into center of cupcake.
-WHAT I DID- I took a paring knife and cut a hole into the top of the cupcake, almost reaching the bottom and pulled the piece out of the cupcake. Then I put the pudding mixture into a ziplock bag snipped the bottom and filled the cupcake up! Them I trimmed the piece I cut out just so it wasn’t so long and it fit on top of the cupcake with out sticking out of the top too much.

SINFUL CHOCOLATE GANACHE
6 (1oz) squares semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups powdered sugar
In medium bowl, combine chocolate and cream. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth( about 2 minutes). Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Let mixture cool until it reaches a spreadable consistency(about 30 minutes).
Spread on cupcakes. Don’t be afraid to lick the bowl.

Just good ol’ Strawberry Cake

Confession: I have never had Strawberry Cake. At least not that I can recall. Was I somehow deprived as a child and young adult? Well that all changed when I saw the May/June 2008 issue of Paula Deens Magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen. She is holding a lovely piece of Strawberry Cake on the front and I just had to make it. I had everything in the pantry but the strawberry extract. A few calls had to be make to the local markets..but I found it after the 3rd call.
The final result was yummy. I am not one for boxed anything, but I followed the recipe to a T and it came out great. Saving this from tasting like a “boxed cake” was the pureed strawberries and the strawberry gelatin that you add to the mix. This is a fresh summer cake.

STRAWBERRY CAKE
1 (18.25) box white cake mix
1 (3oz) box strawberry flavored instant gelatin
1 (10oz) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Pre heat oven to 350. Lightly grease 2 round 9-inch cake pans.
In large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil and water; beat at medium speed until smooth. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let completely cool on wire racks.
STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1 (10 oz) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 tsp strawberry extract
7 cups powdered sugar
In large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup strawberry puree, keep the remaining for another use. Beat in extract. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. If you want a pinker frosting, you can achieve that with a few drops of red food coloring.
Spread Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting in between layers and on top and side of cake.
Eat up!