Archives for July 2008

I survived my 2nd Daring Bakers Challange!!

Chris from Mele Cotte honestly tried to kill the Daring Bakers this month! She choose the Filbert Gateau for July’s Challenge from Great Cakes by Carol Walter. I had never heard of a “Filbert Gateau”. I read the directions OVER and OVER and OVER again and I was still baffled! So I had my darling […]

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY

Apple Cake 2 large eggs1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup skim milk2 Tbsp Butter1 Tbsp Vanilla1 cup self rising flour, sifted1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch1 large apple, peeled and thinly sliced1 tsp cinnamon1 tsp sugar Preheat oven to 400.Coat 8″ round cake pan with cooking spray Beat eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until lightStir in milk, melted butter […]

Dont forget to vote!

My video posts are in your hands..I put up a pole so please vote(its located to the right at the top). I don’t want to annoy anyone with my complete dorkyness. So please let me know if I should continue with the videos by casting your vote! Thanks a Bunch!

BC/AC.(before coffee/after coffee) +giveaway!!

BEFORE COFFEE AFTER COFFEE Enough said! I NEED coffee..and I look like shit in the morning!!!

Beef..its whats for Dinner!!

My Brother-In-Law John told me this morning he was very disappointed the I had never posted a “Beef” dish.(visit him @ Stanton’s Space) I know it seems like I only cook chicken in my house, but that is far from the truth! I am a steak and Potato kinda girl! I love love love red […]

Smile Award..and another video post!

Please Please no autographs..I know I deserve an Oscar for my performance!LOL LOL Again..I know I am a dork..so no need for anyone to point out the obvious!!! Sorry for my lack of editing skills on my videos..I honestly haven’t figured out how to do it! Thank you soooo much to Jenny at the Picky […]

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY

First..sorry for the hideous photo..I sooooo need to get a Lowel Ego light. Going outside to use the natural light is just not working for me! It was so humid today that I couldn’t get my camera to stop fogging up! I am really enjoying Weight Watcher Wednesdays! I know when I am eating whatever […]

Left over rice? Make Rice pudding!!!!!

Even though my children don’t like rice..I have to do my part as a responsible parent and cook it and put it on their plate! Do they eat it?? Hell no! So needless to say I often have a bunch of leftovers. I was left with exactly 2 cups of brown rice. I’ll throw it […]

Video Post Update..with no eye twitch!

A big thank you from me to YOU!

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY + meme at the end

Here we are on week #3 of Weight Watcher Wednesday..and today I didn’t have a sweet tooth(bizarre right?) so I decided to cook something savory. Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.I am a big fan of the FULL FAT, ALL BUTTER and ALL CREAM version, but if you can lighten it up, why not??!!The sauce was not as […]

Blueberry Pancakes…Simply Yummy + some Tips

Will ya look at the action shot! Drippy butter! Nothing better than that! BLUEBERRY PANCAKES INGREDIENTS1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour2 teaspoons granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon table salt1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon baking soda3/4 cup buttermilk1/4 cup milk (plus an extra tablespoon or so if batter is too thick)1 large egg , separated2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted1 […]

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I survived my 2nd Daring Bakers Challange!!

Chris from Mele Cotte honestly tried to kill the Daring Bakers this month! She choose the Filbert Gateau for July’s Challenge from Great Cakes by Carol Walter. I had never heard of a “Filbert Gateau”. I read the directions OVER and OVER and OVER again and I was still baffled! So I had my darling husband read them(our children haven’t sucked his brain out like they have mine!!)

After I got all of my ducks in a row, I did the cake a few steps at a time over 3 days!

I have to say I did not like the taste of the cake at all! It was a bit dry and boring in flavor! I must say the Praline Swiss Buttercream was to dye for! However, when I brought my sister one of the mini cakes to try, she was outside at the pool and all of the ganache and the buttercream literally melted and slid right off the cake. It was amusing to watch!

The decorating was a pain in the ass. Probably because I cut the 10″ cake into 6 mini cakes. I tried everything to get those damn sides smooth, but nothing worked. The tops were as smooth as glass, but the sides were far from perfect!

I hate to say this but I threw all but 1 of the cakes in the garbage. First I didn’t like the taste and second I didn’t like the way they looked! I blame it in my perfection gene!

I am glad that I was challenged to make this cake, however I will not be making it again!
View all the other BEAUTIFUL DB’s creations here!

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream From Great Cakes by Carol Walter

1 Filbert Genoise
1 recipe sugar syrup, flavored with dark rum
1 recipe Praline Buttercream
½ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 recipe Apricot Glaze
1 recipe Ganache Glaze, prepared just before using
3 tablespoons filberts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Filbert Genoise

Because of the amount of nuts in the recipe, this preparation is different from a classic genoise.

1 ½ cups hazelnuts, toasted/skinned
2/3 cup cake flour, unsifted
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
7 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided
¼ & ¾ cups1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. grated lemon rind
5 lg. egg whites
¼ cup warm, clarified butter (100 – 110 degrees)

Position rack in the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10” X 2” inch round cake pan. Using a food processor, process nuts, cake flour, and cornstarch for about 30 seconds. Then, pulse the mixture about 10 times to get a fine, powdery mixture. You’ll know the nuts are ready when they begin to gather together around the sides of the bowl. While you want to make sure there aren’t any large pieces, don’t over-process. Set aside.

Put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, and beat until thick and light in color, about 3-4 minutes on med-high speed. Slowly, add ¾ cup of sugar. It is best to do so by adding a tablespoon at a time, taking about 3 minutes for this step. When finished, the mixture should be ribbony. Blend in the vanilla and grated lemon rind. Remove and set aside.

Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl of the electric mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed, until soft peaks. Increase to med-high speed and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, over 15-20 seconds or so. Continue to beat for another ½ minute. Add the yolk mixture to the whites and whisk for 1 minute.

Pour the warm butter in a liquid measure cup (or a spouted container). * It must be a deep bottom bowl and work must be fast.* Put the nut meal in a mesh strainer (or use your hand – working quickly) and sprinkle it in about 2 tablespoons at a time – folding it carefully for about 40 folds. Be sure to exclude any large chunks/pieces of nuts. Again, work quickly and carefully as to not deflate the mixture. When all but about 2 Tbsp. of nut meal remain, quickly and steadily pour the warm butter over the batter. Then, with the remaining nut meal, fold the batter to incorporate, about 13 or so folds.

With a rubber spatula, transfer the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the spatula or back of a spoon. **If collected butter remains at the bottom of the bowl, do not add it to the batter! It will impede the cake rising while baking.

Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it is springy to the touch and it separates itself from the side of the pan. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cake rack sprayed with nonstick coating, removing the pan. Cool the cake completely.

*If not using the cake right away, wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap, then in a plastic bag, then in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If freezing, wrap in foil, then the bag and use within 2-3 months.

Sugar Syrup
Makes 1 cup, good for one 10-inch cake – split into 3 layers

1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. dark rum or orange flavored liqueur

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the liqueur. Cool slightly before using on the cake. *Can be made in advance.
Praline Buttercream
1 recipe Swiss Buttercream
1/3 cup praline paste
1 ½ – 2 Tbsp. Jamaican rum (optional)

Blend ½ cup buttercream into the paste, then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on med-low speed to combine. Blend in rum.

Swiss Buttercream

4 lg. egg whites
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 ½ -2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or liqueur of your choice
1 tsp. vanilla

Place the egg whites in a lg/ bowl of a electric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the whites are foamy and they begin to thicken (just before the soft peak stage). Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Then, whisk in the sugar by adding 1-2 tablespoon of sugar at a time over a minutes time. Continue beating 2-3 minutes or until the whites are warm (about 120 degrees) and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should look thick and like whipped marshmallows.Remove from pan and with either the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and sugar on med-high until its a thick, cool meringue – about 5-7 minutes. *Do not overbeat*. Set aside.

Place the butter in a separate clean mixing bowl and, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 40-60 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. *Do not overbeat or the butter will become toooooo soft.*

On med-low speed, blend the meringue into the butter, about 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, over 1 minute. Add the liqueur and vanilla and mix for 30-45 seconds longer, until thick and creamy.
Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before using.

Wait! My buttercream won’t come together! Reheat the buttercream briefly over simmering water for about 5 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful and do not overbeat. The mixture will look broken with some liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Return the bowl to the mixer and whip on medium speed just until the cream comes back together.

Wait! My buttercream is too soft! Chill the buttercream in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes and rewhip. If that doesn’t work, cream an additional 2-4 Tbsp. of butter in a small bowl– making sure the butter is not as soft as the original amount, so make sure is cool and smooth. On low speed, quickly add the creamed butter to the buttercream, 1 Tbsp. at a time.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 6 months. If freezing, store in 2 16-oz. plastic containers and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours.

Praline Paste

1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Hazelnuts, toasted/skinless
2/3 cup Sugar

Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly butter.
Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat on low flame for about 10-20 min until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning. Brush the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals. If the sugar in the center does not melt, stir briefly. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble. **Remember – extremely hot mixture.** Then onto the parchment lined sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. Break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor. Pulse into a medium-fine crunch or process until the brittle turns into a powder. To make paste, process for several minutes. Store in an airtight container and store in a cool dry place. Do not refrigerate.

Apricot Glaze
Good for one 10-inch cake

2/3 cup thick apricot preserves
1 Tbsp. water

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and preserves to a slow boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, add water as needed.

Remove from heat and, using a strainer, press the mixture through the mesh and discard any remnants. With a pastry brush, apply the glaze onto the cake while the cake is still warm. If the glaze is too thick, thin to a preferred consistency with drops of water.

Ganache Glaze
Makes about 1 cup, enough to cover the top and sides of a 9 or 10 inch layer or tube cake
**Ganache can take on many forms. While warm – great fudge sauce. While cool or lukewarm – semisweet glaze. Slightly chilled – can be whipped into a filling/frosting. Cold & solid – the base of candied chocolate truffles.

6 oz. (good) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, like Lindt
6 oz. (¾ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier, Cointreay, or dark Jamaican rum (optional)
¾ tsp. vanilla
½ – 1 tsp. hot water, if needed

Blend vanilla and liqueur/rum together and set aside.

Break the chocolate into 1-inch pieces and place in the basket of a food processor and pulse until
finely chopped. Transfer into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan, on low, until it reached a gentle boil. Once to the gently boil, immediately and carefully pour over the chocolate. Leave it alone for one minute, then slowly stir and mix the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Carefully blend in vanilla mixture. If the surface seems oily, add ½ – 1 tsp hot water. The glaze will thicken, but should still be pourable. If it doesn’t thicken, refrigerate for about 5 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t get too cold!

Assembling Cake

Cut a cardboard disk slightly smaller than the cake. Divide the cake into 3 layers and place the first layer top-side down on the disk. Using a pastry brush, moisten the layer with 3-4 Tbsp. of warm sugar syrup. Measure out 1 cup of praline buttercream and set aside.

Spread the bottom layer with a ¼-inch thickness of the remaining buttercream. Cover with ½ of the whipped cream, leaving ¼-inch border around the edge of the cake. Place the middle layer over the first, brush with sugar syrup, spreading with buttercream. Cover with the remaining whipped cream.

Moisten the cut side of the third layer with additional sugar syrup and place cut side down on the cake. Gently, press the sides of the cake to align the layers. Refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Lift the cake by sliding your palm under the cardboard. Holding a serrated or very sharp night with an 8-inch blade held parallel to the sides of the cake, trim the sides so that they are perfectly straight. Cut a slight bevel at the top to help the glaze drip over the edge. Brush the top and sides of the cake with warm apricot glaze, sealing the cut areas completely. Chill while you prepare the ganache.

Place a rack over a large shallow pan to catch the ganache drippings. Remove the gateau from the refrigerator and put it the rack. With a metal spatula in hand, and holding the saucepan about 10 inches above the cake, pour the ganache onto the cake’s center. Move the spatula over the top of the ganache about 4 times to get a smooth and mirror-like appearance. The ganache should cover the top and run down the sides of the cake. When the ganache has been poured and is coating the cake, lift one side of the rack and bang it once on the counter to help spread the ganache evenly and break any air bubbles. (Work fast before setting starts.) Patch any bare spots on the sides with a smaller spatula, but do not touch the top after the “bang”. Let the cake stand at least 15 minutes to set after glazing.

To garnish the cake, fit a 12 – 14-inch pastry bag with a #114 large leaf tip. Fill the bag with the reserved praline cream. Stating ½ inch from the outer edge of the cake, position the pastry tube at a 90 degree angle with the top almost touching the top of the cake. Apply pressure to the pastry bag, moving it slightly toward the center of the cake. As the buttercream flows on the cake, reverse the movement backward toward the edge of the cake and finish by pulling the bag again to the center. Stop applying pressure and press the bag downward, then quickly pull the tip up to break the flow of frosting. Repeat, making 12 leaves evenly spaced around the surface of the cake.

Make a second row of leaves on the top of the first row, moving the pastry bag about ¾ inch closer to the center. The leaves should overlap. Make a 3rd row, moving closer and closer to the center. Add a 4th row if you have the room. But, leave a 2-inch space in the center for a chopped filbert garnish. Refrigerate uncovered for 3-4 hours to allow the cake to set.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving.Leftover cake can be covered with foil and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY

Apple Cake

2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1 cup self rising flour, sifted
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 large apple, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 400.
Coat 8″ round cake pan with cooking spray

Beat eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until light
Stir in milk, melted butter and vanilla
Combine flour and cornstarch
Fold into flour mixture into wet mixture
Pour into pan
Layer apples in circular pattern on top of cake batter
Combine cinnamon and sugar, sprinkle on top of apples

Bake 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
Cut into 8 pieces

Point Value: 3
Servings: 8

This weeks entry into Weight Watcher Wednesday is just as yummy as the previous 2!
My husband said it reminded him of French Toast. He said it tasted “eggy” but not in a bad “egg” way! I must admit ..I forgot to add the milk! Dork! After I put the cake in the oven, I turned around and saw my perfectly measured out milk still sitting on the counter! For about 1/2 of a nanosecond I thought about remaking the cake, but I said screw it! Even though it took more time for the oven to heat up than to actually prepare the cake, I was feeling lazy and let it slide! The cake was pretty good even without the milk!
As always check out Em’s sites The Repressed Pastry Chef and Weight Watcher Wednesdays!

Dont forget to vote!

My video posts are in your hands..I put up a pole so please vote(its located to the right at the top). I don’t want to annoy anyone with my complete dorkyness. So please let me know if I should continue with the videos by casting your vote! Thanks a Bunch!

Beef..its whats for Dinner!!

My Brother-In-Law John told me this morning he was very disappointed the I had never posted a “Beef” dish.(visit him @ Stanton’s Space) I know it seems like I only cook chicken in my house, but that is far from the truth! I am a steak and Potato kinda girl! I love love love red meat. And I like it rare! Cut off its horns, wipe its ass and put it on my plate!Yep that’s how I like it. My husband likes it cooked to shoe leather. Like, whats the point of eating a fine piece of meat if you are going to KILL it??? But to each their own. I actually have him eating it Medium well now! OOOHHHH go me!! Again as I said before I am limited in my dinner photography because I rely on natural light. And dinner time=crappy lighting!
Well this is for you John..a mighty yummy piece of London Broil. I remember my mom always making London Broil and marinating it Wishbone Italian Dressing. While it is great like that, I had to find some alternate way to marinate it! And the search began…
I happened upon an Emeril’s recipe that looked tasty!
Marinated London Broil
1 (2 1/2 pound) tri-tip London Broil or flank steak
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon Creole mustard, or other spicy whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon Essence
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Place the flank steak in a large, plastic resealable bag. In a large, glass measuring cup, combine red wine vinegar, red wine, olive oil, Worcestershire, soy sauce, mustard, essence, salt, pepper, and garlic. Pour the marinade into the bag with the steak, seal and place inside a large, glass baking dish to prevent possible spills. Marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours (or at least 6 hours). Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat. (Alternately, preheat the broiler). Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Place the steak on the grill (or under the broiler) and cook to desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes before carving. Slice across the grain into thin diagonal slices.
Make sure you ALWAYS cut AGAINST the grain. If you cut along the grain, you will feel like you are chewing on a rubber band! No so good!!!
I paired the steak with simple fresh green beans with salt and pepper. And also Pan Rosemary Potatoes, that I saute in butter and olive oil with some season salt, rosemary, garlic powder and onion powder until fork tender!
Simple dinner..DONE

Smile Award..and another video post!

Please Please no autographs..I know I deserve an Oscar for my performance!LOL LOL

Again..I know I am a dork..so no need for anyone to point out the obvious!!!

Sorry for my lack of editing skills on my videos..I honestly haven’t figured out how to do it!

Thank you soooo much to Jenny at the Picky Palate for passing on the smile award to me!!!

I love her blog..I was reading it well before I started my blog of my own..she was and is one of my inspirations!

Here is the list of 5 blogs that I am passing the award onto..

1..Sophie @ Flour Arrangements..Her blog is honest and delicious. she always makes food that is inviting and lovely.

2.Cookie Madness..If you are looking for a cookie recipe of any kind …you WILL find it here!What a wonderful blog.There are deserts other than cookies and everything looks wonderful.

3.Prudy @ prudencepennywise. She has family friendly meals that look delish. And I love love love how she puts the estimated cost for each dish! Very Clever

4.Lori @ The Recipegirl…Drool drool drool..seriously take a look at her blog and you will salivate at all her neat ideas!

5.Lisa @ jerseygirlcooks… After I saw the 5 pound Lobster on her site I was hooked..I am jealous of her divine seafood dishes. My family doesn’t eat seafood, so I go to her site to cry!

The rules are listed here.

And the creator of the award is Mere

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY

First..sorry for the hideous photo..I sooooo need to get a Lowel Ego light. Going outside to use the natural light is just not working for me! It was so humid today that I couldn’t get my camera to stop fogging up!

I am really enjoying Weight Watcher Wednesdays! I know when I am eating whatever I made it will be delicious and nutritious! Again, thanks to my friend Em at The Repressed Pastry Chef for starting WWW!!

I know I am boring and predictable..another chicken dish! Well, we eat a bunch of chicken in my house mainly because that’s what my picky eaters will eat and I can do anything with it!

This dinner is easy as can be to make and an easy clean up(a HUGE bonus for me)!

It has a wonderful thick sauce bursting with garlic flavor that the broccoli soaks right up!

Chicken with Broccoli and Garlic Sauce
Ingredients
2 tsp Olive oil
3 Medium garlic clove(s), minced, or more to taste
1 pound Uncooked chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp Dried thyme, or 2 tbsp fresh minced thyme, or to taste
1/2 tsp Table salt
1/4 tsp Black pepper
2 cup Broccoli, florets
1 1/2 cup Canned chicken broth, reduced-sodium
1 1/2 tbsp Cornstarch
2 cup Cooked brown rice, kept hot
Preparation
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Season chicken with thyme, salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook until browned on all sides, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.
Add broccoli to skillet, cover and cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of broth, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/2 cup of broth and add mixture to skillet. Simmer until mixture thickens, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Serve over rice. Yields about 1 cup of chicken mixture and 1/2 cup of rice per serving
Points Value: 5
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 17 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 min

Left over rice? Make Rice pudding!!!!!

Even though my children don’t like rice..I have to do my part as a responsible parent and cook it and put it on their plate! Do they eat it?? Hell no! So needless to say I often have a bunch of leftovers. I was left with exactly 2 cups of brown rice. I’ll throw it away..then I heard of voice of my past(mother)..”eat your food, there are starving children in China.” SO it sat there on the stove until I figured out its fate!
Ah ha..RICE PUDDIN!
Oh wait I cook all my rice and couscous in chicken stock(gives it much more flavor). Oh no I didn’t..not tonight. I used my last drop of chicken stock on my Chicken Piccata. So I used plain water to cook the rice..so there was a green light for the Rice Puddin!!

Left over rice? Make Rice pudding!!!!!
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast,Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Make Rice Pudding with Left-over rice
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked rice (brown or white)
  • about 3 cups milk
  • ½ cup splenda or sugar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup raisins or fruit of choice..I used Regular and golden raisins
  • Spices to taste …like cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice..etc
  • Walnuts for a crunch if you like
Instructions
  1. All add ingredients to the cooked rice except the spices and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil for a few minutes and then cook until most of the milk is absorbed.
  3. Once you get to your desired consistency, add your spices.
  4. Add the nuts if you want.
  5. Serve hot or cold! Its was yummy either way!

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY + meme at the end

Here we are on week #3 of Weight Watcher Wednesday..and today I didn’t have a sweet tooth(bizarre right?) so I decided to cook something savory. Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.I am a big fan of the FULL FAT, ALL BUTTER and ALL CREAM version, but if you can lighten it up, why not??!!The sauce was not as thick as the original. But it was equally as tasty! I didn’t feel guilty after scarfing down a nice big bowl!

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Ingredients

6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with a knife
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, washed and patted dry(four 4 oz pieces)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Cooking Spray
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk plain yogurt, Greek-Style
salt..for cooking pasta
8 oz uncooked whole wheat fettuccine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup parsley, fresh, flat leaf, finely chopped

Instructions

Heat large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Rub garlic over chicken, reserve garlic. Season chicken with salt and pepper and rub it in the chicken. Coat skillet w/ cooking spray and then set over medium heat. Saute garlic until fragrant. about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook until golden, flipping once, about 5 minutes per side. In a small bowl, combine broth, heavy cream and yogurt: pour over chicken and scrape the bottom of the skillet to incorporate seasonings. Simmer chicken gently, turning once, about 30 minutes.Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Remove chicken from cream sauce and set aside. Add Parmesan cheese to cream mixture and mix until well combined. Add cooked pasta and 3 Tbsp of parsley; toss well. Serve pasta topped w/ chicken and the rest of the parsley.

Points value: 9
Prep time: 12 minutes
Serves: 4

I have been tagged from The Stressed Baker for another set of memes! You can see the rules here at her site. On this set of memes I have to tell you all 6 random things about me..my goodness I could tell you a million..but here are 6 not so interesting thins about me..

1…I am terrified of heights.

2…I graduated from nursing school, but never work a day as a nurse after realizing that I am a germ-a-phob

3…I have never been in a fight with any of my friends..I am a lover

4…I hate scary movies..my imagination goes wild..I swear Jason Myers and Freddy Kruger are real and they must life on my street and only come out at night!

5…I am a hotel snob

6…My right eye is blue with 1/4 perfect pie shape in it that is brown

Well thats it..gripping huh?

I am going to keep this in the Daring Bakers Ring..I am randomly going to pick 6 of my DB’s to get to know better.

http://pamelaskitchen.blogspot.com/

http://novice-baker.blogspot.com/

http://www.cupcake-corner.blogspot.com/

http://www.butterandsugar.org/blog/

http://vanillabasil.blogspot.com/

http://lifeaftergluten.blogspot.com/

Blueberry Pancakes…Simply Yummy + some Tips

Will ya look at the action shot! Drippy butter! Nothing better than that!

BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

INGREDIENTS
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk (plus an extra tablespoon or so if batter is too thick)
1 large egg , separated
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup blueberries

vegetable oil (for brushing griddle)

1. Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl. Pour buttermilk and milk into 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Mix yolk with melted butter, then stir into milk mixture. Whisk egg white in large bowl to stiff peaks. Dump wet ingredients into dry ingredients all at once; whisk until just mixed. Quickly fold egg white into batter. Fold blueberries into batter.

2. Meanwhile, heat griddle or large skillet over strong medium-high heat. Brush griddle generously with oil. When water splashed on surface confidently sizzles, spoon batter, about 1/4 cup at a time, onto griddle, making sure not to overcrowd. When pancake bottoms are brown and top surface starts to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes, flip cakes and cook until remaining side has browned, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Re-oil the skillet and repeat for the next batch of pancakes.

Recipe and pancake tips found on Cooks Illustrated.

Are there any tricks to making and serving great pancakes?
Hare some tricks we’ve found make for successful pancakes:Mix the Batter Lightly. There are two factors that promote fluffiness in pancake batter, underdeveloped gluten and dissolved baking soda. Gluten is a mix of very long proteins that are disorganized in structure. Once gluten is dissolved in water, these proteins can more easily rearrange their structure. Kneading or mixing gluten elongates the proteins and somewhat organizes them, an action similar to combing the strands of your hair. As the proteins start to lie more or less parallel to each other, the dough becomes elastic and less tender. By reducing the mixing time of your batter, you give the gluten less opportunity to organize.

Baking soda (either on its own or as part of the baking powder formula) creates the bubbles that make pancakes rise. When baking soda encounters an acid, carbon dioxide is formed to produce the bubbles in the batter. The stirring of the pancake batter speeds bubble formation by moving the baking soda and acid together. Unfortunately, stirring also causes the release of carbon dioxide gas by bringing formed bubbles to the surface of the mixture. Just a little too much stirring and the bubble-forming capacity of the baking soda will be quickly exhausted. To make the fluffiest pancakes possible, then, you should stir the batter until the ingredients are just incorporated—and not one stir more!

Use the Batter Within an Hour. To determine how far in advance we could make pancake batter, we mixed up a few batches of basic pancake batter and held them for different lengths of time before cooking: one hour, two hours, and three hours. Holding the batter for one hour had no detrimental effect on the pancakes. After two and three hours, however, the batter spread out too easily, producing thin, floppy cakes that were much less appealing than the ones made from fresh batter. Here’s why: In fresh pancake batter, baking powder reacts quickly, releasing most of its gas in a short period of time. The longer the batter sits, the fewer bubbles there are left when it’s time to cook, increasing the likelihood of flat flapjacks.

At first we thought we could add a bit more baking powder to the batter to provide some extra lift, but this merely lent an unpleasant chemical taste to the pancakes. Next, we tried adding a stiffly beaten egg white to the batter. The resulting pancakes were not quite as fluffy as those from fresh batter, but the egg white added a good amount of height. So the next time you find yourself with pancake batter past its prime, simply add a stiffly beaten egg white.

Heat the Pan Properly. The best way to determine when the skillet is ready is to make a test pancake the size of a half-dollar (use 1 tablespoon of batter). If after one minute the pancake is golden brown, the pan is ready. If the bottom of the pancake remains blond—or is close to burning—adjust the heat accordingly.

Serve as Soon as Possible. We tried several methods to determine how to hold pancakes before serving, from stacking up the pancakes on a heated plate, to covering them with foil, or to placing the plate of stacked pancakes in a warm oven. All of these methods did the job as far as keeping the pancakes warm. Even by the last batch of pancakes, the temperature reading would hit somewhere between 145 and 150 degrees. But these pancakes were compressed from being stacked, and they steamed from the heat and became very rubbery.

What we found that the best method was to spread the pancakes on a large cooling rack placed on a sheet pan (be sure to spray the cooling rack well with vegetable cooking spray and save yourself from sticking pancakes). Place the pan and the rack in a 200-degree oven and place your pancakes on the rack in a single layer, uncovered, for up to 20 minutes (or be warned-they will start to dry out.) The warm oven keeps the pancakes hot enough to melt a pat of butter, and leaving the pancakes uncovered keeps them from becoming soggy.

P.S..or you could sooooo cheat and use Bisquick and just add Blueberries! You can never go wrong with that!!!