Archives for October 2008

Daring Bakers #5 PIZZA

Pizza………..How easy is that? Everyone can make Pizza Right? Sure I can, I make it almost every Friday night. I purchase pizza dough from my grocery bakery, let it rise for an hour when I get home, load it up with toppings, and there we have it…PIZZA! I am soooo a pro! HA…I was humbled […]

Vanilla Extract (eventually)

Thanks for everyones ideas for my Impulse Buy. I decided the first thing I would do with them would be, Vanilla Extract. Have you noticed how expensive Vanilla Extract is? Its like $8.99 for one of the bigger bottles of McCormick. For all you bakers out there you know how fast it goes!! Well it […]

Oven Baked Potatoes

We don’t eat spuds that often in my house, quite frankly because my hips don’t like them. And we all know I have willpower issues. So I just avoid them like the plague! But on the rare occasion that I do make them, I don’t want mashed potatoes (even though I make MEAN mashed potatoes) […]

Welcome from Daytime

If you are visiting my blog via Daytime, WELCOME.I hope you enjoyed my fun segment. Please forgive my nerves.Feel free to stay awhile and poke around. I have some yummy food and some even yummier looking photography! Leave a comment if you wish, I would love to hear from you! If you would like to […]

Set your TiVos

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=6146070709722233949&hl=en&fs=true” style=”width:400px;height:326px” Here is the correct link to Daytime, Their website is http://www.daytime.tbo.com/ and here is their link to the channel listings and airing times. If all of the planets align correctly, My first “cooking” segment will air on Monday October 20th. I taped a second segment, but I am not sure when it will […]

Homemade Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche..Wikipedia defines it as a milk based syrup. In Portuguese it means “milk candy”. Have you had it? No? Yes? Well let me tell you it is sooooo very creamy, sweet and milky. You can use it over anything, ice cream, flan, over cookies and even in coffee. The possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, […]

Happy 100th post to me.

Whew!!! 100 posts. My first post was April 23rd 2008. It still sits there alone with 0 comments. What a lonely coconut cake. I again want to thank EVERYONE who reads my blog. And especially want to thank those of you who take your time out of your day to leave your kind comments. If […]

Pay It Forward

Go over and see Tanya at Take the Cannoli and enter her Pay It Forward Giveaway. And take a gander at what she got in the mail from me ( oh how I love shopping)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Lets keep this giveaway going. It is sooooooo fun to go shopping for others and making them happy with all of […]

Impulse Buy.

“My Friends”..(if I heard John McCain say that one more time last night during the debate I thought I would shove his bumbed arm up his butt..I am sooooo over this election)..anyways, My friends, what you are looking at is 1/4 pounds Grade A Gourmet Tahitian Vanilla Beans. I thought I would be thrifty and […]

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY

I have been such a slacker when it comes to Weight Watcher Wednesdays lately. I have not been doing much blog worthy cooking. But I HAD to have a sweet treat over the weekend, and I recalled this WW recipe that I made a while back with only TWO ingredients! It is SUPER SUPER simple. […]

Potato- Sour Cream Biscuits

One of my FAVORITE blogs is The Noble Pig. She is one of my daily reads. Cathy always has funny, relatable content and delicious food. I saw these yummy little rounds of carbohydrate goodness and had to read on! No yeast..there is no yeast in these biscuits. I have never really worked with yeast. Nooo, […]

Empty Pantry Syndrome

We have all had it at one point in our lives..you know..when you are standing in your kitchen, staring at a plate of thawed chicken breast..staring and staring and staring. I HATE HATE making the same things over and over. I pulled out my recipes binder, saw some things that looked good. Crap, I had […]

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Daring Bakers #5 PIZZA

Pizza………..How easy is that? Everyone can make Pizza Right? Sure I can, I make it almost every Friday night. I purchase pizza dough from my grocery bakery, let it rise for an hour when I get home, load it up with toppings, and there we have it…PIZZA! I am soooo a pro! HA…I was humbled with the challenge. Lets just say I suck! All 4 pizzas I made tasted amazing. However they were the ugliest things you have ever laid eyes on! Lets start at the beginning. Making the dough was a cinch. 5 minutes and it was done(except for all the resting and rising time). One of the rules to this challenge was to actually “toss” the dough. Ok..I was born in Pittsburgh, not Italy. What a disaster it was. After my lame attempts at tossing the dough, there was corn meal EVERYWHERE on the floor. I was laughing so damn hard if I were 40 years older I probably would have lost control of my bladder and peed all over the floor from laughter! My fits went through the dough multiple times. So I just threw it on the counter and worked with it the best I could. I made four pizzas and not even one was remotely close be being round.

Below is what happened when I tried to transfer my nice round pre baked pizza from the back of the heavily corn mealed cookie sheet. Everything went everywhere and ended up all piled up on top of itself.

These little charred pieces of who knows what that flew off the pizza during the transfer nightmare, is what almost caught my house on fire. The smoke was billowing out of the stove, quickly filling up my house. Still laughing and yelling a few choice words running around my house opening all the doors and windows before the smoke alarms went off!!!


This pizza is Classic red sauce, chicken, caramelized onions and bacon.

Below consists of Classic red sauce, ricotta cheese, caramelized onion,basil and provolone cheese

And last but not least…..the STAR of the show
BLUEBERRY w/ brown sugar marscapone cheese, crumb topping..oh no, its missing something!!

Ahhhhh, here we go
the HOMEMADE DUCLE DE LECHE drizzle


What is the picture below you might ask???I slid the Blueberry pizza off the pizza stone on to my cutting board. My sister was sitting on one side of my island and me on the other. Without even putting the pizza on a plate, we both took a bite. The Ohhhh’s and ahhhhh’s started and continued with EACH bite! I think this was the best thing I have ever tasted!! I told my husband he better get some if he wanted any. my sister and I continued to eat and eat and eat! We couldn’t stop, we were like crack addicts! My husband came into the kitchen about 5 minutes later to eat some and there was only a TINY little square left! He said, “GOOD LORD, you guys ate it all”. Yes I must admit I ate a half of a pizza. It was a VERY VERY small pizza, but still! Who does that?? Who eats a half a pizza? Yours truly here..the will power issue Queen!!!

And let me tell you what a pain in the ass it was to clean my massive BOOS Block cutting board that was completely stained with blueberry juice!!! But boy was it worth it!


A special thanks to Rosa at Rosa’s Yummy Yums for hosting this delicious challenge. She did it solo because on of our Daring Bakers, Sherry, passed away tragically just prior to hosting this challenge with Rosa.
BASIC PIZZA DOUGH
~Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart
Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).
Ingredients:
4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar
Cornmeal for dusting
DAY ONE
1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer)
2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water
NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C
3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper
4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).
5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball
6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap
7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.
NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator
DAY TWO
8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours
9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).
NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan
10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss
NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping. In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.
11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter – for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan
12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.
13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes

Vanilla Extract (eventually)

Thanks for everyones ideas for my Impulse Buy. I decided the first thing I would do with them would be, Vanilla Extract. Have you noticed how expensive Vanilla Extract is? Its like $8.99 for one of the bigger bottles of McCormick. For all you bakers out there you know how fast it goes!! Well it seemed pretty economical to buy a Big Bottle of Smirnoff. I think it was $32.
I always feel sooo out of place when I go into a liquor store. I don’t drink that often, because when I do, strange and embarrassing things happen. I always make an ass out of my self,

and get to hear all of the wonderful stories from everyone at the party for weeks. Thank goodness I am a happy crazy drunk! Lets just say, I can be the life of the party! So needless to say none of this Vodka will be touching my lips until it reaches the extract point.
A few of you pointed me to The Traveler’s Lunchbox post about Extract. To tell you the truth that post was just to damn long for me to read. I have a bit of ADD and my mind goes wondering when I read. So I didn’t get half way through the post before I got annoyed and stopped reading. So if you have super long, wordy posts on your blog one day, you might not see a comment from me there, cause I couldn’t keep my attention! Its not you, its me..I swear!

Vanilla Extract:

I stuck 15 vanilla beans in a big ass bottle of Smirnoff Twist of Vanilla
Wait and Wait and Wait. Shake every few days. Wait and wait and wait.
I will let you know in about a month how it turns out!

Oven Baked Potatoes

oven baked potatoes

We don’t eat spuds that often in my house, quite frankly because my hips don’t like them. And we all know I have willpower issues. So I just avoid them like the plague! But on the rare occasion that I do make them, I don’t want mashed potatoes (even though I make MEAN mashed potatoes) and I don’t want boring old baked potatoes, cause those are no good with out a whole stick of butter in them(again not very ass friendly)! So I whipped these up one night. They are so very good and comforting. The good thing about them is they are loaded with flavor and I don’t have to undo my pants button after eating them!
My measurements are usually done by sight, so I tried my best to duplicate it for you.
Go ahead, try em..I think you and your family will love them!!!!
LESLIE’S ROASTED POTATOES
1 Lb potatoes(cubed)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup bread Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbsp Parmaigiano- Reggiano
1/2 tsp rosemary(fresh or dried)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper
In a small bowl mix bread crumbs, Parmigiano -Reggiano, rosemary, onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, coat potatoes in enough olive oil to generously cover.
Pour the bread crumb mixture on potatoes and mix until the potatoes are covered evenly.
Place on parchment paper or silicone lined baking sheet.
Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes until golden brown.
Sprinkle with Kosher Salt or Fleur De Sel
Makes 4 small servings

Welcome from Daytime

If you are visiting my blog via Daytime, WELCOME.
I hope you enjoyed my fun segment. Please forgive my nerves.
Feel free to stay awhile and poke around. I have some yummy food and some even yummier looking photography! Leave a comment if you wish, I would love to hear from you! If you would like to get updates on my posts, you can subscribe to my blog by entering your email address on the right hand side of my page.
Below you will find the recipes from the items I made on the show today with Dave.
And to all my regular readers, Thanks again for visiting and for all of your support!


DIRT CUPS

1 Package Instant Chocolate Pudding

2 cups Milk(for Pudding preparation)
1 Package Cream Filled Chocolate Cookies
1 8oz tub Whipped Topping(thawed)
Toppings of you choice, like Gummy worms, pumpkin candies, Ghost Peeps..etc
Prepare pudding per package
Fold whipped topping into prepared pudding
Process cookies in food processor
Layer the cookie mixture and pudding mixture in clear cups
Top with cookie mixture for the “dirt”
Chill the cups for 5-10 minutes
Decorate the tops as you wish
Chill until ready to serve

OREO TURKEYS

View the recipe for the Oreo Turkeys HERE

Set your TiVos

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=6146070709722233949&hl=en&fs=true” style=”width:400px;height:326px”

Here is the correct link to Daytime, Their website is http://www.daytime.tbo.com/ and here is their link to the channel listings and airing times.

If all of the planets align correctly, My first “cooking” segment will air on Monday October 20th.

I taped a second segment, but I am not sure when it will air yet, but I will let you know.

When the producer contacted me they wanted to use me for some kid friendly ideas, so that was kinda the theme for the 2 segments I taped.

Like I said in my video. I was soooooo nervous and excited , and I am sure it will show on camera. Well I guess we will all get a laugh out of it.

Y’all will have to let me know if you watch it and what you think.

Homemade Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche..Wikipedia defines it as a milk based syrup. In Portuguese it means “milk candy”.

Have you had it? No? Yes? Well let me tell you it is sooooo very creamy, sweet and milky. You can use it over anything, ice cream, flan, over cookies and even in coffee. The possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to find. I needed some for a little something I was making, but I couldn’t find it at my grocery ( they usually have it). I wasn’t going to let this deter me. So I had to make my own. I remember seeing it on the Food Network (possibly Emeril), that all Dulce de Leche was, is boiled Sweetened condensed milk. It does take about 3 1/2 hours to create. But you are just tending to the water level. Not a biggie! So I suggest you hunt out a recipe that calls for dulce de leche and make it! It is sooooooooo ridiculously delicious!

DULCE DE LECHE

1 can Sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

Remove label if there is one. Do NOT open the can. Poke a few holes in the top of the can with a nail or can opener. Place in sauce pan fill with water so 2/3 of the can is covered with water. Boil for 3 to 4 hours. Keep an eye on the water to keep at an adequate level. After the 3 to 4 hours remove from boiling water and carefully remove lid. Pour into bowl and stir any goopy pieces so the mixture is smooth!

ENJOY!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!
A few folks have commented on that they have heard stories of this method of making Dulce de Leche exploding. While others have said this was the only way they have made it. Accidents can always happen. I took great care in poking adequate size holes in the lid. I guess I got lucky.
Maybe next time I will try this method. I certainly wouldn’t want to scrape Dulce de Leche off of my ceiling, or for that matter, off my face!!!

Happy 100th post to me.

Whew!!! 100 posts. My first post was April 23rd 2008. It still sits there alone with 0 comments.
What a lonely coconut cake.
I again want to thank EVERYONE who reads my blog. And especially want to thank those of you who take your time out of your day to leave your kind comments. If it weren’t for comments we would have no idea who, if anyone is reading our blogs.
I always go back and forth..to blog or to stop blogging. As you all know it is very time consuming but also so very rewarding. So for now, I am on the continue blogging side. But tomorrow, who knows. What would I do with all of my time if stopped???LOL
So again, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
Also if you have any suggestions on my blog, feel free to let me know..more this..less of that??!!
Above is a GIANT cupcake cake I made today. You cant really tell it is big, but it is. I used the Wilton Giant Cupcake Pan. My sister asked me to make the cake for her daughters birthday. After all of the stress I had with my 3 year olds Sleeping Beauty Birthday cake, I was hesitant. But I couldn’t turn down a chance to bake for my cute niece.
So in my anal fashion, I had to do a practice cake(and probably wont be my last practice). Sarah’s theme for her birthday party is
Pinkalicious. My mission is to make a giant cupcake cake to look like the one in the book.
Mission accomplished. I even made a huge cherry out of gum paste that I colored red with red food coloring.
Cute, very cute!

Pay It Forward

Go over and see Tanya at Take the Cannoli and enter her Pay It Forward Giveaway. And take a gander at what she got in the mail from me ( oh how I love shopping)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lets keep this giveaway going. It is sooooooo fun to go shopping for others and making them happy with all of their goodies!!

Impulse Buy.

“My Friends”..(if I heard John McCain say that one more time last night during the debate I thought I would shove his bumbed arm up his butt..I am sooooo over this election)..anyways, My friends, what you are looking at is 1/4 pounds Grade A Gourmet Tahitian Vanilla Beans. I thought I would be thrifty and purchase some vanilla beans on Ebay, and this is what I buy! What in the hell am I going to do with 1/4 pounds of vanilla beans? I have never really used vanilla beans before. I mean come one, a little goes a long way.
So seriously, what was I thinking? Am I ever, in my life time ever going to use all of these?
Any one have any bright ideas?

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY

I have been such a slacker when it comes to Weight Watcher Wednesdays lately. I have not been doing much blog worthy cooking. But I HAD to have a sweet treat over the weekend, and I recalled this WW recipe that I made a while back with only TWO ingredients! It is SUPER SUPER simple. And so very tasty. If you are not an Angel food cake person, this one is not for you. I tried my hardest to eat just one, but it was impossible!
I know I know..I choose the WRONG color background for this. Too much pink! Looks like someone puked Pepto-Bismol!!!!!But they were GONE before I had a chance to snap another photo.
CHERRY SQUARES
1 package Angel Food cake mix, about 14 1/4 oz
1 22oz. can light cherry pie filling
Preheat oven to 350F
Combine cake mix with pie filling( do not add any other ingredients). Pour batter into ungreased 9X13 baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool and cut into 24 squares.
Points value: 2

****you can use any lite pie filling..I also made this with Blueberry Pie filling****
Recipe from Weight Watchers.com

Potato- Sour Cream Biscuits

One of my FAVORITE blogs is The Noble Pig. She is one of my daily reads. Cathy always has funny, relatable content and delicious food. I saw these yummy little rounds of carbohydrate goodness and had to read on! No yeast..there is no yeast in these biscuits. I have never really worked with yeast. Nooo, I am not scared. But I associate yeast with having to wait to bake something, and to be quite honest, if I am gonna bake something..I WANT IT NOW! I don’t want to wait for 2 hours for something to rise. So I knew these were for me. I baked them the next day after I saw them. They were almost embarrassingly easy to whip up. Did my kids eat them?? Hell no they didn’t eat them. They were different from their everyday Pillsbury wheat rolls I give them. So there was no way they were going to eat them. Little terds! Oh well..that meant more for me and the hubby. The biscuits were delicious plain, with butter or with jam. Anyway you look at it, they are superb! Make them tomorrow will ya?

adapted (but changed) from Cooking Light
8 ounces cubed peeled Yukon Gold potato
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons butter, cut into smaller pieces
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 7-3/4 ounces)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Cooking spray or parchment paper.
Place potato in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender; drain. Return potato to pan. Add buttermilk, sour cream and butter to pan; mash with a potato masher until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add potato mixture and stir just until moist. Do not over stir. Turn the dough onto a slightly floured surface; knead lightly about 5 or 6 times.
Pat dough to a 3/4-inch thickness (get out you ruler). Cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. (You can use a larger cutter if you like.) Place biscuits 2-inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or covered in parchment paper. Bake at 450 degrees for 14 minutes or until lightly browned.

Empty Pantry Syndrome

We have all had it at one point in our lives..you know..when you are standing in your kitchen, staring at a plate of thawed chicken breast..staring and staring and staring. I HATE HATE making the same things over and over. I pulled out my recipes binder, saw some things that looked good. Crap, I had none of the ingredients in my pantry. I had no bread crumbs, no fresh herbs, no pasta. Hmmmm, desperate times call for desperate measures.
I know I had potatoes and onions. Ok, I could work with what I had.
Again, no bread crumbs..there it was in the rear of my pantry…Stove Top Stuffing! All Stove Top is is Bread right? So below is the recipe in which I came up for dinner. I know the photos look like a big blob of nothing. But I tell you what…it was pretty damn tasty if I must say so myself!

Empty Pantry Chicken
4 organic chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 potato sliced thin
1 onion
3/4 cup Sherry
1 cup Stove Top Stuffing mix
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Slice onion thinly, caramelize them in pan
In a buttered casserole dish, arrange thinly sliced potatoes on bottom
Salt and Pepper Chicken
Place chicken on top of potatoes
Place caramelized onions on top of chicken
In small bowl, mix cream of mushroom soup and sherry together
Place soup mixture on top of onions
Top with Stove Top Stuffing
Shred Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over Stove Top
Bake uncovered in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until chicken is done.