Archives for November 2008

Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps remind me of all things Holiday, Ginger and cinnamon. They are warm and comforting morsels of goodness. I have never made Gingersnaps before, but when I saw these over at Baking Obsession, they had me smitten. Vera is such a talented woman so please take a gander at her blog, she will blow you […]

Daring Bakers # 6 Caramel Cake

This months challenge was brought to you by the following..http://eggbeater.typepad.com/http://culinarycuriosity.blogspot.com/http://blondieandbrownie.blogspot.com/http://forayintofood.blogspot.com/http://glutenagogo.blogspot.com/ The recipe came from http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2006/12/24/caramel-cake-the-recipe/ by Shuna fish Lydon. This was a fabulous challenge. I didn’t have any real issues other than having to make the caramel syrup twice. I think I cooked it long the first go around. The cake and frosting were different […]

Happy Thanksgiving!

I could never suffer from bulimia..but today of all days, I wish I could stick my finger down my throat to puke..just so I could shovel some more stuffing down my belly!I am sorry I don’t have any photos of my HUGE Thanksgiving feast.(TWO 16.5 pound turkeys and a ham plus all the trimmings for […]

Welcome from Daytime

If you are visiting from viewing my segment on Daytime…WELCOME.. Click here for the recipes for the Fluffy Pumpkin Dip and Acorns  

Another TV Appearance

Hi all..just a quick note.I have another TV segment airing on Monday November 24th. For my local readers, Daytime airs on NBC from 10am to 11am.If you would like to see if Daytime airs in you area click HEREThe segment that is airing on Monday is actually the one I taped 1st..so my nerves will […]

Reese’s Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Do you see what I put in the middle??? Oh thats right..Whole Reese’s cups!!! Evil I tell ya! I thought I would come back with a bang! Another of my P.M.S creations (even though I made this cake for my hubbys b-day..Guys can have P.M.S,right?) This cake was soooooooooo incredibly rich, even I couldn’t eat […]

Let’s make a deal.

Ok..enough of a break..I miss y’all! I am going to came back in limited capacity. I am not going to stress my self out by feeling the need to post 4 posts a week, visit 60+ blogs, answering 30-60 comments per post, playing all the blogging games, awards, etc. I started my blog in April […]

I interrupt this blogging break for…

a quick funny story… I will set the scene. I am in the kitchen(what else is new) getting ready to make my daughter an English muffin with peanut butter(she also wanted Fluff on it)..um yeah, I said no to that one.Emmas response to that…”Why, Nana lets me?” Damn Grandparents!Anyhow, I am cutting the English muffin, […]

Pumpkin dip, acorns and a goodbye

Alright, lets talk some food first! I had to jump on the fall food bandwagon!I made the next two items for my second TV segment that should be airing closer to Thanksgiving(I promise I will get them up on my blog when the hubby figures out how to get them off the DVR).Is that a […]

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Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps remind me of all things Holiday, Ginger and cinnamon. They are warm and comforting morsels of goodness. I have never made Gingersnaps before, but when I saw these over at Baking Obsession, they had me smitten. Vera is such a talented woman so please take a gander at her blog, she will blow you away.
My cookies looked NOTHING like hers, no puffy or beautifully crackled cookies here. Just flat, flat, flat. However don’t let the supreme flatness fool you. They are wonderfully chewy and moist with just a slight crisp around the edges! Perfect I tell you! However, I do warn you, they are extremely addictive. I had a difficult time waiting for them to cool down before I shoveled them into my pie hole!

GINGERSNAPS

Ingredients:
2 cups (9 oz) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp salt
8 tbsp (1 stick; ¼-lb) unsalted butter, melted and just warm
¼ cup unsulfured mild or full-flavored molasses (I used organic blackstrap)
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup (2.3 oz) firmly packed brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp finely minced or grated fresh ginger root
1 large egg
¾ cup (4 oz) finely chopped crystallized ginger (1/4-inch dice)
About ½ cup Demerara or turbinado sugar for rolling

Preparation:
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Combine the warm butter, molasses, both sugars, fresh ginger, and the egg in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and chopped candied ginger and stir until incorporated. The dough will be soft.
Form the dough into 1-inch balls (1/2 oz of dough for each). Roll the balls in the Demerara sugar and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake, in batches (form the rest of the balls while the first batch is baking ), for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they puff up and crack on the surface and then begin to deflate in the oven. For chewier cookies, remove them from the oven when at least half or more of the cookies have begun to deflate; for crunchier edges with chewy centers, bake a minute or so longer.Slide the parchment sheets of cookies onto cooling racks or use an offset spatula to transfer the cookies, and cool completely. Stored in an airtight container, gingersnaps keep for several days.
Recipe from Alice Medrich.

Daring Bakers # 6 Caramel Cake

This months challenge was brought to you by the following..
http://eggbeater.typepad.com/
http://culinarycuriosity.blogspot.com/
http://blondieandbrownie.blogspot.com/
http://forayintofood.blogspot.com/
http://glutenagogo.blogspot.com/

The recipe came from http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2006/12/24/caramel-cake-the-recipe/ by Shuna fish Lydon.

This was a fabulous challenge. I didn’t have any real issues other than having to make the caramel syrup twice. I think I cooked it long the first go around. The cake and frosting were different from any other I have tasted. The cake was scrumptious, I loved the dense and moist texture. The frosting..oh the frosting…when I first tasted it, I didn’t like it one bit. But I wasn’t giving up on it yet. I stuck my finger in it a few more times and it grew on me. And then it was allllll over, I couldn’t stop eating it. I choose to make cupcakes because everyone was saying how overly sweet the cake was. But I loved it and so did everyone else that gobbled them up!

CARAMEL CAKE with Caramelized Butter Frosting

10 Tablespoons UNSALTED BUTTER, ROOM TEMP
1 1/4 Cups SUGAR
1/2 teaspoon KOSHER SALT
1/3 Cup CARAMEL SYRUP*
2 each EGGS, ROOM TEMP
splash VANILLA EXTRACT
2 Cups AP FLOUR
1/2 teaspoon BAKING POWDER
1C MILK, ROOM TEMP

*Caramel syrup recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350F
Butter one tall 9″ cake pan.
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth.
2. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.
3. Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl.
4. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.
5. Sift flour and baking powder.
6. Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dries.
7. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time.
8. Add another third of the dries, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dries. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}
9. Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds. making sure batter is uniform.
Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.
Cake will keep for three days unrefrigerated

CARAMEL SYRUP

2 Cups SUGAR
1/2 Cup WATER
1 Cup water for “stopping”

1. In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand.
2. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush.
3. Turn on heat to highest flame.
4. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.
5. When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and prepared to step back.
6. Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}
For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.

CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING

12 tablespoons UNSALTED BUTTER
1 Pound CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR, SIFTED
4-6 Tablespoons HEAVY CREAM
2 teaspoons VANILLA EXTRACT
2-4 Tablespoons CARAMEL SYRUP
Kosher or sea salt to taste

1. Cook butter until brown.
2. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.
3. Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.
4. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner’s sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner’s sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.
Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light.

Some of my cupcakes looked like this but…

most pulled away from the liners.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I could never suffer from bulimia..but today of all days, I wish I could stick my finger down my throat to puke..just so I could shovel some more stuffing down my belly!
I am sorry I don’t have any photos of my HUGE Thanksgiving feast.(TWO 16.5 pound turkeys and a ham plus all the trimmings for 20 people) My house was a crazy place today. The food was gobbled down before I could get my camera out.
Before I slip into my tryptophan coma, I just wanted to wish all of you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Another TV Appearance

Hi all..just a quick note.
I have another TV segment airing on Monday November 24th. For my local readers, Daytime airs on NBC from 10am to 11am.
If you would like to see if Daytime airs in you area click HERE
The segment that is airing on Monday is actually the one I taped 1st..so my nerves will totally be showing.
More good news..Daytime has requested me back again for 2 more TV spots, this time for Holiday Kid friendly goodies airing in December!!!! Waaaahhhhooooo!!!!

Reese’s Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Do you see what I put in the middle??? Oh thats right..Whole Reese’s cups!!! Evil I tell ya!


I thought I would come back with a bang! Another of my P.M.S creations (even though I made this cake for my hubbys b-day..Guys can have P.M.S,right?)

This cake was soooooooooo incredibly rich, even I couldn’t eat a whole piece.(Now that’s rare!)

I have this thing that I cant eat anything sweet without a HUGE glass of milk…and even with the milk, I couldn’t muster up the energy to eat the whole thing. Ok, so what I am trying to tell you, cut the cake in really small pieces so you can eat it.

Another tip…Chop the Reese’s before you put them in the middle of the cake. I loved the idea of them being whole, but it made it difficult to slice the cake.

Sooo, if you are in need of a sugar coma..go ahead and make this cake!!

Reese’s Cup Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

1 Box Duncan Hines Butter Fudge cake mix
1 small box COOK and SERVE Chocolate Pudding mix(not instant)
1 envelope Dream whip
4 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
9 Reece’s Cups, chopped

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour 2 9″ cake pans
Place cake mix, dream whip, and pudding mix into large bowl and mix together.
Add eggs, water and oil and mix on high for 4 minutes with an electric mixer, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.
Pour evenly into cake pans.
Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove cakes and cool completely on racks.
Place cakes in fridge to make nice and cold for the frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting(Wilton)

1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Cream shortening and butter together.
Add peanut butter and vanilla.
Gradually add powdered sugar, once sugar has been added, add the milk to make it spreadable.
Remove the cooled caked from the fridge.
Frost the bottom cake on top.
Sprinkle the Reese’s on top(leaving some for decorating the top layer)
Place the second cake on top.
Frost top and sides of cake.
Decorate with the remaining Reese’s

*The frosting seperates easily, so pop the cake in the fride after you frost it, until about 1/2 hour before serving.*

One of my acquaintances, Grace shared with me the trick of adding the dream whip and pudding to the cake mixes. She bakes cakes on the side, and she told me she does it with all of her cakes, and it make them more moist, dense and takes that “boxed” taste away. And it makes it so much better than just a boxed mix made per the directions on the box.
So when I choose to use a boxed cake mixed, I prepare it in the above manner. I makes a HUGE difference, try it and you will see!

Let’s make a deal.

Ok..enough of a break..I miss y’all! I am going to came back in limited capacity. I am not going to stress my self out by feeling the need to post 4 posts a week, visit 60+ blogs, answering 30-60 comments per post, playing all the blogging games, awards, etc. I started my blog in April because of my love for cooking and photography. The added bonus was “meeting” all of you nice folks out there. However I got caught up in the quest to be popular, one of the cool kids on the block(hmmmm, sound like High School?) I appreciate every single comment I get on my entries. But I am not going to be able to respond to every one. And you guys made it clear to me that is wasn’t necessary in the first place. I guess I just felt the need, because I took your comments as compliments, and my parents always taught me to reciprocate when someone pays you a compliment.
I think the main change will be the reduction of posts. No more 4 post a week..is that ok with y’all?

I interrupt this blogging break for…

a quick funny story…

I will set the scene. I am in the kitchen(what else is new) getting ready to make my daughter an English muffin with peanut butter(she also wanted Fluff on it)..um yeah, I said no to that one.
Emmas response to that…”Why, Nana lets me?” Damn Grandparents!
Anyhow, I am cutting the English muffin, I let out a loud squeal. You guessed it, I cut my self(like always). Emma comes running in…”What mommy, did you see a spider?” you see, I have the same squeal for spider sightings or knife cuttings!
“No honey, I cut myself” Showing her my finger as I squeeze the blood out for dramatic effect. Isn’t it always fun your gross out your kids?
“Oh noooo, hold on mommy, I will fix it” She runs away. About 30 seconds later, she comes running(ya know, cause kids cant walk) back in the kitchen and says, “here ya go mommy, this will stop it from bleeding”. And she proudly hands me a TAMPON!!! lol lol lol
Funny huh? I just had to share!
I wont be gone for ever..miss you all and I will be back to blogging shortly!

Pumpkin dip, acorns and a goodbye

Alright, lets talk some food first! I had to jump on the fall food bandwagon!
I made the next two items for my second TV segment that should be airing closer to Thanksgiving(I promise I will get them up on my blog when the hubby figures out how to get them off the DVR).
Is that a turkey in my dip?? Yep, it sure is. Oh my word, let me tell you about this dip. It is evil, it is sooo good. Its like a fluffy pumpkin pie in a dip form. YUM! It is crazy quick and you can serve it up in a cute hallowed out pumpkin for a darling effect!

FLUFFY PUMPKIN DIP W/ CINNAMON SUGAR TORTILLAS

1 16 oz tub of cool whip,thawed out
1 5 ounce packet of Vanilla Pudding (instant)
1 can Libby’s Pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl mix together pudding,pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla.
Gently stir in Cool whip. This takes about 5 minutes to get the mixture smooth.
CINNAMON SUGAR TORTILLAS
Flour tortillas
Cinnamon Sugar
Butter flavored cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350.
Use a cookie or biscuit cutter to cut your tortillas into your desired shape.
Place them on a lined baking sheet.
Spray with butter flavored cooking spray.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar to your liking
Spray again with cooking spray to make sure cinnamon sugar sticks
Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Enjoy the yumminess!


Arent these cute? They totally look like little acorns. I found this recipe in Family Fun

ACORN DOUGH NUTS

Chocolate Frosting
Donut holes(I used Pop ems)
Crumbled Toffee
Pretzels
Frost a third of the doughnut hole with chocolate frosting
Roll the frosted part of the doughnut in the toffee.
Break the curved part of a pretzel off and poke in the top of the doughnut so it looks like the stem.


And I leave you with a picture of me and my little munchkin. Isnt she cute?

And on to the bad news(well it could be good news if you don’t enjoy my blog)!

Well I have officially got sooooooo far behind with my blog I just cant catch up!!!!! Most of you know by now, that 99% of the time return every comment I get on all of my posts. I got behind on 3 of my posts. That is roughly 130 comments I have yet to return. And that doesn’t include the 600 items on my google reader I have yet to look at on all of your wonderful blogs. And it makes me feel terrible.

I don’t think it is fair for all of you wonderful people to read and comment on my blog if I cant return the favor. So if I cant blog my way I would rather not blog at all. I suppose it is my guilty conscious. I am not leaving for ever..I am just taking a break for now. PLEASE DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME!! 🙁 I will be back as soon as I catch up on some things!