Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snowflake Sugar Cookies

These cookies are my first attempt at using my Cricut Cake.  I think that it is the best invention since sliced bread!  It is going to make my life much easier when I am doing cakes.  I LOVE IT! 
Thank you it was a great gift!

Friday, December 3, 2010


NOVEMBER 2010 DARING BAKER CHALLENGE: CROSTATA! The Daring Kitchen: "The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well."

I made the pasta frolla by hand as opposed to with a food processor.  I have made pie dough before, this was similar, with the exception of mixing and egg into the flour using the well method. The dough was very tender and flaky.  The filling for this was a vanilla custard topped with a blueberry sauce. For a first attempt at a crostata it was adequate.  It had wonderful flavors but, I was disappointed that I didn't have the tart pan to get the nice fluting around the edges.   

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sweet Potato Carrot Vichyssoise

I was scanning a food website about a month ago and came across a carrot vichyssoise recipe, I was intrigued, but not enough to make it right away. I sat on the idea for a while and made some modifications. I didn't write the recipe down but vichyssoise is normally made up of leaks and potatoes. I decided that I would replace the potatoes with sweet potatoes. It turned out amazing. I tied the vichyssoise warm and cold. I think that it had wonderful flavor warm and cold. I served it with Greek yogurt, it added a slightly tangy but creamy texture.

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 2 leeks
  • 6 carrots
  • 6 cups chicken stock

  • Slice the leeks down the center and rinse under running water
  • Slice the leeks making half moons
  • Place leeks into cool water so the residual dirt can fall to the bottom of the container
  • Peel and cube the sweet potatoes
  • Peel and chop carrots into 1 inch sections
  • Place into a dutch oven and boil vegetables until tender
  • Blend in small batches with the lid part way open to allow for steam to escape
  • Serve warm or cold

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OCTOBER DARING BAKERS CHALLENGE: Let's Go Nuts for Doughnuts! | The Daring Kitchen

OCTOBER DARING BAKERS CHALLENGE: Let's Go Nuts for Doughnuts! The Daring Kitchen: "The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious."

I have actually never made homemade doughnuts by myself, however when I was 5 I did help my mom with this task as well as many others in the kitchen.  It was a great time, it did make me late for work the Sunday, oops. I took them to work with me as a bribe it worked.  I only made a half batch of doughnuts because I may have eaten the whole batch. Is there anything better than a fresh glazed doughnut hole?

The original recipe did call for all purpose flour, but I substituted whole wheat pastry flour instead.  They turned out light and fluffy even with that replacement. 

  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1/3 cups vegetable shortening
  • 4.5 tsp yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 4 2/3 cups flour
  1. Mix milk and shortening in a suace pan over low heat unitl shortening is melted
  2. Place yeast and warm water in a bowl for 5 minutes until yeast blooms
  3. Place yeast mixture and shortening mixture in the bottom of a stand mixer
  4. Add in eggs, sugar, salt and half of the flour, mix until combined
  5. Add the other half of flour
  6. Beat with dough hook for 3-5 minutes, until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl
  7. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl
  8. Let raise until doubled in size
  9. Roll out onto a flour surface
  10. Cut appropriate size and shape of doughnuts or doughnut holes
  11. Let raise for 30 minutes
  12. Fry in 365 degree oil until golden brown

This is the dough after beating for 5 minutes.  It is very elastic and ready to go into a lightly oiled bowl to raise.

This is a snaphot of the dough after it doubled in size, waiting to be poured out and rolled out.

This shows how light the dough was after it had a chance to raise.

Doughnut holes in the forground and doughnuts in the background after they have raised.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monster Cookies

To start off, I am sorry that I didn't take process pictures of these cookies. I went and got my camera out of my backpack and discovered rather quickly that I had left my memory card at school. I was bummed, but not enough to get into my car and drive to school to get the card before starting the cookies. I also forgot to mention that I had to work, so time was very limited. I really just wanted to eat a cookie or five and not have to wait until after work!

Monster cookies may just be my favorite cookies of all time. I LOVE them. (How can you go wrong with a peanut butter and oatmeal cookie base with peanut butter M&M's? The correct answer is you can't!) I could sit and eat them all day, but that would be very bad!

I had a recipe for these cookies from my mom, but it made a million cookies. I didn't think there was any reason to make that many so I scaled it back as well as cut some of the sugar out. They tasted just as good as I remembered even without all the sugar.


1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp soda

1 1/4 cups peanut butter

4 1/2 cups oatmeal

1 medium bag peanut butter m&m's

1/2 bag mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • preheat oven to 350
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
  • cream together butter, peanut butter, baking soda and both sugars
  • add vanilla and eggs mix until combined
  • stir in oatmeal, m&m's and chocolate chips just until wet dough is formed
  • drop onto prepared pan with a tsp sized cookie scoop
  • bake 8-10 minutes (centers will be soft) let rest on 3-5 minutes until cookies are set
  • remove to a cooling rack
  • enjoy eating

I think that the next time I make these cookies I will reduce the sugar even more. I will take the white sugar down to 1/2 cup and the brown sugar down to 3/4 cup.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The September 2010 Daring Bakers' Challenge was hosted by Mandy of "What the Fruitcake?!" Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on Peggy Porchen and The Joy of Baking.
As promised by the challenger, these cookies did hold their shape very well. They did not spread out or puff up. I used the same cookie cutter on the marshmallow fondant as the cookie and it fit perfectly. While on a recent shopping trip I picked up a embossing sheet for fondant, it has a paisley (one of my favorite things) pattern on it. I took on the challenge and decided that royal icing on top of fondant would make a perfect pair with the matte finish that both provide. Thank you Mandy for the great assignment! I had a blast completeing it and anxiously await my next challenge on October 1.

The finished project, a black and white covered cookie that looks almost as good as it tastes.

My favorite ingredient: vanilla bean.
Here you can see the seeds waiting to be added to the creamed butter and sugar mixture.

The vanilla seeds waiting to be swirled into the sugar cookie batter.

If you look closely you can see the individual vanilla beans in the batter, as well as an egg on the bottom of the bowl.

As you can see I switched to the dough hook on my Kitchen Aid Mixer. It makes bringing the dough together a lot easier. (the vanilla beans are still evident in this picture)
After dividing the dough into thirds, it is rolled out between two layers of parchement paper and refrigerated for half an hour. After the inital cooling, cut out the dough with your choice of cookie cutter and then transfer to a cookie sheet and refrigerate it again for another half an hour. Then into a 350 degree preheated oven for about 10 minutes.

This is the cookie after baking before the fondant is added.
For the recipe see:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

AUGUST 2010 DARING BAKERS CHALLENGE ~ Nutty and toasty meets cool and creamy... | The Daring Kitchen

AUGUST 2010 DARING BAKERS CHALLENGE ~ Nutty and toasty meets cool and creamy... The Daring Kitchen: "The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”."
When I first read this assignment I was not really excited, because I had just done an ice cream assignment last month. That quickly changed when I thought about it. I have always wanted to make Baked Alaska and never had any reason to, but now I had my reason. I decided to take the leap and make a Meyer Lemon Ice Cream with a Browned Butter Pound Cake. I topped it all off with a Swiss Butter Cream. It was one of the best tasting desserts that I have ever made, but how can you go wrong with a lot of cream and a lot of butter? I loved it! I would have to say the Meyer Lemon Ice Cream was my favorite part.
Recipe to follow soon!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Zucchini Lasagna

3 Zucchini
2 Summer Squash
1 lb ground turkey
1 jar of pasta sauce
Parmesan cheese to taste

Zucchini and summer squash sliced the long way.

Zucchini and summer squash after being seared on a hot pan with olive oil cooking spray.
Ground turkey browned with onion and a jar of pasta sauce of your choice.

In a 9x9 inch pan, starting with a layer of sauce followed by the zucchini and summer squash. top each layer of sauce with a layer of Parmesan cheese. As seen in the picture, the squash and zucchini were also turned 90 degrees from each other in alternating layers. Place in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 -35 minutes or until all ingredients are hot.

Quick and easy meal! Tasted wonderful.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


List of Ingredients:
Roma Tomato
Sea Salt

Avocado peeled and waiting to be diced.

Avocado is the "star" of the show and the supporting characters pictured here waiting to be combined.

Ready to eat!

Guacamole and homemade pita chips.
The creamy texture of the guacamole with the cruchy-salty pita chips was perfect.
That was excellent! I really enjoyed it!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daring Baker # 1 : Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

Dark Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll
Salted Carmel and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Chocolate Fudge Sauce


Swiss Cake Roll

Two Different Kinds of Ice Cream

Chocolate Fudge Sauce

This assignment was not as easy as I thought it was going to be. The hardest part of the assignment was the Swiss Cake Roll. I made it two different times, the first time the cake stuck to tea towels which just made a huge mess. (It was not a happy day for me!) The second time was much better, the cake only stuck in a few spots and made an acceptable "jelly roll". The Swirl Cake filling was made of cream and vanilla sugar, beaten to stiff peaks. Making the ice cream and the chocolate sauce were a snap! Assembly, a little different story. (Note to people reading this melted ice cream does not like to stay were it is placed! )

This was a great first challenge, cannot wait to see what my next challenge is. Only have a few days to wait!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Apricot Jam

I had the pleasure of picking a ice cream pail of apricots last week. I took them home and they sat on my counter for a few days before I finally decided to make them into jam. I must start out by saying that I have never made jam before. It was a gratifying experience, simple and straight forward.
(Well worth the effort, much better than anything you can buy at the grocery store!)


  • 4.5 cups chopped apricots
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • .75 cups agave nectar
  • 1 package fruit pectin

The anticipation is rising as the jam is cooking, I cannot wait until it is finished.

Finished product:

"POP, POP, POP" The sound of jars sealing, what a wonderful noise. There is nothing better than fresh jam on a piece of toasted flat bread!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I get my first Daring Kitchen assignment tomorrow! What will it be???? Hoping for something that is challenging, but not incredibly hard or takes a huge amount of space to create!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Custard

First post complete!

Strawberry Rhubarb Custard: Okay, maybe soon was an over estimation. I will hopefully get to this tonight!
I finished this about a week ago. I am having difficulty putting pictures up.

I had forgotten that I am not and will not ever be a huge fan of baked egg custard! (I am not sure what I was thinking!) The strawberry rhubarb topping was great and it covered the taste and smell of the eggs custard very well. However every once in a while the smell of eggs came through and I was once again reminded all over again that it is the smell of egg custard that gives me the shivers.
Next time, I would perhaps try to incorporate the strawberry rhubarb into the custard and also add more vanilla to change the taste of the custard (make it taste less eggy)!

So no pictures are going to be forthcoming for this recipe. I have decided that the pictures that I took are not really that great and are under exposed. They are really bad. I have already improved my pictures thanks to some very helpful websites.
Thanks for your patients!