Tag Archives: recipe

Dexter Themed Cupcakes: A Gig

5 Feb

Friends come to me with various food questions quite regularly. This project started in much the same way. One friend wanted Dexter themed cupcakes for a friend of hers that is a huge Dexter fan.  Her inspiration was from a picture of cupcakes that were made for Magnolia Bakery for the show’s premier.   I gave her some names of local bakeries I knew of that did custom and theme cupcakes, but as she called around, it became obvious that no bakeries would make it. One offered to make it without the “glass,” but that just took the drama out of it.

I looked at the picture, looked around for sugar glass recipes, and concluded that I could absolutely make these cupcakes.

And so my first “paid gig” for baking began.

Since this was my first “professional” assignment, I decided it was absolutely necessary to make a test batch first.  The cupcake recipient actually was not a fan of chocolate, so my red velvet idea went quickly out the window.

First, I found a Martha Stewart recipe for the sugar glass, but I long ago realized that Martha’s kitchen staff makes everything look a whole lot better than I could ever get out of my kitchen. So I went on a quest for a “normal person” recipes and once again, AllRecipes.com came to the rescue.

I combined them both (and the use of 2 different thermometers to check on the temperature) and made my attempt at sugar glass.

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I was really excited when it actually worked! It was ever so slightly yellow tinged, which was disappointing, but I deemed it good enough to work.

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And made a few batches of varying thickness.

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And just for fun, I dyed some blue and made some Breaking Bad Blue Sky (and put it all chopped up into a baggy for the friend who made the order, knowing she is a huge Breaking Bad fan.)

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It was a bit rippled when I made the thick one.

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But the thinner one was very clear and shattered just like glass.

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And cut like it!

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(Just kidding! Sort of…) It was definitely sharp, but it made for some great gag glass with just a bit of red food coloring.

For the cupcake itself, I decided to go with a very basic cupcake that I added some spices to (ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg) and then used the Bailey’s frosting that everyone loves.

Then it came time to figure out how to fill these bad boys. I wanted them to be filled with a blood colored jam of some kind that when cut into, would look like it was oozing blood.

First I tried a cherry pie filling (without the solids) in a squirt bottle.

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And while it looked a bit like it, the narrow amount just didn’t have the impact I wanted and it absorbed into the cake in a few minutes, so it didn’t really ooze all that well.

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So next I tried the “cone” method where you cut a cone out of the cupcake…

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… then remove the section…

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… fill the hollow with the filling…

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… then replace the very top of the circle to fill the hole. This proved to be a pretty good method and I declared the trial a success. (The hole also let me drop a cherry into each, which I hoped would add to the flavor a bit).

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And then it came time to assemble.  I used a pastry bag to pipe the frosting on, stuck the sugar glass on it, then splattered the top with red food coloring.  And then… we had a Dexter cupcake.

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We tried a few different “splatters.”  Red food coloring, red gel icing, cherry filling, jam… But the good ol’ red food coloring was really the best.

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And cutting into the inside wasn’t as oozy as I wanted, but the cherry inside was a really nice addition.

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And since I had a few extras from the trial, I filled a few with jam and topped them with peanut butter instead of frosting.

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Have I mentioned that I am a sucker for all things peanut butter and jelly?

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So then came the day of the actual party.  I had ordered some specialty accessories including blood spatter cupcake liners, bone sprinkles, and bloody cleaver toothpicks.  (More on those later)

While the cone cutting was working, I decided to look through my stock of random kitchen accessories to see if I had something better. Sure enough, an old fashioned apple corer was perfect.

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It pulled out a good well to add the cherry and cherry pie filling.

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And left the top circle intact for replacing on the top.

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All ready for frosting!

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We decided to go with a spread frosting instead of a piped frosting, and then put the shards of sugar glass in them.

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Then set up an elaborate blood spatter lab where we coated everything in saran warp, dropped the cap into the sink, and used pastry brushes to splatter the food coloring blood.

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Then put them into the cupcake holder (which is never stable enough… why don’t they make the sides of those things just a bit higher?)

Ready for delivery!

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But I figured I could get even more creative.  So I took a piece of sugar glass that looked like a knife, molded a chocolate handle, inserted a birthday candle and made an edible knife/candle holder.

Then I took a “naked” cupcake, strapped it down under plastic wrap, and stabbed it with the knife.  I hope Dexter fans will appreciate.

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I also wanted to create some different kinda of decoration, so I decided to use the meat cleavers and bones in red topped cupcakes.

This is where I caution you… it is just about impossible to make RED frosting. I wound up with a whole lot of very pink frosting.  I then proceeded to dump every red colored thing in my cabinet into this (which included just about every fruit jam in history) and yet… it was still pink.  So Mike popped out to the store and got an industrial sized bottle of red food coloring and I dumped it in. I was concerned that the high concentration of red food coloring would change the flavor, but as it turns out there was so much fruit in there from all the jams that you couldn’t taste it (though no promises it wouldn’t dye your teeth red!)

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The bar where they set up was dark, but I was told that they were the hit of the party.

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And I’m very glad to have done such a fun project and make a Dexter fan happy.

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Thanksgiving 2012

8 Jan

Thanksgiving in my family is a pretty epic event.  There are about 40 people every year, and we bring pretty much the same dishes ever year. I love the traditions and I love the food.  We’re one of those few families that actually get along and it’s the day I look forward to most every year.  

And even though we walk to the train station (through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade) and take a train, I still can’t resist baking up a storm.  I last blogged about our Thanksgiving in 2009, but I realized that there are a few recipes that I consider classic to my repertoire that I haven’t yet blogged about.  Also, 2012 was the year of the Brownie Battle.

Thanksgiving is also a time of experiment for me. While I bring a lot of the same things, in the weeks prior I try to refine them and make them better, and I try to bring something new each year.

My peanut butter cups are pretty much set in stone at this point, but I did have an accidental experiment when a drop of water splashed into my chocolate cups. They always warn you that water is melted chocolate’s worst enemy. But here I had some side-by-side proof.  Check out the consistency of the one cup that got a single drop of water (center of the shot) versus the rest.

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And Thanksgiving also happens to be a time when I am very thankful for my KitchenAid (Thanks again, Mikey! Best gift ever!) One of my favorite moments is when the chocolate hits the batter and makes perty swirls.

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I have been making a family brownie recipe for years (from my Grandmother’s recipe folio) that was noted as being from my (totally awesome and inspiring) great Aunt Dinah (who is currently in her late 90s, but you would never believe it).  I actually made the one’s from Grandma’s recipe when I was on the Wendy Williams show, and you can find that recipe on the Wendy site.

I always assumed that the recipes were the same, but my cousin (Dinah’s granddaughter) noticed some differences between our recipes.  So… what else to do besides an epic Brownie Battle?

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I put a sprinkle on Grandma’s recipe to differentiate, but turns out the color and texture were different enough to be able to tell.

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Aunt Dinah’s was a bit fluffier and fudgier. And while I love Grandma’s recipe, Aunt Dinah’s recipe won hands down (recipe at the end of this post).

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I also made my Drunk N’ Nutty Pie, but I have refined it a bit and replaced the chestnuts with pecans (for texture, added after the slow cook but before the crumb topping).

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I could eat this filling with a spoon! Slow cooked apples and cranberries in red wine. SOOO good. And such a beautiful scarlet color.

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I also changed out the crumb topping for a new blend and cooked it a bit longer (until the top browned, about an hour) at a lower temperature (350 degrees) to get it a little crisper. The new topping is simple to remember:  1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 stick unsalted butter cut into 4 or five chunks, and 1 cup pecan halves. Pulse a few times in the processor to make a coarse meal.  I definitely liked this new topping even more!

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And then there are the meringue kisses.  I absolutely love these and they are a family favorite. My grandmother used to make them, and I took them over for Thanksgiving to make sure they would always be around.  They sit in the oven overnight (which made for some fun times the next morning when I preheated the oven and forgot they were there… but luckily only lost one tray and not all!) This recipe also at the end of this post and I also posted about how NOT to make them and did a tutorial on making meringue in a vlog. The vlog is instructions how to make a meringue torte, but the same principles apply to the cookies, just with different ingredients and ratios.

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So we schlepped peanut butter cups, Drunk N Nutty pie, meringue kisses, two sets of brownies, apple cider salted caramels, and Mike’s famous butternut squash souffle up to White Plains.

My dad’s cousins host every year, and they always set a beautiful table and we all get name markers.  The rule of Thanksgiving is that if you bring a date (which must be approved by Dinah, by the way), you get to sit with them during year 1, but after that, they’re on their own.  

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And my cousin Eric and Aunt Linda are our expert turkey carvers each year.

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Mike was kind enough to go in early and grab a turkey leg for me. (Awww)

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And the dessert table always just looks like something to dive into, mouth first.

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Here is the final Drunk N’ Nutty pie:

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And brownies.

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And meringues with other brownies.

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And the peanut butter cups.

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 With my cousin adding a sign to remind the family that these were famous peanut butter cups.

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And the final apple cider salted caramels (with a spice cake behind that my aunt made). (IT”S JUST ALL SO GOOD!)

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The day after Thanksgiving every year, we have a leftovers party at my dad’s house in New Jersey. We invite our friends and ask everyone to just bring some leftovers for everyone to share. It’s a great gathering and I look forward to this every year (almost as much as Thanksgiving itself).  And every year I make a cider recipe that is an absolute crowd pleaser.

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And my favorite breakfast the day after: leftover sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top!

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Gosh I just love Thanksgiving!!!

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RECIPES
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Aunt Dinah’s Winning Brownie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 1 stick margarine (softened)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar (it used to be 2 cups, but at some point in history it was changed)
  • 4 ounces unsweetened or bitter Baker’s chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 to 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Melt 4 ounces unsweetened or bitter Baker’s chocolate.
  2. Mix together 1 stick butter, 1 stick of margarine, 1 3/4 cups sugar.
  3. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beat well after each egg.
  4. Slowly pour the melted chocolate into the sugar/butter/egg mixture.
  5. Add 1 cup four, 1/4 cup at a time.
  6. Add a pinch of salt.
  7. Add 3/4 cup (or 1 cup) of walnuts.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees. (The recipe says for 18-20 minutes, but it took me 25-30 each time, so just bake it until a toothpick comes out clean)

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THE Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients:

  • Good quality chocolate (I like Ghiradelli and frequently make milk, semi-sweet, and white chocolate versions to please everyone’s pallettes) 
  • Creamy Peanut butter – 1/2 cup
  • Salted butter- 1 stick melted
  • Confectioners Sugar- 1 & 1/3 cups
  • Graham Cracker Crumbs – 1 cup

Directions:

  1. Prepare either mini candy cup molds (these are my favorite and I use them for all sorts of things) or cupcake liners (full size, cut down in about half)
  2. Melt chocolate and pour half into prepared molds (you can use your finger to spiral it up the sides of the cups so it makes a mini dish)
  3. Put these in the fridge until hardened
  4. Combine the peanut butter, butter, confectioners sugar, and graham cracker crumbs in a mixer until blended
  5. Put peanut butter mixture into the chocolate cups (Only put in enough peanut butter mixture so they are below the top level. You can smooth out the top of the chocolate with a bench scraper or knife)
  6. Top cups with the other half of the melted chocolate and put into refrigerator until set
  7. Pop out and try not to each all of them in one sitting (but I will totally understand if you do)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meringue Kisses

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites (room temperature)
  • pinch of cream of tarter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat to 350
  2. Beat egg whites until frothy
  3. Add pinch of cream of tarter and salt and beat until stiff
  4. Add sugar 1 tsp at a time
  5. Fold in chocolate chips
  6. Slowly add vanilla
  7. Put cookies on silpat
  8. Turn off oven and leave off over night

Cream Puffs

30 Aug

I really love when Mike comes home and says “You know… my coworker says they really love ______.”  And then suddenly I find myself searching for recipes and Mike finds himself lugging lots of tupperware into his office.  I love a good baking challenge.  So when a love for cream puffs was mentioned, I began scratching my head.

Aren’t cream puffs really hard to bake?

As it turns out… NO… Not even a little bit!

I scoured AllRecipes.com and eventually landed on this recipe. I was skeptical how vanilla instant pudding would work out, and while it felt a bit like cheating, the rave reviews about it made me try it out.

The dough is actually started in a pot on the stove. Water, butter, flour, salt. 

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And then put into a mixer and beat in the eggs.

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It made a perfectly thick dough, which I then dropped by the spoonful onto a silpat and baked.

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I was so excited when I opened up the oven and there were perfect little puffs.

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The recipe says to slice the tops off, put the filling in the middle, and then put the sliced top back on.  But I wanted to fill these little beautiful puffs.

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I first tried the old “Put it in a ziplock and cut off the corner” piping method, but the bag was just too soft to get into the cream puff in any sane way.

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So I began to look around the apartment for something to make it easier (and also allow Mike to take it into the work and do it there, so it didn’t get soggy).

Then I remembered my trusty little squeeze bottles.  I don’t know what I ever did before these babies!

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So all you do is flip it over, put the spout into the bottom of the puff, and squeeze until full. There is a hollow space in the puff and it works like a charm.

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And when you popped them open, they were flaky yet doughy and tender puffs with a crispy shell and great filling.  It was a really awesome recipe.

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These were so easy to make, that I would easily do these for any dinner party. They are impressive without being time consuming. And I was impressed that they lasted overnight and that Mike could fill them the following day.

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RECIPE
_______________

Ingredients

  • 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  •  
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs

Directions

  1. Mix together vanilla instant pudding mix, cream and milk. Cover and refrigerate to set.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.
  5. When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cream-puffs/detail.aspx

Chrismukah Dinner

9 Feb

For Chrismukah (our annual family celebration) this year, I decided to try to make Grandma’s brisket again.  I had tried one time before, and it wasn’t QUITE right.  So I called up my aunt to get the low down on the recipe.

We started by browning up some onions.

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Then we put slits into the pot roast and put in slices of garlic.  (I think our meat was not exactly the best cut for brisketing… but it was all Whole Foods had that day).

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Then we browned the meat.

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And set it up to cook on top of the onions for a good long time topped with ketchup , red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and a bit of water.  We covered and simmered it, removed the liquid as it formed (from the onions breaking down) leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of liquid in the bottom (because, to quote my aunt quoting my grandma, “You want a pot roast, not stew meat”).  I cooked it until fork tender.  And it was close… but still not quite right.  I think the cut of meat was definitely a big part of the problem.  Well… guess I gotta try again!

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Mike set to making some latkes.  He went ahead and grated up the potatoes (one of my LEAST favorite jobs).

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And fried them until golden.  They tasted great at first, but we put them in the warming tray to keep them warm and they were never quite the same. Bummer.  Note to self: Always fry latkes to order.

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We also made our famous brussels sprouts and some roasted cauliflower.

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While I wasn’t 100% happy with how it all turned out, luckily, the family thought it was great (or they at least told me it was).  I looked at it as a learning experience!

The First NYC Nom Nom Vlog! (Part 3)

23 Dec

So how did it all turn out?  The conclusion of Part 1 and Part 2 of How to Make a Meringue:

(When posted, you can find the rest here:  Part 1 and Part 2)

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RECIPE
____________________

Meringue Shell

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites, room temp.
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat to 275 degrees F
  2. Beat egg whites until frothy (using a standard mixer makes this much easier)
  3. Add cream of tartar and beat eggs untill very stiff
  4. Add sugar by the spoonful alternatingly slowly
  5. Very slowly add vanilla by hand by pouring it down the side of the bowl and slowly folding it in
  6. Pour into buttered spring form
  7. Bake at 275 for 1 and 1/2 hours
  8. Turn off oven, then open oven door slightly and let cool in oven over night
  9. Flip cooled meringue over to expose the concave bottom, which can be filled

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Balsamic Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a medium saucepan and place over a low flame
  2. Stir in sugar
  3. Add strawberries and cook under low heat until berries are soft, about 5-10 minutes
  4. Strain out extra juices (into bowl, so you can save it for delicious toppings!)

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Homemade Spiked Schlag (whipped cream)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flavored liquor of choice (such as amaretto)

Directions:

  1. Pour heavy cream into a stand mixer bowl
  2. Add sugar and vanilla extract
  3. Turn on mixer and beat until stiff (about 10 minutes)
  4. Fold in liquor
  5. Serve immediately

The First NYC Nom Nom Vlog! (Part 2)

22 Dec

I know… you are DYING to know what happened the next morning with the meringue.  (If you haven’t seen Part 1 yet, check it out). Here is Part 2:

(When posted, you can find the rest here:  Part 1 and Part 3)

____________________
RECIPE
____________________

Meringue Shell

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites, room temp.
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat to 275 degrees F
  2. Beat egg whites until frothy (using a standard mixer makes this much easier)
  3. Add cream of tartar and beat eggs untill very stiff
  4. Add sugar by the spoonful alternatingly slowly
  5. Very slowly add vanilla by hand by pouring it down the side of the bowl and slowly folding it in
  6. Pour into buttered spring form
  7. Bake at 275 for 1 and 1/2 hours
  8. Turn off oven, then open oven door slightly and let cool in oven over night
  9. Flip cooled meringue over to expose the concave bottom, which can be filled

_______________________

Balsamic Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a medium saucepan and place over a low flame
  2. Stir in sugar
  3. Add strawberries and cook under low heat until berries are soft, about 5-10 minutes
  4. Strain out extra juices (into bowl, so you can save it for delicious toppings!)

_______________________

Homemade Spiked Schlag (whipped cream)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flavored liquor of choice (such as amaretto)

Directions:

  1. Pour heavy cream into a stand mixer bowl
  2. Add sugar and vanilla extract
  3. Turn on mixer and beat until stiff (about 10 minutes)
  4. Fold in liquor
  5. Serve immediately

The First NYC Nom Nom Vlog! (Part 1)

21 Dec

I decided to do my first video blog about the first recipe I ever remember making, a meringue.  Meringues are notoriously hard to make since small things (like yolk and oil) can ruin it and it’s hard to tell when it’s right.  It turns out I had so much information to share that the blog wound up VERY long.  Therefore, I have split it into 3 parts.

The following is Part 1.  I can pick these videos apart (I am my own worst critic, afterall), however, for my first attempt, I think it turned out pretty well.  I learned a lot by doing this and I look forward to do more in the near future.  Special thanks to Mike for his awesome taping and editing!

So without further ado…

 

(When posted, you can find the rest here:  Part 2 and Part 3)

____________________
RECIPE
____________________

Meringue Shell

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites, room temp.
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat to 275 degrees F
  2. Beat egg whites until frothy (using a standard mixer makes this much easier)
  3. Add cream of tartar and beat eggs untill very stiff
  4. Add sugar by the spoonful alternatingly slowly
  5. Very slowly add vanilla by hand by pouring it down the side of the bowl and slowly folding it in
  6. Pour into buttered spring form
  7. Bake at 275 for 1 and 1/2 hours
  8. Turn off oven, then open oven door slightly and let cool in oven over night
  9. Flip cooled meringue over to expose the concave bottom, which can be filled

_______________________

Balsamic Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a medium saucepan and place over a low flame
  2. Stir in sugar
  3. Add strawberries and cook under low heat until berries are soft, about 5-10 minutes
  4. Strain out extra juices (into bowl, so you can save it for delicious toppings!)

_______________________

Homemade Spiked Schlag (whipped cream)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flavored liquor of choice (such as amaretto)

Directions:

  1. Pour heavy cream into a stand mixer bowl
  2. Add sugar and vanilla extract
  3. Turn on mixer and beat until stiff (about 10 minutes)
  4. Fold in liquor
  5. Serve immediately

Apple Pie with New Crust

17 Dec

My Aunt Dinah is a 90-something powerhouse of a woman with a fondness for awesome shoes and the most amazing spirit you have ever met.   She is awesome.

However, she is 90-something and while she was fine to make ONE homemade apple pie from scratch for Thanksgiving, she admitted she couldn’t bring the usual two pies.  My cousin/uncle Mark, who hosts Thanksgiving every year at his house with wife Wanda, asked that I pick up a pie down the street.

Are you kidding?

Pick up a pie?

That was not going to happen.  Though I couldn’t go up against Dinah’s classic apple pie.  I didn’t even want to try to compete.  So I wanted a bit more of a twist on the pie, so I went with one that had a crumble top.  I got the full recipe from one of my new favorite blogs, The Pioneer Woman.  And I was up for a challenge, so I chose her pie crust that she, a very experienced baker, said was very difficult to make.

And it started with (gulp)… shortening!  EEEEEEEEEEEEK!  How can you make a buttery crust without butter?  I just wasn’t sure, but I had trust.  So I took out the stuff that always reminds me of kindergarten paste and measured myself a cup.

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 And because I have never seen the difference between pastry that I do by hand and when I do it in the food processor (except in wrist pain), I “cheated.”

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 So I pulsed the shortening with the flour until it made a lumpy mess.

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 So I pulsed it a bit more until it looked more like crumbs. 

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 My idea of the right texture for pie crust is always where most of it is making pencil eraser size chunks with a few bigger and some crumbs.

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 Then I added some egg.

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And some water, white vinegar, and salt before separating the crust into 3 parts and making some balls.

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 I put the balls into ziplocks.

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Then used a rolling pin to smush it down so it would be “easier” to work with later (HA!)

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Then I stuck it in the freezer, for what wound up being overnight.  I took it out the next morning to thaw while I prepared the filling.  First I cut up apples (uniformity is important!) 

The filling recipe also came from the Pioneer Woman recipe collection.

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And then stirred together this mixture that was like heaven in my mouth.

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 Phew!  Now just to roll out the crust.

I added flour to my surface and pin.

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And then I rolled… and rolled… and folding it up… and rolled… and rolled.. and refloured… and rolled and rolled and folded it up and rolled and rolled and refloured and rolledandrolledandfoldeditupandrolledandrolledandrefloured… and rolled…

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 It just never quite made it smooth.  I decided that even though it looked like it was falling apart that I would try to lay it into the pie dish and just patch it as needed.

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But how do I get it off of the mat?  It had been floured and all… but it was STUCK.  And it was right around the moment when I somehow looped my apron around the handle of the cabinet and in one foul swooped yanked it open, toppled out the top to my salad spinner, and dumped a combo of flour and pie dough all over the floor.

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Mike was looking at the sorry state of me covered in flour, fear, and frustration and suggested that I turn the whole thing over on the pie plate and peal the dough off. 

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Much to my relief, it worked.  

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 I had to patch some areas and wound up with no where near enough to make nice edges, however, it was SO thin that I dared not roll it anymore. 

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The recipe didn’t mention if the crust should be pricked to allow air out, however, I didn’t want to take any chances so I pricked.

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Then I filled it with the apples that were covered in the delicious sauce. 

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 And I made the topping, which was supposed to be like crumbs… but it never really came close.

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So I wound up breaking it into little chunks with my fingers and spreading it across the top.

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 The smell while this was baking was absolutely fantastic.  And it came out looking BEAUTIFUL!

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But how did it taste?

Well…. ehhhh… it was good… but it wasn’t great.  Not even all that special.  I don’t know why this fell short.  It had all the makings (and look) of a brilliant pie… but it just wasn’t.  And the crust was no better than my other crust, which was much less effort.

So while I still love Ree and her recipes, I think I have to say… skip this pie.   And from what I hear from Lori, make this Pecan Pie instead (which I plan on doing very soon).

For the recipes, it’s better (and so worthwhile) to check out Ree’s summaries:

The Crust

The Pie

Weight Watchers Cooking: Baked Omelette

25 Jun

I wanted something hearty and healthy one night, and after flipping through Hungry-Girls’ 1-2-3 cookbook, I decided to edit one of her recipes.  She had oven-baked omelette lasagna which used zucchini instead of lasagna noodles (a recipe I MUST try, especially after ready about Lori trying it).  Unfortunately, however, on this day I didn’t have zucchini.  So I figured I’d forgo the lasagna part of the recipe and just make a giant baked omelette.  And wow was it easy!

I basically just combined everything I’d normally put in an omelette (tomatoes and mushrooms being the key pieces, plus spices) and used fat-free liquid egg substitute (I happened to use Better’n Eggs since I had so much luck with Better’n Peanut Butter). We also threw in some Purdue Short Cuts for extra protein.  Then I topped it with Weight Watchers shredded cheese…

And baked it…

The portion was HUGE for the points and I was totally stuffed after eating this.

One quarter of the full recipe is FIVE points!  That is insane!

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RECIPE
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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Better’n Eggs (they come in a 3 pack of 1 cup containers)
  • 1/2 – 2/3 box of Purdue Short Cuts
  • 1/3 cup canned tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 3/4 cup Weight Watchers Shredded Mexican Style Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper, Garlic Powder, Oregano to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with nonstick spray (sides too)
  3. In a bowl, mix all ingredients except cheese
  4. Pour mixture into pan
  5. Top with cheese
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown and cooked through