Archive for April, 2009

“Have It Your Way” Stir Fry

Thursday, April 30th, 2009
Stir Fry with Chicken, Shrimp, Filet & Veggies.

Stir Fry with Chicken, Shrimp, Filet & Veggies.

If you are looking for a healthy recipe that can be modified to your taste- stir fry is for you. It is hard to mess up a stir fry – overcooking the vegetables, sure… but changing the amounts of any one ingredient will not make that much of a difference.  In fact, it’s probably better if you tweak the ingredients to suit your taste

My mother sent me her stir fry “recipe” – more like a long paragraph with tips on how she makes her stir fry rather than an actual recipe.  She stresses the “use what you like” concept, along with some basic sound stir fry principles.  Prep everything ahead of time; use a heavy, large pan; don’t overcook the vegetables; pick a sauce you like.  Her “recipe” has no accurate measurements just approximations, so experiment.  If you like more garlic, add more. If you go crazy for Bok Choy, go for it.  You like mushrooms, go bananas…you get the picture. 

It is made different every time, and it is probably important to say that it comes out good every time.  Remember, don’t get hung up on the measurements – do what feels right and follow the basic principles and I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

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Time to Break Out the Charcoal Grill!

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
Two Chimney Starters are Better Than One!

Two Chimney Starters are Better Than One!

I am looking out my window today and what a dreary day it is.  Why can’t every day be cook out weather

We had great weather this past weekend – perfect  for a few Corona’s and the Weber.   Ahh…the beauty of the charcoal grill.  My husband loves his Weber, he prefers it to a gas grill any day.   Most people say that it takes too long to get the coals hot enough – those people have probably never used a chimney starter.  Chimney starters eliminate the need for of lighter fluid which can taint the flavor of foods, they also get your coals extremely hot, quickly! 

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That’s One Big Nose Spray…Cake!

Sunday, April 26th, 2009
Afrin Cake for Miss Vicki's Birthday

Afrin Nose Spray Cake

My girlfriend Vicki has a love affair with Afrin Nose Spray, let’s just say they’re stuck like glue.  I thought it would be funny to present her with one giant Afrin shaped cake…for the ultimate relief!  

I used a 9×13 pan to create the body of the Afrin Nose Spray.  After frosting the cake I proceed to cover it in white fondant.  I created the tip of the spay bottle out of the remaining fondant and used a bit of gum paste to detail the rest of the nasal tube. 

With a toothpick I mapped out where I would paint the details on the base if the cake.  I used gel food coloring as paints for the cake  and a bit of shimmer to give it that pearly shimmer!  The cake was hilarious and Vicki loved it!

Yellow Cake

What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract  
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

These are so good we had to post them.  Use our Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe to make these heavenly ice cream sandwiches!   We used half a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla in each.  Yes, these will not be posted under our Healthy Food catagory.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies – Big Style!

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who wants a cookie?   You will… after reading this recipe.  These are my mom’s “famous” chocolate chip cookies – the recipe is adapted from the Toll House Cookie recipe.  She uses jumbo eggs, and a mixture of light and dark brown sugar.  These two changes do something magical to the recipe – they are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever eaten.  Chewy and buttery - with a great balance of flavors.  Not too much chocolate – just enough in every bite. 

This recipe makes 24, 4 inch cookies.  Yep, that’s why we say Chocolate Chip Cookies – Big Style!  That’s one big cookie.

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Meet Miss Daisy

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

treats-2711Welcome Daisy!
 
My family and I just adopted a new puppy from an area rescue – Ruff Life Rescue.
 
She is a much needed addition to our family and fitting in just fine.  Daisy loves to hang out with me in the kitchen and is well on her way to becoming my new Sous Chef!

Ground Turkey Three Ways

Monday, April 20th, 2009
Turkey Burgers

Turkey Burgers

My mother is known for making some of the best meatballs around.  The flavor, of course, is great – but it’s the texture of the meatballs that makes them special.  She says it all has to do with how you mix the ground meat.  Whether it is beef, pork, veal or turkey – it’s all in how you mix it.  

So what is this special ground meat mixing technique?  It starts with the utencil you use, a large pronged fork is best.   Lightly lifting and separating the meat as you gently combine all of the ingredients.  This gentle fluffing of the ground meat  creates little air pockets and keeps  the ground meat airy.  Never, never mash it together and don’t use your hands – you will tend to mush it all together like you would a dough.  This only creates a dense product.  

So now that you know how to mix ground meat properly…what can you do with it?  Well, here are three variations using ground turkey.  Ground Turkey Three Ways…

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Baby Bluebird Cupcakes

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
Bluebird Cupcake

Bluebird Cupcake

This year while scrolling through Martha Stewart’s website I came across the cutest baby bird cupcakes.  I immediately knew I was going to make this for Easter Sunday.  What better than baby birds in a toasted coconut nest to represent Sping and the Easter holiday. 

I chose a very basic Yellow Cake for the cupcakes and used my favorite Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Martha’s served only for inspiration, the recipe and technique were all mine. 

I used disposable piping bags for the frosting and just cut the tips off at different points in order to get different thicknesses.  The nest was a simple circle of frosting with and extra layer to give it height. 

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Spring Sugar Cookies

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
Spring Sugar Cookies

Spring Sugar Cookies

Another delicious holiday in the books!  On the Easter Menu – rack of lamb, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, homemade rolls, salad,  cupcakes – really, really cute cupcakes, as well as these sugar cookies I whipped up - last minute.   

I always get compliments on these sugar cookies, and for awhile I proudly accepted them.  “Yes, I baked them.”  “Thank you, thank you.”   Well, I hate to admit it, but they are out of a bag.  Betty Crocker makes some darn good cookie mix.  

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Golden Brown Potato Rolls

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
Potato Rolls

Golden Brown Potato Rolls

I honestly think one of the most hearty, comforting foods you can eat is bread, especially my mother’s homemade Potato Rolls.  So, you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when her Potato Roll recipe ended up in my inbox yesterday.  Thanks Mom!

These freshly baked rolls not only taste great, they smell incredible.  There really is nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread, right?  The potato in these rolls not only adds moistness, but also gives the roll a really fine texture – not so much squishy, but rather “pillowy”. 

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