Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cooking ideas...

Sorry for not posting!  It's been busy with work and studies.  :)
Instead of blogging about what I've cooked, I decided to make a 'to-do' list of things I'd like to cook.  {Not like I need yet another to-do list, but these recipes looked yummy}.

I found this Chicken Gyros with Cucumber Salsa and Tsatsiki on the Gourmet Magazine website.  Doesn't it sound scrumptious?  I love gyros, but I've only had it with lamb. 
While browsing the Gourmet magazine website, I also came across these frozen delights--Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl, which I thought sounded like a fun and different dessert.  The only thing I might do differently is make my own ice cream, instead of using it 'ready-made.' 

Back to my favorite Fine Cooking magazine, I found this recipe for Oreo cookies.  I told my mom the other night that I wanted some Oreo cookies next time she went grocery shopping, but then I thought "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if I could make those?!"  Soooo I found a recipe!  These are definitely a priority.  :) 

One last recipe:  Pop-tarts.  Anyone out there had any luck with these?  I've seen them here on Fine Cooking, as well as on the Food Network website here, and of course Alton Brown has a video clip from his show Good Eats here.  I'm thinking I'll go with A.B.'s recipe. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Adventures with Ice Cream and Cupcakes...

This Sunday my mom announced she wanted some sort of dessert to go with our lovely turkey dinner Dad roasted.  I listed several options--a cake, pie, torte, cookies...but we finally decided on ice cream. 

I chose the Hazelnut and Chocolate Chunk ice cream option from the Fine Cooking magazine.  It's hard to believe the last time I made ice cream was over a month ago!  Check it out here.  Very easy, except I think the hardest part was waiting for the ice cream to finish churning! 

Also a couple of side-notes.  I used a 4-oz. bar of Girardelli chocolate.  The family thought this was too much (I don't understand how you can ever have too much chocolate, though!), so next time I'll only use about half as much.  This recipe also calls to infuse the milk/cream/sugar mixture with the nuts.  I did this, and afterwards I saved the hazelnuts.  I plan on making oatmeal within the next day or two and stirring in some of the nuts--I mean, you can't go wrong with hazelnuts cooked in sugar and cream!  haha  Next time I make this recipe, I'll probably leave some of the nuts in the mixture simply because everyone agreed it would have been even better with some extra crunch.

Finally, I have 5 egg white sitting in the fridge, since the ice cream recipe only uses yolks.  Any ideas what to do with them?
And no pictures, due to the fact the entire batch of ice cream was eaten immediately following dinner.

Now on to the cupcakes.  My friend came over last Saturday and we made dessert for the family dinner.  We chose bright, cheerful colors because it was pouring down rain/extremely windy/chance of tornados.  Very depressing weather.  Anyway. 

Our sunflower cupcakes.  :)

We used Abigail Johnson Dodge's chocolate cupcake recipe and made a simple buttercream recipe for the frosting.

All 12 cupcakes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dear me.  I haven't posted in a while, have I?  It's been rather hectic, between trying to finish my last 2 classes and starting a second PT job.  And I really haven't had time to cook--last week I wasn't home for dinner AT ALL.  *sigh* Oh well.  I'm working on that.

So two weekends ago (flasback time!) I made cake pops with a friend (we also made blondies and pancakes).  I got this book out of the library for inspiration (all of the designs are really cute!!).  You basically make a cake, crumble the cake all up (horrifying, really, ruining a perfectly good cake that way), then mix in frosting (which acts as 'glue'), then roll it into one- or two-bite sized pieces of cake.  Then you cover the cake with melted candy coating.  We chose to use a ganache (after we figured out why it kept seizing up) instead, but it didn't give us that pretty, smooth finish.  It tasted better, though!  :)  We also decided to go with a homemade cake and frosting recipe, instead of a box-recipe. 

Ta-da!  Our lovely cake pops.  :)

And this week I did have time to bake a cake.  I don't normally bake cakes, but I thought "I can handle cookies, brownies, and cupcakes, so a cake can't be that hard...".  I made this Butter Cake with Browned Butter Frosting, from the Land 'O Lakes website.  The recipe was very easy, but my cake seemed a little flat around the edges...of course, I don't think that was helped any by the fact I almost forgot to add the baking soda...

Now on to the frosting.  I browned the butter in a small pan (I did have to let it cook more than 5-6 minutes...more like 8-ish), then let it cool.  After beating in the sugar and vanilla, I tasted it.  I was really surprised to taste--caramel!  It tasted like caramel frosting to me.  Very surprising.