Homemade Marshmellows -

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I have a huge bag of sugar and BIG plans to make some of these tonight.


Thank you - Google alerts for sending me this random blog where I found the link.

Coconut Shrimp

Monday, December 20, 2010

This weekend Jordan & I made this delicious Shrimp dish for his family's Christmas party. Yes, we made it together, and not just one batch but over 70 Coconut Colossal Shrimp. The Shrimp was from Sam's club - and apparently the freezer burned look is ok and just part of how they flash freeze them.

I bought 3 bags of Colossal Shrimp, 35 gallons of Peanut Oil, 3 boxes of Panko, 2 bags of Coconut, and 3 jars of Orange Marmalade & 3 of Sweet Chili Sauce. (3 times what i needed for the coating)

We pulled out the fryer that had been in the garage storage cabinets for 3 years and got to peeling, dredging, and frying.

The perfect 'timing' was 2 min and 20 seconds. And, a few of them had what we called 'splits' didn't fry curled but sticking straight out either side. This wasn't too tragic -- it allowed for two bite per shrimp :)

I didn't get a photo of the finished product, but I'm sure we will make this dish again, and I'll be sure to update with a photo :)

UPDATE: 1/27/11

Cookies -

Saturday was filled with the joy of cookies and great company. My dear friend Kristin and her beautiful family came to visit. Specifically to mess up my kitchen and not hers, but also cheer me up a bit. It's been a rough few weeks and I needed a little Obermeyer love in my life. As you can see from the photo of Mrs. Gingerbread above we were quite creative in our cookie making. And, no cookie decorating fest would be complete with out a child under the age of 5 using brightly colored icing over white-ish carpet. (no worries she didn't spill any)

The sugar cookie recipe turned out beautifully - with soft puffy sugary wonderfulness. The recipe can be found on All Recipes.com  http://tiny.cc/sugarcookie

Kristin was also kind enough to bring a selection of cookie cutters - since I didn't have any. Here is an example of one of the more ... creative cookie cutter shapes. They are candle sticks -- get your mind out of the gutter.

The icing recipe was super simple - 1 cup confectioners/powdered sugar to 2-3 Tablespoons milk whisked until smooth. It/when it dries out a bit add a dash of warm water. Color with food die (I prefer the gel kind, it is not nearly as messy as liquid.

The Gingerbread Cookies gave us a bit of a fight. I turned to my all time favorite Cooks Illustrated
http://tiny.cc/gingerbreadcc for the first time I think I'm a bit disappointed. We followed the directions to a T - but the dough wouldn't release from the parchment paper. So, we improvised and mostly just made round cookies. I was quite surprised - their recipes are normally fool proof. Next time I might floor the paper before rolling to help the dough release.

Finally, I had slaved over French Butter cookie dough on Friday, hoping to have the most adorable chocolate swirl cookies. They were the driest little cookies ever, they were NOT sweet, and overall a complete disappointment in cookie making. That said - they were traditional french butter cookies, crumbled well, and I guess weren't supposed to be sweet American cookies. So, while I was disapponted and wasted 15 dollars worth of ingeredients some French guy would have loved them. My husband, Kristin, Jeff, and I all did not. Next time I'm using the sugar cookie recipe. I'll post the recipe when I perfect it :)

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I promised my Uncle Dave I would make him some cupcakes for his 65th birthday on Thursday but, I thought I better do a test batch this weekend just to be sure they aren't terrible.

As I was trolling the aisles of the local Kroger today, I almost bought a Carrot Cake Mix... until the phrase "Carrot Flavored Pieces" quickly lead me to return it to the shelf (as did my sister, who was on the phone telling me I had to make them from scratch). So, instead of buying a mix, I used my Cooks Illustrated iPhone app (FREE!) to look for a carrot cake recipe. Luckily, it turned out that I already had all the ingredients I needed at home.

I started baking "process" as soon as I got home, by shredding the carrots in my stand-up food processor (warning: carrot juice will stain your white plastic kitchen gadgets, but I found Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works wonders on this).  After shredding the carrots, I hauled out my full sized food processor to combine/fluff the eggs and sugar.  I was kind of surprised the recipe called for a FP ... but the bottom of the recipe had directions for using the Stand Mixer.

By this point, it looked like an orange tornado had cut a path right through our previously clean kitchen.

Once the mix was prepared I quickly tried to look up a method to calculate the proper time for cupcakes (vs sheet cake), gave up and guessed at 15min (it took 20).

Three batches of cupcakes later it was time to start the icing.  It seemed to go well at first, and after following the directions I added a VIA instant decaf coffee packet for an extra kick -- (Dave's party is going to be a Starbucks and the SB manager suggested trying the VIA in the icing). It tasted DELICIOUS and after just one more minute whisking it was supposed to be light and fluffy and ready to decorate.  That is, until I turned around to straighten up the kitchen and left the icing whisking in the mixer....

With in just a few minutes it looked curdled and I was devastated.... luckily, I happened to stock up on cream cheese last week (it was on sale) and I had JUST enough powdered sugar left for another batch. Unfortunately though, I couldn't risk using the last two VIA packets - since I still needed those for the birthday party batch.

I decided to try piping the frosting which went ok, but next time I'm going to use the larger tip so I can get a larger dollop of icing on each cupcake (and to avoid clogging).

In the end it was a lot of work, some of which was unnecessary, but overall, the cupcakes were delicious, spicy, and had great texture.

Spiced Carrot Cake by Cooks Illustrated - http://tiny.cc/carrotbd

Disney Recipes

Monday, December 6, 2010

I have been craving the Roasted Red Pepper Soup from the Grand Floridian @ Disney. I haven't found the recipe yet - but I did find this site. http://www.wdisneyw.co.uk/recipes.html It has quite a few Disney favorites - check it out!


Delicous Pizza Dough

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This delicious recipe came from my Kitchen Aid Mixer recipe book - the dough also makes delicious bread sticks. Jordan's favorite is spicy Italian sausage and LOTs of Cheese. I LOVE using alfredo sauce, chicken, artichokes, and spinach leaves. (Thank you Carrie Thompson for introducing me to this amazing combination)

Make sure you cook the meat before you put it all together - and if you are cooking for two - try making a smaller pizza and using the other half of the dough for breadsticks.


Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I was craving a delicious Chocolate desert, and so I turned to my Cooks Illustrated books and found this tasty treat. https://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/4958-triple-chocolate-mousse-cake

Note: That is a Steak n' Shake plate. (not I did not steal it)


This year we had Thanksgiving dinner at the VA hospital. My Uncle Dave had a heart attack the Saturday before and was still in the hospital so we had to change plans a bit ... but we were still able to have full T-day dinner with all the trimings.

The turkey was a beautiful 19 pounder from Goose the Market - I used some cooks illustrated tricks including brining the turkey, drying it in the fridge (for a crispier skin) and a BUNCH of butter & herbs rubbed under the skin. Unfortunatly I didn't have a v-rack and during step 1 of  cooking the turkey breast side down the skin stuck to the bottom of the roasting pan and was pulled off when we flipped it -- but no worries I simply re coated the top with more herbs and prayed it wouldn't dry out.

Herbed Roast Turkey http://tiny.cc/ccturkey

The stuffing was Rachel Ray's Mushroom Stuffing. I started this the Wednesday night with the cubing and drying of the bread. To add some texture I used one white bread loaf and one higher end whole wheat loaf. This process takes some time - especially if you just pile all the bread in your large roasting pan. You will need to 'turn' the cubes every 30 mins or so until all pieces are dry like croutons. http://tiny.cc/raystuff

And, no Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without Cranberry Sauce - and not that canned goo - but a sweet orange concoction using fresh cranberries & one orange. Again, a Rachel Ray recipe - http://tiny.cc/raycran

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