Monday, December 24, 2012

Cookies for Santa Mommy...

This year Santa Mommy had to make her own cookies.  But as soon as the kids had a sense that something was in the oven they came running down the stairs.  This year I knew that I wanted oatmeal cookies but I wanted to be a little different...instead of adding chocolate chips...I added butterscotch chips.  The house smells delicious and the cookies got me on a sugar high :)

 prepared dough...

 nicely placed under the tree for Santa Mommy..
NO...there are no presents under the tree yet...the presents are not wrapped yet and my son is at a age that I don't trust him.  I remember growing up and one year I snuck and opened up my presents early and it just wasn't the same Christmas morning.  The surprise was gone.
Merry Christmas to my fellow readers. 
Enjoy the holidays and time with family and friends.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chocolate Orange Liqueur Bundt Cake

My Sister -n- Law couldn't get enough of my Lemon Drop Martini Cake that I made for the #BundtaMonth club so she asked me to make another adult inspired cake.  So....I decided to make her a chocolate Orange Liqueur Bundt Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.  

For this cake I just followed the directions of a regular box chocolate cake mix and added a small box of chocolate pudding mix, the juice of a 1/2 orange, and a 1/2 cup of orange liqueur.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Reason for Letting your Meat Rest after Cooking

There are two main reasons why we are "supposed" to let our meat rest after cooking.

1. When meat is pulled away from the heat source (ex. stove top, oven, grill etc.) it is still cooking.  This is called carry over cooking. Once pulled away sit the meat to the side and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. This is why most recipes call for the cook to pull the meat away from the heat source a few minutes before it is done to prevent over cooking.

2.  When meat cooks the fibers in the meat firm up pushing all of the moisture out.  So when the meat is in the resting period most of the juices will redistribute throughout the meat. 

(When you do cut into your meat right after will notice all of the juices running out)

Resting time solely depends on how big the meat is.  It can range from 10 minutes up to 30 minutes.

However; today I must say.  I didn't let my meat rest.  It was so mouthwatering that I had to cut a corner out of it (top left corner missing). I just couldn't help myself.... I am sure that I'm not the only one that have done this that clearly knows better.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Burrell Vodka

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

#BundtaMonth: Lemon Drop Bundt Cake

This month for the Bundt of the Month club the theme is cocktail / mocktail.  Who doesn't like a cocktail at the end of a long day or even a piece of cake.  With this recipe you can have the best of both worlds.

Lemon Drop Bundt Cake
Ingredients for cake:
-1 box lemon cake mix
-1 small box of instant lemon pudding
-3 eggs
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup vodka
-1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
-zest of 1/2 of large lemon

Ingredients for vodka glaze:

-1/2 cup powder sugar
-2 teaspoon vodka
-4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
-zest of 1/2 large lemon
***To Keep the Glaze Kid Friendly...omit the Vodka***
For the Cake...
Preheat oven 350 degrees and spray bundt pan with nonstick spray.
-In a large bowl beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs, lemon pudding on low.
-Add in vodka, lemon juice and zest of 1/2 lemon until incorporated (DO NOT OVER BEAT)
-Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
-Once done, let the cake cool in the bundt pan no longer than 10 minutes.  Then turn out on a bake rack to cool the cake completely.
For the Glaze...

-In a small bowl stir in all ingredients and set aside for glaze to set.
-Add the glaze to the cake once the cake has cooled completely.
Grab your glass and lets eat...CHEERS


Monday, December 3, 2012

Fresh to Frozen Fruits

I am known to make fruit smoothies on a daily basis.  I use all types of fruits that will taste well together (no more than two to three at a time).  Usually when making my smoothies I am time constricted so at first I decided to use frozen fruit. I found myself buying a bag every two weeks and I got tired of going to my local grocery and they were out of the kind that I would particularly care for. 

At this point I decided to start using fresh fruit.  It turns out that getting fresh fruit and freezing it was much cheaper than frozen fruit.  It is definitely cheaper when the fruit is in season.  This week at my local supermarket the blackberries were $.99 each and the raspberries were $1.25 each.

All I do now is wash the fruit and throw it in a freezer safe bag.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Caramel Sauce Recipe

I used this recipe to top one of my pies or I would add it into my ice cream...what ever my guilty pleasure is for the day.

-1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
-1/4 cup of water
-3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
-1/8 teaspoon of salt
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Add sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil until the solution becomes an amber color. Usually between 10 and fifteen minutes.  Although tempting...(Do not touch it while boiling)

Once sugar mixture has turned to the amber color remove from heat and add in heavy whipping cream and constantly whisking it.

Whisk in salt and vanilla extract and then cover with a lid to keep warm.

For a little adult can be creative and add in 1/4 cup of one your favorite adult beverages after you add in the vanilla extra because you don't want to cook out the alcohol.

 Ex. Brandy, Rum, Vanilla Liqueur, Chocolate Liqueur, and Vodka

Example of what I put Caramel Sauce on...sooo delicious

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Graham Cracker Crusts

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow readers.  The day is finally here.  First and foremost, I want to Thank God for blessing me with new Grace and Mercy every day and I want to Thank God for all my blessings to come.

As I mentioned before...I started my desserts on Wednesday...well everything except for the peach cobbler.  I had to throw in the towel last night. Today I will start on the cobbler and the main course.

No More store bought graham cracker can do this... 

Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients

- 8 graham crackers
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
-5 tablespoons of unsalted butter (melted)

Since I don't have a food processor yet...I started off by rolling out the graham crackers.

Then I added the granulated and brown sugar.

Then I added the crust into bowl of melted butter.  The consistency should look like wet sand or gravel.



Add the crumbs to a pie pan bake in the oven for 10-15minutes or until crust starts to brown.
This spring form pan has aluminum foil wrapped around it because I am making a cheesecake that has to bake in a water bath.

You can become creative with making your crust by adding nuts depending on what type of pie you are making.  I have also made crust made out of cookies for example Shortbread cookie crust, Gingersnap cookie crust and Oreo cookie crust. 
Get in the Kitchen and start Cooking with Love...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Staying Ahead of the Game

Since I will be the only one participating in the kitchen this year for Master Plan is to bake the desserts the night before and get up early in the a.m. on Thursday to prepare the main course. This is a very good idea if you have a dessert like a cheesecake that need to set up in the refrigerator....overnight for best results. 

For dessert....Hummingbird cake, Peach Cobbler, and a Bourbon Carmel Apple Mascarpone Cheesecake

Main Course...Pineapple Brown Sugar Glazed Ham, Cornbread dressing, Roasted Chicken (using the stock for the cornbread dressing), Collard Greens, Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon, Four Cheese Macaroni, and Rolls.

Embedded image permalink

Thank God for the makers of those kitchen gel mats...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

#BundtaMonth Orange Clove Bundt Cake

Today is the first time that I made a cake for #BundtaMonth.

Orange Clove Bundt Cake
-3 cups cake flour (sifted)
-3 teaspoons baking poweder (sifted)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon ground clove
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 teaspoon ginger
-2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp.)
-2 cups sugar
-4 eggs
-1 cup of milk
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-1 medium to large orange zested
Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Spray bundt pan with nonsticking spray
-In a large bowl add sifted cake flour, baking soda, salt, clove, cinnamon and ginger.

- In another large bowl beat butter and and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until combined, then add orange peel.
-Alternatively, add flour mixture and milk until smooth into the egg mixture.  Starting with the flour mixture and ending with the flour mixture.
-Add vanilla flavoring into mxture and blend.  Do Not OverBeat.
-Bake 35-40mins or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan no longer than 10 mins and transfer to a cooling rack.
Orange Glaze
-1/2 teaspoon of orange zest
-1/4 cup freshly sqeezed orange juice
-1/2 cup confectioners sugar
-Mix all ingredients until well incorporated and pour over the top of the cooled cake

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Emeril Deep Fryer

This is what happens when you are up late at night watching the home shopping network when no one else is around.  The deal was too good and I was reeled in. The concept that got me is when Emeril said that their was an automatic filtration system.  I couldn't wait to get on the phone and order this product.  It arrived in the mail today much quicker than the estimated time of arrival which originally was 11/20/12.  I guess I'll be making some catfish fillets, onion rings and calamari real soon.  Stay tuned to see which comes first.

Thanks Emeril for making this purchase soo sweet...

So...the first thing I decided to make was the catfish fillets.  This device is so easy to use.  Of course, I read the directions first.  This device have a display that shows the temperature control, ready indicator and an oil change indicator. I must admit the catfish turned out perfect. The cleaning process was easy also with the automatic oil filtration.  All you have to do is turn the button all the way to the right >>> to oil filtration once you are done cooking.  The oil filtration process will begin automatically after the oil has cooled and will drain in the oil box.  This makes using the deep fryer much more convenient. I think its easier than frying food on the stove.

PTC Cupcakes

As the result of my new kitchen aid stand mixer I made cupcakes for the parent teacher conference meetings today.  I had my daughter take the cupcakes up to my son school and they told her that the cupcakes were pretty.  They asked "Did you makes these?" Yes, my daughter mom made these.  Then they said "What about the candy on top, Are those homemade too?" Yes, my daughter said again.  Later, I went up to the school to pick up my carrying case (you know it had my name on it).  The receptionist said those were some delicious cupcakes.  Why THANK YOU...I said.  With a big smile on my face especially since this was the first time I made something for complete strangers.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Left over Halloween Candy...

I finally found something to do with the left over Halloween candy.  I made deep dish fudge brownies...
I utilized Reese Pieces, M&M's, Whoppers, and Tootsie Rolls. 
I put the candy in the middle of the brownie..

I also put the candy on the top of the brownies so that we would be able to identify what kind it was.

The kids loved it, especially after I topped it off with icecream and caramel.

My Early Christmas Present...

I have been wanting this Kitchen Aid stand mixer for a while.  I finally caught it on sale and it came with four attachments.  This mixer makes everything so much easier.  I recommend everyone who bakes or cook to get one of these.  Of course I had to use it on the first day I received it.  My daughter actually had to show me how to remove the attachments since she have used it previously in her Foods class.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cream of Chicken and Cheddar Broccoli Soup with Brown Rice

In lieu of my best friend also known as the love of my life being stuck in New York due to Hurricane Sandy...I made this soup.  There is nothing like soup on a cold and rainy day.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cookie Bowls

I picked up a cookie bowl pan from Wiltons.  My daughter made the chocolate chip cookie dough and formed it around the cup.  Once done, we added our vanilla bean icecream to it.  This was soo wrong on the waistline...but soo delicious. I'm thinking one can try this around a regular muffin/cupcake tin.

This side shown is how to make the bigger size...but if you flip it over one could make the smaller size.  But, if you gonna do it...go BIG...