Thursday, September 24, 2009
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
(then I put just a dash each of nutmeg and cloves)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Additions: 1 cup raisins or chocolate chips or nuts. Just please don't pick raisins because they are so gross. It's like biting into a fly in the middle of your yummy cookie. Ewww!
Cream the first set of ingredients, add the second and then do any additions you want. The dough will be sticky. I found two spoons worked best for getting these on the baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes.
This recipe isn't a 5 star for me yet. They needed a little more spice to them and maybe more oats just to give them more substance. They do taste super yummy with cream cheese frosting, though my poor daughter was so upset at me for skipping the chocolate chips.
I found a pretty similar recipe on foodista--you can try them both and let me know which one to make in the future. Happy fall, y'all!
Friday, September 4, 2009
What we really had were shredded beef burritos.
Making Mexican style shredded beef is easy, but takes a lot of time. Break out the crock pot and follow this basic concept.
2 pound beef roast
3 or 4 cloves minced garlic
1 can petite diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 can red enchilada sauce
2 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1 t oregano
I like the sweet heat taste, so I will also throw in a little cayenne and then toward the end, a little bit of brown sugar. Leave it on the crock pot on high for 6 or so hours, until the meat shreds with a fork. Turn to low until you're ready to serve and the juicy goodness is all blended up. This is pretty versatile, so you can use regular tomatoes or rotel or just use tomato sauce and a can of green chilis, etc. You get the idea. This is a guideline recipe, instead of a follow it exactly recipe.
We had saffron rice, broccoli, and the burritos. Costco has some seriously tasty cook-it-yourself tortillas which we layered with cheese, shredded beef, green onions, cilantro and avacado. Yum!
And I do know the broccoli isn't very Mexican, but I bought one of those giant Costco bags so we've had it for the last five nights! (Hey Costco: I love you and hate you, at the same ti-iiiime...)
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The cast of characters:
2-3 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 t salt
1 package cornbread mix (I used the 6.5 ounce Betty Crocker)
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c corn kernels
1/4 t ground pepper
8 ounces shredded cheese
350 degrees for 1 hour. (Yes, really--one whole hour)
Salt the shredded zucchini, and let it sit in a colander to remove excess moisture. Then stir everything together, except for a handful of cheese. Pour into a well-greased pan and bake. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top for the last 15 minutes of baking. Remove from oven and eat the whole pan in ten minutes. You don't really have to do that part, but I'm telling you that you will want to.
This comes out with a texture more like polenta, but it holds together well for cutting into squares. My not quite as food savvy husband described this as being like quiche, but not like quiche. I like this because I think there's great versatility to work with. Add bacon or sausage and it's a breakfast casserole. Put in some cayenne and use pepper jack cheese and serve it with black bean soup.
Foodie news flash: The big O has become an expert egg cracker. This is exciting stuff, but it means he wants to make cake all the time now!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I've heard about marshmallow fondant and read about marshmallow fondant, but I've never tried making it before. I think I was more intimidated than necessary, and I feel it turned out well all things considered.
16 oz bag of mini marshmallows
32 oz powdered sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons water
shortening to grease your hands and work surface
I had a smaller bag of marshmallows on hand, so using the same proportions:
10.5 oz mini marshallow bag
16 oz powdered sugar box, plus 1/2 c
1.5 T water
Get a nice big microwave safe bowl and spray with oil. I highly recommend you make sure your bowl will fit in your microwave. There are some people out there (not that I would know anything about that--ahem), who might not check that and then they'd have to get out a new bowl and for more dirty dishes.
Dump the mini marshmallows in and sprinkle the water over the top. In all my internet reading, people recommended using the name brand mallows and making sure they were fresh. I have no idea if it really makes a difference, but went along since I figured I should do anything that would up my chances for success. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each, until you have some nice melted marshmallow goo. You want to get this melted enough to be smooth, but not too hot since you'll be plunging your hands into soon.
Then get your powdered sugar out and dump most all of it into the bowl. Stir like crazy until your spoon won't work anymore. Then get out the Crisco and grease your hands up very well. (Take off any rings or watches--this is the stickiest!) Start smooshing it in the bowl until the sugar is incorporated. Add more sugar if it's too sticky and don't forget to keep greasing your hands as needed. You may not need to add every bit of the called for sugar, so use your best judgment/guess.
Once you've reached approximate ball form, you can turn this out onto a greased work surface and knead, knead, knead and knead some more until smooth. This took me somewhere in the 5 minute range, I think. This is also where you'll want to add any coloring you're using. I added mine after the sugar was pretty well incorporated. The next few minutes of kneading got the color very even. Once again, Crisco all over the hands will keep the color from transferring to you. Mine still had a few tiny powdered sugar clumps, so I think I oversugared it.
Take your dough balls, coat with Crisco, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and pop those balls into the fridge. This is another step where I followed my reading, but have no actual knowledge. Apparently a nice overnight rest in the fridge does something good and makes the fondant roll out better, so I followed along yet again. This did seem to help with my little sugar pieces as when I got the balls out and rolled my pieces, they seemed to have pretty much disappeared. Moral: don't freak too badly if you have tiny sugar pieces in your fondant.
From what I've read (yes, blindly following once again!) you can leave these in the fridge well wrapped for a number of weeks or put them in the freezer for a few months. When cake day arrives, pull those babies out. They'll be crazy hard, but again the microwave comes in handy as you can microwave 10-20-30ish seconds depending on size just to get some pliability. Then roll out, cut, shape and place on your yummy dessert to your heart's content. You do need to coat cakes with buttercream first in order to have the fondant stick in place. My smaller than normal recipe made more enough for piggy, eight cupcakes and enough left over to at least double what I did.
Claire got sick on her actual birthday, so the cake sat a few days and the fondant got a bit less perfect and smooth looking; it was actually a bit cuter when first made. Little piggy isn't perfect, but I'm happy for a first attempt. And Claire was thrilled, which is really all that matters.
Happy Birthday, sweet baby!