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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Garlic Infused Olive Oil

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A bottle of olive oil

Glass bottle that you’ll be using (not necessary but I love them)

5-7 cloves of garlic, whole and peeled

* place garlic in oil

* wait 3 days

ENJOY!

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Obsessions

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I think it’s sorta getting ridiculous, this obsession of mine.

I know I’m not the only one that thoroughly enjoys the kitchen, and somehow finds comfort in grocery shopping, but really, I spend half my time at home sitting in front of the internet looking up recipes and information that I can use in the kitchen.

Currently, I’m looking at making my own cheese without a cheese press. So far I have two recipes, Queso Blanco and Mozerella. Those recipes will be follow as soon as I try them out myself and see if I can tweak them any.

Rum Chocolate Bread Pudding

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I have recently been obsessed with bread puddings. They are just the ultimate comfort food and you can make them with anything as long as you know the basics.

I have decided since it’s Easter, to add some pizazz to my bread pudding by adding some rum and chocolate chip morsels.

The bread I use is simply the kosher kind, it’s got a nice fluffy center with a sweet taste that makes adding sugar to the bread pudding unnecessary.

This bread here

I lined my dish (8″ X 8″ square glass casserole dish) with foil just to make clean up easier. This recipe is just as simple.

Cut up the bread, as much as you can fit into the casserole dish as possible. add 3 cups milk and 1/2 cup whipping cream to a bowl. Add 1 egg and 1/3 cup rum. Mix together, then add the spices: a teaspoon of cloves, 2 teaspoons of nutmeg, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.

Pour over the bread and press down with your hands. If you feel you need more liquid or the bread is too dry in areas, just add more milk (not an egg or cream. You can also add more rum if you like). Take the chocolate chips or morsels (I used semi-sweet, but milk chocolate should be just fine, too) and just sprinkle to get into the crevices and over bread. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Let sit for 10 minutes, then cover and cook at 425 degrees F for 35-40 min. Uncover and cook for 25 more minutes.

The center could be slighly giggly when you take it out but it should settle when it cools. Before you serve you MUST cool this dish at least for 7 minutes, so that the juices settle and everything marinates into  a yummy mixture.

ENJOY ALL!

chocolate-caramel thumbprints

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I just had to make these cookies. They were fantastic for the task I had in store. I’m going over my friend’s house for Easter, and her mother is like my rival baker/cook. She’s fantastic, but I thought I’d offer to help and make dessert.  They were already done with a great store-bought cake, but seeing as how I offered, my friend suggested I make some small cookies, to put over the cake, as a decoration.

My first thought immediately went to thumbprint cookies. They are small but fancy, but with all the crazy recipes I was attempting today I was going to go with a simple vanilla and raspberry thumbprint. Until I found these guys!

Yaaay chocolate and Caramel goodness

courtesy Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Cookie Book

1 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli)

1/4 teaspoon salt (I used kosher and added 1/2 teaspoon)

1/2 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

2 tabelspoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

16 vanilla caramels, unwrapped (my grocery store didn’t have these, so I used werther’s soft caramels)

3 tablespoons whipping cream

1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

1 teaspoon shortening

Separate egg; place yolk and white in seperate bwls. Cover and chill egg white until needed. In a medium bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside.

Like so, minus the spilt egg white

In a large bowl beat butter with an electril mixer on meduim to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl ocasionally. Beat int he egg yollk, milk and vanilla until combined. Beat in the flour mixture. Cover and chill dough for 2 hours or until easy to handle (I needed the full two hours before mine was ready to roll).

It won't look like a lot of dough, don't worry.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet; set aside. In a small saucepan heat and stire caramels and whippping cream over low heat until smooth. Set aside.

Caramel goodness

Lightly beat reserved egg white. Shape dough into 1- inch balls. Roll balls in egg white, then in pecans to coat. Place balls 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Unsing your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.

Bake 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Spoon melted caramel mixture into cookie centers. (If necessary, reheat the caramel miture to keep it spoonable).  Transfer to  a wire rack to cool.

In another small saucepan heat and stir chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat until smooth. Let cool lisghtly. Drizzle chocolate mixture over tops of cookies. Let stand until set.

Makes 36 cookies. Enjoy guys~

Shrinking Jeans to fit you!

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I googled this and everything, and I even found a “hipster” reference to this as well.

So I was talking to my aunt and she said that she read in one of her grandma’s old Russian folk books (a journal type thing back from USSR) that jeans can be shrunk to fit your body, not just in length to make you hate the “hot’ cycle forever. You gotta wear the pants!

Lemme explain:

First, you have to wear your pants. Seriously.

IF you have a tub, you’re lucky, cause you can’t really do this in the shower, well I can try, at least.

While wearing them, you can get them wet, what my aunt suggests is just to sit in hot water, and wait for it to cool. In the shower, it’s sorta the same thing, but I guess you have to change the water temp yourself. Obviously. My cousin did this in the pool when she was dragged in… fyi, but her jeans were dark wash. WARNING: Chlorine and Dark wash= disaster.

When the water cools, you air dry the jeans, don’t take them off, that way they will dry to your body and your body only. Sadly, if you lose or gain weight it’s hard to get them to fit the new body contours. But It’s not impossible. I don’t think.

To get them “soft” again you can steam iron when they are INSIDE-OUT.

TA-DA! This is, according to my aunt, the way Russian’s would taylor their jeans, cause let’s face it in USSR days, you don’t go to a taylor for a pair of jeans, you don’t even own a pair of jeans unless your in hardcore construction. Just sayin’.

12 “Welcome Spring” Muffins

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I love spring. I love spring rain. It’s really chilly out right now, so there’s nothing better than some muffins, and what’s better than muffins? STRAWBERRY and ALMOND MUFFINS!

I didn’t come up with them on my own either. I got them from “best of baking” by Betty Crocker.

My Changes:

The recipe starts off by saying to mx together the egg, milk, and butter. I decided to keep the butter chilled, so that there were clumps of it in the batter, to melt in the oven (think scones) and be SUPER gooey and delicious.

Also, the original recipe called for macademia nuts, and just because I didn’t have them, I added the almonds instead. Same amount as the macademia’s, slivered, and hand crushed into the batter.


I LOOOVE THESE MUFFINS to DEATH. Which is weird cause I’ve only had one bite and this is my first time making them 😀

   

You MUST try the batter

Roasted Sausage, Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

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I just found two sweet potatoes in my fridge. I don’t know how long they were there but they looked good and smelled fine, so I had to use them asap, before, well, they turned to mush on their own.

This was created!

(the second photo is with a cream sauce I created to incorporate some cheese, or ranch could work)

1 chicken breast

2 mild Italian Sausages

3 cloves garlic

2 sweet potatoes (washed, peeled, and roughly chopped)

sea salt

pepper

nutmeg

Italian seasoning

olive oil

Preheat to 400 degrees F.

Roughly cut the chicken breast and the italian sausages.  In a glass (or oven safe) container 8″ X 8″ wide cover the bottom with olive oil and place potatoes, chicken, and sausage so it covers the bottom of the container. Peel the 3 cloves of garlic and place around the chicken pieces. Drizzle olive oil over the mixture and season with a good pinch of pepper and salt. Add 1 teaspoon of nutmeg or so, and Italian seasoning (to taste).

Place in over for 30 min. Take out of oven and cover with foil, then cook for 30 more min.

ENJOY!