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Posts Tagged ‘Baking’

The Other Turkeys

I roasted a turkey for Thanksgiving.  But we also served another kind of turkey at our house.

Sugar cookie turkeys!  Back in August I co-hosted a bridal shower and we decorated cookies for favors and the cookie decorating bug has been biting me ever since.  So I splurged on some quality supplies (like piping tips and bags) and have been practicing my steady hands and icing recipe.

I also took care of my 3-year-old nephew and made him a fire engine cookie.  Because really, what little boy cares about turkey and leaf cookies?

Pretty soon it’ll be gingermen, stars and Christmas trees.  I can’t wait!

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After making Blueberry Cobbler for Two, I had just enough blueberries leftover to try the Blueberry Scone recipe in my new America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book (A Christmas gift, thanks Steve and Donna!).

Since the recipe was pretty involved (freezing butter, grating butter, rolling out dough, chilling the dough, rolling out the dough some more), I mixed these up yesterday and just refrigerated them overnight.  Popped ’em in the oven at 5 this morning and they were ready for my hubby to take on his drive to work at 6.

Of course, I saved a couple for myself to enjoy when I finally rolled out of bed around 9. Yum!

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My favorite friend got me a cookbook for my birthday that I love, America’s Test Kitchen’s Cooking for Two 2009.

What better place to start in a cookbook than with dessert?  I love the idea of having a tasty dessert that doesn’t serve 12 and leave me feeling guilty every night all week long.

I started with a berry dessert; they’re Alex’s favorite kind of treat.  And you can see it was a success.  I think the recipe could serve 3-4 if accompanied by ice cream.  Or just 2.  I suppose it depends on the degree of guilt you want to feel all night.
Also, I only have 7 ounce ramekins, too small, so I baked this in a Pampered Chef Mini-Baker Stone.  It would definately be better (thicker) and cuter in ramekins.

Blueberry Crumble
Makes 2
1/4-1/3 cup (1 3/4 – 2 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Salt
2 cups (10 ounces) fresh blueberries
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup packed (1 3/4 ounces) light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and chilled.

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Gently toss the berries with the sugar mixture. (If the fruit tastes tart, add up to 1 1/2 tablespoons more sugar.) Divide the berries evenly between two 12-ounce ramekins.
2. Mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt together in a medium bowl. Add the butter to the bowl and, using your fingers, blend butter into the dry ingredients until dime-sized clumps form. Pinch together any powdery parts, then sprinkle the topping evenly over the berries.
3. Place the crumbles on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the topping is a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Let the crumbles cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes: Frozen berries do not work in this recipe because they shed too much liquid.  The comble can also be prepared in an 8 1/2 by 5 1/2-inch baking dish. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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These are Chica’s favorite treats.  She is a picky little dog and turns her nose up at a lot of treats.  But she lives for these and Greenies.

How can you say no to that cute little face?  So here’s the recipe.  Make sure you keep these in the freezer.  The dogs love them frozen.  They come running any time I open the freezer, hopeful.  One word of warning, your kitchen will stink all day when you cook these.

15 Minute Liver Treats

1 lb chicken livers
1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 egg

Place chicken livers and liquid in blender, liquify. Add egg, mix a minute more. Pour into bowl. Add flour, corn meal and garlic powder. Mix. Spray jelly roll pan with pam. Pour mixture into pan. (Mine never really pours, you have to spread it out with a spatula to fill the whole pan.) Bake 15 minutes in 400 degree hot oven. Cut into small squares while still warm. Keep in freezer to prevent spoilage.

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Pie Success

The pie from yesterday turned out delicious!  It was a Pear Pie with Streusel Topping and Caramel Sauce made with Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee crust.

I found the recipe via A Baby? Maybe.  Beverley’s post about the pumpkin patch and making pie led to comments about how to make pie crust in a kitchenaid mixer.  Crust in a mixer?  I was sold!  Have I told you how frustrating my pie making in the past has been?  A lot of that frustration came from the crust too.  I have yet to properly bond with my pastry blender.  I was ready to give up and use a Pillsbury crust for my Thanksgiving pies and lie to my family that it was homemade.  But yesterday, I fell even more in love with my mixer, if that’s even possible. 

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I followed Beverley’s advice and grated the butter.  Fabulous idea!  I also prebaked the crust for 15 minutes and used my pie weights for the first time with great success.

After a Facebook status update about baking the pie, dinner turned into an impromptu family event.  All five of the taste testers agreed that the recipe is a keeper.  Thats good, because all 5 of us will be eating Thanksgiving dinner here, along with 3 more.

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They also volunteered to come over and taste test more pies in the next 16 days leading up to Thanksgiving.  Anyone have some tried and true favorite pie (or other Thanksgiving) recipes to share?

PS. I will admit, my Step-mother-in-law’s famous crust recipe is better… I think I need to practice that one and perfect it in 16 days.

If you don’t feel like pie, the caramel sauce is super easy to make and would be perfect over ice cream!

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T-Minus 17 Days and Counting

Until Thanksgiving.

And since this will be the first time I’m cooking Thanksgiving for some of our family, I had better be ready.  Which is why we’re testing recipes, starting with dessert.  This little beauty is baking right now:

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I’ll let you know how it turns out!

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Camping Dessert

For Christmas last year Alex and I received a funny treat, a backpacker’s snack of Dark Chocolate Cheesecake.  After floating around in our pantry for about 9 months and with no camping trip planned anytime soon, we decided to give it a go.

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The instructions went something like this:
1. add water to pouch
2. squish icky feeling gooey stuff around for a bit
3. realize you didn’t fully close the ziplock top and spill all over the counter
4. pour into bowl, sprinkle with cookie crumble and let sit for a bit longer.

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6. Realize it tastes about as weird as it looks.
7. Settle in for a nap instead of finishing “dessert”.

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Hey, at least it was fun.

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