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Tag Archives: Baking

dog days of summer…

dog days

— pl n
1.     the hot period of the summer reckoned in ancient times from the heliacal rising of Sirius (the Dog Star)
2.     a period marked by inactivity

Today was HOT! And inactivity seemed to be the theme of the day. Other than splashing around in the pool (Second day in a row) we did not do a whole heck of a lot.

The in-laws have a new addition to their home.

Fred. The Basset Hound.

He is adorable. If we did not have two dogs already, I would seriously consider dog-napping.

I could not do a post about Fred and not include our Izzy, since I did not include her in yesterday’s post. (She even swam today, but was not very thrilled about it.)

Puppy Love

I did not bake anything today, nor did I cook. I did however, want to post a recipe, and thought a homemade dog biscuit one would be perfect.  Our dogs love these. (well, they will eat anything really, but these are good for them, and they smell good)

Even if you don’t have a dog, these make great gifts for family or friends who do.

Peanut Butter and Banana Treats

Ingredients

1 egg
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment paper.

    Stir together the peanut butter, banana,honey and egg in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Stir in the flour and wheat germ; mix well.

Turn dough out onto a floured board and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters, place on prepared baking sheet, and brush tops with egg white.

    Bake biscuits in preheated oven until dried and golden brown, about 30 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on pmpSun, 26 Jun 2011 21:19:06 +000019Sunday 4 , 2011 in Recipes, Uncategorized

 

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blueberry cheese danish

Blueberry Cheese Danish

 

Ingredients

1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry (thawed)

2  (8 ounce) packages cream cheese – room temperature

1 cup blueberries

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut pastry into 8 squares. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet.

In large bowl, or with mixer, combine cream cheese, vanilla and sugar. Mix until combined, and smooth.

Spoon 1 (generous) tablespoon of cream cheese mixture onto center of each pastry square, and top with blueberries, (you can vary the amount of blueberries to your taste)

Fold pastry over to make a triangle, pressing on edges with a fork to seal.

 

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until pastry has risen and is lightly browned.

 

While danish are baking, add 2 cups additional powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons of milk to remaining cream cheese mixture. Mix until smooth. You can use this to drizzle over danish.- You will have leftovers, which can be frozen (and thawed) and used to top cinnamon rolls, danish etc.

Note: Let danish cool at room temperature for at least 5 minutes before topping with cream cheese icing.

 

 

 

 
13 Comments

Posted by on pmpWed, 22 Jun 2011 12:23:15 +000023Wednesday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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the cookie project – take three

I am fairly certain that I have found (at least the base of) the secret cookie recipe. Now I just need to tweek it.

This recipe calls for graham cracker crumbs as well as flour. The texture is almost the same as the SC, but this one is not as thick. I really like this recipe. The result is a crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, cookie.

Graham Cracker Cookies

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, salt and baking soda.

Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix well. Add combined flour mixture, mix until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls (or cookie scoop) onto greased cookie sheets about 3 inches apart .

Bake for 10-12  minutes or until lightly browned.(rotating cookie sheet halfway through) Cool on sheet for about 2 minutes and place on wire racks.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on pmpWed, 08 Jun 2011 17:12:00 +000012Wednesday 4 , 2011 in Recipes, The Cookie Project

 

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burgers, cookies, and a sunny day snapshot…

I was talking about hamburgers with a friend recently, and when she said how can anybody mess up making a burger, it got me thinking. There are many ways to ruin a perfectly good burger. When I had my restaurant, our burgers were one of our best sellers. People would ask how I got them so juicy, and big. We used locally grown, organic black Angus beef that was delivered every other day, and I think that while this added to the flavor, one can achieve a fantastic burger with regular store bought ground beef. Here are several “rules”  I follow, and my results are the same every time. Thick and juicy. I thought I would share them, since we are now officially in the grilling season.

Rule #1  – Always use a good lean- to – fat ratio. 80 / 20 is perfect. The fat provides optimal flavor.

Rule #2  – Do not over handle your meat. People tend to try to get the perfectly round patty, and do not realize that all they are creating is a tough, juice-less burger instead. All you need to do is grab a good sized handful, (about the size of a baseball) and press lightly into the palm of your hand, gently shaping into a disc about 3/4 inch thick. That’s it. It does not need to be a perfect circle.

Rule #3 – Salt. And a good amount of it. Salt both sides of the burger, about 1/2 tsp per side, and then more before serving. The salt allows the meat to get a good crust while cooking, either in a pan or on the grill.

Rule #4 – Never, ever press down on the burgers while they are cooking. You may think this will help it cook faster, but it does not and all your really doing is pressing all those beautiful juices and flavors right out of the burger. The only time they need to be touched is when you are flipping them. And this only needs to be done once. I cook my burgers 5 minutes per side. Do not overcook. 4-5 minutes per side at 375 – 400 degrees is plenty of time to insure your burger is cooked to perfection. (medium)

and last but not least….

Rule #5 – Let the burgers rest a few minutes before taking that first bite. This allows all of the juices to remain in the meat, and not all over your bun.

Follow these tips, and you will be the burger king or queen! (pun intended)

Now on to the cookie recipe for today.( I found the recipe here )

I missed last week of the cookie project so this week I am going to try and double up. Here is the second attempt at figuring out the secret cookie. Still not it, but darn good! We made some this afternoon in between our Slip and Slide adventures outside.

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips (I used half semisweet and half milk chocolate)

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Beat the butter and brown sugar until thoroughly blended. Add eggs, and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix just to blend. Gently fold in chips.
Place dough onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet using a scooper.
Bake 10-12 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies and your oven) or until cookies are pale brown.
Cool cookies on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack until cooled completely.

My partner in cookie crime

 
8 Comments

Posted by on pmpWed, 01 Jun 2011 16:07:00 +000007Wednesday 4 , 2011 in Recipes, The Cookie Project

 

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the cookie project…

A good friend of mine is determined to crack the recipe of a “secret” chocolate chip cookie that a friend of hers, who will not give up the recipe, makes. (This rubbed me the wrong way, since I think sharing recipes is a wonderful thing).

The Cookie Project is my attempt at recreating the cookie in question for my friend. I will make a batch of cookies a week until I get it right. I will be victorious! (and if not, at least my trial and error will be tasty)

The SC (secret cookie) has me stumped. I have sampled it, and although I am usually pretty good at naming ingredients, there is something that I can’t quite figure out. I have scoured the web in search of unique cookie recipes and so far have found about a dozen. The recipes range from classic to blondie.

I started with a recipe I found on http://www.preparedpantry.com

These are not the SC, but they are worth making. They have the texture and taste of a blondie but in cookie form.

Blondie Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup pecans or walnuts
1 cup milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

 Cream 1/2 cup of the butter, sugar, and salt together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Beat until light and fluffy.

  In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the second 1/2 cup of butter in the microwave until it is mostly melted, about 45 seconds at high power. Stir in the brown sugar to make a thick syrup. Stir in the vanilla extract.

  Measure the flour by spooning it into the measuring cups. (If you scoop the flour from the bag, it will be packed and you will have too much flour.) Mix in the baking soda so that it is dispersed.

Beat the brown sugar mixture into the creamed sugar mixture. Add the flour mixture in two or three additions mixing only until combined. Add the chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop rounded spoonfuls or ice cream scoop (my preference) of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for nine to eleven (rotating pan halfway through cooking time). Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on pmpWed, 18 May 2011 17:07:41 +000007Wednesday 4 , 2011 in Recipes, The Cookie Project

 

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Shag-a-delic

I always start my week with ambitious intentions. One being writing at least 4-5 posts a week. Well, we can all see how THAT is going.

We have yet to pick a country for our culinary travels for this week. (slacker) I guess we will be doing that this weekend. If I am done shagging by then, that is.

Instead of being focused on myself goals this week, I have spent it spring cleaning. And we all know how fun that can be with a 4 year old toting behind.

I spent more time picking up his attempt at helping, than I did actually getting anything done.

As a reward for his “help” I let him pick out something from Michael’s last night, while I picked up a few things I needed for a cake due tomorrow! It was 8:50, the store closes at 9:00. It was a mad dash, and an hour past my assistants bedtime. He goes in 12 hour cycles, and when the twelfth hour is upon us, look out. The other half of We decided to take Isaac to find the perfect reward, while I grabbed what I needed.

And guess what they chose? A shag, latch hook rug. SHAG. Hook. Rug. (and I quote the box: “Longer, plusher look!”) Not only is it shag, it is a rainbow swirl pattern. Lovely. All I could do was give the Big Guy a look. He smiled, and said “What, I loved these as a kid. We can all do it. It will be fun”. Mmmhmm. Right. Let me translate this for you; I will be doing all the shag hooking. (wow, does that sound as wrong to you as it does to me?)

The box claims the project to be:

 LIARS.

I had to purchase a latch hook tool. And that little gem is a giant pain in the @$$.

This is what I have done so far: (look how long and plush they look!)

At the rate I am going, I should be done by next month.

Isaac asked if he could help. Absolutely! He gave up within 5 seconds because he could not get the yarn wrapped around the hook tool. Poor guy. So I suggested he hand me the colors as I needed them. He seems content with that job. (and I am content not saying anything about the giant pile of yarn pieces now all over the floor, really – it looks like a rainbow threw up).

We took a break from our psychedelic rug making, and made some cupcakes. Because what I really need right now is a 4 year old tripped out on sugar to help me finish all that needs to get done today. (also I can use them as a bribe to get the Big Guy to help with the rug when he gets home)  Always stay one step ahead!

Vanilla Cupcakes, filled with chocolate orange ganache, topped with ganache buttercream.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on pmpThu, 12 May 2011 12:44:10 +000044Thursday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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the sport of baking…(a OSU cake)

Last week I made a cake for my friend’s husband’s birthday. She gave me some ideas, and let me have artistic freedom to do what I wanted.

I knew I wanted to create something unique while incorporating his favorite college football team (OSU) and his love of golf. Let me just say, that I am not a sport enthusiast. I do not own sport paraphernalia of any kind (ok I lie, I do have a pair of slippers sporting the OU logo somewhere under my bed). Having grown up in a state with no professional or college teams, I don’t really understand why people get as into the game as they do,(on game day here, I see people dressed from head to toe in “their” teams colors) but to each there own.

I researched cake ideas, and was just not finding what I was looking for. I decided to make a cake themed after Pistol Pete the OSU mascot. I thought this would be a great opportunity to practice making rice crispy treat models.

The two big rival color choices in college teams out here are crimson or orange. And everyone takes their color of choice very seriously.

The cake came out great, and the reaction even better.

The one thing I did not tell anyone, I had to add crimson,to get the orange just right. 🙂

 
6 Comments

Posted by on pmpMon, 02 May 2011 20:48:19 +000048Monday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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