Sunday, December 9, 2012

Clone of a Cinnabon





With nearly 5,000 reviews and a perfect 5 star rating, the Clone of a Cinnabon recipe is one of the most popular recipes on Allrecipes.com.After a taste test, I understood why it was so popular and determined these were too good to keep all to myself.


Last year, I gave the gift of  Chocolate Chip Cookies to friends and co-workers. This year will be these cinnamon rolls in cute individual serving cups. I managed to get 20 nice sized rolls that filled 3 1/2 inch diameter baking cups. I adapted this recipe by cooking the rolls at a lower temperature and increased the baking time. I also doubled the frosting recipe because it was the right thing to do :)


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Porchetta

 

 Porchetta is an Italian roast which highlights the best parts of the pig: the fat, the tender lean meat and the crispy skin. I have been obsessed with trying to make it ever since I saw it featured once on a Food Network show.


Although gathering the ingredients, the preparation and cooking time were tedious, it was so worth it in the end. Mr. Incredible has already requested porchetta instead of turkey for Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pretzel Challah




Mr. Incredible is a good sport when it comes to wearing ridiculous costumes of my choosing and asking him to pose for photos. Last year, I was obsessed with the show "The Tudors" and wanted to dress up as Queen Catherine of Aragon. He of course, had to be Henry VIII...he already had the red beard.

We were invited to a friend's costume party again this year. I liked the idea of coordinating costumes

so when I proposed the concept of him dressing as a Bavarian guy he seemed open to the idea.

Then the costumes arrived...

 ...and he put on the shirt...


...and then the knee high socks...

...and then the lederhosen.

Verdict: Not my favorite look on him.

But I did love my Fraulein dress with the double layered petticoat!

This is a picture of Mr. Incredible and I dressed as a Fraulein and Bavarian guy.


The Wurstfest is next weekend. I wonder if Mr. Incredible will want to attend in costume this year :)

In other news, I made pretzel challahs! These would be the perfect accompaniment to some beer cheese soup. Yum.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fried Macaroni and Cheese Balls



The majority of the meals I make are my efforts to disguise leftovers so Mr. Incredible will eat them without complaint. Last night's macaroni and cheese was reincarnated this morning into breaded, fried mac and cheese balls, which Mr. Incredible gobbled up happily. Can I get an Amen?!

He has already requested the next time I make them to incorporate bacon and jalapeno. He's definitely my soul mate :)




Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quick Puff Pastry


Remember back in the spring of 2010 when I made croissants? Me neither. I was almost too embarrassed to give you the direct link. I cringe at my food pornography photography skills back then. Cringe.

Sometimes I forget what recipes I've blogged about. I was fairly certain I had already written about making puff pastry, but it was croissants. Both are similar in that it calls for insane amounts of butter (not that there's anything wrong with that) and requires a lot of rolling, folding and chilling. It's the folding process that results in the flaky layers this pastry is known for...but is time consuming.  


With Quick puff pastry, the butter is cut into the flour like pie dough, making it different from the traditional puff process. This resulted in a tender, flaky pastry that went well with all the chocolate I stuffed in it :)


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Perfectly Moist Cornbread

  
Do you hear that? Those are the football heads' cheers echoing from their man caves, for the football season is upon us...

Pre-season football counts right? Right.

This gave me an excuse to test out some yummy football eats. Last night, I tested a copycat Wendy's chili recipe that was scrumptious (recipe and post to follow). But, what good is a bowl of chili without a chunk of cornbread to go with it?

I needed a cornbread that could withstand the amount of butter that would be slathered on it and the amount of honey it would be drowned in. This moist cornbread sopped up every last bit of the honey and butter I threw at it. Perfect!



Monday, August 6, 2012

King's Hawaiian Bread



I've come across numerous copy cat recipes for King's Hawaiian Bread. Some had the additions of potato flakes and flaked coconut. While these versions sound interesting and delicious, I settled for the recipe that was the simplest and which I had all the ingredients in my pantry. The original recipe is written below, however I did substitute half of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour. The rolls turned out light, buttery and sweet...just how they should be :)



Friday, July 13, 2012

Cherry "Boy Bait" Cake


If you're looking for a basic cake recipe to use with fruits of the season, this is it. The original "Boy Bait" cake is moist, flavorful and works well with any fruit you chose to incorporate. Today, I had some fresh sweet cherries on hand. I made some changes to the original recipe and used all brown sugar and topped the cake with a crumb topping made of oats, nuts and cinnamon. I was pleased with how the cherry variation turned out and have been fantasizing about trying it with chunks of peaches the next time around.

 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Meatballs in Marinara


It's hot outside. Let's make something that does not require the use of the oven, shall we? Nothing makes me say Mmmm louder than a good meatball. I was thrilled to see this recipe from "Can you stay for dinner" because it didn't require pre-frying the meatballs before placing them into the sauce. The raw meatballs are submerged in the marinara and slow simmered for an hour. The flavor of the meatballs ooze out into the sauce making it more flavorful. Brilliant!


The original recipe says it yields 15 meatballs, but I was able to get 24 1 inch balls. Serve these with pasta and a chunk of focaccia bread (recipe here). Or you can skip the pasta all together and make meatball marinara subs topped with mozzarella cheese. I'm really glad I have leftover meatballs in the fridge :)


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars



If you haven't guessed already, I kind of have a thing for blueberries. I love them in scones, muffins, pancakes, and in smoothies. When I came across the recipe for these cheesecake bars they immediately moved to the top of my To Bake list.


What sets these bars apart is the oatmeal cookie type base and crumb topping. The end result was something that tasted like cheesecake, oatmeal cookies and a blueberry crisp. Strange, true and delicious.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Raspberry and Cream Cheese Rolls


These rolls are time consuming no doubt about it. So bake them for those who are worth the time and effort. You will be rewarded with their appreciation and admiration ...or that's the way it plays in my head anyway. 

Don't let the amount of time needed deter you from trying the recipe.  Most of it is spent waiting for the rolls to rise. And you know what I always say, you can't rush the rise, baby. The 3or 4 hours of waiting time could be spent tackling all those projects you've pinned. Or if you're like me, looking for blog posts to pin and not doing any actual crafting. I have every intention on tackling them one day. Really? Really.

Sorry for the lack of step by step photos. An enormous amount of coffee was consumed this morning which resulted in the jitters. I was unable to steady myself sufficiently for decent shots. It happens.

Let's get baking!




Saturday, June 2, 2012

Baklava


One of my favorite sweets has to be baklava with it's multiple layers of toasted nuts sandwiched between ultra thin sheets of crisp dough drowned in honey syrup. The thought of making it at home seemed daunting. But my worries proved to be unfounded because it turned out to be really easy. I mean, it's not like I was had to make my own phyllo dough.

This recipe calls for finely chopped nuts and you can use any combination you like. I like to use almonds, walnuts, and pistachios. Save a few spoonfuls of chopped pistachios to sprinkle over the top after it has been baked. It makes it look extra fancy.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Marbled cupcakes


For almost the entire month of April, my home has been a construction zone. Mr. Incredible and I had been planning on installing hardwood floors in our living room the first week of April, but it was delayed a week due to shipping issues. I found a DYI wainscoting project to do in the upstairs reading room while we waited for the flooring to arrive. Surprisingly, Mr. Incredible was willing to take it on. It was to be a short and easy project...3 days maximum. It took a little longer than that, but I think it came out well.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Olive and Basil Focaccia


Normally when I surprise Mr. Incredible with baked goods they are of the sweet variety.  This time, I decided to go savory and, judging by his reaction, it was a huge success.  As he was gleefully stuffing his face with piece after piece I asked him what he thought of the recipe.

"Ehs derishious!" he said as his eyes lit up with joy.  I was glad he liked it, but I think I will wait until he is done chewing before I ask him for blog quotes again.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Green Monster Smoothie Pancakes


I've been drinking Green Monster smoothies for breakfast every morning since November. If you're unfamiliar with these bright green concoctions, there are a number of variations, but the classic recipe is made with just milk, a banana and spinach. (You won't taste the spinach, I promise!) While I am addicted to them, there are some days (like today) that I crave pancakes. So instead of feeling sad and deprived I decided to combine the two. I get to cave into a craving while getting some veggies in the process. Win-win.

I was worried that the green color wouldn't be as vibrant once cooked. As you can see from the photo the color really pops. This would make a wonderful addition to the breakfast table on St. Patrick's Day. Another win.


Monday, March 12, 2012

French Bread


Last week, a stray pup started hanging around the rail yard Mr. Incredible works at. It had been raining and the poor thing was cold, tired and hungry. She took shelter underneath one of the workman's trucks. The men gave her food and a bowl of clean water each day, but she still wouldn't go near them. Mr. Incredible bought her doggie treats to try to coax her out from under the truck, but she would run away frightened. He kept trying and after a while, the dog started following him around the rail yard. Mr. I, would send me updates via text message saying, "She let me get 5 feet from her without running" and "she runs after my truck when I leave."

Long story short, I had to meet her. So I went down to the railroad, befriended the furry little thing, took her home, gave her a good bath, scheduled a vet appointment to get her shots and spayed and am hoping to find her a good home. I have to admit, in the short amount of time I've known her, I've become attached. Maybe Mr. I. will let me keep her :) I've already named her Sadie.


In other news, spring break is finally here! I get a full week to do whatever I want when I want, so I plan on tackling the list of recipes I've been wanting to make. First up, French bread. This was my first attempt. I found it fairly easy to prepare, although I do recommend starting early in the day, because it will take quite a few hours to rise properly.You can't rush the rise, baby.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Blackberries and yogurt


Today marks the 10 year anniversary of the catalytic event that prompted me to change my lifestyle and eating habits. 10 years ago I was a 21 year old college student and was at my heaviest at 168 pounds and a tight size 14. This may not sound like much, but on my 5'0 frame the extra weight was unforgiving. 

Anyone who has ever started their own weight loss journey has that one trigger that made them lose the weight. Mine came in the form of an older lady, whom I had never met, who struck up a conversation with me at a local bookstore. She talked about her son and how he was single (and ready to mingle). She showed me his picture and said she would like for us to meet, but that "You need to lose weight first." Ouch. "At least 30 pounds." Really?!

Wanting to date this complete stranger's son was NOT what prompted me to lose weight, because honestly he looked like if Geico caveman had a baby with Screech Powers (Not medically possible, just trying to give you a visual). I was angry that someone thought I wasn't good enough because of my weight. So I challenged myself to take better care of my health and land myself a guy who was way hotter than caveman, Jr. Mature, right? 

The first year I lost 45 pounds and the next year, another 20 lbs, giving me a healthier Body Mass Index for my height. There were three things that made the weight drop off. No magic pills or potions, just portion control, exercise and consistency.

It has been 10 years since starting the journey towards better health and I'm still on it. I've realized it doesn't end once the weight is off. The "maintenance" component is just as challenging as initially losing weight. Some days it's easy to make healthy choices and other days it's a struggle. I'm still learning to balance it all out.

Speaking of healthy choices, I want to share a healthy snack with you today. It only has 4, (Four. Cuatro. Apat. Quatre) ingredients and there is no cooking or baking involved. GASP!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly


I grew up in the little town of Knob Noster, Missouri, population 2,400. A few miles from Knob Noster (no really, that's what it's called) was the town of Windsor, which had established Amish and Mennonite communities. Several Amish stores popped up around the state tempting those with their delicious home made jams, jellies and soup mixes.. This was my first encounter with pepper jelly.

I've tasted pepper jellies that were more like candy in their sweetness but with little to no spicy heat and others with a hint of spicy. I prefer pepper jellies that bite back  ;). So I was delighted when I saw that Pham Fatale's Habanero jelly recipe called for 15 habanero peppers! I've adjusted her recipe to suit my taste and I advise you to do the same. If you prefer a medium to hot jelly, then use 6 habaneros. If you like it extra, extra hot, then follow the original recipe and use all 15 peppers.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Baked Egg Boats

       
Making these egg boats brought back repressed memories of my short, 2 week career as a Sandwich Artist at Subway. It was around the time they used to cut a v-shaped wedge out of the middle of their sandwich bread. We were told cutting it this way turned the roll into a mess free container for the meat. It was a technique I rarely did correctly. Too shallow of a channel and you wouldn't be able to fit in the all of the exorbitant amount of toppings the customer demanded. I found myself apologizing over my inept carving skills. "I'm so sorry. I could only fit a slice of turkey and a few pickles in there." Didn't always appease the customer. It's OK. I realize now they were speaking out in hunger (I read that once on Pinterest).

Too deep and you risk cutting all the way to the bottom of the roll. By the time you've carved out the perfect groove, you realize you've gone through half a dozen rolls and there's a long line of impatient customers. Ah, yes. 2 long weeks as a Sandwich Artist. Anywhoo...

Remember that time we made brioche and eggs for breakfast? The folks over at Spoon Fork Bacon have taken the egg bake to the next level with the addition of the killer trio: bacon, cheese and heavy cream. I highly recommend practicing the v-shaped wedge cut before proceeding. Let's get to cooking shall we?



Saturday, February 18, 2012

English Muffins


For those who enjoy a warm, toasted English muffin every morning for breakfast, may I suggest making your own? It's not as complicated as you think and if you set an afternoon aside to make them, you can have fresh muffins for the entire week or a few weeks if you double the recipe.

While some English muffin recipes make a spongy batter, this recipe forms a soft dough, so you will not need muffin rings to make these. If you have a round cookie cutter and a griddle or pan, then you're set. Happy griddling!



Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sriracha Glazed Wings


Sriracha: A Poem

Sriracha, oh how I love thee. Let me count the ways.
I love how you make my mouth burn
at every meal, it's what I do yearn.

I love your heat with a hue so red
without you, my meal would taste dead.

To me you are liquid gold
you make everything taste so bold

Oh Sriracha you've hijacked my palate
This is the end because what word rhymes with palate?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dark Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake

 
I woke up this morning with every intention of baking a wonderfully frilly and delicate strawberry layer cake with Chantilly cream. But I didn't. If there's one thing I'm good at it's talking myself out things. Ok...maybe with exception of talking myself out of things I really need of course (refer to this post).



"A layer cake, really? You know it'll turn out lopsided." ..."do you really want to wash all those dishes?" Curses! So instead, I talked myself into a simple fuss free recipe that incorporates chocolate and booze. Mmm booze.



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pound Cake


Happy January everyone! With the mild 65 degree days we've had in Texas, it doesn't feel like winter, but more like spring. It put me in the mood to bake up something light and sweet. I know pound cakes aren't typically described as "light," but with its delicate crumb, this version tastes like a buttery chiffon. It would be great with a dollop of whipped cream and tart berries on the side.

Tish Boyle's original version includes soaking the cake with a lemon sugar syrup. I left this step out because I was too impatient. She also recommends cooling the cake completely before slicing and eating. I also left this step out. Yes, for the same reason mentioned above. Happy eating!