Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Well tonight we had a really fun time taking Jacob for his first Trick or Treating trip around the block. We couldn't believe our eyes on the amount of kids that were out. My neighbor told me we get a lot of Kids trick or treating but that was the most I have ever seen in my life.

So you know when you are prepared for something to happen it never does...well I was prepared for a ton of kids. I guess the majority of them came while we were out with Jacob. Now I have a TON of candy left over plus the good amount Jacob got from tonight. I was wondering if there is anything I can make with all of it...time to get creative or just give it to my husband to bring into work.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Daring Bakers Challenge: Bostoni Creme Pie

I was looking at other food blogs from The Foodie BlogRoll and started to notice something. A banner with the name Daring Bakers on it and wondered what it was. So I click on the logo and it brought me to a page that told me all about it. It sounded like fun and something I needed right now. A reason to bake and blog about it...not that I really needed a reason for that to happen.

This my first challenge which is called Bostoni Creme Pie...something I have never made before. I was defiantly up for this challenge and couldn't wait to get started. One thing that really attracted me to this group was looking at every one's past challenge post and how different they came out. I thought it was really awesome how everyone interpreted it differently but really ended up with the same thing. So I thought how I could make this dessert in my own special way...since it is October I decided to put a little Halloween twist on it.

Bostini Cream Pie(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala's Bistro)
Serving Size: 8 Generous Sevings
3/4 cup whole milk
2 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole egg, beaten
9 egg yolks, beaten
3 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

Chiffon Cake
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup beaten egg yolks (3 to 4 yolks)
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chocolate Glaze
8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces unsalted butter

To prepare the custard:
Combine the milk and cornstarch in a bowl; blend until smooth. Whisk in the whole egg and yolks, beating until smooth. Combine the cream, vanilla bean and sugar in a saucepan and carefully bring to a boil. When the mixture just boils, whisk a ladleful into the egg mixture to temper it, then whisk this back into the cream mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard and pour into 8 large custard cups. Refrigerate to chill.

To prepare the chiffon cakes:
Preheat the oven to 325°. Spray 8 molds with nonstick cooking spray. You may use 7-ounce custard cups, ovenproof wide mugs or even large foil cups. Whatever you use should be the same size as the custard cups. Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but do not overbeat. Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold the beaten whites into the orange batter. Fill the sprayed molds nearly to the top with the batter. Bake approximately 25 minutes, until the cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, remove the cakes from the molds. Cover the cakes to keep them moist.

To prepare the glaze:
Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat until it is just about to bubble. Remove from the heat; add the chocolate and stir to melt. Pour through a strainer and keep warm.

To assemble:
Cut a thin slice from the top of each cake to create a flat surface. Place a cake flat-side down on top of each custard. Cover the tops with warm chocolate glaze. Serve immediately.

I can't say that I never made a dessert with so many parts before because I think I have. It just felt like more because I have a little one the take care of as well this time. All parts were very easy to make and it was nice that you can make each part separately. I made the custard one night, the cake the next day and the chocolate sauce just before I served the dessert. The only oops made during the recipe were really user errors and nothing to do with the recipes. I really liked the taste of this dessert and would make it again but next time make smaller bite size servings. I felt it was too much or as my husband put it to rich...for the serving size I made. Just for health reasons really this is a special occasion or a request only type of dessert...not good for people who have cholestral problems.

The host of each challenge allows a few substitutes in each recipe. I was going to use a the vanilla bean because I thought I had one but it must have gotten lost in the move or burried way in the back of the I ended up using the vanilla extract. I also used all purpose flour instead of the cake flour because I don't have room for another sack of flour....and with just needing 1 1/2 cups meant most of the sack would still be full.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Recipe #3 from Current Everyday Food Magazine

Yesterday I went to my parents house to hang out for a little bit and need a quick to put together recipe for dinner. With only really 3 ingredients how could you get any easier then that. I made rice and peas to go along side of it...I was going to make Veggie Fritters but Mike got home late and I was feeling lazy at that point.

Honey-Soy Glazed Chicken
Prep: 5 minutes Total: 40 minutes

Honey, soy sauce, and a splash of water make a simple sticky glaze. Lining the pan with aluminum foil eases after-dinner clean-up.

Serves 4.
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
8 skinless chicken drumsticks (about 3 pounds total)
coarse salt and ground pepper


Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a shallow roasting pan or 9-by-13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, mix together honey, soy sauce, and 1/3 cup water. Add chicken, and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken and honey mixture to prepared roasting pan.

Bake chicken, basting with juices from edges of pan every 10 minutes, until well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of drumstick (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve chicken drizzled with pan juices.
This is a super easy recipe and a great alternative to just plan baked chicken. I would make this again but next time maybe use a little less water. I felt it make it too watery and didn't really glaze the chicken well. I also used breast instead of the drumsticks because that I what I had in the freezer. I would also turn the chicken half way through to coat it a little more then just basting it. The smell in the house was great.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Annoying Problem...not food related

I have a very annoying problem which isn't food related but I need to vent about it.

We keep getting phone calls every month sometimes a couple of times a month...a couple of times in a row...people calling us looking for someone who does not live here. How do I know it is the same people...caller have to think everyone in this day and age has it. I feel like the next time this person calls to go off on them...and asking (in a nice way of course) to stop call my phone number. The sort of funny thing is that person's phone number is one digit from mine. This makes me wonder why he is really calling my number every month.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Everyday Food Dinner...yummy!

Last week I got the new edition of Everyday Food magazine in the mall. So it only took me 4 days to make something out of it...not that bad.

Cornbread-and-Beef Skillet Pie
Serves 4.

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 package (10 ounces) white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
1/4 cup tomato paste
3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal, 1/2 cup flour, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.

In a large ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add peppers, onion, and mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Raise heat to high; add beef and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, until meat is no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons flour and 2/3 cup water; season with salt and pepper.

Make cornmeal batter: Add sour cream and egg to reserved cornmeal mixture; stir just until moistened. Drop tablespoons of batter over beef mixture in skillet, 1 inch apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

Review: It was really easy to make, took no time what so ever and I had a good amount of the ingredients already in my pantry. As my husband put it...this is a keeper. I only did one thing different was use ground turkey instead of the beer. Mostly because turkey is healthier then beef but also because it is cheaper. I don't know if using the turkey cause it to be a little soupy. So next time I might try this recipe with beef to see if I get the same results and see if it taste better. Oh I also currently don't have an oven proof skillet so I cooked it in a pot and then added it to a casserole dish to put in the oven.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Love Martha Stewart!!

It really shouldn't be a big surprise that I love Martha Stewart. After all I have cooked a bunch of recipes from her EveryDay Food magazine and I am sure I will cook a bunch more. I DVR her show every day and visit her website a lot.

Yesterday I got an email saying that I have been selected to recieve tickets to see a taping of HER SHOW!!!

So I changed the November month theme to include any Martha Stewart recipe.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Storing Honey

Again from America's Test Kitchen...

"Keep honey out of the refrigerator. Unlike some other sweeteners, such as maple syrup, honey is highly resistant to microbial growth due to its naturally low moisture content and slightly acidic nature. And refrigeration can cause honey to crystallize or become cloudy. If kept tightly capped in a moisture-proof container, processed or pasteurized honey can be safely kept at room temperature for at least two years."

Cinnamon - who knew!

Another article from America's Test Kitchen...

CINNAMON: "In 1910, true cinnamon (made from the bark of a tropical evergreen tree) cost as much as $100 per pound, so merchants imported cassia—a much more commonly available and stronger-tasting tree bark—and labeled it cinnamon. Whatever the name, apple pies and mulled cider wouldn't be the same without it. But while there's only one true cinnamon tree, there are a number of cassias, so the "cinnamon" you buy from two sources may not taste the same."

What else apples are good for!

So, I get a weekly email from America's Test Kitchen. The email itself is good and bad, as I've found most times when I find an article that I want to read, I have to subscribe and although the first 2 weeks are free, I don't want to pay for a subscription after that (plus, I'll probably forget to cancel! =). Anyhow! I came across this article, which I thought was neat...

"Apples have long been touted as a health aid (an apple a day…); they're less well known for their ability to preserve food. Adding an apple to a sack of potatoes will keep the potatoes sprout-free—the ethylene gas that an apple emits suppresses the elongation of the potatoes' cells, which is what causes sprouts to form."

Monday, October 15, 2007


Yummy Brownies

We had our Grand Opening at the salon Friday night. It was nice, everyone made something yummy and a bunch of clients came by to celebrate with us. I of course was asked to make the desert so I chose to make these awsome brownies. These are so easy and good. Everyone complimented me on them and asked how I made them. Its so easy, all you do is:
Bake a box brownie mix ( family size ) in a 9x12 pan. Let cool completely ( I put in fridge til cooled ). Icing with white or vanilla icing and put back in fridge. Melt 2 cups ( one small bag ) chocolate chips and 1 cup peanut butter in sause pan. In another bowl measure out 3 cups rice krispy cereal. When the Chocolate and peanut butter is all melted and smooth, pour into bowl with rice krispys. Mix so all the cereal is covered w/ chocolate. Spread over brownies and put back in fridge to harded.
These are very sweet and look like it was harder to do then it actually is. I highly recommend them for your next party =)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

This Weather is Driving me Crazy!

The weather is really driving me crazy here in NY. One minute it is 80+ degrees and the next it is in the 60s...make up your mind mother nature. I just refuse to turn on the AC in OCTOBER!

Well lucky for me that it is now raining and cold because my husband request beef stew for dinner one night. It just wouldn't be the same yummy stew eating it when it is hot outside. I also wanted to try to make the below stew recipe for another reason. Mike informed me a month or so ago that his office has a soup/stew cook off challenge thing every year around the Superbowl...I even think they have a cheesy name for it like The Super

The recipe comes from Heidi (I don't know where she got it from) and ever since she made it my Mike has been asking for it. Mind you he never tried it but just the name alone had him drooling for it.

Beef and Guinness Stew
2 lb boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 cup Guinness or other Irish stout
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 or 2 fresh rosemary sprig

Pat beef dry. Stir together flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Add beef, turning to coat, then shake off excess and transfer to a plate.

Heat oil in a wide heavy pot over moderately high heat until just smoking, then brown meat in 3 batches, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes per batch, transferring to a bowl.

Add onion, garlic, and water to pot and cook, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pot and stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in beef with any juices accumulated in bowl, broth, beer, Worcestershire sauce, and rosemary and bring to a simmer, then cover.

Cook a few hours on a low heat. I added some veggies to it the last hour and then some potatoes the last half hour.

You might also want to add some corn starch or flour to thicken the stew.

Review: I really liked it and would defiantly make it again. I used a very large pot because it looked like a lot of meat and I wasn't sure of the amount it would yield. Next time I would use the smaller stock pot I have as the only thing I would do different. I added carrots, peas and potatoes at the end which were all great additions. I also used 1 whole can of the beer instead of the 1 cup...since it was mid-afternoon I didn't feel like finishing the beer.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Apple Pie Yum

This past Sunday I went apple picking with Michelle and family. We all had a great time. It was fun to see her father-in-law really get into picking the apples. I think he picked the most apples out of everyone. Below is a picture of my first apple pie of the season. I tried a new crust recipe that I got from Martha Stewarts website. Recipe below. Enjoy!

Pate Brisee (French version of a classic pie or pastry crust)

Makes 1 double-crust or 2 single-crust 9- to 10-inch pies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.

  2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

  3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.
My review of this recipe it that it taste great and very easy to make with the food processor. The only problem I have is rolling out the dough. I've only made my own dough a bunch of time, but I never seem to roll it out even enough or in the right shape. I guess it's a skill that comes with practice.


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