Friday, September 25, 2009

Ok... New Post!  I think I should rename my blog "5 Kids and a Golden Retriever" because that is my life in a nutshell.  I have had so much fun with this blog, but then life happened.... and my blog didn't!  I had two of my babies in this beautiful autumn month and so outside of canning and preserving some food for the winter, I have planned 4 birthday parties.... 2 family and 2 friend parties for each kid.  Needless to say, I have spent endless hours in my kitchen and am in need of some time for me!  In any event, here are 2 of the things I made that actually got photographed prior to being inhaled and turned into someones..... oh nevermind!PEANUT BUTTER TORTE

My 10 year old doesn't like cake, she love Reeces Peanut Butter Cups.  So I found this decadent torte recipe in Dori Greenspans cookbook called BAKING.  It was truly divine!  This was my first attempt at a torte, however, and I did learn one thing.... Keep it refridgerated until you are ready to serve it.  It was a little soft and although still magnifico, it would have been better cold!  (And it would have cut better)  My baby has now completely destroyed what was an organized computer desk... So, I'm off!  
Mr. Swampy out of the Hello, Cupcakes book.  Now, I am not a cake or cupcake decorator in any sense of the word.  I bake and I cook and I do all sorts of things, but decorating is not my thing.... Disclaimer out of the way..... My son thought this was spectacular!  It was easy and I used a cake mix and store bought frosting!  If you want me to say how it is done...leave a comment, because I don't feel like typing it up right now!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cake

My 11 year old daughter has recently developed and interest in and love for baking!  She has created lots of nummy things the most recent being a Berry Cobbler, which we neglected to photograph.  It looked so delish, that we just devoured it immediately!

1 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temp.
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease the round cake pan with butter.  Sprinkle some flour in the pan and shake and tilt the pan to coat the bottom and sides evenly.  Turn the pan upside down and tap out the extra flour.

In the small bowl, using the wooden spoon, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  

In the large bowl, using the electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar for about 3 minutes, until creamy.  Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until blended.  Turn off the mixer and add the flour mixture.  Mix on low speed just until blended.  Using the wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips. 

Scrape the dough into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with the rubber spatula.  Put the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.  Remove the pan from the oven and set it on the cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes.  Run the knife around the edge to loosen.  Place a plate right side up and lift off the pan.  

Add Whipped cream and strawberries for the topping... Super easy, your kids can make this cute cake for their friends!

Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma Kids Baking.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Whole Wheat Pancakes with Raspberry and Granola

These pancakes are divine and so guilt free!!  There's no oil and you can make it even more guiltfree by using Agave flavored with mapline for your syrup!  My daughters and I went on a trip together to St. George, Utah.  We went to this cute little spot for breakfast and they served this super nummy pancake... We all fell in love with this great idea and now we can't get enough of it at home!!!  Try it, YOU ARE SURE TO FALL IN LOVE... too!!

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp applesauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
2 heaping Tbsp yogurt
uncooked granola
whole raspberries

Mix dry ingredients.  Beat egg, milk, yogurt, and applesauce.  Add to dry ingredients and beat well.  Pour on griddle one at a time, adding drops of uncooked granola and whole raspberries right to the uncooked pancake.  

I love to make pancakes and waffles!   I usually triple this recipe for my family of 7.  And we have leftovers for the next couple of days!!!  Enjoy!

Asparagus Bisque

1 bunch Asparagus

1 onion, peeled, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup rice or cous cous, cooked
pinch salt and pepper

Cook all ingredients together until rice is soft.  Puree fine and strain out solids.  Serve hot or cold.  Over season if serving cold.

I really liked this soup... However, my kids all hated it!!  My kids aren't terribly picky, but they hardly ever like soup.  This recipe is adapted from the Red Mountain Spa, Adventure Cuisine Cookbook.  It is so good for you, and if you love asparagus like I do, you will enjoy this bisque!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Ok...I am so, so lazy.  And I'm too irresponsible for deadlines!  I just realized that...HELLO-O... I can still post my other recipes!  So, I haven't been taking any pictures of any of my food lately, I just forget I guess (again with the irresponsibility...I can't help it, it's my nature).  My 11 year old daughter, Alyssa made a lovely Berry Cobbler on Sunday, and of course, no pics.  I am making it a goal to pay more attention to my blogs!  So, I know everyone already does this, but I usually make freezer jam...which I hate!  So, I just made cooked strawberry jam!!!  It tastes wonderful... not too sweet, not too tart.  I love it and the color is out of this world.  Red is my favorite color, but this red is one I could live in!  The recipe is the cooked jam recipe that comes in the Pectin!  I wish I could share a slice of honey whole wheat bread with butter and strawberry jam, with all of you!!  Make some...and then I can!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Daring Bakers :For the Love of Chocolate; Chocolate Valentino

I am 2 days late for posting because of a sudden trip out of town and I am so sad I didn't get to it sooner because this was the most divine Valentines Day treat.  As you can see I made it for the whole family, and everyone loved it!!  It was so good, I was sad I couldn't post it 2 weeks ago...and now here I am 2 days late.  I made my very favorite ice cream from  Mr. B's Bistro in New Orleans to go with mine and a lovely raspberry sauce!!

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad - Baker & Chef.  

We have chosen a chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.
Chocolate Valentino
Preparation Time:  20 minutes
16 ounces (1 pound)(454 grams) of semi sweet chocolate, roughly chopped*
1/2 cup (1 stick ) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

1.  Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2.  While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling.  Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3.  Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4.  Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whop or the cake will be dry).
5.  With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6.  Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7.  Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds.  Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter.
8.  Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
9.  Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.
Note - If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
10.  Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

*Use any chocolate that you love!  I used 1/2 semisweet and 1/2 milk chocolate.  Your cake will taste exactly like the chocolate you use!!

Mr. B's Vanilla Ice Cream
2 vanilla beans
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks

Ice cream maker

Split open vanilla beans with a knife and scrape seeds.  Place seeds in a medium heavy saucepan with milk and cream.  Stir mixture and bring to just below a boil.  Reduce heat to moderately low and stir in sugar.  Bring to a simmer.

In a large bowl whisk together egg yolks.  Using a ladle slowly pour about 1/2 cup hot milk mixture into yolks, whisking constantly, until combined.  Continue adding hot milk mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, until combined.  Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.  Chill at least 45 minutes, and up to overnight. 

Freeze ice cream in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.  Transfer soft ice cream to an airtight container and feeze at least 4 hours. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Creamy pesto & chicken pitas with Roasted sweet potato fries

I love to make all sorts of sandwiches, so when I came across this homemade pita bread recipe, courtesy of The Brown Eyed Baker, I just had to try it out.  And I must say, It was definately a success.  This was a super simple, super scrumptious meal for any family...

Homemade Pita Bread
makes 8 pitas
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar or honey
1 packet or 1 Tbsp yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil

Mix the yeast in with flour, salt and sugar.  Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon.  All of the ingredients should form a ball.  If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water

Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, such as a cutting board, and knead the dough for approximately 10  minutes.  If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes.

When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil.  Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sids.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.

When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 equal pieces.  roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes.  This step allows the dough to relax so that it'll be easier to shape.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450.  If you have a baking stome, put it in the oven to preheat as well.  If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet up side down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven.  This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas. 

After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there.  Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough.  You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick - 6 inches in diameter.  If the dough does not stretch sufficiently, you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

Place discs on a lightly greased baking sheet (I used parchment paper)  and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes.

Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface.  They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes.  If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn't necessary. 

For The Sandwiches
Spread cream cheese in pita, then add pesto, chicken (sliced from a rotisserie chicken), lettuce, tomato, acacado...etc.

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet Potatoes
Olive oil or olive oil spray
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Peel and slice sweet potatoes.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Spray  or brush with olive oil.  Put salt and pepper all over fries.  Roast at 400 for 15- 20 minutes.  So nummy!!