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Archive for November, 2009

Thanksgiving!

RZ Buttery Bread Machine Rolls: Really really good! Followed the recipe, but cooked at 350 until golden.

Pastitsio: Followed Mom’s book recipe, sort of. Pasta – 1 1/2 lbs penne, 3 eggs, 10 oz parmesan (but save some for on top!), 1/2 stick of butter. Meat sauce – some butter, one onion, 1 1/2 lbs ground beef, LOTS of salt, pepper, half of tomato paste can, most of tomato sauce can, white wine. I probably used a TINY bit too much wine because I added a little bit more after the meat sauce had been simmering for a while. Next time, use a tiny bit more than half of the little bottle while meat is cooking and don’t add anymore after the simmer. Cream sauce – 1/2 stick of butter, 5 tbsp cornstarch, 4 cups warm milk, salt, and 2 eggs (off the heat). AMAZING! Baked at 350 for 40ish minutes.

Potatoes: Followed mashed potato casserole recipe. 3 oz softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, pepper, 2 1/2 to 3 lbs potatoes, add 1 head roasted garlic (400 for 50 ish minutes), salt instead of garlic salt, shredded cheddar on top, buttered casserole dish, 25 minutes at 400, up to 50 if refrigerated. Best garlic mashed potatoes ever! Would have added paprika but we didn’t have any.

Marble cake: Followed Baking Bites recipe, no more than 1 cup of white batter into the chocolate.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting: Made as directed, but ended up with crumbly fudge! Before adding the powdered sugar! Fixed it by heating it again over the stove with probably another 1/2 cup of milk and only adding about a cup of powdered sugar. Turned out perfect, but I was scared for a while. Maybe I boiled it too long? Who cares, it ended up being awesome!

5/5!!

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My first hot chocolate of the season

And it was a good one! I made RZ’s ultra-rich hot chocolate, and Jacob and I decided to be daring and make it even more rich. He melted a snickers in his, and I melted a Milky Way. It reminded me of Starbuck’s salted caramel hot chocolate!! I can’t imagine making a better hot chocolate but I plan on doing some more experimenting, especially now that it’s getting colder. I think my next hot chocolate will have cinnamon and vanilla. And then something with sweetened condensed milk maybe! And then I’ll use a mix with a little peanut butter! (Look at RZ)

Jacob’s steak :)

I made Paula Deen’s NY Strip Steak with Tarragon Melting Sauce.  The sauce is pretty much a butter.  If we are going to make it again, make sure not to make to much of the butter to avoid waste.  I didn’t make the onion ring toppings that is in the recipe, so that would be a nice addition next time too.  The marinade says let the steak chill in it for 30 minutes, but I would like to make the marinade 24 hours in advance next time to make the steak even more flavorful.  I also served garlic sautéed spinach and bruschetta that had Emily’s pesto on it.  Both of the sides, I thought went really well with the steak.

Thanks Jacob!

Kittencal Tuna Salad

De-lish! Used 2 packs of salad, and a little more mayo than half the recipe called for. No pickle relish, but I added shredded carrots and some tarragon. Is it better than Jimmy Johns or Market Street? It might be! I’ll probably never know because I would need to do a side by side taste test. So I’ll go with yes, and save some money next time I want tuna salad. 😛

Oatmeal Raisin (and snickers) Cookies

I made RZ’s most popular oatmeal raisin cookie recipe today, with a twist! I made half of the recipe, but only half of that turned into oatmeal raisin cookies. The other half was oatmeal-chocolate chip-chopped up snickers cookies. I felt like doing some experimenting and I needed to use up some snickers. The oatmeal raisin cookies turned out awesome, like promised, especially since I added 1 tsp of cinnamon to the half batch. The snickers/chocolate cookies were also delicious, but the snickers on the end melted, turning them into some ugly cookies. However, the melted candy tasted good! But I love almost burnt things. 🙂 The cookies were a little crunchy on the edge, and soft in the middle. I cooked them for almost 12 minutes, maybe next time go a little less? Just to see what a completely soft cookie is like. But this is definitely my official oatmeal cookie recipe!

Marble Cake (x2!)

So this weekend I made not one, but two marble cakes to find the best one to bring to Thanksgiving/Beckie and Angela’s birthday. The first cake I made was House of Annie’s Marble Cake. It was originally supposed to be made in a bundt pan, but since I made half of the recipe, I used a loaf pan. It called for a LOT of butter and eggs, and plain yogurt. The flavor was absolutely delicious! The yogurt added something amazing, and I didn’t even add that much. It could have also been the enormous amount of butter. 😛 And my marbling skills aren’t too bad. I just alternated vanilla and chocolate blogs and swirled a little. My only problem was that some of the chocolate seized up when I added the vanilla batter. I fixed it though! Anyway, the cake was pretty butter-y, almost like a pound cake. Which isn’t really like what the marble cakes they buy from the bakery are like. So I decided to make another recipe to compare!

The second time I used Baking Bite’s Black and White Marble Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting. It also tasted awesome, but different because I used sour cream, more milk, and less butter and eggs. This produced a lighter, more-birthday style cake that is a little more traditional. I think I liked the flavor of the first cake a LITTLE more, but the texture and fluffiness of the second won out in the end. Plus, there’s a frosting to go with it! I didn’t make the frosting this time, because I knew it would be awesome. But I’ll be making it for Thanksgiving!

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Biscuit attempt #2 was a success! They were lighter and softer than my first biscuits, and the addition of butter gave them more flavor. I used Alton Brown’s Southern Biscuits recipe, and made sure to work the dough as little as possible. I made the first couple of biscuits too tall, so the first half towered over the second. . Plus, my “biscuit cutter” (my little plastic dip cups) was a little too big. But who cares, because they were awesome. I had no problems with the bottoms burning, and I baked them for maybe 17 minutes until they were lightly golden. Melted butter on top before baking is a must!

For the gravy, I used Paula Deen’s Milk Gravy recipe (1/4 cup bacon grease, 1/4 cup flour, 1 1/2 cups warm milk, S&P). First, I cooked up some sausage, hoping to use the sausage drippings as my fat. But there weren’t any drippings! Good thing I had that bacon fat I saved from the chili! I wasn’t sure of the exact amount of bacon grease I had, so I had to guess on the flour. I also added a little more milk because the gravy thickened so fast. After generous amounts of S&P, the gravy tasted awesome. I was a little worried adding sausage into bacon grease gravy would be weird, but it worked very well together. My only problem is it will take days for the apartment to stop smelling like bacon!