Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Beautiful Brown Bread

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) warm water
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup (6 ounces) honey
1 tablespoon molasses
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) Bread Flour
1 2/3 cups (6 3/4 ounces) Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee (not espresso powder)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

Pour all of the ingredients into the pan of the bread machine. Run the dough cycle. Check the dough about half way through the kneading cycle. If it is sticky add more bread flour until it looks like a smooth dough. *I added about 1 1/4 cup more white flour. When cycle is complete, divide dough in to pieces (4 loafs, 8 mini loaves, 12 rolls). Allow to rise about 1 hour or until puffy but not doubled. 

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The loaves will appear slightly darker on the top when they're done. 

All you need now is some nice spreadable butter!

Adapted from:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Couche Couche (Cush Cush)

Well this was a culinary FAIL! It's been a while since I had one, so I guess I needed to be humbled. I suppose I need someone to show me what I did wrong. 

It looked and sounded simple enough. There were many recipes out there, but basically couche couche is simply cornmeal, a pinch or salt, wet with milk or water and then fried up in an iron skillet. Fried cornbread! and you get to eat it for breakfast. 

See recipes here:
With Milk: http://www.realcajunrecipes.com/recipe/couche-couche/
With Water: http://www.realcajunrecipes.com/recipe/cosh-cosh-or-cush-cush-or-couche-couche/
With Milk and Water: http://www.gumbopages.com/food/breakfast/couche-couche.html

I saw a suggestion in one of the comments to use buttermilk. 

It seems the most important part is not to burn it, but I did. SAD FACE!! 

Stir it! 

oh crap! 

See that black? That's called burnt and it's NO GOOD! 
Maybe I will try again. Maybe not. Maybe I should wait to see 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Alligator Étouffée

I had a package of gator in my freezer that I needed to use up: 

So... I searched the internet and settled on making Gator Étouffée. I got the original recipe from here. The main changes I made were using a bit of Chachere's and cutting back on the celery because I don't care for it. Also, I added a bay leaf, and cut the butter in half. The original calls for TWO STICKS of butter. I'm sure it's yummy, but it was great without it. In fact, I may cut the butter back more if I were to make it again.   

1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
2 medium onions, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)

1 (10 oz) Rotel Brand tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Chachere's or Salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste
1 lb alligator meat, cut in thin strips

1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1/4 cup parsley, fresh (or 2 tbsp. dried)


In a large pot, sauté onions, garlic, celery  and bell pepper in the butter until soft.

Add the Rotel and bay leaf simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
Add the alligator meat and cook over a low heat until tender for about one hour. If it thickens too much while cooking, add chicken stock or water. 

Add the green onions and parsley and cook 10 minutes.
Serve over rice.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cherry Creme Fraiche Ice Cream

So, lucky for those of you who have an ice cream machine, I'm going to translate this recipe for you!

You need:
300 g Cherries (about 2/3 of a pound)
250 g Sugar (roughly 1.5 c.)*
25 cL (1 c.)water
25 cl (1 c.) whole milk
25 cL (1 c) Creme Fraiche*
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Wash and dry your cherries. Remove the pits. In a sauce pan, combine water and 1 c. sugar. Bring to a boil. Add cherries. simmer for 10 min. Allow to cool. Remove half (or more) of the juice, blend partially with blender or stick blender. Leave some chunks for texture.
Combine milk, creme fraiche, vanillla and the rest of the sugar. Put this mixture in your ice cream freezer. When it is almost all the way frozen add your cherry mixture.
If you are impatient like me, and dump it in too early you get pink ice cream. Still yummy....

Sugar: I found this a little sweet. You may want to cut back the sugar a bit depending on the sweetness of your cherries.

Creme Fraiche: You could buy it, but it's easy to make it yourself: 1 part buttermilk to 2 parts heavy cream. Let sit covered at room temp for 24 hrs. then refrigerate. :) There I saved you 5 bucks.
about 1 pint (2 c.) of pitted cherries
Simmer cherries in syrup about 10 min.
Drain off some of the syrup & blend cherries. Leave chunky. This time, I placed this in the fridge to chill. Then, I made the ice cream.  I thought this would help keep the ice cream white with a pink swirl. Now, I think the only way to keep it from going all pink would be to alternate layers of ice cream and cherry mixture into a freezer container.
It's almost ready! It took about 20 min. to get to this stage in my ice cream freezer.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

The name says it all.

I needed something to take to my friends for allowing me to stay the night in their home. So I made these: 

I substituted a bag of mixed dark & white chocolate chips. Honestly, I think everyone may enjoy these in a smaller version because they are very big. Remember to adjust cooking time to the size of your cookies. 
Another bit of food porn for you:

The original recipe is found here: Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pupsicle! A frozen treat for dogs like Jack

Ok, this one can be filed under "super easy"! Just 3 ingredients: Apple sauce (natural of course. Jack is sweet enough; he doesn't need sugar), plain yogurt, and smooth peanut butter.

Whisk together: 
1 (4 oz/111 g.) container natural apple sauce
1 (6 oz/~150 g.) container plain yogurt
*about 3 tablespoons peanut butter

Pour into containers and freeze. I reused the applesauce cup and the yogurt cup. Then I had enough for 2 heart-shaped Reynolds foil cups. You can add a dog bone for the handle if you want. To get it out of the container, you may have to let it sit in a shallow pan of hot water for a few seconds. 

* I didn't really measure the peanut butter. I just put in a few spoonfuls until it was the right peanut butter color. You can taste if you want, but there's no sugar, so keep that in mind! 


Is this for me? 
Jack approves!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Banana coconut upside down cake

I kind of tweaked the recipe a bit... Lol

Copied & Tweaked This Recipe from a Facebook post:

Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake

·        1 yellow cake mix
·        3 whole eggs
·        1/4 cup oil
·        1/2 cup sour cream
·        1/2 cup water
·        4-6 bananas sliced 1/4 inch thick
·        1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
·        1 cup packed brown sugar
·        1/2 cup butter
·        2 Tablespoons lemon juice
·        2 Tbsp. EACH Malibu (coconut rum), Rum, and Banana Liqueur

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 2 (8 inch) round cake pans with cooking spray.
2.    With an electric mixer, beat cake mix, eggs, oil, water, and sour cream on low until combined. Beat on high for 2 minutes.
3.    Place banana slices evenly on the bottom of the two cake pans.
4.    In a small saucepan melt butter. Add brown sugar and lemon juice and heat until dissolved. Pour half of the brown sugar mixture into each of the 2 round cake pans over the bananas. Sprinkle coconut over brown sugar sauce.
5.    Pour cake batter on top of the coconut into the two pans, dividing equally.
6.    Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. 
7.    Sprinkle or brush on 1 tbsp each Malibu, Rum, Banana Liqueur. Allow to soak in.
8.    Invert onto serving dishes. Slice to serve. Sprinkle on 1 tbsp. each liqueur. Allow to soak in. Serve.