Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Not My Mama's Banana Pudding!

OK, browsing the web tonight, I found a Pinterest photo with some banana pudding raving that it was the best stuff ever!

I click the link... {had to sounds so yummy} I find a recipe that boasts it's better than my mom's:

Momma Didn’t Make It Like This! 

... Hmmm... Highly suspect, as my mom's stuff is pretty good... This recipe was a derivative of a Paula Deen recipe called Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding.

No kidding it's not my mom's... she doesn't use cool whip or instant pudding. Ewww.... I'm sure the addition of all the other sugary and fatty ingredients does make it yummy, but my mom's banana pudding would whip your mom's banana pudding BLINDFOLDED and CHUCK NORRIS STYLE.

I will make it my business to post Mom's recipe {Actually passed down from her grandmother} this weekend. That blogger claimed she was spoiled. That she only eats this banana pudding now... I don't think she knows spoiled. I'm spoiled. We asked for pudding and mom went in the kitchen and got out eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla.... No instant powder! eek!

I'm the spoiled one!

*disclaimer: I think I may be the only one in the family that hates "whipped topping". It just never made it onto the banana pudding. It freaks me out to think about it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Momma's Fried Cabbage

Growing up, I didnt have a problem eating most veggies. I think its because my mom gave everything a good dose of butter (OK, Ill admit it, margarine), microscopically diced onions, and seasoning.

This was one of her go to recipes, thats not really a recipe. Just one of those things you throw together to feed your mob of hungry children. A quick and easy side dish.

Step One: Melt some butter in a pan oh how much? Mom would say A lot! I think I used 2-3 tablespoons Shh dont tell her! Im sure she used a sticklol

Step two: sauté a little bit of finely chopped onion. No, I dont know how much a tablespoon or two. Depends on how much you like onion.

Step three: Add in some sliced mushrooms, and a sliced yellow squash or zucchini. Give it a stir. Cook it a minute or two before proceeding to step 4.

Step Four: Add in some chopped cabbage. Stir every now and then until it cooks down. Add some salt and pepper. Taste it. Do you need more butter?

Voilà you are ready to serve it. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I used to think this was the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I still think it's pretty darn good, and it was my "go to" for years. This year, I found a recipe that rivals it, but this one is still worth taking a look at.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Crisp edges, chewy middles. Prep Time: approx. 20
Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 10 Minutes. Makes about 4 dozen. 
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2 Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar
until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in
the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to
batter along with salt and cinnamon. Stir in flour until almost completely incorporated, then add chocolate chips. Stir gently to incorporate, but be careful not to over mix (This will make your cookies tough!) 
3 Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned. Let cool slightly about 1 min. before removing from the cookie sheet with a spatula.

Find original recipe here. It even has a video if you would like to watch it! 

My French in-laws have asked for the recipe, so I had to get busy with a translation. I meticulously measured out each ingredient then weighed it. (Yes, I know I didn't do the minor ingredients that are measured by teaspoons and tablespoons. If someone else would like to do, you can send me the measurements!) 

Step one, convert to metric:

226 g unsalted butter, softened
182 g white sugar  
200 g brown sugar  
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

445 g all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
340 g semisweet chocolate chips

Step 2 translate to French:

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Environ 4 douzaine

226 g de beurre non salé, mou
182 g de sucre
200 g sucre roux
2 œufs
1 cuillère à soupe d'extrait de vanille
445 g de farine
1 cuillère à café de bicarbonate de soude
2 cuillères à café d'eau chaude
1/2 cuillère à café de sel
1/8 cuillère à café de cannelle
340 g d’éclats de chocolat noir

1) Préchauffer le four à 175 degrés C.
2) Mélanger ensemble le beurre et les sucres jusqu'à consistance lisse. Ajouter les œufs un à la fois, puis incorporer la vanille.
3) Dissoudre le bicarbonate de soude dans l'eau chaude. Ajouter à la pâte avec le sel et la cannelle. Incorporer la farine et puis les pépites de chocolat. Attention de ne pas les mélanger trop !
4) Laisser tomber par grosses cuillerées sur une plaque à biscuits non graissée. 4-5 cm entre chaque cookie. Cuire au four pendant environ 10 minutes dans le four préchauffé, ou jusqu'à ce que les bords soient bien dorés. Laisser refroidir 1 min avant de les enlever de la plaque.

 recette originale: c'est en anglais mais il y a aussi un vidéo!  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cake Pruneaux Lardons

 Have you ever come across a recipe so weird you just had to try it. Sounds like a really bad idea, but it could be good. I'm trying to be adventurous and think outside the box....

The recipe I speak of is a French one that I found on the internet:

Cake aux pruneaux et aux lardons

First of all, when a French person says "Cake", they are referring to what we Americans would call a "quick bread".  So this translates to: 

Bacon Prune Bread

I know, weird.... Really weird, but it has bacon so I gotta try it. It says it's great with a salad or as an appetizer... OK, let's do this!

Step 1: Fry up 150 g. of bacon. For me it was about 6 thick slices. Break into pieces.

Step 2: Weigh out your dry ingredients and place them in a bowl.You need 150 g. flour, packet of baking powder and some salt and pepper. Yes, the French get their baking powder in little cute pink packets. You can just weigh out 11 g.  (0.38 oz.). Whisk together (.... or sift if you prefer....)

Step 3: Weigh out your pitted prunes and shredded cheese (Emmental, Gruyere or Comté). You will need 100 g each. Chop your prunes into small pieces.

Step 4: Make a well in your flour mixture and add: 3 eggs, 15 cl. milk and 2 TBSP. olive oil. Stir just until combined. Add in the bacon, prunes, and cheese. Stir as little as possible.

Step 5: Butter and flour a loaf pan. Pour ingredients into pan and bake at 180°C (about 350°F) for 45 min. to 1 hour.

Oh rats! I lost my photo of the finished project, so I will just borrow one.

cake aux pruneaux et lardons
 I'm not really sure about that. The bacon took on a weird chewy texture. Which, I suppose is to be expected. Try it, if you are brave enough :) 

Cake aux pruneaux et aux lardons
Temps de préparation : 20 minutes
Temps de cuisson : 45 minutes
Ingrédients (pour 8 personnes) :
- 150 g de farine
- 1 sachet de levure chimique
- 3 œufs
- 100 g de pruneaux
- 150 g de lardons
- 2 cuillères à soupe d'huile
- 15 cl de lait
-100 g. d'emmental râpé
- sel et poivre
Préparation de la recette :
Mélanger farine, levure, œufs, battre le tout, ajouter sel, poivre, puis ajouter l'huile.
Faire griller les lardons à la poêle. Faire chauffer le lait. Couper les pruneaux en petits morceaux. Ajouter le lait chaud à la préparation, puis les lardons et les pruneaux.
Beurrez un moule à cake (y ajouter une fine couche de farine, en la répartissant dans le moule).
Cuire à four chaud (thermostat 7) pendant 45 mn.
Servir froid ou chaud.
Remarques : Idéal pour une entrée avec une salade, ou en petits morceaux à l'apéritif.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Banana Cake

To Die for Banana Cake
from ButterYum (Hey, with a name like that you know it has to be good!)
Makes one 8x8-inch pan (double recipe for a 9x13 pan)

2/3 cup sugar
½ cup sour cream
1 egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 mashed super ripe bananas (about 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼  c. heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or equal amount of pure vanilla extract)
1 ¼ c. confectioner's sugar

To make cake (easily mixed by hand…really it is… I did not get out the KitchenAid! I used a wooden spoon.):
Mash the bananas with a fork then stir in. 
Preheat the oven to 375°F (350°F if using a glass pan.).  Cream together sugar, sour cream, egg, and 2 tablespoons softened butter.  Add mashed bananas and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Add flour, salt, and baking soda; mix well.  Pour into greased 8x8 pan.  Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.
To make frosting:
Cream butter and confectioner's sugar together until smooth.  Slowly add the heavy cream; stir until smooth.  Stir in the vanilla bean paste until fully incorporated.  Spread on cooled cake. 
I wonder if the frosting is what makes it so good? So delicious and simple!
Not dense like banana bread, this cake is light and moist.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween treats

Treats we had for Halloween this year.
Goodies made by co-workers
Sugar rose I made from left over candy apple coating.
Candied Apples: Left = Store bought kit, Right = homemade, no dye.
Homemade popcorn balls
How much red #40 is in that kit?
Tons of popcorn for popcorn balls.
A friend brought these cute cupcakes over!
Did I say cute, I meant "frightful"
eek! A mouse!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Toasted Marshmallow Cake - Easy!

So, I found this recipe online tonight, and I just happened to have the ingredients. So why not try it?

1 package Jet-Puff toasted-coconut marshmallows cut in half.
1 box of your favorite chocolate cake mix prepared per package directions. 

Spread marshmallows, cut side down, on the bottom of a non-stick-sprayed (9x13 inch) glass baking dish. Pour batter over the marshmallows and bake per the package directions. The marshmallows will come to the top forming a glaze or frosting!

Yes, I admit for some reason or another there was a cake mix in my pantry. It probably stumbled into the house by accident. I probably got it for next to nothing or free with the purchase of something else. I don’t really remember!

Anyway, long story short. This recipe is easy. However, the glaze I was promised did not appear on my cake. I would have tried to turn it out but it proved impossible.

I thought, “oh well, I will just ice it…” The problem is, I haven’t made a box cake in I don’t know how long. It is much lighter in texture than most cakes I like to deal with. The result was cakeicide… I killed it. It tore up. It’s really ugly, but it tastes pretty good.
No, I didn't take a picture of the crime scene. It’s better left forgotten!

You might want to try it. You may have better luck than I did… Then, you can tell me what the heck I did wrong! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jack's second birthday :)

Happy Birthday Jack!

He’s 2 years old now. He finally learned how to hike like a boy (at 1 year and 11 months). He celebrates today with a doggie cake. Yes, it is shareable with humans, but the humans chose not to share with him.

Oh Boy! It's all Mine!

6 inch Doggie Birthday Cake:

1 banana mashed
1 egg
½ c. peanut butter
½ c. flour (whole wheat or white)
3 TBSP. Honey
1 TBSP. Canola Oil
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. baking soda

Stir ingredients together. Pour into a six inch cake pan that has been greased and floured.  Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20-25 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 min. Remove from pan. Cool completely before frosting.

For frosting: Whip 2 oz. cream cheese at room temperature until fluffy. Smear onto cooled cake.
Voilà! You have Jack’s Doggie cake….
P.S. Jack says not to let your doggy friend eat the whole thing at once or he/she may get a tummy ache. Jack enjoys this in several small slices over a few days.

Peanut Butter Cake with Cream Cheese Icing.
If you prefer the recipe from last year it`s here!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Nutella "Brownies"

I am really thinking I should stay away from Pinterest. Every time I go on that site, there is some scrumptious looking goodies that I feel like I have to run to the kitchen and make. 

Case in point: Nutella Brownies

Only called for 3 ingredients:
1 cup Nutella

10 tbsp flour (also known as ½ c. plus 2 tbsp. If you are too lazy to count to 10 like me…)

2 eggs
Stir all ingredients together and bake in an 8”x8” pan or a muffin tin at 350°F for 20-30 minutes.

I did the muffin tin. I also added some vanilla. It suggested adding nuts, but no thank you.

My analysis: Not exactly what I would call a brownie, but a pretty good cupcake/muffin. My husband said he couldn't taste Nutella. However, being a chocolate purist, I can tell you I could taste that vague hint of hazelnut…
Next time, I think I will add some chocolate chips! Boost the chocolate factor! I also wondered what would happen if I replaced the Nutella with peanut butter, but that will have to wait for another day…

En Français:

Nutella “Brownie”

280 g Nutella
2 œufs

62 g farine de blé

Mélange tous ensemble. Mettre dans un moule de gâteau.
On peut mettre des noisettes dessous.

Fais cuire dans un four à  180°C pour 20-30 minutes.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fondant très fondant au chocolat et sa crème à la vanille

A.K.A. really freaking good chocolate cake with crème anglaise!
Source: adapted from Cuisine Actuelle, Septembre 2012 (n. 261)
Serves : 6 (although I would argue more… it’s very rich)
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 60 min.
Ready to eat in: Several Hours if you prefer it chilled.

You will need:

For the cake:
250 g. dark chocolate (65% recommended)
250 g. softened butter + 20 g. butter for the pan
3 eggs
150 g. sugar
75 g. corn starch

For the Crème Anglaise:
100 g. sugar
50 cl. milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
6 egg yolks

1. Heat the oven to 300
°F (150°C). Cut out a parchment paper circle to fit in the bottom of a 9 in. (23 cm.) cake pan. Butter the pan using the 20 g. of butter. Place the parchment in the bottom of the pan and butter it too.  
2. Place the buttered pan into a larger pan. (Your cake will bake in a bain marie, a.k.a water bath. So, you may want to heat up some water now, too.

3. Break the chocolate up into small pieces and melt with the butter either in a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir to combine.
4.    Whip the eggs and sugar together until light in color. Fold in the corn starch. Then the chocolate/butter mixture.
5. Pour the batter into the pan. Place in the oven on the middle rack. Gently pour hot water into the outer, larger pan until the depth is half that of the cake pan.
6. Bake 1 hour. Let cool completely before turning out.
7. Make your crème anglaise: (Really you could do this while your cake is baking. I prefer to eat it chilled.)

If you use a vanilla bean: Place the milk in a sauce pan and heat almost to boiling. Then add in your cut and scraped vanilla bean. Let it steep for a minute or two. Remove the vanilla bean before serving.
If you do not use vanilla bean, just heat your milk to warm. You can add your vanilla extract at the end before serving.

8. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a heat proof bowl. Temper your eggs by whisking in a bit of the hot milk at a time. Place this over a pan of boiling water and stir continuously. You want to cook it until it coats the back of a spoon.
If you need a quick tutorial on the steps, watch this video. Yeah, I know it’s in French. Yeah, I also know he did not temper his eggs or use a double boiler to cook it. These are insurance against burning and cooked eggs. But hey, you're grown, do what you want.
Cool your crème anglaise before you serve it for a better taste. (my personal opinion).