Sunday, September 28, 2008

Speaking of Failures

This cake, and I use that term loosely, has taught me you can't trust every recipe you find on the internet. Fortunately I don't remember where I found it or I'd give them a piece of my mind. Or better yet a piece of this cake!
It was supposed to be a burnt sugar cake. I have some vague memory of a friend's mom making this when I was young. Her's was good. This, was not.
When I realized the cake itself was going to taste like crap, I thought maybe the frosting might redeem the whole thing. But no.
How could I go wrong with butter, cream, brown sugar, and a truckload of confectioner's sugar?
I don't know but somehow I did.
Live and learn, I suppose.....and always have a plan B.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ultimate Meatloaf

Well, great, another one of those stupid lighthouses made it into my pictures.
I had never been much of a meatloaf fan. Don't get me wrong, I can eat it. It is, after all, a loaf of meat. Then I saw Tyler Florence making this meatloaf on the Food Network. I started salivating uncontrollably, my stomach started rumbling, and I was foaming at the mouth. (just kidding about that last one). He almost lost me when he poured a buttload of ketchup into the relish, but I tried it anyway.
It's awesome! Better than any meatloaf I've had. I also love the relish plopped on top of a pile of mashed potatoes.
I guess it's hard to go wrong with any dish if you cover it all in bacon!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Roasted Garlic

If I were trapped on a deserted island and had to live on only one food, it would be peanut butter. But garlic comes a close second. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. I love how gorgeous and simple this is all by itself. I could eat a whole bowl of this stuff just like popcorn. Ain't no vampires bothering me (or anyone else for that matter.) So yummy smeared on buttery toast, with extra butter perhaps? Absolutely! Here's the recipe I followed. (Yeah, I even need a recipe for roasted garlic.) Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mara's Whole Wheat Banana Bread

That girl of mine, always worried about her fiber intake. All the time it's "Mom, can I have some more beans", or " Hey, will you throw some bran flakes on this ice cream". So it was no surprise when she she wanted to make banana bread with only whole wheat flour. It may have been because I used up all the regular flour in the scones, but who knows. She and her dad have been making this together for years, she's a pro. And I thought it tasted just fine with the whole wheat flour. 3/4 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp salt 2 cups flour 1 tsp baking soda 3 ripe bananas In medium sized bowl mix first 3 ingredients. Add flour and baking soda, mix well. Mash bananas and add to mixture. Pour into greased bread pan, and bake 45 minutes in 325 degree oven.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blog Party!

Two yummy foods for the price of one in this post!

I got the chance to get together with a couple of people from work a few days ago for a non-work related visit. I mentioned I'd been wanting to try this scone recipe, and Janice made us a yummy orzo salad, so lunch it was :) Although I was never quite able to nail her down on the recipe I think it went a little something like this one from epicurious (with the addition of some cherry tomatoes, halved): 1 lb orzo 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted 1 1/4 cups feta (6 oz), crumbled 1 cup thinly sliced scallion greens Cook orzo in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until tender, then drain well in a colander. Whisk together lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl, then add hot orzo and toss. Cool orzo, then toss with pine nuts, feta, and scallion greens. Season with salt and pepper. It was quite tasty...I love those pine nuts in there! Next was the apricot orange scones. (oddly enough, I learned that scones are pretty much just biscuits....go figure!) The recipe is from Ina Garten, and the original contained cranberries (which I'm sure would be lovely).

Aren't they cute like buttons? I found the dough really sticky to work with and kept having to add flour, but it seemed to work out okay. I'll definitely want to make these again soon. Monday perhaps!

You can click here for the recipe. I'll have to say I didn't bake mine quite that long (more like 15 minutes) partly because I rolled my dough out a bit thinner, and partly because my oven is possessed by satan.

With the combination of pleasant company, lovely food, and cute babies, I had a really nice afternoon and we're hoping to make this a regular happening.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tiramisu Cheesecake

This is the most fabulous cheesecake ever good enough for something not too difficult. I found this in the Taste of Home magazine, also. I decided to add the Kahlua cause it seemed like the thing to do.
Here's the recipe:
1 pkg vanilla wafers 5 tsps instant coffee granules, divided 3 tbsps hot water, divided 4 pkgs cream cheese, softened 1 cup sugar 1 cup sour cream 4 eggs, lightly beaten cinnamon kahlua
Layer half of wafers in a greased 13x9 baking dish. In a small bowl, dissolve 2 tsps coffee granules in 2 tbsps hot water. Add a big splash of kahlua and generous sprinkling of cinnamon and mix together. Brush wafers with the mixture. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream until smooth. Add eggs and beat on low speed just until combined. Divide batter in half. Dissolve remaining coffee granules in remaining hot water; stir into one portion of batter. Spread over wafers; sprinkle with cinnamon. Layer with remaining wafers; brush with kahlua. Top with remaining batter. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Refrigerate several hours. Dust top with baking cocoa and serve with whipped cream. And more kahlua.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Bento-ed

Yay me! (sorry, way to much disney channel)
I'm not sure if bentoed is a word. Sounds like a painful orthopedic condition.
Anyway, I am, as always inspired by lunch bucket bento, and put this together for my lunch yesterday. And I'll have to say, it was pretty yummy.
We had had some grilled chicken legs for dinner, and some couscous out of a box. I also made some roasted veggies pretty much just like for the tart in my last post, except I added onions. I also grilled some naan which turned out kinda tasty that way.
Shoved it all in my cool Hello Kitty lunch box and I was set!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Roasted Veggie Tart

And when I say "veggie" of course I mean veggie and meat. Cause we don't just do veggies around here. The original recipe I found in Taste of Home magazine used eggplants, but I was fresh out of those.
I didn't really expect anyone else in the family to like this, but everyone except the boy did. I loved the roasted vegetable mixture just by itself.....I coulda just sat there and ate it with a spoon. But then I would have had just a meat tart, and that sounds weird.
Here's how ya make it.

Refrigerated Pizza Dough Olive Oil Minced garlic salt/pepper 1 red pepper, diced 1 med zucchini, chopped 4 roma tomatoes, diced 1 pound cooked ground beef, seasoned with oregano & basil mozzerella cheese parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine veggies and garlic. Add 3 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper; toss to coat. Spead veggies out on greased sheet pan, roast about 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Decrease oven temp to 400 when finished. Roll out pizza dough on floured surface and get into as round a shape as possible. Transfer dough to greased pizza pan. Sprinkle a thin layer of mozzerella cheese over dough. Top with roasted veggies, ground beef, and more cheese.....leave about 1/2 inch edge. Fold edges of dough up over tart. Bake 25 minutes, watching not to burn edges. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan and serve.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fried Chocolate Pies

When I reminisce about my childhood, many things come to mind. Family vacations in the Greek Isles, autumns in Kennebunkport, and weekend getaways to Martha's Vineyard. Oh, wait...that's not my childhood. Thinking of *my* childhood makes me think of the fried chocolate pies my mama used to make. (and fried lots of other things too, but that's another story) I have made a few half-hearted attempts to recreate them over the years, without a lot of success. What was really intimidating me was the stinkin' pie crust. I just couldn't bring myself to want to make a bunch of pie crust for a bunch of little pies. But, if I was gonna make fried pies, it was something I was gonna have to do. So this weekend I decided to take the bull by the horns and really try to give it my best shot. And overall, I think I did okay. So here in my first ever step-by-step pictorial direction-ified recipe, is my mom's fried chocolate pies. First the crust. I searched around and found this recipe on that was specifically for fried pies. My only complaint was that it said it made 40, and I only got 14. (not that I thought I needed 40 pies, I'm just sayin...) Otherwise, it was great! Very soft and stretchy, super easy to work with, especially for a pie crust novice like myself. I threw all the listed ingredients into the food processor and combined it till it looked like this:

  Then I took about half out and dumped it onto a floured surface, rolled it into a circle type shape like so: Then I took a saucer that's about 6 inches diameter and cut a couple of circles. Which brings us to the fillings. I mixed together unsweetened cocoa and sugar (in no specific measurements) till I liked the way it looked. Of course the taste test was involved as well. Along side this I had my butter and vanilla ready to go. I filled half of one of the pie crust circles with the cocoa mixture, then a few drips of vanilla, and some thin slices of butter. I folded that over and crimped the edges with a fork. At his point he was ready to fry. I had my iron skillet sitting over med-low heat and had added enough shortening to have about 1/2 inch in the pan. I gently place my first pie in the skillet, and let it get brown on the first side, about 2-3 minutes: Then the flip side.
Then it was all finished and ready to drain on a paper towel. Overall, I thought they were pretty darn good. It really did take me back. So if you'd like to relive my childhood, make up a batch of these. Even the hula girl likes it, see how happy it makes her!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Red Wine Risotto: WTF Mate??

It seemed like a fine idea at the time. I was in a risotto mood; didn't have any white wine but had some red. Giada said it would be okay. Actually it tastes fine. Great, in fact. But that color is awfully hard to ignore. It's somewhere between grey, brown, and pink. Sounds great for a bathroom wall perhaps. But not so much for dinner. That's okay. It gave my children something new to sneer at. And the hubby commented "what's up with that rice". Beats the heck out of me!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Ribs

My husband usually makes these for us, but he's been feeling sickly so I made them today. I think these are our daughter's absolute favorite. We start with a side of baby back ribs and marinate them overnight in this stuff: 1 1/2 cup veg oil 3/4 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup vinegar 1/4 cup worcestershire (ah, that's what I forgot!) 1/3 cup orange juice 2 tbsp. dry mustard 1 tbsp. coarsly ground black pepper 2 tsp. salt After marinating them all night and all day, I threw them out on the grill and tried not to burn them, and was actually successful for once.