Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Igloo Cake

It's most likely I never would have picked this recipe out on my own. But my son loves flipping through cookbooks and finding recipes and he saw this one and kept after me until we tried it.

May I just say, thank you Simon.  What a light and delicious cake, just perfect for summer!  The recipe in the book is called "Snowball Cake" but because of the shape of the bowl we used, it looked more like an igloo.  This is what it looks like after dumping it out of the bowl.

It uses a store bought angel food cake (or your own if you want to make it), and some crushed pineapple, cool whip and gelatin. It involves a little investment of time just because it has to gel a little bit.  

Here's the recipe, make and enjoy.

2 tbsp unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
20 oz crushed pineapple, drained
16 oz cool whip thawed
1 prepared angel food cake (8 inch, cut into cubes)
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut

In a bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Add boiling water; stir until gelatin is dissolved.  Stir in sugar and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved.  Add pineapple.  Refrigerate until partially thickened, about 20 minutes.  Fold in 4 cups whipped topping. 

Line a 3 qt round bowl with plastic wrap.  Spoon about 2 cups of pineapple mixture into bowl.  Layer with half of the cake cubes and half of the remaining pineapple mixture. Repeat layers.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Unmold onto a serving plate.  Spread remaining whipped topping over dessert. Sprinkle with coconut.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Magic Milkshake

I read about these milkshakes several years ago on a site called "Hillbilly Housewife".  I just never could remember to buy the powdered milk you need to make these, and finally got around to doing it. 

It seems when I first read about it, the article said that these were supposed to taste like a Frosty from Wendy's.  It doesn't say it there anymore, so I'm not sure if I dreamed it or what, but you might say they are a little frosty-like.  

The ingredient list is a little bizarre as it adds 2 tbsp of corn oil, which seems like an odd thing to add to milkshakes.  But according to the recipe it's essential for the "creaminess" of the drink.  It's certainly not calorie friendly.  I sat here last night and tried to calculate the calories and thought "yikes!"   But I suppose if you used splenda instead of sugar, maybe 1/2 the oil, it might not be so bad.  

Anyway, enough blabbering, here's the recipe.  As far as what we thought about it, the girls in the house thought it was pretty yummy, and the boys weren't too impressed.  Maybe it's a girl thing.

  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups ice water
  • 1-1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 1-1/2 trays of ice cubes, as much as you can spare
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil plus a 5-second squirt of non-stick spray for emulsification purposes
Place all of the ingredients into the blender, including the oil and the non-stick spray. Use less water for thicker milk shakes and more water for shakes that are easy on your blender motor. The blender should be about 3/4′s full. Place the lid on. Process for a full 2 minutes. Pour into cups and serve. Makes 4 – 12oz servings

It seems to me  you could doctor this recipe up to make any flavor combination you like.  

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fruited Cheesecake Flag

Not to whine and complain (cause that just wouldn't be like me), but 4th of July just isn't as much fun as it was back in my little hometown.  There were rides, and food, and a parade.  I'm especially bummed since I've learned that parade now includes monkeys riding miniature donkeys.  

But I guess the day is what you make it, and the neighbors have already started their loud hippity hop music and fireworks.  Who could blame them it's only 110 today.  

So my day shall include this cookie based cheesecake flag and I shall cease and desist with the whining.  

I saw this at Mel's Kitchen Cafe and thought it was the cutest thing.  My son is a fan of cheesecake and berries, so he likes it especially much.  

Here's the recipe if you feel inclined to make it.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
12 ounces (3 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
8-9 ounces (1-2 cups) blueberries
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise into thirds
12 ounces (3 cups) raspberries
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Coat a 13-by-18-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Coat parchment with cooking spray.
Sift flour and 1 3/4 teaspoons salt into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream the butter with a mixer on medium-high speed, occasionally scraping bowl, until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add light brown sugar, beating until very pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture all at once, and beat on low speed until just incorporated.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Press the dough into an even layer that covers the bottom of the sheet. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake the dough until the entire surface is golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Let the cookie base cool completely in the baking sheet. Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed, occasionally scraping bowl, until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream. Scrape the bowl, then mix in lemon zest, vanilla and a pinch of salt until well combined. Scrape the bowl, then beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated. The mixture should be very smooth; scrape the bowl as necessary. Pour the cheesecake batter over the crust and spread into an even layer.
Bake the cheesecake until the filling is set, about 20-25 minutes. Let the cheesecake cool completely in the baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm and cold, about 4 hours (or overnight).
Run a sharp knife along short sides of sheet, and use the parchment overhangs to lift out the cheesecake. Run the knife under hot water and dry well. Use it to cut the cheesecake into 48 squares, wiping the knife clean between cuts.
Transfer squares to a serving platter, reforming the rectangle. Decorate the top left squares (3 down and 4 across), with a mound of blueberries on each square. Use raspberries (about 4 per square) to decorate the 1st, 3rd and 5th rows (the 1st and 3rd rows are shorter rows since part of them are decorated with blueberries). Decorate the remaining rows in one of two ways: either dust them with powdered sugar for a completely white row or place three cut strawberries on each square and dust the tops of the strawberries with powdered sugar. If using this method (to dust the strawberries with powdered sugar), dust the strawberries immediately before serving as the powdered sugar will begin to dissolve into the juiciness of the strawberries.
Serve immediately (or refrigerate for up to 3 hours).

Hope you and yours are having a great 4th of July!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rosemary Bread

I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm very impressionable.  If I had the time and the money, I'd probably spend it all making just about every last thing I see all of you posting up on your blogs.  But I don't, so I have to choose.  And a tough choice it is...but it really helps when I already have all the ingredients, such as with this Macaroni Grill copycat recipe I saw at Brenda's Canadian Kitchen.

I've only been to the Macaroni Grill once or twice, and it's been quite some time ago.  So I honestly don't remember what kind of bread they served.  I just remember their macaroni was not grilled, which teed me off just a little.  But, if they are serving this type of bread, I apparently need to give them a revisit.   I love that this is easy and delicious.  And the smell of fresh bread is always a good thing, but when rosemary is added to the mix...that's just even more awesome.  

Make this, you'll be glad you did :)

1 cup water
1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast 
2 tsp. sugar
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and serving (divided)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 T dried rosemary (divided)
1 tsp. fine salt
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Stir the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer). Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary, the fine salt and 3/4 cup warm water; stir with a wooden spoon (or with the dough hook if using a mixer) until a dough forms.Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting lightly with flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Or knead with the dough hook on medium-high speed, adding a little flour if the dough sticks to the bowl, about 8 minutes.)Brush a large bowl with olive oil. Add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until more than doubled, about 2 hours.*Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil. Generously flour a work surface; turn the dough out onto the flour and divide into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, sprinkle some flour on the dough, then fold the top and bottom portions into the middle. Fold in the sides to make a free-form square. Use a spatula to turn the dough over, then tuck the corners under to form a ball. Place seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, putting 2 balls on each baking sheet. Let stand, uncovered, until more than doubled, about 2 hours.**Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the loaves 10 minutes; brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the kosher salt and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon rosemary (work very quickly when you do this). Continue baking until golden brown, about 10 more minutes.***  Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve with olive oil seasoned with pepper.Makes 4 small round loaves of bread.