Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More birthdays and Cookies

A couple of days ago it was this guy's birthday!

I'm so thankful for him and that God placed him (and K) in my life.  God knew we would be marriage partners before we even knew each other and I am so thankful for His sovereign plan.  David is my encouragement, my support, my biggest cheerleader but also voice of reality.  He is a great Daddy to K (and hopefully more one day!).  He is patient, giving, selfless, smart, kind, fun, humble, knows how to do little girl's hair, plays Princess and tea party with the best of them, and doesn't blink an eye when K calls him her prince.  He is our leader, seeks God and wants to be a man after God's heart.  I love him more and more!

He requested chocolate chip pancakes for his birthday dinner (since it fell on Sunday and we have breakfast for supper on Sunday).  Don't worry...he had meatloaf the day before that!  So, we used that as his "cake."  However, I knew he wanted something to snack on so I made some new cookies.  "Snicker"doodles! 
These combine MY favorite cookie with Snicker's candy bars.  Oh wow...they are so good!  And even David liked them despite the fact there wasn't that much chocolate.  I do think that he preferred the browned butter chocolate chip cookies I made the next day better (coming soon).  Thanks to Picky Palate for such a yummy cookie!  I will make this again...though maybe I'll try different candies and see how that goes.

Snicker-doodles from Picky Palate
  • 1 stick/1/2 cup unsalted softened butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 full size Snickers Bars, cubed (I used about 8 fun size)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.
  2. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla beating until combined. Add dry ingredients along with the Snickers pieces beating on low until just combined. Scoop tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until baked through. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Satay Sandwich

In a "celebration" of past Daring Baker and Daring Cook challenges, Lisa challenged all of us to search through the Daring Kitchen archives and pick any one we'd like! The REAL challenge was picking which delicious recipe(s) to try!  In looking through the many challenges, there were so many that I would enjoy trying.  So many, in fact, that I almost waited too long to choose one!  Last week, I made cashew butter...which was quite simple to do.  I tried to make a cashew sauce but it just didn't turn out.  However, I chose to do some satay and make it into sandwiches this past week.  I was a bit nervous about it, as David isn't a big fan of Asian flavors and this satay involved soy sauce.  Despite my worries, we all enjoyed it...and it was so easy with lots of flavor.  I did use the "easy and cheap" version but I don't think, it was lacking in any way.  I chose to marinade some chicken and mushrooms then grill them on my Le Creuset grill pan.  Then I put it atop whole wheat hoagies with some green bell pepper and cheese and toasted it.  Success!!!  Satay Sandwich.  I'd do it again for sure!

I also redid the biscuit recipe that Audie had us try.  Added some garlic salt and cheese to it in an attempt to mimic Red Lobster.  It wasn't QUITE as buttery as Red Lobster but was definitely enjoyable.  Such a fun challenge this month!

T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (1 oz or 30 mls)
2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp ginger powder (5 mls)
1 tsp garlic powder (5 mls)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (5 mls)
  1. Mix well.
  2. Cut meat into 1 inch thick strips (2-2.5 cm thick), any length.
  3. Cover meat/mushrooms with marinade and chill.  I used a bag.  Chill overnight.
  4. Cook on grill pan until cooked through.
 Basic Scones (a.k.a. biscuits)
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) fresh baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt
2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)
approximately ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk

Preheat oven to 475.  In a bowl, triple sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.  After that, put cold butter into bowl and cut into flour (I used my pastry blender but you could use two knives or your hands).  Then stir in about 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk and it was fine).  You should have a slightly sticky dough.  Place dough on pastry cloth or board.  Roll out to 1/2 inch thick.  Then cut into desired shape.  If you have a biscuit cutter, use that.  If not, just use a knife.  Place biscuits on baking stone and place stone in oven.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cupcake Party!!!!

We decided, well, I guess I decided, a while back that K's party this year would be a cupcake party.  I thought it sounded SO much fun to make cupcakes and have every child decorate their own.  K went for it as she loves making cupcakes! 
However, when I asked her what flavor she wanted "cotton candy" was her answer. Um, not quite sure how to make cotton candy I went with funfetti.  :-) 
I figured it would be pretty easy and it was.  I used this recipe though the first batch I used shortening and the second butter.  They were pretty good but a little heavier than a cake mix cupcake.

 In order to send home a cupcake with each child, simply get clear punch cups, put the cupcake in the cup, and the cup in a clear treat bag, then tie with a ribbon.  Easy and cheaper than cupcake boxes.  For favors, I made cupcake candy jars!  A pinterest idea that was such fun. 

Get the 4 oz. ball glass jars, super glue the lid to the ring, pain that white.  Then "swirl" caulk on top like icing, sprinkle with small "jems" and put candy in them.  Such fun!  All in all, an easy party (though I did spend five hours beforehand cleaning house! and was exhausted after the party). 

Funfetti Cupcakes from Sally's Baking Addiction
  • 1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla; or greek yogurt; or sour cream)
  • 3/4 cup milk (cow's milk; or soy milk; or almond milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles
    Vanilla Buttercream
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered (confectioners') sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (see note above about substituting milk or half-and-half)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Stir in sugar - mixture will be gritty. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 minute. Stir in egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick. Slowly stir in sprinkles, but do not overmix because the sprinkles will bleed their color.
  3. Divide batter among 12 cupcake liners (or 24 mini) and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake for 8-9 minutes if making mini cupcakes. Allow to cool.
  4. To make the frosting, beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add salt if frosting is too sweet (1/4 teaspoon). Frost cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake.
  5. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 7.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Birthday Girl

This past week, Miss K turned 4! 
She's been so excited about it for a while.  We had pizza for supper at her request and I made peanut butter frozen yogurt (told her ice cream).  We decided to try out grilling pizza on our new grill pan.  I turned out REALLY good.
   The bottom of the crust was crispy but the rest was nice and soft.  SO good!  The yogurt was pretty good.  Definitely has a yogurt taste to it but K and I enjoyed it...not so sure about David! 
Then we gave a few presents.  David had suggested a while back that we give her a care bear.  I was so excited about this because my parents gave ME a care bear when I turned four.  Thankfully, I found some in Target the other week.  When I asked K which one she wanted she went back and forth between the purple one (share bear) and the pink one (cheer bear).  Once she realized I had cheer bear, she decided that she should "borrow mommy's cheerah bear until I get my own."  Ok...decision made!  What a fun day....only to be followed by the party two days later.

Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt from This Gal Cooks
  • 2 C Greek yogurt (I used Vanilla Chobani 0%)
  • 3/4 C creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C milk(used almond)
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • Chocolate chips for topping (or mixing in, if you prefer)
  1. Mix together the yogurt, milk, sugar, vanilla extract and peanut butter until everything is combined well.(I did this in the morning....)
  2. Cover and refrigerate for about 1/2 hour (...and refrigerated until I got home from work)
  3. Pour the mixture into the bowl of your ice cream maker. Churn for about 20 minutes or until the mixture freezes well.
  4. Place the frozen yogurt into an air tight container and store in your freezer. This frozen yogurt is pretty firm so you will have to let it thaw a little before serving once you place it in the freezer.