What have you been up to in the kitchen?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So I filled them with chocolate ice cream or pudding...mmmmmmmm

Easy Schmeasy Cream Puffs

So, I had a lovely evening with my dear friend Jessica. We made rice pilaf, lemony chicken, and these wonderful cream puffs. They're soooooooooooo easy.

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
3 cups whipped cream, pudding, or ice cream
Powdered sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet. In a medium saucepan combine water, butter, and salt. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition.

2. Drop 12 heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and firm. Transfer cream puffs to a wire rack and let cool.

3. Cut tops from puffs; remove soft dough from inside. Fill with whipped cream, pudding, or ice cream. Replace tops. If desired, sift powdered sugar over tops.

4. Makes 12 cream puffs

5. ��clairs: Prepare as above, except spoon dough into a decorating bag fitted with a large plain round tip (about 1/2-inch opening). Pipe 12 strips of dough, 3 inches apart, onto a greased baking sheet, making each strip 4 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 3/4 inch high. Bake, cool, and split, as in steps 2 and 3. Fill éclairs with whipped cream or pudding. Frost with 1 recipe Chocolate Glaze (page 163). Makes 12 éclairs.
Per éclair: 361 cal., 27 g total fat (16 g sat. fat), 142 mg chol., 27 g carbo., 171 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 5 g pro.
Daily Values: 19% vit. A, 3% calcium, 7% iron
Exchanges: 11/2 Other Carbo., 5 Fat

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from Cooking Light Bulletin Boards
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed, golden brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 large, ripe bananas, mashed-enough for 1-1/4 cups banana
1 cup milk
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, put together, flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and the cinnamon; combine.
In another mixing vessel combine mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, egg, oil, and vanilla; mix well. Add this to the dry mixture previously prepared; mix just enough to combine. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spray muffin tins with cooking spray and fill tins until almost full. This will make 12 nicely sized muffins. You can double the recipe if you need more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I made one main change: I swapped the all-purpose flour for Whole Wheat. Online I found a page that remarked:
•If wanting the product to be 100% whole wheat, substitute 1-cup whole-wheat flour minus 1-tablespoon for every cup of all-purpose or bread flour.
•To create a lighter whole-wheat loaf, add 1-tablespoon gluten flour and 1-tablespoon liquor for each cup of whole-wheat flour.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Breakfast on a Lazy Saturday

D worked last night, so I got up at 7 and picked him up from the fuels branch. I then came home and promptly went back to sleep. At some point, he came in and went to bed. He'll be out till 4 or 5 this afternoon. I got up around 10, took Diesel for a walk, and then came home and stared in my fridge for a while, trying to decide what to eat. I grabbed the dough with the spanish wrapper that I could only hope was puff pastry, a half empty tub of ricotta cheese, and some cherries. I unrolled the dough, cut it into squares, and let it start to come to room temp. I mixed the ricotta with some powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest and a dash of salt. I then sliced and pitted the cherries. Spooning the ricotta into the squares of pastry, and adding a couple of cherry halves, I pinched them up into little packets, and threw them in the oven at 400 for what eventually turned into something between 20 and 30 minutes. They were so much tastier than I could've hoped! I enjoyed them with a cup of coffee and some milk.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Pie Pear Incident

So, after some prompting and some trial-and-error situations with the neighbor, I decided to attempt again, on my own, the Baked Pear Parcel from Veggie Belly.
I had four pears.  I don't know if they were bosch, or whatever it was she called for in the recipe.  I just know they were pears.  For two of them, I decided to use leftover store-bought pie crust.  They actually turned out pretty well.  I didn't have chamomile tea, so I made the tea sauce using a cinnamon-apple tea instead.

For the next two pears, I followed her pie-crust recipe to the letter.  *sigh* The result is considerably less impressive...

I present to you:  Pear-nobyl:

note, if you will, not only the sugar-cookie-esque failure that is the forefront of the photo, but also the total and complete dough melt-down in the back that in no small way resembles pie-dough up-chuck.  Alas...homemade dough is apparently not my forte!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mm, mm, good and hearty chicken stock

Thank you to Marina for extending the invitation to me to share some yum with everyone. I hope I can come up with some good stuff that others will want to eat!

My first recipe is some good, hearty chicken stock. This is especially good to have on hand when you're feeling not-so-great and can be used in a multitude of recipes, from the predictable chicken noodle soup to less predictable fantastic mashed potatoes - and I'll try to post that recipe sometime soon.

Day 12: I guess there's one perk of being sick

That's my Lodge pot. It's just like a Le Creuset, except cheaper and just as good. I love my Lodge pot.

3 chicken legs/thighs, bone in
2 chicken feet (really!)
the butt of a bunch of celery
a few celery stalks with the leaves on them
3-4 large carrots, washed, unpeeled, cut into large chunks
1 large onion, quartered, unpeeled
4 cloves of garlic
1T black peppercorns
1T coriander seeds
1t ginger (powdered)
salt & white pepper to taste (I used quite a bit of salt, probably at least 3T).

Cover with water, bring to a shimmer - slightly less than a simmer and let cook for about 3 hours. Remove the vegetables and chicken; discard the vegetables and de-bone and shred the chicken for later use.

The stock is a lovely deep color and the flavor is just incredible. It's a great weekend project on a cold day when you don't feel like leaving the house.

You can pour the stock into ice cube trays and freeze for small servings to drop into a variety of things (it's great to boil frozen peas in), or freeze in several individual containers.