Friday, April 22, 2011

Grasshopper Cake

Long time no post! I'm still here and rarely cookin' anything blog-worthy since my kids never eat what I make...with the exception of cheese burgers, chicken nuggets, PB sandwiches, pizza...and I can't really think of anything else they will both eat. Not kidding.

I finally made this cake! I'm so glad Jeff's birthday gave me an excuse.

I am happy to say that I mastered the frosting! Okay, so I failed miserably the first time and had outstanding success the 2nd. Here are my secrets:

1. Use a narrower pot. I don't know why this made such a huge difference, but I reduced the 1st batch for 30 minutes and the 2nd batch in the narrower sauce pan reduced much better.
2. Don't bother trying to mix it to cool it. I think this is a silly way to let something cool. Sure it might cool a bit faster, but don't waste precious energy...just let the reduction sit for an hour or 2 until it is room temperature with absolutely no warmth.
3. Do not use soft, but cool butter. Use the butter straight out of the fridge and cut it into cubes. This is the only way I use butter anymore. It makes my cookies much softer. If you let butter get too soft it is going to separate and never return to its original form.
4. In addition to the above changes I also replaced some of the milk with some heavy cream. However, I don't think it is necessary if you use the method I've said.

I can't wait to eat this cake!!!! I had to blog about it now cause otherwise it would never happen.

The end product. I used Oreo Thin Crisps to make little sanwiches and they were perfect.

Use a pot like this...

Not like this...

Squint your eyes to get past the slight blur, but there is a little of both batches in this bowl. The failure on the bottom right and remnants of the success around the bowl. I had to use a bit of the bad batch since I only made 1/2 a batch the 2nd time. You can definitely taste the difference, but it will be okay. Certainly didn't have another 3 hours to make it again.

And can someone please tell me how to train this dragon?

Isn't creating food is exhilarating isn't it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Great Dessert for a large family function: Cake Doughnut Bread Pudding

Recipe: Cake Doughnut Bread Pudding

I've made this for the past few years now for our Christmas Eve dessert. Its a big hit and the only changes I make are no raisins and we don't do the rum sauce since there are a few kids and some people who don't drink.

This recipe is from the food network and Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello specifically.

Cake Doughnut Bread Pudding

Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
10 min
Cook Time:
45 min


8 to 10 servings

Bread pudding:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
16 cake doughnuts

Rum sauce:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound confectioners' sugar
Dark rum, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine butter and sugar briefly, just until it forms into a ball. Add eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon, and vanilla, and process until blended.

Lightly butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Break up the doughnuts into 1-inch pieces and layer in the pan. Scatter the raisins over the top. Pour the egg mixture over the doughnuts; soak for 5 to 10 minutes. You will need to push doughnut pieces down during this time to ensure even coverage by egg mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes to brown the top. The doughnut bread pudding is done when the custard is set, but still soft.

Make the rum sauce: melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan, and take off the heat. Add confectioners' sugar to the melted butter and whisk to blend. Add rum, to taste. Pour the sauce over the bread pudding and allow to soak in

A Favorite Recipe of mine--and a family pleaser

Made this meatball soup from the Williams Sonoma Soup Cookbook.
Albondigas with Beef-and Tortilla Meatballs


1 lb lean ground beef
4 eggs
1/2 small red onion finely chopped (for meat balls)
3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground pepper

7 cups meat or chicken stock
1 can (1 lb) tomatoes with their juice
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp red pepper flake
2 carrots corsely chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped (for soup)
1 bay leaf

In a mixing bowl, stir together the beef ( you can use turkey or ground pork instead) eggs, onion, tortilla chips, cilantro, oregano, salt, cumin, and pepper. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Put the stock in a large sauce pan. Add the tomatoes, crushing them slightly with a wooden spoon, along with the sugar, red pepper flakes, carrots, celery, onion and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.

Moistening your hands with cold water, form the beef mixture into balls 1-1 1/2 inch in diameter and slip them carefully into the simmering stock. Cover and simmer gently until the meatballs are cooked through and the vegetables are tender about 20 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf. Taste the stock and adjust seasoning.

Notes: I used some corn chips I had for the tortilla chips and used a 1 lb can of chopped tomatoes. This was a great soup especially on a cold night. I didn't take any pictures so you'll have to make it yourself.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Home Runs.

I get most of my recipes from blogs or websites.

I have a few that will knock your socks off.

My husband and I fought over the leftovers. 
I followed the recipe exactly. I didn't know that onions could be so amazing. 

I just so fantastic. 
I add extra veggies. I also make a few healthy adjustments. 
But if you make it as is... oh ya... your welcome.

So easy. 4 ingredients. 
I was sneaking these until they were gone. 
I think about them all the time.