Saturday, October 31, 2009
Hello, Cupcake! cookbook. "Our cupcakes made from doctored store-bought mix stand up to homemade versions in taste test after taste test", was their claim. I had nothing to lose. Simply add 1 cup buttermilk, 4 large eggs and the amount of oil called for on the box to a box of vanilla cakemix (one without added pudding) and beat for 3 minutes. The cupcakes looked great had no sink holes or soft spots, they had a great texture and were easy to frost, and they tasted good.
What's the verdict? I really think my altitude plays a big role in cupcakes but there are so many 'fixes', more flour, less sugar and butter, alter baking times. What is an amateur baker to do other than move to sea level? I will keep trying, maybe find a cookbook from bakers in Denver, any ideas from high-altitude bakers?
Posted by Cindy at 11:03 AM
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The witches fingers were delicious, I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe found at Our Best Bites. I made the dough several days before the party. Forming the cookies was fun, kids might get discouraged but the eight women (age 24-81) at my house enjoyed the activity!
1 C real butter (no substitutions!)
1 C sugar
1 1/2 t almond extract (I only used pure almond extract, I tried imitation once and it was not as good)
3 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy- about 2 minutes. Add egg and extract, mix to incorporate.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
Shape the dough into 2 flat disks and wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours. Or let it chill for several days. In my perfect life I will always have chilled sugar cookie dough at my disposal!
Form a small ball of dough into a finger shape, keep it on the thin side as these will expand a little. Make knuckle marks with a butter knife. Press a whole blanched almond for a fingernail. Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes. While cooling pop off 'fingernail', when cool attach nail with red gel. Looks spooky! Check out Recipegirl for the finished cookie. They were devoured quickly, we didn't get a shot of the finished digits.
We created Witches Fingers, Mummy Dogs, Bones and Blood, NutterButter Ghosts and Cheesenstine. Thanks to Our Best Bites and Recipegirl for inspiration and recipes. Our spooky creations were tasty too!
The Mummy Dogs were good (for hot dogs), we cut hot dogs in half and wrapped them with thin strips of thawed puff pastry. The were baked in a hot oven 400 degrees till just beginning to brown. They had mustard eyes and were served with dipping sauces.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Pioneer Woman Cooks for detailed recipe. It really is a keeper.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I returned from Florida and was excited to see my basil plant still had a bit of life in it. Fresh basil and tomatoes make this sauce fantastic but don't be afraid to use dried basil and canned tomatoes it is still delicious!
This basic sauce can be dressed up with meat balls, sausage or lightly steamed summer squash; top it with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Simply Recipes was my source, the 1 teaspoon of tomato paste seemed odd--but I am obedient so I added it. I think it gives more depth to the sauce. This is delicious!
Basically Delicious Tomato Sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 small stalk of celery, include the green tops, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes or 1 3/4 pound of fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon tomato paste
salt and freshly ground pepper
Thursday, October 1, 2009
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves gralic, pressed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano Cheese
salt and pepper
This requires a food processor (I know, I tried a batch in my blender--it failed).
This recipe was adapted from Simply Recipes--I love that site.