Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Deconstructed Grilled Cheese

The other day I got this Martha Stewart newsletter that featured this little beauty of a recipe  Grilled cheese wheel. I left this open on my browser for two days. And by the end of the day today I knew I had to have it.  A whole cheese wheel for one person is a little ridiculous...so I had half but it was SO WORTH IT.  I recommend this for your next party appetizer!

1 baguette
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 round of brie cheese (pick a round that fits the size of your party)

1. Heat the grill to 400 and then turn off one burner.
2. Diagonally slice bread. Brush the slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. If you are using less than the entire round of cheese, take the cut piece of cheese and wrap in foil. If you are using the whole cheese, brush lightly with olive oil.
4. Grill bread 1-2 minutes per side over the flame.
5. Grill cheese over indirect heat or on the grill rack for about 2 minutes per side
6. Serve cheese and bread slices immediately and warm

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Rainbow Cake Cups

 This weekend was my niece's 2nd birthday. I have been wanting to make this tie-dye cake for months and I just haven't had a good opportunity. So when this birthday came up I knew I had the opportunity!

Spoiler alert - this is a box mix! I used a box mix and boxed frosting and later we partially made whipped cream but then we ran out so we got canned whipped cream too. Of course you could make this all by scratch but why would you?

I found Duff's cake mix (you know Duff right?) at Target and was immediately interested. I bought the mix and one of his chocolate frosting tubs as well. Then as noted, I didn't use it for months. Still before the expiration date I finally had a chance.
 The cake mixing, color dying and baking is on issue. It's just white cake that you separate into six bowls and then add food coloring (some food coloring comes with the cake but I needed extra). If you can't find Duff's tie-dye mix you can just buy white cake mix and then add food coloring.

Red - 15 drops
Orange - 5 drops yellow, 2 drops red
Yellow - 8 drops yellow
Green - 9 drops yellow, 2 drops blue
Blue - 14 drops blue
Purple - 7 drops red, 2 drops blue

You are then supposed to take 6 MORE bowls and separate out the cake again. But that seemed like a lot of dirty bowls so I decided to just eyeball it. The result was that one cake was way smaller than the other, however, this really wasn't an issue. If you smartly weighed out the batter in the first place, this could've been way easy.  Anyway, pour about 1/4 C of the red batter into the center of a WELL GREASED and FLOURED and PARCHMENT PAPER LINED baking pan. Pour 1/4 C of the orange batter on top of that and let it spread out. Add the rest of the colors in rainbow order ending with purple.  Bake as directed.

In case you were wondering, our problem was that the pans were not well greased even though I seriously felt that I had well greased them. My cake got stuck to the bottom of the pan. The results were a very mangled cake. We first tried to frost it together but it just crumbled, it didn't work and we were frustrated. So I looked online to find out ways to fix a destroyed cake.  This is when I came up with Cake Cups. That's right, it's not cupcakes. It's cups filled with cake pieces and frosting and topped with either frosting or whipped cream.

These cake cups were actually pretty delicious. People thought they were fun and different. Even if you didn't accidentally ruin your cake, you could make these.

1. Break up cooked cake into bite sized pieces
2. Layer cake pieces and globs of frosting (this is white cake & chocolate frosting) in a small cup (if you aren't using rainbow cake feel free to use a non-see through cup)
3. Top cake pieces with whipped cream (or more frosting if you can pipe it on)
4. Use the tiny crumb crumbles as topping on your whipped cream or use sprinkles
5. Refrigerate until ready to serve. If you want to be really wild, you can top the whole thing with ice cream!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Best Caramel Sauce

Today for Jerry's birthday dessert we had brownie sundaes.  Joey and I made the brownies and hot fudge from scratch and got some ice cream at our favorite ice cream shop.  One of the brownie recipes called for a layer of caramel inside which required us to make our own caramel.  Honestly, I think we didn't put enough caramel inside the brownies because I didn't notice it at all. However, we had a lot of leftover caramel so we served it as a sundae topping.  Delicious! What I liked most about this caramel was the slightly salty flavor and the fact that it was pourable for the entire day! It tasted great on the sundaes!

Salted Caramel Sauce
1 C sugar
1/4 C water
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 C sour cream
1 tsp maldon sea salt

1. In a medium saucepan combine water, sugar and corn syrup over high heat. Stir but don't splatter the mixture on the sides. Cook 6-8 minutes until the sauce is a dark amber color and measures 350 degrees with a candy thermometer.

2. Remove from heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream while stirring. It may splatter.  Add the salt.

3. Whisk in the sour cream and set aside to cool.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Chicken Chorizo Chili

 In order to incorporate the ingredients we bought for our stuffed peppers, we decided to make chili on Monday night. It turned out to be easy, cheap and delicious.  We also tried out some different peppers in the chili from our usual mix. This chili is probably too spicy for the average bird, but it was delicious to us. We both ate a little ice cream after dinner to settle our stomachs.  To make it less spicy, just don't use all the seeds from the jalepeno or reduce the amount of chili powder.

Makes 4 servings
1/2 lb chicken chorizo
1 jalepeno pepper, chopped with seeds
1 Anahiem chili pepper, chopped
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
3/4 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T chipotle chili powder
1 T ancho chili powder
1 T oregano
1 t garlic salt
1 t salt
1 t cayenne pepper
6 grinds of black pepper
1 bottle beer, we used Pyramid
cilantro, for serving
cheese, for serving

1. Saute onion, garlic, jalepeno and anahiem chili in a frying pan.  Add chorizo after onions are partially softened because it won't take as long to cook.
2. Meanwhile, in a large pot add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.
3. When the onion is soft and translucent add the entire mixture to the large pot
4. Once the large pot of chili has come to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer about 2 hours or until you are hungry. Serve with cheese & cilantro and any other toppings you like.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Chicken Chorizo & Cheese Stuffed Chilis

We went to the store at dinner time today with no idea about what to make. Joey thought the chili peppers looked good so I took a look for some recipes we could use them in other than chili. I saw a recipe for cheese and chorizo stuffed pasilla peppers and we decided to try it!

This recipe was delicious and easy! It took about 20 minutes or so to make and was packed with flavor! Joey loved it, I loved it, we are going to add it to our repertoire!  We omitted  the sour cream sauce from the recipe and added a fried egg on top. I think you could have it without the egg but I liked the creamy sauce the yolk added.  Of course, you could just make a sour cream sauce for that!  The recipe called for 2 peppers per person but we made just one per person and had a little extra filling that we put on top. I think it was plenty of food especially with the egg and corn. You could serve it with a nice salad to fill up some more.

As an added bonus, we found this red corn at the store and had that on the side. What a fun compliment to a fun dinner!

2 large pasilla chili peppers
8 oz chicken chorizo, casings removed if necessary
1/4 red onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1/8 C cotija cheese, crumbled
1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
2 eggs, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 325
2. Char peppers directly over gas burners 2 minutes per side turning with tongs
3. Meanwhile, saute onion, garlic, chorizo and olive oil in a small frying pan, be sure to break up the chorizo as you cook it. Saute until onions are translucent and chicken is cooked.  Mix in the crumbled cheese and cilantro.
4. Remove peppers from the burner and place in a bowl covered in plastic wrap, let sit and then rub the charred skin off with a paper towel
5. Stem & seed the peppers and try not to make too many holes along the rest of the pepper
6. Stuff the chorizo mixture into the peppers. Use toothpicks to close up any holes. Bake for 10 minutes until warm.
7. With two minutes left, fry eggs in the same pan you used to make the chorizo mixture.
8. Remove the toothpicks before serving and place the eggs on top of the pepper. Try to break the yolks right into the pepper.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Yogurt Drink Waffles

Last week I wanted to use some old fruit to make a smoothie. Joey suggested we buy some Siggi's Drinkable yogurt for this because he likes that brand, it was on sale, and it seemed like it might make a good smoothie.

After tasting the drink though, I thought it was a little too bitter for a smoothie plus, making a smoothie didn't sound fun anymore--it sounded like a lot of work! When tasting the drink, however, I thought it smelled a lot like buttermilk. I suggested to Joey that we use it to make pancakes or waffles and then freeze them to eat whenever. He agreed to try it but it was risky.

We tested it out today changing Brown Eyed Baker's recipe slightly to use the yogurt drink instead of buttermilk.  The results? The batter was super thick and looked a little blue. But the results were a delicious waffle! It was maybe a little bit denser but the flavors were great, the blueberry was super subtle if there at all and the addition of the raspberries was of course fantastic.  So next time you don't know what to do with your extra yogurt drink--make waffles!

Yogurt Drink Waffles
Minorly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

1 3/4 C flour
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 3/4 C yogurt drink, any flavor
2 eggs
2 t vanilla extract
1/2 C butter, melted and cooled
raspberries (optional)

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. In a smaller bowl, whisk the wet ingredients until combined
3. Make a well in the dry ingredient bowl and add the wet ingredients
4. Mix until combined but don't over mix!
5. Preheat the waffle maker and spray with cooking spray. Add 1C or so of batter or according to your waffle maker instructions. Drop in raspberries. Cook according to instructions

Monday, January 6, 2014

Garlic Blistered Green Beans

Today for lunch I went to Shophouse. It's like a an Asian Chipotle (and also owned by Chipotle).  While I was eating the spicy blistered green beans, I thought, I have green beans in the fridge, maybe I can make them like this!  So tonight, along with our grilled lamb and final duchess potatoes, I blistered some green beans. They were delicious!  Luckily, they are also fast and rather healthy!  Yay green beans. These were a hit with Joey too.

8 oz green beans
1/2 t olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt & pepper

1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat
2. Add green beans when oil is fragrant, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, tossing for 8-15 minutes or until blistered on some sides.
3. At the very end, add 1 clove garlic, crushed and cook 30 seconds. Immediately remove from heat and pan and place in a serving dish