Tuesday, August 31, 2010
You just have to love the CSN stores by now. They are such nice people with such amazing offers. They love allowing bloggers to do reviews of their products, and we love it too!

I've been contacted again and was asked to do a product review. Uhh duhhh. Of course I will! So as much as I would like get more baking equipment to make something I can relax and enjoy and eat with my coffee while resting my feet up on a coffee table, I'm letting my sister pick the item. Yepp I'm soooo nice.

She's really into Japanese style eats. Well a lot of Japanese style anything, actually. But I have to agree with her, I'm a big promoter of sushi. She also recently told me about these lunches known as bento boxes. We both agreed they'd serve as wonderful lunches for even us! So she's determined to start making them for the three women of my family. (I mean c'mon, my dad would never try this stuff)

More about bento boxes. After looking at some crazy pictures of these bento boxes, it seems the Japanese really consider it an art form. Take a look:

This last one, you'll notice, is much less extravagant. This is the kind my sister hopes to make. Those white shapes on the left are
onigiri. They are white rice balls covered in seaweed (nori) and most traditionally filled with pickled plums (umeboshi) or anything salty. I'm looking forward to anchovies or something. We'll figure it out soon.

So the product we're hoping to try from CSN stores is..... a rice cooker! Hopefully it'll help us make some beautiful rice while inspiring us to continue making these great lunches! I'm hoping my sister will do a guest post whenever she is ready to make these. It'll be soon, so keep an eye out!

Cauliflower Pizza

Monday, August 30, 2010

In trying to keep with making more home cooked dinners, my mom and I bought a head of cauliflower and told ourselves we'd make something with it. A cauliflower casserole pie thing was planning, but then laziness set in. The usual. But, after it sat in our fridge for a week, I did some major cleaning out of our fridge and managed to come up with something pretty neat!

I had a ton of leftover dough from when I made pretzels. I didn't nearly use the whole batch and I didn't plan on making anymore, if you can remember. So I h
ad some dough to pitch, or find some use for. Then, I had a whole head of cauliflower and a block of Swiss cheese. Ok, at this point you can see where my mind went. PIZZA. When I told my mom I was interested in making cauliflower pizza see thought it was wacky but was definitely willing to try. I believe I've heard of cauliflower pizza before so I didn't think it was too crazy. And, since we were planning to not have a red sauce, my dad would actually eat it! Yay!

The first step was to wash and roast the cauliflower. I just did a simple drizzle of EVOO and some salt and pepper over top. Maybe for 15 mins at 350? It could vary. Whenever it looks slightly roasted and not burnt, take it out. Then, I spread my dough in a round cake pan. I have been wanting to try pan pizzas for a long time now, so this was
my attempt=) I then spread garlic over the dough and added my cauliflower to it. Add tomatoes and cheeses, and you're done! This was so easy and extremely delish.

The taste was great. It made it even more satisfying knowing I did it myself. I loved the pan pizza effect. Fluffy, but tasty and still enough of a cooked outside and middle. The cauliflower acted like the meat of the pizza. It was a real star. And I love to
matoes so I was glad they made an appearance. The Swiss cheese as well was an interesting piece and it definitely added some fun taste to the pizza. This recipe is definitely a keeper in my family!

Cauliflower Pan Pizza

by: Me!

(The amounts for these components can all really vary. Just be creative and use your own judgment. Don't like tomatoes? Leave them out! Want more cauliflower? Go for it! Just have fun with it!)

Cauliflower pieces
Swiss cheese
Parmesan cheese
Diced tomatoes
Pizza dough (or leftover bagel dough hehe)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Press pizza dough into the bottom of a round pan. Spread some garlic over the dough. Sprinkle and lightly press in the cauliflower. Sprinkle diced tomatoes over the cauliflower layer. Add Swiss and Parmesan to the top to your liking.

Cook for 18 minutes, or whenever it looks ready! Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!

White Chicken Enchiladas & Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese

Saturday, August 28, 2010

As part of a new initiative to try to have more home cooked meals, my mom and I picked out three meals to make for one week. We gathered our ingredients at the store and put ourselves in the mindset that, yes, we were going to do the dang thing.

When looking for great dinner ideas, I recommend Cassie Craves. She promptly posts daily and has the most amazing breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes. They are all doable and nothing too elaborate. Perfect for anyone's family! I admire her great dishes all the time (and drool a little), but now it was time I finally tried one!
I did attempt her stick chicken drumsticks a long while back, and they were a HIT! So I knew I could trust in her other recipes;)

We actually made two of her recipes. First: White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce.

The ingredients for this recipe are so simple, but you're still creating a masterpiece of a dish. Cassie has signature enchiladas she makes from time to time and they are just adorable. I liked the looks of this one especially. It all was so easy to make and the results we amazing! I just loved this dish so much. I can't wait to try the other varieties of enchiladas she has on her blog. Check her out!

White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce
from Cassie Craves

8-10 soft taco size flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese, divided
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 can chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 7-ounce can diced green chiles
Cilantro for garnish, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together 1 cup of the cheese and the chicken. Place an equal amount of the mixture into each tortilla, roll up and place seam side down into a 9 x 13-inch pan.

2. In a skillet or saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, whisking until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Stir in sour cream and green chiles. Pour over the top of the enchiladas; sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.

3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

Second: Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese

This looked too good not to try. I love spinach and artichoke dip and this turns it into a main course. And, like Cassie mentions, it's a great way to sneak in veggies! My dad and sister actually ate this. And that's saying something. I loved the cheesey goodness and also have healthy veggies tucked.

Please excuse my lack of photos=(

Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese
from Cassie Craves

1 pound short-cut pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 cups milk
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
1 can chopped artichoke hearts in water, drained
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend, plus additional for sprinkling on top
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top

1. Place a large pot of water over high heat to cook the pasta. When the water is boiling, salt it well and drop in the pasta. Cook to al dente, according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and reserve.

2. While the pasta is cooking, place a medium pot over medium-low heat with the olive oil and the butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook the veggies until very soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute, then whisk the chicken stock into the pan, cooking for another minute. Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a bubble. Add the vegetables and salt and pepper to taste to the sauce and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cheeses to the sauce and stir until melted.

4. Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle more of the cheeses over the top and broil under low heat until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown.

I will definitely be making more of her recipes in the future!!

White Chocolate Raspberry Scones

Friday, August 27, 2010

My senior year of high school starts Monday. OMG. This is pretty exciting. I'm not gonna lie, I can't wait for school to start. But it's not like I haven't been popping into my school all summer. (I accidentally wrote "pooping" the first time.. whoops) I seem to end up there a couple times a week for various reasons. I hold a couple important positions at my school, and I like to keep involved and active. I'm yearbook editor, president of our Student Ambassador program, and I've been working along side our brand new principal to plan assemblies and dances and the like. As exciting as all this is, it's a lot of work. And I still have some summer assignments to complete first...

When the school year does roll around, it always means one thing. No more sleeping in. Yupp, wake up time for me is 6 AM to catch a 6:30 bus. In that fleeting 30 minutes,
I need to get dressed, fix my face ;), do my hair, gather my books and bags (both school, volleyball, and any other after school activity attire), grab any last minute notes for the office, and oh yeah, eat breakfast. With a tight schedule in the wee hours of the morning, it's easy for me to want to skip breakfast. But this is something I do not advocate. I tried it for a while one the years, and I was miserable. Empty stomachs for 5 hours is no fun. So I always try my darnedest to at least have something.

What I've found, is that during my 50 minute ride to school (grrr.....) I have plenty of time for relaxed eating with no stress of missing the bus. However, there are some items you can't easily eat during a bumpy bus ride. (Though I did actually have cereal once or twice. It worked well the first time, but not so much the second... It was quickly put to an end.) I have found that yogurt messes, overnight oat messes, and baked goodies travel well, though=)!

I have then decided that I will put my freezer to use. I'm going to bake some lovely goodies and then freeze them so I can have quick and easy breakfasts for the b
us ride! It's genius, yes? And there are so many breakfast treats out there I can't wait to try, and this will give me an excuse to make them=)

First up: Scones. What can be a better combination than raspberry
and white chocolate?! I wanted some fresh fruitiness in them, as well as a little touch of decadence. That basically sums up this scone perfectly=)

I do think I should have made them a bit flatter to get a more even cook through, but these tasted amazing none the less. Now, I can't wait for school to start just so I can eat these!

White Chocolate Raspberry Scones

adapted from Noble Pig

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 cup plus
1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 large egg yolk

1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries (6 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400o F. In a food processor, pulse together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter and pulse until pea-size pieces form. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg yolk. Slowly pour buttermilk mixture through feed tube into processor, pulsing until dough just comes together.

Transfer dough to a slightly floured surface and sprinkle raspberries on top. Knead three times to fold in raspberries (my raspberries were mushy so they broke down, if yours are in good shape, they will stay intact). Gather and pat dough into a 1" thick rectangle and cut or pull apart into 2" pieces.
Place pieces, about 2 inches apart on two parchment or silicone lined, rimmed baking sheets, sprinkling tops with 1 Tablespoon sugar.

Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let scones cool slightly on sheets on wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Store in an airtight container up to 1 day).

Strawberry Banana Smoothie Ice Cream

Thursday, August 26, 2010
My sister graciously posed for this though she was ready to devour that mini cone!

If you noticed that in the title I referred to this as smoothie ice cream, you're not mistaken. I have managed to put a smoothie into ice cream form. But if a smoothie is in ice cream form, then is it still a smoothie? Sure. Just smoothie ice cream... You'll just have to try this to figure it out I guess!

And of course this was made in my lovely ice cream maker. It is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received! I can rave about it more, but I'm sure it's not necessary.

I did make a few changes in the recipe due to lack of ingredients and personal preference. First off, I completely changed the name by addin
g in bananas. It was just a strawberry ice cream recipe I used, but I subbed in some bananas since they were about to go bad. Plus, I love strawberry banana smoothies and I hoped it would taste as good. (Turns out it does!) Second, I didn't nearly have enough sugar. Gasp! Like we barely had 3/4 cup. So I did as much white sugar as possible and then used brown sugar. It's a little off the beaten track, but whatev.

My notes are made in red. But if you want to follow the original, just ignore them!

Fresh Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

From HERE. Based on a recipe from Gourmet, August 2009

1 pound of strawberries, hulled and halved
(In my case, 1/3 pound strawberries and 1 1/2 bananas)
1 ½ cup sugar
(in my case, 3/4 c white sugar & 1/2 c packed brown sugar)
¾ tsp fresh lemon juice

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

In a large bowl, coarsely mash strawberries and bananas with lemon juice, sugar and salt using a potato masher.

Let stand, stirring and mashing occasionally, 10 minutes.
Using a ladle, transfer half of the strawberry banana mixture to blender along with cream and milk and puree till smooth. Return strawberry banana cream to bowl with rest of strawberries and chill till cold, 3-6 hours. (I didn't do this =P)

Freeze mixture in ice cream maker according to maker’s directions.

Transfer to an airtight container and place in the back of the freezer to firm up, at least 1 hour.
Makes 1.5 quarts. Keeps in freezer up to 1 week.

Tropical Birthday Cupcakes!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I have mentioned my friend Maria numerous times on my blog. If you don't remember hearing about her, then obviously you need to go back and read my earlier posts. Duhhh. But yeah she's an awesome friend who I have really come to trust in, even though we go to different schools. We still manage to see each other which is great. She is also someone I could really confide in when it came to a very risky business venture I'm exploring. It's new, it involves cupcakes, and I blush and get somewhat uncomfortable/embarrassed when I talk about it, but she's been supporting me along the way and helping me get over my fears=) It's still early for me to talk about, but eventually I'll give you guys all the deets.

Story time:
So Maria was turning 18 (woot woot) and her mom came
to me with the idea that as my gift to her, I could make her cupcakes! I was speechless! I was honored she'd trust me to make them and I knew it would make Maria very happy. I now had all kinds of planning to do, but it was all fun. As to what kind of cupcakes to make, I decided to keep it very basic. I had to keep in mind that it is a birthday party and many people aren't open to exotic flavors and just prefer classics. So that meant vanilla and chocolate.

I haven't really made a chocolate cupcake before so it was a little nerve-racking, but it all went fine!

I knew the party theme was tropical, and her mom had plenty of those little umbrellas for drinks. So... umbrellas in the cupcakes? I think yes. I did have the option of playing with frosting left. No crazy flavors there, I decided. Plus, I wanted to show these guests what a real buttercream frosting is like. So I did a fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting and then colored it.

This was my first time doing a big food dye job. I'm not gonna lie, it was a ton of work. The weather was of no help either because it was soooo hot and they would start getting melty so fast that I would constantly be taking them in and out of the fridge. The frosting was a huge project, but it was my first time and now I know what to expect.

Though it was a lot of work, it was all worth it. Maria was surprised when she saw them because I snuck them inside and she thought they tasted great! Of cours
e at an 18th birthday party you have a ton of teenage girls who are all worried about indulging in sweets and gaining weight, but still, a lot of cupcakes went!

(Do you see the 18?!)

Through this whole process, I had a great time. I loved every aspect. From baking the cupcakes, playing with frostings, sampling cupcakes (shh..), and seeing the end result and the happy "customer"; it was all great. I enjoy (love) doing this, and hopefully I'll have many more opportunities to make people happy with my baking!

Coffee Chocolate Chip Muffins

Sunday, August 22, 2010

When I saw this recipe I immediately fell in love with it. You may or may not know about my love of coffee desserts (and if you don't I'll be showing you more of it soon enough!). But coffee flavor in desserts is incredible. It has to be my favorite flavoring in desserts at the moment. It's not even like I'm a heavy coffee drinker or a
nything, I just love the sweet coffee taste. So, like many others, I need coffee in the morning, just not in the liquid form. That's why this recipe is so perfect!

I couldn't believe how easy they were to make, as well. It took no effort and no time at all. I did make two changes in the recipe, though, which I've added below. I added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon into the recipe, not enough to overwhelm it, but enough so I know it's there;) I also upped the amount of chocolate chips. They just seemed so scattered and sparse that I had to double it! Anywhere between 1/2 cup to 1 cup, depending on your preference.

I ate these warm out of the oven, or frozen solid the next day. Yes, I ate frozen muffins. It helps me use self control. This way, I don't finish the muffin in three bites. I can, instead, savor the muffin with tiny little bites. Plus, I think it tastes good. Kind of like that thing where people freeze their candy bars? Personally I've never been a fan, but I guess I'm sort of like them by doing this.

I would say these muffins were light and spongy, definitely not on the dry or crumbly side. I tried very hard not to over mix, so I think I did a good job! Because I'm usually not a chocolate fan, the whole "chocolate chip muffin" has never been something I'd eat. I'd have to say, though, that the chocolate chunks in here were awesome. Okay, I really shouldn't have to convince you anymore. It's chocolate and coffee. Get to baking!

Coffee Chocolate Chip Muffins
from Buttercream Barbie


1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup melted butter, cooled

1 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp instant coffee

1/2- 1 cup chocolate chunks
(the original recipe called for a half cup, but I ended up dumping a TON more in, so maybe closer to a whole cup)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line 12 muffin tins. Mix coffee into melted butter. Whisk well.

2. Whisk eggs lightly into the buttermilk with the vanilla extract.
In a big bowl mix together both flours, sugar, baking powder & salt. Now pour in the buttermilk mixture & the butter mixture, and mix in gently. Do not over mix or muffins won't be soft. Fold in chocolate gently just to combine.

3. Fill prepared muffin tins and bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes.

Easy right? It's a super quick muffin for those of you who love the coffee/chocolate combination!

Pretzels... Again

Friday, August 20, 2010
So I already told you I'm in love with that bread book my aunt lent me. Some dang good bread right thurrrr. Anyways, I was browsing through the amazing and tempting recipes in the book and I wanted to make them all! But, I saw the pretzel recipe, which also subs as a bagel recipe, and thought it would be interesting to try out.

As you may (or may not) know, I have already made pretzels once before. Oh sweet, sweet success. It was in the midst of a snow storm as well. They came out pretty frickin' fantast
ic for my first time. The dough was so so nice to work with, making my job very easy. They tasted great and it was sad to see them go. I really enjoyed them plain, but the cinnamon sugar variety has been haunting me ever since. From that one day in February up until I made this second batch, I have been dreaming of these cinnamon sugar pretzels.

The exact day I decided to make the pretzels, the lovely Joy came out with a pretzel post and a walk through video. Uh-oh. Now I'd be seeing everyone trying out her recipe and mine would go up and be compared.. oy vey! I was nervous to try out this very different recipe, so I decided to only make four. Two cinnamon, two regular.

The dough sucked. It was so terrible to work with. It was really just the fact that I could not get it to roll out for me!! I would apply pressure and roll and roll and roll and the dough wouldn't do anything thing. I had to use brutal unadulterated force. Then, when I boiled them and such, they took on weird indents and lumpy shapes. Not cool. In hindsight, could this be from not enough flour? Maybe I didn't give it enough structure? I was just nervous to make them dense or tough. I'd rather have gooey any day.

All in all, my mom said she didn't get a strong "pretzel" taste from them. She said it was very bread-like? I don't know exactly what she meant. See, she had a regular one and I ate the uber cinnamon-y sugar-y ones. I normally would never say anything li
ke this, but: I put on too much cinnamon sugar. I also made a vanilla glaze to dip in. SUGAR OVERLOAD. Oh my goodness, I could feel the sugar rush in my veins. I thought they weren't bad. However, anything doused in cinnamon sugar and then dipping in a sugar-y vanilla icing has to be good, right? So my judgment was impaired. But, if we weigh they amount of grief the dough gave me and the ugliness of the pretzels, I'd have to say I wouldn't use this recipe again.

(Is it bad that on more than 3 occasions I kept typing "sinnamon suger"?)

With pretzels it is important to remember they do not keep well. If you're planning on making them keep in mind that unless your whole family plans on eating a dozen pretzels in one day you probably should keep your batch on the small side.

Soft Pretzels
from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

The dough:

1 pound of bagel dough (recipe given within book)

egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)

coarse salt for sprinkling

extra flour for dusting kitchen towel

corn meal or whole wheat flour for pizza peel or baking stone

The boiling pot:

8 quarts boiling water

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon cream of tartar

1. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 3-ounce piece of dough (about the size of a small peach). Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough aroun
d to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. Elongate the ball, dusting with additional flour as necessary. Roll it back and forth with your hands on a flour dusted surface to form a long rope approximately 1/2 inch in diameter and 12 inches long.

2. Twist into a pretzel shape by first tying a knot, then looping the ends around and joining them back to the loop. Repeat, forming as many pretzels as you want to bake.

3. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450, with a baking stone placed near the middle of the oven. Place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising pretzels.

4. Keep pretzels covered loosely with plastic wrap as you repeat the process to make the rest. Let the pretzels rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.

5. Prepare the boiling pot: Bring a large sauc
epan or stockpot full of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the baking soda and cream of tartar. Drop the pretzels into the simmering water one at a time, making sure they are not crowding one another. They need enough room to float without touching or they will be misshapen. Let them simmer for 2 minutes and then flip them over with a slotted spoon to cook the other side. Simmer for another minute.

6. Remove them from the water, using the sl
otted spoon, and place on a clean kitchen towel that has been lightly dusted with with flour. This will absorb some of the excess water from the pretzels. Then place them on a peel covered with whole wheat flour. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.

7. Slide pretzels directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake with steam for about 15 minutes, until deeply browned and firm. If you want crisp pretzels, bake 5 to 10 minutes longer.
Don't laugh at my ugly pretzels. I've made better!

Cast Iron Skillet Review

Thursday, August 19, 2010
I'm sure you've seen CSN stores talked about all over the blog world. And while you may be sick of hearing about them, they certainly haven't stopped supplying great products at great prices with great reliability. After ordering my product, I received it no less than four days later! Much sooner than they told me. So that's really awesome!

My product choice was a cast iron skillet, pre-seasoned mind you. I didn't own a cast iron skillet before, but I've heard about their wonders. Though it was c
alled pre-seasoned, you still need to season it? Idk, whatever. It's still very nice and authentically heavy!It's first use? A dutch baby pancake of course! It was all my mom though. They've become her special breakfast item that I occasionally help her with (and make better hehe). But we wanted to see if using a cast iron skillet really made an authentic dutch baby with puffy sides and all!

So let's compare:

A regular cake pan dutch baby:

A cast iron skillet dutch baby:

Verdict: Obviously it's visually apparent that I got way more fluff from the regular cake pan than the cast iron skillet. It also tasted much much better than the cast iron skillet version. However, in all fairness, my mom (no offense here) chose a new recipe which was horrible. So that could explain it. We will for sure be making more babies in the future;) JK that just sounds weird... We'll be making DUTCH babies again.

I won't share the recipe for the cast iron skillet dutch baby since it was so bad, but click here, and you can find my post for that delicious apple dutch baby!

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
There's some recipes that float in your mind for days. Some recipes you've book marked for weeks. Some recipes you've told yourself you're going to make for months. And some recipes you've thought about for all of five minutes and then you make it. This was probably a recipe a saw three minutes before I decided that I needed to make it. Now.

Its been a while since I've made ice cream this summer and I was craving it. As much as I LOVE Cold Stone (And trust me I do! They have like these crazy ice cream cupcakes I am dying to try!) and could have easily driven to it, I wasn't about to pay $4.50 for small size with two mix-ins=/ Let me rephrase: My mom wouldn't lend me any money so I'd have to use my own. Gasp. But, she would give me money to stop at Giant Eagle (the local supermarket) to pick up heavy cream!

Alright, so after a quick ingredient pickup I returned home to make this super easy cinnamon ice cream. But, oh wait, we don't have enough cinnamon..... Seriously? Yes. So it's almost 9, my show is about to come on (Last Comic Standing), and I didn't want to make another trip down to the store. That's what neighbor's are for right? My neighbor Beth is a life saver. She always has everything I need. Okay, now I've got my cinnamon and I'm ready to go. Now add the three tablespoons, and then... Oh wait. That seems like an awful large amount of cinnamon in that bowl. Maybe I should double check the--- AHHH! three TEAspoons! Ok ok. Ok ok ok ok. Thank goodness cinnamon floats. I can easily just skim it off the top. Ahhh crisis averted. And a little extra cinnamon never hurt anyone!

I dump everything in the ice cream maker (Thank you CSN stores!!!) and start the churning in time to watch my show! Question: Does anybody else absolutely adore the way the ice cream tastes when it's only been churning for like 15 minutes? Like having some spoonfuls while it's churning? This might be wrong, but I hope someone else agrees with me.

Oh, and I forgot to take pictures... YIKES! I always feel like a post is sooo bland without pictures. Sorry=(((

Cinnamon Ice Cream (I can't remember where I found this recipe so I found a similar one, and it lists a custard variation as well, and I'm listing that and what all I can remember)

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup milk

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3 teaspoons cinnamon (or more because I dumped a ton in.. whoops!)

I believe you just combine these ingredients and add them to your ice cream maker per the makers directions.


Lemon Butter Bars

Monday, August 16, 2010

I can't believe I haven't made any lemony treats yet this summer! It's absurd. And with only one lemon on hand, I was still able to make the most recognizable lemon treat out there! This classic lemon bar recipe is as perfect as it gets. It has a soft and thick shortbread crust, then a creamy and buttery lemony filling. It's all topped with a supper thin powdered sugar top crust.

I thought of making this quite randomly and, while still in a quirky fra
me of mind, I decided to make these in a round pan. I also cut them into very small squares, that way you can eat a lot more and not feel as guilty hehe.

Cutting lemon bars is always a messy thing. But I was most frustrated with my camera. It's not a bad camera actually, it's pretty nice. Nowhere near professional, but not the "facebook pics only" type. But I seriously have so many issues with it. It gives me grief. I can't take close up shots. Ever. I don;t know why this is, but it always always comes out blurry if I try. And zooming in? Don't get me started. It just gets blurrier.

These took little time to put together. Almost every single recipe in this book is easy effort and fairly fast. I really take this fabulous book for granted, but I have been trying to use it more.

Lemon Butter Bars

from Land O Lakes: Treasury of Country Recipes

1 1/3 c. ap flour1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. softened butter

3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp. ap flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder3 tbsp. lemon juice

powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350.
In a small bowl, combine crust ingredients. Beat at low speed, scraping down sides of the bowl, until mixture is crumbly (2 to 3 mins.) Press onto bottom of an 8" baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 mins, or until edges are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, combine filling ingredients in a small mixer bowl. Beat on low, scraping down sides of the bowl, until well mixed. Pour filling over hot crust. Continue baking for 18 to 20 mins, or until filling is set. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Let cool slightly.