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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Coffee Almond Angel Cake

Hello Everyone,

Here is the cake recipe I made for my mom’s birthday, she loves coffee and angel food cake so I knew that she would love this one!! this recipe comes from the state fair winning cake book I have. It’s from Kathleen Lucido Harper Woods, MI.

Coffee Angel Food Cake

For the cake:***

1-1/4 cups cake flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1-1/2  cups large egg whites (about 10)

1-1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. salt

1-1/3 cups granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. almond extract

Coffee Buttercream:

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 tsp. cornstarch

2 tbsp. instant coffee (dry)

5 large egg yolks

1/3 cup whole milk

1-1/2 tsp. vanilla

1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened 3 sticks (12 oz.)

Garnish:

1-1/2 cups sliced almonds

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp. water

1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flour and 1/2 cup sugar; set aside. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until soft peeks form. Gradually beat in 1-1/3 cups sugar, 1/3 cup at a time, beating after each addition until stiff peaks form and adding vanilla and almond extract with last addition of sugar. Sprinkle flour-sugar mixture over egg white mixture, folding in with rubber spatula just until sugar-flour mixture disappears. Pour into an ungreased angel food cake pan (tube pan), 10×4-inches. Bake 35-40 minutes or until cracks feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly on top. Immediately turn upside down onto heatproof funnel or bottle. Let hang about 2 hours or until cake is completely cool. Loosen side of cake with knife or long metal spatula; remove from pan.

*** You can also purchase a baked angel food cake or use an angel food cake mix if you want to..

For the buttercream; Mix sugar and cornstarch in 1-1/2 quart saucepan. Stir in coffee and egg yolks until blended. Stir in milk and vanilla. Cook over mediun heat about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat; set aside. Beat butter in medium bowl on medium speed, scraping bowl, occasionally, until fluffy. Gradually beat in cooked mixture, scraping bowl occasionally, until smooth. Cool completely. This will thicken while it cools. At first I thought I had done something wrong when I made this, but it thickened up nicely for the cake. You can’t pipe it like regular buttercream, its to soft..

For the almond garnish: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well coated. Bake 12-15 minutes until light brown. Immediately loosen almond mixture; break into clusters.

To assemble cake: Slice cake into 3 layers place one layer on serving plate. Spread with a thin layer of the buttercream, repeat with remaining layers. Coat the side with the almond crunch, drizzle top with semi-sweet chocolate. Store loosely covered in the refrigerator.

I have one Angel cake to get done between today and tomorrow. It’s for a hospice patient, he was a dr. I thought about making a drs. coat with pens ect.. coming out of the pockets, but I’m not sure yet what I’ll do… I bought all the stuff to make the sweet 16 cupcakes for the lady at Ray’s office. I am working on making the chocolate number 16 today and yesterday when we bought everything I forgot to look for a bow tie chocolate mold. I’ll have to look for it Tuesday after I drop off the cake. I might have to mold them out of candy clay, we’ll see..

 I am having a hard time concentrating on all this, since we are leaving for the memorial services on Friday for my grandma. I haven’t been to Salmon in 5 years, not since my uncle Jimmy was killed. I have seen my grandmother, last year she was in a nursing home for some rehab in Idaho Falls, so Ray took me up there to see her then, I am so happy he took me up there then!!! (I’m sorry if I talked about this already, I can’t remember if I did or not??) I hate the town Salmon, a lot of bad memories there for me… My ex-husband used to live up there, but I know for a fact he’s not there anymore. He used to work in the main grocery store they have, and whenever we went up there I wouldn’t go in that store. I do not want to be around him at all. He was abusive to me, in a lot of ways. It’s taken years to get over the fear and the pain. I am so thankful for my husband Ray, he has been so patient with me…

Well I better go for now, need to work with chocolate, cakes, and other thing’s!!!

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on November 28, 2010 in Cakes

 

My Grandma Shirley

Hello Everyone,

This isn’t going to be an easy posting for me.. My grandma Shirley passed away Sunday morning. Sunday Ray came in the bedroom early in the morning and delivered the bad news to me. I am numb now, after spending the last 2 days crying. My grandma Shirley was and is still very special to me. A lot of people tell us we look, laugh, and sound a lot alike. I loved spending time with her in her house when I was younger. She always made the best pancakes. I can still remember her in her bathrobe in the kitchen flipping them on her griddle. She also made the best chicken noodle soup with home-made noodles, and we would sprinkle it with lemon pepper. She would heat up water all the time for grandpa’s russian tea, it made her kitchen smelled like cinnamon, oranges, and cloves. Every Christmas she would make us divinity (by hand) I don’t remember her ever using a mixer other than a small hand mixer for cake batter.  She would always tell me the best memory she had of me was when I was little kid sitting in her counter eating her dill pickles she made.  Grandma took care of a lot of us kids while our parents had to work or something else.. The last time I saw her was over a year ago, she lived 6 hours from where I live. I wish I could have seen her before she died, but she couldn’t travel and nor could I. Ray and I made the trip to them when she was in rehab in a nursing home in another town that’s about 3 hours from us. We were able to eat dinner with them and spend some time with them there. I wish I could have had more time with her… Right now I don’t know what else to say.. This is getting really hard for me.. I haven’t even wanted to write this, it’s been too painful…

I did get the 6 mission sheet cakes done, just to have something to do… I do have a hospice cake next Tuesday..

 They are having a funeral service for my grandma next week and we are going. It’s been several years since I have been to my hometown, I hate it there.. Were not going to Twin Fall for Thanksgiving, partly because of the weather.. I am just going to cook a turkey at home and watch the parade on tv.. Maybe I’ll write more tomorrow, just don’t have anything else to say right now..

Amanda…

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Thanksgiving Menu part 2

Hello Everyone,

Here is the 2nd and last 3 recipes I made up for my Thanksgiving menu. This is my first time roasting a duck and I will say it’s completely different than roasting a chicken or turkey. I got the recipe from one of my absolute favorite cookbooks, it’s from Williams-Sonoma. I was first introduced to Williams-Sonoma several years ago, when my mom bought one of their cooking CD’s to play with on her computer. Well I searched through it and have been hooked ever since then!!! I have several more of their cookbooks plus I LOVE to visit there store and website!!! I have made so many recipes from their cookbooks. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, THEM!!! LOL!! My husband say’s I’m obsessed with them!! He’s right!! 🙂 I hope you’ll give this recipe a try!!

Roast Duck with Parsnips and Marsala Wine

1 duck, 4-5lb.

1 lemon

5 sprigs fresh marjoram

1 yellow onion, sliced

1 lb parsnips

1 whole clove

1 bay leaf

2 cups rich chicken stock

2 tbsp dark brown sugar

1/2 cup dry Marsala wine

salt and black pepper

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse duck inside and out. Dry with paper towels. Cut lemon in half and squeeze the juice inside of duck, sprinkle salt and pepper inside and outside of the duck. Place 4 marjoram springs inside duck along with the cut lemon. Place breast side down in a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes. Turn over the duck and prick the duck breast in several places, this allows the fat to drain from the duck. Roast another 45 minutes longer pricking the duck breast a couple more times. While duck is roasting, peel and slice the parsnips and cover with water and cook with 1 tsp. salt and the cut up onion, until tender; drain and set aside. Check if the duck is done: pierce the thigh with a knife tip; the juices should run pink for medium-rare. Alternatively, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh away from the bone. It should read about 180 degrees. If you prefer your duck well done, roast for 10-20 minutes more. Be forwarned, however, for the meat will be dry. Remove the pan from the oven, then remove the duck from the pan, pouring off the accumulated liquid from the cavity into the pan. Place duck on a warmed platter and keep warm. Tilt the pan and skim the fat from the surface, there will be about 1/2 cup full of fat from the duck. (keep it and fry potatoes in the duck fat, it’s is so tasty)!! Place the remaining juices from the duck, marjoram sprig, clove, bay leaf, 2 cups chicken stock, 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar, and the wine in a medium saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and let boil slightly until reduced by half and thickened. Strain the sauce and add to the parsnips and heat through. Using poultry shears , cut the duck into quarters, discarding the backbone. Add any juices that have accumulated on the platter to the parsnips. Serve the parsnips with the duck and spoon some sauce over the duck and parsnips.

Spinach Risotto:

1 lb. fresh spinach

4-1/2 cups chicken stock or broth, keep warm

1/2 cup unsalted butter, 4 oz.

2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter and add the rice and cook for about 2 minutes just until opaque in color. Reduce the heat to low and add the wine and stir until the wine has been absorbed. Start adding the hot chicken stock, 1/2 cup at a time. Cook slowly, stirring frequently, until all the liquid has been completely absorbed and the grains are tender but firm to the bite. This will take about 20-25 minutes; you will need all of the chicken stock. Stir in the spinach until wilted and then add the cheese.

Orange Floating Islands:

For the orange sauce:

1 orange

2 cups whole milk

5 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream

For the Meringues:

4 egg whites

1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

1/3 cup sugar

Unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling

ground cinnamon for sprinkling

Grate zest from the orange, you should have about 1 tbsp. In a medium saucepan over medium heat warm the milk just until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan; remove from the heat. In a bowl, combine the egg yolks and the sugar. Whisk until light, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the cream and orange zest. Then gradually whisk in the hot milk until well blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stirring with a wooden spoon, heat until thickened and the mixture coats the spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook. To test, run a finger across the back of the spoon; it should leave a trail. Immediately transfer to a shallow serving bowl, set aside to cool a little, then cover and refrigerate to chill.

To make the meringues, in a large saute pan or deep-frying pan, pour in water to a depth of 1-inch and bring to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, in a large, clean, dry bowl, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Using a balloon whisk, beat until stiff peaks form. While continuing to whisk, gradually add half of the sugar, a little at a time, until the whites are glossy and stand in peaks. Using a large spoon fold in the remaining sugar, a little at a time. The meringue should remain glossy and stand in peaks. Cover a baking pan with paper towels. Using a serving spoon and forming one at a time, scoop up oval mounds of meringue and float them in the simmering water. Poach, turning once, about 45 seconds on each side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meringues to the prepared pan to drain. Repeat with the rest of the meringue. Transfer to a plate, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. To serve, spoon the custard into shallow dessert bowls or deep dessert plates and float 2 or 3 meringues on each custard. Sprinkle each meringue with a little cocoa powder and cinnamon.

Well I hope I have inspired you to try something different for your Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday!

Enjoy!

Amanda 🙂

 
 

Thanksgiving Menu

Hello everyone,

Here’s part of the menu I have been working on. I’m sorry I am late in posting this… I have been having a lot of headaches, so I am really slooowww!!!

Salad with Fried Goat Cheese in Parmesan Cheese Cups:

Ok to this one there isn’t really any recipe, I’ll just write down how I made this..

First you make the parmesan cheese cups; In a small 6-inch non-stick skillet put a small layer of parmesan cheese in bottom of pan. Let cheese get crispy around the edges. (It took me a couple of times the first time I made these to get them to look right). Flip cheese over with a small spatula, flatten it out, then lay cheese over a lightly greased bowl, let dry. The cheese will need a couple of hours to dry out and get crispy. Next put some salad greens in cups, and toss in some capers, and dried sweetened cranberries. To make vinaigrette, put 1 tbsp. stone ground mustard in a bowl add 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp. grapeseed oil, salt and pepper to taste; blend well. For fried goat cheese rounds, use firm round goat cheese. Coat each side with panko breadcrumbs, fry in hot oil on both sides, until crispy; about 1 minute per side. Place on top of each salad. Lightly drizzle each salad with vinaigrette. Serve at once.

Parmesan Cheese Rolls:

1-1/3 cups sour milk (110-130 degrees)

1 stick unsalted butter 4 oz., melted

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. active dry yeast

3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

In a mixing bowl (again I just use my Kitchenaide to mix my dough) with paddle attachment lightly beat milk, butter, salt yeast, and cheese together. Add flour and mix with dough hook until you get a sticky soft dough, about 5 minutes. Turn dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let raise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Lightly grease a 9-inch round or square baking pan, and roll dough into balls to fit pan. Let raise again until almost doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. In the last 5 minutes of baking sprinkle tops with more parmesan cheese. These are so tasty with just some butter!!!

Broccoli Gratin:

1 bunch broccoli, 1-1/4 lbs. cut into flowerets and peel and cut up the stalks.

2 cups whole milk

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 panko bread crumbs

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli until just crisp tender. Lay out onto paper towels to cool and get dry; about 15 minutes. For sauce melt butter in a medium saucepan and flour and cook for 1 minute over medium-low heat, stirring constantly; do let it become brown. Add milk and whisk slowly until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add cheese, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix sauce with broccoli, put into a 9-inch square baking dish. Combine panko breadcrumbs and cheese, place on top of broccoli, and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are bubbling and topping is brown.

I’ll try to get the other 2 recipes posted tomorrow night. I have 2 dr apts tomorrow and who know’s  what they will say. I don’t have any cakes this week!! YES!! I was going to make the Birthday mission cake this week, but one other baker wanted to make it, so I am off the hook. I get to rest this week!! I have 6 sheet cakes  to get done for next week so not too much resting will be going on!!!

I am looking forward to going to TF for Thanksgiving, I don’t know where we will be eating at or with. It will be nice to get away from here and not have to cook for my family.

Well I better go for now.. I need to sleep..

Until next time everyone!

Amanda 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2010 in Breads, Salads, Side Dishes, Thanksgiving Menu

 

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Hello Everyone,

Here’s a recipe on mine that was published in last years Taste of the Holidays from our local newspaper.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cup packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. each-ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

In a small microawavable bowl, cover the cranberries with water and cook for 4-5 minutes; drain and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpking and spices; mix well (mixture may appear curdled). Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; add to pumpkin mixture, beating on low-speed just until moistened. Fold in the nuts and cranberries. Pour into 2 greased 9x5x2-inch loaf pans and bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then cool completely before slicing.

Friday went really well at Ronald McDonald house. I made toffee bars that were topped with melted chocolate and pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese frosting.  I got an email yesterday from the director of the place and she said they were wonderful! Everyone who tasted them said they were really good, and she said keep those recipes in the files to make again!!! I’m happy this time went better than my last visit. 🙂

I dropped off the cake to my step-mom on Friday later that day and had a really good visit with her. They seem to be doing ok there..

I am still working on posting my Thanksgiving menu. We had some sink problems yesterday. Well it was like this, I was in a pissy mood all day and when Ray asked me if I was alright I said NO. He’s say what’s wrong? I said I am sick and tired of hearing that kitchen faucet dripping all the time!!! He did try to tighten the faucet on top, but that did not help. So, I said well then I am going to call the landlord and see if they will send someone to fix it! That got Ray motivated and he went and bought a brand new faucet and replaced the old one! Sometimes, all I have to do is say I’m going to call the landlord or start doing something myself, then Ray will jump in and get it done. It works most of the time not always…  All weekend he’s been going through old newspapers, because I said there is an old smell coming from his office. EWWWW!!! I try to be patient with him as much as I can, he does work a lot and takes care of all my pills ect.. Sometimes I just get tired of waiting on him to get thing’s done. We need to exercise, my Dr. was really upset with some of the weight I have gained. I said it’s water weight from the steroids! Well maybe not all of it is, but who knows… We are looking at joining the Y that’s just down the road from us. I don’t know what I will be able to do there, at least I won’t be the only fat person people will be looking at!! I know the exercise will help. Before I had to stop working, I belonged to gym that’s just for women and I loved it. I loved the energy I got from working out. So I hope with Ray and I both going we will have more energy plus lose the weight.. My weight has been a life long war with me. I grew up with my family teasing me all the time about what I ate and how I looked. I also got it from kids at school. I don’t what was worse the teasing at home or at school.. Home was the worst.. I should have felt safe at home and loved, but I never felt that at home.. It’s only been since I have been with Ray that I have felt like someone truly loved me for who I am and isn’t trying to make me into something I’m not. I guess you can tell I’m venting right now…

I am cooking up my Thanksgiving menu up today. Here’s what I am making, roasted duck with parsnips, spinach risotto, broccoli gratin, spring herb salad in parmesan cheese cups topped with fried goat cheese rounds, and orange floating islands. I have already made the parmesan cheese rolls. I know this isn’t the traditional Thanksgiving menu, I love making different thing’s. My family only ever want’s the same thing every year. I am thinking of roasting a goose for Christmas. I have never tried goose before, I think it would be a nice change..

Well I better go for now, I need to get cooking!!!

Until next time!!!

Amanda 🙂

 

Bacon Blueberry Scones

Hello Everyone,

Here’s one of Ray’s favorite’s he loves bacon and blueberries!!

Bacon Blueberry Scones:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. light brown sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

3/4 cup cold buttermilk

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries *

6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 large egg

1 tbsp. buttermilk

Course sugar for sprinkling the tops

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredient’s. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk and oil; add to crumb mixture just until moistened. Stir in blueberries and bacon. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly about 10 times. Pat into a 8-inch circle. Cut into eight wedges. Separate wedges and place on a greased baking sheet. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and buttermilk, brush over scones. Sprinkle with course sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with honey butter! If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw before adding to the batter.

Ray had today off for Veteran’s day, he ran some errands and I just cleaned house.. Boy am I tired right now!! I am decorating a cake tonight for my step-mom’s birthday. It’s the first time I have made one for her, my dad and her have been married for about 5-6 years. They are very happy together.. I’m glad to see that!! I made her a chocolate cake with a strawberry filling, and chocolate frosting. I decided to make some chocolate roses and leaves for the top, I hope she likes it. My dad drives truck and is gone a lot, I hope he can get a job closer to home someday. I just talked to him and he clear across the USA from us! Wow he drives along ways from home!!

This weekend I will be posting my Thanksgiving menu. I hope you’re enjoying the recipes I have been posting. I am always coming up with something different.

Until next time everyone!!

Amanda 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2010 in Breads, Breakfast

 

Shrimp Cocktail with Christmas Dip

Hello Everyone,

Here’s another recipe I made last year, it’s wonderful!!! 🙂

Shrimp Cocktail with Christmas Dip

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup fresh flat leave Italian parsley

1/4 cup fresh basil

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 cup plain yogurt

4 small avocados peeled, pitted & coarsely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 small jar pimentos, drained

32 medium cooked and peeled frozen shrimp, defrosted & patted dry

In a food processor, combine garlic, parley, basil, and lemon juice and pulse several times to chop. Add yogurt, avocados, salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth, stir in the pimentoes (do not puree them in.) Scrape into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve with the shrimp for dipping.

Earlier today when I picked up the newspaper, they finally had the Taste of the Holidays publication out. I had submitted about 25 recipes. It’s to win a drawing for a $250 gift card. I don’t know who won the gift card yet, but they published 14 of my recipes! I was so excited. They couldn’t publish all of them due to printing space and all the other great recipes people sent in from around the area. Some of them look really good and I want to try some of them out!!!

Tonight we had an Angel Cakes dinner for all the bakers. We had a lady come from one of our charity partners speak tonight.  She spoke about much the residents love the cakes the bakers make for them, she read us about 12 letters from the resident’s and we all had tears in our eyes! It’s make us feel so good to hear from the people we bake cakes for. I know sometimes some of us ME!! Get discouraged and wonder why we even do this when we don’t hear thank you or get thank you cards. It’s great that a lot of us were able to get together and hear each other stories and from the charity partner. It helps us to remember why we make all the cakes! We are making about 40 cakes a month right now, and we are getting requests from other people wanting us to bake for them. We need more bakers through before we can take any more charity partners. I hope we get drum up some more help soon!!! We all had a really good time tonight! I was very happy to be able to make it. Even Ray came with me and helped out a lot! I couldn’t make all these cakes without him!!! LOVE him a lot!! 🙂

Well that’s all I have for tonight, I am very tired. Cleaned a lot today…

Night all…

Amanda 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2010 in Appetizers