Tag Archives: recipe

Tiramisu

12 Sep

This recipe I developed over LOTS of expensive trial and error, and I have lost and refound it several times. I’m finally getting it online so I never lose it again. This is a yummy not-too-complex tiramisu recipe. I hope you enjoy it!! Be sure to read the entire recipe before starting!

TIRAMISU

INGREDIENTS:

6 egg yolks
¾ cup white sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 pints heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract [pure vanilla, not imitation]
1 pound mascarpone cheese [next to the ricotta in the grocery store]
A pot of strong brewed coffee, room temperature
Bailey’s Irish Cream
2 (3 oz each) packages of ladyfinger cookies [Stella Doro- Margherite, in the cookie aisle]
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
A large pan, 7 x 11 inches ( a large lasagna pan)
Electric mixer

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for one minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator for one hour. This will make custard.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream with vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. [Use a hand mixer/ electric beater] Set whipped cream mixture aside.
  3. Whisk mascarpone into custard mixture until smooth. [Use hand mixer/electric beater]
  4. In a small bowl, combine some of the coffee and Bailey’s. The mixture should be a little more coffee than Bailey’s, but it is to taste. [I pour the mixture onto a large plate with a lip.]
  5. Dip both sides of each cookie in the mixture. DO NOT let the cookie get too soggy- it will soak up the coffee quickly. As you dip each cookie, arrange in the bottom of a 7 x 11 inch dish. [A large lasagna pan]
  6. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Get these layers as thin as possible, which is difficult. It helps to spoon each mixture into its own Ziploc baggie and cut the corner, and use it as a pastry bag.
  7. Sprinkle the first whipped cream layer with cocoa. Repeat another layer of coffee soaked ladyfinger cookies, mascarpone mixture, and whipped cream and sprinkle the top with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Serve cold.

Remember!! Tiramisu is best 48 hours after it is prepared. This allows the flavors to soak together. Make it at least 24 hours before you plan on serving, it will taste weird if you eat it before it sets for 24 hours.

Cola Chicken in Crockpot

5 Sep
This is a good recipe; it’s in a crock pot/slow cooker, it’s gluten-free and it’s chicken.
Here’s the recipe:
Cola Chicken
This made two large servings.
Ingredients:
5 chicken breast fillets (small, boneless, skinless.)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup rootbeer (or any dark soda, like Coke, Pepsi, or diet will work. I used rootbeer so it would be caffeine free.)
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tbsp butter
cooking spray
Directions:
In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup, rootbeer, and chopped onions.
Spray the inside of the crock pot with cooking spray (I used olive oil cooking spray) and put the butter at the bottom.
Place the chicken in, as spread out as possible.
Pour the sauce over the chicken, and put the lid on.
Place the crock pot on high and cook for 4 hours. (It’s done after three. ) When the chicken is first cooking the sauce seems too thin. However, after it cooks for about three hours it will thicken properly.

Serve hot and enjoy! 😀

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Butterbeer Recipe

4 Sep
For the premiere of the last Harry Potter movie, I finally found a decent butterbeer recipe. This recipe does include alcohol (and you can get drunk like Winky off of it). In the series butterbeer is usually warm, but my final choice was a cold variety. I liked how this recipe was simple and didn’t involve any cooking, or too many ingredients.
Here’s the recipe:
1 shot vanilla vodka
2 or 3 shots of butterscotch schnapps (preference)
1 cup of cream soda
Pour the ingredients in a glass mug, stir and serve.
*please know that butterbeer is very sweet!

Winky the house elf

Some butterbeer passages; for background 😀

First passage with butterbeer:

“Harry and Hermione made their way to the back of the room, where there was a small, vacant table between the window and a handsome Christmas tree, which stood next to the fireplace. Ron came back five minutes later, carrying three foaming tankards of hot butterbeer.
‘Merry Christmas!’ he said happily, raising his tankard.
Harry drank deeply. It was the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted and seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside.”

[page 201, Prisoner of Azkaban, American edition.]

Winky’s depressed scene (part):

“Winky’s eyelids drooped and suddenly, without warning, she slid off her stool into the hearth, snoring loudly. The empty bottle of butterbeer rolled away across the stone-flagged floor. Half a dozen house-elves came hurrying forward, looking disgusted. One of the picked up the bottle; the others covered Winky with a large checked tablecloth and tucked the ends in neatly, hiding her from view.
‘We is sorry you had to see that, sirs and miss!’ squeaked a nearby elf, shaking his head and looking very ashamed. ‘We is hoping you will not judge us all by Winky, sirs and miss!’
‘She’s unhappy!’ said Hermione, exasperated. ‘Why don’t you try and cheer her up instead of covering her up?'”

[page 538, Goblet of Fire, American edition]

Spaghetti squash, sweet potato fries.

15 May
Apparently, I can blog from my iPhone -.-. I’m going to try blogging shorter posts to try and start writing again. so here goes.
some stuff ive made recently 🙂
I tried spaghetti squash. I would consider it kind of a failure but it was still ok.
I boiled it until soft, about 30 minutes. Scooped out the seeds, shredded out the rest with a fork. I tossed it with a marinara sauce.
What I learned: Drain the shredded “spaghetti” before you use it. It tasted good otherwise. I might try again in a week.
I made a Santa fe turkey sandwich:
Turkey bacon, sliced turkey, cheese, roasted red peppers, lettuce, tomato slice, and chipotle mayo [I think Kraft sells a pre-made one] on a hoagie roll. Pretty good if you’re in the mood for something different.
Served with sweet potato fries, which are awesome! [and orange].  The ones I used were by Ortega and they’re really good. I made them once from sweet potatoes myself but they didn’t turn out nearly as well.
Aaand a BLT with egg.  always excellent.

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Vegetarian Chili

20 Mar
Another chili post! This time its gluten free, vegetarian chili. and its excellent. I’m not eating any meat for lent, so I need something easy to reheat when the rest of the household is having meat. Chili is my answer 🙂
Ingredients:
Cans: (make sure that these are plain and do not have seasoning or salt added)
-large can of light red kidney beans (drained), 2 small cans of cannellini beans (drained), 1 small can black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 large can whole tomatoes (do not drain), 1 large can crushed tomatoes (do not drain), 1 teeny can of tomato paste, 1 small can corn (drained).
Fresh:
-3 large green bell peppers, 1 large red  bell pepper, 4 hot banana peppers (you need these to balance out the sweetness!),  1 sweet onion, 1 package mushrooms (sliced)
Other:
-1/2 stick of unsalted butter, garlic powder (or crushed garlic if you prefer), several tablespoons white sugar
In my last chili post, I explained my process, but here it is simplified.
I add all the canned goods into a giant pot (with a fitted lid). I chop up the veggies (coarsely), and add them. I turn the heat on medium and stir. I add a cup of water, a half stick of butter, garlic powder, and a decent bit of sugar (a few big spoonfuls.) Stir it up, put on the lid, turn the heat down to low (shouldn’t be boiling.)  Stir every ten-fifteen minutes for about 3 hours. If the chili is too watery for your tastes after an hour or two, you can leave the lid off for awhile so that some liquid evaporates. And enjoy :).
I imagine that if you used a (rather large) crock pot you wouldn’t have to stir so frequently. But my dad used a pot so that’s what I do (and I don’t have a crock pot large enough). Also, I am very against chili seasoning/ powder, etc. It tastes fake fake fake.  Please do not use it, you don’t have to, and its better without.
Generally, I don’t like corn in chili, but I think it worked well in this vegetarian version.

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Meatloaf for Picky Eaters

16 Feb
Meatloaf looks gross, there’s no getting around that. But this meatloaf is not only gluten-free, its healthier (it uses ground turkey meat), and GOOD. My picky eater loves it. Which is weird. There are very few meals that I can repeat once a week.
Ingredients:
– 1.2 lbs ground turkey meat (I suppose you can substitute ground beef if you really need to. ;))
– about 1.5 cups cooked rice
– 1 egg
– 2 tbsp ketchup
– 1/2 cup chopped onion
– 2 tbsp sugar OR 3 tbsp molasses. (I normally prefer molasses. Turkey when cooked is whiter than ground meat, molasses darkens it. And it makes a pretty awesome glaze on top. But in the batch featured I used sugar)
– dash of pepper

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350*F. Mix all of the ingredients together in a largish bowl. It looks gross. I refuse to show my picky eater this step, in fear of refusal to eat the result.

Mixed Together....yummmmm hahaa

Put the mixture into a loaf pan. Shape/smooth it the best you can with the spoon/spatula. Place in oven, uncovered*** for about 45 minutes.
***Covered in foil if you used molasses. Take off the foil for the last 15 minutes, and drizzle a spoonful of molasses on top for a glaze.

In the Oven

Take out, let sit for about 3 minutes. Cut and serve :). We like ketchup on ours, but honestly this recipe is sweet enough so that you don’t need it.
I use the same basic mixture for my meatballs, as well. Substitute the ketchup for whatever marinara sauce you want, and throw in some Italian seasoning. Roll into balls. Smother in marinara sauce.  Bake covered for the same time and temperature.

Slice & Serve

P.S. I apologize for my blurry pictures! I had to use a phone camera for these.

Experiment on Cream Puffs

12 Feb
I’ve been trying to make cream puffs, which a friend introduced me to. She saw them in this Japanese drama that was based on a manga, “Absolute Boyfriend.” She got me hooked on the show and wanting to try to make cream puffs (which were featured in the show).  I’ve never made pastries before this. Turns out, they’re actually a bit complicated to make and pretty sensitive (DO NOT open the oven while these are baking!). My first batch was on Wednesday night. They didn’t rise, I suspect because there was too much butter/egg in the recipe. So they ended up looking like small, flat cookie disks. Fail. I also made custard filling on Wednesday, which I wasn’t a fan of.
On Thursday, I resiliently bought more butter and looked up another, more complex recipe. It worked! They rose! I was seriously pumped. They were darling little puffballs. I did have a few technical mistakes and preferences that I hope to correct in my next batch. I think that the dough could’ve used more sugar, and more time in the oven drying out. (After they finish baking, you cut a small hole in the bottom of each one and put them back in the oven for about 20 minutes to dry out the inside of the pastry.) I would really really like a pastry bag to make filling these little pastries simpler. I had to cut my darling little puffballs in half to get the custard inside. And lastly, I really don’t think I am a fan of custard, and neither is my picky eater. I looked up another recipe Thursday night, and I tried it. And I’m not a fan of custard that other people make… I don’t know why I thought I’d be a fan of custard that I made. For a pastry, it seems like it’s just too heavy. I’d like to try folding in some homemade whipped cream into the second recipe that I tried, or even just making a vanilla cream filling.
Click Me! <- This is the blog that I took the second recipe from, both for the dough and the custard.
Overall, I am pretty proud of myself, knowing that I am capable of making awesome pastries (even if it’s only one kind as of now). And I am proud that I didn’t get frustrated with myself and quit after my first night of trying.

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Game Day Food!

7 Feb
Today is the Superbowl!! Being from the ‘Burgh, obviously I am rooting for the Steelers. Regardless of who you are rooting for, or even what sport you watch, there is usually game day food.
Chips, dips, pop, jalapeño poppers, chili, burgers, hot dogs, veggie trays, and tacos. To name a few. Today, my plan is reubens for the first two quarters, and sautéed shrimp for the second two.
Reubens are something relatively new to me, and I only recently started making them at home. But I’ve grown used to my process, and these sandwiches have become such a go-to meal at home that I thought I’d share it with you.
The essentials: rye bread (I use Pepperidge Farm’s seedless rye), sauerkraut (I prefer Bavarian sweet), thousand island dressing, swiss cheese and corned beef.
Ask your deli for the corned beef, and ask them to slice it very thin.
I use the griddle for mine, but you can use two skillets if you’d like.

Makes 2 reubens.

1) Spray one of the skillets with some non-stick spray. Drain the can of sauerkraut. Spread a bit more than half of the can as thinly as possible into the pan, and cook on medium/low heat. Use a spatula to flip/stir until it is throughly heated.
2) Butter one side of two slices of bread. Put them in the other skillet (at medium heat), butter side down. Put a slice of swiss cheese on top of each slice.
3) When the cheese starts to melt,  squirt some thousand island dressing on top of the cheese. Then put the sauerkraut on top of the dressing (spread over the whole piece of bread).
4) Next put a few slices of corned beef on top of the sauerkraut. Depends on how much meat you want, but I tend to only put two slices on.
5) Place one more slice of swiss cheese on top of the meat.
6) Butter one side of two more slices of bread. Place them on top of the sandwiches, butter side up.
7) Using a fork and a spatula, flip the whole sandwich to toast the other side. This is messy and hilarious. Be careful.
8 ) Toast for about 5-7 more minutes, and then cut the sandwiches in half and serve.
For reference, here’s how the layers “should” go on the sandwich: Bread, cheese, thousand island dressing, sauerkraut, corned beef, cheese, bread.

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After making these a few times, I discovered that I prefer yellow american cheese on my reuben. But my picky eater still prefers the swiss. And I prefer to “brown” my sauerkraut just a bit. So once you get the process down, experiment some. Reubens are really surprisingly good when made at home.

The Very Best Kind of Recipes

29 Jan
Have you ever tried to get a to-die-for recipe off of a family member, and they just sort of listed ingredients at you? With some recipes, the instructions and ingredients are basically, “do it until it seems right.”
These recipes are the very best kind of recipes.
My Dad’s chili (in the previous post), my meatloaf, and most of my holiday recipes are like this. These recipes tend to be the ones that were passed on from family member to family member, and altered with each person.
These guess-and-check recipes are ones that stick with us, and that we can alter to our own tastes. BUT they can be quite frustrating for a new cook.
As I am attempting to write my cookbook, I am finding that I have to measure out exactly how much of what I put into my meals. Which is a pain. But eventually, hopefully, someone will be able to use that and make it their own. I am searching for this kind of recipe to experiment on, and hopefully fill my cookbook with. Thanks to technology, there are videos of people making food like this all over the internet. And you can kind of judge how much of what to put in by watching.
Do you have any of these kinds of recipes? Please do share.

My Ultimate Comfort Food

27 Jan
It’s winter time. It is bitter cold, windy, icy, gray, and miserable outside. Not to mention that this semester has been really difficult for me. I’m feeling comfort food.
My favorites are grilled cheese, mashed potatoes, and chili. My Dad only makes two meals. Pasta or chili. His chili is phenomenal. It only took a few months after I left home to call him and beg him for his spicy yet sweet recipe. Not surprisingly, his recipe was, “throw in this, that, and a stick of butter.”
Everyone has their own way of making chili. Mine is to throw the canned goods into the pot on med-low heat, chop up the veggies, throw them in, and brown the meat and toss it in.
Theres not exact measurements, because I guess and check like my Dad does. But here’s a list of ingredients for chili, Pittsburgh style 😀
-Green peppers, banana peppers, small sliced mushrooms, a sweet onion
-a HUGE can of kidney beans and a small can of black beans
-canned, undrained: whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste (splurge on the good stuff, not the generic. its worth it.)
-ground turkey meat (about a poundish?)
-at least two tablespoons of white sugar
-half a stick of butter. real unsalted butter, not margarine.
-about a half cup of water
and that’s about it. toss it in a big pot together, let it cook on med-low for about 3 hours. Stir it a lot, because it will burn if you don’t.
Every time I eat a bowl of this it reminds me of when I was younger- when snow was magical and not ominous,  when Dad would blast hippie records on his record player, and when I didn’t have pounds of homework every night.
Are there any dishes you gravitate towards in the winter? Any family recipes you would love to perfect?