March 26, 2007

Bakery Frosting

I'm not sure I agree with the Bakery Frosting name, but I didn't name it and I'm just going to keep it. I grew up eating this kind of frosting on a red velvet cake and have not used it on any other kind... yet. I do plan on using it for cupcakes next week.

Bakery Frosting

2 T cornstarch
1 c sugar
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c butter
dash of salt
1 t vanilla

Mix together the cornstarch and 1 t sugar in a saucepan. Add milk and stir smooth. Turn on the heat and cook over medium until thick, less than 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Beat the shortening, butter and sugar in a bowl for about 10 minutes until very fluffy and light. Add the cooled cornstarch mixture, salt and vanilla. Beat 2-3 minutes more. Use to frost a 2 layer cake.Print Friendly and PDF

March 22, 2007

Peep.... Peep.... Peep - Homemade Peeps

Marshmallow Peeps "Peepz"
by C.I.A. Chef Francisco Migoya

Yields about 36 pieces


¾ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
½ cup corn starch, sifted
2 packets (¼ ounce each) powdered gelatin, about 2 tablespoons
½ cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup water
9 large egg whites, at room temperature
Your favorite food coloring, as needed
Flavor extract to taste, optional

Sugar topping:
1 cup granulated sugar combined with food coloring, as needed

¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted


Line 2 sheet pans with parchment or waxed paper. In a small mixing bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and corn starch. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift a moderate coating of the powdered mixture over the prepared sheet pans; reserve for later use.

Prepare the gelatin: In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the ½ cup cold water; stir to break up any clumps. Let the gelatin soften; reserve for later use.

In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepot with deep sides, combine the 2 cups of granulated sugar, the light corn syrup, and the 2/3 cup water. Stir the mixture until well blended. Attach the candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and begin to cook the sugar mixture over high heat.

Meanwhile, place the egg whites into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. When the sugar mixture reaches 250°F, begin to whip the egg whites on medium speed to attain medium peaks.

Once the sugar mixture reaches 311° F, remove the pan from the heat and increase the speed of the mixer to high.

While the egg whites whip to form stiff peaks, add a generous spoonful of the prepared gelatin to the saucepot and stir vigorously, but cautiously, with a wire whisk. Be careful, the mixture will bubble up and increase in volume when the gelatin is added. Once the sugar/gelatin mixture is well incorporated and the bubbling has subsided, add the remaining gelatin and whisk until well blended.

Lower the speed of the mixer to medium, and begin to pour the sugar/gelatin syrup in a slow, steady stream down the side of the mixer into the egg whites. When all of the sugar/gelatin syrup has been added, increase the speed of the mixer to high and continue whipping until the mixture cools to room temperature.

Once cooled, reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add enough food coloring to obtain desired color. Add optional flavor extract to taste.

Place a portion of the marshmallow mixture in a piping bag fitted with a large, plain tip and pipe chick shapes onto the prepared sheet pans. Immediately after piping, sprinkle the chicks with a moderate coating of the colored sugar; reserve remaining sugar for later use.

Allow the marshmallow chicks to set at least 2 hours. Once set, use the tip of a toothpick to paint on the chick eyes with the melted chocolate; allow the chocolate to set.

Remove the chicks from the sheet pans. Dip the bottoms of the chicks into the reserved sugar topping. Store the chicks in a dry, airtight container and they will remain fresh for approximately 2 weeks.Print Friendly and PDF

March 21, 2007

If You Give a Mom A Muffin

If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
The coffee will get spilled by her three year old.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she will find some dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do some laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
she'll trip over some snow boots and bump into the
Bumping into the freezer will remind her that she
has to plan supper for tonight.
She will get out a pound of hamburger. She'll look for her cookbook. (101Things to Make With a Pound of Hamburger.)
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped
out by her two year old.
She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two year old.
While she is changing the two year old the phone
will ring. (Of course!) Her five year old will answer it and hang up.
She remembers that she wants to phone a friend to
come over for coffee on Friday.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was
going to have a cup.
She will pour herself some.
And chances are,
If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.Print Friendly and PDF

March 17, 2007

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

I've never liked peanut butter cookies, not even as a child. The taste of 'cooked' peanut butter has never appealed to me. I also don't like chocolate, so what do I know? These bars are loved by pretty much everyone who comes into contact with them. The only way I personally eat them is to leave the chocolate chips off a quarter of the pan, and double the icing on that part. Those are the ones I eat. My family loves chocolate so they eat the rest. I suggest you just make them as written and gobble them up.

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

1/2 c butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1 t vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 c quick-cooking oats
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 c (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1 c powdered (icing) sugar
1/4 c creamy peanut butter
1/4 c milk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13 X 9" baking dish and set aside.

Cream butter, sugars and peanut butter. Add egg and vanilla. Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Spread into prepared pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 30 minutes.

Combine icing ingredients and spread or drizzle over bars.Print Friendly and PDF

March 15, 2007

Pizza Burgers

I was reading a recipe board and someone mentioned they used to make something called "Pizza Burgers". Instantly I remembered my childhood elementary school because they not only served us Pizza Burgers, but I bet they were the worlds BEST Pizza Burgers! Unfortuneatly I have no idea how they made them and my memory is fuzzy. I know they were quick and easy - with few ingredients. I found about 12 recipes online and 'mixed and matched' to get this one.

Pizza Burgers

1 pound of cooked ground beef, drained
1 can (12 ounces) Spam
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 jar (12 ounces) pizza sauce
hamburger buns - about 3 whole for 6 singles
American Cheese or mozzarella to top

Oven - 350 degrees. Combine beef and Spam and grind up in food processor in batches if you need to. Add cheese and pizza sauce. Spread mixture onto bun halves. Bake open-faced 15 to 20 minutes. Top with American cheese or shredded mozzarella for the last 5 minutes. Serve with sliced dill pickles.Print Friendly and PDF

Quick Fried Rice

Quick Fried Rice

Not as good as my other fried rice recipe made with marinated tofu, but it's a quick fix when you love fried rice as much as I do!

1 1/2 tablespoons oil
3 cups leftover cooked rice
1/2 to 1 cup leftover meat or seafood
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 - 1/2 c frozen peas
2 eggs
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 - 1 teaspoon sugar

Heat oil in skillet on stove over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add meat, green onions and ginger.

Push rice mixture to side. Break eggs into middle of skillet and scramble. Stir into rice mixture. Add soy sauce and sugar. Stir in peas. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Print Friendly and PDF

March 13, 2007

Cut Out Cookies for Easter

Admittedly, with my crazy work schedule I've not made as many everyday cookies as I used to. I also don't decorate them as I typically have. But no matter how busy I've been I still make sure the holiday cookies come though!

Easter is going to sneak up on us this year, I just know it. So to prepare, I've bought the bunny candy for the baskets, the egg dye is purchased and the cookies (undecorated) are now made. On a Saturday or Sunday I'll take them out of the freezer and decorate them when I have more time. This time I tried a different recipe. This one calls for more eggs than the 'average' recipe does. I liked it well enough to share it with you. Enjoy... and get those Easter cookies made!

Sugar Cookies (or Cut Out Cookies)

1.5 c butter, soft
2 c white sugar
1 c powdered sugar
4 eggs
2 t vanilla
5 c flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt

Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. Cover and chill dough for an hour or up to as long as overnight. Preheat oven to 400. Roll dough on lightly floured surface. Cut. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6-7 minutes for a semi chewy cookie and 8-9 for a more crisp. Cool completely. Can be frozen after cooling until you want to decorate at a later time.Print Friendly and PDF

March 04, 2007

Southern BBQ

One of the many things I miss about living in the South is the ability to get some good old fashioned Southern BBQ.

How you make BBQ differs in the region of the country you live in, but it even differs state to state and sometimes even city to city. Up North where we currently live they don't seem to think bbq is bbq without a tomato product in it. I love a sweet sticky BBQ rib as much as the next person but I do love my 'pulled pork' bbq that is made with nary a tomato product in it. Reminds me of when we lived in Tennessee and the best BBQ you could find would be in a beat up old shack of a restaurant on the side of the road in a tiny little 900 person town.

This is my own recipe, made up a few years ago when we lived in Minnesota and I was craving it. We are having it tonight so I quickly snapped a picture for the recipe blog.

Southern BBQ Pork Sandwiches

1 pork roast

Cook in a slow cooker or crock pot all day with just salt and pepper seasoned until it's done and so tender you can shred it with 2 large forks. Before shredding drain off most of the liquid but reserve it.


1 c white vinegar
1 c apple cider vinegar
1 T white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar, heaping
1 t liquid smoke
1 T dried red pepper flakes
1 T chipolte powder (I use Penzey's)
1 T yellow mustard or beer mustard

Add to the shredded meat. Add in about a cup of the reserved liquid from cooking.

At this point you can let the whole thing cool down and refrigerate over night or even package it up and put it in the freezer for a later date. The setting time allows the flavor to really set in and it's amazing. However you can serve it right away. I would try to let it cook in the slow cooker for at least an hour or two before serving if I had the chance, but you don' t have to.

Serve on soft buns or rolls with condiments such as dill pickles and mustard with some cole slaw on the side and big glass of sweet tea!Print Friendly and PDF

March 03, 2007

Feta Cheese and Bacon Dip

Feta Cheese Dip

I just made this one up about 10 minutes ago and I'm munching on a few of them right now. Originally I didn't plan to put bacon in this. I was craving the Greek pizza I regularly make and decided to make a dip instead.

After it was done it was delicious, and as I put the remaining feta cheese into the freezer I spied a container of cooked, crumbled bacon. I decided to test it and see what I thought. I liked the first 3 test samples (that 3 bite rule again! LOL) and added it to the recipe. So from my brain to your recipe box I offer you Feta Cheese Dip With or Without Bacon!

8 oz. cream cheese (low fat is fine)
1 c crumbled feta cheese
1/2 c mayonnaise (low fat not ok)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t garlic salt
1/4 t dried oregano

Blend together and if you prefer to add bacon at this point, add 1/4 c of cooked, crumbled and cooled bacon.

Chill at least 2 hours if you have time to blend the flavors. Serve with crusty bread, tiny toasts, crackers or crispy wontons.

Print Friendly and PDF

March 01, 2007

Dump Cake

Traditional dump cake recipes always call for pineapple, which is wonderful for those that like it, but for me and my family I'd rather gag than eat a cake with pineapple in it because yes, I can taste it, and no, I don't like it. This one has no pineapple. *wink*

Preheat your oven to 375.
In a 9 X 13" pan dump a can of cherry pie filling.
Dump a dry white or yellow cake mix over it.
Pour 1 c melted butter over all.
In a bowl mix 3/4 c brown sugar with 3/4 c oatmeal.
Sprinkle this over the butter.
Bake 50-60 minutes until done.Print Friendly and PDF

Crab Rangoons

Crab Rangoon

1 pkg. wonton wrappers
1 pkg. cream cheese
2 green onions, chopped small
1/2 - 1 c imitation crab, chopped
1 T garlic powder
1/4 c red pepper, chopped fine *optional*

In a bowl soften the cream cheese in the microwave, add the onions, crab and garlic powder. Because my kids like to go 'heavy' on the cream cheese and 'light' on the crab and onions I only use about 1/2 c of imitation crab, but you can use up to a cup if you really like it that way! Put one spoonful of the mixture onto a wrapper, dip your finger in a cup or bowl of water and wet the edges of the wonton wrapper, then fold in half to seal. Deep fry in 1-2 inches of hot oil and drain on paper towels. Serve with a yummy plum or 'duck' sauce.

*** My kids all-time-favorite is to only use cream cheese and wonton wrappers and seal and fry. We just call them "cream cheese wontons".Print Friendly and PDF