Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rainbow Cake

Yellow cake batter+food dye= rainbow cake

You divide the batter into seven (six?) parts and dye each bit a different color. Then, you pour the batter, one color at a time, rainbow order, into the middle of the pan. Bake it and you get:

Gorgeous, and it doesn't taste half bad either ;). Little kids really love it, and it's very fun to make.

Rainbow crumbs.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sunday Macaroni and Cheese

Alright, so I didn't really make this one either, my grandma did, but hey, I grated the cheese!
Fresh beet greens

This mac and cheese recipe is a favorite in the family, everyone enjoys it. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Blueberry Pie! (possibly the best I've ever had)

Oh blueberries...why must you tempt me to eat so many of you?

Okay, so technically, I didn't make this blueberry pie all myself. It was mostly the work of my father, who is the main pie lover in the house. I mostly helped when he needed it, and snapped pictures with the newly discovered food mode on the Nikon. So we made this recipe out of The Joy of Cooking.

You'll probably notice that the lattice is a bit messed up. That's because the crust recipe was very difficult to work with. I don't know if it was a fault of our own, or the recipe, but the dough was very moist and sticky. It had a hard time coming of the wax paper, even with flour. But, it all worked out in the end.

Mmmm-mmm. That is one deee-licious pie. Somehow, the crust was delicious. It was very melt-in-your-mouthy and crumbly. It wasn't flaky, but hey, not all pie crusts need to be. I have to admit, it was pure agony waiting for that pie to cool down. Ohh, gazing into the eyes of pure, golden brown, berry-licious heaven *slurp* and being denied is not easy. But, it is a special torture reserved for those who make pie, and it must be accepted. It was finally enjoyed while watching a Dr. Who. 

Blueberry Pie with a weird and hard to work with but delicious crust
From the Joy of Cooking

Flaky Pastry Dough

Using a rubber spatula, thoroughly mix in a large bowl:

2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of white sugar OR 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of solid vegetable shortening OR 1/2 a cup of shortening and 8 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter

Break the shortening into large chunks, or if using butter, cut into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture. Cut the fat into the dry ingredients by chopping vigorously with a pastry blender or two knives. Scrape the bowl periodically. When done, some of the fat should be in pea-sized pieces, the rest should be reduced to crumbs. It should seem dry and powdery NOT pasty or greasy. Drizzle over the flour and fat mixture:

1/3 cup+1 tbs ice water

Using a rubber spatula, cut with the blade side until the mixture looks evenly moistened and starts to make small balls. press down on the dough with the flat side of the spatula, and if the balls stick together, you've added enough water. But if they don't, drizzle over the top:

1-2 tablespoons ice water

Cut in the water using the blade of the spatula then press with your hands until the dough coheres. It should look rough, not smooth. Divide the dough in half, press each half into a round flat disk and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for at least a half hour.

The blueberry bit of the pie

Roll half the dough into a 13-inch round and fit it into a 9 inch pie pan. Trim the overhanging dough to fit. Refrigerate. Roll the other half into a 12-inch round for the top crust and refrigerate it. (That's if you're doing a top crust. If not, cut strips of dough out of the other half and lay across the pie. It's okay if it's not woven, it'll still look nice in the end.)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat to 425.

Combine and let stand for 15 minutes:
5 cups of blueberries
1 cup of sugar
4 tablespoons of cornstarch or quick-cooking tapioca (use cornstarch for a lattice)
1 tbsp fresh strained lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
1/8 tsp salt

Pour the mixture into the bottom crust and dot with 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces.

Cover with the lattice, and seal the edge. If doing a closed top, cut steam vents.

Bake for 30 minutes. Then, slip a baking sheet beneath it and reduce oven temperature to 350. Bake for 25 minutes more. Let cool completely on a rack. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Marshmallows! (a book)

Ooooh. Ahhh. Bask in the glory of marshmallows as presented in Eileen Talanian's Marshmallows. Revel in the beautiful, colorful photography of multicolored squishy treats. Relish the mouthwatering recipes for a myriad of flavors of these sugary delights. Read this book!

I am all amped up to make some marshmallows after checking this book out at the library. I mean seriously, just one look at the toasted coconut marshmallow, and that's all you're gonna be thinking about until you eat one! So, let this be a precursor to a bunch of posts starring these beautiful little guys.

PS: My cupcake shirt arrived today! :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I do believe that I'm on a bit of a cookie bar thing. No. Scratch that. I am on a bit of a cookie bar thing. But who can resist cookie bars? They're portable, cute, come in a billion different flavors, and most of all, they're DELICIOUS! Just take a look.

Okay, so maybe I'm a bit of a copycat, but these bars looked amazing when I viewed them on Pittsburgh Needs Eated. But who could resist their chocolatey-ness? Their cinnamon hints? Their crunch on the outside and chew on the inside? Wow. I'm really starting to repeat myself now. Maybe I should make pudding or something so I don't use that phrase again.

I made these for a camping trip to Nehalem Bay. My friend also made carrot cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes. I know what you're thinking, but remember, calories don't count when you're camping. ;) 

These guys really did have a unique flavor. They obviously had the chocolatey taste, but the teaspoon of cinnamon that caused people to have a thoughtful expression on their face after they took a bite.
"It's the cinnamon," I'd say. 
"Ahhh, I thought there was something different. It's good!"

The tower topples :(

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Nudist Cupcake

A tee shirt ordered off of

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Molasses Crinkles

I made these molasses crinkles for a street-wide garage sale on my street! We sold these for 75 cents a piece, and one dollar with lemonade! Haha. I honestly think that these cookies made more money than any of the other things we tried to sell.

These cookies came from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book. I've made these quite a few times, and they're tried and true favorites in my family. They've got a real crunch on the outside from the sugary shell, but are very soft and chewy on the inside. Hmm...I feel like I've said this before in a previous post. These cookies filled the kitchen with a wonderfully homey aroma, and went quickly down at the sale. I'm glad this recipe makes bunches, so we had some leftover. I know I'll make these cookies again and again, since they're real winners.