Tuesday, June 21, 2011
This year for the PJM Golf Outing, I donated a cookie bouquet from The Cookie Closet. The basket was golf themed of course, with golf balls, golf shirts, golf bags, a green with a flag and of course the PJM logo. My cousin Erin was the lucky ticket holder to bring the bouquet home.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Last week I had my largest cookie order yet. I made 125 sailboat cookies for Christina and Rob's wedding on Friday night. Their color scheme was dark blue and white. I put their monogram and wedding date on each of them then tied them with a navy blue ribbons. I even put a little "K" on the flag. Congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kunec!
Friday, June 17, 2011
About a month ago I made some more "wild" animal cookies for Baby Otte's baby shower. Caitlin F. requested the giraffes, butterflies, and elephants. These little guys are some of my favorite cookies that I have done in the past year, and there are more to come!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
So who doesn't like coffee cake or a breakfast pastry now and then??? Well when I found this recipe I couldn't wait to make it, luckily I found it right before Nicole's pot-luck brunch. I have to tell you Martha Stewart really knows what she is talking about, this cake was amazing and a great recipe for my 100th post!!!! It will be a real crowd pleaser any where you serve it. I followed the recipe almost exactly, I just used extra butter when greasing the cake pan. In the end I was really glad I did because it wasn't entirely easy to get out of the pan. Besides that there wasn't anything difficult about this recipe and was relatively quick too. If you served it as a desert I can only imagine what it would taste like with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Martha Stewart Living
For the streusel topping and center:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans
For the cake:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1. Make the streusel topping: Mix together flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small to medium clumps form. Mix in 1/2 cups pecans. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Make the streusel center: Mix together remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup pecans.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter a 9-inch tube pan with removable bottom. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl.
4. Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour. Continue to beat until well combined.
5. Spoon half the batter into pan. Sprinkle streusel center mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter, and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Sprinkle streusel topping mixture evenly over batter.
6. Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Remove cake from pan, and transfer to parchment.
7. Make the glaze: Mix together confectioners' sugar and milk. Drizzle over cake, and let drip down sides. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
I really like risotto... ha, who am I kidding its one of my favs! But the problem with risotto is the constant adding and stirring and the time it takes. As I was looking for quick recipes I came across this one and it is cooked completely in the microwave! I was a little suspect at first but it tasted just as creamy and tasty as making risotto on the stove. I did however need to microwave for an extra 10 minutes to make sure all the liquid was absorbed. I though this recipe turned out to be a very yummy lo-cal option to enjoy risotto.
Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto
1 1/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 (12-ounce) package frozen pureed butternut squash
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Grated fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)
Thyme sprigs (optional)
1. Combine rice and oil in a 1 1/2-quart microwave-safe dish, stirring to coat. Microwave, uncovered, at HIGH 3 minutes.
2. Add broth and 1 cup water to rice; microwave, uncovered, at HIGH 9 minutes. Stir well; microwave, uncovered, at HIGH 6 minutes. Remove from microwave; let stand 5 minutes or until all liquid in absorbed (I ended up doing a total of 15 minutes instead of 5).
3 While risotto stands, heat squash in microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until warm. Add squash, salt, pepper, and cheese to risotto. Stir well to combine. Garnish with additional cheese and thyme sprigs, if desired.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I have been dying to try some brunch recipes, that I have been collecting, and haven't had a chance yet. So a few weeks ago when my friend Nicole hosted a pot-luck brunch I took the opportunity to try two of them (2nd recipe to follow shortly). I love french toast casseroles but sometimes they take a long time to bake and usually need to sit over night. This one was really easy, and only needed to soak for a short time. The recipe suggests to sit while the oven pre-heats but I thought it would taste even better after a couple hours. I basically followed the recipe however, I did end up making a few changes and additions from the original. I changed the bread to French bread to add a little texture and crunch from the crust instead of country white as it called for, I also added a little brown sugar to the egg mixture and some extra butter without melting it to coat the bread. And to enhance the top of the Stratas I used cinnamon and sugar instead of just white sugar. The top was perfect and crispy!
Individual French Toast Stratas
Rachael Ray Everyday Magazine
Makes 12 Individual French Toasts
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
6 tablespoons maple syrup (plus extra for topping, optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
large pinch salt
4 cups cubed (1-inch) French Bread
4 tablespoons room temp butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
Whisk eggs, half-and-half, syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar and salt
Toss bread with butter; divide among 12 muffin cups.
Pour egg mixture over bread; let sit. (I let it sit for about 2 hours).
Sprinkle bread mixture with sugar before putting it into the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Let cool on rack. Serve with more maple syrup, optional.