Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ice Cream Pie

Prepare yourselves, my dears.

Remember that whole one-ingredient ice cream fad? Leslie has one-upped us all. And of course I show this to my husband and over the drooling I think he said something like "make this please!"

So I did.

First, we need a pie crust. For whatever reason I could get to Target, but not the grocery store, so I ended up with nilla wafers upon request rather than a pre-made graham or chocolate crust. Unfortunately for waistlines everywhere, I used this Southern food recipe. I baked it much longer, about 20 minutes, because it wasn't going to go in the oven again.

Then I dropped two bananas and a big scoop of peanut butter into the food processor. Two layers was just a little too much work! Once in ooey-gooey state, I spread it into the pie crust and plunked the whole deal into the freezer.

What's that in the background? Oh yes. No chocolate syrup here. I topped slices with Nutella.

Something about the freezing really brought out the peanut butter flavor. I was a little worried that it wouldn't be peanut-buttery enough. And as an added bonus, nilla wafers seem to be a fairly light alternative!

I think I'm off the hook ever spending $30 on the smallest ice cream cake available at Baskin Robbins.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oven Fries

I try, very hard actually, to eat well. Stick to healthy food, more vegetables than cookies, easy on the meat and carbs.

But we went to BJ's. I had chili, which was good, but other people had fries. French fries!! Rolled in trans fats and dipped in MSG!

As soon as we walked in the door I started chopping potatoes, without any real direction.

I'll guess I cooked these until crispy-looking at 350 degrees. With Lawry's salt and ketchup.

Why don't I make these more often?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Red Lobster Biscuits

Don't laugh.

You've been to Red Lobster. You know these biscuits are probably the very best part of a trip there. Actually, Red Lobster is one of my family's places. There aren't a lot of places to get good seafood there - we're so spoiled here on the coast! And I will not eat something out of the Mississippi River. Just trust me.

Plus, I have a special memory from a dinner there. My grandmother, who by the way is one of the coolest people ever, told me to try one of her crab legs. And I did, even though I wasn't a seafood-eater at all. Thus started an expensive habit.

Anyway, recipes kept popping up everywhere. To the point that I finally gave in.

And, sadly, these didn't cut it for me. But I'm pretty sure it was my fault. I bought this "heart smart" Bisquick the last time, and I don't think it's as good as the real thing. And then I didn't have any oregano (I know!!), so I substituted parsley. Fail, guys. Fail.

I'd try again, and pay better attention to the recipe. But I'll stick to my California seafood.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Baked Potato Eggs

Why didn't we think of this before? I agree. Why didn't we think of this before??

Why baking a potato, hollowing it out, and cracking an egg inside it was suddenly the talk of the day, I'll never know. Such is the case with all the blogs I read. They all seem to get the same brilliant ideas at the same time.

Think of these as a kind of twice baked potato, without the mashed potato filling. I used a recipe from Real Simple, but there's a lot of opportunity here.

Have you ever noticed how enormous the regular white potatoes are? Is that just my neighborhood? I swear each one itself weighs a pound.

Step 1: Bake potato.

Step 2: Hollow out, insert egg. Be careful, and hollow out as much as you can. They're delicate. I don't know about you, but I always buy extra large eggs. No reason.

Step 3: Add cheese. Everything is better with cheese.

They ended up being kind of a lot of work, because it takes a long time to bake a potato and you almost have to bake it twice. I know you can make baked potatoes in the microwave, and I wouldn't blame you for trying it. On the other hand, they keep well, so you could always make a big bunch and refrigerate or freeze them. A half of one of those giant potatoes? Perfect for a relatively healthy lunch (if not smothered in cheeeeeeeese).

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cupcake Hero!!

See, I read all these blogs. Mostly about cupcakes. And one has this contest, Cupcake Hero. I kind of always wanted to enter but it's kind of intimidating. And this month the secret ingredient was caramel, and hey, I know how to bake pretty well, and I have a blog, so ... here I am entering a cupcake contest.

I'm not used to, um, actually documenting what I do. Or measuring. But I actually took notes. Yeah, I'm really trying this time.

So on to the good stuff! I humbly present Devil's Caramel Cupcakes.

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (OK, I used my good buddy Imperial. So that's 60% vegetable oil margarine.)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 and 1/4 cup water
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 5 tablespoons caramel
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Cream the butter and sugar. Start slowly lest it fly all over your kitchen (not like I know anything about that).

Step 3: Add the flour, soda, salt, baking powder, eggs, and water. I sort of did it in that order.

Step 4: Pour out one cup of batter and put it aside. This will become the caramel layer.

Step 5: Add the cocoa to the batter. Mix it for a good few minutes to get everything smooth.

Step 6: Fill the cupcake liners a little less than half full with the chocolate batter. We have these really big soup spoons that came with our silverware set, and I used about one giant spoonful of those.

Step 7: Whisk together 5 tablespoons of caramel with the cup of cake batter. I used a fork in a bowl, but if you have two mixing bowls (lucky!), you could do it with the mixer too. Also, I used Smucker's Sundae Syrup. 'Cause making cupcakes was daunting enough without being super industrious and making caramel too.

Step 8: Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full with the caramel batter. This was about the same giant spoonful, and ends up was just exactly enough for 12 cupcakes.

Step 9: Top with a dollop of chocolate batter. Keep in mind that I kind of overfilled, because I love when the cupcake puffs out over the top of the cupcake liner.

Step 10: Bake for 3o minutes. I'm basically at sea level, though, so check with a toothpick if you're not quite sure. The coloring reminds me of rottweilers.

For the frosting:
  • 1 cup butter (Yes, real butter this time!)
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup caramel
You know the drill. Mix together.

Then go get your husband to use his fancy expensive camera to take extra nice pictures in exchange for eating said cupcake. Yeah, I could have done it myself. But I carpeted the garage steps today. I already had my "I am woman, hear me roar" moment. Plus, eating cupcakes with someone you love is that much more fun.