Monday, January 30, 2012

Wilton Cake Decorating- Class #2

Sorry friends, I'm a couple of weeks behind with my cake decorating recap.  My bad.

We decorated an entire cake this week!  We did the whole thing, start to finish.  (Not the baking, you do that bit at home)  We took the entire process step by step: leveling the cake, filling the cake, stacking the layers evenly, doing both layers of icing, and finally decorating it.

Before we were able to decorate the cake we learned how to make dots, stars, and zig zags.  (I didn't take any pictures of that part... sorry)

These basics led up to choosing a design and trying it out.  We used piping gel to transfer the image from the paper to the cake, it was a good idea and something that I hadn't thought about before. After the transfer was finished it became a simple matter of tracing over the image. (If you look at the bottom of the fish you can see where I didn't quite pipe over the piping gel)

Here's the finished cake!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip

We had a football party recently.  I made a bunch of savory dips but I had a box of graham crackers around and some apples that I needed to use and decided to make a dessert dip for everyone.

I forgot to take a picture of this but it was a really big hit.  One of my friends took some leftovers home with him and I will more than likely make it next time we have a get together.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip:

1 box cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick of butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix everything except the chocolate chips together.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Chill until ready to serve.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mini Turkey Meatloaves

I'm trying to really work on our portion sizes at home.  One way I try to work on this is by using containers that are already a smaller size.. like muffin tins.  These are really good and kids love them.

Mini Turkey Meatloaves:

1 pound ground turkey
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 egg
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Ketchup- for the top

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non stick spray.

In a bowl mix the turkey, onion, garlic, parsley, egg, worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.  Divide the mixture between the muffin tins and top with a dollop of ketchup.  Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Asian Glazed Chicken

This is another great recipe from Skinny Taste.  It's that time of the year and everyone is trying to lose weight, myself included.  There's no time like the present to start so that's what I'm doing.

This recipe was seriously good.  Mr. T asked me to put it on the menu rotation.  I didn't use drumsticks because we didn't have them.

Asian Glazed Drumsticks:
(Skinny Taste- 5pp+, 4 servings)

8 medium chicken breasts
Olive oil spray
1 cup water
1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 teaspoons agave nectar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
2 tablespoons chives or scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

In a heavy large saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with a little spray oil. Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes.

Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8-10 minutes, until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don't want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze on top. Top with chives and sesame seeds and serve.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Citrus Cranberry Sauce

It's the time of the year for cranberry sauce.  I love it and I tend to stock up on the fresh berries when they go on sale and then I pop them in the freezer to keep until I need them.

Citrus Cranberry Sauce:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 bag cranberries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon

In a sauce pan bring the sugar, lemon zest, and water to boil.  Add the fresh and dried cranberries and citrus juices to the pan.  Bring back to a boil then reduce the heat to medium and let cook for about 10 minutes.

Turn the heat off and let everything come back to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I made pumpkin cheesecake to go with our Christmas Dinner this year.  I used my basic cheesecake recipe, added some pumpkin puree and spices, and let it go.

Remember with cheesecake, cooking it low and slow is the best way to make sure it comes out perfect.  Also, if you don't want the top of the cake cracking make sure you put a water bath in the oven while it bakes.

Pumpkin Cheesecake:

3 pounds of cream cheese
3 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 can of pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix

gingersnap crumbs
melted butter

I don't know exactly how many cookies I used but I filled my small food processor 3 times to make the crumbs.  Just guestimate and make sure that you have enough to make a crust.  Bake at 300 degrees for a couple of minutes.

To make the cake:

In a mixer mix the cream cheese and sugar together.  Add the cornstarch, flour, vanilla, and spices,  Mix together again.

Add the eggs one at a time and then pumpkin puree and mix one last time.  Pour into the prepared crust and bake for roughly 2 hours or until the cake is slightly golden on top and set all the way through.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rib Roast with Blue Cheese Chipolte Sauce

In our house Turkey is served on Thanksgiving and a beef roast is served on Christmas.  This year we found rib roasts for a really good deal and decided to try something a little different.

Our weekly Publix advertisement had this recipe and a picture of the finished product on the front page and it just looked/sounded amazing.  It turned out really well.

Rib Roast with Blue Cheese Chipotle Sauce:
(Publix Apron Meals)

8 celery ribs
1 standing rib roast (4–5 lb)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
5 oz Deli soft-ripened blue cheese, cubed
1/2 stick herb garlic butter, cubed
1 cup yogurt blue cheese dressing
2 teaspoons chipotle pepper sauce


Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat medium-size roasting pan with spray. Cut celery into 7-inch ribs; lay across center of pan. Place roast on top of celery; sprinkle salt and pepper over roast.

Bake 20 minutes or until roast has browned.

Reduce oven to 350°F; cook 2 more hours or until roast is 145°F (medium-rare). Use a meat thermometer to accurately ensure doneness. Transfer roast to cutting board; let stand 10–15 minutes before slicing.

Cut cheese and butter into small cubes. Place both in medium saucepan on medium heat; cook and stir 2–3 minutes or until melted. Stir in dressing and pepper sauce; remove from heat when sauce is bubbly. Serve roast with sauce.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Meal Plan: Week of January 8th

I've been in a rut the past couple of weeks.  I started a new job this week and have been a little preoccupied.  I'm also going out of town this coming weekend so I need to get the freezer stocked up so Mr. T doesn't starve.

1) Skillet steak with mushrooms and onions.  (Maybe as a sandwich) Served with a potato pancake/cup side thing.

2) Turkey meatloaf with Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

3) Red Beans and Rice

4)  Chicken with Mushrooms with rice and peas.

5) Baked Garlic Lemon Tilapia with a big salad.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wilton Cake Decorating- Class #1

I was given the 4 Wilton Cake Decorating classes for Christmas/My Birthday this year. My first class was on Wednesday night and we went over the very basics.

We really only used one tip tonight- the star tip (#18).  The classes build on themselves, so tonight we worked on using the icing bag and learning how to control.  We were instructed to bring some cookies with us and we were able to decorate them with our new skillz.

<-- Impressed?!

Next week we get to actually work on a cake.  Stay tuned...I know you're on the edge of your seat.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fiesta Lime Rice

I've said before that we eat a decent amount of Mexican food.  Right now it seems to be our favorite.  I found this rice recipe and thought that it would work really well with our meals.

Fiesta Lime Rice:
(skinny taste - 4pp+, 4 servings)

1 1/2 cups cooked long grain rice
3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and heated
3/4 cup cooked corn, heated
1 large tomato, diced
1 large scallion, diced fine
2-4 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
salt to taste

In a large bowl, combine hot rice, heated corn, heated beans, tomato, scallion, cilantro, lime juice and salt if needed. Toss and serve.