Saturday, April 30, 2011

Year One: A Canadian Giveaway & Acadian Buttermilk Pie.

One year ago tonight, I stood in my kitchen making sweet breads and listening to a hockey game. After it was over, I was bopping around online, stumbled on Blogger and thought ‘why not?’ So, I wrote about the hockey game and my sweet breads. The next morning, I wrote a second post, my back story, followed by another recipe a few days later. I got my first two followers, they were both family, but they followed along nonetheless. Finally, I got my first ‘real’ follower, and I almost stopped.

Last summer was busy, I only managed to post two recipes in two months, but Autumn came and I was back at full force. By the end of December, I had a dozen folks following along. My New Year’s Resolution was to double that. Now, four months later, I have three times as many people joining me in my tiny kitchen. Today’s recipe was quite the adventure, i made it last night since I was off at three and am working all day today. It is a three part recipe, two that I have never worked with before and a third that hates me. Pastry is my nemesis; and last night, I made a pie.

Before I share my recipe, I want to share a few other things. Your blog only gets to the one year mark once! While following along on other blogs, I have seen many things done for anniversaries. Number one is a giveaway! I will talk more about that later. Another feature I see are a list of the most viewed posts. I want to share those with you now.

1.  April 1st, 2011 – Girl Guide Cookie Cheesecakes – 115 Views: These were mini cheesecakes I made on a whim when I bought a box of Girl Guide Cookies at the beginning of this month. It was a quick recipe, very simple and I recommend anyone who is afraid of cheesecake to give it a go!

2. October 2nd, 2010 – LiveSTRONG with a Taste of Yellow – 55 Views: This was the first time I participated in something outside my own blog. The fight against Cancer is something important to me, so even though I could not make a monetary contribution, I felt this was a way I could at least make awareness.

3. September 12th, 2010 – Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie – 42 Views: A truly unique dish, and a first time for me to try sweet potatoes and another ingredient, herb & garlic cream cheese.

4. September 21st, 2010 – Whiz Bang Banana Muffins – 40 Views: The first time I purchased something strictly to make a blog recipe; this was my muffin top pan. I love it, and this recipe, and have made it several times since.

5. May 9th, 2010 – Chicken Noodle Soup & Biscuits – 38 Views: My first ‘throw it together’ post. Sometimes I just get into the kitchen and throw some things into a pot, hoping for the best. Chicken noodle soup is something I have been making via this method for a few years, it always turns out great!

The hits are not in the thousands, but still these are the highest. Now, I will share my recipe. I wanted something New Brunswick to go along with my giveaway. So I did an internet search (I’m afraid I am not a very good New Brunswicker, I do not know any recipes off the top of my head) and I found this one: Buttermilk Pie. Apparently it is an early Acadian recipe. The Acadians come from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and even some in Northern Maine; there are still a lot of them here in Northern New Brunswick, but unfortunately in the late 1700’s we English booted the Acadians living in the Southern parts out. A lot of these people made their way further South and settled, eventually becoming the Cajuns in Louisiana. Now, onto the recipe:

Acadian Buttermilk Pie

1 baked pie shell
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sugar
3 + 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cold buttermilk
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 + 1/2 Tbsp butter
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar

Bring 1 cup buttermilk to a boil.
Mix together the sugar, cornstarch and 1/2 cup buttermilk. Add to the boiling buttermilk and cook while stirring, until of a smooth cream consistency.
Beat the egg yolks and add the salt, grated lemon rind and the lemon juice. Pour into the hot cream. Add the butter.
Cook for 2 minutes, stirring vigorously. Cool. Pour into a baked pie shell.
Top with 2 egg whites, stiffly beaten with the 1/4 cup sugar  (meringue). Brown in a 350°F oven for approximately 20 minutes.

Oh, dear. Well, the meringue isn't the best looking, it definitely does not look like my Mom's. I spun it in the mixer for what seemed like forever, and when it did not appear to be doing anything (because the whisk was barely in the egg/sugar mixture) i took it off and tried the hand whisk...ow! This was my first time making meringue, so i basically gave up before it hit the proper consistency. Yeah, i am a lazy cook. That's why i bought the mixer :-)

Along with the meringue, this was the first time I have bought or used buttermilk. I honestly thought it was just yellow milk, or something like that. I opened the carton and started pouring and did i ever get a surprise! So before i ran the bad carton of milk back across town to the store, i sent my Big sister a text message. Have you used buttermilk? Is it supposed to look like sour milk? Ew! No response after 5 minutes, so i called the 911 of the cooking world: Mom. No answer...the clock is ticking, i needed to go to bed early last night and this is a multi-step pie, so as a last ditch effort i put out a Facebook SOS. Just as two people replied, my Mom called back, and all three confirmed I had the proper stuff. My Mom and one of my Facebook Friends both said their Father liked to drink the stuff straight. EW! My Dad always told us "Don't knock it until you try it", but somehow i think he will agree with me on this one.

I must admit, the filling is a bit smelly, but it is quite lemony. After making it, i put it in my large measuring cup and set it in the windowsill. It was miserable in the morning, but turned into a nice day so i had the windows open. So while it cooled, i fought with the pastry. Since i have never been able to make good pastry, i usually use a mix. The last time, i vowed i would not purchase this brand again, as it gave me a really hard time. Unfortunately, it was the only brand in the store this time around, so i had no choice. And again, it gave me a hard time. After rolling it out 3 times, i ended up refrigerating it for 30 minutes to try again. I ended up with this mess.

I eventually just mashed it into the pie plate. I gave it a bit extra on the edges because i know if you play with pastry to much, it will shrink and go tough. It did, and i ended up with a cracked pie shell.

Not the prettiest looking pie shell, but able to be used. By now, it was cooling off so I closed the window, gave the pudding a stir and stuck it in the refrigerator. Finally, about half an hour later, I made the meringue and put the pie together. About 10 minutes after I pulled the pie out of the oven, the doorbell rang. A guinea pig!! We sliced the pie and it fell apart. I did not get a plate picture, but now that it has refrigerated overnight, I will try again at Dinner and edit if necessary.

My tester ate two slices, saying it was a perfect lemon pie. I ate one slice, it was delicious! A little tangier than I prefer my lemon pie, but still great. The meringue is very sweet, and made a hard crust; we both agreed that I might be capable of making great meringue cookies.

So now that I have made and tried a New Brunswick dish, it is your turn to get a little bit of my home. Giveaway time!!!

The picture above is what you will receive; a New Brunswick cookbook, written by a local author, a small bottle of pure maple syrup in a collector bottle, two maple leaf cookie cutters, and a bag of dulse (explanation HERE) I would have done fiddleheads, but they are late this year and will not be around for a couple more weeks, and they are kind of hard to ship. Also included, but not in the picture, are some maple candies that I found at a coffee shop, I threw some in the box before I sealed it.

So, now a few stipulations. Unfortunately there must be some!

1. Only Canadians and Americans, please; I am sorry to everyone else, but overseas shipping is tricky and I don't want the goodies to be lost!

2. For an entry: Follow along, there are five buttons in the upper left corner, pick one! Let me know how you follow me and leave your email address, so I can contact you. The more the merrier!

3. For a second entry: Pass it on! Let others know about my Canadian Giveaway, either Twitter or Facebook or some other way. Comment to let me know how you shared the Canadian Spirit.

4. For a third entry: Inform me! What do you know about Canada? Give me some trivia, a memory, anything!

Each entry must be in a separate comment; I will draw a winner using one week from today, on Saturday May 7th.

Good Luck and Thank You to everyone!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chocolate Syrup.

I have previously admitted i have an addiction to cookies. Well, i have another confession to make. I have a weakness for ice cream as well. In the last few months, i have made caramel sauce, strawberry sauce, and even lemon curd to top my humble ice cream, so tonight i decided to give the most famous topping a go, chocolate sauce. I found this recipe on a website called E How, i chose it because it was the only one that did not call for milk, i have a half container in the fridge but i am wary to use it as it is in the back and i have not checked its expiration in awhile. This is a quick and easy recipe that can be whipped up at the last what are you waiting for? Oh, right...the recipe :-)

Chocolate Sauce.

1/2 cup sugar.
2 Tbsp flour.
1/8 tsp salt.
2 Tbsp cocoa powder.
1 cup water.
1/4 tsp vanilla extract.

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, salt and cocoa. Add water and vanilla. Stir well. Turn on medium heat and continue to stir until thickened. Serve warm.

I decided to drizzle some on a plate to get a really good drizzling technique needs some work, but otherwise it looks great. 

The actual recipe states to mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and dump them into the water, i figured i'd save myself a bowl and just mixed it all in the pot. Remember to use cold water, though. It is less likely to go lumpy than if you use hot water. It also stated it would thicken in 6 minutes, but i left it on a bit longer as i felt it was not thick enough.

I got about half a pickle jar full. Not to much, and not to little. It is very chocolaty, a perfect ice cream topping! 

Yummy! Now that i know how to make four toppings for ice cream, i will have to have an ice cream party! 

Hope everyone is having a great week, the end is near! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brown Sugar Cutouts.

Sunday afternoon, after getting back from Easter at home, i remembered that I had some Easter cookie cutters stashed away that i had meant to use. I didn't get many Easter recipes in this month, where the holiday was so late this year, i never really thought of it until the last minute. Looking at the cookie cutters, i see that they could be used for Spring as well as Easter, so i picked this recipe in the hopes that the sun will shine again soon. It has been rainy the past two days, and supposed to be the same the rest of the week. 'April Showers bring May Flowers', they say. Here's hoping May comes fast, I can't wait for the sun!! 

I don't know where I got this recipe, i have it in my binder. I may have copied it out of a magazine a few years ago, that is where most of the recipes in my binder have come from.

Brown Sugar Cutout Cookies. 

1 cup shortening or butter.
1 cup backed brown sugar.
2 eggs.
1 tsp vanilla extract.
3 cups all purpose flour.
2 tsp cream of tarter.
1 tsp baking soda.
1/2 tsp salt.

In large bowl, beat shortening with sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beat until combined. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tarter, baking soda and salt. Stir in by half cupfuls to make stiff dough. 
Divide dough in half and shape into disks. Wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, but up to 2 days. 
On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. With decorative cutters, cut out shapes. Transfer to prepared pans, leaving one inch between cookies.
Bake in 350 F oven until golden on bottom, about 10 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool. 

I do not recommend mixing all the dry ingredients together, as i only needed about 2 cups of flour. I have no cream of tarter, so i did an internet search and found that if a recipe calls for it and baking soda, you can substitute baking powder for both; so i used 3 tsp of baking powder. I mixed that into the first cup of flour and then added the rest a half cup at a time.

The dough was very soft before refrigerating, if i had not followed that instruction i probably would have had a hard time rolling them out and would have needed to add more flour. The cold dough was extremely easy to work with, i only had one little bit stick to my rolling pin. 

I used each of these cutters eight times, so i got 32 cookies. If you use a smaller cutter, you could easily get three or even four dozen. These cookies are nice and light, not to sweet. I am not planning on icing them, but it would be a great recipe to use for iced cookies. 

Hope everyone is having a good week, it is half over already! I am off today and tomorrow since I have to work the weekend. Have a good day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bunny Bait

Yesterday morning, i locked up my apartment and went home for a celebratory BBQ and Easter. Yesterday was my parents' 34th wedding anniversary, so we invited everyone had had fun! It was windy and rainy so Dad ended up BBQing in the wood shed, but that's a minor technicality. Since it was raining yesterday afternoon, Kyristan and I decided to make Bunny Bait. I found the recipe on a blog i follow called Bake at 350. It is a simple recipe that can be switched up easily for any holiday, so long as you can get think of a different name for it.

Basically, all you do is pop 2 bags of microwave popcorn, melt some chocolate, drizzle it over the popcorn and stir in some M&Ms. Let it dry and you have a bowl (or pot) full of Bunny Bait.

The bowl we were initially using ended up being a smidge to small, what a mess we made! So we dumped it into Nanny's potato pot and stirred from there. We also took it one decadent step further and added chopped almonds, yummy!

This stuff works very well, as you can see,  the Easter Bunny was very impressed. 

As was everyone else at the BBQ. It disappeared quite magically. The Easter Bunny only ate half of his share, and this afternoon when my older sister was looking for a munch, i mentioned there was a bit younger sister piped up and corrected me. So this one is a definite do-over for the next party or get together. I also took the rest of the cake pops, they managed to disappear as well!

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter and got to get together with family and friends!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

Wednesday night i was reading through everyones blog, and realized i am one of the few that have not done an Easter recipe. I decided i wanted to do a traditional recipe, and something i had not seen on any of the blogs yet. Out of nowhere, hot cross buns popped into my mind. A quick internet search gave me many recipes, a lot needed a bread maker. The one i found that was made by hand took rum, i figured i could pick some up Thursday and so i copied the recipe and saved it to my desktop.

Thursday morning i woke up and found on my blog list someone had posted hot cross buns overnight. Her recipe looked so much easier and the pictures looked better, i decided to go with it instead; and so i stole another recipe from One Perfect Bite.  Since i did not have to be at work until noon, i decided i would get up early and make the buns today. It looks daunting with this list of ingredients, but they were really quite easy.

Hot Cross Buns.


1/4 cup water - at room temperature or slightly above.
1/2 cup lukewarm milk.
1/4 cup melted butter.
1 egg, lightly beaten.
3+1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided.
1/4 cup sugar.
1+1/2 tsp active dry yeast.
1 tsp cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.
pinch each of ground cloves and allspice.
1/2 tsp salt.
1/2 cup raisins.
1/4 cup mixed candied fruit, finely chopped..
Mix together 2 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp water.
Mix together 1/2 cup icing sugar and 2 tsp water.

Mix yeast, 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and other spices in a bowl.
In separate bowl, combine milk and water.
Add milk & water to dry ingredient mixture, along with melted butter, Beat for 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed. Add egg and beat 1 more minute.
Stir in raisins, fruit, and enough of remaining flour to make a firm dough.(i needed 1+1/2 cups at this time)
Knead dough on a floured surface for about 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use additional flour as necessary. Place in a lightly greased bowl, Cover and let rise in a warm place.
After about 15 minutes, test dough to see if it has risen enough to be shaped. To test, gently stick two fingers into risen dough up to your second knuckle. Remove fingers. If indentations remain, dough is ready.
Divide dough into 12 pieces. Shape pieces into balls and place 3 inches apart in a lightly greased dish. Cover and let rise in warm place until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until light brown on top, at 375 degrees F.
Spread glaze over the warm buns.
Let buns continue to cool on baking sheet. When completely cool, pipe a cross on each with icing.

It was the first sunny day all week, i had to take a picture of my buns sitting in the sun on my Easter Bunny plate. They turned out absolutely delicious! I have never had hot cross buns before, and i think i will be making them again!

After the initial mixing, i added the rest of the flour a half cup at a time. After the second half cup, i changed the paddle for the dough hook, and the third seemed to be a bit to much. It would not mix in, so i gave it a sprinkle of water, literally a sprinkle, i don't even think it was a teaspoonful, and it went together nicely. No more flour was needed while it kneaded in the bowl. I skipped the candied fruit because i did not have time to go over town yesterday to get it, and nothing was open today (except Tim Horton's and McDonald's and they do not sell it :-P )

It didn't look like much, but it raised quickly in the promised 15 minutes. I gave it a poke and it was ready to go, so I rolled it into a log and cut it into 12 (almost) equal pieces.

I pinched a bit from the bigger ones to make up for the smaller ones. I covered them up and stuck them back into my warm room (this time of year, i only have heat on in the room that i am in the most, my office). One episode of Bones later, they were ready for the oven. While they were baking, i mixed up the glaze and the icing. I wanted to save some time since it was already 10 am and i wanted to take some of the buns to work for my team mates to try. 

I left them in the pan for 15 minutes to cool, then moved them to a rack for 30 minutes and finally to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes so i could quickly ice them. They turned out delicious, and this is definitely a recipe i will use again! 

Now, i am listening to Game 1 of Round 3 of the QMJHL Playoffs. The Seadogs are down 3-2 but there is still one more period to go! So while i listen to that, i have to go get some potatoes going for a salad, and start packing. Tomorrow morning I am going home for a celebration BBQ and then staying the night for Easter Dinner Sunday. I plan on making some Bunny Bait tomorrow with my nephew if we have time, I will probably post it Sunday since my parents live so far out in the country they can only get dial up...and it is not co-operative when uploading pictures. 

Hope everyone has a great Easter, travel safe if you are out!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mini Doughnut Muffins.

Usually, when K goes to Tim Horton's with one of his favorite grown-ups, he gets to have a box of 10 Timbits to share. When offered, I am the oddball that picks the plain Timbit out of the box. Five year olds don't like them anyway. Right? 

The reason why i love the plain ones, is because of the nutmeg taste. When i was a kid, my Mom made doughnuts often, and before she started experimenting with different sugar and spices, the flavour in them was always Nutmeg. I love the clean smell clean smell, and the delicious taste. The wonderful memory of Mom's doughnuts always comes back when i have a plain Timbit. Even though they are totally different, with one taste of the nutmeg that is in them, i can almost hear Mom telling us to watch our fingers as we sugared the hot doughnuts for her. 

When i came across a recipe for muffin pan doughnuts in a community cookbook, i decided i had to try them just because the only spice was nutmeg. I set the cookbook aside with the page marked, and pretty much forgot about them. This morning, when i was perusing blog posts from overnight, i found someone who had made something similar. I dug out the Anglican Church cookbook that i had found it in and decided i was going to make them tonight. After work, i looked at the recipe again and wasn't really impressed by it. So i did a quick internet search and came up with this one instead, from How To: Simplify. They looked delicious and have the nutmeg in them, so away i went to the kitchen. 

Doughnut Muffins.

1+3/4 cup flour.
1+1/2 teaspoons baking powder.
1/2 tsp each salt, nutmeg, cinnamon.
3/4 cup sugar.
1/3 cup oil.
1 egg.
3/4 cup milk.

In large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, spices and baking powder until well blended. In smaller bowl, whisk together oil, egg and milk. 
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Pour into prepared muffins tins. Bake for about 15 minutes in 350 F oven. While still hot, dip in sugar or cinnamon sugar. 

The recipe states to spread a bit of melted butter onto them, and then dip into cinnamon sugar. I just dipped them into a bit of sugar while they were still hot. I burned my fingers a bit, so watch out! The sugar will usually stick to hot goodies and it's my theory that if any falls off after they cool, i didn't need the extra calories anyway. I got 24 mini muffins from this recipe, and one mini half loaf. I got impatient after two pans, and didn't want to wait for a third (i need a second mini pan!!) so i threw the batter into a mini loaf pan and got this. 

The only disappointment i have of the recipe is that i wish they had browned a bit better. But maybe i did not have them in long enough, they passed the poke test at least, or maybe that is how baked doughnuts just are. This recipe has the perfect amount of nutmeg in it, you can even see it in the batter. I could probably eat the whole batch tonight, but i should be nice and take some to my co-workers tomorrow. 

I will be definitely be making this one again and again, maybe next time in regular sized muffin tins. 

It is mid week, it's all downhill to the weekend from here, hope everyone is having a great week! I picked up a special book today because next week is my 1 year blog anniversary! Once i find the perfect recipe from the book, i will make and post it and have a copy to give away as well, stay tuned for that!! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Caramel Apple Crumble

I never put anything in the crisper of my refrigerator. If i do, it gets lost because as they say, out of sight, out of mind. I found a bag of apples on the verge last weekend. They looked a little shriveled, but otherwise still alright. So i knew what was the basis for Sunday dessert, it was just a matter of finding some use for them. I settled on apple crumble something i have made before, but this time i decided to mix it up a bit. Although it is in the freezer, i still have plenty of dulce de leche left from a couple weeks ago. I did a quick internet search to see if there was any special method for caramel apple crumble, found out there wasn't, and went for it.
Here is the basic apple crumble recipe.

Apple Crumble.

1/3 cup butter or margarine
1 + 1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon.

Mix together until well blended. Sprinkle over apple slices in a deep dish. Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes.

I just dolloped a bit of frozen dulce de leche around on top of the apples before the topping. It melted through and blended with the juices to make a nice mild caramel flavour. You could probably do it with store bought caramel sauce, as well.

I also substituted half of the flour for quick cooking oatmeal, just to give it more texture. It turned out very nice and complimented the pork chops we had for dinner quite well.

I still have plenty of the dulce de leche leftover, so i may get another bag of apples and make this again. So long as i do not lose them in the crisper this time, i should be good to go!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I am posting in the middle of a Monday afternoon because i called in sick today. Boo. I was up half the night feeling sick, and when i woke up at eight i felt like total crud, so i figured better to be safe than sorry, called in and crawled back into bed until 11. When i woke up the second time, i was feeling somewhat better. Seeing the sun come in the windows for the first time in three days helps to! I am just taking the rest of the day to relax, drink tea and get better so i do not have to take two days off. I am posting today, but i am not baking today, i made these muffins yesterday. I don't know where i got this recipe, i have four muffin recipes on a piece of paper from a notebook, so i am presuming i got them online somewhere while i was at work, where i keep my notebook. If you recognize your recipe, let me know and i will give credit where it is due.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.

1 egg.
1 + 1/2 cup flour.
3/4 cup milk.
3/4 cup chocolate chips.
1/2 cup brown sugar.
1/2 cup pureed banana.
1/4 cup oil.
3 tsp powder.
1/2 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, salt.

In large bowl, blend together flour, brown sugar, spices and salt. In another bowl, blend milk, banana, oil and egg. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, stir just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.
Divide into 12 muffin cups, bake for 20 minutes in 400 F oven.

I find these very oily muffins, but when i just typed the recipe i was thinking did i put only 1/4 cup of oil in? I am pretty sure it said 3/4 cup. I think the way the ingredients are listed, i may have saw the chocolate chip measurement as the oil measurement. Oops.  If you see my picture below of the separation 'magic', i am pretty sure there is more than 1/4 cup of oil in there.

I will have to pay more attention next time. Other than that, i really like this recipe! I only needed one banana to make the required half a cup, i like my muffins more banana flavored, so next time i may experiment by adding another.

This is a quick and easy muffin, i recommend anyone giving it a go. It is a great recipe for beginners!

Happy Monday, everyone!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Almond Joy Brownie Bites

I really debated whether or not to post this one. It's not that they didn't turn out, they just did not turn out as well as i had wanted them to. It is another recipe that hi-lights my inability to dip things in chocolate. But, as they say, practice makes perfect! I didn't exactly practice with this one, i gave up after 4 and just spooned the chocolate over the rest. This is another recipe i stole from another blogger, this time my victim was Kristan at Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. Hers turned out much better than mine, at least esthetically, but i have a feeling they are equally delicious!

Almond Joy Brownie Bites. 

Brownie batter (homemade or from a box mix, i used a cheap dollar store mix.)
4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
About 4 dozen almonds 
Chocolate candy melts or almond bark 

 Prepare and bake brownies in mini muffin tins as per recipe or box instructions. Cool completely.

In a medium bowl, combine coconut and condensed milk. Roll mixture into balls and press onto the brownies. Press an almond onto each coconut pile. Freeze for at least 15 minutes.

Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave, dip each frozen brownie into the chocolate covering the coconut. Stand on cookie sheet and refrigerate until set.

As you can see, the chocolate is kind of just poured over the coconut; this was one of the best looking ones. Until i started following blogs, i had never heard of almond bark, and it is not something i have ever seen, so I used the chocolate melts. I really like the taste and texture of these, they are delicious! I recommend anyone trying them!

Many Mini brownies. Yes, i used muffin cups. I thought i had a brilliant idea that would save me from having brownies that stick (as my luck usually has it). Don't use muffin liners. As soon as those little puppies are cool, the liners will stick to them like there is no tomorrow. I basically have to peel them off bit by bit in order to eat one, or waste the bottom half of the brownie because it is covered in paper. But, i learned.

I ended up getting four pans of brownies, and by the time the forth came out, the first was ready to be coconutted (is that a word?) So, the last two pans went into the refrigerator for quick cool, and the first two were prepared like above. 

Until i get a second mini muffin tin, i will not make these again. Just because it literally took me 75 minutes just to cook the brownies. Next time, i will most definitely not be using muffin liners. Hopefully they freeze well, i got 48 of these little guys, and i have already asked a few people if they wanted some. Who knew there were so many coconut haters in one city! 

Hope the weekend went well!! 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lemon Bread & Chicken

I violated a chicken today. Or at least, that is what my sister told me when i described my second recipe. I have two recipes, one I have posted twice before, i am re-posting because in two weeks i am participating in an online bake sale, and this is the recipe I plan on making. There is still time to join, it is for a great cause, and i encourage everyone to participate, or you can bid on Monday, May 2nd. The second recipe was dinner, and i was mean to the poor chicken. You will see why soon. :-)

So, Lemon Bread. I make this at least half a dozen times a year. I like it, everyone else loves it (which is why i make it a lot). Here is my Mom's recipe, enjoy!!!

Lemon Bread.

1 cup sugar
6 Tbsp melted butter (or room temp margarine)
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 + 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt  
grated rind of 1 lemon

Put in greased pan and let rise for 20 minutes. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes. Mix juice of 1/2 lemon (or orange) with 3 Tbsp sugar and spread over top when removing from oven.

I LOVE this picture! I can't believe it turned out so well! I must be honest and say i actually took this one a few weeks ago, today's lemon bread didn't turn out quite as picturesque (aka, i burnt it) (just a bit). My Mom usually only makes this at Christmastime, but i like to make it all year round because i have so many friends that love it. Also, i discovered last Christmas an orange substitutes into this recipe well. Now, onto that poor chicken. 

I found this recipe online, originally a few days ago on the Yahoo home page, i searched it again today and found it on a magazine called Glamour. The recipe is called Engagement Chicken, because apparently quite a few ladies made this recipe for their beaus and got a proposal soon afterward. I ain't holding my breath on that one, i ate alone tonight. 

So basically you take two or three lemons, pierce them and shove them up the #%* of a poor, unsuspecting chicken. Like so...

Germ safety first, before i touched the chicken, i had a plastic bag handy to put my hand into so i could grab my camera. The above description is what i gave my little sister for what i was planning for dinner. She said she was sure the chicken was going to feel a bit violated. So then, after salting and peppering, you put the chicken into your pot breast side down and pour another half cup of lemon juice (i  used 2 lemons) over it.  NOT like this. 

As you can see, i put him breast side up, and i had dumped the liquid into the bottom of the pot before i put the chicken in. Meanwhile, you should be pre-heating your oven to 400 F. Don't want to put poor chicken into a cold oven! Cover the pot and put it into the oven, then turn the temperature down to 350F. After 15 minutes, pull the chicken out and carefully flip him over. This is where i discovered i put him in wrong. Oops. 
After that, you basically bake the chicken until it is done, and serve garnished with fresh herbs. For the in depth recipe, see this link.  

My only problem was that by the time it was almost cooked, it had shrank and the second lemon had fallen out. I scooped it out of the pot and threw it in the sink until it cooled. At this point, i started basting every half hour. Since the chicken was finished long before serving time, i left it in the oven covered with the heat turned off. 

I served it with green beans, potatoes and gravy, all pre-packaged. Usually i don't used those ones, but after being in the kitchen all day (making other goodies) i really did not feel like putting in to much of an effort. 

Now for the review of the recipe: This chicken is divine!!! I'd propose to the man that made me this meal. Or woman! Run, get a chicken and some lemons. Violate that poor chicken by stuffing lemons up it's woo hoo. Enjoy. Yummy! 

Hope everyone is having a good weekend! I am off to the movies with my sisters!