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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Casey’s Birthday!

For our friend Casey’s birthday we decided to make Mario cupcakes. We used Fondant for the first time and cut out all the shapes and things with biscuit cutters.

I made chocolate cupcakes according to the box directions and my very own chocolate butter cream. We also filled them with Vanilla frosting from Pillsbury that comes in a cool ass can.

PICS:

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Posted by on August 30, 2009 in The Bakery!

 

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The Best Steak EVER

So, by special request, I made a steak tonight. A friend of mine from the IRC (Hi, podman405!!) asked me if I wanted to make a steak tonight for dinner and he would follow the same recipe. At the end of the night, we would see whose steak looked better. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but damn that steak was good.

My steak was a .72lbs NY Strip. It was the second smallest one in the case. We followed the directions on the food network’s bastard child website http://www.food2.com for the Perfect Steak in a Skillet.

Ingredients:

New York strip steak, room temperature
Fresh ground pepper (not too fine)
Sea salt or kosher salt
Canola oil (I used about 3 Tbsp)
1 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
A few sprigs fresh thyme
Special Equipment: seasoned cast iron skillet (10 inches in diameter)
*Instead of salt and pepper I used Montreal Steak Seasoning. I know this is a dangerous thing because the garlic and other spices in the mix can burn fast but it worked out for me this time*

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat the steak with pepper and then with a heavy sprinkling of salt. Heat the cast iron skillet until extremely hot (approximately 10 minutes). Add oil to the pan. Sear the steak on the first side 1 to 2 minutes until it develops a nice crust. Flip it, baste it with the oil, top with butter, garlic and thyme and place in the oven. Check every 2 minutes; cook to desired temperature *I cooked mine in the oven for 3 minutes total and it was PERFECT* Let the meat rest until the juices redistribute and slice across the grain on a slight bias. *About 5 minutes resting time*

Chef’s Note: “Warning: Please heat your pan cautiously. 10 minutes or under will suffice. Any longer and the oil could catch fire! Have a fire extinguisher ready, just in case.” <—-This is good advice!! It tends to smoke a little.

I also made my garlic mushrooms and a salad to go along with it. OK! Pics!

Pics of podman405’s steak can be found here: STEAKS!

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2009 in General Food, Meals!

 

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Brownies for Aussies

I promised TastyWheat I would make him and CoRDS some brownies for their trip to the USA next week so I thought I should do a practice run. I used a new recipe AND a new pan!! Both turned out to be awesome. The recipe is from good ole Alton Brown. I added one Rolo candy to each brownie before I baked it. I totally tried to sift the brown sugar but it was not working with me. In the end, I just threw it in. I haven’t tasted them yet but they sure do look good.

Cocoa Brownies
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

Cook Time:
1 hr 0 min

Serves:
16 brownies

Ingredients
* Soft butter, for greasing the pan
* Flour, for dusting the buttered pan
* 4 large eggs
* 1 cup sugar, sifted
* 1 cup brown sugar, sifted
* 8 ounces melted butter
* 11/4 cups cocoa, sifted
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup flour, sifted
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan and bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean. When it’s done, remove to a rack to cool. Resist the temptation to cut into it until it’s mostly cool.

Pics!

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2009 in The Bakery!

 

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Mac and cheese

So, I made mac and cheese tonight. Alton Brown’s version. I used more cheese than he called for and different ones too. I did not add butter to the Panko topping either. It was not as brown as it probably would have been with butter but it was just as crunchy and good!! I added pepper jack, colby jack, swiss, and medium cheddar to the white sauce instead of using extra sharp cheddar. It was really, really good but the sauce broke before I mixed it with the pasta. I am not sure why. It still tasted awesome but I must be doing something wrong with the cheese sauce. Anyways! Here is the recipe!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
* 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 3 tablespoons flour
* 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
* 3 cups milk
* 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
* 1 bay leaf
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika
* 1 large egg
* 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* Fresh black pepper

Topping:
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.

It was fabulous and there is more than half of it still left! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2009 in General Food, Meals!

 

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Raviolis with a cool sauce

I watched Giada De Laurentiis make this recipe this morning on her show on the food network. I made a couple of minor changes to the recipe but for the most part, it is the same. I also wrote a review on the food network for it!! I used Wild Mushroom Angliotti ravioli from Buitoni for my ravioli. I couldn’t find arugula at the market so I used Spinach. Also, I used fresh tomatoes that I had sitting around instead of diced canned. I added 2 cloves of garlic to the recipe as well. It was slightly salty but that could have been from the pancetta I used.. Who knows. I only used half the amount of pancetta the recipe called for though because I only bought one package… I didn’t realize that it was supposed to be 6oz! XD

Ravioli with Arugula, Tomatoes and Pancetta

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Show: Giada at Home Episode: Busy Day Menu
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Cook: 20 min
Total: 30 min

Ingredients
* 1 pound cheese ravioli
* 6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
* 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
* 3 cups arugula
* 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves, divided
* 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the ravioli and cook for 7 to 9 minutes until tender. Drain.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add the pancetta and cook stirring frequently, until crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain. Add the tomatoes, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook for 2 minutes until tender. Add the arugula and 1/4 cup basil and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds. Stir in the butter and melt. Add the ravioli and cooked pancetta and toss until coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the ravioli to a large serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining basil and serve.

PICS (since I did it on the webcam, I totally didn’t take pics of the steps but I got final plating ones.)!

Wow, Blurry.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2009 in General Food, Meals!

 

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