Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal

Happy National Oatmeal Day!  Yes, it is a real thing.  If you don't believe me, check this list out.  I made this oatmeal several weeks ago, but wanted to wait for this special occasion to share.
 My brother's mother-in-law attended a trade show where she picked up a cookbook with a recipe for peach blueberry baked oatmeal.  While my mom stayed at their house to babysit this adorable girl, she tried it out.  And she's made it over and over since then.  It quickly become a favorite!

With the leaves falling, autumn flavors like apple and pumpkin sounded like a necessary twist on the original.  To make it even healthier I replaced the oil with applesauce and followed the suggestion to use more egg whites than whole eggs (it works just fine with 2 whole eggs also).  This oatmeal has the consistency more of a coffee cake than regular oatmeal.  It reheats really well too, especially with a splash of milk in the bowl before microwaving.
Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal (adapted from Taste of Home)
Serves 8-10

3 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 egg whites (the egg yolks were used in the chai cake!)
1 egg
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla
2 apples, diced 
1/3 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350*
Combine oatmeal, sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt.

Whisk egg, egg whites, apple sauce, pumpkin, and vanilla.
Add milk to wet ingredients.
Mix dry and wet ingredients together.
Add apples.
Pour into a greased 11x7 casserole dish.
Top with pecans.
Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until nuts are toasted and top is golden brown.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halwa Cupcakes

 This is my last week working with this preceptor in her office.  It has been wonderful observing her interactions with patients and I have been impressed with her close connection to so many of them.  The number of people who have hugged her at the end of an appointment is outstanding.  Seeing one of the main reasons I chose to go into primary care played out everyday has been a blessing.  As a thank you for her and the office staff, I wanted to bake something to share this week.

Because today is Diwali (and my preceptor is Indian), I took the opportunity to create an Indian sweet inspired cupcake.  Enter Halwa Cupcakes.  Halwa is a carrot pudding with warm spices, nuts, and raisins.  I love it!  I also really like carrot cake, so combining the two and topping with a modified ginger cream cheese frosting could only produce delicious results.  And it did!
Halwa Cupcakes with Ginger Chai Frosting (inspired by Cupcake Project, adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes 26 cupcakes

Cake Batter
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 eggs
3 cups grated carrots
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup chopped cashews
1/2 cup chopped pistachios

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 ounces butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon  grated fresh ginger
2 tea bags (or 3 tablespoons chai concentrate)
1 cardamom pod
2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350*
Grate carrots, set aside.
Beat eggs in mixer.
Add sugar and oil.
Beat in spices, baking soda, and salt.
Slowly add flour.
Beat in carrots.
Use spoon to mix in raisins, cashews, and pistachios.
Divide into paper-lined cupcake pans.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Submerge tea bags into small amount of boiling water.
Add seeds from cardamom pod to water.
After 5 minutes, remove tea bags and strain out seeds.
Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
Add ginger and 3 tablespoons of the concentrated tea.
Slowly add powdered sugar.  Feel free to add more to make thicker/ sweeter.
Chill in refrigerator for easier piping.
I used a Wilton 1M tip.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Countdown

Halloween is one week away.  Usually I don't get too worked up about this holiday.  But this year, I've been anxiously awaiting its arrival all because of a cupcake recipe I found shortly after Halloween last year.  That's going to be a great surprise which I'm giving no hints about now (and hopefully won't gross out you non-medical folks too much).  To distract you a little, here are a few Halloween treat suggestions.  Some I've made; and some just look too fun not to share.
Best Jack-O-Lantern ever.
Skull Cupcakes:
Witch Hat Cupcakes
Candy Corn Cupcakes
Pumpkin Cake
Witch Finger Cookies

Jack-o-Lantern Veggie Tray
Mummy Dogs
Apple Mouths
Mummy Pizza Bites

Swamp Juice
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Bobbing Heads

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Little About EWeage

Our friend Mark Anthony created this survey, posted his responses and challenged friends to do the same.  Since its all about food, we thought we'd share here.  And not to worry, KWeage's responses are coming soon.  And if you don't care about the text, at least admire and drool over the pictures.
Cooking Background
Heritage... Midwestern home cooking: lots of chicken, potatoes, and fresh produce in the summer
Preferred Genre... Indian/ Thai
Typical Ingredients... Flour, sugar, vanilla
Chocolate Guinness cupcake with Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting, Rachel's birthday
Cheese... Brie
Cacao Ratio... <70%
Gelateria... Frozen section at Meijer?
Ice Cream... Haagen Daz Sweet Chai Latte, Coldstone Cakebatter
Shaken Lemonade... Berrien County Youth Fair
Mint Chocolate, St. Patrick's Day
Committed to Memory... Mom's white frosting
Signature Dish... Cupcakes, any kind
Go-To Dish... Lemon berry dessert trifle (if I want to impress people, baked pasta casserole if not)
Transport Back to Home... Pancakes served in bed :-)
Special Meaning... Caramel corn, fudge, Chex mix = holidays!
From Scratch... Chocolate chip cookies
Best Dish Cooked to Date... South Indian Coconut Fish Curry (with a little assistance from Chris) in Chennai, India.  The fish were caught fresh that morning.
Experiment Gone Right... Pumpkin apple baked oatmeal (recipe coming soon)
Experience... Sitting on the floor of a small orphanage eating rice and daal with my hands surrounded by Indian children in dirty, torn clothes doing the same.
Peppermint Mocha, New Years
Nostalgia... Lasagna (reminds me of home and gatherings with friends during 1st year of medical school)
Weakness... Oreos
Kitchen Gadget... KitchenAid stand mixer (assembled by yours truly)
Song about Food... On Top of Spaghetti
Food-Related Movie... No Reservations
Chef... Rick Bayless
Currently Reading... Inside the Outbreaks, Mark Pendergrast
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Don't Try This at Home

Today is Chocolate Cupcake Day.  Being a dedicated foodie, I wanted to properly observe this holiday by baking (and eating) a chocolate cupcake.  Key word being "a" I didn't want to make a full two dozen.  Individual molten lava cakes came to mind.  Then I remembered KWeage sharing a recipe for cheesecake in a mug.  If cheesecake could be made in a microwave, why couldn't cupcakes?!  So I used my good friend Google and after combining several recipes came up with a tasty (raw) batter.
After 2 minutes in our generally weak microwave, I was left with a rubbery blob of chocolate "cake."  So when I say "don't try this at home," I'm not trying to prevent you from enjoying a delectable dessert, I'm saving you from major disappointment and resorting to peppermint ice cream on a day meant to celebrate cupcakes.
So lesson (re)learned: Taking shortcuts rarely results in the desired outcome.
In baking (life) it isn't about the final product (destination), but the journey you took to get there.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Noah!

Last week the son of two of my favorite residents turned one year old.  I was on my third year surgery rotation with Jonathan when Noah was born and made blue cupcakes to celebrate.  This year I needed to step it up a notch because Noah would actually be eating one of the celebratory cupcakes.
And eat it he did!  Every. last. crumb.  Except those that ended up on his shirt and pants.

I did a lot of Google image searching for decorating ideas.  Previously I had seen Sesame Street cupcakes, which seemed like a really cute idea, but I really wanted something that was 100% boy.  My mom suggested dirt cupcakes with gummy worms, which was the front runner until I thought of sports balls.  Baseballs were a given since Jonathan is such a big Tigers fan.  Footballs were the other obvious choice, but since they aren't round I went with basketballs (its almost basketball season, isn't it?).  I even found sports paper cupcake liners at Meijer to complete the look.

Baseball and Basketball Cupcake Decorating

Frosting color: Wilton Christmas Red gel
Frost cupcakes white.
Use piping bag and small round tip (Wilton 4) draw two half circles.
Make several Vs with the point on the already drawn line for the stitching.
Make Vs pointing in the opposite direction on the other half circle.
More acute angles fit better and look more realistic.

Frosting colors: Wilton Christmas Red, Lemon Yellow, and Black gel
Dye large portion of frosting yellow.
Separate a small portion and add a substantial amount of red dye.
Add red frosting to yellow until desired orange is created.
A large amount of black gel dye is required to make black and not grey.
Use small star tip (Wilton 21) to cover the cupcakes in orange frosting.  Leave a little gap where the black lines will go.
Use small round tip (Wilton 4) to draw on black lines.  The black frosting will bleed, so do this at the last minute.
Make a centered plus sign.
Add a half circle on either end of one of the straight lines.

These cupcakes are most enjoyed when eaten like this:
Thanks Jonathan and Libby for letting me be a part of Noah's celebration!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

My wonderful parents came to visit me this weekend. And they brought fall with them.
Not the season, or the weather, but the flavors of.

Concord grapes.
Michigan apples.
Mommy's applesauce.

So with my kitchen overflowing with produce, my mind started churning trying to decide what to make. I settled on butternut squash soup, mostly because I could throw it into the crock-pot and return to have the apartment smelling like heaven. If you want to make friends, you should try this recipe. Just saying.  Make a big pot, leave your door cracked open a bit, and invite some peeps over for a party.

Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash (peeled and cut into 1 in squares)
5 carrots (peeled and cut into 1/4 in disks)
6 ribs of celery (peeled and cut into 1/4 in chunks)
1/2 medium onion (diced)
2 Michigan apples (yup. has to be Michigan. something like mac or cortland. peel and dice)
3 cups of chicken broth
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
salt and pepper

Put all of the ingredients into the crock-pot. Turn on high for 4ish hours, or medium/low if you want it to go all day. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the soup. (I like my a little chunky, so I don't puree it too long.) Serve with a dollop of  greek yogurt or sour cream or some heavy whipping cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


Fall Pork Chops with Cinnamon Apples

Nothing says fall like the smell of apples, cinnamon, and squash bubbling away in the kitchen.  Ok, and maybe the smell of pumpkin pie. And concord grapes... but that is beside the point.

Yes, I do realize that this post has nothing to do with squash. Hush. 

I had started a crock-pot full of butternut squash soup (recipe coming soon to a blog near you) before church, but it was not quite ready when I got back. This was some sort of cruel torture for me, the scent of fall wafting down the hall in my apartment and the thought of having to wait to eat it was unacceptable. So I did what most foodies would do. I made more food. Duh. 

This is a super simple meal. Short ingredient list. Quick to make. And tastes delicious. 

Fall Pork Chops with Cinnamon Apples

2 pork chops (I had bone in ones, use whatever you can get on sale)
2 apples (pealed and cut into 1/8in thick slices, ish)
salt and pepper
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
chicken broth/apple cider/hard cider

Season the pork chops generously with the salt, pepper, and sprinkle a bit of whatever fall spices you fancy. Cook 'em up in a frying pan with butter. Make sure the internal temperature gets up to 140 degrees F (no GI diseases for our readers!).
While those are cooking away, throw the apples into another frying pan with some butter. Season generously with the same fall spices as you used for the pork chops. Once they start cooking down, add a few swigs of liquid, and let reduce down to make a great sauce.
I served these with some green beans (yup, those were out of a freezer bag.)
Dig in!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Melissa!

We celebrated my friend Melissa's birthday this past weekend with a wonderful get together and dinner (more on that later).  Mel was part of the group I traveled to India with.  She loves a good cup of chai as much as me.  Annnnnnd we're pretty much chai snobs now that we've had the authentic stuff.  A mutual friend had posted this recipe quite some time ago and we both were pretty excited to try it.  Having never gotten around to it before I figured there was no time like the present to try it out.
The chai flavor in this cake is very subtle.  This pleased some people; but I really was hoping for a mouthful of cinnamon and ginger with my first bite.  Crank up the spices if you share my feelings, or leave them just as they are.  I also would have liked more tangy fresh ginger bits in the frosting, so I've already adjusted the amount.
If this doesn't give you enough reasons to try this cake, I don't know what will.
Chai Cake with Honey Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from How to Eat a Cupcake)
1 1/3 cups milk
8 chai tea bags
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour

4 tablespoons corn starch
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger 

Heat milk on medium-high burner.
Steep 6 of the tea bags for 5-7 minutes over low.
It was so tempting to just drink this and make a new batch for the cake!
Remove from heat and let milk cool.
Beat eggs and vanilla.
Whisk 1/3 of the cooled chai milk into the eggs.  Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add baking powder, spices, salt, and contents of remaining two tea bags.
Add half of the flour to the butter.  Beat just until incorporated.
Mix in half of the milk, then the flour and the remaining milk.
Beat in the egg mixture.
Beat just until well combined.
Divide batter evenly between 3 8-inch round, well greased, cake pans.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 350* oven.
Check for doneness with a toothpick.  The tops will be glossy and look wet even if the cake is done.
Cool on wire rack.
Beat cream cheese and butter together.
Add honey and vanilla, mix.
Carefully beat in powdered sugar one cup at a time.
Mix in ginger.
To assemble, transfer one cake round to your serving platter.
Frost the top of the layer with about 1/4 of the frosting.
Add the second cake round and frost top again.
Add the last cake layer.
Use the remainder of the frosting to cover top and sides of the cake.
If you are going to decorate with flowers as I did, you'll need extra frosting.  I used plain cream cheese frosting (a little cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar) because I worried the ginger would clog up the piping tip!
I used a Wilton 1M tip to make the flowers and 67 for the leaves.
Beautiful, just like  Melissa!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Butternut Squash Salad

I found this recipe two years ago as I was just dipping my big toe in the food blogging pond (and wow, I've dived in deep since then!) on my then favorite blog, Smitten Kitchen.  Having never been a fan of butternut squash, I was leery.  Any other variety: acorn, spaghetti, pumpkin (obviously) I'm more than happy to have, but there was juts something about the strong butternut flavor that I could never appreciate.  Or so I thought.  This one dish changed my harsh judgement of the squash.  And for those of you who avoid anything with the word "salad" in the title, this may change your opinion of that word.  There is nothing green or salad-y about this dish, except that it has dressing.

Perfectly roasted squash and chick peas drenched in a light dressing of lemon, tahini, and fresh cilantro marry into a versatile side dish.  Or main course.  I've been known to bring a Tupperware full of this, and only this, for lunch on more than one occasion.

Warm Butternut Squash and Chick Pea Salad (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
olive oil
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 450*
Drizzle olive oil on cookie sheet.
Spread squash cubes in a single layer.
Drizzle more olive oil on squash and sprinkle with allspice.
Mix with hands and spread back into a to single layer.
Bake for 30-45 minutes or until edges turn caramel brown and chewy.
Add chick peas to pan for last 5 minutes of baking, so they heat through.

While squash bakes, make the dressing.
Whisk garlic, lemon juice, tahini, water, and olive oil together.
Stir in red onion and cilantro.

Let squash and chick peas cool for five minutes.
Toss with dressing and serve.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pumpkin Doughnuts

There are few autumn traditions I enjoyed more than our family's annual trip to the apple orchard.  Driving on the windy road which circled around a lake admiring the sun beaming down on the turning leaves' bright oranges and reds.  Perusing the gift shop and watching apples being pressed into cider.  But of course the best part was sitting on the bumper of the van enjoying chilled cider and warm apple spice doughnuts.
I have vague memories of Gramma Weage making potato doughnuts, so I wasn't surprised when Dad asked if that's what I was making when I told him Mom and I would be making doughnuts this weekend.  We tried a new recipe with pumpkin and lots of spices.  Cinnamon powdered sugar is my favorite "topping" for fall doughnuts, so we tried that but I preferred the doughnuts plain as the pumpkin flavor was much more pronounced.

Pumpkin Doughnuts (from Annie's Eats)
Makes about 15 doughnuts and holes

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk with white vinegar)
1 cup pumpkin puree

Canola or vegetable oil for frying.

1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Beat butter and sugar until well blended.
Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
Add the baking powder, soda, and salt.
Add half of the flour.  Beat.
Add half of the milk.  Beat.
Add the rest of the flour.  Beat.
Beat in milk and pumpkin.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Turn out half dough on to a well-floured surface.
Pat to 1/2 -3/4 inch thickness.
Cut out doughnuts using a biscuit cutter, or improvise with a plastic cup and water bottle cap as we did!  I've also seen super cute heart shaped doughnut cutters.
Heat about 2 inches of oil to 370* in a large pan.
Use one of the holes to test the oil.
Carefully transfer cutouts to a single layer in the oil.
Cook for 3-4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.
Remove with strainer and place on paper towel lined cookie sheet.
Cook doughnut holes for 2-3 minutes.

Mix powdered sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a shallow dish.
Coat cooled doughnuts in sugar mixture.
Enjoy with a tall glass of cider!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Going Bananas!

Friday was my last official day rotating at Providence (insert pouting, crying face here).  After being there all last year and two additional months during fourth year, I'm pretty sad to be done.  I love the residents and attendings and always see a smiling face I know in the hallway.  Definitely the type of hospital I want to pursue further training at!  As a "last hurah" and a thank you to my residents for giving me Thursday off (we didn't have any patients!), I made Joy the Baker's Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie.  This pie has become one of my go to favorites for serving a smaller group (cupcakes are obviously my favorite for more people).  If you're a fan of the peanut butter, chocolate, banana combo this is a must try!

And speaking of cupcakes, I whipped up a batch of Banana Split Cupcakes for the surgery residents.  Of all the departments I baked for over the course of last year they were definitely the most appreciative.  And oh so flattering... so they continue to get baked goods dropped off every once in awhile.  I do realize its not summer anymore and I should be baking more with pumpkin and apples, not strawberries and whipped cream, but I found the cutest ice cream cone paper cupcake liners in the clearance section at Meijer this week.  I just couldn't resist picking them up and making this recipe that I had mentally bookmarked and never got around to baking this summer.  As usual the residents raved about these cupcakes.  However, I was less than impressed with how the cake turned out.  It was like a super dense, too sweet, spongy banana bread.  The recipe I used is posted below, but I might suggest one of these as an alternative:  Baker's Royale, Paula Deen, Fake Ginger.  I haven't tried any of them, but they MUST be better than the recipe I used.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie (adapted from JTB)
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 1 sealed package)
1/2 stick butter, melted
dash of salt

2 ounces dark chocolate
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (or smooth if you prefer)

1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
4 egg yolks
1 cup milk (closer to whole the better)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
3 ripe, on the verge of mooshy, bananas
Preheat oven to 350*
To be uber conservative in the clean-up department, the graham crackers can be crushed and mixed with the butter and salt in the pie pan.
Crush graham crackers (use your measuring cup and an oven mitt so you don't get marks all over your hand).
Add salt.
Pour melted butter over top.
Mix with fingers until evenly moistened.
Press in bottom and up the sides of your pie pan.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until browned.
Set aside to cool.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler.  To make your own place a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Be sure the bowl fits well, or you'll have to avoid the spouts of steam as you stir the chocolate.
Pour melted chocolate in center of crust.
Carefully spread the chocolate as the crust easily crumbles. *1
Put in refrigerator to harden.  While its cooling, make the custard.
When cool, spread layer of peanut butter over chocolate. *2

Heat milk over medium heat, stirring occasionally to a simmer.
Whisk sugar, corn starch, and egg yolks together in a bowl.
Pour a portion of the milk into the egg mixture while beating to temper the eggs.
Pour it all into the pan of milk.
Stir constantly until the custard thickens.
Add vanilla.
Remove from heat.
Pass through metal sieve to remove any scrambled egg bits.
Stir butter until melted.
Fold in sliced bananas.
Pour into pie shell. *3
Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings before serving. *4

Banana Split Cupcakes (adapted from Annie's Eats)
Makes 30ish cupcakes.
Cake Batter
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (make your own by adding a little white vinegar to milk)
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup diced strawberries

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup milk
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350*
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add one egg at a time.  Turn off mixer so the shell doesn't get accidentally incorporated!
Add salt and baking powder.
Beat in flour and milk, alternating which is added to blender.
Mix in mashed banana and chocolate chips.
Fold in strawberries.
Fill paper lined muffin tins  mostly full (this batter didn't rise very much at all).
Bake for 20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler.
Once melted, whisk in cream.
Cool for about 10 minutes.
Spoon on the top of the cooled cupcakes.

Heat milk and flour over medium heat.
When the mixture starts to thicken, begin to stir constantly.
Remove from heat once paste forms and transfer to a bowl to cool.
Beat sugar, butter, and shortening until fluffy.
Add cooled flour and milk paste and beat until smooth (no more sugar granules).
Chill for about 30 minutes.
Use piping bag and tip to make frosting look like whipped cream.
Decorate with sprinkles and a maraschino cherry, or your favorite banana split toppings.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hasselback Potatoes

What comes to mind when I say "baked potato"?  Family dinners?  Side dish you never eat because you ordered a 32 oz steak?  Ehhh?  Well, these "baked potatoes" certainly aren't any of those things.  They are crispy, garlicy, buttery, and oh so fancy.  While they do take a substantial amount of time to bake, all but 5 minutes of that hour is completely hands off.  Plenty of time to make yourself a cup of ginger chai and read a good book.
Garlic Hasselback Potatoes (adapted from Joy the Baker)
2 potatoes
2 cloves of garlic
plenty of butter and olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450*
Wash potatoes really well because we'll be eating (and enjoying) the skins.
Slice into the potatoes, but not completely through.
Cut garlic cloves into thin slices, just enough to place one slice in each potato slot.
Drizzle cooking sheet with olive oil.
Place potatoes on sheet and move around a little bit in oil.
Drizzle potatoes with oil.
Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper.
Place a pat of butter on each potato.
Bake for an hour adding a pat of butter every 20 minutes.