Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Blog URL

Hello All! Just wanted to let you know once again that I have a new blog. It’s the365cook.wordpress.com. It has all the old recipes plus new ones and it looks cooler too! Hope to see you there:)

Advertisements

New Blog URL

I have a new address!!

the365cook.wordpress.com

All archived recipes will be there as well as any and all new postings. If you’re a subscriber, please subscribe to that blog as no new postings will be posted here.

Thanks! Looking forward to seeing you there!!

Pressed Potatoes à la Rachael Ray

I saw this variation of roasted potatoes both on her show and in her magazine this month. I gave them a try the other night to go with the crock-pot chicken and veggies and boy, what a delight! The skin was so crispy! I had some prosciutto on hand from a recipe I meant to put it in the other night, but forgot. I cut that up and put it on the potatoes about 5 minutes before they were do to come out and the saltiness of the prosciutto lent a nice touch.

Here’s what you need:

1- red potatoes

2- salt and pepper

3- olive oil

4- prosciutto, if desired

Directions:

1- Boil the potatoes until fork tender

2- While potatoes boil, preheat oven to 425 degrees

3- Once potatoes are out, place them on a foil lined baking sheet and smash flat with the bottom of a glass. Don’t smash too hard because they will fall apart.

4- Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

5- Put in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. If using prosciutto, add at about the 20 minute mark.

I think I need to change the name of my blog

I’m back, but back with dinner instead of dessert. A lot has happened since I last wrote, biggest of all is that we moved to a place where we can no longer easily walk to a plethora of dinner locations. We do, however, have a huge Stop & Shop right across the street. It’s the biggest grocery store I have been to in a very long time. This is a good thing because we’re now making dinner on a daily basis, and trying to figure out creative ways to use our leftovers. So I’m back to here to record my dinner making successes and mishaps. I’ve been clipping recipes from every source possible I even started a file folder with my recipes. I’m excited to try new things and change the way we eat dinner. Dessert is not off the table totally, but it has been moved to the back burner.

Granola

I love granola. It’s so healthy and crunchy and flavorful. I like eating it plain or in yogurt as a parfait or with milk as my morning bowl of cereal, but store granola is so expensive that it was about time to make my own!

There are lots of variations when it comes to making granola, but there are some ingredients that are essential and these are listed below. I sweetened my granola with pure maple syrup, but you can make yours with part honey and part maple syrup. As a side note, the oats have to be the regular oats, not the quick cooking.

Essential Ingredients:

2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbs. flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola
1 Tb. water

Additions:

Here’s where you get to be creative. For the extra additions, I added almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, sesame seeds, Craisins, and some Total cereal. There are lots of other variations too. You can make it tropical, with the addition of dried pineapple or banana chips, or sweet, with the addition of chocolate chips. I, however, like the classic, crunchy granola. Make sure the additions you add are proportionate to the oats.

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch l pan with cooking spray, then set aside. Mix oats, brown sugar, salt and additions –except dried fruit — in a bowl.

Bring syrup, oil, water to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine.

Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Working a handful at a time, squeeze to form small clumps. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in dried fruit. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool. Granola can be stored in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.

Oh fudge!

I posted pumpkin fudge around Halloween, but recently I made chocolate fudge. The process for chocolate fudge is exactly the same as pumpkin, but I’ll go through it once more. You only need 6 ingredients, 5 if you count vanilla as an ingredient. I actually forgot to add the vanilla and it didn’t make a big difference. Some people say it enhances the flavor. I think that’s true if you’re using real vanilla, but I only have the imitation stuff, which doesn’t really cut it most of the time. Also, when using chocolate make sure you store it at room temperature, unless it’s very humid where you live. I bought the chocolate I used for this recipe in August and I live in the NE, so it gets very humid, so I stored it in the refrigerator. When the weather turned cold, I should have taken it out, but didn’t and when I went to use it to make fudge, the chocolate had bloomed. When chocolate blooms, it gets that grayish tint to it. This means the cocoa butter in the chocolate separated. Not a big deal. It’s still fine to use, but it won’t have that nice, deep color. So what I’m saying is to properly store your chocolate.

Oh before going into the recipe, don’t attempt to make this without a candy thermometer because testing for soft ball stage is just way too hard and then you have to cool the fudge to 120 degrees, so please just get a candy thermometer.

Ingredients:

4 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate

3 cups sugar

2 tbsp light corn syrup

1 1/4 cups milk

4 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Line an 8 inch square pan with foil and spray the foil with cooking spray.

Melt chocolate in pan over very low heat. Stir in sugar, corn syrup, and milk. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring until sugar dissolves.. Cook to 238F on candy thermometer. Remove from heat, and without stirring, add butter.

Let cool in the pan to 120F. Add vanilla and beat until mixture begins to thicken. It will begin to lose its shine, that’s when you want to pour it in the pan. Don’t wait to long or it will set as you are mixing it, which is not fun at all. I had to mix about 1 min.

Pour mixture into the pan and cut into squares when cool. It will last one week sitting out or about 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies…Update

After storing the cookies overnight in the refrigerator, they became very hard, tasty still, but hard. I usually look at a few different recipes before making something I’ve never made before in order to see if the ingredient quantities make sense, but I didn’t do that this time because we wanted dessert! So, while making this recipe, I thought it had too many oats, but I didn’t make any adjustments. For the future, I will keep all the ingredient quantities, except for the oats. I would add only 2 cups of oats instead of 3. You can either use quick-cooking or regular rolled.

Cake Decorating Classes

I just passed week 3 of my cake decorating classes and I am learning SO much. I kind of fell off the radar the past few weeks because I’ve been busy with this class and some other things, but I’m going to try to be better. In class, I’ve been learning how to properly use a piping bag, how to properly ice a cake, among LOTS of other things.
The very poor pictures to the right and bottom are some of my first creations, the right one is a cupcake on a cake and the bottom picture shows cupcakes with flowers on top.

More recipes will be coming soon!

Souffle Waits for Nobody

Souffle is a nice, airy dessert, made primarily from egg whites whipped to soft peaks. This was my first attempt at souffle. All in all it came out well, but I will make a few adjustments next time; I’ll share those changes here. Since souffle must go from oven to table in less than 90 seconds, lest you risk deflation, I made only two souffles. This dessert seems easy, but takes multiple tries to master.

The recipe I used came from realsimple.com.

Ingredients:


Directions:
  • 1- Heat oven to 375° F. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease two 8-ounce ramekins. Coat the ramekins with the cocoa, tapping out the excess.
  • 2- In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and remaining butter. Stir occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Whisk in the yolks one at a time until smooth. Set aside.
  • 3- In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the sugar, salt, and cream of tartar until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Gently fold the egg-white mixture into the chocolate. Spoon into the ramekins. Tap mixture down to ensure there is enough in the ramekin. (The recipe can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
  • 4- Bake until puffed and set- about 14 minutes. (If baked directly from the refrigerator, add 5 to 10 minutes.) 

Have fun:)

It’s been awhile….Flax Seed Muffins with Fresh Blueberries

It has been forever since I’ve baked..well that’s not really true. I made a lemon meringue pie about 2 weeks ago and, while it came out just fine, I had quite the time making it. I was in a particularly bad mood so everything seemed to be a challenge. Anyway, I am back and am going to try to make some healthier baked goods. I made these flax seed muffins yesterday and they came out yummy! I ground my own flax seed, which is apparently much better than buying it already ground. The muffins took like 20 mins to put together and then 25 mins in the oven at 350 degrees. I even used my rose shaped muffin tin, so all of the muffins came out looking like pretty roses.

The cool thing about these muffins is that you can mix anything into them, for example, I used blueberries, but you can add shredded carrots, nuts. craisins, really anything that sounds good to you.

So here’s the recipes…Oh and remember to never overmix muffin batter because it will make the muffins tough and icky.

Oven: 350 degrees

1.5 cups ground flax
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1 egg beaten
little bit of cinnamon and a little less nutmeg…use your judgement
3/4 cups brown sugar- I use dark brown because I like the dark look it gives the finished product
1 tbsp baking powder
2 cups milk- I use 1%- try not to use skim because the water content is too high

Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl. Mix the milk in with the beaten egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. At this point, you can add in any mix ins- the choices are endless. Mix everything together, but don’t overmix! Spray some muffin tins with non-stick spray, stick ’em in the oven and 20 mins later, check to see if the tops and sides are nice and brown, if not give ’em another 5 mins.

this recipe is courtesy of spiffyman.com.