Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to make your own Uncrustables

This week I bought my husband his favorite thing ever. Uncrustables. You know those things are expensive. I mean it’s like 3 bucks for a 4 pack when it’s on sale. That is crazy, yet they are supposedly the best. I like the honey ones but not the jelly ones. I am not a jelly in my peanut butter person. Never have been, now you can toast bread for me and put peanut butter on one slice and jelly on the other but they must never touch! I have not clue why this is. I am what I am! I am sure you are thinking wow just a couple of posts ago she was complaining about not being taken seriously as an adult and now she's making these. Well guess what when you get a couple hours of sleep and pack your husband breakfast every morning and have to pack enough to last him a whole 14 hours you'd make these too - they are helpful since I mean other than me who really likes crusts. No one. At least that's what my mom always says so if she does not eat them and kids don't eat them and most people in my family don't I am sure you'll want to know how to make these. Plus I know some of you have kids who would love these and if you are worried about all that processed food which I could care less but you may worry you can use organic crap (I realize it's not "Crap" but hey I know some people that pay 4 bucks for a dozen eggs because they are free range eggs, that just means they were let outside for like 15 minutes so you wanna pay four bucks fine but I suggest if you're really worried about those poor chicken's then go find a farmer and buy eggs off him, I am sure there are tons that sell those nasty gross eggs - hey I am not an egg person don't act surprised). Anyway so as I was totally irritated with the overpriced sandwiches (which are apparently cheaper than normal) I decided to Google some ideas for making them myself. I know cool huh! Anyway, I learned the only thing I really needed was a sandwich sealer / crust cutter and I’d be fine. Also you can use a peanut butter top or a large glass in place of this but meh who cares I wanted this thing. Okay so I bought a sandwich cutter and sealer it was 2 bucks and I found it close to where the peanut butter was in the store. So here is what you will need:


Plastic bags

Freezer

Bread – if you can find sandwich cut get it

The next items are all in whatever you want to put in them:

Jelly

Peanut Butter (try flavored ones for a kick)

Honey

Nutella

Okay so here is what I did. I found some bread placed it in a cutting board and on top of that I added a thin layer of peanut butter to both sides of the bread. Then I placed a SMALL amount of jelly in the center of the peanut butter. Just a little bit more than that and it wont seal right. Then I took my sandwich cutter and sealer and cut the crusts off – trust me when I say to do these two steps separately because my cutter and sealer can be used at the same time. Anyway cut off the crusts and save them in a large plastic bag then take the sealer part and press down to crimp the edges. Label another small bag write what flavor it is and seal it. If you don’t have one of the nifty sandwich things cut of the crusts with a knife and seal it with your peanut butter lid or a glass. Works just as well. Now the crusts place them in the freezer and use them to make breadcrumbs for later! Here are the flavors I did:

PB and Strawberry Preserves

PB and Nutella

Mighty maple PB and Strawberry Preserves

White Chocolate Wonderful (WCW) PB and Honey

WCW PB and Nutella

WCW PB all by itself

When I did the Nutella I did not place it in the middle I did one side PB one side Nutella.

The Honey, however, I did place in between the PB a small drizzle.

I made the ones I like on white bread and made the husband the ones he will like on wheat bread (also he will not eat his without jelly so I am guessing uoi can figure out what flavors he likes and what ones I like). We’ve tossed them in the freezer and still have some bread left – I got lazy figured 20 would be enough for now. Now I did not have to buy anything other than the sealer and the bread so for me 20 sandwiches cost 4 bucks. I would say I saved money what do you think? Also I like the way they taste. All though next time I am thinking of adding marshmallow fluff….mmmm it’s cool go ahead and drool!





All plated for my lunch


yummmmm PB and Nutella! 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to make Crock pot Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese?! Yum! I love it - however, I am not a homemade mac and cheese person - I know you're surprised. I was too - as was my mother.  But anyway I have learned how to make some in the crock pot and guess what I liked it. I know you're surprised. I was too. Anyway here is what you'll need:
1 egg
2 c uncooked macaroni
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
1 can of evaporated milk
Okay mix everything and add some salt and pepper if you want cook on low for 3 - 4 hours I stirred this once or twice while it was cooking (I know you are not supposed to lift the lid but guess what I had to!) and then I served it up with some pork chops I loved it! Peter loved it and it was easy! So how long did mine have to cook - 2.5 hours was super easy!
Hope you make some!!



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to make beef burgundy

Listen to me as you read the following words. Beef, Bacon, and Wine. That right there is a winning combo. You know I love French food right? Of course you do – I’ve made crepe’s and madeleines. So why not boeuf bourguignon – or beef burgundy for those of you who don’t know French – hey it’s cool, I got your back. Anyway this stew, if you will, is amazing.


Here is what you will need:

5 slices bacon, chopped

1 cup chopped yellow or white onions – I did two onions

3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

4 – 5 potatoes

2 pounds beef chuck, cubed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp of garlic – chopped

2 cups burgundy, or dry red wine

1/2 – 1 cup beef stock



Okay so here is how this works. Take your bacon and a large, I mean large too, I used a stock pot, pot and chop that bacon heat that pot and then toss the bacon into the pot – let it brown – you know how to cook that bacon. Oh let the sweet amazing meat cook in that pot until it is amazing….mmmm bacon. Don’t drool people. Okay now remove the bacon – put it in a large bowl it’ll make more sense later - BUT leave that fat. Now place all your veggies in there. Potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, and garlic, then cook those for about 5 minutes, yes in the fat. Now take those out and put them in a bowl with the bacon and turn up the heat on that pot. Take your meat and cut it – I did use flank steak but that’s cause I’m cheap and it was on sale - also if you let it sit for 20 minutes on the counter it'll be easier to brown. Salt and pepper each side of the beef and place it in the pan to sear / brown. Once that is done add the veggies and bacon back – see that we’re going to have bacon in a stew- you're welcome . Now add your beef stock I added 1 cup. Pour in some wine, I got my giant bottle for 3.49 yeah I am the bargain shopper when it comes to wine. Then add that tomato paste. You want enough liquid to cover everything so either add more stock or more wine - I added more wine. Let it come to a boil and then turn down the heat and allow it to just cook for the next hour and a half – of course you should stir every now and then. The last half hour take some water and flour – or cornstarch – and make it into a slurry thing and add it to the pot. Stir. Cook for another half hour and then serve with some bread. Now traditionally there are mushrooms in this – I hate mushrooms – maybe you’ve heard me say that before I really do though, oh how I hate them. On top of that normally there are pearl onions in it – I did not have any. Hey you use what you can – hence the extra onion. Also yes I know this is not Julia Child’s recipe but I read hers it’s way much more effort than I was going to put forth – she may have been a French cook but I am the what’s the easiest way to make this cook. No I don’t have any photos of me actually cooking this but how about some photo’s from Midfest – the cultural festival in Middletown Ohio that they have every year- this year was France hence the food this week! I will show you a generic photo of beef burgundy and describe mine. A rich dark brown red color, which has the smell of bacon and wine, with a slight beef aroma, the broth was velvet texture almost, smooth and creamy and yet surprisingly thick. Also this is great with crusty bread. So Peter and I both loved it and I could not eat much it was way too rich for me, but I loved dipping the bread in it. All in all a great dish for a cold night – takes a little to fill you up and it did not take me the five and a half hours Julia’s called for – it was also half of the steps and it tasted just like the beef burgundy My mom and Malia had at the festival. By the way they had fairy tale readings – which was awesome, sadly not too many French foods that day but some wines and one booth had authentic French food and they were amazing! I did get a mug with different places in France on it, had a cream pastry and generally enjoyed myself. Also one final apology - sorry Julia - I am not you I love your book but it just wont happen not now - not ever - she rock's and I am no Julia Child - I am just teaching the masses how to cook simple tasty food.



Some day I'll take awesome pictures like this is swear



This is about the color of mine.



Here are the photos!








Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How to make Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

A rant will be issued for the first part of this blog - I am apparently not an adult (I would take young adult as a title as well). I am married, 24, have an apartment, pay my own bills, cook my own food, go to the Doctor on my own, sign all my own paper work, can rent things, I have had body parts removed from me, and now I am unable to have children, I have had 4 major surgeries, I have seen enough death in my lifetime, and I have graduated from college with a degree. At what point in life do I become this magical adult? Is it an age thing? Is it an experience thing? Have I not had enough experience for some people?! Well what's the age?! What do I have to do to be an adult? Quit telling jokes? Well I know plenty of adults that tell jokes, some people even get paid for it. Have a child? Well let me be the first to tell you some people who have kids are 16, does that make them adults? Am I missing some hidden thing here? -End rant.
Okay so here is what you may or may not know about me. I love pancakes. My father makes the best in the world. Seriously folks. The best. He even uses just the add water to the mix kind and yet they are my favorite. I have no clue why but even my Husband the man who wont eat pancakes will only eat my fathers. This being said as you may now I do not like to eat eggs, I don't like them. Therefore, for breakfast when my husband wants omelette's I make myself pancakes. But since they are never as good as my fathers buttermilk pancakes I always just add chocolate chips to them or something. Well this past Sunday morning what I really wanted was cinnamon rolls. Guess what I was not going to make, cinnamon rolls, why? Because that is way too much work. What can I say I am all about easy breakfast. So while I was making his nasty, I mean amazing, omelet I decided I want to make cinnamon roll pan cakes. I've had them before, they can't be that hard! They were not so here is what you need:
Pancake mix - pick whatever you want or make your own but my mix is easy
4 tbsp of melted butter
1/4 c plus 2 tbsp of brown sugar
1/2 tbsp of cinnamon
Okay so melt that butter mix the brown sugar and cinnamon into it pour it into a pastry bag or a Ziploc bag and let it cool...yes cool I don't want molten butter. We want this to just cool down and be thick - according to the website where I go this recipe it should be like toothpaste. So let it cool and in the mean time warm up your pan to make pancakes. A pancake pan should be hot but not too hot - about medium heat it should take about 50 seconds  to 1 1/2 minutes to cook on each side if it takes longer you're not doing it right. Also we only flip pancakes once. Anymore and they are stiff and flat. Do you want flat pancakes?! No you do not! Okay pour some batter into the pan let it start to bubble and then swirl in a tight circle some of that brown sugar cinnamon mixture - this is easier with a larger hole cut into the bottom edge of the bag. Now make a spiral - stay away from the edge of the pancake. Let the pancake finish bubbling and flip in one fluid motion - I should make a video on this...except I'd have to make one for left handed people and right handed people - trust me some of those lefties have no clue how to flip pancakes. Watch them - they do it backwards. Okay when finished cooking place it on a plate and then I just drizzle with powdered sugar glaze - trust me more than one or two would put you in a comma. - and I know how to indudlge in sweets better than you and two put me there!













I forgot to take a photo of the swirl - because well, it was at a very important part! This is my Awesomely Drawn Photo of Pancake Perfection





Here is a video !!





Pancake tips:




We only flip once – ever

If the first pancake messes up it’s cool – the first one rarely comes out right

If the top of the pancake becomes too “dry looking” before you’re ready to flip then the cooking surface is too cool

If the pancakes become too brown before the bubbles form it’s too hot

Do not over mix

Make sure ingredients are precise – it’s like making bread

You can use boxed pancake mix – whoever invented just add water made the best mix – I prefer it over adding flour, eggs, milk, and butter – it makes my life easier

Do not make huge pancakes – you don’t need them they don’t cook correctly about 1/3 or 1/2 cup of batter is plenty

Do you want fruit in your pancakes? Maybe nuts, chocolate chips, or anything else that is big like that, sprinkle it on top

Top your pancakes with whatever you want! Be creative

Made too many? Freeze and pop in toaster when you want to eat them – no they are not as good as fresh, but it makes for a good quick breakfast “roll up” put eggs, peanut butter, or even a breakfast meat in it and roll and ingest on your way out the door

Are you left handed and you’ve been told you can’t flip a pancake? It’s because you probably do flip it backwards – I’ve watched you, you know who you are – watch my video on pancake flipping – I’ll teach you I promise.

Did your pancakes make a mess – it’s cool – we’re not going to “flip out” on you

Making for a crowd? Place on a plate and put it in the oven on "warm" about 170 - 180 and they will stay warm and fluffy for the whole time you are making more pancakes.

Add fat or spray to your pan when cooking – my dad and grandmother use butter flavored Crisco – you can use oil or butter as well. I like the layer of Crisco my grandma uses, it makes the pancake edges crispy and funnel cake like and I love them

Make sure you’re pan is just right for your stove – mine is between number 5 – 7 yeah sometimes six, but normally not. Make sure it is a good heavy pan or a coated pan. I know where to put mine to make perfect pancakes. You can use an electric griddle if you like but I don't like them.
If you are not sure what to do follow these instructions:

Heat the pan on medium to medium high

When hot, sprinkle a few drops of water

Should “dance off”

Add fat or non-stick spray

Add pancake batter

Wait for bubbles to form – lot of bubbles with some breaking open

Flip, one time only

Eat!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to make Pretzel Bark

Once again the pintrest bug has bit me. I have been looking at this recipe for weeks and I finally made it. Pretzel bark. It reminded me of these things my grandma used to make called "yummy crackers" I have no clue if that is their real name but that's what her recipe said. Anyway this is what you will need for the bark.
1 large cookie sheet with an edge
1/2 bag of pretzels
1 cup of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 bag of chocolate chips
Coarse ground sea salt (optional)

Okay preheat oven to 350. Line pan with parchment paper or foil. Place a single layer of pretzels down on the pan - note we made this and decided next time we're going to double up on the pretzels. Now in a medium sized pot melt butter and brown sugar together, bring it to a boil and when it starts to thicken take it off and pour it over the pretzels. No it does not have to cover each pretzel. Trust me! Next pop it in the oven bake for five minutes. Once that is done pull it out and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Put it back in the oven for exactly one minute pull it out and spread chocolate to smooth it over the top with a rubber scraper. Remeber chocolate keeps its form even when warm, so it is easy to burn. Now take some sea salt that is coarsely ground and sprinkle it on top of the chocolate. This is optional I normally do not but since I had sea salt I thought why not. Glad I did, it was amazing. Now put it in the fridge till it hardens. Break and store in freezer - best if eaten cold or else it gets all over you. Finally when I make this next time I am doubling up the pretzels and then I am going to melt candy melts and pour over the top that way I can use dark and white chocolate and I know it will harden when cooled and even if it sits out it'll be cooled. I did it this time for the blog with the double pretzels - I prefered that, but my milk chocolate bark would not melt for some reason it seized up on me so I did just chocolate. It was easy to melt in the double boiler and pour over top but it made a bigger mess. Moral of the story just pour chocoalte chips over the top!
How about cinnamon roll pancakes for next week? I think so too.