Sunday, March 18, 2018

How To Make Blackberry Lemonade when life gives you lemons

You ever have a craving for something and you just can’t get it out of your head? Mine was Blackberry Lemonade. I wanted it so bad. I had it at a pizza place with the bestie (Tiffany), and even though she hated it. I loved it. She doesn’t like Blackberries, me on the hand, LOVE blackberries. It is one of the few fruits I enjoy cooked. That being said I went to Sonic to have myself a blackberry lemonade and instead received a peach one (I mean I like peach and all but jeez can’t you add the right flavor for the LOVE OF GOD) . It was later that night when I was lamenting over the fact that as much as I love Sonic I never manage to get the correct order that I decided I could make my own blackberry lemonade. Mom, whom was also tired of hearing about it said just make your own! I mean when life gives you lemons am I right!?
Thus creating my easy DIY.

What you will need.
2 Cups of Frozen blackberries, or fresh whatever (I bought a 12 oz bag of it)
Favorite lemonade (I used frozen because I don’t care enough to make my own yet)
2 cups of water (and whatever you need for your lemonade)
1 cup of sugar

*Recommended items:
        *Fine mesh sieve

Grab a pot. Add blackberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a rolling boil, stir it though don’t let it burn. Then reduce heat so that it is a slow simmer and let cook 5 - 8 minutes, you’ll know by looking at it...should be a darker color, like dark dark dark purple. Then next let it cool at room temp for 30 minutes then refrigerate for two hours. OR if you are like NO I WANT THIS ASAP then let it cool for like 15 minutes at room temp, then pop in freezer for 35 minutes. Once that is done put some cheese cloth in your strainer (or sieve and if you don’t have either one just use a colander, if you are OK with fruit bits then just use that, although a coffee filter or plain paper towel would work just as sufficiently). Then drain it into whatever you want to store it in (I ended up using a condiment squirt bottle) I also squeezed my berries to get more juice too. Make lemonade, put ice in glass if you want some, put syrup in bottom, add lemonade to top, stir, sip, enjoy. Note you could probably do the same with any fruit if I had to guess.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How to Make Scones

When we last left our baker (me…)they had made Macaroons! The French style. Which I had thought would be way difficult. It was not. Tedious yes, difficult. No. This time I decided I was going to make scones! I used to get them all the time from Panera I thought they were ok so may as well try to make some!

Things you will need:
2 Cups of Flour (plus extra for forming the stupid thing)
1/2 Cup of sugar (I did a heaping cup because I always think they’re not sweet enough)
1 Tbsp of Baking Powder
1/2 Cup of Frozen Butter – or really cold
1 Large Egg
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 Tsp. of Vanilla Extract
1 Heaping cup of fruit mixture (Mine was raspberries, blackberries, and Blueberries)
Sugar for top

Pre Heat oven to 400.

Ok so grab flour, sugar, and baking powder and put it in a bowl, then kinda whisk it real quick. Grab your butter and if it’s frozen grate it. Yes. Grate it. Trust me on this one. Put it in the flour and combine until just crumbly. Then in another bowl whisk together sour cream, egg, and vanilla together and add to the dry. Kinda mix a few times until your arm is tired and you’re like why is it so flipping thick, so about 20 turns with a spatula, then pop in the berries. Stir.

Next on the counter put some flour on there. Grab your dough put it on the counter and try to mix it some more, this will start the butter to melt which is perfect because your dough will come together now, and if you’re like me your hands will start to freeze because it’s so cold. Try not to let your berries break up but it’s ok either way. Mold into a giant circle (well circleish).  Cut into like 8 wedges or six if you want bigger ones. On a baking sheet put some parchment paper down. Put the dough wedges on the paper (I used a cake server). Sprinkle sugar on top of it. Then bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Should be slightly brown.

Let cool on pan for five minutes, then remove and let cool completely. Enjoy 😊!!! Professional test subject (ex Family and Consumer Sciences teacher) Mother, said they were amazing. Grandma had a bite (on a diet) she said it was decadent. Father Even liked it. I myself always think scones are ok. These I liked, so I do recommend. Very very very very yummy! So here we go make these. Also all the co-workers like it too. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

How- to make Macarons...Macaroons...whatever

First ...Hi I know it's been a let us just move past the like three year Hiatus and go straight into my recipe.

First off I have never ever ever made these! EVER!  That being said I love Macaroons, I have purchased them several times, they are super expensive, they are delicious. I have looked up multiple recipes on Pinterest and Google, and they're really not difficult. Just time really time consuming. Also not every recipe was helpful, not every recipe was accurate or had a good description. That being said after reading three separate recipes to create this one and then about four to figure out a filling and flavor profile. Therefore without further ado, back from my long hiatus (please note the post before this one had been sitting in a draft so it does not count nor do I have any idea what it says) here is French Macaroons by Jessica!

Please also note the photos are only ok.

What you will need
3 egg whites (room temp)
1 3/4 c. of Powdered Sugar
1 c. of Almond Meal/ Flour (just buy it I don't know how to make this)
1/4 tsp of Cream of Tartar
Dash of Salt
1/4 c. of Superfine Sugar - yes superfine is easier but regular sugar is ok
1/4 tsp of Vanilla extract (or whatever flavor you want)
2-4 drops of food gel coloring (more for a deeper color)
Filling - lots of kinds below for ideas

Note that I took freeze dried strawberries and smashed them up into my dry mixture because I wanted to make strawberry ones and didn't want to add more liquid to the cookie batter.

Ok Grab a sieve and run the powdered sugar and Almond Meal through the sieve (run it through twice if your sieve isn't a fine mesh) I ran my freeze dried strawberries at this time too. Leave this in a big bowl and set to the side.

Now egg whites - there are rules to a meringue and this is pretty much the same thing.  Use a CLEAN dry metal bowl, separate eggs one by one, DO NOT use the pre-separated egg whites  you can buy in the refrigerated section. Make sure they are room temperature. Add your dash of salt and cream of tartar, start to whisk until it is white and frothy. Then add the 1/4 cup of sugar ONE teaspoon at a time..literally one teaspoon at a time whisking (with a mixer unless you've got the arms for it) on high until stiff peaks form. Takes anywhere from 4 - 10 minutes depending on how awesome of a mixer / arm you have. Once your stiff peaks have formed add food color gel and flavoring and re beat it really quick - like 30 seconds. 

Grab your egg whites and mix it into the almond flour and powdered sugar mix. This is the "hard part" try to fold it together, I started to, then I kinda started lightly mixing with my rubber scraper, I was told I was looking for a shiny surface, with a "lava like texture". Well this took longer than I thought it would.   Like I was expecting like 30-40 strokes...not quite it took like two minutes or so. When you lift your spatula out of the batter it should fall off in a sheet like ribbon to the bowl.

Once that part is completed the next part is to put a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper down on a baking sheet. Fill a bag (I did a Ziploc bag because that's all I have) snip the end and pipe out 3/4 inch circles onto the mat / sheet (I did almost 3/4 an inch I didn't do mine accurately). Once it is all piped out smack the sheet on the counter two or three times to get rid of air bubbles. Let it sit for 25 minutes to an hour, you want them to feel dry to the touch when you lightly touch them.

Pre-heat the oven to 300, once pre-heated pop the cookies in, let bake 8 minutes, rotate sheets (carefully and gently), cook for another 8 minutes. Once done cooking, turn off oven, pull cookies out and if you used parchment paper pull the sheet off the pan and let it cool on the counter. If you didn't let it sit for five minutes then place on a cooling rack.

Make a filling. I did 2 tbs of butter, 4 tbsp of cream cheese, 2 heaping teaspoons of strawberry jam, and like 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, pretty sure I did a dash of vanilla extract. Again you could do anything though but I wanted strawberry. Mixed it all up. When the cookies were cooled I slapped some on one then put another cookie on top and enjoyed it.

There is a part to a macaroon that puffs out at the bottom of the cookie, it is called the foot. Mine did that. This was my first time doing this. It turned out perfect too. Literally they were just like I bought in the store. I was very proud of myself! Although they were not all the same size they were all bursting with flavor. It is a simple, although time consuming and I worried about it turning out correct. They were perfect for a first time. Now I know exactly what I am looking for next time. Now get out there and make something. What's the worst that can happen? It fails? Oh well! Break some eggs!

Test subject Grandma broke her diet just to have one. You should too!


All dry

Dry already

did not move this sheet roughly 

I moved this sheet too rough and they moved a bit

See the puffy part toward the middle that is the feet 

Exactly what it should look like inside

How to make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are my favorite thing in the whole world for breakfast...well maybe my favorite. It's a hard pick. I love breakfast though. Now that being said, cinnamon rolls if they're homemade are amazing. I am going to tell you how to make these but I feel horrible, I didn't take photos of the whole process so I'll just have to describe it.

First of all what is sourdough starter: well I have made this in my blog before it's not hard, its basically a starter you use to put into baked goods to make it have a distinct flavor. It is amazing! There can be a lot of work with a starter you have to feed it, take care of it..lots of work but worth every second. Also you don't have to feed it daily, read all about it on the internet!!

Okay so bread or dough is not the easiest thing to use / make so there are several things you can use to make your job easier, one is a bread maker, the other is a mixer, and last is your hands. I used to have a bread maker, it died...ok didn't die...I broke the mixer thing in it, could not find another one. But I have a mixer. All dough (most ok) needs to be kneaded, this is why I don't like making bread, it's super difficult to make. Alright, not difficult , it's time consuming. That being said I will now give you the best cinnamon roll recipe I have ever had!

What you will need:

1 cup of sourdough starter  - link -
3/4 c. milk warmed for 1 minute in the microwave
2 tbs of butter room temp
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 c. sugar
3 1/4 c. flour (bread or all purpose)
1 tsp yeast

Cinnamon Filling:
Brown Sugar

3 oz of Cream Cheese
2 Tbsp of Butter
2 1/2 cups of Powder Sugar

Okay now if you a have a bread machine put everything in the machine and put on dough cycle. If not put everything into the mixer add the dough hook then start mixing it for 7 - 9 minutes. Okay so last method. If you don't have any of those put the ingredients in a bowl, stir until combined. Then pour it out on a floured surface and knead it for 10 - 15 minutes until it is knead you just kinda pull and push it together like your playing with playdough. Okay once that is done roll it out into a 12 x 15 inch square and then pour some melted butter on the dough. Sprinkle some brown sugar over the dough, then sprinkle cinnamon over that. Next step roll it up like a jelly roll, then cut, put it in a pan and let rise for 2 - 3 hours on the counter, OR let rise overnight in the fridge. Preheat oven to 375, then bake for 25 minutes once golden brown and tasty looking pull them out let them sit for like 2 minutes and then add frosting. Eat, enjoy, love!

Friday, July 10, 2015

How to make Iced Coffee

I would like to start this blog by saying my bad. Life has a way of sneaking up on you and you are unable to do the things you love or you neglect them. For example I love reading, writing, and cooking. However, when I am feeling down I have a hard time reading novels and I will read short stories because they are easier to get through. I will half ass my cooking, I mean who really cares right? Then writing? Well that gets delegated to the back burner where I have several blog entries started or made up in my head that never make it further than that. I currently have 6 blogs on my phone (pictures and recipes) ready to go. I have yet to do anything further with them. They are there. That’s my outlet but putting it out…it’s not working out so great. For those of you who don’t know (probably most of you), I suffer from depression. Not for the normal reasons, mine is because my doctor pulled out my ovary. I have had hormone imbalances ever since. Specifically causing me to be depressed. It is super fun! Yes that is Sarcasm! Therefore, allow me to apologize if I do not update as often as possible. No, I do not want to talk about my depression. I do not want to go to therapy I want to see where this new medicine will take me, thus far it’s just made me sick.

Moving along! As I have told you before, I have recipes that never turn out correct, for example my fried pork chops with soy honey glaze…never…right. I have tried that recipe four times, I have never had that one work out! That being said another recipe I have never had turn out correct was iced coffee, not like normal brew coffee and pour it over ice. No not that. I mean cold brew this coffee add milk and sugar kind of stuff! That being said third time is a charm! I got it this time!

What you will need:

1 Cup of Ground Coffee
4 Cups of Filtered Water (no I didn’t used filtered because I don’t care)
10 Cups of Milk (ish kind of I’ll explain later)
Simple Vanilla Syrup – recipe next
Any other flavoring you want
Simple Vanilla Syrup:
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Cup of Water
1 Vanilla bean or 1 Tbsp of pure Vanilla Extract

Okay so in order of how I made this was as followed. I bought vanilla flavored coffee, because I was making caramel macchiato flavored iced coffee. I ground up one cup of coffee beans – rough grind and put them in a glass pitcher then poured water over top four cups actually. In all reality I doubled this recipe since I had a two quart pitcher I knew it would hold 8 cups of water, thanks gallon man! Yes
the coffee would displace the water some but I found this method easier. Now I covered the coffee water stuff with foil and popped it in the fridge overnight. Then that same night I grabbed my sugar and water and vanilla bean put them on a stove and brought them to a boil when it was clear I removed it from the stove top and let it cool – yes it is a simple syrup. Now if you don’t want to buy a vanilla bean or two when you remove it from the heat and it starts to cool down pour in straight vanilla extract about a tablespoon stir and let sit to cool overnight. If you want at this point you could brew some strong coffee, put it into ice cube trays and freeze for tomorrow.
Now fast forward 12 hours to the next morning. Grab a sieve (or colander whatever you have) place some coffee filters in it then place it over a large bowl or pitcher and start to pour the cold coffee mixture over the sieve and go until it’s all emptied out. Now normally I grab the left over grounds and pour them on my hydrangeas so I can make them blue but that’s another discussion. Once it is drained I wanted to make sure it was strong. It was. I grabbed a little cup poured in enough to swish around my mouth and regretted it. It was strong. So strong. But the flavor! It was perfect! Now this is the weird part. Depending on how strong you want this is how much milk you will add. I wanted it strong but not over powering (plus I had the coffee cubes) so I did for every one part of coffee two parts of milk, I used whole milk, but I like whole milk, you can use whatever you want. Meaning I guessed and tweaked till it tasted okay. Then I added my simple sugar, caramel, and stirred until it was mixed thoroughly (I ended up adding ¼ c. of simple syrup and about the same with caramel). Taste, add more sugar or milk to your liking. Now how to serve it up, toss your coffee ice cubes in the cup, pour drink over top, and sip! How did it taste? Test subject Steve made me make another batch because he liked it so much (a chocolate one). I made my coworkers drink it, they liked it! Go ahead and cold brew yourself some coffee! It’s totally worth it!