Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to make Compound Butter

Butter is my favorite thing in the world; yeah I know you can tell I mean have you seen my hips? So I have no real pictures of me making this so you’ll have to bear with me. This is how to make compound butter; it is good on top of pork chops, steaks, chicken, and bread. I mean anything you really need a butter spread for. So here we go:
Things you will need:
2 sticks of soft not melted butter, or one cup (unsalted please!)
1 tbsp of garlic
1 - 2 tsp of the following spices: parsley, oregano, basil, dried chives, Italian seasoning, or your other favorite herb. Pick 2 – 3 and add to butter and garlic.
1/2 tsp of seasoned salt OR meat tenderizer, they sell meat tenderizer at all the stores it’s a red orange color.
1/2 tsp of pepper – coarsely ground

Once you have all those in a bowl mix until combined, now you can either leave it sit until you have bread and spread some on, or top any meat with it once it is done cooking, or if you are roasting a chicken spread it on the outside for a very tender and delicious bird. The longer it sits the more flavor the herbs will give the butter. I used unsalted butter so that when I add the salt it wont be as big of a deal, however, if you are using salted butter please do not add the seasoned salt. Basically all you really have to do is pick some seasonings out of your cabinet and combine. Enjoy!! Most people roll there’s into a log and chill. I did not I just let chill in a Tupperware container. I’m lazy be surprised.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How to make delicious dark chocolate cake

Ahhh cake, how I love baking, how I love chocolate, let me count the ways…okay not really going to count the ways, you get the drift. I have had a terrible week, I feel like crap. So I decided I wanted to make this dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting. I love chocolate; I know you’re not surprised. If you are…well you obviously have not read my blog ever. I just wish test subject Akeem was here to devour some of this. But alas I shall have to serve it to test subject Emily and Steve. Now this recipe is so hard to come by that all you have to do is buy a jar of Hershey’s cocoa powder…yeah I know I’m being sarcastic. Any way if you just have regular cocoa powder you can make this too so you don’t need the one I used but I will tell you now I used the special dark kind and man is it rich. Yet this is so good too. Okay so here is what you will need:

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa (feel free to use regular cocoa powder)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

 For the frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

2/3 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa (again can be regular cocoa powder)

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Start by preheating the oven to 350.  Okay so this is different from most cake recipes but simple. Mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, soda, salt, and baking powder. Yeah weird huh! Not used to mixing the sugar in with that huh. Now add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, mix well. After that is finished pour in the one cup of BOILING water. Now mix it till combined. I know the batter is really thin but it’ll be ok. Once that is finished pour in a pan that you have greased, now you can do any style of pan you want I am doing a 13 x 9 but the original recipe said two 9 inch round pans. Anyway, once you have done that put it in the oven and if you are doing the 13x 9 bake for about 35 – 45 minutes, that’s how long it took me. Now the time for the nine inch ones is .30 – 35 minutes. Anyway, moving along, bake cool and while it’s cooling make the frosting. Same as any other frosting, once completely cooled frost, serve, devour, and among everything else, enjoy it! Like me pin me, send me a message! I am always open for new ideas!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

How to make cinnamon rolls with a bread machine

Cinnamon rolls, they are amazing!! My mother used to make them from scratch on Christmas morning when I was growing up. However, not recently, recently my grandmother has made Christmas breakfast so we’ve had no reason to make them. But I have decided on Saturday morning before mother’s day that I will make her cinnamon rolls and something else for breakfast.  I’m going to make it on Saturday because I will be busy on Sunday. But she will love it either way. As you know, I hate kneading dough and if I can use the dough machine I will use it. Well this recipe I found online thanks to what’s cooking America.  So there are several ways you can make them but I did the dough machine one so that’s what I’ll be teaching you!
Things you will need:
A dough machine
1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave) 

1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1/2 cup butter, room temperature 
2 eggs, room temperature and beaten 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 cups bread flour – I used all-purpose it works just as well
3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast

Cinnamon Filling 

1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Soften the butter; set aside. In a bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; stir in chopped nuts (optional).

Butter Frosting 

2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup< powdered (confectioners) sugar

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, mix until creamy. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use and then bring to room temperature before spreading.
Okay so basically add all the ingredients except for the filling and frosting into the dough machine. Then set it to the dough setting on your machine. Once that is done, two hours later... or so, set it into a bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes and cover it with plastic wrap.  Once that is done roll it out to a large square, about 15 x 24 inches. Then use the half cup of butter and spread it over the top of the dough. Then mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon, nuts if you want, I am not putting them in, I guess you could do raisins too, but since I do not like them I would never put them in there. Now sprinkle the mixture on top and press it down over the butter. Then roll the long end up like you’re rolling a jelly roll then crimp. Once you’re done get some thread or plain floss, yes one or the other is easier, of course you can always just cut them with a knife.  If you use the thread, slide the thread 1 1/2 inches into the roll and pull the string together to cut the bread. Yeah it’s the easiest to do or you can cut it with the knife if you want to be difficult. I won’t judge…much. Once that is done place the rolls into a 13 by 9 inch pan not touching. I had to use two. Because who knows maybe I have fatter ones. Then you can do one of three things. Freeze them, refrigerate them, or bake them. To bake them let them rise for 45 minutes to an hour in a warm place. If you freeze them they can stay frozen for a month. But before you cook them you let them rise at room temp for 12 hours. Then if you refrigerate them you leave them in the fridge for 12 – 72 hours and then pull them out and bake immediately, no need to let them rise and bake at 350 for 20 – 25 minutes.
Meanwhile make the frosting and once fully baked let sit for about 5 – 10 minutes then frost, serve, eat, and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to make Chicken Marsala

Chicken marsala is amazing. It is also my mom’s favorite dish. It is also simple. There are tons of variations of it too. Mine is simple and served over noodles, I will tell you now there is never enough sauce for us, ever, so feel free to make more sauce. Here is how we do it.
What you will need:
For the “sauce”
4 tbsp of olive oil
4 tbsp of butter
1 c. marsala wine – for some reason the cooking version of this is next to the vinegar.
1 large package of mushrooms
1 large onion
3 tbsp of cream – at the end!!
For the chicken:
3 – 6 chicken breasts
1/2 c. cake flour or regular flour
1 tsp Season salt
1/2 tsp of pepper

Okay so here we go. Take your olive oil and butter and melt it in a large skillet over medium low heat until just melted then add the mushrooms and slices of onions, small slices but not diced onions! Then start to sauté those, and in the meantime, take your chicken and pound it thin, so it’s about 1/2 an inch thick. Next mix flour and salt and pepper in a small flat device, like the bottom of a Tupperware container. Now “dredge” aka place each side of the chicken in the flour and shake of the excess. Next, place them in the pan with the onions and mushrooms and cook on each side for about 5 – 10 minutes, each side should be golden brown and cooked thoroughly when finished.  When chicken is finished you can either place it in the oven to keep warm or leave it in the pan, I find putting it in the oven is easier. Now place just the chicken in the oven and leave the onions and mushrooms in the pan. To this add the marsala and cook for 5 – 10 minutes, just let it bubble away, at this point you can add more wine and more butter and stuff to make more sauce if desired. Now when you’ve got about minute left add cream or half and half to the sauce to make it a nice creamy sauce. Then return the chicken to the pan and cook for another minute or two turning each piece of chicken at least once- trust me makes a better flavor. Now you can serve this over pasta or anything really olive garden does potatoes and mashed potatoes. Up to you really, it is my favorite Italian dish. Yum yum yum, enjoy, don’t eat it too fast, I promise it is amazing!!!