Monday, January 31, 2011

Roasted Garlic & Romano Butter

Oh my goodness, there is NOTHING better than a warm roll with this butter smeared all over it. It is the best! It has the yummy roasted garlic flavor with the salty Romano cheese with a bit of black pepper for bite and oh so good! I could eat this and only this for a week...

1 Stick of butter, softened
2 heads garlic
1 tsp black pepper
3 T grated Romano cheese
1 T olive oil

Cut off the tops of the heads of garlic, place in an oven safe pan, drizzle with olive oil and roast at 350` for about 30-40 minutes until the garlic is soft. Allow to cool till able to handle. Squeeze the roasted garlic out onto a cutting board. Using your knife smear, cut and smash the garlic until it is a mash. Mix with the softened butter add the cheese and the pepper. Smear onto toasted bread and warm rolls.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The redneck cake...

So today I spent the morning doing a test run of what I'm refering to...imagine the Jaws music in your head...the redneck cake. I decide that I didn't need to do a full feldge test run and that one small teir would work, so it began. I made Darwin's favorite cherry chip gag, (sorry folks I'm not an artifical cherry kind of gal) covered it with Buttercream then made my marshmellow fondant. I thought I would share this recipe here as well as the modeling chocolate recipe... recipes to follow shortly. I started by making 3 shades of army green, a chocolate brown and white fondant. I then took each color and formed it into a snake squished the snakes together and twirled and folded a few times then rolled out. It looked really good just like Camo. I covered the cake then drew the bark pattern by free hand on the fondant. I then took the modeling chocolate and formed branches. Then made the chocolate leaves. I bought candy melts in different "leaf" colors and coated fake fall leaves with the different shades, then peel off the fake leaf leaving the chocolate leaf intack. It turned out pretty good. The couple came over to look at it and drop off the topper adn pillars... did I mention the pillars? they want it seperated by pillars that they have covered in camo duct tape. The cake stand orginally was going to be a round of wood cut and sealed but they told me they couldn't find a round big enough so would like to me to cover a board guessed it camo duct tape... I told the couple if you don't like the way it looks or want my to do something different let me know and I'd be happy to change it... but no it is just perfect and what they wanted. oh goodness....
  anyhow, it will be interesting. Here are the recipes:

Marshmellow fondant:
1 pkg marshmellows
2-5 T water
2 lbs sifted powdered sugar
1/2 shortening

Place marshmellow and 2 T of water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals stirring inbetween until completely melted (about 3 minutes) fold in 3/4 of the powdered sugar. Grease hands adn table GENEROUSLY with the shortening, pour fondant out of bowl and knead incorporating the remaining sugar. If it tears easily it is too dry and add more water. Knead till it forms a ball that will not tear when stretched about 8 minutes. Store over night by coating with a thin layer of shortening and covering in plastic wrap and then in an air tight container. Roll out to 1/8-1/4 inch thick and cover cakes. Can be colored and flavored if you want. To make chocolate fondant sub 1 cup cocoa powder in for the powdered sugar.

Modeling chocolate: if you don't know what this is it is AMAZING!! it is so simple to make and great fun to play with. You can make it different colors by using white chocolate and food coloring *Just be sure to use powdered or Gel food coloring NOT liquid, the luquid contains water which will cause the chocolate to seize and have to be thrown out* This wonderful stuff, taste like a richer tootsie roll and can be shaped into any shape, it is so easy to work with.

1 bag chocolate chips
1/3 cup corn syrup

melt the chips in the microwave and fold in the syrup. Stir till thick then turn onto plastic wrap. Spread out and allow to sit out to set, about 2 hours if on the counter 30 minutes in the fridge. Tear off a  piece and start shaping, store in an air tight container.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shrimp Hash with a Bacon onion Balsamic vinaigrette

So we had this big get together dinner on Sunday with friends and it was great fun. It was a pot luck, I was to bring a side and dessert... So I brought Darwin's favorite goodies of his grandmothers...recipe will probably make its apperance here at some point, and I had 2 lbs of my mind was thinking what to do with this shrimp....I kid you not I went to sleep and dreamt about this wonderful yummy shrimp dish and woke up and decided it actually sounded quite tasty... so I made it and well lets just say my dear friend Michelle requested a tray full of it for her Birthday...which is in September.

Shrimp hash with a Bacon onion and Balsamic vinaigrette

3 large russet potatoes grated
1 T olive oil
1 meduim onion small diced
1/4 lb bacon diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 lb shrimp
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper
4 T reserve bacon fat...I know not the most healthy thing but Mmmmmmm
4-5 T balsamic vinegar
1/3 tsp white pepper

Start by marinating the shrimp in the paprika, cayenne salt and pepper and oil. Set aside. Fry the bacon and when about half way done add the onion and bacon, drain reserving the grease and allow to cool. On a griddle spread the olive oil out and press out the grated potatoes, basically you are making hashbrowns. Season to taste and cook till golden brown adn crisp then flip and cook through completely. In the pan that cooked the bacon and onions add the shrimp and cook completely. In a bowl add the bacon grease white pepper and whisk in the balsamic vinegar.
Cut your hashbrowns into squares, then top each one with 4-5 shrimp, top each square with about 1 tsp of the bacon mixture then drizzle with the vinaigrette, serve warm.... yummy!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Alfredo anyone??

So I made this super yummy and way easy alfredo sauce tonight and it turned out really good. I had leftover shrimp and chicken from the other night and really didn't want to cook something new so I just made this sauce and cooked up some noodles and whala a whole new meal!

Alfredo sauce:

1/4 cup flour
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
2 garlic cloves minced
1 onion peeled and cut in half, core still attached
3 cups milk
1/3 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
salt and white pepper to taste

Melt the butter and oil and saute the garlic and add the split onion, add the flour and cook your roux for about a minute, add the milk, bring to a boil to thicken, if too thick add more milk. Add cream cheese and Romano cheese, reduce to a simmer. Season to taste and remove onion. Supper simple and ooooooo so YUMMY!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ham and Potato soup

I always make this whenever I have leftover ham, it is so basic and simple but so very yummy! I like serving it with crackers and cheddar rolls, and a salad. However the soup is filling enough on its own... I meant to take a picture but...oops.

3 cups left over ham, diced
4-6 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 boxes chicken stock (32 oz)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
2 T oil
garlic powder
onion powder
salt and black pepper
white pepper

Heat the oil and suate the onion and garlic. Add the potatoes and Ham and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the stock. Combine the milk and flour and mix well to get rid of any lumps. Bring soup to a boil and add the slurry to thicken the soup. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Now you must season the soup to your likings. Usually I use 1 T onion powder 1 T garlic, 2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper and white pepper about a 1/2 tsp. The white pepper is very peppery so season to you and your families liking. We like it with a bit more peppery flavor. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes or till the potatoes are cooked through. Serve hot and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Well I've been a slacker lately...sorry. In all reality I really havne't been cooking that much, we are still working on left overs.. But I promise to post some new recipes soon.. perhaps with pictures. On a side note though, made my sister's chicken recipe(see below) and it is AMAZING and the kids loved it! For now while I'm lacking in recipes... I ask for your help. I met with a couple the other day who have asked me to do their wedding cake. I'm a bit scared and intrigued to do their cake... Not sure how I will blend the topper but this is the photo they gave me...
Their cake topper is very bridal and white and sparkly. It has lots of tulle and rhinestones, and the bride and groom are holding guns... They said they want James Bond meets Camo outdoors man...They want this cake just three teirs on pillars with large ediable branches in between so they can put fake deer on them... hmmmm... any ideas on how I can do this cake?