Sunday, August 31, 2008

Eclairs, how exciting..

The August daring bakers challenge was Éclairs by Pierre Hermé. I was so excited, I haven't had an eclair in ages, and haven't made them since I was in college.. so I was really really excited to 'get this show on the road". I had a few setbacks though.. my pastry tips seem to have walked away or something because I only had 2, a very small round and a star tip.. crap, Okay, I'll be the first to admit they came out less than perfect.. I blame my too small pastry tip for this one though, because they tasted really good.. when I finally got the right size pastry tip though.. I had no camera, so I'm stuck with this one picture that got salvaged from the others that got deleted when I removed all the software from the Olympus..

The choux was perfect, it baked up light and perfect, not eggy at all, my chocolate glaze was perfect, but the pastry cream.. well, it was perfect until someone thought it would have been a good idea to beat it with the mixer just a little bit.. and then it was a runny mess (but frozen it made a nice ice cream sort of treat, lol)

Pierre Hermé’s Cream Puff Dough
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

• ½ cup (125g) whole milk
• ½ cup (125g) water
• 1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
• ¼ teaspoon sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
• 5 large eggs, at room temperature

1) In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the

2) Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium
and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very
quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. You
need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough
will be very soft and smooth.

3) Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your
handmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. Add the eggs one at a time,
beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough.
You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do
not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you
have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it
should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.

4) The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.

1) Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately.

2) You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined baking
sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the
piped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.

I used a standard vanilla pastry cream

  • 2 cups whole, 2 percent fat, or 1 percent fat milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 15 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain.
  5. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated.
  6. Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture, reserving the saucepan.
  7. Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan.
  8. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling.
  9. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
  10. Let cool slightly.
  11. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. The custard can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Refrigerate until 1 hour before using.

Chocolate Glaze
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 1 cup or 300g)

• 1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream
• 3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
• 7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature

1)In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.

2) Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.

1) If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly
 in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.

2) It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to the proper temperature (95 to 104 F) when ready to glaze.

Friday, August 29, 2008

So in case you werre wondering, Yes..

I'm still camera-less. I went shopping last weekend and was less than thrilled with the cameras that I saw in the few stores I went to. I'm torn between Nikon and Canon cameras both of which friends have and take wonderful pictures with.. I was a devoted HP camera owner until my last one died and I was totally crushed to find they aren't making them anymore.

My foodie friends I'm really kind of polling here as to what cameras y'all are using.. something preferably under $200 (mom on a budget here)

I've been cooking, yeah, but really what's the point about blogging about all this great food without pictures?

and then I'll say this.. From my cousin April's wedding cake last July..

Just because it looks absolutely gorgeous...

Doesn't mean it tastes great too (that was the most disgusting cake I ever had in my life!)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Everyone has one.....the strange food combination

For the longest time my sister and cousin thought I was just, well.. weird.. It wasn't just how I liked to marinate steak and chicken in various types of vinegar, oil and spices, but it was that I liked not only butter and syrup on my pancakes (and Man do I LOVE Pancakes) but I like peanut butter and raspberry jam on them along with the butter and syrup. No, I don't do this often (or maybe not often enough, lol) and it MUST be super chunky peanut butter and only raspberry jam will do (I will not eat grape jelly.. one incident when I was a kid was enough to swear off it for Life) Now, it wasn't until my cousin married her hubby that she learned I wasn't the only "freak" who ate peanut butter with their pancakes, because he does it too! My sister and cousin both eventually realized that I had something right with the vinegar and meat combination.. maybe this wasn't something that home cooks did much in the 90's, and it sure wasn't something teenagers were doing.. But I loved to cook and they all loved the stuff I cooked, even if it was a little strange going in, lol.. My sister and cousin call me almost daily with cooking questions like "what spices go good with this" or how to I make _____" it's not uncommon to find myself talking one of them through an entire meal.. but it's what I do, lol..

So.. come on, I know you have a strange food combination that you eat sometimes, if not on a regular basis.. be it the girl I once knew who drank Pepsi and milk or the girl who dipped French fries in her Frosty.. I've witnessed P. do the most unthinkable thing ever when I ran out of tomatoes one day he put barbecue sauce on his pasta (and I wanted to be physically ill) He will also eat a bowl of white rice drenched in the stuff.. (yuck)

So.. Tell me what you've got.. what is the strangest things you eat together?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Chinese Hot & Sour Soup.. it'll cure what ail's ya...

I think I have a cold.. maybe it's just my allergies, who knows. What I do know is that ever since I had a bowl of hot & sour soup from the Chinese place by work at lunchtime I'm feeling better.. I can breathe again and I'm not coughing anymore...

So what exactly is in this 'magic' soup? I have no freaking idea, lol... okay.. I have some idea of what was in the potion I had for lunch today.. Strips of ginger, mushrooms, tofu, red pepper flakes.. really that's all I could tell you. The soup itself is thick, it slides right off your spoon without a splash. I don't know what it is about this soup.. but it works. Hopefully the coughing will be away by tomorrow. Regardless I took an advil cold and sinus and am on my way to bed now.

If any of you have a recipe for this 'magic soup' I would love to give it a try.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I've found the dressing of my dreams...

I really wasn't intending to be gone from posting for so long... but I have been house sitting since Thursday night. Did I do much cooking over the weekend.. Nah, not so much but while I was shopping at Target on Saturday I came across something that I've been searching for for Months, Wishbone Bountifuls dressing! This stuff is freaking Outstanding (for a bottled dressing) It's not oily or drab or too much of anything.. it's chock full of veggie chunks and has an awesome flavor. I made chicken cutlets last night with salad that was dressed with this dressing and it was just so great I almost couldn't believe it! I don't really use bottled dressing much, I pretty much stick with Ken's lite creamy caesar , that is by far my favorite creamy dressing, but Wishbone Bountifuls are by far my choice from now on for anything else. I also bought the Tuscan Romano dressing and P. said it was 'really good' but since my allergies have really been kicking my butt the past few days I wasn't much in the mood to eat that night, so I'll take his word for it. It's really amazing that I have been totally unable to find this stuff in the supermarket, but there it was in the clearance section at Target.. and I'm so so so glad I found it.. now I have to go and stock up before I can't find it anywhere anymore.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One-Dish Rosemary Chicken and White Beans

Tonights dinner came to me through an email from when I opened this email I knew this was what we were having tonight.. it looked SO GOOD! It was quick to fix, ingredients I mostly had on hand and was a one pan meal.. after the week I've been having it was all I needed to feel better... especially since last night's dinner was a buffalo chicken sandwich from Checkers that was so spicy I thought my mouth was going to start spouting flames! All I had to do for tonight's dinner was pick up a pack of chicken and a can of stewed tomatoes and I was good to go.. and believe it or not, it tastes even more wonderful than it looks!

One-Dish Rosemary Chicken and White Beans
(Photo courtesy of'

One-Dish Rosemary Chicken and White Beans


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)
1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, drained
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine rosemary, salt, and pepper; sprinkle over one side of chicken. Place chicken in pan, seasoned side down; cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; turn chicken. Add tomatoes and beans; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in olives.


4 servings (serving size: 2 thighs and 3/4 cup bean mixture)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 316(23% from fat); FAT 8.1g (sat 1.7g,mono 3.7g,poly 1.5g); IRON 4.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 94mg; CALCIUM 109mg; CARBOHYDRATE 30.2g; SODIUM 978mg; PROTEIN 31.2g; FIBER 6.8g

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Have you ever been locked out of your house?

Okay, I don't mean like you're locked out so you can just climb through an open window and get in kind of locked out, or you can go to your neighbor who has a spare key.. I mean totally freaking locked out of your house with no way to get in (without breaking the lock or breaking the door down).. well, that's me, I am totally and completely locked out of my house with no prayer of getting in without breaking the lock (and let me tell you, I really can't afford a locksmith who was going to charge me $40 just to show up) Oh.. and to make things even better my landlord is on vacation AND DIDN'T EVEN TELL ME!! They'll be back next week.. Wonderful! So in the meantime I'm staying at my best friend's house until my locksmith neighbor gets home tomorrow and (God I hope) can get me into my house without too much damage or cost to me.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Roasted Tomatoes?

Alright.. so here's the deal. The other day one of the ladies in my office brought in a bag of these gigantic tomatoes from her garden and told all of us to please take some, she had more than she knew what to do with.. so I took 4, the smallest of the bunch, because to be honest with y'all I don't really like tomatoes.. I can't really eat them raw because I break out in hives, but I can eat them cooked.. I just really didn't know what I was going to do with these guys outside of making salad and sopping up the tomato juice with some crusty Italian bread. They were starting to look a little sorry sitting on my counter, so I sliced up the last 2 tomatoes and tossed them with some garlic and oilve oil and the kid said Please mom, I can't eat any more tomatoes in my salad.. alright.. FINE! So I took them, tossed them into a baking dish and turned the oven onto 425°f (which is my favorite roasting temperature) and let them caramelize and get soft and sweet (ah, memories from my restaurant days) for 15 minutes. We had Bubba burgers (on the grill, YUM!) so while I was plating the burgers I topped them with a bit of A-1 a few slices of roasted tomato, pickle and lettuce.. and I let the kid have his first... at first.. Mom, I don't like Tomatoes on my hamburger.. Just try it, it's not raw.. (ugh!) alright.. but.. Oh! Mmmm, Mom, it's really good.. Well.. DUH! now, these would be really good on Pizza too with just a little fresh mozzarella on top slightly melted but not gooey.. Mmmmm.. Now I need more tomatoes!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Woo Hoo Corn Fritters!!

Since I saw the post from adaptations on Corn fritters I've had an insane craving for them.. I did banana fritters Sunday and they were amazing (unfortunately, the pics were not.. But the camera has been returned and next week I'll work on getting a new one, for now you will have either cell phone pics. or none at all.. sorry) My stomach doesn't fare well from deep fried things, so I wanted something with a little less oil so I set myself on a search and came up with this recipe from Taste & Tell, who proclaimed their greatness even though her mouth was partially numb (what a trooper!) I had to go with her recipe.. with just a few modifications..

Here's the recipe:
Cheddar Corn Fritters
adapted from
Vegetables by the Culinary Institute of America

Makes about 16 fritters

3/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
3 ears corn, plus corn milk (or 2 cups corn kernels)*
3 tablespoons diced red or green bell pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter
Vegetable oil for pan frying

If using fresh corn, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the shucked and cleaned corn to the water and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from water.
*Cut kernels from ears of corn and then scrape the cobs with a table knife to release all the milk. Catch this milk in a bowl and add to the batter. Stir together flour, sugar, chili powder, if using, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

Combine corn and corn milk, if available, bell pepper, if using, eggs, water and cheese in a bowl. Add to flour mixture all at once. Stir just until batter is evenly moistened. Stir in melted butter.

Pour oil into large skillet to a depth of 1/4 inch. Heat over medium heat until it registers 350 degrees on a deep-frying thermometer. Using a serving spoon and working in batches to avoid crowding, drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. You will make about 16 fritters in all. Pan fry on the first side until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Turn once and fry until golden brown on the second side, 2 minutes more. Drain fritters on absorbent towels and season with salt.

If needed, you can keep the first batches of fritters warm in an oven at 200 degrees while you finish frying the rest. Serve at once.

the only minor modifications I made was I used a bit less oil and I omitted the peppers. I used an ice cream scooper to measure them into the oil and then flattened them with the spatula and they were extremely delicious.
Taste & Tell for posting this super recipe that was a hit in my house tonight. I served these as a side to grilled chicken and used my Cumin Lime dressing as a dip and it was unbelievable!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Turkey burgers are good!

I didn't always like turkey burgers, I always found them to be bland and dry... until one night everything changed for me.. I had some ground turkey that had to be cooked by the next night and I realized it right after I was putting the current night's dinner away.. so I took it out of the package and transferred it to a zipper bag, added about 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, salt, pepper (or really, my favorite mass produced spice which is Jane's Mixed-up krazy salt) and garlic powder and just kind of mushed it up in the bag, squeezed out most of the air and then let it hang out until I got home the next night to make dinner. I heated up the G.F. grill, made some good, decent sized patties and grilled them for 7 minutes. They were the most moist and flavorful turkey burgers that I ever had in my life!
(Now, if it wasn't raining tonight I would have taken that damn camera back. but definitely tomorrow) Tonight I roasted a few tomatoes in the oven with olive oil, basil, salt, pepper and rosemary, tossed on a few thin slices of mozzarella right before it came out of the oven and used that to top the burgers and *WOW* they were amazing. Hopefully I will have a different camera by next week if I can get this camera returned tomorrow so I can get some decent foodie pics up here.. because it's really a shame that I didn't take any pics of tonight's dinner..

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Maybe one of you can help me out with this recipe..

I used to work at a restaurant called The Emerald Planet in NYC, I worked at their Rockefeller Center store up until they closed that location. Their flagship store downtown is still open, but I so rarely find myself in that part of town since moving and kick myself when I find myself craving a 'Casa Blanca' Wrap and for the life of me I just can't manage to replicate their {unbelievably good] Chermoula sauce which is ultimately a garlic yogurt sauce with cilantro (and OMG how I freaking Hate cilantro) but there was always something about that sauce that was just so dang good. (and why I gained around 10 pounds when I worked there, lol) No chermoula recipe that I've come across even remotely resembles what the cook there made and I don't think they'd bee too keen to me calling them and asking for the recipe.. especially since I don't think anyone I know works there anymore... but hey, if you happen to remember me, please throw me a line.
Now, I don't so much hate cilantro as I detest it.. I can't stand the way it tastes and the smell makes me want to be physically ill.. I just can't handle it.. I found a 'garlic yogurt sauce' recipe (while being unbelievably bored at work) and searching the internet which may resemble the recipe (this was close to 7 years ago that I worked at this place, but not since I've had the wrap) and I suppose I can use parsley to substitute the cilantro, I guess I will try it tonight for dinner and see what the results are (and I will update the post as well, I haven't yet returned that camera yet so pictures may follow.. or may not, depending if it's raining or not on my way home tonight.. I just had other things on the agenda last night like stopping at the supermarket and I just really wasn't in the mood to deal with {possibly} bitchy people when I had a day full of it, lol.. maybe tomorrow.. although I only have until Sunday to do the return.. it will get done (or at least a valid attempt will be made) just really pisses me off that the camera will not work with all the features without the "optional" memory card.. there is no way it's really optional if you're not getting all the features without it.. GRR!!

I'll be back here later with the results of dinner.. but for now..
Ciao :o)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mom always said to take your vitamins...

But I still forget to take them every day.. that is until I bought the kid Gummy bear vitamins.. okay, sure they have viactiv for the ladies.. but those are so boring.. so when my friend at work was complaining that her vitamins were so huge and laughing at the girl because she had to cut it in half just to take it I told her she should just get gummy bear vitamins.. she looked at me like I was insane. But hey, I don't like taking pills either, and I really love gummy bears.. so I got these guys at Wallgreens

L’il Critters® Gummy Vites®

L'il Critters Gummy Vites.

Natural gummy bear multi-vitamins. Parents and kids love them. No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. They're not vitamin-y at all.. they're actually good, and the best part is the kid actually remembers to take his vitamin now.. and he even makes sure I take mine, now that just totally makes it all worth it :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I hate my camera

really, truly I hate this camera.. I thought I was getting a great one.. it's been out for about 7 months or so and I honestly thought Olympus was a great brand.. I read the reviews and most of them were really great, the only downside to most of them was that they drained batteries fairly quickly.. I wasn't deterred.. until I actually bought the camera myself.. the camera is an Olympus FE-310 and I purchased it for the much hyped "cuisine mode" It's not such a big deal. It's 'image stabilization mode' does nothing to prevent a shaky picture when you're a little less than steady (like with your elbow teetering at the edge of the table when you're trying to get a good foodie shot) the zoom makes everything blurry and I have yet to take a picture that is 'worthy' with this camera. It's very slow to focus and snap the shot and I just found out that without the "OPTIONAL" XD memory card all the functions do not work.. so then why do they call it optional? (and it has to be their brand or it may cause the camera to malfunction) Now, I really really really want to return this camera.. the hitch? I purchased it at Office Max and they have a pretty tricky return policy although 'satisfaction is guaranteed' it states that 'Electronic items, digital cameras, computers, PDA's and business machines must be returned within 14 days of purchase. Right underneath it states that OfficeMax will not accept returns of opened computers, pda's, digital cameras or software packages unless defective. These items that are defective may be exchanged for the identical item only.

So I think I'm stuck in a catch 22 here.. I'm gonna try tomorrow and see what I can do.. I really hate this camera.. and if it really comes down to it I might have to just sell it on ebay.. because, well. just because I don't like doesn't mean someone else won't too.

Monday, August 11, 2008

If you've never tried a Bubba Burger...

I encourage you to give them a try.. They're unlike any frozen burger out there.. and, just FYI, they're not exactly burgers.. they're shaped like Texas! Really! I first tried a Bubba burger last summer at my best friends house, she kept talking about them and I finally asked her, What the heck is a Bubba burger? I had mine grilled at her house, but when she took them out of the freezer and put it on the grill still frozen I thought she had completely lost her mind.. but she explained to me that's what you're instructed to do on the box, so they stay juicy.. okay, I still wasn't sold on the whole idea, I was still hell bent that there was no way a frozen burger could be good... no matter what.

Well.. I was sure wrong, it was the most delicious Texas shaped burger I had ever had in my life! I had mine on a bun with all the fixin's, pickles, hot pepper rings and a little A-1.. wow, so good! So, when I was at the grocery store the other night and saw Bubba burgers I had to get myself a box, and since I have no access to an outside grill I pan fried them and they came out really good (as an afterthought I really should have used the GF grill, but I definitely will next time) as a side I made roasted Brussels sprouts that were seasoned with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and dried Italian herbs. I seriously think I have the only child that will eat Brussels sprouts, I wouldn't touch them when I was a kid and my grandma has them on the dinner table with her famous roast chicken, but they were boiled and she served them with cream sauce.. YUCK!! Roasting these little guys brings out a mild flavor that goes with just about any meat and they can be seasoned with pretty much any spice you wish.. I made them with curry one night with roast pork and it was unbelievable!

These are NOT your grandma's Brussels sprouts.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Grilled chicken and tomato herb panzanella

I love Stubbs marinade, it just makes chicken, beef and pork so moist and flavorful, unlike any marinade that I have ever used.. I want to try their hot wing sauce next :D

Dinner tonight was grilled chicken that was marinated in Stubbs and tomato herb panzanella, that to be totally honest with you, I wasn't really sure that the kid was going to like it.. but I went ahead and did it anyway because that loaf of Italian bread wasn't going to stay fresh forever.. even though I bought it Friday it was bound to be a brick by tomorrow.. so I set about making the best of it...

I took about 10 cherry tomatoes off the plant outside that were just ready to be picked this morning and tossed them in a bowl with about a half a teaspoon sea salt, 3 cloves fresh chopped garlic and 10 basil leaves covered it with some foil and let it be.

While the chicken was on the grill I cut the remainder of the Italian bread from Friday's dinner into cubes, diced 1 English cucumber, chopped up a bunch of basil leaves, a few oregano leaves and a half a sprig of rosemary from my garden and threw that into the bowl where the tomatoes were waiting.. added about 2/3 cup olive oil and a little more than a half a cup white balsamic vinegar, tossed it up and let it sit in the fridge until the chicken was done.

In the interim I ran outside to get a few more basil leaves and caught the kid with his fork in the panzanella with the fridge wide open.. I don't know what made me think he wasn't going to like it.. he eats everything.. (I'm so lucky)

So.. without further delay, Dinner is served...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Banana Fritters.. Whoa Baby!

They may not be pretty.. but Damn are they good!!

Inspired by a corn Fritters post by adaptations that was lucky enough to make it's way to FoodGawker the other day I instantly got a craving for fritters.. Banana fritters though, not the corn variety (that will come later on this week, lol) I set my sights about Recipezaar to find a recipe that was going to yield the crunchy on the outside, smooth on the inside results I was looking for, and man on man did I find the most perfect recipe!

Banana Fritters (Care of Evie @RecipeZaar)

  • 8 bananas
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • oil (for deep frying)


  1. Peel bananas and cut in half.
  2. Sift flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt into bowl.
  3. Mix to smooth batter with the milk.
  4. Beat egg white until soft peaks form, fold lightly into batter.
  5. Drop banana pieces into batter, then deep fry in hot oil until golden brown.
  6. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
  7. Toss in sugar.
(frying time is approx) Serve hot with ice cream or whipped cream.

I only had Chocolate (Moose tracks to be exact, lol) ice cream in the freezer.. OMG it was so good with the Fritters... YUMMY!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

My first Giveaway... I hope you like Tea

Do you like tea? Loose tea?

I like tea.. I don't love it and I hate to be wasteful of anything. I Love to try new things and I'm always so excited when every other month when Lemming Central has the sampler boxes on sale, it's always full of the best goodies, body lotions, body cream, scrubs, soap, candle tarts,.. it's always different and always great. But every time I've gotten it I've gotten at least one sampler pack of loose tea, and they all smell amazing, but I know that I'm not going to use any of them so I'm giving one lucky reader/tea lover the whole lot of my samples!

Here's what the prize includes:

6 loose tea samples from SBS Teas which includes:
1 packet of Sophie's tea party
1 packet of Blueberry cream rooibos
1 packet of TKO
1 packet of enchanted Fairy cake tea
1 packet of Strawberry white tea
1 jade fortune flowering green tea blossom

2 samples from Blue raven tea which includes:
1 packet special gunpowder premium green tea
1 packet kiwi vanilla tea

Each lot comes with brewing directions for each tea as well as a coupon to use at their stores.

If I happen to find a tea infuser while I'm out I will toss one of those in too :o)

All you have to do is post a comment and you're entered to win!

I'll pick the lucky commenter on August 30th and the package will be mailed on September 2nd

EDIT: 8/27/08
I found a Tea ball while out shopping the other day, so that will be included in the package anf it will all be packaged in nice basket. Unfortunately I'm still camera-less.. but if it really comes down to it I will take a camera phone pic on the last day :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dinner tonight, care of Ah Law Kitchen

I was exhausted by the time I picked P. up from camp tonight.. I've been having really bad insomnia and haven't had a full nights sleep all week, I'm getting maybe 4-5 hours (and I generally need at least 7 to be properly functioning, lol) so before we got back on the bus I called our order in because I'm just really too tired to stand in the kitchen and cook (and by that time it was already 6:45) so one order of steamed pork dumplings, one order of cold noodles with sesame sauce and one order of Cheese won ton's (OMG they are sooooo good!)

The dumplings were for me

They are filled perfectly with seasoned pork and steamed to perfection and they come with the most delicious sesame soy dipping sauce.

the sesame noodles were for P

This is really a heaping helping for only $4! It's spicy and sweet and absolutely delicious!

and we shared the cheese won ton's

These are won ton's that are stuffed with cream cheese, scallions and possibly carrot? I'm not too sure what the orange bits are, but it's all good! P. tasted this when they first started making them, the owner gave him a sample and it was love at first bite.

One of the main reasons I go to this place is that none of their food is greasy, you don't feel absolutely horrible after eating it.. just full and happy :) Their prices are great too, we got this all for $13.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mmmm Mango Lime Sorbet

It was cruddy and rainy this morning when we left the house and I never would have dreamed that it would clear up as beautifully as it did this afternoon.. but Damn was it muggy.. the time/temperature clock on my way home said 85 at 6:15, but it felt more like 90° + so after (yet another) dinner of leftovers I had the craving for something sweet and satisfying.. so bring on the ziplock bag of frozen mango...

Mango is so easy to work with, you just really have to be careful that you're cutting around the pit and (Please People) Don't hold it in your bare hand while you're cutting it, use a kitchen towel or take a small slice off the bottom so it rests flat on the cutting board (you can see which way the pit it situated that way too) and just cut down each side of the pit and then go around the sides. Once you have the two halves my favorite way of cutting up a mango is to carefully score the flesh all the way to the skin without going through it first top to bottom and then from side to side leaving little cubes of mango, then you can just give it a slight bend downwards and slice them off and use them as you wish.

Tonight it was Mango lime sorbet.

2 cups frozen mango cubes
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. lime zest
1 tsp. lime juice

I do this in my mini prep, so I first add in the mango until it's smooth and then add the rest. It's really as simple as that.

I'm really surprised that it lasted long enough for me to take this pic with P. standing behind me saying Mom, mom.. can I have it now? Now? Oh come on, it's Melting Mom!!! In the end, of course, it was worth the few minutes it took for me to photograph it, the boy survived and even got to have seconds :o)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What is your most useless kitchen gadget?

Okay.. I really want to know, because Mine happens to be the sandwich press that I bought on a whim 6 years ago and I think I've used it 3 times since.. Cheese oozes out of it and the edges are always too crunchy.. Maybe it would be good for stuffed French toast.. but I know I'll forget the next time I make french toast because it'll be still sitting in the cabinet.. ugh..

So.. what's your most useless kitchen gadget?

Monday, August 4, 2008

What do you do when you spoiled the Ganache?

You make something out of it... well.. maybe most people would toss it, and I had intentions of making something a little more special, but P. is sleeping, so I didn't want to go and turn the mixer on and take the chance and wake him (he had a headache and wound up falling asleep shortly after we got home tonight) Now, I was supposed to be making the Ganache for my DB challenge cake that is (Slowly) defrosting in my over packed fridge, I had the cream in the pan and added the chocolate and Dammit the phone rang and screwed me all up and I ended up with a pot of oily chocolate .. Damn.. what am I supposed to do now? Well.. I had half a block of cream cheese in the fridge that I was going to use to make Toffee dip with, hmm.. what else.. Sugar.. Toffee bits.. Oh, what the hell.. lets just mix it all up.. so I took the cream cheese out of the fridge to let it soften up then I stirred it up in a bowl with about 3 tbs. sugar and after separating the chocolate from the oily mess with a coffee filter I mixed that in...

I'll add the toffee bits tomorrow.. but for now it's sitting in the fridge.. I'll try it later, or maybe I'll leave it until tomorrow and let the kid try it first, lol...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Chicken with tomato sauce over Campanelle

I had a few pieces of chicken leftover in the fridge from the other night in a ziplock bag that I didn't marinate and they needed to be cooked.. like, now. So since it's been a while since I made a pot of tomato sauce I decided I'd make some sauce and toss the chicken in.. I haven't done it in a while and it came out so perfectly. Now, I guess I'm like most people and I stick to one specific brand of tomato sauce that I really like the best (and I really stock up when it's on sale) but Tuttorusso is my brand of choice, it just brings the taste of my grandma's cooking right back into my kitchen. I guess there's a name for this recipe, lol.. but for the life of me I can't remember what it's called.

So here's what I did...

I took 3 cloves of garlic and minced them and tossed them into a pot with about 2 Tbs. olive oil on low heat.
Into that I put 4 chicken thighs with the skin removed and let brown on each side for about 4 minutes.
When the Chicken was golden I poured in 2 cans of Tuttorusso crushed tomatoes with basil and let it cook for about 2 hours (until the chicken was falling off the bone).
Tonight's pasta of choice was Barilla Campanelle. So I tossed it all together in a big bowl and everyone got to serve themselves.


(More on the new camera later.. I'm so excited, but I'm still figuring out how to use it, lol)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

King arthur flour Lowering their prices

This is really good news! I only use King Arthur flour, it was what my grandma used and so I've stuck with it ever since I started baking and cooking on my own.. I saw the article on Slashfood and that makes me very, very happy :o)
Here we go, Straight from the horse's mouth...

King Arthur Flour lowers the price grocery retailers pay for our flours

It’s not often these days manufacturers get a chance to announce good news about food prices. I’d like to share with you a letter from Michael Bittel, our Senior VP and General Manager of the Flour Division at King Arthur Flour, announcing an immediate price decrease on flour. By carefully watching the wheat market and making some very smart buys, we have been able to secure a supply of high-quality wheat at better than expected prices. This means we can mill the flour at better than expected cost and pass the savings on to our direct customers, the retailers from whom you buy your groceries.

To Our Valued Customers:

We communicated openly and honestly with you earlier this year when high wheat prices resulted in price increases on our products, and now we’re very pleased to share news of a price decrease with you. While wheat prices remain high, we were able to purchase the high-quality U.S.-grown and -milled wheat we require for King Arthur flours at a better average price than last year. This means we can bring down the price of our flour – the flour you’ve come to depend on for your best-ever baking – and save you a little dough!

King Arthur Flour is lowering the price we charge our retail partners for our four home-baking flours sold at grocery stores nationwide. The price decrease, effective August 1, 2008, means that grocery stores will pay less for King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, King Arthur Traditional 100% Whole Wheat Flour, and King Arthur Unbleached White Whole Wheat Flour. We hope grocery stores that raised their prices during the past year will be able to pass along the new lower prices to you, their shoppers.

You can be assured that King Arthur Flour is not compromising on product quality. We’re still providing the best-performing flour you’ll find, as we have since 1790; on that we will never waiver.

During this time of significant price increases in virtually every area, we are grateful to be able to offer you, our loyal customers, some relief to your food budgets so you can keep more money in your wallets.

We appreciate your continued support, and we hope you will find much comfort and sustenance in the joyful tradition of home baking.

Michael Bittel
Senior VP/General Manager, Flour

There's just something about King Arthur flour that no matter what I make it always turns out right.. Now, in a pinch I have used other flours, but I was never truly satisfied with the results, could just be me though (but I doubt it :op)