Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun with Baking

We had extra plain yogurt on-hand and I felt like baking. These turned out to be really easy, cute, and pretty tasty. It was a simple job of twisting the ends into a big "S", but it looks really fancy.
And chocolate stout cupcakes. My Disney messageboard started up a recipe of the month club. The first recipe was these cupcakes. The first time I tried them, I forgot the sugar. Two cups of sugar is a pretty major thing to forget! The second time I tried, I remembered it. I did however mix up the amount for the baking soda and the salt. Fortunately I was able to dig out the extra baking soda and I hadn't added the salt yet. I'm not much of a baker I think...
I don't do icing, and I wanted to do powdered sugar on the top, but it can be boring. I loved the idea of doing a stencil, which one of the people on my messageboard suggested. Since it was a Disney board, I had to go with Mickey. I actually printed one off the internet but it was too big, so I just cut one out of a post-it note. It fit perfectly, though it might not be perfectly shaped.
I shared some with my parents and grandparents and they all raved about them. I thought they were pretty good. I tried one the next day(today) and I thought they were even better. It's definitely better thoroughly cooled off. I'd say they were pretty easy to make, though I wish I'd only had to do it once instead of twice!!

Crockpot Meals

Mile high tortilla casserole. It started out a mile high, but it cooked down quite a bit. I used foil to lift it out, but it was really hot.
As you can see, it sort of collapsed on me. It tasted ok. Definitely not worth the time and effort it took to make it, but fun at least, to make it.
And my semi-annual spaghetti sauce. I used ground chicken this time. Chopped mushrooms, black olives, onions, garlic, and a zucchini as well as a can of chopped tomatoes. Red wine, two jars of spaghetti sauce, pepper, and Italian seasoning. It's just that simple. And rather tasty too. It ended up making about 19-20 servings for me, which I put in containers in my freezer. I really do end up doing this about twice a year. That's how long it lasts me. Definitely cost effective.

The Fried Post

Every once in a while, I like to fry stuff. But frying stuff takes a lot of work. So I don't do it that often. This time it was fried chicken and onion rings. Here's a tip: when you're about to try food, double check that you actually have enough oil. I didn't and had to get creative. I ended up using the majority of the oil for the onion rings, and pan frying the chicken just to get it brown, then finishing it in the oven. It turned out really good. It was supposed to be a KFC knock-off, but it didn't taste like it. It was good though. MSG free. Chemical free. And that is always delicious.
Hidden Mickey onion rings. They were beer-battered. Pretty tasty actually. Kinda messy though.
The end result of the chicken. Nice and brown, very crispy. Double battered, that's the key to good fried chicken. I feel I still have a long way to go, but I'm getting there.