Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 4 Coming Soon

I am having a heck of a time loading my pics for the last couple days:(

Hopefully day 4 of FDOFF will be posted by tomorrow evening...

If I can figure this software glitch out...

Happy Hump Day!


Monday, May 16, 2011

FDOFF: Day Three

Today started out with a dead battery in my camera...


So, while I had intended to take pics of the WHOLE dessert making process...

You only get a few:(



I LOVE cheesecake!
(the Golden Girls is my all time favorite show;))

Here is the recipe.

It is from Allrecipes, but I changed two minor details.

First, let me say, that I ALWAYS read recipe reviews BEFORE I attempt a new recipe.

This helps reduce the amount of mistakes that can occur.

For this particular recipe, I found out that more butter was needed to make the crust workable...

And if you don't make sure the crust goes up the side of the pan at least an inch, you end up with caramel stuck to the side of the pan.

So, I the version I provided, I made the changes for you.
(awful nice of me, I know;))

Here it is right out of the oven.

I baked it for about 45 minutes, with a pan of boiling water on the lower rack, to keep the oven nice and moist.

A lot of people use a water bath, but I don't think it's necessary...

Especially if you heat a kettle of water to boiling, pour it into a big roasting pan, and let it sit in the oven for a good ten or fifteen minutes before baking the cheesecake on the rack above.
(make sure the water is on the lowest level rack, and the cheesecake on a middle rack)

I put mine in the freezer for a couple hours, then moved it to the fridge.

Ideally you would want to make this a day ahead.
(but I NEVER do things the easy way)

On to supper...

I found this recipe for Sesame Noodles a few years ago, and make it about once a month.

It is quick and easy.

The fixins'

I start by adding the sugar to my saucepan, because I don't want to dirty more than one spoon.

Then, add the wet ingredients.

I have tried many chili sauces and this is my fave!

Now, you may already know this, but I did not until a few years ago, when I started to cook...

Bash your garlic with the side of your knife (or another solid, flat bottomed object), and the skins with magically fall off!

I like my garlic minced pretty fine.

Add the garlic to the pan, and whisk a bit.

I don't turn the heat on yet though.

I add my sesame seeds to a pan and toast over medium heat. I use a tablespoon, as opposed to the teaspoon the recipe calls for.



Oh yeah...

You should have been boiling your noodles somewhere in there.
(What a crappy teacher I'd make)

Heat the sauce over medium-low, until the sugar dissolves and it starts to simmer a little.

Combine the sauce and the cooked, drained noodles, into the same pot you used to boil the noodles.
(less dishes this way)

Here is everything ready to be tossed together.


I don't know an Asian word for viola!


The dessert to beat all desserts.

Here is the cheesecake right out of the fridge.
(notice the marks from the condensation dripping onto the top...rats!)

After I removed the sides of my springform pan.

I topped each individual piece with a little of this...

It's good straight out of the can also...

not that I would know anything about that.

It is surprisingly easy to cut, even with all the caramel.

I'm in HEAVEN...

Tomorrow another quick dinner, and a way quicker dessert.

Hope you are enjoying your Monday!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

FDOFF: Day Two


These yummies WILL use up EVERY dish in your house!

I began the afternoon by starting my dessert preparation.

I did a post a few months ago about this book...

I LOVE it!

It contains some truly awesome cake recipes.

I decided to make a simpler variation to the cake on the cover.

A basic strawberry shortcake.

I started by baking my cakes...

and letting them cool.


5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups cake flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup full fat buttermilk

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms and sides of cake pans. Line bottom with parchment paper and grease the paper.

2) Cream butter, 2/3 cup sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.

3) In separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add to batter, alternating with buttermilk in 2 or 3 additions.

4) Divide batter evenly into the pans. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until done. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire racks. Carefully peel off the paper and allow to cool completely.

While the cakes were cooling...

 I started my noodle water (or whatever you wanna call it, the water you boil the noodles in).

Sliced all my veggies...

Added the noodles to the now boiling water...

Gave em a little stir...

Then sauteed my mushrooms.

Set those aside when the are done.

By now your noodles should be cooked (but still chewy).

Drain and rinse with COLD water, so they don't stick.

Here are my butter, onions and garlic for the next step.

Once they get tender (which took about 4-5 minutes) add the flour and salt.

Stir constantly until smooth (or at least semi-smooth) and bubbling.

Add the broth, milk and wine.

Here is the wine I used.

I like the way chardonnay tastes in dishes like this.
(and I may have taken a sip...or eight;))

Bring to a boil for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Add the remaining sauce ingredients.

Set aside.

I used the bird I made last nigh for the chicken in this recipe.

I got lucky and managed to have EXACTLY 2 cups left.


Preparation for assembly...


I am too tired to narrate the whole assembly process:P
(I was in the kitchen for 6 hours, two of it doing dishes)

It's all in the recipe.

After I popped that into my oven...

I finished my strawberry preparation.

I used 2 lbs of strawberries, and stirred about a cup of sugar into them.

Cover and let stand for at least an hour, so the berried can macerate.


A little refreshment (not the alcohol kind...remember the wine I already chugged sipped?).

Here is a pic of the lasagna right out of the oven...

So bubbly and delicious looking!


After a few HOURS of dishes.
(we are the last people on the planet to NOT have a dishwasher)

We finally enjoyed dessert...

Not exactly a cake...

But just a tasty!

I cut the cakes up into chunks, spooned the strawberries over top, and added a healthy scoop of real whipped cream! (1 1/2 cups heavy cream whipped with 3 tbsp of sugar)

Side Note:
I could have made this a cake. WANTED to make this a cake. BUT...I did not want to dirty another dish!!! Mainly my cake stand which is a pain in the rear to clean.

Tomorrow I am making a super simple supper with a not-so-simple dessert ☺

I hope you all had a terrific weekend!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

FDOFF: Day One

We went mushroomin' this morning (I forgot the camera...darn it!) and took the kiddos out for lunch,so I didn't want to make a real heavy evening meal.

Here's the menu:


Spicy Rapid Roast Chicken

Greek Pasta Salad



Root Beer or Orange Crush Floats

I started out making the Greek dressing for the salad.

I let that sit on the counter while I boiled the noodles.

I saw these in the store and thought I would give em' a shot.
They were actually quite good :)

After I boiled and drained the noodles, I ran them under cold water and let them sit and dry a bit.

I don't really have a recipe for the salad itself.

I poured the noodles into a bowl, added some chopped red onion, sliced black olives and crumbled feta cheese.
You could add cucumber and tomatoes (the ones at the store looked nasty, so I passed on them), and Kalamata olives (my kids won't touch em').

Once you have everything you want, in the amounts you like, pour the Greek dressing over top.
I only used about 3/4 of the dressing, and will save half for my lunch salads later in the week.

Stick it the fridge to chill.

This chicken is super simple, and tasty.

I was a bit skeptical the first time I made it, because the cooking time is weird


It turns out so beautifully!

(Hint: I bake it with the breast side down to keep more moisture in the white meat.)

After it comes out of the oven...

tent it with foil for about fifteen minutes, so it can finish cooking (and stays moist).

The internal temp should be 180 degrees.

As you can see...

my munchkins...

LOVED it!!!


Since they were good eaters...

They got a yummy dessert!

A couple scoops of vanilla ice cream and their choice of soda.

I am a little nostalgic, so we HAVE to use soda in the glass bottles ☺

Tomorrow I am using the leftover chicken for chicken spinach lasagna...

And I am making a special dessert!

Have a great night!


Five Days of Fabulous Food

I have decided to do a 5 day blog special.

Doing the things that I love the best...

Cooking, baking and EATING!

Five Days of Fabulous Food

I've poured over recipes, braved the grocery store, stocked up on on the necessities...

And now I'm ready!

Hope to see you back here tonight!
(where I'll post recipes and pics)

I'm making an organic roast chicken, Greek pasta salad, broccoli...

and for dessert...

 kiddos choice of root beer or orange Crush floats.
(I may have one too;))


Monday, May 9, 2011

My First Tiered Cake


This was a BUSY weekend!

I had three cake orders...

Plus 3 dozen cupcakes to make.

I am exhausted :p


I have to share the pics of my first EVER tiered cake!

It was also the first time I had used  a cake stencil...

made and used royal icing (shocking...I know!)...

and made my own fondant, using this recipe.

I, being a TOTAL perfectionist, was a tad disappointed with the fondant.

I'll stick to my SATIN ICE.
(Buddy the Cake Boss knows what he's doin' there)

As you can see, the marshmallow fondant bubbles a bit.


It got rave reviews...

and my client LOVED it!

Plus, it was quite tasty (just braggin').

I hope you all had fabulous weekends!!!
(and you mothers had a doubly fab-O Mother's Day)


Monday, May 2, 2011

The Truth..At Least Today

If you read my blog, you know that my son has an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
As a general rule, I don't like feeling sorry for myself.
And I don't like people feeling sorry for me.
But lately life has been difficult.

Gabe, my son, has started to have several new "issues".
He has developed Tourette's.
On top of eveything else (Autism, ADHD...).
He clears his throat constantly, and makes horrible choking, gaging sounds.
It doesn't stop.
Unless he is sleeping.
Sometimes I can tune it out, but most of the time I can't.
I want to cry all the time when he is home.
The poor kid CAN"T stop doing this.
I feel horrible...
because I am loosing it...
I don't want to yell, or get agitated,
but I do.
Hour after hour...
gaging and choking.
I know he can't help it,
and I feel soooo bad for him.
(and, shamefully, for myself)
I give him cough drops, and water and rub his neck and shoulders.
We do "dots and squeezies" (a pressure exercise).
NOTHING works!

He talks to himself, and makes weird sounds...
Like a cognitively impaired person would.
HE IS!!!!
He is impaired!

But we have had such a great past few years.
To have seen him before, you may never have know anything was wrong.
But not anymore...

We sit in church and he gags and chokes and clears his throat.
He blurts things out.
I feel people looking at us,
not in a bad way,
but I want to scream

Sitting through the Easter Vigil, where my wonderful husband was baptised, was painful.
It was late at night, and Gabe was tired.
They turned off the lights.
Gabe screamed.
Then the worst episode of throat clearing began.
My in-laws sat with him in the pew behind me.
I held back the tears...
until my throat ached, and my eyes burned.
I did not want to ruin my husband's day.
I prayed for it to stop,
for him to be okay.
He wasn't.
He came to sit by me...
He wanted his mommy...
and I felt like such a jerk.
I wanted to be alone.
But I held him, and rubbed his back, and rocked back and forth in the pew.
I was hoping he would fall asleep.
As I write this I feel a tremendous guilt about that.

I always find myself saying (and usually genuinely feeling), that I wouldn't want him any other way than the way he was given to me.
Right now I want him to be normal.
I want to know what it is like to have a "normal" 9-year-old boy.
I want HIM to know what it's like to be a normal 9-year-old boy.
And, again, I feel horrible about it.

I hate it when people tell me that God meant for me to be his mother.
It makes me angry!
It never used to.
I used to be flattered.

My house is a disaster.
I didn't play with my daughter today.
I let her watch television instead.
All day.

I was going to cook an elaborate dinner,
but couldn't find the ambition.

I'll be better tomorrow...
or next week.
I always am.

Thank you for listening...
if you still are.

Please pray for my son.

I love him with all my heart ♥


Exploring the Upper Peninsula...and a Few Yummies

I am going to make this short...because I am desperately trying to be more intentional with my time.  Spending less of it on my phone or com...