Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reeses Cake

 My daughter turned 22, she is on the right and my son's girlfriend turned 18, a day apart....which means...make a big cake!

 I have seen this idea on a couple cake blogs like Cakewalk, that do it well. Since I am VERY new to anything other than icing out of a store bought can....mine, well it tasted good and passed for looks but it definitely had some issues. So here is how you make it and avoid some of the dumb mistakes I did.
 First for this cake I used Chocolate cake, Chocolate fudge icing...click HERE for those recipes.
I made two batches and baked 2 -  9X 13 and 2 -  6 in round cakes.
Make a double batch of fondant, recipe HERE. Dye 2/3 brown, 1/3 yellow of one batch and the other batch dye orange. Use Wilton cake decorating coloring and for the brown you will need quite a bit.
 We scanned and enlarged the logo and cut it out of yellow fondant.

 Cake layers are filled with peanut butter, powdered sugar and enough milk to make a smooth spreading consistency.
Ice cake and let it dry a little....here is big mistake #1 and I knew better!!! my icing is too wet! I thinned it because it was too thick and went too far the other way. GRRR I was so mad because I knew better and proceeded on anyway. This just complicates how the fondant rests on the cake, if too wet it will be too soft, too dry and you may have trouble sticking to cake.

 Mistake #2 I rolled the orange too thin and too small. when you roll fondant make sure it is about 1/4 inch and even. And be prepared to waste it! Roll it too big so you can adjust and then trim. I also really could have used a second set of hands with my wet icing.....result fondant that ripped and had to be mended causing ugly looking spots and goofy surface not smooth because of the wet icing.

 well after some ugly thoughts, maybe an ugly word and a bit of a pity party....I proceeded.
Icing used to pipe on the milk chocolate and amusing 1.5 ounces, we never weighed the cake...but yeah, I am thinking it weighed a little more than that.

 Yes it tasted wonderful....yes we ate it all. Yes I ate way too much myself! Yes I would make it again....and hopefully not repeat my mistakes.

Never let fear of failure stop you from trying!

Foodie Friday
Under the Table and Dreaming
Funky Junk
Sweet as Sugar Cookies
HodgePodge Friday
Nifty Thrifty Things

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jamaican Banana Bread

 I make banana bread, probably like you, when the bananas get too ripe, which for me is very soon since I like mine a little on the green side.
But.....usually we never finish the banana bread either, it just ...well gets dull.
This time I tried Cooking Light's Jamaican  version from The Best of Cooking Light. I absolutely love it! Fantastic flavor and texture....I don't think I will ever make regular old banana bread again.

2 Tbs butter, softened
2 Tbs (1/3 less fat) cream cheese, softened
1 c granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 c ripe mashed banana
1/2 c fat free milk
2 Tbs dark rum or rum extract
1/2 tsp grated lime rind
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c chopped pecans
1/4 c flaked sweetened coconut
cooking spray
Topping *
1/4 c packed brown sugar
2 tsp butter
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp dark rum or rum extract
2 Tbs pecans
2 Tbs coconut

Preheat oven to 375
Beat butter and cream cheese,  add sugar and egg, beat well.
Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup, level. Combine in separate bowl with b powder, soda and salt.
In another bowl Mix banana , milk, extracts and lime rind and lime juice
Alternately add flour and banana mixtures to creamed, starting and ending with flour.
Stir in pecans and coconut.

Pour into sprayed loaf pan, mini loaf pans or lined muffin cups
 *Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over top

 Bake  approximately 1 hour for loaf. Adjust time for smaller loaves or muffins. Test center for doneness.

*Alternate topping method
Combine brown sugar, butter, lime and rum in saucepan and heat to a simmer, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly
 Stir in pecans and coconut and drizzle over cooled bread.

 For 1/16 of loaf
193 calories
Fat 5.5g
protein 2.9g
carbs 32.3g
fiber 1.1g
chol 20mg
sodium 163mg

Foodie Friday
Blog Party Tuesday
Sweets for Saturday

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A wonderful feature, I am truly honored.

North Dakota Kitchen is truly honored to have been featured at New England cheese making!!  Thank you to Jeri for her wonderful interview and time spent getting to know me via my blogs! Stop by and check it out.   http://cheesemakinghelp.blogspot.com/2011/05/shannon-olson-making-buttermilk-cheese.html

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ricotta Salata

 I am in love with this cheese!
So far everyone that has tried it, has asked for more. Wonderful salty, sharp just perfect for snacking or with a good crusty bread.

This recipe is from  Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll

 For this recipe I started with whole raw milk, skimming the lovely cream off the top and setting aside for another use.

 Prepare your butter muslin, line a colander and place in a bowl to catch whey.

Mix 1 tsp citric acid that has been dissolved in 1/4 c cool water into 1 gallon whole milk.
In large pot heat to 185- 195 degrees, Do Not Boil. Stir often to prevent scorching.
Mine came together around 192 degrees.

 As curds and whey separate turn off the heat. Make sure whey is not milky.
Let set undisturbed 10 minutes.

 Ladle curds into butter muslin, tie corners in a knot and let hang 20-30 minutes.
  (AT this point you can now add 1 tsp salt and 1-2 Tbs cream and store in fridge for whole milk ricotta)
If not... skip instructions in parenthesis and continue on

 Remove ricotta from muslin and add 1Tbs cheese salt, Press into muslin lined ricotta mold and put a saucer and glass of water on top, Press 12 hours.

 Unmold and rub surface with salt, cover and refrigerate. Turn cheese and rub with salt everyday for 1 week.
Remove any mold with salt water dampened cheesecloth. I did not get any mold.
If cheese becomes  too soft,  dry surface and resalt.
I kept my cheese in the butter muslin wrapped loosely and in the mold, stored in the fridge top shelf.
Age 2-4 weeks.
Warning if you taste it you won't be able to stop!

Now with that left over whey why not make a batch of English Muffin Bread

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cookie Monster Cakes

C is for Cookie!!!

 To make cookie monster cakes.
Bake cupcakes, use giant cupcake pan for one large cake, or jumbo muffin pan,
Here I used Wiltons Mini Wonder Mold

 make eyes by melting white and milk chocolate in microwave or in double boiler, place melted chocolate in baggie and snip off tip.
 You can use piping bag or plastic decorating bottle also. 
Form eyes on wax paper and let set.

 Make a slice for cookie 2/3 way through cake.

Mix buttermilk icing and with large star tip begin piping in a messy "fur" like pattern. Start under mouth and add cookie inside.
 Continue covering cake working around cookie

 Place eyes on top and EAT!!!


Under the TAble and Dreaming
Hoosier Homemade
Sweets for Saturday
Wow us Wednesday

Buttermilk Icing/ Peanut Butter Variation

Butter cream icing, as easy as pie!
For pie cupcakes I used a tad brown coloring, spread over cupcake, covered with m&m's then piped icing on and around.

Cream 1 c softened butter
           1 Tbs vanilla
           1/4 c milk

 Add powdered sugar, about 1 pound. Add enough to reach desired consistency.
add coloring if needed
Spread or place in bag and decorate

For swirled effect,
dip tooth pick in coloring and spread down sides of decorating bag, carefully place icing in bag.


For peanut butter icing,
Mix 2 c peanut butter with 3-4 Tbs milk, add powdered sugar to desired consistency.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Meatballs Meatloaf Seasoning

I am a dump cook, I mix and match as I go. If I am not baking...I don't usually measure.
After being asked several times how I season my meatballs/ meatloaf I figured it was time to actually do a little measuring and write it down.

 For 2 pounds meat- using either ground beef, ground turkey, half beef & half sausage or any other combination
* if you use ground turkey only you will need a filler such as bread crumbs or panko
2 lb meat
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
Mix well and brown in frying pan, drain and add sauce or gravy.
For a more Italian flavor add 1/4 tsp oregano and 1/4 tsp basil.

Mix above ingredients, (you can even add another pound of ground beef for a larger serving)
add 1 large egg and 1/4 - 1/2 c of any of the following
 crushed saltines
 panko (Japanese bread crumbs
 unseasoned bread crumbs
Form into loaf or casserole  pan, spread bar b q sauce or ketchup over top and bake at 350 until tests done.
measurement are for dried spices

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Fudge Icing

1 c unsalted butter, softened
2 c sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 c flour
3/4 c cocoa powder
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
3/4 c sour cream

Preheat oven to 350, spray 2 - 9 inch pans and line bottom 
with parchment paper.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
In another bowl, mix flour, b powder, b soda, salt and cocoa. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk and sour cream until smooth consistency.
Pour into pans and bake 35-40 min.
Cool in pan.

1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c cocoa powder
3-4 c powdered sugar, measured then sifted
1/2 c half and half or water
Blend chocolate, butter, vanilla, cocoa powder and half of powdered sugar. 
Add remaining powdered sugar and half and half whipping with mixer until desired consistency is reached.

A Passion for Baking- Marcy Goldman

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cocoa Puff Bars

Bring  to a boil
    1 c sugar
     1 1/4 c Karo syrup
Add 1 1/4 c peanut butter, stir until smooth

Pour over 6-7 cups cocoa puffs cereal and 1 c peanuts

Press into sprayed 9X13 pan. Let set.
Sounds too simple to be so good, but mmm they are yummy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Comfort Food
for breakfast or dinner
lots of syrup or fruit topping
waffles have to be a favorite!

2 c all purpose flour
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 c milk
2 eggs
2 Tbs oil

Combine flour, sugar, powder and salt in large bowl. In another mix together milk, oil and eggs. Combine ingredients until moistened. Preheat waffle maker according to directions, spray with nonstick spray and pour 3/4 to 1 c mixture, depending on waffle iron capacity. Bake until brown.
This makes 4 large waffles so you may want to double if you are having guests.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rhubarb Baklava

From the Apr/May 2011 Taste of Home magazine.
Rhubarb is a baking staple here in North Dakota, it is just beginning to poke through the ground and soon will be 2 feet high. I grew up with it but most of my life would not eat it cooked...it just didn't look good as a pie or jam to me as a kid. I would however, eat the stalks raw...very tart but ooh so good. Once I finally tried it I fell in love!
Now having never tried baklava...you can see why this recipe appealed to me.

1 c butter, melted
1 pkg (20 sheets) phyllo dough
3 c finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c finely chopped rhubarb or frozen*
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 c honey
Mix walnuts, rhubarb, sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Remove phyllo from package, keep all remaining dough covered with a moist towel, they dry out very quickly.
note:You may cut the sheets in half for a better fit into 9X13 pan or fold over, brushing with butter on the inside of the fold as you go,  basically every time phyllo touches another layer of phyllo, spread with butter.
layer 5 whole sheets, spreading each with melted butter. This is the part where you must be fairly quick and hopefully not get interrupted.  Remember keep unused dough covered and using a pastry brush spread your butter thoroughly and evenly between every layer of dough.
place 1/3 walnut mixture over top, repeat with another 5 sheets of phyllo (or 10 half sheets)
and 1/3 nut mix....repeat layer again...total of 3 layers ending with dough.

Using a sharp knife cut baklava into 1 1/2 in diamond shapes. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
Heat honey over low heat until thinned. Pour over warm baklava. Cool completely, cover and let set overnight.

* frozen rhubarb- measure out frozen, allow to drain while thawing, do not squeeze

Foodie Friday Ekats Kitchen, Katies Cucina, Sweets for Saturday Funky Junk 
Full plate Thursday

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