Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mushroom cupcakes???

My son is turning 8 tomorrow....for school the kids always take cupcakes to share....I asked him what he would like for his cupcake "theme" & his response & I quote --- I want 1-up mushrooms from the Mario game.....cute right!

Normally I make my cupcakes from scratch but due to a "dead" refrigerator I just did not have the time so boxed cake would have to do. 

I noticed that it called for egg whites rather than eggs.....I read on the bottom of the box & all it said was that if you used whole eggs to bake 1 minute more....So as I was filling the liners I noticed it was runny...It never said to lessen the liquid if using whole eggs....guess I was just to crazy busy to realize.

I decided to bake them & just hope for the best. They were "OK" when I took them out....kind of flat but I figured that would happen.  I let them cool & when I walked back into the kitchen I noticed that I had a muffin tin full of inverted nipple cupcakes!!  OMG...  I could of just cried.  I almost chucked them and made more but I did not have the time! 

I frosted & decorated them.....this is the end result---
Cute but these are the
flatest mushrooms I ever saw:)

I guess that will learn me....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Homemade Ravioli cheese filling

Here is the recipe for a basic cheese filling for the ravioli I made.......

1 Cup Ricotta cheese
2 Tablespoon parmesan
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

* Mix first 3 ingredients together until a paste is formed.....then add the S & P....

refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour

Homemade Ravioli

This was my 1st attempt at homemade ravioli & it turned out wayyyyy better than I ever would of expected!!  Almost one of those "to easy" recipes!!!  How could it taste so yummy! 

A very basic dough recipe that could be used for more that just ravioli.....

Ravioli Dough recipe
2 Cups flour - I just used all purpose
3 Eggs
pinch of salt

How easy is that!!

Just mix all together until well incorporated & knead for 10-15 minutes.  I separated that into 2 pieces - chilled in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  When I was getting ready to roll it out I then split the 2 balls of dough in half once again...more dough = more ravioli:)

It's hard to believe that a ball of dough could be transformed into this beautiful sheet of dough....I love my pasta maker:)
Then I floured my counter space & started to add the filling.....
I just made a cheese filling.  Once you get the filling in brush an egg wash on top of the ravioli dough & in between the filling. This will be the binder.  I just used 1 egg with 1 Tablespoon of water. Don't overdo the wash...a little egg goes a long way:)
I did the ravioli a couple of ways to see how I could get the most out of my dough.....I liked the "fold over" method the most ~ the above method was using 2 pieces of dough. For the fold over you would just put the filling a bit closer to the bottom & fold easy!
Once sealed take your pizza cutter to cut raviolis to size & off with the ragged edges:)  Seal edges with a fork and this is what you get....
What a pretty ravioli!!
Just add some sauce & you're good to go!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ode to Paula Dean "beef stew"

It was a cold day in November here in Green Bay WI ..... I had other dinner plans planned but then I felt the need for some comfort food!!  What else says comfort food like beef stew!  So I went online to google a different recipe (because the one I usually do goes in the slow cooker and it was to late to put it in there) & up pops Paula Dean's "Old-Time Beef Stew" ~~ there was a quick video so I watched it & I was instantly hooked!!  I mean who doesn't love Paula Dean:)  It looked very easy & quick which is exactly what I was looking for. I did tweak it just a bit but not much....I will put her recipe down exactly as it was and in parentheses i'll put what I tweaked it with.  Here we go:

Old-Time Beef Stew
2 pounds stew beef  "I used chuck roast-cut it myself"
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil  "I used Olive Oil"
2 Cups water  "I used 2 C homemade chicken stock & 1/2 C dry red wine"
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
1 clove garlic, peeled - just smash once with knife
1 or 2 bay leaves  "I used 2"
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash ground allspice or ground cloves  "I used ground cloves"
3 large carrots, peeled & sliced
**I added 4 large red potatoes, quartered**
3 ribs celery, chopped
 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

** Brown meat in hot oil.  Add water, worcestershire, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, paprika and allspice.  Cover & simmer 1 1/2 hours.  Remove bay leaves and garlic clove.  Add carrots, celery and other veggies.  Cover and simmer an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender.  To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid. Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 water and cornstarch.  Mix that with hot liquid and return mixture to pot.  Stir & cook until it reaches thick consistency.  **I also added 2 Tablespoons of flour to help thicken**

"before veggies"

"after veggies"

I just grilled up some french bread with butter & voila.....comfort food to die for!!


recipe courtesy of Paula Dean

Monday, November 14, 2011

No-knead Ciabatta bread

I'm always looking for different bread recipes that I can make so when I came upon the "no-knead" Ciabatta....I just had to try.  So easy!


4 C flour  (I used just regular all-purpose)
1/4 tsp yeast (the little packet ones)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 C warm water

*** In a large bowl combine all ingredients well ~ cover bowl with foil & let sit out at room temperature for 18 hours ***   I know 18 hours seems like a long time but this is good to do on a Sunday afternoon & by mid Monday morning you are able to make bread

This is what it will look like after the resting period.....
Then what you will want to do is just fold it over onto itself about 4 to 6 times....just to wake up the gluten...

Now it's time to shape the dough...

Find a nice flat spot on your counter - spray with just a bit of water to deter the saran wrap to slip when shaping the dough.  Sprinkle saran wrap with flour so the dough does not stick as it will be sticky...put dough onto saran wrap & shape into the shape like a long does help if you also flour your hands.  Pulling the dough really speeds up the process...

Once the dough is form transfer it to a large oiled sheet pan *** all I did was just flip it over *** If the dough loses shape just go ahead and reshape it.  Now cover the dough with a clean cloth & let it rest for 2 hours at room temperature.  Don't be alarmed if the dough does not should only be spreading.

After the 2 hours place baking sheet in a 425 degree preheated oven for 35 minutes.....
~resist the urge to peek~

Voila~~~~Ciabatta bread


recipe courtesy of