Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Bakers Flourless Chocolate Hearts with Rose Ice Cream

Fortunately for me, and for my family, I made these tasty little cakes before I came down with the cold from Hell. Which then turned into bronchitis. You really don't want to know much more of the details.

But these little cakes were delicious! They were easy to make and super tasty. I made them in individual heart shaped silicon cupcake holders and got 15. The only problem was that I only had 12 little heart shaped cups. The last three ended up in my silicon cups with feet. I know. I should have taken a photo. But I was busy eating them.

I made Wendy's vanilla ice cream recipe, mostly because I got a little lazy and didn't feel like dealing with eggs. As a last minute addition I added a tablespoon of rosewater that I picked up last time I visited my mom. If you like the taste of eating roses this makes a pretty good ice cream too! I didn't want the ice cream to overpower the chocolate cakes so I molded little tiny ice cream hearts.

This was a fun one!

and here's the fine print!
The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

Now go check out the other Daring Bakers!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lentils and Chorizo

Um, well I guess this isn't Legume Wednesday. It's more like Legume Friday... But really I made the lentils because I am so tired of listening to the news and hearing about how terrible the economy is. And I'm tired of unemployment being through the roof where I live and not being able to find a job. It's pretty depressing.

So I decided to revert back to the simple and delicious food I ate in college. Yes the cheap eats that I survived on for about 10 years. And NO I'm not talking about Ramen noodles which I hate with a burning hatred that I would rather literally starve to death than eat them again. Seriously the smell of them makes me gag. Ramen noodles are cheap, but they are far from delicious. I'm talking about lentils. Yummy in the tummy lentils.

The chorizo had been hanging out in the freezer for a while so I figured I might as well use it up. Then I sauteed up a bunch of veggies and added some cooked lentils and a can of tomatoes. It's cheap. It's delicious. It's filling. And it's just right for the economy right now. What more could you ask for? Perhaps something like my new and furry sous chef?
Her eyes are really brown, not glow in the dark creepy yellow....
Lentils and Chorizo
an original Shazamer recipe

1 cup dried lentils
4 cups water
2 links (about 6 ounces) fresh chorizo
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large stalk of celery, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can of petite diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Bring the water to boil in a saucepan. When the water is boiling add the lentils and continue to boil for about 13 more minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Meanwhile, cook the chorizo in a frying pan until it is no longer bright red and is cooked all the way through. Add the vegetables to the pan and saute in the rendered fat until they are tender. Turn off the heat and wait until the lentils are finished cooking.

Once the lentils finish cooking, drain them and add then to the pan with the chorizo and vegetables. Add the can of tomatoes and cook over medium heat for another 5 minutes to blend the flavors and reduce the tomato liquid. Turn off the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
And I'm off to rolling on the floor with my dog!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Buffalo Wings

Now this is getting embarrassing. I have completely fallen off the blogging ball. Really I've completely stopped cooking. I don't have a good excuse even. My long term sub job ended on Tuesday (you can read more about it on my other blog). I've been a little bit blue, but really...
I did try Taco Bell for the first time since the early '90s though. It was pretty tasty, but I think I'm good for the next decade.

Fortunately, my loving husband has a poker game tonight. Which means that I actually cooked something. See we've been eating leftovers all week of this bean and ground beef and brown rice and tomato kind of slow cooker mushiness that wasn't anywhere near good enough to blog about. And there was so much of it (and it wasn't really all THAT bad) that I felt I shouldn't, with today's economy, just toss it. So when the Brain told me he was going to play cards tonight I ran to the next county to pick up some frozen chicken wings (that were on sale). And while he took a nap (because he was working late into last night on important legal documents) I steamed and baked and tossed these wonderfully delicious wings.

I love Good Eats. And I think Alton Brown is so appealing to my OCD and dorky ways. So last week I caught an episode where he made buffalo wings and printed out the recipe hoping I'd have an opportunity to make them. Alton's recipes rarely let me down. So even though they seem a little complicated to make, I hated to part with them and send them off to some hungry men who probably are going to inhale them in 3 minutes flat. Either that or they will be upstaged by some complicated and fancy wild bear tacos or something like that. I think it's better that I don't know exactly what goes on at these poker night events. Although the little bit that I hear sure is interesting!

Buffalo Wings

1 (4 pound) package frozen chicken wings, thawed
3 ounces unsalted butter
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup Frank's hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Place a soup pot with a steamer basket and 1 inch of water in the bottom over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Clean wings of any hanging pieces of skin or fat and place into the steamer basket. Steam for 10 minutes.

Line a sheet pan with paper towels and a cooling rack. Lay the wings on the rack and carefully pat dry. Refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Replace the paper towels with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter with the garlic. Add the hot sauce and salt and pour into a bowl big enough for all the wings. When the wings are done cooking, immediately toss in the hot sauce. Serve warm.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Trailer Park Beans

OK, I have been terrible at blogging. really really bad. But it's been a bad week overall really. We got the foot of snow that was, for the most part, expected. And they cancelled school. So I decided to check out the new Chinese restaurant in town. Unfortunately, I learned that although the Cadillac is a big heavy car that does well on slippery roads, it does not plow snow. I got the behemoth stuck in the driveway. So I called my friend to pick me up in what can best be described as a monster truck.

While waiting for her to arrive I decided that it would be a good idea to get the car all the way back into the driveway. In order to do that I had to shovel. SO my neighbor came over to help me and the two of us (and his little son) were all shoveling away when WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I went flying. I should explain here that I have a gravel driveway that we normally don't shovel and so the snow pack under the fresh foot of snow was pretty much ice.

So there I was sitting on my butt in a foot of snow with Wilma the Knee twisted behind me. Wilma the Knee apparently does not like flying and flailing and has been swollen and crunchy ever since. The rest of the day was spent with an ice pack and some electric stim. See if you have 3 knee surgeries they let you have all kinds of fun toys. Fortunately nothing is ripped, because yes, I've seen the doctor. The doctor should be naming a wing of his house after me. Apparently I knocked loose some scar tissue or irritated my arthritis or something like that. He prescribed me some great anti-inflammatory medicine and my knee is slowly starting to recover. Whew.

Life hasn't returned to normal though because shortly before seeing the doctor I must have been sneezed on by a high school kid and I have come down with the worst cold ever. The congestion is truly amazing. I'm starting to sound like Fran Drescher even.

Fortunately I made these beans. Yes, the only thing I've cooked all week. These beans are killer spicy. And delicious. And really you should try them. But you may want to cut down on the pickled jalapenos! They were originally called Drunken Beans and the recipe called for a dark Mexican beer. But I'm not fancy like that and all I had were Bud Light and Tequila. Which makes me feel less than upscale with my beans....

And the winners of the Big Blog Giveaway Part Deux are....

The cupcake towels, napkins and spatula go to teresa!

The finger spatula, band aids, and bookmarks go to Standing Still!

and the apron goes to Siri!

So ladies, email me (at the bottom right) your address and I will get them sent out! By the way, I've been asked where I found the band aids. I found them at Borders.

Drunk Beans
adapted from epicurious

1/2 pound bacon chopped
1 large white onion chopped
1 Tbsp oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound pinto beans that have soaked in water for 6 hours
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sliced jarred pickled jalapenos
12 ounce can of Bud Light
2 shots of Tequila
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.

In a frying pan, cook bacon, onion, oregano, and garlic over medium high heat until onion is browned slightly. Scrape the bacon mixture into a bean pot (or Dutch oven) and add beans, water, jalapeno, beer, and tequila. Stir to combine. Bake mixture in covered bean pot for 2 hours or until beans are soft. Stir in salt and brown sugar and bake for 10 minutes more without the lid.