Tag Archives: cooking

Macarons: Success

After the last attempt I decided to try a recipe that actually included the measures of ingredients in cups, as I don’t have a kitchen scale, and this time it worked out (for the most part, a few of the shells were still hollow so I’m in the process of perfecting it.) But I decided to do a post on the recipe, in the hopes that it will show how I’ve corrected from what I did last time. I made the same nutella-chocolate filling as last time, so if you’d like to see that click here. This time I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the cookies, although I altered the cooking time/temperature a little due to paranoia that I would burn them. This makes about 10 macarons (20 halves.)

Ingredients:

1.25 cups plus 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1 cup (4 oz) almond flour
6 Tablespoons egg whites (3 large eggs)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (although honestly how long does an oven take to heat up, I don’t think it’s necessary to do this as the very first step, considering how long it takes to whisk the egg whites, I think it’s a waste of electricity, just keep it in mind for a later.)

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour and powdered sugar.

apart

 

together

 

3. Separate your egg whites into another bowl. Whisk until frothy/foamy. This time I was very careful not to get any yolk in here…

egg whites

 

4. Gradually add your granulated sugar while whisking (so much easier with an electric mixer than by hand) and continue whisking until the white mixture forms stiff peaks.

peaking

 

5. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into your meringue until fully incorporated.

folded

 

6. Pipe your batter onto  parchment paper/wax paper or a Silpat on a cookie sheet. Make evenly spaced, similar-sized circles. Lift the cookie sheet and drop it lightly a few times after you’re done piping, in order to spread and remove air bubbles from the batter. This makes about 20 cookies halves, or 10 macarons.

allow to rest

 

7. Allow to rest about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is no longer sticky/shiny and a skin forms over the tops. Then bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Check cookies every 3 minutes after that point. They are done when the top is hard and the bottom slides against the baking surface and removes easily (though you may need a spatula to remove them, still.)

baked them

 

they're cute

 

they're cute

 

8. Pipe/spoon in your desired filling and sandwich it up!

finished cookie

 

enjoy

 

Photos by: Melissa
Post by: Melissa

Advertisements

Hummingbird cupcakes with zesty lemon cream cheese frosting

Hello!

Long time no see. Recently I purchased the Food Network cupcake app and I thought I would share my experience with one of the recipes. (All credit to Food Network!)

I decided to make the Hummingbird cupcakes because I already had many of the ingredients, including pineapple and bananas. So let’s get into it! One note: I made a half batch of frosting because I don’t like to over-frost, and I left about 4 cupcakes unfrosted for those who like it a little less sweet. Also, as a note, I used a KitchenAid Mixer for mixing (courtesy of my mother.)

Serves: 24

Ingredients for cupcake:

2.5 cups chopped ripe bananas
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
2.75 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large, room-temperature eggs
1.75 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Ingredients for frosting: (this is the half batch I made, double for a “full batch” or lots of frosting)

 1, 8-oz package of cream cheese (room temperature)
.75 stick (3 oz) of unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 tablespoon of finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used the full teaspoon though I was making a half batch)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Line your cupcake tins.

3.  Chop bananas, pecans, and pineapple, and combine in bowl.

thin slices

4. Add 1/2 cup flour to bowl with fruit and nuts.

5. In another bowl, combine the remaining 2.25 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.

6. In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until it thickens (about 5 minutes).


7. While beating, gradually add the oil and scatter the dry ingredients from above over the top.

8. Next, fold in the banana/nut mixture.

9. Fill muffin cups.

10. Bake! I baked for 25 minutes, though you may need to adjust your time depending on your oven.

11. Enjoy! Wait for these to cool before frosting.

Recipe for frosting:

1. Add cream cheese and butter (both softened) to large bowl and combine with mixer until smooth.

2. Gradually beat in lemon zest and vanilla.

3. Add confectioner’s sugar to mixture and beat until smooth (again).

4. Refrigerate mix about 20 minutes, or until set.

5. To finish cupcakes, ice as desired.

6. At last! Enjoy!

photos by: Melissa
post by: Melissa


Seafood Linguine

I’ve been at home for the past week and we haven’t really been cooking much. It’s been freezer-this and sandwich or soup-from-a-can that. But over the weekend I had a chance to make one of my favorite go-to easy dinners that tastes like it could come from a restaurant. I call this “seafood linguine”, because you can use shrimp, scallops, or other types of seafood (a shrimp/scallop combo might be nice) and it is very versatile. I haven’t tried it, but I think you could even do this with chicken. We served this with parmesan cheese toast on the side and corn on the cob.

Ingredients:

1/2-1 pound of shrimp
One tomato
6 white ( or crimini) mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic
Cilantro (to taste)
Olive oil (for cooking)
Linguine 

Recipe:

1. Heat olive oil in pan. Once hot, add minced garlic.

2. Cook garlic to a golden color and add the chopped mushrooms.

3. Add peeled shrimp and cook thoroughly.

4. Add the chopped tomato and simmer over low heat.

5. Add the cilantro and reduce heat until wilted.

6. Enjoy!

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Open-face Cuban sandwiches

Lately we’ve been watching a lot of cooking shows, like 30 minute meals, Iron Chef America and Five ingredient Fix. A few days ago we were watching 30 minute meals with Rachel Ray and she made open-face Cuban sandwiches. With a few alterations, we decided to recreate these for dinner with some friends. Everyone loved them! (For reference: Rachel Ray also added yellow mustard and a pickle on top.)

Ingredients:

Equal parts ground pork and chorizo
1/3 of an onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic
sweet rolls (cut in half)
Cumin, red pepper flakes and red cayenne pepper
1/2 cup beer (we used a blonde ale)
A little Ketchup or 1/4 cup tomato paste
Swiss cheese slices for topping 

Recipe:

1. Begin cooking your ground pork, preheat oven to 350 degrees, and cut up rolls.

2. Cut up your onion and garlic, cook in separate pot/pan.

3. Add chorizo and cook on medium heat for a few minutes.

4. Add your ketchup or tomato paste and cook for a few minutes.

5. Add your beer and cook off excess liquid.

6. Bake your rolls in the oven for 5-10 minutes (until crispy)

7. Place mixture on sandwich rolls, leave open. Add cheese to tops.

8. Heat a few minutes in oven, or until cheese melts.

9. Enjoy!

Photos by: Colin and Melissa
Post by: Melissa


Blueberry picking and milkshake!

We went blueberry picking at our favorite u-pick farm, Boxx Berry Farm! It was sunny, which is perfect weather for seeing the blueberries in all their glory. Fortunately for us, the rows of blueberries had grass planted in between them and we could sit down and get easy access to all the delicious berries (plus it was easy to pick several pounds!)

A tip about picking blueberries: These berries are darker when washed and will look just like the ones you find in the store. 🙂
So don’t worry if they seem a little light in color.

Also, you don’t have to worry as much when picking blueberries because they aren’t super squishy. Just wear whatever you’re comfortable in!

Ingredients:

Blueberries
Mint leaves (to taste, you don’t need too many)
Vanilla ice-cream
Milk (to make blending easier, you can substitute water if you don’t want to use milk!)

Recipe:

1. Wash blueberries and mint. Add to blender.

2. Add ice cream and milk.

3. Pour into a cup when well blended.

4. NOW DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE. Drink it up!!

 

I almost forgot!!! PIE:

 

Coming soon. (look for the recipe within the next week)

Post by: Colin and Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Raspberry bars

As promised here are some delicious raspberry bars made with jam that we picked at a U-pick farm in Ferndale. These bars are the perfect snack, dessert or maybe even breakfast!

Ingredients:
2.75 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely chopped pecans (praline or normal)
1 cup melted butter
1 egg 

Step 1. Chop up pecans ahead of time. Make them pretty small like below. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2. Combine pecans, sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl.

Step. 3 Melt butter and add to mixture with egg.

Step. 4 Mix all ingredients together till it forms a crumbly, but moist dough that sticks together.

Step 5. Press mixture to bottom of greased baking dish. A casserole dish works great for this. Set aside 1.5 cups of the mixture to crumble on top.

Step 6. Add jam and spread to edges. Leave about 1/3 inch on the sides, the jam will spread to it.

Step. 7 Crumble 1/2 cup on top cover all jam and the sides.

Step 8. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until crumbs are golden brown. Check around 30 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning. After it’s done take out and let it sit for 3 hours and then cut in pan and enjoy.

Post by Colin
Photos by Colin and Melissa


Seasoned pork spare ribs

Hello all, Melissa is back home do some job training so I felt I should throw up a post that is quick and easy.

As we all know I love BBQing and my favorite food to grill is ribs.

Ingredients:

1 lb. pork spare ribs

1/4 cup marinade of choice

4 tablespoons spices (we did half pepper, half cumin)

A little olive oil

A little lemon juice

Step 1. Get yourself some delicious ribs, pork is usually cheaper.

Step 2. Assemble you seasonings. Feel free to mix and match. Marinade the ribs for at least 2 hours before putting them on the grill.

Step 3. Use a fork to put holes in the meet so your seasonings and marinade can soak in.

Step 4. After 2 hours put ribs on the grill on medium high heat. I put the meat face up first so I can add some more marinade and sauce, but a lot of people like to cook the top layer of meat first.

Step 5. After a good 5 to 8 minutes on medium high heat flip the ribs to starting cooking that delicious meat.You want to create a char on the meat to give it a nice crispy, fall off the bone taste. Be sure not to blacken the whole slab though. Keep cooking the meat for 10 minutes, checking every 4 to 5 minutes.

Step 6. Flip the ribs over after you have desired char and turn down to low heat and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes depending on your ribs. When the meat starts to slightly crack, it is nicely cooked. See the wonderful char marks? They will just add taste to the greatness that is these ribs.

Step 7. Prepare sides with the ribs. The ribs need to rest for a little bit, so this is a good time to make a salad and warm up some bread. After the sides are done cut the ribs up and serve.

Enjoy!

Post by: Colin

Photos by: Colin and Melissa