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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lemon Baked Fish

I try to eat sea food once a week which I creatively call Fish Fridays.  I know, I am so original.  I prefer fresh fish, who doesn't, but I do have a bag of frozen fish in the freezer at all times.  This techniques works for both frozen and fresh and for pretty much any kind of fillet of fish.  This is my go-to recipe for a quick, delicious, easy to prepare fish dinner.
Wrap a pan in tin foil and line with lemon slices.
Salt and pepper both sides of thawed out or fresh fish fillets then lay them on top of the lemon slices.  Here is a fun story.  I used to do this with frozen fish, just wrap it up and stick it in the oven, until my pan broke.  We were watching a movie and I had just put the frozen fish in the oven when we heard this explosion from the kitchen.  I opened the oven and found my best glass pan had shattered.  I was picking glass shards out of the oven and off the floor for weeks.  Needless to say we threw away the fish and I had to start over on dinner.  I blame the frozen fish.  Ever since then I  have always thawed my fish before adding it to the tin foil.  I never did get around to replacing my glass pan.  It's empty place amongst my other dishes serves as a reminder to always thaw my fish out before baking it.
Cover the fillets with more lemon slices.
Cover fish with tin foil to make a nice tin foil packet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove lemon slices, or keep some of them to garnish the fish.  Serve with your choice of sides.  I did peas and rice this time.  I also like adding the yummy left over lemon-fish sauce to the rice.  I feel obligated to mention that I use no butter or oil in this recipe so it is healthier than fried fish.  Just fish and lemon.  Lemon and Lime also work well together.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Missionary Cake

My brother just got home from his mission to Romania.  He gave his homecoming talk in church on Sunday 11.11.12.  (Not as cool as 11.11.11 or 11.12.13.  I am a numbers person.)  Then, as is the Mormon Culture custom, we threw a homecoming party for him at my parent's house after church.  I made a Missionary Cake.  It is a simple chocolate cake with a fondant tie and name tag.  The Blue, Yellow, and Red are the colors of the Romanian flag.  
I also made Romanian Flag Rainbow Jello.
We had cookies, a vegetable plate, ham and cheese plate for sandwiches, and hot apple cider.
Around 30-50 people showed up, it was a lot of fun to visit with my aunts and uncles and cousins.
Here is Richard cutting his cake.
I think he liked cutting the cake more than eating it.

Monday, November 19, 2012


For my 32nd Birthday J and I went to the Natural History Museum of Utah. 
One of our corporate mascots and favorite dinosaur is the Allosaurus.  This museum has the largest collection of Allosarus bones in the world.  The Allosaurus is also Utah's official state fossil.  The Allosaurus is smaller than the Tyranosaurs measuring only 25-35 feet, but it has larger more useful arms with bigger claws that could be used to subdue prey.  To compare the two here are some toy figures I found in the gift store.
1- T-Rex, 2 - T-Rex, 3 - T-Rex, 4 - Allosaurus, just like a T-Rex, only different.
J standing next to a T-Rex skull to see the difference between the two dinosaurs.  The T-Rex was much bigger and had a stronger bite, but has a similar skeletal structure.
Allosaurus display.  The pack of Allosaurus skeletons are taking down a Sauropod.  Since many of their remains are found grouped close together, the current hypothesis is that Allosaurus hunted in packs like wolves, only different.
Allosaurus skull.  Just like a T-Rex skull, only different.
A fellow blue haired person that I saw.  We of the blue hair must stick together.
Another Awesome Allosaurus.
Since J is a werewolf I had to get a picture of a Dire Wolf skeleton for him.  He seems a bit small.  Maybe he was a juvenile Dire Wolf.
One of our other Corporate Mascots and favorite insect is the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly.  It may not be the most beautiful butterfly in the world, but it certainly is the best.  It is also native to Utah, or at least it's habit range includes Utah.  Our third mascot is the Panthugar.  A cross between a Panther and a Cougar.  The deadliest of all the big cat hybrids.  I could not find a picture of one of those.  I like how at first glance all the butterflies look the same, then if you look longer you can see how different and individual they all are.
More Allosaurus skull fragments.  It was behind the scenes day at the Museum and we got to tour the staff only restricted to the public areas.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Blue Hair

For my birthday dinner my family met up at the Red Lobster.  I was very clever and put my jacket hood up over my head so they could not see it when I walked through the door.  Then I took a picture of them with my phone as I pulled my hood off on the pretense of getting a picture for my birthday blog.  I just wanted a picture of their genuine reactions to my hair.
This is my brother's reaction.
These are my parent's reactions.
This is my Dad's reaction.  His facial expression stayed this way in a state of shock, horror, and disappointment the entire night.  I am no longer the favorite child.  I have fallen far from grace.

This is what I did.  This is my before picture.  Virgin hair for the last three years.  I was on a Geekshirt week at work.  Day 1 Monday Twilight.  Day 2 Tuesday Power Rangers.  Day 3 Wednesday Spider-Man.  Day 4 Thursday Transformers.  Day 5 Friday Naruto.  I am a comic book, super-hero, anime, manga, cartoon geek and have many a merchandise and T-shirt to prove it.
I had my hair bleached three times to strip the color out.
I have never been this blonde in my life.  That frizz is my natural wake-up in the morning hair texture.  At work us girls are planning a "No Hair Product Day".  Not even a pony tail holder is allowed.  We first need to get a trophy for the worst hair. I think I have a good chance at winning.
Then we shaved one side.  Just the one ear.  I have never been this short or buzzed in my life.  It was a freaky experience.
There is all my hair on the floor in the corner.  So sad.
Then came the pink sections.  More pink please.
Then came the blue and the final result which was the cause of much disappointment, shock, and horror on my parent's faces.
Devil horns.  Rock on Man, rock on.  I am a punk.
Blue with pink sections.
Shaved on the right side with a saved lock up front.
Blue.  I have My Little Pony Hair.
Blue and Pink.  I feel like Rainbow Bright.
One step closer to being an anime character.
Let's see my Dad's look of disappointment again.  He did ask at dinner where he went wrong as a parent.
My bathroom.
My work bathroom.
Me with crazy blue hair.  This is my birthday present to me.  I turned 32.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

German Chocolate

German Chocolate Quartet

Every year I make German Chocolate Cake for my Dad's Birthday.  Happy Birthday Dad, I love you.  It is his favorite cake. This year I wanted to change things up a bit and do German Chocolate four ways.

German Chocolate Cake

  • 1 bar (4 ounces) German Sweet Cooking Chocolate – chopped up
    • ½ cup boiling water, add to chocolate and stir until melted, then set aside.
  • 4 egg whites and a pinch of salt, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, then set aside
  • Cream together
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temperature or softened
  • Add one at a time
    • 4 egg yolks.
  • Add melted chocolate.
  • Add together in a separate bowl 
    • 2 and ½ cups cake flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt
  • Alternate adding dry ingredients with
    • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Mix all that together and at the end gently fold in the 4 egg whites.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes.  
  • The cake above is from one 6" cake pan.

German Chocolate Cupcakes 

  • Bake at 325 for 15 minutes for cupcakes. The whole recipe makes about 40 cupcakes.
  • I made 2 dozen cupcakes.

Coconut-Pecan Frosting – for German Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • In the medium sauce pan on medium-high heat stir together until it begins to boil.  Boil for 10-12 minutes as it gradually thickens.  When it is thick add:
  • 1 and 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Stir that in and set pan aside to cool.

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 and 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs cocoa powder
  • Whip together until smooth, adding more powdered sugar or heavy whipping cream as needed until it has a the right consistency.

 German Chocolate Cake Pops

  • Using one cake from a 6" cake pan
  • Pull the cake apart and crumble into small pieces.
  • Add about 1 cup chocolate frosting to the cake and knead together until it can form a ball
  • Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out cake/frosting and roll into small balls with your hands.  Freeze or refrigerate for 10+ minutes until firm.
  • Melt some Chocolate Candy Melts 30 seconds at a time in a microwave, stirring in between times until the chocolate is all melted and smooth.
  • Dip the end of a lollipop stick in the chocolate, then stick it into the center of a cake pop and return to the fridge or freezer to set for 10+ minutes.  This keeps the stick from sliding out as you dip it.
  • Dip Cake Pops in chocolate candy melts
  • While the chocolate is still warm cover with left over chopped walnuts and coconut.
  • I made about a dozen cake pops.

 German Chocolate Macaroons

  • Food processor for a few pulses
    • 3/4 cup almond meal or almond flour
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 Tbs cocoa powder
  • In a separate bowl add 
    • 3 eggs whites - left over from coconut pecan frosting
    • a pinch of salt
    • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Add superfine sugar 1 Tbs at a time to egg whites while beating until they form a smooth, glossy, ribbon like consistency
  • Sift almond flour/powdered sugar/cocoa mixture and gently fold into egg whites in batches 
  • Pipe out small circles for cookies on a parchment paper covered baking sheet
  • Sprinkle on left over coconut and chopped pecans
  • Let the cookies rest for 30 min at room temperature while pre-heating the oven.
  • Bake cookies on 2 overlapped baking sheets for 10 - 15 min at 325 degrees.  
  • This made about 15 cookies

Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, quickly bring it to a boil in a medium sauce pan
  • 12 ounces or 1 package of mini-chocolate chips
  • Pour hot cream over chocolate chips and stir until it is all uniformly melted.
  • Store in fridge or freezer for it to thicken/harden 
  • Pipe or spoon out filling onto macaroon cookies
A quartet of all things German Chocolate Cake.