Search This Blog

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Re-growing Green Onions

Re-growing Green Onions

I have decided to start a windowsill garden.  My Mom is a gardener.  My Dad is a gardener.  Every year that I can remember growing up we had a garden. I hate gardening.  At some point I swore I would never have a garden because I hate weeding, watering, planting, rock picking, pruning, pea picking and shelling, zucchini bread, bugs in my food, dirt in my food, being too cold, too hot, eaten alive by ants, spider bites, and always being dirty and miserable.  I have a lot of hate.  I think I can handle a windowsill garden.  After doing quite a bit of research I stumbled upon what I think is the easiest thing I can grow.  Re-growing green onions.  This is my second attempt.  I failed the first time.  The first set of green onions made the whole house smell like rotting onions and they turned to a grey mush so I threw them out after a few days because I could no longer stand the smell.
I think I cut them too short last time.  This time I cut them longer so a bit of green is still showing at the bottoms.  I bundled them up to keep from floating sideways.
Submerge the roots in water.  Note my continued use of "Talenti" ice cream pint containers.  Blood Orange Sorbet is my new favorite flavor so I have accumulated quite a number of them.  I change the water out every day or every other day.
Growth after 1 week.  Barely enough for a garnish, but they are growing and have not made the house smell like onions yet.
Growth after 2 weeks.  Okay, I think I am good.  I have green onions.  Now I can just cut off as much as I need for my dish and stick them back in water to re-re-grow.
 The roots have also gotten longer.  I almost have my full length green onion back.
Three Weeks.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Strawberries and Cream

Strawberries and Cream

To go along with my strawberries and cream cupcakes for Margo's Bridal Shower I made a lighter dessert of cream stuffed strawberries.
Wash and dry 30+ pretty strawberries.  Do not cut the leaves off.

Whipped Cream

  • 1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tbs powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Whip it.  Whip it good.
Cut the strawberries in half, then in half again or quartered.  Do not cut them down to the bottom stem or they flop open and do not sit upright.  I accidentally cut a few of them in half but it was okay.  Those are now defective strawberries and must be eaten immediately.  There were so many strawberry casualties I was surprised I managed to get any done to take with me.
Stuff the whipped cream into a piping bag and fill each strawberry.

J piped out pink chocolate "M"'s for Margo for garnishes.
The dessert table at the Bridal Shower.  Strawberries and Cream, cupcakes, Mexican Wedding Cookies, and a veggie plate.
I think they turned out pretty.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

My cousin Margo is finally getting Married.  I am so excited for her.  She had her Bridal Shower at my parent's house.  I asked Mom if I could bring cupcakes.  This is how desperate I am to make cupcakes.  I have to ask people to make them for their party.
I made two dozen vanilla cupcakes with white chocolate ganache filling topped with strawberry buttercream and little pink chocolate "M" monograms.  I should have gone with a different color for the "M".  Pink on Pink does not showcase the "M" for Margo well enough.  No, not one bit.

White Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 part chocolate
  • 1 part heavy whipping cream
  • Chop up white chocolate bar or use white chocolate chips. Heat cream in saucepan to near boiling but not burning.  Pour hot cream over chocolate and stir until melted.  Refrigerate to cool.  Then here is my favorite part: Whip it. Whip it good.
I used 1 cup white chocolate chips and 1 cup heavy whipping cream which made exactly enough filling for 24 cupcakes.  I could have had extra cream if I had not eaten so much of it during the process.  But it was so tasty. 
J helped by piping out the pink "M"s for Margo.
This is the Parchment Paper Piping Bag J made.  It was a grand accomplishment on his part.
Folding them can be tricky. 

Strawberry ButterCream Frosting

  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup butter – softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbs heavy cream, milk, or water – Mix with beater
  • 1 Tbs Meringue Powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar – Mix with a beater 1 cup at a time.
  • 1/2 cup food processor strawberry puree
  • Add more heavy cream or powdered sugar for the right consistency you want

Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 and ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 2 and ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 and ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 and ¼ cup whole milk or Vitamin D milk
  • Cream sugar and butter.  Add eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.  Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk starting and ending with milk.  Stir to combine.  Bake 350°F for 15-18 min
I use an apple corer to remove the middles.
Then pipe in the white chocolate ganache filling.
Finally top it off with strawberry buttercream and some white candy sprinkles to give them some sparkle.
Sparkly Pink Bridal Shower Cupcakes.
With the cupcake centers and extra frosting I made a few pink cake pops to snack on with the rest of the dessert tray.
My trio of Bridal Shower desserts:  Cupcakes, Strawberries and Cream, and Cake Pops.
Along with Mom's Mexican Wedding Cookies we had a complete set of pink and white goodness.  It wasn't all sugar though, a veggie tray was provided.
Ofcourse, who wants celery sticks when you can have cupcakes.  Not this little cupcake obsessed sugar fiend.  Nope. No sir.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brown Sugar

Mom and Dad bought dinner for me last night at Olive Garden.  I was expecting to pay the bill myself and told them that I would,  but they beat me to it.  I was so grateful that I promised Dad I would make one of his favorite cookies for our Sunday Dinner dessert:  Walnut Chocolate Chip.  I hardly ever make them because J does not like nuts.  But he married into a nutty family and I am a nut, just like my Dad.

This is my Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.  The recipe I grew up with and the only recipe I use for chocolate chip cookies.  See how loved this recipe this.  The book is equally loved nearly to death.
Oh No!  I am almost out of brown sugar.  What to do?  What to do?
Good thing I have white sugar and molasses.
I will just make some brown sugar to use in my cookie recipe.

Dark Brown Sugar

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbs molasses
  • Mix for about 2 min until thoroughly incorporated.

Light Brown Sugar

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbs molasses
Mix.  Mix.  Mix.
I have brown sugar.
Now I can make cookies.
I made a batch for J without walnuts.
I will never buy brown sugar again.  But more molasses is going on the grocery list this week.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Flower Box Cake 2013

Mom asked me to make an Easter cake and maybe some cupcakes since a lot of people were coming over for Easter dinner.  She gave me a magazine picture of a cute flower box cake that she wanted.  This is my version.  I had a lot of fun with it.
My ingredient table.  I like to make sure I have everything I need before I get started so I do not have that "panic moment" when I realize I am missing an ingredient in the middle of making a batter and need to rush to the store and buy it.  I used an 8" brownie pan and an 8" glass dish.  They are both 8" x 8" squares.  It should work.

Basic Vanilla Cake

  • 3 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 sticks (1 and ½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Mix dry ingredients all together, then add butter and mix until it is a fine crumble. Beat eggs into milk and vanilla, then pour into dry ingredients and mix. Bake 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 4 Tbs butter, softened at room temperature
  • 6 cups of powdered sugar
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbs sour cream
Now to apply the Wafer Cookies to make the cake look more like a flower box.
I thought the top was not "springy" enough so I added some grass.
Now to making the cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes

    • Bowl #1
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup + 2 Tbs sugar
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder / chopped baking chocolate
  • 1 and ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
    • Bowl #2
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup pre-made chocolate pudding
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • Mix together wet and dry ingredients.  Fold in
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  • Bake 350 degrees for 18+ minutes.
I threw on yellow chocolate butterflies to contrast with the purple flowers. I also make a few "Tulip" cake pops to add some height to the finished product.
ButterCream Frosting

  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup butter – melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla or other flavorings
  • 2 Tbs heavy cream, milk, or water – Mix with beater
  • 1 Tbs Meringue Powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar – Mix with a beater 1 cup at a time.
  • Add more heavy cream or powdered sugar for the right consistency you want
Now that I have all my components for a perfect Easter dessert:  Flower Box Assemble!
Then I thought, looking at the grass, it was still a bit boring so I added some frosting flowers.
Fun with frosting flowers.  I decided to carry on with the purple, yellow, and white color scheme that I started with the cupcakes.
I have a complete flower box cake that I am satisfied with.
With cake pop tulips.
And yellow butterfly with purple and white flower cupcakes so it kind of looks like a garden.  An abstract edible garden.
On to the family Easter party.  Mom did some decorating.  I was greeted with a basket full of Easter eggs on the front porch.
She also added some of Grandma's bunnies to the living room.
Then I walked into the kitchen and found more bunnies.  A whole village of bunnies.  Who knew Grandma had so many bunnies.
Here are some awkward family party photos for your enjoyment.

A Normal Rockwell Family Easter.
I love my family.