Wednesday, March 3, 2010

last night was food heaven! i promised, i'm going to try and get better at the blog thing.

So last night I kinda went a little overboard here was the menu:

Stuffed pork tenderloin

Garlic Steamed Broccoli

Whole Grain Rice

Guinness Bundt Cake

Carrot Cake Muffins with Orange Cream Cheese filling

Caramel Swirl Cheesecake Ice Cream

don't worry...we didn't eat all of it! I promise!

So i'm getting ready to go on this trip to visit some old friends on friday and I wanted to bring them all a baked good...its the suzy homemaker in me i guess. So I wanted to make this guinness beer cake, because if you haven't noticed i like to find as many ways to incorporate alcohol into my life without actually drinking it. (p.s. there was rum in the carrot cake muffins too! :) )

so anyway, i started the evening by prepping my cake, the recipe is below, altered by me:


1 can Guinness Stout (I had the tall can 14.25oz, and used it all)

½ cup pomegranate molasses (or regular molasses, which I used because who has pomegranate molasses?)

½ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

3 eggs

1 cup muscovado sugar (i used regular granulated)

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon ginger (i used slightly less than this because that much ginger scares me)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon white pepper (i omitted because i didn't have white pepper)

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup cubed candied ginger (optional, and I chose not to include)

Confectioners sugar for dusting

PROCEDUREPreheat oven to 350°In a large saucepan, combine molasses, brown sugar, Guinness and baking soda and simmer over medium heat until the brown sugar has melted. The mixture will bubble due to the baking soda, so make sure your pot is large enough! Set aside.In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and all spices and salt. Set aside.In a standmixer with paddle attachment, cream muscovado sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating between additions and scraping down the bowl.Add flour and Guinness mixture, alternate between the two, adding a quarter of each mixture with each incorporation.Stir in candied ginger, if using, and pour the batter into a non-stick bundt mold that’s been liberally sprayed with non-stick spray. I’ll say it again, non-stick molds stick. Be ever vigilant! Bake at 350° for about an hour. When the cake is cool, dust with confectioners sugar.

I brought the cake into work today and its ok, i mean it doesn't taste like beer, and i think it still has a little too much ginger, but it is moist and very flavorful. But it tastes more like a sweet bread, then a cake. So I'm thinking I'm probably going to make a chocolate cake instead for my friends. Sorry!

after putting the cake in the oven I realized it was already after 6 and I needed to start dinner. Luckily we found a tenderloin on sale at the grocery store yesterday so I butterflied it out, spread down some pesto and sprinkled some grated swiss cheese, rolled her up and basted with olive oil and blasmic vinegar and roasted in the convection oven at 425 for about 30 minutes give or take.

After that was in I threw down some whole grain rice and got out my wok to steam my broccoli. I have a steamer, but I find it easier just to toss the oil, garlic, water and broccoli in the big wok and cover. it steams perfectly. Everything fortunately was finished at about the same time...which i consider impressive.

We chowed down and oooo it was yummy. There is even some left over pork in the fridge for adam's lunch today. I will be having a veggie burger that I also found on sale, buy one get one free...yes please!

so then adam and i decided it was time for ice cream making attempt #1. my parents were kind enough to order me one of these for my birthday:

Yay! Attachment for my favorite appliance! It finally arrived Sunday, but then you have to pop it in the freezer for like 15 hours. So we flipped through the manual and all of the recipes called for a dozen egg yolks...which is crazy, then what do i do with a dozen egg whites...maybe i should make another bundt cake, like angel food? perhaps another time

So I had found a recipe for blueberry cheesecake ice cream the other day, so we adapted:

Cheesecake Ice Cream
4 oz Cream Cheese, room temp

1 cup Sugar

1 large Egg

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

3/4 cup Milk

2 tsp Lime Zest

1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream

1. Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add the egg and vanilla, mix until creamy and set aside.2. Bring the milk to a boil over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat and add a quarter cup of the milk to the cream cheese mixture and mix until combined and smooth. Continue with 2 more quarter cups of milk and then add the entire mixture back to the pan with the rest of the milk.3. Stir over medium-low heat until thickened slightly (should take around 3 minutes). Remove from heat, strain mixture, and let cool 10 minutes.4. Combine the zest, heavy cream and cream cheese mixture together. Pour into your ice cream machine and freeze according to manufactures instructions.5. When ice cream is thickened and finished freezing, slowly pour in the blueberry lime syrup and let 'swirl' a few times in the machine before turning off. (You can also do this by creating layers of the ice cream to a container and adding the syrup between layers , then swirl with a knife a few times.)

we pretty much followed the cheesecake recipe exactly but then instead of blueberry we swirled in caramel sauce at the end!

All I can say is OOOOO LA LA!!! this ice cream was amazing, fantastic, rich, creamy, sooooo perfect in every way. and really easy, my husband did it for goodness sake!

and then finally I made my carrot cake muffins. Adam so graciously grated my carrots in the food processor while I was working on other things. I love when he helps me cook! Here is the recipe that I adapted:

Carrot cake muffins with orange-cream cheese filling
Carrot cake:

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ cups carrots, grated (I used a bag of baby carrots I had lying around, well 2/3 of a bag)

½ tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

¾ tsp baking soda

1 ¼ cups cinnamon (I assumed this meant teaspoons and not cups...cuz EWWW!)

½ tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup raisins (i didn't have these, and don't like them so I omitted)

1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped (I doubled these to make up for the lack of raisins)

2 tbsp rum (i soaked the pecans in rum instead of the raisins HAHA!)

Cream cheese filling
6 oz cream cheese

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp orange zest


Soak the raisins in the rum for at least half an hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line a standard muffin tin (or grease and flour an 8 inch cake pan, if using).In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside.Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and scrape down the sides of the bowl.Slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl in three separate additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time. Drain the raisins from the rum, and fold them into the mixture along with the pecans. Set aside while you make the cream cheese filling.Using a hand or stand mixer combine the cream cheese, orange zest and sugar. Beat for two minutes on medium high. Drop a large tablespoon of the carrot cake into a muffin cup. Place a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture on top and top that with another heaping tablespoon of carrot cake.Bake for 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed.Cool the muffins on a wire rack.

The muffins were easy to put together, taste wise, i'm not sure i like the filling, too much cream cheese, not enough anything else. I would have rather opted for no filling and maybe a light cream cheese frosting, so I might do that next time. But they are good. Took way longer to bake then 20 minutes though! and I still think i should have left them in a few more.

Anyway, had all these pictures but I can't seem to post them. Another time perhaps!

that's all for now! more tonight/tomorrow!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

so i've been neglectful

didn't know how busy life would be after law school.

Anyway, I haven't forgotten my dear blog, nor have I stopped creating wonderful food concoctions!

Tonight was breakfast for dinner. I'll need to start taking more pictures of my food, but tonight was pure laziness. We came home from the weekend at my parents and I hadn't set out anything to cook. So...breakfast it was. A few weekends ago my parents, adam, and I ventured to Costco, we have a Sams card, but my dad was in search of hashbrowns in a box. Yes, it does sound odd but you rehydrate them in hot water and then cook them. They are delicious. So he got them, and we spent about $200 in other food items. He gave adam and i a box to try so tonight I filled the box with hot water and watched them expand! Mom and Dad also gave me 2 cartons of eggs, the chickens are laying about 15 eggs a day!

So I started dinner by busting out my cast iron skillet and throwing down a big ole hunk of bacon fat. Yep, that's right i save my bacon fat in a little ramkin in the fridge it gets hard and then melts down lovely in my skillet. Then I dumped in the hashbrowns, seasoned and walked away. well not really. I opened up my freezer and pulled out the english muffin bread that I hide there for just these occasions and popped pieces in the toaster. then got to work on the eggs, beautiful fresh farm eggs over-easy in coconut oil! so healthy and so satisfying. after flipping the hashbrowns and buttering the toast, heaped up the plates and dumped on some red hot sauce for good measure. dinner was very satisfying!

before all that started i put all the ingredients in the bread machine for flax seed bread! healthy and yummy. I try to always make my own bread, its cheaper and tastes so much better, plus I know what is going in it!

And i just finished making chocolate covered peanut butter balls to take with me on Friday when I head back to where I graduated high school to visit with some old friends! tomorrow i'll make some peppermint patties and tuesday some thin mints. And there may or may not be a Guiness cake in there somewhere! yeah, i'm crazy!

anyway, that's all for now. pictures tomorrow i promise!