Blueberry Muffins

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 05:59 pm
forchancookie: (Pickles Loves You)
My grandparents used to watch America's Test Kitchen a bunch when I lived with them and at some point I ended up signing up for their newsletter. I used to get at least one real recipe in the letter and a bunch of links to their site where they want you to sign up for a pricey membership. Since I was getting a recipe, I kept it, but lately you don't even get that. You get a link to a recipe or video that is available free for a short time and then they want you to pay again. I really should stop the emails but I've been lazy. Not to mention that of all the America's Test Kitchen recipes that I've tried, none of them have really delivered what they promised.

Regardless, I opened the most recent newsletter and it promised me the recipe for the Best Blueberry Muffins!

Blueberry muffins should be packed with blueberry flavor and boast a moist crumb. But too often the blueberry flavor is fleeting, thanks to the fact that the berries in the produce aisle have suffered from long-distance shipping. We wanted blueberry muffins that would taste great with blueberries of any origin, even the bland supermarket kind. Join Yvonne Ruperti as she shows Christopher Kimball how we found that overloading our muffins with berries wasn’t the answer—but concentrating the flavor of the blueberries was.

Well, I love blueberries, so I clicked and watched the video. And then I wanted muffins! Of course, clicking the recipe just brings up a blurry unreadable recipe graphic with a pop up over it saying you need to sign in. Poo. But I did a google search, because the thing about recipes is that you rarely keep them to yourself. And oh hey, what do you know, somebody blogged the recipe. Success! I just needed to get a bit of buttermilk and I was ready to go.

Best Blueberry Muffins )
forchancookie: (Snack Time)
Mom took a month long vacation in Rhode Island and I was left with some interesting ingredients in the fridge. I've yet to touch the fennel bulb. I hate fennel seeds and fennel bulbs are supposed to have a licorice-y flavor, which I also do not like. It may well go bad before I attempt to use it. The quinoa on the other hand piqued my interest. It's like a grain, but it isn't. It's seeds.

I poked at various recipes and finally decided upon this one, Quinoa and Black Beans. It had good ratings and a lot of rave reviews. I didn't follow it completely, so I'll just put up my little version here. A lot of reviewers noted that two cans of black beans was too much and I only had one can anyway.

Quinoa and Black Beans )
forchancookie: (Thpppppt)
Usually around the holidays I post yummy recipes. Today I'm going to post a disgusting one. Mom saw it on Good Morning America and decided to make it. Just hearing her describe it made my stomach turn. This horror is in the vein of Sandra Lee and her semi-homemade stuff, in fact, Sandra Lee was on the tv segment with her own semi-homemade recipe. But her thing actually sounded palatable!

What is this thing? Brownie Cheesecake Peppermint Bars. I like Brownies. I like cheesecake. I like peppermint! I do not like these bars! It's just a giant slab of store bought sugar cookie dough. On top of that you add brownie and cream cheese glop (brownies that you've crushed and mixed with cream cheese). Then you cover the whole thing with white chocolate peppermint bark. The result is a horrific clash of flavors. The store bought cookie taste rubbing elbows with a salty chocolaty cream cheese taste and then on top of that there's a hard layer of white chocolate and peppermint. Urgh. No thanks. Just eating two bites had my stomach in knots.

I don't know how all the reviews on these horrors are positive. Oh wait, they probably have some poor schlub sitting in front of a screen deleting all the comments about how disgusting they are. Well, as long as they don't have to actually eat these things. It's just a hot mess.
forchancookie: (Angry Chibi Viral)
Usually, when a recipe fails, it is because the person cooking/baking didn't actually follow the recipe. Every once in a while, you run into a recipe that just sucks. This is a story about one of those. A week ago, I was flipping through some Southern Dessert compilation magazine and they had a recipe for teacakes. Teacakes are not actual cakes, they're cookies. I guess they're a Southern thing. The only time I can ever recall having a teacake was when I worked at Cou-yon's. Our boss traded a guy a plate of BBQ for the teacakes he was selling. And they were good. They weren't crunchy, a bit soft, but still crumbly. I remember commenting at the time that it'd compliment a sweet potato filling really well. So when I saw this recipe, I had that in mind. However, the recipe called for seven cups of flour and I thought that'd be a bit much to make for this house hold with two people in it.

I looked for another recipe and came across Paula Deen's Southern Teacakes. When I look up recipes online, I always like to read the reviews, see who didn't follow the recipe, see how many reviews there are. I mean, a recipe with one five star review isn't necessarily as good as a recipe with 50 reviews adding up to 4 1/2 stars. I always poke around and look at alternatives and compare. I decided to stick with Paula's because of all the "It tastes like my grandma/aunt/church lady's teacakes" comments. I was hoping I'd get similar results.

Well, I didn't. I should have been suspicious of the brevity of the instructions. They're barely a paragraph long! No mention of creaming the butter and sugar. It reminds me of asking a kid to write instructions for a peanut butter and jelly. Put the peanut butter and jelly on bread and you have a sandwich. Ok, but how?

The recipe calls for two sticks of softened butter, 2 eggs and a half a cup of buttermilk and only four cups of flour. It mentions that the dough will be soft. More like completely unworkable for what comes next. There was just no way in hell that soft sticky dough was going to be turned out on a floured board, rolled, cut with a cookie cutter and put on a pan. But, skeptical as I was, I tried it anyway. The dough stuck to everything. I floured my cookie cutter, it stuck. I criscoed my cookie cutter, it stuck. I wasn't even able to get the excess dough from around my shapes because it was too soft! Clearly, it needed either more flour or to be chilled in the fridge and with that much butter. Though, I still couldn't see it working well after chilling without more flour.

Now, the funny thing is, I went back to the Southern baking magazine and do you know what their recipe calls for? Everything that's in Paula's recipe with the exact measurements, except it calls for 7 cups of flour instead of 4. I should have gone with that one to begin with. I had to work in more flour and stick it in the freezer and I'm still not sure if I will have anything worth eating. I wasn't very thrilled with my test batch of sticky dough. The two cookies I had came out so gooey. The flavor is pretty much standard sugar cookie. Basically, it's disappointing in so many ways. It's not like I changed any part of the recipe. I did add a bit of nutmeg, to attempt to get that spicy taste I remembered, but that's it.

I'm baking up the fortified dough that I had in the freezer now, but I'm already so disappointed with these teacakes, I don't know if I want to eat them. I hate it when a recipe falls through. The last time I had this happen, it was also a cookie recipe and also had issues with the butter. Basically, it was all butter and a ridiculously small amount of flour, and the cookies, if you could call them that, turned into melted puddles of butter in the oven. I had never been so pissed at a cookie recipe before. But now I'm having similar feelings of disgust. Now I'm going to mope around being grumpy all night. Stupid teacakes. Now I'll be stuck on the hunt for the perfect teacake recipe. The "perfect" recipe of anything can be so elusive!
forchancookie: (Join Us...We have Cookie!)
I made a super yummy quiche last night. I really love quiche. It's a great way to clean out extra cheese and veggies from the fridge. Unfortunately, there's always a lot of both in there taunting me, My mom typically keeps two or three packages of feta in the fridge at once. One is not enough. *sighs* Anyway! This quiche disappears quickly. Every time I turned around, there was less and less of it. Even Andrew, who doesn't like quiche much, couldn't keep his hands off of it and had a full plate full.

Warning: This quiche is very garlicy! It is not for that special sparkley vampire in your life. )

Car Bomb Cake!

Sunday, April 11th, 2010 09:07 am
forchancookie: (Brainsplosion)
You know, I have lots to write about, but I am lazy. So I'll just share a recipe instead. I stumbled across the recipe a while ago and I thought it was something Brian should make for a contest he had a work. He didn't. Loser.

Well, his birthday is coming up and he was having a not-bachelor party thing, so I decided it was the perfect time to make this manly recipe. What manly recipe? A Car Bomb Cake! An Irish Car Bomb is not an act of terrorism, but it is a terrifying combination of Baileys Irish Cream, Irish Whiskey, and Guinness that you mix together and chug before it curdles. Ew. The cake however, sounds intriguing! A Guinness chocolate cake with a whiskey chocolate ganache and Baileys frosting. Mmm. The recipe is taken the Smitten Kitchen and the only change I made was that I didn't make them into time consuming cupcakes, I just made a round two layer cake. So let's talk manly alcoholic cake!

Car Bomb Cake! BOOM! )
forchancookie: (Peachy)
For days, I've been craving chicken satay like you wouldn't believe! Which is very funny, because I think I can safely say that I've only had it once in my entire life. When I was living with Deani and Summer, they ordered it and it was delicious! There's a Thai place here and I kept saying that I was going to go and I didn't. I mentioned going with mom and she told me to just make it myself. So I poked at Food Network and a Rachel Ray recipe popped up for a Chicken Satay Stir-Fry with Orange Scented Jasmine Rice. Sounded interesting and it had great reviews. A lot of them. Sounded promising. So with no one home and some chicken in the fridge waiting to be cooked, I decided to give it a go.

I was nervous about the rice, because I seem to suck at making rice. I always get super stick clumpy rice. I follow the directions and it never works properly. Plus the pot always seems to boil over and get starchy water everywhere x_x But this recipe called for Jasmine rice instead of the cheap stuff mom buys. My rice came out perfect and lovely! ♥ So, I'm going to blame my apparent lack of rice cooking ability on the ingredients.

And now I'm going to copy/pasta the recipe here with my adjustments because I like to keep my recipes in one place for easy reference XD

Chicken Satay Stir-Fry with Orange Scented Jasmine Rice )

Anyway, as long as we're talking recipe adjustments, I'd like to point out this "review" of the recipe on the Food Network site:

Substituted Trader Joe's satay sauce, and didn't use the orange zest in the rice (didn't have any oranges...); substituted... tofu for the chicken - came out great.

Well, you didn't really make the fucking recipe did you?! Adding some cooked tofu and veggies to a jar of sauce is not following the recipe! I bet they used brown rice too. WTF! Why even bother to review the recipe if you clearly didn't make it! That's why I don't bother reviewing recipes on sites. I tend to tweak them and while they often come out wonderfully, a few tweaks too many and you're not really making that recipe, you're making something else. What's worse is, people tweak and then leave bad reviews. Maybe if you followed the freaking recipe, you wouldn't have screwed up!

I don't know why people bother to comment if they didn't put forth the proper effort. No, your opinion of some concoction you made similar to the recipe has no bearing on the recipe itself, so keep your two cents and put it in the bank. Save up until you have something relevant to add. Moron. -_-
forchancookie: (Snack Time)
In my America's Test Kitchen Newsletter, they had a really tasty sounding recipe for a New York Crumb Cake and I wanted to make it, but I don't have buttermilk and I can't be arsed to go out and get it. =P But I ended up on a recipe for something else and the name just boggled me. Blueberry Boy Bait. *blinks* It had a cutesy little story attached:

In 1954, a 15-year-old girl won second prize in the junior division of a Pillsbury baking contest with a moist and tender blueberry cake that was named after the effect it had on teenage boys--one bite and they were hooked. Topped with cinnamon-sugar and loaded with blueberries, it straddled the divide between coffee cake and dessert cake.

Ok, sounds tasty and I have all the ingredients, so I made it.

Blueberry Boy Bait )

So the answer the the question that I'm sure you're all asking, "Will Blueberry Boy Bait bring all the boys to the yard?" is disappointingly "No." It's lacking too many things that would make it truly enjoyable. Right now it's just palatable as far as I'm concerned. I'm not looking forward to polishing this thing off. =/

Tropical Coconut Cake

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 10:34 pm
forchancookie: (Snack Time)
I had about a paragraph written in here for two days or so. I just ditched it. Instead you get a cake recipe, a Tropical Coconut Cake. Mom made it for Mother's Day. It's labor intensive, but so worth it. It's AMAZING! Why do we eat boxed cakes? Canned frosting? What's that? This cake will kill your urge to ever eat the boxed cakes with canned frosting ever again. Boxed cake mix is a lie! A LIE!

Oh, and don't think I made my poor little mother make her own cake. I made the previously mentioned Divine Chocolate Chip Cookies. I nearly killed our hand mixer too >_> Anyway, here is the cake recipe:

Tropical Coconut Cake )
forchancookie: (Join Us...We have Cookie!)
I have a giant Christmas post, but I keep stalling. Instead, I'm going to post my brand new Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Sure, the Tollhouse recipe is the standard, and a very yummy standard at that, but this one makes a few tweaks that make all the difference. My grandmother clipped it from the newspaper and sent it along with its attached article. I'll post that too, because it's an interesting read. So without further ado, let the great cookie post begin.

Yummy Cookie Article )

And with all that in mind, here's the recipe:

'Divine' Chocolate Chip Cookies )

For-Chan's Notes: )
forchancookie: (Snack Time)
Cheesy Broccoli and Chicken Pot Pie


* pie crust for 2 crust pie
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1/4 cup flour
* 1/4 tsp. pepper
* 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
* 1/2 cup chicken broth
* 3/4 cup milk
* 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
* 2 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken
* 2 cups cooked broccoli florets

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 9" pie pan with one of the pie crusts and set aside.

Melt butter in medium saucepan and add flour and pepper. Cook until this roux is bubbly, stirring constantly.

Add broth and milk, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Add poultry seasoning, cheese and stir until combined. Remove from heat and add chicken and broccoli. Pour into bottom crust. Top with second crust, cutting slits in top crust for steam to escape.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling bubbles. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

This pie is delicious! Don't count on leftovers, whatever you do. After four people were served, there's only one big slice left. I used a really flavorful cheddar and a really salty broth (I added chicken bullion to the water I boiled my chicken in) so it would lend flavor to the chicken and broccoli. It was sooo sooo gooood! Mmm! Everyone went back for seconds. I'm super happy with how this one turned out. Though, I think next time I might make a little more roux so it's a bit saucier. Either way, if you love chicken and broccoli and cheese, make this! You won't regret it.
forchancookie: (Angel Cookie)
Our fridge is full of veggies that my mother keeps on buying and never cooking, so when they've been in there for a while, I have to scramble to think of something to do with them. Last night, we had some zucchini on their way out. There was also some ricotta about to go South. We had spinach in the freezer and just enough eggs for a quiche. We didn't have any pre-made pie crusts though and I hate making dough. There was an ancient copy of The Joy of Cooking on the counter that my great-grandmother gave to my mom in 1976 according to the inscription. It was published sometime in the 30s of 40s (the date isn't clear) and it shows its age. I flipped through and found what sounded like an easy recipe for pie crust, and it was!

Hot Water Pie Crust )

It's a really easy recipe and it worked! I made pie dough! I avoid making pie dough like the plague! But it worked! *dances* So if you're like me and can't make pie dough, well, now you can. Now onto the quiche part. This one is a little different because it's uses ricotta, so you get a much softer texture. It's quite yummy, though I did modify it a bit for some extra flavor. ^_^

Spinach Ricotta Cheese Quiche )

And here's pictures of my quiche. Food Porn? )
forchancookie: (Snack Time)
This recipe was in my America's Test Kitchen newsletter and it sounded yummy, so I thought I'd try it. ^_^

Mmmm, fuuuudge )
forchancookie: (Fiesta!)
So today was yet another great kitchen experiment. I created a Chicken Enchilada Casserole that came out so yummy! Of course, I'm biased, but whatever ^_^ I love the flavors of enchilada, hence my love of last week's Creamy Enchilada Soup. Anyway, on with the recipe!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole )
forchancookie: (Fiesta!)
I went to see Sweeney Todd with my mom and Aunt today. We got stuck in traffic so we missed the matinee! Darn. We ended up going over to my aunt's apartment to hang out until the next show. She has a five toed cat called Mittens. I let is sniff me and it'd sniff, but every time it bumped its nose into my finger it winced and jumped. Then it decided to just scratch me D= Bleh. We watched part of What Women Want on tv before heading back to the theater.

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street )

Brian used to work at J. Alexander's and they had this delicious tortilla soup that was really creamy and cheesy and full of tortilla and chicken. I really wanted to find a recipe, but when I looked up tortilla soup, I found out that J. Alexander's had obviously made their own version as tortilla soup is not a cream based soup. It meant I'd just have to figure out how to make it myself. And I did. This will be an evolving recipe as this is version one and I want to try some things next time. It's also a recipe that relies strongly on your taste to prepare it. Quite a few of the ingredients are "to taste" so there's plenty of room to get it how you like it.

J. Alexander's Creamy Tortilla Soup Take One! )
forchancookie: (Angel Cookie)
I took crappy pictures of my cookies which I shall inflict on you!

Here's the assortment plate. There's Peanut Butter Temptations, Pumpkin Ginger Pillows, Gingerbread, Spritz and Rum balls ^___^ I haven't rolled out and baked the sugar cookies yet >_> Maybe tomorrow.

The other ones, you can just look at over in my Holiday Gallery. And now, a recipe! Yay! Come find the secret of soft and spicy Pumpkin Ginger Pillows!

C is for Cookie! )
forchancookie: (Angel Cookie)
Tonight I'll be making enchiladas ^_^ I was reading through a cookbook my mom had and they had a recipe for a Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie. I thought that would go perfectly with enchiladas, so I ran out to get the ingredients. Here's the recipe:

Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie )

Ok, so I've eaten the pie now. The crust was a little more crumbly than I would have liked, so a little more butter may be needed to keep it together. The filling has a very strong margarita taste with its kick of strawberry, lime and tequila, so how is it in the pie? It overpowered the crust a little, but as you crunch on the crust, the pretzel taste makes itself known. I didn't put any whipped cream on it, but I think that might have helped to mellow it out a little. Overall, I think it's a fun combination. It's chilly and crunchy and a perfect dessert to go with your Mexican food. And now that I've made a pretzel pie crust, I'm thinking of experimenting. I bet a chocolate pie filling in a pretzel crust would be yummy, sort of like chocolate covered pretzel, only pie!

Alfredo Verdict

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 07:28 pm
forchancookie: (Angel Cookie)
I have completed and eated the Fettuccine Alfredo. I used a recipe from America's Test Kitchen, a PBS cooking show. They say that their goal is "a luxurious sauce that remained supple and velvety from the first bite of pasta to the last." So, was it?

The Recipe )

Now first of all, I went out and bought fresh grated parmesan. I hate when people tell me "There's Kraft in the fridge." Yeah? So? If I'm cooking with it and it's the basis of the meal, I'm not using Kraft. I know it claims to be 100% Parmesan, but it's been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long. So, I ran out for the fresh stuff.

I followed all the instructions, used the fresh pasta, etc and so forth. As promised, it did thicken up very nicely. So how did it taste? Like parmesan... How did I want it to taste? I wanted it a little creamier. Despite heating the bowls and serving it hot, it's cold here and it congealed pretty quickly, so it wasn't smooth and creamy, it was lumpy and kinda creamy. I love cheese, but I was expecting more creaminess and less overwhelming parmesan. There's really not that much cheese in the recipe. Don't get me wrong, it was good, it just wasn't what I was looking for. I definitely want more cream and less cheese in my alfredo sauce. Ah well, live to try another day. Well, if I don't clog up my arteries trying.

Bottom line: Don't cook this dish on a cold night! Cook it when it's warm and when you're jonesing for parmesan. The fresh pasta is a nice change from the box stuff, it cooks in no time! I imagine it would be very tasty with broccoli or something in it. ^_^ Even by itself it is tasty and full of cheesy goodness. Don't be greedy, have a small serving and some nice veggies!

September 2011

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