Sunday, June 29, 2008


For Wednesday dinner last week, I opted for lasagna. I have been craving a white veggie lasagna, but after perusing recipes, I decided to do one dish of my standby wheat noodle lasagna with sausage, and a spinach and artichoke lasagna with vodka sauce (instead of the Alfredo I had in mind).

Both turned out well. I loved the new recipe! I think I need to find a different sausage for the meat though. I used hot breakfast sausage, and it really didn't have the kick I was hoping for.

9 uncooked lasagna noodles (I used Healthy Harvest noodles)
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable broth (I used fat free beef broth)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 (14 ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 (28 ounce) jar tomato pasta sauce (I used vodka sauce instead)
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (I used part-skim)
1 (4 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled (I couldn't find herb and garlic, so I used Mediterranean spices feta, and that worked fine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Add noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high.
Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until onion is tender-crisp.
Stir in broth and rosemary; bring to a boil.
Stir in artichoke hearts and spinach; reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes.
Stir in pasta sauce.
Spread 1/4 of the artichoke mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish; top with 3 cooked noodles.
Sprinkle 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese over noodles.
Repeat layers 2 more times, ending with artichoke mixture and mozzarella cheese.
Sprinkle crumbled feta on top.
Bake, covered, for 40 minutes.
Uncover, and bake 15 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

SparkPeople Healthy Harvest Turkey Lasagna

1 lb. ground turkey (I used hot sausage instead)
3 cups (26 oz jar) sauce
1 1/2 cup water
1 3/4 cups part skim ricotta
2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan
2 eggs
1 tbs dry parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
9 pieces Healthy Harvest Lasagna (uncooked)

Heat oven to 350
Brown turkey, add sauce and water, simmer 10 min.
Stir together in another bowl, 1 cup mozzarella, ricotta, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, and Parmesan.
Build lasagna as usual using uncooked pasta noodles.
Top with remaining mozzarella.
Cover and cook 45min.
uncover and cook 10 min.
Let stand 10 min.

Makes 8 servings

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

TWD rewind: Big Bill's Carrot (Cup) Cake

OK. I'm posting the right recipe on the wrong day and the wrong recipe on the right day this week. I swear I'll be better starting next week. I swear! As for this week, TWD will be on Wednesday, and this old TWD recipe will be today. Got it? Good!

I made Big Bill's carrot cake,in cupcakes. I plan to make these for a friend's wedding, and this was the test run. They are the best thing I've ever made. I'm in love. And I really want to eat all of them myself! I just need to figure out how to make the cream cheese icing more stiff so that it will stand up and be pretty for the wedding day.

And yes, they oozed. But the ones in regular cupcake wrappers weren't nearly as bad, and it gave me a good excuse to eat all the bits that overflowed. Yumm!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

VTV - bell peppers

I made this last Wednesday, and put off posting about it because I felt guilty. We ate every drop of it (and I doubled the recipe) immediately, and I didn't get any pictures! It was devoured! So, instead, this is a picture stolen from Kraft's website, since this is one of their recipes.
Quick Fettuccine Cacciatore

Prep Time:5 min
Total Time:20 min
Makes:Makes 4 servings, 2 cups each.
1/2 lb. fettuccine, uncooked (I used 1/2 whole wheat pasta - I would have just used whole wheat if I could have found more in the store.)
2 tsp. oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup each: green pepper strips and sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
1/2 cup KRAFT Shredded Italian* Mozzarella-Parmesan Cheese Blend
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (I only had dried, so I used that instead)
COOK pasta as directed on package.
MEANWHILE, heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat.
Add chicken; cook and stir until no longer pink.
Add peppers and mushrooms; cook 3 min., stirring occasionally.
Stir in tomatoes and dressing.
Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through.
DRAIN pasta. Toss with chicken mixture; sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Friday, June 20, 2008

WOW! (a picture-less post)

As I recently mentioned, I started an etsy shop. I am so thrilled - I got my first 2 orders. I'm still working on the details for my first order (for favors for an August wedding) and I have favors for a kid's birthday party coming up! I can't wait! And someone is already inquiring about regular orders of one of my cookies! Perhaps more exciting than all of that, some of my friends are letting me bake for them! One of my friends is even letting me do cupcakes for her August wedding!!!

I guess mostly I just wanted to toot my own horn. I always imagined that no one would want to pay me to bake - I greatly enjoy it, and this is terribly exciting!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesdays with Dorie

This week's recipe was the peppermint cream puff ring, but I cheated a little and made it a day late and with (milk) chocolate custard instead of peppermint and topped it with powdered sugar instead of chocolate ganache (because I didn't want to run to the store for the 3d time today just to get heavy cream). I definitely had plenty left over for puffs, and made a good overflowing plate of them. Everyone seemed to like them, and they finished them all off.
I realized that I'm not really a fan of puffs in general. I knew that I didn't like frozen or catered cream puffs, but thought that this might be the thing to change my mind. Nah. I loved the custard, and could have eaten it straight, but I just can't get excited about the taste of pate a choix. Now I know. Still, I'm definitely glad I made it, if only so that I know I can.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bear with me

Due to the perishable nature of this week's TWD, mine will be a Wednesday with Dorie - I'll have people over to eat it tomorrow, and I don't want to eat it all myself today!

Monday, June 16, 2008

No barbri-que!

I know, I'm a dork. We didn't have BarBri class today, so last night we had a bar-b-que. I whipped up a couple of things for it - sandwich cookies from the Martha Stewart cookbook and corn pudding from the W&L cookbook.
These cookies were a cocoa recipe, and I was really pleased with it! The filling is absolutely perfect, and the cookies were an absolute hit!
The corn pudding was a recipe from the W&L cookbook, and it was a real winner. I received complements from everyone on it - even the hard-to-please people! And it's one of the easiest recipes I've attempted lately! I doubled the recipe, but the regular recipe made plenty!

Corn Pudding

1 (8.5 oz) box Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
1 (17 oz) can cream corn (not drained)
1 (17 oz) can whole kernel corn (not drained)
2 eggs, well beaten)
1 (8 oz) container sour cream (I used low fat, and couldn't tell I was missing anything).
sugar to taste (I didn't use any, and again, didn't think I was missing anything - and we're southern)
1 stick butter, melted

Mix all ingredients.
Bake in 9x9 (2 quart) casserole dish at 350 for about 45-50 minutes.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Shameless self-promotion

I am excited about opening a little etsy shop, so I've been doing some baking so that I have pictures of stock for the shop.
I made puppy treats (Hershey was more than a little excited about this one, and stole some while I was trying to snap pictures!) and a bunch of different sugar cookies!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

When in doubt, ask the internet!

While organizing my cookie cutters, I came across this one. I have no idea what it is. I turned it in every direction, and I've looked at it several times, and I still have no idea. Any ideas?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just in the nick of time!

TWD, and it's (barely) still Tuesday! I did re-make the tartlets, and they turn out much better when I actually follow directions! The dough was an entirely different dough with the egg yolk added. I suspect that this is partially to do with the egg yolk and partially to do with the fact that I received my replacement lid for the food processor today (YAY!!!). I was bad and melted the one that came with it by trying to wash it in the dishwasher. Oops. It's better now though. See, pretty dough!
And with good dough, the shells turned out much more beautifully! They had more substance and weren't so crumbly. Again, I'm converted - following directions is soooo worth it!
So, pie crust mission accomplished, just add jam and strawberries (and a little cool whip). Delish!

I may not be the best student, but I can be productive.

Studying for the bar sucks. Now that I've got that out of my system, I can update on all of my projects!

My herb garden is actually growing! I'm so proud. My little babies are getting big!

I also decided that I really needed to organize all of my cookie cutters. After pondering it for a few days and wandering the aisles at Wal-Mart looking for ideas, I decided to go with a filing system in picture/shoe boxes. While there is a little extra room on the sides, this actually worked out really well. I was pleased with the results. I can hide them from view, and keep them tidy! I really think that this will keep them easy to find as I need them. I used large index cards as dividers/labels.

I also finally gave in and bought giant (25lb!) bags of sugar and flour and bins to put them in. I has been putting off buying large quantities because I wanted to find the perfect containers for them first. I finally gave in and just bought what I could find. The containers aren't as pretty as the ones I dream of, but they seem to function really well so far. They are even more comfortable to work with than I imagined. Yay!
Over the weekend, I even got out of the house! A friend had a Belmont Stakes party, so we enjoyed Whiskey Sours (my fav!) and there was much merriment. I had planned to take the tartlets I was making for TWD, but as my earlier post mentioned, that didn't work out well. Because I didn't realize this until the last minute, I had to throw something together in a pinch. I had most of the ingredients for Bush cookies, and it's one of my stand-by crowd-pleasers. Unfortunately, I didn't have as many of the ingredients as I thought I did. So, it was 1/3 wheat flour (obviously, this was before my giant flour purchase), had no nuts,and had a combination of semi-sweet mini-chocolate chips and regular milk chocolate chips instead of the chocolate chunks I normally use. End result? Everyone still loved them, but I think that this recipe really is much better with chunks. I love melty hunks of chocolate.

Finally, I set up an Etsy shop, The Stepford Kitchen! I'm still working on getting up listings and setting up the shop itself, but I'm excited. I just worry that others won't love my food as much as I love making them. I'm focusing on sugar cookies, since they won't melt in the crazy heat this summer.
Really, really... TWD coming soon.

TWD - coming soon

I am making this week's TWD, I swear! I was terribly on top of things, and made tartlet crusts as soon as this week's recipe was chosen and posted. ... but I was sloppy, and I left the egg out of the recipe... and then I left them out for a few days, waiting for the perfect opportunity to serve them up. Unfortunately, when I tried to take them out of the pans, they all crumbled!
So, tonight, I try again, and this time, I take them out of the pans in a timely fashion and actually include all of the ingredients called for.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Internet Come Back!

I have been 'sharing' my neighbor's internet connection for the last few months. They moved out last weekend, so I've been without internet while I wait for the cable company to come and hook it up. They promise to come by tomorrow. I swear, there will be lots of update then!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

TWD - french brownies

Unfortunately, my home internet connection is on the fritz and I'm really having to work hard on bar prep, so this week's post is going to have to be quick.

I tried to do the raisins, because I figured that they were what made these brownies special. Alas, I had no source of fire in my house. I tried. I ran around frantically looking for fire while the run evaporated away. Rather than try to put them in without the burn-off, I dumped them. It seemed safer.

Other than that, it was a pretty straight-forward recipe, and was perfectly fine.

Monday, June 2, 2008

TWD - what to do with left-over brioche

I have an unnatural obsession with creme de fluers from au bon pain. I do not live within 2 hours of an au bon pain, and honestly, that's probably for the best (at least from the stand-point of my weight-gain). However, it has led to a couple of years of wishing I had a recipe (or the skill/knowledge/experience with which to come up with my own recipe) with which to recreate them.

This week's TWD left me with an extra 1/2 batch (1 loaf's worth) of brioche dough to find a used for. It reminded me of my distant memories of creme de fluers, and when I saw that another Dorrite had used her left-over dough for cream cheese and jam rolls. Clearly, this was my sign from above that I should finally try to make a mock creme de fluer. So I did.

I rolled out the dough as if making rolls, only I tried to get it a little thinner, and kept it more rectangular, long but short.
Then I rolled one side over a dollop of cream cheese filling, the other side over it's own dollop, and sealed in the middle and on the bottom.
(I tried adding a middle dollop on a couple of them, but those ended up being the ones that overflowed in the middle. Sad, since I would have liked to have the more 'authentic' three.)
Then I let them rise in the muffin cups overnight - because I forgot about them and passed out.(I used jumbo muffin cups because I was afraid of them rising too much, but now I realize that they would have fit much better in regular sized-cups. These were just short and fat. see photo below.)
Finally, I baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Next time (ie, with the last 1/4 of the dough), normal muffin tins, and only rising for 1.5 hours.