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It’s not delivery, it’s….ME

A good friend of mine was coming over so I thought what a good opportunity to make a pizza. I  looked up a few options like buffalo pizza, thin crust…etc butI decided to make a classic pizza with some olives and ricotta to make it a little more exciting.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1/4 cup corn meal
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water ~105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • can of small sliced olives
  • onion powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 3/4 cup
  • Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • mozarella
  • I combined the yeast, water, and sugar and let that sit for a few minutes.  I then added the wheat flour and 2 cups of the white flour. Next I kneaded the dough for a few minutes and oiled a large bowl. I rolled the dough ball in the oil, covered with plastic wrap, laid a towel atop the dough, and placed the bowl in a warm location.
  • Since this needed to rise I went to the gym and came back because waiting for an hour is not an easy thing to do. 
  • Next I oiled a pan lightly and coated it in the corn meal. I just rolled out the dough and my pizza was ready to be built. I lightly oiled the dough and put some Italian seasoning and onion powder on the dough. I mixed the ricotta, parmesan cheese to taste and salt and pepper. That mixture got flung onto the dough then the rest of the toppings were sprinkled.

Here are the pictures that narrate my activity.

 

 

 

We devoured that pizza. It was delicious.

Swirly Bread

I am still on break and have read a few books regarding the food culture in America. Specifically I’ve read the Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. I’m slightly paranoid now about all the corn we Americans eat so I’ve been making my own bread lately. It’s a little hard being patient for it to rise but well worth it. Here is the recipe I used for cinnamon swirl bread.

Here’s the yeast in a foamy state as mentioned in the recipe.

 

Here’s the Cinnamon Butter Mixture

 

Then I rolled out the dough and spread the mixture over the bread by hand. A spoon was not going to work ever.

 

I rolled up the dough and plopped it in the bread tin so it could rise again. For a finishing touch I poured milk over the top.

 

The bread baked and I finally got to try it!!! This recipe is a “keeper.”

 

 

Oreo Lovin’ had me a blast

I couldn’t for the life of me decide what to make for Christmas Eve.  I could have done carrot cake, a series of cake balls, a yule log, etc. After much rumination, I concocted Red Velvet Oreo Cake! This cake would combine all that was delicious and allow me to try my hand at cake balls. I do admit this isn’t a simple cake to make but I did most of it the morning before Christmas Eve when my body decided it wanted to get up at 6am. So this is what you need to make this cake.

Supplies:

  • red velvet cake mix
  • chocolate cake mix
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cans of cream cheese frosting
  • ~lb dark chocolate wafers
  • ~lb white chocolate wafers
  • decorative sprinkles
  • 1 package of Oreo cookies
  • Oreo pudding mix
  • Oreo to-go-pack
  • 1/3 package of cream cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • glass  cake dish (optional but classy)

So I chopped up half a row of Oreos.

Then I mixed the Oreos into the chocolate cake mix.

Other than this substitution I baked the cakes as stated by the boxes. I made sure to remove the cakes as soon as they bounced back when poked. This ensured the cakes were moist. I even received compliments about how moist and awesome my cakes were.

The cakes cooled and I used one 8 inch pan of each to make a set of cake balls.

RED VELVET Cake Balls

The cake ball recipe was easy. I mixed half a can of the frosting with each type of cake. Then I rolled these by hand and basically had red dye all over me. I was caught red handed (oh such a bad pun). Then I put the cake balls into the freezer so they could be dipped in the melted chocolate and not leave little cake remnants .

COOKIES & CREAM Cake balls

Filling

I came across this pudding on a spur of the moment trip to Wegmans. I happened to stroll down the baking aisle and I came across this box. I figured it was better than the cream cheese filling I had intended so I purchased it and this is the filling I made:

Mix 1 package of oreo pudding, add one cup of milk ( I used 1%), about 6 crushed oreos, 1/3 package of cream cheese.

Assembly:

  • Take out classy glass cake stand
  • Put the chocolate cake layer on the bottom
  • Spread pudding layer (I used all of it)
  • set the red velvet layer on top
  • frost the cake with a can of the cream cheese frosting
  • I then decorated the cake with crushed oreos, red sprinkles, and mini Oreos
Let’s look at the cake again.

 

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

Happy Holidays from upstate New York! For reasons unbeknownst to me it still hasn’t “really” snowed here but I’m not complaining. We can have a green Christmas, New Year’s, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Easter….ALL YEAR. YEAHHH BUDDY.Ok enough of this. I probably just jinxed myself.

So this year to make things a little different I tried a chocolate rolled sugar cookie in addition to the classic vanilla. The dough for that was amazing but I wish the baked cookie was a little more chocolate-y. I even made my own homemade frosting for these cookies. I’m not sure what possessed me to do that but I was still ambitious and full of pep at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon. It might have been from the latte I had with Sara at 1pm. So these are the recipes I used. There was no way I was going to try and wing these recipes so I used ones that seem respected by the baking community.

VANILLA

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/the-best-rolled-sugar-cookies/

CHOCOLATE

http://glorioustreats.blogspot.com/2011/01/chocolate-rolled-cookies-recipe.html

 

Now for the interesting part of this blog…the pictures

The doughs: I rolled them out in confectionery sugar and cocoa respectively

 

My pre-baked creations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many minutes later…

In the meantime, makin’ some frosting

Well I my brother doesn’t believe in traditional colors so this is the craziness I ended up with..

I then sit down to about 6 different types of sprinkles, glitter gel, and M&Ms to make some magic.

I love snowmen so I got very creative with them.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I frosted these ones.

Sometimes I even personalize cookies.

Also, my brother’s house is fully decorated for the holiday season. This is just a glimpse of how much Christmas cheer I was sitting in.

Duke really wanted a cookie.

My brother also got in on the baking and made some Italian cookies.

So have a good holiday although this wish may be premature since I will most likely be baking up until Dec 25th.

Happy Birthday, Tim!

So, I haven’t made any birthday treats in months. I used to make all the cakes for my family but then they decided Wegman’s made superior cakes. I was demoted to making cookies and Thanksgiving pies. Luckily, some people still appreciate my cake making. Tim  samples all my baking so I decided he deserved an extravagant cake for his 23rd birthday. He’s so old. Just kidding.  Since this was going to be so awesome I enlisted the help of Cole and Shaina too. Frosting 18 cupcakes intricately and a cake was a little much for one person.

I decided on a super hero theme. This wasn’t going to just involve the frosting but the batter too.  Here are the steps to the one of the best birthday cakes ever.

Step 1) Make cake batter and color batter to match super hero colors

 

Step 2) Bake the cupcakes

 

 

Step 3) Frost the cupcakes

 

Step 4) Make an awesome display of the cupcakes

 

Step 5) Eat the cupcakes

December Week 1

Well here we are, the pinnacle of baking season. Now is the time to let out all the stops. I have started out rather ambitious so far. I’ve made three minty goods and an awesome biscotti. Some of this is thanks to Emily who found the cutest santa inspired cupcakes. So this is what was made. Cue drum roll.

Mint Rolled Sugar Cookies

I used a variation of these lemon cookies for my this recipe. I of course omitted the lemon and switched it with a tsp of mint and about a tsp of vanilla. I may try peppermint the next go around. I also rolled the dough in powdered sugar before baking in hopes of making it look like a chocolate crinkle cookie.  I forgot that wouldn’t happen for this type of cookie so I added some red sprinkles instead and all was good.

Pure Doughy Goodness

Mint M&M Festive Chocolate Chip Cookies

For these I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe from Nestle but switched things up with red food coloring and the mint M&Ms. I think the large size of the M&Ms may have altered the recipe a bit but the cookies still came out great especially with my white chocolate drizzle.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

 

Peppermint Santa Cupcakes

Emily and I made these this past weekend. Instead of having just white cake we dyed some of the batter red and added peppermint extract to the batter. These came out so adorable and basically look just like the picture.

 

HO HO HO

Cinnamon Chip Gingerbread Biscotti

I had a strong desire to use cinnamon baking chips and Emily likes biscotti and knows some people who would also appreciate biscotti so we made these as well. You can see the evolution from spicy batter to shaped logs to baked logs to cut cookies. It was a lengthy process. In fact I think the recipe was a little excessive in some of the directions but nonetheless, the cookies still came out good. I think next time I will use my own recipe.

 

 

 

So I look forward to posting a lot more this month. I still have to make breakfast pizza, cinnamon rolls, chocolate cheesecake bread…

Step Into Christmas

My good friend Sara and I share a love of baking. It seems like we’re always sharing recipes. We decided to combine our baking prowess to make a care package for a soldier Sara knows stationed overseas. It doesn’t feel like enough in comparison for all he and his fellow servicemen do but it was something we could do to say “thank you.”

To get in the holiday mindset, Sara had a Christmas playlist  to enhance the atmosphere. “Step into Christmas”  was one of the great gems that played. Also, who doesn’t love Wham’s: “Last Christmas I gave you my heart and the very next day you give it away…” I decided I need to listen to this music a bit more but instead I’m listening to Matt Kearney at the moment. ( Another thanks to Sara for this music suggestion)

It was also a bit of an adventure mailing this package before the post office closed. We mailed the package at 2pm. The post office closed at 2pm. Let’s just say we’re that good.The picture below shows my packing skills. Thank you engineering education for teaching me how to optimize limited space. I hope those crackers don’t become crumbs but time will tell. There are candy, granola bars, homemade cookies, crackers, floss, toothbrushes, cleaning cloths, crackers, and a handwritten note that reside in this box. I hope this brings some happiness.

These are the two cookies we sent the soldiers.

Cracker-licious Cookies

  • enough saltine crackers to cover a 9×13 in pan (we used mini crackers to be resourceful)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • bag of chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts,chopped

Step 1) Layer pan with crackers

Step 2) Melt butter in saucepan and stir in sugar.

Step 3) pour onto crackers and spread evenly

Step 4)Warm in the  350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 6 minutes

Step 5) Sprinkle on chips or chocolate chunks then spread over crackers. If needed, place back in oven.

Step 6) Sprinkle on Walnuts

Step 7) cut into squares

WARNING! these are highly addictive. You may want to make them only if most of them will not be staying in your house.

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

A basic chocolate chip cookie recipe except additionally one package of vanilla instant pudding.  We decided to do the pudding recipe to make the cookies more moist since they have a long journey ahead of them.

Baked to perfection.