Friday, February 25, 2011
Lately, I've been finding myself missing out on my morning "me" time. You know, that point in the day where you're actually by yourself and stalking checking out other peoples facebooks...
If you have kids, this part of your life is probably missing. Don't fret, it isn't gone forever. Unless you're my mom, who hasn't had a kid in years and still has them in her house at all times.
Apparently it's because she makes killer hot wings. But I think they just are fascinated by the fact that she wears a weave.
Actually, I probably wasn't suppose to mention that on the internet...
Anyway, "me" time... It's something I literally go out of my way to obtain. If I don't have a moment in the day where I'm literally by myself for an hour or two, I usually am in a horrible mood for the whole day. I just can't stand going a day without being able to sit down and just chill out. I like to get up early, early in the morning and do this. Everyone's sleeping and I can check my e-mail/facebook/etc in peace without having to worry about talking to anyone or doing anything. It's also my prime time to write, do devotionals, and pray.
But mostly, it's a time to enjoy my first meal of the day. Which for me is a big deal, because I absolutely love breakfast. If I had it my way, I'd probably eat breakfast for lunch and dinner as well. Whether it be waffles, pancakes, eggs/bacon sandwich, grilled cheese, yogurt and granola or apples with milk... I don't care. All I know is that I seriously dig breakfast.
Plus there's that whole bacon deal... Did I ever mention I used to eat plates of bacon for breakfast?
I also had really bad acne...
Yeah... Something to think about.
I also used to love to eat those powdered donut balls from Dunkin' Donuts. My Dad would occasionally buy them on Sunday mornings before church. Whenever he did, they were guaranteed to be gone by that night. I would sneak away with about five of them, washing them down with a cold glass of milk. Since I've moved to Louisiana, I scarcely have seen any Dunkin' Donuts... so those powdered donut holes haven't been in my life.
But thankfully, I found a substitute.
These babies are called Donut Muffins. While they can be rolled in coarse sugar or cinnamon sugar, I went with the powdered variety. Why? Because it's literally like biting into the love child of a beignet and a powdered donut. These babies are made with a good amount of butter, then brushed with MORE butter when they get out of the oven. Sweetened mostly by the powdered sugar, these beauties come out clean and neatly domed without the need of smoothing out the dough. They are soft, perfect, pillowy, and absolutely need to be drunk with milk or coffee. No doubt about it. And don't invite tea to the party. Save the biscotti for that.
Now, with a whole arsenal of these wrapped up and ready to be warmed and eaten, I'm definitel going to try a little bit harder to get that "me" time. I am literally counting down the hours until I can wake up and eat this delicious morsel. Maybe it's not the healthiest breakfast... but it's good for a treat every now and then. Hey, I won't tell if you won't.
2 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
Scant 1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
¾ cup plus 1 Tbs whole milk
2 Tbs buttermilk
1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 Tbs granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 - 6 Tbs unsalted butter
1 ½ - 2 cups powdered sugar OR 1/2 cups cinnamon sugar OR 1/2 cup coarse sugar
1.Preheat the oven to 350. and set a rack to the middle position. Spray a standard-size muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, and whisk to mix them thoroughly. Set aside.
3. Combine the milk and the buttermilk in a measuring cup, and set aside.
4. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or, alternatively, in a large mixing bowl with electric beaters nearby), and beat on medium speed for a few seconds, until the butter is soft and creamy. With the motor running, add the sugar in a steady stream. Continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, until the mixture increases in volume and lightens to pale yellow. It should look light, fluffy, and wonderfully creamy, like frosting. This could take a couple of minutes.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until they are just combined.
6. With a wooden spoon, mix ¼ of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add 1/3 of the milk mixture. Continue to add the dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dries. Mix until the dough is smooth and well combined, but do not overmix.
7. Divide the batter between the cups of the muffin tin. Bake until the muffins are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-32 minutes.
8. When the muffins are still slightly warm prepare the topping: melt the butter in the microwave or on the stovetop, and pour the powdered sugar/cinnamon sugar/sugar into a deep bowl.
9. Using a pastry brush and working one muffin at a time, lightly brush the entire outside of the muffin with butter, and then roll it in the powdered sugar/sugar/cinnamon sugar. Shake off any excess, and place the finished muffins on a rack or serving platter. Serve.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
As in... Pink eye pink. Or should I say blood red.
Yeah. A box of chocolates has never been more needed.
It wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't have to go to the ER two days before Valentine's Day and have my eye forced open by a doctor because it was swollen shut. I was literally blind for the entirety of Saturday. I have never felt so helpless in my life before. You don't realize how much you need your eyes to do everything until you have nothing anymore.
So unfortunately, I spent my Valentine's Day inside, making this delicious Three Milk Cake.
In other words, it wasn't that bad. Plus, eye pain is the perfect excuse for second helpings of anything.
"But sweetie, my eye likes calories... it needs the energy to feel better!"
My boyfriend totally fell for it.
My doctor... ehh, not so much.
But what do they know anyway.
Tres Leches Cake, or Three Milk Cake, is a dessert quite popular in Latin America. Not only is it ridiculously easy but it's ridiculously delicious and most of the ingredients are pantry staples. I made it for my boyfriends mother, whose birthday falls on Valentine's Day. When I asked her what she wanted, it seemed to be a tie between a cheesecake and Tres Leches Cake.
Obviously, if she picked this over cheesecake, that says something.
My favorite part about this cake is the fact that it's a sponge and it literally does not dry out. Even if you leave it at room temperature or leave a piece uncovered in the fridge on accident, you wont have a dried out piece of cake. It stays moist and delicious, usually with a small pool of milk underneath. And the whipped cream on top stays soft and fluffy. Just the way it's suppose to be.
If you ever make a dessert for any Puerto Rican, Mexican, Honduran, etc, in your life, I guarantee you they will love it if you bring this to their house as a dessert. Just make sure you bring more than one.
Us hispanics like our food in bulk.
(P.S. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT buy premade whipped topping for this cake. It will not taste the same. If you're gonna make the cake, you gotta go with homemade topping.)
Tres Leches Cake
1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
5 whole Eggs
1 cup Sugar, Divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla
⅓ cups Milk
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
¼ cups Heavy Cream
1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping
5 Tablespoons Sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.
3. Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
4. Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
5. Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool. While cake is cooling, stick your mixing bowl and your spinners (whether its from a kitchenaid or handmixer) into the freezer along with the heavy cream for the whipped topping.
7. Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.
8. Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes.
9. To ice the cake, take out your thoroughly chilled mixing bowl and spinners and whip 1 pint heavy cream with 5 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.
10. Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries. Cut into squares and serve.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
It definitely made things a heck of a lot easier... Though I'm pretty sure I pulled some kind of weird shoulder muscle getting that hunk of a machine out of the box and onto the counter.
Homegirl needs to go on a diet ASAP.
Maybe Christmas and New Years burned me out. Shafted along with Chris's 22nd birthday and our anniversary, blogging kind of had to take a backseat for a bit.
But now I'm back. And the Florida sunshine has not followed me into Louisiana territory.
I'm pretty sure it was so cold one night I could see my breath inside the car.
With the heater on.
Totally not awesome.
Among my KitchenAid I did get a lot of more cool gadgets...AKA, this awesome mini bundt pan. Along with one of those brownie pans, a gorgeous glass cake platter (that turns into a punch bowl), and some other little baking goodies in my stocking. Yeah... I got out good this year. And yes, I do still get a stocking. My mother and I made an agreement that I get to have a stocking until I'm married. And I'm not married yet. So there.
While I've made a couple of things already with this pan, It's really fun to make bite-sized versions of little cakes that just look so beautiful glazed or even dusted with powdered sugar. This cake in particular was delicious. Soaked up with an orange syrup and then finished with a zesty citrus glaze...if you're a fan of oranges, this is right up your alley.
I'll be posting more often soon, so be on the lookout for new posts. BTW, you can totally make these in a cupcake pan as well or double the recipe for a full-size bundt cake Just sayin'.
(makes 12 mini bundt cakes or cupcakes)
Bundt Cake Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest of 2 oranges
1 cup sour cream
Orange Syrup Ingredients:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon cream
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a mini bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray (or line a standard muffin tin with 12 cupcake papers). In a medium size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Add in vanilla and zest. Incorporate sour cream.
3. With the mixer on low, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until well-incorporated, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Fill each bundt mold halfway with batter (if there is any extra, pour into cupcake liners in a muffin tin). Bake for 15-20, or until a toothpick entered into the center bundt comes out clean.
5. For the glaze: While the cakes are baking, in a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine sugar and orange juice. Boil for 1 minute. When the cakes come out of the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then invert on a wire cooling rack. Pour warm syrup over each of the cakes.
6. Combine all ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl and drizzle over warm or cool cakes.