Monday, July 30, 2012

Cindy's Birthday

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Rarely do I write anything that is not baking related but today I felt like sharing a few little personal notes. Saturday was my mom's birthday. Mom, Sarah, Carter (Sarah's toddler) and myself headed off to Florida, not only for a little girl time, but also to celebrate another year of my mother's wonderful existence for a few days.
Of course we had to have something sweet to celebrate! :)
First and foremost, I want to say how thankful I am for my mother's birth! :) (Thanks Grandma Kate)  And secondly, I want to thank my mother for birthing me and being a wonderful mother and role model.

Carter building his first sand castle

Looking back since her last birthday its crazy to think of how much our family's lives have changed, especially my mother's-- it's almost unrecognizable. New town, new house, new job, new friends... new life. It is obvious that all of us are entering into a new chapter in life as we grow older (and hopefully wiser) and one thing God guarantee's us (well besides death and taxes lol) is that change is 100% certain. This year my mother's birthday reminded me of that and also reminded me how difficult change can be- Change is hard. It is new and uncharted territory. Change means not knowing what to expect....which can be super scary!

Sarah and Mom beach bound

As a blogger, readers get to see our lives unfold to some degree but we have no idea what is going on in the lives of our readers. Today and in honor of my mother's birthday and to any of you who are going through a change, I ask you to embrace the changes in your life and remember that it's the changes in our lives that take us on a journey and without it we would miss out on so many new, exciting, and different experiences, emotions, relationships, trips, etc. Carpe Diem!             Christy
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Jack Daniels Whiskey Cupcakes

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by Cindy

Since today is our intern, Brian's, 21st birthday, I volunteered to bring cupcakes. I looked around on the net trying to find a masculine liquor inspired cupcake and decided to make these cupcakes that have Jack Daniels in them.  Christy has made a couple of cupcakes with fun themes so this was my turn.  I personally think I like the fruity flavors like Pina Colada and Margarita more than the whiskey flavor, but that's just a personal preference, and this was about Brian not me. lol

I  used a box mix for the chocolate cupcakes, and then I made the Ganache Filling and Jack Daniels Buttercream Frosting. 

Ganache Filling

8 1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (chips or chopped up)
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 T butter at room temperature
1 to 2 t whiskey


Whiskey Buttercream Frosting

6 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
6 T Jack Daniels, or other whiskey


Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate.  Let that sit for one minute and then stir until smooth.  It takes a few minutes.  Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.  Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.  This takes several hours.  Using an apple corer, paring knife, or melon baller, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes.

Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
* If you make the ganache a day ahead of time, it will keep fine and minimize waiting time.  Just make sure to let it come to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator, and allow to come to room temperature before trying to pipe it into the cupcakes. 


Whisky Butter Cream Frosting

Mix butter in a mixing bowl for several minutes.  Slowly add the powdered sugar.  Add whiskey a tablespoon at a time until the right consistency and flavor is achieved.  I used about 4 T. 
Put in a piping bag and pipe it onto the cupcakes. 





adapted from
bakingforneighbors.woodpress.com
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream

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By Christy

Did you know that a week ago today was National Ice Cream Day? In honor of the holiday, Big Cat and I headed to a local ice cream shop in East Nashville (we have claimed this one as our favorite ice cream shop),  The Pied Piper Creamery in 5 spots. They always have super fun flavors and they are always super delicious. (One time they even had Sun Drop flavored ice cream--- Delish!) But my recent favorite has been their Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ice Cream. It is rich, creamy, has the perfect blast of cinnamon, and it's full of oatmeal cookie dough (I think). Now if any of you are on a budget, you know a homemade waffle cone full of creamery made ice-cream can almost run you $5 a cone so I decided I wanted to attempt to recreate a similar version of this ice-cream so we can indulge in this treat more often. While The Pied Piper Creamery has mastered their art, I thought this recipe ended up being a great alternative that was very easy to make. I baked my cookie dough into cookies and the crunch of the cookie lasted even when it was in the ice-cream. I love having the little bit of crunch in my tasty treat. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
8 pre made oatmeal raisin cookies baked or raw (I baked them)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk (I used 2% but for rich ice-cream whole milk is usually recommended)
2 eggs
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon





If you choose to bake the cookies, make according to the directions. Once cool, chop the cookies into small pieces the cool in the fridge and save for later.


Mix the milk and cream together in a pan over medium-low heat. Heat the milk mixture for 10 minutes or until it reaches 140°F and then remove it from the heat. In a bowl, beat the eggs until lighter in color and fluffy. Add the sugar and the vanilla to the egg mixture very slowly.


 Then slowly whisk the milk mixture into the egg & sugar mixture to temper the eggs. If you added the milk to the egg mixture quickly then the hot milk would cook the eggs and you would have scrambled eggs, you don't want that! Now add the the entire egg/sugar/milk mixture into a pot and heat over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove mixture from the heat and pour it into a clean bowl and refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour. Stir in the cinnamon and freeze the ice cream according to your ice cream maker's manufacturer instructions.


 I added half of the cold oatmeal cookie pieces into the ice cream mixture 5 minutes before it was done mixing and then folded in the rest after removing the ice cream from the ice cream maker.


This recipe was inspired by Shannon from Dinner or Dessert
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Low Fat Peach Cobbler

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by Cindy
I love the fresh fruits and vegetables that come with the summer season.  I've enjoyed green beans and tomatoes from my little garden. I made a BLT last night just to enjoy my delicious tomatoes.   I'm disappointed though that my garden hasn't produced any green peppers.  I love stuffed bell peppers, and I hate to buy the green peppers when I'm so close to having some free.  I miss the fresh sweet corn that I could get so easily on the farm, but I've had a couple of good ears from the vegetable stand at KY lake. 

 I just love eating fresh peaches that are ripe and naturally sweet.  I decided to make this recipe because it reminds me of the low fat cakes that use the cake mix and diet soda, which are delicious.  This is a very similar recipe but you just put fresh or frozen fruit in first and then add the cake mix and diet 7up.  There is no mixing, because if you do mix it will be more cake like and less crumbly like a crust.  I didn't add any sweetener to the fruit but if you wanted it to be sweeter, you could add sugar or splenda.  The recipe I used was for berries but I think any fruit would work, fresh or frozen.  It's very quick and easy to make, and top it off with a little low fat or low sugar ice cream for that finishing touch.   



Ingredients
Two 12-oz bags frozen mixed berries or fresh fruit (about 7 peaches)
1 box white cake mix (no pudding)
1 can of diet 7-up or sierra mist (clear soda)

Instructions
Place frozen fruit in a 9x13 baking dish.
Add dry cake mix over the top. Pour soda slowly over cake mix. DO NOT stir the cake mix and the pop - this will give you a 'crust'.
If you stir the two, you will have a cake like topping.

Bake 350 for 45-50 min.




adapted from
Source, SRKAUTZ
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fresh Peach Tart

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By Christy



One of my favorite fruit seasons is peach season. There is nothing better than a large, juicy, freshly picked peach. For me, it is actually hard to believe that the peaches you get from a can are actually the same fruit. The last three weeks I have been in heaven and have kept fresh peaches stocked in my kitchen. Such a tasty treat to just pick up and eat just they way they are, BUT.... they are also quite amazing all dazzled up in a recipe too. Last year BCB's also featured peach recipes and we gave you all 3 stellar recipes: Fresh Peaches & Cream Dessert, Peach Cobbler, and Fuzzy Navel Cupcakes with Sweet Cream Icing. This year we have a few more to pass along that pass the BCB's approval of greatness.

My recipe post this week is definitely a keeper. It is about as easy as a recipe can get, requires very few tools, and not only looks beautiful but taste amazing! I was inspired by a peach contest winner and modified the recipe to fit the ingredients I have in my kitchen.

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:
3 - 5 fresh peaches
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, cold

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. You will start by making the crust. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, milk and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and combine until mixed (just until dampened, not over worked). Transfer the dough to an 11 inch tart pan and use your fingers to pat out the dough until it is about 1/8 an inch thick all around and on the sides (I used a deep dish tart pan so I only put my crust half way up the sides).
Slice and peel your peaches (some people prefer to keep the peeling on, but I prefer without). Arrange your peaches on top of the crust. Starting with the outside, arrange the peaches overlapping in a concentric circle over the pastry. Fill the center in whatever pattern makes sense. Make sure the peaches fit snugly.

To make the filling, mix together the sugar, flour, salt and cold butter. (If your peaches are especially juicy, add 1 tablespoon of additional flour). Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the dry ingredients until it makes a crumbly mixtures of fine granules. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the peaches.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until shiny and thick bubbles are enveloping the fruit and the crust is slightly brown. Cool before serving. I actually had a bit of trouble getting the dessert out of my tart pan because the glaze end up hitting the pan above the crust when it cooked So just be careful not to stack you peaches too high up against the crust to prevent this because the filling spreads out and boils when it melts in the oven.

This dessert is best when served ala mode or with whipped cream (but what dessert isn't lol). Happy Baking!

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