Saturday, June 11, 2011

Alex's 'Nilla Wafer Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a version of a cake I have made for my son's birthday for many years. He always loved vanilla pudding with 'nilla wafers and bananas when he was little. So, one year for his birthday I decided to make his favorite dessert into what soon became, his favorite cake. The cupcake version has the bananas and the 'nilla wafers, and it even has homemade pudding in the middle. I hope you like this version of our family favorite.
Let's Make Cupcakes!
(adapted from Pillsbury)
3 cups Cake Flour
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups Butter, softened
1 1/4 cups Sugar
2/3 cup Milk
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
4 large Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Banana Flavoring
Mini 'Nilla Wafers
Fresh Bananas
 Mix your cake flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda
in a bowl and set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar.
Add flour mix, milk, eggs, vanilla, and banana flavoring
to your sugar and butter mix. Mix together, and 
then mix for 2 minutes more. 
Put cupcake cups in your cupcake pan, and then fill about 
3/4 of the way. Place in oven and bake for approximately 
12-15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees.
Let's Make Vanilla Custard
(adapted from Perfect Party Food by Diane Phillips)
1/3 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Cornstarch
3cups Whole Milk
6 large Egg Yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In your sauce pan, pour in the sugar and cornstarch.
Add the milk.
Add your egg yolks, only. No whites!
Start to whisk, and whisk over medium high heat.
Keep whisking as the pan is heating.
Your custard should be starting to get thick now.
When it is thick, like above, take it off the heat. 
Add vanilla and stir.
Pour custard into a bowl.
Cover custard with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic
is laying on top of the custard. That way skin will not form.
Let's Make Whipped Cream!
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon banana flavoring

Pour whipping cream in bowl.
Add powdered sugar.
Add banana flavoring.
Mix well on medium speed until powdered sugar is
mixed into cream, then turn mixer to high, 
and mix until stiff peaks form.
It should look like this.
Make a circle in your cupcake. I used a Wilton tip 2D.
Push down into the cupcake. The tip will bring up 
a part of the cake in the tip. Discard that part of the cake.
 This is the tip pushed down to the bottom.
This is how it looks after you take the tip out.
Fill the hole in the cupcake with the custard.
I used a disposable Wilton bag, a coupler set, but no 
tip, just the hole in the coupler.
Fill to the top of the cupcake.
Using a Wilton tip 18, pipe the whipped cream 
onto the top of the cupcake, covering the hole 
for the custard.
Add a slice of banana and a mini nilla wafer.
Enjoy Alex's 'Nilla Wafer Cupcakes!
Thank you for joining me today.
I hope you make these cupcakes, and make wonderful
memories with them, like my family and I did.

Tomorrow we will be talking about kitchen gadgets 
and some cooking terminology.

Hope to see you then!!


We are partying at the following fun parties:
This Weeks Cravings






Thursday, June 9, 2011

Grandma's Potato Salad

This weeks side dish is one of my mother in-laws many recipes. I watched her make it many times, and I have put it on the menu in several restaurants I've worked in. It is always a hit. It's a pretty traditional potato salad,  but I'm sure you will like it.  Sometimes traditional food is comforting food. For me, this side dish evokes sweet memories of a wonderful woman, who I miss dearly. Eating this food makes me feel closer to her and reminds me of happy, fun times where she was laughing and smiling. She was special, and so is this dish.  Enjoy!

Grandma's Potato Salad

6 medium Idaho Potatoes
Mayo
6 eggs
1 onion
2 teaspoon Sugar
Mustard
White Vinegar
(ignore the cucumber!)
Let's make our hard boiled eggs first.
Put 6 fresh eggs in a pot.
Cover the eggs with cold water.
Let the eggs boil for 15 minutes.
Start timing when the water starts to boil.
When eggs are done boiling
cool them immediately by running cold water into 
the pan for a few minutes.
Peel your eggs.
Cut your eggs lengthwise, and then slice them.
After all the eggs are sliced, chop them.
Then set them aside.
Wash your potatoes.
Peel your potatoes.
Slice each potato in half.
Start slicing the potatoes into a little bit 
smaller than bite size pieces.
Put your potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water.
Put your potatoes on to boil. Let them boil until the potatoes
are tender. Check them by piercing a piece of potato with a fork
and if the fork goes through the potato, they are done.
When they are done, drain them and put them in a bowl.
Chop about 1/2 cup of onion, then add to the potatoes.
If you are unsure about chopping an onion, please check this out :
http://thefreshmancook.blogspot.com/2011/05/lets-make-meatloaf.html.
In a separate bowl, mix the mayo, mustard, and
sugar together.
Add the vinegar, and whisk together.
Check your consistency. This is a little thick.
Add a tad more vinegar. It should be the consistency
of salad dressing. That's what it is!!
 Pour your sauce over the potatoes and onions and mix well.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Enjoy Grandma's Potato Salad!

Thank you for joining me today! I hope you get as much pleasure from this dish
as I do. Maybe it will become a family staple for your family, like it is for mine.

Tomorrow we will be making Alex's Nilla Wafer Cupcakes.
You will love them!

Remember, if you ever have any questions of problems with a recipe, don't
hesitate to write a comment so I can help you, or send me an email at
thefreshmancook@hotmail.com.

See you tomorrow!!


Homemade Chicken Fingers with Ranch and Honey Mustard Dressing

Today we are talking chicken fingers. I love chicken fingers. As a matter of fact, when I was pregnant with my son, it was chicken fingers that I craved. I was waiting to crave watermelon or ice cream, but no, it was chicken fingers!! Crazy, huh?!! And the craving was not for just any chicken fingers, but bar chicken fingers. You know the kind served in bars. At the time, most bars in Las Vegas served some really good food. The wings were the popular item, but the fingers won me over. So, about 2 nights a week, my husband and I would go out in search of chicken fingers. So, here I am, 21 years later, still loving chicken fingers, and making them for dinner tonight.
I served them with the same ranch dressing we made last week, and some honey mustard sauce that is to die for. Both dressings need about 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving. To make the Ranch Dressing go to:http://thefreshmancook.blogspot.com/2011/05/red-white-blue-crudite-w-dried-herb.html

Chicken Fingers

1 cup Milk
2 Chicken Breasts(boneless & skinless)
1 Egg
20 Saltines
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
 1/2 teaspoon Dried Basil Leaves
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
Salt and Pepper
1 cup Flour (not pictured~late arrival!!)



Honey Mustard Dressing
(adapted from Escape from the Everyday Cookbook)

3/4 cup Sour Cream
1/3 cup Mayo
1/3 cup Dijon Mustard
1/3 cup Honey
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Put sour cream and mayo in bowl.
Add Dijon Mustard.
Whisk mustard into the sour cream and mayo mix.
Slowly pour in the honey and whisk .
Pour in the lemon juice and whisk all ingredients together.
Isn't it beautiful.!!
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


And Now for the Chicken Fingers:
Chop the saltines in a food processor, if you have one.
If you don't have one, put the saltines in a plastic zip lock bag.
Then smash them with a rolling pin until they are finely ground.
Put them to the side for now.
Start slicing your chicken. Make sure that you trim all the
fat off of it first. Cut in thin 1/4" wide slices. Cut along the
length of the chicken.
Let's make an egg wash!
Crack your egg into a bowl.
Add a little water, and then whisk the egg to loosen the
egg up and to incorporate the water into the egg.
Put the crushed saltines in a bowl, and add
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil,
and 1/4 teaspoon paprika.
Mix well.
Put your frying pan on medium heat and let it start to get hot.
While your pan is heating, set up an assembly
line to dunk and dredge your chicken.
Here is your line. I know it looks messy. But this is kind of
a messy job~but worth it.!!
First dunk your piece of chicken in the milk. Then
dredge through the flour. Next dip in the egg, and then
dredge this time through the saltines.
Dredging through the saltines.
Fry the fingers in the hot oil until they are golden
brown and cooked through. it will take 10-15 minutes.
When you remove them from the oil, drain them  
on a paper towel sitting on a plate.
Then transfer to a serving plate.
Enjoy my favorite craving!!

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you enjoy making these
chicken fingers and the dressing to dip them in. If you have any
questions about anything just ask it in the comments,
or you can email me at thefreshmancook@hotmail.com.
I check it through out the day, so I won't leave you hanging.

Tomorrow we are making Grandmas Potato Salad.
It really is grandmas. You will love it!

See you then!!