Sunday, July 31, 2011

Culinary Word of the Week

Our culinary word of the week is CREAM. In other words, when you are making a cake, and you need to mix together the butter and the sugar. Creaming is the mixing of the sugar and a solid fat, usually butter. The butter
should be room temperature. When you mix the two together, tiny air bubbles are created, which increase the amount of mix and makes it light and fluffy.It is important that this step be done correctly because these air bubbles expand and becomes the leavening agent as the cake is being baked.
Butter being mixed in bowl.
Adding sugar so they can cream together.
Ignore the egg. Thankfully it has not been mixed in yet,
so you can get a good look at the butter and 
sugar that are creamed together. You can see the 
increase in volume.
(Sorry, I had no pic without the egg!!)

This is creaming!!
We will be doing this later in the week!!

Thanks for joining me today.

Stop by tomorrow for next weeks 
menu and grocery list.

Hope to see you then!!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

White Chocolate Popcorn - Dessert in A Bowl!!

This weeks dessert is the perfect casual and fun treat for family movie night, neighborhood BBQ's, slumber parties, or even football parties. It's super easy to make, and slightly addicting!
White Chocolate Popcorn
2 (3.3oz) bags Microwave Popcorn
2 cups salted Peanuts
2 cups Craisins
2 (11oz) bags White Chocolate Chips
1 teaspoons Cinnamon
Microwave both bags of popcorn according 
to the bag directions.
We need a double boiler to melt the chocolate chips. 
Using a double boiler assures you that the chips
won't burn while they melt, because they are melting by 
indirect heat. Because I don't have a double boiler, I made my own. 
Fill a bottom pan with about 2-3 cups of water. 
Place a saucepan on top of the pan with the water.
The top pan should sit securely on the bottom pan.
It can lean, but it cannot touch the water in the pan.
It must stay up on the rim. Heat the water on medium high,
but do not let it boil.
Pour in 1 bag of chips to start melting.
Spray a spatula with pan spray.
Use the sprayed spatula to stir the melting white chocolate.
The spray will help the chocolate not stick to the spatula.
Add the second bag of chips to the pot
and melt them all together.
Put the popcorn in a large pot.
Add the peanuts.
Add the craisins.
Add the cinnamon.
Spray 2 cookie sheets with pan spray.
Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl with the
popcorn ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
Pour the mixed popcorn onto the 2 cookie sheets.
Distribute evenly between the two.
Allow the chocolate popcorn to set up for about 
an hour.
Once the popcorn is set (you can tell by
just touching it to see if it is dry), use a spatula
to transfer it to whatever you want to
put it in, whether it is .....
a bowl...
or these cute little popcorn boxes.
Doesn't that look great?

Thanks for joining me today!

Please join me tomorrow!

See you then!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Onions, Mushrooms, & Peppers-Oh My!!

This weeks side dish is an old family favorite. I have probably been making this recipe for about 29 years. When my husband and I were first married, we lived in a brand new condo development. The best thing about it was that everyone who lived there was about our age. Most of the condos were empty for quite some time after they were built, so we basically had the run of all the common areas, like the pool, and the rec room with a full kitchen and outdoor BBQ grill. It was fun. I can't count the number of times we would end up having an impromptu party at the pool area.(The condos were small, and this was the only place everyone would fit!) Everyone would bring something, my husband and I would cook, and it was definitely the best of times. This recipe was one of the ones we made over and over again. I know I have said it before, but I love when food conjures up great memories! I hope you love this too. It's simple, but memorable.
1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper
1 Sweet Onion
5 Mushrooms
Wash the mushrooms, and remove the stems.
If you like the stems, leave them on.
Slice the mushrooms.
Chop off the top of the green pepper.
Now chop the pieces on each corner and cut into strips.
Slice off about 1/4 of the pepper, then slice into strips.
Cut the top off the red pepper, and slice as you did the 
green pepper.
Cut 1/4 of the pepper and cut it into strips.
Throw everything in the bowl.
Slice the top and the bottom off of the onion. Peel the 
skin and slice the onion in half.
Slice pieces off of the half.
Add to the bowl.
Put 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan, and cook on medium.
You can use pan spray, and the taste will still be good, but
the butter gives it a richer flavor.
Continue cooking and moving the veggies around in 
the pan until the onions become clear, the mushrooms 
a little brown, and the peppers are cooked thru.
Remove from the pan 
Our side dish and our entree~Delicious!

Thanks for joining me today.

Tomorrow we will be making white chocolate popcorn
for this weeks dessert!

See you then!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sirloin Steak with Blue Cheese Walnut Butter

This weeks entree is sooo good! I made this for my husband who is a steak lover. You never have to ask him what he wants to eat. If it was up to him, it would be all steak~ all the time!
Let's start by making our compound butter first!
6 oz. Blue Cheese crumbles
4 tablespoon Butter
2 tablespoon chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
3/4 teaspoon Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped Walnuts
In a bowl, mix together the blue cheese, butter,
parsley, rosemary and walnuts.
Mix together with a fork, or use your hands.
I usually use gloves for this.
Place the butter mix on wax paper...
start to roll the wax paper over the butter...
as you roll, form the butter into a firm log.
Twist the ends, and refrigerate for about 2 hours before using.
Here are our 2 steaks.  I bought the prime cut sirloin at the store,
and it was worth the cost. Very tender and tasty.
The small steak is about 6 oz, and the larger one is about 14 oz.
I cooked the large steak for 3 minutes, then turned it over,
for 3 minutes, then turned it over, 3 minutes again on the first side, 
and then 3 minutes again on the second side for a total of 12 minutes.
I cooked it on medium high heat to sear the outside.
The smaller steak, of course, took less time to cook. 
I cooked the steak for 2 minutes, then flipped it for 2 more, 
then 2 more on the first side, and then 2 final minutes on the
second side.
Here is the steak, with a half a circle of compound butter
placed on the top.
Doesn't it look delicious?!