Friday, February 27, 2009

King Cake Trials

So I tried a king cake recipe that sounded tasty as well as easy since I'm new to the whole baking with yeast thing. Looks pretty huh? Tasty? Not so much, well the flavor is really nice like a cinnamon bread, but boy did something go wrong in the second rise. Can we say dense? and dry?

Oh well I figure I've got all year to perfect my yeast dough skills and I'll start at Epiphany next year and just keep trying recipes til I find one that works or we get to Fat Tuesday first. It was worth it for the experience anyway.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It Worked YAY!!

So the beignet recipe I tried worked wonderfully, even if we had to give half of them to the neighbors. Oof just couldn't eat them all. I will definitely take pics of the process next time.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cooking Update

So I've tried a few new recipes in the past couple weeks.

I don't like taking pics and trying to document a first try cause well, most of my first tries suck.

Anyway the ones that haven't Lemon Bars, Roasted Beef Tenderloin will make it up here soon cause they rocked.

I'm hoping the same goes for the beignets I started tonight and plan to fry up in the morning.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Banana Pudding Parfait

This is the most often served dessert around my family. So easy to make, really just read the box. But I've taken to making individual servings, mostly so I don't have to find a big bowl to put the whole mess into, just 5 glasses since there are 5 of us.

Stuff: Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding mix, very important it won't taste right if you use instant and the banana flavored pudding is just wrong, fresh bananas, milk anything over skim, skim milk does not work for puddings, and I used the new mini Nilla wafers but if you can't find them the regular sized ones will work. The glasses I use are I believe 8 oz old fashioned size.

First put a layer of wafers into the bottom of the glasses.

Next go ahead and get your bananas sliced up, I used 3 medium bananas for one box of pudding.

Follow the directions for cooking the vanilla pudding, it's easier to whisk the mix into the milk than the other way around, bring to just a boil. Let the pudding cool down so it's not bubbling anymore.

Then throw in the banana slices. Get those stirred in.

I can't pour and take a picture so pour the pudding into the glasses just a couple spoonfuls each, then top with more wafers.

Add the last of the pudding to each glass and that's it. If you want to cool them down in the fridge take a piece of plastic wrap and cover each glass. These can be eaten still warm or completely chilled.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Baked Beans

So here are the baked beans we have at BBQs and picnics and just whenever the mood strikes.

Stuff: Canned Pork n Beans, whatever brand you like or is on sale, those 2 big cans are enough to feed say 8 normal adults or 3 of my uncles, BBQ sauce this is actually kinda optional, if I have it I use it but I don't go to the store for it, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, pancake(maple) syrup, another I don't run to the store for thing, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder, and the will run to the store for thing...bacon.

First, open the cans of beans and dump them into a strainer or colander, you want to rinse all that "tomato sauce" they come in off. Then dump the beans into a bowl and then start adding the other stuff (no bacon yet). This recipe really does not have measurements, you have to taste the sauce and make sure it's right, just a nice balance of all the flavors.

I usually put about 3 squirts of ketchup then maybe 2 of mustard and one of bbq sauce. Syrup gets a good squirt and then 2-3 big tablespoons of brown sugar. The onion and garlic get good healthy shakes and the chili powder depends on if I want to fight with my kids about it being too spicy.

Stir it all together and taste, see what you need more of or what you need to balance out, the mustard tends to get strong fast but a little more ketchup and sugar fix that. Oh yeah, heat the oven to 350.

Pour it into an oven safe dish, I think this one holds something like 1.5 quarts and smooth out the top with your spoon. Now for the good stuff.

Bacon. Ok so you can either use completely uncooked bacon, which I do if I'm feeding more than just a few, or you can use some cooked but not crispy bacon. This stuff was leftover from a recipe where I needed it half cooked in a skillet and half in the oven. Just lay it over the top there then pop it into the oven for 30-45 minutes.

You know it's done when the top just starts to look at little dry and the sugar around the edges of the pan gets crunchy(carmelized).

Ok so I was more worried about fixing plates and watching the ending of the superbowl then getting a pic of the finished beans. But this is what they look like when done, top is dry and crunchy, underneath is moist but not dripping like that "tomato sauce" was. You can have these with ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, anything really. They have that nice bbq type flavor to them.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Slow Cooker Ribs

Here's how I cook Baby Back Ribs in the slow cooker. I usually start them about 1:30 before I go pick the kids up from school and they are ready and waiting any time after 5.

What you need: Big damn bottle of BBQ Sauce, we just like KC and it comes in the giant bottle, I usually go with 3 racks of ribs, seems just the right amount for 3 adults and 2 kids.

First you need to mix up the BBQ Sauce, half and half water and sauce, just makes it easier to use some kind of pouring bowl. I did this step twice as I needed about 8 cups of liquid to cover the ribs.

It does look really gross before you stir the sauce into the water so I skipped that picture.

Pour all the good sauce into the slow cooker and go ahead and turn it onto high, if you want them done in about 4 hours or low if you have all day.

Get out you cutting board and a really sharp knife, I like to cut the racks down to about serving size. This makes it easier to fill plates and also makes them fit better in the cooker.

Nope it doesn't look like a lot but trust me it's plenty with all the other goodies made.

Dunk all those ribs down into the sauce and make sure they are covered, anything peeking out won't taste as good, that's why there's so much sauce. Put the lid on and go watch a movie, pick the kids up from school, or do laundry.

Yeah so I almost forgot to take this picture seriously it was under the 2 minute warning and I had already tried cutting my finger off getting corn off the cob. Anyway, so using my trusty tongs pulled out a section of ribs, then used the tongs to just grab the bones and pull them off my plate cause well they were taking up room.