Threads of the Pattern

Archive for the ‘Foodie Friday’ Category

I do not like to cook.

I know, I know. It’s a shocker. I LOVE to eat, but the cooking part is not so much fun.

That being said, I have found a few recipes lately that I love enough to share. This, too, is a shocker! What probably won’t surprise you, though, is that they’re easy, fast and delicious!

The first recipe is one I found on Pinterest. I started a board there called Nailed It! for the recipes and patterns that I have actually used, loved and are willing to do again. So, I found this recipe, but the link was kind of blah, so I went in search of a better link and a good clear recipe. I found it with Kim over at Makin’ it Mo’ Betta . You can head over there for her recipe, trust me, it is worth your time! My family of picky eaters gobbled this one up!

Bubble Up Pizza

bubble up pizza 2

 

The next recipe is one that I got from a family friend during a pool party. She made this Spicy Crackers and we ate until our mouths were on fire! But they were sooo good! Every other month or so I get a craving for these crackers and I end up eating probably the entire thing by myself.

 

spicy crackers

 

Spicy Crackers

 

1 bx saltines (or oyster crackers)

 

1 pck of Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Mix (2tbs if you have the giant container)

 

1 tbs garlic powder

 

1 tbs red pepper flakes

 

1 Cup vegetable oil (or light tasting olive oil)

 

Put the crackers in a sealable container, like Tupperware or whatever.

 

Mix together your oil and other ingredients. Add more pepper flakes if you’re feeling particularly spicy that day. Pour the mixture over the crackers and close up your Tupperware. Shake and turn your container, making sure to coat the crackers as thoroughly as possible. Repeat the shaking and turning every 15 minutes or so for two hours.

Enjoy!

 

The third recipe was found –somewhere- (internet, food magazine, I have no idea anymore) and since then my aunt has made it often for potlucks and birthday dinners. My picky eaters don’t usually like red pasta sauce but they do love ravioli so…Lazy Day Lasagna has become a staple. I have a family of 7, and we always have leftovers.

 

lazy day lasagnalazy day lasagna 2

 

Lazy Day Lasagna

(feeds 10, at least)

Ingredients:

2 packages cheese ravioli

2 jars pasta sauce

1 package frozen spinach

1 package mozzarella cheese

Spray oil

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350°. Microwave the spinach and wring out the excess water. Spray two glass casserole dishes with the Pam. Spread a little sauce on the bottom of each dish to keep the ravioli from sticking. Begin layering each pan with the following:

A layer of frozen ravioli (no, you don’t have to cook them before hand)

A layer of spinach

A layer of sauce

A layer of cheese

Repeat until the dishes are full. End with a layer of sauce. Top with extra cheese. Throw in oven for 25-35 minutes. When the sauce is bubbly and the ravioli’s are cooked through, it’s ready!

 

There you have it folks! Two meals and a snack, I hope you enjoy!

Please post comments if you have made these before or make them now! I’d love to know how you liked them!

Sig

 

 

 

I have to tell you, I went about this whole thing completely backward. I started with the decoration, and then decided what kind of cupcake and frosting I wanted to go with it.

I stumbled upon a recipe for candied orange peels that seemed pretty simple. It also happened that I had an orange in the fridge that needed to be eaten fairly soonish.

It was fate, I tell you. Three ladies in the sky spinning the thread of my life had a nice long discussion and came up with “Rosie should make candied orange peels today.” Seriously, could you imagine that conversation? I bet it was INTENSE.

Anyhoo…So I had some delicious sugary citrus treats. Then I found out I was going to be able to attend my local SCA meeting that week thanks to the kind souls who made room for me to carpool.

This meant I’d have an excuse to make cupcakes. (The excuse being that I wouldn’t have to eat a whole batch of cupcakes by myself. ‘Cause…I so would.)

The cake itself was a pretty easy choice. I tend to like my cupcake decorations to let people know what flavors they’re eating, so orange cake it was.

A couple weeks before, I had gotten some orange cake mix from the clearance shelf at the supermarket. While the fudge marble I made with Alyx turned out alright, the orange supreme kind of tasted like I was pouring Tang directly into my mouth.

So I altered a box of yellow cake mix by adding more eggs, orange juice, and orange extract. (The Ariel fruit snacks had nothing to with the cupcakes. I just like them, ok?) I normally would have subbed melted butter for the vegetable oil, but for some reason my mind kept telling me that if I use butter it’s not vegetarian anymore. Yeah, yeah. I’m straight now on where butter comes from.

To decide what flavor buttercream I wanted (which  made with vegetable shortening, because I was still stuck on that making it vegetarian thing) I rummaged through my extracts and decided on almond. I also had some sliced almonds in the cupboard, so that was quite perfect.

Look! The batter was super thick, which made it really easy to dish into the cups. No clean up!

In the end, if I did anything different, I would use real butter, and I’d toast the almond slices.

No one at the meeting seemed to mind though.

Things I learned:

1. Butter comes from milk fat, not meat fat. (I promise I knew this before, but apparently I needed a refresher.)

2. Candied orange peel is amazing!

 

~Rosie

 

So last Friday, I didn’t post because I was up at Ayshia’s, baking with my nieces. The eldest of that set just had a birthday, and this time she thought it would be fun to make things together.

 Their mother isn’t really a baker, so this was kind of a novel experience for them. As in, they’ve never taken a pan out of the oven on their own before kind of novel. Don’t worry, this was quickly remedied with supervision.

 I really didn’t do anything. In the morning I instructed Kyra (the second eldest) in following the package directions for some Betty Crocker Molasses cookies that I’d gotten on clearance for 75¢.

 

 

She had a blast.

Can you tell these kids get their picture taken a lot?

Molasses cookies were delicious, and even bought me a haircut. Aunt Jo is the bomb, y’all. That’s all I’m saying.

 

 

After dinner, I supervised Alyx while she made a batch of modified boxed fudge marble cupcakes. They didn’t rise as much as I’d like, but she was thrilled. Also, all two dozen were gone in about 15 minutes.

Honestly, I think they were in it for the experience. They made things! And they did all the work! And Auntie Rosie is super awesome! (I inferred that last part.)

 

 

Ayshia and I thought this picture was super-hilarious. We may have been drinking.

Sometimes, I forget that the kids don’t care as much about the big fancy cakes I try to make for them as much as they care for our company. This was actually a far less stressful and fun-filled birthday than the last few have been.

 Way to teach Auntie a lesson, girls.

~Rosie

This coffee cake is not my recipe. In fact, it’s the first coffee cake I’ve ever made. I got the recipe from a fabulous blog I love, called Diamonds For Dessert. Seriously, if you love to bake, you need to follow Susan. And I’m not just saying that because she also loves Ender’s Game and Back to the Future.

It’s just good stuff.

I made a red velvet/cream cheese frosting cake for a friend’s low-key wedding a few days before this. So I had a ton of strawberries and cream cheese left, because I can’t seem to stop myself from buying everything on the shelves for whatever it is I need to bake. I guess I’ve not gotten enough a few too many times.  Don’t ask how many boxes of light brown sugar I have. I think it would give you diabetes just looking at it.

First, you mix up your crumb topping. I’ve done this before; I love crumb topping. It makes me happy just to see pictures of crumb topping!

Then you mix together all the rest of your ingredients in that way that you do when you’re baking. (Wet together first, then add the dry to the wet.) I’m not going into too much detail, because it’s not my recipe. Also, look at my lovely Sunbeam Mixmaster. That poor thing. I think if you look closely enough you can see the smoke coming out of the vent from the severe overuse I put it through. I’ve had it for about 10 years, but if mixers could talk, he’d say he felt 90, I’m sure. (Yes, he, for the same reason that ships are male. ) Allow me to quote obnoxiously for a moment:

“A ship is alive, and he is like a man, with a true man’s heart. Treat him well and care for him properly, and he will fight for you against the worst sea. He will fight to keep you alive even after the sea has long since given him his deathstroke. Neglect him, though, ignore the small warnings he gives of danger, and he will drown you in a flat sea beneath a cloudless sky.”  Jorin din Jubai White Wing, pg 296, The Shadow Rising, Robert Jordan.

Ahem.

So once you have your batter mixed, put half of it in the bottom of your greased pan and slather it with jam. Not only is it tasty, but it’s fun to say slather. Then line up your strawberries in a covering layer. Then put the rest of your batter on top of that and smoosh it around until it covers all the strawberries. The directions say you can use a spatula or your fingers, but trust me on this and just skip the spatula.

Yummy crumb topping is next! Bake it all up and you get a lovely, light and fluffy cake that is absolutely scrumptious. Since I had more leftover strawberries (seriously, guys and gals, I have a PROBLEM.), I put two little slices on each square. This thing held up surprisingly well to sitting out on my butcher block, traveling in the car in plastic baggies and being passed around to various people!

Things I learned:

1. Coffee cake does not have coffee in it. I really thought that! It’s the sole reason why I have never even looked at a coffee cake recipe until now!

2. I should possibly not type blog posts when I’m sleepy. I get a little silly.

3. The picture below is while making the red velvet cake. There is a very good reason why I only do my baking when my husband is not at home:

~Rosie

 

Yesterday, I saw a recipe on Pinterest for making a breakfast muffin in a coffee cup in the microwave. I thought it was a great idea and decided to try it.

Well, not everything you find on the internet (no not even on Pinterest) is the most awesome thing, shall we say?

 

So I went hunting for a more enjoyable recipe, and ended up on Midwestern Moms.


I modified the recipe a bit. I used twice as much melted butter as oil. In place of the flour, salt and baking powder, I used self rising flour, because I rarely have need of it, and wanted to use it up.

 

This version takes a little longer in the microwave (in mine, it was 4minutes) than most of the other recipes, but it’s totally worth it. As a side note, taking pictures of something cooking inside a microwave is way more difficult than I thought it would be.  I didn’t actually count the number of pictures I took, but I feel instinctively sure that it was 3, 121. So, please ignore the door grate and just look at how far the batter rose in the cup while it was cooking.

They don’t really have the taste or texture of an oven baked muffin, but they are perfect for breakfast because what they do taste and feel like, are really good pancakes.

Next time, I’ll try topping them with a little maple syrup.

 

Things I learned:

  1. Don’t fill the cup more than halfway, or it will rise up too much out of the cup, and spill over. Worse, it won’t cook all the way through.
  2. Use multiple cups. I used the same one three times, and the cup got too hot to touch after the second time through the microwave.
  3. I still have the urge to count like The Count sometimes. Three! Three microwave blueberry muffins! Ah!Ah!Ah!

Microwave Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 c Self-Rising Flour
2 1/2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Egg
4 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp Milk
Small dash of Vanilla
4-6 oz container of yogurt (vanilla or flavor to match your fruit)
Fruit of your choice (I used blueberries,  with blueberry yogurt)

Mix everything except the fruit together in a bowl, or my preference of very large measuring cup. (It has a pour spout and handle!) Fold in fruit.

Fill your coffee cup(s) of choice about halfway. Place in microwave and heat for 3-4 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center does out clean of batter.

Top with syrup and eat right out of the cup, or swirl a fork around the side of the cup and turn out on to a plate.

Enjoy!

 

~ Rosie

As you know, our extended family celebrated a first birthday! The theme of the day was ladybugs, so as the resident baker, I scoured the internet for examples of lady bug cakes, and stole profligately from all of them. I’m not an expert, so I tend to look for something that has elements that I’ve done before, and at least one element that I’ve not done.

I decided on the design. A three tier cake, enough to feed 25ish people generous portions (not wedding cake portions, which people seem to hate), with both chocolate and vanilla for flavors, and a top tier for the little one to make a complete disaster out of. enjoy in a reasonable and polite manner that her mother would absolutely not have to clean up all by herself.

I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning the night before to get the decorations done. I rolled little fondant balls and flattened them, then painted them with edible black paint. It’s made with corn syrup, and apparently such a small amount of sugar was enough that the kids decided that fondant is delicious.

I really thought these little ladybugs would only take an hour or two, tops, but it ended up taking five hours, including the ribbons, which were red and black fondant. I used cutters for the shapes. The ribbons really took no time at all.

Everything was assembled the next day at the party. I only have the one size pan, so I had to get creative with it. I cut down the top 8” tier to be a 4” by cutting around the outside. I then stuck that all around the outside of the bottom 8” tier to make it a 10” tier. Amazingly, I even had some left over.

Things I learned:

  1. Really fresh fondant makes a huge difference. I hate thick layers of fondant, and I was able to get this batch pretty thin. I could feel the difference as soon as I touched it.
  1. Structure is key in tiered cakes, as you can see. It was so hot that day that the buttercream was melting and pulling the cake down with it. We literally had to finish it and immediately serve it.

 

What I want to try next time:

Structure. I’ve looked up some information on stacking tiered cakes. Any suggestions?



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