Archive | April 2011

A quickie

Here’s a quick tip.  This was another “why didn’t anyone tell me that” moment.

Don’t walk away while your stand mixer is beating whipped cream.  You’ll come back to butter, and it’s about impossible to fix.

You’re welcome.

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Why didn’t anyone tell me that…

Dish washing soap is not the same as dish washing MACHINE soap.

This incident happened a few years ago… I guess you could call it my first (mis)Adventure.

I was a poor college student, fresh out of Cascade dishwasher detergent.  This was borderline traumatizing because the fact that I had even loaded the dishwasher was a miracle.  My housekeeping skills left much to be desired and I lived with the world’s messiest person so between the two of us, our apartment was just about the nastiest place I’d even been in.  I wouldn’t allow my children in that place if it existed today, it was that bad.  My housekeeping skills to this day still leave something to be desired (ask my husband), but that’s a story for another day, and at the least I can assure you they are vastly improved and I do allow my baby to live there.

I assumed that dish soap would be a fine replacement in a pinch.  So I took the deliciously fragrant and pink “Pink Grapefruit” scented method dish soap and filled up the soap dispenser.  And then, just for good measure, I wrote my name in big, fat, bubbly letters on the inside door of the dishwasher.  I slammed that door shut, flipped on the machine, and sat down to watch some TV.

A short time later out of the corner of my eye, I saw something.  A 3 FOOT WALL OF SOAP creeping into my living room.  I was hysterical.  I mean, that soap could damage all the crap I had laying around on the floor!  Mostly I was concerned about how to stop and contain the Soap Beast.  I turned off the dishwasher and pondered how to slay it.  Then I remembered the 7 enemies of oil from my McDonald’s days.  Soap was one of them.  So if soap is an enemy of oil, maybe oil is an enemy of soap?  I grabbed a can of Pam and started spraying.  And you know what?  IT FREAKIN’ WORKED.

It was a big mess overall, and I ended up with an oily, soapy floor.  But now YOU know.  Liquid dish soap will make your dishwasher explode with bubbles.  Great for a rap video shoot, if that’s your thing, but pretty much a disaster any other time.

Previous Cooking Adventures

Here is a collection of some of my past cooking adventures:

This was a fruit pizza that I made for a party for my daughter’s godfather’s law school graduation.  It was soooooo good.  Sadly, The Godfather didn’t even get a slice!  This stuff goes quick!

Recipe from: AllRecipes.com http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Fruit-Pizza-II/Detail.aspx

The enchiladas below I have referred to as the best thing I have ever made.  The recipe is from Closet Cooking and I cannot say enough about that blog.  I am obsessed with it!!!

Recipe from: Closet Cooking http://www.closetcooking.com/2010/07/thai-spicy-peanut-chicken-enchiladas.html

Next is the one thing that for me, is REQUIRED at all holiday gatherings.  It is called Sweet Potato Delight, and ok, this isn’t the best picture, but it is sooooooooo good!

Recipe from “A Taste of Oregon”:  http://allrecipes.com/PersonalRecipe/62515708/Sweet-Potato-Delight/Detail.aspx

Yesterday I made Peanut Butter Bread courtesy of my new favorite blog, One Perfect Bite.  I haven’t had a chance to go through too many previous recipes, but I’m excited to follow a cooking blog that is written by a local blogger!

Recipe from One Perfect Bite: http://oneperfectbite.blogspot.com/2011/03/peanut-butter-bread-with-streusel.html

Cinnamon Bread

Today I decided to try my hand at baking bread.  I’ve never used yeast before, but my husband’s eyes lit up when I showed him the recipe so I knew I had to give it a try.

This is definitely something that you need to have the whole day for.  It takes about 45 minutes to make the dough, then it needs to rest for two hours.  Then it takes about 10 minutes to roll out, and then again needs to rest for 2 hours.  I started around 9:30am and finished around 4pm.

This recipe is from The Pioneer Woman:  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/08/homemade-cinnamon-bread/

Her pictures are way more beautiful and her bread has many more swirls, so check out her site!

First, melt the butter into whole milk...

Mix 2 room temp eggs with 1/3 cup flour. I added a splash (.5-1 tsp) of vanilla

You'll need two packets of yeast to get 2.5 tsps, I just dumped them into a bowl and measured from that

Mix 3.5 cups flour with 1 tsp salt, I used Kosher.

About the vanilla- this stuff is top notch. Look for it on cooking shows- no one is using McCormick anymore, they all use this.

The melted butter and milk need to cool down to 120-130 degrees. Do you like my high tech cooling method?

The yeast gets added to the milk/butter. Please don't kill my yeast!

And now we wait for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, look at my poor phone. This is what I use to read the recipe online. I need an iPad!

Ok, time to pour the butter/milk/yeast into the sugar and eggs. This was left in my NONSTICK pan. What IS this stuff?

Slowly add the flour, scrape down the sides as needed. Switch to the dough hook, and beat on medium speed for 10 minutes.

During this time my mixer was literally walking around my counter.  I had to stand there the whole time with the baby in one arm, the other holding down the mixer, and the eyes in the back of my head watching the toddler.  Oy.  The dough makes a funny butt-slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl.  If it sounds like you are in a low-budget adult film, you are doing it right.

The dough can goop up on the sides. This is ok!

My God, I did it. I made dough!

Warm up a glass or metal bowl and drizzle in some oil. The stove element is NOT on.

Our adorable dough now needs to rest for 2 hours.

It rose!!!

I'm so excited!

Mix up some cinnamon and sugar!

Roll out the dough and cover with butter, cinnamon and sugar

I think countertops are disgusting because they can’t be washed.  Sure you can lysol them, but then you have to eat lysol.  So I don’t put any food directly on them… yes… OCD…

Make sure your pan is nice and buttered

Let that baby rise for another two hours and into the oven it goes

Ok, here is where things got scary…

It seemed to really be growing in the oven.. is it supposed to do that?

What the hell? Why did the side explode?

Time is up... but it's not that brown. And it's raw inside.

Time for a drink. Crap.

After 8 more minutes at a lower temp, I declare it done.

The crust really couldn't take anymore, so I just hoped the inside would be done.

Cinnamon sugar butter, anyone?

The final product!

So was spending 7 hours on this worth it?  The first bite, I said yes.  The few after… meh.  It’s really, really good.  But it’s a lot of work for something that is going to be high in calories and not really provide a full meal for my family.  When I go back to work full time, will it be worth 50% of my time off?  No.  But seeing as tho I’m on maternity leave, it was a nice project to have for the day.  However, after all that time and effort I’d really prefer to have dinner prepared, not just cinnamon bread.  I’d feel better if it were a savory bread or even just plain white bread that I could use for toast and sandwiches.

If you are looking for a delicious cinnamon bread recipe, then this it it for sure.  Tonight I’m going to use it to make cinnamon toast for dessert, “The Right Way” according to the Pioneer Woman (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/04/the-right-way-and-the-wrong-way-to-make-cinnamon-toast/).

Unfortunately, I still have to figure out what’s for dinner.

Overall: 3.25/5

Taste: 5/5 (perfect cinnamon bread!)

Ease: 2/5 (it wasn’t super difficult, it was just tedious and took forever!)

Health: 2/5 (white bread with extra sugar?)

$$$: 4/5 (the only extra thing I had to buy was yeast, and that was less than $.99 for what I used)