Monday, March 30, 2015

Sewing Swap

I am pround to say that I have sent out my package for the Sewing Swap!

I got the sewing-themed fabric from JoAnn's, and I think it's absolutely adorable. For the sewing-themed jewelry, I made earrings out of snaps. They come in two colors: silver and black. They are mounted on the business cards for our Etsy shop.

As for the sewing-themed ATC's, I finished them last night. I've been obsessing over them for a while, but I think they came together nicely. The background is an image of a vintage sewing pattern envelope, and I added fabric swatches, ribbon and a button for an inspiration board feel. I'm pleased with how everything turned out, and am glad that I sent out things that I'd be happy to receive.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Work? What's That?

I spent too much time tonight at work arranging flowers. This Sunday, the town is having a "Wedding Walk," and we're setting up the banquet room for show and tell. Mel brought in a couple of bouquets of flowers from the grocery store, and we started arranging.

These were my creations. My favorite is the yellow one, but the purple/orange is growing on me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Maple Bacon Cupcake Bread Pudding with Irish Cream Butter Glaze

For today's breakfast, I do believe that this was the most popular dish I made, Bacon Maple Cupcake Bread Pudding.

Bacon Maple Cupcake Bread Pudding

  • 1 batch of Bacon Maple Cupcakes, quartered and stale
  • 1 cup 1/2 ‘n 1/2
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Maple Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 3 slices, bacon chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • butter to coat pan
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Quarter unwrapped and stale cupcakes. Set aside. *note: if not stale enough from being left out over night, quarter and place in 200 degree oven for 20 minutes*
  2. In large bowl whisk together milk, half and half, extracts, cinnamon, and eggs.
  3. Fold in quartered cupcakes pieces until liquid is nearly all absorbed.
  4. Pour into 9x9 inch baking pan and sprinkle with bacon pieces. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve warm, topping with Irish Cream Butter Sauce if desired.
Irish Cream Butter Glaze

  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Irish Cream
  1. In small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together all ingredients until they come to a low boil/simmer. Whisk constantly so that the eggs don’t curdle.
  2. Serve over bread pudding or ice cream.
It was just plain delicious. And even though it sounded like the flavor combination shouldn't have worked, it did.

Corned Beef Breakfast

For the St. Patrick's Day breakfast, I had planned on making a bunch of different things, but they were all starchy, and I really wanted to make something that included corned beef. So, after an intensive Google search, I found a recipe for a Corned Beef Breakfast.

Corned Beef Breakfast

  • 10 slices rye bread, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 lbs cooked corned beef
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Grease a 13x9 baking dish.
  2. Arrange cubes on the bottom.
  3. Coarsely slice the corned beef and arrange over the bread.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
  5. Beat eggs with milk and pepper.
  6. Pour over all.
  7. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate overnite.
  8. Bake covered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
  9. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes more.
  10. Serve immediately.
It wasn't as eggy as I expected it to be, I guess I thought it would turn out more like a quiche, but the dish was pretty tasty, with the predominant flavor being from the rye bread.

Chocolate Donuts with Irish Cream Ganache

I got up early this morning to work on my final items for the St. Patrick's Day breakfast at Huber. I started out with Chocolate Donuts with Irish Cream Ganache.

Chocolate Donuts with Irish Cream Ganache

For the Donuts:
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons oil
For the ganache
  • approx. 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • approx. 1 1/4 cups Irish Cream Creamer
  1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and cornstarch into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar, baking powder, salt, egg, milk, vanilla, and oil and whisk together.
  2. Scrape batter into a zip top bag. Snip off the end and pipe batter into wells greased (or nonstick) donut pans (fill about halfway).
  3. Bake at 450C for 7-9 minutes, until donut springs back when pressed. Let cool.
  4. Meanwhile, pour the chocolate chips into a small bowl. Pour creamer over the chocolate chips until just barely level (I like to use just a little less so that the ganache is thicker). Microwave for 1 minute, and then whisk until a smooth ganache forms.
  5. Dip the tops of the donuts in the ganache while ganache is warm, or spread over top of the donuts with a spoon.
These turned out well, for the most part. I made a pan of regular sized donuts and a pan of mini-donuts, and the mini-donuts were a little overdone. Oh well, live and learn.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bacon Maple Cupcakes

Tonight, I started on the Bacon Maple Cupcake Bread Pudding that I am planning to make for the breakfast Tuesday morning. It starts out with Maple Bacon Cupcakes.

Bacon Maple Cupcakes

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Maple Flavoring
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and diced into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and maple, mix for until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the boiling water. Batter will be thin. Pour into cupcake liners (about 3/4 full). Top cupcakes with bacon pieces. Bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
Well, these cupcakes definitely smell - interesting. I'm not going to try to eat them now, since I need all of them for the bread pudding. Hopefully, all will go well.

Irish Spice Bread with Whiskey Glaze

Tuesday, we're having a St. Patrick's Day breakfast at Huber. Of the things I've decided to make, I started with an Irish Spice Bread with Whiskey Glaze.

Almost Irish Spice Bread

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup candied citron, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey*
  • 1/3 cup molasses*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
GLAZE (optional):
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey (or orange juice)
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper or grease it with butter. (I sometimes like making two smaller loaves–one to enjoy now and a second to stow in the freezer for unexpected guests. The smaller loaves also seem to bake more evenly.)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in the raisins and candied citron. Make a well in the center.
  4. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Remove it from the heat and stir in the brown sugar and your liquid sweetener(s) of choice. Beat in the egg and milk.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Adjust the baking time if you are using smaller loaf pans.)
  6. Cool on a rack for 20 minutes then remove from the pan. Allow to cool completely before glazing.
  7. To make the glaze, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla, and whiskey or orange juice. Allow the glaze to cool and thicken for 15 minutes. Spoon the glaze into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip or into a sturdy plastic bag with a 1/2-inch opening in the corner. Pipe glaze in a zigzag pattern across the top of the bread.
* The original recipe calls for golden syrup, a product made in the process of refining sugar cane juice into sugar. With no golden syrup in the pantry, I substituted equal parts honey and molasses. You can also substitute light or dark corn syrup.
I couldn't find any candied citron at my local supermarket, nor could I find any citron to candy, so I omitted it. It smells really good, but I'm going to make the glaze Monday night or Tuesday morning, and try it at the breakfast.

**Note** 03/17/15 - The bread was a success! It wasn't too spicy, and it was moist, unlike the Irish Soda Bread that you buy at the grocery store.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ground Beef Pot Pie

For dinner tonight, I made a dish based on something I saw on Pinterest - a Ground Beef Pot Pie.

Ground Beef Pot Pie

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 russet potatoes, diced
  • 2 c. frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 c. beef gravy
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
  1. Heat oven to 425. In your skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.
  2. Stir in potatoes, mixed vegetables, gravy and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are almost tender.
  3. Pour mixture into oven-proof dish. Unroll crescent rolls and arrange on top of pot pie.
  4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until crusts are golden brown.
Tom liked it, but I thought it wasn't very flavorful. I definitely prefer my chicken pot pie. Next time, I'll have to find a way give it more flavor.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ravioli with Spinach and Artichoke Filling

Lately, JoAnne (a co-worker at Huber) has been regaling me with stories of her attempts at making homemade raviolli, and how easy it is. I've always thought it would be quite difficult, so I found a recipe for Ravioli with Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Filling, in Tomato Cream Sauce, and gave it a whirl.

I adjusted the filling so that it was half spinach, half artichoke hearts, and it was pretty tasty. And the ravioli didn't need too much of the sauce. I would definitely try them again, maybe with a meat filling, so that Tom will be interested in trying them out.