Archive for December, 2011
Now you can easily add to this recipe – think chopped bacon, scallions, pepperoni, chicken, broccoli. But if you add the meats, make sure they are cooked first.
|Cheese Aigrettes Puffs – KILLER Party Appetizer!|
- 1 cup minus 2 tsp AP flour
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 tsp cold butter, diced
- 1 cup minus 2 tsp water
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup coarsely grated Gruyere
- Corn oil for frying
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Ground black pepper
- Sift flour, paprika and salt in a bowl.
- Add a generous amount of black pepper (about a good tsp full)
- Put the diced butter and water into a medium pan and heat gently.
- As soon as the butter melts and the liquid starts to boil quickly add in the flour mixture and beat very hard with a wooden spoon.
- Continue beating vigorously over a low heat until the paste comes away cleanly from the sides of the pan.
- Remove the pan from the heat and leave the paste to cool for 5 minutes.
- Gradually beat in the beaten egg to give a stiff dropping consistency that holds the shape on the spoon.
- Mix in the Gruyere.
- Heat the oil to 350F or until a cube of bread, added to it browns in 45 seconds.
- Take a tsp of the choux paste and use a second spoon to slide it into the oil.
- Make more aigrettes in the same way.
- Deep-fry 3-4 minutes then drain on kitchen paper and keep warm while you cook the rest.
- Serve them on a warmed serving dish and sprinkle with Parmesan.
|Grilled Prosciutto Asparagus|
- 6 slices of Prosciutto
- 12 Asparagus Spears
- 1 tbl olive oil
- Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- Preheat the grill or broiler to high.
- Cut each piece of prosciutto lengthways in half and wrap one half around each asparagus spear.
- Brush the prosciutto and asparagus lightly with the oil and season to taste with the salt and pepper.
- Place on grill or broiler rack turning frequently but carefully with tongs for 5-6 minutes or until the asparagus is tender but still firm.
- Serve immediately or keep on a heated warming tray.
- Optional – can sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on as well plus extra sea salt/pepper.
I have to give props to Sugarbelle as she designed this amazing cookie! I *WISH* I had the patience and talent to create these things! I cannot, for the life of me, draw a stick figure let alone draw like this. I just ‘found’ her this morning and already am loving her site!
So wow, it’s New Years Eve! Man, where did 2011 go? It’s been a rather eventful year to say the least.
- 4 surgeries for Mr. Fantabulous (the man is a genius but has the grace of a hippo! He really should be permanently wrapped in bubble wrap! love you baby!).
- No wait… I think there were more surgeries/injuries than that. God is it sad that I’ve actually lost count???
- New Years Resolution #1 – wrap husband in bubble wrap and duct tape to wall!
- The launching of The Kitchen Whisperer, LLC – YEAH!!!
- New Years Resolution #2 – Expand, expand, EXPAND!
- Construction nightmares at the house… we’re not talking little ones either! God, I can’t imagine what our life would have been like had we not had the excavator! Oy!
- New Years Resolution #3 – Finish construction in hopes of relocating next year. (Okay this is really for Mr. Fantabulous as I’m not allowed to touch power tools but I at least look good in a hard hat so that counts… right???)
- Work – working 9 bajillion hours.
- New Years Resolution #4 – Spend more time at home with Mr. Fantabulous.
- Weight… *&^%$#@!!!
- New Years Resolution #5 – Exercise, exercise and exercise and then KEEP at it! That’s my biggest problem really. I just don’t exercise as much as I should. It’s tough when you commute almost 3 hours a day, work 10 -12 hour days, run TKW and try to have family time. Working out is the LAST THING on my mind. But I need to make it a high priority. I want to enjoy my old age with my hubby and without having him cart my big ol’ butt around!
- Time Management – this year just zoomed by without 1 real vacation.
- New Years Resolution #6 – Slow down and take time to enjoy the moments I have now with my husband, family and friends. Travel and just take a breath.
- Thinking outside of the box – this year with TKW I really was able to expand my kitchen knowledge and allow my creativity side to flourish. From the Rapsberry Cheesecake Babka to all of the new Biscotti flavors, the Breads to Pizzas I was able to create some new and exciting dishes.
- New Years Resolution #7 – Develop Take ‘n Bake items for those with busy lifestyles that may not be able to make a home cooked meal.
- TKW website – Well it’s going quite nicely but we need to take it up a notch
- New Years Resolution #8 – Create online menus and shopping cart plus introduce shipping capability.
- Love – Honestly every day I see Mr. Fantabulous I smile and am reminded that I truly am the luckiest person out there. To have someone love you unconditionally is the greatest gift one can receive.
- Not a New Years Resolution but rather a solemn vow (again) – to continue to love unconditionally, support unconditionally and walk through life together hand in hand with my splitapart I love you baby!
So from our kitchen to yours, wishing you a Blessed New Year full of love, prosperity and joy!
So today being my first day back from our mini jaunt to NYC I was pretty much out of it. Driving home yesterday we hit some pretty bad traffic that put us in the car for about 8 hours instead of 6. Cranky, tired and blah today I had orders to get out so I put on my chef hat and got to baking. THANKFULLY the orders came out awesome.
Well… see Mr. Fantabulous HAS to have a New Year’s Pretzel on NYE. Apparently it’s to provide you with good luck. *shrugs* I’m still waiting on the good luck part to come true. I’ve never made one and have always bought one. I figured since I was already covered in flour I would make him one. So I googled it and unfortunately came up empty handed on exactly what they were made out. I knew some type of sweet dough – egg brioche perhaps? Sweet roll dough? Coffee Cake dough? So I finally called the store where I get them and just asked what type of dough it was made out of. They told me what it’s like – think of a coffee cake as a bread.
So I took off my chef hat (Mr. Fantabulous blames that being the reason why…. well you’ll see why later in the pictures) and put on my engineer’s hat. I got to ‘cipherin’ and put together a hybrid dough. The dough rose BEAUTIFULLY.. all those strands of dough so soft and billowy! I was so excited. I rolled it out, filled it and made a long, very long…no I mean like 4′ long rope. Now keep in mind, I was still ‘car-lagged’ and cranky as my foot was killing me so I wasn’t exactly “all there” today. So I form the pretzel (I SWEAR it was a pretzel when it was shaped… HONEST!.. LOL) and cover it to rise. An hour later I come out and OMG.. I think it swallowed the pan it was proofing on WHOLE!
I couldn’t ‘unshape’ it so I baked it figuring maybe Mr. Fantabulous wouldn’t notice it and I could “fool” him by icing it on top in the pretzel shape.
Um no.. LOL Basically this thing came out looking like it was on steroids! I mean we’re talking MAJOR STEROIDS! I think I created the MAMMOUTH NEW YEARS PRETZEL! This thing is so big that it completely covers my glass turkey platter. It’s larger than a place mat in all ways. Now surprisingly it’s not heavy but rather light and airy.
So as you can see it’s MASSIVE. It smells amazing and I honestly could drink the glaze I made for it. So I slather on the glaze to give it a more ‘refined’ pretzel shape.
Mr. Fantabulous goes out to the kitchen and all I hear is “WTH??? HOLY S***!!! What happened??? Are you sure it’ s not going to break the table??? It’s HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!!! Wait! You took off your chef hat didn’t you??? See I told you that you this is what happens when you don’t wear your chef hat!” LOL I couldn’t stop laughing because he was avoiding this thing like the plague. He kept saying “It may eat me!” LOL
Then my darling husband does this… Gotta love the Engineer!
Yeah this thing is behemoth to say the least! So if it’s true and they are to bring you good luck, then this monster should bring me in the mother load of good luck! Lord knows we need it!
Happy New Year!
Even though I had like 2.5 weeks off from my real job over Christmas I still worked here doing TKW orders. Christmas day Mr. Fantabulous and I decided to take a mini jaunt to NYC to surprise ‘la famiglia’. So the following day I packed up a big ol tray of goodies, presents in tow and off we went to make the 6 hour trip. The weather was gorgeous and honestly I love driving at night though it was rather foggy in the mountains of Bedford. Of course even though it was only a 6 hour trip I had to pack 2, not 1, containers of food. Cause lord knows Mr. Fantabulous may just starve on the ride. Let’s see if I can recall all that I packed for the ride…
- 5 egg salad sandwiches (do you people have ANY CLUE what they smell like while you’re trapped in a car for over 6 hours???) – 4 to him 1 to me.
- side note here: I hate, I mean HATE mayo <insert gag face here>. This was rough, ROUGH for me to eat but it was so last minute and I was was starving.
- 3 Mt. Dews for him
- 2 Diet Dews for me
- 4 boxes of milk duds – he managed to only eat 2 the entire round trip
- 3 stalks of celery stuffed with peanut butter – GONE though I did have 1 nasty bite. There I tried it and um yeah… CUCKA! I think he inhaled these whole!
- 2 cups of mini pretzels – 1/2 gone by moi
- 1 small bag of peanut M&Ms – these were inhaled by yours truly round trip
Not too bad but mental note.. NO MORE EGG SALAD in the car! My car still reeks of it!
So we get there around midnight only to have Staten Island Diva Cousin (SID) just about crap her pants when he showed up at her door. “Are you kiddin’ me??? You gotta be F*****’n kiddin me! Holy &^%!!! Holy &^$#!!! HOLY &^%%#!!! Are you F****’n KIDDIN’ ME???” was all I heard her exclaim in her NY accent! I just sat there and giggled. So we unloaded and woke up the Princesses in Training (PITs). The look of shock, confusion, ‘Huh???’ and “WHOA” on their faces along with SID saying “Are you F****’n kiddin me?” was PRICELESS!!!
The next day, even though it was cold and rainy out we went to Grimaldi’s under the Brooklyn bridge. Now I was warned that there would be a huge line for it and there was a line but it wasn’t too bad. We stood outside, in the rain (though under a construction thing to not get wet) for about 30 minutes. I had heard nothing but fantastic reviews of this place so I was definitely stoked. They seat the 5 us at this table that honestly, you were lucky 2 people could sit comfortably at, but yet we were smushed to one table. We ordered 2 larges (8 cuts each) of 1 pepperoni and one plain. Now they were thin like NY style pizza but not crispy at all. Actually they were rather limp and flimsy. They, to me, were just okay. I really don’t see what the big fuss is about as for me, on a scale from 1-10 I’d give it a 6.5. I would go back but most certainly would not wait in line let alone in the cold and rain.
Day 2 SID took me to one of the greatest thrift stores EVER! I so wish we had these here in Pittsburgh. It’s called the Christmas Tree Shops and let me tell you what people… FABULOUS!!!
That night, even though it was butt cold went into the city by train and ferry. The Ferry was super cool. Mr. Fantabulous and I did go out on the deck where it was I was -47 degrees out on the water and yes, we reenacted the scene from Titanic .. “Jack, I’m so cold, so cold Jack” LOL We “TRIED” to take pictures but um yeah… every single one was blurry. I mean not even to the point where you could make the city out blurry but rather orbs of lights But this is honestly what it looked like (Thanks google images!)
Now the biggest reason why we were going there is because I wanted to go to Sarabeth’s bakery. Her book is… God.. breath taking! I would love nothing more than to meet her and just spend the day shadowing her. One of the best books EVER regarding baking. Now on the map it was only 1.5 miles away which honestly isn’t a big deal.
Well… let me show you the path we took.. ON FOOT! The blue is what Google Maps said to take. The Red is what WE took to get there and the Green is what we took to get back! We walked at least 5 miles that night IN THE FREEZING cold!
I swear I lost 47 pounds that night from walking! LOL
All in all we had a really good time and look forward to our next surprise visit. We love our family dearly but truth be told, there’s no place like home! My stuff, my kitchen and most importantly.. MY BED! Another time I’ll talk about my bed and just honestly how much I LOVE MY BED!