But baby it’s cold outside

 

 

 

I really can’t stay. But baby it’s cold outside. I’ve got to go way. Whoa, but it’s cold outside. This evening has been, In hopin that you’d drop in, So very nice. I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice

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oh cos it’s…  cold outside.

It is freezing outside! Absolutely FREEZING! Heck even my chickens want nothing to do with coming out of the run or the coop.

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Fresh Eggs? If we can get to them in the 20 minutes it takes them to freeze solid and start to crack.

I admit that I pushed Humpty Dumpty, I let the dogs out, and I am the fool always praying for a blizzard. But I like my cold in the positive numbers and more in the 20s. If it has to be this cold I like snow on the ground. I like a nice warm fire, but we have no fireplace and sitting out in these temps around the fire pit is not an option.

Yesterday we baked in an effort to help keep the house warm.  And boy did we bake!

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Love the smell of chocolate baking in the morning!

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Some Apple Pie Cupcakes and some chocolate hazelnut cupcakes.

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Some cupcakes for a customer, his company packages and distributes the hazelnut spread that I use.

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Made my new Valentine’s Day cupcake for kids. It is called a warm fuzzy and it has bubblegum flavored icing and white chocolate.

We even made a natural yeast starter for part of science and math. He also helped me convert a bunch of recipes and learned that 8oz doesn’t always mean a cup!

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B-man: is yeast a living thing?
Me: Yes, sir!
B-man: I will look it up to see what classification it is in……. it is a fungi! We eat fungi!!!
Me: Afraid so
B-man: Fungi tastes good!!!! We shall call the starter Francis Bobbio
Me: Wonderful

Here is how you start the Natural Yeast Starter: (The numbers are the days)

  1. 5oz organic whole-wheat flour & 5oz water; stir together and ferment overnight at room temp.
  2. 5oz starter from day one, 5oz organic whole-wheat flour, and 5oz water; discard 5oz of the starter add remaining 5oz of starter to the flour and water and mix to incorporate. Ferment overnight at room temp.

I will give you the rest of the instructions tomorrow for day three!

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I found some interesting learning material since most of the nation is stuck in this cold weather pattern.

NOAA has this webpage about changing seasons

KidsHealth has this one on Cold, Ice, and Snow Safety

CalTech has this webpage on a Guide to Snowflakes

USGS has put out this on the Water Cycle

NOAA has a site called SciJinks and has this on Why do we have Seasons?

We found this PDF on how to become a Weather Wizard

NOAA puts out this Winter Storms pdf

NASA has Climate Kids and has good links too

Frozen snowflake patterns

Lego snowflakes

Make a snowflake

If you are suffering through this frigid cold weather might as well make it a hands on learning experience.

Found this quote and this is where I leave you today:

If snowflakes were kisses, I would send you a blizzard!

 

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!

Shannon

 

Break is over

We took a break for Thanksgiving, yes we took the whole week off.  Today we started back with fractions, commas, pre civil war, more chemistry, and Pocahontas.

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I have a small baking business I do for family and friends out of my house.  I needed that week to get out all of my pies I had promised to people. It took me a whole day to prep, make, and bake 9 pies.

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Did you know that you need two different types of pie dough? One for the top and one for the bottom!

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This is a mealy pie crust bottom. You need a pie crust bottom that absorbs the juices of a fruit pie so you don’t get a pie with a soggy bottom.

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Your top crust needs to be more flaky.

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That way you get a pie that is perfectly balanced.

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Pumpkin pies are a bit different but I still use a mealy bottom crust to avoid soggy bottom. I like that phrase………. “soggy bottom”.

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I used fresh eggs from our chickens for the pie and it was amazing!

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We went to my mom’ house for dinner, she has a much bigger house to fit all 8 of us.

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We had ham, not turkey. My husband has a gallbladder issue and turkey triggers it.  Yes, that was my plate and the deviled eggs were mine too.

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We played Monopoly Star wars edition. It was good money counting practice for Monster Child.

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I was Princess Leia and spent 90% of the game in jail. But that didn’t stop me from winning the game.

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The game ended over a debate on if the gourds were real or not. I finished that debate when I put my thumb through the bottom of one. It was real! We took them home and fed them to the chickens. That was their Thanksgiving Day feast.

Peace, Love, & Cupcakes

Shannon

Strawberry Angel Food Cake

I have many requests for this cake. I am not sure what it is about it that people love.

This was supposed to be Fridays post but I like my cakes fresh and she is not picking up until Saturday afternoon.

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As I am making this cake today I am reminded of how much I truly love this cake.

Ingredients
Angel Food Cake
  • 1¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1½ cups egg whites (roughly 10-12 egg whites), at room temperature
  • 1½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup sugar
Whipped Cream Frosting
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp strawberry flavoring
Instructions
Angel Food Cake
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  1. Stir the powdered sugar and cake flour together in a bowl and set it aside.
  2. Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, salt and almond extract at high-speed until well mixed.
  3. Continue beating the mixture and add the sugar, 2 Tbsp at a time, just until the sugar dissolves and the egg whites form stiff peaks.
  4. Do not scrape the bowl while you beat the batter.
  5. Fold in the cake flour mixture, ¼ a time, using a rubber spatula, just until the flour disappears. I do this step with my hand as I like to make sure the flour is incorporated into the batter. This step needs to be done delicately.
  6. Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.
  7. Bake the cake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees or until the top of the cake springs back to the touch. Any cracks on the surface should look dry.
  8. Invert the cake pan onto a funnel and let it cool completely.
  9. Loosen the cake from the pan with a spatula and place it on a plate.
Whipped Cream Frosting
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  1. Beat the cream, sugar and salt at medium speed until stiff peaks form.
  2. Fold in the vanilla extract and strawberry flavoring. I add in a small amount of pink food dye.
  3. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream frosting on the cake and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. This helps to forma thin crust and lets the next layer adhere to the cake. I do mean a thin layer.
  4. Then frost the outside of the angel food cake and using the spatula pull the frosting into attractive peaks. You can also make ruffles with a tip start at the bottom and work your way up. I thin slice strawberries and place on top.
  5. Keep the frosting and the frosted desserts in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them.
  6. Slice the cake with a serrated knife so that the cake doesn’t compress while being cut.

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RL Cheese Biscuits

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Day five was focusing on eating out at home.  Over on the LWSP Website she talks about copycat recipes of restaurants.

She even has the Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits recipe which my daughter loves. I will be trying that recipe later this upcoming week.

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix

¾ cup cold whole milk

4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick)

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese

Bush on Top:

2 tablespoons butter, melted

¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes

½ teaspoon garlic powder

pinch salt

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. You don’t want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and ¼ teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don’t over mix.

3. Drop approximately ¼-cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop.

4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

5. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter is a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in ½ teaspoon garlic powder and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Use up all of the butter. Makes one dozen biscuits.

Chuck Wagon Casserole

I found this recipe while looking for dinner ideas yesterday.

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While I was rounding up all the ingredients I found that I did not have the red kidney beans or the Cheyenne pepper. Having a culinary background and a creative mind I improvised! She also never tells you what to do with the cheese.

Casserole:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 2 cans refried beans
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans of whole kernel corn, drained *(I used 14oz of fresh sweet corn I have in my freezer)
  • 2 cans of condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Sea salt and white pepper, to taste

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 12 homemade, canned or thawed, frozen refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornmeal

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion and bell pepper until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the ground beef and cook until browned; drain if needed. To the beef, add the beans, corn, tomato soup, milk, cheese, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce and Cajun seasoning. Stir over medium heat until well blended. Taste; add salt and pepper, as needed.

Transfer to a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. I found I needed a pan underneath this dish to catch the overspill.  Melt the butter and set aside to cool. Remove the casserole, Sprinkle with the cheese, dip the biscuits in the butter and scatter on the top of the casserole dish. Sprinkle the tops of all the biscuits with cornmeal. Return to the oven and bake uncovered, at 375 degrees F, for an extra 20 to 25 minutes, or until biscuits are cooked through and golden brown. Serve immediately with a green vegetable or a side salad.
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This is what was left after the 5 of us attacked this dish!

Carrot Cake

Want to know how to make this?

The cake is quiet easy to make and is very good. Note that this recipe is in ounces and it doesn’t convert into cups as you would think. 8oz of sugar doesn’t equal 1 cup. Measuring and baking by weighing will make your products of better quality. You can get an inexpensive scale from Wal-Mart, Target, or Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Owning and baking with a scale will change your life. If you you want to make this recipe and want it in cups please leave me a comment and I will give you the conversions.

This recipe will yield 3-8″ cakes.

You bake at 325 for 45-60 minutes.

12oz    shredded carrots

7.5each whole eggs

21oz    sugar

5oz    brown sugar

18.75oz canola oil

0.25oz    vanilla extract

1      orange zest

15.75oz   AP flour

2 1/4 tsp   baking powder

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

2 1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp   ground ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground

1/2 tsp allspice, ground

1 tsp salt

  1. Wash and shred carrots
  2. Sift dry ingredients
  3. Combine all wet
  4. Combine wet into dry halfway, then add carrots
  5. Divide evenly into 3-8″ cake pans. Pans should be greased and lined with parchment.
  6. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Check with toothpick.
The Cream Cheese Icing recipe
1lb   butter
1lb   powdered sugar
1lb   cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
Mix until smooth.
I decorated this cake in a basket weave pattern. You can just smooth out the icing.

Let me know if you have questions!

Chicken Enchiladas

Last night we had chicken enchiladas for dinner. It was pretty good, not the best but pretty simple and it was ok.

I got the recipe for AllRecipe and here it is.

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 10 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
  • Shredded lettuce

Directions

     

Spread about 2 tablespoons of beans on each tortilla. Combine soup and sour cream; stir in chicken. Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup down the center of each tortilla; top with 1 tablespoon cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over top; sprinkle with onions, olives and remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until heated through. Just before serving, sprinkle lettuce around enchiladas if desired.

Now I didn’t use the lettuce or the black olive, not a fan! I have extra left over to make some for lunch on Saturday.