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Mar. 16th, 2011

ari smile


Band Pasta salad

One of my daughter's friend's parents made this for a recent pot luck. We loved it enough to get the recipe. It was very different and quite yummy.
I now share it with you, We call it: Band Pasta salad (it was a band event lol)

Band Pasta Salad

2 Boxes Barilla spiral tri colored pasta

1 pkg Philly reduced fat cream cheese

1 16 oz. tub sour cream

1 16 oz bottle ranch dressing

1 pkg Hidden Valley ranch powder

16 oz grape tomatoes, cut in slices

1 cup baby carrots, julienned

3 stalks celery, chopped small

1 pkg frozen peas

1/2 onion, finely diced

3 large cucumbers, diced

1/4 lb of bacon, fried and crumbled

With a Mixer, combine the sour cream, cream cheese, ranch dressing and ranch packet. Toss pasta, veggies and sauce together. Let sit for at least 6 hours or over night, so the pasta absorbs the flavors.

Mar. 10th, 2011




This is my favorite scone recipe. Yes, I'm on a fruit kick but blueberries are on sale right now and I LOVE blueberries!

Blueberry Almond Scones

Scone Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter (frozen, really!)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup milk or cream
Brushing tops of scones:
cream or milk

Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

For the Scones: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Gently fold in the blueberries and almonds. In a small measuring cup combine the cream, beaten egg, lemon zest and extract. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the liquids to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough or the scones will be tough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7" round and about 3/4" thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into four pie-shaped wedges. Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream or milk.

For the Streusel Topping: In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until crumbly. Top each scone with a teaspoon or two of the streusel mixture. Cover and refrigerate any leftover streusel mixture.

Bake the scones until nicely browned, about 15 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. These are best eaten the day they are made but can be covered and stored for a few days.

If you chop it up with a knife it takes too long and will melt. I have a double-blade chopper/cutter to do this so it goes quickly enough that the butter does not melt by handling it too much.
I've also heard of doing it with a box cutter but I haven't tried that.

Mar. 3rd, 2011

Susi - current


Mardi Gras

I guess with the corset making for this client, I have Mardi Gras on my brain more than usually. I've never been to New Orleans and frankly, never really sure that I will go. Being allergic to seafood makes it fairly pointless. Actually, I'd rather go to Ireland. But King Cake? I may have to try this, it sounds so good!

This came from Chow.com

Mardi Gras King Cake

Aida Mollenkamp
Difficulty: Hard


Total: 4 hrs

Active: 1 hr

Makes: 10 to 12 servings

For the brioche:
1 cup whole milk, heated about 105°F to 115°F
1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
2 1/4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons orange zest
4 large egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

For the filling:
3 cups pecans, toasted and cooled
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 stick, small dice

To assemble:
1 small plastic baby (optional)
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk

For the decoration:
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons sanding sugar


For the brioche:
Place the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and sprinkle the yeast on top.
Set aside to rest until the mixture bubbles, about 5 to 10 minutes. (If the mixture doesn’t bubble,
either the milk was not at the correct temperature or the yeast was old.) Coat a large bowl with
oil and set aside.

Add the sugar, salt, and zest to the milk mixture and mix on low speed to combine. Add the egg
yolks and mix until evenly incorporated. Add the bourbon, orange juice, and almond extract and
continue mixing. Add the flour and nutmeg little by little until the dough is moistened throughout
and starts to come together. Knead on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the
bowl, forms a ball, and is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Add the butter piece by piece, letting each fully incorporate before adding the next. Place the
dough in the oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, cover with a damp cloth, and let sit in a warm area
until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, cover, and let rise until doubled in size again, about 1 hour. (Alternatively, you can place it in the refrigerator overnight to rise, about 12 to 16 hours. Be sure to let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling.)

For the filling:
Place the nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and pulse until
coarsely chopped, about 5 pulses. Add the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and butter and pulse until
you have a coarse meal, about 5 more pulses.

To assemble:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Roll the dough into a 28-by-8-inch
rectangle. Leaving a 1-inch perimeter at the top and bottom (the short sides), spread the filling
out along the whole length of the dough. Place the baby (if using) in the middle of the filling.

Whisk together the egg yolk and milk until evenly combined. Brush the exposed perimeter of the
dough with the egg wash, fold the long sides of the dough over the filling to form a long cylinder,
and pinch the edge to seal. Place the cake seam side down on the baking sheet, form into a ring,
and pinch the ends of the dough together to form a circle with about a 3-inch hole in the middle.
As needed, press on the circle so that the filling is evenly distributed within the dough.

Cover the cake loosely with a damp towel and set aside to rise until doubled in volume, about 60 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.

Just before baking, brush the remaining egg wash on the surface of the cake. Place in the oven and bake until the cake has puffed up, the crust is golden, and the underside is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool at least 1 hour.

For the decoration:

Stir together the sugar, bourbon, and orange juice until evenly combined. Brush the cake with icing and immediately decorate with sanding sugar.


¨Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

A recipe for making about two dozen cinnamon rolls, no photos, since the ones I last made didn't quite roll out as they should have. Still yummy, though... :D

Original recipe is here but it's in Finnish, so it is only good for 'this is what they should look like' photos, or do-you-feel-lucky translation by Google. :)


17 fl oz milk
1 egg
7 fl oz sugar
½-1 tbsp cardamom
1 ts salt
1.7 oz live yeast (about 0.9 oz of dry yeast, althought I did not use that)
51 fl oz wheat flour (approximation)
0.44 pounds butter

0.22 pounds crushed cark baking chocolate (about 74%) (optional)

sanding sugar, sugar water or leftover chocolate crumbs from filling


* Take the butter out to soften before you start.
* Warm the milk until it's at skin temperature, if using dry yeast, then to 107*F.
* Crumble the yeast into the milk. If using dry eyast, mix it instead into part of the flour and add it before rest of the flour.
* Mix egg, sugar, cardamom and salt into the milk at this point.
* Slowly add the flour to the mix, constantly kneading until no more flour sticks.
* Finally mix the butter in small clumps.
* Dough is ready when it stays together and doesn't stick to the edges of the bowl.
* Cover the bowl with a cloth and let rise until the size of the dough is doubled.
* Put the dough on a working area (kitchen tale with some flour or specific baking platform.)
* Knead air bubbles out of the dough, then divide it in half.
* Roll the dough into a disk.
* Butter the top of the disk with melted butter. I mixed the sugar and cinnamon with butter, they could be sprinkled on the buttered disk as well, but I felt it worked better when mixed together.
* If making chocolate cinnamon rolls, sprinle the chocolate crumbles on the buttered disk now.
* Turn the disk into a roll and then cut it into sections about 0.8 inches wide.
* Raise on oven plate under a cloth for ½ hour
* Paint with egg and decorate with sanding sugar or left-over chocolate crumbs. (If using sugar water decoration, it is done after baking the rolls.)
* Bake in 440*F for 10 to 16 minutes.

Mar. 2nd, 2011



Lemon Ginger Blueberry Cupcakes

I sorta cobbled this together from a couple of different recipes on AllRecipes.com. The inspiration was odd; I have an orange ginger hand lotion that I adore and it made me want cupcakes. I made half the recipe into cupcakes and the rest into a loaf; the cupcakes went like, well, cupcakes, at movie night.

The cupcakes are not very sweet but the frosting helps with that. I tend to prefer cupcakes with no icing so I may tweak this a little more next time I make it. Warning - this frosting recipe makes a LOT. Next time I will probably halve the recipe.

But in the meantime, I have blueberries that I couldn't resist purchasing and need to be used. I also have oranges so this time I'm going to make them Orange Ginger Blueberry.

Makes 12

1-½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1-½ tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk (or milk with dash of lemon)
½ cup milk
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 tsp crushed candied ginger
¾ cup of fresh or frozen blueberries

1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese
2 TBS butter, softened
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
fresh blueberries to garnish (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Measure out flour into a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar, baking powder, salt and soda.
If making the buttermilk, put first measurement of milk into a separate cup measurement, add the dash of lemon and let it sit while mixing the dry ingredients.
Combine butter, egg, buttermilk, milk, lemon zest and ginger in (KitchenAid) mixing bowl.

Stir the blueberries together with 1 tbsp of flour in a third bowl (this helps keep the blueberry juice contained.)

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring only until moist. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Divide the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes on a rack before removing them completely from the pan to finish cooling on the wire rack.

Make the frosting by placing the cream cheese and the next 4 ingredients into a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at low speed until blended. Sift in sugar and beat, do not overbeat. Spread frosting evenly over top of the cupcakes. Garnish with blueberries if desired.

Mar. 1st, 2011

Susi - current


Tri-Veggie Hashbrowns

This is really simple but I've been enjoying this for breakfast every once in a while since I picked up a bag of tiny white potatoes the other day. *g* And yes, it's a process and not a recipe.

1 tiny potato, grated
Sweet potato
Onion, finely chopped
Penzey's pork chop seasoning
Penzey's smoked paprika
freshly ground pepper

Grate some of the zucchini and sweet potato together with the potato; just enough for one serving. Heat an omelet pan with a small dollop of bacon grease. When grease is melted, add veggies and season. Stir around to combine then flatten out and let brown; about 4-5 minutes. Flip to other side with large spatula and let brown. I like mine really crispy.

And I usually put a patty of Hormel sausage in the same pan; it adds so little grease and takes the same amount of time to fry.

Combine that with a slice of Breakfast Blast toast or a frozen blueberry pancake out of the freezer from the batch I made yesterday and I consider that a just about perfect breakfast.

Oh yes, let's not forget the Roasterie coffee with real 1/2 and 1/2...utter decadence and a great way to start out the day.

Feb. 27th, 2011

macaroni and cheese


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