Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blog Carnival and Cook Book Giveaway

Welcome To the Freak Show!
For the Blog Carnival giveaway, one commentor will win their choice of cookbooks.  One freakin winner will be able to  choose between Biscuit Bliss by James Villas or Cupcakes From the Cakedoctor by Ann Byrn.  Both are brand new books and you can see my reviews below.  Please leave a comment and tell me which book you would prefer and around midnight at the end of the blog hop on May 8th, the winner will be randomly chosen.  Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you will come back soon!  Thank you also to the ladies at Pure Imagination Blog, Candaces Book Blog, Book Swarm and Reading Angel  for hosting this Hop!

This book makes my mouth water!  I love biscuits!  I will list one of my favorite biscuit recipes here.  It is for Angel Biscuits.  If you have never tasted an Angel biscuit, you must try this because they taste like they are straight from Heaven.  This recipe says these books are often called Brides Biscuits because using double leavening can guarantee them to be feather light. (the first taste I had of these was at a Bridal Breakfast in Natchez Ms and I embarrased myself because I couldn't stop eating them!)
1 envelope active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 TBS sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chilled vegetable shortening
1 cup buttermilk

1.  In a small bowl, combine the yeast and warm water, stir and set aside to proof.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the shortening and cut in with a pastry cutter or rub with your fingers until the mixture is mealy.  Add the yeast mixture and buttermilk and stir with a fork until soft, sticky dough forms.
3.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, form into a ball, roll out 1/2" thick and cut out more rounds.  Arrange the rounds close together on a baking sheet, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm area about 1 hour.
4.  preheat oven to 400 degrees.
5.  Bake the biscuits in the center of the oven till golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Some of the other recipes in this book are, Cloud Biscuits, Cathead Biscuits, Butter ogurt Biscuits, Stovetop Biscuits, Cheddar BiscuitsOrange Cream Scones and many more.
Makes about 20 biscuits.

This great book is full of cupcake ideas and they are all easy to make!  It also has icing recipes and muffin recipes.  There are Wedding Day Cupcakes, Ice cream cone cupcakes, Monster Monkies, Groundhog Day Cupcakes, Lemonade Angel Cupcakes and oh so many more.  This will be a great book for anyone with children, while at the same time being great for anyone with a sweet tooth.  Here is recipe from the book for : 

Key Lime cupcakes
These are part Pie and Part Cupcake
1 large lime, scrubbed for 1 tsp zest and 2 Tbs juice
4 large eggs
1 pkg(18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 pkg(3.4 ounces vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp coconut flavoring
1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup key lime Juice
Coconut Meringue
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
Reserved 3 large egg whites1/2 tsp coconut flavoring
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1.  Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.  Set the pans aside.
2.  Prepare the cupcake batter; zest the lime and cut and juice and reserve 2 Tbs of juice.  Separate 3 of the eggs, place whites in a large bowl and the yolks in another.
3.  Add the remaining egg, cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil, coconut flavoring and lime zest and juice to the yolks.  Blend with electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more.  spoon or scoop 1/4 cup batter into each lined cup, filling 2/3 full.  Place in oven.
4.  Bake until golden, 18-22 minutes.  Remove the pans and place on wire racks to cool 5 minutes.  Increase oven to 450 degrees.
5.  Prepare filling.  Place condensed milk and key lime juice in a small bowl and stir to combine.  Spoon mixture into a pastry bag with medium tip.  Press tip 1/4 inch into top center of each cake and squeeze about 1 Tbs into each cooked  cupcake.
6.  Prepare Meringue.  Add the cream of tarter to the reserved egg whites and beat with electric mixer on high until frothy, about 45 seconds.  Add the coconut flavoring and 1 Tbs of sugar at a time, until the whites form stiff peaks.  Spoon 2 Tbs meringue onto neach cupcake and swirl.  Place them in the oven and bake until golden, 5-6inutes. Serve at once or cool 10 minutes.
Makes 24 Cupcakes
Don't forget to leave a comment stating which cookbook you would like to win!  This giveaway is open to all, I will mail the book internationally!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hungry Girl 300 under 300/ Cheeseburger Mac Attack

This is the second cookbook that I have read by Lisa Lillien.  I loved the first and was not disappointed with this one either.  She offers several recipes for breakfast bowls that are under three hundred calories, but taste wonderful.  There are also several great recipes for oatmeal that are quick to whip up!  I tend to wake up hungry and want something quick and these fit the bill.

For lunch, why not try one of her sandwich recipes such as, The Skinny Elvis, or the Open Faced Chicken Salad Melt, or the Monte Cristo Sandwich!

For Dinner, she  offers several crock pot recipes.  I love these because you just throw it in the pot in the morning and by dinner time, it is ready.  I have cooked her barbecue pulled pork and even my husband loved it!  There is a lot to love about this book.  There is even a recipe for faux Fried Green Tomatoes! I love Fried Green Tomatoes!  I will try them and report here how they turned out.

For dinner tonight I am making the:

Cheeseburger mac Attack

8 Servings
5 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni with 2g fiber per 2 oz. serving
10 oz. raw lean ground turkey
1tsp onion powder
2TBS ketchup
24 oz frozen green giant cauliflower & cheese sauce
3 wedges The laughing Cow creamy swiss cheese
salt and pepper

In a large pot, prepare pasta very al dente, cooking for 1/2 the time on package.  Drain Well and set aside.  In a bowl, combine turkey, onion powder and ketchup.  Use your hands to mix well.  Transfer mixture to a crock pot.  Add frozen veggies and cooked pasta to the crock pot and stir.  Cover and cook on high for 3 -to 4 hours, until turkey is fully cooked.

Stir mixture and crumble turkey.  Add cheese wedges and stir until evenly distributed.  Season to taste.

8 Servings
per serving:
179 calories
5.75g fat
512mg sodium
19g carbs
2g fiber
3.5g sugars
12.5g protein

I will let you know how this turns out!

 If you have never tried her cookbooks, I suggest that you visit her website. On the website, you can get free recipes and many, many ideas for eating better.

Happy Cooking,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

bon appetit Desserts by Barbara Fairchild

Oh my! Where do I begin?  You can probably tell by now that I have a thing for sweets and baking.  This book is a treasure trove and my copy even came with a free magazine subscription to bon appetite.  There are so many great recipes in this book, that I really don't know what to talk about first. So, I will start with the recipes that I made during Christmas 2010.  Apple Cake with Maple Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting, Homemade Marshmallows, and Coconut Checkerboard Brownies.

Here is a list of things I want to bake:  White Chocolate and Lemon Wedding Cake, Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes with Marbled Raspberry Cream, Hot Milk Cakes with Strawberries and Cream, Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, Upside Down Honey Cheesecakes, and too many more to mention.

  Here is a picture of the Coconut Checkerboard Brownies and the Recipe.

Coconut Batter
1 7ounce package sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (Coco Lopez)
2 ounces Philadelphia brand cream cheese, cut into 1" cubes, room temp
1 extra large egg
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt

Chocolate Batter
6 TBS unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 extra large eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sifted unbleached all purpose flour, (sifted, then measured)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Coconut Batter:  Measure 1/3 cup flaked coconut, cover and set aside.  Place remaining coconut and sugar in processor, finely chop.  Add cream of coconut and cream cheese to processor and blend well, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl.  Add egg, almond extract, lemon juice and salt and blend well.  Transfer to bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until very firm.  about 3 hours.

Chocolate Batter:  Butter a 9x9x2 metal baking pan.  Melt butter with chocolate in heavy small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth.  Pour into medium bowl.  Cool to lukewarm.  Whisk in eggs and vanilla.  Whisk sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl; sift over chocolate mixture.  Mix until blended and smooth.  Spread 1 1/4 cups chocolate batter in prepared pan(cover and refrigerate remaining batter).  Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil.  Refrigerate batter until very firm.  about 3 hours.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325 degrees.  Alternate 1 TBS remaining chocolate batter and 1 TBS coconut batter over chocolate layer, filling pan completely.  Sprinkle reserved 1/3 cup flaked coconut over coconut mounds, press gently to adhere.  Cover pan tightly with foil.

Bake 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake until tester inserted in center of 1 chocolate mound comes out almost clean, about 40 minutes.  Cool brownies completely in pan.

These can be made 1 day ahead, cover tightly and store at room temp.

Happy Baking!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook by Allysa Torey and Jennifer Appel

Have you ever tried NYC's Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding?  If so, then you know how wonderful it is and you should know that the price of this book is well worth that one wonderful recipe. If you have never had their Banana Pudding, then you must try it, it is heavenly!  But,  there is an added benefit with  this book.  You also get the Magnolia Bakery's famous cupcake  and buttercream icing recipes!  These cupcakes, in my humble opinion, are the best in the world!  I have made the vanilla cupcakes and the buttercream so many times that I have the recipe's memorized.  I have tried many buttercream recipes, but none come close to this one, and it is easy to make !   So, it should be pretty obvious that I believe you will love this book.  As if the ones already mentioned were not enough, let me tell you a few of the other recipes included. They are (randomly chosen),   Raspberry Cream Cheese Breakfast Buns, Blueberry Coffee Cake with Vanilla Glaze, Pear Pecan Cake, Brown Sugar Pecan Cake, Pumpkin Walnut Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting, Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, Orange Vanilla Chip Cookies, Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake, Caramel Apple Pecan Cheesecake, Cheese Pie, Nectarine Cobbler, and Sweet Potato Pie.  Those are  just a few of the many wonderful recipes you will get in this delicious book!

Happy Baking!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread & Scuppernong Wine

;Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian CookingSmokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking by Joseph Dabney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is full of stories of the people of the  Smoky Mountains. My favorite chapters are devoted to Fruits.  Some of the mouth watering recipes are:  Stewed Apples, Fried Apples, Apple Dumplings, Peach Cobbler,Peach Butter, Blackberry Cobbler, Scuppernong Jelly,and yes, Scuppernong wine, which I plan to try!  Now, I will warn you that there are recipes for some things that I will not try, such as Turtle Stew, Squirrel Pie, and Possum and Sweet Potatoes.  However, there are enough great ones like Tomato Gravy, Mint Juleps, Angel Biscuits spoon bread, and apple butter to more than make up for the unusable ones.  If you want to cook up some serious southern food that is sure to be authentic and delicious, you cannot go wrong with this book!

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Sugar Baby By Gesine Bullock-Prado

;Sugar Baby: Confections, Candies, Cakes & Other Delicious Recipes for Cooking with SugarSugar Baby: Confections, Candies, Cakes & Other Delicious Recipes for Cooking with Sugar by Gesine Bullock-Prado
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been patiently waiting for this book and now that it is hear I realize that it was worth the wait!  I want to make every recipe in this one!  The structure is different from her first book, in that it does not weave the recipes into a story. Most of the  the recipes can be made on top of your stove and they all include my favorite ingredient-Sugar!  Also, there are many photos of Gesine and photos of all of the finished recipes.  I plan to make all of the recipes, but I am going to start with the Rock Candy, G's Gelee Shots (made with champagne), Vanilla Pastry Cream, Perfect Passion Fruit Parfait, Vanilla Pecan Swirl Tea Cake, and Cotton Candy!!!

View all my reviews