Sunday, April 20, 2008

Butter Cake w/Buttercream Icing

Happy Birthday to....nobody? ha ha...I decided I wanted to make this cake after having a very, very stressful day at work Friday. Cooking is my Calgon :) hey that would be a great blog name huh? ha ha, anyway, I just really enjoy baking and making this cake really made me feel better and it tasted really good too! I just got it off the Wilton website, boy do they have a lot out there! I always wanted to take one of their cake decorating classes but with all the instructions I don't see why now. They even provide "practice" sheets to practice icing skills so maybe one day I'll print all that out and really try to become good at decorating. I was just kinda messing around with this cake because of my stress level but I had fun anyway. Anyway, here is how I made it:

1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350*. Spray pans with vegetable pan spray.

In mixer bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.Add eggs one at a time (mix well after each addition) Mix in vanilla
Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Add flour mixed alternately with milk, starting with flour.
Pour into prepared pans bake for about 40-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and spongy to the touch

Cool 10 minutes in pan, loosen sides and remove, cool completely before decorating.

I split both cakes with this handy, dandy tool. I just got it so I was quiet impressed...I know I'm amused easily...

Buttercream Icing (I doubled Wiltons recipe)
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup of butter, softened
2 tsp clear vanilla extract
8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
4 tbs milk

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with mixer, add vanilla, gradually add sugar one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. Well all mixed in it will appear dry, add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use, Refrigerate in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Re whip before using.
Decorate at will...or if your are stressed like I was just have at it and let your anxiety spread away :)
- Maybe I'll take that Wilton class and my cakes will improve :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Hi! Yesterday I took another shot at kettle corn from ingredients I pulled from different sights on the Internet. My first attempt was OK but you made the "sauce" separately on the stove and then you mix your popcorn into made it way too soggy...not to mention I put too much salt on it...oops... anyway, this way was much much better - Does it taste "as" good as what you get at a fair? No, but it is very very close... As I play with this recipe more and discover any new tricks I will defiantly share. Or if you know of any please let me know!! Anyway, it is very simple. You can use a pot that you have at home or I used my popcorn popper (even though the directions say not to put sugar in was fine though after I wiped all down when I was done) OK here we go...


*4 Tbs of vegetable oil (or enough to rest your kernels in)

*1/3 cup of popcorn kernels

*I used 1/3 cup of light corn syrup (I might try the regular (non-light) type next time though...)

*1/3 cup of white sugar

*Salt to taste

I put the oil in the popcorn popper and put the kernels on top and covered it and turned it on, once I saw the 1st one pop I began to put the corn syrup and sugar on top as they were popping away. (My popcorn popper is called 'Stir Crazy' and it has these handy holes on the top (well its there to melt butter on top of your popcorn popping - but this worked too!)

See it getting all steamy inside?

Once it is done poppin' add some salt - shake it up and begin your "taste testing". My daughter and I kept tasting and added salt as needed or you could add some sugar if you think it needs more. It was very good and very addicting...We ate the whole thing! (and could of used some more...)


Tuesday, April 15, 2008


For dinner tonight we had meatball subs. I got this recipe from Rachel Ray and I adjusted it a bit for my taste buds...if you want the full recipe go to:

I think I need some more practice with my "food" photos but one day right? Anyway, this is how I made it:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of sausage into a bowl and mix well with hands (do not over mix) , then make a well in the middle and fill with 1 beaten egg, 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs, 1 medium onion, 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 4 splashes of Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup of shredded Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Mix together well without over mixing and create meatballs and place on a pan.

Cook for about 15 minutes until cooked through and no pink is showing. After the meatballs have completed I put the buns in for a few minutes to toast them a bit. One day I would like to venture into making "homemade" buns but no time for that on a work night :) until then the bakery will have to do.

Also, when I have more time I would like to make my own marinara sauce but tonight Prego will have to do... My husband prefers the sauce to be heated and put at the table so it can be put on right before eating to avoid sogginess. So I build the sandwiches and placed freshly grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on the top and melt it in the oven for a few more minutes.

For tonight I also made fresh french fries with my new deep fryer (stayed tuned...homemade doughnuts this weekend!) I had the temp at 350 and the fries actually came out a bit soggy so I need to bump that up a bit...I'm still trying to dial this thing in but I really like it! You can adjust the temp and set the timer. My husband said I was taring up the stove with all the grease so this was our solution...


Saturday, April 12, 2008


I have had this cute cookbook filled with entirely recipes that have to do with Oreos...right up my ally! My son's too, he can devour a bag if you would let him. I decided I needed something chocolaty in the house so I browsed this cookbook for a chocolate recipe. I came across Dalmatian Delight, it sounded perfect - chocolaty, creamy and cute! Here is how I made it:
I crushed 20 Oreo cookies in my little tiny food processor...about 6 at a time....I have been planting the seed in my husbands ear to buy me a nice, stainless steel one so I'm hoping I'll be able to do things like this more quickly! I guess I shouldn't complain it was better than doing it by hand, anyway, I really do think I need a bigger one because the cookies should have been chopped more finely than what I did because it made the crust too crumbly. Anyway, I'm sure it'll taste just fine...I'll just make sure it is done better next time (with my new processor he he)

Mix the crushed cookies with 1/3 cup of butter. The recipe calls for 1/4 but I think it needed a bit more to stick better.

Then coarsely chop 12 cookies - I used the pulse on my food processor and was too afraid to over chop so then I took them out and used a potato masher...worked pretty good - set aside.

At this time whip 1/2 cup of heavy cream until a bit fluffy but will be a bit flat too, that is OK.

Then beat 8 oz. of cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar with mixer at medium speed until creamy. I used my Kitchen Aid with the whisk attachment.

Fold in the whipped cream and chopped cookies.

Spread into prepared crust and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Then garnish with Oreos and chocolate chips for "toes" to make a paw.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Hello! Welcome to Kermit's Kuisine! My husband has been out of town for a couple days so I thought a nice "welcome home" gift would be to make him one of his favorites...lemon meringue pie! I also get to begin my blog with it so it's a double bonus for me. I have made this dessert two times before and I really like this recipe. It is courtesy of Betty Crocker.

Before I begin I would first like to introduce you to my "Sous Chef" Aquila, she is the best partner and she LOVES food...huge pig! She keeps me company because her stand is right next to the kitchen right on the other side of the half wall so she keeps an eye on things...and she keeps me motivated by asking "is that good?" over and over where I say "I hope so" or her new favorite saying is "hoooottttt" ...what a cutie!

OK back to cooking...First is the crust... I double Betty's recipe because my pie pan is larger, Mix 2 cup of all-purpose flour and 1 tsp salt then cut in 2/3 rds and 2 Tbs of shortening using either two knives or a pastry blender (shown in picture) until the mixture turns into small pea sizes - I forgot to take pics up to this point but it's not too painful. Sprinkle with 6 Tbs of cold water and mix with fork until it pulls away from sides. Shape it into a round shape on a floured surface and and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerator for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven 475 degrees.

Next, use a rolling pin and roll dough on a floured surface to fill your pie pan and then some. Put in your pie pan and press down and crimp the top edges. Poke holes in dough and bake in 475 degree oven for 12-14 minutes (until it's golden brown) and cool on cooling rack.

Reduce oven temp to 400 degrees F. In small bowl beat 3 egg yokes with fork and in a 2 quart saucepan, mix 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs of cornstarch then add 1 1/2 cups of water slowly, once mixed in turn on medium high heat (Betty says medium but that just takes forever) stir constantly until it thickens and starts to boil. You will be stirring awhile but be will defiantly know when it does this. Once it starts boiling stir for 1 more minute.

Immediately pour half of the mixture into the egg yolks and stir and then pour back into sauce pan (off the heat for a minute while your stirring) to avoid having scrambled eggs instead.

Once all is back in the sauce pan again boil and stir for 2 more minutes...yes your arm will begin to get tired! Then remove from heat and add 3 Tbs of butter 2 tsp of lemon peel and 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Betty says you can add yellow food coloring but I find that unnecessary - but if you want it have at it :) Mix together and pour in pie plate over crust.

OK now onto the meringue...yum. I use my Ktchen Aid mixer (I frost the bowl a bit in the freezer) and put on my whisk attachment. Beat the 3 egg whites and 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar on high until frothy. Slowly add the 6 Tbs of sugar until stiff peaks form then beat in 1/2 tsp of a good quality vanilla. Spread over filling and make sure you push down a bit and get the edges really good to avoid splits and pulling away from the edge.

Almost done! Bake for 8-12 minutes until meringue is light brown. And this is a very important step - cool away from drafts for two hours (trust me I have skipped this step and the meringue gets little water droplets on it) and then cover and put in refrigerator until serving. Isn't she a beaut? I actually don't even like lemon desserts so this really is all out of love for him...awwww. Well this first post was fun...I'll be back - maybe with a chocolate dessert for me!!!

Prep Time:30 min
Start to Finish:3 hr 45 min
Makes:8 servings

1 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 drops yellow food color, if desired

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).

2.Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.

3. Heat oven to 475°F. With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; flute as desired. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on cooling rack.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. In small bowl, beat egg yolks with fork. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.

5. Immediately stir at least half of hot mixture into egg yolks; stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 2 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon peel, lemon juice and food color. Pour into pie crust.

6. In medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat. Beat in vanilla. Spoon onto hot pie filling. Spread over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge of crust to prevent shrinking or weeping.

7. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until meringue is light brown. Cool away from draft 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate cooled pie until serving. Store in refrigerator.

Nutrition Information:
1 Serving: Calories 430 (Calories from Fat 150); Total Fat 16g (Saturated Fat 6g, Trans Fat 2g); Cholesterol 90mg; Sodium 210mg; Total Carbohydrate 66g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 47g); Protein 4g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 4%; Vitamin C 4%; Calcium 0%; Iron 6% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 3 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 3 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 4 1/2 *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.