Alright, so besides that grocery store incident, it's beautiful out and I want picnics. I haven't really been cooking much, but last night I made a bitchin' dinner. I finally found my camera charger, so it's still functioning. However, after using a Nikon D40 for every thing else really... IT'S SO BAD.
So I sat in a class at French Culinary Institute, and I'm crossing my fingers I can start in June. The school was beyond amazing, and I'm so excited. Oh! and I've been sitting around, stirring up really great food combos, ideas, and recipes. That is so exciting. I can't wait to get a job, and be able to make them. Once that happens... I can actually post more. Woo!
Hey! Thanks if you were there though!
jar of spaghetti sauce
jar of cheese sauce
(I will be honest, this time I used a jar of cheese sauce... and it was so good).
It's seriously simple! Make very al dente elbows, mix cheese sauce, and assemble in a shallow baking dish. Put macaroni in the dish. Along the sides of the pan, place pepperoni as a mock for a crust. Put some spaghetti sauce on top of pasta, maybe some more pepperoni. And then on top of the sauce... obviously all the cheese you want. Bake 350 degrees; 20 minutes covered, ten uncovered.
So I am back in New York, and I forgot to steal Robert's camera. Thus... I have no camera, a jinx in my oven, and a shitty time. Pity me! I'll try and update as much as I can, but I swear in two weeks I'll be back in action in a cozy home and with my love.
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
- add egg one by one
- alternate wet & dry (three parts)
- bake for 18 minutes on 350 degrees
However, I didn't make a normal buttercream and instead my favorite kitchen boredom creation.
Coffee Cream Cheese Icing:
1 pkg cream cheese
3 tbsp butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbl coffee grounds
- paddle cream cheese and butter together until very creamy
- add in sugar and mix well for 5-8 minutes
- throw in every thing else
It's seriously the best icing in the world. It tastes like cream cheese with a side of sweet coffee. Tastes a little like heaven on a cupcake.
Grandma's Eggplant Lasagna:
1 whole eggplant; sliced thin
fresh (that white, milky kind) mozzarella
regular (not so milky kind) mozzarella
lots of provolone
15 oz ricotta cheese
pinches of romano
jar of tomato sauce
2 tbsp milk
1 cup flour
So pretty much I sliced the eggplant really thin with the skin still on. Mixed together some Romano, breadcrumbs, and flour. Breaded the little beasts, and Robert fried them. With the extra egg mixture and bread crumbs, mix them together and make thick but flat circles and fry them. Bread crumb balls are a gift from heaven (and my grandma's secret love), I swear. So...
We assembled the eggplant lasagna in a deep baking dish like so:
1. eggplant (always first layer, covering all space)
3. ricotta (mixed with little sauce for easier spreading)
4. fresh & regular mozzarella
5. ripped up provolone
6. sprinkle of romano
-repeat until all ingredients are gone!
We baked it on 425 degrees covered for 20 minutes, and uncovered for about ten (until the cheese on top started to brown, ya know). Put pasta on once you uncover it; duh.
The pizza was almost about the same, excluding the eggplant and ricotta and use of pizza sauce instead. We were too lazy to make dough, so we bought a handy roll of Pillsbury... which, I infact, highly recommend because it is delish. Normally we'd plate all of this a bit nicer, but by the time it was done we were beyond hungry.
I have no camera that is usable. Fortunately, I am going to Ohio tomorrow and will have a beautiful kitchen and camera to use! Expect a lot of posts in the next coming week. :0)
Oh and let me tell you how bitter I am at making Swiss Meringue!
For the tomatoes (this was for only three starving people):
however many PLUM tomatoes you feel you need (I'd say at least 10 or so)
fresh herbs (I used thyme and basil)
1 1/2 cup of olive oil
& whatever else you want
- boil tomatoes until skin pops/ peal/ de-core them (I cut off top and bottom, slice almost to the core long ways, lay on side, roll as you cut into it with knife.. ya get?)/ slice up to whatever size (I like mine chunky)
- in a separate pan: season oil until hot with basil, thyme, and etc.
- once tomatoes are chopped and oil is hot; throw oil over tomatoes and cook on low/med. heat for an hour or so.
- plate pasta, throw tomatoes over top, and drizzle seasoned oil. top with goat cheese.
so it was easy as that... i highly suggest using the rest of the oil for dipping the bread in!
one head of cauliflower
one head of broccoli
12 oz. goat cheese
2 cloves fresh garlic (sliced thin)
3 tbsp milk
1/2 cup bread crumbs
- preheat oven to 450 degrees
- steam cauliflower and broccoli until only slightly cooked
- combine goat cheese + thyme + fresh garlic + milk in food processor until creamy
- once cauliflower and broccoli is steamed, drain, and place in a baking dish.
- spread goat cheese over top + sprinkle bread crumbs
- bake covered for twenty minutes/ remove cover/ bake for five minutes
& you've got yourself a delicious dinner.
For dessert one night I also made banilla yogurt cupcakes with a fresh blueberry swiss meringue buttercream. I can't remember what recipe I used for the cupcakes for the life of me. But and always... I made the same buttercream as featured in the previous post. Except this time I had the ingenious idea to paddle in fresh blueberries!!! So tasty. Do it, I dare ya.
Chocolate Cupcakes for too many people (might wanna cut this in half!):
10 oz All Purpose Flour
4 oz Cocoa
3 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
8 oz Buttermilk
6 tbsp Water
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
8 oz Butter
4 oz Chocolate (we used huge blocks chopped down)
12 oz Sugar
7.5 oz Dark Brown Sugar
- Melt butter and chocolate together
- Add all dry ingredients into separate bowl
- Cream sugar, dk br sugar, and eggs
- alternate dry and wet ingredients
- slowly paddle in melted chocolate
(not exactly sure if this is how we did it in the kitchen, but at home i did it this way and came out fine... ya kno them basic skills)
Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream (whole lotta too):
4 cups Sugar
1 cup Water
2 tsp Salt
6 Eggs (room temp)
2 1/2 lbs Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Softball (240 degrees) sugar, water, salt
- Whisk eggs and vanilla extract at full volume
- incorporate softball into eggs until cool
- add butter (one piece at a time)
- add peppermint extract to taste!
Here's a little shmorgusborg of old photos: