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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in littlefroggy's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, August 28th, 2008
1:21 am
Yellow Cake and Frosting!!!
What's nicer than a cake for a special occasion! I made this today and it's pretty darn delicious! Keep in mind that this is just one recipe, and it may not be your thing. Shortening is kind of creepy, but this turned out yummy!

Yellow Cake

2-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup soft shortening
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 375DgF. Grease and flour a 9x13x2-inch pan; set aside.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together into a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening and 3/4 cup of the milk. Stir to dampen the flour, then beat 300 vigorous strokes.

3. Add the remaining milk, unbeaten eggs, and vanilla. Beat 150 vigorous strokes.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake may be cooled and frosted in the pan, or after ten minutes it may be removed to a wire rack to cool.

Frosting

1/2 cup butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
about 8 teaspoons milk (or enough to make it spreadable)
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt

1. Let butter stand at room temperature until soft.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar and butter. Add milk a little at a time, stirring until frosting is creamy and of spreading consistency.

3. Add vanilla and salt. Spread on cooled cake. Enjoy!!!
Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
2:51 pm
Saturday, August 2nd, 2008
4:45 pm
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from Baking Illustrated
I love Baking Illustrated! I highly recommend it if you like to get into the whys and hows of food! These cookies have a very prominent butterschotch flavor along with the chocolate. They are the big kind like you get in cookie shops!

Thikc and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks butter), melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325DgF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and sugars with an electric mixer or by hand until well blended. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and blend well.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

5. Form dough by scant 1/4 cupfulls into a smooth ball. Holding the ball in the fingertips of both hands, pull it apart into two equal halves. Turn the halves 90 degrees so that the jagged surfaces are facing up. Rejoin the halves at the base into a single ball, being careful not to smooth the jagged top.

6. Place cookies 1-1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until edges are set and centers are soft and puffy. Cool cookies on the baking sheet. Remove with a wide metal spatula.

These cookies are best served warm from the oven, but will retain their chewiness even when cool. Happy baking!
Thursday, July 31st, 2008
8:41 am
Lemonade Cubes
Few things say summer quite like an ice cold glass of lemonade! This is a tasty and convenient way to get that lemonade. The only thing I'm not too crazy about is the amount of sugar used. I may do some experimenting with some other kinds of fruit juice in place of the sugar water combo. This would be a good way to cut down on the sugar and get interesting and tasty varieties of lemonade. But for now:

Lemonade Cubes

1/2 to 1 cup sugar, depending on sweetness desired
1 cup water
1 cup lemon juice

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes. Add lemon juice. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze. When frozen, cubes may be removed to a resealable plastic bag to free the ice cube tray for other use. To make lemonade, combine 2 cubes and 1 cup cold water in a glass and stir to dissolve the cubes. Enjoy!
Sunday, July 27th, 2008
2:09 pm
Basic Meatballs
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 large egg
1/4 cup minced onion
1/3 cup Italian herbed breadcrumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400DgF. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well together. Form by tablespoonfuls into balls and place in a single layer in a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake until lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes. Drain off excess fat and use meatballs as desired.

These are pretty tasty! I simmered them for a few minutes in spaghetti sauce after I took them from the oven. You could also use them with whatever kind of sauce you like, barbecued meatballs, Swedish meatballs, yummy! I didn't have Italian herbed breadcrumbs, so I put 1/3 cup uncooked oatmeal in the blender with some dried oregano, basil, and garlic powder and gave it a few pulses. It worked great! These meatballs also freeze well. What could be easier! You need to make some, trust me, you do!
Saturday, June 28th, 2008
7:53 pm
Easy Blueberry Oven Pancake
This is a nice way to make pancakes for a few people all at once. It's a little different than typical griddle cakes, fluffier and a bit more cakey. Yum!

2 cups biscuit mix, such as bisquick
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons oil
2 eggs
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 425DgF. Grease a jelly roll pan. In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except blueberries until smooth. Fold in blueberries. Pour into prepared pan and bake 14-16 minutes or until puffy and golden. Cut into 12 pieces. Serve with butter and syrup.

I didn't have a jelly roll pan. I used a 8-inch square pan and baked it for 20 minutes. I cut this into about 6 pieces. I think a 9-inch pie pan would work well too, and you could cut wedges. Enjoy this!
Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
3:22 pm
3:07 pm
My New Project!
Hi everyone! I just wanted to tell you about the new project I'm involved in with my friends Timm, Lauren, and Terry! We've been writing and recording, well mostly Lauren and Timm have been writing songs, and we're releasing a new song each week on our myspace page! You can listen to 30 second samples right now and the songs are each a dollar if you like them. I'm hoping to talk the guys into actually putting a full song or two up there soon, but for now, 30 seconds is what you get! You can also read the weekly blog entries and view pictures from the sessions. Visit our page! This is meant to be a relaxed outlet for our creativity, hence the name No Pressure Project, and we couldn't ask for anything more than that you give it a listen and that maybe it moves you in some way. If you have a myspace page of your own, let's be friends! Enjoy, and thanks in advance!
Monday, June 16th, 2008
1:22 am
Fudge Brownie Cupcakes
3 squares unsweetened chocolate (1 oz. each)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
large pinch salt
2 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 325DgF. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or grease and flour the tins; set aside.

In a small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Slowly add the sugar, beating until very light and thick. Beat in the chocolate mixture, then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Pour batter into prepared tins, filling each 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes until tops are shiny and edges are set but centers are still quite soft, 25-30 minutes. Cool in the tins for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Friday, May 23rd, 2008
9:02 pm
Teriyaki Marinade
I just made this and poured some over a couple chicken breasts and marinated them for a while, and they were yummy! You should try it!

Teriyaki Marinade

1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients in a baking dish or ziplock bag. Ad 2 to 3 pounds beef, pork, or chicken, turning to coat with marinade. Cover dish or seal bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours but no more than 24 hours, turning meat occasionally. Remove meat and cook as desired.

I bet the meat would be wonderful grilled! I sealed two marinated chicken breasts in a foil pouch and cooked them in the oven at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. they were really yummy with rice!
Sunday, May 18th, 2008
10:30 pm
Eggs in a Nest
A great way to use leftover mashed potatoes...should you actually have any! Yummy! This serves 2, or one if you're really hungry! you can easily multiply the recipe if needed.

1 cup cold leftover mashed potatoes
1 slice any type of bread you prefer
1 tablespoon butter
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 425DgF. Grease a caserole dish; set aside. Tear the bread to make bread crumbs and toss them with the butter. Divide the mashed potatoes into 2 portions, forming each into a ball. Roll the potato balls in the buttered bread crumbs. Place the balls in the casserole dish. Make an indentation in the center of each ball, large enough to hold an egg. Break an egg into each potato nest. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until eggs are set. Do not overbake. Let sit for about 2 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Monday, May 12th, 2008
2:53 pm
Blueberry Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1-1/4 cups sour cream
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, preferably wild

Preheat the oven to 350DgF. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, whisk the egg until well combined and light-colored. Add the sugar and whisk vigorously until thick and homogenous, about 30 seconds. Add the melted butter in two or three additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Add the sour cream in two additions, whisking just to combine.

Add the blueberries to the dry ingredients and toss gently to coat. Add the sour cream mixture and fold gently until the batter comes together and the berries are evenly distributed, 25-30 seconds. do not overmix. Small spots of flour may remain.

Using a large spoon sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Invert muffins onto a wire rack, stand upright, and let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Thursday, May 1st, 2008
3:12 pm
Basic Pizza Dough
I made a pretty good-sized cheese calzone with half of this recipe and froze the rest of the dough to use later. The calzone turned out quite yummy!

1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour (this is approximate and you may need a bit more or less.)

In a large bowl, combine water, honey, and salt and stir to combine. Stir in the yeast and let stand in a warm place for 5-10 minutes. The mixture should be foamy and bublling a bit. Add the all-purpose flour and the olive oil and beat until smooth. Add whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough forms a rough ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and begin kneading. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle small amounts of flour over it and work them in. Here I also kneaded in a handfull of dried basil. Feel free to add other herbs, whatever sounds good to you! Knead the dough until it is springy and elastic and no longer sticky, about 5-8 minutes. Form into a ball and let rest for a few minutes. Place dough in a greased large bowl and turn it over to grease the top. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and return to the bowl to rise a second time until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. At this point, you can roll the dough out and top it and bake it, punch it down again and let it rise one more time, refrigerate it for about a day, or freeze it, well wrapped, for later use. Enjoy!
Monday, April 21st, 2008
3:16 pm
Thai Spaghetti
1 (8 oz) package spaghetti, cooked al dente and drained
1 batch peanut sauce (see below)
1 (8 oz) package sliced mushrooms
1 (6 oz) package shredded carrots

To make peanut sauce, combine 4 teaspoons corn oil, 1/2 cup minced red onion, 2 tablespoons minced garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper in a blender and blend for 1 minute. Pour into a saucepan and cook overlow heat until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup peanut butter and 1 cup water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Simmer for 1-2 minutes longer.

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and carrots and saute until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Add peanut sauce and stir over low heat until well combined and heated through. Pour sauce over spaghetti and toss to coat. You can add any other veggies you like, as well as cooked chicken or shrimp. (You can saute the shrimp with the veggies.) Coarsely ground peanuts make a nice garnish for this dish. Enjoy!
Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
3:45 pm
An Awesome, Fun Night
And now we can relive the fun, and you can experience a bit of it too! Click here for a taste of the 2-day jamming party that was Andy's birthday celebration!
3:39 pm
Chicken Salad
3 cups diced, cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups diced celery
1/4 cup chopped sweet pickle
3 hard-cooked eggs, diced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mayonaise (or soy substitute which I use because mayonaise kind of freaks me out)

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Serve over shredded lettuce or in sandwiches. Yummy!
Thursday, April 10th, 2008
1:35 am
Lentil Hummus
I was looking for something to do with the lentils I had lying around in the cupboard, and I came upon a most delicious find! It's hummus, made with lentils instead of chickpeas, and it is wonderful! Note that the measurements for lemon juice and spices are approximate, they can be varied to taste.

Lentil Hummus

1 1/2 cups cooked lentils, drained
1/4 cup Tahini (sesame seed paste) or 2 tbsp peanut butter + 2 tsp sesame oil
2 or 3 cloves garlic
1/2 - 1 tsp sea salt or salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 - 2 tbsp cold water ( or lentil cooking liquid)
1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
freshly chopped parsley or cilantro

Combine lentils, tahini or peanut butter, garlic, salt and lemon juice in a food processor. Process on high for 3 minutes, adding water as needed to produce a thick scoopable mix. Stir in Cumin, turmeric or a few dried pepper flakes. Spoon into a small bowl and garnish with olive oil, parsley and paprika. Serve with pita warmed for a minute in a 250 oven, or with crackers or vegetables. Enjoy!
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
12:43 am
Old-fashioned Beef Stew
2 pounds boneless stew meat, cut in 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons shortening or butter
4 cups hot water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, if desired
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
6 carrots, quartered
3 medium potatoes, quartered

Bring shortening to sizzling point in a large kettle over medium heat. Add meat and stir occasionally while browning for 10 minutes. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally to keep mixture from sticking. Add carrots and potatoes. Continue cooking 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove meat and vegetables and thicken liquid for gravy by adding 1 tablespoon flour for each cup of liquid. If stew is preferred juicy, do not thicken liquid but serve in soup or cereal bowls.

Variations:

To Prepare Shepherd's Pie, omit potatoes from stew and add 1 cup drained English peas after carrots have finished cooking. Carrots should be diced instead of quartered. Thicken gravy. Combine all and pour into baking pan or casserole. Cover with soft mashed potatoes. Bake in a 350DgF oven for 20 minutes.

To prepare Meat Pie, dice carrots and potatoes and reduce their cooking time to 15 minutes. Then add 1 cup drained English peas. Thicken gravy. Combine all and place in baking pan or casserole. Place uncooked pie crust over top of meat mixture. Crimp pastry to inside edges of pan. Be sure that pastry has slits cut in the top to allow steam to escape without damaging the shape of the crust. Bake in a 375DgF oven for 15 minutes.
12:38 am
Homemade Cake Mix
6 cups (or 12 cups) sifted cake flour
3 cups (or 6 cups) fine granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (or 1/4 cup) double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon (or 2 teaspoons) salt
1-1/2 cups (or 3 cups) shortening

The first amounts of ingredients make enough mix for 2 cakes. The amounts within the parentheses make enough mix for 4 cakes.

Stir sugar, baking powder, and salt into sifted flour. Sift together 3 times into a large mixing bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture is like cornmeal. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature. This mix will keep for several weeks.

To make cake:

4-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons homemade cake mix
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350DgF. Grease and flour a 13x9x2-inch pan. Place cake mix in a large mixing bowl. Add unbeaten eggs, vanilla, and 1/2 cup of the milk. Blend together at low speed and then beat 1 minute at medium speed. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and blend on low speed. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Pour into pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not open the oven door for the first 30 minutes.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2008
8:34 pm
Another Banana Bread Recipe
I posted the banana bread recipe from Baking Illustrated a while back, and here's one from my friend Amy in Colorado. She brought some to Midwinter Bluegrass and it was so delicious, I just had to have the recipe! Enjoy!

Banana Bread

1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350DgF. Grease loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the banana and sour cream. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. It's a good idea to check it at 40 minutes or so and about every ten minutes thereafter to be sure you don't overbake. Yummy!
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