Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Pumpkin Puree and Fresh Pumpkin Pie



After we used this pumpkin to take pictures with all of our pets, I made puree with it.



It was much more simple than I had expected. The tidiest part was peeling the pumpkin. I later learned that you could leave the skin on and remove it after you boil it.



To get pumpkin puree, you boil the pumpkin (after it's been diced) in a pot of water until the pumpkin is fork tender. After that you can leave it in the "chunky" state it is, or you can puree it in a food processor. Next time I'm going to do that.


I made a pie with some of the puree, but it wasn't anything note worthy. In fact, my mom and brother didn't fancy it very much. The recipe I ended up using didn't use enough sugar, so it tasted very squash-like. Not exactly what you want in a pumpkin pie....

Monday, October 19, 2015

Cranberry Fluff




Jello and whipped cream are one delicious,  sensational combination... right up there with peanut butter and jelly, popcorn and a movie, and Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.

Cranberry Fluff is better than when you add whipped cream to jello. Seriously...I'm pretty certain you'll love it.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 (16 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 (3oz) package of raspberry Jello
  • 1 cup cool whip or heavy whipping cream, whipped



The first step is to boil the cranberry juice.




Then you add the cranberries and the jello. Make sure you don't have powder clumps. And then you pour it into a bowl, cover it and let it chill in the fridge until it becomes jello (which is 4-5 hours in the fridge, or 2-3 in the freezer).




After it becomes jello, the fun part begins. Add the whipping cream or cool whip and just mix it until all of it is mixed in. Your jello should take on a more pinkish hue because it's fluff now.


And then you enjoy!

So far, we've tried 3 other variations: Pineapple, cranberry/cherry, and pineapple/orange. All of them are good. If you do the pineapple, be sure to add coconut on the top... It takes it up a notch!

This gets 5 out of 5 cat whiskers!
I found the recipe here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Chocolate Zuchini Bread




Anyone who is familiar with growing Zucchini, knows that the zucchini plant is a wild, attention grabbing cross between a vine and a bush. And when you turn your back on it for a minute you'll have five new, rather large zucchinis on your hands (this year, one accidentally got to 5 Ibs!)

And one can only handle saut├ęd zucchini for so long before one gets bored. (Although these Zucchini Fritters are delicious).





For now, I'm just gonna tease you with pictures of the Chocolate Zucchini Bread that I made. This is because I didn't find the recipe on the interwebs. The recipe was given to me by my great grandma... it's a family recipe. I just got so excited about the final product that I had to add the pictures to my blog!

Happy Baking, Y'all!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mr. Waffles


Usually, when we start fostering a dog or puppy, we are the ones that found it in a bad part of town or someone sees said dog's picture on SOAR's Facebook page, falls in love, promptly shows the picture to the rest of the family, who also fall in love with said dog. And usually it's when we've said that we were going to take a break...


This was the case with Mr. Waffles. But never before have we seriously, seriously considered Foster Failing. Sure, we might have with Loki, but I consider that to be different. We weren't "Officially" fostering him. Plus he's a cat. We've said it a couple times, that we won't foster a cat (or cats) because it's trouble. Loki is the proof of that :-P

So, in a matter of a week, this fluffy, goofy, cute little guy with such expressive ears, is a Foster Fail. Of course, mom has been wanting a little dog for quite some time, but we never really thought we would find "the one" because usually little dogs are so yappy and puppies aren't available for fostering for very long... But this puppy was unspoken for and the only thing we said was that we would like to foster a boy. The vet tech said he was the best of the litter and I couldn't agree more. We warned the head of the rescue group that we might end up wanting to adopt him and she didn't mind.

Mom made sure that we were all on board with adopting this fellow. Of course, he is liked by our other dogs and the cats don't seem to care (although he sure likes them.) We're still fostering Z-Bo and pray every day that a suitable forever home is found for him... the sooner the better because every day he gets more attached to us and he is a creature of habit, doesn't like change. 

Anyway, Mr. Waffles is a Chihuahua/Pomeranian/Papillion/Mix... another mutt for our motley crew. He is the salt in our pepper! He will most likely stay under 10 pounds and he's the smartest puppy we've had the pleasure of raising in a long time (since Charlie, actually.)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Maggie

Would you believe it if I told you that Miss Maggie Moo went and got adopted?!?!?!



I hope so. Because Mags got adopted by this lovely family and they are the most perfect match! I don't think we could have dreamed up a better family for her. :-)



And you know what's even better? Getting pictures like this a couple weeks after she was adopted... 

And this is why we are able to foster and then say goodbye. Always brings a smile... and it certainly warms my heart. Awesome!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dangerous Donuts




I think this recipe might be one of the easiest I've ever done. It's definitely so easy, my cat could bake it :-)

We've made this a couple times now, and each time was delicious. This donut is the perfect cross between a cake donut and a airy donut. Maybe it's because they're fresh out of the hot oil or maybe it's something else. But they sure are good!

For this you will need...
  • Canned biscuits (not the flakey, layer kind)
  • Sugar in a bowl (for dusting)
  • Oil (vegatable, Canola, or your preferred oil)
The first thing you need to do is start heating up the oil. We've used our skillet, but you could use a fryer or a stovetop pan. While that is heating, you want to open the biscuits and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Then you cut a hole in the middle of each one.


The second time we made these, we even cut holes in the donut holes... :-0



The next step is, once the oil is heated, put the donuts in and fry them however long you'd like. We do them until they're nice and golden, but it's up to you.




 Then let them sit on a paper towel for a minute or two, this lets the excess oil drip and it also allows them to cool slightly. Once you can pick them up without burning yourself, dust them in sugar. We have tried powdered sugar, regular sugar and brown sugar... I think that the regular granulated sugar tastes best, but once again, its up to you.


 And then, you get to ENJOY!!!

This gets 5 out of 5 cat whiskers!

I found this recipe Here.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ruby Roo

It seems like it's taken a long time (7 months with us,) but Ruby finally found her forever home!


We all believe that it's the perfect match for Miss Ruby. Happy tails, Ruby! Happy tails!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Little Orange Kitty



Kittens are too stink'n cute. Not even two weeks in and we are all in agreement... We're keeping Loki. He's so well tempered and ALL our cats like him. All of them, even our little psycho kitty... It's amazing! 



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Loki and Z-Bo


 In forty-eight hours, we went from having eight animals in the house, to having ten. Ten animals! Honestly, this is a new record for us. So, without further ado, I introduce Z-Bo and Loki!


Z-Bo
Loki
Loki and Z-Bo are excellent guys... a real hoot to be around! 

We found out that Z-Bo has Heartworms, but SOAR Doggy Rescue agreed to take him on as one of their dogs so the money we raised will go to them and Z-Bo will get HW treatment as well as all of the other stuff he needs. We just had to agree to foster him until he finds a new home. Have I said before how awesome SOAR is?

The first couple of days were chaotic, but now we've got a nice system set up and he likes schedules and consistency. But I still can't believe it... 

Loki is healthy, just has a bit of an unbalanced stomach. And so the vet gave us some medicine to help get him balanced and although he doesn't like it, he takes it like a champ.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rosettes




A couple of weeks ago, my Mom asked me how I expected to get better at piping if I only piped every now and then. And the more I thought about it, I knew she was right. She's always right, I think it might be one of her superpowers! :-)



So last night, when she said I could bake a cake, anything other than chocolate, I was determined to pipe something on this cake (then I wouldn't mind it not being chocolate ;-). Then I remembered a rosette covered cake I saw on Pinterest. 

The finished cake


The tip I used was 1m. I was delightfully surprised at how easy it was... It was just like writing a lowercase "e". One thing I need to work on is keeping the piping bag clean. By the time I was done the whole inside was coated with frosting, it started coming out the opening on the top. And I also noticed that the size of the rosettes was not consistent.
 
My crumb coat.
But, overall, not bad for my first rosette piping job!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Homemade Butter

Yes, you read that correctly.


 We made butter! It was soooo simple! All you need is...


  • 1 Glass jar with a lid
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • People to take turns shaking


That's it. It's like magic.

You pour the whipping cream in the jar, filling it up about halfway, screw the lid on and shake. I highly recommend playing music, because then you can shake it to the beat... it's highly entertaining.

Also, I almost forgot, this makes butter and buttermilk. It's a one-two punch!

As you shake it, you're going to notice it go thru a couple of stages: 1) whipped cream, 2) clotted cream (it's gonna feel like you broke the whipped cream), and 3) butter with buttermilk. Once you get to stage 3, you drain the buttermilk into a container to save for later, and then you plop the butter out of the jar and knead it under cold water. This last step makes sure that you just have butter, that all the buttermilk is gone. And then, you have to try it of course! It is delicious! You can add a little salt to the butter, but we like it as is.

We found the recipe here.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake (From Scratch!)




I have been meaning to try baking a cake from scratch for a little while and I finally did it! It was awesome! So, without further ado...

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot, strong coffee (I used some of Mom's chocolate coffee!)



The first step is to combine all of the dry ingredients (but not the sugar) in a bowl and set aside.


Next, cream all of the wet ingredients (but not the coffee) together with the sugar. 


Once they are creamed together, slowly add the dry ingredients.


When the dry ingredients are all incorporated in the mix and when your coffee is brewed, slowly pour the hot coffee in against the side of the bowl while mixing. This is kind of like pastry cream, you DO NOT want to cook the eggs! Also, this batter will be thin, so don't worry!



Pour the batter into two, 8" rounds (make sure you spray the pans) and bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes. A knife should come out clean when inserted in the middle indicating that they are done.



Now you can finish this up however you'd like. This is what my brother and I did...



So, to do the cake justice, I added some raspberry jelly to the frosting and only frosted in between the two layers. 

And my brother makes an excellent Ganache, so, we drizzled ganache on top and down the sides until we agreed that it was perfect!



This recipe gets 5 out of 5 cat whiskers! It was simple and amazing. And it was sooooo moist. It's definitely better than a box mix and just as easy!


I found the recipe here.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Update

It's been a good while since I forced myself to sit down and write for my blog. This week I'm playing catch up with the recipes I've done. So, here's what you missed with the fosters...

Both Rosemary and Maggie Moo got adopted. Rosemary is still with the couple who adopted her and they continue to love her. We also receive updates from them via Facebook. I love it when we receive updates from our previous fosters!


Rosemary

However, the lady who adopted Maggie Moo returned her to SOAR Doggy Rescue this past week because the lady has health issues and cannot continue to care for Maggie Moo. I hate it when people do this, but at least she returned her to the rescue and not the shelter. So, Miss Maggie Moo is back with us. It was great to see Maggie! She is really beautiful, Mom and I think she is cuter than when she was a puppy. She is a Pocket Pit weighing just 47lbs! Adorable! And she remembers everything about her routine at our house!! And of course she remembers our dogs and us (dogs have such good memories.) Luckily for us and more importantly, her, the lady had kept the name we gave her so that was one less change that she had to deal with.


Maggie Moo

We are also fostering another dog, Ruby. We took her in on Thanksgiving night. She is a bigger ham than Jack, which is saying a lot! She is about a year and a half and is a shepherd/lab mix and weighs 55lbs. She is still quite the puppy, but Maggie Moo moving in has helped her realize she must grow up a bit :-).


Ruby

 Up until a week ago, we were networking her ourselves, but SOAR took her under their wings and now Ruby is getting even more exposure. Thank you SOAR!

Ruby

Now the race is on, which one of these beautiful girls will get their forever home first?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Peanut Butter Overload Cheesecake



For my brother's birthday cake, he had one request: Peanut Butter. Upon further questioning, he said a cheesecake would be acceptable. So, Mom and I set out to make it contain all the peanut butter that a sane person would want and maybe a little extra for good measure.


Now, just a fair warning... Not only is this cheesecake peanut butter-y, but it's so rich. This cheesecake lasted for a good five days with four people eating it. I think that might be a record...

Also, this was my first time making a cheesecake and it was so much easier than I thought it would be!

The Filling:
  • 32oz of cream cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 11/2 cups of brown sugar 
  • 1 cup of smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 pinch of salt

The Crust:
  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cups cocoa powder, unsweetned
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 pinch of salt
The Topping: 
  • Peanut butter
  •  12 oz peanut butter cups, chopped




I'll start with the crust.
In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients.


Once they're combined, dump it in a spring-form pan. Add the butter to it and mix it around. You can form the crust when you're ready. You can go all the way up the sides or half way. I did it half way because I prefer most of the crust to be on the bottom.


When the crust is to your liking, bake it for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then set it aside to cool. It's time for the filling.



In a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, vanilla, salt, and brown sugar. Mix them together until they're thoroughly combined.



Next is adding the peanut butter. Mix it together.



Now, this might taste good, but it's too thick for cheesecake. So, now we add the eggs one at a time. Add a egg, Mix it in. Add a egg. Mix it in and repeat. Once all the eggs are in, add the cream. Keep mixing it until it's nice and smooth.



Once it's all smooth, the filling is done. Pour about half of the filling into the crust. Sprinkle some of the peanut butter cups. Not a lot, just enough so that it's not all cheesecake. Then, pour the rest of the filling on top of that. Then you can bake it. 



Don't forget the water bath. we put it in ahead of time and I think that made all the difference. After the cheesecake had baked and cooled, it didn't crack!


After the cheesecake has cooled a bit, it's time for the final stage... adding the toppings. The topping is simple. Sprinkle the remaining peanut butter cups on it.


And then, put about 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter in a sandwich bag, microwave it for like ten to twenty seconds. Cut one of the corners and proceed to drizzle the peanut butter on the cheesecake. If you don't want to do this part, that's fine, but I think that the cheesecake needs the peanut butter... It's kind of a break from the sugar.


It looks great and tastes AWESOME! I think my dad may decide he wants something like this for his birthday this summer. Now I need to think about what kind of dessert I want for my birthday :-).

This gets 5 out of 5 cat whiskers!
This recipe is a M&D original!