Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Recent Baking Endeavours

I have done a bit of baking in the last month, and I will share those recipes now. The freezer is getting to be slim pickens, which is good, but now I just have a bunch of really odd stuff that requires advanced planning to make sure I have the fresh ingredients necessary. On the top shelf (the meat shelf), I still have 4 (2 person) servings of boneless skinless chicken breast, and about that many pork tenderloin chops, a pork tenderloin, 3 nice NY strip steaks, a slab of ribs, some Italian Sausage, at least 2 pounds of hamburger, a whole chicken, a brisket, another eye of round roast (very pretty, but not as yummy as other cuts of beef), some Italian sausage...

I also still have at least 3 different types of pasta, one of which is squash ravioli and one is some sort of fancy brie ravioli. These are those niche items I need to prepare for in order to serve well. For instance, the brie ravioli would be great with a nice green salad, some crusty bread and perhaps a mushroom sauce, but I have to plan ahead to have any of those ingredients. I still have at least all of one enormous package of pierogies. I still have some salmon, cod (Brad's contribution, a frozen pizza, the Costco chicken pot pie, a bag of Mongolian Beef that Brad found to be "okay," a bag of scallops, some shrimp, frozen veggies and random meals I've frozen for Brad's lunch, as well as a lasagna I made last time I made lasagna. So, I started this escapade on July1, and now, 2 1/2 months later, I still have not purchased anything but fresh fruits and veggies, dairy and produce. Well, and a couple of maintenance items, like mayo and soy sauce, but only because I was out and needed it... I wasn't stock piling.

The Pantry is still full too. I am pathetic. I will not be able to grocery shop until Christmas at the rate I am going.

Tonight I made "Death By Chocolate," which frankly, sounds like a great way to die. I used a cake mix, a box of pudding, a jar of hot fudge, and an open bag of toffee chips. I eliminated major supplies with this one!

Death By Chocolate
1 chocolate cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate, because that is what I had...)
1 jar hot fudge
6 Heath or Score bars, chopped
1 large package vanilla pudding
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 16 oz. container cool whip
1 chocolate bar

Prepare cake mix using package directions. Bake in a 13 x 9 inch pan. (Sometimes, if I am feeling spunky, I substitute 1/2 of the water for Kahlua) Allow to cool completely, then slice into very small pieces (like 1 inch squares).

Mix pudding and milk. Stir well, and let sit 5 minutes to set. Add all but 1 1/2 cups of the cool whip to the pudding and mix well. Heat hot fudge until it is drizzleable.

In a pretty glass bowl, put down a layer of cake. Drizzle 1/3 of the hot fudge on top of the cake. Sprinkle 1/3 of the crushed candy on top. Add 1/3 of the pudding mixture. Add another layer of cake, a little less than half of the remaining mixture. Drizzle the rest of the hot fudge on top of the cake, then sprinkle the remaining candy pieces. Spread the remaining pudding mixture on top of the candy pieces. Make a final layer of cake on top of the pudding mixture. Top with the reserved cool whip. Decorate the top of the dessert with shavings from the chocolate bar.

Make one day in advance. It takes about a day for everything to meld together and taste like more than just the individual parts.

This is really really yummy, and very impressive despite the easy preparation. Also, it used multiple pantry ingredient, so it is a red banner recipe!

Recently, I also made some cookies, which I am going to call Nuts about Cookies, because I made up the recipe entirely by myself, and therefore can call it whatever I want. I made these because Brad called at 8 pm and requested a treat to take to work the next day. Bringing in treats increases his street cred at work, so I like to help with that.

Nuts About Cookies
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups mixed nuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix together butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Stir in baking soda and flour. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is set. Remove from sheet immediately and allow to cool on racks.

Awhile ago, I had bananas going bad, so I made chocolate banana bread.

Chocolate Banana Bread
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
6 bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup lite sour cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, cream together margarine, applesauce, sugar and eggs. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda and cocoa; mix well. Blend in sour cream and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a loaf comes out clean.

This was very yummy, and a bit different than the usual banana bread. I made two loafs and froze one. It still tasted delectable out of the freezer!

No comments: