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Waffle Potatoes

  • 2 Potatoes, shredded (blue shredder)
  • 150 g Cheese
  • 2-3 Large Eggs, beaten
  • Scallions, chopped
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Garlic powder
  • etc.
  • Sour cream for dipping

Directions:

  • Shred potatoes
  • Boil water then remove from burner. Add the potatoes and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Drain. Then squeeze dry and place in a separate bowl.
  • Add egg, cheese, scallions, parlsey, etc. Mix well.
  • Heat waffle iron to waffle settings
  • add potato mixture and cook for 10ish mins.
  • Yum

French Onion Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs onions, peeled and sliced
    • Use a variety: Vidalia, yellow, white, red, shallot, etc
  • Butter
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed and rubbed with salt, pepper, and ground thyme
  • Splash of red wine
  • 3 cups beef bone broth
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere
  • 1 baguette, sliced

Method

  1. Melt 3-4 tablespoons of butter, add onions and a pinch of salt in a Dutch oven. Caramelize, stirring frequently, for 1-2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté chicken in butter until well-browned. Drain and set aside.
  3. After caramelized, add balsamic vinegar to onions.. Be careful not to deglaze pan, if possible. Remove onions from pan and set oven to 350F.
  4. Deglaze pan with a splash of red wine. Add another 3-4 tablespoons of butter and melt. Add flour, whisk into a blond roux.
  5. Add bone broth a little at a time, whisking constantly. KEEP SMOOTH. Adjust flavor with salt and pepper and ground thyme as desired.
  6. Add chicken and onions. Mix thoroughly. Top with cheese.
  7. Bake until cheese is golden brown.
  8. Put baguette slices into bowls. Spoon stew over the top.

Vacation Planning

A different kind of blog post. Here is a list of things that we need, use, and don’t use in our week long vacations.

Toiletries:

  • Medications
  • vitamins
  • toothbrushes (chargers)
  • toothpaste
  • Listerine
  • floss
  • razors
  • shaving cream
  • aftershave
  • shower mirror
  • beard trimmer
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • bar soap
  • face soap
  • lotion
  • face lotion
  • deodorant
  • nail clippers
  • nail file
  • band aids
  • itch cream
  • hair ties
  • hair clips
  • female supplies (+/-)
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray

Paper goods:

  • paper plates
  • paper towels
  • tissues

Household things:

  • Noise machines
  • pillows
  • shark vacuum and batteries
  • french press
  • cooler
  • tupperware
  • ziploc bags
  • coffee grinder
  • water bottles
  • bluetooth speaker
  • clothes washing supplies (detergent pacs/dryer sheets)

Dogs:

  • bowls (water/food)
  • food
  • poop bags
  • beds
  • leashes
  • toys

Beach supplies:

  • beach towels
  • beach toys
  • beach bag
  • beach blanket

Other:

  • books
  • toys
  • puzzles

Clothes/shoes

  • water shoes (not crocs)
  • flip flops/sandals/crocs
  • hiking shoes
  • sneakers
  • hats
  • rain jackets

Groceries:

  • coffee
  • snack foods
  • granola bars
  • sparkling water
  • regular water

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 3 lbs onions
    • Mix of yellow, Vidalia, shallot, red, etc
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Sherry
  • 64 ounces chicken or beef stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • Crusty bread
  • Gruyere cheese

 

Method

  1. Melt butter. Sauté onions until soft.
  2. Reduce heat, caramelize for 1-2 hours. Stir frequently. If liquid evaporates, add a teaspoon of water and continue until golden brown.
  3. Add sherry. Scrape up any browned bits. Simmer until alcohol burns off.
  4. Add stock. Put thyme and bay leaf in strainer. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes. Remove thyme and bay leaf.
  5. Add fish sauce and cider vinegar.
  6. Ladle a small portion into ramekins. Add a slice of bread. More soup, another bread, cheese. Broil until cheese is golden brown.

 

Bacon Jam

For burgers…

Ingredients

  • 1 lb thick-cut bacon
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup coffee
  • 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Method

  1. Dice bacon (freeze for a bit).
  2. Fry in skillet until crisp. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
  3. Remove half of bacon drippings. Sauté onions for 15 minutes. Remove excess liquid.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (including bacon). Bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool. Store in a jar. Keeps for one week.

Funfetti Cake 2.0

I like this recipe better than the other confetti cake recipe I’ve used in the past. There is something about the texture of that cake that I don’t like. I suspect it’s the shortening because it always leaves me feeling like there is a coating of grease in my mouth, and even though it seems moist, it always feels dry.

This recipe from Sugar Spun Run is more like a traditional white cake recipe that I think of for a Funfetti cake, and I think it’s just the thing.

The only things I did differently are:

  1. 3 tsp Vanilla and 1 tsp of Lemon extract
  2. I used 3 9 in springform pans at 350 convection. It took 30 min for two of them to be done, the third was a little bit thicker and took 35 mins.
  3. I also added 1/2 cup of sprinkles to the frosting.

Ingredients

  • 9 Tbsp butter softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil vegetable oil would also work
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 4 cups+ 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 9 egg whites room temperature preferred
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles

Buttercream

  • 1 lb unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 cups (750g, 27oz) powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F and prepare 3 8-inch round cake pans by generously greasing and flouring. Be sure to shake out excess flour.
  • In stand mixer, beat butter on medium-low speed until creamy.
  • Add sugar and oil and beat until all ingredients are well-combined and creamy.
  • Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then stir in your vanilla.
  • In separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Measure out your milk.
  • With mixer on medium speed, gradually alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until each one is almost completely combined before adding the next.
  • Pause occasionally to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
  • In separate bowl, combine your egg whites and, with a hand-mixer on high-speed, beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Using a spatula, gently fold your egg whites and sprinkles into your batter. Take care to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that ingredients are well-combined, and take care not to over-mix.
  • Evenly divide cake batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake on 350F for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake layer comes out clean or with few crumbs (should not be wet). For best results, rotate your cake pans halfway through baking to ensure even baking.
  • Cakes will be a light golden brown when done baking.
  • Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Run a butterknife around the inside rim of each pan and invert each onto a cooling rack.
  • Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

  • In stand mixer, beat butter on medium-speed until creamy.
  • Add salt and beat again for about 20 seconds.
  • Gradually, about 1 cup at a time, add powdered sugar, waiting until each cup is completely mixed before adding the next cup.
  • Tbsp at a time, add the heavy cream on medium-high speed, waiting until each addition is well-combined before adding the next 2 Tbsp.
  • Add vanilla and stir on medium-high for 30 seconds.
  • Transfer one layer of your cooled cake to serving platter. Use frosting to ice the top. Add the next layer, ice the top of that. Add your third layer on top and ice the top, and then do a thin “crumb coating” around the entire cake.
  • Transfer to freezer for 10-15 minutes, then remove and apply a clean, thick coat of frosting around the entire cake.

Salt Dough Ornaments

There are a million recipes out there for these. Some things I found out.

The basic ratio should be 2 flour: 1 salt: 1 water.

Be sure to really kneed well. Otherwise you’ll be more prone to getting air pockets. Also, baking low and slow is best. 325 I was able to achieve no bubbles, but 350, was a mess. So ideally 325 or lower.

Roll pretty thin. I tried to make nice thick slabs, but again, those ended up being too thick and got bubbles when baked.

The best results I got were kind of accidental. I made the dough, then rolled them out and set them aside, but my husband was using the oven so they ended up sitting for a few hours on the cookie sheets waiting to bake. This seemed to help dry them out a little first.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Salt
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Sift the flour and salt together.
  2. Slowly add in the water and mix until ready to kneed.
  3. On a floured surface, kneed dough for 10 minutes until well combined.
  4. Roll out and cut into desired shapes.
  5. Set on a pan. May allow to sit for several hours if you have the time.
    1. If you’d like to add hand prints or other designs into the dough, now is the time. If they dry out, it will become more difficult to get a crisp design in the cookie.
    2. Pierce a hole with a drinking straw. Or use wire (a cut paperclip) shoved into the top to hang.
  6. Place in pre-warmed oven. (325 F or less)
  7. Bake for 2-3 hours until mostly dry.