Posts Tagged ‘milk’

Asparagus & Wild Rice Casserole

Creamy wild rice and fresh asparagus come together in this baked side dish. Serve it alongside your favorite cut of meat – it’ll go with just about anything.

Asparagus & Wild Rice Casserole 1

Let’s talk plastic bags. I try to use reusable shopping bags wherever I go and have already told my story about them confusing retail but not grocery cashiers, yet sometimes they like to wait in the car instead of coming into the store with me. Such occasions result in a double dose of annoyance because not only do I have to get plastic bags but the cashiers have a habit of using excessive amounts of them. Yesterday I had one bag with a single can of black beans and another with just a block of cheese and container of sour cream. Apparently those three items would not get along if placed in the same plastic bag. I understand they don’t want the bags to break but that’s just silly. My milk was also bagged, which is not a light item and conveniently already possesses a handle. This is why I prefer self-checkout. Alas, I will just bring them back for recycling.

In other news (I need a new transition phrase because that one gets used a lot), I made a side dish! They appear so infrequently on this blog that I get excited when there’s one to share. Especially when it is something that pairs so well with a variety of things. Grilled steak? Definitely. BBQ chicken? You bet. I served it with apple jelly-glazed pork chops and it was wonderful. Wild rice and fresh asparagus are mixed together in a creamy sauce, topped with cheddar cheese, and baked until bubbly.

Asparagus & Wild Rice Casserole 2

One year ago: Baked Quinoa Chicken Parmesan

Three years ago: White Bean Chicken Chili
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Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

This hearty breakfast casserole is easy to prepare and will completely satisfy with sausage, eggs, cheese, bell peppers, and a crouton base.

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole 2

My laptop computer has been on the fritz lately. More than half of the time it freezes up doing even the simplest tasks such as opening Word. (Imagine my annoyance trying to work on this post.) I’ve scanned, rescanned, and cleaned out some files but nothing has helped. Granted it is pushing 7 years old but it spent 2 of those years not connected to the internet. That had to save it a little bit right? Either way, I have a bad feeling it is on its last leg and have begun baking up all the important files. I don’t think I could handle a scare like that after my USB incident.

Anyway, I am sure what you are really interested in is this breakfast casserole. It has the works for making up my favorite kind of breakfast casserole: sausage, egg, cheese, and bell peppers. Be aware the you must prepare it the night before and takes about an hour to cook, which is unsuitable for most weekday breakfasts, but perfect for weekends, brunch or even breakfast for dinner!

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole 1

Three years ago: Funfetti Cheesecake Pudding Dump Cake
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Rainbow-Surprise Lemon Cake & Surprise-Inside Cakes Cookbook Giveaway

Traditionally frosting is the star of cake decorating, but what about the inside? Amanda Rettke proves that it’s the inside that counts with her cookbook, “Surprise-Inside Cakes”.

SurpriseInsideCakes hc c

When it comes to decorating cakes I am not an expert. Upon receiving the Surprise-Inside Cakes cookbook by Amanda Rettke (I Am Baker) I was a bit intimidated to go beyond the recipes for different layers of color and/or frosting without any cutting and cake-puzzle-assembling. It is truly impressive how many different interiors she was able to design and execute. But after reading through a few of the more complicated recipes I realized that with the right tools and some patience, paired with her excellent step-by-step photos and directions, I might be able to pull it off.

I really loved the smiley face cake and argyle cake but decided to start out small with one of the easier recipes – the rainbow cake. First I had to decide on a cake flavor. Amanda provides recipes for perfectly level cakes and frostings which can be used to create any of the surprise-inside cakes. However, you could also use your own recipe or even a boxed mix, I won’t tell. If using other recipes you may end up with a domed top which will need to be leveled off, unless of course you know that particular recipe does come out flat. Either way, a cake with these interior designs will look made from scratch no matter what recipe you choose.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 1

To see if a boxed mix would work, I decided to doctor up a white cake mix to create a lemon cake. (Did you know that rainbows taste like lemons? Well, at least this one does.) The cakes did dome but that was easily solved by slicing off the tops with a long serrated knife. After that I followed Amanda’s detailed instructions for assembling and frosting the cakes. I don’t think I’ve ever frosted such a smooth cake before.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 2

Upon that beautiful white scene I created my own balloon decorations using the cake-top scraps and leftover frosting. It looks like fondant doesn’t it!? Nope it’s something even better, something I have decided to call cake-ball-fondant! Yup, I am a genius. Instead of forming balls to be dipped in chocolate, roll flat with a rolling pin and cut out shapes with cookies cutters. Consider your mind blown.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 3

In order to find out exactly how I colored and assembled this cake you’ll have to read about it in the Surprise-Inside Cakes cookbook! To assist in keeping a copy into your hands asap I am giving away a copy of this awesome cookbook to one lucky reader. After checking out the recipe use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to enter.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 4

One year ago: Baked Eggs with Crispy Hash Brown Crust

Two years ago: Cheesy Cat Treats

Three years ago: Funfetti Cake Batter Smoothie
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Goat Cheese, Spinach & Tomato Quiche

Have you heard this nonsense that TN may no longer observe daylight savings time? It has been proposed that after the clocks advance this spring, to never change them again in the state of Tennessee. At first I heard that the entire state was going to be in Eastern time which made absolutely zero sense since most of the state resides in Central time – thankfully that was wrong information. But either way I don’t like the idea. TN borders so many states that it undoubtedly would cause problems for cities (such as Memphis) on the edges. However I would be okay with a nation-wide end to daylight savings. No more winters with 4:30 pm sunsets? Sounds fantastic to me.

This quiche was actually made the morning after all that snow hit east TN. I figured it was a good opportunity to make my parents breakfast and actually beat my dad to the punch because he had the same idea, but I woke up earlier. I decided to let him cook breakfast on Valentine’s Day instead.

Goat Cheese Spinach Tomato Quiche

Two years ago: Crispy Parmesan Green Beans

Three years ago: Feta & Broccoli Pizza
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White Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

After living in Memphis for nearly 7 years I finally realized how much I am not used to cold weather anymore. Thankfully the temperatures were in the 50s and 60s over the weekend while my apartment was packed up into storage, but it promptly plummeted. Unfortunately my warmest coat is hidden away in some box because I didn’t look at the weather forecast before packing. For having a PhD I do some silly things sometimes.

This kind of weather calls from serious amounts of hot beverages and food. I say that and realize these cupcakes are not as warm as a cup of hot chocolate but they certainly will warm your heart. I’ve had White Hot Chocolate Cupcakes on my to-do list for way too long, I think since last winter. But I finally tackled them and a good thing too because they were a huge hit! People were calling dibs on the remaining last few.

White Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

One year ago: Blackberry Swirl Meyer Lemon Curd Ice Cream
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Meyer Lemon Curd Cupcakes for Two

The more I pack, the more stuff I realize I have (and wonder how more than one person could have ever survived living in this apartment). In an effort to reduce the unnecessary clutter, as is typical with packing/moving, I have a separate set of boxes that are being filled with things to donate or give away. Some of it is stuff that I have debated donating in the past but somehow convinced myself to hold on to. Just goes to show that you should trust your instincts when you cannot answer the question, “when will I need/wear this?” Of course then there are things like my highschool tennis hoodies that even though I never wear them I refuse to donate them.

Meyer Lemon Curd Cupcakes 1

Which brings me to the items in my fridge that I cling on to because I don’t like to waste things and think that I will find some purpose for it in another recipe, only to be pushed to the back and lost. Then much later it is found without knowledge of what it was in the first place. Thankfully I found a purpose for the meyer lemon curd before it suffered the same fate – stuffed into a vanilla cupcake! Yes, I know I could’ve just eaten it straight up but that wouldn’t have been as fun because these cupcakes also happen to make just enough for two. Got any leftover frosting lying around? Perfect time to use it! I somehow did not have any so I whipped up a miniature batch of white chocolate buttercream.

Meyer Lemon Curd Cupcakes 2

Two years ago: Broccoli Quiche

Three years ago: Pizza Dough

MEYER LEMON CURD CUPCAKES FOR TWO

Serves 2

Ingredients:

CUPCAKES

1 egg white

2 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 heaping tsp baking powder

Pinch salt

1-1/2 Tbsp milk

FILLING

1-2 Tbsp meyer lemon curd

FROSTING

1 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/8 tsp vanilla extract

0.5 oz. white chocolate, melted

1/2-1 tsp milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.
  2. In a small bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and melted butter and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.
  3. Bake at 350 for 12-16 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely.
  4. While the cupcakes cool prepare the frosting: In a small bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, then add vanilla. Add in powdered sugar on low speed. Add in melted white chocolate and beat until incorporated. To reach desired consistency, add in milk 1/2 teaspoon at a time with mixer on low speed, until it reaches desired consistency.
  5. Using a paring knife, cut out the core of the cooled cupcakes. Fill with meyer lemon curd. Cut off the tops of the removed cored and place on top of filling. Frost and decorate with sprinkles if desired.

Source: Cupcakes and Frosting adapted from How Sweet It Is.

Signature

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Every day that goes by is a day closer to my last day living in Memphis. 6.5 years ago I couldn’t wait for this day but now, nothing could have possibly prepared me for the emotional roller coaster created by this reality. I have even added Tennessee to my job searches, despite my desire to be relieved of the infernal summers here. As far as packing goes, I still only have two boxes packed because I find the idea of living in a packed up apartment depressing. Just seeing those two boxes and the three empty shelves that correspond to their contents makes me sad. I am not sure what would be better: pack and move earlier to rip off the band-aid, or continue slowly to get used to it? I’ll stick to the latter for now.

If you’re still with me and reading this after that whiny rant, then reward yourself with a homemade version of hamburger helper. It will comfort your worries away, if only for dinnertime. And I will try to be less of a Debbie Downer.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

One year ago: Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar-Walnut Topping

Two years ago: Berry Detox Smoothie

Three years ago: Salmon Florentine
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Mini Razzle Dazzle Peanut Butter Cinnamon Rolls

There may be a whole lot of Thanksgiving recipes floating around these days, but it’s still Peanut Butter Lover’s Month and I’m taking a break from the pumpkin to celebrate with peanut butter cinnamon rolls. Taking another spin on mini cinnamon rolls, these have PB Crave’s Razzle Dazzle peanut butter all up in their business making them taste like PB+J rolls. With peanut butter in the dough and peanut butter in the filling, I almost did a peanut butter glaze but decided to bring out the flavor of white chocolate instead (which is also included in this raspberry-peanut butter). These shrunken mini cinnamon rolls would also be a great treat to prep the day before Thanksgiving and bake in the morning for breakfast. You know, in case you need another thing to bake and prepare ;-).

Mini Razzle Dazzle Peanut Butter Cinnamon Rolls

One year ago: Pumpkin Bagels with Cinnamon-Walnut Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread

Two years ago: Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
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Fiesta Alfredo Pasta Bake

The other day I was looking through my disseration to double-check on some information and I found a silly typo. There is a “he” where it should have been “the”. Oh well too late now, it was sent off for printing two weeks ago! I have a feeling I will find more than just one minor typo in there as time progresses. It’s difficult to find every little thing when you are staring at 187 pages of glorious information. Blinded by the light!

While we are on the subject of errors, I specifically bought scallions to garnish this dish and totally forgot. Apparently I was so hungry while taking photos that I didn’t stop to notice or care because all I wanted to to was devour it! With its beautiful colors, creaminess and crunchy topping staring at me, you could hardly blame me. There was also plenty of kick. Mild-taste buds beware: you may way to omit the chipotle and use a mild salsa.

Fiesta Alfredo Pasta Bake

One year ago: Applesauce-Sweet Potato Pancakes

Two years ago: Crème Brulee

Three years ago: Big, Fat, Chewy Multichip Cookies
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Gluten-Free Chipotle Cornbread Muffins

What goes better with chili than cornbread? Cheesy chipotle cornbread! I have already shared a jalapeno cornbread from which this recipe is adapted from, but changed the jalapeno to chipotle, substituted half the oil with Greek yogurt, and used gluten-free flour in order to cater to my gluten-intolerant friend. The best thing about this recipe is it’s ease of preparation. The ingredients are all mixed in one bowl and is very forgiving, as made evident by my substitutions.

Gluten-Free Chipotle Cornbread Muffins 1

The only complaint I heard while we devoured chili with these cornbread muffins was the chunks of onion, but I think that is a matter of texture preference. You could leave them out all together but you run the risk that they might not be as moist. I would suggest either mincing the onion or using a cheese grater in order to reduce the size of onion chunks.

Gluten-Free Chipotle Cornbread Muffins 2

Guess what? I graduate and get my PhD hood 1 month from today!

One year ago: Streusel-Topped Milky Way Apple Butter Bread
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