All things cozy

31 Oct

Like I said in my last post I have been busy sewing, quilting, knitting, baking and making lots and lots of pumpkin spice lattes. First up Cierra’s vintage style dress. I love this dress and plan on making many more. Peter pan collars are my favorite. I used Tasha Noel Horsley’s “Little red riding hood” fabric. Super cute.

cierras vintage dress cierras vintage dress2 cierras vintage dress3I also made a really sweet dress for my niece’s second birthday. Her mom is an awesome photographer and took K’s birthday pictures in her new ruffle dress. If anyone is interested I can make this dress for you in sizes 6mo-8yrs. Just convo me at my Etsy Shop.

kayleigh's birthday dresskay's birthday dressLook how freaking cute she is!!

I had my first commissioned piece recently. My mom’s friend’s daughter was having a baby and she wanted me to make the crib set for her. I wish I took pictures of everything together. It came out super cute. The mom chose a mint, navy and grey color scheme. I am now obsessed with that color combo. I made a super cute chevron quilt using different geometric fabrics. I love how it turned out. Better yet so did the mom and her family. I hope that the little boy will get lots of use out of this quilt.

chevron quilt front chevron quilt bindingI also made a bumper and reversible and height adjustable crib skirt. So glad that set was a big hit.

I made a quilt for my best friend’s birthday. Seeing as how much I love her and how much she loves all the same crafts and photography as much if not more than I do, I had to find the perfect fabric to use in her special quilt. I found 2wenty Thr3e by Moda. It was perfect. Her favorite colors are pink and orange and to top it off it has super awesome pictures of vintage cameras on it. Absolutely perfect. Introducing “Frolic” quilt. She loved it!!

donnas frolic quilt angledonnas frolic quilt  donnas frolic quilt backNow that the weather has started to change her in Oklahoma, it’s gotten me in the mood to knit. That and the fact that my husband recently had shoulder surgery so I haven’t spent many days in the sewing room because he’s been home. I have to keep myself busy during doctor visits and swim team practice for Kizaiah. I have knit and finished a few projects.

marlenes finishedMarlene Socks (ravelry link)

pattern by CookieA

yarn: Dream in color Smooshy, Butter Peeps

Yes it took me over 3 years to knit and finish these socks. Not because they were hard or anything like that. They were quite fun to knit but I lost the pattern and gave up looking for it until my sister came to the rescue.

pfefferminz up closeCadence Socks (ravelry link)

pattern: Very Busy Monkey

yarn Wollmeise in Pfefferminz Prinz

only alteration, knit foot plain

flower power monkeyNo purl Monkey socks

I love this pattern!

yarn Socks that rock in flower power colorway

handspun holden handspun holden 2Holden Shawl by Mindy Wilkes

yarn my handspun

fiber Spunky Eclectic in Acadia colorway

And last but not least ’tis the season for Pumpkin spice lattes. I have been drinking these a lot. Starbucks can get pretty pricey so I made Pumpkin spice syrup at home.

pumpkin spice lattePumpkin spice syrup for pumpkin spice lattes

punky purls original

For Syrup:

1 c water

1/2-3/4 c brown sugar

3-4 TBS pumpkin puree, (I use 3)

1/2 tsp pumpkin spice

1 tsp vanilla extract

For Latte:

pumpkin spice syrup, (I use about 5-6 Tbs. but you can use more or less)

8 oz coffee

1/2 c milk, warmed in microwave for about 1 min 30 seconds. Being careful that it doesn’t bubble over measuring cup.

whip cream and pumpkin spice for garnish, optional.

In a glass measuring cup add all syrup ingredients EXCEPT vanilla extract. Mix well and place in the microwave. Heat for about a minute and a half. Strain contents in a resealable glass jar or bottle. I strain mine twice, just in case. Add vanilla extract to syrup mixture.

Make coffee, warm milk in microwave. Poor coffee in a large cup (at least 12oz.), add milk and pumpkin spice syrup. Stir. Top with whip cream and pumpkin spice to make it extra yummy.

Place syrup in the refrigerator after using. Will keep for about 2 weeks. But if your like me you will be making a new batch every week.

**All the amounts are adjustable to taste. I like a sweet coffee, but you can use any amounts you want**Enjoy!!

More birthday baking

30 Oct

Well it’s been a while since I have posted anything on the blog. Sorry about that. Life and lots of crafts are getting in the way.

I have been busy making cakes, making quilts, sewing dresses, knitting and getting ready for Halloween. More about the crafts in the next post. First up Kizaiah’s birthday cake. He requested a chocolate cake with fudge cookies on top.  ki's cake ki's cake top

I used this chocolate cake and this ganache  that you use for the Snickers cake recipe. Baked it in a bundt pan and crumbled broken up fudge cookies on top. He loved it. That’s all that matters. I can’t believe how fast kids grow. ki's cake candles ki's cake candle blowing

 

My friend Donna had a birthday this month and requested the Snickers cake but with one slight modification. Instead of the nougat filling she requested vanilla ice cream. I have to tell you that modifications WAS FREAKING AWESOME. I don’t think that I will make it the original way again. The pictures don’t do it justice. I’m telling you, YOU MUST MAKE THIS CAKE NOW!!! I lined the same size cake pan with parchment paper, filled the pan with vanilla ice cream and froze it over night. When I was ready to assemble the cake I put a layer of cake on the bottom. I dunked the sides of frozen cake pan with the ice cream in a bowl of water just enough to loosen the ice cream, pop it out of the pan and place it on the bottom layer.  Next top ice cream with some caramel sauce and nuts, then the second cake. Put it back into the freezer to make it solid again. After and hour or so, pull cake out of the freezer and top with the frosting and ganache just like the original. So freaking good I tell ya!

snickers ice cream cake

snickers ice cream cake cutI will be posting about all the crafty goodness that has been going on in this house soon. Hope that everybody has a Happy and safe Halloween!

 

Angel food cake for the Diva

3 Aug

hello kitty cierra candles

Well we have one more birthday under our belt and one more to go. Cierra turned a sassy 6 and she wanted another strawberry cake. I gave her other options but she insisted on strawberry. Even though the original strawberry cake was good I really didn’t feel like making it again, especially since she wanted it frosted exactly the same way and everything. We came to a compromise and she ended up deciding to have strawberry shortcake with homemade angel food cake. I was so nervous about making this cake and had it in the back of my mind that if it didn’t turn out right I could just go to the store and buy one. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised…so much so that I might end up making this cake a lot more often.

The hardest part was waiting for the darn egg whites to turn into peaks. I am not very patient I guess. As the mixer was doing all the work I cleaned up the kitchen a bit to try to pass the time.

hello kitty angel food cake topAngel Food Cake

Source: A taste of home

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups egg whites (about 9) (I used egg whites in the carton)

1-1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 cup cake flour

1-1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 inch tube pan (*I used a bundt pan. It worked perfectly)

 

Directions

Place egg whites in a large small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Sift 1/2 cup sugar and flour together twice; set aside.

 

Place oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350°. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.

Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and entire top appears dry. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.

Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.

hello kitty angel food cake cut2

hello kitty angel food cake cut***For the strawberry sauce I just cut the tops off the strawberries, cut them up added some sugar and mashed them with a potato smasher. Topped everything with a heaping helping of whipped cream.

 

It’s Birthday Season

23 Jul

It’s birthday season here in the Goodwin house. My son D’Andre celebrated his 11th birthday while we were in California on vacation. He wanted red velvet cheesecake for his birthday cake, so I obliged. I have made this cake 2 times June…that’s how good it is.

 

red velvet cheesecake

Red Velvet Cheesecake

source: Stuck at home mom

Ingredients:

CHEESECAKE:
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

RED VELVET CAKE:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring***I DON’T USE THIS MUCH!, I used gel coloring and it doesn’t take this much I just added enough to turn the batter red****
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar

 

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn’t seep into the pan). In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese- blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan (it will fill the pan surrounding the cheesecake). Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.

2. Prepare the cake layers: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely.

3. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy.

4. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.
5. Frost the cake: Apply a crumb coat layer to the cake- use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Be sure to wipe off your spatula each time you are about to dip it back into the bowl to get more frosting (this way you won’t be transferring any red crumbs into the bowl of frosting). Don’t worry at this point about the crumbs being visible in the frosting on the cake. When your cake has a thin layer of frosting all over it, place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to “set” the frosting. Once the first layer of frosting is set, apply the 2nd layer. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. Because you applied a crumb-coat layer, you shouldn’t have any red crumbs floating around in the final frosting layer.

red velvet cheesecake sliced

I will be celebrating my birthday this Thursday but we celebrated this past Saturday. I wanted Brown Eyed Bakers Snicker Cake for my special day. Let me tell you it didn’t disappoint either.

snickers cake

Snickers Cake

source: The Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients:

Cake
2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Nougat Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup evaporated milk
1½ cups marshmallow fluff
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup salted caramel sauce *The recipe I used below*
2 cups powdered sugar

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped *I used Milk Chocolate Chips*
4 ounces (½ cup) heavy cream

For the Assembly & Garnish:
Additional salted caramel sauce *The recipe I used below*
Chopped peanuts *I used salted peanuts*

Directions:

1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Nougat Filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.

6. Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes (I like to use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it’s not necessary). Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

7. Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half of the nougat filling and then spread a couple spoonfuls of the salted caramel sauce over top to evenly cover the nougat filling. Top with a second cake layer and cover with the remaining nougat filling and top with caramel sauce. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the salted caramel frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.

8. Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.

9. Garnish the Cake: Transfer the ganache to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. To finish garnishing, drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

snickers cake side

snickers cake sliced

I didn’t have all the right ingredients to make the Brown Eyed Bakers Salted Caramel sauce so searched Pinterest for another one. You can add a tad more salt to yours if you’d like but I suggest you taste it before you do.

salted caramel sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce

source: Recipe Girl

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir. Bring the mixture to a boil and shake/swirl the pan very often (don’t stir it while it’s boiling) until it turns a medium amber color (should take 12 to 15 minutes). If sugar crystals gather along the sides of the pan during the cooking process, you can use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush the sugar down the sides of the pan so that it becomes incorporated into the boiling mixture.

Remove the pan from heat and pour in the cream. It will bubble up like crazy. Give it a whisk, then add in the butter, vanilla and sea salt. Whisk again until everything is nice and smooth. It should be the color of caramel. Cool it in the pan, or pour it into a large measuring cup so that it will be easier to transfer to jars when cooled.

Divide the sauce evenly among the four jars. Place lids and labels on and refrigerate until ready to use or gift to friends. The sauce must be kept refrigerated and it will stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks.

 

I will be posting 2 more cakes in August, my son Kizaiah and daughter Cierra will be celebrating their special days. Happy Baking.

 

Quick Weeknight Meals

18 Jul

A new school year is just around the corner. I went into Walmart and picked up the kids supply list and it made me think of the busy year ahead. Everybody needs quick meals to make during a busy week. Here are a few of our favorites.

Spinach artichoke pasta

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

source: The Pioneer Women

Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 20 min.

Ingredients

6 Tablespoons Butter
4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
2 bags Baby Spinach
2 cans Artichoke Hearts, Drained And Halved
3 Tablespoons Flour
3 cups Milk
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1-1/2 cup Mozzarella Or Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
1/2 cup Chicken Broth (less Or More)
12 ounces, weight Penne, Cooked Until Al Dente
1/2 cup Seasoned Panko Breadcrumbs
Crushed Red Pepper, To Taste

Directions:

 

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot or skillet. Add garlic and throw in the spinach. Stir it around until it’s wilted, about 1 minute. Remove spinach from heat and set aside.

 

Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same pot and raise the heat to high. Throw in the halved artichokes and stir it around until they get a little color, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the pot and set them aside.

 

Reduce the heat to low. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pot. When melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk until it’s combined. Pour in milk and whisk to combine. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add Parmesan, Mozzarella/Monterey Jack, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to melt, and if it’s overly thick, splash in chicken broth.

 

Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine. Gently fold in spinach, then pour the pasta into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of Panko breadcrumbs for crunch.

20120804_130

Pizza is one of our favorite meals to eat in this house. You can easily make the dough over the weekend. Split the pizza dough in two equal pieces. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and place in freezer bag.

When you want to use the dough pull it out about an hour or so before you want to use it or the night before and place it in the refrigerator to defrost. Once defrosted make the pizza as you usually would. If you try and use the dough and its still frozen in the middle, just split it and let it sit out a few minutes more.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

A Punky original

I use this Pizza Dough recipe.

Ingredients:

A couple of cups of Leftover Chicken, Shredded

1/4 c Franks Red Hot

2TBS unsalted butter

Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 red onion, opitional

blue cheese crumbles, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 500° with pizza stone place in the bottom half of the oven.

In a skillet over med heat, put franks red-hot sauce and butter in. Heat just until butter has melted. Add chicken and coat with buffalo sauce. Turn off heat and set aside. Press dough out into a pizza round. Dock center of pizza dough. With a slotted spoon remove chicken from skillet and place on pizza dough. You don’t want to use a lot of the sauce. If you do you will have soggy pizza. Top with Cheeses, and onions. Bake in a 500° oven for 8-10 minutes or until crust and cheese are golden brown.

 

asian noodle salad

 

Asian Noodle Salad and Egg rolls

original salad source: The Pioneer Women

I modified a bit for what I had on hand.

Egg rolls: A Punky original

Ingredients

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled
1 head Sliced Napa Cabbage (reserve half for egg rolls)
1 small head Sliced Purple Cabbage (reserve half for egg rolls)
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 bag Bean Sprouts (reserve half for egg rolls)
Handful of baby carrots,sliced thin (reserve half for egg rolls)

1 Chopped Cilantro, Up To 1 Bunch, To Taste
3 whole Scallions, Sliced (reserve some for the egg rolls)

_____
FOR THE DRESSING:
1 whole Lime, Juiced
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons (up To 3 Tablespoons) Sesame Oil
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
2 cloves Garlic, Chopped
2 whole Hot Peppers Or Jalapenos, Chopped
Chopped Cilantro

Preparation Instructions

 

Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.

Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving, without cilantro.

Egg Rolls

Ingredients:

1 pkg Egg Roll wraps

1 lb ground beef, pork, or turkey

the reserved vegetables from the salad

2 TBS soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

2 TBS cooking sherry

1 tsp ground or fresh ginger

2 TBS corn starch

1 TBS oil, to saute vegetables

oil for frying, at least a couple of inches worth

salt and pepper, to taste

little bowl of water, so that you can dip your fingers in to seal the egg rolls

Directions:

In a large skillet brown meat, when done browning drain off fat. Set meat aside. In a measuring cup or bowl mix soy sauce, sesame oil, cooking sherry, ginger and cornstarch. Mix well so that there are no lumps of corn starch.

In the same skillet add 1 TBS oil over medium/high heat. Once oil is hot add vegetables to the skillet. Saute vegetables for a couple of minutes. Add the meat back to the skillet. Pour sauce over meat mixture. Season with salt and pepper as needed. You wont need a lot of salt because of the soy sauce.  Warm for a minute or so. Turn off heat and set aside.

Pull out egg roll wraps from the refrigerator. Spoon 2-3 TBS of filling in the middle of the wrap and seal egg roll with a bit of water on your fingers. In a large heavy bottom pot over medium high heat add a couple of cups of oil, at least enough to go up the side of the egg rolls. Once oil is hot enough, about 350°, place only enough egg rolls in the pot seam side down being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry till golden brown and flip carefully. This doesn’t take very long. Once fried remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate.

This can be done ahead of time and you can freeze finished egg rolls. On the evening you want to eat them heat oven to 375° and bake for about 20 minutes or so.

eggrolls

 

 

Eggplant baked pasta

 

Eggplant Baked Pasta

a Punky Orginal

Ingredients:

5 TBS Extra virgin olive oil

1 eggplant, cut into cubes

1/2 box of mini penne pasta (or rotini, penne, ziti, or farfalle pasta)

1 small white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 jar spaghetti sauce

1 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2-2 c. Mozzarella cheese

freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Lightly spray a 13×9 baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

Turn on oven to broil.

In a large pot cook pasta according to package until pasta is al dente. Once done drain off water.

In a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the diced eggplant and cook for about 10 minutes or until softened. Add onion, garlic and spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning to the pot. Simmer sauce for about 8 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add cooked pasta and about half the cheese to the pot. Stir to combine. Pour pasta into the baking dish. Shred fresh Parmesan cheese and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.

Place in oven and broil just until cheese is nice and brown. Maybe about 5 minutes, watch carefully you don’t want burnt cheese.

Serve with garlic bread.

shrimp fra diavolo

 

Super Quick Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Source: Giada De Laurentiis

as seen on my sisters blog.

Ingredients

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes *I used a 28oz can
1 cup dry white wine *I omitted this because I didn’t have any, you can use chicken broth or omit all together if you use a big can of tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves * I used about 1/2 dried Italian seasoning
3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions:

 

 Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat, add the red chili flakes to the oil. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, add the salt and toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.

 

Hope these recipes turn into your “go to” weekly recipes. I know they are ours. Happy eating.

Just like Sonic

13 Jul

cherry limeade

I had a hankering for a Cherry Limeade but didn’t want to go out in the awful heat of Oklahoma.  I had 7up and cherries and lime. I threw them together and made my own. There is not really a recipe for this. I just added enough lime juice and maraschino cherry juice to make it pink. Pour it over ice and serve with a sliver of lime and cherries. I used the leftovers to make Cherry Limeade popsicles for the kids. Enjoy.

Cherry Limeade

Punky Purls original

Ingredients:

3 cans of 7 up or sprite

10 Maraschino Cherries with juice

splash of lime juice, fresh or concentrate

Ice

Directions:

Pour 7up or sprite into a pitcher. Squirt your lime juice in if using concentrate or squeeze a fresh lime into soda. Pour some maraschino cherry juice into the pitcher, just enough to make it pink. Taste. Adjust flavor as needed.

Pour over ice and serve with a sliver of lime and Maraschino cherries.

*Some of my friends and family said this would be awesome if you spiked it with some vodka….I agree, it would be mighty tasty ;)*

cherry limeade2

I used the leftovers to make popsicles. Pour mixture into popsicle molds add a cherry and lime sliver into the mold and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

cherry limeade popsicles

Long time coming

10 Jul

Well my husband is back for his deployment. YAY! We have been quite busy. We went to California for a month. Had tons of fun with family. Now we are back into the swing of things. We had friends over for the 4th and I cooked. I made pretzel dogs, which are always a big hit, my favorite fudge brownierecipe, grilled chicken marinated my favorite way, baked beans and Salted  Carmel Chocolate Chip cookies (my husbands request). I will post again soon. Lots of food will be getting made now that I actually have to cook again.

salted caramel chocolate chip cookie

I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and just adapted it a bit. If you are tempted to try the Salted Caramel version right out of the oven DON’T DO IT. I did they taste pretty salty if you don’t let them cool. They are great after they have cooled.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

original post for Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 cup packed light brown sugar (7 ounces)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cups milk chocolate chips

about 16 pieces of Caramel cubes. Take wrappers off and cut into 4 smaller squares.

Sea salt for sprinkling the tops of warm cookies

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure an oven rack is in the center of the oven.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Either by hand or with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until well mixed. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla. Mix well until the batter has lightened slightly in color, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and chocolate chips at the same time. Mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Using a cookie scoop or about 1 Tbs portion of cookie batter place on a silpat mat of parchment paper. Once cookies have been placed on cookie sheet place 3-4 squares of caramel pieces into the cookie. I push them lightly into the cookie ball. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until the edges are set and just lightly browned. Don’t overbake or else the cookies will be tough and hard. Once you pull the cookies out of the oven sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before trying to remove. Remove cookies and place on a cooling rack.

Happy Mother’s Day, Shrimp Scampi

12 May

So easy even the kids could make it for their Mom. I hope that everybody has been enjoying their Mother’s Day! If you’re still looking for a super easy dinner to make for that special lady in your life then try this. Longest part is boiling the noodles. No joke!

mother's day shrimp scampi

 

Shrimp Scampi

source: The Pioneer Women

4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
4 cloves Garlic Cloves, Minced Or Pressed
1 pound Large Shrimp, Peeled And Deveined
1/2 cup White Wine( I use Chicken broth…I didn’t have white wine on hand)
2 whole Lemons
4 dashes Hot Sauce (I Used Tabasco; More To Taste)
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
8 ounces, weight Angel Hair Pasta
Chopped Fresh Basil To Taste
Chopped Fresh Parsley, To Taste
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preparation Instructions

 

Boil water for pasta; have it ready.

Heat olive oil and melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for two or three minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add shrimp, then stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Squeeze in lemon juice. Add wine, butter, salt and pepper, and hot sauce. Stir and reduce heat to low.

Throw angel hair pasta into the boiling water. Cook until just done/al dente. Drain, reserving a cup or two of the pasta water.

Remove skillet from heat. Add pasta and toss, adding a splash of pasta water if it needs to be thinned. Taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper if needed.

Top with grated Parmesan and minced parsley and serve immediately.

Mother’s Day or Teachers gifts

29 Apr

I just posted some lovely handmade items in my Etsy shop. Just in time for Mother’s day or for that Great teacher in your life. I will be posting more items in the store later this week. Here is a couple of items I have posted. Thanks for checking out the shop.

blue brown comp book outside

Reusable Composition Notebook Cover

blue flower ruffle clutch outsideGathered Ruffle Clutch

blue wallet clutch frontAccordion Wallet/Clutch wristlet

blue wallet clutch insidethe inside of Accordion Wallet/Clutch wristlet

Cinnamon Rolls

2 Apr

My friend requested Cinnamon rolls for Easter, of course I had to oblige. Here is the recipe that I have used for years. I make them a couple of times a year. They are so easy and good and make enough rolls to freeze for later or to give as gifts.

Cinnamon rolls iced

Cinnamon Rolls

Preparation time: 30 minute(s) (plus additional rise time)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Yields: 12 huge “Cinnabon” size or 18-22 regular sized rolls.

Dough
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbs. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. yeast)
1 tsp. granulated sugar
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup water (110 °)
1 cup warm milk
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Up to 8 cups all-purpose flour
Coating
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

  • Mix together 1 1/2 cups sugar and the cinnamon; set aside (this will be used later to spread on dough)
  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in warm water; set aside
  • In a large bowl, mix together milk, 2/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup melted butter, salt, and eggs; add yeast mixture and 4 cups of flour to mixture; beat until smooth; stir in enough flour to form a slightly stiff dough.
  • Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 8 minutes, or if you have a mixer that can accommodate this many ingredients. I always know when my dough is finished kneading (either by hand or machine) when it can stretch quite well. It must be elastic enough.
  • Place dough into a large greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down dough and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Roll dough out onto a floured surface into a 15″ X 20″ rectangle.
  • Brush 1/2 cup melted butter over dough; sprinkle cinnamon sugar liberally over dough
  • Tightly roll up dough and pinch edges together to seal; cut the roll into 12 – 18 slices using unflavored dental floss or thread.
  • Lightly grease a couple of 9″ pie pans. Place 6-8 rolls in each pan. You can either cover with plastic wrap and foil and freeze at this point or place in refrigerator overnight.
  • If you are going to bake them right away then cover pan and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until they have nearly doubled in size.
  • Bake rolls in a 350 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

***If you are going to bake the frozen rolls, pull them out the night before and place them in the refrigerator. About an hour before you are going to bake them then set the rolls on the counter to allow to rise the final time. Then bake according to the directions above.***

cinnamon roll no icing
Cream Cheese Frosting ***if you aren’t planning on baking all the cinnamon rolls at once you can easily half this recipe***
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz.  Butter

1tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice
16 oz. powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Spread frosting on warm rolls.

cinnamon rolls

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