Well, I lied.

Posted in Hobby, Update on September 21, 2010 by Devo

I definitely did not put up my Threadcakes entry, did I? I apologize. I did not win but I really wasn’t expecting it to happen. I really just like entering for the fun of it. My entry can still be seen here. I think I am slowly getting better with the designs each year (even though I’ve only done it twice).

I am currently in another contest! This time for Instructables. Voting ends tomorrow (Sept. 22nd) so if you are reading this before or during that day I would very much appreciate if you would vote for this. I would like the grand prize so badly but even if I don’t get it I made myself a great little chalkboard that I love. And it really is very easy and fun to make.

I am still getting used to this whole living alone thing. It takes quite a lot of adjustment. Especially when it comes to cooking for one. I have only gotten to bake one thing: banana bread. It was really good but could have totally been better. I am currently hoping and praying that the new bakery that is coming into town will hire me. That way I can gain more experience and hopefully start incorporating that into my own desserts.

I will try to keep this around now that I am no longer mooching Internet from my school’s library or my sister’s dorm. It’s time to get my kitchen into shape.

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Where Did I Go?

Posted in Update on August 2, 2010 by Devo

It has been a long time, hasn’t it? Sophomore year is over and so is most of the summer following it. I have made a few desserts but I didn’t take any pictures and I honestly cannot remember a lot of them off the top of my head. I’ve been lost in a world of school, school related things, graduations, traveling, Doctor Who, and keeping cool.

I’ve gone to Cincinnati several times over this summer for Jeremy visiting. His family was nice enough to let me go on vacation with them to Myrtle Beach for a week. Broadway on the Beach was just one of the many attractions we went to and one of the stores located there is one called It’s Sugar. It has made me realize a new dream of mine: opening my own candy shop/bakery. Wouldn’t that just be the best job in the world? Constantly being surrounded my sugar and childhood. Oh, it would be lovely.

I just thought I would let you know about a new aspiration of mine.

For now though, I don’t know where this blog is going but I can tell you two things. This weekend I will be working on my entry for this year’s Threadcakes. I have the design picked out and how I think I am going to do it. I just hope it all comes together like I want it. The second thing is that this school year I will have my own apartment with my own kitchen. That means there will be plenty of things that I’ll be cooking up. I even have a designated recipe box all ready to be filled. It will be an adventure that I hope I can document a lot on here.

Key Lime Pie, Halloween, and Windows 7

Posted in Dessert, Hobby with tags , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2009 by Devo

Well, I managed to fall behind on this blog very quickly with the new school year and I apologize. I’ve actually been making quite a few things… I just haven’t posted any of them. Slice of pie

This treat was actually made back in September, I believe. Which makes me feel a little more terrible about not updating this through the entire month of October. But it is worth it: key lime pie.

Since we (Jeremy and I) made this a while back, what we did exactly with the recipe is a little fuzzy. But I remember it for the most part.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 fresh squeezed key lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons key lime zest

Browned Pie Crust1. Heat oven to 375°F. Combine graham crackers crumbs, butter, and sugar in a bowl; mix well. Press into a pie pan (the deeper the better*). Bake until lightly browned, between 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

2. Lower over to 325°F. Combine condensed milk and egg yolks together in a bowl and gently mix together. Add key lime juice and zest** and mix until mixture is smooth. Poor into the cooled pie crusts.

Right out of the Oven

3. Bake pie for about 15-17 minutes, or until the center is set but it still wiggles if the pan is nudged. Let cool completely.

4. Chill before serving. Top it with whipped cream, if desired.

*We didn’t have very deep pie tins so we just made two pies from this recipe.

**Jeremy and I just had a whole bag of key limes and we just squeezed and zested all of them, by hand. We didn’t measure any of it out. It was a ton of work but well worth it.

I apologize again for this entry being so late. There has just been a lot going on in the past month. Especially with this past weekend being Halloween and working on some of the coolest Halloween costumes.

Our Group
Three-Hole Punch Jim, Bill and Zoey from Left 4 Dead, No Face, and Tinkerbell

First Windows 7 DesktopAlso, a couple of weeks ago I updated to Windows 7. I have to say that I am very pleased with it. I like it more than Vista and I enjoyed Vista quite a bit.  It has a lot of neat features introduced with it and it runs a lot smoother than Vista. The taskbar is now incredibly useful unlike in the past. I would suggest owning this OS.

This post got a bit scatterbrained but I was just trying to catch up on what I missed in the last month. But I do have another entry waiting to get posted and I hope to do that soon.

Peanut Butter Lego Cookies!

Posted in Dessert, Hobby on September 13, 2009 by Devo

First batchOne day, back in August, I received an instant message. This message was full of excitement and caps lock. Jeremy had found a Lego rolling cookie cutter. It was the best thing that had happened that night. He bought it even after reading the reviews of how it really wasn’t the best but was determined to make it work. We only had to wait until we got back to school to test this awesome invention out.

It took a lot of effort but we did it.

So maybe peanut butter cookies weren’t the best choice in trying it out but they sounded really good. I followed a simple peanut butter cookie recipe and we decided to dye it red. It turned out to be a really light red but it still had more Lego charm to it than the brown color of peanut butter.

Rolling out the LegosRolling out the cookie dough took a lot of flour so they wouldn’t stick but we got it eventually. If you are using the cookie cutter of Legos then make sure you get the dough thin enough that it can cut and shape the dough enough to make the right shape. Getting it off the counter onto the cookie sheet was the most difficult part though. We didn’t really flour the counter enough so it was kind of sticking to the surface. I spent a lot of time hunched over with a knife getting them off the counter. I started with the less than attractive ones and was a pro by the time I got to the best looking ones of the bunch.

Second BatchThe cookies turned out really tasty. We had a bit of extra dough and made a few funny shaped cookies (Jeremy made a cookie man; he melted in the oven just like I said he would). It was just a fun thing to do on our first full weekend back at school. And it seems like everyone else around us enjoys having delicious cookies to eat; including the two of us.

We’re probably going to try sugar cookies next time with that roller though.

Pineapple Mini Pies

Posted in Dessert, Hobby with tags , , on September 6, 2009 by Devo

With pineapple goodness inside!

I decided that making one last thing before I left home to go back to school was very important. Mini pies just seemed like the right way to go. I made them the night before I would see Jeremy for the first time in over a month so I decided to try a different kind of pie filling: pineapple. I had subtly asked him what his favorite pie flavor was but his response (pumpkin) wasn’t really an option for these tiny pies or the time of the year. So I just went with one of his favorite fruit. It turns out they were really good.

I am just going to post the recipe for the pineapple pie filling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pineapple
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 large lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  1. Cut pineapple into bite size chunks. (If you are making mini pies like me I suggest them to be even smaller than that.)
  2. Combine sugar, cornstarch, zest, nutmeg, and water in a large saucepan. Stir until the sauce becomes thickened. Take it off the heat and add pineapple chunks. Stir and let it cool.

Pineapple fillingThat’s basically it. It’s really simple but this was the first time I had ever cut a pineapple so it was new to me.

I just used a recipe I found on the Internet for the pie crust. You can even use store bought pie crust if you please. Just roll the dough out and cut into circles to make them into mini pies. Otherwise, just continue making a pie like you normally would if you want to be more traditional.

I liked the fact that these could be pies-on-the-go. They weren’t messy to eat and the ratio of filling to pie crust was really nice. It wasn’t overwhelming at all. This was a new thing for me though so it is not a surprise they turned out to be a little on the ugly side.

So, I’m back at school now. I know I didn’t bake as much as I would have liked to over the summer but now that my friends’ house has a full size kitchen I can probably bake over there for all of them to enjoy.

What I did accomplish this summer was getting my license… finally.

Marshmallow Fondant

Posted in Dessert with tags , on August 14, 2009 by Devo

Finished ProductThe marshmallow fondant I made for my cake was easy to make. All you need are a few simple ingredients and a lot of man power. It was one of the easier parts of making my Threadcakes entry (besides the baking of the cake, of course).

Fondant is maybe not my favorite thing to eat but it makes cakes look really clean and put together. You can dye the fondant any color that you need for your cake; making it very useful for decorating. The marshmallow fondant is a better tasting than the kind that you can buy but that is only from what I have heard.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. good quality mini-marshmallows
  • 2-5 tablespoons of water
  • 2 pounds of powdered sugar
  • Crisco shortening
  1. Melting some marshmallowsMelt the marshmallows with 2 tablespoons of water in a double boiler or in the microwave. I found it easier to do it in a double boiler but I may be bias because of my double boiling experience.
  2. Place 3/4 of the bag of sugar on top of the melted marshmallows.
  3. Sticky!Grease the counter space you will be working on and your hands very well with the Crisco shortening. This is seriously some of the stickiest stuff to work with for the first part of the kneading and you will regret if you don’t do this. If it starts sticking to your hands or the counter at any point during the kneading then just grease it up some more with the Crisco.
  4. Dump the mixture onto the greased counter top and start kneading. And then just keep kneading and kneading and knGetting thereeading until you get all the sugar kneaded in and it becomes a nice fondant-like texture. After that, you are pretty much done. You can store it in a couple of Ziploc bags for later use or dye it now or roll it out to use on your cake!

The Black MessThat’s really all there is. I told you it was easy. Dying it on the other hand was a different story for me. Hand kneading in black dye is probably the hardest thing I have ever done for a dessert. It took a lot of time and a lot of arm strength. I was afraid my hands would be a slight shade of black or purple for a few days but they were instead a very strange shade of red for three days afterwards. I would suggest wearing food preparation gloves for this but I did not have any.

I got this recipe from What’s Cooking America. If you have any sort of question about fondant and what to do with it then just go there. It was very helpful.

My Threadcakes Entry

Posted in Dessert, Hobby with tags , , , on August 2, 2009 by Devo

Finished CakeI spent all of yesterday working on my Threadcakes entry. It was the first time I had ever seriously decorated a cake with fondant and all. It was hard work. Although I really like how fondant makes cakes look, it’s something I don’t enjoy eating too much but I will not expel it completely from working with it ever again. Maybe just not use it so often. I am a harsh critic towards anything artsy that I do so I feel my cake could look better but I am still happy with the results.

Glowing!I did my design based off the “Things That Glow…” t-shirt design. The whole wow effect of the cake was it’s ability to glow in the dark orrrrr it my case, under a black light. And it did just that. But who knew the black fondant would look red? I should have for seen it coming with my hands being a shade of red after washing off the black dye.

I will later share in another post how I made the fondant. It’s very simple and made from marshmallows, powedered sugar, and water. But for now you can check out my entry and all the other awesome entries on the site.