Archive for the Dessert Category

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.
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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.

Chocolate Raspberry Milkshake

Posted in Dessert with tags , on July 28, 2009 by Devo

The other night I was wanting a milkshake pretty badly. Although my favorite flavor, cherry, was not available to me (really, I didn’t want to walk over to an ice cream place and pay money for it). I realized that for the first time this summer, we had all of the ingredients to make a milkshake right here in my home.

IngredientsThis really doesn’t need much explaining; milkshakes are simple to make. There’s no measuring and you just dump everything into a blender. I wandered off to make just a normal chocolate shake. Then it struck me to put raspberries in it. Sadly, everyone else in the house had eaten all the fresh raspberries that I had picked but we had a bag of frozen ones.

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Milk
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  1. Scoop out as much ice cream as you want into a blender. It all depends on how thick you like your milkshakes.
  2. Pour milk and a good amount of chocolate syrup over the ice cream. If you want it to be pretty chocolatey then I suggest using a lot of syrup as the raspberries are the main flavor in the shake otherwise.
  3. Add in the raspberries.
  4. Blend until the consistency that you want.
Sorry for this awkward looking picture. I just wanted to take it quickly so I could enjoy the shake.

Sorry for this awkward looking picture. I just wanted to take it quickly so I could enjoy the shake.

I have to say it was very good but it won’t replace my love for cherry shakes.

This was a pretty simple, straightforward entry. I haven’t done too much to put up on here but I will have some soon enough if all goes well. Last week was a week of being busy for the first time this summer… being in D.C. and my step-sister’s wedding and all. So this week I will be making my entry for the Threadless cakes contest. I hope all goes well.

Harry Potter Madness (Literally)

Posted in Dessert, Hobby with tags , , , on July 15, 2009 by Devo

[Warning: This is such a long entry]

The past two days have been full of Harry Potter for me. I tried to plow my way through Half-Blood Prince before midnight last night and it ended unsuccessfully. But that hardly matters as that this is the third time of me reading it. I am all for HP. It’s my favorite series of books because I am just able to fall into that world. So the movie that premiered last night had me excited even if that was soon changed. What I did to celebrate the event (besides reading through the book again) was my own attempt at making butterbeer.

ButterbeerGuess what. Butterbeer is delicious. And it’s very simple to make. I got my recipe from here but there are plenty of other out ones out there on the Internet. I used the hot one as I am not old enough to buy alcohol (although I wouldn’t mind trying the cold one). I did my own alterations since I didn’t have cream and I am very fond of Werther’s Originals… I maybe added four more than the recipe calls for. What is very important to know about this butterbeer: you must drink it while it’s hot. I’m not even kidding, it’s the most delicious thing while hot but so terrible when cold. And the best part about making this stuff: it makes you feel like you are cooking up a potion. It doesn’t get more HP than that.

Hooray!Now this is what I have done; I took the liberty of writing out all of my feelings about the movie as soon as I got home from it. So the rest of this entry are my highly unorganized thoughts about the movie. Let me get this straight though: I know the movies cannot fit everything in from the book. And I know the movies are supposed to entertain the people who haven’t even read the books. So do not complain to me in anyway about these two situations.

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As I am writing this right now, it has almost been an hour since I got out of the movie theater of the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I am currently fuming over this movie because they destroyed a crucial book in the series. I should warn you that I am so upset at this movie right now that there will be very few positive things that I will say about it and that means:

Do not even read this if you are not in the mood to listen to a crazy HP fan who expects only the best of the movies.

I was already so mad 30 seconds into the movie. I am not even kidding. Oh, sweet epic start with slow motion and everything but there was no mention of the new Minister of Magic, Scrimgeour. Not in the entire movie. People who are not reading the books are completely left out of that subject. Along with the fact that they made Fleur and Bill non-existent. I mean, bloody hell, they basically started the movie with Harry asking this waitress on a date. Something that never happend. The Durselys were not even mentioned. What basically happened was they changed everything before the kids went off to Hogwarts. The Burrow managed to become a gloomy place where it looked like none of them enjoyed being there and it just seems like they didn’t even try to stick with the book.

They didn’t stop there with this madness. Hogwarts was an all around gloomy place. Yeah, maybe there were trying to convey that it’s bad times and all but students are safe and have fun at Hogwarts still. Scenes from the book disappeared all together that are essential to Half-Blood Prince and that took away from its beauty even more. What happened was they decided they needed to change a scene completely or just make one up to replace what could have been good detail accurate to the book. THEY SET THE BURROW ON FIRE FOR NO REASON! A whole scene just out of the blue that had no relation to anything else. I could go on forever about how terrible that scene is.

The majority of the characters were even disappointing or how rarely some of them showed up. Dumbledore has always been the one character that has always upset me in the movies (except the first and second movies; Richard Harris was a wonderful Dumbledore). They portray him in such a serious light as opposed to Dumbledore in the books who is always humourous and light. Tonks showed up once in the movie to reveal something to viewers that they were not supposed to know at all during that part of the story (she called Lupin sweetheart for Christ’s sake!). Lavender became the biggest creep since Colin Creevy and exceeded his creepiness by twenty. Not to mention that is not at all how I pictured her to look. Narcissa Malfoy was also not how I pictured her. And her one scene was overshadowed by Bellatrix (although I do love Helena Bonham Carter). Neville had like two lines in the whole movie! That is just absurd. Then there is Professor Slughorn, the not fat enough or snobbish enough newbie. I don’t like the man in the book but the movie made him more sheepish and likable in a way which I feel is just not how Slughorn should be. Also, McLaggen was okay looking; not the fat, disgusting pig I had imagined him to be.

The three main characters remained true to their selves though. Harry being completely whiny and I guess he gets totally high when given a bunch of good luck, Ron the comic relief, and Hermione being completely flustered as usual. Hagrid was a delight although we only saw him twice in the entire three hours of the movie. Luna, always a joy. I really think they can do much to mess up Luna’s character.

I will give it to them that there were some pretty great scenes that were legitimately funny but most were made up. They did a very good job at capturing the awkward crushes that all the characters are suffering from currently (even if they did it wrong most of the time). But they did it well enough that I was able to laugh along and feel totally weird watching them.

Besides the whole setting the Burrow on fire for no good reason thing, the other that that irked me so badly was Dumbledore’s death. They did not do it justice at all. How it played out was not how it went in the book, there was no epic fight raging between people on the grounds but instead some exchanges of words in the bell tower. It still managed to be so sad (I mean, Dumbledore died) but it soon returned to anger when the film ended with no funeral. No. Funeral. What the hell?! Dumbledore was a great character and it just seems like the movie didn’t do a good enough job for his death.

All in all, the Order of the Phoenix gave me hope with its ability to mostly stick to the book. Half-Blood Prince did not follow suit.  Instead all I got was the disappointment all over again from Goblet of Fire . I truly could go on forever with this but I will refrain from it to the general population and that maybe a decent amount of sleep is in order.