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11  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Apple Cider Caramels (Microwave Recipe) on: December 08, 2012 08:32:35 PM
I used premade cider from the store, but as long as the amount of water in the recipe is the same, I don't see why the packet stuff wouldn't work. 
12  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Traditional Alfredo Sauce- Only Two Ingredients on: November 22, 2012 08:48:35 PM


I usually start making dinner once I am already hungry, so I like to make food that is quick, uses very few pots and has very few ingredients.  I also love to eat alfredo sauce.  Until recently I didn't think it was possible to have both...

That is, until I learned that the alfredo we get on our pasta in restaurants these days isn't actually the original version of the sauce, and that the original version... only has two ingredients! 

Here is a super simple way to make this sauce for any pasta you are making.  It doesn't take any extra pots and it only needs a few ingredients.  You can also customize this sauce very easily for whatever taste you like. 


What You Need:

- Pasta of choice (I used spaghetti here because that's all we had, but of course fettuccine would be best.)
- Cheese of choice (Traditionally this sauce uses parmigiana, but I've also used cheeses like pepper jack when that's all I had.)
- A couple tablespoons of butter
- Seasoning of choice (I like to keep it simple, with some salt, pepper and basil.)
- Any add-ins you like (As you can see in the picture above, I used fresh spinach.)


What To Do:

Cook your pasta al dente (it will continue cooking while making the sauce).  Scoop out a cup of the starchy pasta water and set aside.  Strain your pasta (but don't worry about shaking out excess water, you want the water).  Return the pasta to your original pot, and put it on your burner on the lowest heat possible.  Add the butter and a little bit of the pasta water.  Begin adding your cheese of choice, and toss the pasta until it is coated.  You will want to add cheese slowly so that it is able to melt properly.  If the cheese is melting too thick and you want more sauce, add some more pasta water, then add more cheese. 

Now your sauce is done!  Go ahead and add any add-ins or seasoning you like.  Just remember that with most cheeses you won't want to add very much salt.  (That's why it's good to wait on seasoning until the end.)

Wasn't that easy?
13  COOKING / Dessert / Apple Cider Caramels (Microwave Recipe) on: November 22, 2012 08:44:58 PM


I saw a recipe a while back for apple cider caramels.  I got all excited to make them, but when I read through the instructions, it was on the stove top (and so required a candy thermometer).  I keep meaning to get a thermometer, but of course I haven't yet.

I've also seen microwave recipes for plain caramel candies.  I've never made caramels before, but I decided that it couldn't be too hard to put the recipes together and make apple cider caramels in the microwave.  To my surprise it actually worked out really well!

The candy is firm when picked up, but as soon as you put it in your mouth it starts to melt.  (No sticky teeth!)  The flavor is definitely apple cider, but there is also a rich buttery caramel flavor.  I was worried that the spices would make the candy gritty, but it was actually pretty smooth.   

I am sure I'm not the only one that liked these because I took these to a few houses for Thanksgiving, and very few people only had one piece.

It is a very simple recipe, all you need to do is mix the ingredients together and microwave.  (That really is it!)

Keep these caramels in the microwave after wrapping them.  They can be kept at room temperature for a several hours before getting soft and sticky, but make sure you don't set them in the sun or something.  They melt very easily.  (Which is why they melt so well in your mouth.) 



Recipe:

10 Tablespoons Butter
3/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Cups Apple Cider (Reduced to 1/3 Cup on the stove)
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Allspice

Put all ingredients in a large microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 6-10 minutes*, stirring every 2 minutes.  Line an 8"x8" dish with wax paper then cooking spray.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Let set in the refrigerator and cut into pieces.  Wrap these pieces in wax paper.  Store in the refrigerator. 


*An important note on cooking times: When I first cooked the caramels, I microwaved them for 6 minutes, and when I poured it into the pan to set up, they were way too soft and sticky to wrap individually.  I decided to try and just pop them into the microwave for another couple of minutes, and it worked like a charm.  When they set up after that, they were super easy to slice and wrap... and most importantly... they were easy to unwrap too!  (When I was stirring the batch that set up properly, it was still liquidy, but there was definite resistance while being stirred.)  If you would like to make this into a sauce, you should be able to just cook the caramel for less time in the microwave.  The opposite should also work to make the candies even firmer, but I haven't tried it myself. 
14  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Re: Easy Mataar Paneer on: November 11, 2012 03:38:31 PM
Hey!  I posted the other recipe.  Smiley

I have a question... which curry are you using?  (In my mind it would make the most sense to use their garam masala paste.)  I am just curious, so I have a better idea of what it tastes like when you make it. 

Also, when making curd, if it isn't curdling... sometimes you do have to pour in a lot more lemon juice.  If you have to do that don't worry because the lemon flavor will go away when you rinse your curds.  It's not a necessary step, but I like to rinse the curd before pressing it so that you can add your own flavoring, like salt or basil.  (Especially if I am making the curds for a sweet dish.  Cinnamon sugar curd is amazing!)

Also, for a dish like this kneading the curds before pressing it will make it a much firmer final product.  (That way the cubes won't fall apart easily.) 
15  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Superhero Cupcakes! on: September 03, 2012 04:30:55 PM
Haha... just be sure to post the pictures!
16  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Superhero Cupcakes! on: September 03, 2012 07:44:38 AM
Thanks!  It was all the play do I had when I was little!
17  COOKING / Dessert / Apple and Orange Pancakes (Flavored with Real Fruit) on: August 17, 2012 06:44:07 PM


These were super fun to make!  (And pretty easy... especially if you just wanted to make them look like regular pancakes... but of course I HAD to make them look like the real things!)  

The best part is that the flavor was all done with the real fruit, so it really tasted like an apple or an orange!  (Not that fake candy flavor.)  

- Recipes-


Orange Pancakes:  


3/8 cup orange juice
1 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
3/8 cup buttermilk (I don't have this just laying around, so I added lemon juice to milk and let it sit for a few minutes... I've read that it's a good substitute!)  
1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 cup granulated sugar
Orange food coloring (or a mix of red and yellow)


To make this batter just mix all the ingredient together and then add a little bit of orange food coloring.  I used Wilton's Icing Coloring red and yellow mixed together.  (This batter will naturally be a light orange color already, but I wanted it to be really really orange, so I added the coloring.)  

For the leaves and stems read the apple recipe.



Apple Pancakes:  


3/8 cup milk
1 small peeled, cored and grated apple
3/8 cup buttermilk (I don't have this just laying around, so I added lemon juice to milk and let it sit for a few minutes... I've read that it's a good substitute!)  
1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 cup granulated sugar
Cinnamon to taste
Brown food coloring (or a mix of red and green, or a cocoa powder)

To make this batter mix all of the ingredients except for the cinnamon and apples.  

Take out a small amount of batter and set it aside in a small bowl (about 2 tablespoons).  This can be made brown by adding food coloring, or cocoa powder.  (I would normally have used cocoa powder, but I was really distracted and tired this morning, so I started adding red without thinking and had to save it by adding green!)  

Take the original batter and make it green.  (Still without apples or cinnamon!)  Take a few tablespoons of this batter and set it aside in a small bowl.  

Now, with the original batter that is now green, add the apples and cinnamon.  Finally!

Now... to make these pancakes!  You should have four types of batter, a lot of orange, a lot of apple, a small amount of green and a small amount of brown.  

Pour the orange and apple pancake batters like  normal pancakes.  (This amount of batter should be five pancakes of each flavor.)  Remember not to let these pancakes brown too much, especially on the first side because this will be the pretty and flat side!  

For the stems and leaves, I put the batter into small plastic bags and then cut the tips off.  For the stems just pipe the brown batter into a sort of rectangle that is 1"x1/4" and thinner at the top than the bottom.  You will need five of these for the apples, and then five brown dots for the orange stems.  For the leaves just pipe the green batter into leave shapes!  These pancakes are small enough that they don't really need to be flipped, so don't worry about it!

That's it!  Just place the pancake pieces on the plate and you're done!  A variation could be that if you want to pipe the stems and leaves onto the griddle first (overlapping a little bit) then you can pour the batter directly onto the griddle, and they will be a single pancake.  This might be a bit fancier, but in the end I think that I was happy with how they turned out!  
18  COOKING / Dessert / Single Serving Mug Cakes! (With several recipes) on: August 17, 2012 06:33:08 PM
Here are some super yummy microwave mug cakes that I've been obsessed with lately, as well as everyone else in the world!  I hope that these make good eye candy!  Oh, and btw... I'm warning you... you might want to have self control and not read these recipes... they are pretty dangerous because the ingredients are simple and they take less than a commercial break to make... Don't say I didn't warn you!  

Peanut Butter Cake and Chocolate Brownie:


Peanut Butter Cake:  

- 4Tblsp Flour
- 4Tblsp Sugar
- 1/4tsp Baking Powder
- 1Tblsp Sour Cream
- 3Tblsp Peanut Butter
- 3Tblsp Milk
- 3Tblsp Oil

Combine all the ingredients and whisk well with a fork.  Microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.  Be sure to use an oversized mug because it will double in size!  A better idea would be to split this recipe into two mugs!


Brownie:

- 2Tblsp Oil
- 2Tblsp Water
- 1/4tsp Vanilla
- Dash of Salt
- 2Tblsp cocoa
- 4Tblsp Sugar
- 4Tblsp Flour

Mix the wet ingredients well, then add the dry ingredients.  Whisk well with a fork then microwave for 60-90 seconds.  (The center will be just slightly molten.)  I didn't have chocolate chips, but next time I am definitely adding some to the top!

***Variation***  Add 1Tblsp Water and 1Tblsp Peanut Butter to the brownie cake.  (May take longer to microwave.)


Chocolate "Muffin" Cake:



Mix the following dry ingredients together- 1 tbsp. + 2 tsp. cocoa, 3 tbsp. flour, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. sugar, 1/4 tsp. baking powder

Add the following wet ingredients- 2-3 tsp. oil, 3 tbsp. milk, 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Microwave for 40 seconds, then in increments of 5-10 seconds until it's done.  (It took mine about 55 seconds.)


Molten Cinnamon Amaretto Cake:


Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons Flour
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
Cinnamon To Taste (This is a single serving, so it won't need much)
Cap-full of Vanilla Extract (Probably about 1/2 teaspoon?)
2 Tablespoons Oil
3-4 Tablespoons Amaretto

So just mix all of the ingredients together.  Start by adding 3 Tablespoons of Amaretto, and then if the batter is too thick, add more.  (It shouldn't be thin like pancake batter, but it shouldn't be thick like cookie dough either.)

Once it's all mixed up microwave it for 50-60 seconds.  Start with a short amount of time, maybe 40 seconds (depending on how powerful your microwave is, mine is week so it took 60 seconds) and work your way up in 5 or 10 second intervals.  The longer you do it, the more it will set up, but that also means it will become dryer.

Chocolate Rum Cake:


4 Tblsp Flour
4 Tblsp Packed Brown Sugar
3 Tblsp Rum (or water or milk or coffee or any liquid)
2 Tblsp Cocoa Powder
2 Tblsp Oil (or melted butter for a richer taste)

Microwave for about 60 seconds... and done!
19  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Re: Indian Dinner (Matar Paneer and Aloo Ghobi) on: July 18, 2012 04:56:08 PM
Haha!  You're fine!  And I could post more recipes if I ever used them!  (I usually just get rice, vegetables and spices and just wing it.)  I have some good ones from my cooking classes from when I was in school... I might have to revisit them! 
20  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / HELP! How should I finish this Pac-man card? on: July 12, 2012 08:17:50 AM
I got all excited to make this card, but I'm afraid that I concentrated too much on the part that I've already made, and I don't know what else I need to do! 

I don't know if I want to add a sentiment or not, or if I should just keep it a blank card.  What do y'all think is missing? 

Here you can see the front of the card.  The inside is just white.  (These photos show how the card is interactive, and lets you "play" Pac-Man.)


Pinky is chasing Pac-man through the game... and...



Then... Pac-man eats the big dot... and what happens???

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