Sunday, June 22, 2014

Non stop for 2 weeks

This two weeks have been nothing but hard work and it's been so much so that I absolutely forgot to post last week's recipe which is a delicious Peruvian recipe of a Lemon Meringue Pie, it will definitely be there but it will just have to wait a few more days until I get it ready.

I have been enjoying my brand new kitchen island, making all sorts of yummy stuff. Look at these beauties...

These are called Cake Pops!! it is nothing but yummy in a stick! I actually made them with left overs of  The One Cup, One Bowl, No Mess Chocolate Cake mixed with a little bit of butter cream and then coated in chocolate and the are ready. I think they are just gorgeous for kids parties, baby showers... I don't know anywhere, anytime really, they are absolutely delicious and the children and I had a great time making them. It's hard to tell if I enjoyed more watching their faces covered in chocolate or the actual pops.

Anyway, that was just one warm morning that we stayed inside because it was too hot outside, so I had to get creative.

When I was a little girl, my family used to gather together every Sunday at my grandparents house for lunch. The food there was so good... always, but the star dish, I mean the one I can still smell and taste when I dig into my childhood memories is the Roasted Chicken. It was usually served with white rice that had tiny pieces of noodles mixed in it and the softest and creamiest mash potatoes. The smell of that roast invaded the whole house and I can remember all the adults walking around the kitchen asking when was it going to be ready, just like a kid would.
Many times I have tried (unsuccessfully I must confess) to reproduce in my own home that unique taste of the Sunday Roasted Chicken. I either got it raw, chewy, too dry, or just not appealing to the eyes... I just didn't know what was I doing wrong, but like many things in life (specially in the kitchen) with a little bit of trial and error, (and a lot of patience from my fellow diners) I got it... here is the results...
That chicken came out awesome!! it was juicy, crispy, soft inside and very very tasty because of the filling and all the herbs that were making a bed for it, and it had the best taste of good old memories.
The men in the house have been working really hard this past two weeks and the results of that is an almost finished bathroom. I am so proud of them...

Hope to be posting more about the progress of our house.

This week I found myself with a little bit of time in my hands so I ventured to try to make something I have been putting aside for some time now,  I guess just because I was afraid to try it and find out that it was going to take me an awful long time or thought that the level of difficulty was to high... little did I know... I made cheese!!!
It is a very simple kind of cheese, but I am so proud that I did it, now the sky is the limit really, I found out that I can make lots of different cheeses of the creamy type just as easy as the one I made. I ended up with some sort of cream cheese. I made this one just plain because it was my first try, but I will definitely try one with herbs to see how that one comes out. Here is how it ended up... well, after a few bites...

Anyway, on a different side of crafts I have been learning for a while to make hair bows and ribbon things for girls and my latest accomplishment are this lovely head bands that are woven with ribbon and some ribbon flowers for it. They just look so girly and pretty. Here is a picture of the two models I made. Hope to keep making more colors, they are great to just give away to nieces and little girls.

Alright, now, last but not least, check out this gorgeous cake I made this week. It is a vanilla sponge, filled in the middle with Boston cream and strawberries, covered with whipped cream, decorated with fresh strawberries and a swirly chocolate ornament that I of course made as well.
The kids and the hubby loved it!!! I think it is not only the prettiest cake I have made but one of the yummiest ones too. Hope to post the recipe soon just in case you want to try it at home.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading what I have been up to and I hope to be posting that lemon pie recipe soon. See you soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Only Bread Rolls Recipe You Will Ever Need

Baking your own bread is kind of like the stamp of the homemaker. The smell of fresh baked bread that comes out of my kitchen brings all those little feet running into the house for a piece of buttery, warm, fresh baked bread rolls.
I have been making this bread rolls for quite a while now and before you attempt to make them, I must warn you, this rolls will spoil your  bread consumption for ever. Once you and your family try them, you won't want any other type of bread ever again. Ok so having said that, I hope you enjoy making them. It is a pretty easy recipe that needs a little of hard work but on the bright side, once you are done you can consider yourself worked out for the day! So, here is the recipe...

Dinner Bread Rolls
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 c of white Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water (you put your finger in and you almost cannot feel the temperature of the water)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 4 cups of plain flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/3 cup of margarine
  • 1/4 cup of butter

  • Mix together in large jug the egg, sugar, yeast, water and  milk and let it rise for 15 minutes. Make sure you mix all the ingredients well.

  • Place in a bowl the flour and salt and make a well in the middle.

  • Pour half of your liquid mix into the flour and mix with your hand, (I am a big fan of touching my food when I am cooking it, so let's get dirty) then add half of what you have left and mix. Keep adding the liquid until your dough forms a ball.
  • Note: If dough feels too sticky, just add a little bit more flour.

  • Pass your dough to the working table and start adding the margarine little by little. By this I mean, you pinch with your fingers a little bit of margarine and poke it into your dough with your fingers and knead it. When you add the margarine, your dough will start sticking to the table, just keep kneading it and it will pick it up on its own. Continue to do this until you are done with the margarine. (It should take you about 10 minutes and your dough should be now soft and elastic)
  • Grease a bowl with some butter, put the dough in it and cover it with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rise for 40 minutes approx. or until it double it's size.
  • Punch the dough down, bring it back to the working table and divide it into two parts.
  • Roll one half into a round flat circle, about 1 cm (1/4 inch) thick.

  • Spread half of the butter all over the flattened dough.
  • Divide the dough into 8 slices and roll each slice up starting at the widest part. Do the same with the other half of the dough.

  • Place the rolls on a baking sheet,  silicone mat or onto baking paper, whatever you use to bake. (If you are going to use parchment paper I will recommend you use some baking spray).
  • Let them rise for another 30 to 40 minutes or until they double their size.

  • Preheat your oven at 200 C (400 F)
  • Bake the rolls for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. (I bake them for 10 minutes with only the lower burner of my oven and then turn the double burner for the last 3 to 5 minutes to get a perfect golden top)
The recipe is a little long, but is not hard to follow if you just do it step by step. If you have any questions or suggestions or if you just want to tell me how great your rolls came out, please do, I will answer ASAP.
Hope you enjoy making and eating these rolls.
See you soon...

Monday, June 2, 2014

The One Cup, One Bowl No Mess Chocolate Cake

So here i am again, back on my feet after moving into our new house and baking again.
To me, to be able to cook for my family is a privilege  I dreamt about so many times while sitting at the office, juggling invoices, bills, clients... always in the back of my head and in my heart I had the living desire to be able to look after my family with my own hands, in my own time and I thank God everyday for the privilege to serve them and take care of them and be available for them when they need me. It is not always an easy cruise but I wouldn't change it for the world.

Today I made a chocolate cake. I love making this cake because it only needs a few utensils, which makes it a mess free cake. Mrs. D (dear friend of mine) calls it The One Cup, One Bowl, No Mess Chocolate Cake, but on top of all the wonders of little dishwashing, it is a delicious soft and moist chocolate cake, that you can have with ice cream, chocolate fudge or any other topping you like. 
I am not great with pictures though I did my best with them, so I will try to explain this recipe as best as I can so you can make this yummy cake at home too.
The One Cup, One Bowl No Mess Chocolate Cake

  • 2 Cups of self raising flour
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 1 cup of cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of instant coffee (optional, it only makes it richer and darker)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of buttermilk (check the notes to learn how to make buttermilk in case you don't have the bought one)
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil (can be replaced with melted butter or margarine)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • Preheat your oven at 150 C° (This would be about 300F°. This is a slow bake cake so the temperature has to be low)
  • In a large bowl place all the dry ingredients and mix them with a whisk or a spoon and then add one by one all the wet ingredients. (Add them in the order they appear in the ingredients list)
  • Grease a rectangle pyrex and then sprinkle some flour on it so your cake doesn't stick to the bottom and the sides.
  • Bake for 50 minutes and then check with a skewer if it is ready. (you know... it has to come out clean) If it is not, then bake for another ten minutes and check again until is ready.
  • Let cool... or not. This cake is good hot with fudge and vanilla ice cream or cold with buttercream, whipped cream...  or any other topping you want to put on it...let your imagination fly!
Note: To make buttermilk place in measuring cup one tablespoon of vinegar (or lime juice) and fill it up with milk to make one cup.
I hope you find the time to make this cake and enjoy it with your friends and families and please let me know how did it come out and what did you top it with.
See you soon...