Thursday, June 27, 2013

Watermelon Vodka Cooler

What do you do when your husband comes home with a huge watermelon? Why make cocktails, of course...

What you need:
5 cups of chopped and seeded watermelon
1 cup of vodka
3 Tablespoons of lime juice
1/2 cup of Triple Sec
Special Equipment: Blender and a fine mesh sieve

What you do:
1. Blend the watermelon until completely liquified
2. Strain the juice through a fine mesh sieve, and discard the solids
3. Add the vodka, lime juice and triple sec
4. Enjoy with one you love, thankful your little one is asleep

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy cocktails

Shell Cookies

This was my latest Cape Cod baking treat, pink cookies shaped like shells with blue frosting and a yogurt raising posing as a pearl. They are adorable and super easy to make.

What you need:

1 Tube of pre-made sugar cookie dough
1/4 cup of flour plus more dusting
blue and red food dye
yogurt raisins
vanilla icing 
black gel writer
Special equipment: shell cookie cutter and parchment paper

What you do:

1. Mix the cookie dough, a few drops of red food dye to the desired color and 1/4 cup of flour, using your hands to kneed the dough together. Pop it in the freezer for a few minutes to re-harden.
2. Roll out your dough about 1/4 of an inch thick and cut with the cookie cutters.
3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
4. Place your cookies on parchment paper and place in the freezer to harden for 10 minutes
5. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden, longer if you want a crisper cookie.
6. Cool on a wire rack
7.  Add a drop of blue food coloring to some icing, or as much color as you like. 
8. Put about a tablespoon of blue icing on the center of the bottom cookie. Add a yogurt covered raising and top with another cookie.
9. Gently add two eyes using black gel writer.
10. Enjoy!

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy sea critter baking!

Funfetti Cupcakes and Sea Decorations

I love to cook for my son, actually, making cute food has become a near obsession. Clearly I have not taken it to a Japanese level obsession... seriously, google "bento" and you will understand. Nonetheless, I made (yes, out of a box) Funfetti cupcakes. Which I will not give you the recipe for 1) because it is on the back of the box and 2) because I do not enjoy being sued. But I will share some of our cupcake-adventures. I'm doing a little his and hers. His being my two year-old and hers being me. It is a little unfair as I have a pastry license, but that's life. You need to learn that early.

Sun Cupcakes with Candy Corn

What you need:
2 cupcakes
1/2 cup of prepared icing
yellow food dye
15 candy corns, extra to eat as this is inevitable cooking with me and any member of my family
black and red food gel writers

What you do:
1. Mix the yellow dye and with the frosting. One small drop will do.
2. Frost the cupcakes no special piping bags here... we are on vacation, dagnabit.
3. Add candy corns around the perimeter of the cupcake... I don't know why I used the word perimeter. I feel like that word needs to be reserved for 9th grade geometry or the dirty dozen trying to escape a nazi camp.  But you get the idea, make a circle on the cupcake close the edge.
4. Add the sunglasses and smiles.
5. Enjoy while looking at the beach.

Octopus Cupcakes with Gummy Worms

What you need:
2 cupcakes
1/2 cup of prepared icing
blue food dye
8 gummi worms (and extra to eat... yada yada)
black and red food gel writers

What you do:
1. Mix the blue dye and with the frosting. One small drop will do.
2. Frost the cupcakes as best you can, fingers, butter knife what ever. But you do need a lot of frosting so the gummi worms, I mean octopus arms stick.
3. Perform some gummi worm surgery cutting them in half. Add 8 gummi worm halfs to the octopus.
4. Add the little eyes and smiles.
5. Enjoy

Alas, well I hope you have enjoyed this installment of cooking on the cape... as always, much love, many blessings, and happy baking... cupcake decorating.

Cooking on the Cape... Lobstah...

As is our tradition, every year we make the weary track from Northern Virginia to tip of the Outer Cape in Massachusetts. Or Mass-achoo-sit as my son calls it. This is my first year blogging on vacay... partly because I am an insomniac and partly because this is the first house we have stayed in with a computer and wifi... all the same, here we go. As part of our maiden voyage into cooking on the cape I thought what could be better than starting off with an easy albeit delicious recipe. Clearly, this is more a series of directions in how to properly kill a lobster but you get the point.

Here is what you need:
A huge pot of boiling water
1 two pound lobster per person
a clove of garlic
1/4 cup or 4 Tablespoons of buttah (butter)

What to do:
1. Make sure your huge pot of water has a lid or at least some aluminum foil near by.
2. Conduct a short reenactment of Clash of the Titans, you can try and get your lobster's to race on the kitchen floor. I have never been successful, if you have found a way to accomplish this feat please let me know.
3. Put the lobster in the pot for exactly 9 minutes, if you are put two at a time 10 minutes. If you are putting more than two at a time, you are either very hungry or have an enormous pot. Either way, I don't recommend it.
4. While cooking, smash a clove of garlic and add to small saucepan with the butter. Melt the butter, and take off the heat. You can also do this in a microwave for 20 seconds if you don't mind aliens reading your mind. Which clearly I don't, 1. because I know I'm not that smart and they are not interested in what dumb humans think, and 2. because I blog, so clearly it would be much easier for them to just read my blog...
5. Serve together with baby forks, a hammer, lobster crushers, and a husband to do all the dirty work for you. Quick note, the baby forks are not necessary or helpful but they look cute on the table.

As always, many blessings, lots of love, and happy cooking!

Gel Gigglers: Sea Critters

So these are the popularized Jell-O Jigglers, but slightly, and I do emphasize the slightly, more healthy version. I used unflavored gelatin and organic fruit juice... but let's be true, this is dessert, not a salad.

What you need:
2 cups of fruit juice
2 packets of unflavored gelatin
large shallow dish
cookie cutters or a knife to make shapes

What you do:
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups of juice to a boil on the stove top
2. In the dish, add 2 packets of unflavored gelatin to 1/2 cup of cold juice. This is called blooming, I don't know why. I just said, "Oui, Chef" and I moved on. It is the military in me.
3. Pour over the boiling juice and mix.
4. Leave out until the mixture is about room temperature. Cover with cling wrap and chill over night, you could probably cut it sooner, just make sure it is pretty solid.
5. Cut out with cookie cutters and enjoy. We used lobsters, shells, and sea horses since we are at the beach. But use what every you like. :)

Don't forget to jiggle and giggle. I'm over-weight so I jiggle all the time, but you get the idea.

As always, many blessings, lots of love, and happy giggling. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Oreo Cheese Cakettes

My husband loves cheesecake, my son love Oreo's .. this is a quick and simple recipe that makes both of them happy. Also, If you have never made a cheesecake before this might be the easiest, simplest, and fastest cheesecake you will ever make. 

What you need:
19 OREO Cookies, divided into 12 and then 7 for pieces
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup Sour Cream
½ tsp.  vanilla
2  eggs

What you do:
  1. 1. HEAT oven to 350°F.
  2. 2. PLACE a cupcake wrapper in each pocket in a 12 muffin tin. Put 1 cookie in each of 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Take the left over seven (7) cookies and place in a Ziploc bag. Cover with a kitchen towel and beat mercilessly. Or give them to your toddler to break apart... although death by toddler is a cruel death for a cookie. 
  3. 3.BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each just until blended. Stir in chopped cookies. Spoon into muffin cups.
  4. 4. BAKE 20 min. or until centers are almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours.
  5. 5. REMOVE cheesecakes from muffin pan. Serve with blue berries, strawberries and whipped cream. You can even add little American Flags for giggles.

As always much love, many blessings, and happy baking. 

American Flag Sheet Cake aka Freddy Cake

On a sweltering 4th of July, I was very 9 months pregnant and fairly certain I was never going to see my feet ever again. My friend Leslie came over to help me make a American Flag Cake because I was going to have this baby, so we needed a birthday cake. My husband made ribs and we made a pepper slaw. After we ate the cake, we watched some of the fireworks and by 9 pm Freddy was one his way. 

My dear friend Leslie only believes in chocolate cake, and for that purpose this recipe is a chocolate cake. You can make the chocolate cake in advance and decorate before serving, which I recommend for two reasons. First, it means you can use real whipped cream and the second reason is you don't want your berries to get all mushy in the fridge and ruin your cream. 

What you need for the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Cake Preparation:

1. Grease and flour a 13X9X2-inch baking pan; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup butter, 1/3 cup cocoa, and 1 cup of water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
4. Put the chocolate mixture and the dry mix into your food processor and buzz until mixed.
5. Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Buzz again, the batter will thin.
6. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
7. Bake in a 350° oven about 30 until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

What you need to decorate: 

Whipped cream, cool whip, canned what ever your persuasion
1 pint of blue berries
1 quart of strawberries


1. Cover your cake with desired whipness. 
2.  Clean and quarter your strawberries. 
3. Using the blueberries, gently press into the cream forming a rectangle in the upper left hand corner. 
4. Make red stripes by lining your strawberries 


No Bake Strawberry Pie

This is my new all time favorite Summertime dessert. It is hard to believe that something this easy and this quick could be so darn tasty. It won third place in my office patriotic bake-off. By all means please use this recipe, pass it off as your own, sell it on the black market, but please make it for you and your family. 

What you need: 
Graham cracker pie shell
Quart of strawberries
3 Tablespoons Strawberry Jello
2 Tablespoons  cornstarch 
1 cup of sugar 
1 cup of hot water

What you do: 
1. Unwrap your pie shell and fill with as many cleaned and cut strawberries as you can fill it with. 
2. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, off the heat, mix the Jello, cornstarch and sugar together. 
3. Add the hot water. Cook on medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring the entire time. 
4. When thickened pour over your strawberries. Allow the pie to cool to room temperature. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours until the pie is set. 
5. Enjoy with whipped cream, ice cream, or alone standing in front of your fridge eating it with your fingers. 

As always, many blessings, much love, and happy no-baking pie making.