Monday, March 28, 2011

Bunny Love...

Funny things happen when you collect rabbits.  They multiply very rapidly into many shapes and sizes. 

Sometimes they sit quietly.  Blending into the background on plain  white plates.

At other times they gather busily together.

Sometimes you might find them resting in a painting.

These two happy characters morphed into salt and pepper shakers.

She sits all alone in a sea of flowers.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Belleau Kitchen Challenge.....

Dom's belleaukitchen challenge was really fun and easy.  You had to go to your bookcase pick a shelf and then pick the 18th cookbook on that shelf.  I made out like a bandit when I made the count to 18.  Lucky for me it was a  Martha Stewart Cupcake Cookbook.  I decide on the Red Velvet Cupcakes.  They were delicious and here is the recipe.

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour( not self-rising) sifted
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2  cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. red gel paste food color
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2  tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
  • Cream Cheese Frosting 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line standard miffin tins with paper liners.  Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined.  Add eggs, one at a time,  beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Mix in food color and vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each.  Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl(it will foam); add mixture  to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three quarters full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing the cupcakes. 
  5. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sarabeth's Round Two....Rugelach

We had so much fun doing the last Sarabeth post that we decided to do it again. Kary from My Farmhouse Kitchen, Mary from Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes as well as few other fun bloggers ( not sure who they are at this time ) are posting a recipe from Sarabeth's Bakery Cookbook.  I chose to make Rugelach. Here is the recipe!
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raspberry or apricot preserves
  • confectioners' sugar, for serving
  • 1/4 cup finely diced walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 ground cinnamon
  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a heavy mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until evenly combined, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom. Beat in sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Reduce the speed to low.  Add 1 1/4 cups of the flour and mix until incorporated, then repeat with the remaining 1 cup of flour.  Do not over mix. 
  2. Turn the dough onto a lightly flour work surface.  Flour your hands well and gently knead to be sure that the ingredients are evenly distributed, about 10 seconds.  Divide the dough into thirds. Shape each portion into a 1 inch thick disk and wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 2 hours.
  3. To make the filling, combine the walnuts, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa and cinnamon a small bowl set aside.
  4. Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.
  5. Working with one disk of dough at a time, unwrap and place on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour, and roll out into a 13 inch- diameter circle.  using a small offset metal spatula, spread with about 2 tbsp. of the preserves, leaving a 2 inch diameter space in the center of the dough, and a 1 inch border around the edge.  Sprinkle the jam with about 2 tbsp. of the filling mixture.  Using a sharp pizza wheel or large knife, cut the dough into quarters, then cut into 3 wedges, to give a total of 12 wedges.  One at a time, starting at the wide end, fold the corners in about 1/4 inch and then roll up.  Do not roll the rugelach too tightly or the jam will ooze out.  Keep the outside of each cookie free of the jam and filling, or they'll tend to burn.  Wipe your fingers clean after making each rugelach, or you will transfer the sticky interior of the last cookie to the exterior of the next one.  Place each rugelach on the pans about 1 inch apart, with the point of each facing down.  Curve the ends of the rugelach slightly toward the point to make a crescent.  Repeat this process with the other disks of dough.
  6. Bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.  Cool completely on the pans.  Just before serving sift with the confectioners' sugar.


    Thursday, March 10, 2011


    Wait until you taste this simple traditional Irish dish.

    • 2 lbs. potatoes mashed
    • 1 stick butter
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1/2 head of cabbage
    • 6 scallions diced
    • salt and pepper
    • 2 cups cooked chopped ham
    1. Cook the potatoes and drain well. Mash until smooth then add butter ,milk, salt and pepper.
    2. Cut the cabbage into long thin strips and cook until tender in a pot of salted boiling water.  3 to 4 minutes.  Drain well.
    3. Mix the mashed potatoes, ham and cabbage together along with the diced scallions. Serve immediately.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Irish Soda Bread...

    Top of the morning to you!! This delicious soda bread recipe comes from my sister Ann who has been making this for years.  It comes together quickly and is a nice treat for St. Patrick's Day.

    Irish Soda Bread
    • 3 cups flour
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 3 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/2 cups raisins
    • 2 eggs beaten
    • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
    • 1 tbsp. melted butter

     Mix all the dry ingredients together ( including the raisins ) I used half dark and half golden raisins.  Then mix in wet ingredients.    Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hrs or until cake tester comes out dry.
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