Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cinnamon Apples

A delectable dessert that should have been served with homemade whipped cream, but I didn't have any of the whipped cream ingredients on hand. Alone, the treat is sweet, tasty, and healthy - for the most part.

Prep Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 2-4 servings

3 tbsp butter
1/4 C sugar
2 tbsp* cinnamon
2 fresh apples**

*  I think I used a bit more, but you can do it to taste.
** I used Gala apples, any kind will do, especially if they are apples for baking or for sauces.

1. In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat heat the butter, sugar, and cinnamon until the butter is melted.
2. While the butter is melting, core and slice the apples. I did not skin them, as I recently read an article that the apple skin has the best or most nutrients the apple has to offer. 
3. Add the apples to the butter and coat the apples generously.
4. Cover the saucepan and let simmer for 8-9 minutes.
5. Serve warm and with homemade whipped cream.

As I stated earlier, I did not make the whipped cream, but I've attached the recipe in case you want to. There are other variations of the recipe below found here.

Original Whipped Cream:
1 C heavy whipping cream or heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sugar

1. In a large mixing bowl whip the cream, vanilla extract, and sugar until smooth and creamy.
2. Cover and chill the mixture, bowl, and whisk for at least 30 minutes.
3. Once chilled, continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Homemade Pancakes

I don't know what spawned the idea to make homemade cupcakes, but I wanted to. Pancakes, to me at least, usually come out of a box and you add milk to them. But I believe in doing things from scratch. So I searched for a recipe that did not include buttermilk, since I didn't have any on hand. I found one here, and added a bit to the recipe to add some fun! I added the vanilla extract because everything just sounded so plain.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 8 regular pancakes or 4 large pancakes

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 C milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
3 tbsp butter, melted

1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, milk, vanilla, egg, and butter in a bowl until completely incorporated and major lumps are smoothed out.
2. Preheat a griddle or non-stick skillet on a medium-low heat. (If you don't have non-stick, use a bit of butter to grease the pan.)
3. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into the center of the pan. (This is for a small pancake, for a large pancake use 2/3 C.)
4. Cook on medium-low until the edges are baked, and the bottom of the pancake is a golden brown. 
 5. Flip the pancake and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the new bottom is a golden brown. If you want to make a small slit on the top of the pancake to make sure all the batter is cooked through, that's fine. Nobody likes a wet pancake!

Some Tips:
-- An easy way to tell when the pancake is ready to be flipped: throughout the cooking, little bubbles will appear and pop on the surface of the pancake. When the holes from the bubble stays at the top of the pancake and doesn't get covered by batter, it's usually done.
-- Sometimes it takes too long to make the pancakes, and the final product may get cold. In this case, what I do is heat the oven to the lowest temperature and put a Pyrex dish in the oven and add the pancakes to the dish as they come off the stove. This keeps the pancakes warm but does not cook them anymore.
--  I took a small amount of batter and with 3 drops of green food dye, turned the whole pancake green and used a shamrock cookie butter to make a four-leaf clover! It's the only cookie cutter I have (for now!), but you could theoretically do this with any color and shape: red - heart, yellow - sun, etc. I thought it would be a lot of fun to do with kids... Or adults! :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy New Year Giveaway!

Happy New Year! Welcome 2011, this year is gonna be great, right? :) Let's start the year off right, with a new year's resolution. My resolution is to have at least 3 more clients who order cupcakes from me. That's a healthy goal and reasonable, too!

One way to kick start that social networking is to do a giveaway! My sister and I are teaming up and doing a giveaway on her blog. The winner will get to choose from any recipe already done on this blog.

You can check out the blog here 
and the giveaway here!