Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sushi Cakes

Sushi Cakes
These are my sushi cupcakes! I was having people over for sushi and wanted to make a special dessert. I wondered if it would be possible to make cupcakes that look like sushi and I figured I was probably not the first person to have this brilliant idea. Sure enough, there are a handful of sushi cupcake photos out there, and a recipe by Clare Crespo. I basically used her recipe, which started with a box cake mix. I made some in my mini muffin tin which turned out to be the perfect size for the rolls. The rest of the batter I made into regular cupcakes which I cut up to be the right shape for the fishy pieces. Next, the frosting used a sour cream base, which I don't think is the best idea. Better to use a regular buttercream. But the huge amount of coconut in the frosting did a great job of looking like rice! I packed the frosting on, and used fruit leathers for the seaweed. If I could have found a green fruit leather, or at least a darker one, that would have been better, but this is what they had at my store. If there's a next time, I'll look harder. Swedish fish and chopped up gummy bears topped them off. And for the finishing, touch, pocky sticks for chopsticks.

I was pretty happy with how they came out! I think they looked even better than I thought they would. On the other hand, they really didn't taste that great. I guess it was the disappointing frosting and cupcakes combined with these candies is weird. But the point of making them was to look like sushi and they did! So that was exciting but I probably won't make them again.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chocolate Cherry Bars

I made these Chocolate Cherry Crumb Bars yesterday. I was looking for something special to make and I LOVE cherries. The bars were good but not amazing. The cherry filling was actually pretty great, but the chocolate parts could have been better, I don't think it was as good as a brownie. So maybe next time I'll just spread the cherry filling over brownies. Or blondies. That would be so good. Also, mine didn't come out as pretty as Martha's because the chocolate part kind of mingled with the cherry part too much and made everything brown, instead of that nice pink color. If I made it with blondie bars that might preserve the pink!

Thanksgiving: Leftovers Edition Part 2

As a follow up to the previous post, I did end up making Turkey Pot Pie. Actually, we had so much Turkey left, that we made two pot pies. However, in traditional mishap fashion, I forgot to mix the rest of the leftover sweet potatoes in the dish with all the cream sauce. So, I ended up just poking them individually in the top. We'll see how it turns out!

The recipe I used is here at Cooking for Engineers, a great site for precise measurements and instructions.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving: Leftovers Edition

This was the first year we hosted Thanksgiving at our house. 12 people, one 19 lb turkey. Even though it fed everyone AND served as lunch for seven Fermilab students the next day, we still somehow ended up with massive amounts of leftovers.

Here's what I've done with them:
1. (Leftover) Turkey Soup
1 small onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
2 ribs of celery chopped
1 can of white beans
pinch of oregano
2 bay leaves
2 c chopped turkey
1 bunch of kale, chopped lengthwise
Vegetable Stock (cube or liquid)
4 c water
Salt and pepper to taste

In a pot, put in a little oil and cook the onions, carrots and celery until softer, about 8 minutes. The bay leaf can be put in at this point. Then, put in the oregano and cook another minute. Add the white beans and the stock (cube and water or 4 c liquid stock) Then, put in the chopped kale and cover, simmering for 20 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf before serving. This soup can also be frozen.

2. Spinach salad with blue cheese and cranberry relish vinaigrette. (Recipe for the dressing is at the link, and I actually used leftover cranberry sauce/relish instead of fresh cranberries. It was delicious!)

3. Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Muffins. Instead of applesauce, I dumped in leftover sweet potatoes from the meal. It was a good substitute, and the muffins turned out nicely. I also reduced the sugar by half. J recommended that next time we use half brown sugar or add some molasses in to deepen the flavor.

4. Turkey Chili. I basically do the same recipe as the Turkey Soup, but just as far as the onion, celery and carrots. Then, I add at least two tablespoons of Chili Powder, and one of cumin and another of cayenne. Then the beans are kidney instead of white and I add a can of diced tomatoes instead of stock. The turkey goes in and it simmers for at least 20 minutes. You can't really go wrong with chili. It's so easy to make. I had some for lunch and froze the rest

5. Tomorrow i will do Turkey Pot Pie and freeze it. We'll see how it turns out.