Friday, June 20, 2014

How to- Alton Browns Lentil Soup in the Crockpot

So this last week i was suuuuper broke. Boss messed up my time off and i ended up with a $78 paycheck... so what to do? scour the cabenates for stuff to cook up! I found Alton Browns fabulous recipe, but didnt have all of the ingredients, but most of them. i also had to work so i tossed it all in my 4 quart crockpot. This came out AMAZING! I also baked up some white bread for sammiches and to dip...

Soup Ingredients Ingredients 

1  finely chopped onion

3 chopped carrots
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups lentils, picked and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth

2 cans water (with tomato can)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

I put the lentils in the bottom and tossed everything on top. I let it cook over night, about 10 hours, and its about perfect.

Homemade Sandwich Bread

2 cups lukewarm water
2 Tbls. sugar
1 Tbls. dry active yeast
2 Tbls. butter, softened
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour + more for kneading the dough
1 Tbls. kosher salt
Yields 2 standard loaves
Proof the yeast
Put the water and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk vigorously to dissolve the sugar. (Yeast eats sugar, so consider this
its appetizer before you add the flour.)

Toss in the yeast.

Whisk again to dissolve. Walk away from the bowl for 5-10 minutes to give
the yeast time to work.

After 5-10 minutes, there should be a thick, creamy layer on the surface of
the water.

Make the dough
Toss the flour and salt into the bowl with the yeast.

Cut your soft butter up into a few pieces (to make it easier to work into the
dough evenly).

Toss the butter in with the flour.

Mix well to combine the ingredients. If you’re using a stand mixer, use the
dough hook. (I use a stand mixer to knead my dough, but I always get it
started by hand to keep the flour from flying all over the place.)

Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes.

It’s ready when it’s formed a smooth ball that feels elastic-y when you touch

Other signs the dough has been kneaded enough: Very little of the dough
will stick to the dough hook when you pull it out of the bowl…

…and there will be very little dough actually sticking to the sides of the

The first rise
Round the dough up into a ball. Put it in a large, lightly greased bowl

Coat a piece of plastic wrap with a little oil. Loosely cover the bowl with it,
oil side down.

Let it sit in a warm place for about an hour, or until it’s doubled in size. If
you check it after about 15 minutes, you should notice that it’s started to
grow:After about an hour, your dough should be doubled in size.

Form the bread loaves
Punch the dough down. (Basically, just poke it a bunch and smoosh the air
out of it.)

Knead it a couple of times (I do this in the bowl) and form it into a neat ball.
It should be smooth and tacky, but not sticky.
Sprinkle a little flour on a board. Set the dough ball on the flour.

Whack the ball in half with a bencher or a large knife. Each half will become
one loaf.

Let the loaves rise like this for about an hour, or until they’ve doubled in
About 15 minutes before your hour is up, preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Bake the bread
When your loaves have doubled in size, pop them into your preheated 350-
degree oven for 35-40 minutes

Let them cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Then, with potholders, tip the
loaves out of the pans and let them finish cooling on a rack.

If you can bear it, let them cool to room temperature before slicing. When
you slice bread that’s hot out of the oven like this, the remaining loaf can get
a little gummy

I pulled this recipe from another website but the darn this is so full of ads and spamware, my poor laptop almost bit it twice, and it CRASHED MY Iphone... so I wont be promoting it here... sad because the recipe is REALLY good. I did two loaf folding techniques, one traditional, and one where i broke the dough into 4 parts, rolled flat and then rolled them up and let them rise. This worked out really nice, and looks cool!

How to- Chocolate Stoup Cupcakes

So... Still working on Alaska pictures.. but I have a recipe that will satiate you till they come! How about Chocolate Stout Cupcakes? I was asked by the Handsome Gentleman Friend to make these cupcakes for this work. So yesterday I spent most of the day in the kitchen. I really love baking. especially when it involves cupcakes and mini cupcakes.

So this is the recipe that was sent to me... It was SUPPOSED to be for 2 dozen.. turns out its for 4 dozen... so i made 2 dozen regular cupcakes and 4 dozen minis, because who doesn't love mini muffin tins? Also watch out for Joannes Coupons because they have the CUUUUUTEST cupcake liners, and you can get 75-100 for $1.90 out the door.

Chocolate Stout Cake
  • 2 cups stout (such as Guinness, I used out Choconut Stout homebrew)
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. For Cupcakes prep tins with liners

Butter paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For full sized cupcakes bake 18-20 minutes and mini cupcakes bake 9-12

For icing:
Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.

Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.

I didn't wait for it to cool completely, and ended up dipping the tops of the cakes in it. they came out looking REALLY nice, but i have a ton of frosting left

Monday, June 16, 2014

Birthday Joy and San Mateo County Fair!

So Alaska pictures are still being processed...ya Im slow.This week has been insane..I though summer was supposed to slow down, be easy and fun...So before all the joy, heres some angry rant.

Upon my return i learned my horrible job and my horrible union were locked in a pissing match of Jean Claude proportions. so first we were gunna have a vote on strike, which ment the managers ran around like idiots harrassing everyone. We got letters from the GM of both buildings saying he would fire us, and essentially kill our families and piss on our ashes (in a corporate way). then my manager made sure to max out my time off pay while i was gone so now i have none... even though i planned it so i would save some. This also ment my next paycheck was... $71. uuugghhh.... Anywho then another creepy ass manager from a lower floor took pictures of my with his phone in the LOCKER ROOM. There were like 30 people there but now their all saying they didnt see it even though we all did. I decided I was going to over react and fight this as sexual harrasment... but now i have had panic attacks at work and am thinking.. Im not over reacting, apparently this is really freaking me out. I had to leave work yesterday (not making for good paychecks...) and am job hunting as we speak. (what if your manager reads this? wont you be fired? if anyone is really reading this... HEY VANN AND TIM, GO FUCK YOURSELVES YOU PERVERTED ASS HATS.)

Can I say Handsome Gentleman Friend has been absolutly amazing through all of this. Thank you handsome :3

OK! Onto the JOY!! It was my birthday on the 8th!! I turned 29 years old.. for realsies! not a fake! a true 85 baby. Anywho, Flea and Tess and Husband and Tess' man all came down and we had an awesome time! We met at Steve's, and fun fact, Tess hadnt eaten and was grumpy and late... But oh well. We awaited Flea and Ryans arrival. eventually we headed to Cafe Avalino's, one of my favorites (but the owners sold.. Pizza's still good but Im scared!) After Avalinos we all headed to Pacifica for Tacobell. For those who dont know, Pacifica is a little seaside town just past San Francisco, and the tacobell backs up to a gorgiose white sand beach. Therefore its heaven, correct?

Tess and Chris split, so Flea Ryan Handsome and I all headed to Rogue! As a Rogue member I have been promised a TShirt, and free pint for my bday. Of course they dont do that anymore.... but they do offer a LITER of beer in exchange... (I kinda wanted a tshirt :/) but the Chocolate Porter is AMAAAAAZING. We also had Marionberry Mead, some samplers, Potato Nacho's (crisscut fries covered in yummyness), a hummus platter and all kinds of yum. We also headed to gelato after with Flea and I kiiiiinda drunk. All in all a great time

Then on Saturday, my cousin Jeff came home from the airforce!! :D just for a short leave, but yaaaay! so to have family birthday and celebrate Jess we headed to the Nantucket, which i havnt been to in yeeeaaarrss... BTW the food is AWESOME. 

Handsome, Amy, Jeff, Sue, Nan, and Janet! 

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Friday, June 6, 2014

My Return!

So Im back from Alaska! It was absolutly amazing. I can't thank Handsome Gentleman Friend enough for everything he does for me. :3 Thank you. Ill so a full recap soon, but i need to resize my pictures. I used my fancy new camera, and my handheld so theres like... 3k pictures? But I cant wait to go back. I love wild places, and you cant get much more wild then the far North. Just a teaser, whales were seen. And porpoises. :3

So my birthday is on Sunday. I managed to get it off, thank you Toure, and my sister and Flea are supposed to come down... We will see. Either way it will be delightful. Holy cow im going to be 29... but im on a better course then i was even 4 years ago, working through school and almost done, have some projects on the back burner, the greatest family around and a wonderful man who treats me like a princess.

So just a quick update that says nothing really, but now that im out of school updates will abound! plus i can get my laptop online at home now, even if its just a little its better then nothin!