Category: Cooking


Herb Garden

I found this neat kit at the nursery. It has a pole and two cross pieces. The cross pieces go in to the bottom, big pot at the bottom and top, then the pole is threaded through the holes in the middle of the pieces. Then you take four smaller pots and thread them on the pole, flipping them back and forth as you do. Fill with soil and add plants! This makes a great herb garden for me!

From the top down: Rosemary, Mint, Oregano, Thyme, and in the bottom pot: French Tarragon, Basil, and Italian Parsley around the back.

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Cupcake!

Sunday was not only Mothers’ Day, it was my 12th Wedding Anniversary. I made cupcakes!

Friday Night Dinner

This was frozen four cheese ravioli served with a “sauce” made from bacon lardons and one beefsteak tomato, chopped and my left over grape tomatoes that were a little too ripe for salads, with a bit of salt, pepper, and basil. Topped with shredded Parmesan cheese.

It was wonderful!

Cookie Time

I’m getting ready to make some cookies for a Halloween Party on Monday and I thought I would share my recipe for [cref cookies royal icing] once again.

Since royal icing is made with raw egg whites and isn’t cooked, there can be an issue with food safety. This can be avoided by using pasteurized eggs. Royal icing uses only the egg whites, not the yolks, so there could be some waste if you purchase a dozen pasteurized eggs (and they’re more expensive than regular eggs too).

My solution is to buy egg whites in a carton. These are available in the egg section of the dairy case at your local grocery store, right next to the Egg Beaters and Better’n Eggs. Like the Egg Beaters and Better’n Eggs, egg whites often come in a store brand too. The egg whites are genuine pasteurized egg whites that you just measure out instead of separating eggs to get the whites.

If you like to eat your cookie dough and don’t want to worry about the health issues of raw eggs, you can substitute the Egg Beaters or Better’n Eggs in your cookie dough recipe for regular eggs. Just follow the equivalency chart on the side of the carton.

Royal Icing

1 pound powdered sugar
1/3 cup egg whites (or two egg whites)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (helps to bind the egg whites)
2 teaspoons of water

Mix it all in a mixer. You can make different consistencies. add some more powdered sugar to make it a bit firmer. If you want to cover a cookie in icing, use a round tip and draw a line around the outside, then use slightly more watery icing to fill in. The icing will spread out, but won’t go over the side because of the icing dam. A toothpick dipped into food coloring can be used to “draw” features in newly poured icing (works well with white).

Try to use gel coloring if possible (Wilton makes this) but you can use the liquid drops from the supermarket. If you do, it will thin the icing so be prepared to add a little more powdered sugar if you want firmer icing.

Royal icing can be kept in sealed plastic containers at room temperature for days. Mix different colors in different containers. If you don’t have cake decorating tools, you can still pipe icing dams using a plastic sandwich bag with a low corner just nipped off.

***I have received no compensation or consideration from Wilton or the makers of Better’n Eggs or Egg Beaters for this post. I have purchased these products with my own money to use in recipes and I am letting my readers know about their options. ***

Happy Birthday Emily!

It’s my niece’s 14th birthday today and she wanted a purple Converse All-Star*** High Top cake. So she got what she wanted:

Emily's Birthday Cake

Emily's Birthday Cake

***I received no compensation or consideration for this Converse All-Star Shoe Cake. It is what my niece wanted her cake to look like, and it’s what I provided to her. ***

Another Cake

For the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon today:

Teacher Appreciation Cake

Teacher Appreciation Cake

Close-up of just the cake

Close-up of just the cake

Cakes and Cupcakes

Today was my cousin’s baby shower. I made the cake and cupcakes.

Here they are:

Cupcake

Cupcake

Two views of the cake:

Side View

Side View

Top View

Top View

Cupcakes were Pillsbury Butter Cake (fabulous!) with butter cream frosting and fondant flowers and leaves.

The cake was a sheet cake cut into two layers with raspberry and butter cream filling and butter cream frosting. The belly and boobs were baked in metal bowls and set on a cakeboard cut to fit. They were then covered with butter cream and fondant. The darker purple is butter cream too, but royal icing could be used. The pearls are fondant with an edible pearl powder  brushed on. The belly button is a ball of fondant set on the butter cream covered belly before the “dress” was laid on.

Sea Kitten Recipe Deadline Extended

I’ve decided to extend the deadline through Friday!

Please send either a link to a recipe or the recipe itself to seakittens@musing-minds.com.

At the moment we have recipes for whitefish sea kitten, salmon, and crawfish sea kitten pie. Please give us more!

The carnival will be posted Sunday morning.

Related: [cref sea-kittens-for-ieatapeta-day], [cref reminder]

Baked Oatmeal

The Anchoress says it’s like eating Christmas. She’s right. I took the recipe she posted and added some Sunmaid Goldens and Cherries, and some frozen mixed berries and frozen peach slices in addition to the dried cranberries. The other change I made to recipe was replacing half the cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice.

With my oven I can set it to start and run for however long so I cooked this while we were at church this morning. I will set it to start a little later next time, maybe so it’s just done when we arrive home or a few minutes after instead of earlier. Holding it in the warm, turned off oven, dried it a little bit more than it should have been, but this was just wonderful. Warm, creamy/crunchy, fruity. I warmed some milk and poured a little over each serving. The house smelled so good when we arrived home…

I think you can take the basic recipe and add whatever you want for fruit, or nuts. Dried apricots would probably be great as would figs.

Here’s what mine looked like this morning:
baked-oatmeal.gif