Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crème Brûlée

Now we aren't gonna lie, we had a lot of people telling us that this dessert was going to cause us heart pain. A LOT of heart pain. 

But surprisingly, it was awesome! Awesome meaning zero freak outs and one very funny moment that lasted quite some time. Read on!
 Ingredients: sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and heavy whipping cream.
 The very first move is to get only the egg yolks. Not the egg whites! We collected the egg whites for the first egg but no worries!
 While Kelsey cracked eggs, Alixx got the cream mix going. First of all heavy whipping cream in a saucepan.
 Then add your vanilla extract.  Allow this to simmer over medium to low heat. Keep an eye on it and get back to the egg yolks!
 Once all the eggs are cracked add some sugar and...
 Whip it up!
 Once it gets to a nice pale yellow slowly, very very SLOWLY add the warm cream mix.  If you add it too fast you will cook the eggs. That is very bad! Sinfully bad.
 Once you've mixed it all in grab a friend and ladle it into your ramekins! If you run out don't be foolish and suggest to throw out the rest, simply find a bigger bowl and make a MASSIVE one. Everyone wins.
 Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and then into the oven and pour water into the sheet to about half way up the ramekins... or as much as the sheet allows.
 AH! The moment of truth. Alixx never stood a chance. 
"Don't make me laugh."
Slowly lifts pan barely off rack, "Lift-off!" 
Immediately spills a tiny bit of water, "Oh GOD!"
Kelsey begins to laugh. 
A little bit more water spills and sizzles," Stop it! Don't make me laugh" Alixx says desperately
It all went downhill from there. Alixx and Kelsey couldn't stop laughing literally 3/4ths of the water spilled into the oven.  
 But no worries, the crème brûlée was fine! It was then chilled and placed in the fridge for roughly 3 hours.
 Once ready to serve, professionally spread some sugar over the top.
FLAME ON! Get a manly propane torch and let your inner pyromaniac frolic.
And yes. We didn't take pictures. WE'RE SORRY!

Crème Brûlée
  • 10 whole egg yolks
  • 4 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Separate the egg yolks from 10 eggs.
  3. Add sugar and whip until pale yellow and thick.
  4. Over medium-low heat add heavy whipping cream and vanilla and allow to simmer.
  5. Slowly drizzle the cream mix in to the egg mixture being careful not to cook the eggs with the warm mix.
  6. Pour the mix into the ramekins and place on a baking sheet. Fill the baking sheet with water until it comes halfway up the ramekins.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until it no longer jiggles in the center.
  8. Cool on countertop, then chill for 2-3 hours in the fridge.
  9. To serve sprinkle with sugar and torch!
  10. Eat immediately!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chocolate Swirl Cake

So a Valentine's themed dinner is all about the desserts, right? RIGHT.

The line-up:  devil's food cake mix, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, cream cheese, eggs, white chocolate chips.
 This recipe is actually really simple to make, just make the chocolate cake according to the instructions on the back of the box.
 For the cream cheese type filling add the cream cheese (make sure yours is softened!), sugar, vanilla extract, and an egg.
 Whip this up a bit! If your cream cheese is softened this step will be awesomely easy... our cream cheese was taken out of the fridge a mere 5 minutes before this happened. We're dare devils.
 Once all mixed up add the white chocolate chips.
 Fold them into the mix.
 Now for our V-day themed meal Kelsey had these super cute heart shaped cake holders. So spray quite liberally with non-stick spray and add some chocolate mix.
 Then pour some of the cream cheese filling into the mix and with a knife swirl it all about.
Then you'll want to cook it until a toothpick comes out all nice and clean. Sorry no photos. 
Once you let them cool you can decorate them! 
Kelsey mixed just the perfect amount of food coloring to get this awesome pink color! Perfectly pink!
Ta-dah! Beautiful! Oh and don't mind the Christmas plate. 

Chocolate Swirl Cake
  • 1 box of Devils Food Cake mix (and whatever it calls for, in this case, oil, eggs and water)
Cream cheese Swirls:
  • 1 Whole package of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups of white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the Devils Food Cake according to the directions on the box.
  3. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract and beat. 
  4. Once creamy fold in the white chocolate chips.
  5. Spray baking pan with non-stick spray and pour in chocolate cake batter.  
  6. Pour some of the cream cheese mix in the middle and with a knife swirl the cream cheese into the chocolate mix.
  7. Place in the oven and bake according to directions on the box.
  8. Allow to cool and decorate!
One more dessert to follow!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spinach with Hot Bacon Dressing

Our little side dish was another delicious item.  Rule of Life #1: You can never go wrong with bacon.
Cast of characters: bacon, sugar, lime juice, onions, salt n' peppa, white vinegar and cornstarch.  Not pictured: Water
 Remember how we said we used the chopper to cut up our onion to protect our precious eyes? Yea... we didn't even think of it when we cut them up for this recipe. But that's ok! Gave us fond memories of Onion-o-rama!
 Bam! So basically just cut your onions to desired size, if you don't like big ol chunks cut 'em small and vice versa.
 Next the bacon. We wish we could accurately describe how much we love bacon. Just love it.
 There was talks of eating it raw. Do you understand?
 Regardless cut the bacon up into strips.
 Then throw the bacon and allow it to brown. But don't let it stick!
 Once browned throw in the onion and saute until translucent.
 Then just throw everything into the pan.  The water...
 Vinegar... salt, pepper, lime juice and cornstarch.
Bring the bad boy to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. You can cook longer or shorter just make sure you aren't boiling it. We kept in on low until we were ready to serve. Such a fantastic idea.
Serve on spinach and devour it! Sorry for the picture repeat, this won't happen again. We promise.

Spinach with Hot Bacon Dressing
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1 package of bacon (or 5)
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 3/4 cups of vinegar
  • 4 tbsp of lime juice (you can also use lemon juice)
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp of cornstarch
  1. Brown bacon over medium heat in a saucepan.
  2. Once done add onions into pan and saute until the onions are translucent.
  3. At this point add the remaining ingredients and bring the mix to a boil, and let bubble for 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat and keep warm until ready to serve.

Check back for the dessert recipes!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Steak with Creamy Whiskey Mushroom Sauce

So the main course for A Night in Paris was the oh so delicious, Steak with Creamy Whiskey Mushroom Sauce. It is super easy to make and it tastes divine.  Let's dive right in...

First things first: steak, salt, pepper, butter, onion, garlic, mushrooms, nutmeg, balsamic vinegar, heavy whipping cream and Italian seasoning. (Not pictured: cooking oil and whiskey).  Also you won't need that much butter.
Our first item of business was just to get all the ingredients ready... that means all the chopping, slicing, and dicing.
 At this point in the night, our guests were just about to arrive and we didn't want to look like weeping old women so we opted to cut up the onion with a chopper. Our eyes thanked us. (We also minced the garlic at the same time.)
 Next, we sliced up the mushrooms, no need to be precise here, as long as you've got some nice looking slices keep on going.
After that you'll want to cook your steak on the stove.  Didn't take any pictures (sorry!) but just rub the steaks with some oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook to desired level. We did about 2 minutes per side, it was perfect. Then tent the steaks to make sure they stay nice and warm.
 In the same pan add the butter, then the onions/garlic.  You'll cook this until the onions are translucent. WARNING: It will smell heavenly. 
 At this point, the mushrooms are added. You want to immediately start tossing those mushrooms so that everything is coated perfectly.
 After a few minutes, go ahead and add your balsamic vinegar and whiskey. You'll also want to add some salt, pepper, nutmeg and Italian seasoning.  Allow this to bubble to burn off a little bit of the alcohol.
 After that, add the heavy cream and allow the mix to bubble again.  At this point, test to see if you need to add any more seasoning.
 Once perfectly seasoned, add the steak and flip over each one.  The main goal is to get the steaks very nicely covered. 
Last but not least eat it! Now you may be wondering what is this green foliage in the front of this picture?! That our friends is the hot bacon salad dressing... Check back to see how to make that!

Steak with Creamy Whiskey Mushroom Sauce
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 container of mushrooms, sliced
  • Cooking oil
  • Steak cuts of your choice (we used 6 but they were portion sized)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  1. Mince the onion and garlic in a chopper (or mince by hand if that makes you happy).
  2. Slice your mushrooms to your desired level of thickness.
  3. Oil both sides of the steak and season with salt and pepper.  Heat a large frying pan over high heat, and once hot add the steaks.  Grill ~1.5 minutes per side (time depends on steak thickness and level of doneness), once finished place on plate and tent with foil. 
  4. In the same pan, reduce heat to medium and add butter.  Once bubbling add the onions and garlic and allow to cook until the onions are translucent.  (~3 minutes)
  5. Add all the mushrooms and toss to cover the mushrooms evenly in the onion/garlic/butter mix.  Saute the mushrooms until brown.
  6. Add balsamic vinegar and whiskey also add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  Stir and allow the mix to bubble to burn off some alcohol.  
  7. Lower heat to add the heave whipping cream.  Stir and let bubble for another 30 seconds.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper according to your own preference.
  8. Place steaks back in pan and flip once to completely cover steak. 
  9. Remove and eat!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Night in Paris

So remember how we mentioned we were going to  try out a new format type deal? Well it's still happening just a little later than we hoped.  The main difference is instead of a massive post about our Second Friday shinanigins we will be splitting it up... so first and foremost a little behind the scenes action!
Now a couple 'sf's ago (that's our easy way of saying Second Friday... obviously haha!) we were walking through Fry's buying some last minute ingredients when we walked right past their little sushi counter. Now being sushi lovers we had to grab some as a little pick-me-up before we started cooking. Since then it has become a lovely tradition that we hold very dear to our heart. 
 Sushi Time! We didn't have time to take a picture before we inhaled it. But it was some nice tuna rolls. Nothing too fancy but so very delicious!  Afterwards we began to cook!

Now everything went amazingly well. We finished right on time. Our guests loved the food and there were little to no meltdowns! Alixx did freak out for a little bit because she thought the guests were arriving early. Don't judge her.
 Another hilarious Alixx moment was when she attempted to pull the Crème Brûlée out of the oven.  The pan was filled quite precariously with water, as per the instructions, but Alixx didn't stand a chance. She spilled the water everywhere. E-v-e-r-ywhere. It was pathetically hilarious and we laughed for a good ten minutes afterwards. She can be seen above wiping the floor with a towel and her oh so fuzzy slippers. 
 One of the really exciting parts was putting together the centerpiece! At first Kelsey tried some double-stick  tape... but that ended up being more frustrating than useful so...
 She came up with the idea to tie the SF to the vase itself! Super cute and that got rid of all necessity for that silly tape.
 Holy Humongous Rose Batman!
 The final table looked like this! So divine.
 Our centerpiece was lovely! Kelsey is a crafty genius!
 Oh and a second centerpiece was made. We love roses. So beautiful.
 We had cute little Valentine's Day aprons too! Though they are covering up our awesome VDay attire. We looked spiffy. So did the boys! But we didn't take a picture. After we finished cooking we forgot to take any pictures! What a shame. Especially with the after dinner entertainment.  We played Sorry, which is quite accurately named.  Tore up rose petals, and preceded to say things like, "Look at what you've done!" in shaky and sad tones then laugh ourselves to tears.  Don't judge us.
But nevertheless everyone had a great time, and luckily clean-up wasn't too bad!
Well make sure to check back in the following days.  We'll be posting the recipes one-by-one!
Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day! (yesterday).