Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Bake Sale Cakes and Pops

Oy! This month has been so unbelievably busy. Case in point: today.

Those would be my lovely digits covered in cake goo ala cake pops! Granted, our first try out was less than stellar, but the 70+ pops we made for a leadership meeting this week turned out cute enough!

After the pops were wrapped and readied to go, I headed home to bake a few cakes for the Trunk or Treat cake walk tonight. They are only a single layer, but I made a dozen of them! Yummy home made cakes with yummy add ins (like always!) and homemade buttercream frosting to make them look like mummies, Jack Skelington, and spider webs. Again, not as ornate as if I were charging for them, but tasty and fast and they'll make do for little monsters who will just be goblin' them down tomorrow anyway!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Halloween Cuppi-Cakes

This is Halloween!
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

More Halloween goodies from the past. Nothing says fun like cool treats that aren't from the store. You can whip up a bunch of these for the kids you personally know and they will love gobblin' them up! This tutorial is a repeat from 2005, however they are pretty fun so here we go!

O.k. So this is the first run of cupcakes! I wasn't prepared for the decorations with special candies or frostings, but went ahead and came up with these little beauties with what we had on hand:

Dunked in Jelly Bellies, You're Bugging Me!, Spike, & Don't Forget to Floss.

Jack Skelington, Oogie Boogie, Sally, & Stock

High Anxiety, Buck, I only have eyes for you, & Miss Spider.

All cupcakes were chocolate with vanilla or chocolate frostings. I used Mega M&Ms, tiny M&Ms, Jelly Bellies, Life Savers, Sour Patch Strips, Green Apple Gum, Eclipse Gum, Jolly Rancher Rocks, and black Jimmies.

Frosting was applied via a zip lock bag snipped at one corner or with a butter knife. I also used a bamboo skewer to aid in the placement of many Jimmies! I am sure when I actually get out the cake gear and use the pro stuff they will come out even better. In the mean time, we're eatin' cupcakes for dessert tonight!

To view cupcake details more closely, click on the photo above. This will take you to my photo page at Flicker! Find the photo stream st the top right of the page and click the "next" photo, it should be titled: "I'm ready for my close up!" double click. It will come up full screen and with much better detail.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chicken Corn Soup

THE recipe for a crazy good chicken and corn soup --it turns out really flavourful and so delicious that I am wont to share it with you; so here goes:

I started by placing my washed and dried whole chickens, with their necks and gizzards etc. in my heavy enameled cast iron pot with a bit of butter, kosher salt, pepper corns, and crushed garlic -lots of garlic. I slow roasted those darling little chickens until they were tender, juicy juicy, and the joints easily tore from each other and the meat beginning to fall off the bone. From one chicken I took one full breast and thigh and chopped it into big bite sized chunks; and set it aside.


1 chicken whole chicken breast -roasted and chopped into bite sized chunks
1 chicken thigh - roasted and chopped into bite sized chunks
4-5 pieces of meaty bacon, fried, diced - if you buy good quality meaty bacon you will not need to drain the fat. You will be cooking veggies in it, and what's left after that will get emulsified into the soup.
1/2 yellow onion - diced
1 small red pepper - diced
1 large jalapeno pepper - diced
1 russet potato - peeled and diced
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese - shredded
3 cups good stock
cream -ifin ya wanna

In another heated heavy pot I fried up four pieces of really meaty bacon. When the bacon was just about done I added the onion, red pepper, jalapeno, potato and corn. Saute the veggies with the bacon until they begin to caramelize, they don't all have to turn deep brown, but some should. Pull the bacon out and give it a good dice, return it to the pot and add the corn and stock. Bring to a low boil and simmer until the potato is fork tender.

Take about half of the soup, both veggies and stock and toss into a blender. Keep the lid on, but the cap out, cover with a small towel and pulse to puree the contents. Return this to the pot and fold into the soup.

Add the cheese, blend. Add the chicken, fold in and bring back up to a low simmer to reheat chicken. Do not bring the soup up to a boil or you will curdle the cheese! It will still taste fine, it will just look funky. Taste to season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Serve.

Originally I was going to add heavy cream to the soup, however in the long run (read:standing under the ladder doing some painting) I forgot to! It didn't matter, it was still so flavourful! And the best part? It was even more tasty the next day for lunch...really really good for lunch! If you want to - go ahead and add some cream!