Sunday, June 27, 2010

I am back from a HOT week of camping :) is nice to be home.  Nice cool air condition, my own bed, not having to walk down the street to take a shower or go to the bathroom, home is great.  I have had a fun week camping at the lake, even though to have an enjoyable swim where the water wasn't really warm, you had to go out in the deep part.  It was still very enjoyable.  i didn't know I was going to, but I did a lot of baking this past week....baking in the sun that is.  There wasn't tons of shade and it was HOT outside.  But the food!

I was in charge of cooking dinner for two nights.  The first night I cooked, I had previously cooked a chicken casserole before we left so all we had to do was warm it up.  Normally when I cook this dish, I just cook french fries to go with it.  However, I am just kinda tired of french fries because at my house, that is what we have almost every night.  So I wanted to mix things up a little.  So here is what I did:

Camp Fried Potatoes
(Instructions are slightly modified from what I actually did but have not tried it this exact way yet)
(Sorry for the bad quality pictures...I had to use my phone because I had not thought about sharing this, so I was not prepared.)

First, get some potatoes - about three average sized ones.  Wash them, peel them if you like, and cut them in bite sized pieces. 
Melt a stick of butter in a skillet. I suggest low heat.  When the butter starts to sizzle, put your cut up potatoes in the skillet and stir it around to get them all nice and coated with the butter.  Then just let the potatoes sit there for about 3-5 minutes. If you are tempted to stir them DON'T!  This will help them get nice and brown.  Around three minutes, you may want to take a fork or something to check one of the pieces.  If it isn't looking how brown you want it, then leave it longer.  The time is more of a guideline, not set in stone.
Now you can stir them around.  Let it sir for 3-5 more minutes.  Then stir them again.  Do this about 2 or 3 more times until all the sides of the potatoes are turning nice and brown.
Take a package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix and sprinkle it all over the potatoes.  Stir it all up so it all gets coated nicely.  If your potatoes don't look like they are all coated you can add another just depends on the size of your potatoes.  Do the sit-stir routine a couple more times until the potatoes get kind of soft.  The onions in the mix will burn easily so don't let it sit for too long.  About 2-3 minutes will probably be good.
Once they are all brown and soft, take them out and serve.

Easy enough I think.  The hardest part, for me that is, is waiting and NOT stirring them.
Mine got a little burnt quite a bit done.  I put the soup mix in at the beginning so the onions in the mix kinda turned black quickly.  But I changed that in my instructions.  They did still taste good though...except for the occasional well-done piece. I have to go start packing to go visit my grandparents.  See ya in about another week!
I am going to try a couple cake ideas soon!  :)

The Girl Creative
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Vacation and Cupcakes

Hello there!
Today I am leaving to go on vacation with my family. We are going camping! I love camping. Something about being in the great outdoors and just looking at all the wonderful things that God has made is just amazing. I will be gone for about a week and then I will be home for maybe a day and a half and then leaving again to go visit my grandparents for a week. So I probably won't have a post with in the next two weeks. But when I get back I will have to make something cause I will have been going through baking withdrawals! Lol. But there are several birthdays coming up (including my own ^_^) once I get back. So I will be making some cakes or cupcakes or something! I am excited! I already have some ideas that I hope will work out!!!

I thought I would still leave you (the few...possibly none...readers here...) with something that I have made. Last Sunday, I had a family reunion to go to. So I made cupcakes! I absolutely LOVE cupcakes! I don't know what it is but they are just so cute and fun for me to ATTEMPT to decorate! When I was looking for a job I actually applied at a cupcake place (unfortunately I didn't get that job...oh well).
I started out just making regular sized cupcakes. But then I ran out of the liners....I might would have just sprayed the pan really good and not use liners but I thought since I was taking these somewhere that I would rather use the backing cup liners. So I searched in the cabinet to make sure I didn't miss any...I hadn't...but I did find TONS of the miniature ones. So I used those. They were actually better to use cause there were several desserts there and some people might just want a bite or two of a cupcake and not the whole cupcake. So it was perfect size.

I still haven't mastered the art of decorating cupcakes...but I think these turned out pretty cute :)
Here they are:

It is a purple looks a  lot prettier in person.  Here it looks almost like a weird greyish purply color.  They still seemed kinda plain to me.  And then I remembered that a cupcake is never complete without SPRINKLES!!! So this is what I decided to do. 

I thought they turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. 

Well I better go finish packing and getting ready.  I will be back in a week or two!  Bye!

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Deliciousness in a Roll

What is better than the warm, yummy, soft, goey, sweet, cinnamony smell of cinnamon rolls in the morning?  Nothing comes to mind.  I decided to make cinnamon rolls for Sunday morning.  I found a recipe over at Our Best Bites for some Overnight Cinnamon Rolls.  I carefully read through all the directions and even read the comments below.  I could do this!  I wrote all the needed information down and headed to the kitchen on Saturday afternoon.  Gathering all of my materials, I started baking.

Making the dough is the first step...and an important one at that :)
Thank goodness for the new KitchenAid mixer my dad bought!!!!  It made things so much easier...especially since it has a dough hook and I have never had the luxury before of having one of those.

So first, Put the 1/2 Cup of warm water in your bowl.  Then pour the
yeast over the water and let it sit there for a few minutes.  Then whisk it a little bit until it is all mixed in and smooth.

Then whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour.  Cover it with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes in a warm spot and let the yeast do its work.

Now add the eggs, sugar, butter, and the rest of the flour to the bowl.  Use the dough hook and knead the dough on a medium speed untill it is smooth.  It should take around 10 to 12 minutes.  Add a tad bit more flour if dough is still really sticky.  I should have added some more but I didn't  :| ....oh well...too late now.
(see how clean and neat I am in the kitchen? lol)

Ok so now cover it with plastic wrap again and and let it sit in a warm spot for about 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.

You can now make the filling if you want, since you have 2 hours to wait.  Just set aside 2 tablespoons of a stick of butter.  Then beat the rest of the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon all together until it is all mixed up good.  About a minute should be good.

Now that your filling is made, set it aside.  Get a dish for your rolls and butter/grease it up nice and good so the cinnamon rolls won't stick to it.  Here is the fun part:  Put your dough on a lightly floured surface.  Roll it out into a rectangle, about 15x10 inches.  Then spread the filling all on top of that.

Now roll it up lengthwise... so from the picture above, I rolled it starting at the top downward.  Then once you get it all rolled up, cut it into rolls and place them in your dish.  Mine were not as pretty as the ones from Our Best Bites....but I think they looked pretty good for my very first try.

 They are all swirly and pretty :)  I think my dough could have been rolled out thinner and they may would have turned out better.  But let's continue on and see the finished product.

So now take the 2 tablespoons of butter that you set aside earlier and melt it.  Brush it over the top of your cinnamon rolls.  This should help keep them from drying out overnight.  Now cover it tightly with plastic wrap and you just stick those babies in the fridge until morning.
In the morning, they need to sit out for an hour.  Mine got nice and big...

Once they sat out, stick them in a preheated oven at 350.  Somehow, I turned my oven to 375...I think I was partially asleep when I was laying them out and turning on the oven. Haha.   They cook for about 30 minutes or untill golden brown.

So here are mine with out the glaze.....they aren't the prettiest things ever but they still tasted pretty good :)

So now you can whip up the glaze, wait about 15 minutes (I couldn't wait and so my icing/glaze stuff melted pretty quickly and just ran off :(  oh well.) and drizzle it on there.

Yum yum yum!
When i make these again, I will double the filling...I LOVE cinnamon so I would like more of that.  And I might pour a little more of the glaze on there...I like the sweetness too!

That's the finished product ^_^  Deliciousness in a roll.

Here is the recipe from Our Best Bites:
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls


1 T active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water (105 degr F/ 40 deg C)
4 1/2 C all-purpose flour (22 1/2 oz 700g)
4 large eggs
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 C (1 stick) real butter at room temp

1/2 C (1 stick) real butter at room temp
3/4 C packed brown sugar
1 T cinnamon

1 C powdered sugar
2 T butter, melted
2 T milk or cream
1 t vanilla extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the water, allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth.  Whisk in 1/2 C of the flour.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. 

Add the eggs, sugar, butter, and remaining 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture.  Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead on medium speed until smooth 10-12 minutes. Add a bit more flour to reduce stickiness if needed.

Cover with plastic wrap, set in a warm spot and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. 

While dough is rising, prepare filling.  Take 2 T of the stick of butter and set aside.  Beat  remaining butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together until combined and slightly fluffy, about 1 minute.

Butter a 9x13 baking dish.  Transfer the dough to a floured work surface.  Roll  out into a rectangle about 15x10 in.  Spread filling onto dough and roll up length-wise. 

Use string or dental floss to score and cut the dough into rolls.  You can make 12 small rolls, 10 medium ones, or 8 large.   Place cut side up in baking dish.  Melt the reserved 2 T butter and brush on top of rolls.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

The next morning remove from refrigerator and let rise until half again as high, about 1 hour.  While rising mix glaze ingredients until combined.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Spread the glaze over warm rolls and serve.

The Girl Creative

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

I have been getting ready for my trip to Missouri and I looked for a snack to take with me for the 4 hour ride there.  I thought about cookies, but I wanted to make something that I haven't cooked before.  So I googled around and came across Cinnamon Tortilla Chips.  They sounded easy enough and looked yummy and seemed like it would be something good to take in the car on a trip.  And me, I LOVE cinnamon.  Ever since I was little I have always enjoyed cinnamon, whether it was cinnamon toast or the cinnamon biscuits and cinnamon pancakes to even mixing it into my fried egg...I loved it.
So let's get started!

After heating the oven to 400 degrees, get out the soft tortilla shells.  Cut them into whatever shape you want.  I just did triangles.  But you can get funky and cut out hearts or flowers or whatever you want!

Place them on the baking sheet and brush them with the melted butter.  Sprinkle on the cinnamon and sugar!  I put some extra cinnamon on them to make them extra good :)

Now just stick those babies in the oven until they are slightly brown and delicious looking!

Let them cool and then enjoy!!!!!

Me and my mom gobbled up some before I had chance to take the picture :).  I added some extra sugar cause they weren't very sweet at first.

Here is the recipe:
Cinnamon Tortilla Chips
- 8 -8 inch tortillas
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons melted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut tortillas into sections.  Melt the butter.  In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.
3. Brush tortillas with melted butter. Place on cookie sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
4. Place in the oven for about 6 minutes or until slightly brown.
5. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

I also couldn't help myself and I made some cookies too!
Chocolate chip cookies are absolutely wonderful!!!
I normally use the recipe on the back of the Tollhouse chocolate chip container but my mom always says they aren't quite sweet enough.  So I decided to try a different recipe this time.  Martha Stewart's Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.  The model picture looked delicious!
And here they are:
 Mine don't look quite as pretty as the one from the website but they still tasted good!!!  They spread out and were pretty flat and they look kinda funny cause the chocolate chips are protruding out the top.  But they are still wonderful!  Next time I think I will try another recipe in search of the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!

I have to finish paking for my trip.  I am so excited!!!
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Friday, June 4, 2010

Follow Me Fridays


I just joined the Follow Me Fridays!

The Girl Creative

And also New Friend Friday!!!

I am excited about finding new blogs to follow!

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Busy Little Bee and a Mixer!

This past weekend was Memorial Day weekend and my family and I went camping.  It was a beautiful weekend for this relaxing trip.  Due to limited cargo space, I did not cook any kind of treat.  But after the 4 hour drive to the campground, I wish I had whipped up something for the road.  Maybe next time I will remember to do that.
We headed out on Friday afternoon only knowing a general direction of where we were going but no specific destination.  For those of you who don't camp, this was very dangerous for campgrounds are PACKED on Memorial Day weekend.  It is close to impossible to find a spot without a reservation, and we had none.  Some campsites had walk-in sites that aren't available to reserve, and that is what we hoped to find.  My dad had a few campgrounds picked out that we were going to try.  On the way however, he called Ouachita Lake State Park and they had just had a cancelation.  SCORE!!!  We reserved that spot and continued driving.  It was beautiful out there.  

We had a wonderful view of the lake.  Our family very much enjoyed just relaxing in the great outdoors. The water felt wonderful to swim in...not too hot and not too cold.  The sun gave me a nice little tan which I was more than grateful about.  :)  And I know I am no photographer but here are a couple more pictures from our little trip.
This is the sun setting behind the mountains across the lake.  So pretty :)
Isn't this just beautiful? 
All in all it was a great weekend.

We got home and now I had to unpack and everything.  Now I had to start getting ready for another trip of mine.  This coming week I am leaving to go to Missouri with my church.  It is a youth trip but they allowed the college people to come too.  Yay!!  I am so excited about this trip!  We are going tubing (just floating...not the really fun kind of tubing where you are pulled from behind a boat) on a river and then going to six flags for two days!  I am going to get so sun burned!  Hopefully, if I am lucky, I will just get more tan...hahahaha yeah right.  So I will be busy getting ready and having fun.

Also, my dad bought us a new mixer!!! YAY!!!!  Our old one has not been working for several years now and so we have been relying on our even OLDER one.   You know, one of the ones you hold.  It just does not have the power that is needed.  It only has five speeds and it just isn't very powerful anymore.  But now...we have a standing Kitchen Aid!  WOOHOO!!!! I am super excited to get to use it!  I can't wait! 
Maybe I can find some sort of treat to make for my trip to Missouri with the youth...hmm....

So that is basically all that has been going on.  I haven't had much time to make anything recently :(   I am going to try to get back in the kitchen VERY soon!!!

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