Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Job in "the industry." =)

On Thursday I was hired for a part time position at an upscale establishment in Kansas City. I'm really very excited about this, and I just can't believe that I'm going to be paid to cook!

Just for fun, I thought I'd throw out my first "graduation" shot, this was the Professional Cooking Class from the Culinary Center of Kansas City.



It seems that every week, one of my Chefs or Professors asks for reminders of who is currently working in the industry - and who's in the back/front of the house. I'll be so proud when I can finally raise my hand next week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cocoa Agave Cupcakes w/ Cinnamon Icing


Today is my husband's birthday. And, I feel the need to bake!! So, in honor of my hubs, I've made Cocoa Agave Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing.

This recipe is adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World!

Cupcakes
  • 2/3 cup Silk soy creamer
  • 1/2 tspn apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup light agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tspn almond extract
  • 1 cup gluten free flour (I used Arrowhead Mills Pancake/Baking Mix)
  • 1/2 tspn baking soda
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 1 1/2 tspn Xanthan Gum
Line Muffin pan and preheat oven to 325.
Combine soy creamer and cider vinegar and allow to curdle slightly.
Beat in agave, oil, and extracts until well combined.
Sift dry ingredients, add to wet, and mix until smooth.

Fill liners 2/3 full and bake 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
*Overbaking will cause dryness*

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chicken with Applesauce

Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with PCOS and insulin resistance. Yahoo. While I am not diabetic, I really have to watch my intake of carbs and sugar. I'm always trying to get my kids to eat better, but it's difficult. I found a Fix it and Forget it crockpot cookbook for diabetics, and thought I'd give a couple of the recipes a whirl.

Last night I made Chicken with Applesauce and it was actually very good. Due to the nature of the medication that I'm taking, I've had to seriously up my protein intake for a few weeks. So, chicken is back on my list of things I "will" eat. I know... I know... I can hear all the vegetarians in the world grunting and groaning. Believe me, I've grunted and groaned too. I know I can get plenty of protein from beans, legumes, and grains... but they just don't stay with me the way animal protein does. *sigh*

Anyhow... I've been taking Metformin for PCOS for 2 weeks now...and I've lost 7 lbs already! Go me!

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce (we use Sweet Baby Ray's since it's GF)
  • 1/2 tspn poultry seasoning
  • 2 tsp. honey (I used Agave instead)
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1. Season chicken with S&P, brown in oil for 5 minutes per side.
2. Cut up chicken into 1" chunks and transfer to slow cooker.
3. Combine remaining ingredients, pour over chicken and mix together well.
4. Cover. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or until chicken is tender.
5. Serve over rice or noodles.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Valentine's Day Box

It all started with melted couverture and coating chocolate. We cut out the heart shape - then used molding chocolate to create the sides of the box.


We made rum truffles to fill the boxes, and a poured sugar base for presentation.



The finished project. =)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Iron Cupcake: Earth - Coffee

This months Iron Cupcake's special ingredient is coffee. While I'm not much of a coffee drinker, I do enjoy a Campfire Mocha from Caribou every now and then. So, the campfire mocha was my inspiration for this months challenge.

My ingredients were gathered... my KitchenAid was ready to rock... and I began the arduous task of creating a winning recipe. Baking gluten free is a pain in the neck, though!

The campfire mocha is basically coffee, chocolate, and marshmallows. So, my cupcake is a mocha cake, with a mocha mousse, topped with marshmallows and a dark chocolate ganache.


Vegan & Gluten Free Campfire Mocha Cupcakes
  • 1 cup chocolate soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten free flour mix (I used Arrowhead Mills)
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 1/4 cup dutch process cocoa
  • 1/2 cup Earth's Best buttery spread (vegan)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons strong coffee
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan gum
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. Whisk together soy milk and vinegar - allow to curdle.
3. Sift flour and cocoa powder together, add salt - set aside.
4. Cream margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy - NO more than 2 minutes.
5. Add in coffee, beat until incorporated.
6. Starting with the dry ingredients, alternate dry ingredients, then milk & cider mix, until everything is well incorporated.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full, bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Chocolate Mousse Topping
  • 1 (12-3) ounce package extra firm silken aseptic tofu (Mori-Nu) drained of excess liquid
  • 1/4 cup chocolate soymilk
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 12 ozs semi sweet chocolate chips
1. In a small saucepan, combine soy milk and coffee crystals - heat until crystals dissolve.
2. Crumble tofu into blender, add soy milk & coffee mix, agave (and maple syrup if using 70% chocolate). Purree until completely smooth, set aside.
3. In double boiler, melt chocolate chips and add to blender once melted and smooth.
Scrape sides of blender down often!
4. Transfer into an airtight container and chill for a couple hours before frosting.

Ganache:
  • 1/3 cup soy creamer
  • 4 oz chocolate (again, I used 70% - but you could use whatever you like!)

Heat creamer to scalding, pour over chocolate... stir well until chocolate is melted and shiny. =)

The marshmallows in the picture are not vegan. The rest of the cupcake, frosting, and ganache are all vegan. =)

Mixing the batter...


Baking...


And, here they are... fresh from the oven. They didn't rise as much as I thought they would, so it was a good thing I had extra batter. Had I filled them 2/3 full in the beginning, this mix would have made 12 easily.



And, here is my finished product. I have to say... I'm quite proud of this one! My husband each had a cupcake last night. We both loved them. He took the rest of them to work today. My Campfire Mocha Cupcake is now history, his coworkers ate all of them, and loved them. Hooray! =)



Prizes this month are:

* DIANAEVANS - http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5599270
* a pair of cupcake earrings from LOTS OF SPRINKLES - http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6057281.
* CAKESPY - http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5243382

As an added bonus for February, SWEET CUPPIN CAKES BAKERY AND CUPCAKERY SUPPLY will be tossing in a variety of cupcaking supplies, http://www.acupcakery.com/index.html.

Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, http://www.fiestaproducts.com, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, http://blog.hellocupcakebook.com, JESSIE STEELE APRONS http://www.jessiesteele.com; TASTE OF HOME books, http://www.tasteofhome.com; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM http://www.upwithcupcakes.com/. Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, http://www.1800flowers.com

Thursday, February 5, 2009

NRA - here I come!

No, I don't mean the National Rifle Association. =)

Last week I became a member of the Hospitality Club at the college. They take two trips every year, one to the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, and one to a show in New York. I've wanted to attend a show like this for years, but never had the opportunity.

I attended an informational meeting on Monday... and learned that only 20 (possibly 25) people would be able to go. Yesterday, I was confirmed as number 23! I'm headed to Chi Town in May!

I can't wait!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wanna watch while I kick myself?

I always tell people, "read the lable, every single time" when they ask about feeding allergic children. Yet, I often fail to live by my own advice. I've been eating veggie burgers at the cafe' at the college for two semesters now, and I've failed to realize that they contain wheat!!!

For months I've gone out of my way to avoid any and all wheat, in any product. Only to realize I've been eating it all along. What a dumba**.

Well, today is Super Bowl Sunday... and tomorrow is a brand new day. New day, new diet, NO wheat. NO wonder I'm still not feeling 100%, or even close to it!