Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fresh Pineapple

One of my favorite things about this time of year is all the fresh pineapple the stores are getting in and how cheap it is! Stores around here have been selling it for a $1 each! To pick a pineapple there are a few things you want to look for:
~A small crown (green pointy leaves) compared to the size of the bottom portion (the actual pineapple)
~You want it to feel heavy for its size
~ All of the eyes (circles) on the flesh should be roughly the same color, it is OK if its still green, it will continue to ripen

Start off by cutting off the crown and the bottom from the pineapple.

Then using your knife and staying close to the flesh, cut off the flesh going straight down and making your way completely around.

Cut it in half

Then in half again to make quarters

Taking each quarter, cut out the core (it is edible but very tough, your knife should just glide along it)

Then cut each quarter into strips and then crosswise into pieces.

But if you want to get fancy, cut the pineapple in half first, even through the crown.

And then into quarters

Using a paring knife, I still take out the core but you can leave it, it is easier that way

Using a knife, "fillet" the fruit away from the flesh

Cut the fruit crosswise into strips without going through the flesh

And alternate the pieces pushing them in opposite directions


Come back in a few days for a few ideas of what to do with all this Fresh Pineapple!
Happy July 4th!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Biscoff Spread

Have you ever seen this stuff!? It is terribly delicious! I say terribly because I am utterly hooked. One of my local grocery stores had some out to sample a couple of weeks ago with chunks of bread and after my third trip of wandering back over to get another taste, I decided to buy a jar before they made me pay for my multiple samplings =)

I describe it as Belgium's peanut butter substitute. I have been using everywhere I would normally put peanut butter and my daughter can eat it because it contains no nuts (She isn't two yet so we haven't given her peanut butter yet). I'm excited to start experimenting with it while baking, but will have to buy another jar first because we couldn't stop eating it. My favorite way of enjoying it has been to spread a thin layer on a whole wheat tortilla and roll it up. If you see a jar, I highly suggest picking it up!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fried Doughnuts

You may be wondering why I am showing you a picture of refrigerated pizza crust if I am making fried doughnuts......That's because it works perfect for little fried yeast doughnuts! It is so simple and sooo good!

Simply unroll your pizza crust dough and cut out your doughnuts. I used a letter "O" cookie cutter but you can use anything from a drinking glass to a 2 liter pop bottle cap to cut out the center.

I poured vegetable oil into a deep skillet until it was between a 1/4 and a 1/2 inch deep. You want just enough vegetable oil for the doughnuts to float. I turned the heat up to medium on the stove to heat my oil. I can tell when the oil is ready when I put the handle of a wooden spoon in and little bubbles immediately form around it. A deep fryer can also be used if you have one.

Please be very careful around hot oil as it can be one of the most dangerous things you do in the kitchen. Click here for guidelines and safety rules for home deep frying.

Carefully lay the dough into the hot oil to fry, they literally only take a few seconds. Make sure to turn them to fry both sides and don't forget to fry those doughnut holes either!

Place the fried doughnuts onto paper towels to drain off the excess oil. Make sure not to over fry them as they can become a little tough.

But we aren't going to leave these little fried doughnuts naked! I had a bowl of powdered sugar, a bowl of cinnamon sugar, and a bowl of icing waiting to dip all of my doughnuts into. The icing is simply powdered sugar mixed with water and vanilla extract until it is the desired consistency.

Roll or dip your doughnuts into one of the toppings and enjoy. These doughnuts are best when they are fresh and still warm.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Graduation Cupcakes

Remember my niece Tiffany from Cupcakes at Tiffany's? Well, she recently made some cupcakes herself for her older sister Taylor's high school graduation and she did an awesome job!

Tiffany decorated the tops of her frosted cupcakes with a chocolate square with an attached M&M and sour straw in their school colors to make graduation caps. Great Job Tiff!

Here is a picture from this last Easter with Tiffany, my daughter Samantha and my other niece Emily (who also likes to bake!)

Aren't they beautiful?!

Happy Father's Day Weekend and see you on June 20th for Doughnuts!

Friday, June 10, 2011

See You June 20th!

Sorry Everyone,
I am going to have to miss this week but will be back on June 20th with "Homemade" Doughnuts!
Have a good week and see you then!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Going to the Dogs

My friend Traci (a wonderful baker!) recently asked me if I would be interested in donating some baked goods for a bake sale benefiting a local spay and neuter clinic for rescue animals. Of course I was!

First I made a batch of No Bake Cookies. I have learned that these yummy morsels seem to be a Midwest, country treat. When I first met my city born and bred husband, he had never even heard of these! But after the first time I made a batch for him, he has never looked back.

I also made a batch of brownie bites. I took a store bought brownie mix and followed the directions for a chewy brownie. I also replaced the water with room temperature, brewed coffee. I baked them in mini muffin cups and once they were cool I drizzled them with melted chocolate.

Now if I could tug on your heartstrings a bit........

Have you ever thought about a rescue dog? We did and she is wonderful! We adopted our Lucky dog 3 years ago when our local Humane Society discovered over 120 dogs living in one house. When we heard about this, my husband and I just knew we had to do something. And so did the community. Droves of people donated money, supplies and their time. And all the dogs found homes. Here are some pictures of Lucky and our equally loved and spoiled Sheltie Chloe.