Thursday, April 28, 2011

Buttermilk Pancakes

My first week of being done with school went something like this:

Get up, put on stretchy pants, maybe go for a (super short) run, come back, eat breakfast, figure out what to do with my day, run errands, eat lunch, apply for jobs, and then from there I have the option of reading, watching movies, baking, or finding something to do to stay busy.

The stretchy pants are definitely a pivotal part of my day. I am wearing them right now with my neon yellow sweatshirt.  It's definitely the look of the unemployed.

That's ok, I may be unemployed but I am well fed and happy.

I made these for breakfast the other day because I have a deep and somewhat unsatisfied love of buttermilk pancakes. They are by far my favorite kind of pancakes. I love them. You wouldn't know that, however, because rarely make them. It's a shame really, I ought to indulge more, but it's hard to buy a whole thing of buttermilk just for some pancakes, you know?

These pancakes are a luxurious breakfast, I think. They're warm and light and fluffy and make you feel special. I don't know how, but it's true. Eating buttermilk pancakes in the morning just makes a person feel special.

This is my favorite recipe for them and it took me awhile to find one I liked. It is another one that I stole from my former roommate (explanation here).


Buttermilk Pancakes
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 TBS butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  1. Combine the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter in mixing bowl.  Stir briskly until smooth and blended.
  2. Stir flour, salt, and baking soda together in a small bowl and blend well.
  3. Stir flour mixture into buttermilk mixture only until the dry ingredients are moistened--leave the lumps!
  4. Cook on greased skillet.
Makes enough pancakes for 2 (about 6 mid-sized pancakes).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake and Graduation

I graduated! I now have a two bachelors' degrees, one in Public Relations and one in French.

In celebration, here is a recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Trifle (aka regular strawberry shortcake that I chunked up in layers so it would be fancy.) 


Strawberry Shortcake (Trifle)

  • Pound Cake cake mix
  • ingredients called for on box
  • 1 TBS extra butter, sfotened
  • 1 TBS sour cream
Make according to box directions, but add in extra butter and sour cream with ingredients.

  • my recipe for "the best strawberry glaze ever", found here

    • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
    • 2 TBS sugar
    With an electric mixer, whip cream and sugar together until soft peaks form.

    • 12 smallish strawberries, sliced
    • 1 Tbs sugar
    Slice strawberries and set in a bowl. Add sugar and combine. The longer this sits together, the more juice you will have.


    Cut up the pound cake in square chunks, about 1 inch x 1 inch. Layer cake, glaze, whipped cream and strawberries in that order. At the top of the glass/cup/bowl/whatever, top with more whipped cream. Serve and devour.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Deep Fried Scones

    My mama and my grandma are coming tomorrow to see me graduate!!! That’s right, this college grad still calls her mom, mama.  And I’ll never stop.  I am so very excited for them to come!

    Here are the little beauties. 

    We look so much alike. Minus the extra 11 inches I have on my grandma (she is standing on a step in the picture), the 5 inches I got on my mama, and the brown hair and brown eyes. Other than that, TWINS! Errr… I mean… TRIPLETS!

    We’re going to have so much fun going here and here and here.
    And maybe I’ll make them something special like this:

     (left ones dipped in powdered sugar, right ones dipped in cinnamon-sugar)

    This is what I made for Andrew’s buddies when they all come over to our teeny-tiny apartment on Sunday. We ate them all. I wish I had thought to take a picture of the tower of deep fried scones we had, but I am an air head and forgot. But there were tons.  Maybe 60? Maybe more? Maybe I am exaggerating. My memory does that sometimes. 

    I asked Andrew. He said there were at least 80 scones and he never exaggerates. He’s good that way.  I made 1 ½ of the recipe so there would be less if you followed the recipe exactly. Or, if there is only two or three of you, maybe you should half it.

    Make these for your family sometime. I think it would make a great Easter breakfast, don’t you think?

    P.S. This was the view from my kitchen window yesterday. So pretty. And then I saw this handsome guy walking up and got some good stalkerazzi photos of him. It is hard to make cat-calls and take pictures at the same time.

    Deep Fried Scones
    •   1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 1/2 Tbs yeast
    • 1/2 cup warm water
    • 1 beaten egg
    • 4 cups white flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2 Tbs sugar
    1. Scald vegetable oil and milk. Turn off heat. Immediately add salt.Let the mixture cool.
    2. Dissolve yeast in water and sugar.
    3. When milk and oil mixture are cool, add beaten egg, flour, and yeast/water/sugar mixture.
    4. Put dough in a large greased bowl and cover. Let rise for 30 minutes.
    5. Remove and knead lightly on floured board. Roll out and use a circular cookie cutter or a pizza cutter, and cut the dough into shapes.
    6. Place on floured cookie sheet and let rise for 10 more minutes.
    7. Fry in hot oil on both sides until golden brown.
    8. Drain on paper towels and then place in a plastic bag full of powdered sugar and/or cinnamon-sugar. Shake and enjoy. OR leave a few plain and top with whipped cream and the best strawberry glaze ever. Or go crazy and add your own toppings. Anyone else thinking Nutella?

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Moist Vanilla Cup Cakes and Sprinkles Strawberry Frosting

    Have you heard about Sprinkles? It's a really big deal in LA and my best friend brought some of their delicious cup cakes to my bridal shower. They were pretty great. I ate four. Yep, I ate four dense, sugary cup cakes the night before my wedding... along with a huge mexican feast and other various desserts, but that is a different story. It's just a good think my dress wasn't super fitted.

    Anyway, when I saw this recipe for Sprinkle's strawberry frosting, I was sold. Combine my addiction to strawberries with my love of frosting and I was done.

    I added it with what could be the best cup cake recipe I have ever had and then feasted until my tummy hurt. I couldn't help it, the spoon just kept dipping itself into the batter.

    The cup cakes came out moist, beautiful and super flavorful. The frosting was decadent and the fresh strawberry puree put it over the top.  A definite crowd pleaser.


    Moist Vanilla Cup Cakes
    • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
    • 2-½ teaspoons Baking Powder
    • 1 teaspoon Salt
    • 1 cup Butter, Room Temperature
    • 2 cups Sugar
    • 4 whole Eggs, Room Temperature
    • 1 cup Milk, Room Temperature
    • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake tray with liners.

    In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and cream with the butter for 7 minutes, scraping the bowl when needed (batter should be nearly white and fluffy). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the speed to low and alternately, add the flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with flour until just mixed. Add vanilla until just mixed.

    Divide the batter into the cupcake liners until 2/3 full (I used an ice cream scoop which was the perfect amount to fill 1 cupcake). Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out just clean (mine took 20-23 minutes although the original recipe said 12-15 minutes). Cool for 5-10 minutes on a rack.

    Remove each cupake from the tray and wrap in cling film individually to seal in moisture (I omitted this part and mine were still very moist). Cool on wire racks and frost when cold.

    *Recipe from Tasty Kitchen

    Sprinkles Strawberry Frosting
    • 1/2 cup whole strawberries
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
    • Pinch of coarse salt
    • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted (I only used 3)
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    And I added...
    •  1 TBS cream
    Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

    *Recipe from here and yields enough for just over 2 dozen regardless of what it says

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Stir Fry

    My husband can make a few things really, really well: eggs, french toast, and stir fry. Oh, he just reminded me that he can make a mean grilled cheese, too.

    Stir fry is by far his most impressive dish and I am proud to say that there is no way I could ever top this meal. He learned how to make this from his daddy, whom I affectionately call Papa Shaw.

    The moral of the story is that the official title of this post should be, "Papa Shaw's Stir Fry".

    About the stir fry... this stuff is amazing. I don't think I've ever had better stir fry ever- homemade or from a restaurant.  Also, it's not that hard to make and doesn't take that long. Not that I would know since I leave the kitchen and do something lazy while Andrew cooks.

    Maybe that is why I like stir-fry so much.

    Disclaimer: Since this is Andrew's recipe, the directions are a little vague. I think a lot of poking and taste-testing goes into this, so be prepared to wing it a bit.


    Papa Shaw's Stir Fry
    • 1 chicken breast
    • 3 stalks of celery, sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
    • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
    • 1 portabella mushroom, sliced
    • 1/2 cup peanuts
    • 4 dashes ginger
    • 4 dashes garlic powder
    • 1/2 cup cooking white wine
    • 1 TBS soy sauce (or more to taste)
    • Cornstarch (optional)
    • Enough rice to feed two
    1. In a large wok, grill sliced chicken. Add 1/2 of the ginger, garlic and white wine. 
    2. Once chicken is fully cooked, add diced celery and broccoli. 
    3. Add the rest of the ginger, garlic and white wine. Cover with lid and simmer over medium-low heat to soften the vegetables.
    4. Half way into softening the veggies to desired texture, add the sliced mushroom and peanuts. Cover and continue cooking until veggies are soft.
    5. Add cornstarch as needed to the juice at the bottom of the wok to create a thick sauce (optional). Serve over cooked rice. Add soy sauce to taste.
    *Feeds two.

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

    Meet beef stroganoff's yummier chicken counterpart: Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole.

    Actually I wouldn’t know if it is yummier, I’ve never had beef stroganoff, it scares me. It’s grey. Yeah, I’m going to leave it at that.

    But this, this is not grey. And it is pretty good, you know, considering it is a casserole. I think casseroles are ok, but they have their time and place.  They are not an everyday-appropriate meal.

    The perfect time for a casserole is a Sunday afternoon after church when you want to eat something hearty, filling, and good. This is probably my favorite casserole, just so you know. It is one of the few that I think has a lot of flavor, and I like that.

    So go ahead and make this some time. Let me know how it goes, will you?


    Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

    •   2 cooked chicken breast
    •  1/2 a large onion, diced
    •  1 cube butter
    • 1 can cream of chicken
    • 1/2 pt sour cream
    • 2 sleeves of ritz crackers
    • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
    • 1/2 bag egg noodles

    Sauté onion in 1/2 cube butter and then layer at bottom of pan. Then layer cubed chicken on top of onion. Mix sour cream and soup then pour all over chicken. Mix crushed crackers with 1 cube butter and poppy seeds.  Bake 30-45 min at 350.  Serve immediately on top of egg noodles.