Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dottie’s Deluxe Noodle Pudding - by Lisa

To be honest, I totally was not looking forward to making this dessert. In fact, I kept putting it off and putting it off until tonight. I just had such a hard time thinking that egg noodles would be good in a dessert! But I have to admit that it turned out better than I thought it would, tho like Summer, the texture definitely weirded me out. But my guinea pig testers all really enjoyed it - especially the boys who immediately went back for seconds! My sister put it best: "It's not the kind of dessert that you say this is sooo rich, but it is tasty."

As for making this recipe, there were several steps and a decent amount of preparation, but overall it was relatively easy to make. Lots of ingredients needed to be at room temperature, so I set those out ahead of time, prepped what I could and then put it all together after dinner. I definitely dug the yummy fragrance of the topping as it neared the end of baking (65 min for me).

Here's a shot of the gang digging in!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dottie’s Deluxe Noodle Pudding - by Summer

I have to admit that one of the sole reasons for picking this recipe when I did was the cornflakes!  I had leftover cornflakes from the Butterscotch Bites, so I figured why not use them up now while they are fresh.

The recipe itself is actually quite simple.  It calls for egg noodles, which I also happened to have handy (nothing like cleaning out your pantry!)  The pudding part is made up of cream cheese, sugar, eggs, milk and apricot nectar.  Wouldn't you know the first store I tried to find the nectar only had peach and pear?!  You would think I live in some small town in the middle of nowhere with all the of issues that I have had trying to find ingredients!

There were a few steps involved with this recipe, like cooking the noodles and prepping the topping, but over all it was easy.  Mine baked for about 56 minutes.  It smelled so good because the topping has the crushed cornflakes with cinnamon and sugar.

The taste of this noodle pudding was ok.  I have never had a noodle pudding before and the texture was a bit odd.  It's hard for me to think of this as a dessert.  I did try it at room temperature, but tomorrow I plan on trying it chilled.

Some bad news that I have to share this week is that I am no longer consuming dairy in my diet.  This is due to the fact that it simply doesn't agree with my little baby.  It's a really hard transition to make because even the slightest trace of dairy seems to impact him (who would have thought dill pickle potato chips would have milk in them?!)  And it's summertime and who doesn't love ice cream in the summer?  But I am pretty committed to cut it out.  Because this recipe did contain milk, I only had about 2 bites.  Normally I would have had much more than just that.  I am planning on sharing the remainder of this dish with some neighbors and friends over the next day.  Normally if I know something has dairy, I would just avoid it, but for the recipes here, I will still sample them.  However, my portions will be limited to a bite or two.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cheesecake Cupcakes - by Lisa

"I think I need to eat another one." Yes, those words left my mouth mere minutes after I devoured one of these luscious little treats. :) I meant to make these earlier in the week, but with hubby out of town for a few of those days, I just didn't have the time or energy available. Besides, I would have been tempted to gobble these up all myself and that just wouldn't be very fair!

Anywho, these were really pretty easy to make - especially the crust like Summer said! I opted to use the Nilla Wafers for mine, and I think it turned out just fine. I was a little concerned at first that they would be too small of a base, but the cheesecake enveloped them nicely and it all worked out quite well. However, "mommy brain" is clearly in full force because even tho I noted earlier in the week that there were several ingredients that needed to be at room temperature AND was happily reminded of this in Summer's recap, I still forgot to set out said ingredients ahead of time. It all worked out tho. :)

This was the first time I'd ever made any kind of cheesecake, and I was delighted to find it so simple to do. The only downside was that like Summer, my cupcakes deflated pretty substantially.

My only guess is that I beat in too much air during the mixing process. Kind of reminded me of Mt. St Helens. Tee hee! It doesn't matter all that much tho, because they still tasted just fabulous! I say this recipe is definitely a keeper!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cheesecake Cupcakes - by Summer

I was excited to make these cupcakes for a number of reasons. 
  1. Cheesecake is one of my husband's all time favorite desserts.
  2. Berries are starting to be in season, which is a great topper for cheesecake
  3. Some of the recipes for whole cheesecakes can be quite time-consuming.  This recipe seemed fairly simple.
This Sunday when I was grocery shopping, I couldn't find the gingersnap cookies that this recipe called for.  I was pretty annoyed and was going to settle and make them with Nilla Wafers.  But I went back to the store today and found gingersnaps - yay!  This was hands down the easiest crust to make - just plop a gingersnap into a paper cupcake holder!

I was very impressed with myself that I remembered to look at the recipe ahead of time to see which ingredients needed to be left out at room temperature.  The only thing that really worried me about this recipe was to not over-incorporate everything.  This is how they looked before I put them in the oven:

I took them out after 25 minutes.  I almost let them cook for another 2 minutes because they weren't brown or anything.  But I reread the recipe and they were definitely set and puffy on top.  It also stated that they will sink a little bit after taking them out of the oven.  Here's what happened to mine:
I think I might have done something wrong.  Did I over beat them?  Did they bake too long?  Not sure, but they taste pretty good.  And you can fill the middle with raspberries to hide the sunken tops!  I was a little worried that the gingersnaps might overpower the cheesecake, but it didn't at all.  I am bummed that they sank so much, but I would definitely make these again!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Peanut-Butterscotch Bites - by Summer

Oh how tasty these little bites are! It's a little dangerous that they are so easy to make. My husband really enjoyed the crunch part of this treat. Beth mentioned in her book that she has switched up the chips and cereal to make different variations of these, and I am already imagining other types to make, especially ones that include chocolate! I see them as the perfect gift come holiday season!

The recipe was easy to follow. In fact, I actually made these last night. Because I am lazy and don't have a doubler-boiler, I melted the peanut butter and the butterscotch chips in the microwave at 50%. Like Lisa, I used my little scooper to make the balls. Mine were pretty runny, so I don't know if I should have let the peanut butter-butterscotch chips mixture harden a little before scooping? It doesn't really matter that they didn't come out in perfect balls because it's all about the taste!

Peanut-Butterscotch Bites - by Lisa

Yep - went a little crazy this week to make up for last week. Since both recipes were pretty straight forward, I opted to make 'em both on the same day! These little candy delights are, in a word, AWESOME!! I totally agree with Beth on how addictive these treats are! Once hubby discovered them, we both realized there is going to be a fight to the death over the last one...probably tomorrow. ;)

This was an exceptionally simple recipe and I am ever so thankful to have my little cookie scooper/baller thingie. It made it super easy to perfectly portion them out. I am looking forward to making these for the holidays and giving them away for gifts. Hubby also had some great ideas for for tweaks on these treats: drizzling them with melted chocolate, dipping them in chocolate, etc. It'll be fun to experiment with these!

Dark Chocolate Pudding - by Lisa

I am a bad baker...but with good reason! Last week my little guy and my hubby both got struck down by this nasty stomach bug. I completely lost track of time and didn't realize I hadn't completed my baking for the week until Summer mentioned it on Mother's Day!! Things are back to normal this week, and I am back on track!

I wasn't terribly looking forward to making this pudding because I really do not enjoy the taste of dark chocolate. I figured I'd wind up making it, take a bite and leave the rest for hubby to enjoy. Boy was I ever pleasantly surprised!!! I could have maybe done with a touch more sweetness, but combined with some strawberries and whipped cream, this chocolate pudding was really quite good!

I've made some puddings from scratch before, tho they've actually been fillings for pies (butterscotch and banana cream), so I wasn't too worried about how this would come together. The only thing I worried about was burning it at any stage, but using my enameled cast iron pot made it real easy to keep the heat nice and even resulting in a perfect texture.

I will certainly try this recipe again, and maybe change it up a little by putting it into a graham cracker crust layered with some berries and topped with whipped cream for a tasty pie!

Presentation Points Awarded to Hubby!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dark Chocolate Pudding - by Summer

Yum!  This was a great recipe.  Growing up we never really had pudding much in our house.  As I got older, I would sometimes by the Jello-puddings to eat with lunch while at work (usually they were the no fat/low calorie variety), so I wasn't really sure about making pudding from scratch.  It turns out that it's super easy. 

I didn't have any problems with the recipe.  I was impressed with how smooth and creamy the end results were.  Once again I decided to make this dessert for when we were having company.  Notice below the happy face and clean dish of our friend Matt!  He loves all things chocolate and has happily announced that he is willing to try anything with chocolate that I make!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Banana Nutella Wontons - by Summer

 I was totally planning on making these sooner than tonight, but with company in town this weekend, it just didn't happen.  Unlike Lisa, I wasn't quite as excited to make these.  For some reason, they didn't sound quite as appealing, and I was worried that the assembly would be difficult.  As it turns out, I was surprised by the outcome.

First of all I was worried about finding the wonton wrappers.  I fioud them at the second store I tried in the produce department of all places.  The actual assembly was a lot easier than I expected.  I have to admit though, I only made four of the wontons.  But that is what I liked about this recipe.  It was easy to make as many or as few of them as you wanted.  I have cinnamon-sugar mixed up in a shaker, so I used that rather than measuring them out as stated in the recipe.

I baked them for 10 minutes and let them cool for a couple before eating them.  They tasted better than I expected.  The hubby tried them and said that while he wasn't a fan of cooked banana, he thought they would be good with something else.  I suggested strawberries and he was immediately excited about that prospect! 

I do plan on making these again, and since strawberry season is right around the corner, I am going to try it with those instead.  I can't wait till my son is older, because as Beth suggested in the book, this is definitely a great recipe to have kids help make.
Wontons before baking