Sunday, January 30, 2011

Year of The Monkey

By my Chinese Zodiac I am The Monkey:

Year of the Monkey - 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040, 2052
The monkey is a clever animal. People used to compare it to a smart person. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC – 476 BC), the dignified official title, marquis with the pronunciation 'Hou', was the same as the monkey's. The monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious meaning. It appeared on pictures pasted on the walls and doors to predict good fortune in officialdom.
Most people born in the Year of the Monkey are lively, flexible, and versatile. They love moving and sports. To help others they put their own business aside. When communicating, they do not like to be controlled and have a strong desire to present themselves. In their work, they will show amazing creativity. If they are not impatient and mouthy, they can gain more achievement.
Best match: rat, dragon; avoid: tiger, snake, pig

TO Determine yours Take a look at this website (Click here)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Zucchini Bread

So a few weeks back I tried Paula Deen's  Zucchini Bread Click here for recipe.

The Dough was super sweet and really thick I had to cook it longer then what she said to an extra 30 minutes. If I ever use this recipe again it would to be used as a cookie dough. 
More pics

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fried Egg Plant

I decided to make fried Eggplant as a side dish a while back, but I had no idea where to began since I never used eggplant before. Sure I have eaten it but never cooked with it until recently.
So I used Emeril Lagasse Recipe as a guideline more for frying temps and coating ideas.
What I Did:
1 eggplant cut
1 Cup white rice flour
1 cup soy flour
3 eggs slightly beaten
2 cups of bread crumbs (I used my Irish soda bread, no need to add extra salt into the bread crumbs!)
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Bowl 1 combine soy and rice flour with the salt
  2. Bowl two 3 eggs beaten
  3. Bowl 3 Bread crumbs
  4. Dredge the eggplant in the flour mix, then in the egg mix and press into the bread mix. Let the pieces sit on paper towels to get extra moisture out while you get all your eggplant coated.
  5. Fryer heat 1/2 inch veg oil to 375 degrees and fry 1 minute on each side or until golden brown.
  6. Drain and enjoy, We had ours with Get Yo'Man Chicken from The Neely's (to die for! pictured below)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Apple Cider Doughnuts

So I tried this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and I must say it was not what I was hoping for. The dough was far more sticker then it should have been, and when you were supposed to dust it with flour to pat out and cut out it would glooup up. All in all I was not happy with it, they came out like hocky pucks. I Baked mine I was afraid to attempt to fry them because of how dense they were. If you try it let me know what you did to get it like hers! My hands wore most of the dough then anything else not cool in my book.
My Failed Doughnut pictures

The Birds enjoyed these better then we did.

So I decided to make my own recipe using a traditional Doughnut one as my basics:

2 packages active yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter cut into pieces
2 eggs
about 5 1/4 cups all purpose flour
Salad Oil
Extras: 2 apples I used Macintosh you can use either a sweet apple or tart your choice. Cut into pieces your choice to skin the apples. Make sure no core is with the pieces of apples.
2 cups apple cider
Powder sugar frosting: Blend 3 cups of powder sugar with 2 tablespoons of soft butter 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 2-3 tablespoons of hot apple cider.
In a pot on the stove combine the apples and 2 cups of cider at this stage it is up to you to add any extra spices like Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice to help booth the apple cider flavor. With a lid on Boil together for about 12 minutes until apples are really soft. Turn the heat down and take the lid off. I ended up with a low medium heat. You want an almost applesauce stage. turn off and let it cool off to rom temp.

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in the water. Meanwhile in a medium size pan combine milk, the 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and butter. Heat to about 110 degrees, the butter does not need to melt completely. Add milk mixture, eggs, apple mixture and 2 cups of flour to yeast mixture. Beat until smooth. With a heavy duty mixer or wooden spoon add in 3 more cups of flour, beat until smooth. Dough will be soft and sticky. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled.
Beat dough with a wooden spoon to release the air. Turn out onto a well floured surface, dough will be very sticky make sure to flour your hands, I had hubby spray mine with non stick spray instead of the flour that way I could scrap the bowl out without the dough sticking to me. Then I had dusted them very well before preceding.
Roll Dough around to coat all over with flour so it wont stick to the surface. With a floured rolling pin roll dough to 1/2 inch thick.
Use a round biscuit cutter to cut out your rounds or use a cup they work great. You could even use cookie cutters at this point if you wanted to.
Transfer to cookie sheets and let rise agin for about 30 minutes or until doubled. uncovered.
You have a choice to fry or bake and I will give you both directions:
Baking: Heat oven to 375 degrees bake for 20-25 minuets
Fry: Heat 2" of Oil to 375 degrees on a candy/frying thermometer. Gently add a few doughnuts at a time and fry turning often until golden brown about 3 minutes. Lift with a slotted spatula lift out and drain on paper towels (I use a cooling rack positioned over a layer of paper towels). while still warm dunk into the powder sugar frosting.

My Pics shows a light glaze with a sugar and cinnamon topping. In a bowl 2 cups sugar 4-6 tablespoons cinnamon mix and after the glaze dunk press gently into the sugar mixture. I also baked mine.
This recipe make anywhere from 18 to 28 doughnuts it all depends on the shape you use.