Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crazy Weekend

Let's play a game of 
"How many things can be crammed into a single weekend?"


Make two dozen cupcakes that have been ordered for a baby shower.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry-White Chocolate Mousse Filling 
and Whipped Cream Frosting

Raspberry-White Chocolate Mousse:
1 Tbsp. cold water
1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
3 oz. white chocolate
1/4 c. pureed raspberries (or raspberry jam)

  In a small pan, combine water and gelatin; let stand 1 minute to soften. Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream; stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves. Add white chocolate and stir until melted. Chill until cool, but not set, about 10 minutes.
  In a small, chilled bowl, whip remaining cream to full volume. Fold whipped cream into cooled chocolate. Add pureed raspberries and fold in. Chill for 1 hour.
  Spoon filling into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Poke tip into the top center of the cupcake and begin to fill just until cupcake starts to bulge. Continue filling remainder of cupcakes. (Note: This recipe should fill 12 cupcakes.)

Whipped Cream Frosting:

1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
4 tsp. cold water
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. clear vanilla extract (or regular if you don't have clear)

  Combine gelatin and cold water in a small saucepan; let stand about 1 minute. Place over low heat, stirring constantly just until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat and cool slightly. 
   Whip cream, sugar and vanilla until slightly thickened. While beating slowly, gradually add gelatin to whipped cream mixture. Whip at high speed until stiff. Yields 2 cups.

Teach a Shelf Reliance Web Class

Attend a Wedding Reception

Prepare dinner and dessert for my husband's family's monthly get-together.

My interpretation of "Costa Vida's" Sweet Pork Burritos:

Pork Roast (4-5 lbs), thawed if frozen
3 c. Coke (I use caffeine-free)
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. (heaping) brown sugar
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. powdered garlic
3 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 (smallish) serrano pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped

  Cut away any obvious fat portions from the roast. Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 6-7 hours. Remove pork to cutting board.
  Add an additional 1 cup coke to the liquid in the crock pot. Stir.
Shred the pork, removing excess fat and bones; return to the crock pot. Stir. Reduce to low and cook an additional 3 hours.
   Serve in tortillas with cilantro rice, black beans, cheese and other desired toppings.

Homemade Tortillas: Care of Chef Rick Bayless

Dulce de Leche Cake: (This recipe is my version of a favorite my husband found while living in Argentina)

1 recipe your favorite Yellow Cake
1 1/2 qt. Peaches, drained well and sliced
1 can Dulce de Leche (found with the Mexican foods at most supermarkets)
2 pints Whipping Cream

  Prepare yellow cake according to recipe directions. Divide cake between two greased and floured 9x13 pans. Bake according to recipe directions, decreasing bake time by about 10 minutes to account for the cakes not being as thick. Let cakes cool completely in pans.
   In a mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks begin to form; slowly add 3/4 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Continue whipping until cream is slightly more stiff than you would normally use for topping a dessert (be careful not to turn it to butter, though).
  Scoop the Dulce de Leche into a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the prepared whipped cream and beat it in. Add another half cup of whipped cream and fold in.
  To assemble the cake, spread half the Dulce de Leche mixture on one of the cooled cakes; top with the sliced peaches and half the whipped cream. Place the remaining cake upside-down on the whipped cream and press lightly to level (you may want to slice off the dome that forms on the cake so it is more level). Spread the remaining Dulce de Leche on top of the cake and top with the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  Note: Because this cake has so many components to it, it does not store well for long. I would recommend serving within 3 hours of assembling. You can store the left-overs in the fridge and it will still taste good, but won't look very pretty. 

Easter Sunday: 

1 10 pound smoked ham with rind, preferably shank end
1 cup unsweetened apple juice or apple cider
1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
  Preheat oven to 325°F. Place ham in large roasting pan. Pour apple juice over ham. Cover ham completely with parchment paper, then cover ham and roasting pan completely with heavy-duty foil, sealing tightly at edges of pan. Bake ham until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of ham registers 145°F, about 3 hours 45 minutes. Remove ham from oven. Increase oven temperature to 375°F.
  Remove foil and parchment from ham. Drain and discard liquids from roasting pan. Cut off rind and all but 1/4-inch-thick layer of fat from ham and discard. Using long sharp knife, score fat in 1-inch-wide, 1/4-inch-deep diamond pattern. Spread mustard evenly over fat layer on ham. Pat brown sugar over mustard coating, pressing firmly to adhere. Drizzle honey evenly over. Bake until ham is well glazed, spooning any mustard and sugar glaze that slides into roasting pan back over ham, about 30 minutes. Transfer ham to serving platter; let cool at least 45 minutes. Slice ham and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, quartered 
3 garlic cloves    
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature, cut into pieces  
1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, and chives)  
  Cook potatoes and garlic in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well. Return potatoes and garlic to pot.
  Using handheld electric mixer, beat potato mixture at low speed until smooth. Add butter; beat until melted and smooth. Increase speed and whip potatoes just until light and fluffy. Stir in herbs. Season with salt and pepper; serve.
Country-Style Sourdough Bread: Care of Alton Brown on Bon Appetit

Sparkling Apple-Almond Punch: (Thank you Erin for one of our new favorites!)

1 can Apple Juice Concentrate-thawed
1 cap-full Almond Extract
1 bottle 7Up (I got Ginger-Ale on sale, so I'll be using it.)

Combine juice and extract in a large picture. Pour soda into pitcher and stir just to combine.

Cheesecake: (I come from a family of "foodies"; my younger brother created this fabulous cheesecake by combining some of his favorite parts of several recipes; very gutsy considering cheesecake is so temperamental. This recipe goes against a lot of the strict rules governing cheesecake-making; but it works, and the results are jaw-droppingly delicious!)

3/4 c. sugar                                                                       1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, room temperature         1 c. sour cream
3 large eggs                                                                      1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

  Make a graham cracker-vanilla wafer crust and press into a 10" springform pan going halfway up the sides. Bake at 350 degrees about 10 minutes; remove from oven and allow to cool. 
  In a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat sugar, cream cheese, eggs, vanilla and salt until creamy (about 3 minutes). Add sour cream, beat 30 seconds; fold in whipped cream. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and allow to rest 3 minutes (do NOT skip this step). Return to oven; bake 10 minutes longer. Turn oven off, leaving cheesecake inside for 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from oven and allow to sit on the counter 20 minutes; refrigerate over-night. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cake from sides. Remove cheesecake from pan and slice to serve.
  I will be serving this with a homemade raspberry-blackberry sauce over the top.

 So...looks like I better get to work! 
No worries, I will post pictures for you all to drool over!

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