Enchanting Recipes & Everyday Life In General

Category Archives: school

This post is dedicated to my loyal follower, Erika, who makes me feel guilty for not posting more often. 



I’m on break from school right now and I must say it’s fabulous and very much needed. I’m nearing the end of this two week break–I start school again on Monday. 😦 This whole week so far has felt like a Sunday night. You know, that feeling when you try everything to stretch out a Sunday night because you know the weekend is about over and it’s back to school again tomorrow. A whole week long Sunday night is no fun–I need to get out of this mindset and enjoy the last few days of this amazing, very, very, much-needed. break.

I’m almost done with school. Can you believe it? One year ago I was starting school, and now I’m almost done–only 3 quarters to go. I will be finished in March of 2011. This quarter (Summer quarter), I don’t have a lab. That should be sort of nice, to only have regular classes, but it will be kind of weird to not be in the kitchen everyday. I will, however, be doing my internship. I’ll be working for Juleps Catering, which is the catering business at school, and hopefully I’ll have some cool events to work at–I hope.

During school, I don’t really cook much. Ask my husband. It’s a lot of Kraft Mac’n’Cheese, hot dogs, and frozen pizza for dinner. Between cooking all day at school and cooking all evening at work, going home and cooking is the very, complete, absolute, last desire on my list. I have been able to find some time, and enjoy it, cooking & baking over this break.

A yummy treat that I enjoying making in the past couple of days were Whoopie Pies. Wikipedia says Whoopie Pies are a Pennsylvania Amish tradition–to me they are a lot like Oreo Cakesters. They are very simple, and quite tasty and sweet/chocolatey satisfying.

Whoopie Pies
Cookie recipe from Martha Stewart

First, you need butter. You always need butter. Let it sit out a while so it’s room temperature. Make sure it’s unsalted. Always get unsalted butter so you can control the salt content in your food. Always use butter because butter is better–none of that margarine stuff around these parts. Woof.

While your butter is coming to room temperature, get some flour.
Some cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, & salt…
And, some sugar.
Hi!
Sift your dry ingredients. Look at all those clumps from the cocoa powder–we want none of that! Be-gone clumps. 
When your butter if softened, mix that and the sugar…
Until light and fluffy. (This could have been lighter and fluffier…)
Then, grab some eggs.
And beat them. Beat your eggs before adding, that way you don’t have to wait for them to break up on their own when mixing, thus mixing faster. You kinda want to do the least mixing you can when baking, especially after adding the flour (except when making bread). 
[Insert picture of room temperature buttermilk & vanilla]

[Insert picture of buttermilk being added to butter and flour and being mixed well]

What can I say, I forgot to take pictures here. 
Then my batter curdled.
It curdled badly. 
(I blame this on either the fact that my buttermilk wasn’t room temperature like the directions said, or the fact that it was buttermilk and buttermilk curdles.)
It’s okay though! It all came together fine after I added the dry ingredients a scoopful at a time.
Then I mixed until just incorporated. 
No more.
No over-mixing.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
I didn’t have parchment paper, so I used foil and sprayed it with a little Pam.
Actually, I lied. It wasn’t Pam. 
It was Butter Flavored Cooking Spray. 
Same difference. 
Why do some people insist on using name brand products? I don’t get it. It’s a waste of money. I know, I know, some things are better in name brand (i.e., Heinz Ketchup, and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese*), but other things are just the same. Pam, and Kroger brand Butter Flavored Cooking Spray work just the same! 
*Heinz & Kraft are not paying me to advertise their products.

Sorry, sorry. I got distracted by a peeve. 
This is the part where I post pictures of me scooping the batter with a 1 oz cookie scoop onto the tray and baking them for approximately 11 minutes until they are done and cake-like…but I forgot to photograph that as well…oops.
Next,
Have a photo-shoot with the Whoopies while they are cooling on racks.
Then, stuff them with yummy, marshmallow filling (recipe following) and take more pictures. 
This one’s for my boo, he had a long day.
This one’s mine. Mine was longer.
Just kidding.
You can wrap these sucker’s up in plastic wrap and they’ll be good for a week…
If they last…
Whoopie Pies
Makes 2 dozen sandwiches
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. Line two baking pans with Silpats (French nonstick baking mats) or parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat until well combined. Slowly add dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
2. Using a 1-ounce ice-cream scoop, place cookies onto lined baking pans, twelve per pan. Bake for 11 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining batter.
3. Spread 2 tablespoons of frosting onto each of twenty-four of cookies. Sandwich together with remaining twenty-four cookies. Store in an airtight container.





Filling:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup marshmallow fluff

1/2 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat butter and remaining ingredients until light and fluffy.



Ps. You can substitute peanut butter for the marshmallow fluff and make peanut butter Whoopies!




We have been jam packed, full to the brim–with business. With school, work, weddings, dogs, and everything else in this life, summer clothes are now on clearance…which means summer is coming to an end.

I’ve been learning sooo much in school, and while I could impress you with my new fancy french terms, I’m just gonna show you how to make good ol’ southern style biscuits and gravy. Paul and I aren’t huge breakfast fans. Neither of us ever eat breakfast in the morning and neither of us are huge breakfast-for-dinner people. We have both recently discovered, however, that we share a love for biscuits and gravy–any day, any time. In college (the first time around) you could never, ever catch me up in time for breakfast (or class) during the week–but come Saturday brunch I could almost definitely be found in the dining room chowing on a HUGE plate of biscuits and gravy.
I’ve never really had any idea how to make gravy (this biscuits part doesn’t seem so hard, especially when you’re a fan of frozen bread/dough products) until last week at school when we started making sauces. I will now share with you, from my masterful, sauce-trained, culinary mind, step-by-step, picture-by-picture instructions on how to make some of the tastiest, most yummiest sausage gravy everrrr.

Start with the biscuits, get them baking.

Gather your sausage.

Throw it in a hot skillet, over med-high heat.

Mash it all up.

Keep on mashin’.

Until it gets nice and brown and yummy and golden and crispy. Drool.

Pull the sausage from the pan and set it aside, leaving the grease in the skillet.

I added butter to get a little more fat in the pan, my sausage didn’t produce much grease. If you have greasy sausage, you may not need the butter. You’ll need about 3 tablespoons of grease/fat.

Add 3 tablespoons on flour. We are now making a roux. (Oooh, fancy culinary term. A roux is fat and flour…a thickener..)

Whisk your flour into your grease until not clumpy (I don’t have a non-wire-whisk…so I used a spatula…whatever works.)

I forgot to take pictures of a few steps…It gets a little hectic at this point. Slowly whisk in 3 cups of milk, then toss in the sausage. It will look a little thin, so let it sit for a bit to thicken…if it doesn’t thicken up, mix more flour and melted butter then pour it in. (1 tablespoon of flour to 1 tablespoon of butter.)
Flavor with lots of salt and pepper (to taste.) (By the way, TT means “to taste”…not 2 tablespoons. People in my culinary lab did not know this.)

Tear open your biscuits and glop the gravy on top. Yum.

Drool.
If you like a recipe:
(This will make enough for about 6 biscuits)
6 biscuits
1 lb. ground sausage
3 cups of milk
3 tablespoons of flour
1 tablespoon of butter (you may need more or less depending on the fattiness of your sausage)
coarse salt
pepper
Brown sausage in medium skillet on med-high heat.
Remove sausage from skillet, leaving drippings in the pan.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter into skillet.
Whisk 3 tablespoons of flour into melted fat until not lumpy.
Slowly add 3 cups of milk into skillet.
Add sausage into gravy.
Let thicken for 5-7 minutes, serve over biscuits.
(Again, if it doesn’t get thick after this time–mix 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 1 tablespoon of flour, then pour into gravy and whisk until not clumpy. Let thicken again. Continue to do this until desired thickness is reached.)
The end.

Heaven on a plate.

Just a quick little update before Paul and I start watching American Idol…

I got a phone call last night with some very good and exciting news! I am one of three people being awarded a full scholarship to Sullivan University for Culinary Arts! I’m so very excited to go back to school and study something I absolutely love and sooo grateful for the financial help–without it it wouldn’t be possible.
I’d like to thank Paul for eating all my failed attempts at creative meals.
I’d like to thank Southeast Christian Church for the scholarship.
I’d like to thank my family for continually making fun of me when I was younger for my lack of cooking skills and burning water.
I’d like to thank Gracie, my loyal beagle, for constantly standing at my feet while cooking and eating up all the dropped scraps. Even onions. And jalepenos.
I’d like to thank everyone in the future that I will eventually cook for.
That’s all. American Idol now. 🙂