Thursday, March 17, 2011

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I recently attempted a wedding cake for my brother's wedding- (Recently as in YESTERDAY) but for the past month and a half I've been experimenting with different frosting to see what would hold up the best and taste the best. The following is my favorite of all the different combinations that I tried so I used it tonight to make the family some "St. Patrick's Day Treats". 

I really hadn't planned on making any treats today (it was an extremely busy day) but I couldn't resist those great big brown disappointed eyes on my six-year-old when I said we weren't going to have anything. Sooo... we sent them outside to play while a sneaky leprechan came into our kitchen and brought us some cupcakes with green frosting and some green milk to wash it down. (Sounds amazing, right? I mean especially the green milk...)

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz. white chocolate chips, melted
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

In a medium bowl, whip the cream cheese with an electric mixer until it is smooth. Add the melted white chocolate and beat until soft and creamy. Add lemon juice and mix again to fully incorporate. Pipe over cooled cookies or cupcakes.

Yorkshire Pudding


Yorkshire Pudding

1 heaping cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1-2 ounces melted fat (beef, duck, lard, butter, oil)

In a bowl combine flour, salt, and milk until well blended. Incorporate both eggs and blend together until you have a smooth liquid batter. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

To bake in a 9×13 ovenproof dish:

Preheat oven at 450°F. Place dish in oven and heat for 10 minutes. Place the fat into the dish and continue heating for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the prepared batter into the dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

To bake in a large 6 muffin pan:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place pan in oven and heat for 10 minutes. Place equal amounts of the fat into each muffin mold and continue heating in oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour equal amounts of prepared batter into each muffin mold and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Lemon-Baked Chicken Breasts

Lemon-Baked Chicken Breasts

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 whole chicken breasts, each about 1 1/4 pounds, halved
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste

In a large heavy skillet, preferably cast-iron, heat the butter and oil over moderately high heat until the foam begins to subside, add the chicken, patted dry, skin side down, without crowding, and sauté it, turning it, until
it is golden. Transfer the chicken with tongs to a baking dish and pour off
the excess fat from the skillet. Add the wine and the thyme to the skillet, bring the liquid to a boil, scraping up the brown bits. And pour the pan
juices over the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, sprinkle
it with the lemon juice, and bake it in the lower third of a preheated 400-degree F oven for 30 minutes, or until juices run clear.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Strawberry Baked French Toast

Last week I bought an entire flat of strawberries from our Bountiful Basket site here. I came home with all these delicious ideas of what to do with them- By Sunday more than half of them had already been eaten! So I panicked! I hid them all ... and (I'm so embarrassed to even admit this..) I forgot about them.. yes I know. Shameful! So now I have slightly less than a half a flat of strawberries that need to be eaten or frozen today. Oh, no worries. Easy! To help, I actually served this for lunch today. The kiddos were thrilled at having French Toast for lunch!
For the bread, I used a bunch of leftover dinner rolls from last week as well as the heels of several loaves of bread cut into bite-sized pieces.

Strawberry Baked French Toast

For the toast:

  • 1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut diagonally in 1 inch slices
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup FF sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the topping:
  • 2 cups diced fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup agave*
  • 8oz. Fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg


  1. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange the slices of bread in the bottom. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread slices, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine the strawberries and agave in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese and egg until well blended. Spread the strawberry cream cheese mixture onto egged bread pieces.
  3. Bake in preheated oven, covered, for 40 minutes.

This is not overly sweet, which I love, but if you need to sweeten this up a bit, try serving it with some strawberry or real maple syrup. Also try serving with fresh strawberries and freshly whipped cream.

*You can use 1/4 cup sugar or honey instead of agave. I like to use agave on fruit because it adds sweetness, without a lot of extra calories or without altering the flavor very much. If you use sugar, let the strawberries sit for about 15 minutes before adding cream cheese and egg.