Tag Archives: Sodium bicarbonate

Ice Cream Cake

30 Dec

My brother-in-law turned 40 over the Christmas holidays, so we had to make him feel just a little bit old. 🙂 I had fun with this cake, but I felt like I cheated a little…ok, a lot! The only part I actually made was the cookie layer. But it turned out so good, I think I’d cheat again, regardless of my culinary conscience.

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Ingredients:

Cookie Layer:
8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease an 8″-round springform pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar.  Add the egg, then beat until pale and slightly fluffy. Whisk in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold the dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredients, until everything is incorporated. Then, fold in the chocolate chips. Spread this dough into an even layer in the prepared pan. Bake the cookie layer at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean. Once the cookie is done, allow it to cool completely while in the pan.

Top cookie layer with softened ice cream – flavor of choice (I used butter pecan). Place springform pan in freezer and let ice cream set. Once hardened (1-2 hours), unlatch springform edge and remove. Frost with whipped cream or whipped cream frosting.

(I used crushed chocolate filled Oreos for the ‘dirt’ and Buttercream Frosting for the lettering)

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Original recipe: http://www.mangoesandpalmtrees.com/2013/05/chocolate-chip-cookie-ice-cream-cake.html?m=1

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Banana Bars

8 Nov

A little less good for you than straight banana bread, and a little too good to be able to eat just one. When our pan got polished off, my four year old cried. Guilt requires me to make another batch…darn.

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Ingredients:

Bars-

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter

3 eggs

2 cups mashed bananas (3-4 bananas)

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients until well blended. Spread into a greased jelly roll pan (15x10x1). Bake at 350^F for 20-25 min. Cool and frost

Cream Cheese Frosting-

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients well and spread over cooled banana bars.

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Homemade Oreos

4 Nov

Every ‘homemade’ Oreo recipe I’ve seen is actually made from a boxed cake mix. I never have boxed cake mixes – it’s just not something I keep stocked in my pantry. Which may or may not have something to do with a story someone once told me about hers gong rancid and everyone getting sick from it…that and I think it’s almost as easy to just make a cake from scratch. And I most always have the ingredients to make a cake from scratch! And of course it tastes better, because that is the unspoken rule of ‘homemade.’

If you’re in the mood for a smack in the face of chocolatey richness, go make a batch of these babies. And have a glass of milk handy! So good.

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Ingredients:

Cookies-

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350^F. In a large bowl, cream together butter, and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well. Combine cocoa, flour, and baking soda. Gradually mix into creamed mixture. Create rounded balls of dough – about 1 Tbsp each (keep them fairly small for best results). Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until puffy but still soft. Allow cookies to cook on baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to wire rack or wax paper to cool completely. When completely cooked, frost will cream filling.

Cream Filling-

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

4 oz (1/2 pkg) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

In a small bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then fold into whipped cream.

 

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Treacle Scones

22 Oct

If there was a fall version of the scone, this would be it. Molasses, ginger, all spice… good stuff, people. Make yourself a breakfast treat, and if you have the brilliant idea to make breakfast for dinner for a family of 6, either double the recipe or plan a side – this recipe only makes 8 scones. 🙂 If it’s just you, then eat them all yourself…I won’t tell.

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Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp all spice

1/4 cup butter

1 Tbsp molasses

milk

Mix dry ingredients. Heat molasses and butter until melted. Stir the liquid into the flour mixture and enough milk to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Divide dough in half, roll each piece into a circle about 1/2″ thick. Cut them into four triangles and bake at 400^F for 10 min until browned. Serve with warm butter, Buttercream Syrup, and jam.

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Katie’s Sugar Cookies

20 Sep

I have no idea who ‘Katie’ is (that’s how they are listed in my mom’s recipe cards, and I have to give credit where credit is due!) – but she sure knew how to make sugar cookies! I prefer a little bit of ‘fluff’ to my sugar cookies. Soft and perfectly puffy. Try this recipe, and never again will you buy those pre-packaged cookies, with the inch of frosting and sprinkles, from the vending machine! You will be spoiled. And you will love it. I may or may not have eaten four in a row yesterday and called it lunch.

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Ingredients:

1 cup evaporated milk

1 Tbsp vinegar

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

5 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

In a separate, small bowl, add vinegar to evaporated milk and allow to sit. Blend butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla together until smooth. Add milk mixture to butter mixture and blend well. Add dry ingredients until blended. Make 2-4 large balls of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place balls of dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour to make it firm. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness and use cookie cutters to make shapes. Bake at 425^F for 7-8 minutes. Cookies will not brown – if they start browning too much you will loose the airiness and they will instead be crunchy. Top with Buttercream Frosting.

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Zucchini Bread

5 Aug

If you give a neighbor a zucchini, then that neighbor is going to want to make zucchini bread…

I don’t think I’ve ever actually made zucchini bread before. Ever have those recipes that you love to eat, but are afraid to make? I have a list of those – frog eye salad, teriyaki chicken, zucchini bread… And I don’t make these not because they are hard, but because I know someone who makes them so good that I just don’t dare, just in case mine doesn’t turn out as good. My oldest sister is a zucchini queen. You give her a zucchini and she’s going to do much more than just make bread! But, she lives clear across the country, so when my neighbor gave me a zucchini, it turned into bread and that’s it. But, if you’re going to get baked and eaten, you might as well go out with a bang. And, turns out, my zucchini bread tastes just as good as my sister’s. 🙂 There’s this funny thing about a good recipe being a good recipe because you can’t mess it up. Maybe I’ll tackle my mom’s famous mashed potatoes next…

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Ingredients;

2 cups sugar

3 beaten eggs

1 cup oil

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups grated zucchini

3 cups flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

Sift dry ingredients and set aside. Blend the rest of the ingredients, then add dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans, and bake at 350^F for 1 hour.

Oven Caramel Corn

28 Jul

Just after we got home from church this afternoon, one of the little neighbor girls told my girls all about how they were going to have popcorn and watch a movie as a family. This, of course, brought about the inevitable question: “Can we make popcorn too?!” For the first time in a long time, all three girls managed to make it home with their hair in tact (we don’t usually make it past the first half hour, let alone all three hours) – how can you not reward that? So I said sure – I haven’t made caramel corn in forever, and when I suggested it as an alternative to regular ol’ popcorn, I got a, “Yeah! That actually sounds good!” A vast improvement from, “Mom, why do you always cook yucky things?” Yes, they really said that. Hubby cooked dinner, so I got to do dessert (although, truth be told, we ate dessert first – my excuse being it was done first :)).

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Ingredients:

8-9 qt. popcorn (or 2 bags of the microwave popcorn)

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup butter

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 250^F. Melt butter and brown sugar in saucepan over medium heat. Add corn syrup and salt. Bring to boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring well. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda, stirring quickly. Caramel will become fluffy. Pour caramel over popcorn and mix well. Tip: Spray the inside of a large bowl and a wooden spoon with cooking spray so the caramel doesn’t stick as much.

Spread caramel corn on a cookie sheet and place in oven. Bake for 15 minutes; stir once, then bake for 15 minutes more. If you prefer sticky caramel corn, bake for less time or don’t bake at all.

Laundry Soap

23 Jul

Alright, in this case, please keep your mouth closed! No eating the laundry soap. I started making my own laundry soap about a year and a half ago. I had a neighbor give me a recipe  (that I keep losing – hence the reason why it’s here now), and when I found out it was comparable to about a penny a load and actually cleaned your clothes, I was sold! It is kind of ridiculous how much laundry soap costs once you realize how cheap it is to make your own. I’ve always done a liquid version because I was a little nervous about the soap not dissolving all the way and leaving a residue, but this time around I decided to go for the powdered version. All the testimonials say that it dissolves fine, even in cold water, so I gave it a go. The liquid version I make about twice a year and use 1/2 cup per load. The powder you only use 1-2 Tbsp per load, so I’m guessing it will last significantly longer. I tested out the first two loads today and I’m pleased with how everything turned out – the soap actually began to dissolve right away. If you look on Pintrest or one of those cutesy sites, everyone has their soap in really sweet containers with vinyl lettering and colored crystals…I’m boring. Laundry is laundry to me, regardless of if you dress it up in a nice bottle or not. 🙂 So, I have mine in a giant tupperware container! Real glamorous. I’ve got both versions listed below – liquid and powdered. No picture of liquid because I just ran out (remember, I’m potty training…my washing machine is working overtime right now)! I think both liquid and powdered do comparable jobs. The powdered has a few more ingredients, takes a little less time to make, and will last longer. But it’s time consuming to grate the soap bars (I only grated my knuckle three or four times and my fingernail once :)), but its a great arm workout! The liquid has to be done on the stove, but the longest part is letting the soap dissolve, and you can just leave it alone to do that – no babysitting required. You do have to come up with containers for the liquid. Some people will recycle milk jugs or vegetable oil containers, or you could just use a 5 gallon all purpose bucket. I went to the dollar store and bought six 3 qt containers. I like that size because they are small enough to shake (you have to agitate the soap before using it) but large enough to not have thirty-thousand bottles of soap cluttering up the laundry room. All in all, I don’t really have a preference as to which is better – try them both and decide for yourself!! My daughter asked what I was making and when I told her, “Laundry soap,” she said, “With cheese?” 🙂

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Powdered:

Ingredients –

1 (4lb 12 oz) box of Borax

1 (3 lb 7 oz) box of Washing Soda

1 (3lb) container of Oxiclean

3 (5.5 oz) bars of Fels Naptha

1 (4lb) box of Baking Soda

Using a cheese grater, grate the Fels Naptha bars finely (if you have a food processor or blender, you can pulse the grated soap in them until powdered – I didn’t opt for this since I was afraid of ruining my blender!). Mix all ingredients together in a large bucket or trash bag and store in air tight container. You can add essential oils or Purex crystals if you want to add scent to the soap. Use 1-2 Tbsp for regular loads.

Liquid:

Ingredients:

1 (5.5 oz) bar of Fels Naptha

1 1/2 cups Washing Soda

1 cup Borax

Total of 4 1/2 – 5 gallons of water

*optional 1 cup Oxiclean

Chop the bar of soap and melt over medium heat in 2-3 quarts of water (about 30 min). Once melted, add in the washing soda and borax and optional Oxiclean. Simmer 3-4 minutes, making sure powders have dissolved. In a 5 gallon bucket, add one large pot of boiling water. Add your soap mixture to the bucket and stir well. Add hot tap water to within 2-3 inches from the top of bucket. Stir well. Using a funnel, while mixture is still hot, pour into empty containers, leaving 2-3 inches of head space. Place lids on top and let sit for 24 hours for detergent to set up before using. You will need to shake the bottles quite a bit to break up the chunks of detergent that will form after it sets up. Detergent will stay a little clumpy – lightly shake bottles before each use. Use 1/2 cup detergent for regular loads. Use 1/4 cup detergent for HE washers.

P.S> Don’t be scared to try this! All of the ingredients can be found at your regular grocery store on the laundry aisle.

Banana Bread

11 Jul

My basement smells like a dead crawdad – and I wish that was a metaphorical statement…although I guess it’s more of a simile because I used ‘like.’ My AP English teacher would be so proud. If you are wondering what dead crawdad smells like, it is not pleasant. If you are wondering why it smells like dead crawdad, it most certainly is not because my oh-so-adventerous-and-animal-loving husband came home from a Scout campout with twelve crawdads in a bucket (there of course had not been fifteen previous to them eating three for dinner), for the express purpose of raising a little crawdad family in the pond in our backyard. Three crawdads did not die in the pond seeing as how they were put in there too early and got too cold. The rest of the crawdads did not in fact kill each other despite my husband’s best efforts, leaving one solitary crawdad in the tank in our basement. And of course, my husband has better judgement than to put the last crawdad standing into our regular fish tank where he might make a meal of one of our frogs while my children stood around the tank screaming, “Dad! The crawdad is eating the frog! Save him!” (subsequently frog #2 was rescued in this hypothetical situation, only to die a week later…my husband blames it on old age, I think he was traumatized). So, of course I did not insist upon the removal of said crawdad, along with my four year old who reminded me to remind Daddy that he needed to move the crawdad because it was “freaking them out.” So, the crawdad was not banished to the basement tank once again, where I assume he began to feel guilty for murdering a poor, defenseless frog and stopped eating all together. And lastly, I did not find a floating, very moldy looking crawdad a couple of days later. In short – how on earth do you get dead crawdad smell out of your basement? Bake banana bread.

I stole this recipe from my roommate in college, which she stole from her grandma. If it’s made by a grandma, you know that is has to be good. So far, I have yet to find a banana bread recipe that comes even close to this one. I love when there’s a little bit of crunch to the top – crunch isn’t the right word…but it’s the best I can come up with. A little trick to preserve that ‘crunch,’ – don’t cover the bread with anything more than a paper towel or light cloth until it is completely cooled, otherwise it softens everything up. Still yummy, but missing the best part!

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Ingredients:

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 medium sized bananas)

3 tsp vanilla

3 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 325^F. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. Lightly beat eggs then add oil and sugar until combined. Add mashed bananas and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into two greased bread pans. Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown, the top springs back, and a toothpick test comes out clean.

*For extra flavor fun – try adding blueberries! I underestimated how many I should add, so this loaf is a little berry-shy…next time I will put in a few more scoops.

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