Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gatlinburg Yummies!

Okay, okay... I know I haven't updated New York Part Deux, but it's going to take me a while and I haven't found much time for anything! Lots to do, lots to see... We went to Gatlinburg for a beautiful wedding this weekend, and really, the only thing I could get a decent picture of was our Saturday lunch because the rest consisted of quick KFC and BK trips. HA! Anyway, we ended up at Bubba Gumps and had the most amazing mahi-mahi dish with rice and one of my favorite veggies, asparagus (among others) and rice. Billy had a shrimp stir fry that was equally delicious and I managed to get a picture of Daniel's Fish & Chips, and Shareese's cheeseburger (hey, it looked really good eh?) Pics are below!

As you can tell, I REALLY enjoyed my dish- either that, or I was really hungry! I think it was a little bit of both!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009!

This Easter I decided to make a Lemon Poke Cake (courtesy of KraftFoods), potato salad and Hot Cross Buns. I also dyed some eggs (I always have to!) and they ended up pretty nice and glittery. :o) My cake, unfortunately, got a little runny- the M&M candies got condensation and dribbled all over! I didn't have a chance to take a picture of the cake before it happened. Oh well! It's still looks kinda nice. :o) Although it might make it on the "Cake Wrecks" blog (one of my faves!) because it is kind of, sort of, well, a wreck! Recipe is below the pictures:

What You Need:
2 baked round white cake layers (9 inch), cooled
2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. (6 oz.) or 2 pkg. (3 oz. each) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding
3 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

PLACE cake layers, top-sides up, in 2 clean 9-inch round cake pans. Pierce cakes with large fork at 1/2-inch intervals.

ADD boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Carefully pour over cake layers. Refrigerate 3 hours.

BEAT milk and pudding mix with whisk 2 min. Gently stir in COOL WHIP; set aside. Dip 1 cake pan in warm water 10 sec.; unmold onto serving plate. Spread with about 1 cup pudding mixture. Unmold second cake layer; carefully place on first cake layer. Frost top and side of cake with remaining pudding mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

I also took a picture of my hard boiled egg- with no gray ring around the edge of the yolk! I learned how to make that happen (or NOT happen!) this weekend. You boil water in a PAN with the eggs, after five minutes, pull away from heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Dunk eggs in cold water and then peel. Voila, a pretty yolk!

As for the Hot Cross Buns, I had a delicious recipe I accidentally sort of ruined. It called for adding currants (I used golden raisins) and cinnamon 5 minutes prior to the dough cycle ending the kneading, and I thought it was 5 minutes prior to the entire cycle ending. DUH ME! Anyway, I ended up adding these after I pulled the dough out and ended up mixing too much flour in while I added the cinnamon and raisins which resulted in slightly dry buns. They tasted fine, the cinnamon just needed to be a bit more well distributed... They DO look yummy though! ;o) The recipe is posted below. Follow directions well and your buns will be "super delicious"! (I love that T-Mobile commercial, don't you...?) Oh, and I ended up using some leftover cream cheese icing, which worked just as well.

3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon instant powdered milk
1/4 cup white sugar
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg white
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup dried currants
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons milk

Put warm water, butter, skim milk powder, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, egg white, flour, and yeast in bread maker and start on dough program.
When 5 minutes of kneading are left, add currants and cinnamon. Leave in machine till double.
Punch down on floured surface, cover, and let rest 10 minutes.
Shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 12 inch pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double, about 35-40 minutes.
Mix egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Brush on balls.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.
To make crosses: mix together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and milk. Brush an X on each cooled bun.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I thought I was going to post Day II of New York last night, but things didn't work out so well... Billy and I got invited to friends and family night at Maria Bonita in Athens, not sure when the grand opening is, but they were definitely open for us last night. We ended up visiting friends that live there after dinner and got home too late. Even then, the internet wasn't working at home. Oh well... I know we have a Maria Bonita in Decatur, but the one in Athens definitely seems more sophisticated. It's in the square, right in front of the courthouse and the food was excellent... We have Oscar and Matt to thank for the wonderful experience. :o)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New York, New Yorkkkk.... Part I

Alrighty! I am posting a few favorites I had while I still felt good... ;o) First thing we ate when we got to New York was a corner stand pretzel. It was delicious as we were starving! Needless to say, I didn't get a picture of it... (Like you really care to see a big, salted pretzel...?) Anywhooo, Billy and I headed down some street in New York in search for some eats. We found a place called "3 Guys".

We found a plethora of food and I decided on a turkey avocado pita while Billy chose "chicken" with a Greek salad. I quoted/unquoted chicken because it tasted and looked more like turkey bacon, but it was still good.

For Dinner we headed over to a Thai restaurant named Chada. It took Bijal a few frantic texts and voicemails to a friend to find it, but we finally got there! Billy had the Drunken Noodles dish (it was delish!) and the Thai iced tea.

Bijal ordered the veggie duck with rice (yes, duck flavored soy, it was surprisingly yummy) and the Thai iced tea. I went safe and had the steak with veggies. (Bok Choy and a few others.)

Next, we ended the day with some of the best frozen yogurt I have ever had, RED MANGO!!! Billy had pineapple with strawberries, I had CHOCOLATE with strawberries, and Bijal had chocolate with these little things that resembled mini-marshmallows. They were great!

Tomorrow, New York, New Yorkkkk.... Part II!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wedding Shower Cuppy Cakes!

  Okay! I know I haven't posted anything in a great while... We have been so busy, getting back into the groove after our trip to New York (pics will come soon, I PROMISE!) and then getting ready for a couple friend's wedding shower... She requested chocolate cake, groom-to-be likes red velvet. So I compromised, I made cupcakes! I was so proud of these, I have always wanted to get that yummy swirl of frosting on top and make them look pretty, and somehow I managed... I put red glitter sprinkles on the red velvet ones and melted some red chocolate and made hearts out of those to place on top. The cream cheese frosting on the red velvet was AWESOME, I found the recipe through Google and it is WONDERFUL to decorate with, I had made one before that was too runny even though it was yummy. So if you want to use it to decorate, this is a great recipe to use. (I used a boxed cake mix for the cupcakes...)

Beat 8 oz. cold cream cheese (you can use it straight out of the refrigerator- or soften just a few seconds (about 20) in the microwave) with 5 Tbsp. softened butter and 2 tsp. vanilla until combined. Gradually add 2 c. powdered sugar that has been sifted after measuring. Continue to add more sifted powdered sugar until you reach a consistency and sweetness that fits your taste. I ended up using about two and a half cups, more or less.

Below is the picture of the chocolate mini-cupcakes, I also used cake mix and I used canned frosting... I usually don't like to do this, but I was already making the cream cheese one and I didn't need another one taking up more time.
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