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All posts for the month May, 2012

Easy Peasy Sugar Cookies

Published May 28, 2012 by cookinggamer

When we were doing the cookies for the bridal shower this past weekend, I had forgotten where I had put my recipe for sugar cookies. As always, I looked it up on my trusty Ipad. Lo and behold, Martha Stewart to the rescue! This recipe was so easy to make and the best part is the dough is freezable. This makes a great news to me because I made extra dough now that I am home for whenever I have the craving for cookies! šŸ˜€

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 lrg egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffly.

Add in egg and vanilla, mix until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and a salt.

Gradually add dry mix into butter egg mixture. Do this in 3 batches and make sure it is well mixed in before proceeding to next batch.

Roll dough out into a flat disk, cover with saran wrap and refridgerate for 1 hour or freeze in freezer for up to 3 months.

To Bake:with parchmen

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove dough and let stand for 5-10 minutes.

Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick between two sheets of floured parchment.

Cut shapes with cookie cutters and using a spatula transfer onto baking sheet.

Bake rotating half way through until edges are golden. 10- 18 minutes depending on the size of the cookies.

Let cool before decorating if desired.

Our cookies turned out perfectly. One of the other bridesmaids brought up some cute pans that we actually pressed the dough into in order to get the unique undering on the cookies. We also found some fun packaging tools to help us out as well to make them extra special for the bride to be! šŸ˜€

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Sunshine, Flowers, and Sweets

Published May 27, 2012 by cookinggamer

This past few days I have been in London, Ontario to spend time with my beautiful bride to beĀ friend getting ready for her bridal shower. Wow, the amount of work that goes into one of these things is insane! I got super lucky. I am one of the friend bridesmaids so I volunteered to just do the favours as everyone else graciously got everything else covered. I had this idea I thought was super simple and but the idea in my head was still stunning. Wow was I wrong! Though the end result was as awesome as I wanted them to be, the amount of work to pull off this feat was much more than I anticipated! I was lucky enough to have enlisted the help of one of the other bridesmaids and the bride’s sister in law to help me out.

The idea was to make sunflower chocolate pops :

 

They turned out fabulous! šŸ˜€ I was so excited because it was the first time I had attempted chocolate molding ever! The sunflowers are going to the in bouquets for everyone in the bridal party because it’s a fall-ish wedding. I thought it would be a fun idea to just have that as a central idea for the wedding.

Then we baked up some delicious devils food cupcakes that we put into plastic cups and then covered them green food coloured cream cheese icing piped with the grass tip. Wanted to make them look like they were just a little potted plant. The result?

I loved the result! I really think I should go into party planning šŸ˜€

Tomorrow I will post the cookieĀ packets and the recipe for the yummy sugar cookies šŸ˜€

Creamy Steak Pasta

Published May 22, 2012 by cookinggamer

Yesterday at 10pm in the evening, I realized that I had forgotten to make my bf his lunch for the next day. Since I am off work for the next 3 weeks while I am waiting to start my new job, I decided it was my girlfriendly duty to make sure the boy eats right and not eat any take out…(cept for the weekend because I’m out of town doing my friend’s bridal shower). So I thought hey I have steak why not make a steak sandwich. But when I went to look for bread… it was all gone… what happens when the bf is addicted to grilled cheeses… *sigh* So what to do? PASTAIFY IT! One of my favourite things to do when I don’t have bread is to make my favourite sandwiches into a nice tossed pasta.

So I am posting the recipe I did yesterday. I used ready made black pepper sauce which you can find usually in the asian food aisle or in the marinades section. If you can’t findĀ it cracked black pepper and a touch of soy sauce also works too!

Serves 2-4

1 fair size steakĀ sliced into stripsĀ (I used rib eye for this recipe as it was on sale the other day at the grocery store.)

1 large pepper slicedĀ ( red, yellow, or orange works best)

1 medium onion sliced

3Ā cup cooked pasta ( I used angel hair because iĀ cooked the quickest and it was late at night)

1/4 cup black pepper sauce

2Ā cup half and half cream

Heat pan with approximately 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of butter ( better flavour but can be another tbsp of oil) add peppers and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions become opaque. Add steaks strips Add black pepper sauce and toss until evenly coated. Added cream and let reduce until thickened usually about half. Add pasta and toss to coat and heat. Serve with garlic bread or some sort of italian bread to soak up all the yummy leftover sauce! šŸ˜€

Diablo Fever

Published May 21, 2012 by cookinggamer

As most gamers know, Diablo came out scant a week ago. All hail one of the greatest gaming franchises in history. Loyal fans have waited years if not a decade for this gem of a game to arrive so naturally the much anticipated game has garnered the attention of many far and wide.

While most gamers faithfully sit in front of their computer screens to beat out their fellow enthusiasts in a leveling, loots, gold, and sort, another group of people have sprung up. They are what I call gamer widows. They girlfriends, wives, boyfriends, husbands, etc who sit there pining away at loved ones gone into frenzy. It has once again stolen dinner times, date nights and all other activities except for gaming time.

I went out with my boyfriend and his friends this weekend for nachos and beers at a local pub they frequent and we go to when we are in town visiting the in laws. It was surprising to see how much of the topic of conversation always diverted back to the game. Now granted, I play the game as well. However, one of his friends brought along his girlfriend who was not a gamer by any means. It was interesting to watch her reaction to the topic of conversation. She is an amazing girl, and she is quite indulging when it comes to her boyfriend’s interests. But even someone as sweet tempered as her wrinkled her nose and showed a slight cringe when it came to the topic. I think that sometimes, as we are in relationships, we need to realize that our own personal needs are not all that we should be looking after. When we are in a group setting, there needs to be more topic than just what’s in.

Tho, I have to admit my view still stands. If you can’t beat them, join them! I started playing WoW because my boyfriend was itching to play again. I learned how to deal with gamers. If i want to spend time with him, sometimes it’s best not to argue and just log in. However, gamers, please remember your significent other as well! Take them out and spend time with them away from the screen! Makes a world of difference!

What hobbies does your significent other have that you wish they would calm down on? How do you deal with it?

Diablo 3 Cupcakes (aka Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes w/ Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing)

Published May 17, 2012 by cookinggamer

Sorry I haven’t written in a while… the game I have waitedĀ for YEARS finally came out. If PC gaming is your thing at all and you haven’t been living under a rockĀ then you would know that the most highly anticipated game, another installment in one of the popular action online rpg ever came out on Tuesday. Diablo 3 is a game that has been at least a decade in the making. It boasts upgrade graphics and a storyline that picks up 20 years after the events that occurred in its predecessor. Now they are saying there is no cow level… oh we will see, Blizzard, we will see!

I won’t lie, the gamer in me, wanted to play all the time. I may have even contemplated playing hooky on Wednesday to stay home and play in my jammies along with my fellow hooky players. But I forged on, I went to work. Another chore I really would love to neglect, is cooking supper. I’m usually super diligent about cooking supper but Tuesday after work, servers were finally up, so I will admit… pizza it was. Yesterday, it was heating up pasta sauce I froze for such an occasion as this along with angel hair pasta. Tonight, bbq burgers with grilled veggies.

But in honour of this glorious game, I named a cupcake I made recently at work after this awesome game. The word DiabloĀ always evoke the colours red and black to me and the diabolically delicious blend of chocolate and strawberries. So this is perfectly fitting in my little world! Hope you guys enjoy it!

Cupcake base:

2 cup sifted flour

1 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup salted butter softened

1/2 cup milk (try to use whole milk, skim milk doesn’t do this recipe justice!)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

12 frozen whole strawberries

PreheatĀ oven to 375F. Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Make sure to greaseĀ top and sides of pan well so the cupcakes come out easily. Add in flour half at a time. Add milk and beat until smooth.

Using a hand blender, cream sugar and butter until pale yellow and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla. mix well. Batter may look curdled but it’s not.

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cupcake liners. Drop in the strawberries into the middle of the batter and let the batter cover the strawberries.

Bake in oven for 18 minutes or when toothpick comes out clean from the batter.

Let coolĀ completely before icing.

 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

1/4 cup butter room temperature

8 oz (1pkg) cream cheese

2 1/2 cup icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 pkg hot chocolate powder (secret weapon)

3 tbsp -1/8 cup cocoa powder (depends how dark you want the icing)

With hand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla extract until smooth.

Slowly add icing sugar and hot chocolate powder mixing as you go.

Add cocoa powder 1 tbsp at a time until right chocolately depth.

Let chill in fridge for 1 hour before using.

I topped mine with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh strawberry slice.

What is your favourite type of cupcake? What filling would most appeal to you in a cupcake?

Homemade Granola Bars

Published May 12, 2012 by cookinggamer

When I first started dating my boyfriend, he ate a ton of junk food. It made sense at the time to him. He was just 1 dude living with 2 other dudes so take out and chips were the norm to him. If he had a banana that day with his lunch that day it was considered “healthy”. The idea of healthy snacking was him grabbing doritos and salsa because salsa had veggies in it right? When we started living together, I decided it would be a great idea to pack some of these granola bars into his lunch for him so he had a “healthy option”. I mean who doesn’t love chocolate chips right? But everyday when he came home from work, that damn granola bar was the only thing left. One day, I got super fustrated and asked him, “Why do you always eat around the damn granola bar? Aren’t they good?” He then looked at me grabbed the granola bar, opened it and said “You try it then!” So, angrily, I did. Wow… I figured out why he didn’t want to eat it. It was hard and stale. Now I would love to say it’s cause it was sitting in every lunch bag for the pass month so that’s the reasoning, but it was from a new box I just bought the day before hoping a new flavour would change his mind. he then explained to me that because it always tasted like “cardboard” he just figured he won’t eat it. After that, I started researching how to make my own. I went on my very favourite site, the Food Network site and tried out one from there. I still found the recipe too dry. So I decided to make one up. This recipe I am sure someone has made it before I dreamt it up but it is just so nice and moist. They keep a long time and one pan goes quickly at my house.

Now in the recipe I did write down “toppings”. I think this is where you can really create how you want the granola bars to taste or what your dietary needs are. Here is a list of some toppings I love using. Mix and match them to find your perfect blend of toppings!

Chocolate chips (rainbow/plain/mint/peanut butter/ whatever!)

Nuts ( try to find any that are slivered or sliced or chopped, same price less work)

dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, apricots, etc if the fruit is larger like apricots chop them up so it’s not a big chunk when you bite into it)

Shredded coconut

Seeds (pumpkin, flax, sunflower, wheat germs)

Ingredients

4 cups rolled oats

2 cups toppings (1 3/4 cups and 1/4 cup set aside)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup flour

1 cup salted butter/margarine

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 lrg eggs

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 13×9 long cake pan.

Melt butter, honey and brown sugar over low flame. Once melted add vanilla and set aside.

Toss together oats, flour,Ā 2 3/4 cups toppings and cinnamon. Slowly add in butter mixture mixing with your hands until mixture is sticking together in clumps. Add eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly before adding the next.

Press mixture into cake pan. Sprinkle remaining toppings on top and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Let bars cool for 2 hours before cutting. They do then to break apart easily because they are so moist so be careful with them.

I usually cut them up and wrap them in plastic and keep them at room temperature. Like I said they do go fast in my house and the guys that my bf works with love them too so sometimes I surprise them with that! I love them for late night snacks especially with a nice glass of milk. Can’t get my keyboard dirty with these! šŸ˜€