Cooking Stuff

All posts in the Cooking Stuff category

Brand New Cooking Project! :D

Published June 3, 2012 by cookinggamer

So, this summer I am going to be working up at a summer camp for kids as a camp sous chef. EXCITING šŸ˜€ I love being outdoors, I love kids and most of all I love cooking. This will definitely be a summer I won’t soon forget I am sure!

But with that being said, that also means that this summer I will not beĀ home to cook dinners/lunches for my bf. He is most capable of cooking on the bbqĀ or ordering out but just because I am concerned with how much junk he may consume, I have decided to freeze a whole bunch of meals for him so he can just reheat and eat! Hence my new cooking project.

I leave in a week, so within this week I plan on making a few freezer cook ahead meals for him to reheat and enjoy while I am gone. With that being said, I will be posting all the recipes I make before I go. Hopefully this project goes smoothly! If you have any ideas for me please feel free to leave them for me! It would help out a lot! šŸ˜€

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 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?

Smoothie Operator

Published May 9, 2012 by cookinggamer

Every Wednesday at work, IĀ make smoothies for one of our breakfast options. I used to work at this coffee shop back in Vancouver at a skytrain station. I had the pleasure of helping with making up ideas for the menu since it was a brand new coffee shop and the owners were amazingly enthusiastic about any new ideas. One of my favourite ideas that I contributed was smoothies. Now, anywhere I go, there’s a version of smoothies available whether it be fresh fruit or from a mix. Don’t get me wrong, I think it a great idea or I would’ve never suggested it but I find them always overpriced. It’s an amazing way to get fruits and dairy into our system and I love how portable it is. But at what $4 a pop or most places more for a decent sized cup, I’d much rather make them at home! For the same price point, I can make a whole jug of the nutrious goodness right at home in mere minutes! I find if you keep the smoothies in the fridge and don’t mind stirring itĀ before drinking them, I can keep a jug in the fridge for about 3 days. I like sending the bf to work with one so he can have one as he is driving to work and I don’t have to worry about himĀ ordering some breakfast sandwich instead. I would say here’s a recipe for a smoothie but honestly, it’s really up to your imagination to make it up. I could however provide you with a simple formula for it!

1/2 cup yogurt ( I prefer vanilla because it’s nice and sweet)

9 oz of frozen fruit ( i prefer frozen because then I don’t have to add ice to dilute the flavour)

1.5 cup of fruit juice or milk or a combination of both

1-2 tbsp of honey (optional if the fruit is already a super sweet fruit like mangos or apples)

1 banana (optional)

Throw everything in a blender and volia! Fruit smoothie! Enjoy!

 

A List of Grocery Must Haves for Gamers

Published April 28, 2012 by cookinggamer

Though this is titled for gamers, I find this list a great idea for anybody that is a little tight on budget and time but still wants to eat well. These are my go to staples in my kitchen. These ingredients are pretty inexpensive but are awesome to have on hand to make quick easy dinners or snacks.

Let’s start with the cupboard beside my stove šŸ˜€ – This is where I store all my spices and baking goods. It makes it a lot easier for me to reach cause let’s face it, if you are anything like me, these are the items that inspire you to try something different šŸ˜€

1. salt and pepper and sugar- pretty straight forward. But you would not believe how many times I go visit my fellow gamers and it’s no where to be found O.O

2. Garlic Powder – I love this stuff. It’s for when I really dun feel like chopping up garlic. Note I said garlic POWDER! Garlic salt tends to have too much salt in it and makes it hard to control your level of garlickiness.

3. Onion Soup Powder – sounds weird but I use it to season anything from veggies to potatoes to pastas. Sounds weird but works like a charm!

4. Montreal Steak Spice – love this combo for spices. I douse it on my steaks and sometimes on veggies. Much like the onion soup powder it’s more versatile than you think!

5. Flour – also another straight forward one if you were a baker, but I use it in my cooking too. Thickens up sauces from simple broths, great for breading, and a bunch of other things!

6. A good quality oil – now everyone keeps saying oooo olive oil. I love a good olive oil for dressings or dipping nummy italian bread in but for cooking I opt for grapeseed oil. This little oil not only costs less than a good quality olive oil, it’s also go a much lower smoking point. It also has no distinct flavour to it so your ingredients have a chance to shine!

7. Chocolate Chips- *sigh* does this need an explaination? But I do toss it in cookies and banana breads as well as other baked goods. I also like mixing it with nuts for a trail mixy feel.

The Pantry – Ahh where we keep anything non perishable like chef boyardee!

1. Chicken stock cans – Don’t bother buying the tetra pack stuff unless you plan on using a lot of it because it goes bad fast!

2. Cream of whatever you like soup- These soups often make a great sauce for dinners.

3. BBQ Sauce – I use it in a lot of dishes, not just on steaks.

4. Pasta Sauce – Because quite frankly pasta is one of the easiest things to cook.

5. Dried pasta – It’s cheap and easy to make.

6. Kidney Beans – Chili is a go to meal for us and it’s super cheap.

7. Canned Tomatoes – We aren’t big fans of the fresh stuff plus the canned version has more antioxidants in it.

8. Salsa – because it sure beats out most other dips out there for chips and works great in some of my favourite dishes.

Must Haves in my Fridge – Ah, the place everyone stick their heads into when they are hungry!

1. Cheese – Can’t tell you how many times I’ve done the whole dammit there’s no cheese in the house!

2. Milk – I find I do use this quite a bit in my cooking and baking. But it also means if it’s in the fridge, the family will drink it!

3. Eggs – I love sunday breakfasts but I have been known to make them for supper too because it’s a great cheap protein.

4. Chicken – Now I am partial to chicken thighs but all my recipes are either or when it comes to dark or white meat. I always have some on hand because it’s just damn tasty and so versatile.

5. Ground Beef – Because it’s quick and easy and cheap to work with for most dinner ideas.

6. Veggie sticks – I usually process my veggies that it can be a go to snack so I will reach for that instead of chips.

7. Bananas – We eat tons of them in the house. When it starts going darker I put them in the fridge because it’s great in banana bread!

8. Fruit Cocktail – Sometimes melons and berries are just not in season so this gives us a bit of easy to grab and go fruit to eat.

9. Butter – yes everyone says go margarine but I am a butter girl through and through. Can’t duplicate the flavour it gives off. I say be smart about it and it’s not unhealthy like everyone else says it is.

That’s pretty much my typical stock up! I of course have more stuff than that, but these are my staples in my kitchen.