Sunday, November 21, 2010

Making Stuff

This weekend we rearranged a bunch of stuff and went to a birthday party for FabHub's 75 year old Aunt Nancy. It was an adventure, and the tale shall not be told here.
We also made a bunch of stuff.
You might remember a while back FabHub built me an awesome ottoman? He built a couple more this weekend. They have a purpose, not to be related here either.
Jake doesn't care about the purpose. He just wants to know why they are multiplying in His space. Yes, we do have more of that material. Why do you ask? :)

I of course decided to bake something. Planned on making something of which I could send left overs to work. That didn't happen, but I wanted to make a pie - so I made two since I had a box of those rolled up pie crusts and only needed half the can of pumpkin for one pie. Two was just easier.
This is a Pecan Pumpkin Pie. First you put the pumpkin in the crust, bake it for a while, and then put the pecan topping on and finish baking. Passed the FabHub inspection. The second one should make it to the holiday.
One of the stops we made last weekend in PA was at the Country Store. Amish bulk goods a plenty. I picked up a bag of rye flour since I can't find any around here.
FabHub doesn't care for rye bread, but I found a recipe for "That" Steakhouse Bread that turned out to be pretty close to the original and worthy of a repeat invitation for Sunday dinner. It only has one cup of rye, a cup of whole wheat, and two cups of bread flour. So the rye wasn't too much for him.
I forgot to mention in the previous post that we also stopped at the dry goods store in Germantown. I picked up a few kitchen tools that intrigued me, some metal bowls to replace what I had, a couple important parts for my out dated Victorio strainer, and a whole case of regular size jar flats. That was crazy, but they will get used. All that, along with enough sweet bologna and white guernsey cheese to last a few weeks of sandwich lunches, and we had our Amish fix.
Enough for this week. Later!

Visiting in PA

We went to Pennsylvania last weekend to visit our newest niece. 
Meet Annalise.
She has a pretty good place to nap worked out there on FabHub.
 He looks about ready to go out for the night too.

This is her big sister Olivia and Cally the cat.

Olivia is loving her kitty.

Cally is being pretty patient about wearing her pretty earrings.
"What are you looking at?"

This is Cyclo - and this is the only time I saw him not moving.

The dump truck in the background was FabHub's gift to Olivia. He has bought Tonka trucks for all of the kids over the years. Girls and boys alike. Olivia got lucky to get an old one we found in an antique store. It has never seen a sandbox and now is a Cadillac for dolls, bears, and a sock monkey.

FabHub and I were on our way back from PA and saw what we decided is a truck load of super condensed rolls of hay. Just add water!

The tiny rolls are much easier to haul in bulk, but you still need a big rig due to the weight.
Load distribution looks a little off on this truck though. Brother Dave would have done a much better job I am sure!
That is all of our PA trip, nope, no parent photos. We just wanted to see the girls. :)
Until next time.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Pizza Cookie

So one of the nephews decided to get married.
His Mom said the reception food would be brought in by family and that I could make something weird if I wanted to.
I like to experiment with new recipes whenever I get a chance.
This summer's experiment was stuffed peppers and that broccoli salad (the one with raisins, bacon, onion, and slaw dressing) that everybody likes, but I don't see to often around here. 
I didn't know some of the people that were going to be there so I thought the salad would be safe.
Then I asked the nephew what HE wanted to eat at the reception.
HE said that picking up a few Little Ceasars pizzas would be fine with him.
So I got creative.
Cause that is what I do.
What we ended up with is a Sugar Cookie Dessert Pizza.

Does it look real?
It is really tasty. Cookie tasty, not pizza tasty.
Want to make one yourself?
To make it you need just a few ingredients.

The powdered sugar, marshmallows, water, and food coloring are for the fondant that makes the pepperonis.
The strawberry frosting and food coloring are for the sauce.
The cookie mix, egg, butter, and flour are for the crust.
And the white chocolate is for the mozzarella cheese.

 I mixed the dough up per instructions and then spread it out in a foil pizza tin, which seemed pretty thin.
Then I put it in the oven on top of my own pizza pan to keep it from burning.

I had read other giant cookie recipes that use cookie dough from the pop open can and they seemed to have problems with the dough rising too much and spilling out of the pan. Not a problem with the kind I used. I spread it all the way to the edge and it turned out perfect using the instructions on the bag.

So then I made the fondant, which we will look at in a minute. This is the sauce, which lost out on having a more tomato color when I realized that I didn't have as much red food coloring as I needed. So after making the fondant pepperonis what red coloring was left for my "sauce" wasn't nearly as much as it should be resulting in more of a pink color, luckily I started with the strawberry frosting so it gets the point across.

Then I got out the box grater and shredded some white chocolate into little mozzarella looking curls.
If I had a little propane burner I would have browned some of it too. I think that would have been great!

Then I rolled out the chilled fondant. I won't go far into how much trouble that stuff was to make. I cut a regular fondant recipe, which I have made successfully in the past, into a fifth and the result was a mess.
In the end I got it to work and found a bottle cap that made the perfect size pepperonis.

 I put them on the pie just like making homemade pizza and then sprinkled with a bit more white chocolate.

 The result turned out tasty and looks almost like a real pizza.
This photo is of my test case. Most of it should make it to the office on Monday.
Those poor guys get to listen to me brainstorm about making some of my weird experiments. It is only fitting that they get some of the extras. I haven't heard any complaints yet. :)
So my Facebook friends if you see this, come on by the cube and try a piece, I cut them small.
And to HH, tell him to be on time or he might miss it. :)

PS. Yes, those white specks on my deck are snow!
I took this at about 1215 on Saturday. The sun is out and it looks warm, but in the shade, not so much.
This has been another tale of fun with cooking. I hope you enjoyed.
Come on out and see us sometime!