Saturday, March 17, 2012
I used Mrs. Field's Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe which is from her Best Cookies Cookbook (one of my favorites). I did have to bake it for longer than I would for individual cookies (about twice as long - but keep checking to make sure you don't burn it). The topping is some leftover cake icing I had in the freezer and the kids had a blast with the Smarties and sprinkles on top. I used a pizza cutter to slice it up (and of course a side of milk for all!)
Mrs. Fields Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl combine flour, soda, and salt. Mix well with wire whisk. Set aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, blend sugars at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and vanilla extract, and mix at medium speed until just blended. Do not overmix. Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips, and blend at low speed until just mixed. Drop by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes. (For the pizza, I spread all of the dough out onto a pizza sheet. I turned the it in the oven after 20 minutes and kept checking every 10-15 minutes until it looked nicely browned).
Friday, March 9, 2012
My son turned 5 this week. We had an all dinosaur themed party for him. This was the cake. I used an angel food cake pan to bake it in, doubling the amounts of my recipe for Wacky Cake (by far the most used cake recipe for us). Once the cake was cooled, I covered it in chocolate icing, even spreading the chocolate icing onto the plate (really a cutting board, covered in foil). I then mixed vanilla icing with red and yellow food dye to make a good lava colour. I put that icing into the microwave for about 30 seconds to liquify it (it was hot - be careful). Then, I slowly poured it around the top of the cake to let it naturally flow down over the cake, giving it a realy lava effect. I like how it made little pools and rivers of lava at the bottom too (tip - turn the edged of the foil up just a little to catch the lava from flowing onto your counters). The rocks and mud were done by placing Rock Candy and crushed Fudge-E-O cookies around the cake. And of course the dinosaurs had to be stomping around too! To complete the effect, we used sparklers instead of candles to make it look as though the volcano was really exploding (I have heard of people using dry ice in the centre for this too). The kids were wowed by it!
Saturday, March 3, 2012
|5 sprays cooking spray, divided|
|1 medium eggplant, trimmed, sliced lengthwise in 1/4-in thick slices|
|2 large uncooked zucchini, trimmed, sliced lengthwise in 1/4-in thick slices|
|1 large egg, beaten|
|3/4 pound part-skim ricotta cheese - I used 1% cottage cheese in its place and recommend straining the cheese first to get rid of excess moisture and thicken it up.|
|1/4 cup basil, fresh, cut into thin strips|
|1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, high-quality recommended, divided - I totally don't have high quality parm. I used our shaker (PC Blue Menu)|
|4 cups store-bought marinara sauce, divided|
|1/2 pound shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided|
- To roast vegetables, preheat oven to 400°F. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray. Place eggplant on one prepared baking sheet and place zucchini on other prepared baking sheet; coat vegetables with cooking spray. Roast 8 minutes; turn over vegetables and roast for 7 to 10 minutes more (total roasting time should not exceed 20 minutes or the vegetables will get too mushy); remove from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine egg, ricotta cheese, basil and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese; set aside.
- When vegetables are done, reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
- To assemble lasagna, coat bottom and sides of a 14- X 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread a thin layer of sauce (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup) on bottom of pan. Layer eggplant over sauce (use all the slices, even if you have to overlap them). Cover eggplant with half of marinara sauce and then spread half of ricotta mixture on top; sprinkle with half of mozzarella cheese. Top mozzarella cheese with zucchini and cover zucchini with remaining marinara sauce; spread with remaining ricotta mixture and then sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
- Bake until the bottom starts to bubble, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove lasagna from oven and allow it to rest for about 15 to 20 minutes before slicing into 12 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.