Wednesday, October 28

Royal Icing

I figured I'd just give it its own separate post so you guys don't have to scroll through a whole recipe to find it. :)

Royal Icing:
by Alton Brown
Copied and pasted because it's easier that way :)

"3 ounces pasteurized egg whites (that's about 3 egg whites. You know Alton and his preciseness)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar

In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners' sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days."


The quest for macaroni and cheese!

Let me be honest with you.

I have only enjoyed eating ONE mac 'n cheese.
The kind prepared by my aunts for Sunday dinner was the end all, be all to macaroni and cheese for me.

I once tried to eat Easy Mac. I'll spare you the gory details, but let's just say the bathroom floor got painted yellow ;)

Being away from home, and so away from my grandmother's house, I needed a mac n cheese fix.
So, I scoured the internet for recipes, and tried to use what little knowledge I had of what went into the fabled mac 'n cheese.

The first try...was horrible.
The cheese sauce separated 5 seconds after I scooped it out of the pan, it was grainy...It was SAD.

So I returned to the drawing board and discovered the ultimate recipe for creamy, delicious mac 'n cheese.

...yeah, but I'm showing you pictures of the other one because, by the time I made the perfect kind, I was mad and too tired to take pictures XD.

My roux...the heat was a little high here.

Sharp white cheddar and sharp cheddar

Part of the reason for the icky texture was too much of the liquid bubbled out. Be careful not to overfill dishes XD

Looks nice, doesn't it?


Kiara's PERFECTLY CREAMY Mac 'N Cheese:
2 tbs butter.
1-2 tbs flour (start with one, add more if you need it)
1 1/2 cup of milk
2 oz of cream cheese
3 oz of your desired cheese(s). I used Velveeta with a bit of sharp cheddar. So sue melts like heaven. XD
1 cup of pasta (dry!)
salt to taste

Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.
When it's almost halfway done, melt the butter in a separate pot, over medium heat.
When the butter's melted, whisk in the flour to make a roux. It's used to thicken the sauce, so if it looks a little thin, add more flour, a little bit at a time.
Once that's done, add in the milk, and stir. You can turn up the heat, so that the mixture boils faster.
Once the sauce starts to boil (it should look fairly thick), add in the cream cheese and stir until it's completely melted.
Then, add whatever other cheese(s) you chose and stir until melted.
Add in the cooked pasta, and stir together.
Salt to taste.
I guess you could pepper it too. I hate pepper, though, haha.

Now, you can either eat it like this (which I do), or stick it in a casserole dish, top it with more cheese (or breadcrumbs, but I think that's gross XD ) and bake it in the oven...350-400 should do it, until the top layer of cheese is bubbly and has little happy dark spots. XD


Sunday, October 25

Kiara's Rotten, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Day Cookies

So lately, I've been feeling rather down.
The stress of school and my personal life are taking their toll on me.

Today, in the midst of cleaning my horribly messy room, I said, in much harsher words, "Screw this!" and I went to make cookies.

What kinds of things does one want to see when one is down? Smiley faces and rainbows, of course!

So I made the cookies, and made the bazillion colors of icing and all was good.

Until I really looked at the kitchen and realized that I had a huge mess to clean up.

Welcome back, stress! Haha, it wasn't that bad, but the situation was kind of ironic. :)

Anyhoooo, here we go!

Messed up a little bit, but for the most part, a decent rainbow :)

it's not happy that I bit it in the head XD

This is the happiest cookie I've ever seen :P

Buttery Sugar Cookies:
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
4 tbsp of butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp of baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in the vanilla and egg and beat until fully incorporated.
Add the flour and baking powder, and mix until the dough comes together.
The dough might be a little dry, so if you need to, add some water until it comes together better.
Chill the dough for about a half an hour, it probably won't need it, but chilled dough is always better than room temperature dough. :)
Roll it out (whatever thickness you want, they'll only rise a little bit) and cut out your shapes.
Bake them for 15-20 minutes (the edges should start to get a little bit brown)
Let them cool completely before decorating.
Decorate with royal icing (recipe here!)

Oh and I secretly borrowed my father's camera, so I'm back...for now...until he notices...hehehe.


Wednesday, October 7

Le Sigh

Still no camera = still no posts.

They said 4 to 6 weeks, and it's been nearly a month, so hopefully it'll be back soon.

It's been weird this past month, cooking and baking and not bothering to check my lighting, plate it nicely, and grab my camera with dirty hands. I really miss it, and I really miss doing this.

Every day I try something new, I feel guilty that you guys can't be there to share the experience of the first time. It feels like I'm cheating on you all! Haha.

But truthfully, it's nuts. Being here in my apartment, being able to go to the store whenever I please, has opened up my ability to experiment and learn through sheer trial and error.
And so hopefully, when they return my poor, poor camera, this blog will be even more amazing. (Is it possible?! :P )

Thanks for sticking with me, even through this horrible dry spell. :)