Dec42012

TWD: Gingerbread Baby Cakes

gingerbread baby cakes

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie is Gingerbread Baby Cakes and is hosted by Karen, who has the recipe at her blog.

I was excited to try these because I love gingerbread, and because I had just gotten the awesome ramekins I used for the pot pies a couple of weeks ago. The ramekins worked perfectly for the cakes, and there was just enough batter for all six.

However… no one really liked these 🙁 They smelled amazing while they were baking, and I couldn’t wait for them to cool enough to give them a try. I served them up for dessert night with some whipped cream, and only one kid finished hers (actually, I cut them all in half because each cake was pretty rich).

coffee extract

I really can’t say what it was that put us off. Maybe we’re used to overly-sugared gingerbread cookies? But it just tended too far on the bitter side of things.

I thought it might have been the coffee extract I used in place of the instant espresso powder (I have never been able to find instant espresso powder), but I only used 1-1/2 teaspoons for the whole batch, so I don’t think that was the problem.

Anyway, so I’ve got three cakes left that I can’t stand the thought of tossing. I’m thinking I might freeze them and add them to a batch of homemade ice cream — I think the ice cream could temper the richness of the cakes. I guess we’ll see!

Nov232012

Black Friday Pot Pies

Black Friday Pot Pie

The day after Thanksgiving is never as low-key or relaxing as I hope it’ll be, and I don’t even go shopping!

Though it’d be nice to have a day of vegging in front of the TV after the all day cook-a-thon, family tradition (ie: the kids) dictates that the Christmas tree and decorations MUST. GO. UP. RIGHT. NOW. And over the years (and the accumulation of a lot of crap– er, decor) it’s become a longer and longer process.

Black Friday Pot Pie

Thankfully, Black Friday dinner is low-key. I take advantage of all the leftovers in the fridge, but instead of serving the same meal we just had yesterday, I created a one-dish meal that everyone loves.

As you can see, it’s as easy as can be. Using ramekins (mine hold 14 ounces) or a 13×9 casserole dish, line the bottom with a layer of mashed potatoes.

Black Friday Pot Pie

On top of the potatoes, put a layer of chopped turkey.

Black Friday Pot Pie

Drizzle some delicious leftover gravy on top of the turkey.

Black Friday Pot Pie

Top off the whole thing with stuffing.

Black Friday Pot Pie

Bake uncovered in a 350° oven for about 40-45 minutes.

For the last ten minutes, I drizzle about a tablespoon of melted butter per ramekin (or half a stick for a casserole dish) on top of the stuffing, which gets it really nice and crispy.

Black Friday Pot Pie

Serve it with leftover rolls, cranberry sauce and a nice salad. It doesn’t get any easier!

Nov212012

Busy Days

I know everyone hates it when bloggers come back after some time away and say “I’ve been gone so long! I’m so sorry! Wow, I’ve been so busy! I need to get things rolling again!” so I won’t 🙂 (but it’s true!).

We haven’t actually been so much busy as we have been contaminated with plague.

Someone who may or may not work at Mike’s place of business may or may not have decided to head into work sick a couple of weeks ago, and it’s ripped through our household like wildfire. We’ve had two separate rounds of antibiotics, prescriptions for coughs and sore throats, and as many over-the-counter pills available for sneezing and runny noses. And we’ve been dealing with this alongside a pretty sick 13-year-old dog as well.

In other words, it’s been loads of fun around here.

Doctor Who Birthday Cake

Anyway, I had meant to do this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie (brownies!) but just didn’t have the stamina to stay upright in the kitchen over the weekend, so I had to give it a pass.

And today has taken any energy I’ve had in reserve since it’s my oldest daughter’s 14th birthday. It’s been a caffeine-filled day as I’ve not only been baking for Thanksgiving tomorrow, but juggling the above birthday cake and birthday preparations as well.

Can you tell what she (we) is currently into? It’s an interest I am trying to encourage since I’ve wondered if any of the girls would be bitten with the science fiction bug (they all have!). The cake was heavily inspired by this picture, and as you can see I’ve got a little bit of temporal distortion happening along the bottom there. That blue is strong willed.

Anyway, I just made a basic old pumpkin pie alongside the cake (but I did get my spiced pumpkin cheesecake fix a couple of weeks ago),

pumpkin pie

And we’ve got the turkey prepped and ready to be lowered into some Alton Brown brine,

turekey brining

And tomorrow I get to wrestle with stuffing, potatoes and all the rest of it.

I hope all my American friends have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!