Monthly Archives: October 2009

We’re Getting Dressed Up for Halloween today!

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Vote today starting at 3:00 PM until Saturday 3:00 PM for your favorite dressed up cupcake.

Only one vote per person.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

13 Comments

Filed under Cake, Cooking, Cupcakes, Dessert, easy, quick, Recipes

Sweet Potato Bread

With whipped creamI love this time of year.  Cool crisp mornings,  the color of the autumn leaves in the sunshine, pumpkins,  sitting by the fire, football , hayrides, hot chocolate, the smell of cinnamon,  and nutmeg. 

With this weather it just made me want to make something that  would make the kitchen smell like fall. 

So that is the reason for the sweet potato bread.  At least one of the reasons, the other being that I have an abundance of sweet potatoes from the CSA that I have not used.  I pulled out half of them for the bread and will use the rest for a fall root roast. 

One year for Christmas a student brought me this bread all wrapped up real pretty for a gift.  Now for those of you that aren’t teachers you might not understand this.  Teachers  have to be real careful when it comes to eating food that students bring you from home.  You never know.  You could have made Suzie Q  real mad cause you called her mama for talking back to you or it just wasn’t fair that you sent her to the office because she was half dressed.    Needless to say I am wary of eating anything that I don’t see made right in front of me.  This little cute blonde I trusted her.  No really I knew her mama real well.  So here is the best sweet potato bread that has ever passed your lips.  I promise you.   Eat hot right out of the oven or freeze and eat later.  Whatever you choose you are going to love it!

Coming from the south I have grown up eating sweet potatoes.  Not sweet potato souffle.  I hate that.  Just plain sweet potatoes with butter and salt.  There is nothing better.  My grandparents grew these in their garden.  As a small child I watched my mother with her apron on putting sweet potatoes in a brown paper bag and pushing them in the oven.  I would help her peel them when they came out.  It was almost like peeling a banana.  I could not help myself from putting hot pieces in my mouth as we took the peelings off.  They were so good. 

You can do the same.  Create some childhood memories with your family.  Let them help you make this bread and maybe years from now they will be writing about how good it made them feel to be in the kitchen with you.

                                                                                              Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes ready to go in the oven.

Put in a paper bag on a baking sheet.

Put in a paper bag on a baking sheet.

You have to bake them in a brown bag.  Trust me.  It helps to make the sugars caramelize.  The taste is unbelievable.  Bake at 400 degrees F.  Bake until nice and soft for about 1 hr. and 20 minutes.  It will make your house smell so good.

Cooked Sweet PotatoesHere they are right out of the oven. Soft skins and ready to peel.

Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes peeled and ready to whip.

Whipped potatoes

Whip hot potatoes with mixer.  Do not add a thing.  At this point you can refrigerate until you are ready to make the bread.  Bring to room temperature or heat in the microwave for a few minutes.

My Kitchenaide mixerCream 1 cup butter with 3 cups of sugar.  That’s alot isn’t it.  It will be allright. 

Creamed butter and sugar

 Creamed butter and sugar . Ready to add the eggs.

Adding eggs

Add 3 eggs one at a time.  Beat after each one.

Good Vanilla

Add 1 teaspoon of good vanilla.

DSCN0207 Add 2 cups of whipped sweet potatoes.

 

3 cups flour, 1 1/2 t salt, 1 t soda, 1 1/2 cinnamon, 1 t cloves, 1/2 t nutmet

Add Flour, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg

At this point you can add nuts and/or raisins.  I added both.  About 1 cup chopped nuts and 1 cup of raisins.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Check with toothpick that comes out clean.  Cool for 10 min. before removing from pan.

Baked and ready to serve

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I like this picture.  It looks lonely.  Ready for someone to eat. 

Here is the recipe;

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t soda
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t. cloves
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  •  raisins and pecans to taste

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs 1 at a time.  Add vanilla.  Add 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes.  Add dry ingredients.  Stir in nuts and raisins.  Bake in a Bundt pan at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 min.  Check for doneness with a cake tester or toothpick that  comes out clean.

Happy Cooking, 

The Teacher Cooks

27 Comments

Filed under Bread, Cooking, easy, healthy, Recipes, Sweet Potato

Fruit Pizza – Top Chef Lab

You are Top Chef

You are Top Chef

Today was an amazing lab.  It was as if every group was competing for Top Chef.  First block you could hear a pin drop as they were hovered over their fruit precisely cutting  to make an intricate design.  Most all of the groups worked to their full potential . You can see this when viewing  the photos.  FANTASTIC!!!

 I think this recipe or one close to it  is posted everywhere.  In class yesterday we were trying  to find ideas for putting the pizza together and there were hundreds of them.  Some good and some very bad.  I am still trying to wrap my brain around the “Kitty Litter Cake”!  To each his own.

Here are the instructions for putting the work of art together.

Crust –  Slice 1 roll of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough into 1/4 in. slices.  Use all the dough.  Place into a well greased pizza pan.  DO NOT mash to cover the pan.  As the dough rises in the oven it will cover the pan.  Bake at 350- 375 degrees for 15 – 20 min. or until golden brown.  It will be puffy when you take it out.  Don’t worry it will flatten quickly. Cool completely.  ( We put ours in the freezer to chill)

Frosting –  Mix 8 oz. of softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

Frost the cookie dough leaving about 1/2 of cookie around the edge.

Place your favorite fruits of the top .  Refer to the photos.  Some fruits make a better choice than others.  A good combination is strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and peaches.  Be careful to choose colors that will pop on the frosting.

Slice and enjoy.    

Here is the Second Place winner.  Congratulations to you both.  Great job!!

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

Beautiful Work!

Beautiful Work!

71 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Cooking, cream cheese, Dessert, easy, fruits, healthy, quick, sugar cookies

Fruit Pizza Coming Up! Please Vote Here for the BEST!

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Here's what we are cooking in our lab.

 

I need your help.  The pizza at the top is the one I made.  OK, my students have trumped mine.  That is a good thing, though. 

Please view the photos that follow and pick the best Fruit Pizza. 

 Write your choice in the comment section along with why it is your choice.  

Please only 1 vote per person. 

The winner will be have their photo at the top of the post.  The top two will get extra credit on our test next week on NUTRIENTS, which is pretty hard.

Have a great weekend,

The Teacher Cooks

26 Comments

Filed under Bar Cookies, Cookies, Cooking, Dessert, easy, healthy, quick, Recipes

Park Avenue Bars

Park Avenue Bars  - Wonderful!If you are watching your weight DO NOT make these bars!!   They are so good you cannot stop yourself. 

This recipe is from my friend Debbie.   She is a great cook and is always bringing something good to school.  I e-mailed her and said, ” I want that recipe for whatever  you brought to school last Christmas.  I cannot remember what’s  in it .  I just remember  that it was delicious.”  That gave her alot to go on.  We are  lucky to get this with that kind of information. In spite of my memory Debbie came through for me.   

All right so I am baking these bars with very limited time.  It is 10:00 and I have to take them to my tennis match by 2:00.  Everything that could go wrong does.   I pulled out the cake mix and the use by date had expired by 2 weeks.  Just for me I would have used it, but with my luck no telling what would have happened!! Now a  trip to the grocery.  Thanks goodness I pulled out everything else that I would need including the pan.  Oh, wait there is  NO PAN.   Forgot I had thrown it away.  Just for your information don’t make lasagna in an aluminum pan because after so many years the tomato sauce will eat holes in it.  So GI Joe is off to the store to buy a pan and a cake mix.   He does not shop.  He knows nothing about baking pans.   After 15 minutes on the phone we settle for the heavy duty Wilton pan.   Just remember that when you are baking in a dark pan to turn the oven down 25 degrees.  I didn’t!!  Almost burned!  I did make it to my match on time with the bars and they were enjoyed.

 Thanks to Debbie for the recipe .  Here it is for you to enjoy, too.

 

1 stick of melted butter

1 stick of melted butter

Butter Recipe Cake Mix

Butter Recipe Cake Mix

1 egg

1 egg

1 cup chopped Pecans

1 cup chopped Pecans

Mix with wooden spoon

Mix with wooden spoon

Place in a 9 x 13 in. pan

Place in a 9 x 13 in. pan

Spread in the pan

Spread in the pan

1 box powdered sugar, 2 eggs, 8 oz cream cheese

1 box powdered sugar, 2 eggs, 8 oz cream cheese

Mix with mixer

Mix with mixer

Pour on top of cake mixture

Pour on top of cake mixture

When using a dark pan like this one make sure that you lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees.  I failed to do this and they were very nearly burned!!!

Park Avenue Bars - Wonderful !

Park Avenue Bars - Wonderful !

Here is the recipe.  Enjoy!

Park Avenue Bars

  • 1 Duncan Hines Butter Yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick butter melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 box  powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9 x 13 in. baking dish.  Mix by hand the cake mix, 1 egg, melted butter and chopped pecans.  Press down into bottom of greased baking dish.  Set aside.  Mix well in mixer powdered sugar, 2 eggs, and cream cheese.  Pour on top of crust .  Bake about 40 min. (until the top is golden brown).  Cool before cutting.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

26 Comments

Filed under Bar Cookies, Cake, Cookies, Cooking, Dessert, easy, quick, Recipes

Cream Puffs

Cream puff with vanilla pudding fillingTeaching high school  takes a lot of planning, but there are times that I do things on the spur of the moment that really add alot to the class.  This is one of them. Today the students took a test and we started a new unit.  I thought we needed something a little more interesting.  This demo only took about 15 minutes of class time.  While they were cooking the students took their test.

I have been making cream puffs since college.  As a freshman I worked  for the Family and Consumer Science Department Head.  I thought I would be typing,  grading essays that kind of thing, but that was not always the case.  Thank goodness I loved to cook.  She was in charge of every event that involved food.  Not sit down meals, but everything else. 

I left there knowing how to make every kind of cookie, sandwich, cheese straw, punch,  and candy recipe.  I loved it!  It was so much fun and I  learned a lot. 

Here is one of the recipes that I made. 

Cream puffs are very easy to make and will impress all your guests. You can fill them with pudding.  I recommend you make it from scratch.  It is much better than the instant that I used today, because of lack of time. Sweetened whipped cream would be an excellent choice, too. Let’s don’t leave out ICE CREAM.  You could use that as a filling, too.

Since  I am not a dessert person  filling  them with chicken or a seafood salad would be a hit.  Or you could go all out and double the recipe and make one savory and one sweet.  Whatever way you choose everyone is going to be impressed with your cooking skills.    

My students now want to make these in class, but we don’t have time.  We have to move on to  more healthy choices.  FRUITS and VEGETABLES

Here is the basic recipe that is found in every cookbook.  Use your imagination and enjoy cooking!

Cream Puffs

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs

Heat oven to 400 – 425 degrees.  In a medium saucepan, heat water and margarine to boiling. Take off heat add flour and salt all at once.  Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of pan in a smooth compact ball.  Let mixture cool slightly.  Stirring will help to cool the mixture quicker.  Be careful not to add your eggs too soon or you will have scrambled eggs.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Spoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.   Make 6 very large cream puffs or use a tablespoon and make 20 snack size. ( In the picture are snack size).

You can pipe these from a pastry tube using a large fluted tip.

Bake small cream puffs for about 30 minutes.  Bake large ones for about 40 minutes.

Doneness is important.  They will collapse if they are underbaked.  ( That question was on our test today) To fill them slice the top third and remove the uncooked dough if there is any.  Now you will be able to fill the Cream Puff.  When you finish just replace the top.

They should be filled as close to serving time as possible to preserve their crispness.

Unfilled they can be frozen for 3 months.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

28 Comments

Filed under Brunch, Cooking, Cream Puffs, Dessert, easy, quick, Recipes

French Dip Sandwiches

blog 296GI Joe took me to eat dinner when we were dating after a tennis tournament.  How romantic!  He ordered a French Dip Sandwich.  I had no idea what he was eating.  I just ordered a hamburger. 

 When the waitress brought it I thought to myself, ” This is what my Mama called a hot roast beef sandwich.”   Au Jus –  we won’t even go there!   

Here is another quick and easy meal using the crockpot.    Very Tasty!  It is  one of my Southern Living recipes I use regularly.  Hope you will, too.   This recipe make 12 servings.  Half  the recipe and you still have leftovers.

 

French Dip Sandwiches

  • 1 4 lb boneless chuck roast
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 beef bouillon cube in 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • French rolls , split

Place a crockpot liner in the slow cooker.  Put roast in.  Combine all ingredients except rolls.  Add water to cooker until roast is almost covered.  Cook on LOW 7 hours.  Remove roast, reserving broth: shred roast with a fork.  Place roast in rolls and serve with au jus for dipping.  Yield 12 servings

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

15 Comments

Filed under Au Jus, Cooking, Crockpot, easy, French dip, quick, Recipes, Roast beef