Sunday, January 30, 2011

Delicious Sambuca Shrimp - Only 8 Ingredients!

Delicious Sambuca Shrimp served with freshly steamed asparagus.

2 lbs Jump Shrimp (de-veined)
5 Tbsp Butter (salted)
2-3 Tbsp Sambuca (add more or less if desired)
5 green onions
1 cup wild rice
1 cup long grain rice
1-1/2 to 2 cups heavy cream
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

1 bunch of asparagus (or two)  This meal fed 5 people so we got two bunches of asparagus.

Our friend Cindy B is the guest cook in the kitchen today.  Robbie, Alexia, and I baked and decorated cookies and cupcakes earlier in the day. I'll post those photos later! 

Let's get started.  First, we're going to get the rice started because it takes about 20 minutes.  Cindy combined a cup of wild rice and regular long grain rice to accompany this dish.

Rice Cooker (Pay no mind to the mess behind the cooker!) 
Clean and rinse the rice until the water is clear then put into rice cooker.  Add 2 cups of water.  I've found that the ratio of 2 cups of water to one cup of rice works best.  When the chimer goes off, it's done (usually cooks within 20 minutes)!  Disconnect cooker when rice is done.

If you don't have a rice cooker, you might want to consider getting one. They're not that expensive. You can get one as cheap as $14.  All you do is add rice and water and that's it!  If you don't have one, follow this link, How to Cook Rice, for instructions on making the rice over the stove.

While the rice is cooking, clean the asparagus.

Use running water to get any dirt off of the asparagus.

Now, cut off about an inch off of the ends of the asparagus as they are hard and dry.  We want to expose the soft part.
Cut ends off.

Put the asparagus in a vegetable steamer and squeeze half of a lemon into the pot.  If you don't have a steamer pot you can use a collapsible vegetable steamer and put that on the bottom of the pot and add water. Catch the seeds in your hand as you squeeze so they don't fall into the pot. This is a great shot of Robbie's hands.  Doesn't he look all chef-like already?
Squeeze one half of a fresh lemon over asparagus. 

Cover the asparagus and cook on medium high.

Next we're going to cut the green onions.  Cut into small pieces as shown below.
Cut green onions as shown here.

Once the onions are chopped put them aside and add butter to deep saucepan.
Use medium heat to melt the butter.

Add green onions once butter has melted.
Add onions.

Add raw shrimp and stir mixture at medium heat until the shrimp turns pink, approximately 4 minutes.
Add shrimp.

Add salt and pepper to taste.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Add 1-1/2 to 2 cups of heavy cream (depends on how creamy you like it), stir mixture as you add.
Addition of heavy cream.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of Sambuca,  You can use a little less if you prefer. Stir mixture as you pour it in.  You can also pour a small amount in a glass and drink it as you prepare this meal.  Just don't over do it!
Add sambuca.

Stirring occasionally, let mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
Let simmer for 5 minutes.

Add 1 Tablespoon of Wondra Quick Mixing Flour (sauce and gravy).  If you don't have this, you can make your own roux.  Roux is a mixture of butter and flour.  Follow this link for instructions on how to make roux. (It's not that hard!)
Add WondraQuick

Stir mixture until liquids are thickened.

Now it's time to "plate" the food! Plating is a term used in the culinary arts for making your finished dish look attractive.  Presentation is everything! Follow this link on how you too, can plate like a pro! Your femme and/or significant other will be impressed once she see's the finished product!  Robbie handled this part of the meal.  He did a wonderful job as you will see.

Spoon a portion into a bowl or plate.
Add rice to a plate or bowl.

You don't have to spend an arm and a leg for bowls and plates.  These two only cost me a total of $5.00.

Arrange the rice and shrimp in the bowl.  Drizzle a little sambuca sauce over the rice. Add asparagus to plate.
Doesn't that shrimp look delicious?!

Thanks to Robbie's plating expertise, the finished dish looks beautiful!
Serve with freshly cooked asparagus. Drizzle sauce over asparagus.

Thank you, Cindy for sharing your wonderful recipe, cooking this delicious dish, and enduring being photographed nonstop though out the day! By the way, you were a gracious model.  You're welcome in this butch's kitchen any day!


Rather than post a photo of Cindy, she asked me to use one of Ellie, her beloved pet who passed away earlier this week.  We'll miss little Ellie.  She was the "BIGGEST" and peppiest little guard dog we ever met and kept us all in line.

Robbie is currently in Culinary School right now and hopes to be a chef.  This is my guy friend who I drag around to weird events. He's always game and we have a blast. Thanks for helping make the delicious meal and plating the food for the photographs!

Special thanks to my friend, Dan for taking the many photos! I'll post more of his photos in the gallery.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ice Cream Bread? Two ingredients? No way!

The incredible edible ice cream bread.
I first read about this crazy bread on The Nervous Cook website as I was surfing food blogs on the internet.  Like everybody else who has ever discovered this baking oddity, I was instantly intrigued.  A bread that requires only ice cream and flour? How could this be? Naturally, being the fearless butch baker (cough, cough) I had to "rise to the occasion" (pun intended-interpret it anyway you like *smirk*) and try to make it for myself. As a matter of fact, I not only baked one loaf but two! I experimented with the second one and it tasted much better and was a little bigger than the original loaf.

Here is the original recipe:
2 cups ice cream (make sure it's not low fat or nonfat)
1-1/2 cups self-rising flour

Here is my adaptation of recipe:
2 cups ice cream  (I used pumpkin pie ice cream)
1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup brown sugar

For this post, I'm going to use the adapted version of the recipe because I think it tastes better.

Here are some of the Ingredients & stuff you'll need.  I forgot to add the loaf pan.  (Actually, taking this photo this was just a good excuse for me to try my hand at  using photo-editing software. Notice there are no labels?)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Measure 2 cups of ice cream and let it sit until almost liquid (see photo below)  
Pour mixture into medium sized bowl.  
Add vanilla and brown sugar. 
Stir until thoroughly combined and there are no lumps.

This consistency works best and is easier to stir.
I discovered with the second loaf I baked that if the ice cream consistency was more liquid, the bread actually rose more and it was a lot easier to mix with the flour.  I also wouldn't have broken off the top of my spatula trying to stir it.  If I had been smarter, I would have used an electric mixer...duh.

 Slowly stir in the flour.

Stir ingredients until everything is thoroughly mixed in.

The photo below is what your batter will look like when it's all mixed together.  It's sticky, cold, and also very yummy to taste (I couldn't resist).  Since there are no eggs in this recipe, you can lick the spoon and not have to worry about getting sick unless you eat the whole thing, which I do not recommend.  

All mixed and ready for the loaf pan!

Loaf pan sprayed with cooking oil & dusted with flour.
For the second loaf, I just sprayed vegetable cooking oil in the loaf pan and the bread didn't stick at all. If you want to go to the trouble like I did the first time, you can use spray the pan with cooking oil and dust the bottom and sides with flour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in  middle comes out clean.

Finished product.  Hot, semi-sweet pumpkin bread!
Serve warm or cooled. 

Pumpkin ice cream bread topped with swiss cheese spread.

I took a loaf in to work because no one believed that bread could be made with ice cream and flour.  Everyone liked it but couldn't put their finger on how to describe the taste.  It's not as sweet as you would expect for something made with ice cream.  The best description that I could come up with is that it tastes a bit like a scone. Scones are not really very sweet until you add other things to it like, berries, chocolate chips, etc, and sugary toppings.  This bread is not as dry as a scone but is soft and dense with an oddly moist texture.

It's a weird little bread indeed but tastes pretty good.  You really have to try making it. If there's kiddies around, it would be a fun thing to do together.

I highly recommend experimenting with the recipe.  Add nuts, fruit, chocolate chips, and use different ice cream flavors.  Have fun with it and serve it to your friends.  No one will believe that you made it with ice cream!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Easy Cherry Cobbler (Crisp)

Cherry Cobbler
This recipe is super easy and requires only 4 ingredients!

Make this dessert for your beloved on Valentines Day (because it's a beautiful RED color) or serve it as a tasty sweet treat for a Super Bowl party.

2 cans of cherry pie filling (21 oz each)
2 sticks of butter-salted (1 cup)
1 pkg of yellow cake mix
2 cups of walnuts (chopped)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

You'll need a 9" x 12" Pyrex baking dish (any 9 x 12 in pan will do though). 

Start out by chopping or breaking up the walnuts.  I used to chop them with a knife but that's a bit messy so what I do now is put the nuts on a cutting board, cover them with cellophane and "break" them up gently with a mallet.

Pour out the cherry pie filling straight into the pan.  Spread evenly.

Now empty yellow cake mix on top of the cherry pie filling.

With a fork, spread out the cake mix evenly over the top.  Don't press the mix down, just spread it.

Sprinkle walnut pieces over cake mix.

Spread evenly all over.

Cut sticks of butter into approximately 1/8" slices like below:

Now add pats of butter over the walnuts. Try to get them as close to the edge as possible.

Put into the oven on the middle baking rack.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cherry filling will be bubbling on the sides and the walnuts will look golden brown.

Hot & Right Out of the Oven!

It tastes best served warm. Once cooled you can microwave it for about 30 seconds to soften the topping.  I  I highly recommend adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some whipped cream! It  is sooooo good!

Cherry Cobbler With Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Topping, & Chocolate Syrup

Serving suggestion for butches:  Put a small portion of the cobbler on an all white plate, top with ice cream and whipped cream then drizzle a little chocolate syrup (like above photo). As a sexy gesture, slowly spoon feed your femme then give her a soft kiss between bites.  Let me know how it goes! (You can thank me later.)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My first food photo

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon Balls
I used my Droid cellphone camera to take this photo of a dish that a coworker brought to work for a staff get together.  I then enhanced the color with Microsoft picture maker.  It came out pretty good considering the type of camera I used.

The melon in this appetizer was exquisitely sweet and the prosciutto, wonderfully tender.  Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Work in Progress...First "Real" Post

Pin-up art on the refrigerator.
This is the maiden post and I was a bit at a loss as to what to write about.  Before I continue  let me just say that the look of this blog will change from day to day as I build it. It's still under construction and may look a little funky so check back often to see how I'm doing.  I'm also open to suggestions.

I normally write fiction and this is my first foray into the baking and cooking world.  For 2011, I wanted to start the new year doing and writing something different.  Baking, in particular, is hobby that I've always had a passion for, I just didn't do much of it last year.  Everyone makes New Years resolutions and you're now looking at visual evidence of mine; BAKING, COOKING and BLOGGING.  During the holidays when I blew the dust and cobwebs off the cookie trays and started baking again, I knew I wanted to do more.  I forgot how much I loved it.  When the whole house smells of the sweet spice of gingerbread, sugar, and chocolate chip cookies, man oh man, you just can't beat it.  So I'm hooked again and now super baker lesbian butch (and pretend Chef) on the loose!

My kitchen is best described as minimalist and not folksie with knicknacks everywhere.  I can't write or bake with stuff all over; it's too distracting. I'm not anal (maybe I am?) but I like my baking workspace to be clutter free because eventually I will make one hell of a mess.  That's the fun part of baking and cooking though, getting stuff everywhere and on yourself.  It's almost like being a kid again.

As I start adding posts to this blog, you'll notice that I don't take much too seriously.  Recipes are one thing but everything else is fair game. My sense of humor is a little out there and I hope you'll find it amusing.

Also, I'm totally into retro pin-up girl art so expect to see a lot of it interspersed throughout the blog.

This Christmas we got some cool stuff like the hand towels below.
Explain To Me Again Why I Need A Man.

You say I'm a BITCH like it's a BAD thing.
These crack me up.

With that all said, I think the first recipe I post will be for a super simple cherry cobbler.  It's so damned easy and good.