Monday, April 12, 2010

Surprise Party!!!

This past weekend my mom turned the big 50! Unknowingly to her, my dad and I have been planning a surprise party for her since spring break. Which is so hard to do when your mom knows everything and your living 8 hrs away. But dad and I pulled it off with the help of Susan and Kristi. I flew in the day of the party and went straight to work on my appetizers and dessert. Within a few hours, food was done, decorations were up and everyone arrived. And mom got surprised!

and here is another catch... mom didn't know I was there so here is her reaction to that!

So here is what I made: Stuffed Mushrooms and Gourmet Deviled Eggs

and for dessert.. Banana Pudding ( half eaten too, HA)

Recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms:
12 whole fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems and discard.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute till golden brown, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.
When garlic is no longer hot, in a standing mixer or a large bowl with a hand-mixer, add cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Whip untill combined. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

Recipe for Gourmet Deviled Eggs
12 eggs, hard boiled and shelled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 slices bacon
4 tablespoons finely shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoon djion mustard

Place eggs in a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, and cool. To cool more quickly, rinse eggs under cold running water.
Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Alternatively you can: wrap bacon in paper towels and cook in the microwave for about 1 minute per slice. Crumble and set aside.
Peel the hard-cooked eggs, and cut in half lengthwise. Remove yolks to a small bowl. Mash egg yolks with mayonnaise,cheese and djion mustard. Fill egg white halves with the yolk mixture and refrigerate until serving. I like to use a large star tip to make them look really pretty. Garnish with crumbled bacon and parsely for some green.

Recipe for Banana Pudding:
1 5oz. package of instant vanilla pudding mix
2 1/2 cups of whole milk
1 can of Eagle brand milk
1 box of vanilla wafers
3-5 bananas thinly sliced.
16 oz. container of cool whip

In a large bowl combine pudding mix, both milks. After combining, fold in cool whip till no lumps and set aside. Then in a 9X13 pan, line the bottom with vanilla wafers then top the wafers with banana slices. Pour about half of your pudding mixture on of the bananas and wafers. Add another layer of wafers and bananas and pour the rest of your pudding. Top the whole thing off with the rest of your whipped topping and crushed up wafers. This is soo good and so quick its fool-proof!

Overall, the night was a success, I was exhausted and mom was surprised. I love surprise parties!

peace, love and baking :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Baking

So it's Easter break and the LBK is dead because everyone went home for the long weekend. I did not, 8 hours is too far for me. So what will I do with all my spare time? O I will stay up till 2:30 a night decorating easter goodies! Not to mention my mom sent me a easter basket via mail, which contained the movie The Blind Side, and DVD of Julia Child's cooking shows and interviews. I haven't watched any yet but it wouldn't surprise me if an all nighter was coming soon ;)
People always say don't drink alone.. I think the rule can apply to baking: Never bake alone! My dear friend and Chi O sister, Hannah was staying in town as well and is a foodie like me so we were determined to practie our baking and decorating skillz over the weekend!

First up on the menu was BBQ Chicken Pizza for dinner:
- 1 Pillsbury pizza dough
-1/2 cup marinara sauce
-1/2 cup BBQ sauce (whatever you have or like)
-1TBS of fresh cilantro
-2 chicken breasts
-2 cups mozzarella cheese grated

In a medium skillet on medium heat,cook your chicken breast with 2 TBS of BBQ sauce. After cooked, cut into bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine the BBQ sauce and marinara. On a greased cookie sheet, lay out your pizza dough and spread the sauce all over. Use as much or as little as you like.

Now to your crust add your cooked chicken and cheese. Bake for about 18-20 minutes and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting into and stuffing your face, cause that's what Hannah and I did!


Now onto decorating spring cupcakes! Hannah is a pro at youtubing and looking up videos on de-mything decoratng technics. Here it is the beautful spring flower!

Looks alittle scary right? Thats what I thought too but it was so easy! Here is the how-to

- 12 pre-baked cupcakes, completely cooled and iced a spring green
- 1 bag of mini marshmellows
- 1 box of dot or colored candies for the middle
- a variety of sanding or fine colored sugars ( we got ours at Michaels)

-pour your colored sugars into individual bowls with lids. Then using scissors, cut your mini marshmellows on the diagonial like this:

And keep cutting them till you have about a cup or so of each in each color. Put the lids on and shake to coat, they should then look like this:

Now with your iced cupcake pick one color and line the edge of the cake with the marshmellows. And continue doing this till you get to the top middle!

Then top it off with a colored dot or candy of your choice! And TA DA the final product!! People will think you are brillant and you can all the credit for cutting those marshmellows!

Peace, Love and Baking:)