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Archive for April, 2011

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day also known as Good Friday
At all Starbucks, if you bring in your own mug you get free coffee or tea in it.
Yup my travel mug is Venti size!

Right before we left for coffee, there were 2 police cars on our street!

Maca had the brilliant idea of not going to just 1 Starbucks but many.  So that’s what I did.  Earlier in the morning, we all went.  Iced coffee w/ vanilla

As soon as we got home, I gathered my homework and headed out again.  Iced coffee
I was getting shaky here as I was typing part of an essay; I could feel it.

Next I went to Broadstone, my favorite Starbucks here in Folsom.  Iced coffee w/ milk & vanilla; luckily I said decaf.  Here I was VERY shaky and I was trying so hard to not shake!  hahaha
I was trying to read and annotate but I just couldn’t focus anymore.

I went home and crashed in front of the TV.
Maca and I went out to Winco and I knew I didn’t want another free coffee in my mug but I wanted a free tea.  So I got it hot and saved it in the fridge.

Then my stomach set in; oooooo did that ever hurt!  For dinner I only had crackers; couldn’t even more.  Never ever drink 3 coffee’s venti size in 1 day!  I tried going to bed early.  I did just lie in bed for awhile but then I couldn’t sleep; obviously.  I get what I deserve.  So I probably didn’t knock off till 2 AM.


Coconut Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into 6-8 pieces
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
approx. 1/2 cup coconut milk

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Add butter and toss to coat.  Using your finger tips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles very coarse sand.  A few larger bits are ok, but most should be smaller than a pea.  Stir in shredded coconut. Add in the coconut milk and stir into dough with a fork.  Add more coconut milk as needed until dough comes together into a shaggy ball.  Knead lightly with your hand until dough is smooth.  Divide dough in to two balls and press each into a disc about 1/2-inch thick on prepared baking sheet.  Cut each disc into quarters and separate slightly.  Bake for about 14-16 minutes, until scones are a light golden brown on top.  Cool on a wire rack before serving

Makes for a nice bright Easter recipe!

Sirven 8

Cake flour

How to make cake flour homemade:

For every 1 cup of flour, take out 2 TB and replace with 2 TB cornstarch
Sift the cornstarch and flour at least 5 times

Chicken & Dumplings

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 whole (5 to 6-pound) chicken, skin on, cut into 8 pieces, including neck (or whatever chicken you want)
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 5 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon chopped leaves
  • Small bunch parsley stems, plus 1 tablespoon chopped leaves
  • 2 fresh sage sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon chopped leaves
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus
  • 1 TB salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Special equipment: Kitchen twine

This recipe can be cut in half and is still plenty!

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, melt 1/4 cup butter and lightly saute the onions and garlic, about 3 minutes.  Add the chicken, water, and stock, making sure liquid covers meat. Tie the thyme sprigs, parsley stems, and sage sprigs together (or just throw them in the pot) and add to the pot along with the pepper and celery. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the chicken until it is “fall of the bone” tender, about 30 minutes, skimming off scum as it simmers.  Remove the chicken from the pot to a cutting board and let cool. Remove or keep the herb bundle and celery.  Reserve the stock.  When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull it from bones and cut into bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of flour with the remaining chopped herbs and the tablespoon of salt. Make a well in the middle and pour 1 cup of the reserved chicken stock into the well. Using a fork, slowly stir the stock into the flour. Repeat, adding more flour and/or stock until a soft, doughy consistency is reached. Add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if it gets too sticky. Plop spoonfuls of dough into the pot (the more excess flour you have on the rounds, it will help thicken the soup).

Return the stock to a simmer. Be careful not to let the dumplings touch as they are added to the pot. Cook until the dumplings rise to the surface. If the broth does not thicken to your liking, mix together 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl with a fork. Slowly add the mixture into the broth to help thicken the soup. Stir in the reserved chicken and ladle into serving bowls.

From Food Network Sunny Anderson

Cream Cheese Cupcakes

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (about 1 cup), softened
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, egg whites and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, beat the ingredients until combined and creamy. Add the cake mix and water and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Fill the cupcake tin to just below the rim and bake until puffed and golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly in the tin then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack.

This recipe is great, it has never failed me!

From Food Network Giada de Laurentis

Make A Wish


This morning at 9am there is a 3 mile walk for the Make A Wish foundation; Pancakes & Pajamas.  Yup, your suppose to wear pajamas.  Me?  No.  It was held on the Sacramento West Capitol steps.  I spent the night at Meghan’s house on Friday night so we got up early the next morning.
Kirsten, Drew, Meghan, and I walked
First of all we started out the day with glorious Starbucks.  I tried the new Iced Cocoa Cappuccino.  It was so good, possibly my new favorite; way better than a mocha!
As soon as we got downtown, Kirsten realized she forgot money!  Yeah, going downtown with no money = no good
We ran up and down streets dodging cars that Meghan says were there but weren’t with me screaming.  Getting back to the booth we got last years t-shirt (a very light blue color that does NOT go with my skin) and headed to the west steps.  They had a long intro: Fox 40 News spoke, a children’s choir sang, a Make A Wish story, pajama contest and a warm up.  We finally got to cross the line to start.  We walked in residential and shops downtown, it was a nice walk.  I got my first sunburn today; it was nice and warm outside!  Yessss!  I think the walk was about an hour.  Upon getting to the finish line, people were congratulating, yelling, and playing those annoying noise toys.


Tips I’ve found

If you need a substitution here’s some tricks:
(these are for 1 cup of buttermilk)

  • 1 cup milk & 1 TB lemon juice or vinegar.  Wait 5-10 min, this will help curdle the milk.
  • 1 cup plain milk & 1 3/4 tsp cream of tarter.  Mix well, wait 10 min, use the curdled solution.
  • Plain yogurt, not flavored (or sour cream).  Use the same amount as you need buttermilk.
  • Equal parts of milk & yogurt.   Mix, wait 10-15 min, use the curdled solution.

If you buy buttermilk you can store it in ice cube trays & freeze

Homemade Buttermilk

The form of real buttermilk is the liquid left behind after churning butter from cream.

  • Take clean quart jar
  • Add 6-8 oz active fresh cultured buttermilk
  • Up to the rim add fresh plain milk
  • Mix well & close lid tightly
  • 24 hrs to curdle & thicken
  • Can keep jar in warm spot to speed process if you want
  • Refrigerate immediately as it forms