Sunday, January 31, 2010

Roast Turkey

The turkey that has been sitting in my freezer since November finally made it into the oven. I have heard so many versions of how to roast a turkey-brining, bag it, deep fry but it being my first time to prepare a turkey, I decided to stick with my favorite-my dad's!
It grossed me out to touch the raw turkey that I asked Scott for help. I didn't even have a roasting pan so a cheap aluminum one that I use to make my cheesecakes had to do! Cleaned the turkey, patted it dry, poured melted butter over it, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Stuffed the cavity with chopped onions, carrots, cand celery and scattered more around the turkey. Baked at 375 for 2 1/2 hours, basting every 30 minutes. I tented the bird with foil for 15 minutes to keep the juices intact before slicing. Food Network taught me that trick.
Tender, moist, and juicy just like dad's. Blanched asparagus and stuffing accompanied the turkey and it was Thanksgiving in February!

More Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Still in detox and a day of baking and icing cookies for Anna's soccer team satisfied the urge to be in the kitchen. You would think I'd have a cookie cutter for a gecko (team is called the Green Geckos)or anything resembling a reptile but my large collection of cutters contained no lizards so...butterflies it was!
Anna mixed the wet ingredients of butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla and I did the dry of flour, salt, and baking. She is getting quite good at rolling the dough evenly. I prefer the cookies to be crispy and thin thus, baking them at 350 for 18 minutes, rotating at 8 minutes yields the perfect sugar cookies to be iced.
The Wilton Cake Decorating Course I that I took almost 2 years ago is a godsend. Not only did I learn how to use icing but I learned the basic skills such as which tips to use, filling a pastry bag, and the proper way to hold the pastry bag when icing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

I entered a 14 day No Sugar Detox thanks to my acupuncturist and a wave of fear, regret, and depression set over me. I have no vices except for desserts and my source of pleasure was stripped from me.
Could I abstain from tasting or sneaking a bite when making cookies for Angela's party? I proudly say YES! It was a joy to mix ingredients, roll out dough, use my cookie cutters, and ice these babies to create Gucci handbags and logos.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cup of Tea in Kailua

A trek to the other side of the island brought me to a cute and quaint restaurant specializing in high tea called a Cup of Tea. My afternoon began with a bowl of chicken tomato soup, tea sandwiches in an assortment of flavors-cucumber, tuna, and chicken curry. Heart shaped shortbread cookies, fruits, raisin scones with lemon curd and preserves and cheesecake squares were served pretty on a 3 tiered tray. Pots of vanilla chai and chocolate chai tea accompanied our meal. Cute tea pots and cups, plates, and surroundings made this place appealing and enjoyable. Anna and Maya helped the ladies clean up in the restaurant and were rewarded with a tour of the kitchen and a tea pot ornament.
Service was excellent-efficient, friendly, and sincere. Anna and Maya enjoyed themselves so much, they're already planning our next high tea date!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chocolate Shortbread

A gift of tea led me to bake something sweet. The combination of cinnamon and chocolate is commonly found in Mexican chocolate and the Mexicans got this one right.
Whisked flour,cocoa powder, heaping 1/2 t cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Beat 3 sticks of butter with 1 C sugar and when light and fluffy, added flour mixture until jsut combined. Spread dough in 13 x 9" pan buttered and lined with parchment paper. Chilled dough in freezer for 15 minutes and pricked dough with fork. Baked for 22 minutes in a 325 degree oven. Transfer to a wire rack and while still hot, cut into pieces. Sprinkle with sugar and cool completely in pan.
So simple, so decadent and so perfect with a cup of tea!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

I have so much to be thankful for-family, friends, my health, my job, and a home in Hawaii. I am also blessed to have met all the people who have entered my life since I met Scott 16 years ago. They are a source of energy, knowledge, and love.
I have several resolutions for 2010 but the only I will publicly declare is the pledge to make a turkey!