Bacon Pumpkin DOG Bones

Standard

FullSizeRender

So as many of you know, I have decided to switch my focus to pet care. While baking is still my hobby, and always will be, I have decided that I would like to keep baking as just a hobby so that I never start dreading it.

Anyways, this weekend I made some lovely dog treats to sell at the Valley Fort Farmer’s Market in Fallbrook. The event was a lot of fun, and a lot of people took my pet sitting card, so that was a huge success in my book.

The treats turned out fabulously by the way. Here’s the deal on those:

Handmade with fresh-cooked bacon and organic pumpkin, my bacon pumpkin dog bones were a hit with my (garbage disposal) dog and my parents’ (garbage disposal) dog. Pumpkin is pretty great if you ask me. My dog is a pit bull, and pit bulls are notorious for sensitive stomachs, allergies, and skin irritation. He suffers from all of the above. I decided to try pumpkin on him, and he stopped having stomach issues, and his coat got exponentially more shiny. So I was pretty stoked when I found a recipe for treats that contained pumpkin. Not only could I make his treats myself (I like to know exactly what he is eating), but I found a new and much easier way to give him his much needed pumpkin.

After finding this recipe, I gathered up all the ingredients (there aren’t many) and gave it a try. You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post.

Before I even started I preheated the oven to 350 and put foil over a cookie sheet.

I started by cooking 3 slices of bacon, which set off my smoke alarm. I proceeded to open up all the windows and fan air away from the smoke alarm.

When I came back to my project, I diced up the cooked bacon. I didn’t pat it down to get rid of grease, because my spoiled dog loves bacon grease. I mixed the eggs and pumpkin in a large bowl then added in my bacon, oats, and flour (non-bleached because I don’t want to add unnecessary chemicals) and continued to hand knead it. Just a note here: the pumpkin should be bought from a pet store, as they sell pumpkin specifically meant for dogs containing no sugar or extra unnecessary ingredients.

The next step was to clear off the table and spread flour over it. I rolled out the dough like I would sugar cookies and used a bone shaped cookie cutter to shape the biscuits. Before I put them in the oven, I drizzled a LITTLE bacon grease over all of the biscuits.

IMG_1558IMG_1559

Then I baked them for 25 minutes, let them cool, and packaged them up for the farmer’s market. I learned a lot at the farmer’s market today, and next week I am definitely going to stress the importance of pumpkin for dogs and up my display of the biscuits.

IMG_1560

The Finished Product

I took the recipe from a variety of sources (I mixed recipes and updated where I saw necessary). So here it is:

Pumpkin and Bacon Dog Bones

3 slices bacon, diced

1 cup organic pumpkin

2 large eggs

1 cup old fashioned oats

3 cups non-bleached flour

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil; set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes; set aside, reserving excess fat.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin and eggs. Gradually add old fashioned oats and 3 cups flour, and diced bacon. 
  4. Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.* (Shorter for softer cookies)
  6. Let cool completely.

Here are some pictures of today!

Advertisements

From Selma’s Table: Flourless Chocolate and Raspberry Torte — thenotsocreativecook

Standard

A not-too-sweet flourless torte with intense chocolate flavor and amazing light, fudgy texture that will surely melt in your mouth. It was one of those days where I was having chocolate cravings, but I did not want to settle for store-bought sweets. It took me too long to figure out what I really want, but […]

via From Selma’s Table: Flourless Chocolate and Raspberry Torte — thenotsocreativecook

Kalua Pork… Yummm

Standard

So I am obsessed with pulled pork. My boyfriend PJ and I once ate pulled pork 3 days in a row. I am not ashamed – I love it.

Now my mom makes the absolute best Kalua pork. Kalua is actually “a traditional Hawaiian cooking method that utilizes an imu, a type of underground oven.” Here is a picture of some attractive Hawaiian men showing us how it’s done in Hawaii.

imu.jpg

The first time I ever had Kalua pork, I was 10 years old, and I was at a Luau in Maui. I’m sure that was actually the best Kalua pork I’ve ever had, but I was so young, I don’t even remember it. So anyways, after that luau my parents wanted to recreate the amazing meal we had there. Now, 12 years later, my mom has that recipe perfected.

Of course, we do not have an underground oven, and we do not dig ditches to cook our pork, but there’s this amazing thing called liquid smoke that is sold in stores. Here is a picture in case you think I’m joking.

download

So anyways, here is what you do. Settle down, it’s almost easier than making the rice to go with it. You buy yourself a nice pork butt, pork shoulder, pork roast, whatever you want to call it (it’s all the same thing.)  It looks like this:

porkshoulderroast

Because PJ and I are pulled pork badasses, we bought a 3+ pound roast… for the two of us. But it was enormous, so I had to cut it into two halves.

First things first… Preheat the oven to 325. Once I turned my extremely slow oven on, I put two tablespoons of liquid smoke and two tablespoons of salt in a pasta bowl. The pasta bowl is nice for seasoning things because its not flat, and it’s wide enough to hold half of a 3 pound pork butt. In case you were wondering, a pasta bowl is not as shallow as a plate, but not as deep as a bowl. It looks like this:

31339_XXX_v1

I then laid out three big pieces of aluminum foil. I rolled each half of the pork butt in the liquid smoke/salt mixture, making sure each and every square centimeter was seasoned, and set each half on separate foil pieces. I rolled them up very tight, making sure the openings were on top and that there were no other openings. (Honestly, I used like 7 pieces of foil because I kept messing up.)

I then took out an 8x8x2 pan and filled it with 1 inch of water. This is why it is important that there are no other openings in the foil and that the opening is on top. Next, I put each half of the roast in the pan and closed that off with foil as well. I baked it for 4 hours (even though my mom told me 5-6 hours). Our roast was smaller than hers normally are, and it was perfectly tender in only 4 hours.

When I took it out of the oven, I made sure to hold hand towels over my hands and stand back while opening the foil because I am not trying to get burns. I put the roasts on a big cutting board and moved on to making the rice. Once the rice was done, I used two forks to pull apart the roast and put it in a giant bowl (we had enough pork for a family of 6.)

FullSizeRender.jpg

This beautiful meal is served well with rice, Sriracha, and King’s Hawaiian Rolls.

Enjoy!

Easter Bunny Cakes

Standard

IMG_1450.JPG

So this year for Easter, I decided to make some Easter Bunny Ear Cupcakes. I made some DELICIOUS (If I do say so myself) Carrot Cake Cupcakes and topped them with a Cream Cheese Frosting. I took the recipe for the carrot cake from Food Network’s beloved Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa. I of course used regular Morten Salt and cut out the raisins and walnuts because I am not a fan. I also used 3 grated carrots, which was more than enough.

Once the cupcakes were in the oven, I decided to start on the cream cheese frosting. I use my own cream cheese frosting recipe, because I have found that it works best for my taste buds (I am not too fond of the dry, heavy cream cheese frosting.) My cream cheese frosting is simple: I use two 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese, 1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter, between 1/2 cup and 1 cup of powdered sugar (depending on the consistency you prefer), and 1/4 cup of either champagne or sparkling apple cider. The carbonation of champagne and sparkling cider makes the frosting thinner, less dense, and less bitter; in other words, it serves many tasty purposes. I just whip up the frosting using a hand mixer, only adding the carbonated drink of your choice after everything else is already mixed together.

When the cupcakes were cooled and ready for frosting, I put the frosting in a zip lock bag, cut a tiny hole in the corner of the bag, and piped it on top of the cupcakes (If you have piping bags and tips, those are great too.) I then got to work on the ears. In two separate bowls, I had pink sprinkles and blue sprinkles. I took 22 marshmallows (I had 22 cupcakes) and cut them in half using scissors. I then dipped the sticky part of each half of the marshmallows in the sprinkles and placed them on top of the cupcakes as bunny ears! Lastly, for some extra color, I sprinkled purple sprinkles over the tops of all of the cupcakes.

They were a lovely Easter dessert, which my family devoured in a matter of minutes.

Find the recipe and directions for the cake below.

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 extra-large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups grated carrots (less than 1 pound)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts to the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.
Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter into 22 muffin cups until each is 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook for a further 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

 

 

SuperBanana Cupcakes

Standard

IMG_1291

For the Super Bowl this year, I made two types of cupcakes – the first was my regular chocolate stout cupcake with a cream cheese frosting (I added a little bit of sprite to thin it out and mellow out the taste of the cream cheese.) The second cupcake was a banana cupcake with whipped buttercream frosting and Nilla wafers crumbled on top.

They were a huge hit! There were only a dozen, and I could have used a dozen more. The Nilla wafer topping was an essential addition, suggested to me by my number one taste tester and boyfriend, PJ.

I also used a different frosting than the one in Martha Stewart’s recipe, though I’m sure it would have been delicious. My whipped buttercream frosting consists of just heavy whipping cream (the whole tiny carton – I use the smallest one), half a stick of butter, and about a cup of powdered sugar (sorry, I do not have the science down yet, so it’s not an exact recipe.)

I’d say this is one of the best recipes I have tried yet – I am very thrilled with it, and it made for a very happy Super Bowl Party.

Find the recipe here.

The Long Lost Recipe

Standard

I am posting a tragic tale today… About a savory, mouth-watering, tears-of-joy inducing, pumpkin cheesecake… And a long lost recipe.

Now I am NO fan of the fall pumpkin craze… The pumpkin spice latte is not all it chalks up to be, and frankly, it bothers me when people post pictures of their stupid Starbucks pumpkin drink. But this cheesecake was really something.

I first made it last year for my boyfriend’s birthday, and he loved it so much that he ate the whole thing (fatty). So then I made it for Thanksgiving, which all of our friends loved so much that they ate TWO of them.

So you can imagine my SHEAR DISTRAUGHT now that his birthday, and the season of pumpkin everything, is coming around again and I can’t find the recipe!

So here’s the reason I’m writing this –

To all of you who bake/cook, and blog it or write it down and keep it in a little box or something, and even to those of you who don’t: IF YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH A RECIPE, SAVE IT SOMEWHERE.. ANYWHERE. Save the link on a notepad in your phone, print it out and hang it on your fridge, write it down like my old fashioned sister, but just know that if you don’t, you are going to hate yourself a year from now when you’re trying to recreate it, and you CAN’T.

P.S. That beautiful picture of that beautiful pumpkin cheesecake up above is not mine. The reason I never blogged this wonderful creation is because I was never able to get a really good picture of it. Such a mistake =(

Let Me Tell You A Story About Champagne…

Standard

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been baking, but nothing worthy of sharing with you guys… Except for these, which I forgot to post! So I made these terribly basic red velvets a couple weeks ago using Martha Stewart’s recipe (because she’s a culinary and crafting genius). They turned out basic but lovely.

But when I was making my cream cheese frosting (recipe below), I could not stand how thick and overwhelmingly sweet it was. Nothing I did made this frosting any less dense! But I had champagne in the fridge, because mimosas (duh), and I decided to pour some of that in there. And guess what?! It was probably the best frosting I have ever made. The champagne lightened it up a little, and made it a little less sweet.

So then we had 24 of these dangerous things in the house because this is a HUGE recipe. Luckily my family lives close by, so I brought some over there to fatten them up as well. =)

As always, I used regular whole milk with a tablespoon of white vinegar instead of buttermilk, and I used regular all purpose flour, because I am poor and cannot just buy cake flour and buttermilk. Oh, and I used wayyy more food coloring, because that 1/2 teaspoon just didn’t sound like it was enough.

The recipe: 

http://www.marthastewart.com/317517/red-velvet-cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8oz) bar cream cheese

4 tbsp butter (half a stick)

1/2 cup powdered sugar (more or less, to taste)

1/4 to 1/2 cup champagne, to taste/texture