Monday, November 05, 2007

Major Cooking Weekend

Sorry, no pictures for this post, just lots of info on what I made this weekend.

Lets start with the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Bread Pudding. The recipe is available at Food Network, here. On Halloween, I helped run a charity event at work and we had some left over doughnuts so I took the box home with the plans of making the bread pudding. The doughnuts got a bit dry but I don't think that was any problem. The bread pudding is super simple, you just mix fruit cocktail with sweetened condensed milk then soak the doughnuts in that mixture. It all gets baked at 350 for an hour. There is also a rum sauce mentioned in the recipe, I didn't make that this time. All and all, it was super simple, tasted good, and was easy to make. Worth making again.

Next up is homemade apple butter. I would have never thought this would be so easy. My dad passed along the recipe to me, courtesy of the Akron Beacon Journal. The article and recipe are here. Since the article made it sound so easy, I had to give it a try. The only necessary equipment is a slow cooker (I have 2 sizes and I found the smaller one to be the perfect size for 1 batch). To begin, get 5 lbs of granny smith apples (you could probably substitute another variety as long as it is firm and tart) and peel and dice them. The size of the dice is up to you depending on how chunky you like your apple butter, bigger dices make chunkier butter. Put the apple pieces in the slow cooker and cover with 2 cups of granulated sugar and 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon (you can adjust this depending on your taste for cinnamon). Turn on the slow cooker to low, put on the lid, and walk away for 10 hours (or if you are doing this late at night, go to bed). 10 hours later, come back the slow cooker and remove the lid; let the apples continue to cook for another hour; do no change the temperature, do not stir, just take off the lid and walk away for an hour. 1 hour later, come back to the pot and stir the apples. Once stirred, let them continue to cook for about another hour. Once the last hour is up, turn off the apple butter and let it cook. You are done. Yup, its that simple. The recipe is pretty spot on as to how much it makes, I got just about 6 cups of apple butter from my batch. If you like apple butter, give this a shot.

Up next is something that didn't quite turn out. A friend had told me about a sauce for meatballs (like when you are going to be serving them for a snack at a party). He said to mix equal amounts of Coca Cola and Grape Jelly with the meatballs and let them cook in the crock pot. I was a bit skeptical to try this one, it just seemed too odd, but I had picked up a bag of meatballs at the grocery store that morning and figured I would give it shot. Maybe I did something wrong, but I didn't find them all that good. The soda made for way too much liquid and meatballs got kind of soggy. Plus the grape jelly and the soda combined made the sauce too sweet for my tastes.

I also experimented with 2 different bar cookie recipes. I am trying to figure out what I will be making this year as gifts so I'm starting early and trying out new recipes. Both of these came from a cookbook that has "dessert in a jar" type recipes. Basically its one of those layer all the dry ingredients in the jar, then all the gift recipient has to do is add a few ingredients and bake. Both of these looks pretty simple on the recipient end, all that was needed was sweetened condensed milk. They were similar recipes, both had graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, and one had raisins. Each came out alright, but there was nothing that great about either one. I will continue looking for another thing to give.

And lastly, I got a great deal on some fresh basil. I used it to make a oil based dipping sauce for bread and pesto. I haven't tried either one yet, that's on the agenda for tonight. If they taste good, I will post an update letting everyone know what went in them.

If you have any questions about what was mentioned in this post, leave a comment or send me an email.


At 10:03 PM, Blogger Freddie Sirmans said...

Just browsing. You have a very interesting blog.

At 1:42 PM, Blogger naladahc said...

I've had the saucy (meat)balls before somewhere. They turned out ok.


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