Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Mine?: Valentine Sugar Cookies


I always used to call Valentines Day, a "Hallmark Holiday". However, I've realized that if you take away the chocolates, flowers and gifts; it's really not that bad of an idea. You don't need a significant other to tell someone you love them, pass on a smile, or say something nice to brighten someone's day.

I know I have already posted my sugar cookie recipe, but I am just so proud of myself that I have finally been improving on my royal icing skills. Decorated cookies always make great presents, because they are thoughtful and hopefully delish as well! (They usually are my boyfriend's favorite kind of present.) You can always find a cookie cutter for any occasion. My new favorite one is a high heeled pump. (Hobby Lobby and Michael's have an insane amount in every category imaginable)


With a little practice and a light dusting of powdered sugar all over my apartment, beautiful bakery quality results are possible. 

Happy Valentines Day! I love you all!


Wilton Royal Icing Recipe:



Ingredients
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons warm water
Directions
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty
mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
Thinned Royal Icing:To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing.
Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you
reach proper consistency.
 
How to Ice:
Use your first batch of "thick" royal icing and outline the shapes in the cookie you want to separate for different colors. Then put a couple teaspoons of water to thin your icing. You will use this batch to fill in the outlines 



Sometimes I like to just add sugar instead of frosting 





Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Make em' laugh: Orange and Balsamic Roasted Carrots


I really have been focusing on main courses on my blog, but I have learned that sides are just as important in the recipe for making a well rounded meal.

Over break, I helped Chef Gale Gand with a couple of demos and picked up this awesome side dish for roasted carrots. I assisted by taking photos and helping her prepare homemade gnocchi and chocolate mousse. (I'll share those recipes at a later time!) It was an especially funny scenario, because my sister turned out to be in one of the classes for a school field trip and neither of us knew the other would be there.


The best part out of the experience was when Gale pointed out that I had flour on my face during the middle of the demo. My sister was very amused. You have to laugh at yourself, especially when you are cooking! 

I love this recipe because it can be a side for dinner or even make an easy healthy snack after a long day of classes. I especially like them because you just throw it the oven, and you're basically done! I usually just make a simple chicken breast and have these on the side for a splash of flavor and color. 

PS- You know they are good because I made these for our Thanksgiving dinner as a side. The whole Fisher clan (my mom is from a family of 8) didn't leave any leftovers! You can also add beets too. 

Orange and Balsamic Roasted Carrots 

Ingredients:
6 medium carrots
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Directions:

  1. Cut the carrots into chunks (Gale does a Japanese roll cut here), place them in a roasting pan, drizzle them with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. 
  3. Pour the orange juice into the pan and continue roasting for another 15 minutes to reduce the liquid and glaze the carrots.
  4. In a large bowl, gently combine the roasted carrots sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve. KEEPS 2 -3 days 








Enjoy!
Maggie