Friday, February 27, 2015

Freaky Friday - Bacon & Egg Fried Rice


Welcome to the first edition of Freaky Friday! The absolutely lovely Michaela, from An Affair From The Heart, pulled together a great group of bloggers for this event. Everyone is secretly assigned to another blog, and we then pick a recipe from that blog that we want to make and share! Talk about a fun way to get to know another blog! Please take a minute to check out this great group and see what they made today!
A Dish Of Daily Life An Affair from the Heart Aunt Bee’s Recipes Big Rigs ‘n Lil Cookies CafĂ© Terra Blog Full Belly Sisters Honey & Birch Life Currents Pic Nic Simply Sated Stephie Cooks The Foodie Affair Who Needs A Cape?

I was assigned to Aunt Bee's Recipes. Brandi (Aunt Bee) has so many recipes that will have your family smiling at dinner or supper! I have been a long time follower of Aunt Bee's facebook page, and would shoot over to her blog when something caught my eye... but facebook just is not a great way to keep up with a blog. You miss so much! With all these great recipes, I had a hard time deciding what to make for Freaky Friday.  I finally decided on Bacon & Egg Fried Rice, but there are a so many more recipes that I will be making soon.  Steak Marsala is definitely up next.  We really don't make steaks unless we are out on the grill, and well... this is Wisconsin, sometimes we just can't grill! Aunt Bee's Steak Marsala is made in the oven! Roasted Asparagus with Lemon would be the perfect side dish to accompany so many dishes.  And Slow Cooker recipes? Oh yeah.... Check out her Crockin' section! You just can't go wrong spending some time browsing Aunt Bee's recipes!

I haven't made Fried Rice in YEARS! Since leaving "the cities" and living the country life, Chinese food is a rare treat. And for me "out of site" is "out of mind", so I just don't make it anymore! Time for a change on that. I miss Chinese food. Brandi's recipe for this dish had some twists that were different from the fried rice I made years ago, so I was excited to try it. And let me tell you.... I was NOT disappointed! It was easy. It was delicious. AND, it was husband approved! That is saying a lot too because my husband does not really care for any rice dish. He loves his potatoes, but when I asked him how good this fried rice was he ranked it between mashed potatoes and a baked potato! That is HUGE! I think this recipe has more flavor the others, including restaurants, which is why Truckin' Man is such a fan of it. Try it. Love it. You won't be disappointed!

Be sure to stop over at Aunt Bee's Recipes to see what she made for Freaky Friday!

Bacon & Egg Fried Rice (Source: Aunt Bee's Recipes)

8 slices bacon
4 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 cups cooked rice, cold (see note)
4 Tbsp soy sauce (reduced sodium)
1 tsp Sesame oil
1 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 green onions, chopped

Cut bacon into small pieces, and place in large fry pan (or wok). Cook until just done, not quite crisp. With slotted spoon, remove bacon to paper towels and drain. Remove all but 2 tablespoon bacon grease from pan. Add beaten eggs to pan with bacon grease.  Do NOT stir, let set over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until completely set. Flip egg over (like a pancake), to brown other side. After 1 minute remove egg and set on plate. Cut egg into narrow strips, then cut each strip crosswise to make little squares.

Add vegetable oil to pan, heating over medium high heat. Add carrots and onion to pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are transparent. Add garlic, cooking for 2 minutes more, stirring constantly.   Add rice, soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, and peas. Fry, stirring often, until all ingredients are evenly mixed and heated through; about 5 minutes.  Add in egg pieces, green onion, and half of bacon. Stir to combine. Top with remaining bacon.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Red Velvet Sandwich cookies

My laptop is waiting for some new parts to arrive today, so in the mean time I have booted up the ol' dinosaur computer to see if it can handle a blog post. The old machine is from 2003, and still very capable of holding files and spreadsheets of data I prepare for the tax man. However, loading websites full of graphics or more? That doesn't go so well. I wasn't sure I would even be able to upload a picture, but that bridge has been crossed so I am going to inch forward very carefully to share these Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies with you.

When I shared last weeks White Chocolate Dipped Cherry Cookies with you, I had a lot of requests for the cookie that Truckin' Man was requesting. Well, this is it! Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies! This was my first time making anything Red Velvet, and I will definitely be trying more. You know how some times things just fall into place when you are supposed to do something? That definitely happened on this recipe. Just last week I had learned of a new company called LorAnn that makes oils and flavors for baking, candy, etc.  I first read about them over at Baking in Pyjamas, I thought they sounded wonderful! Laura is based in London though, so I really didn't give these to much more of my thoughts. Well.... two days later I was shopping in a store that isn't a normal stop for me, but I was looking for something for another friend who lives in the UK, and I found several LorAnn products... One of which was a Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion. Sold! I had to try these products!

These sandwich cookies are wonderful, Truckin' Man loved them. I have been watching what I eat pretty carefully lately, so I only had two of them. I will tell you though, he is lucky I didn't lick the frosting out of each one of these when he wasn't looking!

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies (Adapted from: Paula Deen)

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoon buttermilk
2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon LorAnn Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion (use red food coloring as an alternate)

8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoon butter, softened
2 Tablespoon sour cream
2 teaspoon vanilla
16 oz powdered sugar, sifted
2 cup miniature chocolate chips, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated.  Stir in buttermilk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion mixing until combined.  In another bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, stir until completely combined.

Using small cookie dough scoop, drop dough onto lined cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until done. Cool for 3 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

While cookies are cooling, in large mixing bowl add cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth and creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing until desired consistency for spreading. Add more powdered sugar as needed, if you want it thicker. Add one cup of mini chocolate chips. Stir until evenly mixed through frosting.

When cookies are completely cooled,  add remaining chocolate chips to shallow bowl.  Spread frosting on one cookie, and top with another cookie. Roll sandwich in chocolate chips.

Recommend: Allow cookies to set for a couple hours for the frosting to set. Otherwise be ready to lick up a bunch of frosting!

Enjoy :)

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

White Chocolate Dipped Cherry Cookies

I didn't have a cookie recipe for you in January, so I wanted an extra special cookie to Fill The Cookie Jar for February, and for Valentine's Day. The kitchen is becoming operational again, but things are still challenging, so I asked Truckin' Man for his help in picking a cookie. I narrowed it down to two, and he picked one, and I ended up making the other one!! Needless to say, he was more than disappointed. BUT, after giving this cookie a sample, and another, he did admit that they were quite a success. And no worries, I will bake up the his choice of cookies by Valentine's Day!

These little cookies are so perfect. Buttery, bits of cherry, and just the right amount of white chocolate. If you don't care for white chocolate, I think these would be amazing with some dark chocolate.

If you are interested in joining Fill The Cookie Jar group on facebook, fill out the form that can be found at Fill The Cookie Jar. Each month we bake a different theme for the cookie.
We bake, we share and we enjoy our cookies!

White Chocolate Dipped Cherry Cookies (Slightly adapted from: Taste of Home)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup butter, cold
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained
12 oz white chocolate chips, divided
1/2 tsp almond extract
7-8 drops red food coloring
2 tsp shortening
Sprinkles, decorating sugar, other pretty cookie decor

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In large bowl combine flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.  Chop maraschino cherries until they are in very small pieces. Press cherries gently with paper towel, then add to cookie mixture. Add 1/2 cup white chocolate chips to food processor or food chopper, process until in small pieces; add to cookie mixture. Add almond extract and food coloring. Stir gently until all ingredients evenly distributed.  Now, knead with your hands until the dough comes together (use gloves if you are worried about the food coloring).

Roll dough into 3/4" to 1" balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet several inches apart.  Dip the bottom of a glass into a bit of water, then dip glass into remaining sugar. Press glass onto each cookie to flatten. Dip glass in sugar, repeat.  Bake cookies at 325 for 11 to 13 minutes. Cookie is done when edges are just turning golden.  Cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

Once cookies are cooled, melt remaining white chocolate and shortening in microwave, following directions on chocolate.  Dip each cookie in white chocolate, and place on wax paper.  Sprinkle with your favorite cookie decorations.  Let set for several hours until dry.

Store in airtight container.

Enjoy :)

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Foodie Fridays
Weekend Social
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