Portuguese Bread

March 24, 2009

Have you ever made Portuguese Bread?  Ohhhh … it is so very good.  A few weeks ago while we were in Georgia we ate at this “home town” restaurant.  They served Portuguese bread and I told Craig, “I have to get the recipe”!  Once home, I googled it and found this recipe on Allrecipes –
Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons margarine
1/3 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
DIRECTIONS:
Add ingredients in order suggested by your manufacturer.
Select “sweet bread” setting.

I don’t own a bread machine but instead followed the suggestions from someone who commented on the recipe. I used my kitchen aid mixer. Warmed the milk to 110, added 1 pack of active dry yeast and the sugar. Let set for 15 min. Instead of bread flour I used all purpose. In mixing bowl add flour, 1 egg (beaten), butter (melted), and salt. Add yeast mixture and knead for approx. 3 -5 min. Place in greased bowl covered with saran wrap and let rise for 1 hr. With well buttered hands (because it’s very sticky) shape into rolls and place on greased baking sheet. Let rise for 20 min. Then bake for approx. 25 min. @ 350 or till tops are brown. So easy and so delicious. If you make this you will be hooked like we are.

Collegiate Road Race and Snow

March 5, 2009

Went to Dahlonega,  Georgia last weekend for the first collegiate road race.  Loved the little town!   Check it out @ www.dahlonega.org  This town was actually the first town in the nation where gold was discovered.  It’s quaint with home town restaurants and nostalgic shops.  It is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  The road race took place there with plenty of climbs along with the weather that was not cooperating.  Temperatures were in the 30’s along with a constant misty rain.  Which made it so brutle for the cyclist.   For the four man team time trial Cumberland took first (yeah). 

Team Time Trial

Team Time Trial

Way to go guys …. fourteen agonizing miles of twisty turning uphills!

It was a very fast trip in which we spent as much time on the road as we did there.  We left Friday morning  at 6 a.m. and returned home Sunday night at 12:45.   Upon entering Atlanta from Dahlonega Sunday we drove into a blizzard.  Well, as close to a blizzard as I’ve ever seen with the largest snow flakes ever.  At first we loved it and thought how beautiful.  But the more miles we drove into it along with all that crazy Atlanta traffic we grew very tired of it.  Tried to exit and grab a bite to eat and relax but was unable to due to power outages.   Finally the closer we came to the Alabama state line the snow began to subside.  So we were able to exit, eat and relax.  What a fast and (flurry) fury weekend!

My Superbowl Sunday

February 2, 2009

I spent in the kitchen.   Began at breakfast with Harvest Grain & Nut Blueberry Pancakes.  Next I baked a cake for a co-worker’s birthday…

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Then I baked a Diet cake for Craig & I ….

Better Than Anything Diet Cake

Better Than Anything Diet Cake

You can tell this was a hit.  So good and so easy.  1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix, 1 can Diet Coke, 1 egg white.  Mix and bake at 350 for 30 min. or till done.  Mix Hershey’s Sugar Free Syrup with 1/2 c. Fat Free Sweetened Condensed Milk and pour over hot cake.  May top with lite coolwhip and crushed heath bar.  That’s It!!

Then I made this King Cake to mail to Whitney & his Brazilian friend/team mate, Ricky Bobby.  Basically it is a cinnamon bun recipe which I just twisted and rolled to make a circle.  Only thing is that when it rose it lost it’s center opening and just became one big round circle of cinnamon roll.

King Cake

King Cake

In between all the baking I did prepare lunch, sew a neck roll pillow, run my 5k and make Craig some healthified zuchinni fries and mozeralla cheese sticks for him while he watched the game.  What a productive and fun day!!

We’re Still Here!!

January 26, 2009

We too (like others) have been absent from posting for awhile.  Since I’ve seen others have started posting again I figured we should too.  Guess it was the Holidays and having Whitney home that took up most of our time.  Now that he’s back in school and all the baking/shopping is over we’ll have that extra moment.  Last weekend was really, really nice.  I had the Monday off for MLK day, took a vacation day on Friday so made for a long weekend.  What do you do on a long weekend?  Go camping of course!  Friday morning after our 5 a.m. spin class we went and picked up Lucy.  Went home, finished packing and jumped in the motor home and headed for  the camp ground.  It was sooooo cold!  At 10:00 a.m. it was still around 30 degrees.  Amanda came up after work and joined us.  Saturday we ran into town and shopped for the “baby boy” and Sunday/Monday we just hung out at the campground.  Huddled around the fire, roasting marshmallows and making smores.  Lucy was not too interested in that … she would spend her time dancing to Poppa’s ipod.  Then we would have to take turns dancing also (made for some good videos).  This past Saturday we took our first bike ride for the new year.  Only 18 miles but it felt good.   Poor Craig bonked so I had to do most of the pulling.  Which was good, I needed the challenge.  We had a very strong headwind but coming back was nice.  Was making 23 mph.  We’re planning on doing at least the 60 mile ride in March that Katchie Bike Club in Alex.  will host.  Last year I was sick and not able to ride.  Craig was able to participate and said the hills up there were challenging.   Will need to get some more training in before then so as to get the legs stronger.

Baking and Making

December 17, 2008

The holidays …. always something needing taking care of .  Shopping, baking, decorating.  Then I have to throw in extras this year.  Like there’s not enough already?  Making some changes in the house by painting my bedroom then the kitchen all by myself.  Decorating in spurts as I have the time.  Baking, baking and baking.  Since I acquired my Kitchen Aid mixer last year I really enjoy baking.  Trying out new recipes, like the cake I made for the office party.  Mocha Java Black out cake:

 Mocha Java Blackout Cake
Chocolate Pudding Filling:
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2/3 cup (4.6 oz/132 g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) black coffee
2/3 cup (160 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
3 ounces (85 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Blackout Cake

1 1/2 cups (6.4 oz/181 g) all-purpose flour such as Droste
1 cup (2.9 oz/85 g) non-alkalized cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (14 oz/400 g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz/113 g) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) hot brewed coffee

Frosting

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or coffee crystals
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 cups fresh powdered sugar

Make the Chocolate Pudding Filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt at medium speed until pale, about 1 minute In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the water and cream, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk about 1/2 of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture. Whisk this mixture into the remaining cream mixture in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to boil, whisking, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until it is completely melted.   Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight (do not skip this step!)

Make the Chocolate Blackout Cake: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the granulated sugar and, using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until blended.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. While mixing the dry ingredients at low speed, add the egg mixture in a steady steam.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat at medium speed for 1 minute, until well blended. Add the hot coffee at low speed, mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir the batter from the bottom of the bowl a few times to thoroughly blend the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly. Smooth the batter in each pan and bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans set on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Invert the cakes onto the rack and cool completely.

Make the Mocha Chocolate Frosting: Stir espresso powder and vanilla in small bowl until espresso dissolves. Stir chocolate in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water; cool. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add espresso mixture and corn syrup; blend well, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in melted chocolate, then powdered sugar in 3 additions. If frosting is very soft, freeze until firm enough to spread, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Cake Assembly: Using a long, serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half horizontally to make four layers. Place one cake layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Remove the chilled pudding from the refrigerator and whisk it unti lit is smooth. Using a small, offset metal spatula, spread a third of the filling over the layer. Top with another cake layer repeat process remaining three layers.

Spread a thin crumb coat of frosting on the cake to seal. Return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more until the frosting is set and is well chilled. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake and decorate with shaved chocolate, chocolate chips or cake crumbs.

This was VERY delicious and I would make it again.

Now here is something else I’ve been busy with this season …

Having a little girl who has so, so many hair bows I decided she needed a hair bow holder.  So I made one of these for her so she can have all her bows hanging on the streamers to keep track of.  After making her’s I’ve had request for others.  I’ve lost count of how many I’ve made so far.  I enjoy making them.  Each one is different as you can see.

LET IT SNOW…LET IT SNOW…LET IT SNOW!

December 11, 2008

Sneaux …. yes that’s right….Cajun Sneaux!  Alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m., stumble out of bed to the kitchen for coffee.  What?   What?  Is that white outside??  Am I dreaming?  The phone rings and it’s Amanda, “It’s snowing outside”!!!   If only it could return in exactly two weeks from today!

The Blues Gang

December 2, 2008

We recently received pictures from the company “30th Anniversary” celebration in Nashville.  Watch out world …. there’s a new Blues Gang around!  blues-band

Woa.....

Woa.....

Where Have We Been?

November 27, 2008

This you ask?  Last  post was almost two months ago! Wow … we really need to get our act together.  Well, we took our trip to Nashville to celebrate Craig’s 30th anniversary with the company.  What a BLAST!  Stayed in a fine motel, dined on fine food and shuttled to the best party we’ve been to in quiet a while at BB King’s Blues Club.  I don’t think we missed a dance.  Best Blues Band ever!  On our way back we stopped to spend a few days at our favorite camping area (Kincaid Lake).  Friends of ours came up to meet us.  Then after a week at home we left again for a full week off of camping at Kincaid again for the annual mountain bike festival.  Our first day off (Monday) we took off on our rode bikes which we thought we would do 60 miles.  Well, after a few wrong turns we rode 75 miles.  Boy were we whipped!  Then every day after that we were on our mountain bikes.  The festival runs from Friday to Sunday and there were many fellow mountain bikers who came out for the festivities and camping.  Then we had Lucy’s third birthday party the next weekend.  We gave her a mountain bike tricycle made by Trek … too cute!  It’s called a trikester.  She’s learning how to ride it with her Poppa’s help.  This week we are off on Thanksgiving break.  So again we are camping.  We left Sunday afternoon and will stay through Thanksgiving until the Sunday afterwards.  We are getting much rest and also getting some mountain biking in.  Tuesday we went out for a few hours.  The weather was a little cool but once we got on the trails in the woods it was much warmer.  Today we went out again for a longer ride.  Took a new trail that runs along the lake.  It was beautiful.  The leaves now are red, orange, yellow, red and green on the trees.  The reflection of the trees on the lake was spectular.  I  want to ride back tomorrow and bring the camera .  Then maybe we could share that beauty on this site.  Well I think that’s it and we are now up to date.  Hopefully we can stay on track now.

Interstate/Internet

September 26, 2008

Cruising the interstate while cruising the internet.  That is what I am doing on this road trip.  Twelve long hours goes by much faster while you are surfing, e-mailing and I ming.  The only thing I’m missing is a margueritta (that will have to wait until the Wild Horse Saloon or BB King’s Blues club tonight).  We’ve split this trip into two days.  One cannot drive a Motor Home for twelve hours.  We spent last night in a nice RV resort west of Birmingham. 

Things just got better … Watching a Jimmy Buffett DVD when he played at Riggley’s Field.  Awesome concert!!  Also, just 30 miles from NashVegas!

A Vacation not Hurrication

September 24, 2008

I will actually get to drive our Motor Home to Tennessee tomorrow as we are going to a Company function in Nashville. We will spend a couple extra days with Whitney in Lebanon from there. He has requested we cook Gumbo for his teamates at the campsite. Then we plan on doing the Natchez Trace home. Possibly ending at Kincaid Lake ( Kasatchie ) for some Mountain Biking.  I will try to keep you updated on the trip. Can’t Wait

 


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