Monday, June 30, 2008

bean soup

this is adapted from a weight watchers recipe. i can never just follow someone else's recipe to the letter! it's still WW friendly.

1 vidalia onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans
" " black beans
" " white beans
" " kidney beans
" " fat free/vegetarian refried beans
1 (30 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 bottle beer, whatever you have on hand.
2 c water
salt and pepper to taste
***1 tbsp baking soda- this will neutralize the, um, gassifying? effects of the beans.

saute onion and garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil. add remaning ingredients and simmer for at least 30 minutes. the alcohol needs to cook off or it will be too beer-tasting.

ETA: okay, i've had 3 servings of this soup today. it is so delicious, and filling, and healthy. HOWEVER, next time i will not use trader joe's diced tomatoes... the chunks are too big. i just like a suggestion of tomato, or else it's too much like chili. or i may just use tomato paste and extra stock or water.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

wedding cake!

a friend asked me to bake a wedding cake for her dad and his new bride; a challenge i happily accepted! they need cake for 200. yesterday i baked a total of thirteen cakes- 6 sheet, 2 tiers comprised of 3 layers each, and 1 left over. they are:

-mocha almond chocolate chip cake with almond buttercream (the actual wedding cake and 3 of the sheet cakes), and between the wedding cake layers is whipped cream icing
-lemon cake with lemony buttercream (3 sheet cakes). i like to give a non-chocolate option, because some people don't like chocolate!  can you imagine?  

total came to $165 for all the ingredients and supplies... of course, if i were a 'professional', i'd get all my ingredients at cost, and already have supplies. i imagine if i were a pro, it'd cost at least 2/3 less than what i spent.  my total time spent working was about 16 hours.

the friend i did this for offered to pay me, and i told her she didn't need to (but could if she wanted to). even if she doesn't, i learned a LOT in the last 2 days, and that might be as good as getting paid! 

for example, i learned to NOT use skim milk in my buttercream. for the first batch i did, and it was thin and had no body, and i ended up covering it up with the better buttercream that i made later. for the next 2 batches, i used half and half, and it's gorgeous. i also learned that chopsticks make great stakes to keep the layers from sliding around, and they're free.

most importantly, this experience solidified for me that this is what i want to do. and if it's meant to be, someday we will have a professional kitchen in our home, and there will really be a Yellow Bowl Bakery! the thought of someday having a business is TERRIFYING to me.

i took a few pictures of the process.  will post later

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

baking day...

tomorrow i'll spend the day baking with the other opera wives... on the menu so far:

frito candy (chocolate, sugar, peanuts, pretzels, and yes, fritos!)
blueberry crumble- a martha recipe
peppermint chocolate cake (as per request of a friend)
" " cupcakes

i'm really looking forward to it. if any of it survives the night, it'll be given to the cast of Un Giorno di Regno to celebrate their opening on friday.