Archive of ‘Mother’s Day’ category

Cream Puffs with {Vanilla} Pastry Cream

It’s a day or two late – but oh well! I hope all the mother’s out there had a wonderful sunday! I know my momma did – because I made sure she did!

We had a nice little brunch celebration with our family, and then over to Adam’s parents for dinner, and then to my baseball game! Did I mention I was playing again? I’m so glad I decided to play. It’s been a lot of fun and the girls on my team are awesome.

Anyways! Back to Mother’s Day. We planned out a little brunch action – me and Alysha that is. Although, my brother surprised us all with his mad poached egg skills! I for one am no egg maker. Mainly because I don’t eat eggs, I usually avoid them because they make me feel sick due to a slight allergy. Plus I am a terrible fried egg cook, scrambled I can handle but nothing else. So when my mom requested Eggs Benny for her mom’s day brunch I was a little hesitant! Luckily my brother has become a poached-egg-specialist and saved the day. We had an english muffin, with smoked salmon, provolone cheese, egg and hollandaise sauce! Yummmmm. I ate it, even though I shouldn’t have. I also made little waffles to go with it topped with berries and whipped cream. Needless to say it was a yummmmy brunch!

OF course there needs to be dessert. But, I didn’t think we would be too hungry after all that, so I thought about what we could eat that would be tasty but light and dessert-y. I actually made this last week for the first time as a practice run to make sure I could do it! I found the recipe here, and the first time it worked out perfectly! Althought I only made half the recipe, and when I made the full recipe I had to do it in two batches and the second batch deflated a little, I think maybe the batter sat on the counter too long while the first batch baked?? So maybe i’ll do it one at a time next time.. one half that is. They are not too sweet, just sweet enough and can be made with any flavours.  Just perfect after brunch! I also made some chocolate dipped strawberries.

Whole Wheat Cream Puffs with Vanilla Pastry Cream
recipe slightly adapted from: eatgood4life blog

Ingredients

Small: Yields 45-50
Medium: Yields 35-40
Large: Yields 25 

1 cup water
4 tablespoons butter (4 ounces)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 425F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper/ baking sheet.

Put water, butter and oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat and melt. When the butter has melted, add the flour and salt all at once and stir vigorously.  Cook and stir until the mixture forms a ball that doesn’t separate, about 20 seconds.

Remove from the heat and cool for about 5-10 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one and until the dough is smooth.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough about 2-inches apart onto a greased baking sheet.  Or transfer the batter to a pastry bag with a round tip and pipe circles about 2-inches in diameter and about 1-inch apart onto baking sheets previously lined with parchment paper. Round off the tops with your finger, so the top is not ‘pointy’ otherwise it will get overly brown.

Bake puffs for about 11-12 minutes at 425 F (medium sized ones, for small ones 10-11 minutes at 425F and 6-7 minutes at 375F). Reduce the temperature to 375 F and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes until they are golden brown and puffy.Turn off the oven and open the door a crack and leave cream puffs inside to cool for 20-30 minutes. Remove the cream puffs from the oven.

Allow to cool completely before cutting in half, and filling with desired cream.
You can fill them with simple whipped cream and strawberries as I did the first time I made them, or this time I made Vanilla Pastry Cream filling, and then topped it with some whipped cream as well and dusted with icing sugar.
Pastry Cream
from Joy of Cooking 75th Anniversary Edition
Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs. flour
  • 2 tbs. cornstarch
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Beat first four ingredients in a bowl/stand mixer on high speed until thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes.

In a saucpan on medium heat bring to simmer milk and vanilla. Remove vanilla bean once finished.

Gradually pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking to combine. Scrape the egg mixture back into the pan and cook over low to medium heat, whisking constantly and scraping bottom and corners of pan to prevent scorching, until the custard is thickened and bubbling slightly.

Continue to cook, whisking for about another minute.

Using a clean spatula, screap custard into a bowl. Cover the surface with wax paper or parchment, or plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. let cool, then refrigerate up to two days.

Once filled, keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Enjoy!! What’d you do for mother’s day? Are you a mother?? Were you treated to brunch!?

My momma and I!

Mobile Mother’s Day

IMG_1187

IMG_1188

IMG_1189

I seem to be relying on my Iphone for taking pictures lately! I do have my camera, however I don’t always remember it or carry it around with me all the time! And, it’s just so easy to use your phone. So here’s another mobile phone photo post for mother’s day.

This year we decided to do a brunch for mom and make delicious french toast. I don’t know about you, but I was somewhat amazed at french toast when I was growing up. My dad would make it a lot, and I never quite knew how to make it until I was older and beginning my baking experience. Dad’s cooking is definitely something I miss. It is a really easy dish that you can make look like you it’s difficult. You can prepare it in advance and then make it and keep it warm until you need it. There were eight of us for breakfast – my mom, brother, me, her ‘manfriend’ (hehe) and his two kids and their cousin, and brother’s gf. So I made quite a lot of french toast! I decided I would make it, and then keep it warm in the oven while I decorated the plates and we set the table.

Don’t be turned off of french toast if you’ve never tried it! It’s a slow cooking process and you’ll want to cook it over low-heat for a longer period than heat it on high so it cooks all the way through. I know my mom enjoyed it! And I hope she had an excellent mother’s day =) Love you mother!

You can make as much or as little as you like, I usually say at least one or two eggs per piece of toast. I used two loaves of french bread this time, but you can make as little as a half of a baguette!

IMG_1183

IMG_1185

Easy French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 2 loaves French Toast
  • 10-11 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Skim Milk
  • 2-3 tbs. Vanilla
  • Lots of Cinnamon
  • 1 pkg. Strawberries
  • 3 tsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Corn Starch
  • Whipping Cream

Directions:

  1. Cut French Baguettes into 1 inch slices. Stack them ontop of eachother and put to the sid
  2. In a large baking dish ( I use a glass pyrex dish ) break eggs and add milk and vanilla.
  3. Whisk until it is thoroughly mixed, you don’t want to have any whole yolks. Add as much cinnamon as you like and continue to whisk.
  4. Lightly spray pan with pam and heat skillet on medium-low.
  5. As the pan is heating, dip as many pieces of bread as you can into the egg mixture and soak on one side for about 5 seconds  and flip it over to coat both sides. Next pierce it with a fork to allow it to absorb as much as it can and then stack it onto a plate. You want the bread to be soaked, but not soggy.
  6. Repeat with all the slices of bread and continue to stack onto one another so they all stay moist and soak up all the egg.
  7. Once you’re ready to cook them, place a few pieces at a time onto the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes until browned on both sides.
  8. If you are serving lots at a time, to keep them warm you can pop them onto a tray in the oven on very low heat. Or place them into a warming dish.
  9. When you are ready to serve, you can sprinkle it with powdered sugar and top with fruit!

IMG_1181

IMG_1182To make the decorative plates

You will need:

Directions:

  1. Cut the stems off the strawberries and place into a blender or magic bullet. Pulse until they are purreed, add sugar and cornstarch and pulse again.
  2. Whip the cream until it is slightly thickened, you don’t want it to be full out whipped cream.
  3. Using a small spoon, place a small amount of the strawberry puree onto the plate and shape it into a half-moon crescent. Using another spoon, dot on a small circle of whipping cream three times in a row.
  4. Take a skewer or tooth pick, and draw it down in a straight line from the first dot to the third. And Voila! Little cream hearts. You can use the leftover strawberry puree to drizzle on top of the toast as well!

Hope you all enjoyed Mother’s Day!
IMG_1207

My brother Nick, our mom Andrea and Me!IMG_1191

Mom, Alicia and Alysha! IMG_1190

Mother’s Day Cheesecake

First off Happy Mother’s Day to all the yummy mummies out there!

This mother’s day I wanted to bake something a little more special than just a cake, and seeing as how I had just made my mom a Carrot Cake for her birthday a couple weeks ago, I thought I would hold off on another cakey creation, that we would eat for about a week… So I thought about what my mother might like instead, and then it came to me. A Cheesecake!

A couple reasons for this is because a. my mom had actually came home from work one day a while back with a brand new springform pan for me, cause she knew I didn’t have one, and b. because every time my mom has gone on a cruise ship (and believe me, she’s been on a million) she always says she loves having the NY Cheesecake.  I remember she would go to High Tea every day on the ship just for the cheesecake, and was rather dissapointed once when they didn’t have any! Shocking, a cruise ship with no Cheesecake! So I thought it would be nice to bake her one from scratch, non of this no-bake, pre-bought cardboard tasting cheesecake. Nope, it would be straight fom the oven! And, even though It was hard, I waited the agonizing million hours for it to bake, and cool completely, and store in the fridge over night. Luckily she wasn’t home at the time so I could do all this without her knowledge, and have it ready for the reveal on mothers day morning. Along with pancakes for breakfast and of course home made strawberry coulis! I also found the cutest mothers day card, which I thought was quite fitting! (see below)

Now, I think I had only ever made a cheesecake once before for thanksgiving, a pumpkin one, and it didn’t turn out so great. But! this one is definitely a winner and a great basic like Dorie says. You can add many variations to it or have it just plain. I stuck with plain, and made some strawberry coulis to go with it. The recipe is super easy to follow, and I highly recommend the water bath, and hair dryer technique!.. you’ll see.  Enjoy! Love you mom! (more…)