Saturday, July 31, 2010

So... A few - Classic Hazzard Style Stories.


Ya know what? I should be a spokes-person for Kitchen Aide! MY K.A. is 29 years young. Last year for a Xmas present surprise, from my son Jonathan the {aircraft painter} he took apart my K.A. one afternoon un-benounced to me. He intensely cleaned all of her. Then he took each PART and hung it on strings fron the garage ceiling, so parts were readily available for his paint gun. His surprise for me would be the face lift Miss K.A. sorely needed. She was soon to be a gal sporting a new stainless steel silver look, courtesy of my son the aircraft painter. So, what use to be a tired ivory chipped paint on that BAD GIRL was soon to be rejuvenated. Yea!! It went like this: I pulled into the drive way that particular afternoon after shopping , and beheld the strangest site of metal parts dangling on strings as they slowly twirled in the brilliant sun light and soft breeze. I had NO IDEA it was my Kitchen Aide. As I got out of the car and walked closer to the garage I realized I was staring face to face with my Kitchen Aide seperated into many parts and gleeming in the sunlight. I thought to myself what the H... is going on? LOL. It was my KA- in the shop for a face lift. She now looks brand new and YES...still runs like a Champ.

BTW.. WE are a 3 K.A. family. We gave Kate an American Breast Cancer edition of the K.A. for her garduation gift from college a few years ago. It s a lovely soft pink and sits proudly on her apartments kitchen counter 365 days a year. Jonathan our son also owns a KA. Now that's another story You see-John-the husband person...he's basicly a "Junk Yard Dog" - was driving past the neighbors house on "trash collection day" and sitting proudly by the curbside was a K.A. 4 QT mixer.. a much newer version then mine, hardly broken in. He of course brought it home. In a matter of five minutes time John had diagnosed her problem. The gal had a few worn out gears {happens to the best of us!}. We ordered them thru K.A. and she s been humming a sweet tune for Jonathan ever since.

My K.A. is waiting with bated breath~for the next day and the next day and the next day. She is eternal.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chocolate Ahhhh Cupcakes

Hey Everyone! I am so a "Hazzard"! But before that day happened I was a McNeal for 29 years. Yes, the first daughter in a family of 11 kids. Eight brothers, two sisters. I have a life full of funny stories growing up with so many siblings. When I was contemplating my next recipe for Hazzard In The Kitchen, I thought I would treat you to a "cupcake size" bite of: Not So Cheaper By The Dozen, Minus One!
So.. my brother Eddie {11 months younger then I} would sleep like a rock when we were kids and he hated to have us wake him up. Life would have been safer with an alarm clock, trust me. Ed knew my Mom would send one of us Un-Volunteer's up to his room to wake him. So before he would go to sleep he would line up his boots and shoes by the bedside. The moment you cracked open that door to say: "Ed it s time to wake up", his reflexes were in warped gear! Shoes and boots would come flying at the door the moment you said his name. You just never knew what you were in for. If it wasn't flying shoes it was a booby-trapped door. Ed would rig the door with twine so when it opened, big old tin coffee cans would fall on top of you. Always an A+ for creativity...
So lets talk Cupcakes. It s a whole new chocolate cupcake Kate {my daughter and I created}.
We brought chocolate cupcakes to a whole new level. It began as a mistake and turned into an Ahhh moment. Recipe below the pix!
Chocolate Ahhhh Cupcakes
Cake Ingredients:
One Box Dark Chocolate Cake Mix {I prefer Duncan Hines}
Oil, Water, Eggs {ingredient amount as noted on the box}
1 Cup Semi Sweet Morsel Bits
1 Box Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix
Butter Cream Frosting Ingredients
3 Sticks of Butta' {the real stuff} softened
1 Tsp. Vanilla
4 Cups Confectioners Sugar - give or take a bit....
1 Tsp. to a Tblsp of Milk or Cream {if needed}
Now this is EASY.
Preheat the oven to the temperature noted on your cake mix box recipe. Easy.
Line each of your cup cake pans with cup cake liners. Easy.
Follow the cake mix exactly as the directions read on the box. Easy.
Once completed now turn off your mixer. Easy.
Next, open your box of Ghirardelli Brownie mix {it is THE best of brownie mixes} and add 1/3'd of the box of Brownie mix to cake mixture, add in 1/2 cup of water, blend gently with a rubber spatula, its ok if its slightly lumpy. Now toss in your semi sweet bits. Still Easy.
Fill each cupcake paper 2/3 rd s full. Bake til center of cupcake comes out clean with the piercing of a toothpick Note: {If you pierced a melted semi sweet bit..it will never come out clean!}. I'm thinking 15 minutes is a close approximate to start checking your cakes!
So while your waiting for the cakes to bake lets start on the Butter Cream Frosting. In a mixing blend your 3 sticks of softened butter on medium speed til light in color. I suggest you stay with medium to low speed so you are not adding to much air to your icing.. {which can make it just to "whippy"}. Now adding a cup full at a time, blend in your confections sugar. I'm not a big fan of super sweet tasting icing, so I low ball the amount of sugar, feeling less sugar in this is best. Sometime it takes 4 cups some times it's more. Just be sure to keep blending it on low speed and keep tasting it. Once the icing starts to bind and hold together, I blend in my vanilla. If the vanilla doesn't make it moist enough add in a teaspoon of milk. Keep tasting it..you want to TASTE the Butta. you want to keep it spreadable, not thick and not falling apart! I am a real stickler for perfect icing.. hence I'm constantly tasting and adding slowly til it is just right. Toss the icing into the refrigerator until your ready to frost your cakes.
NOTE TO SELF: Don't even try this Frosting recipe with Margarine or Crisco! You would break my cupcake heart!
If you want to be assured of NO crumbs picked up in the Frosting process - do this. Put your cakes into the freezer for an hour or so. I take the entire cake pan with the cupcakes in it, cover it all in foil, place in the freezer. Then begin frosting them. Pull a few out of the freezer at a time while you start frosting them, keeps them frozen a bit this way. As you will see you can easily pipe some icing into the center of the cupcake, or you can use pudding as I used this time around. I take a meat thermometer and drill a hole into the center of the cake, but not going to the bottom of the cake. I toss some icing or pudding into a piping bag {I used a sniped off end of a ziplock sandwich bag & make a teeny tiny hole }, start piping it in! Then frost your cup- cakes. Take a Tablespoon of cocoa powder and gently sift over the top of each cupcake or garnish as you please!
Enjoy these delectable delights.

So..I was a McNeal long before I was a Hazzard

Hey Everyone! I am so a "Hazzard"! But before that day happened I was a McNeal for 29 years. Yes, the first daughter in a family of 11 kids. Eight brothers, two sisters. I have a life full of funny storIes growing up with so many siblings. When I was contemplating my next recipe for Hazzard In The Kitchen, I thought I would treat you to a "cupcake size" bite of: Not So Cheaper By The Dozen, Minus One!

So.. my brothe Eddie {11 months younger then I} would sleep like a rock when we were kids and he hated to have us wake him up. Life would have been safer with an alarm clock, trust me. Ed knew my Mom would send one of us Un-Volunteer's up to his room to wake him. So before he would go to sleep he would line up his boots and shoes by the bedside. The moment you cracked open that door to say: "Ed it s time to wake up", his reflexes were in warped gear! Shoes and boots would come flying at the door the moment you said his name. You just never knew what you were in for. If it wasn't flying shoes it was a booby-trapped door. Ed would rig the door with twine so when it opened, big old tin coffee cans would fall on top of you. Always an A+ for creativity...

So lets talk Cupcakes. It s a whole new chocolate cupcake Kate {my daughter and I created}.

We brought chocolate cupcakes to a whole new level. It began as a mistake and turned into an Ahhh moment. Recipe below the pix!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ginger-Citrus Stir Fry

Hey All !

Tonight was delicious! Quick, but delicious. I tossed a marinated Flank Steak on the grill, sliced up the rest of the Watermelon from the 4th of July picnic we had with friends. Made some Oven Roasted Eggplant Medallions - {healthy & delicious}, And a quickie Stir Fry. I don't know about your house but nothing and I mean nothing ever goes to waste when it comes to left-overs. So in the refrig. was some leftover steamed rice and that became the reason to have a Stir Fry Side Dish tonight. Wow...my husband John was licking the plate. Here's the recipe and a pix. I'm counting on getting better at Food Photo s as time goes on... bear with me - I'm new at this Blogger Game! BUT a Pro at Cookin',my friends.
Wishing you all Great Meals & Great Energy! XXXOO Cath {Sticky Buns!}

Ingredients
Prep Time: 10 Minutes maybe
Cook Time: 10 Minutes or less

3 Cups Steamed Rice
2 Tblsp. fresh Ginger - finely chopped
3 Tblsp. EVOO
1 Tblsp. sweet Red Bell Pepper - chopped
3 Tblsp. chopped Onion
6 chunks of Pineapple - diced {I used fresh...leftovers}
Red Pepper Flakes - a dash
1/4 Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup diced Eggplant {peeled , yep. leftovers}
1 Cup Green Beans {yep. more leftovers}
1 Cup Fresh Snow Peas
A quick squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Handful chopped dry roasted Almonds

*NOTE: It's not the bible for the ingredients! Just go with the flow that you have in your refrig. I do think the fresh ginger is key in the receipe though.

Over medium high heat warm a large non stick skillet. Toss in the EVOO til warm. Start tossing in the onion, ginger, sweet red bell pepper, egpplant & the snow peas. Stir a bit til onion is translucent. Toss in your rice, stir. Then add in the soy sauce - stir again til blended and brown. Add in the pineapple,green beans, and red pepper flakes. Give it another stir, if it seems to have dried out a bit, just lower the heat temperature and add a few tablespoons of water, or soy sauce - whatever makes it pop. Once blended your ready for a quick hand squeeze of fresh lemon. Now plate it, top your dish with the chopped almonds and Wah-La! Dig in - Yumm!

Monday, July 5, 2010

RWOP FINALIST

I Had The Time Of My Life! No... I mean really, really the time of my life. And trust me when I tell all of you, I have already done a lot of living!! I like to think of my life as fine wine that just keeps getting better.
Or a wonderfully seasoned dish that just gets better, and better and better. That's me.
Hi, my name is Cathy Hazzard and YES, YES!!! It WAS me! I just "knew" you would know - grin!!
I was a Finalist in the Paula Deen/ Kraft Philly Cream Cheese Cook Off, held in Savannah Georgia, June 30th 2010. Here's the website to the contest: http://www.realwomenofphiladelphia.com.
My category was Side Dish. My dish was Shrimp Corn Chowder, its on this Blog Page. The very coolest part of MY being selected you see for the Cook Off, would be the fact, I did not have to do multiple entries to be selected as one out of 6000 videos. That's because my Cooking Video was the very FIRST one selected in the very first round of 8 rounds of the 16 total Finalist. Yep. Quite the accomplishment, huh?!
So right now, just 5 days after the competition I am still floating out there past the clouds. Chauffeured cars, dark tinted windows, five star hotel, private tours, ultimate dining experiences, meeting Paula & Uncle Bubba and Brandon, Paula' s assistant & Jamie Deen, her son. The list goes on. Plus the honorable moments - one on one time with Paula in the KITCHEN chatting with each of us during the Cook Off. It really was a magical four days. I will carry this experience in my pocket next to my heart, always. Was I the winner in my category? Nope. But don't you worry, it's like American Idol ya know. Often the Runner's Up take home the bigger prize! So I am just waiting for my next adventure to begin, who knows what doors this will open. I will be posting my photos of my trip to Savannah tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I have started this BLOG & TWITTER, and it's all new to me!.
I decided I have a lot to share and a lot to say. Blogging will be a great outlet for both of these items.
When I'm not in the kitchen, I'm a Travel Agent. I know a bunch about everywhere in the world. I want to share with you some of my travel thoughts, ideas, recipes and better yet, regional recipes from all the United States and the rest of the world. As a mater of fact we can just scan the globe with recipes indicative of areas. Doesn't that sound like such a cool thing to be a part of? So I hope you join me, send me ideas and recipes too, for each area we touch base on.
Later!
Cathy