Wednesday, March 21, 2012

the great move

The great move is happening this weekend, which means: I've packed my lovely kitchenaid mixer and can't cook anything until Saturday at the very earliest. Let's be honest. It means I can't cook anything for at least a week. And just because my brain is mean and twisted, I am really hankering for homemade buttermilk biscuits. For no explicable reason, I really want to make them. I've never tried them before even! Why do I all of a sudden want to bake them? Who knows. But I'm prolonging the torture by searching for recipes and looking at delicious pictures. Anyone have a recipe they like?


Friday, March 16, 2012

Yellow Cake

My friend jokingly said she'd trade puppy-sitting over the weekend for cupcakes. I agreed before she'd even finished her sentence because 1) I love making cupcakes; and 2) Brownie needs a play date this weekend while Lito and I are in Napa.  She requested Yellow and Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream. Done and done.

Meanwhile on the other side of the universe, a friend asked me for a recipe for Yellow Cake. Sort of. So I'm stretching this into an opportunity to share an awesome recipe for Yellow Cake and to show off pictures of hot pink butter cream. Yum!

Yellow Cake 
Recipe Adapted from Smitten Kitchen (Her blog is 100% better/fancier/cooler than mine)

Here's What You Need:

4 cups cake flour (I use the kind in the pink box, because it comes in a pink box)
2 rounded teaspoons of baking powder
1.5 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter
2 cups of sugar!! [sorry I left this out! how could I forget!]
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups buttermilk

Here's What You Do:

1. Set the oven at 350 & get your pans ready. (I pretty much always use the foil, paper-lined cupcake cups)
2. Sift all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. In your stand mixer, whip up the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the vanilla. Then add the eggs. Then add the buttermilk. Do not freak out. The batter will look...curdled is the best word for it.

4. Add the flour mixture in small batches to the liquid mixture until everything is mixed together.
5. Scoop the batter into your cupcake pans (I use a spring-loaded ice cream scooper). Bake for 17 minutes.

 6. Nom.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cafe Rio Style Pork Salad

Yay! Okay! Pork Salad! It's Delicious!

I found this recipe online -- you can google Cafe Rio Pork Salad and this is pretty much what you'll find. My photos of it turned out to be particularly bad, so I'm stealing this one from Favorite Family Recipes...via google. Sorry for the lack of recent photography, kids. But seriously, I think successfully photographing pork is something I can postpone until later. Right? Right.

So, here's how Kristen makes a Cafe Rio Pork Salad.  

#1. Cilantro lime rice. You can be fancy and make it from scratch OR you can purchase this box from Target, put everything in the box into your rice cooker, and 20 minutes later (it's like magic) you have cilantro lime rice. Here's the thing: If it's going at the bottom of a salad with the pork & sauce and the tomatillo dressing, it could taste like gravel and the salad would still be delicious. 

#2. Black beans with cilantro and tomatoes. Recipe forthcoming. It's easy and delish. Or if you're in a crunch, just buy a can of BLACK refried beans, because they are also easy and delish.

#3. Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing. This stuff is ridiculously good. (Recipe & Instructions Below)

#4. Lettuce. Get some. (also get cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa and chips. also get some friends because this makes enough to feed about 5 people.)

#5. The Delicious Pork. 

Okay, here are the recipes:

Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing

Here's What You Need:

1 C Buttermilk
1 C Mayonnaise (I use the olive oil kind, because it makes me feel better)
1 Package of Original Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing/Seasoning
2 Tomatillos, pealed & quartered
1 Clove of Garlic
1/2 Bunch of Cilantro
Juice from 1 lime

Here's What you Do:

Put it all in the blender. Turn the blender on. Transfer into pretty container. Or don't. You pick. 

SuperDelicious Pork

Here's What You Need:

Roughly 2 lbs of Pork (I used a packaged pork tenderloin -- I've read that other people use boneless ribs or other cuts. I honestly don't really know the difference. I'm new to cooking meat.)
3-4 Cans of Coca Cola 
1 1/4 C of Brown Sugar, separated
1 T Garlic Salt
1/4 C of Water
1 Can of Red Enchilada Sauce (I use Target's Archer Farms Brand)
1 Small Can of Chopped Green Chiles
A Crock Pot 

Here's What You Do:

1. You put the pork in a plastic bag. Pour in 1&1/2 cans of coke and 1/4 C brown sugar. Marinate overnight, or three-ish hours. I've done it in three hours and it was just fine.

2. Drain the pork, then put the meat into your crock pot. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Add another can of coke and 1/4 cup of water, and cook on high for about 3 hours. Longer is fine (great if you have, say a three hour engagement on Sunday) but you don't want it to get too dry. 

3. While the pork is cooking, put the green chiles, enchilada sauce, 1 C brown sugar, and another 1/2 can of coke into your blender or food processor and give it a whirl. After the pork is done, drain it and shred it, put it back in the crock pot (if you took it out), and then pour the sauce over the top. Cook on low for an additional 2 hours.

4. Create the salad of your dreams! Enjoy!