Giving Faces To More Recipes - Learning To Cook Blog at - 301786

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Giving Faces To More Recipes 
Apr. 29, 2013 9:10 am 
Updated: Apr. 29, 2013 9:09 pm
It wasn't my normal frenzy of five recipes this weekend. I can't keep doing that to my health! Sometimes you just have to yield to common sense (not my strong suit) and reign in your silly self! I only managed to make one recipe this weekend, but my youngest daughter joined me and made one also. It was fun cooking together, though she did most of the work on her recipe. She only let me help out once, when a cinnamon syrup wasn't doing what she expected it to do.

What she made was Cinnabon(R) Cupcakes. They turned out delicious, but she has said that she will not be making these again. I guess I'll have to take up the banner, because these cupcakes were outrageous! I don't normally like sweets, but these were just so good! My eyes actually rolled into the back of my head when I took that first, delicious bite. Ecstasy! I would take a cinnamon dessert over almost any chocolate dessert that I can think of. The problem was with the cinnamon syrup used to swirl into the cake batter and also used to make the candied pecan topping. The directions say to dissolve 1/2 a cup of brown sugar into 1/2 a cup of melted butter and add 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Well, sugar doesn't dissolve in butter. What you end up with is a congealed glob of sugar and cinnamon swimming in a pool of melted butter. It wouldn't be bad if it would emulsify, but it remains very separate no matter what you do to it. I'm wondering if the butter needs to go into the batter and the syrup needs to be made with brown sugar and Karo? If anyone has any thoughts on that, it would be very helpful.

It wasn't the syrup that made my daughter swear off making these. She could deal with the glop of goo, but her complaint was more strategic rather than my more tactical concern. "Dad! I had four bowls of things going at once! That's way too much bother." She wouldn't have said that if these were made with chocolate! She is such a woman. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! You'd think the world revolves around the stuff! Oh wait. She is a woman. *sigh*

The recipe that I made this weekend was Alpine Macaroni. It is comfort food 101. It is a Swiss dish that tastes so much like the German/Austrian Kaese Spaetzle, that it brought me back to pleasant days spent in Biergartens. The flavor that is developed from a fairly small ingredient list is powerful and profound. I had a problem making this dish that should not have happened. I was my own victim as I tried to get it done in not enough time. Had I thought before doing, I could have avoided it. The recipe calls for three whole potatoes to be cooked in their skins and then peeled and sliced. I wanted to save time and decided to peel and then boil. That was a bad mistake. If left in the skins, whole potatoes will cook pretty evenly through to the middle. Peeled, the outsides cook fast and then turn to mush! I had to stop the cooking before they were done and slice them up. The centers were still pretty raw. I was hoping that baking them in the oven for 20 minutes would finish the cooking, but it didn't. The lesson I learned was to be more thoughtful when making a change. Had I sliced the potatoes before boiling, this would have worked.

Alpine Macaroni is layers of cooked potato, fried onions and garlic, and cooked elbow macaroni, seasoned with salt and pepper, sprinkled with a goodly amount of grated Gruyere, and drenched in heavy cream. This is baked in a casserole for 20 minutes, or until the cheese begins to brown. I would suggest that you allow the onions to brown just a bit (or more) before putting it into the casserole. Browned onion has so much more flavor than sweated onion. The basic recipe is really good, but I think when I make it next, I will add more Gruyere, and brown the onions, and I might add 1/2 pound of bacon fried and crumbled. It doesn't need the bacon, but I might use it as a meal with a nice green salad on the side.

What a joy it was to be in the kitchen with my youngest! We had a great time, and I think she is getting a lot of positive comments from friends and their parents regarding her baking skills. Do I have a potential chef in the family? I don't know, but we'll see. If it isn't her passion, I hope she doesn't follow that path.
Alpine Macaroni
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Cinnabon(R) Cupcakes
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Apr. 29, 2013 10:01 am
the Alpine Macaroni sounds good. at first I was concerned with the amount of protein it may not have but I looked up the protein amounts, and the cheese, macaroni and heavy cream does provide protein.
Apr. 29, 2013 10:31 am
And a butt load of fat too!
Apr. 29, 2013 11:35 am
Sounds like you and your YDD had fun together. Building great memories.
Apr. 29, 2013 12:21 pm
Sounds like a wonderful day, may there be more of them. I always enjoyed my girls cooking with me. As Nadine says great memories.
Apr. 29, 2013 1:01 pm
I think I gained 5 lbs just reading about your delectable, decadent weekend. And, of course, I have saved both recipes. Sometimes cooking with your kids is fun.
Apr. 29, 2013 1:14 pm
those cupcakes look awesome, have saved for my son's lacrosse team
Apr. 29, 2013 2:45 pm
Nadine and manella, the memories are priceless to me, as I know they are with you. IT is connecting with another person on a deeper level. That's really great when it's your own child!
Apr. 29, 2013 2:46 pm
BSM, I think a serving of the macaroni was double the cupcakes! But they were so good!
Apr. 29, 2013 2:47 pm
the4taals, make a double batch. Those boys will mow through them after a lacrosse match!
Apr. 29, 2013 8:43 pm
The smell of cinnamon in the kitchen-yum! I think it it wonderful that your daughter likes to bake! I hope she continues to show an interest. My daughter loved making desserts when she was a teenager and now that she is 32 is quite good at making desserts.
Apr. 29, 2013 9:09 pm
I am hoping she continues as well. I would love to see her go on to a Culinary School, if that is her passion. That's a bit selfish of me, because I am still kicking myself for having backed out of Culinary school when I was a young man.
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Doc Simonson

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About Me
I'm old and smelly, kinda like a really good salami with that really nice white mould all over it.
My favorite things to cook
Meat, carbs, meat, carbs, meat, carbs and did I mention meat?
My favorite family cooking traditions
Drop a plate of Pierogis and sausages in front of me and watch my eyes glaze over in pure joy.
My cooking triumphs
Schweinebraten mit Knoedel und Krautsalat. Also Edel Hirsch Gulasch was very nice. I make killer Spaetzle and Knockerl also.
My cooking tragedies
There aren't enough electrons in cyberspace! :) Actually, the tragedies usually involve well intentioned creativity out of control.
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