You’re getting a post a day early, in preparation for the weekend. For those of you waiting to have treats until after Lent, well, I think this should be one of your first to have. When I made my list of goals for the coming year of blogging, I never realized that I would knock so many items off so quickly! This recipe handles the “Homemade Twix Bar” item. I might make another version of these, but these were very good! The bars satisfy both sweet and salty, which helps with you not needing as many…maybe?!
It is easy for me think of new American or Italian-style dishes to have for dinner because I can just do riffs of things I know. For Asian dishes, I have to put on my creative thinking cap. K and I wanted a new dish to make with udon noodles besides soup. We had bought the frozen ones as recommended by Monica of Playing with Flour which means that we have a stockpile of them to use. This was a combined effort from K and me, and I think it was very successful! The sauce gets absorbed into the noodles perfectly, and K said it is a lot easier to stir fry the udon noodles than rice noodles.
This post is by far not done. I definitely am still in the beginning stages of learning to decorate cakes, but as I learn tips, I will share them here. It was great having my friend Lisa over to practice making cakes. We made a chocolate cake from the Miette cookbook, then used French buttercream to decorate both. Hers was beautiful:
Mine was a work in progress:
K and I just discovered the nice fish our Whole Foods has to offer. I wanted to have some sort of fish dish since it is Lent and that means Fish Fridays for this Catholic girl! I am sharing this not on a Friday, but it allows you time to pick up some fish for this Friday, if you wish to have some fish fun. We previously have made a version of this dish with shrimp and I felt that fish would work well, too. You can really use any quick-cooking fish that is easy to saute in a skillet. If you decide to use shrimp, add it at the end and do not partially cook it at the beginning like I do with the fish. This dish does not need to be spicy, but feel free to go nuts with your choice of spicy seasoning if you love it. Likewise, you can substitute a different quick-cooking green for the spinach (think Swiss Chard, lettuce, etc.).
Don’t leave out the cilantro, though.
We are huge fans of cilantro in this house!
As my friend Lisa says, “what am I gonna do with all these cakes”? Basically, I have been on a cake rampage, so I am sharing a good chunk of it here for you to see. For a while I have wanted to perfect making and decorating cakes, but the problem with cakes is when you make them you end up with a bunch of food to eat! Luckily, K has coworkers that like enjoying cake! We have been sending big chunks of cake in to his work to spread the love. Today’s recipes are for a specific cake I am going to make this fall.
The “clients” (family members) wanted chocolate frosting and vanilla cake to mimic a local bakery’s cake. After making Sweetapolita’s vanilla cake first, I followed it with this super buttery cake from America’s Test Kitchen. Although we loved the light almondy flavor in the first cake, the buttery cake better matches the one my family loves.
I had been planning on making Chicken Cacciatore for a while, but I never got around to it until I saw this recipe from the Fearless Homemaker and was inspired to make my own version of a slow-cooker Chicken Cacciatore. Slow cooker meals are so great for during the week when I don’t have much time after work to make a meal. I did not cook pasta with the chicken, but rather used a 10-minute farro from Trader Joe’s. It was really good with a great texture that paired well with the sauce. You could also make rice, or go ahead with pasta. I used mushrooms because that is what I think of with Chicken Cacciatore, but other vegetables could be added, too, like peppers.
I have made homemade Oreos before, but the filling is always so-so for me. It’s hard to match the regular filling, so I decided to do something different. I did half with vanilla buttercream and half with cookie butter buttercream. After making the Cookie Butter Cups, I felt ready to make these cookies. They have the perfect amount of salt to go with the sweet filling. We loved the cookies, and K felt really special to have cookies with his initial on them. You can feel free to have fun with the shapes since you are basically making chocolate shortbread cookies, so they will hold their shape pretty well. The K’s were less clear after they were baked, but if you looked carefully you could see them.