Martha Mondays: Potato Gratin

November 28, 2011

Pru at Perfecting Pru chose today’s project – potato gratin in a muffin tin. Did you try it? I made it and it worked but I thought it was a bit lacking in flavor. There’s no butter in this, other than the cooking spray on the tin (maybe I should have actually rubbed a stick of butter on it). Easy to make, but those muffin tins are a pain to clean if you don’t use liners, and this recipe didn’t. I can safely tell you, having cooked hundreds of muffin tin recipes, for my upcoming book The Muffin Tin Cookbook, that you want to use liners whenever possible!

This is a cute little recipe, but I think it’s hard to serve without it falling apart (in a liner it would have stayed together better)!


Martha Mondays: 11/28

November 22, 2011

Perfecting Pru has chosen our project for next week: Muffin Pan Potato Gratins. Which is ironic since I’ve got something very similar to it in my cookbook, The Muffin Tin Cookbook, which comes out in April!


Martha Mondays: Glittered Pumpkins

November 14, 2011

Megan’s Cookin’ chose glittered pumpkins for today. My project was pretty much doomed from the start. I didn’t have a pumpkin left from Halloween. My grocery store did not have any. We got one from my mom, but it was rotting inside, so the stem came off. Oy. We also tried to do this in the doorway of the garage and the wind kept blowing the glitter away. It wasn’t pretty, but it got done.

It doesn’t look half bad in the picture. Megan told me she was going to try glittering some other things for this, which I think would be cute. I thought about doing some apples, but ended up just sticking with the pumpkin.

Did you try this?


Martha Mondays: Easy Peanut Butter Cups

November 7, 2011

We can all blame SteakandPotatoKindaGurl for ruining our post-Halloween I-ate-too-much-candy diets (just kidding!). These easy peanut butter cups were incredibly easy. And really good too. You melt chocolate. You melt white chocolate with peanut butter. You layer these two in the cups.  I only had one problem with them. They stuck to the mini cupcake liners and were impossible to get off. I would buy actual candy cups if I made these again.  I think I would try these with dark chocolate because that would be absolute heaven. The name does not lie – they are very easy. And they were very good!


Martha Mondays: Chocolate Beet Cake

October 31, 2011

This week’s project was chosen by yours truly: Chocolate Beet Cake (from November Living, not online yet). Wow! The gold standard for chocolate cake in my house is my grandmother’s Miracle Whip cake and this was just as good. It was incredibly moist and you would never know there were beets in it. It just tasted like a delicious, very moist chocolate cake – it looked just like a chocolate cake too.

I don’t know how often I would make this though, because beets are just a pain to work with! You have to peel them, then cut into pieces then boil then puree. I have an off-white Corian sink and was totally paranoid about it getting stained. I was able to find a pair of medical gloves to wear so I didn’t stain my hands. I peeled the beets on top of newspaper. I drained them out in the yard to avoid the sink issue entirely.

Other than the beets, the cake was easy to make and had an easy chocolate glaze, only one layer which I appreciated. It was so good I sent it away with Mr. MarthaAndMe this morning – can’t have that in the house AND the Halloween candy!

As you can see, I took it out of the oven a smidge too early – the very center didn’t quite cook all the way. I took it out with5 minutes remaining because it seemed done. I should have tested it with a cake tester.

I’m wondering if this would work with roasted beets (where you roast them whole, then just rub the skin off with a paper towel), or even canned beets so you wouldn’t have to cook them yourself at all.


Martha Mondays: Lighter Chicken Potpie

October 10, 2011

Pru at Perfecting Pru chose Lighter Chicken Potpie for today’s recipe. Pru has never had chicken potpie before! Well, Pru, what did you think?

I had a little trouble with the recipe. First off, I quickly poached some chicken breasts but did not use the poaching water as directed – I used chicken broth, but that was just my cheat for the recipe. Secondly, as I was making it, it seemed like there was not enough liquid, so I increased the broth (and increased the flour). It was nice and thick when it went in the oven, but it came out looking like soup, so it was pretty disappointing. My family did not like the tarragon in this, something I don’t normally use. The phyllo dough was nice and I thought the flavors were fine otherwise. I don’t make chicken potpie often because I find it to be messy. I always think I would like it better with a bottom crust, but even when I make it that way, it all still runs all over the place. I’m posting a recipe for chicken and biscuits later this week and that is my version of chicken potpie that I like the best.


Martha Mondays: Baked Apple Wedges

October 3, 2011

I’ve got my life back together! The cookbook was submitted today and I am breathing again! I not only made today’s project, but I started a batch of sauerkraut, as per the recipe in Oct Living, so I’ll be reporting on that in a few days once it ferments. I’ll also be once again posting lots more here, and over at the NoPotCooking blog.

Now, as for today’s project, baked apple wedges, (chosen by Sassy Suppers) what did everyone think? I have to give this one a thumbs down. I don’t quite understand what it was supposed to be really. You bake apple quarters but you don’t bake them long enough for them to get really soft. I also did not understand why the recipe said to sprinkle brown sugar on the baking sheet. All it did was make a sticky mess that was hard to clean up! I did like the oats, brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, and almonds, but would enjoy it much more on an apple crisp.


Martha Mondays: Chocolate Tart

July 11, 2011

It was my turn to pick this week and I chose the section in July Living with the chocolate chip cookie desserts. I made the chocolate tart with the chocolate chip cookie crust. I knew going in that this was going to be a lot of work – first you have to make the cookies, then you use them to make the crust, then you make the filling and bake that. You could definitely just buy pre-made cookies to make this crust if you wanted to.

Apparently, I was a little impatient, or it was just so dang hot that the cookies never really cooled, so when I whizzed them up in the Cuisinart with the melted butter, the whole thing turned chocolate since the chips were not set.

The tart filling was not hard to make and baked up nicely.

Here’s the recipe for the tart (I didn’t think there was anything special about the cookies):

16 choc chip cookies, finely ground, 2 cups

2 tbsp melted butter

for filling:

1 cup heavy cream

8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1 tbsp butter

Mix cookie crumb and butter then press into a 9 1/2 inch tart shell with removable bottom.  Refrigerate 30 min. Then bake at 350 for 10-12 min. Make the filling by bringing cream to boil and pouring over chocolate. Stir in other ingredients after chocolate has melted. Pour into the shell and bake at 300 for 20-24 min until the edges are set.

This looked pretty and cut nicely. It was way too rich for me though, like eating candy. We cut one small slice, everyone had a taste, and off it went to Mr. MarthaAndMe’s office for others to enjoy. It was very good, but not something I could ever actually eat more than a couple little bites of.


Martha Mondays: Strawberry Shortcake

June 13, 2011

Perfecting Pru chose this. Loved this! I halved the recipe and mine baked in far less the time indicated, but it was very good. And that’s saying a lot because I like my mom’s shortcake, which is more like a shortbread. I served this with some whipped cream. Very yummy! The shortcake was crunchy on top and soft in the middle. Delicious! Local strawberries are coming this week. I may have to make this again!


Martha Mondays: Honeydew Cream Pistachio Popsicles

June 6, 2011

Sassy Suppers chose this week’s project, which was timely due to the heat wave we’ve had! The project was Honeydew Cream Pistachio Popsicles.  I had popsicle forms years ago when my kiddos were little, but no longer have one, so I just made these in little bowls – kind of a popsicle without the stick. They were easy to make. I just dumped everything in the food processor (except the pistachios). I made the mistake of using salted pistachios which was not good in this! I thought they were interesting, but I didn’t care for them much. Somehow the melon and cream tasted weird to me. Mr. MarthaAndMe liked this, which is weird since he has recently declared he does not like any melon other than watermelon. The kids would not taste it!


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