Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Carrot Cake Shortbread

I made these shortbread cookies around Easter! They were mighty tasty. I believe my shortbread was a little softer (or, rather, the dough was) when I was making it than it should have been, however... the cookie parts turned out relatively good, despite being a bit prone to cracking. I also feel like my 'frosting' came out a little softer than it should. Perhaps my kitchen had been too hot that day... as of now, it's hard to remember. I think I made these in my current apartment, and it isn't like it really gets that hot...

THIS ALL ASIDE-- because honestly, is it really that important (the answer is no), these were quite good! They were very rich, and I... I think that maybe I was not the biggest fan of all the cookies I've made. Now that I think more about it, I bet the shortbread could have done with some nuts. Or the frosting. I think the original recipe actually had a giant walnut on top, and I should have done that but forgot while I was making them. That would have really made these cookies feel like they were going all the way.

Honestly, I wish I had more to say. I am including the recipe, which I used from a cooking blog (Piggy's, linked below) and I had it in my storage banks for recipes for what felt like quite a long time. It was one of the recipes I was waiting for a certain time of year to use... carrot cake and carrot bread usually make me think of early fall or Easter time. I'm sure it's because of things like Thanksgiving and Easter (the Holiday feast) that make me feel that way.

Okay, but seriously, I am going to stop rambling. I soon will be out of posts about things that I made so long ago I've completely forgotten about. I think. Honestly, I haven't pulled photos off my camera in awhile.

By the way, I opened up an art blog! Right now it is all the same drawings I have on facebook and/or Deviant Art, but it is there none the less. I have also been thinking of layout changes for Foodival (as well as) making a layout for it. I believe I called it Art Timez. It is creative, yes?

Carrot Cake Shortbread

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon shredded carrot

Oven at 300 Degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, beat the butter, carrot, and vanilla extract until creamy. Transfer butter mixture to a piece of clingwrap, shape into a log, and freeze for 20 minutes.
Stir together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Remove the butter mixture from the freezer and add into the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter mixture into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs and clings together. Knead the dough until smooth and it forms a ball.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookies with a 1 1/2 inch fluted cookie cutter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies turn slightly brown.
Separately, in a medium mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in the shredded carrot.
Spread the frosting on about half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies. Serve!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jalapeno Popper Dip

I made this for game night! Like... six months ago! HAH! So! This was a jalapeno popper dip. In my hometown, or rather, a suburb of my home town, there was this little mexican restaurant that I was really into. We would go there-- and I wasn't the hugest fan of mexican food (I was well known for putting black olive rings on my fingers and waving my hands about as if I were the world's fanciest little girl) but they had these jalapeno poppers stuffed with cream cheese that I adored. There was this spicy sweet sauce that went with them too, but I ate less of that. There's just something really delicious about a mild, but somewhat spicy pepper, fried, and stuffed with the rich smoothness of cream cheese.

It was an instant win.

So when I found this recipe by Kevin, ages ago, I decided I had to make it-- the very idea of it was so nostalgic that I was tempted beyond words. I kept putting it off, however, because I didn't want to make it just for myself... South Park Wednesdays weren't really happening, and I tended to be one of the only people I knew who liked or could eat spicy things. So... alas. Eventually, however, Brian and his roommates hosted a game night in which everyone came over and something happened (I don't remember what, I imagine it was a game).

That night, I made this. And cookies, I believe. Have I posted those? Hmhmhm. Anyway! I made stuff. And it was good. This turned out rather tasty-- and I believe it was completely eaten. It was rich, mildly spicy, a bit vinegary. I was surprised by the inclusion of mayonnaise, I believe-- not something I normally use. My spinach artichoke dip has nothing of the sort in it. But it was still really good! It probably needed something to make it thicker. I believe I served it with tortillia chips-- but I like to imagine other uses for dips. Like a spread for a sandwich. Now, I probably won't make this again to make a sandwich spread, but it is a delicious idea. Or at least I think so.

Jalapeno Popper Dip
Recipe from Closet Cooking

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano
1 (4 ounce) can sliced jalapenos (pickled)
2 jalapeno peppers (chopped, optional)
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano

Oven at 375 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, parmigiano reggiano and jalapenos in a bowl and pour into a baking dish. Mix the panko bread crumbs and parmigiano reggiano and sprinkle over the dip.
Bake until bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 10-20 minutes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Vicky's Raspberry Chocolate Cake


So... I know it has (again) been ages since I've posted Foodival. A lot of that is because of two posts I have had sitting here in my 'edit posts' for later posting. This one, and another. One is Brian's Pasta Salad-- I wanted him to guest post it, but... he is not much of a blogger. So, I may just get the recipe from him and post it without his input. Take that, boyfriend!! The other is this recipe, a chocolate cake I made for my friend Vicky for her birthday before she left LA to live in NY with her boyfriend (the timeline is more stretched out than that, but eh, whatever. It has happened that way).

The problem is... I can't seem to find the recipe for this cake. I'm not sure how I made it. I kind of don't completely remember it. I feel like it was raspberry cake. Or a chocolate cake. But I think it was a raspberry cake! I believe I made a white cake, added raspberries, added extra flour. Then I made uhh... white chocolate frosting for the inbetween layers. Then I made chocolate mousse or chocolate frosting for the frosting of the cake~

I can't recreate this recipe. I mean, I can now, like today-- but I'd rather do a new post about it.


Still. It was a lovely cake.

The layers of the cake fell a little flat. But it tasted good. I remember I was trying to base it off of the cupcakes at Sprinkle's...
And now I have looked through all my e-mails and all my recipes and all my files and I still have not come up with anything that resembles what may have been links, mashing up recipes, or anything that hinted to how I was trying to make this cake work. I am sorry, blog followers. I am sorry that the only post I have made is about something without a recipe.

Epic fail, Stephanie Simpson. Epic. Fail.

That's okay. I am trying to be better. I put it on my todo list. So, hopefully more blog posts will happen!! You know me, anyway, I like fall cooking better than summer cooking. I guess the break up with Jeff really made it hard for me to Foodival. Food was very connected to me in that relationship so my creativity there has been so-so. But I believe it is coming back. I am excited about pumpkin!

Go go pumpkin!

(Man, I want pumpkin beer and a pumpkin latte so bad right now).

Did I mention this birthday was in Feb? Oya oya.