The New Blog

March 29, 2010 at 7:48 am (Fun Stuff, Makes me Smile, recipes, Things I love)

I thought about calling this post, “Our new project,” but I thought some of you might get the wrong idea!

My sister Christina and I have created a new blog and we think you should check it out:

Frankly  Entertaining

That’s right, Frankly Entertaining … it’s a double entendre! I know it’s seems obvious because, frankly, we’re both so entertaining! It’s a mix of recipes, cookbook reviews, entertaining ideas, and just general kitchen happiness brought to you by the Frank sisters! We’re really excited about this new project, and we would appreciate any feedback that you might have. We’re looking forward to seeing you over at the new site.

One of Christina's delicious desserts!

Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting my random nonsense here. The other site is a more focused effort! So, hop on over and let us know what you think!

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Just that kind of day

March 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm (Food, recipes, Things I love)

Last week it was in the 90’s here. In fact, I’m still suffering the effects of my first sunburn since since high school!Today, however is a different story. It’s about fifty degrees and rainy. I love this kind of weather, and because it’s rare to have this kind of day where we live, I’m trying my best to live it up. So, I thought I’d share a couple of things that this kind of weather puts me in the mood for:

1. Hot Chocolate

Best invention ever!!

Best invention ever!!

I know what you’re thinking, that is the most ridiculous thing ever. Who in their right mind would pay good money for something that you can get by just boiling water in the microwave? Trust me, I know where you’re coming from. I thought the same thing the first time I saw this in the Bed Bath and Beyond circular, but then we tried it out at Doug’s sister’s house.  So, before you get all judgemental, hear me out. The Cocoa Latte works not only with water, but also with milk. This makes a much better hot chocolate, in my opinion. Also, there’s no pesky stirring involved. You put in the milk and cocoa and you turn it on. That’s it. The thing starts spinning and heating. It turns off when it gets to the rght temperature, and if it starts to get too cool, it turns right back on. There’s also a froth feature so you can feel like you paid $3.00 for that cocoa at Starbucks!

Many people mocked my attachment to the Cocoa Latte, but a lot of those same people went on to purchase their own after sampling the joy at our house!

#2. The Homemade Marshmallow:

Nothing beats homemade!

Nothing beats homemade!

The hot shocolate is just fine on its own, but if you’re looking for a little something extra, go ahead and try making your own marshmallows. It’s not difficult, and the results are very rewarding. I usually just google for a recipe, but I really like this site. Feel free to embellish your marshmallows with different colors and different flavors. You may not want to make them every time, but if you’re looking for something special, I’d give it a try.

* In the interest of full disclosure, we took these pictures a couple of months ago. This is what I’m in the mood for today, but I didn’t actually get around to it today!

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Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

November 18, 2008 at 4:43 pm (recipes)

Stop drooling!

Stop drooling!

So, today is Doug’s Thanksgiving potluck at work, and he signed up to bring dessert. By signing up, I think it was implied that I would be the one actually making the dessert. Don’t worry about the “fairness” of it all. I may have ben up late ito the night baking, but he was responsible for all of the transportation logistics! Plus, he had to figure out how to undo the pan!

So, here is what I make when I’m looking for something that will appear somewhat fancy. Also, if there are leftovers, it tastes great the next day:

Sylvia’s triple chocolate cheesecake

 

 Crust:

1 cup Chocolate cookie crumbs

¼ cup melted butter

– combine and press into a 9″ springform pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes

 

cake:

3 packages cream cheese

¾ cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

¾ cup melted chocolate chips

¾ cup melted white chocolate chips

1 tsp. almond filling

 

– Cream cheese and sugar

– Add eggs one at a time, mixing between each egg

– Add vanilla

– Divide batter in half

– Add melted chocolate chips to one half, mix and place in the pan to make the bottom layer

– Add melted white chocolate chips and almond flavoring to other half. Mix and pour on top of chocolate layer.

– Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

– Reduce heat to 250 degrees for 45 minutes

 

Glaze:

¾ cup of cream

1 ½ cups chocolate chips

 

– Heat cream on low heat until hot

– add chocolate chips and stir until smooth

– Pour over cooled cake

 If you’re in the mood for a bit of chocolate, this should hit the spot. Also, if you happen to be out of almond extract you can use cherry extract. Apparently, no one can tell the difference (at least that’s what I hear, but I’m still in denial).

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Grape Truffles

September 22, 2008 at 2:06 pm (Food, recipes)

They are almost healthy!

They are almost healthy!

 

Another week-end, another cooking class. This time it was just me and Andrea, because apparently the idea of a class devoted completely to lobster was repulsive to Dixie! Oh well, her loss. The lobster was great, but I think the best part of this class was the grape truffles. They are very easy and very tasty.

Grape Truffles:

Red Grapes (don’t use green because the color shows through)

Melted chocolate (buy something nice, it will make a difference)

Cocoa powder (again, try something nice)

Directions:

– wash and thouroughly dry the grapes, and place them in the freezer for 30 minutes.

– melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly.

– pour the chocolate over the grapes and mix by hand

– place the chocolate covered grapes on a cookie sheet and cover in cocoa. Shake the cookie sheet around so that the grapes are completely covered. Place in the fridge until ready to serve. They should last in the fridge for about five days.

– These need to be served chilled because that’s what keeps the chocolate hard.

 

Enjoy!

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Brownie Points

September 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm (Food, recipes, Uncategorized)

 

Notice the festive table runner!

Notice the festive table runner!

 

When I was attending BYU, I took a class called marriage prep (mock all you want, it worked for me!!). In this class, I learned that cinnamon is an aphrodisiac. Dr. Barlow told us the surest way to a person’s heart was with some tasty cinnamon rolls. Well, not to disagree with Dr. Barlow, but the winning recipe during my courtship with Doug was brownies.

This is my mother’s recipe, and it has always been a winner at my house. It’s what I’ll make if we’re taking dinner to someone, and I’ll make it if I’m in the mood for some chocolate. I know very few people who would refuse a brownie (well, someone did refuse one of these, should I be insulted DJo?!). If you want to put a smile on someone’s face, bake them some brownies. You can even dress these up by serving them warm with fudge sauce and ice cream. Overkill, you say. Bite your tongue!

So, there you have it. Your home will be a happier place this evening if you make these, unless of course you don’t like chocolate, but if you don’t like chocolate,then we’re probably not friends, and you’re probably not reading this blog!

 

The recipe

3/4 c. butter

1/2 c. sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. cocoa

3/4 c. flour

1 c. chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Melt butter

2. Mix butter, sugar & vanilla

3. Add eggs

4. Mix in cocoa

5. Combine baking powder and flour and add to wet mixture

6. Add chocolate chips

7. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes

In order for these to turn out all dense and chewy, it is very important that you use a wooden spoon. If you use an electric mixer they will end up being a more cake-like brownie.

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A Lesson in Humility

September 16, 2008 at 9:42 am (Food, recipes)

The Aftermath

The Aftermath

For the most part I think I’m a pretty good cook. We try and eat at home at least six night a week (lately it’s been 7 because we’re saving for a new toy), and I think dinner usually goes well. I don’t now what’s happened, but my dinner mojo seems to be failing me!

Last night I was making the very delicious Cindy’s Tasty Wings.I don’t know who Cindy is, but I love her wings! We make these at least twice a month, and I’ve never had a problem. It’s basic and delicious. Then last night, disaster struck. The problem occurred when we used fresh instead of frozen wings. It threw me off. If you’re going to make this recipe ( and I highly recommend that you do), make sure to go and buy the frozen party wings from Costco.  Anyway, back to last night, the wings didn’t get thouroughly cooked. It was disgusting. Doug tried to salvage the evening by cooking everything on the stove, but by then I’d lost my appetite!

Oddly enough, one of my other major cooking disasters also involved chicken wings. When we were first married, I made my mother’s chicken wing recipe, but I misread the cooking time (darn that flourescent pink pen!), and I had them in the oven at 500 degrees for four hours! Whatever, I overcame.

Then came today’s fiasco. I spent all day yesterday making red beans and rice for dinner tonight. I made it yesterday because Doug prefers the meal after it has had time to properly thicken up, and apparently that only comes on the second day. It was all good. I was being very prepared. This way I was going to have dinner tonight with no fuss, and my kitchen would stay clean.

Unfortunately, when I woke up this morning, the pot of bean was still on the stove … mocking me … delighting in my fatigue from the night before! In all my preparations, I forgot to put the pot in the fridge! I stayed up until 11:00 so that everything would be fully cooked. Then I took turned the stove off, and thought it should cool for ten minutes before it went in the fridge.Then I sat down and played a game of Tetris, then I went to sleep.

I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought was, “Crap!” And that was it. A quick call to Doug, “Oh yeah, I wondered why you had left the pot out all night.” At first, he just said that if I let it boil for a while it should be okay, but then further research was done and the whole pot was disposed of. Kind of a depressing start to the day, but now it’s time to regroup and focus. The hunt is on for something quick and easy for dinner that will not require a trip to the store. I’m considering using this recipe from Liz. I actually have all the ingredients on hand. Hopefully I won’t mess it up.

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I love food!

September 25, 2007 at 11:31 am (Food, Makes me Smile, recipes)

I’m not sure if I qulify as an emotional eater, but good food definitely makes me happy! Do you ever just sit down to a meal and smile when you take the first bite? This has happened to me at the following places:

  •  Chocolate Mousse at the Phoenix Ritz  
  • Wild Mushroom Tart at the The Metropolitan
  • Duck at the, now closed, Dijonin SLC
  • Mushroom and Chicken Ravioli, in Halifax, at Il Mercato
  • Poutine, which is normally only available in Canada, but which I found last year at the Utah State Fair. Heavenly!
  • Fish and Chips at the Tavern in Dartmouth.
  • Alright, now I’m craving some food. I need to find so go-to restaurants for San Antonio!

    I’ve been trying some new recipes lately and I found a couple that were quite successful at my house. It takes something special to get Doug to compliment food, but he loved this Plum Tarte Tatin that I found in  Bon Appetit Magazine.

    PLUM TARTE TATIN

    Recipe

     

    This recipe was so easy. It takes a bit of time for cooling, so if you want to have it for dinner dessert you need to make it early. Very yummy.

    I also got a good recipe for whole wheat bread from Taylor. I made it, and it turned out. I used whole grain flour instead of whole wheat, so it was a little heavier, but my kids asked for extra bread instead of extra flan cake the other night!

    2 packages dry yeast

    2 cups warm whole milk

    !/4 cup honey

    2 eggs

    6 cups whole wheat flour

    2 tsp. salt

    6 tbsp. soft butter

    dissolve the yeast in a bowl for about 5 minutes

    whisk in the honey and eggs, then add the other stuff and stir it together or use the dough hook on a mixer.

    Mix until it all comes together, then knead for 5-7 minutes.

    Form into a ball and put it into an oiled bowl–cover with plastic and let rise until it doubles (1.5–2 hours)

    Punch it down, divide it two balls and form loaves by pressing them flat and rolling them up.  Place the loaves, seam-side down into prepared pans and press them down slightly.

    Cover with a towel and let them rise until they double (45-60 minutes)

    Dust the tops with a little more flour and place them on the middle rack of a preheated (375) oven and bake ’til they sound hollow when tapped (about 35-40 minutes)

    That’s another winner for Taylor!

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