Riunite Bold and Beefy Texas No Bean Chili WINS South Regional Finals

 

Riunite South Regional Winner Rebecka Evans

Photo by Riunite Wines

Riunite Bold and Beefy Chili

Food and Photo By At Home with Rebecka

My Riunite Bold and Beefy Texas No Bean Chili WINS – South Regional Finals – Houston, Texas 2018

Riunite Bold and Beefy Chili

Rebecka Evans South Regional Finals – Riunite Chili Cook-off Winner with Houston Texans Kevin Walter

About The Wine:

Riunite, America’s #1 and best loved Italian wine for over 4 decades, is the leading source of classic wines from Central Italy’s Emilia Romagna Region, home of prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar. Riunite is most closely identified with the Lambrusco grape, a variety native to central Italy. Lambrusco is said to be one of the oldest grapes in history, one that was first vinified by the Etruscans, dating back to before the first century BC.  When you are drinking Riunite, you are drinking history.

About The Contest:

Create an original chili recipe best paired with Riunite Lambrusco, writing up the recipe in 500 words or less. All ingredients must be readily available and be precisely measured. A photo of your recipe is optional. Five finalists will be selected to participate in a cook-off in Cincinnati, OH, prior to the pro football game on November 11, 2018.
This contest is one of 5 regional contests with the same theme. Each contest is judged separately and there is no national cook-off this year.

5 Regional Finalist Prizes: 2 upper-level end zone tickets to the pro football game in Houston, TX on October 7, 2018 and a $100 pre-paid debit card for required chili ingredients. Finalist will be required to provide their own ground transportation to and from the event and will receive a $200 pre-paid debit card for fuel, toll and parking expenses. Finalist’s guest must be at least 21 years of age. (ARV $500).
Regional Winner Prize: $1,000 check.

Riunite Winner South Regional Finals

Contestants From Left: John Anders, Dan Hill, Mary Janssen, Official Judge: Texans Kevin Walter, Claudia McCarty, and Rebecka Evans – Photo by Riunite

Game On

The folks at Riunite Wines really know how to throw a tailgate chili cook-off.

The South Regional Finals were held in Houston, Texas  at NRG Stadium on  October 7, 2018.

The five South Regional Finalists enjoyed a relaxed chili cook-off; complete with a delicious catered tailgate meal including lot’s of Riunite wine. Former Houston Texans Wide Receiver  Kevin Walter,  was one of the official judges for the event. He was such a charmer as he was eager to pose for photo ops and sign autographs right before the chili cook-off. After I won, he made a point to find me to say he loved my “expensive” chili. 

The event was well thought out and beautifully executed by the entire Riunite staff. Their generosity of gifting each contestant $300.00 for food, gas, and expenses. Each contestant was also given the Coleman stoves you see on the table, along with a cool blue apron with a water chiller pocket and retractable bottle opener. Food sport folks can never have enough cool aprons! 

The contestants brought their “A-Game” with deliciously diverse chili recipes. Listed below are the names of the contestants followed by their creative recipe titles:

John Anders Deep in The Heat Chili

Dan Hill Texas Snakebite Chili 

Mary Janssen Hit Me Chili 

Claudia McCarty Hot Tropical Trail Chili

There was not a bean in sight as these Texans really get the long standing tradition of NO BEAN Texas Chili. Focused and determined to win, they gave me a run for my money. The judges said it was one of the tightest scoring chili cook-offs in Riunite history! I’m honored to be the Riunite South Regional 2018 winner. 

One of the highlights of this contest was meeting my longtime facebook friend and fellow food competitor Claudia McCarty for the very first time. The love of food sport has enriched our friendship through this competition. I’m so proud to know her and call her my friend!

This was also the very first time my youngest son Christopher was able to attend one of my cooking competitions. Chris was a such a great help as he hauled all of my cooking gear and worked as my social media specialist. He also helped me drag my butt off the floor after tripping in a giant hole right before the event. My scraped knee is still healing, but he was there to collect his momma, helping her overcome the adversity and win. Christopher is also the editor of my food blog. Thank goodness for that because I write like I talk! 

There is no better way to end a day than to win the cook-off and to see the Houston Texans beat the Dallas Cowboys in overtime! Enjoy my chili! 

Riunite Bold and Beefy Texas No Bean Chili

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 medium onions, fine chopped

1 1/2 pounds New York Strip Steak

1 1/2 pounds Ribeye Steak

1 1/2 pounds Flat Iron Steak

1/4 cup oil, divided

1/4 cup minced garlic, about 10 cloves

1 8 ounces can tomatoes with chilies

1 28 ounces can crushed tomatoes

1 3 ounces can chopped green chilies

2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dry Mexican oregano

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 cup Riunite Lambrusco Wine

1 12-ounce bottle of beer (I use Modelo Negro)

5 tablespoon chili powder

1 beef bouillon cube

DIRECTIONS: 

Fine chop onions, brown in 1 tablespoon oil. Remove onions from pan and keep in a large bowl.

Chop 1 1/2 pounds New York Strip Steak, 1 1/2 pounds Ribeye Steak, 1 1/2 pounds Flat Iron Steak into 1 inch pieces. Cook meat in batches using about 1 teaspoon of oil for each new batch. Brown meat on all sides and remove to the large bowl with the onions. Continue cooking meat until all the meat is browned.

Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan and sauté minced garlic for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with Riunite Lambrusco wine. Return meat and sautéed onions back to the pot.

Add chilies, cumin, oregano, dry mustard, salt, garlic powder, tomatoes, beer chili powder and bouillon cube. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours.

Garnish with corn chips, sour cream, diced onion, shredded white or cheddar cheeses, and sliced jalapeños.

Riunite Winner South Regional Finals

These cute ladies loved my chili so much they asked to take a photo with me! So sweet – I have fans!

 




Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker-Contest and Giveaway-WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Passion for Baking cookbook

Photo by Passion for Baking Lise Sternersen (Manuela Kjeilen – TV personality and owner of www.passionforbaking.com is the writer, baker, and photographer behind passionforbaking.com   

Sixteen weeks ago I invited you to bake along in the contest series  “Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker?”  Thirteen diehard contestants indulged in the challenge and baked along with me to the very end.

Before I announce the winner, I just wanted to give thanks to all of you who participated in the event.  I am filled with joy as I look back through all of the Woobox Gallery submissions, every recipe looked so beautiful. Thank goodness Woobox has a random drawing feature and I didn’t have to pick a winner.

Today is momentous: with great pride in the culmination of all your hard work and dedication to the challenge; I’m ready to announce the grand prize winner of the Ankarsrum USA stand mixer and the winner of the Passion for Baking Cookbook, Love Manuela – The Baking Book. You took the challenge; now are you ready to meet the winners?

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Woobox has spoken! Listed below are the winners of the Ankarsrum Mixer and the Passion for Baking Cookbook. Congratulations to both of you on your success in this challenge!

 The Winner of the Ankarsurm Mixer: 

Nancy Angelici 

Congratulations Nancy! Thank you for baking alongside me and all of the other competitors. I know you’ll love your new Ankarsrum mixer.  I will forward your email to Ankarsrum and they will contact you for shipping information and your choice of mixer color.

 The Winner of Passion for Baking Cookbook, Love Manuela – The Baking Book:

Donna Bardocz

Congratulations Donna! Thank you for baking alongside myself and all of the other competitors throughout this challenge.  Please email me your address and contact information to rebeckasevans@gmail.com and I will send your cookbook. 

Congratulations again ladies; I’m so happy for you both! 

CHEERS to all the Master and Disaster bakers that joined me on this journey. Your willingness to bake all six recipes in the series brings me such great pride. I’m so honored and proud of your willingness to commit to the challenge for the past sixteen weeks. Your renditions of Manuela’s handpicked recipes are amazing. I’d like to thank the following people for taking the challenge with me: 

  • Acie Vincent 
  • Helen Fields 
  • Lynn Beamer 
  • Lisa Keys 
  • Nancy Angelici 
  • Kim Banick 
  • Isabel Minunni 
  • Chelsea Madrin 
  • Laurie Lufkin 
  • Vanessa Lane 
  • Donna Bardocz 
  • Ava Marie 
  • Lori McClain

A Newfound ‘Passion For Baking’

This baking journey has taken me from a nervous “disaster baker” to where I have a real “passion for baking.” I still consider myself a novice baker, yet I have gained confidence as the thought of making macarons or jelly rolls no longer petrify me. Not only has my fear subsided, I’ve also learned so many new baking terms and techniques. For example; I can now wield a piping bag like a professional, make the most delicious fluff frosting, create a beautiful layered cake, and I know now what it means for a macaron to have “feet.” Not to mention, I’ve enjoyed eating some of the most delicious baked treats all thanks to Manuela Kjeilen’s impeccable step by step instruction. 

According to Manuela’s Passion for Baking cookbook, Manuela strives to “inspire you to bake and just have fun in the kitchen.

Manuela, let me be the first to say that your goal has been achieved in my kitchen. I’ve been inspired to bake your beautiful creations and I’ve had so much fun throughout this process. My family and neighbors are very thankful to have enjoyed your delicious desserts as well. 

It’s been such a blessing to have learned from Manuela. Her recipes are so beautiful and delicious; not to mention her step-by-step instructions are so easy to follow. Anyone with the inclination to become a better baker can achieve great success by simply practicing what Manuela preaches. 

Thank you Manuela for your friendship, support, and passion for baking. My life is better with you in it!  

Are You Master Baker or Disaster Baker?

After expanding your horizons and opening yourself up to new experiences in the kitchen, it’s time for you to decide whether you’re a master or disaster baker. Are you feeling like a Master Baker now that you’ve taken my baking challenge? Do you have a new passion for baking? Did Manuela inspire you to bake and just have fun in the kitchen? Only you can answer these questions, I just hope you enjoyed the challenge as much as I did. 

Please feel free to tell me about your experiences with the challenge and your qualification as a master or disaster bake in the comment section below. I would love to hear which recipe(s) you liked most and why and how this challenge has either positively or negatively impacted your baking skills. 

Ankarsrum Mixer

Photo by Ankansrum Original USA

Further inspiration for the challenge: came from my desire to work with the most amazing mixer in the World, Ankarsrum USA Original. Thank you Ashley McCord, Product Manager at Ankarsrum USA, for sponsoring the giveaway. Thanks to you, this incredible mixer has been awarded to one very happy Woobox winner and for gifting me the “Black Pearl” model to use for the contest. The mixer looks amazing in my new Texas kitchen! 

Ankarsrum Original Kitchen Machine (formerly known as Verona, Magic Mill, Electrolux Assistent, DLX), a favorite mixer of Swedish cooks since 1940, is now available for North American homeowners. Fashioned from sturdy chrome and steel, this 600 watt professional quality kitchen tool is a durable all-purpose mixer that produces superior baking results. A variety of optional attachments transforms the Ankarsrum Original into a complete kitchen center, eliminating the need for a separate food processor, meat grinder, or slicer. The Ankarsrum Original offers professional functionality and versatility in one convenient countertop tool.

The craftsmanship of the Ankarsrum mixer is unparalleled due to it’s user friendly nature.  Also, the multi-functionality makes this mixer a “must have” kitchen utility for both novice and master bakers. I love everything about this mixer!

(Check out the amazing selection online HERE)

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

If you’re here for the first time and would like check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake, Recipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake, Recipe #3 Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes, Recipe #4 Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge, and Recipe #5 Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns.

(YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT MANUELA AND THE CONTESTS OFFICIAL RULES HERE )

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American Fusion Patty Melt with Mushroom and Bacon Gravy

American Fusion Patty Melt

My American Fusion Patty Melt with Mushroom-Bacon Gravy was inspired by one of my favorite recipes EVER, Low Country Bacon Gravy. My parents taught this girl how to love her gravy and I’ve been cooking the recipe ever since. Brown, giblet, milk, mushroom, and onion gravies have all found a home in both my heart and hearth.

The quintessential American food has graced many plates in my lifetime, so I had a hunch that the savory milk gravy would pair beautifully with my True Aussie Beef and Lamb and blended mushroom patty melt. My hunch paid off with a First Place Win at the 2018 Annual Mushroom Festival Amateur Cook-Off held in Kennet Square, Pennsylvania on September 8, 2018.

Lamb and Beef Patty Melt

The Mushroom Festival 2018 WINNING RECIPE: Grass fed True Aussie Beef and Lamb Burger, blended with portabella and white button mushroom, topped off with Low Country Mushroom Bacon Gravy

About The Cook-Off:

The 2018 theme is: Mushrooms Blended with Grassfed Beef or Lamb

Blended mushroom recipes require ground mushrooms to be mixed with a protein. As a trendy meat extender, the mushrooms create a unique, flavorful combination for burgers, meatballs, tacos, stuffing, or even a Bolognese sauce. The 2018 Mushroom Festival Amateur Cook-Off will focus on blending mushrooms with grassfed beef or lamb. At the Cook-off all recipes will be made with the Australian grassfed beef or lamb of our partner True Aussie Beef and Lamb.

About The Competitors & Awards:

This year’s Mushroom Festival Amateur Cook-off theme was Mushrooms Blended with Grassfed Beef and Lamb. The entries that came in were amazing and ranged the gamut from hummus and burgers to potstickers and chili. Cuisines ranged from Chinese, Mexican, Mediterranean, and American. Each recipe was tested and rated by a panel of local food enthusiasts and the following six finalists were chosen:

  1. Rebecka Evans (Me) of Pearland, TX– American Fusion Patty Melt with Low Country Mushroom-Bacon Gravy
  2. Jill Gilber of Philadelphia, PA– Exotic Spiced Beef & Silky Buttered Mushrooms over Hummus
  3. Devon Delaney of Westport, CT – Ginger Snapped Lamb and Mushroom Lettuce Cups with Lemon Mint Yogurt Sauce & Buttered Pistachios
  4. Janine Washle, of Eastview, KY – Hunter’s Style Beef and Wild Mushrooms over Creamy Parmesan Grits
  5. Lynne Laino, of Downingtown, PA – Kennett Square Gyros with Tzatziki and Crispy Shiitakes
  6. Daniel Richeal of Kennett Square, PA – Mushroom Risotto with Savory Mushroom and Lamb Meatballs

Each of the finalists will take home from the Cook-off at least a $100 Cash Prize, a $250 Gift Card and Party Pack from True Aussie Beef and Lamb and a Kitchen Aid 3.5-Cup One-Touch 2-Speed Chopper with Extra Bowl.

The first place winner will receive $1500 cash prize and a Golden Ticket to the World Food Championships to compete in the Burger Category ($1500 value). Second place receives a $300 cash prize and third place receives a $200 cash prize.  There will be a special $250 cash prize for Best Use of Butter with Mushrooms. 

The Official Rules:

  • Charged with the task of blending mushrooms and the choice to use either True Aussie Beef or Lamb, I decided to blend my mushrooms with both proteins. The 80/20 mixture of ground beef and lamb was the perfect bite of deliciousness set against the caramelized onions, domestic Swiss cheese, and mushroom-bacon gravy. I added my favorite bread, marbled rye to make a marriage of flavors that create this blended American Fusion patty melt.
  • Contestants were also asked to use Challenge Butter in their recipes to be judged in a special ancillary contest for a chance to win $250 cash prize for Best Use of Butter with Mushrooms. Jill Gilber (one of my dearest friends and fellow food competitors) won the contest with her Exotic Spiced Beef & Silky Buttered Mushrooms over Hummus. 
  • Finally, the contestants were asked to submit a photo of their recipe for a chance to win and additional $250.00. The photos pictured on my blog were chosen by a panel of judges as the winner. Doubly blessed, I won the First Place Prize of $1500.00 and then another $250.00 for my recipe photos. The cash prize is such a treat but the experience is priceless! 

Fun Facts About Cream Gravy:

  • People throughout this great nation have long made gravy with whatever is stuck to the bottom of the skillet, but Texas deserves a special citation for their love of cream gravy. It’s a simple, perfect meld of leftover fat, flour, milk or cream and—crucially—plenty of black pepper, stirred together over heat until it’s sufficiently thick. Spooned lavishly over a chicken-fried steak, it’s something akin to heaven in liquid form.
  • Texans can’t take all the credit for milk gravy, Low Country Bacon Gravy, and other milk based gravy are the cuisine of the Southern United States developed in the traditionally defined American South; influenced by African, English, Scottish, Irish, French, Spanish, and Native American cuisines. Tidewater, Appalachian, Creole, Lowcountry, and Floribbean are examples of types of Southern cuisine. In recent history, elements of Southern cuisine have spread north, having an effect on the development of other types of American cuisine. wikipedia.com 

Beef and Lamb Patty Melt Recipe

American Fusion Patty Melt

American Fusion Patty Melt with Mushroom-Bacon Gravy

  • Servings: make 4 burgers
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

15 ounces’ True Aussie Ground beef

3 ounces True Aussie Ground Lamb

2 pounds Mixed Mushrooms (baby portabella, white button) divided

1 1/2 cups Heavy cream

22 slices Bacon, (about 24 ounces) 16 slices cooked whole, 6 cooked and chopped, all bacon fat reserved

2 1/2 teaspoons flour

2 sticks Challenge butter, 1 cup

Marbled Jewish Rye Bread

16 slices Swiss cheese

1 large Sweet Onions

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary

water to thin gravy if necessary

Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Long rosemary sprigs for garnish

Mixed mushroom for garnish

Instructions:

  • Chop and cook remaining 6 slices of bacon. Leave 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in pan, reserve the rest. Drain on a paper towel and set aside. Reserve remaining bacon fat.
  • Slice large sweet onions thinly, sauté in 1 tablespoon bacon drippings and 1 tablespoon Challenge Butter until caramelized. About 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside
  • Chop 1 bunch large green onions (both green and white parts) makes about 2 cups. Set aside

Sliced Mushroom Blend:

  • Slice 2 ½-pounds mushrooms thinly. Heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoon bacon drippings and 2 tablespoon Challenge Butter, 1 cup of green onions, 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary, and sliced mushrooms. Cook until crisp and caramelized, (About 5 minutes)
  • Season with a pinch salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
  • Once mushroom are slightly cooled chop mushrooms in the Kitchen Aid 3.5 Cup One-Touch 2 speed chopper. Set aside half the mixture for blended burgers and half for the for mushroom gravy.

Blended Burger:

  • In a large bowl combine 15 ounces True Aussie Ground Beef, 3 ounces True Aussie Ground Lamb, 1 cup chopped green onion, 2 cups cooled, chopped mushroom blend.
  • Divide blended burger mixture equally into 4 balls. Place the balls on a parchment line baking sheet and shape into 4, 1/4-inch rectangle patties.
  • In a large sauté or grill pan, melt 1 tablespoon Challenge Butter and cook burgers for 3-4 minutes per side or until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Reserve drippings

Mushroom Gravy:

  • Add 1 tablespoon bacon drippings, 2 tablespoon Challenge Butter to a large sauce pan. Heat over medium high. Once bacon drippings and butter are melted add 2 ½ teaspoons flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring constantly.
  • Whisk in 1 cups heavy cream. Continue whisking until all the flour mix is incorporated and there are no lumps. Add remaining ½ cup cream and blend well.
  • Reduce heat to low. Add 1 tablespoon Challenge Butter, remaining Mushroom Blend, reserved burger drippings, and chopped bacon. Stir to combine. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and fresh cracked pepper. Keep warm

Making the Patty Melt:

  • Butter 8 slices Marbled Jewish Rye bread with Challenge butter. Using a large sauté or grill pan turn heat to medium and place 4 slices bread, butter side down in the pan
  • Add 2 slices Swiss cheese to each piece of bread, lay two slices bacon on top of 2 of 2 cheese breads and a cooked burger patty on top of 2 of the pieces of bread.
  • Top both burgers with caramelized onions, 2 more slices bacon for each burger, and top with 1-2 tablespoon mushroom gravy.
  • Cover the burger with second slice of bread and cook for 2-3 minutes. Carefully, flip patty melt over and continue cooking until cheese is melted, about 3 more minutes or until heated through.
  • Skewer burgers with rosemary sprigs and serve with additional mushroom-bacon gravy. ENJOY

Special Thanks:

Jennifer Daskevich, Owner @tikihutbrands.com Event MC, Culinary Brand Ambassador, True Aussie Beef and Lamb

Jennifer Basciani, Mushroom Festival Amateur Cook-Off and Culinary Event Coordinator 

John D’Amico J.D. Mushrooms, Inc Senior VP

Challenge Butter

Kitchen Aid Brands

Sources: 

The Mushroom Festival – The Mushroom Festival

Fun Fact About Gravy- My Recipes .com

Lowcountry – Wikipedia 

 

 




Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #5

Recipe #5 Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns

Norwegian Vanilla Buns

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted). 

I hope that everyone that’s baking along is feeling more like a “Master” Baker than a “Disaster” Baker; especially since we’re about to bake Recipe #5. Seeing all of your beautiful photo entries in the WOOBOX Gallery gives me a sense of pride as we bake together in the challenge – keep up the good work! Hard work always pays off, and just like one of the contestants said to me last week: “This is a marathon not a sprint but the effort is so worth the chance of winning that Ankarsrum Mixer!”

Here’s a photo of the mixer just to give you a little motivation. Isn’t she a beauty?

Ankarsrum Mixer

Photo by Ankarsrum USA Original

If you’re here for the first time and would like to join the challenge or check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake, Recipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake, Recipe #3 Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes and Recipe #4 Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge

The requirements for this weeks challenge are the same as the previous three weeks and are written below: 

Bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Master or Disaster” piece. The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and it’s also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the entire duration of the contest. 

*NOTE* 

In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.FOR THE

OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE

RECIPE #5, Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns 

Norwegian Vanilla Buns Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted). 

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rules HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to one of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #5:

I also would love for [the contestants] to make my sweet buns, a typical Norwegian sweet bun, topped with a custard, and coconut, these are sold in all the bakeries in Norway and are my favorite!

I now understand Manuela’s love for Norwegian Vanilla Buns; as they have become my new favorite dessert. The bread is savory, sweet, delicious, and filled with her pastry cream recipe.

Despite my new love affair with Vanilla Buns, this recipe is a labor of love. You will need a full day to make this recipe in order to allow the dough time to rise not just once, but 3 times. To give you a bit of insight into what I mean, I started baking this recipe at 8 AM and didn’t finish the recipe until 3:45 PM.

My biggest fear going into this week’s bake resides within the fact that I’ve always struggled when baking with yeast. I can’t ever figure out the perfect temperature to allow the yeast to grow; nor have I ever really taken the time to investigate the proper method. This week was no exception, and I was so frustrated that I had to contact my friend Lynn Beamer to get help. This is how our text conversation went (the information within the conversation is very useful for the recipe):

ME: Hi Lynn, sorry to bother you, I’m in desperate need of baking advice! What if my yeast doesn’t “Bubble” like the recipe says?”

ME: I’m afraid! 😱

LYNN: Was the temp too hot?

ME: I have no idea! The instructions say use “lukewarm” milk

LYNN: Put an instant read thermometer in the liquid. More than 115 degrees probably dead!

ME: Ok, I’ll have to make it again! UGH! 

LYNN: Always have the liquid at 110-115 when using yeast for bread

ME: Thank you Lynn🧡

The disaster was averted with the help of Lynn and her calm direction as my second batch worked perfectly. I’m not sure why it has taken me fifty plus years to learn the correct temperature for lukewarm…stubbornness I suppose. 

Now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns above, say hello to my rendition.

Vanilla Sweet Bun Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Some Thoughts on My Fifth Bake

My sweet buns turned out beautifully; and I was so tempted to eat them after waiting all day that I ate 2 before they could even cool! I didn’t care though because they were delicious!  I had enough dough to make 10 more buns, so I decided to experiment with flavors and added a tablespoon of Nutella to a few buns and some raspberry jam to the rest (see photos below).

Although the recipe takes several hours to make, I’m happy to add Manuela’s Vanilla Sweet Buns to my archive of baking recipes. The recipe is super versatile, and I plan to make them again and fill them with Swiss cheese, ham, and bacon (of course). YUM!

Vanilla Sweet Buns Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns Notes

You will need the following items in order to successfully bake this recipe: 

  1. Stand Mixer with dough attachment (If you don’t own a stand mixer you can use the old fashioned way, mix and kneed the dough by hand)
  2. Two baking sheets lined with parchment 
  3. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”

Manuela's Norwegian Vanilla Buns

  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

SWEET DOUGH INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 CUPS (480 ML) LUKEWARM MILK
  • 2 . TEASPOONS DRY ACTIVE YEAST
  • 1 CUP (225 G) SUGAR
  • 8  CUPS (900 G) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  • 4 EGGS, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • 1/2. TEASPOONS SALT
  • ⅔ CUP (150 G) UNSALTED BUTTER, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE, CUT INTO 10 TO PIECES

FILLING:

  • VANILLA CREAM RECIPE
     
    • 2 CUPS (500 ML) WHOLE MILK
    • 1- 2 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE, OR SEEDS OF ONE VANILLA POT
    • 1/2  CUP (85 G)  SUGAR
    • 4 TABLESPOONS CORNSTARCH
    • ¼ TEASPOON SALT
    • 6 LARGE EGG YOLKS
    • 3 TABLESPOONS (45 G) CHILLED UNSALTED BUTTER, CUT INTO PIECES

    DIRECTIONS FOR THE FILLING:

    • In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and vanilla bean paste, stirring occasionally, until the milk is hot but not boiling
    • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
    • Whisk in yolks all at once until light and fluffy and batter reaches the ribbon stage.
    • As you continue whisking, slowly add one-third of the hot milk to the yolk mixture to temper the egg yolks.
    • Whisk in remaining milk into yolks and return entire mixture to saucepan.
    • Place over medium heat and whisk frequently until the mixture begins to boil.
    • Whisk the mixture vigorously for 2 minutes, while boiling, until the cornstarch dissolves completely.
    • Remove the pan from the heat.
    • Strain the vanilla cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
    • Whisk in the butter.
    • With a silicon, spatula spread the vanilla cream to a thin layer on a small baking sheet.
    • Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the vanilla cream.
    • Allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours.
    • When ready to use, loosen the cream with a spatula or whisk.
    • Pastry cream should be refrigerated and used within 3 days of making.

GLAZE:

  • 1 CUP (110 G) CONFECTIONERS’ SUGAR
  • 1-3 TABLESPOONS MILK
  • 1 TEASPOON LIGHT CORN SYRUP

TOPPING:

  • 1  CUP (150 G) COCONUT (I used unsweet flakes)

DIRECTIONS FOR THE SWEET DOUGH:

  •  Preheat oven to 350F (180 C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl, of a standing mixer, fitted with a dough hook attachment, pour in the warm milk(110-115 on a instant read thermometer), add the sugar and yeast and whisk until dissolved.
  • Rest for 5 minutes, the mixture should bubble up a little bit.
  • Add the eggs, salt, and flour, mix on low speed until all of the ingredients have come together.
  • Continue to mix on medium speed for about 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, add the butter to the dough mix, piece by piece, and continue mixing on low speed.
  • The butter needs to mix completely into the dough, so stop the mixer occasionally and scrape the sides of the bowl to break up the dough.
  • Once the butter is completely incorporated into the dough, mix on medium speed for another 15 minutes, until the dough becomes sticky and soft and somewhat shiny.
  • Increase to medium-high speed for about 1 minute and you should hear a slap-slap-slap sound as the dough hits the sides of the bowl.
  • You should then be able to gather it all together and pick it up all at once in one piece when it’s ready.
  • Take the dough out of the bowl, cover your beautiful hands with flour and push each corner of the dough to the middle, all the way around.
  • Turn the round dough with the seam side down, into a greased bowl, covered with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces (I got 34)
  • Shape each piece into a ball.
  • Lay the buns on prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2″ apart, as they will rise quite a bit.
  • With floured hands, press each of the balls down/flat.
  • Place a clean tea towel over each of the baking sheets, and let rise for about 30/ 45 minutes.
  • Remove the tea towel, and with floured hands, lightly press the dough down again with the palms of your hand,  and with your knuckles in the center of each bun make an indentation (see the video).
  • Place the tea towel over the buns again and let rise another 30 minutes,
  • Just before filling each bun with vanilla cream, you can with your knuckles once again make the indentation a bit larger.
  • Fill the centers with a generous amount of vanilla cream /pastry cream.
  • glaze with egg wash, optional
  • Bake until golden brown around edges, which typically takes about 15-20 minutes.

DIRECTIONS FOR THE GLAZE:

  • As the buns are baking, combine the glaze ingredients.
  • Warm the glaze for 30 seconds in the microwave.
  • Drizzle glaze over baked buns and sprinkle with coconut.
  • In my opinion, the more coconut, the better it tastes!
  • Allow buns to cool several minutes before enjoying these Norwegian school buns!
  • Norwegian Vanilla Buns taste best eaten the same day.

Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) by September 1, 2018 Midnight CST 

If you need step-by-step instructions after reading Manuela’s recipe, then please check out her helpful how to videos. (Manuela’s beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE), and be sure to add a photo of your rendition to the WOOBOX entry form below. Happy Baking!

http://

Vanilla Sweet Buns Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Vanilla Sweet Buns Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Vanilla Sweet Buns Recipe

CONTEST TIMELINE

June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post

June 24, 2018 First Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #1)

July 1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #2)

July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #3)

August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST

August 5, 2018 Fourth Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #4)

August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST

August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #5)

September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST

September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #6)

September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST




Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #4

Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway

Recipe #4 Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge

White Macarons Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted).

I’ve never made a macaron in my life and the thought of having to bake one for this challenge made my heart pound. I’ve been dreading this week ever since I learned macarons were on Manuela’s hand-picked list of recipes for the challenge.  Making something so delicate and beautiful is very intimidating for my skill level, but despite my mixed emotions towards the macaron; I knew I had to overcome my anxiety and push myself for the sake of the challenge. I just kept telling myself, “relax, take it easy, you got this. Now just do it and bake like a master!” I feel a headache coming on! 

If you’re here for the first time and would like to join the challenge or check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream CakeRecipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake  and Recipe #3 Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

The requirements for this weeks challenge are the same as the previous three weeks and are written below: 

Bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Master or Disaster” piece. The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and it’s also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the entire duration of the contest. 

*NOTE

In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.

FOR THE OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE

RECIPE #4

Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge

White Macaron RecipeWhite Macarons with Chocolate Fudge: Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com‘s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted) 

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rules HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to each one of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #4:

I would love it if they (that’s you) try my recipe for macarons, I know a lot of people have problems with macarons, but this recipe I never have gotten a complaint about! These macarons go straight in the oven, no need to rest before baking as many recipes ask for.

Manuela’s  inspiration for her macaron recipe is also accredited to the recent Royal Wedding of Megan Markle and Prince Harry. 

Manuela said, I wanted to make elegant macarons with a romantic touch, that would be perfect for a wedding! I have always loved the simple look when it comes to cakes, cupcakes, and cookies and always focus on taste first and by just adding a little chocolate hearth on top of the macarons, gave it a beautiful look.

Manuela’s macarons are beautifully “royal,” and the perfect bite for any wedding. 

In all honesty, I’m terrified to make Manuela’s beautiful recipe but I have high hopes it will go well based on my success with her other recipes in the baking challenge.  This recipe is straight forward and sounds easy enough to make. I especially like that it does not require any resting time for the batter.

So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s White Macarons with Chocolate Fudge, here’s a photo of my rendition. 

Easy Macarons Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

This recipe had me sweating bullets and actually gave me a pounding headache. I was so focused on creating the perfect macaron that I didn’t drink or eat anything except macaroons all day as my anticipation had gotten the better of me.

My batter tasted delicious but the almonds were not fine enough to achieve Manuela’s perfectly smooth-white cookie. I over baked them AGAIN, leaving the bottoms browned and too crunchy for a perfect macaron. The filling is simple to make but I had issues during the frosting step as I managed to get chocolate finger prints all over my cookies. Thankfully, I had enough nice ones to take photos. 

Despite the errors, my family loved these sweet morsels. The cookie was chewy and flavorful, and the chocolate frosting more like caramel than chocolate. They definitely  went down easy!

I will make macarons again and go into the next bake with less panic and more knowledge. Like Manuela always says, “Practice, practice, practice!”  


Easy Macarons Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

What I Love About This Challenge

This week’s challenge was crazy-hard for me and my kitchen looked like bomb went off in there. I’m proud to have lived through my first attempt at making macarons and happy to add two more of Manuela’s recipes to my baking repertoire (Manuela’s White Macarons and Chocolate Fudge Frosting). The list keeps getting longer and my skills are growing with every delicious recipe.

Manuela’s White Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Fudge

You will need the following items in order to “successfully” bake this recipe: 

  1. Macaron templates (find free downloadable templates HERE and HERE)
  2. 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper
  3. 1 -10 mm piping tip
  4. 1 Medium disposable piping bag
  5. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”
  6. Chocolate candy hearts (optional)

I’ve added a few more notes in the recipe; however if you need step-by-step instructions after reading Manuela’s recipe, then please check out her helpful how to videos. (Manuela’s beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE)

White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge

  • Servings: 24 to 30 pieces
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

2/3 Cups (160 G) Egg Whites* (divided in two)

1 Cup (200 G) granulated sugar

⅓ CUP (80 ML) WATER

2 ⅓ CUPS (225 G) Powdered Sugar or confectioners’ sugar

 2 ⅓ CUPS (225 G) almond flour

1 Teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 

FILLING:
Milk chocolate fudge frosting. Recipe below

DECORATION:
Chocolate heart, optional

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 275F° (135 ºC). Use the convection setting for this recipe.
Prepare a piping bag with a (10mm) plain round decorating tip.
NOTE: Place macaron templates under 
Place 1/3 cup (80 g) egg whites in a standing mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment.
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring slowly until all the sugar is dissolved. Try to not get any sugar on the sides of the pan. (you can always brush it away with some water and a baking brush.)
When the mixture starts to boil, remove the spoon and attach a candy thermometer to the saucepan.
Once the sugar syrup temperature reaches 235F° (113ºC) begin whipping the egg whites on high-speed.
When the sugar syrup reaches 240F° (115ºC) and the egg whites are foamy, remove the syrup from the heat and slowly pour into the whipped egg whites.
Avoid pouring syrup onto the whisk.
Continue to beat the meringue for 5-8 minutes until cool to the touch.
Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar, almond flour and vanilla bean paste or seeds of a vanilla bean in a large bowl.
Add the remaining egg whites. Mix with a silicone spatula to evenly moisten all the ingredients.
Mix in a small amount of the cooled meringue into the almond mixture to loosen the batter
Then;fold in the rest of the meringue into the almond mixture until a smooth batter develops and flows like “lava”. Check mixture often to avoid over-folding.
Transfer mixture to the prepared piping bag and pipe out rounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake straight away for 12 minutes; (there is no need for you to wait until the piped cookies are dry to the touch, as many macarons recipes instruct, you may bake them as soon as they are piped.)
To check if the macarons are ready, touch the top of the macaron and try to wiggle it.
The cookies are done when the top is firm and does not wiggle.
Let cool completely on wire racks, before removing them from the baking matt/trays.
Make the milk chocolate fudge frosting, preferably while the macarons are in the oven.
Fill the cookies with milk chocolate fudge frosting (about a tsp for each sandwiched cookie.) and sandwich the cookies together.
The chocolate hearts I made with a silicon mold, see picture further down.
Make sure you use chocolate that is tempered, most chocolate bars at the supermarket are.
Add a little dot if melted chocolate on top of the macaron, place the chocolate hearth on the chocolate dot, press slightly and let dry so you are sure the chocolate hearth stays attached.  

MILK CHOCOLATE FUDGE FROSTING:
1/4 cup (25 gram) powdered sugar, optional
9 tbsp. (125 gram) butter cut into 1- inch pieces
1 1/8 cup (200 gram) milk chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp. espresso coffee, strong in flavor, optional
1/8 tsp. salt
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (150 ml) heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:
In a medium-size saucepan, add powdered sugar, heavy cream, butter, chocolate, salt, and coffee.
Warm it over medium heat, stir at all times, until the chocolate/butter is melted and there are no lumps, around 10 minutes.
Let it cool in the saucepan, once cool place the saucepan in the fridge from 30 minutes up to a 1 hour, all depending on how cold your fridge is.
Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, before you place it in the fridge.
Make sure at times to check the frosting if it is firm, I stir the mixture with a spatula (every 20 minutes) to prevent lumps.
Once the frosting is firm, spread it on top of your cake, or use it as a filling in your macarons.

Enjoy, it is so delicious. 

Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) by August 15, 2018 Midnight CST

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CONTEST TIMELINE

June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post

June 24, 2018 First Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #1)

July 1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #2)

July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #3)

August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST

August 5, 2018 Fourth Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #4)

August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST

August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #5)

September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST

September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #6) 

September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST




Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #3

Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway 

This week we are baking RECIPE #3  Manuel’s Best Cupcakes with Vanilla Fluff Frosting.

My Best Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted).

If you’re here for the first time and would like to join the challenge or check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake and Recipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake. 

The requirements for this weeks challenge are the same as Recipe #1 and Recipe #2, and are written below: 

Bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Masterpiece or Disaster” piece. The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and is also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the duration of the contest. 

*NOTE

In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for  ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.

FOR THE OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE 

RECIPE #3

MANUELA’S BEST VANILLA CUPCAKES WITH FLUFF FROSTING

Manuel's Recipe Vanilla Cupcakes

My Best Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com‘s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted).

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rules HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to one of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #3:

The third recipe is my Vanilla cupcake, my recipe became a cake mix in all the Norwegian stores and is my all-time favorite cupcake.”

Manuela’s accolades continue with the growth of her brand and business. To have your recipe made into a boxed cake mix and distributed to all Norwegian grocery stores is quite an accomplishment. Manuela has also baked for Royalty in Saudi Arabia and was a Guest Judge for MasterChef Slovenia. Congratulations my friend; you are truly an inspiration. 

(You can read more about Manuela on her blogs Media Page HERE)

Thankfully, this weeks recipe is in my wheelhouse of baking knowledge. I’ve made a lot of cupcake recipes over the years, so I was very eager to make Manuela’s. I’ve also made delicious Fluff Frosting for my Old Fashioned White Cake with White Mountain Frosting; so I feel more at ease with this week’s challenge. Next weeks challenge is going to be a different story, I’m already dreading it!! 

So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes with Fluff Frosting above, say hello to my rendition.

Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Everything about this cupcake makes me happy! Its pink, has sprinkles, and the Fluff Frosting is silky smooth and looks as light as a feather. Did I mention they were super easy for this disaster baker to make?

The key to making this cupcake taste so delightful is creaming the butter and sugar for a full six  minutes. The Fluff Frosting is also a cinch to make with the use of a candy thermometer, and the slow setting on a stand mixer. If you don’t own a stand mixer, just use a hand held mixer and a very large bowl to make your Fluff Frosting. Pour the hot syrup into your egg whites on the slow speed aiming for the side of the bowl and not the beaters.

My “disaster” style of baking has gotten me into trouble in the past, but most recently with Recipe #1 and Recipe #2 of this challenge. I overcooked both cakes, so I need to keep my eye on the timer when making Manuela’s cupcakes. 

Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

These beauties are perfect for a ladies luncheon or “Pretty in Pink” girls Birthday Party and look amazing presented on my antique Fostoria Pink Depression Glass. I had so much fun photographing and eating them. 

Some Thoughts on My Third Bake

Despite my setbacks with the two previous recipes in the challenge, and my anxiety over making macaroons next week, I’m having a lot of fun! I’m feeling a sense of accomplishment with my positive progression as I continue to bake on a weekly basis.  My family and neighbors are also enjoying the challenge with all the homemade sweets to eat.

I hope you’re all  having as much fun as I am baking for the challenge! Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments about your experiences in the comment section below. I’d love to know how things are going in your kitchen. Here are a few more photos of my cupcakes, just because they make me smile!

Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

Three Vanilla Cupcakes in a row – Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

What I Love About This Challenge

This week’s challenge was a breeze. It felt good to bake a familiar recipe and to add two more of Manuela’s recipes to my baking repertoire (Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe and her Vanilla Fluff Frosting). The list keeps getting longer and my skills are growing with every delicious recipe.

Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcake Notes

You will need the following items in order to “successfully” bake this recipe: 

  1. 36 paper cupcake liners
  2. 2 – 12 count cupcake tins
  3. 1 Medium disposable piping bag
  4. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”

1M Wilton Piping Tip

I’ve added a few more notes in the recipe; however if you need step-by-step instructions after reading Manuela’s recipe, then please check out her helpful how to videos. (Manuela’s beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE)

 

NOTE: My Recipe Card Plugin is acting up and I can’t edit or save right now.

I left off PLUS 3 TABLESPOONS SUGAR in the FLUFF section of the recipe. I will fix ASAP. I’m sorry, for the inconvenience. 

Manuela's Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe with Fluff Frosting
Yields 24
Photo is my version of Manuela's recipe for the Contest and Giveaway
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
CAKE
  1. 14 TABLESPOONS (200 G) UNSALTED BUTTER, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  2. 1 ⅓ CUPS (300 G) SUGAR
  3. 4 LARGE EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  4. 3 1/2 CUPS (400 G) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, SIFTED
  5. 3 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER
  6. 1/2 TEASPOON SALT
  7. 2 CUPS (500 ML) HEAVY CREAM, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  8. 2 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE OR VANILLA EXTRACT OR SEEDS FROM 1/2 VANILLA BEAN.
FLUFF
  1. 1 1/8 cup (225 G) SUPERFINE OR GRANULATED SUGAR
  2. 1/3 cup (120 G) LIGHT CORN SYRUP OR GLUCOSE SYRUP
  3. 1/3 cup (90 ML) WATER
  4. 2/3 cup (150 G) EGG WHITES, ABOUT 4 LARGE EGGS
  5. 1 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE, OPTIONAL
  6. PINK FOOD COLORING (OPTIONAL)
FOR THE CAKE
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. F (200. C). Line cupcake pans with 20-24 paper cup liners.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, twice, and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, to the creamed butter mixture, beat for 30 seconds each time.
  6. Add the flour mixture, heavy cream, and vanilla and then beat slowly until well incorporated, but not more than 1. minutes, or use a spatula to combine.
  7. Scoop the batter into prepared pans, using a standard size ice cream scoop.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the middle of the oven or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for one minute.
  10. Then, immediately remove the baking cups from the baking pan and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. The baked cupcakes can be stored, loosely covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days.
FOR THE FLUFF
  1. Combine the sugar, light corn syrup and water in a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer.
  2. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Once it has dissolved do not stir any longer and let it heat over a medium-low heat until the temperature reaches 240ºF (117ºC).
  4. Wipe the inside of a stainless steel standing mixer bowl and the whisk attachment with a paper towel moistened with a little lemon juice to eliminate any trace of grease.
  5. Add egg whites to standing mixer bowl and mix on low speed; as soon as it begins to foam add the 3 tablespoons of sugar, a tablespoon at a time.
  6. Beat egg white to soft peaks
  7. When syrup reaches 240ºF (117ºC), slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites, aiming for the side of the bowl, rather than the whisk.
  8. When all syrup has been added, turn the mixer to medium-high speed and whisk until the frosting becomes thick and glossy and holds a firm peak; bowl will feel slightly warm.
  9. Once frosting is ready, add the vanilla bean paste and a drop of food coloring (optional) and mix until just combined.
Notes
  1. The cupcake batter will be very thick. If using a stand mixer use a spatula to reach the bottom of the bowl to lift any unincorporated butter left at the bottom of the bowl.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) byAugust 12018 Midnight CST.

http://
CONTEST TIMELINE
 
June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post
June 24, 2018 First Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #1)
July  1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #2)
July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST
July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #3)
August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 5, 2018 Fourth Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #4)
August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #5)
September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST
September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #6) 
September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST



Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #2

Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway

My bake along challenge began last week with Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake. You can find Manuela’s recipe and my recreation HERE. You can also view all the contestant submissions in the Woobox Gallery link at the bottom of this post.

The requirements for this week’s challenge are the same as Recipe #1; and are as follows: bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Masterpiece or Disaster” piece. The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and is also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the duration of the contest. 

*NOTE

In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for  ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.

FOR THE OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE 

RECIPE #2

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) 

Manuela's Cream Cake

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) by Manuela Kjeilen. All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com, Lise Sternersen,and created by Manuela Kjelien (unless otherwise noted).

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rule HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to each of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #2:

The second recipe is a Bløtekake (Norwegian Cream Cake) typical of a cake you would see at bakeries in Norway! Contestants can just fill it with strawberries rather than all of the fruits that I used. This is how we do cakes in Norway and I love this cake.

Manuela you’re so right! Norwegians really know how to make a delicious cake! This  beautiful cake is filled will all my favorite things: pastry cream, mascarpone whipped cream, chopped walnuts, dark chocolate, and a mixture of fresh fruits.  This fabulous recipe is perfect for any summertime gathering, but would look great at your red, white, and blue 4th of July party. I love that the American and Norwegian flags share the same colors! 

Some Thoughts on My Second Bake 

I feel more accomplished as a baker after the first challenge last week. I’ve had less anxiety about making a traditional sponge for the Norwegian Cream Cake;  yet I worry about my lack of  technique  in the decorating department.  I’ve never made a layered cake that didn’t look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa;  plus I suffer from a lack of understanding when it comes to executing the perfect slice.  

The use of acetate or plastic cake collar is a new technique for me as well. If you don’t own acetate cake collars, you can substitute with heavy plastic wrap and use large spring form pans and outer clamping ring for the adjustable cake ring step. 

This is going to be a fun bake, and I hope  you all will bake along.

So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  (NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) (see photo above), say hello to my rendition:

Cream Cake by Becka

My Rendition of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE

You’ll notice my piping on the sides of the cake are too close together, jagged, and don’t look finished where the cake top meets the piped sides. You’ll also see that the top of my cake resembles a mosaic or road map  rather than the 6 perfect triangle slices on Manuela’s cake.  My rendition of the cake is pretty, but not correct if we’re trying to replicate Manuel’s recipe. My decoration looks more like a mosaic than Manuela’s 6 perfectly piped triangles 

Rebecka's Cream Cake2

My Rendition of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE

Rebecka's Cream Cake Slice 1

Leaning Tower of  BLØTEKAKE  (NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) by Rebecka Evans

My slice is leaning to the side as it almost fell onto  the floor on its way from the cake to the plate.

Manuel’s recipe offers the option to use 8 or 9 inch springform pan or two – 3X8 – inch round baking tins, or 10 -inch springform pan. Recipes for both options are listed.  I opted to use a 10  inch springform pan to bake my sponge. I over baked the cake (again), so I had to use more orange juice on the slices to moisten them. I also used an additional 4 cups of heavy cream to make my whipped icing. Finally, I used Manuel’s Vanilla Frosting made with mascarpone. You can use your own favorite recipe for whipped icing, or you can find Manuela’s recipe HERE

I love the color and textures of this cake. The vanilla cream is the best I’ve ever made. I could eat an entire bowl of the luscious cream in one sitting. The decadent whipped cream tastes so fresh, and is the perfect cover for my mistakes despite my messy execution. My rendition of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE isn’t a “masterpiece,” but it’s not bad for my second bake. 

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) NOTES

  1. You will need a 9-inch spring form pan, parchment paper, cooking spray, a metal and plastic cake collar, and acetate film. I found the metal adjustable collar and acetate cake collars at a local baking shop.  Acetate is sold per piece in large sheets. If you don’t care to spend money on a metal adjustable cake ring, you can use the clean, dry ring from a springform pan. (You can watch Manuela’s Video HERE to get a better idea of this technique)
  2. You will need medium disposable piping bags and a Wilton 1 M piping tip.
  3. When the recipe calls for chopped dark chocolate, I used my favorite dark chocolate bar which is 70% cocoa.
  4. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”
  5. The recipe calls for 2 cups whipped cream to fill the cake. I made an additional 4 cups of whipped cream to decorate my cake using Manuela’s Mascarpone Whipped Frosting. You can find the recipe HERE
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS CHALLENGE

I have pushed myself to work outside my comfort zone and I’ve just added two more delicious recipes to my baking repertoire: Norwegian Sponge Cake and Vanilla Pastry Cream. The list keeps getting longer and my skills are growing with every delicious recipe. 

 

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE)
Serves 8
BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) Photo is Rebecka's rendition of Manuela's recipe
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 9- INCH SPRINGFORM
  2. 1 RECIPE FOR SPONGECAKE
  3. 1/3 CUP ORANGE JUICE (I used about 1 cup)
  4. 1 CUP RASPBERRY JAM
  5. 1 RECIPE VANILLA CREAM
  6. 2 CUPS WHIPPED CREAM
  7. FRESH FRUIT, STRAWBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, MANGO, BANANA
  8. 1 CUP CHOPPED DARK CHOCOLATE
  9. 1 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS (optional)
  10. FOR DECORATING
  11. 4 CUPS ADDITIONAL WHIPPED CREAM
  12. MORE FRESH FRUIT( OPTIONAL)
RECIPE FOR VANILLA PASTRY CREAM
  1. 2 CUPS (500 ML) WHOLE MILK
  2. 1- 2 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE, OR SEEDS OF ONE VANILLA POT
  3. ⅜ CUP (85 G) SUGAR
  4. 4 TABLESPOONS CORNSTARCH
  5. ¼ TEASPOON SALT
  6. 6 LARGE EGG YOLKS
  7. 3 TABLESPOONS (45 G) CHILLED UNSALTED BUTTER, CUT INTO PIECES
RECIPE FOR SPONGECAKE
  1. 6 LARGE EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  2. 1 1/4 CUPS (240 GRAM) SUPERFINE OR GRANULATED SUGAR
  3. 1 TABLESPOON BUTTERMILK OR WATER
  4. 1 1/2 CUPS (180 GRAM) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  5. 1/2 CUPS (60 GRAM) CORN STARCH, OR POTATO STARCH, SIFTED
  6. 1 TEASPOON VANILLA BEAN PASTE
  7. NORWEGIAN SPONGE CAKE ( IF BAKED SEPARATE IN 3 X 8 -INCH BAKING ROUND BAKING TINS) OR IN A 10 INCH SPRINGFORM
  8. 8 LARGE EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  9. 1 2/3 CUPS (325 GRAM) SUPERFINE OR GRANULATED SUGAR
  10. 2 TABLESPOONS BUTTERMILK OR WATER
  11. 2 CUPS (240 GRAM) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  12. 2/3 CUPS (80 GRAM) CORN STARCH, OR POTATO STARCH, SIFTED
  13. 1-2 TEASPOON VANILLA BEAN PASTE
Instructions
  1. Start by making the vanilla cream some hours before and put it in the fridge
FOR VANILLA PASTRY CREAM
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and vanilla bean paste, stirring occasionally, until the milk is hot but not boiling
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  3. Whisk in yolks all at once until light and fluffy and batter reaches the ribbon stage.
  4. As you continue whisking, slowly add one-third of the hot milk to the yolk mixture to temper the egg yolks.
  5. Whisk in remaining milk into yolks and return entire mixture to saucepan.
  6. Place over medium heat and whisk frequently until the mixture begins to boil.
  7. Whisk the mixture vigorously for 2 minutes, while boiling, until the cornstarch dissolves completely.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat.
  9. Strain the vanilla cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
  10. Whisk in the butter.
  11. With a silicon, spatula spread the vanilla cream to a thin layer on a small baking sheet.
  12. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the vanilla cream.
  13. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours.
  14. When ready to use, loosen the cream with a spatula or whisk.
  15. Pastry cream should be refrigerated and used within 3 days of making.
FOR SPONGECAKE
  1. Make the sponge cake in a 24 cm or 25 cm ( 9-inch or 10-inch springform)
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease the bottom of three 8– inch (20 cm) round cake pans and line with parchment paper; Or if you prefer you can use an 8-inch spring-form pan line bottom with parchment paper and spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift the flour and cornstarch or if you use potato starch, and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on low-medium speed for 1 minute.
  5. Increase the speed to medium, and continue beating for 5 minutes.
  6. Add water or buttermilk and beat for another 1-5 minutes on medium-high speed.
  7. Add vanilla bean paste, and beat for one minute more.
  8. The batter should be very thick. When the whisk is lifted, the batter should ribbon from it back into the batter in the bowl.
  9. Pour the batter into a large wide bowl.
  10. Sift in half the flour mixture. Use a large silicone spatula to stir and fold until only a few streaks of flour are visible.
  11. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Make sure to maintain the batter’s volume while folding;
  12. it is important to not deflate the batter.
  13. Pour the batter into the prepared pan or pans using a spatula to distribute batter evenly.
BAKING TIME AND ASSEMBLE
  1. 20 minutes → 3 x 8-inch pans, always check with a cake tester
  2. 30 minutes for → One springform 9-inch (24cm), always check with a cake tester
  3. Bake the first two cakes on the middle rack of oven until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs
  4. Let the cakes cool in the pan on wire racks for 10 minutes.
  5. Use a knife to loosen the sides of the cakes and carefully turn them onto wire racks. Peel off the parchment paper and let cool completely.
  6. Use a sharp knife and scrape away any dark crust on the sides, optional
  7. If you baked this cake in one springform, Cut the cake into 3 even layers.
  8. Place the first cake layer on a silicon mat or parchment paper and place it on a baking sheet that fits into a fridge!
  9. Drizzle the first cake layer with some orange juice, or milk.
  10. Add raspberry jam, use one with a good quality ( homemade = best) with an offset spatula just spread it all over the first cake layer.
  11. Add the vanilla cream, and spread it all out on the first layer.
  12. Add whipped cream, with an offset spatula spread it all over the cake layer.
  13. Add chopped dark chocolate and walnuts.
  14. And add fruit of your choice, I used mango, banana, strawberries, raspberries.
  15. Add a little more cream on top, so the next cake layer stays in place.
  16. Place the second layer on top, If you have packed your cake with loads of yumminess, it might come out on the side.
  17. If that happens just take your offset spatula and lift the cake layer and push it in the cake.
  18. Repeat the same thing as the first cake layer.
  19. Put a cake collar ( that´s a plastic film for assembling cakes used inside the cake ring, and place a cake ring around the cake.
  20. Add the last layer, leave it in the fridge some hours to firm up.
  21. Decorate the cake with some more whipped cream and if you wish to decorate the top with some more fresh fruit!
  22. Hope you are going to love it, with love from Norway.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece and post a photo of your completed dish to the Woobox link below by July 15, 2018 Midnight CST.

http://

For a list of 6 handpicked recipes and the Official Rules click HERE

CONTEST TIMELINE:
 
June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post
June 24, 2018 First recipe in the series (Recipe #1)
July  1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series (Recipe #2)
July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST
July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series (Recipe #3)
August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 5, 2018 Fourth recipe in the series (Recipe #4)
August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series (Recipe #5)
September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST
September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series (Recipe #6)
September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST



IMPOSSIBLE Shepard’s Pie with Puff Pastry Lattice – Chef’s Roll Challenge

Make it POSSIBLE with IMPOSSIBLE Burger  – Chef’s Roll Challenge

Shepard’s Pie with Puff Pastry Lattice

IMPOSSIBLE BURGER Shepard's Pie

Chef’s Roll teamed up with Impossible Foods to give its members an opportunity to be [a part of] cutting-edge culinary progress. [One hundred] chefs were shipped Impossible Food’s groundbreaking plant-based meat in order to show off its limitless possibilities.”  

I was lucky enough to be one of the one-hundred chefs chosen to try out the Impossible Burger. I made a delicious Shepard’s Pie with Puff Pastry Lattice, which unfortunately wasn’t chosen as a winner.

Impossible Burger Shepard's Pie Recipe

As a competitive food sport enthusiast, it’s easy to second guess everything when your dish isn’t a winner. I begin to wonder “did I style the recipe well enough,” or “did I showcase the sponsors product clearly?” I always ask myself, “what could I have done differently to have my recipe chosen as a finalist or winner of this challenge?”  This recipe was no different, and I honestly don’t think I showcased the product well enough this time. Regardless I’m happy that even though my recipe wasn’t picked,  I had the honor of testing this crazy-good product. It actually looks and tastes like “real” beef. 

Making a Better Burger

A core part of our mission is to make delicious meat sustainably — bypassing animals and making it directly from plants. We’ve spent more than six years studying animal meat at the molecular level to discover how it “works”–-how it handles and cooks, and especially how it produces the flavors and textures people love.

Our first product, the Impossible Burger, uses 75% less water, generates 87% less greenhouse gases, requires 95% less land and 100% fewer cows. It delivers the same protein and iron as a burger made from a cow — but its protein comes entirely from plants, and it’s produced without the use of hormones or antibiotics, does not create a reservoir for dangerous pathogens, and contains no cholesterol or slaughterhouse contaminants. If everyone who eats beef burgers today chose Impossible Burgers instead, the positive impact on our planet and global health would be profound.

But some people have asked us if the Impossible Burger is too similar to a burger from cows. They wonder whether people who regularly eat our burger might experience the same long-term health risks associated with a diet rich in red meat from mammals.

We are confident the answer is no. And here’s why…Click HERE  for the rest of the article


Impossible Burger

I opened my package of Impossible Burger and gave it a thorough inspection. I was skeptical about its “meat like” appearance. The product smelled less like beef and more like plants; which is expected since its 100% plant-based product. I wondered how a carnivore like me could stomach cooking the stuff, and what I found surprised me. 

At first touch I was skeptical of the texture of  Impossible Burger, but then I thought to myself: raw meat is really no different than this stuff.” It’s funny how our minds trick us when we are trying something new.

Since this was my first time using the Impossible Heme Plant-Based Burger, I wanted to make an everyday meal to see how closely the product mimics real burger. I decided on one of my family’s favorites meals – Shepard’s Pie with Puff Pastry Lattice. It’s very rare for this carnivore to find a meat substitute that’s worth eating, but after tasting the product that changed. I was blown away by the consistency and flavor of the Impossible Burger; not to mention the beautiful caramelization during the browning process. My mind was blown by the authentic flavor of the Impossible Burger.

Impossible Shepard’s Pie with Puff Pastry Lattice
Serves 4
Since this is my first time using the IMPOSSIBLE Heme plant based burger, I wanted to make an "everyday meal" to see how closely the product mimics " real" burger. I decided on one of my family’s favorites meals... Shepard’s Pie with Puff Pastry Lattice. It's very rare for this carnivore to find a meat substitute that's worth eating but today that reality changed. I was blown away by the consistency and flavor of the IMPOSSIBLY Burger not to mention, the beautiful caramelization during the browning process. My mind was blown by the authentic flavor of the IMPOSSIBLE Burger.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry
  2. 2 pounds ground IMPOSSIBLE Burger
  3. 1 onion, medium chopped
  4. 1 carrot, medium chopped
  5. 1 red pepper, medium chopped
  6. 2 celery stalks, medium chopped
  7. 5 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 1 8-ounce package baby Bella mushrooms, stems removed, and sliced
  9. 1/4 cup flour
  10. 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  11. 3 1/2 cup chicken stock, divided (substitute vegetable stock)
  12. 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
  13. 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  14. 10 small potatoes, sliced
  15. 1 12-ounce bag frozen peas
  16. 1 egg, (egg wash, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons water)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven 425
  2. In a large sauce pan brown 2 pounds IMPOSSIBLE Burger in 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat
  3. Remove meat from pan and set aside on a plate
  4. Add 2 tablespoon butter to pan and sauté, carrots, onions, garlic, mushrooms, red pepper and celery for 8 minutes or until vegetables are just softened. Season with pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  5. Make a roux. Heat butter in a small sauce pan add. Cook stirring for 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside
  6. Add 2 cups chicken stock, sliced potatoes, and herbs to the cooked vegetable mixture. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add roux and stir until mixture is thickened.
  7. Butter 2-9-inch baking dishes or a cast iron pan. Equally divide cooked IMPOSSIBLE Burger into the bottom of prepared baking dishes.
  8. Spoon equal amounts of the thickened vegetable mixture over the IMPOSSIBLE Burger. Divided peas equally and sprinkle over vegetable layer. Pour 1/2 cup chicken stock into each pie dish for added moisture.
  9. Cut puff pastry into 1/2 inch strips. Create a lattice over the pie by adding 5 strips of puff pastry about 1 inch apart on top of the pie filling, horizontally. Add 3-4 more strips vertically alternating pieces to create lattice by peeling back the 2nd and 4th strips first, then peel back 1st, 3rd, and 5th, strips and add another strip of pastry. Continue until lattice is complete.
  10. In a small bowl whisk 1 egg and 2 tablespoons water for egg wash. Brush puff pastry with egg wash and bake at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until pasty is golden brown.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
IMPOSSIBLE BURGER Shepard's Pie

 

To see the contest winning recipes click HERE




Chicken Egg Foo Yung Recipe

Chicken Egg Foo Yung is one of my favorite comfort foods and a dish my mother made regularly when I was growing up. I get cravings for this savory meal and because of its versatility and easy preparation, I eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Chicken Egg Foo Yung

In my opinion, Egg Foo Yung is not complete without the signature savory gravy!

The sumptuous brown gravy has a silky texture and rounds out the flavor profile of this tasty meal. Most recipes call for vinegar in the gravy but I omit it; the flavor is just too strong for my liking. 

Chicken Egg Foo Yung

 

Chicken Egg Foo Yung
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 boneless chicken breast (sliced thinly)
  2. 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  3. 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  4. 1 garlic clove (minced)
  5. 1 green onion (white part only)
  6. 1/4 cup shaved carrot
  7. 2 cups bean sprouts
  8. 1 medium onion (sliced thin)
  9. 1 can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
  10. 6 large eggs
  11. 3 Tablespoon vegetable oil (divided)
  12. 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper (to taste)
  13. 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
FOR THE GRAVY
  1. ¼ cup soy sauce
  2. ¼ cup chicken stock
  3. 2 Tablespoon Oyster sauce
  4. ¼ cup cornstarch
Instructions
  1. Marinate chicken in 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, 1 garlic clove, and minced green onion, white part only. Rest for 5 minutes in marinade.
  2. Slice onion thinly
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs till fluffy. Add to the bowl, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, carrot, onion, drained and sliced water chestnuts, and bean sprouts. Toss to combine
  4. Heat a wok on medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to wok. Cooked chicken until done. Remove from wok and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Add chicken to vegetable and egg mixture and toss to combine.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok. Place a scoop of egg foo yung mixture in the hot wok and cook for 2 minutes on one side. Flip and continue cooking until egg is set, about 2-3 minutes more. Continue until all mixture is made into pancakes.
To Make the Gravy
  1. In a small mixing bowl combine, soy sauce, chicken stock, oyster sauce and ¼ cup cornstarch. Whisk to combine. Pour ingredients into the wok and cook over medium heat until thick. Add salt pepper to taste. If mixture is too thick, add 1 tablespoon water at a time until desired consistency is reached.
To Serve
  1. Drizzle hot gravy over the cooked Egg Foo Yung. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onion tops. Enjoy this meal with steamed rice.
Adapted from Anne Stone (my moms recipe)
Adapted from Anne Stone (my moms recipe)
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 


Egg Foo Yung

 

I posted my recipe for Egg Foo Young with Brussel Sprouts and leftover pork last year. If you’re wondering why the dish doesn’t look like the traditional Chinese style pancakes, I’m was recovering from shoulder surgery. As it turns out, flipping a full size omelet shaped breakfast with the use of only one good arm is more difficult than I expected. The final dish was delicious, but looks more like an Egg Foo Yung scramble.

I had a few Brussels sprouts in the fridge, so I threw them in, adding a wonderful crunch and delicious Brussels sprouts flavor. Some Minced Chicken and Pork Egg Rolls would be delicious served with this meal. 

Minced Chicken and Pork Egg Rolls




Press Release: Oregon State Fair – Award winning home cook, ‘Rebecka Evans

Oregon State Fair-Red Beet Risotto with Hazelnut Encrusted Goat Cheese

Media Press Release: Look who will be at the Oregon State Fair in four weeks doing a cooking demonstration…- 

Food network Clash of the Grandmas

Food Network Clash of the Grandmas Photo courtesy of Food Network

Come visit the Explore Oregon Stage in the Columbia Hall building on September 4th, 2017 and watch as Rebecka shares about her Rose Petal Jelly and makes a stunning dish, RED BEET RISOTTO with HAZELNUT ENCRUSTED GOAT CHEESE

Rebecka Evans is an award-winning home cook, food blogger, and an avid food and nature photographer. Rebecka lives in the Houston suburb of Pearland and is happily married to her sweet husband Blake. Blessed with five children, this proud “Papa and Gamma” also have four beautiful granddaughters, and one grandson. Rebecka began entering food competitions at the age of twenty-five and began her food blogging journey seven years ago on her website athomewithrebecka.com. Rebecka will be returing to WFC 2017 as the newest memeber of Team Saucy Mama after winning First Place in the Elite Qualifyer Sponsored by Barhyte Foods; and will be competing in the Bacon catagory. Rebecka recently won Food Network’s Clash of the Grandmas “Home Sweet Grandma,” taking home her largest cash prize of $10,000. Rebecka is also the winner of the Gilroy Garlic Recipe Cook-Off, taking 1st Place at Gilroy Garlic Festival 2016 with her Garlic Goat Cheese and Bacon Soufflés. Total cash prize $5000.00 and the coveted Gilroy Garlic Crown! Rebecka holds the title of 4th Place Bacon World Food Championship 2015 and is the First Place winner of the 2015 World Food Championships Blogger Summit “Food Fight Write!” Total cash prizes equaling $3000.00 World Food Championships Food Network Saucy Mama

The Oregon State Fair is rated 8th in the Country by Huffington Post. It will be such a joy to experience it in person. Stay Tuned for my updated recipe for Red Beet Risotto with Hazelnut Encrusted Goat Cheese featuring locally sourced produce, goat cheese, hazelnuts, and Saucy Mama’s Champagne Honey Mustard. If you can’t wait to make the recipe check out this one: Red Beet Risotto with Grilled Chicken and Roasted Vegetables 




Jibarito (hee-bah-ree-to) with Flatiron Steak, Bacon Jam and Spicy Hot Sauce Sandwich-RECIPE #2

Jibarito is a Puerto Rican style sandwich, made with flattened, fried green plantains instead of bread. This Jibarito sandwich recipe is packed with flatiron steak, bacon jam, and spicy hot sauce!

 

Jibarito (hee-bah-ree-to) with Flatiron Steak, Bacon Jam and Spicy Hot Sauce Sandwich-RECIPE #2

Saucy Mama 2016 logo
The Submission Window is now OPEN for the Saucy Mama’s 2016 Recipe Contest. Hosted by Barhyte foods a PREFERRED QUALIFYING EVENT for the World Food Championships.

Pendleton, Ore. (March 3, 2016)- Barhyte Specialty Foods is excited to announce the creation of “Team Saucy Mama”, which will be competing at the 2016 World Food Championships (WFC) in November in Orange Beach, Alabama. The team is made up of some of the most extraordinary home cooks in the US, and each one is striving to compete in the Final Table at WFC, where one person is crowned World Food Champion and receives a $100,000 grand prize.

Saucy Mama has offered three competitor spots on the team. Two of these spots are already claimed, as last year’s WFC Saucy Mama competitors earned their way to the Top 10 round and were prequalified to compete again this year.

Only one spot remains on Team Saucy Mama with 25 of the Sauciest home-cooks are vying for coveted LAST SPOT!

Thank you TEAM SAUCY MAMA for choosing me I as one of the top 25 to compete for the LAST SPOT!!!

So what does the Saucy Mama Recipe Contest champion win?

  • A World Food Championship Golden Ticket
  • WFC registration and entry fees paid for 2016 WFC
  • $1000 Travel Stipend: for WFC expenses (Nov. 8-15)
  • $200 Spending Cash: to have FUN in Orange Beach Alabama

Most importantly…a First Place win with Team Saucy Mama offers home-cooks like myself, the ability to vie for cash prize(s) to offset the cost associated with Food Sport. Thank goodness for Sponsors that offer WFC Preferred Qualifier Contests!!

In addition to competing for a place on Team Saucy Mama, Team Just A Pinch has invited me to return to represent them at the 2016 Bacon World Food Championships, in Orange Beach, AL. They have offered to pay my entry fees as a result of my 4th place win in last years competition ($300.00). Thank you Just A Pinch!!

Since I’m competing in the Bacon Category again this November, you’ll notice a BACON recipe theme throughout all of my WFC Contest recipe submissions.

Jibarito Flatiron Steak Sandwich

Jibarito Flatiron Steak Spicy Sauce

My SECOND recipe submission for the coveted LAST SPOT on Team Saucy Mama…

Jibarito (hee-bah-ree-to) with Flatiron Steak, Bacon Jam and Spicy Hot Sauce Sandwich

Category: BACON or STEAK

The jibarito (pronounced hee-bah-ree-to), is a Puerto Rican style sandwich made with flattened, fried green plantains instead of bread. Traditionally served with garlic-flavored mayonnaise, and a filling that typically includes meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato. The original jibarito had steak filling, and that remains the usual variety, but other ingredients, such as chicken and pork, are common. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

Jibarito Smash1

Making Plantains for Jibarito Sandwich

My version of the Jibarito utilizes three (3) Saucy Mama products that make this bread-less sandwich, a mouthful of amazing!

  1. Saucy Mama Backyard Brat mustard adds delicious grainy kick to the delectable bacon jam.
  2. Orange Habanero Wing Sauce is combined with
  3. Lime Chipotle Marinade to act not only as the Flatiron Steak marinade, but to build a super flavorful spicy hot sauce for the final touch!

This Jibarito is the BEST sandwich creation I’ve ever made or tasted!! I hope you like it as much as I do!!

History of the Jibarito

Chicago restaurateur Juan “Peter” Figueroa introduced the jibarito at Borinquen Restaurant, a Puerto Rican restaurant in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, in 1996, after reading about a Puerto Rican sandwich substituting plantains for bread. The name is a diminutive of Jíbaro and means “little yokel”.

The sandwich’s popularity soon spread to other Latin-American restaurants around Chicago, including Mexican, Cuban and Argentinian establishments, and jibaritos now can be found in some mainstream eateries as well.

Related sandwiches
Other Latin American sandwiches served on fried plantains predate the jibarito. They include a Colombian cuisine specialty called a patacones and a 1991 invention by Jorge Muñoz and Coquí Feliciano served at their restaurant, Plátano Loco, in Aguada, Puerto Rico. Source: Wikipedia

Jibarito Flatiron Steak with Spicy Sauce

smashed plantains for a Jibarito

Jibarito (hee-bah-ree-to) with Flatiron Steak, Bacon Jam and Spicy Hot Sauce
Serves 2
The jibarito (pronounced hee-bah-ree-to), is a sandwich Puerto Rican Style sandwich made with flattened, fried green plantains instead of bread, garlic-flavored mayonnaise, and a filling that typically includes meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato. The original jibarito had a steak filling, and that remains the usual variety, but other ingredients, such as chicken and pork, are common. It's difficult to take a traditional comfort food from any country and make it better than the original but that's exactly what happened with this recipe creation. This is the BEST sandwich creation I’ve ever made or tasted!! Three (3) Saucy Mama products take this dish over the top with flavor and style. Saucy Mama Backyard Brat Mustard adds a super grainy mustard kick to the delectable bacon jam. Orange Habanero Wing Sauce is combined with Lime Chipotle Marinade act not only as the Flatiron Steak marinade but build a super flavorful spicy hot sauce for the final touch.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
RECIPE INGREDIENTS
  1. 2 green plantains
  2. 1/4 cup coconut oil
  3. ¼ cup vegetable or peanut oil
  4. 1/2 pound of Flatiron Steak, marinated and Grilled (cut very thin sliced)
  5. 1/2 red onion
  6. 1/2 tsp. salt
  7. 1/2 tsp. pepper
  8. 1/2 tsp garlic (or to taste)
  9. 1/2 avocado
  10. sliced tomato
  11. lettuce
  12. 1 bunch cilantro
  13. ¼ cup cotija cheese
MARINADE
  1. ¼ cup Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Wing Sauce
  2. ¼ cup Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade
  3. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  4. ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  5. Juice from 1 whole lime
  6. ¼ cup olive oil
  7. Salt and Pepper
  8. 1 tablespoon Chopped fresh cilantro
BACON JAM
  1. 5 slices thick cut bacon (about ¼ pound)
  2. 1 medium white onion, sliced thinly
  3. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  4. 1 heaping tablespoon Saucy Mama Backyard Brat Mustard
  5. 2 tablespoon water
SPICY HOT SAUCE
  1. ¼ cup hot water
  2. ¼ cup butter
  3. ¼ cup Saucy Mama Habanero Wing Sauce
  4. ¼ cup Saucy Mama Chipotle Marinade
  5. Reserved marinade (from what is left after marinating the steak
Instructions
  1. MEAT
  2. Season Flatiron steak with marinade, for at least 15 minutes at room temperature. Can be marinated overnight. (While steak is marinating, make plantains) Remove meat from marinade and cook on hot grill until medium rare. Rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing very thinly.
  3. Be sure to reserve leftover marinade from meat for sauce!
  4. PLANTAINS
  5. Heat up the mixture of coconut and vegetable oil in a medium pan, temperature staying around 325 degrees. Peel your plantains by scoring each side lengthwise, to the flesh with a sharp knife. Plantains are very forgiving so don’t worry if you cut into the flesh. Cut them in half, and add them to the hot oil. (If making mini’s cut plantains in half again) Fry until they are golden yellow, about 2-4 minutes on each side. (greener plantains take a little longer to get soft but are better for the recipe) Using tongs, flip and move plantains around. Press the to see if it is soft enough to “smash”. If the plantain isn’t budging, leave in for a little longer. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.
  6. Place plantains on a cutting board or flat surface. With a second cutting board, (I used a heavy cast iron skillet) push down on the plantains to flatten them. You can make them as thick or thin as you would like, but if you make them too thin… they may fall apart (1 /4 to 1/2 an inch thick) Once flattened, place plantains back into the hot oil to fry 2-4 minutes on each side. Once they start to brown, use tongs to remove plantains from the oil and place on paper towels to drain oil. For a super crispy plantain, cook longer.
BACON JAM
  1. In a medium cast iron pan, cook 5 slices bacon till crisp. Remove bacon to plate and crumble or chop, reserve for later. Sauté sliced onions over medium heat in bacon fat until caramelized (about 10 minutes) add brown sugar, Saucy Mama Backyard Brat Mustard and cook for 5 minuets. Add 2 tablespoons hot water and return cooked bacon to pan. Cook additional 3-5 minutes until very thick. Remove bacon jam from pan and set aside until ready to use.
SPICY HOT SAUCE
  1. Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup water, scrapping all the browned bits from the pan. Add leftover marinade, ¼ cup Orange Habanero Wing Sauce, ¼ cup Chipotle Lime Marinade, ¼ cup butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  2. MAKE THE JIBARITO
  3. Place the cooled plantains on a plate, spread each with bacon jam.
  4. Layer plantains with slices of thin cooked meat, onions, tomatoes, Avocado, cilantro and lettuce. Drizzle Spicy Hot Sauce over the top. Sprinkle crumbled Cotija cheese over each sandwich and top off with another slice of plantain to make sandwich.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

jibarito...need one NOW!!

Jibarito…need one NOW!!




Campground Skillet Mexican Lasagna with Creamy Salsa -Del Real Foods Recipe Challenge 2016

Campground Skillet Mexican Lasagna with Creamy Salsa is a delicious Mexican recipe, cooked in a campground skillet with a variety of Del Real food ingredients.

Campground Skillet Mexican Lasagna with Creamy Salsa is a delicious Mexican recipe, cooked in a campground skillet with a variety of Del Real food ingredients.

Campground Skillet-Mexican Lasagna with Creamy Salsa

Del Real Foods Recipe Challenge 2016

‘Best Outdoor’  by Rebecka Evans

I’m competing in a non-voting challenge however, your comments and votes are always welcome. Check out my recipe on the Del Real Foods Contest page.

Del Real Foods convenient heat-and-serve dishes are the perfect solution for making delicious Campground Skillet recipes. Using a variety of my favorite Del Real Food Products, I pre-make three or four Campground Skillet Mexican Lasagnas to feed my family and friends.

The campground skillet Mexican lasagna is a delicious, authentic Mexican dish that can be cooked over an open fire or gas grill, and ready to eat in a matter of minutes. 

Taking only minutes to prepare, the authentic Mexican flavors hit the spot when cooking and eating by the campfire.  Del Real pre-cooked foods make cooking for your hungry campers a cinch and require only 30 minutes to bake to perfection

Once plans are set for camping, I get busy preparing the skillet(s) and freeze them for easy food packing. The frozen block-meals help in keeping other food(s) cold and can be kept safely in the cooler filled with ice, for up to two days before cooking.

Not going camping?

Enjoy Campground Skillet Mexican Lasagna with Creamy Salsa any night of the year prepared in your backyard grill or home oven.

My favorite part…the variety of skillet(s) are endless when cooking with Del Real Foods; just add fresh eggs to any skillet right before baking on the campfire and you have a delicious Mexican breakfast! 

blogger-recipe-banner-image2016

Photo courtesy of Del Real Foods

Bloggers enter today! Del Real Foods is looking for the best tasting recipes made with our product as the base ingredient. Sign up today for a chance to win. Multiple recipe categories give you more chances to win.

We’re looking for recipes in the following categories ‘Best Kid-Friendly’ and ‘Best Outdoor’. All recipes will be judged on the following three criteria: best tasting, creativity and convenience to prepare. To determine a winner in each category, finalist’s recipes will be prepared, tasted and voted on internally by the Del Real Foods family and executive team.

Only the ‘Top Voted Recipe’ will be chosen by fans. To ensure you get as many votes as possible, you will be required to share the voting page link on your social media channels to encourage your followers to vote for your recipe.

There will be one winner per category (Best Outdoor, Best Kid-Friendly and Top Voted), totaling three total winners. Individuals may vote for one recipe, per day and must have a Facebook account in order for the vote to validate.
As a reminder, the ‘Top Voted Recipe’ is only one of the three different categories, therefore there’s multiple chances to win.  Last day to vote: June 5th, 2016 at 11:59 PM PST Hashtag: #BloggerRecipeChallenge2016

Campground Skillet Mexican Lasagna with Creamy Salsa

Campground Skillet Mexican Lasagna with Creamy Salsa
Serves 6
Prepare three or four lasagnas for your next camping trip using your favorite Del Real Food Products. Make them several weeks ahead and freeze for easy camping storage and food packing. The flavors are a perfect harmony any night of the year and can also be prepared in your backyard grill or home oven. Del Real pre-cooked foods make cooking for your hungry campers a cinch and require only 30 minutes to bake to perfection.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. Cooking Spray
  2. 1 24 ounce package Del Real Arroz Rice with Vegetables
  3. 1 24 ounce package Del Real Shredded Chicken
  4. 1 16-ounce container Del Real Fire Roasted Red Salsa
  5. 1 16-ounce container Del Real Fire Roasted Green Salsa
  6. 1 large package corn tortillas
  7. 4 ounces’ cream cheese
  8. 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  9. 12-ounce package shredded Mexican style cheese
  10. 1 ½ -2 cups chicken stock
  11. 1 large tomato, chopped
  12. 1 avocado, chopped
  13. 1 small bunch fresh cilantro
  14. 1 lime, sliced
  15. ½ cup Mexican crumbly white cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat gas grill to 400 degrees F. (or cook over red hot campfire coals)
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine both salsas and 4 ounces of cream cheese. Using an immersion blender, blend well until the cheese is well incorporated and smooth.
  3. Prepare a cast iron skillet: lay two sheet of aluminum foil in a cross pattern into the cast iron skillet, pressing down into the bottom of the pan. Cut a large piece of parchment paper and lay over the foil, pressing down (parchment won’t stay in place until the chips are in the bottom).
  4. Spray both the parchment and foil with cooking spray and lay crumbled tortilla chips into the bottom of the pan. You should have a lot of excess foil and parchment hanging over the edge; this is good since we will be folding the foil over to make a package.
  5. Begin making the dish by layering corn tortillas over the crumbled chips, overlapping to ensure a good base/layer. Add ½ cup rice (Arroz) to the bottom layer, then about ¼ cup shredded cheese. Top this layer with about 1 cup creamy salsa.
  6. Top the rice and cheese layer with more corn tortillas to make the next layer.
  7. Add about ½ the bag of Del Real shredded chicken and top with more cheese and 1/4 cup creamy salsa.
  8. Once more, add corn tortillas to create the next layer.
  9. Add the remaining rice, chicken and its juices, and ¼ cup creamy salsa to this layer. Pour 1 ½ - 2 cups chicken broth over the entire surface of the dish. Broth will fill into the cracks and up to the sides of the skillet.
  10. Top the lasagna with a final layer of corn tortillas and remaining shredded cheese.
  11. Fold the foil and parchment over the ingredients to make a package/cover. If you have a cast iron lid, place lid on lasagna and bake in hot grill for 30 minutes.
Notes
  1. For best results: Preheat gas grill to 400 degrees F. Place covered dish on the main rack and lower the grill lid. DO NOT OPEN the grill for 30 minutes. If cooking over campfire coals: Ready the coals to red hot. Place a grate over the coals and cook the dish covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid to test for doneness. A Dutch oven is a great option for making this dish over a camp fire. Add hot coals to the top of the Dutch oven for even and faster cooking time.
  2. Garnish Mexican Lasagna with chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado, cilantro, a squeeze of lime and crumbled Mexican white cheese.
  3. Serve Mexican Lasagna with remaining creamy salsa and corn chips
  4. NOTES: This recipe is great when camping. It can be made several weeks ahead and frozen for easy storage and food packing.
How to Freeze
  1. Once you’ve layered your lasagnas and get them all tucked into the foil package, gently remove the package from the skillet and place in a gallon size zip baggie. Seal the baggie and freeze on a flat surface. The lasagnas will hold their shape and can be placed back into the cast iron skillet for cooking over the campfire, or on a gas grill. Just be sure to allow the pre-made/frozen lasagnas to come to room temperature before cooking to ensure 30-minute cook time.
  2. Prepare three or four lasagnas using your favorite Del Real products for a variety of pre-made campground dinners. I make recipes with beans, pork carnitas and flour tortillas as well as, a vegetarian selection for the non-meat eaters.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Campground Skillet Mexican Lasagna with Creamy Salsa

Campground Skillet Mexican Lasagna with Creamy Salsa in pan

Link to vote: www.delrealfoods.com/voting

Campground Skillet Mexican Lasagna with Creamy Salsa




New Blog Design and Header!!

Thanks to my fellow food blogger and voiceBoks friend, Matthew Peregoy, I’m sporting a new blog header!  RMD is the owner of two blogs; The Real Matt Daddy (Blog), Matt Daddy’s Kitchen (Recipes)and contibuter for 12 Most (Contributor) and Daddy’s Home (Blogger).

About Matt:

My name is Matt, and I live with my family in Gettysburg, PA. I have given up my 70 hour work weeks as a manager for a national retailer to be a stay at home dad for my little girl. I am married to a wonderful wife who trusts me enough to give this experiment a try while she goes back to work full time. My goals for this site are to share the good, the bad, and the hilarious things that will occur while I become The Real Matt Daddy.

This stay at home dad has been gracious enough to design my new header and blog badge while maintaining his Daddy duties. I’m so pleased with the design and believe this could be a bright beginning of a new home business; “The Real Matt Daddy’s Blog Designs!”

Matt captured the real essence of my blog content as well as my blog new blog slogan! …” A Culinary Journey of Comfort and Style”…! Love it!!

Stop by and take a peek at The Real Matt Daddy Blogs and leave a comment to let him know you were there. 

My Sincerest Thanks,
Rebecka




Santa Hot Chocolate 2011



 

I’m re-posting this recipe to send good cheer to all my faithful readers this Christmas Season! Surprisingly, this post has been my most visited over the past year.
 
SANTA HOT CHOCOLATE with Cinnamon Cream

This recipe is highly classified!! Be warned…it is the REAL DEAL!

Santa Hot Chocolate
Santa Hot Chocolate 2011
 
Santa Hot Chocolate 2010
 
 
During the Christmas Season my family enjoys a rich and diverse set of Holiday traditions and almost all of them involve food! Santa Hot Chocolate is at the top of the list!
 
This perfect cup of sipping chocolate is served to Santa by his beautiful wife Mrs. Clause, right before he heads out on his sleigh Christmas Eve. Pumped high with adrenaline and coco flavonol, Santa sets out into the night to deliver toys to good little girls and boys.

Santa Hot Chocolate is filled with magic and can turn any Grinch into a cuddly teddy bear!

Now you might ask how I came by this classified recipe….

On a strict diet of candy canes and hot chocolate, there was one tiny elf willing to give up the recipe just to get a Big Mac, biggie sized meal with a giant cup of Coke! It’s not pretty, but everyone has their price!!

Santa Hot Chocolate Recipe

Santa has a very special mug from which he drinks this magical concoction. His body is accustom to the heavy dose of Christmas Spirit held in each mug, so he is able to drink large quantities in just one sitting.   On the other hand, mere mortals such as ourselves must take the chocolate richness in smaller doses.

There’s a certain etiquette that must be followed when drinking Santa Hot Chocolate.  Then and only then, will the magic happen.

  1. Use the correct size cup and saucer…period!! Only 4-ounce cup(s) and a matching saucer will do. The cuter they are, the more magic will imbibe! (Above, you’ll see my youngest daughters set of sipping cups. Both of my daughters received they’re  own set of sipping cups to carry this magical tradition into the next generations; a time-honored right of passage in our family).
  2. Only a cinnamon stick or candy cane can be used to stir the chocolate, this is where the magic begins…
  3. NEVER gulp or “shoot” the chocolate!!  It is very dangerous to someone not accustom to the REAL DEAL!! Sip the chocolate like a fine aged brandy, and linger….in the perfect moment of Christmas cheer!


Recipe:


2 cups table cream (1/2 & 1/2)

1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (I use Dove but any good brand will suffice)
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
2 sticks cinnamon or 1 teaspoon ground (extra for garnish)
pinch sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
In a heavy sauce pan heat table cream and 1 cup whipping cream on medium heat, bring to a simmer, do not boil.  Stir in 1/2 cup sugar until dissolved, add the cocoa powder and whisk until mixed thoroughly, add the chocolate chips and stir until melted, add salt and 2 cinnamon sticks and simmer for 5 minutes.

Cinnamon Cream

Using remaining 1/2 cup heavy whip cream, blend with a hand mixer until whipped into soft peaks, add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon, vanilla and stir

Serve chocolate in sipping cups with a cinnamon or peppermint stick for stirring, add a small dollop of cinnamon cream and powdered cinnamon over the top…

Finally, be ready for a magical experience!!

Santa Hot Chocolate Recipe At Home with Rebecka


♥I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year♥