Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trials and the Errors of My Ways

Creating any new dish or desert is definitely Trial and Error.  I found a yummy looking recipe for my Christmas treats on a blog with a similar title.  Cream Mints, the kind you find at weddings, baby showers, etc.  I really LOVE those things.  So of course I had to add them to my list of “to-do.”  Today was that day.  I read the recipe three times, went back to the blog, and read through the comments.  Their recipe calls for 3 Tablespoons of Cream cheese, mint extract, food coloring (optional) and 4 - 4½ CUPS of Powdered Sugar.  After just one and half cups my mixture was more of a powder…ugh, and no I didn’t take a picture of that particular disaster.  One of the comments on the blog said the commenter added a total of 3 ounces instead of Tablespoons.  So I promptly dropped the remainder of my cream cheese in my mixer, and another cup and a half of powdered sugar.  This is the consistency I was thinking when I read the blog,

I also didn’t have any superfine sugar, but being soooo ingenious I remembered that you can put regular sugar in a coffee grinder or food processor and make your own.  I also added some colored sugar so it  was pretty like the mints!

And then finally, once I QUIT eating the dough, they were done!

After taking some mints to my neighbor for testing I decided to make popcorn, using a new method, brown bag in the microwave! Sounds great right? EPIC Failure, I had a major blowout in the microwave! 

I left it in and waited for the popping to slow, bad idea, the middle somehow burned and filled my kitchen with smoke.  And to top it off I had company witness the disaster.  I will try this again, but with 1/4 cup...but I need to go get more popcorn.

After a “quick” trip to the store, and let’s face it, no trip to the store is EVER fast…I am back home, and popping popcorn in the microwave once again!  Using just a 1/4 cup this time!  And in true male fashion, my boyfriend comes in and asks “So, what’s for dinner?  Do you have a plan?” Oh yeah…dinner…um…and in a flash of brilliance I remember that pound of hamburger I have in the fridge…the mushrooms we just bought at the store.  So we are having what I’m going to call “Not a Shepherd’s Pie”. 
You will need:
Tater tots (oven bake these, don’t fry)
1 lb hamburger
8oz fresh sliced mushrooms
12 oz jar savory Beef Gravy
Minced Garlic to taste
Onion powder (or fresh chopped onions) to taste
Cheese, whatever flavor, whatever quantity makes you happy

Put Tots in the oven to bake.  In the meantime, combine mushrooms, hamburger, garlic and onion in an microwave safe dish and cook until hamburger is brown.  Drain. Add beef gravy and microwave for another 2 minutes or until gravy is hot.  

Once tots are done, put on plate or in a bowl

layer beef and mushroom mixture, 

top with cheese and enjoy!   

Hooray!  FTW!

Back to the popcorn, surprise mom!  I’m making some Cinnamon popcorn for you!!!  3/4 cups of kernels later I had enough popcorn (with un-popped kernels removed) to move on to the next step.  Mixing the ingredients, being VERY careful with the Cinnamon Oil, yes oil, you have to go to the Pharmacy and request this, it is not on the shelf.  It’s between $10-15 depending on where you get it and the quality.  It goes a long way, we have had ours just over two years, and still have PLENTY!  Click here for the recipe.
And on that note, I’m going to eat some popcorn, and get off my feet.  Tomorrow expect more wonderful desserts, and hopefully no disasters!