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Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Homemade Black Beans

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The other day my parents treated us to lunch at a trendy Mexican fusion place down town. I had butternut squash enchiladas that were to die for! I had to figure out something to recreate them.

I have also been dying to try making black beans from scratch – as in not from a can. I was getting a little discouraged making dinner thinking it wasn’t really going to be all I had thought of. But, OMG. Me and the hubs ate and ate until we were both beyond full. I don’t think we even spoke, we were so engrossed in our food.

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Homemade Black Beans

1 lb of dried black beans
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Wash and Rinse your beans. I dumped mine in a bowl and swished them around with water until the water ran clear. Let them sit in water for about five minutes and rinsed again until water ran clear.

2. Cover the beans in water and let soak 24 hours. I put a towel over the top to keep the fruit flies away.

3. Drain and rinse the beans

4. Put the beans, diced onion, chicken broth, S&P, and water into a stock pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 1-2 hours until beans are soft.

5. Once the beans are soft, remove the lid and let the excess liquid cook down. Stirring occasionally.

 

Butternut Squash Enchiladas

2T Olive Oil
1 Medium sized butternut squash
1/2 sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 can of enchilada sauce
Homemade black beans
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
Tortillas

1. Peel and cube your squash into 1″ or smaller cubes.

2. Heat up 2T of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until shimmery, add the onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant (about 3-4 minutes)

3. Add the cubed squash. Toss squash with onions and garlic and olive oil until coated, then cover pan. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is soft

4. Stir in the enchilada sauce (I only used about half the can, but you could use more for a stronger flavor). Cook until sauce has cooked down a bit a coated the squash. You’ll want to continue to cook until squash is soft, but not completely falling apart mushy.

5. Serve in corn tortillas with black beans, sour cream and shredded cheese.

 

The Verdict

So. Freaking. Delicious. There’s so much you could do with this. You could wrap em up and bake em, you could add slaw, you could serve over rice instead of tortillas. Or, just eat the beans and squash together on their own!

I think this could be easily translated to a freezer meal as well. You could freeze portions of the completed meal, or just freeze the extra raw cubed squash.

This recipe is definitely going into our favorites list.

 

Happy Pinning!

Happy Cooking!!

 

Watermelon Margaritas: Take 3

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And Watermelon Margarita Week continues!! Today’s came from a Pin that I cannot for the life of me find again. I swore I pinned it, the others are still there, this one is not.

Before you get all cray cray, I know that a margarita is tequila, and that this recipe calls for vodka. But, I wanted to try a variety of recipes, so this one made the cut!

Vodka Watermelon Margaritas

5 cups cubed watermelon

1 cup lemon/citrus vodka

1/3 cup lime juice

1 can of lemon lime sparkling water

Ice

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This blended up pretty good. The texture was a lot like Monday’s recipe.

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Here they are served up and lookin’ all frosty and inviting!

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The Verdict

Allow me to cut right to the chase. This was my least favorite so far. Hubs took a sip and said “hmm, give me a minute”. He eventually decided that he liked them because they were subtle and refreshing. I thought they lacked flavor. There was not enough lime and the sparkling water added a dryness.  After the intense sulshiness and sweetness of Tuesdays recipe, this one just left me wanting something else.

Happy Pinning!

Cheers!!!

Watermelon Margaritas – Take 2

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Yesterday we started off Watermelon Margarita Week here on Pin There Done That! One recipe a day for four days in search of the perfect frothy summer drink!

Today’s recipe was modified from this pin:

Watermelon Margaritas

Frozen Watermelon Margaritas

4 cups frozen watermelon balls/cubes

3/4 cup Tequila

1/3 cup Lime Juice

Throw it all in a blender. Doesn’t get easier than that!

You just have to remember ahead of time to freeze your watermelon. However, if you’re cutting up a big one and have extra, you could just freeze it to have on hand for future use!

 

Here’s all my ingredients:

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Throw it all in the Vita Mix

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I was very excited with how this was blending up. So thick and yummy looking.

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With the watermelon being frozen and not adding ice, you’re taking away a lot of the liquid component from what we had yesterday. This was like a restaurant style frozen margarita – but without fake flavors or added sugar!

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Poured, or rather spooned, into the glasses!

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We drank these with spoons, and it did require frequent swirling and stirring.

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The Verdict

“That’s pretty good” were the first words out of the hub’s mouth. These had more watermelon, but the same amount of tequila as yesterdays, but they tasted much stronger. I was in love with the texture. love love love. No little ice chunks to chew, just smooth yummy margarita.

Also, if you were doing other summer drinks, you can use frozen watermelon for ice cubes instead!

Watermelon Margarita | www.girlichef.com

Happy Pinning!

Cheers!!!

Watermelon Margaritas: Take 1

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We bought a watermelon from Costco. Baby has been loving eating the summer fruits and I was craving some as well. But, the watermelon was huge, and there was tons and tons. I used my melon baller to ball it all up and then thought of what I could do with it all.

And then I found this:

Wedding Signature Drink Frozen Watermelon Margarita Recipe #wedding #cocktail #watermelon #margarita

Actually, I found that and three others like it. And then I knew what I had to do. A watermelon margarita showdown. Four different days, four different ways, on a search to find the best of the best.  (And a lovely excuse for the delightful summery icey goodness)

Watermelon Margaritas

(adapted from the above recipe with a few modifications)

3 cups balled/cubed watermelon

3/4 cup Tequila

1/4 cup Lime Juice

1.5 Tbs Powdered Sugar

3 cups ice

 

Then throw it all in the blender. (Have I mentioned how much I love my VitaMix? If you don’t have one, you need one.)

 

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After a couple minutes of blending, we had this delightful pink concoction

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It was a little bit foamy. I believe this was from the powdered sugar, like they have in an Orange Julious

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And here it is poured in to two lovely glasses.

 

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The drinks started to separate pretty quickly leaving a foamy frothy top and liquid below, the two did not mix when sipping. After a few sips like this, I grabbed a spoon and gave it a swirl every now and then.

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The Verdict

Hubs and I both really enjoyed this recipe. He said “It’s a good standard margarita” , a good jumping off point. This will be our base line to compare the next few recipes to come.

I thought they had a really good flavor, the ratio of tequila to melon was good. I didn’t like that there were still some tiny ice chunks, this could possibly be resolved with a bit more blending, but I was hoping for something smoother slushier and less liquid.

 

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s recipe!

 

Happy Pinning!

Cheers!

Five Friday Favorites

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Look at me being a diligent little blogger and posting all week!! Hooray! We made it to Friday and time for some favorites!!

{1. Most Amazing Tree House Ever} Holy Moly. This makes me want to buy a house based on it having a tree in the yard so my son can have a tree house like this one.

Darling....treehouse, step by step

{2. Chocolate Cake with Basil Frosting} A Few years ago this would have made me fake gag and run the other way. Now I can’t wait to try this flavor combination!

Chocolate Cake with Basil Buttercream

{3. Lemon Meringue Pie S’mores} say WHAT?! This looks to die for

lemon meringue pie s'mores and other s'mores ideas

{4. How to download all those free fonts!} This blog offers several links to free fonts….and a tutorial on how to get them in your programs to use them!

We Lived Happily Ever After: How to Download all of those Fun Free Fonts!

{5. Backyard Bowling} Ok, now my future back yard needs a good tree, and some open flat space for this!

Build this outdoor bowling alley for your back yard to make sure you enjoy that space as much as possible. We like the idea of leaving some area in the garden clear for this!

Happy Pinning!

Happy Friday!!!

Butter Cream Frosting with a Spoon

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If you haven’t caught on yet, I love baking and decorating cakes. Love it. Pinterest is a fabulous place to find tips and tricks, tutorials, inspiration, and recipes!

I’ve been seeing this technique all over Pinterest and had just been waiting for the opportunity to try it out myself!

Tutorial: Buttercream Piping Technique Plus A Gumpaste Rose | Sweet Indulgences Cakes

What you need:

1. A crumb coated cake

2. A large batch of buttercream frosting

3. A piping bag and coupler (One per color you plan on using)

4. A Round frosting tip  (I used Wilton #12)

5. Small flat or offset spatula, or spoon

6. optional Food coloring/gel

7. Patience :)

Method:

Start by dividing your frosting into equal portions for however many colors you plan on having. I chose to use 4 shades of blue and white to create an obmre effect.

Tint your frosting and fill piping bags fit with couplers.

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I kinda got in the zone after this, so there aren’t any in progress pictures.

I only had one #12 tip, so I started at the bottom row with the darkest color and went all the way around. Then switched my tip to the next lightest frosting and went around again.

Pipe a ball on the side of the cake. Then take your spoon or spatula and lightly press it in the center of the circle while pulling it to the right. Pipe another ball in the drag of the first. Repeat all the way around the cake.

When you move up to the second row, be sure and align your ball with the one below. This can be tricky depending on how much drag you have. If you have more than one circle tip or are only using one color, you can pipe a row down the side of the cake and pull them all at once to ensure uniformity.

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To create the top of the cake, I reversed the ombre colors. This time I went around the very outside first, and dragged the center of the balls in towards the center of the cake. When I got to the very center, I switched back to the middle lightest blue and did not pipe out the tip. This made a swirly of the darkest and middle color blue for my center dot.

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The Verdict:

I create this cake for my husband’s aunt’s 50th birthday party. The inside of the cake was also ombre blues! The cake was a hit and everyone was so impressed. It’s a simple effect with a big bang result!

 

Happy Pinning!

Happy Cake Decorating!!

Bone cake

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A friend of mine approached me about making a cake for a dog’s birthday party. The dog was described to me as a “diva”, but the cake was for her human guests. She brought up wanting a bone shape or anything else cute.

Immediately I headed to Pinterest (you all use Pinterest instead of Google now too, right?) for inspiration. There were several cute ideas out there

 

Dog bone cake

Thankfully I stumbled upon this layout to help me get the shape right!

Bekah wants a dog bone cake

I have four inch pans that are used for filled cakes. They were the perfect size for the ends of my bone. I ended up baking an 8×8 pan as well to cut the middle shapes out of. This shot is of just the first layer of the cake. I filled the holes with a layer of butter cream and crushed pineapple. Then Frosted the overall cake with a pineapple butter cream.

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After the cake was frosted, I created a collar out of fondant and a little pile of flowers in coordinating colors. The party was a luau, so I wanted to tie that in as well!

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Happy Birthday Piper!

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Happy Pinning!

Happy Cake Decorating!!!

Oreo Cool Whip Bomb Cake

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I found this pin while looking for desserts to take camping. Oreos, cool whip, what’s not to love?

Oreo Bomb Cake (This looks amazing!)

As you can see from the extra long photo montage (so happy they truncate those on Pinterest now!) it’s super easy.

Ingredients

Oreos (# of packages depends on how large of a dish you’re making)

Cool Whip (1 tub per pack of oreos)

1 glass of milk

optional chocolate or caramel sauce

Method

1. Dunk your oreos in milk and line the bottom of a dish with them (You can use anything, casserole dish, pie pan, bread loaf pan, whatever)

2. Spread a layer of cool whip over the oreos.

3. Dunk oreos in milk and make a second layer.

4. Cover with cool whip

5. Keep repeating til you get your dish full

6. Sprinkle with crushed cookies and drizzle with chocolate or caramel as desired.

7. Refrigerate 4 hours to overnight

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Here’s how mine turned out! Since this was a test, I only wanted to devote one package of Oreos. I didn’t fill my pan, so my whipped topping spread out a bit. My mouth was watering, but I stuck it in the fridge anyway to wait.

After dinner, I was ready to dig in. I scooped some out on my plate and got this.

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Not the most appetizing looking dessert, but still. I bit in and….it was Oreos and cool whip.

Not sure what I was expecting. Some amazing transformation into a delicious cake? The Oreos were slightly mushy and the coolwhip hadn’t really reformed.

I let the plate sit and thought about the wasted Oreos. About 15 minutes later I took another bite and it was completely different. The cookies had absorbed more of the cool whip and taken on more of a cake like texture.

Verdict

All in all, it was good.  However, after a few bites I realized that I had just consumed 4 Oreos and a dollop of cool whip and decided I’d better put it away. My husband was not a fan at all. In the future I’d much rather just have either some Oreos or some cake.

 

 

Happy Pinning!

Happy Baking!!