Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Bake Off

This Christmas season has been a busy one! Last weekend while shooting a wedding I was asked if money weren't an issue what would I love to shoot, just for me. Of course I would love to travel across the world and photograph some amazing things but simply being in my kitchen can take me far far away. At 5:45 this morning I woke up and decided to make christmas cookies. The dough was already made and waiting on me in the fridge. For those of you who know me, this is very abnormal behavior :). Five and a half hours later some wonderfully fun goodies were reddy to be delivered. Most people say that it takes to much time and that it's too complicated. For me it's a way to do what I want to do, de stress and enjoy. As a bonus I get to share my creations and put smiles on other's faces. I haven't blogged in forever and I thought there are to many steps to this cookie process but I wanted to share the end outcome anyway. If any of you want to know what recipes I used leave a comment and I would love to share. Or you just want tips, I would love to help you out!

A few years back, 2006 to be exact, I bought this Martha Stewart Magazine and it has been one of my best buys ever. With over a 100 cookie recipes in it and tips on how to package them in cute little ways, I tend to visit this one each year to make the gingerbread snowflakes shown on the front cover.

Here's a picture of my snowflake with some of my other cookies.
Just a closer look.
Oh Christmas Tree...
Not my gum drop buttons, ok so I didn't use gum drop buttons. So more like not my royal icing buttons, he he.
Not the smartest one in the bunch. Standing right next to the glass of milk Santa's going to drink right after eating some cookies.
Still smiling...
and smiling...
If you want to create this effect just for fun here's a link to some cute cookie cutters that look like they have been partly eaten :)
Happy Baking and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Spicy Fried Pickles with Chipotle Ranch Sauce

I thought it would be appropriate if my first official food blog post would be fried pickles. I tried this for the first time about 2 years ago. My mother in law told me about them and I thought it sounded so tasty. I'm not from the south so I didn't grow up eating everything fried. I made them and fell in love with them instantly. Since then I've had them in several restaurants, they are my appetizer of choice if they are on the menu. My favorite way to eat them is along side a grilled hamburger. It would be good on the burger too and you could top it with the chipotle ranch dressing. Those of you who may be skeptical, don't knock it until you've tried it. Here are the ingredients used, apart from the peanut oil for frying.
Start off by combining the buttermilk, eggs, two tablespoons of self-rising flour and Tabasco sauce. I used two teaspoons but it's a matter of preference to how spicy you like it. Remember the dipping sauce has chipotle peppers in them so that will give it a little kick too.
Whisk it all together and set it aside.
Pour your peanut oil into your fryer and set to 375 degrees. You do not have to use peanut oil. Vegetable oil can be used as well but I prefer peanut for two reasons, they say you can heat peanut oil hotter than vegetable oil AND the main reason it doesn't make your whole house smell like you've been frying! If you do not have a deep fryer you can use a pot and use a thermometer to read the temperature.

While waiting for the oil to heat up, chop up your chipotle peppers and add them to 1/2 cup ranch dressing and set aside. I started out with one and tasted it. Then I added another one and tasted it again. I choose to add three in total but again some of you will want to add more and some of you will only want to add one.

Now back to the pickles. Place the pickles on a paper towel and dry them off.
Mix the self rising flour with salt and pepper. Then dredge each pickle in the flour so it is lightly coated, like so. This will help the breading stick to the pickle when it is frying.
Then dip it into the buttermilk batter and then back into the flour.
Drop your pickles into the hot oil. Remember it is HOT, don't burn yourself! Cook them for about 3 minutes until they are golden brown. Then transfer them to a paper towel.

With each batch of pickles make sure you let the oil return to 375 degrees before you drop them in. To keep the pickles warm, place them in a 200 degree oven. Once you are done frying them up serve them, your guests will be ready to eat them!!!
Spicy Fried Pickles with Chipotle Ranch:

1 jar of kosher pickles (or your preference)
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons Tabasco Sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Peanut oil for frying
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
3 Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I took this picture a couple of years back while working on a cookbook cover design for True North Church. I thought it would be fitting for my first post since it's a cupcake and the title of my blog is Fried Pickles and Cupcakes :) I believe it was my first food photography project.

This is something else that I designed for the cookbook, which was the one that they used. It is very exciting to get your work published, even if it's for a church cookbook.