Homemade French Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes

Okay okay, maybe my photography skills were lacking this morning as I haphazardly slapped some homemade french vanilla blueberry pancakes on a paper plate for my sick boyfriend.  But don’t let the lazy presentation and photography fool you. These were out of this world.

“Feed a cold, starve a fever.”  A little nurse humor there, although I’m not sure which he had this morning.  A cold or a fever? Last night he was running a low-grade fever but it must have broke last night because he woke up starving this morning.  Men, such babies when they are sick!

I’ve never made homemade pancakes and ever since getting my KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer for Christmas all of a sudden I think I’m Betty Crocker. Well, at least that’s what my daughter told me.  A few people at work call me little Paula Deen, personally I’d rather be compared to Giada DeLaurentis or Rachel Ray! I digress. Where was I?…oh yes, homemade french vanilla blueberry pancakes.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 cup Baileys French Vanilla Coffee Creamer
1 cup cut fresh blueberries

Directions:

Add dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients whisk until lumps are out and fold in blueberries last.

Preheat nonstick pan on medium heat spray with nonstick Pam. Ladle in a scoop of batter. When it starts to bubble flip pancake. Remove and sprinkle with powered sugar. Serve with favorite syrup. Makes about 16-20 pancakes. Serves 8-10. I cut my ingredients in half for the two of us.

Someone had a smile on their face after breakfast this morning :) My boyfriend thought they were pretty good too!

Soup-a-palooza Homemade Chicken and Egg Dumpling Soup

Tidy Mom

Come join Soup-a-Palooza with TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers

I’m linking up my Homemade Chicken and Egg Dumpling Soup

Ingredients

3-4 Eggs

1 to 2 1/2 cups flour

Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Sea Salt

Pepper

1 large box of chicken stock

Chicken base bouillon

One good-sized whole fryer chicken

Carrots

Celery

One small to medium purple onion

Directions:  Pull out insides of chicken and discard,  wash chicken under warm water, and place chicken in large deep stock pot. Add water until chicken is completely covered.  Add a pinch or two of salt. Place on stove over high heat bring to boil and continue boiling for about 2o to 25 minutes.  If you notice brown scum forming on the top of the water simply spoon it off with a ladle and  discard.

While chicken is boiling dice and slice your carrots, celery and onion. Add as much or as little as you prefer. Set to side for time being.

When chicken is done lift carefully out of pot take care not to burn yourself and try to let any water drip for a few seconds. Place chicken on a large dish and let chicken cool.  Reserve most of water in pan. If you think there is too much then empty some of water out into sink. Now add your large box of chicken stock and about 1 to 2 teaspoons of chicken base bouillon.  Add sea salt and pepper to pot.  If you somehow make your soup too salty remember you can always add water to cut the salt. Just add salt slowly and as you go along and taste.

Now add vegetables to soup stock. Once chicken is cool enough, begin peeling and shredding chicken into the pot. Your burner should be on med to high during this time to cook down the vegetables.  I prefer to use only white meat but feel free to add what ever chicken parts you like.

Once everything is in pot turn down to a low heat and simmer for a few hours. Keep tasting to see if you need to add more salt or chicken base bouillon.

About 20 minutes before you are ready to serve your soup turn up the heat again to a boil.  Add 3 to 4 eggs to a bowl and about 3/4 cup of fresh shredded Parmesan Cheese add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk eggs until mixed well. Now begin adding flour 1/2 cup at a time. You will want your dumpling to be the consistency of a stretchy gummy paste.  Once you have achieved this consistency take a spoon and fork and scoop a little up (about quarter size) and drop into soup (use fork to scrape off spoon.)

Once all you dumplings are in you will notice that they float on top as they absorb more of the broth they will disperse throughout the pan.

Serve soup with your favorite bread or muffins.

Valentine Cut Out Cookies

Banana flavored sugar cookie with strawberry cream cheese butter cream frosting.  What a mouthful huh?  Sure is. Mmmmmm.  Valentine’s Day is just around the corner if you missed my Chocolate Raspberry filled cupcakes with Raspberry Butter Cream Frosting go check it out.  Now you can also make these heart-shaped cut outs for your sweetie or family.

Banana Flavored Sugar Cookie Recipe

2 sticks unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons banana extract

3-4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons sea salt

Directions:  Cream butter and sugar then add eggs and banana extract. Mix. Then add baking powder, sea salt, and flour. Add 1/2 cup of flour at at time and mix into wet mix. If need be, use more flour but add small amounts. If using stand mixer use dough hook. When dough becomes one big ball and doesn’t stick to the side of bowl or your hands and is not gummy it’s ready. Place into air tight bowl or big Zip-Lock bag and place into refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. I prefer overnight.

When ready to roll dough preheat oven to 375 and coat cookie sheets with nonstick spray. Take dough out of refrigerator and slice with knife into quarters. Work dough in hands into balls first to soften up dough. It makes it easier to work with. Sprinkle a little flour on the counter and your rolling-pin. Roll dough out to about 1/2 inches thick. Don’t make cookie too thin. Use favorite Valentine cut outs. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until right before cookie begins to brown. Try not to brown your cookie. Keeping a close eye one them is the trick.  Cool cookie wire racks or waxed paper.  Yields 3 to 4 dozen depending on the size of your cut outs and how thick or thin you roll your dough.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Butter Cream Frosting Recipe (I doubled this recipe since I had about 4 dozen cookies)

5 tablespoons soft salted butter

2 cups powered sugar

4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons soft cream cheese (use light if you want)

1 and 1/2 teaspoons of strawberry extract

Directions: Mix in stand mixer or with hand mixer until smooth and creamy.  Icing will have a light pink tinge.

Next use red food coloring to tint your icing a pink or red.  Add as little or much as you want until you achieve your desired shade of pink or red.  I keep icing I’m not using in the fridge so it doesn’t get warm as I’m decorating. Spatula icing into piping bag and choose tip. I used # 18  star tip and just made a zig zag design. Then sprinkle with toppings.  If keeping treats around for a few days put in air tight container and refrigerate.  (has cream cheese remember?)

Your sweeties will lovingly thank you for these tasty treats!

Don’t forget to head over to TidyMom and link up what you’re lovin’ this week on your blog. I shared this link.

Tidy Mom

Chocolate Raspberry Filled Cupcakes With Raspberry Butter Cream Frosting

Valentine’s Day is almost here. What are you making or getting your sweetie?  How about some decadent chocolate raspberry filled cupcakes? Oh yes I did! I made these from scratch and so can you.

I received an exquisite Kitchen Aid Candy Apple Red Artisan Mixer from my sweetie as a Christmas gift and he just had his fortieth (40th) birthday so I thought I’d better actually use the gift and do something nice for him.  See, I was flying back from a visit home on his birthday and totally missed spending it with him. I think I recovered pretty well after I offered up some kisses served him up a batch of these babies!

Ingredients for Cupcake Batter

Preheat oven to 350
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa (Hershey’s :) )
1 cup canola oil
2 cups hot water
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
(Or be lazy and use a box cake mix. They’ll still be delicious!)
Mix the ingredients in the stand mixer on low for a minute or two. Don’t over mix. The batter will look wet.  Fill mini muffin pans or cupcake pans with liners and spoon in batter.  An ice cream scoopful is the perfect amount.  For mini cupcakes I used a small melon baller and used two scoops. Typically you want the liner to be filled two-thirds of the way full. Bake at 350 on middle rack for 6 to 12 minutes.  Toothpick check. When toothpick comes out clean. They’re ready.
Take out of pan and let cool on racks or counter.
Ingredients for Raspberry Filling:
2 cups unsweetened Frozen or Fresh Raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 to 2/3 cup berries for frosting
Tip: you might want to do the filling the night before to save some time.
Add 2 cups frozen or fresh raspberries to bowl and add 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp. lemon juice and let thaw at room temperature.  If making ahead, when completely thawed refrigerate until needed.  Reserve extra berries for frosting.
Ingredients for Raspberry Butter Cream Frosting:

 

1 cup real butter (not margarine) room temperature

1 cup vegetable shortening

pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/4 – 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2-2/3 cup reserved raspberries

Thoroughly cream butter and shortening . Beat in the vanilla. Add sugar, one cup at a time until blended. When the sugar is completely beaten in and the sides of the bowl are scraped down, add the whipping cream, beating at the highest speed until super fluffy, about one minute.  Now, gently fold in raspberries a little at a time.  Add more or less to desired taste. Up to you. Go bananas raspberries!

Time to fill the Center

I used a large cap from a water bottle because I didn’t have an apple or cupcake corer handy.  I also used a piping tip for the mini cupcakes to hollow out middle.  Be innovative :)

Hollow out middle of cupcake and fill with a teaspoon to desired amount of filling and replace top. I used a sharp tipped knife and went around edges of my corer to help get top out. Don’t worry about it being perfect it just gets covered with frosting and eaten anyway.

Now you’re ready to frost.  Use a piping bag with your desired number tip.  I couldn’t find mine that day, so I used a large Ziploc bag and placed my tip in the corner and cut a small hole in the corner and piped it on that way.

Store and refrigerate any leftover cupcakes to maintain freshness.

What are you making or getting your sweetie for Valentine’s Day? 😉

How To Add A Paypal Donate Button To Your WordPress Blog

Some of you may have noticed that I have a Paypal donate button on my side bar. No. I don’t actually expect payment for my blog.  I was helping out a fellow blogger figure out how to put one on her blog so she can reach her goal of collecting money to attend a NYC Book and Blogger’s Convention.

With that being said, I decided to just go ahead and post a blog with the instructions I gave her, since when you Google how to do it, the instructions are wrong. WordPress can be tricky at times. With much trial and error I figured out a way to succeed. I thought I would share that with anyone who was interested.

It comes in handy for selling items on your website or donating to charities. You can also post a Purchase Button but then you just choose the particular button you want at Paypal. I’ll be taking the button down shortly but will leave it up for demonstration purposes.   There are quite a few steps but if you follow them exactly it should be quite easy.

Steps:

Sign into your Paypal Account
Click on the Merchant Services Tab
Under the “Create Button” heading on the left hand side click on the Donate link
Go Down to the Donate Button and Right Click on the Donate Button and Save the GIF Image Donate Button to your computer (you will need to do this in order for your button to work… will get to that step later.)
Scroll down the page and click the “Create Button” image
This will generate a code but you don’t want the code. Click on the Email tab to the right of the Website Tab you will see a URL code.

Leave as is for now or copy and paste that code and save somewhere or leave page open and come back when ready.

Now go to a site that you can generate a URL with your Paypal Donate Button Image GIF that you saved. ( I use Photobucket)
Upload Donate Button GIF to site (Photobucket)

Sign Into your WordPress Blog
Click on Dashboard
Click on Widgets
Find the Image Widget and Drag it over to your other Widgets on you Sidebar
Click on it and Name it (ie Help Me Reach my Goal)
Go back to Photobucket and Drag your Cursor over your uploaded Donate Button Image and copy the Direct Link Code
Paste Code into the Image URL Space in your Widget
Go back to your Paypal and Copy your Email Code
Go to very bottom of Image Widget and Paste email Code into the Link URL Space
Click on Save. Make sure to click on Save button.

Now open up a new Tab Window and check your Blog to make sure it posted. It should take you to a page where people can donate their chosen amount right into your Paypal account.

Hope that helped anyone that was wondering or searching how to add a Paypal button to their blog.

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