Welcome To The Shakin 'N Bakin Blog!

Welcome to my blog! I love to cook and bake for my family. I hope you enjoy the recipes, foodie reviews, foodie giveaways and cooking tips posted on my blog.

How to Print Recipes: You can print out each individual recipe featured on this blog by clicking the "share" button at the bottom of each post. It will open up to show you options, click on print and another window will open up with the recipe inside it for printing.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

How to Make Puff Pastry from Scratch + Recipe

Whether you’re looking to cook up a decadent breakfast pastry, crowd-pleasing Piggies in a Blanket, or an Australian Meat Pie, this homemade light, buttery, flakey, layered goodness is worth all five steps.

Courtesy of: Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale Inc., organic activist, food blogger & mom of three. As Maria says on her blog, “I am not a pastry chef. I’m a hungry woman who is fundamentally lazy, even though I’m crazy enough to make puff pastry from scratch… this recipe may not be perfect, but it will be perfectly delicious.” You can check out the Original Puff Pastry blog post from Maria's blog.

How to Make Puff Pastry from Scratch + Recipe

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
2 cups all-purpose flour, chilled (plus a little more for dusting)
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons cider vinegar
¾ cup water, chilled
16 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled

WARNING: Puff pastry needs at least 24 hours of advance work. Other than that, it’s not too hard.

Part one:

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and toss in the butter, which should be softened slightly. Mix together gently with your fingers. Add the vinegar to the water; add the vinegar-water to the dough and mix it together. Put it out on the counter (with some flour to dust) and gently knead to make the dough smooth. Flatten the dough into a round flat ball and wrap it in plastic then put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Part two:

Take the 16 tablespoons of butter out of the fridge and let it soften a bit. Get out some parchment paper and roll out the butter between the sheets to a half-inch-thick 4-inch square (or so). Get the pastry out and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to make a 4 x 8? rectangle. Put the butter at one end and fold it over to cover it. It’s like you are making/wrapping a butter present!

Part three:

Now the fun begins (the making a book part). Roll the dough out in a long 4 x 18? sheet. Fold both ends in toward the center as if you are making a “gatefold.” (I found that a spatula helps if it gets stuck.) And then fold it again so you have a “book.” Wrap it up in plastic and then put it in the fridge. Wait 30 minutes and then do it again, making sure that the “spine” of the book is always on the left (that’s how you know you are rotating properly). Now go to bed. Or whatever. Wait “24 hours,” give or take.

Part four:

Do this whole rolling, folding, and wrapping thing two more times (waiting 30 minutes between each). Let the dough warm up a tiny bit after you take it out from the long refrigerator rest. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before doing the final rolling and cutting for your pie lids.
Part five:

Roll out for the final time. Be gentle when you cut…don’t want to smoosh all those lovely layers! Make the lid slightly larger than your pie top because it might shrink a bit when you cook it. Use the egg wash (1 raw beaten egg and a bit of water) to glue it together and polish the top.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Creamy Cauliflower Soup Recipe

Now that the dead of winter is here and the ice, snow and cold is setting in...I am looking for easy recipe to make that fill & warm your tummy up. Today's recipe is courtesy of the great folks over at Medifast and it looks absolutely delicious! Definitely adding this one to my "must make" list. The recipe will make 2 servings.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup Recipe

3 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
8 oz (2 cups) reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
Chives for garnish (optional)

1. In a medium pot, steam cauliflower florets in about one-quarter to one-half cup of water on medium-high heat until tender.
2. Mash cauliflower. Add broth, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder to pot, and bring to a boil.
3. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese.
4. Transfer mixture to a blender (or use an immersion blender), and puree soup until smooth. Serve immediately.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Home Canning - Southern Style Pickles + Recipe

After visiting the famous Katz Deli in NYC and devouring one of their pricy pickles, Chef Shane also known as the “ Southeast’s Julia Child with Tattoos” came home to nail down a even better recipe. Below please find a pickle recipe you will relish from Ocean Catering's Chef Shane.


**The below recipe will fill up 12 quart mason jars**

Approx. 40 Pickling Cucumbers cut in spears and soaked in water over night
1 Gallon water
6 cups cider vinegar
6 cups white vinegar
1 cup pickling salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 yellow onions chunked
36 cloves fresh garlic
12 bay leaves
1/4 cup mustard seed
1/2 cup black peppercorns
24 south Indian round chili
1 lb. fresh dill

Bring water, vinegar's, salt and sugar to a boil to dissolve. Let cool. Wash Mason jars in dish washer (or by hand) and let dry. Layer spices and garnish in mason jars. Strain water from cucumbers and place in bucket. Pour hot liquid over cucumbers leaving an 1/4 inch of space at top of jar. Cover with lid and tighten band.

Line large stock pot with mason jars. Fill with water until over the top of jars and bring to a boil. Let boil for 8-10 minutes and turn off heat. The jars should come down to room temperature naturally. Remove jars from water and let cool. Wait for 2-3 weeks and enjoy. Pickles can be stored unrefrigerated on pantry shelf until opened.