Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cake Recipes

This crumb-covered cake is "shore" to make a splash at any beach- or sea-themed birthday bash. Scatter some candy seashells and rocks around the base and prepare for a wave of compliments.
8-inch round yellow cake
9-inch square yellow cake
2 (12-ounce) cans whipped vanilla frosting
Vanilla wafers, 12-ounce box
4 jumbo ice-cream cups
2 small ice-cream cups
6 sugar cones
Graham cracker sticks (we used Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams Honey Sticks)
Candy seashells and rocks
Use a long serrated knife to trim the top of the round cake flat, if needed. Cut a 5 1/2-inch and a 3 1/2-inch circle from the square cake, then stack all three pieces, spreading vanilla frosting between the layers. Frost the stack.
Use a rolling pin or food processor to crumble the wafers. With your hands, press the crumbs into the frosting, completely coating the cake. Spread frosting on the bottom of each ice-cream cup, then set them around the cake. With a serrated knife, carefully trim 1 1/2 inches from the top of 2 of the sugar cones. Set all 6 cones into the cups to complete the turrets, spreading a bit of frosting around the rims to hold them if needed.
Press 2 graham cracker-stick doors into the middle cake layer and rim the rest of the cake with graham cracker-stick halves. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs around the base and add a scattering of candy seashells and rocks. Serves 12.

Simple Steps to Healthy Kids: Nutrition

Yield: Serves 2
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chile
a small bunch of fresh cilantro
peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 pound large shrimp, raw, peeled
1 heaped teaspoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
6 fresh baby corn or 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
a small handful of snow peas
2 tablespoons soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
a handful of frozen peas
7 ounces rice sticks or vermicelli
a small handful of beansprouts

TO PREPARE YOUR STIR-FRY: Put a large pan of water on to boil.
Peel and finely slice the ginger and garlic. Finely slice the chile. Pick the cilantro leaves from the stalks and put to one side, then roughly chop the stalks.
TO COOK YOUR STIR-FRY: Preheat a wok or large frying pan on a high heat and once it's very, very hot add a good lug of peanut oil and swirl it around.
Stir in the cilantro stalks, ginger, garlic, chile, shrimp, and five-spice powder, and fry for a minute.
Add the cornstarch, baby corn, and snow peas, and give them a good toss or stir for another minute.
Stir in the soy sauce, lime juice, honey, sesame oil, and frozen peas.
Add the rice sticks (or vermicelli) to the pan of boiling water and use a wooden spoon to break them up a bit.
Cook for just 2 minutes, no longer. Drain the rice sticks (or vermicelli) in a colander over a bowl, reserving the cooking water. Add a large spoonful or ladleful of the cooking water to the wok and cook for a minute or two.
TO SERVE YOUR STIR-FRY: Use tongs to divide the rice sticks (or vermicelli) between your serving bowls, or to lift them on to one large serving platter.
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Rapunzel's Squash & Hazelnut Soup

When mother Gothel wants to give Rapunzel a treat, she makes her favorite meal -- Hazelnut soup. This wholesome squash soup, topped with roasted hazelnuts, is sure to be a favorite in your home. If you're hosting a Tangled-themed party, this soup is a crowd-pleaser, especially if you set up a soup "bar" with lots of tasty toppings like chives, bacon bits, and chopped hazelnuts!

Ingredients for the soup:

2 lb butternut squash, seeded and cut into 6 sections
1 lb parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1 green apple, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced
4 cups of chicken stock, divided
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 cup raw hazelnuts (for topping)
To Roast Hazelnuts:
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F

1. Place 1 cup of raw Hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet.

2. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the hazelnut skins burst.

3. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, roll hazelnuts between paper towels to remove skins. Place skinless hazelnuts into a small plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin.

For Soup:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

4. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top.

5. Arrange butternut squash in the baking dish, skin side up. Scatter chopped parsnip and apple quarters around the squash. Top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Pour a quarter cup of water into the baking dish.

6. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife slides easily through the skin of the squash.

7. Remove the baking dish from the oven and throw away the sprigs of thyme. Set aside to cool.

8. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium low heat. Add thinly sliced onion and half a teaspoon of salt to the pan and sauté slowly about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned. Turn off the heat.

9. When squash is cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to peel the skin from the butternut squash, discarding the skins. Place the peeled squash into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse into a smooth purée, about 20 seconds. Pour purée into a large stockpot or Dutch oven.

10. Place roasted parsnips, apple and sautéed onion into the bowl of the food processor. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock. Purée 20-30 seconds, or until smooth. If the purée is too dry, thin it using an additional half cup of chicken stock.
Note: Do not fill a food processor more than half full with hot liquids. Doing so could result in the top or bottom of the food processor bowl blowing off due to pressure.

11. Add puréed parsnip and onion mixture to the squash in the stockpot. Add the remaining chicken stock to the pot and raise the heat to medium high. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.

12. While soup is simmering add a half teaspoon of ground cumin, as well as salt and white pepper to taste. Before serving, stir in a half cup of heavy cream.

13. Serve in bowls or insulated cups and top with the crushed roasted hazelnuts