Thursday, January 21, 2010

Doll Makover

A few years ago we got our, then, 6 year old daughter a American Girl-like doll from Target.  She has loved it!  However, the hair on the doll was not the best.  Anyway, this year she chose to use her money from her grandmothers to buy a real American Girl doll and give the old one to her 3 year old sister for Christmas, to her delight.  The problem, this is what the doll's hair looked like:

Yes, this is photoshopped but my flash was acting wonky so I had to fix it as best I could.  Basically, you get the idea that the hair was BAD!

My Mother-in-law (who is the most amazing woman and one of my dearest friends), had an idea to get her new hair.  She let my daughter pick the new hair from (she chose "Modern Elegance" in red) and then she ordered it and this last weekend we went down and she replaced the hair.

First she (and my older daughter) cut all the bad hair off


Then she used a razor to get the hair cut as close as possible to the head

Then she used a razor blade to shave it even closer

In the end we had a bald doll

pretty cute still I have to say

Then she took put E600 glue on the doll's head and attached the wig

She had to remove a little of the bottom of the wig since it was a little too big

She then used some pins to hold the wig in place until the glue dried

The doll sat a little voodooed for a little while

In the end we had a brand new doll with hair that didn't rat horribly.

Pretty, isn't she?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ground Nutmeg

Just a note about one of my favorite ingredients -- Ground Nutmeg.  I must admit until about a year ago I only used the nutmeg that came already ground.  I was happy with it and it tasted really good, or so I thought.  Then I was watching the Food Network and found so many of the cooks would grate their own, so I thought I would try it, not expecting it to be too much better, but I figured it would be fun. 

Boy was I wrong!  It was like night and day.  The taste of everything I put it in went up a level.  I have found new ways to use it and have found it to be absolutely divine in everything from desserts to just a little in white sauces (thanks Rachel Ray for the tip).  So I must recommend if you can, to get a small metal zester and some whole nutmeg and grate your own, you will not be dissappointed.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cornbread - Northern Style

Right after I had my baby last summer my mother came to help out.  One night she was making vegetable soup and asked me what I wanted with it.  I told her I wanted cornbread.  Before I had a chance to tell her what recipe I normally used she adapted one and had it mixed up.  I was a little leary, but need to remember to have better trust in my mother since it was, perhaps, some of the best cornbread I have ever eated, GF or not.  I planned to blog about it then but we ate it all.  The same thing happened every time I cooked it.  This time I took the time to take the photo before we ate so now you can see how yummy it looks.  You must try this recipe!  By the way, if you aren't familiar with "Northern" vs. "Southern" cornbread, Northern is sweet whereas Southern is more savory.

Cornbread - Northern Style (printer friendly recipe)
(adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)
1 1/2 C rice flour mix
1 C yellow cornmeal
2 heaping tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup buttermilk (or substitute - almond would be good here)
1 14 oz can corn, drained
1/4 C packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled.

1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees and make sure the rack is in the middle.  Grease well and 8x8 square baking pan.
2. Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  In a food processor, process the buttermilk, corn, brown sugar and eggs until combined, about 5 seconds.
3. Gently fold the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients then fold in the melted butter just until combinded.
4. Pour into the prepared pan, making sure to smooth the top.  Bake until a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs attached, about 35 minutes.
So pretty

5. Let bread cool in pan for at least 10 minutes (if you can wait that long) until dumping out (which we don't do -- it just stays in the pan)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Doughnut Balls

For my daughter's class Christmas party they were serving doughnuts.  She really wanted some, but I wasn't up for rolling out and the raising, etc.  But I remembered this recipe in my Lion House Desserts cookbook that I quickly checked just to see what it was.  Come to find out it was a dump, stir, fry recipe which was up to my cooking level for the day.  I was quickly just raised the baking powder a little and added some xanthan gum and voile, we had GF Doughnut Balls that were delicious!  In fact they turned out so good we decided to change our Christmas breakfast tradition to Doughnut Balls.

Doughnut Balls (printer friendly recipe)
2 C rice flour mix
1/2 C sorghum flour*
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 t xanthan gum
2-2 1/2 eggs**(or substitute)
1 1/2 C sour cream (or substitute, Tofutti makes a good one)
2 T sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 C vegetable oil for deep frying***
Powdered sugar
Cinnamon Sugar (recipe below)
Chocolate Glaze (recipe below)
Vanilla Glaze (recipe below)

1. In a large bowl combine rice flour mix, sorghum flour, baking powder, xanthan  gum, eggs, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt -- The batter will be soft, like a thick muffin batter.
2. Heat oil to about 350-degrees.
3. Place tablespoons of dough
I used my cookie scoop, it made it really easy.

into the fryer
Drop carefully so you don't splash oil on yourself.

Fry about 3-4 at a time
I love this photo, I think it is so pretty.

Fry doughnuts for about 3-5 minutes or until golden brown all around.  Remove from pan/fryer with a slotted spoon or basket.  Drain on paper towels.
Don't they look yummy already?

Toss with powdered sugar in a ziploc bag

or toss with cinnamon sugar

or drizzle with glaze.

Anyway you eat them -- plain, sugared or glazed -- they are de-li-cious!

*Or just 2 1/2 C rice flour mix-- if you don't want GF just use regular flour and omit xanthan gum.
**to do a 1/2 an egg I scramble and egg and dump approx 1/2 in the recipe.
***or if you have a deep fryer use its directions

Cinnamon Sugar
1 C sugar
1 T ground cinnamon

1. Stir together until fully combined.

Vanilla Glaze
(also from the Lion House Desserts cookbook)
1 C powdered sugar
2-3 T milk or cream
1 tsp vanilla

1. Combine the powdered sugar with enough milk to make the mixture slightly runny.  Stir in vanilla.

Chocolate Glaze
(adapted from TheUltimate Southern Living Cookbook)
1 T butter
3 T cocoa
1 C powdered sugar (sifted if you want, I never do)
1 1/2-3 T boiling water
1 tsp vanilla

1. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the butter and cocoa.  Cook over low heat until the butter melts and the cocoa is fully incorporated.  Cool for 3-4 minutes.  Add sugar and combine together.  Add water until it reaches a slightly runny consistency.  Add vanilla.


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