Thursday, June 30, 2016

Enjoy a Blessed and Safe Fourth of July

I love my country, the United States of America and I love Independence Day celebrations! May the Spirit of Lord be found with you and keep you safe over the 2016 Fourth of July, or Independence Day, holiday weekend. Enjoy the time with your friends and family!
God Bless America,
Sallee Bonham

Monday, June 27, 2016

Naked Wedding Cake Cookies and Heart Cookies

Yes, we wore clothes.The wedding cookies are naked, not the wedding party. 
My daughter, Cassie wanted a destination wedding in the Colorado mountains about an hour and a half from where my sis lives in Greeley, Colorado. 
Greeley, Colorado just happens to be about 800 plus miles from central Missouri. 

Cassie wanted rustic simplicity with immediate family members.

No fancy dress. 
No reception hall. 
No catered meal. 
No wedding cake. 

Rustic, simple, and outdoors was what she wanted. 
However, she did tell me I could make my sugar cookies for the simple, outdoor meal she wanted us to share.

Naked wedding cakes gave me the idea for making three tier, naked wedding cake cookies.

Graduated, square cookie cutters used to make the tiers for the wedding cake cookies.
Double heart cookie cutter for making the Mr. and Mrs. cookies.
Each square is cut in half cross-wise. This yields two wedding cake cookies.
Hot pan of baked cookies cooling for five minutes before the cookies are removed and placed onto the cooling rack.
Royal icing piped with a #5 decorating tip outlines the cookie tiers.
Royal icing piped with a #5 decorating tip outlines each heart. 
Royal icing flowers and leaves are piped on each tier for a naked wedding cake look. Blooms and leaves are made with a Wilton #16 star tip and a #67 leaf tip. 
 Each double heart cookie has a dozen blooms created with the Wilton #16 star tip and a #67 leaf tip. Script writing is done with a #5 decorating tip.

Sugar Cookie Recipe              Click Here            Note: I use 1/2 cup of salted butter
Royal Icing Recipe                  Click Here            Note: I use lemon juice instead of cream                                                                                         of tartar.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Toasted Cheesy, Bacon and Egg Sandwich - A Microwave and Toaster Oven Recipe

When I was a single, Navy gal working on night shift,
I learned how to cook beaten eggs in a microwave from a shipmate.

Before I learned how to do this, cheesy breakfast biscuits were already one of my favorite things to eat and I was buying them at fast food restaurants.

After my shipmate showed me this cooking method, I started making cheesy breakfast sandwiches in the barracks because all I needed was a toaster oven and a small microwave. My room was furnished with a dorm-size refrigerator.

Cheesy Bacon and Egg Sandwich Recipe                       
Cooking time: 25 minutes                                                          Yield:  1 sandwich

Directions for Cooking Bacon for One Sandwich
  • Remove your toaster oven tray
  • Toast two slices of bread using the toaster function for your toaster oven using the manufacturer's directions.
  • Set the two slices of toast aside until you are ready to assemble your cheesy bacon and egg sandwich.
  • Preheat toaster oven to 325°F
  • Arrange two slices of bacon in the toaster oven tray
  • Place tray of bacon into the toaster oven
Cooking Tip: Cook 6 slices of bacon. Refrigerate or freeze the extra bacon slices so you can make your next two sandwiches in 5 minutes  

  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown
  • Carefully remove the hot tray of bacon from the toaster oven 

  • Place the cooked bacon strips on a folded paper towel to drain
5 minutes before the bacon is done, start preparing your eggs.

  • Crack two large eggs into a microwaveable, sandwich container.
  • Add 1 Tbsp. of water
  • Beat the eggs and water with a fork until well blended
After 30 seconds in a 900 watt microwave

  • Place the egg mixture into your microwave and cook for 30 seconds
Note: Eggs will expand as they cook. This is normal.
  • Rotate the container a half turn
After an additional 30 seconds in a 900 watt microwave

  • Cook for an additional 30 seconds
  • Place desired amount of cheese on top of cooked eggs.

  • Set the container lid on top of the container, but Do Not Seal
  • Let the covered container of eggs and cheese sit for one minute

  • Remove the lid
Assemble Your Breakfast Sandwich
  • Spread your desired condiment onto your toast.  I like to use Dijon mustard, or mayonnaise. Bill likes to spread butter on the hot toast
  • Place the cooked cheesy eggs onto a piece of toast.
  • Cut your drained bacon slices in half, crosswise.
  • Put the bacon slices on top of the cheesy eggs See the picture below
  • Top with the second slice of toast
  • Slice into halves, quarters, or leave whole

Enjoy your homemade happiness on a plate!

You can save about $180 dollars a year
 by making your own breakfast sandwiches 
 instead of buying them! 
Purchasing fast food breakfast biscuits or sandwiches can be quite expensive. Especially if you are buying them twice a week.

For Example
One bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, at a nationally know chain, is $2.99 plus .08 cents tax for a total of $3.07.   If you eat two bacon, egg and cheese biscuits a week, in three weeks you will have spent $18.42 for six breakfast biscuits. 

In contrast, the ingredients for about six bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches cost around $8. 
Below is a price breakdown for the ingredients in US dollars and cents.

1 20 oz. loaf of bread                          1.39
7-8 oz. of cheese                                 1.79
16 oz. of bacon                                   2.99
1 dozen eggs                                       1.66
Total cost                                            $7.83     Total savings         about  $10.42 every 3 weeks

In a year, your savings will add up to $180.27


Planning a Red, White, and Blue Cake for July

Our church is hosting a Community Veteran's Appreciation program on July 1st. Guess who volunteered to bring a half sheet cake? Yes, ME! Here is my master cake plan:
Cake and Filling Flavors
  • White lemonade cake is a white cake with lemon juice and lemon zest  added to the cake batter.
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest,  and pureed strawberries will also be in the strawberry lemonade buttercream filling.
  • Fresh blueberry compote, yum! The blueberries will be with cooked sugar and just a hint of lemon juice to balance out the sweetness. 
  • The blue velvet and strawberry cake layers are box mixes. Yep, I am taking a short cut. Applesauce will replace half of the oil and make a lower fat, moist cake. Mayonnaise can also be used for half of the oil too,  but then you won't have a lower fat cake! It's totally up to you. 
Fondant Stars and a Ruffled Border
 After searching through dozens of patriotic cake photos, this is the plan that I have decided to use
Top view of the cake
Butter cream frosting in white and blue.
Fondant stars using graduated, star cookie cutters
Side view of cake
Layered buttercream ruffles piped over white buttercream frosting. 

I will bake the cake on June 30th. Watch for the post! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

SalleeB Shares: Food Network Star Week 3

Creating Some Homemade Happiness on a Plate!
And the challenge is....."Cook the Word", or match a dish to a catchy, descriptive term!
How's "Better Off Bread" or "Carved for Attention?" These are two of the terms that the finalists had to work with this week for their opening, individual challenge.

The catchy terms were assigned by the perennial mentors Bobby Flay and Giada de Laurentis. Additionally, a  food photographer assisted each chef with creating a magazine worthy picture of their dish.
Click Here  to see a pic of each chef and their playful phrase.

Food Network Magazine's founding editor, Maile Carpenter, matched the gorgeous pictures of each chef's food to the cleverly worded phrases without knowing who had created each dish. 

And the Secret Is...
Unfortunately, the chefs didn't know that if Maile couldn't match their food picture with a phrase, the mentors wouldn't sample their dish. Jernard, Martita, and Monterey had the three dishes that Maile couldn't match in the "Cook the Word" challenge.

And the Winner Is....Tregaye!
Tregaye won with her Mount Everzest dish, Lobster Bread Pudding cooked in an individual bundt cake pan and topped with citrus zest.

Road Trippin' Themes
"Family Road Trip" was the team video and cooking challenge. As the winner of the individual challenge, Tregaye assigned the teams of two before the teams were given their road trip themes.

Tregaye obviously had a strategy in assigning the teams.
Regrettably, her strategy didn't work very well. Several of her assigned teams worked incredibly well together. Their filmed intros and dishes were worthy of an actual Food Network show.

Top Teams
  • Jernard and Joy won the challenge. Their partnership and southern cooking was solid Down South Family with tremendous appeal. Honestly, they could have a show right now!
  • Monterey and Rob filmed an amazingly professional video. The partnership was dynamic, but their dishes weren't very well received. This dynamic duo are safe due to the quality of their filmed intro. Loved Rob's black shirt with chains! 
  • Damiano and Erin put an Italian spin on camping. Bakers bake and Erin's upscale spin on S'mores was judged to be flavorful and unique. They're safe for another week.
Bottom Teams
  • Martita and Ana, spent more time talking about their abuela's (grandmother's) drink of choice than what they were cooking. Good job on that pairing Tregaye!
  • Tregaye and Yaku found themselves on the bottom. Yaku's performance and food kept him safe. However, Tregaye's energy started out okay, but then she was sidetracked into a clownish performance that I found painful to watch. Additionally, Tregaye's Crab Topped Corn Muffin? wasn't found to be kid-friendly.
SalleeB is Shocked! 
My mouth literally fell open when the mentors announced Martita was going home. Really? Really! I took to Twitter and tweeted #FoodNetworkStar to let them know the really short version of  how I feel about this decision.

In my opinion, it is inevitable that Ana is going home.
Ana has already given a plethora of excuses for her poor time management. I find her very unpersonable. She makes a catty comment, blinks like she just realized it was catty, and then shrugs her shoulders and says it's the truth. Yeah, the truth according to Ana. Why not go ahead and send her home NOW?

Yes, Martita was repeating her culinary point of view in the same way and cooking similar dishes.
I agree she sounded very rehearsed and polished,  but the camera loves her. She sparkles and comes right through the camera and into my living room. Martita can fix rehearsed and one note.

You can't fix  unpersonable. 
Ana wanted to be less scripted and more conversational in the team challenge. Look how well that went! Yes, I'm being sarcastic. 

Bobby and Giada, what were you thinking?
I believe that Week 4 will only further reinforce the fact that Ana needs to be sent home. Maybe I'm wrong and she can improve. However, I'm from Missouri and Ana will have to "Show Me" an improvement before I will change my opinion. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Kids Makin' Dirt Cups with a Gummy Worm

How about letting kids make their own dirt cups? No, not real dirt, Oreo dirt. After all, dirt cake, or dirt cups are FOR kids. This is an easy recipe, even a kindergartner can manage to make a dirt cup with a bit of assistance.

Ingredients and Materials for Eight Children
  • 1 package of instant chocolate pudding
  • 2 cups of cold milk
  • 16 Oreo cookies
  • 8 regular gummi worms - not the sour kind
  • 1 can or whipped cream
  • 8- 8oz. plastic party cups
  • 8 snack size, zip top bags
  • 8 plastic spoons
  • 1/4 cup measuring cup
  • 1 plastic knife for leveling the pudding
  • 1 black permanent marker
Note: I make the instant chocolate pudding ahead of time. One package will yield eight -one fourth cup servings.

 Before starting, have each child write their name on their party cup with a black permanent marker. 

1. Give each child an Oreo cookie and have them put it in the zip top snack bag and crush it up. Resist the urge to help. It is okay to have larger chunks in your"dirt."

2. Demonstrate and explain how to use the back of the plastic knife to level the pudding in the 1/4 cup measuring cup.

  • Assist as necessary with the leveling procedure. Then, the kids will use their spoon to scrape the pudding out of the measuring cup and into their cup. 
This is where I talked about the importance of measuring ingredients exactly when following a recipe. 

3. Each child can now dump the crushed cookie into the cup and stir it in.

The cookie filling will stick a little bit to the inside of  the bag, but that is okay because they are going to crush a second cookie.

4. Tell the children they are going to squirt about the same amount of whipped cream into the cup as they have pudding. 

  • Then they are going to stir the whipped cream into the cookie/pudding mixture until it is all the same color, or well blended. 
This is why I use 8 oz. cups. the children can stir, but keep the mixture in the cup. 

5. Give each child a second cookie to crush in their zip top bag and a gummi worm.

  •  Make sure they understand that they are not going to stir this cookie into the pudding even though their spoon is still in the cup. 

6. Have children dump the crushed cookie on top of the pudding mixture for topsoil and put the worm on top of the crumbs.
Remember - the plastic spoon stays in the cup.

7. Place "dirt" cups on a tray and refrigerate for 30 to 40 minutes.

 This is just enough time to go on a walking field trip and look for different kinds of dirt, or have containers of potting soil, sand, and regular dirt for children to look at and examine with magnifying glasses. 

Now it is time for the kids to eat their very own "dirt" cup. Yay! Homemade happiness in a cup!