Friday, February 28, 2014

2/27/14 ChefElla's PB&J Sandwich Cupcakes


I like cooking shows.  You can get really fun ideas for recipes from the different people you see.  The other night I was watching a show that was a cupcake competition.  I did not particularly care for the cupcakes that the contestants made, but one of them made a cupcake sandwich.  I liked the idea and I could not wait to try it, but I did not know what kind of cupcake sandwich to make.  I thought of all of the sandwiches I have eaten, but none of them sounded good as a cupcake.  Then it came to me.  I could make a peanut butter and jelly cupcake.  I looked through different recipes in books and on the web and did not see anything I liked, but I did find a base recipe for a Peanut Butter Cupcake.  I knew it would be a good place to start for one of my recipes.

For this recipe you will need to use a mixer and the oven.  If you are not allowed to use a mixer or the oven by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring cups and spoons, a butter knife, a stand or electric mixer, a rubber
    spatula, a large non-stick muffin pan, a small bowl, a star tip, a heavy duty quart plastic bag.

ChefElla's PB&J Sandwich Cupcakes (This recipe will make 18-24 servings)
1 3/4 Cups.    All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbl.             Baking Powder
1/2 tsp           Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup         Peanut Butter (creamy or chunky)
                      -If you do not use peanut butter you can substitute what ever kind of nut butter you like.
1/4 Cup         Butter
3/4 Cup         Sugar
2 ea.              Large Eggs
1 tsp              Vanilla Extract
1 Cup            Milk
                     -If you do not use milk you can substitute soy, flax, coconut, or any other kind of milk.
1 pkg.            Cupcake Liners
1 Cup            Buttercream Frosting, the not whipped variety is best.
3 Tbl.             Raspberry Jelly
                      -You can use whatever kind of jelly you like best.
1 pkg.            Colored Sprinkles-Pick sprinkles that will match the color of the jelly you picked.
                      Pan Spray

3. Preheat oven to 350F.
4. In a small bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt.
5. Add peanut butter and butter to your mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until the ingredients are well
6. Turn your mixer off and add sugar.  Turn mixer on medium and beat the mixture until it is fluffy.  It will
    change to a light tan color.
7. Add vanilla and one egg to the mixer on low.  When the egg is mixed in add the second egg and mix until
    it is mixed in.  Mixed in is when you cannot tell the egg from the other ingredients.
8. Turn the mixer to low and alternate adding the flour mixture and 1 cup of milk.  Add 1/4 of the flour
    mixture to the mixing bowl.  Then 1/4 cup of milk.  When the ingredients are mixed in repeat the process
    until the milk and flour mixture are all mixed into the mixing bowl.
9. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand and scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure all of the
    ingredients are well combined.
10.  To bake, spray the muffin pan with pan spray.  Add one heaping tablespoon of cupcake batter into
       each of the muffin cups.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Check the doneness by sticking one of the
       cupcakes in the center of the pan with your butter knife.  If the knife comes out clean the cupcakes
       are done.  If not cook for 2 more minutes.
11.  Turn out your cupcakes and let cool on a plate.  Repeat step 10 until all of the batter is gone.
12.  Spread out your cupcakes liners.  In the bottom of each liner add one of your mini-cupcakes with
       the flat side facing up.
13.  In your small bowl add your frosting and jelly and mix well.  It may be a little soupy but it is ok.
14.  Cut a small hole in the bottom corner of the quart bag and put your star tip through the hole.
15.  Fill the bag with frosting.
16.  Squirt 1 tablespoon of frosting on top of your mini-cupcakes in the liner.  Top with another mini
       cupcake flat side down to make your sandwich.  Repeat the process until all of your cupcakes are
       made into sandwiches.
17.  Squirt more frosting on top of your cupcakes.  If you know how to make designs you can do that
       also.  Top your cupcakes with the sprinkles and then refrigerate for 1 hour.  This will make the
       frosting set.
       -If you do not have a star tip simply spread your frosting on with a butter knife.

Make your own recipe by trying different kinds of cupcakes and different flavored frostings until you have your own secret recipe.

- ChefElla

Thursday, February 20, 2014

2/20/14 ChefElla's Mock Creamy Wild Rice Soup


I love wild rice soup.  If you have never eaten it before you should really try it.  It is so creamy and rich and flavorful that I could eat it every day.  But I know that it is not good to eat rich food every day, so I decided to make a recipe that I could eat more often.  My wild rice soup is a mock (fake) wild rice soup because it does not have cream, butter, or flour in it.  The soup still tastes creamy and rich and the best part is that you will not be able to tell the difference between my soup and the real one.
If you do not know what wild rice is, it is actually not a rice, but the grain of a particular type of grass.  It cooks like rice and has a nutty flavor.  If you like it you can cook and eat it just like rice.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the stove.  If you are not allowed to use a knife or the stove by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring cups and spoons, a knife, a cutting board, a medium stock
     pot, a small bowl, a mesh strainer, a blender, a peeler and a wooden or plastic spoon.

ChefElla's Mock Creamy Wild Rice Soup (This recipe will make 4-6 servings)
1 Lb.      Chicken Breast or Tenders, cut into bite size pieces
               -Remember kids like ChefElla have little mouths, so the pieces should be small for a kid, not
               small for a mom or dad.
3/4 cup   Carrot, cut into bite sized pieces (3 - 4 small carrots)
1    cup   White Onion, cut into bite sized pieces (1/2 medium to large onion)
3/4 cup   Celery, cut into bite sized pieces (3 medium celery stalk)
               -Wash celery stalk.  Cut brown ends off of celery.  Cut celery in half lengthwise.  Cut each
               half of celery lengthwise again.  You can continue to do this until the pieces are as thin as you
               want them.  Chop the celery stalks into small pieces.  The thinner the celery is cut, the smaller
               the pieces will be when you chop them.
6 cups     Chicken Stock
1 cup      Wild Rice, Raw
2 cups     Cauliflower, Raw (8oz)
1 tsp       Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp    Black Pepper
1/4 tsp    Garlic Powder
2 tsp       Kitchen Bouquet
               -You can use other browning liquids like Maggi seasoning, but they can have MSG in them.
               If you do not like MSG or if you have an allergy to it, just use Kitchen Bouquet.
2 Tbl        Olive Oil

3. Cook your wild rice according to the directions on the package (generally the ratio is 1 to 4.  This
    means that for every 1 cup of rice you will need to cook it in 4 cups of water.
4. Cut your carrots (peel carrots with your peeler before cutting), celery and onions.  Set aside in your
    bowl.  Cut your chicken into small pieces.
5. When the rice is done strain it through your mesh strainer.  Return your pot to the stove and heat on
    medium high heat.  Add two cups of chicken stock, cauliflower and 1 cup of cooked wild rice to
    your pot.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Put cauliflower, wild rice and stock into you blender and puree (mix on a high speed until it is a
7. Return the pot to the stove and turn on medium.  When hot add 2 Tbl. olive oil.  Add carrots, onion
    and celery.  Spread the vegetables evenly on the bottom of the pan.  Let the vegetables sweat on the
    bottom of the pan for 3-4 minutes  without stirring (sweating is when the vegetables cook on a lower
    heat so that they do not become brown but still cook).  The onions will begin to look clear.  Turn the
    pot onto high heat and add the chicken.  Mix the chicken into the vegetables.  Stir every 45 seconds
    to a  minute until all of the chicken is white in color.
8. Add the spices, kitchen bouquet, wild rice, cauliflower puree and stock to the pan.
9. Bring the soup to a boil, turn to low heat and serve.

Top your soup with crackers, serve with bread, or whatever else you can think of.  

- ChefElla

Thursday, February 6, 2014

2/6/14 ChefElla's Sweet & Sour Eggrolls


I know that vegetables are good for me, but sometimes I do not like eating them.  Then I remembered, every time I eat chinese food, I eat vegetables.  I really like the eggrolls from the chinese restaurant, but I know that fried foods are not good for me.  So this week I made some good for me eggrolls.  For my eggrolls I picked vegetables that I like and I baked the eggrolls so they were better for me.  For your eggrolls you can pick the vegetables, meat and sauce that you like knowing that they will be better for you then the eggrolls from the restaurant, and you will get healthy from eating your vegetables.

For this recipe you will need to use the stove, the oven and a knife.  If you are not allowed to use the stove, oven or knife by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a strainer, a knife, a cutting board, a heat proof rubber spatula, a baking sheet, aluminum foil, a saute pan and a mixing bowl.

ChefElla's Sweet & Sour Eggrolls (This recipe will make 10 - 12 eggrolls)
1 lb.           Ground Pork
                   -You can substitute ground turkey, chicken, shrimp or tofu if you like them better.
1 Cup         Green Onions, Thin Sliced (About 6 green onions)
                   -Wash your green onions and then cut off the root ends.  Slice the whole green onion
                   including the green and white parts.  
3 Cups       Broccoli Slaw, you can find it in the produce section of the supermarket.
2 Cups       Broccoli, tiny pieces
                   -Buy one small head of broccoli.  Cut the florets (fancy word for the top of the broccoli)
                   away from the stem.  Cut your broccoli into tiny pieces.
2 tsp.          Fresh Garlic, Minced (minced means to chop the garlic into very, very small pieces)
                    -If you do not have fresh garlic you can use 1/2 tsp granulated (dried) garlic.
1 Tbl.         Canola or Vegetable Oil
1 can          Pan Spray (Pam or other brand of spray oil)
2 ea            16 oz Jars of Sweet and Sour Sauce
                   -If you do not like sweet and sour sauce you can use teriyaki, peanut, hoisin, or any other
                   kind of Thai or Chinese sauce your like.
12 ea          Egg Roll Wrappers, you can normally find them in the produce section of the supermarket.           

3. Pre-heat your sauté pan on the stove on medium high heat.  Pre-heat oven to 425F.
4. Add ground pork to the pan.  Stir frequently in the pan and break the meat apart while it cooks.
    When the meat is no longer pink it is done.  Pour your ground meat into your strainer.
    You so not want the eggroll mix to be wet so the juice and oil will drain away from the meat.  Return
    your pan to the stove, but do not clean it.
5. Cut your green onions and measure out the rest of the ingredients.
6. Heat your pan on medium heat.  Add oil to the pan.  Add all of your vegetables and cook for 3-5
    minutes.  Stir every so often so the vegetables do not brown or burn.  Add 1/4 cup water to the pan
    and let the vegetables cook for 1-2 extra minutes.
7. Put the cooked pork into your large mixing bowl.  Pour your vegetables into the strainer.  Let
    vegetables sit for 5-10 minutes.
8. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
9. Mix vegetable, meat and 1/2 cup of Sweet and Sour sauce in your mixing bow.  Mix well.
10. Dampen one paper towel or dish towel.  It should not be very wet.
11. Put your eggroll wrapper onto your cutting board.  Top wrapper with 1/4 cup of mix, and spread
      the mix out.  While you are making one eggroll cover the other eggroll wrappers with your damp
      cloth otherwise your eggroll wrappers will dry out and crack and you will not be able to roll them.

12. Fold the bottom of the wrapper up over the mix.
13. Fold in the sides of the wrapper.  Keep the sides straight.  Using your finger dampen the top triangle
     of the eggroll with water wrapper.  The water will make the eggroll stick and stay closed.

14. Roll up your eggroll and set aside.
15.  Repeat the process until all of your eggrolls are done.
16.  Spray your pan with pan spray and put eggrolls onto the pan.  Spray the finished eggrolls with pan
17.  Put eggrolls in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
18.  Serve eggrolls with the remaining sweet and sour sauce.

- ChefElla