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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Funfetti Cookies

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Funfetti Cookies
I bought Pillsbury Funfetti Sugar Cookie Mix with Candy Bits about a month ago but waited to make them at the right moment since I baked a ton of cookies for Christmas and was burnt out on cookies. Today, I was in the mood for something sweet but didn't feel like making the dough or frosting from scratch so was glad I had this in the pantry. It was barely any work for delicious results. I used Pillsbury Confetti Funfetti Frosting and the cookies are pretty and yummy.

Funfetti Cookies cooling
This is great project to make with kids if you have them. Hubby and me are big kids so it's just the same. All the work was pretty much done for me so the only thing I had to do was mix the ingredients as directed and I added 1 teaspoon of clear vanilla extract for extra flavor. One box is supposed to yield 3 dozen cookies but mine were uneven shapes and I got 21 cookies. I separated the frosting into three bowls and used yellow, red, and blue color dye. 

Frosting is setting on the Funfetti Cookies
The cookies baked at 375 degrees for about 8-10 minutes until the edges were golden brown. When the cookies come out the oven let them cool for about 10 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling sheet. Do not add the frosting and confetti until the cookies are completely cooled.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shrimp Scampi & Jasmine Rice

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Last night Allen made his Mom's recipe Shrimp Scampi & Jasmine Rice. We first had this when visiting his parents in northern California when we were first married and had it again years later when they visited us in NY. This is a very simple, tasty, and quick recipe we like to make.

For the shrimp we used frozen, fully cooked, peeled/deveined with tail on. First step is to defrost shrimp in colander or huge bowl with cold water until thawed. Use a 9x13 size oven safe pan. I used my Pyrex 9x13 glass pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 1 stick of butter in pan in the oven for a few minutes until it melts. I was Allen's Sous Chef tonight and chopped 1 large onion and 4 cloves of garlic. Add onions and garlic in pan with melted butter until onions become translucent. This should take about 7-10 minutes so keep an eye on them.

Shrimp Scampi, Jasmine Rice, Buttered Baguette
Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel and season generously with coarse salt and cracked black pepper. Once the onions are translucent add seasoned shrimp over the onions, garlic and melted butter. Shrimp are already cooked so just leave in oven for about 5 minutes tops. If you overcook the shrimp they will taste rubbery and you don't want that.

You can make this dish with pasta such a thin spaghetti or linguine but we made jasmine rice using our rice cooker. You can serve with salad or veggies but we opted for a french baguette made fresh from our local supermarket. This dish is delicious and very quick to make. You should try it. Thanks Mom!

-Allen and Sophia/Two Frys

Monday, January 3, 2011

M&M's Cookies

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I have never baked M&M's Cookies before but always wanted to. I have seen the ones with the M&M's buried inside the dough but I like this recipe better because the cookies have a gorgeous presentation. Since they are on top of the cookie dough you can use multiple colors and get as creative as you would like. One thing I recommend you always do before you bake is get all the ingredients ready ahead of time. Eggs and unsalted butter need to come to room temperature so do this a few hours before baking. Have measuring cups/spoons, bowls, baking sheets and cooling racks ready to go. Put on an apron to protect your clothes and I suggest you listen to music-always heightens the baking mood for me. I preheat the oven when I am about to place the M&M's on top of each ball of dough.

M&M's Cookies ready to go in the oven!

I used the recipe from Joy of Baking and followed directions as listed. It was so easy and fun. One thing the recipe does not suggest but I do is to chill the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes or you will have a mess on your hands. Doing this will make forming the dough into balls a snap. Place the cookies far enough apart or they will stick to each other when they bake. You need to gently press the M&M's into each dough ball leaving enough room between each. I used about 7-8 M&M's per cookie and had fun with this part. This recipe makes 12 large cookies and you can make them smaller to yield 2 dozen.
 
M&M's Cookies on the cooling rack. Smelling yummy :)
Watch the cookies while they are baking. They should have a light golden brown color when they are ready. The recipe called for 15-17 minutes oven time and mine were ready at 15. I started checking them at the 13 minute mark since all oven temperatures vary. Leave them in the cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer them to wire racks to cool for about an hour before serving. They are delicious, centers are chewy and edges have a light crunch.

M&M's is a registered trademark of Mars. Incorporated.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Rice Cooker

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For Christmas, one of the gifts my hubby bought me was a rice cooker in red to go with my "red themed" color kitchen appliances. The model he bought me Aroma 6-Cup Rice Cooker & Food Steamer is pictured below. I love it for the mere fact it is a one touch operation and best of all has a steamer so you can steam vegetables, fish or meat while the rice is cooking. I never had a rice cooker before but always wanted one. The model I have is a more traditional cooker based on the original Japanese design. The Aroma site claims they are "...easy to operate and yield great results." I can vouch for that since I made rice and the texture was perfect. It took about twenty minutes to cook and clean up was quick.

Aroma 6-Cup Rice Cooker & Food Steamer
I think I am a pretty good cook but when it comes to making rice my results aren't always top notch. Actually, my hubby makes better rice than me. Sometimes my rice would come out too mushy or crunchy and other times just right. Using the rice cooker, I have flawless results every time and will use it from now on. I was reading Chef Ming Tsai's new cookbook Simply Ming One-Pot Meals and he suggests to use a rice cooker to get perfect rice as millions of Asians do. Ming also notes rice can be left in the rice cooker for up to 8 hours. My rice cooker switches to warm once the rice is cooked. I like this since I can make rice ahead of time and cook the rest of my meal without worrying it will get cold. I would not leave rice in there for too long and it needs to be unplugged to turn off.

-Sophia/Two Frys