Welcome to Fashion Plate

You've found the home of my fabulous hand-sewn retro Barbie fashions and delectable recipes from my cookbooks, Chocolate Crimes and Five Step to Chocolate Rehab.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Raspberry Vanilla Bread Pudding

The ladies and I tried Bobby Flay's Pumpkin Bread Pudding for Thanksgiving, but I like this bread pudding, better.

4 cups bread, French or challah, in ½ inch cubes (five to six thick slices)

3 large eggs, beaten

in microwave of 30 seconds and stir until smooth.  Drop by teaspoonfuls into the bread, making little pockets of raspberry.
Place in oven and bake at 325° for 45 minutes.


1 ounce white chocolate

over waxed paper on a fine micro file. Set aside.

For Betty, it was just another weekend of slinging pancakes at IHOP...lots of travelers and skimpy tips.  Sunday provides a day off and a blind date.  She doesn't expect much from the date, but she is looking forward to Mexican food and Margaritas.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pie Baking Tips

get pie with a little help from your friend     

If you run screaming to the grocer’s frozen food section rather than face making a pie crust from scratch, this is for you.  Don’t believe the propaganda that has been spread about making pastry.  It only takes a few ingredients and no special appliances.  If you have a $7.00 pastry blender, you’ll be making pie crust with the master chefs. Just remember KISS:
Keep it cold: water, shortening and butter
Indulge in pastry flour
Save the counter.  Use waxed paper.
Store the crust in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before rolling.
You can also freeze butter and solid Crisco.  Then you can chop the required amount into tiny pieces or grate them on a cheese grater.  Pop this back into the freezer until ready to use.
Pastry flour (available from King Arthur Flour) makes a big difference in your final product.  You can use regular flour, but if you are into pie making, I’d order some pastry flour.
I always roll out my pie crust on floured waxed paper.  Then I just have to flip it into the pan and peel the paper off the dough.  It is much easier to handle.  I’ve tried folding it in fourths and all the other tricks, but the waxed paper works the best.  Roll your dough from the center, out.  Don’t roll off the edges.  Work the rolling pin in all directions, keeping the dough in a circular shape.
If you are making a fluted edge on the pie, allow about 1 inch of dough overhang.  If you’re not into fancy edges, just trim the dough (with a sharp knife) even with the edge of the pie pan and mark the edge with a fork imprint.
Store you piecrust in the freezer while preparing the filling.  If you are making a pre-baked pie crust (referred to as blind baking), place the crust lined pan into the freezer for 30 minutes before baking.  I usually put a liner of foil against the bottom and sides of a pre-baked pie crust to keep the sides upright.  Place in oven to cook. Remove the foil for the last few minutes of baking. 
If you are making a pie that will not have a pre-baked crust, then put the fully assembled pie in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking.  All this chilling of the dough makes for a more tender and flakey crust.
Slits and cutouts help release the steam from the baking pie.  Every pie with a top crust should have slits or cutouts.  I like to brush the unbaked top crust with milk and then sprinkle it with coarse sugar crystals. If you are making a custard pie, brush the bottom crust with a beaten egg before adding filling. No one likes a soggy bottom, and neither does your pie.  Don’t place hot filling into your pie crust. 
When I make an apple pie, I always cook the apples and sugar in the microwave for about 8 minutes to determine how much liquid it will make.  Then I can add the appropriate amount of flour so it will thicken.  If there is way too much liquid, I can discard part of it.  This method works well with other fruits fillings.  If you want to be extra cautious, sprinkle the bottom of the crust with 1 tablespoon flour mixed with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. 
This year I found Pyrex deep-dish pie pans with extended sides.  Anyone who has wrestled with removing a pie from the oven without crushing the crust will appreciate this improvement! Cooling on my counter right now, is a chocolate pecan pie...oh yum!!! (Horsey Pie page 104 in Chocolate Rehab) Can I possible wait until Thanksgiving?  As soon as it is cooled, I will wrap it in plastic wrap, then foil and finally in a plastic bag and pop into the freezer.  It will thaw in about three hours, just resting on the counter. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Brandied Cranberries

brandied cranberries
A.J.’s sister, Joan, brought this for Thanksgiving one year and it has become a favorite. I have made a few changes to the original recipe, but it is a winner.  I make this in big batches and freeze it to last through the year.  It is great with any type of poultry.

1 pkg. fresh or frozen cranberries (16 ounces)
2 cups sugar (yes, the berries are VERY tart!)
1/3 cup brandy (I used cherry brandy on the last batch.)
¼ cup orange juice
orange zest from one orange

Mix in 9x13 pan. Bake at 350˚ for one hour. Stir every 15 minutes.  Chill overnight.
I make 64 ounces of cranberries at a time and cook in a 12x18x2 pan.  I've tried reducing the sugar in the larger batches, but you really need this much or it is very bitter.
Lucy is listening to her 45's and packing for her trip home.  Her mean cat, Ethel, is going to the Vet's for the holiday because no one will volunteer to feed the vicious beast . 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Veronica's Sausage Stuffing

I have to admit, I spent my first twelve years in New England, where stuffing was dry crumbly stuff.  It wasn't until I moved to Texas that I discovered "wet" stuffing.  This recipe evolved from my husband's Thanksgiving dinner tradition. 

sausage stuffing

1 small onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
¼ cup butter
Sauté in butter until tender

12 ounces light pork sausage, cooked and drained
8 ounces herb dressing (Pepperidge Farm)
8 ounces cornbread dressing
2 cups giblet liquid, cooked with vegetable bouillon

Mix all ingredients together and bake in casserole at 350° for 30minutes.  You may add more liquid as needed depending on whether you like a wet or drier stuffing.

Veronica has selected her one-piece palazzo pants for cooking up a Thanksgiving storm.  Conveniently, it comes with an expandable belt to compensate for those extra five pounds that miraculously appear between Turkey Day and New Years. She is spending Thanksgiving with her parents, Mary Nell and Beau.  You can just be that table will be brimming with Southern tradition.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Torte


pumpkin pie torte

This recipe evolved when I was trying to come up with something for Thanksgiving dessert that could be made ahead and frozen and that wasn’t pumpkin pie…not one of my favorites.
Start with a 10 inch round by 3 inch high cheesecake pan.
In the food processor, chop:
1 pound ginger snaps (you will have leftovers)
Set aside.
2 ½ cups ginger snap crumbs
1/3  cup butter, melted
Combine crumbs and place in bottom and slightly up the sides of the cheesecake pan.  Bake at 375° for 7 minutes.
While crust is baking, process:
 1 cup butterscotch chips
 Set aside ½ cup for filling and ¼ cup for topping
½ cup butterscotch chips
Spread over warm crust and allow crust to cool.  Set Aside.
2 (3.4 oz.) packages instant butterscotch pudding
1 ½ cups heavy cream
Beat until smooth.  Set aside.
15 ounces pumpkin
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
Dash of salt
Beat until smooth and add to butterscotch pudding.
Whipped cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons whipped cream stabilizer (or according to directions on stabilizer)
1 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
Beat until smooth and stiff.  Fold ½ of the whipped cream into the butterscotch/pumpkin mixture. Place filling in cooled crust and top with remaining whipped cream.
Decorate the top with the reserved ¼ cup of processed butterscotch chips and 1/3 cup of the ginger snap crumbs. Refrigerate.  This may be frozen and thawed overnight in the refrigerator.

Ginger is looking pretty snappy in her two-piece ensemble.  Please notice the tiny buttons on the jacket and the pockets on the dress...oh, so hard to make!  If it is November, you can be sure Ginger is about to set her boyfriend loose.  She cannot deal with commitment during the holidays or maybe it is just that she has no intention of dragging anyone home to meet her long-suffering mother, Kay and alcoholic father, Roger.  From mid November until December 26th, she will be playing the field, but don't underestimate her.  By the time the ball falls in Time Square, she will have a steady boyfriend.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Perfect Thanksgiving Rolls

angel biscuits memphis

These tender mini rolls melt in your mouth and are a crowd pleasing favorite! I made them for a charity event and people were coming into the kitchen and offering to buy them by the tray.  You can freeze them (unbaked) with great success.

2 cups water plus 5 tablespoons warm water (120°)

Set aside.

2¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast
5 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1¼ teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons buttermilk powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Add butter to dry ingredients and mix well.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
Add warm water to mixture and knead until smooth and elastic. This will take about 8 minutes in a mixer with dough hook attachment.

flour, additional for rolling out biscuits

Roll inch thick, cut with one-inch biscuit cutter. Place on greased cookie sheet and brush tops with butter. Let rise 1½ hours. Bake 425° for 12-15 minutes. This recipe makes 5 dozen.

This dough can be stored in refrigerator for up to a week.

To Freeze:  Place unbaked biscuits on baking sheet, cover with foil and freeze, then store in plastic bags in freezer until needed. Remove from freezer, let rise three hours and bake as above.

Veronica is giving a little cheer because she made her rolls ahead of time and they are waiting in her freezer for Thanksgiving Day...wish I had done the same.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sweet Potato Casserole Cake

sweet potato casserole cake

If you love the gooey goodness of sweet potato casserole, this is the perfect cake for you.  I dreamed this up while trapped at the ranch with limited ingredients.
Combine these ingredients and set aside.
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
Beat until creamy.  Add:
29 ounce can Bruce’s sweet potatoes, drained
Mix thoroughly.  Add:
4 eggs
Beat until smooth and eggs are incorporated in batter. Add:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Then add dry ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Beat until batter is smooth.  This is a thick batter.  Grease two baby Bundt pans.  Remove cup of the streusel and divide it between the two Bundt pans, sprinkling it on the bottom of each. Top each streusel base with about 4 large serving spoonfuls of batter.
Reserve ½ of the remaining streusel topping for the last layer.  Divide the remaining streusel and put on top of batter layer. Top the streusel with:
15 mini marshmallows per pan
Be sure to keep the marshmallows away from the sides of the cake pan! Divide the remaining batter between the pans and top with the last of the streusel.  Bake at 350° for 48 minutes.  Allow to cool for three minutes, then invert on cooling rack.  Wait about five minutes and then remove from pans.
Maryann is shopping for a ballgown for the Thanksgiving Dance.  I think she looks more delicious than pumpkin pie in this beautiful silk dress with beaded neckline. Ken is going to want to move up the wedding date when he gets a look at her in this gorgeous gown.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Caramel Apple Cake

Annette is looking fetching in her two-piece swing
jacket suit.   She went off without her purse, but was
befriended by a kind gentleman who insisted on
paying her bus fare as well as supplying her with a lovely
new handbag.
She is baking this apple cake as a thank-you.  I bet he
might be expecting something more...
I love the flavors of caramel and apple together in this delicious brown sugar based cake.
20 ounces sliced pie apples (not pie filling)
Dice to ¼ inch, enough apples to equal 2 cups in dry measuring cup.  This will leave about 1 cup of slices that you can use for another recipe.  Set aside apples.
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
Beat until smooth.  Add:
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup water
Beat until combined.  In another bowl, combine:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons buttermilk powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Add to liquid mixture and beat until smooth. 
Grease and flour 2 baby Bundt pans and put enough batter to just cover the bottom of each pan. 
Mix apples and caramels and toss with 2 or less tablespoons flour to coat. 
2 cups diced apples
1 cup caramel bits (or diced caramels)
Stir the apple and caramel bits into the remaining cake batter and divide evenly between the two pans.  Bake at 350° for 48 minutes.  Remove from pans after resting five minutes.  Cool 30 minutes and top with glaze.
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
Place in glass bowl and cover with waxed paper.  Microwave for 5-6 minutes, watching carefully as the butter browns.  This will be very hot.  Use a piece of cheese cloth or a very fine strainer to remove the browned bits from the butter liquid.  Discard the bits and use the remaining liquid for the glaze.  To it add:
3 tablespoons Cajeta de Celaya (caramel sauce)
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups glazing sugar (or confectioners’ sugar)
Bear until smooth.  Pour glaze over slightly warm cakes.  Allow to cool and set.