Monday, August 29, 2011

Foodie Find - Grass Tip Cake

One of the blogs that I enjoy on a regular basis is 'i am baker'. I came across her post about making cakes with a grass tip and LOVED the rainbow one. I think it's gorgeous and soooooo lovely. 

Check out the link and enjoy :) 


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Crispy Honey Chicken

This post is so overdue it's ridiculous! Not only have I been M.I.A. from the blog for AGES now but I have had a draft of this post ready since February! I do apologize for my absence and I promise that I will try my best to never let it happen again. I have been working on a ton of orders lately (YAY!), then I was away for a week of holidays at the cottage and it seems that I simply haven't had the chance to sit down yet alone write about my adventures in the kitchen. BUT the cooking hasn't stopped, I promise :)

There is a popular food restaurant found across North America that has a very delicious crispy honey sesame chicken dish and I've only discovered it in the last few months. I am addicted to this dish and seem to be using it as my 'go-to' dish whenever I visit this restaurant. So naturally, my first thought was "oh sweet lord, I must make this soon!" After some searching, I found a recipe at BlogChef and I felt that it looked pretty similar to what I was used to. 

Now, while the recipe does have quite a few ingredients in it, I promise you that not only is it worth it but I actually had most of the ingredients in my kitchen. 

Chinese Honey Chicken
Adapted from the recipe found on BlogChef (link here)

1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” chunks)
Oil (for deep frying)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg white
1 ½ tablespoons oil
2 teaspoon ginger (minced)
3 tablespoons garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 teaspoon water)
Sesame seeds (for garnish)

Step 1: In a large bowl mix all batter ingredients together until smooth. Cover and allow the batter to site for at least 30 minutes. Add the chicken to the batter tossing to coat.
Step 2:
Heat a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Fry chicken bits in patches for 2 minutes or until batter becomes firm. Drain on paper towels.
Step 3: To make the sauce. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in your wok. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds.  Add salt, honey, vinegar, and water. Mix well. Combine 1 teaspoon of water with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Add to the sauce and Simmer for 2 minutes.
Step 4:
Coat chicken with the sauce and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with white rice.
Here's what the dish will look like once you add the chicken to the sauce (oh the joys of close-up photos from a Blackberry!):

After having made this recipe, I feel that I have a few notes to add. 
  • Add your chicken at the very last moment possible - you don't want it to go soggy
  • Serve this with some veggies along with your rice. I did a quick stir-fry of some snow peas and bean sprouts with some garlic chili sauce as well as some roasted sweet potatoes

And here, loves, is the final dish! I actually think my mouth is watering RIGHT NOW because I could eat this for DAYS! 

I hope you all have been keeping well and I will try my best not to leave the blog alone for too long in the future. 

Happy Cooking!


A New Feature on the Blog!

Ladies and gents, I have decided that I wanted to create a section in the blog where I could share some of the neat things that I find while out and about or online. Thus... dun dun dun dun.... I would like to introduce you to the newest addition to the Novice Goddess Kitchen blog: Foodie Finds! 

I want to be able to share amazing posts by other bloggers or photos of deliciousness that I've come across! The first round should be coming out soon! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lemon Mousse for a Sticky Hot Day

Do you ever have those days when it's gross and hot and sticky outside and you want something delightful for dessert but you don't want something heavy? Well about 2 weeks ago it was hot as two rats getting it on in a wool sock and we were having guests over for our regular Friday night dinner. We needed something for dessert and after hours, yes hours, of deliberation, I decided the one thing that I was craving was lemon mousse. I think I've had it once or twice before and it's always so light and fluffy and heavenly and what more could I ask for on such a hot night? 

I did a quick search online to see if I could find a recipe with ingredients that I had at home. I then came across a post from The English Kitchen blog where Marie (the author) had written about making a delightful Lemon Mousse. After reading her post, there was not a doubt in my mind that I could make the mousse and have it be exactly what we needed that night. 

Ladies and Gents, can I tell you how much I LOVED not only making this recipe but eating it? It was AMAZING! I topped the mousse with a few blueberries that I had picked up in Shelburne, Ontario, on my way home from visiting my high school music teacher and a dollop of whipped cream. Simple, delicious and the perfect dish! The mousse is creamy and airy and the tang from the lemon is just the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness!

Last weekend I also wanted to see if you could change things up and use a different citrus fruit and so I tried the recipe with oranges instead. I think I still prefer the lemon version but that could also have something to do with the fact that I forgot to add the butter to the recipe (THIS is why you don't cook while in a mad frenzy!). 

The orange mousse for a larger dinner party
Here is the recipe:

Lemon Mousse (as adapted from The English Kitchen)
Serves 4

the finely grated zest of 3 lemons
1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup (185g)  caster sugar (I used regular sugar and things worked out just fine)
4 large eggs, separated
5 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Place the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and egg yolks in the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, and cook over a low heat.  Stir constantly, cooking for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon.  Whisk in the butter, piece at a time.  Remove from the heat and cool.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean and great free bowl, until stiff.

Fold half of the egg whites into the lemon mixture with a metal spoon, then fold in the remaining egg whites.  Divide amongst 4 serving dishes and chill until firm.  Serve with a small cake or crisp cookie on the side.

I hope you all are having a wonderful week :) 
Happy cooking! 


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pin-Up Girl Cupcake Cake

This was a cake that I had on order a few week's ago for my sister-in-law's (read: my brother's girlfriend) grandpa's 75th birthday party! I've never had the chance to meet any of her family (except her LOVELY sister for 2 seconds in the middle of the winter at a gas station... It wasn't as sketchy as it sounds) and so not only was I asked to make the cake but I was getting to meet the people who are the reason why I love this gal sooooo much! 

Anywhoo, when Taryn (that's her name!) asked me to do the cake, I was honoured and a little nervous. Then she asked if I could do the cake as a cupcake cake. Now, I'm not sure if you have ever seen a cupcake cake, so allow me to explain. It's a bunch of cupcakes that are all arranged closely together and then iced together so that they are one flat slab of cake. A perfect example of one can be found here (gorgeously cute cake by the by). I've never made one before and I was nervous considering there were going to be a lot of people there (approximately 80) and that this was for her family! But I decided to proceed. 

The decision was made that the cake would have a 1940s pin-up girl on it which brought on a whole other list of worries. How would I get a picture of the pin-up girl on the cake without making her look like an ape with boobies?!?!? Thankfully, my darling friend, Amanda, explained to me how she works through these things and told me about a local bakery that prints sugar sheets for you! 

Anyway, here is the final result of the cupcake cake. The cupcakes are chocolate and vanilla. The cake was made of 20 standard sized cupcakes and 84 mini cupcakes. 

I may or may not have an obsession with rows of cupcakes

Un-iced grouping of cupcakes
Iced as a whole cake :)

The Birthday Boy who proceeded to sing happy birthday to his pin-up girl :)
And now, because I can, here are some photos of the fam while we were up at the party! God, I love these people soooooo much! 

My brother and I... there really can never be too much sibling time! EVER!
Amy, Taryn, Me and Mum!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Pioneer Woman's Carrot Cake

I LOVE the Pioneer Woman's blog! LOVE IT! Don't usually go 24 hours without checking it! If you haven't been.. GO NOW! (by clicking here). Naturally, I am a little more partial to the cooking section of her blog but the rest of it is amazing as well. 

After having gotten over the slight disappointment with some of the feedback concerning the Detroit Red Wings cake, I knew that for my next order, I needed a different kind of recipe. I needed a recipe that could be made in a sheet cake pan but that would taste delicious and moist and still look good. So naturally, I did a quick search for 'carrot sheet cake' (since the order was for a carrot cake) and was ironically brought to the Pioneer Woman's post for Sigrid's Carrot Cake. There is the most adorable story behind this cake and you should definitely read it on her blog. As you all know, I love the connections that people make to certain foods in relation to people they know and this recipe is no exception. 

Anywhoo, I made the recipe in an 18' x 22' x 1 1/2' cake pan (which I learned was too big to fit in my own oven! Thank you J for letting me take over your kitchen! You're my hero!!!) and baked a double batch of the recipe for about 45-50 minutes. It turned out amazingly and I was so happy. I once again learned the hard way that I can't make a cake from start to finish in one day. I get exhausted and then become irritated and frustrated and I pretty much throw a tantrum like this (click here) (once again, thank you J for not kicking me out of your house that night!!!! <3). Lessons learned and put aside, the cake turned out wonderfully... Super moist, not too overdone and it was enjoyed by all (ULTIMATE CAKE SUCCESS!!!!!).I am a bad blogger because I don't think I took any pictures of the finished cake. I have some process pictures at home but I don't have the finished product (again, please refer to the temper tantrum video found here). I'm so sorry!

BUT wait... there's more! I decided that since the Pioneer Woman says how versatile this recipe is that I would try and turn these babies into cupcakes (who here doesn't know about my love of cupcakes?). A single batch of this recipe will perfectly make 24 cupcakes. I baked mine for about 45 minutes or until they were light-ish brown on top. I'm not quite sure why but the top of the cake always bakes up looking a little lumpy. I personally don't mind it because it ends up looking like it's got oats in it too (it's always a good mind trick to make the brain think it's eating something 'healthy'). Really though, for me it's not an issue because there is always icing on top of the cake so you don't see it. 

And without further delay, allow me to introduce you to the most perfect cupcake of my existence complete with cream cheese frosting! 

I hope you all are having a wonderful week! 

Keep smiling :)