'Lil Burgher Delights

Food for the Mommy Types

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches December 14, 2010

Filed under: Dinners — mrsgregwillis @ 9:04 pm

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Tonight was a yummy meal that was very filling and hearty, perfect for 13 degree weather! Last night I tossed a pork loin in some garlic, season all, and chachere’s cajun. Next I threw it in the crockpot with some water, white zin, sweet baby ray’s bbq sauce, sweet and sour salad dressing, ketchup, and garlic/onion sauce. After letting it marinate all night, we set it on low just before 8 and let it cook almost 12 hours. What resulted was pork that fell apart and was so tender and juicy…a perfect sandwich! My husband prepped corn and a brocoli/cheese pasta. A great meal! Yum!

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Other Treats… December 12, 2010

Filed under: Desserts — mrsgregwillis @ 3:50 pm

Yesterday, the big successes were clearly the cake and white chocolate cookies. But, I spent the day working on crossing a few things off my Christmas Treat list. Not all of them turned out great, and I am ok with that.

First up was How Sweet Eat’s 3-minute-fudge. I am doubting my microwaving skills because I think know I just didn’t let it get smooth enough. Still, it tastes great and is ready to be pulled out on Christmas morning. Note, I sprayed my baking pan and it stuck, thus the torn out by fork look compliments of the Mr.

I also tried How Sweet’s Cake Batter Chocolate Bark and I swear it was supposed to have a beautiful White Chocolate top layer. Apparently, I spread the white chocolate while it was too hot and it melted my layer of chocolate underneath. The husband, always seeing the positive, cheered me on, saying “That’s how we do it in our house, mix up that chocolate and white”. He is so insightful, huh? Here it is, on the wax paper post-freeze and in the tub ready for storage.

And finally, the treat I had been craving. Yet, I messed it up, forgetting a very important step! I forgot to bake the crackers once the toffee covering was on! Go over to “Trying Our Best” to find a good recipe for this treat as I think I’ll be heading out to buy some more chocolate and try this one again. Ours was quite smooshy, but it still tastes half-ok. 🙂

 

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies December 11, 2010

Filed under: Desserts — mrsgregwillis @ 6:21 pm

One of my newest favorite cookies is this delicious concoction from Better Homes & Gardens, White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread cookies. They were one of the many cookies on the “Always Faithful” cookie buffet at the Island Brunch (one of the great events during my friend Amanda’s wedding weekend in OBX). Being pregnant, I could NOT get enough of these cookies and got the recipe from her mom’s friend once we returned. They have now become one of my Christmas cookies, and today I got spend some time making them. I am also sharing this recipe for @mrsflyboy’s Cookie Hop because they are so great!

CookieBlogHop

You start with finely chopping 1/2 cup of marascino cherries. I cut into one and immediately decided this was going to take FOREVER. Out came the food processor and they turned out the PERFECT consistency.

Next was mixing flour, sugar, and butter until it was fine then adding in the cherries, white chocolate, red food coloring, and almond extract. One of my Christmas wishes is a good set of mixing bowls, because I could not get this dough into a nice ball within my largest mixing bowl, so I threw it on the counter to get what I needed.

The next step said to use a sugar coated glass to squish balls of the dough…I used a sugar coated kid and she absolutely loved it.

Off they went into the oven for about 12 minutes and they came out perfect.

After some cooling time, I made the white chocolate/shortening dip and rolled them in a glitter and sprinkle mix. We then resisted their temptation as the 60 cookies stared us in the face. (Ok, it made 62, but Greg and I could NOT hold back so we ate them.) Success indeed!

And here is the recipe:

1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
12 ounces white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 teaspoons shortening
White nonpareils and/or red edible glitter (optional)
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chopped chocolate. Stir in almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.

3. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

5. In a small saucepan, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, roll dipped edge in nonpareils and/or edible glitter. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set. Makes about 60.

6. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

 

Vegan…or Lactose Free…Icing

Filed under: Desserts — mrsgregwillis @ 5:03 pm

During my attempt to bake the day away, I made a delicious recipe that only called for 1 tablespoon of yellow cake batter. What was I going to do with the 99% of the box that was left? Make a cake. Who cares that it was missing a tablespoon, the cake still came out great. Since our little girl is lactose intolerant, we find very little that she can eat…but cake with the RIGHT icing is one of those things that is actually ok to give her. So, I needed to find an icing recipe that would work with all this cake I baked.

Luckily, I took the Wilton I Course in Cake Decorating and knew that with some milk, powdered sugar, flavor, and shortening I could have icing. But, the problem with that, uh, milk! So I started desperately searching the interwebs and I stumbled on this recipe and substituted the 1/2 c margarine (which I didn’t have a vegan or lactose free version of) with the other 1/2 cup shortening. I HATE soy milk, but I figured, it’s for my daughter, so go with it. As I was mixing, I tempted fate and took a taste. Indeed, the icing was the fluffiest, most delicious concoction. The little one tested it and we waited for an allergic reaction (there was none) and the cake to finish (always takes forever). Here is what happened…

 

Christmas Brunch Thoughts December 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsgregwillis @ 11:38 am

Last year for Christmas, my parents and brother came over to share in the joy of a 1 year old opening presents. This year, my parents and my husband’s parents and sister will be able to be with us as our 2-year old and newborn experience our first Christmas as a four-some. I plan to continue the tradition to have snackies/brunch items prepared for the morning. We have not discussed timing or lunch options, but here is what I plan on making for noshing throughout the day:

Sausage Balls
Beer Bread
Veggies and Dips (Garlic, Onion, Sweet Bell Pepper are all options)
Chips and Salsa
Cookies and Treats (from my Treat List)

Let’s see where else my preggers brain takes me as we get closer and closer to the 25th! 🙂

 

Christmas Treat List

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsgregwillis @ 11:33 am

With 12 days and 27 minutes to go until the DEFINITE arrival of Baby #2, I can’t think of anything else but what treats I want around the house for Christmas! Here is the list that I made this morning that I would like to be responsible for making (in addition to this, I really hope my dad gets to make his mom’s Butter Cookies and Pizelles)…and pictures and details will follow as I get around to making these:

Puppy Chow (ala Chex box recipe)
Snickerdoodle Chex Mix (ala Chex box recipe)
Cake Batter Chocolate Bark (thank you How Sweet Eats!!!
Three Minute Fudge (again, thank you to How Sweet Eats)
Trufle Fudge Brownies (Tastefully Simple) with Peppermint Dip (Le Gourmet Chef)
Crock Pot Chex Mix (CD Kitchen)
Hidden Mint Cookies (my most favorite holiday treat)
Rainbow Cookies (ah, thank you Betty Crocker)
Double Chocolate Cookies (again, thank you Betty Crocker)
White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies (an amazing cookie from the ‘Ski wedding brunch and the recipe can be found at Better Homes & Gardens but is now a cookbook favorite of mine)
Cracker Candy (my mom makes this and it is amazing…but I have a HUGE craving for it, so I am not waiting for her to make it, lol)
M&M cookies (going to give this recipe a shot)
Peppermint Bark (goodness to I love me some Paula Deen)

Let’s see what I can accomplish between waiting to go into labor, spending 3 days in the hospital, bringing baby home, and opening our house to guests! Stay tuned.

 

To Blog or Not to Blog?

Filed under: About the Blog — mrsgregwillis @ 11:12 am

As far back as I can remember, I have always had a passion for writing. In my late elementary and early high school years, it was mostly writing fictions stories based on my reality.  At one point, I had written multiple versions of stories about my dream, living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Thank goodness that dream came true, because that is where I had my amazing little girl and met the man of my dreams (but that is a whole different blog).  I continued to write throughout high school, switching more to reality and working on my school newspaper and yearbook.  Every story, even in reality, had my emotion all through it.  This love of writing carried on into college where I worked occasionally for our school newspaper and served as editor of our yearbook.  During this time, I met one of my great friends who continued to write with me on a political blog that we eventually just grew out of.  My personal blogging was off and on (probably a side effect of the fact that I had moved from Pittsburgh to Myrtle Beach and was not exactly sure who I was) and not consistent.  There was no purpose, it was like scrapbooking when you don’t have a kid.  It is meaningful to you, but to who else?  (Now I’ve learned that my kids will appreciate the silly scrapbooks I made of myself in my college and SC years because they will know more of who Mom is, but at the time? I had no clue.) Once I had my daughter, I had so much material and I wanted a place to put it all down, a place to remember the moments beyond the scrapbookable ones.  I am a workaholic who is married to a stay-at-home dad, so blogging doesn’t always happen in a timely or consistent manner, but it happens when I need it to.  In October 2010, I attended Pod Camp Pittsburgh 5 where I listened to Burgh Baby talk about finding the fodder to blog 365 days a year. She makes it a point to blog every single day, and it is with a purpose–writing for her daughter. So today, I have decided that I have a purpose with my personal blog–writing for my daughter and my son. But there is another part of me that I would like to share with the world, and that is talking about one of my hobbies–cooking. In order to maintain my kids’ privacy and not bore my readers, I needed to seperate the two blogs and see what came forth. Hence, today I gave birth to “Lil Burgher Delights”.

What will you find on this page? As I try to maintain a balance between personal blogging for my family, working a full time + job, spending time with my kids, scrapbooking, and enjoying living back in the city of Pittsburgh, there is little time for high quality cooking around our house. Well, perhaps through this blog I will break out of my rut and start to get a little more creative and less predictable with my cooking. So, what you are going to find here are my food adventures. Some may be silly and easy, others may leaving me crying on the kichen floor; however, you are going to hear about them. And I would love for my husband to take some pictures to include in the recipes and stories. Let’s see what comes forth!