Mushroom-Shaped Chocolate-Orange Meringues

Whimsical party food to impress.

Froot Loop Cupcakes (USA)

Fancy dressing up your vanilla cupcakes?

Creamy Chicken Tetrazzini

Savory and creamy comfort food!

I-Disgust-Me BBQ Burgers

A burger for when you've stopped caring about fat content. The only thing missing is bacon!

Crab-Topped Deviled Eggs

Eggcelent. Yeah, I went there.

Chicken-Fried Chicken with Country Gravy Dipping Sauce

Double-coated for extra CRUNCH.

Red-Bottom Cake

Imagine if a black-bottom cupcake had a baby with a red velvet cake. Now imagine a red-bottom cake. Simply another excuse to eat cream cheese frosting.

A Rather Traditional Pavlova

Dreaming of a sunny summer day in food format?

Orange Beef Burgers

A chinese takeaway in burger form.

Mexican-Inspired: Cheesy Refried Bean Quesadillas

I beat Taco Bell to their own crushed-Dorito food hell with these babies.

Marsala Chicken Dumplings

Dumplings get a makeover.

Mochacinno Fudge

Premium coffee drink fudge!

Parmesan Chicken Risotto

Risotto for picky eaters!

Whimsical Cookery is a site for adults who prefer to eat like children, or perhaps just need to cook for some children. This site contains an aversion to vegetables, a love of fried food and cupcakes, lazy shortcuts, some disturbing creations, and a purposeful ignorance of proper culinary practices... YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Salsa!


Easy and fresh salsa!


You will need:
1 8 oz. tin tomato sauce
10 oz. diced tomatoes
1/4 onion, chopped
Chipotle chilies to taste, seeds removed (I used 3-small for mild)
1/8 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tso salt
1 Tbsp lime juice

1. Combine all ingredients.

2. Serve as is, or blend to create smooth taco sauce.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Chop Suey


This version of Chop Suey, should be accredited to my mother.  It was a favorite of mine as a child, as it was a great excuse to get my wee hands on fried rice noodles.  I fear I have never come across these in the UK, though perhaps I have been looking in the wrong place.
This recipe uses water chestnuts and mushrooms as the vegetables, as they are often inoffensive to picky palettes... however you can substitute any vegetables you want.  This recipe is just a guide.

You will need:
2 tins cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 lb ground beef
1 tin water chestnuts
1 cup mushrooms
Oil for frying
Rice noodles



1. In a medium saucepan, add mushroom soup.  Set aside.

2. In a frying pan, brown and crumble ground beef.  Drain fat.  Add beef to mushroom soup.

3. Wipe out pan and add a couple tablespoons of oil.  Fry mushrooms and water chestnuts.

4. Combine with other ingredients.  Heat.

The most flavorful way is to serve over the aforementioned rice noodles, as they add a salty crunch.  However, it may also be served over rice or egg noodles.


Sunday, 19 September 2010

Marsala Chicken Dumplings


 Marsala Chicken Dumplings are a slightly different take on this traditional comfort food. The Marsala wine and pepper give these dumplings a bit of a zing. This is also a great recipe for incorporating vegetables into other tastes and textures that your palate may prefer. I am adding carrots and mushrooms to mine. But you may also wish to add peas, celery, and/or onions. (Remove onion powder from recipe if adding onions).

I broke the recipe down into three sections in order to avoid confusion.  So the first step is to prepare the dumpling dough!


Dumpling Recipe
You’ll need:
2 cups all-purpose
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 ½ Tbsp soft margarine or butter
1 cup of milk

1. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to a medium sized bowl.

2. Using two forks or a pastry blender to cut margarine into mixture.

3. Add milk and stir.

4. Cover with cling film and refrigerate.

--------

Next, prepare the broth and chicken.

You will need:
3 medium skinless chicken breasts
4 cups chicken stock
(or 4 tsp chicken bouillon dissolved in 4 cups water)

1. Remove any fat from chicken breast and cut each in half (for faster cooking).

2. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium-sized pot and add chicken, reduce to a simmer and cook chicken thoroughly.

--------

When chicken is nearly-cooked, begin sauce mixture.

Sauce Recipe
You will need:
6 Tbsp butter
8 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1/4 tsp finely-crushed thyme (optional)
¼ tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 carrot
5 oz. fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup heavy cream
The broth and chicken from previous section

1. Chop vegetables and refrigerate.

2. In a large pot, melt butter on medium heat. Mix in 8 Tbsp flour and brown for 3-4 minutes.

3. Add Marsala wine.

4. Holding a strainer over larger pot, add broth to pot while retaining the chicken (which you can return to the pot).

5. Add thyme, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, and cayenne pepper and stir. Allow sauce to thicken.

6. While sauce thickens, chop chicken into bite-size pieces.

7. Add chicken, mushrooms, carrots, and heavy cream to mixture.

8. Retrieve the dumpling dough and drop by the tablespoonful into the sauce (for smaller dumplings, drop by the teaspoonful).

9. Cover pot and allow to simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes, cooking the dumplings.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Double Dark Chocolate S'mores


What is better than a regular s'mores sandwich?  Answer: One made with dark chocolate and chocolate graham crackers.  This makes the perfect last summer-dessert-hoorah!

I shall be departing for the UK and starting my masters degree very soon!  No worries, as I have plenty of recipes saved up to tide the blog over until I get a flat.

You will need:
Marshmallows
Dark chocolate candy bar
Chocolate-flavored graham crackers

I suppose most Americans are fully-capable of building a s'more, but for anyone else reading that somehow manages to get their hands on some graham crackers... simply layer the chocolate on the cracker, with the marshmallows on the very top.



There are several ways to toast the marshmallows, the most rustic being on the ends of sticks over a campfire.  Failing that, you can toast them over heated coals.  But, perhaps the most accessible way to toast the marshmallows is to make your s'more, leave it open-faced, and pop it in the oven on a low 'broil' until the marshmallows puff up and brown.

Once everything inside has melted, simply pop another chocolate graham cracker on top! 

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Slow-Cooker Cocktail Meatballs



Today the whole house smells like Christmas.  Though not necessarily out of season, this recipe is a family favorite that we usually make for parties around Christmas time, as they are always a hit.  Cocktail meatballs have this sweet tang that, quite literally, makes you salivate.  There is something about the combination of the Worcestershire sauce and the sweetened chili sauce that has this mouthwatering effect.  The recipe is slightly modified from one found in this yummy, yet notorious cookbook.


You will need:
2 lbs ground beef
1 cup plain bread crumbs
2 1/2 tsps onion powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
2 Tbsp parsley
2 tsps salt
1/4 tsp pepper
approx 1/3 cup shortening (for frying)
20 oz. grape jelly
24 oz. chili sauce  (two bottles, do not confuse with
                            sweet chili dipping sauce)


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, onion powder, milk, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper.  You may have to get your hands in there to do this effectively.

2. Now comes the tedious part, you must shape mixture into many 1-inch balls.

3. Melt shortening in a large skillet, and fry meatballs, several at time.  Roll them around while cooking in order to develop a crusty outside.

4. While meatballs are frying, combine chili sauce and grape jelly in slow cooker.  I strain my chili sauce through a sieve and into the slow cooker, as I do not appreciate scraping off the tiny pieces of onion once cooked.

5. Add meatballs to slow cooker as they finish frying.

6. Cook on 'low' setting for 3 hours.

Cocktail Meatballs can be served as toothpick-impaled appetizers or hearty sandwiches.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Tips for Picky Eaters - Disguising fruit and vegetables

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This is just a quick tip for picky eaters... disguise your fruit and vegetables!

Quick Ideas:
Cantaloupe with granola
Apples with carmel dip
Carrots with peanut butter
Vegetable crudités with dill or onion dip
Broccoli or Cauliflower with cheese or white sauce
Chocolate or Whipped Cream with Strawberries or Cherries
Banana Bread (or Chocolate chip Banana Bread)
Pumpkin Bread or Pumpkin Pie
Loaded potatoes 

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Chicken-Fried Chicken Tenders


Chicken-fried coating is wasted on chewy, tendon-y, chicken-fried steak. Chicken-fried Chicken is where it is at! But what is equally as fried, and even crunchier? Chicken-Friend Chicken Tenders, coated multiple times for extra crunchy coverage.  I am going to go out on a limb and assume that kids would really enjoy these. Serve with creamy white sauce, recipe below.

You will need:
4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into tenders, and half-cooked
2 eggs
2 cups flour
¾ cup milk
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp white pepper
1/3 tsp paprika
Cooking oil

1. Cook chicken (as you see fit) at least halfway, and cut into tenders.

2. In s small bowl, mix together milk and eggs with a fork. Set aside.

3. Mix salt, pepper, white pepper, paprika, and flour in a bowl that is at least the width of your tenders.


4. Dredge chicken tenders:
       First, in flour mixture
       Second, through egg mixture
       Third, back through flour
       Fourth through egg again
       Fifth, one last dredge in the flour.


5. Heat cooking oil (enough to cover halfway up chicken tender).  Fry on each side until golden-brown and cooked-through.

Note: Reheat by placing in the oven at 350 to re-crisp.  Recipe is freezable.


Creamy White Sauce
You will need:
1 tsp chicken bouillon
2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Dissolve bouillon in 3/4 cup heated water.  Set aside.

2.  Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in small pot.  Once heated, add flour and mix.

3. Add milk and bouillon-water gradually.

4. Stir constantly until sauce thickens.  For thicker sauce, add more flour.  For thinner sauce, add more milk.

5. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Easy Coq au vin


In my search for something classy to make, that still pleases my picky palette, I came across a recipe for Coq au vin.  I modified it slightly for my tastes, and cooked it in a crock pot.  This recipe is relatively low-fat, with the exception of the bacon which can be easily remove before serving, if necessary.  You will need to make this early in the day if you plan on having it for dinner, as it must cook on 'low' in your slow cooker for 5-6 hours.

You will need:
5 or 6 skinless medium chicken breasts
6 pieces of bacon, cooked
1 cup mushrooms, fried
1 white onion
1 tsp thyme, crushed to powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup dry red wine
2 cups chicken broth (or 2 tsp chicken bouillon dissolved in 2 cups water)
1/3 cup tomato paste
3-4 Tbsp corn starch



1. Cook bacon and crumble.

2. Fry mushrooms.

3. Cut onion into 5 or 6 circles, and line bottom of slow cooker with them.

4. Add bacon, mushrooms, thyme, garlic powder, pepper.

5. Arrange chicken evenly over the previous ingredients.

6. Add chicken broth and wine.

7. Cook on 'low' for 5 hours, flipping chicken halfway through.

8. Transfer as much liquid as possible into a separate bowl or container and heat to near-boiling.

9. Stir in tomato paste and 4-5 Tbsp corn starch (to desired sauce thickness).

10. Return to the rest of broth and chicken, stir, and serve.

I served mine with egg noodles, but it may also be good with rice or potatoes.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Parmesan Chicken Risotto


I have made risotto for picky eaters!  My roommate, essentially, taught me how to make risotto.  We used to make Parmesan Risotto sans chicken and with vegetable stock, and it was still very good, vegetarian, and cheaper.  Upon learning that I now had the skill set necessary to make risotto, my mother requested this dish.  It has been modified to fit her tastes by adding chicken and using chicken broth.  Parmesan Chicken Risotto is creamy and savory.  Risotto is also flexible, as it makes the perfect main or side dish, depending on the occasion.

You will need:
4 skinless chicken breasts (optional)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Sprinkle of onion powder
Sprinkle of garlic powder
Sprinkle of basil
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups risotto
4+ cups chicken broth (or vegetable stock)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. butter

1. Cut chicken breasts into bite-size pieces, cook chicken up to half-way for easy cutting.

2. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and add chicken pieces.  Cook until chicken starts to brown.

3. Add rice, and stir.

4. Start adding broth, 1 cup at a time (allowing risotto to soak up some of the liquid between cups).  Do not allow risotto to become dry at any point.

5. Stir constantly and cook on a low simmer, depending on the precise amount of heat, for around 20 minutes.  Taste occasionally to check risotto's consistency.  Be careful with your last cup of broth or any extra cups, as you probably would not want soggy risotto.

6. Once cooked, add pepper and sprinkle in some garlic, basil, and/or onion powder.  Add Parmesan cheese.  Stir.

Serve as soon as possible!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Cheesecake Factory's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

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It is a wonder that I did not die yesterday... because I had a slice of this for dessert:

I can't begin to describe how amazing it was...

In case you have not picked up on the pattern, I have recently been eating and cooking all the amazing things that I will not be able to when I go back to London (in terms of whether a particular food exists in the UK, a restaurant's existence, and there are also money issues...).  The next two weeks I shall inhale every beautiful, amazing, and disgusting food that I shall miss when back in the UK.  Then I shall go back to subsisting on the world's best cream of tomato soup, store-brand camembert and brie, thick-cut chips, and random things dipped into Sweet Thai Chili sauce.  Yes... there are some things I miss about food in England as well!

Friday, 3 September 2010

What's for dinner? - Mac-N-Cheese Dog Shame


"But why?!" you gasp.
"Because I could."
So I had some leftover hotdogs... and I had some leftover Creamy Pepper Mac n Velveeta Cheese.  Things happened... *shifty eyes*

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Zesty Orange Chicken


Zesty Orange Chicken is yet another attempt of mine at homemade and americanized chinese food to satisfy my insane cravings.  I'm trying to not fatten up everything I eat (just most things, mwa haha), so I used skinless chicken breast.  However, this recipe is way better with popcorn chicken, which you can buy in the frozen section in most grocery stores.  You may also like Orange Chicken Egg Rolls, which is a very similar recipe... but a bit more complicated.

You will need:
3 skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
              (an equivalent amount of popcorn chicken)

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 1/4 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp orange zest
Juice of 1/2 orange
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup water

1. Cook the chicken however you see fit and cut into cubes. I like to cook my chicken breasts for 10-15 minutes in the microwave at a medium heat, covered in a casserole dish with some water at the bottom (flipped halfway through).

2. In a medium pot, dissolve 1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch in 1/4 cup water.

3. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, orange zest, orange juice, crushed red pepper flakes and dark brown sugar.  Simmer until sauce thickens.

4. Run sauce through a sieve to strain pepper flakes and orange zest.  This is unnecessary if you don't mind the orange bits or pepper flakes!  Then return sauce to pot.

5. Add cooked chicken to pot.  Cover, and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving (reheat if necessary).

I recommend serving with rice or rice noodles.