Monday, June 27, 2011

Fondue, Cigar Cake and Easy Pasta Dish!

I was in the cooking mood this weekend.  Not by choice, exactly.

Friday I wanted a fresh dinner.  My basil plant out back has been producing beautifully.  I picked up some Penne Rigate pasta and some fresh Roma Tomatoes and headed home.  I had my daughter go pick some Basil and dinner was underway!

This is all you need - except I left out the garlic of the picture and
parm cheese...and any seasonings.  
Hey, it was FRIDAY for Pete's Sake!

I loved the smell of fresh Basil filling the kitchen!

I cut the Roma Tomatoes in big chunks and added them to
the pan with EVOO.

Followed by some chopped garlic.

When the pasta was almost done, I tossed in some chopped
Basil to the tomatoes and garlic. 

Mmmm...right before the Basil was added!

I cannot TELL you how delicious this all smelled!

Pasta was almost done.  Then it got drained and added
back to it's pot!

The pan of tomatoes got tossed in to the pasta pot and 
tossed some more!

A little Parm Cheese on top and OM NOMMING proceeds to happen!


We all remember the kitchen fiasco with Dishwashergate on Father's Day.  I didn't get to make the Cigar Cake for my mister that I wanted.  Actually, I think it was more for me than for my mister, at this point. He stated, "You know I don't have a huge sweet it's OK if it doesn't get done."

And for Father's Day, it didn't get done.  So, skip ahead a week after Father's Day - finally I did it.

I will share with you my hugest fear with this Cigar Cake.....I was afraid it would turn out to look like a huge piece of poo.

So, easy part - bake a cake in a jelly roll pan. I did a fudge swirl.
*For easiest rolling, bake on oiled parchment paper*

When it's cool, I did some shaving to make it level.

Now, nothing I do in the kitchen is awesome, until I mess it up someway.
The enhance red mark, is the HUGE crack I put into the cake
when I was evening it.  

Fudge swirl cake, fudge swirl icing.  

This part is after I rolled it up.  Since there was a HUGE crack in the cake,
I rolled it much like a sushi roll. Keeping the paper intact, peeling it back until it was 
all rolled up.

The kids snacked on the shavings all morning. 

I put the rolled up cake in the fridge to harden in hopes that
when I pulled the rest of the parchment off, the crack
would be 'healed'. 

Now, onto the modeling chocolate fondant.
It. Smelled. SO. Fudgy!

Do you SEE the huge CRACK?!
Luckily the first icing and rolling up with the parchment
and chilling WORKED!

Completely Iced and ready for fondant.

I took chunks of fondant, kneaded it to soften it up and
rolled it out.  You can use powdered sugar is things
get sticky. 

Then I took the piece I rolled and slapped it on the log!
I tried to pretend the fondant was a huge tobacco leaf.

I did it over and over, piecing together the cigar.
Then I rolled a piece for the end.

Now, onto the cigar band.  This is edible paper that I cut
to the width suitable to my cake for a cigar band.

And applied it!  I iced the other end with red icing and sprinkled
with a little bit of red sprinkles for the 'burning end'. 

I wished I had thought to buy edible markers so that I could have dolled 
up the cigar band.  Boo me!

I have to say, that I pretty much broke my arm patting myself on the back for this cake!  I was THRILLED that I was able to make it come out looking like a cigar - and not a piece of poo!

Now, while the cake was in the process of being made I made a HUGE pot of home made chicken bow tie soup.  In the midst of being under a drought, a burn ban and wild fires happening all around us - I was in the mood to make a piping hot pot of soup.  Go figure.

The cigar cake kept me too occupied to document this soup. But it's easy peasy!
Boil a chicken
Season with salt, pepper, etc.
Remove chicken from pot to let cool and then add vegetables :
Carrots, tomatoes, onion, celery...
Cut entire chicken into pieces and add back to pot.
Add noodles and cook through.
Voila! Done.

And lastly - and what my kids were waiting with baited breath for - Cheese Fondue!  I purchased a Fondue Pot at Target Saturday just for this.  (Since moving a few years back, we've yet to find ours) Oster Fondue Pot for $29.99 was a great deal - and it's a GREAT fondue pot! Works like a charm!

Here's the round-a-bout recipe I whipped up for Fondue Night

1 cup dry white wine
1tbsp Worchestire Sauce
2tbsp flour
1tsp Salt
1ts Pepper

Now for the cheese : I purchased one package (.5lb) of Gruyere, the same of Asiago and two 8oz packages of Swiss Cheese.

We laid it all out on the coffee table.

After the wine simmered a bit, we added the cheeses that were grated together.
Little by little the cheese went in the pot and we stirred.  Added more cheese...
and stirred!

Then skewered some sourdough bread and OM NOMMIE!

Poor Buddy. He just watched. 

And watched...

And watched...

And watched...

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