Haniela's: July 2013

Potato Herb Galette with Garlic Cream

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I made a potato galette. Thinly sliced potatoes, layered and baked into a golden crispy perfection.
I love pairing potatoes with marjoram. Marjoram is so beautifully fragrant, it compliments potatoes without overpowering.  I personally  think marjoram  is not used enough in cooking. I usually use it dry but this year I bought an herb plant so I use it fresh as much as possible. It is  wonderful.
Though potato galette looks like a complicated dish it is quite simple  once you get the basic steps down . Don't be afraid of it, at the end the result is so rewarding you'll want to keep this potato galette all to yourself.

Potato Galette with Marjoram and Garlic  Cream
2 1/2 pounds potatoes, sliced thinly, no more than 1/8 inch(3mm)
1tbl butter
1tbl butter, melted
3tbl olive oil
1tbl corn starch
1tsp kosher salt
1/2tsp paprika
2tsp fresh marjoram leaves, chopped
1/2tsp fresh ground black pepper
cast iron pan or heavy 10 inch ovenproof skillet
  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • In a large bowl stir sliced potatoes with a tap water to remove starch. Drain and spread potatoes on a clean kitchen towel and pat dry.
  • In a large bowl whisk together 1 tbl melted butter and 3 tbl olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, corn starch and marjoram.
  • Add potatoes and toss thoroughly, until coated.
  • Place 1tbl butter into a skillet and heat, swirl the pan to coat with butter.
  • Start layering potatoes in the skillet, start  with placing one slice in the center and then take more slices, overlapping the slice in the center, layer potatoes into even thickness.
  • Cook on the stove on medium high heat, until sizzling and potatoes  around the edge of the skillet are turning translucent. From 5-10 minutes.
  • Then spray a piece of aluminum foil (12x12inch)with non stick spray or brush wish some oil.
  • Place the foil with sprayed side down on top of the potatoes. Put 9 inch cake pan on top of the foil and fill the cake pan with pie weights, about 2 cups. If you have a smaller cast iron pan you can also you is to weight the potatoes down. That is what I used and you can see that in the picture.
  • Firmly press the cake pan down to compress potatoes.
  • Then transfer skillet into the oven, on the bottom rack.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the cake pan with weights and the foil and continue baking for additional 20-25 minutes, until a tender in the center, you can test it with a paring knife.
  • Then return the skillet with potatoes to the stove top and cook, gently shaking the pan, until galette releases from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes.
  • Take the skillet off the heat, if necessary run a small knife around the edges of the galette to help release it. Place a cutting board or a plate over the skillet and using both hands invert the skillet and the cutting board. Lift up the skillet to release the galette. Cut galette into wedges and enjoy warm and at room temperature.
  • Enjoy  with Garlic Herb Cream
Garlic  Herb Cream
1cup Greek Plain Yogurt, fat free is fine, I use Chobani
1 clove garlic, pressed
pinch of salt, pepper
1/2tsp chopped fresh marjoram
  • Sir yogurt, garlic salt marjoram and pepper. Taste.

My Video Tutorial Tools

As you probably noticed Haniela's is also on You Tube now.  My channel is called Haniela's and the video tutorials you can find there range from crafty  through sweet and savory recipes to decorated cookies, cupcakes, or cakes. My you tube channel has just reached 2000 subscribers. When I posted my first tutorial  I didn't know what expect from you tube, it is a whole new world for me. I wouldn't be there if it wasn't for Marlyn from Montreal Confections, she convinced me to try it out, she encouraged me when I needed it the most, the 1st time video tutorial maker. Thanks M.
I literally jumped into a video tutorial making from one day to another. I dusted off our old camcorder and so far I made 70 + video tutorials. You should know that  I was terrified when I did my first tutorial. It doesn't come natural to me to video tape myself working. I just felt really weird about it, uncomfortable. With more video tutorials  I made this  feeling  has nearly dissipated.

My mom says :" Don't go to the woods if you are afraid." 
Process of a tutorial making can be quite time consuming and what comes out as a final 5 minutes, has been usually edited from sometimes a lengthy 30 minute video. What goes on behind? All depends if I'm working on a chocolate cupcake recipe or a watermelon cookie decorating project, if I'm touring the garden with a camcorder in my hand or making a Cherry Tree Birdhouse.
With recipes I try to prepare all the ingredients into individual bowls before I  hit the record button. I also like to have the recipe on hand and prepare everything else needed. Towels, kitchen utensils etc.

With cookie decorating tutorials I prepare all the icing ahead of time, I try to test few designs prior I tape it. Then I  get the work surface ready, I usually have bunch of damp paper towels on hand, basically just anything that I need when I decorate cookies.

I use a remote control to operate the camcorder, I ended up putting it into a small Ziploc bag. This way it is kept from getting destroyed from accidental icing spill and I can turn it off or on anytime during the process, with my hands from bread dough or cookie dough, it won't hurt it.

For my videos I use an old(it is about 10 years old) Sony MiniDV with mini DVtapes. Though it is not recorded in high definition, it is still recorded in a decent quality. I also use a telephoto lens with the camcorder. I always use a tripod when I tape myself working. On occasion after you taped the whole tutorial and you watch it over, you realize you taped your head from the above or something silly like that, missing the core point of the tutorial. It is frustrating  and you can either ditch the tutorial or re-do it.
I have to use MiniDV tapes, which adds to the work because once the video is done I still I have to upload it to my hard drive using Fire Wire Cable, which literally can take hours for all the tapes to load. It is not an instant transfer so I usually  let it run at night to avoid wasting time during the day.

 I also like to use different angles when I take "movies"  to make it  a little more interesting,  this requires me to constantly moving camcorder from one location to another. From the counter to the floor. I almost always use a tripod. I couldn't be without one. One I use is made out of carbon fiber, it is very light but also very expensive. You can also do with a cheaper tripod. Gitzo is what a I use and I love it. We purchased it many years ago and it has served us really well.

I generally take my videos at night or at very early morning hours. With these times of the day comes a problem of insufficient light. As you can imagine it is usually pretty dark. When I take videos I use a small video light attached directly on the camcorder as well as a softbox umbrella equipped with 4 Eiko 5500K Fluorescent Blubs. If needed I also add some reflectors into my set up. All my video tutorials are taken in the kitchen.

Once I have the video available on the hard drive I can start working on it.  I use Sony Vegas Movie editing software, nothing fancy, just a very basic version to edit my videos. I usually correct the colors, adjust saturation, trim, cut, add some text, few picture, do some minor picture panning. This is where I also do the voice over. Doing voice-overs is not as easy as it seems. My only hope is that I get better at it. Whenever you record your voice using a microphone there is a high chance there will be some popping( for example: hissing noise from S sounds) in the recording.  I purchased a really handy pop filter and it works magic, it is only about 6 inches across and I just place it directly in front of the microphone and then I talk into the microphone through the filter. For some people voice-overs are easy. For me personally it takes me few takes, though I feel it is getting a little better. A little. Also I realized, for some reason it is not as obvious otherwise, but when I do a recording in the morning,  my voice sounds different than in the afternoon. I prefer my afternoon voice.

Few weeks back I had a chance to talk to a voice artist and she was able to give me few pointers like reading out loud for 10 minutes each day. I've been reading our loud,  all right, recipes mostly.

Once I'm happy with the video I have to render it. I render all my video to avi format. Then I have to upload it to You Tube and after that is done, there are  few minor things to do like add annotations, monetize the video and such. So all together it takes a little bit of time and effort to do. 

Tripod, Camcorder, Head with quick Release, Photo Credit: www.amazon.com

Logitech Microphone, Pop Filter, 4AC lamp holder adapter, Eiko Bulb,Photo Credit: www.amazon.com

Gitzo Carbon Fiber 3-Section Tripod with Manfrotto Tilt Head with Quick Release
Nady MPF-6 6-Inch Clamp On Microphone Pop Filter
Studiohut 1 to 4 AC Lamp Holder Adapter
Logitech USB Desktop Microphone (Black/Silver)
Sony MiniDV Tapes - 10 Pack
Sony DCRTRV30 Mini DV Handycam Camcorder
FireWire Cable (6 Feet)
Eiko SP50/955K - 50 Watt Full Spectrum Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb
Sony Vegas Video Software (I use an old version from several years ago)
White and Silver Boards to reflect light

Ruffle Beach Bridal Shower Cake with a Palm Tree

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I've been ogling fondant ruffle cakes for months and months. When the opportunity arrised   I took it and made my first fondant ruffle cake. I kind of knew how to make it but I had few blanks to fill it so   I watched a really beautiful video fondant ruffle  tutorial  on you tube and I got to work. Ruffles took time to make but it wasn't as difficult as it looked. You can do too!
You can find detailed information about the cakes I used and what materials I used below. Cake was a hit at the shower, and I was super happy everyone enjoyed it.

To make this cake you need:

Vanilla Pound Cake (1.5 half of the recipe, makes 3- 8 inch rounds)
Chocolate Cake (doubled recipe, makes 4 small 6 inch rounds)
Swiss Buttercream (flavored with Vanilla Bean Paste)
Fondant, I used Marshmallow fondant
Gumpaste, you can buy it or make your own.(Recipe for Gumpaste)
1 : 1 Fondant : Gumpaste - to make the ruffles on the cake
Food Colors : Americolors : electric pink, electric blue, min green, leaf green, brown, ivory
Frosting Sheets - to make "here comes the BRIDE", cut the sheet to desired size.
Small painter's brush
Vodka in a small spray bottle
Airbrush colors : leaf green(for airbrushing palm tree), brown(for airbrushing wood board and  a palm tree trunk), pearl(for airbrushing the dress)
Dress Gown Cookie Cutter from The Cookie Cutter Company
Mini Heart Cutter ( from the clay set)
Sugar Sand : brown sugar mixed with some granulated sugar and added disco dust for sparkle
Leaf and small Star Piping Tip
plastic wrap

To make the textured finish on the buttercream I use a piece of plastic wrap. I chilled the frosted cake, once the cake was chilled and buttercream on the outside was firm I used a piece of plastic wrap. Using 2 shades of ivory/light brown swiss buttercream  I applied soft icing onto the chilled cake with dabbing motion using plastic wrap creating the textured finish.

Beach sand is made with brown sugar, granulated sugar and little bit of rainbow disco dust. I like the beach sand to be a lighter in color. I added some granulated sugar to brown sugar. You can control how light you want the sand by adding more or less granulated sugar. Disco dust is added for little sparkle. I used the same  technique for the beach sand in my other cake - Engagement Cake  and Beach Cake with Gumpaste Adirondack Chair

To make the palm tree I used a gumpaste and royal icing as glue. Trunk, leaves were make separetely, then left to dry and once the whole piece was assembled I airbrushed the leaves with leaf green and tree trunk was airbrushed with brown.
Wedding dress as well as the hanger is made out of gumpaste. You can purchase gumpaste already made or you can make your own. Recipe for Gumpaste. I used a gown cookie cutter from The Cookie Cutter Company.

To make the ruffles on the bottom tier, I used 1:1, gumpaste : fondant ratio. I followed a ruffle fondant tutorial on you tube. To adhere each ruffle onto the fondant covered cake I use a vodka mist.
Little hearts were made from fondant, and I use a mini cutter from the clay set I bought at Michaels. I attached hearts onto the top tier with a little bit of royal icing.
Usually I use a ribbon around the base of the cake board, this time I used a  washi wedding tape.(Purchased at Michaels). I had to use a glue gun to adhere it firmly onto the surface.

Board with the message " here come the BRIDE" was made from gumpaste. I made if from white plain white gumpaste and then I airbrushed it with brown.
Then I cut a little piece from a frosting sheet and using a painter's brush and brown food coloring and little bit of vodka I wrote the message on the frosting sheet. Then I adhered it onto the board with royal icing.



Cherry Tree Birdhouse, Napkin Decoupage Video Tutorial

Friday, July 26, 2013

Today I'm going to stir away from cooking and baking. I wanted to show you a different project I worked on recently. I made this large Cherry Tree Bird House using simple napkin decoupage technique. It will be used at a wedding in August. It turned out so pretty I think I' going to get myself more napkins.

To make this Birdhouse you need:
Bird house of your choice
white household paint, I used white satin enamel
mod podge- craft stores
small painter's brushes
paper towel
decorative napkins ( I used Caspari Napkins. If you wonder who can carry these?  Look in Gift shops, specialty garden nurseries or order online, link is below the post)
small scissors, I find nail manicure scissors worked great for this  complex pattern
  • First I painted the house with primer and then 2 coats satin enamel white paint. Let dry.
  • Cut out images from napkin, separate napkin layers, reserving the very top layer where the image is visible. Save these cut outs in a book or somewhere where they don't get damaged.
  • Start creating design on the bird house, work in sections.
  • Position cut out on the bird house, then take a small brush or a piece of paper towel saturated with water, and very gently dab the cutout where you want it to first adhere, continue your way around the entire surface of the cut out. Make sure you are not dragging,  you only want to gently dab the image. Water will make napkin layer conform to the surface underneath and will act like a temporary glue.
  • Take  piece of a dry paper towel, and place the towel on top of the water saturated napkin cut out. Firmly press napkin onto the cut out, removing excess water. Do no drag the towel or you'll tear the napkin underneath.
  • Now take another brush and with dabbing motion apply decoupage glue or mod podge, first layer you only want to do dabbing, second layer you can brush the mod podge. Let dry in between layers. If desired apply another layer of protective varnish. Let dry.

I used manicure scissors to cut out complex design.

Save the cut outs between the pages in a cook or a magazine. They are very light and thin.

Cherry Tree Birdhouse, using napkin decoupage on textured wood video tutorial

Here are another small birdhouses. I  also made these for a wedding, all 200 of them. Satin enamel white household(when I say household I mean same paint you use on the walls) paint was used to paint them first. They took 2 full coats to cover, then I printed square images and  I used modge podge to adhere prints onto the roof. Then pink tulle was used to fill the small holes in the front.

I'm linking this post to Tidy Mom.

Simple Monsters University Cookies, Mike Wazovski

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I wanted to make some cookies for my friend's kids. I'm kind of lost in that department if you know what I mean.What I liked 20 years ago is an ancient history it seems. I though it was best to ask. I called my friend and she told me they love Monsters University. Okay, I can do this, I thought to myself. See, character cookies terrify me, not as much as my fear of heights but enough for me to be nervous about them.
Here I my take at  Monsters University cookies. Meet  Mike Wazovski.

To make these cookies you need:
Sugar Cookies or other cookies that you like. Recipe I use the most.
Royal icing, I used Fresh Lemon Royal Icing to make these
Round cutter
Americolor Food Coloring : mint green, leaf green, black
Black Food Marker
Stainless Steel Needle Tool or toothpick-  to move the icing around
2 shades of green royal icing, light and dark green :15 second consistency
white royal icing -20 second consistency
black- 15 second consistency

Simple Monsters University Cookie Video Tutorial

Linking this post to Tidy Mom- I'm lovin' it.

Sugar Cookie Recipe for Cut Out Cookies

Monday, July 22, 2013

Here is the very basic sugar cookie recipe I like to use for my cut out cookies. I like to use 1 whole tablespoon of flavoring, mainly vanilla extract or almond extract(this one pairs especially well with my Fresh lemon royal icing), on occasion I make lemon sugar cookies, adding lemon zest and lemon extract.
I always  use unsalted butter for baking and cooking.

Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe for Cut out Cookies
3 cups (450grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 sticks (1cup, 226grams)butter, unsalted, softened to room temperature
1 cup (200grams)granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1tbl vanilla extract, vanilla bean past or almond extract
Flavor options: I also like to use lemon zest with combination of vanilla extract or lemon extract, or orange zest.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, add salt, set aside.
  • In a small dish whisk together egg and vanilla extract, set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl cream together room temperature butter and sugar, about 5 minutes, scrape the bowl twice. Butter creamed with sugar  should be light and fluffy.
  • Gradually add vanilla egg mixture, beating anywhere from 30 seconds to minute until well mixed in.
  • Now gradually in 3 additions add flour. Lower the speed of your mixer to low. Scrape the bowl well after the last addition and beat just until flour is combined.
  • Scrape the cookie dough into a large bowl, and using your hands knead the cookie dough  for about 30 to 60 seconds, until dough comes together.
  • Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight(8hours) or minimum 4hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375F(190C)
  • Divide cookie dough in half. Roll one half of the cookie dough into about 1/4 inch thick, between 2 pieces of parchment paper using rolling guides on each side of the dough.(2 painter's sticks glued together on each side, or 2 pieces of 1/4inch molding)
  • Cut out as many cookies as you can. Place the cookies on a light colored baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill the cut outs in the fridge for about 15 minutes, or in the freezer 8 minutes.
  • Bake for 9minutes, depending on the oven, turn the sheet once half way through the baking.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-7 minutes, transfer to cooling rack.
  • Store in the airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze undecorated cookies between pieces of wax paper in a large freeze safe container, for up to 2 months.
  • Decorate cookies as desired with royal icing or other medium that you use.

Sugar Cookie Recipe and Baking Tips Video Tutorial

    How to roll the dough and cut out cookies?
    Divide  chilled cookie dough in half.
    Roll one half of the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper.
    For even thickness use rolling guides, with cookie dough placed between them.
    Use 1/4inch wood sticks or 2 never used, clean painter's sticks glued together
    and wrapped in a plastic wrap; about 1/4inch(2.54cm)
    Once you roll the cookie dough, run a spatula underneath the rolled dough.
    Cut out as many cookies as you can.
    Gather scraps and re-roll once.
    Take second scraps and add them to remaining dough.
    How to prevent cookies from browning on the bottom?
    Use light-colored baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. I use USA pan brand.
    Quickly rotate baking sheet half way through baking time.
    I bake my cookies at 375F(190C). Know your oven and use temperature that works for your oven and your cookies. 
    How to prevent cookies from spreading?
    Properly chill the dough before cutting out shapes.
    If the dough is too stiff to be rolled out let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes,
    or until you can comfortable roll it out, it shouldn't be very soft.
    Once you cut out shapes, place them onto the cool baking sheet lined
    with parchment or silicone mat.
    Don't place unbaked cookies on a warm baking sheet.
    Then transfer the baking sheet with cut out cookies into the fridge and chill for 15 minutes or
    if your freezer is big enough use freezer and chill for 8 minutes.
    Bake until the center of the cookie has risen.
    I bake my cookies at 375F(190C) for 9 minutes.
    Cookies are very soft when they come out of the oven.
    Don't open the oven more than once for rotating the sheet.
    Let the cookies cool on a baking sheet for 5-7 minutes then carefully transfer cookies
    onto a cooling rack.
    Storage and Freezing
    These cookies will keep if properly stored for up to 2 weeks, from the time they were baked.
    I've had people tell me they had them for longer and they tasted great.
    Cookies can be layered in a freezer safe container between pieces of wax paper and frozen for up to 2 months.
    Defrost in the container and decorate as desired.
    How to Store Decorated Cookies?
    Depending if you are giving them as a gift or keeping them for yourself.
    If you want to give them out as favors, I would recommend that you package cookies, either using hand heat sealer or if you don't have one you can package them into clear bags and tie the bag tightly with a ribbon.
    If you are making these for your family to enjoy on Holidays, store the cookies in an airtight container layered between pieces of wax paper.

    What Boxes to use to package/display cookies?
    I personally use boxes from  www.brpboxshop.com , they sell their boxes in bulk, 100 pieces and I love them. I really like their brown boxes  10"x7"x1" boxes, lid and bottom is sold separately. If you are not certain which goes with what, be sure to call, folks at brpboxshop are very friendly, always willing to help out.

    If you are looking for smaller amounts, you can try  Nashville Wraps, they sell these cookie boxes in the set of 50 pieces.

    If you are a seasonal cookie maker you can use cookie tins that are available at discounted prices during holidays or visit your local bakery perhaps they'd be willing to sell you couple of their boxes for a small fee.
    Craft stores carry small bakery boxes as well. You can also use Take-out Containers and Jars for smaller  cookies.

    Linking this post to Tidy Mom -I'm lovin' it.



Roasted Chicken Green Bean Salad Sandwiches, Summer Picnic Blog Party with Giveaway

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Welcome to Summer Picnic Blog Party! I teamed up with Beth from Hungry Happenings, and together with 17 amazing bloggers we bring you 19 fun Picnic Food Ideas. All the details along with a fabulous giveaway can be found below.
Roasted Chicken Green Bean Salad Sandwiches ( makes 6 Sandwiches)
5 chicken thighs
black pepper
1/2tsp sweet paprika
1/2tsp olive oil
1tbl mustard
1tbl lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1/2tsp honey
1/2tsp salt
pinch of fresh ground pepper
1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed, steamed until fork tender and then cooled  in ice water to stop the cooking and to preserve the green color
1shallot, finely diced
3tbl parsley, chopped
3tbl chives, chopped
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
fresh lemon juice
2 baguettes or bread of your choice ( courtesy of The Montclair Bread Company)
  • Preheat oven to 425F.  Brush the oven proof dish with little bit of oil. Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper and paprika. Place chicken into the oven proof dish. Roast for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Pick the meat of the bones and set aside to cool.
  • Prepare mayo. In a heat proof bowl, combine egg, mustard, lemon juice. Whisk together. Set the bowl over the pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture is hot. Once hot, cook for 1 more minute while stir whisking.
  • Remove bowl from the heat and gradually while still whisking add olive oil. Mixture will thicken.  Set aside to cool, stir occasionally.
  • For the Salad : roughly chop the meat, chop steamed beans into about 1/2 inch big pieces.
  • In  a medium bowl combine meat, chopped shallot, beans, parsley, chives, add cooled mayonnaise and gently stir together. Taste, season with salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed.
  • Chill for  an hour.
  • Split the baguettes in half, stuff with the salad. Cut the baguette into sandwiches. Wrap in a plastic wrap, napkin or wax paper. These can be made one day ahead and stored in the fridge.
  • If you like the bread to be really crusty fill the bread on the day of the picnic party.

Scroll down and browse through all the amazing Summer Picnic Party creations.

Click on the image to view the recipe/tutorial.
Sam's Kitchen - Elderflower Cordial
Lila Loa - Sandwich Picnic Cookies
Pink Little Cake -Shortbread Cookie Tart with Caramel Bits
Hungry Happenings - Ketchup and Mustard Push up Pops
The Partiologist - Ant on a Log
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons - Picnic Blanket Treats
The Baked Equation - Lemon Cookie Cake
The Decorated Cookie - Cookies on the String
Not Your Momma's Cookie - Ant Attack Cupcakes

Thank you to all the amazing Giveaway Sponsors. Be sure to check out their websites below.
The Marshmallow Studio
Restaurant Ware
The Cookie Cutter Company
 Mary Had a Little Party
 King Arthur Flour

To enter giveaway please use the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway will run from July 20th, 2013 till July 27th, 2013. 6 Winners will be picked using the Rafflecopter widget. Prizes will be picked in the order of sponsors you see above, starting with The Marshmallow Studio and ending with King Arthur Flour. Winners will receive one email from hanielas@yahoo.com. Winners will  have 48 hours to respond. New winner(s) will be picked if we don't hear from you. Thank you and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway