Sunday, May 31, 2009

And the winner is....

Last weekend I posted the guidelines for the Easy Bake Oven giveaway. And I've enjoy reading all the posts about your favorite childhood toys...Easy Bake Ovens, Light Brites, the Snoopy Sno Cone machine, and record player...all were great toys! I had nearly all the ones listed, too. Good times, good times!

Over the week, sous chef Shelby and I charted the followers, commenters and those who linked to the contest, plus the number of entries each lovely player earned. We threw all the names into a charming white wicker basket, and drew out a lucky winner. It was a wonderfully exciting day at Lightbulb Cuisine!

Sous chef Shelby drawing a name.

And our winner is...


Heidi, email you address, and I'll have our friends at Hasbro send your fabulous Easy Bake Oven! (I hope you will blog about it!) Congratulations!!

Wasn't that fun? Thanks to all who entered and shared your favorite childhood toy. It was nice to see some new faces, too. Welcome! And it was nice to pick up a few new followers as well.

Have a delightful week! And stay tuned for more recipes.

Love, Cookie B.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Easy Bake Oven Giveaway!

This is an exciting day for Lightbulb Cuisine! Our friends at Hasbro have offered up an Easy Bake Oven for one lucky reader, in honor of their recent "Baker of the Year" contest. Is that not the best news you've heard all day?

That's it on the right. Isn't it gorgeous?! --->

Here's the 4-1-1 on the EBO giveway guidelines...

1. Post a comment and tell me about your very favorite childhood toy. (Cue..."Memories, from the corners of my mind...") That gets you 1 entry!

2. Create a post about the giveway on your blog and link back to mine (email me your link so I can see it!), and you'll get another 2 contest entries.

3. Follow me and get another 2 entries.

You could get a total of 5 contest entries. Easy, right? And definitely worth the effort!

Sous chef Shelby will throw all the entries into a hat and draw a winner in one week.

Good luck! And don't forget to comment/blog/follow!

Love, Cookie B.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A genuine award-winning recipe!

My friends at Hasbro have recently completed their annual Easy Bake "Baker of the Year" contest. Seven finalists from around the country gathered in Orlando, FL, for a super-delicious bake off. This year's contest winner is master chef Catherine Ralston, 12, of New Albany, Ohio. Her winning entry was the "Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tart." Catherine is featured here with sous chef, Terry Ralston, and her scrumptious heart tart. Mmmmm!

Bakers had to create an original recipe using an Easy Bake mix, plus their own ingredients. Lightbulb Cuisine is uber lucky to have gotten its hands on the winning recipe, and I have featured it here for you! Isn't that exciting?!

For the Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tart, you will need:
  • cooking spray
  • 1 package-Easy-Bake Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 3/4 teaspoon- water
  • 1/8 teaspoon- lemon extract
  • flour for hands
  • 2 teaspoons- lemon curd
  • 9 thin slices- strawberry (outer red slices, from small strawberries-enough to cover tart)
  • jumbo pink, white and red heart sprinkles
  • small white doily to put tart on
Prep Instructions:
Heat Easy Bake Oven for 15 minutes. Spray round baking pan with cooking spray. Blend sugar cookie mix, water and lemon extract in a small bowl. Lightly flour your fingers. Spread batter in baking pan evenly, taking care not to come up on sides of pan.

Baking Instructions:
Place pan in Easy Bake Oven baking chamber. Bake for 13 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in cooling chamber. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen cookie. Turn out onto plate. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter (3 inches across by 2 1/2 inches long) to cut a heart shape. It should take up most of cookie round. Spread top of heart with lemon curd and decorate with strawberries following heart pattern, in a single layer. Tuck in sprinkles on tart, decoratively, as desired. Place doily on a small plate and top with tart. Yummy!

And there you have award-winning recipe. Congrats to you Catherine! That's Easy Baking!

Love, Cookie B.
P.S. Watch Lightbulb Cuisine for the upcoming contest. We'll be giving away an Easy Bake Oven! You won't want to miss it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's time for a FIESTA!

It's Cinco de Mayo, so what a tremendous time for a Mexican feast. Don't you agree?!

Here at Lightbulb Cuisine, we think the beauty of Mexican fare is that all the elements are interchangeable. The meat, beans, tomatoes and cheese all get along in any combination. It's all good. So please feel free to go crazy with your combinations!

In an earlier entry, I mentioned reserving leftover meats. Today's fiesta is a perfect excuse for using up those leftovers. Grab the chili, the ground beef, the name it! Today's fiesta features nachos, bean dip and chili quesadillas. Ole!

Sprinkle some grated cheddar and/or monterey jack on tortilla chips and pop them into the oven until the cheese is melted.

Bean Dip
Fill a melting cup with refried beans and place on the warmer and cover. Heat throughout. Top with cheese and alow to melt.

Preheat the oven for 15 mitnues. Spray a pan with oil and layer in a soft tortilla shell; a tablespoon of leftover chili or seasoned groud beef or spiced chicken; grated cheddar and/or monterey jack; and finally another tortilla. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp. Remove from oven an sprinkle with a pinch of cheese and allow to melt. Cut into triangles.

Serve with guacamole and enjoy! Es bueno!
That's Easy Baking!
Love, Cookie B.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's tea time!

Ring-a-ding-ding! My goodness, look at the time. Would anyone care for a spot of tea?

Today at Lightbulb Cuisine, we're hosting a tea party. We have some tasty little grahams dipped in chocolate to go with your afternoon pick-me-up. Whether you choose herb or caffeinated, your tea won't be lonely with these snazzy biscuits.

For the tea biscuits you will need:
  • Graham cracker sections
  • Hershey's Kisses
  • Sprinkles and/or colored sugar
Place some Hershey's Kisses (white and milk chocolate) into the warming cups and place on the warming tray. Cover. Stir occasionally as the chocolates melt. Experiment with the chocolate dips and sprinkles. I like to dip the grahams into the milk chocolate and then into the white chocolate. You will need to allow the milk chocolate to harden before dipping in into the white, or you'll end up with a swirly chocolate mess.

Your little darlings will love to make different chocolate and sprinkle combinations. Refrigerate your finished product so that they harden faster. Once they're ready to eat, pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy!
That's Easy Baking! How do you take your tea? (Or coffee?)

Pip pip, Cookie B.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wake up, sleepyheads!

Breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day, and the chefs here at Lightbulb Cuisine couldn't agree more! So today, we're going to feature a breakfast-time favorite. Pancakes and bacon! Doesn't that sound magnificent? We thought so, too. Find your spatula and your eatin' pants because breakfast is on it's way!

For the pancakes, you will need:
  • 4 Tbsp. pancake mix
  • 4 Tbsp. milk
  • toppings of your choice
Preheat oven for 15 minutes. Grease pans. Stir together the pancake mix and milk. Pour into pans. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite pancake toppings of your choice and enjoy! Makes two pancakes.

Strips of precooked bacon from the refrigerated section in your grocer's store can be cooked for 2-4 minutes.

And there you have it! A satisfying breakfast! Don't leave home without it.
As shown, blueberry syrup with whipped cream and a strawberry.

That's Easy Baking! Now get on with your day.

Love, Cookie B.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A big, bright "thank you"!

At this juncture, it is imperative that I give a big Lightbulb Cuisine SHOUT OUT to Ms. Peggy. Without whom, none of this would be possible. You are the light behind this oven! I bow to you.

Love, Cookie B.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

We're terribly fond of themed events here at Lightbulb Cuisine, so to us, holidays are the bees knees! And this fluffy bunny cake is the pièce de résistance for any Easter feast. Don't load up on ham and potatoes, because this coconut cake is a crowd pleaser.

For the coconut cake you will need:
  • 2 tsp. shortening
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 6 teaspoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 6 teaspoons flour
For the finishing touches you will need:
  • prepared vanilla or cream cheese frosting
  • shredded coconut
  • candies, fruit and colored sugar to decorate
Preheat oven for 15 minutes. Grease and flour two Easy Bake pans. Cream together shortening and sugar. Stir in milk and vanilla. Add baking powder, salt and flour. Mix well until batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pans. Bake each for 12 to 15 minutes or until sides separate from pan. Cool and remove from pans.

Cut one cake into the ears and bow tie shapes as shown. Frost cakes and sprinkle with coconut. Add candies to decorate and voila! A whimsical bunny cake fit for a fabulous Easter feast!

That's Easy Baking!

Have a wonderful holiday! Love, Cookie B.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ultimate Leftover Meal

Sadly, on the east coast, we're still showing signs of winter. And mark my words, I'm none too happy about it. However, it does give me the chance to pull out at least one more wintry comfort food at Lightbulb Cuisine. And today, it's shepherd's pie! Scrumptious!

As part of my must-have items, I mentioned tossing leftover meats into the freezer for later use. This recipe is perfect for leftover ground beef. Additionally, you can get rid of those leftover mashed potatoes and little bowls of assorted veggies. So grab your leftovers, and let's start cooking!

For shepherd's pie, you will need:
  • 2 Tbsp. ground beef
  • 2 Tsp. cream soup (I prefer cream of celery or onion)
  • Sauteed onion or onion powder
  • Leftover veggies (I like corn and string beans)
  • 2 Tbsp. mashed potatoes
  • Grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven for 15 minutes. Grease pan. In a bowl, mix beef and soup. Spread in pan. Layer on veggies, onion or powder, potatoes and grated cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cheese should be nicely melted and the potatoes should be browned around the edges. Serve hot and enjoy!
This is a favorite cold weather meal at Chez Brochette. The house gets warm from the oven use and everything smells divine. You can lower calories and fat by using ground turkey, low-fat soup, and low-fat cheddar. It's up to you!

That's Easy Baking!

Love, Cookie B.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The EBO: A Celeb Favorite

Straight from the pages of People magazine! They asked a number of celebrities, "What was your favorite childhood toy?" and it should come as no surprise that the highly coveted Easy Bake Oven was on the list.

Says Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon:
"Easy Bake Oven. I loved mixing the cake batter and seeing it rise through the window, then eating it with my friends. It was a girlie thing to do."

A fabulous endorsement! What was YOUR favorite childhood toy?

Love, Cookie B.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's in your cupboard?

I was recently asked about good on-hand items to have in the kitchen when cooking with an Easy Bake oven. I've given it some thought, and I've come up with a dozen handy items to have when a snack attack arises. Got your note pad? Because here we go...

12 Things Every Easy Bake Chef Needs in the Kitchen
  1. Frosting. Remember the song, "If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake"? Well when you have frosting, all the typical cake-baking ingredients and an Easy Bake oven, you can have a fast, fabulous cake in under half an hour!
  2. Cocoa. It's a quick and easy way to turn any cookie or cake recipe into a chocolate masterpiece.
  3. Marshmallow fluff. When melted on the warming tray, the fluff has a number of sweet options for your little ones.
  4. Peanut butter. See the peanut butter fudge recipe below. You know you want it!
  5. Pie crust. Either a boxed mix or refrigerated, it doesn't matter to me. But a pie is always a fun, fancy dessert!
  6. Pie filling. See fun, fanciness above.
  7. Cheeses. Cheeses melt nicely in the Easy Bake oven, and make every meal extra savory.
  8. Whipped cream. This makes an easy topping for pie, strawberry shortcake, brownies or some cake.
  9. Texas Pete. I like things spicy, and this is a tasty way to add some zip.
  10. Hershey's Kisses. Can you say...chocolate fondue?!
  11. Leftover meats. There are a number of Easy Bake recipes that call for browned ground beef, sausage or chicken. If you have some leftover from a meal, throw them in a Ziploc and into the freezer.
  12. An extra 100 watt bulb. One never wants to be in the dark!
So there you have it, my Lightbulb Cuisine can't-live-without Easy Bake necessities. Notice I didn't mention ingredients such as flour, salt, sugar, and so on. Those are a given. Every fine chef already has the basics. These are things you'll want to have in order to make your Easy Baking super special!

What's an ingredient in YOUR kitchen that you can't live without?

Love, Cookie B.

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's not always "Easy"

There are rare days when things don't always go as planned at the Lightbulb Cuisine test kitchen. Once in a great while they go horribly wrong.

Sous chef Shelby and I were trying our collective hand at hash browns in the Easy Bake oven. We like ours crisp with onion and ground pepper. Mmmm! But sadly, our hearts were broken today. It seems that the fiery hot bulb is no match for a starchy tuber. As you can plainly see, what we ended up with was a dried out, graying mass of distasteful-looking shredded potatoes.

Blech. :-P

I decided to go ahead and write about it, not because I'm proud of our failure today, but to demonstrate that even the finest chefs have kitchen catastrophes. How you overcome is the key to culinary success. Sous chef Shelby and I resigned ourselves to heavenly hash browns on the range instead. Pass the ketchup!

Any kitchen catastrophes you'd like to share?

Love, Cookie B.