Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Sweat the garlic; when the garlic becomes aromatic, slowly stir in pepper, cumin, curry powder and chili powder. When spices begin to fry and become fragrant, stir in the bouillon cube and a little water.
Increase heat to high and add the rest of the water and the soy sauce. Just before the mixture comes to a boil, stir in rice. Bring to a rolling boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.
1 tablespoon each dried oregano, parsley flakes and minced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
Oil for frying
In a shallow bowl, whisk egg and milk. In another shallow bowl, toss potato flakes with seasonings. Remove half of the mixture and reserve (for a second coat of breading).
Pound chicken with a meat mallet to 1/2-in. thickness. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then in potato mixture, patting to help coating adhere. Arrange chicken in an even layer on a large plate. Cover and refrigerate chicken and remaining egg mixture 1 hour. Discard remaining used potato mixture.
In a 12-in. cast-iron or other deep skillet, heat 1/2 in. of oil over medium heat to 350°. For the second coat of breading, dip chicken in remaining egg mixture, then in unused potato mixture; pat to coat. Fry chicken 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and chicken is no longer pink. Drain on paper towels.
In four batches, process the orange juice, milk, sherbet and bananas in a blender until smooth. Pour into glasses. Cut a hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; fill with whipped topping. Pipe a ghost shape on top of each beverage. Position chocolate chips for eyes.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; no need to overly blend. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Don’t get nervous if the banana bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf; that’s no mistake, it’s typical. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning.
Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Toast the slices of banana bread, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve.
2 lbs confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
1⁄2 cup meringue powder
2 tablespoons meringue powder
3⁄4 cup water, plus more if needed
gel paste food coloring, if desired
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add in flour mixture until dough is just combined.
Turn dough out of bowl and divide in half. Form into two disks. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove one disk of dough from refrigerator and allow to temper slightly, 10-15 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to just under 1/4” thick, adding more flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking. Cut out cookies using desired cutters and transfer to parchment-lined sheet trays. Reroll scraps once, and cut out any additional cookies. Transfer sheet trays to refrigerator and chill until very firm, at least 30 minutes (or to the freezer, for 15 minutes). Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are just golden, 14-16 minutes. Allow to cool completely on sheet trays set on wire cooling racks before decorating.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine all ingredients and beat on low speed until smooth and opaque, about 7 minutes. Icing should have the consistency of glue, and ribbons should disappear in 15-second intervals. If icing is too thick, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until proper consistency is reached; if icing is too thin, add additional confectioners sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until proper consistency is reached. If desired, tint icing with gel paste food coloring before transferring to piping bags or plastic squeeze bottles for decorating.