Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cranberry White Chocolate Fudge

Cooking spray
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter
3/4 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. white chocolate, chopped
7 oz. jar of marshmallow creme
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. dried cranberries

Line a 9x13 baking pan with foil and spray with the cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the sugar, butter, sour cream, and salt. Stirring rather frequently, bring to a boil. Continue cooking and stirring until the temperature reached the soft ball stage (238 degrees F). Don't skip over this step. Reaching this temperature is what will make your fudge hold together.

Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until fully melted (it takes a few minutes).


Stir in the marshmallow creme and vanilla until smooth.

Then add in the cranberries until evenly distributed.

Pour into the prepared baking dish. Let cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator overnight. Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.momontimeout.com/2013/11/white-chocolate-cranberry-fudge/


Jalapeno Jelly

1 c. red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. jalapeno peppers, chopped
5 c. white sugar
1 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
6 fl. oz. liquid pectin
8 oz. block of cream cheese, room temperature
crackers of your choice

Add the chopped bell pepper and jalapeno peppers to a food processor. Mince.

In a large pot over high heat, combine the peppers, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.

Stirring constantly, add in the pectin and let mixture continue to cool for 2 more minutes. Now stir for 1 minute.

Pour into a durable tupperware container. Store overnight in the fridge.

When ready to serve, put the block of soft cream cheese on a plate. Scoop 1/4 of the jelly onto and around the cream cheese block. Serve with your favorite crackers. I think Club Crackers work well.

Save the rest of the jelly for another day. Keep it refrigerated. This doesn't always have to be served with cream cheese, but it does make a delicious starter. We'll be making this again and again.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/19137/red-and-green-christmas-jalapeno-jelly/?internalSource=recipe%20hub&referringId=1961&referringContentType=recipe%20hubChristmas Jalapeno Jelly

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sparkling Cider Pound Cake

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. Martinelli's sparkling apple cider, divided
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Grease and flour a loaf pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening, and sugar together.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

In a medium bowl, combine the salt, baking powder, and flour. Stir to evenly combine. Add alternately with 1/2 c. sparkling cider to the butter mixture, and beat until well incorporated.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

While the cake is cooling, make a glaze.

In a medium bowl, whisk 1/4 c. sparkling cider and the powdered sugar together until smooth. Pour over the cooled cake. Enjoy!

This cake did not last long enough for me to get any pictures.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.chef-in-training.com/2012/08/sparkling-cider-pound-cake-with-sparkling-cider-glaze/


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Victoria Sponge Cake

Cake:
shortening for greasing 
1 c. self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
14 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 c. caster sugar
4 eggs
2 Tbsp. milk

Filling:
1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
1/4 c. caster sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. raspberry or strawberry preserves
icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease and line two 20 cm round cake tins with parchment paper. Grease the paper too.

To make the cake: In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Whisk in all other ingredients, adding in the eggs one at a time.

Divide the batter between the tins.

Bake 20-25 minutes until the center is cooked through.

Cool 5-10 minutes in the tins before removing to a cooling rack. The cake needs to cool completely.

To make the filling: Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla together in a medium sized bowl until firm peaks form.

Spread the jam on one side of one of the cakes. Spread the cream on top of the jam. Sandwich the other cake on top of the jam and cream.

Dust with icing sugar.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/6603/classic-sponge-sandwich

Friday, October 30, 2015

Homemade Mac & Cheese

1 lb. dried macaroni
1 egg
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 c. whole milk
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 lb. cheddar, grated, plus more for topping
salt
Red Robin salt
black pepper
cayenne powder
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cook the macaroni until still slightly firm. Drain and set aside. 
 
Grease a baking dish. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the egg. 
 
In a large pot, melt the butter then sprinkle in the flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook for a couple of minutes, whisking constantly. Pour in the milk, add the mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook until very thick. Reduce the heat to low.

Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the egg. Whisk together until smooth. Pour the egg into the sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth. Add in the cheese and stir to melt. 
 
Add all the seasonings to taste. Make sure to stir it in and taste it to make sure it is how you like it.

Pour in the drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake until bubbly and golden on top, 20 to 25 minutes.
 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Super easy recipe. And tasty.


3/4 c. salted butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. mashed ripe bananas
2 3/4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
 
Preheat oven to 350 F.
 
Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper. Set aside.
 
In a large bowl, mix together butter, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, and bananas until well combined.
 
Add the flour and cornstarch. Mix.
 
Stir in chocolate chips. Dough will be thick and sticky.
 
Scoop 2 tbsp per cookie onto the prepared baking sheet. Pat scoops down a bit to flatten them out a little. They'll spread a little when baking, but not much.
 
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges are lightly golden. The center will still look a little undercooked, but will continue cooking and firm up as it cools.
 
Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool for about a minute on cookie sheet.
 
Move cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
 
Enjoy!
 
 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Digestive Biscuits

1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 c. spelt flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 c. shortening, cold
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1/3 c. heavy cream
flour for rolling out dough

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the rolled oats, spelt flour, salt, powder, and brown sugar to a food processor. Pulse several times until the oats are just small bits.

Add in the shortening. Pulse a few times.

Add the butter and pulse again.


Move mixture to a large bowl. Slowly add in the cream, stirring the mixture with a spoon until the dough comes together. Knead it in the bowl a few times.

Lightly flour a clean surface and roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use a small cookie cutter and cut out the biscuits, placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the dough until all of the biscuits are cut.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden with faintly browning edges. Allow to cool completely.

Serve the biscuits with black tea for dipping.


Here is a link to the recipe I used: http://www.savorysimple.net/digestive-biscuits/

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fudge

2 1/2 c. mini marshmallows, divided
11 1/2 oz. semi-sweet choc chips
11 1/2 oz. milk choc chips
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
15 miniature Reese's peanut butter cups, roughly chopped

Line an 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Spread 1 cup mini marshmallows onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine the chocolate chips and peanut butter. Make sure the bowl is microwave safe. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir with a spatula. Continue cooking the fudge in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until the mixture is smooth.

Stir in the remaining marshmallows and peanut butter cups.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared baking dish. Use a spatula to spread it out evenly.

Chill in the refrigerator until firm; at least 2 hours. Cut into squares.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.ebay.com/gds/Peanut-Butter-Cup-Marshmallow-Fudge-/10000000205678098/g.html

Monday, September 28, 2015

Enchilada Lasagne

Sorry for some of the imprecise measurements; I just went by what looked good.

Olive oil
1/2 of a zucchini, diced
1/2 of a green pepper, diced
1-2 c. baby spinach, chopped
cilantro, chopped
cumin, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 of a rotisserie chicken, chopped
1 can black beans, drained
1 small can mild green chilis
Cooking spray
green enchilada sauce
7 corn tortillas, sliced
cheddar, shredded
pepperjack, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Saute the zucchini and green pepper in the oil for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the spinach, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.

Stir the chicken, beans, and chilis into the vegetable mixture. Set aside.

Grease a baking dish with the cooking spray. Spread some enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish. Using half of the tortilla slices, layer the slices on top of the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle a layer of cheddar over the tortillas.

Spread half of the chicken and spinach filling over the cheddar. Add another layer of enchilada sauce and the rest of the tortilla strips. Sprinkle a layer of pepperjack over the tortillas. Spread the rest of the chicken and spinach filling over the pepperjack. Then sprinkle a layer of cheddar on top.

Cover and bake 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool several minutes before serving.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.laurenslatest.com/enchilada-lasagna/



Andes Mint Cookie Dough Bars


Cooking oil for greasing
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. milk
1 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 c. Andes Mints, divided
1 1/2 tsp. shortening
 
 Using the cooking spray, grease an 8x8 baking dish. Set aside.

Cream the butter, sugars, vanilla, and milk. 
 
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt together. Slowly add to the creamed mixture.
 
Stir in 3/4 cup Andes Mints. Press the mixture into prepared baking dish.
 
Place the remaining 1 cup Andes Mints and shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat. When the mints are melted and creamy, pour over the top of the cookie dough in the pan. Let set. 
 
Cut into squares. Store in a covered container in the fridge.
 
These taste better if you let them set up all night.


I guess I'll have to make them again, so I remember to take pictures.
 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Root Beer Float Cookies

Cookies:
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. Root Beer concentrate
3 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Filling:
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp. shortening
2 c. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 Tbsp. cream

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

To make the cookies: Cream together the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer until fluffy.

Add in eggs one at a time, and then the root beer. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter until combined.

Using a cookie scoop or spoon, drop by spoonfuls on prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 8-9 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a cooling rack.

To make the filling: Cream together butter and shortening until smooth.

Add in the vanilla.

Slowly add in confectioners sugar. Then add in cream until desired spreading consistency is reached.

Spread the filling on the bottom of one cooled cookie, then place another cookie on top to create a sandwich.

Makes about 25-30 sandwiches.

Here's a link to the original recipe: http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/root-beer-float-cookies/
 

Sweet Potato Casserole

Cooking spray
2 1/2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
water
1/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

Topping:
1 1/2 c. pecans, chopped
1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish with the cooking spray. Set aside.

Add the diced sweet potatoes to a pot of water. Boil until the potatoes are very tender. Drain then mash in a large bowl.

In a small bowl combine the milk and lemon juice. Let stand for 5 minutes. This will make a homemade version of buttermilk.

When the milk is ready, add to the potatoes. Also add in the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and butter. Stir to combine.

Scoop the potato mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

While it's baking, make the topping.

To make the topping: Combine all the topping ingredients in a bowl. Stir.

When the sweet potato casserole is done baking, sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Let cool about 20 minutes before serving.

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted: http://bakedinaz.com/2013/11/sweet-potato-casserole.html 

Thank you, Heather Smith, for finding this gem!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Broccoli Bites

3 1/2 c. broccoli florets, chopped
Before baking
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 c. breadcrumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Steam the broccoli with a small amount of water in a covered pot over high heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain whatever is left of the water. Allow the broccoli to cool a bit.
After baking

Chop up the broccoli finely. Add to a medium sized bowl.

Add all the other ingredients. Stir.

Ready to eat
Spoon the broccoli mix into each cup of a mini muffin tin, filling it to the top and then pushing down a bit to make it compact.

Bake 16-20 minutes or until the top starts to turn golden. Allow to cool 2-3 minutes before popping them out of the tin.

Here's a link to the original recipe I adapted: http://www.thetwobiteclub.com/2015/01/broccoli-tots.html

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Spinach & Artichoke Pizza

Garlic before roasting
1 garlic bulb
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 pizza crust dough (homemade or store bought)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. Parmesan, shredded, divided
2 c. mozzarella, shredded, divided
13 oz. can of artichokes, drained and chopped
1 c. fresh baby spinach

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Slice off the top of the garlic bulb so the cloves are exposed. Place in a pie dish, clove side up. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil.
Before baking

Bake for 35 minutes.

While the garlic is roasting, spread your dough out on a pizza sheet.

When the garlic is done roasting, remove from oven and turn the heat up to 475 F.

In a small bowl, mash together 5-6 cloves of the roasted garlic. Pour in the 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Mix together. Spread onto the prepared pizza dough.

Sprinkle with 1/4 c. Parmesan and 1 c. mozzarella. Add the artichokes and spinach.
Ready to eat

Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.

Bake 14-16 minutes or until the crust is golden and the bottom of the dough is cooked. Slice and serve.

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/04/23/spinach-artichoke-white-cheese-pizza/

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Zucchini Coconut Choc Chip Cookies

1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. zucchini, shredded
2 c. old fashioned oats
3/4 c. semi-sweet choc chips
1/2 c. sweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir.

In a large bowl, mix the oil and sugars with an electric beater until creamy. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix. Add the zucchini and mix until combined.

Stir in the oats, chips, and coconut flakes.

Drop by spoonfuls on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they are about 2 inches apart.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges and tops start turning golden.

Let cool before removing to a wire rack.

Makes about 18 cookies.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/zucchini-coconut-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Wedge Salad with Peppercorn Ranch Dressing

Dressing:
Dressing
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. Parmesan, shredded
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. chives
1/2 Tbsp. ground peppercorns
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. white vinegar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
Dash or two Frank's hot sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. buttermilk (as needed for desired consistency)
 
Salad:
1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into wedges (quarters)
1/2 c. carrots, sliced or shredded


To make the dressing: Combine all ingredients but the buttermilk in a food processor. Blend thoroughly. Add the buttermilk for desired consistency and pulse to mix in. Chill for 30 minutes minimum before serving.

To make the salad: Arrange the wedges of lettuce however you want them. Drizzle with the ranch dressing. Sprinkle the carrots over the wedges. Enjoy!

Delicious Chocolate Cake

 18.25 oz. package of devil's food cake mix
4 oz. box of instant chocolate pudding mix
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding, sour cream, water, oil, and eggs. Blend with an electric mixer on low for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

On medium speed, continue to blend for 2-3 minutes more. The batter will be thick and should look well combined.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pans and smooth it out.

Bake for 25-32 minutes. Make sure the middle is cooked. Don't let it overcook.

Allow to cool in the pans for 20 minutes. Preferably on a wire rack.

Run a knife along the edges of the cake pans and remove cake by inverting it. Cool for another 20 minutes on the wire rack, right side up.

When the cake layers are completely cool, then it is time to frost them. If you'd like more than a two layer cake, cut the layers in half.

Use whatever frosting you'd like. I used a homemade buttercream frosting, but even store bought would work!

Here's a link to the original cake recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/darn-good-chocolate-cake-cake-mix-cake-87205

Egg and Turkey Muffins

Cooking oil
1 lb. ground turkey, cooked
8 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded
dash or three of Sriracha hot sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a muffin tin with muffin papers. Spray with cooking oil. Spoon the cooked ground turkey into the bottom of each muffin paper.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, cheese, and Sriracha. Stir to combine. Pour a bit of the eggs evenly into each muffin paper.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Super easy recipe.

Original recipe courtesy of Trisha Birdsall




Sunday, April 19, 2015

Coconut Scones with Choc Chips

Scones
3/4 c. coconut milk
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. sugar
2 - 2 1/2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. butter, very cold, and cut into small cubes
3/4 c. mini choc chips
1/2 c. sweetened flake coconut
2 Tbsp. coconut milk (for brushing)

Frosting
1 c. confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp. coconut milk
1/4 c. sweetened flake coconut

To make the scones: Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the coconut milk, egg, vanilla, and sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt together. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter (or two knives if you don't have a pastry cutter).

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Fold in the coconut flakes and choc chips.

Knead on a floured surface 4-5 times. Here is where you may need the extra 1/2 cup flour. Add gradually.

Move to the lined baking sheet and cut with a knife or pizza cutter. I recommend flouring whatever you are going to cut with. Probably multiple times. The dough can be sticky. Cut into slices like you would a pizza.

Brush slices with the coconut milk.

Bake 18-22 minutes. Let cool.

To make the frosting: Mix the sugar and milk together. It is a thicker frosting, so then using a knife just spread the frosting over the scones gently (after they have cooled). Sprinkle with the flakes.

Eat them warm or cold. With jam or plain. Enjoy!

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/chocolate-coconut-scones/
 

Havarti Bread

Before baking
*Plan ahead... needs to rise twice...

400 g. flour, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dry yeast
200 g. Havarti, grated
200 g. plain yogurt
1/2 c. hot water
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 egg yolk

Sift flour. Reserve 100 grams of flour, set it aside. In a large bowl, combine the remaining flour, salt, and yeast. Whisk well. Add cheese to the flour, and mix with hands.

In a separate bowl, whisk yogurt, hot water, and olive oil together. Make a well in the flour mixture bowl. Then pour in the wet ingredients. Start mixing with a spoon, then transfer to a floured surface.

Knead the dough about 5 minutes, adding in the reserved flour as you knead.

Oil a bowl, put the kneaded dough in, cover with a tea towel, and let rise about an hour.

After an hour, flour the counter, turn out the dough, gently knead, then divide into thirds. Roll each piece into a long rope shape (that fits on your baking sheet). Braid. Secure the ends by tucking them under. Transfer braided dough to a lined baking sheet (or you could braid the dough on the sheet instead of having to move it afterward if that would be helpful). Cover and let rise 30 minutes.

After baking
Preheat oven to 400 F.

Whisk egg yolk and brush over braid after it has risen a second time.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it starts to turn golden.

Here's a link to the recipe I used. It is a European website, which is why the measurements are in grams instead of cups: http://tinascookings.blogspot.com/2014/11/havarti-braid-bread.html

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Peanut Butter Energy Bites

1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/3 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. old fashioned oats
2/3 c. sweetened coconut, shredded
1/2 c. flaxseed meal
6 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla. Add the rest of the ingredients. Shape into small balls. I used a mini ice cream scoop. Store in the fridge.

When I rolled the bites into balls I immediately put them in a tupperware. I used a piece of parchment paper between rows.

Makes 20-24 bites.

Super easy to make.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/04/bake-energy-bites/

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Gummy Candy

10 Tbsp. cold water, divided
20 grams unflavored gelatin (3 small packets)
Darth Vader
200 grams sugar (a little more than 3/4 c.)
1 tsp. flavoring
1/2 tsp. food coloring (optional)
50 grams sugar (for coating)

Sprinkle the powdered gelatine over 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) of cold water. Mix it well and leave it to bloom, about 15 minutes.

In a saucepan, tip in the sugar and shake it to create an even layer. Pour another 6 tablespoons (⅜ cup) of cold water over the sugar and place it on high heat. Stir a little. When it comes to a boil, cook it for exactly 1 minute, then turn the heat down to medium low and cook for another 5 minutes.
Han Solo in Carbonite
 
When the sugar is cooked, pour it over the gelatine and mix well, until the gelatine is completely melted. At this point you can add the extract of your choice and food coloring, if you wish. Once the mixture is well blended, pour it into candy molds (I used silicone; if you have plastic or some other material for molds, I'd recommend greasing them before you pour in the sugar mix). You can also pour it in a baking dish (lightly greased or sprayed, for easier release) and later cut it into cubes. Leave the molds (or baking dish) in a cool place (but not in the fridge) for at least 4 hours, or until the candies are firm to the touch. Remove from the molds and roll them in sugar.
Star Wars gummy candy

I chose to use root beer flavor, but you can use whatever you want. Next time I might try coconut.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://tinascookings.blogspot.com/2015/03/homemade-gummy-candy.html

Pea Salad

*Plan ahead... needs to chill...
 
3 Tbsp. sour cream
1/2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 c. frozen green peas, almost thawed
1/4 of a small red onion, sliced very thinly
4 slices of bacon, chopped and cooked
3 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes

Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and vinegar together in a small bowl to make the dressing.

Place the peas in a large bowl. Stir 2/3 of the dressing into the peas until the peas are coated. Gently stir in the bacon, onion, and cheese until all combined. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours before serving. Also remember to refrigerate the remaining dressing.

When you're ready to serve, add the remaining dressing.

I adapted this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, who is amazing: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2015/03/pea-salad/



Lefse

*Plan ahead... needs to chill...
Rolling out the dough
 
6 c. potatoes, riced
1/4 c. shortening
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. milk
2 c. flour
1 tsp. sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 c. pancake mix (like Snoqualmie Falls)

In a large bowl, combine the rices potatoes, shortening, and butter. Cover the bowl and chill overnight. Do not skip this step.

Almost ready
Preheat lefse grill to 500 F.

Add the remaining ingredients to the cold potato mixture.

Flour a pastry cloth or counter top, and roll out 1/3 cup of dough. Use a stocking on the rolling pin or make sure to flour it completely. Make sure to roll the dough very thin. Thinner than a tortilla.

Lay out on the hot lefse grill using a lefse stick. If you don't have a lefse stick, use an icing knife or even a chopstick. Allow to cook until brown spots start to appear on the side facing down (so you just have to peek under every so often). Turn it over to allow the uncooked side to brown. Cool on tea towels.

While you're rolling out the dough and rolling it out on the grill, store the unused dough in the fridge to keep it chilled until you're ready for it.

When the lefse has cooled either serve it or fold it into fourths and place in a ziplock bag until you're ready to eat it.

Growing up, we would always serve lefse with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. My traditional Norwegian husband only uses butter and sugar. Feel free to use what you want! After buttering it and sprinkling it with whatever ingredients you find tasty, roll it up and eat it! We make lefse several times a year at my house.

Recipe by Mildred Risvold via Trudy Lund


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Vodka Amaretto Cupcakes

Cupcakes: 
1 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. vodka
2 Tbsp. amaretto
1/2 c. milk

Frosting:
1 stick of butter, softened
3 c. powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp. amaretto

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Set aside.

To make the cupcakes: In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter.

Add in the egg and egg white, one at a time. Mix between additions.

Add in the vanilla, vodka, and amaretto. Mix.

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions, and ending with the flour mixture.

Scoop the mixture into the cupcake pan until about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake 17-19 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure the insides are baked through.

Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Make sure the cupcakes are cooled completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: Beat the butter until creamy.

Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined.

Add amaretto 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency.

These cupcakes are amazing, and I will be making them again. Definite crowd pleaser.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: www.bakedperfection.com/2011/01/white-russian-cupcakes.htmla

Friday, March 27, 2015

M&M Cookies

3/4 c. butter, room temperature
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3.4 oz. vanilla pudding mix
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. mini M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.

Add in the egg and vanilla. Mix.

Add in the pudding mix, soda, and salt. Mix.

Add in the flour, and beat until just combined.

Stir in the M&Ms.

Scoop dough onto prepared sheets using a cookie scoop or tablespoon. Line them about 2 inches apart.

Bake 9-11 minutes. They should just start to be turning golden around the edges, but still soft in the middle.

Cool 3-4 minutes on the baking sheets before removing to a cooling rack.

These cookies are fantastic.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://cookiesandcups.com/best-mm-cookies/