Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spiders!


Cherries covered in chocolate.


Licorice legs, red gel eyes, all sitting on a Graham cracker.


Perfect snack!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

From my kitchen to yours, Happy Mother's Day!

This morning I enjoyed the BEST gift a mother could EVER receive, my children spent the morning working together to give me a special surprise treat.

There was no fighting, no yelling, they all worked together and encouraged each other. Since the day my oldest son was born I have wanted to watch a 10 minute video clip of their lives as adults just to see how they "turned out" and where I should concentrate more effort. Today my wish was granted! Take a look!



Working as a team. And Look... no tears or yelling!



Reading the recipe all by himself!



The surprise....For the first time in nearly eight years breakfast was made for me!
And pancakes for Pancake Sunday too!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fairy Fizz and Angel Food Cupcakes!

Wednesday - leprechauns, Thursday - fairies... it’s been a busy week here at our house. My daughter has a fairy tea party book that she absolutely loves so, of course, she has to have her own fairy tea parties. In the book there is a pop out kitchen and in the kitchen is a recipe for the famous and very secret fairy Fizz. If you promise not to tell I’ll share the recipe with you... remember SHHH! Oh, and because it's so secret I can’t share a photo with you, or maybe I forgot to take one?? Hmmm??? One of those. Also because I love you all so much I’ll share a great LOW cal cupcake recipe with you.

Fairy Fizz

Ingredients:

  • Pineapple Juice (can’t remember what size the container is)
  • 2 liter Cherry 7UP
  • Cherries

Directions:

  • Pour ½ a container of pineapple juice in a punch bowl.
  • Add the 7Up
  • Pour into a fun see through cup and drop in a cherry or two.


Angle Food Cupcakes

Recipe from”Betty Crocker’s Just Cupcakes” Cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½C powdered Sugar
  • 1C Flour
  • 12 Egg whites
  • 1 ½ tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1C Sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp Almond Extract
  • ¼ tsp Salt

Directions:

  • Place the oven rack on its lowest setting and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line cupcake tins with paper and set aside.
  • Combine the powder sugar and flour and set aside.
  • Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together until foamy.
  • Beat in the granulated sugar 2 tablespoons at a time.
  • Add the vanilla, almond extract and salt with the last sugar addition.
  • Beat until stir and glossy.
  • Fold the flour mixture in ½ a cup at a time until the flour disappears.
  • Divide evenly into the cupcake cups and bake for 15-20 mins or until the cupcakes feel dry and the cake springs back.

Note: I didn’t use the angle food cupcake recipe for our party. It just felt like too many eggs for a fairy party.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fruit Smoothie!

Anthony TV presents the Fruit Smoothie!

video

Ingredients:

  • 1C Strawberries
  • 1 Banana
  • 1C Milk
  • 1/2 C Plain Yogurt
  • 1 TBSP Honey

Directions:

  • Throw all the ingredents into the blender and blend until smooth.
  • Serve!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Mushroom and Swiss Patty Melt with Peas


Here's another faboulous recipe that I found in my low carb search. I found this on the Whole Foods app on my phone. My husband, who is not a ground turkey fan, asked if I would make this again soon. He loved the taste and the texture that the turkey had in this meal??? I served it with roasted asparagus and big salad.

Yum! Try it. I can’t wait to hear your reviews!

Ingredients

Adapted from whole foods.

  • 1 pound ground turkey, formed into a patty
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen 365 Everyday Value Organic Green Peas ( I forgot to add these)
  • Swiss Cheese

Directions

Lightly season patty with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add patty and cook until golden brown on the first side, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip patty, move to one side of skillet. Add onions, mushrooms, salt and pepper to cleared side of skillet and cook until softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add peas and cook for 1 minute more, checking to ensure patty is cooked through. Sprinkle patty with cheese and transfer to a plate. Spoon hot mushroom mixture on top and serve.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Breakfast Muffins


Here is a slightly healthy take on the breakfast Muffin. I love the cheery, wheat and pecan mix in these muffins.

Cherry Pecan Muffins
Recipe adapted from Stoneyfield Farms

Ingredients:
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 C frozen cherries, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C yogurt
  • 1/4 C butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C Pecans


Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375℉.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flours, sugar, and baking soda.
  • Stir in cherries and pecans, then set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, butter and vanilla.
  • Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet.
  • Divide batter evenly amongst a 12-cup muffin tin that has been greased or lined with papers.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna

Hey Foodie friends,

I’ve been struggling a bit with which food direction I would like to go. I would like to lose a few extra pounds and achieve my long desired muscle definition goal. Most research says to dump the carbs and “beef” up proteins in order to kick your metabolism into gear. WELL…I grew up in an Italian family and asking me to give up carbs is like asking me to cut off a limb. So, in short I’m making a few tweeks to our diet. I hope you guys enjoy the ride with us and maybe get a bit closer to your fitness goals too.

Our favorite First Grade teacher shared a Low Carb lasagna recipe with us and to say I was excited to make it would be putting it mildly. I made a few changes to the recipe, actually only the sauce. I/we loved this recipe, even Kerri, our favorite seventh grade teacher, who is not a zucchini fan loved it. And I will have to admit, although don’t tell my mom, I didn’t miss the pasta.

Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna

Recipe adapted from: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Low-Carb Meals

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 (15oz.) can tomato sauce (I made a marinara with turkey sausage and ground turkey which can be found HERE)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (I used Chimichurri instead and that can be found HERE)
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 ½ c ricotta cheese
  • ½ c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ lb. zucchini, cut lengthwise into ¼ inch slices
  • 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Brown ground beef in a large skillet and drain.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, garlic, basil and rosemary.
  • Heat to boiling.
  • Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.
  • Mix ricotta, ¼ c Parmesan and egg in small bowl.
  • In 9x13 inch greased baking pan, layer zucchini, cheese mixture, meat sauce, and mozzarella. Repeat. Sprinkle ¼ grated Parmesan on top.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Let stand 20 minutes before serving.
  • Slice into 8 servings.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Eclairs

My son, the chocoholic, is on the couch recovering from his latest surgery. In addition to making sure he is taking his pain medication and that the other kids are letting him rest, I made him one of his favorite treats, Éclairs! Instead of filling them with custard these are filled with chocolate cream! YUM!

Pastry Ingredients:

1C Water

1/8 tsp Salt

½ C Butter

1C Flour

4 Eggs

Directions:

  • Bring to a boil the water, salt and butter.
  • Add the flour and stir until a ball forms. This happens very quickly.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Stir the eggs in one at a time until they are fully incorporated.
  • pipe onto a lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 400 until golden brown and puffy.

Chocolate Cream filling Ingredients:

Heavy Whipping Cream

Powdered Sugar

Cocoa Powder

Directions:

  • Add all ingredients and whip until firm peaks form.
  • pipe into pastry shells.

Chocolate glaze Ingredients:

½C Semi Sweet Chocolate chips

2 Tbls Butter

1C Powdered Sugar

2 Tbls Boiling Water

Directions:

  • Melt the butter and chocolate together over low heat.
  • Add the boiling water and sugar.
  • Stir until smooth.
  • Dip or drizzle over éclairs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Coconut Cupcakes


It’s Barefoot Bloggers time. Barefoot Bloggers are a community of bloggers that get together twice monthly to make, eat and post about Ina Garten’s recipes. Today’s recipe was chosen by Jamie of Jamie’s Green Kitchen. Jamie chose Coconut Cupcakes, which can be found in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook or on the food network site.
I make coconut cake often; in fact I’ll be making a bunny shaped coconut cake here in few weeks for Easter. Anyway, I make them often but never do I add the coconut into the batter so I was excited to give her recipe a try. I followed her recipe with the exception of the cream cheese icing, which I didn’t use due to the refrigeration requirements and the fact that I will be giving away most of the cupcakes. I was not overly impressed with these cupcakes. I found them to be a bit dry. They had a “commercial” taste to them. I don’t really know how to describe them except that I think many of the box cake mixes are better than this recipe. SO, there you have it, my review. Sorry it’s not more favorable.

Ina Garten’s recipe

Ingredients

nocoupons

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:

nocoupons

  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Decadent Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheesecake!


Looking for a yummy and easy Valentine dessert? Well I have one! This Cheesecake is so simple to make and not all that time consuming. It turns out perfect each and every time too! Just remember to cut a small piece; you don’t want your Valentine to be passed out in a coma.


Ingredients

From” Better Homes and Gardens “

  • 18 chocolate graham cracker squares, finely crushed (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Peanuts (optional)(I didn't add these)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degreesF. Combine crackers, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Press into bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. In bowl beat 1 package cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in peanut butter and 1/4 cup sugar until combined. Fold in 1 lightly beaten egg; set aside.

2. In saucepan stir chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cube remaining cream cheese; add to chocolate. Stir to combine. Stir in milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 2 lightly beaten eggs. Spread half the chocolate mixture into pan. Carefully spread all the peanut butter mixture over layer. Evenly spread remaining chocolate mixture.

3. Bake 45 minutes or until top is set when lightly shaken. Outer 2 inches of the top will be slightly puffed and dry-looking; center will look darker and wet. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Use a small sharp knife to loosen crust from sides; cool completely on rack. Cover; chill 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with peanuts. Makes 16 servings.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Indonesian Ginger Chicken and Shrimp Bisque

It’s Barefoot Blogger time. I missed the posting date for the first recipe of the month so I’ll give my review for both now. For the newcomers Barefoot Bloggers are a community of food bloggers that twice monthly make, sample and post a review of Ina Garten recipes. Both of the recipes this month PUSHED me right past my comfort zone. I was a good foodie, sucked it up and followed the recipes.

The first recipe for the month was chosen by Todd of A Cooking Dad and he chose Indonesian Ginger Chicken which can be found in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook on page 125 or on the food network site. This was a nice recipe and my family really enjoyed the chicken. I don’t eat chicken off of the bone so my boneless chicken breast was not so wonderful, very dry! I will make this chicken again for my kids and husband. This recipe makes nice wings too.

Ingredients

nocoupons

  • 1 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic (8 to 12 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 (3 1/2 pound) chickens, quartered, with backs removed

Directions

Cook the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger root in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted. Arrange the chicken in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan, skin side down, and pour on the sauce. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan, turn the chicken skin side up, and raise the temperature to 375 degrees F. Continue baking for 30 minutes or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh and the sauce is a rich, dark brown.


Second Recipe of the month

Jennifer of Our Blessed Home chose the second recipe Shrimp Bisque which can be found in Barefoot Contessa at Home on pages 52-54 or again on the food network site.

To say I was not excited about this recipe would be an understatement. I grew up in South Florida and the idea of any seafood prepared with seafood purchased in the middle of Texas just grosses me out. But again, I was a big girl and made the bisque just as Ina would. I took a few pictures then sat down with my family to eat and IT WAS GOOD. Would I make it again??? Maybe when we are in Florida for the summer. My husband and seven year old had seconds. My five year old finished his original bowl and my three year old informed me that she does not like SHARK soup. Who knew?

Shrimp Bisque

Seafood Stock!

Ingredients

nocoupons

  • 1 pound large shri mp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
  • 4 cups seafood stock
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (3 leeks)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place the shrimp shells and seafood stock in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock. Add enough water to make 3 3/4 cups.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the leeks are tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook over medium to low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Cognac and cook for 1 minute, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes longer. Transfer the shrimp and leeks to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.

In the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the half-and-half and cook, stirring with a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and heat gently until hot but not boiling. Season, to taste, and serve hot.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Veggie Burger!

This is a quick and straightforward recipe that can easily be modified to take on very different tastes. I will admit that I was more that a little skeptical that this would be any good. How can a burger taste good with no meat, I mean REALLY! My Friend Kerri loves them and I trust her taste buds so I gave it a try. My warning is this; when I was handling the burger mix, shaping them into patties, it just didn’t feel right. I did initially make them way too thick, just as I would a beef patty. Thank God Kerri was home with us and said “Uh, Cass those are just too thick.”. Anyway, if you get over the fact that you want these burgers to act, feel and taste like meat then they are wonderful! We topped ours with a salad (olive Oil dressing) and chimichurri salsa. My kids actually loved them with just mustard and ketchup. They all wanted them for lunch the next day and my first grader even took one in his lunch box to school. Give it a try! Change up your spices and have fun with them!

Veggie Burgers

Recipe from Kerri who got it from Teri who got it from a vegetarian cookbook!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ cup walnuts or pecans (pecans)
  • 4 T oil
  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal
  • 1 cup bread crumbs ( I used Italian bread crumbs)
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t sage (I didn’t add this)
  • 2 T soy sauce

Directions:

  • Grind or chop in blender: potato, onion, & nuts.
  • Sauté ground mixture in oil until soft. (Next time I will skip this step. My mix was very soft after going through my processor.)
  • Add remaining ingredients.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Form into burger patties and fry until brown on both sides or bake on oiled sheet at 350°F until brown.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lentil Potpie


This is an older recipe of mine that I use so often that I thought I would share another version of it. I usually make these with leftovers, like chili, but this time I made a quick lentil soup instead. You can use pie crust or puff pastry whichever you have on hand; they are both yummy and quick.

I used chimichurri salsa to season my soup, but you can use fresh parsley if you have it.

Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lentils
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 can diced toms
  • 4 sliced of bacon, diced
  • Fresh parley or 1tbls chimichurri salsa
  • Fresh Sage leaves
  • Salt/pepper
  • ½ cup White wine
  • 32 ozs of stock, chicken or veggie
  • Puff pastry sheets

Directions:

  • Sauté in large pot the bacon, onion, carrots and celery until the the onions are translucent.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer until the lentils are tender and ½ or more of the liquid has reduced.
  • Cool, spoon into individual bowls and top with puff pastry dough.
  • Cut slits in the top to ventilate.
  • Bake at 375 until the dough is golden brown and the soup bubbling.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sausage Bolognese with Penne


After our holiday eating and recovering from some kind of stomach flu we have been working on eating healthier. I think for the most part we have a good diet but there is always room for improvement. I found this recipe in Family Circle and it seemed like the perfect meal to work into our weekly menu. Lots of veggies and still very taste too. The only MAJOR change I made was to use mini Penne instead of Linguine. I didn’t really use exact measurements but very close. Anyway, this is a great dish, easy to make, fast with a processor and low cal too. I included the nutritional facts just so you could see how low cal it truly is.

Adapted from Family Circle, Jan 2010

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-size carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 package (20 ounces) sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 box (13.25 ounces) low-carb linguine (such as Dreamfields)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions

1. Pulse carrots, celery and onion in a food processor until finely chopped.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetable mixture and cook, stirring, 6 minutes. Rinse food processor bowl; set aside. Crumble sausage into skillet and cook for 3 minutes.

3. Add wine to skillet; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Drain tomatoes and save the liquid. Add tomatoes to food processor bowl; pulse until finely chopped. Add tomatoes and their liquid to skillet; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium; cook for 30 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in milk and cook another 8 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions in salted boiling water, about 12 minutes. Serve pasta with sauce, and Parmesan, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 8 servings


  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 289
  • Total Fat (g) 6
  • Saturated Fat (g) 1
  • Cholesterol (mg) 38
  • Sodium (mg) 536
  • Carbohydrate (g) 39
  • Fiber (g) 3
  • Protein (g) 17

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

English Toffee Take 2


Even though our first attempt to make toffee ended so terrible, we were not ready to throw in the towel. We received some insider tips from Mrs. Fowler and other tips from our loyal readers. What we walked away with is that our heat was too low and it should take less than 30 minutes to make. Oh, I almost forgot mention that we were able to sample Mrs. Fowler's toffee. You know how it is, you need a sample so you’ll have a benchmark. This toffee is SOOO O good. I actually had to hide it from myself so that I could save it for Anthony to enjoy! Anyway, armed with this information, we tried again. This time our results were MUCH better. We still need some practice. I think that I got scared and took it off the heat a touch too soon. It’s very yummy and has the right texture but Mrs. Fowler's was still a little more brittle than ours. We’ll try again soon but this batch will go into our bellies and not our trash can, so we’ll count it a success

video

Mrs. Fowler’s English Toffee.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb Real Butter
  • 1 T. Water
  • ½ t. Vanilla
  • 2 C Granulated Sugar
  • ½ lb Slivered Almonds (we used Pecans)
  • Dash of Cinnamon

Directions:

  • Melt butter in heavy kettle.
  • Add sugar, stirring briskly with a large spoon.
  • Add water, cinnamon and almonds, stirring constantly.
  • Add Vanilla.
  • Mixture will thicken and fall way from the sides of the kettle when nearly done.
  • Cook until it turns a toffee tan.
  • Pour onto well-buttered tray and spread to a thin layer.
  • When cooled, break into pieces

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Butter Homemade!

My favorite friend came over yesterday, bringing with her a fun recipe for making homemade butter with the kids. The recipe is incredible easy and very, very fun. I’m not sure who had more fun, the kids or us. We used the buttermilk to make Buttermilk bread.
I hope you give it a try. It is so much fun. If you don’t want to use the jar method as we did with the kids, you can use your mixer instead. We used the mixer on the other half of our quart and it worked the same, although not as much fun.

Recipe from Emeril Lagasse

  • 1 pint heavy cream, very cold
  • Pinch salt, optional

video

Directions

Find a large jar with a tight-fitting lid that will hold the cream about half full. Refrigerate the jar for at least 1 hour. Pour the cream into the cold jar. Tightly secure the lid and shake as hard as possible until chunks of butter start to form, 15 to 30 minutes. Pour into a strainer set over a bowl. The chunks in the strainer are butter, and the liquid in the bowl is buttermilk.

Pour the buttermilk into a clean container, cover, refrigerate, and reserve for another use. Turn the butter into a clean bowl and cover with very cold water. Pour into a strainer, discarding the liquid. Continue rinsing the butter with very cold water until the water runs clear. (The cloudy water is buttermilk which will make the butter turn sour.) When the butter is clean, work with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to press out any remaining liquid. Discard this liquid. If desired, add salt to the butter. (Salted butter will keep longer.)

Transfer the butter to a clean container for keeping, pressing with a wooden spoon or spatula to dispel any air bubbles. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Black-Eyed Pea Dip

I’d love to call this hummus but really it's not. Whatever it is, it is truly very yummy and not so bad for you either. It would be great on a sandwich too.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Black-eyed Peas
  • Garlic
  • Green Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Dash of Cumin
  • Sprinkle of Paprika
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper flakes
  • 6 ozs of plain homemade Yogurt (can substitute with store bought if you must)

Directions:

  • Boil Peas until they are tender.
  • Combine all ingredients, except the yogurt, in a food process and blend until creamy.
  • Add more oil if you think it is still too thick.
  • When it's the consistency you like, add the yogurt and blend until fully combined.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cauliflower Soup

If you are having a day like this…

Then you need a warm and healthy soup like this!

Recipe adapted from Experience Life Magazine, Jan/Feb issue.

You can read their version here.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 or 4 strip of bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets and stems
  • 2 cups diced Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Several leaves of fresh Sage
  • ¼ bundle of fresh Parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock

Heat a large stockpot over high heat and add olive oil. Stir in the bacon, onions, celery, garlic and cauliflower. Sauté until the onions are translucent, about three to five minutes.

Stir in the potatoes, spices and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes and cauliflower are tender.

For a thicker soup you could blend or mash it but I loved all the pieces of potatoes and cauliflower.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

HELP! English Toffee

Hey all and Happy New Year!

I trust that everyone had as blessed a Christmas as we did. I thought I would share a few of our gifts with you today.

My Brother and Sister in Law gave us a Flip Video Recorder, which we are having loads of fun with. Also our friend, and favorite first grade teacher, gave us a copy of the elementary school’s cookbook, which by the way has her famous English Toffee recipe in it. I thought it would be fun to combine both gifts and to show off our young chef in his first cooking video. video

Today we finally made the toffee that Anthony has been begging to make since Christmas morning.

Joy, All I can say is my hat is off to you. After more than an hour of stirring we gave up well… I gave up. Anthony wanted to keep going but my back and my arm gave a strong protest. So in the end we are less a pound of butter and still have not had a taste of the famous toffee.

Mrs. Fowler and all my blogger friends, PLEASE send your toffee hints and tips our way. Did I stir too long, not long enough?? Anthony’s ready to try again and I’ll pump some extra iron at the gym this week to get myself in shape for round two!

Mrs. Fowler’s English Toffee

Ingredients:

  • 1lb Real Butter
  • 1 T. Water
  • ½ t. Vanilla
  • 2 C Granulated Sugar
  • ½ lb Slivered Almonds
  • Dash of Cinnamon

Directions:

  • Melt butter in heavy kettle.
  • Add sugar, stirring briskly with a large spoon.
  • Add water, cinnamon and almonds, stirring constantly.
  • Add Vanilla.
  • Mixture will thicken and fall way from the sides of the kettle when nearly done.
  • Cook until it turns a toffee tan.
  • Pour onto well-buttered tray and spread to a thin layer.
  • When cooled, break into pieces.