Tuesday, September 18, 2018

SPRITZ COOKIES - DANISH BUTTER COOKIES

What's the difference between a Spritz cookie and a Danish butter cookie?  I cannot find a difference so I believe these can be referred to as either one.  I love these cookies, they are so yummy, easy and fun to make!

3 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/2 cups flour
decorating sugar or icing, if desired

Beat butter with electric mixer until creamy.  Mix in sugar, egg, extract and flour until combined.
Scoop batter into a cookie press.  Press cookies onto a metal or stoneware pan 1" apart - do not grease pan.
Sprinkle with decorating sugar, if desired.
Bake at 375* for 8-10 minutes.
Serve as is or decorate with icing and sprinkles.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

GARLIC BREAD

Sometimes you plan a spaghetti dinner and forget to buy the garlic bread!  Doh!  In this case we had extra hot dog buns and they came out fantastic!

any type of bread
butter
minced garlic
Italian seasoning
mozzarella cheese, if desired

Lay your bread out on a foiled lined pan.  Generously butter each piece and spread with garlic.  Sprinkle with italian seasoning and cheese if you'd like.

Bake at 425* for about 10 minutes.

FAIRY BREAD

We recently began watching Zumbo's Just Desserts on netflix, what a fun show!, anyway the show is set in Australia and several of the contestants kept mentioned fairy bread.  I googled it and from what I read it's a tradition to eat fairy bread on your birthday in Australia.  I had to give it a try!

bread
butter
sprinkles!

Take the crust off your bread and butter it.  Sprinkle with sprinkles!  When you think you have enough sprinkles on, sprinkle some more!

FALL PANCAKES

2 cups bisquick
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground gloves
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Whisk together all ingredients, add a touch more milk if too thick.  Spoon out 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake.
Serve warm with syrup or make fluffy cream cheese topping:

8oz cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
8oz tub cool whip

warm cream cheese in microwave for about 30 seconds or until its easy to stir, place in electric mixer with sugar and beat until fluffy and well incorporated.  Fold in cool whip.

MARINATED STEAK



ribeye steak
salt & pepper
dry red wine
olive oil
2 cloves of garlic per steak
1 rosemary sprig per steak

Salt & pepper steaks.  Place in a baking dish or ziplock bag.  Crush garlic and rub into meat.  Drizzle with olive oil and add enough wine to cover steaks.  Place a sprig of rosemary on each steak and marinate for 6 hours.

Grill to your desired doneness.

*No time to whip all this up?  My favorite bottled steak marinade is Duke's!




ROASTED EGGPLANT


1 small - medium eggplant
salt
olive oil
garlic salt, optional

Peel and either slice or chop eggplant into chunks.  Place eggplant on a paper towel or in a colander and liberally salt both sides.  (LOTS of salt)  Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour.

Rince eggplant throughly and pat dry with paper towels.  Spread olive oil all over surface of a baking pan and spread out eggplant.  Drizzle more olive oil on top of eggplant and toss to coat.

Roast eggplant in oven at 425* for 10 minutes.  Use a spatula to flip eggplant and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes.

I sprinkle mine with garlic salt before eating, yum!




Sunday, September 2, 2018

CREAMSICLE CRUSH

1 1/2 shots whipped vodka
1 1/2 shots triple sec
juice of two oranges

Mix and serve over crushed ice

ROASTED CHICKEN


5 lb chicken
salt & pepper
bunch of fresh thyme, with 6 sprigs set aside
1 lemon, halved
1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1 onion, sliced
4 carrots cut into 2" chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, cut into wedges
olive oil

Preheat oven to 425*
Rinse chicken inside and out, pat dry.  Liberally salt and pepper the inside of chicken.  Stuff the chicken with bunch of thyme, both lemon halves and garlic.  Brush outside of chicken with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Tie legs together with kitchen string or use toothpicks and tuck wing tips under the body.  

Place onions, carrots and fennel in roasting pan.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and thyme that was set aside.  Spread veggies evenly around roasting pan and lay chicken on top.

Roast chicken for 1 1/2 hours or until juices run clear.  Remove chicken from oven, wrap in foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS




These homemade marshmallows were so amazing!  They are like soft little creamy pillows.  Eating them as is or toasted they are incredible and so different in flavor and texture than the traditional bagged ones.  I highly recommend trying this recipe.  For my first batch I used almond extract instead of vanilla, I plan to try many different extracts like coconut, buttered popcorn, coconut and peppermint.

3 packets of knox unflavored gelatin (theirs 4 packets per box)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup karo light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water, divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (you can use any flavor you'd like)
powdered sugar

Place 1/2 cup water and 3 gelatin packets in an electric stand mixer and let stand while you prepare your sugar syrup.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan.  Cook on medium high heat until candy thermometer reads 240*.  Remove from heat.

Use whisk attachment on mixer and gently whisk sugar syrup in with gelatin.  Turn mixer to high and whisk for 15 minutes.

Add your extract and whisk a little longer until fully incorporated.

Spray a glass 8x11 pan with cooking spray and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.  Pour marshmallow into pan and dust with more powdered sugar.  Let sit for 6 hours to overnight.

When ready to cut, spray knife with non stick cooking spray and use powdered sugar on sticky areas to assist with cutting.  Turn the marshmallow out onto a cutting board dusted with powdered sugar and cut into cubes.

Peppermint marshmallows came out great.  
1 tablespoon of peppermint extract seemed a bit too strong so I'd do less next time, maybe 1 or 2 teaspoons.  After you put the marshmallows in the pan swirl in some red food coloring for a fun effect!


Tastes great in hot chocolate and makes great teacher gifts!







Monday, August 27, 2018

CAKE BATTER POPCORN

This was so yummy!  It can be made with gummy snacks for a fun addition. 

4 bags of butter flavored popcorn, popped
half a box of white cake mix
1 bag white chocolate chips
1/4 cup vegetable oil
sprinkles
gummy snacks and/or other candy, if desired

Place popcorn in a very large bowl so you have room for stirring.
In a separate bowl, melt chocolate chips in 30 second intervals until melted.  Add vegetable oil and cake mix to white chocolate and stir to combine.
Stir chocolate mixture with popcorn until evenly coated and spread out onto a sheet pan covered in foil or parchment paper.  Sprinkle with decorations and serve!

COLD BREW

I am addicted to Starbucks cold brew so I decided to give it a shot at home.  I googled a bunch of recipes and tips and found the way that seemed easiest for me.  I personally liked using a french press instead of cheese cloth or a sieve to strain the coffee so I would recommend purchasing a french press for this task.  My french press happens to have a second filter up near the pour spout, I noticed a lot of others in the stores do not but I seem to like that mine does so if in any case any grounds escape they are caught by the second screen.

2 cups coffee grounds 
4ish cups of water

additional water, milk or creamer
sweeter or simple syrup (1:1 water and sugar) 

Put two cups of coffee grounds in your french press, fill the rest of the press up with cold water and stir.  You can experiment on your grounds to water ratio for your own taste if you'd like.

Cover the french press with saran wrap and let steep in your fridge for 12-14 hours.  I've let it steep less and longer, it was still good to me either way.

 When your cold brew is ready, insert the top to your french press, push the filter down, trapping the grounds at the bottom, twist the knob at the top closing the screen and blocked any grounds from escaping.  Pour your cold brew from your french press into a mason jar.  Keep your cold brew for up to a week in your fridge to enjoy.

You've essentially made a coffee extract.  You can use this to flavor cakes, breads, mousse or cream. It is so strong, a little goes a long way.

My favorite way to prepare my cold brew is to fill my cup with ice.  Drizzle caramel ice cream topping in the glass.  Fill the glass 2/3 of the way with 2% milk and the rest of the way with cold brew.  May need a bit more sugar depending on the amount of caramel drizzle.

You can mix your cold brew with water, milk or creamer to achieve your favorite cup of coffee.

To sweeten your cold brew without using creamer or syrup you can make simple syrup.  Simple syrup is a 1:1 ratio of sugar and syrup heated up so the sugar dissolved before putting it into your drink.  I use a glass measuring cup and put a tablespoon of sugar and tablespoon of water in it, microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir it up and pour into your cold brew - pour a little at a time in case this is too much for your taste.