Saturday, December 31, 2011

Crab Bruschetta...



Appetizers are... among many... of my favorite foods to eat.

I'm a grazer. Big time.

I like having choices. Lot's of them. Appetizers allow for that.

Don't even get me started on bread...... love the stuff.

So, that being said, I knew I wanted to make a bruschetta.



I mean it even sounds wonderful...... bruuussschetta. Say it with me. Come on...

Bruuussschetta.

In your best Giada DeLaurentiis Italian accent. Luvs her!

Anyway, if you heart bread... like I do... and heart crab, this is the appetizer for you.


Crab Bruschetta
Adapted from Crab and Lemon Bruschetta by Giada DeLaurentiis

  • 1 French Bread Baguette, Cut into 30 (1/2- inch Thick) Slices 
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 Whole Garlic Clove, Cut In Half
  • 18 Oz. Lump Crab, Drained
  • 1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Or Freeze Dried Chives, Plus Some for Garnish
  • 2 Dashes Hot Sauce
  • 30 Slices Of Cherry Tomatoes, For Garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).

Place the bread on cookie sheets and brush with olive oil. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes. 

Meanwhile, place the crab in a large bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, parmesan, salt and pepper, chives, and hot sauce. Pour over the crab and gently fold to combine. Place the crab mixture into the refrigerator to chill until the bread is done. 

Remove the bread from the oven and transfer to parchment paper. Carefully rub the cut side of the garlic onto the baguette pieces; they will be very hot. Top each piece with a heaping teaspoon of the chilled crab mixture. Garnish with a slice of cherry tomato and chives. Makes 30 bruschetta. 

If you have any left-over crab, it should keep a day or two at the most. Use it to top your salads with. 

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Spritzer...



I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

I can't believe it has come and gone so quickly...... I feel this way at the end of every holiday season.

Alas, a New Year is approaching and it's always exciting. That's if you don't buy into the whole Mayan doomsday thing.

Which I don't..... although I did approach my husband about starting a food storage recently in case anything should occur. It's good to be prepared anyway, right?

Every year I make a resolution to eat better...... shed some weight. Does it ever happen?

Um, usually not. I mean, it starts off great, but goes downhill after about a month or so. This year's going to be different though (that's what I say every year).  But really.... I mean it this time....... I MEAN IT!!!

Once I get that whole "eating in moderation" thing down, I'll be golden.

The exercising isn't really an issue. Well, I have kinda sorta taken a break while the kids have been out of school and the hubs has been on leave. But I plan on jumping back on that bandwagon after the New Year.

Anyway, we usually stay in for New Year's Eve...... order take-out...... watch the ball drop from Times Square...... sipin' on some Gin and Juice. No, not really. I mean, we sip...... but usually on some Champagne or Sparkling Wine.

I love fruity drinks, so I added some White Cran-Peach juice to the Sparkling Wine. You can totally make this a virgin by using Ginger Ale in stead of wine.

I hope everyone has a great time, whatever you decide to do this New Year's Eve!

Happy 2012! 

New Year's Spritzer
  • 4 Fluid Oz.  Sparkling Wine Such As An Asti or Spumante, Chilled
  • 4 Fluid Oz. White Cran-Peach Juice, Chilled
Pour the Sparkling Wine and juice into a wine glass or champagne flute and serve. Makes 1 serving. 

Enjoy!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones...



My shopping is done... woohoo!... and all I have to do is a little food preparation for Christmas dinner tomorrow.

As for Christmas morning breakfast, I like to keep it simple.

I don't know how many times I've pulled out the good old Bisquick when I'm in a pinch for time. It makes cooking very easy!

So, when Christmas morning whips around, I want an easy peasy breakfast. I absolutely, positively DO NOT want to be standing around the stove taking orders!

I usually make Mocha Chip Scones the day before Christmas so they are ready to be devoured in the morning. I love these scones because they are quick and easy.

I thought I'd change the recipe up by using dried cranberries, white chocolate morsels, and buttermilk. I wanted to make them a little more festive for Christmas.

Now I'll be able to sit back with a nice cup of coffee, my scone, and enjoy my family on Christmas morning...

... I hope you'll be able to do the same!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
Or as we say in Hawaii...

Mele Kalikimaka!


Oh... and P.S.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read this little ol' blog of mine!
You're the best!


White Chocolate Cranberry Scones
Adapted from Mocha Chip Scones by Sandra Lee

  • 3-1/2 Cups Bisquick
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Morsels
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 4 Tablespoons Heavy Cream, Divided 
  • 1/3 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 4 Tablespoons White Sparkling Sugar (Optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

In a large bowl, mix together the Bisquick, sugar, morsels, and cranberries; set aside. Place 2 tablespoons of cream, buttermilk, vanilla, and the egg in a small bowl and whisk. Create a well in the center of the Bisquick mixture and pour in the buttermilk mixture. With a wooden spoon, stir to combine. Your mixture will be crumbly. 

Scoop the scone dough using an 18/10 scoop or drop by tablespoonful onto lined cookie sheets, about an inch apart. You may need to pack the dough into the scoop or tablespoon, just so it holds together. Brush the tops with the other 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and sprinkle with the sparkling sugar, if using. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the scones just begin to brown. Makes 25-28 scones.

Enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chocolate Meringue Cookies...




It's been raining like crazy here on island for almost a week now, so when the sun began popping out from behind the clouds, I decided it was a good time to make these meringue cookies.

I heard somewhere that humidity isn't good when you are trying to whip up fluffy egg whites. Don't know if it's true or not, but thought I'd be cautious anyway.

I didn't want to take the chance of mine not turning out, since it was my first time making meringue cookies.

I didn't need another negative this week, considering we had to remove texting from my tween daughter's cell phone.

Yeah, she pretty much wracked up over 1700 in-coming and out-going texts on her "emergency only" cell phone.

You're probably asking yourself... "Why don't you have an unlimited texting plan?"...

Honestly, the hubs and I don't text all that much and we really don't feel our tween should be texting all the time either.

So, after I took a picture of my husband with a scolding look on her cell phone and then he changed the banner to "BUSTED TEXTING," we saved it as her main wall paper. She is soon to be blocked from all texting.

...... My husband and I like to get creative when we discipline our children.

Anyway... luckily the Verizon guy switched us to unlimited texting until the end of the billing cycle so we she wouldn't owe a $500.00 cell phone bill and we'd she'd only have to pay around $30.00 for the plan.

I've talked about how therapeutic I find baking. So, I thought I'd try my hand at these cookies to relieve the stress of an almost $500.00 cell phone bill.

It worked... and they really were not difficult to make. I won't lie though, it can get a little messy spooning the meringue into a pastry bag. That was really the only hard part.

Had any stresses this week? Go ahead... vent. I'm listening.


Chocolate Meringue Cookies

  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cream Of Tartar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees (F). 

Line 2 or 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.  

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla on medium/low speed until frothy. Up the speed on your mixture to medium/high and beat until peaks just begin to form. Slowly add in the sugar. Continue beating until the egg white mixture becomes glossy and starts looking like marshmallow fluff. Gently fold in the cocoa powder until combined. 

Fit a large pastry bag with a l M swirl tip and fill with the chocolate meringue mixture. Pipe 1 inch swirls  about an inch apart from each other, on the lined cookie sheets. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove and cool completely. Store covered at room temperature. Makes about 3-1/2 dozen meringue cookies. 

Enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Candy Cane Sleds...

 


After my mother-in-law told me about some cute candy sleds she saw at a church bazaar recently, I thought I'd try making some.

The sleds at the church bazaar consisted of two regular sized candy canes  and three pieces of miniature variety candy bars, all with the wrappers still on and glued together to resemble a sled.

I thought I'd change mine up a bit by using miniature candy canes and Hershey Bar pieces.

After some trial and error, I found that candy melts helped hold the sleigh together the best. A cute little dollop of white frosting sprinkled with white sparkling sugar, and you have snow!

These are adorable on their own, but even more so on top of a cupcake.

It was a little tricky stabilizing the candy canes in one hand, while "gluing" the chocolate pieces to them with the candy melts, but once I got going it became much easier.

Hey, it takes a little bit of effort to pull off cute... right?


Candy Cane Sleds

  • Frosted Cupcakes
  • Miniature Candy Canes, 2 Per Sled
  • Hershey Chocolate Bars (1.55 Oz. Bars), 2 Rectangular Pieces Per Sled
  • 1 Bag Of White Candy Melts
  • White Frosting
  • White Sparkling Sugar Sprinkles
Begin by breaking the desired amount of Hershey bar pieces along the perforated lines and chill in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes. Remove the desired amount of candy canes from their wrappers and set aside in a bowl. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, one for the chocolates and the other to set the sleds on to dry.

Next, melt the candy melts in the microwave in a few 30 second intervals; stir to combine. Spoon the melted candy melts into a disposable pastry bag. Set aside to cool a bit while you remove the broken Hershey bars from the freezer and grab the candy canes. 

Place the Hershey pieces logo side up on one lined cookie sheet. Snip the tip of the disposable pastry bag to begin piping. 

Working 6 to 8 pieces at a time, pipe a pea sized dollop on both short sides of the Hershey chocolate piece. Holding two candy canes parallel to each other on the second lined cookie sheet as your work surface, place one Hershey piece near the inside curve of the candy canes and the other toward both the ends, pressing gently to attach. Leave on the lined cookie sheet to dry. 

Continue building 3 to 4 sleds at a time, working quickly before the melted candy melts set. You can always re-heat the candy melts if they begin to harden. 

Once the sleds are set, pipe a dollop of white frosting anywhere on the sled to look like snow. Sprinkle with white sparkling sugar and place on top of a cupcake. You can store them covered at room temperature for a day or two. It's best to use them almost immediately, as the candy canes can become sticky. 

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It. Head on over and check out all the wonderful link ups! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles...




I hope your Christmas shopping is going smoothly.

Are you finished yet?

I certainly am NOT finished.

Every single year I try to start early... around or on Black Friday... but it never fails. I end up shopping all the way until Christmas.

I have literally been out on Christmas Eve for little things that I've forgotten to pick up. Christmas morning... for what else?

...... Batteries.

I really am organized. I promise. For some reason it's the Christmas shopping that gets me. Every single time.

Maybe it's because I'd rather be baking this time of year. Yes people, baking is what I do when I put things off...... like not shopping to avoid all the holiday season crowds.

Don't get me wrong, that's not the only reason why I bake. I really do enjoy baking for friends and family.

I also like shopping... this time of year though... um, not so much.

So, to avoid all the crazies out this past weekend, I whipped up this batch of truffles.

I am so happy I did!



Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles
Adapted from Toasted Almond Truffles

  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Bag (10 Oz.) Swirled Milk Chocolate And Peanut Butter Morsals
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Finely Chopped Honey Roasted Peanuts
In a heavy duty saucepan, combine the sugar and milk. Stirring constantly, bring to a full-rolling boil over medium/low heat. Continue stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the morsals until smooth. Add the vanilla and combine. Refrigerate for 2 hours. 

Once the truffle mixture has been chilled, remove from the refrigerator and shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in the chopped peanuts. Store covered in the refrigerator. Makes 18 truffles.

Enjoy! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oreo Peppermint Bark Bars...




On Saturday, I met up with From The Aisle to Aloha's Lindsay and a few of her readers at a local park here on Oahu.




If you haven't checked out her blog, you should.

She has fun style posts... posts on surviving deployment as a military wife... livin' life in Hawaii... and she hosts It's The Little Things linky party on Friday's.

Oh yeah...  and she's a wonderful artist! Check out her Etsy shop.




It was really nice chit chatting with the girls who came to the meet up... and of course meeting Lindsay and her hubby Chris.




Just look at this adorable spread that Lindsay put together. Loved the mason jars and burlap! It's the little touches... like the raffia and the cute paper straws... that add so much to the decor.




I was so busy yikyakin', that I totally forgot to take pictures of everyone...... except for this little cutie pie. So sweet...

...just like these treats!

Here is an easy peasy recipe for this holiday season. It has all of my favorite things... sugar cookies, peppermint bark, and Oreo cookies.

Yeah... sugar... it's kinda my thing.

Oreo Peppermint Bark Bars

  • 1 Box Or Package Of Sugar Cookie Mix Plus Ingredients Listed
  • 1 Bag (10 Oz.) Wilton Candy Cane Colorburst Candy Melts
  • 10 Winter Oreo Cookies, Roughly Chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

Line a 9 x 9 inch square cake pan with parchment paper, making sure that two opposite ends have an over hang. This will help you remove the final product from the pan later. Make the sugar cookie dough according to the package directions and press evenly into the lined pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the sides begin to brown and pull away from the sides of the pan. 

Microwave the candy melts according to the package directions and stir to combine. Pour over the still hot cookie dough. With a spatula, smooth out the melted candy melts evenly to cover and press the chopped Oreo cookies on top.

While still in the pan, cool completely on a cookie rack. Once cooled, using the over hang of parchment paper, remove from the pan. Cut into squares and store covered. Makes 24 small bars. 

Enjoy!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hawaiian Snowballs...



I love making Christmas cookies. I usually don't make snowball cookies to give away at Christmas, but I decided to adapt a recipe from one of my daughters cookbooks after trying them and loving them.

Since we live in Hawaii, I thought I'd throw some dried pineapple and macadamia nuts in the dough.

I am so happy I did!

I mean... anything with powdered sugar, pineapple, and macadamia nuts is phenomenal...

... right?

I added a little coconut extract, but I'm sure pineapple extract would work beautifully, should you choose to do so. Or... don't add any. Totally up to you.

These are definitely a keeper on my Christmas cookie list from now on!


Hawaiian Snowballs
Adapted from The Sweetest Snowballs in Sweet Eats by Rose Dunnington

  • 1 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar, Divided And Sifted
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Coconut Extract (Optional)
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Salted Macadamia Nuts
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Dried Pineapple
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

In a large bowl, cream the butter and half of the sifted powdered sugar. Mix in the vanilla and coconut extract, if using. Add the flour a cup at a time and mix until a ball of dough begins to form. With clean hands, mix in the chopped macadamia nuts and pineapple. Form dough into 1 inch balls and bake on cookie sheets for 12-15 minutes or until done. Cool almost completely and dredge with the remaining powdered sugar. Once completely cooled, store covered. Makes 35-40 cookies.

Enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Peppermint Hot Chocolate...

 


I hope everyone has started off December wonderfully!

My family has returned home and we are getting back into the swing of our usual routine again.

Now I can start my holiday baking!

I love this time of year...... even thought it takes a little getting used to in a hot tropical climate.

Although, it is warm where I live, I still like having a nice warm mug of hot chocolate every once in a while in the evening. It has winter written all over it.

My kids love it too!

The best kind of hot chocolate is the homemade kind. I kid you not. It's so much creamier and chocolaty and richer.

Please say you'll try it...

... it really is worth all the calories.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

  • 1-1/2 Cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Half and Half
  • 6 Ounces of Good Quality Milk Chocolate (Do Not Use Bittersweet)
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract
  • Whipped Cream For Garnish
Begin by heating the whole milk and half and half on low heat in a heavy duty saucepan. While heating, chop the milk chocolate. It doesn't need to be finely chopped, but small enough that it will melt easily. Once the milk mixture begins to steam, add the chopped milk chocolate and stir or whisk until completely melted and incorporated. Finally, add the vanilla and peppermint extracts and stir. Ladle into mugs and dollop whipped cream on top. Serve with a peppermint stick for fun. Makes 3 small servings or 2 large servings. 

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sour Cream Pie with Orange Cranberry Sauce...




I am so ready for the holidays to begin.

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday.

I love that it's about being thankful, eating turkey and pumpkin pie until we're stuffed, and celebrating with our friends and family.

Of course, I can't forget the day after Thanksgiving...... Black Friday.

Yes, my friends, a day of spectacular deals. Oh yeah, I'm already planning out what stores I'm going to hit and in what sequence.

I have a game plan.

You have to if you want to score major on Christmas gifts.

I'm not going to lie... it takes a lot out of you if you decide to hit up stores at midnight or early morning on Black Friday.

What will I do to replenish myself once I've returned from long hours of waiting in lines and braving the crowds, you ask?

Eat this pie.


Sour Cream Pie with Orange Cranberry Sauce 

  • 1 Prepared Graham Cracker Pie Crust
  • 8 Oz. Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Cool Whip
  • 1 Cup  Orange Cranberry Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Or Cranberry Juice
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sour cream together. Next add the sugar and combine. Add in the vanilla. Gently fold in the Cool Whip. Pour the sour cream filling into the prepared graham cracker crust. Refrigerate for four hours to set. Makes 8 servings of pie.

Before serving, measure 1 cup of the Orange Cranberry Sauce and 1/2 cup of juice into a small heavy duty saucepan. Stir and heat through, do not boil. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Spoon desired amount over each slice of sour cream pie and serve. 

Enjoy!

 “Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom  sponsored by Cherokee USALe CreusetWilton,Bags by Bloom and  Harvard Common Press


Happy Baking!

Orange Cranberry Sauce...



When I was younger, I didn't particularly care for cranberry sauce. We always had the straight out of the can kind.

It always grossed me out.

The first few Thanksgiving dinners, I would not serve it... until I realized that it doesn't have to come out of a can.

After watching Food Network before Thanksgiving one year, I thought I'd try making my own cranberry sauce.

Honestly, it's not that hard to make. Another thing, you can make it a day or two before Thanksgiving. Anything I can get done a few days before a holiday dinner is so worth it to me.

Sometimes I throw a cinnamon stick in the sauce the first few minutes it's cooking, to give it some spice.

Stay tuned... if my pie comes out, I may be using this sauce to accompany it...


Orange Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 Bag (12 Oz.) Cranberries
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
Place all ingredients in a medium heavy duty saucepan. Heat on medium/high, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries pop and all the ingredients are combined, about 10-15 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Re-heat or serve at room temperature. Makes 2 cups.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Babycakes Donut Maker Giveaway Winner...

 


I have to tell you that I can't get enough of my babycakes Donut Maker.

Seriously, people.

This time I tried out the Sour Cream Donut recipe and the Chocolate Glaze recipe that came in the instructional pamphlet. 

Definitely a denser donut batter than the Spice Donut recipe I recently posted. 

So, so yummy! Next time though, I will use less vanilla extract in the glaze than it calls for. It was a little too much. Other than that, I have no complaints. 




So, I guess I'll go ahead and announce the lucky winner...

Sinful Sundays... yay!
... "Those are good looking donuts you have there! 
I am a sucker for glazed donuts. :)"

Congratulations! I'll be contacting you very soon!

Thank you to everyone who commented on this giveaway!

I'll be back soon with a pie recipe that I'll be linking up to Tidy Mom's 3rd Annual Love the Pie Party!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Babycakes Spice Donuts and A Giveaway...

 


So, I  thought I'd jump on the babycakes bandwagon and buy one. 

Not only for myself, since... ahem... November 10th is my birthday.

But for one lucky reader out there. 

YAY!

It's better to give than receive, right?




I've been wanting the babycakes Donut Maker for a little while now. When I saw it at my local Navy Exchange... on sale (score!) I snatched it right up, of course! 

You can also find them at retailers such as Kohl's and Bed Bath & Beyond.

I used a french vanilla cake mix and added ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves to make a spice cake batter... since I couldn't find a spice cake mix at the store... really? I saw carrot cake, but no spice cake... go figure. 

Anyway, they were a lot of fun to make. A little tedious, since it only makes six donuts at a time, but enjoyable. 

The instruction pamphlet has a few donut recipes and glaze recipes in it, and they look really good, but I just decided to do my own thang and make a spice donut. 

All you have to do to win the babycakes Donut Maker is answer the following question in the comments section:

What is your favorite kind of donut?

Update: This giveaway has ended!

Do you like them plain, sugary, glazed, or with the maple frosting... yum!

Rules
One entry per person, please.
Contest closes 6pm Pacific time Monday, November 14th.
The winner will be chosen randomly.

* This giveaway is sponsored by So Domesticated.

Good Luck!


Spice Donuts

For the Donuts:
  • 1 Box (15.25 Oz.) French Vanilla Cake Mix, Plus Ingredients Listed On Back
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
For the Cinnamon Glaze:
  • 2-1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Half & Half
Preheat the babycakes Donut Maker.

In a large bowl, mix the french vanilla cake mix, cake mix ingredients, and spices until well combined. Follow the cooking instructions that come with the babycakes Donut Maker to make your donuts. I found that piping the batter yielded a fluffier donut. Also, I filled each donut impression with about a tablespoon of my cake batter. I let my donuts cool a bit before dipping them in the cinnamon glaze. Makes 5 dozen babycakes donuts. 

In a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, cinnamon, butter, and half & half until smooth. Add the half & half a little at a time until you get the desired consistency. Dip the donuts into the glaze, covering one side. Set on cooling racks, until the glaze sets.

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.

Enjoy!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Brie Cheese Bread Bowl...

 


Thanksgiving is swiftly approaching, so I thought I'd share a recipe that my family enjoys each and every year for the holidays.

It's a bread bowl. A brie cheese bread bowl, to be exact.

An appetizer that my mother-in-law introduced to me and I'm so dang glad she did!

The best part about eating this is that you can tear it apart and indulge when you are out of baguettes... the entire thing... yes, I kid you not.

I mean, it's our favorite thing to do. The crunch of the bread as it's torn apart...... irresistible.




How can you not over-indulge in bread that looks like this?

Anyway, you will not regret making this apart of your Thanksgiving Menu, should you choose to do so.

Fights may irrupt over the last piece of bread bowl... I'm just sayin'.

Be prepared.


Brie Cheese Bread Bowl

  • 1 Large Loaf Sourdough Bread, Round
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil, More If Desired
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder, Or To Taste
  • 2 Bars (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Cubed
  • 1 Wheel Brie Cheese, Rind Removed And Cubed
  • 2 Loaves Baguette Bread, Sliced Diagonally
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

Begin by cutting the top off of the sourdough round. Set aside. Hollow out the sourdough round, saving the bread pieces for dipping later on. With a pastry brush, brush the olive oil inside the sourdough, making sure to get every nook and cranny. Sprinkle the garlic powder inside the sourdough seasoning it well. Fill the sourdough with the cream cheese and brie cheese. Cover with the top you cut earlier and completely wrap in heavy duty foil. Bake for 1-1/2 hours or until the cheese is hot and bubbly. 

Serve with sliced baguette pieces and bread pieces that were hollowed out. Break apart and devour, once you run out of bread!

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Apple Cider Slushies...

 

So, a few weeks back I was reading a cute blog that I enjoy popping in on called Two Twenty One.

Something in Chelsea's post caught my eye.

Apple Cider Slushies.

I've never had one... ever.

Immediately I knew that I wanted to make them. After experimenting, I decided to make a cinnamon simple syrup to make the slushie sweet... because I like my slushies super sweet, hello.

Doesn't everyone?

Anyway, I thought this would be a fantastic treat for "fall" on the island, since it is usually 85 and sunny year round.

I get to incorporate an autumn ingredient into a refreshing, icy treat.

My girls had so much fun drinking these...

... and so did I!


Apple Cider Slushies

  • 2 Cups Crushed Ice
  • 1-1/2 Cups  Apple Cider
  • 1/4 Cups Cinnamon Simple Syrup, Or To Taste (Recipe Below)
In a blender, pulse all ingredients until processed. Makes 2 servings. 

Cinnamon Simple Syrup

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Whole Cinnamon Sticks
In a small heavy duty saucepan, bring the sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks to a boil, stirring constantly. When the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and cool completely. Allow the cinnamon to steep while the syrup cools. Remove the cinnamon sticks and strain into a small container. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. Use to brush cake layers or to sweeten drinks and cocktails. 

Enjoy!

I'm linking this up to I'm Lovin' It.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Creamy Pumpkin Tart...

 



So, I helped out at my daughter's Middle School today... selling Pumpkin Grams.

I know I mentioned a few months back about putting my daughter into an on-line charter school...

... well, she's back in regular school. She just wasn't getting enough socialization, so my husband and I made the decision to place her at the middle school in our district.

Now we have a much happier tween... and believe me, that makes our lives much easier.

Although she is happier, she's still a typical 12 year old.

You know... typical meaning she's embarrassed about anything and everything my husband and I say or do.

Anyway, as I'm helping sell Pumpkin Grams, she discreetly waves hi to me in the cafeteria, and then avoids me. Not even a goodbye as she leaves the cafeteria.

I thought I was one of the cool moms! Geesh.

I guess it's payback for my being embarrassed of my mom at that age. But that's different, okay. She WORKED at my middle school... as the Physical Education aide. I saw her every... single... day, my entire 7th and 8th grade years.

So, I decided to make a tart to help soothe my hurt feelings.

A pumpkin tart... you know, since I have all that canned pumpkin in my pantry.

It made it all better...


Creamy Pumpkin Tart

For the crust:

  • 24 Ginger Snap Cookies
  • 2 Tablespoons of Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Butter, Melted

For the filling:

  • 1 Block (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Can (15 Oz.) Pumpkin
  • 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Cool Whip

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F.)

Place the cookies in a large zip lock bag and finely crush them with a rolling pin. You can also use a food processor for this step. Next, pour the crumbs into a medium bowl. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Then stir in the melted butter, coating the crumb mixture well. 

Press the crust into a 10 inch spring form pan. Bake for 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese and sugar together. Then blend in the sour cream, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Gently fold in the cool whip. Pour the pumpkin filling over the cooled crust. Refrigerate covered overnight. Run a butter knife around the inside of the spring form pan to loosen the filling before removing the tart from the pan. Makes 8 servings.

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Frankenstein Rice Crispy Treats...



I've been wanting to make something out of rice crispy treats for a while now.

I though I was all creative in thinking of a Frankenstein monster.

Well, there are other Frankenstein crispy treats out there. I guess I'm not as original as I thought. Oh, well...

... I decided to make them anyway. I'm glad I did... they were a lot of fun!




So, you'll need a whole bunch of goodies! You can use whatever candies you choose for decoration. I just thought jellybeans, sprinkles, an edible color marker, and decorating gel would work great for Frankenstein's face.

I chose to color white candy melts with food coloring made especially for candy making, instead of buying green candy melts. Wilton doesn't always cover well for me, so when I make cake pops or candy coated treats, I like using Guittard Melt 'n Mold. It's the brand available at my local craft store.

You can totally buy green candy melts. It does save some time.




So, I bet you'd like to know how to make these little monsters, right?

Right.

Frankenstein Rice Crispy Treats

  • 8-10 Rice Krispies Treats
  • 1-1/2 Bags (12 OZ.) White Vanilla Flavor Melting Chocolate OR Green Vanilla Flavor Melting Chocolate
  • Blue and Yellow Candy Coloring, Optional 
  • 8-10 Wood Sticks
  • 2-4 Black Decorating Gel Tubes
  • Black Food Writer Marker
  • Confetti Sprinkles
  • Assorted Jellybeans
  • Foam Board, For Placing Treats To Dry On
Begin by refrigerating your rice krispies treats for about an hour, so they are easier to work with. Pre-puncture your foam board with a wooden stick, about 2 inches apart, so your treats don't touch when drying. 

Mark black dots on 16-20 confetti sprinkles with the food marker to make eyes. Next, cut your jellybeans in half, to make the bolts for Frankenstein's neck.

In a 2 cup measuring cup, melt your candy melts in the microwave, according to the package instructions. If coloring the melts, add the blue and yellow coloring, stirring to blend. Add the coloring until you get the desired color of green. Dip about half an inch of the wood stick in the melted candy melts. Then insert it about half way into the krispies treat. Carefully dip the treat into the melted candy melts, coating completely. Gently tap the excess off. Place your coated treat into the pre-punctured foam board to dry. You can stick them in the refrigerator to speed up the drying process; about 20 minutes.

Once you have coated all the treats and they have dried, you can start decorating! Using the black decorating gel, draw Frankenstein's hair on the front of the treat. Then draw his face. Place two confetti sprinkles on the gel eyes. Lastly, place a dot of black gel on the cut side of the jellybeans and place on each side of the treat for the bolts. Place the treats flat on parchment paper to dry, just so the gel can set and not drip off.  Makes 8-10 treats. 


Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies...




So, you know how I've been trying to get my hands on some pumpkin?

Well, I finally found some on-island.

As my daughter and I were shopping at Target in the baking aisle, I happened to look on the top shelf and staring right back at me was some canned pumpkin.

Needless to say, I was overjoyed. So much so that I could not contain myself.

Right smack dab, in the middle of the aisle, I threw my hands up shouting, "Thank you, Lord!"

I think my daughter was a wee bit embarrassed at that point.

This, my friends, is what food does to me.

I then proceeded to stock up on canned pumpkin like no one's business. You'd have thought I was a contestant on Supermarket Sweep, for crying out loud!

Well, now that I've scored on some pumpkin, I think I'll share with you one of my favorite cookies.



Oh, one more thing...

Head over to Act Fast Chef and check out Elizabeth's Yummy Finds Friday, where she's featured my Candy Corn Sugar Cookies.

I'm also linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.

Pumpkin Cookies

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Cup Shortening
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Begin by sifting the first 5 ingredients together in a medium-sized mixing bowl; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl cream the sugar and shortening, then add the pumpkin; blend well. Add the egg and beat well. Next, gently stir in the dry ingredients, a little at a time, to form a smooth batter. Finally, add the vanilla and stir to combine. 

Drop by tablespoonfuls into a cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Once cookies are done, cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 30-40 cookies. 

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies...

 

A wondrous thing has occurred...... I found out that Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Shelly from Cookies and Cups have launched a new site together called That's What We Said:


They talk about all sorts of fun, non-food related topics, like TV shows, books, and beauty finds and likes.

I'll definitely be stalking reading their site frequently.

As I am doing this, I may or may not be snacking on these sugar cookies.

And yes, I'm still trying to eat healthy foods. It's just that every once in a while I need something sweet. These are perfect for that!

When making these, I used my Great-Grandma Berry's sugar cookie recipe, but you can use whatever recipe you enjoy. The candy corn method is posted below the recipe.

Happy Baking!

Great-Grandma Berry's Sugar Cookies

  • 3 Cups All-purpose Flour, Plus Some If Rolling Out
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Shortening
  • 2 Whole Eggs, At Room Temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tablespoons Ice Cold Water
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, mix the sugar and shortening until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Starting with the flour mixture, alternate the flour mixture and ice cold water to the sugar mixture. Mix until just combined. 

If scooping, use an 18/10 sized ice cream scoop to scoop out your sugar cookie dough. Gently roll into balls and place about 2 inches apart on your baking sheet. Gently press the balls with the bottom of a small glass to flatten a bit. You may choose to dip the bottom of the glass in flour or sugar so they won't stick to the dough. Place in the oven and bake for 10-13 minutes. 

If rolling the dough out, cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, so it is easier to work with. Sprinkle your working surface with flour, roll out, and cut with your decorative cookie cutters. Place in the oven and bake for 10-13 minutes. 

Candy Corn Method:

You will need:
  • Orange Gel Food Coloring
  • Yellow Gel Food Coloring
  • White, Orange, And Yellow Sugar Sprinkles, If Desired
Divide your prepared sugar cookie dough in half, set aside one of the halves into a small bowl. Divide the other half into 2/3 and 1/3 portions. Set aside the 1/3 portion and place the 2/3 portion into another small bowl. 

Pat the 1/3 portion of cookie dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill. Place a few small dollops of the orange gel food coloring into the bowl with 1/2 of the cookie dough. Mix well, incorporating the coloring through out the cookie dough with a spoon. Pat into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill. Do the same with the 2/3 portion of cookie dough, only using the yellow gel food coloring.

After all three portions of dough have chilled about an hour in the refrigerator, unwrap them and roll each ball into 12 inch logs. On a cookie sheet, stack the logs on top of one another with the yellow on the bottom, the orange in the middle, and the non-colored dough on the very top. Begin shaping into a triangle shape by gently pushing the sides in and pointing the top.

Cover the entire triangular log with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill about 30 minutes to an hour. Once your dough is chilled and easy to work with, begin slicing it into 1/2 inch pieces. Place the triangular pieces about 2 inches apart on baking sheets. You may want to further shape the slices in a triangle while on the baking sheet, as the slicing may distort the shape a little. Sprinkle the white sugar on the top, the orange sugar in the middle, and the yellow sugar on the bottom of each cookie. Bake for 10-13 minutes. Makes 2 dozen candy corn sugar cookies.

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.

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