Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ghost Pudding Cups...

I know you have probably seen treats similar to these all over the web, but dang gone it, I wanted to make some too!

I am so happy I did!

They were so very easy to make. It took no time at all to draw a ghostly face on the plastic cups and prepare the instant pudding. Then, all you do is pour and chill! Easy, easy, easy!

You could definitely have school age kids draw the faces... and prepare the pudding... they could pretty much make these all by themselves!

These pudding cups are perfect to make if you are in quick need of a class party treat...  or keep them on hand this October as a fun afternoon snack for when the kids come home from school!

Ghost Pudding Cups

  • Small, Clear, Plastic Cups
  • Sharpie Markers, Black and/or Various Colors
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding and Ingredients Listed on Box* 
Begin by drawing ghostly faces on the plastic cups with the marker(s). Make the vanilla pudding according to the package directions. Pour the pudding into the plastic cups and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

* The amount of pudding needed will vary on the size of the plastic cups and the amount of servings you would like to make. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Autumn Pear Salad with Balsamic Pomegranate Vinaigrette...


I really love the fall.

The kids are off to school.

I love the crispness in the air.

I get to bake more.

Oh, let me count the ways.... but I won't. We'd be here all day!

Not only do I love all that comes along with fall, but I also love to make salads. I love them because you can turn something so basic as lettuce or mixed greens, into a fabulous creation!

I bought some pears at the store, and some Gorgonzola, and I thought, "What to do with these delicious ingredients?" Immediately I thought of a salad. Something for fall.

This is what I came up with and it's wonderful... if I do say so myself.

Autumn Pear Salad

  • Baby Romaine Greens, Mixed
  • 5-4 Fresh Un-Peeled Pear Wedges
  • Walnuts, Roughly Chopped
  • Gorgonzola Cheese, Crumbled

Balsamic Pomegranate Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
  • 1 Tablespoon Pomegranate Infused Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Good Quality

On a serving plate for one, place a large hand full of greens. Add the pear wedges, then the walnuts and Gorgonzola to taste. Set aside.

For the vinaigrette, add all of the ingredients to a small mason jar. Attach the lid and shake vigorously until well combined. Makes 4 oz. of vinaigrette. Drizzle a tablespoon or so, over the salad.  

You can easily double this recipe for a family sized salad. You can also mix the vinaigrette into the salad (to taste) first, toss, then add the other toppings. 


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cake Box Donuts...


This week was Back to School Week for our family. Both girls are in sports this fall as well. So, needless to say we have been pretty busy!

That last stretch of summer vacation seemed to fly by... I cannot believe that my youngest is now in the 4th grade! Even more unbelievable......

...... I have a FRESHMAN in high school!

I am so excited for her, since I have wonderful memories of my high school experience, but I am a bit depressed about it. I mean, it seems as if she were a little baby just yesterday... my 4th grader as well! Where does the time go? In four years, which I'm sure will fly by as well, she will hopefully be off to collage and my youngest will be off to high school.

Inconceivable! (Name that movie)

Hey, my girls getting older, means that I'm get older. Yikes! Denial, anyone?

So, I thought that these lovely treats would help make it all better.  Boy, was I was right!

Cake Box Donuts

  • 1 Cup, Half and Half
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
  • 1 Boxed Vanilla Cake Mix (15.25 oz)
  • 1 Egg, Room Temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Vegetable Oil, For Frying the Donuts
  • 1 Candy Thermometer 
  • 1-1/2 Cups Cinnamon Sugar, For Coating the Donuts 
Begin by measuring the half and half in a cup, then add the vinegar. Let it sit 15-20 minutes.

Attach the candy thermometer to a medium saucepan. Add the vegetable oil, until it fills the saucepan an inch or so above half way. Turn the heat on to medium low.

Add the cinnamon sugar to a bowl for coating, then cover a large plate with paper towels. Set both aside. 

Add the boxed cake mix to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in the half and half mixture, egg, and vanilla until combined. 

Once the candy thermometer reads between 350 to 375 degrees, use an 18/8 sized ice cream scoop to begin adding the donut batter to the oil. After scooping the batter, add it to the oil carefully. Only add three or four individual scoops of the batter to the oil. You don't want to over crowd the saucepan. 

Using a hand held Asian strainer... similar to this one... gently move the donuts around for 3-5 minutes, or until the donut is fully cooked. To determine cooking time for all the donuts, you can pull one from the first batch out at 3 minutes and cut it open to check. If it is not fully cooked, leave the others in a minute or two longer. Also, make sure the oil temperature stays between 350 to 375 degrees.

Once cooked, remove the donuts, gently shaking off any access oil, and then dropping into the cinnamon sugar to coat. Place the coated donuts onto the paper towel covered plate to catch any more oil. 

Continue this process until all the batter is used up. Makes around 40 donuts. 


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