Friday, December 25, 2009
Making gingerbread houses from scratch was never my thing. I've always been too lazy and have either bought the kit or used graham crackers. So I was pretty excited about this month's challenge.
Instead of making one big house, I made four small houses so my kids can each decorated their own.
Peppermint Toffee Bark... saw Almond Roca had one with peppermint candy in it which gave me the idea for this one.
Homemade Caramels dipped in Dark Chocolate...Trader Joe's carry this and for the longest time has been my indulgence every holiday. Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot in there and is always gone way too fast, so I learned to make my own caramel and just dipped them in chocolate. Haven't quite gotten the tempering thing down so it's not the prettiest of things, but still tastes oh-so-good!
Monday, December 7, 2009
I found this recipe for butter mint pillows in the December issue of Woman's Day. It didn't require cooking with a candy thermometer and had just a few ingredients, I just had to try it. It was very easy and tasty too!
BUTTER MINT PILLOWS:
(makes 1 lb, about 225 mints)
1 stick (1/2 c.) salted butter, softened
1 box(1lb.) confectioners' (powedered) sugar, plus extra for dusting
2T heavy cream or milk
1 t mint extract
red and green liquid food color
1. In large bowl, beat butter until creamy. With mixer on low, beat in sugar, cream and extract until creamy and smooth.
2. Turn sugar mixture out onto a work surface lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar; knead until smooth and satiny. Divide mixture into thirds: Tint one pastel pink (2 drops red color), one pastel green (2 drops green color) and leave remaining portion white. Cover each portion with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.
3. Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick foil. Lightly dust work surface with confectioners' sugar. Working with one color at a time, roll out 1/4 cupfuls of the mint mixture, using your fingers, into a 1/2-inch thick rope. Cut rope into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pillows. Transfer mints to prepared baking sheets with a spatula (be careful--mints are soft and will squish easily). Repeat with remaining mint mixture.
4. Let air-dry at room temperature for 1 to 2 days until firm enough to handle. Transfer mints to covered containers.
STORAGE TIP: Store in an airtight container at cool room temperature up to 2 weeks, or keep in refrigerator up to 1 month.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Simple toasted pumpkin seeds, soaked in salt water for a few hours and drained and dried overnight, tossed in melted butter and salt, baked for about 40 minutes, then sprinkled some sugar on them, giving them that salty-sweet "kettle"-like taste to them. The kids said these were the best seeds I've made so far!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Nametake is Japanese seasoned enoki mushrooms. They're delicious but rather costly. Found a recipe on cookpad.com (a Japanese recipe site) that was very simple, just four ingredients: enoki mushrooms, soy sauce, mirin (cooking sweet sake), and rice vinegar. If possible, I prefer using mirin instead of sugar so I look that in recipes. Overall, it was very easy to make, however it was a little too soy-saucy. Next time I'll decrease the soy sauce amount or try "lite" soy sauce. It turned out a little runnier than the store-bought kind so I might add a little corn starch next time. But given the simplicity and cost to make this, I'll definitely try this one again when I eat these up!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Fresh Mint Ice Cream- makes about 1 quart (1 liter) -
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
Pinch of salt
2 cups (80 g) lightly packed fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
1. Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup (250 ml) of the cream, and salt in a small saucepan. Add the mint leaves and stir until they're immersed in the liquid. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. Strain the mint-infused mixture through a mesh strainer into a medium saucepan (the milk will be a lovely shade of emerald). Press on the mint leaves to extract as much of the flavor as possible, then discard the mint leaves. Pour the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer on top.
3. Rewarm the mint-infused mixture. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mint liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. Then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Monday, July 27, 2009
When I read that this month's challenge was cookies, I was pretty happy. New cookies are always fun to try and Milano cookies have been something I've always wanted to try, as well as homemade marshmallows so I was pretty stoked.
The chocolate covered marshmallow cookie... the chocolate was a little soft and didn't set. So they ended up sticking to the paper. But they look great.
I wasn't quite sure how the marshmallow part would turn out. I forgot to add the gelatin to the syrup so I ended up microwaving the gelatin with a little of the syrup/egg white mixture and then blended it back in. Luckily they turned out alright. Piping all those marshmallows sure made me feel like a pastry chef. ^_^
This recipe also made a whole lot of batter so I turned some of them into regular cookies.