Monday, November 27, 2017

Hot Chocolate Bombs

This is such a fun way to do a Hot Chocolate Bar! My boys love a good cup of hot chocolate and I love that they can just heat up milk and drop one of these babies in!  I found the recipe here

Hot Chocolate Bombs
(about 15 balls)

2 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 T sugar
1/4 t salt
2 t vanilla extract
cocoa powder, crushed candy canes, mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows for rolling

Place all ingredients in a pot (except the items for rolling) and melt together on low heat until smooth.  Stir constantly.  

Let cool in the fridge until stiff enough to scoop (I left mine over night).

Make small scoops, about 2 Tablespoons each.  I used my cookie scoop. Place on wax paper and freeze for an hour.

Roll each scoop into a ball and then roll in your choice of decoration.  Crushed candy canes, cocoa powder, mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows or anything you want! You will need to push the bigger things in to make them stick.  

Keep chilled until ready to use. (I leave mine in the freezer)

When ready, drop 1 hot chocolate ball into 1 1/2 cups of hot milk and stir until completely dissolved.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Brioche French Toast

You can make French Toast with any kind of bread, but you really haven't lived until you make it Brioche!  Trader Joe's has heavenly thick sliced Brioche that is so perfect it makes me want to cry! But if you don't have a Trader Joe's close, any thick sliced bread will do!

Brioche French Toast
(about 10 thick slices)

5 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 t cinnamon
2 t vanilla
thick sliced Brioche (or any kind of bread)

Heat griddle over medium heat.  In a shallow bowl, whisk together the first four ingredients. Dip bread slices in egg mixture letting each slice absurd the mixture on both sides. Place on hot, buttered griddle.  Cook for about 1 minutes per side or until they are golden brown and spring back to the touch.  Repeat until all the slices are cooked. Serve hot with your favorite toppings.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Peach Hand Pies

My husband LOVES hand pies! It is a good thing I know how to make them or I would fear he loved them more than me! There is just something so amazing about being able to eat pie with your hands! If you haven't done that, you haven't lived! These are a breakfast food as well as dessert in my house!  I found the recipe for the peaches (the best!) here. I always use my favorite pie crust (see below). Now, get going!

Peach Hand Pies
(about 20)

Pie Crust
(adapted from Bon Appetite)

2 1/2 cups flour
2 t sugar
1/4 t salt
1 cup (2 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
6 T ice water (or more)

1 egg
1 T milk 
whisk this together
(this is for brushing on the dough)

Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Add butter, rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles course meal.  Add 6 T ice water and toss with a fork until moist clumps form, add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too dry.  Gather dough into a ball and flatten into two disks.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Roll out one disk at a time on a lightly floured surface until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out as many 4 inch circles as you can. Repeat with other disk.  While the dough disks are in the fridge, make the peach filling. 

Peach Filling

5 medium to large peaches
1/2 cup sugar
2 T corn starch
1/2 t cinnamon
dash of salt
juice of 1/2 a lemon
a few drops of almond extract (this enhances the peach flavor!)

Peel and dice the peaching into 1/2" pieces. Place the diced peaches in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. Toss to combine.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour. After an hour, drain the juice into a medium sauce pan.  Set aside the diced peaches. Whisk in the cinnamon, cornstarch and salt.  Cook over medium heat until the syrup boils. Whisking constantly, cook for about 2 minutes or until the syrup thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and the almond extract.  Gently fold in the diced peaches and any extra juice.  Set aside to cool while you roll out the dough.

1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 T milk
a few drops vanilla extract
a few drops almond extract

Putting it all together:

Preheat oven to 350. Take a 4 inch dough round to a lightly floured surface and brush it with the egg and milk mixture.  Place a Tablespoon of peaches in the middle and fold the sides up like a taco. Gently pinch the sides together starting at one end and working to the middle. Lay the hand pie on its side and seal the edges using the tines of a fork.  Poke a couple of holes in the top, using your fork, to vent it.  Place the hand pie on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and repeat with the remaining dough circles.  Bake the pies for 30 minutes or until golden at 350.  While they are baking, whisk together the icing.  When they are hot out of the oven, gently brush the pies with the icing.  Cool as long as you can!  They are so yummy warm!

** If you have left over peach filling (I always do) place the peaches in a small oven safe dish.  Mix together a couple tablespoons oats, a couple tablespoons melted butter, a dash of cinnamon and a couple tablespoons brown sugar.  Put this onto of the peaches and bake at 350 until bubbly and lightly browned!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Corn and Zucchini Chowder

Such yummy soup! It is still so hot here in Texas, but I am so ready for soup! Sorry family, we are eating soup even if it is nearly 100 degrees! I found this recipe here.

Corn and Zucchini Chowder
(about 6 servings)

1 T Butter
2 strips bacon, chopped
1 cup diced yellow onion
2 celery ribs, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 medium carrot, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t dried thyme
2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 lb.) peele, and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cups of water
1 bay leaf
4 ears of fresh corn, husk and silk removed and kernels cut from the cob (about 2 3/4 cup)
1 medium zucchini, diced into 1 inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup half and half
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
cayenne pepper, to serve

In a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon renders its fat and begins to brown. About 3-4 minutes.
Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic and thyme. Cook until veggies begin to soften, stirring multiple times.  About 5 minutes.
Add potatoes, water and bay leaf. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer, then lower the heat back to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are halfway cooked.
Add zucchini and corn.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for an additional 8-12 minutes or until the veggies are completely tender.
Discard bay leaf and then transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot.  Add half and half and cook until heated through. Adjust seasonings and serve with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Perfect Biscuits

I haven't posted in Forever! But I just HAD to post these most amazing biscuits!  They are so quick and EASY! No buttermilk? No Problem! Don't have time to make perfect layers? No problem! I wanted to cry when these came out of the oven looking and tasting so perfect! And on the first try! So go on already and make some biscuits! I found the recipe here! (I could kiss this girl, I am so happy!)

Perfect Biscuits
makes about 12

3 cups flour
3 T sugar
1/2 t salt
4 t baking powder
1/2 t cream of tartar
3/4 cup COLD butter
1 egg
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Cut the butter into small pieces and place them in the freezer just while you mix the dry ingredients. Mix together the dry ingredients. Cut the butter in using a pastry cutter.  Mix together the milk and egg and add it to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined (mine still had some four at the bottom and wasn't completely together). Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead about 10 times adding flour if it gets too sticky until you have a nice ball. Roll or pat the dough on a floured surface until it is about 1 inch thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter or a cup.  Place on a cookie sheet so the edges are almost touching. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are older brown.  Brush the tops with a little melted butter. Prepare to be amazed!!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Honey Crisp Apple Sauce (NO sugar)

I keep finding amazing recipes that have vanilla beans in them, so I guess that is what I am into right now!  I had  bunch of Honey crisp apples that had been in my fridge and just weren't getting eaten, {GASP}, I KNOW! I blame it on all the yummy Holiday treats that were EVERYWHERE I turned!  So when I came across this NO SUGAR apple sauce recipe, I knew it had to be done! I didn't miss the sugar one bit, it is so sweet and yummy on its own! I found the recipe here.

Honey Crisp Apple Sauce

5 Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1 T vanilla bean paste, or 1 vanilla bean scrapped

Put all of this in a pot and stir to combine. Let simmer on your stove on Medium low for about 1-2 hours or until the apples are super soft.  You can also put all this in your slow cooker on low for about 4 hours.  I used an immersion blender to blend to desired consistency.  It is great warm or cold!  It will store in your fridge for about 2 weeks or you can can it using a water bath! I doubled mine and got about 4 cups (I forgot to measure). I will definitely being doing bigger batches to can in the future!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Vanilla Bean Scones

I love scones!  And as much as I love them, I think my boys love them more! I literally hid these and totally kept them all for myself, after we ate them for breakfast one morning.  They are a copy cat recipe of Starbucks Petite Vanilla Bean Scones.  I got the recipe here.

Vanilla Bean Scones
(32 petite sones)

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar 
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg
2 t vanilla bean paste (you could also use 1/2 a vanilla bean scraped and 2 t vanilla extract)

3 cups powdered sugar
6-7 T heavy ream
1 t vanilla bean paste (or 1/2 vanilla bean scraped and 1 t vanilla extract)

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk or pulse in a food processor to mix.
4. Add butter and cut in with a pastry cutter or pulse with a food processor until mixture resembles cornmeal texture.
5. In another bowl, whisk together cream, egg, and vanilla bean paste
6. Add liquid to flour mixture and pulse until just combined.
7. Put the dough on a floured surface and knead the dough briefly until the dough comes together.
8. Roll the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness.
9. Cut the dough into 8 rectangles or squares and then cut each on one diagonal and then the other creating 32 petite scones.
10. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges just start to turn brown.
11. Transfer the scones to a cooling rack to cool completely.
12. Whisk together the ingredients for the glaze adding the cream one tablespoon at a time until desired thickness. Dip the cooled scones in the glaze and place them back on the cooling rack to harden.

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