February 10, 2016

White Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Biscotti



I can't believe that I have never made biscotti before.  I love it.  I buy it in the store but why haven't I ever made it? 

Well, I had to fix that. 

There are a lot of choices out there when you want to make biscotti.  Seems like just about every flavor imaginable.  I didn't really know which kind I wanted to make first, but I saw this one had cherries in it.  I didn't have dried cherries but I did have maraschino cherries, so I cut them up and dried them really well and they worked just fine. 

The crunchy not too sweet cookie, combined with the sweet white chocolate drizzle and the chewy cherries was a hit for me and my family.  Made crunchy so you can dip it in your coffee or tea. I loved this flavor and will be trying new flavors soon!

Also, this would be perfect for Valentines Day.  Just sayin. 

White Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Biscotti
Recipe from Gimme Some Oven


Ingredients
  • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp oil (I used canola)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup dried or maraschino cherries (cut in half and patted dry)
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • white chocolate baking squares or chips for drizzling
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the oil ,both extracts and the eggs. Mix to incorporate.
  3. In a separate bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk together.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spoon to mix in the cherries, chocolate chips and almonds.
  6. Lightly flour your work surface and put the dough on it, knead a couple of times to make it less tacky.
  7. Cut the dough in half and shape into two patties about 1" thick. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat and bake for 35 minutes.
  8. Remove the dough patties to a cooling rack and let them cool about 10 minutes.
  9. Decrease the temperature of the oven to 325º
  10. Once they patties have cooled a little, sliced them into 1/2" sliced and lay them back on the cookie sheet, cut side down.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip over and let them bake for 10 more minutes.
  12. Remove from the baking sheet and let cool on a cooling rack.
  13. Drizzle with white chocolate if desired.

February 1, 2016

One Ingredient Ice Cream


As you might already know, I'm always on the lookout for recipes to use up the one's I have sitting on my counter getting browner and browner.  My daughter thinks the brown spots are poison and therefore will not touch them.  Oh sure I can sneak it into a smoothie for her but at her age now she likes to help me make the smoothies so this trick doesn't always work.

Banana ice cream works.

I was so amazed at how creamy this is with just banana's.  I mean I had no idea it would turn out this good! I'm probably going to purposely let the banana's get brown now just so I can make this.  There are so many different flavor combinations I want to try.  I'm so excited!  Heck, it's just banana's so have it for breakfast if you want.  Ice cream for breakfast!!

I love these little tricks.  I hope you love it as much as I do.

One Ingredient Ice Cream
Recipe from OneIngredientChef


Ingredients
  • 4 (or more) banana's starting to brown.
Cooking Directions
  1. Peel the banana's and place into a zip lock bag, then place in the freezer.
  2. Freeze overnight.
  3. Remove from the freezer and cut into 1/2" chunks and place into a food processor.
  4. Blend for about 60 seconds until smooth and creamy.
  5. At this point you can eat it, freeze it or add other flavors.
Mint Chocolate Chip  (shown above) - add a couple of drops of peppermint extract and a handful of chocolate chips.  Blend until combined. 

Check out the website link above for a couple more flavor options. 

January 27, 2016

Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots


This appetizer is one that I brought to a New Years party that I attended.  They were a huge hit and lots of people asked me for the recipe.  So, here is is.  Very simple to put together.  The ingredients aren't hard to find and if you've got yourself a little time for assembly they aren't complicated.

I've made them several times since that night and I've discovered that cooking them on a rack vs directly on a pan really helps with two things.  First: you don't get the pooling of melted brown sugar and bacon fat around each tater tot, which in turn makes them difficult to get off the tin foil.  Second: They crisp up better and aren't as gooey.

The combination of sweet and salty, combined with a yummy tater tot is delicious. Prepare yourself for a lot of people asking how they're made.

Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots
Recipe from Damn Delicious


Ingredients
  • 2 cups tater tots, at room temperature
  • 4 slices (or more) thin sliced bacon, cut into quarters
  • 1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400º
  2. Line a jelly roll pan with tin foil and place cooling racks on top the tin foil.
  3. Take a tater tot, place a piece of cheese on top, wrap in bacon, roll in brown sugar and place on the prepared pan.
  4. Continue until all are wrapped.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The bacon should have started to get crisp around the edges and be golden in color.
  6. Let cool a little before removing from the pan.
  7. Serve hot or at room temperature.

January 19, 2016

Easy Slow Cooker Peanut Clusters



This is really a ridiculously easy candy to make.  If you have a slow cooker you can easily make this. You just dump all the ingredients into a large (6 quart) slow cooker and then scoop the mix into clumps on wax paper.  Easy peasy. 

OK, here's the thing.  You do want salted peanuts.  I got lightly salted and it was still good but I think regular salted would have been even better. Also, stir every so often during the process just to get the white chocolate good and mixed in with the other chocolates. Finally, you can add whatever your head desires at the end.  I think raisins might be good.  I added some mini marshmallows at the end and they were really good. You might want to do it in increments, otherwise the marshmallows will just melt.  

Great recipe!  Glad I tried it, I think I'll half the recipe next time because it makes A LOT of candy.  I brought it all to a New Years Eve party and I still ended up sending some home with people. 

Easy Slow Cooker Peanut Clusters
Recipe from Country Outfitter


Ingredients
  • 1 (32 oz) package almond bark white
  • 1 (32 oz) package almond bark chocolate
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 48 oz dry roasted salted peanuts
Cooking Directions
  1. Pour all of the ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 3 hours.
  3. Lay wax paper on a work surface and spray with non-stick spray.
  4. Scoop the candy onto the wax paper and leave until set.

January 14, 2016

Indian Pudding



While I was researching this recipe I was pretty shocked to find out that this is a New England dessert and nobody else will probably have any idea what you're talking about if you mention it.  Weird huh? I'm not from New England and yet I've heard of it.  I've never tried it but I know of the name.  My husband is from New England and he's never tried it either. Fascinating isn't it? Okay maybe just to me. 

Here's the history as I've come to find out. This dessert has always been a staple at Thanksgiving through much of the 20th century in New England. Historians have traced it back to as early as the 17th century. It probably defended from England's hasty pudding. This pudding uses cornmeal which was more abundant to the early settlers than wheat was. Molasses was also readily available and inexpensive during that time due to the production of rum during the 17 and 18th centuries. This pudding is also baked for a long time at a relatively low temperature which would have been conducive to the hearth that was in every home in New England to heat the house. 

The taste is very "fall like".  By that, I mean the molasses and cinnamon and ginger are prevalent flavors.  The texture is custard like. It's extremely moist, with small little grains from the corn meal.  It's very tender and ice cream is perfect when served with it.  My husband really enjoyed it, he's the custard lover in the family.  I wouldn't describe this as "creamy" but it's not chunky or anything either.  Have you ever soaked cornbread in milk? Its sort of like that....I thought that flavors were wonderful and I can see why it's a holiday favorite. 

Indian Pudding
Recipe from Cape Cod Cookbook


Ingredients
  • 5 Tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 quart (4 cups) milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten separately
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the cornmeal and milk and whisk together so there are no lumps.
  2. Heat over medium heat until the mixture has scalded (look for tiny bubbles along the edge of the pan).
  3. Add the butter, molasses and seasonings and whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour a tiny bit of the liquid in with the beaten eggs and whisk, add more of the liquid and whisk some more. After the eggs have heated you can pour them into the liquid mixture in the saucepan. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into a well greased casserole pan.
  6. Add the evaporated milk to the top but do not mix together.
  7. Bake at 350º for 1 hour.

January 6, 2016

No-Bake Energy Bites


I've tried a lot of these no-bake energy things and this one is my favorite so far. The others I've tried have all had banana in them and there's just something about it that isn't appealing to me.  Weird since I do like banana's.  Anyway, peanut butter is the way to go with these in my opinion.

The flavor is not too strong in any one area but they all blend perfectly together. I happen to love the chocolate chips in there.  I love how they change the texture a bit since they are cold.  The peanut butter flavor is right on and the oats make it chewy.  Great combination.

They are super easy to throw together (after you toast the coconut).  You'll be more energized after your workouts or even just a healthy snack. It is January after all so we're all trying to be a bit healthier and these will help.  Plus, they are surprisingly filling.

I'm glad I tried this recipe and for now, it's my favorite energy snack.

No-Bake Energy Bites
Recipe from bakingwithblondie


Ingredients
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/3 cups toasted coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Cooking Directions
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add all of the ingredients and mix well on the low speed.
  2. Refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes.
  3. Roll into 1 inch balls and keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator.