Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cereal Bars

1/2C unsalted butter
1 14oz. package marshmallows
1t vanilla
2C Cheerios
1C Rice Krispies
1C Corn Flakes
1/2C melted chocolate

Melt the butter in a large pot and add marshmallows. Stir rapidly until the marshmallows have melted and stir in vanilla. Remove from heat and toss with all of the cereal. Combine well and pat into a buttered 9x13 pan. Allow to cool and set for one hour and drizzle with melted chocolate. Cut into 12 squares and store in an airtight container for no more than 3 days. You can use an
y cereal you wish (for a much sweeter square, use Captain Crunch. For a less sweet square, use Kix). I have also used cinnamon sugar in place of the chocolate. Use your imagination!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Shortbread fit for Coraline

"you know, you could stay forever if you want to... there's only one tiny thing we have to do first"

I absolutely love the story of Coraline. Love the book and love the film! If you know nothing of the story, you can still love these cookies... If you love the story as much as I do you can REALLY appreciate these cookies! My youngest daughter also LOVES Coraline. We recently saw some shortbread buttons that we thought were darling and started brainstorming how to turn them into cookies from the "Other Mother." The other mother wants to sew little black buttons in place of Coraline's eyes. She is not a nice mother.

The cookies we had seen were pastel and gorgeous but we knew we needed to make them darker to properly represent our sweet little Coraline. We made the following recipe and incorporated 2 heaping tablespoons of black powder food coloring. We then patted them out and cut the large circles with a metal cake decorating tip (#2A). Carefully move the circles from your work surface to a parchment lined baking sheet with a thin metal spatula. Once you have cut all of the circles and lined them on the sheets, make the center ring of the button with a metal cake decorating tip (#78) and then turn it over, to it's "tip" and poke the 4 small button holes (careful on both of these steps to press only half-way through the dough). Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 6 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake an additional 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on the pan and completely on a wire rack.

Coraline Buttons

10T unsalted butter, softened
1/3C powdered sugar
1 1/2T sugar1/4t salt
1 1/2 flour

Combine: butter, powdered sugar, sugar and salt and beat until very light and very fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add food coloring and incorporate completely. Add flour and combine well. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat (or roll if you are very tricky) out to a thin layer and cut circles. Transfer to prepared baking sheets and cut remaining circles to form your "buttons."

If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend it but be warned... it's creepily dark and eerie (but beautiful and fun). If you don't like movies, read the book... it's fantastic! If you are not a fan of either... just bake the cookies and watch them get gobbled up!

"you are not my mother..."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Photos with my sister and a recipe

My sister and I played with her camera the other day and thought it would be fun to post her "starter photos". She is interested in photography and recently bought a sweet new camera but these shots are with her little Sony point-and-shoot. Not bad but I am really looking forward to the damage the two of us are going to do with my cooking skills and her photography skills in the near future!

The photos (in order) are my Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Lemon Curd and Butter Crackers.

Recipe for: Butter Crackers

1 package active dry yeast
1/3C milk (warmed to 105 degrees F)
1C flour
3 large eggs (beaten)
3T sugar
2T whole milk
1t salt
1 3/4C bread flour
12T butter

Combine yeast and milk and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Add flour and previously beaten eggs then sugar, whole milk and salt. Mix well and add remaining flour. Knead for about 10 minutes with the dough hook attachment. Once dough is smooth add butter in 3 batches and beat very well. Place dough in an oiled bowl and rise until doubled in volume (approximately 1 hour). Punch dough down and knead lightly. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Roll dough out on a lightly oiled counter to desired thickness (or in this case "thinness"). You want these crackers to crisp up when baked so roll them to near paper thin and slice or cut into desired shapes. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt (I also used parmesan cheese) and bake 15 minutes at 350. Cool completely and enjoy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Onion Steaks

2 bone-in rib eye steaks
4T butter
Loads of freshly ground black pepper
1/4C whiskey, cognac or bourbon
1 large white onion
1C flour
2C buttermilk

In a 12" cast iron skillet, melt 2T of the butter. Coat both sides of the steaks in freshly ground pepper (Generously! Really douse them and give them a nice crust). Reduce the heat to medium-low and brown the rib eyes for 5 minutes. While the first side is browning, heat 1" of oil in a 10" cast iron skillet. Slice the onion, thinly, and then in half (so you have lot's of little onion strips). Soak the onion strips in the buttermilk and then move to coat them in the flour. Throw them into the oil, in 3 batches and brown then to a crisp! Move them to a brown paper bad to cool and sprinkle with salt. Flip your steaks over and brown another 5 minutes while you finish the onions. Once your steaks are done to your liking and have a dark crust, move them to a platter, top them with the onions and add the remaining 2T of butter to the 12" skillet. Once the butter is bubbling, turn off the heat and add the alcohol. Allow it to evaporate and turn the heat back on. Reduce and simmer about 3 minutes and then pour the sauce over the steak and onions.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dark (est) Cocoa Ice Cream

In the spirit of Valentine's Day I give you a dessert that will make your sweetie swoon. This is simple enough to throw together the night before V-Day and I promise you will enjoy it.

Dark (est) Cocoa Ice Cream

2 Cups cream
1 1/2 Cup buttermilk
1 Cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 egg yolks
2 Cups dark cocoa (I used nibs and chopped them roughly)*

Bring the cream and buttermilk to a low boil. In a small mixing bowl, crack yolks. Once the milks are boiling, pour 1/2 of the milk mixture into the egg yolks and whisk. Set aside. Turn off heat and add the sugar and vanilla to the milks in the pan. Whisk in egg mixture and then cocoa. Cool for 15 minutes, counter top, and then completely in the refrigerator. Freeze according to your ice cream maker directions.

*I used "Sunfood Nutrition Organic Cocoa Nibs (raw chocolate) for this recipe. Using a high quality cocoa will give you the ultimate results!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pineapple Mango Syrup

Fruit syrup is such a fresh alternative to maple sometimes. This syrup can be enjoyed over pancakes, waffles, muffins and biscuits as well as in a hot cup of tea and is so delicious.

Recipe for Pineapple Mango Fruit Syrup

2 Cups fresh mango (peeled and cubed)
2 Cups fresh pineapple (peeled and cubed)
3 1/2 Cups water
1 1/4 Cups sugar
3 Tablespoons honey

Combine all of the mango and 2 cups of the water in a deep saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the fruit begins to soften and separate then add all of the pineapple and the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Mash the fruit (I used my hand held emulsion blender but a wooden spoon, pastry cutter or even hand held beaters on low will work) until there are still large pieces but it begins to thicken the syrup. Continue to boil and add the remaining cup and a half of water and the honey. Mash again and simmer 20 minutes. At this point, the syrup should be thick and cling to the back of a spoon. You should have a pulp with some large chunks of fruit remaining. Remove from the heat and strain through a medium sieve. Pour into desired bottles and cool (counter top) for 2 hours.

Makes approximately 32 ounces of syrup.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010



MacTweets Challenge #4 (February)


This was THE funnest Mac challenge to date, for me! I had the pleasure of creating these little babies with two fabulous food bloggers and dear friends of mine:

Barbara of BarbaraBakes and
Cristie of TheTableRunner

Barbara invite
d us to her home for a Saturday afternoon filled with Mac creating, delicious eating and warm conversation. We each used the same standard recipe (found here) for the shell and then added our own creative flair! I am going to post a few photos but give these ladies a chance to showcase their beautiful macarons on their own blogs. For mine, I chose a lavender shell (in color only, not flavor) and a vanilla bean buttercream center with blueberry-pear jam.

I love Lov
e :)

Happy Valentine's Day!!!