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Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

 Orange Sherbet

Well, here is the first delicious thing I made with my surplus of citrus from this past weekend. I know for most of you it is snowy and cold, but for us here in Southern California it has been very sunny and warm this past week. We have been having summer-like weather and there is nothing better on a warm summer day then a refreshing bowl of ice cream. With all the fresh oranges from my neighbor’s tree and the warm weather, I immediately thought of my favorite childhood summer treat…orange sherbert. My grandparents would always have those fun 50/50 cups with the wooden spoons when we would go and visit them in the summers and my brothers, cousins and I loved to sit in their big back yard and enjoy the warm summer air and our tasty dessert. This recipe is fantastic and with the first bite I smiled and felt like I was that little girl again in my grandparents back yard. It was a big hit with the rest of the family too. I can already predict that I will be making this recipe often this summer and I definitely plan to make my own 50/50 version too!

Orange Sherbet
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Ingredients
7 ounces sugar (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, approximately 2 to 3 pounds oranges
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups very cold whole milk

Directions
In the bowl of a food processor combine all of the ingredients except the milk and process until the sugar is dissolved, approximately 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and whisk in the milk. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator until the mixture reaches 40 degrees F or below, approximately 1 hour.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process until it is the consistency of soft serve ice cream. You may serve now or transfer to a lidded container and place in freezer until firm, approximately 3 hours.

Adapted From: Alton Brown

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White Bean Dip

 White Bean Dip

Now who doesn’t love a good hummus dip? I think hummus and pita is a wonderful snack or appetizer. So when I came across this Italian version, I knew I just had to try it. This version is made with white or cannellini beans instead of garbanzo beans (chickpeas). This dip is equaly as creamy and flavorful as hummus and the addition of the lemon juice and the parsley add a refreshing flavor to the dip. I served this with my home made pita bread and also crunchy pita chips for a little variety. I myself prefered the soft fluffy pita to go along with this delicious dip. Since we are all trying to stick to resolutions this time of year, a healthy way to enjoy this dip is to serve it with your favorite vegtables.

White Bean Dip
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1 (15 ounce) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup (loosely packed) fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove
⅓ cup olive oil
½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons freshly gorund black pepper

In the bowl of tha food processor, combine the beans, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse on and off until the mixture is coarsely chopped. With the machine running, gradually mix in the olive oil untl the mixture is creamy. Season the mixture with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with fresh baked pita bread or crunchy pita chips.

Adapted From: Giada De Laurentiis, Everyday Italian

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 Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Happy New Year everyone! I don’t know about you, but I am starting to feel a little less busy and overwhelmed from the holiday season. I have not been able to find the time to post anything for 2 weeks and I am excited to have the time to share this recipe with you today! Last year I made it my goal to try making home made bread and learn to work with yeast, and I have to say that I proudly met and exceeded that goal. I have come to love working with yeast and the home made breads are just so yummy that it is hard to think about buying many breads from the store anymore. That especially goes for pita after I made this recipe! This pita bread was amazingly delicious. It was so soft and fluffy and went perfectly with humus. My version didn’t make pita pockets, and I am not sure what the trick is to make them. After making this pita bread, I can honestly say that I will never buy store bought pita again. Store bought pita is like card board compared to this wonderfully fluffy version. Both of my girls absolutely love it as well and it makes a perfect snack. It is also whole wheat which can help with any of you starting your New Year’s resolutions! 🙂

Whole Wheat Pita Bread
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Ingredients:
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
1 tbsp. honey
1¼ cups warm water (105˚-115˚ F), divided
1½ cups bread flour, divided
1½ cups whole wheat flour, divided
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Cornmeal, for sprinkling

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer*, combine the yeast, honey and ½ cup of the water.  Stir gently to blend.  Whisk ¼ cup of the bread flour and ¼ cup of the whole wheat flour into the yeast mixture until smooth.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and return the bowl to the mixer stand, fitted with the dough hook.  Add in the remaining ¾ cup of warm water, 1¼ cups bread flour, 1¼ cups whole wheat flour, olive oil and salt.  Knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and let rise in a warm draft-free place, about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk.

Place an oven rack in the middle position.  Place a baking stone in the oven (if using) and preheat to 500˚ F.

Once the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured work surface, punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces.  Form each piece into a ball.  Flatten one ball at a time into a disk, then stretch out into a 6½-7 inch circle.  Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet or other work surface lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.  Once all the rounds have been shaped, loosely cover with clean kitchen towels.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, until slightly puffy.

Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, onto the baking surface.  (Note: These can be baked on a baking stone or directly on the oven racks.  I use a pizza stone, but either method is fine.) Bake 2 minutes, until puffed and pale golden.  Gently flip the pitas over using tongs and bake 1 minute more.  Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining pitas.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

*As always, anything mixed in a stand mixer can be mixed by hand.

Adapted From: Annie’s Eats

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Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

It is the time of year when I just can’t get enough gingerbread flavored treats. As I mentioned earlier this week, I absolutely love the flavors in gingerbread treats. I came across this recipe earlier this fall and just could not wait for this time of year to make them. These cookies are out of this world fantastic! They are unbelievably soft and chewy and I love soft and chewy cookies! They are the perfect soft and chewy ginger cookie with the added bonus of chocolate chips. I am already on my second batch of these because they are that good! The second time around I used mini chocolate chips and I think they are a wonderful choice for this cookie as you just get sweet little nibbles of chocolate with each bite of the spicy ginger cookie. Stay tuned as I have one more yummy gingerbread flavored treat coming later this week. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season!

Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies
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2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi sweet)
1/4 cup granulated sugar, for rolling dough balls

Position a rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or just spray lightly with cooking spray.
Sift the flour, baking soda, spices and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 2 minutes.  Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.  Add the egg and molasses and mix until blended and an even light color, about 1 minute.  On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
Spread the granulated sugar into a small bowl.  Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough between the palms of your hands into a ball, toss the ball in sugar to coat and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Continue making cookies, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm but they are still soft in the center and there are several large cracks on top, about 12-14 minutes.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Adapted From: Joy the Baker

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 Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies

These cookies not only look beautiful, they taste fantastic! The gingerbread has the perfect spicy taste and the addition of finely ground pepper is fabulous! I absolutely love all types of gingerbread cookies and I can’t wait for this time of year to load up on them. You will see a couple more gingerbread flavored recipes from me this week too. 🙂 This cookie is soft yet firm and is perfect to decorate with royal icing. This was my first time working with royal icing and I had so much fun with it. I can see why so many people are addicted to making cookies with royal icing. There are so many cute things you can do with it. I am very much looking forward to using it again soon.

Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies

Gingerbread Snowflake Party Favors

I used these cookies as party favors at my daughter’s birthday a couple weeks ago. It was a fun way to say thank you to our guests.

Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies
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Printer Friendly Version – Royal Icing

6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses
Royal Icing (see recipe below)

Directions

  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into snowflakes with a 7- inch snowflake-shape cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
  5. Put icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip (such as Ateco #7). Outline the snowflakes with the thicke royal icing and let dry for one hour. Then use the thinned out icing to flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie.  If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along. If you want to add any sprinles or decorative candies, you must add them now before the icing sets. Let icing set completely at room temperature, about 1 hour. Store cookies between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.

Royal Icing

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder
5 tbsp. water

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container.  This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating.  Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated.  Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.  (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick.  Add a little more liquid and try again.)  Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie.  Let stand so the icing will set.  Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.
Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container.  Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl.  If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again.  Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie.  If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along.  Allow to set.
Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired.  Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid.  Liquid food coloring can be used as well – add powdered sugar as needed to compensate for any thinning that occurs.

Adapted From: Cookies from: Martha Stewart; Royal Icing from: Annie’s Eats

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 Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Here I go with another cupcake recipe, that makes three in a row, not that anyone is counting. 🙂 What can I say, I love cupcakes! That and I just threw my daughter a birthday party and I am still sharing all my fun recipes from that wonderful day.

Last year I decided to finally try the popular peppermint mocha from Starbucks and oh…my…goodness…was I sorry that I hadn’t tried it before! All year long I have been waiting for it to be back in season and I am so happy that the time is here! I have enjoyed quite a few of them already this season! 🙂 So when I was researching ideas for the party and I came across this recipe, it was like a dream come true. It was the perfect flavor cupcake to go a long with the winter wonderland theme of the party, plus the added bonus was that I got to fulfill my everlasting need for peppermint mocha.

These cupcakes were very delicious. The cake was very moist and chocolatey. The frosting was very light and fluffy and tasty, however when I make this recipe again, I would maybe try a buttercream frosting flavored with peppermint. The frosting was good, it was just time consuming to make and I think that buttercream has a better flavor with much less work. I colored the frosting pink because it was a birthday party, however the original recipe is to do the frosting in a red and white swirl which looks really cute and is festive for the holidays. These would be the perfect treat for any holiday gathering this season.  

Pepermint Mocha Cupcakes

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes
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Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 tsp. espresso powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs

For the frosting:
6 large egg whites
1¾ plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tsp. peppermint extract
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir together.  Combine the milk, coffee and peppermint extract in a liquid measuring cup.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugars.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the eggs one at a time.   Alternately mix in the dry and liquid ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.   Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.  Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated.  If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more.  Stir in the peppermint and vanilla extracts and mix just until incorporated.
If you would like a red and white swirled frosting effect, remove about half of the frosting to a bowl.  With the remaining frosting in the mixing bowl, add red gel coloring and mix until you have achieved the desired shade.  Fit a pastry bag with a large tip.  Fill one side of the pastry bag with the white frosting, and then fill in the other side with the red frosting (this does not need to be exact – just enough so that both colors are included.)  Pipe a test streak until you see both colors coming out of the tip.  Frost cupcakes as desired, refilling the pastry bag in the same manner as needed.

Adapted From: Annie’s Eats

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 Snow Globe Cupcakes

Here are the specific photos and instructions to make the beautiful snow globe cupcakes that I made for my daughter’s 4th birthday party. I found these cute little cupcakes in the fun cupcake book, Hello, Cupcake! These cupcakes were so much fun to research and create, and the kids had a fabulous time eating them! I had so much fun putting these together and Katelyn was so excited when she saw them all completed. You will be a hit at any holiday party with these super cute cupcakes!
Snow Globe Cupcakes

Snow Globe Cupcakes

Snow Globe Cupcakes

Snowglobe Cupcakes

Snow Globe Cupcakes
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6 jumbo cupcakes (your choice of flavor – I used blueberry cupcakes) baked in silver foil liners
16 ounces of vanilla frosting (I used a homemade vanilla butter cream)
Green food coloring
2 tablespoons chocolate frosting (I used the vanilla butter cream and added cocoa powder to make it brown)
2 tablespoons snowflake sprinkles (I found them at Country Kitchen Sweet Art)
1 tablespoon blue nonpareils (I found them at Country Kitchen Sweet Art)
12 chocolate covered graham cracker or cookie (I used a dark chocolate covered cookie sold at Target)

For the House Snow Globes (Makes 2 Snow Globes)
1 whole graham cracker
1 red sour straw candy (Sour Punch Straws)
2 Starburst fruit chews (colors of your choice, these are for the doors and windows. I used red for the door and yellow for windows.)
1 Tootsie Roll candy

For the Snowman Snow Globes (Makes 2 Snow Globes)
2 large white spice drops
1 orange spice drop
2 pieces of black licorice candy
Black licorice laces or 2 additional pieces of black licorice

* The original recipe in the book makes 2 Christmas tree snow globes as follows, we however made number “4’s” for my daughters 4th birthday on the remaining two, so we do not have photos of the tree cupcakes

For the Tree Snow Globes (Makes 2 Snow Globes)
1 Tootsie Roll candy
2 small yellow star candies

Directions:
Tint ½ cup of the vanilla frosting green with green food coloring and spoon it into a Ziploc bag. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the vanilla frosting into a small Ziploc bag. Spoon the chocolate frosting into a Ziploc bag. Press out the excess air in the bags of frosting and seal.

Spread the remaining vanilla frosting on the top of the cupcakes and smooth. Sprinkle the top of the cupcakes with some of the snowflake sprinkles and the blue nonpareils.

For the House Snow Globes
Using a serrated knife, cut out 2 house shapes out of the graham cracker. Press the house crackers into the frosting on 2 of the cupcakes, with the peak toward the center and the flat side at the edge of the cupcake. Cut the red sour straw into 4 segments 2 ½ inch lengths for the roof and place 2 pieces along the roofline of each graham cracker house, allowing the straws to overhang slightly on each side. Roll out the Starburst fruit chews on a sheet of wax paper to ⅛ inch thick. Cut the fruit chews into four ¼ inch squares for the windows and ½ by ⅓ inch rectangles for the doors. Cut 2 small chimneys from the Tootsie Roll candy and add one to each roof. Snip a ⅛ inch corner from the bags with the vanilla, green and chocolate frosting. Pipe 3 small dots on each house and attach the windows and doors. Using the green frosting, pipe bushes at the edge of the house. Using a squeeze and pull technique, pipe vanilla frosting icicles along the bottom of the roof. Add a dot of chocolate frosting for the doorknob. Add several dots of vanilla frosting to the house and press a few snowflake sprinkles into the frosting.

For the Snowman Snow Globes
Cut each white spice drop in half crosswise. Roll out the bottom half to make a disk that is slightly larger in diameter than the top half. For the body of each snowman, press the flattened disk at the bottom edge of the cupcake, cut side down. Place the top half of the spice drop, cut side down, above the disk to make the head. Cut the orange spice drop into 2 small triangle noses and attach 1 to each head with a small dot of vanilla frosting.

Trim each licorice candy into a ½ square to make the hat. Cut two ¾ inch pieces of licorice lace (or the other 2 licorice candies) for the hat brims and press 1 into the fro above the head on each cupcake. Add a square of licorice to make the hat. Pipe a green frosting scarf across the neck, where the head touches the body. Using the chocolate frosting, pipe eyes, a mouth and 3 buttons down the middle of the snowman. Add a few dots of the vanilla frosting to the house and press a few snowflake sprinkles into the frosting.

For the Tree Snow Globes
Cut the Tootsie Roll candy into two ½ by 1 inch pieces. Press 1 piece into the frosting at the bottom edge of each cupcake for the tree trunk. To make the tree, pipe a 1 ½ inch wide row of vertical lines of green frosting across the top of the tree trunk, squeezing and pulling each line into a long downward point. Pipe the next row above and overlapping the first. Continue piping in this way, each row smaller than the last, to make a tree shape. Sprinkle a few snowflake sprinkles and nonpareils on the tree. Top each tree with a yellow star candy.

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