Sunday, October 29, 2017

Making Halloween Candy?





Halloween is here again! Ever ask yourself this question: How could I make my own molded candy?
I'm sure most of us have given it a thought at one time or another. Here is how:
 

  1. Purchase some plastic candy molds in shapes that you like. For Halloween I would suggest ghost or pumpkin shapes. Michael's or AC Moore would be great places to purchase said molds.
  2. Buy bags of chocolate flavored candy disks to make your molded chocolates. Again, Michael's or AC Moore will have these. 


One important tip when working with melted disks is to be sure that NO water gets into the mix. It will make it clump up and the entire batch will be ruined.


Quick mocha latte candy mold recipe
  • 1 bag of milk chocolate flavored disks
  • 3-5 teaspoons instant coffee granules

Melt chocolate disks in a double broiler.
Add coffee granules to melted disks.
Spoon mixture into molds.
Refrigerate 15 minutes or until hardened.
Remove from molds.

Other flavor ideas:

Make your own Reese's filling:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar 
Add melted chocolate to mold, just enough to coat.
Add a dab of filling on top of coated mold.
Top with melted choco0late and refrigerate.
BAM! Homemade Reese's!

Chai chocolates add:
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves 
Add ground spices to melted chocolate.
Pour in molds and refrigerate. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Eggnog...oh, how we love thee!


Oh, eggnog...how we love thee! It is that time of year again. I bought our first carton of the year this week! I like the Horizon Organic eggnog, myself :)

Of course we drink this rich, sweet treat…but, try making drinks or baking with it too!

Mix it:
In an 8-ounce glass, pour in 3 ounces of eggnog and 4 ounces of Sprite or Ginger Ale. They balance each other out wonderfully!

How about using it as creamer in your coffee?

Eggnog smoothie? Try mixing 1 banana, ½ cup eggnog, ½ cup milk and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and mix in a blender.

Bake with it:
Try using eggnog in the place of milk in some of your favorite Holiday recipes. Try it in cookies, cakes, pies and puddings.

Eggnog facts:

  • Eggnog is made from: milk, cream, sugar, eggs (beaten), cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Eggnog is thought to have come to us from England.
  • Silk makes a “soy eggnog” that is super tasty!
  • Eggnog is typically served in the United Stated and Canada.


Eggnog Crisps

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg,
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup cake flour
  • ½ cup ground pecans
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cups M&Ms, minis*

Preheat oven to 350*.
Line 2 cookie sheets with no-stick foil.
Cream butter and sugar.
Add egg and vanilla.
Combine flour, ground pecans and nutmeg in a separate bowl.
Add to creamed mixture.
Add M&Ms.
Drop by heaping tablespoons onto prepared sheets.
Press down gently.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until edges are lightly golden.
Should make about 3 dozen cookies.

* If you do not have M&M minis, you can use regular sized M&Ms in this recipe.

Need new cookie sheets? Purchase these for a great price on Amazon...


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Thanksgiving morning pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing


Pumpkin time is here! Every Thanksgiving morning, I serve pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing for us to eat while we watch the Macy's parade. I bake it the night before so it is easily served. 

Picture this: 

  • Me...sitting on the couch sorting through Black Friday coupons from the Thanksgiving Day newspaper.
    Husband...sitting on the floor messing on his computer.
    Kids...sitting in the living room playing with toys/electronics. 
    As we all watch the parade!

It is a fantastic morning! Now, you can enjoy this easy pumpkin bread with your family too!

Easy Pumpkin Bread


1 box white cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin (or fresh puree)
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 single serving cup of apple sauce (4 ounces)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 shake ground cloves
Chai sugar*
Butter spray


Preheat oven to 350*.
Spray 2 loaf pans with butter spray and then lightly coat them with chai sugar. In a bowl add cake mix, pumpkin, egg, milk, apple sauce and spices. Mix well with wire whisk, removing all lumps. Pour evenly into two pans. Sprinkle chai sugar over the top of each. Bake for 55 minutes.




Deanna's Chai Sugar
2 shakes ground pumpkin pie spice
2 shakes ground cinnamon
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
Mix all ingredients together and store in an air-tight container or plastic bag. You can easily double or triple this recipe.

For an extra treat, make this cream cheese icing to spread over your bread:

Icing

4 ounces cream cheese, soft
1/2 stick butter or margarine, soft
1/2 tsp vanilla or bakers mystery flavor
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp milk
Mix cheese and butter with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Slice bread and serve icing along side.

*You can also use cinnamon sugar instead if Chai sugar!

Basic Cinnamon Sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of white granulated sugar
Mix ingredients together and store in an air-tight container or plastic bag.

 

Need glass loaf baking dishes?


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Food Network Thanksgiving magazine review 2017

Yep! The big Thanksgiving issue of the Food Network magazine is already out and for sale!

My mother-in-law lent me hers to go through and I wound up buying my own copy. Partially because I was going to give the new copy to her. Why you may ask? Because I absentmindedly wrote in hers while taking the "What's Your Pie IQ" quiz. Whoops!

All in all, it seems like a good compilation of Thanksgiving recipes. There is something for everyone.

I really like how the magazine opened...with a letter from the editor where she admits to forgetting to add a recipe for homemade rolls to the magazine. So, to fix it, she added her moms dinner roll recipe.

Here is a snapshot I took of the cute story with the recipe:

Also included in the magazine are three tear out bookmarks from Folgers. I thought that was a neat touch. Definitely something we can all use for our books or magazines. I almost tore them out of my mother-in-laws magazine, but thankfully I did not! Yikes!

One of my favorite recipes is Bobby Flays Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Crunch Topping. Wow and Yum!

At the end, there is a, "Color This Dish" contest. The magazine has a black and white slice of pie that we can use, photocopy or go online to print. We are instructed to color it and then submit it to Food Network to possibly win a $500 or $50 prize.
I would say this magazine is worth the $4.99 plus tax!

To make buying easy, click the link below to purchase your copy!


Friday, October 13, 2017

A complete fall inspired meal: Cheesy...soupy...bready!


I am trying out something new with this post! Since so many of us find ourselves doing more cooking and baking in the fall, I have put together a complete meal (including recipes)! We begin with a cheesy appetizer, an autumn soup you can make in the crockpot or on the stove and then we finish up with applesauce bread...an old-fashioned recipe (that I have no clue where it came from).

Let's get started! Maybe this weekend you can make all three:

Baked Cheese Dip 

  • 1 block of cream cheese, 8 ounces, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 onion, diced fine

If using oven, preheat to 325*. If using crockpot, set on low or high.
Spray 8x8 baking dish or crockpot with non-stick cooking spray.
In a bowl, mix all ingredients together well.
Pour into baking dish or crockpot.
If using oven, bake for 30 minutes. 
Serve warm with torn crusty bread or your favorite crackers!

Butternut Squash Ravioli and Spinach Soup

  • 2 containers of fresh, butternut squash filled ravioli (frozen cheese filled can be used as well)
  • 1 large box organic vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Add stock and water into a large pot.
Add spices until you are satisfied with the flavor.
Bring to a simmer.
Add ravioli. 
Add spinach. I like to tear mine up into small pieces.
When the ravioli float to the top, they are done. Usually about 8-10 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and top with grated cheese.

Old Fashioned Applesauce Bread 

  • 1 1/4 cups applesauce 
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 3 tablespoons milk 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1/2 ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 Cup raisins 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
Lightly grease inch loaf pan. (You can spray it with cooking spray)
In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, oil, eggs and milk; beat well.  
Shift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, 
nutmeg, allspice, and salt; stir until smooth.  
Fold in 1 cup of raisins.  
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. 
Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. 

So, what do you think? Are you happy with my selections? Should I make more posts like this? Let me know what you think! :) 

Everyone needs a good pair of kitchen shears!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, Cookies and Coffee

I am no stranger to coffee. I have had my fair share...the good, the bad and the ugly. I am not prejudice. I will give a cup a try from anywhere. Let me prove this to you...






See! NO STRANGER to coffee. Of course, I have my preferences, but every coffee drinker does.

I also enjoy making coffee at home. In a regular coffee pot! Imagine that. Am I the last person on earth that does this?

I am going to show you an easy recipe I figured out when I used to sell Party Time Mixes. You can do this with a package of hot cocoa as well. Let me introduce to you...(drum roll), MUDSLIDE COFFEE!


You may be thinking, hmmmm...what type of cookie would go good with mudslide coffee? I've got you covered... Russian tea cakes, my friends, Russian tea cakes: 


Russian Tea Cake Cookie Recipe

1 Cup margarine, room temperature
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1 Tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 Cup flour
1/4 Tsp. salt
3/4 Cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)*
Powdered sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 375*.
Prepare a cookie sheet with non-stick foil.
In a large bowl: mix margarine, sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour, salt and nuts until dough holds.
Form into 1 inch balls and place ½ to 1 inch apart on cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes until set, not brown.
Immediately roll in powdered sugar. Allow to cool and roll in sugar again.

To make plain without nuts, just omit them from the recipe.

Have a lovely fall day! 


Click here to buy coffee!


Sunday, October 8, 2017

It's official...Fall is here and so is Rachael Ray's October magazine!


Happy Fall! Time for baking, cooking, cool air and open windows! I have gotten back into the cooking and baking spirit now that the weather is cooling down. I plan to post some new recipes soon.

The end of September I was asked to participate in a local Oktoberfest event at Lafayette Village Shopping Center in Raleigh, NC. Savory Spice Shop asked me to sell my baked goods at their shop! I accepted the invitation, baked for two days and I SOLD OUT! In TWO hours! It was a good day.



I do have an opinion about this months Every Day Magazine for ya... If you do not subscribe, I suggest you purchase a copy! It is packed full of fall inspired recipes. A couple of my favorites are: Sweet Potato Hummus and Potato Parsnip Rosti. "Yum-O" as the lady herself says.


Happy Baking and Cooking Season! 

Get your issue here!