Monday, October 20, 2008
I llllllllove pumpkin. Love it. Love all things pumpkin. The boy, not so much. That kind of limits my pumpkin eating at times. Sometime last year I stumbled upon this recipe for pumpkin fudge. It sounded decadently delicious. I think I didn’t see it until after Thanksgiving so I told myself I’d make it the next year. This year rolls around and I see this recipe on Annie’s Eats. I thought, “Hmm.. that sounds familiar. Then I noticed where Annie linked that she first saw this recipe, it was the same blog I had seen it last year! If anything, thanks for jogging my memory!
I made this fudge, surprisingly without a candy thermometer. I was SO nervous that I would screw it up. I have many memories of my sister’s homemade fudge, that sometimes ended up as syrup. Luckily it turned out pretty darn good! I brought it in to work, to celebrate my brand new spacious edit bay. I never put it out on the “free spot”, but I just emailed & told people to come and eat some. It was rather well received I must say! If you like pumpkin pie, and you like fudge, MAKE THIS!
Pumpkin Pie Fudge
3 cups sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tbsp. corn syrup
2 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
9 oz. white chocolate, chopped
7 oz. jar marshmallow crème
1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted (I used pecans)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Stir together first six ingredients in a 3 ½ - quart saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 234° (soft-ball stage).
Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour into a greased aluminum foil-lined 8-inch square pan. Let stand 2 hours or until completely cool; cut fudge into squares.
Friday, October 17, 2008
There are a lot of things in life that require patience. One of those things is vacationing with my parents. It’s been about 5 or so years since I have went on a vacation with them. My dad emailed me back in August asking if I’d drive them & another couple we’re related to, to the airport because they were going to San Francisco, Napa Valley, Yosemite, down the Pacific Coast Highway, and all these wonderful places. I was immediately jealous, but told him I’d take them to the airport. About an hour or so later he called me, and suggested I just tag along and go with them! I wouldn’t have to pay for hotels or the rental car, just my airfare & meals. HECK YEAH!
So, fast forward to October 3rd, we headed out west! Overall it was a good trip because I had only seen Southern California, and not the northern area. BUT, this trip required a lot of patience! We had lines to wait in, like when we went to Alcatraz. (click any of the pictures to see the gorgeous full size photo.)
It took a LONG time it seemed to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge & back.
It took a while to get to Monteray.
We had a hike to get down to see the General Sherman, world’s tallest tree, a sequoia.
It took HOURS to get into Yosemite.
While the views were gorgeous, it took HOURS to drive down the curvy Pacific Coast Highway.
We drove for miles and miles and miles to get to Point Reeyes lighthouse to watch our last sunset over the ocean. (Only to get out there, and realize we then had to walk to see the lighthouse, which we weren’t sure if we’d have time to do before the sun set!)
I will admit, the patience & the waiting paid off at every gorgeous site we saw. Just look at these beautiful sights.
Another thing that requires patience is this recipe
. Apple chips! I actually found this recipe while reading my google reader on my iPhone while out in California! It is a recipe from Gourmet magazine, posted on thekitchn’s
website. I think I would of went crazy if I didn’t have my iPhone to keep me occupied when I got really bored. For this recipe I followed thekitchn’s suggestion of using cinnamon instead of cumin for a sweeter snack! I definitely recommend you try this out, but just be prepared, it takes a lot of patience to wait for these to slowly cook! I’ve made these twice, once with a granny smith, and once with a red delicious. I think I prefer the granny smith version the best, but any apple would probably taste great!
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 medium Granny Smith apple
Preheat oven to 200°F and line a large baking sheet with baking pad or parchment.
Sift together confectioners sugar and cumin twice to evenly incorporate. Sift half of cumin sugar evenly onto baking sheet.
Cut apple crosswise into very thin round slices (about 1/16 inch thick) with slicer. Arrange 20 of largest slices nearly touching each other on baking sheet, then evenly sift remaining cumin sugar over apples. (Reserve remaining apple slices for another use.)
Bake slices in middle of oven until pale golden and beginning to crisp, about 1 1/2 hours. Immediately peel chips off pad and cool on a rack.
(note, mine took more like 3 or so hours to cook until they were crisp, but that's just my oven probably)
Saturday, October 11, 2008
After getting okra AGAIN in my CSA, I did yet another google search on ways to cook it. I found a SUPER simple recipe that turned out great. I can’t believe I never tried roasting it before! All I did was cube up some sweet potato, wash & dry the okra. I didn’t chop off the heads or tails of okra, I just tossed them all in a bowl, drizzled on some EVOO (I hate that I sound like Rachel Ray, but it’s just easier than typing it all out), sprinkled on salt, pepper, & Toronto seasoning. I decided to use the Toronto seasoning because The Boy LOOOOOVES it, and I knew I had to make the okra appeal to him, since it’s definitely not his favorite. When it came time to eat it I just picked it up by the head of the pod & bit into it. I might get it eaten in one bite, or it might make two. I didn’t eat the head. The small & medium ones tasted great, but the larger ones probably should of roasted longer. I am DEFINITELY doing it again next time I get okra, whether it’s this season or next!
Roasted Okra and Sweet Potatoes
extra virgin olive oil
any other seasonings you want
Preheat the oven to 375.
Wash and chop the sweet potato into cubes. Wash okra. Combine in bowl & drizzle with enough EVOO to coat. Season. Spread onto a cookie sheet lined with foil & sprayed with non-stick spray. Roast until vegetables are soft. I think around 20 minutes more or less.
I served it with chicken cooked on the George Foreman that had been seasoned in the same seasoning. Oh, and the little white things are turnips. I received one in the share, so I just threw it in there, but I didn't like it so much.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Ok, I read food blogs every day. I remember when all the Tuesdays With Dorie
people made marshmallows. I was amazed. Like really, you can make marshmallows? For real?!?
My best friends and I (from now on to be referred to as the Uptown Girls) went camping last weekend. I thought this seemed like the perfect time to try to make marshmallows! I borrowed a candy thermometer from my good friend at work, and I was ready! When I told The Boy I was planning on making marshmallows, he laughed. When I began to make them, he laughed. When I cut them the next morning he laughed. He asked why I didn’t just go out and buy them. I sometimes want to strangle him, I won’t lie.
My recommendation for this recipe is… DON’T ATTEMPT WITH A CHEAPO HAND MIXER! Yikes, I seriously thought I killed it. After the 15 minutes of mixing, I turned it off when it was time to add in the vanilla, and it wouldn’t turn back on! I’d like to make these again, but with a KitchenAid stand mixer!
PS. These marshmallows make AMAZING s’mores.
And to quote Katie “These are better than real marshmallows!” To which I said, “Katie, these ARE real! Just homemade!” Either way she loved them, and I think she ate half of them. Seriously.
This is Katie, I think what she is saying here is, “Gimme gimme gimme more… Marshmallows”
1 day | 1 hour prep
2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
confectioners' sugar (for dusting)
Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Let it stand 30 minutes.
Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup of water in a small heavy saucepan; place over low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved.
Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve sugar crystals. Clip on candy thermometer; raise heat to high. Cook syrup without stirring until it reaches 244° (firm ball stage). Immediately remove pan from heat.
With mixer on low speed, slowly and carefully pour syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase speed to high; beat until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla; beat to incorporate.
Generously dust an 8x12 inch glass baking pan with confectioners' sugar. Pour marshmallow mixture into pan. Dust with confectioners' sugar; let stand over night uncovered, to dry out.
The next morning, combine 2 Tbsp powdered sugar & 2 Tbsp cornstarch. Spray a pizza cutter with nonstick spray & cut marshmallows. Toss the marshmallows in the bowl to coat (this will ease the stickiness). Store in airtight container for a couple of weeks.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I’ve been searching and searching for a cookie recipe that is similar to the kind you can get at Subway, the chocolate cookie with yummy white chocolate chips. I found this recipe on the a foodie message board I stumbled upon a while back. Jenn was right, this is a GREAT recipe! It made a pretty large batch, and I baked half of them and took a bunch to a girlie party to celebrate my friend’s sister-in-laws upcoming wedding. The bride-to-be LOVES chocolate, and she LOVED theses cookies. More than one person wanted the recipe! I was happy to share.
The other half batch I froze and then baked for a VO session I “catered” for one of my producers. When I asked him which of the three kinds of cookies he liked best (I also made these amazing chocolate chip cookies, as well as iced sugar cookies) he said these were the best!
I will add one tip. The day I made the dough I made it in the morning, then I left it in the bowl and tightly covered it in plastic wrap. I left it in there for a couple hours (while I biked to Target! 3 miles). I figured if letting the dough chill works for chocolate chip cookies so well, I would do it for this as well! I think it did really help.
These cookies are DELICIOUS! Go out and get the ingredients to make them TODAY! The dough is SO yummy as is the baked finished product! It’s ALMOST brownie like, but definitely a cookie. Next time I make them, I might roll them into a log and slice them. They were rounder than I expected. Now, without further adieu, the recipe!
White Chip Chocolate Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cups white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Fold in the white chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are set. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely