Thursday, October 2, 2008

I can’t wait to make s’more!

MARSHMALLOWS!
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”

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Homemade Marshmallows

from RecipeZaar
1 day | 1 hour prep
40 marshmallows

Ingredients:

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)

Directions:

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

Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips


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!

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White Chip Chocolate Cookies

from Jenn at Made with Love, a modification from All Recipes
Yields 5 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cups white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
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

Directions:

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Layered Pumpkin Loaf


I first saw this recipe in my Kraft Foods magazine last fall.  I was on (yet another) one of my diets, and didn’t let myself eat the carbs.  So this year, I am trying to be more lenient on myself.  Not to mention I had a can of pumpkin in my cabinet, though not expired, it was about time it got used!

We have editor’s meetings every Wednesday morning for the video editors.  There’s 9 staff editors plus our supervisor.  For the past three weeks I have been meaning to make this loaf.  I REALLY was planning on making it last week.  I was just planning on running to the small grocery across the street for the neufchatel cheese and the pumpkin pie spice.  Anyone want to guess what I COULDN’T find there?  Yeah… the neufchatel cheese, they didn’t have.  Fine, whatever, I’ll just get cream cheese.  So I head over to the spice area.  The pumpkin pie spice had the OLD McCormick label, and a fair amount of dust.  Let’s just say I walked out of the store empty-handed.  Long story, but I wasn’t able to drive to a larger grocery so I had to put it off.

Finally, I had all of the ingredients, and I made it last night for our meeting this morning.  It turned out, as a good way to celebrate/”send off” our supervisor.  He was leaving later in the day for Florida to get married on the beach!

I must say, this recipe turned out GREAT!  When I passed it around the table, everyone except one person wanted a slice!  And they raved about it!  The rest got gobbled up pretty quickly!  I definitely recommend this recipe.  It’s especially nice paired with my once-a-week pumpkin spice latte!

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Layered Pumpkin Loaf

Ingredients:

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 egg whites, divided
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Neufchatel Cheese, softened

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a nonstick 9x5-inch loaf pan; set aside. Mix pumpkin, 1 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 3 of the egg whites, milk and oil in large bowl. Add flour, baking powder, pie spice and salt; stir just until moistened. Set aside. Beat Neufchatel cheese, remaining 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar and the remaining egg white with wire whisk until well blended.

Spoon half of the pumpkin batter into prepared pan; spoon Neufchatel cheese mixture evenly over the batter. Cover with remaining pumpkin batter.

Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 5 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Run knife or thin spatula around edges of pan to loosen bread; cool in pan on wire rack 10 min. Remove bread from pan to wire rack; cool completely.


A perfect pair…

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Okra & Shrimp

I’m a proud member of a CSA.  It does have it’s surprises.  This is my second year doing it.  Last year, the first time we got okra I made fried okra.  The second time we got it I was like, “Oh crap…  My waistline can’t handle fried okra again!”  So I did some online digging for okra recipes.  I found one that I liked so much, I made it again the NEXT time we got okra, only the second time I made it with chicken!  It was good both ways, and it makes for good leftovers.  And it’s a great way to use these late summer veggies.  If you are scared of okra, all I have to say is, don’t be!  It can be delicious, I swear.

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Okra & Shrimp

from Africhef.com
This Okra and Shrimp recipe should be served over rice.

Ingredients:

1 lb young Okra pods
1 lb shrimp
4 large tomatoes
1 Onion1 green bell pepper
1/2 cup white wine
6 tbsp vegetable olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp parsely
finely chopped salt and pepper for seasoning, to taste

Directions:

Top and tail the Okra pods, ie cut off the ends. Cut the pods into approximately 1/4 inch rounds. Peel and devein the shrimp. Pop the tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds, remove, peel and chop.Peel the onions and chop coarsely. Seed the bell pepper and chop coarsely.

Heat the oil in a large skillet until it begins to shimmer. Place the onion and bell pepper in the skillet and saute until the onion becomes translucent. Add all the other ingredients, except the shrimp and bring to the boil, reduce the heat immediately and simmer until the tomatoes are soft and done. Stir ocassionally.

Add the shrimp and continue cooking for about 4 minutes until the shrimp becomes opaque.

Serve over hot rice.

I love colorful meals!

As you cook it, the “slimy” in the okra combines with the tomato juices, wine, & lemon juice and really thickens up.  I’ve never made gumbo, but now I understand why okra is important in it!