Friday, April 22, 2011
Peanut Butter & Jelly Optional Waffles
adapted from Taste of Home
1 1/4 cups A/P Flour
3 TBLS sugar
1 TBLS baking powder
1/4 teas baking soda
1/4 teas cinnamon
2 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 TBLS butter, melted
2/3 to 1 cup peanut butter chips
Jelly, jelly syrup, powdered sugar, or topping of choice.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix well. In another bowl, whisk egg yolks, milk, peanut butter and butter until well combined. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in peanut butter chips. Beat egg whites till stiff peaks form and fold into batter. Cook as required by waffle iron. Top with jelly syrup (below), jelly or powdered sugar. Oh yeah, ice cream is a great topper, too!
Jelly Syrup: Heat 2/3 cup of jelly of choice in a small saucepan with two TBLS butter or margarine. Stir until well melted and whisk smooth. Pour over warm waffles.
OR if you're without peanut butter chips, make it peanut butter and chocolate: add one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Monday, February 28, 2011
The texture is crunchier than using powdered sugar, but with a slightly chewy texture. My daughter said they were like eating a block of brown sugar and to that I say, what's your point?
Maple Brown Sugar Shortbread
2 sticks unsalted* butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups A/P flour
3/4 teas salt
1/2 teas maple extract
*If using salted butter, decrease salt to 1/2 teas.
Preheat oven to 325d. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or cover with parchment paper. Sift flour and salt together and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy, add sugar and continue to beat until well mixed and and fluffy. Beat in Maple flavoring. Scrap down sides as needed throughout process. Add flour mixture and beat on low until flour is incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls. If desired, roll in graham crumbs. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes. Bake 20 minutes until cookies are just starting to color (bottoms will be lightly browned). Cool on wire rack. When completely cool, dip tops into Maple Glaze, twirling slightly and let glaze dry. Store air tight. Makes about 30-40cookies.
Crunchy Coating: This is purely optional. I just happened to have some left from a previous recipe and decided to try it with this shortbread. Any leftovers can be used for oatmeal, ice cream or muffin topping, or in a desperate situation, eating with a spoon. It also worked as a coating for sliced bananas, dipped in butter, coated, than baked.
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (if you don't have the boxed crumbs, pulse six whole graham crackers in a food processor (or in a baggy with a hammer) until finely crushed.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 TBLS butter or margarine, melted
Mix cracker crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter in a bowl until well combined and crumbly. Store air tight in cool place.
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teas. Maple flavoring
3-4 TBLS milk
Add flavoring and milk to powdered sugar and whisk until well combined. Add additional milk as needed for glaze consistency.
Please sir, I'd like some more....
With only one stick of butter left, I thought it would be the perfect time to really experiment so when I came across several peppermint candy discs, Peppermint Shortbread seemed the perfect solution. I cut the recipe in half to accommodate the one stick of butter, but if you have lots of butter, plenty of peppermint candies, and know you love peppermint in anything, just double the ingredients for the full recipe.
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup A/P flour
1/4 teas. salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teas. Peppermint extract
6 or more peppermint candy discs (or sticks), crushed
Preheat oven to 325d. Lightly grease cookie sheet or cover with parchment paper. Sift flour and salt together, set aside. Cream butter until light and fluffy, add sugar and continuing beating until light in color and fluffy. Beat in extract. Add flour and beat until flour is incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in crushed peppermint candies. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes. Bake 18-20 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to color. Cool on wire rack. Dip top of cookie into glaze and twirl slightly. Sprinkle tops with additional crushed peppermint candies (do this as soon as you dip, glaze dries fast). Store air tight. Makes 20 cookies.
Chocolate Peppermint Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
1/4 teas. Peppermint extract
3 TBLS. milk, warmed
Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl at 10-15 second intervals until melted. Stir well. Warm milk in microwave, approximately 6-10 seconds. Add chocolate, extract and warmed milk to sugar and whisk until glaze consistency, adding more warmed milk as needed. Use immediately.
Any exciting combos you've tried lately?
Sunday, January 30, 2011
And a few nights later: my high school senior class needed to raise money and decided to do so by making a porno film. While in the light of day, the thought is cringe-worthy, in my dream, everyone was very cool about it and didn't seem the least concerned. We were matched up with our partners and with no rehearsing (thank goodness), no script (do porno films use scripts?), everyone went on their merry way to meet back later. Now, I started out as a high school student, but when it came time to meet everyone at the appointed place, it came to mind that I was no longer that young nubile student but more my current age with all the gravity-defying parts that go with it. I also realized as I looked around at the beautifully coufed, made up girls, I was the only one who didn't use the time to have her hair and nails done!! (Like that was the worst of my worries). I also recall the location of "my" shoot was to be in the pool which is really scary since I do not swim and whenever I have attempted to try, sink like a rock. High anxiety was starting to kick in so I was very grateful my granddaughter did a sleeping back flip and kicked me in the throat, waking me up. Close call and one dream I DO NOT want to know the ending. The intrepretation here would be very interesting, I'm sure, sort of like the dream people have of standing naked at the podium to give a speech. I just can't help but wonder what we were raising money for and what happened to car washes and Krispy Kreme doughnuts! (Hmmm, hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts - now that's something to get excited about!)
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
One thing she hasn't lost her passion for is anything pasta, but especially spaghetti, the messier the better. Truly, is there any more pleasing compliment to a cook than wearing the meal over such a smile?
1lb ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teas. minced garlic
1 jar favorite tomato pasta sauce
Dried basil, oregano, salt/pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste
Spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
In a medium large pot, brown ground beef with onions and garlic until beef is no longer pink and onions/garlic are soft. Drain grease from beef and return to pot. Add tomato sauce. Add water to jar (approximately 1/3 cup), replace cap and shake to mix; add to pot and stir well. Add additional dried basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. (Or no extra if you're happy with the flavor of the sauce). While sauce simmers and thickens (about 15-20 mins), cook spaghetti per package directions and drain. Add spaghetti to sauce and stir to combine. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and stir briefly to melt cheese. Let cool slightly for tiny mouths and serve - no fork needed! (We usually plan spaghetti night on bath night.)
What does your toddler love best?
Thursday, January 20, 2011
When I think of a "vintage" kitchen, it's not just food that comes to mind. I remember my grandmother sitting at her kitchen table the better part of the day starting everyday at 5:30 a.m. to prepare my grandfather's breakfast before he went off to work first shift at the mill. Breakfast done and he was out the door before 6:30 and once breakfast was cleared away, my grandmother began the daily ritual of preparing lunch/dinner. Grandad came home for lunch, which was always a full meal with plenty left to warm over for dinner.
As a young woman, my grandmother was hit by a car and ultimately had to have both kneecaps removed. I remember thinking of her and my grandad as Jack Spratt and his wife because my grandad was tall and slender and my grandmother was petite and as years of physical inactivity accumulated, somewhat wide. I can still see her walking around the kitchen table, holding onto the edge of the table from sink to stove and back again, doing what was necessary to prepare the family meals. Moving from room to room required crutches and later, a walker.
While she couldn't do much else, her handicap didn't stop her from preparing delicious southern meals daily. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, fried pork chops, gravy and rice (face it, folks, "FAT" is a bonafide food group in the South!) but always with fresh vegetables and homemade biscuits and something yummy for dessert.
The kitchen was her domain and friends, neighbors and family members spent precious time there, discussing life over a meal or a cup of coffee fresh and hot from the percolator.
When she wasn't at the table, she was in her favorite chair in the "den," the room right next to the kitchen, where she watched "her" shows. She did not miss General Hospital, for one, and she loved Wild, Wild, West. She called Jim West "Tight Pants," and coming from my soft spoken, white-haired grandmother, this was hysterical to us kids. Her bedroom was next to the den so while they lived in a two story house built in the 1900's, with a total of 11 rooms, she seldom went beyond those three connecting rooms. She didn't leave the house often, maybe twice I can remember, but she made the two-hour trip to see me married. A strong Christian, my grandmother was always a champion for the underdog and the one who taught me unconditional love. I still miss her.
So in honor of my grandmother, in addition to recipes new and old, sometimes we'll just sit around the kitchen table and talk, over a cup of coffee. Anything you'd like to dish about? Any relatives that made an unforgettable impact on your life?