Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Making Fake Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Eggs

fake reeses 2

Happy Easter! I made some fake Reese’s eggs for a church get together. They aren’t all that complicated; if you’ve ever made peanut butter chocolate desserts, the recipe is kind of standard fare. There are a dozen different ways to do this, but this one is simple- just five ingredients, and all of them are common (six, if you want to count the fact that I did some in white chocolate).

ingredients

When the peanut butter mix stuff is done, chill it in the refrigerator until it’s firm. Form egg shapes on a piece of wax paper, then put them back in the fridge to chill again (this part takes a while- maybe thirty minutes or more). When the mix is firm again, put the chocolate in your microwave for 20 seconds, stir, then return to the microwave for 20 more seconds. Do not overcook the chocolate, and do not fail to stir it between heating- it should be nicely fluid by the second pass through the microwave. Remove the eggs from the fridge and try to work quickly.

It’s easiest to coat the eggs by picking them up individually and spooning chocolate around the edges first Then set the egg on the waxed paper and drop chocolate on the top and smooth. The peanut butter mix softens quickly, so I find it helps to have them on plates of five or six each- take one plate out at a time to avoid having them all get mushy as you’re working.

fake reeses

They taste just like the real things, (a little better in my humble opinion) and although they are super fattening, at least it’s fattening ingredients that you know about, instead of whatever processed evil spirits are living in the celophane-wrapped candy packets, right? Does that count for anything? At about 300 calories apiece, well… anyway they’re delicious.

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Bacon Bowl with a Baked Egg (and me, being the picture of fortitude during a trial)

bacon bowl with baked egg

I am preparing to fast for several hours before I go in to the hospital tomorrow and have a test done. Apparently, my lungs have decided not to participate in life, and in response I will be having a gigantic robot arm of death shoved up my nose and into my lungs, where it will tear a chunk of my lung-flesh out so the hospital folks can do lab stuff to it, leaving me a tattered, bleeding stump of humanity, but probably better off for the procedure. I’m being pretty brave about it, considering how badly the torment will surely be, but the fasting part really doesn’t appeal to me. It’s going to be like seven hours between meals. I decided to fortify myself with a batch of lemon bars and some bacon.

So, bacon bowls with a baked egg. You take three strips of bacon, cut them in half, weave them into square, and place them in the freezer on a small piece of tinfoil. Leave them for like half an hour so they are not frozen, but firm enough to mold into a bowl shape inside the tinfoil. (I like to wrap a second piece of tinfoil around them after that so the bacon grease doesn’t slosh out into the oven.) Bake them at 375 for about thirty minutes, then carefully pour the grease out, put an egg into the bowl and return it to the oven for another thirty minutes. Sprinkle a little oregano on top and eat. I should make a set of images to go with this. Maybe a post for later.

Butterbeer Cupcakes

butterbeer cupcake

Amybites concocted this wonderful recipe for Butterbeer cupcakes. For those of you not familiar with the term “butterbeer,” it is a fictitious (nonalcohloic) beverage in the Harry Potter stories. The cupcakes are really delicious; this is now my third batch, and I’ve probably gained two dress sizes because of them, but oh well.

You can click here to view the recipe, if you want some butterbeer cupcakes of your own (which, believe me, you really do). Without completely reproducing the recipe, I will tell you a few things.

  • At each spot where she says to beat the ingredients, whip the batter real good. The fluffier, the better.
  • You can shortcut the double boiler with store bought butterscotch ganache, but I like to make my own from scratch.
  • If you don’t have a squeeze bottle, you just need to get one- you can buy it for a buck, but it’s too important to skip. When you go to put the butterscotch ganache into the cupcakes, wait for them to cool a little. When it sinks into the cupcake, put more in until the cake stops absorbing the ganache. This usually takes several passes for me, but it’s worth it.
  • Do not skimp on special ingredients. I cheated on the immitation butter flavoring and they turned out mediocre and weren’t worth the effort.
  • Put a block of cream cheese in the frosting. It gives it less of a sugary confectioners’ sugar sweetness and brings more of a salty contrast to the cupcakes.

They make 18 cupcakes, and take about an hour from start to finish.

Bacon Wrapped Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Green Peppers and Walnuts

If you like a good fix-ahead meal, you need to try this:

pork roast

Using this recipe as a base, we had bacon wrapped roasted pork tenderloin with green pepper and walnuts. That name is a bit of a mouthful, but I don’t feel like coming up with something better. It was utterly delicious, with one pound tenderloin serving as a meal for the two of us, and it was surprisingly quick and easy to put together.

I modified the recipe as follows:

Ingredients:
1 lb pork tenderloin
1/8 Cup olive oil
1/2 tbsp of minced fresh lemon thyme (I pulled this from my garden- I bet regular thyme would be okay here)
1/2 tbsp herbes de provence
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 strips of bacon
1/2 small onion
1 green bell pepper
1/2 Cup walnuts

Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Pour the olive oil into a small bowl and add the herbes de provence, sea salt, lemon thyme and garlic. Mix these guys up real good and let them sit while you prepare the meat and veggies. Chop the peppers and onion, and put them in a bowl with the walnuts. Pat the tenderloin dry with a paper towel and spoon the oil/herb gunk onto it. Then wrap it with the bacon and place it into a skillet along with the vegetable mixture.

Sear the meat over a medium flame on the stove top for two-five minutes per side. Put it in the oven uncovered for about thirty minutes. If you have a thermometer, remove the meat when it reaches 160 degrees. Cut and serve.

The best part about this was that I got a couple pounds and prepared multiple batches at once and froze the extras- today’s meal was frozen and thawed (still utterly delicious), and only required the use of one skillet.

Almond Apple Cinnamon Pastries

Sigh. This is why I love autumn. Baking with apples…

You need to try this recipe for puff pastry:

Take 1 and 1/2 Cups flour, 1/2 Cup sour cream and 2 chopped up sticks of butter. Put them in a ziplock bag together. Zip the bag and mush them up until incorporated and doughy, place in the freezer for a half hour or so, then put in the fridge for at least an hour. You’ll have a great puff pastry to work with, and next to zero cleanup. I use that as a base for a ton of different baked goodies- it’s simple, quick and delicious.

The things in the picture are sort of almond apple tarts with cinnamon. That sounds like a good name, right? Almond Apple Cinnamon… whatever. They taste very good.

If you wanna try them, you should first prepare the dough above, and then gather:

  • 2 large apples
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/8 Cup ground almonds
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 Tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

First, peel and slice up the apples. Then combine all other ingredients in a bowl. Set them to the side, and take half of that pastry dough. Roll out the dough to a rectangle of about 6″x18″, maybe 1/16th of an inch thick. (Flour the rolling pin and all surfaces! This is sticky.)

Layer the apples generously along one of the longer sides of the dough.

Spoon the almond-sugar mixture gunk over the apples, and fold the dough over.

Press the edges together tightly then cut the dough into six equal parts.

Stick them in the oven on a cookie sheet at 350 for about thirty minutes. I’ve never had two batches take the same amount of time, I’m sorry to tell you people who like exact measurements that you’ll just have to pull them out of the oven when they smell good and have a crusty golden look. It’s generally about a half hour. Actually, aside from the puff pastry dough, I think I have never measured any of this before now.

Sometimes I drizzle frosting or icing or something over the tops of them, sometimes I leave them as they are. Always, they are delicious and yummy. Baked apples are just like that. Hope you enjoy!

Alice in Wonderland Cupcakes

I made a batch of cupcakes on Friday, and half of them were gobbled up immediately with a box of strawberries (my previous post) and the other half were reserved for artistic purposes.

I’m going through a bit of an Alice in Wonderland phase right now, I’ve been itching to produce Alice-themed art, and here it is:


I used the frosting I described in Saturday’s post with colored sugar to create the glittery tops, and formed the leaves and vines and stuff using candy clay. (A 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips melted in the microwave- stir frequently, it burns easily- then a 1/3 Cup of light corn syrup blended in. Cover tightly with plastic wrap when these are thoroughly incorporated and store at room temperature for up to four days. I dye mine with food coloring and sculpt it just like modeling clay. Which means those cute little decorations are fully edible to anyone brave enough to eat something that has been handled that much. )

What do you think?

How I’m Spending the Day

I am working on a batch of cupcakes and a series of books (Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books) and I just looked at the table and thought This is what Saturdays are for.

I make my own cake frosting using a block of cream cheese, an 8-oz jar of marshmallow fluff, about a quarter cup of heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar to taste (usually about a half cup). Yum. Red sugar, strawberry, and yum. With coffee. And a good book. It’s a little rainy outside, but I think I will try to talk my husband into going to the lake to watch the swans again today.

I made this.

Pear Cinnamon Ice Cream isn’t very Photogenic

Not photogenic. This is probably because the ice cream just didn’t have good genes and wasn’t cooperating with the photographer. It surely has nothing to do with my photography skills. It definitely has nothing to do with me eating it all during the photosession. That’s for sure.

I made this recipe last night and it was both tasty and easy. Four ingredients and about twenty minutes to make. It deserved to be posted, even if the picture is no good.

I made four flavors, the most exotic of which is pictured above. Pear cinnamon, peanut butter cup, birthday cake and ordinary vanilla.

It’s a Tradition in My Country! Sort of.

There was this thing that I remembered from my youth just the other day:

Since I was too stupid to take a picture of my own, this is pretty much what mine looked like. I snagged the picture from this website.

If you have spent much time in the USA, chances are you have seen some species of this delectable creation appear on some potluck table at a social event, and that was most likely around the fourth of July.

Obviously, the gimmick is the white whipped cream coating the top with blueberries and strawberries arranged on it to look like Old Glory. Pretty much anything could be going on underneath and it is a great big pyrex pan of homespun patriotism. However. The way I remember having it most often is as a dirt cake, which means layers of crunched up Oreos, chocolate pudding and whipped cream.

It’s not a dessert I produce very often because for one thing it’s very fattening, and for another thing the blatent Martha Stewartesque adorableness kind of turns me off. The other day though, I was thinking about this and mentioned to my husband how it had been a long time since I’d had a helping of that jello-pudding-creamy-oreoy gunk that people make around the fourth that always gets decorated to look like a flag, and he had never heard of it. Having grown up in South America, he had missed out completely on this experience. It was so funny to me, and I know I’m totally attributing more sentimental meaning to this than it deserves, but he had never tasted this piece of Americana. That settled it. I made two pans (a 9×9 pan and a 9×13 pan), and here’s the recipe I used to produce that much:

American Flag Dirt Cake Gunk

Ingredients:
2 packs of Oreo cookies
2 8oz. blocks of cream cheese
1 Cup heavy whipping cream
1 Cup powdered sugar
2 8 oz jars of marshmallow fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 boxes of chocolate pudding (fully prepared, I mean- prepare two boxes of chocolate pudding. I’m overexplaining.)

Mash up the Oreos (tip- I put them in a gallon ziplock bag and crunch them with a rolling pin) then mix in half a block of cream cheese (still in the ziplock). Press about half of that mixture onto the bottom of the pans as the crust. Spread the chocolate pudding on top of that as the second layer, and sprinkle the rest of the crushed Oreo mixture on top of the pudding for the third layer.

Whip cream (in a cold bowl) and once it has risen, add vanilla, powdered sugar, marshmallow fluff and the rest of the cream cheese (another tip- this is easier to incorporate if it’s softer, so if it’s cold put it in another ziplock and submerge it in hot water until it’s nice and soft). This is layer number four. You are done. (Oh- another tip. Glop the whipped cream mixture on top of the Oreos in big piles and spread in an outward direction so that it spreads evenly and the colors stay seperated.)

Decorate the top with sliced strawberries and blueberries. One package of each will be enough even though I didn’t put that in the ingredients.

This is one I actually made.

If you do it in the wrong order or skimp on the ingredients or whatever, guess what? It’s still awesome. That’s the beauty of dirt cake. If you layer pudding, crushed Oreos and some kind of whipped cream, you’ll love it so much you’ll wanna marry it. It’s like eating a pan full of sugar. Let me reiterate that this dessert does not get made very often in my home.

Of course, you have to eat “dirt cake” with gummy worms. Of course.

Something I will never want, and also something I want

There is a trend right now in frou-frou food service places, and it is this:

and I don’t understand it. I mean, when I hear the term “handcrafted,” the image that conjures up for me is this.

This image is from Make and Takes


I got this card a couple years ago, and thought it summed up my point nicely. No one needs to be reminded of how much their food has been handled before they eat it. Seriously, folks. “Handcrafted oatmeal” is one item I will never want to order. Eeeeww.

And then on a totally unrelated note, I just saw these online, and now I need them desperately and cannot live without them.

Where can I get one?! Seriously! I can’t find a place to buy one of my own, and I don’t know that I can carry on much longer if I don’t get a Minnie Mouse ears ring. Or the Alice wig one- drool.

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