Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Chex Buddies for the Holidays

I did a story dedicated to Chex Mix.
Here are 3 of my choices for Holiday Chex Mixes called Chex Buddies.
The directions are the same for each of the varieties.

Now that I've made my first batch of Chex Buddies I can comment on the process to make it easier for everyone else.
The key to this process is to use the largest, widest opening, bowl that you have and the largest ziplock bag that's available. These two hints alone will make the process easy. I also used a large, Amish wooden spoon/scoop to mix the Chex after the Chocolate was drizzled over it. None of the cereal was crushed. I highly recommend these for the Holidays.

Andes Mints Chex Buddies:

2 boxes of Andes Mints , chopped
(Microwave until smooth and creamy)

5 C Corn Chex Cereal in a large glass bowl

1 1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar in a large ziplock bag.

Pour the melted chocolate over the cereal  and mix gently, folding from the
outside edge of the bowl to the center. Mix until well coated with chocolate.

Pour the chocolate covered mix into the bag of Confectioner's Sugar and shake until
well coated.

Pour into serving bowls.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buddies:

9 C Corn Chex Cereal

1 C Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 C butter
1 tsp Vanilla

1 1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar

Use the same directions as above.
Melt all of the coating ingredients in a microwave until smooth and creamy.
Pour over Chex
Pour in the bag and shake.

Citrus Buddies:

1 12.8 oz. box of Rice Chex Cereal

12 ounces of White Chocolate Chips
5 tsp Orange Zest
1 TBS Lime Juice
1 TBS Lemon Juice
5 TBS butter

2 1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar

Same directions as above.
Melt topping ingredients in a microwave, until smooth and creamy.
Pour over Chex Cereal
Pour in the bag and shake.

The hardest part of this was unwrapping the 2 bows of Andes Mints.
Otherwise this is the easiest Christmas treat that I've made this year.
They look incredible and taste amazing. I highly recommend Chex Buddies!

These are the Andes Mint Buddies
These are some of the ingredients for the Citrus Buddies.
This also shows the bowl and the spoon that I use.
These are also delicious. They are a nice change from all
of the Chocolate treats that we typically make
st Christmas.
I would have photographed the Citrus Buddies but
they look the same as the Andes Buddies.

Enjoy! Peace in the Kitchen!

Pasta Bar in a Jar Party!

I love this idea of hosting a Pasta Bar in a Jar Party.
This would be great for a gathering of family and friends.

Here's what you need:

Canning Jars ( I prefer the ones with the hinged lids) , available in various sizes.
Slow Cookers
Hot Plates
Serving Dishes for all of the ingredients.

Ingredients for the Bar:

Pasta: cooked and drained
Elbo Macaroni
Bow Tie

Marinara / Vegetarian
Marinara Meat Sauce

Herbs and Vegetables:
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Basil
Roasted Red Peppers, diced
Fresh Zucchini, dices
Artichoke Heats, chopped
Mushrooms, sliced
Asparagus, sliced
Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped
Minced Garlic

Sauteed Hamburger

Parmesan Cheese, Grated or Fresh Shaved
Olive Oil
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

French or Italian Garlic Bread

Prepare all hot ingredients ahead of time and keep them warm.
Place all ingredients in serving bowls.

Each person fills their Jar with their  personal favorites from the bar.
Shake the jar and enjoy!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Rhubarb / Strawberry Cobbler

Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler

I grew up in Michigan where Rhubarb was plentiful. I love it in any recipe.
I previously posted a recipe for Rhubarb Mousse.
My Aunt and Grandmother always made Rhubarb Sauce when it was in season.
I just saw Rhubarb at a local Market here in Texas.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
1 - 10" Cast Iron Skillet

1 C Sugar
3 TBS Flour
3 C sliced Strawberries
3 C diced Rhubarb
Mix together in a large bowl
Pour into the skillet.

In another bowl, mix together with a pastry blender:
1 1/2 C Flour
1 C Brown Sugar
16 TBS (2 Sticks) Butter
1 C Rolled Oats
Crumble this mixture on top of the fruit.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen: Holiday Eggnog Rice Pudding

Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen: Holiday Eggnog Rice Pudding: Rice pudding is such a treat any time of the year.  At the holidays, it's nice to make it using a rich eggnog custard, creating yet...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chocolate Palmiers

I never thought I would ever make homemade Palmiers. We see them all over Paris, in every small pastry shop on every block. They look and taste amazing. I decided to post a recipe so I can remind myself that I can really make them myself. I chose to post the recipe for Chocolate ones.

Chocolate Palmiers

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper.

1 8oz package of Cream Cheese
1/2 C sifted Confectioner's Sugar
1/4 C unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 TBS Flour + 2 2/3 C used separately in the recipe.
2 TBS Frangelico ( Hazelnut liqueur)
1/2 C finely chopped, toasted Hazelnuts
8 TBS (1/2 C) Butter, softened
1/2 C Granulated Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg
3 TBS whole Milk
1/2 tsp Almond extract


In a medium mixing bowl, with an electric mixer:
Cream Cheese
Confectioner's Sugar
Cocoa Powder
2 TBS Flour
Beat on low until smooth.
Fold in Hazelnuts, by hand.
Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Pastry Dough.

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Beat on medium high speed for 30 seconds.

Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Baking Powder
Beat until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed.

Almond Extract
Beat until well combined.

Gradually add the Flour.
Beating just until mixed well.

Divide the dough in half.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a Floured Surface:
Start with one portion of dough.
Roll into a 12" X 8" rectangle 1/8" thick with the long edge facing you.
Spread with half of the filling to within 1/2" of the long edge.
Beginning with the edge facing you, roll the dough tightly to meet the middle.
Roll the other side to meet the middle. (the two long edges should meet in the center)
Brush the seam where they meet with a bit of water and gently press together.
Repeat with the other portion of dough.

Wrap the rolls in plastic wrap, place them on a sheet pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to
as much as 24 hours.

Using a very sharp knife, cut the rolls into 1/4" slices.
Transfer the Palmiers, cut side down and 2" apart  onto the lined Sheet Pans.
Bake for 8 minutes.
Remove the pans to a rack and cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer the Palmiers to the rack and cool completely.

Peace in the Kitchen!

These are an example of plain Palmiers.

These are an example of Chocolate Palmiers.

Cornmeal Star Cookies from Yesterfood

Cornmeal Stars with Orange Glaze 
Makes 58, 3 1/2" cookies

This recipe is from Yesterfood, a Blog that I follow.

1 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
2 TBS orange zest, divided use
5 TBS orange juice, divided use
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2  3/4 C all purpose flour
2/3 C yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 C powdered sugar

1. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

 In a separate bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form.
 On low, beat egg whites into butter mixture, just until blended. Still on low, add egg yolk, 11/2 TBS orange zest, 2 TBS orange juice and vanilla to butter/egg white mixture, beating just until blended.

2. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture in three parts, beating just until blended after each addition.

3. Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Flatten dough into discs and refrigerate for 8 hours or freeze for 1/2 hour. Dough is very soft and must be chilled before handling.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out one portion of dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes with floured cookie cutters and place cut outs on parchment lined cookie sheets (or roll dough directly onto parchment paper, cut out cookies and remove trimmings. Place parchment paper onto cookie sheet and bake). Re-roll trimmings for additional cookies. Keep dough refrigerated between rollings.

5. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes or until just starting to brown. Cool cookies on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then remove cookies to wire racks until completely cooled.

6. For orange glaze/frosting, combine remaining 1/2 TBS zest, remaining 3 TBS orange juice, and powdered sugar in a medium bowl, whisking until smooth. (Add a little more sugar to make the frosting thicker, if you like, or add a few drops of orange juice if you'd like it to be thinner). Spread topping on stars. Place cookies on wire racks until topping is set, about half an hour or so, depending on how thick it is. 

Peace in the Kitchen!

Holiday Bundt Cake

Thanksgiving is over and we still have plenty of ingredients from baking our Thanksgiving desserts.
Here's a way to use some of those leftover ingredients in a delicious cake.
We had our Cul -de- Sac Dinner Club last night and our host baked this wonderful Holiday Cake.
Thank you Gretchen for introducing this Hippy to the cake! I'd previously posted another recipe that Gretchen shared with me. I believe they are the Artichoke Balls. I've shared other recipes from our neighbors. We have some great cooks on our street.

Holiday Bundt Cake:

You'll need one 9"- 10" (12 C) Bundt pan. I grease it with my Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) You can make a large batch and refrigerate it if you do a lot of baking. I keep it in ajar in the refrigerator. I lasts a long time!  It's a foolproof release method especially in a detailed Bundt Cake Pan.

2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger powder
1/8 tsp salt

1 1/4 sticks (10 TBS) butter, softened
1 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C pumpkin puree
1 apple, peeled, cored, chopped

1 C dried cranberries
1 C roughly chopped  toasted pecans ( I add more because I'm a Texan and we love pecans)

In a bowl, whisk together:
baking powder
baking soda

In a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment:
Brown Sugar
Beat for 3 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each one.
Beat in vanilla

Reduce speed

mix just until combined.

Dry ingredient mixture.
Fold in cranberries and pecans.

Scrape batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 60 - 70 minutes, until a knife in the center comes out clean.

Cool pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes
Un mold the cake onto the cooling rack and cool completely.

Serve with homemade whipped cream.

Peace in the Kitchen