Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin Mochi Ice Cream

Hope you had a fun Halloween!

I saw these on the Trader Joe website.  I figured I would buy them since I was going there anyway.  I love mochi.  I love pumpkin.  Right up my alley.

These little morsels, I mean pretty little, are only 100 calories.  They are a little larger than a golf ball.  Soft and powdery outside with a bit of confectioners sugar.  Chewy around the outside with a ball of ice cream in the middle.  They are a pretty color of orange.

There is nothing overpowering about these little mochi balls,  Perfectly flavored, they are delicious.  Taking small bites and savoring their yummy goodness.  I really like them.  I also like the fact that I did not need to eat anymore.  Totally satisfied me.  Unlike ice cream sandwiches that I inevitably eat two.  Thats why I just don't keep those around.

I would totally buy them again for a treat!

Disclaimer:  I was not asked to review these nor was I paid anything for this review.  Totally unsolicited- just wanted to share with you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Swedish School Bread

I would never have know about this recipe if it weren't for the Norway Pavillion in Epcot Center.  There it was looking all beautiful with its come hither look.  But my belly was full and I just couldn't see eating one more thing.  I WISH so much that I had come back the next day with an empty belly so I could have tried it.  No matter, I wrote it down and promised to look for the recipe when I returned home.  I did find it right away after the trip (The Disney Food Blog) and am actually just getting around to make it nearly one year later.  I hate making custard.  That has what put it off for me.  I am not really a fan of custard.

I made the recipe today and shiver me timbers it is totally wrong!  I am so glad I have some experience with bread.  Enough experience that I knew something was wrong with the picture.  First of all, 3 ounces of yeast is A LOT of yeast.  No bread calls for that much unless you have a TON of flour.  But this is a family sized recipe.  So, I tweaked it to .3 ounces- roughly a tablespoon.

The next part that was wrong was the water.  WAY too much.  2 pints is equal to a quart.  With 2 pounds of flour, that is way too much water.  Drown- the- yeast- and- the- flour- kinda- too much!  It's more like 2 cups (16 ounces) or one pint.  Everything else seemed right.

The custard from allears is also incorrect. Not enough corn starch.  I have included a way better custard recipe.

This reminds me of a sweet roll that you would have with dinner.  It is not a super sweet kind of affair.  Its is a great bread for after school to be sure.  It is a great bread with a cup of tea or coffee.  A fabulous bread!

Swedish School Bread also known as Skolbread

2 pounds flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom
2 cups water, warm (not hot)
2 ounces or half a stick of butter

In a mixer or a bowl, combine flour, cardamom, sugar, yeast.  Melt butter and add it to the warm water.  Mix in the egg.  Pour liquid mixture into mixer or bowl and combine until fully incorporated.  Knead for five minutes.  Place in a clean bowl with a little oil in it.  Let rise for 45 minutes.  Cut dough into five ounce balls and fold in thirds a few times and pinch seam at bottom.  This will give you a round.  Let rise 30 minutes.

Bake at 375F for 10 to 15 minutes until golden.  Spoon glaze over and apread while warm.  Sprinkle on coconut if you like.  This is not authentic to skolbread but it is the way Disney does it.  Once that part is done you can stick a spoon into the bread and pipe the custard into the bun.


1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1- 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix until throughly combined and fairly thick.

Vanilla Pastry Cream
adapted from, The Sono Baking Company Cookbook
by John Barricelli

4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 vanilla bean pod and seeds (pods scraped and put aside)
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, half of the sugar, the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the milk.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the remaining sugar, the remaining milk, vanilla bean pod and the salt.  Bring to a boil.  Ladle the hot mixture very slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so you don't cook the egg. Once you have mixed about two ladles full, you can pour the remaining mixture into the bowl, whisk to combine.  Pour back into sauce pan and return to the heat.  Bring to a boil, making sure the pastry filling thickens.  It may look clumpy.  If large clumps begin to form take off the heat and whisk briskly.  The mixture will smooth out.

Add the three tablespoons of butter to the pastry cream, whisking until fully incorporated.  Stir in the vanilla seeds.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

I loved this dish.  Didn't even need cheese.  Super delicious.  Super satisfying.  I would say super light but that would imply to some people that it wasn't as good.  It really was.  I would so make it again.

One thing I do with my beans for soups and chilis is to mash them up.  Both m kids will pick the beans out. Even though in a spoonfull of chili you would not necessarily taste the bean...  I usually mash up two thirds of the beans.  A few in for looks and the mashed up ones to make sure I deliver some nutrition. Its not a sneaky thing, its just what I do.  Besides that mashed up beans makes the broth more gravy like and thick.  I always do it with minestrone and pasta fagioli.

Pumpkin Chili

3 cups roasted pumpkin (can totally use butternut squash or anyother kind of squash)
2 pounds ground turkey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, minced
1 can cannelloni beans
2 generous tablespoons chili
1 generous tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 roasted pablano chili (I freeze them in the summer but you could use the canned chilis)
1 tablespoon garlic
2 cups oven roasted tomatoes (so worth every moment of your time)
1 -12 ounce bottle of pumpkin ale (totally optional- it is good with and without)
water- as needed, will be thicker depending on what ingredients you use or dont use

Sauté onion in olive oil.  When the onions are translucent add the turkey. Break the turkey up as it goes. Let the turkey meat brown a little then add all of your other ingredients. Bring to a boil.  Cover and let simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.  Flavors will be even better the next day.  Quite honestly, I make most of my chili's and soups the day before so everything has time to marry.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies; The No Flour Version

I found some motivational videos on You Tube this morning.  I love them.  I think I need to listen to them every morning.  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  How to get your butt going?  Maybe I should put it as my alarm setting.  A great video/message to wake up to! I included my two favorites to share with you.

The one far below is for women! The right below is for men and women alike.  Not necessarily for people who are going to be Olympic athletes or for the world changers, but even for the small goals in your life that you have not yet achieved.  For passing a math test, for getting a degree.  These videos are filled with a lot of physical things, but our goals are sometimes things we can not easily see.  What is your goal?

Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups peanut butter
2 cups white sugar
2 egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
In a medium bowl, stir peanut butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Press a criss-cross into the top using the back of a fork.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Bars

I was never a crust fan.  Never liked pie because of the crust.  I usually scrape my pumpkin pie off my crust as I eat.  I prefer it that way. 

My husband and I just love pumpkin pie. He wanted to bake something the other day.  Wait!  What did you say?  Yes, the man wanted to bake something.  Shiver me timbers I was all happy and excited, cheering him on.  He was going to put the mix in a casserole dish (I have definitely done that before).  But for some reason, it is not the same.  It comes out kind of funky textured.  I suggested the 9 x 13 with a cookie crust. I crushed them in a food processor and added a stick of butter, swirled it in and prebaked it for 10 minutes.  He did the rest.

I have to say we loved it, save for one thing.  He cut the sugar WAY back in the recipe.  I think he put like a 1/3 of a cup.  It was okay but it really could have done with a little more sugar to bring out the flavor.  I compensated with the whipped cream.
Pumpkin Pie Bars
Pie part of the recipe from Libby's - see there orginal pie recipe here.  I use their recipe every year for Thanksgiving!

Speculoos cookies (12 ounces) crushed
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, melted

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk

Combine sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. In a separate, large bowl beat eggs. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk until combined.

Pour into prebaked crust in 9 x 13.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.  Top with whipped cream before serving.And if you like, a little sprinkling of cinnamon sugar- especially if your husband put in WAY less sugar.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Green Tomatoes For Breakfast

I gave my husband an idea for his breakfast last Saturday morning.  There was a little sausage leftover from the previous nights dinner. some pickled green tomatoes left over from fried green tomatoes and a potato!

He was very proud of this breakfast that he made and the fact that one of his dishes made it to my blog.  This one rocked babe!

If you want an idea for pickled green tomatoes, go here

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sweet and Sour Sauce - Fast Food Style but Homemade

This. is. the. BEST. recipe for sweet and sour sauce.  Seriously super satisfying sauce.  No kidding.  I loved it.  Dippin' my baked egg rolls into it was freaking heavenly!

I have been trying to recreate the big chain hamburger joint, sweet and sour sauce recipe for years! Thank you Todd Wilbur!

This is it! Nuff said!

Sweet and Sour Sauce
Adapted from this recipe.

1/4 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup canned peaches
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 teaspoons white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons water

Place everything but the water in a blender and give it a good blending!  Pour into a saucepan, add the water and bring to a boil.  Once thickened remove from heat.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Knife Skills

I am taking a class with the Kitchn.  I have always liked that site.  Good information, very thorough and lots of great ideas.  While I would say that I am pretty good with a knife I took the class anyway.  I learned something.  My knives are not as sharp as they should be.  I kind of knew that.  But WOW I didn't realize how bad they were.

Go check out the Kitchn and the class if you like.  All kinds of basics- very helpful, even if you think you have mastered it all.

A few of my favorite knives.
I use the longest one there for going through watermelon and squash and pumpkins.  Love it!  It is the best knife for the job.  I use my wide one for when I have lots of chopping to do.  I like to use it as a spatula after chopping- into the pan or bowl. And the smaller one is my nearly everyday chopping and rocking kind of knife.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bacon and Pea Salad

Why is it so hard to get myself to exercise?  Once I am doing it I am fine. But why is it like pulling teeth to get to it sometimes? Yesterday I went for a bike ride along the local trails with a friend.  So beautiful.  All the fall leaves lining the paths.  Golden yellow and oranges and browns.I wish I had my bike for that ride. 

The following pics are from a hike the family and I went on last weekend.  We had a beautiful day.  Hiked and went on a row boat in the pond! 

This is one of those sides that is great anytime of year.  Easy to pull together and it tastes great. Great for a picnic or a potluck.  If you want a little crunch add water chestnuts or celery.  I like it without.

Bacon and Pea Salad

2 cups peas
4 slices of bacon, fried and broken into pieces
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 small purple onion, minced
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded if desired.

Mix ingredients together.  Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Canned Grape Pie Filling

I am really not a pie fan but there are a few I love. Pumpkin, coconut cream, banana cream, chocolate silk ( I do see a common thread).  Maybe I should say not a fan of fruit pie (besides cherry and apple...). Hmmm, maybe I am more of a pie fan than I think.

Maybe it is a crust thing because most of the time I shave the filling off of it and just eat the pie insides.  Heck, I even make crustless pumpkin pie.
Though, I find, as the years go by that I like fruit pie more and more.  This grape pie is one of my favorite kind of pies. The recipe for the pie can be found here.

At the market last week I found a peck of Concord grapes.  Yes, I bought a peck!  I was busy.  Seriously busy.  You have to slip them all.  What a freaking job! So worth it.  Most anything you really have to work for ends up good.

Grape Pie Filling No Additions

You want about 7 pounds for 2 quarts of filling. That is about a half of a peck, depending on how full your peck basket is.

Slip skins from grapes, set skins aside. Bring pulp to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until the grape pulp starts to fall apart. Press through a sieve to remove seeds. Add skins to pulp, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add to jars, filling to within a 1/4 inch of the rim. Put lid and ring on. Place jars in a canner and process for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and remove lid.  Let sit for five minutes then remove jars from canner.


Basic Concord Grape Filling

This recipe is from Jerome's U Pick.  You can visit their site here.

6 cups Concord grapes
2 c. sugar
6 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Remove grapes from stem and wash. Measure six cups grapes. Slip skins from grapes, set skins aside. Bring pulp to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Press through a sieve to remove seeds. Add skins to pulp, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Combine cornstarch and sugar, mixing until well blended. Add this and the lemon juice to pulp and skin mixture, bring to a boil again and cook 5 minutes or until thick. Cool. May be stores in tightly covered container in refrigerator for several days or frozen. To can: Process 20 minutes in boiling water bath. Note: Grapes may be put in the blender for a few seconds after adding skins. Makes about 4 ½ cups.

Use for pie, over ice cream or filling in other grape recipes.