Wednesday, February 29, 2012

S'more Cups


When I saw these on Pinterest I knew I had to make them with my Homemade Marshmallows. I didn't have a mini muffin tin, so I made them in a regular muffin tin.  They came out just the same, delicious and just bigger. I'm sure the smaller ones would be a little better portion wise, but the larger portion did not deter me from eating several of them before they even cooled.

S'more Cups
From: Texas Cottage
Makes 24 mini cups or 12 regular cups

7 whole graham crackers
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbsp butter, melted
4 bars Hershey's candy bar, divided
12 Large marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a resealable plastic bag, crush graham crackers into fine crumbs. Combine Graham Cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and butter in a small bowl.

2. Place 1 Tbsp of crumb mixture in each cup of a mini-muffin pan.  Press crumbs to form shallow cups.  Bake 4-5 minutes.

3. Remove pan from oven and place one rectangle into each cup. Cut marshmallows in half.  Place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup.  Return to oven 1-2 min more or until marshmallows are slightly softened.  Place on cooling rack and cool 15 minutes.  Carefully remove cups from pan.  Cool completely.

4.  Break remaining candy bars and microwave on high 1- 1 1/2 min or until melted and smooth, stirring every 20 seconds.  Dip the top of each marshmallow in melted chocolate.  If you can manage to wait until the chocolate is set, then wait 40 - 60 minutes... I had to eat a couple of mine right away.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Orange Glazed Crock Pot Beets


I like beets, so I gave this one a try since it was in a crock pot.  I liked these, but they were a little too sweet for me.

Orange Glazed Crock Pot Beets
From A Year of Slow Cooking
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 2-3 hours

4 medium beets, peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice

1. Peel and slice the beets, and place them in crock pot (be careful, beets stain terribly).  Add butter, brown sugar, orange zest, and orange juice.  Toss with spoons to distribute the zest and sugar.  Don't worry that your butter is still in a clump.

2.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or on high for 2-3.  The beets are done when they have reached desired tenderness.  You want a fork to insert easily, and the beets to be able to be cut with the edge of a fork.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Twice-Baked Sweet Potato Cups with Sour Cream, Chipotle, and Lime

I poorly executed this recipe so they don't look so great, but these little sweet potato cups are very tasty.  It gives a little bit of a twist to a twice baked potato and the lime gives a good contrast to the sweet in the potato. 

Twice-Baked Sweet Potato Cups with Sour Cream, Chipotle, and Lime
From: Kaylyn's Kitchen

2 Large orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
Olinve oil, for rubbing sweet potato skins
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 Tbsp soft butter or margarine
2 tsp fresh lime juice
pinch of chipotle chile pepper (I used chile powder and smoked paprika instead)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, plus more for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil.  Slice sweet potatoes crosswise into thick pieces about 2 1/2 inches thick (you will get 3-4 thick pieces from each sweet potato). Rub sweet potato pieces with olive oil, including end pieces.  Arrange standing up on baking sheet and roast until they can be easily pierced with a for, about 45 minutes, turning them once during the cooking time.

2. When sweet potatoes are soft, remove from the oven and let cool until they can be handled.  Then use a melon baller or small spoon to scoop out most of the sweet potato flesh and put it in a bowl, leaving enough flesh attached to the skin and on the bottom to make a 'cup.'  mash sweet potatoes. Stand the empty cups back on the baking sheet.

3. Mix sour cream, butter, lime juice, and pinch of ground chipotle pepper.  Stir the sour cream mixture and 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions into the mashed sweet potato in the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 .  Transfer the sweet potato mixture to a small Ziploc bag.  Cut off the corner of the bag and squeeze out the mixture to fill the cups, filling them so it rises slightly above the edge.

5. Put filled sweet potato cups backed into the oven and back 20-25 minutes, until filling is hot and very lightly browned.  Serve hot, garnished with thinly sliced green onions if desired.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Red Wine, Goat Cheese and Mushroom Risotto

This is another recipe I made while Bill was gone because he doesn't like goat cheese (GASP!) and I'm a big fan.  I love pretty much any type of risotto, and this did not disappoint. The goat cheese made it even creamier than the ones I make with Parmesan.  The red color is a little disturbing, but I got over it as soon as I tasted my first bite.

Red Wine, Goat Cheese and Mushroom Risotto
From: How Sweet it is
Prep time: 5 min
Cook Time: 30 min

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup red wine
3-4 cups chicken stock
6 oz goat cheese
Mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
fresh basil for topping

1. Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan. In a large saucepan, heat 1 Tbs butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring until nicely coated.

2. Add the wine. Slowly stir, allowing the rice to absorb the wine. Once the wine is almost completely absorbed, add 1/2 cup of stock to the rice. Continue to stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Then add more stock in 1/2 cup increments. Stir often to prevent teh rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue adding broth and stirring until absorbed until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 Min.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp Olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter over low heat, then add mushrooms.  Let cook for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are juicy and caramelized.

4. Once rice is cooked to desired tenderness, reduced heat to low and add in salt, pepper, 5 ounces of goat cheese and mushrooms, then stir.  Serve with remaining goat cheese crumbled on top and a sprinkling of fresh basil. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Homemade Marshmallows


I've seen a lot of recipes for homemade marshmallows and wanted to try them, but was deterred because I didn't have a candy thermometer.  I decided I wanted to give them a go this past weekend since Bill was gone and I had some time on my hands.  Low and behold my grocery store sells candy thermometers and they are only $5! So I bought one and reprimanded myself that a little $5 thermometer was getting in the way of me making these.  The only bad thing is that right after I made these, I washed the thermometer and accidentally dropped it on the tile floor where it shattered.  Oh well.

These took some time and I had my doubts while I was making the since I was sure I did about 3 of the steps wrong, but they turned out fantastic!  So light and fluffy and way better than store bought!!! I ate about 5 of them immediately and another 5 in a mug of hot chocolate and have been munching on them ever since! Definitely make these, they are worth the time!

Homemade Marshmallows
From: Ashley's Cooking Adventures
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time 15 min
Chill time: 3 hours

1 cup powdered sugar
3 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 large egg whites
1 Tbsp vanilla
optional: food coloring for tinting (I omitted)

1. Oil bottom and sides of 9x13 pan and dust bottom and sides with some powdered sugar.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water and let stand to soften.

3. In a 3 quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved.  Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees, about 12 minutes.

4. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture.  Stir until gelatin is dissolved.

5. With standing or hand held mixer, beat the mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes if using a stand mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixture.

6. In a separate medium bowl with cleaned beater, beat egg whites until they just hold off stiff peaks.  Beat egg whites and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined.

7.  Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan and don't worry if you don't get every little bit out.  Sift 1/4 cup powdered sugar evenly over top.  Chill, uncovered until firm, at least 3 hours and up to one day.

8.  Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board.  Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. Trim the edges of the marshmallows and cut into roughly one-inch cubes.  Sift the remaining confectioners' sugar back int other baking pan and roll all of the marshmallows through it, so that each side is coated. Shake off the excess sugar. Marshmallows will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for one week.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sweet and Sour Cocktail Meatballs


Meatballs are the perfect thing for a superbowl party.  I basically just took my recipe for Cocktail Wieners and put Meatballs in place of the Wiennies.  It was delicious as suspected.

Sweet and Sour Cocktail Meatballs
From: Eet Smakelijk
Prep time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20 min in pan, 2 hours in crockpot on low

bag of frozen precooked meatballs
Grape jelly (12 oz jar)
2 jars Chili sauce

1. Heat Jelly and Chili sauce and bring to a boil.

2. Add meatballs and simmer for 20 min.  (all can be done in slow cooker if desired)


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