Mocha Coconut Fudge

December 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

A strange thing happened during my pregnancy with Cash, I acquired a taste for Coconut! As long as I can remember I’ve absolutely detested the taste and texture; but being someone who is adventurous with food, I have repeated tried recipes with coconut hoping that one day it would taste amazing. Well, that one day came when I made Macaroons for my husband while I was pregnant!

I was searching for an easy recipe to make and give as gifts this Christmas season and came across Mocha Coconut Fudge on How Sweet It Is. Fudge is quick, simple and very easy to package. If you’re not a fan of coffee you can always omit the instant espresso powder from this recipe and if you’re not a fan of coconut, I recommend you give it a try because you just might surprise yourself and like it.

Mocha Coconut Fudge

[adapted from mother lovett’s 3-minute fudge]

makes one 8×8 pan

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

12 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped

1 can (15oz) sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder (or instant coffee)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Spray an 8×8 pan with non-stick spray.

Add semisweet chocolate to a double boiler, and melt completely. One melted, add in half of the sweetened condensed milk, the vanilla, the coffee powder and 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. Stir with a spatula until combined and fairly smooth, then spread evenly in the bottom of the pan. Mixture will be thick. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Add white chocolate to a double boiler and melt completely. Add in remaining condensed milk, coconut oil and coconut extract, stirring until combined. Remove fudge from freezer and add white chocolate on top, spreading evenly to coat. Top with toasted coconut, then chill in the refrigerator for 60-90 minutes.

When ready to cut, fill a large cup with hot water. Dip a sharp knife into the water, then blot on a towel. Use knife to cut fudge into your desired size of squares.

Image and recipe source: How Sweet It Is

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

November 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

Before I start, please forgive me for tempting you with this naughty, yet tasty treat. My entire family was able to make it to my parents house for Thanksgiving and my younger brother, Jarod, decided to make these pancakes for us one morning. I usually don’t like to start my day with something this sweet and sugary but I figured it would be ok just this once. This recipe comes from Recipe Girl and she has many different versions of this pancake. I suggest you make this the next time you want to impress someone or have a special occasion. These pancakes taste exactly like cinnamon rolls and take an eighth of the time to prepare. I know that the holiday season is upon us and there are a million treats out there tempting us daily but this on really takes the “cake”, or should I say “roll”. Enjoy!

cinnamon roll pancakes

Yield: 4 servings (4 pancakes)

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 10 min

An absolutely decadent morning treat…

Ingredients:

PANCAKES:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

CINNAMON FILLING:
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

CREAM CHEESE GLAZE:
4 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Prepare pancake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in milk, oil and egg, just until batter is moistened (a few small lumps are fine).

2. In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip baggie and set aside. You don’t want this to remain super-liquidy. It’s best if it becomes a consistency similar to toothpaste.

3. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl- heat butter and cream cheese until melted. Whisk together until smooth; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract; set aside.

4. Heat large skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Scoop about 3/4 cup batter onto the skillet. Snip the corner of your baggie of filling and squeeze a spiral of the filling onto the top of the pancake. When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.

5. When ready to serve, spoon warmed glaze onto the top of each pancake.

Tips:

*Keep the heat low or your pancakes might cook up too quickly. Don’t flip them until you see those bubbles starting to pop on top. Flip them with a wide spatula so you can grasp the whole thing without batter and filling dripping all over the place!
*It’s best if you pour the batter onto your skillet, wait a minute or so and then swirl the cinnamon onto the batter. That’ll give it a chance to set a little before you add the swirl.
*If your baggie of filling begins to get too thick, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it up again. On that same note, it shouldn’t be too runny. The consistency of soft toothpaste is perfect. If it’s melty and runny, it will tend to run all over your pancakes. Once you micro it, let it sit on the counter at room temp for a while until it thickens slightly.

Source: RecipeGirl.com

Gluten-Free: We used a Gluten Free pancake mix for those of us with special dietary restrictions. Make sure to cook the pancakes on low heat and add the cinnamon roll filing right away since gf pancakes don’t bubble the same.

Image Source: recipegirl.com

Cranberry Pear Salsa

November 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

As my mom and I were discussing the menu for Thanksgiving dinner I realized that most of the dishes we are making are on the heavy side. It’s no wonder we all slip into food induced comas every year! This got me thinking of an appetizer I could serve for everyone to graze on while the turkey is baking that won’t make us overly stuffed before dinner time (this happens to me every year). Along side the usual cheese and nut platter, I found a recipe for Cranberry Pear Salsa. This recipe comes from How Sweet It Is. I made it today (trial run) and I must say it is delicious. It has the perfect amount of sweet and spicy. Also, I love the idea of serving it with blue corn tortilla chips. Turkey day is right around the corner, hope ya’ll are ready.

Cranberry Pear Salsa

makes about 1 1/2 cups of salsa

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

1 anjou pear, peeled and chopped

1 large apple, peeled and chopped

1/4 red onion, chopped

1/2 jalapeno, chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro

the juice of two limes

the juice of one orange

4 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and season with additional salt or honey if desired.

Note: this salsa can be very TART depending on your cranberries. Don’t be afraid to add more honey, salt or even a few spoonfuls of sugar (yes, sugar!) to the mix.

Image Source: How Sweet It Is

Perfect Pairing

November 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve done it! I found the perfect fall flavors combined into one delicious baked good. As perviously mentioned, I am obsessed with Pumpkin and any recipe that calls for Pumpkin will probably be made at my house. Unfortunately, my husband does not share this love with me. He will try anything once but probably won’t ask for it to be made again if it includes Pumpkin. Bummer.

The other day I had the desire to make Gingerbread. My day was completely made when I found a recipe for Pumpkin Gingerbread over at Young Married Chic. The two flavors are the epitome of Fall and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I totally recommend you run (don’t walk) to the store and grab any ingredients you may not have on hand and make this loaf ASAP. I’ll just go ahead and say “Your Welcome” in advance since I know you are going to absolutely love this.

Pumpkin Gingerbread with Spiced Buttercream

Ingredients:
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 tbsp maple syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 egg
1 and 2/3 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray, or  line with parchment paper
3. Combine the pumpkin, syrup, sugar, canola oil, molasses, and egg. Mix well
4. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, spices, salt, and baking powder
5. Add the wet mixture to the flour mix and stir until just combined
6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Should be springy to touch
7. Allow to almost fully cool before removing from pan
8. Completely cool before frosting

Spiced Buttercream Icing
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 3-4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (use to taste)
1 tbsp milk (or more until icing is thinned to your preference)

1. Cream together the butter and 1/2 of the confectioners sugar until smooth
2. Add in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice, mix
3. Add in the second half of the sugar and the tbsp of milk, mix
4. Add more milk (very small amounts at a time) until it reaches a consistency that you want
5. Ice!

1 Month Old, Already!

November 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

Well, I can’t believe I have been in the world for an entire month! Wow, time sure has gone by fast since I never let mommy and daddy have any alone time. I came into the world on October 5th and it was awesome. All my grandparents were there for my arrival and daddy was such a good coach for mommy. I had a cone-head in the beginning but as you can see that has gone away. I can now say I am a pretty handsome little baby (well that’s what all the ladies tell me).  I’ve decided that I like it best when I am held and I love to look around and observe everything I can. Mommy and GG (Grandma Kathy) have taken me on some fun outings. I’ve gone to the mall, a pumpkin patch and traveled over to Yakima to spend time with GG and Papa. Mommy even took me to a pumpkin carving party and then decided to stick me in a pumpkin. I didn’t complain until my diaper butt got stuck and mommy wasn’t sure if she could get me out.

I love my family so much and I can’t wait to tell you what happens in my second month of life. I know we have lots of fun things planned. I can’t wait to meet my uncles at Thanksgiving! Well, I’ve gotta go and make mommy change me and then eat and then poop again. Oh, my life is awesome!

Cash-$

Creative Coffee

November 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

Adding individual pieces to my home that give it a little bit of character is important to me. I like my home to represent ME and not just big box stores. Since my style is more eclectic, I am always looking for inexpensive ways to change things up. I came up with the most simple craft that is quick, easy and inexpensive. Visiting my local Goodwill, I picked up a few white coffee cups for only $.25 each (what a steal). With some paint and creativity, I added a simple design to the cups. Voila, I turned plain into pretty in under a minute. These items will also make amazing hostess gifts for all the Holiday parties coming up. It will be fun to put a personalized touch on the cups that I give away. There is nothing better than giving a gift that has your own added special flare.

I couldn't resist showing off my little man.

Have a fantastic weekend and don’t forget to treat yourself to something special.

Sweet and Spicy

October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sometimes you have a craving and you can’t decided how to satisfy it. Do you go with Sweet or Savory? I’ve always leaned towards savory things like potato chips, pretzels and popcorn, but sometimes there is nothing better than a big bowl of ice cream or chocolate. While carving pumpkins last weekend I saved the seeds to roast and I decided to make half sweet and half spicy. I used this Sugar and Spice Roasted Pumkin Seeds recipe for the sweet ones and this Spicy Pumpkin Seeds recipe for the savory ones. They turned out Din-O-Mite if I must say. Now I don’t have to settle, I can have sweet and spicy all in one sitting.

Ingredients For Spicy Pumpkin Seeds:

  • 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder

Ingredients For Sugar and Spice Roasted Seeds:

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice

For both recipes, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread dried and seasoned seeds on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast for 45-60 minutes.

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