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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat

It's the day we've all been waiting for!! Ok, that "our" household has been waiting for. Sauces are in the crock pot cooking, apple cider and foam cups bought and ready for trick or treating and the witches cauldron is full of candy bars. And, the costumes are PERFECT!

From our house to yours, we wish you a very Happy HALLOWEEN!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mummy Dogs

We used to call them pigs in a blanket when I was a kid but they weren't as cute as these. Claire thought this was just the best idea EVER, Max ate his fries and skipped the Mummy Dog. Oh well, can't please everyone.

What you'll need

Can of Crescent rolls
8 Hot Dogs (I used the skin on because those are the only ones I can eat)

Spread out the crescent rolls and press two triangles together along the perforated edge. After the edges have been sealed, take your pizza cutter and cut strips. Starting at bottom of hot dog, wrap strips (you're kind of pulling and stretching the dough as you go) around the hot dog. Make sure to leave a space for his eyes.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Give the Mummy two dots of mustard for eyes or if you're like our house, we leave the Mummy without eyes because mustard is NOT welcome on our plates:)

Roll out crescent rolls and seal two triangles together, cut strips with pizza cutter
Stretch and pull the dough around the dogs
The NO eyed Mummy

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cake Balls

I found this recipe forever ago on Bakerilla's website. Then Pioneer Woman did them and then a friend of mine and they were so cute I just had to try them.

Let me say, I am not a fan of working with chocolate. I'm ok with a little dipping or drizzle but otherwise not so much. I had the patience of a gnat this week so it wasn't my best time to try something like this. AND, I had several issues while making these. First off, I didn't have enough chocolate because I didn't write down that I needed two bags. I didn't exactly "plan" to make these. Second, everyone made these as cake pops, I didn't want the hassle of the stick. The stick would have made my life easier. And, the recipe has to be made kind of in steps. I don't mind that at Christmas time when I'm doing 18 different things and can come back to it but for a regular recipe, again..not so much.

Having said all of that, these are YUMMY!! My kids LOVED them! I loved them! I'm not sure I will share them, or at least this batch. Yes, you heard me, I will make these again even though I got a little frustrated. I have ideas of what I'll use next time as the cake part. I will try to save you some of the frustration so you will enjoy making them as much as eating them. Keep in mind that due to my lack of preparation, these are not as cute as I would like them. I'll share the next time I make them, they are sure to be cuter.

You need:

1 cake mix prepared according to directions and cooked in a 13x9 pan. I used a white cake mix and colored it Orange with food coloring
1 can of Cream Cheese frosting..yes, I said CAN
2 14 oz bags of Chocolate melts ~ we preferred the colored white chocolate variety over the milk chocolate
Extra frosting or chocolate or sprinkles to decorate but honestly, they are good with just the first dipping

Cut your cake in 1/4s and crumble a 1/4 at a time. Make sure you don't have any big lumps

Add 3/4 of the can of frosting. Pioneer woman suggested that instead of the whole can and I have to agree, 3/4 can made them moist enough.

Doesn't look to appetizing but they are YUMMY. Start making your balls. You'll have to wash your hands off about every 10 because you get sticky. I made these about the size of walnuts. One of those mini cookie scoops would be perfect but I couldn't find mine.<

Makes about 70 balls I would guess..I didn't count. Put them in the freezer for one hour to harden
I used the double boiler method because I wanted to follow directions. I later figured out what I already knew, 1 minute in my microwave does the trick.
Melted and ready for business
Take your cake balls out of the freezer and start dipping. Roll them around like fondue and kind of bang the stick on the side of the pan to get off excess chocolate. Use another skewer to push the ball off, add a bit of chocolate to cover your hole.
The second time I made them I simply used a fork. I put the ball in the chocolate and moved it around with a spoon. I kind of scooped it out with the fork, banging the fork on the side of the bowl. The tines on the fork allow for the excess chocolate to easily come off. Much easier.
The chocolate hardens pretty quick because the balls are frozen
Chocolate version with sprinkles

I ran out of orange, didn't care for the chocolate so I used the rest of the green and made Mini Monster Faces

My ugly but tasty pumpkins

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Carving Pumpkins

I have a little tip for you. Can't "show" you because we don't carve pumpkins until October 30.

Instead of cutting the top of the pumpkin off around the stem, cut a big hole in the bottom.

It's great because:

* you can cut a bigger hole making it easier to get the seeds out.
* if you purchased a pumpkin that is a little tipsy, you can fix that by cutting the bottom off
* you won't run the risk of breaking the stem off when you try to take the top off after you've cut.
* You won't have to worry about the top falling inside your pumpkin.
* Easier to light the candle because you can light it and then place the pumpkin over the top of it.

Did I convince you??

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Frankenstein Cupcakes

I saw these in a magazine and thought I would give them a try. I wanted to post before Halloween so you could make them for your kids. So my daughters dance class were the lucky ones, they thought they were LOTS of fun.

What you'll need:

Cake Mix made according to directions for cupcakes
24 Large Marshmallows
1 Bag of Green Chocolate Melts from Michael's
48 Green Tic Tacs
Can of Chocolate Frosting

Melt your chocolate melts in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir, stir and stir some more. Typically it will look like it's going to be lumpy but if you keep stirring the melts will in fact melt. If they are still chunky, try another 15 seconds. The thing with chocolate melts is you don't want to over cook, or it will dry up and you won't be able to dip. The "safest" way to melt the chocolate melts in a double boiler. I am not a fan of that process because it takes a LOT longer. But if you want to be "safe", try that route.

So, you've got your chocolate melted. I used a wooden skewer and poked the marshmallow and then dipped it like fondue and tap, tap, tap the stick against the side of the pan to get the extra choocolate off. Then gently pushed the marshmallow off onto wax paper, push from the top because you'll be covering that up with frosting. Sorry about not having photos of that process but my trusty assistant wasn't feeling well. Immediately push a tic tac into each side of the head and allow to cool. If you want to use a spoon, you can do that instead. Decorate the face of Frank.

When the heads are dry, frost your cupcakes. Push a Frank head into each cupcake and pipe some hair on. I used a leaf tip, but you can use any tip you want.

In hind sight, I would put them so they are standing up to dry so Frank doesn't get a flat back of his head.
Make the scary face!

Pipe on the hair...All done and ready for fun!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Walking Fry Bread Taco

We go to Pow Wow on our reservation every summer. One of the things we look forward to is the fry bread. So, last week when I made cinnamon rolls I had some left over frozen bread dough and thought I'd see if my kids could tell the difference. I shaped the dough, threw it in some grease and put it on the table. My nephew took one bite and said, "mix or frozen"?

"Frozen", I admitted with the wind knocked from my sails.

He shrugged and said, "It's still decent".

Claire asked why we weren't having tacos? Fry Bread Tacos are one of her favorite things. Fry Bread tacos are exactly like regular tacos except you use fry bread instead of a tortilla or shell. "Walking" tacos is when they chop up the piece of bread and mix with the toppings.

I decided to use the last loaf of bread dough and make Walking tacos for dinner and with the addition of taco toppings, it was even harder to taste that the bread wasn't what your Native Grandma would make. Maybe I'll tackle the real fry bread another time, but until then..this works.

Taco meat
1 lb ground beef (I usually use ground turkey)
1/2 small onion diced
2 cloves garlic
4 t Chili Powder
2 t Cumin
1 t Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper if you're feeling Sassy
Throw the meat, onions and garlic in a pan, salt and pepper to taste. When the meat is about 1/2 cooked, add your other seasoning. It seems to blend better if you do it now, especially true if you are using the ground turkey.

Now let's make our bread. They don't have to be exact, make your circles and let them set a moment while the grease heats up
give it a stretch before placing in the grease...I always use Crisco for frying, it holds up better than oil
Nice and golden brown
Chop up your bread
Add your favorite taco toppingsClaire said, "Just like Pow Wow...only better". I love my daughter:)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oatmeal Jumbles

I didn't know what to call these. I found the basic recipe on line and tweaked and added. Apple, Blueberry, White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal was just too long of a name. They became a jumble I guess?? They also aren't like a traditional cookie, they are more cake like.

Only one child liked them but it was the one who doesn't like Blueberries and my niece stopped by and said they were VERY good, so I took that as a sign to share with all of you.

What you'll need:

1/2 C Butter
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1/4 C Milk
2 t Vanilla
1 C Flour
1 1/2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Baking Soda
1/4 t Nutmeg
2 C Oatmeal
1 C Apple diced pretty small
1 C Dried Blueberries
1 C White Chocolate Chips

Mix butter and brown sugar together and then throw in Egg, Milk, Vanilla, Flour, spices and give it a good mix. Add everything else and mix it up (I think nuts would have been a good addition and I might throw a mashed ripe banana in there next time too). Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for about 11-13 minutes at 375 until bottoms are golden. Enjoy!All the stuff. I went with my rule of how big would I want a bite of cooked apple and cut them a bit smaller
Wasn't sure how they would spread..the answer is not much, you could put them a bit closer together
Bagged and ready for sharing

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Twice Baked Potatoes

I wanted something that I could make ahead and throw on the grill with the steaks. Twice baked potatoes fit the bill. I am going to give you the direction and ingredients for a solo potato so adjust for each additional one you make. You can also make these the day before and they are good to go.

1 medium Potato~washed

Poke two holes in the top of the potato. You don't want to poke all over the place because you are going to be re stuffing these potatoes.

I microwaved the potato for 5 minutes and it was perfect. You want the potato to be soft and not squishy.

Cool for about 10 minutes and then very gently slice off the top of the potato. Don't go deep, you just want enough off to be able to scoop out the inside.

Scoop out the inside, being careful not to tear the skin or go too deep. You want a light layer of potato around the shell so it holds its shape.

If you're making a bunch of these, pull out your mixer. If you're making only one or a two, use a fork to mash the potato.

1-2 T Butter and Sour Cream
2-3 T of shredded Cheese~I used Colby Jack Mix
1/4 t Garlic Powder, Pepper and Salt
1/4 t Parsley, Thyme or dill..optional for extra flavor and color

Taste and make sure there is enough salt. Now, you can get fancy and get a pastry bag and stuff these potatoes or you can spoon the mixture back in. I opted for option B.

Wrap up in foil leaving some room for steam to help the cause and make sure it's sealed well. Put on a medium grill for 30 minutes (45 if you are taking them from the fridge) or 350 oven.

OR if you're making a bunch. You can put them on a cookie sheet to bake, turn on the broiler for a minute at the end to crunch up the top.

Cut the top off your slightly cooled potato like this
Hollow out your potato, you don't have to get crazy, it's ok to leave some potato around the edges
Mash up the potato and mix in the good stuff.
Put your stuffing back into the potato. You might have just a bit left over
Seal up tight but leave the foil a little bit tented.
All done and I will admit that it could be prettier with some parsley or paprika but if we're going for taste...these work, I promise

Monday, October 18, 2010

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

I was looking for recipes that seemed like fall to me and found this. I made the "caramel" part and I changed a couple of things to make it easier and the end result was one that everyone enjoyed. Hope you like it too.

2 T Butter
2 Medium sized Granny Smith apples or your favorite..I used Pink Ladies because that is what I had, peeled and cored
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 T Corn Syrup
1 t Lemon Juice
1 C Flour
1 t Baking Powder
1/2 t Salt
3/4 C Sugar
1/4 C Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
6 T Butter, melted
1/2 C Sour Cream
1 t Vanilla

1. FOR THE TOPPING: Spray 9 or 9-inch round, 2-inch-deep nonstick cake pan; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Peel and cut apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices; set aside. Heat butter in skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add apple slices and cook, stirring 2 or 3 times, until apples begin to caramelize, 4 to 6 minutes. (Do not fully cook apples.) Add brown sugar, corn syrup and lemon juice; continue cooking, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and apples are coated, about 1 minute longer. Transfer apple mixture to prepared pan. Set aside while preparing cake.
3. FOR THE CAKE: Mix together sugar, brown sugar, eggs, butter, sour cream and vanilla until combined. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly over fruit. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 45 minutes.
4. Cool cake for about 10 minutes. Invert cake pan onto serving dish. If any fruit sticks to pan bottom, remove and position it on top of cake. Let cake cool 20 minutes (or longer to cool it completely), cut and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

MY FAVORITE Whipped Cream
To make the whipped cream

Small container of Whipped Cream
1 t Vanilla extract

Whip it until it's firming up. Add 3/4 Powdered Sugar and whip until stiff.

Heat some butter
Add your apples
These are looking good
Dump apples into sprayed pan. This is also what your cake batter looks like
After you've flipped it out

Friday, October 15, 2010

Caramel Rolls

I grew up with my Mom making these caramel rolls and I LOVE them. So, yes...another one of Carolyn's recipes is being let out into the masses.

I don't make them as often as she did but I always make them for Christmas morning and a random time or two throughout the year. They are easy so I don't know why, probably because truth be told, I eat too many of them when I do.

What you'll need:

2 loaves of Frozen Bread dough thawed
1 stick Butter plus 1/2 C melted
1 C Brown Sugar plus couple of Tablespoons
1/4 C Light Corn Syrup

We'll make the caramel first. Melt 1 stick butter and 1 C Brown Sugar in a pan. When it's all melted, add your corn syrup. Simmer for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour into a 13x9 cake pan, I also spray the edges with cooking spray so I don't have anything sticking.

You can thaw your bread dough on the counter or overnight in the fridge. I did mine in the fridge so I had to give it about 10 minutes to warm up. We're going to work with one loaf at a time.

Sprinkle your surface with a bit of flour and get some on each side of the dough. Pull and roll your dough into a long rectangle. Pour on 1/4 C melted butter and spread it around. Sprinkle your dough with cinnamon, don't be stingy. Sprinkle with some brown sugar.

You are going to start with the long side of the rectangle and roll. Kind of pulling as you go. You want a nice tight roll. Keep rolling until you have a long tube tube. Cut with serrated knife..cut the end off and put to the side. Continue to cut about an inch thick and place the rolls into the pan. Leave a little breathing room in between because they are going to rise.

Repeat with other loaf.

Cover with Saran wrap and put in the fridge to rise until morning. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. If you want to eat them right away, cover with dish towel and set somewhere warm to rise for about 45-60 minutes.

Let's make the caramel first

When it's bubbly, add corn syrup and let bubble for another minute.

We are going to pretend this is 13x9 cake pan. If you want to use the two round pans like I did, you are only going to use about 1 1/2 loaves of bread.

Get a little flour on each side.

Roll out your dough

Drizzle the butter

Spread the butter around, you can use your hands or you can use a brush

Sprinkle with cinnamon

Sprinkle with brown sugar

Start rolling

Start slicing

Put in the pan, leave some room.

Ready for the oven
Out of the oven

Let them cool for about 5 minutes and put a plate on top and flip

Spoon any caramel back on top of the rolls and serve.