Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Caramel Marshmallow Bites

This was a new addition to our Christmas treat plates this year. I got the idea from Lemons for Lulu, and thought it would be even better using caramels instead of butterscotch chips. The marshmallow takes on a different texture after being dipped in the warm caramel - super yummy!

Small square pretzels
Large marshmallows, cut in half
Kraft caramels, melted, with a little milk added to thin
Dipping chocolate

Dip marshmallows in caramel and place on pretzel. Cool, until caramel hardens, then dip in chocolate.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hatch Chile Potato Casserole

Such a yummy way to use the Hatch chiles from our Bountiful Basket!
-Chowhound, modified
1 medium yellow onion diced
2 Hatch chiles, roasted, skinned and diced (Can use Anaheim chiles if Hatch chiles are unavailable)
2 tablespoons of butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
A pinch of Cayenne pepper
2 pounds of Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
1 cup heavy cream
Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large cast-iron skillet set on medium-low heat, melt two tablespoons of butter and then cook onion and chiles until onions start to brown a bit, about fifteen minutes, stir in garlic. Turn off the heat.

Add spices and diced potatoes to the skillet and mix with the onions and peppers. 

Pour the cream over the potatoes and cover skillet with foil. Bake for one hour.

Remove foil and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Let cool for a couple minutes before serving. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Homemade Ricotta

A couple weeks back I went to make lasagna for dinner and realized I had forgotten to get cottage cheese at the store. Since I didn't want to drag 5 kids out again, I thought I'd try making some ricotta.  I tried this recipe (halving it just in case it didn't work out) and it was super easy and yummy! I didn't have any cheese cloth, so just used a clean tea towel and it worked great- I just had to squeeze the extra liquid out.  I usually don't care for ricotta, but this was great and tasted delicious in our sausage lasagna! The next day, the flavor seemed to have mellowed and improved, so I would recommend making this ahead of time.

-Ina Garten

4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 Tablespoons good white wine vinegar

Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth.

Pour the milk and cream into a stainless-steel or enameled pot such as Le Creuset. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).

Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. (I tend to like mine on the thicker side, but some prefer it moister.) Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining whey. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Our family loves watching the Food Network. I few months back we saw multiple shows that included eggs benedict for breakfast, so we decided to give it a try. I don't know why I was so intimidated - they're actually quite easy if you make the hollandaise in the blender!

Ina Garten

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
4 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pinches of cayenne pepper

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper and cayenne in the jar of a blender. Blend for 15 seconds. With the blender running, slowly pour the hot butter into the blender and blend for 30 seconds, until the sauce is thick. (You can leave it in the blender at room temperature for up to 1 hour. If it is made in advance, add 1 tablespoon hot tap water and blend for a few seconds before serving.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Soft Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cookies

Another winner I found on Pinterest. I used the Special Dark cocoa powder for the chocolate cookies. The chocolate dough is very, very soft and messy, so make sure you chill the dough before forming the cookies and in between batches. I made smaller cookies than the recipe calls for (1 Tbsp. of each dough) and they worked great!

-Sally's Baking Addiction

Chocolate Cookie Dough
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup light brown sugar (or dark brown)
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 Tablespoons milk (almond, cow's, soy, or half-and-half)
    1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    1/2 cup light brown sugar (or dark brown)
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 large egg
    3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

1.     Make the chocolate dough: Cream the butter and sugars together with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly mix it into the wet ingredients. The dough will be very thick. With a spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the milk and then fold in the chocolate chips.
2.     Make the peanut butter dough: Cream the butter and sugars together with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed. Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Scrape down the sides as needed. Slowly mix in the baking soda and flour. Do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
3.     Chill both doughs for at least 1-2 hours. 2 hours is preferred.
4.     Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line cookie sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Measure 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Take 2 Tablespoons of chocolate cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Smoosh the two balls together and roll them into 1 large ball. Repeat for each cookie. The chocolate cookie dough will get onto your hands, so wash/wipe them after you roll each cookie. It is important the chocolate cookie dough is chilled or else it will be even more messy.
5.     Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes, not exceeding 13 minutes. The cookies will look very soft, puffy, and almost undone. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet and they will continue to "bake" and set up. As they cool, the cookies will firm up. Cookies remain fresh (and soft) for up to 10 days in an airtight container.

Red, White & Blue Layered Drinks

Thank you Pinterest for helping us with these fun drinks for our Independence Day lunch. We ran all over town trying to find a drink that would work for our white layer, and in doing so found a new favorite. Have you ever tried a Sobe Coconut Water? Yum! 
Make sure to pour the 2nd and 3rd layers on top of ice so the layers don't mix.

-In Katrina's Kitchen

Ocean Spray - CranApple Juice
Sobe Coconut lifewater
G2 blue Gatorade

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts

Brandon wanted to make doughnuts for our Conference treats, so he and Austin made the dough and then we fried them up and delivered them to neighbors between sessions. I must say they were pretty delicious and much like the spud-nuts my Grandma Pulsipher used to make. 


2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast (4 ½ tsp.)
¼ cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 ½ cups lukewarm milk
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water or as needed (we used milk)

Maple Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. maple flavoring
Slowly add milk until frosting is the desired consistency.

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.

In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double.
Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.

Massaman Curry

I love Thai food and one of my favorite dishes is Massaman Curry. I ran across this recipe on Pinterest and we made a special trip to the Asian market to get some of the ingredients. It was SOO worth it! Yummy!

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast (I used thighs)
3 Tbsp. massaman curry paste (I used ¼ cup)
8 cardamom (I used 1 tsp. ground)
2 sticks cinnamon (I used ½ tsp. ground)
3 whole star anise
6 small/3 large shallots; peeled, quartered if large
2 cans coconut milk
1 cup water
1 ½ Tbsp. fish sauce
2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
½ Tbsp. tamarind paste
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
3-4 Tbsp. peanuts, roasted and unsalted
2 Tbsp. peanut/vegetable oil
Thai basil leaves – a handful, chopped

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
Add 1 tbsp of the oil and the massaman curry paste to the chicken. Mix well, and set aside to marinate.
Heat the remaining oil in a pan.
Once the oil is hot, fry the cinnamon, cardamom and star anise in it for 30 seconds.
Add the shallots and fry until golden-brown.
Then add the chicken, lower the flame and let it cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add coconut milk, fish sauce, water, potatoes, peanuts and half the basil.
Bring the mixture to a boil.
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
If needed, remove the lid and cook until the curry reaches desired thickness.
Check seasoning.
Remove the pan from the flame.
Stir in the tamarind paste, brown sugar and remaining basil.
Serve hot with jasmine rice.