Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Instagram


For anyone that has an iphone and loves to take pics, you have to try this app.  It's called instagram (http://instagr.am/.) Amanda at http://www.kevinandamanda.com/ had it on her site on day and I downloaded it to my phone.  It turns any of the pictures you take with your phone into retro cool works of art.  I am in love with it.  I have only recently started using it, but there is a whole community on instagrammers out there apparently and they have some gorgeous pics.  You can check them out on the web at http://web.stagram.com/.  I don't have many photos yet, but you can see mine at http://followgram.me/the_sweet_chick.  It's quick and easy to use, that is the beauty of it. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Maple Syrup




Maple Syrup..my current weapon of choice.  I have been using it a lot lately in my baking, but the other day I decided to use it in my cooking.  I had some yellow squash that didn't have too much flavor on it's own, so I diced it up with some onions and sauteed it in butter.  Then when the veggies were getting tender I poured on about 1/4 cup of maple syrup and cooked it till all the liquid was gone.  Mmmm... that squash was delicious and even the onions and maple syrup was a good mix.  I think I will have to find more ways to use the syrup.  Fortunately I always have a supply of pure maple syrup that my dad makes every year.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Sweet Pea



My daughter is definitely one of a kind.  The other day when I asked her to go get a hair clip so that she can help me with the cupcake pops, she came back looking like this.  I think the feather boa is a bit much for working in the kitchen, but who am I to judge.  The day before her father let her wear a rainbow colored lei around her neck and a pink lei around her head to go to the dentist.  I am usually opposed to "unique" dressing when going out in public, but my husband told me to let her be a kid, so I did.  She had fun with it.  Who knows, maybe one day she will be a fashion designer. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Emergency Brownies

We are bracing ourselves for Hurricane Irene.  As part of the preparations for staying safe and retreating to the basement, I baked a batch of brownies yesterday.  A sweet treat will be welcomed if things get bad, especially if we lose power.  I hope everyone stays safe.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cupcake Pops



Okay, time to make the cupcake pops.  I have my candy melt, lollipop sticks, Lindt chocolate bar (to make the chocolate candy melt taste better), mini M & M's, rainbow sprinkles, and a foam covered in foil to hold the pops.



First I dipped the bottom of the frozen cupcake pops in chocolate and stuck the lollipop stick in them.  I remember reading that the easier way to set them is to use an egg crate.  I cleaned out a plastic egg crate and it worked perfect.  I put the pops back in the fridge until they set.




Then it was time to dip the tops in pink candy melt and decorate.  Not too bad for my first attempt.  My daughter and husband taste tested them and both concurred that they were a hit.  And the best part is that they were quite easy to make.  Thank you Cathy for buying that cute little cupcake mold!




Friday, August 26, 2011

My Little Cupcake



My friend bought me this cute little mold a while ago and I have been meaning to try it out.  It's to make cupcake pops like http://www.bakerella.com/.  It's supposed to be super easy.  I chopped up a package of Oreos in the food processor and mixed it with 8 oz of cream cheese. Then I took the batter and placed it in the mold and squeezed it together.  Voila!




Looks good so far.  I put the batch in the freezer overnight.  Tomorrow I will work on dipping them in candy melt and decorating them.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Help



Ok it's not a dessert, but it's still a sweet treat for me.  I bought a new book to read for the weekend.  Everyone keeps raving about it, so I can't wait to get started.  Hopefully I will be able read some Saturday while the kids are taking a nap. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Biscoff Spread



Okay I had to find out what all the fuss was about.  http://picky-palate.com/  and http://www.kevinandamanda.com/  have been talking about this Biscoff Spread for a while and I had never heard of it.  So yesterday I was at the grocery store and spotted the jar next to the peanut butter and jelly.  I splurged and bought it.  (it's not cheap).  Today I opened the jar and scooped some up in a spoon and had a little taste.  It is quite good.  I would say better than peanut butter.  I could see using it in recipes.  Picky palate has one for White Chocolate Biscoff blondies and I know I saw a recipe for Biscoff Pancakes.  I still think Nutella is heaven in a jar, but Biscoff could come in second place.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

I found this recipe in the Tasty Kitchen Blog on The Pioneer Woman's site.  This recipe is for 1 person.  It yields 4 pancakes.  I think 2 pancakes it plenty for one person, but feel free to double the recipe if you want.  I tripled it for the 4 of us and we still had leftovers.



Zucchini Bread Pancakes for One


1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
tiny pinch ground nutmeg
tiny pinch salt
1 egg white
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk, well shaken
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup zucchini, wrapped in kitchen towel and wrung out to remove excess moisture
1 tbsp chopped walnuts, optional
1 tbsp chocolate chips
canola oil cooking spray
pure maple syrup


In medium bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients (flour through salt).  In large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.  Stir in the shredded zucchini.  Stir dry ingredients into the wet just until moistened.  Fold in the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips.  Set aside the rest.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium/medium low heat.  Coat with cooking spray.  When hot, spoon batter into skillet by the 1/4 cupful.  When bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the batter, the pancakes are ready to be flipped.  Flip pancakes and let cook for another minute or so, or until golden brown.  Serve with maple syrup.



I am not usually excited by pancakes, but boy were these delish.  I will definitely make them again.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chocolate Marshmallow Meltaways



Found this recipe in Parents Magazine.  If you like smores, you love these.  The best part is that they are no bake.  So if you feel like having something sweet on a hot summer day, these are perfect

Chocolate Marshmallow Meltaways

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
7 oz. marshmallow cream
nonstick cooking spray
chocolate syrup

In a large bowl, mix the crumbs, peanut butter, maple syrup, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Shape into 24 1 1/4 in. balls and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or tray as you shape.  Use a fork to flatten and make crisscross design on each ball.

Before serving, spoon 1/2 tsp marshmallow on each cookie.  Coat the spoon with nonstick spray to make it easier.  Then drizzle the cookies with chocolate syrup.


They were pretty simple to make.  Instead of chocolate syrup I melted a bar of dark Ghiradelli chocolate.  Much better!  I did keep them in the fridge so they wouldn't melt.  Not that they lasted very long anyway.  They were very addictive.  If you have kids this is a great recipe for them to help you out with.  My 5yr old helped me shape all the balls and flatten them out.  She also helped me eat them.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chocolate




So cute and so good.  A family member visiting from Spain brought these and other goodies.





Went to IKEA today to buy some things for the house and grabbed a bar of chocolate.  I love their chocolate. Dark and rich. 


Saturday, August 20, 2011

mmmmm...cookies!

I think next time I have to put more raisins, but they are still yummy.




Zucchini Cookies



Shredded some more zucchini today.  Busy making cookies.




Zucchini Cookies

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs beaten
2 cups grated zucchini, with skin on
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 tsp. salt
4 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins

Cream together sugar and butter.  Add eggs, zucchini, vanilla.  Mix together dry ingredients and add a little at a time to wet mixture.  Drop by tsp. onto greased cookie sheets.  Bake 350 degrees 10-12min.  Makes about 6 dozen

Okay I couldn't resist, I substituted 1/2 cup of sugar for 1/2 cup of maple syrup.  The cookies came out fluffy and delicious.





Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

I found this recipe on Epicurious.com with a recipe for Carrot Cake, but I decided to put it on my Zucchini Cupcakes

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

10oz. cream cheese
5 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar and beat at low speed until well blended.  Beat in maple syrup.  Chill until just firm enough to spread, 30min.


I only had 8 oz. of cream cheese so I just added the whole stick of butter to compensate and it came out very yummy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Zucchini Recipes



Found another recipe I need to try...Zucchini Cookies!  I have to use up all the zucchini I was given.  We will see how they turn out.  My mom found this recipe with version of Zucchini Bread that she makes, however I used a different version I found in her stash of old recipes.  By the way I typed all these old recipes back when I was younger on a typewriter.  Remember those things?  When I started typing them, it was on a children's typewriter.  Then later on my parents bought an electric typewriter.  It had a correction tape to fix all your mistakes so you didn't have to make a mess with the liquid white-out.  We thought that was advanced at the time.  ahhh..nostalgia!

Anyway, here is the recipe that I used for my zucchini cupcakes the other day:

Zucchini Nut Bread

4 eggs
3/4 tsp. baking powder
2 cups sugar
2 cups zucchini (shredded)
1 cup oil
1 cup chopped nuts
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup raisins
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Mix the eggs.  Add the sugar and oil.  Mix well.  Mix together the dry ingredients.  Add the egg mixture and the zucchini a little at a time to the dry ingredients.  Add the raisins and the nuts.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55 min.

Of course, I was in too much of a rush to make the cupcakes, that I forgot to check the pantry for all the ingredients.  I only had one cup of sugar, so I substituted 3/4 cup of my dad's maple syrup in place of the second cup of sugar.  I also didn't have nuts or raisins, so I just left them out.  Since I was making cupcakes instead of a bread I decreased the baking time to about 20 min.  All in all it worked out well.  They came out tasty.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Helper



My daughter always likes to help out when I bake.  Not only to lick the bowl afterwards, but also to help decorate.  My husband found this cupcake decorator kit for kids in the clearance section at Target for $5.oo.  Well, she loved it.  And it actually works.  Now she can decorate cupcakes just like her mommy.  Of course mommy still has to clean up afterwards.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cupcakes

I have been obsessed with cupcakes recently.  Must be all the shows I have been watching (Cupcake Wars, DC Cupcakes, Cupcake Girls).  The other night at 9pm I just had to make cupcakes.  Someone at work brought in a huge zucchini fresh from their garden.  I took it home and searched for my mom's zucchini bread recipe.  But instead of loaves I made zucchini cupcakes with a maple cream cheese frosting.  Of course I used my dad's homemade maple syrup for the frosting.  And since I didn't have enough sugar on hand for the recipe, I subbed in the maple syrup in the cupcakes too.  They turned out sooo yummy.  I took them to the office the next day and tested them out on my guinea pigs...I mean coworkers.  Everyone loved them.
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