Thursday, July 24, 2014

Banana MILKshake

I don't typically eat bananas. But put them in pudding or a milkshake and I'm sold. I also don't drink milk, but make me a smoothie or milkshake with milk and again, I'm sold.

This one is so simple, I bet you have everything on hand right now! Just put some bananas in the freezer and they'll be frozen in time for you to make this for dessert tonight. 


Serves 1 or 2 (depending on how hungry you are)

1 1/2 frozen bananas
1 c whole milk - whole is better, trust me
2 T malted milk powder
3 T coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
4-5 ice cubes
crushed cookies to top (opt.)

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend well. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It's Garlic diggin' time!

The internet is full of garlic harvest how-to's, when to harvest, what to look for, etc. The idea of digging my garlic up felt a little I was going to be too early, too late....well, turns out, I -think- was juuuuust right!

I found a site that seemed reliable, straightforward and didn't rely on old wives tales to tell me when to harvest my garlic. 
Here's a link about growing garlic
Here's a tutorial on when to harvest your garlic. 
Here's a tutorial on curing and storing your garlic.

Enjoy. Here are a couple pics from my garden!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Another ginger cocktail...Rhubarb Fizz

Rhubarb Fizz!

Rhubarb Fizz  

Originally done by Martha Stewart

8 oz gin (doesn't have to be top shelf....we used middle shelf gin)
1 c Rhubarb Simple Syrup
1/2 c fresh lemon juice
1-2 cans ginger ale
1-2 lemons, cut into rounds

Divide lemon rounds between 6 glasses and fill with ice. Stir together gin, simple syrup, lemon juice and divide evenly between glasses. Finish with a splash (or more, if you like) of ginger ale. 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Challenge accepted. (No sweating required...)

Recently I read an article about ginger beer and ginger ale cocktails at Saveur Magazine. They all looked delicious and I thought it would be fun to try a new one each week this summer. 

Join me!

We made the Pear Haymaker last weekend, and it was a hit. Here's what you'll need:

pears - the riper the better
vodka - we used Absolute Pear Vodka. YUM.
ginger simple syrup (see below)
fresh lemon juice
ginger ale

It's a pretty simple drink, and it goes something like this:** 

Muddle half a very ripe pear into a pint glass. (the link to the muddle video is well worth the watch, and quite entertaining - who knew muddling was such an art!)

2 oz vodka
1/2 oz ginger syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice

Fill the glass with ice and top with a swirl of ginger ale. 

***I 'eyeballed' all the measurements, by the way, but I'm including the amounts from the recipe so you can make it just right!)

Ginger syrup
Grate a bunch of ginger into a saucepan, (a bunch = approx. 1/2 c)
Add 1 c sugar and 1 1/2 c water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain. This will keep in the fridge for at least a couple weeks. (I use it to make ginger lemonade, inspired by Santa Cruz Lemon Ginger Echinacea juice)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Clean out your jam stash because summer is coming...Peach Cake!

Are you like me? Are you a jam-hoarder? It's funny, when peach season comes around, I'm in full force with jam making....but the thing is, I don't eat JAM! So I put it in (and on) a cake!

Enjoy. This one's a keeper. Adapted from The New York Times Dining and Wine recipe. 

Yield: 1 9 x 5 loaf
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 55 min

12 T (1 1/2 sticks) soft butter
3/4 c sugar
3 eggs
1/3 c peach jam
1 T orange zest
1/4 c sour cream
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

1/3 c peach jam
1 T honey

Preheat the oven to 350.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in jam, zest, and sour cream. Sprinkle in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 

Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper and spray that with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan and bake for 50 - 55 min or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. Flip cake onto cooling rack and poke the cake multiple times with the toothpick. This will help distribute the glaze when you pour it over the cake. 

For the glaze: gently heat the jam and honey in the microwave or stove top. You can adjust the proportions here to suit your tastes...I preferred less honey on mine. Pour warm glaze over warm cake and enjoy!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

French Bread

I occasionally sell bread that I make. I've accumulated a small following in Logan, UT and I really enjoy baking and selling every week. This week I made one of my favorites...French Bread. I was surprised to find the recipe link (basically the pages of the cookbook have been scanned...- is that legal?...), but here it is nevertheless! Enjoy and try not to eat an entire loaf in one I did!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Award Winning Salted Caramel Mocha Brownies

Guest Post...Thanks Ashley!

First Place Brownies at the 2014 Chocolate Festival Fundraiser for Planned Parenthood!!!

Salted Caramel Mocha Brownies
These brownies are a really rich, dark brownie with a hint of coffee and a dribble of caramel sauce.
The base brownie recipe is a modification of one of the easiest and most delicious brownie recipes I have ever found. It is my “go-to” brownie recipe and you can find the original recipe here at Smitten Kitchen:

My modified recipe and caramel topping:

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 heaping teaspoon flaky sea salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350F and grease an 8x8 baking pan (or line with foil for extra easy clean-up).  Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large sauce pot over a double boiler, add espresso power to chocolate mixture and stir until well-combined.  Let the chocolate mixture cool just slightly and then mix in sugar. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and sea salt; mix well.  Finally, stir in the flour.  Bake for 20-30 minutes (or until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs).

Cut brownies into squares or hearts like I did for The Chocolate Festival. Bonus: You can eat the scraps if you cut them into hearts. J

Caramel Topping:

Note: If you have a caramel sauce recipe you already use and like, go ahead and use that one. I like this version because there is no gelatin involved, there is just a little bit of corn syrup, and the light brown sugar gives the caramel a really lovely flavor.  Also, I do not add any more salt to the caramel sauce because the brownies are very salty already and sea salt will be used to garnish the brownies at the end.

1 cup heavy cream
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat heavy cream, brown sugar, and corn syrup in a medium sized pot until boil.  Be sure to stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and then you will want to stop stirring and just let the caramel do its thing.  Once the mixture is brought to a boil and the sugar is all dissolved, insert a candy thermometer.  Continue to boil the caramel sauce until the candy thermometer reaches 215F. Heating to 215 will make the caramel sauce soft enough to chew but hard enough to allow you to drizzle it over the brownies. If you want a softer caramel “glaze” remove the caramel mixture from heat closer to 210F or 212F.

Once the caramel mixture reaches 215F (or whatever temperature you decide based on the desired consistency of the caramel sauce), remove from heat and quickly stir in vanilla.  I let the caramel sauce cool just slightly until it began to thicken and then with kitchen mitts (the sauce will still be hot!) and a heavy duty pastry bag, I piped caramel sauce on my heart-shaped brownies in a crisscross pattern.  Any leftover caramel sauce can be stored in the fridge and used to top ice cream! Once decorated with caramel sauce, sprinkle sea salt on top of the brownies and enjoy!