Saturday, March 29, 2014

CUPCAKE EDIBLE IMAGES



Those of you who follow this blog know I volunteer for Alzheimer's Idaho (local grassroots organization) and one of the things I do on a monthly basis, is make the dessert for their support group meeting.  Decided to try something new this month and made Vanilla princess cupcakes with buttercream frosting and the edible sugar wafer with the AI logo. The edible images are very easy to use and I found a source that was very reasonable for this custom work and shipped the order quickly.  There is a link for you at the bottom of the post under "Resource."
 I instinctively knew that they would work best on a flat surface so I baked the cupcakes in my favorite cupcake paper made by Paper Eskimo.  They are more expensive but so worth the cost as there is never any bleed through the paper and you can hold each little cup as you fill so you never get any batter on the baking tin.  Love them!
 While the 24 cupcakes were cooling two batches of ice cream were whirling away.
 Made a quick label for the ice cream and after finishing the buttercream and then frosting the cupcakes, adding the sugar wafer, finished and ready for delivery.
One day last week I was surprised to have a package in the mail from my oldest son and his wife and inside were three different types of their homemade vanilla.  Aren't they clever? I love the label (great job by my DIL) and the special and very professional bottle but most of all the contents.  Eager to use I decided to make my ice cream for tonight, vanilla bean with spiced rum vanilla, yum! I have invited them to do a guest post on the blog and if they take me up on the offer I will share the recipes and techniques needed to make theses adorable little bottles.

Cupcake Recipe

Vanilla Princess Cupcakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 box mix Duncan Hines yellow cake mix (not the pudding one)
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted butter, NOT margarine
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 T Princess Bakery Emulsion
  • 2 t Vanilla Bean Paste
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  2. Add cake mix, eggs and water to the butter in large bowl.
  3. Mix on low for 1 min. Then mix on high for 1 min.
  4. Fill cupcake papers
  5. Pop them in the oven on 350 for 20 minutes.
  6. Let cool before frosting
Ice Cream Recipe

Vanilla Spiced Rum Ice Cream 
Ingredients 
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/8 cups granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream 
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon rum spice vanilla
Instructions In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes.Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving
Butter Cream Frosting

Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
  • 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.
Resource

Edible cupcake images, http://www.sweetexpressimages.com
Vanilla bean pasteMadagascar Vanilla Bean Paste, 4 fl. oz.
Princess bakery emulsionPrincess Cake and Cookie Flavor, Bakery Emulsion

Draw programCorelDRAW Home and Student Suite X6 - 3 Users
Paper Eskimo Baking CupsPaper Eskimo 25-Pack Baking Cups, Carnival
Ice cream containersReditainer 32 oz. Deli Food Containers w/ Lids - Pack of 24 - Food Storage

The above are links but wanted to let you know that both the Princess Emulsion and the Vanilla Bean Paste are both available at specialty stores and at larger Walmart stores.












 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

MICKEY MOUSE COOKIES

On my last blog post I did Hello Kitty cookies for my granddaughter and so I wanted to try the new (2) piece Mickey Mouse cutter and make cookies for her brothers.  I decided to make sugar cookies instead of the shortbread recipe that I used for the Hello Kitty cookies.
 Using a tried and true sugar cookie recipe I rolled out the cookies and cut them out using the outline cutter.


Sugar Cookies

2 cups AP Flour, plus Wondra flour for dusting the dough while rolling

1/2 t baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter (1stick) room temp 

1 cup granulated sugar, I prefer the super fine but regular is OK

1 large egg (room temp, always when baking)

1 tsp vanilla extract



In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture, beat until combined.  Divide dough in half, flatten into disks.  Wrap each in plastic, chill until firm, at least 20 minutes. Because I wanted to hold their shape I cooked them in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes, checked them and turned the pan around for even baking and let them cook five minutes more so they were done but not brown around the edges.
 Out of the oven, they looked pretty good and held their shape pretty good too.  Next time I might want to put them in the fridge for about 10 minutes before putting in the oven.
Onto the rack to cool.  These are not as fragile as the shortbread so I did not lose any of the cookies to breakage.After the cookies cooled I made some buttercream frosting and rolled out fondant.  Using the shape cutter and the embossing cutter cut out the mouse and adhere to the cookie with some buttercream dots on the back.

Truth in advertising.  I hate commercial fondant but love the way it looks and what you can do with this product.  I have had fondant made by a high-end bakery that uses marshmallow cream that was good but most of it is like rolled rubber to me.  My intention was to share an easy fondant recipe with you that you can make at home and that tastes good.  I tried a recipe that uses powdered milk, fine grained sugar and coconut milk.  Did not work and I hated the taste.  I remembered that I did have some fondant on hand so I went ahead and rolled some out and cut out Mickey and adhered him with buttercream.  I did not however put the fondant on all the cookies, just a few, as I want the little guys to enjoy them so I just frosted them with buttercream.  Hubby says they are great (he is my tester).  Will keep trying and when I find a recipe that is easy to make and tastes good, I will do a post. Or if anyone out there has a good recipe for tasty fondant please email it to me and I will try and do a post.

Resource & Links

Mickey (2) Piece Cookie Cutter  Mickey Mouse Cookie Cutter
Fondant, Wilton at grocery and specialty stores

Thank you for stopping by.




Tuesday, March 25, 2014

HELLO KITTY COOKIES

My sweet granddaughter (along with her sweet brothers) is off this week for spring break and I have been wanting to try this recipe and the embossing cookie cutters so thought I would make these today and then do the boys another day and take to them as a treat.
Simple recipe but with some unusual ingredients for what is essentially a short bread cookie.

Recipe:

Ingredients:
125g Butter (room temperature), approx 1 cube, maybe a little more but I just used a cube
50g Icing sugar
125g Plain / All-purpose flour
75g Potato starch
50g milled cereal – we used cornflakes
Heart shaped decoration sugar (large)
Round shaped decoration sugar (small)
Method:
Preheat oven to 130-140 degree C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 260 degree oven
Combine Butter and icing sugar in a large bowl, mix well.
Add in sieved plain flour, potato starch and milled cereal. Mix again.
Pour onto tabletop, knead with your palms to form a dough.
Roll out the dough to ¼” thick, use Hello Kitty shape cookie cutters to make cut outs. Arrange the cut outs on the lined baking sheet, 1” apart.
Place the large heart shape decoration sugar on as the ribbon and some round decoration sugar as the eyes and nose.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes till cooked through. Cool on a wire racks. Store in airtight container when cooled completely.

This is exactly the recipe I was given, do NOT vary.  I used my measure that has ml on the side for the grams. I think this recipe is from a Malaysian cookbook.
 You can purchase corn flake crumbs but I just put corn flakes into my small Cuisinart and they turned out perfect.
I used Wondra to keep the sticky dough from sticking and tried the two part cookie cutter and loved it.  You can also use it for fondant decorations. Little red hearts for the bow and bb size black pearls for the eyes.
I used a Simpat mat instead of parchment and it worked great. Dough wrapped in Saran wrap.
Ready for the oven and the exact yield as the recipe states.

Cook's notes:

Do measure as exactly as possible

Do use the ingredients as written, potato flour is NOT the same as potato starch and will not work, if you cannot find the starch at your grocery go to health foods store - mine was Bob's Red Mill brand.

Do not use regular sugar, use powdered sugar.

Do cut out cookies and re-roll the scraps, does not get gluteny.

Do bake "low & slow" if you tried to do otherwise you might get kitty blobs, not good defined cookies, low and slow ensures that you will get a white face on your kitty.

Do cut the cookie with the open cutter and leave it on the dough then press inside with the embossing part but not so hard as to go through the dough.

Do dip your embossing cutter in a little Wondra each time and it will not stick - if it sticks you are pressing too hard.

Do put the tray of unbaked cookies in the fridge for about 20 minutes before baking, this will also help with definition.

Do be very careful with the hot cookies when you move them to the rack, let them cool for a bit because they are, after all, short bread, and that means they are fragile, especially when they are hot.

Seems like a lot of "do's" but the end results are worth the trouble and I think after the first time, much easier.

Resource & Links:

 Hello Kitty Cookie Cutter
CK Products Sugar Pearls - Black
Confetti Jumbo Red Hearts 2.8 oz. CONJRH 
 Gingham Heart Plate, from my stash, from Big Lot's a long, long time ago.



Recipe source, Craft Passion

Thank you for stopping by.







Friday, March 21, 2014

HAWAII TRIP TIPS

We recently returned from a two week Hawaiian vacation and I knew I would do a blog post but did not just want to post beautiful (but probably boring to others) photos taken on the trip.  As we were finding our way around Oahu (we spent the entire time on Oahu) and finding things to do I decided that perhaps just sharing some things that we found to be good tips and suggestions might be the best post.  We had not been to Hawaii in many years and not been to Oahu for more years than that.  Besides the growth which one can argue good or bad, the other thing that we noticed is that because of this growth and more business that the difference paid for goods and services in Hawaii vs the mainland has narrowed considerably. Good news for the tourists!

Before my first trip to the islands in the early 80's my sister gave me some good tips and one of them was that to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center it is a must for the first time visitor - she said something like "everyone needs to go once." We decided to go back and my oh my what great changes they have made.  Their mission is to teach about all the cultures across Polynesia (a living museum) not just the Hawaiian.  Tip: It's on the North Shore so plan on making a day of it, wear comfortable shoes and be sure and stay for the evening show (wonderful).  Book your tickets 10 days in advance online and save 15%. We had the prime rib dinner and I think if I had it to do over I would opt for the buffet.
You might want to combine a trip to Waimea Valley Botanical Garden on the day you go to the Cultural Center as they are both on the North Shore. Plan on arriving at the Cultural Center right after lunch.  I took these photos of just some random beautiful plants and then at Waimea Falls.  Open daily from 9:00 to 5:00 and located at 59-864 Kamehameha Highway, Hale'iwa. Adults $15, children and seniors $7.50. They do have a limited food menu in a walk-up window but for me if you are on the North Shore go find a shrimp truck.  Tip: Quite a way back to the falls but for for $4 (round trip $6) you can take a golf cart ride.  If you have the time ride back to the falls and then take your time walking back.


We were very fortunate to be in Honolulu at the very end of The Lion King run. The Blaisdell concert hall is in downtown Honolulu and just going there you will see many Honolulu icons, it is very near the most famous statue of King Kamehameha  in the front of the Hawaii State Supreme Court which is across the street from the Iolani Palace the residence of the last two Hawaiian monarchs and the only Royal Palace on American soil. Dress is as you would guess, casual (at least for the matinee) and lots of vendors selling reasonable snacks which you can take into the theater and the seats are very comfortable. A real electric mix of entertainment goes on here from Broadway plays, opera, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra to Bruno Mars (home state boy) and the Harlem Globetrotters. Tip: Easy to purchase tickets after you arrive the ticket booth is just around the corner from the Blaisell at 777 Ward Avenue.  Blaisdell Concert Hall address is the same.


Truth in advertising here....this is my best shopping tip if you have not been here.  Doing research before the trip the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet kept coming up as a place to visit. It is easy to find (using the freeway) and you can't miss it when you get near - BIG stadium - if you are not a football fan the University of Hawaii plays here and the Pro Bowl is held here each year. The Swap Meet is held each Wed-Fri-Sat 8:00-3:00 and the admission is $1.00 per person and no charge for parking.  The vendors are not in the stadium but all around the stadium.  Even though we went three times I saw only a fraction of the booths.  I was looking for gifts to take home and fabric and maybe, just maybe a hand quilted item.
 First day I found fabric - 100% cotton fabric and I visited two different vendors and paid $4 and $4.50 a yard for this beautiful fabric. They had much more of cotton/poly if you would be interested in that fabric.
 Here is a view of the cotton fabrics in one booth. She does have a website (on card) but only sells fabric at this booth and in the store itself.
I think my heart skipped a beat (the thrill of the hunt) when I came upon the vendor with the hand quilted items. I fell in love with Hawaiian quilts the first time I went to Hawaii.  It is a true craft and the applique patterns are so beautiful and are evocative of Hawaiian items like breadfruit, etc.  They (as they should be) are extremely expensive as they are works of art. I spoke to the vendor and she advised that they are made in the Philippines and that the vendor's company provides them with the 100% cotton fabrics and the Hawaiian quilt patterns. These two items pictured are pillow covers and I have two different ones of the brown and white and will frame for my laundry room (will be a post I am sure as we are adding some bead board to the laundry room). This vendor had quilts, purses, runners, etc. The pillow covers were $9 each and sell at her Ebay store for 2/$49.50.  Purses (I bought three for gifts) were $18 and I saw them elsewhere for $50.
 There were vendors with backpacks, umbrellas, tee shirts and everything else you can think of - all the same things that you see from the expensive hotels to ABC stores and tourist shops but all at a very reduced prices.  I am sure I missed a great deal of items but I went to purchase items to take home as gifts and fabric and I was happy-happy. Stadium address: 99-500 Salt Lake Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96818. Tip: Be sure and go here if you are a bargain hunter!

We were in Hawaii celebrating a big anniversary and we have a history of my dear husband buying me a plumeria lei when we have visited Hawaii in the past.  It was very important to him that for our anniversary (I was so touched) that I have a "special" lei.  We stopped at a florist shop in the downtown area and he asked where to go to get a fine lei and he was told where to go and we went there and ordered and told her our anniversary was that Friday and she said "come back Friday afternoon, I will wait and make the lei after lunch so it will be fresh." This photo does not do the lei justice (and sadly you cannot smell the fragrant plumeria) it was a double lei and so beautiful.  The cost? $25, including taxSingle leis are available in many places at prices ranging from $10-$30 but this was so special. Tip: Cindy's Lei & Flower Shoppe, 1034 Maunakea St., Chinatown, Honolulu, 808-536-6538, website: www.cindysleishoppe.com. Parking is a problem so probably best to let someone out to make purchase, drive around the block and pick them up again.
We learned many years ago that for us anyway, that eating where the locals eat was what we liked.  Not only is the food fabulous but it is also much less expensive.  We search out the lunch plate which typically will consist of either chicken, pork or fish with (2) scoops of white rice and a scoop of macaroni salad or if you want Spam (we NEVER want) which the Hawaiians love so much. Cost varies depending what you have but about $8-$12 range and if you are near your condo (to take back to room) or have a fridge in your hotel room, we always had leftovers as the portions are very generous.  The North Shore is famous for it's shrimp trucks and a little messy but so good. Costco, Safeway, etc. have found a home in Honolulu. We had lunch at IchiBen in Pearl City and they had a seasoning that I loved and I inquired and was told to go to Don Quijote (pronounced like Don Quixote) grocery to find this item.  The prices were much less than Safeway and it was a little bit like Japanese grocery meets American grocery meets variety store. Found Kauai Kookies there for $2.50 and we ALWAYS bring Kauai Kookies home for gifts. They are $3.50 or more elsewhere. We also went to a Farmer's Market and had dinner and bought beautiful papayas and limes for breakfast. Speaking of breakfast we found Saint-Germain Bakery at 1930 Dillingham Blvd., Honolulu. Nice bakery, you enter and get a tray & put down a little sheet of bakery paper and get a tong from the tong stand and help yourself. Lovely savories first and then the sweets, then the breads. I purchased a few things and then at the check out I look down and, be still my heart, was a container of that luscious, given to us by those butter-loving Breton's, my favorite, hard-to-find, the queen of all pastries the KOUIGN-AMANN! No pun intended!  They were only $1.75 each and when put into a hot oven to warm them (while they still remained crispy) they were so good.  Smaller than most and still good. But for my money the BEST Kouign-Amann is at the Les Madeleine's Bakery in Salt Lake City and she ships. Williams-Sonoma also ships a product that you bake at home and they are good but the best are in Salt Lake City. With the exception of anniversary dinner at Ruth's Chris in Honolulu we ate all meals in the condo or local.  Our first and last dinner was at Uncle Bo's - ignore how it looks (inside is very nice and bigger than it looks from the outside) - wonderful food, great service and very reasonable.  Hawaii as long as I have been going there has been known for delicious hors d'oeuveres, called Pupus. Two or three of these are a meal. Spicy Uncle Bo's Dynamite Shrimp in Honolulu town ($9) gives Bonefish Grill's Bang-bang shrimp ($11.20) a run for their money.  To my way of thinking fresh shrimp is so succulent compared to shrimp that has been frozen.  Everything we had at Uncle Bo's both times was just delicious and very reasonable. Parking is across the street (have to pay) or there is a lot right beside the restaurant (pay there too). Uncle Bo's only open at night open 5:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. Here is a quote from a newspaper: "Uncle Bo's may be part American bistro, part local-Asian bar and grill, part neighborhood watering hole, part city café, but somehow it all works..." Tip: Make reservations, 808-735-8311. Eat local, buy local produce, enjoy.

A fine surprise....

 Coincidentally at this last meal at Uncle Bo's we had the same waitress that we had our first night. When she brought the check she said something like - weren't you here a couple of weeks ago? We told her yes, that that night had been our first night and this was our last night - as my hubby was taking care of the check (we did not order dessert) she came with this complimentary plate of yum! Taro beignet's (watch out Cafe Du Monde in NOLA) with vanilla  ice cream and lemon sauce. You guessed it - we decided we did want dessert and this was heavenly!


Last and final tip:  My Faye Bud asked that I stop by a Starbucks and get her a rechargeable Hawaii card. Since you can transfer from other cards and recharge this one, great idea Faye. So I picked up one for her, myself and my DIL's.  I was told by the girl behind the counter very popular item. Just a little aloha memory every time you use your Hawaii card back home on the mainland.


Links:



Mahalo for stopping by.






Wednesday, March 19, 2014

EASTER WREATH

Yesterday I was shopping at a local design/import store and as I entered the store the most beautiful spring wreath caught my eye - at close inspection they had stacked (3) different wreaths one on top of the other, starting with a curly willow wreath.  When added all together the cost was over $200 and I decided I could do much better than that!

 The curly willow wreath at the design store was $49.99 so I opted to pick up a twig wreath at Hobby Lobby for $15.99 and used my 40% off coupon.  The other wreath is from a local craft store and was about the same cost.  Using twist ties (from storage bags) after adding greenery to the moss wreath, I tied them together.
Next I added picks from the $ store and finally a bow and some star garland.  Ready to hang.
I have never done a "double" wreath before and love how substantial, while still having a delicate texture look, the double wreath attains.  I will still be on the look out for that curly willow wreath on sale for my spring wreath, after the Easter one comes down.

Resource

Moss wreath, hobby store
Twig wreath, Hobby Lobby
Silk flowers and egg picks, Dollar Tree
Twist ties, from carton of storage bags
Greenery, ivy, from Dollar Tree
Greenery, Boxwood, Hobby Lobby
Ribbon, Costco
Star Garland, Michael's

Thank you for stopping by.

 







 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ST. PADDY'S DAY IS IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR

Well St. Paddy's Day 2014 is in the can.  Now for a little truth in advertising.  I was attempting to make it a more healthy dinner by making sure that the corned beef was trimmed of all fat before serving, making a lower calorie and lower fat dessert and using a Dr. Oz recipe for the leek soup.  It was a wonderful dinner with one glaring exception - my Grandma always told me if I could not say something nice to not say anything at all.....therefore just let me say that next St. Paddy's Day I will go back to my old leek soup recipe and say for one day of the year I will not worry about healthy.
 I think I mentioned before that Sally Lunn bread is a sure thing in the bread department and the easiest yeast bread to make as you do not have to knead this bread.  It turned out perfect and filled the kitchen with that wonderful homemade bread smell.  The other bread that I make that is super easy is Armenian Peda bread and as soon as the barbeque gets fired up again we will make Peda burgers and I will post the recipe of this easy and oh-so-good bread.
 Homemade horseradish sauce with corned beef is really the icing on the cake and this is such good sauce.  I guess I should mention something about my cooking.  When I bake I am diligent about accurate measuring but if it is not baking for me all bets are off and any recipe I consider a "suggestion" and I tend to add this and that and make changes as I please.  I tried that with the Dr. Oz soup and no amount of kitchen magic could salvage the soup, not even my secret ingredient, which is Green Tabasco sauce, not the red (I use it too but not in this way) but the mild green sauce can give a flat sauce, soup or stew just the little richness that is needed, not too much just a little, if you did not know it was added you would not know it was there.  This horsey sauce calls for Dijon but if you look closely at the photo above you can see the grains - I only use Edmond Fallot Dijon or his grainy mustard and I substituted the grainy in this recipe, just like it better.

New England boiled dinner, so good for St. Paddy's Day. While on a recent vacation Trader Joe's opened their first store in Idaho (woohoo) and so I moseyed in for a few things including my corned beef.  This was the first time I had ever cooked corned beef that was not cured - this was fresh.  Well, I have to say the best corned beef we have ever had, hands down.  It was so tender and the flavor was wonderful, just enough seasoning and was not salty at all, just right.  Thank you Trader Joe's!

The best part, dessert.  The little individual raspberry trifles turned out perfect and the recipe makes either (2) big ones (we shared one and put the other in the freezer for another time) or (4) small ones.  Great  recipe.

All the recipes are on a previous post.

Thank you for stopping by.


Monday, March 10, 2014

ST. PATRICK'S DAY MENU

 
New England Boiled Dinner

New England boiled dinner is a classic dish to serve on St. Paddy's Day.  I first made this as a young bride.  I worked at a company in Sacramento, CA that made the most delicious corned beef and so when the first St. Paddy's Day arrived I brought home some corned been and turned to my 1955 edition of "Big Red" as it is known in the industry, Betty Crocker cookbook to see how to fix this yummy dinner.  My husband had come from a family who liked to eat  cabbage and turnips and me not so much. I remember he was thrilled that I had made this for him.  This dish made me love both of those vegetables. Since this is a one pot meal it really is quite easy.  I always try and find corned beef in the bag that has already been seasoned and follow their instructions for cooking.  About mid-way through the cooking of the corned been taste the broth and if it is too salty, pour out the broth and put in fresh water.  Sometimes it can be way too salty. At this time add the carrots and potatoes.  After 30 minutes add the cabbage, after 15 or so minutes when the cabbage is done the other veggies will be done too. Some people like to add onion as well as caraway seeds.  We happen to like parsnips so I will add them when I add the carrots and potatoes. When it is done scrape off the fat and cut the meat across the grain and serve slices of the corned beef with the veggies. I like to serve it with a creamy horseradish sauce.

Heart-Healthy Potato Leek Soup

Makes 2 servings

2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium leek, white part only, washed and diced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped, I use 1 tsp
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped, I use chopped parsley
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp canola oil
salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions
In a saucepan add the canola oil. Under medium heat, sauté the potatoes for 3 minutes. Add the leek and stir together. Do not burn. Cook for 8 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and stir for about 2 minutes. De-glaze with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Set aside to cool down.

Pour mixture into a blender and mix. Sieve mixture and transfer back into the saucepan. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Adjust seasonings and serve immediately. Garnish with diced cilantro and drizzle with the olive oil. Enjoy!


Creamy Horseradish Sauce


1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks                                   
peaks
1 pinch white sugar, or to taste
salt and black pepper to taste





Stir the mayonnaise, horseradish, and Dijon mustard in a bowl until evenly combined. Fold in the whipped cream, then season to taste with sugar (I use artificial sweetener), salt, and pepper. This is great with prime rib too.

Sally Lunn Bread 

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter,
  • sugar, salt, eggs and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in
  • enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

  • Do not knead. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the
  • top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

  • Stir the dough down. Spoon into a greased and floured 10-in. tube
  • pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

  • Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from
  • pan to a wire rack to cool.
This is such an easy homemade bread and only takes a few minutes to make.  My boys grew up with this bread served with homemade soup on cold nights in Pioneer, CA!

Individual Raspberry Trifle
This is a recipe that I just sort of wing it - to make a much lighter version of a classic trifle -
Instead of pound cake I use crushed graham crackers and instead of whipped cream low fat Cool Whip.

12 Graham crackers, crushed
1 tablespoon of butter
8 oz reduced fat, softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sugar replacement
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of frozen raspberries, drained in a colander 
small carton of Cool Whip

Melt the butter and add it to the crushed graham crackers, to the cream cheese add the sugar and sugar replacement and the vanilla, mix together and gently fold in half the Cool Whip and the  raspberries.

To assemble start with graham cracker crust, then the raspberry mixture, Cool Whip, repeat. Since it is St. Paddy's Day I will probably put some green food coloring in the half of Cool Whip that is layered in the dessert. Put in the fridge until ready to serve.

Irish Coffee

Ingredients

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 jigger Irish whiskey (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons)
Heavy cream, slightly whipped

Directions

Fill footed mug or a mug with hot water to preheat it, then empty. Pour piping hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish whiskey. Top with a collar of the whipped heavy cream by pouring gently over back of spoon. Serve hot.

Note: Some bars in the East will run The Quite Man continually on St. Paddy's Day - it can be rented for $2.99 on Amazon for streaming to your Smart TV or other device.  Just a thought!

Recipe Resource

Healthy Leek Soup, Dr. Oz
Sally Lunn Bread, Taste of Home
Irish Coffee, Food Network from the Four Seasons in Dublin, Ireland

The other two recipes are from my recipe collection

Thank you for stopping by.