I can never say no to baking books of any kind, especially when they are filled with chocolate, fruit and cinnamon in the form of cookies, breads and cakes. The Holiday Kosher Baker: Traditional & Contemporary Holiday Desserts by Paula Shoyer is just such a book. It takes the reader through the year of big Jewish holidays and all of the wonderful sweets and baked goods that go along with them.
My family loves pie, but it’s gotten to be a bit of a chore for me to turn on the oven. You know, summer, heat, discomfort; I don’t care to mix the oven with the weather at all. However, once in a while, a storm blows through and the temperature doesn’t get up to the 90s. Then, I hurry to the kitchen and turn on the oven. After all, we might freeze with the AC cranked up and the wind howling outside. This last storm resulted in a Chocolate Cream Pie for the fam.
It’s Improv Cooking Challenge time again. I missed last month because I was on vacation sans computer or anything internet oriented. It was a glorious ten days of unplugging which gave me a chance to recharge and reorganize my life. I am back and rolling with this month’s theme, which is Peanuts and Popcorn. It’s summer, with baseball games and all that those bring, including the famous 7th inning stretch and the song “take me out to the ball game.” Well, I won’t be buying any peanuts and cracker jack, but these Chocolate Popcorn Squares, have peanut butter and popcorn in them, so it will do for the Improv.
When life gets busy, I often turn to baking mixes. There isn’t much quicker than a batch of brownies. Except, they get boring, says the lady who doesn’t even eat them. I hate making the same thing over and over again. So I add a little zip and zing. Sometimes I add chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate frosting. Sometimes I add chopped up candy bars. This time, I made them into chocolate cheesecake brownies.
With the number of school days left down to single digits, my efforts are focused not on making fancy gourmet dinners, but on just getting through. Luckily, I was asked to review Dairy Made Easy: Triple-Tested Recipes for Every Day which is full of easy, delicious meal ideas. For this review, I chose to make Sundae Pops, which have quickly become one of my favorite desserts to serve my family. Continue reading
This is one of those super easy candy recipes that anyone, even the most inexperienced candy makers, can make. Triple Delight Chocolate Marshmallow Squares are perfect for holiday plates and parties. Continue reading
These are so addictive! It’s a good thing that the recipe only makes one serving.
- 1½ Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- ¼ cup hazelnut flour
- ⅛ tsp vanilla
- pinch salt
- 1 Tbsp chocolate chips (I used unsweetened chocolate)
- Combine all of the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.
- Cook on high for 1 minute.
- Let sit for a few minutes to cool down.
- If you want the finished product to look better, stir in one bowl and cook in another.
It’s time for the monthly Improv Cooking Challenge! This month our theme was “Ebony and Ivory.” Bloggers all over the world were cursed with Paul McCartney’s voice singing in their brains while they mixed and stirred and baked. Continue reading
I am doing the happy dance this month because it’s Blueberry Season here in Florida! There is always something wonderful in season in this sunny paradise, but I have to admit to being partial to berries, especially BLUEberries. I could eat them morning, noon and night and when they are in season, I actually do. Starting with muffins or pancakes, moving on to salads or wraps and ending with desserts, I manage to sneak a lot of blueberries into our diet. I love Fresh From Florida produce!
This recipe is actually printed in a real cookbook! I was honored to be asked to contribute to Brianna Hobbs’ The Essential Gluten-Free Cookie Guide. These Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies are melt in your mouth delicious.
- ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter (no sugar added)
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 cup brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour mix (I used Bloomsfield Farms)
- ½ cup gluten-free oatmeal
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Cream peanut butter, coconut oil and sugar.
- Add egg and vanilla and mix.
- Combine dry ingredients and add to peanut butter mixture.
- Scoop out cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet.
- Press down with the bottom of a glass.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
I am excited to review this beautiful new book from the publisher of the Kosher by Design series. A Taste of Pesach: Trusted Favorites, Simple Preparation, Magnificent Results is not only filled with tried and true Passover recipes, it’s 95% gluten free. So, as a non-Jew-but-gluten-free-eater, I am excited to spread the word about this untapped resource for us. Never let the fact that a book is written for one group of people stop you from exploring the possibilities! Continue reading
This is another of my grandmother’s recipes. Some of you might remember that she was the head baker for a school district in the 1970s. She got up early every school day and baked treats for all of the schools in town. Boy! Those were the days! There is nothing this yummy on any of my kids’ lunch menus. It’s no wonder my daughter prefers to take her lunch! Continue reading
It’s right about now that I usually start craving stone fruits and tastes of summer. While it will be months before I can sink my teeth into a fresh Georgia peach, I can trick my mind by using frozen or canned peaches in baked goods. By the time you are done baking fresh peaches, they are pretty much as soft as their “stored” cousins. Continue reading
The first year I lived in Florida, I was shocked at seeing fresh strawberries in February. Now, a few years later, I am totally spoiled and look forward to enjoying them while the rest of the country is blanketed in snow. There is a world famous Florida Strawberry festival held at the end of February/beginning of March. I really appreciate the amazing growing season in our state. Eating Fresh From Florida produce is an added bonus to being close to the beach and having mild winters. Continue reading
Welcome to Day #5 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.
I have had this recipe written in my recipe journal since the early 1990s, waiting to be made. I am shocked that I waited so long to make it because this stuff is seriously amazing. I have been doling it out to my friends by the spoonful. It’s been like, “Oh, you have come by to visit me? Open your mouth, taste this.” No one has been disappointed. Continue reading
Welcome to Day #3 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.
I am back with more candy, because December seems to require it. Although this stuff is as wonderful as it gets, no one seems to make homemade candy any other time of year. If grocery stores put sugar, extracts and other baking supplies on sale in June, maybe the story would be different, but our waistlines can heave a sigh of relief. December is the only homemade sweet month. ..for now. Continue reading
Welcome to Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th. Continue reading
Every year I make up treats for neighbors and friends. What I make changes a little every year, but the fun is in the planning and delivery of the plates. My kids get involved, arguing over who gets to take which plate to which family. We take an evening early in the month of December and instead of sitting in front of the television, we give. It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I like to think that that evening of sharing sweets with friends sets the tone for the month.
This year, I did my ingredient shopping at Dollar General, which has lower prices than most of my local stores. They have a full line up of ingredients for all of my holiday baking needs. I find that their Clover Valley brand is just as good as most name brands. They had a great big section all set up specifially for making treats.
I was able to get plates, candies, sugars, chocolate chips, nuts, crackers, and many other ingredients for less than $25. I came home and fired up my stove and microwave. I made homemade caramels, peanut brittle, fudge, chocolate covered Ritz sandwiches and English toffee and then filled 16 plates.
English Toffee has been a family favorite since I was a little girl when my mom started making it. It is really simple to make. I am not very good at making dipped candies, but because this recipe is broken into randomly sized pieces on purpose, there isn’t a lot of stress over whether it looks right or not.
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp corn syrup
- 12 oz chocolate chips
- Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan.
- Add sugar, water and corn syrup to the pan.
- Cook over low heat to 290 degrees F, about 20 minutes.
- Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil.
- Pour hot mixture over foil.
- Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
- Wait a few minutes and then spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee.
- When cool, break into bite sized pieces.
The Dollar General Holiday holiday section can serve all of your needs. Not only are there foods and supplies for favorite holiday recipes, but there are decorations, lights, present wrapping supplies, stocking stuffers, and great ideas for presents from toys to electronics.
There is still time to shop for the discerning foodie before the holidays are over! Right in the middle of Hanukkah and a few weeks to go before Christmas, this new cookbook, Cooking Inspired
is filled with recipes taken from the pages of kosherscoop.com, one of the biggest kosher websites on the internet. Continue reading