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Monday, December 9, 2019

Enjoy a Pastry today

When you visit the local bakery whether it be a shop or a space in a mall or store more than likely they will have pastries for sale. Pastries come in a great variety with all of them containing flour, sugar, milk, butter, baking product and eggs. Perhaps you may have a favorite pastry whether it be pies, tarts, or quiches. 

Some of the earliest pastries can be traced back to ancient Mediterranean. These early pastries were mostly paper thin, multilayered baklava and phyllo dough. Early crusaders from Northern Europe would bring pastries back with them from  the Mediterranean. Renaissance chefs from Italy and France would perfect the early pastries. Later chefs from the 17th and 18th centuries would bring with them new recipes such as cream puffs and eclairs. 

Pastries come in a variety of forms including 
  • Shortcrust pastry – simplest and most common.
  • Sweetcrust pastry – similar to the shortcrust but sweeter.
  • Flaky pastry – simple pastry that expands when cooked.
  • Puff pastry – has many layers that cause it to puff when baked.
  • Choux pastry – very light pastry that is often filled with cream or other fillings.
  • Phyllo pastry – paper-thin pastry dough that is used in many layers.

Flu Season Awareness

Have you had your flu shot??



It is recommended that anyone over the age of 6 months get the flu vaccine. Individuals who are at high risk of serious risk of developing flu related illnesses and / or complications should always get the vaccine. There are several reasons for getting the flu shot some of which are:
  • it can reduce flu illnesses which may lead to a visit to the doctor as well as possibly missing work or school.
  •  the flu vaccine has demonstrated its life saving abilities and has been shown as in a study in 2017 that it helps to reduce children from dying from flu
The flu vaccine comes in a few different forms. Flu shots are the most common but other forms include nasal spray vaccine. While the shot is most common and works well with most individuals including children over 6 months of age, pregnant women and seniors. However, the nasal vaccine is one that precautions must be taken with as there are individuals that should never have it.



Hopefully you did get the vaccination and have safeguarded yourself the best way you can from the dreaded influenza. There are a few other ways that you can protect your self and your family from the flu.


  • stay away from those that are sick. 
  •  when sick stay home from work or school. Do not get out and run errands either. Getting out when you are sick with the flu will only help spread the germs
  • the old adage of covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing stands true today as well. By performing this act you will prevent those germs from reaching others.
  • be sure to wash your hands with both soap and water. If soap and water are not available use an alcohol based rub. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • avoid touching your mouth or nose. When you touch your mouth or nose you may have all read touched something that had the influenza germs and now you have been contaminated as well.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Gingerbread bar #recipe



1/2 cup butter melted
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Optional Frosting Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
1/2 cup butter room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 vanilla bean scraped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan or line with parchment paper. Combine the butter, sugar, molasses, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the egg and stir again. Add the flours, baking soda, spices, and salt. Mix until well combined.
Press the dough into the prepared pan, using either a spatula or your hands to smooth it to the edges of the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out mostly clean, with wet crumbs. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
When cooled, beat together the butter and cream cheese for the frosting. Add the powdered sugar and beat again until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract or vanilla bean and stir to mix throughout the frosting. Frost the bars, slice and serve. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

recipe resource

Enter To Win a Dolphin DVD


Are you or someone you love a dolphin fan?? Then you may just love the movie Bernie the Dolphin. Currently you can head over to the blog Heck of a Bunch and enter to win a copy of Bernie the Dolphin II. Hurry though as the giveaway ends December 21

Friday, December 6, 2019

Peppermint Bark Munch ::: #Recipe



1 box (13 cups) Rice Chex cereal 
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
20 ounces almond bark
20 mini candy canes, crushed


1. Melt the almond bark over a double boiler and stir in the peppermint extract..

2. In a very large bowl, add the cereal and pour over the melted almond bark. Sprinkle in the candy cane and stir to coat.

3. Pour over wax paper and spread out to cool.

4. Break into bite-sized clusters and enjoy! 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Banana Split Pie Dessert


1 baked 9-inch pie crust
Instant vanilla pudding mix 1 PKG no sugar (4 ounces)
2 cups low-fat milk
2 bananas, sliced
Cans crushed pineapple in juice of one their own (15 oz.)
1 cup frozen no sugar is melting, whip topping
1/2 cup chopped pecans,

Well drained pineapple, pour juice on top of the bananas, drain.

Pour the milk into pudding mix and beat with a wire in a bowl until thick, 5 minutes or with a whisk. Pour the pudding into the prepared crust. Place the sliced ​​bananas on pudding. Sprinkle over pineapple banana drainage. Sprinkle with toasted pecan spread on it and whipped cream topping evenly over pineapple. Before you cut in order to provide, at least 1 hour to cool.

Holiday Fun around Sweet Treats


Looking for a way to get together with friends and family, have a good time and bake a dozen cookies and end up with a variety?? Well then a cookie exchange party is something that you should consider. No matter the number of individuals that you decide to invite each participant will make one type of cookie and enough to share so everyone gets at least one. If you decide to make only enough to share one cookie with each participant then you will have a great variety but only one of each. However, you can make several cookies per party goer as well, the choice is yours. 



Its easy to get others into the act as well. A simple note to allow all to know what is going on may be the way you want to go but if you want it more formal then send out invitations to all those you want to consider coming. This night can be one to retreat from the hustle and bustle and help you have fun and get the chore of baking started as well. However, if you plan on doing any sampling then you will want each participant to bring a few more cookies.

IF you do plan or are invited to a holiday cookie exchange here is a great cookie recipe to consider. 





Crust:
  • 1 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 c dark brown sugar
  • 2 2/3 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Topping:
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 1 c dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 2 TB heavy cream
  • 2 c toasted pecan halves or pieces (I like to buy raw pecans from Trader Joe’s and toast them at home)

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ and line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper.  Paper should cover most internal surfaces of pan. **In the pictures below, I halved the recipe and used a square baking pan.**
Start by making your crust.  In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix until crumbly. Press crust dough into your parchment paper-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. 

While your crust bakes, prepare the filling. Combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and heavy cream in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 1 minue, then stir in your toasted pecans. Remove your crust from the oven and immediately pour the pecan filling over top, spreading it to cover the entire surface of crust.


Return your pan to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the pan from the oven and allow the bars to fully cool in the pan on top of a wire cooling rack.
Once cool, lift the bars out of the pan and transfer them to a cutting surface. Slice and package as wanted! I like to wrap mine in unbleached parchment paper and tie them up with festive, red and white butcher’s twine



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Christmas Wreath Cookies



1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
30 large marshmallows
6 teaspoons drops of green gel food coloring or 1 and 1/4 liquid green food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups cornflakes
1 bottle of red hot candies or 1/2 cup red candy coated chocolates such as mini M&M's
cooking spray

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Place the marshmallows and butter in a large bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until melted.
Add the green food coloring and vanilla; stir until the marshmallow mixture is smooth.
Add the cornflakes to the bowl and gently stir to coat the cereal evenly with the marshmallow mixture.
Pack the mixture into a greased 1/4 cup measuring cup and turn out onto the sheet pan. Use your fingers to make a hole in the middle to form a wreath shape and decorate with red candies. It's easiest to form the wreath holes if your fingers are damp or coated in cooking spray.
Cool completely until firm and serve.


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