February 4, 2014

Apple Cider Pancakes

I adapted these from a gluten free recipe, and while they might still need a little tweaking, but I think they're delicious!  This makes enough for about 4 people.  Serve with cinnamon sugar, or if you want to take it over the top, caramel syrup.

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup apple cider
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, ground cinnamon, salt, and ground nutmeg. Add eggs, cider, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Lightly oil a flat griddle pan. Heat griddle over medium-high heat. Pour batter, approximately 1/4 cup, onto griddle. Batter should "sizzle" when it hits the pan.

Flip pancakes when bubbles appear all over the surface of the pancake and begin to pop, about two minutes. (The batter should look almost dry). Cook another 1-1 1/2 minutes.

Spread warm pancakes with butter and sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

February 3, 2014

Soy Yogurt

Super easy, super quick alternative to dairy yogurt, and way cheaper than store bought soy yogurt. This one is from Oh, She Glows.

1 cup soymilk
1 T fresh lemon juice
1-2 T agave (or any other sweetener- I used 1 T agave)
1 T cornstarch
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
fresh strawberries, chopped small (optional)

1. Mix soymilk + lemon juice together and allow to curdle. The milk bubbles a bit when you add the lemon juice. Embrace your inner mad scientist and cackle ever so evily!

2. After 30 seconds or so, add in the agave and cornstarch. Blend with a hand blender until smooth.

3. Pop into microwave for 60 seconds on high.

4. Stir, stir, stir.

5. Microwave for another 60 seconds. Stir, stir, stir.

6. Add any mix-ins you want (she suggests vanilla extract, lemon zest, fruit, etc). I added fresh chopped strawberries (about 3) and 1/2 t vanilla extract.

7. Microwave for 60 seconds. Stir and then pop into the fridge to chill. Stir before eating.

Easy as that!

February 2, 2014

French Bread

I will never buy a loaf of french bread again.  This stuff is 100 times better than anything you'll get from the store.  The longer that you let it rise, the more airy it will be, but I've let it rise as little as 30 minutes and it was still great.  This also makes a great pizza crust.  One recipe makes enough for 2 pizzas. This is originally from Deals to Meals.

2 1/2 c. warm water2 Tbsp yeast3 Tbsp sugar2 Tbsp. white vinegar

Add the above ingredients together and let sit until bubbly (about 3-5 minutes). Then add:

1 Tbsp. salt1/3 c. oil (I use Canola)
6-7 c. flour (or a little more if it's too soft), one cup at a time--add enough until the dough is soft, but firm enough to mold into dough loaves

Knead for 2-5 minutes and then put in the oven with a small pot of boiling water. The water will keep the dough moist. Watch the dough and punch it down when it gets to the top of the mixing bowl. Do this every time it gets to the top of the bowl, as long as you have time to babysit it (2-5 times). Put the dough on a greased countertop and divide into 2 to 4 sections, depending on how large of loaves you want. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle a thin layer of cornmeal on the bottom of the sheet. Roll the dough balls into rectangle/long French bread shapes. Slash tops of bread diagonally 3-5 times and cover with a beaten egg. Let rise 30 minutes (or until doubled) on the counter.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

With the leftovers, if you have any, make an open faced hot hoagie or orange juice french toast. (Instead of mixing milk with the eggs, mix OJ)

February 1, 2014

French Baguette

This one is from the Food Nanny and I love it. It's super easy and even Eden can make it.  I've used it to make pizza crust and either way its great.

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 T. active dry yeast, (2 packets)
2 tsp sugar
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
melted butter
In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup of the warm water, the yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar.  Stir to combine and let mixture stand for about 5 minutes or until foamy.
In a large mixing bowl blend the flour, salt, the remaining teaspoon of sugar and the yeast mixture.
Gradually add remaining water and mix until the dough forms a smooth ball that is not too sticky to handle (if it is too sticky add a little more flour).
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cut the dough in half and shape the halves into baguettes.
Grease a baguette pan and place the loaves in the pan.
Score the loaves down the middle, cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a shallow pan of water in the bottom of the oven to create steam.
Bake the baguettes for 15 minutes. If desired brush the tops with melted butter halfway through the baking.
*For a softer crust, brush with butter when they have finished baking.

December 5, 2012

Balsamic Glaze

I was so, so excited when I found this recipe at Cooking on the Ranch. I have a love affair with balsamic, and Cafe Trio has the most amazing balsamic glaze and I have been trying to recreate it forever. This was perfect!

1 cup balsamic vinegar (doesn’t have to be expensive brand)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1½ pounds asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt

Combine vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
While glaze is cooking, remove tough ends from asparagus, then toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay flat on a foil lined baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees until asparagus is cooked, 10-20 minutes depending on how soft you like it. To serve, drizzle a small amount of balsamic glaze over the spears and pass extra at the table.

October 2, 2012

Crockpot Asian Pork

I'm on a crock pot kick? Can you tell?  This stuff is fantastic over rice, over noodles, by itself.  I love it.  

Asian Pork (From SkinnyTaste)
2 lb lean boneless pork sirloin roast (aka pork center rib roast, pork center loin roast)
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
Non-stick oil spray 
1 cup low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp hot sesame oil   (or use sesame oil + pinch red pepper flakes)
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice 
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger root
For topping:
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro


Season pork on all side with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat, spray with a little oil and brown the pork on all sides for about 7 - 8 minutes.  In the crock pot, combine the broth, soy sauce, balsamic, sugar, sesame oil, Chinese five spice, garlic and ginger; add the pork and set the slow cooker to 8 hours on low. Shred the pork using two forks.  If adding baby spinach,add at the end and cover a few minutes until it wilts. Top with green onions and cilantro.  P.S.  The cilantro makes this OUTSTANDING. 

October 1, 2012

Crockpot Pesto Chicken

I'm posting this mostly for my benefit. I took a normal recipe and made it into a crock pot recipe, and I need to write down the method so I can make it work again.

You can use Lawry's Garlic and Herb Marinade or make your own, which is what I opted for.

Marinade (from Allrecipes)

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian-style seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix everything together and add to your favorite meat. 

Pour marinade, 1/2 cup pesto on chicken.  At this point you can throw it into a ziploc bag and put it into the freezer until you want to cook it, or you throw it in the crock pot or on the grill.  Whatever is easiest.  Cook 8 hrs on low or 4 hours on high.  Serve over pasta.  

May 8, 2012

Banana Bread pancakes

Banana Bread Pancakes Recipe:
(Recipe from How Sweet It Is)

makes 12 pancakes

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I've used all purpose flour before and it works just fine!)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Measure out the milk and add the vanilla extract to it. Whisk together the dry ingredients and add in milk and vanilla, stirring to combine. The mixture will still be dry. Add in mashed bananas and mix. Add in melted butter and stir until batter is somewhat smooth.

Heat a skillet or grilled on medium heat. Using a 1/3 cup measure, spoon batter into rounds and cook until bubbles form on top – about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for a minute or two more. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve hot with butter and syrup, or the vanilla maple glaze.

*If you don’t have/can’t find whole wheat pastry flour, use 1 cup of regular whole wheat and 1 cup of all purpose. Or 2 cups of all purpose.

Vanilla Maple Glaze:

1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. Pour over pancakes.

Originally from: 

April 18, 2012

Double chocolate zuchinni muffins

4 c flour
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 C cocoa
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 1/2 C oil
1 1/2 C milk
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
2 C shredded zucchini
1 1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1. Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk. Add the zucchini to the wet ingredients.
2. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl with a wooden spoon.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir, just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

4. Line your muffin tin with cupcake holders and fill a bit more than 2/3 of the way full.
5. Bake at 350 for 17 minutes.

Best waffles ever

Waffles of Insane Greatness (I triple this for our family.) 

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. sugar
½ cup whole milk
½ cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Whisk together to blend.
In another mixing bowl, beat together the whole milk, buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and whisk just until incorporated and few lumps remain. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat a waffle iron. Fill waffle wells and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cook until crisp and golden. Serve immediately. Yield: depends on the size/shape of your waffle iron. I doubled the recipe and got 4 1/2 Belgian waffles.

Recipe from Real Mom Kitchen

Enchilada Sauce

This one is from Allrecipes. I never buy enchilada sauce anymore, this is super easy. 

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons self-rising flour
1/4 cup New Mexico or California chili powder
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
salt to taste
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning flour.
Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion salt into the flour and chili powder until smooth, and continue cooking over medium heat approximately 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt.

Creamy pesto

1/2 batch Guiltless Alfredo Sauce
1/2 lb Farfalle/Bowtie Pasta (that’s 1/2 a 16oz box or a little over 3 cups dry pasta)
3.5 oz Pesto (that’s about 1/3 cup, or 1/2 of a 7oz container they sell in stores)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
8oz mushrooms (about 3 C sliced)
3T pine nuts
Parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

1. Prepare your Guiltless Alfredo sauce. When it’s finished, just make sure it’s covered and set it aside.

2. Place a large stock pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.

3. Remove stems from mushrooms and slice. Place tomatoes and mushrooms on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil (3-4 T should do it) toss with your fingers making sure everything is coated and then lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Cook in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes. You can tell the tomatoes are ready when the skins start to split. Don’t overcook them or they’ll be mush!
4. When water comes to a boil add a little salt and the pasta.

5. Toast pine nuts: Place nuts in a dry skillet on med heat. Stir constantly. They will start to turn glossy which means the oils are releasing. Then they’ll start to brown. (have you checked your pasta? go check your pasta) Let them get golden brown and then remove them from the pan to cool. It should take about 7-10 minutes total.
6. Your pasta should be done, drain it if you haven’t already.

7. Add pesto to alfredo sauce and stir to combine well.

8. Tomatoes and mushrooms should be done about now, take them out of the oven.

Put it all together! Place pasta in a large bowl and combine with as much sauce as you need. Place tomatoes and mushrooms on top and sprinkle on lots of fresh parmesan cheese. Sprinkle pine nuts on top and serve.

Originally from Our Best Bites. 

December 5, 2011

Peppermint Marshmallows

I made these to go along with the Hot Chocolate that I gave away for Christmas last year.  I think I should have whipped them a bit longer, but they still tasted great! This recipe comes from Little Birdie Secrets

1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 1/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. crushed peppermint candy canes (about 6)
1/8 tsp. salt
*Tip: to crush your candy canes, break them up in large pieces, then seal them in a Zip Loc bag. Put your bag on a sturdy cutting board and use a hammer to smash them into a powder. The finer the powder, the better.
1. Into a small bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cornstarch. Line a 9x13" pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Sift 2 Tbsp. of the powdered sugar mixture into pan and tilt to coat all sides. Leave excess in pan.3. Place 2/3 c. water in a large bowl and sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.

4. In medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, heat sugar, corn syrup, candy cane, and salt over medium heat until completely dissolved (about 7 minutes).
5. Pour into bowl with gelatin mixture and beat on high speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy (10-15 minutes).
6. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Smooth top and dush with powdered sugar mixture. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
7. Lift from pan with foil. With a small, wet cookie cutter, cut shapes and dip sides in sugar mixture. Cut up remaining marshmallows into small, irregular pieces (these are the ones I let my kids and husband eat!). Or, using a wet knife, cut into 6 large squares and dip sides into powdered sugar mixture. Then cut each of those squares into 9 pieces and dip in sugar mixture.
8. Store at room temp, loosely covered.  

November 9, 2011


Yes, that does indeed say yogurt. If you have ever wondered how it is made I am here to answer your question. I have been making it for a while, but it took some practice to get it right.  So, here is my perfected recipe.

8 cups milk (half gallon)

Pour milk into crock pot and cook on low for 3 hours. Turn the crock pot off and leave it in there to cool for 3 hours.  Take about 2 cups of the milk out and stir in

1 cup plain yogurt (store bought)
1/4 c. dry milk

Stir until dissolved.  Pour back into the crock pot and stir it all together.  Then pour all of it into a thermos or cooler.  We have a one gallon cooler that is perfect for this. The idea is that it needs to be insulated so that the cultures from the yogurt can do their work.  Let it sit overnight.

The next morning, you're done!  It will be pretty thin, so if you want to thicken it up a bit you can strain it with cheesecloth and a colander.  Put it in the fridge over a bowl and let it strain for a few hours.  When you eat it, mix in a little honey and whatever else you want.  Fresh fruit, jam, granola even chocolate.  You can also use the plain yogurt as sour cream.  It saves lots of money if you eat yogurt.

Good Luck!

October 19, 2011

Green Monster Punch

This is a fun drink for halloween. Just add some dry ice for witches brew!  Even though it was green, my kids drank it and loved it!

  • 2 (3 ounce) packages lime flavored gelatin mix
  • 1 quart hot water
  • 1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice
  • 2 (12 fluid ounce) cans frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 liters ginger ale
  1. In a large saucepan dissolve the gelatin in 1 quart of hot water. Allow to cool.
  2. When gelatin is cool, pour into a large punch bowl, Stir in pineapple juice, orange juice concentrate, sugar and 4 1/2 cups cold water. Pour in ginger ale just before serving.

October 15, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Frosting

These are delicious.  Although, I have to admit as to not making the dulche de leche.  Want to hear a funny story?  So, I wanted to make these.  I knew that I had seen dulce de leche somewhere, and I didn't want to make it.  So, I went to the store, bought regular sweetened condensed milk and what I THOUGHT was dulce de leche.  Get home, make the cupcakes, go to make the frosting and realize:  I haven't bought dulce de leche.  I bought sweetened condensed milk IN SPANISH.  I am so awesome I know.  

This recipe comes from Langes Fadchen.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
7.5 ounces pureed pumpkin 

. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 cupcake wells with paper liners; set aside. 
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.

4. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Cool in pan on wire rack for ten minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Dulce De Leche
Recipe from Sweetest Kitchen 
Makes just enough to fill cupcakes and use in frosting

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
Boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Open up the can and pour the sweetened-condensed milk into a pie pan. Cover tightly with foil. Place into a larger pan and pour boiling water in larger pan & around pie plate (level of water should be about halfway up the pie plate). Don’t let any water seep up and into the pie plate.

3. Place in oven and bake for one hour. At the one hour point, peel off foil and check for progress. If the mixture has thickened and turned a caramel color, it’s done. If it doesn’t quite look thick enough or dark enough, cover it up and bake it a little longer (might take up to 75 minutes or more).

4. When the mixture appears to have turned into a nice, thick caramel, remove from the oven. Let sit for a few minutes, and then beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

5. Measure out 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of dulce de leche and set aside for buttercream. Using the cone method, fill each cupcake with a small spoonful of the remaining dulce de leche and replace cake tops. 

Dulce De Leche Buttercream
Makes enough to generously frost 12 cupcakes

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons prepared dulce de leche

1. Cream together softened butter and powdered sugar on low using an electric mixer. Add cream and vanilla and beat on medium speed until smooth and no lumps appear. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the prepared dulce de leche and beat to incorporate. Pipe generously onto cupcakes.

June 17, 2011

Almond cupcakes with Caramel frosting

This is one of those recipes that I almost hesitate to share. It is so incredibly good, that I want to hide it and make it my secret ingredient recipe. But, I am willing to be generous, so here you go.  


  • 1 (18.25 oz.) white cake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs

Add the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, almond extract and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until moistened, about 30 seconds.  Add eggs one at a time, until the batter is well-mixed. Increase speed to high and beat until thick and fluffy, 2 minutes longer.
Pour or scoop the batter into the paper liners until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cupcakes cool on a wire rack.

Frosting (the best part)

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 2 Tbsp. water

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) salted butter, softened

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
    Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla (just start with a tablespoon or two), stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. (Be careful, as the mixture will definitely bubble up and possibly splatter a bit as you add in the cream.)  Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
    Beat the butter ]in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.  Turn off the mixer, and then add caramel. Beat frosting on low to combine, and then increase to medium-high and beat until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate if not using immediately (or to harden the frosting a bit).

    June 15, 2011

    Cherry Limeade

    This is, hands down, the best cherry limeade that I have ever had!

    • 2 (12 fluid ounce) cans frozen limeade concentrate
    • 1 (2 liter) bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
    • 1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and juice reserved
    • 1 lime
    Pour both cans of concentrated limeade into a large pitcher. Mix in lemon-lime soda. Stir in reserved cherry juice. Squeeze juice from lime into mixture, then slice and set aside. Stir well and serve over ice. Garnish with cherries and lime slices.

    June 5, 2011

    Sweet BBQ Chicken Kabobs

    I ran across this one at The Sisters Cafe and I loved it. I haven't done a lot with kabobs, but this was delicious.  The kids didn't really go for the peppers, but John loved them and I couldn't get enough of the grilled pineapple. It was beyond heavenly.

    1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
    2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (1-1/2 inch)
    1 each: red and green pepper, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
    1/2 cup barbecue sauce 
    3 Tb. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

    Heat grill to medium-high heat.  Thread chicken alternately with pineapple and peppers onto skewers to make 4 kabobs.  (I used 1.5lbs of chicken and extra pineapple, which made 7 big kabobs).  Mix barbecue sauce and juice concentrate, brush some of the sauce mixture onto kabobs.  Grill 8-10 minutes or until chicken is done, turning and brushing occasionally with remaining sauce mixture.

    February 18, 2011

    Easy Maple Syrup

    This is my go to Maple Syrup recipe.  I make it about once a week. We use maple syrup in our oatmeal so we go through it really fast. This tastes way better than store bought and is so much cheaper.  You'll never go back.

    2 c. sugar
    1 c. water
    1/2 tsp. mapeline (you can find it with the spices and extracts)

    Combine all three in a pan and stir constantly over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, allow to boil about 30 seconds and remove from heat.  Store in the fridge.

    February 17, 2011

    Cherry Turnovers

    These are perfect for having more excuses to buy lots and lots of cherries as soon as they come into season.  These things are incredible.  I almost didn't want to share them with my kids because I was sure that they wouldn't appreciate the amazingness of the cherries, and that, my friends is just a waste!  I suppose you could use frozen cherries in this recipe, and I imagine it would still be good, but don't expect miracles unless you have good, ripe in season cherries.  I can't wait for spring!

    This recipe comes from Recipe Girl.com

    1½ cups (7½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 tsp granulated white sugar
    pinch of salt
    1 stick (4 ounces) cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
    8 ounce package of cold cream cheese, roughly cut into tablespoons
    2½ cups pitted & halved fresh cherries (about ¾ lb.)
    2 Tbs white granulated sugar
    1 Tbs finely grated lemon zest
    1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
    1 Tbs cornstarch
    ¼ tsp salt
    1 large egg yolk
    2 Tbs milk or cream
    coarse grain sugar
    1. Prepare crust: Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 10 seconds to blend. Add the cold butter pieces and process for just a few seconds, until the mixture looks like crumbs. Add the cream cheese and pulse quickly about 25 times (or until a clump of dough has formed). Turn the clump of dough onto waxed paper and knead gently 2 to 3 times to bring dough together. Flatten into a 7-inch square. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 days).
    2. Prepare filling: Mix cherries with sugar, lemon zest & juice, cornstarch and salt; set aside until ready to fill the turnovers.
    3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface.. Roll into a square that is roughly 15×15. At this point, you can decide if you’d like to make round or square-shaped turnovers. If you make round (half-moon shape) turnovers, you can simply use the top of a 6-inch diameter bowl as your cutter. If you’d rather make square (triangle-shape) turnovers, use a chef’s knife to trim a 15-inch square. Mark 5-inch increments along all sides of the dough & with the ruler as a guide, cut the dough into nine 5-inch squares. Re-roll scraps as necessary.
    4. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
    5. Assemble Turnovers: Place cut-out dough onto prepared baking sheets. On each square or circle, use a knife to lightly mark a line showing the halfway mark (make sure it’s just a line indentation & not cut all the way through). Spoon a couple of Tablespoonfuls of the cherries onto each “half”- keeping it on one side of the dividing line and leaving about a ¼-inch border along the edge. Brush edges on the fruit side of the turnover with egg wash (egg & milk whisked together). Carefully fold the other side over the fruit and use the tines of a fork to press the edges together and seal them. Move baking sheets to refrigerator and chill for about 20 minutes. Adjust racks in oven to top and bottom thirds of the oven, and preheat oven to 375°F.
    6. Bake Turnovers: Brush the tops of the turnovers with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Use the tip of a paring knife to carefully cut three slits in the top of each turnover to allow steam to escape during baking. Bake turnovers on bottom and top third racks for 15 minutes. Then rotate the sheets and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
    *The dough may also be frozen. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in zip freezer bag for up to 2 months.
    **These will keep at room temperature in a covered container for 2 days. To re-crisp, heat in a 375 degree oven until warmed through. They’ll keep a little longer if wrapped airtight and refrigerated (about 5 days).
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