Saturday, October 30, 2010

Link Round Up

It's busy around here today, and I'm sure you are busy as well. So, I thought that I would do a post today that is full of links to my ideas for Halloween and ideas from around the internet in case you find yourself needing a last minute idea.

Have a safe and fun Halloween and I'll see you back here on Monday! :)

Links:









A Tasty Halloween  from the Pioneer Woman

Black Magic Cupcakes from What Megan's Making

Halloween Menu Ideas from Add A Pinch

If I have time or see something else super cute, I'll add the link later today. Have a great weekend!



Friday, October 29, 2010

Yummy Mummies

I have been seeing hot dogs wrapped in a bread stick and baked all over the internet the last couple of weeks. The kids love pigs in a blanket, so I thought I would make these and show you how in case you haven't made them before. Apparently, if I believe the buzz out on the internet, I may be the only person alive who hasn't made these yet.

Because I used a Pillsbury bread stick to make mine, I am going to give you the link to their recipe and directions here. I used the refrigerated bread stick dough instead of the crescent rolls because Walmart was out of them (?!).

Here is how I did it:

Roll out a bread stick. After I took this picture I figured out that it needed to be about twice as long as this. Also, please excuse my cookie sheet. i use them a lot and they are starting to show their age. Christmas hint for my family right there :)


Roll the bread stick around the hot dog, like so:


All lined up, ready to bake.



When they come out, you can add mustard or ketchup eyes, and then dig in! These are pretty cute.



Spiderweb Brownies

Are you ready for another instalment of Halloween treats? This is another no fuss, no frills idea for you. Ready? Let's go!

I saw this over on King Arthur Flour, you can check out their post here. Their brownies turned out better than mine, but I had helpers and they are thrilled with how it turned out, so what more can you ask for right? Baking with kids is never going to turn out picture perfect, but it'll still taste the same ;)

This is how I went about it. I made my favorite brownies (make your favorite recipe, homemade or from a box, it doesn't matter. You want to use ones you think taste good). Put them into a round pan. I used a 10 inch spring form pan here, but if you are making a recipe that usually goes into a 9x13 inch pan, I think you could do it in 2-8 inch round cake pans.



Mix up the "web" by mixing 1/2 a package of cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a Tablespoon of flour. Add one egg yolk and mix again. Put it into a sandwich sized zip top bag and snip off a corner. You should probably supervise this because my "oh a little bit" instruction on how much to snip off ended up being what I would have described as "a pretty big chunk" instead. But. that's ok, we just have a fatter spiderweb instead of a little delicate one.

Make circles on top of your brownies:


Use a thin knife or a toothpick to make the lines. Starting in the center, pull towards the outside edge. Do this all the way around, leaving plenty of space in between. Then, you go in between your lines, and make the lines going towards the center. It'll look something like this:


Bake according to the directions on your recipe. Mine got a little funky during baking, but that's ok, spiderwebs aren't always perfect anyway!


Let it cool, slice and enjoy!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Homemade Halloween Breakfast Pastries


Ghost shaped brown sugar and cinnamon pop tarts, homemade!

These are so easy. I saw them over at Chickens In The Road a while back and knew I wanted to make them and today seemed like the perfect morning. The Halloween shapes are just a bonus :)
Here is the link to Suzanne's original recipe. Go take a look, she did hers square, like the  real ones.

This is another one of my easy yummies for this week. Make your favorite pie crust or buy a store bought one. I never want you to NOT make a recipe because you don't know how to make something like pie crust or bread dough. You can always buy these, and they will work just fine. The pie crust recipe I used is in the recipe on Chickens In The Road.

You are going to roll out your pie crust very thinly and cut out your shapes. Or make squares, either way is just fine.


Fill them with your choice of stuffins. I made the brown sugar and cinnamon ones by melting 3 Tablespoons butter and adding 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup white sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon. This was per Suzanne's directions.

Put a little filling in each one, but not too much because the top still has to fit over it so you can crimp it down.


Crimp the edges with a fork.


When you have them all done, transfer them to a cookie sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove from the cookie sheet and place them on a cooling rack. While they are still warm, glaze with a mixture of 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and enough milk to make it drizzling consistency (maybe 1 or 2 tablespoons, not much). Put your sprinkles on and let the icing harden.


Then, enjoy!


Mmmm, ghost. Tasty :)

You could fill these with jam or jelly, or chocolate chips and marshmallow if you wanted. Whatever you can think up, you can stick inside!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Them Bones, Them Bones, Them .....Breadsticks?


Here is another super easy, totally adaptable, fun food to make. Bone shaped bread sticks.

I was cruising around the net yesterday and found this instructional over at the Rhodes Dough website, here is the link.
This recipe was adapted from Rhodes Dough Bone Chillin' Breadsticks.

You will need:

1 loaf of bread dough, homemade or a frozen loaf, defrosted
OR
                                                        2 cans of refrigerated bread sticks
knife
cookie sheet

Optional:
melted butter
dried herbs
course salt
garlic salt or powder
Parmesan cheese

Roll the dough into a log.



Cut in about 1 inch on each end of the dough.


Tuck each end under to make the knobby ends of the bones.


Do all of the "bones" and place them onto a greased cookie sheet. Here is where all of the optional goodies come into play. If you would like to have them a little jazzed up, brush with melted butter and sprinkle on one of the toppings that I suggested above, or anything you think would be good with the meal you are serving. Be creative! Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes, or according to package directions on the refrigerated bread sticks.


How cute is this served up with some paste "worms"? My kids devoured these and though it was so neat to dip a "bone" into their "wormy" pasta lunch.


These would be great on a party table with a little marinara or pizza sauce to dip them into.

*Notes* I wanted to add that when you are making the bones, make them all different sizes. Stretch some of them out so when you bake them you get short fat one, long skinny ones and some in between. It just looks fun and makes for a cool presentation.

Mmmm, bones for lunch anyone?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Kid Friendly Pumpkin Cupcakes


Pumpkin cupcakes crafted by my 3 and 6 year olds. Not bad right?
I'm going to apologize for the amount of pictures on this post, but I wanted to show how creative kids can get when you cook with them. We had so much fun. These were made by them, using simple tools from the kitchen and nothing fancy. I think they would be adorable for an office party (made by you or with your kids help, just watch the finger licking!)

This is what I used:

24 cupcakes, in liners
2 cans white frosting
food coloring
sprinkles
2 zip top freezer bags
scissors
spoons, bowls, spatulas

Bake your cupcakes according to the direction on the box or recipe. Let cool. Frost with white frosting, roll edges in sprinkles. Divide remaining frosting into bowls and color as you wish (I did orange and green). Spoon the frosting into the freezer bags and cut the corner off, these will be your decorating bags.

Here is what we came up with:

Cupcakes, iced and edges rolled in sprinkles.


Getting ready to decorate!

Pipe a pile of frosting.

Add a tendril and set it aside, we'll add leaves later.


Pipe a circle and fill it in.


Dip your finger into a cup of water and flatten out the top.


Tendril added!


A trio of little pumpkins and their vines.


Take the same bag you used for the vines and cut a larger v-shaped notch into your bag. To use, you would turn it on the opposite side as this picture, not flat like it is here, and squeeze!


Leaves cover a multitude of sins. And they are cute.


The trio is now covered in leaves and vines.


Here is an example of what leaves can do. My girls didn't like this pumpkin at all.


So they used leaves to cover up the parts that they didn't like.


Our own little pumpkin patch of yummies.


Make some of these with someone you love. And if they just happen to be little, sit back and watch in amazement as their creativity flows. Even if they don't look perfect, they will be so proud and you will too!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween Faux Reos!

I saw these on the King Arthur Flour website a couple weeks ago and I knew that I would be making them for Halloween. With orange filling, of course. They don't taste exactly like an Oreo, but they come pretty close and my kids got a kick out of eating them



I'm disappointed at how these pictures look because the filling is orange, but the light washed it out. Next time I will make them ORANGE so that they will show up.


Doesn't that look good? Before we get down to the recipe, let me give you the link to the King Aurthur Flour original here.

Let me first say that these are a little time consuming. You aren't going to make them when you want a package of Oreos, BUT, as a special fun treat they are perfect!

I didn't take process photos because it's Oregon and it's raining. I also live in an old house and lighting isn't good. I'll spare you the really bad shots that turn out on a day like today :)

Recipe:

Cookie-
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 Tablespoon cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder

Filling-
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cold water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Beat sugar, butter and salt. Add egg, water and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour and cocoa powder, stirring until combined. *At this point I put the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour* Roll out dough about 2 teaspoons worth) and place onto cookie sheet. Use the bottom of a drinking glass, dipped in cocoa powder to prevent sticking, and flatten out to 1/8 of an inch. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the filling. When the cookies are cool, scoop 1 teaspoon of filling onto one cookie and lightly press another cookie on top. Repeat with all of the cookies. Store in an airtight container.

I'll be posting Halloween friendly recipes all week next week, ending with a look at what we are going to be enjoying for our Halloween get together. I'm looking forward to sharing some good ideas with you, if you have an idea to share, leave it in the comments!




Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cinnamon Biscuits

These are so amazing! You must make some soon, they would make an awesome base for a strawberry shortcake. Or to have as snack. Or to sneak all day. Delicious!


They don't look like much, these little babies. But the taste, oh the taste. These are like cinnamon toast and biscuits collided to make a delicious new treat.


Can you see the yummy cinnamon and sugar topping? It gets kind of crispy and crunchy.


Ok, enough drooling. Let's get to making these yummy little numbers.

Recipe:

2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup milk

Topping:

1/4 cup sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Add the shortening and mix. When it resembles course crumbs, add the milk and mix to combine. Generously flour your counter and turn the dough out. Knead gently about 10 times and then flatten to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out with a floured round cutter or a floured glass. Place onto cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar if desired. Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oatmeal Scotchies


Here is the last recipe post for the day. These are my regular oatmeal cookies to which I added a bag of butterscotch chips. I know that it isn't really rocket science, but they turned out so good that they might be my new favorite cookie.

Oatmeal Scotchies

1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 bag butterscotch baking chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the sugars and shortening together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; stir. Stir in the oats. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix well again. Fold in the butterscotch chips and stir to combine. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove to wire racks and cool.

This makes a LOT of cookies, probably 5 dozen or so, but they are really good and freeze well after they are baked. Perfect for lunches!

Pizza Rolls


I'm doing a series of 3 shorter posts today because I just had so many good ideas to share! I didn't want you to have to wait days to see them all.


These are homemade pizza rolls, you know like the ones that are kind of expensive and only come with about a dozen in the box? These are like those, but better. They also offer you endless possibilities as to what you can stuff inside of them.
Pepperoni and cheese? Sounds good. Leftover taco meat and cheese? Delish. Ham and cheese? Yum. Veggies and marinara sauce? Oh my.
Do you see where I am headed with this? If you can chop it up small enough to fit in the wrappers or it isn't so hard that it's going to poke a hole through, you are well on your way to making a delicious lunch or part of a dinner. Or you know, a snack.



I made these pizza because that's what I had on hand, but I have seriously put tons of different stuff in them. Even fruit. Yup, they even make a good dessert.

Here's the How To:

1 pack of egg roll wrappers (mine was a 20 count)
assorted fillings
water
Oil for frying

Open you package of egg roll wrappers and get out the little instructional card inside. It will tell you EXACTLY how to wrap these little bundles right up. Just in case I confuse you.

Lay a wrapper on the counter in front of you, on it's point so it looks like a diamond. Get your finger wet in the water and lightly moisten all the edges. Put your desired filling in the lower third, closest to your body but not on the tip. Leave some room so you can fold the edge closest to you over the filling when you start to roll. Fold the edge over the filling and press it down a little. Next, fold in the sides like you are going to make a a burrito and roll up. Place on a plate and roll remaining wrappers. Heat your oil to about 350 (or between 7-8 on my electric stove) and when the oil is hot place a few filled wrappers into the oil. When they get golden brown on one side, flip them over and let the other side get golden too. It doesn't want to be left out of the GBD club, (If you aren't an Alton Brown/Good Eats fan, that means Golden Brown and Delicious), place it on a paper towel lined plate while you cook the rest.
Let them cool slightly so the filling isn't like hot lava and then EAT! You will not be disappointed, these are good. And a good way to use up whatever happens to be hanging out in the fridge.

Mexican Cornbread


Mexican cornbread. Spicy, studded with kernels of corn, diced green chili's and melty bits of cheddar cheese, it makes a great accompaniment to soup or chili.
I made a few simple additions to my classic cornbread recipe and it turned out wonderful.


I took this photo in the hopes that you would be able to see with your own eyes the deliciousness that is this cornbread. I'm not sure if that is going to happen from a picture, but I had to try.

Here is my original Cornbread recipe.

Here is the Mexican version:

2 cups cornmeal
                                                                        2 cups flour
                                                                        1/2 cup sugar
                                                               2 Tablespoons baking powder
                                                                         2 teaspoons salt
                                                                           2 cups milk
                                                                          2/3 cup oil
                                                                 2 eggs, slightly beaten
                                                              1 cup grated cheddar cheese
                                            2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, defrosted and drained
                                                         4 Tablespoons chopped green chili's
                                                             6 Tablespoons butter, melted

                                   Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine milk, oil, and eggs. Add corn, chili's and cheese. Mix well. Add to flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in melted butter and pour into pan.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm.






Monday, October 18, 2010

Caramel Apples

To get into the Fall spirit (as if I really needed any help!), I decided to make caramel apples this weekend with the kids. These turned out so good and the possibilities of things to decorate them with are really endless. If you can think it up and crunch it, you can stick it on a caramel apple.


I did mine two ways. Either dipped in caramel and chocolate or the chocolate is drizzled on. I also used some black and orange sprinkles. My kids are crazy for sprinkles so I tend to have a lot around for whatever holiday we are currently near.

The process is simple, but I have a couple tricks that I think will help to make your caramel apple making better. First of all, you have to get the wax off of the apples. You can do this one of two ways. You can dip the apple into boiling water for a few seconds or you can scrub the living daylights out of it with a kitchen scrubby. Either way will get the wax off. It the wax stays on the apple, the caramel has a tendency to want to slide off of the apple.

My second trick for you is to dry the apples really, really well and put the sticks in. Then, place them on a cookie sheet in the fridge for no less than 30 minutes. This makes the apples really cold and the hot caramel will set up a lot faster. This also helps to keep the caramel stay on the apple and not end in a puddle around it.

Ok, so you have your apples, and they are on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Next, you want to put a glass bowl over some simmering water and put your caramels (unwrapped of course) into the bowl with a little bit of water. One (14 oz) bag of caramels calls for 2 Tablespoons of water. Let them gently melt until the mixture is hot and all melted. Then, time for trick number 3. Add one more tablespoon of water, this will thin the caramel even more and make dipping easy.



Here is what it should look like.

Now you get to dippin'.



Cover the apples with the caramel. If you tip the bowl to one side, if makes the puddle deeper and easier to get better coverage. Use a spoon of you need to and get that apple covered up. You can also use a spoon to scrape off some of the caramel if it seems to thick.

Get all of the apples dipped and put on the wax paper lined cookie sheet. Place them back into the fridge while you melt the chocolate.



This is an entire package of almond bark, chopped up and put in a bowl over simmering water. What you don't use on your apples you can use to make chocolate covered pretzels.

Using the same dipping technique, you can cover the whole apple, or you can drizzle it on.



While the chocolate is still wet, you can sprinkle on nuts, crushed candies, sprinkles or whatever else you want to put on there.

These are super fun to make and give as gifts. Wrap them up in cello bags and tie on a ribbon and they would make a really good trick-or-treat goodie for special kids in your life.


Any way you make these they will end up delicious. This was fun to do with my girls and it made a good special treat for them.

Try your hand at making these today, I think you'll be amazed at how great they turn out.

A couple of quick notes: You can get almond bark in the baking isle or the product called candy quik will work as well.
For 10 apples, I used 2 )14 oz) bag of caramels and 5 Tablespoons of water. If this seems kind of thick to you still, you can add water a little at a time until you think it is thin enough to dip the way you would like to.
Lastly, when dipping the apples in either chocolate or caramel, do a spinning motion over the bowl before you place them on a cookie sheet. This will help some of the excess come off. That means your apple won't be sitting in a puddle of goo and that is a good thing.