Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Funday

A couple weeks ago we went to Mount Baker in Washington for an Alpinism class.  Some photos from the trip:

Here are some interesting things I have been reading this week:

Awesome Blogger tutorial I used to make a dropdown menu!

These Cheddar Bacon Pretzel Buns look absolutely amazing!

These Key Lime Sandwich Cookies look like the perfect picnic treat!

I can't wait for my tomatoes to get ripe so I can make thinks like this Heirloom Tomato Tart!

Loved this post by Jon Acuff about what you have to contribute being important!

Monday, July 14, 2014

How To Make Simple Syrup

Simple's, well, it's simple really.  All you do is combine equal parts sugar and water, add heat, and like magic you have liquid sugar to add to drinks, brush on cakes, or mix into frosting.

Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Stir water and sugar together in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until sugar is totally dissolved.  Pour into a glass jar and allow to cool.  Store in fridge for up to a month.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Preserving Summer: Freeze Extra Berries

It's summer and the berries are delicious.  I frequently get over zealous and buy way too many berries for what we can consume.  When that happens, I just spread them out onto a rimmed cookie sheet, freeze for an hour (flash freeze) and then dump into a freezer bag and back in the freezer they go.  Then we have frozen berries for winter pies, smoothies, and yogurt.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chocolate Syrup

When I was growing up, you had two drink choices for hot lunch, chocolate or regular milk.  Now somewhere along the path, I developed the notion that "good" kids always drank regular milk.  For years, I dutifully chose the blue carton instead of the brown.

One day, in what can only be described as an act of internal rebellion by a shy kid, I chose the brown carton.  And it was glorious.  I don't think I ever went back.

Now as a boring old grown-up, I usually drink plain 'ole regular milk.  But sometimes, sometimes it is important to spoon thick swirls of deep chocolate sauce into my milk.

Chocolate Syrup

adapted slightly from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat combine water and brown sugar and stir until boiling.  Add in cocoa powder and stir to combine.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla extract.  Pour into heatproof jar.  Allow to cool.  Syrup with thicken as it cools.  Because there are no preservatives, store in the fridge and toss if you don't consume in a month or so.

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July with Lemon Pie

How did it get to be the fourth already?  I feel like I am just getting used to this warm weather and now we are partway through the summer.  I know it's late notice, but here is a quick no bake pie to take to your BBQ tonight.  Or just to eat yourself :)  You can make this with store bought lemon curd to make it even easier, the store I was at did not have any, so I whipped up some homemade lemon curd.

4th of July Lemon Pie

  • 1- 9 inch pie shell (I bought a frozen one and baked according to package directions)
  • 2 cups lemon curd
  • 1- 8 ounce container Cool Whip
  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • 1/2 pint raspberries

If you are making your own lemon curd, do that 2 hours ahead and refrigerate.  I was running tight on time so I froze the curd for 10 minutes and then put it in the fridge for an hour.  Reserve 1/2 cup Cool Whip for stars.  Fold lemon curd and Cool Whip together.  Smooth into pie shell.  Decorate the top with blueberries, raspberries and Cool Whip stars (I used the Wilton 1M Tip for the stars).

Lemon Curd adapted slightly from Martha Stewart Cupcakes

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 full eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cups lemon juice (I like to use Real Lemon bottled lemon juice because I am lazy and don't like to squeeze lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons

In a medium large saucepan mix together sugar and egg yolks.  Add in lemon juice and cook over medium heat until thick and coats the back of the spoon.  Do not let it boil if you can help it, it will make the eggs in the curd curdle.  Remove from heat.  Strain the curd through a mesh strainer.  Stir in vanilla and lemon zest.  Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the curd.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

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