Tuesday, March 3, 2015

FUDGE!

Fudge! What a tasty treat that can be so easily adapted to so many palates. I have been making fudge using the same quick and simple recipe for years now, but when I talk about fudge with people I usually hear comments about how difficult it is to make. Well that doesn't need to be the case when I have an easy recipe that is made in the microwave! I have done this with white, milk, and semi-sweet chocolate chips as well as peanut butter chips and it turned out great every time. I've added orange zest, coconut, nuts, crushed peppermints... even made Funfetti Cake Batter Fudge! Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
3 cups chocolate chips
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter, softened or melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
additions as desired (see "Additions" below)

Directions:
Line an 8x8" or 9x9" pan with foil. Combine first 3 ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and stir to coat chips with butter and milk. Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring very well between microwaving. The key to this is to heat the chocolate slowly and stir the fudge very well, say for 30 - 45 seconds, after each microwaving. It should only need to be microwaved 2 or 3 times before it's smooth and all the chips are melted. Once it's smooth stir in the vanilla extract. If you're using additions add them now. Pour fudge into your prepared pan and refrigerate until set, 3 - 4 hours. Carefully remove foil and cut into small pieces, I usually cut an 8x8" pan into 36 pieces

Additions:
For orange chocolate add 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
For coconut add 1/2 - 3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes (I usually combine this with nuts and add 1/2 cup each)
For walnuts add 3/4 - 1 cup chopped nuts
For peppermint add or top with 3/4 cup crushed peppermint (for a prettier look use a mesh strainer to remove the dusty part of the crushed peppermint, and press the chunks into the top of the fudge)

Funfetti Cake Batter Fudge

Funfetti Cake Batter Fudge

Ingredients:
3 cups white chocolate chips
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter, softened or melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sprinkles

Directions:
Line an 8x8" or 9x9" pan with foil. Combine first 3 ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and stir to coat chips with butter and milk. Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring very well between microwaving. The key to this is to heat the chocolate slowly and stir the fudge very well, say for 30 - 45 seconds, after each microwaving. It should only need to be microwaved 2 or 3 times before it's smooth and all the chips are melted. Once the fudge is smooth add the extracts and stir well. Gently fold in the sprinkles. Be careful not to stir the sprinkles too much; if they melt they'll turn the fudge brown. Pour fudge into your prepared pan and refrigerate until set, 3 - 4 hours. Carefully remove foil and cut into small pieces, I usually cut an 8x8" pan into 36 pieces.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Recipe Testing: February 2015

I've made this Perfect Queso Dip recipe twice now, and I concluded that I simply bought the wrong type of Queso. I bought "Queso Fresco" and it crumbles in the way feta does. It never truly melted in my Queso dip, so I wound up with a soupy liquid with cheese curds. I have since purchased Queso Quesadilla which bragged about it's melt on the packaging, and I'm hoping for better results. The overall flavor was the most similar to what I've had in restaurants, so I'm feeling pretty optimistic about this one! I also found the Queso Quesadilla with jalapenos in it, so I'll experiment with that at some point too.

I made Alton Brown's Cocoa Brownies recipe recently as well (and added M&Ms) and oooooohhhhh man are these good!!! They're dense, gooey brownies. The M&Ms worked really well, and I think lots of other things could be added (coconut? nuts? PB chips? toffee? peppermints?) and be very tasty. I would recommend serving these with milk, whipped cream, or even vanilla ice cream!

This afternoon I will make, and tomorrow morning I will bake these Cream Cheese Biscuits. I had Cream Cheese Biscuits at Whole Foods recently and loved them, and I'm hoping this will be a recreation at home! Side note: I never have buttermilk on hand, so I usually make a substitute. TheKitchn suggests combining 1TB white vinegar with 1 scant cup milk and letting it sit for 10 minutes, or thinning sour cream or yogurt with milk.

Bright and early tomorrow morning while I'm baking biscuits I'll also be starting No-Knead Chewy Sandwich Rolls for cold cut sub lunches! I'm not too good with this type of baking, but I'm excited to be trying it out!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan: Mon, Nov. 18 - Sun, Nov. 24

Mon, Nov. 18:
Take-out

Tues, Nov. 19:
Dinner out with the barn girls

Weds, Nov. 20:
Leftovers

Thurs, Nov. 21:
Italian Chicken Sausage Simmered in Mushroom & Bell Pepper Tomato Sauce over Pasta with Steamed Asparagus

Fri, Nov. 22:
Pepperoni Pizza

Sat, Nov. 23:
Ranch Oven Fried Drumsticks, Caesar Salad, and Leftover Pasta with Cheese Sauce

Sun, Nov. 24:
Italian Sausage Marinara Croissant Sandwiches and Freezer Fries

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan: Mon, Nov. 11 - Sun, Nov. 17

Mon, Nov. 11:
Mexican Take-out

Tues, Nov. 12:
Chicken Eggplant Jalfrezi over Jasmine Rice with Naan Bread

Weds, Nov. 13:
Leftover Chicken Enchilada Soup

Thurs, Nov. 14:
Dinner out at Horsemasters

Fri, Nov. 15:
Date Night at the local BBQ Shop

Sat, Nov. 16:
Chinese Take-out

Sun, Nov. 17:
Philly Cheese Steak and Freezer Fries

Also make: Friendship Bread Belgian Waffles, Broiled Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks, Crock Pot Stock, and [Modified]Garlicky White Bean and Chard Soup

Weekly Meal Plan: Mon, Nov. 4 - Sun, Nov. 10

Mon, Nov. 4:
Mexican Take-out

Tues, Nov. 5:
Surprise Dinner Date!

Weds, Nov. 6:
Slow Cooker Braised & Broiled BBQ Pork Ribs, Mashed Potatoes, and Salad

Thurs, Nov. 7:
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Fri, Nov. 8:
Chicken Andouille Sausage and Sauteed Mushrooms over Creamy Chili Cheese Grits

Also make: Banana Bread Muffins

Sat, Nov. 9:
Leftover Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Also make: Pineapple Margaritas

Sun, Nov. 10:
Leftovers

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan: Mon, Oct. 28 - Sun, Nov. 3

Mon, Oct. 28:
Leftovers

Tues, Oct. 29:
Slow Cooker Chicken Leg Quarters, Stuffing, Salad

For the Chicken I ended up combining two recipes. I used the spice rub (minus the onion powder and white pepper because I didn't have any, and no chopped onions in the pot either because of the foil) from this recipe, and then followed the instructions for balled up foil from this recipe.

Also make: Philly Cheese Steak Croissant Sandwiches and Freezer Fries for lunch, Amish Friendship Apple Cinnamon Spice Muffins and Amish Friendship Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Weds, Oct. 30:
Chicken and Squash Quesadillas

Thurs, Oct. 31:
Chicken, Spinach and Mushroom Pasta Bake with Salad

Fri, Nov. 1:
Grocery Store Fried Chicken and Salad

Sat, Nov. 2:
Crustless Chicken, Carrot, Celery, and Mushroom Pot Pie with French Onion Topping

Sun, Nov. 3:
Leftovers