Monday, December 31, 2012

Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls with a Dark Chocolate Drizzle

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic this evening, so I made Popcorn balls like my dad use to do for me when I was a kid, except I got a little fancy.
These are Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls with a Dark Chocolate Drizzle.
Happy New Year!!
 
 
I used:
Yellow popping corn (half a stick of butter and about 1/4 cup of veg oil to pop in)
stick of butter
Sugar
Corn Syrup
1 can of sweeten condensed milk
Sea Salt
Melted Dark Chocolate(melt with a little milk for drizzle consistency)
 
You need to:
Pop your popcorn in a deep stock pot that has a lid. Let your oil and butter get hot before you pour in your popcorn. (How much popcorn to use? Enough to cover the bottom of your pot completely, eyeball it or follow the instructions on the bag.) Set your popped corn aside but make sure there are no un-popped kernels.(If there is, remove them, ya' don't want to break any ones teeth)
 
Melt your butter in a sauce pan then stir in the sugar until it's a syrup consistency. Continue to stir until it becomes caramel.(LOW HEAT) Add about 1/4 cup of corn syrup and your sweeten condensed milk and continue to stir. Pour the hot mixture evenly over your popcorn and mix together with a wooden spoon. Quickly form balls, I wore disposable gloves to protect my hands from the heat a little. Grind the sea salt over your balls and then drizzle chocolate over them. Easy right?
 
Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J
 



Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gumbo For The Soul

To me, Gumbo is the ultimate comfort food. This food warms you from within, so it's perfect for a cold winter night. Tonight, I'm feeling a little home sick, so I decided to try my hand at my mom's Gumbo recipe. Not to tut my own horn, but my Gumbo came out great! Check out my pictures.
 
Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

 
 
 


Friday, December 21, 2012

Old Fashion Southern Style Tea Cakes (The way I remember them)

Seasons greetings! After today the kids will be on Christmas break, so I decided to bake something special for the teachers. It doesn't get any better than a fresh out the oven southern tea cake.

Now, on my quest to recreate my Big Momma's tea cake recipe, I've had quite a few misses as well as some hits that just didn't taste like a tea cake. The recipe that I am sharing with you today is an adaptation of several recipes mixed with extra flavors I remember tasting in my Big Momma's cookies. These cookies aren't as hard as you may think, but you must roll them and cut them for it to be an authentic southern style tea cake. If you make them, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Let me know what you think this recipe needs.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup of butter flavored shorting (to me this held the moister better than butter, also I used the pre-measured sticks)
  • 2 cups of sugar (trust me, you need all 2 cups, I tried with 1 3/4 cups and it wasn't sweet enough)
  • 3 room temp eggs
  • 5 cups of cake flour (cake flour makes the inside of the cookie softer to me)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp of lemon extract (this is that little something I added that none of the other recipes had, this is what was missing) (I've recently changed my mind about the lemon, omit this ingredient)
  • I also added a few sprinkle of cinnamon and a small dash of nutmeg, this is something the other recipes were missing as well. I'd same maybe 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and just a dash of nutmeg. The cookies really do need this hint of spice to me.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix it all together with a fork.

Cream your shorting and sugar until it well incorporated, then add your eggs one at a time mixing each egg in well. One at a time add your vanilla extract, lemon extract, cinnamon and nutmeg, mixing well after you add each ingredient. When all that is mixed well add your buttermilk one tbsp at a time. After mixing in the buttermilk stop your mixer. Fold in your dry ingredients by hand with a spoon until the mixture is wet, then you can mix it with your mixer without flour flying all over the place. Once everything is mixed well, form a ball with your dough in the mixing bowl, cover it and place it in the fridge for a hour or two. This is going to make your dough better to work with.

(1 or 2 hours later)Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. (this may seem high, but it will give you a crisp texture on the outside while remaining soft on the inside) Line your baking pans with parchment paper.

Sprinkle your work space with flour and have flour on stand by for your rolling pin and hands. Dump your dough on your workspace and sprinkle it with a little flour too. Work your dough from a ball to a disk type shape and then roll to a little under 1/2 inch thickness. Once you have the dough rolled out you are ready to start cutting. I used a small glass to cut mine into the round shape. (You will need to dip you cutter into flour from time to time) Place your cut cookie on the baking pan as you go leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake these cookies for 10 minutes.

It sounds like a lot, but it really goes fast and its well worth the effort.

PS. I'm going to learn how to post my temp and measurements in the European setting for all my UK buddies. :)

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J









Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why is Chicken Soup Good For Colds?

I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup for Kaylei Joi and some of the other kids in the neighborhood that have come down with the sniffs. With the threat of colds and the flu lingering around, it's a good idea to have chicken soup on hand.

What is about homemade chicken noodle soup that sooth the sick? Moms and Grandmothers around the world have been making homemade chicken noodle soup for their sick little ones for ages. I did a little digging to find out what is behind the healing properties of homemade chicken noodle soup.

It's a well know fact that some herbs have healing properties, it is also a well know fact that most vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrient our bodies need. Below is a list of some of the ingredients that you'll find in homemade chicken noodle soup along with some of the health benefits behind them.

Thyme - antioxidant and may help with respiratory issues
Garlic - helps boost immune system so you can fight off colds
Celery - full of just about all the alphabet, vitamin A, B, C and K
Carrots - can help with respiratory issues, full of B vitamins and A
Onions - high in vitamin C and B, also a great antioxidant
Parsley - parsley has properties in it that can help fight off fever naturally, also high in vitamin C
Rosemary - wonderful antioxidant
Black Pepper- also a great antioxidant

How can you not feel better after eating a good bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. With all the antioxidants and vitamins working to help your body fight off illnesses you are sure to feel better in now time.

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J













Friday, December 14, 2012

Easy Tender and Juicy Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker

As a mother, I realize there are times we do not feel like slaving over a hot stove for hours. That is why the Slow Cooker was invented. In the video below, I show you how to get your roast tender and juicy.

 Enjoy!

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J
 
 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Creamy Layered Grits

I was asked to make a breakfast dish for the teachers appreciation gathering at my daughter's school. It took me a while to come up with an idea, but when I did it was marvelous.

I present to you, Creamy Layered Grits

To get my grits creamy, I added plenty of butter, milk, white cheddar, and half a block of cream cheese. I seasoned my grits with salt and a little garlic powder. Over the grits I put a layer of scrambled eggs. Over the scrabbled eggs I put a layer of breakfast sausage the I cooked, crumbled and mixed with onions, bell peppers, parsley and minced garlic. Finally I topped this with a layer of quality smoked Gouda.

Enjoy!

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J







This is how I served it at the school to keep it warm.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sweet Potato Tea Cakes

Since I could not figure out my Big Momma's exact recipe for tea cakes I've decided to just come up with one of my own. I happen to LOVE sweet potatoes, so I often try new things with them. These cookies came out great. They were soft on the inside but with a nice crispness on the exterior. I think my Big Momma would be proud.

You'll need

1 cup butter (room temp)
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 block of cream cheese (room temp)
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of cooked & mashes sweet potatoes

Here is what you do:

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add in your sweet potatoes. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add in the vanilla. In a separate bowl combine all your dry ingredients and mix them together. Then, add your dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and mix well. Once everything is mixed well, sprinkle a little flour over the dough and form a ball. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
Preheat the oven to 325. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch in thickness. You'll need to put flour on your rolling pin, whatever you use to cut your cookies and some for your hands too. Cut the cookies and place them 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes before dusting them with powder sugar.
 Enjoy!

 Hungraciously Yours,
 MiMi J

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Germknoedel My Way

One of my fondest memories from childhood was visiting the Christkindel Market in Germany and partaking in the festivities. My absolute favorite thing at the Market was the Germknoedels. I have search far and wide here in Dallas to find this treat, but no luck, so, I made it myself. I came out wonderful!

I've noticed several spellings of this treat, Germknoedel (which seems to be how Europeans spell it) and Germknodel (I'm guessing that's the way us yanks spell it).

Here is the definition of Germknodel according to Wikipedia;
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germkn%C3%B6del)
Germknödel ([ˈɡɛɐ̯mˌknøːdl̩], Austrian German for yeast dumpling) is a fluffy yeast dough dumpling with a mix of poppy seeds and sugar, filled with spicy plum jam and melted butter on top, often eaten with vanilla cream sauce. It is a culinary speciality of Austria, Bavaria, and Bohemia. The dish is served both as a dessert and as a main course.

Basically it's a steamed sweet dumpling, stuffed with a fruit filling and topped with a butter or vanilla cream sauce. The vanilla cream sauce is the best to me.

Check out my silly little video me and my kids did while making out Germknoedel.  This was a lot of work, but well worth the effort.



Enjoy

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Monday, December 10, 2012

Peach Cobblets

This crowd please peach cobbler dessert is surprisingly simple. Now try saying that 3 times really fast.

I'm going to tell you how to make this in mini muffin tins and in a square baking pan. It's a lot easier in a baking pan.

Ingredients

1 box of golden recipe cake mix
1/2 stick of soft butter (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 & 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp and a dash of nutmeg
1 tsp corn starch
2 cans of peaches in the juice


In a bowl hand crumble your cake mix 1/4 tsp cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg and butter together. Set aside.
(FOR MINI TINS)
Drain the juice from your peaches into a small bowl, add your corn starch to the juice and mix well.
In a small sauce pan add your peach, sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and the vanilla and let it come to a simmer, then add your peach juice. Let this mixture reduce. Once your peach mixture gets thick, blend it. Once it's cool enough put your mixture in a pipping bag.(I used a freezer bag and cut the end)

Line your muffin tins and spray them with a non-stick cooking spray. Put your crumble at the bottom of the pan and then press it down, add your peach mixture and then add more crumble to the top. Repeat this in each muffin tin.

Bake at 350 until the crumble on the top browns.

(FOR SQUARE PAN)
If you are using a square baking pan, spray it with your non stick spray. Crumble your butter, dash of nutmeg,1/4 tsp of cinnamon and cake mix. On the bottom of your pan add your peaches with the juice (NO NEED TO REDUCE OR BLEND THEM). Sprinkle your nutmeg (1/4 tsp), sugar, cinnamon (1 tsp),  vanilla and corn starch directly in the pan and whisk well. Top your pan with the cake crumble mixture and bake at 350 until brown.

Enjoy

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J





Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

This cake was a hit at my cookie exchange. The sweet potato really made for a moist cake and the cream cheese icing too it to the next level. The recipe is below, happy baking.

Sweet Potato Cake with Cheese Icing

For the cake:
2-3 fairly large red sweet potatoes (enough to make 2 cups cooked & mashed)
2 3/4 cups cake flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup soft butter
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat your oven to 350
Spray you baking pan
Sift your dry ingredients and set aside
Cream your butter and sugar, add your sweet potatoes and then your eggs one at a time
Once your wet ingredient are fold in your flour and mix well

Bake it- cool it- frost it and enjoy it

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J





Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday Cookie Exchange

Need items for a Christmas themed party? Check out this video from my first annual cookie exchange gathering. I will be posting recipes and pictures starting tomorrow. My guest brought some really tasty desserts, so I'll post pictures and recipes for their items too.
 
 
 

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kaylei Joi's Mini Soft Taco Creation

Nothing brings me joy like seeing the creative light shine from my baby girl. Tonight my daughter made mini taco's by cutting flour tortilla's in 4 and filling them with the meat and rice mixture and then, to add flare she folded the corners of the tortilla. She makes her mommy so proud!


Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J