Homemade Beignets

BeignetThis past spring my family and I made a trip to New Orleans. At the top of our list of treats to try were Cafe Du Monde’s beignets. It was a great experience and the tasty, powdered sugar puffs of dough were just enough to send our 10 year old into a treat-induced stupor — no lie, he fell asleep at the table. :). To be fair we had been walking the quarter all day so anything would have probably put him to sleep, but we still love teasing him (especially since we have a photo to prove it).
He mentioned the beignets in passing a few weeks ago and later asked if we could make some at home. I love baked goods, but hadn’t ever tried to make homemade beignets. It was a really easy recipe, but you do have to allow some time for the dough to rise. You also want to make sure you have folks ready to snap them up as soon as they are cool enough to eat — left overs are okay, but are no where near as good as the day they are made.  

Click here to get the recipe. I halved the recipe and still ended up with about 15 beignets.  

If you try them out drop me a note to let me know how things went. Oh, and don’t forget to like, post and share! Bye-bye!

Homemade, No Recipe, Soup-Making 101


Hi there!

How many of you have leftover turkey, ham, vegetables or other foods from your Thanksgiving meal?  What do you plan to do with those things?…Cause’ there’s only so many sandwiches you can make.  :). 

What about turning some of the leftovers into soup/stew?  And not some scripted recipe, but rather a bit of experimentation.  I don’t know about you, but when I make these kinds of meals  my family really enjoys them…its like they know I had to think about this meal a bit more and they seem to appreciate the effort. 

There is a basic structure that lets you make great soup/stew (or other dishes) out of things you already have in your house.  I learned this trick from my mom and grandmothers growing up (they didn’t waste food) and was reminded of this “waste not, want not” attitude when I stumbled across a great book called “An Everlasting Meal – Cooking with Economy and Grace”.  The basic premise of the book is learning to use what you have to make really, really good food.  The basic structure I mentioned earlier is

  1. A healthy oil (butter, olive oil, etc.) – Warm over medium heat
  2. Aromatics (onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, etc) – Sauté until soft
  3. Items of your choosing (meat, vegetables) – Season and cook until done (or until hot if what you using was pre-cooked) 
  4. Liquid (water, broth, milk, etc) – Add liquid until contents are 3/4 covered.  If adding milk in addition to water or broth to make your soup creamy wait until the last five minutes of your cooking time so that it doesn’t curdle.
  5. Seasonings (salt, pepper, parsley,thyme, etc.) – Add seasonings to taste

To make the bread twists from my photo above:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil a cookie sheet
  2. Thaw your puff pastry acccording to the directions on the box
  3. Cut them in strips and twisted them
  4. Brush them with an egg wash (1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)
  5. Lightly sprinkle each twist with sea salt and parsley before baking.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the twists are nicely browned and puffed

You can jazz up the bread by adding in cheeses, changing the sea salt and parsley to butter and garlic, cinnamon and sugar, etc.  Go with your gut (literally) and you will probably be right.  🙂

I know the directions for the stew aren’t specific…that was on purpose.  I hope that you will take the general framework and try your hand at making your own version.  A few helpful tips though…if you want it more like stew add LESS liquid, but if you want it more like a soup add MORE liquid.  Remember that flavors get stronger the longer something cooks so be careful with the salt…you can always add more near the end, but it is really hard to “un-salt” a dish once it is cooked in.

If you decide to experiement please check back in and tell me how things went!  Also, if this post was helpful please like, post and share!

Bye-bye!

Happy 4th of July!

photo-20150704135643300Happy 4th of July!

This post will be short and SWEET!

While gorging on pinterest pinning I came across this delicious looking pie. It is a strawberries and cream pie! The fact that it was no bake was also a winner since my stove and grill space were already claimed! The next time I make this one I think I will omit the crust and add less water. It was really light and was a perfect ending to all that BBQ!

Click here for the recipe and I hope your holiday is safe and fun!

 

 

Homemade Brown Sugar

A couple of photo-20150322114948449weeks ago I was making pancake syrup for some really sweet college kids and realized that I didn’t have enough brown sugar to make as much as I wanted them to have. I went ahead and gave them partial bottles and promised them a refill once their bottles were empty. In the
meantime I started thinking…there has to be a way to make brown sugar from home.

After a few minutes of searching Pinterest I found a recipe from Martha Stewart’s website. I decided to give it a try since I was making a sweet potato souffle that afternoon and needed brown sugar for the topping.

The steps were super simple (check out the recipe for exact amounts):

1. Measure out white sugar

photo-20150322114948314

2. Pour in molasses

photo-20150322114948383

3. Mix until well combined and you have awesome brown sugar!

photo-20150322114948414
Here’s a photo of the souffle topping where I used the homemade brown sugar (brown sugar, pecans, flour & butter).
photo-20150322114948477

Bye!

 

 

Pecan Pie Bark – A Delicious Discovery!

 

I really can’t stand the texture of pecan pie, but my husband absolutely loves it. It is almost a sin to be a southerner and hate pecan pie (I get cross-eyed looks everytime I say it) 🙂 Anyhoo…Enter the pecan pie bark, a yummy confection that is something between a pie and a cookie and has been approved by my entire family!

Since I don’t want to be “that blogger” I want to make sure to give credit to the original blogger and guest blogger — Great recipe – I found it during one of my Pinterest binges. 🙂 I made some tweaks to the recipe based on previous baker’s feedback and then added a few of my own. The original recipe can be found at http://wishesndishes.com/pecan-pie-bark/ and my tweaked version is listed below. Enjoy!

Pecan Pie Bark

Ingredients

1 T butter or margarine for greasing cookie sheet

12 graham cracker rectangles (may need more or less depending on length of cookie sheet

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 sticks margarine or butter

1 T corn syrup

1 T water

pinch of salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 cups pecan halves

1 tsp vanilla

Instructions
Preheat oven to 325.

  1. Lightly grease cookie sheet
  2. Place graham crackers as close together as possible without ovrerlapping.You might have to break the last row of crackers to fit.
  3. In a medium/large sauce pot melt both sugars, butter, corn syrup, water, salt and cinnamon over medium heat until boiling.
  4. Let it boil for two minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking/burning.
  5. Add the pecans and boil for one additional minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  7. Pour mixture over the graham crackers and spread to evenly distribute.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting or breaking in to pieces.
  10. Store in an airtight container.

Instruction #1-2 Instruction #3 Instruction #4


Instruction #5-6 Instruction #7 Instruction #8-9