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Friday, February 8, 2013

Chocolate Fondue: The Chocolate 'Pool' of Love

  Chocolate Fondue: The Chocolate 'Pool' of Love 

Hi everybody :)
Bring your favorite chocolate dessert to Roxana’s Home Baking #chocolateparty and win amazing prizes from OXO, Calphalon, Keurig, Imperial Sugar, Honey Ridge Farms and Land O’ Lakes® Butter.

Since February is the shortest month of the year, we're taking our trip to 'Chocolate Land' a little earlier this time around. Hold on tight and buckle-up, have I got a chocolate treat for you! Today we're going for a dip in the chocolate 'pool' of love. 

If you're just tune in to my blog, every month I post at least 2 recipes dealing with chocolate, from the creamy white to the deepest dark that promise to fulfill  your chocolate fantasy  delight. If you missed a trip, don't worry there still time to play catch-up; just look under the Chocolate Label to reach your chocolate destination. But to ensure you won't have that problem, subscribe now and follow me. I will take you on an trip you won't soon forget :)
Next stop destination: Chocolate Fondue... let's get it started.  

Chocolate Fondue
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (mix with vanilla bean paste)

In heavy saucepan, over medium heat, melt chocolate chips and butter with EAGLE BRAND® and water. 
Cook and stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes.(Don't worry if it don't look that thick at first it will thicken the longer it sit.) Remove from heat. Add vanilla. (I added the vanilla too soon, then add a little more later)
Serve warm as a fruit and cookie/cracker dipping sauce or drizzle over ice cream or cake. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.
SourceAll Recipes
What I Did and/or Think:
The only thing I did was add the vanilla too soon and added more later. I used pineapple chunks, strawberries, bananas, graham crackers, Chewy Quadrupled Chocolate Cookies and
Pound Cake Cookies as dippers, but the possibilities are endless. 

I'm sure you can make this with other white chocolate and milk chocolate, but I haven't tried it yet but I will be testing it out soon :)
The Taste: It WAS AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!! Very thick, rich, and chocolatey good. Yes! It is an A.G.R. ladies. (Another Great REPEAT).

Here's a strawberry for you :) until next trip...  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pound Cake Cookies Shortcakes

Pound Cake Cookies Shortcakes

Hi everybody :)
It's a raining day here in Georgia, I think I'm going to hop back in bed after I post this. Back in 2011, I won a box of recipe cards from Beth of Baked by Beth, called One Smart Cookies. I decided to browse  through them the other day and stumbled across this recipe, Pound Cake Cookies. Being the southern girl I am, I had to give it a try. 

I wanted to make something extra special with the cookies, so I made them into another southerner's delight; Shortcakes! Let's get it started...
Pound Cake Cookies
1 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon vanilla, lemon, or almond flavoring

Cream together butter, shortening, eggs, and sugar. Add flour and flavoring and mix well. (I used lemon extract & added 1 teaspoon lemon zest.) (Dough will be sticky.)
Chill dough well; roll out into a lightly floured surface and cut cookies to the shape and thickness you like. (TIP: I mixed 1 part powdered sugar and 1 part flour together for rolling, instead of just flour. I divided in half & chilled overnight, the dough is much easier to roll and cut if cool. rolled to 1/4-inch thick, used medium heart shape cutter.) 
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. (I sprinkled with sugar crystals and baked for 8 minutes) Makes about 2 dozen.
Source: One Smart Cookie

Additional Ingredients:
Strawberries, washed, dried, and sliced
Cool Whip or sweetened whipped cream
To Assemble:
Place cookie on serving plate (I used 2 cookies sandwiched together). Add about 2 tablespoons of whipped cream or  en0ugh to cover cookie. 
Layered with strawberries, (I used 1 - 1 1/2 per layer) Repeat to form 3 layers of cookies and 2 layers of cream and strawberries. 
Garnish with a dollop of cream, topped with a strawberry.

What I did and/or Think:
The changes I made are in Bold, Italic, and Purple. I only made half of the recipe above. I tried to get thick cookies but the dough spread when baked, (I should have used all butter) so I put two cookies together when layering. If you want these to be thicker, bake them before cutting them or use all butter. (Shortening causes cookies to spread more.)

The Taste: The cookies are not overly sweet but they do have a wonderful flavor. They paired well with the strawberries and cream. I think this would also be great with other fruits as well. It is an A.G.R. (Another Great REPEAT).

This is also my favorite way to serve pound cake too :) 
ENJOY! Come again...

Linked to:
Katherine Martinelli: Valentine's Day Round Up 
The Better Baker Weekend Potluck
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
The Mandatory Mooch Tasty Thursday  
Sweet 2 Eat Baking: Sugar & Slice Sunday  
Melt In Your Mouth Monday @ Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms   
Flour Me With Love: Mix it up Monday! 
Jaime @ Mom's Test Kitchen  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Heart-Shaped Cheese Ball & Homemade Crackers

Heart-Shaped Cheese Ball & Homemade Crackers

Hi everybody :)
I've been so busy lately, I missed from posting the other day. To make things right, I'm sharing two recipes in today's post.
Since, February is considered a month for romance; cheese,  crackers and a bottle of wine are the prefect way to start off a romantic occasion.  We that in mind, I'm sharing Heart-Shaped Cheese Ball and Homemade Crackers. Let's get it started...
Homemade Plain Crackers
1/2 package (1 teaspoon) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 slightly beaten egg white
Coarse or seasoned salt, grated Parmesan cheese, toasted wheat germ, or toasted sesame seed

In a small bowl dissolve yeast in the warm water. Stir in oil, sugar, and the 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl stir together flour and soda. Stir water
mixture into flour mixture. 

When the dough becomes too stiff to stir, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until thoroughly combined. Then knead for 1 to 2 minutes more to make a moderately Stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Place in a sealed plastic bag and chill for 1 hour. (Dough will rise slightly.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into 1/8 -inch thic rectangle. Brush off excess flour. Cover dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a baking sheet, set baking sheet aside. (Dough will rise slightly.)

Using a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut dough into 2-inch squares, triangles, or diamond Shapes. Or, using a 2-inch round cookie cutter cut dough into rounds. (I used a small oval-shape cutter.)
Place on the prepared baking sheet. Using the tines of a fork, prick crackers well.
In a small mixing bowl stir together egg white and 1 tablespoon water, lightly brush crackers with egg white mixture. Sprinkle with coarse or seasoned salt. Parmesan cheese, toasted wheat germ, or toasted sesame seed. 
(I sprinkled garlic salt & parsley on some and salt on some.) 
Bake in a 350° oven for 10 to 12 minutes or till done. Remove crackers from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Makes about 60 (I got about 48)

Homemade Whole Wheat Crackers
: Prepare Homemade Plain Crackers as directed at left, except reduce all-purpose flour to 1 cup. Stir 1/4 cup whole wheat flour into the flour mixture. Bake a 350° oven for 12 to 14 minutes or till done.

 (I sprinkled toasted wheat germ on some and salt & pepper on some.)
Source: Better and Gardens Old-Fashioned Home Baking

Heart-Shaped Ranch Cheese Ball
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon salad supreme seasoning
1/3 cup Cheddar Cheese 
1 (2 oz.) package bacon bits (2 tablespoons)
Paprika for coating 

In a medium bowl, mix  together all the ingredients except paprika.  
 Shape into a heart.
To coat:  Sprinkle  a layer of paprika about the size of the heart on plastic wrap. Place cheese ball heart on top of paprika, sprinkle paprika to cover. 
Wrap in plastic wrap and place in zip-lock bag and refrigerate until ready to serve. (Great if made-ahead for flavors to blend.
What I Did and/or Think: 
I divided the liquid mixture in half to make half plain and half wheat crackers. The other changes are in Bold, Italic, and Purple.

The Taste: The crackers have the same taste and crunch o saltine soda crackers. They were great with the cheese ball without being overpowering. I love the flavors of the cheese ball. It contained two of my favorite thing after all; bacon and cheese :). 

I think the next time I make the crackers, I'll add a little butter flavoring to the liquid mixture. It's an A.G.R. (Another Great REPEAT).

Being romantic can be very tasty :) Now what are you waiting for? Get an head start, make them today.
ENJOY! Come again...
I was featured on Bizzy Bake!!!

Linked to:
YeastSpotting! @ wildyeast 
BYOB @ Roxana's Home Baking : (Feb 2013) Bake Your Own Bread  
Recipe Sharing Monday @ Jam Hands  
Titus 2 Tuesday  
Show and Share Wednesday Semi-Homemade Mom 
Jaime @ Mom's Test Kitchen  
Bizzy Bake Recipe Box
Kathe With an E You're Gonna Love It  
Tasty Tuesday (Food Only) @ Naptime Creation 
Zentmrs: Tuesday Table  
Pint Sized Baker: Two Cup Tuesday #5 
Katherine Martinelli: Valentine's Day Round Up    

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hamburger Soup

Hamburger Soup

Hi everybody :)

Happy February! It's has been chilly here for these past few days. I been hiding under my covers refusing to get out of bed :). On cold days I like to make some of my old stand by recipes.  You know, the kind that don't take to long to prepare but taste like you spent all day in the kitchen. 

Today stand by recipe is Hamburger Soup. It's one of my favorites because it's easily adjustable to whatever vegetables you have on hand. Here's what I did...
Hamburger Soup
3 - 4 lbs. ground chuck
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper 
1 medium onion, sliced
6 cups water
1 tsp. Better than Bouillon Beef Base (reduce sodium) 
4 cups potatoes, peeled and cut-up
2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced
1 bay leaf
1 pack Lipton soup mix + 1/4 cup water + 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch or flour
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen baby sweet peas or okra*

Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Brown meat in pot over med heat. Drained. 
Add onion, saute until tender. 
Add water, beef base, potatoes, carrots and bay leaf. Cover and simmer over low heat until vegetables are tender; about 25 minutes.
Mix soup mix, cornstarch, and water. Add to the pot along with tomatoes and peas. 
Cook about 5 minutes longer or until thicken.  Remove bay leaf before serving.
*If using okra, add at the end of cooking time. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes; the heat for the soup will cook the okra.  

This is great serve with buttery hot cornbread.
ENJOY! Come again...
Linked to:
Melt In Your Mouth Monday @ Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms  
Flour Me With Love: Mix it up Monday! 
Recipe Sharing Monday @ Jam Hands  
Marvelous Mondays @ This Gal Cooks 
Skip To My Lou: Made by you Monday