Filed under: Dessert, Just for Fun, Snacks | Tags: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, marshmallows
When I was a kid, I used to love Dr. Seuss books and much to my delight, my children love them as well. I’m sure part of it is the fact that I’ve been reading One Fish Two Fish and Oh the Places You’ll Go, along with many others since they were babies; but none the less, I love that they love those stories. Naturally because it’s Christmas time, we’ve been reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I’ve read the story to them at least once a day, every day pretty much since Thanksgiving. We even downloaded the TV special on iTunes (the original, not the Jim Carey version.)
Some time ago I came across a Dr. Seuss inspired cookbook, aptly named, Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook and I decided to order it for
myself the kids for Christmas. After it arrived, I read it cover-to-cover (as I do with every new cookbook) so now that Christmas time is here, I knew the kids would have fun with the idea of making Cindy-Lou Who Christmas wreaths inspired from the cookbook. I kind of felt like the Grinch when I was making this. No, not because I was going to try to steal Christmas, but rather, like the part of the book that goes:
Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!
GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!
It was a wonderful, awful idea. We made these sugary wreaths at 9am (and they had each eaten one my 9:15 am.) Giving preschoolers that much sugar in the morning was an awful idea, but it was so wonderful to watch them get so excited about it.
There really is no recipe; I just followed the directions for crispy rice treats on the bag of marshmallows, except used corn flakes instead of rice crispy. I added a few drops of green food coloring (the book’s recipe doesn’t do that, but I thought it would make them more festive) used my mini doughnut pan to shape them, add a few craisins on top, and enjoy.
*I’ll be taking a break from blogging over the next few days to fully enjoy the holiday with my family. Peace and Love to you and yours and I’ll probably see you again before the New Year!
“Maaaaaaaa, no tat-ting pittures…..I WANT CAAAAAAKKKKKEEEE!!!!”
That was “C” the whole time I was trying to snap pictures of the cake we made together.
A few weeks ago, Lulu’s Hypermarket opened about 5 minutes from our villa. If you’ve never heard of a hypermarket, it’s like a super Wal-Mart or Target. It has everything from electronics, to home goods to groceries, usually at a discounted price. They also have a bunch of international produce and other items, which is fun to look at, but our first visit I almost fell over when I saw a silicone Christmas tree cake mold. It’s not that I’ve never seen a Christmas tree shaped cake pan before, I just wasn’t expecting to find one in the Middle East. Especially amazing was that is was only one Dinar (that’s about $2.65!) I may or may not have actually screamed a little bit out of excitement! But we got home and I tucked it away, waiting until a bit closer to Christmas to use it.
Then a few nights ago, we went to a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at my husband’s job. They put together a wonderful celebration complete with fake snow, a visit from Santa, a live nativity, and a real camel dressed up for Christmas. The kids were still buzzing about the event the next morning so I decided today would be a good day to pull out our tree pan and bake a cake (plus it would probably make “M” stop reminding me about the part of the evening where the Christmas camel pooped on us while trying to take a picture with him. Yeah, it was gross!)
I didn’t really feel like making a cake from scratch, so I pulled out a box of cake mix and some food coloring. I’ve seen this on several blogs, but I’ve been dying to try these rainbow cakes/cupcakes. Since I was only able to find red and green color at Lulu’s, I thought it was the perfect time to try a Christmas version of the rainbow cake.
There really is no recipe (especially since I used a box cake mix.) All you do is divide the batter, color each and alternate pouring the colors into the mold and bake as directed. I thought it turned out pretty cool, but I did learn a few things over the last few days:
1. Don’t get too excited about baking a cake that you forget to grease the cake pan, even if it is silicone.
2. Don’t try to take pictures of food the kids will actually want to eat while they are actually around. They will just whine, cry and try to stick their fingers in every shot.
3. Don’t try to take pictures of a Christmas camel while standing close to it’s rear-end. It’s just gross.
Filed under: Dessert | Tags: Eggnog, Ice cream, Sweet potato, Thanksgiving
Turkey Day is tomorrow and I am so
exhausted excited. My husband always does the turkey; I usually do most of the side dishes. Our menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually the same every year, but we had to do a bit of modifying. We used to have an oil-less deep fryer that he made a fried turkey with, but we didn’t bring it with, so he will be roasting it this year. My husband usually makes collard greens, but if you’ve read my blog, greens of any variety are hard to find/very expensive. We would have splurged on collards for T Day, but alas, they are not to be found on our host island. I thought maybe we’d do Brussels sprouts instead. I’ve got a few recipes that I’ve wanted to try. Nope. Can’t findBrusselssprouts either. Oh well.
We usually each bake a dessert. My husband makes a great lemon and cranberry bunt cake and I love pecan pie. But all of our yummy delivery food has not been so kind to my waist line. Well, you can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without dessert, but a slice of cake, pie and ice cream to top it all probably won’t help me fit into my jeans come next week. So I thought I’d just make an ice cream reminiscent of one of my other favorite pies, sweet potato. Well, if you could believe it, when I sent my husband to the store initially to pick up all of the Thanksgiving groceries, he couldn’t find heavy cream. But he did come home with a few cartons of egg nog that I was able to use as a substitution.
I thought the ice cream came out wonderfully. It tasted just like the filling of sweet potato pie, with a slight hint of the eggnog. If I made this again, I’d probably cut back on the sweet potato so more of the eggnog would come through, but it was still great!
Sweet Potato and Eggnog Ice Cream
*Slightly adapted from O Magazine’s Candied Sweet Potato Ice Cream
1 lb sweet potato
1 1/2 cup Eggnog
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Heat oven to 450 and roast the sweet potato until very tender, about 1 hour. When the potato has cooled, peel and puree the flesh until smooth in a food processor.
In a medium sauce pan, bring eggnog to a boil.
Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth.
Slowly whisk the eggnog into the yolk mixture. Return everything to the sauce pan and simmer until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (don’t boil or it will curdle the yolks.)
Remove sauce pan from the heat and cool the mixture to room temperature. Refrigerate to cool the mixture more at least 2 hours but not overnight.
Freeze mixture to ice cream maker per manufacturer instructions.
Check out this link up party here!
Our pool is finally finished about a month late (don’t get me started) so my husband wants to have a pool party to celebrate. The weather is cooling down a bit here, but it’s still close to 90 degrees at 9 am. So with a nod to “cooler” fall temperatures, while still keeping in mind that it’s hot, I thought I’d pull out my ice cream maker and make some caramel apple frozen yogurt. But I should tell you that I’m not a big fan of caramel apples. I hate that the caramel get stuck in your teeth and after you’ve eaten all of the sugary stuff of the outside, all you’re left with is a boring apple on a stick. Oh, and last fall when my husband tried to make caramel apples with the kids (who were one and two at the time) it ended up being a big mess that no one wanted to eat. Those apples sat in my ‘fridge for weeks.
This time around, I thought frozen yogurt would be a healthy, dentist friendly way for everyone to enjoy an inherently fall treat. I’ve had this idea in my head for weeks for our pool party (did I mention it was supposed to be done over a month ago?!?) and I was so happy with the way it turned out. It really tastes like a caramel apple. I had a recipe I scribbled down on a piece of paper long ago for a brown sugar caramel sauce that tastes like caramel, but isn’t as chewy. I can’t remember what I first used it for, but I remember thinking that the recipe was crappy because the caramel is thinner than most dipping caramel sauces. However, for this recipe, because the frozen yogurt is so delicate, it worked perfectly. That and I didn’t have any granulated sugar, the last place I went grocery shopping was out. Yes, you read that right; they were out of sugar and didn’t know when they would be getting more.
Anyway, my husband plans on playing grill master all weekend, but of course, he can’t be the only one to make something. I’m sure at some point during the weekend I’ll push him a side so I can play on the grill for a while, but I’m going to try to play nice and let him cook for me. Hopefully he will enjoy this sweet treat after sweating over the hot grill!
Caramel Apple Frozen Yogurt
4 cups apple juice (use organic, it tends to have a stronger apple flavor)
250 g low fat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup boiling water
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons milk (I used 2% for a thinner sauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
To make the frozen yogurt: Combine apple juice and Greek yogurt in an ice cream maker. Follow manufacturer instructions. Freeze for an additional hour to firm yogurt.
While the yogurt is churning, make the caramel sauce. Mix the sugar and flour in a saucepan until combined. Pour in boiling water and salt. Stir over medium high heat for 7-8 minutes, or until sugar mixture is thick, being careful not to let it burn. Remove from heat and stir in milk and butter until combined. Cool to room temperature.
To assemble the caramel apple yogurt: If using, add nuts to the yogurt. Swirl in 2/3 of the caramel sauce. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.
Filed under: Breakfast, Dessert | Tags: Dorie Greenspan, French Friday's with Dorie, Madeleines
I debated making this week’s FFwD recipe just because I knew we were going to be eating cake all weekend on account of my husband’s birthday. However, I already felt like a Dorie slacker because I didn’t make last Friday’s Cinnamon-Crunch Chicken. I looked for the cinnamon cookies she used to “crunchify” the chicken for two weeks and was unable to find them. I thought about ordering them off of Amazon.com, but I knew they wouldn’t arrive in time.
So needless to say, I decided that I couldn’t let another Friday go by without participating; I am new to the club, after all. I am so glad that I made these tasty little cakes. Dorie says that the cakes are best if you allow the batter to rest several hours to overnight, which was perfect. I made the batter yesterday evening, and then I got up early this morning to bake them off. My family woke up to the smells of cinnamon and orange and had a warm treat waiting for breakfast.
I’ve never eaten, let alone made Madeleines before and I was pleasantly surprised by these. I thought the orange and spice was very nice. These would be perfect if you have overnight guests over the holidays. The only slight change I made to Dorie’s recipe was to half the amount of butter and use applesauce to replace it.
This, like most of Dorie’s recipes, is a great jumping off point. While I will definitely be making this one again, I can’t wait to tweak it with some other flavor combinations.
*As per the rules of French Friday’s with Dorie, members only post pictures, not recipes. If you would like the recipe, you can buy the book, Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. If cooking your way through Dorie’s book sounds like fun, you, too can join French Friday’s with Dorie by clicking here.