CINNAMON SUGAR BEIGNETS

Another recipe for beignets but this time cinnamon sugar instead of powdered sugar, thanks to http://www.neworleansschoolofcooking:

INGREDIENTS


4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (95°F to 100°F)
1/2 cup milk powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup Cajun Power Sweet Treat Cinnamon Sugar

PROCEDURE

  1. Add flour, sugar, salt and yeast to the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk to combine. Place bowl on mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. Add warm water,milk powder, egg and butter. Mix on medium speed until the mixture forms a smooth dough, about 4 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the
    refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Once risen, divide the dough in half and roll out on a lightly floured work surface to about 1/4″-thick. Cut the dough into 2″ squares. You can use heart-shaped, “x”, or “o” cookie cutters to cut your dough.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 3” of oil to 350°F in a medium pot. Fry dough in batches, turning once, until puffed and golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined tray and cool slightly.
  5. Place cinnamon sugar in a shallow bowl. Coat warm beignets in cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately.

Valentine’s Day Desserts

Need some more ideas for valentine’s desserts for your loved one try some of these from Martha http://www.marthastewart.com:

Chocolate-Pistachio Tartufo

Ingredients

1/2 cup chocolate ice cream
1/2 cup pistachio ice cream
2 maraschino cherries
5 chocolate wafer cookies, finely pulsed in a food processor
2 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
2 ounces semisweet chocolate (61 percent cacao), chopped

Directions

  1. Line a small domed glass bowl (ours was 4 1/2-inch-diameter with a 1 1/3-cup capacity) with plastic wrap, leaving a 4-inch overhang on all sides. Pack 1 ice cream flavor into each side of bowl. Make an indentation in each flavor; place a cherry in each and cover with ice cream. Wrap in plastic and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.
  2. In a bowl, mix together cookie crumbs and 1 teaspoon oil. Fold back plastic and press crumb mixture onto ice cream; smooth with an offset spatula. Rewrap and freeze at least 15 minutes.
  3. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil.
  4. Fold back plastic from ice cream. Invert bowl onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet. With a hot cloth, wipe outside of bowl to loosen. Lift bowl and completely remove plastic. Pour chocolate over top, starting in center and working outward, in one stream.
  5. Freeze tartufo on rack to harden, at least 5 minutes. Serve, or wrap loosely in plastic and keep frozen up to a week. To serve, transfer to a plate with a thin metal spatula (if it sticks, dip spatula in hot water and wipe dry).

Chocolate-Caramel Truffles

Ingredients

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (a scant 2/3 cup)
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
White, pink, and red sprinkles, for rolling

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring condensed milk, butter, and cream to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until butter melts. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens slightly and turns pale golden, 4 to 6 minutes (do not let it get too dark, or mixture will separate). Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Add chocolate, cocoa powder, and vanilla, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth and combined. Transfer to a pie dish or a wide, shallow bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
  2. Scoop 1 tablespoon of chocolate mixture into your palm and roll into a ball. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; repeat with remaining mixture. Place sprinkles in bowls (one for each color). Roll truffles in sprinkles until thoroughly coated. Place in paper mini baking cups and serve, or store in refrigerator, covered, up to 1 month.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Snowballs

Ingredients

12 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2/3 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave, 2 minutes. Stir until smooth, then stir in condensed milk, vanilla, nuts, and salt. Let cool.
  2. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls. Place coconut on a plate; roll balls in coconut to coat.
  3. Chill until set, about 30 minutes or up to 5 days.

Biscotti Bites

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups fine cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons finely grated grapefruit zest (from 2 small grapefruits)

11 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 

Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Then beat in coconut, grapefruit zest, and 5 ounces chocolate until evenly distributed.
  3. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough, spaced 1 inch apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets set on wire racks.
  5. Melt remaining chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Dip bottoms of cooled cookies in melted chocolate, scrape off excess against rim of bowl, and set on parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. The dipped cookies can be stored in a single layer in a cool place for up to a week.

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients

8 ounces dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao), chopped
1/4 cup organic unrefined coconut oil
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, for rolling
Assorted toppings: cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts (pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts), and toasted unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate with oil and the water. Stir in vanilla and sea salt. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish, and refrigerate until mixture is set but still pliable, about 2 hours.
  2. With a 1-inch ice-cream scoop, make 28 balls, transferring each one to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Coat hands in cocoa, and roll balls to make smooth. Refrigerate on sheet 10 minutes. (Truffles can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 weeks; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before coating.) To serve, roll in cocoa or pat with nuts or coconut.

Fruit Pizza with Nutella and Strawberry Hearts

We are only two days away from Valentine’s Day so all the sweet treats you can think of now is the time to plan your menu. Found this recipe on http://www.livinglocurto.com it’s perfect for my boys they love pizza, nutella, and strawberries!!! Super easy and they will go crazy. And if you prefer something more adult looking a fresh fruit heart from http://www.fivehearthome.com:

Ingredients

1 can refrigerated pizza dough or homemade pizza dough
1 tablespoon butter melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup Nutella
1 cup strawberries
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Roll the pizza dough out on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Turn the baking sheet horizontally.
  3. With a sharp knife, gently draw a heart shape in the middle of the dough. Don’t cut all the way through the dough, this is just to make a visible mark.
  4. Cut an inch outside of the line you drew with the knife. This area will be the dough crust. Remove the access dough to save for later.
  5. Shape the pizza to be a heart. Use the extra dough for added areas of crust where you need it.
  6. Bake the pizza dough for 8 minutes.
  7. While the pizza dough is cooking, cut 6-8 fresh strawberries in half and shape like hearts.
  8. After the dough has baked for 8 minutes, remove from the oven.
  9. In a small bowl, melt butter and add sugar to the butter. Stir well until the sugar dissolves. Brush the butter mixture all over the pizza dough.
  10. Place the dough back into the oven to bake for another 3-5 minutes until the pizza is golden brown and baking through.
  11. After removing from the oven, let your heart shaped pizza cool cool.
  12. Sprinkle the edge of the heart with powdered sugar then move your heart pizza to a serving board.
  13. Spread a generous amount of Nutella over the dough then place your heart shaped strawberries on top.
  14. Place the smaller pizza hearts around the large fruit pizza for an adorable Valentine’s Day treat!
  15. Slice when ready to serve.

And if you want to get more creative here is another idea a full fruit pizza!

INGREDIENTS

1 (16.5-ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Strawberries, raspberries, and cherries, washed & dried
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon water
Optional garnishes: melted chocolate drizzle & mint leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the log of cookie dough into 1/3-inch thick slices. Arrange them into a heart and press the slices together with your fingers, sculpting the edges of the overall crust for your desired shape. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. While the cookie dough crust is chilling, adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the crust for 10 to 14 minutes, or until done in the center and just starting to turn golden around the edges. Remove from the oven, set the pan on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the cream cheese and butter. Mix in the sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.
  4. Evenly spread the cream cheese frosting on the cooled crust. Arrange the fruit on top of the frosting.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together the preserves and water until smooth. If chunky, strain through a fine mesh sieve. Brush the mixture over the fruit; cover and refrigerate the fruit pizza until serving.

Pancakes Anyone

My kids love pancakes it’s the best breakfast ever but when I try to add anything they won’t touch them! Well now I make kid pancakes and grown up pancakes and everyone is happy. Found these new recipes and they are amazing for your next pancake breakfast:

Honey-Lemon Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Ingredients

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1 16 ounce carton cottage cheese

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

Butter, maple syrup, and/or berries

Directions

  1. In a large bowl stir to combine eggs, cottage cheese, honey, butter, vanilla, and zest. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir just until moistened. (Batter should be slightly lumpy).
  2. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook over medium about 2 minutes; flip when top is bubbly and edges are slightly dry. Cook an additional 2 minutes or until both sides are brown. Keep warm in a 200°F oven while cooking remaining pancakes. Serve warm with butter, maple syrup and/or berries.

Peanutty Pancakes with Honey Butter

Ingredients

1 cup packaged pancake mix
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
⅓ cup peanut butter
1 5 ounce can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
¼ cup water
¼ cup margarine or butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl stir together pancake mix and sugar. In another bowl beat egg with a whisk or fork; beat in peanut butter. Stir in milk and water. Add egg mixture to pancake mix all at once. Stir just until combined but still slightly lumpy.
  2. For standard-size pancakes, pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. (Use 1 to 2 tablespoons for smaller pancakes.) Cook over medium heat until pancakes are golden brown, turning to cook second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and slightly dry edges.
  3. For waffles, pour 1 to 1-1/4 cups of batter onto grids of a preheated, lightly greased waffle baker. Close lid quickly; do not open during baking. Bake according to the manufacturer’s directions. When waffle is done, use a fork to lift it off grid. Repeat with remaining batter.
  4. Meanwhile, for honey butter, stir together margarine or butter and honey. If desired, heat until margarine is melted. Spoon or drizzle over waffles or pancakes. Makes 8 (3-inch) pancakes or 3 (8-inch) waffles (4 to 6 servings).

Blueberry-Ricotta Pancakes

Ingredients

½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup milk
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries
4 egg whites

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In another mixing bowl beat together ricotta cheese, egg yolks, and sugar until well combined. Add to flour mixture; stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Fold in blueberries.
  2. In a small mixing bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gently fold the beaten egg whites into batter, leaving a few puffs of egg white. Do not overbeat.
  3. Heat a lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until a few drops of water dance across the surface. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle. Spread batter into a circle about 4 inches in diameter.
  4. Cook over medium heat until pancakes are golden brown, turning to cook the second sides when pancake surfaces are bubbly and edges are slightly dry (about 1 to 2 minutes per side). Serve immediately or keep warm in a loosely covered ovenproof dish in a 300 degree F oven. If desired, serve with Blueberry Syrup. Makes 16 pancakes.

Blueberry Syrup

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan combine blueberries, maple syrup, and juice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes or until blueberries become soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Use a potato masher to thoroughly mash blueberries. Set a fine-mesh sieve or a strainer lined with 100-percent cotton cheesecloth over a medium bowl. Pour blueberry pulp through sieve. Discard solids. Pour syrup into an airtight storage container. Serve warm. Cover and refrigerate the remaining syrup for up to 1 week.

Pumpkin-Ricotta Pancakes

Ingredients

½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons finely shredded orange peel, divided
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 medium orange
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon snipped fresh mint
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. In a second bowl, use a fork to combine the egg whites, milk, pumpkin puree, ricotta, brown sugar, olive oil, 1 teaspoon orange peel, vanilla and cider vinegar until creamy. Add pumpkin mixture to reserved flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile peel and section orange over a small bowl. Squeeze any remaining juice from the membranes over the segments (about 2 tablespoons). Stir in honey, mint and remaining ½ teaspoon of orange peel. Set aside.
  3. Spray a griddle or heavy skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Using the back of a spoon, spread batter into 3 to 4-inch pancakes. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden brown. Turn over when surfaces are bubbly and edges are slightly dry. To serve, top with orange mixture.

Peanut Butter Treats

So now that the holidays are over we need to start eating more healthy, does that mean stop making chocolate treats? Maybe just blend it out with peanut butter so it’s a bit more healthy! Check out the following recipes Martha put together for us and making your own peanut butter will make them even more special:

Peanut Butter Truffles

Ganache Ingredient

  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (we like 61 percent cacao)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Directions

  1. Coarsely chop chocolate, breaking it up.
  2. Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over chocolate, and add salt. Let stand for 10 minutes (don’t stir — doing so will cool the ganache too quickly, making it grainy).
  3. Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify cream and chocolate.
  4. Chocolate will often settle on the bottom or sides of the bowl. Scrape the dish with a rubber spatula to incorporate all of it.
  5. To make a whipped filling or frosting: Let ganache cool to room temperature, stirring often, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat it with a mixer on medium-high speed until paler and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes. (This will yield about 2 cups.) 

Truffle Ingredient

  • Ganache
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • Unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Directions

  1. Immediately after making the ganache, add it little by little to peanut butter, whisking constantly, until smooth. Refrigerate in a 5-by-8 1/2-inch glass loaf pan, covered, until firm, 4 hours to overnight.
  2. Scoop with a 1 1/4-inch ice cream scoop, and roll into smooth balls with your palms. (If mixture softens, refrigerate until firm.) Roll each in cocoa, tapping gently to remove excess. Refrigerate in mini baking cups for 30 minutes (or up to 4 days).

Peanut Butter Buckeyes

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Kosher salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

  1. Sift sugar into a large bowl; set aside. Combine butter, cream, peanut butter, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until butter and peanut butter are just melted. Pour over sugar in bowl and whisk until smooth. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish and smooth surface. Place parchment or plastic wrap directly on surface of mixture and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
  2. Roll scant tablespoons of peanut-butter mixture into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth; remove from heat. Working with 1 ball at a time, insert a toothpick into the center of the ball and dip into the chocolate 3/4 of the way up the ball, letting excess chocolate drip off. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Gently press holes left by the toothpick to smooth. Buckeyes can be made 1 week ahead and stored in a single layer, covered, in refrigerator.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk, divided
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
Coarse salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (2 cups)

Directions

  1. Brush a 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter, and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on long sides. Brush parchment with butter.
  2. Heat 1/2 cup condensed milk, 4 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring, until melted, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in peanut butter and 1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Press peanut butter mixture into the bottom of prepared baking dish, smoothing top with an offset spatula.
  3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring, until melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in remaining 3/4 cup condensed milk and a pinch of salt, until melted and combined. Mix in remaining 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar. Spread chocolate mixture over peanut butter layer, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
  4. Remove fudge from pan using parchment to lift, and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off parchment. Using a warm knife, cut crosswise into eight 1-inch-wide strips; cut each strip into 8 pieces.

Peanut-Butter Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients


Cookies
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Filling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. Cookies: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/2 stick butter. Add oats and cook, stirring, until toasted, 5 to 10 minutes. Spread mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; let cool completely.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat remaining 1 stick butter with granulated and brown sugars on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add peanut butter; beat until well combined.
  3. Gradually add oat mixture and flour mixture; beat on low speed until combined. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment 1/4 inch thick. Slide dough with parchment onto baking sheet and refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove top layer of parchment; cut out cookies using a 2-inch round cookie cutter. Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced about 1 inch apart; sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets.
  5. Filling: In a medium bowl, beat all ingredients on medium speed until smooth. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip
  6. Pipe filling in a spiral motion on bottom sides of half of cookies. Top with remaining cookies to form sandwiches. (Filled cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

Chocolate Praline Pie

It’s a nice cold day so let’s make something to warm us up! And who doesn’t warm up with pie even if it’s serve chilled. New Orleans School of Cooking is awesome they have great zoom classes and if you follow them they post great recipes too. This recipe is for everyone in the house pralines, chocolate, and pie thanks again www.neworleansschoolofcooking.com for the recipe and the how to video:

Ingredients
For praline caramel:

6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup chopped New Orleans School of CookingTM Pralines
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon New Orleans School of CookingTM Real Vanilla Bean Blend
For chocolate ganache:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon New Orleans School of CookingTM Real Vanilla Bean Blend
To assemble:
1 (9-inch) pie shell, or premade pie crust
Extra chopped pralines for garnish
Whipped cream to serve
Method

For praline caramel:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake pie shell for 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
    Remove and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan bring sugar, cane syrup and water to a boil. Let boil without stirring.
    Use pastry brush dipped in water to wipe down sides of saucepan occasionally, until
    mixture turns light amber in color. Remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream. If caramel
    has lumps, return to heat briefly and continue whisking until smooth. Stir in butter, salt and
    vanilla. Pour caramel into tart shell and sprinkle over chopped pralines. Transfer to
    refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.

For chocolate ganache and assembly:

  1. Bring heavy cream to simmer in a saucepan set over medium heat. Add chocolate chips
    and stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
  2. Pour chocolate mixture over caramel praline layer and place in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  3. Garnish with extra chopped pralines and serve with freshly whipped cream.

Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Wow another warm day so how could I resist having a refreshing shrimp and avocado salad for lunch. This is easily going to become a go to on my menu for pool time this summer with some side guacamole and chips yummy! Maybe a margarita or two also, thanks again http://www.cleanfoodcrush.com for the great recipe:

Ingredients

1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsps olive or avocado oil, divided (I use avocado oil for cooking and olive oil as the drizzle/dressing)
1-2 fresh garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 large avocados, diced
8 oz. mixed cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 green chili, seeded & sliced
a good handful of fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 large fresh lemon, both juice and zest of
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper



Directions

  1. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add shrimp, and minced garlic, then cook for 3-4 minutes, or just until shrimp turns pink and is no longer translucent.
  3. Season shrimp with sea salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl add cooked shrimp, chopped tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced chili, and chopped cilantro leaves.
  5. Drizzle with remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil and squeeze in your fresh lemon juice, add zest, then very gently toss to combine everything together.

Grilled Corn Salad with Tomato and Avocado

Weather has been pretty warm for January this past week so had a nice time with the grill today and this was the perfect salad to go on the menu! There is always grilled corn so since we usually have plenty leftover we said why not, check out this recipe from http://www.foodiecrush.com:

Ingredients

4 ears sweet corn
1 garlic clove pressed or minced
1 jalapeño seeds and ribs removed, then minced
Kosher salt
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ripe avocados halved, pitted, peeled and diced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
6 scallions thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill to medium heat.
  2. Put the corn, still in its husks, on the grill, cover, and cook for 20 minutes rotating the corn cobs every 5 minutes or so.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix to combine the garlic, jalapeño, and a large pinch of kosher salt.
  4. Add the lime zest, lime juice, and olive oil and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the avocado, tomatoes, scallions, and cilantro and toss gently to combine.
  6. Remove the corn from the grill. When cool enough to handle, peel back the silk, and slice the kernels off the cobs directly into the bowl with a knife.
  7. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.


Vegan Sushi

Today a surprise for my Vegan friends Sushi!!!! Who doesn’t love sushi people who can’t eat fish LOL. Thanks to http://www.loveandlemons.com they did all the work and now you can vegan sushi at home yum:

Ingredients

For the beets

  • 2 pink Chioggia beets
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger
  • Sea salt

For the rice

For the rolls

  • 4 nori sheets
  • 1 Persian cucumber, sliced into strips
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced into long strips
  • Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
  • Tamari, for serving
  • Pickled ginger, for serving
  • Vegan mayo and sriracha, optional, for serving

Instructions

  • Prepare the beets: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the whole beets on a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil and pinches of salt. Wrap the beets in the foil and roast on a baking sheet for 45 to 60 minutes, or until soft and fork-tender. The time will depend on the size and freshness of the beets. Remove the beets from the oven and remove the foil. When they are cool to the touch, peel the skins. I like to hold them under running water and slide the skins off with my hands. Slice the beets lengthwise into ¼-inch strips.
  • In the bottom of a small baking dish or shallow bowl, combine the rice vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, and ginger. Add the beets, toss to coat, and set aside to marinate. After 15 minutes, toss again to ensure even coating.
  • Make the rice: Cook the rice according to the directions in this post. Mix the cooked rice with the vinegar, sugar, and salt.
  • Assemble the rolls: Place a small bowl of water and a kitchen towel near your work area as your hands will get sticky. Place one nori sheet, glossy side down, onto a bamboo mat and press a handful of rice onto the lower two-thirds of the sheet. At the bottom of the rice place a row of beets, cucumber, and avocado. Don’t overfill or it will be more difficult to roll. Use the bamboo mat to tuck and roll the nori. Once rolled, use the bamboo mat to gently press and shape the roll. Place the roll to the side, cut-side down. Repeat with remaining rolls.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the sushi. Wipe the knife clean with a damp towel between cuts.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with tamari, pickled ginger, and vegan mayo mixed with a little sriracha, if desired.

PUMPKIN KING CAKE

Today is the Day of the Kings and what is the most traditional way to celebrate with Kings cake! There are many different ways to make and they look different based on who is celebrating around the world! I am not big on all the sugar and fruits but I do like some spice. I find this recipe is sweet enough and I use whole almonds instead of plastic babies. Here is more of the history behind the King cake:

King cake – Wikipedia

The king cake commemorated on January 6—celebrates the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child. The Eve of Epiphany (the night of January 5) is popularly known as Twelfth Night (the Twelve Days of Christmas are counted from Christmas Eve until this night). The season for king cake extends from the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Twelfth Night and Epiphany Day), up until the end of Shrovetide: Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday,” or Shrove Tuesday; the day before the start of Lent.

In Portugal and France, whoever gets the King cake trinket is expected to buy the next cake for these get-togethers. In Mexico the tradition of placing a bean, candy or figurine of the baby Jesus inside the cake is followed. The figurine of the baby Jesus hidden in the bread represents the flight of the Holy Family, fleeing from King Herod‘s Massacre of the Innocents. Whoever finds the baby Jesus figurine is blessed and must take the figurine to the nearest church on February 2 (Candlemas DayDía de la Candelaria), which celebrates the presentation of Jesus in the Temple.[20]

In the United States, Carnival is traditionally observed in the Southeastern region of the country, particularly in New OrleansLake CharlesBay Saint LouisMobilePensacolaGalveston, and other towns and cities of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In these regions, the king cake is closely associated with Mardi Gras traditions and is served throughout the Carnival season, which lasts from Epiphany Eve to Fat Tuesday.[5] The King Cake tradition is thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870.[6] Now, as part of the celebration, it is traditional to bake a cake (King Cake) in honor of the three kings. The official colors of Mardi Gras—created in 1872 by the Krewe of Rex—are purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power.[5]

Ingredients


1/3 cup of coconut milk
2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
½ cup canned Pumpkin
¼ cup Brown Sugar
½ tsp salt
1 egg or (sub flax seed 1 tbsp and 3 tbsp water)
2 ¼ teaspoons Instant Yeast
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped Pecans or additional topping

Filling

6 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
1 cup chopped pecans

***Handful of whole almonds to use as the trinket inside

Directions

  1. Make a Proof Box for the dough. Preheat oven to 175 F Once the oven has reached temperature turn it
    off and keep the door closed.
  2. Warm the milk and butter together over stove until butter is just melted let cool.
  3. Using your mixer beat the pumpkin, brown sugar, and salt together on medium speed. Add the warmed
    milk/butter and mix until combined. Then mix in the egg and the yeast.
  4. With mixer running on slow speed mix in 1 cup of flour, mixing for 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl to combine. Then add 1¼” more flour and beat 1 more minute. The dough will be very soft.
  5. Place dough into bowl greased with nonstick kitchen spray. Turn the dough around in bowl to coat evenly.
    Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise inside oven making sure the oven is off and the
    door is slightly ajar. Your dough should rise and double in size. Takes approximately 20-30 minutes.
  6. Prep a cookie sheet or sheet tray with parchment and use kitchen spray to spray paper.
  7. Once the dough has doubled in size remove from oven. Gently punch the dough down to deflate then roll
    onto floured surface. Knead the dough a few times until smooth. Knead in more flour if dough is still sticky.
  8. Using a rolling pin roll dough out to be about 18” x 10”. Cut the dough in half lengthwise.
  9. Make filing for inside and to use as a topping, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans and spices in a small bowl.
  10. Spread softened coconut oil on dough evenly, then sprinkle combined spice ingredients. Roll each sheet of dough tightly and pinch to seal.
  11. Preheat Oven 350 F
  12. On prepped sheet tray braid the two assembled doughs and make what would look like a circular wreath.
    Pinch again to seal. Sprinkle remaining of filing on top for additional flavor and place from the underside whole almonds randomly as the trinket for someone to find.
  13. Cover with plastic wrap tightly and allow dough to rise to double it’s size. Approximately 10-15 minutes.
    A good tip is to leave it somewhat near your oven that is preheating to help speed up the rise process.
  14. Once the dough has doubled in size place in oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes. Check halfway
    through the cooking process, rotate your tray so both sides brown evenly.
  15. Let cool and you can add additional topping or plastic babies if you didn’t use whole almond.