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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Old Fashioned Fig Preserves

8 cups figs, stemmed
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
8-10 cups granulated sugar*

Stem the figs, letting some of the skin release also and discard. I don't completely skin mine, but tearing off a little helps when you mash them. Add all of the ingredients, except the sugar, into a large stock pot and cook over medium to medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Add all the sugar at once and return to a boil. I let mine cook for a few minutes. I also used a submersion blender to break up the figs. That step is totally optional. You can leave them whole or used a potato masher to mash them, if you like. Remove from heat and carefully spoon or pour into jars. I yielded 3 pints and 5 half pints from this batch. You can either process the jars of preserves in a water bath, or store in the refrigerator. 

One Pint is missing from the picture because
my DIL was here and took it home! LOL
Good stuff!

*Depending on how ripe the figs are, you may use more. My figs were the last of the harvest and were so ripe, most were dark brown, almost black. They were VERY sweet and required less sugar.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Disney Inspired Treats (plus one)

Minnie Mouse is, of course, one of the most noticeable of Walt Disney's characters, next to Mickey. I was asked to do an edible fruit display for a Minnie Mouse themed birthday! Here's what we came up with!

Minnie Mouse Fruit Bowls!

1 round seedless watermelon
1 cataloupe
Pineapple (can/cans of DOLE® chunk)

Using a melon baller, scoop out the watermelon and cantaloupe.
Cut the other fruit into desired shapes.
Combine and fill the watermelon.
Secure the cantaloupe halves to the top of the
watermelon with toothpicks, and fill with fruit.


Not many people remember the Disney character Willy the Whale. He was an opera singing whale that wanted to sing at the met. There were reports of a mysterious voice singing deep in the sea. It was Willie the Whale!

Willie the Whale

Take one large oval watermelon and using a template that we downloaded from clip art, carefully carve the watermelon. We started with a square in the top and hollowed out most of the inside. Then carefully carve the rest of the tail. We used the small end of a melon baller to carve out eye sockets and placed a grape in each. I used a potato peeler (the pointy end) and carved his smile. We then filled it with fruit. (the melon, strawberries, can/cans of DOLE® chunk  pineapple, grapes, cantaloupe and blueberries) If transporting, you need to put something under the tail to support it and keep it from breaking! 

OK! It's not Disney! It's Dr Suess that was the inspiration for these Grinch Mountain Cakes!
These are Red Velvet Cheesecake Mini Grinch Mountain Cakes! Say that 5 times fast! LOL
Click HERE for the recipe!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Blueberry Cheese Danish

It's always a good idea to have a stash of blueberries in your freezer for just such an occasion! I might have just enough left  for waffles next week! I sent half of this danish with my Step-Son and his wife on there trip to North Carolina. I hope they have some left for her parents when they get there! LOL

For the dough:
1 package active dry yeast
¾ cup warm water
1½ cups warm milk
½ cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon salt
4½ cups flour, divided
¼ cup shortening, melted

For the filling:
2 - 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
fresh blueberries (about a pint, more or less per your taste)
1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir until dissolved. Add warm milk, ¼ cup of the sugar and salt. Stir in 3 cups of the flour. Mixture will be very wet. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
After the first rising, stir in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and melted shortening. Add remaining 1½ cups of flour. Dough will still be wet. Let rise until double, about an hour.
While the dough is rising, cream the sugar and cream cheese. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
After the second rise, the dough will be very wet. Dump dough on a well-floured surface and divide in half. With a floured rolling pin, roll each half into a large rectangle, about 18 inches long. Spread each rectangle with 1/2 of the filling and 1/2 the blueberries. Fold the sides in, to form a log. Place them on a well greased cookie sheet and let rise until doubled. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the danish with butter and bake for 35-40 minutes in a preheated oven, or until they're crisp and golden. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Cooking with Charlie! Zucchini Alrfedo Boats!

I love my baby brother. He is a good cook! Mama taught us both to cook. I can remember him sitting cross-legged on the counter beside the stove cooking eggs... the prettiest fried eggs you have ever seen. If a yolk broke, he would say, "Uh Oh! Broke!" and dump it in the trash and start over! LOL

I got a call saying that Charlie (my baby 'brudder') was cooking, and I needed to come take pictures so my followers would know how it's done right. Did I mention he is also modest??? (Rolling eyes here) He used the zucchini that I brought (I was given the zucchini by my BFFF Mary over at Cooking with Mary and Friends) to make Zucchini Alfredo Boats! But first, a little bit of munchies while the 'boats' are in process!

 Zucchini Chips in the making!

 Seasonings and Parm Cheese Toasted and Crispy!

Do you think they are good?
This is just after Christy and I went after them!

 Now, let's get serious! He scooped the insides out!
He made a hamburger and mushroom mixture
and of course it has cheese!

 He added more Parmesan cheese on top!

 Baked until browned and the zucchini is soft.

 Topped with an Alfredo Sauce and more cheese!
Baked until browned!

I was not even hungry, and I ate the whole thing!!!

My Baby Brudder, Charlie!

I'll work on a complete recipe soon! Not easy to follow the master in real time! LOL

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Basil Butter

This butter is great on just about everything! Breads, vegetables, rice or pasta, but it's awesome on pork chops or steaks right after that last flip on the grill. Add a pat of this butter directly on the meat on the grill. Let it melt and soak into the meat! Yummy!

½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup finely chopped fresh sweet basil and purple basil *
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
½ teaspoon lemon pepper

Mix together well.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Makes ½ cup.

*You can use sweet basil alone. I used both, because I have both in my garden.