Saturday, 15 December 2012

Marshmallow Peanut Butter/ Butterscotch Bar

2 pkg. butterscotch chips, or peanut butter chips
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter or margarine
4 cups miniature marshmallows (the colored ones are the best)

Place the first 3 ingredients into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1-1/2 minutes, then stir. Microwave for an additional 1-1/2 minutes. Continue at 30 second intervals until melted. Stirring in between each setting. Let cool a couple of minutes and add 4 cups marshmallows and stir well. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan and spread evenly. Let cool completely, then cut into squares.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Stew

This is a seriously tasty stew! Perfect for this cold weather!

1 Tbsp. oil
2 lb. (900 g) boneless stewing beef, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
5 carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into chunks
6 small red potatoes, quartered
3/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
1 Tbsp. Instant Coffee
2 cups frozen peas

HEAT oil in nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add meat, in batches; cook until evenly browned, stirring occasionally. Layer carrots, onions and potatoes in bottom of 5-qt. slow cooker; top with meat. Pour 1/2 cup barbecue sauce over meat; sprinkle with coffee granules. Cover with lid.

COOK on LOW 7 to 8 hours (or on HIGH 5 hours).

STIR in peas and remaining barbecue sauce; cover. Cook 15 min. or until heated through.

Adapted from here

Monte Cristo Bread Pudding

Yum right!? Sometimes it's nice to just have some comfort food. Check out the recipe here.

Sweet Chili Sauce

Marshall loves sweet chili sauce and so I thought I better learn how to make it! I found a few recipes but this one is the best and most like the store bought type.

Note: If you want it more sweet then spicy don't use as much chilli sauce (at this amount is is pretty spicy). 

3 tbsp White Vinegar 
2 tbsp Water
2 tsp Corn Starch
1/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
6 tbsp White Sugar
2 tsp Chilli Sauce
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
Pinch of Chilli Pepper Flakes

Combine vinegar and water. Whisk in corn starch.

Add the rest of the ingredients and put into a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat. Bring sauce up to a boil for one minute. Take off heat and let cool. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Store in a air tight jar or bottle. 

Makes 1/2 cup


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Baking My Way: Ranger Crispies

 These cookies are really simple to make and taste just as simple. Can't say I love them, but they're perfect for camping, throwing in your bag for a beach day or for lunch. They also work really well with puffed wheat instead of rice cereal.

1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup margarine or butter, softened
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups crisp rice cereal

Heat oven to 375º F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. In large bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar, margarine and shortening until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in cereal. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375º F for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely. 5 dozen cookies.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Salted Caramels

I followed the directions exactly and here are the things I found for myself:

- You have to boil the heck out of it to get it up to 248 degrees and even then it doesn't form a firm ball but the caramels still set so that was good 
- I used coarse sea salt and that worked great
- Whip cream also works great! 
- I added the salt when the caramels where just starting to chill in the fridge. It seemed to stick better then. 
- Be careful when you're "boiling the heck out of it" it will start to burn if you're not on it! 
- It took me 25 minutes of cooking to get it up to 248 degrees so get it to a boil sooner then later; doing it on medium heat didn't do it for me, I just stayed right at 220 for a while.
Other then that great recipe! Time consuming but good! 

Vegetable oil
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then brush the paper lightly with oil, allowing the paper to drape over 2 sides.

In a deep saucepan (6 inches wide x 4½ inches deep), combine ¼ cup water, the sugar and corn syrup and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the mixture is a warm golden brown. Don’t stir – just swirl the pan to mix. Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly at the end!

In the meantime, in a small pan, bring the cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon of fleur de sel to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.

When the sugar mixture is a warm golden color, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be careful - it will bubble up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Very carefully (it’s hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.

When the caramels are cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the sheet in half. Starting with a long side, roll one piece of the caramel up tightly into an 8-inch-long log. Repeat with the second piece. Sprinkle both logs with fleur de sel, trim the ends, and cut each log in 8 pieces. Cut glassine or parchment papers into 4 x 5-inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled.
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