My son Liam loves to cook! The other day he asked if he could make homemade lemonade. I was happy to oblige. I got out the stuff and he told me to walk away. He was going to do it all. I told him that I would need to help as he hasn’t graduated to using the stove or a sharp knife yet. While he objected, he finally agreed as he really wanted lemonade. Just to set the record straight, all I did was cut the lemons in half and heat up the simple syrup.
The past week the weather has been a little cold. My son told me that he really wanted some hot chocolate to heat him up. I was too happy to oblige, as I love hot chocolate. I went to all of the stores around me and every single hot chocolate mix that I found, contained sugar and sucralose (an artificial sweetener). I don’t have any issue with people using artificial sweeteners, but my son and I both get an off taste from them. I can’t explain it, but it just does not taste right to us. So after a quick scan of three supermarket aisles, I decided that the commercial brands were out. Therefore, I had to make my own mix. Come to find out, making homemade hot chocolate is quite simple. Mix a few ingredients, add some hot water and boom. Homemade Hot Chocolate! The homemade hot chocolate mix, is simple and delicious!
I make a ton of homemade pizzas and I always make my own pizza sauce. The number one question that I get is, what pizza sauce recipe should I use? So the other day, I searched my website looking for it and I did not find it. To be honest, I thought that I had already wrote a pizza sauce post. I guess I was wrong. Here is my favorite pizza sauce recipe!
My family loves to eat cookies. Some of our favorite cookies are pressed cookies. They are easy to make, equal in size and consistent in quality. They are basically the easiest cookies in the world to cook the same repeatedly. In order to make these we had to pick up a cookie press. After looking at various reviews online we decided to pick up an Oxo Cookie Press. Next since it is Valentines day we decided to make some Valentines cookies. This was easy as a few of the various cookie cutters included with the Oxo cookie press were hearts, flowers and teddy bears. Perfect for Valentines Day! The go to dough for these cookies, is Dana’s Mother’s recipe. Thanks for letting me reprint this Jane.
My wife Dana is a great baker. She also has a great eye for design. So I have to put it out there, these cookies are all her. My hands are not steady enough and my decorating ideas are not good enough to make these cookies. However, she was happy to share them with all of you. So a big thank you to Dana! How awesome do these cookies look? By the way, these sugar cookies are perfection. They are not too sweet, thus allowing you to coat them in super sweet royal icing. Plus, they hold up great without overly rising. Therefore, your cutouts look exactly as they should.
My Father-In-Law Bill is a wine fanatic. When I told him that I needed a new drink for the blog he went right for Sangria. It is a light and refreshing wine based drink that is perfect for this summer weather that we are all having. Bill’s Sangria has a few twists which add to the uniqueness of it. In addition to wine he adds flavored seltzer, Cointreau and rum. Together it is awesome!
First you need to assemble the ingredients.
Next you need to slice the fruit. We sliced the lemons and oranges. Then we cubed the apple and peaches.
In a 2 liter jug or larger add the fruit.
Then pour in the wine, Cointreau, Rum, sugar and Seltzer.
Mix and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Serve and enjoy!
- 750 ml red table wine (dry)
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 1 oz Rum
- 2 tbs sugar
- ½ liter orange flavored seltzer
- 1 apple (cubed)
- 1 peach (cubed)
- 1 orange (halved and sliced)
- 1 lemon (halved and sliced)
- First you need to assemble the ingredients.
- Next you need to slice the fruit. We sliced the lemons and oranges. Then we cubed the apple and peaches.
- In a 2 liter jug or larger add the fruit.
- Then pour in the wine, Cointreau, Rum, sugar and Seltzer.
- Mix and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Serve and enjoy!
The next cookie that Dana made for our Christmas Cookie tins was a nice Apricot Thumbprint cookie. The Apricot jam accented the sugar cookie nicely. Just like the other cookies, I could not keep these out of my mouth.
In a large bowl combine butter with sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Using and electric mixer, beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
In another bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt).
Turn the mixer to low and gradually stir into the butter mixture. Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat until well blended.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
Set oven to 400°F.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (do not grease cookie sheets, use parchment paper only).
Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on the cookie sheet.
Make a well in each ball with your thumb or teaspoon, and then fill the well with apricot jam.
Bake 8 Mins at 400 degrees.
Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- 1 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ Cup Apricot Jam
- In a large bowl combine butter with sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract; beat using an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy.
- In another bowl combine the flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the butter mixture until well blended.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
- Set oven to 400°F.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (do not grease cookie sheets use parchment paper only).
- Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place ont he cookie sheet.
- Make a well in each ball with your thumb or teaspoon, and then fill the well with apricot jam.
- Bake 8 Mins at 400 degrees.
- Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
These were some of the most popular cookies. They had a nice sweetness and the jam added a nice texture. These were delicious cookies.
I was trolling around the internet looking for some inspiration and discovered these tasty cookies over at SavorySights.com. They were posted by Fake Ginger and they reminded me of the super soft and delicious sugar cookies that the local Ukrop’s Bakery inside of Martin’s makes. They were perfect. Light and fluffy and exactly what I expected. These cookies are almost like eating sugary air. They are a must try.
Peaches are in season right now and they are sweeter than ever. I have a pantry full of them. I was looking for a new recipe that I have never even contemplated before. Dana and I were brainstorming and one thing I have never made was an upside down cake. So I looked around and my favorite celebrity chef Alton Brown had made a similar recipe.
Individual Peach Upside-Down Cakes – (From Alton Brown)
- 3 tbs unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 medium peaches, peeled
- 3 tbs finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- ice cream and whipped cream for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Peel the peaches and slice them into 12-14 pieces each. A quick tip for peeling peaches is to place them in boiling water for 3-4 seconds and then the skin just peels right off.
If you find that the skin is still tough to remove, add back to the water for another 3-4 seconds and repeat. That way you waste no fruit and the skin comes off easily.
Divide 2 tablespoons of butter between 4 six-ounce ramekins. Then evenly sprinkle the brown sugar between the ramekins.
Then lay the peaches evenly over the top of the sugar. Then divide the ginger between the ramekins.
Melt the remaining 1 tbs of butter. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. then add the sugar, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla. Stir until just combined.
Then pour the cake mixture divided evenly over the top of the peaches.
Bake on the middle rack at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the cake is fully cooked.
Remove from the oven and let cook for 5 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge of each dish and turn upside down onto a plate.
Top with ice cream and whipped cream and serve.
These little cakes were the perfect after dinner treat. Put them in the oven when you sit down to eat and they are ready when you finish eating. Delicious!
The other day I was strolling through the local Super Market when I came across an amazing loaf of Challah bread. I knew I had to make something with it. So I decided to make my favorite French Toast for dinner. Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner. Plus, a little brown sugar and Cinnamon to round off my French Toast. The perfect complement for a savory sweet breakfast for dinner treat.
Top with a little powdered sugar and this breakfast treat is going prime time.