Candy Cane Fudge

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course: Sweet Treats

    Prep Time: 20 mins

    Cook Time: 10 mins

    Total Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sugar

  • ¾ cup butter

  • ⅔ cup half and half*

  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips

  • 1 7- ounce jar marshmallow creme**

  • ½ cup finely crushed candy canes or peppermint candies***

  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring

    Instructions

  1. Line 9-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Spray pan with cooking spray and rub with a paper towel. Set aside. Also spray a small thin-bladed knife with cooking spray (a butter knife works well for this). Set aside.

  2. Combine sugar, butter and half and half in a sauce pan (at least 3 quart-size) over medium heat until mixture comes to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly (don't mistake bubbling at the edges for a full boil). Cook for exactly 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

  3. Add white chocolate chips and allow to sit for 1 minute, then stir until all chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Add marshmallow creme and peppermint extract. Stir again until smooth and well mixed.

  4. Sprinkle peppermint over the top and gently fold it into the chocolate mixture. Stir just until combined (if you stir too much at this point, mixture will turn pink and the final product won't be as pretty.)

  5. Pour approximately half of mixture into prepared pan. Spread to cover bottom. Using a small spoon, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the red food coloring in random drops over the surface of the fudge. Quickly pour the other half of the fudge mixture over the red food coloring. Spread evenly. Drizzle the other teaspoon in random drops over the top.

  6. Using the side of the prepared knife, run it back and forth through fudge creating a swirled pattern. Once you get a pretty swirly pattern, stop. If you swirl too much the whole mixture will turn pink. Cool completely (if you're in a hurry, like I usually am, refrigerate fudge till cool). Use the foil handles to lift fudge from pan before cutting into squares.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neopolitan Ice Cream Pops

INGREDIENTS:

  • 15 chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreo)

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 1 pint chocolate ice cream

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream

  • 1 pint strawberry ice cream

  • 16 craft popsicle sticks

  1. Using a food processor or a rolling pin and a large ziplock bag, crush chocolate cookies. (No need to remove filling from cookies before crushing). Stir in butter.

  2. Press cookie crumbs into a 8 or 9-inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper or foil with overhanging sides. Freeze for 10 minutes.

  3. Let chocolate ice cream sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften, then scoop on top of cookie crust and spread into an even layer. Freeze for 10 minutes.

  4. Let vanilla ice cream sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften, then scoop on top of chocolate ice cream and spread into an even layer. Freeze for 10 minutes.

  5. Let strawberry ice cream sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften, then scoop on top of vanilla ice cream and spread into an even layer. Press sticks straight down into the ice cream, all the way to the bottom, in even intervals. Freeze for at least 2 hours.

  6. Using the overhanging sides as handles, life ice cream out of pan. Dip a knife into hot water and wipe clean. Cut ice cream into 16 pops. You will need to re-heat knife often.

  7. Store in the freezer. To prevent freezer burn, tightly wrap and consume within a week.

NEAPOLITAN ICE CREAM

Cooking and caring for Cast Iron

A brush-up on proper cast iron care.

Cleaning & seasoning are equally important, remember to avoid metal scouring pads, which can scratch, damage, and remove the layers of seasoning and expose the metal. If what you have prepared has created a stubborn crusty layer onto the pan, the best way to clean it is by rubbing it down with kosher salt and a kitchen towel while it's still warm, then wiping it down with fat (flaxseed oil or lard do the trick nicely). Water is not the enemy of cast iron, unless you allow it to soak. Your safest bet is to scour, wash with water if necessary, and then dry and rub it down immediately. If your pan needs extra loving, you can re-season it by scrubbing it clean and applying a film of fat all over the pan's interior and exterior, then placing it in a 350˚ oven, "bake" for one hour, then cool the pan completely in the oven.

Lemony Polenta
Our Friend Gladys Hanning

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups all - purpose flour

  • 1/4 Cup polenta

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 Cup extra - virgin olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

  • 2 Large eggs

  • 1 Cup granulated sugar

  • 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest

  Topping

  • For upside down cake :Fresh fruit I used Italian plums

  • 1/4 Cup Butter

  • 1/8 Cup granulated sugar

  • 1/8 brown sugar

  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice


Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter a 10-inch cast iron pan (or a cake pan works fine too) Sift together the flour, polenta, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and vanilla.

  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the granulated sugar at medium speed until thick, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the oil mixture and the lemon zest. Gently fold in the dry ingredients just until blended.

  3. Make topping. Put in pan first. See below. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the center springs back when lightly pressed. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove the side and let cool completely.

  4. NOTES Make the cake with a buttery extra-virgin olive oil; do not use a pungent oil.

  5. For upside down cake make TOPPING: Melt butter and sugar in fry pan

  6. Add lemon juice

  7. Add fruit and cook till med soft

  8. Put fruit in bottom of pan

  9. Top with batter. Mine dripped in the oven so you may want to put foil underneath. This recipe makes enough for a 9-10" pan 

Cast Iron Turkey Pot Pie

 

Great way to use your Thanksgiving Leftovers!

 

Prepared in a 10” cast iron skillet

Serves 8

 

Ingredients

Crust

·       1 cup all-purpose flour

·       Tsp ½ salt

·       6 Tbsp butter cut into pieces (¼ cup sour cream

·       1 egg beaten (to brush over the pie crust)

Pot Pie

·       1 cups sweet potatoes peeled and diced

·       1 ½ cup russet potatoes peeled and diced

·       1/2 cup chopped carrots 

·       6 Tbsp butter

·       1/2 cup diced onion

·       6 Tbsp flour

·       2 cups chicken broth

·       1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

·       3 cups turkey cube or shredded

·       1 1/4 cup frozen sweet corn

·       1 cup frozen green beans

·       1 ½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary

·       1 tsp paprika

·       1 tsp Kosher salt

·       1 tsp black pepper

·        

 

Instructions    Preheat oven to 400F

Crust

   Prepare the crust, pulse together flour and salt in food processor.

  Sprinkle butter pieces over-top the flour mixture and pulse until coarse crumbs begin to form.

  Add sour cream and pulse until dough begins to clump together.

  Transfer dough to lightly floured surface.  Knead into a disk.

  Wrap in clear wrap and refrigerate while preparing the pot pie filling

  Place cut potatoes and carrots in medium saucepan, add water until vegetables are just covered and lightly salt.

 Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and allow simmering covered for 8-10 minutes (until vegetables are tender).      Drain and set aside.

  In your 10" cast iron pan, melt 6 Tbsp butter over medium-low heat.

 Add onion and sauté until tender and translucent.

 Sprinkle the onion with flour and stir until smooth.

 Add remaining ingredients (chicken broth, heavy cream, turkey, green beans, corn, and paprika, Salt and Pepper) and bring  contents to a boil, stirring frequently until liquid has thickened.

 Reduce heat, add potatoes and carrots stir. Remove from heat.

 Remove your pie dough from the fridge and roll out into even 12" circle. Carefully lay the crust over the top pushing the crust up  against the inside of the pan.

 Cut several small slits into the crust, lightly brush with a beaten egg, and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until crust is    golden brown.

The benefit of using a cast iron pan is that it gets  hot and stays hot. Unlike thinner pans, like aluminum, the heat level doesn't fluctuate in a cast iron. Meats that need a hard sear without being scorched, like steak, or roasts that should be browned before braising, perform beautifully in a cast iron. The surface of the meat takes on a deep brown color and crust without accumulating burnt, black bits at the bottom of the pan. To get the most out of your cast iron-meat searing experience, preheat the pan over the flame so it has time to absorb the heat. Youe cast iron pan is oven-safe, so you can take it directly from the stovetop into the oven.

Sunday Dinner,

Quick and easy Lamb Chops

 

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried

  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

  • 18 small lamb rib chop

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)

  • Mint Jelly (optional)

  • Lime yogurt (optional) recipe below

  •  

Combine first 3 ingredients in small bowl. Rub about 1/4 teaspoon mixture over each side of each chop. Sprinkle chops with salt; place on plate. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

 

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add 9 chops to skillet; cook to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to platter; cover with foil. Repeat with remaining oil and chops. Garnish platter with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

 

 

FOR THE YOGURT SAUCE:

  • 1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt

  • ½ cup basil leaves

  • ¼ cup mint leaves

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 (1-inch-thick) slice of ginger, coarsely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1 small jalapeño, halved and seeded if desired

  • 1 large scallion, trimmed

  •  Grated zest of 1 lime

  • 1 Tbls fresh lime juice, or to taste

  • 1 tsp kosher salt.

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 

Chocolate Skillet Cake

 

Ingredients: 

· 1 3/4 cups semisweet or milk chocolate chips 

· 3/4 cup unsalted butter 

· 4 large eggs 

· 1 cup granulated sugar 

· 1 cup packed light brown sugar 

· 2 cups all-purpose flour 

· 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 

· 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 

· 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

FROSTING: 

· 1 cup granulated sugar 

· 1/2 cup unsalted butter 

· 1/2 cup whole milk 

· 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 

· 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 

· 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

· 1 cup toasted pecan halves, chopped 

· How to Make It 

· Step 1 

 

 

 Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine chocolate chips & butter in a medium-size microwavable glass bowl. Microwave on medium high, about 1-2 minutes until melted and smooth, stir every 20 seconds to prevent burning. 

Set aside and allow to cool 5-10 minutes. 

 

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside 

 

Beat together eggs, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed until thick and creamy, 5-6 minutes. Add flour mixture and melted chocolate mixture to egg mixture in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat on low speed until all batches are completely mixed. Pour batter into a 12-inch cast-iron skillet 

Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 40 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool slightly. 

Frosting: Combine granulated sugar, butter, milk, cocoa, flour, and salt in a small saucepan over medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute (it will still be a bit thin). Remove pan from heat, and stir in vanilla extract. Pour into a medium-size heatproof bowl, and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Pour warm Frosting over warm Cake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Cast Iron Shrimp with Lime and Cilantro

 

To get perfectly cooked and seared shrimp cook with a recently seasoned cast-iron skillet.

 

Good tip: start off with olive oil to sauté the shrimp for a minute or two then add a tablespoon or two of butter.

 

Here is what you need:

 

Ingredients:

1 lb tail-on jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon salt 
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro (stems and leaves) if you love cilantro-more is better!
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (do not substitute margarine)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Fresh lemon wedges

Fresh Lime wedges

 

Season the shrimp with salt and cayenne pepper.

Pre-Heat your cast-iron skillet in the oven or stovetop on low heat, combine olive oil & garlic and lightly sauté before adding the shrimp. Stir and cook until the shrimp is half cooked. Add the cilantro, butter, stir to combine well with the shrimp. Add the limejuice. Turn off the heat when the limejuice is viscous and the shrimp is nicely cooked and slightly charred on the surface. Serve immediately with the lemon and lime wedges.

 Fall is the time for Apple desserts!

 

Your favorite apple to eat may not be the best apple for Pie?

But in the fall, when every apple variety in the world is essentially available and farmers markets are brimming with the fall harvest, why not take advantage and try one or more of your own local favorites?

 

Best Baking Apples:

 

BALDWIN is a hard, red apple that is centuries old. It’s primarily for baking.

 

CORTLAND, red tinged with green, is the darling of bakers, who prize it because it’s firm, flavorful, keeps its shape, and doesn’t turn brown when peeled.

 

GOLDEN DELICIOUS, a soft green apple, used to be the go-to baking apple, but few bakers use them now. Local varieties are marginally more flavorful than those grown in other states.

 

GRAVENSTEIN, one of the earliest apples, is a fine baker, if you’re in the mood for apple pies in August.

 

HONEYCRISP is everyone’s new favorite apple because it’s hard, juicy, and sweet.

 

MUTSU, also known as Crispin, is generally a giant of a green apple that comes late in the season. This year they’ll come in much smaller than usual.

 

NORTHERN SPY, red with a green “cheek,’’ is an old-fashioned baking apple that holds up well in pies.

 

OPALESCENT is a 19th-century red apple that is successful in baked goods, but not great to eat out of hand.

 

RHODE ISLAND GREENING, an heirloom variety, is hard and tart. Bake with it, but it’s not satisfying as a snack.

 

ROME BEAUTY is all red, not that tasty as a snack, but wonderful for baking.

 

SPIGOLD is a cross between Northern Spy and Golden Delicious and a favorite of some.   Source: Boston Globe

 

 

Skillet Apple Pie

Here is what you need:

 

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
2 lbs. Golden Delicious apples, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground saigon cinnamon

1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 stick butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 package of refrigerated pie crusts (if you have a little extra time, whip up your own)
1 egg white
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

¼ cup flour

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Toss chopped apples in 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Drain the juice from the mixture and add ¼ cup flour to the apple mix

 

Place your skillet on the stove on low heat.


Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved


Remove the skillet from the heat and place one of the pie crusts in the bottom of the pan.


Add apple mixture then top with remaining pie crust.


Whisk the egg white to a foamy consistency and brush across the top of the crust.


Sprinkle the remaining granulated sugar across the top crust of the pie.
 

Cut 5-6 slits in the top for steam to escape.


Bake for about an hour or until the crust is a golden brown.

Timeless cast iron staple for any time or any day.

Simple Skillet Corn Bread

 

Here is what you need:

 

  1 cup Yellow Cornmeal

  1/2 cup All-purpose Flour

 1 teaspoon  Kosher Salt

  1 teaspoon of Sugar

  1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

  1 cup Buttermilk

 1/2 cup whole Milk

  1 whole Egg

  1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

 1/4 cup Shortening

 2 Tablespoons bacon drippings or shortening

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Stir together.

Stir together with a fork, buttermilk, whole milk, then add the egg. Add the baking soda to egg mixture and stir.

Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Using a fork stir until combined. 

In a small bowl, melt ¼ cup of shortening. Slowly add melted shortening to the batter, stirring until just combined.  Slowly heat the 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings in an iron skillet. Pour the batter into the hot skillet. Spread to even out the surface.  The batter will sizzle.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. 

 

For variations add jalapeños, bacon, cilantro or cheese. Lots of choices!

 

This fall try topping with maple syrup and butter.

 

For the best cornbread, seek out the best whole-grain stone-ground cornmeal available in your community.

 

Cast-iron skillets take a little bit of time to warm up. Pre-warming the skillet allows the corn bread to cook evenly.

 

Besides my grandmother Selma’s cookbook, her iron skillet is the only item I use in my kitchen I’m emotionally attached to. 

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