Thursday, November 25, 2010

Food and Recipes

 What is this, you might ask?  Some new quilt design?
No! it is a selection of Chocolates!  Somebody brought them by the shop today, and they are very artsy.  They have beautiful little designs on the top surfaces.  Really too pretty to eat.
I went to my coffee group this morning and our lovely hostess had begun to put up some Christmas decorating.  It was so pretty, and made the cold outside retreat a bit in the face of such festivity.  So i came home and found these little wooden nutcrackers that I got at the dollar store a couple of weeks ago. 
I don't think this is quite Christmassy enough. 

Now for something different---- a recipe!
I've never talked about food too much here, but as you know it is a big source of enjoyment in life. 
I took a bit of baking to the retreat we had last weekend, and promised to share a couple of recipes, so here they are:  I'm sorry that there are no photos, but I can't make them again so soon-- maybe closer to the holidays..

Pralines (The pecan "fudge") -- (this makes a Lot of them, you might want to make half)
4 cup white sugar
1 cup broun sugar
1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups of milk
1 more cup of butter
4-5 cups of pralines, chopped or whole
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
Place the milk, 1 c of butter, salt and both sugars in a large saucepan.  Bring to a rolling boil and cook to softball stage, stirring often--( this could take a while, like 20 minutes).  Remove frrom eat and add the remaining butter, beating constantly.  When you feel it beginning to thicen, add the nuts and vanilla.  When thick, drop quickly by teaspoon on wax paper or foil  Leave space between each candy for eac one will flatten like a pancake.  Or if you prefer, just pour into a buttered pan and cut into squares.   I have found that if they don't set, you can just scrape it all back into the saucepan and reheat it and boil a little longer. 

Carrot/Apple cake
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil or margarine
2 cups flour (white or a mix of white and whole wheat)
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon and any other spices you like, such as ginger, cloves or nutmeg
2-3 cups of grated carrots
1-1/2 cups of grated apples (skin still on, it is not noticeable later)
optional 1/2 cup of coconut
1 cup of walnuts or pecans

Beat oil with sugar, and beat in eggs.  Stir in the dry ingredients, then add the carrots, apples and nuts.  Grese a cake pan and pour in the mixture.  I often double this recipe, so I use a large lasagne pan, but have also cooked it in loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit until knife inserted comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  This is a very moist cake!

Cream Cheese Icing
1/4 c butter or margarin
4 oz package of cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup of icing sugar

Beat together the cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy, and continue to beat while adding the icing sugar.   If you want chocolate icing, add some cocoa powder with the icing sugar.  

8 comments:

  1. Being from Belgium I recognized these as chocolates immediately...
    Thanks for the recipes!

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  2. yes, you're right, these are Belgium chocolates!!

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  3. there's a young woman in town (who's name, sadly, i forget) who made and sold some very similar choccos at the farmers' market. they may have been too pretty to eat, but once you overcame your reluctance to bite into one, you were greatly rewarded!
    isn't it nice that we have so many people with so many diverse artistic outlets? how can anyone ever, ever be bored?
    cheers!
    molly
    ps: it would make a nice quilt design, though...

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  4. phase one of the felt balls is complete - now for phase two - the fun part - the decorating! looking forward to it! my cats have certainly enjoyed the process to this point! they keep assuring me that they are helping me! maybe they're just needle-felting...
    cheers!

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  5. I made a giant felt ball that my friend has for her cat-- it is about 5 inches in diameter and bright orange! I think I should have put a rattle inside it.

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  6. It was nice seeing you again in the shop today Michelle (however briefly as I was on the run!). Thanks for taking the time to blog - I enjoyed your Retreat blogging and got caught up on the blogging you did regarding this year's Houston. If you ever need a friend to go to Houston I've been looking for a mate & always come up with no one... So keep me in mind! I would even carry bags & luggage. Thanks again. Take care. Marilyn Kuhn

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