Chocolate Chip Fruit Muesli Cookies

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Chocolate Chip Fruit Muesli Cookies

It was so cold and windy today that even with the windows closed I could still feel the wind! These are insulated windows, too. In Glendale, California, where we live, the wind sometimes whips up a storm as it comes across the valley. and then gets caught in our little bowl surrounded by Griffith Park in the west, Eaglerock in the south, the San Gabriels in the east, and the Verdugo Mountains in the north. As the wind squeezes itself out to Pasadena, it can start howling and really whirl itself into a frenzy.

That’s okay! It means that the oven can go on and have something to do. I know I’ve talked about this in the past, and I’ll say it again. I just don’t feel right lighting a heater on the wall when it does nothing but heat the room and dry out the air. At least an oven produces something for its efforts.

I wanted something a little healthy, and we have dried cranberries, organic chocolate and Blueberry Muesli from Trader Joe’s. I thought using that for cookies would a) make them better for you, and b) taste/feel similar to oatmeal cookies. I don’t like oatmeal, so I never have it on hand. I wouldn’t even have the little packets around, as those are GMO. Yes, you heard it right, Quaker Oats from General Mills are genetically modified. I think if that nice Quaker gentleman on the box knew about that he’d jump straight off the container.

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Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Fudge for Valentines

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Finished Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Fudge

Sometimes you get lucky and someone gives you a whole bunch of boxes of Christmas Peppermint Candy Canes. I was lucky, my friend gave me six boxes of candy someone had given her. She was surprised when I said I wanted it, and she wanted to know what I was going to do with it. I said, “Make Peppermint Fudge, of course!”

Span was excited to help me because he got the job of breaking up the candy canes into more manageable pieces. First he did this with his hands, came and showed them to me and I said, “You know, breaking them goes quicker when you use a hammer.” So, he got a hammer, and he started banging away at them. I was washing dishes and didn’t realize he had started, or where he was going this. I now have little bits of candy cane on the floor in the living room. No big deal, I will vacuum them up. The point is he had a good time, and really felt he was helping.

We made the fudge last night and put it in the refrigerator to firm up. I was thinking of dipping the pieces in chocolate, but I only had unsweetened chocolate. If that happens to you, it’s not a show stopper.

How to Make Dipping Chocolate with Unsweetened Chocolate

Double BoilerI like to melt my chocolate in a double boiler. I also prefer to make my own double boiler by placing a metal bowl above pan half filled with water. The bowl’s circumference is much larger than the pan, so a) there is no chance of the chocolate falling into the water, and most importantly, b) because of the large circumference, there is little chance of steam getting to the chocolate and making it seize. Once chocolate has seized, about the only thing it’s good for is breaking up for chocolate chip cookies, or beating the heck out of it to make chocolate ganache.

Making Dipping Chocolate with Unsweetned ChocolateI found myself in a quandary as I did not have enough semi-sweet chocolate to dip all the fudge, and I didn’t want to waste time going to the store to buy more. It’s actually not a problem, you can add sugar to melted chocolate, and it will be just fine. As a matter of fact, just as in using salted butter gives you little control over saltiness in dishes, using semi-sweet chocolate also gives you limited control over the sweetness of the chocolate. The important thing to remember is that you must use the finest grain pure cane sugar you can get to avoid grittiness. Add the sugar to the melted chocolate, slowly, stirring all the while. Whatever you do, don’t let the sugar liquefy or you’ll just have a mess of seized chocolate. The ratio is about 1/4 cup of sugar to every ounce of unsweetened chocolate. You will have to test it for taste, though, depending on how sweet you want the final product.

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Ho! Ho! Ho! Eggnog Fudge

Recipes in this PostEggnog Fudge

As the Christmas Holiday rapidly approaches, it’s time to get into the kitchen and make some Christmas memories. I have been making fudge for Christmas presents for years, but this time, I wanted to do something a little different. Spane really likes Eggnog, and I do, too. We were invited to a potluck Christmas party at Entrepreneurs and Professions, and I decided to make Jambalaya, Hot Dogs with Bacon appetizers, and wow everyone with the Eggnog Fudge.

Recipe: Eggnog Fudge

Summary: A perfect treat for the Holiday season.

Ingredients

Mis En Place Eggnog Fudge

Mis En Place Eggnog Fudge

  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 1 7-oz jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 6 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 12-oz package good quality white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon brandy flavoring
  • Dried cranberries for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Line a 9×9 inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix sugar, sweetened condensed milk and butter together and cook until mixture comes to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Make sure to stir all the way to the bottom to avoid hot spots and burning.
  4. Remove from heat and add the nutmeg and brandy flavoring. Stir in white chocolate chips and marshmallow creme.
  5. Stir ingredients until mixture is creamy and smooth. (An electric mixer may be used).
  6. Pour into the pan and cool until room temperature. Put in the refrigerator until completely set.
    Eggnog Fudge cooling

    Eggnog Fudge cooling

  7. Remove the parchment paper with fudge from the pan.
  8. Cut the fudge into squares. Top each one with a dried cranberry. Push the cranberry down a little so it will still to the fudge.
  9. Return to the refrigerator, then remove about 1 hour before serving time.

Quick notes

I suggest using flavoring instead of real liquor because the flavoring is more intense. Liquor, because of the temperature of the hot candy, could also cause a flare-up.

Preparation time: 1 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)

Calories: 1019

Fat: 216

Protein: 6.2

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 10 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Nancy’s Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes

Recipes in this Post Nancu's Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes

I have a wonderful friend, Nancy, who makes the best chicken, Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken. Nancy was a Pan Am stewardess, so you know that chicken had to be good. Now, Nancy is a member of Kiwanis. As part of her volunteer work with Kiwanis, she invited my son to help her be Guest Chef at Ascencia. My son was too interested in playing with the other children who had also been invited to help her. I don’t think the kids did much helping, they just did a lot of playing.

She made this moist, crusty chicken that everyone loved. I got to be on the clean up team, but I’m not a forensic chef, so I didn’t know quite how she made it. None of those children made any notes on how she prepared that chicken, either.

Nancy;'s recipe for Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Nancy’s Recipe for Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Well, I saw Nancy a few days ago, and she wrote the recipe down for me. I asked her if it had bread crumbs, and she said no. Well, I decided to change the recipe, just a bit and add Panko bread crumbs. I like Panko bread crumbs because they stay nice and crisp, and they have very little flavor of their own.

My local corner store had some lovely fingerling potatoes at the counter when I was checking out a few days ago, and I picked some up. Potatoes go very well chicken, and these little ones will be done at the same time the chicken will be done. Tonight, when I was washing them, I noticed one of them had grown a few eyes. I put it back in the bag and put it in the dry goods drawer. It will be going out and living in the Apartment Vegetable Garden when its roots get a little longer.

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Stuffed Ciabatta Garlic Bread

Recipes in this PostStuffed Ciabatta Garlic Bread

We are very lucky living in Glendale, where there is a wonderful bakery that makes the best breads, including a Ciabatta bread. When I picked Spane up this afternoon, and needed some things at the store, I passed by the bread aisle and couldn’t help smelling the fresh bread.

This bread was pillow soft with a crisp crust very reminiscent of the true Ciabatta bread found in the Lake Como region of Italy. It is nothing like the stuff that comes from mass bakeries.

Since the breads are small but rather flat and elongated, I knew it would be perfect for Stuffed Garlic Bread to go with our Antipasto Salad with Original Brown Derby Dressing.

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Mocha Butterscotch Cashew Cookies Back to School Gift

Recipes in this PostMocha Butterscotch Cashew Cookies

Ah, the first day back at school! This year, not only does Spane get a new teacher for 5th grade, the school also gets a new Principal. I think it’s important to make a good impression. Spane is a good student, but it never hurts to grease a few palms with an appreciative gift. I already made Trinket Boxes, and special Scrunchy Bows for the gift bag, but I wanted to put something else inside. I was wrestling with myself over this, and then I remembered I had a bag of butterscotch chips that I had gotten on sale at the local supermarket. Everyone likes cookies, and if they don’t they can give them to someone who does.

These Mocha Butterscotch Cashew Cookies will be rich, so I will also be giving a plate of cookies to the front office, some to my neighbor who gives me figs and apples, some to Spane’s Lemonade Stand co-worker, and still be able to have some for Spane and I.

Cookies for the Principal, the Front Office and the Teacher

Cookies for the Principal, the Front Office and the Teacher

I love going to the resale shops, finding bargains, and occasionally finding something old that comes back home with me for a new life. I have a friend who had this interesting jar with a top that you would push down on and she would use it for chopping onions. I always wanted one of those, and I was lucky enough to find one recently. I also found out that they were used for chopping nuts. Well, they do a great job at both!

Cashews Before

Cashews Before

Cashews After

Cashews After


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