Sunday, December 20, 2015

Rapunzel Braid Biscuits

In our house, it's ALL about Disney Princesses. Anna and Elsa are the favorites, of course, but Rapunzel, Tiana, Belle, Merida, Sofia and though she's not a princess, Doc McStuffins are all close seconds.

Whenever I come across cookbooks that I'm interested in, I do two things - add them to my Amazon 'Cookbooks' Wishlist and borrow them from the library to see if they're as interesting as I'd hoped or worth buying.

Earlier this year I came across some Disney Cookbooks, they obviously went on my wishlist.
So when the princess craze started, I checked to see if the library had them, and when they did, I signed them out right away. For the girls, of course...




Since Lauren loves Rapunzel (and ham and cheese), I figured that she would be all over helping me make these Ham and Cheese Biscuit Braids from The Disney Princess Cookbook. I even renamed them Rapunzel Braids just for her. But, she was in one of her little moods and decided that she needed to watch me instead of helping me. 


Then of course when I was done, she decided that she wanted to help.

Ham and Cheese Biscuit Braids: 
(From The Disney Princess Cookbook)
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
5 tbsp cold butter, cut into several pieces
1/2 cup diced ham
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 cup milk

Directions:
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Use your fingertips to pinch the butter into the flour mixture until the bits are the size of peas. 
Stir in ham and cheese.
Add milk and work the mixture with your hands until it starts to look like dough.
Sprinkle some flour on a cutting board or counter and place the dough on top. Sprinkle a little more flour on the dough to keep it from sticking. I also floured my rolling pin. 
With your rolling pin, flatten the dough into a 12 inch square. The dough should be between a 1/4 and a 1/2 an inch thick.
Slice the squares into quarters, and then slice each quarter into 12 strips, each about 6 inches long.
Braid the dough like you would braid hair - gather 3 strips and pinch them together at the top. Take the right section and cross it over the centre section so they switch places. Then, take the left section and cross it over the centre section. Keep going until the whole strip is braided.
Pinch the strands together at the bottom.
Repeat until all the strips are braided.
Place each braid on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
*They don't really turn as golden brown as you'd expect, so check the bottom after about 10 minutes.  


Overall these were super fast and easy to make. A bonus when baking with kids, or baking while kids are eating their lunch and watching you.

In the end, the girls didn't like them. I baked them for too long. I was waiting for the tops to turn golden brown, which of course resulted in them being kind of dry. They weren't that bad, just a little too dry for the girls liking. Lauren so badly wanted to like them. She tried two or three times, but couldn't do it.

Thinking about it now, they would've been good at breakfast dipped in soft/medium poached eggs!
Or at lunch with a bowl of delicious homemade tomato soup!


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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Silence is Golden!

Right now I'm sitting in a hotel room in Airdrie (25 minutes North of Calgary) Alberta, listening to the girls sleep. What a nice sound.

Since we arrived on Thursday, the girls have not slept...it's been a busy few days. They're usually bad sleepers, but with all the excitement, being a new place and Lauren having a cough that keeps her up all night, we are all pretty sleep deprived. And cranky!

Yesterday Dave's niece got married and our girls were flower girls. It was a beautiful wedding filled with love, happiness and lots of laughs. And the girls were so darn cute.
Lauren and Olivia have been so excited since we arrived (and the weeks leading up to arriving) because not only did they get to be flower girls and wear fancy dresses, they also got to visit their cousins that live here! Cousins that they haven't seen in a year!

I don't know if you've ever traveled with little kids, but it's a lot of work.
That's why I don't have my post ready for today. All those late nights usually spent working on posts, were spent making lists off all the stuff we needed to bring and packing. So. Much. Packing.
And we're only here for 5 days.

Well, today during my quiet time, I came across a recipe for Hot Chocolate Truffles. It was a very appropriate recipe for a day like today because it's so cold here in Alberta. This afternoon it was -8 degrees Celsius. For a west coaster like myself, that is COLD!
So what are hot chocolate truffles? They're chocolate truffles rolled in crushed candy canes or cocoa powder, that you drop into a mug of hot milk. Seriously! Sounds awesome right?

Now we're not big hot chocolate drinkers at our place, the girls like it of course, but I'm pretty sure I'll be trying this recipe out sometime soon.
I think the girls will enjoy the process and there's an educational lesson involved too. You know, the whole melting of the chocolate and making the hot white milk into hot chocolate...
That's what I'm telling myself!

Check back soon for a Mommy, Can I Lick the Spoon? version of Hot Chocolate Truffles! In the meantime, here's the original post from http://www.yourcupofcake.com




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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Fake Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Cups!

Last Wednesday was a happy day in our house.
The smell of peanut butter and melted chocolate filled the kitchen, which usually means one of two things - it's holiday season or someone has asked me to make my Fake Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cups!
This time it was both.

I've been off work for awhile now because when I was pregnant with Olivia I was so sick that I went on maternity leave early and then when my mat leave ended in December 2014, I decided to take an extra year leave to stay home with the girls.
Regardless of that, in November I got an invite to my work Christmas party, which was a nice surprise! Along with the invite was a request for me to bring my famous peanut butter cups.


I've been making these peanut butter cups for years and have always used WOWBUTTER, it's my favorite "nut" butter. When I tell people it's not real peanut butter they're usually shocked. These taste like the real deal! Some people have even said they taste better than real peanut butter cups.

"Peanut Butter" Cups:
(Recipe adapted from The Joy of Baking)
Makes about 36 cups

Line 36 miniature muffin cups with liners.
I like to use these foil lined baking cups. I find that the foil lined ones hold up better.

"Peanut Butter" Filling
Ingredients:

1/2 cup smooth WOWBUTTER, or other nut butter
2 tbsp salted butter, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup icing sugar*, sifted

Chocolate Coating
Ingredients:
1 bag each (270g - 300g) of semi sweet and milk chocolate chips  
1 tablespoon shortening

Directions:
Place the peanut butter, butter, and salt in a microwaveable bowl.
Heat in microwave until quite soft (for about 30-60 seconds - check and stir every 20 seconds).
Stir in icing sugar.

Melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water.

Spoon about one teaspoon of the melted chocolate into each of the paper cups. 
Tap the pan gently on the counter to smooth out the chocolate. 
Spoon about a teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate. 
Then top with another teaspoon of melted chocolate. 
Tap the pan gently on the counter to smooth out the peanut butter cups.
Refrigerate about 20 minutes or until set. 

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or they can be frozen.

*In the past I've also replaced the icing sugar with Splenda - might as well reduce some of the sugar. They turned out well, but I had to use a food chopper (a small, cheap version of a food processor), to make the Splenda really fine, so that was a bit of a pain.


The peanut butter cups were a hit both at home and at work.
Now that I think about it, maybe they're the reason I got an invite in the first place?!
Can't say I blame them!


Oh, and I'm totally joking about that being the only reason I got invited :)

And Thank You to Joseph RĂ©al Design for the beautiful handmade, reclaimed fir, end grain, butcher block cutting board featured here! Check out them out on Facebook, Instagram @josephrealdesign or at www.josephrealdesign.com


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