Easy Coconut Fudge

Easy Coconut Fudge

 

If you like chocolate and coconut, you will love this fudge!  It’s creamy and smooth and deeply chocolate.  And it’s got the flavor of coconut mingled though every bite.

Everyone in my family likes coconut, but we don’t always like a lot of the coconut texture.  So I kept the amount of coconut that’s stirred into the fudge at a minimum.  I used coconut extract to bump up the flavor though.

The result is perfect!   I had a lot of trouble staying out of this.  It’s so tempting to have just one more piece.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:   [Read more…]

Easy Salted Caramel Fudge

 

Easy Salted Caramel Fudge

Deep chocolate fudge topped with salted caramel – it doesn’t get much better than this!

And it only takes a few ingredients, along with a simple melting process to make this fudge.

I’ve made quite a few different kinds of fudge this week.  We’ve been debating over which is the favorite.  This one is a definite winner for some of us.  Others voted for the Coconut Fudge recipe that I’ll share tomorrow.

Mostly, we’ve had a tough time deciding because they’ve all been so good!

Here’s what you’ll need for the Salted Caramel Fudge:   [Read more…]

Rosemary Goat Cheese Cornmeal Mini Muffins – party appetizer or dinner side dish

Rosemary Goat Cheese Cornmeal Mini Muffins

These little muffins are full of flavor.  Rosemary gives them a lovely taste and goes well with the goat cheese, which keeps them moist.  And the cornmeal lends a nice texture. The tops are brushed with butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

It’s actually biscuit dough, not muffin batter.  There’s no egg in them and they get mixed up like a biscuit.  But since I baked them in mini muffin pans, I went with muffin in the title.

I based this recipe on another Goat Cheese Biscuit recipe.  But I wanted to dress it up a little by adding rosemary.  And the cornmeal brings and extra something too.

Rosemary for Goat Cheese Mini Muffins

McCormick Rosemary Leaves is the main flavor ingredient.  Rosemary is a strong flavor, but it blends so well with other holiday recipes.  These little muffins would be perfect as part of an appetizer line up.  But they’d be equally as good standing in for the rolls on your holiday dinner table.

Here’s what you’ll need to make them:   [Read more…]

3 Things that Work in the Kitchen This Week – December 15

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1.  Graduation menu set

Our oldest daughter graduates on Friday with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.   She was able to earn bachelor’s degrees in Chinese and communications and a master’s in communications in just 4 1/2 years.  We’re incredibly proud of her!

December graduations come at a pretty busy time of year.  We’re having a small gathering for her on Friday and I’ve finally hammered down the menu.  Usually, when you think graduation party you think of a spring/summer menu.  I wanted something that would fit the season, but wouldn’t be too Christmasy.

I settled on Loaded Potato Soup and Velma’s Chili (both can do their thing in the slow cooker, while we’re at the ceremony).  I’ll add a veggie tray, cheeseball and crackers to this.  And a cake and maybe some cookies.  Nothing fancy, but we’re not fancy people.

2.  Easy Roasted Butternut Squash

I love this Butternut Squash side dish, but sometimes I want something even easier.   Last week, I combined that Butternut Squash Skillet recipe with the Roasted White and Sweet Potato method to come up with a delicious, yet super easy dish.

I cut the squash in cubes.  Then toss with olive oil, thyme, cinnamon, ginger and salt and pepper.  It’s both amazingly easy and impressively tasty.  I’ll do a full blog post for this one soon.

3.  Three new recipes to be posted this week

I had a lot of success in creating new recipes over the past week.  And I’ll have three of them for you on the blog this week!

Rosemary Goat Cheese Cornmeal Mini Muffins – These are wonderful to add to your appetizer line up or to serve as a side dish with dinner.

Salted Caramel Fudge – Simple, deeply chocolate fudge topped with a ribbon of salted caramel.  Yes. It is as good as you’re imagining.

Coconut Fudge – Another delicious fudge variation. It’s so simple to make.  It looks very pretty with the dark chocolate topped with white coconut.  We loved this one!

What’s working in the kitchen for you this week?

 

 

 

Weekend Links

 

ALDI-crispy-treat-decorate4-670x300

 

I made these Christmas Spice and Snickerdoodle Crispy Treats for the ALDI Simply Smarter Living Blog. These are some of the best crispy treats I’ve ever eaten, if I do say so myself.  I couldn’t stay out of them!  And since I hate rolling out cookie dough, this was a fun cookie decorating alternative.

I loved this story on how a kind word made a big difference for a tired mom.

Mom Advice shared this article on how Franklin came to join the Peanuts gang.  Short version is a mom decided she wanted to do something positive after the death of Martin Luther King Jr.  So she started writing letters to Charles Schulz.  The article is worth the read and there’s an interview with Harriet Glickman at the end that’s also worth watching.  She shares why she decided to write to Charles Schulz and more.

And this news segment cracked me up!  A morning co-host loses it on air when she’s announcing an incident that happened at a furry convention.  

Have a great weekend.  I’ve got some work to do, Christmas shopping to finish and a graduation party for my oldest daughter to plan (it’s next weekend!).  Make it a great one!

Candy Cane Fudge (and how we tied this into Advent)

Candy Cane Fudge recipe

 

Last week I was asked if I could do a cooking demonstration during our church’s Advent dinner.  They wanted me to do something that would involve the kids.

At first, I had no ideas at all.  But the next morning, as I was thinking I was going to have to call back and decline, I had an idea.  This Candy Cane Fudge recipe is so easy and perfect to make with kids.

And it ties in well to Advent too.  Advent is about preparing (our hearts for Jesus), waiting, hoping and anticipating.

During the program at the church Advent dinner, I asked two girls to help me make the fudge.  I used a small, single burner on a table so we could melt the ingredients.  I showed them how to prepare the pan with foil and which ingredients to use (preparation).  The girls helped assemble everything.  Then they took turns stirring the fudge as it melted (waiting).

We stood to the side, working on the fudge while the rest of the program was going on.  At the end, we took the mic back and explained that we would pour the melted fudge into the prepared pan.  Then the girls sprinkled crushed candy canes over the top.

I explained that while we were stirring, we’d gotten a little sticky.  Things can get sticky in a situation when we have to wait.  Thankfully, God always has it under control, even when things look like a real mess to us!

I told the girls (and the rest of the people there) that we had more waiting and anticipating to do before we could eat that batch of fudge.  It would still need to chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

But I had a plate already done and cut for everyone to taste.  Another girl passed the plate around to all the people there.

Candy Cane Fudge ingredients

 

This is a variation on my favorite fudge recipe.  I’ve made Mocha Fudge and Chocolate Pretzel Fudge.  I’ve also got recipes coming next week for Coconut Fudge and Salted Caramel Fudge.

Candy Cane Fudge (and how we tied this into Advent)

Ingredients
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbs. milk
  • 3-4 candy canes, crushed

Instructions
  1. Line an 8×8 pan with foil.
  2. In a 3 quart saucepan, melt all the ingredients, except the candy canes, together over low heat. Stir constantly. This will take about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the melted fudge into the foil lined pan.
  4. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
  5. Refrigerate 3-4 hours or overnight.
  6. Remove from pan and foil. Cut into squares.
  7. Store in the refrigerator.

Candy Cane Fudge

7 Layer Hot Italian Dip Recipe

7 Layer Hot Italian Dip

 

Oh my gosh, you all!  This dip is so easy and so amazing, you’ve got to try it!

Seven layers of cheesy, Italian inspired flavors come together in a hot, bubbly dip.  It’s great for an appetizer at a party or to serve with soup for a family dinner.

It’s really just an assembly process.  You’ll need to chop a few of the ingredients a little bit, but it’s so quick and easy to put together.  Anyone can make this dip.  And I guarantee you’ll be asked for the recipe.  It’s that good!

I even made a short video showing how. (If you’re reading this in an email and the video doesn’t show, you may need to click over to the blog to see it.)

 

A video posted by Tiffany King (@eatathome) on

I completely forgot to take a photo of the ingredients, but these are all very common things. And feel free to vary it as you like. There’s no right or wrong here!

Easy 7 Layer Hot Italian Dip

 

You’ll have leftover roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes and pesto.  This is a good thing, because it means you’ll have the ingredients around to make it again soon!

7 Layer Hot Italian Dip Recipe

Ingredients
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ – ⅓ cup pesto sauce
  • ¼ – ⅓ cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ – ⅓ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • ¼ – ⅓ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Instructions
  1. Layer all ingredients in a small, oven safe dish.
  2. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes or till hot and bubbly.
  3. Broil to brown the top, if desired.
  4. Serve hot with crackers.

 

80/20 Rule of Christmas Baking (The Law of the Vital Few)

8020 rule of Christmas baking

Do you ever think about all the things you have to do to get ready for Christmas and begin to feel overwhelmed?  Some years I’m excited and ready to get started with all the holiday fun.

And other years are more of a struggle.  Whether it’s because of sickness in the family (mine or a child’s) or some other reason, the holiday season can get overwhelming.

I’m a big believer in the 80/20 rule.  This principle states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

It’s also been called The Law of the Vital Few.

About 20% of the things we do are vital for moving our goal forward.  The rest may be important, but 20% of the effort is going to create 80% of the results.

What’s your family’s “vital few” when it comes to Christmas baking?  When you think of the memories you’re building in your family, which foods are the most important?

If you find yourself in a place where you just can’t do everything this year, focus on the vital few.  For my family, that includes Peanut Butter Balls, Fudge, and Frozen Fruit Cups (I left these out last year and I heard about it!).

Maybe for you it’s your grandma’s Nut Bread recipe.  Or the country ham dinner.  Or the evening of cookie decorating.  Focus on those memory filled dishes and keep everything else simple.

And if you’re just now building traditions for your young family, consider making a couple of them super simple.  One of our vital few Christmas breakfast items is canned Grand’s cinnamon rolls.  The only time we have these is at Christmas, so they stay special.  It doesn’t get easier than popping open a can.  On difficult years, we add scrambled eggs and Frozen Fruit Cups.  On years with more energy we add something like Western Omelette Casserole and homemade hot cocoa.

I’d love to hear about your vital few recipes in the comments.

And I know we’ve been talking about Christmas baking, since this is a food blog.  But you can adapt this line of thinking to any type of holiday tradition.  Focus on the vital few and add in other things as time, budget and energy allow.

3 Things that Work in the Kitchen This Week – December 8

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

I think I’m finally starting to feel better after the cold/flu/sinus infection thing that got me over Thanksgiving.   Really, it didn’t seem severe enough to take me out like it did.  But it was a headache inducing, energy sucker.  And I’m glad it’s gone!

1.  Big Grocery Trip!

I stopped by my favorite little Kroger store and bought all the things.  I didn’t shop with a list this time.  I just pulled one or more of everything off the shelves.  Actually, shopping without a list is one of my creativity tricks for spurring new recipe ideas.  I buy a lot of inspiration ingredients and all the basic type ingredients too.

And it worked!  I’ve made several new recipes this week and have ideas for more.  And my baking drawer in the pantry is overflowing with good stuff!

2.  Stove top version of a slow cooker soup.

spicy chicken soup done

The original post for this Spicy Chicken Soup tells how to make it in a slow cooker.  There are also a lot of ideas for variations.

I decided to make the soup on the stove top, using frozen rotisserie chicken.  I skipped the rice and the bell pepper.  We ate it with Fritos, so of course it was a hit!  And it only took 15-20 minutes to fix.  Win. Win.

3.  Candy Cane Fudge for Advent and other fudge ideas.

FullSizeRender-2

 

We had an Advent dinner at church on Friday night.  I was asked to make a recipe as part of the program and to include the kids in the cooking.  We made this easy fudge recipe.  I’ll share the recipe this week and how we made it fit into the Advent program.

And I’m majoring in fudge making this week!  I’ve got plans for Coconut Fudge and, if all goes well, a Salted Caramel Fudge.  I’ll share all the successes with you soon.

And 1 thing that didn’t work – the deep freeze.

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Jim went into the garage on Saturday morning and noticed that the freezer wasn’t working.  All that meat was thawed and stinky.  Sad, sad, sad loss of the pork and an organic chicken we had gotten from Jim’s sister and her husband.  This is not a good way to clean out a freezer.

We are still trying to determine if it’s the freezer that died or if it’s something wrong with the outlet.  Either way, it was a stinky, expensive mess.

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Baked Beans

Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Baked Beans

 

Pork Chops and Baked Beans is an easy recipe for a weeknight dinner.  The baked beans have a taste of molasses and the pork chops come out tender and juicy.

This recipe can actually be made in the oven or the slow cooker, so you can match it to your day and schedule.

The ingredients are all common, pantry ingredients.  And it won’t take longer than a few minutes to get it all assembled and ready to bake (or slow cook).

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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