The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. -- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin --

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Chewy, Oooooeey, Goooooooey Yumminess...Apple Cider Caramels

Since I had a bit of free time this weekend, I’m trying to catch up on some long overdue blog posts.  This one is for some DELICIOUS Apple Cider Caramels, that I made last Christmas.  I found the recipe (posted by Deb) over at Smitten Kitchen, and knew I had to try it.  It is a bit time consuming (especially wrapping all the individual caramels), but it is SOOOOOO worth it!

I wanted to get it posted in time for the holidays, in case anyone is in need of a great gift idea.  The hardest part is letting go and giving them to someone rather than hogging them all yourself!  They really are THAT good!

Anyway, for once, I didn’t really mess with the original recipe, so rather than post it all here, I’m just going to give you a link to Deb’s blog where you can find it yourself.  Her description is great, and filled with pictures at all stages in the process, so it’s really helpful.

While you’re there, take some time to check out her blog in general.  It’s filled with all kinds of yummy good stuff!  (And don’t forget to tell her that Faithy sent you!)

If you enjoy cooking AT ALL…do yourself and your family/friends a favor and try this recipe.  I promise it will be worth the effort!

If you DO try this one, please take a minute to comment and let me know what you think.



Quick & Easy Cranberry-Orange Scones

HOWDY friends!
I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with family, friends, lots of good food, and an abundance of gratitude to the Lord who grants it all.  Ours was filled with many blessings – most precious of all…some quality time with the ones we love.
Speaking of loved ones, as I was making breakfast this morning, it dawned on me that I’ve never shared one of my favorite tried & true recipes with you.  My sister-in-law, Brandy (who by-the-way is a FANTASTIC cook!), made these delicious scones for me during a visit to her house years ago, and I just had to have her recipe.  Thankfully, she is always willing to share.  Since then, I’ve made it more times than I can count, and it’s always a hit with everyone I serve it to – kids & adults alike!

I really don’t know where she got the original recipe, so I can’t properly credit it, but I can tell you that it’s very easy, and very good.  Be sure to give it a try as soon as you get a chance!

Cranberry-Orange Scones

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (the original recipe used only all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder (I always use low-sodium baking powder)
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar (or your favorite sugar substitute)
1 Tbsp. freshly grated orange zest (you can also use dried if you don’t have fresh)
½ cup cold butter (cut into small cubes)
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup dried cranberries

1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. sugar (I like to use a coarse sugar-- like Turbinado sugar -- for this part – my favorite is Sugar in the Raw)

2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 cup powdered sugar
Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar & orange zest.  (I just mix mine in my food processor – very quick and easy!)  Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork.  (If you’re using the food processor, just pulse a few times until it is thoroughly incorporated and mixture resembles coarse sand.)  Add cranberries and mix well.
Add buttermilk and stir just until dough is moist.  (In the food processor, when the dough starts to form a ball, you know it’s ready.)  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 5 or 6 times.  (DON’T OVERWORK THE DOUGH OR IT WILL BECOME TOUGH!)

Divide dough in half, and roll or pat each portion into a 6-inch circle.  Cut each circle into 8 wedges.

Place scones about 1-inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet, brush with milk, and sprinkle with sugar.  (I really like the extra crunch the turbinado sugar gives.)

Bake at 425° F for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

While scones are baking, whisk together orange juice and powdered sugar to make the glaze. ( If it doesn’t come out to a consistency you like, just add more powdered sugar to thicken it, or a little more orange juice to thin it out.  NOTE:  A little juice goes a long way, so don’t add too much, or your glaze will be VERY runny!)
Remove scones to a cooling rack, and drizzle with prepared glaze.  ENJOY!!

If you make the scones exactly according to the recipe, you’ll come out with 16 scones.  I usually cut my scones with a cookie or biscuit cutter to make rounds or heart-shapes.  Just make sure to keep the dough at a proper thickness (about 1/2” or so).  If you do this, the number of scones you end up with, will depend on the size of your cutter.  :-)
NOTE:  For variety, I’ve also made a really good Blueberry-Lemon version by substituting dried blueberries for the cranberries, and lemon zest/lemon juice for the orange zest/orange juice.

Feel free to play with this recipe like I did, and make it your own…and don’t forget to stop back by and let me know what you think!  It’s sure to become a family favorite in your house too!

Friday, November 22, 2013's cold outside! (Apple Pfannkuchen Revisited...)

HOWDY friends...
Just popping in to say hello and wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving.  I hope that you'll be able to spend it with the ones you love.  That's exactly what I plan to do!

We've had a blustery cold front blow in today, bringing our South Texas temps down from the mid 70's to the high 30's in just a few hours.  Aaaaahhhh...gotta love Texas weather!  This change has put me in the mood for one of my favorite cold weather suppers (Apple Pfannkuchen) tonight, so I thought I’d share a link for the recipe along with a few thought-provoking quotes on Thanksgiving!

I posted this recipe a while back, but I thought this would be a good time to share it again, in case you haven't had a chance to try it.  It's really easy, and a sure-fire hit.  My hubby loves it as much as I do, in fact, he's the one doing the cooking tonight!  He’s definitely a keeper!

Anyway, here's the link back to my original post with my recipe for Apple Pfannkuchen.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!  I hope you like it as much as we do.

If you're traveling for the holidays, please travel safely, and enjoy the time with your's precious and fleeting.  AND…if you come across any new and interesting recipes while you’re at it, please share!! 

Gotta run, but I'll leave you with these thoughts for thanksgiving…
As we pause to thank Him for the blessings of the past year,
we must not forget to thank Him for the lessons we have learned through our difficult times.
We are not to be thankful for just the pleasant, easy things, but ALL things.
-- Millie Stamm --
We tend to take all the gifts and pleasures and happiness and the joy
without saying much to God.
We take our health and strength, our food and clothing and our loved ones, all for granted;
but the moment anything goes wrong we start grumbling and complaining
and we say 'Why should God do this to me, why should this happen to me?'
How slow we are to thank and swift to grumble.
-- Martyn Lloyd-Jones --
In ordinary life we hardly realize
that we receive a great deal more than we give,
and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.
-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer --
You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.'
You make a mistake.
If you are not content with what you have,
you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.
-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon --
Thanksgiving is nothing if not a glad and reverent
lifting of the heart to God
in honor and praise for His goodness.
-- Robert Casper Lintner --