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Dec
07
2010

Gooseberry Patch Wants Your Cookies!

Hey, I know its going to be fun to participate in my little cookie project but can you imagine seeing your recipe in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook???  That would be crazy! Some of you may already have but I would be pretty excited myself! This was in my email this morning!

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Go here and check it all out!

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AND while you are getting your morning dose of Gooseberry Patch, don’t forget to visit their blog AND join them on facebook!  You might look me up if you haven’t already!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here.  And it has turned pretty chilly as well.  Jerry left for work yesterday and buzzed me at 5 am to tell me he’s in Paris safe and sound and it’s snowing!  SOOO jealous! Snow, Paris, Christmastime, OO LA LA!

Here is a picture of my latest Christmas cookies:

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I did them all by myself!  I am learning!

Have a great Tuesday.  I have a busy one ahead of me.

ChristmasSig


Dec
04
2010

Happy National Cookie Day! Cookbook Project Announcement!

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If you will all send me your favorite cookie recipe with a photo if possible, I will put them altogether into a cookie book via PDF file and upload it so you can all have a copy.  Won’t this be fun!?  Come on let’s all make it happen.  So many times we get pumped about something and don’t finish it! Like where in the world is the round robin letter??? Or photos for November??? Not a one! Come on peeps help me out here! Send your recipe and photo to notquitejunecleaveratgmaildotcom. Of course you know to replace the at with a @ and the dot with a .

HEY I HAVE A GREAT IDEA! I tell you what, I will make this super easy.  December’s photo theme is COOKIES!  So send a recipe WITH a photo and you have killed to birds with one stone!  I will pick a winner from the cookie photos sent in! Can it be any easier?  Play along here…I need some inspiration! And let me bait you a bit more.  There will be a prize other than a very cool cookie book from Not Quite June Cleaver & Friends and a $20 Snapfish gift certificate.  I will throw in a one of a kind Not Quite June Cleaver Apron, handmade by yours truly.

The deadline is the same as the photo contest – last day of the month.  I will begin working on the cookie booklet as soon as the entries start arriving.  Then the first week of January I will announce the winner and finish up the booklet and and upload the pdf file so you can all have a copy!

Okay, there you have it! Let’s kick of December the right way!  Join the fun!  Have a great weekend.

Nov
19
2010

Time to make Christmas Cakes! Recipe Redux!

It’s that time of the year again…

“Isn’t that a fruitcake?” asked Husband.  “No, people don’t like fruitcake.  These are going to be Christmas Cakes.  BIG difference.  One is edible, one is not.” I tell him.  “Oh, so it’s a different recipe?” he asks.  “No, same recipe.  Different outcome.”

You all know what I mean don’t you?  You can call something one thing and it not be good at all.  Rename it and there you go!  Success!

Anyway, I do know a few people who LOVE fruitcake.  Good fruitcake.  Not bought fruitcake.  Me being one of those people.  OH! Excuse me, I meant Christmas Cake.  I LOVE Christmas Cake.Please do not assume you don’t like Christmas Cake (or fruitcake, if you insist on calling them this!) because you don’t like the store bought variety. They are NOT one in the same. Bought Christmas cakes contain that awful candied cherry and citron mixture that not only is not tasty but hard as rocks sometimes. This recipe I am about to give you is easy as can be.

This recipe makes four 6″ cakes.

  • 12 cups of dried fruit – I used apricots, dates, blueberries, cranberries, dark and golden raisins.
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup brandy or Cognac

Chop the large fruits into 1/4 inch pieces. Put all the fruit in a non-reactive container (plastic or glass) and pour the honey and brandy over it, stirring to coat well. Cover and let sit for a day or up to two weeks, mixing occasionally.

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When ready to assemble the cakes, heat your oven to 275°F. Pour your fruit into a colander set over a bowl and let it drain while you prepare the rest of the recipe. Generously butter and flour your pans. As I said I used four 6″ rounds. But I think two 8’s would work as well. I also like to put a round of brown paper in the bottom of my pans over the butter/flour.

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Cake ingredients:

  • Prepared fruit mixture
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1TBSP coarse salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups nuts – coarsely chopped (I used walnuts and pecans)
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup light brown, 1/2 cup white and 1/4 cup dark brown)
  • 7 large eggs

ccspices.jpgAnd for the glaze you will need apricot jam, brandy and water.

Stir together the dry ingredients and then add the nuts and stir again. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer with your paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Transfer to a large bowl and using the folding method, add the flour/nut mixture and then the fruit mixture. Stir to evenly distribute the fruits.

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Divide the batter between the prepared pans. These pans will be full – note you didnt use any leavening so they are going to be dense (read: YUMMY) cakes.

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Cut parchment to fit around the pans and above the rim at least 2 1/2 inches. Tie with baker’s twine.

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Place on pans on cookie sheet and bake for 2 hours to 2 1/4 hours. Or until cake tester comes out clean. Transfer pans to wire rack to cool completely. Turn out cakes, then flip back over so top is up.

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Heat 1/4 cup apricot jam, 1/4 cup brandy and 1/4 cup water until jam is liquid. Brush on tops of cooled cakes. Wrap in parchment and store in refrigerator for up to six months.

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If you live in a cold climate, and you have a cool spot in your house, they can be kept in a tin or plastic container and unrefrigerated. But since many times we have the air conditioning on in December as much as July, we keep ours refrigerated.

As always look over this recipe and read completely before starting. If you have any questions or something doesn’t look right let me know. I read and reread my recipes but still miss some things.

Have a great day. I have other recipes I am working on so stay tuned!

Mine this year will be gluten free. I will let you know how they turn out.  This gluten free thing is a lot of work :/

There are some GREAT things coming up next week.  I might be scarce for a few days but things are already lined up so do stay tuned.  You won’t won’t to miss next Tuesday’s Tree-hugging post for sure! WOW…you’re going to love it!

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