Come On Up To The House

January 16, 2021
by Ashley
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Ham & Cheese Biscuits

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour
6 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
Dash white pepper
1 stick cold butter, cubed
2 cups finely cut, fully cooked ham
5 green onions, chopped
1 cup mild cheddar, shredded
1 1/4 cup 2% milk (with some extra if dough is dry)

Directions

Preheat over to 400 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix in cold butter until pea sized. Add in ham, green onions and mild cheddar and stir to mix everything together. Pour in milk and mix until dough is loosely formed and wet. Don’t over mix.

Turn out dough onto a silpat and roll out to 3/4 inch thickness. Use a dough cutter to cut biscuits and evenly disburse between two baking pans (also covered in silpats).

Bake biscuits for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

January 9, 2021
by Ashley
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Macarons

These are actually Mockarons that use wheat flour rather than almond flour. My first attempt is definitely not as pretty as store bought macarons, but truly delicious.

Directions

Cookies
4 egg whites
1/2 granulated sugar
1/2 tsp amaretto or other flavoring
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
food coloring (optional)

Frosting
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp butter, softened
1-2 tbsp cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In mixing bowl, whip egg whites and granulated sugar together until it starts turning white. Add in amaretto (rose water, orange extract etc.), food coloring (optional) and whip until mixture is super stiff and almost dry looking.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour and powdered sugar. Fold in the egg white mixture, and fold mixture together while slightly mashing it together. It should flow slowly off of the spoon, neither stiff nor runny.

Prepare a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Put the macaron mixture into a plastic bag or pastry bag. Cut a corner off of the end and pipe onto silpat in small even circles. Pipe in a circular motion to prevent cracking. Bang the pan down on the counter twice to get the air out before you bake.

Bake for 15 minutes. Take them out before they brown. Let cool and remove from silpat, carefully. A spatula may be needed.

Mix together the frosting and spread on one side of the cookie and place the other side over. Done! These are fantastic and very reminiscent of the proper macaron, even though they have wheat flour.

December 27, 2020
by Ashley
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Mock Hollandaise Sauce

I like to make Eggs Benedict once in a while, but want a fast and egg free hollandaise sauce. This is the one I come back to over and over again. Instead of searching for it every time I need it, I copied it and put our twist on it below.

  • 1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Stir all ingredients together and serve over your eggs Benedict or over anything you please.

December 24, 2020
by Ashley
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Snowball Cookies

This version is what Paul’s mom used to make at Christmas time each year. As we were discussing our favorite family traditions, he mentioned these cookies. So here is our version.

Snowball Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped walnuts

1 cup powdered sugar, for coating

Directions

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Add vanilla and beat well.

Add flour and walnuts. Mix well.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place on a silpat covered cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool 3-5 minutes; roll in powdered sugar while still warm and set back on the cookie sheet to cool completely.

December 23, 2020
by Ashley
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Lemon Truffles

These are new truffles to us. We love lemon and these are perfect little bits of citrus.

Lemon Truffles

1 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 lemon, zest only
3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp lemon extract

1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a small sauce pan, heat the butter, lemon zest and whipping cream up just before simmering, when the mixture is bubbling at the edges of the pan. Turn off the heat and add the extract and white chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate has melted.

Transfer mixture to a small Pyrex mixing bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Roll out 3/4 inch balls from mixture and place back onto a lined cookie sheet and let cool in the fridge to firm up completely.

Roll out in powdered sugar and store in a closed container in the refrigerator.

December 22, 2020
by Ashley
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Peanut Butter Truffles

Christmas candy making started in full swing yesterday! These are some of our favorites

Peanut Butter Truffles

3 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
10 oz dark chocolate chips

Cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugar. Roll into 1 inch balls and refrigerate until firm.

Melt the dark chocolate chips either with a double boiler or in the microwave. If using the microwave method (my preferred) don’t walk away. Only heat 30 seconds at a time and stir until all of the chocolate is melted.

Carefully dip the truffles into the chocolate using a fork to remove them and let them sit on a silpat lined cookie sheet to firm up. I put mine in the fridge or freezer to harden and then transfer to a container. Store in the refrigerator.

December 21, 2020
by Ashley
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Coconut Truffles

I love coconut and these are super easy to make. Only 3 ingredients!

Coconut Truffles

3 cups sweetened coconut
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
12 oz dark chocolate chips

Mix together the coconut and sweetened condensed milk into a small mixing bowl. Once the mixture starts to hold together, create small 1 inch balls and place on a lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate until firm.

Melt the dark chocolate chips and carefully dip each ball into the melted chocolate removing them with a fork. Place the truffles back onto the lined cookie sheet and refrigerate to harden. Store the truffles in the refrigerator.

December 17, 2020
by Ashley
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Salted Caramel Truffles

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 cups dark milk chocolate chips

Heat the butter, sweetened condensed milk and brown sugar in a sauce pan until thickened. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Turn off the heat. Mix in white chocolate chips and stir until chocolate has melted. Add in salt and stir. Pour into a Pyrex bowl and refrigerate for 3 – 4 hours or until firm.

Heat dark chocolate chips until melted. Dip each ball into the chocolate to cover, removing with a fork. Place each truffle on lined baking tray and place back into the refrigerator to harden.

Store finished truffles in the refrigerator.

December 12, 2020
by Ashley
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Gingerbread Houses

For many years now, we have created and decorated Gingerbread Houses. It started off as a simple project that we were going to do, and had friends come over to share in the fun. I make the Gingerbread several days ahead of time, to give it time to cool and harden. I have created four smaller houses as well as two larger houses.

This isn’t MY recipe. It is the one I use that has worked well. I have made it at least for three years, and keep coming back the same recipe. Having it here on my blog will ensure that I can find the recipe again and again.

Gingerbread Houses

6 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves or allspice
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup dark molasses
1 tbsp water

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Using stand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy and well blended. Beat eggs, molasses and water in until well combined. Beat half of the flour mixture into the molasses until smooth. Stir in remaining flour. Knead with dough hook until well blended. If dough is too soft, add a little more flour. Wrap dough in plastic and refridgerate at least two hours, to overnight. You can make upto 3 days ahead of time. Let sit at room temperture for at least 10 minutes before rolling out.

Print or draw the following pictures. Mine are not usually to scale if I print them. My roofline is more like 4 inches rather than 6 1/2″. I do this in order to get more small houses, but if you are looking to make one or two larger homes, go by scale.

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Preheat oven to 350°F, with the oven rack in the middle. Have several cookie sheets ready, preferably ones that you know will not warp in the heat of the oven. Use silpats or parchment paper to cover baking sheets. Cut the dough in half. On a silpat, flour lightly and roll out one half of the dough with a rolling pin until it reaches a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Place pattern on dough and cut with a sharp knife or dough cutter. Carefully transfer to prepared baking sheet and when the baking sheet is full, bake. Bake 11-15 minutes for the large pieces, 6-8 minutes for the small pieces. Rotate the cookie sheets half way through the baking for even browning.  Transfer pieces carefully to racks to cook. Finish cutting pieces and cooking. I can usually get 1 large house and two smaller houses out of this recipe. One year I even managed 4 small houses, but some of the pieces were a little thin. I even cut trees, gingerbread men and doors per kid.

Gingerbread house cut outs

I made royal icing to construct the gingerbread houses. I also pasteurize the egg mixture to make sure no one gets sick if any icing has been snuck.

Royal Icing

2 large egg whites
2 2/3 cup powdered sugar, divided

Whisk together until smooth the egg whites and 1 1/3 cups of the powdered sugar. Microwave the egg white powdered sugar mixture for several seconds (it takes me over a minute usually) until the mixture reaches a temperature of 160 degrees, but not higher than 175°F. I check with a thermometer to make sure I reach the correct temperture. Add the remaining 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar and mix until you reach stiff peaks.  Use a damp towel over bowl of icing if you aren’t using immediately.

I premade each house in order for them to be solid and ready for the kids to decorate the day before. I make more frosting for decorating and usually put the frosting in a small individualized cup for each person to keep it separate.

Gingerbread houses 2015

December 11, 2020
by Ashley
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Lamb Meatballs with Curry

Ingredients

Lamb Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp olive oil to cook

Indian Curry Sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

Place ground lamb along with all of the other ingredients under that heading into a bowl and mix well using your hands. Using wet hands, form into 1 inch balls.

Heat a Dutch oven with olive oil. Sear the lamb meatballs until browned. Remove meatballs and set aside.

In the Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp butter. Add shallot and sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook another 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, garam masala, fennel speeds and the entire can of tomatoes. Cook 1 minutes. Add in the coconut milk and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the brown sugar and kosher salt as well as the lamb meatballs back into the sauce. Simmer another 10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

Serve with basmati rice.