Can Dream

Cheese Sticks

Cheese Sticks

Happy May Reveal Day!  This month I was once again partnered with Erin of Making Memories with My Kids for Group A of the Secret Recipe Club.  Her blog is full of fantastic recipes and awesome science experiments – so lots of awesome things to look at.  I was apparently craving carbs when I was checking out her blog as every recipe I flagged was hardcore sinful.  Top of the list were (and are) her apple fritters but every time I got to the store I was unable to nab some Pink Ladies.  Luckily I was able to find some awesome cheddar cheese allowing me to make her fantastic Cheese Sticks!!!   These delicious treats are made using ingredients that I normally have on hand but decided to go the distance and get some really good cheese.  I went for some Vermont Extra Sharp as well as some Vermont Mild White – which is why mine aren’t as vivid as Erin’s!  I also added minced garlic in place of the garlic powder as I prefer the fresh stuff, no risk of vampires in this house!

Cheese Sticks

Serves: Makes 45 three inch pieces (9 snakes)

Ingredients

3 10 ounce bricks sharp Cheddar Cheese, room temperature

1 cup butter, softened

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

  1. Put softened cheese and butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and beat for 30 minutes or until mixture has consistency of whipped cream.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Sift 3 cups of the flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Gradually add the seasoned flour to the cheese mixture by large spoonfuls, beating well after each addition. Add until the dough is somewhat stiff - adding the final 1/2 cup of flour if needed
  4. Portion the dough into nine balls - one at a time roll out into a snake formation going the length of the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. While still on the sheet cut into three inch strips and allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/05/can-dream.html

Lesson learned on this: read the recipe all the way!  My sticks weren’t nearly as pretty or evenly cooked as I missed the part about having a cookie press which is one of the few kitchen tools I don’t own.   These disappeared pretty quickly here, with both of us enjoying these with dinner and then again for breakfast!  I enjoyed them slightly warm and toasty while Joe was eating them however they were available. Needless to say another successful SRC recipe! I can’t wait to see what June has in store – but first there will be a bonus BBQ and Picnic SRC recipe at the end of the month.

In the Kitchen

Brigadeiros 

brazilian-truffles

I’m one week behind on this post, technically last week was Brazil week over at /52weeksofcooking but thankfully they have a three week grace period.  When I saw the challenge was to cook something from Brazil, the first thing that came to mind was meat – and lots of it.  Brazilian steakhouses are pretty popular and every year most of my GenCon friends go there for dinner the final night.  Obviously that’s not going to work for my blog but some research pointed me towards a simple and delicious dessert recipe.  Generally I stay away from the super chocolate heavy desserts in favor of caramel but these truffles seemed so easy I just had to give it a whirl.   I found a number of different recipes online, all of which had different cocoa:butter:milk ratios so I gradually added the cocoa until I got the right taste and consistency.

Brazilian Chocolate Truffles

Serves: Makes 12 truffles

Ingredients

14 oz can unsweetened condensed milk

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp cocoa powder

sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Heat the unsweetened milk and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, once it begins to simmer whisk in the cocoa powder. DO NOT BOIL (reduce heat if needed)
  2. Continue stirring over medium heat until mixture begins to pull away from the side of the pan.
  3. Pour into a 8x8 baking sheet lined with wax paper and place in fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Remove from fridge and lightly flour hands or a melon baller. Form walnut sized and then roll in the sprinkles. Place on wax paper and allow to reset in the fridge for at least an hour.
  5. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/04/in-the-kitchen.html

 Sprinkles are the traditional topping, or so Google tells me, but any small treat would work – shaved coconut, mini chocolate chips, nuts, or anything else that goes with chocolate!  One word of caution – I used Wiltons sprinkles for these and while they tasted normal to me both of my family members with nut allergies said they tasted very nutty.  I’m not sure if that’s unique to the white ones but will be avoiding this brand in the future!

Also want to wish a Happy 5th Birthday to my favorite nephew 😀

Need You

Biscuit Sandwich

biscuit_cookie

Welcome to April’s Secret Recipe Club reveal for Group A!  Normally when I get my blog assignment I go to the recipe page and read everything, saving and pinning anything that catches my eye.  This time however I was transfixed by a thumbnail on Chit Chat Chomp  and HAD to make it.  So I first searched her dessert page, trying to not be distracted by all her delicious goodies before finding MY recipe on her baking page: Melting Moments.  Leigh made these for her boss’s birthday and for some strange reason was not given a raise, which blows my mind because oh my goodness are these biscuits insanely good.  I had to make a change to the custard filling, switching the lemon curd for vanilla due to my citrus allergy.   Not so surprising Leigh has a recipe for vanilla custard as well so I used that as the filling for my biscuits!  I just halved that recipe and dropped the zest – super easy and super incredible.  We wound up with some “extra” pudding after assembling the cookies and it was very hard to not lick the bowls clean.

Biscuits

Serves: Makes 20 biscuits

Ingredients

2 sticks butter, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar (10x sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup flour (sifted)

1/4 cup corn flour (sifted)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy - about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix in the sifted flours until just blended.
  4. Form tbsp balls and place on cookie sheet leaving a cookie length between the cookies.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/04/need-you.html

I also enjoyed the irony of getting an Australian blog seeing as how I got one just over a year ago when my little sister moved to Australia for a year.  She gets back next Monday (!!!!) and I can’t wait to get all the food details about her trip.  I have a feeling I’ll be making some more of Leigh’s recipes once she gets back, especially since she has a very large vegetarian recipe section.

Lost and Alone

Vegetable Chili

chili

Another one of my awesome freezer meals – this time one that also doubles as a great way to clean out the fridge/freezer!  Once we had finished prepping my list of meals, I checked what I had left and decided I could squeeze out at least one more meal.  This hodge podge of ingredients was fantastic last weekend when Mother Nature decided we needed another round of cold weather, to include snow!

Lost and Alone

Serves: Serves 5-6

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 zucchini, diced

2 carrots, round sliced then quartered

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

4 cups black beans, presoaked

1 can (28 ounces), crushed tomatoes

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Toss all the ingredients into the slow cooker and set for low. Cook for 7hrs - or cook on high for 3hrs.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper, or more chili powder!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/03/lost-and-alone.html

We topped this with cheese but chives, sour cream, guacamole or nothing would also work.  As for the vegetables, whatever you have on hand will work.

and Gumdrops

Cafe Mocha Cheesecake

cheesecake

Welcome to #16Cheesecakes – part 2!!!

Last year Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla rallied some blogging friends to help her celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary. She was only looking for fifteen cheesecake recipes. But we posted waaaaaay more than #FifteenCheesecakes.  It was such a hit and we all had so much fun that she decided to see if she could get enthusiasm for another round of cheesecakes. Yep. This is an encore performance by some of her favorite foodie bloggers.

More than #SixteenCheesecakes

Last year I kept things rather simple with a chocolate caramel cheesecake – something I knew my husband would love.  As I mentioned last year, Joe and I also did a cheesecake at our wedding and it was the BEST decision ever.  This year I decided to go for something more my style: Cafe Mocha Cheesecake.  Don’t get me wrong, Joe’s a huge fan of coffee but not in his dessert so much as with his dessert.  I, on the other hand, prefer Double Dunker ice cream by Turkey Hill to almost anything!  Coffee and chocolate and just the hint of vanilla to keep things from being too overpowering – perfection!

Cafe Mocha Cheesecake

Serves: Serves 8-10

Ingredients

2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed

1 stick butter, melted

3 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened

3 eggs

1 cup white sugar

2 tbsp kahlua

2 tbsp espresso

1 cup dark chocolate chunks

Instructions

  1. Mix together the vanilla wafers and melted butter and press into a 9inch springform pan, going halfway up the sides.
  2. Preheat oven to 500
  3. In a blender mix together the cream cheese and sugar until creamy, about 7 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time while mixing then add in the kahlua and espresso and mix for another 5 minutes.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chunks and spoon into the springform pan.
  5. Bake at 500 for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 200 and bake for one hour, then turn the oven off and allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge for three hours.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/03/and-gumdrops.html

Make sure to check out all the other fantastic cheesecakes – perfect addition to a holiday dinner or a substitution for dinner.