Saturday, July 14, 2012

{ Crazy }

Things around here a lil crazy to say the least.

The Bean was in a play all last month, which equaled a lot of driving & a lot of rehearsals.

I'm knee deep in planning my Epic Harry Potter party and cannot wait to share it with you all!

See ya soon!

Tina

Thursday, July 12, 2012

{ Vanilla Sugar }




 So, today, my friend and I went to a Spice & Tea store.

There they had different flavors of sugar, including Vanilla Sugar.

It was $4.95 an ounce.

Yowtch! 

You know what? You can make your own Vanilla Sugar for way, way, uhh WAY less.

Vanilla Sugar is yummy in coffee, teas, or you can add in cookies or sprinkle on top of cupcakes/cookies.

Mmmmm!!!

So, so easy...  You will need a vanilla bean. Those, yes, are expensive, but, you're going to get a lot of sugar out of this recipe.

I paid just over $4 for one bean.

For Vanilla Sugar you'll need:

1 Vanilla Bean
2 Cups of White Sugar

That's it!

Here we go-


2 cups sugar & 1 vanilla bean


Slice open your bean lengthwise & scrap out the 'caviar'. No, seriously, that's what it's called.

I can't make this stuff up.

Flick this into your sugar. I say 'flick' because it's sticky stuff.


Then, you'll probably need to rub the clumps between your fingers to separate them... because, as I said... sticky.

Then stir.

Here's what you get


You'll store this in an airtight container. Don't throw the bean away! Bury it in the sugar.

Keep in the container for 2 weeks to give it time to properly infuse.


I mark mine on the calendar so I remember.


Yes I have an Angry Birds calendar. Yes, I can feel you judging me.

This is fantastic as a present.

Just pop into pretty bottles/jars & label. 


Pretty, right?

Yummy too.

And way, way less than $4.95 an ounce!

By the way-
I had to scrub my wooden cutting board because it kinda smelled like onions. Make sure your surface is nice and clean before cutting into your bean so you won't infuse something yucky into your sugar.

If you need to clean your's here's a good way to do that: table salt & lemons.

Rub the salt into the board with the lemons for a few minutes. Then rinse well and dry with a paper towel.

Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

Sorry I just said that.


Monday, July 9, 2012

{ Grammy's Pancakes }





Sit down now, and let me tell you about my Grammy's pancakes.

They. Are. Delicious.

Fat and fluffy. Golden and crispy. Tender and yummy.

Delicious.

These are a definite Christmas Breakfast staple around here, and any other time of the year we feel like having them. ;)

Grammy, who is actually my hubs' grandmother, has been making these for him since he was tiny.
Possibly before, I'm not sure about that, I'd have to ask.

A few years ago Gram mentioned that the recipe that she had taped inside her cabinet door was getting hard to read. I wrote her a new one with her promise that I could have the old. It's written in her handwriting, and up in the corner, it says quite clearly that this recipe is for my husband's pancakes.


I now have it taped inside my cabinet door, but I have it inside plastic.


I don't have step-by-step photos of this because it was my supper.

I quite literally took photos seconds before eating these.

Quick photos, you know, so my pancakes didn't get cold!



Speaking of that, do you all have dinner or supper?

I have supper. My husband has dinner. Different names, yet eaten at the same time.
We've debated about this so much over the years that my hubs now simply refers to it as
"The Evening Meal".

There's nothing quite like Breakfast for Dinner Supper is there?

So, to make my Grammy's fluffy, tender, crispy edged pancakes, here's what you'll need:

Grammy's Homemade Pancakes

Oil for frying pan
Large frying pan 
and

1 Egg
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Oil


Whisk together until smooth.

Pour a bit of oil into your pan and let heat. Drip a drop of the batter into the oil. When it begins to sizzle, add your pancakes.

When bubbles form on the cakes, carefully flip them over.

Test center by poking a small hole in it. If batter comes out, cook another minute or so.


Place on a paper towel just for a second to absorb any extra oil, then place on plate and serve!

This recipe makes about 6 medium sized pancakes.

For my family of 3, I made 2 recipes.

They are super delicious with your standard syrup, strawberries and whipped topping, or you can make your own syrup following my recipe here. This is perfect for when you want pancakes but forgot to buy syrup. All you need to do is keep a small bottle of Maple flavoring on hand (and sugar and water)!



I hope you'll love Grammy's pancakes as much as we do! Be sure to let me know!

They are great for Breakfast, of course... and also for  Dinner Supper!


Tina


shared at:
Homestead Simple

Footnote: I hope you enjoyed this post! It took both time and love. If you enjoyed it, please take a second to comment or share it. Or both. Yeah, both!! If you didn't like it, please feel free NOT to tell me and make me face High School-esque rejection! Kthx.

Monday, July 2, 2012

{ Mint Chocolates }

This post is really about Peppermint Toads, but I was afraid that title would scare people off.

Ok, wait. DON'T close your browser, it's toadly not as weird as it sounds. (Didja see what I did there? Didja? Didja?).

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I'm a rabid Harry Potter obsessed fan. Harry Potter FAN. Yes.

You'll see I've already done an assortment of HP inspired treats if you follow this link.

I'm currently planning a big birthday party for Harry this month! So excited. Lots of Potter Nerds doing nerdy Potter things, it'll be a trip!

So, I'm testing out some recipes. There will be, of course, chocolate frogs, Butterbeer, Pumpkin Juicelicorice wands, lemon drops, Droobles Best Blowing Gum, etc, but I wanted to try out some Peppermint Toads. Here is the info about Peppermint Toads in the Harry Potter Wiki.

Mine don't hop in your stomach however. Unless you eat way, way too many.
(Don't do that!)






I bought this cutesy mold and set to work.

I went to my cabinet to find some peppermints (which I was going to crush and stir into chocolate), and lo and belold, I had zero.

Sad Panda.

After rummaging through drawers for a while, I found Mint M&Ms. Hmm *strokes beard deviously*

(I don't actually have a beard, fyi. Thought I should come clean about that fact).


I used 1/3 cup for 3 squares of chocolate bark (sold in the baking section at your grocery store)

I popped them in the micro for 1 minute. Watch closely, times vary depending on microwave.

When I took them out, they were cracked, like this:


Then, I simply smooshed them with the back of a spoon


Once well smooshed (yes, I'm all about proper terminology), stir into your melted chocolate bark.

In this version, I used white chocolate. I kinda like how they look muddy and earthy, like a real toad.
I prefer the chocolate flavor over the white, however.

Here's a tip, I think I've mentioned it before, but I'm not positive.

When using chocolate molds, try a baby spoon, they are so much easier to work with! If you don't have one, go get one, they only cost a couple bucks (they are also great for filling cupcakes)!

Then, pop into the fridge until completely set! Pop out of the molds. The end!


Look at 'em. I almost hate to eat them... almost!

While those set, you may find it necessary to remelt your chocolate mixture. I got about 24 toads from this recipe.

At first, I was skeptical about using the M&Ms, but I loved the crunch they gave these guys!

Yurmmy, yurmmy!!

This will, of course, work with any chocolate mold! The toads are quite small, so the amount it makes for you, if you are not into making slimy lil creatures to eat (and why not???) will vary depending on the size of your particular mold.


But really, give the toads some credit here.
They ARE adorable.

And delicious.

Poor toads.

Tina






*footnote: I hope you enjoyed this post! It took both time and love. If you enjoyed it, please take a second to comment or share it. Or both. Yeah, both!! If you didn't like it, please feel free NOT to tell me and make me face High School-esque rejection! Kthx.



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