Goldfish Drops

A real quick sweet crunchy snack that was a perfect thank you gift for a coworker who is really into Goldfish crackers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 11 ounce bag butterscotch chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 2 cups cheddar Goldfish crackers
  • 1 cup pretzels

Combine the butterscotch chips and shortening in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally, and with increasing frequency as they start to melt, until the mixture is smooth.

While you wait, line a sheet pan with parchment or a silpat. Turn off the heat and add the Goldfish and pretzels, stirring until completely coated.

Scoop the mixture onto the lined pan in heaping tablespoons – I actually used a medium (1.5 tablespoon) cookie dough scoop, heaping spoonfuls of that, and got 15 drops.

You can do smaller if you want to share with more people, but I don’t think I’d go bigger just because it gets less convenient to eat at that point. As you’re scooping onto the pan, you may feel like there’s no chance of the drops holding together, but once they firm up they have good structural integrity!

holding together!

Move the sheet pan to the fridge for 5-10 minutes to firm up, and then enjoy!

I’ve got extra fish and pretzels, may need another bag of butterscotch next supermarket trip!

Goldfish Drops

From Simply Stacie.

  • 1 11 ounce bag butterscotch chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 2 cups cheddar Goldfish crackers
  • 1 cup pretzels

Combine the butterscotch chips and shortening in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally, and with increasing frequency as they start to melt, until the mixture is smooth. While you wait, line a sheet pan with parchment or a silpat. Turn off the heat and add the Goldfish and pretzels, stirring until completely coated.

Scoop the mixture onto the lined pan in heaping tablespoons. Move the sheet pan to the fridge for 5-10 minutes to firm up, and then enjoy!

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Fennel and Carrot Soup

This is a super hearty soup to help you survive the dumb winter weather. I’d never cooked with fennel before, and was worried by the anise-y smell while chopping it, but it didn’t end up making the finished soup taste like black licorish at all, so we’re good! This makes a kind of huge amount of soup, so if you have a small family you could easily get by with just halving the recipe. As is, I borrowed a larger pot from work just to be on the safe side.

tons of leftovers after two hearty servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • sprinkling of salt
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaved ripped into small pieces
  • 1 14 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 box any small shaped pasta

I’m very over buying a package of fresh herbs, using 1/4 of it, and having the rest slowly die in my fridge, so dried it is!

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Combine the carrots, fennel, a bit of olive oil, and some salt, stirring until the veggies are evenly coated, then spread over 2 sheet pans. You don’t need to worry about chopping these veggies too finely, as they’re going to get blended up later.

Roast for 15 minutes, stir, and roast another 10 minutes.

Towards the end of the roasting time, bring the broth to a simmer in a large pot on the stove. Transfer the roasted vegetables to the broth and simmer 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.

Meanwhile, combine the ground turkey, onion, and celery with a bit of olive oil in a even large pot, if available. Heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes, then add the pot of blended vegetables and broth.

Add the paprika, rosemary, oregano, cumin, torn kale, and beans, and stir together, bringing back to a simmer.

Cook the pasta slightly underdone, either in a new pot or in the one you just poured the veggie/broth mixture out of, then reserve 2 cups of the pasta water before straining. Add the pasta and the water to the soup mixture and stir to combine. Return to a simmer, then serve.

This soup is quite thick – I definitely wouldn’t leave out the pasta water or you’ll need a fork and knife for the leftovers! It would go well with a nice crusty bread, and maybe some grated parmesan on top!

While I ate, the pasta/beans absorbed most of the visible liquid in the leftovers, but if you heat it back up it’s still soup!

Fennel and Carrot Soup

Slightly adapted from The Food in My Beard.

  • 2 pounds carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • sprinkling of salt
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaved ripped into small pieces
  • 1 14 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 box any small shaped pasta

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Combine the carrots, fennel, a bit of olive oil, and some salt, stirring until the veggies are evenly coated, then spread over 2 sheet pans. Roast for 15 minutes, stir, and roast another 10 minutes.

Towards the end of the roasting time, bring the broth to a simmer in a large pot on the stove. Transfer the roasted vegetables to the broth and simmer 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.

Meanwhile, combine the ground turkey, onion, and celery with a bit of olive oil in a even large pot, if available. Heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, and cook for 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes, then add the pot of blended vegetables and broth. Add the paprika, rosemary, oregano, cumin, torn kale, and beans, and stir together, bringing back to a simmer.

Cook the pasta slightly underdone, either in a new pot or in the one you just poured the veggie/broth mixture out of, then reserve 2 cups of the pasta water before straining. Add the pasta and the water to the soup mixture and stir to combine. Return to a simmer, then serve.

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Whole Wheat Pitas

Turns out, pitas for wraps aren’t too tricky, so why not have a nice warm pita tonight, instead of a sad cold one from the store?

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • canola oil for brushing

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and honey, and stir briefly to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to work while you gather your remaining ingredients/tools.

Stir in both flours and the salt, stirring until it comes together to a rough dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface to knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. If your dough is super sticky, you can add additional all-purpose flour as needed. My dough picked up the bit of flour from the counter, but otherwise didn’t need any extra.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, rolling to cover all sides of the ball in a light layer of grease.

Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Once risen, knock the dough back down, pressing out the air, then divide into 8 equal portions. (my one weakness, even portions!)

Roll out the first piece of dough into as thin a circle as you can. (oh, right, my other weakness, rolling into circles!)

If you roll them all out at once, most of them will have started rising again by the time you get to them.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. For reference, mine is 12 1/2″. Brush with a thin layer of canola oil. Place the rolled out dough in the skillet and cook for 30 seconds, until it starts to bubble.

Flip and cook 1-2 minutes, until puffy with a few golden spots.

Flip back to the first side and cook an additional minute. While the pitas cook, roll out the next pieces of dough. Place the cooked pitas to the side on a plate, separating with paper towel.

I always only needed 30/60/60 seconds for mine, and actually used a repeated 30 second timer like this to ensure I was moving them when I meant to. If your stove burner isn’t level, make sure you’re brushing the oil that may pool at one end of the pan around so that the dough isn’t being placed on partly greased, partly dry pan.

Whole Wheat Pitas

From How Sweet Eats.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • canola oil for brushing

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and honey, and stir briefly to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to work while you gather your remaining ingredients/tools.

Stir in both flours and the salt, stirring until it comes together to a rough dough, then turning out onto a lightly floured surface to knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. If your dough is super sticky, you can add additional all-purpose flour as needed. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, rolling to cover all sides of the ball in a light layer of grease. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Once risen, knock the dough back down, pressing out the air, then divide into 8 equal portions. Roll out the first piece of dough into as thin a circle as you can.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with a thin layer of canola oil. Place the rolled out dough in the skillet and cook for 30 seconds, until it starts to bubble. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes, until puffy with a few golden spots. Flip back to the first side and cook an additional minute. While the pitas cook, roll out the next pieces of dough. Place the cooked pitas to the side on a plate, separating with paper towel.

 

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Beet & Ricotta Hummus

I’m hosting an event at work soon where we make ricotta and then use it in a few recipes, and I just gave this a go as one of the recipes for people to try their ricotta in. It’s a really super delightful color, I think you’ll all agree!

Ingredients:

  • 1 baseball-sized red beet (about 6 ounces), scrubbed
  • 1 15 1/2 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup tahini, well mixed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 1 garlic clove (Bon Apetit talks about grating it first, but it’s all going in the food processor, so as long as you do actually blend until smooth, I don’t see the point)
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) kosher salt
  • 10 cranks freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wrap the beet tightly in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake 60-70 minutes, until a fork slides easily into the center of the beet. (My oven wasn’t fully preheated, so I just didn’t check until 75 minutes, at which point it was good.) Let rest, unwrapped, until cool enough to handle.

While you wait, process the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, and coriander in a food processor until smooth.

Once the beet has cooled, wrap it in paper towel and rub firmly to remove all the skin. Trim off the scraggly root end, and any remaining base of the greens. Cut beet into 8 large pieces.

Add the sliced beet to the mixture in the food processor, processing until smooth again.

Taste, and add any additional salt if desired.

Serve with bread/toasted baguette/crackers, and garnish with mint leaves, poppy seeds, or olive oil if desired. Can be stored in the fridge up to 4 days.

Alternately, make some pitas (I guess we’ll cover that recipe soon?) and Greek, aka spinach & feta, hummus, and make the prettiest wraps!

Yay!

Beet & Ricotta Hummus

From Bon Apetit.

  • 1 baseball-sized red beet (about 6 ounces), scrubbed
  • 1 15 1/2 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup tahini, well mixed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) kosher salt
  • 10 cranks freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wrap the beet tightly in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake 60-70 minutes, until a fork slides easily into the center of the beet. Let rest, unwrapped, until cool enough to handle.

While you wait, process the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, and coriander in a food processor until smooth.

Once the beet has cooled, wrap it in paper towel and rub firmly to remove all the skin. Trim off the root end, and any remaining base of the greens. Cut beet into 8 large pieces and add to the mixture in the food processor, processing until smooth again. Taste, and add any additional salt if desired.

Serve with bread/toasted baguette/crackers, and garnish with mint leaves, poppy seeds, or olive oil if desired. Can be stored in the fridge up to 4 days.

 

 

 

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Brownie-in-a-Mug Gift Mix

I tried a few mug mixes in the last few weeks that weren’t worth eating more than once, but eventually came across this one. Well, the one I slightly adapted to make this one, anyway. I found that I got 11 half-pint jars full per batch. As I was making 3 dozen total, for all my coworkers, I did 3 1/2 batches and kept a larger jar of the rest for myself. If you don’t need more than 11, congrats, that 12th jar in the pack is your new paperclip holder!

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Other items:

  • canning funnel (nice, but optional)
  • set of half-pint jars
  • labels, with ribbon to attach if necessary

Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

Scoop 1 cup of the mixture into each of 11 half-pint jars, using a canning funnel if you have one to reduce (but, let’s be real, not eliminate) mess.

Cover, attach a label with the ‘baking’ instructions, and gift!

for some reason I decided to use tinsel as my ribbon

The cooking instructions are as follows: Combine 1/2 cup mixture, 2 tablespoons water, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a mug and stir well. Microwave 1 minute, then enjoy.

I’ve taken my own name off the tag I created, but if you want something more festive, definitely play around with Canva. Depending on what you create, you can either print 8 tags on a page, cut them apart, punch a hole in the corner of each and tie the label on, as I did, or print it directly on a label sticker and stick it to the jar.

Super simple gifts that will have people remembering you fondly over chocolate later!

Brownie-in-a-Mug Gift Mix

Adapted from The Happier Homemaker.

  • 3 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Other items:

  • canning funnel (optional)
  • set of half-pint jars
  • labels, with ribbon to attach if necessary

Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Scoop 1 cup of the mixture into each of 11 half-pint jars, using a canning funnel if available. Cover, attach a label with the ‘baking’ instructions, and gift!

Cooking instructions for labels: Combine 1/2 cup mixture, 2 tablespoons water, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a mug and stir well. Microwave 1 minute, then enjoy.

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Apple Pie Bread

Another recipe that uses 8,000 dishes, but feels worth it for the end result.

Not remotely cupcakes, but the storage layers are useful.

Ingredients:

Apple Pie Filling:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups chopped cooking apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Dough:

  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 envelopes/4 1/2 teaspoons RapidRisee Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs

Egg Glaze:

  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water

Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To start with, make the apple pie filling by combining the sugar, corn starch, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Stir in the apples and lemon juice until the apples are evenly coated and set aside.

Next, make the crumb topping by combining all the topping ingredients in a small bowl, using a fork or two knives to mix, then set aside.

To make the dough, first combine 1 cup flour, the sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl.

Heat the water, milk, and butter in a small pot until very warm (120-130 degrees – you don’t want it so hot it would burn you, as that would also burn the yeast!).

Drizzle the hot milk mixture into the flour mixture while stirring, and continue to beat until well mixed.

Add the eggs and an additional cup of flour and beat two minutes until smooth again.

Add enough of the additional flour to make a soft dough – for me that was an additional 2 1/4 cups.

cup 3

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. During that time, grease or line two baking sheets.

Divide the dough into two equal pieces, and roll each piece into a 14×12″ rectangle. Move the rolled dough onto the prepared baking sheets.

Spread half the apple pie filling in a 3″ wide strip down each piece of dough, then sprinkle with the crumb topping.

Down the clear sides, make cuts about 3″ deep (from the edge to about where the filling is) 1″ apart down the length of the sides. Cut off triangles at the corner, to create a rectangle on opposite ends, that folds in over the first inch or two of the filling.

Starting at one end, fold in the strips from the side at an angle, alternating sides and overlapping in the center. Repeat with the second loaf, then cover and let rise somewhere warm until doubled, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make the egg glaze by stirring together the egg white and water, and brush over the raised braids.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks.

Whisk together the icing ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until smooth, then drizzle half over each of the braids.

Apple Pie Bread

From Breadworld.

Apple Pie Filling:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups chopped cooking apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Dough:

  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 envelopes/4 1/2 teaspoons RapidRisee Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs

Egg Glaze:

  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water

Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To start with, make the apple pie filling by combining the sugar, corn starch, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Stir in the apples and lemon juice until the apples are evenly coated and set aside.

Next, make the crumb topping by combining all the topping ingredients in a small bowl, using a fork or two knives to mix, then set aside.

To make the dough, first combine 1 cup flour, the sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Heat the water, milk, and butter in a small pot until very warm (120-130 degrees). Drizzle the hot milk mixture into the flour mixture while stirring, and continue to beat until well mixed. Add the eggs and an additional cup of flour and beat two minutes until smooth again. Add enough of the additional flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. During that time, grease or line two baking sheets.

Divide the dough into two equal pieces, and roll each piece into a 14×12″ rectangle. Move the rolled dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Spread half the apple pie filling in a 3″ wide strip down each piece of dough, then sprinkle with the crumb topping. Down the clear sides, make cuts about 3″ deep, 1″ apart down the length of the sides. Cut off triangles at the corner, to create a rectangle on opposite ends, that folds in over the first inch or two of the filling. Starting at one end, fold in the strips from the side at an angle, alternating sides and overlapping in the center. Repeat with the second loaf, then cover and let rise somewhere warm until doubled, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make the egg glaze by stirring together the egg white and water, and brush over the raised braids. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks.

Whisk together the icing ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until smooth, then drizzle half over each of the braids.

 

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Pickled Cranberries

A bit of a weird one, but people have thought these are good, and I am definitely eager to try them in chicken salad. They’d also be good on a cheese platter, and I’m sure you could make some sort of weird cocktail with the brine after, were you in the mood. They’re sweet, in a way that reminds me of bread and butter pickles, but also plenty tart. It’s an unusual flavor worth trying!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries

Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a small pot. (I was doing a triple batch, so needed a bigger pot!) Boil for 2 minutes, then add the cranberries and boil an additional 3 minutes, until you start to hear the berries begin to pop.

Remove from the heat and pour into a 1 pint canning jar. Cover, cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator at least 48 hours before eating.

If you’re into canning and want to save these, you can take them from the stove to the hot water bath canner, processing for 15 minutes.

Pickled Cranberries

From HGTV.

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries

Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a small pot. Boil for 2 minutes, then add the cranberries and boil an additional 3 minutes, until you start to hear the berries begin to pop.

Remove from the heat and pour into a 1 pint canning jar. Cover, cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator at least 48 hours before eating.

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