This little guy will be fun for your kids to make and eat. You'll want to make one for each member of the family. As you can see, he's easy to assemble. All you need is a scoop of chocolate ice cream, black licorice for legs (4 pieces cut in half) and a couple of colorful candies. I used M&M's leftover from Easter. One word of caution. Work fast. These little guys melt quickly (as you can see by my picture). Your best bet is to make your octopus bodies and put them in the freezer to set up a little before sticking in the licorice. Then, once the legs are attached, back in again to finish setting up. By the time you're ready for dessert transfer them to plates and sprinkle brown sugar around for sand.
By the way, I used chocolate peanut butter ice cream for my guy. Yum!
As I'm posting this, thanks to the Corona virus, we appear to be experiencing a flour shortage (right along with .... almost everything it seems). It looks like many of us, being stuck at home are turning to baking for comfort. These cookies are great because they use a little less flour than other cookies and have the added benefit of fiber and fruit. They have a bit of a crunch due to the use of oil instead of shortening or butter. Give 'em a try and see what you think!
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup vegetable oil (oil makes the dough a lot more moist so you don't need to use as much oil as you would butter or shortening. If the dough feels dry to you, add a little more - but go easy.)
a handful of rainsins
Directions: cream together the sugars, oil and egg. Add dry ingredients (I always mix in the soda first and make sure there are no tiny lumps). Lastly add vanilla, chocolate chips and raisins. Drop by spoonfuls (how big you want 'em will determine what size spoon you use. I use a soup spoon) onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake at 350 for 10 - 12 minutes. (Times really vary from stove to stove.)
Makes about 2 dozen.
a handful of chocolate chips
With all the reds and greens, this salad is perfect for a potluck or your holiday dinner table. My friend Arlene shared it with me and I made it and took it to a luncheon. I got rave reviews! I bet you will, too!
Ingredients for Salad:
8 cups spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced (I chopped mine)
1 cup pomegranate seeds
or 1 cup dried cranberries (I actually use both)
Ingredients for Dressing
4 tbsp cranberry juice concentrate
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1 /2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil (I use olive oil).
Stem spinach and tear into bite-sized pieces and place in salad bowl. Place avocado and onion over spinach. For dressing combine cranberry juice concentrate, vinegar, mustard, pepper and oil in a jar with a lid. Shake until well blended. Drizzle over salad. Sprinkle pomegranate and/or dried cranberries over salad. Toss gently and serve.
It's that time of year for all things pumpkin, so I wanted to share my favorite pumpkin bread recipe with you. It's one I got years ago from my old high school buddy Donna. I still make it and I think of her every time I do!
PUMPKIN BREAD (Makes two loaves)
3/4 cup butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 one pound can of pumpkin
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
2/3 cup chopped nuts
(I often throw in some white chocolate chips, too)
Cream butter and sugar. Ads eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly. Mix in pumpkin. Sift dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture, adding a little at a time and keep stirring until well blended. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans; pour in batter, dividing evenly between the two pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. (Depending on your oven you may need a little more time or possibly a little less.) Test with tooth pick. If it comes out clean you're done. Cool on a wire rack before taking bread from pans.
At our house, it's smoothies for breakfast - easy and fast to make when you're trying to get out the door in a hurry. If you're rushing off to work or have kids or a sweetie who aren't much into breakfast this is a good way to back some quick nutrition into them. Yummy stuff! Here's one of my favorite recipes:
Orange Dream Smoothie (serves one)
1 banana (peeled of course)
1 mandarin orange (ditto)
1/2 cup honey yogurt
2 Tbsp almond milk
Mix 'em up in your blender on high and serve. Great way to get your potassium and vitamin C for the day!
This recipe is from my fabulous daughter-in-law Adrianna. It is simply delicious.
4 large salmon fillets (we get them from Costco)
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 pinches of kosher salt
1 Tbsp of orange zest
First clean your salmon (so it won't taste so fishy) Thaw to room temp, pat dry with a paper towel, then coat with dill and let it rest for five minutes. Then rise well and pat dry again. Butter both sides of the salmon then drizzle on the glaze mix. Put avocado oil in a pre-heated pan. If you've got an electric grill where you can control temperature, heat the pan to 275 degrees. Once oil is in heat pan to 325 and add salmon. Cook for about 4 - 5 minutes on each side (until it easily flips.) Pairs well with asparagus and rice or garlic mashed potatoes.
(P.S. Don't leave your salmon or any raw food out too long. You don't want to give bacteria a chance to grow!)
I've had this cookie recipe for over forty years (yes, I was a mere child when I got it), and it came from an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that was dedicated to cookies and candies. Long out of print, of course, but if you ever see such a thing in a rare book store, grab it because the recipes are great. (I'd post a pic of it here but I'm in sunny California and the cookbook is back home in Washington.) Anyway, here's the recipe, just in time for some summer baking with the kids now that they're out of school. The original recipe didn't call for butter, but I upgraded it because, IMHO, everything's better with butter.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
Combine butter with sugars. Add egg and vanilla, creaming until light and fluffy. Sift together dry ingredients and stir in. Add cereal and coconut. Shape into 3/4 inch balls and place about 2 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for ten minutes or until golden brown.
On our travels in Germany last December, we were able to see a demonstration on how to make a Black Forest Cherry Cake. This is my absolute favorite cake in the whole wide world, and I thought I'd share some cake tips with you on how to make it. You basically want three layers (done in three 8 inch pans) of chocolate sponge cake. Whatever chocolate cake recipe you have will work.
As for the rest of the cake, you want:
2 cups sour cherries
3 Tbsp cherry jam
8 cups of whipped cream
5 tsps Kirschwasser (cherry schnaps, which you can buy at your local liquor store)
1/4 cup chocolate shavings
Bake your cake and cool.
When assembling your cake spread the jam on the bottom layer and cover it with cherries (except the center part of about 1 and 1/2 inches). Cover with whipped cream (about 3/4 inch thick). Put the next layer of cake on top of that and sprinkle the Kirschwasswer evenly. Cover with another 3/4 inch of whipped cream and place the last layer on top. Cover the whole cake with the remaining whipped cream and decorate with chocolate shavings. Mark the top of the cake with a cake slicer. Put whipped cream in a pastry tube with a star decorator tip and squeeze little curls on each piece. Decorate each one with cherry on top of the curls.
And there you have it. Enjoy and don't weigh yourself after eating!
I know you'll love this yummy chowder recipe that is a specialty of my good friend Jill Barnett, who is kindly sharing it with all of us. Perfect for a stormy day at the beach. Or anyplace else for that matter!
4 small cans minced or chopped clams (use juice from 2)
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of potato soup
3 small stalks of celery, diced
1/4 small sweet onion, diced
1/2 stick butter
4 - 5 slices of bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
1 quart half and half
3 medium potatoes (cook in microwave in skins, then peel and dice.)
salt and pepper to taste
Add two dashes of cayenne for spice if wanted
Cook potatoes in microwave until tender. Cool a few minutes, then peel and dice into small cubes. Cook bacon until crisp and crumble. Set both aside.
In a large pot melt butter, add diced celery and onion and cook until tender. Dump in all clams and the juice from the two cans. Then stir in both soups, add half and half and diced potatoes and bacon. Cook about 15 minutes on low. Garnish with chopped green onions or chives if you like. Serve with garlic bread.
It's apple season! If you've got an apple tree in the backyard or if you've found a sale on apples, you'll want to try this lovely cake. It's always a hit.
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 and 1/2 cups oil
2 cups sugar
3 cups chopped apples
1 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
2 tsp vanilla
Mix eggs, sugar and oil and vanilla, then add dry ingredients a little at a time. (Batter will be stiff). Add apples and nuts. Bake in a greased and floured tube or Bundt pan for one and a quarter hours at 325. Let cool before removing from pan.