1girlpluskitchen's Blog

I haven’t really been able to cook and post on a regular basis like I wanted to when I started reading. I’ve been really busy and hence not cooking and if I do make something I haven’t been taking pictures like I want. I haven’t even had time to make Christmas cookies and my DIY not so secret Christmas gifts for family and friends.

On the plus side today I bought my first thing from http://www.livingsocial.com, which was a small mixed box of produce from Suburban Organics for $19.00, 51% savings off normal price. I don’t know what I’ll get in the box as I can’t order until tomorrow I think. But hopefully I will be able to make something healthy and tasty and will take pictures!

I haven’t been around in a while.  There’s a new baby in the family and interviewing for jobs and being a couch potato hasn’t left me much time to write.  But I’m back!!

I live in Pennsylvania and I’ve been going to the Jersey Shore long before there was the Jersey Shore. One of the things the boardwalk is famous for is fudge.  Shore fudge comes in a variety of flavors,  my favorites are vanilla and pistachio being made by Shriver’s and Steel’s Fudge.

I haven’t found any decent recipes on how to make flavored fudge but I did find a easy and delicious one from my Weight Watchers weekly newsletter.

Dark and Creamy Fudge

 

10 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 (14 oz) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch + scant 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

 

Line a 8 inch square baking pan with plastic wrap, leaving 2 inch overhang.  Smooth out any wrinkles.

Combine chocolate, condensed milk, vanilla and pinch salt in in a heavy saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally over medium low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes.  Transfer fudge to prepared pan, spread evenly with rubber spatula.  Let cool and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Uncover fudge, remove from pan by lifting edges of plastic wrap.  Invert fudge onto cutting board, discard plastic.  Cut fudge into 8 strips then cut each strip crosswise into 8 pieces.  To serve, bring the fudge to room temperature.  Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 tsp salt.  Yields 2 pieces per serving.

 

When I made it I kinda missed the whole bring to room temperature at first. When it was cold, it was a pain in the but to cut or get pieces from.  But once it was at room temp, it was so easy to work with.

(The fudge still in the pan, with the plastic wrap underneath)

 

Because its a WW recipe, its got a point value.  Can you believe its only 2 points per serving, which is 1 piece?  LOVE IT!! It was so tasty, and the salt really added something.  I started craving that chocolate then the salt bite at the end.  I would think “Just one piece!”  This is a great idea to make if your going to someone’s house for a gathering, everyone will love you because who doesn’t love fudge????

If you’re fortunate enough to have the Cooking Channel on your tv you might have seen the show Bitchin’ Kitchen.   To make a nice (cheap) Friday night dinner for the boyfriend and myself I made two recipes from a recent episode called “Recession Recipes”.   I made Zesty Spaghetti a la Puttanesca and Ricotta Crepes with Raspberry Chile Coulis and Chocolate Shavings.

Two things I learned while making this dinner.

1. Anchovies aren’t evil.

2. I can make crepes!!

Ahh, just as I was going to add photos of my delicious dinner, I realized that I don’t currently have them uploaded and my camera is a little MIA right now.  So until I can find proof of this awesome meal, I’ll leave you with a picture of a geisha and gorilla out on Halloween 2010.

 

Update!!! I found my camera with some of my Puttanesca and crepes!!

The last big baking project I took on for my party was a lit Jack-O-Lantern cake.  The inside is supposed to look like a lit candle.  I saw the idea at the blog Pink Little Cake.  You can go there to find out all the steps and ingredients.

It was 4 devil food cakes baked in a 9-inch pans.  I had to cut holes in them so I could stuff them with white and yellow cake and then stack them to shape them like pumpkin.  I put down a black trash bag on my counter so that all the cut away cake bits could be wrapped right up to throw out.

After I shaped it, I crumb coated the cake, and then got the final layer of icing.  I cut half a cupcake and put it on top for the stem.  My boyfriend started the eyes and mouth with black icing then I filled the rest in.

When you cut into the cake, this is what I saw…

Not a perfect candle inside, but not bad!

 

My cat killed two birds with one stone, she stayed warm near the crock pot and watched approvingly while I worked.

 

 

 

One of the food items that I associate strictly with Halloween is caramel/ candy apple.  I can’t actually eat these apples, I’m afraid that my teeth will leave me and run away to be one with the apple  But in the October issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray, they featured Caramel Apple Cupcakes.  Yummy apple flavored cupcakes that border on muffinhood covered in gooey, sticky caramel.

The recipe calls for Rome apples but I was unable to find any at my local supermarket.  I went with Honeycrisp (which doesn’t look correct to me….but internet, would you lead me wrong?)  ((Another side note, it seems like Honeycrisp apples has its own website…crazy!) I peeled and shredded the apples.  They were so juicy, so shredding them got messy.

Mixing the dry ingredients and then adding the eggs..

When you mix the two bowls together, and throw in the shredded apples you get a tasty looking batter.

After the cupcakes baked in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, they came out all pretty!!

Since the cupcakes have to be completely cooled before icing, I let them sit overnight.  The next day I melted 1 1/2 cups of chewy caramel and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream in the microwave.  Time to start icing.

When I put them out at the party, my guests thought they were fake.  Too shiny.  But delicious.  AND sticky!

To celebrate the Halloween season and the autumn, I had a little get together last Friday night.  We were going to have a fire and some drinks so I wanted to make some desserts to make the night a little sweeter.

I found a recipe on Jell-O Pudding’s website for a pie that I thought fit right in with my theme.  The Candy Crunch Pudding Pie.

The ingredient list for the pie incredibly simple. Jell-O chocolate instant pudding mix, milk, whipped topping, chocolate toffee bars, Oreo pie crust and melted semi-sweet chocolate.

* Whipped topping was chilling out to room temp somewhere else out of frame*

Mix the pudding mix, milk and 1/2 of the whipped topping.  You’ll then mix in some crushed up toffee pieces.

Put the mix in the cookie piecrust and then cover in the other half of whipped topping.

Cover the pie in the rest of the toffee pieces.

Then to get fancy, you go all Jackson Pollock on the pie with melted semi-sweet chocolate.

I loved making this because it was super easy.  Like easy peesy.  I made it the night before and popped on the lid that came with the pie crust and let it sit in the fridge until the party.  The pie got a lot of ooohs and aahhs from my guests.  Really nice for such a simple item.

Coming up next time….Candy Apple Cupcakes!

Here's the mail
It never fails
It makes me wanna wag my tail
When it comes I wanna wail
Mailllll!!!

Yes!! The lovely people at the United States Postal Service brought me my package
from a little company called Amazon.com. Have you heard of it?
I can't help get a certain excitement when I see a cardboard box with the
Amazon.com logo on the side.
Today I got the Norpro 7 Piece Home Canning Kit


I'm planning to use this kit when I work on my DIY Christmas gifts of jelly, which I
have never made myself before.
Amazon was so nice to have tracking on their site, which I watched like
a hawk.  So I was a little unnerved to watch the package make its journey and make
a detour into Edison, NJ.
October 15, 2010 12:56:18 PM Fedex Smartpost Allentown PA US Arrival Scan
October 14, 2010 01:27:37 PM Fedex Smartpost Edison NJ US Departure Scan
October 13, 2010 03:41:39 AM Fedex Smartpost Allentown PA US Departure Scan
I guess I'm happy I had free super saver shipping otherwise I would be calling up asking why my package went and left NJ.

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