God Bless America. Remembering those who served and died to defend our country.
These photos were taken in Waterloo, NY; birthplace of Memorial Day. The photo above was taken in front of the Memorial Day Museum there.
If you haven’t noticed, my blog posts are not as frequent at they use to be. It’s not because I don’t enjoy blogging anymore, it’s just that other activities have temporarily captured my attention. To make up for my unusual absence, I’ve decided to share my recipe for my liquid gold with you. Calling all peanut butter lovers to the table here!
If you’re not a peanut butter lover then I apologize – but have no fear, you can always make one of these toppings instead.
And now for my liquid gold recipe!
Homemade Peanut Butter Topping
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 tbsp. corn syrup
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Put all of the ingredients except the vanilla into a medium sized saucepan. On low heat, melt all ingredients together; stirring frequently. Bring to a slow boil until sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool slightly before serving on ice cream. Store in refrigerator. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
*When you want to use topping that has been refrigerated, warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave before putting it on your ice cream.
If you’re looking for an easy no cook, no egg, ice cream recipe then I highly recommend you give my Simply Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe a try. It is my all-time favorite vanilla ice cream recipe.
What is your favorite ice cream topping?
This spring I’ve been thinking about all the projects that will keep me busy throughout the (hopefully) warm summer months. Of course my list is forever growing, but one thing I’m particularly excited about is planting our garden. Last year we enjoyed fresh vegetables in and out of season. I froze lot’s of veggies and made a gazillion jars of homemade dill pickles.
I figure somewhere around mid March we ran out of our frozen French cut green beans. Can I tell you how much I miss them? My favorite way to cook them is in a little garlic and olive oil with a touch of parmesan cheese – oh yum!
One thing I haven’t run out of yet is the grated zucchini I froze. I usually freeze enough to make zucchini bread all winter long. Since I already have posted my recipe for Quick Zucchini Oatmeal Bread here before, and today I was in the mood for chocolate, I decided to get a little crafty in the kitchen and come up with a for Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins. And as luck would have it, I succeeded and these turned out great!
What I like about these muffins is… the zucchini is barely visible. If you’re trying to pass off some veggies to your picky eaters I can assure you that this is one way to do it. Also, these muffins are moist, not greasy, and have just the right amount of chocolate to satisfy my taste. As with most baked goods that I make, I also share, and the recipients of these muffins have given them great reviews.
And now for the recipe…
Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. canola oil
2 c. grated zucchini
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. dark mini chocolate chips, plus some for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 325. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers (makes 1.5 dozen muffins).
In a large bowl, add eggs, sugars, oil, and grated zucchini; beat with an electric mixer until completely blended. Add in baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Beat in flour, and lastly, fold in mini chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared muffin tins – filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake for about 18 – 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Immediately sprinkle some mini chips on the muffins once they are removed from the oven, and cool completely before removing the muffins from the tins.
Do you plant a garden? If so, what is your favorite veggie to grow? And do you have a favorite?
I am often asked by my blog readers when the next tour of Willard Asylum for the Insane will be. Well, mark your calendar folks! The next public tour of Willard Asylum for the Insane is scheduled for May 17, 2014, 9AM, at Grandview. Rain or Shine! If you want a sneak peak of some of the things you might see on this tour than check out my post, A Day at Willard Asylum for the Insane. The tour is $10.00 per person.
And since it’s been ages since I’ve baked and shared a sweet treat on my blog, I decided to share what my daughter now claims is her favorite cookie recipe – Iced Shortbread Melts. These cookies earned their name because they are so sweet and tender that they really will melt in your mouth!
Buttery Iced Shortbread Melts
2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, add butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Cream ingredients together; add flour. Continue to mix ingredients until everything is blended. Form dough into a ball.
Place dough on a piece of parchment paper that is coated with a light coating of flour. Roll dough out until it is about 1/4” thick. Use more flour if needed. Cut out cookies using a cookie cutter. Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet about 1 1/2” apart. Bake for about 8 minutes. Do not over bake. They will firm up after removing them from the oven. Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet before moving them.
I made a thin batch of buttercream icing and dipped the top of each cookie in the icing. I used some homemade colored sugar sprinkles to fancy them up.
These cookies would be perfect to serve at a ladies luncheon, bridal shower, or a tea party.
What is the last kind of cookie you made?
Order up! I’ve often thought that I’d like to own a restaurant. I envision it being a small place known for serving some of the best food north of the Mason Dixon Line. I’d offer daily specials that could be read off an overtly large antique blackboard and I‘d serve the meals on vintage mismatched dinnerware that I’d scour local thrift stores to find.
The focus would be on good food made from scratch, using local farm fresh ingredients whenever possible. And while I would offer plenty of healthier choices, there would be lot’s of comfort food to choose from too.
Daily specials would consist of homemade soups, hand-pulled BBQ pork sandwiches, slow roasted beef and ham, country fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, and my grandma’s famous coleslaw. And what is a good meal without delicious homemade dinner rolls and corn muffins? And let’s not forget the dessert cooler filled with slices of homemade cakes and pies – yum.
Okay, I’m back, no longer daydreaming…
Since I really don’t see myself going into the restaurant business anytime soon, if ever, I decided to do the next best thing and make homemade The Joy of Caking’s One Bowl Corn Muffins to share with you.
These muffins are moist, sweet, and won’t crumble apart in your hands. And just so we’re clear, these are the muffins I would serve if I ever do open a restaurant.
The Joy of Caking’s One Bowl Corn Muffins
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. Chobani Plain (low fat) Yogurt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 TBSP. olive oil
1/2 c. ground cornmeal
1 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. skim milk
Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, add sugar, egg, yogurt, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and oil; mix thoroughly by hand. Add in remaining ingredients of cornmeal, flour, and milk. Mix until all ingredients are completely blended. Fill muffin cups a little over half full and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when inserted into the center.
Cool before removing them from the pan.
The Chobani Yogurt and skim milk helps make these muffins a bit healthier too. You don’t’ have to feel so guilty when you eat one, or two…
Have you ever dreamed of opening a business? What would it be?
Yesterday we decided to break free from the bout of cabin fever we’ve been having and go for a walk. The day was slightly warmer than what we’ve been accustomed to this winter, and the sunshine and blues skies were welcoming. The best part of the walk, other than the fresh air, sunshine, and blue skies, was the pretty little bluebird that welcomed us to it’s habitat. I tried to get a picture but it was too camera shy.
There is no question the land is barren and there is little to photograph, but here is what Mother Nature had to offer us.
Impatiently waiting for spring…
Here I was, all excited that I was (finally) going to share a new cookie recipe I’d found with you, and then… I started looking through my archives and I found that this recipe wasn’t quite as new to me as I had thought it was. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I had made these chocolate chip cookies before – in 2013, as a matter of fact.
What threw me off? The first recipe I followed came from the blog An Apple A Day, and the second recipe I followed came from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I never realized the two recipes were identical – with the exception that one recipe calls for 1/4 cup more of chocolate chips than the other.
I decided to go ahead with my post because these cookies are definitely worth making.
And I dare say this is my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe to date.
Do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe? Where did it come from?