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December 2011

Peppermint Bark Recipe

This is gonna be short and sweet folks.  It’s lesson #2 of Christmas treats 101.  Yes, this is a course for those of you who actually follow me, um not.  Which is all of maybe 3 of you.  I would like to think more have subscribed  but hey, it is what it is.  I love my blog though.  For those of you who enjoy reading it…..it’s a beautiful thing.  I’m hooked! Happy holidays!

This is a great no bake alternative to a Christmas cookie.  White chocolate  infused candy with crushed peppermint.   It’s too easy to make too.  And  so good, you would think it would be more complicated than what it really is!  Went over well with my friends and the kids went “oooooh” and “aaaah” over it.. Simplicity at it’s best!

Ingredients:

1 cup of crushed peppermint candy canes

2 pounds of white chocolate

2 to 3 drops of peppermint oil

 wax paper

Procedure:

Crush candy canes in a ziplock bag with a meat mallet or you can use back of a pot.  Set aside

Place white chocolate in a heat proof glass bowl.  Make a double boiler by setting bowl on top of a pot of boiling water.  Melt chocolate completely.  Add crushed candy canes.  Then add peppermint oil.  Mix.  Immediately pour on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and spread evenly. Be careful as the bowl will be very hot.  This is where Cheri took over and demanded a spatula.  haha love it!

Let cool in the refrigerator or in our case, we let it cool outside in the cold.

After it is cooled completely, break apart into pieces and store in an air tight container.  Yummy!!!!!  I heart peppermint bark!   Ruff, Ruff, Ruff!!!

 

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Lemon Burst Christmas Cookie Recipe

As part of my no stress Holiday season, I was in search of a Christmas cookie that would be a sinch to make!  Low and behold my friend Stephanie inspired me to make the easiest cookie ever.   I always tell my husband  and hers since they are great friends that her and I are meant to live in the same state so we can throw down in the kitchen together.  She is my New Jersey cooking counterpart.  I give her mad props for her baking skills.    I read this cookie recipe on her blog http://happyhousewifeproject.com/  and I just had to try them out for myself.  This particular cookie comes highly recommended by me.  It is so moist and lemony.  Trust!!!  You will love these when you make them.  And if you don’t like lemon, you can easily choose another flavor since the base of these cookies are made with cake mix.

My friends and I decided to kick off an annual cookie baking day to make the holidays more merry.   We baked 4 types of cookies that day and this one made the cut.  All because it only has 4 ingredients.  How easy it that?  And it was one of the easier recipes that the kids could participate in.

  It’s pretty much fool proof.  We sent our husbands packing to the bar and we baked the day away…….

Ingredients:

1 container of cool whip

1 box of lemon cake mix or any flavor cake mix you prefer

1 egg

1/3 cup powdered sugar

Procedure:

  Put cake mix in a large bowl.  Add cool whip and egg,  Mix!!

The mixture will be gooey like so……

  The easiest way to form these cookies is to round a spoonful of cookie mixture into one spoon and forming a ball with another spoon by alternating  with both spoons so you don’t have to touch the mixture with your hands.

Because believe you me, this stuff can get quite sticky.  Then plop  it into your powdered sugar bowl.  Roll around to coat.  Place it on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes.

Let  cool and serve or place in an air tight container.  They will last for up to 2 weeks.  I am telling you these are a show stopper.  You can thank me later for sharing.  That or just follow me and vote this recipe five stars. 🙂  More Christmas cookie cheer to come!!!!!!!

Filipino Leche Flan Recipe

Cooking is my zen!  I get a little overzealous when it comes to event cooking.  I made 3 desserts for our cousin Christmas party. Wow!  But I love it! Leche Flan was one of them and it always goes over well.  This is somewhat like the Mexican version of Flan, but not as fluffy.  The Filipino version emits the egg whites so you end up with a more dense and creamier flavor.  It’s one of the more popular staple desserts in Philippine feasts.  And no wonder.  It’s always the first to go!

The cousin Christmas is a very special event and to be invited to it is like scoring front row seats to the circus! No pun intended. Okay so maybe we are a little bit of a circus act.  At least my side of the fam.  But that’s what I love.  Never a dull moment.  We usually invite one or two non related cousins to the cousin Christmas and the winner this year is, drum roll…  Dot! Dot! Dot! Mary’s friends, Meenah and her husband. Ding! Ding! Ding! They made the final cut! Like their power ball winners or something! Um…kidding! They’re a really nice couple too.  Anyhow, they’re married with one kid.  The wifes name is Meenah and she’s Indian. Which is one of my fave ethnic foods so I should have hit her up for a good recipe when she asked me how to make Leche Flan.  I am such a recipe stalker! But I forgot the husbands name.  Whoops! Not really good with names, but I managed to take a great snapshot of him and the Leche Flan!

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We struck up a convo with each other about how he makes fine artisan breads, which made me wanna go home and start baking bread right then and there.  I can never contain myself when I talk about the food bizz with somebody.  Come to find out he gardens too.  Which led to talking about planting garlic, which I love.  Anyways, anyone who bakes fresh bread and gardens is a cool cat in my book.  That and their son absolutely loved the  Leche flan. And kept on coming back for more! Hell yeah! I just wish I could remember his name darn it! Oh well.  I’m sure they’ll be back for future parties.  Here is the Recipe…..

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

12 egg yolks

2 can evaporated milk

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1tsp vanilla

First add sugar and water to a small sauce pan and turn heat to high and let boil until it starts to thicken and turns into a caramel consistency.  When it turns golden brown VERY QUICKLY pour sugar into an 8 by 8 pan or a Loaf pan.

Tilting the pan in all directions until the bottom is coated. This mixture is very hot and solidifies in seconds so be careful.  Set aside.

Then take 12 egg yolks place into a large mixing bowl.  Add both cans of evaporated milk to eggs.

Then add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.

Mix with a wire whisk throughly..

Hold a strainer over your pre-made sugar pan and pour liquid into strainer to catch any excess goo from eggs.  The mixture will go into strainer and then directly into the pan like pictured below. This make the custard much smoother.

Cover your pan with aluminum foil tightly.  Then place into a larger pan.  Note: (I usually will use a 9 by 13 pan if I am putting the mixture in a smaller loaf pan.)  But since I made it in an 8 by 8 pan, I just used a larger roasting pan. I make a steam bath environment in the oven by pouring  about 2 inches of water in the larger pan like so…

Bake for an 1 hr twenty minutes  to 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.  Take out of water bath and let cool on top of the stove for twenty minutes and then place in the refrigerator overnight.  Or at least 4 to six hours if you don’t have that much time.

Then invert onto a platter and it should come out very easily.  You can play around with different molds too.  I like bundt shaped Leche flan.  It’s fun!

This dessert is money!! On the realz!  If you like it, follow me, leave a comment, vote!  I’ll get back to you with any questions you may have! Thanks!

Filipino Ginataang Bilo Bilo with Ube Recipe

So the cousins Christmas was another success.  I decided to have coffee around 9 p.m. with the ladies of the family while I was there. Not optimal! Now fast forward to present time. It’s 3:30 a.m.  The party is way over and 4 a.m. is getting its creep on real fast. I’m hoping I’ll be able to fall asleep by tomorrow mid day!  But with my luck, I won’t be able to sleep til Monday night.  I knew I shouldn’t have drank that coke too.  Dang it! Why, Oh why do I let myself?  Oh well, since blogging is my new therapy, might as well blog it out!

Everyone got crunk til 1:30 in the morning.  We did the usual Wii dance and band games. The Lolo’s  played poker. The kids opened presents. We ate each others potluck dishes. Laughed and talked over coffee and played Christmas bingo for some  cash money!!!!!!!!!…………..

Then got a complimentary

crane technique action show

stopper!!!…..

Followed by “the force”.

Don’t try this at home folks!

These are highly trained individuals!

And of course, dessert!   I made Ginitaang Bilo Bilo.  Ginitaang meaning  “made with coconut milk” and Bilo Bilo meaning “sticky rice balls!  Wouldn’t that be a nice nickname!?

My dad use to make this all the time when we were kids.  My aunts were super impressed that I made it and gave their stamp of approval.  My aunts know I stalk them for recipes and they embrace that about me.   I asked my Auntie Kristy how she makes hers and she said, “Well…you know….. you just put everything in it”  Lol’ing over here.  I absolutely love their answers to my cooking questions.  It just tickles me.  This is why I love you tube.  I told my Aunts that I you tubed how to make the recipe and they were equally impressed.  Come to find out Auntie Kristy is already hip to you tube and uses it all the time.  And then my Auntie Lucy  said she uses Face book too.  Whuh-what?! I couldn’t believe it.  That was a double “sign of the times” whammy for me!  I’m gonna have to tell my sister Crizlyn about this.  If, my aunts have FB and know how to use youtube, then its about time she got with the program.  My aunts rock!

Anyways, I’m glad everyone liked it.  Here’s proof!

 Ginataag Bilo Bilo with manang Crizlyn……

Ginataang Bilo Bilo with manong Rey…….

Ginitaang Bilo Bilo with my momz….

And Ginitaang Bilo Bilo with the Lolo’s and poker!!!!!

I added a few more ingredients to the mix since the owner of Pearl of the Orient told me how he makes his too.  So I combined both recipes and tweaked it more!

Ingredients:

1 pack of frozen Purple Ube, setting aside 1/2 cup

1 can jack fruit, sliced (reserve juices)

3/4 cup sugar

2 cans coconut milk

1/2 can of water

6 pieces saba banana sliced

1 sweet potato peeled and diced

1 cup large or small tapioca pearls (sago)

roughly 12 bilo bilo balls

Bilo Bilo balls: recipe is 1 cup rice flour, 1/2 cup defrosted ube and 1/2 cup water.  Mix well, roll, and form into marble shaped balls, add more rice flour if mixture is too sticky. You can leave out the ube from these if you want!

Procedure:

First boil your tapioca pearls or sago.  I used large pearls, but I think next time, I will use small ones since it takes so long to boil these from the raw.  Well over an hour in a larger pot and you must constantly stir and add water so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.  I thought this was the most tedious part.   My auntie Lucy told me there was a 5 minute cooking sago available so I will for sure get that next time.

Meanwhile, Prepare your bilo bilo balls by mixing rice flour, water and 1/2 cup defrosted Ube.  Form into round marble sized balls and set aside..

Heat coconut milk, water, sugar, and juices from can of jack fruit in a soup pot to boiling.  Turn down heat to medium and add rest of the package of ube,

Then add sweet potatoes and cook until al dente about 5 minutes…..

Next, add sliced saba bananas.

And then the bilo bilo balls 1 ball at a time so they don’t stick to each other and boil for 3 to 5 minutes.

Then add sliced jack fruit at the end….

Heat for another minute or two  and serve hot!  It thickens the longer it sits so it is best served soon after cooking!  Here it is.  Easy peezy lemon squeezy!

Puerto Rican eggnog aka Coquito

Today is an exciting day. …..M.S.U. is fighting for the Big ten championship and the annual cousin Christmas party is going on as well.  I have a few plans up my sleeve.  Since, we aren’t having a talent show this year, I figured Jackpot Bingo could be a game kids and adults will have fun with.  We’re playing for cash money!  I made a makeshift Christmas Bingo sheet and thought of every Christmas word imaginable for the draw pool.  I’m looking forward to it……

I am also making a few desserts and eggnog.  I went to Puerto Rico during “Three Kings day” a few years back and that is their version of Christmas day.  I got schooled on how to make Puerto Rican egg nog by the Spanish Speakers and how scrum-didle-ee-umptios it is.  I been wanting to try it since then and I figured today is a great excuse to make it.  I since lost the recipe they gave me, so I looked one up on allrecipes.com and tweaked some of the measurements.

I had a coke yesterday for the first time in ages and I was wide awake until 3 a.m. Doh! So I decided to get started early.  Robert walked home from the bar around midnight to me cooking desserts.  I didn’t expect him home so early from hanging with the fellas.  I don’t like to be bothered when I am in my zen in the kitchen and I told him to go back and hang with the guys some more.  But upon observing him more, I realized he was three sheets to the wind.  He was definitely looking copacetic. He said he was cashed for the evening and I was okay with that.

Now, Robert hardly ever gets into a drunken stooper.  I don’t even know if he recalled the part where he helped me out making Puerto Rican egg nog.  But one thing’s for sure, when he reads this and sees the pics I put up, he is gonna kick my ass.

But  he is hilarious when he is feeling good.  He managed to help stir the egg yolks and evaporated milk before I kicked him out of the kitchen and hit the living room floor.  Gotta love the hubsters.  And this is where he got kicked out of the kitchen…..LOL

Ingredients:

2 egg yolks

1 can cream of coconut milk

1 can regular coconut milk

1 can evaporated milk

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 tsp cinnamom

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup Bacardi gold rum

Serves 10

Procedure:

First put 2 eggs yolks and evaporated milk in a heat proof glass bowl and make a double boiler by placing water in a small saucepan and setting bowl with mixture on top like shown above in Roberts pictures.  Turn heat on high whisking constantly with a wire whisk.  The mixture should reach 160 degrees and coat the back of a spoon.

Place mixture in a large bowl or blender and add coconut milk.

Then cream of coconut.

And sweetened condensed milk.

Add the ground cloves, cinnamon and vanilla.

And finally the Bacardi Rum.  I was suppose to use white rum, but this is all we had on hand.  I used less than what the recipe called for to my liking.  A little less than 1/2 a cup.

I don’t have a blender so this is where I whisked it with an electric beater until well incorporated and it worked just fine.

I ladled it into an old glass milk jug with a funnel

Then store it in the refrigerator over night until well chilled.

 I might top it with whipped cream.   After tasting this, I don’t think I could ever go back to regular egg nogg.  And since everyone in my family loves coconut, I think it will be a big hit.    We’ll just have to see.  More pics to come…..

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