How about some homemade treats for your little Goblin visitors? These are tasty AND healthy!
Yield: 60 cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.
Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in honey, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.
I posted this back in April (Poetry Month!!) but it seems especially appropriate this week. Enjoy!!
Yes, yes, I know, but this MUST be shared!
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door—
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating…
View original post 971 more words
It’s pumpkin season! It makes me happy to see them on sale everywhere.
It also inspires me to develop new honey recipes. This one is especially tasty!
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup honey
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
8 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Arrange 8 (1/2-cup) ramekins or custard cups in a large metal baking pan.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream and honey . Bring to a bare simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the honey. Remove from the heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy and lemon-colored. Slowly add 3/4 cup of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Add the egg mixture to the remaining hot cream, and whisk. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin, and whisk until smooth. Divide among the prepared custard cups.
Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until the custards are just set in the center but not stiff, 45 minutes to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.
Sprinkle each custard with 1/2 teaspoon of the granulated sugar. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar. (Alternately, preheat the broiler, and broil until the sugar melts and caramelizes, watching closely to avoid burning and rotating the cups, about 1 to 2 minutes.) Garnish with cinnamon and whipped cream. Enjoy!
There are wonderful butternut squash available in the local markets, and today, cool and sunny, is a perfect day to prepare this tasty soup!
It’s what I’m having tonight!!
Yield: Serves 4-6.
1 (2 to 3-pound) butternut squash, halved with seeds removed
4 medium shallots, peeled and left whole
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 ounces pancetta (about 12 paper-thin slices), diced
1 cup diced leeks, white part only (about 1 large leek)
1/3 cup finely diced carrots (about 1 small carrot)
1/3 cup finely diced celery (about 1 small stalk celery)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon dry white wine, of drinkable quality
2 quarts rich chicken or vegetable stock, plus extra if needed
1 teaspoon honey, or to taste*
Splash of sour cream and/or hot sauce, for serving (optional)
Canola oil for frying
1/4 cup sage leaves
Fine sea salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat the squash and shallots with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season generously with salt. Place the squash and shallots onto the lined baking sheet and roast until the squash and shallots are tender when pierced with a skewer or the tip of a small knife, about 40-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until needed.
Heat a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat; add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and heat through. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is crisp. Remove from the heat, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside until needed.
Return the pan to the heat and add the leeks, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, but not browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sage and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan (deglaze). Cook until the wine has evaporated, then add the stock.
Scrape the squash pulp from the skin and add the pulp, the shallots (scraping up any browned bits) and honey to the pan; bring the stock to the boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup completely. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and honey as desired. Keep the soup warm until service. (This is where you’d add the splash of sour cream to taste, if desired.)
For the Sage: In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat 1-inch of oil to 365°F; fry the sage in batches, stirring to separate the leaves, until crisp, about 3 to 5 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; season with fine sea salt while still hot.
For Serving: Ladle the soup into warmed soup bowls or cups. Top each serving with some of the crispy pancetta and a few fried sage leaves. Serve immediately.
*The honey doesn’t sweeten up the soup; it just enhances the caramel flavor of the roasted squash.
It’s a cold, rainy and generally gloomy Saturday in Cincinnati. I’ve managed to get a few errands done, but all I want to do is curl up and keep warm. Maybe do a bit of needlepoint…
Then there appeared a bright spot – the blooming of a spectacular Autumn-colored dinner plate dahlia!! It loves the miserable weather. A gorgeous reminder that even a dark and damp Fall day can be beautiful!!
- Dahlias, dahlias and more dahlias. Still going strong (rozsmithblog.wordpress.com)
- Mrs. Blossom’s Dahlias (jenbowles.typepad.com)
- Yellow Dahlia Flower (22flowers.wordpress.com)
- Dahlia Heaven (lulumusing.wordpress.com)
- The Dahlia Lady (justlivinggreen.wordpress.com)
This is my version of our local bakery’s popular iced pumpkin cookies. No pumpkins were harmed in their making – they’re almond honey cookies!
These are the favorite of my daughter who lives in Chicago. I bring them with me whenever I visit. The decorations change with the seasons!!
1 cup room temperature salted butter
3/4 to 7/8 cup honey
1 tsp almond extract
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
4 cups powdered sugar
2 TBL room temp. butter
1-1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup condensed milk
Preheat oven to 375.
Cream together 1 cup butter, honey, egg and 1 tsp. almond extract. Mix together flour and baking powder.
Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well.
Roll out on lightly floured surface, 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cut out circles.
Bake until edges just start to turn light golden (about 7 min)
Remove cookies to wire rack. Cool just slightly.
Drop orange frosting (see below) on warm cookies and spread out slightly until it runs over the edge.
Let cool completely. Paint faces with black food coloring (see below) Store in air tight container.
While cookies are in the oven in a bowl add powdered sugar, 2TBL butter, 1-1/2 tsp. almond extract ,orange food coloring (1 drop red and two drops yellow) and enough of the hot water to make a consistency that just barely runs off of spoon.
Black Food Coloring “Paint”
Mix three drops each of red, blue and yellow food coloring. Add to 1/4 cup of condensed milk. Paint or stencil faces on cooled cookies.
- Honey Cut-Out Cookies – Perfect for Halloween Goblins (raggedyhenfarm.wordpress.com)
- How To Make Old German Honey Cookies (trishasteffen.wordpress.com)
There’s something about the full moon in October that is especially mystical.
Many people, including myself, believe that the full moon is responsible for erratic behaviors, psychiatric hospital admissions, suicides, homicides, emergency room calls, traffic accidents, fights at professional hockey games, dog bites, insomnia and all manner of strange events. While men of science may scoff at this belief, most of us have a full moon story or two.
Native Americans called this moon the Hunter’s Moon, which isn’t spooky at all. It was also called the Blood Moon, which is much more satisfying.
The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. The Hunter’s Moon historically served as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.
October’s full moon has a bonus in store for this year.
A penumbral lunar eclipse — so called because only the incomplete outer portion of the Earth’s shadow, or penumbra, falls across the moon — is expected to reach its deepest point at 7:50 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 18.
Unlike total eclipses, in which Earth’s umbra — the central region of its shadow — darkens the moon entirely, a penumbral lunar eclipse involves only a slight dimming. Skywatchers should expect to see a much more subtle sight — with a shadow on the lower half of the full moon — like the eclipse pictured below.
- Penumbral Lunar Eclipse 2013: Earth’s Shadow To Fall On Full Moon On Friday, Oct. 18 (halyardconsulting.com)
- Lunar Eclipse…Sort Of. (penningtonplanetarium.wordpress.com)
- Everything you need to know: Hunter’s Moon 2013 (earthsky.org)
- 5 Sky Events This Week: Partial Lunar Eclipse, Halley’s Shooting Stars (newswatch.nationalgeographic.com)
I love Halloween, especially the pumpkin carving. Last year I carved the bee pumpkins above!
It’s easy and fun! All you have to do is find a template you like and print it out. Below are some suggestions. As you can see, your design can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. You can also design your own!
Remove the seeds, pulp and flesh of your pumpkin. Tape the template to the pumpkin and poke holes along the outlines. Make the holes close together so you can see the design clearly when you remove the template.
Then, carefully using a sharp knife, cut out your design. Add a light and enjoy your Bee-utiful Pumpkin!
You know you’re from the North if you’ve never heard of using soft drinks to make cakes moist, light and absolutely delicious! There are 7-Up cakes, Mountain Dew Cakes, and Root Beer Cakes, but the most famous of all are the Coca Cola cakes. This cake was one of my beloved Mother’s specialties!
Most people are surprised that this cake doesn’t taste like Coke. The soft drink is there to enhance the chocolate flavor and make the cake texture so divine. Make this cake the night before serving to let the flavors intensify.
Yield: One 10-inch Bundt cake
For the cake:
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups flour, plus more for dusting pan
2 cups Coca Cola (not diet!!)
1 cup dark cocoa powder
1¼ cups honey
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
For the frosting:
2 ounces 60% chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup Coca Cola
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat butter, Coca Cola and cocoa powder until butter is completely melted. Add honey and whisk until dissolved. Remove mixture from heat and set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk eggs until just beaten, then whisk into cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold flour mixture into chocolate mixture. Do not overbeat. Mixture will be slightly lumpy.
Pour mixture into Bundt pan and bake, rotating pan halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean, 35-45 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cake cool in pan. Once completely cool, use a knife to gently loosen sides of cake from pan and invert onto a cooling rack.
Make frosting: Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse in short bursts until frosting is shiny and smooth. If necessary, thin with 1-2 tablespoons whole milk, pulsing to combine.
Use a spatula to spread frosting in a thick layer over top of cake. Let frosting set before serving.
Enjoy dessert Southern Style !!