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Truffles, Caviar and Gourmet Salts – Wholesale Food Porn

23 Feb

I don’t know how I didn’t know about this place before, but thanks to the ladies at Dollar Store Crafts I just found out about Marky’s.  Their tagline is “Caviar, Smoked Salmon, Foie Gras, Truffles”.  Yes, yes, yes and yes.

Buy French Summer Black Truffles Whole 7 oz. The best gourmet food on sale online.

French Summer Black Truffles from Marky's

If you like salt, and by “like” I mean you (like me) have a salt lick next to your bed, and dream about your cupboard being stocked full of a rainbow presentation of worldly salts, then this place is for you. 

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Fudge off! The search for the best Lazy-bones fudge recipe.

17 Dec

I’m gonna level with you – even coming up with a post and finding time to get it written up right now is challenging. My brain is already thinking about the stockings I’ll be sewing by hand this weekend. What? That is totally something I don’t have time for? Yes, you’re correct.  And I should buy them? I know, I even looked. At three stores.  Couldn’t find any that didn’t suck big time.

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Turn that recipe on its head!

15 Dec

I just saw this picture on BHG.com and was thinking I knew what the filling was going to be:

 

Turns out I was totally wrong, here’s the recipe for Better Homes and Gardens Vanilla and Chocolate Santa’s Sandwiches.  They made a raspberry filling….

However, I would change this up. Without even reading the recipe, I knew what I would do to make this easier, as well as my own!

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Get the handcuffs: Update: Pork Rolls

23 Feb

Yeah, I’m gonna HAVE pork rolls if I make these again and don’t have anyone to eat them with me.

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Do you remember these?  I was going to make them for the Rose Bowl?

Uh huh. So I did that. And then we didn’t have anyone over, so I was forced (seriously, forced) to eat most of them myself. I know, it’s a shame. You could have had one. Or 5.

Okay, so here’s what I did:

Bought bacon and generic cinnamon buns at the discount grocery store (and no, I couldn’t get more white trash if I tried).

And here’s the pictures of my process:

(in the foreground you see lip-smackingly good crispy as all get out bacon. YUM. In the background, my FAIL buns.)

(so the lighting is bad, it’s the dumb camera again…..maybe I’ll set up a foodie photog fund for getting me a new one???? Anyway, here we are, wrapping and prepping to bake)

(here they are pre-frosting. I learned a big lesson here…..break the bacon up into pieces, otherwise when you bite into it, you get the whole piece of bacon and only a bit of roll. BOOOOOOOO!)

(and here they are in their full glory, half frosted, half naked. SO GOOD)

 

Annnnnnnnnnnnnd, I just gained 5 lbs looking at those pictures again. Sweet. See you at the gym, kittens.

Update: My version of Ina’s White Chocolate Truffles

18 Jan

Good Monday Morning/afternoon, cooking kittens!

I know I’ve been a slacker in getting new material/info out to you all, and I appreciate you sticking with me anyway!

I wanted to fill you in on some of the things I did during the holidays, that I had previously said I was GOING to do.  Well, now I’ve DONE them, and of course want you to see what these things look like in real life.

To start off our week, I will show you my version of Barefoot Contessa’s white chocolate truffles.

If you recall, I posted the recipe for these delectable treats here.

So here’s what I did:

That’s all my Baker’s White Chocolate that I chopped up or shaved to melt over my double boiler. Now you can cut corners by using chips instead, which I almost did, but then I heard Ina and Paula yelling at me because they say there’s a stablizer in there that’s no good for truffles and stuff, so I skipped it.

Next, you see (above) that I’ve got my cream in the top of my double boiler (in this case, a mixing bowl on top of a simmer pot of water. They say to use a clear glass bowl, but guess what, I don’t have one at the condo, so I just used what I had!)

And below, you’ll see the white chocolate beginning to melt after I poured it on top of the cream (of course I whisked the cream a bit as the recipe says). I whisked till it all melted, pulling it off the heat a bit from time to time to prevent over heating it…since I’d never done this before):

After it all melts, I went ahead and added the remaining ingredients (vanilla and liqour right?)

Now, let’s just stop right here for a minute. Right at this point I noticed how VERY LITTLE “batter” there was. I mean, you see it right? There’s basically about a cup of stuff there. That’s NOTHING. And I had anticipated this from the get go, so I bought twice as much as I needed so I could make a double batch (which really is more like what I’d expected one batch to make). So error on the side of more batter than less, and do a double batch. You can thank me later. These go like Hot Cakes, so you’re really doing yourself a favor.

Next, you’ll see I got my hazelnuts:

And chopped them up (I have a chopper – no, not a slap chop – and that made quick work, but if you don’t have that, just use a knife, and watch your edges because these will tend to “fly” or “spit” out from under the knife when you first start chopping. I recommend going slowly, or do it on a rimmed baking sheet, or make a tin foil “boat” you can chop inside of, or just throw caution to the wind!)

Above you’re seeing them freshly toasted from my oven.  The whole house smelled wonderful. Now, I usually say “don’t have that nut? Use what you’ve got!” but in this case, the flavor of the hazelnuts goes just perfect with the Bailey’s so I’d stick with that if you can.  Of course, you could use almonds if you have those on hand, and are in a bind.

Below you’re seeing the beginning of the chocolate ganache for the other half of the batch (remember, half get rolled in the hazelnuts, half drizzled with the ganache).

And here’s a close up of it all finished:

Mmmmmmm, shineyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

Okay, so now we take the batter out of the fridge, roll it into balls as QUICK as possible and then stick those on parchment and put them in the freezer, like this:

And because I’m parinoid of ruining them (seriously, I can’t believe I got this far without messing them up), I left them in the freezer for I think 2 hours.

When you’ve got your ganache and toasted hazelnuts ready to go, bring them out and begin doing this:

and this:

And then put them back in the fridge till you leave for the party, where you will put them in a tray of ice if you’re crazy like me, since you fear the worst: melting. And make it look like some science experiment, like this:

And as I did above, stick them next to a tray of Gramma Ginny’s peppermint cookies so they’re not alone, and have an old friend to talk to during the party.

I have to say, people kept asking me “where’d you get these?! They’re so good!” (I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!?!) and then I’m all “oh, I made them.” (which is funny, because they look like hell sitting on parchment paper, in a casserole dish, in an ICE BATH (seriously, WTF was I thinking?)

But it’s all about the flavor, and these hit the spot. Even Paul ate one, which literally made my jaw drop, because there was enough Bailey’s in there to give a little kick, and he was like “mm, this is good.” So I asked, “Uh, honey, what about the alcohol flavor?” and he said, “Yeah, I don’t like that part. But I don’t care, it was still good.” (or something like that)

So, go forth and try! They were pretty easy to make, if not time consuming.

Get the handcuffs: Bacon Cinnamon Rolls. WHATTTT?!??!

30 Dec

If you think I’m not making these on New Years Day, think again.

For reals, you guys, WHAT is the deal with these? They look SO GOOD, my mouth is watering.

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I saw this today over at the genius Cake Spy blog and I’m totes MaGoats making these to nosh during the Rose Bowl.

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If you too can’t stop yourself from licking the screen, then please hop over to Cake Spy for the full recipe and notes!

Get the handcuffs: Ina’s White Chocolate Truffles

23 Dec

I was watching Barefoot Contessa (or as I call her, Paul’s other girlfriend) this weekend, and she actually made something that I thought wasn’t hideously fattening (I mean it’s made with chocolate and cream, so it IS really bad for you, but you’re only gonna have a couple, so no bigs).

I decided I’d make these to take to our little get together this Wednesday night (seriously the people that dont’ come are really going to be sorry!). They’re her White Chocolate Truffles, half she drizzles with a chocolate glaze, and the other half she rolls in toasted hazlenuts. YES TO THE PLEASE, KITTENS!

So, I wanted to share the recipe with you today, and then I’ll share pictures with you next week!  I really apologize to those of you that are anti-recipe, as I usually am, but that stupid Christmas bug bit me, and I can’t seem to control myself! I’m baking crazy, and most of the time that involves a recipe. Bear with me, and I promise to return to the land of regular cooking, sans recipes as soon as possible!

For Ina’s full recipe from the source, please visit the Food Network website!

Picture of White Truffles Recipe

(credit – FoodNetwork.com)

White Truffles

Copyright, 2006, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time: 45 min Inactive
Prep Time: 1 hr 0 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Intermediate
Serves: 20 truffles 

Ingredients
2 tablespoons heavy cream
7 ounces good white chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur (recommended: Baileys)
1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
6 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped
Directions
Place the cream in a heat-proof bowl, and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Cook until heated through. Using a wire whisk, slowly stir the white chocolate into the warm cream until completely melted. Whisk in the liqueur and vanilla. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until pliable but firm enough to scoop.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

With 2 teaspoons or a 1 1/4-inch ice cream scoop, make dollops of the chocolate mixture and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes, until firm enough to roll into rough spheres.

Place the chopped hazelnuts on a sheet pan and place them in the oven for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Melt the bittersweet chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, set over a pan of simmering water.

Drizzle the melted bittersweet chocolate over 10 of the truffles. Roll the remaining truffles in the chopped nuts. Chill until ready to serve.

Follow Up: Gramma Ginny’s Peppermint Cookies

21 Dec

I did it! I made my first solo batch of Gramma Ginny’s Peppermint Cookies this weekend, all on my own (okay, well I did have to call my mom, because for real, the batter was totally not sticking together. She reassured me this was normal….)

I wanted to share the pictures with you all, since we still don’t have smell-o-vision, or taste-o-vision yet (seriously, WHO is going to figure that out?!)

(credit – kitchen, butter, powder sugar and mixer provided by my #1 poodle, Adam Dahl)

Getting all my ingredients ready, making sure my butter is at room temperature.

Here we’re creaming the room temp butter and the powdered sugar together. This can be and was a very cloudy, messy endeavour, so I recommend if you’re using a mixer that you keep it on 1-2/low for a while, and you’ll need to scrap the sides and push the butter out of your whisk a couple times, until the two really begin to combine.

My secret to all great cookies lies here: in the creaming process. It’s imperative that you cream them together for 4-5 minutes on high. This really creates a new item in the mixer – sugar butter. The sugar really does dissolve into the butter, and that makes all the difference in the world.

When I start adding the flour and then the oats, I switch to a paddle attachment. If you’re using a handheld mixer, you don’t need to worry about this, and if you’re hardcore and mixing by hand this is not an issue.

The whisk attachment just doesn’t do the job very well here, so take the 5 seconds to switch, you’ll be glad you did!

Then you’ll take your peppermints, unwrap them, and put them into a double bag (sealed) so you can hammer/pound them into oblivion, like this:

(before)

(after)

Then you’ll mix that into your batter, only for a second. The batter won’t come together into a ball….it’ll just be the size of small peas. So you then have to use a spoon to grab enough to squeeze/roll into a ball the size of a walnut (as my mom said).

Then you have to go back and smoosh (technical term) the tops down with the bottom of a glass that’s been dipped in powdered sugar, to flatten a bit, like this:

 

Cook for exactly 8 minutes at 325 F, and take them out. If you don’t, you run the risk of your peppermint chunks melting and becoming an awful, sticky mess.

The result?

We took them over to Lori’s house for her and Mike’s annual holiday bash.

Not much to look at here, but boy were they tasty!!!

Thanks to Lori and Mike for having us over once again for another memorable party!

Now, tonight I start batch number 2 to take to our holiday gathering with Paul’s buddies and their wives on Wednesday night! I can’t hardly wait!

UPDATE: Get the handcuffs: Gramma Ginny’s Peppermint cookies

18 Dec

Hey gang.

My mom emailed me back today with a temperature correction on the cookies. They bake at 325 F.

She writes:

“Hi honey – The oven temp for the peppermit cookies is 325. Last night I finished up my batch of mustard and made almond roca bars.  That’s another of Ginny’s recipes that is one of Mike’s favorite. I tried to cut them after they had cooled a little but the chocolate topping was still too soft so I covered them and put them in the refer – will see how they cut tonight. Well, back to work.”

Thanks, mom! I bought my bags of peppermints at the store today during lunch, so I’m already to go for this weekend! YAY!!!!!

Get the handcuffs: Gramma Ginny’s Peppermint cookies

18 Dec

 

(credit – istockphoto.com)

I have two parties in the next week to attend, and one is specifically a dessert party where we’re asked to bring our favorite holiday dessert.  The other is being thrown by my boss and her husband. They have a FABULOUS holiday party every year, and we try to make it (although I think we couldn’t last year for some reason….)  We always have a blast, and I thought it’d be fun to take along a batch of my favorite holiday cookies to each party!

So, of course I had to call my mom and ask her for her recipe for Peppermint Cookies….little did I know this recipe actually comes from her mother-in-law, my step-father’s mom.

I don’t have any pictures right now, because I haven’t made a batch in years, but at least I can pass on the super simple recipe for anyone who’s stuck in the snow, at home this weekend, or just wants a treat for themselves or their friends and family!

Enjoy!

(My mom writes):

Hi Honey:  Here is “Grandma Ginny’s” Peppermint cookies’ recipe (FROM MEMORY ??) – I will double check it when I get home tonight and if any corrections are needed I will give you a call – okay?
 
1 cup butter – softened
1 cup powedered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla -OR- 1 tsp EACH vanilla and peppermint extract – this is the way I make them
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup quick oats
1/2 – 3/4 cup crushed peppermint candy (I used 3/4 cups this year as Mike thought the 1/2 cup last year was not enough) (about 20 of the Brach’s round candys = 1/2 cup; and I used 30 which was about 3/4 cup) (Put all 30 in a quart-size freezer zip lock bag and pound with a hammer to crush!!)
 
Cream butter and sugar together
Add salt, vanilla/peppermint extracts
Add flour
Add quick oats
Add crushed peppermint candy
 
It’s a pretty stiff dough but I mixed it all with my rubber spatula.
 
Take a small spoonful and shape/roll between palms to make a ball about the size of a walnut. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Put a little powdered sugar in a small saucer; dip the bottom of a glass into the powdered sugar and press each ball of dough flat – don’t press too hard, just enough to flatten; they will spread and thin out as they cook.
 
They only cook for about 8 minutes; I think the baking temperature is 350 degrees – guess I will have to call you on that; if it’s not 350 then it’s 325.
 
So that’s that!! Will talk to you later honey. Love, Mom

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