Saturday, December 29, 2012

Little Fried Pies

That's the best name for these, because that's what they taste like. Made with wonton wrappers, filled just like a turnover, fried and covered with confectioners sugar. Crispy and sweet... they were described as "little pieces of fried joy"!

Although I highly recommend the homemade apple filling below (it's so yummy!), you can use canned pie filling. You will need to pulse the filling in a blender to chop up the fruit a bit. Try different fillings, like cherry, raspberry or peach...

 Apple Pie Filling

 Peel and chop 2 large apples. In a small bowl whisk together until no lumps remain:
    2/3 cup sugar
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    4 tbsp. potato or corn starch
    pinch of sea salt

Whisk in 1 cup cold water; set aside. In a saucepan, melt 3 tbsp. unsalted butter over medium-high heat and add the chopped apple. Fry until tender. Add the sugar/water mixture and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thick. Remove from heat.

Makes enough filling for about 3 1/2-4 dozen pies. If you don't want to fry so many pies, use the rest of the apple filling for muffins. It's wonderful!

In a small dish, whisk one egg. Take one wonton wrapper, fill with about a 1 1/2 tsp. of filling use your finger or a pastry brush to brush the top two corners of the wrapper as shown. Fold over and press firm all the way around to seal. Seal very well! Done and ready to fry. Repeat with remaining filling.

 Heat 1 1/2" vegetable oil to about 270 degrees. Getting the temperature of the oil just right can be tricky, but you can test it with a small scrap of wonton wrapper. As soon as you drop the scrap in, it should immediately rise to the top, surrounded with lots of bubbles, and should be brown within about 10 seconds and be ready to turn over. If the oil is too hot, anything you drop in will burn within a few seconds! 

Drop the pies in one or two at a time, fry until light brown and then turn over with a pair of tongs. When brown on both sides, remove and drain on a paper towel.

Cool for a couple of minutes, drop into confectioners sugar and coat all over. 

So delicious. Enjoy them! Jessica

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cranberry Sauce

We had to share our recipe this morning as Zoe says, "It's delicious!" Have to love an 11-year-old take on cranberry sauce.

6 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 c water
1 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 orange - cut up small

1. Wash and sort cranberries. Place the first 3 ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring and mashing and the cranberries burst. (Our favorite part!) Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

2. Take off the heat and add the last three ingredients. Stir and mash a little more. Put into a glass dish and let cool on the counter, then refrigerate.

This recipe is so easy, there is no excuse for not making your own cranberry sauce! No more canned cranberry! Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Table Candles

I love all the little ornament pumpkins in the grocery stores right before Thanksgiving. These are Thanksgiving table candles are pretty and easy to make.

You'll need:
Small striped pumpkins - find ones that sit fairly flat
4 tapers
Melted wax - use old candles!
3/4" drill bit
Exacto knife
Strong glue - like wood glue
Pretty ribbon - 17" or more for each taper

First, take off the pumpkin stems. A pair of pliers work great to snap them off. 

Put your old wax in a canning jar or use almost used up candles in jars. Fill a pan with water and place the jar in the pan. Boil until the wax is melted. Amazing, the top of the jar was not hot so you can pour easily!

Meanwhile, drill a hole through the top of each pumpkin. Once you get through the hard top, stop drilling!  Brush off the dust.

Use your knife to open the hole a little more at the top if the taper doesn't fit properly. You want it be be very snug, but you don't want to break your candle trying to twist it in.

Pour wax into each candle hole, until you are 1/4" from the top. Use a cotton swab to wax the very top or roll the pumpkin a bit to cover any flesh at the top.

Allow the wax to slightly dry. Squeeze glue around the taper bottom and gently, but firmly twist the candle into the hole. Use a cotton swab to brush glue around the base of the candle on the outside.

I used about 17" of ribbon. I like to make easy ribbons. Gather the ribbon into a loop.

Make a loop, the same size on the other side, hold with your thumb.

The next two loops will be a little smaller, make each side the same size. Continue decreasing in size until the ribbon is used up. Place a straight pin through the middle.

Stick the pin with ribbon, in between the candle and the base. Gently spread the loops, and pin again, once you have a nice loopy look. Repeat on the other side if you want.

That's it! I have my candles drying nicely for Thanksgiving on my shelf over my table. Place smaller votives in between the larger tapers. These only took about an hour, plenty of time to make before this Thursday! Pretty!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Biscotti

Since we make so much food on Thanksgiving Day, this biscotti is perfect for breakfast. Have yogurt and of course coffee with it while you prepare your bigger meal!

The pumpkin will make this cookie in the middle, so cut the slices thin for the second baking and they will be crisper. Add more spices for a spicier cookie! YUM!

We milled our flour fresh, using the Nutrimill. Contact us if you are interested in the 4th quarter specials on the Bosch Plus Mixer! The Bosch and Nutrimill make perfect Christmas gifts!

3 cups soft white wheat flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. rum extract
1 tsp. pure vanilla
2 eggs
1 cups pumpkin puree
1 c. white chocolate chips (or nuts) (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
We used the Bosch mixer with the cookie paddles. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Make sure you are using level scoops of your warm flour!

 Add wet ingredients and mix well. I let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. We used this yummy organic pumpkin! Be careful to use only a cup, unless you want a softer biscotti. This is the time to add white chocolate chips, nuts - such as Macadamia or Pistachio!

Spread into a loaf shape onto a pan lined with a baking liner or parchment paper.

  Bake 20-30 minutes until golden.

Cut into slices and place on baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until crisp on one side, turn and bake the other side until crisp.
Melt a cup of white chocolate chips and over the tops. The trick to melting these in the microwave is not adding too many to your glass cup and only heat for 10 seconds at a time! As you stir from the bottom they will melt quickly if you keep stirring. Burned chocolate is yukky! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

Pumpkin spice creamer is something I look for as soon as September reaches it's close. It's my favorite flavor and I would prefer the stores carry it all year long! I decided to give a homemade version a try.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

You will need a glass quart canning jar and following ingredients:

     14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
     14 oz. can filled with milk
     1 cup evaporated milk
     1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
     1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
     1/8 tsp. ground cloves
     1/8 tsp. ground ginger
     1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Pour in sweetened condensed milk first, then fill the can to the top with milk and pour into jar. Now add the evaporated milk.

Top with vanilla extract and delicious spices...

Seal the jar tightly with lid, and shake until thoroughly combined.

Ready for fresh, hot coffee! Enjoy...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Joyous Home Journal!

The Fall Journal is now available!

Autumn Decorating ~ Make a burlap cornucopia, decorating with dried beans, make a burlap table runner, napkin ring conversation starter, and a table setting.

Fall "Y" Pillow ~ Learn the "Y" seam technique to make this beautiful pillow!

Build a Dollhouse ~ Step-by-step photos for building a basic wooden dollhouse. A great project for Dad and boys to build together for the young girls in the house!

Soups, Bread & Rolls ~ Recipes for delicious soups: Split Pea, Beef Vegetable, and Creamy Italian Potato Soup. Try making yummy breads: Foccacia Bread, Parmesan Pepper Rolls, Cheddar Cheese Biscuits, and Olive Bread.

Crockpot Desserts ~ Desserts for your crock pot! Gooey Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake and Apple Crumb Pie!

Warm Drinks for Chilly Days ~ Make your own coffeehouse favorites: Pumpkin Spice Latte, Salted Caramel Latte (make it a mocha too!), and Double Dark Hot Cocoa. You must try the Sweet 'n Salty Whipped Cream!

Roast fresh pumpkin from the garden ~ Make some deliciously spicy pumpkin butter, soft pumpkin bread and some cream cheese pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Whole Grain Pumpkin Muffins

Almost all of the pumpkins in our garden are ripe and ready to be picked. We just recently roasted one of them for some recipes, and this was one of the treats we enjoyed from our harvest.

Whole Grain Pumpkin Muffins

Combine in a large bowl:
    3 cups freshly ground soft wheat flour
    1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
    2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground allspice
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    1 1/2 cups brown sugar
    Whisk together. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add:
    1/2 cup melted butter
    1 cup sour cream
    1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin puree`
    2 large eggs
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
Stir together just until all of the ingredients are moist. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Spoon the batter into the cups, filling no more than 2/3. Leave plain, or sprinkle with cinnamon or maple sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Serve with homemade pumpkin butter (we included our recipe in the Fall '12 Joyous Journal!), or spread them with soft, homemade spreadable butter. Delicious!      ~ Makes 18-20 muffins 

Enjoy! ~ Jessica

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