Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Grammy's Special Seasoning

My grandmother is a great cook.  She introduced me to the wonderful, wide world of herbs.  Every year she has a beautiful herb garden and sends the kids out to snip what she needs for the dish she is making.  My daughter loves to run out and grab a big handful of basil for tomatoes or chives for potatoes (tarragon throws her though).
This is a blend of herbs and spices that my grandmother  uses for all kinds of dishes.  It is a great rub for poultry, a nice way to pep up chicken or potato soup, I sprinkle it on sautéed vegetables and my daughter's favorite use is cooked into rice.  This makes a good sized batch (about 3/4 cup) and I guarantee you will be making a second batch.

Garlic Herb Seasoning
2 Tbsp. dried leaf marjoram
2 Tbsp. dried leaf oregano
2 Tbsp. dried leaf rosemary
2 Tbsp. dried leaf basil
2 Tbsp. dried leaf parsley
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. dried leaf thyme
1 Tbsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Store in a cool dry place.  Be sure to shake to redistribute before using!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sugar Waffles-AKA Rosette Cookies

When I was little, my mom used to make sugar waffles.  They are the lightest, crispiest confections you will ever have.  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  If you have ever visited a fair, they are like miniature versions of the sugar waffles they sell by the bag.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE them.  A nice hot cup of coffee, a sugar waffle and a few minutes of peace and quiet.  Life does not get better.
A couple of Christmases ago, my mom bought me a set of irons so I could make my own.  Unfortunately, I have a terrible case of mommy brain and forgot all about them.  Digging through my kitchen a few weeks ago, I came across them and decided to make some with MY kids.  They are amazingly easy to whip up, and because they are so thin, cook VERY quickly.  The kids mixed the batter, I fried, then the kids sprinkled powdered sugar on top.  They were GONE.  Hopefully Emma remembers these fondly like I do.  Maybe in 20 years I will buy her a set to make my grandchildren these most amazing of treats.

Sugar Waffles
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. flour
oil for frying
powdered sugar for dusting
Fill a small saucepan about 1" deep with oil and heat over medium while you mix batter.
Whisk egg, milk, vanilla, sugar and salt in small bowl.
Blend in flour until smooth.
Place rosette iron in hot oil for about 2 minutes.
Dip iron in prepared batter (it will sizzle) only come up the sides, DO NOT let batter come over top of mold or you will never get the cooked waffle off.
Immediately submerge dipped iron in the oil and cook waffle until lightly browned THIS WILL ONLY TAKE 20-30 SECONDS.
Using a fork, slide waffle onto a paper towel lined plate.
Repeat with rest of batter.
When waffles are cool, dust with powdered sugar.

This is what the rosette iron looks like.  Mine came with different molds that screw on the handle. 
Here is a set from Amazon. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Emma's Origami-The Necktie

Just so you know, this tie only lasted a couple of seconds after this picture was taken.  Life expectancy of paper goods in my house is shockingly short...

First, fold paper in half, corner to corner.

Open it up, flip it over and fold each side in to the center creating a kite.

Flip it over, wide end toward you, and fold top corner down, keeping the center lines together.

Fold this corner back up about 1/2" under the previous fold.

Make small folds on both sides of this flap, pushing them in and under the flap (this is kind of tricky).

Flip over and bend the tip back and slightly overlapping the main piece.

Fold both sides in so they meet in the middle.  Use the top flap to hook over your shirt and see how long it survives in your house! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Blueberry Butter

As promised, here is how to make blueberry butter... or any fruit butter for that matter.  It is a simple process that results in a smooth spread with a concentrated fruit flavor.  It is an easy way to dress up muffins, bread or biscuits and a great use for all the prime summer fruit available.

***This is more of a "how to" than a recipe.***

Blueberry Butter

blueberries (I used about 1 cup)
sugar to taste (I used about 1 tablespoon)
small amount of water (I used about 2 tablespoons, this is just to keep the berries from burning until they start to burst and release their juices)

Combine berries, sugar and water in saucepan.
Cook over low heat until reduced and very thick, stirring frequently.  Once they start to get a little thick, they can burn VERY easily so keep an eye on them.
Let cool for a few minutes, then blend in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Chill in the refrigerator at least a few hours (or better, overnight) before serving.

***Try your blueberry butter spread on a slice of warm, tart lemon bread.***