Friday, February 12, 2016

Celebrate Valentine's Day With These Sweet Hearts

Do you need a meaningful gift for your Valentine this year? How about creating a special homemade treat for them? If you're nodding yes. Then you should understand that nothing says I love you as well as care for you then putting the time and effort into constructing your own gift.Plus,who's gonna say no to a sweet treat? Especially if you make something that is their favorite.

 So to get you started, I have a recommended recipe that no baker or foodie can resist this Valentine's Day.They are the cutest and cuddliest teddy bear heart cookies you could bake.These loveable bears will certainly impress as well as melt anyone's heart.

These teddy bears are purely simple with a deliciously, buttery peanut butter cookie dough,along with a recipe that is adaptable to anyones desires or needs.Do you need more cookies? Go ahead and double the recipe. Do you need that special spice,flavoring, or that special decorating technique, then feel free to have fun with your cookie's.Its all about creating that unique gift for your Valentine anyway. Although If you do not have a Valentine to gift this too. Then I encourage this activity to be made with your kids,friends or family because its really all about celebrating what you love.So when you get a chance to try these sweet little love bears you will know what I mean.In the end, we have teddies with big hearts in hand and baby bears with hearts that glow. They always make me go " awwww",every time I see them.

So make your love one's something special this weekend,they will definitely appreciate it more then any store bought gift can bring.Unless they have specifically ask for something,then best to follow that idea. Other then that feel free to get creative.Its always the thought that counts anyways. Also, if you have the time as well as artistic flare,try creating your own unique treat box to package the baked goods as a gift. Just like this one.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Peanut Butter Love Bears
Inspired By Pinterest

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup hard margarine,softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 golden corn syrup
2 eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp salt 

1. With my kitchen aid stand mixer,on medium speed.I beat the peanut butter,margarine,brown sugar,corn syrup and eggs,until smooth and incorporated.

2.Then In a large bowl,I gently stirred together flour,baking powder and salt.

3. Then on low speed, I began beating in 2 cups of the flour mixture,until combined

4. Then stirred in the remaining 2 cups with a wooden spoon.

5.Once combined, I divided the dough in half and wrapped each in plastic wrap.Then refrigerated the dough for 2-3 hours,until stiff

6.I preheated the oven to 325F.

7.Then I floured my work surface and rolled out one batch of dough to the thickness of 1/8 inch.Then I proceeded to cut the rolled dough with my large and small bear cookie cutters.Floured after each use.

8.Then I created the hugging effect for the large bears,I pushed the arms gently inwards as though the bear is reaching towards and then placed the arm slightly over its body to look as though its about to grab.

9. Then the baby bears I left on their own since the arms are completely joined to the body ,although the hugging effect can be done if extra dough is placed on the arms.

10.Then I used the scraps from the cuttings to make bears faces.Rolling small balls to create eyes, a muzzle and a nose. Then I placed the finished batch on a baking sheet with parchment paper and chilled for about 5-10 minutes,to help keep the shape of the face detailed.

11.Then I baked each batch at 325F for 10 minutes,until lightly brown. Then I let the teddy bears cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes.Then I removed them to cool completely on a wire rack.

12.In between baking each batch,I proceeded with the same steps, #6 to # 9.Always having a batch chilling in the fridge,while working on another batch.

1.Once all the cookies were chilled,I used a simple white icing with a piping bag. 
*Tip* Use your favorite homemade icing recipe or use store bought,since very little is used for this recipe.

2.Filling the piping bag with icing and a small tip,I began attaching large pink and red heart gummys in between the bears arms to create the effect they are holding the hearts. Then with the baby bears I placed small red hearts on their tummy's. *Tip* Decorate as desired.

In the end I have soft,melt in your mouth peanut butter cookies with an added sweet gummy heart.


Tuesday, February 02, 2016

A Condiment Combo

Ever tried Daikon radish aka lok bok? Well if you haven't then Asian quick pickle is a great recipe to test out this root vegetable for the first time.This is a condiment that you can create quickly while incorporating fresh ingredients and minimal prep work.This is a dish we would call an improvement to a main dish.This can be served with soups,pastas,sandwiches and even fish.

Asian quick pickle is a must try recipe from Homemade Condiments.Its particularly tasty garnished atop of ramen noodles allowing an overall unique flavor.This condiment offers a balance of acidity as well as sweetness.It includes a settle flavor of carrot,cucumber and green onion.While Daikon carries the strongest flavor overall.However its the seasonings of rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame seed that truly carry this recipe to the next level. A sweet and sour garnish with an added crunch.Overall, a unique condiment that is super healthy,full of vitamins and brings natural beauty to any main dish.

Asian Quick Pickles

3/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt or sea salt
1 medium Daikon radish
2 medium carrots
1 medium English cucumber
1 green onion,thinly sliced
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Using a small saucepan, I mixed together vinegar,sugar and salt. I then brought it to a boil over medium heat.Once boiled, I removed it from the heat and let the sugar as well as salt dissolve.

I then began peeling the Daikon,carrots and cucumber. From there, I thinly sliced  the Daikon and carrots with a knife on a diagonal.Then I stacked a few slices together and cut them into matchsticks, repeating the process till done.Then with the peeled cucumber,I cut it in half lengthwise and scooped out the seeds and thinly sliced the cucumber into crescents. 

From there, I placed all the vegetables in a medium bowl and poured the vinegar mixture over the top.Then I added the thinly sliced green onion and sprinkled on the sesame seeds.Then gently gave it a quick toss.

 Options for use

Ramen noodles
Spring rolls
Grilled Salmon or tuna

I believe that everyone needs a simple and fresh salsa recipe for their repertoire.A salsa that is full of flavor and can be whipped up in no time to serve to friends and family. So,if you need that special recipe for you're next gathering. Then I recommend this Black Bean And Corn Salsa from Homemade Condiments.A recipe that is inexpensive, made with basic ingredients and easily adaptable for any heat seekers.

It can also be served with just about anything you can think of and is better then any store bought. A homemade salsa made with sweet,juicy tomatoes,hearty black beans,sweet corn and zesty red onion while simply seasoned with salt and lime juice cannot be compared to anything.Overall, we have a fresh healthy salsa that has layers of flavor and impressive in appearance.

Black  Bean and Corn Salsa 

Yields 24 ounces
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed or 1 3/4 cooked black beans
1 1/2 cups cooked fresh or frozen and thawed yellow corn kernels
6-7 ounces tomatoes,seeded and diced ( 2 medium sliced tomatoes)
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tbsp fresh lime juice ( 1 lime)
1/2 tsp salt to taste

Using a large bowl, I gently combined the beans,thawed corn,sliced tomatoes,and minced onion.Then drizzled the lime juice over the top and sprinkled with salt, stirred to combined Serve right away.Refrigerate, covered for up to 2 days.

Options for use

Tortilla chips
Taco topping
Sandwich wraps
Grilled fish