Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Some Experiments

The other day I went shopping and picked up some items I've never purchased before. It was kind of fun! First were a couple of new varieties of fruits. The plumcots just tasted like regular plums, and we weren't impressed with this particular mini seedless watermelon, but maybe another time we'll try them again anyway.

I bought the pomegranate juice to try an intriguing recipe I saw in the newspaper that suggested cooking bulghar wheat in juice instead of just water. We tried it and it was actually quite good.

Wayne needed the anchovy paste for Oysters Rockefeller. (And this has been sitting in the "drafts" folder for so long, I can't remember what we used the flaxseed oil for!) Every so often, just for the fun of it, I buy a new type of salad dressing. Cardini's Greek vinaigrette was pretty good.

The tapioca flour was so we could try Brazilian Cheese Bites, which were delicious.

Exploring at the grocery store is actually quite fun. I should do it more often!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Lemon Bars

My sister just requested this recipe. Now all of my wonderful readers can have it too! This isn't something we have very often, because my dear husband doesn't care for lemon desserts. However, next time I take them to a Relief Society function, I'll have to take a picture and add it to this post. Hope you enjoy them, Holly!
We had a Relief Society function!
Lemon Bars
from the Hollister Relief Society Cookbook

1/2 cup melted butter or margarine (although I use 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup sugar (3/4 cup is probably okay)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine butter, powdered sugar and flour and press into an 8" square pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes in 350 degree oven. Beat eggs, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Pour over hot crust. Bake 20 more minutes. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar when cool.

(You can also double everything and bake in a 9x13" pan.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Almond Roca Toffee

This is the recipe we tried in 2014 that worked -

Homemade Almond Roca

1 cup butter
1 rounded cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 cup sliced almonds
2/3 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons finely chopped almonds

Line a 9x13" pan with foil and butter (or Pam) it. Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed 4-quart saucepan. Add the sugar and water and cook on medium-high until it reaches the toffee stage.** Stir in the sliced almonds and pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and let sit for a few minutes to melt. Then spread chocolate with a spatula and sprinkle with remaining chopped almonds. Cool until hardened. Remove from pan and break into pieces.

** That's not a helpful instruction. Go here to see pictures that might help.

Here are a couple of new recipes I found. I guess it's not really Almond Toffee if you use pecans or walnuts, but it's worth trying!

English Toffee Recipe

1 cup nuts, chopped  (pecans or walnuts are best) *
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Butter an 8×8 inch pan. Spread the nuts in the bottom of the pan. On medium heat, bring the sugar and butter to a boil and boil 7 minutes. Spread into the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Let it sit a few minutes. When melted, spread evenly. Let cool before cracking into pieces. Makes 24 pieces.
  • White Chocolate with Macadamia Nuts (not cheap but to die for!)
  • Dark Chocolate with Almonds
  • Semi-sweet chocolate with Almonds for an Almond Roca flavor

1½ cups coarsely-chopped almonds
16 oz. light brown sugar
1 lb. butter
24 oz. milk chocolate chips
  1. Sprinkle ¾ cup coarsely chopped almonds onto the bottom of an 18x13 inch cookie sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a 2 qt. sauce pan, combine sugar and butter over medium high heat while stirring frequently for several minutes unit bubbly and thick. Use a candy thermometer and cook until 290 degrees F. Watch carefully after 280 degrees F to prevent it from burning. Once it has reached 290 degrees F, remove from heat.
  3. Pour candy evenly on top of the almonds in cookie sheet. Let stand for a few minutes.
  4. Melt chocolate chips in microwave with 1 tsp. shortening or oil to help keep it smooth. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each increment, until completely melted and smooth.
  5. Cover candy with layer of chocolate and sprinkle remaining almonds evenly over the top of chocolate layer.
  6. Allow to set up for a few hours. I place mine in the fridge when I need them to cool faster.
  7. Once completely set up and hardened, break into pieces using a knife.
  8. This recipe makes about 2 lbs of candy and is great for gifts!