Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Homemade Rosemary Garlic Tomato Sauce

I recently discovered  Market on the Move.  It's a Fruit and vegetable co-op that happens every Saturday around the Phoenix area. You get about 60 lbs of fruit and veggies for $10.  The selection for type of veggie is limited, but you can get a ton of what they do have. Last time I got a lot of zucchini and yellow squash that is currently shredded and sitting in my freezer.  This time I got a lot of tomatoes because I wanted to make my own tomato sauce.  I found a recipe in the Ball Blue book that I modified slightly.  Here's what I did:

Rosemary-Garlic Tomato Sauce
Wash 20 lbs of tomatoes.  I used vinegar in the water to help clean them well.
Prepare a large stock pot with boiling water.  Place tomatoes in the water a few at a time and leave in for about 4 minutes or until the skins start to split.  Remove tomatoes and place in sink or large bowl with ice water to quickly cool them.

 Using your paring knife, slip the skins off the tomatoes and remove the stem.

I put my tomatoes, about 3-4 at a time in my blender and mixed to puree the tomatoes.

Mince 1 whole garlic clove and finely chop one onion.

 Remove the leaves from 2-3 sprigs of rosemary and chop finely.  Saute the garlic and onion in 1 Tbsp olive oil until tender.
Combine the tomato puree and the sauteed garlic and onion in a large stock pot.  Add chopped rosemary.  You can also substitute fresh basil for the rosemary, about 1/4 cup.
Cook over medium-high heat until the sauce has reduced down to desired consistency.  I did mine down about 1/3, the book says down by 1/2.  It's up to you.  Stir occationally to prevent sticking.
This was my favorite step because my house smelled like a little Italian Bistro.  So yummy!

Prepare your jars and get out your boiling water or steam canner.Place lids in a small saucepan with about 1 inch of water.  Heat on Medium-low or until bubbles just start to form.  This softens the rubber on the lids to ensure a good seal on the jars.

In each pint jar, add 1 Tbsp bottled lemon juice, then fill with the reduced tomato sauce.  Adjust lids and rings and place in canner.  Process for 35 minutes.

Remove and place on cooling rack.  Let sit for 24 hours, then write the date and contents on the lid and add to your pantry.

 Homemade Rosemary Garlic Sauce.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Death by Chocolate Turtles

One more day of things I made for the Scout Auction.  You'd think I'm already giving more than enough being the wife of the Scoutmaster.  I mean nearly 2 weeks of vacation time and one weekend a month for campouts, but I really love baking and making and sharing, so there you go.

This last one is named 
Death by Chocolate Turtles.  
So yummy!  So easy!

First lets make the carmel.  Actually it's Dulce de Leche, but it is super yumm and easy to make.

Get a can of Sweetened Condensed milk. Don't open it.  Just the whole can.  Place in a stock pot and cover with water.  Put enough water in to make sure the can stays submerged.
Turn on the heat to medium and bring to a boil.  Boil the can for about 1 hour and let cool.  
 After cooling, open and you have sweet carmely goodness!  Dulce!
 I forgot to take pictures of the brownie process, but this recipe really can stand on it's own.  I got it from my friends [K] and [D] in Washington.  Ever since they shared the recipe, my kids want brownies instead of cake for their birthdays.  It's that good!

[D's] Brownie Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a stockpot bring 2 sticks unsalted butter to a full boil.
Remove from heat and stir in 8 Tbsp cocoa powder.  Mix well.
Stir in 2 cups sugar and mix well.
Stir in 1 cup flour and mix well.
Add 4 eggs and mix well.
Then add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp vanilla.  Mix well.

I add 1 cup chocolate chips to the batter but that is totally optional, I just like a little more chocolate.

Pour batter into a well greased 9x13 pan.  For the turtles, I baked the brownies in two 8 inch pie pans.  I wanted the pie shape for the pieces.

Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes.  For some reason my oven takes longer than the origional recipe says.  Just check for doneness after about 18 minutes and add time as necessary.

 Let cool and cut into wedges.
Arrainge wedges on plate.  Since these were for the auction, I put them on cardboard wrapped in tinfoil.
 Drizzle the Dulce de Leche over each wedge allowing some to spill over.
Chop some pecans and sprinkle on top.
Finally lightly sprinkle some coarse Kosher salt on top and you're done.

When I brought them in, one of the women said, "Death by Chocolate Turtles huh, I'd be happy to die by Chocolate Turtles!"

Again, these were one of the top sellers at the auction!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lemon Bread Heaven

Have I mentioned that I LOVE King Arthur Flour Recipes, Products, Inspiration, etc., etc.?  Yeah I have, Here, and Here.

I needed a WOW recipe for our Scout Fundraiser last week and I headed straight to KAF!  I found this recipe and I've decided to rename it from Braided Lemon Bread, to Lemon Braid Heaven.  Seriously, it's lucky I have 7 in my family to share with because I easily could have eaten the Whole Loaf.

It does take a few hours to make, so set aside some time, but it is well worth it.

Let's get started.

Lemon Braid Heaven

Get out one block of cream cheese and set aside to soften so it's ready when it's time to make the filling.

In a small bowl create the sponge with:
3/4 cups warm water
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup KAF unbleached all-purpose flour
Mix well and cover with plastic wrap loosely.  Let sit for about 15 minures.
 It will be a bubbly and poofy when it's ready.

In your stand mixer combine the following:
all of the sponge
3/4 cup plain yogurt, (I used plain greek style yogurt with excellent results)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla or Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor found here.
4 1/2 cups KAF unbleached All-purpose Flour

Mix until you have a dough that looks similar to sugar cookie dough.
 Change your mixing paddles to the dough hook. Mix adding about 1/2 cup flour more, or until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl.  Mix for 6-8 minutes until you have a smooth dough.  Really this dough is just beautiful!

Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise for 60-90 minutes until puffy and about doubled.

You can purchase Lemon Curd here.
I decided to make my own since I forgot to order some before I needed to make my bread.  It's super easy.

Get your zester out and zest 2-3 lemons.  After the zesting is done, juice the lemons.
 In a metal bowl, or the top of a double boiler, beat 3 large eggs. To that add:
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (not the bottled kind)
Place bowl over saucepan with about 2 inches water to create a double boiler if you don't have one.
Continue wisking constantly for about 10 minutes or until you get the desired consistency or about 160 degrees F.

 When you get the right consistency, cut up 4 Tbsp butter in to small pieces.  Whisk into lemon mixture, then add 1 Tbsp lemon zest.  I think I added more than that, just what was done from the lemons.  The more zest the better in my opinion.
 Cover immediately with plastic wrap with the wrap touching the curd so a skin doesn't form.  Set aside to cool.

Next lets make the
  Cream Cheese Filling.

In a medium bowl combine:
2/3 cups softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup KAF unbleached all-purpose flour
Mix well.

 Now that the dough has risen for about an hour, divide it in half and place one piece on floured piece of parchment paper to make it easier to move when you are ready. Roll out to a 10" by 15" rectangle. Lightly press a crease in the dough to divide it in thirds.

Spread 1/2 cream cheese mixture on the center strip.

 Next add the lemon curd on top, about 1/2 cup.
Now to create the mock braid. Cut the dough as shown making sure there are the same number of strips on both sides.  I cut the bottom triangles out to make the braid look even.  I used my KAF scraper again to make the cuts.  It's an awesome tool!Tuck in the ends and start at the top bringing in each strip, layering it over the previous one as shown.

Repeat on the other piece of dough.
Place the two loaves on a cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap.

 Let rise for about 45 minutes or until poofy.  
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Brush with egg wash.
1 egg
2 tsp water
pinch of salt

Sprinkle with couse sugar if desired.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool 15-20 minutes before serving.

 The dough is light and just a hint of sweetness.  The lemon curd and cream cheese filling are just heavenly!

Luckily my husband volunteered me to make it again for a potluck coming up. I just don't know if I can wait that long!

BTW: This bread was the top seller at the Fundraiser!  Score!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Few Pretties

I needed to make some things to donate to our Annual Scout Silent Auction Fundraiser.  I decided to play around with my jewelery supplies and see what I came up with.  Here are 3 simple projects I made.
 Buttons and Black cording.  The cording should be about 4 times the finished length because you are doubling it.  Tie a loop in one end, making sure the hole is just barely large enough to fit your closure button.
 Thread one side of the cording through the button if there are 2 holes, both threads if there are 4 holes.  Tie a knot after each button.

Whe you get to the end, thread both holes and tie a square knot on the underside of the last button as shown.  And you're done!

 Feel free to play around with some fun buttons to match your outfit.  You can whip these little babys out in a few minutes.

 Next is a pearl bracelet.  Using strong beading filament, make a small loop for the end and close with a crimp ring.
 Thread the beads.  I alternated large and small beads.
 When you get to the end, finish off in the same way as you started.
 Thread a large piece of satin ribbon through the loops and use this to tie the ends closed.
 Simple and elegant!

Lastly is a floating bead neckace.  I'm so loving these right now and they are super easy to make.

Take a piece of beading filament 2 times as long as the finished piece as you are doubling the filament to create the floating beads.  I also coiled some of my fine wire to creat the two little springy things.  They cover the end crimp ring.  Using a crimp ring, secure the filament to the toggle you are using and thread the coil over both strands of filament.
 Alternatning strands of filament, string the beads, sometimes putting the bead on both strands, sometimes on only one strand.
 Finish off the end toggle with 2 crimp rings, one for each strand, making sure to thread the other coil on first to cover up the crimp rings.
Easy and quick!  I love pretty things, especially when I make them myself!

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