Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sweet little Candy Coated Apples ~ 10.23.10

A few weeks back our MOPS group made these cutest ever bite size candy coated apples- one for each member of our family!

We melon balled our granny smith apples and then stuck a pick in them (you could also use a lollipop stick).
We had our peanut butter chips and butterscotch chips already melted and ready to go. Swirled our little apples on a stick around in the melted chips and then dipped them in the toppings of our choice! I thought it was a wee bit easier to shake the toppings over the dipped apples- less of the coating came off in the toppings that way. Place them in a mini-foil cup to dry and there you have the cutest little fall treat you ever laid eyes upon!

For more detailed instructions, check out this article at Family Fun

**Few notes. I just scooped ten little apples out of ONE granny smith. So, I think you could get 8-10 bite size apples per apple. Also, I dipped mine in some of that Marzetti's caramel dip b/c a) I was in a hurry and b) I wanted to see how it would hold up. Enjoy!

UPDATE: the caramel in the little tub will not set up, so be forewarned. It also tastes kinda funny. Live and learn.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Fun Food ~ 10.22.10

Here are a few recipes that are simple enough for the kids to make/help you out with next week!

Crescent Roll Mummies

package of crescent rolls - you'll make 8, so use more if you have more to feed
package of hot dogs
mustard and ketchup

Unroll crescent rolls and separate to form 4 rectangles- pinch together the perforations (You could also buy the new recipe creations crescent dough and work from there).
Using your kitchen shears, cut each rectangle lengthwise into 10 strips
Wrap 4 pieces of dough around each hot dog (you may use less)- you'll stretch the dough as you work around the hot dog. You could tuck a piece of cheese behind the hot dog before you wrap it up- but I opted out of that.
Separate the dough just a bit so that you can "make a face" after it's cooked.
Bake at 375 on an ungreased cookie sheet for 13-16 minutes- until golden brown. Make a face on your mummy dog with the mustard!

Mummy Pizzas

english muffins
pizza sauce
string cheese or shredded mozzarella
toppings- olives for eyeballs!

toast your english muffins under the broiler for a few minutes
top with some sauce and lay the cheese in a "mummy-esque" fashion across the muffin
place 2 olives on for eyes.
Remind the kids they can take the olives off and feed them to Daddy if they don't like them
Bake in the oven about 10 minutes or until warmed through.
Serve with "green fries" (aka green beans) and ketchup

Halloween marshmallows floating in a cup of hot cocoa! Mmmmm.... They were bats and ghosts but they melted a wee bit before I could take their photo!

Still to come... those bite size caramel apples... so adorable you'll cry!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Savory Sweet Potato Soup + Smoked Apple Panini~ 10.21.10

Oh how I love this season and all the comforting soups that accompany it.

One of my favorites that I discovered last year is the Farm Chick's Savory Sweet Potato Soup. It is so incredibly easy to make and I've been eating it up ALL week.

What goes better with soup than a hot, pressed sandwich (aka PANINI)? We have a wonderful little deli near our home and they serve up a hot sandwich every day of the week. A few of my favorites are the Cuban and the Monte Cristo. A little variation on your traditional grilled cheese... these sandwiches have FLAIR and really FUN FLAVORS!
Today's advertised sandwich was the Smoked Apple Panini and they were starting to serve it at 11. Well, I was there at 10:15 and I wanted that sandwich. SO, I saved myself a couple bucks and bought up some deli meat and a loaf of bread and made it AT HOME. The flavors were so beautiful together. Black Forest Ham, Smoked Gouda and... APPLE BUTTER! Who knew putting apple butter on your sandwich could elevate that simple pairing of meat, cheese and bread to the level of PURE BLISS? Well, I am a fan and hope to eat that one again... and again... and again. AND did you know that you do not need a fancy schmancy panini press to make these? I don't have one. I used my tea kettle and a piece of foil to press my sandwich! Improvise!!

Here are the recipes!

Savory Sweet Potato Soup
makes 2 quarts

The original has a few extra steps and uses heavy cream, but I have adapted it a bit and find that it is just as creamy and delicious my way.

1/2 stick butter
2-3 onions, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed (small enough to fit on your spoon)
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in large pot and add onions. Sauted until softened & translucent- about 5 minutes.
2. Add the broth and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes.
3. Add the russett potatoes. Cook for another 10 minutes- you want them tender. (sometimes I scoop out the sweets and add them back in after the russetts have cooked. Not quite sure why you don't add them ALL at the same time...)
4. At this point, I add the seasonings- cumin, parsely and S&P. Then I scoop out some of the potatoes and puree the rest. I don't like it ALL pureed. I like some potatoes in my soup. You could just leave it as is- no pureeing OR do as I do and puree some and leave some potatoes whole OR puree the whole pot of soup. Make it yours.
5. Cook over low heat until warmed through. Serve.

Here's a link to the original with a few extra recipes included.

Smoked Apple Panini
(instructions for one panini)

Couple slices Black Forest Ham
Slice or two of Smoked Gouda cheese
2 slices bread of your choice
Apple (or in my case, Pear) Butter

Slather the outside of both slices of bread with butter and preheat your griddle.
Place one piece of bread, butter side down on griddle.
Lay your slice of gouda on that piece - I halve my cheese to make it fit the bread I had.
Lay your ham on top of the cheese.
Spread the inside of your other piece of bread with the apple/pear butter. Lay that on top of the ham, with the apple butter side touching the HAM.

Place a piece of foil over your sandwich and top it with something heavy.... like a filled tea kettle!
Cook for a few minutes and check to see how toasty the first side of bread is getting. If ready to flip... then flip and repeat.

Serve hot with a nice bowl of soup!

ps. Come back soon, b/c I have the CUTEST mini caramel apples to show you! You're gonna cry when you see how cute they are!!!!