Saturday, November 29, 2014

Meyer Lemon Curd

Throughout the year I get plenty of requests for lemon curd. This luscious, buttery, lemony spread is most tasty when made with Meyer lemons. Meyer lemons are a hybrid lemon that is more sweet and less acidic than regular lemons. They can a little difficult to locate depending on where you live.  If you can't find Meyer lemons where you live you could use regular lemons or you might use regular lemons with a mix of Manderin orange. Use a 3/1 ratio of lemon to Manderin to achieve a sweeter Meyer lemon like flavor.

Here is the recipe I use for making lemon curd. This is the recipe I learned from my Grandma S.


Zest of 3 Meyer lemons
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
2 large eggs seperated
1/2 cup butter
 3/4 cup sugar

In a large heavy bottom pan, melt the butter on very low heat until almost melted. Remove from the heat and cool. Meanwhile mix the egg whites with the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside. Mix the yolks with the cooled melted butter. Now add the sugar, lemon and egg white mixture and stir to mix. Return to medium low heat and cook stiring frequently with a silicone spatula , to prevent scortching until mixture leaves a thin coat on the spatula. Remove from heat and transfer to a canning jar or other heat safe container. Cool completely before storing. The lemon curd can be stored safely in the refridgerator for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy your lemon curd with English muffins, bisquits, Ritz crackers. The possibilities are numerous.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Traditions

What's the best way to wake your famiy on Thanksgiving? 
With the smell of tamales floating through the house of course. ☺ It works everytime.

It's kind of a SolĂ­s Family tradition to have tamales on Thanksgiving/Christmas morning.
I made just a small batch today. Only five pounds
of masa and a pork roast. Almost filled up the tamale pot. 

It's amazing how fast my family can polish off almost a whole tamale steamer of tamales. Yeah, 
we love us some tamales y'all.   Now to make room for some turkey and all the trimmings!
 Happy Thanksgiving y'all!!!

 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. For His mercy endures forever.
 Psalm 118:1

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Soup's On!

The boy can cook y'all. My baby boy is a pretty good cook in his own right. One of the things he can make really well is a vegetable beef soup. Everytime he is home he makes it and we get to enjoy it as a family. His soup has all the usual ingredients you would expect and then some. He likes to add pieces of corn on the cob, zucchini, chayote, potatoes, onions, garlic, cabbage, and of course a few beef bones and the beef. It's certainly packed with loads of good flavor and nutrition. He doesn't have a given recipe, he just throws it all into the pot and lets it simmer till everything is just right.

Soup's on.

My baby boy.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

This is just a test...

Finally learning how to add a pinterest button to the blog. A major accomplishment. Well, at least for me it was.

Glazed Buttermilk Doughnuts

Now that I have your attention let me tell you that these beauties are baked, not fried. Yes, you heard right. These lovelies are BAKED. They are a healthier, not swimming in fat option to the  buttermilk doughnuts from your favorite doughnut shop.

If you want my opinion, and come on now you know you do. I will tell that you really should try these.

Because they are a healthier choice, they are super good, super easy to make, and did I mention that they are YUMMY?

You don't have a doughnut pan?
You can pick one up at Michael's.

If you hurry you can make it back in time for a late breakfast. Oh, and if you take your 50% off coupon you can pick one up for about $5.00 if you go before the end of today because that is when the coupon expires . Now that is a sweet deal. So go out and get your doughnut pan. Then try these baked buttermilk doughnuts.  You'll be glad you did.~
If you don't use buttermilk very often you don't need to make a special trip to the grocery store. Simply substitute regular milk with a tablespoon of white vinegar.

 Baked Buttermilk Doughnuts
 1/3 cup buttermilk
 3 tblsp. unsalted butter, melted
 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour, unbleached
 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
 1 tsp. baking powder
 1/4 tsp. salt
 1/8 nutmeg
 1/4 cup sugar
 2 tbls. clover honey
 1 large egg
 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste.

 1 tblsp. milk
 1/4 tsp. vanila bean paste
 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted

Preheat your oven to 350°
Whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, nutmeg. Mix the cooled butter with the sugar, honey, egg and vanilla bean paste.  Mix the wet and dry ingrediants together until they are just mixed. Resist the urge to over mix as this will cause you to have a dense, heavy doughnut. Use a piping bag or just a plain old ziplock bag to pipe the doughnuts into your greased pan. Bake the doughnuts for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for one minute in the pan before removing the doughnuts to a wire rack to cool completely. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the glaze.  Dip doughnuts in the glaze to coat. Remove with a fork and place on cooling rack to allow excess glaze to drip off.

*Double the glaze recipe if you want to coat both sides.

This is my version of the baked buttermilk doughnuts from Fauxmartha.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November Improv Cooking Challenge: Boiled Cider Caramels

For this month's Improv Cooking Challenge  we were given apples and cinnamon as the ingredients.   I tried several different things before deciding on Salted Boiled Cider Caramels. Just the thought of apple cider and caramel made my mouth water. But together, I could just imagine the caramel, apple, cinnamon explosion waiting to happen in my mouth.

For these caramels to have the intense flavor that they do you really should use boiled cider. You could use just plain old cider, but the apple flavor won't be as intense. The boiled cider is expensive to purchase, but it only costs about $3.00 to make. So being the frugal gal that I am I set out to make my own. Seriously it could not be any easier. Let me show you just how easy it is.

 Making Boiled Cider is as easy as...
 1.Put the cider in Dutch oven.

 2. Let it come to a full boil on high heat.

3. Lower to medium low and let it simmer for 
about 4-5 hours.

4. Stir occasionally, watch a movie, clean house,
 until you get to this point. Now you have made
boiled cider.  AKA Liquid Gold. Seriously this 
stuff just that good. It can be used in so many 
ways. But now I am going to turn it into some
delicious Salted Boiled cider Caramels.

One half gallon of apple cider=1 cup of boiled cider

Let's make caramels.
Add the boiled cider, cream, butter, sugar and 
corn syrup to a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Stir 
till everything is incorporated and the butter 
has melted and sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil.
Reduce to medium-high heat.  Cook for 20-30
minutes or until the thermometer reads 248˚

Now it's time to add the salt and spices. Stir to 
incorporate. Now pour it into your prepared pan.
Don't forget to sprinkle on the sea salt. Now comes 
the hard part. You have to let the caramels sit in 
the pan for 12-18 hours before you can cut them 
up into 1" squares and enjoy them.

My big pizza slicer was very helpful in cutting
the caramel into squares.

Let's enjoy some Boiled Cider Caramels.

Boiled Cider Caramels~~~

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
6 tbls. butter
1/2 cup boiled cider
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
sea salt

This recipe will make about 64 - 1" squares. 

Check out some other great Apple and Cinnamon recipes!!!!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Flavors of Fall

Nothings says fall like pumpkin bread. All spicy and pumpkiny. Shoot, is that even a word? Oh well, even if it isn't,  the smell of warm pumpkin bread wafting through the house is one of the best things during the fall season. Oh, and it is an excellent way to wake everyone up for Saturday morning breakfast.
Here is a simple pumpkin bread recipe that I think you might like. So simple you don't even have to get out your mixer.

Pumpkin Bread

1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1-3/4 cups sugar
2/3 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2/3 cup oil
4 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 baking powder
1/8 cloves
1/2 raisins
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 2 small bread loaf pans; set aside. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs; mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients, mix well. Lastly add the raisins.  Pour this batter into your greased bread loaf pan. Bake for 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the loaves on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove the loaves from the pans and enjoy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

One thing I have never to good at is making pie crust. You know the kind, the flaky melt in your mouth kind like your mama or grandma made. I have always made excuses for not sticking to it and perfecting that perfectly delectable crust. Oh, sure I made a million and 1 excuses. I mean the Pillsbury ready pie dough is so simple right. I can save time, etc., etc.

Well, enough is enough. Time to put my apron on, get the rolling pin out and get to it. My first serious try was tonight. Made the pie dough for a yummy pecan pie.

I will say it wasn't too bad for very serious first try, but there is still lots of room for improvement.

Stay tuned for the next adventure on my journey to pie dough perfection.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fabulous Food Finds

It's not everyday, well at least not where I live, that I can just go to the grocer and pick up some red walnuts. They are a bit expensive at $5.99 for six ounces, but they are delicious and worth every penny for a special treat. Now to decide what I am going to make with them. I better be quick or they might disappear. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

In search of the perfect Mac & Cheese

I've eaten plenty of mac & cheese over the years. It is one of my ultimate comfort foods. I mean it has CHEESE. Lots of CHEESE!
What's not to love about cheese?
It can be eaten any time of day and a slice of melted cheddar is quite wonderful and adds a delightfulness to a slice of apple pie. Yes, I did say apple pie. If you haven't tried it I highly recommend it. 

But, I am talking mac & cheese here. I am in search of the perfect mac & cheese. The Mac & Cheese daddy of all mac & cheese. 

Last night I made a modified version of Ina Garten's recipe that uses Gruyere and sharp cheddar. Modified because I left out the tomatoes and the bread crumbs.  The recipe was easy to follow and prepare. I wasn't sure how my family would like the Gruyere cheese or the addition of nutmeg, but surprisingly they enjoyed it and so did I.

Dinner is served!

Did I stumble on to the perfect mac & cheese??? Well, I have got a few other recipes to try so I can't say for sure until I have tried them all. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


St. Agur Double Cream Blue Cheese. Could  there possibly be a more scrumptious cheese in the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD??? 

I think not. But then again, even though I've tasted like almost every cheese under the sun I  know there are so many I haven't  tried yet. 

Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE cheese?

Mmm....what's your favorite cheese?

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Your Home Town Grocer"

I was going through some old recipe cards of my mom's and came across a few a these recipe cards from A. J Bayless.  Anyone young enough to remember this grocer? Brings back memories of S&H Green Stamps. The fun of placing them into the booklets and then going shopping with mom when the booklets where full.  I also remember that this grocer had chinaware that you could save up for with your purchases too.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dear Jimmy Dean

Dear Jimmy Dean,

Where is all the Maple Sausage?  I have been to four supermarkets and one mini-mart, just on the off chance, and there is NO, I repeat,  NO maple sausage to be found anywhere. And get this, at one supermarket a stock person looked at me and asked,  "Are maple and sausage even supposed to go together?" *sigh* Clearly he was a clueless soul.

Needless to say, breakfast is on hold and I am not sure just what to do. A world without maple sausage  would be a sad, sad world indeed. Just sayin.


A Very Concerned Costumer