Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday of Rememberance

I know it's Tuesday? I posted on my Tumblr...but yea I wanted to post my Chocolate Monday thought today in retrospect to a Monday of Rememberance! Everyones lifes isn't always picturesque/ ideal..holidays have a way of putting the spotlight on "reality." If you know what I mean. 
What helped make your Memorial  Monday comforting? Did you take a stroll hand in hand with someone you love, or gather all the fixins you could to welcome family you haven't seen in ...yrs?   What was the highlight that you gleaned to begin or continue to heal and honor your love one (s), who've touched your life while making the country safer for all of us! I hope you can hold on to that good in the days ahead. I personally reflect on many things...mostly what is good in my life. The little nuisances seem so trivial compared to all the sacrifices made to be able to enjoy something as sweet at a meal for two, dessert, peace and quiet if only minutes at a time! Most importantly a stay of safety in the midst of a often times kaotic world! So thank you to all I know and hold dear for all you've done in my life and to all I will never know personally,  who've made those liberties possible! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Luving, Living in the Fast lane?

Howdy! I have been having such a good week! Finding ways to sneak in more quality time with my sons and daughters. My seventeen year old and I are finding a median( my son reminded me of the math term) A grounding has turned into an opportunity to learn more about each others bounderies...oh yea! My eighteen year old is handling not having his phone for a week, better. My fourteen year old is doing better keeping in touch and letting me know his plans ahead of time. Me I've taken myself to Central park for an hour and Bedfords East River Doc!
Monday Started off good then there was That ruff patch with the N, Q AND 7 come to a complete stop, on account of a electric or "technical" problem. Me..scrambling in my head and calling all resources to figure out the quickest way to get from Manhattan to Queens in a NY min. The E...F? I ended up taking the E to Queens Plaza and walked over to 21st and 41st to get the 100...ooops contraction on 21st No biggy I was miraculously 5 min. Later than usual!  Once I arrived at son's school...he offered me a melted hershey kiss that been partially eaten, waiting for me he got ancious? I knew then everything was A. O. K.!  Its Chocolate Monday! It's not always what you know but who you know...The aid at the front desk was on the ready being alerted of my train woes...held on to my son and made sure he'd remembered to get his metro card too!
I have to say living in NYC will challenge your adaptabilty. It's as if, something here says well done on the last 20 challenges yesterday...you've graduated on to the next phase...Let's go!
Another parent I know put it poetically "NY is for living outside...there is always somewhere to go or something to do!" You can't just lay about and relax for extended periods of time because this City is like a very energetic child who only goes to sleep to awake with new ideas and experiences to try...pulling and tugging at your psychy! That's at why most people leave the city...There's even a vacation Campaign " Get Out of The City" to fill you or let you release that tention that builds from always pounding the concrete jungles terrain And bumping and grindIng with swarms and drones of people virtually everywhere.
At any rate hope all is well where you call home...Chocolate makes me check in and take in the best of what is good and perfect about my life... the fact that i have 8 kinda troublesome but still wonderful children and a husband that I've doted on and puts up with a lot of my maddness! well thats as perfect as anything for my mind! What
about you?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Brown Sugar Muffins


oh, Hello there! What did you do this Monday or this week to make your life or the lives around you sweeter? I got to hold the warm hand that is always waiting for mine...twice!
Speaking of warm...so glad we are getting warmer weather. I know I appreciate it more after a brutal winter. This recipe is one of my favorite all year round comfort recipes.
About 15 or more yrs. ago I used to watch Julia Child's religiously on PBS. This recipe was taken and modified from The cooking with Julia Segments. It was shared by Marion Cunningham as Buttermilk Crumb Muffins. I renamed them Brown Sugar Muffins, because I was so amazed the muffins were so delicious with just brown sugar and I didn't alw@ys remember the crumb topping and they were just as good without it.
Recently my son asked mom can we make them with chocolate chips? Music to a chocolate lovers ears, right? They turned out wonderful and taste as good as their chocolaty aroma suggested! bakers demo

BROWN SUGAR MUFFINS
Ingredients:
3 cups flour
2  cups fresh brown sugar
2/3 cups shortening
2 tsp. Double action baking powder
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg (optional)
1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves (optional)
1 cup butter milk
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla

How to make:
1. Mix flour, brown sugar, and shortening in a large bowl. Crumbling in the shortening with your finger or a pastry knife.
2. Spoon in the Baking soda and powder, salt and all the spices if you want to use any,  into this flour mixture and blend it well.
3. final Step before filling greased muffin tins or baking cups. Mix in wet ingredients to your dry mixture milk, eggs, and vanilla.

4.Add Drizzle tsp. Of chocolate chips on top each muffin. Bake at 350° for 20-25 min. Depending on your oven.  Toothpick test should come out clean. Unless your greedy, greedy wait until these cool a few.mins...yum!
p. s. Marion & Julia making Buttermilk muffins.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Vanilla Cookies

Vanilla cookies? These cookies remind me of the box vanilla cookies used for banana puddin. I found this gem in "Enjoy Magazine." The recipe is so simple... a few ingredients...my favorite! Most cookies have the same prepping  process..mix the dry ingredients in a bowl then ..the wet ingredients in another bowl...combine. 

Odds and ends you'll need;
  • wax paper, parchment or thin cutting board
  • small flat Bottom cup
  • Hand or stand mixer
  • Half cookie sheet
  • heart shaped cookie cutter
  • off set spatula (to pick up cut cookies and place on cookie sheet)

Ingredients;

1 3/4 c. All purpose flour
3/4 c. Unsalted butter
1/2 egg or 24g
1 Tbsp. Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla

1. BEAT: Butter and sugar until light and fluffy! Add the egg, milk and vanilla mix well
2. Gradually add flour to mixture until combined.

3. Take a 1/2 tsp. of the dough and roll it into a ball and place it on a parchment or wax paper, then press down on the ball with the bottom of a cup to flatten. Do thiss with the rest of the dough. Bake at 325° for 10 min. Or until th edoes are light brown.

Note* cookies bake up fast, so watch them because each Oven is different.
Get a timer especially if you are a sidetracked home executive like me.
refrigerate dough to roll or press out to cut them with a cookie cutter.
Last but not least if you want you can bake these a little darker.
Strawberry Butter Cream filling with Ganache 



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Great Cookie

Throwback from the Great Cookie...cut to the shape you want*
Chocolate chip: part butter/ part shortening
At Chocolate Mondays we are cookie enthusiasts and one of our favorite is chocolate chip! My twelve yr. old son created these little gems one aftetnoon on Thanksgiving break.  One of the little nuances that makes my treats special is we use our own brown sugar. I can't recall the last time I brought brown sugar.  I make it with molasses and granulated sugar. 
Molasses recipe ingredients:
2 c. Granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. MolassesTools:
large bowl
hands or whisk, or mixerTo make:
Pour the sugar in the bowl and create a well in the middle of the sugar. Then pour the molasses into the well of sugar. Fold sugar over molasses with your hands and begin to combine them in a squishy squeeze motion. As you mix some of the molasses will form little clumps mash them out with the base of your palm or combined with your fingers, to create a uniform look of brown sugar. When you don't have any white sugar look at the brown sugar to see if it is the color you want...for darker brown mix in a Tablespoon more at a time until you have the color you want. As the sugar sets it will become darker.

Trouble shooting: 
Drippy/ too moist sugar ...add more granulated sugar 1/4 c. at a time.
Hard clump...begin with no clumps in your granulated sugar...otherwise a potato masher and vigorous mashing!
Hard brown sugar...those days are gone...but if for some reason it does occur consider your storage container. I use a plastic container with a tight lid. 

ENJOY the money you will save, as well as the taste and satisfaction  of  DIY brown sugar!

*I want to make the Great Cookie again and use my 7 or 8 inch. cake pan and press out a cookie that looks like what CookieMonster would have gobbled. I'm thinking the possibilities for make shift cookie cutters are endless. I'd like to know what other bakers use...freehand with an exacto knife...maybe?