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Filtering by Tag: recipe

Goat Cheese, Watermelon, & Herbs

Ben Ashby

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This snack really is overly simple. So simple that I struggled with the idea of even writing the recipe, but it needed to be written. This recipe is a perfect summer or fall treat. The sweetness of the melon paired with the sharp tang of the goat's milk cheese is a real delight. We kept it simple with our recipe, but a splash of sea salt and balsamic really adds even more flavor to the dish.

 

  • Watermelon, cubed into bite size wedges

  • Block of goat's milk cheese

  • Herbs for garnish, we used min, basil, and rosemary

  • Ground black pepper

We allowed everyone to assemble their own, but you can easily prepare this ahead of time and create delightful little stacks.

 

 

 

Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie

Ben Ashby

This pie is perfect for any season, but it is especially perfect for spring...during the time you want pie, but before fresh fruit comes into season. This old fashioned chocolate pie is super simple to make and will always be a hit.

We find it especially delightful to serve at a family function, a revival meetin' or an after funeral fellowship supper. Its the perfect combination of sweet chocolate goodness and festive wholesome bless your heart hospitality. 

 

Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie

 

Danish Pie Crust (yields two crusts)

  • 2 1/2 C Self-Rising Flour

  • 1 C Crisco

  • 1 T Sugar

  • 1/2 C Milk

  • 1 Egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix well. Roll flat, and work into pie pan. Prick bottom, then bake until golden brown. Reduce oven to 350 degrees.

 

Chocolate Filling

  • 1 C Sugar

  • 3 T Baking Cocoa

  • 4 T Cornstarch

  • 2 T Margarine

  • 2 Egg Yolks

  • 3/4 C Milk

  • 1/4 C Water

  • 1 t Vanilla

 

Combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, egg yolks, cream, and water in a medium saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook over medium to medium high heat. Remove from heat when thickened and stir in margarine and vanilla. Pour into baked pie crust and top with meringue. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes, until lightly browned.

 

Photographed with a Canon 5D IV

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Candied Violets

Ben Ashby

Candied violets are perfect for spring. They are perfect for cake toppers, fruit salads, or beautiful garnish when creating a platescape. They also couldn't be more simple to create and to master.

Simply take clean, organic, violet blooms. Place on a flat surface. Make sure they are dry. In a bowl mix together one egg white and two tablespoons of fine white sugar. With a small brush. I use a paint brush. Paint the egg white and sugar mixture very carefully on each bloom. Allow to air dry for several hours. Then you're ready to decorate cakes, plates, and more with these beautiful sweet petite moments. 

Shamrock Peppermint Creams

Ben Ashby

Shamrock Peppermint Creams

BY: RIKKI SNYDER

To be perfectly honest, I’m probably only about 3% Irish, but as a little kid I always got strangely excited for St. Patrick’s Day. In grade school we would go outside for recess and come back in to find the items in our desks were all messed up and rearranged and the teachers told us it was from the pesky leprechauns. To this day, I still don’t know why, but I thought that was the coolest thing ever.  

Many years later and I still find myself getting excited for March 17th to roll around. Seeing all the green of this holiday makes me feel like spring is right within my reach! It’ll be here before we know it and for that I’m celebrating with these bright green shamrock peppermint creams!

If you’re wondering what a peppermint cream is think of it as a slightly larger after dinner mint. That’s what it reminds me of. If you can’t find a miniature shamrock cookie cutter a bigger one will work just as well. And if you’re a chocolate lover like me, dip your mints in some melted chocolate and sprinkle with some St. Patty’s sprinkles!

Shamrock Peppermint Creams

1 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

4-6 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Green food coloring paste

A mini shamrock-shaped cutter

Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl. Gradually add the condensed milk and peppermint, mixing with a wooden spoon. The mixture should come together like a dough and you may need to use your hands towards the end of mixing. To knead the dough, sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on a clean work surface. Shape the dough into a ball and push on it and press it onto the work surface, turning it round often. Do this for just a minute of so until smooth. Divide the dough in half and tint one half green using food coloring. Knead the dough again until it is evenly green. On the work surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch using a rolling pin. Stamp out shamrocks with your cookie cutter and arrange them on a sheet of baking parchment. Let dry out overnight. Dip in melted chocolate and cover with sprinkles if desired. 

Easy Banana Pudding

Ben Ashby

This one is an absolute favorite and classic. Super easy to maker and so darn cute in these sweet canning jars. 

Easy Banana Pudding

  • 2 5 ounce packages of instant vanilla pudding mix

  • 4 cups of very cold milk

  • 4 ripe bananas

  • 1 box vanilla waffers

  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream

  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 powdered sugar

Mix pudding mix and milk as instructed on box. Set aside. Slice bananas. Beat heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until whipped cream is desired thickness. 

Starting with waffers, cut or break as necessary to fit into jar, create layers. Alternate between the waffers, the pudding, the sliced bananas, and the whipped cream until jars are full. Finish with a a spot of whipped cream and a banana slice tucked into the top. Garnish with fresh mint if desired. 

 

Use lids of jars for the perfect beach or picnic treat. Keep cold until serving.  

The Art to Scone Making

Ben Ashby

THE ART OF SCONE MAKING


By: Debbie Anderson || The Scone Lady

Photography: Kimberly Taylor

 

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Walk into a tearoom in the UK and order a scone, and you will be given three options —plain, sultana (with golden raisins), or cheese.  Google “scones” here in the US, and you will find that the flavor options are limitless.  There are recipes for everything from the traditional plain (or cream) scone to a wide and creative variety including blueberry, cranberry, pumpkin, gingerbread and countless other flavors and combinations.  We Americans have taken the traditional British teatime treat and added our own unique twists and creativity to that simple little quick bread.

When I first started baking scones, I began by working my way through a book of scone recipes.  Each recipe was specific to a particular flavor of scone and seemed to require significantly different ingredients than the previous recipe.  It actually became fairly annoying to have to go on a search through the pantry to find out if I had all the ingredients needed to bake a particular flavor of scone.  Many, many of those early scone-baking sessions resulted in the neighborhood birds and squirrels enjoying a scone feast—for countless recipes resulted in dry and tasteless scones.  

 

 

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As I became more adept at scone baking, I began to understand that the secret to flavor variety was not going to be found in a cookbook of 100 different scone recipes.  Rather, the key was to find a good base (plain) scone recipe (or scone mix) and then learn how to adapt that scone into a multitude of flavors.  If the plain scone wasn’t good—then no amount of additions and toppings were going to improve its flavor.  

And so the quest began. I finally found a scone recipe which met all of my criteria for the perfect scone, and over time I learned how to change it to create distinctly different flavors.  Sometimes that adaptation was born of necessity—I can’t tell you how often I stood in front of the pantry frustrated that I was out of sugar—or chocolate chips—but I had brown sugar on hand, or canned pumpkin—and suddenly a new flavor was born.  It does help, I learned, to have completely honest and captive guinea pigs—in my case, my then-teenage children and their friends, who were always in and out of the house and more than willing to sample a new scone flavor. 

I have learned a few things over the years—and made a lot of mistakes as well.  I was convinced that there was no mistake anyone could make that I haven’t already made—until one of my customers (a Bed and Breakfast owner) confessed that she set her oven on fire one morning while baking strawberry scones (and sent her husband down the street for an emergency bakery run!).  

 

 

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Creating a different flavor of scone is really pretty simple—as long as you follow a few basic principles of baking.

Keep the total volume of liquid the same as what is called for by the recipe or mix directions For example—suppose you want to make a pumpkin flavor scone, and plan to add some pumpkin puree to the scone recipe.  The puree behaves like a liquid—so you will need to cut back on the liquid called for in the recipe, and replace that liquid with pumpkin puree.  If the recipe calls for 1C liquid, and you want to add 1/2C pumpkin puree, then spoon the ½ C of puree into your measuring cup and then bring the total volume up to 1C with the liquid called for in your recipe (usually cream/buttermilk/milk).  Stir to blend completely, and use when directed in the recipe.

Do not change the total amount of dry ingredients called for by the recipe.  Let’s way that your recipe uses 2C flour, and you want to add oats to the dough.  To do that, you will need to cut back the flour by the same WEIGHT as the oats that you add.  Dry ingredients are most accurately measured by weight, not by volume.  (an easy rule of thumb here—3C of flour weighs 1 pound).

Different ingredients get added at different stages in the scone making process.  You have three basic stages of scone making—measuring the dry ingredients into the bowl—cutting in the butter, and then blending in the liquids to create your dough.  In general, dried spices get added to the flour mix, before cutting in the butter.  Nuts and dried fruits can be added after the butter is cut in, but before the liquid is added.  Fresh or frozen fruits are best folded into the dough gently after the dough is made, but before you cut the scones (see side bar for specifics).  I learned this one the hard way—I was making blueberry scones for the first time, and put the berries into the bowl after the butter was cut in—then tried stirring in the buttermilk.  Immediately the berries began to crush and spread blue juice and goo throughout the dough.  That batch of scones has been immortalized in our family history as the day mom created Smurf scones!

 

 

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Some of the easiest ways to change the scone flavor include:

Swapping brown sugar or a combination of white and brown sugar for the granulated sugar usually indicated in the recipe. 

Adding dried fruits or nuts to the dough.  Classic is always a winner.  If you want to kick the results up a notch, toast the nuts before adding them to the flour and butter mixture.  It not only intensifies the flavor but it helps maintain the texture and crunch during the baking process.  

Enhance the flavor with spices, extracts, or citrus zests.  Spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg are natural add-ins, depending upon the flavor you are trying to produce.  Citrus zests will also flavor the dough, as well as enhance the flavor of many different fruits you might be choosing to add (think blueberry lemon or cranberry orange).  Dry spices can be added before the butter is cut in; zest should be added after cutting in the butter, but before adding the liquid.  If you are adding extracts, stir the extract into the liquid ingredients before adding them to the bowl.

Add fresh or frozen fruits to the dough.  If you are using frozen fruit, do NOT thaw the fruit before adding it to the dough.   In general, soft fruits and berries are best added gently by hand once the dough is completely formed, but before you cut the scones.  Roasted apples are an exception and can be added to the butter/flour mixture, before the liquid is added.  

Fruit or vegetable purees can be substituted for much of the liquid ingredients.  Remember to keep the total volume of liquid equal to the amount of liquid called for in the recipe—otherwise you will end up with a very soupy dough.  Substituting purees for some of the liquid ingredients works particularly well in recipes that call for cold butter to be cut into the flour mixture, and then a liquid such as buttermilk, milk, or cream to be added. I would be cautious about this substitution when there is no butter in your ingredient list.  In this case, the recipe likely calls for heavy cream, and the cream is then the sole source of fat for the baked scone.

 

 

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During the holiday season, I like to take my plain scones and dress them up with holiday flavors.  My current favorites include Cranberry Gorgonzola , Apple Ginger, and of course Pumpkin Spice.

 

Pumpkin Spice Scones—Using your favorite plain base scone recipe (see below if you are still searching for the perfect scone recipe) or mix, make the following additions/substitutions:

  1. Add 1T pumpkin pie spice to the dry ingredients, and stir to distribute evenly
  2. Cut in butter as directed
  3. Substitute half to 2/3 of the total liquid called for in the recipe with pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling!).  Blend the puree into the milk/cream/buttermilk, and then follow the recipe as directed to create your dough.
  4. Pat out to a thickness of ¾-1”, cut into desired shape.  Bake immediately or freeze dough for baking later.

* The baking time might be extended by a few minutes, since the pumpkin puree adds to the density of the dough.

Cranberry Gorgonzola Scones —These scones smell absolutely wonderful in the oven, and are a perfect addition to a lunch or supper of soup and salad.  Again, start with your favorite base recipe or mix.  

  1. Once the butter has been cut in, add 4-5 oz (a small container from the grocery store) crumbled gorgonzola cheese.  
  2. Add milk/cream/buttermilk as directed and form your dough.  
  3. Pat out the dough on a floured surface and add a generous handful of fresh or frozen cranberries to the top of the dough.  
  4. Fold the dough over onto itself 2-3 times (again, do not overwork or knead) and re-pat the dough to the desired thickness (I recommend ¾-1” thick). 
  5. Cut into desired shapes and bake immediately or freeze dough to bake later.

 

 

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Apple Ginger Scones—these are a little trickier to create, but are well worth the effort. 

You will need: 

  1. 1C roasted apple chunks (peel, core and dice 2-3 baking apples.  Place on cookie sheet and bake at 375 until fork tender—15-20 minutes).  Cool completely before using.)
  2. 1T Powdered Ginger
  3. 1/2C unsweetened applesauce
  4. Molasses (2T or so)
  5. 1/2t cinnamon
  6. 1/2t allspice
  7. Brown Sugar

(When I make these, I actually usually start with our (Victorian House Scones) Gingerbread Scone Mix.) 

If you are starting with a plain base recipe

  1. Substitute brown sugar for the white sugar.  
  2. Add 1 heaping T of powdered ginger, 1/2t cinnamon, and 1/2t allspice to the flour and other dry ingredients.  Stir to distribute spices evenly.
  3. Cut in the butter as directed by the recipe.  Add the cooled roasted apples to the mix and stir to distribute throughout the mixture.
  4. Blend together 2T molasses and 1/2C unsweetened applesauce, then bring up to 1C (or total volume) called for in the recipe.  Stir into the flour/apple/butter mixture to form the dough.  (if less total liquid is called for in the recipe, reduce the molasses and applesauce proportionately).

Turn out onto a floured board, pat to desired thickness, and cut into desired size and shape.  Bake immediately or freeze the dough to bake later.

 

 

 

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Scone Making Basics Sidebar

Use cold (or even frozen) butter when making scones.  A very easy way to cut in icy cold butter is to first grate it with a cheese grater.  Wrap it lightly and freeze for 15-20 minutes (while you assemble the rest of the ingredients).  When you are ready to use the butter, drop it into the bowl, and cut it in with a pastry cutter, or mixer or food processor.  It will go in very quickly, and leave perfect little nubbins of butter scattered throughout the mixture.

 

Handle the dough very minimally.  The less the dough is handled and kneaded, the lighter it will be.  I once saw a demonstration where the woman was incorporating the liquid into the butter/flour mixture with her hands—or rather, with just ONE hand.  When asked why, her comment was that this way she would have scones, not STONES.  Using both hands together would result in the dough being kneaded and overworked thus yielding tough and dry scones.

 

To add fresh or frozen fruit to the dough, pat the dough into a circle as if you were getting ready to cut your scones.  Put a generous handful of fruit such as blueberries on top of the dough.  Gently fold the dough over the fruit 2-3 times, and then gently re-form the circle.  This process will work the berries into the center of the dough.  Take care not to overwork or knead the dough.  Reform the circle and cut the scones into desired shape.  

 

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Links to some basic scone recipes or mixes

www.elmwoodinn.com/recipes/elmwood_scones.html  (offered with permission of Bruce and Shelly Richardson of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas)

www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/scones-recipe

(Each of the above recipes call for eggs.  Not all scone recipes need eggs—our mix uses no eggs, and buttermilk rather than heavy cream or half and half.)  Ultimately your favorite scone recipe or mix is going to be what you believe tastes the best!


Slow Cooker Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Ben Ashby

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If you're anything like me you have an irrational fear of burning chocolate. I found a solution for this by melting chocolate in a slow cooker. Basically you're creating a double boiler, but one that will melt your chocolate and allow you to work at your own pace. This winter I've been creating several treats with melted chocolate. Below is my way of melting chocolate in a slow cooker.

 

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

This technique works for any kind of treat you'd like to create using melted chocolate. 

Fill your slow cooker, I use a Kenmore 5 Quart Slow Cooker, with several inches of water. You will want it to go about 2/3's up the side of your bowl you'll use for melting. Turn your slow cooker to low or high, depending on how long you have to create your treats. 

Place your chocolate chips, chunks of bark melts, or whatever sort of chocolate you will be melting into a microwave safe bowl. Place the bowl into the water, making sure not to get any water inside  the bowl. Water in the bowl will cause the chocolate to be grainy. 

Allow your chocolate to slowly melt, uncovered. Stir on occasion to ensure even melting. 

Once the chocolate is fully melted dip your pretzels into the chocolate. Place on waxed paper to cool. If you'd like to sprinkle with sprinkles, do so while the chocolate is still hot. If you're in a hurry place in fridge or freezer to speed up the cooling and setting process. 

I found that one regular size bag of chocolate chips will cover around 40-50 pretzels. 

 

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Images created with Canon 5D Mark IV | Slow Cooker by Kenmore

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Homemade Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Ben Ashby

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I think I have had PSL overload after the past three years of everything being pumpkin spiced. This year I have been all about the apple and the apple cider. From apple cider cakes, to apple pies, to apple butter...I have been baking at least two or three dishes a week with apples in them. I recently partnered with Kenmore to try out their 5 Quart Slow Cooker. I developed a super easy Slow Cooker Apple Butter recipe for their newly redesigned blog

 

 

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So, after you head inside from a picture perfect trip to the orchard to load up your pantry with enough apples to survive the winter, head over to Kenmore’s website  and give my recipe a try. Don’t worry, it only takes six apples, that you don’t even have to peal....and store bought apples will do.

 

MAKE IT NOW

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Apple Cider Spiced Cake

Ben Ashby

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We're going to go ahead and declare this the official dessert of fall 2017. It couldn't be easier to make, and it couldn't be any more delicious. The addition of the apple cider gives it a fresh crisp taste that you'd never expect in a spice cake. Our icing continues the apple cider theme, and is truly a dessert all to its own. We aren't even going to pretend like this cake is healthy, but it is worth every bite.

 

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Apple Cider Spiced Cake

 

  • 1 Box Spice Cake Mix
  • Apple Cider
  • Butter (melted)
  • Eggs
  • Brown sugar

This cake couldn't be easier, you're basically just grabbing yourself a spiced cake mix from the local grocery, market, or store. Any brand will work. I use Betty Crocker because its the easiest to reach on the Walmart shelf. Once you've gathered your ingredients, pay for them, and taken them all home. 

Follow the instructions on the back of the box, but substitute your water for apple cider. If you can't find apple cider, you can use apple juice, but I really don't like the idea of using it. Substitute the oil for melted butter, and add however many eggs the box tells you too. 

I bake mine in a bundt pan simply because it is my favorite pan. You can absolutely use a loaf pan or a baking dish. The key to making it amazing is absolutely covering your pan in cooking spray. After its well lubricated add a handful of brown sugar. This will give your cake a delicious crunch. Add however much you'd like.

Bake the cake according to the instructions on the box. Use a tooth pick to see if the cake is done. If it comes out clean the cake is fully baked. If it is still wet, keep baking. Remove and cool. If baking in a bundt pan, remove from the pan a few minutes after taking out of the over.

 


 

Apple Cider Whipped Creme Icing

This is the very basic form of the recipe. We also have a more complex creamed cheese apple cider whipped creme. 

  • One cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch

Mix all ingredients with a mixer on high. Gradually add the powdered sugar to avoid a mess. Whip until stiff enough to spread. Drizzle on cake. Chill and eat left overs while watch fall episodes of Gilmore Girls. 

 

 

Savory Herb Biscuits

Ben Ashby

And what would go better with this soup than a warm biscuit smothered in butter and dried basil? They're quick and easy too. Pop them right in the oven just before the soup is done and you have the perfect bread for dipping.

 

Savory Herb Biscuits

BY: RIKKI SNYDER

 

2 cups biscuit mix

1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

2/3 cup milk

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon basil, dried

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine biscuit mix, cheese and milk until a soft dough forms. Beat vigorously for 30 seconds. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto and ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Combine basil and garlic powder with melted butter and brush over biscuits after removing from oven. Makes 12 biscuits

 

 

 

Potato Soup

Ben Ashby

This rustic and hearty soup makes for a perfect savory meal this season. The yukon gold potatoes offer a unique flavor that is perfectly complimented by the crumbled bacon. Save some extra bacon for garnish and if you're a cheese lover, sprinkle some shredded cheddar on top before serving and it'll melt right in.

 

Potato Soup

BY: RIKKI SNYDER

 

8 slices bacon, fried and crumbled

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cups yukon gold potatoes, chopped

1 cup water

10 3/4 oz. Can cream of chicken soup

1 cup sour cream

1 3/4 cup milk

1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

 

Fry bacon and crumble. Set aside, reserving some drippings in skillet. Saute onion in same skillet until transparent. Add potatoes to and boil until tender, about 15 minutes. Add soup, sour cream, milk, bacon and onions, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well and let simmer 2 hours. 

 

Cast Iron Apple Pie

Ben Ashby

This has been our most popular recipe every year since we first published it in 2011. A traditional cast iron skillet apple pie with a few seasonal additions make it the perfect treat to serve all autumn long. 

It is my go to recipe for fall. Nothing is better than going to the local orchard and hand harvesting the apples yourself. I use a Martha Stewart enameled cast iron skillet. The pie comes out perfectly every single time. The pie is perfect served hot or cold. 

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RECIPE:

Ingredients 

1 stick + 1 tablespoon butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon  

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

3 tablespoons sorghum or maple syrup  

1 boxed pie crust  

5 pealed and sliced apples

 

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees. Add stick of butter and brown sugar to bottom of skillet. Place in oven until melted, do not let boil.  

Remove from the oven. Put bottom crust in skillet. Toss apples in sugar, spices, and syrup. Add mixture to skillet. Place remaining butter on top. Cover with crust. Dust top of crust with a dash of sugar and spices. 

Cut vent holes or decorative pattern in the top of the pie. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until apples are tender. 

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Easy Whipped Cream

Ben Ashby

 

Cool Whip is overrated and not that good....fresh whipped cream is so easy to make..and so much better. Our recipe keeps it super simple.

WHIPPED CREAM

  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl pour the whipping cream and the vanilla. As you beat the mixture add the powdered sugar to help provide stiffness and a bit of extra flavor. Whip until it is as thick and creamy as you'd like. I prefer stiff peaks. Be sure to not over whip or you'll end up with butter.

 

Chocolate Chess Pie

Ben Ashby

Chocolate Chess Pie

This recipe is so very simple. It is absolutely delicious. It literally takes less than five minutes to mix together. I found the recipe in my aunt's handwritten recipe book from the 1970s.

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 9” pie shell
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Mix all ingredients by hand and pour in pie shell. Bake for 30 min in 400 degree oven. Cool and serve with whipped cream.

Oh Holy Delicious! | Our 5 Fav. Pecan Pie Recipes

Ben Ashby

Christmas is coming! The warmth of the autumn season is quickly fading into the cold joys of the holiday season. With that the woods are scattered with delicious organic-free-range pecans. You could spend hours harvesting the tiny nuggets of delicious only to spend even longer busting those nuts--we mean cracking those nuts, as you prepare to turn them into pie...but who are we kidding...you nor I are Ina Garten...so just go to the store and stock up and lets bake some pies. These are our 5 favorite pecan pie recipes from 5 of our favorite bloggers.

1) Chocolate + Pecan Pie by Living the Gourmet

2) Rich Chocolate Pecan Pie by Crumb Kitchen

Chocolate chunks and crunchy pecans swirl together with a flaky pie crust in this decadent rich chocolate pecan pie.
3) Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie by Crumb Kitchen
4) Dark Chocolate Brownie Pecan Pie by Melanie Makes

5) Pecan Custard Pie by Briana Thomas

There you have it! Our 5 favorite pecan recipes for this Christmas season! No Ina needed. Just simple and easy and festive. Always festive.

Make your pecan pie experience Mariah Carey level extra festive by ordering our FOLK coffee. CLICK HERE TO ORDER. Roasted weekly. Mailed Daily. Only 25 bags per week.

Almond Lavender Cake

Heath Stiltner

Have you ever cooked with lavender? It’s a very unique scent and flavor. It can be used in many things like lemonade and ice cream... I’ve even seen lavender cupcakes! I like trying new things and before this cake I had never actually tasted something with lavender in it. 

It’s almost hard to describe because there’s nothing else like it. The lavender adds a slightly floral taste that you feel when you breathe in after biting into this cake. Same with the glaze, it adds the softest, sweetest floral taste that’s unexpected but very delicious. 

This cake is absolutely beautiful and makes for a perfect springtime dessert. Garnish the slices with some dried lavender for an extra splash of purple! You can use your own lavender if you grow it in your garden or look for dried lavender in spice shops. 

Almond Lavender Cake

1/4 cup half-and-half cream

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons boiling water

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Additional dried lavender flowers, optional

2 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers, divided

1 cup butter, softened

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

Grease a 10-in. fluted tube pan and sprinkle with sugar; set aside. Place 1/2 cup sugar, almonds and 1 tablespoon lavender in a food processor; cover and process until finely ground.

In a large bowl, cream butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy; beat in almond mixture until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream and half-and-half. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beating well after each
addition.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For drizzle, in a small bowl, combine water and remaining lavender. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain, discarding lavender. In another small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and enough infused water to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over cake. Garnish with additional lavender if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

 

Almond Lavender Cake photography, styling, and recipe by Rikki Snyder. Find more from Rikki on her website and on Instagram—@RikkiSnyder.

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

Ben Ashby

Before we go any further there is one thing that I must confess, I have a huge sweet tooth. And I mean huge. However, if there was one flavor that I could ever love more than chocolate it would be cinnamon. And so, you can imagine my excitement when the two are combined. This hot cocoa is nothing short of delightful and is a great drink to sip on a cold winter evening. It will warm your bones, and liven your taste buds. 

 

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

BY: RIKKI SNYDER

 

3 ounces semisweet chocolate

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

A few drops of almond extract

Whipped cream, chocolate shavings and cinnamon sticks for garnish.

 

Cut chocolate into pieces and place in blender or food processor. Add sugar and cinnamon. Cover and blend or process until finely ground. Cook and stir chocolate mixture and milk in a large saucepan over low heat about 10 minutes or until chocolate melts. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in vanilla and almond extract. Beat with a rotary beater until very frothy. Serve in mugs. Top with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and cinnamon sticks if desired. Makes about 4 (8-ounce) servings.