Today, for instance, January 6th is National Shortbread Day, celebrate today with Walkers Shortbread. The holidays may be over but we still celebrate the little nuance holidays. While I had no idea today was National Shortbread day until I visited the Walkers Shortbread site, I could not help but share this adequately timed holiday to the receipt of my package of Walkers Shortbread cookies. Stories that a magical castle the bakers at Walkers created in honor of the show Outlander on Starz had graced my email as well, so this is how I stumbled upon this wonderful little nuance holiday. If you are a fan of Outlander (and shortbread) like myself you know how cool this castle was to build. Outlander returns to Starz this Sunday January 10th with new episodes. Continue reading “National Shortbread Day Walkers Shortbread”
Enjoy some of our favorite holiday recipes! Pumpkin is always a favorite for fall and winter dishes as the gourd is always in season during the cooler months. Here is our organic pumpkin pie recipe with a fresh Fairytale style pumpkin from our CSA. Another Holiday favorite is the Swiss roll. This delicious cake treat is remiss of the Little Betty Swiss Miss rolls with a creamy whipped filling, topped with a chocolate ganache coating. The cake may be a bit bitter as it is a Turkish chocolate delight, but still sweet and delish!
6 c. water for boiling
2 c. flour (for crust, obviously)
1/2 c. water (for crust)
1 c. shortening
Heat oven to 425*
1 3/4 c. mashed pumpkin
1 3/4 c. milk
2 large eggs
2/3 c. brown sugar
2 T. sugar
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves (be sure to ONLY use a 1/4 tsp or your pie will be very SPICY and the cloves will be overbearing)
Gut the pumpkin and all seeds. Cut into two inch cubes leaving skin on the meat during boiling. The boil time for an average size to a small pumpkin is roughly 25-35 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool somewhat before removing skin to avoid burning. Once all skin is removed, mash or puree until desired consistency. Allow the mashed pumpkin to be completely cool before adding to pie mixture.
While pumpkin is cooling, mix flour, water, shortening together until dough forms. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Add to pie pan and flute edges. Fluting can be done with fingers, fork, or a spoon.
Mix together sugar and eggs until a creamed consistency, adding in mashed pumpkin. Mix thoroughly slowly adding milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and the cloves. By following these steps your pie will have a smooth consistency allowing all the ingredients to blend well together. Cook for 45-55 minutes using a toothpick to determine if the center is done. The pie will have a rich golden hue as will the crust.
Swiss Cake Roll
Preheat oven to 400*
2 eggs (separate yolks from whites)
3 T. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 T. warm water (I used day old warm coffee, adds a bitterness and a wonderful rich sweet taste)
1 oz cube of melted Bakers Semi-Sweet baking chocolate (or 2T melted chocolate chips)
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 T. confectioners sugar (or 1/4 c. sugar)
May add fresh fruit or flavor or your choice, almond, etc.
I also apologize for the poor picture quality….the cake was being eaten so fast to take when it was at it’s “prettiest.”
Beat together egg yolks and sugar until creamy, slowly adding the chocolate (be sure not too hot or will cook the eggs) and warm water. Then beat until foamy the egg whites, slowly adding in the flour, baking powder mix. Once the eggs and flour, baking powder are completely combined, slowly begin to add in the chocolate mixture. Once completely blended pour into waxed lined baking pan (13X9, buttered or greased then lined with wax paper or freezer paper for best results and lightly greased again). Bake for 12 minutes, remove immediately and place face down on freezer paper (or wax paper) dusted with powdered sugar. Place damp cloth on top to ease cooling time and allow cake to be easily rolled while warm, removing hard or rough edges, unroll after completely cooled and add cream filling.
Beat together sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream until a creamy, comes to a bit of a peak consistency. Do not over beat…filling will be ruined. Slowly spread along inside of cake, roll again and serve dusted with confectioners sugar or topped with drizzled chocolate or fresh fruit.
At Thanksgiving we will all be stuffing ourselves silly. Just before the gorge I will be preparing desserts galore, which happen to be my favorite part of the holiday, the sweets. This year I want to embrace a dinner favorite, yet give it a new spin of life. Pies are timeless, expected. What about a an old favorite like cake, married with an old favorite like sweet potatoes? Intrigued? Continue reading “Sweet Potato Cake Recipe”
Baking is a beautiful art and magnificently delicious. Until you add the gluten free aspect. Gluten free in years past has received a bad rap for tasting lifeless, like dirt or worse, like cardboard. But food manufacturers are making great strides in creating beautiful blends of flours and artisan flours that enhance the gluten free baking and cooking experience. Continue reading “Gluten Free Baking”
With my family being all organic finding breads that are organic and taste good are very hard to find. They are either very dense, very dry, or lack flavor, only a few choice breads that are 100% organic are very tasty. So because of this I have taken to making our own bread, only after we had been buying locally made bread from a family in our neighborhood. To save money, control portions and calories, and let’s face it when I know what my food is being made with, based on the ingredients I put into them, that gives me the piece of mind knowing my kids are eating healthy and without harsh additives.
Admittedly, my bread and all my baking happens with King Arthur flour. So with that I wanted to know what else I could do with King Arthur and I found that their options are unlimited. In fact, I found a yeast canister & measuring spoon setÂ that made a beautiful addition to my kitchen and my baking needs. No more spills and messes with yeast, and it comes in a clean display canister with the perfect measuring spoon.
But King Arthur is so much more than just yeast and flour. They offer goodies for baking cupcakes, mixes for cakes, cookies and even dog biscuits. With all the various products King Arthur has to offer, they make the perfect gift idea for making premade baking mixes and jars, to making your own baked goodies for a gift basket, or buying that perfect baking pan. Plus you can trust in a company that has been around for 200 years here in the US. Don’t let me try to tell you how great they are, why don’t you enter to win a $20 Gift Card from King Arthur and try them out for yourself:
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Contest ends November 23rd midnight Arizona Time
As always: No Purchase Necessary, available to US residents. One entry per household. US postcard entries also acceptable if you do not have access to the above entry options, no limit to postcard entries as long as all are received before the close of the contest, emailÂ firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ for your postcard entry details or to use email as your postcard entrance as these entries will be logged by the administrator of the blog. Winners will be chosen by â€œAnd the Winner isâ€ Failure to adhere to the aforementioned rules set forth by this contest will result in forfeiture of your entry with no notice. Facebook does not promote, endorse, nor sponsor this review and giveaway and will be held harmless. As always, good luck and enjoy.
I tweeted and updated my Facebook status on how fabulous this holiday season would be, even after a tumultuous Thanksgiving I knew Christmas would completely drown everything that happened.
For the week leading up to Christmas Big G and I were on a Betty Crocker roll. I think I was channeling her or Martha Stewart for that matter with how many crafts and baking we accomplished together. We started by making these absolutely easy and aromatic Christmas ornaments courtesy of my friend Casey over at Extraordinary Mothers. Look at these beauties, I was so proud of my baby for sticking with the project.
We used some super simple ribbon too. Just a bit of wired ribbon and decorative craft rope and we have insta- ornaments that not only look fantastic and can be dressed up but smell absolutely intoxicating!
Next we did some rolled and cut Gingerbread Man cookies that were just the most tender, sweet, soft delicious cookies you could ever have. We did THREE dozen of those cookies. Look at the boy go! I was so proud he had so much fun…and we chowed on some dough! What good are cookies without cookie dough to nibble on.
So we moved onto more fun cookies and we did some really fun sugar cookies. I decided to use my new Wilton’s Cookie Press that I won from my friend Sandra over at Adventures In Mommyland (you should read…this woman has amazing strength!) and we did fabulous Christmas tree press cookies and some “star” shapes that actually looked more like flowers and we decorated as such.
Finally I made THREE, yes THREE homemade, from scratch, did not buy the shit in a pan from the store, PIES. I know I am a culinary snob…I truly enjoy the insult of being a snob, I pride myself in this delight. I have skills and I am proud to flaunt! HA HA HA. Okay, so enough of me, here is my prize winning pie…well actually it was eaten too fast before I could take a beauty shot, but I do have the original specimen, and I will be posting the recipe for Morsel Monday next week since I have failed to play along with consistent blogging this week. A-Okay by me, enjoying the relaxing time the no pressure of posting. But here is the specimen that I speak of…yes…that is a Pumpkin. An albino (white) pumpkin and what the insides look like after being cooked/mashed. Pretty right? Just imagine the taste. OH EM GEE!
The three wise pies were my infamous and prized beauties that each of my Grandmother’s raved over (yes both Grandmothers asked for the recipe….the women with phenomenal, mad cooking abilities wanted MY recipe!), my aunt’s who both have an insane level of gift in the culinary arts wanted the recipe, and of course my mother…who legitimized my claim of THE PERFECT child cook said my pie was better than the other pie she had that day…or any other day or holiday for that matter. Well of course…mine was made with love…not from an assembly line and stamped with the brand of “Marie Callendar’s.” kthxbai
I then worked on my Turkish chocolate cake. This cake was like no other though, more of a Swiss Roll with wonderful whipped cream inside…again, another recipe I will be sure to post. Super easy, super delish and very decadent. A true dessert cake and delicacy. However, one cake did not roll, so it was a layer cake of sorts, the other did roll, beautifully so I hauled that with us, along with the pecan pie, oh and the divinity. Yes, I made divinity. Which is a true feat to successfully create this confection in winter due to the weather and often cloudy days. You cannot make divinity on a cloudy day…same with fudge…the consistency just isn’t right. But I hauled all these goodies to my Grandmother’s house in Casa Grande for my 31st Christmas Eve celebration with her, with my Grandfather’s passing which was ever so bittersweet a celebration of family nonetheless, my aunt’s who had I many a laughs with, and my uncle who I joined in sarcastic witty banter as we jabbed others and one another.
Needless to say while the gifts were not overly plentiful as some may expect, the love of family, being together, having fun, and the creations of love and joy were shared abound. Those gifts are the gifts that carry no price, can never be replaced, and are felt year round and are remembered for a lifetime.
What were your holiday traditions? Family traditions? Baking fun? Any childhood memories you had that carry on with your present family? Children?