Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Honeycomb Candy (or depending: Burnt Sugar Candy)

Have you ever had a Crunchie? I love them and it is utterly pornographic to watch me eat one as I am one of those people who tries to eat it from the middle without getting the chocolate coating involved. 

Alas, Crunchies are mostly unavailable in the good old you-ess-of-ay. So when you want one, you have to make it yourself. 

Which turns out to be pretty fracking easy akshully. 

Take a very large pan. And by large pan, I mean one that is bigger than what you think.

I used the maslin pan.

Combine honey, sugar, Karo syrup, and a little water in the pan and heat it up. 

Let it boil

And boil
(it mixes itself!)

Until it is boiling furiously.
And then watch it until it turns light amber.

Ok so this is where I stopped taking photos because once the sugar starts to turn color, the distance between light amber and burnt was abouthisclose.

I pulled the pan from the heat and added the baking soda, stirred like mad, and the whole shebang foamed right up as described:

Foaming action shot. Mesmerizing!

 Then I dumped the whole thing onto a lined & oiled sheet tray and waited for it to cool.

Looks a little like cheese huh.

Ok so this is the pot after just to give you an idea of how HIGH it will foam. Use a stock pot or plan on deep cleaning your stovetop, burners, floor.....

For some reason I was not at all able to saw/cut it with a serrated knife. It just shattered, but the shards were delicious! And coating them in chocolate was even more tasty.

Truth be told, I made two batches. The first one I cooked the sugar too long/dark. It wasn't awful, it tasted like burnt sugar which I secretly like. But that amount of burnt sugar was overwhelming and after a few chunks it made the roof of my mouth ache.

The second batch was miles better. And the nice thing is that the ingredient list is short and cheap (not the chocolate, but there is no waste there).

Anyway. I meant to give it away for Christmas but I ate it.

O well.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Doughboy Donuts

OMG I love donuts. It is ridiculous how much I love donuts.

I brought donuts to the office today, under the Happy Holidays Clause, and am really hoping I donut embarrass myself by eating them all.

These are from Doughboy in Southie. The Evil Twin raves to me just about everyday how awesome Doughboy is and so I figured I would give it a shot. Plus the people who work there are ridiculously nice. Like normal nice, regular nice, which makes the morning MUCH better.

My vote: sugar raised. Serious YUM.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Aaaaaaand the winner is:


Whoo hoo! You are going to LOVE this book!

(shoot me an email with your address and I will get it right out to you!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

One of the little mysteries of life.

How come the first cup of coffee always tastes SO DANG GOOD but each subsequent cup doesn't?

And those single cup brewers don't do it for me either, so it's not because the coffee sits around disconsolately oxidizing.

I guess I just need a bigger mug.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY: Not Your Mother's ?????? (Updated)

(Editor Update: So the Sales & Marketing Director just put the kibosh on promoting the book as it technically is not supposed to be released until January. So I will just adjust this to a SURPRISE giveway (*wink*wink*) to keep this post alive. If you don't win this "mystery" title this time, I hope you will all pre-order the title over at Amazon. Thank you and sorry for the confusion!)

I am ridiculously excited about this book - a) because I love books, and b) this is one of those books where you go from recipe to recipe, eager to make the next one immediately, and c) the author (Faith Durand) happens to be a lovely, down-to-earth person who has created a very nice cookbook that is a perfect blend of normal everyday food with just the right amount of fancy. It's a necessary antidote to the Ad Hoc at Home type titles that collect dust ton my bookshelf for most of the year.

How lovely does Beans Baked with Caramelized Onions, Corn, and Cheese sound on a chilly day like today? Or Butternut Squash Pasta Casserole with Gruyere and Pecans? It is absurd that at 10am I am already thinking about supper. Well knowing me, not that absurd.

I do know that this weekend I will likely be making Cranberry Cake with Walnut Praline Topping. Because THAT sounds like the perfect breakfast on a cold New England morning.

And yes, I DO work for the publisher but that just means I get a copy to give to YOU.  

One lucky person will get a copy of this fabulous book just in time for the holidays. Simply leave a comment telling me what YOUR favorite casserole type dish is and on December 15th I will randomly draw a name from the pot. 

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of this book and have it mailed to you.  Be sure to either check back to see if you won, or email me your contact info, in case YOU win!.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thanksgiving Food Derby - 2010

To the person who invented stretchy pants, I give thanks to YOU.

Brandied Cranberry Preserves
from Linda Ziedrich's Joy of Jams & Jellies 
I will NEVER make cranberry sauce any other way. Ever

Mennonite Cheese Bread for the stuffing.

Blanched pearl onions ready for peeling. 

Onion and garlic puree. I cooked onions and garlic for ages, slowly, before pureeing it and mixing it with grated cheese to make the sauce for the pearl onions.  

 Instead of pumpkin pie, I made pumpkin flan. It was pretty and pretty delicious. 

Apple Pie. 
I love apple pie. 

I could literally eat stuffing EVERY day.
This is turkey sausage, apple, cranberry, and sage.

Infrared turkey cooker.
No oil, no nothing but heat.

As you can see it came out looking good.
It was also the juiciest turkey I ever cooked.

The Thanksgiving Table with my crafty centerpiece.
This is my folks house. I am MUCH messier.

Shredded raw squash with vinaigrette & dried cranberries.
I wanted to like it, but frankly it was a little odd. 

The Big Sit Down.
If you look carefully you can see the other dishes I made.
Namely the shredded Brussels sprouts with mustard which was amazing.

The only person who HAS to like this is me.