Featured Seller On Etsy!

My friends! I am so happy to report that I’m the featured seller on Etsy! I know, right? AWESOME!

These Internet breakthroughs don’t happen to me very often, so when Adam contacted months ago asking if I’d be interested in the opportunity, I nearly peed my pants. I am just so freaking pleased to have been asked to do this! I don’t even care if anybody actually buys anything! ;]

So, please pop by and check out it!

Gluten Free, Super Healthy Flax Seed Cookies

I know this is a repeat, but it bears repeating as these are a little gem in my Mom It Down series and I just keep coming back to them. Why? Let’s see: they’re super healthy. They’re made made without sugar. They’re gluten-free and they’re full of flax seed and protein. Oh! And they taste great!

You seriously can’t go wrong with these cookies. Just this morning Em asked me if he could have cookies for breakfast and I was all, “Sure you can have cookies for breakfast!” And behold, he had three cookies for breakfast paired with a glass of milk. Awesome, right? My extremely picky child even likes these. He and his father eat them up like they’re treats. And I suppose they are! But they’re super healthy treats! AND I JUST CAN’T WRITE THAT ENOUGH, PEOPLE! You should make these for your family.

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Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup whole almond meal
  • 1/4 cup soy protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Mom it Down!

Take your unsalted butter out of the refrigerator a while before starting. It should be room temperature—super soft. I usually put mine directly into the mixer.

Preheat oven to 350.

Add honey, vanilla, and egg. Stir that up until it’s creamy. It might be a little lumpy. That’s OK. Once you add the dry ingredients, the batter will smooth out.

In a separate bowl, or directly into a two-cup measuring cup, add all the dry ingredients.

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Add that to your mixer.

Spoon walnut-sized balls onto a cookie sheet.

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Flatten each one down usig your fingers, a spoon, or a spatula until they are about half their height.

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Bake for 10-14 minutes. (Mine used 13 both times.)

You’re done!

Overcoming Obstacles

If the dough is too sticky, you can refrigerate it for 15-30 minutes. If you’re in a hurry, add a little bit more soy protein powder.

Variations

I wish to change the original even more. I might glaze the tops with maple syrup or honey before baking. Also, I think serving these alongside some jam or preserves would outstanding—specifically, strawberry or raspberry. YUM!

I’ve used Booker’s bourbon instead of vanilla and it works perfectly.

P.S. Sorry I haven’t updated in, oh, like forever. We were in Disney last week and I’ve got some stuffs going on. I hope to write more now that things have settled down a bit.

Mom it Down! Creme Anglaise (ICE CREAM!)

Last weekend we had our practical in school. I did well. Granted, I practiced a great deal ahead of time and failed once or twice as well. Our practical included a written test; we also had to create a flourless chocolate soufflé as well as creme anglaise, which is the base for french ice cream.

I gotta admit to something. Up until this exercise, I never, ever would have opted to eat an egg-based ice cream. But this is damn great stuff. For those unfamiliar (as I was), you can’t taste the eggs at all. I guess I ignorantly thought you’d be able to! It’s just ice cream, rich, creamy ice cream. It’s wonderful.

Today, I’d like to share that recipe with you.

What you will need

  • Medium-sized saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Strainer
  • 2 Bowls
  • Ice Water

Ingredients

  • 1 pint half and half (or 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup milk)
  • 1/4 of a vanilla bean
  • 4 ounces of sugar
  • 6 egg yolkes

Mom It Down!

Separate out your yolks. Whisk them together. (I saved my whites to use for egg white omelets and/or egg-white based desserts like meringue.)

Combine half and half, sugar and scraped out vanilla bean in a saucepan.

Bring it to a boil. Remove from heat. (Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the next few steps because it all happens so fast that I didn’t have time to stop with the camera. Next time, I’ll get Toby Joe to take them so that every step is featured.)

Combine 1/3 of the hot mixture into the yolks whisking the entire time. (You want to temper the eggs but not scramble them, hence the constant whisking.) Add that mixture back into saucepan.

Continue to heat that mixture over medium heat for 30 to 60 seconds stirring the entire time. You do not want the mixture to boil. YOU DO NOT WANT TO OVERCOOK IT. You do not want the eggs to cook. (It’s easy to do!) The mixture will thicken a bit. Once that happens and it’s coating the sides of the pan or you’re able to run your finger over the back of a metal spoon without the liquid coming back together again, you are done! Strain it immediately into a bowl over ice. The strainer will collect some pieces of cooked egg. This is normal. Let that cool and then refrigerate overnight.

You’re ready to make your ice cream! And damn is it awesome.

Feed to kid.

Overcoming Obstacles

The key is to not overcook the base. So keep an eye on it. It really should be thick and ready to go in a minute. If you remove it from the heat and it doesn’t seem thick enough, then just go ahead and put it back on. It’s better to undercook and then reheat it right away than to overcook it. Because once it’s overcooked, there’s no saving it.

Creme anglaise is super easy to do, once you get the hang of how it’s done. And the whole process (including the egg separating and prep of ingredients) takes about 15 minutes tops—less if you’re good at separating eggs. :]

Variations

Flavor the ice cream however you want! Simply omit the vanilla and add whatever flavor you might want. You can also add chips or nuts, but do that by hand after the ice cream is made and ready to serve.

Divinity and Peanut Brittle

We’ve been studying sugar for the past several weeks, which has been particularly awesome for me since I’m a lollipop maker. I’ve learned a great deal more about how to deal with molten sugar. I’m sure I’ll have more to report about that after this weekend, whenever we cover a few more key desserts. In the meantime, here are a few pictures.

This is called Divinity. It’s apparently southern. I am not a fan of pistachios, which is what this recipe called for, so I used chopped walnuts and candied ginger instead. It’s delightful, believe it or not. :] I’m excited to do variations of this for the holidays. I picture some pretty great color combinations.

And of course, a favorite of mine: peanut brittle!

Man, this is good stuff! My teeth don’t usually agree, but it sure is tasty. And other than being a pain in the ass to spread out before it hardens, it’s super easy to make.

I’ll ask on Friday if it’s OK to publish recipes. I want to share them. I can’t imagine it’ll be a problem, but I should check. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures! And if you’re in the neighborhood, swing on by. I have far too much candy!

Mom It Down! She Made A Strawberry Sorbet

We studied flourless soufflés last week in class, both fruit and chocolate. By the end of the day, we weren’t able to finish baking everything, so I had some strawberry-flavored simple syrup left over. I took it home and turned it into a sorbet. It’s outstanding. Sweet and outstanding.

Anyway, today I want to share this simple recipe with you. (Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the process, but it’s so easy you really don’t need them.)

What You Will Need

  • Ice Cream Maker (I have a KitchenAid attachment. Worked perfectly.)
  • Food Processor (I reckon you could probably do this by hand, but having a processor is just so much easier.)

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces of sugar
  • 2 fluid ounces of water
  • Pint of strawberries

Mom It Down!

Remove the stems from your strawberries. Add them to your food processor and mix ’em up real good. Put the mixture aside.

In a medium saucepan, slowly heat water and sugar. You want the sugar to dissolve completely. You do not want the mixture to boil.

Once the liquid is perfectly clear and all the sugar is dissolved, stir in your strawberry mixture. Heat that up for about 5 to 10 minutes. Again, just a simmer. Don’t boil it.

Let your mixture cool a bit and then add it to a lidded container. Put that in the refrigerator to cool. (I left mine in overnight.)

Once the mixture is cooled completely.  You’re ready to start the slow churn in your ice cream maker.

I set the timer for 30 minutes and checked on it from time to time. It definitely took the full 30 minutes. It could have gone a bit longer, but I was impatient. :] Once it’s at a consistency you’re pleased with, spoon the mixture into a plastic container and freeze.

You’re done!

Overcoming Obstacles

This is the easiest thing ever. It’s right up there with the time I started making applesauce. If you like sorbet and you have an ice cream maker, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be making this delectable snack at home. It’s so easy! It just takes a little time, not your time, but waiting time.

Variations

This could probably be made with less sugar. Remember, the base of this recipe was to be used for a flourless soufflé. It was meant to end up with eggs and baked. So, it’s on the sweet side! Not that we’re complaining. Even Toby Joe, anti-sweets guy, was eating it up! And your kids will love it.

Of course you can substitute any fruit you’d like. YUM!

Meringue and Praline Buttercream Sandwich.

We’re studying eggs this week. It’s been one hell of an eye-opening week to say the least. I’m floored by how much I’ve learned already. And I’m floored by how much I should have known and did not. I’ve been making so many mistakes all these years! Ah well, that’s why I’m in school, right?

Anyway, yesterday we made a bunch of things with egg whites, some with yolks too. This was one of our creations. I’m not crazy about meringue, I’ll be honest. But these are really quite good. And the filling is just delightful if I must say so myself.

I’ll try and post more recipes and pictures from class. We’re covering the basics right now, like why things go wrong and what makes them go wrong. For example, during the lessons on leaveners (baking soda, powder, etc) we spent an entire class making muffins using different variables. What happens if you add buttermilk instead of milk? What happens if you omit baking powder or soda altogether? You get the picture.

Anyway, wow we’re doing much the same with eggs. It’s been hard work but super enlightening.

Egg fact! Did you know that brown eggs and white eggs are the same in almost every way but color? The only difference between the two is they come from different breeds. Granted, brown egg chickens tend to eat more food. I reckon that could be why large industrial farms tend to lean more toward white egg-laying chickens. Anyway, don’t worry about color! The best thing you can do is buy your eggs from a local farmer—avoid the big farms entirely, solely because they’re terrible to and with their birds.

All this time I thought white = bad, brown = healthier. NOT SO. Thought I’d share. :]

Mom It Down: Chocolate Angel Food Cake SUCCESS!

I revisited the failed angel food cake from last week and had great success with it. It turns out, the many things I had done wrong were indeed to blame. If you follow the directions, it turns out pretty amazing if I must say so myself.

This recipe combines three different angel food cake recipes I have seen over the years. I took a few things from all of them and ended up with something pretty great. I hope you enjoy it too!

What you will need

  • 10-inch tube pan
  • Mixer
  • Working brain

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mom it Down!

Put egg whites in your mixer and let them warm to room temperature. (I have cut corners here a bit and things turned out fine, but it’s best to get them closest to room temperature as possible.)

Preheat oven to 350.

In separate bowl, sift together flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder. (Or see my shortcut at the end of this post.)

Once eggs are close to room temperature, add extract, salt and cream of tartar. Using the whisk attachment, beat that until it’s bubbly.

Add granulated sugar. Mix on high until it forms hard peaks.

Slowly spoon in flour mixture about 1/4 cup at a time. (You can slowly beat this with your mixer using the flat beater attachment. Just go slowly.)

Spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Sprinkle with almond slices.

Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.

You’re done!

Overcoming Obstacles

I always try and sprinkle the top of my angel food cakes because it covers up the cracks and other blemishes. :] I know. I cheat. But it also adds a wonderful flavor. The almonds come out slightly crunchy—so good! And they go really well with chocolate.

Also: I mentioned above you can use your flat beater attachment to spoon in the flour mixture. It’s up to you. I usually do a mixture of both—starting with the attachment and then moving on to doing it by hand.

Lastly, if you don’t have time to sift the flour mixture together, which is what you’re supposed to do, you can easily use a wire whisk and just give it a good stir, breaking up the big chunks.

Variations

Next time, I want to try more cocoa and add chocolate chips to the top. I almost did that this time, but was worried that they might be too heavy. I wanted to make sure this worked before getting too groovy. Now that I know it does, I’m going to purchase some of the miniature chips and add them to the top.

I also think there’s room to add some other flavored extracts, but again haven’t messed with this too much yet myself.

I should mention that the only thing I changed was that I used regular, all-purpose flour instead of cake flour. I reckon using cake flour would make it even fluffier.

As usual, let me know if you have suggestions and/or questions!

Lollipops By Mihow (What I've Been Doing.)

It may seem like I haven’t been baking much lately. But that’s not the case at all, my friends! I’ve actually been in the kitchen more so than ever. You see, I’ve been making lollipops. The whole adventure came on suddenly but has proven to be rather amazing. And, get this! I’m going to be selling them any day now!

Here’s the skinny: A couple of weeks ago, I revisited hard candy. It had been years since I made candy, and I don’t remember that being all that rewarding so I thought I’d give it another go. This time, I didn’t give up. Yes, I hit a few roadblocks and yes those roadblocks were frustrating, but within a week, I had this down. I had a lollipop created without corn syrup (something I insisted on) that tasted rather good! That’s when I began to play with different flavor combinations—combinations found in cuisines all over the globe. (It helps to have a husband that can cook!)

So I made a bunch of flavors. Some were great, some not so much. But I kept going and going until I ended up with some pretty remarkable flavor combinations. And they’re really beautiful to look at as well. Excited, I put them up for sale on Etsy and sold hundreds of bucks worth of lollipops within the first couple of hours. I was shocked and totally geeked about it. But we decided I moved a little too fast. And since Toby Joe and I like to do things the right way, we refunded all of the money we made, sent out a few freebie packages, and immediately started the process of getting all our paperwork in order; we should be up and running within the week.

In the meantime, go to my Etsy shop and mark it a favorite.

All of my lollipops are made without corn syrup. They are all vegan. They are all really quite beautiful to look at. And they are all made with a great deal of love. I combine flavors such as pink peppercorn and watermelon; oranges, sesame oil and hot peppers; bananas and peanut butter; mango, Tabasco and lime. There’s even one for the youngsters called The Box Office that combines butter with actual popcorn. Kids go nuts for this one, NUTS!

But that’s not all! We have over 10 flavors at the time this was written and more on the way. I do hope you’ll stop by. I can’t wait to offer tongue workouts to all. ;]

I will be back with Mom It Down next week—like the real deal. I have a peanut butter cookie that simply must get some recognition.

Mom It Down: Whole Wheat Flax Seed Bread

I literally googled “Flax Seed Bread” and took the first recipe that popped up changing only one thing. This is super easy. Labor is next to nothing. The most time involved is waiting for the sucker to rise.

What you will need

  • Bread pan
  • Mixer

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons honey (original recipe called for 1/8 cup sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flaxseed meal
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Mom It Down!

Dissolve yeast in (1 3/4 cups) warm water in the mixer. Let that sit until bubbly. (Five minutes.)

Add honey (or sugar), salt, flaxseed meal, and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. Stir that up with a spoon until it looks like this:

Attach the bread hook to the mixer.

Add the rest of the flour and let the mixer do its thing for 10 or more minutes.

Form the dough into a ball.

Coat a bowl with oil and let the dough sit for 2 hours or until it’s nearly doubled in size.

Once it’s doubled, punch it down and roll it into a loaf. Place in a 9 X 5 oiled bread pan. Let that rise for an hour, (less if you’d like, more if you have time).

Preheat oven to 350, bake for 40 – 45 minutes.

Let it cool. Slice and eat with some butter! Yum!

Overcoming Obstacles

I have to admit, I often do not let my dough rise as much as it should. I know. WORST BREAD BAKER EVER. But, yeah. I tend to cut corners here and there. My bread is often denser than it probably should be. (Well, with exception of this bread recipe I posted over a year ago.)

Variations

I substituted the sugar for honey. I reckon you could substitute agave as well. I haven’t thought to change much with this yet, but probably will in time as I bake it more often. But if you have suggestions, do share!

Also: vegan friendly! (Unless you don’t do honey, then hit the sugar or agave.)

As usual, comments, suggestions or critiques are welcome.