Posted at 8:42 am , on October 10, 2019
I set aside two jars of prickly pear juice to make jelly. It reminded me of my Mom and how she used to can everything including jellies and jams in big huge canning pots. This was a much smaller scale so I found a different method to preserve the jelly by covering the sealed jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. When they cooled you could hear the lids make that popping sound that tells you they are sealed. I found some low sugar pectin which allowed me to cut down on the sugar as well as quicken the process. In no time I had a little more than 3 jars of prickly pear jelly. I couldn’t wait to taste it so I made a batch of tea scones to go with the jelly . . . absolutely delicious!
Posted at 11:46 am , on June 7, 2019
Is it Summer yet? Maybe not officially, but after Memorial day it feels like summer break for most folks. Time to enjoy being outdoors whether it be time away on vacation, or just getting outside in your own backyard. When my kids were growing up we would make s’mores using the simple ingredients of store bought graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey bars. I’ve been making marshmallow creme for several years and always wondered how s’mores would taste with that delicious whipped creme. Then I thought why not go all the way and make graham crackers too. And you know what . . . they turned out great. I had my doubts, but I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to put together and how tasty they are. The marshmallow creme recipe makes approximately 6 cups, more than enough for the graham crackers and chocolate. No worries, there are so many recipes to use marshmallow creme. Some of my favorites are dark chocolate cake with marshmallow creme icing, s’mores blondies, or rice crispy treats!
Posted at 6:14 pm , on December 26, 2018
I have memories of my Mom making traditional peanut brittle around the holidays. Everything she made always tasted so good. She used to make several different types of candies but the peanut brittle was always my favorite. That was back in the day, times have changed and now you can find red or green chile brittle here in New Mexico and it’s quite the addictive treat. Let me tell you about the green chile brittle. It has sweet and hot flavors coming from the spices on the pistachios along with green chile powder. Instead of using peanuts I added green chile pistachios which I think makes this brittle so special. First you taste the sweetness of the hardened sugar and corn syrup, next up you taste the flavors of the pistachio nuts and the heat from the chile powder coming on the back end. I’m a little obsessive compulsive and don’t know when to stop so I made another batch, this time adding red chile flakes and Pinon nuts aka pine nuts. I took some local NM dried red chiles and ran them through a grinder to get the fresh flakes that would spice up the brittle. The Pinons were roasted but unsalted so I added a hint of salt which helps balance all the flavors. Actually the red chile flakes were a bit hotter than the green chile powder which was a surprise to me. I couldn’t pick one over the other, they are both so good and such a treat this time of year. And the other thing about this brittle is how easy it is to make. I found a great recipe from “Veggie Obsession” who made brittle in the microwave. One bowl is all you need, just add the ingredients and microwave. Find the wattage of your microwave and use a conversion chart to find out how many minutes is necessary to microwave. Once you have the ingredients it only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.
Posted at 9:25 am , on November 14, 2018
It’s apple season and I for one can’t think of anything more delectable than an apple cinnamon roll with a bit of caramel sauce and caramel glaze drizzled over top. And for a little crunch add a few sweet cinnamon pecans to the mix. What a way to welcome friends and family around the holidays with the aroma of cinnamon and apples fresh from the oven. I’m making a batch of sweet rolls to put in the freezer for the holidays. They can easily be thawed and reheated in the oven for a delicious breakfast or brunch. And if by chance there are any left, break off a piece to dunk in your morning coffee, it’s a real treat!
Posted at 2:07 pm , on February 2, 2018
One of my favorite memories of my Mom was the time she made donuts. She only made them once or twice but the memory stood out for me as she would cut the little rings of dough and drop them in hot oil to fry. They would come out of the fryer just for a minute and then she would dunk them in icing. At that point they were up for grabs! As fast as she could make them, we would eat them. I remember her donuts as one of the best things I ever ate. They are made from ingredients that were commonly used in the 50’s and 60’s which is why I call them vintage. The recipe includes Pet Milk and Crisco which were staples in our kitchen when I was growing up. I doubt you would see them listed in a current recipe today. Half were made with glaze and the other half with cinnamon sugar. The best part is eating them as soon as they are dipped in the glaze or cinnamon sugar. They taste so light and airy and for that moment they are the best thing ever!
Posted at 11:08 am , on November 3, 2017
One of my favorite things is cinnamon apples. The aroma of apples cooking in cinnamon sauce is so fragrant throughout the kitchen. It definitely sets the mood of Fall. I made these as a side dish for the smoked ribs that we had last week. They also make a good dessert with a scoop of ice cream on the side. These were made with Honeycrisp apples and brown sugar but I’ve also tried McIntosh apples and granulated sugar. Joe loves the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture but I like the lighter flavor of granulated sugar. Either way you can’t go wrong!
Posted at 9:55 am , on October 16, 2017
If you enjoyed the Cinnamon Streusel Brioch Bread then you will love this bread pudding. It practically melts in your mouth and is topped with a sweet crunchy streusel that adds texture and sweetness to every bite. The recipe is almost the same as the Cinnamon Streusel Brioch Bread except the loaf is baked without the streusel and saved for topping the bread pudding. It is so delicious it could be served as breakfast, brunch or dessert.
Posted at 10:09 am , on August 4, 2017
After 6 years, An Inspired Cook is getting a new look. There are now more recipe categories with a photo of each recipe to make it easier to find that perfect recipe and visualize how it might look. I hope you all will come along with me for the next chapter. Here’s one of my favorites . . . fried pies. I have to admit they are my guilty pleasure, there I said it! Honestly I love all pies but I am especially fond of fruit pies. Sweet fried pies which are sometimes referred to as hand pies are filled with any number of fruits and sometimes even cream fillings like chocolate or lemon. For these cherry pies I opted to used frozen cherries over fresh. Frozen cherries break down when cooked and emit the juice that’s needed to make a glossy pie filling that tastes so good in a fried pie. Then there’s the lemon glaze, the oh so yummy icing on the cake . . . um I mean pie!!
Posted at 10:45 am , on July 14, 2017
I cannot in any way take credit for these brownies. They were created, taste tested and approved from Bakes in Slippers and they are the most delectable brownies I’ve ever made. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that all the ingredients go together in one pot on top of the stove which makes for very little clean up. Best of all is the moist chewy texture and dark chocolaty taste. A sprinkle of sea salt on top just enhances the flavor. Calling all chocolate lovers, you will not want to miss out on these!
Posted at 10:03 am , on March 24, 2017
If you’ve ever been to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World you may have had a Dole Pineapple Whip. It’s one of those things that you won’t find anywhere but at Disney. It’s so refreshing, a slushy whipped frozen pineapple with pineapple juice pooled around the bottom. I took my version a step further and ran it through the ice cream maker to make it more like the texture of a sorbet. Either way it’s delicious!!