Showing posts with label grape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grape. Show all posts

Thursday, March 31, 2016

J@H - Tootsie Roll Pops

I have been putting off this recipe for long enough. I knew how to make all of the components, it was just getting up the nerve to put them all together! Now that I've made these bad boys, I am so upset with myself for procrastinating!

With no further delay, please enjoy...

That's right. Tootsie roll pops! Chocolate taffy shrouded in a thick coating of hard candy. Did you ever think that you could make these at home?

I'm not going to say that this is the easiest thing to make at home. You definitely need to block some time and set aside any fear you have of boiling sugar. This is actually two recipes that need to be combined into one - chocolate taffy and grape hard candy. You can get fancy and buy a lollipop mold, but I decided to go a little more free form with my candies. That is why they are flat on one side.

The candy to taffy ratio is a little different with my lollipops - there is a lot more taffy in these than in a store-bought Tootsie pop. I recommend using high quality baker's chocolate and highly concentrated candy oil. With those two ingredients you will get the most richly flavored candies possible. 

How do these compare to the originals? Personally, I think they're way better. Give them a try! With all of the flavor possibilities of taffy and hard candy, I'm thinking of making a summertime version of these - Cherry lollipops with vanilla taffy anyone?

Four Years Ago: Cookie Dough Fudge
Five Years Ago:  Cookie Dough Eggrolls

Thursday, July 31, 2014

CTB 2014 - The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Two recipe posts in one week? This is crazy!

To tell the truth, I made this chicken to accompany the asparagus from Tuesday. Would I do that pairing again? No way. There was way too much sauce preparation that was necessary for both dishes. When I cook this chicken again (which I will, because it was amazing), it's getting paired with steamfresh vegetables from the microwave.

I will also remember that when I put pans in the oven, the handle of the pan also gets hot. I think that I need to buy one of these pan handle covers, because I always grab the handle and burn my hand. I don't do this to pull the pan out of the oven, I realize that it's warm at that point. It's after I return the pan to the burner and begin reducing the sauce. I'll grab the handle to rotate the pan and Yeouch! That's hot!

Burnt hand or not, this chicken was the perfect dinner. I always have chicken thighs in my freezer for some reason, so this is an easy dinner for a weeknight. Pick up some grapes and olives from the grocery store and you've got yourself a flavorful meal.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Grape Tangy Taffy

It used to be simply called Tangy Taffy.  And I ate yards and yards of the stuff when I was a kid.  It was my go to movie treat when we went to the theater as a family. I remember stopping at the 7-11 (because their candy was always on sale) and picking out two pieces of candy with my brother and dad.  The brother would usually go for something chocolate, dad too.  Now there's a guy who likes his chocolate bars.  Personally, I would get something that would last a long time. A slab of tangy taffy would last well over half the length of the movie. I loved its strong flavor and tangy bite.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Apricot-garlic Pork Tenderloin and Potatoes and Fennel

Top Ten Ways
To Avoid Illness while Riding NYC Public Transit

1. Purchase a Hazmat suit.  Paint it to look like it isn't a Hazmat suit, as the NYC police might find you a little suspicious wearing a Hazmat suit on the subway.  Paint your Hazmat suit to look like a nice Italian three piece, wear at all times when riding transit.

2. Avoid licking the hand rails.  Seriously people, those are dirty.  Do you know how many thousands of people ride the subway everyday?

3. Listen before you sit down.  Hear any hacking coughs, snuffly noses or loud sneezers?  Don't sit next to those people, they want to share their virus with you.

4. Don't ride NYC public transit.  Walking is good for you, especially if you have to go fifty blocks and it's below freezing.  Think of how many calories you're burning!

5. Invest in face masks.  If anyone looks at you strange, just start speaking Japanese.  They'll realize you are from Japan, where face masks are totally normal.

6. Don't touch anything!  Don't even lean against the wall.  Just stand in the middle of the train car and maintain perfect balance until your stop.  This is especially easy when you are riding with a friend.  Let them hold the bar, you just grab tight! 

7. Keep your gloves on.  Make sure they are those big fuzzy ones.  You'll be less likely to itch your eyeball while wearing big fuzzy gloves.  Think muppet-like.

8. Get a train car all to yourself.  I've seen this technique done only once.  I'm going to warn you, it involves not showering for a long, long time.  Maybe this should be a "last resort" kind of suggestion.

9. Bring your own air supply.  This will most likely take the form of a scuba diving system.  Wearing a wetsuit is just optional, a fabulous option!

10.  Get a flu shot.  Don't tell anyone you got a flu shot as they will inevitably try to punch you in the arm.

If only I had this all figured out two weeks ago, when I contracted some form of NYC cold virus.  If I was going to be sick, I wasn't going to do it by myself.  I managed to get BF sick too!  The Wilde kitchen has been quiet and the Wilde household got extremely dirty.  Nobody wants to do laundry/dishes/pick up anything while sick, right?

We are both finally on the mend and I made us some dinner last night.  This was so delicious and simple, I might even make something similar to it for Christmas dinner.  It was so easy, I was actually able to get everything cooked and ready at the same time.  Give one recipe a try, or try all three!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why Bother? 2012 - Potato Chips

Why bother indeed.  I was very excited to give homemade potato chips a try.  I sat on my train ride home, dreaming up delicious flavors of potato chips.  Spicy Buffalo and blue cheese.  Parmesan and garlic.  Thai sweet curry.  Alas, this was all not to be.

This is the first challenge of the year that has me a little stumped.  Perhaps it's that I just need a little more time to figure out how to make these bad boys?  Maybe I need to do a bit more research before peeling any more potatoes?  Or maybe, I realized that I prefer cheese puffs to potato chips.  Unless someone out there has a spare cheese puff making machine (as the cheese puffs are puffed with a special vacuum apparatus), I think I'll continue buying my cheese puffs from the store.

I made a batch of oven chips, destined to be Buffalo and blue cheese.  The chips that were too thin, burnt.  The chips that were a little thicker, never crisped up.  I think that I might need to experiment further.  I was so downtrodden by the baked chip fail that I refused to go on and make any attempt at frying some.  It would have been a sad day if I wasn't also preparing these...

Peanut butter and jelly marshmallows!  More candy for candy month!  Opposed to the epic fail of the potato chips, these little fluffy treats were an absolute knockout.  It's so funny too.  The process of making these two-layer marshmallows was not simple.  It required making two separate (and very different) marshmallow batters, cutting, dusting and attempting not to eat them all.  In total it took three hours to get these sweets from sugar to final product.

Not that this should scare you off!  Even if you don't want to make a double-layered marshmallow, each flavor was amazing on its own.  The concord grape layer was sweet and full of flavor (courtesy of the 100% grape concentrate) and they were a ridiculous purple color.  The peanut butter layer tasted just like a fluffernutter sandwich, sans the bread.  Put them together and we have a completely lunch inappropriate PB&J sandwich (although it tastes just like the lunch original).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Grape Salt Water Taffy

Am I the only one who woke up this morning and wondered why it was still dark out? It’s 6am and my alarm goes off. I’m at my most confused and vulnerable at this time of day and the sun has decided to desert me! Now, I’m pretty sure I slept past 6am on Sunday (being that I didn’t hit the sheets until 3am, but that’s another story) but I thought the sun had been peeking over the horizon by 5:45 these days.

It's a blob!  A blob of deliciousness!

It took me a full two hours to remember that we set the clocks ahead yesterday, then another two minutes to do the math and realize 5am was now 6am and the sun wouldn’t be making an appearance until I was just about the head to work. Like I said, my brain doesn’t start functioning properly until I’ve been awake for at least an hour. This is also why I like to get to work at 7am, no one is there. I don’t have to talk to anyone. Am I the only one that likes to be alone with myself this early in the morning?

This is not to say that I’m not a morning person. I most definitely am a morning person. I would much rather wake up at 5am than stay up until 2am. When the alarm sounds I reach for the off button and head to the shower. Even though the snooze button is about 1000% larger than the off button, I’ve never hit the snooze button. I don’t see the purpose of those extra fifteen minutes. Although, I will dive back under the covers if I happen to wake up two minutes BEFORE my alarm. I know, it’s weird.

So, the missing sun really threw off my routine this morning. Thankfully, the late-rising sun means a late-setting sun and a late-setting sun means spring is on its way. And it’s about time, I’m sick of dreary East Coast, winter-like weather. Bring on the sandals, sun dresses and bikinis, I’m ready to shed my Northface!
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