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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Buttermilk Syrup

Ana's Corner

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals to make, and in my opinion NO breakfast is complete without buttermilk syrup.  It's sweet, it's light, it's creamy and caramelly and everything about it just says gobble me up!  Once you realize how EASY and delicious buttermilk syrup is to make, you'll never settle for normal syrup again.  It's just that good!

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Yield: about two cups (one batch is the perfect amount to go with a pan of German pancakes, double the recipe if you're feeding more than 8 people)

Buttermilk Syrup Ingredients:
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk (I NEVER buy buttermilk, I always use a 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice,  let it sit for a couple minutes)
3/4 sugar (you can substitute sugar for 1/2 cup agave, but then it's recommended that you use real buttermilk)
Optional: corn syrup (if you add in corn syrup, don't use quite the full amount of sugar)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

If you're not using real buttermilk, put 1/2 tablespoon of lemonjuice into a 1/2 cup and fill the rest of the cup up with milk, let it sit while you proceed on to the butter.  In a large saucepan melt the butter (you can even brown the butter if you like, just don't burn it) until completely liquefied.  Stir in the buttermilk and sugar and boil (stirring regularly) until of a smooth consistency.  I'm impatient so I boil it on high stirring constantly.  If you want the syrup to have a more caramel like flavor/texture then stir in a teaspoon or so of corn syrup (I don't measure it, I just dump a little bit in). If you want thinner syrup, cook it just until the curdles of the buttermilk disappear.  If you want it thicker, cook it until it reaches your desired consistency.

Remove the pot from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla until completely absorbed.  The syrup will foam up and double in size so make sure your saucepan is big enough to handle the amount that you're making!

This is buttermilk syrup, bananas, and whip cream on top of the yummiest ever german pancakes :-)

Do I need buttermilk to make buttermilk syrup?
--No, I never use buttermilk.  To substitute milk for buttermilk you put one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar (I prefer lemon juice) in a cup, fill cup to top with milk, and then let sit for a few minutes until it starts to curdle.  (so for this recipe, 1/2 tablespoon for 1/2 cup)

Can I substitute Agave for sugar when making buttermilk syrup?
--Yes, just use 1/2 cup for this recipe.  We've never had good results substituting both agave and buttermilk though, so if you use agave, use real buttermilk

Do I need corn syrup to make buttermilk syrup?
--No, but it does make it more yummy and caramelly.  Essentially buttermilk syrup is just thin, undercooked caramel when you make it with corn syrup ;-) Add as much or as little as you like, just always add less sugar if using corn syrup so that it's not too sweet.  A tablespoon is more than plenty (a teaspoon is enough).
We have more fun food themes!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cowboy Cookies Elaine's Kitchen

Cowboy Cookies
Elaine's Corner

This recipe is my mom's recipe and it is the best cowboy cookie recipe that I have ever tried.  Don't over bake these cookies.  They should just barely start to turn brown and still look soft and moist when you take them out of the oven. This makes them nice and chewy and not hard.  Either way they are a great cookie!  Take them off the cookie pans immediately after baking and then let them cool. 

What you will need:

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. soda in 2 tbsp. boiling water
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups rolled oats
1 pkg. chocolate chips

Putting the cookie together:

Cream shortening and sugars together.  Add eggs and beat until creamy.  Mix salt and baking powder in with flour and sift together.  Mix soda into boiling water.  Add the flour mixture to the shortening mixture.  Add vanilla.  Stir in oats and chocolate chips.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly brown.  Makes 50 cookies.


We have adorable cookie pockets to go with these:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Easy Delicious Chick Pea Soup

Easy Delicious Chick Pea Soup
Ana's Corner

I love chick peas...I just think they are so yummy.  Up until now I've only used chickpeas to make homemade hummus (recipe HERE) and I typically use canned chick peas.  Then, I learned that you can roast chick peas in the oven (400 degrees for like 35 minutes) covered in any combination of seasonings (I did oil, cinnamon, and sugar) for a tasty treat.  That was delicious.  

I had heard that canned chick peas taste like crap compared to real chickpeas, so now that I have my awesome pressure cooker, I decided to boil up a batch of fresh chickpeas.  They were SO good. In my pressure cooker it took about 7 minutes to cook a 2 pound bag.  I know what you're thinking.  Why on earth would she cook TWO POUNDS of chick peas at one time.  Whoops. I really wasn't thinking.  That's a lotttttttt of chick peas for ya.  The thing with beans is, they look realllllllly small....but then by the time that you soak them overnight and cook them they are HUMONGOUS and you have like five times more beans than you started with.  Anywho. 

I suddenly found myself with lots of chickpeas and not a lot of ideas. I ate several handfuls just raw (because they were that good).  I plan to make hummus with some of them (but haven't found the energy yet).  As I sat there munching on handfuls of now cold chickpeas, I thought to myself "if only these were covered in a yummy sauce." And so was born the decision to make soup. And what a yummy chick peas soup it was.  Even my HUSBAND who HATES chickpeas ate it and loved it (granted, he said it would be better with chicken instead of chick peas :-P).  And so, here it is: 
Easy Delicious Chick Pea Soup

First off, you need to start a day early (unless you're using canned chick peas).  Soak 1 pound of raw chick peas in a pot of water overnight.  Cook until soft (7 minutes in a pressure cooker once it's pressurized and you lower heat to medium, probably an hour on the stove?)--I cooked mine in salted water that just covered the peas.

Easy Delicious Chick Pea Soup

Olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp red pepper
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes (don't drain sauce)
1 heaping tsp chicken bouillon powder (my prefered method, equivalent to a few cans or a few cubes of chicken bouillon)
(one pound chick peas from above, this would be two-three cans?)
spinach (optional, I omitted this because I didn't have any) 

Sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent.

Add in all of the spices (including bouillon) and the tomatoes and stir until mixed.

Thin out with water, pouring slowly while stirring over medium heat.

Add chick peas (add more water if chick peas aren't covered).  Add salt, pepper (and more bouillon if necessary), to taste.  Let simmer until chick peas are heated through.  Add chopped spinach (according to personal preferences) 5-10 minutes before serving, letting it cook just until wilted.

I thought this soup had the yummiest was just what I wanted to sauce up my chick peas :-)  I hope you enjoy!

Want fun things to do with your recipes?

Monday, July 21, 2014

School Printable Candy Holder Pencil "Back to School"

With July coming to a close, the start of school is already creeping up on us! I saw signs in Hawaii announcing that school would begin on August 1st...that's like next week! We always like to do fun traditions to celebrate the start of school (it makes it a little easier for all of us :-P).  We always have a big "back to school" themed dinner in which all of the kids get fun back to school treats. These Printable Candy Holder Pencil "Back to School" pockets would be perfect either for a dinner or just as a fun little surprise to leave on kids' beds (or even to send in the mail to grandchildren or nieces or nephews!).
To download Printable Candy Holder Pencil "Back to School" just CLICK HERE
We have more fun ideas just like this one!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

So, forever ago, we posted this Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and as I was browsing through our posts the other day I realized that it didn't have very many hits...which is CRAZY because it is absolutely THE best chocolate chip cookie recipe that I have ever had in my life.  Every single time that I make it I get rave reviews and tons of requests for the recipe.  People, HERE IT IS! This chocolate chip cookie recipe is awesome: it is delicious, it is soft, it is crunchy, it is rich, it is is everything that you could possibly want in a cookie.  So go get on it! Your stomach will say thank you.

1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups oats, blended to flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp.salt
1 package chocolate chips (I use the big yummy Guittard milk chips)

How to make THE best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 350

Blend the oats to flour (I just use my Ninja).  Stir together the oat flour, the flour, soda, baking powder, and salt together. 

In a separate bowl, beat together butter, eggs, sugars, and vanilla.  Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and then stir in the chocolate chips. 

Form into balls (I like to make reallllly big cookies) and bake on greased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes.  The cookies will still look soft--take them out anyways; they will continue to cook on the sheet after you remove them from the oven.  This is the trick to having perfect, soft and crunchy cookies.  Don't overbake them, but let them continue to cook on the sheet after removal.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mock Banana Cream Pie Dessert

Mock Banana Cream Pie Dessert
Ana's Corner

A few weeks ago I posted THIS super easy and delicious recipe for banana cream pie (that I proceeded to make twice in the next week because it was soooo good)...if you want a great banana cream pie recipe, definitely go and make that right now.  If you want something EVEN EASIER and you don't want to use a stove or anything, then make this! This recipe is quick, simple, yummy, and it satisfies the desire for a cool summer treat.  

Mock Banana Cream Pie Dessert
yields one 9 x 13 casserole dish

2 boxes banana pudding (and ingredients called for on box)
1 normal container cool whip
1 box Nilla wafers
4-5 bananas, sliced

Make the pudding as instructed on box, stir in the cool whip and let sit.

Layer in casserole dish:
Vanilla wafers

and repeat (Nilla wafers, bananas, pudding)

Chill in refrigerator and serve with a dollop of whipped cream! 

We have so many fun summer ideas!