Sunday, December 16, 2018

No-Stir Fudge


About a million years ago, ok maybe 16 give or take, Haily Roberts gave us some fudge probably for Christmas that was AMAZING. Plus she said it was EASY to make and that you don't even stir it (WHAT?). I'd always made the sweetened condensed milk version up until then because I didn't know any better.

Many people have asked me how to make this fudge. I usually just direct them to this recipe that our friends Mark and Hailey Parnell posted, which is Haily Roberts' recipe (we were all in the same ward loving the fudge). I just wanted to post again with some additional instructions. You can glean all these details from the comments in the link, but I'm going to type out here exactly what I do in the Long Instructions.

Ingredients:

4 C Sugar
1 12 ounce can Evaporated Milk
1 C (2 sticks) butter
4 C Guittard Chocolate (2 C of milk and 2 C of semi-sweet)
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 - 2 C nuts (optional)

Short Instructions:

1. Combine sugar and evaporated milk in a heavy, large, tall pot. Bring to a boil. Boil for 11 minutes. Add butter, chocolate, vanilla, and nuts. Pour into a 9 x 13. Let set overnight.

Long Instructions:

1. Put 4 Cups of sugar into a large, heavy, tall saucepan (ok, maybe it's not called a saucepan when it's that big, but I don't know what it's called). Haily's original recipe also says 4 1/2 Cups Sugar, but I think we all make it with 4 Cups so it's less sugary and more chocolatey.

2. Pour in 1 can (12 ounces) of evaporated milk. I usually use whatever brand is cheapest, but this year I got some Carnation at Winco and think the fudge tastes slightly better with it, but probably no one else will notice if you use the Great Value kind.

3. Turn on the heat just above medium. I use a gas top stove. I used to use glass-top. My knob has been at slightly different places on the different stoves; you'll have to experiment a little and notice if you get any scorching. If you get scorching, cook it a little lower and slower.

4. Stir the sugar and milk mixture so the sugar is evenly distributed throughout the milk. Take out the spoon, rinse it off, and don't touch it until step 13.

5. Let the milk and sugar come to a boil WITHOUT STIRRING. Believe me. You will ruin it if you touch it because you'll disrupt whatever scientific process the sugar is going through, and the fudge will turn out grainy. Bringing the mixture to a boil is, I think, the funnest part of the whole process, well, in addition to eating it! Little bubbles will start around the edges, then they will overtake the center and then the mixture will boil up, at least doubling in size. It's like an atomic bomb goes off in your pot, and it will start to smell really good. If you make this enough, you'll also become familiar with the sound of the bubbles when the boiling has maxed out. On my glass top stove I could make this in a 3 qt pot, but that now overflows on my gas stove, so I have to use a bigger pot.

6. As soon as the milk and sugar explode (I'm sure there's a technical name for it), set your timer for 11 minutes. Then, turn your temperature to just below the medium mark so the boil will be maintained.

7. While the milk and sugar boil, in a large bowl, place 1 Cup (or 2 sticks) of cut up butter (soft butter is best). Story: Once I forgot to prep my butter; in fact, it was frozen! The recipe was forgiving enough that I was able to soften my two sticks of butter two times in the microwave after my timer had gone off and the milk and sugar mixture was still hot enough to melt the butter and even later the chocolate! That was a relief.

8. In a small bowl, measure 2 Cups of Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips and 2 Cups of Guittard Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. You can use either one bag of each, or you can use the bulk melting chips like from Winco. Don't use Nestle, or Hersheys, or Western Family, or even Ghiradelli. Just find the Guittard.

9. If you like nuts, measure in a small bowl 1 1/2 - 2 Cups walnuts or pecans or whatever.

10. Have ready your vanilla and a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon.

11. Have ready a spatula and your stirring spoon.

12. Have ready the container/s you want to pour your fudge into. You can use a sprayed or lined 9 x 13, or for neighbor gifts I use 7 deli/clamshell boxes (which I fill around halfway).

13. When the timer goes off, turn off your heat. Remove your pan, and pour the boiled milk and sugar over your butter in the large bowl. Don't scrape the cooking pot too much because we think it can knock in sugar crystals that will start other sugar crystals forming, which will make your fudge grainy, so you really just want the beautiful hot liquid that's been boiling, not the crusty stuff on the sides that has already started to cool, or stuff that bubbled up on the sides of the pan while cooking (my science could be a little wrong here, and my run-on sentence is fantastic, but it's something like that). Let the mixture sit for a few seconds, then stir until the butter is about all melted into the milk and sugar. If it's not totally melted, it's ok, it will incorporate when you stir in the chocolate.

14. Dump the chocolate chips into the big bowl with the milk, sugar, butter mixture. Wait a few seconds for the chocolate to start to get soft. Put in the 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Start stirring. It will be greasy-shiny at first because of the butter, but then everything will incorporate and it will become smooth and satiny. It won't take long. To stir, I like to turn my bowl while I plop the mixture over onto itself, then end with a few good full-bowl stirs. I used to pour the hot liquid over the butter AND chocolate in the big bowl, but because the temperature is still so high, that tends to scorch your chocolate and make it kind of grainy/lumpy and to separate. Once I started the mixing/cooling process in two different steps, I've had better results.

15. Dump in your nuts and give it a few stirs.

16. Scrape off your spoon with your spatula, or don't, just lick it later.

17. Quickly pour the fudge into your container/s. Scrape all goodness out of your bowl with your spatula.

18. Wait at least several hours for it to firm up, or not. If you do start eating it immediately with a spoon, you might notice the texture will change because you are disturbing it as it cools. The best texture is formed when you don't touch it.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Easy Creamed Corn

This is what Megan brought to Thanksgiving last year. Yummmmm.
From https://damndelicious.net/2014/11/12/easy-creamed-corn/

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 ounces PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9-inch baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Combine cream cheese, butter and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Stir in milk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in corn until well combined, about 2 minutes. Stir in thyme; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Spread corn mixture into the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with cheese. Place into oven and bake until bubbly, about 15-17 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Easy Fish Tacos

Easy Fish Tacos

We absolutely love these!!

Corn tortillas
Skinny fish sticks
Shredded Cheese
Avocado/guacamole
Coleslaw (recipe below)

1.  Make coleslaw: (Southern Living Cookbook, from Mom)
Mix all but coleslaw in a med-large bowl.  Then add coleslaw and mix together.  Refrigerate until ready to serve:

(Half Recipe- makes enough for probably 12+ tacos)  Full recipe HERE
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c mayo
1/4 c milk (can use half buttermilk- or use a little lemon juice at bottom of milk measurement)
1 1/4 Tbs lemon juice (so 1 Tbs plus a little less than a tsp)
3/4 Tbs cider vinegar (so 1 1/2 tsp)
1/4 tsp salt
sprinkle of pepper
10-14 oz bagged coleslaw mix

2.  Heat fish sticks in oven.
3. Shred cheese
4. Make guacamole with avacados
5 Heat corn tortillas:
Heat skillet to med-high heat.  Cook each tortilla about 15 seconds on each side.  keep warm between paper towels.

6.To serve:
Spread guacamole on bottom of tortilla.  Top with fish stick, cheese, and coleslaw.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Asian Pasta Salad

An old recipe from Natalie Hunt

16 oz bow tie pasta
1 bag fresh baby spinach
6 oz Craisins
30 oz mandarin oranges (drained)
1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped
1 bunch green onions (opt)
1/4 C sesame seeds (toasted)
6 oz honey roasted peanuts
2 C cooked, cubed chicken breast

Dressing:
3/4 C canola oil
3/4 C Mr. Yoshida's teriyaki sauce (I just use whatever)
6 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Minestrone Soup

If I remember correctly, this tastes similar to Olive Garden's.  I really like it!!

Veggie-Packed Minestrone Soup
Posted By sara wells On 01.07.2013 @ 12:01 am from Ourbestbites.com

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monster Cookies- Gluten Free

  • From Mel's Kitchen Cafe

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups (9.25 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (7.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons, 4 ounces), softened
  • 4 1/2 cups (18 ounces) quick cooking oats (double check oats are gluten-free if making gluten-free cookies)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) M&Ms
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) milk chocolate, semisweet, or bittersweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, silpat liners or lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer (or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), add the eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Mix well.
  1. Add the salt, baking soda, vanilla, peanut butter and butter. Mix until creamy and well combined, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the oatmeal, M&Ms, and chocolate chips until combined. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Scoop the dough into heaping tablespoon-sized balls (see note above) and place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. If you want the cookies thinner, flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand.
  4. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. Don’t overbake – the cookies should just be set and very lightly golden around the edges.
  5. Let the cookies sit for 1-2 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in a airtight container for 2 days (the baked cookies freeze well, also).

NOTES:

Keep in mind that if you want the cookies to be safely gluten-free, make sure your oats are certified gluten-free (it will say on the package if they are). Speaking of oats, several commenters have successfully used old-fashioned oats (the cookies may spread a bit more). Or you could take your old-fashioned oats and process them lightly in a blender before using (measure after they have been blended a bit). 
Also, lots of times when I make these, I sub in different kinds of chips. Peanut butter chips are dreamy (in addition to or in place of M&Ms or part of the chocolate chips). Finally, many of you commented you’ve gotten a lot more than 2-3 dozen cookies out of this batch and that’s because you make your cookies small and I make mine not-small. Sometimes, I use my #40 medium cookie scoop which is about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons but a lot of time, I grab the #20 scoop which is 3 tablespoons or more. I mean, we’re going for monster cookie here, right?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Creamy Potato Salad

This recipe is taken from the from the all-new ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

4 pounds small red potatoes (No need to peel)
1 ½ c light mayonnaise (I used Best Foods Olive Oil mayo, 2 c)
1 ½ c light sour cream (I actually used less sour cream, 1 cup instead of 1 ½ c)
1 ½ t prepared horseradish (I used a little less than that, 1 ¼ t)
1 t salt
½ t celery seeds
1 c chopped fresh parsley (I used about half that much, ½ c)
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped

Cook potatoes in boiling water (I steamed them) to cover in a Dutch oven 30 minutes. Drain and cool. Thinly slice potatoes (I cut ½ to ¾ inch chunks).

Stir together mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients. Gently stir into potatoes

Cover and chill. Top with green onions. (I actually stirred the onions into the dressing and sprinkled some more parsley on top.)