My Holiday Open House!!

11 Comments

Well it is almost Christmas and for Holidays everyone loves homemade sweet treats!!

IMG_1513

And for the last two weeks I had Holiday Open Houses in a few of our stores 🙂

I made tons of sweet treats, shared my recipes and displayed those goodies in different ways as gifts, to give customers ideas on for Holiday gift giving.

I made fudge, bark, Christmas crack, Holiday muddy buddy mix, snowman soup among other things, I had over 20 recipes to share.  It was lots of fun, I had Christmas music playing (under my table), I gave everyone lots of ideas for their Christmas gifts.

Check out some of the pictures

Getting started 🙂

IMG_1470

 

Some baking dishes

IMG_1473

i have lots of things to fill 🙂

IMG_1471

Recipes

IMG_1485

Recipes

IMG_1486

Recipes

IMG_1487

Tips on packaging 🙂

IMG_1488

things are getting filled

IMG_1474

Chocolate covered popcorn

IMG_1489

christmas bark

IMG_1490

white chocolate bark

IMG_1491

Christmas fudge

IMG_1495

A hot cocoa kit, cocoa, marshmallows and peppermint stir sticks

IMG_1494

fun

IMG_1493

gathering it all together 🙂

IMG_1492

some cute mason jar ideas

IMG_1496

Setting up at one of the stores

IMG_1497

its coming together

IMG_1498

display

IMG_1501

more of the display

IMG_1502

here is a close up

IMG_1503

 

IMG_1504

 

IMG_1505

 

IMG_1509

Lot of stuff was found at the Dollar store and I made it look cute 🙂

IMG_1512

This was it set up another store, I added the Candy Canes
and did the green fabric a little different 🙂

IMG_1513

I love that I had the baking supply display behind me, people
were just asking what to get, I was filling up their carts 🙂

IMG_1528

I hope all you have a Merry Christmas!!!!

 

Advertisements

Blueberry Crumb Bars!!

19 Comments

These Blueberry Crumb Bars turned out so delicious!!!

photo 2 (3)

I was invited to a luncheon and I wanted to bring something for everyone to take home and enjoy!! And I really must say they are very tasty 😛

So I made Blueberry and I made Raspberry, I wrapped them up in this cute matching wax paper and bags along with cute stickers all from Michael’s…don’t you just love Michael’s!! 🙂

photo 4

I had such a great time visiting with the ladies, one of the ladies “Val” just moved into a new high rise along the river that over looks downtown Cincinnati and her place was just exquisite!!!!

photo 5

I tried to take a “selfie” I am not very good, but sun was shining and it was hard to see, I was trying to get the Reds Great American Ball Park in the background too 😛

photo (2)

I met these wonderful ladies through a friend of mine Robin, we both used to work for the same company and we remained in touch and good friends.  She had me cater a few parties at her house so that is how I got to know this group of lovely ladies.

photo

So “Thank you Val” for including me and I hope all the ladies enjoyed the bars.  I know I had a great time!!! 🙂

I hope you all make these bars for your friends or family!!

photo 2 (2)

Ingredients

Crust

photo 1 (7)

Blend in processor

photo 3 (6)

photo 2 (7)

Blended, pour into sprayed baking dish

photo 5 (6)

 

press down all over and bake

photo 1 (6)

baked

photo 2 (5)

 

Filling ingredients

photo 2 (6)

jam

photo 5 (5)

since I made both I used this one for the raspberry

photo 1 (8)

spread over top of crust

photo 3 (4)

photo 4 (4)

blueberries and flour

photo 3 (5)

toss together

photo 4 (5)

 

sprinkle on top of jam and crust

photo 5 (4)

Ingredients for topping

photo 1 (5)

pulse

Topping

pulsed 🙂

Topping2

sprinkle over top the blueberries and bake

photo 3 (3)

Done and ready to cool

photo 4 (3)

photo 5 (3)

photo 4 (2)

photo 1 (2)

 

Blueberry Crumb Bars

  • Servings: 9-16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crust

3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. powdered sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

Filling

1 pint blueberries or “3” 6 oz. containers of raspberries, about 2 cups
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 cup blueberry jam or raspberry if using raspberries

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

Preheat over to 375 degrees and spray or grease an 8×8 baking dish.

Crust – combine, flour, powdered sugar, salt and butter, place in a food processor or use a pastry blender until butter is the size of small peas.  Sprinkle mixture into the bottom of the baking dish and press down evenly and bake 12 minutes.

Filling – if the jam you are using is thick and is not spreadable then place into a small sauce pan and heat jam to make spreadable, you can use the microwave as well.  Pour the berries in a large bowl and sprinkle flour over top and gently toss to coat them.

Once the crust is done, spread jam evenly over the crust, crust will be warm so the jam does warm up and makes it easy to spread. Sprinkle berries over top the jam, any left over flour in the bottom of the bowl can be just sprinkle evenly over the berries.

Crumb Topping – in food processor add flour, brown sugar and butter, pulse mixture until crumbly, then sprinkle over top the blueberries and bake 35 – 40 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting. Enjoy!!

This picture when I made both, I used bigger pans and doubled the recipe 🙂

photo 3 (7)

Honey Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

10 Comments

Test Kitchen was back open last week and I had some Blueberries so I thought why not a Blueberry Upside-Down Cake 🙂

Great for breakfast with your coffee or tea, maybe as an afternoon snack or after dinner, I hope you make it for your next baking adventure 🙂

As I thought about the topping I thought I would cut the brown sugar with some honey, hence the name 🙂 so this is my recipe 🙂

photo (2)

Ingredients

IMG_20140810_185656

 

Spray your pan, draw out the bottom of the pan on parchment and cut it out

IMG_20140810_191748

 

Place parchment in pan and spray paper

IMG_20140810_191921

 

I fail to take a picture of the topping melting, but just melt butter, brown sugar and honey together
and pour in pan

IMG_20140810_192015

sprinkle blueberries over the topping in the pan

IMG_20140810_192415

 

Cream together the butter & sugar until fuffy
then add eggs, one at a time

IMG_20140810_192607

then add lemon juice and vanilla, then add flour and milk (read below)

IMG_20140810_192817

 

Fold in lemon zest

IMG_20140810_193137

 

pour on top of blueberries and bake

IMG_20140810_193258

let cool for about 10 minutes

IMG_20140810_201252

place platter on top of cake and flip upside down

IMG_20140810_202828

and there you have your Honey Blueberry Upside-down Cake
let cool completely

IMG_20140810_203006 IMG_20140810_202941

slice and serve

photo (5)

 

Honey Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Topping

1 pint fresh blueberries (if using frozen use 2 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup)

Cake

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons

Heat oven to 350 degrees, spray a 9×2 round baking pan with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Add 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), honey and brown sugar to a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until mixture is melted and smooth, stirring frequently.  Pour into baking pan; top with blueberries, set aside.

Whisk cake flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl, set aside.

Beat sugar and stick (1/2 cup) butter in a large bowl at medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in lemon juice and vanilla, at low speed beat in flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Fold in lemon zest then pour over top of the blueberries; smooth out evenly.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Using a small knife, loosen  cake from the side of pan, invert onto platter; remove parchment paper, cool completely.

This was super moist and honey delicious 🙂 Enjoy!!!

photo (3)

Key Lime Margarita Bars!!!

10 Comments

I just love Key Lime!!!

IMG_20140724_163116

Give me anything Key Lime…cake, cookies, Ice cream, yogurt, pie, candy, I think you get the picture 🙂

So I thought I would make a little something for the “taste tasters” in  out office 🙂

I was going to do something with chocolate or Key Lime and the word in the office was Key Lime since it was the summer.

So by using the pretzels in the crust I thought, oh salt…lime…okay Margarita!!!  Of course minus the Tequila 😦

But if you wanted to add tequila you could, what I would do is cut the lime juice in half adding the tequila as the other half (1/4 cup lime juice & 1/4 cup tequila).  But then add the zest of 3-4 limes instead of one, this will bring out the lime flavor, but I guess if you love tequila you could add all tequila and then just more lime zest.

I think if I was going to use Tequila, I would make the batter with out the juice, mix together, then add some Tequila and taste it, so you don’t over power it with Tequila 😛

Ingredients

IMG_20140723_144120

Crush your pretzels, I did not crush them finely because I wanted to
make the texture like coarsely chopped nuts
IMG_20140723_145507

IMG_20140723_145919

Add pretzels and sugar to a bowl

IMG_20140723_150853

 

add melted butter and mix together

IMG_20140723_150921

 

mixed

IMG_20140723_151021

Press mixture into a 9×13 sprayed pan and bake

IMG_20140723_151415

 

Meanwhile whisk eggs, milk, lime zest and juice together

IMG_20140723_152928

 

IMG_20140723_153812

Baked crust, let cool about 15 minutes

IMG_20140723_154102

pour mixture over top of crust

IMG_20140723_154132

 

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

IMG_20140723_154251

baked

IMG_20140723_164148

Slice add lime zest for a garnish

IMG_20140724_162918

Eat and enjoy

IMG_20140724_163047 IMG_20140724_162723 IMG_20140724_163236 IMG_20140724_163534

Key Lime Margarita Bars

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crust

1 1/2 cups pretzels, crushed
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted

Mix all together in a bowl, then press into a 9×13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes.  Let cool 15 minutes.

Meanwhile make batter

2 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs, at room temp
1/2 cup Key Lime or lime juice (see note above if you want to add Tequila)
zest of 2 limes and extra for garnish

Whisk together in a medium bowl, then pour over top the baked crust, spread evenly and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Center will not jiggle and edges will be light brown.

Let cool completely on counter, then refrigerate till cold, over night if you can.  You can garnish the top with lime zest or if you serve pieces individually you can add strips of lime zest on top of each piece.

IMG_20140724_162807

Orange Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Leave a comment

pic 1

I really do love making cookies, they are probably the thing I like to make the most, just because you can add sooooo many different things and flavors.  Most of the time I will take the base dough that I make divide it half, three’s or in four’s, it really depends on the different combinations I want to try and see if they are any good.  Sometimes they work, sometimes your like yeah…NO 😛

But that is what’s fun about getting in the kitchen and creating a recipe.  When coming up with a recipe for you all here on my blog, I usually try to start with an ingredient that I like (ex. chicken, seafood, etc.), then a direction I want to go in, check my pantry, walk the aisle’s at the store, coming home and laying it all out on the counter and just start.  

Taste as I go, sometimes it’s not right and then I go back to the pantry and see what I have to make it better.  Everyone has different tastes, what I like, you may not like, so if you don’t like something in a recipe then change it, don’t be afraid to make your own.

So here we go with my newest cookie recipe; as I was thinking of what kind of cookie to make, I checked my pantry and left over from my Homemade Granola Recipe https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/03/25/homemade-granola/ was coconut and pecans.  So okay there is a start, then I saw  the oatmeal so okay an oatmeal cookie…but what else could I add… as I turned my head and started to think…there is was right on my table…Mandarin Oranges…yes!! 🙂

Ingredients

pic 2

First I got my coconut on a baking sheet to toast

pic 3                         pic 4

Whisk together flour, salt & baking soda set aside
                                                                          In a small cup add eggs & vanilla

pic 6                           pic 7

In mixer bowl add sugars & butter           Beat together

pic 5                            pic 8

Then add eggs with vanilla                         Then on low at flour mixture

pic 9                             pic 10

At this point I want to try two different cookies, so I halved the dough

pic 12

First Cookie – Orange Coconut Oatmeal
dough, coconut, orange zest, oatmeal              mix to combine

pic 13                            pic 14

Second Cookie – Orange Pecan Oatmeal
chop pecans, add pecans, zest, oatmeal, mix to combine

pic 11pic 15pic 16

Scoop on to baking sheet and bake

pic 17

done

pic 18

pic 20

So as I had my family test these cookies, they liked both for sure, the one’s that didn’t like coconut liked the pecan ones better, but most said they’d like them both together.  So there I mixed the coconut and the pecans together, but if you don’t like coconut or can’t have nuts, you can leave one or the other out.

Recipe – Orange Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

2 eggs
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
zest of 4 mandarin oranges
2 cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven 350 degrees
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda, set aside
In a small cup add eggs and vanilla, set aside
To toast coconut, add to baking sheet, bake at 350 degrees until light brown, keep an eye on this, in a second it will burn, stir every minute or so until light brown.   Chop pecans, set aside.

In your mixing bowl add butter and both sugars, beat on medium high for about 3 – 4 minutes.  Turn to mixer to medium add eggs with vanilla, beat until combined, on low add your flour mixture, once flour is kind of mixed, you can turn the mixer back to medium and beat until just combined.

Fold in or use your hands to mix in coconut, pecans, oats and orange zest.

Use a medium scoop, scoop dough on to lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart, bake for 12 – 15 minutes, golden brown.

I hope you will try them and enjoy!!!

And if you haven’t seen my Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies, check them out here

https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/02/

pic 21

Chocolate and Coffee!! …cookies!!

3 Comments

Chocolate and Coffee what really could be better!!

I really don’t think I could live with out coffee, I just love it, give it to me hot, cold, over ice, in a cup or in can  ———>    pic 1

I just love any kind of coffee drink and will seek out them out even if its International, but I do usually hit my local Starbucks for an Iced Venti 3 splenda Americano.   I also like to spread myself out and give all coffee shops  a fair shot.
I particularly like visiting this one Caribou Coffee shop, these girls that work there are a lot fun.  So when I go there all I ask is for a Medium size with 4 shots, and then tell them to work there magic with whatever they want to make me.
Then once its done, comes the taste test as I try to guess what they made me, well it is really a lot of fun and I’ve never had a bad drink yet.
My last one was  Dark Chocolate syrup with hazelnut, so I thought why not try to make a cookie with the same flavors.

So here is what I came up with and I will call it!!

pic 2

Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies and it went like this…

Ingredients (plus the nuts, which I forgot in the picture)

pic 3

add butter and 1/2 cup chips to saucepan and melt

pic 4

whisk in espresso powder, set aside

pic 5

add flour, salt, baking powder & cocoa, whisk together, set aside

pic 6

In a large bowl add both sugars, vanilla and eggs, whisk together

pic 7

pour chocolate mixture into sugar/egg mixture, combine

pic 8pic 9

add flour mixture to wet mixture and combine

pic 10pic 11

I took a handful of walnuts, chopped them up and it was 3/4 cup (didn’t have any hazelnuts)

pic 12

add chips and nuts

pic 13

scoop out on baking sheets

pic 14

and here you have cookies…Yummy!!!   pic 15

Recipe

Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 tbsp. espresso powder or instant coffee (heaping)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (1/2 cup) stick butter
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a small sauce pan add butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips, heat over medium heat whisking as they melt, once almost melted remove from heat.  Continue whisking until smooth, then add espresso powder mixing to combine and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl add flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa, set aside.
In a larger mixing bowl add sugars, vanilla and eggs, whisking to combine, then add chocolate mixture, whisking to fully combine.  Stir in Flour mixture all at once, stirring and folding until flour is fully incorporated.  Stir in remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips and walnuts.  I used a medium scoop (1 1/2 tbsp.) for these, baked them at 350 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes, you want them to look a little crackled.

Have them with a nice ice cold glass of milk or like me with more COFFEE!!!!    Enjoy!!!!

pic 16

Chocolate covered Apple Bites

Leave a comment

It’s Apple time, I love the fall and I love using apples in dishes and warm apple cider.  Had a little fall get together with friends this past weekend so I made apple bites.  Great fun for the Kids too!!!

These are so easy to make, I used Fowler Farms Zestar Apples, we carry apple from this farm and they are by far the best I’ve ever had, just delicious.

Things needed:
apples
melon baller
melting chocolate
Toppings – crushed oreos, pecans, sprinkles, m&m’s really what ever you can find that will stick
toothpicks

Hold the apple in one hand and melon baller in the other, scoop out balls of the apple.
I put them all in a bowl, then took a paper towel and kind of squeezed the cut side of the apple (because if its too wet the chocolate will not stick) to absorb some of the juice.  Put a toothpick in the top (skin side), then dipped in chocolate then toppings, set on a tray to cool.  You can also drizzle extra chocolate on them too, these will keep in the refrigerator for 2 -3 days.

This is great fun to do with your kids and to serve at Halloween Parties or any party.
Enjoy!!!