Food, Tutorials

Boozy Beer Mug Fudge

Saint Patrick's day is next week so I came up with a recipe for some boozy fudge that you can decorate to look like cute little mugs of beer. These would be great as a St. Patrick's day party snack. There is alcohol in this fudge, so it's adults only, sorry kids! Supplies

Green icing is optional.

A normal cookie cutter probably wouldn't work for this fudge, because they'd be too short to cut all the way through the fudge, but a petit four cutter would be perfect. Here's an affiliate link where you can get your own circular petit four cutter(make sure to select the circle).

Here's how to make the fudge!

Guiness fudge

Irish cream fudge

Once the fudge has set for at least 2 hours, it should be ready to be cut up!

Remove fudge from the fridge and use your circle cutter to cut cylinders from the fudge. My crappy handmade circle cutter couldn't deal with this fudge and broke after three cuts, so I ended up just cutting  the rest into squares.

Cut the top loops off of a pretzel like so.

Squish the cut pretzel into the fudge cylinder. Repeat for all of the fudge.

For some St. Paddy's flair, pipe a little four leaf clover on the little mugs.

All done! Here are two of the mugs with all of the extra fudge I cut into squares.

I think these turned out so cute. They look like little mugs of a dark stout with a nice, thick head. Oh, and they taste pretty great too!

I wish I had bought the petit four circle cutter instead of being stubborn and trying to make my own. Then I could have made more little mugs instead of just cutting the rest of the fudge into squares. Oh well, next time!

Food, Tutorials

Valentine's Day Chocolates!

Valentine's day is coming up, and if you're like me, you'll want to hand make the gift for your Valentine. And if you really want to make them happy, you'll want to make them some edible gifts! Lucky for you I put together a video on how to make a few different chocolate candies for your special someone (or yourself)!

To learn how and why to temper chocolate, click here for a great tutorial.

orange ganache filledHover over or click on the images to see the instructions.

This recipe is actually from Ann Reardon from How to Cook That. I took some liberties with how I decorated them though.

dulce de lecheHover over or click on the images to see the instructions.

If you like the molds I used, here's an affiliate link so you can pick up some of your own!

chili ganacheHover over or click on the images to see the instructions.

mochi filledHover over or click on the images to see the instructions.

You can give them to your sweetie however you like, but personally I think they look pretty nice in a cute little heart box!


So cute!

If you want to learn how to make some of your own heart boxes then stay tuned, next week I'll be posting a tutorial on how to make some of your own!



Delicious Chicken Pot Pie

I love cooking and I experiment a lot in the kitchen, so I thought I'd start posting some of my recipes whenever they end up tasting good. I try to minimize what I waste in the kitchen, so when I read about celery leaves and how they're perfectly edible and actually taste pretty darn good, I was excited to try them out in a recipe.  Here is the recipe for some personal sized pot pies I made the other day where I utilized this usually ignored ingredient.

Mmm, yummy!

Pot pie filling: 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed 1 cup sliced carrots 1 cup frozen green peas 3/4 cup sliced celery 1/3 cup butter 1/3 cup chopped onion 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 tablespoon chopped celery leaves 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves 2 whole bay leaves enough chicken broth to cover chicken (it should be at least if not more than 2 cups) 2/3 cup milk salt and pepper to taste

2 boxes of 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts (you'll end up using only 3 of the crusts) 6 (5 inch) pie tins

Egg wash: 1 egg 2 tablespoons water


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)

In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, celery, thyme and bay leaves. Add chicken broth to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain making sure to reserve the liquid, remove bay leaves and set aside.

In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour and celery leaves. Measure out 2 cups of the reserved liquid and slowly stir it in along with the milk. (If you don't have enough of the reserved liquid you can suppliment it with more chicken broth, and if you have some left over you can save it and use it the next time you need chicken broth!) Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Mix in the drained chicken mixture.

Unroll pie crusts onto a cutting board and cut in half. Take one half, place over the pie pan and gently press into the pan. You might have to coax it a little bit, but it should work out. Cut off the excess, roll into a ball and roll it back out to create the top of the pie. Repeat for other pies. Fill each of them with the pot pie filling. Cover with top crust, fold over the edge of the crust and use a fork to seal the edges. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Whisk egg and water together. Brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Filled, eggwashed and ready to be baked!

Fresh out of the oven!

I ended up only making four of these pies and saving the extra filling because I only bought one box of pie crusts, which supplied me with two 9 inch sheets of dough; just enough for four pies. Whenever I decide on making the last two pies I'll probably try my hand at making my own dough.

Food, Tutorials

Adventures in Bread Making.

I love to bake and cook, but I've never tried to make bread before.. that is, until a few days ago.  Unfortunately my first loaf turned out wierd and half unbaked, but I've since then redeemed myself.  The kind of bread I chose for my first ever to bake is challah.  When it came to the egg wash and the topping I changed the recipe slightly.  I'll elaborate on that when I get there though.. for now, I'll talk you through the journey!



2 teaspoons yeast

1/4 warm water

3 1/2 cups flour sifted

4 eggs (only three go in to the dough, the last is for the egg wash)

1/4 honey

1/4 oil

1 1/2 teaspoons salt


Mix the yeast with 1/4 cup of the flour and the warm water and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.  While you're waiting, mix together the three eggs, honey, oil and salt.  When the yeast mixture is all good and bubbly mix your honey mixture into that.  Then dump in the rest of the flour (3 1/4 cups should be left) and mix it all up by hand.  When it starts to come together, dump it out onto a floured surface and knead it.  The recipe I used said to need for 5 minutes maximum.  I averaged about 3 minutes.  After you're done kneading take your little dough ball and put it in a bowl, cover it with a damp cloth and put it somewhere warm.  When I do this, I usually set the oven at a low temp. while I'm making the dough, and then when I put it in I turn it off.  Anyway, after that is the fun part!  The braiding.  I searched around youtube for a good instructional video on how to braid challah, and I chose to do the 6 strand braid.  Here's how it looked after braiding:

Pretty nice... except for that little area at the bottom, but whatever.  I figured I'd eat that end first.  So after you braid it all up, you get to have more fun waiting.  Another two hours.  Oh yes.  Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap and stick it back in that warm spot.  After two hours it should have doubled in size... but for me on my first attempt this did not happen.  It didn't even double in size after the first two hour wait.  Stupid yeast ended up being too old.  Oh well.  I'll show what it looked like when it didn't work and when it did, so you guys can kind of tell if you decide to try to make this.  Here's the stupid after the second two hour wait.. and how barely grew:

Stupid thing...


Anyway, I still tried to bake this thing.  Set your oven to 325 and get out that egg to prepare the egg wash.  Crack it in a bowl and mix it up and you've got your egg wash.  Brush it on carefully.. you don't want to push out any precious air.  Some places I've read that you're not supposed to put that much, but some places say to use a lot, so I'd just say go with what looks good to you!  That's what I do.  After the egg wash you top it.  Traditionally it's topped with sesame seeds, and sometimes raisins... but I wanted mine to be sweeter, so I topped it with cinnamon sugar... yeah, I cheated.. but it's delicious.   


Now throw it into the oven!!  Bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.  The recipe I used said to stick a pie pan full of ice cubes in there with the bread to keep the conditions humid inside the oven, but to take it out for the last 5 minutes of baking, to let the crust really get brown and harden.  Here's what I pulled out of the oven after 35 minutes...

Eww.  It looks wierd.  It ended up being so dense because it didn't rise.. that the inside was still dough.  It was pretty gross.  I still ate the butt ends though.  Yum.


On to the second try!


I got newer yeast and tried again the next day.  I meant to take a picture right after I braided it and before I let it rise for a good comparison shot, but unfortunately I forgot... I have a good shot of it after rising though!

This is with the egg wash and the cinnamon sugar.  My mom said it reminded her of chicken.  My braiding is pretty shotty for this loaf... this is a picture of the pretty side.. the other side is wierd and uneven.  I was preoccupied with the season finale of Lost.  You can compare the last loaf with this one... I used the exact same sheet pan to cook the bread, and you can see just how much bigger this one got.


But of course, something had to go wrong(actually, it's not too bad, it just makes it not as pretty as I hoped it'd turn out).. the oven decided to bake unevenly so the pretty side of the challah is a lot lighter than the ugly side.  The ugly side got as dark as challah's supposed to, so I didn't want to keep it in longer.  Well, that and because I'm impatient and I wanted to eat some.  Here it is:

There we go.. Looks MUCH better! 

Here is a picture of its insides:

Mm, so yummy.


I've heard that this bread is great for making french toast with because it's already sort of sweet because of the honey.  I'm totally going to make some sometime.  It's also good just by itself. Mmmmm.