Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Best Chocolate Mousse EVER!

Just made the best chocolate mousse.  The recipe was good, but since I tweaked it a bit I needed to write it down for the future.  Enjoy.

Best Chocolate Mousse

Vanilla Pastry Cream:
6 large egg yolks
¾ cups granulated sugar
4 tbsp. cornstarch
3 cups whole milk
2 tbsp. good vanilla

Chocolate Mousse:
2 cups vanilla pastry cream
7 oz. chocolate
1 tbsp. gelatin
¼ cup water
1 ½ cups whipping cream
3 tbsp. powdered sugar

For pastry cream:
                In a heavy bottomed saucepan cook milk over medium low heat until bubbles start forming on the edges but does not boil.
                In a separate bowl beat eggs, sugar, and cornstarch together.  When milk is ready slowly add to egg mixture a little at a time while stirring constantly.  Stop when half of the milk is incorporated.  Pour egg mixture into the milk in the saucepan (stirring the whole time) and cook until thickened (stirring constantly). 

For the Mousse:

                Melt chocolate and add to warm pastry cream.  Soften gelatin in ¼ cup water and add to vanilla pastry cream while warm to melt it.  Stir until well combined.  Now I placed this bowl on top of another bowl full of ice and occasionally stirred until it became lukewarm.  You could also refrigerate it until lukewarm.  Beat whipping cream, add powdered sugar, and fold into the vanilla pastry cream/chocolate mixture.  

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Crocheted Santa Boot Cuffs

Made these up for a friend. 

Measure the circumference of your calf.

Chain 13
HDC in the next stitch and across (12 HDC)
HDC each row until you reach the correct length for your calf.  These were 14 inches.
Now that it can wrap around your calf slip stitch (or sew) the two ends together to form a tube. 
On the top of your formed tube sc around and join with a slip stitch.
Do five rows of single crochet joining with a slip stitch and chaining one at the end of each row.
Change to black.
Do 3 rows of single crochet around.
Four more rows of sc in red.
Two rows of sc in furry white.  Cut the tail of this long so you can weave it back through and make it more furry and not taller.  I cut it 3 feet too long to add more fluff.
Weave in ends.
To make buckle:
With yellow yarn chain 6 and sc in next stitch across (5 sc)
Do this again.
Chain 5 and sc in next stitch across (4 sc)
Do this again.
Sew these onto the boot cuff forming a rectangle around the black stripe.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Graphgan Review Part I

In a moment that can only be considered pure insanity I decided to crochet or knit all my kids a new blanket for their beds for their birthdays this summer.

I fell in love with this graphgan concept and decided to make them all that way.  Its insanity, I know that now.

So the first thing you need to make a graphgan is decide how to do it.  There are four different ways that I have seen.  

#1- Sew a million tiny granny squares about 1-2 inches each and sew them all together.  I actually did this.  I'm just not done yet.  After starting and getting no where I realized it was stupid and found other ways to do the rest.

#2- C2C crochet.  This is corner to corner crochet.  Google it.  Its amazing.  This is how I made this blanket.  

#3- Single crochet a pattern.  Each stitch is one block on the graph.

#4- Knit a pattern.  Each knit is one block on the graph.

After you have decided which technique to use (C2C!) you need to find a graph.  There is a crazy Perler bead craze and there are a ton of pictures on the internet for these.  That's what I used.  I even merged several.  There are also knitting graphs you can adapt as well.  

Then go crazy!  Not literally.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Awesome Sauce

Awesome Sauce

1 package “Traditional Hidden Valley Ranch” powdered dressing
1 cup mayo
1 cup buttermilk
2 tomatillos, removed husk and dice
½ bunch fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of one lime
1 jalapeno (seeded)

                Mix all ingredients in blender until the consistency of salad dressing.

Chocolate Velvet Pie

Chocolate Velvet Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
¾ cup cream
3 eggs, divided
1 egg yolk
10 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla, divided
1/8 tsp. salt
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened)
¼ cup whipping cream

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Prick holes in the crust with a fork and bake for 10 minutes.  Cool on a rack.
Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Combine chocolate and cream in a medium saucepan, heat over low heat and stir frequently until the chocolate is melted.  Add 6 Tbsp. sugar, ½ tsp vanilla, and salt.  Beat until blended.  Spread into the crust.
Beat cream cheese and 4 Tbsp. of sugar together until smooth.  Beat in the cream, 1 egg, and ½ tsp. vanilla.  Carefully spread this on top of the chocolate layer.

Bake for 40 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Serve with whipped cream.

Maple Pecan Pie

This pie was amazing.

Pecan Maple Syrup Pie

Favorite pie crust
3 eggs
1 cup maple syrup
6 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp. melted butter
½ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped pecans.

Prepare your favorite pie crust.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Roll out pie crust.  Place it in your pie pan.  Bake for five minutes.

Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Melt your butter in the microwave and allow to cool.  Mix all the other ingredients into except pecans.  Mix well and then add the pecans. 

Bake for 45 minutes.  Check to make sure the edges aren’t getting too brown.  Remove from oven when set.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Crochet Pattern- Flower Trivet

Crochet Pattern- Flower Trivet

 I got the idea for these trivets here.     I changed it a bit for my own purposes.
 This is a single crochet trivet with a wheel spoke middle.
 This was done with a triple crochet.
 This was done with a half double crochet with a solid circle middle.

 Here is the pattern:

Do a magic circle (look it up online) and chain five.

 In the ring do a double crochet.
 Chain two.
 Repeat eight more times until you have 10 double crochets (including your five chain).
 Pull the thread to tighten it up.
 Slip stitch into the third chain from your beginning chain.
 Do a single crochet into the next stitch.
 Chain 21 and connect to the second stitch on the right side of the double crochet.
 Repeat this until you have 10 rings.  Slip stitch into the first stitch.
 You can switch yarn anytime but I like doing it right here.

From here on out you can use a single, half double, or double crochet depending on how you want it to look.  I think the single crochet is my favorite but it takes a lot longer.

Do a single (double or half double) crochet stitch in each stitch.  When you get to the top of the loop (the 11th stitch) do three single (double or half double) stitches in the same stitch.  When you finish a round slip stitch into the first stitch and chain one.
 Then just keep going.  You should have six rounds if you are using the single crochet, four-ish using the half double, and three if you are using the double crochet.
 At some point your trivet will naturally start folding in on itself.

When you get the last round leave the tail about a yard long.

At this point I like to lay my trivet out and make sure it looks right.  Fold all the petals the same direction.  Then pick one petal and count six crochets from the point.  Start there with new yarn.

Slip stitch into the stitch and chain one.

Do six single crochets and then three single crochets in the same stitch (point).  Then another six single crochets down the other side.

Slip stitch into the other petal six single crochets from the point.  Keep going on all petals.  Slip stitch into the first stitch.  
Now you need to weave in all the stray pieces of yarn.  I love Fray Check.  

I use a tapestry needle and sew in between the stitches one direction about six stitches and then back six stitches.  Then I cut off the yarn and put Fray Check on the ends.  

 This is where I differ with the other pattern a lot.  I don't like gaps between my pedals so take that really long tail you left from the sixth round and sew it in between the petals.  Then just keep weaving into the edges of the petals to the next one.

This how you do the solid middle on the trivet.

Do a magic circle.  Chain three.  

Do 19 more double crochets in the magic circle.  

 Slip stitch into the top of the chain three.
 Do one single crochet into the next stitch.  Chain 21.  Single crochet into the next stitch.  Repeat until you have 10 petals.
 Then do as above.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Chocolate Chess Pie

 Such a good pie!  It was like a molten lava cake in pie form!

Chocolate Chess Pie


4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp. butter
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup half and half
2 tsp. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust or a graham cracker crust.  (I used graham cracker)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine chocolate and butter in a small saucepan.  Melt butter and chocolate on low heat until melted.  Stir frequently.  Cool for 15 minutes.

Beat eggs and egg yolk.  Add sugar, half and half, cocoa powder, and salt.  Beat until smooth.  Whisk in chocolate and butter mixture.  Pour into unbaked crust.

Bake for 35 minutes, until set.  Cool and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Buttermilk Pie

Sorry for the horrible pictures.  We ate the pie too fast and this was the remnants.

Buttermilk Pie


1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tsp. vanilla
1 graham cracker pie crust  (If you make it yourself, don't bake it!)

Optional:  Next time we want to add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup chopped pecans!

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine sugar and cornstarch in a bowl.  Beat in the eggs, buttermilk, butter, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth.  Pour into crust.  
    Bake for 40 minutes until set.  Cool and refridgerate for 2 hours.  

Lemon Pie

Here's another pie from our pie experimentation lately.

Lemon Pie
1 1/4 cups graham crackers (1 package), crushed
1/4 cup butter (1/2 a stick), melted
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp lemon peel plus 1 tsp, grated and divided
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
2 Tbsp. raspberry preserves

             Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the graham crackers, sugar, butter, and one tablespoon of lemon peel.  Press into the bottom of a pie pan and bake for 7 minutes until slightly golden.

         Whisk the sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice together.  Pour into pie pan and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight until set.  Garnish with raspberry preserves or fresh raspberries. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Homemade Mini Corn Dogs

Mini Corn Dogs

We are in a school lunch slump.  So I decided to mix things up by making my own mini corn dogs to throw in the lunches.

Mini Corn Dogs

1 cup corn meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup white sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 (16 ounce) hot dogs of your choice
1 quart vegetable oil (for frying)

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately.  Then mix together.  Heat up oil in a dutch oven or your preferred frying pot.  I used a candy thermometer to keep my oil at the right temperature.   Cut up hot dogs in thirds.  Cover the hot dogs with flour in a Ziploc bag and shake to coat.  Then dip each hot dog in the batter and fry for a 2-3 minutes.  You might need to flip them or at least move them around 1/2 way through the frying.  Dry on a wire rack over a pan covered in paper towels.  I froze all mine and pop 3-4 into my kids lunches each morning with some ketchup.