Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dessert Ideas for Royal Wedding View Parties

From Marzipan candies to cupcakes and more!  I've come up with some ideas fit for your Royal Wedding Viewing Party! :)

Cupcakes.  We all love them.  There is just something about that little personal sized cake that gets us everytime....or am I just talking about myself?  :)  Either way, here's a couple of ideas for treats for your party.    You can make designs using food color and a toothpick like I have done below....  And then frost them as usual then with a heart on top with frosting or invert the whole cupcake and frost with this rose-like pattern.  (If you'd like to do a whole cake this way here's the tutorial for that.)  Then you can top that creation with some silver sprinkles or some marzipan candies like below! :)
 I thought cute little wedding themed (and love of course) candies would be fun so I molded these out of Marzipan.  You can get Marzipan lots of places like grocery stores and specialty food/craft stores!  :)  get creative!  I tried to!  You can see rings, love birds, hearts, a wedding cake and a pretty funny looking rose below.  :)
Finger foods are always great for parties and British finger foods would be best here!  So think scones, jams, marmalades, lemon curd and lots of tea for your party!  
Hot Cross Buns.  If doing them for the viewing party why not put circles for rings on top?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

He is Risen!!!  Hallelujah!!!!  He is risen indeed!!  Have a great day celebrating Christ's resurrection with family and friends!!!  :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easy Rosemary Chicken (Whole or Breast)

This is how I will be preparing my chicken this Easter.  It's the first Easter that it's just my hubby and we're starting a new tradition.  While I had intended for it to be a big meal with Ham and fixings, it turns out chicken was a more economical (and I like it better anyway...) option.  So, that's why I fixed it up nicely and want to share this recipe with you before Easter in case you're looking for options too!  :)

Easy Rosemary Chicken:
Chicken (whole or breasts, preferably with skin on--more about that later)
Rosemary (fresh or dried)

1.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Lift the skin up from the breast of the chicken, so that you'll be able to put the rosemary underneath it.  Like shown.
3.  Place about 1 t. dried or 1 T. fresh rosemary underneath the skin on the breasts.  You can optionally put it on the drumsticks, etc... too.
4.  Put the skin back down and smear (sounds gross I know...but it's what it is) butter (about 1/8-1/4 c. for a whole chicken) all over the chicken on the outside of the skin.  This will ensure it will get golden brown and crispy on the outside (not that we'll eat the skin) and nice and juicy on the inside! :)
5.  Place in a baking dish or roasting pan and into the oven for about 60 minutes for bone in breasts, and about 2 hours for a 5lb. chicken.  Click here for more instructions on how long to cook a chicken.  You can baste if you'd like while cooking the chicken, but it's not needed with this method.
6.  Once the chicken is throughly cooked pull out of the oven and let rest (and cool slightly) for about 10 minutes before carving.  Start gravy from the drippings  if you'd like at this point. :)
7.  Carve chicken however you desire and keep some of the rosemary on it if you can.
8.  Serve immediately.  Goes well with dressing, mashed potatoes, corn, veggies and other veggie casseroles.
Enjoy!  :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

"Hot Cross Buns, one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns..."  
I don't know about you, but I love this time of year!  Hot Cross Buns are a festive baked good you can make for Easter!  It's the time we remember what Christ went through for us, the awful way He died, and how he was raised on the third day!  I don't think I've ever had a hot cross bun I didn't like....but these are sure some great ones that I've come up with!  So I hope you try them for yourselves!  :)  Happy Easter!!!  He is risen!!

Hot Cross Buns:  (~28 rolls)
1 c. Milk, lukewarm
1/2 c. Water, lukewarm
1 T. Yeast (Dry Active)
1/4 c. Honey
1/2 t. Salt
1/4 t. Cinnamon
1 T. Orange Juice
1 t. Orange Zest
1/2 c. Craisins
4-5 c. Flour
2 T. Butter Melted
Optional:  Egg Wash (1 egg and 1 T. water whisked together)

2 c. Powdered Sugar
2-3 T. Milk

1.  In a large bowl combine the lukewarm water and milk with the yeast.  Let stand for about 15 minutes.
2.  Stir in the honey, salt, cinnamon, zest, juice and craisins until well combined.  
3.  Slowly mix in flour 1/2 cup at a time until it forms a sticky ball.  
4.  Pour the melted butter over the sticky ball of dough and set in warm place to rise for about 30 minutes.
 5.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in just enough flour to make it easy to work with.
 6.  Separate dough into 3 or 4 sections, and then section those off to make about 24-30 balls of dough.
 7.  Place the balls of dough on a greased or lined baking sheet.  It's ok if they are pretty close to each other.  They'll grow bigger, but it's all good.  Just think of them as good friends.  Good friends who taste delicious.  Ok, maybe not.  Just think of them as rolls...and it's ok if they bump into one another.  :)
 8.  Let them rise until they have doubled in size or about 15 minutes...or whenever you get impatient and want to eat one already!  ;)
 9.  While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 375degrees and make the icing.  Just put the powdered sugar in a ball and stir in the milk about 1 T. at a time until it's the consistency you want!  :)  Easy peasy right?
10.  Once the rolls have doubled (or so) you can egg wash them, if desired, and bake them for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  :)
 11.  Once the buns are out of the oven (lol, I've always wanted to type that!) you can either do the crosses on them in the pan or as you serve them.  Either works.  :)  Aren't they cute?!?  Oh, and delish.  Just delish.  So delish I ate 4 right away...  :)  Now I suppose I won't have room for dinner though....oh well....what a way to go! ;)
 Enjoy! :)

You can also make these the day ahead by just waiting to do the crosses till you serve them. :)  Serve warm or room temp.  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Easter Eggs this year...

I don't usually like hard boiled fact, I'm not really sure why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that they taste better when they are colorful on the outside.  :)  So, I basically only eat hard boiled eggs around Easter.  :)  I had lofty plans for mine this year....but with the {at times} very hectic life I now lead {that I wouldn't trade for the world, might I add} I went with these.

Since I wanted to post them on here though, I had to do something fun and flirty with them.  So, here are my Easter Eggs this year...colorful, somewhat unique and definitely going to get eaten in the next week by my hubby and yours truly! :)  Happy Palm Sunday!

Have I mentioned my egg timer before?  It's an "Eggsact" and I love it.  :)
 It goes from this...
 to this....and then when it looks like this, they are done!  :)
 I used some of my cute {rather new} espresso mugs for dyeing my eggs this year. :)
 Red, Yellow, Blue and a surprise color...
 Add 1 tsp. Vinegar and a few ounces hot water to a mug, then when you are ready to dye the egg throw in some sprinkles (nonperials) ...
 and the egg...and wait for some magic.  :)
 Dyeing yellow...
 and blue...
 and red...
 And viola!!  A little starburst of color from my fun mystery dye!  :)  (And it is of course food safe dye because it's just sprinkles!!)
 Here's a glimpse at the blue...
 Pure sunshine...
 Sorta funky pinky red...
 All the finished products.  :)
Yum.  I can't wait to eat one tomorrow!  :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Boiled Peanuts

Have you ever had a boiled peanut?  Or maybe a better question to ask would be...have you ever heard of a boiled peanut?  Well, I sure hadn't until about 8 months ago, when my parents, hubby and I were driving to the Outer Banks for a day trip just after we moved to NC.  We saw a large store called "Mackey's Ferry Peanuts", but didn't get a chance to stop by.

So, when my Mom and I were just in the Outer Banks this week, we decided to stop by Mackey's and try some boiled peanuts.  They also offer some very special grape juice (Muscadine) that is just delicious, as well as lots of canned goods in addition to peanuts in every shape and form! (Yum!)  As you may already know, peanuts are actually a legume not a nut, so boiled peanuts are really a practical (and more normal) way of eating them. (As opposed to roasting or something...)  But not everyone will like peanuts boiled....just like not everyone will like them roasted.  :)  Boiled peanuts taste a lot like a pinto bean.

Anyway, I wanted to bring some home to my hubby so I bought a quart and stuck them in my cooler.  The owner gave us simple instructions for heating them at home and we did some tonight.  (And the peanuts were locally grown in Eastern NC, btw)
 In the boiling water....
 Coming out of the boiling water......
 Pouring onto the plate....
 Ready to eat!  
My mom and I did try them but I think we both still prefer the roasted type of peanuts, while my hubby really, really liked the boiled ones....  To each his own!  :)  What a unique experience!  If you're ever in NC check out Mackey's either in Jamestown or at the State Farmer's Market in Raleigh.
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