Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Compound Butter

It's 11:30pm Thanksgiving Eve and I'm waiting for bread dough to double in size. I've got another 20 minutes before I can throw it in the oven. So, when am I going to sleep tonight? Good question. I have no idea.

While I'm waiting for the dough, I thought I'd blog one of the compound butters I made today. It's so good. If you love pumpkin, you'll enjoy this.

  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp pumpkin puree 
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Using a hand mixer or your whisk with your stand mixer, whisk the butter on medium for 3 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients and beat until the mixture appears pale and fluffy. You can either put it in a sealed container or roll it up in plastic wrap to be chilled.

This recipe is from Martha Stewart Living November 2011 page 62.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Booze & Chocolate for Thanksgiving
(Morena Blvd Costco)

Update: I got a couple of mixed reviews about the Pumpkin Pie Cream Liquor. If you purchased it, opened it and didn't care for it, you might be able to return it. Costco is getting strict about alcohol returns. 

So, you've been invited to someone's home for Thanksgiving. What are you going to make? A recipe you're not sure of? Or are you going to buy an unimpressive pie from the grocery store? Neither of those sound very wonderful. 

Here's what I suggest you do. Head on over to Costco this weekend. Pick up a bottle of Fulton's Harvest Pumpkin Pie Cream Liqueur for only $7.99. It'll go great in the after dinner coffee or shake it up with a little vodka for a pumpkin pie martini. While you're there, grab a chocolate turkey. They are a good size, 1.37 pounds of chocolate, dark or milk, your choice. Not only is it decorative, but it can be enjoyed with a little fruit and cheese post Thanksgiving feast. And you know the kids will love it.

If you are hosting this year, these are ideal for you too. The liqueur would be a nice departure from the normal Bailey's and the chocolate turkey will look so nice among all the desserts.
       Fulton's Harvest Pumpkin Pie Cream Liqueur 750 ML 7.99

1.37 lbs of chocolate for $9.99
Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate
Keep these toy soldiers in mind for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

After Halloween, there were tons of recipes for different ways to incorporate candy into dessert. The most impressive came from  Cupcakes-A-Go-Go. They posted a cupcake that looks just like the one I've replicated here. Chocolate cake with a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup baked in, topped with peanut butter mousse and dipped in chocolate ganache. How could I not try to replicate that? I owe it to all my peanut butter loving friends and family. After searching around online I came across a recipe that looked perfect. Instead of making a mousse, I made peanut butter buttercream. You can see in the photo that the buttercream came out nice and fluffy. I've made peanut butter frosting before and it didn't hold a candle to this. Click here for the recipe to the peanut butter buttercream and chocolate ganache.

  • To make the cupcakes, I used a box of chocolate cake mix, whatever was on sale. Follow the directions but add 1 cup of ricotta cheese to the mix. 
  • After pouring the batter in the tins, push a peanut butter cup almost all the way in the cake batter.  
  • Bake for 18 minutes on 325. 
  • While the cupcakes are cooling, make the peanut butter buttercream.
  • Pipe a mound of buttercream onto each cupcake and cool them again in the refrigerator.
  • Make the chocolate ganache and then dip the iced cupcakes into the ganache. You can do this by either dunking the cupcake or spooning it over. Either way is effective. 
  • Then decorate with a piece of peanut butter cup.

After they are assembled, they are quite impressive and delicious. If you or anyone who eats your baking is a peanut butter and chocolate fan, you must make this. It'll knock your socks off!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Golf Experience Gift Card (Morena Blvd Costco)


My husband is a golfer. The man loves to play. So, here's the perfect gift for him or for anyone you might know who also loves the sport. For only $90 you get two rounds of golf, one at Sycuan and one at Steele Canyon. Sycuan tee times can be as high as $92. Steele Canyon can cost as much as $139. Clearly, Santa will be picking this up and dropping it off at our house this year. Hopefully, Santa also takes this to my husband's friends as well.

Paul Frank Water Dispenser (Morena Blvd Costco)


How cute is this mini water dispenser?!?! It holds 8 cups and will encourage your little ones to  drink more water. It's only $12.99 and makes for a great gift. Right now there are only Paul Frank ones but there were Hello Kitty ones too. Hopefully those will be restocked this holiday season. Happy shopping!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hello Kitty Mini Fridge (Morena Blvd Costco)

Note: The fridge has been marked down again. It's now only $24.97. GO GET ONE NOW!

I have been a Hello Kitty fan since the 80's. I had the toothbrush, school supplies, lunch box, etc. I would've killed for a Hello Kitty mini fridge in my room as a kid. Now I'm too old and this doesn't really match my decor but I bet it would be the cutest thing ever in several of my nieces' bedrooms. Hello Christmas and January birthdays!

This super cute personal fridge is marked down to only $29.97 at the Costco on Morena Blvd. It holds six 12 ounce cans or four 16 ounce bottles. It keeps beverages or snacks warm or cool and comes with a wall and car adapter. Pretty cool!
I did a little research to make sure that $29.97 is a good price. I found that through Costco's website it's $39.97. Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us are listing a Hello Kitty mini fridge for $59.  It's not the same one though. It's red with a white kitty outline. However, the size is the same.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Candy Insanity

It was National Candy Day on November 4. What better way to celebrate than to make something from the Halloween candy that's been haunting me? The recipe was inspired by and it's now one of my favorite treats to make. The bottom layer tastes like my favorite See's candy, the butterscotch square.

Use whatever candy you already have or only buy your favorites.

Snickers, m&m's, Baby Ruth, Milky Way, Reese's PB Cups, and Butterfingers

  • Line a 9x13 pan with foil and cover the bottom with small pretzels. 
  • Boil 2 cups of brown sugar and 1 cup of butter over medium heat for two minutes. Stir continuously.
  • Pour the brown sugar and butter over the pretzels and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 
  • While it's baking, melt 3 cups of chocolate chips and chop up whatever candy you have on hand. 
  • When it comes out of the oven, spread the melted chocolate  over the pretzels evenly and then sprinkle on whatever candy you like. 
  • Put it in the refrigerator to cool or in the freezer if you need it set faster. 
  • Break into pieces and enjoy.