Archive for December, 2012

Christmas Jones

We wanted to share this Christmas Jones recipe we recently found and tried.  Hope you enjoy it and do tell us about it.

Yummy Christmas Jones

Yummy Christmas Jones

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 Cocktail

Ingredients:

  •       4 fresh strawberries
  •       1 1/2 oz vodka
  •       2 tsp superfine sugar
  •       5 oz pineapple juice
  •      7-Up (or other lemon-lime soda)
  •          Mint sprigs for garnish

Preparation:

  1. In a blender, whiz the vodka, strawberries, sugar and pineapple juice together.
  2. Pour the mix equally into two highball glasses.
  3.  Top with 7-Up.
  4. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

December 27, 2012 at 12:21 am Leave a comment

7 Health Baking Tips

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Baking with kids can be fun

We wanted to share some Healthy Baking Tips to help you with your holiday baking. Hope you find them helpful.

1. Reduce sugars in your recipes. You can replace with spices such as vanilla bean, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.

2. Replace part or all of the oil in your recipe with fruit puree such as applesauce or unsweetened pineapples.

3. Bake with healthier fats using vegetable oils such as canola oil for less saturated and trans fat.

4.  Swap frosting for fruit slices or pureed fruit.

5. Use one whole egg with two egg whites to reduce cholesterol.

6. Use whole-grain flours instead of refined white flours for additional fiber and nutrients.

7. Enhance the flavor and antioxidants in your recipes by adding dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins, prunes and cherries.

December 18, 2012 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

Scrumptious Gingerbread Pound Cake Serves 8-10 People

We wanted to share this scrumptious Gingerbread Pound Cake recipe we recently discovered.  Enjoy!

Enjoy with manderin orange or Florida sweet orange

Ingredients:

2 cups   Cake Flour

1 tsp      Baking Powder

¾ tsp      Salt

2½ tsp   Ground Ginger

2 tsp      Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp      Ground Cloves

½ tsp      Freshly Grated Nutmeg

1 cup     (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature

¾ cup     Granulated Sugar

½ cup     Packed Brown Sugar

½ cup    Molasses

1½ tsp   Vanilla Extract

5  Large Eggs

Directions:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

Put the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Pour in the molasses and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and drop in the eggs, one at a time, beating for about 2 minutes and stopping at least once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixing speed to medium-low and gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cake is dark chestnut brown in color, the top is cracked, and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Set the cake on a wire rack to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

Serve the pound cake cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices.

December 11, 2012 at 9:58 am Leave a comment

Reduces Holiday Stress With Thess 5 Baking Tips

Having fun while baking

Having fun while baking

It seems like as soon as the calendar flips to December my inbox gets flooded with questions about Tips for Holiday Baking. MBA readers are looking for ways to make the holiday baking experience as productive and rewarding as possible. I’m sure we have all had those baking mishaps that seem to be hilarious to everyone but you! As a result, I have decided to make a list of tips and must-haves for your holiday baking extravaganza.

1. Get Organized – The first thing I always suggest is GET ORGANIZED! Organization is key for maintaining your sanity, so start by making a list of the items that you want to bake and the ingredients that you’ll need. Nothing ruins the “baking zone” more than having to run to store to pick up that forgotten ingredient, especially when its something as trivial as eggs! Always start several days prior to “D-day” and make sure you have a plan of attack so you can get right to the good stuff on your baking day. This may also include deciding what can be made ahead of time to freeze and be used in coming weeks such as cookie dough and pie crusts.

2, Clean Up – After you have created your “must make” list, you’ll have a good idea of the kind of space you’ll need for storage and preparation. Cleaning out your pantries and refrigerator can reduce some of the stress that comes with finding room for all your finished products. I think most of us have experienced a surprise pantry attack – you know, when you open the door and things come tumbling out on your toes. Organizing your space ahead of time will definitely decrease your stress level and increase your sanity.

3. Pantry Check – Once you have cleaned and organized, conduct an inventory of your pantry, freezer and refrigerator. You’ll obviously want to make sure having staple ingredients on hand such as butter, eggs, a variety of sugars, flour, baking soda, and powder without question. I also like to think about including some of the not so obvious items, such as an assortment of nuts, a variety of chocolates, and your fall and winter spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, and ginger. A quick check list twill ensure that you are no wasting money by purchasing duplicate items.

4. Get Your Friends and Family Involved – Baking doe so’t have to be a chore that MUST get done. Begin a yearly tradition with family and friends where your special baking buds gather together for an all-day baking event. It gets especially interesting when you allow everyone a hand in decorating sugar cookies.

However, if you look forward to the serenity of baking alone, you can also facilitate a cookie exchange, where everyone bakes a couple dozen of their favorite cookies, and each person gets an assortment of cookies for themselves. This can save you time if your family is big on variety and who knows, you just might happen upon a brand new cookie recipe.

Wrap It Up –  No gift is more appreciated than a homemade gift of sweet treats for your friends, co-workers and neighbors. What’s better than a variety of homemade cookies and candies wrapped up in festive packaging?

So there it is, 5 quick tips on how to take the stress out of the season and put the fun in!

December 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm Leave a comment



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