Friday, December 19, 2008

Fantasy Fudge

Back in the day the Kraft Marshmallow Creme jar had a recipe for Fantasy Fudge on the back of the jar. A few years ago Kraft changed the recipe and there has been an outcry for the original ever since. Of course the original recipe is on the Internet and can be seen here. This is the fudge I make every Christmas, usually two batches, one with nuts and one without. I decided to start with the nut fudge this morning. Its a good thing I have my bar stool type sitting apparatus since standing to stir this was just not going to happen.

First the sugar, evaporated milk and butter/margarine are mixed.

Over medium heat, stirring constantly the mixture is brought to a rolling boil for four minutes, still stirring constantly.

After four minutes remove the pan from the heat and add the marshmallow creme and chocolate chips.

Next add the nuts (if you want them) and vanilla.

The fudge is them poured into a pan. The recipe says to use a 9 inch square pan but I have always used a 9x13. I also grease the pan rather than lining it with foil. For this step I had to have Mike come and assist since I have apparently lost the ability to hold up a pan and get the contents out, not that he minded since one of his roles is official taster and he got to walk away with the spoon afterwards (his other role is dishwasher, thank goodness). Here is the fudge in the pan cooling.

Later this evening or tomorrow I will make a pan of plain fudge.

Marble Bark

I found this recipe in a magazine many years ago, cut it out and make it just about every year. It is very simple and only has three ingredients 6oz of white chocolate, 6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate and 1 cup of coconut.

To start the coconut gets toasted in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. The coconut needs to be stirred around every minute or two to keep it from burning. It should turn to a golden brown color.

The chocolate is then melted in the microwave. This year I used chocolate chips but you can also use the squares of baking chocolate.

When the chocolate starts melting you need to do a lot of stirring and make sure not to burn the chocolates.

Next divide the coconut putting half in the white chocolate and half in the semi-sweet chocolate.

On a wax paper lined cookie sheet spread out one of the chocolates in a sort of random pattern.

Then fill in the spaces with the other chocolate, I try to smooth or flatten it out as I go.

To marble the candy run a knife through in each direction.

I then put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator over night to let it solidify, this morning I broke the bark up into bite size pieces and put it back in the refrigerator till I am ready to wrap it up to give out.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sugared Cranberries

Since I finished my last pre-Christmas sewing this morning its now time to turn towards holiday baking. We will see how much I actually have the energy to finish. Normally I make quiet a bit of holiday treats but I cut the list way back this year. However I did find a few new recipes to try out, this is one of them. It is from Cooking Light December 2003.

First I sorted and cleaned the fresh cranberries.

Next the sugar and water are heated into a syrup.

And brought to a simmer, if it gets too hot the berries will pop.

The berries are added to the syrup and they sit in the refrigerator over night. Next you roll the berries in superfine sugar, if you don't have superfine sugar you can just toss the sugar in a food processor for a minute.

Mix the sugar and berries in a shallow dish and them put on a cookie sheet to dry.

The berries have to dry for an hour then can be sealed up and stored. I have not tried them yet but they look like they would be yummy and they are very pretty.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Big Blanket

My Mom recently found a bunch of fabric squares and gave them to me. I decided to try and make a blanket out of them, a large blanket that would go over the bed or might work for something to take to the beach that the three of us could fit comfortably on. I have been slowly working on sewing the squares together for the top off and on for awhile. Since I am now on maternity leave I figured I should get the blanket finished up before our little girl arrives. Here is a look at the top of the quilt.

And here is it folded over so you can see the back.

The color for the back is based on the fabric I had here at home that was a large enough piece to cover the back. Its not the prettiest quilt but it came out good. The one thing I had not anticipated was my frustration with trying to get it put together with my limited mobility, at this point I am just glad its finished. In this not so great picture you can get an idea of the size.

I have been working on a few other small items, but they are for Christmas so of course I cant show them plus I think I forgot to take pictures before wrapping them up.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mini Christmas tree

I knew I wasn't going to be able to do my normal Christmas decorating this year due to our impending arrival. I have been thinking about what to do and on a trip to Target today I came up with this. Its a live tree (which hopefully I wont kill) with just some lights and glass ornaments. It helps make the apartment a little festive!