A family of six and their fearless journey through life, love and the pursuit of all things yummy

Lemon Blueberry Muffin Madness June 6, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 6:58 pm
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This is a KILLER recipe. It originally called for a 1/2 cup melted butter, but I’m trying to cut down on the calories, so I substituted plain Greek yogurt. Turned out amazing! Give it a try. Anything with a berry is pure heaven. p.s. They work out to be about 155 calories per muffin. HALLELUJAH!

2 c. flour

1/2 – 3/4 c. sugar

1 T. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

zest and juice of one lemon

1 egg

1 c. skim milk

1/2 c. plain yogurt

1 – 2 cups fresh blueberries

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat you egg, lemon juice, zest, milk and yogurt together. Using a wooden spoon, mix in your dry ingredients. Don’t over mix! Stir in blueberries and put in greased muffin tin in a preheated 375 oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Make 12 FULL muffins.

LEMON BUTTER TOPPING (when you don’t care about the calories!)

1/4 c. melted butter

2 T. lemon juice (or more to your liking)

1/2 cup sugar

Mix together until smooth and drizzle over slightly cooled muffins. Hello delicious.


Help! I need a new cheese mold! May 10, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 1:01 am
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I’ve started making a white aged cheddar in a “wheel”, but I need to find a better mold. I need to use something plastic, a cylinder and something I can drill small holes in to so I can drain off my whey. My wheel looks a little lumpy with my existing cheese mold…It’s the basket from my salad spinner! Any ideas?


Quick Italian Bread…via the big kids!

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 12:45 am
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Love this recipe from Emeril Lagasse. I cut down on the salt a tidge. It’s quick, tasty and hearty. Caius and Vi did an amazing job and they were so proud of themselves. Yummm…

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Italian Quick Bread

Dissolve your yeast in the warm water and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Put your flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Put a well in the middle and add your yeast mix and the olive oil. Start pull the flour into the liquid in the middle with a sturdy plastic spoon. Once the liquid is absorbed, flour your counter and put the dough onto the flour and let it sit for about 3 minutes to allow the flour to absorb any remaining liquid.

Begin kneading your dough on a surface dusted with flour. Add flour if your dough begins to stick to your hands. Knead for about 10-15 minutes. Put your dough into a greased bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for about an hour and a half or until doubled in size.

Deflate your dough. Throw down some flour and shape your dough into a long loaf with rounded ends. Place it on a greased cookie sheet or baking stone dusted with cornmeal. Cover with towel and let rise for about 45 minutes. Heat your oven to 425 degrees.

Once your dough has risen, take a serrated knife and put cuts about a 1/2 inch deep going down the length of the bread. Make the cuts at an angle and use QUICK strokes and let the knife do the work. Beat an egg white in a bowl and brush the white onto your bread. Place bread in the oven and bake until it’s a deep golden brown. Yummmmm! Now look at you go!


Molto Mozzarella May 3, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 6:35 pm
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Okay, mozzarella is a ball of heaven, and it’s so much easier to make than you’d ever believe. Follow this recipe, and you’ll be golden! This makes one nice big ball of cheese. BTW, this recipe comes from LOVE THOSE FOLKS!

Half gallon whole milk (definitely use whole…creamier cheese)

3/4 tsp. citric acid dissolved in 1/2 c. purified water

1/8 tablet of rennet dissolved in 1/8 c. purified water


Put milk into a stainless steel pot and add the citric acid/water mixture. Stir well and put milk on medium-high heat. Heat milk to 90 degrees. Use a thermometer! Take off the stove.

Add the rennet/water mixture into the milk. DON’T STIR! Use a plastic or wooden spoon and “chop” at the milk in an up and down motion for about 30 second. Cover with a lid and let sit for 5 minutes. This is will allow the milk to coagulate and form a good curd.

After 5 minutes, take the lid off and put your finger in the curd. If it has a custard-like consistency, it’s ready. If not, let it sit for a few more minutes.

Take a long, sharp knife and at an angle, cut into the curd all the way to the bottom of the pot. Turn the pot and cut the curd in the opposite direction so you have about 1/2 inch cubes. Put the pot back on the stove and heat it gently to 105 degrees, stirring VERY gently.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir the curd gently for another 3-5 minutes. Longer stir means firmer cheese!

Using a slotted spoon, scoop the curd into a microwavalbe bowl. Using your hand, drain off as much whey (yellow-ish liquid) as you can, but don’t press too firmly.

Put your bowl with curd into a microwave for 45 seconds. Drain off any excess whey and with a wooden or plastic spoon, get the curd into a ball. Add about 1/2 tsp. salt.

Put bowl into micro again and nuke for 30 seconds. The curd will be HOT, so using your plastic spoon and start STRETCHING your cheese! Scoop it onto your spoon and let is stretch its way back into the bowl. Do this for about 1-2 minutes. If it becomes too firm, nuke again for about 15-20 seconds and keep stretching. REMEMBER: longer stretching = firmer cheese.

Form the cheese into a log or ball, pinching it closed underneath. Put cheese into an ice bath for about 20 minutes to firm up and – voila! You have cheese!!!!!


Floating Cloud Butterscotch Pudding May 1, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 1:08 am
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When you’re in a pinch and need to whip up a quick dessert, or you just have a hankering for something warm and gooey, this is it. Don’t let the simplicity make you think this dessert isn’t the bees knees. This is my mum’s recipe and it’s old school and decadent. Give it a whirl and let me know how yours turns out.

Heat oven to 350 degrees

1 1/3 c. packed brown sugar

2 1/2 – 3 cups water

2 tsp. vanilla

Put into a pot, heat until boiling and let it go for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and put into a 9×13 pan or some fancy pants casserole dish.

Mix together with a whisk:

1 T. melted butter

1/2 c. white sugar

1/2 c. milk

1 cup flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

Drop by spoonfuls into the hot butterscotch. Place them so they’re “floating” in the dreamy liquid! Bake until the clouds are a golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.

I was too excited and took a picture before I added my whipped cream!


Creamed Corn – Yes, I Said Creamed Corn April 21, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 2:50 am
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This is NOT the creamed corn of our childhood. That gelatinous goop that came out of can…no way. This is creamy and savoury and a perfect bed underneath cod, tilapia or roasted chicken. Going into the season of fresh veg, this is the perfect side dish for all that corn on the cob that you’re not sure what to do with. Let me know how yours turns out!

4 ears of corn                                                                                        

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1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 small minced onion

olive oil

1 c. water

salt and pepper

1 tsp. sugar

chili flakes

1 cup half and half

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.  Use a sharp knife and putting a cob on its end vertically, slice the kernels off the cob and put in with the onions and garlic. Cook the kernels for about 5 minutes. Add the one cup of water and saute until the water cooks down. Add the sugar, chili flakes (to your taste!) and the half and half. Turn heat down to medium and saute until thickened and creamy.

OPTION: To make the creamed corn extra thick, I take a couple of scoops of it and whiz it in the food processor, add it back to the batch, saute and serve. Yummmm!!!


Oh My Godda – It’s Your Own Ricotta! April 19, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 4:26 pm
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Here are simple instructions for making your own ricotta.  I started checking the ingredients on the ricotta I was buying and discovered that they all contain xanthum gum or guar gum. Yipes! It’s easy and SO delicious. Give it a shot and let me know how yours turns out!

1/2 gallon whole milk

1 tsp. citric acid OR 1-2 T. of white vinegar

Salt (if desired)

Put your milk into a stainless steel pot. Add your citric acid or vinegar.

Turn your burner onto medium to medium high and slowly stir your milk until it reaches 195 degrees.ImageImage

Once it reaches that temp, take it off the heat and put a lid on it. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. This allows the curds to separate from the whey. Line a strainer with a lot of cheese cloth (I use clean, cheap, throw-away clothes!) and ladle your curds and whey into the cloth.


Let it strain for about a half an hour to an hour, depending on how moist or “dry” you want your cheese. This makes about 3/4 c. of ricotta. NOTE – If you don’t have enough curds, you can simply add more citric acid (a little at a time) or vinegar to your hot milk until you really see those curds forming! Good luck!



Bouncing Beautiful Beignets April 16, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 11:41 pm
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This is by far the best beignet recipe I’ve ever tried. It’s courtesy of Bobbly Flay, but I “Brandied” it up a bit for my Wild Six. Feel free to add a variety of spices to make it your own. These are a must try because let’s face it, life is too short to eat sub-par fried foods!

1 envelope of yeast, 3/4 cup warm water and 1/4 c. sugar. Mix these together in a mixing bowl and let sit until the yeast becomes liquid (5-10 minutes).

To the yeast mix, add 1-2 T. of orange zest, 1/2 t. of nutmeg, 1 beaten egg, 3/4 t. salt, 1/2 c. milk and 1 1/2 c. flour. Mix that all together. Gradually beat in another 1 3/4 c. flour.

Move dough to dusted surface and knead in about 1/4 c. flour for about 5 minutes. You’ll need to eyeball this to make sure that you’re not adding too much flour. Put in a greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise for about an hour or until it’s double in size.

Punch down and dust a counter with flour. Roll out your dough to about 1/2 inch thickness, Using a 1 inch cookie cutter, cut out your beignets and place on a greased cookie sheet. You may reform the leftover dough to do more beignets. Cover beignets and let them rise about a half an hour. Start heating your oil

Heat canola oil in a fryer until it reaches 350 degrees. Deep fry the beignets in batches until golden brown. Place on cookie sheet covered in paper towels and dust with icing sugar. DYNAMITE!