chasingtides: (Default)
( Sep. 1st, 2010 10:40 am)
I'm not a big breakfast person. The idea of fancy food in the morning is enough to turn my stomach. But I have gotten into better habits since starting morning yoga. I turn on the coffee maker, do my yoga routine, and, by the time I'm done with my final asana, the coffee is done and I'm hungry.

Well, today, the coffee maker is being possessed by demons or something. I don't know, but it's not making coffee. On the other hand, I made a simple, delicious breakfast that has what I need - good taste, protein, vitamins, and nothing over powering.

Post-Yoga Breakfast

8 oz Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup blueberries


Mix thoroughly. Eat happily. (I am never able to eat an entire 8 oz of Greek yogurt in one sitting - certainly not like this - but this is one serving. One massive, stick to your ribs serving.)
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These recipes I promised to [livejournal.com profile] optimus_life because he's awesome and I love cooking and sharing. Now, I don't talk much about what to do with chicken gizzards. I don't use them much, unless I'm boiling them up with the cooked bones for stock, but plenty of people swear by recipes like these, especially those who use the entirety of an animal for spiritual or fiscal reasons. (And seriously, chicken bones make great stock, just make sure you snap them first.) Some day in the near future, I might try gizzards in my jambalaya, just to see how it goes.

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Rosemary Chile Chicken

Take one chicken. Remove guts and gizzard. (Set aside and make stock, if that's your thing.) Set aside.

In an oven safe casserole dish, put three dried chile peppers, four slices garlic (or cloves or powdered garlic or whatever your favored garlic is), one quarter to one half onion (or dried onion or powdered onion). Put chicken on top. Inside chicken, put the rest of the onion, some stale bread, another slice of garlic, a tablespoon of rosemary, and a dried chile. Top with stale bread, Bell's Seasoning, and chile powder.

Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until done. Eat with potatoes or wild rice.

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Rosemary-Chile Chicken Soup

Slice every bit of meat off of your bird. Crack bones and boil the bones with a bit of bullion in 9 cups water. Add to this: 1 tbs rosemary, 3 tsp cayenne powder, 1 tbs garlic powder, 1 tbs onion powder, 1 tsp dill, 2 tsp thyme, 2 tbs Bell's Seasoning, and 2 tsp herbes de Provence.

Bring to a boil. Add one package pasta of your choice (or two cups chopped potatoes with skin). While cooking, add four chopped carrots. Add rest of chicken.

Serve with bread (I prefer my scones or Southern style cornbread).

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Making your cheap box o' brownies taste special.

Pour your box o' brownies into a bowl. Add three or four handfuls of chocolate chips to the powder. Add two tablespoons cocoa and two teaspoons sugar (alternative: use two tablespoons of your preferred hot chocolate mix). Add two tablespoons flour. Add half cup of milk (or preferred milk substitute).

Prepare according to box directions. Serve hot, drizzled with chocolate syrup. Add frozen berries to make it extra special.

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Would anyone want my Boston Baked Beans recipe? I'm cooking it up this weekend, old-fashioned style. Alternately, would anyone like my lemon-garlic chicken recipe? I like it in the summer, but it's also sure to bust any lingering head colds and takes minimal effort.
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Yet another chili recipe. I *adore* chili. My father tells me it's because I want to be a Texan cowboy. I think it's because chili is the most delicious food ever.

Ingredients:
leftovers from a roast (alternatively, any kind of cooked beef)
2 cans beans (kidney, pinto, black)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 onions
1 bell pepper

Spice Blend
1 tablespoon garlic slices (or more - don't skimp on the garlic!)
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
pinch each of garlic powder and onion powder

(You also want to have a pot of rice going because this is best served over long grain rice.)

Directions:
Slice roast into bite size pieces, discarding any fat or bone. Set aside. Dice onion. Put in large, heavy bottom pan with a bit of oil on low heat to soften. Dice pepper. Add to onions. Add a spoonful of spice mixture. Stir well. Cook on low heat until vegetables are soft. Be careful not to burn.

Add meat to the pepper and onions. Add rest of spices, stirring well to evenly coat everything. When aromatic (you can smell the spices cooking) add the beans along with the liquid in the can from the beans. Stir and increase to medium heat. When it reaches a simmer, add diced tomatoes and liquid. Continue to stir. If necessary at this time, add equal amounts of cayenne, ancho, and cumin. If there is too much liquid, add a spoonful of cornmeal. Simmer about ten minutes.

Serve hot over long grain rice, like a gravy. Also freezes well for quick meals on the run.

Theoretically you could make a (cheaper) vegetarian version by adding another can or two of beans to replace the meat, but I would drain some of the liquid in that case. Add more pepper for a hotter dish - or add a fresh chile pepper or two (which is what I do in summer when I just pluck them out of the garden).
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This is for [livejournal.com profile] sgrio. Well, the potatoes are for her - the bonus meal at the end is for something else entirely. Crispies is an uninspired name, but I came up with this recipe.... I don't know. I was eight or nine years old? It's not a very inspired age. The recipe, though, has stood the test of time.

When I was a young child, my mother would, once in a blue moon, make homemade fried potatoes. My brother and I adored them. However, homemade chips are time consuming, unhealthy, and run a high burn risk if you don't own a deep frier. So, I set out to make a healthier, more efficient chip.


Ingredients:
Potatoes (many)
Two teaspoons olive oil

Directions:

Wash potatoes. Chop into bite sized pieces. Put in bowl & toss with olive oil. Arrange on oiled cookie sheet. Bake at 325 F until crisp and golden brown.

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Really simple, right? Delicious! You can add to this to fit any meal. I recently did up a pot roast and made crispies but tossed some garlic salt and rosemary in with the olive oil. As the potatoes were browning, I added thin slices of sweet bell pepper (also tossed with oil, rosemary, and garlic). It was great. I've done up yams with oil and cinnamon. Sliced tomatoes added in at the last minute are a great early fall addition.

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Pot Roast

1 chuck roast, cut in half
Two cups beef broth
Rosemary (two tbs)
Garlic (3 cloves)
Onion powder (or one half onion, chopped)
Dill seeds (1 tsp)
Thyme (2 tsp)
Bay leaf (to taste)
Oven bag

Set oven to 350 F. Trim fat from roast. Put chuck roast in the (large) oven bag. Pour in warm beef broth. Add spices. Add a splash of lemon juice if desired. Baked for 2 - 2.5 hours. Serve piping hot. Use spiced broth (from the oven bag) as gravy.

Serve with rosemary-garlic crispies (or cinnamon yam crispies) and mapled carrots.

*

Stay tuned! Tomorrow night I will show you how to turn that boring left over pot roast into a delicious chili!

Additionally, would anyone be interested in rosemary-chile chicken soup / how to make brownies-from-a-box taste homemade?
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chasingtides: (Default)
( Mar. 1st, 2010 01:56 pm)
It's been too long since I wrote up a recipe. So here's one of my favorites - it's been cobbled together from a combination of experience, other recipes, and whatever happens to be on hand at the moment.

Chase's Jambalaya

Ingredients:

left over chicken (anywhere from a whole baked chicken to a single serving can be used - if there's less chicken, use more veggies)
one bell pepper
one onion
celery (anywhere from two to four stalks)
four cloves garlic, minced or dried
a bit of oil
8 cups chicken broth (or water)
4 cups rice
spices (garlic salt, cayenne pepper, ancho chili pepper to taste)
Tabasco sauce (optional and to taste - I use a couple tablespoons)


Chop chicken, pepper, onion, and celery well. Put in pot with oil, garlic, and spices, cooking until soft and aromatic. Add chicken broth and Tabasco sauce. Bring to a boil. Add rice. Simmer until the rice is cooked. (Don't let the rice burn!)

*

This is actually a family favorite - it feeds a family of four hungry people for a couple of nights. It also freezes absurdly well. My freezer is never without a couple servings of my jambalaya. It's also pretty variable - you can use most meats, add some sausage if you like (andouille, preferably) or some ham, toss in some more greens. If you don't like spice, don't use the Tabasco sauce, but be warned: freezing tends to reduce the heat of this dish so the Tabasco sauce helps to keep the kick alive.

The chicken broth helps keep the flavor alive (and even using a low sodium version from the store is fine because it's all going into the rice). The real key is having onion-pepper-celery-garlic. I'm not a huge fan of onions, so I don't use many in this, but plenty of people use more than three times as many onions as I do in jambalaya. (Would you believe that I grew up not eating onions at all, practically, until I got to college? Green bean casserole at Thanksgiving was the only exception to this rule.)
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Does your kitchen smell like last night's fish? Trying to get rid of the overwhelming smell of old coffee, burned sugar, or overcooked garlic? Look no further!

Winter Spice Boil

Fill one medium size sauce pan with water. Add one dash of vanilla extract, one cinnamon stick, and a half teaspoon of star anise. Simmer. When the water evaporates, continue to pour water in the pot and continue to simmer.

In addition to filling your kitchen (and other rooms) with the warm, sweet smell of anise and cinnamon, simmer the water will also add humidity to dry winter air.
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chasingtides: (Default)
( Nov. 12th, 2009 07:27 pm)
So, as people on my flist know by now, I have the flu. It's dastardly and I feel terrible. Realising I couldn't take another meal of soup, I threw this together in 20 minutes and it's very good.

1/2 lb chicken, cooked and sliced (alternate: can of beans, just add it later in the cooking cycle)
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup rice
2 cups water
equal parts garlic salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder (I used about 1.5 teaspoons each, but I'm aiming for serious spice)

Put water in a pot and add the spices. Bring to a boil. Add rice, bring back to a boil, turn down the heat. Add the chicken. After ten minutes, add the celery (and beans, if you're doing beans for protein). Simmer until rice is cooked.

Makes 2 servings.

I like cayenne pepper and garlic salt because of the work they do on my sinuses and throat when I'm sick. The chili powder adds depth. It is visually bland - white rice, pale chicken, diced celery - but it packs a secret punch.

I'm eating it with cornbread-and-honey and ginger tea. Power punch to my nose and throat.
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Autumn is wonderful in New England. It means trips to the apple orchards and cider doughnuts with hot spiced cider. It means pumpkin pies and apple tarts and caramel apples and candy corn and sweet pears. This is a recipe for autumn.

I couldn't find my doughnut pan, so I baked them in mini-bundt pans. Either one would work. Be sure, however, to use canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. You only want the pumpkin goodness, nothing else!

Everything Nice Doughnuts

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp ginger (option)

1 egg, beaten
1 can pumpkin
1/3 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup maple syrup (or apple butter)
1/3 cup honey

Topping:
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg

Mix together dry ingredients, except topping. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Slowly add wet ingredients to the dry mixture. Mix thoroughly. (Dough should be a somewhat offensive orange color.) Mix together the topping in a separate dish.

Spray pans (whether mini-bundt pans or doughnut pans) or rub lightly with oil. Sprinkle topping lightly in the greased pans before filling the pans half-way with dough (allow space for rising). Bake at 400 F for 7 - 9 minutes.

If necessary, clean out pans and recoat with oil and sugar mixture and bake the next round of doughnuts.

This recipe produces 15 good-sized doughnuts when made in bundt pans. In a doughnut pan, there would be even more. (Alternative: glaze with gingered sugar.)
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I've only made this with a percolator, never with my French press, but this is a tasty dessert coffee.

Coffee grounds of choice
Cinnamon
Water
Coffee maker

Mix cinnamon with coffee grounds. Make coffee as usual.

*

Alternatively, for a dessert coffee, melt four semi-sweet chocolate chips into piping hot cup of black coffee or a square and a half of semi-sweet baker's chocolate into a pot of coffee.

*

Both of these are good "afters" for a nice meal and are considerably lighter than many standard dessert. They pair well with seasonal fruit or small wedges of shortbread and long conversation.
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chasingtides: (Default)
( Sep. 19th, 2009 07:44 pm)
This was originally going to be pumpkin risotto, but my can of pumpkin has mysteriously going missing. Instead, this is just a standard vegan risotto with slightly different spices. (And aren't spices the key to everything?)

2 tbs olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 c risotto rice
2 cups broth

1 tbs ginger
3 tsp allspice
1 tsp garlic
3 tsp thyme

Optional:
diced sweet peppers (or celery or spinach or other vegetables lying about)
splash of wine, juice, or cider

In a saucepan, sautee the onion along with the spices and peppers, if you are using them. When the onions are translucent and slightly golden, add the rice. After the rice has absorbed the oil, add the splash of wine/juice/cider if you are using it. Stir rice. When that is mostly absorbed (or if you've skipped that step), add between 1/3 and 1/2 cup brother. Stir thorough. When that is mostly absorbed, add more broth. Continue (adding broth or, if you run out of broth, water or wine/juice/cider) until the rice is done, but slightly al dente. Make sure rice doesn't burn.


*

I made this because I, foolishly and wanting a quick meal, made a boxed risotto tonight. It wasn't that it was bad. It just didn't taste like anything at all. Blah. Nothing. This took as much time and only slightly more prep than the box mix (as I was making up the recipe, too). I just used items I already had in the kitchen - I wasn't planning this. You can mix and match vegetables to add to the onion and spice sautee. A good broth ensures a good kick.

For added protein, toss in some canned seafood or leftover chicken. I can't give much advice on cheese if you want it. The somewhat unusual spice combination I use here would call for a cheese with a kick. If I had to choose, I would top it with a hard, sharp grated cheese - maybe some pepper jack or an herbal cheese? A good hard goat or sheep's cheese might work?
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This is just a dairy-free version of the Earl Grey shortbread cookies from July.

2 1/4 cups flour + extra
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 bags Earl Grey tea
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten

Cream together shortening, sugar, vinegar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. Slowly add to the butter mixture and blend thoroughly. Roll out on flat, heavily floured surface surface and cut with cookie cutter. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake for 20 -25 minutes at 350 F or until golden brown.
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chasingtides: (Default)
( Jul. 24th, 2009 11:47 pm)
I just started munching on one of these - got to sample it before I take a batch to the party, you know - and oh my god, they're amazing. It's a cookie and tea all wrapped up in one and, oh god, this is so my new comfort food, I don't care how unhealthy they are. This cookie? Is Christmas Eve in a cookie. I am not lying. You need this in your life.

2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 bags Earl Grey tea
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. Slowly add to the butter mixture and blend thoroughly. Roll out on flat surface and cut with cookie cutter. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 350 F or until golden brown.

~31 cookies/biscuits

*

When raw, the texture of this is very close to that of cold water pastry (and for good reason). Keep this in mind when rolling out the dough. While I have cookie cutters somewhere, I couldn't find them, so I just used a glass to make small rounds.

Additionally, if you aren't a fan of Earl Grey tea, you could probably use another aromatic tea or just skip the tea altogether. (On the other hand, I think you are really missing out if you do.)

*

On Christmas Eve and late Christmas Day, my family gathers around the table and we drink tea and eat spritz cookies and Christmas pies. These are remarkably close to both spritz cookies and the cold water pastry I use to make pies. Adding the tea means that biting into these cookies brings up amazing memories for me; it's unbelievable. The next time I'm feeling really down or sad, I'm making these - it's an instant spirit-lift. (I will also make them for Christmaas, have no fear!)
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This is another not-recipe, but is delicious and refreshing anyway.

On hot, hot summer days, I can get dehydrated very easily and on the hottest days, plain water is fairly unappealing (and sweet drinks are just blech when it's hot and steamy). Water with a little lemon or lime can give you a little zing and so can seltzer water.

However, I prefer this for a refreshing summer beverage.

Make a pot of mint tea. It can be any kind of mint - and ginger would work well for this too - but you want to make sure it doesn't have any licorice or anything else in it. Today I used Stash's Peppermint Tea because that was what was in the cabinet, but your grocery store should have something.

Let the tea cool.

Pour tea into an ice cube tray. Freeze.

Pop the mint ice cubes into your water on hot days. If you like, crush a bit of fresh mint in with them or use them in iced tea - or even use them to ice mint tea without watering it down!
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This is something I make in the summers when it's too hot to do much cooking, but I still want something tasty. It's really basic and adaptable - use what you have on hand. It can be easily adjusted for leftovers and specialty diets. You can also feed a whole family or just yourself.

rice
meat (I usually use leftover chicken, although left over seafood works well, too. Presumably meat-substitutes would work well.)
diced veggies
Worcestershire sauce (or your favorite sauce)
stock
herbs, spices of your choice

Cook the rice in stock for extra flavor. For extra nutrients, use brown rice or wild rice. If the meat is uncooked, brown it in a separate pan. Add some of the veggies to the pan as the meat browns, or, if the meat is cooked, add them together. I personally enjoy onions, peppers, and zucchini, but most anything will work. Toss in aromatic spices (ex. garlic, herbes de provence, pepper). Once the veggies are soft, but not squishy, and it's aromatic, remove from heat. When rice is cooked, add meat and veggies. Serve in bowls topped with Worcestershire sauce (or your favorite steak sauce). Sometimes I add beat sprouts or canned bamboo to the top or canned, heated kidney beans.

It's simple, adaptable, and tasty. Actually, it's so simple that I hesitate to call it a recipe. Additionally, I have to recommend a version of this with left over salmon with a pepper-sugar rub, grilled zucchinni with hot pepper and sugar, and wild rice. I put the salmon on top of the rice still cold and it's swoon worthy.
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This is designed to be a lactose-free cheesecake. That's right, those among you who can't digest lactose - you can now have cheesecake! It's also super-cheap - Beyond the stuff that was already in my pantry, I spent exactly $4.09 on ingredients - and surprisingly low fat. You won't be able to resist making another one.)

Crust

2 cup crushed graham crackers or plain cookies (at 79 cents a pack, I used 2/3 of a pack of Goya Maria Cookies)
8 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons hot water mixed with 4 teaspoons instant mocha mix (any cocoa mix will do, I just had mocha on hand)

Mix together and pat into the pie dish as the crust. I used the meat tenderizer to crush the cookies. It's very satisfying to smash things with that, especially when they make cracking noises.

Filling

2 cups (16 oz) cottage cheese (I used the new Lactaid brand - no lactose - but if you can consume lactose, just go for something with small curds)
1/2 cup of baking cocoa (this is unsweetened)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 shot of amaretto liquor*

Blend. I've heard of people making cheesecake filling in the blender, but I just dump everything in a big bowl and have at with the electric mixer.

Pour into the crust. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until the edges of the cheesecake are firm and center jiggles slightly.

*If you don't have amaretto or you don't want to cook with alcohol, you can replace this with a dash of almond extract. If you're in the US, A C Moore (yes, the craft store) sells an amaretto extract for about $2. (Warning: Their flavorings are *very* strong; only use a small amount.)

Additionally, you can play with other flavors. I plan to try this out with Creme de Menthe later this summer. Trying it out with strawberries or raspberries and then garnishing the top could be delicious and exciting. There's really no end to what you can do with chocolate cheesecake.
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chasingtides: (Default)
( Jun. 19th, 2009 03:33 pm)
I posted these over on [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political because people asked for it, so I figured I'd just post it here as well.

These are, basically, the world's easiest brownies. They're also pretty healthy and have almost no fat. However, don't fear, these aren't your store-bought tastes-like-cardboard healthy brownies. These are delicious and chocolatey and every time they're made, they're gone before the next day

1 cup flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
apple sauce

Mix flour, cocoa powder and sugar. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add enough apple sauce to hold everything together (I use about 5 heaping spoonfuls.)

For double-chocolate brownies, add some melted semi-sweet chocolate chips or just mix them in the batter.

Bake for 45 minutes at 300 F or until done.

It's kind of the easiest thing ever to make. You can chopped fruit or nuts or anything to it, if you like.
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A lime rickey - non-alcoholic - is a New England classic. It's one of those things that's really basic to make and just screams summer to me. There's something perfectly New England about having fried clams and raspberry lime rickeys. Or you can just take a hot Saturday and drink your lime rickey while working on your writing.

Ingredients:

Limeade concentrate
Seltzer water (soda water)
Raspberry Syrup

Directions:

Mix up the limeade with the carbonated water instead of flat water. (Don't mix it up in a pitcher unless you'll consume it immediately - it will lose it's carbonation if you store it. It's just easier to mix it up in individual glasses.) Add a spoonful of raspberry syrup to each glass and stir well. Serve with ice.

You can also do a slightly more complicated version with simple syrup, lime juice, carbonated water, and raspberry syrup, but the above recipe takes, literally, seconds to make. We get our raspberry syrup at the local coffee shop, but you can probably find some at your grocery store or even on Amazon. Using raspberry lime seltzer water is also a good idea.
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chasingtides: (Default)
( May. 11th, 2009 10:10 pm)
Great Pumpkin Pumpkin Pie
Vegetable Shortening Crust

4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups shortening (palm oil)
1 egg, beaten
1 dash vinegar
1 dash vanilla
1 dash salt
~1 cup water

Mix flour and shortening as you would with butter, until a meal consistency is reached. Add the egg, vinegar, vanilla, and salt. Mix. Slowly add water by the teaspoon until it holds together loosely when pressed. This is enough for a two crust pie, two bottom crusts, or one bottom crust and some tarts.

Pumpkin Pie Filling
! can prepared pumpkin
1 egg beaten
1/4 teaspoon arrowroot
pinch of orange rind or dash of orange juice
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar

Mix well. Pout into pie crust. Bake at 450 F for 15 minutes and then 350 F for about an hour (until set in the middle).
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chasingtides: (boon dogle)
( Mar. 22nd, 2009 06:59 pm)
This is how my mother's family has made macaroni and cheese - my mom, my grandmother, her sisters. It's easier, it's simple, it's adaptable. When I was a kid, my mom made it with goat's milk and goat's cheese. When my brother could manage more cow's milk, she worked it half-cheddar and half-goat cheese. When I make it, I use cow's milk and cheddar cheese.

milk
pasta
cheese
flour
bread crumbs

Cook up a big pot of pasta - enough to fill a casserole dish.

Separately, in the casserole dish, make a white sauce out of the milk and flour. Heat in the microwave and mix until smooth. Slowly add small pieces of cheese and heat until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Make enough of the cheese sauce to coat the pasta.

Add the pasta to the sauce in the casserole dish. Mix well. Top with bread crumbs.

Bake for 10 - 20 minutes (depending on desired textured) in the microwave on high or the oven at 350 F. If you use the oven, you might add a bit of extra sliced cheese below the bread crumbs.

*

This is delicious comfort food. It's remarkably simple. It also freezes very, very well. (It's great for making a large casserole dish and then freezing meal size portions. Add some fresh or frozen veggies and a glass of fruit juice and you have a very comforting, fairly healthy meal.) You can make it with skim milk and low fat cheese. You can make it with goat's milk and goat's cheese. Really, any meltable cheese and cookable milk (ie don't use halloumi and I don't know how well almond milk would work). I prefer to use Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese and whatever milk I have in the fridge, along with whatever pasta happens to be in the cupboard.
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This recipe isn't quite mine (I don't have enough candy making experience to call it my own), but it's also so absurdly basic that I'm not having moral qualms about posting it. (I also have no idea where the hell I got it.)

It goes: Add 1.5 cups of sugar to .5 cups boiling water. Stir until sugar dissolves. Boil until syrup spins a thread. Add six drops oil of peppermint. Stir. Drop onto wax paper.

I first made this peppermint candy when I was maybe twelve years old, just getting into cooking by myself. I used peppermint extract, which is what the grocery store had, and the result was fine - sweet and a little minty - but not what I was looking for. I made it once with oil of peppermint, obtained through some family friend, and it was exactly what I was looking for. But then the bottle broke and my recipe went back to the cupboard.

Then I found oil of peppermint at AC Moore yesterday while looking for paint supplies. I remembered this little recipe and here we are.

I don't actually own a candy thermometer, but this has never stopped me. I test my candy in a cup of cold water and I generally still to this recipe. I fully intend to go out and buy more oils from AC Moore and make more flavorful candy (Cooking Know How: Oils of x are stronger than Extract of X). Cinnamon, lemon, and anise candy, here I come!

(Due to my lack of candy thermometer, I am probably Doing It Wrong. However, the candy generally hardens fairly well and is tasty. Beyond that I don't care. If you're more curious about doing it right, this might be up your alley.)
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