Eating Bon-Bons all Day!

As a stay-at-home-mom, I’m often teased with the proverbial, “oh, it must be nice to stay home and eat bonbons all day” line.  Now, of course, any of you who have ever actually SPENT an entire day at home with small children knows how laughable that line really is.  Alas, the stigma remains.  So, in the spirit of “if you can’t beat em’, join em’,” I decided that I should AT LEAST know how to make bonbons – even if I never really get to spend time eating them.    So, here is a fabulously easy recipe for Ice Cream Bonbons.

You’ll need:

1 pint of Ice cream – any flavor  (My boys love Mint Chip.)

¼ cup of sprinkles   (or crushed nuts)

½ lb (8oz) semi-sweet chocolate – you can use the bulk chocolate bark bars and grate it (preferred), or buy chocolate chips or even candy melts.  (Also, you can definitely vary the flavors by changing the outer coating – white chocolate, peanut butter candy melt, peppermint candy melt, or dark chocolate would all work)

1 TBSP of Vegetable Shortening. (Such as Crisco)   – Yes, there are probably healthier ways of doing this….feel free to enlighten me!

Start by scooping out your ice cream.  You’ll want a SMALL ice cream scoop, and you should be able to get about 12-15 scoops out of your pint.  Divide these onto two parchment-lined, baking sheets, and cover with plastic wrap.

Freeze the scoops till very firm – best if you freeze overnight.

Next, combine your coating chocolate and shortening in a double boiler.  You can fashion a “makeshift” double boiler by using a heatproof bowl and setting it over a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water.  Make sure the bottom of the bowl does NOT touch the water.  Simmer over low heat – do not boil.  You’ll want to stir often until the chocolate coating is smooth and glossy.  Remove from the heat, and let cool SLIGHTLY – so that it’s warm, but not hot to the touch.

For step three, you’ll want to work quickly.  Prick a frozen ice cream ball with a fork, and hold over the chocolate bowl.  Using a large spoon, spoon chocolate over.  Let excess chocolate drip back into bowl, and then follow with sprinkles.  Now, if you are quick and nimble enough, you can TRY dunking the ice cream balls into the chocolate bowl and then likewise through the sprinkles bowl.  But if you’re not fast enough – you’ll just make a big ice-creamy mess, so keep your spoons handy.

When coated, place back on baking sheet and re-freeze until ready to serve.

Go ahead, moms….GIVE EM’ SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT!!!

Today, I think you SHOULD eat bonbons!!

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Homemade Donuts: Regular and Gluten-Free!!

Thanks to my friend, Amber, I’m making the world’s intestines a little calmer with this gluten free donut recipe.  I can attest to the yummy-ness factor of these donuts.  Some of the best homemade ones I’ve ever had – and if she hadn’t told me, I would NEVER have guessed that she had made me the gluten-free version!!   It’s a rainy weekend in my part of the world, so this is a great family activity with yummy rewards!

 Happy Baking!!

 
Regular Recipe:  (gluten free subs below)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp salt

…1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon(although I use a full tsp.)

dash ground nutmeg(i use about 1 1/2 tsp.-makes them taste better!)

2 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup of milk

1 egg, beaten

1 quart oil for frying

Heat oil to 375. In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg . mix in butter until crumbly. Stir in milk and egg until smooth. knead lightly, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. roll out to about 1/4 inch. cut with doughnut cutter. carefully drop into oil. fry for 3 minutes(turning them over half way) or until they’re golden brown. drain on paper towels and when they are cool melt chocolate, or make a glaze to pour over.

for it to be gluten free:

replace the all-purpose flour with bob’s red mill gluten free all purpose flour.

add 1/2 tsp xanthum gum(it replaces the “elasticness” that gluten has.

Then follow the recipe. you wont need to knead it, because gf dough is super sticky. i use about another cup of GF Flour to roll it out with my hands. then i dip my doughnut cutter in the flour every time i cut out a doughnut-then it doesn’t stick to the cutter.

Thanks, Amber!

Super Yummy Easy Banana Bread (with chocolate chips for added guilt)

So, I seriously cannot believe that the very first recipe I’m posting is a banana bread recipe. 

I honestly  haven’t made (or probably even eaten) banana bread in at least four years. 

Here’s the thing though:  we like to eat our bananas pretty close to green, so when that last lonely banana gets a little too freckled for our liking – it gets thrown into sub-zero solitary confinement in the freezer.  I’m not exactly sure why I did this, except that I don’t like to throw food away, and somewhere in my mind, I thought, “Hey, maybe we can bake with those at some point..”   

 Today, however,  was what alcoholics refer to as  “the moment of clarity”  wherein ridiculous heaps of frozen, black, humiliated bananas stared at me from under piled up bags of frozen burritos and from inside frozen pie shells .  Yes, they taunted me. I opened the freezer to fill my water cup with ice, and they stared at me.  Glared, even.   There they sat in all their “has-been-ness,” overripe,  and now frozen to themselves.

 At first, they just looked pathetic to me.  A frozen blackened testament to my own procrastination. But the more I stared at them, the more sinister they became.  It was as if they were planning a revolt, and  that  perhpas one night I would awaken to find an army of them marching in formation across the granite countertops. 

So, I did what any self respecting housewife would do; I yanked them from their dungeon, peeled their ugly shriveled  skins off, exposing their once plump flesh to the warm, forced air-heat of my house, dumped them in a bowl and mashed the heck out of their little banana army.    I felt much better. 

And lucky for you, I renewed my affection for banana flavored loaves  in the process- although, that may have actually been the Chocolate Chips’ fault.  Anyway, here’s my recipe.  I couldn’t find one that I liked the sound of tremendously, so I made one up…..it came out delicious.  I reccommend a slice of it, served warm, with a pat of butter melted on it, and a cup of good English tea.

Ingredients:

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup milk chocolate (or semi-sweet) choc. chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup brown sugar, softened

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), melted and cooled slightly

4 overripe bananas, mashed well

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a loaf pan.

Sift together flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon, and toss in chocolate chips, coating them  in the flour mixture well.

Mix together brown sugar, vanilla, and butter until creamy and smooth, with no lumps,  and then stir in the beaten eggs and the mashed bananas.  Combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture and mix lightly just until fully incorporated. Pour into loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

By the way, simple recipes like this one are great ways to get your children baking with you.  I wish I would have taken a picture of the kidlet in his apron – or the finished bread.  I’m learning. 🙂

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