Thursday, December 25, 2014

Vanilla and Chocolate Christmas Sugar Cookies

Pin It Vanilla and Chocolate Christmas Sugar Cookies

Snowflakes
For my Christmas Cookies, I used Vanilla and Chocolate dough. I love Sweetopia's Chocolate Sugar Cookie recipe. The rich chocolate taste of the cookie and chewy texture is delightful. The chocolate dough is easy to work using a rolling pin to roll out the dough in between two sheets of parchment paper. I used multiple cutters for my shapes and rolled a quarter of the dough at a time keeping the rest in the fridge until I was ready to use it.

Christmas Stockings
For the Chocolate Sugar Cookie recipe please visit Sweetopia: http://sweetopia.net/2013/12/chocolate-sugar-cookie-recipe-cut-out-cookies/.

Snowmen

Chocolate Sugar Cookie
Ingredients
2 cups (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

2 cups Sugar

2 Extra Large Eggs

3 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

4 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 ½ cups Cocoa Powder

1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

Reindeer

Reindeer

Directions
Sift Flour, Cocoa Powder and Salt in large bowl and combine with spatula; put aside.

Cut each stick of Butter into 8 pieces.

Cream the Butter and Sugar together in a bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment on low to medium speed. Mix until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix again for 5-10 seconds more.

Chocolate Boys and Girls Sugar Cookies

Vanilla Boys and Girls Sugar Cookies

Add Eggs one at a time. Scrape down bowl with spatula and mix again for another 10 seconds.

Add Vanilla Extract and mix for 1 minute.

Slowly add Flour mixture to bowl and mix on low speed for 1 minute. When Dough clumps around paddle attachment, it is ready.

Use rolling pin and roll out Dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Cover Dough with plastic wrap and cool in fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Trees

Take one quarter of Dough, and roll out further and cut out desired shapes. Repeat rolling the Dough and cutting shapes until you have used it all.

Place cookie shapes on parchment lined baking sheet and space apart 2 inches.

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until center of cookie no longer looks wet. My cookies baked in 10 minutes.

Let cookies cool in baking sheet for 5 minutes and transfer to wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

Let cookie sheets cool completely before you bake again. Repeat until you have baked all the cookies.

Ornaments

Vanilla Sugar Cookies
Please visit Joy of Baking for the Sugar Cookie recipe and directions:
http://www.joyofbaking.com/SugarCookies.html

Royal Icing
For the Royal Icing recipe, please visit Joy of Baking: http://www.joyofbaking.com/RoyalIcing.html

I made the Royal Icing with Egg Whites, Lemon Juice and Confectioners Sugar, but there is also a recipe using Meringue Powder. The video tutorials are helpful if it is your first time making Royal Icing.

I double each recipe and made 2 consistencies of Royal Icing for borders and to fill the cookies.

I put aside the white icing I needed and tinted the rest with Wilton Gel Colors in teal and royal blue. I used plastic containers to color the Royal Icing.

I transferred the icing immediately into Squeeze Bottles using a funnel to prevent it from spilling. When you are not using the bottles, keep the tips covered. If the icing hardens due to exposure to air, spray a little bit of water and shake bottle well holding the tip with your finger. Test the icing consistency on a paper towel before decorating the cookie.

Candy Canes

Decorating the Cookies
Once all your cookies have cooled, do the borders first and let them dry completely before filling the cookies. If you add sprinkles over the filled icing do it while it is wet. Decorate as desired.

Let the cookies dry overnight. I place them in cookie sheets and leave them uncovered for 4 to 5 hours and then cover with plastic wrap overnight to complete drying.

Enjoy! Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Italian Anisette Cookies

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Italian Anisette Cookies
I have been buying Italian Anisette Cookies for many years but never baked any. I came across a recipe for these cookies in Mother Thyme and had to try them. The recipe is very simple to follow and the cookies are soft and have a cake like texture with a yummy Anise taste. If you never had Anise cookies the taste is like black licorice. These cookies are the perfect dessert with coffee or tea. The Anise Glaze adds to the Anise flavor in the cookies and I sprinkled Red, White, Green Nonpareils for the holidays!

For the recipe please visit, Mother Thyme: http://www.motherthyme.com/2012/12/anise-cookies.html

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Spritz Cookies

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Holiday Spritz Cookies
Spritz Cookies are crisp when you bite into them and soft inside. I made these Spritz Cookies using my Cuisinart Electric Cookie Press. The recipe is from Cook's Illustrated Holiday Baking, 2011, (pgs. 26-27). These Spritz Cookies have a great buttery flavor and the shapes hold well. I used various colored sugars and sprinkles. Spritz Cookies are also beautiful on their own using different shapes from your cookie press and you can tint the dough in different colors. If you want to change the flavor profile, substitute the pure vanilla extract to almond, coconut, orange or lemon extract.

Makes about 6 dozen 1 1/2 inch cookies.

Ingredients
1 Extra Large Egg, just the Yolk

1 tablespoon Heavy Cream

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, softened

2/3 cup Granulated Sugar

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

Colored Sugars and Sprinkles, optional

Gel Food Coloring, optional

Directions
Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, beat Egg Yolk, Heavy Cream and Vanilla Extract with a fork until combined; set aside.

In a bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment, cream Butter, Sugar and Salt on medium high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Scrape down bowl with spatula.

With mixer running on medium speed, add Yolk-Cream-Vanilla mixture and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

With mixer running on low speed, gradually add Flour and beat until combined.

Scrape down bowl with spatula and give a final stir to make sure no Flour pockets remain.

Dough will be soft, but do not refrigerate.

If you want to tint dough, separate Dough into bowls depending on how many colors you want. Add 4 to 5 drops at a time and combine with a spatula until desired color is reached.

Fit your cookie press with desired disk to form cookies.

Press Dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart.

If desired, decorate with colored sugars and sprinkles.

Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

Remember to cool cookie sheets completely before you press more cookies or the cookies will lose their shape.

Cool cookies on sheet for about 3 to 5 minutes and transfer to wire rack and cool completely, about 1 hour.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Monday, December 22, 2014

Coconut Cake

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Coconut Cake
This month, I baked three Coconut Cakes for the holidays. This recipe is from, The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2010 (pgs. 498-99). I love this Coconut Cake recipe and it is the best tasting one I baked thus far. This cake is for serious coconut lovers. The only adjustments I made to the recipe was adding ½ cup of Shredded Coconut Flakes in the cake batter and reduced the Confectioners Sugar to 2 ½ cups instead of 3 cups in the Coconut Frosting. This cake is dense and rich with a creamy Coconut Frosting topped with Toasted Coconut.

Toasted Coconut
Ingredients
2 cups Sweetened Shredded Coconut Flakes

Directions
Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Place the shredded Coconut on a baking sheet in oven for about 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes. Keep an eye on the Coconut. It toasts up pretty quick.

Place on cooling rack to cool completely.

When cool, place in a large bowl and set aside.

Coconut Cake
Ingredients
2 ¼ cups Cake Flour, plus more for the cake pans

¾ cup Cream of Coconut (Goya)

5 Extra Large Egg Whites, plus 1 Egg, room temperature

¼ cup Water

1 teaspoon Coconut Extract

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 cup Granulated Sugar

1 tablespoon Baking Powder

¾ teaspoon Table Salt

1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, softened and cut into 12 pieces

½ cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut Flakes

Coconut Cake - divine!

Directions
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease cake pan, line with parchment paper (if using 2 9-inch pans; omit parchment paper if using 9 x 13 Baking Dish) and grease and sprinkle with Cake Flour. Tap on counter and get rid of excess Cake Flour.

Whisk Cream of Coconut, Water, Egg Whites, Egg, Coconut and Vanilla Extracts together in a medium bowl.

In a hand-held or stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix Cake Flour, Granulated Sugar, Baking Powder, and Salt on low speed until combined, about 1 minute.

Increase speed to medium, beat Butter into the Flour mixture, a couple of pieces at a time, about 1 minute. Continue to beat the mixture until it resembles moist crumbs, about 1 minute.

Beat in all but ½ cup of the Cream of Coconut mixture, then increase speed to medium and beat until smooth, light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add remaining Cream of Coconut mixture until batter is combined, about 1 minute.

With a spatula gently fold in Sweetened Shredded Coconut Flakes.

Scrape batter and pour into the prepared pans, smooth tops with spatula, and lightly tap the pans against the counter top two to four times to settle the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

If you are using 2 9-inch cake pans, cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cakes, then flip them carefully onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper, flip the cakes right side up, and cool completely before frosting, about 2 hours.

If you are using a 9 x 13 Baking Dish (I used Pyrex Glass Baking Dish), cool cake completely before frosting. If you want to place on decorative platter, cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and run a small knife around the edge of the cake and flip carefully onto platter.

Toasted Coconut - pure yumminess!

Coconut Frosting
Ingredients
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream

1 teaspoon Coconut Extract

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Pinch Table Salt

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, cut into chunks and softened

¼ cup Cream of Coconut

2 ½ cups Confectioners Sugar

 2 cups Sweetened Shredded Coconut (Toasted)

Directions
In a small bowl, stir the Cream, Coconut and Vanilla Extracts, and Salt together.

In a hand-held or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat Butter and Cream of Coconut on medium-high speed until smooth, about 30-45 seconds.

Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and gradually beat in Confectioners Sugar, then continue to beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the Cream mixture. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.

Spread desired frosting over the cooled cake. Sprinkle as much of the Toasted Coconut Flakes over the cake. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep in fridge until ready to serve. I chilled the cake overnight.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pumpkin Pie

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Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie
I always bake Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving dinner at my Mom's. Instead of wasting money shopping on Black Friday, I stayed home in my PJ's and baked another Pumpkin Pie for Allen and me. I usually make the famous Libby's recipe, but this year I was inspired by Ina Garten's, Ultimate Pumpkin Pie and Perfect Pie Crust recipes from Foolproof Recipes You Can Trust (pgs. 241-244). To the recipe, I added ground Clove and used Pure Vanilla Extract in place of Rum. The Pie Crust recipe is simple and perfection, but if you are pressed for time use Pillsbury Pie Crust. I had a mishap taking the pie out of the oven when one of my hot pads slipped out of my hands. I broke a piece of the pie crust and burned myself, so please be careful. The texture of this pie is silky and it is really creamy. The addition of Orange Zest and ground Clove really boosts the flavor and the taste is sublime. 

For Ina's Perfect Pie Crust recipe please visit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/perfect-pie-crust-recipe.html

Pie Filling Ingredients
1 can (15 ounce) can Pure Pumpkin (Libby's)

½ cup Light Brown sugar, lightly packed

¼ cup Granulated Sugar

½-teaspoon ground Cinnamon

¼-teaspoon ground Ginger

¼-teaspoon ground Nutmeg

¼-teaspoon ground Clove

½-teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Extra Large Eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup Heavy Cream

½ cup Whole Milk

1 ½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

2 teaspoons Grated Orange Zest (1 Naval Orange)

Pumpkin Pie, my slice - yum!

Pie Crust Cutouts (optional)
1 Egg White
1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Use the extra crust to make cutouts such as the Pumpkin press cutout I used. Take Egg White and Brush over cutouts and sprinkle Sugar over the top. Bake in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove and cool on rack.

Pie Filling Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line pie pan with unbaked pie crust. Crimp crust and place ceramic pie weights or dried beans to weigh crust down.

Bake crust for 15 minutes.

Remove beans or ceramic pie weights and aluminum foil or pie shield, and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes. Take out.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine with a spatula the Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove, and Salt.

In a large bowl, add the Pumpkin, Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar, the Spice Mixture, Orange Zest, Eggs, Cream, Milk and Vanilla Extract and whisk until combined.

Pour Pumpkin filling into baked pie shell.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes until filling is set and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Put on cooling rack to cool completely, about 2 hours.

Once the pie has cooled, place cutouts over the pie.

Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to serve.

If you wish, serve with vanilla bean ice cream or whip cream.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reaper of Sorrow Hot Sauce - Born To Hula

Pin It Reaper of Sorrow Hot Sauce - Born To Hula

A New Flavorful, Hot, and Edible Reaper hot sauce is now out (I mention edible as some Reaper Pepper products out there are just too hot for their own good). This extremely hot sauce is a real treat to add to your food. This is a smooth blend of Red Jalapenos and Carolina Reapers with a tomato base.

Reaper of Sorrow Cheeseburgers, HOT and Delicious!
This is what is called a Sriracha style hot sauce and I agree. The wonderful flavors and all together taste of this bright red, ultra hot sauce goes great on everything I tried it on. I kitchen tested this sauce for several weeks on a variety of foods.

Some of the foods I topped with this versatile Reaper of Sorrow sauce include Pasta with Red Sauce, Chinese Stir Fry, Oven Roasted Homemade Vegetables, Egg Rolls, Eggs and Nachos. My favorite was the Reaper of Sorrow Homemade Cheeseburger which was amazing (see photo). Reaper of Sorrow has a bite straight up, but when cooked with or added to food its flavors fuse well. Some recent sauces out there are just too hot for enjoyment. After all, the Reaper Pepper is currently the worlds hottest pepper on the Scoville Scale.

If you have family that cannot handle the more extreme hot sauce, just mix a small amount with sour cream and then put that on nacho chips or mexican food. It was really good with the cheese in my cheeseburger. The dairy will tone down the intensity a touch. This sauces focus is on flavor not heat, although it is very hot and one of the hotter sauces that I have had. Born To Hula is a local company based in New Jersey. We have been fans of Born to Hula for several years. I also recommend the Smokin' Pineapple sauce they make for your rice dishes, chicken wings, fish and pork.

The ingredients are very natural and sometimes simple is better. The Reaper of Sorrow Sauce contains Carolina Reaper peppers, Red Jalapenos, red wine vinegar, tomatoes, lemon, onions and garlic. The Siriacha Style is evident in the use of the tasty Red Jalapenos to compliment the heat of the Carolina Reaper Peppers. The pepper taste combined with the other vegetables hit the spot. I must also point out that the aroma of this sauce is a winner as well as the taste. Great texture and colors also compliment this sauce. Order Reaper of Sorrow today from Born to Hula. I recommend you order a few bottles as it may go fast in a Chili-heads household. The bottle note pre warns people it is extremely hot. I think they should put a warning also stating this bottle contains extreme flavor (as well as heat). Special thanks to Ed Bucholtz for reaching out to us to cover his new product.


The hard work done by the creator, Ed Bucholtz really paid off as this sauce shines for fans of both flavor and heat. I am giving this sauce a seal of approval from our hot sauce division at Two Frys. This is the first sauce to receive the Two Frys "Seal of Approval" as well as a recommendation from me. The "Seal of Approval" is a new thing we are going to give hot sauces that really get the combo of both flavor and heat right. I was going to start the "Seal of Approval" in January 2015, but this sauce is just too good not to get it.

To order Born To Hula products and for further information, please visit:
Born To Hula: www.borntohula.com

Born To Hula on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BTH52

-Allen/Two Frys

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Feast 2014

Pin It Thanksgiving Feast 2014

Allen and I made our Thanksgiving feast yesterday since we had Thanksgiving dinner at my Mom's. This has been a tradition for us since 2009 to do our own intimate dinner the weekend after Thanksgiving. Our dinner consisted of Turkey, Gravy, Jalapeño Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing, Dinner Rolls and Cranberry Jelly. We have leftovers to eat and enjoy all week.

Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme Turkey


Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme Turkey right out of the oven
We made this Turkey three years in a row but this year skipped the compound butter. This turkey is super juicy and rich with flavor from the Herbs (Thyme, Rosemary) and Lemon slices under the skin and 2 whole Lemons stuffed inside the cavity.

Ingredients
12-16 pound Turkey (thawed; ours was 14.2 pounds)

1 bunch of fresh Thyme

1 bunch of fresh Rosemary

3 lemons

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

3 Shallots

5 Garlic cloves

Close-up of Turkey, yummy!!!

Directions
Once Turkey has come to room temperature pat dry with paper towels.

Remove Neck and Giblets and put aside for the Gravy.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make sure oven shelf is positioned in the lower third of the oven.

Slice Shallots in half.

Peel skin off Garlic.

Poke 2 Lemons with a fork and thinly slice remaining Lemon.

Place Turkey in roasting pan.

Turkey rested for 1 hour and ready to carve and eat
Using a brush, rub the inside of the cavity with Olive Oil and season with Salt and Black Pepper.

Insert into the cavity 2 Lemons, Shallots, Garlic cloves, and the bunches of Thyme and Rosemary.

With a brush, coat the Turkey with Olive Oil and season liberally with Salt and Black Pepper.

Carefully slide Lemon slices under the skin.

Place Turkey in oven and roast for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

After the first 20 minutes, lower temperature to 325 degrees. For cooking time look at Turkey package instructions for guidelines according to how many pounds your Turkey is. Our Turkey cooked in 4 hours. The Turkey will be cooked when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thick part of the leg joint is at 160-165 degrees.

Take Turkey out of oven and cover it with foil and let it rest for 1 hour before serving.

Turkey Gravy

Turkey Gravy
I love this Gravy recipe. It is rich in taste and is worth the effort you put into it.

Ingredients
4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock

Turkey Neck and Giblets

4 tablespoons, Flour

1 Bay Leaf

1/2 stick, unsalted Butter

2 Carrots, chopped

2 Celery stalks, chopped

1 Shallot, chopped

4 Garlic cloves, minced

Kosher Salt

Directions
In a large pot, add Neck, Giblets and all the pan drippings from Turkey (remove excess fat), Chicken Stock and Bay Leaf. Heat on low-medium heat for about 20 minutes.

In another large pot, on medium heat, melt Butter and add Carrots, Celery, Shallots and Garlic. Cook in Butter until slightly browned. About 10 minutes.

Stir Flour into Butter and Veggies to make a roux.

Cook for a few minutes until the roux turns golden brown in color.

Drain stock to remove Neck and Giblets and return stock to pot. Slowly pour the stock in the pan with the roux, whisking as you add it. Do not stop whisking. Once incorporated stop whisking and return to a boil. Then lower heat to a simmer and reduce by a third. Takes about 20-25 minutes.

Strain the gravy through a mesh strainer. Season to taste with Salt.

Jalapeño Mashed Potatoes

Jalapeño Mashed Potatoes
I love roasted Jalapeños in Mashed Potatoes and these are very special since they are from Allen's urban garden (in our apartment windowsill). The Jalapeños add great texture to the Mashed Potatoes and the sour Cream make these Mashed Potatoes so creamy. The heat from the Jalapeños add a welcome spicy kick.

Ingredients
5-6 Jalapeños (depends on size and how much heat you want)

3-5 pounds Potatoes

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1 1/2 cups Milk

6 tablespoons, Unsalted Butter

Kosher Salt

Olive Oil

Roasted Jalapeños

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash Jalapeños in cold water and pat dry with paper towel.

Cut top off and slice Jalapeños in half, remove seeds and membrane or leave them in for added spice.

Coat Jalapeños with Olive Oil and Kosher Salt on both sides. Place on cookie sheet.

Roast in oven for about 20 minutes; turn over half way through.

Let cool and chop, set aside for now.

While the Jalapeños are roasting, peel and cut Potatoes in half. Place Potatoes in a large pot with cold water and add Kosher Salt.

Bring Potatoes to a boil on medium-high heat, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes. Make sure Potatoes are fork tender.

In a small saucepan, heat Milk and Butter until Butter melts and is hot. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat until Potatoes are cooked.

When Potatoes are cooked, drain in colander and return to pot or a large bowl. Mash the Potatoes with a masher or use a food mill for as long as it takes to get the texture you want.

Slowly add melted Butter and Milk mixture and stir with a spatula. Keep adding as you mash until you have poured it all in and the Potatoes have a creamy texture.

Add Sour Cream and Jalapeños and blend together well. Add 2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt, taste and add more Kosher Salt if you wish.

Allen's Famous Green Bean Casserole

Allen's Famous Green Bean Casserole
Allen made his yummy Green Bean Casserole and no Thanksgiving for us would be complete without it. No Salt was added to the recipe since the canned Green Beans and Mushroom Soup have enough salt.

Ingredients
4 cans French Cut Greens Beans with Sea Salt, drained

2 cans Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup

3/4 cup, whole Milk

1 large container French Fried Onions (save some for topping)

2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper

Close-up of Allen's Famous Green Bean Casserole

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take a large glass or ceramic dish and combine Mushroom Soup, Milk, and Worcestershire Sauce with a whisk.

Add Green Beans and Black Pepper and stir well.

Sprinkle 2/3 of French Fried Onions over the top.

Bake for 1 hour. Remove and sprinkle remaining French Fried Onions and put back in oven for an additional 10 minutes so they can brown a bit.

Let stand for 20-30 minutes. Serve.

Add Hot Sauce to taste if desired.

Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing

Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing
We love the Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing and it marries beautifully with Gravy. This Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing is hearty, and full of flavor and Allen always makes it for Thanksgiving.

Ingredients
Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing (or any kind you like)

2 cups of sliced or 1 can of Mushrooms

1 Celery stalk

1 Shallot

1 Bay Leaf  (from Allen's parents backyard)

Close-up of yummy Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing (just add Gravy)

Directions
Take paper towel and clean Mushrooms gently removing excess dirt; slice Mushrooms or drain can of mushrooms and pat dry with paper towel.

With a peeler, remove outer skin of Celery and thinly slice.

Chop Shallot

Add the Mushrooms, Celery and Shallot and bring to a simmer with Butter and water.

Follow box directions and add above ingredients for added taste and texture.

Enjoy!

-Sophia and Allen/Two Frys

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Coconut Cream Pie

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Coconut Cream Pie

Dreamy Coconut Cream Pie!

I love Coconut and this Coconut Cream Pie is creamy, dreamy and the taste is heavenly. The Pie Crust recipe is from Ina Garten, and it is simple and perfection (see below). If you are pressed for time, you can use Pillsbury Pie Crust. The recipe uses Coconut three ways: Coconut Milk, Coconut Extract and sweetened shredded Coconut for a rich Coconut flavor profile. This is one of the best tasting pies I have ever made. If you love Coconut, you need to make this recipe!
  
You can find Ina's Perfect Pie Crust recipe at this link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/perfect-pie-crust-recipe.html

You can find the Triple-Threat Coconut Cream Pie recipe at this link:

Ingredients
1 can (13 1/2 oz) Coconut Milk, shaken well (Goya)

1 cup whole Milk

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

½ teaspoon Coconut Extract

5 large Egg Yolks

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sweetened shredded Coconut, toasted

2/3 cup Granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ cup Corn Starch (Argo)

2 tablespoons unsalted Butter, room temperature and cut into four pieces

My slice of Coconut Cream Pie, want some?

Directions
Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Place the shredded Coconut on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the Coconut. It toasts up pretty quick. Place on cooling rack to cool completely.

Unroll 1 Pie Crust onto parchment paper and lightly brush Coconut Milk on dough. Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of the toasted Coconut evenly on dough and press lightly to make it stick.

Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of the toasted Coconut onto bottom of pie plate, and then place dough and crimp sides. Prick the bottom and sides gently with a fork. Place dried beans or ceramic pie weights over the crust and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool.

In a medium size saucepan on medium heat, add the Coconut Milk, Milk, ½ cup of the toasted Coconut, Vanilla Extract, 1/3 cup Sugar and Salt to a simmer. Stir often with a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, with a whisk beat Egg Yolks, remaining 1/3 cup Sugar and Corn Starch until well combined.

Gradually beat the simmering liquid into the Yolk mixture to temper it.

Then return the entire mixture to the saucepan scraping the bowl with a spatula.

Heat the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, beating constantly with a whisk for about 4 minutes until it has thickened.

Remove from heat. Beat in the Coconut Extract and Butter. Pour into the cooled crust and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. If you are serving the same day let it set for about 3 hours.

Coconut Cream Pie

Whipped Cream Topping
Ingredients
1 ½ cups Heavy Whipping Cream, well chilled

1 ½ tablespoons Granulated Sugar

1 ¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/4 cup sweetened shredded Coconut, toasted

Directions
Chill bowl of your mixer in the fridge for 1 hour.

Once chilled, beat the Heavy Whipping Cream, Sugar and Vanilla Extract in electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 7 minutes.

Using spatula spread Whipped Cream over pie and sprinkle remaining toasted Coconut on top. Cover with aluminum foil until set, about 2 hours or overnight. 

Cover and store remaining pie in fridge.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Friday, November 21, 2014

Roasted Acorn Squash

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Roasted Acorn Squash
Sophia and I are big fans of roasting squash. This is the first year we have made Butternut Squash, Spaghetti Squash and Acorn Squash and we are enjoying them while in season. Acorn Squash is a little less sweeter than Butternut Squash and I saw recipes that sprinkled Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup, but it does not need it at all.

Ingredients
1 Acorn Squash

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

Close-up view of Roasted Acorn Squash

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

If you wish, cut off each end of Acorn Squash and cut in half.

Using a spoon gently remove the seeds.

With a knife, score each half with a knife about 5-6 times straight across.

My serving of Roasted Acorn Squash, yummy!
Brush on olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper.

Place skin side up, flesh side down in baking sheet.

Place in center rack of oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Let it rest for 5 minutes. Scoop it out with a spoon and eat or scoop it out and mash.

-Allen/Two Frys

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Chicken Stir Fry with Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce

Pin It Chicken Stir Fry with Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce

Chicken Stir-Fry w/Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce
I love making stir fry either with Chow Mein noodles or white rice. Chicken is my preferred protein of choice and I always add one kind of pepper to the stir fry veggies. We met Chef Ed at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo in NYC and love this guy and his versatile and extensive product line. I was excited to use this sauce in this dish. Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce An Asian Hot Chili Sauce Made with a Warm Combination of Hot Peppers, Garlic and Herbs has a superb flavor profile. It is bold and powerful with a robust flavor and everything you want in a Thai style chili sauce. The heat comes on slowly and lingers for just the right amount of time, adding zing and pop to your food. The sauce has a great kick to it and I used a moderate amount, but if you really want to feel the heat add more to your liking. The bottle design is beautiful as well and 14 oz. Give this recipe a try. I know you will love it as much as we did!

Close-up of the Stir Fry and Sauce

Ingredients
1 pound Chicken Breast Strips, cut into small chunks

1 package of Chow Mein Stir-Fry Noodles, (Wel-Pac)

1 bag Frozen Asian Stir Fry Vegetables

1 Cubanelle Pepper, sliced

¼ cup Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce

¼ cup Stir Fry Sauce (Kikkoman)

2 tablespoons Less Sodium Soy Sauce (Kikkoman)

Kosher Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

1 tablespoon Canola Oil

Chicken Stir-Fry with Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce is perfection!

Directions
Season veggies with salt and pepper to taste and steam together for a few minutes. Put aside.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, boil water. When boiling, add Chow Mein noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Do not overcook as they will continue cooking when you add them to the skillet. Drain and put aside.

Cut chicken into chunks and season both sides with salt and black pepper.

Delish!
Add canola oil to large skillet on medium heat and when hot, add chicken. After 5-6 minutes, add noodles and veggies and combine using tongs.

Add Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce, Stir Fry Sauce and Soy Sauce and combine again with tongs.

Remove from heat. Let rest a few minutes and serve.

For further information about Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce and to order, please visit: http://www.hobokeneddies.com.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Roasted Butternut Squash

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Roasted Butternut Squash, sublime!

Ever since I first made this recipe last month, we have had Roasted Butternut Squash about three times already. It is that good and healthy too! There are many recipes out there for Butternut Squash, but I was looking for a recipe with not too many ingredients. Many people like to add maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and other spices but I wanted to highlight the natural sweetness of this squash. Here is the recipe I used.

Ingredients
Butternut Squash

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

Out of the oven and about to flip them and put them back in for 15 more minutes
Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Cut Butternut Squash in cube size pieces (approximately 3/4 inch size cubes).

Spread cubes out over lined sheet pan but not on top of each other for even roasting.

Using a pastry brush add olive oil.

Roasted Butternut Squash
Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.

Roast for 15 minutes and then flip and cook for additional 15 minutes.

When done, let rest for 3-4 minutes before serving.

Butternut Squash recipe from April McKinney: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7gVcPXQfdE

-Allen/Two Frys

Friday, November 7, 2014

7UP Biscuits

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7UP Biscuits
I recently baked 7UP Biscuits after coming across the recipe online. It was a simple recipe to follow and the biscuits tasted great. The sour cream and 7UP elevated the taste of the biscuits. The biscuits were tangy and so soft inside. The ingredients and recipe are below. Give this recipe a try!

Ingredients
2 cups Bisquick Baking Mix

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup 7UP Soda

1/4 cup Melted Butter

Close-up view of 7UP Biscuits

Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Take a sauce pan and melt the butter on low heat. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn. When melted, remove from heat.

Add baking mix to a large bowl and add sour cream using a pastry cutter, fork, spatula or your hands incorporating well.

With a spatula stir in 7UP. The dough will be very soft.

Sprinkle a little of the baking mix to your counter or cutting board.

7UP Biscuits just taken out of the oven
Knead and fold dough (with your hands) until the baking mix has been thoroughly incorporated. Just pat dough out (rolling pin is not necessary) and cut biscuits with a round cookie cutter, glass or empty soup can.

Add melted butter to a 9-inch round cake pan and place biscuits on top of butter.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until brown.

Cool for a few minutes and transfer to serving tray. Enjoy with your favorite gravy if desired. Goes great with chicken, pork chops and steak.

7UP Biscuits recipe from: http://www.food.com/recipe/7-up-biscuits-496614

-Allen/Two Frys

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead Cookies

Pin It Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead Cookies

Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead cookies
"The Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, is a festival celebrating the reunion of dead relatives with their families, November 1st and 2nd. Every year, on November 1st (All Saints Day) and 2nd (All Souls Day), something unique takes place in many areas of Mexico: Day of the Dead festivities. In Spanish, All Saints Day and All Souls Day are known as El Dia de Todos los Santos and El Dia de los Muertos, respectively. While it's strange for most of us to accept the fact that "death" and "festivities" can go hand-in-hand, for most Mexicans, the two are intricately entwined. This all stems from the ancient indigenous peoples of Mexico (Purepecha, Nahua, Totonac and Otomi) who believed that the souls of the dead return each year to visit with their living relatives - to eat, drink and be merry. Just like they did when they were living." (from Mexonline.com, http://www.mexonline.com/daydead.htm)

Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead cookies
Last week, I ordered Sweet Spirits cookie cutters from Fred to make these cookies.

Sweet Spirits cookie cutters from Fred
I used AmeriColor Food Decorating Pens and royal icing in colors from my previous Halloween post.

Sugar Skull cookie 
Sugar Skull Cookie
The cookies are very detailed and take patience and a steady hand. Next time I make these cookies I will tint the dough in four colors for the base.

Sugar Skull Cookie
Sugar Skull Cookie
I used the royal icing colors from the Halloween cookies I made but I suggest you make a lot more colors. Next time, I will do this.

For more information on Dia de los Muertos, please visit:
MexicanSugarSkull.com:
http://www.mexicansugarskull.com/support/dodhistory.html

Celebrate Day of the Dead
http://www.celebrate-day-of-the-dead.com/

Feliz Dia de los Muertos!

-Sophia/Two Frys