Friday, January 30, 2015

Rolled Marshmallow fondant

Yummy note: I've been using this rolled marshmallow fondant recipe for several years now and it has really held up wonderfully. It is sweet, yet tastes so much better than any store-bought already prepared fondant. This homemade marshmallow fondant is so much easier to work with and roll out. Plus, who doesn't love the taste, and the leftover pieces totally reminds me of those bunny mallow candies from Easter time my grandma used to put into our Easter baskets. This marshmallow fondant quickly goes together, and you could even use your stand mixer if you wish to help knead the fondant, but I think the texture is best when you do it by hand as you can really feel it is done well enough or not. The smoothness can be felt if you knead it by hand, rather than if you used a mixer it just kinda becomes more of a ball, and it's trickier to tell the consistency. I've used this rolled marshmallow fondant recipe for covering cakes, making cut-out cookie toppers, and easy cupcake decorations. 

Rolled Marshmallow Fondant 

1 package or 16 ounces of regular mini marshmallows (Make sure you use a good quality brand or else they don't hold up as well.)
2-5 tablespoons of water
2 pounds, roughly 8 cups of sifted powdered sugar
about 1/4 cup of vegetable shortening
optional: flavored extract or food coloring

Place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds on high. Stir marshmallow mixture until mixed well and continue to microwave in 30 second intervals until fully melted. Should be roughly about 2-2 1/2 minutes total. At this point, flavored extract or coloring can be added at this point if desired. Next, place about half of the sifted powdered sugar on top of the melted marshmallow mixture. Fold sugar into the marshmallow mixture. Next, grease hands with vegetable shortening and counter/board area generously. Pour marshmallow/sugar mixture onto working surface and start kneading the fondant. Continue kneading, for several minutes )roughly 5 minutes) until about all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated. The fondant consistency and texture should be relatively nice and smooth. If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is probably too dry, so add a little water at time and then kneading it again until the fondant becomes more firm and elastic like, so you can stretch it without it falling apart. Once fondant is ready, either use right away and roll out as needed, or store in refrigerator. Fondant should be rolled to about 1/8 inch thickness. To store fondant, coat it with a thin layer of shortening, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and place in a resealable bag in the refrigerator. It can be stored like this for several weeks. When ready to use fondant, knead the desired amount of fondant until smooth again and then roll out to desired size. If you need to color the fondant, either add it to the marshmallow mixture as noted earlier for a larger batch or for smaller colored amounts of fondant, add color to fondant as needed and knead to incorporate color.

Rolled Marshmallow Fondant Picture Guide 

Examples of how rolled fondant covered cakes look like: 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Southwestern Eggrolls

Yummy note: A new year, brings along a new Secret Recipe Club blogger to feature. It has been about 3.5 years since I've been involved in this recipe posting group, and have been lucky to review a wide variety of bloggers and different types of recipes. This month might have been one of the first blogs that I can remember having with the SRC that featured a variety of content on the blog, besides cooking. What fun this site was -  Jenna at The Painted Apron has an abundance of creativity and drive, not to mention tips, how-to's and more on this site,  -  wow! Please make sure you stop by her blog, The Painted Apron and dive on it. You will just love Jenna's creative ideas and projects.  So I am a sucker for pizza and breads, so this recipe here almost won my heart, the creative use of breadsticks on this recipe and turning it into like a flower-shaped "pizza". Perhaps the kiddos might like it for Valentines. So Jenna has this series she does called Take Out Tuesday, which I got sucked into and finally decided to pick one from here, as everything was looking just amazing... southwestern eggrolls is something I've never really dabbled with trying to make, as I'm not an eggroll person, I would rather have like a potsticker, dumpling, or something a little smaller to nibble on for an appetizer. The filling for these eggrolls is fantastic and I was eating it just as a salsa towards the end of it!

Southwestern Eggrolls

1/2 bag of fresh spinach 
1/2 cup shredded cheese, I like the Mexican variety best like Chihuahua
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
12 wonton wrappers or 6 eggroll wrappers
1 bag (about 12 oz) of Fire Roasted Black Bean Blend frozen veggies (consisted of sweet corn, black beans, red and poblano peppers)  
1 ear corn
1/2 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 can of diced green chiles, drained


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prep a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Heat the spinach, just slightly just until it begins to wilt. If you are using the prepared black bean veggie mix, microwave for about 1/2 of the time desired in the directions, just until it starts to thaw and cook partially. In a large bowl mix together the corn/bean/pepper mixture with the wilted spinach, cheese, onions, chiles, and seasonings. Prep your wonton wrappers or egg rolls and place a good spoonful of the filling near the center. Fold the sides in and then fold bottom over filling and close tightly. Tip- use a small amount of water near the corners of the eggroll/wonton to seal. Repeat with the remaining and place them slightly apart on the prepared baking sheet. You can also spray the tops of the eggrolls with cooking spray to help prevent them from drying out while baking. Bake for about 10 minutes of so for the smaller wonton bites, or closer to 15-20 minutes if you use larger egg roll wrappers. Make sure to flip them halfway through baking.

Quick tip- I found these frozen veggies and used this as a replacement for the canned beans and chiles since I couldn't find any fresh corn this time of year. It was a fantastic substitution. 

Mix all ingredients together. 

I could eat this here with a spoon... can you say, Salsa!?!

I easily made dairy-free versions, by leaving out the cheese in some and replacing it with a substitute as well. 
Make sure to place enough filling towards the center so your appetizer doesn't explode!

Ready to bake! So pretty looking with the veggies inside. 

Your crispy southwestern eggrolls are done! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Corn Dog Mini Muffins

Yummy note: The kids really love the corn dogs, however, it is tricky finding brands that are dairy-free to suit our family's allergy needs. So I went searching to find a recipe to try out and make our own that I could modify. While deep-fried corn dogs are absolutely delicious, these baked ones are a little on the lighter side, if you can call anything corn dog-related "lighter." -Haha. These corn dog muffins are quick to throw together and you have a snack, appetizer, or little meal ready in like 15 minutes, start to finish. The mini muffin-sized corn dogs only take about 6-8 minutes to bake off and they are ready to enjoy. You get about 24 mini corn dog muffins with this recipe. You could probably make them in bigger muffin cup tins, if you wish, but my kids have requested even less corn dog batter in each cup or put more hot dog pieces in it for the next round when we make them.  

Corn Dog Mini Muffins

1 1/2 cups pancake mix 
1/2 cup cornmeal 
1 egg 
1 cup water 
4-5 hot dogs 

Optional topping: 
1-2 tablespoons honey
1-2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together pancake mix, cornmeal, egg, and water together. Spray mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut hot dogs into pieces, no more than about an inch long. You should have about 24 cut pieces, enough to fill muffin tin cups. Scoop batter into the tins, each cup should be about two-thirds full, with enough room to place the hot dog pieces in without overflowing the cup. Bake in preheated oven for about 6 minutes. Then if you wish, add on additional honey/butter topping and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes until done.  
Just a few ingredients to make these. 
A cookie scooper makes this task of filling the muffin tin cups easier. 
Place cut pieces of hot dog in middle of batter. 
Add on optional honey/butter glaze at the end. 
Recipe makes about 24 corn dog mini muffins!