Category Archives: Eat

Chocolate Covered Clementine Pumpkins…

dsc_3202 dsc_3088 dsc_3082 dsc_3104 dsc_3133 dsc_3114 dsc_3167 dsc_3150 dsc_3192-2 dsc_3227-2 Pumpkin season is upon us! Everything suddenly morphs into pumpkin flavor. Personally, I’m not a fan of pumpkin or pumpkin flavored anything. These little chocolate covered clementine pumpkins, are a different story. I’m fairly new to the whole chocolate and orange pairing. I never thought it would have tasted good. Not true at all! In fact, this has become my favorite fruit and chocolate combo! 

So we actually first made these last year, but I was knee deep in caring for a new baby, that a blog post was just not going to happen. This year, that new baby is 15 months old and takes nice long naps! That’s when we have our fun. I recruited just Annie to help me this year, because more than one child with a bowl of melted chocolate, while I’m trying to take pictures, is begging for catastrophe. 

For the chocolate covered clementine pumpkins, you’ll need:

Clementines
Melting chocolate
Coconut oil (for thinning the chocolate)
Celery sticks 
A fork

To start, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Next, cut a celery stick in half, lengthwise, then into 1 inch pieces. After that’s done, peel your clementines and set aside. Next, melt your chocolate in a double boiler, stirring constantly. I use two pots as a make shift double boiler and it works perfect every time. Add 1 tsp of coconut oil at a time, until chocolate has a slight liquid consistency, similar to buttermilk. Once melted, remove chocolate from heat. At this point, you can pour chocolate into a small cup or leave in pot. I poured ours into a teacup and it was the perfect size for the clementines.

Carefully insert fork into the top of a clementine and dunk into the chocolate. Make sure to leave a small portion at the top uncovered. Transfer to a cookie sheet. Once you have a full sheet, transfer to freezer to set the chocolate. This usually takes about 10 minutes. Finally, remove from freezer and insert the cut celery sticks. These are best enjoyed right away!

Soft Pretzel Letters…

DSC_1264 DSC_1157 DSC_1129 DSC_1139 DSC_1141 DSC_1173 DSC_1224 DSC_1221 DSC_1208 DSC_1238 DSC_1261 DSC_1286 DSC_1250 It’s been a while, since I did any baking with my kids. I’ve said it before, I’m not the biggest fan. “Frazzled,” just barely describes how I feel after a baking session with them. But, they love it, and I love that they do, so I suck it up.  I promised them we would bake together once a week, instead of just once in a while. Obviously, I have a death wish. 

For our first baking sesh, it was just me and the girls. That made it a little easier. Not really. We decided on soft pretzels because they are a favorite. Also, it’s a fool proof recipe. They honestly did all the work. I just read the recipe and gave them some pointers, such as dusting your hands with flour to stop the dough from sticking. 

Instead of just regular pretzel shapes, they wanted to do letters. So we decided on the first letter for everyone in our family, plus 2 bunnies. We ended up with a C, K, J, A, W, S, M, and L.

In the end, there was a mess. Um, flour gets everywhere when left for tiny hands to measure. My circuits were on overload and I was starting to twitch. However, I had two little girls who were so impressed with their baking skills, they are in talks to open shop and become professional soft pretzel bakers. It was worth it. 

This is the soft pretzel recipe we use. It really is easy and they turn out perfect every time we make them! My kids love them as is with the buttery, salty topping. I prefer to dip mine in mustard. They are delicious and they will keep for a few days, but they never make it beyond an hour here!

Classic Cream Puffs…

cream puff recipe cream puff recipe DSC_2275 DSC_2277 DSC_2294 cream puff recipe cream puff recipe DSC_2320 DSC_2326 DSC_2348 DSC_2361 DSC_2376-2 At least once a week, I bring my kids into the kitchen to cook with me. They alternate turns, because 3 of them at once is just too crazy. Also, I find that I enjoy it more when I can I have one on one time with each of them. They love to cook and I do love teaching them. Not only do they get to sample through out the recipe, but they are practicing they’re reading and math skills. That’s a bonus for this homeschooling mom! 

I’ve always wanted to make cream puffs and if I’d known just how easy it was, I would have done so a long time ago. There are two main characters in a cream puff recipe. The first is a French pastry dough called, pate a choux. Sounds like, “pot uh shoe” and fun to say a million times over. Annie must have said it, just that many times! The second, is creme chantilly. Sounds like, “whipped cream.” Okay, so I did feel a little ridiculous every time I said, “creme chantilly.” But, French is a part of our daily studies, so I kept it legit and went with, “creme chantilly.”

I chose this recipe, because the instructions were clear and the photo of the creme puff showing all that glorious creme chantilly! If I’d thought about it, I would have gotten a picture of ours showing off the cream, but I forgot in the midst of instructing and photographing. You’ll just have to trust me, that our cream puffs were all kinds of jacked up with the creme chantilly. Have I said, “creme chantilly” enough yet?

I’ll admit, when we first put the cream puffs in the oven to bake, I wasn’t sure if they were going to work. For the first few minutes, I was actually sure of it. Then out of no where, they began to puff. As a friend recently said, “they are magical!” The key to a good cream puff is the puff. It’s actually a pocket of air inside the pastry. That’s the housing for all that wonderful creme chantilly! Here I go again, dropping my creme chantilly. I think I’ve creme chantilly-ed this post to death. All hail to the creme chantilly! I wonder, if I go in the bathroom, turn off all the lights, look in the mirror while chanting, “creme chantilly”, if Julia Childs would appear? Ha! I won’t be trying that, but you should definitely try this cream puff recipe!