category: cooking ideas

Autumn Spice Latte Recipe

September 12, 2011

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Seasonal drinks are hitting the menu at coffee shops everywhere, but you can make a latte that smells like Autumn quite easily in your own home! I call this latte recipe Autumn Spice because it combines three of my favorite bold flavors – cinnamon, ginger, and cloves – and softens them with a touch of vanilla. Even better, making the flavored syrup for this espresso treat will scent your home better than seasonal potpourri.

This recipe will serve 2 – 4 people, depending on how sweet you like your drinks.

ingredients

brewed espresso

steamed milk, soy milk, or other substitute

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 sticks of cinnamon, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon whole cloves

directions

Start by preparing your flavored syrup. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Once mixture starts to boil, add vanilla. Allow alcohol in vanilla to burn off in boiling mixture – about 1 minute. Reduce heat and add cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Allow spiced syrup to simmer for at least 5 minutes.

While syrup simmers, brew espresso. I make about 3 ounces of espresso for each drink. For each ounce of espresso to be served, steam an ounce of milk. For more information on brewing espresso or steaming milk without an espresso machine, see my first latte tutorial on Going Home to Roost.

Before adding syrup to latte, skim out any cloves or cinnamon sticks with a slotted spoon.

To assemble the drink, I pour 3 ounces espresso, 1 – 2 ounces of spiced syrup, and 3 ounces of steamed milk into a mug, topped with the milk foam from the steaming process. Top with whipped cream or a sprinkle of cinnamon if you wish!

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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indie pretty projects orange sherbert recipe

While summer is winding down, there’s no better sweet treat than a frosty dish of orange sherbert. I was so delighted when I learned just how easy it is to make orange sherbert at home – and I’m willing to bet most of you already have these ingredients in your refrigerator and cupboard!

ingredients

2 cups of orange juice

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp vanilla extract

6 oz sugar

1.5 cups whole milk

directions

Place all ingredients besides milk in a food processor and blender, and blend on high for 30 seconds. Pour in whole milk, and blend again. If you have an ice cream maker, this is all you need to do – just follow the directions for your ice cream maker to create homemade sherbert. If you do not have an ice cream maker, keep reading! Pour your orange mixture into ice cube trays – this filled up three of my trays. Place into the freezer for about three hours, or until solid (the cubes will become solid, but remain a bit creamy). Try not to leave your cubes in the freezer for too long, or else ice crystals will begin to form, taking away from the sherbert’s creaminess. Next, remove from freezer, and scoop out the cubes with a fork or spoon (they probably won’t pop out of the trays like ice cubes, but they should scoop out fairly easily), and place in a food processor or blender. Process for about 2 minutes, in 30 second intervals. Every 30 seconds, scrape down the sides and keep blending. Use a scraper to pour into a bowl, and smooth the top over. Place back in the freezer – it should be ready to eat in 2-4 hours (depending on your freezer temperature!).

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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Diy Cake Decor Lettering

August 8, 2011

Posted by in cooking ideas

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One of the easiest ways to decorate a cake is with stylized lettering and text, but store-bought sugar letters can be tacky, while icing-piped text can look messy. An easy solution is to make custom edible letters all of your own!

Materials

- chocolate morsels (white, milk, or semi-sweet)

- a glass container for melting chocolate

- a Ziploc bag

- wax paper

- optional: a computer, paper and printer

- dessert

I used white chocolate letters on this pan of chocolate raspberry brownies I made this weekend – the combination was amazing!

This project can be done freehand, but if you’re nervous about creating evenly-sized letters, you can create your own stencil.

Making the Stencil

Print your desired text from a word document. Make sure you use a large enough font that is easy to cut and trace, and looks proportional on your dessert. I printed mine in Arial Black, 80 point font.

Next, cut your letters out with a craft knife. Layer your stencil over wax paper on a flat, solid surface. When your stencil is ready to go, you can start melting the chocolate.

 

Melting the Chocolate

I placed about 1/4 cup of white chocolate in a glass measuring cup, and microwaved it on high in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until it was melted smoothly.

Spoon the melted chocolate into a Ziploc bag, and press all of the air out of the bag before zipping it shut. Let cool a couple of minutes, or else the melted chocolate could burn your hands through the bag. When it doesn’t burn to touch the bag, snip a small corner off the tip of one side of the bag.

Trace along the sides of the letter stencils with a steady stream of melted chocolate, and gently squeeze more out to fill the letters in. For any mess-ups, a tooth pick can be used to shape the chocolate the way you want it before it hardens.

The stencil is not totally necessary – you can free-hand your text on the wax paper, or even draw shapes with the chocolate.

Your letters should be hardened enough to transfer onto your frosted dessert within 20 minutes. Gently – and I mean very gently – peel the letters off the wax paper. If you used a stencil, the letters should easily pop of the paper if it is touching it along the edges at all. Next, carefully arrange the letters on the frosting.

If you have leftover letters, you can place them in sealed containers, separated with wax paper, in the freezer for a month or more.

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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Fresh Pizza on the Grill

July 25, 2011

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This is one of the tastiest meals my husband and I have ever made on the grill. He’s the grill master, and I the preparer. What’s great about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a lot of time, so it’s perfect for entertaining. You can of course customize the toppings to your liking – I enjoyed the mix of sweet peppers, salty capers, and tangy onions and feta cheese in this recipe.

Ingredients

 
for the dough

1/4 tsp yeast

1/3 cup warm water

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

Pizza toppings

 
6 ounces pesto (homemade or from a jar)

6 ounces tomato sauce

12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup feta

jarred capers

1 red bell pepper

1/2 a medium onion

2 cloves garlic

parmesan cheese

olive oil

crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


 

Directions

Get your grill pretty much as hot as you can get it; begin preparations for the pizza

For the dough

 
Mix the yeast and warm water; let set for 10 minutes. Combine flour and salt, and add water/yeast mixture; mix well. Once the dough starts to form a ball, move it to a floured surface and knead until the dough is stretchy and forms a smooth ball.

 

Split the dough, and flatten into a disc about 1/4 thick. Brush or spray the dough with olive oil. I layered our dough discs between parchment paper, so they were easier to take out to the grill.

To make the sauce, mix together the pesto and tomato sauce; set aside.

Place the onion half and two halves of bell pepper directly on the grill for 5-10 minutes. Remove from grill and slice. Mince garlic, and set all toppings aside.

Cooking the pizza

 
When the grill is about as hot as you can get it, place your pizza dough on the grate. The dough should firm and puff up quickly. After about five minutes, flip the dough, top with sauce, toppings, and cheese, and grill for 5-10 minutes the the lid on.

This pizza is best with a crunchy crust, so don’t be shy about slightly over-cooking! Top with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes.

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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post punk kitchen

July 15, 2011

Posted by in cooking ideas

post punk kitchen i’m always on the lookout for the next great recipe blog, and was so excited when i recently discovered post punk kitchen. with vegan recipes for everything from cupcakes to curries- these girls take a fun approach to cooking, and the recipes are not only delicious, but totally doable as well. you’ll be grilling peaches and making pumpkin muffin in no time!

above recipes: mexican hot chocolate snicker doodles, raw strawberry cheesecake, orange cranberry muffins, chocolate mousse cupcakes, tofu omelets

happy cooking!

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Go to a baseball game or an art fair in the summer, and one of the most fragrantly tempting scents are from cinnamon roasted almonds. These two flavors together make the most delicious simple syrup, perfect for ice coffee or lattes.

On a hot day, this iced coffee recipe works well with espresso or strongly brewed black coffee. Serves 2.

ingredients
4 ounces brewed espresso or extra-strength coffee
1 cup milk, soy milk, rice milk, etc.

cinnamon almond simple syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp almond extract
3 cinnamon sticks
ice

directions
Brew espresso or strong coffee. While espresso is cooling, make simple syrup.

To make simple syrup, bring 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once a boil has been reached, add cinnamon sticks; boil for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour in 1 tsp almond extract. Stir and let cool. Remove cinnamon sticks before using syrup.

Combine espresso, milk, and 1/2 cup cinnamon almond simple syrup in a container and stir. Pour into two glasses filled 1/2 way with ice, and garnish with a cinnamon stick, if desired. Leftover simple syrup can keep in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to a week or more.

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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Last year I began dabbling in cheese-making, and not only is it easier than I ever imagined, but it’s a lot of fun, too. One of the easiest cheeses to make is an Indian cheese, Paneer, also called “Lemon Cheese” in some places. It only takes about 1 hour to 90 minutes to make. This recipe will make a lot of cheese, so you might want to try cutting it in half if you don’t need too much cheese. You will need:

Ingredients:

1 gallon whole milk

4-6 tablespoons lemon juice

1-2 tsp salt (optional)

candy or milk thermometer

large pot or sauce pan

colander

slotted spoon

cheese cloth or fine cloth

heavy plates

Directions:

Pour milk into a pot over medium-high heat. Do not bring milk to a boil: when milk has reached just under 200 degrees F, add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice; remove from heat and stir.

Continue stirring milk until lumps form. If milk is not curdling, add another 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon into a colander to drain – line the colander with cheesecloth first, if you have some.

Add salt or any other herbs you may like.

Tip: the leftover liquid from the cheese is the whey – you can save this liquid for bread making – I myself used the whey for making a quick bread such as raisin bread.


Wrap the curds tightly with cheese cloth or a smooth kitchen towel; press the cheese between two heavy plates. Let the cheese set for 30 minutes if you want a creamier cheese, or an hour or more for a harder, dryer cheese. This recipe works well in savory dishes, as well as desserts such as cheesecake.

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

 

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green pea pancakes

June 16, 2011

Posted by in cooking ideas

green pea pancakes i was just at our honor stand yesterday afternoon (where you can find me most days) and noticed the first batch of sweet peas have arrived! i may (or may not) have popped open one of the pretties and downed the peas right there on the spot. i grew up despising canned peas, but fresh sweet peas are a whole new ball game. no more hiding them under my potatoes! when i ran across this recipe for sweet pea pancakes on kitchenist, i knew i had to share. i’ll be making these soon (vegan-izing the recipe, of course), click over to get the recipe and make them along with me!

what’s new at your farmer’s market?

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