Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Op-Ed Columnist - The Fire Next Time - NYTimes.com

Another great article. I'm on a banking reform kick today.
Op-Ed Columnist - The Fire Next Time - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Don’t Cry for Wall Street - NYTimes.com

I meant to post this under articles I like, but the NYTimes didn't give me that option. It's a good article -

Op-Ed Columnist - Don’t Cry for Wall Street - NYTimes.com

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter, Chocolate Easter Eggs, Hot Cross Buns, Etc.





Every year, along with the usual traditional Easter fare, we make Hot Cross Buns and Chocolate-covered Easter Eggs. As some of the chocolate egg recipes are VERY kid friendly to make, we like to get together before Easter for a cook-a-thon, grand kids included. Here are some of our recipes:
Hot Cross Buns:
2 Pkg: Rapid Rise Yeast
2 T sugar
1 1/2 C Warm Milk
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 C Flour
1/2 t salt
1 t ground allspice
1 t cinnamon
2 eggs
4 T melted unsalted butter
2/3 C Zante Currants (next to the CA raisins)
* Combine Warm Milk, beaten eggs, and the butter with the yeast. Let sit for a couple of minutes. Mix in the spices, sugar, salt, and 1 1/2 C of the flour. Let rise for 15 - 20 minutes. It should look bubbly. If you're using a heavy duty mixer (KitchenAid), switch to a cough hook. Knead in the rest of the flour and the currants (don't use raisins - they'll burn in the oven!) to form a soft dough. Let rise again for 1/2 hour in a warm place. TIP: Place dough in large oiled bowl. Cover top with plastic wrap, and place in an oven warmed to 200 degrees and turned off once the temp. has been reached. Punch down, form into 1 1/2 inch diameter balls, and place on greased baking sheet. Let rise again for 1/2 hour. Bake for 15 minutes in a 450 degree oven. If you're a perfectionist, make a thick frosting of powdered sugar and milk and frost with an X across the top.

Chocolate Easter Eggs (3 fillings)

Fudge Filling:
2 1/2 C sugar
3/4 C evaporated milk
16 large marshmallows
1/4 C butter
1/4 t salt
1 C semisweet chocolate chips
1 t vanilla (the real thing, not the fake stuff)
1 C chopped nuts
*Mix sugar, evap. milk, butter and salt in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat to an all-over boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows until completely melted. Add vanilla and nuts. Spread into pan to cool. Roll into egg shapes ready for coating. Best to chill over night.

Butter Cream/Coconut:
1 stick butter (1/4 lb.)
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 C coconut
4 C powdered sugar
*Soften butter and mix. Roll into egg shapes and chill until ready to coat.

The Ever Famous Peanut Butter Filling:
1 C powdered sugar
1 C crunchy or regular peanut butter
2 C Rice Krispies
1/4 t vanilla
2 T oil
*Mix, roll into shapes, and chill.

Chocolate Coating:
Melt 5 or more Hershey bars in a large pan over simmering water (double boiler if you have one). Add a few semi sweet chocolate chips to thin it out a bit. Using forks of chop sticks, roll chilled balls in melted chocolate. Place on wax paper or a greased pan and chill. Wrap in cellophane of foil, or decorate with royal icing.



Grand kids Joel ...
Hannah....
Sydney with Aunt Julianne...
and Reid (aka El Destructo)...
and more of Julianne and Sydney.
Hannah hording her stash.
And brunch with the Easter tree. The Easter tree is a tradition we borrowed from the Germans, except the ones we saw in Germany mostly Incorporated budding cherry branches, which we could not use since our cherry trees have long since blossomed. I substituted branches from a tree in the back yard that were budding.
Things to do on a rainy Easter afternoon while everyone else is hung over on candy: take very strange pictures...
of very strange people.
Monday: Ikea to walk off the Easter loot.
Just love this picture taken by M Dawg. Can you guess what it is?