Purple Kitchen Treats

Over the past few years, I have been working on a cookbook. During this time, I took time off to finish my Master's Degree. Now that I have accomplished that, I am working again on my cookbook, slowly but surely.

However, over the past few months, something interesting has happened...I have received multiple requests for baked goods, particularly my cookies. I am also receiving multiple requests for granola. So, with all these requests in mind, I have started to make my cookies for sale, along with my granola.

My official web site is available, but will be undergoing a significant redesign. Be sure to visit my "official" web site at: http://www.susanshonk.com and watch for some exciting changes.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

365 in 365 - #30, #31, #32

OH MY......I have to play catch-up with recipes!!  Here is a quick catch-up with some favorites.

#30 - Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Now, there are a couple of ways that this can be done.  A true Redneck (and I mean this with all the love in my heart) would take fresh strawberries, cut them up and put them in a bowl and pour on the canned chocolate syrup.  I have to admit....I have actually done this in the past and served the strawberries and chocolate syrup over ice cream.  And yes, this does come in handy for a crowd, and yes....I still do this on occasion, but PLEASE, for the love of all that is sacred to chocolate, don't tell anyone...

Now, for the real kind of chocolate covered strawberries.

1 pint of strawberries
Parchment paper (about 18 inches)
Wash and dry the strawberries
In a microwave proof bowl, add 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and melt very gently in 10 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each turn in the microwave.  this will take you several attempts, but it will work nicely and the chocolate son't seize on you.

Dip the strawberries in the chocolate by their "green thingy" and gently roll to cover, set on the parchment paper to dry and let the chocolate firm up.

This chocolate will not form a hard shell...it will be soft and smooth.

#31 - Peanut Butter Logs
When I was a kid in (I think) junior high, a friend's mom had us make these and I have never seen them since and I loved them. I remembered this when I was considering a store-bought pound cake versus making my own and happened to look down and see a jar of peanut butter in my shopping cart.

1 pound cake with the top cut off so that it is in the shape of a rectangle, then cut into 1 inch by 3 inch logs.
3 cups chopped peanuts (approximately)
Peanut butter, your favorite will do, but I should caution you that crunchy peanut butter does not work as well as smooth.
Cover all sides of the pound cake with peanut butter and roll in the chopped peanuts.

This gets a bit messy and is a great, kid-friendly activity....just break out a drop cloth and all will be fine.

#32 - Sauteed Spinach and Shallots
2 lbs of baby spinach leaves, washed and draineed (they cook down quite a bit)
6 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
4 tbsp of olive oil
4 tbsp butter
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp pepper
½ tsp nutmeg

In a large skillet, sauté the shallots in the butter and oil until browned
Add the spinach into the skillet and sauté until wilted
Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper, stir and serve

Nutmeg and spinach is simply wonderful together, but just a touch so you get the hint or essence of the spice.

On another note, y'all may have noticed that I just LOVE caramelized shallots and caramelized onions.

Please enjoy!!!

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