Chocolate Kolaches

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Chocolate Kolaches

Christmas morning without Kolaches is like the 4th of July without fireworks. Cherry Kolaches have always been my favorite and, until a few years ago, the only kind I ever made.  What to do when your new son-in-law doesn’t like cooked fruit? You can never go wrong with Chocolate.

Hershey's Chocolate Kisses

Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses

The first year I was a bit doubtful about the results but I was pleasantly surprised. I took a piece of dough, as I would for the cherry kolaches, but flatten in slightly, pressing 1-2 chocolate kisses in the dough, then pinching the dough closed around the chocolate.

Allow the dough to rise, per the recipe, and bake.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar when removing from the oven (optional).

See the original recipe on my Cherry Kolaches post.

Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Apples Roasted with OJ

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Roasted Vegetables are my absolute favorite yet I didn’t discover this technique until a few years ago.  My carrot harvest this year was the best I’ve ever had, despite Joe’s (my 12 year old Golden Retriever) attempts to steal the carrots out of the basket.

I found this wonderful recipe which did not call for apples, but in later versions I added the apples and loved the added sweet/tart bites.

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Sweet Potatoes and Carrots with Apple Cider and Thyme

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 medium-large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
1-2 apples, peeled and chopped in large pieces
1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 whole garlic cloves
1/4 cup apple cider
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place cut sweet potatoes, carrots, red onion and garlic cloves on a baking sheet and spread them in a single layer.

In a small bowl, whisk together apple cider, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Drizzle mixture all over vegetables and toss to coat evenly.

Roast for 35-45 minutes, until vegetables are caramelized to your liking. Serve immediately.

Adapted from http://www.myjewishlearning.com/blog/food/2014/10/13/sweet-potatoes-and-carrots-with-apple-cider-and-thyme/

Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

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There is something decadent about chocolate with something salty. Chocolate dipped pretzels are a favorite of mine and last Christmas I made Chocolate Dipped Pretzels Rods in white chocolate and with dark chocolate to give as gifts. Ahem…except for those that didn’t make it past my mouth!

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CHOCOLATE DIPPED PRETZEL RODS

  • White Chocolate Chips
  • Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Pretzel Rods
  • Sugars and Sprinkles

Spread waxed paper on cookie sheets.

Melt chocolate  per instructions in microwave and pour melted chocolate into cup for dipping (makes about the right depth on the pretzel rods).  Over a separate plate or bowl, sprinkle the pretzel rods with sugar or sprinkles and place on waxed paper to harden.

Place pretzel rods in pretty tin or cello bag to give as gifts.

 

Southwestern Deviled Eggs

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Quarterly book club review of the book, The Chile Queen by Sandra Dallas, was big hit.  She has become one of my favorite authors. Our book review is always preceded by our favorite part of the evening, the themed potluck.  This time the theme is Southwest and the main dish included four different versions of Chile with cornbread.  What to make to compliment chile? I found this recipe from Paula Deen, which I altered to suit my taste, and loved the results.  It has made me think there are even more creative ideas for for delicious deviled egg.

I love my Mother’s old fashioned deviled eggs but I’ll be branching out to find other versions!

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 SOUTHWESTERN DEVILED EGGS

12 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons salsa (I used home-made Salsa)
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped green onion, plus more for garnish, optional
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Halve eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and add to a small bowl.  Mash the yolks with a fork and stir in the mayonnaise, cheese, salsa, sour cream, green onion, and cumin.  Add salt and pepper, to taste, and blend well.

Fill the egg whites evenly with yolk mixture and garnish with additional green onions, if desired. Arrange in a container and store, covered in the refrigerator, until ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from Paul Deen/Food Network

Thanksgiving Favorites

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Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time of year with friends and family gathering together, sharing a meal, counting our blessings, and probably take in some football games.

This year I am sharing some of my Fork-Lore.com favorite Thanksgiving recipes that our family has enjoyed for many, many years.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving memories!

ROAST TURKEY AND DRESSINGroasting turkey

CRANBERRY RELISH

Cranberry Relish

Cranberry Relish

PUMPKIN (OR APPLESAUCE) BARS

Pumpkin Bars iced and cut

Pumpkin Bars iced and cut

GRANDMA SUSIE’S PUMPKIN PIE

The Best Ever Pumpkin Pie

The Best Ever Pumpkin Pie

PUMPKIN BREAD

Pumpkin Bread Loaf

Pumpkin Bread Loaf

SILKY SQUASH SOUP

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

TURKEY VEGETABLE SOUP

Turkey Vegetable Soup

Turkey Vegetable Soup

This ‘n That

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Sometimes you just need a time out for a little R&R.  I needed a time out this year based on my last post.  On one hand, it made me sad to take a break because summer and fall are my favorite seasons to cook with fresh vegetables and fruit. On the other hand, if you’re not in the zone, it’s a worthless venture.

August and September are big birthday months in our family (yours too?).  In total, we have 13 birthdays.  ABC News reported in 2005 that more babies are born in July, August and September with no real reasoning.  Really? It seems so simple to me. Colder weather, holiday celebrations… Maybe I should have been a rocket scientist.

September, October and early November in Colorado were unseasonably warm and utterly beautiful. We all knew it wouldn’t last but we felt blessed for the beautiful fall colors accompanied by the warm sun and cool breezes.

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Our family traveled to Columbia, Missouri for Homecoming weekend and the dedication of Traditions Plaza and Legacy Circle, where Karl’s memorial was placed. We enjoyed family time and the festivities of the weekend.  Little did we know the NCAA recognizes the University of Missouri as the birthplace of homecoming.

MIZZOU

The Chihuly Exhibit was showcased at the Denver Botanic Gardens this Summer and Fall.  I saw the exhibit in Phoenix earlier this year and enjoyed two additional visits to the Denver exhibit.

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Temperatures in Colorado are now below freezing and time to make my favorite soups and comfort foods:

Chicken and Noodles
Beef Stew
Portuguese Kale Soup
Green Chile
Red Chili

I’m looking forward to being back, sharing recipes, stories and life.

Live Your Life Today…Not Tomorrow

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It’s been a crazy couple of weeks from the high point of celebrating my Aunt’s 100th Birthday with family in Iowa to returning home to a call that my husband had been rushed to the hospital and passed away that afternoon.

These are the times that we take stock of what truly is important in our lives, today.  Not tomorrow. The thought of writing about something delicious or witty is escaping me now but I will return in a few days or a few weeks. In the meantime:

Those we Love remain with us,
for Love itself lives on.
Cherished memories never fade,
because a loved one is gone.
Those we Love can never be,
more than a thought apart.
For as long as there is a memory,
they’ll live on in our heart.

~Author Unknown

Columbine … Official (and favorite) Colorado Flower

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My Mother would often find old sheet music at estate sales and bring it home for me to play on the piano.  I have a stack of music as a result that is great fun to look through. A few days ago, I was looking through the stack and ran across this piece, Where the Columbines Grow.

Little did I know back in those days that I would eventually settle in Colorado, now for 33.5 years.  Columbines are one of my favorite flowers.  While most of the Columbines are now gone from my garden, I can enjoy photos all year-long.

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Where the Columbines Grow

Where the Columbines Grow

Where the Columbines Grow” is one of the two official state songs of Colorado. It was written and composed by A.J. Fynn, and was adopted on May 8, 1915. In the early to mid-2000s, there was debate over replacing “Where the Columbines Grow” with John Denver‘s “Rocky Mountain High” or Merle Haggard‘s rare song “Colorado”. In 2007, the Colorado legislature named “Rocky Mountain High” as Colorado’s second official state song, paired with “Where the Columbines Grow”.[1]

Lyrics

Where the snowy peaks gleam in the moonlight,
Above the dark forests of pine,
And the wild foaming waters dash onward,
Toward lands where the tropic stars shine;
Where the scream of the bold mountain eagle
Responds to the notes of the dove
Is the purple robed West, the land that is best,
The pioneer land that we love.
Tis the land where the columbines grow,
Overlooking the plains far below,
While the cool summer breeze in the evergreen trees
Softly sings where the columbines grow.
The bison is gone from the upland,
The deer from the canyon has fled,
The home of the wolf is deserted,
The antelope moans for his dead,
The war whoop re-echoes no longer,
The Indian’s only a name,
And the nymphs of the grove in their loneliness rove,
But the columbine blooms just the same. Let the violet brighten the brookside,
In sunlight of earlier spring,
Let the fair clover bedeck the green meadow,
In days when the orioles sing,
Let the goldenrod herald the autumn,
But, under the midsummer sky,
In its fair Western home, may the columbine bloom
Till our great mountain rivers run dry.
History and Lyrics from Wikipedia
  1.  Wolf, Jeffrey (March 13, 2007). “Lawmakers name ‘Rocky Mountain High’ second state song”. KUSA-TV (Denver).

 

Bailey’s Poptails…adult dessert on a stick

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I was cruising the net for frozen yogurt pops and ran across this yummy recipe for Baileys Poptails.  I have a bottle of Baileys in my pantry begging to be used so this was a great solution for a hot summer after dinner treat. I eliminated the coffee from the recipe because I don’t need caffeine at night and just doubled the Baileys to 4 ounces.

Bailey's Poptailis

Bailey’s Poptailis

Daughter, Megan, suggested that melted chocolate in the milk and cream (and then cooling)  would also be a great variation to try next time.

 

BAILEYS POPTAILS

  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% Milk
  • 3 tablespoons Instant Coffee (I chose not to add coffee)
  • 2 tablespoons Whole Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • pinch of Sea Salt
  • 2 ounces Baileys Irish Cream (I doubled the Bailey’s Irish Cream to replace the coffee)
  • Bring all ingredients (excluding Baileys) to a simmer in a saucepan. Stir, and remove from heat when well combined. Transfer to a container & place in the fridge for about 1 hour or until cool.
  • Remove from fridge & mix in the Baileys Irish Cream. Pour poptail mixture into pop molds. Add the stick.
  • Freeze overnight.

Recipe adapted from Family Fresh Cooking

Egg and Bacon Cups

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Let me send a huge compliment to one of my favorite blogs, Iowa Girls Eats. Not only is she from Iowa but she eats gluten-free and has many great ideas.  While browsing for egg recipes I saw that she had tried bacon egg cups and I decided to give my own version a whirl. Most of the recipes on the web show that you use a whole egg in each cup but I decided to scramble the eggs and add ingredients.

Next time, I would either cook the bacon even longer or I would precook the bacon and crumble it in the bottom of each cup.  I like my bacon crispy so I’d prefer my bacon slices to be the same.  You’ll also see that the bacon was not on the outside of the eggs cups since the bacon shrinks while precooking but they come out beautifully as cups just the same!

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BACON EGG CUPS

6 slices of bacon
6 eggs
1/4 cup cheese (I used cheddar)
pinch of Herbs de Provence
salt & pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Wrap a slice of bacon around each of six muffin tins.  Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until almost done to your liking.
  • While the baking is cooking, beat eggs and add cheese, herbs and salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  • Remove muffin tins from oven and carefully pour or remove the bacon fat.
  • Carefully pour egg mixture into each of the six muffin tins.
  • Bake another 15+ minutes or until eggs are completely cooked through.

 

 

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