Foodie Pen Pals: October

FPP-post

I’ve been busy with work and life and whatnot and as such, I’ve been horribly awful at updating this. So without further ado, here’s a post. Happy Halloween by the way! What are you going to be today? I’m dressing as the Morton Salt Girl, but I can’t wear costumes to work (I work in a courthouse and everyone’s all professional and stuffy heheh) but I will be wearing my yellow dress with a blazer on top. I just can’t really tote the umbrella around because it isn’t raining out.

Anyway, this month I participated in Foodie Pen Pals again and was matched up with Cleda from Illinois. Based on my snippet of information, telling her what I like, she made me a wonderful box of goodies.

If you want to participate in FPP in the future, here’s some info:

  • On the 5th of the month you receive an email pairing you with information about who you’re paired with. You email that person to get information pertaining to allergies and dietary restriction.
  • By the 15th you put together a box of treats and mail them to your partner.
  • On the last day of the month you post a blog post about your box of treatsIMG_9571

I had given Cleda some ideas on what I liked, including breakfasts, pumpkin flavors, and chocolate. She pretty much hit this box out of the ballpark.IMG_9573

These granola bars are already gone. I love having bars like this in my house. My mornings are rather hectic most days, so grabbing something to eat while I’m throwing my clothes on makes my life a lot easier. I’d never heard of this brand before, but I will be seeking them out again in the future.IMG_9574
We had guests this week, so I felt it was a good idea to have some snacks available. I had cheese, crackers, and these brandy pralines. Honestly, I’m not sure if the guests ate them or if Matt and I ate all of them – but either way these babies are gone. They were delicious.

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When I said breakfast foods, Cleda followed through! She got e this Hot & Fit Cereal made with oats, quinoa, almonds, flax, and cranberries. I haven’t made myself a bowl of it yet because I keep sleeping too late to actually do breakfast and I’ve been eating the granola bars, but this weekend I’ll make myself a bowl. I’m sure it’s delicious.
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With Halloween in mind, I love anything and everything pumpkin. As such, I was given this pumpkin fruit butter! I Haven’t used it yet. Does anyone have an idea on what I should with it that would be interesting?
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A bag of coffee is up next! This pumpkin spice coffee smells wonderful. I haven’t opened it yet because I want to finish off the other coffee I’ve been drinking first, but I’m excited for this coffee for the fall!
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These Guylian chocolates look divine. I haven’t opened them yet because I know they’ll all be gone in a second, so I need to be sure I open them at the right second. I’m excited though, especially because I love love love hazelnut fillings.

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And last, but certainly not least is this chocolate bar that I have not eaten yet. Actually, I had every intention of eating it yesterday with my lunch. And then… I left my lunch at home on the counter. Instead of eating it for desert, I decided to try it today. I’ll edit later today telling you how it was!

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

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I ordered Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter recently and have been using it on many things – especially toast at breakfast. And it looks like now they have a Pumpkin Spice variety that I have to try. I’m a sucker for seasonal treats, so obviously I need to get myself that flavor.. On payday it looks like I’m placing an order. Anyway – the chocolate coconut peanut butter snuck its way into my ice cream!

This month Random Recipe did something a little different than usual. Rather than pick a random cookbook from our collections, Dom challenged us to search the internet to search for a recipe with the theme “something sweet.” I’ll never get over this ice cream phase it seems, so I googled “ice cream recipe” and found this gem from the Brown Eyed Baker. My ice cream turned out a little different than the original. For one, I used the flavored peanut butter (that you need in your life, I promise.) And secondly, that flavored peanut butter didn’t quite melt the same as traditional peanut butter, so I didn’t get a peanut butter swirl throughout – but rather.. these chunks of peanut butter that are delicious. I’m guessing it’s because the coconut oil doesn’t melt down the same way as the peanut oil used in the other flavors – but I don’t know. It didn’t melt very well.

But this ice cream is divine. In other news, Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream is having a free for all submission this month. So I’ll be sharing this ice cream there too.

randomIceCreamChallenge

Peanut Butter Ice Cream
(source)

Ingredients
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup your favorite peanut butter, divided
2 cups heavy cream, divided
pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1. Warm the milk, sugar, 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of heavy cream, and the salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and peanut butter has melted. Continue cooking the mixture until it comes to a slight simmer.

2. Pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream into a bowl and place a strainer on top.

3. In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the eggs, making sure you stir constantly so the eggs do not cook. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

4. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the pan as you stir. Do this until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula. This will take several minutes.

5. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the cold cream. Stir in the vanilla extract and place the bowl over an ice bath. Allow to cool. Then cover and place in the refrigerator until the mixture has completely cooled.

6. Freeze your ice cream per the instructions for your ice cream maker.

7. Melt the 1/2 cup of remaining peanut butter. Pour it over your newly frozen ice cream. Using a butter knife, gently whirl it into the mixture.

8. Place in the freezer and freeze overnight.

* makes 1 quart
* this recipe is also shared with Mix It Up Monday

Vegetable Fideua (but not really)

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Where did this recipe go wrong?

– I should have used thinner noodles.
– I misunderstood what it meant to break the noodles – I didn’t interpret that as smaller pieces than how I broke it up. But afterwards, when I looked at other recipes for this dish, it’s obvious the noodles are supposed to be substantially smaller than I had them here.

The dish wasn’t bad, but I’m sure it’s nothing like what fideua is supposed to be like. For what it was though, it wasn’t bad. Nothing like a standard noodle dish.

And truly, that was the point. Rachel of Rachel Cotterill is hosting this month’s Pasta Please, a monthly blog round up of pasta dishes based around a certain theme. Rachel set the theme this month as fusion. She challenged us to make a vegetarian pasta dish that steps away from the Italian influences.

So what did I do? I googled “Spanish noodles” and I got this dish. I followed this recipe loosely in making the dish that wasn’t very Spanish nor like fideua, but still tasty.

So here’s my tips for you, future fideua makers: break your noodles A LOT smaller than mine are. And maybe use angel hair pasta instead or something thinner than a spaghetti noodle.

pasta please

Vegetable Fideua

Ingredients
8 oz thin noodles
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2/3 cup onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
6 oz frozen green peas
3 tomatoes, diced
1 1/3 cup vegetable broth
salt, to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400. Lay the noodles on a baking dish. Bake the noodles for 5 minutes, or until they start to brown. (mine got too brown)

2. In a large oven safe pan heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the green bell pepper and cook until it softens. Add the green peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for several more minutes.

3. Add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Crush the noodles and sprinkle them over the vegetables. Stir the noodles into the dish. Simmer until the noodles are tender.

4. Place the pan in the oven set at 400 for a few minutes, so the remaining liquid can be cooked off.

* serves 4

Cookbook Review: The Garlic Lovers’ Cookbook New Edition compiled by The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association

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PROS: The recipes are compiled from locals in the Gilroy area which is sweet and a good shout out to Gilroy, home of garlic.

CONS: I didn’t find any of the recipes I made particularly garlicky. Some of the recipes were boring, nothing was cohesive, and frankly, I don’t believe using one clove in a recipe makes a recipe belong in a garlic lovers’ cookbook. I love garlic and wanted that tang.

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