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Today I want to share a few of my favorite kitchen items (they aren’t your normal kitchen tools, or maybe they are?!?!) These items are probably the two things that I get the most comments on when I host. My all time favorite is the whip cream charger. We use this thing for EVERYTHING, for hot chocolate, for waffles with fruit, for desserts and simply for bowls of whipped cream :-). Kate is very fond of a bowl of whipped cream and the boys just told me last night they sneak it straight, no surprise there!! You do need to purchase chargers to make this machine work. AND YOU ALWAYS WANT TO MAKE SURE THE DISPENSER IS COMPLETELY PUT TOGETHER BEFORE YOU PUT THE CHARGER ON. I have wasted several chargers because the gas all escaped from not having the dispenser fully closed. Sigh! Buying the 50 pack is the cheapest way to go.
It’s simple. You need 1 ½ -2 cups of whipping cream, 1-2 tbsp of vanilla simple syrup (think clear coffee flavoring found in the coffee aisle at your grocery store) or you can use 1-2 tbsp of powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. For assembling the dispenser, make sure your plastic washer is in place and screw on the lid. Give it several shakes to blend the sweetener and then add your CO cartridge; presto you have super fun whipped cream!
My other favorite item is my rice cooker. I use this machine several times a week. It is so easy to put 2 cups of jasmine (our absolute favorite) rice, rinse it 3 times, add 1 tbsp coconut oil, a swish of salt and 3 cups of water. I can have rice in 45 minutes or I can have rice holding in the cooker for 12 hours. If we leave the house early in the morning and we will need to eat right when we get home it sure saves me a lot of scurry to get dinner on.
Both of these items make great gifts so if you have a birthday coming up you could always ask for a whip cream charger?? Your family will love you forever!! Plus I always tell my kids that whipping cream (real fat) is good for their brain. All the more reason to put healthy doses of whipped cream on our sugar free sour dough waffles! I am getting ready to experiment with stevia (THM stevia is clearly my stevia of choice, I have tried others but this is the best!) in the charger. I think it will probably be a bit of adjustment for my 8 year old but the littles won’t even notice it.
Cheers to a lovely day!
This is one of our favorite desserts and with fresh berry season just around the corner I thought I would share this recipe with you. It’s so simple! You can use any variety of berries that are in season or that you prefer.
For this recipe, I just used a box mix of angel food cake that I picked up at the grocery store. I followed the recipe as stated on the box but baked it in a jelly roll pan. I lined the jelly roll pan with parchment paper before I baked it. I baked the cake for 25 minutes. While the cake is still warm, flip the cake out on to a clean tea towel that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Roll the cake up as if you already have your filling in it. If you fail to do this it will be more difficult to roll up once it is completely cooled.
I used 1 cup fresh strawberries
1/2 – 3/4 cup each of blueberries and red raspberries
1 1/2 cup whipping cream, it will whip up to 2 1/2 cups
1/2 cup powdered sugar
12 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
I whip the whipping cream just until soft peaks form, add the powder sugar and mix again lightly. Side note: when working with whipping cream it is very important to not over beat it or you will have butter. Once powdered sugar and whipping cream are mixed remove the whipping cream mixture from the bowl. If you don’t remove the whipping cream and just add the cream cheese you will not get a smooth consistency. Then place the cream cheese in the bowl and beat until creamy. Add vanilla extract. Once the cream cheese and vanilla are smooth, add the whipping cream back into the cream cheese mixture and lightly mix together until well blended.
When you are ready to fill your Angel Food Cake Roll, unroll your cooled cake and spread the whipping cream mixture all over it. Place your fresh fruit and start to roll up the cake roll, starting on the long side. If you start at the short side you will have a super fat cake roll.
This was our special dessert for Valentine’s Day this past year but we enjoy these often throughout the year! With summer and all it’s berry goodness just around the corner, I am sure we will be eating this often. In a few years we hope to have all our own berries come from our land. We have 100 blueberry plants waiting to go in the ground this spring and we already have 20 red raspberry plants and 100 blackberry plants planted.
This winter it has been fun to introduce my boys to soft pretzels. If we have a Sunday night at home, it has become the thing to do; make some homemade pretzels. We love ours with cheese sauce, pure and simple, oh wait that’s a boat load of carbs isn’t it? Not quite as simple as I had hoped. But cheers to great memories and a recipe!
1- 1/2 cup warm water
1 heaping tbsp yeast
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups bread flour (you don’t have to use bread flour or white wheat, you can use all purpose for the whole recipe if you want)
1- 1/2 – 2 cups white wheat flour
1 tbsp baking soda dissolved in 1 cup warm water
coarse pretzel salt
2 tbsp melted butter
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Mix in the salt, baking powder and flour. Knead until smooth and elastic, not more then 5 minutes. Let rise 30-45 minutes. Prepare the soda and water. After the dough has risen, divide into 7 or 8 pieces. Using both hands roll the dough out to a 1/2″ rope. Place the rope in a U shape and then twist the ends and seal at the bottom of the U. Pinch the ends at the bottom of the pretzel. Dip in soda water. Arrange on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Allow the pretzels to rise 15-20 minutes and then bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Drizzle with melted butter.
1/4 lb white American cheese
2+ tbsp milk or half and half
Heat cheese and milk on low heat, stirring often so it won’t burn. If it is too thick for your liking, add more milk. Serve with warm pretzels.