Fall Apple Cranberry Peanut Butter Fluff

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So into the fluff stuff on Pinterest. I love things that can be  easily customized. One basic recipe that you can switch in and out ingredients. This fluff “salad” does that perfectly. Not really clear why it’s called a salad. It’s whipped cream, pudding and/or jello and marshmallows with some fruit added in. Sounds like dessert to me.

The basic recipe is

1 regular size tub of cool whip (I like the real cream one but I’m sure they will all work)

1 package of pudding or jello (I like the new Jell-o brand all natural ones)
And/Or
1 package of jello

1-2 cups mini marshmallows

1 can or jar of something with liquid like crushed pineapple, peaches, pears, apple butter etc

Diced fruit, dried fruit, chopped nuts etc


Fold the pudding and/or jello into the cool whip. Be sure to fold not stir or you’ll deflate the whipped cream. Then fold in the liquid part.

You need the liquid because the pudding and jello will absorb the moisture from the whipped cream and this liquid will make it less stiff and help desolve the mix.

Then fold in the fruit, dried fruit, nuts, marshmallows or whatever you’re using.


My first try

Orange Mango Pineapple Fluff

1 tub cool whip
1 package Jello-o brand natural orange mango jello
1 cup diced fresh mango
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 cup mandarin oranges each segment cut in half
1 cup mini marshmallows

Folded the jello into cool whip then the other ingredients. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.

I bought the little cups of already diced fruit so there was no prep or liquid. I noticed the jello didn’t completely desolve after it was refrigerated for a couple of hours. It did after it was refrigerated over night. It still tasted awesome after 2 hours but probably use the canned pineapple next time for the liquid. And maybe mix the pineapple with the jello first to desolve it then fold into the cool whip.


Fall Apple Cranberry Peanut Butter Fluff

1 tub cool whip

1 package Jell-o brand natural vanilla pudding

1 – 9oz jar applebutter

1 heaping teaspoon natural peanut butter

1/2 each Granny Smith and Fugi apple; diced and soaked in lemon water then drained

1 cup pecans chopped

1 cup dried cranberries

1-2 cups mini marshmallows

Fold the pudding mix into the cool whip, fold in everything else one at a time. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Tastes like fall!

 

 

Try the World

Just signed up for this…

Try the World

They send you a super cool beautifully packaged box every 2 months filled with food, recipes, and info about a country. The recipes are easy and the weird ingredients are supplied, you just need to pick up standard pantry and fresh items from the grocery store. The website also has lots of cool info and additional recipes for each country and you can buy more of the same items from your box or other items from that country.



France

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This was a bonus box because I signed up during a promotion they were having. The box comes with little jars and packages and a beautiful card with info about he country and recipes. I didn’t follow the recipe precisely, because well I just don’t do that. But also because it was steak tartar and I’m not a fan of raw red meat. Yes, I understand the point of this is to try stuff you’ve never tried but I’m making another point to not be afraid. If the recipe they include is just not going to happen for you, it’s not that hard to switch things up.

So I stuck with the tea set up. They provided the tea, delicious butter cookies and dark caramels. I added honey to sweeten the tea.

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For the entrée though instead of steak tartar is made a French tartine, or open faced sandwich on a baguette.

Toasted the baguette
Mixed the supplied Dijon mustard and clementine jam
to make a spread for the baguette
Spread the Dijon on skinless boneless chicken breasts that I cut in half, then I sprinkled each breast with the mixed herbs
included in the box and the fleur de sel
Pan seared the breasts
Topped one side of the baguette with 2 breasts halves, topped with slices of gruyere cheese and broiled it a few minutes to melt the cheese
Topped that with a fresh thyme sprig, thinly sliced radishes
and sliced green onion
Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper
I served it with pan seared asparagus that I drizzled with the same Dijon clementine spread and fleur de sel

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Thailand

Thailand

The soup was a bust – you get 4 little packets of dried vegetables that you drop into boiling water (I used broth instead) then add meat and fresh mushrooms and onions. The vegetables never softened up. I mean we didn’t even taste it because the vegetables all felt like bark.

The rice crackers and dried coconut was awesome. Haven’t tried the tea sweetened with coconut syrup yet.

The coconut milk red curry beef with vegies was delicious.

Combine the provided red curry paste with a couple of spoonful’s of the solid coconut in the can of coconut milk
Then stir the rest into the water in the can
Warm the paste and the milk solid then add the rest of the can of milk along with lime zest and a tablespoon of fish sauce
Add shredded carrots and thinly sliced beef skirt – cook for about 20 minutes or until tender
Add sliced red peppers and green onions
Cook the purple jasmine rice according to the package (I used coconut milk and broth instead of water)
Serve the beef over the rice – Really really good.

I added a mango cucumber and red bell pepper salad as well.

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Portugal

Not a fan of this box. Lots of dried fish stuff. The crunchy apple rings were definitely not crunchy. They were tough like leather. The cookies, honey, and jam were good nothing unusual though. The lemon cookies tasted like vanilla wafers and the jam and honey like, well, jam and honey. Had them with tea.

I used the sacana and fish seasoning to make cod. With the suggested chorizo, kale, peppers and tomatoes. Lots of flavor with a little kick. Definitely liked this part.


Sweden


Swedish meatballs with lingonberries over mashed potatoes and a shaved apple, radish and onion sprout salad. This was really tasty and they have almost the same thing without the apple salad at Epcot in Norway at the little bakery. Its actually really good.


Crispy chocolate cookies, licorice and nordic fudge with rosehip. Don’t like licorice or fudge and this wasn’t any different. The cookies tasted like Pepperidge Farms. So far the savory stuff is pretty good but the sweet stuff is boxed just like our stuff.

Savory “Sweet”Rolls

Ina Garten on the Barefoot Contessa makes cinnamon rolls using puff pastry which is brilliant. Instead of having to wait for the dough to rise like regular cinnamon roll dough you just roll and go. I hate waiting for stuff. After making her sweet rolls I started wondering if you could make the same thing only savory – here you go…

I made these with sausage apple and cheddar but the sky is the limit. I love recipes where you don’t really have to measure anything and you can use whatever you have in your fridge or whatever your theme is or just whatever you feel like eating. I’ll put other ideas at the bottom.

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Sausage Apple Cheddar Savory Sweet Rolls

Ingredients

2 packages puff pastry; thawed but very cold

1 lb ground sausage

½ large sweet onion; diced

1 granny smith apple; cored and diced

1 tablespoon dried or fresh thyme

1 tablespoon sorghum or molasses

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 pats of cold butter

½ cup chopped pecans

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Non-stick baking spray

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Serves: 12 rolls
Directions

Heat the oven to 400° and spray a non-stick muffin tin with baking spray

Cut each pat of butter into ¼ and place each ¼ into a muffin cup; sprinkle with a few pecans

Sauté the onions and sausage in a little olive oil until the sausage is no longer pink

Add the apples and sauté until soft

Add the thyme, sorghum, and cinnamon and stir

Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool completely (if you don’t let it cool it will make the puff pastry all gross and gummy – so let it cool)

Unfold one sheet of puff pastry on a floured surface

Using a rolling pin roll out the pastry to 12” x 11”

Sprinkle the pastry with half the shredded cheese and half the cooled sausage mixture; leave about a 1” strip at the end of the pastry

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Roll up the pastry tightly ending with the edge that has nothing sprinkled on it; rest the roll on the seam

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Using a serrated knife cut the log in half then each half into 1/3; place each roll cut side down into a muffin cup

Repeat with the other puff pastry and other half of the cheese and sausage mixture

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Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven with a cookie sheet under it in case it spills over

Bake at 400° for 30-40 minutes or until each roll is golden brown.

Run a knife around the roll to release it and turn them out while still warm

Serve at room temperature

Some other ideas:

Italian – mozzarella, olives, salami, with Italian seasoning

French – mushrooms, gruyere, ham, and thyme

Mediterranean – feta, kalamata olives, sundried tomato. Serve it with a tomato and cucumber salad and taziki sauce

Mexican – cheddar, jalapeno, steak, served with a queso and pico de gallo

Southern – fried chicken, pickles, mayo

You get the idea – think of a sandwich or pizza that you like and make it work.
Just don’t use anything too wet – like put tomatoes on the side.
Make sure you chop everything pretty small so it rolls up well.
Add things like olives and sundried tomatoes that have a lot of flavor but keep track and don’t use salt if you have items with salt already in them. Don’t forget some cheeses are pretty salty

Tea Time at the Grand Floridian

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Better late then never. I should have posted this before the holidays were over but I just didn’t have time. The good news is you can go anytime and it’s still awesome. Mother’s Day is another favorite of mine.

But every year we go to the Grand Floridian Hotel at Walt Disney World to have Afternoon Tea for Christmas. It’s really nice all year long but it’s especially nice at Christmas time. They have a 5 story beautiful Christmas tree

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and a life size gingerbread house that they sell gingerbread from.

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If you do want to go at Christmas time book your reservations 180 days ahead. That’s the earliest Disney will let you book. So I have it in my calendar in July to make the reservation. And make it for more people then you think. The max is 6. You can always reduce it later but getting a bigger table later is almost impossible.

Click here to make a reservation.

Some more really beautiful Christmas decorations

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ok with that said… the rest of the year the Garden View Tea Room at the Grand Floridian is still a lovely place to have Afternoon Tea.

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The waitresses are dressed in Victorian English outfits, everything is served on English china with all the extras – honey, lemon, cream, clotted cream and home made jams for the scones, and tea cozies.

They have dozens of different types of teas. Something new they’ve started is offering seasonal teas. For example during the holidays one of the 3 seasonal teas was a gingerbread spiced tea.

They have several different options for food. The one we always get is the Buckingham. It has tea sandwiches and a sweet onion tart, seasonal scones with seasonal fruit butter, jam, and clotted cream, strawberry tart, and a choice of strawberries and cream, a trifle, or fancy pastries.

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starting with the tart in the front and going clockwise –
Sweet onion tart (my favorite), egg salad, roasted golden beet, cucumber and watercress, roasted tomato, and in the middle curried chicken salad

It doesn’t look like that much but by the time you eat the sandwiches, the scone, the strawberry tart, and drink a whole pot of tea you’re almost too full for dessert. I almost always take mine home.

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The other menu items include a Gentlemen’s tea which has pates and cheeses and a children’s Mrs. Potts Tea which has chocolate milk instead of tea and pb&j and ham and cheese for the sandwiches. There are usually a couple of tables with kids there so bring them! Even the boys. Both my sons love having tea.

They also have a cheese plate that used to be on the menu but isn’t on there anymore but you can still order it.

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Just in case you don’t think you’ll be full.

When we go during the holidays we usually get dressed up (no hats – unless you’re a red hat lady). But there will be everything from people who are taking a break from the theme parks so they are dressed in shorts and t-shirts to a bunch of grown women wearing tiaras to people dressed up. Just dress the way you want to dress.

Some other great places to have tea in our area

The Tropical Tea Room and Wine Bar
in The Shoppes at Rivertown Antique Mall – downtown DeLand

The Ritz Carlton
Orlando

Nice johnnyCakes

Started with a recipe from Bobby Flay and of course I messed with it.
I love his show Brunch @ Bobby’s he does themed brunches – themes! my favorite thing.
Click on the link to look up all the different episodes – it makes making brunch really easy.

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1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup fine yellow or white cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons clover honey
2 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

I used honey granules from The Spice and Tea Exchange in Winter Park
instead of sugar you could use brown sugar or molasses too.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder,
baking soda, and salt in a bowl

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Separate the eggs, lightly whisk the egg yolks
and briskly whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form

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Combine the egg yolks, the buttermilk and the honey

Fold the corn meal mixture into the buttermilk mixture

Fold in the melted butter

Carefully fold in the whisked egg white to lighten the batter

Heat a griddle to medium low, spray with non-stick spray
or add butter or bacon grease

I made half the recipe as above then added lemon zest and fresh blueberries
to the other half of the batter

Griddle the cakes until golden brown

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I serve the plain cakes with shredded cheddar melted on top
(just pop it under the broiler for a minute to melt the cheese)
a fried egg and crispy cooked prosciutto

The lemon blueberry cakes I just topped with blackberry syrup and butter – yum.

Quick Bread

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Got the main recipe from Food Network Magazine’s 50 Quick Bread article.
But as usual I had to mess with it.

Most of the recipes are for a sweeter bread like
banana-chocolate, lemon raspberry, or pina colada.
I’m partial to more savory bread so here’s what I tried:

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Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto

 3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup pesto
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
1 cup chopped oil packed sun-dried tomatoes

Whisk the sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs, and pesto and set aside

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest, salt and pepper

Toss in the Italian cheese blend and sun-dried tomatoes

Combine the flour mixture and sour cream mixture just until mixed

Line a bread pan with parchment paper so the sides hang over and spray with non-stick baking spray

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Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly,
bake at 350 for 40-50 min or until a knife inserted in the middle comes our clean

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Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature before slicing

This tasted like really good pizza or scachatta form Alessi’s deli in Tampa
(when I was a kid my dad would bring it back from trips – love that stuff)
it would taste great to add some sautéed diced pancetta or diced pepperoni

Pimento Cheese and Bacon
(I made this one up – loved it)

1/2 white, yellow, or Vidalia onion – small diced
Olive oil
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup pimento cheese
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons each chopped rosemary and thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter – cut into small cubes

Sauté the onions in the olive oil until translucent

Whisk the sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs, and pimento cheese and set aside

Whisk the flour, sugar, rosemary, thyme, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest, salt and pepper

Toss in the bacon

Combine the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture just until mixed

Line a bread pan with parchment paper so the sides hang over and spray with non-stick baking spray

Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly

Sprinkle a little shredded cheddar cheese on top and little cubes of butter

 Bake at 350 for 40-50 min or until a knife inserted in the middle comes our clean

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature before slicing

The Food Network main recipe is really delicious
the bread has a crispy crust and is light and moist inside.
I froze some of the loaves and then sliced and toasted them later
and they tasted like I just baked them.

Another combo might be cheeseburger – replace the pimento cheese with shredded cheddar, the bacon with cooked hamburger meat, and add the sun-dried tomatoes.

There are lots of ways you can mess with this recipe. Just think about a combo you like – like chicken pot pie then figure out what the main ingredients are and incorporate them into the recipe.

Be careful not to throw off the wet to dry ingredients ratio. So for chicken pot pie I’d replace the cheese and bacon with chicken, carrots, and celery. Always cook the meat and sauté and vegetables before tossing them in.

You get the idea.
You can cater your bread to match the theme of your meal or the basket you’re giving someone.

Apples, pecans, and sausage for Thanksgiving
Honey, lemon zest, and pistachio for a Moroccan theme
BBQ, cheddar, and candied jalapeno for a Cowboy theme

I never make the same thing twice so I love recipes like this that I can change a million different ways!

Taco Tuesdays (well it was Sunday but that doesn’t rhyme with taco)

Quick little cook-out a couple of Sunday’s ago…

I used the hand made corn tortillas from Publix. Can’t remember the brand but they say handmade on the front and they look different from the other tortillas. I used yellow corn and the white corn with green chilies, nice little kick to them.

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For the Meat

A friend brought marinated flank steak, I marinated chicken tenders (organic vegetarian fed and cage free of course) with a mojo (garlic, lime, grated onion, and olive oil) and shrimp with lime zest and red chili flakes

Tip on the shrimp I learned the hard way don’t put citrus juice on shrimp and let it sit a long time. It cooks it and turns it to mush. Just leave the shrimp alone until you’re ready to grill them or sauté them or whatever. Then sprinkle with zest, chili flakes, salt, and pepper and toss in olive oil. Also, I get the peeled, deveined, tail off raw shrimp in the seafood section. Who wants to pull poop out of 30 little shrimp. I’ll let the nice people at Publix do that for me.

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Toppings

I like to take something simple and mess with it. So I bought the Mexican crumbling cheese and added lime zest and crushed pink peppercorns. The shredded cheese is just jalapeno cheddar that I shredded from a block.
Instead of sour cream I used non-fat Greek yogurt and added cilantro, lime zest, green onion, and jalapenos (leave in the seeds if you want it to be spicy)

cheese

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I bought the already shredded cabbage cole slaw mix (with carrots and red cabbage) and added julienned granny smith apples, very thinly sliced radishes, and jalapenos. Used lime, brown sugar, and olive oil for the dressing. If it’s not tangy enough hit it with a little apple cider vinegar. I bought mild pickled okra and julienned them along with grape tomatoes. And made a simple pickling liquid with equal parts brown sugar and apple cider vinegar with a tablespoon or so of anise seed (it has a nice licorice smell) and some salt. Adjust the liquid to make it more sweet or more tangy by adding more sugar or vinegar depending on what you like. Then pour the warm liquid over julienned nectarines and onions.

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Store bought high quality fresh salsas in cool containers and you are ready to go.

To make is easy on the day of the cook out so you aren’t messing around in the kitchen when everyone else is outside here’s the game plan.

Day before:

First everything you prepare today you will put in the container you’re going to serve it in and cover it with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you need it for the cookout unless otherwise stated.

Marinate the chicken and the steak

Shred the cheese and mix the crumbling cheese

Mix the cilantro, lime zest, onion, and jalapeno for the yogurt

Mix the cole slaw except for the apple

Prepare the grape tomatoes and the pickled okra

Make the nectarine pickles

Put the prepared salsas in serving containers.

Get everything out that you will need – plates, napkins, cups, bowls for ice, etc.

Day of the cookout

Set up the area with plates, napkins, etc.

Heat up the grill

Put drinks out and in an ice tub

Take the meat out about 30 minutes before to let it warm up slightly so it’s not ice cold when you throw it on the grill

Toss the shrimp with zest, red pepper flakes, olive oil, salt and pepper and put on aluminum foil to cook on the grill

Julienne the apples and toss them in the cole slaw

Mix the herbs and veggies with the yogurt

And you are good to go.

I like to use containers you wouldn’t usually use for food or that are meant for other purposes for food.
I put the pickled stuff in glass containers that are meant for candles.
I found these really cool metal tins that have a top and bottom compartment from World Market. I put ice in the bottom compartment to keep the yogurt cool in the top compartment.
I save any cool jar that food comes in like pesto or the Vlasic Farmer’s Garden pickle jars (which is great because you don’t have to pay for it again and you’re recycling).
I’ll browse around Target, World Market, H&M (yeah they have a home section now and it’s really cute stuff for cheap!), or West Elm and look at anything that could hold food. Vases, glasses, pans, mugs.
I just picked up 2 really large pans from Tractor Supply. They are feed pans for animals but I’m going to use them as trays or to hold food. Or I can fill them with ice and put smaller bowls in them to keep the food cold. They were $2 each. Nice!

Feed pan