Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Homemade Cannoli

Good Evening my friends!
This blog has been a little hard to get out to you.  As you know I also have a YouTube channel and this recipe is also going there.  What you also know is I am 2 weeks out of a cornea transplant.  I am only able to sit at the computer about 20 minutes at a time before I have to rest my eye.  However, since nobody has time for that kind of nonsense, I have my eye patch on and I am getting this out to you this evening come hell or high water!


 My daughter in law has literally been asking me to make these with her for 4 years.  Yes, seriously.  I don't know what caused me to dive into this 6 days out of surgery but I did.  It was a fun day spent together and the outcome was nothing short of heaven.  Jersey girls looking for real cannoli in the midwest doesn't usually work out so well for us.  No pudding, no custard.  The fakery must be stopped!  This filling is true sweetened ricotta, with a custard like base.  It is perfection.  Just the way we love them!


Use chocolate chips or don't.  Use dried pieces of fruit or don't.  Use pistachios, or don't.  These are your cannolis!  I like mine plain, but we did most with chocolate chips!  It isn't a hard process but it is a bit of a lengthy one.  You WILL NEED CANNOLI FORMS!  You can find them almost anywhere these days!

Shells:
2 cups Flour
2 TBSP Butter
2 TBSP Sugar (White Granulated)
2 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa
1 TSP Cinnamon
1/2 cup Seltzer Water or Marsala Wine

(You can do this in a bowl with a fork or pastry cutter, but I am using my food processor)
In your food processor add, flour, butter, sugar, cocoa and cinnamon.  Pule until ingredients are in crumbs.  Add in seltzer water slowly, pulsiing until mixture is combined.  Your dough should be wet enough to hold together but not sticky.  If it is a little dry add a bit more water, if it is sticky add just a wee bit more flour, it is pretty forgiving that way.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.

Filling:
2 cups Milk
3/4 cup Cornstarch
2 cups Sugar
2 LBS Ricotta Cheese
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1-2 cups Mini Chocolate Chips

NOTE: This will make extra filling.  I will put a link at the end for a recipe to use it for, or freeze it for later cannoli making!
In a large pot add milk, cornstarch and sugar.  Slowly bring to a boil and stir constantly until thickened.  Transfer to a bowl and let sit, covered, in the refrigerator until COMPLETELY cooled!  When it is cooled, place mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer or use a hand mixer and add ricotta cheese and vanilla.  Mix until smooth and well combined.  I used the whisk attachment on mine for about 30 seconds at the end.  Place back in the refrigerator.

To make the shells, roll out your dough as thin as possible without it ripping.  Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut circles out of the dough.  Wrap around your cannoli forms and using an egg wash, brush the sides that lay on each other to seal your shell!  Continue with all of your dough or as with as many forms as you have.

Heat oil to 350 degrees and fry a few at a time until golden brown.  About 4-6 minutes.  Place on a paper towel lined cookie sheet, let sit for a couple of minutes and remove form.  You may need to use tongs, if they are still hot.  Make sure to let the shells cool completely to make sure they are as done and hardened as they should be (the first batch) so you can adjust if needed!

When all of your shells are fried and cooled, using a piping bag or food storage bag with the corner cut off to fill your cannolis!  Make sure to add a few chocolate chips to the ends so they can be seen!

ENJOY!
Buon Appetito!



SAVE THAT EXTRA FILLING!  Freeze it and use it for the holidays or later with this recipe!
Mini Cannoli Bites




Sunday, October 14, 2018

White Chocolate Pumpkin Nut Muffins

Hello my friends!

I am coming to you from my office, sitting at my desk with fluffy socks, leggings and a sweatshirt.  FALL HAS FALLEN!  At least I hope it has.  I mean, the heater isn't coming on anytime soon, but, it is supposed to freeze tonight I believe.  I would like to see more of the sun but I am grateful for what I get.




As most of you know, I go in Tuesday for a right eye cornea transplant.  I had intended to get more recipes out but the last couple of weeks have been filled with nerves, to do lists and did I mention, nerves?  It has been hard to concentrate but hopefully I will get a few ready for you to be able to post while I am down.



This recipe is one I started making last fall.  It is super easy, super, "Fall-ish", and super good, which is definitely the most important part!  We love muffins at our house and you will find a ton of muffin recipes on my website.  I will link to some others at the end!

Here is what you will need:
White Cake Mix
15 oz can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp cinnamon (you can also use pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts of your choice (I used slivered almonds, YUM)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  This recipe should yield about 16 muffins.  Line  your muffin tin with liners and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix until combined.  You could use your stand mixer, but it is so easy to mix up quickly by hand, don't create the extra dishes for yourself!  Well, unless you want to!  You will get a thick batter.
Divide mixture into the muffin pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.  When a toothpick inserted comes out with no wet batter they are done.

Make sure to cut one in half while still warm and add a pat of butter and drizzle of honey!  I might be an expert on this particular muffin!

Enjoy my friends and thank you for stopping by!  Make sure to check out the video as well!


Other Muffin Recipes You Might Love!

Banana Crumble Muffins
BLueberries and Cream Crunch Muffins
Cranberry Almond Muffins
Chocolate Covered Cherry Muffins


Monday, September 17, 2018

Ricotta Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

Happy End of Summer!  It is basically fall in my opinion.  I mean I finally broke out all my pumpkin decor the other day and with a complete "bite me summer" attitude I raised the pumpkin decor with pride and joy!


As we all know, the end of the summer means end of gardens.  Boo!  But those last few tomatoes, the last few of this and that all needs used up.  Waste not, want not, right?!  This recipe is perfect for those little tomatoes you don't want to bother canning.  Use these for a party, for a side dish, or little snacks for anything!

It is an easy recipe, and I did include a video.  Please don't forget to hit subscribe on my YouTube Channel here


Enjoy this easy recipe ad if you feel so inclined, make your own ricotta cheese using my recipe here!

This recipe will actually make 12-16 individual tomatoes.

Tomatoes
1/3 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp salt
up to 1tsp milk

Combine all ingredients except milk.  Add just enough milk to make filling the tomatoes easy.  Set aside.

Prepare your tomatoes by cutting a whole out of the middle.  Do not let it go clear to the bottom or your filling will run out.  If you want to use a clean finger or thumb an widen the area to be filled with cheese feel free.

Feel free to sprinkle some basil, red paper flakes, or salt on top before serving!


ENJOY


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Updates, Social Media, And Unicorns Oh My!

Hello!  Hello!  Hello!

I decided since Facebook doesn't want to show my posts to everyone with me paying for it, I would try and get information to you this way!  We shall see!  If you want to follow me, keep up with me or enjoy my content here, and on YouTube please keep reading!


HERE: www.foodthoughtsofachefwannabe.com
I would love to have you follow my website directly.  On the right hand column you will see a section called "Followers".  Just click FOLLOW!  Nothing else involved.  You can also choose to get email updates of new posts. At the bottom of that column you will see "Follow By Email".  You will not get spam, you will only get notifications when I post a new blog/recipe post!

 
YOU TUBE: ChefWannabe's Life
I am LOVING making videos for you guys!  Recipes, hauls, my journey with eye disease, mental illness, and "Keepin' It Real" videos about life in general.  I craft, do DIY's, and home decor.  I would be more than honored to have you hit SUBSCRIBE  I post new video alerts on FB as well but, well you know how that goes.  Please always remember to give me a LIKE (thumbs up) and leave your comments, that really helps me so much!



INSTAGRAM: ftchefwannabe
This is where it is at these days!  You can find me at, ftchefwannabe.  Again, I would love to have you.  I am going to be doing ore live streams on Instagram, and would like to build my presence there as well.  Instagram is hot right now, so make sure to come find me!



PINTErEST:ftoacw
I don't think I need to explain the awesomeness of Pinterest, do I?  Follow my different boards, including a board of just my YouTube videos as well!




FACEBOOKFoodThoughtsOfaChefWannabe
This is my original social media website!  So long ago!  Make sure to hover your mouse over the FOLLOWING box under the banner, and hit SEE FIRST to make sure to always see my posts.  Do it for any page you enjoy that you don't see often enough!  Thank you for your interaction there as well!

OK friends, it is time for me to go get prepped to film a new video and write a new blog post for you.  I want you to know I still do this blog and recipes because I love it, but the truth of the matter is, it isn't enough.  Social media is a must and I have fallen in love with YouTube and the interaction I get with you all there too!

I would be so grateful if you would share this post, or any of my links, share my YT channel to friends who might enjoy them!  I am so grateful for the friendships, the support, and the fulfillment I get from having each one of you in my life and part of my Chefwannabe Family!
DO NOT FORGET:  EVERY. SINGLE. WEDNESDAY. 
 I do a live stream video on my YouTube Channel.  We talk about EVERYTHING!  Join us!  
8pm CST  
Pacific Time: 6pm
Mountain: 7pm
Eastern: 9pm

With this all being said, I wish you a great day, and abundant blessings always!

 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Happy last day of August!

I imagine many of you have sent children, grandchildren, neighborhood children all back to school or are about to.  While it was an uneventful summer for us, that is OK, I would take uneventful over risking bad events any day!  I hope you all enjoyed the season of sun and fun!!


 If you are like me, you are ready for fall, and you are ready to hit it hard!  Along with that, for me anyway, comes being back in the kitchen making more homemade foods.  I find in the summer I do a lot of "cheating" because it is just to hot to be in the kitchen!

My husband was asking for homemade tapioca pudding so I threw this video in as well for you visual people!  (Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel!)

Without further adieu, let's get to this delicious homemade pudding! 

1/2 cup small tapioca pearls
1 cup water

4 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla extract

PRESOAK your tapioca pearl in a bowl of water.  Let sit 6-8 hours.

In a cold saucepan, add in DRAINED tapioca pearls, milk, and sugar.  Mix to combine.  Over medium heat, bring to a simmer and simmer until the pearls are soft.  It can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes.  It depends on the size of pearls you are using, and how long it takes them to soften the rest of the way!  Stick with it and stir often!  NO BOILING just a nice simmer.

Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.  Add in a ladle of hot tapioca mixture to temper the eggs.  mix together and add one more ladle to bring the temperature of the eggs up so when you add them to the pudding mixture they won't scramble.  When that is accomplished add back into the pudding mixture and simmer another 3-5 minutes, until the pudding mixture separates on the back of a spoon or close to it.  Add in vanilla, mix it in completely, pour into a bowl and either serve warm or chilled!

ENJOY this delicious treat!  In fact, send it to school in your children's lunches!  YUM!


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Triple Decker Toffee Bars!

Happy August!

Can someone tell me where the summer went?  I mean, I am not complaining, BUT, it just went so fast.  It is that "going by so fast" thing again my mother warned me about.  I say it all the time but it is so true


This recipe started out with an overabundance of Club Crackers.  When I see stuff on a ridiculous sale, I buy multiples.  My husband loves club crackers, grandlittles do to, we have company, we do cheese and crackers, etc....but I still had like 4 boxes.  My husband asked for Graham Cracker Toffee Crunch, but I needed to use CLUB crackers not GRAHAM.  


I called my trustee recipe queen sister and she had this recipe.  So wherever it came from......the Simmermans thank you!  This is super easy and keeps for well over a week.  I might cut down on the chocolate next time or just drizzle it on.  This would be great any time of year.  What if you made this, and then use it as a cheesecake crust and........(faints)  be looking for that recipe soon. HA!

This is pretty easy, just watch little ones with the hot caramel if they are helping please!

You will need:
Club Cracker (entire box)
1 can condensed milk
1/4 regular milk
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1 tsp Vanilla

Line a 9x13 pan with foil.  I sprayed mine as well with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with a single layer of club crackers, it might take 28-32 crackers.  Set aside and head over to the stove!
In a medium saucepan, combine, condense milk, regular milk, brown sugar and butter.  Heat until brown sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to boil  Boil for 5 minutes and then remove from heat. Stir that baby constantly!  You know the second you don't.....BAM....burned! After you remove it from heat, add the vanilla and stir!

Now pour 1/3 of the mixture over the crackers.  Use a spatula to make sure it is spread evenly.  Add another layer of crackers and half the mixture on top.  Are you with me?  Last layer of crackers and the rest of the caramel!

Melt the chocolate chips in the micro, 30 seconds at a time until melted and pour over the top or drizzle heavily.  Refrigerate until set and cut and serve!

Hope you enjoy this easy treat!


Monday, July 9, 2018

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Now this is a recipe worth waiting for.  We have gained 5 lbs each because I have tested this far to many times!  But I am proud to say, my loathe of the slow cooker phenomenon has slowly turned into a "like" relationship!


For so long a fought the slow cooker trend.  Everything I had, that was cooked in it was like mush, over cooked, or "falling apart" which isn't my favorite way to eat meat.  I used mine to keep chili and meatballs warm on football Sundays!  That was the extent of our relationship.  I slowly in the last year of worked through some of my issues with the slow cooker and maybe have actually enjoyed a few things made in it.  I still don't get the recipes that made you brown or sear meat or do other things first and then put them in the Crock Pot so I steer away from that kind of nonsense.  I mean if you are making things easy, why dirty 3 pots and pans and go through 5 steps before even getting it into the pot?  Yea, not for me. Some people make this with already cooked macaroni.....WHAT?  I don't want mush!


So here is my recipe, I hope you enjoy it.  As long as you mix the liquids first, you can do it all INSIDE "Crocky" and then anticipate the goodness that is to come!

3 cups milk
15 oz can of cheddar cheese soup/sauce
1/4 tsp yellow mustard
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
3 cups UNCOOKED macaroni
8 oz. shredded mild cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter, chunked up for the top

Whisk the first 5 ingredients together inside your slow cooker.  Add in macaroni and cheese and stir  to combine.  Chuck up your butter and lay it all over the top.  Stir again.  Now set your slow cooker on low for 2.5 hours.  It will be perfect!  I promise!

ENJOY!  We sure have a couple or 4 times!  HEY, don't judge.  It had to be perfect!

Come SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel here!