12.13.2010

Homemade Peppermint Mocha

Saturday night there was the usual chill in the air. And, I wanted something warm. I'd put the Mayhem Maker to bed and stressed myself out looking for her pretty princess shoes. Then it dawned on me, I had the house to myself and complete control of the remote. I mean, really, how often does that happen?
I left the 3 loads of laundry to be folded for another night and decided to curl up on the couch with Morris & Murphy. But, I needed a drink. A drink that would warm me from my toes to my nose. I thought...hhmmmmm.....maybe a cup of tea. But, that just didn't even sound appealing to me. Hot chocolate? Too sweet. A cup of coffee? As much as I love coffee, I just didn't feel like that would really cover what I was looking for. Homemade Peppermint Mocha? *ding, ding, ding* We have a winner!

So Tasty, So Good, and really, so, very, very, VERY simple! And, it sure did hit the spot!

Homemade Peppermint Mocha
4 Tbs Cocoa Powder
3 Tbs Sugar
1 cup Milk
1 cup STRONG coffee
Splash to Taste CoffeeMate Peppermint Mocha creamer

Whisk together all ingredients, except creamer, in a small sauce pan on medium to medium low heat until hot. Turn off heat and stir in creamer to taste. Pour into your favorite mug, top with whip cream (if you have it on hand) and

Enjoy!

Menu Plan Monday: December 13 - December 19th

It's going to be a busy week. Just trying to get organized for Christmas - which is easier said than done. And, hopefully, we can get our tree up this weeks. It's really one of the last few pieces of our holiday decorating puzzle.

Don't forget - you can let The Townsend Bakery take the STRESS our of your Holiday DeSSERTS. Just click here to place an order!

This Week's Menu:

Monday
Cheeseburgers
Tater Tots
Peas

Tuesday
Crock Pot Chili
Cornbread

Wednesday
Pancakes
Sausage
(we have this new pancake pan that makes bear faces! We gots to try it out!)

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Pizza

Saturday
Homemade Baked Potato Soup w/ Ham

Sunday
Molly's 1st Night home after spending her Fall semester in Wales -
We will be having dinner with my parents!

Enjoy!

12.10.2010

Jazzed Up Gingerbread Muffins

Sometimes, when I bake, I don't want to drag out the flour, the sugar, the baking soda and who knows what else I need to make so tasty morsel of decadence. Sometimes, I'm so pressed for time, that that doing whats in the previous sentence is just not an option. And, sometimes, because I do almost all of my baking with Madaline, its just easier to take the easy way out. That means, letting her crack and wisk the eggs, while I open a box of mix. And, while, it kills me at times, there really is NOTHING wrong with it. And, there is a way that I put my mind at ease. I jazz up a said box mix. I've been known to add fresh grated carrots or chopped up apples to a spice cake mix. No matter how pressed for time I am, I almost always take a few minutes to swirl in some peanut butter or mix chucks of good quality chocolate into boxed brownie mix. And, I 99% of the time, will make a homemade frosting, glaze or gnache for cakes or cupcakes if I've taken a short cut and used a box mix.
Case in point - These fantastically delicious, moist, dense, spicy mounds of muffin heaven. The gingerbread is an old standby (thank you Betty Crocker) and, well, the gnache. Yeah. That's a new one to me. I'd be totally fibbing if I said that I'd come up with the idea of the white chocolate cream cheese gnache all on my own, but I didn't. I totally used the recipe from Vanilla Sugar. I adore her site - and I have a LOT of her recipes in my "when I have more time I need to try this" pile. And, when she posted her recipe for the gingerbread cupcakes with white choco-cream cheese gnache, I knew IMMEDIATELY what Madaline and I would be making on Thursday night.
And, oh....they are good. So, very, very, very good. So, take a couple of hours (well, about 18 minutes to bake the muffins + cooling time + gnache making time) and treat yourself. You'll be happy you did. And, if you really want to take it over the top? Brew yourself a pot of the most decadent coffee you have in the cupboard. Between the muffins and the coffee, all the troubles from your day will just disappear.

Enjoy!

12.08.2010

Place Your Orders NOW!

* Office Parties*
*Teacher Gifts*
*Cookie Swaps
*Holiday Table*
*Hostess Thank-You*Time Savers
*

Cookies/Candies/Barks
Each order contains 16 pieces of the item selected
1 - Monster Cookies – a chocolate chip peanut butter oatmeal cookie with M&M’s
2 - Peppermint Bark – delicious dark and white chocolate with crushed peppermint candies
3 - Oreo Truffles – crushed oreo cookies mixed with homemade cream cheese frosting coveredin chocolate
4 - Caramel Brownies – rich fudgy brownies swirled with caramel
5 - Pecan Pie Squares – pecan pie you can hold in your hand (please add $5 per order for these special treats)
6 - Graham Cracker Toffee – crispy graham cracker and buttery toffee covered chocolate
7 - Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls – peanut butter mounds covered in chocolate

Choose any 4 items - $35.00 Choose any 5 - $40.00
Choose any 6 items - $45.00
All 7 holiday goodies - $50.00

Holiday Snacks
Each order contains 12 servings (1/2 cup each)
Caramel Corn – Traditional caramel covered popcorn
Muddy Buddies – (also known as “white trash” or “Christmas Crack”) chocolate peanut butter coated crunchy cereal dusted with powder sugar
Puppy Chow – chocolate peanut butter coated popcorn dusted with powder sugar
$8.00 per order or $20.00 when you order all three

Show Stealing Cheesecakes
Each cheesecake serves 8-10 people
Classic Cheesecake rich, smooth, velvety NY style cheese cake with a graham cracker crust $25.00
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake same as our classic cheesecake studded with chocolate chips $30.00
Oreo Cheesecake We use this favorite childhood cookie both for the crust and in the cake $30.00
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake – chocolate cookie crust, a layer of peanut butter filling, peanut butter cup studded cheesecake topped with a rich hot fudge sauce and garnished with more peanut butter cups – This is the ultimate holiday dessert $35.00


To place an order:
call 607.331.1280 or email TheTownsendBakery@gmail.com
Will ship any goodies except Cheesecakes
Buyer must pay shipping in addition to any charges
All shipping will be done via USPS 2 day Priority Flat Rate Shipping

Local Orders (Watkins Glen/Elmira/Corning/Ithaca)
Payment due in full upon delivery of your goodies
50% deposit is required on all orders over $40.00
Must take delivery no later than December 23rd
Last Day for to place orders is Monday 12/20
Cash/check/Paypal Accepted

Shipped Orders
Order must be paid in full when placed
Last Day to place shipped orders is Saturday, 12/18
Cash/check/Paypal Accepted

All items are 100% homemade. Goodies are made in a kitchen in which contains nuts, milk, and other potential food allergens. If you have any allergies or sensitivities to these products, please keep this in mind.

12.06.2010

Menu Plan Monday: December 6 - December 12th

December roared into town with lots of snow and blustery winds. It make me want to do one of two things - spend a ridiculous amount of time in my kitchen making foods that will stick to my hips and help me add my layer of winter blubber OR curl up on the couch under a warm quilt, with a steaming mug of coffee and the TV remote. Much to my surprise, there are two days in a weekend and I got to do both! That is something that doesn't happen often - but it was nice to re-charge my batteries before the Holiday's get into full swing around here.

And, I am putting the finishing touches on my surefire way for you to take the STRESS our of your Holiday DeSSERTS.

Have a good week all!
This Week's Menu:

Monday
Breakfast for Dinner
Scrambled Eggs
Sausage & Cheddar Pinwheels

Tuesday
Southern Style Chicken w/ Country Gravy
Smashed Taters
Sugar Snap Peas

Wednesday
Crock Pot Chili

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Pizza

Saturday
Homemade Soup
(just don't know which on yet)

Sunday
Baked Meaty Ziti
Italian Bread

Enjoy!

12.03.2010

Just ME and the little RED mixer that could

I have an idea.

A CRAZY idea.

I've always wanted to run a bakery. Well, an in my mind it is more like an establishment that serves "bar" food (wings, mozz sticks, poppers, french fries), killer burgers and fancy grilled cheese sandwiches, beer, local wine and my desserts. An ever changing assortment of my delectable baked goods. Why would I want to do this you ask? Because, I can bake. And, I'm good at it. And, people tell me all the time I should sell my goodies.

Which brings me back to the idea. I've created a flier and I'm going to sell goodies this holiday season. Well, I'm going to try to sell goodies. I'm not sure anyone would buy.

Can someone please tell me I'm not crazy - and that everyone has to start somewhere......right?

**if you are interested in seeing what is being offered - please email me at TheTownsendBakery{at}gmail{dot}com - and I will be more than happy to send you my ordering flier**

12.02.2010

RE-DO Recipe: A Stew of Endless Possibility

This can ultimately be one of those "everything but the kitchen sink" type of recipes. Got left over broccoli in the fridge? Throw it in. Got some left over asparagus? Throw it in. Need to use up a few slices of bacon? Crisp it up in the pan and then cook your veggies in the pan drippings. *drool* We had carrots, celery, spinach, and turkey. Yep, this was my turkey RE-DO recipe. This recipe really isn't much different than this one. But it is. I find that this one is more versatile - and does particularly well with beef. That is, if you ever have any left over beef. *RAWR* Beef is such a rarity in this house that there is seldom any left over. Oh, and it's thicker. Soup is good for the fall, but once the snow flies and the crisp air is replaced with a biting bitterness that just chills you right down to the bone - I want stew. Stew so thick that you can put a wooden spoon vertical in the pot, let go, and it stands there. Ok, well, that's a wee bit extreme, but I think you get what I'm trying to say.
Also, I just wanted to say, that I'm really only giving you a base recipe. Some of you might wonder why some of my recopies are so bland or they do not always have the typical base ingredients. For example, someone asked me about adding onions. My answer? Sure! Go ahead - add in a small to medium onion. I typically don't have onions in my recipes, because I don't like onions, but that doesn't mean you can't add them in. Secondly, I've been asked about the blandness. Madaline tends to eat best if I keep the food fairly simple and lightly seasoned. I think it has a lot to do with her reflux - so I tend to not add much seasoning other than salt and pepper. But, sometimes, just sometimes, I allow myself the extra indulgence and add in some herbs and spice. This stew would be great with a palm full of poultry seasoning. Herbs de provence would be lovely here as well (with either chicken or turkey). Get adventurous - check out the spice isle of our local grocery store - the seasoning blends are fantastic - play with your seasonings make it yours. You are not going to hurt my feelings.
Leftover Stew

1 cup of diced carrots
1 cup of diced celery
1/4 cup butter
Salt, Pepper and seasoning you'd like, to taste
1/4 cup flour
5 - 6 cups of stock (veggie/chicken/beef)
2-3 cups cooked & shredded leftover meat (chicken/turkey/beef**)
1 pkg frozen tortellini
1 bag frozen mixed veggie (I buy the green bean, pea and corn blend)
1 6oz bag of baby spinach

Melt your butter in a large heavy bottomed dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add your carrots, celery (onion *shudder* if you like) and cook 7-12 minutes until they just are starting to get soft. Add 1/4 cup of flour to cooked veggie mixture. Stir and cook about 3 minutes to remove raw flour taste. Slowly wisk in 5 - 6 cups of stock, making sure you have no lumps of flour left. Add in your leftover cooked meat, turn heat to high and bring to a bubbling boil. As your stew boils, it will start to thicken. If it thickens too quickly on you, then add in some more stock. Once your meat is heated thru, gently stir in frozen veggies & tortellini, bring bring back to a gentle boil and cook until the tortellini are tender. Stir in spinach, cover and let simmer just long enough for spinach to wilt into the stew. Give it one last good stir and serve.

*If you do make this with beef, leave out the tortellini & cook up a bag of egg noodles on the side. Put your cooked and slightly buttered & salted egg noodles in a bowl first and then ladle the beef stew mixture over the top.

Enjoy!

12.01.2010

Menu Plan Monday: November 28 - December 5th

Holy CARP! It's WEDNESDAY already? oops!

Not need to talk about last week and really, since we are already three days into this week, there's not much to be said.

Check back tomorrow for a soup recipe. And, I have some holiday baking ideas up my sleeve - something that that should take the STRESS our of your Holiday DeSSERTS.

This Week's Menu:

Monday
Spaghetti & Meatsauce
Garlic Bread

Tuesday
Subs

Wednesday
Crescent Wrapped Cheesy Hot Dogs
Mac-n-Cheese (out of a box)

Thursday
Leftovers/Cereal/Fend For Yourself

Friday
Pizza

Saturday
Crispy Oven Fried Chicken
Wild Rice Pilaf
Green Beans

Sunday
Scallop Taters & Ham
(we didn't have this last Sunday, so it's a hold over for sure!)
Peas
Enjoy!