Posts Tagged With: vanilla extract

Caramel Corn and Staying Alive at the Movies

American Dessert

CARAMEL CORN

INGREDIENTSCaramelCorn-

6 tablespoons popcorn kernels
1/2 cup butter
1cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

SPECIAL UTENSIL

popcorn popper

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Pop popcorn according to instruction on bag or from popcorn popper. Remove all unpopped popcorn. (Peter Piper popped a peck of popcorn.) Put popcorn in large mixing bowl.

Add butter, sugar, corn syrup, and salt to skillet. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until mixture boils. Stir occasionally. Add baking soda and vanilla. Stir this syrup until well blended. Add popcorn evenly to baking pan. Pour syrup over popcorn. Bake in oven for 1 hour. Stir popcorn/syrup every 15 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) Everybody loves caramel corn, hard-working people and politicians too. However, not everyone likes to hear popcorn being eaten. In 2011, a Latvian movie goer was arrested for shooting another man dead for eating his popcorn too loudly during the film Black Swan. The dead man would have been safer eating caramel popcorn as it’s not nearly as crunchy as regular popcorn.

2) Or if you don’t wish to get shot during movies but still wish to munch on regular popcorn, may I suggest going to a comedy? The film goers’ laughter will mask the sound of your popcorn chomping.

3) As a public service to you popcorn lovers, here are my favorite all-time gun-shot-free-funny movies: Bananas, The Bank Dick, Bringing Up Baby, A Christmas Story, The Court Jester, Duck Soup, Father of the Bride, A Hard Day’s Night, It’s a Gift, Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, One, Two, Three, The President’s Analyst, She Done Him Wrong, A Shot in the Dark, Tight Little Island, Tootsie, and Unfaithfully Yours.

4) There, I am bringing peace to the world. I shall certainly be getting the Nobel Peace Prize soon. Taps foot.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Chocolate and Vanilla Sundae

American Dessert

CHOCOLATE AND VANILLA SUNDAE

INGREDIENTSSundae-

3/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsalted peanuts (or already ground)
2 pints chocolate ice cream
2 pints vanilla ice cream
nonpareils (optional)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder or other grinder or quick hands with a knife

PREPARATION

Make chocolate sauce by adding whipping cream, chocolate chips, and vanilla extract to pot. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted or liquid becomes uniformly dark. Stir constantly.

Grind peanuts. Add large scoop (is there any other kind?) of chocolate ice cream and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream for each bowl you make. Drizzle chocolate sauce over each bowl, top with ground peanuts and nonpareils, if desired.

TIDBITS

1) Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) enjoyed snow flavored with nectar and honey. He was just a few steps away from inventing ice cream. But no, Alexander invaded the Persian Empire instead. His armies conquered land after land. However, these conquests never brought him the satisfaction that only a scope of ice cream could have given. Alexander came to realize how he had wasted his life by not coming up with ice cream and he drank himself to death.

2) The Roman Emperor Nero (54-68 A.D.) enjoyed ice and snow topped with fruit. He committed suicide rather than share this dessert with a jealous Roman mob

3) Marco Polo (1254-1324) is most famous for bringing the idea of ice cream from China to Italy. The Renaissance followed shortly.

4) Ice cream became readily available in seventeenth-century France. French literature flourished.

5) Ice cream came to America in the 1700s. and caused the birth of the American Republic in 1776.

– Chef Paul
3novelsPlease check out Paul De Lancey’s books on Amazon.com.
or visit his website www.lordsoffun.com for signed copies.

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Arrowroot Custard

St. Vincentian Dessert

ARROWROOT CUSTARD

INGREDIENTSArrowrootCust-

3 tablespoons arrowroot
1 tablespoon milk (3 1/2 cups more later)
3 1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks

PREPARATION

Add arrowroot and 1 tablespoon milk to small mixing bowl. Mix with fork until paste forms. Add 3 1/2 cups milk to pot. Cook milk on high heat until milk just starts bubbling. STIR FREQUENTLY. Add arrowroot paste from mixing bowl to pot and stir. Remove pot from burner. Turn heat down to low.

(Milk burns quickly. Anybody who comes by and sees you intent on boiling milk will say, “Careful, milk burns in a hurry! They cannot help it. It’s inevitable as falling asleep in the back row at a lecture for theoretical economics.)

Add sugar to pot. Mix with spoon until sugar dissolves. Return pot to burner. Simmer on low heat for 3 minutes. Remove pot from burner. Add in vanilla extract and egg yolks. Mix with whisk or fork until egg yolk blend in completely. Allow to cool. (The heat in the mix will cook the yolks enough during this time.)

Drink as much as you dare before sharing with guests. It’s really tasty.

TIDBITS

1) An anagram for “arrowroot custard” is “Coward roars, ‘Trout!’”

2) Arrowroot is a starch-rich underground creeping rhizome.

3) There was a 1964 movie called The Creeping Terror. Leonard Maltin, the film critic, gave it a “bomb” rating. His Classic Movie Guide said, “Awful horror movie, poor on every conceivable (and inconceivable) level.” I saw it. The monster looks a lot like a giant Denver omelette.

4) If that sort of horror movie can get made, why not The Creeping Rhizome? Just saying. You could have The Underground Creeping Rhizome but that would be way too scary.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lavender Cookies

American Dessert

LAVENDER COOKIES

INGREDIENTSLavenCookie-

1 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dried lavender (lavender buds)
2 cups flour (a bit more later for dusting surfaces)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water

PREPARATION

Use fork to cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl. (It’s easier if your butter is already soft from being outside the refrigerator.) Add flour, lavender, flour, vanilla extract, and water. Mix with fork until thoroughly blended. Roll mixture into large dough ball. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dust plate with flour. Put dough on plate and roll it out. Cut out cookies with knife, cookie cutter, or small cup. Dust cookie sheet with flour. Place cookies on cookie sheet and put in oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until they just begin to brown.

Remove sheet from oven. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and place on wire rack. Let cool for another 10 minutes.

Cookie fiends will find waiting these 20 minutes difficult.

TIDBITS

1) Lavender has a long history of supposedly beneficial uses.

2) According to Chicago’s Smell and Taste Research Foundation, the most sexually exciting smells for men are lavender and pumpkin pie.

3) Having a man over lemon and lavender chicken and a pumpkin pie for dessert really loads the odds in your favor.

4) Unless, of course, your man has a migraine.

5) Good news, the German nun Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) believed drinks mixed with lavender cured migraines.

6) So why serve you headachy hunk a nice cooling drink of lavender lemonade? The lavender makes his head feel better. The lavender also makes him amorous. Can ViagraTM do as much? I think not.

7) Lavender was once claimed to cure impotence in mice. Why test it on mice? Why? Why? Do we need more mice?

8) But if lavender could cure impotence in men caused by evil spirits, it would be a great thing. Cheaper than ViagraTM. The pharmaceutical industry must be afraid of lavender.

9) And hah, Spanish churches used to burn lavender to keep away evil spirits.

10) Let’s recap. Lavender chases away evil spirits that cause male impotency, cures impotency, banishes headaches, puts a man in a loving mood, makes a great entree, and is the just the thing for a nice cooling drink.

11) And if you don’t have a date lavender will: protect you from the plague, alleviate muscular pains, diminish cold sores, soothe insect bites, banish head lice, mask halitosis, and control dandruff.

12) Yay lavender.
cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Heavenly Cookies Recipe

American Dessert

HEAVENLY COOKIES

INGREDIENTSHeavenl-

3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate flavored cocoa (or an extra 1/2 cup sugar)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces Heath Bar BitsTM

Makes 20 cookies

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Preparation is easier if the butter is already soft. You can accomplish this by simply taking the butter out of the refrigerator an hour before you’re ready to start. (Or get a good aerobic exercise by flattening those sticks of butter with your fists. Show it who’s boss.)

Use whisk to blend flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Place butter, sugar, flavored cocoa, egg, vanilla extract, and Heath Bar BitsTM in another mixing bowl. Mix with hands or electric beater set on “cookies.” Gradually add in the blended flour mixture. Again, blend thoroughly.

Roll dough into little balls about an inch wide. Place dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Leave a 1″ gap between dough balls.

Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then cool on wire racks for faster cooling. If you don’t own a wire rack, either let the cookies cool for a long time on the hot sheet or transfer them with a spatula to a cold plate. The hungry hordes, however, might have other ideas about waiting.

TIDBITS

1) The egg listed in the ingredients is a chicken egg. You could substitute an ostrich egg for the chicken egg.

2) However, the ostrich egg is twenty bigger than the chicken egg. To keep the cookies’ texture the same you’d need to multiply all the ingredients by twenty times as well, twenty cups of sugar for example.

3) You’d have 400 cookies. Where would they all be eat eaten? At a fund raiser? Church picnic? Would people want to eat cookies made from ostrich eggs?

4) There are roadside stands near my home that sell ostrich jerky. So maybe the public is ready.

5) However, while it is easy to carry a carton of twelve chicken eggs, the same amount of ostrich eggs would weigh 32 pounds.

6) Heavy, you bet. Maybe future Olympic weight-lifting could include ostrich-egg events.

7) Ostrich egg juggling would require much skill as well.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Bahamian Banana Breakfast Bread

Bahamian Breakfast

BAHAMIAN BANANA BREAKFAST BREAD

INGREDIENTSBahBBBr-

3 bananas (overripe ones are better)
1/2 cups pecans
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (softened or melted)
1/2 cup raisins
2 eggs
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour

Makes 1 loaf. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9″ x 6″ or 9″ x 5″ baking or loaf pan. Peel bananas. Put bananas in large mixing bowl. Mash bananas with potato masher or fork.. (Did you know that you can buy on AmazonTM the HutzlerTM 571 Banana Slicer? Look at the reviews. They’re hilarious.) Chop pecans or grind with spice grinder until all the pecan bits are quite small.

Add pecan bits, cinnamon, butter, raisins, eggs, baking powder, sugar, salt, nutmeg and vanilla extract to mixing bowl. Mix with fork. Blend with electric beater set on “cake.” With electric beater running, gradually add all the flour. Blend until the batter is smooth.

Spray pan with no-stick spray. Pour batter into pan. Put pan in oven. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick or fork inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes. Turn pan over onto a plate.

1) Bahamian Banana Breakfast Bread is a great example of alliteration.

2) Alliteration is when all words start with the same sound or letter.

3) Al Simmons was a Hall of Fame baseball player.

4) He hit .390 for the Philadelphia Athletics.

5) Philadelphia Athletics is not alliterative.

6) But the Anaheim Angels were.

7) Now they are called the Los Angeles Angels.

8) Which is still alliterative.

9) Thank goodness for Major League Ball, keeping alliteration alive.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vanilla Cupcakes

American Dessert

VANILLA CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTSVanilCu-

CAKE

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup milk (2 tablespoons more later)

FROSTING

2 cups confectionary sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

SPECIAL UTENSILS

muffin tin with 12 holes
12 paper baking cups
electric mixer

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Assemble all ingredients. This will give the butter time to soften as it approaches room temperature. (Of course the butter really softens when you must go muttering to the store and back for a missing ingredient.)

Put softened butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and orange zest in mixing bowl. Use “blend” or “cookie mix” setting on mixer to combine these ingredients.

Add flour, baking powder, and milk to another bowl. Use “cake” setting on mixer. Add this mixture to the concoction in the first bowl, fire up the mixer again using the “cake” setting.

Put baking cups in holes in muffin tin. Pour the mixture into all baking cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until a fork poked into a cupcake comes out clean.

While cupcakes are baking, mix confectionary sugar, butter, and vanilla extract with blender.

Remove cupcakes from oven and put them in the refrigerator to cool off. After cooling, top cupcakes with frosting. Serve to adoring public.

Okay, okay, maybe you couldn’t wait for the cupcakes to cool down enough to be covered with frosting. Maybe they smelled so good you accidentally ate one. Why then, tell everyone this is your recipe for Eleven Vanilla Cupcakes.

TIDBITS

1) Thomas Jefferson brought vanilla to America. He also wrote the Declaration of Independence, and made the Louisiana Purchase.

2) Those worthy achievements took him a lifetime.

3) You can make these cupcakes in an hour.

4) You can also eliminate musty car odors by placing a vanilla bean under the driver’s seat.

5) It is said that some fishermen put vanilla extract on their hands so that fish won’t smell them.

6) Why they would think fish would be jumping out of the water to smell any passing human hand, I’ll never know.

7) A few hundred years ago, noblewomen used vanilla extract to smell nice.

8) Then came soap.

9) Now you can get soap with vanilla in it. It’s all part of the great circle of life.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sugar Cookies

American Dessert

SUGAR COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate flavored cocoa, or an extra 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Preparation is easier if the butter is already soft. You can accomplish this by simply taking the butter out of the refrigerator an hour before you’re ready to start. (Or you can pretend you’re Rocky Balboa getting ready for a big fight and batter those butter sticks into submission with your fists of steel.)

Use whisk to blend flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Place butter, sugar, flavored cocoa, egg, and vanilla extract in another mixing bowl. Mix with hands or electric beater set on “cookies.” Gradually add in the blended flour mixture. Again, blend thoroughly.

If you have a cookie gun or cookie press to make shapes, great. If not, roll dough into little balls about an inch wide. Place dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then cool on wire racks for faster cooling. If you don’t own a wire rack, either let the cookies cool for a long time on the hot sheet or transfer them with a spatula to a cold plate. And who says you have to wait until the cookies are completely cold to eat them? Just as long as the cookies aren’t hot enough to burn your fingers or your tongue.

TIDBITS

1) Don’t try to go through airport security with a cookie gun. I just have a bad feeling about it.

2) Does airport security like doughnuts as much as local police?

3) Britain invaded Afghanistan in the 19th century. Russia invaded it in 1980. Both countries got kicked out. Neither nation’s army carried chocolate doughnuts.

4) However, The United States went into Afghanistan in 2002 with 100,000 soldiers armed to the teeth with chocolate doughnuts. We are still there.

5) Sugar cookies are awesome, too. See how many Nobel Laureates you can name who didn’t like sugar cookies.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, history, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blueberry Cheesecake

Sampling salsa in Cozumel, Mexico

American Dessert

BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

4 tablespoons butter, usually a half stick
1 1/4 cups graham crackers, usually about 1 package
1/4 cup sugar

FILLING

4 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
5 eggs
1 cup white sugar (don’t put sugar away, you’ll still need it again)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

TOPPING

2 1/2 cups, about a 16 ounce bag, of fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/8 cups or 6 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup water

PREPARATION OF CRUST

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter in small saucepan, one designed specifically for butter if you have it. Turn the graham crackers into crumbs by using food processor. (If you have the urge to make the crumbs with a hammer, it’s probably time to take a deep breath, pour yourself a nice, cold glass of root beer, sit down, and listen to few songs by Alvin and the Chipmunks before continuing.)

Pour the melted butter, crumbs, and sugar into a baking dish at least 9-inches wide. Mix thoroughly with fork. Press firmly and uniformly on the mixture. Bake at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes or lightly browned. Let cool, on a baking rack if you have one.

PREPARATION OF FILLING

Place cream cheese, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in large mixing bowl. Use electric beater to combine ingredients. Start on lowest setting and gradually increase the speed of the beaters to “cream,” or almost the highest setting. (Your kitchen walls might resemble modern art if you immediately start with the highest setting.)

Bake for 70 minutes at 325 degrees or until cheese center barely moves when baking dish is moved. Let dish cool down. Chill completely in refrigerator.

PREPARATION OF TOPPING

Combine blueberries and cornstarch in food processor and chop and grind away until mixture is pureed.

Pour mixture into mixing bowl. Add sour cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and water. Blend with fork or electric beater set to “blend.”

Pour this topping into saucepan. Bring to boil while stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes while stirring.

Pour topping on top of cheesecake and spread evenly. (Yes, you will wash dishes with this dessert.) Refrigerate until chilled.

This recipe can be made in various ways: with or without sour cream, or with the sour cream separated out into another layer. Experiment and enjoy.

TIDBITS

1) During the Roaring ‘20s, “cheesecake” meant a woman showed her legs.

2) Marshall Bernadotte of Napoleon’s Grande Armée was known as “Belles Jambes,” or “Beautiful Legs.”

3) Rod Stewart sang the hit song, Hot Legs.

4) Chicken Legs are deep fried in hot oil.

5) America is dependent on foreign oil.

6) But it wasn’t in the ‘20s when “cheesecake” meant a woman showed her legs.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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