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April 24th

Ready, Set, Weekend with The Garden of Eatin’

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Anyone have some leftover chocolate bunnies laying around the house after Easter? I received this one from a work colleague who knew that I would put it to good use…..and that I did.Mousse 1
Ever heard of pulling a Rabbit out of a hat? How about pulling a mousse out of a Rabbit? Leave that magic trick to me and read on.

Although this post started out quite innocently, after photographing the steps, it seems that a sinister side of me has come forth…..or more like Dexter paid a visit to thegardenofeatin set. I apologize in advance to those who may find these pictures too graphic. Hide your children. Poor Mr. Wabbit.Mousse 4Mousse 5Mousse 6Mousse 7
Ready?

Here goes……

White Chocolate Lemon Mousse

12 ounces White Chocolate, chopped – You can use any good quality white chocolate OR a bunny!
1½ cups heavy cream, divided
1 tsp lemon zest – optional
Garnish – Berries and shaved chocolate

In a small saucepan, heat ¾ cup of the cream on medium heat. Heat just until bubbly but do not bring to a boil.

Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the cream and chocolate are glossy and combined. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.Mousse 8
With an electric mixer using the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat the other ¾ cup cream on high until soft peaks form. Once the chocolate mixture is cool, fold it into the whipped cream using the paddle attachment or a wooden spoon. Place in ceramic ramekins and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or if you just can’t wait (like me) place in freezer for 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh berries and additional grated chocolate. Serve up your old bunny who is now a mousse and enjoy!
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See you next week!
debi @thegardenofeatin
XO

categories: Baking, Food, Little Miss Foodie, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

April 10th

Ready, Set, Weekend with The Garden of Eatin’

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Every time I write this blog, you as readers come step closer to really finding out exactly who I am. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I have a slight addiction to blueberries. Wait. I’m not kidding here. I actually do. I can literally sit down to a large bowl of these berries and eat them like they are candy. Blueberries are high in antioxidants and at my age I need all the help I can get. Bring it on.
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For the past 16 years I’ve consumed blueberries by the bushel. I toss them in my cereal for breaky, throw them into salads for lunch or dinner and put them into cakes, muffins, crisps or squares every chance I get. I fear that one morning I will wake up looking like Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate factory.

My latest adventure with the almighty blueberry was a bunch of mini galettes. These were so cute I almost can’t look at them AND they were so delish you will not be sorry that you tried this recipe. In fact, if you happen to be in a pinch for a quick dessert for unexpected company …..this is it!Galettes 17
I always keep a roll of packaged pie crust in my fridge for occasions such as these. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG with using this crust, BUT I love making my own, so I will give you the easy version first and a recipe for my foolproof crust just in case you want some adventure in your life.Galettes 21
Here goes.

BLUEBERRY LEMON MINI GALETTES:

1 package pie crust (2 rounds of dough) or 1 recipe homemade pie crust
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 whole egg
1 tablespoon water

Homemade pie crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup ice water

Preheat oven to 425F. If using homemade pie crust, in a large bowl, mix the flour with the sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in half of the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Cut in the remaining butter until the largest pieces are the size of peas. Drizzle the water over the dough and stir until moistened. Gather up the dough and knead it 2 or 3 times. Flatten the dough into 2 discs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

In a bowl, stir together blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, juice of half the lemon, vanilla, and salt.Galettes 19Galettes 2
Unroll the two discs of dough. Use a 5-inch round pastry cutter or I used a small bowl and traced around it with a sharp knife. Cut three to four rounds of pastry from each dough round. Re-roll the scraps and cut more. Place them on 2 baking sheets lined with a baking mat or parchment (4 -5 rounds each pan). Evenly distribute 1/4 cup of the blueberry mixture in the centre of the dough rounds.
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Gently fold over the edges of each crust, folding the dough in on itself to create a small rim of crust. Make an egg wash by beating together the egg and water. Brush edges of each pie with the egg wash and sprinkle the crust with sugar (I like using turbinado sugar as it gives the crust a wonderful crunch)Galettes 4
Bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow galettes to sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove to a serving dish and let cool or serve warm with ice cream. I taste tested one or two or three while I was waiting for them to cool and let me tell you……….THEY WERE GOOD!Galettes 5Galettes 12Galettes 9
See ya next week!
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debi @thegardenofeatin
xoxo

categories: Baking, Food, Guest Post, Little Miss Foodie, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

April 2nd

Ready, Set, Weekend (early for “Peaster”) with the Garden of Eatin’

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A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about two great recipes for Passover and Easter. Remember? Those recipes were savoury so I thought it was absolutely necessary to bring you something sweet for the upcoming holidays. Whether you are hosting celebrations or just being a guest, these two chocolate treats can’t be beat. I think you know that I’m not crazy about matzo. The box it comes in usually tastes better than the product inside. HOLD ON. There are umpteen ways to kick up your matzo. In the many years that I have been making Passover foods for the family, I have used recipes which are tried and true. One of them is this Chocolate covered fruit and nut matzo which I found on one of Martha Stewart’s video’s. Her guest that day was the late Joan Rivers. They whipped up this matzo and had a whale of a time doing this together. By the way…no one can replace Joan. She will be missed and I haven’t watched Fashion Police since her passing……she was the SHOW….life just won’t be the same on the Red Carpet anymore.
Back to the treats. What started out as a matzo making project turned into a “what am I going to do with all this leftover melted chocolate dilemma”.
Ding Ding! I needed an Easter gift for a dear soul who actually fixed my soles on my winter boots. Yes, it is a real treat to have someone in the family who can give your battered soles a facelift! I quickly whipped up this chocolate bark, used the same dried fruit as I did for the matzo recipe and voila…GOE Bark.Peaster 4
So if you’re stuck for something to make or bring to the Seders or Easter meals as a hostess gift…..this is a no brainer. Both recipes take a few minutes to make and it is a sure fire winner. LOOK AT IT! So darn stunning…..wrap it up and go!Peaster 12Peaster 9
Chocolate, nut and dried fruit covered matzo:
11 pieces matzo (about 1 box)
11 ounces white chocolate, melted
11 ounces dark chocolate, melted
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts, – I love pistachios because the color can’t be beat
1 1/2 cups dried fruit or crystallized ginger, chopped.
Place matzo on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Brush one side of matzo with either the white or dark chocolate; drizzle over dark chocolate, if matzo was brushed with white chocolate, or white chocolate, if matzo was brushed with dark chocolate. Sprinkle over nuts and fruit. Transfer matzo to refrigerator until chocolate is set, about 15 minutes. Break into pieces. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated up to 1 week.Peaster 13
thegardenofeatin Chocolate Bark:
8 oz dark chocolate
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil
Mixed dried fruit & nuts ( I used cranberries, pistachios and dried apricots)
Melt first 3 ingredients in the microwave or a double boiler. If using microwave, heat for 30 second intervals and stir until melted and glossy. Place chocolate in a 8 x 8 baking pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Spread and top with dried fruit and nuts. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Crack and serve or wrap it up and give it to your host as a gift!Peaster 10Peaster 6
matzo
See ya next week!
debi @thegardenofeatin
xoxo

categories: Baking, Dessert, Dinner Party, Holidays, Little Miss Foodie, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

April 1st

Gettin’ Crafty for Easter

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Easter is a holiday that I don’t celebrate because I’m a Jew and Passover is the holiday I’ll be celebrating this weekend. BUT boy do I ever love the crafts and food that surround the Easter holiday!
Gavin had two friends coming over for a playdate today so I figured lets get crafty!
For starters, I always serve the kids a snack when they get home from school. To keep with our playdate theme I had some fun with deviled eggs and I dyed em. I took the cooked whites and soaked them in food coloring before adding the filling. I let them sit in the dye for a good 30 minutes for the color to really saturate.
Now don’t get me wrong, my kids eat really healthy foods on a daily basis, so this was a special and festive treat. A one time a year type deal.
Since food coloring is the principal supply for easter egg dying, I strained the leftover dye from the deviled eggs into jars so the kids could dip n dye.
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We took it a step further and also dyed some marshmallows with a brushed/ombre type look.
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Since we craft quite a bit around here, we have a box of supplies lying around the house. Glue, glitter, rhinestones and paint. Of course the kids were all over the glitter…which a total mess. Thank goodness I covered the table with kraft paper! I just rolled it up and tossed it when they were done. It was SO easy!easter18
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These eggs will make the perfect place cards for the table at Passover dinner or Easter brunch. You can take a sharpie and write each kids names. Set in a soft boiled egg holder or just on a napkin on the table.
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For a really cool, fun dessert we made chow mein noodle nests. Omg. Look at these! I found the recipe in the most recent issue of GoodHousekeeping. It was a package of chocolate chips, 3/4 cup of smooth peanut butter and a can of chow mein noodles. I covered a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then combined the chips and peanut butter over low heat stirring constantly till all was melted and smooth. I added the mixture to a bowl with the chow mein noodles and mixed well. I scooped balls onto the parchment paper and then pressed down in the middle to shape into a nest. Let these puppies sit in the fridge to set for at least 3o minutes. Add chocolate eggs and there you have it. Cutest Easter dessert ever!

categories: Appetizers, Decorating, Eggs, Holidays, Kids eats, Little Miss Foodie, Little Miss Mommy, Project Playdate, Sweets, Toddler activities

March 27th

Ready, Set, Weekend with The Garden of Eatin’

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Just in case you didn’t know this…. I have some stinkin’ cute great-nieces and nephews. I love spending time with them….although with a full time career and a side job as the CEO of thegardenofeatin, it’s not always possible to see them often. Do you also know what it’s like trying to book them for a playdate? These kids have better social lives than I do. I have one great-niece in particular who is a real girly girl. She is four years old (or by her calculation – 4 and a half).

Remember when we loved counting the halves until it was our next birthday? When you get to my age, you don’t want to be a half older than what’s necessary. Anyways, Miss O. loves pink, princesses, dressing up and BAKING. Um…hello….did you say baking? A kid after my own heart. This past weekend we scheduled a baking day with little Miss O. She is a spirited little redhead who is bright, witty and knows exactly how to stir a bowl of batter. When I putter around in my kitchen, I like to experiment with different scratch cake recipes. For this date, we were baking at my brother and sister-in-law’s home so to keep it simple, we used a box mix, jacked it up a bit to taste like scratch and paired it with two piping bags of canned buttercream icing that I prepared the day before with organic food coloring. (yes…..sometimes it’s okay to make things from a box and a can)

I packed up all my GOE gear (including the camera, cake stands, props etc.) and headed to someone else’s kitchen to make a mess. When I arrived I grabbed Miss O. and she was Ready and Set to GO!”
We gathered all our utensils by rummaging through the cupboards and drawers. She was my little assistant. She placed all the paper cupcake liners in the pan, alternating the colors brilliantly and then helped to make the cake batter, with the exception of using the hand mixer. You see, she doesn’t care for the noise. She promptly left the prep area until that was over and returned to the quiet serenity of the kitchen. Flashback to my eldest son when he was four. He couldn’t stand noise too. When I took him for a haircut to a salon, everyone was required to turn their blowdryers OFF when he walked in.
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Needless to say, he received the fastest haircut in the history of haircuts.

Back to baking…..here’s what transpired with our project. We ended up making enough cupcakes to open a store and then some. After churning out the goods, we iced them, photographed them and proceeded to stuff them into our faces. All in all, a really good day.

MISS O’s CUPCAKES

-1 box of confetti cake mix
-3 eggs
-1/2 cup of oil
-1 cup of milk
-1 box of vanilla pudding

Preheat oven to 350 F. Warn Miss O. that the mixer is going to be turned on. Watch her run and hide. Beat ingredients with the very loud mixer for 30 seconds at low speed. Continue beating at medium high speed for another 2 minutes. Call Miss O. back into the kitchen and tell her that the noise is OVER. We made mini cupcakes so this is what happens next. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes. Test with toothpick. You will have enough batter to make to make approximately 36 mini cupcakes.
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Completely cool, (this is the hard part…..FOUR YEAR OLDS DON’T LIKE TO WAIT…..but then again…..neither do I). Pipe your frosting on and stuff a “tester” cupcake into your face just to make sure they are good.cupcakes2cupcakes1
Pretty in Pink (or Purple) Icing
-1 can of buttercream icing
-2 – 3 drops of organic food coloring
Blend and place into piping bags fitted with tip.cupcakes8cupcakes9
Miss O. wanted to share her truckload of cupcakes with her school mates. Special thanks to my sister-in-law for calmly cleaning the icing off surfaces that have never seen food.cupcakes12cupcakes15cupcakes13
See ya next week!
debi @thegardenofeatin
xoxoxo
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categories: Baking, Dessert, Eggs, Little Miss Foodie, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

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