Thoughtfully prepared, Brussels sprouts can be as delicious as they are nutritious – and WOW are they vitamin packed! This simple recipe Continue reading
Whether you’re looking for something to bring to the office holiday party or a knockout hostess gift, you can’t go wrong with Brandied Cherry Truffles. Continue reading
No, this isn’t really candy – it’s simply preserved fruit that tastes like candy. With no added sugar, these chewy mango strips are a high fiber, guilt-free snack! Continue reading
In my Midwest US community, pineapple is selling for $1.29 this week at Aldi. I have a sister-in-law who lives in Hawaii (I’m not irrationally jealous, really. Mostly.). Do you know what she told me pineapple is selling for in Hawaii – you know, where pineapple is grown?
I can’t make this stuff up.
Today we’re taking advantage of this insanely low price by preserving pineapple in canning jars. It’s super easy, and tastes just like fresh Continue reading
Hop. Hop. Hippidy Hop. That bunny is heading our way, and wouldn’t it be nice if he arrived with a basket of homemade Easter candy? Jelly Bean Brittle is awesome for so many reasons… it’s super easy (Can you boil water? That’s about the only skill you need!), doesn’t require any expensive ingredients, and unlike peanut brittle, is completely free of common allergens. This recipe makes a great big pan (about 2 1/2 pounds’ worth) – perfect for an office or a classroom!
The only special item you will need is a candy thermometer. Now, don’t panic – a candy thermometer looks like any other thermometer, and just clips right onto your pot. All you need to do is READ it, and if you are reading this blog post, you’ve got that skill locked. Here is a link to the simple candy thermometer that I use:
It’s less than $6, and if you order it today you’ll be able to make Jelly Bean Brittle before Easter. You’re welcome. Let’s get started!
1 pound bag of mini jelly beans
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (no lumps!)
Step 1) Clip your candy thermometer to the side of a big, old pot. The tip of the thermometer should not be touching the bottom of the pot. Add sugar, corn syrup, water, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently.
Step 2) Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce heat slightly (low-medium) and allow to continue boiling until the temperature gauge on your candy thermometer reaches the line labeled “Hard Crack” or 295 degrees. Be patient – this will take 20 – 30 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally.
Step 3) While your mixture boils, prepare your pan. First, cover your largest baking pan with aluminum foil; don’t forget to cover the sides. Next, grease the aluminum foil with the wrapper from a stick of butter. Then, evenly distribute jelly beans on the foil.
Step 4) When your boiling mixture reaches the Hard Crack stage, turn off the heat and sprinkle baking soda into the pot. STIR QUICKLY! A chemical reaction will take place, causing the boiling mixture to foam and froth. This is normal – and exciting!
Step 6) After about 10 minutes, your jelly bean brittle will be ready to break apart into bite size pieces. Store in an airtight container to keep nice and fresh!
PS – About that pot… just add a drop of dish soap and fill with BOILING water. It’ll come clean in seconds.
This vintage post was popular the first time around, and Crowded Earth Kitchen has several hundred new readers (Welcome!) since last St. Patrick’s Day, so I’m sharing this again. Enjoy!
“Mom? Can we just stop at the drive-thru and get a (green) shake?”
“Pleeaassee? I’ll do laundry.”
I’ll admit, this is where the devil on my shoulder told me that I would be a fool not to cave in just this once, and so what if the child glows in the dark for the next two weeks. The fact is, the children in my house generate approximately 817 loads of laundry every week, and the offer of complaint-free laundry labor was enticing (that they will end up helping anyway, albeit under duress, is beside the point). Then I had an idea…
“Still no. But if you help with laundry cheerfully, I’ll make you a (green) shake.”
Here’s what I came up with. The kids LOVED it! Peppermint extract is strong… a little bit can make, well, just about anything taste like peppermint. Each serving (approximately 10 ounces) contains 113 calories, 4 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, and 5 grams of protein. Each serving also packs an impressive 60% of the Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin A, and 20% of the RDA for calcium. Compare that to the drive-thru green shake… I dare you.
1 cup frozen chopped spinach (Ha! Ha ha ha!)
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 cup “real” vanilla ice cream, without any weird ingredients (I found a supermarket brand that was made from milk, cream, sugar, egg yolk, natural vanilla extract, and nothing else)
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (Very strong! You may even want to try a bit less than 1 teaspoon.)
Dark chocolate shavings (Optional)
Step 1) Add spinach and about half of the skim milk to a blender. Pulse for a few seconds to thoroughly chop spinach into tiny “peppermint” size pieces.
Step 2) Add remaining milk to blender and blend for a minute or a longer until the mixture is very creamy (almost butter-like) and increases in volume. The photo, left, shows only spinach and milk – it really does get creamy!
Step 3) Add peppermint extract and ice cream to blender. For best results, add ice cream in several tiny scoops rather than one large scoop. Blend until all ingredients are combined.
Step 4) Mixture will be tasty now, but thin. For best results, pour shake mixture into a shallow container and place in the back of your freezer for one hour. After an hour, scoop shake mixture into serving glasses (I used half pint jelly jars). Sprinkle with chocolate shavings, if desired.
Step 5) Try not to laugh as your loved ones unwittingly eat their spinach.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!