Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Menu

Christmas Menu 

Christmas Eve Buffet
(Potato and Leek Soup)
2 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into rings
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2-3 teaspoons minced garlic
4 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
2 t parsley or 1 t thyme (if you have it)
or 2 t herbes de provences
2 t nutmeg
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or half and half
salt and pepper, to taste
In a large stock pot melt butter over low heat. Add leeks and onion, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute (don’t let it burn or it will make your soup bitter!)
Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add herbs and nutmeg and stir well. Cover pot and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes.
Add chicken stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook, partially covered for 30 minutes.
Take off heat and puree soup in blender or food processor or with immersion blender (this one is by the easiest. You can borrow my immersion blender if you want!). Slowly add cream and stir. If you like your soup thinner or thicker you can adjust the amount of cream you add. If you add more cream, you’ll need to add more salt to taste.

Brie en Croute

1/2 package puffed pastry sheets
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 T Dijon mustard
½ c pesto
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds or walnuts
1 (13.2 ounce) round Brie cheese
Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix egg and water.
Unfold pastry sheet on lightly floured surface. Roll
into 14 inch square. Cut off corners to make a circle. Spread mustard to within 1 inch of pastry edge. Spread pesto over cheese and top with nuts. Top with cheese. Brush edge of circle with egg mixture. Fold two opposite sides over cheese. Trim remaining two sides to 2 inch from edge of cheese. Fold these two sides onto the round. Press edges to seal. Place seam-side down on baking sheet. Decorate top with pastry scraps if desired in the shape of holly and leaves or a bow. Brush with egg mixture.
Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Let stand 1 hour. Serve with crackers.

Artichoke Dip
1 (6.5 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
and quartered
1 cup mayonnaisse
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
.Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned. Serve warm.
Other items on the buffet:
Crackers (“grown-up” crackers and fishy crackers), Pepperoni and salami etc, baguettes, brie, shrimp, American meats and cheese, Martinelli’s and chocolates.

Christmas Breakfast

Christmas Morning Sausage Casserole
This is what we gorge ourselves on late Christmas morning when we're in a sugar fog from the goodies in our stockings and need something substantial! I make it the night before, and then just stagger over to the oven in the morning and pop it in!

1 pd sage flavored breakfast sausage
1/2 cup onion (or 2 T dried, minced onion)
3 cups frozen shredded potatoes
1/4 cup butter, melted
12 oz shredded cheddar
1 16 oz container cottage cheese
6 eggs
Brown sausage and onion and set aside to cool. Thaw potatoes (I just do it in the microwave) and mix in melted butter. Put potatoes in the bottom of a 9x13 pan and spread evenly. In a mixing bowl, add eggs and mix thoroughly. Then add sausage and onions, cheese, and cottage cheese and stir well. Pour egg mixture on top of potatoes (Bake for one hour at 375 (You may need to put foil on top the last few minutes so the edges don't burn. (This can be assembled the night before, which is what we usually do late Christmas Eve. I brown the sausage while I'm wrapping presents and then just throw it all together in a whirl of eggs, cheese, and grace!)
Christmas Day Sugar Cookies
1 ½ c sugar
1 c butter
3 oz softened cream cheese
½ t salt
2 t vanilla
½ t almond extract
3 eggs
4 c flour
2 t cream of tartar
2 t baking powder ¼ c sour cream
7-10 minutes at 350
  Babonne's Belgian Waffles

2 and 1/4 ounces of yeast (9 1/4 ounce packages OR 6 T, plus 2 ¼ t) (It sounds like a lot, but that's really how much you use!)
41/2 cups warm water
1 t. sugar
6 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
1 pound melted butter
3 cups sugar
2 pounds flour (about 9 cups)
Raw sugar (You can find this in the baking section--sometimes it's called kosher sugar and it looks like giant sugar crystals)
Dissolve yeast in warm water and mix in 1 teaspoon sugar. Let mixture rise in 200 degree oven for 15 minutes.
In large mixing bowl, mix egg yolks with melted butter. Add flour and yeast mixture and mix well. Put moistened towel over bowl and let rise for 30 minutes. Just before dough is done rising, beat egg whites until peaks form. Fold egg whites into risen dough. Add 3 cups sugar.
This is what the consistency should look like

Cook dough in Belgian waffle iron right away--don't let it sit for too long. 

As soon as each waffle comes out of the waffle iron, sprinkle each side with raw sugar. Cut each small square in half so that each batch makes 8 triangular pieces. They're best while they're still hot.
Christmas Dinner

Boeuf Borguignon

1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 cup Cognac
1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
1 can (2 cups) beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound frozen whole onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
For serving:
1. Country bread or Sour Dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove
2. 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
Dutch Oven French Bread
¼ t yeast
1 ½ t salt
1 ½ c water
3 c flour
Combine all ingredients and let sit for 12 hours. Fold over once and form into ball. Heat up oven to 450 and heat up dutch oven with cover on. Place parchment paper in dutch oven and set dough in the middle of it. Cook 20 minutes with cover on and cook 15 minutes with cover off. Let sit for at least 20 minutes before eating so dough is completely cooked in the middle.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Harry Potter Recipes

Harry Potter Recipes

Hedwig and Errol Owl Cupcakes

To decorate each cupcake you'll need:

2 Chocolate or Golden Oreos

1 Runt Banana

2 Junior Mints


To assemble:

1-Separate each of your Oreos, being as careful as you can to keep the frosting on ONE side of the cookie. You'll use the frosted side for the eyes and the non-frosted side for the feathers above the eyes.

2- Frost each cupcake with enough frosting to make sure the eyes will stick on. Stick on oreo eyes and runts nose

3-Dab a little frosting on the back of each junior mint and stick it to the middle of the eye

4- Break your non-frosted Oreo into pieces for the feathers. (I think that half is too big to stay on the top of your cupcake. I like to use a third of the cookie for each of the feather pieces above the eyes.

5-Place about 1/2 cup frosting in a plastic bag and

cut off about 1/8 inch from the tip (not very much then). Pipe lines of frosting onto the feather cookie pieces, making an upward motion and the end of each line to get the "feathered" look. You can also add these feather lines below each eye.

5- With white frosting, pipe a small white dot in each eye.

Butterbeer Cupcakes

Yellow Cake Mix

1 1/3 cups cream soda

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1/3 cup butterscotch syrup (found with ice cream toppings)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cupcake tin with baking cups. Mix together cake mix, soda, oil, eggs, and syrup in mixer at low sped for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.

Fill a pastry bag with butterscotch buttercream (recipe follows) and pipe onto the top of each cupcake. Zig zag butterscotch ganache over top of buttercream.

Butterbeer Ganache

Melt butterscotch chips at 30 second intervals in microwave. Add 2 T cream and stir until smooth. Put in a plastic bag and snip 1/8 inch off the tip so you can pipe it nice and thin.

Butterbeer Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 16-oz. package powdered sugar, added slowly because you might not need all of it

1-2 T milk or cream

1/3 cup butterscotch ganache

In medium sized mixing bowl, stir vanilla and ganache into butter. Add appromimately 12 oz of powdered sugar and stir well. Add 1 T milk or cream. Keep adding powdered sugar and mixing until you’ve reached desired consistency. You can also add the other tablespoon of mik or cream as needed. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes, zig-zag with ganache and then gobble one up for goodness sake, because you deserve it!

Cauldron Cakes Yup. This is a longun’. But once you do a quick read-through and see all of the pictures, you’ll get it, by George (or by Fred—I can’t remember which one.)

Chocolate cupcakes 
 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips 3-4 T cream 2 cups marshmallow cream (fluff or generic brand) 1 c sugar ½ c shortening 2 t vanilla

Chocolate Ganache: In microwave safe bowl, put 2 cups chocolate chips. Heat for 30 seconds then stir. Put back in microwave for 30 more seconds and stir until smooth. Add cream. You may need to heat for another 30 seconds if chocolate starts to seize up. Put cooled ganache in a plastic bag.

Marshmallow Filling: In a medium bowl, beat together the marshmallow fluff, shortening, sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside

To make these look like the cauldrons so adorable, they’d make even Snape smile, you’re going to make the flat side the top and the rounded side the bottom. (In other words, they’ll be upside down). If necessary, use a sharp knife to round off the sides if your cupcakes sunk a bit when they baked.

Put three chocolate chips flat size OUT in the ganache to form three points of a triangle (see photo). The chocolate chips are what will help your cupcake to stand up, sort of like your cauldron “feet.” Put the cupcakes in the fridge or freezer until the ganache has hardened a bit (about 3-5 minutes).

Hollow out each cupcake from the FLAT bottom using a sharp-tipped knife and then a spoon. You’ll want a hole that’s about 1 inch wide by 1.5 inches deep.

Add a dollop (is that a specific enough measurement for you) of ganache to the hole of your cauldron. This will be a yummy chocolatey surprise in the “potion.”

Trace around the flat top edge of your cauldron with your bag of ganache. Place cupcakes in freezer or fridge until the ganache has hardened again.

Fill plastic bag with marshmallow filling and cut off ½ inch of tip. Pipe into the cavity of the cupcakes. I like to use a circular motion to make it look like bubbles.

To make cauldron handle, melt the remaining chocolate chips, stir until smooth, and place into a plastic bag. Cut off the very tip of bag (only about 1/8 inch). Form handles on wax paper or freezer paper and put in the fridge or freezer. You can use one of the cucakes to guide you about how wide to make your handle. However, you don’t have to be exact in the width because the chocolate will be malleable as you put the handle on the cupcake. Let the chocolate set until hardened. Carefully peel off handles and stick them into the ganache around the edge of your cauldron. Do this at the last minute because they melt dreadfully fast (sort of like the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz)!

This may make your eyes cross at first, but once you get the hang of it, it really is easy and so darn cute you’ll want to make them for all of your Halloween Party needs too!

Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

2 pounds rump roast

garlic powder to taste

salt to taste

freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375. Pat roast dry with paper towels and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake on a wire rack inside of a large roasting pan in the preheated oven for 90 minutes, or to desired doneness (we usually cook ours for about 2 hours because the kids like it well done). Remove roast from pan, reserving drippings.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the two eggs until frothy. In another small bowl, mix the salt and flour. Stir the beaten eggs into the flour. Stirring constantly, gradually pour in the milk.

Preheat oven to 400. Pour the reserved pan drippings into a medium muffin tin so you have some drippings in each tin. Try and get drippings in the bottom and on the sides so the puddings don’t stick. Place in the preheated oven for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the egg, flour and milk mixture into the hot drippings. Return muffin tin to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until fluffy and golden brown. Serve with potatoes and gravy. There are usually plenty of drippings to use for the puddings and some gravy.

Bacony Brussel Sprouts

Like Ron, you’ll have to shell these by hand. No magic allowed. Stop whining. If you haven’t tried Brussel Sprouts or have a bad impression of them, try these!

2 strips thick-cut bacon or turkey bacon

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed

1/2 large onion, chopped or 2 T dried minced onion

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut sprouts in half and put aside. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. (Or you can cook it for two minutes in the microwave. Just make sure you don’t burn it.) Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, then roughly chop. In same pan with bacon fat, melt butter over high heat. Add onions and Brussels Sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss bacon back into pan. Serve immediately.

Kreacher’s French Onion Soup

Aren’t we glad Harry learned to be nice to Kreacher in Book Seven? Best. Elf-made Onion Soup. Ever.

4 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

2 large red onions, thinly sliced

2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced

1 (48 fluid ounce) can chicken broth

1 (14 ounce) can beef broth

2 T red wine vinegar (optional)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 sprigs fresh parsley

1 sprig fresh thyme leaves (or, if you’re too cheap to buy fresh herbs like I sometimes am, you can use 3t dried parsley and 2 t dried thyme)

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 thick slices French or Italian bread

8 slices Gruyere or Swiss cheese slices, room temperature

1/2 cup shredded Asiago or mozzarella cheese, room temperature

4 pinches paprika

Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in salt, red onions and sweet onions. Cook 35 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized and almost syrupy.

Mix chicken broth, beef broth, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce into medium-sized pot. Bundle the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf with twine and place in pot. If you’re using dried herbs, put them in a small saucepan with about 2 cups of broth. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you’re using fresh herbs, remove and discard the herbs. If you’re using dried ones, strain the broth into the larger pot (This will take out all of the dried herbs, but give you the infused broth with all of that yummy, herby flavor for a fraction of the cost!)

In larger pan, reduce the heat to low, mix in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep over low heat to stay hot while you prepare the bread.

Preheat oven broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and broil 3 minutes, turning once, until well toasted on both sides. Remove from heat; do not turn off broiler.

Arrange 4 large oven safe bowls or crocks on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill each bowl 2/3 full with hot soup. Top each bowl with 1 slice toasted bread, 2 slice Gruyere cheese and 1/4 of the Asiago or mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a little bit of paprika over the top of each one (This is optional. I know sometimes you just don’t have paprika lying around.).

Broil 5 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. As it softens, the cheese will cascade over the sides of the crock and form a beautifully melted crusty seal. Serve immediately! (Ack. This is making my mouth water just thinking about it! Kreacher! Please make me some soup! Where is my house elf when I need him?)

Bangers and Mash

2 pounds potatoes

8 links Cumberland sausage (Italian sausage may be substituted)

1 tablespoon oil

1 large onion

2 tablespoons flour

4 cups chicken stock

4 tablespoons cream

2 ounces butter

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 tablespoons mustard (we like spicy brown mustard or a nice grainy mustard), plus mustard for dipping

Salt and pepper

Peel and dice potatoes. Cover with water and add salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Prick sausages two or three times on each side with a fork. Brown sausages on both sides in skillet and remove to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Slice the onion and cook in skillet until soft. Add 2 tablespoons flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and return the sausage to the pan. Cook it through for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and mash with a potato masher or a fork. Don’t over-mash! You want them to only be slightly mashed. Add the cream, butter, sour cream and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with sausages with a side of mustard for dipping.

Dumbledore’s Yule Ball Pork Chops

For when you can’t just clap your hands and have them magically appear

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

3/4 cup bread crumbs (I like to use Italian-seasoned ones to add more flavor. Panko bread crumbs are the best, but the normal ones work as well)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 egg, lightly beaten

4 bone-in pork loin chops

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon butter

In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, sage and lemon peel. Place egg in shallow bowl. Coat pork chops with flour mixture, dip in egg, then coat with breadcrumb mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes.

In a skillet, brown chops in oil and butter for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a greased 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until juices run clear. We usually serve these with rice.

Ron’s Bacon-wrapped Drumsticks

This one’s for you, Ron Weasley—the boy who was perpetually found with either a drumstick or potatoes in your mouth.

12 chicken drumsticks

12 slices center-cut bacon

salt and black pepper to taste

1 onion, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed (we used russets)

Seasoning Mix:

2 tablespoons dried chives

2 tablespoons dried basil

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon adobo seasoning

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Preheat oven to 400 Wrap each chicken piece in a slice of bacon, trying to cover as much of the chicken as possible. Place the wrapped chicken pieces in a 9x13 inch baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle the onion over the chicken. Push potatoes down into the spaces between the chicken pieces and around the edge of the dish.

Combine the chives, basil, garlic powder, adobo seasoning, and black pepper in a small bowl, and sprinkle the seasoning to taste over the chicken and potatoes.

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, until the bacon is crisp and brown and the potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with salt, if desired, and serve hot.

Molly’s Magical Meat Pie

½ pound ground sausage (we like spicy to add more flavor)

½ pound ground beef

2 t minced garlic

2 t all spice (or nutmeg if you don’t have it)

2 t dried parsley (or Italian seasoning)

1 teaspoon paprika (optional)

2-3 T dried minced onion

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups beef broth

1 cup cubed cooked potatoes (We just use frozen hashbrowns, but you can cube and cook your own. . . obviously [that sounds like Snape].)

Salt and pepper to taste


There is NO SHAME is using a store-bought crust! But. . . if you want to make your own:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold butter or margarine

6 tablespoons shortening

4 tablespoons cold water

1 egg, plus 2 t water, beaten

Combine the flour and salt; cut in the butter and shortening until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms two equal balls. Roll out pastry to fit pie pan.

In a skillet, brown sausage and beef until almost cooked through. Drain fat. Add spices, garlic, and onion and cook for two more minutes. Add flour and stir. Add broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil and stir in the potatoes. Cook until heated through.

Place one crust in bottom of pie pan and trim to 1/2 in. beyond edge of dish. Fill with meat mixture. Place second crust on top and press edges of two crusts together and (if you want to be fancy—and who doesn’t?) flute edges.

Use extra crust to put a fun design on the top of your crust (as you can see, we did a lightening bolt and the deathly hallows symbol). When we do individual pies, we usually use extra crust to put the kids’ initials on top.

Brush egg wash on top of crust and prick several times with a fork. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned on edges. (You may need to cover with foil for the last few minutes.)


Cut the pie crust (or we sometimes use crescent roll sheets) into small rounds and fill with 3 t of meat mixture. Fold circle in half and seal with a fork all along the edges. Prick 2-3 times with fork and brush with egg wash. Bake at 375 for 10-13 minutes.

Treacle Tart

This is Harry’s clear favorite and I’ve always wondered why. Sounds like a many-tentacled creature to me personally. However, once I tried it, I can kind of see its appeal.

1½ cups golden syrup (recipe follows or you can buy it on amazon for about ten bucks. You can also just substitute corn syrup, but it won’t be quite the same.)

Zest of 1 large lemon, finely grated

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp ground ginger

1 cup fresh bread crumbs (you can use panko bread crumbs, but, again, it won’t be quite the same)

Special Equipment:

9 in tart pan with removable bottom

2 pie crusts (recipe follows or you can use a store-bought one. The recipe here is more like a pâte sucré or sugar dough, so if you use a store-bought crust, it will be less sweet, but it still works.)

Preheat the oven to 400. Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and mix until the dough resembles coarse bread crumbs. Mix the egg yolk with 3 tbsp cold water. Add to the dough and stir until it comes together.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 1/8 inch thick circle to line the tart pan. Trim the excess and prick with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes. Line with wax paper, fill with baking beans, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for 5 minutes. Remove and reduce the oven temperature to 375.

Warm the syrup in a saucepan with the lemon. Add the ginger. Sprinkle the bread crumbs in the tart shell (I know it sounds so weird, but it woks), pour in the syrup, and let stand for 5 minutes. Use the dough trimmings to make a lattice top. Bake for 20–30 minutes.

Golden Syrup

(You can buy this on Amazon or use the recipe that follows)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon water

1/3 cup light corn syrup

Put sugar in a small heavy pan and sprinkle it with vinegar and water. Cook over low heat, for about two minutes, but watch it carefully to make sure the sugar doesn’t crystallize. Increase heat to medium and add corn syrup cook until syrup has taken on a very light caramel color, 2 to 4 minutes (you really just have to watch it.) Do not overcook or the syrup will harden.

Immediately remove from heat. When the bubbling stops, stir well. Pour into sealed container. It can be stored at room temperature for several months.

Pumpkin Pasties

For the ride to Hogwarts or to be smuggled into the movie theater in paper bags hidden in your purse. These would also be perfect for sack lunches--they wouldn't even have to be smuggled in. . . or even "muggled" in for that matter! Ouch.

2 cups canned pure pumpkin

1 egg

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar mixed with 1 t cinnamon, set aside

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

For the lazy route (which I highly recommend): Use store-bought pie crust or sheets of crescent dough (They sell them in sheets now and they are AWESOME!)

For home-made dough: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt together. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs; stir the water in, about 2 tablespoons at a time, just until you can gather the dough together. Knead the dough a few times in the bowl, then scrape it out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough in quarters, and cut each quarter into thirds to make 12 equal portions. Roll the portions into balls. Cover the dough balls with a cloth, and allow to rest while you make the filling.

Mix the pumpkin, egg, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ginger together until smooth. On a floured surface, roll each dough ball out into a thin circle about 6 inches across; spoon about 2-3 T of filling into the center of the dough circle. Fold the dough over the filling to make a half-moon shaped pie, and crimp the edges of the crust together with a fork, leaving little fork lines in the dough. Gently lay the empanadas onto the prepared baking sheets. Brush the top of each pie with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake 11-13 minutes

Home-made Sugar Cones Yes. They are a big pain. But they are WORTH IT! Just imagine you’re in Diagon Alley, livin’ the dream.

2 large eggs 1/2 cup granulated white sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

2 - 3 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup (50 grams) all purpose flour

Vegetable oil and pastry brush

Aluminum foil, shaped in cone shapes (This can be rough. Don’t worry about getting a perfect shape)

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar until frothy. Whisk in the melted butter, milk and vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and whisk until the batter is smooth. The batter will be slightly thicker than a crepe batter.

Heat a 8-9 inch sauté pan over medium heat until it is hot. Reduce the heat to medium low and brush the pan lightly with vegetable oil. Pour or ladle about ¼ cup of batter into the pan and immediately tilt or rotate the pan so the batter forms a thin 5-6 inch. Place pan back on the heat and cook until the batter is set and you can see the underside is golden brown (2 - 4 minutes. This time will decrease will each one as the pan heats up. Just watch the color). Slip a metal spatula under the crepe and gently flip it over. Cook until golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat and slide the crepe from the pan onto your work surface. While the crepe is still hot, quickly start at one edge and roll the crepe into a cone shape. Slide it over your aluminum cone. Squeeze the tip of the cone to seal it so the ice cream won't drip out. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Continue making the rest of the cones, lightly brushing the pan with vegetable oil each time. These cones are best the day they are made. However, you can store leftover cones in a covered container. To re-crisp the cones preheat the oven to 400. Working with one cone at a time, unroll the cone until it is a circle again, place on a baking sheet and bake for about 3-5 minutes or until the crepe is hot and soft. Remove from oven and place the hot crepe on your work surface. Quickly reroll into a cone shape, again squeezing the tip of the cone so the ice cream won't drip out. Place on a wire rack to cool. Continue with the rest of the cones. If they don’t harden within about five minutes, you may need to put them in a 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes.

Makes about 8 ice cream cones.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

You don’t even need a wand to make ice cream this easy!

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup milk

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the heavy cream, milk, and sugar in a food processor, or blender, and process for about 20 to 30 seconds to distribute the sugar. Add the peanut butter and vanilla to the bowl. Process for another 30 seconds to a minute until well blended. Cover and chill over night. Once chilled, stir the mixture with a rubber spatula, transfer to an ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Raspberry Ice Cream

In honor of the fact that Dumbledore’s favorite jam is raspberry.

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

2 cups whipping cream

1 cup half-and-half cream

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the raspberries in a blender; cover and process on medium-high speed until chopped. Combine all ingredients in the cylinder of an ice cream freezer. Stir in sugar is dissolved. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

Petunia’s Pudding

Just make sure you eat it before some house-elf makes it smash in the floor1

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup white sugar

1(8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup white sugar

1 (10.75 ounce) package prepared pound cake

2 (10 ounce) packages frozen raspberries,thawed or you can use fresh raspberry jam.

In a medium bowl, beat cream with 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, cream together cream cheese, lemon juice, vanilla and 1/2 cup sugar. Fold 2 cups of whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Reserve remaining whipped cream.

Slice pound cake into 18 - 1/2 inch slices. Drain raspberries, reserving juice. Line the bottom of a 3 quart glass bowl or trifle bowl with one-third of the cake slices. Drizzle with some raspberry juice. Spread one-fourth of the cream cheese mixture over cake. Sift one-fourth of the cocoa over that. Sprinkle with one-third of the raspberries. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture, whipped cream.

Pumpkin Juice

I always think of Ron and Harry sailing along above the Hogwart's Express in Mr Weasley's be-magicked car, parched and sweaty, every time I take a swig of this. Harry's longing for it in that scene always made me want to make it!

2 cups canned pumpkin

6 cups of apple juice

2 cups of pineapple juice (or you can use 8 cups of a juice blend)

½ cup sugar or 4 T honey

Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg or Pumpkin Pie Spice (all ground, to taste)

Pour the pumpkin, apple juice and pineapple juice into a large pitcher. Add the sugar or honey stir thoroughly. Add your spices (to taste). This might take some experimentation to get right.

Chill your pumpkin juice or serve iced and enjoy!

Acid Pops They won’t burn a hole in your tongue, AND they’ll make your kids happy!

Lollipops of your choice Pop Rocks ¼ cup honey, warmed for 30 seconds in the microwave

Dip each lollipop in warmed honey and then dip it in the pop rocks. If you don’t like the taste of honey, you could do the same thing with light corn syrup.

Licorice Wands

Licorice (I like to use the Chocolate Twizzlers or the brightly colored sour kind) White Chocolate Chips Sour candy powder (from fun dips or straws, etc)

Melt chips in microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until there are no lumps.

Dip tip of licorice in the melted chocolate and then decorate with candy powder. Lay wands flat on wax paper (or a paper plate will work in a pinch) and let harden. Voila! Now go and Charm the socks off someone with your wand!

Chocolate AND Peanut Butter Frogs

Because this is way better than that much solid chocolate at once. This way you can eat TWO of them!

1 bag chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

4 cups confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon maple flavored extract

Melt chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals (do you get the feeling I do this a lot?) and stir after each one until chocolate is smooth. Set aside

To make peanut butter filling, combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and maple. You’re going to think to yourself, “Gosh, this is crumbly!” and you’ll be right. But if you want it to truly be like the inside of a peanut butter cup, you’ve GOT to trust me, okay?

With a spoon or pastry brush, brush chocolate along the inside of your frog mold. Let set in fridge. Add one half of a golf-ball sized ball to the middle of each frog. Cover with melted chocolate and let set in the fridge. Once they’re set, you can forget kissing those frogs! Eat ‘em up! If you’d like to copy a box that some brave soul scanned in, click HERE.


2 Liters Cream Soda

1-2 cups Butterscotch syrup (in the ice cream aisle)

1 pint whipped cream, divided

¼ cup sugar

Stir together soda, syrup, and ½ cup of cream. Whip the rest of the cream with sugar and put on top of each mug.

Potter Pops

1 ½ cups chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

4 cups confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon maple flavored

Lollipop Sticks

Stryrofoam! (This is a MUST so they’ll set properly without making you cry.)

Man! That ingredient list looks awfully familiar! That’s because it is! This is the same filling I used for the Frogs and I looked at those balls and thought, “We must make those into pops! NOW!”

Melt chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals, yadda, yadda, yadda. (See Chocolate Frog recipe it you need more than yaddas.) To make peanut butter filling, combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and maple. Mix well until crumbly. Form into golf-ball sized balls. At this point you could just dip them in the melted chocolate and they’d be delightful, but why not take it a step further and make POPS?!?

Dip each stick into the melted chocolate and then put it inside the peanut butter ball. Put in freezer to harden for about 5 minutes.

Using a SPOON, lather on melted chocolate so that it covers each pop. Don’t you DARE try and dip them or they’ll fall apart. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you).

Place each pop in styrofoam blck to set. Then pipe on a lightening bolt with melted white chocolate.