When I was growing up, both my mom and grandma took us to a grocery store called, The Fresh Market. To my knowledge, they are across the United States, so I’m sure you are probably familiar with it.
Apart from having organic food items, they had and still do have an AMAZING Bakery!
Well, it was considered AMAZING to a little child growing up.
We all had our favorite things we loved and pretty soon those things became something we couldn’t live without when we would go to there. At least that is what we would tell anyone who took us, in hopes we could sweet talk them into buying something for us.
We weren’t spoiled, right?
I remember my sister’s favorite were the Chocolate Eclairs. Mine were whatever Sugary Confection looked good that day…… (I never have met a baked good I didn’t like). AND…….My brother’s were the Cinnamon Twists! (Which also, eventually, became my favorite as well)
Well, when my brother and I moved away from Raleigh, we moved to an area that didn’t have a Fresh Market. Well, at least not initially.
Within a few years of living here, they actually, to our surprise, built one, not too far from our house! I was literally in heaven! Nothing will get this girl more excited than when a new awesome grocery store hits town! The first thing on my list to buy there were going to be……. you guessed it,
However, that wouldn’t happen. 🙁
I went to the store and didn’t see them. After asking an employee where they were, he told me that I must have been a Fresh Market customer for a LONG time, because they stopped making them years ago.??????????
WHAT?!?!?! , I thought?
I guess I hadn’t gone that often when I still lived in Raleigh, because I reckon I would have known this!?!?
They had some “other version ” of them now. But Y’all!!!! Let me just tell you…….
“Other Versions” just don’t cut it when you want the REAL VERSION of something. Not when you grew up having One Version of it and One Version only. Uh uh!
So, long story short….. (TOO LATE!)
I decided to make my “OWN VERSION”!
So, I hope you like them.
Here is what I did:
I took one sheet of Puff Pastry. I used Pepperidge Farm’s, but use whatever brand you like. I only had one sheet, so the recipe will be based off that. If using 2 sheets, and I definitely recommend doing that, because you will want MORE!……. just double the rest of the ingredients.
Lightly dust a counter surface with flour so that you can work with the pastry sheet and it will not stick to the counter. *You honestly don’t need much.
Mine came lined with sheets of parchment paper, so I thought it would be a great idea to use this as a “ruler” of some sort or at least something that would give me a straight edge to cut the strips with. Using a pizza cutter,
I cut several strips of the puff pastry. Make sure to cut an even amount, as you will twist two together. *NOTE: I would go back and cut the strips thinner next time. They don’t have to bake as long when they are thinner. However, these did just fine and tasted great!
Then, I took a very small amount of milk and brushed it lightly on the strips to act as a “glue” for the cinnamon and sugar.
I mixed together 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with a 1/4 cup of sugar.
I heavily sprinkled the cinnamon and sugar mixture over all of the strips. Then, I turned them over and did the exact same thing to the other sides.
Time to TWIST! Take two strips and cross them at the top, pinching together. Taking both strips, I twisted them all the way down and pinched them again at the bottom to seal.
This is what they look like when twisted. Then, I cut them in half and made sure all the ends were pinched together as well.
Smaller cut strips getting ready to go into the oven on 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. (*Thinner ones will be less)
And VOILA! Make sure to let them cool completely. As they cool, they will become stiffer and will in turn have this “crunch” to them that is simply DIVINE! That is exactly the way they used to be at The Fresh Market too! 🙂
I have to say that I was proud of myself. I surprised my brother with a few and I really hope he liked them! If he didn’t he can give them back because I know a few peeps around these parts that will gobble them up!
When the kids came home from school, they devoured them. Even my oldest, who is not a big sweet person (not sure she is really my kid……) LOVED THEM!
Then, both her and her sister decided that they would go best with Apple Cider. If you haven’t seen my Cider Recipe, you can check it out here.
Until next time…….
Recipe: Cinnamon Twists
– Flour for dusting
– 1 Frozen Puff Pastry Sheet, thawed
– 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
– 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
– Small amount of milk for brushing Pastry
– Take a small amount of Flour and lightly dust a counter or cutting board surface. Take Puff Pastry sheet, and lie flat on lightly dusted surface.
– Using a pizza cutter or knife and straight edge, cut strips in puff pastry sheet, remembering to do an even number for twisting purposes. Cutting thinner strips may work better. However, wider ones work just as well. Line strips on working surface.
– Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the Cinnamon and Sugar.
– Using a pastry brush, lightly brush surface of pastry sheets with milk.
– Heavily dust each strip with Cinnamon/Sugar mixture. Flip strips over and repeat on other side.
– Carefully, take two strips and criss-cross strips on one edge. Proceed to wrap strips around each other and secure other end just like the beginning.
– Lay strip down on cut in half, remembering to pinch the cut edges together so that they will hold their shapes. Repeat steps with remaining strips.
– Lay strips on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until puffy and golden brown. Sprinkle with additional Cinnamon/Sugar mixture if you wish.
– Allow the strips to cool completely. *If you do this, they will become crispier and fantastic! If you eat them to soon, they will not be as crispy!
It’s been a while since I did a blog post. I have been buried waist deep in these awful things called taxes. Have you ever heard of them? Oh my word, they are awful! I’ll have to tell you about them sometime……. maybe some OTHER time…..
The important thing today is cake! Not just any cake. The kind of cake that makes you wanna slap your momma! *Sorry momma! I never liked that saying. At least not until after I became a momma!! 😉
You know, I have to say, I really surprised myself on this one. Even though it was the easiest of cakes to make (more on that in a minute), it didn’t taste like it was.
It all started with my oldest turning 10 at the beginning of the month. We usually make whoever’s birthday it is, their favorite meal and their favorite cake or one of their choosing. I had just bought these premade “lemon bliss” cupcakes, or so they were called from Sam’s Club. Lee absolutely fell in love with them…. and so did everyone else.
It was decided that she wanted a cake version of the cupcakes. Now, if I were really organized and thinking ahead for this blog post, I would have taken a picture of them. But that just wouldn’t be me. 😉
So instead, picture a lemon cupcake with a dollop of lemon pudding on top with a thin ring of buttercream icing around it.
Oh, how I love lemon!!!!
While I didn’t decide to use buttercream….. only because I felt it would have been just too much for the entire cake. I decided to go the whipped cream route instead.
This is what I did:
I took a lemon boxed cake (yes, boxed) and 2 packages of instant lemon pudding.
I did my best to evenly distribute the cake mix into two pans so that the layers would be as even as possible.
Now, here comes the stacking. However, what this picture doesn’t show is that right after this, I decided to put wax paper under the first layer to allow for spills with the whipped cream icing.
I took half of the lemon pudding and spread on top of the first layer. Then, I topped it with the second layer and spread the remaining pudding on top.
I spread it out to the edge as far as possible without dripping over.
Now, time for the whipped cream. I used my tried and true whipped cream recipe. It’s the same one I used for my Mixed Berry Tartlets. You can see it here. However, I added a teaspoon of lemon extract to amp up the lemon taste for this recipe.
Then, I just dumped it all ( a little at a time) because, well, WHY NOT?
I love whipped cream because it spreads so much easier than buttercream. I actually looked like I knew what I was doing in this pic.
Then, I just sprinkled some lemon zest on top and voila! I carefully pulled the sheets of overlapped wax paper out from under the cake and it made it look very clean.
I was so happy with how it turned out! It wasn’t just pretty, it was RIDICULOUSLY GOOD ! This recipe would be great all year long. It is light enough for Summer, even though I fixed it in the Winter.
If you fix this, I would love to know what you think !
Here is the Recipe:
Recipe: Ridiculously Good Lemon Cake
– 1 Lemon Flavored Box Cake ( I used the Very Moist Version) *You will also need oil, eggs, and water according to cake mix.
– 2 Boxes Lemon Instant Flavored Pudding
– 1 1/2 Cups Skim Milk
– 1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
– 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
– 1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
– Lemon Zest (Optional)
– Prepare cakes according to directions. Allow to cool completely.
– When cakes are completely cooled, prepare lemon pudding by mixing together 2 packages pudding mix with milk. Whisk for 1- 2 minutes or until pudding becomes thick.
– Prepare whipped cream icing by mixing heavy whipping cream with sugar and lemon extract with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks.
– Start layering cakes by first, laying wax paper pieces in an overlapping patter on top of a cake plate. Put first cake layer on top of the sheets.
– Spread half of the prepared pudding on top of first layer.
– Top with second cake layer and gently press on top, allowing the pudding between layers to spread slightly.
– Spread prepared whipped cream over top and sides of cake.
– Sprinkle with (optional) lemon zest.
*For best results, refrigerate for 1 hour prior to serving.
Now that school is back,
I really want to utilize my time and be more productive during the day. I have all these wish lists of things I want to accomplish. Like for instance, simplifying MY LIFE! LOL! That will always be #1 and most important on my list. However, I will probably NEVER accomplish it……. and I’m ok with that……… most of the time.
One thing I can probably, maybe, sort of do that with is dinner. You always hear about 30 minute meals and while some of them are good…… others are GREAT!
I happened to find one of those the other night when I was scouring the internet for some culinary inspiration. I ended up finding this one on my Calendar site I use, www.cozi.com.
It was SOOOOOOO good! The best part was that my kids gobbled it up and my little one didn’t even realize that there was Spinach in it!
It’s so nice to only mess up one pan when cooking and not a million bajillion (is that a word?) of them. I honestly do not know how my fingers do not shrivel up and wither away from all the pots and pans I wash????
You MUST give this one a try!
Recipe: Beef Orzo Skillet
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes ( I use the garlic, basil, oregano flavor)
- 1½ cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 tsp minced fresh oregano or ½ tsp crumbled dried oregano
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 8 ounces orzo pasta, dried (1 cup) – try whole wheat if you can find it!
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- ½-¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Sprinkle salt into a 10 to 12 inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Crumble beef into pan and cook, stirring often, until meat begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium, stir in onion, and continue to cook, stirring, until onion is soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Drain grease from meat in a colander and return to pan.
- Add garlic, tomatoes (break them up with a spoon) and their liquid, broth, oregano, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil then stir in pasta. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until pasta is tender to bite, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, squeeze as much liquid as possible from spinach. Stir spinach into pasta mixture just until heated through. Serve with cheese to add to taste.
*By the way, if you like a spicy kick, do what my hubby and I do and add cayenne pepper to yours!
I think everyone needs a good Scrub.
Sugar Scrub that is.
Whether you are a Dude or a Dudette,
we all get dry skin in the Winter ,
for some of us, Summer too! (Umm, yeah that would be me.)
I have an easy home recipe here that takes less than 5 minutes to whip up.
Most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry.
The only ingredient that most do no have is the essential oil.
Other than that, it is just Sugar, Olive Oil (I have Extra Virgin), Chamomile Tea, and your favorite Essential Oil.
The Essential Oil will give you your scent. I used Lavender which gives a Soothing quality so if you are going to bed afterwards, it really helps to calm you.
Lemon is a great scent too!
I almost did Peppermint, so when I run out of this one, I’ll probably do that next time.
You can find Essential Oils at your local craft store, but I bought mine at my local Health Store, called Bay Naturals.
Here is a link to their store: www.bay-naturals.com
The best thing about this is the fact that it makes your skin feel SOOO smoothe when you are finished.
You will have a glow to your skin and who doesn’t love that, right?
Recipe: Lavender Sugar Scrub
– 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
– 3/4 Cup Olive Oil
– 1 Chamomile Tea Bag
– 1/2 Teaspoon Essential Oil such as Lavender
– Cut open tea bag and pour into medium sized mixing bowl.
– Add Sugar and mix well.
– Using 1/4 Cup at a time, add Olive Oil to Sugar mixture until it is the texture of “wet sand”.
– Add essential oil. *If you would like to use more than recipe suggests, that is fine. Add to your liking, but be careful! A little goes a long way and may end up being too strong if you are not careful.
– Store in air tight container.
– Wet skin and using scrub, gently massage onto body.
– Allow to sit on skin for 2 to 3 minutes before thoroughly rinsing.
*Be careful, shower floor may be slightly slippery afterwards, so use caution and REMEMBER: A little goes a long way!
Have fun with it! Try your favorite essential oil!
( * This was not a paid advertisement for Bay Naturals. I simply bought my ingredients there. )