Friday, December 23, 2011

Chocolate Popcorn Balls

Christmas brings out the kids in us doesn't it? I was feeling nostalgic this year and wanted these popcorn balls. This recipe was one of my dad's favorites at Christmas time.  He used to mix these up and want us to help form them into balls while the candy was still hot. I remember his large hands, dripping with butter, pressing the chocolate coated corn into balls, while my sister and I whined that it was too hot! I think the nerve endings in my hands have aged, because it wasn't too hot for me this time. I haven't made them for over 25 years, I suppose, but it was fun to think of my dad while I was making them this year.

1 1/2 quarts popped corn (plain)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white Karo
1 1/2 ounce baking chocolate
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
Mix sugar, water & Karo in saucepan over low heat, Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Then bring to a simmer until candy thermometer is at 242 degrees or soft ball stage. This can take quite a while, but stick by it, you don't want to over cook it. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. When melted, remove from heat but leave over hot water. When syrup is ready, pour chocolate into syrup and blend well (wipe condensation from bottom of pan or it will drip into syrup). Pour mixture over popped corn and fold until well coated. While still very warm, butter hands well and make into 3" balls, pressing corn together firmly, but not so it is crushed. Makes about 10 balls. I doubled the recipe successfully, but be sure to measure carefully in any case.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thread Painting Class

Here's the result of a thread painting class that I took at my quilt guild in September. The class was taught by Chris Eichner and she did a good job. The wall hanging is based on her design, though the fabric choices and all the work is mine. I think it turned out very well.

Sweet Potato Pie (with no crust)

It is not my intention to have a "gluten free" recipe blog, but since I went gluten free recently, I am finding that I feel better and it's not always easy to find things that I want to eat and are economical. I treated myself to a delicious lunch yesterday at the local deli that was not inexpensive and I can't do that all the time!
So, today I decided to make a dessert  that I can eat to take to a potluck tonight. I wanted a pumpkin dessert, but since I don't have any on hand, I chose to cook up some sweet potatoes that were here and make this (sorry about the bite out of the corner. I couldn't recommend it if I didn't taste it!)

Crustless Pumpkin/Sweet Potato pie
Recipe by Becky Ray
Total preparation and cooking time: 1:10
Serves 9
2 cups pumpkin puree, or sweet potoatoes
4 oz neufchatel cheese, sofened
1/2 cup lowfat yogurt, plain
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Chop pecans and brown sugar in food processor, remove and set aside. Place pumpkin, neufchatel
cheese and yogurt in food processor bowl (or mixing bowl and use electric beater) pulse until blended.
Add eggs, brown sugar, spice, vanilla and salt. Pulse until mixture is smooth and well blended, scraping
down sides with spatula, if necessary. Pour in to greased 8x8 baking pan. Melt butter and pour over
pecans and brown sugar. Sprinkle nut mixture over pumpkin mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1
hour (begin checking on it at about 50 minutes), until knive inserted halfway to center comes out clean.
Cool and refrigerate. Serve cold, with whipped topping of choice.
Here's the nutritional information from my cooking software: Per serving: 163.6 Calories; 9.4g Fat (50.1% calories from fat); 4.6g Protein; 16.5g Carbohydrate;
77mg Cholesterol; 110mg Sodium

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More Tunnel

I should have mentioned that the tunnel quilt was inspired by a photograph taken by Eric McCarty of Click on Menus and then Road Gallery to see the original photo. Be sure to check out more pics there, because Eric has a wonderful eye for photographs. He also is president of a wedding venue site, created to help in planning your wedding. Please go visit these sites!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I am so excited to report that the big sister (56"x46") of the small "Tunnel" has won best of show at the Appalachian Heritage Quilter's 2011 show! They placed it so that people could walk all the way around it and see the quilting on the back as well. A friend said she heard many nice comments as people looked at it.

My next announcement is that "Tunnel" has been juried into the AQS Knoxville show in July!! I have more things to do to prepare it for that show. I will have to modify the sleeve I put on, as AQS has certain guidelines for their hanging system. In any case, I am thrilled to have been accepted!