Homemade Fresh Hot Chocolate

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Homemade Fresh Hot Chocolate

1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
8 cups milk
a bit of vanilla, if desired

Combine cocoa, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Heat it on low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the paste from sticking to the pan. After about 1 to 2 minutes, add milk and vanilla. Mix it all together until it reaches your preferred temperature.

You can put this in a thermos or crockpot to take with you on picnics or potlucks.

This post is shared at The Common Room's Potluck Saturday.

Caramelized Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

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We have lots of pumpkin seeds this time of year, so we like to make tasty snacks with them. Here's one from AllRecipes.

Caramelized Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

3 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds,
washed and dried
cooking spray
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons white sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons of sugar, the cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne pepper, and set aside.

Place the pumpkin seeds on the prepared baking sheet, spray them with cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake the seeds in the preheated oven until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and stir in the toasted pumpkin seeds along with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook and stir the seeds until the sugar forms a coating on the seeds, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the caramelized seeds into the bowl of sugar-spice mixture, toss to coat, and let cool.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

9:19 AM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
Here's an easy fix if you run out of pumpkin pie spice. I read it at The Common Room.

Just mix 1/4 cup of cinnamon with 4 tsp of ground ginger, 2 tsp of nutmeg, 2 tsp allspice, 1 tsp freshly ground cloves.

How simple is that?

Breakfast Bake

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This recipe is from Large Family Logistics. I think it will go over well here. It didn't say what to bake it in or the temperature, but I assume it would be a 9x13 and I will be trying 300 degrees, if no one else advises differently. I will be doubling it and using 2 9x13's.

Breakfast Bake

Shred a few potatoes with your food processor
4 T butter, melted
8 eggs
½ c milk
2 c Jack or Cheddar shredded
1 c cooked ham, sausage, or hamburger

Beat eggs; add milk, ½ t salt, ¼ t pepper.
Mix in potatoes.
Add meat, chives, and cheese. Stir.
Bake until eggs are set.

Claussen Style Pickles with Hickory House Option

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I found this on Chickens in the Road: Instant Picklefication. I am so glad to find a refrigerator pickle that doesn't required fresh dill. It's not got a very long season around here. I just condensed my last gallon of pickles to a half gallon jar, so this is timely, too. We'll need more pickles soon!

Claussen Style Pickles with Hickory House Option

pickling cucumbers or small slicing cucumbers
fresh dill OR dried dill seed and dill weed
kosher salt
vinegar
fresh garlic
mustard seed
peppercorns
powdered allspice

hot pepper flakes

carrots OR sugar

Pickle Crisp

Select fresh, evenly colored cucumbers. Slice if desired. Wash and pack in sterilized quart jars. Place several sprays of dill on top of cucumbers. (use 1/2 Tablespoon dill weed and dill seed if not using fresh)

To each quart, add 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp mustard seed, 6 whole peppercorns, 1/8 tsp powdered allspice, 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes and either one whole sliced carrot or 1/4 tsp sugar and Pickle Crisp as per the package instructions (I doubled all of these since I used 1/2 gallon jars).

Heat 1 quart distilled water, 1 cup vinegar and 2 Tbsp fine kosher or canning salt to boiling

Cool brine, pour over cucumbers to within 1/4 inch of top. Seal. Refrigerate. This liquid may become cloudy in a few days but will soon clear. The pickles will be firm, crisp and evenly colored.

Now, for the ‘Hickory House’ version (sweet and spicy!):

Use the above recipe, but:

Increase sugar to 1 cup and add to the brine.
Increase garlic in each quart to 2 large cloves each, chopped.
Increase pepper flakes to 1 teaspoon per quart.

Cheddar Pepper Crisps

3:47 PM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
These sound SO good. It's another Taste of Home recipe from my annual collections. I think they will be making an appearance this week for a snack.

Cheddar Pepper Crisps

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons vinegar
Coarsely ground pepper

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Cut in butter
until crumbly. Stir in cheese. Sprinkle with water and vinegar.
Toss with a fork until a ball forms. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap;
refrigerate for 1 hour or until dough is firm.

Divide into six portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each
portion of dough into an 8-in. circle. Cut into eight wedges and
place on greased baking sheets. Sprinkle with pepper; lightly press
into dough. Bake at 375° for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown
and crisp. Cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 4 dozen.