The Ginger bread House

Every year since my son was born we have made ginger bread houses. When he was really little we made houses out of graham crackers. That is the easiest to do with little ones.

Then when he got to be  about 4 or 6 we bought the prepackaged houses and would add our own candy.

It wasn’t till a few years ago that we started to make our own houses from scratch. I found a recipe  from a friend and we made our own dough. I drew the house out first and everything I wanted on the houses.Then I cut that out and put the houses together to make sure that it would fit. I actually had a few templates until I came up with one that worked. I then used those templates to cut out the dough.

After rolling out the dough, lay the templates on the dough and cut around. Place these sections on a bake  sheet and bake to temperature in recipe. As soon as the baked ginger comes out of the oven, clean up the edges with a knife. This will make it easier to put together when it is cool. Make sure the ginger is fully cool when you go to ensemble it. I found it helpful to have something for the walls to lean against when putting it together. Start with 2 walls and wait until that is dry before putting up everything else.

We love going to the candy store to find our decorations for the house. The other thing we do is save candy from my son’s trick or  treat bag. We put it in the freezer until December.

These pictures were our houses last year. I’m behind on doing this years houses. Hopefully we will get to it this weekend. I made the dough yesterday during our snow storm. This year I’m going to try a recipe from Martha Stewart. I down loaded her templates and cut them out. I’ll share it when we are done.

Enjoy this wonderful Christmas season.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Tracy

Cake Idea

Cake Idea for Your adventurer

My son wanted a Indiana Jones cake for his Birthday this year.
I used the following recipe for the cake and the frosting.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 3/4 cups of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another large bowl beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla.Add eggs one at a time.
Add dry mixture and milk, Alternate between the two. Pour into pan. I used 13x9x2 inch baking
pan.
Grease and lightly flour the pan before pouring batter in.
Bake at 375′ for 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool cake in pan on rack for 10 minutes before removing. Cool cake thoroughly before frosting.

Frosting
1/3 cup of butter
4 1/2 cups of powered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
milk
food coloring

Beat butter till fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of sugar. Slowly add 1/4 cup of milk and vanilla.
Add rest of sugar.Add more milk if needed for frosting consistency. Add food coloring.

I used twine tied to tooth picks. I put the frosting on the twine so it would resemble vines. I mixed yellow, red, and blue to make the base of the cake. For the vines I used green mixed with some of the base frosting. I purchased the figures at a local cake shop.

Raspberry Turnovers

Here is an older post I had this past summer on my blog at e blogger. I’m going to be transferring everything over.

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Tonight grandparents and great gram came over for dessert. We served raspberry turnovers. The raspberries come from Monahan Farm. I made a dozen or so turnovers when we picked the raspberries few Weeks ago. They are easy to make and freeze well. The recipe is below. I got the recipe from Better Homes & Garden New Cook Book. I have modified it a little for our family.
Pastry for Double-Crust Pie

  1. 2 cups of flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 2/3 cup of shortening ( I like to use butter that is local)
  4. 6 to 7 tablespoons of water

Double this recipe to make 8 turn overs

Stir together flour and salt. Cut in the shortening till pieces are pea size.( You can use two knifes or pastry blender to combined the two).

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over part of the mixture: gentle toss with fork. Push moistened dough to the side of bowl. Repeat using 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture is moistened. Dived the dough into 4 balls ( 8 if you doubled the crust recipe) . Put the dough in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Raspberry Filling

  1. 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  3. 5 cups of fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries

In a large bowl stir together the sugar and flour. Add raspberries. Gently toss until all the raspberries are coated. If using frozen fruit let it sit for about 15 to 30 minutes .

Roll out each pasty ball into a circle. Dough should be smooth before you place the filling on top. Place about 1/4 cup of filling on each pasty . Fold in half. Press edges of Turn Overs with a fork. Mark slits on top with a fork. Place on a cookie sheet or flat cooking stone.

Place parchment paper on rack to catch any over flow. Cover edges with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Cook in a 375* oven for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 20-30 minutes. Frozen berries will take longer to cook. You can tell when they are done by looking at the crust. It should be golden brown. The juice that seeps out should be thick.

You can also cook these on the grill (I used a couple mini cast iron skillets). Grease bottom on pans.Place two turnovers in each pan. Have grill on low. The temperature should be around 300*. You do have to keep constant watch when it is on the grill. If it is cooking to fast, move to a part of the grill that doesn’t have any flame. The heat will cook the turnover. Use a metal spatula to lift around the turnover as it cooks. This keeps it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

You could use almost any fruit in this turnover. Raspberries turnovers just happen to be my husband’s favorite. My son & I love apple. Can’t wait for apple picking season.

ENJOY and HAVE FUN!