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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The mean personality type

You know there are so many different personality types…it’s really amazing and mostly a wonderful thing.  We are all who we are, and changing our core differences is near impossible.  I often think we are born with these differences; maybe some are inherited but for the most part I believe these differences come from a higher power…the one I like to call God.

Today for whatever reason, I felt the need to write this down; maybe I feel it will help me get through what I’m feeling at this moment.  Possibly it’s the high dosage of a nerve pain reliever I take daily…and yes just like it says the possible side effects are it does cause depression for me on some days.   It is an overwhelming depression and feels like a heavy cloud pushing me down.  Anyway that’s not what this post is about.

I, my personality type is, well probably not a common one or at least I’ve always felt like people think I’m on my own planet and really I’m okay with that.  My head swims with ideas, so much so that I could never accomplish all that I want in one life time (I think I’ll have to come back to complete all of the tasks in my head) I’m also very organized, and can’t stand disorganization,  I actually cannot even think around a mess.  However my mind is disorganized if that makes any sense at all.  I’m also very companionate, overly so.  I cry when I see injustice and often want to right a wrong.  I will give my last dime away to someone who needs it; I always say that I’ll never be rich even if I won the lottery because I’d just give it all away. (Thank God I have a husband that keeps me in check) I’ve always been drawn to people and animals that need a friend.

After having said all of that, because that is also my personality type, (“over talking, overthinking, and lecturing”) sorry.  I am upset today.  I’m upset at another personality type that can’t let people be “nice people” that they always have to think that nice people have an ulterior motive; that no one is “that nice”.  That nice people are trying to outdo someone else that they are trying to make someone else look bad, etc…. I think they feel this way because they don’t want to be nice, they are “ME” people and never wake up thinking “what can I do today to make someone smile”.  This personality type complains and drains the life out of ever happy moment; they feel out done by the slightest acts of kindness.   I don’t wonder why there are so many frowns on people’s faces at work, at the grocery store, at public events… I don’t wonder why some people do not come to the rescue of someone in need; I don’t wonder why people are afraid to be “nice”.  I know it’s because of this personality type I’ve described.  They try to ruin every happy moment.

If you want to take the time to visit with someone that could use the company; bring gifts of food and trinkets, and just be kind to someone then that should be okay right?  But no, it’s not okay because this personality type will say….  She’s trying to make the rest of us look bad, or she’s not bringing enough, or she only brings to people she likes, on and on and on…  So there sit’s the reason I don’t wonder why more people aren’t kind or bother  going to retirement homes and visiting the residents, or going to an animal rescue and bringing much needed supplies like old towels and such, or joining groups that dedicate their time to making items for war Vets, or cancer patients….  People don’t want to get involved because this personality type is always hanging around trying to turn it into some sort of Soap Opera Drama. 
The way this economy is we need to ignore this personality type, do the right thing, help people and animals in need, and ignore the greedy!  Help your neighbors, and do your best to right a wrong.
To this personality type I say to you:  Nice people ARE NOT OUT TO GET YOU!

Vietnamese Egg Rolls

These are my all time favorite Asian food.

1/2 lb. raw shrimp, minced
1/2 lb. lean pork, minced
1/2 lb. bean sprouts
2 medium carrots, grated
2 to 3 shallots, minced, if desired
1 oz. cellophane noodles(bean threads)
1 pkg. round rice paper(available at Oriental markets)
2 eggs, beaten
Oil for deep frying
Shredded scallions for garnish, if desired
Lettuce leaves
Dipping Sauce(Nuoc Cham)
1 fresh red chili or 2 small dried chilies
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
5 t sugar
Juice and pulp of 1/4 unpeeled lime
1/4 c fish sauce(available at Oriental markets)
1/3 c water
1 T shredded carrot
1 T minced scallion

In large bowl, combine shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, carrots and shallots; set aside.
Soak cellophane noodles in warm water about 15 minutes, until flexible; drain, cut into one-inch pieces and add to meat mixture. Toss until combined.

Run one sheet of rice paper quickly under tepid water, handling carefully because paper is very brittle. Place sheet on work surface and brush quickly with egg. Let stand a few seconds, until flexible. With very sharp knife, cut into quarters(or halves, if larger rolls are desired). Place one tablespoon filling on round edge of quarter piece; roll over once, then tuck in sides to enclose filling and continue rolling. If using halves, place about 1/3 cup filling on one end, roll once, tuck in sides and roll up. Continue filling and rolling until all filling is used. The egg will hold the rolls together. In wok or 10-inch frying pan, heat oil until a drop of water jumps on the surface. Fry about eight rolls at a time until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels, garnish with scallions and serve with lettuce leaves and Nuoc Cham. Makes about 50 small or 30 large egg rolls.

Dipping Sauce (Nuoc cham)
If using fresh chili, remove seeds and membrane. In food processor or blender, combine chili, garlic, sugar, lime, fish sauce and water. Process or blend until well minced. Pour into serving dish and sprinkle with carrot and scallion. Makes about 3/4 cup

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bacon Cheddar Scones

For the scones:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. ground black pepper (depending on your preference)
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
4 green onions, thinly slices
10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk (plus up to ½ cup extra, if needed)

For the egg wash:
1 large egg
2 tbsp. water

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper; mix briefly to combine. Add the cubes of butter and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter pieces are about the size of small peas. (Alternatively, this can be done in a regular mixing bowl, using a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.) Add in the grated cheese and mix just until incorporated.
Mix in the green onions, bacon, and 1 cup of the buttermilk into the flour-butter mixture. Stir by hand just until all the ingredients are incorporated. If the dough is too dry to come together, mix in the remaining buttermilk a tablespoon or two at a time until the dough can be formed into a ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat the dough into an 8-inch disk. Slice the dough into 8 to 10 wedges.
In a small bowl combine the egg and water and whisk together. Brush each wedge lightly with the egg wash. Transfer the scones to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Homemade Marshmallows

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows
7 ounces sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1 recipe Homemade Marshmallow batter, recipe follows
Confectioners' sugar
Sprinkle half the toasted coconut in an 8 by 12-inch nonmetal pan. Pour in the marshmallow batter and smooth the top of the mixture with damp hands. Sprinkle on the remaining toasted coconut. Allow to dry uncovered at room temperature overnight.

Remove the marshmallows from the pan and cut into squares. Roll the sides of each piece carefully in confectioners' sugar. Store uncovered at room temperature.

Brownie Cookies

½ cup butter
4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups (18 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine butter, unsweetened chocolate, and 1 ½ cups chocolate chips in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter and chocolate melt; let cool.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl, set aside.

Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer. Gradually add dry ingredients to egg mixture, beating well. Then add the chocolate mixture and beat well. Stir in remaining 1 ½ cups chocolate chips.

Scoop dough onto baking sheets 1 inch appart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Source: Simply Sweet Bake Shop
Yield: 9 Cupcakes

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Pinch salt
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1/3 c. thawed frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate
1/4 c. buttermilk
Pink food coloring

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with liners. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg whites and lemonade concentrate. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until just smooth.
3. Add just enough food coloring to turn the batter a light shade of pink.
4. Scoop batter into liners (fill about three-fourths full). Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting (see below).

Lemonade Buttercream:
3 c. + 3 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. pink lemonade concentrate
Pink food coloring

1. Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, lemon juice, and a few drops of food coloring to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined.
2. Turn the speed to med-high until the buttercream is fluffy and uniformly pink. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Coconut Macaroons

7 oz flaked coconut 2 2/3 cups
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips (Optional)
1 large Hershey's candy bar melted for drizzling.

Preheat oven to 325 F. and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In med. bowl combine coconut, sugar, flour, and 14 teaspoon salt. Stir in egg whites and almond extract and add milk chocolate chips

Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes till lightly golden.

You can choose to add milk chocolate chips or drizzle with chocolate after they are baked and cool.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chili with beans

1 1/2 pounds chili meat, hamburger, or like me...tiny cubes of beef
1 cup onions
4 tblsp tomato paste
6 tblsp chili powder
1 tblsp ground cumin
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp paprika....don't use the cheapest
3/4 tsp garlic powder
couple cups of your fav beans I use cannellini
1/2 cup water
in a large pot/Dutch oven whatever
saute the meat with the onions till the onions are transparent and the meat is browned.
Add the tomato paste and all the spices and water, stir well.
On Med/low heat simmer for about 15. Add the beans and put a lid on it and simmer for about 30 minutes more. Add more water if needed...
Great served over rice with some onion, cheese and sour cream...