Friday, August 3, 2012

Watermelon Fudge

For National Watermelon Day (no I'm not kidding), we loosely followed a recipe from Something Swanky, to transform the traditional 3 minute, 3 ingredient fudge we like to make at Christmastime, into a summer delight... melting together sweetened condensed milk (14 oz), white chocolate chips (3 cups), and watermelon flavored candy oil to taste (we substituted a strawberry, watermelon water enhancer, because that's as close as we could come to a watermelon flavoring) in the microwave for...

...a minute and a half, or until the chips are completely melted, stirring after every thirty seconds...

...then dividing out a small portion (about 1/3 of the total) into two bowls, adding green food coloring to one bowl, leaving the other white, and dyeing the remaining portion red (with food coloring, and a few extra squirts of flavor if desired)...

...before layering them into a small loaf pan (we used a regular size loaf pan, and had to make additional red fudge, in order to make it thick (as in deep) enough, unfortunately adding too much sweetened condensed milk to the second batch, making for a gooey top, which you'll see in the pictures to come, but doesn't reflect on the original recipe), green first...

...then white...

...and red...

...allowing an hour in the refrigerator for the fudge to set up, before removing it from the pan... slice into strips, and then wedges (every other one of which will look like a watermelon wedge, and all of which will taste good)...

...and top with mini chocolate chip "seeds".

Happy National Watermelon Day!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Crochet Koala

I was in a crochety kind of mood today, and came across a link on Craft Passion to a super cute, simple and  quick to crochet pattern for a amigurumi koala from Woman's Day Magazine, that will work perfectly as a gift for one of C's friends' upcoming birthday.

Craft Passion offers a few hints and variations for putting the koala together.  I pretty much followed the original pattern, except I found the ears and nose as written, turned out a little small, and not the usual rounds of an amigurumi pattern, so I reworked them as follows, just for personal preference.

Ears (make 2):
With white yarn -
Ch 3, slip stitch through the first ch to form a loop.
R1 - Make 4 sc into the center of the loop (4 sc).
R2 - 2 sc into each sc around (8 sc). FO.
R3 - Start grey yarn with a slip stitch in the first sc, then 2sc in that same sc, and one sc in the next sc around (12 sc).
R4 - Sc in each sc around (12 sc). FO, leaving a tail for sewing onto the head.
Weave in remaining loose ends.

With black yarn -
Ch 3, slip stitch through the first ch to form a loop.
R1 - Make 3 sc into the center of the loop (3 sc).
R2 - 2 sc into each sc around (6 sc).
R3 - 2 sc into first sc, 1 sc in the next two sc around (9 sc). FO, leaving a tail for sewing on.
Sew the nose onto face with one corner of the three sides facing down.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Upside Down Microwave Cherry Cheesecake in a Mug

I found myself yesterday, a day late, and dessert short.  It's not that I had forgotten about National Cheesecake Day, or that I had forgotten it was on July 30th, or that Monday was 30th, I just sort of lost track of Monday.  Do you ever have one of those weeks?

Anyway, I figured a day late was better than not at all, especially considering the number of interesting and delicious sounding cheesecake recipes floating around out there, like this one, inspired and modified from the Five Minute Cheesecake recipe at Not Quite Nigella -

Spoon a tablespoon or two of cherry pie filling into the bottom of an 8oz microwave safe mug.

Blend together until smooth:

2 1/2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
2 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
and 1 egg white.

Pour the mixture over the cherries in the mug, and microwave on medium power for two minutes and a half minutes, or until the sides seem firm but the center is still jiggly (but not runny).

Crumble a graham cracker over the top.

Allow to cool thoroughly, and finish setting up, in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, or more...

...before digging in.

Happy Belated National Cheesecake Day!

It's great to be a homeschooler.