Everything But Books
Fun and more fun, but none of it relating to books (because I have another page for that)

October 28, 2012

Triple C: Candy Corn – Costumes, Cocktails and Cupcakes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — phoebe @ 1:25 am

This is my 3rd Halloween ever, as we don’t celebrate it in Australia. However, I am now surrounded with the spirit of Halloween and candy living in America! And who can’t go past good old Candy Corn. Here are three ways to incorporate Candy Corn into this years Halloween.

Candy Corn Cocktails

For the infused vodka:

  • 1/2 cup candy corn
  • 1 1/2 cups vodka

For the cordials:

  • 2 ounces orange liqueur
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 large egg white
  • Candy corn, for garnish

Directions

Infuse the vodka: Combine the candy corn and vodka in an airtight container; set aside for at least 3 hours, then strain.

Make the cordials: Add 4 ounces of the candy corn vodka, the orange liqueur, lemon juice and egg white to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Strain into 2 chilled martini glasses and garnish with candy corn.

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk

Yellow and orange food coloring

Buttercream

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 tbsp milk

3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions

1. Pre-heat over to 350 and line mini cupcake baking tray.

2. In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt

3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

4. Reduce the mixer to low speed and add flour mixture ? at a time, followed by half of the buttermilk. Repeat until no dry ingredients remain and all is mixed together well.

5. Divide the batter, one with a little less than half and put in orange food coloring. Add the yellow dye to the remaining mixture.

6. Divide the orange mixture evenly amongst the pan. Pipe the yellow batter onto the top, until each cup is ¾ full.

7. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

8. After cooling, turn them out so that the yellow is at the bottom.

9. Pipe cream onto the top to form the white portion of the candy corn.

Vanilla Butter Cream

1. Cream butter with an electric mixer until soft. Add vanilla and milk, then gradually blend in sugar until frosting reaches a fluffy, spreadable consistency.

If you have any Halloween inspired cupcakes or cocktails, be sure to send them on over.

October 2, 2012

Dipping into October.

Two delicious dip recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 8oz pack cream cheese
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits

Instructions

1. Cream together cream cheese and butter.

2. Add sugars and vanilla.

3. Stir in chocolate chips and toffee bits until well combined.

4. Serve with Graham crackers.

S’mores Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup marshmallow creme

Instructions

1. In a microwave proof bowl, microwave chocolate chips and condensed milk for 1-2 minutes stirring occasionally. Heat until all melted.

2. Pour into a pie dish. Drop marshmallow by tablespoons randomly over the chocolate mixture. Microwave on high for 30 seconds until the marshmallow is melted.

3. Immediately with a knife make swirls through the mixture to create a marbled appearance.

4. Dip with honey Graham crackers.

 

September 21, 2012

Music of my Heart: The Melody of France

Because of the soon approaching release of Becoming Clementine, the Jennifer Niven blog posts have become, well, French. I’m sure most of you have tried out Phoebe’s wonderful French recipes (I know I have) so I thought, why not pair them off with some French music to get the full experience…

So get your ears ready and your handy-dandy translators in hand because I found some great French music that I’m sure Velva Jean would enjoy.

First, let’s start with the classic. Edith Piaf was one of the most famous French singers in the 1930s-1960s and is still today the most recognizable name in French-music history. Her hard life only made her voice even more beautiful and haunting. Aside from listening to her music, I suggest watching her 2007 biopic La Vie en rose which won the lead actress an Oscar. Here is her most famous song, La Vie en rose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zFc7nIJnvo&ob=av2n

 

 

 

 

Next is my favorite, Charles Aznavour. Why you ask? Because, although his name does not end in “ian”, he is in fact Armenian (his actual last name is Aznavourian). Don’t think I’m biased because of his race though–when you hear his voice you’ll understand. He is the most famous living French singer and although he is 88, he does give performances now and again and boy, he’s still got it! Here is one of his most popular songs, La Boheme.

 

 

On to a more modern singer. Although she has the classic French voice, Carla Bruni only just became popular in the last couple of years after her song was featured on the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack. Although I only speak broken French, and by broken French I mean twenty words if not less, I pretend I know exactly what she is saying while I listen to her in my car. Enjoy her amazing song, which I can’t even pronounce, Quelqu’un M’a Dit.

 

 

Someone very similar to Carla Bruni is Keren Ann. I recently discovered her,and although she sings both English and French, I prefer her French music. She has a gentle voice that would be amazing on a rainy afternoon. Here is her song Ailleurs meaning “Elsewhere.”

 

 

 

Last but not least, a very famous band that many people do not know are in fact French:  Phoenix. The band gained popularity in 2009 with the release of there record Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which featured famous songs like “1901and Lisztomania.”  Although not sung in French, this song technically does count as a French song, right?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmDNLG458mM

 

 

Well, that’s enough for now! I hope you enjoy this lovely music while you enjoy one of Phoebe’s delicious recipes– and play it in the background while you read Becoming  Clementine. Each of these artists have
other amazing songs, so look them up and enjoy!!!

September 20, 2012

Sweet and Savory, French and Tasty!

The French people sure know how to eat wonderful foods, and with only 5 days till the Becoming Clementine release, we thought it was time for some French flair in our recipes. From cheese to chocolate here are 2 french inspired recipes to keep you wishing you were sitting right in Paris.

Baked Camembert with Garlic Bread

1 whole Camembert, in its box

1 clove of garlic, sliced

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

1tsp olive oil

 

Garlic Bread

1 small ciabatta loaf cut in half

1 tsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. Remove any plastic packaging from the cheese and then return to box, leaving the life off.

3. Pierce the top of the cheese in several places and insert pieces of garlic and thyme into the slits.

4. Drizzle with olive oil and leaving cheese in the box. place into oven for 10mins or until center of cheese is melted.

5. FOR GARLIC BREAD: Drizzle cut side of bread with olive oil and place onto hot pan until toasted. Once toasted rub toasted side with garlic clove.

6. Serve camembert with garlic bread for dipping.

 

French Chocolate Bark

8oz semi sweet chocolate

8oz bittersweet chocolate

1 cup dried apricots

½ cup dried cranberries

1 cup roasted cashews (also good with pistachios)

 

Instructions

1. Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over water. Can melt in the microwave but be sure to stir frequently to avoid burning.

2. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a tray. Pour the melted chocolate onto the paper and using a rubber spatula, create a rough rectangle about 9×10 inches.

3. Sprinkle remaining ingredients all over.

4. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours. Cut into small rectangular bite sized pieces.

 

If you have any wonderful french recipes be sure to send them over to us!

 

September 13, 2012

The Best Flourless Chocolate Cake (because who doesn’t love chocolate!)

Myself and Lara over here at Team Jennifer are both gluten intolerant, but because we both still love our cake (especially chocolate cake) it was time to find a recipe that we could both eat. It is tried and tested and one that won’t let you down!

Ingredients

1 tspn instant coffee granules/powder

1 tspn hot water

100g butter

150g dark chocolate

1/2 tspn vanilla extract

4 large eggs at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

200g almond meal (ground almonds)

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.

2. Prepare cake tin, lining the bottom with baking paper.

3. Dissolve coffee with 1tsp of boiling water.

4. In a saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter, dark chocolate, dissolved coffee and vanilla. Once melted set aside.

5. Separate egg whites from yolks.

6. Using electric beaters or a whisk, beat whites with about half the sugar. Beat until peaks form.

7. In another bowl using electric beaters or fork, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar. Beat until light and creamy.

8. Fold the chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture. Add to this the almond meal and mix until combined.

9. Fold in the egg whites, then pour into prepared tin.

10. Bake for 40mins and serve warm or cold with cream and strawberries.

 

If you have any delicious gluten free recipes let us know!

September 5, 2012

Don’t dip them, fill them!

It is clear that filled strawberries are much more fun and tasty than dipped ones. Here are 3 simple strawberry filling recipes.

 

Ingredients Required

3 Dozen Strawberries

 

Heavenly Strawberries

8oz cream cheese

½ cup powdered sugar

¼ tsp almond or vanilla extract

 

Inside-out Chocolate

8oz cream cheese

½ cup chocolate sauce

3 x 3/4oz milk chocolate bars finely chopped

 

Peanut Butter

8oz cream cheese

½ cup peanut butter

5tbs powdered sugar

 

1. Remove stems and inner part of strawberries to create a bowl. Strawberries can be placed into an empty egg carton to make them stand easily.

2. For each recipe, beat all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth.

3. Using either a pastry bag or a heavy duty plastic bag with the corner cut, pipe mixture into the hole of the strawberry.

4. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Can sprinkle with grated chocolate if desired.