FRIED SUMMER SQUASH

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     OK, here’s the long and short of it.  This recipe was created quite by accident, but some of my best recipes originated in this fashion.  I was frying green tomatoes for Bob.  On the counter right by the stove lay a pile of yellow summer squash from my garden.  “Hmmmmmm, what did I think?  Hmmmmmm, could be good.  OK, I’ll give it a try!”  In the flour and eggs they went!  What a huge surprise.  They were outstanding.  I’m not a huge fan of fried green tomatoes, but the squash was scrumptious!  I may go down in history for this recipe.  (Go ahead, put me down).  I’ll be trying this with zucchini next. 

     If you would like to do some green tomatoes at the same time, omit one of the squash and follow the same instructions below.  It’s ok to fry tomatoes and squash at the same time.  I’ll give you pictures of both squash and green tomatoes at the end of the recipe, so you can decide. 

INGREDIENTS:

3 small to medium yellow squash

 

1 cup AP flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp Chili Chipotle powder (optional)

¼ tsp pepper

1 tsp parsley

 

½ cup buttermilk (or 1 good TBSP vinegar, fill rest of ½ cup measure with milk)

 

2 beaten eggs

1 TBSP water

 

Canola oil for frying

 

 

PREPARATION:

Slice the squash into round slices by cutting across the length of the neck, or cut the squash lengthwise.  Cutting version will depend on whether you want to serve them in chip form or big manly hunks.  I cut them good and thick, probably ¾”.  I never peel them, but wash them well in water before slicing.  Place the slices on a few layers of paper toweling for about fifteen minutes in order to allow some of the water to be absorbed.

In a small wide bowl, mix milk and vinegar with a fork and set aside. (or use real buttermilk).

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, Chipotle powder, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley in a small wide bowl.  I use a small strainer to do this quickly, and without having to dirty a lot of dishes.  I can use a spoon to fill up the strainer and then shake it right into the bowl I’ll be using for dredging the squash.  Set aside.

In a third small bowl, beat eggs and water with fork.  Set aside.

Heat a large heavy skillet with about 1 ½” of Canola oil.  Once the oil is very hot, dip the squash first in the buttermilk bowl, then dip in the seasoned flour, and then in the beaten egg, and finally back into the seasoned flour. (HA!  You get to double dip!).   Being cautious of the hot oil, place one piece at a time into the hot oil.  Don’t overcrowd the pan.  When browned on one side, flip over and brown the other side.

Drain on paper toweling.  Run to the table, eating one on the way.  They’ll disappear so quickly that you have to make sure you get your fair share.  After all . . . you are the Kitchen Diva!

SERVE WITH VARIOUS DIPPING SAUCES:  Blue cheese dressing, Italian dressing, Hot sauce, Ranch dressing, Honey mustard, Dill dipping sauce, etc.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

Fried Green Tomatoes (4)

Fried Summer Squash

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FRIED GREEN TOMATOES (New Version)

Fried Green Tomatoes (5)

     This is my brandy new Fried Green Tomatoes recipe.  If you like a thicker, crunchier breading on your fried tomatoes, this is the recipe for you!  I’ve added a bit of Chipotle Chili Powder, but that is entirely optional.

     If you would like to do a few fried summer squash at the same time, time and a half the seasoned flour recipe and follow the same instructions below.  It’s ok to fry tomatoes and squash at the same time.  I’ll give you pictures of both squash and green tomatoes at the end of the recipe, so you can decide. 

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 large green tomatoes

 

1 cup AP flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

¼ Chili Chipotle powder (optional)

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp parsley

 

½ cup buttermilk (or 1 good TBSP vinegar, fill rest of ½ cup measure with milk)

 

2 eggs beaten with 1 TBSP water

 

Canola oil for frying

 

 

PREPARATION: 

Slice the tomatoes into ½” slices.   Place the slices on a few layers of paper toweling for about fifteen minutes in order to allow some of the water to be absorbed.

In a small wide bowl, mix milk and vinegar with a fork and set aside. (or use real buttermilk).

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, Chipotle powder, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley in a small wide bowl.  I use a small strainer to do this quickly, and without having to dirty a lot of dishes.  I can use a spoon to fill up the strainer and then shake it right into the bowl I’ll be using for dredging the tomatoes.  Set aside.

In a third small bowl, beat eggs and water with fork.  Set aside.

Heat a large heavy skillet with about 1 ½” of Canola oil.  Once the oil is very hot, dip the tomatoes first in the buttermilk bowl, then dip in the seasoned flour, and then in the beaten egg, and finally back into the seasoned flour. (HA!  You get to double dip!).  Being cautious of the hot oil, place one piece at a time into the hot oil.  Don’t overcrowd the pan.  When browned on one side, flip over and brown the other side.

Drain on paper toweling.  Run to the table, eating one on the way.  They’ll disappear so quickly that you have to make sure you get your fair share.  After all . . . you are the Kitchen Diva!

SERVE WITH VARIOUS DIPPING SAUCES:  Blue cheese dressing, Italian dressing, hot sauce, Ranch dressing, Honey mustard, Dill dipping sauce, etc.

Please remember to Like our Posts and Follow Chew Wanna Eat? for more great recipes, home hacks, gardening, and health information!    You won’t be sorry.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

Fried Green Tomatoes (3)

Fried Green Tomatoes (2)

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Fried green tomatoes

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Fried Green Tomatoes (5)

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DIY SELF-RISING FLOUR

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DIY SELF-RISING FLOUR

Sometimes a recipe will call for self-rising flour. The shelf-life of self-rising flour is not great because the baking powder will weaken over time. Here’s how to make your own:

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup AP flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

PREPARATION:
This will depend on what you’re using it for.

If it’s going into some type of a batter such as for corn bread or cake just add the above ingredients to your recipe.

If you’re making something that you have to dredge in flour before cooking, sift all ingredients together, and then continue with your recipe.

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KENTUCKY BOURBON CHIPOTLE BBQ SAUCE

Kentucky Bourbon Chipotle Sauce (3)

 

     I think Bob and I are both addicted to this Kentucky Bourbon BBQ Sauce.  I created this second version and it was so outrageous on our grilled chicken!  It’s also delicious on pork.  Baby back ribs?  Amazing.  We tried it on boneless ribs too.  Chicken wings?  Oh yes!  Beef or shrimp?  I can picture cold boiled shrimp and instead of traditional cocktail sauce, serving my Bourbon Chipotle BBQ sauce instead.  Why not!  This recipe is not so much tomato flavor.  I wanted other flavors instead.  The highlights are sweet and definitely spicy!  The spicy is adjustable, so don’t be afraid to give this a try.   Feel free to marinate your meat prior to cooking for additional tenderization and flavor. 

     You will simmer the sauce long enough to burn off the alcohol and will be left with an honest to goodness zesty, full-bodied bbq sauce that is perfect on nearly anything. Please make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see some additional photos of finished dishes using this sauce.  

Don’t forget to serve some at the table for dipping sauce.

Yield:  Approximately 2 cups.  Keeps well in the refrigerator, so feel free to make it ahead.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup ketchup

1 TBSP tomato paste

1/3 cup fine Kentucky bourbon

4 TBSP brown sugar

1/3 cup molasses

3 TBSP apple cider vinegar

2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

1 TBSP Dijon mustard

1 ½  tsp minced onion flakes or onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp Chipotle chili powder

½ tsp pepper

 

PREPARATION:

In 1 ½ qt saucepan, whisk all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

NOTE:  ½ tsp Chipotle chili powder will make a hot sauce.  If you want medium, cut Chipotle down to ¼ tsp.  If you like really hot, go for ¾ tsp.  Atomic?  Add 1 full tsp.

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Kentucky Bourbon Chipotle Sauce (2)

Kentucky bourbon chipotle sauce on chicken

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Kentucky Bourbon Chipotle Sauce (3)

 

 

SAMOA ECLAIR CAKE, NO-BAKE

Samoa Eclair Cake (2)

     I know this will be hard to believe, but sometimes, even I don’t feel like cooking, and when my sweet tooth needs indulgence, what’s a girl to do?  Make a no-bake cake, of course!  There are lots of recipes for Samoa Cake floating around, but I omit a layer of graham crackers, add less Cool Whip, less milk, and more caramel syrup.  What I end up with is a richer, more flavorful, yet less caloric dessert.  Oh, yes!  

     If you are a coconut lover and someone else in the family doesn’t care for it, omit it on half of the cake.  You will only need ½ cup of coconut if you do this. And don’t forget to eyeball the exact middle, so you can make your coconut side a little bit bigger.  Ha ha. 

     Here is how I make mine:

 

INGREDIENTS:   Yield 9” x 13” pan

2 small (3.4 oz) packages of Vanilla or French Vanilla Instant Pudding

2 ¾ cups milk

1/3 cup caramel ice cream syrup

8 oz. Cool Whip

Cinnamon graham crackers

 

FROSTING:

3 TBSP butter

3 TBSP milk

4 TBSP cocoa powder

½ tsp vanilla

2 dashes salt

 

TOPPING:

1 cup toasted coconut

Extra Caramel Sauce to drizzle

PREPARATION:

 

In mixer bowl, beat pudding and milk on low speed for a couple of minutes.  Add 1/3 cup caramel and mix until combined.  Add Cool Whip and beat only until thoroughly mixed in.  While you’re mixing, toast the coconut in your toaster oven. Keep your eye on it.  It browns quickly.

9” x 13” pan, no need for greasing.  Layer graham crackers to cover bottom of pan.  You’ll have to cut a few in order to avoid any bare spots.

Pour half of pudding mixture on top of graham crackers.  Layer another layer of crackers and pour remaining pudding mixture on top.  Put it in the refrigerator while you make your frosting.

 

FROSTING PREPARATION:

Put butter and milk in a small bowl and heat until butter is melted, stirring halfway through.  Add cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, and confectioner’s sugar, beating with whisk until smooth and lump free.  Pour over cake and spread with an offset spatula or spoon.

Place toasted coconut on top and drizzle with caramel sauce.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a good four hours.

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Samoa Eclair Cake

BANANA SPLIT ICE CREAM

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     It’s summer.  It’s hot.  It’s a perfect time for homemade ice cream.

 

     Do you love banana splits?  Sure you do.  Who doesn’t?  I wanted one in the worst way and I had some heavy cream I wanted to use to make my own ice cream.  This was so good . . . I mean incredibly good, that I’m surprised I didn’t think of it sooner.  I didn’t over mix the raspberries or fudge, so there were thick ribbons swirled throughout.  Nothing worse than eating fudge ripple and looking for the fudge.   Now I have a big container of it in the freezer so when I want another banana split, it will be so easy to have one.  Provided someone else doesn’t eat it before I get to it.

VANILLA ICE CREAM

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup whole milk, very cold

¾ cup sugar

2 cups (16 oz) heavy cream, very cold

2 tsp vanilla

2 dashes nutmeg

Put ½ or 1 whole banana in the refrigerator to chill.  I only used half because I didn’t want the banana flavor to be too strong.  I wanted to be sure to enjoy the raspberry swirl and the fudge.  Oh, that fudge is so good!

PREPARATION:

 

In mixer bowl on low speed, mix milk and sugar for a couple minutes until sugar is dissolved.  Add nutmeg, heavy cream and vanilla, mixing until combined.  Put mixture into ice cream machine and let mix for about 30 minutes.  Remove and put into a freezer safe bowl, cover and put it in the freezer.

 

RASPBERRY SAUCE

3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

2/3 cup sugar

PREPARATION:

In a medium saucepan, combine raspberries and sugar.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Lower heat until mixture is at a simmer and cook for about fifteen minutes, mashing the berries as you go.  Run the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.  I used a large spoon to help push the juice through the strainer.  Cover and refrigerate.

 

FUDGE SWIRL

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup cocoa powder

½ cup brewed coffee

½ cup sugar

¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp salt

PREPARATION:

In a small saucepan, bring cocoa powder, coffee, and sugar to a hard boil.  Cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously.  Remove from heat.  Add chocolate chips, stirring until melted.  Add vanilla and salt.  Cover and refrigerate.

ASSEMBLY

     Leave the ice cream in the freezer for 90 – 120 minutes.  By then, the raspberries, banana, and fudge will be pretty cold.  Peel the banana and mash or chop it.  Swirl it through the ice cream.  Plop big spoonfuls of raspberries on top and swirl through.  Do the same with the fudge.  Don’t over mix or you’ll lose your beautiful swirls.  Return to freezer for up to four hours.

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Banana Split Ice Cream

Banana Split Ice Cream (3)

Banana Split Ice Cream (2)

Banana Split Ice Cream (4)

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Banana Split Ice Cream

Banana Split Ice Cream (6)

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SHRIMP NACHOS

Shrimp Nacho Platter (3)

CHEW WANNA EAT? Delicious shrimp nachos?  Ohhhhhhhh, I’ll bet you do!  They are out of this worth addictive.  And nothing is more simple to make.  Ideal for hot summer evenings, get-togethers with friends or family, and they’re even fast enough to make for a snack.

INGREDIENTS:    2 – 3 Servings

12 – 16 oz raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined

 

1 TBSP garlic, minced

½ tsp chipotle chili powder

1 TBSP fresh lime juice

¼ tsp cumin

½ can black beans, drained

1 cup corn

 

PREPARATION:

Drizzle a little olive oil in hot 10” skillet.  Over low/medium heat, sauté Shrimp, onion, garlic.  Sprinkle chipotle chili powder, lime juice, and cumin while stirring. When shrimp is pink, add beans and corn.  Stir and heat through.

THAT’S IT!  REALLY!

Serve over chips of your choice.

Offer grated cheese (I serve Monterey Jack and Colby), diced tomato, sliced black olives, sliced scallions, shredded lettuce, sliced jalapenos, avocado, sour cream, and salsa.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

Shrimp Nacho PlatterShrimp Nacho Platter (3)Shrimp Nacho Platter (2)

 

 

 

PIEROGI

Pierogies (2)

     Whether you have family from Poland, the Ukraine, Romania or even good ole’ America, chances are you’ve had Pierogi.  They are out of this world delicious.  They are a bit of work, ok, maybe a lot of work . . .  but they are so worth it. People were eating them cold right out of the refrigerator here.  They were undeniably out of this world delicious.

 

If you’d like to read Pierogi history, go to:

http://www.polskafoods.com/polish-food/facts-history-about-pierogi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierogi

 

     I’m sure every family that ate Pierogi had their own recipe. I was never introduced to them until I was an adult. Man, oh man. All those years wasted!

Here’s my recipe.

FILLING INGREDIENTS: 

4 large Russet potatoes

2 TBSP butter

3/4 cup cubed or grated cheese (I use a mixture of Colby, Monterey Jack, Sharp Cheddar, and Cooper).

¼ + milk

Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder and Garlic Powder (about 1/2 tsp each)

 

FILLING PREPARATION:

Peel potatoes and cut into 8 large chunks.  Boil in salted water until tender.  Remove potatoes.  Reserve about 1 ½ cups of potato water for the dough and let cool to room temp.

Place butter and cubed or grated cheese on top of hot potatoes and cover.  Let sit until cheese is melted.  With a potato masher or submersible blender, begin mashing potatoes and adding milk until potatoes are of desired consistency.  Add seasonings to taste.  Taste the mixture to make sure you have enough cheese and seasonings.

 

DOUGH INGREDIENTS:  Yields 50 pierogies 

6 cups AP flour

1 extra large egg

¾ tsp salt

1 ½ cups potato water

1 egg yolk to seal dough

OPTIONAL: Seasonings such as onion powder, garlic powder, parsley

 

DOUGH PREPARATION AND ASSEMBLY:

In food processor, add flour, egg, salt, and quickly pulse to incorporate.  If you want to add seasonings, do it now.  Add room temperature potato water in three batches and mix until dough forms.  It will only take about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Grab a hunk of dough and give it a quick knead.  Roll it out until very thin.  It is so easy to work with.  Cut with a glass, biscuit cutter, or a press.  They should be approximately 3 ½ “rounds.  Fill with a good TBSP of potato, whatever extras you’re adding on top, and fold over.  Smear a little beaten egg onto only one side of the dough along the edge.  Press to seal. Any scraps of dough should be added back into the bowl.

Lay completed Pierogies on a clean dish towel and cover with another towel.  This will keep the dough from drying out.

 

TO COOK PIEROGIES:

Drop one at a time into a large pan of salted boiling water.  I would cook only 6 at one time.  They will sink like a stone, and that’s ok.  After about one minute, lightly push a spatula under them to make sure they aren’t stuck to the bottom of pan.  It doesn’t happen often, but it is possible.  They should be fully cooked and ready to eat with butter and sautéed onions.

 

TO FRY COOKED PIEROGIES:

I prefer mine browned in a little bacon grease, but you could also use olive oil or butter (or a little of both).  If you’re using onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, etc. add them now.  Don’t crowd the pan.  Cook until browned on one side, flip over and brown the other side.

Serve with Sour Cream, Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing.

Pictured below is the dough press I used.  A set of 3 is available for less than $4.00.  I may invest in the press that makes 6 at once.  I think it might be a time-saver.  These presses can be used for hand pies, calzone, ravioli, empanadas, and all sorts of other fun projects.

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Pierogies (4)

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Pierogies

Pierogies (2)

Pierogies (3)

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE SOFT SUGAR COOKIES

Triple Chocolate Soft Sugar Cookies (3)

     What’s that you say?  You want a cookie, but you don’t want a crunchy sandwich cookie?  You’d rather have a soft fudgy cookie, maybe one with frosting on it.  Well, search no more.  I have just the recipe for you.  Triple chocolate?  You bet!

Triple Chocolate Soft Sugar CookiesINGREDIENTS FOR 30 Cookies using 2” scoop

2 sticks butter, softened

1 ½ cups light brown sugar + 1 TBSP

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup chocolate chips

OPTIONAL:  ¾ cup chopped nuts

½ cup granulated sugar if you choose to roll the cookies prior to baking

 

PREPARATION:

In mixer bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla, beating well.

Add cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, beat

Add flour, mixing to combine.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.

Using your 2” cookie scoop, either roll in granulated sugar or place on a stoneware baking sheet or parchment or silicone baking sheet.  Bake at 350° F for 11 minutes.  Since cookies are soft, let them sit on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to baking racks.  We don’t want any breakage.  (Maybe you do.  Maybe you like to eat breakage).

 

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:  (You will have exactly enough to frost all 30 cookies.)

2 oz cream cheese, room temperature

3 TBSP butter, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 TBSP dark Karo syrup

2 TBSP half and half

1 ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

PREPARATION:

In mixer bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until well incorporated and light.  Add vanilla, salt, cocoa powder, Karo syrup, and half and half.  Beat well.  Add confectioner’s sugar in small batches and beat on low speed until well incorporated.  Increase speed and beat until light and fluffy.

This recipe is a variation of Kraft and you will note that they roll the cookies in sugar before baking.  I wanted to frost them instead, so I omitted that step.  To see original recipe by Kraft go to: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/chocolate-sugar-cookies-57582.aspx

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Triple Chocolate Soft Sugar Cookies

 

FAIR-STYLE FUNNEL CAKES

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CHEW WANNA EAT?
FAIR-STYLE FUNNEL CAKE

     What is a funnel cake? Crispy fried dough served hot with confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon sprinkled over the top. You may pay $5.00 at a fair for the deliciousness, but I’m going to show you how you can make one for less than 25 cents.

     Here’s how I make mine:

INGREDIENTS:
YIELD: Makes a lot. I just made half the recipe and got 7 smaller funnel cakes. You’ll see them pictured.

3 eggs
3 TBSP granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups milk
3 2/3 cups AP flour
Canola oil or Crisco for frying
Confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling

PREPARATION:

In your blender, add eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Pulse to mix. Add milk and blend until well combined. Add flour and mix again. Batter is going to be on the thick side (thicker than pancake or cake batter).

Preheat a cast iron pan (or other heavy skillet) with about 2” of oil. Let it get hot. I test it by flicking a few drops of water in the oil. If it spits and spatters, it’s ready. For a large funnel cake, use a cup of batter. I like to make smaller ones and use ½ cup of batter. Pour the batter in a funnel that has about a ½” opening. Keep your finger over the end. Once you are over the hot oil, move your finger and start swirling the batter. It will take 3 – 4 minutes (take a peek by using a set of tongs). Once it is browned to your liking, flip it over and let it cook for another couple of minutes.

Remove from oil with tongs and let it drain for a few seconds. Place on paper toweling. Immediately sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar or confectioner’s sugar with cinnamon.

NOTES: Make sure the oil is hot. You want them to fry quickly, not sit there and soak up grease. I don’t use a thermometer, but if you prefer, get the oil up to about 375° F. It should be close to smokin’ hot.

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FUNNEL CAKE (2)

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