Sunday, December 29, 2019

Raspberry Dreamsicle Dessert

For the holidays we always try to have fancy schmancy desserts. Okay, if we're being honest, we like to have fancy schmancy desserts ALL THE TIME. I mean.... desserts are the best, am I right?
This dreamsicle dessert looks so pretty and tastes delicious and is so rich that a small piece goes a long way. That makes this 9 x 13 dessert perfect for family gatherings and potlucks! I went with raspberry juice and raspberry Jello so it would be Christmas-y but you can use orange juice and orange Jello for another delicious flavor. 
You dirty a few dishes with this one but it's all worth it in the end!

Raspberry Dreamsicle Dessert

Bottom Layer
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp melted butter

Raspberry Layer
1 cup raspberry juice
2 pkgs raspberry Jello
1 pkg cream cheese, room temp
2 cups Cool Whip

Pudding Layer
1 pkg cream cheese, room temp
1 cup milk
2 lkg vanilla instant pudding
2 cups Cool Whip

Top Layer
remaining Cool Whip

Prepare bottom layer - mix together crumbs and butter and press into a 9 X 13 pan. Chill the pan while you prepare the next layer. 

Prepare raspberry layer - microwave the raspberry juice for 2 minutes (almost boiling). Whisk in the 2 pkgs of raspberry Jello. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping sides as needed. Very slowly pour the jello into the cream cheese, beating well between additions. Beat until smooth. Whisk in 2 cups of Cool Whip until smooth. Pour over the bottom layer. Let chill while you prepare the next layer. 

Prepare pudding layer - beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed.Very slowly beat in the milk, scraping bowl between additions. Beat until smooth. Beat in 2 pkg of vanilla pudding. Lastly, beat in the 2 cups of Cool Whip. Spoon onto the raspberry layer and then smooth out evenly. 

Top with the remaining Cool Whip (usually about 1 - 2 cups), spreading evenly. Then top with fresh raspberries. 

Let chill until ready to serve - at least a couple of hours. 

If you want to make the orange version - instead of placing raspberries on top, I like to grate some orange rind over the whipped topping. Not as bold as the berries, but still beautiful!

I loved the texture of this dessert - so smooth and creamy. Sue, not so much. She found the Jello layer too spongy for her liking. To each their own! I know the orange version is just as delicious but I have yet to try any other flavor.... maybe lemon or lime or even grape?? Something I will be keeping in mind for the spring! A fun colorful dessert that works for holidays or every day! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Mini Thai Tornado Potatoes with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Last year Sue and I entered the Little Potato Company's recipe contest. Sue entered her Turkey Dinner Meatballs (RECIPE HERE), which are basically a whole turkey dinner in one bite! And I entered this recipe here. I was super excited to make it to the Top 5 in the contest with these delicious little morsels. Unfortunately I didn't win the grand prize but I was (and still am) so stoked to have made it to the Top 5. 
I hope you give these a try and let us know what you think. I am proud of this creation and it has since become a family favorite for get-togethers and special occasions. It can be a little bit fussy because of having to deep fry the skewers BUT, believe me, it is totally worth it! 

Mini Thai Tornado Potatoes with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Peanut Dipping Sauce
1 cup chicken broth
5 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp sriracha
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Tornado Potatoes
1.5 lb bag of Little Potato Company potatoes (I used Blushing Belle)
8 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp baking powder
Water to make a batter

Other Ingredients
Oil for deep frying (about a litre)
Cilantro or parsley for garnish

Prepare peanut dipping sauce – Place chicken broth, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, sriracha, ginger, and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring often until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Set aside.
 Prepare tornado potatoes – Take a skewer and place one potato on it. Use a sharp knife and cut on a diagonal all around the potato on the skewer from top to bottom. Carefully pull the potato apart slightly so you can see space between the spirals. Repeat until all of the potatoes are spiraled on skewers.

Heat oil to 350 degrees in a large pot (It takes about 10 - 15 minutes to heat the oil so I usually start the oil when I am halfway done cutting the potatoes on the skewers.)
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, curry powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and baking powder. 

Slowly whisk in a little water at a time until you have a batter that is a little thinner than pancake batter.
Pour the batter into a tall drinking glass. (It may not all fit, continue to add more batter as it gets low) This will make it easier to dip the potatoes. Dip a potato in the batter to cover completely. 

Gently shake off any extra. Place the potato in the hot oil. Repeat with one or two more potatoes but don’t crowd them in the oil. Cook for 3 minutes in the hot oil, until potatoes are crispy. Remove from oil to paper towel or wire rack with paper towel underneath. 

Continue to dip and fry remaining potatoes.
Transfer potatoes to serving platter and serve hot with the peanut dipping sauce. Garnish with cilantro or parsley. 

These are best served hot but are still okay at room temperature. 

I would count this as making 10 - 12 servings of 2 potatoes each. 

Guys... these are so tasty and fun! I mean, anything on a stick gets points for coolness already but these are going to get you voted favorite person in the room guaranteed. The peanut sauce is amazing and can be made up a day or two ahead of time to save on time. 
I might not have won the top prize in the recipe contest but I'm still going to brag about this recipe! It's one of the ones I am most proud of in my recipe developing career. We'd love to hear your feedback if you give it a try! 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Nanaimo Balls

We all know Nanaimo Bars are a Canadian classic (Click HERE for our original Nanaimo Bar recipe!) that are perfect for Canada Day and, of course, pretty much any other holiday. 
I found a few photos on Pinterest of Nanaimo bars turned into truffles and I thought...I need to try that; they would look so cute on a plate of Christmas cookies. Not to mention the whole perfect-size-to-pop-in-your-mouth thing they have going on. 
Ok... they are a bit fussy because you have to dip each one in chocolate and that can get a little tiresome. The thing is... they don't have to be a smooth and pretty because you are sprinkling more coconut mixture on top and that will hide any flaws in your dipping skills. 
Looking for a new treat to add to the holiday tray? Look no further. This is the one. 

Nanaimo Balls 

Coconut Chocolate Mix
1 cup graham crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 Tbsp baking cocoa powder
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp melted butter

2 cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp Bird's Eye Custard Powder
1/4 cup melted butter
2 Tbsp cream

Chocolate Coating
8 oz chocolate chips (about 1 heaping cup)
1/2 cup butter

Prepare coconut chocolate mixture - stir together graham crumbs, coconut, pecans, cocoa powder, and melted butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

Prepare center mixture - Stir together the icing sugar and Bird's Eye. Stir in melted butter and cream until smooth and well combined. 

Use a teaspoon to scoop out filling and roll into balls. (If you use a teaspoon you should get about 40 balls) Take a center ball and roll it in the coconut chocolate mixture, making sure to press firmly so it sticks to the center ball. Place on a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap. Continue until all the center mixture is used up. 

Place in freezer to chill for about 10 - 20 minutes. 
After balls have chilled for a few minutes, prepare the chocolate coating - place the chocolate and butter in a bowl in the microwave. 

Heat in 30 seconds increments, stirring well in between, until smooth.
Drop one of the chilled balls into the chocolate, spoon some over the top, then use a fork to remove the ball from the chocolate. Tap it firmly against the side of the bowl to shake off any excess chocolate. Sprinkle with a pinch more of the remaining coconut chocolate mixture. Repeat with all the balls. (If needed, reheat the chocolate for 10 - 15 seconds if it starts to get too thick.)

Chill until chocolate is set. 


All of the Nanaimo Bar goodness in an adorable little package. 

A couple of notes - (1) if you can't your hands on Bird's Eye Custard powder you can sub in vanilla pudding powder. You won't get the yellow color or traditional flavor of a Nananimo bar BUT it is pretty close. (2) Use butter, not margarine. It makes a huge difference. (3) Don't be tempted to go bigger than 1 tsp for the center balls. These are very rich and a little goes a long way. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Turkey Dinner Meatballs

Sue developed this recipe last year for the Little Potato Company recipe contest. It didn't win but sure was a hit at our house! 
It's basically all the best things about a full on turkey dinner in one bite. Turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and even hints of green bean casserole! 
You're super curious now, right? 
You totally should be. 
Sue's meatballs are perfect for game night, after school snack time, ladies night, potlucks... I think you see the pattern here... basically ANY time. They also freeze and reheat well, FYI. 

Turkey Dinner Meatballs

1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
1 box Stove Top stuffing
1 can French's Fried Onions
1 bag Little Potato Company potatoes
1 cup prepared Turkey gravy
mozzarella or cheddar cheese slices

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside. 
Combine the ground turkey, egg, Stove Top stuffing, and half the fried onions. If the mixture is too dry, add a few spoonfuls of water. 
Take one of the small potatoes and press a small amount of the meat mixture around it to cover it completely. Pat firmly while rolling in your hand. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining meat and potatoes. Cook at 350 until meat is done and potatoes are fork tender, about 40 or so minutes. Before removing from the oven - top some of the meatballs with cheddar and mozza slices and keep in the oven until cheese is melted. Immediately after removing from oven; sprinkle the cheese with the remaining French's Fried Onions. (To make them look a little different Sue did some with mozza, some with cheddar, and some without any cheese.) Place the meatballs on a serving tray with the hot turkey gravy for dipping. 

You guys.....

These are sooooo tasty! 

You can easily reheat these in the microwave (or oven) and they are just as delicious!
A whole turkey dinner in one bite!! I say the Little Potato Company missed a real winner here.... Sue comes up with some pretty good ideas sometimes! (I'll be sharing my potato recipe shortly. I made the Top 5 in the Little Potato Company competition in 2018 but unfortunately didn't win first! Be sure to check back for my recipe!)