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Two Peas and Their Pod

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Moving Day

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Friday, December 04, 2009

White Chocolate Holiday Bark

I am in full holiday mode now-we bought our Christmas tree last night and did some decorating. This is our first year having our own tree-we usually travel for the holidays, but this year we are staying home. I am excited to start our own traditions. We both have all of our ornaments from when we were kiddies, the tree is random, but in a good way:)

I made a batch of
chocolate bark at Halloween and everyone loved it. It is the perfect quick candy for any holiday. I always make the traditional peppermint bark, but this year I branched out and made a sampler platter. I created: cranberry almond bark, pretzel M&M bark, and the classic peppermint bark. It was fun mixing things up.

The white chocolate base goes nicely with all of the flavors. Cranberry and almond are the perfect holiday combination. The pretzel bark tastes like chocolate dipped pretzels, without all of the work. And of course the peppermint bark is delicious and refreshing-everyone loves this stuff!

If you need an easy treat to make for your neighbors, family, and friends-make my holiday bark. Try all three flavors-they are all wonderful!

My dear friend Gaby, from What’s Gaby Cooking?, created a Winter White Chocolate Mix that looks amazing! It is White Chocolate Friday:) Make this sweet snack to munch on during the holidays!

And some good news-my
Apple Cinnamon Cookie Bars were featured on Saveur-the best of the web! Yahoo!

White Chocolate Holiday Bark

(Printable Recipe)

14 ounces white chocolate
Dried cranberries
Sliced almonds
Crushed pretzels
Mini M&M's-red and green
Holiday sprinkles
Crushed candy canes

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. (I used my Silpat)
2. Place the white chocolate in a metal bowl. Put the metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate frequently with a rubber spatula. When the chocolate is smooth and fully melted, remove the bowl from the heat. Wipe off the bowl if there is any condensation.
3. Let the white chocolate cool for a minute or two. Stir to make sure it doesn't harden. Pour the chocolate onto the baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Spread it with a spatula until it is about 3/8 inch thick.
4. Sprinkle the toppings over the white chocolate. I did this in sections-a section for the cranberry almond, a section for the pretzel, M&M, sprinkles, and a section for the candy canes.
5. Let the chocolate cool and harden. I put the pan in the refrigerator. It was ready in about 30-45 minutes.
7. Once the chocolate is set and hard, break bark into pieces.

If you like my holiday bark, you might also like:
Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cookies from Genesis of a Cook
Peppermint Bark Cookies from Two Peas and Their Pod
White Chocolate Bark with Fresh Mint and Berries from Serious Eats

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Soft Gingersnap Cookie Recipe

Happy December! Let the holiday baking begin! I love this time of year! I have a LONG list of things I want to bake this month. I will be making my favorite, classic recipes, but I also have a few new things to experiment with. I will try to post them as fast as I bake them:)

To kick off the holiday baking season, I made a batch of soft gingersnap cookies. I love my gingersnaps SOFT! The key is taking them out at 8 minutes on the dot. They won't look done, but just trust me, they are ready to come out of the oven. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for a minute or two and then transfer them to a cooling rack. If you follow my instructions, you will enjoy soft and tender gingersnaps... and I think that is the best way to enjoy them!

Our house smelled amazing while the cookies were baking. The ginger, cinnamon, and molasses smell filled each room with holiday cheer! Give these classic cookies a try-your friends and family will love them..if you decide to share that is:) And remember, don't over bake!

I am submitting these cookies to Susan at Food Blogga. She is hosting Season 3 of Eat Christmas Cookies. You can submit a cookie too, the last day to participate is Dec. 20th. To view all of the fabulous cookies click here. New cookies will be added all month long, so visit often:) Thanks to Susan for hosting such a fun event. I love cookies!

Soft Gingersnap Cookies

(Printable Recipe)

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup molasses
White sugar-to roll the cookie dough in

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. Whisk the ingredients together.
3. With a mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. This will take a couple of minutes.
4. Add in the egg and vanilla extra. Mix until well combined.
5. Add in the molasses. Mix until the molasses is combined with the other ingredients.
6. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Add in a little at a time until all of the flour is mixed in.
7. Form the dough into Tablespoon sized balls. Roll the dough in white sugar.
8. Place the cookie dough balls on a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Make sure they are a couple inches apart.
9. I pressed down on the cookies slightly to help them flatten out. If you like puffy cookies, don't press them down.
10. Bake for 8 minutes and NO longer. You want them to stay soft! Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to a cooling rack.
11. Enjoy!

If you like these gingersnap cookies, you might also like:
Gingersnap Lemon Sherbert Sandwiches from Dessert First
Gingersnaps with Orange Ginger Cream Filling from Recipe Girl
Gingersnaps from Baking with Dynamite
Spicy Ginger Crinkle Cookies from The Canadian Baker

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Apple Buttermilk Cake

We ended up celebrating Thanksgiving with the Dewey family. They always include us in their family events and treat us like we are part of the family. They are the best! We had a great time with everyone.

It was a last minute decision to go, so I had to create something easy to share. I made a salad with apples, dried cranberries, almonds, and feta. I also baked an apple buttermilk cake. I thought it would be a nice addition to all of the traditional holiday pies.

The cake has a buttery, buttermilk base and is topped with apple slices. I used Granny Smith and sprinkled them with cinnamon and brown sugar before baking. It gave the cake a nice sweet crust. The cake has a moist crumb and the apples are nice and tender. This is an easy cake to make and a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes it even better.

The holidays are here! If there are any specific holiday recipes you would like to see in December, just let me know. I am going to start my holiday baking this week. I can't wait!

If you didn't finish your shopping on Black Friday, check out my holiday gift idea post. I hope you find it helpful!

Apple Buttermilk Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of fresh nutmeg

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 cup shaken buttermilk

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, and sliced

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

A little bit of extra cinnamon

Turbinado sugar (to sprinkle on top of cake)

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat until combined.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.

In a small bowl combine the apple slices with the brown sugar and extra cinnamon. Stir until apples are coated.

Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Place sliced apples evenly over top and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate. Serve with vanilla ice cream if you wish.

If you like this apple buttermilk cake, you might also like:

Plum Nectarine Buttermilk Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod

Salt-Kissed Buttermilk Cake from 101 Cookbooks

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake from Dishing Up Delights

Buttermilk Spice Cake w/Cream Cheese Frosting from One Perfect Bite

Peach Almond Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday Gift Ideas 2009

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving with lots of tasty food. We ended up going to our family friend's house. They didn't want us to be alone:) It was a very fun day and Josh got to enjoy some turkey:)

So who woke up super early to go shopping? Anyone? I am not a fan of the crowds and I really don't enjoy shopping so I chose to workout instead. I will be doing my shopping online this year.

Last year we posted our
favorite holiday gift items and everyone appreciated the suggestions, so our holiday gift list is back! Gaby, from What's Gaby Cooking?, has also put together a fabulous gift list. If you are not sure what to buy your loved ones this year, check out our suggestions! Most of them are cooking/food related because they make the best gifts in my opinion:)

Most of the items are in my Amazon store found on the left side of my blog. You don't have to fight any crowds for those deals:) I hope you find something you like! Happy Shopping!

1.The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from An Accidental Country Girl
This is the perfect gift for anyone and everyone! Not only are there tasty down home cooking recipes, but the photography and stories are wonderful! I attended Ree's
book signing in Utah, she is fabulous! I highly recommend this book!

2. Beater Blade for KitchenAid Mixer
I don't know why it took me so long to get a beater blade. My good blogging buddy,
Food Finery, kept telling me to order one. I finally did and it is amazing! I love that it scrapes the sides and the bottom of the bowl. This attachment is a must if you have a KitchenAid Mixer!

3. Julie & Julia
Looking for a fun movie to watch over the holidays? Julie & Julia is it! I really enjoyed this film, Meryl Streep does a fantastic job at playing Julia Child. Make sure you have some tasty snacks while watching this movie:)

4. Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day
I think you all know I am a huge fan of Zoe and Jeff's bread book,
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. If you don't have that one, go get it and buy their new book too! Both are wonderful!

5. Automatic Yogurt Maker
We started making our own
homemade yogurt this year and it is the best. It is tons cheaper and I love it! This yogurt maker makes the process a breeze!

6. Le Creuset Round French Oven
I don't have one of these, but I sure want one. This would be perfect for my soup creations:) I love the red one!

7. KitchenAid Pasta Roller Attachment
Homemade pasta is the best. It is cheap to make and so much better than the boxed stuff. This KA attachment makes it SO easy too! You can make
ravioli, fettucini, lasagna noodles, etc. We love this attachment!

8. Pizza Peel
We use our pizza peel a lot. It is great for making
homemade pizza and bread. A fun gift for any baker.

9. Vanilla Beans
I love giving and receiving vanilla beans. There is nothing better than fresh vanilla beans from the pod! These make great stocking stuffers:)

10. Food Scale
Every kitchen needs a food scale! I love that you can get these in different colors. A fun gift for all!

Don't forget to check out Gaby's list and our items from last year. We still love everything:)
Happy Holidays!!!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Spinach Salad with Oranges, Pomegranate, and Almonds

Tomorrow is the big day! Is everyone ready? I sure hope so. We are still without plans, but don't worry about us, we are excited to have a relaxing day. I am sure we will cook up something tasty, it just won't be the traditional feast.

If you need a last minute salad idea, I have a great one to share. I made this Spinach Salad with Oranges, Pomegranate, and Almonds for our
Thanksgiving meal and it went over really well. I bought a big tub of fresh spinach from Costco. I added orange slices, pomegranate arils, and almonds. For the dressing, I whisked together olive oil, POM juice, red wine vinegar, fresh orange juice, a little agave, salt, and pepper.

The salad was gorgeous! I love the color the pomegranate and orange slices add. The almonds provided a nice little crunch too. The dressing was light and added just enough sweetness to the mix. Wow your family and friends with this salad tomorrow!

If you are still looking for Thanksgiving recipes, here are a few of my favorites:
My dad's famous
Potato Rolls
Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing
Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest
Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Yams, and Brussel Sprouts with Rosemary
Pumpkin Blondies
Apple Cinnamon Galette
Pumpkin Cake Roll

**And some good news-our blog was featured in the Salt Lake City Tribune today. Check out the article here! Thanks for mentioning us!**

Have a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Spinach Salad with Oranges, Pomegranate, and Almonds

(Printable Recipe)

Fresh spinach (I use the fresh spinach from Costco)
2 oranges, peeled and sliced
1 pomegranate, peeled and seeded

1/2 cup POM juice
1 T red wine vinegar
Juice of one orange
2 T agave nectar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper-to taste

1. Add fresh spinach to a large salad bowl. Add the oranges, pomegranate arils, and almonds.
2. To make the dressing-in a small bowl add the POM juice, vinegar, orange juice, and agave nectar. Whisk in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Dorie's Corniest Corn Muffins

I only have to work three days this week. I love holidays:) Even though we don't have big Thanksgiving plans, I am still excited for some time off and football. Speaking of football, we saw The Blind Side over the weekend and we LOVED it. I highly recommend it!

I have been making a lot of soup lately. It always hits the spot on a cold day and unfortunately, Utah gets its fair share of cold days. Corn muffins are the perfect side to any bowl of steaming, hot soup or chili.

I made Dorie's Corniest Corn Muffins the other day and they were delicious. I love how easy they were to make. You can whip these up just as fast as a box of Jiffy mix and they are much better. I love the hearty chunks of corn and how moist and tender they are. I think they are best served warm with a drizzle of honey or a little homemade jam. Josh likes to dunk his in whatever soup we are having.

If you are afraid of yeast rolls, make these muffins for Thanksgiving this year. Your guests will appreciate a big basket of Dorie's corn muffins. I am sure of it!

Corniest Corn Muffins

Adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
6 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons corn oil
2 eggs
1 cup corn kernels-I used frozen corn

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter or spray the 12 muffin molds in a regular-size muffin tin, or fit the molds with paper muffin cups.

Working in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In a large glass measuring cup with a spout or in another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, oil, egg and yolk. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough – the batter will be lumpy and that’s just the way it should be. Stir in the corn kernels. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.

Slide the pan into the oven and bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Pull the pan from the oven and carefully lift each muffin out of its mold and onto a rack to cool.

Dorie's Storing Tips: Like all muffins, these are best eaten the day they are made. If you want to keep them, it’s best to wrap them airtight and pop them into the freezer, where they’ll keep for about a month; re-warm in a 300°F oven, if you’d like, or split them and toast them—do that and they’ll be that much more delicious with butter.

If you like these corn muffins, you might also like:
Spicy Corn Muffins from Two Peas and Their Pod
Skillet CornBread from Two Peas and Their Pod
Whole Wheat and Flax Cornbread Muffins from This Week for Dinner
Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins from Awake at the Whisk

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