Divinity, Popcorn Balls, Snow Caps and Cake Truffles. F u Weight Watchers.

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm by Chef Shelby

Tomorrow is a big day in Schroon Lake, Santa arrives at the Strand around 6.  It seems like there’ll be activities going on all over town tomorrow, the Chamber has something, the fun starts at the Strand around 4, and not to be left out, we’re doing some goodies for tomorrow too. 

 This week has been a week of prep work, not just for Santa’s arrival, but for the holiday sugar season in general.  Time to dig out the family recipes for candy, cookies, cakes, stocking stuffer treats and pretty much anything else that could be described as a “FDD.”  What is FDD, you may ask?  Frosting delivery device for the amateurs out there. 

 Just doing a quick status check.  Popcorn balls:  75+ completed, including caramel and red.  Bacon and green still left to do.  Chocolate espresso snow cap cookies:  done.  Divinity:  done (pure sugar mixed with dried cherries and almonds.)  Kind of the consistency of fudge.  Chipotle chocolate cake truffles:  100+ truffles formed and waiting to be dipped in chocolate.  Almost forgot the gingerbread cupcakes with eggnog crème filling and eggnog frosting I made yesterday.  Christmas is the marathon of all baking holidays, with a little more than 2 weeks to go. 

 Plan for tonight:  wrap the popcorn balls, dip the truffles in chocolate, make honeyed rosemary almonds, some assorted flavors of cake truffles and maybe a batch of some other cookie flavor.  Attempt to eat something green for dinner that isn’t made of frosting.

Tis the season for Gift Certificates!

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm by Chef Shelby

Mr. P’s is offering a special deal on gift certificates from Dec 1 through Dec 15:  Purchase a $25.00 gift certificate and receive a complimentary bottle of House Sauce, Sweet Sauce or Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Hot Sauce, a $5 value.  All of the sauces are gluten-free, dairy-free and contain no meat products (can’t forget about the vegetarians!)  Give it to your barbecue aficionado or keep it for yourself!  Gift certificates can be used for food, market items or Mr. P’s gear.  Coming soon….watch for new holiday gift baskets including Mr. P’s House Rub and sweet treats from Shelby’s Kitchen Therapy coming soon.

How Did You Two End Up In Schroon Lake?

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 11:40 pm by Mr P

Shelby & I had been trying to figure out how we could move to the Adirondacks for a while. After having the house on the market for over a year (you’ve heard about the housing market in Michigan, haven’t you? ;)), by early February it became apparent that the house was finally going to sell, and we needed to find a place to move. We considered finding an apartment in Detroit metro vicinity and living there for another year or two, but then it hit us: moving is a pain, why do it twice? Why don’t we move to the Adirondacks now and open a barbecue joint? Out came the laptop and we started searching the internet for buildings that would work.

We were looking for a small-ish place with a storefront, a kitchen, and living quarters. With those requirements, we found five properties: one in Tupper Lake, one in Keene, one in Moriah, and two in Schroon Lake. I grew up in Syracuse and I lived in Albany for almost 10 years, so I was pretty familiar with the Adirondacks in general. I knew Tupper Lake and Keene, but I had never gotten off the Northway in Schroon Lake until we came out to look at properties in March. Honestly, between the location and the property, we just fell in love and set out to make it happen. We moved in on May 23 and opened on June 24, and we haven’t looked back.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 6:11 pm by Chef Shelby

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

 

Instead of shooting for a Martha Stewart traditional cookie recipe this time, I opted for a recipe with pumpkin.  Our awesome Sysco rep Angel dropped off 20 pounds of fresh pumpkin, all peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch squares.  Side note:  I know sometimes the big food distributors get a bad rap about the quality of food they carry, but we’ve been really pleased with the selection of fresh foods, some from New York, non-GMO and artificial growth hormone free dairy, meat, poultry and produce.  Check out the photos of the pumpkin, the brightest orange possible in nature!    

 

So now I have 20 pounds of fresh pumpkin to play with!  Every recipe website has a bazillion pumpkin cookies and cupcakes,
but I found an interesting option on the almighty grand poobah Martha Stewart’s website:  Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins.
Shaped like a muffin, but the exterior texture and taste is like a doughnut, and they are baked, not fried.  I’m whipping up a batch of mini-muffins to take over to the Schroon Lake Central School Blood Drive today, so if you’re there, enjoy! 

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins (gluten-free)

Batter:

1 cup + 4 tablespoons butter
2 scant cups rice flour
2 scant cups soy flour
1 ½ cups corn starch
2/3 cup tapioca starch
2 tablespoons guar
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
2/3 cups buttermilk*
2 ½ cups fresh pumpkin puree*
1 ½ cups brown sugar
4 large eggs

 

 

 

 

Coating:

1 ½ cups granulated sugar
5 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup melted unsalted butter

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat your pan with cooking spray or use the butter/flour method. 

2.  Whisk together all flours, corn starch, guar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. 

3.  In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and pumpkin puree. 

4.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. 

5.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. 

6.  Using the low setting, add the flour mixture alternating with the pumpkin mixture and beat to combine. 

7.  Spoon into muffin pans (filling almost to top of pan.) 

 

8.  For mini-muffins, bake approximately 12 minutes.  For regular size muffins, bake 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. 

 

9.  To make the coating, in a medium bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon. 

10.  Let the muffins cool 10 minutes after being removed from the oven. 

11.  Working one at a time, remove the muffin from pan and brush all over with melted butter, and then toss to coat in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack. 

 

 * If you don’t keep buttermilk around, here’s a quick & easy substitute.  Measure out your milk of choice, whole, 2%, whatever.  Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for every cup of milk.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes.  The milk will get all chunky from the lemon and can be used in any recipe that calls for buttermilk.  I haven’t tried it with non-dairy milks like almond or soy, not sure if it would work in the same way or not. 

 

 * You can substitute canned pumpkin puree here.  If you have fresh pumpkin, you can make a puree by smashing it the same way you would make mashed potatoes.  If you have a food processor or blender, that works really well too. 

 Adapted from Martha Stewart, Everyday Food, November 2010, Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins