Baked Salmon with Cilantro

www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne
Jayne

We are right in the middle of Lent and aren’t we always looking for some great fish or seafood recipe that we can serve our family or guests for dinner on a Friday evening? I started digging through my books and books of recipes that I have collected over the years and I found one that my mom used to make for us when we had family dinners. This is a recipe you could use even for cod, but I chose salmon just because of it being my favorite and my family’s also. Continue reading “Baked Salmon with Cilantro”

Healthy Tips for Potluck!

Healthy Tips for Potluck
pot-luck I noun I a meal to which everyone who is invited brings food to share

Potlucks are great anytime of the year, but they tend to be more popular this time of year as we have more gatherings with friends and family for the holidays and football games. Potlucks are popular because not only is it a lot less work for the host, but it provides a wide variety of foods for everyone to try! In my family, potlucks are a must. I have a large family, so large in fact that we have to rent out a community room or an external space to host our family gatherings because we don’t fit in our own houses anymore! But, no matter where we spend our holidays, food is always at the top of mind.

Continue reading “Healthy Tips for Potluck!”

How to Ice a Cake with Roll Fondant

How to Ice a Cake with Roll Fondant

www.cobornsblog.com The art of Cakes with Amanda
Amanda

Time to get fancy! Let’s talk fondant. Get out your rolling pin and nonstick mat and prepare those arm muscles for a little work out. I’ve included a little video to see the process but let’s also discuss the process from supplies to cake.

First thing you’ll need, a few special supplies. A cake, lightly iced. When you put the fondant on top it can get a bit too squishy and create a mess if your frosting is too thick. I’m going to be covering an 8” round, double layered, cake. I used 1 lb. of fondant to cover my cake but you could use a little more to give yourself a little wiggle room when covering. You should also have a fondant smoothing tool, a paddle like looking device, and a nonstick silpat mat for rolling on. Most important you need a rolling pin. I like a big heavy rolling pin for the job. You’ll also need to sprinkle powdered sugar, I like to use a shaker for this, but you could do it by hand too. I also like to use a pizza cutter for trimming my cake. It will roll smoothly around the cake. I don’t use a knife, those I keep far away from the silpat mat. Any knicks or cuts you leave behind when using a blade will show up forever after when you roll out fondant.

Ok, now to get rolling. If you want to color your fondant go ahead and do that first, then cover it up to keep it from getting crusty. Next I base ice my cake and then keep it close as I go back to start on the fondant again.

Knead your fondant, a lot. Keep kneading until it feels silky and smooth. Your hands should warm it up and make it pliable. The more you knead it the better your fondant covering experience will go. If your fondant feels dry and stiff, keep kneading. There should be a little stretch. Once it’s warmed up you can start rolling it out.

SuppliesDust your mat with powdered sugar and place your flattened ball of fondant in the center of the mat. I usually squish it out a little into the shape I want, a circle or a square. Dust the top a little with powdered sugar then start rolling. Keep rolling and rolling. Work the fondant into the shape you want. Rotate your pin, rotate the fondant. If it gets too oval or rectangular don’t be afraid to stretch back into the shape you want with your hands. Covering your cake will be easier if you can keep your fondant in a shape relatively similar to your cake. Keep checking the thickness. Give a little more muscle to the parts that are thicker. It can be tempting to use a thick a slab of fondant on your cake in the excitement of covering your cake, but be patient. A thick slab isn’t going to taste good and can squish your cake down creating slouching and puckering after an hour or so. Go thin. Shoot for about ¼” or less for a typical cake, but a little on the thicker side of that for a shaped cake to allow for stretching.

Now that you are at your desired thickness and size you are ready to cover. How big should it be? The height of your cake x 2, plus the width of the top. Then add a couple inches to allow for fidgeting and fussing.

You want to do the next steps in one, uninterrupted step. Don’t answer the phone, don’t stop for a snack. The fondant is already drying and getting a skin and if you walk away it will wrinkle and tear when you try to do anything with it, then you get to start all over.

Move your iced cake over next to your fondant slab. There are many way and tricks to picking up fondant. I don’t use them. I just pick it up like a pizzeria guy. Do it quick, yet gentle, and keep the fondant moving and you shouldn’t get any tears. If you stand around thinking with it draped over your fingers, yes, it will get deformed, but why are you just standing there? Place your fondant over the cake. There should be a little moisture left in the frosting to make it stick. If you think you are going to take more than 15 minutes to roll out your fondant covering your cake wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Lay your fondant across the top, let the sides drape down. Use your hand to smooth out the fondant from the middle to the outside. Then use your smoothing tool to briskly rub the surface. Apply pressure, just enough to work out any air bubbles. Try to work from the middle to the outside to move out any bubbles. Work quickly; your sides are starting to firm up.

Now for the tricky part, the sides. You need to start smoothing the fondant to the frosting. Work in small areas, going in a circle around your cake. You Using Fondant Icingdon’t need to stick it all at once. Imagine there are horizontal lines on your cake, about an 1 or so apart, just work from the top imaginary ring down to the next. By the time you get to the bottom half you’ll need to gently tug and stretch at the fondant to avoid the folds and pleats. Keep moving, keep working at it, and keep being patient. Smooth as you go to avoid air bubbles.

Once you have your cake covered you can trim the excess off from around the bottom with your pizza cutter. Now pick up your smoother again and start rubbing all over. At this point you are trying to polish the fondant up. Rub out any ripples, move any air bubbles down and out. If you have any stubborn bubbles you can poke a small hole with a thin pin and let the air out. This will leave a hole, but sometimes it’s worth the trade off on stubborn bubbles.

Congratulations! You did it! You have a smooth fondant cake. Have fun dressing it up from this point. You can paint it, stick fondant to it, and quilt it. And don’t forget the important part, you can eat it.

Amanda
Coborn’s Cake Decorator
Sartell, MN – Pine Cone Road

Click Here for more articles written by Amanda

www.cobornsblog.com - The Art of Cakes with Amanda

Mini Baker Holiday Gift Idea

Mini Baker Holiday Gift Idea - www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne
Jayne

Traditional Holiday Baking at its Best!

Well in my blog this past September I introduced you to the new Mini Baker and I thought that this month we could talk more about the Mini Bakers.  December is the time of year when you get together with family and friends you haven’t seen for a while to celebrate the holidays over dinner or even a cocktail party. Each year when I get an invitation to attend a party, I always bring a gift for the host or hostess to show my appreciation for the time spent to get their house ready and all the wonderful food that he or she has prepared for all of us to enjoy. Now that I have discovered these little Mini Bakers, I am going to make a variety of items that I can put into the Mini Baker and give out as hostess gifts. I want to share these recipes because they have been in my family for over 75 years.  I grew up enjoying these breads during Thanksgiving and Christmas and want to pass them on to you.  There is nothing like the smell of these old recipes baking in the oven that brings back all those wonderful memories of my mom and grandma in the kitchen.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Yesterday when I picked up more of these Mini Bakers I noticed that Crafts Direct now has serving trays to go with the Mini Baker and cute decals to add to the outside of the dish.  So I just had to try them.

Now all you have to do is attach a cute little decal on the side of the dish along with a bow on the top.  You have a perfect little hostess gift that can be enjoyed as a treat and the best part your host or hostess can keep the dish to enjoy other fun treats throughout the holidays.

Cranberry Orange Bread

My Grandma's Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe made in the Mini Baker - www.cobornsblog.com

Cranberry Orange Bread
Author: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Soda
  • ¼ Cup Shortening
  • ¾ Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Orange Zest
  • 1 Cup Dried Cranberries, chopped
  • ½ Cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans
Instructions
  1. Mix ingredients except for nuts and cranberries, just to moisten.
  2. Fold in the nuts and berries.
  3. Spray Mini Bakers with cooking spray and flour them.
  4. Pour batter into 4 Mini Bakers.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 45 minutes.
Notes
Makes 4 individual loaves in the mini bakers.

 

Almond Tea Bread

Almond Tea Bread
Author: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • Bread
  • 2¼ Cups Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Oil
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1½ tsp. Salt
  • 1½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1½ Cups Milk
  • 1½ T. Poppy Seed
  • 1½ tsp. Almond Extract
  • 1½ tsp. Butter Extract
  • 1½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Glaze
  • 3.4 Cup Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Orange Juice
  • ½ tsp. Almond Extract
  • ½ tsp. Butter Extract
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Mix together the sugar, egg, and oil.
  2. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk.
  3. Beat for approximately 2 minutes.
  4. Spray Mini Bakers with cooking spray and flour them.
  5. Pour batter into 4 Mini Bakers.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 45 minutes.
  7. Stir all glaze ingredients together.
  8. Paint with pastry brush over bread while bread is still warm.
Notes
Makes 4 individual loaves in the mini bakers.

Aloha Banana Bread

Aloha Banana Bread
Author: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 1 T. Orange Zest
  • ¼ Cup Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp. Almond Extract
  • 1 Cup Flaked Coconut
  • ½ Cup Chopped Macadamia Nuts or Walnuts
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Spray Mini Bakers with cooking spray and flour them.
  3. Pour batter into 4 Mini Bakers.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 45 minutes.
Notes
Makes 4 individual loaves in the mini bakers.

 

Have a Safe Happy Holiday. And enjoy… I will!

Jayne
Coborn’s Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser

Click Here for more blog articles written by Jayne.

www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends and Food with Jayne

Festive Holiday Dippin'

www.cobornsblog.com - 6 Festive Holiday Dippin' Recipes

www.cobornsblog.com - Making Holiday Dippin'' Memories with your Grandchildren
Sharon with her Husband and 9 of 13 Grandchildren

We’ve all experienced an unexpected change in plans, but the true test is how we handle those challenges.  Being a grandmother of 13 lively, active grandchildren, you would think I would be prepared for anything thrown my way…..not so!  Three days before Thanksgiving I received a phone call from my five grandsons who live in California….”Guess what Granny…we’re coming to visit you in three days!”.   Once the excitement and sheer joy of getting to see them wore off and reality set in, so did panic.  What was I going to do with five very active little boys at my house?  We had recently moved and downsized as empty-nesters do, so I no longer had the room or toys to keep them entertained.  Mmmnnn, what to do…..Holidazzle Parade was a must-see, but now for the remainder of the visit.  Oh, I know…we’ll bake Christmas cookies.

Yes, now with a plan of action, I sat down to make my list of cookies to bake….let me see, there’s cut-out cookies, spritz cookies, fudge and oh so many wonderful goodies.  But then I envisioned my kitchen powdered in flour, sugar and icing and knew I needed to come up with a different plan.  Being an old-fashioned baker at heart, taking the easy method of “dipping” somehow didn’t seem like holiday baking, but I was willing to give it a try.  After a quick search of recipes and ideas from Pinterest, I was off to the store armed with my shopping list.  Being a traditional baker, I don’t usually try new products for my holiday baking, but with a big crew of active boys I gave the new Food Club Quick’n Easy Candy Coating a try — what a great find this was.  Each package contains individual bars of candy coating eliminating the mess of cutting pieces off for melting.  It really was quick’n easy with no mess, the creamy consistency remained smooth and pliable for even the littlest hands to leisurely finish their dipping projects.

The day finally arrived, and with now eight grandchildren gathered around we began our day of dipping fun. But really, would telling this crew of boys we’re going to dip pretzels in almond bark sound exciting?  I knew in a fleeting moment I needed a creative twist to this adventure.

We made Rudolph Antlers, Reindeer Corn, Snowflake Frisbees, Santa’s Magic Wands, Christmas Mice and Snowball Cherries.   With these magical recipe names I was named the “Best Granny In the World” – a memory-making day without creating a disaster in my kitchen. The weekend was a success, spending cherished bonding time together with family and the added bonus of several new candy coated favorites added to my traditional holiday baking collection.  So grandmothers, mothers, aunties and friends, gather up a spoonful of love, add a pinch of patience and a splash of creativity and get ready for a Festive Dippin’ Holiday.
– Written by Sonja’s Guest Blogger – Sharon

Don’t forget to click here and print out your $1.00 off Food Club Quick’N Easy Candy Coating coupon. Good at all Coborn’s stores through December 31, 2013.

www.cobornsblog.com - Snowball Cherries

Snowball Cherries

Ingredients

1 (8 oz) Package Food Club Cream Cheese, softened
36 Food Club Dunksters, finely crushed
1 Jar Food Club Maraschino Cherries, patted dry
1 Package Food Club Quick’n Easy Candy Coating (Almond Bark)

Directions

Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.  Shape in 40 ( 1 1/4-inch) balls. Press to flatten.  Top each with a cherry and wrap cream cheese mixture around cherry to completely enclose cherry. Reroll into balls.  Freeze for 10 minutes or until firm.  Melt candy coating in microwave as instructed on package, dip balls in coating and placing on wax paper.  Sprinkle with sugars as desired.  Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

www.cobornsblog.com - Reindeer Corn

Reindeer Corn

Ingredients

1 Bag Food Club Kettle Corn
1/4 Package Vanilla Food Club Quick’N Easy Candy Coating (Almond Bark)
1/4 Package Chocolate Food Club Quick’N Easy Candy Coating (Almond Bark)
Sprinkles as desired

Directions

Place one whole bag of kettle corn in a large bowl or roaster pan. Melt 1/4 package of vanilla almond bark in the microwave as instructed on package. Place melted almond bark in a plastic baggie and cut a small hole in the corner. Squeeze melted bark out of the corner of the bag and drizzle over popcorn while stirring continuously. Repeat with chocolate almond bark. When stirred completely, add sugared sprinkles if desired.

Tip

You can also use regular popcorn or puff corn in place of the kettle corn to achieve a different flavor.

www.cobornsblog.com - Rudolph Antlers

Rudolph Antlers

Ingredients

1 Bag Food Club Twisted Pretzels
1/2 Package Food Club Quick’N Easy Candy Coating (Almond Bark)
Chocolate Sprinkles
Red Cinnamon Candies

Directions

Melt candy coating in microwave as instructed on package.  Dip pretzels in candy coating. Let excessive coating drip off and the place on waxed paper. Decorate with chocolate sprinkles and a red cinnamon candy. When cool, store in an air-tight container.

Tip

Use a meat fork or a metal skewer for easy pretzel dipping.

www.cobornsblog.com - Santa's Magic Wands

Santa’s Magic Wands

Ingredients

1 Bag Food Club Pretzel Rods
1 Package Food Club Quick’N Easy Candy Coating (Almond Bark)
Sprinkles as desired

Directions

Melt candy coating in microwave as instructed on package.  Dip top half of a pretzel rods in melted candy coating and decorate with sugars or sprinkles. Lay on waxed paper to dry.

www.cobornsblog.com - Christmas Mice

Christmas Mice

Ingredients

1 Jar Food Club Maraschino Cherries with Stems, patted dry
1 Bag Hershey Kisses
1/2 Package Food Club Quick’N Easy Chocolate Candy Coating

Optional
Sliced Almonds
Decorators Gel

Directions

Melt candy coating in microwave as instructed on package. Hold stem and dip maraschino cherry in chocolate, covering completely. Attach cherry to flat side of an unwrapped Hershey Kiss and place on waxed paper to dry.

Optional

Add sliced almonds for ears and use decorators gel for eyes

www.cobornsblog.com - Snowflake Frisbees

Snowflake Frisbees

Ingredients

1 Box Food Club All Purpose Crackers
1 Jar Food Club Chunky Peanut Butter
1 Package Food Club Quick’n Easy Vanilla or Chocolate Candy Coating
Sprinkles as desired

Directions

Spread peanut butter on a cracker and place another cracker on top creating a cracker sandwich.  Melt candy coating in microwave as instructed on package.  Dip each cracker sandwich in candy coating and place on waxed paper.  Decorate with sugars, sprinkles or decorating gels if desired.

Tip

Instead of crackers and peanut butter try using vanilla wafers with chocolate hazelnut spread.

 

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www.cobornsblog.com - Sonja - Food Club, it's the brand I bring home.