Welcome To The Shakin 'N Bakin Blog!

Welcome to my blog! I love to cook and bake for my family. I hope you enjoy the recipes, foodie reviews, foodie giveaways and cooking tips posted on my blog.

How to Print Recipes: You can print out each individual recipe featured on this blog by clicking the "share" button at the bottom of each post. It will open up to show you options, click on print and another window will open up with the recipe inside it for printing. You can also use the SHARE button to email a copy of the recipe to yourself for printing later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How to Freeze Bell Peppers

This past year my garden did extremely well, especially when it came to growing an abundance of fresh tomatoes, onions, zucchini, cucumbers and bell peppers. Seriously, this was the best crop and harvest we've had in at least the past 10 years.

I had a reader email me to ask how you can freeze bell peppers and after I answered her question, I thought I would also publish the instructions right here on my foodie blog for all of you.

How to Freeze Bell Peppers

Wash and towel dry your peppers. If you have any bad spots on them, you'll want to cut those away or totally toss it. Use a sharp knife to cut away the stem & core. Rinse them underneath cool running water to help loosen the seeds and membranes. Toss them away.

I like to prepare mine on a glass cutting board. I first slice them in half and then I slice them into strips or dice them into chunks, depending on how I plan to use them in the future. Every season, I make batches of both, but more strips than chunks, since we use our strips in a lot of stir-fry's, soups and stews.

Once you have them diced up or cut into strips, place them into a large measuring cup. I like to freeze mine in 2 cup portions, so I measure out 2 cups at a time. Pour them onto a baking sheet in a single layer and use paper towels to blot up any moisture that remains on them. Place the tray into your freezer for one hour to start the freezing process.

Remove from freezer and blog them again with paper towels. Pour into freezer bags (I use quart-size bags) or freezer containers. Purge out all of the air that you can. Seal the bag or container, label them appropriately and then freeze.

When you want to use them, you don't thaw them out at all! You simply remove as many that you need from your package and toss them into whatever it is your preparing. In addition, there is NO NEED to blanch them during the preparation/freezing process either. It's totally not necessary. Furthermore, freezing them does change their texture a little bit, so you don't want to toss them into a salad or eat them plan. They are meant to be used in your cooking, slow-cooker and baking recipes.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Lavender-Thyme Iced Tea Recipe

I admit, I'm a huge iced tea drinker. I will brew a pot of iced tea every few days here at home. I like it sweetened and sometimes I'll add fruity flavors like peach or raspberry to the tea to sweeten it up even more. While I wish I could drink it unsweetened, I just can't, it doesn't work with my particular taste buds. With that said, I wanted to share this delicious recipe with all of you. How do you prefer to make it? How often do you enjoy drinking it? Here's the recipe, courtesy of Sparkling ICE.

Lavender-Thyme Iced Tea Recipe

Lavender-Thyme Syrup:
¼ cup sugar
1 cup water
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 teaspoons dried lavender

Iced Tea:
1 bottle (17 oz) Sparkling Ice® Lemon Tea
⅔ cup Lavender-Thyme syrup
1½ cups water
Juice of half lemon
2 cups ice, or enough to fill a pitcher
Garnish: Lemon slices, fresh thyme sprigs, fresh lavender sprigs

Lavender-Thyme Syrup
In a small saucepan, combine ingredients and bring to a simmer; continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until slightly reduced and thickened. Remove from heat; strain and discard thyme sprigs and lavender. Allow to cool completely. Yields about ⅔ cup.

Iced Tea
In a large glass pitcher, combine Sparkling Ice® Lemon Tea with infused syrup and mix well. Stir in water, lemon juice and ice. Garnish with lemon slices, thyme and lavender sprigs. Serve Immediately.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

No-Bake Cherry Crème Filled Dark Chocolate Bites Recipe

Yes, I know it's only October but I'm already starting to think about the quickly approaching holiday season. Every holiday season I make and bake a wide variety of cookies, pies, cupcakes, creamy fudge, bon-bons and all kinds of other delicious treats. I make them for the various holiday parties that we host and I like to give them as holiday foodie gifts too!

The great folks over at Sparkling ICE sent over this recipe for me to share with all of you. One of the things I like about this recipe is that it requires no baking and it includes one of my favorite foods, chocolate! As an added bonus, it's easy to prepare! This recipe is definitely on my to-do list for sure!

No-Bake Cherry Crème Filled Dark Chocolate Bites Recipe

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon Sparkling Ice® Black Cherry
2 tablespoons chopped dried sweet cherries
1 cup dark semisweet chocolate chips (60% cacao)
Toppings: Chopped pistachios, chopped almonds, coconut and chopped dried sweet cherries

In small bowl, combine powdered sugar, cream cheese and Sparkling Ice® Black Cherry, mixing to combine. Add dried cherries, mixing well to incorporate. Cover and refrigerate mixture for at least 1 hour; remove from fridge. With spoon or buttered hands, drop slightly less than ½ tablespoonful onto parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 30 to 45 minutes. (Mixture will be sticky.)

Melt chocolate per package microwave directions and set aside. Remove 1 to 2 frozen cherry fillings from the freezer at a time, and using toothpicks or 2 forks, dip each frozen filling into the chocolate to cover, shaking excess chocolate off. Place on parchment and top as desired. Continue for remaining chocolate bites. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.