Food, mustard seed sentinel

Almond Roca Bars

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Do you love toffee? Do you love chocolate? How about chocolate and toffee together? Have you ever had Almond Roca? It’s one of my husband’s favorite candies. You can experience the incredible flavor of Almond Roca with this very simple bar recipe.

I have been making Almond Roca bars for twenty-five years. Yikes, that means I’m old. Wisdom comes with age, right? So take my wise advice, and make these scrumptious bars. They are easy to make and absolutely delightful. 

A soft buttery toffee crust topped with Hershey chocolate and crunchy almonds is a winning combo. Almond Roca bars are great to give out as gifts. You can cut them small or large. You can make the almonds chunky or really fine. Both ways are very good. These bars get devoured every time I make them. 

Enjoy Almond Roca without all of the fuss of making candy. This decadent dessert tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen. The longest part of making these bars is waiting for them to set up. Give these amazing Almond Roca bars a try. You will be so glad you did.

Happy Eating!

All things are possible to him who believes. Mark 9:23 

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Almond Roca Bars

Ingredients 

1 cup softened butter

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 egg yolk

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder 

4 to 6 Hershey chocolate bars

1 ½ cups finely chopped almonds

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment or aluminum foil. Extend the paper or foil beyond the edges to easily remove the bars from the pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugars using a hand mixer.
  4. Add the egg yolk and mix until combined.
  5. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix until combined. The batter will be smooth and thick. 
  6. Spread onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. When the crust is out of the oven and still hot, lay the Hershey bars on top and let them sit for about 30 seconds so the chocolate can melt. Carefully spread the melted chocolate over the crust. Do not tear the crust.
  9. Sprinkle chopped almonds over the melted chocolate.
  10. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Notes

  • The batter for the crust is thick like peanut butter. It will take a few minutes to carefully spread it out onto the parchment or foil
  • Using  foil/parchment makes removing and cutting the bars much easier.
  • Place the baked bars in the fridge to cool faster.
  • They are easier to cut when they are completely cool.
  • Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Go to Mustard Seed Sentinel to get all of my monthly recipes. Meghan’s Corner.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com

Food, mustard seed sentinel

Two Ingredient Homemade Ice Cream

I checked my calendar and it still says summer. That means we are legally allowed to eat ice cream. There are no laws about when to eat ice cream, but most of us enjoy this creamy treat in the hot summer months. We can do better than just consume some overpriced store-bought ice cream, we can make our own. 

This is the easiest homemade ice cream you will ever make. There is no ice cream machine involved, and no special equipment is required. If you have a stand mixer or a hand mixer, you can make this tempting ice cream. And it really only takes two ingredients to make the sweet, light, fluffy ice cream base. The rest is up to your taste buds and your imagination. 

I love to use my family as guinea pigs when I try new recipes. This one was so much fun to play with since the flavor possibilities are endless. To be safe for our first round, we stuck with some classics. We made strawberry, mint chip, coffee, cookies and cream, cookie dough, and vanilla. All six are delicious.

The consensus from my panel of taste testers, my husband and sons, is that this ice cream is a winner. My panel of judges raved about the light creamy texture, and yummy flavors. We are already planning our next batch with some fun new varieties. This homemade ice cream gets my families stamp of approval, and I think your family will love it as well.

Happy Eating!

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 

Colossians 3:15

Two Ingredient Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, using the whisk attachment, beat whipping cream with a mixer until soft peaks form.
  2. Add sweetened condensed milk and whip on high until stiff peaks form.
  3. Divide up ice cream base in batches and add in flavors before freezing.
  4. Place prepared ice cream in air tight containers and freeze for 6 hours until it’s frozen solid.
  5. It can be kept frozen for up to 6 weeks.

Notes:

  • Soft peaks will take a few minutes and the cream will be thickened.
  • Stiff peaks will hold their shape and be firm. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Refrigerate the condensed milk beforehand.
  • You can purchase ice cream containers online, but they aren’t necessary.
  • This recipe will make 3 ½ pints (56oz) of ice cream.
  • Carefully fold in cookies, sprinkles, chocolate chips or whatever you want.

To get all of my recipes go to the link below. Go to More and scroll down to Meghan’s Corner. Mustard Seed Sentinel is an online faith-based magazine filled with all sorts of fantastic articles, written by accomplished, talented writers. Check it out and subscribe.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com

Faith, Food, Uncategorized

Mock Mojitos

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There is nothing quite like a cool drink on a hot summer day. Sometimes, plain old water is not enough. You want something special every now and then to quench your thirst. This mojito does the trick without any alcohol. It’s crisp, sweet, and slightly bitter. 

You don’t need any fancy equipment or bartender tools to make this delicious mocktail. It comes together quickly. The only time consuming part is squeezing the limes, but so worth the effort. I prefer fresh lime juice over bottled. But by all means, use bottled juice if that’s your groove. 

Mint leaves add tartness while the basil brings some sweetness to balance out the mojitos. There’s nothing better than adding fresh ingredients to any recipe. If you’re like me, you’ve got plenty of herbs growing in your yard. If not, they are easy to find at your local grocery store.

I suggest using flavored sparkling water to sweeten the mojitos if you’re making these for kids. The sourness may be too much for some children. This delightful drink would be lovely for dinner guests at a barbeque, or pool party. Surprise your family with this refreshing non-alcoholic treat, just because. 

Happy Drinking!

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

 

Mock Mojitos

 

¼ cup mint leaves

¼ cup basil leaves

½ sugar

¾ cup fresh squeezed lime juice

1 liter sparkling water

ice

For garnish: lime wheels & mint sprigs

 

  1. In a medium pitcher add mint, basil, and sugar. 
  2. Using a wooden spoon, mash until the herbs are fragrant.
  3. Add lime juice and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Top with sparkling water.
  5. Pour into four ice filled glasses.
  6. Garnish with lime wheels and mint sprigs.

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Read this article at the link below, and get all of my recipes on Mustard Seed Sentinel. Go to More and scroll down to Meghan’s Corner.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-mock-mojitos

Faith, Food, Uncategorized

Millionaire’s Shortbread

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One bite of this rich dessert won’t make you wealthy, but it will make you smile. Buttery shortbread crust, a soft caramel center, topped with dark chocolate, and a sprinkle of sea salt make this bar worth a million. I would pay top dollar at a bakery for this delicacy.

Do you like Twix candy bars? This decadent little bar is similar, but even better than the store bought treat. It’s worth the effort to make these indulgent goodies. The trickiest part is the caramel. If you cook the caramel for too long it will be tough. It’s also quite easy to burn caramel. Just follow the directions for the caramel, and you’ll do fine.

Let me encourage you in your cooking and baking endeavors. Each winter I teach a cooking class to kids ages twelve and up. My students this year, most of whom had never cooked, made this recipe. They did a phenomenal job. There was no burned caramel. The kids all cooked it beautifully. If they can do it, and I can do it, you can do it too. 

Millionaire’s shortbread is a special treat that lives up to its name. Make it for your family, your friends, your neighbors, or anyone who could use some happiness. Chocolate and caramel are always a winning combination.

Happy Eating!

 

Delight yourself in the Lord,

 and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4 

 

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Millionaire’s Shortbread

 

Shortbread Crust

¾ cup butter (softened)

⅓ cup sugar

1 ⅓ cup flour

 

Caramel

½ cup butter

½ cup brown sugar 

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons regular pancake syrup 

 

Chocolate

1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips

1 tablespoon butter 

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with foil or parchment and leave enough over the edges to create a sling. This will make it easy to take it out of the pan and cut into bars.

3. Make the shortbread crust:

Mix the butter, sugar, and flour with a spoon until small crumbs form. Press evenly into the bottom of your pan.

Bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden brown.

Cool completely before adding caramel.

4. Make the caramel:

In a medium saucepan place butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and syrup. Heat everything on low heat until the butter melts. Then turn up the heat to medium/medium high & bring it to a boil. Stir continually. (Be careful because caramel can burn easily) Once it’s at a boil, turn down to a simmer and stir continually until caramel turns an amber color & is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat & immediately pour hot caramel over the cooled crust. Cool before adding the chocolate.

5. Melt the chocolate:

Combine the chocolate and butter in an oven safe glass bowl. Melt in the microwave for 90 seconds total. Stop every 30 second and stir the chocolate. Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel layer. Let it set up completely before cutting. 

Optional: top with sea salt.

 

Notes

*Make the crust and cool completely before you make the caramel. If not, the crust will tear when you add the caramel.

*If the caramel gets little brown bits, it’s OK, it will still taste good.

*Place the shortbread in the refrigerator between layers to speed up cooling.

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You can read this article at the link below, and get all of my recipes on Mustard Seed Sentinel. Go to More and scroll down to Meghan’s Corner.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-millionaire-s-shortbread

Faith, Food

Chicken Tortilla Soup

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I love soup. It’s hearty, and can be loaded with all sorts of goodness. This one has shredded chicken, black beans, corn, cilantro, and a few other ingredients that make a filling meal. Some soups can be bland and mushy. Chicken tortilla soup is flavorful and scrumptious. No soggy soup here.

This lovely soup comes together pretty quick. You can easily make this on a busy weeknight. As long as your chicken is already cooked, you’re good to go. If you’ve got some leftover chicken on hand that would work too. 

One pot meals are some of my favorites. No cooking multiple things all at once. Juggling the oven, and the stove top can be a challenge. I cook like that quite often, and I don’t mind it. But, using the same pot for the entire meal is such a nice break from the norm. 

This particular version of chicken tortilla soup calls for hominy, which is dried corn kernels that are soaked in an alkaline solution. Basically, hominy is big puffy corn. I do not use hominy for this soup since it’s not at my local Aldi. Instead, I use white beans as a replacement. If you like hominy, or you’re just curious, give it a try. 

Something that I add to make this recipe even more delicious, is homemade tortilla strips. It’s worth the extra time to fry up your own tortillas. The flavor and richness that the fresh tortilla’s add is mouthwatering. If you are not up for that, just add store bought tortilla chips to the soup. Still very good and easy. 

Enjoy this fantastic soup.

Happy Eating!

Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. 

Matthew 4:4

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves of minced garlic

1 diced onion

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes

1 (32 oz.) container chicken broth 

1 cup water

3 to 4 boneless, skinless, cooked chicken breast (shredded)

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained

1 cup whole kernel corn

1 cup hominy or 1 (15 oz.) can white beans

1 (4 oz.) can green chiles 

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

homemade tortilla strips 

sliced avocado

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  1. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook until soft.
  2. Add oregano, chili powder, tomatoes, chicken broth, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the shredded chicken, black beans, corn, hominy or white beans, green chiles, and cilantro to the pot. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. While the soup is cooking make your tortilla strips.
  5. Serve up the soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips, sliced avocado, Jack cheese, and cilantro.

Notes:

  • Always taste while you are cooking. Check if salt is needed, especially if low-sodium broth is used.
  • Add onions, black olives, or sour cream for toppings.

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Homemade Tortilla Strips

4 to 6 6-inch corn tortillas

¼ cup (approximately) vegetable oil

salt

  1. Slice tortillas into ½ inch strips.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat.
  3. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil has a shimmer and coats the bottom of the pan it’s ready.
  4. Cook tortilla strips in small batches for a couple of minutes per side. Turn them once they stiffen up and are golden brown. 
  5. The tortilla strips cook quickly.
  6. Place cooked strips on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.

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Check out my monthly column at Mustard Seed Sentinel.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-chicken-tortilla-soup