there are so many delicious crock-pot recipes on the web, it isn't even funny. hoardes and hoardes of them!
i have one of those little dipper crockpots (freebie wheni purchased a big crockpot! yay!) and it is wonderful for chocolate fondues!
i add in 1 and 1 milk chocolate bar, heavy cream, a bit of whole milk, a slug of vanilla and a slug of bailey's irish cream. holy dinah, it's seriously some of the best stuff i've ever had. and the crockpot keeps it all nice and warm and gooey. mmmm
we also had a crockpot lunch at work where a few people brought in big crockpots full of soup. just about anything you put in a crockpot turns out well!
what about a white chocolate ganache? mix white chocolate and cream, heat gently until melted, you can also add some flavoring (like a couple tbsps of frangelico or bailey's or something). ganache recipe @: http://www.joyofbaking.com/ganache.html
when your ganache has cooled, you can just pour it on top of the cake (if it's still in the springform pan, it'll form a nice top "layer", otherwise place the cake on a grate (broiling grate, baking-cooling racks) with a plate underneath to catch the drips. pour evenly over the cake for a smooth frosting-type effect (depending on how flat your cake is, it can almost look like there's rolled fondant on top. otherwise, i'd just leave the cake in the pan and pour it on that way).
you could drizzle a raspberry coulis (smuckers sells a really convenient version- a sauce in a squeeze top container) on the plate to make it pretty and for some color
those are my 0.02 whatever you do, i bet they'll just love it!
i made a casserole i like to call "trashy broccoli", because it has got to be one of the unhealthiest treatments of broccoli around short of being deep fried (it's not deathly, but still... all the stuff together)
parboil some broccoli florets in salted water, drain and set aside or, chop the broccoli up REALLY finely, and skip the parboiling.
mix together mayonnaise, grated sharp cheddar, and some pepper. stir in the broccoli.
the additions are what make it great. i like to add in 1/2 a jar of hormel real bacon bits. i also like to top it with crushed up saltines and sometimes frenchfried onion strips. a plain salted potato chip topping would likely taste great, too. bake until hot and bubbly and top is browned (about 30-45 min at 350)
people just seem to go crazy for this stuff!
I made this and loved it !! I love broccoli anyway ..and I love ranch dressing, so I substituted the mayo for Hidden Valley ranch. Im thinking this would be great for upcoming holiday-bring-a-dish type of things I go to. Thanks for posting this recipe. [/quote]
i'm so glad that you liked it!!! it IS pretty tasty... it's amazing what we can invent with stuff in the cupboards. now i'll definitely have to try the ranch version!
i've also seen these cookies that are basically store bought chocolate wafer cookies, with half dipped in white chocolate and then rolled into really finely crushed-up peppermint candy cane bits. i haven't tried them, but they look SOOOO good (and pretty too!)
I LOVE cookbooks. it sounds weird, but i love reading them, almost like novels. i find i'll pick one up to look for a recipe, then find myself leafing through the whole thing for ideas, ingredients, etc.
i adore nigella lawson's books, and her first four (how to be a domestic goddess, how to eat, nigella bites and forever summer) are FANTASTIC. her last one, feast, is okay- but i find that a lot of the food in there is just variations of her other stuff. these books are a very interesting read as well- she was actually a journalist first (and not a trained chef) so she's also quite an entertaining wordsmith. she encourages one to play around and experiment, and she talks about approximations, drinking cocktails while cooking- great stuff! they are my absolute favorites to date.
the moosewood cookbook. great vegetarian stuff (even if you're not a veggie, like me).
the sophia loren cookbook. great, great italian food. the recipes aren't fussy at all to prepare, use simple ingredients that are (for the most part) readily available or easily substituted, and is a great italian primer for simple, tasty meals. her running dialogues about her movies and what not are a bit over the top, but hey. she's a legend.
if you need a good, basic cookbook: the better homes and gardens one (red gingham cover, like a small binder). it'll tell you everything you need to know about basic stuff that will please most people. there are pictures for every recipe and variations, hints, recipe troubleshooting, etc.
for reference: the reader's digest cookbook (old- if you can find a second hand one somewhere, snap it up!!!). it tells you EVERYTHING you could possibly ever want to know about cooking.
also, the joy of of cooking- excellent for reference. very handy to have around, if you want to experiment and need to know baking times, ingredients, etc.
julia child's books are also great.
another idea that has worked really well for me is getting a large three ring binder, some dividers and making your own recipe book. i like sites like epicurious.com, yumyum.com, cooks.com, etc. the amount of recipes on the internet is staggering, and i like to take some favorites that i've found and put together my own collection, flagging the ones i use most often.
my FAVORITE christmas music is the charlie brown christmas album. it is some of the most relaxing music, and i play it a lot all year. it's composed and performed by the vince guaraldi trio, and i think it's widely available at starbucks.
i'd just like to send out a big thanks to olive and orange for organizing the swap. she obviously did her research! we were all paired (at least in my case, i found) purposely with people that would likely enjoy similar types of things and enjoyed similar colors, etc. it would never have occurred to me to do that in a million years. so smart!