Rent A Mom

This week I my youngest daughter had a school project due that involved food. For her 5th grade Social Studies class she had to find a dessert to make from a country that her ancestors came from.

We have basically become mutts over the years in my family. I am 25% Irish, 25% Danish, and 50% French and my husband is Polish, German and French as far as he knows. My daughter chose France as her country. We decided to make Eclairs for her project. They were actually very easy to make! 

Chocolate Eclairs

5th Grade Social Studies Project

Chocolate Éclairs

Ingredients:
Filling:
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant chocolate
pudding mix prepared to directions on box
 
Pastries:
1/2 cup butter (1 Stick)
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
 
Chocolate Icing:
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Prepare pudding according to instructions on box. Chill 1 hour in refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease baking sheets.
3. In a heavy saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, water and salt over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Pour in flour all at once and stir vigorously until fully incorporated and mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat, let rest 5 minutes. Then beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
4. Drop dough into twelve equal mounds on baking sheets. Spread each mound into a 4×1/2 inch rectangle.
5. Bake in preheated oven 35 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and with a paring knife make a hole at one end of each éclair. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Return éclairs to oven for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Prepare icing while éclairs are cooling. Heat 2 tablespoons butter with chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and stir in confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla. Set aside.
7. To assemble: Using a pastry bag with a small tip, pipe the filling into each éclair. Frost with chocolate icing. Chill until serving.

 

Yesterday afternoon I went to pick my daughter up at school. As usual there are a few of us moms who buck the Car Line Rule and stand at the school’s front doors to pick up the kids. I know, we are such rebels! This way we can gossip talk about what is going on at school and such.

Well yesterday I asked one of the other moms what her daughter was making for the Social Studies project. I got a blank look from her at first and then the look of fear started to show! She had no idea that there was a project due the next day! She asked me what we were doing and I told her what we had picked. She offered me $30 to make her a batch of Eclairs for her daughter! I asked her if they were part French and she said “We will be for tomorrow if you can make them for us!” I took her up on her deal and we made an extra dozen Eclairs. I filled her Eclairs with vanilla pudding and used white chocolate for the frosting.

This little incident has got me to thinking… maybe I should start a new business. Rent A Mom! I could hire myself out to make desperately needed cookies and cupcakes. What, you can’t make little Timmy’s school play?! Have no fear Super Mom is here! For $50 an hour I will attend the play for you! Just e-mail me a recent photo of little Timmy and I will videotape and take pictures for you. But wait, there’s more! Act now and for just an extra $20 I will stand up a give your child the old “Way to go Timmy!” shoutout!

Hey, I’m just thinking out loud here!

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Christmas Tradition

A long time ago when I was in the 8th grade I took Home Economics as one of my electives. We learned how to make a recipe called Cream Cheese Braids. They are similar to a Cream Cheese Breakfast Danish. That year I made them as Christmas presents for friends and family. Little did I know 20 plus years later it would be a family tradition.

Every year we make them and give them to family, friends, neighbors, and teachers. I took a count yesterday and we are making 3 batches this year which will give us 12 loaves.

Since I can not make them for everyone that stops in and takes the time to read my blog I will post the recipe. My Christmas present to all of you. 🙂

braided_bread

 Cream Cheese Braids

 

1 cup sour cream                                       2 pkg. dry yeast

½ cup sugar                                              ½ cup warm water

1 tsp. salt                                                   2 eggs

½ cup melted butter                                   4 cups flour

 

Heat sour cream over low heat, stir in sugar and butter.

Dissolve yeast in warm water (NOT HOT).

Combine sour cream and yeast; add eggs, salt and flour.

Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

 

The next day, divide dough into 4 equal parts.

Roll out each on well-floured board into 12” x 8” rectangles.

Spread ¼ of the filling on each rectangle.

Roll jellyroll style, beginning on a long side.

Pinch edges together and fold ends under slightly.

Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet.

Slit each roll at 2” intervals about 2/3 of the way through to resemble a braid.

Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.

Spread with glaze while warm.

 

Filling: Mix all ingredients together

 

16 oz. cream cheese, softened

¾ cup sugar

1 egg beaten

2 tsp. vanilla

 

Glaze: Mix all ingredients together

 

2 cups powdered sugar

4 tbsp. milk

2 tsp. vanilla

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t toss those pumpkin seeds! Toast or roast pumpkin seeds in your oven in no time at all. They can be salted or spiced to suit your palate. The shells are edible and are a good source of fiber. Use this method with other seeds such as acorn squash and butternut squash.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:
Pumpkin seeds
Cooking spray, olive oil, or butter
Optional: Salt, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, or other seasoning of choice
Preparation:

Rinse pumpkin seeds. Use your fingers to remove all the pulp. Drain pumpkin seeds and discard pulp. Spread out on a cookie sheet to dry overnight.pumpkin seeds in olive oil, butter, or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, or your choice of seasonings. Toss to coat.pumpkin seeds before eating. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 months or refrigerate up to 1 year.pumpkin seeds extra-salty, soak overnight in a solution of 1/4 cup salt to 2 cups of water. Dry an additional day, then proceed as above. 

Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil.

Toss

Bake about 1 hour, tossing every 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool

If you like your toasted