Citrus-Mint Granita

I have a fabulous husband. I do.

This is Gary milking our cows for the very first time! 

I was their too…It was evidently a chilly day. 

 He’s great. Sometimes he brings me tea ( large earl grey doubledouble from Tim Hortans) or calls me from the Starbucks line to ask what I want. Sometimes he leaves me little notes telling me he loves me or brings me a card and a new plant to try and keep alive. But lately, the best, nicest, thing he does for me? Lets me sleep in through milking.
     As some of you know, a couple of weeks ago ( ? I have no actual idea how long it has been…it feels like forever!) we started milking cows. Our own cows. So obviously we are responsible for seeing that these lovely cows get milked every single day, twice. We milk at 5:30 am and 5:30 pm. So getting up at 5:30…sucks. Well actually its not that bad. Its usually beautiful in the morning at that time. But sleep is definitely lacking. So last night, he said I could sleep in! yay! and sleep I did. I didn’t hear the alarm go off, I didn’t hear Gary getting ready to go outside, I didn’t hear him come back in the house or crawl back into bed. I just slept slept slept till 9:30 am. It was lovely!
( how many times did I say lovely in that paragraph?)

     So now that I am refreshed and well rested, I can do some blog posts! Today is a dreary day but I am bundled up sitting on a big comfy couch on my back porch. with a blanket and my laptop. I am very blessed to have such a good life.

So basically, I have a recipe today! I made grapefruit/tangerine/lemon and mint sorbet/granita yesterday. Its delish, sweet and refreshing. I am going to call it Citrus-mint Granita. Because you could totally use any kind of tangy citrus that you wished.

This recipe is really simple. really. 
Citrus-Mint Granita
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup fresh squeezed citrus 
( I used 1 large pink grapefruit, 2 tangerines, 1/2 a lemon, I added some of the grapefruit and tangerine pulp too) 
A small handful of fresh mint. ( I used about 1/3 of a cup whole leaves) 
1) Put water and sugar in a pot over medium heat and stir occasionally until all the sugar is melted.
2) Add mint and fruit juice and stir. Bring to barely a boil then take off heat. Here I had a bit of a problem. One recipe I was reading said to put this all in a blender…so I did. Only hot hot juice in a blender equals hot hot juice all over your kitchen. Don’t do that. Your clean floors will not be sticky and thats not fun. 
3) Pour hot mixture through a fine strainer and take out all the chunkies. 
4) Put bowl of juice/fruit/mint mixture in the freezer until solid. I stirred mine once in a while to make it lose and icy. Next time I will pour into my ice cream maker. I think it will be more sorbet-like that way. 

Andes Mint Brownies

Inspiration and basic recipe from Sugar Plum Blog!

Today is Christmas at my Grandmas and Grandpas. We spread out our Christmas over many days which is actually reallllyyy nice. Currently I am at my grandparents with my cousins planning our traditional Christmas skit.  You see, at my Grandparents, every Christmas we are expected to perform some sort of skit/song/play. My two sisters and two closets cousins and I ALWAY do a skit/song combo. We have done the 12 Days of Christmas ( in versions ranging from New Zealand Christmas’s, Canadian Christmas,  Christmas at Grandmas, Christmas at Grandmas Rap…and who knows what else). Basically 90% of the time our plays are extremely lame, or we are laughing so hard that our poor family members can not understand a word we are saying.

This year we are doing our own rendition of the Potter Puppet Pals…but not Harry Potter and Christmassy.

As you can imagine…this is going to be quite a challenge.
Dinner is in 1.5 hours. We started planning about 30 minutes ago 
On other topics, I made Mint Brownies today.
They are so yummy. I used a recipe I found on a blog called Sugar Plum which is super cute and really good! 
She made hers into yummy little brownie balls dipped in white chocolate. YUM! I just made mine into brownies with a little chocolate drizzle. 
Here is the recipe: 
1/3 cup Oil
3/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup Milk 
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 cup Flour
1/3 cup Ades Mint Pieces ( I had to buy these in the US…not in my canada grocery stores) 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Coat a 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
1. Mix oil, sugar, vanilla, milk, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl of a mixer. Or you could totally do it by hand I think. Mix together until well combined.
2. Add flour slowely and mix until just combined. 
3. Scrape into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the mint pieces. 
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes ( mine took exactly 20) or until its set and not jiggly. 
5. I melted more mint pieces with some butter and drizzled them over the cooled brownies. 
To make the pretty brownie balls that Sugar Plum made, check out her blog for the instructions. Sugar Plum.
Finished product! Yum Yum Yum!!!

Chocolate Mint Snow Top Cookies

So today, early early this morning, ( ok not that early…7am)
Gary and I packed a bag and headed off to Oregon. Since Gary buys and sells hay, sometimes he has to go actually looking for hay. He has gone sooo many times before when we were dating and now that we are married I get to come! yay 🙂
All day I was thinking about posting and wishing I could post and that I had internet in the car so I could post this recipe…but of course we don’t and didn’t have annnyyyy time to stop at a Starbucks so I could type this thing up. But now its 7:18pm and we are in….Sweet Home Oregon which is a very small town and has only two restaurants (that apparently they have the same food, but one is fancier and has table clothes…we didnt go to the fancy one) .
We were not going to stay in Sweet Home and instead continue driving to Madras Oregon which is about one or two hours away from here. It is also over a big mountain pass that is verrryy verrry snowy. So we decided not to drive through there tonight.

Anyways… here is the yummy recipe!
Ohh and I took alll these pictures at night time…so forgive the badness of them…

Chocolate Mint Snow Top Cookies.

This is what you need:
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (I like to use 1/2 dark chocolate chips and 1/2 semi sweet)
6 tablespoons Butter or Margarine softened
1 cup Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Flavoring
1/4 teaspoon Mint Flavoring (or if you like minty cookies add more till you are happy)
1/4-1/2 cup Icing Sugar

1. Combine flour, baking powder and 1/4tsp salt in a bowl. Set aside.

2. In a saucepan, melt 1 cup of the chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat once melted. Set aside

3. Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds (or a wooden spoon and get a great arm workout)
4. Beat in sugar until combined. Add in melted chocolate and mix together thoroughly.

5. Add Vanilla, Mint and eggs and stir until well combined.

** So when I made these…I doubled the recipe. Everything was going just great. Until this point. I accidentally added 3 teaspoons of mint flavoring….instead of 1/2 of a teaspoon of mint flavoring. Lucky for me I have the oldest bottle of mint flavoring you have ever seen. Not even kidding…it was covered in dust, and sticky and had a Liquidation World sticker on it. So I figure, my cookies are probably a touch more minty then they were designed to be…but just the perfect amount of minty if you like a nice mint chocolate combo. The last batch I made before this, I put in the right amount of mint…and they were good…but not nearly minty enough for me!**

6. Slowly add flour mixture and remaining chocolate chips and stir until it is all mixed in

And at this point… I stopped taking pictures. I always forget! It is not something I am used to…taking pictures while cooking is a tricky thing!

7. If you mixture is thick enough, you can dump it out onto wax paper, wrap and chill for 3 hours or until firm enough to shape. Mine is usually too sloppy so I just cover the bowl and throw it in the fridge. Both work equally fine.

This is my dough…it looks yellowy…but it was nice and brown and smelled minty 

8. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
9. Shape dough into 1inch balls and then roll in icing sugar. Place balls on parchment paper lined or greased cookie sheets and press down slightly ( I use my 1/4 cup measuring cup)

10. Bake until tops are crackled and almost set. About 10-12 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 42 cookies… I ALWAYS double this recipe 🙂