October Happenings and a New Venue

Greetings and salutations!

After a brief hiatus, Comfy Confections is gearing up for the holidays at our new venue, the Ybor City Saturday Market. Your favorite mini apple pies will be available this weekend as well as our new Pumpkin Crunch Mini Pie blending autumn spices with velvety pumpkin flavor and the crunch of toasted pecans.

Not the exact pie but you get the idea

Also returning is an experimental dish that made a big hit at the Art and Soul Food Festival last month. Our decadent Chocolate Espresso cake, described by one customer as “flavor that just punches you in the face” will be available this weekend in mini bundt form.

Have some cake!

We’re also starting the celebration of one of our favorite holidays with an assortment of Spookies. Starting from $3, you can take home a box of delicious homemade sugar cookies shaped as coffins, headstones, witches, cauldrons, brooms, spiders and webs, cats, bats, moons, candy corn, haunted houses and ghosts. For those who aren’t feeling the spirit of Halloween we also have a nice assortment of Harvest cookies featuring Oak and Maple leaves, apples and pumpkins for $5.

Also not the exact cookies but you get the idea

Finally, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a cause near and dear to Comfy Confections, we are offering the Neapolitan Booby cupcake. A rich chocolate and vanilla cupcake with a bold raspberry jalape√Īo icing (or strawberry icing for those who prefer a more subtle fruit flavor) presented in a pretty pink paisley cup can be yours for $3. All proceeds for the Neapolitan Booby cupcake will go to the Moffitt Cancer Center.

Do I need to say it again? ūüėČ

So join us at the Ybor City Saturday Market this Saturday from 9-3 and Sunday at Stained Marketplace for the Art & Soul Food Festival from 11-4pm.

Tasting Event Menu

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If you’ve been following along, you’re aware that Comfy Confections has a Tasting Event coming up on Saturday, August 17th from 10am until 2pm in Tampa. Here are some of the goodies you can expect to find at this event:

Pie (Slices and mini pies)

Country Apple, Blueberry and Pumpkin

Filled with Pink Lady or MacIntosh (depending on seasonal availability) and Granny Smith apples bathed in cinnamon sugar/fresh blueberries/creamy pumpkin filling and wrapped in a crispy flaky crust.

Cake (Slices and mini cakes)

Jaffa bundt

Infused with orange liqueur and topped with ganache made with real Ghirardelli chocolate.

Green Tea Katsutera

Decadent Spanish style sponge cake flavored with green tea and a dusting of chocolate.

Moravian Sugar Cake

Dense buttery cake with cinnamon and brown sugar

Hawaiian Butter Cake

Sweet and creamy cake kissed by a coconut

Scottish Millionaire Shortbread

Crunchy shortbread blends with smooth caramel and crispy chocolate

Cupcakes

Chocolate spice

Luscious chocolate with a nice bite of fruit and heat

Frappuccino

Rich coffee with creamy salted caramel

PB&J

Grape cakes (yes that’s right, I said grape) with natural peanut butter icing

Cake Pops

Ann Nog Pops

Creamy vanilla and coconut flavored pop dusted with cinnamon sugar

S’more Pops

Rich Ghirardelli chocolate and natural peanut butter pops slathered in marshmallow icing

Trop Pops

Pineapple orange cake pop coated in vanilla icing dusted with coconut flakes

Dream Pops

Tangy orange cake pop infused with orange liqueur and coated in rich white chocolate

Cookies

Citrus Drop

Zesty lemon and lime cookies with a satisfying crunch

Peppermint Puff

A light and fluffy mint reminder of the holiday season

Cookie Cup

Warm and crunchy cups with a variety of fillings

Lowfat Delites

Banana Crunch Cake

A guilty pleasure that won’t take too much of a toll on your waistline

Apple Oatmeal Muffin

A healthy and filling breakfast option that keeps you honest

Strawberry Streusel Muffin

A delicious anytime muffin that helps keep off the pounds

This event is a free sneak preview of our Fall/Winter menu. Be prepared to provide feedback via a short poll. If you haven’t already, like us on Facebook! See you on the 17th!

Comfy Confections Menu items

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Good morning all!

With the temperature due to start dropping in a few weeks and farmer’s markets opening for the Fall, we thought we’d give you an idea of the type of items you can expect to see at our booth in the Tampa Bay area.

First is my scrumptious apple pie made from scratch. Fresh Pink Lady/MacIntosh and Granny Smith apples give a nice sweet and tart flavor blend anchored by fragrant slurry of cinnamon and sugar in a flaky crust.¬†It’s a popular favorite with friends and family and every Fall and Winter without fail I get requests to make and bring this dish for gatherings.

Scratch Apple Pie

Next is a new favorite among friends and family. The British hubby and I have long been fans of the Jaffa cake. For those of you who may not know a Jaffa cake is a soft sponge cake filled with a Jaffa orange marmalade and topped with a crunchy chocolate coating. As these delicacies are few and far between here in the US, I’ve always wanted to capture the flavor exactly and by jove, I think I’ve done it! The first bite of my moist and fluffy Jaffa Bundt cake will remind you of a rich Dreamsicle with tones of vanilla and orange blending together. Then the orange liqueur infused in the cake will give you a nice slap in the mouth as the luscious ganache made with real Ghiradelli chocolate caresses your tastebuds. Truly an orgasmic delight!

In keeping with the international theme, we bring you the sweet and decadent Omm Ali. This rich and creamy Egyptian bread pudding will more than satisfy any sweet tooth. Have a glass of milk ready folks!

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We also can’t wait for you to sink your teeth into our rice cakes to be named later. These little treats are inspired by Japanese mochi and feature sweet fillings like mango and orange marmalade and spicy and exotic flavors like strawberry jalape√Īo. There’ll even be a tribute to the King of Rock and Roll with our Elvis Bites.

So amazing they knocked his shirt right off, lookit that!

As we trek towards the holidays, we’ll continue to bring you familiar flavors and exotic fusions with our Peppermint Puffs, Pumpkin Honey cake and Ann Nog muffins featuring my mother’s very own special egg nog recipe.

Ann Nog Muffin NOM!

These items and more will be available in traditional sized cakes, pies, pastry and cookies as well as mini versions, slices, bites and pops. So keep watching this space for new menu items and prices as well as our schedule. We anticipate selling in local markets in Wesley Chapel, New Tampa, Carrollwood and Ybor City in the near future. Visit the About Us page for order details. Chow for now!

Tuesday’s Table: Country Style Beef Short Ribs with Horseradish Cream

As winter has most of us firmly in its icy grip, I thought I’d share with you my favorite stew recipe courtesy of Weight Watchers. ¬†Now, don’t be alarmed, just because it’s low fat doesn’t mean it’s low taste. ¬†I’ve been making this dish for several years and it’s always a crowd pleaser, especially after a long day out in the cold! ¬†Ladies and gentlemen, set your crockpots to stun!

Ingredients:

Yields 2 cups stew and 2 tablespoons horseradish cream per serving.

6 Tbsp fat-free sour cream
2 Tbsp store-bought horseradish
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp table salt
1 1/4 pound(s) uncooked trimmed beef shortrib(s), boneless, trimmed of all visible fat and cut into 11‚ĀĄ2-inch chunks
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 medium uncooked onion(s), sliced
1 pound(s) uncooked whole white potato(es), whole, scrubbed
18 medium uncooked baby carrots, about 1 1‚ĀĄ2 cups
2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), chopped
1 leaf/leaves bay leaf
1 cup(s) canned, beef broth, low sodium
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp water, cold
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, flat-leaf, chopped

To prepare the horseradish cream, combine the sour cream, horseradish, mustard, and 1‚ĀĄ4 teaspoon of the salt in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Sprinkle the ribs with the remaining 1‚ĀĄ2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the ribs and cook, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes.
Transfer the ribs to a slow cooker. Add the onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic, and bay leaf. Pour the broth and Worcestershire sauce over the meat and vegetables. Cover and cook until the meat and vegetables are fork-tender, 4‚Äď5 hours on high or 8‚Äď10 hours on low.
About 20 minutes before the cooking time is up, combine the flour and water in a small bowl until smooth; stir in about 1‚ĀĄ4 cup of the hot liquid from the slow cooker until blended. Stir the flour mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high, until the mixture simmers and thickens, about 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley just before serving. Serve with the horseradish cream.

Stay warm kiddies, chow for now!

Tuesday’s Table: Buttermilk Glazed Pumpkin Bundt Cake

This is the recipe my husband used to make a birthday cake for a friend whose birthday fell on the day of our housewarming spooktacular this past weekend and told us her favorite flavor was pumpkin. ¬†It came out nice and moist and fluffy and my husband’s addition of Golden Syrup and Orange Marmalade to the buttermilk icing resulted in a very nice addition to the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

I did have a couple of misses this week, well one miss and one disaster:-p ¬†I wanted to make some Monster Cookies but couldn’t find the candy eyes, probably because most stores have already decided to start putting away their Halloween stuff to make room for Christmas despite there still being a full 18 days left to Halloween but I won’t get into that now. ¬†Anyway, I picked up some icing and decided to just make some cookies and give them eyes and fangs. ¬†However, the mouth of the icing was wider than I’d realized and instead I got a couple of Wilfred Brimley cookies staring back at me before giving up the ghost and serving regular old chocolate chip cookies instead.

Anyone want some Diabeetus cookies?

The maple chili popcorn, however, nearly burned my house down! ¬†One of the steps calls for the maple mixture to cook for two minutes before putting it on the popcorn, DO NOT DO THIS!!! ¬†At about ¬†a minute to a minute and a half the thing bubbled so badly that it began to belch forth this white smoke and was well on its way to become tar! ¬†I ended up having to turn the fans on and open the windows to keep the alarms from going off, inhaled quite a bit of smoke in the process, and dumped what I could of the mixture since the rest of it adhered to the pot like cement:( ¬†I may actually have to throw out my new Calphalon stainless steel pot since the stuff just isn’t soaking off! ¬†What I would advise is bring the mixture to a roiling bubble then remove from heat immediately. ¬†The texture and consistency should be good enough to poor over the popcorn and continue with the recipe. ¬†I ended up trying to save it by drizzling golden syrup and cinnamon on top. ¬†Our guests said it was good but it was the one dish we ended up having to throw out:-/

The cranberry chicken I posted last week, however, was PHENOMENAL and very easy to make, I highly recommend it!  Chow for now:)

Tuesday’s Table: Halloween Party Recipes for Adults

This year I’ll be throwing a Halloween themed housewarming party and wanted to find some fun recipes to make. ¬†Unfortunately most of the recipes I found were for gross looking food, desserts, sweets and kid friendly. ¬†This is all well and good but just not what I was looking for. ¬†After a great deal of searching I did find a few very unique, very tasty looking, classy recipes for mature people who like to dress up and look funny:)

An excellent idea for a dinner party (or if you REALLY want to put yourself to work;) is the Mesclun Meanie

This is a zesty little salad served in oranges that have been scooped out and carved to look like jack o’lanterns. ¬†Personally if I had the time (or an army of ghouls to help me) I would make this myself. ¬†However, instead I found these scrumptious looking wings which will be making an appearance, Smoky Cranberry Chicken Wings.

Isn’t that a thing of beauty?

One thing I kept finding were chicken wing recipes like “bat wings” that sounded fun and probably are delicious but involved lots of food coloring paste which I have a real problem with. ¬†Not only are there people out there who have a severe allergy to food coloring but these recipes seem to insist on just slathering the stuff on to the wings. ¬†I can only imagine just how that might affect the flavoring let alone the texture and just couldn’t bring myself to serve that kind of thing to my guests. ¬†It makes me want to gag just thinking about it! ¬†These wings, however, are a pleasant blend of tart, sweetness and smokiness that I can really get behind and¬†can probably be served any time of the year but I think would be most appreciated this time of year at Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and even Super Bowl parties!

Another great dinner party idea would be the Hungarian Goo-lash Stuffed Baked Baby Potatoes.

Personally the few times I’ve attempted Goulash, it sucked out loud and I’m done trying, at least for the time being anyway. ¬†I would probably replicate this with pulled pork myself.

Now this next recipe, I think, can either be served individually at a dinner party like the recipe suggests or in a large hollowed out (properly cleaned) pumpkin or gourd for effect.

This Pumpkin Risotto sounds perfect for pumpkin lovers and super tasty although personally I would make sure to use smoked bacon and maybe add some spices like clove and nutmeg.  It seems a shame to have all that pumpkin without them.

Now that you have the food down, what about drinks? ¬†Sure you can do the old “slap some funny labels on to soda bottles and cans” gag or make the usual fall back halloween drinks like the Bloody Mary or Zombies, but since we’re getting creative, why not go all out? ¬†This website has some unique and delicious drinks that everyone at your party (over 21) can enjoy! ¬†Here are some examples:

The Neon Ghost

Brain Hemorrhage

 

The Smashing Pumpkin

 

The Graveyard

So be safe, have fun and please don’t drink and drive! ¬†Chow for now!

Tuesday’s Table: Homemade Apple Pie

I ADORE cooking. ¬†I get all tingly and stupid when I walk into a nice clean stainless steel kitchen just waiting for me to do things to it! ¬†One of the things I love about cooking is how it allows me to get creative. ¬†Even in school when I was given a recipe to work on I would tweak it because the flavor wasn’t right to me or I just felt the taste could be improved often with great results. ¬†In fact, after revamping the school’s recipe for Arroz con Pollo one day and talking to the teacher about it, I understand they have since adjusted it to incorporate my changes for authenticity:) ¬†However, when it comes to baking I just suck out loud! ¬†You see while cooking can be an art baking is a science which involves exact measurements and a tendency for things to go seriously awry if those measurements and ingredients are not changed correctly and well..

Yo no tengo math skills

Anyway, I have dabbled in dessert making from time to time via the Sandra Lee (or perhaps any of the so called Food Network stars lately) approach except without all the alcohol, cultural insensitivity and the crazy. ¬†For instance, I do love to make pie for gatherings with friends and family but sometimes (usually) I just don’t have to make the crust or pie filling from scratch so I kind of cheat a little. ¬†Either way the results are pretty damn good and takes less than an hour to prep and cook in many cases. ¬†As it is Fall I recently made my famous Semi-Scratch Apple Pie while successfully tweaking one of my favorite recipes of all time:)

INGREDIENTS:
1 box frozen pastry shells
(doesn’t have to be name brand, I go generic, just make sure there are two in the box and be aware that they need to defrost before you start the recipe)
6 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
(I like to use a blend of Pink Lady and Macintosh or Granny Smith apples myself. ¬†If you’re a slow peeler/corer/slicer keep some lemon juice or other citrus acid handy to keep the slices from oxidizing)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg (optional)
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place sliced apples in a large bowl. ¬†In a small bowl combine sugars, cinnamon, and flour. ¬†Stir well and pour mixture over apples. ¬†Cut half of butter or margarine into small pieces and add to apples. ¬†Toss apples until thoroughly coated. ¬†Personally I like to put the apples into a gallon sized ziplock bag, add mixture, seal and toss. ¬†Everything seems to blend much better and once you’re done it’s one less bowl to have to clean.
Pour apples into pastry-lined pan. Dot apples with the rest of the butter or margarine. ¬†Place second pastry on top. ¬†Seal edges and cut steam vents in top crust. Now I tend to take the second crust from the box, place it on a cutting board and cut into strips with a knife or pizza cutter to place over the apple mixture before sealing the edges. ¬†I also make an egg wash (using the one beaten egg and a bit of water for those who don’t know) which I brush on to the crust before sprinkling a blend of the sugar, brown sugar and some cinnamon on to the crust.¬†
Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Food Network eat your heart out!

And the beasties like it too!

Now if you want SUPER simple, Food Network has that covered! ¬†Click on the pictures below for some stupidly easy recipes, of course if you can’t make ice cubes or boil water you’re pretty much out of luck. ¬†

Don’t forget the marshmallows!

The Southern lady knows her English peas

She knows her way around sorbet too!

Chow for now!