joyeux cuisine

a blog about good food, family, friends, and life.

mini corn dogs.

Summer is winding down and I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I didn’t actually have a summer break. College seems so far gone, but it was only a few years ago! This year was the first year I actually had to work through the summer. The year after college I was unemployed until July, and last year I didn’t work from May until October with the wedding and moving about 3 times. Therefore, I’m not super used to being an adult.

Which brings us to corn dogs! I love corn dogs. Who doesn’t love corn dogs? Okay…I do know of a few people who do not love corn dogs. They don’t even like corn dogs. Let’s not talk about it. Corn dogs are great. And surprisingly easy to make! I am a big fan of this recipe.

I bought some cornmeal awhile back for some reason that I cannot remember. Probably cornbread to go with chili or some sort of reason like that. Anyway, this was the perfect thing to introduce me to using cornmeal. Perfect.

Usually we only get all beef hot dogs, but the first time we made these they did not taste right. We decided that corn dogs should be made with regular-who-knows-what’s-in-them-hotdogs. I cut them in half to make them mini. The first time I made these I used wooden skewers. They were a little long, but after I used lollipop sticks I decided that skewers are better. That way the sticks don’t get coated in oil and you have more control over the whole frying part. That makes me feel better about being around hot oil.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! Enjoy summer while it’s here for a little while longer. To be honest, I’m really ready for fall. I cannot wait until the weather cools down a little and the leaves turn. But summer is still here and I’ll enjoy it while it is! And that will definitely include corn dogs.

Happy cooking, friends!

Mini Corn Dogs
recipe from damndelicious
feeds 2-4 people

6 hot dogs, cut in half
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
12 skewers or lollipop sticks
oil for frying, I used canola

Fill a medium sized pot about 2/3 of the way with oil. Heat over medium-high heat while prepping the corn dogs.
In a small bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In a large measuring bowl mix together the milk and egg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fairly smooth. Set aside.
Dry the hot dogs off with a paper towel so the batter will stick better. Insert a skewer about halfway into the hot dog. Dip in batter, insuring that the hot dogs are completely covered.
Fry 4 corn dogs at one time for about 5-6 minutes or until the batter is golden brown on all around. Remove from oil onto a plate lined with paper towels to help drain some of the oil. Sprinkle with salt after frying. Repeat with remaining hot dogs.
Serve immediately with your favorite toppings.

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caramel corn.

My dad makes really delicious treats for us. Most notably Chex Mix, coffee cake, and caramel corn. I have fond memories of my dad getting out the giant paper bags, popping a whole bunch of popcorn and whipping up some caramel corn. It was a good time in our house those days. This recipe is not my dad’s but it is just as delicious. Okay, maybe a tiny bit less delicious; dad knows best.


This recipe came from the pastor’s wife of the church I attended in Illinois during the last few years I was there during and after college. (Thanks, Cathy!!) Whenever I go back to visit, Cathy, my best friend Bethany, and I make caramel corn and talk until way past our bedtimes. Which is what Bethany and I did when she was here visiting last weekend. It’s kind of our thing. That and watching Parks and Rec nonstop.


Summer is almost over but I’m hanging on as much as I can. Caramel corn makes me think of stress-free days and breaks from classes. I hope it brings you good memories too!


Happy cooking, friends!

Caramel Corn
makes about 5 cups

5 cups popped popcorn
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Spread about 12 inches of wax paper out onto the counter. Spray lightly with non-stick spray.
Pour the popped popcorn into a large bowl.
In a small saucepan combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Stirring constantly bring to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute. Immediately pour onto the popcorn and fold the popcorn until all of it is covered in caramel. Spread into a somewhat even layer onto the wax paper. Eat immediately or wait until cool.
Store in plastic zip top bags once cool.

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homemade granola bars.

Sometimes you have half a canister of oats because you made oatmeal cookies forever ago. Sometimes you also have almonds because your mom bought you a 9 pound bag of them. Sometimes you also have one and a half jars of honey because you found one in your pantry while you were moving. If you’re lucky you also have chocolate chips and coconut because you’re addicted to them. When the stars align and you possess all these ingredients it’s time to make granola bars. Better than store-bought granola bars.

Friends, there are so many granola bar recipes out there that it’s hard to sift through. Some of them have weird ingredients like wheat germ and flax seeds, but I didn’t want to have to buy anything for this recipe. I made it with things that were all in my pantry, which I call a huge success.

Granola bars are one of those things that you can make your own really easily. Dried fruit? Sure! You hate coconut? Alright. Raisins? Totally. Extra chocolate chips? Now you’re speaking my language. You can do whatever you want to make these just like you want them to.

The original recipe comes from The Sisters Cafe. I adapted it a little bit because theirs calls for krispy rice cereal, but I don’t have any so I just used some lightly crushed corn cereal squares that I’ve been meaning to make puppy chow out of. Next time I’m just going to omit them entirely though. I also added some almonds because I love chocolate and almond together. I also baked mine in a 9×9 pan instead of an 8×8 and it worked out fine. I would bake them a little longer than the time suggested though. I also toasted my coconut to bring out all the amazing flavors.

Make some granola bars. Take a road trip. Drive with the windows down and radio blasting. And then look for more jobs.

Granola Bars
adapted from The Sisters Cafe
makes 10 granola bars

2 and 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup coconut
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place the coconut over that. Bake for 5-7 minutes until the edges get golden brown. Keep an eye on it though, because it can burn really quickly. Remove and cool slightly. Leave the oven on. Butter an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.
In a large bowl combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add the oats, coconut, almonds, and chocolate chips and stir until everything is coated. Smoosh (technical term) into the buttered pan and bake for 20 minutes. Cool in the pan completely before cutting.
When cool cut into 10 bars and wrap each one individually in plastic wrap. Store in a cool place.

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pre-Christmas goodies.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching which means lots of things. I get to go home on Tuesday. The yearly eye doctor appointment is coming up. I get to go to the yarn store. Green bean casserole. Mashed potatoes. Chocolate chip pecan pie. And, at work, we decorate for Christmas. We always decorate the music building the Sunday before we leave for Thanksgiving break. (I know you aren’t supposed to decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving is over, but it’s the best time to do it.) I’m in charge of snackage. Always.

Last year I went way overboard with food and we had way too much. I toned it down this year and made a few things. Somehow I still managed to spend all day on Saturday baking. Oh well. I (not so) secretly love it.

This year I made:
Red Velvet Cookies with White Chocolate Chips
Sugar Cut-Out Cookies with Homemade Frosting
Pretzel Kiss Thing
Peppermint Bark
Oreos Dipped in White Chocolate and Crushed Peppermint

Some of these things are not so complicated to make. Example: dip oreos in melted almond bark and dip in crushed candy canes. Put on wax paper and let harden in fridge. Easy as pie. Heck, easier than pie. Peppermint bark is also super easy. Melt almond bark and stir in crushed up candy canes. Spread on wax paper and harden in fridge. You can jazz it up a bit by doing a layer of dark chocolate first, but it’s good either way. If you add more chocolate that means we can be friends.

I wish I had a picture of the pretzel things I want you to make. But…they all got eaten. They’re really popular. They’re also super easy though. And the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Like trail mix but waaaaaaay better.

Make some goodies. Watch an entire season of Downton Abbey in one night. Decorate a tree. Be thankful.

Chocolate Pretzel Bites

makes as many as you want

Preztels

Chocolate kisses

Regular M&Ms (or peanut butter ones, I won’t be picky)

Preheat the oven to 150-200 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread pretzels out on the cookie sheet. Unwrap the chocolate kisses and put one kiss on each pretzel. (This is best done while watching a movie.) Put the sheet in the oven for about 2-3 minutes or until the kisses are melty. Test this by pressing one M&M into the kiss; if it sinks down all the way they’re ready. If not, leave them in the oven for a couple more seconds. It doesn’t take long. When the kisses are melty, remove from the oven and smush one M&M into each kiss. (Also, best done while watching a movie.) Chill in the fridge until firm. Eat by the handful.

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