Chipotle-Almond Butterflies, Baby goats and Apple Blossoms – It Finally Feels Like Spring!

Baby Goats, Chipotle-Almond Butterflies and Apple Blossoms…Spring!

Chipotle-Honey GoaChipotle-Honey Goat Cheese and Almond Butterflies Made with ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold.  Teacup and saucer courtesy RiRi's Pottery Haust Cheese and Almond Butterflies made with ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold

Chipotle-Honey Goat Cheese and Almond Butterflies Made with ZANDA PANDA’s Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold. Teacup and saucer courtesy RiRi’s Pottery Haus

It’s finally feeling like spring and that called for a trip to Beltane Farm to see the baby goats and get some goat cheese and milk.   They’re hosting cheese tastings every Sunday through the month of May.
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Cheese Tasting at Beltane Farm

Cheese Tasting at Beltane Farm

It was wonderful tasting the different varieties of goat cheese.  It was hard to decide which were our favorites.  Here, we’re tasting chèvre with chives, dill, Herbes de Provence or chipotle-honey.

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My favorite Baby Goat

My favorite Baby Goat

Seeing the baby goats and other animals was even more fun than the cheese tasting.  I think this little guy was definitely the cutest of the bunch.  The new kids will be kept for the herd, or sold either as milk producers, or as all natural lawn mowers.

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Armando the Adorable

Armando the Adorable

I think his name should be Armando…He’ll be going to a neighboring farm and it’ll be his job to mow the lawn.  I think Nick’s favorite animal may have been Nestor, the guard donkey.

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Chipotle-Honey Goat cheese and Almond Butterflies

Chipotle-Honey Goat Cheese and Almond Butterflies made with ZANDA PANDA’s Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold

Chipotle-Honey Goat Cheese and Almond Butterflies made with ZANDA PANDA’s Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold. Teacup and saucer courtesy RiRi’s Pottery Haus

This couldn’t be simpler.  Mix the Chipotle-Honey Goat Cheese with ground nuts and make butterflies.  Chill and pop on a cracker.

I love the earthy, ‘all natural’ look the little specks of ground nuts gave the butterflies.  I made them with both walnuts and almonds.  I preferred almonds, the color was richer and I think the flavor complimented the smokey, spicy cheese better as well.  Figs or grapes would be lovely served alongside the butterflies.

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Grind your favorite nuts in a food processor.

Grind your favorite nuts in a food processor, then mix with your favorite goat cheese.

Molding Cheesy, Nutty Butterflies in ZANDA PANDA's Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold

Making Cheesy, Nutty Butterflies.  Put them in the freezer for a bit so they’ll pop out of the mold.

Press the mixture into the the butterfly shapes of a Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold.  After you’ve molded your butterflies, put them in the freezer for a bit so they’ll pop out of the mold.  I put these on round Breton Mini crackers; they’re small, so you see mostly butterfly.  Pepperridge Farms make a butterfly shaped cracker that looks very cute with these, too.
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Chipotle-Honey Goat Cheese and Almond Butterflies made with ZANDA PANDA’s Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold

Chipotle-Honey Goat Cheese and Almond Butterflies made with ZANDA PANDA’s Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold. Teacup and saucer courtesy RiRi’s Pottery Haus

More ideas for spring:  A Butterfly Tea Party, using the ZP Kaleidoscope Butterfly Mold.

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Oh yes, and apple blossoms!

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Apple Blossoms 5-5-13

Enjoy your spring!

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Halloween SandWitches Anyone? Recipe: Pumpkin/Cream Cheese/Raisin Spread on Embossed Halloween Sandwiches

How to Make Embossed Halloween ‘SandWitches’ with
Pumpkin-Cream Cheese-Raisin Sandwich Spread/Dip Recipe

Halloween 'SandWitches' made with ZANDA PANDA's Handmade Stoneware Halloween Molds

Halloween 'SandWitches'

Here’s another cute way to use your Halloween Stoneware Cookie Molds for a treat or Halloween party.  It’s great for kids, as the only skill need is squishing!  You’ll be using pretty much the same technique used for embossed Butterfly Tea Sandwiches, but instead of Texas Toast, you’ll want to use big, soft squishy buns, so you won’t need to trim your sandwiches.  Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Spread/Dip recipe below.

Use the biggest, squishiest buns you can find

Use the biggest, squishiest buns you can find

You’ll only be pressing the bun tops into the molds.  Start by placing the inside surface of a top bun into a Halloween Cookie Mold.

Press the top half of the bun into the mold.  With the inside surface of the bun touching the mold

Press the top half of the bun into the mold (inside surface of the bun facing the mold).

Press the bun into the design, starting in the center and working your way around.  I find it easiest to hold the mold in both hands and press into the design with your thumbs (like you’re texting 🙂 ).  Be sure to press the bun into all the details, but be careful not to tear the bun.  If your bun is starting to overlap the rim, just fold it over and keep squishing until all areas have been pressed and the bun fits nicely into the mold.

Peel bun from mold, and spread Pumpkin Cream Cheese spread onto bottom half of bun.

Peel bun from mold, and spread Pumpkin Cream Cheese spread onto bottom half of bun.

Slowly peel the bun out of the mold -it’s very flat at this point, but will have picked up all the details of the mold’s design.  Spread Pumpkin spread (recipe below) onto other half of bun (or your favorite sandwich ingredients).  Top with your embossed top bun and get ready for the smiles!

Halloween SandWitch!

Halloween SandWitch!

For more info on my Handmade Stoneware Halloween Cookie Molds please visit:
http://zandapanda.com/HalloweenStonewareCookieMolds.asp



RECIPE:  Pumpkin-Cream Cheese-Raisin Sandwich Spread

Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (or use whipped for a softer spread)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp clove
1/4 tsp paprika (this really adds depth to the flavor)
1/4 cup (or more) raisins.  For a softer texture and extra flavor, you can soak your raisins in spiced cider first to plump them up.

Directions

Beat cream cheese, brown sugar,maple syrup and vanilla until smooth.  Add pumpkin and spices and blend until smooth.   Add  raisins.  Chill for at least 1/2 hour.  Use for a sandwich spread, or for dipping cookies or fruit.

Halloween SandWitches Made with ZANDA PANDA's Handmade Stoneware Halloween Cookie Molds!!

Halloween SandWitches!

Happy Halloween!


Butterflies in your Stomach…The Yummy Kind!

 

It’s spring, and one of the ways I’ve been celebrating it is by making delicious tidbits with the Kaleidoscope Butterfly mold.

The Butterfly Brunch page shows how to make butterfly appetizers with port wine cheese spread and crackers.   Today I made cheddar cheese butterflies on butterfly-shaped crackers and made sweet bean paste butterflies with lima beans! The bean paste really tasted great and the butterflies were a pretty, soft spring green.

Butterflies made of cheddar cheese and sweet bean paste using Kaleidoscope Butterfly mold


Cheddar Cheese Butterflies

Making the cheddar butterflies is really simple.  First, press shredded cheddar cheese into the butterfly shapes of the Kaleidoscope Butterfly mold.  This part is great for kids to do because they get to squish it in.

Press shredded cheese into the butterfly shapes of the Kaleidoscope Butterfly mold

Press shredded cheese into the butterfly shapes

Microwave for three to five seconds on half power.  Adult supervision with hot cheese, please!  Dab them with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil that will rise to the top.

When the cheese has cooled, flex the mold away from the butterflies and gently peel them off.  If you’re in a hurry, pop them into the freezer for a few minutes to cool them before removing from the mold.

How to Remove Butterfly from Mold

Flex mold away from butterfly to pop one side out, then gently remove from mold.

 

Easy, cheesy butterflies!

They look especially cute on Pepperidge Farm’s Butterfly shaped crackers.  If you’re really feeling creative, you could make a flower from roasted red peppers for the butterfly to rest on.

This is a very cute and easy appetizer for spring and summer get-togethers.  It’s also fun to make with kids (just be sure to help them with the microwaving).


Cheddar Cheese Butterfly Appetizer

Cheddar Cheese Butterfly Appetizer

Sweet Bean Paste Butterflies

I really like sweet red (adzuki) bean paste.  I didn’t have any on hand and I wanted to see if it would work in the Kaleidoscope Butterfly mold.  I did have lima beans, so I cooked about a cup of them until soft, drained them and added a little less than a cup of sugar and a dash of cinnamon.

You are supposed to remove the skins, but I just put everything in a food processor.  I tried it in the mold a bit chunky and then some that had been pressed through a sieve.  I froze them for a few minutes before removing from the mold, as the paste is very soft.  You wouldn’t want to handle them after they defrosted (put it on a cookie, custard tart or ice cream while still frozen).  I think both the chunky and smooth version came out great.  It tasted wonderful, took the details from the mold very well and the color was very pretty.  I’m surprised that I’ve never seen lima beans made this way before!

Sweet (lima!) Bean Paste Butterfly

Sweet (Lima!) Bean Paste Butterfly

 

I also experimented with guava paste, but it remained gooey even after freezing.  I added confectioner’s sugar to some to see if it would stiffen up, but it changed the lovely flavor too much.  If you have an idea for guava or tamarind flavored jelly or paste that would be moldable, please let me know!


Happy Mother’s Day!

Butterfly Brunch

How to make a Butterfly-Themed Garden Party/Tea Party

 

Butterfly-Themed Spring/Summer Tea Party!

Butterfly-Themed Garden/ Tea Party!

Yes, I had to wait patiently for the apple tree to bloom for this shot – and for a sunny day!

Jump over to the Zanda Panda website to see how to make all the goodies pictured above, such as butterfly cake and cupcake toppers, embossed tea sandwiches, Kaleidoscope Heart and Butterfly mini sandwich cookies and port wine cheese butterflies on crackers!

I didn’t have room to show the iced tea with little butterfly ice cubes (just freeze colorful fruit juices in the Butterfly mold, then add to iced tea). Beautiful stoneware pottery courtesy of the very talented Ria Lira Levine.

 

Easy, fun ideas for spring or summer entertaining – and a really tasteful way to tell Mom how much you love her this Mother’s Day!



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Video: How to Bake Two-Tone and Mini Sandwich Cookies


There’s an informal video on the Zanda Panda website to you to show you how to make two-tone cookies and adorable mini sandwich cookies in heart and butterfly shapes using your Zanda Panda Kaleidoscope molds.  You can make ice cream sandwiches with the two-tone cookies by filling with your favorite ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet.
Fill sandwich cookies with your favorite icing or melted chocolate.  Use gel food coloring to get the really bright colors.  They’re really fun to make!

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(http://www.zandapanda.com/kaleidoscopecookies.asp#CookieVid)

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