Monday, January 18, 2010

Crescent-Wrapped Cranberry Brie

1 can Crescent dinner rolls
1 round 8 oz. Brie cheese
3-4 T. apricot preserves
1/4-1/3 c. dried cranberries
1-2 T. slivered or sliced almonds or pecans
1 egg, beaten
1 pear, unpeeled and sliced
1 red apple, unpeeled and sliced
clusters of red and green grapes

Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Unroll dough, separate crosswise into 2 sections. Press dough to make 2 squares, firmly pressing perferations to seal. Cut cheese crosswise into 2 equal layers. Place bottom half of cheese on center of dough circle on cookie sheet. Spoon apricot preserves over cheese, sprinkle dried cranberries and almonds over preserves. Top with remaining cheese half. Bring dough up and around side of cheese. Place remaining dough on top of cheese round. Press dough evenly around side of cheese--pinching and pressing dough to seal. Brush dough with beaten egg.
Bake 20-30 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Cool 15 minutes before serving. To serve, place warm pastry wrapped cheese on platter. Arrange fruit around cheese.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Potato Salad

6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 boiled eggs, diced
1 chopped onion
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 c. sweet pickle relish
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 T. mustard
2 T. vinegar
1/2 t. celery seed
Paprika for garnish

Boil potatoes in slighty salted water until done, but still firm. Drain.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Dust lightly with paprika.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Best Banana Bread Ever

1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter at room temperature plus butter for pan
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush 8x5x3 inch loaf pan with butter.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Cream 1/2 cup of butter and sugar on medium speed of blender until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Add dry ingredients, then pecans and stir to combine. Put batter in pan.

Bake until golden brown when bread pulls away from sides of pan -- 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


2 lbs. of ground beef or ground turkey (I use turkey)
1 diced onion
2 cans of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of red beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans of diced tomatoes
4 T. chili powder
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves minced garlic
1 beef bouillon cube
1 can chicken broth
1 small can tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Brown and drain ground meat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are soft.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, red pepper flakes, bouillon, pepper, salt, and chicken broth.
Simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
Add beans; simmer for another 30 minutes.

All-Day Apple Butter

5 1/2-6 lbs. apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
4 c. sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 t. salt

Place apples in a slow cooker. Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; pour over apples and mix well. Cover and cook on high for one hour. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 9-11 hours or until thickened and dark brown, stirring occasionally (stir more frequently as it thickens to prevent sticking). Uncover and cook on low for one hour longer. If desired, whisk with a wire whisk until smooth. Spoon into freezer containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Cover and refrigerate or freeze.

This is very tasty. Ask Blake. He and I made this for a marketing project when he was in 5th grade.

"THE Soup" aka Paradise in a Bowl

Brown 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. Ground turkey
2 c. diced onions
1 c. diced carrots
1 c. diced celery
1 T. minced garlic
1-2 c. frozen white corn
16 oz. bag of frozen edamame (shelled soybeans)

Cook 10 to 12 minutes until vegetables are softened.

Add 3 cans (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
1 can (16 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. red pepper sauce
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover simmer 15 minutes.

Add 16 oz. bag of frozen okra.

Meanwhile, combine 1/4 c. cornstarch with 3-4 T. of water.
Whisk into soup; cover and simmer 15 more minutes.

Ground turkey and lots of vegetables make this soup so hearty and good, it can be a meal all by itself--just serve with crusty bread or cornbread. The recipe makes a generous amount--if desired, freeze half for another meal.

Inside Out Crab Rangoon

This, obviously, will serve your entire neighborhood!

Serving: 2 oz. per person

10 lbs. cream cheese
2 c. minced garlic
1 1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce
2 c. chopped green onions
1 c. ground ginger
2 T. Kosher salt
1 T. white ground pepper

Blend and heat to 165 degrees. Serve with fried wontons.

This was served (Executive Catering) at my birthday party. BIG HIT!