Friday, December 30, 2011

White Chili


Ingredients:
4 cans white beans (navy or great northern)
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 – 1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 4 oz. can diced green chilies
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 can Rotel
1 can white corn (you can also use frozen corn)

Directions:
Saute onions and garlic in 1/4 cup of chicken broth until the onions are soft and transparent. Stir in seasonings to combine with the onions then add remaining ingredients. Bring chili to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer to blend flavors.

This can also easily be made in a crock pot. Just saute your onions and garlic and then add everything to the crock pot to simmer.

Another yummy recipe and picture from Dinah's Dishes

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Roasted Brussel Sprouts Salad


For salad:
1/2 cup of pine nuts
shaves of parmesan (enough to cover salad)
6 belgian endives
3 heads of radicchio lettuce
1 lb of brussel sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil

For dressing:
1/4 cup of good balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic (use garlic press)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3/4 cup of good olive oil

Prepare dressing contents and place in container with lid. Refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut bottom of each brussel sprout and slice them into 1/4 inch slices. Spread on baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked but still slightly crunchy. Some browned pieces are good - they make a great taste in the salad. Remove from oven and set aside. If you plan to serve the following day, put the brussel sprouts in a bowl with lid and refrigerate.

While brussel sprouts are baking, toast the pine nuts by putting them in a nonstick skillet and browning them on medium heat. Stir constantly because they will burn easily.

Cut endive and radicchio into bite size pieces.

Immediately before serving toss endive, ridicchio and brussel sprouts with dressing. Shave parmesan thickly over salad and cover with toasted pine nuts. Mmm! Mmm!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

CK's Moose Munch


22.5 oz Crunch and Munch® (any caramel corn) (4---7.5 oz boxes)
1 cup Nuts (almonds or cashews)
12 oz Semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 oz White chocolate chips
2 tsp Crisco, divided

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Set aside.
Place semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tsp of Crisco in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir. Continue until chips look shiny. Remove from microwave and stir until all chips are melted.
Quickly stir in 1 box of popcorn and 1/2 cup of nuts, if using. Note that popcorn does not have to be perfectly covered with chocolate. Spread onto the prepared cookie sheet, separating kernels as much as possible. Cool completely and break into pieces.
Repeat the process with the white chocolate chips and remaining Crisco. Stir in a second box of popcorn with another 1/2cup of nuts, if using. Add the white chocolate chips and put on the 2nd cookie sheet as described above.
When both pans of chocolate covered popcorn have dried, combine the white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate and the remaining 2 boxes of popcorn. Combine the nuts with the popcorn. Store in airtight container out of the heat.

** I added the nuts into the chocolate and white chocolate mix. They are coated with the choc/white choc also.**

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mandarin Orange Salad


Salad Greens (Spinach, Field Mix, Whatever you like)
1‐2 bunches of green onion
1 stalk of celery – sliced
1 pkg of sliced toasted almonds
1 small can of mandarin oranges (I use more if I’m making a bigger salad), drained
Dressing – Mix All and Chill
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. tabasco sauce
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar or red wine vinegar (I like the tarragon)
1/2 cup Olive Oil

Feta Craisin Salad


Salad Greens (Spinach, Field Mix, Whatever you like) – I use 2 bags
1 cup Regular Craisins
4 oz. Feta Crumbled Feta Cheese (or more)
1 Medium Red Onion, Thinly Sliced (I used green onion instead)
1 pkg Toasted Slivered Almonds
Dressing – Mix All and Chill (makes a lot of dressing) – I usually cut the dressing
recipe in half)
3/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
3 – 4 cloves minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Cookies


This is a Nordstrom cafe recipe.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Cookies

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
15 oz. whole-milk Ricotta cheese
1/2 t. lemon extract OR 1 t. lemon and/or tangerine baking oil
3 T. freshly grated lemon zest
1 T. lemon juice
1 2/3 c. AP flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt

Glaze
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 c. confectioners' sugar
3-4 T. lemon juice
Decorating sugar, silver dragees small silver balls), optional

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine butter and sugar in bowl cream together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, Ricotta, lemon extract (or baking oil), zest and juice; blend well. Add 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt; blend to combine. Add remaining flour in two parts, blending to combine between each, until a dough forms.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoon 2 inches apart on baking sheets (cookies will spread). Bake until cookies edges are very light golden, about 12-15 minutes. Let cookies rest on baking sheet for a few minutes and transfer to wire cooling rack.

While cookies cool, prepare glaze by creaming together butter and sugar. Continue to mix, gradually adding juice until desired consistency. Decorate cooled cookies, adding dragees or decorating sugar, if desired, before icing sets.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Andy's Stuffing


1 Thanksgiving Cornbread Recipe crumbled
1 cup celery
2 onions
1 carrot
4 eggs
biscuits
cornbread
2-6 oz. bags of toasted baguette

fresh rosemary
fresh tyme
fresh parsley
fresh sage
Turkey giblets, liver & hearts sauted and chopped
3 - 42 oz. cans of Chicken Broth
braised turkey neck, removed the turkey meat
1/2 cup half & half
1/2 stick butter
black pepper

Saute pepper, rosemary, tyme, parsley, sage, celery, carrot & onions in butter until vegetables are soft. Add in chicken broth and all the turkey meats and continue to heat for about 5 minutes.

Combine all the breads in a bowl. Add the liquid and vegetable mixture. After the stuffing has cooled slightly add eggs and half & half.

Butter a cast iron skillet and place in preheated 500 degree oven. When the skillet has warmed, remove it from the oven and place stuffing in the skillet. Adjust the heat to 350 degrees and cook for 20 to 25 minutues or until set. Turn the oven on broil and brown the top.

Now, fend off the tasters. Everyone will be wanting to pick at the crispy creation!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Corn Bread Stuffing

Corn bread
2 T. Bacon grease
1 c. Self-rising corn meal
1/2 c. Self-rising flour
3/4 c. Buttermilk
2 eggs
Mix ingredients and bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Dressing
1 recipe of cornbread
4 slices stale bread (cubed)
1 stick butter
2 c. Chopped celery
1 lg. Onion chopped
1 t. Salt
2 t. Poultry seasoning
1/2 t. Pepper
7 c. Chicken broth

Mix ingredients together. Bake at 350 for 50 min.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

German Chocolate Cake with Pecan-Coconut Frosting AND Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting


Pecan-Coconut Frosting

4 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and brought to room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups (7 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 c. cocoa
8 oz. package cream cheese
1 lb. confectioners sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 t. vanilla


Let cream cheese and butter warm to room temperature, then cream thoroughly and add vanilla. Add cocoa. Gradually beat in sugar. For good spreading consistency, frosting can be thickened by adding additional sugar or thinned by adding milk.

Cake:
Solid vegetable shortening, for greasing the pans
Flour for dusting the pans
1 pkg. (18.25 oz) plain German chocolate cake mix
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. veg. oil
3 large eggs
1 t. vanilla

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350.
For the pecan-coconut frosting, spread the pecans and coconut on baking sheet, and toast in oven for 7 minutes, or until the pecans deepen in color and the coconut turns golden brown. Remove baking sheet from oven and set aside.

Place evaporated milk, sugar butter, egg yolks, and vanilla in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until thickenev and golden brown in color, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the toasted pecans and coconut. Cool to room remperature and spreading consistency.

Generously grease 2 9-inch round cake pans with solid veg. shortening, then dust with flour. Set pans aside.

Place cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in mixing bowl. Blend with mixer on low speec for 1 minute. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down sides if needed. The batter should look well combined. Divide the batter equally into the prepared pans, smoothing it outh with rubber spatula. Place pans in oven side by side.

Bake cakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with finger, 32-34 minutes. Remove pans from oven and place on wire reacks to cool for 10 min. Run a dinner kinife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto rack, then invert again so that cakes are cooling right side up. Allow to cool completely, 30 minutes more.

Place one cake layer, right side up, on serving platter. Spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top of first layer and frost the top with remaining frosting.

Then frost sides with chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Can't wait!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Saltine Toffee Bark



Ingredients
40 saltines
1 cup butter, cubed
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 package (8 ounces) milk chocolate English toffee bits

Directions
Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with heavy-duty foil. Arrange saltines in a single layer on foil; set aside.
In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in sugar. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Pour evenly over crackers.
Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until bubbly. Immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Allow chips to soften for a few minutes, then spread over top. Sprinkle with toffee bits. Cool.
Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2 pounds.

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies


(from Nordstrom Cafe)

1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla extract
2 c. AP flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
Brown Sugar Frosting
Pecan Halves

Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, mixing well. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.

Combine flour, soda, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chopped pecans. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls; place on ugreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for
10-12 minutes. Cook on wire reacks, and spread Brown Sugar Frosting over tops. Top each cookie with a pecan half.
Yield: 2 dozen

Brown Sugar Frosting

1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. half-and-half
1 T. butter
1 1/2 to 1 2/3 c. sifted powdered sugar

Combine brown sugar and half-and-half in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil; boil 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter.

Add 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, and beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar to desired spreading consistency. Yield 1 1/3 cups.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cookies and Cream Brownies




*One batch brownies with chopped up Oreos added. (around 12 Oreos)
(20 oz. brownie mix)

*Cookies & Cream Frosting, doubled :)

2 cups powdered sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp. heavy cream, plus a little extra
approx. 8 oreos, crushed well
Combine all frosting ingredients except the oreos and beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. You may need to add a bit more heavy cream to get a spreadable consistency. Mix in crushed oreos (more or less). Spread frosting evenly over cooled brownies.

You can fancy these up by topping each bar with an oreo cookie half like I did or you can top the whole thing with ganache thus smothering the “cream” between two layers of chocolate.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Corn Pudding


1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream-style corn, undrained
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 (8 oz.) box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

In a 2 quart baking dish, mix together butter, egg, sour cream, muffin mix, salt and pepper. Add corn and mix thoroughly.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.
Serves 8-10

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies



Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butterscotch chips, finely chopped
1/2 cup milk chocolate English toffee bits

Directions
In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in butterscotch chips and toffee bits. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-in. fluted round cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks. Yield: 4-1/2 dozen.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Triple Tier Brownies



Ingredients
1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size)
1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups crisp rice cereal
1 can (16 ounces) cream cheese frosting
1 cup salted peanuts, chopped

Directions
Prepare and bake brownie mix according to package directions, using a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Cool on a wire rack.
In a large saucepan, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter. Cook over low heat for 4-5 minutes or until blended, stirring occasionally. Stir in cereal; set aside.
Spread frosting over brownies. Sprinkle with peanuts. Spread with peanut butter mixture. Chill for 30 minutes or until set before cutting. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: about 5 dozen.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Award Winning Broccoli Grape and Pasta Salad



1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 (16-oz.) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
2. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
3. Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.
4. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Layered Turtle Cheesecake



Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
6 tablespoons cold butter, chopped

FILLING:
4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/3 cup chopped pecans

GANACHE:
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
Optional garnish: pecan halves and additional caramel ice cream topping

Directions
Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and pecans; cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugars until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup flour, cream and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Remove 1 cup batter to a small bowl; stir in melted chocolate until blended. Spread over crust.
Combine caramel topping and remaining flour; stir in pecans. Drop by tablespoonfuls over chocolate batter. Top with remaining batter. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
Bake at 325° for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
Place chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chips; whisk until smooth. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally.
Spread over cheesecake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate until set. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with pecan halves and additional caramel topping if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes



Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup raisins (optional--I don't like them, Sam I am)

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Directions
In a large bowl, beat the sugar, pumpkin, eggs and oil until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture until blended. Stir in the raisins.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, in a small bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add confectioners' sugar. Frost cupcakes; sprinkle with walnuts. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 20 cupcakes.
This picture and recipe are from Tast of Home. They RARELY let you down...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pecan Upside-Down Cake


1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. dark corn syrup
1 1/2 c. pecan halves (I use and prefer chopped)
1 pkg. (18 1/4 oz.) butter pecan cake mix
1 c. sour cream
1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 t. vanilla

In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and pecans. spread evenly into a 13 X 9 baking pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; beat with a mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Transfer to prepared pan.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 min. or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 min. before inverting onto a serving platter. Serve warm or room temp. Yields 20 servings.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Double Chocolate Cupcakes



For the cupcakes:
Ingredients:
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally to combine, until the butter is melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed and beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 of the way full. (You can use the large Pampered Chef scoop to insure even distribution of the batter.) Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:
Ingredients:
14 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
9 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream

Directions:
To make the frosting, melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Set aside to cool until just barely warm. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate and then the sour cream. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Frost cupcakes immediately. Garnish with chocolate shavings if desired.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

another one from Dinah's Dishes (and the picture)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins


Ingredients:
For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
For the topping:
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Directions:
For the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well with a hand mixer until well blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. I have found that if you twist the ends of the plastic wrap it will make a smooth log and you can make sure it is even throughout. Place in the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, about 2 hours.

For the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Mix on medium-low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated (you may need to stop and scrap down the sides once or twice).
To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small or medium bowl; using a pastry cutter or two forks cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.

To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons). Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 12 equal pieces and then each piece in half to make 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, making sure the cream cheese mixture is covered. Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each muffin to cover the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. You want to be careful the cream cheese is very hot.
This recipe and picture--another from Dinah's Dishes--Very delicious!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sandy's Potato Salad

3 lbs. of russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (approx. 7 medium potatoes)
5 hard boiled eggs, peeled and grated (not chopped)
2 cups of Duke mayonnaise
4 stalks of celery, chopped
3/4 of a jar of Mt. Olive Sweet Salad Cubes
2 small chopped Vidalia onions
1 or 2 TB of regular mustard
2 TB of cidar vinegar

Boil potatoes in slightly salted water until they cut easily with a fork. Drain and cool. While potatoes are cooling, put remaining ingredients in bowl and mix well to create dressing. After potatoes have cooled, mix dressing and potatoes. Chill. Keep away from Rob if you plan to take the salad to an event.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Easy Skillet Apple Pie


2 pounds Granny Smith apples
2 pounds Braeburn apples
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 egg white
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Butter-pecan ice cream

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Peel apples, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Toss apples with cinnamon and 3/4 cup granulated sugar.
2. Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and place 1 piecrust in skillet over brown sugar mixture. Spoon apple mixture over piecrust, and top with remaining piecrust. Whisk egg white until foamy. Brush top of piecrust with egg white; sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar. Cut 4 or 5 slits in top for steam to escape.
3. Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly, shielding with aluminum foil during last 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes before serving. Serve with butter-pecan ice cream.

from Southern Living September 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes


1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
1-1/4 cups water
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup canola oil
3 eggs
24 miniature peanut butter cups

FROSTING:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup peanut butter
Additional miniature peanut butter cups, chopped

Directions
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, peanut butter, oil and eggs; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes or until smooth.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full. Place a peanut butter cup in the center of each cupcake. Cover each with 1 tablespoonful batter.
Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Stir in peanut butter. Cool, stirring occasionally, to room temperature or until ganache reaches a spreading consistency, about 10 minutes.
Spread over cupcakes; immediately sprinkle with additional peanut butter cups. Let stand until set. Yield: 2 dozen.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Crock Pot Lentil Soup


Ingredients:

3 carrots, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
8 cups water or vegetable broth
2 cups lentils, rinsed
1 tsp. dried thyme

Directions Put all of these ingredients in the slow cooker. Set it on low if you are leaving it all day, high if you are starting it around lunchtime.


About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve the soup, add:
1 ½ tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped

Variations:
You can add potatoes if you want more bulk. Add cubed potatoes at the beginning of cooking if you do.

Tomatoes are also good in this dish. Add one 14 ½ ounce can of diced tomatoes at the beginning of cooking if you like.

Slow-Cooker Chilupe


Dry pinto beans (1 lb. package)
Boneless pork shoulder roast with fat trimmed
(chicken can be subsituted)
2 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1 t. oregano
1 6 oz can diced green chilies
3 tsp salt (I suggest reducing salt to taste)
1/4 t red chili flakes

Directions:
Clean and rinse dry pinto beans and put into Crock-Pot.

Add boneless pork shoulder roast with fat trimmed, 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped 2 Tbls chili powder, 1 Tbls cumin powder, 1 tsp oregano leaves, crushed in the palm of your hand, 1 6 oz can diced green chilies -- mild/medium hot -- 3 tsp salt, 1/4 t red chili flakes (more if you like it spicy).

Cover roast — barely — with chicken broth and mix by turning roast over a couple of times without bringing dry beans to the top of the crock.

Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 12 hours (can be made before bed to shred meat and mush beans in the morning before work to put in fridge for dinner or before a great lunch meal).

When beans are cooked and meat is pull-apart tender, remove meat and shred with a fork -- removing fat as you go.

Use a potato masher to mash beans and remaining fluid, if any. Add shredded pork and mix.

Taste for appropriate saltiness and spices. This is a great crowd pleaser.

Assemble like a great individual nacho volcano -- Fritos or nacho chips of your choice at the bottom, Chilupe, sour cream, shredded lettuce, chopped onion, chopped avocado, slice olives, salsa and yellow cheese with a sprig or two of cilantro! Great leftovers for burritos, tacos, tostadas.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies



3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed about 30 seconds or until combined. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir any remaining flour in by hand. Stir in rolled oats and chocolate chips by hand.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons (use a small scoop if you have one) 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let cool on pan for a few minutes before removing to a wired cooling rack.

Another recipe and pic from Dinah's Dishes--yummy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Black Bean Enchiladas


Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
1 1/2 cups salsa
12 flour tortillas
2 medium sized tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
optional: sour cream , shredded lettuce, and guacamole for topping

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onion cooking the onion for 2 to 3 minutes until it has softened. Add the black beans. (You can mash one can and keep one whole or mash them once you add them to the onion mixture using an immersion blender. We prefer to use an immersion blender on the whole mixture.) Add 3/4 cup of salsa stirring to combine, heating until everything is heated through.

Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup of mixture down the center of each flour tortilla. Roll up and place, seam side down, in a 9 X 13 baking dish. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup salsa with your diced tomatoes; spoon over the enchiladas. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheeses and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve topped with sour cream, shredded lettuce, guacamole or toppings of your choice.
from Dinah's Dishes--picture and recipe. Can't wait to try this one.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peach Upside Cake


1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. Brown Sugar
1 1/2--2 c. peaches
1 1/4 c. AP Flour
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. butter, softenend
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. milk

Melt 1/4 c. butter in 8 X 8 pan. Melt in 300 degree oven.
Add brown sugar, moisten brown sugar. Arrange peaches over butter and sugar.

In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, add 1/2 c. butter--beat with mixer, add granulated sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Alternate with dry ingredients and milk. Mix well. Spread batter over peaches.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes--loosen sides. Invert onto large serving platter. Cool 10-15 minutes.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fudgy Double Chocolate Pistachio Brownies

o 1 1/2cups butter
o 1 1/2cups firmly packed brown sugar
o 1cup sugar
o 1Tablespoon vanilla
o 4 large eggs
o 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
o 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
o 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
o 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
o 1/4 teaspoon salt
o 1 cup white chocolate morsels
o 1 cup dark chocolate morsels
o 1cup chopped pistachios
o Preheat oven to 350.
Spray cooking spray on aluminum foil in 13 x 9 glass pan. (Line pan with alum. foil)
Beat butters, sugars, and vanilla at medium speed with a mixer until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time beating well after each.
In medium bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture beating until combined. stir in morsels and pistachios.
Spoon into pan bake 35 to 45 minutes. Check with toothpick in center! Cool before cutting. ENJOY

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake


Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients

2 cups Oreo crumbs

2 tablespoons butter, melted

4x 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

5 eggs, room temperature

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 bag mini peanut butter cups

Topping:

1/2 cup peanut butter

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

3/4 cup heavy cream

15-20 mini peanut butter cups (saved from the cheesecake ingredients)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together Oreo crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan and bake for 15 minutes. Cool.

Beat cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each. Add sugar, peanut butter, and cream; mix thoroughly. Stir in vanilla. Pour half of the mixture into the cooled crust, layer with 2 cups of mini peanut butter cups, then top with remaining cheesecake mixture.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The sides of the cheesecake should be set but the middle will be a little jiggly. (it should not be runny) Cool slightly then put it into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Chop up the chocolate and melt it in a double boiler (or microwave). Cool slightly then add all but 1 tablespoon of cream. Stir and then pour over the cool cheesecake (while still in the springform pan). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of whipping cream in a bowl and microwave until it's a runny consistency. Either place the mixture in a piping bag or using a spoon, top the cheesecake with a peanut butter swirl. Before the swirl sets, surround the outer edge of the cheesecake with the remaining mini peanut butter cups.

Recipe and picture from: The Foodie and The Family
Looks amazing!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Easy Mocha Chip Ice Cream Cake


Ingredients:

1 pt. premium dark chocolate chunk-coffee ice cream, softened
3 sugar cones, crushed
1/3 cup chocolate fudge shell topping
1 (14-oz.) container premium chocolate-chocolate chip ice cream, softened
6 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, finely crushed
Mocha Ganache
Garnish: chocolate-covered coffee beans

Preparation
1. Line an 8- x 5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing 3 inches to extend over sides. Spread chocolate chunk-coffee ice cream in pan. Sprinkle with cones, and drizzle with shell topping. Freeze 30 minutes.
2. Spread chocolate-chocolate chip ice cream over topping. Top with crushed cookies, pressing into ice cream. Freeze 4 hours or until firm.
3. Lift ice-cream loaf from pan, using plastic wrap as handles; invert onto a serving plate. Discard plastic wrap. Prepare Mocha Ganache, and slowly pour over ice-cream loaf, allowing ganache to drip down sides. Freeze 10 minutes. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake


Ingredients for Devil's food cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup hot strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Preparation:
Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Add egg, beating just until blended. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with coffee, beating until blended. Stir in vinegar. Bake batter immediately as instructed below.


Ingredients
Parchment paper
Devil's Food Cake Batter
1/2 gal. mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
10 chocolate wafers, coarsely crushed
Chocolate Ganache
Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, thin crème de menthe chocolate mints

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Prepare Devil's Food Cake Batter, and spoon into pans.
2. Bake at 350º for 12 to 14 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, peel off parchment paper, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
3. Place 1 cake layer in a 9-inch springform pan. Top with one-third of ice cream (about 2 1/3 cups); sprinkle with half of crushed wafers. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining cake layer and ice cream. Freeze 8 to 12 hours.
4. Remove cake from springform pan, and place on a cake stand or plate. Prepare Chocolate Ganache, and spread over top of ice-cream cake. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Watermelon Summer Salad


1 (5-pound) watermelon
1 Vidalia onion
1 cucumber, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
6 whole mint sprigs

In a large bowl, combine everything; the watermelon, onion, cukes, feta and mint. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper. Toss gently and refrigerate. Simple..

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Herb Grilled Chicken


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)

Directions
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first 10 ingredients; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Drain and discard marinade. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 5-8 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Yield: 4 servings.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bruschetta Chicken


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup egg substitute
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions
Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in flour, then in eggs; place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over chicken.
Loosely cover baking dish with foil. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 170°.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon over the chicken. Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes or until tomato mixture is heated through. Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, June 24, 2011

German Chocolate Cake Truffles


1 (18.25 oz.)pkg. German chocolate cake mix
1 (16 oz.) container milk chocolate ready-to-spread frosting
2 c. toasted coconut, divided
1 3/4 toasted finely chopped pecans, divided
Wax paper
4 (7 oz.) container milk chocolate dipping chocolate
Candy dipping fork
Paper or aluminum foil baking cups

Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions, in a lightly greased 13 X 9 inch pan. Let cool completely in pan (about 30 minutes).

Crumble cake into large bowl. Scoop frosting by spoonfuls over cake crumbs. Sprinkle with 1 cup each coconut and peacns: stir gently just until thoroughly blended. Using a cookie scoop, scoop cake mixture into 1 1/4 inch balls; roll in hands, and place balls on wax paper lined baking sheets Cover and chill for one hour.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 1 cup coconut and 3/4 cup pecans; stir well. Melt dipping chocolate, 1 container at a time, according to package directions, dip chilled balls in melted chocolate, using candy dipping fork and allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Place coated truffles on wax paper-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with coconut-pecan mixture; chill 30 minutes or until set. Place truffles in baking cups.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Turtle Tart




Cookie Base

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) oatmeal cookie mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
1 cup chopped pecans

Filling:
40 caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Topping:
1 bag (11.5 oz) milk chocolate chips (2 cups)
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, water and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in 1 cup pecans. Press dough in bottom and up sides of ungreased 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
2 Bake 19 to 21 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 10 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, in medium microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and 1/3 cup cream on High 2 to 4 minutes, stirring twice, until caramels are melted. Stir in 3/4 cup pecans. Spread over cooled crust. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
4 In another medium microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and 1/3 cup cream on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Pour over filling. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup pecans. Refrigerate 2 hours or until set. To serve, let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before cutting. Store covered in refrigerator.

White Almond Three Layer Cake


1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs




Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.
2. Whisk together the white cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well mixed. Pour in the water, sour cream, vegetable oil, almond and vanilla extracts, and eggs, and beat with an electric mix on low until all the ingredients are mixed and moistened and mixed well.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake in the preheated oven until the top is a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes in pans. Remove and cool completely on wire racks.

Frost with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick softened butter
4 c. confectioners sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1 t. almond extract (optional)

Cream butter and cream cheese together.
Add sugar and cocoa. Mix well.
Frost the cake. ENJOY!
We had this for Mom's 86th birthday. A tasty, tasty cake. Vickie recommends chocolate shavings and almond slivers as garnish.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip


Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 (8-ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (recommended: Rotel)
1 cup shredded 4 cheese blend
Tortilla chips and cut vegetables, for serving

Directions


Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it foams, add the shallot and garlic, and saute until softened, about 3 minutes.



Add the flour and cook while stirring until it becomes a light blonde color.



Slowly stir in the heavy cream, and the drained spinach, and simmer until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.



Stir in the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and cheese and cook until the cheese is melted. Remove to a serving bowl and serve with tortilla chips

Friday, June 3, 2011

Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes


Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes


Yield: serves 4
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup sour cream (you can substitute plain greek yogurt)
2/3 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
8 ounces blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together into a bowl. Separate the egg whites and beat them until soft peaks form. Set aside. Put the egg yolks, sour cream, milk, and cooled melted butter into a another bowl and beat well. Add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth. Gently fold in the egg whites, then fold in the blueberries. Be careful not to over-mix (a few lumps is ok).

Heat a griddle or skillet (lightly greased or sprayed with cooking spray) over medium heat. Reduce the heat slightly. Pour about 3 tablespoons of batter onto the griddle and cook for 1-2 minutes until small bubbles begin to appear on the surface and the underside is golden brown. Turn them over and cook on the other side for 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and keep warm until all are cooked.

Serve with maple-pecan syrup.

*Maple-Pecan Syrup
4 ounces pecans (halves or chopped)
1 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

To make the syrup, spread the pecan over a baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Heat the maple syrup in a small saucepan and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the toasted pecans and butter

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake


COFFEE CAKE:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract

FILLING:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup raspberry jam

TOPPING:
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions
In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; reserving 1 cup crumb mixture.
To remaining crumb mixture, add baking powder, soda, salt, sour cream, egg and almond extract; blend well. Spread batter over bottom and 2 in. up side of greased and floured 9-in. springform pan. (Batter should be 1/4 in thick on sides.)
In small bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and egg until smooth. Pour over batter in pan. Carefully spoon jam evenly over cheese filling.
In a small bowl, combine reserved flour mixture and almonds; sprinkle over top. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until cream cheese filling is set and crust is a deep golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Serve warm or cool. Cover and refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 16 servings.

Watermelon, Mâche, and Pecan Salad


3/4 cup chopped pecans
5 cups seeded and cubed watermelon
1 (6-oz.) package mâche, thoroughly washed
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes or until completely cool.
2. Combine watermelon and mâche in a large bowl; add vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat. Transfer watermelon mixture to a serving platter, and sprinkle evenly with pecans and cheese

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Viva Panzanella Salad


3/4 pound sourdough bread, cubed (about 8 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 8 medium), chopped
1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered
1 cup thinly sliced roasted sweet red peppers
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup Greek olives, quartered
3 tablespoons capers, drained

DRESSING:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram or 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced

Directions
In a large bowl, toss bread with oil and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, beans, artichokes, peppers, basil, onion, olives, capers and bread.
In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.



Monday, May 30, 2011

Patriotic Trifle


1 package (3 ounces) berry blue gelatin
1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 cup cold water
2 cups cold whole milk
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 quart fresh strawberries, quartered
1 prepared angel food cake (8 to 10 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes

Directions
In two small bowls, combine each gelatin flavor with 1 cup boiling water. Stir 1/2 cup cold water into each. Pour each into an ungreased 9-in. square pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping.
Set aside 1/4 cup blueberries and 1/2 cup strawberries for garnish. Cut the gelatin into 1-in. cubes. In a 3-qt. trifle bowl or serving dish, layer the strawberry gelatin, half of the cake cubes, the remaining blueberries and half of the pudding mixture.
Top with blue gelatin and remaining cake cubes, strawberries and pudding mixture. Garnish with reserved berries and remaining whipped topping. Serve immediately. Yield: 16-20 servings.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Strawberry Trifle


1-1/2 cups grape juice
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 loaves (10-3/4 ounces each) frozen pound cake, thawed
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Additional fresh strawberries

Directions
In a large saucepan, combine grape juice and 1/3 cup sugar. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Set saucepan in ice water and stir the mixture for 3 minutes. Stir in strawberries and vanilla.
Meanwhile, cut one cake in half widthwise (save the other half for another use). Cube remaining cake; set aside.
In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add remaining sugar; beat until soft peaks form.
In a 3-qt. trifle bowl or glass serving bowl, layer a third of the cake cubes, strawberry mixture and whipped topping. Repeat twice. Chill until serving. Garnish with additional strawberries. Yield: 15 servings.



Summer Veggie Salad


1 cup fresh cauliflowerets
1 cup fresh sliced carrots
1 cup sliced red onion
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 cup chopped zucchini
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions
In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, carrots, onion, tomatoes and zucchini. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables and toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 6 servings.



Melon Feta Salad



Melon and Feta Salad


8 cups melon
(honeydew, cantaloupe,and/or watermelon scooped or cut into bite sized pieces)
1/4 cup red onion (sliced, optional)
1/3 c. crumbled feta
1 tablespoon mint (thinly sliced)
salt and pepper to taste (optional)



Toss ingredients together.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blueberry Pound Cake


2 cups sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less fat cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour, divided
2 cups blueberries (if using frozen berries do not thaw)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) carton lemon yogurt (or vanilla)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice (or milk if using vanilla)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine sugar, butter, and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg white one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Place the flour in a small bowl. Remove two tablespoons of flour and toss in a small bowl with blueberries. Combine the baking powder, baking soda, and salt with the remaining flour.

Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with the yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in the blueberries gently.

Pour the batter into the prepared tube pan. Tap the pan on the counter once or twice to remove any air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).

Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool an additional 15 minutes.

Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice or milk in a small bowl; drizzle over the slightly still warm cake.

Recipe and picture from www.Dinah's-dishes.com

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tomato "Bruschetta" with Tuna and Cannellini Salad


5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Finely shredded zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (5 oz. each) tuna, water packed,drained and broken into chunks
3 green onions, thinly sliced
4 to 8 thick slices large heirloom tomatoes

Preparation
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, and chives. Add parsley leaves, beans, tuna, and onions and stir gently just until coated.
2. Arrange tomato slices on 4 plates and spoon tuna mixture on top, dividing evenly. Top each salad with a few parsley leaves if you like.

Caramel French Toast


1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 tablespoon corn syrup
3 slices white bakery bread (1 inch thick), halved
3 eggs
3/4 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Pour into an 8-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange bread over caramel.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon and salt; pour over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Yield: 2 servings.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Congo Bars


3/4 c. melted butter
1 pound brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour -- sifted
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 c. chopped pecans
12 oz. semisweet or milk chocolate chips

Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients to sugar mixture. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Turn dough into greased 13 X 9 greased pan.
Bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes (watch carefully, DON'T overbake)

Coconut Blondies




10 T. unsalted butter

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 t. salt

1 1/4 cup flour

1 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 1/4 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line and grease an 8×8” baking dish.

In a pan over high heat, heat the butter until it browns and smells nutty. (Keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t burn.) Let the butter cool for a few moments, until just barely warm.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the browned butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. With a wooden spoon, mix in the egg, vanilla, and salt. Slowly mix in the flour, coconut, and chocolate chips until blended.

Pour the batter into the greased baking dish, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes—do not overbake! The center should still be soft. Let the blondies cool before turning them out onto a cutting board and slicing into squares

From the Newlywed Kitchen Cookbook