Monday, December 19, 2011

Candy Cane Cookies

1 C. Butter
1 C. Shortening
2 C. Powdered (confectioner's) Sugar
2 Eggs
3 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. vanilla
Mix the above ingredients until smooth.
Add:
5 C. Flour
2 tsp. Salt
Red food coloring (after dough is divided)
Crushed candy canes (to sprinkle on top of frosted cookies)

Divide dough in half.  Blend red food coloring into one half of the dough.
Shape a teaspoon of white and a teaspoon of red into rope shapes by rolling back and forth on floured board.  (works best on a wood board)  Press together lightly and twist.  Complete cookies one at a time.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Curve top down to form handle of cane. 
Bake about 9-11 minutes or until set and very light brown.  Do not over bake, but they will fall apart if you don't bake long enough. 

Make a butter cream frosting, frost cooled cookies, and then immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

12-Hour Rolls

1/4 C. Lukewarm Water
1 Pkg. Yeast
1 T. Sugar
     Mix the above together and let dissolve.
1 Cube Butter
1 C. Scalded Milk
     Let cool.
3 Eggs
3/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 C. Sugar
     Add to yeast and milk.
4 Cups. Flour--add to above mixture.  (Dough will be very sticky)
Cover and allow to rise 5-6 hours.
Roll out w/little amount of flour.
Cut with glass or roll cutter.
Melt butter to dip dough in on both sides.
Score in center with knife and fold over.  Tuck end under.
Let rise 5-6 hours.
Bake at 375 degrees about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Mom's Rolls

1 C. Milk
1/2 C. Warm Water
3 T. Sugar
2 Eggs
1 T. Yeast
1/3 C. Butter, melted
1 tsp. Salt
4 C. flour-approx.
Scald Milk.  Add but, sugar, and salt.  Cool to lukewarm.
Combine yeast and water.  Add a pinch of sugar to help activate the yeast.
Add eggs to large bowl and beat until frothy.  Add milk and yeast and then add flour to form a soft dough.  Stir well.  Cover and let rise to double. 
Divide dough into thirds and form into rolls-whatever desired shape.  Let rise about 20-30 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-20 minutes.  Do not over bake.

To form rolls into crescent shape:  divide dough into 3 equal sections.  Roll each section into an 8" circle.  Spread butter on circle.  Cut into 8 equal pie shaped slices.  Roll up starting at wide end of slice.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wild Rice Soup




Wild Rice Soup
Heather Olsen O’Brien

Ingredients:

1 large onion
2 Carrots
3 Celery Stalks
½ cup Butter
2/3 cup Flour
6 cups Water
2 Tbsp McCormick Chicken Base (or 4 Bullion Cubes)
2 pkgs Rice-A-Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice
5 Chicken breasts (cooked and cubed)
2 cups Half and Half
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Pepper

 DIRECTIONS:
Prepare Rice-A-Roni as directed on box.

Chop vegetables and place in large soup pot.   (Sometimes I cook these in the microwave to save time.)Melt butter and sauté vegetables until tender.

 Add flour and stir until vegetables are coated. Slowly add water and stir vigorously until flour dissolves.  Add Rice-A-Roni to the soup.
 
Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low until well blended, usually about 1 hour.

 (Last thing- to make it healthier you can use fat free half and half and it still tastes great.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa Hat Chex Mix

 
Santa Chex Mix

{Feel free to play around with the ingredients and make it your own!}
3 cups mini pretzels
1/2 cup craisins
1 cup salted dry roasted peanuts
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups holiday colored M&M’s
8 oz. white chocolate for melting
Santa Hats (see directions below)
Put all your ingredients, EXCEPT M&M’s and santa hats, in a large bowl.  Melt your white chocolate according to package directions and drizzle over the pretzel mix. Stir until evenly coated with chocolate.  Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. When chocolate is set, sprinkle M&M’s and Santa hats over the mix.
 
How to make the Santa Hats:

What you will need:
Caramel Bugles
Red melting disks (you can find this at the craft store)
Mini Marshmallows
White nonpareils

Melt the candy melts according to directions on package.  I added a little shortening to help thin the melted candy – about 1-2 Tablespoons. 

Dip the bugles and set them on parchment paper to set up.  Re-dip the bottoms of the bugle “hats” and dip into the white sprinkles. Flip to the other side, re-dip the top of the hat and press on a mini marshmallow.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Stephanie's Cranberry Salsa




Cranberry Salsa Dip with Cream Cheese

Ingredients:
1 (12-ounce bag) or 3 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup minced green onions
2 small (approximately 2 tablespoons) jalapeno chili peppers, cored, seeded and minced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves minced
2 tablespoons finely-grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
Cranberries and/or cilantro sprigs for garnish

Preparation:
Rinse, drain, and pick over cranberries, (discarding all that are soft or bruised). Place them in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped but not mushy.
Place crushed cranberries in a bowl; mix together with onions, jalapeno peppers, sugar, cilantro leaves, ginger, and lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours so flavors develop (salsa will be too sharp and tart to begin with).
On a serving plate, place cream cheese; cover with the dip. Garnish, if desired, and served with crackers.
Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Cranberry Salad

3 Cups of whole fresh cranberries
3/4 Cup sugar
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple (drained)
2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pomegranate seeds


Chop cranberries in food processor until they are fine and no large pieces remain. Transfer to a bowl and stir sugar into cranberries. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Drain any accumulated juice from cranberries and reserve.  Stir in drained pineapple and marshallows. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whip heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.  Fold into the cranberry mixture. Adjust texture with the reserved cranberry juice if needed.

Refridgerate or freeze.  Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

{recipe and photo found here}


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Swiss Chicken

6-8 Boneless Chicken breasts
Sliced Swiss Cheese, even slices to cover chicken
1 Can cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. Milk
1 Cube butter, melted
2 C. Pepperidge Farm herb stuffing (blue bag)

Place chicken breasts in baking dish.  Cover with slices of Swiss cheese.  Make a sauce with soup and milk and pour over chicken.  Mix butter and stuffing and sprinkle over top of chicken and cheese.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake and additional 30 minutes  or until chicken is done.

"Funeral" Potato Casserole


In small saucepan, melt and stir until smooth, the ingredients below:
  • 2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1 C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/3 C. Chopped green onion or equivalent onion flakes
  • 1 pint sour cream (2 cups)
Frozen Shredded Hash Browns (I like the ones from Costco)

Put a layer of hash browns in a 9 x 13 pan.  Pour half of the above mixture on the hash browns and smooth with spatula to cover the hash browns.  Repeat with another layer of hash browns and then another layer of sauce.

Combine:  1 C. Crushed cornflakes (or more if you like ), and 2 Tbsp. melted butter.  Sprinkle on top of casserole and bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.





Vegetable Pizza

2 Cans Refrigerated Crescent Roll Dough
2- 8 oz. Pkg Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Envelope Buttermilk Ranch Style Salad Dressing
1/2 C. Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Milk
1/2 C. Each-- Finely chopped Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Shredded Carrots, Radishes, Onion, or whatever veggies you like  (I might have used green peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower at M & M...can't remember).
1 C. Grated Cheddar or Mozzarella Cheese (I used Cheddar)
1 C. Chopped Tomatoes-(I add these on top of the cheese just before serving)

Unroll 2 cans of dough and arrange on large cookie sheet.  Press edges of dough together to form a solid layer.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minues.  Cool.

Combine:  Cream cheese, salad dressing mix, mayo, and milk.  Beat until smooth.   Spread creamed mixture on cooled crust.  Sprinkle vegetables evenly over cream cheese layer.  Top with grated cheese.  Chill until served.  Add tomatoes just before serving.  I use cherry  or grape tomatoes-quartered.

Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes


4 C mashed Sweet potatoes (5 med sweet potatoes or 2 large sized cans)
2/3 C Sugar
1/2 C butter
2 eggs
1/2 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 t vanilla
Topping:

2 C brown sugar
2 C sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 C melted butter
3/4 C chopped pecans
If using fresh sweet potatoes, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick each sweet potato with a fork and place on foil in the oven. Cook for 40-60 minutes or until tender.
Cool, then slice in half and scoop out the insides into a mixing bowl.
To the mixing bowl add in sugar, butter, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla.
Spread this mixture evenly into a 9 x 13 pan.
For the topping, combine brown sugar and coconut and then pour melted butter over and combine. Add pecans. Sprinkle evenly over the sweet potatoes in the pan.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40-50 minutes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 c. softened butter
  • 1 c.granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t.salt
  • 1 box (7.4 oz) Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink mix -not sugar free- all 10
  • packets (I found this in my grocery store near the hot chocolate mixes.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 3 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 bag Kraft Caramels (14 oz)
Method:

· Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment. (You really need the parchment!)

· In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

· cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.

· Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.

· Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.

· Refrigerate for about an hour. 

· When you are ready to bake, unwrap your caramels.

· Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut.

· Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

· Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Once the cookies are done, slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down (either on the parchment or on a rack.)

Cream Cheese Lemon Pie

Cream Cheese Filling:
Ingredients:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened.
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Method:

Beat until light and fluffy. Spread into the bottom of pre baked pie crust. Refrigerate to set,
Lemon Filling:
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
Method:

Mix sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and set aside. Beat eggs yolks. Gradually stir 1 cup of hot filling into egg yolks. Return to saucepan, stir and bring to a gentle boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon peel and butter. Stir in lemon juice and cool. When cooled. Spread filling over cream cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Cover with sweetened whip cream to serve.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dutch Almond Tart

1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
Pearl sugar to sprinkle on top (you can buy this at your local grocery store)

Mix together butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in eggs and almond extract until well blended. Add flour and mix until smooth. Spread into buttered pie plate and sprinkle the top heavily with pearl sugar. Bake at 335 degrees for 25-30 minutes. You may need to bake it a little longer until the middle isn't gooey depending on your oven. The top should be lightly golden. Best served with homemade whipping cream and raspberries on top.

This recipe is to die for and so easy to make! Enjoy! 

Chocolate Raspberry Bars

2 cups flour
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg beaten
1 t almond extract
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 pkg chocolate chips
1 cup chopped almonds

Frosting:
1 cup powder sugar
2 T Milk

Mix flour and sugar.  Cut in butter.  Stir in eggs and almond extract until moist.  Press in 9x13 pan.  Save about 1 cup for topping.  Spread with jam. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, almonds and left over dough.  Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees until golden.  Drizzle with frosting.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bruce's Baked Apples

Ingredients
Mix/Stuffing:
1 apple (6 oz./Granny Smith Golden Delicious)
5 tbl. unsalted butter for mix
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 chopped pecans (toast/optional)
3 tbl. old fashioned oats
1 tsp. orange zest
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
6 apples (6 oz. each/Granny Smith Golden Delicious)
Sauce:
1 tbl. unsalted butter
1/3 cup apple cider
1/3 cup maple syrup
Directions
1. One apple, peel, core and dice (cut into ¼ inch pieces)
2. Six apples , cut off small section of blossom end (dispose)
3. Cut ½ inch off top (“Apple Caps” - set aside and reserve)
4. Peel outer layer of apples
5. Core out apples with melon baller and leave ½ inch perimeter outer and bottom areas
6. Melt butter in skillet on medium heat and caramelize tops of apples (approx. 3 minutes)
7. Turn down heat to low and rotate apples, “pile” mix/stuffing in cored apples
8. Add apple cider and maple syrup to skillet for sauce
9. Cover apples with “Apple Caps”
10. Bake at 375 Degrees, rack on middle position, 35 to 40 minutes
11. Spoon with sauce every 10 minutes while baking
12. Test apple with a toothpick until tender
13. Drizzle sauce over apple before serving (if thick add more cider)
14. Remove “Apple Cap” and serve with Vanilla Ice Cream
See America’s Test Kitchen for demonstration:

Bruce's Gingerbread and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Stacker (GPCS)

Makes about 2 Dozen (Use 2 ¼ x 2 ¼” square or 2 ¼” diameter/round cookie cutter)
This dessert will bring all the pleasant flavors of fall together in a tasteful sandwich cookie. Try making these with a pumpkin or bell shape cookie cutter for a holiday style presentation. 
(Recipe Adapted by Bruce Maw)

Ingredients:
3 ½ cups all—purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated, peeled fresh ginger
1 large egg
¼ cup unsulfured molasses
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling (See instructions below)
White Icing (See instructions below)
48 Pecan Pieces and 24 Chocolate Chips

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice and cloves: set aside.
2. In a bowl, beat butter, both sugars, and fresh ginger on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in egg and molasses to mixture. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture, beating until well integrated.
3. Turn out the dough on to a clean surface, divide in half, shape into flattened disks; wrap each in plastic. Dough will be soft. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with racks in the upper and lower areas. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Remove dough from the refrigerator, and let stand until slightly softened. On a working surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out dough to about ¼ inches thick.
5. Working quickly, cut out with cookie cutters. (If the dough begins to soften too much, place in freezer for a few minutes.) Reroll scraps and cut out additional dough shapes. Repeat with remaining dough half. Using a spatula, transfer cutouts to prepared baking sheets; chill until firm, about 15 minutes.
6. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are crisp but not darkened, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cookies cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Divide cookies evenly into bottoms and tops to create sandwiches.
7. Drop one tbsp or pipe pumpkin cream cheese filling onto bottoms and spread evenly. Set aside.
8. Spread icing over one half of top cookie. Decorate with two pecan pieces and one chocolate chip (optional). Place top cookies on bottom cookies to create a sandwich. Cookies should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight before serving. Refrigerate filled cookies to store.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling
Ingredients:
8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese (at room temperature)
½ cup pureed pumpkin (canned optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin spice
¼ tsp nutmeg
5 tbsp packed brown sugar
Directions:
Combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, and brown sugar until smooth.

White Icing
Ingredients:
½ cup heavy cream
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:
Whisk cream into sugar until smooth. Use immediately.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Chicken and Potato Bake

Ingredients:

Desired amount of chicken tenders or bone-in chicken pieces
1 1/2 lb. baking potatoes (about 3) cut into thin wedges
1/4 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning

Directions:
Heat oven to 400 F
Place chicken and potatoes in 9x13 baking dish
Top with dressing; sprinkle with cheese and seasoning. Cover.
Bake 1 hour or until chicken is done (165 F), uncovering after 30 min.

Recipe from Kraftrecipes.com

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:
1 can Pillsbury Pizza Dough (I used the thin crust)
1 cup BBQ Sauce
2 cups or so of left over chicken from BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
2 cups shredded mozarella cheese
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 Tbsp Italian Dressing (I use Kraft Free Zesty Italian)

Directions:
Prepare pizza dough as directed on package
Saute peppers until tender
Spread BBQ Sauce within 1 inch of edge of dough
Layer with cheese, chicken, and peppers
Bake according to package directions or at 450 for 18-22 min. if you make your own dough

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 (4 pound) bag frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (16 oz.) bottle BBQ sauce (we like Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ)
1 cup water
2 dozen hamburger buns or French rolls

Directions:

In the morning, place chicken breasts in crock pot, frozen. Pour barbecue sauce and water over top and cook all day on low heat. Before serving, shred chicken with two forks to pull it apart and mix in sauce well. Spoon onto buns or rolls.

Italian Crockpot Chicken

James chowed this down tonight. That's always a good sign :)

Ingredients:
4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese softened
1 packet Good Seasons Italian dressing mix

Directions:
Combine soup, cream cheese and dressing mix. Pour over chicken in crock pot and cook all day on low heat. Serve over noodles or rice.

Chicken Croissant Sandwiches

2 C. Cubed Chicken (cooked-I boil or bake it)
1 C. Celery (diced)
1 C. Toasted Slivered Almonds
2-4 C. Grapes (depending on how "grapey" you like it)
Mix the above together and then add the dressing:

Dressing:
1 C. Mayonnaise
3 T. Lemon Juice
3 T. Sugar
2 t. Pepper
1 t. Salt

Serve on Croissant Rolls.  Put mixture in rolls just prior to serving so rolls don't get soggy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tortilla in a Bag

Last spring I went to Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point
with my brother and his kids,
and they were making these. 
The kids really enjoyed it, and they were really tasty.

Step 1:  take a gallon ziplock bag and fill it with 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 3 Tablespoons shortening.

Step 2:  close bag and work mixture with fingers until ingredients form a soft dough and pull away from sides.

Step 3:  Add 1/2 cup hot water

Step 4:  Close bag and work mixture with fingers until ingredients form soft dough and pull away from sides.

Step 5:  let the dough rest for 10 minutes. (while it was resting we made homemade butter by shaking containers of cream)

Step 6:  remove dough from bag and divide into 4-5  equal balls.  roll out balls into thin, round tortillas.

Step 7:  cook in pan, flipping as required until both sides are cooked.

serve with butter, sugar and cinnamon

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Taco Salad

Ingredients:

1 lb. Hamburger
1 can Pork and Beans (I use Van Kamps)
1 can Kidney beans (optional)
1 can Tomato Soup (I use Campbell's)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Yellow Mustard

Directions:

BROWN the hamburger. You can add onion if you want, I use onion powder to season since I have an onion allergy.
COMBINE beans, soup, brown sugar and mustard in a casserole dish and mix together. Add hamburger.
STIR well.

MICROWAVE for 6 minutes or until heated through. You can also bake in the oven at 350 F for 15 minutes.

CRUSH tortilla chips onto your dinner plate. ADD meat mixture. TOP with your favorites: tomato, lettuce, cheese, olives, sour cream, etc.

ENJOY!

Note: You can double the recipe for the meat mixture and let it sit in your crockpot on low throughout the day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Marshmallow Popcorn

2 bags of extra butter microwave popcorn 
4 cups mini marshmallows
2 cups cinnamon bears - cut in thirds
Combine in a bowl large enough to mix.
Over medium heat, combine:
1 cup butter
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1/2 cup Karo syrup
Bring to a boil.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Pour over popcorn mixture and mix well.  Spread on a large tray or cookie sheet.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:

3 cups penne pasta, uncooked
2 Tbsp. Kraft Light Zesty Italian Dressing (I use enough to cover the bottom of the skillet.)
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
1 1/2 cups cut-up fresh asparagus (1-inch lengths)
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
4 oz. Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese), cubed
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

COOK pasta in large saucepan as directed on package.

MEANWHILE, heat dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add vegetables; cook 10 to 12 min. or until *chicken is done, stirring frequently. Add broth and Neufchatel; cook 1 min. or until Neufchatel is melted, stirring constantly. Stir in Parmesan.

DRAIN pasta; return to pan. Add chicken mixture; mix lightly. Cook 1 min. or until heated through. (Sauce will thicken upon standing.)

*You can also bake the chicken sprinkled with Italian seasoning in the oven according to package directions, then add to vegetable mixture.

Notes:
For a creamier pasta you can once and a half the chicken broth (1 1/2 cups) and cheeses (6 oz. Neufchatel and a heaping 1/4 cup parmesan).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Microwave Lemon Curd

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons (you can omit this if you aren't using fresh lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. Cook in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. This took me a total of 4 minutes.
  2. Remove from the microwave cool for 1 hour. Store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator in a sealed container. It will thicken a little more once it has been refrigerated.
Recipe from www.realmomkitchen.com

Fresh Blueberry Pie


Fresh Blueberry Pie

3/4 C. sugar2 1/2 T cornstarch1/4 tsp salt1/4 tsp cinnamon2/3 C. water5 C. fresh blueberries1 tsp vanilla2 T. butter2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice1 tsp. lemon zest
10-inch pie crust, blind baked and cooled
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon. Blend in water and 1 1/2 cups blueberries. Bring to a boil, stirring and smashing the berries. Boil, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, butter, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cool.
Fold in 2 1/2 cups blueberries, coating them well. Scoop into cooled baked pie shell. Arrange remaining cup of fresh berries over top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours, or overnight if needed.
To serve, remove pie from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Sift powdered sugar over top for pretty.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Taco Pie

Ingredients:
2 cans Pillsbury Biscuits (refrigerated)
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning
16 oz. Sour Cream
2 cups Shredded cheese
1 bag of Fritos

Directions:
In a 9x13 greased baking dish spread refrigerated Pillsbury dough on the bottom. Bake according to package directions. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the taco seasoning and stir together well. When dough is done, remove from oven and place meat mixture on top, then layer with sour cream and cheese, and then top off with the crushed Fritos chips. Return to oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Poppyseed Cake

3 CUPS FLOUR
2-1/2 CUPS SUGAR
1-1/2 TEASPOONS SALT
1-1/2 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER
1-1/2 CUPS MILK
1 CUP OIL
1/4 CUP POPPY SEED
3 EGGS
1-1/2 TEASPOONS VANILLA
2 TEASPOONS ALMOND EXTRACT

MIX DRY INGREDIENTS TOGETHER; BEAT IN MILK, OIL, EGGS, POPPY SEEDS, AND FLAVORINGS. BEAT UNTIL SMOOTH. PUT IN GREASED AND FLOURED BUNDT PAN. BAKE AT 350 DEGREES FOR ABOUT 1 HOUR.

FROSTING:
3/4 CUP POWDERED SUGAR (I USE MORE TO MAKE IT MORE LIKE FROSTING-I PIPE IT ON WITH A DECORATING TUBE TO LOOK LIKE THE 'NOTHING BUT BUNDT' CAKE PLACE.)
1/4 CUP ORANGE JUICE
1/2 TEASPOON VANILLA
1/2 TEASPOON ALMOND EXTRACT
2 TEASPOONS MELTED BUTTER

Chocolate Fudge Cake

CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE
2 CUPS FLOUR
2 CUPS SUGAR
1 TEASPOON BAKING SODA
4 TABLESPOONS COCOA
1 CUP WATER
2 CUBES BUTTER (1 CUP)
1/2 CUP BUTTERMILK (OR 1/2 C. MILK W/1 TBLSP VINEGAR ADDED)
3 EGGS
1 TEASPOON VANILLA

FROSTING
6 TABLESPOONS BUTTER
4 TABLESPOONS COCOA
6 TABLESPOONS CANNED EVAPORATED MILK
4-5 CUPS POWDERED SUGAR
1 TEASPOON VANILLA
1 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS (optional--but they make it really good)

Stir together flour, sugar, and soda in mixer bowl. Bring water, butter, and cocoa to boil in small saucepan, stirring constantly with whisk. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir. Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour into greased (bottom only) 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degress for 30-35 minutes.

Frosting: Cook butter, cocoa and milk until boiling. Pour in mixer bowl and add powdered sugar and vanilla. Add nuts if desired. FROST WHILE CAKE IS WARM. I like to keep any leftovers in the fridge, covered.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Christmas Ribbon Salad

CHRISTMAS RIBBON SALAD  
FIRST LAYER:
2 (3 oz.) pkg. lime Jello
2 1/2 c. hot water
SECOND LAYER:
1/2 c. pineapple juice
20 lg. marshmallows
1 (3 oz.) pkg. lemon Jello
1 1/2 c. hot water
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
THIRD LAYER:
1 (3 oz.) pkg. cherry Jello
1 (3 oz.) pkg. red raspberry Jello
2 1/2 c. hot water

1 container of cool whip if desired to top it off
First Layer: 
Combine Lime Jello and hot water; stir until Jello dissolves.
  
Pour into 9 x 13 inch pan. Chill until firm.
Second Layer: 
Combine pineapple juice and marshmallows in a saucepan. 
Heat until marshmallows melt. 
Dissolve gelatin in hot water. 
Combine the hot marshmallow mixture, Jello and cream cheese 
Mix well
Cool...the mixture
and pour over the first layer.

Chill until firm.
Third Layer: 
Combine all ingredients; mix until Jello dissolves.

Cool...
and pour over second layer
chill until firm

Cut into 2 or 3 inch squares to serve.
I add (1) container of Cool Whip on top just before serving.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Raspberry Oat Bars

3/4 CUP BUTTER
1 CUP BROWN SUGAR
1-1/2 CUPS OATS-REGULAR
1-1/2 CUPS FLOUR
1 TEASPOON SALT
1/2 TEASPOON BAKING POWDER
10 OZ. JAR OF RASPBERRY PERSERVES

BAKE AT 400 DEGREES, 9 X 13 GREASED PAN

PRESS HALF OF MIXTURE INTO BOTTOM OF PAN, SPREAD PRESERVES OVER CRUST AND THEN CRUMBLE THE REMAINING HALF OVER THE PRESERVES AND BAKE FOR 20-25 MINUTES UNTIL LIGHT BROWN. COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE CUTTING.

AUNT GRETA'S SUGAR COOKIES

2 CUPS SUGAR
1 CUP SOUR CREAM
1 8-0Z. CREAM CHEESE, SOFTENED
3 EGGS
1-1/2 CUPS BUTTER OR MARGARINE

WHIP ALL OF THE ABOVE TOGETHER

3 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER
1/2 TEASPOON SODA
1/2 TEASPOON SALT
5-1/2 CUPS FLOUR
2 TEASPOONS VANILLA OR ALMOND OR ONE OF EACH

MIX UNTIL SMOOTH, THEN DIVIDE INTO THIRDS AND REFRIGERATE FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR OR OVERNIGHT.

BAKE AT 350 DEGREES FOR 10-12 MINUTES.

FROSTING:

1/2 CUP BUTTER
1 8-0Z. CREAM CHEESE
ENOUGH POWDERED SUGAR TO MAKE A STIFF CONSISTENCY
1 TEASPOON VANILLA AND 1 TEASPOON ALMOND --ADJUST THE ALMOND ACCORDING TO TASTE
FOOD COLORING

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Banana Sheet Cake Bars

BANANA SHEET CAKE
CAKE

Cream:
1 Cup Sugar

½ Cup Butter or Margarine

2 Eggs

1 Cup Buttermilk (substitute = mix 1 Tbsp Vinegar with approximately 1 Cup Milk)

1 Cup Chopped Nuts (suggestion = Pecans)

Add:
2 Cups Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Vanilla

2 ½ Regular-Sized Bananas, Mashed

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a greased 9”x13” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Another option is to pour mixture into a sheet cake pan and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Check cake consistency with a toothpick.

FROSTING
Boil over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly:

½ Cup Butter or Margarine
1 Cup Brown Sugar

Stir in ¼ Cup Milk.

Continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil. Cool mixture to lukewarm temperature. Add 1 3/4 Cups Powdered Sugar. Beat until mixture has a consistency that will be easy to spread (hot water may be added to thin frosting).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Caramel Bars

Base mixture Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups oats (oatmeal)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups melted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Chocolate layer:
10 oz mild chocolate chips

Caramel Layer:
1 jar Mrs. Richards Butterscotch caramel topping
6 tsp flour
1 1/2 cups base mixture

Make base mixture: Mix brown sugar to melted butter and stir well. Mix
together oats, flour, soda and salt. Add butter/sugar mixture to oats
mixture. Take 2/3 of the base mixture and press into non-greased 9X11
pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Take out of oven and sprinkle milk chocolate chips on top.

Combine 1 jar Mrs. Richards Butterscotch caramel topping with 6 tsp
flour and 1 1/2 cup of base mixture. Then spread on top of chocolate chips.

Crumble the remaining base mixture over top.

Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees, making sure not to overcook.

Cool completely.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Perfect Frosting (from www.ourbestbites.com)

3 T Flour
1/2 C milk (whole milk is best, but I used non-fat when it's all I have and it's actually fine)
1/2 C real butter
1/2 C sugar (that's granulated sugar, not powdered sugar)
1 t vanilla extract, or other flavor if you wish.

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. (It will get really thick - goopy even!) Let it cook, while stirring, until it looks like pudding (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan when you stir it). Push it through a mesh strainer and then let it cool completely to room temp. or chill it in the fridge. It needs to be cooled completely.

It an electric stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat on the highest speed you can get to without it spraying all over the place for 7 minutes.

You will be scared because it will look like a weird goopy mess at first and you'll wonder what on earth you did wrong. Keep beating and something amazing happens. It goes from that goopy mess to something thick, velvety smooth, and perfectly fluffy.


One batch makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes . Use this to top your peppermint fudge cupcake jars.

Peppermint Ganache (from www.ourbestbites.com)

Recipe from Our Best Bites

top peppermint fudge cupcake jars with this ganache (and frosting):

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips are fine)
1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 tsp peppermint extract

Place chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat cream in microwave until bubbles form around the outside. Pour in bowl over chocolate chips and immediately cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit for 5 minutes, add peppermint extract and then whisk until smooth. Let cool un-covered until thickened slightly, almost like a thin pudding.

To assemble, pour 1 1/2-2 Tbs ganache over the top of each cupcake jar. If desired, use a paring knife to first hollow out a well in the middle of the cake. Tilt jars to distribute ganache evenly over the top of the cake and then let cool for the ganache to set. If storing overnight, place lids and rings on jars and leave at room temperature.

Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars (from www.ourbestbites.com)


Recipe by Our Best Bites (Image above from their website as well)
Makes approximately 8 jars or 12 Cupcakes
(I cut the recipe in half to make only 4 jars - but used 2 eggs)

Cupcakes (cake base for this dessert adapted from Shelly Kaldunski)

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 oz chocolate, chopped. (or abt 1/2 C chips) Use bittersweet, dark, or semi-sweet.
1/2 C + 3 Tbs real butter, cut into pieces
3/4 C plus 2 Tbs sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

8 8oz wide mouth mason jars (the short squatty kind)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Set mixture aside and let cool 10-15 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon (don't use an electric mixer) stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in the eggs one and a time, beating with your spoon until combined after each addition, and then beat in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour mixture just until no traces of flour remain; do not overmix.

Place the mason jars on a cookie sheet. Divide the mixture evenly among the 8 jars (no need for greasing the jars) or 12 cupcake liners if you're going that route. The jars should be about half full or a little less. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the jar comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully (with a pot-holder!) transfer jars to a cooling rack. Let jars cool till at least close to room temperature before topping with ganache and frosting.

Catherines type of Chile

1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1 teaspoon Accent seasoning (or seasoned salt would work as well)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
2 - 14.5 cans petite diced canned tomatoes
1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cans water (use cans from diced tomatoes)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 hershey bliss minature chocolates
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Chopped Cilantro Sprigs

Saute beef, onion, garlic, and green pepper and accent seasoning until beef is browned. Stir in chili powder, chili flakes, smoked paprkia and brown sugar. Cook over heat for one minute, stirring constantly.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Simmer approximately 15 minutes, uncovered. Stir in chocolate squares until melted. Top with cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro. Serve with cornbread muffins.

WENDY'S CHILI

1 1/2 LB. GROUND BEEF-BROWNED
1- 10 OZ CAN FRENCH ONION SOUP
BLEND THE SOUP IN BLENDER, WHIP FOR 1 MINUTE. ADD TO THE MEAT, SIMMER FOR 5 MINUTES.

ADD:
1 TABLESPOON CHILI POWDER
2 TEASOONS PEPPER
2 TEASPONS CUMIN
1-20 OZ. CAN KIDNEY BEANS
1-6 OZ. CAN TOMATO PASTE
1-8 OZ. CAN TOMATO SAUCE

MIX TOGETHER, SIMMER FOR 20 MINUTES. SERVE WITH GRATED CHEESE AND CRACKERS.

THIS IS THE EASIEST CHILI EVER! NO CHOPPING OR SAUTEING. IT IS WONDERFUL! IT HAS A KICK TO IT, SO DECREASE THE PEPPER AND CHILI POWDER A SMALL AMOUNT IF YOU ARE FRAGILE!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Easy Minestrone Soup

1/2 lb sausage, sage flavored
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup fresh or frozen green beans
2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 (14 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup macaroni
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Brown sausage in pan, remove to paper towel to drain off excess oil.

2. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add in zucchini, green beans, and diced tomatoes. Stir in vegetable broth and water. Add beans, macaroni, oregano, and basil, along with sausage. Simmer until vegetables and macaroni are tender-about 35 minutes.

2. Season soup with salt and pepper and serve warm.


Julie's Cafe Rio Style Black Beans

First, soak your dried beans overnight.
Put them into a bowl and cover them with water, to a level that is probably about 2 inches above the beans.
The next day, begin by dicing an onion. You want to have about 1/2 cup of diced onions. So, if it is a larger onion, then you will only use half, smaller onion, the entire thing.
Put the diced onion into your crockpot.
Next mince 1-2 cloves of garlic.
Add one can of green chiles (mild)
drain the beans and add them to the crockpot.
next add water (depending on the amount of beans add the appropriate amount -
it's on the packaging).
add chicken bouillon to the water (I like to use the mexican chicken bouillon made by Knorr)
place the lid on the crockpot and cook on low until the beans are tender.
(usually this takes about 8 hours)