Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mini Caramel Apple Bites

For the caramel:
1 cup sugar
1 cube (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl and microwave for 3 minutes. Stir. Continue this cycle (microwave for 2-3 minutes, then stop and stir) four to five times, until caramel turns a nice golden color. Stir in the vanilla.

Form mini apples by using a melon baller. Pat the cut apple dry with a paper towel. Use wooden shish Kebob skewers, cut in half, to skewer the apples. Dip in the warm caramel leaving part of the apple skin exposed. Optional: roll caramel in toppings, like sprinkles, nuts, or colored sugar.

Hint: it definitely is advisable to the put the dipped apples in small paper baking cupcake liners. (Keeps things neat)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pirate Peach Vanilla Jam

This Jam is SO yummy.

What you will need:
8 cups of pureed peaches
11 cups of sugar
2 boxes of pectin
1 vanilla bean pod
rum extract

split the vanilla bean pod with a knive and scrape out all 
yummy goodness.
Add the peaches, pectin and vanilla bean pod 
& the vanilla bean seeds to a large pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil,
then add the sugar.
(have it measured and ready...)
once it comes back to a boil,
stir rapidly and watch your timer.
After one minute remove from heat.
Ladle the hot mixture into your jars
(which should be washed, and hot)
Add lids and process in a hot water bath for ten minutes.
Enjoy the goodness!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

1 package of Johnsonville Mild Italian sausage links
1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
Italian Seasoning
1-2 T. Sugar
1-2 T. Balsamic Vinegar

using kitchen shears, cut the sausage links into "meatballs".  Brown them in a pan then add to the crockpot.  Dice the onion and mince the garlic and add that to the crockpot as well.  Add all the tomato products.  Add Italian seasoning (to taste). (I usually add at least one tablespoon). Add sugar and balsamic vinegar.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Serve over pasta. 

(it makes a TON and is really yummy)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Peach Delight

5-6 Peaches
1 Box Vanilla Wafer Cookies
1 Cup Sugar
1 Stick Butter
Whipping Cream

Crush Vanilla Wafers in a food processor.  Add sugar to crushed cookies and place in a 9x13 pan. Melt butter in microwave and pour over cookie mixture.  Press mixture in pan until it makes a crust.  Peal and cut peaches and place on top of crust.  Top peaches with homemade whipping cream.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Crock Pot: Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup


Crock Pot: Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 bay leaf

Combine above and cook on low for 5-7 hours (add herbs if using fresh)

1 tsp dried oregano (1 TBS fresh)
1 TBS dried basil (1/4 cup fresh)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups half and half (warmed)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

About an hour before serving make a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup of hot soup from the slow cooker. Add another 3 cups soup and stir until smooth. Add all back into slow cooker. Add spices.  Stir and add Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook for another hour.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lion House Honey Taffy Popcorn

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light honey
1/2 cup cream
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 quarts popped corn, lightly salted

Combine sugar, honey, and cream in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Adjust temperature to maintain a steady boil and cook to 269 degrees.  Remove from heat and stir in baking soda, stirring until bubbles subside, add vanilla.  Pour over popped corn, stirring until coated.  Cool and break into chunks.

Carmel Corn

Pop 1-1/2 cups of popcorn (I used 4-6 bags of microwave popcorn sometimes)  and spread out on 2 cookie sheets about 2 inches high. Sprinkle popcorn with nuts, if desired.  Then cook the following:

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups brown sugar
1 C. light corn syrup
1 cube (1/2 c.) butter
     Cook the above ingredients to  soft ball stage. 240 degrees on candy thermometer.  Pour over popcorn and mix in or form into balls.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spinach Salad and Poppy Seed Dressing

Mandarin oranges
Black berries
Toasted almonds or cinnamon almonds or candied walnuts
Toasted coconut
Swiss cheese, sliced or cubed

1/2 to 3/4 c. Vinegar
3/4 c. Sugar
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1-1/2 tsp salt

Blend all the above in blender.  As blender is going add 1-1/2 c. oil. After blending add 1 Tbsp poppy seed and 1 red onion-thinly sliced. Marinate dressing for 2 hours and toss over Salad right before serving. This Makes a lot of dressing.

Alternate recipe for use with this dressing:
3/4 lb. Swiss cheese
1 c. rinsed cottage cheese
Sliced mushrooms
1/2 lb. cooked bacon

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Black Bean & Avocado Salsa

1 can or 2 c. frozen corn
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can sliced olives (drained)
1 pkg Italian Seasons dressing (make according to package directions)
3-4 Roma tomatoes
2-3 Avocados
Fresh cilantro

Mix everything together except for avocados and tomatoes and cilantro. Chill 2-3 hours. Add avocados and tomatoes and cilantro just before serving.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yummy and Pretty Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
3 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Bag of Chocolate Chips or I sometimes switch it up and put half bag white chocolate chips and half bag milk chocolate chips or white chocolate chips and dried cranberries... yummy.

Mix butter and sugars until blended (med speed for 2 min), add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each, add vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Once blended add to the wet ingredients and mix well.  Add choc. chips.

Bake 350 for 8-11 minutes.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lemon Tomato Chicken Pasta

8 oz. Rotini Pasta (or your choice), uncooked
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 - 14.5 oz can Hunt's Petite Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 - 8 oz. can Hunt's Tomato Sauce
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup soft cream cheese spread
1 - .75 oz. package fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. shredded lemon peel
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet; keep warm.
Stir together undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, and lemon juice in same skillet; bring to a boil. Add cream cheese; stir until cream cheese is melted completely. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes to thicken slightly.
Drain pasta. Add to sauce in skillet; stir to coat. Stir in chicken, basil and lemon peel. Sprinkle with pepper, if desired.

Variation: Sprinkle garlic salt on the chicken while it's cooking if you don't want to use actual cloves. Add dried basil when combining the tomatoes, sauce, and lemon juice if you don't have fresh basil.

Recipe from hunts.com

Mexican Casserole

4 tsp. olive oil
6 Tbsp. sour cream
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1 - 16 oz. jar salsa
2 cups cooked white rice
8 oz. boneless chicken halves, cooked and diced

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute mushrooms.
Combine mushrooms, sour cream, cheese, salsa, rice, and chicken. Place in a greased casserole dish.
Bake at 350 F for 25-35 minutes
Recipe from allrecipes.com

Monday, January 2, 2012

Amy's Banana Bread

2 well beaten eggs
1/3 c. canola oil
3/4 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
3 or 4 ripe bananas
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
Mix first 4 ingredients, then add remaining ingredients.  Bake for 60 minutes at 300.
My most important part for it turning out:  Right when I take it out of the oven, I remove it from the pan and wrap it tightly in tin foil or large ziploc (if it doesn't melt) to keep the heat in, which is what keeps the bread moist  :)