Sunday, December 19, 2010

Old Fashioned Coconut Cookies

1/2 cup butter (softened), 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 cup quick oats, 1 cup flaked coconut, 1/3 cup blend dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries mixture) chopped in small bits, 1 t. vanilla extract, 1 cup flour, 1/2 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/4 t. salt and slivered almonds.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat until light. Stir in vanilla. Stir in oats, coconut, and dried fruit. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Empty flour mixture into the large bowl of creamed fruit mixture and stir to thoroughly combine into a ball of cookie dough. By rounded teaspoonfuls roll cookie dough into balls and place on a light greased cookie sheet 1" apart. Place a slivered almond in center of each cookie ball and carefully press slivered almond down into center of cookie taking care not to split dough or break slivered almond. Place cookie sheet in a preheat 375 degree oven and bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookie sheet set on stove top for one minute before removing cookies to wire rack to cool.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Grandma's Old Fashioned Pepperoni Roll

1 lb. fresh bread dough (the fresh pizza dough ball in the refrigerated section of the store), 1 (beaten egg), 1/2 cup Tomato Basil spaghetti sauce, 3 - 4 oz. thinly sliced pepperoni, 1 cup grated Italian blended cheese, 1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 t. Italian blended seasoning.

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Lightly grease a large (preferably a stoneware ) baking sheet. Set aside. On a floured sheet of waxed paper roll out bread dough into a large rectangle. Brush the beaten egg on top. Dust with Parmesan cheese, sprinkle spaghetti sauce over top and with the back side of a large spoon rubbing sauce to light spread over surface. Next sprinkle Italian blended seasoning evenly. Arrange pepperoni over top. Sprinkle both Italian blended cheese and Mozzarella cheese over top of pepperoni. Carefully roll lengthwise up and pinch seam closed. Carefully turn Pepperoni Roll out onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let set for about 10 minutes before slicing.

Note: Can divide dough in two and make 2 smaller rolls if desired. If not serving immediately, let cool to just a bit warmer than room temperature and wrap in foil. Refrigerate left overs. *Note too that if you want to make your own fresh pound of homemade dough you can. That's the way my Grandmother used to make it but I don't.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Family Favorite Deep Dish Apple Pie

Prepare your favorite double crust pastry. Place one pastry in bottom of deep dish pie plate with about 3/4" overhang on edge of pie plate.

In a large mixing bowl place 6 - 7 large peeled, cored, and thinly sliced apples. (Cortland apples are my favorite).

In a small mixing bowl combine 1 cup sugar, 1 T. cinnamon, 1/2 t. salt, and 1 heaping T. cornstarch. Once combined, empty into the large mixing bowl of sliced apples and stir to evenly coat. Add 1 t. melted butter, and 1 T. honey and continue stirring. Once thoroughly combined emptying into prepared pastry in deep dish pie plate. Pack apples in bottom taking care to finish with apples mounded high in the center. Place top pastry on evenly and pinch edges together to seal. Brush 1 T. melted butter over top of pastry. Polk top with a fork several time for venting. Place pie dish on cookie sheet and place in a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour. After baking let rest on counter top for at least 2 hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Note: I love using granulated maple sugar so if you have access to this you can substitute it for the sugar. I have tried using Splenda in place of the sugar and it just is not the same. If you do use Splenda then you will have to use 2 T. cornstarch to avoid a runny pie.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dolly's Holiday Pumpkin Cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix, 1 (3 oz.) box vanilla instant pudding, 1 T. cinnamon, 1 t. nutmeg, 1/2 t. cloves, 1/4 t. ginger, 3 eggs, 1 T. oil, 2 T. milk, 2/3 cup water, 1 (15 oz.) can solid packed pumpkin.

In a large mixing bowl empty box of cake mix, box of pudding, and spices. Stir and blend dry ingredients. Then add eggs, oil, milk, water and pumpkin. Blend together and beat on high with electric beater to a consistency of a smooth rich batter. Fill paper lined cupcake tins 3/4 full. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Cool completely and frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting. Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes.

I found that the apple does not fall far from the tree! My daughter, Audra, who I also call affectionately by nickname "Dolly" developed this delicious Holiday Pumpkin Cupcake recipe. It is fabulous! Her creative ability for this recipe is astounding!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cream Pie Filling (for 10" pie)

Mix together in a large glass bowl: 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup less 1 T. cornstarch

Stir in: 3 whole eggs, 4 cups milk

Place in microwave on high stirring every 4 - 5 minutes until thick and bubbly (about 12-15 minutes depending on the microwave). If you want to cook on stovetop in a large pot then be sure to have all above ingredients combined and stir constantly until thick and bubbly. Takes about 20 - 25 minutes.

Remove from microwave and stir in: 1 t. vanilla and 3 T. butter

For coconut pie, stir in (1) large bag coconut and pour into cooked pie shell.

For banana pie, cool filling and spoon a little filling in pie shell, add 3 cut up bananas, and pour remaining filling on top of bananas.

*Update: For a Chocolate Cream (custard style) Pie melt 10 dark Dove Chocolates pieces in a small bowl in microwave with the 3 T. of butter (called for in the recipe) and stir in 1 T. (heaping scoop) of Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa powder. Blend til creamy. Blend into hot cooked cream pie mixture stirring to thoroughly blend. Empty into cooked & cooled pie shell and chill as recommended above.

For whipped cream topping... Mix (beat) until thick: 1 pint heavy cream 1 - 2 heaping T. Confectioners' sugar and 1/2 t. vanilla extract. Spoon on top of pie and refrigerate until serving.

This recipe was sought after when we went to a local church supper. The awesome cook that gave me this recipe was Janet V. who was volunteering at the church supper. She was gracious to stop in her very busy kitchen work at the church to speak with me about the pie recipe.

For a really creamy variation subsitute one cup of Half & Half for one cup of milk.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chicken with Lemon-Caper Sauce

3 garlic cloves (minced), 1 T. oil, 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 oz each), dash salt and pepper, 1 cup cold water (divided), 1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth, 1 T. butter flavored sprinkles, 1 T. lemon juice, 1 reduced sodium chick bouillon cube, 1 T. cornstarch, 3 T. capers (drained), 1 t. olive oil.

In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook the garlic in 1 T. oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the chicken; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 - 7 minutes on each side or until the juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.

In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup cold water, broth, butter flavored sprinkles, lemon juice and bouillon; add to the skillet. Combine cornstarch and remaining water until smooth; gradually stir into skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Stir in capers and olive oil. Return chicken to pan; turn to coat. Serve chicken with sauce. Yield: 4 servings.

Old Fashioned Ranger Cookies

1 cup shortening, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 t. vanilla extract, 2 cups flour, 1 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt, 2 cups quick cooking oats, 1 cups crisp rice cereal, 1 cup flaked coconut.

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the oats, cereal and coconut.

Drop dough by rounded Tablespoonfuls 2" apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 - 9 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Yield 7 1/2 dozen cookies

Note: 1 cookie = 63 calories (not so bad!)

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

1 cup shortening, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream, 1-1/2 t. vanilla extract, 4 cups four, 1-1/2 t. baking soda, 1/3 t. salt.
Frosting: 1 cup butter, softened, 9 cups confectioners' sugar, 3 t. vanilla extract, 2/3 - 3/4 cup milk, paste food coloring of your choice.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, sour cream and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the cookie dough to 1/4" thickness. Cut with floured cookie cutters of your choice.

Place 1" apart on baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes or until set. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a large mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Add enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Tint with food coloring. Decorate cookies as desired. Yield: 4-1/2 dozen.

Note: 1 cookie = 197 calories... but they are so good to splurge on during holidays!

Strawberry Cream Cake

6 eggs, separated, 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided, 3 T. lemon juice, 3 T. oil, 2 T. water, 1-3/4 cups flour, 1/2 t. salt, 2 cups heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/2 t. vanilla extract, 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, 2 cups whole fresh strawberries.

Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In another mixing bowl, beat yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in lemon juice, oil and water. Combine flour and salt; add to yolk mixture.

Beat the egg white on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 T. at a time, beating on high until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites.

Gently spoon into an ungreased 10" tube pan; smooth the top. Bake at 325 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan onto a waxed paper lined platter, let set; cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.

Run a knife around the sides and center tube of pan; remove cake. Split into three horizontal layers. Place one layer (bottom layer) on a cake dish plate; top with some whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Repeat. Top with remaining cake layer; spread remaining whipped cream over top and sides of cake. Arrange remaining sliced berries on sides of cake. Cut whole berries in half; arrange on cake top. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers (if there is any!) Yield: 12 servings.

Slice and Bake Lemon Gems

3/4 cup butter (softened), 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 T. grated lemon peel, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup colored nonpareils.
Lemon Icing: 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 2 T. lemon juice, 1/2 t. grated lemon peel.

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon peel. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

Shape the cookie dough into 1-3/4" diameter roll; roll in nonpareils (in a large enough pan to contain the nonpareils) coat roll all around. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours or until firm.

Unwrap dough and cut into 1/4" slices. Place 1" apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 - 11 minutes or until set and the edges are lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine the icing ingredients. Spread over cookies. Let set out for icing to dry. Store in an air-tight container or cover tray with plastic wrap. Yield: 28 cookies

Thanksgiving Casserole

6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, 1-1/4 cups chopped celery, 3/4 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup butter, cubed, 6 cups unseasoned stuffing cubes, 1 t. poultry seasoning, 1/4 t. rubbed sage, 1 cup chicken or turkey broth, 4 cups cubed cooked turkey, 2 cans (10-3/4 oz each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted, 1 t. garlic powder, 3/4 cup sour cream, divided, 4 oz cream cheese, softened, 1/2 t. pepper, 1/4 t. salt, 1-1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese.

Place the potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute celery and onion in butter until tender. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, combine the stuffing cubes, poultry seasoning and sage. Stir in broth and celery mixture. Transfer to a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish.

In another large bowl, combine turkey, soup, garlic powder and 1/4 cup sour cream, spoon over the stuffing mixture. Drain potatoes; mash in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the cream cheese, pepper, salt and remaining sour cream; spread over turkey mixture.

Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 T. sugar, 1 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt, 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1 cup milk, 2 T. lemon juice, 2 t. grated lemon peel.

For the rhubarb sauce, combine the rhubarb, water and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, milk, lemon juice and peel. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined.

Drop batter by 2 Tablespoonfuls onto a greased hot griddle. Cook over medium heat for 1 - 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Serve with rhubarb sauce. Yield: 12 pancakes (1-1/3 cups rhubarb sauce)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Holiday Beef Brisket

2 large onions (sliced), 1 fresh beef brisket (3 pounds), 3/4 cup ketchup, 1 t. paprika, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 2 beef bouillon cubes, 1-1/2 cups hot water, 5 small potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, 4 medium carrots, cut into chunks, 2 celery ribs, cut into chunks.

Place the onions in a greased shallow roasting pan; top with the brisket. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup paprika and garlic powder; spread over brisket. Dissolve bouillon in hot water; pour into pan. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.

Add potatoes, carrots and celery. Cover and bake 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours longer or until meat is tender. Remove the brisket to a serving platter; let stand for 15 minutes. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Serve with potatoes, carrots and celery. Yield: 6 servings.

Editor's Note: This is a fresh beef brisket, not corned beef. The meat comes from the first cut of the brisket.

Homemade Eggnog

8 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 3 cups milk (divided), 3 cups heavy whipping cream (divided), 1 t. ground nutmeg.

In a large heavy saucepan, whisk the eggs and sugar. Gradually add 1 cup milk and 1 cup whipping cream. Cook and stir over low heat until a thermometer reads 160 degrees, about 25 minutes.

Pour into a large bowl, stir in nutmeg and remaining milk and cream. Place bowl in a ice water bath; stir frequently until mixture is cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Yield: 2 quarts.

Poppy Seed Cake

1-1/4 cups butter (no substitutes, softened), 1-1/2 cups sugar, 4 eggs, 2 cups (16 oz) sour cream, 1/4 cup milk, 2 T. lemon juice, 1 - 2 T. grated lemon peel, 1 T. vanilla extract, 5 cups flour, 2 t. baking powder, 2 t. baking soda, 1/4 t. salt, 1/4 cup poppy seeds.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the sour cream, milk, lemon juice, peel and vanilla; add to creamed mixture. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture and beat just until combined. Stir in poppy seeds (batter will be thick).

Transfer to three greased and floured 9" round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Frost and assemble layers atop each with a cream cheese frosting of your choice.

Strawberry Cheese Bundles

4 oz. cream cheese (softened), 2 T. confectioners' sugar, 1/4 t. almond extract, 1 tube (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls, 1/3 cup strawberry pie filing, 1/3 cup crushed pineapple (drained), 2 - 3 T. apricot spreadable fruit preserves.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and extract until smooth. Unroll crescent dough and separate into eight triangles. Place 1 heaping teaspoonful of cream cheese mixture in the center of each triangle. Top with 1 t. pie filling and 1 t. of pineapple.

With one long side of pastry facing you, fold right and left corners over filling to top corner, forming a square. Seal edges. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 - 17 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with spreadable fruit preserves. Serve warm or cold. Yield: 8 servings.

Clove Bundt Cake

1 cup butter (softened), 2 cups sugar, 3 eggs (lightly beaten), 3 cups flour, 1 T. cinnamon, 2 - 3 t. ground cloves, 3/4 t. baking soda, 1/4 t. salt, 1 cup buttermilk, Confectioners' sugar; optional.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well (mixture will appear curdled). Combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.

Pour into a greased and floured 10" fluted tube pan (Bundt). Bake at 350 degrees for 50 - 55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack; cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.

Checkerboard Birthday Cake

1 cup butter (softened), 2 cups sugar, 4 eggs, 5 cups cake flour (divided), 4 t. baking powder, 1/4 t. salt, 1 cup milk, 1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate (melted and cooled), 1/2 t. vanilla extract, 1/2 t. almond extract, Red liquid food coloring, 1/2 t. lemon extract, yellow liquid food coloring.

Frosting: 6 T. butter, 6-1/2 - 7-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (divided), 5 squares (1 oz each) unsweetened chocolate (melted and cooled), 3/4 cup milk, 1-1/2 t. vanilla extract.

Grease three 9" round baking pans; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine 2-1/2 cups of cake flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Divide batter into thirds. To one portion, fold in melted chocolate and vanilla. To second portion, fold in 1/4 cup flour, almond extract and 3-4 drops red food coloring. To third portion, fold in lemon extract, 3-4 drops yellow food coloring and remaining flour.

Spoon a ring of chocolate batter around edge of one prepared pan; spoon a ring of pink batter inside chocolate ring and fill center with yellow batter. Spoon a ring of yellow batter around edge of second pan; add a chocolate middle ring and a pink center. Spoon a ring of pink batter around edge of third pan; add a yellow middle ring and a chocolate center.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 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 mixing bowl, cream butter and 2 cups confectioners' sugar. Beat in melted chocolate until smooth. Add milk and vanilla. Beat in enough of the remaining confectioners' sugar until frosting achieves spreading consistency. Spread between layers and top and sides of cake

Turkey Potpie

Crust: 2 cups flour, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese, 2/3 cup shortening, 2 T. cold butter, 3 - 4 T. cold water.

Filling: 1 cup diced peeled potatoes, 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots, 1/3 cup chopped celery, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 T. butter, 1 cup chicken or turkey broth, 2 T. flour, 1/2 cup milk, 1-1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey, 1/2 cup frozen peas (thawed), 1/2 cup frozen corn (thawed), 1/2 t. salt, 1/4 t. dried tarragon, 1/4 t. pepper.

In a food processor, combine flour and salt; cover and pulse to blend. Add cheese; pulse until fine crumbs form. Add shortening and butter; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Gradually add water until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half with one ball slightly larger than the other; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For filling, in a large saucepan, saute potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in butter for 5 - 6 minutes. Add broth; cover and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. In a small bowl, combine flour and milk until smooth. Gradually add to vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the remaining ingredients; simmer 5 minutes longer.

Roll out larger pastry ball to fit a 9" pie plate; transfer to pie plate. Trim pastry even with edge. Pour hot turkey filling into crust. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edge. Cut slits in top or make decorative cutouts in pastry. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes or until crust is lightly golden brown. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 - 8 servings.

The Best Ever Scalloped Potatoes

5 lb sliced golden Yukon potatoes, 1 qt. heavy cream, 1 T. salt, 1 t. pepper, 10 oz. bag shredded Colby Jack cheese.

Lightly grease or spray a 13" x 9" baking pan. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl mix sliced potatoes with heavy cream, salt and pepper. Evenly spread creamy potato mixture in baking pan. Sprinkle shredded Colby Jack cheese over top and bake 55 minutes - 1 hour. Remove from oven, cover with foil to keep hot until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

This recipe came from my friend Pam C. She brought it over to a dinner get together we had and it was fabulous! Everyone wanted the recipe including me to share. I told her I was going to add it to my blog. She was delighted!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Six Layer Gelatin Salad

2 packages ( 3oz each) lime gelatin, 4-1/2 cups boiling water (divided), 4-1/2 cups cold water (divided), 1 cup whipping cream, 3 T. confectioners' sugar, 2 packages (3 oz each) orange gelatin, 1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges (drained), 1 package (3 oz) lemon gelatin, 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple (drained), 1 package (3 oz) strawberry gelatin, 2 medium firm bananas (thinly sliced).

In a bowl, dissolve one package of lime gelatin in 3/4 cup boiling water; stir in 3/4 cup cold water. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream until slightly thickened. Add sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Fold a third of the whipped cream into the lime gelatin. Spoon into a 4-qt bowl. Refrigerate until firm. Refrigerate remaining whipped cream.

In a bowl, dissolve one package of orange gelatin in 3/4 cup boiling water; stir in 3/4 cup cold water. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Fold in mandarin oranges. Spoon over creamy lime layer. Refrigerate until firm.

In a bowl, dissolve lemon gelatin in 3/4 cup boiling water; stir in 3/4 cup cold water. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Fold in a third of the whipped cream. Spoon over orange layer. Refrigerate until firm.

In a bowl, dissolve remaining package of line gelatin in 3/4 cup boiling water; stir in 3/4 cup cold water. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Fold in pineapple. Spoon over creamy lemon layer. Refrigerate until firm.

In a bowl, dissolve remaining package of orange gelatin in 3/4 cup boiling water; stir in 3/4 cup cold water. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Spoon over lime layer. Refrigerate until firm.

In a bowl, dissolve strawberry gelatin in remaining boiling water; stir in remaining cold water. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Fold in sliced bananas. Spoon over creamy orange layer. Refrigerate overnight. Yield: 16 - 20 servings.

Striped Icebox Cookies

1 cup softened butter(no substitutes), 1-1/2 cups sugar, 1 egg, 1-1/2 cups flour, 1-1/2 t. baking powder, 1/4 t. salt, 1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries (drained), 2 drops red food coloring, 1 square (1 oz) semisweet chocolate(melted), 1 T. nonpareils.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Divide into thirds; place in three bowls. Add cherries and red food coloring to one portion, chocolate to another portion and nonpareils to remaining portion.

Line a 9" x 5" x 3" loaf pan with waxed paper. Spread cherry dough over bottom. Cover with chocolate dough, then remaining dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Remove dough from pan; cut in half lengthwise. Cut each portion into 1/4" slices. Place 1" apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield 5 dozen

Macaroon Cheesecake

1 cup flaked coconut, (toasted), 1/2 cup ground pecans, 2 T. butter (melted)
Filling: 3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese (softened), 1/2 cup sugar, 3 eggs, 1/2 t. vanilla extract, 1/4 t. almond extract.
Topping: 1 egg white, 1/2 t. vanilla extract, 1/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup flaked coconut (toasted).

In a bowl, combine the coconut and pecans; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 9" springform pan; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, beating on low speed just until combine. Beat in extracts just until blended. Pour over crust. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

In a small mixing bowl, beat egg white and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in coconut. Carefully spread over top of cheesecake. Bake 20 - 25 minutes longer or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Yield: 12 - 14 servings.

Chicken Supreme

4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup butter (softened), 1 T. minced fresh parsley, 1 t. dried oregano, 1/2 - 1 t. dried marjoram, 8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 3 pounds), 1/2 t. seasoned salt, 1/2 cup flour, 2 eggs (beaten), 1-3/4 crushed Caesar salad croutons, 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth.

Cut Monterey Jack cheese into eight 2-1/4" x 1" x 3/8" strips. In a bowl, combine the butter, parsley, oregano and marjoram; spread 1-1/2 t. over each cheese strip. Cover and refrigerate cheese and remaining butter mixture for at least 2 hours.

Flatten chicken to 1/8" thickness; sprinkle with seasoned salt. Place a cheese strip on each piece of chicken. Roll up and tuck in ends; secure with a toothpick. Coat chicken on all side with flour. Dip in eggs, then coat with croutons.
Place seam side down in a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. In a saucepan, combine wine or broth and reserved butter mixture; heat until butter is melted. Pour over chicken. Bake 20 - 25 minutes longer or until chicken juices run clear. Discard toothpicks before serving. Yield: 8 servings.

Candy Cane Coffee Cake

1 T. active dry yeast, 1/4 cup warm water (110 - 115 degrees), 1/2 cup butter (softened), 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 eggs, 3 T. salt, 3 cups flour.
Filling: 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese (softened), 1/2 cup sugar, 2 egg yolks, 2 t. vanilla extract.
Toppings: 1 T. confectioners' sugar, 1 jar (12 oz) cherry jam.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, sour cream, eggs, sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture and flour, beat until smooth (do not knead). Placed in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For filling, in a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla until blended. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll out each portion into a 16" x 10" rectangle on a greased baking sheet. Spread filling down center of each rectangle. On each long side, cut 1-1/2" wide strips about 3" into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Pinch ends to seal. Curve one end, forming a candy cane. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Stir jam, then spool over top of loaves, creating candy cane stripes. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 2 coffee cakes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Homemade Crescent Rolls

1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast, 1 cup warm water (110 - 115 degrees), 1 cup butter (melted), 1/2 cup sugar, 3 eggs, 1/2 t. salt, 4 - 4 1/2 cups flour.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a mixing bow, beat butter and sugar. Add eggs, salt and yeast mixture. Stir in enough flour until dough leaves sides of bowl and is soft (do not knead). Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into 12" wedges. Roll up wedges from the wide end and place with pointed end down on greased baking sheets. Curve ends to form crescents. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen.

Note: This recipe lets you start the preparation the night before. The next day you shape them into rolls, let them rise and pop them into the oven for fresh-baked crescent rolls before guests arrive.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Gorgoni Italian Wedding Soup

1 large sweet onion (sliced thin & chopped), 2 stalks celery & celery heart with celery leaves (sliced & diced), 2 T. butter, 1 T. olive oil, 1/2 jar Tomato Basil spaghetti sauce, 3 cubes ( approx.1/3 cup) pesto sauce (divided), 1 bag baby carrots (cut in bite size pieces), 5 (32 oz.) cartons College Inn (light & fat free) Chicken Broth, 1 fresh store bought cooked whole rotisserie chicken (bones, fat, and skin removed, reserve chicken dripping in bottom of container to add to soup broth) cut up chicken in chunks and cover to keep moist, 2 (9 oz.) bags baby spinach, 2 heads escarole or 2 bags (15 oz. each)rinsed and cut up, 1 bunch Red or Green Swiss Chard, rinsed and cut up, steams removed, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese (divided), 1 t. black pepper (divided), 2 T. dried parsley flakes (divided), 1 lb. ground turkey, 1 egg, 1 cup quick oatmeal, 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs, 1/2 t. onion powder, 1/2 lb (or 1/2 box) Rosa Marina pasta (Orzo).

In a large non stick skillet heat butter & oil, add onion and celery. Lightly saute. In a large pot empty all containers of chicken broth and reserved chicken drippings. Add cooked onion and celery, cut up carrots, spaghetti sauce, 1 cube pesto sauce, 1 T. dried parsley, and 1/2 t. black pepper. Bring to a boil and cook 25 minutes at a slow boil, covered. Next add all cut up greens (Escarole, Spinach, and Swiss Chard) melting them down into broth. Stir in reserved chicken chunks and 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Turn down on low cooking another 15 minutes, covered. In another large mixing bowl combine ground turkey, 2 cubes pesto, 1 T. dried parsley, 1/2 t. black pepper, 1/2 t. onion powder, egg, oatmeal, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs. Blend thoroughly and then begin making very small meatballs with a pinch of meat mixture for each meatball rolling into a ball, the size of a marble. Once all meat mixture is rolled into balls, empty (slowly!) raw meatballs into soup. Lightly press down meatballs so they are covered into broth. Cover and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Lastly add Rosa Maria pasta (Orzo), lightly stir and cover cooking 10 minutes. Stir one more time bringing all ingredients from the bottom up to the top and mix to blend. Replace cover and cooking 5 minutes more. Turn off burner. DO NOT remove cover. Let set about an hour before serving.

Note: for those that like more Parmesan cheese, added extra to top when serving. The Pesto Sauce recipe is found in my blog.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pear Custard Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened, 1/3 cup sugar, 3/4 cup four, 1/4 t. vanilla extract, 2/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts.

Filling/Topping: 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 t. vanilla extract, 1 can (15 1/4 oz.) pear halves, drained, 1/2 t. sugar, 1/2 t. ground cinnamon.

In a mixing bow, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the flour and vanilla until combined. Stir in the nuts. Press into a greased 8" square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Increase heat to 375 degrees. In a mixing bow, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Pour over crust. Cut pears into 1/8" slices; arrange in a single layer over filling. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over pears.

Bake at 375 degrees for 28 - 30 minutes (center will be soft set and will become firmer upon cooling). Cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 bars.

Stuffed Chicken Rolls

6 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves, 6 slices fully cooked ham, 6 slices Swiss cheese, 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 t. rubbed sage, 1/4 t. paprika, 1/4 t. pepper, 1/4 cup oil, 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted, 1/2 cup chicken broth, Chopped fresh parsley, optional.

Flatten chicken to 1/8" thickness. Place a slice each of ham and cheese on each breast. Roll up and tuck in ends; secure with a toothpick. Combine the flour, Parmesan cheese, sage, paprika and pepper; coat chicken on all sides. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil over medium-high heat. Transfer to a 5 qt. slow cooker. Combine soup and broth; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4 - 5 hours. Remove toothpicks. Garnish with parsley if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

Sour Cream Swiss Steak

1/3 cup flour, 1 1/2 t. each salt, pepper, paprika and ground mustard, 3 pounds boneless round steak, cut into serving-size pieces, 3 T. oil, 3 T. butter, 1 1/2 cups water, 1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) sour cream, 1 cup finely chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/4 - 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 3 T. flour, Additional paprika, optional.

In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, paprika and mustard; dredge the steak. In a large skillet, heat oil and butter. Cook steak on both sides until browned. Carefully add water; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the sour cream, onion, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar and flour; stir until smooth. Transfer steak to a greased 2 1/2 qt. baking dish; add sour cream mixture. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Sprinkle with paprika if desired. Yield: 6 - 8 servings.

Nutty Oven-Fried Chicken

1 cup biscuit/baking mix, 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, 2 t. paprika, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. poultry seasoning, 1/2 t. rubbed sage, 1 broiler-fryer chicken (2 - 3 pounds), cut up, 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 1/3 cup butter, melted.

In a shallow dish, combine biscuit mix, finely chopped pecans and seasonings; mix well. Dip chicken pieces in milk, coat generously with pecan biscuit/mixture.

Place in a lightly greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish. Drizzle butter over chicken. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until juices run clear.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Turkey Meatballs

2 lbs ground turkey (not all white meat, makes it too dry), 2 cubes of my homemade pesto (can be found in my blog),thawed, 2 large eggs, 1 T. parsley flakes, 1/2 t. ground black pepper, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup quick oats, 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs.

In a large bowl blend ground turkey with pesto, parsley flakes, black pepper and Parmesan cheese, add eggs and continue mixing. Once eggs are combined add oats and bread crumbs and continue mixing until thoroughly combined. Let set for about 10 minutes so flavors of seasonings can blend together into meat. On a large platter scoop out turkey mixture by heaping Tablespoonfuls and roll in hands into meatballs. Place rolled meatballs on platter. Once all the meat mixture is rolled, heat a large non-stick skillet on high to get hot and then reduce to medium. Place meatballs close together and let cook about 3 minutes turning all meatballs 1/4 turn and continue cooking until all sides are lightly browned. Pour 2 jars of your favorite sauce over top and reduce to low and cover with lid and continue to cook on low for 1/2 hour more. Lastly, leave covered and shut off burner. Let cool about 1 1/2 hours to absorb sauce. Not removing cover and allowing to cool some helps meatballs to stay moist and delicious once ready to serve. Meatballs stay hot for about 2 hours. Serve with any favorite pasta dish of your choice.

Hint: I will also add another pesto cube to the jar sauce which makes the sauce taste freshly homemade. Friends and family that try my meatballs are surprised that it is ground turkey. It is a healthier choice and you'd never miss the beef!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Light Chicken Cordon Bleu

8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4oz each), 1/2 t. pepper, 8 slices (1 oz each) lean deli ham, 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese, 2/3 cup fat-free milk or 1%, 1 cup crushed cornflakes, 1 t. paprika, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1/4 t. salt.

Sauce: 1 can (10 3/4 oz) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted, 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream or low fat, 1 t. lemon juice.

Flatten chicken to 1/4" thickness. Sprinkle with pepper; place a ham slice and 3T. of cheese down the center of each piece. Roll up and tuck in ends; secure with toothpicks. Pour milk into a shallow bow. In another bowl, combine the cornflakes paprika, garlic powder and salt. Dip chicken in milk, then roll in crumbs.

Place in a 13"x9"x2" baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until juices run clear.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk the soup, sour cream and lemon juice until blended; heat through. Discard toothpicks from chicken; service with sauce.

Crescent-Wrapped Drumsticks

8 chicken drumsticks, 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, 1 tube (8oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls, 1 egg, lightly beaten, 2 t.Parmesan cheese, 2 t. Italian seasoning, 2 t. sesame seeds, toasted.

Remove and discard skin from drumsticks. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; stir in the barbecue sauce. Add drumsticks. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees, turning occasionally. Remove chicken from pan; cool slightly.

Separate crescent dough into eight triangles;place in a lightly greased 15"x10"x1" baking pan. Brush dough with some of the beaten egg; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Place meaty portion of each drumstick at the tip of each triangle, with bony portion extended beyond one long side of triangle. Wrap drumstick in dough; place seam side down. Brush with remaining egg; sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake at 375 degrees for 13 - 15 minutes or until golden brown and meat thermometer reads 180 degrees.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hidden Valley Torta

2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese, 1 packet (1 oz) Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing Mix, 1 jar (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, 1/3 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped, 3 T. fresh minced parsley.

Beat cream cheese and salad dressing packet together in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together artichokes, peppers and parsley. In a 3 cup bowl lined with plastic wrap, alternate layers of cream cheese and vegetable mixtures, beginning and ending with a cream cheese layer.

Chill 4 hours or overnight. Invert on plate; remove plastic wrap. Serve with crackers.

Farmer's Casserole

3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 1 cup diced fully cooked ham, 1/4 cup chopped green onions, 4 eggs, 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk or Half and Half, 1/4 t. pepper, 1/8 t. salt.

1. Place potatoes in an 8" square baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese, ham and onions. Beat eggs, milk, pepper and salt; pour over all. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

2. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Yield: 6 servings.

Pinwheels and Checkerboards (cookies)

1 1/4 cups butter, softened, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 3/4 t. vanilla extract, 4 cups flour, 1 t. baking powder, 1 t. salt, 1/3 t. baking soda, Red and Green food coloring, 1 square (1 oz) unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled.

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Divide dough into fourths. Tint one portion red and one portion green. Stir chocolate into another portion. Wrap chocolate and plain portions in plastic wrap; chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

For pinwheel cookies, divide red and green portions in half. Roll out each portion between waxed paper into a 9" x 6" rectangle. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove waxed paper. Place one green rectangle over a red rectangle. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat. Chill for 2 hours or until firm.

For Checkerboard cookies, divide plain and chocolate portions in half. Roll out each portion between waxed paper into 6" x 4" rectangle. Cut each rectangle lengthwise into eight 1/2" strips. Stack the strips in groups of four, alternating plain and chocolate strips and forming eight separate stacks. Form a four-stack block by alternating chocolate-topped and plain-topped stacks. Repeat. Press together gently. Wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Unwrap and cut pinwheel and checkerboard doughs into 1/4" slices. Place 1" apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 - 11 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 6 dozen pinwheel and 4 dozen checkerboard cookies.

Almond Eggnog Pound Cake

6 T. butter, divided, 2/3 cup sliced (slivered) almonds, 1 package yellow cake mix, 1 1/2 cups eggnog, 2 eggs, 1 t. rum extract, 1/8 t. nutmeg.

Grease a 10" fluted tube pan with 2 T. butter. Press almonds onto the bottom and up sides of pan; set aside. Melt remaining butter. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cake mix, eggnog, eggs, rum extract, nutmeg and melted butter on low speed for 30 seconds or just until moistened. Beat on medium for 2 minutes or until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
Note: this recipe is prepared with commercially prepared eggnog.

Lovely Cherry Layer Cake

1 package white cake mix

Cannoli Filling: 2 package (8 oz) each cream cheese, softened, 1 carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 t. vanilla extract, 1/2 t. almond extract, 1 jar (16 oz) maraschino cherries, 1 cup miniature chocolate chips.

Frosting: 1 cup shortening, 1 cup butter, softened, 1 package (2 pounds) confectioners' sugar, 3 t. vanilla extract, 4 to 5 T. water, pink and green gel food coloring.

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased and floured 9" round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes; remove cakes from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and ricotta until combined. Add confectioners' sugar and extracts. Drain cherries well, reserving 1 T. cherry juice. Chop cherries. Stir chopped cherries, chocolate chips and reserved cherry juice into ricotta mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until spreadable.

In another mixing bowl, cream shortening and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Add enough water to achieve a spreadable consistency. Tint 3/4 cup frosting pink. Tint 1/2 cup frosting green. Set aside 1 1/2 cups white frosting.

To assemble, split each cake in half horizontally. Place one layer on a serving plate; spread with a third of the filling. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost cake top and sides with remaining white frosting.

To decorate, place round tip #5 and reserved white frosting in a pastry bag; pipe vines on cake. Change to shell tip #21 pipe shell border along bottom and top edges. Use petal tip #103 and pink frosting to pipe the rosebuds. Use leaf tip #67 and green frosting to pipe the leaves. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Note: the use of a coupler will allow you to change tips easily for different designs.

Butternut Cream Pie

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), 1/4 cup hot water, 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 T. caramel ice cream topping, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. ginger, 1/4 t. cloves, 1 package (5.1 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix, 3/4 cup plus 2 T. milk, 1 pastry shell (9") bakes, Whipped cream and toasted flaked coconut.

Cut squash in half; discard seeds. Place squash cut side down in a microwave safe dish; add hot water. Cover and microwave 13 - 15 minutes or until tender. When cool enough to handle, scoop out pulp and mash. Set aside 1 1/2 cups squash (save remaining squash for another use).

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the squash until blended. Add the sugar, caramel topping, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves; beat until blended. Add pudding mix and milk; beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Spoon into pastry shell. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Garnish with whipped cream and coconut.

Chocoate Cream Cake

1 package Devil's Food cake mix, 1/2 cup butter, softened, 1/2 cup shortening, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 3/4 cup milk, 1 t. vanilla extract.
Glaze: 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup baking cocoa, 3 T. cornstarch, 1 cup water, 3 T. butter, cubed, 1 t. vanilla extract.

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a greased and floured 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

For filling, in a mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. In a small saucepan, heat milk to 140 degrees; add to the creamed mixture. Beat until sugar is dissolved. Stir in vanilla. Split cake into two horizontal layers; spread filling over bottom cake layer. Top with remaining cake layer.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and water until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 1 - 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla until glaze is smooth. Cool to lukewarm. Spread over top of cake. Let stand until set. Refrigerate leftovers.

Raisin-Walunt Waldorf Salad

1/2 cup raisins, 1 cup boiler water, 4 cups chopped unpeeled red apples, 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced, 2 T. lemon juice, 1 cup (8 oz) vanilla yogurt, 2 T. sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix, 2 T. Splenda (optional), 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a bowl, combine raisins and boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes; drain. Combine raisins, apples, celery and lemon juice; toss. Combine yogurt, pudding mix and sweetener if desired. Pour over apple mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in walnuts. Yield: 6 servings

Friday, July 2, 2010

Duo Tater Bake

4 lbs Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes peeled & cubes, 3 lbs sweet potatoes peeled & cubed, 2 carton (8 oz. each) spreadable chive & onion cream cheese, 1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream, 1/4 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. pepper.

Topping: 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup chopped green onions, 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.

Cook Russet potatoes in Dutch oven - over with water and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and cook 15 - 20 minutes. Place sweet potatoes in large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce heat; cover and cook 15 - 20 minutes. Drain, mash with half cream cheese and sour cream and all Colby-Monterey Jack cheese. Drain Russets, mash with remaining cream cheese & sour cream. Add milk, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, mix well.

Spread 2 2/3 cups Russet mixture into each of 2 greased 11 x 17 x 2" baking dishes. Layer with 4 cups sweet potato mixture. Repeat layers. Spread with remaining Russet mixture. Bake uncovered @ 350 degrees 15 minutes or until heated. Combine topping ingredients, sprinkle over casserole. Bake 2 - 3 minutes longer our until cheese is melted. Yields 2 casseroles (10 servings)

Hash Brown Casserole

12 eggs, 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk, 1 t. salt, 1/2 t. pepper, 1/8 t. cayenne pepper, (optional), 1 package (30 oz.) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed, 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, 1 large onion, chopped, 1 medium green pepper, chopped, 1 cup cubed fully cooked ham.

1 In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and cayenne (if desired). Stir in the potatoes, cheese, onion, green pepper and ham.

2. Pour into a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Yield: 12 - 15 servings.

Summer Quiche

6 eggs, 3/4 cup plan yogurt, 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 T. chopped fresh basil, 1/2 T. chopped fresh thyme, 1/4 t. black pepper, 1 small Vidalia onion, diced, 1 small zucchini, diced, 1 small yellow squash, diced, 3 Roma tomatoes , diced, 1 unbaked 9" pie shell.

Preheat oven 375 degrees. In a large bow, combine eggs, yogurt, Parmesan cheese, herbs and pepper. Beat well. Add onion, zucchini yellow squash, and tomatoes, mix well. Pour mixture into pie shell. bake for 35 - 45 minutes or until cooked through (quick should be firm to the touch). Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 - 8 servings.

Creamy Pesto Chicken and Bow Ties

3 cups uncooked bow tie pasta, 2 T. butter, 1 pound boneless chicken, cubed, 1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup, 1/2 cup pesto sauce (if using my pesto recipe then it would be 2 cubes), 1/2 cup milk.

1. Cook past according to package directions. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat butter in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned, stirring often.

3. Add soup, pesto sauce and milk. Bring to a boil. Cook over low heat 5 minutes or until done. Stir in drained past and heat through. Serve hot and can add any cooked vegetable if desired before serving.

Holiday Coffeecake

2 cups biscuit mix, 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated milk), 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 t. cinnamon, divided, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 2 T. firmly packed light brown sugar, 1 T. butter, melted.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, beat biscuit mix, Sweetened Condensed Milk, sour cream, 1/4 cup butter, eggs and 1/2 t. cinnamon until smooth. Pour batter into lightly greased 11 x 7: baking dish.

2. In small mixing bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar, 1 T. butter and remaining 1 t. cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Bake 40 - 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in dish on wire rack 10 minutes.

Zucchini-Orange Bread

1 package (about 17 oz.) cranberry-orange muffin mix, 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (about 6 oz), 1 cup water, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 t. grated orange peel, Cream cheese (optional).

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease 8 x 4 x 3" loaf pan; set aside.

2. Combine muffin mix, zucchini, water, cinnamon and orange peel,in medium bowl; stir until just moistened. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan; bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean.

3. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove bread from pan to wire rack; cool completely. Serve plain or with cream cheese if desired.

Lots o' Chocolate Bread

2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided, 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened, 2 eggs, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups applesauce, 1 1/2 t. vanilla, 1 t. baking soda, 1 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt, 1 T. shortening (do not use butter, margarine or spread or oil).

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 5 (5-1/2" x 3") mini loaf pans. Place 1 cup chocolate chips in small microwave bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute; stir. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is melted and smooth; set aside.

2. Beat brown sugar and butter in large bowl until creamy. Add melted chocolate and eggs; beat until well blended. Add flour,applesauce, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder and salt; beat until well blended. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans.

3. Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until centers crack and are dry to the touch. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely.

4. Place remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and shortening in small microwaveable bowl. Microwave at high 1 minute; stir. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Drizzle loaves with glaze; let stand until set. Makes 5 mini loaves. Wrap each loaf in plastic wrap to keep fresh and refrigerate. Can freeze for later use.

Cranberry-Pumpkin Spoonbread

3 cups milk, 1 cup cornmeal, 6 T. Butter, 2 T. packed light brown sugar, 1 1/4 t. pumpkin pie spice, 1 t. baking powder, 3/4 t. salt, 1 can (15 oz.) solid packed pumpkin, 4 eggs, separated, 1 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped (you can substitute 1 cup of any dried fruit).

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 11" x 7" baking pan. Bring milk to a simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in cornmeal, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter.

2. Whisk brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt to blend. Stir into cornmeal mixture until well blended; cool. Stir in pumpkin, egg yolks and cranberries until well blended.

3. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold white into cornmeal mixture in three stags, adding about 1/3 each time. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake 35 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve warm. Yield: 8 servings.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

East Utica Greens!

1 cup Yukon Gold potatoes cut in 1" cubes, 1/2 t. dried parsley, 1/2 t. each onion powder and garlic powder, 1/2 t. paprika, 1/2 cup chopped Vadalia onions, 2 heads Escarole, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 t. crushed red pepper, 8 oz. chicken broth, 4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 6 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup Romano cheese, fresh parsley (chopped).
1. Potatoes: Toss in a ziploc bag with 1/4 cup olive oil, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Roast for 1/2 hour @ 350 degrees. Set aside.
2. Greens: Saute garlic and onion in 1 T. olive oil; add chopped escarole and cook through. Add chicken broth and julienne cut prosciutto, crushed red pepper and potatoes. Simmer till stock reduced (about 45 minutes).
3. Combine bread crumbs with 2 T. oil. Toast until browned. Mix half with greens.
4. Add Romano cheese & place in greased baking pan.
5. Top with remaining half of crumbs.
6. Bake in preheat oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
7. Garnish with parsley before serving.

This dish is an Italian tradition around central New York. Restaurants in Utica and Syracuse, New York serve this wonderful dish. Some use pepperoni instead of prosciutto. I like prosciutto best. I also like more potato and use 2 cups but don't add anymore seasoning or oil to the ziploc bag when tossing to coat them.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Frosted Rhubarb Cookies

1 cup shortening, 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar, 2 eggs, 3 cups flour, 1 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. salt, 1 1/2 cups diced fresh rhubarb, 3/4 cup flaked coconut.
Cream Cheese Frosting: 1 pkg (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened, 1 T. butter, softened, 3 t. vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar.

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Beat in eggs. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.

Stir in rhubarb and coconut. Drop by Tablespoonfuls 2" apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 -15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: about 5 dozen cookies.

Asparagus Ham Tartlets

1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened, 1/4 cup butter, softened, 3/4 plus 1 T. flour divided, 1/4 cup cornmeal, 1 egg, 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, 3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese, 1/2 cup diced fully cook ham, 18 fresh asparagus tips (1" pieces).

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add 3/4 cup flour and cornmeal; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Shape dough into 18 balls. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups. In a bowl, whisk egg and cream. Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Add cheese and ham; mix well. Spoon about 1 T. into each cup. Bake at 425 degrees for 7 minutes.

Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Top each tart with an asparagus tip. Cover loosely with foil. Bake 17 - 20 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Yields: 1 - 1/2 dozen tartlets.

Carrot Zucchini Fritters

Dipping sauces: (2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sour cream, divided, 2/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, 1 t. lemon juice.) (Salt and Pepper to taste, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup horseradish sauce.)

Fritters: 2T. finely chopped onion, 1 T. butter, 1 egg, lightly beaten, 2 medium zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry (about 1 1/2 cups), 1 large carrot, shredded, 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 T. cornmeal, 1/2 t. salt, 1/8 t. pepper, Oil for deep-fat frying.

In a blender or food processor, place 2/3 cup sour cream, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; cover and process until blended. Transfer to a small bowl. In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise, horseradish and remaining sour cream. Cover and refrigerate both sauces.

Place onion and butter in a microwave-safe dish. Cover; microwave on high until onion is tender. Add egg, zucchini and carrot. In a bowl, combine flour, cheese, cornmeal, salt and pepper; stir in vegetable mixture just until combined.

In a skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat 2" of oil to 375 degrees. Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls of batter into oil. Fry for 1 - 2 minutes until deep golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Yields: 1 1/2 dozen fritters, 2/3 cup basil sauce and 1 1/2 cups horseradish sauce.

Artichoke Nibbles

1 small onion, chopped, 1 garlic clove, minced, 1 t. oil, 2 jars (6 1/2 oz each) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, 4 eggs, 2 T. minced fresh parsley, 1/4 t. salt, 1/8 t. pepper, 1/8 t. dried oregano, 1/8 t. hot pepper sauce, 2 cups (8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, 1/3 cup crushed saltines (about 10 crackers).

In a small skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in artichokes. Remove from the heat; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs , parsley, salt, pepper, oregano and hot pepper sauce. Stir in the cheese, cracker crumbs and artichoke mixture.

Pour into a greased 11" x 7" x 2" baking dish. Bake, uncovered at 325 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 - 15 minutes before cutting into 1" squares. Serve warm.

Pistachio Cream Dessert

2 T. butter, 3/4 cup butter-flavored cracker crumbs, 3/4 cup cold milk, 1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant pistachio pudding mix, 2 cups vanilla ice cream softened, 1 8 oz. container whipped topping, 2 Heath candy bars (1.4 oz each) crushed.

In a microwave-safe 9" square dish, melt butter. Stir in cracker crumbs; press mixture onto bottom of dish. In a bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Whisk in the ice cream. Pour over crust. Cover and freeze for 2 hours.

Spread with whipped topping; sprinkle with crushed candy bars. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm.

Wearing O' the Green Cake

This is fun for St. Patty's Day to serve...

1 pkg white cake mix, 2 pkgs (3 oz.) each lime gelatin, 1 cup boiling water, 1/2 cup cold water.

Topping: 1 cup cold milk, 1 pkg instant vanilla pudding, 1 8oz. container whipped topping, green sprinkles.

Prepare and bake the cake according to the package directions, using a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish. Cool for 1 hour. In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in boiling water; stir in the cold water and set aside.

With a meat fork or wooden skewer, poke holes about 2" apart into cooled cake. Slowly pour gelatin over cake; refrigerate. In a bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes; let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cake. Decorate with sprinkles. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chicken Cordon Bleu in Pastry

1 tube (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls, 1/3 cup spreadable chive and onion cream cheese, 4 thin slices deli ham, 4 fully cooked boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz. each), 4 slices Swiss cheese.

On an ungreased baking sheet, separate dough into four rectangles; seal perforations. Spread 1 T. cream cheese lengthwise down the center of each rectangle. Place ham width-wise over dough. Arrange chicken in center of each rectangle. Wrap ham around chicken. At each long end, pinch dough together around chicken, forming points.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Top with Swiss cheese; baking 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and pastry is golden brown. Yield: 4 servings.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

2 cups self-rising flour, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 t. ginger, 7 T. cold butter, divided, 3 T. shortening, 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes, 6 T. milk.

In a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Cut in 4 T. butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl, combine sweet potatoes and milk; stir into crumb mixture just until combined.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead 8 - 10 times. Roll to 1/2" thickness; cut with a 2 1/2" biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 -12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Serve warm. Makes 1 1/2 dozen.

Triple - Cheese Macaroni

1 pkg (16 oz.) elbow macaroni, 2 eggs, 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk, 1/4 cup butter, melted, 2 T. prepared mustard, 1 t. seasoned salt, 1 t. pepper, 8 oz. Velveeta cheese, melted, 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided, 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided.

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, butter, mustard, seasoned salt and pepper until combined. Stir in the processed cheese and 1 1/2 cups of each cheddar cheese. Drain macaroni.

Stir into cheese mixture. Pour into greased 3 qt. baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly.

Double - Crust Rhubarb Pie

1 cup sugar, 3 T. flour, 1/2 t. cinnamon, 2 eggs, 4 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, Pastry for double - crust 9" pie, 1 T. Butter

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add eggs; whisk until smooth. Gently stir in rhubarb. Line a 9" pie plate with bottom pastry; add filling. Dot with butter.

Place remaining pastry on top of pie filling. Trim and seal edges. Cut slits in top. Bake at 400 degrees 45 - 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Store in the refrigerator.

Golden Scalloped Potatoes

1/4 cup butter, 3 T. flour, 1 T. salt, Dash pepper, 3 cups milk, 5 large Yukon golden potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.

Place the potatoes in a greased 9" square baking dish. Add the sauce and stir gently to coat. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 30 - 40 minutes longer or until the potatoes are tender.

Pistachio Apricot Bars

1 cup butter, softened, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 t. vanilla extract, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup chopped pistachios, 1 jar (18 oz.) apricot preserves, (Additional chopped pistachios, optional).

In a small mixing bow, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually add flour. Stir in pistachios. Press into a greased 13" X 9" x 2: baking dish. Spread with preserves.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Garnish with additional pistachios if desired.

Coconut Cream Dessert

1 cup flour, 2 T. sugar, 1/2 cup cold butter, 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

Filling: 1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese (softened), 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 (12 oz) container frozen whipped topping, (thawed, divided), 4 cups cold milk, 3 pkgs (3.4 oz) instant coconut cream pudding mix, 1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted.

In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in the pecans. press into a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth; fold in 1 cup whipped topping. Spread over the crust. In a bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes; let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Spread over cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate overnight.

Frozen Orange Delight

This is a great sorbet-like sugar-free dessert and can be made with any flavored gelatin...

1 package (3 oz.) sugar-free orange gelatin, 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 1/2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled, 1 cup reduced-fat/sugar-free whipped topping.

In a bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in pineapple juice. Refrigerate for 20 - 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Fold in whipped topping. Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to manufactures directions. Allow to ripen in ice cream freezer or firm up in the refrigerator freezer for 2 - 4 hours before serving.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Super Fruity Sangria

1 Bottle of semi-sweet red wine, 1 lemon cut up into wedges, 1 orange cut up into wedges, 1 lime cut up into wedges, 1 peach cut up into wedges, 1 cup sliced strawberries, 1/2 cup lemonade or limeade, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 shots berry flavored brandy, 2 cups ginger ale,(optional: one can of diced pineapple pieces with the juice).

Pour wine into a large pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the citrus fruit. Toss the fruit wedges into the pitcher (leaving out the seeds if possible) and add sliced peaches, strawberries, lemonade or limeade, sugar and brandy. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale before serving. (optional: add ice if desired)

Recipe can easily be doubled. Be sure to have either another pitcher or a super huge container to store sangria for chilling. Can make a couple days ahead.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Pot Pie (double crust family style)

Lightly grease or spray with Pam a casserole dish that is approx 10" x 7" x 2 1/2" or around that size. Use an oval casserole dish if available.

Crust: 2 cups flour, 4 t. baking powder, 8 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 cup milk.
Blend flour with baking powder in a bowl, set aside. In a medium size mixing bowl place cream cheese and empty flour mixture in with cream cheese and mix together with a fork. Add milk and continue to mix to form a ball of dough. Dough will be somewhat sticky. Divide: 2/3 bottom crust and 1/3 top crust. Roll bottom dough out onto floured surface and form into pasty shell shape of casserole dish. Place pasty shell into casserole dish on bottom & up sides of dish staying just under edge. Roll top pastry crust just enough to cover top and set aside.

Pot Pie filling: 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables, 1 can either cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken (depending on your taste), 1 T. melted butter, 2 cups cut up cooked chicken chunks.
Thaw vegetables to room temp or slightly warm and mix in a bowl with choice of soup; add chicken chunks and continue to mix together. Empty into prepared casserole dish with pastry shell. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top of filling. Place top crust over cheese. Brush top crust with 1 t. melted butter evenly coating. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 40 - 45 minutes. Top should be risen and golden browned. Set for about 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter (softened), 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 t. vanilla extract, 3 cups quick oats, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 package (3.4oz) instant vanilla pudding mix, 1 t. baking soda, 1 t. salt, 2 cups (12oz.) semisweet chocolate chips, 1 cup chopped nuts (optional).

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 1" apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Yield: about 7 dozen
1 cookie = about 87 calories.
Note: Can use mini chocolate chips in place of regular and also Instant French Vanilla Pudding in place of regular Vanilla Pudding too.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Apple - Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

1 pastry for double crust deep dish pie. Line the pie dish with one pastry leaving some overhang on edge for sealing. (4 or 5 stalks rhubarb) about 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced and diced rhubarb,(3 large apples) about 3 1/2 cups thinly sliced apples, (20 large strawberries) about 1 3/4 cups quartered strawberries, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 heaping T. cornstarch, 1 (3oz.) pkg strawberry gelatin (regular), 1/2 t. salt, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1 T. melted butter and about 1/2 t. melted butter for top of crust.

In a big mixing bowl blend rhubarb, apples, and strawberries. Pour melted butter over fruit and mix. In a medium bowl mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, cinnamon, gelatin, cornstarch, salt, and flour combining thoroughly. Pour this dry mixture into bowl of fruit and blend together stirring about 2 minutes. Empty into a unbaked pie shell. Cover with top crust and seal. Brush a thin layer of butter on the top crust and poke 8 - 10 holes with a fork for venting. Place on a jelly roll style pan to catch any bubbling over. Bake for 65 minutes @ 375 degrees. Cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.

So simple pie crust

2 T. Butter, 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup (scant) cold milk, 1 t. white vinegar, 6 T. butter flavored Crisco, 1/8 t. salt.

Cut flour into butter and Crisco. Add the milk and vinegar and mix until all the flour is moist. Divide in half and roll out on floured waxed paper which makes it easier to place in pie dish. Do the same with top crust.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Maureen's Pecan Turtle Cookies

1/2 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups flour. Combine butter and sugar and add flour beat together and press into a 9" x 13" pan.

Sprinkle with 1 cup chopped pecans.

Boil 2/3 cup butter 1/2 cup brown sugar 4 - 5 minutes. Pour over pecans. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven 18 - 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with milk chocolate chips (enough to cover top). After they start to melt swirl with knife. Cool and cut into squares.

This fabulous recipe came from a former manager, Maureen Bailey, who passed away in 2009 and is dedicated in her memory. She was a fantastic cook and baker. I wish I had more of her recipes to share. This one was a 1st place prize winner in a bake off contest that she entered. Everyone that sampled this cookie always wanted the recipe, including me!

Date Pin Wheel Cookies (a holiday favorite!)

1 cup butter (softened), 2 cups light brown sugar, 3 eggs (well beaten), 4 cups flour, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. vanilla.

Date filling: 3/4 lb (or whole pkg) dates (chopped), 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water. Cook 10 minutes in saucepan until thick. Add 1 cup chopped nuts (blend in).

Cream butter with sugar, stir in beaten eggs. Combine Dry ingredients and add to moist mixture. Lastly add vanilla. Divide into 2 parts. Roll each into a rectangle. Spread each rectangle with date filling. Roll rectangle beginning at wide side. Pinch closed. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Slice rolls into 1/4" slices and place each slice on a lightly greased cookie sheet an inch apart. Bake 10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen.

Dutch Butter Slices

1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped filberts, almonds, or pecans, 1/2 cup poppy seeds, 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. ginger, 1 t. vanilla extract, 2 - 2 1/2 cups flour.

Cream softened butter & sugar, add egg yolk then rest of ingredients. Add enough flour to make firm but not sticky dough. DO NOT knead or work dough. Form into 2 rolls 1 1/2" in diameter. Wrap in waxed paper and chill at least 4 hours or overnight to make firm.

Slice with serrated knife into 1/4" slices. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 12 minutes or until lightly tanned.

Makes 48 cookie slices. Dough can be frozen before baking to use at a later date.

Easy Hot-Cross Buns

1 pkg dry yeast, 2/3 cup warm water, 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 3/4 cup Bisquick, 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. nutmeg, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/4 cup chopped citron, 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, 1 - 2 t. orange juice.

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add egg, sugar, and 1 1/2 cups Bisquick. Using an electric mixer blend at low speed for 1/2 minute. (An egg beater will also work.) Then beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Stir in rest of the Bisquick, spices & fruit. Beat 1/2 minute more at medium speed.

Spoon into 12 greased medium muffin cups. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour). Bake 15 - 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from oven and pan and let cool.

Mix confectioner's sugar and orange juice. Make a cross on each bun with this frosting. Makes 12 buns.

Mama Gorgoni's Homemade Chicken Soup

Put 8 - 10 pieces of skinless chicken parts in a large pot with enough water covering chicken. (Canned chicken broth can be substituted for water.) Quarter and slice up a whole sweet onion and add to water with chicken. Cook chicken. Once chicken is cooked remove chicken from broth. (remove bone and any fat or grizzle and cut up chicken in chunks). Set chicken chunks aside in covered container. To reserved pot of broth add one large can diced or whole (cut up) Italian tomatoes with basil and seasoning along with tomato juice in can, 5 carrots (cut up in 1/2" slices), 2 stalks diced celery and celery heart with leaves, 1 pkg of mixed vegetables, 1 t. black pepper, several fresh basil leaves (minced), 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Cook on Med-High heat for about 30 minutes. Add chicken chunks and continue cooking another 20 - 30 minutes more. Lastly add (stir in) 2 cups mini pasta bows (they look like tiny bow ties). Use the smallest bows you can find. Cook for about 9 minutes more.

Serve hot and season with more Parmesan cheese as desired.

My mother, of course, made this soup when I was a child. It was a family favorite and continues to be in my family.

Note: a cube of Pesto sauce is good in this too if you have any in the freezer. See the pesto sauce recipe I have previously posted.

Mini Ritz Crackers snack

1 box Mini Ritz Crackers, 1 cup oil, 1 package Ranch powder dressing, 1 t. lemon pepper, 1 t. dill weed, 1 t. garlic powder, a pinch each of basil & oregano.

Empty Mini Ritz Crackers into a large bowl and set aside.

In another medium size bowl combine all other ingredients and blend thoroughly. Pour over Ritz crackers slowly while stirring and toss to evenly coat crackers.

White Trash (not what you think!)

3 1/2 cups each of Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, and Mini Pretzels, 1 can mixed nuts, 2 lbs of White Chocolate, 2 T. vegetable oil.

Mix cereal, nuts & pretzels in a BIG bowl. Melt white chocolate until smooth. Add oil mixing in to blend. Pour over cereal mixture and stir well to coat. Spread on waxed paper on 2 cookies sheets about 1 1/2" - 2" thick to set. Place in a cool area or frig. When ready (cooled and hardened) break into pieces. Store in sealed containers in a cool place or in Ziplock bags.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

TJ's Finger Cookies

2 sticks butter (melt and stir in 1 cup sugar in a non-stick pan, slightly browning to caramelize. Makes a syrup. Cook on medium heat to boil slowly. Don't stir too much.)

Place a full sheet of foil covering a jelly roll style pan and grease with butter.
Place 1 full sleeve of Saltines close together evenly on bottom of greased pan.

Once butter mixture is done cooking take off heat and stir in 1 t. vanilla extract. Pour mixture over top of crackers evenly and place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle a 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips over top and wait a minute and begin spreading til chips are melted. Be sure to spread evenly. Top with chopped nuts and press nuts down into chocolate. Place pan in frig to cool. Cut into squares and serve. Can make a day ahead and store in frig.

Lime Chiffon Pie

2/3 cup boiling water, 2 (3 oz.) boxes sugar-free Lime Jello, Juice from one fresh squeezed Lime, 1/2 cup cold water, 1/2 cup crushed ice, one 12 oz. tub Lite Cool Whip, 1 Ready to use Graham cracker crumb crust.

Stir boiling water into dry jello in a large bowl at least 2 minutes to totally dissolve jello. Add fresh lime juice, cold water and crushed ice. Stir until completely melted. Whisk in Cool Whip (thoroughly blending). Mixture will start to thicken as whipping. Once well blended empty into graham cracker crust and refrigerate 3 - 4 hours or overnight. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Approximately 130 calories per slice.

Pulled BBQ Chicken Bake in Ranch dressing

2 (8 oz.) cream cheese, 2 (19 oz.) bottles BBQ sauce, 8 - 10 boneless skinless chicken breast, 1 cup Ranch dressing, 2 cups shredded sharp cheese.

Spread cream cheese evenly on bottom of a large baking pan. Cook chicken breast in BBQ sauce in covered pot approx 1 hour. Remove chicken from sauce and pull apart and shred chicken and layer it on cream cheese. Spread more BBQ sauce from pot over chicken until well coated. Spread Ranch dressing over top. Layer top with shredded sharp cheese. Bake in 45 - 50 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Serve with either chips or scoop out and put in a roll as a hot sandwich.

Three Bean Potluck Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef, 1 sweet onion (chopped), 1/2 cup ketchup, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 T. vinegar, 1 t. dry mustard powder, 1 (16 oz.) can baked beans, 1 (15.5 oz.) can kidney beans, 1 (15 oz.) can butter beans, 1/2 lb. bacon.

Cook bacon & drain, break into medium pieces, set aside. Brown beef & onion, drain off fat. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In a large bowl mix bacon & beef mixture with all other ingredients. Do not drain liquid from canned beans. Mix well.

Place mixture in 13" x 9" baking dish and bake for 1 hour uncovered.

Ice Cream Cone Cup Cakes

One Box Cake Mix, 24 - 30 Ice Cream Cone Cups, 1 container of your favorite ready to spread frosting, Sprinkles (optional).

1. Prepare cake mix according to directions.
2. Fill Ice Cream Cone Cups approximately 2/3 full with cake batter.
3. Place filled Ice Cream Cone Cups in a 13" x 9" pan and gently place in oven.
4. Bake 20 - 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven (testing for doneness with a toothpick.)
5. Cake will mound slightly. Remove from oven and cool completely.
6. Frost generously when cool and decorate with sprinkles if desired.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Apple Crisp Pie ~ with custard!

3 cups sliced peeled apples, 1 1/4 cups water, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1/2 t. salt, 1 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1 1/3 cups undiluted Carnation evaporated milk, 2 beaten eggs, 1 1/2 t. vanilla, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup quick oats, 1/2 t. nutmeg, 3 T. butter, 1 9" baked pie crust.

Cook apples in 1/2 cup boiling water in covered saucepan 10 minutes. Drain.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and 1 T. cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Stir in evaporated milk and remaining 3/4 cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Stir small amount into eggs and empty into custard mixture stirring to blend. Return to heat and cook stirring constantly, just until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in vanilla and cook slightly.

Next combine brown sugar, flour, oats, 1/2 t. cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Cut in butter. Place apple slices in bottom of the pie crust. Pour custard over apples. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over top. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Cool, then chill in frig for a least 2 hours or more before serving. Can make a day ahead.

Penne alla Vodka

Drain 1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes (reserve juice). Divide can of tomatoes in half. Puree half in blender or food processor and chop the other half up into small chunks. In a 2 cup measuring cup place both pureed & chopped tomatoes in and add some of the reserved juice to make 2 full cups. Put 2 T. olive oil in pan and saute 1/4 cup sliced & diced onions 3 minutes. Add 2 T. tomato paste and saute more. Add 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 t. hot red pepper flakes. Saute 30 seconds. Add 2 cups tomatoes, 1/2 t. salt, 1/3 cup Vodka; simmer for 10 minutes.

Cook Penne pasta 10 minutes and drain. Cook & stir in 1/2 cup cream to tomatoes and add penne and 2 T. chopped basil (fresh) last. Cook another 2 - 3 minutes before serving. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Chicken Pillows

2 packages Crescent rolls, 1 (6 oz.) cream cheese (regular or chives flavor), 2/3 cup chopped mushrooms (optional), 4 T. butter (softened), 1 small package herb seasoned stuffing (finely crushed), 1/2 cooked chicken breast (cut up in small pieces).

Cream together butter and cream cheese and fold in mushrooms. Unroll crescent rolls and divide at perforations. Place on top of waxed paper stretching each triangle dough out a bit.

In the middle of each triangle place a dollop of butter mixture in center with a few pieces of chicken. Fold over long end together and carefully pinch sides closed sealing together. Melt 1 - 2 T. butter in a small bowl. Brush each pillow with melted butter and roll into crushed stuffing in a shallow plate or bowl. Place on a lightly greased cooking sheet about an inch apart and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 15 - 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve immediately. This is a great horderves or snack.

Challah Bread

This is a rich egg yeast bread and it is out of this world delicious!

1 3/4 cups hot water (120 degrees), 2 packets (2 T.) yeast, 1/2 cup honey.
Mix hot water with yeast and honey in a bowl. Set aside and let bubble up (approximately 10 minutes).

4 large eggs (beaten), 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) melted, 1 T. salt, 5 1/2 - 6 cups flour.

In a large bowl mix salt with 4 cups flour, add melted butter and eggs and bubbly yeast mixture. Add more flour (up to the 6th cup if necessary and kneed 10 - 15 minutes. Turn out into a very large oiled bowl and cover. let rise about 1 1/2 hours or when it doubles in size. Deflate and punch down and divide up into 6 portions. Roll into balls and then make long ropes. Attach 3 at one end and pinch together. Brain and pinch end together. Continue with the other 3 to make another braided loaf. Place loaves on a lightly greased baking sheet. Glaze with the following:

Glaze: 1 egg (beaten) with 1 T. Half & Half. Brush over the top of each loaf and let rise again on greased baking sheet for about 45 minutes - 1 hour. Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven or until top is lightly browned. Note: bread will continue to rise while baking.

Remove from baking sheet and wrap in foil to keep warm. Store wrapped up to keep fresh and moist.

Russian Tea Balls

1 cup soft butter (2 sticks), 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 T. vanilla extract, 2 1/4 cups flour 1/4 t. salt, 1 cup chopped nuts.

Mix butter, sugar, vanilla. Sift flour & salt together and add to butter mixture. Fold in nuts. Chill dough about an hour. Roll into balls (about a teaspoon full) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and roll warm cookies in powdered sugar. Roll again when cool in more powdered sugar to coat. Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chicken Fricassee

In a plastic bag combine 1/2 cup flour, 1 t. salt, 1 t. paprika, 1/4 t. pepper. Coat one 2 1/2 - 3 lb (cut up) chicken with flour mixture, 2 or 3 pieces at a time.

In a Dutch oven heat 2 T. oil or butter. Brown chicken pieces over medium heat about 15 minutes turning as necessary to brown evenly.

In the same Dutch oven cook 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms; cook until tender but not browned. Stir in one 10 3/4 ounce can of either Cream of Celery soup or Cream of Chicken soup, 1 cup milk, 2 T. chopped pimiento, 1 T. lemon juice, 1/2 t. dried thyme.

Return chicken to Dutch oven. Cover; cook over medium heat 40 minutes or until chicken is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve over cooked rice or mashed potatoes along with a side serving of mixed vegetables. Great too with buttermilk biscuits.

Consumer Reports Beef Stew

3 T. oil, 2 lbs stew beef cut in 1" chunks (soak chunks in Italian dressing overnight in a covered container in refrigerator.), 1 t. garlic powder, 1 medium onion (chopped), 2 T. flour, 1 t. Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 t. pepper, 4 cubes beef bouillon, 4 cups water, 4 cups potatoes (cubed), 2 cups carrots (chunks), 1 cup sliced celery, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 cup frozen corn (optional, I don't add this), 1 cup barley, 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes.

Brown beef in dutch oven in oil with onions. Add spices and flour. Soften the bouillon in boiling water and stir in with the vegetables. (Don't put the peas or corn in until the last 10 minutes). Cook on the stove at medium for about 2 hours until done. Be sure to check and stir a few times taking care not to overcook or burn the bottom.

Kopp's Canteen Pumpkin Bread

3 cups sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, 4 eggs 3 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 t. baking powder, 2 t. baking soda, 1 1/2 t. salt, 1 t. ginger, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 t. nutmeg, 1 t. cloves, 2/3 cup water, 2 cups canned pumpkin, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Mix sugar, oil and eggs; beat until mixed. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda salt and spices together. Add to egg mixture, alternating with water. Stir in pumpkin and walnuts. Pour into two greased 9" x 5" and one 8" x 3 " bread pans. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. Makes 3 loaves (2 regular and one smaller).

Potato Chip Cookies

1 cup butter flavored shortening, 1 cup each brown and white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 t. baking soda, 1 t. vanilla, 1 cup crushed potato chips, 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup chopped pecans.

Cream together shortening & sugars, beat in eggs. Continue beating adding baking soda, vanilla and crushed potato chips and flour. Fold in chopped nuts.

Drop on lightly greased cookie sheet scant round teaspoonfuls. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake about 9 - 10 minutes. Tastes like the best homemade pecan sandies ever!

Zapple Pie Filling

This filling tastes just like apples and can be used in pies, crisps and cobblers. It can be frozen for later use.

1 large baseball-bat size zucchini, peeled, seeded and cut into 1" chunks (about 8 cups), 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups sugar (divided), 2 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. nutmeg, 1/2 cup flour.

Mix zucchini chunks and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir for several minutes until tender. Add 1 cup sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to zucchini. Stir and cook for 2 minutes more. Turn the heat to low; add the additional 1/2 cup sugar and flour and stir until thickened. Ready to use in your dessert recipe or freeze for a later use in a freezer bag or Tupperware style container with a lid.

Party Time Cereal Snack

6 cups of your favorite cereal (choose 6 different types of cereal ie..Cheerios, Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Golden Grahams, Honeynut O's, Crispix, Kix, Quaker Oh's ), 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup Karo syrup, 12 oz. dry roasted seasoned peanuts, 1/4 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups small knot pretzels, 1 cup popped popcorn.

Preheat oven 325 degrees. In a large pan melt butter, add Karo syrup, brown sugar stirring to dissolve and blend. Stir in cereals, peanuts, pretzels and popcorn tossing to evenly coat. In a large jelly roll pan spread a thin coating of butter over jelly roll pan and evenly spread coated cereal mixture on pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool about 5 minutes. Loosen in pan and break up in chunks, continue cooling. Remove from pan and store in a large Tupperware party size bowl with a lid to insure freshness.

Refreshing Broccoli Salad

4 cups fresh broccoli florets, 1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes (halved), 1 cup chopped celery, 1 medium apple cubed in small pieces, 1 cup raisins, 1/4 cup salted sunflower seed kernels.

Combine above ingredients in a large bowl.

In another bowl whisk together: 1/3 cup light mayonnaise, 1/2 cup plain or vanilla light or fat-free yogurt, 3 T. sugar or Splenda, 1 T. white vinegar.

Pour dressing over broccoli mixture and toss well. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Recipe doubles easily.

Extraordinary Blueberry Pie!

(4 oz.) cream cheese, 1 (9") baked pastry shell or 1 (9") graham cracker shell, 4 cups fresh blueberries, 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar or Splenda, 2 T. cornstarch, 2 T. fresh lemon juice.

Bake pastry shell and cool. Soften cream cheese and gently spread on bottom and up sides of pie shell.

Fill shell with 3 cups of blueberries.

To remaining 1 cup blueberries add 3/4 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes mashing blueberries.

Combine sugar or Splenda and cornstarch; gradually add to cooked blueberries. Cook stirring constantly until thickened.

Cool slightly; add lemon juice. Pour over fresh blueberries evenly and chill in frig to firm at least 4 hours or overnight.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Neiman-Marcus Cookies

1 cup butter (softened), 12 oz. bag chocolate chips, 2 cups flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. salt, 1 cup sugar.

9 oz. of dark chocolate bar (grated), 2 1/2 cups oatmeal, 2 eggs, 1 t. baking powder, 1 t. vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts.

Measure oatmeal & blend in a blender to a fine flour. Cream the butter and both sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together with flour, oatmeal flour, salt, baking powder & baking soda.

Add grated dark chocolate blending in and nuts and chocolate chips. Roll into balls and place 2" apart on a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes depending on oven. May need a minute or two extra.

Rice Chex Ice Cream Pie

3 1/2 cups Rice Chex crushed into 1 cup, 7 T.butter (melted), 1/3 cup sugar, 6 T. sugar, 1/3 cup coconut, 2 cups or 1 pt. each vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet, 3 egg whites (room temperature), 1/4 t. cream of tarter, 1/2 t. vanilla extract.

Butter a 9" pie plate. Toast Rice Chex in a shallow baking pan 10 minutes @ 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine melted butter, 1/3 cup sugar, add Rice Chex crumbs and coconut. Mix and press in pie plate to form a crust.

In a large bowl use electric mixer to combine ice cream and orange sherbet. Combine to make creamy thick (NOT runny). Spread over Rice Chex crust.

Place in freezer. In a small bowl beat egg whites, cream of tarter and vanilla extract until thick. Gradually add 6 T. sugar and beat stiff! Spread over pie. Freeze at least 6 hours or overnight.

When you're ready to serve bake in a preheated oven @ 475 degrees for about 2 - 2 1/2 minutes to toast meringue top ONLY! Serve immediately.

Flank Steak Marinate

In a blender combine 6 T. olive oil, 2 T. minced rosemary, 1 minced shallot, 6 cloves pressed garlic. Blend until smooth. Place a large flank steak in a 13" x 9" dish and salt both sides of steak and rub in. Pour marinate over steak and turn over coating both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Wipe off marinate before grilling and sprinkle with Steak spices before grilling. Cook on first side about 5 minutes and flip over cooking on 2nd side a little less (about 4 minutes but for those that like it more done cook another minute or two). Place in a covered dish and let rest about 10 minutes before slicing to serve.

Busy Day Bean Soup

1/4 cup each of the following: Black eyed peas, Split green peas, Butter beans or large Lima beans, Small Lima beans, Pinto beans, Red beans, Navy beans, Great Northern beans, Pearl barley, Lentils.

1 (29 oz.) can tomatoes, 1/2 lb. ham hock, 1 large onion (chopped), 1 t. chili powder, juice of one lemon, salt and pepper to taste.

Wash beans thoroughly and place in a large pot. Cover with water and add 2 T. salt and soak overnight. Next morning drain, add 2 quarts water and ham hocks. Bring to a boil then simmer for 2 - 2 1/2 hours stirring occasionally. Then add tomatoes, onion, chili powder, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Simmer another 30 minutes. Makes a very large pot of soup. Even better made a couple of days ahead and aged in frig.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mixed Berry Medely Jello salad

2 (16oz.)bags of frozen mixed berries, 1 box each of the following 3oz. sugar-free Jello: Strawberry, Raspberry, Strawberry-Kiwi and 2 boxes Red Cherry, 2 cups boiling water, 2 1/2 cups cold water, a 13" x 9" Pyrex glass bake ware pan.

Empty both bags of frozen berries into glass pan. Remove strawberries to slice up and place back in pan with berries. Evenly distribute berries covering bottom of pan.

In a 6 cup glass bowl boil 2 cups of water in the microwave. Remove bowl from the microwave and carefully empty all 5 packages of Jello into the boiling water and stir 2 minutes. Yes 2 minutes! It really takes that long to completely dissolve the Jello. Add 2 1/2 cups of cold water to hot Jello and stir. Empty Jello into glass pan with berries and stir a little to be sure all berries are covered.

Caution: Sets really fast! Once you have berries covered do not touch anymore. This can be made in a flash and brought with you to a picnic or party without worry of melting. Stays cold unrefrigerated for a couple hours. Bring a copy of this recipe with you too if going to a party. Everyone wants this recipe that eats this Jello. Even the people that say, "I don't like Jello, I only eat it when I don't feel good!" I say, "Really!!?"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pesto Sauce

4 cups (packed basil leaves), 1 cup olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, 6 T. toasted pine nuts, 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese.

Toast pine nuts in a non-stick pan in a little olive oil. (Toss while cooking to toast and only lightly brown!)

Blend (in blender) basil leaves & garlic, add pine nuts. Carefully & slowly add olive oil and continue to blend thoroughly.

Place Parmesan cheese in a large bowl and empty basil mixture into bowl with Parmesan cheese and stir together. Store in an air-tight container in refrigerator if using within a week. If not using soon store in freezer. Place small batches either in small plastic containers or use ice cube trays and freeze in cubes. Empty frozen cubes into ziplock plastic bags and put in freezer. When needed pull out a cube or two for recipes asking for pesto sauce.

Asparagus au Gratin

2 (10 oz.) packages frozen asparagus spears (thawed), 4 oz of potato chips (crushed), 1 can (low fat & low sodium) Cream of Mushroom soup, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 1/4 t. paprika.

Preheat oven 350 degrees & grease a 11" x 17" baking dish. Arrange asparagus in the greased prepared dish & top with half of the crushed potato chips. Cover with half soup and the remaining potato chips. Mix the water into the remaining soup and pour evenly over the potato chips. Sprinkle with sharp Cheddar cheese, bread crumbs and paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Baked Artichokes

1 can artichoke hearts (drain & cut up a little), 1 can drained sliced mushrooms, 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs, 1/4 cup oil, 1/2 cup water (or milk), 1/2 t. salt, 1 t. grated cheese, dash of garlic powder, dash black pepper. Toss together. Put in a baking dish & cover. Dot with butter, sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Gorgeous Onions!

4 cups sliced sweet onions, 5 T. butter, 2 eggs, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 t.salt & 1/2 t. pepper, 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Saute sliced onions in butter until transparent in large non-stick pan. Place cooked onions in shallow 6 cup baking dish. In a medium bowl beat eggs until light, mix in cream and salt & pepper. Pour mixture over onions. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Creamed Potato Bake!

This dish must be started first thing in the morning.

Cook 6 or 7 medium - large potatoes with skins on - cool & put in large ziplock plastic bag in refrigerator until cold & firm (approximate 2 + hours or more). Once potatoes are cold carefully peel off skins. On a large coarse grater grate potatoes into a large bowl.

Thinly slice one large sweet onion and chop into pieces. In a skillet carefully brown onion in 2 T. butter until yellow & limp, add to grated potatoes with 2 cans of Cream of Celery soup plus 1 cup Half & Half. Combine thoroughly and place in a baking dish, cover dish with lid to let stand all day in refrigerator. (very important for soaking in moisture!) Prepare cracker crumb topping as follows:

Cracker Crumb Topping: combine in a bowl 1 cup crushed buttery flavored cracker crumbs (either Ritz or Town House type crackers), 1 T. melted butter, 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle cracker crumb topping over top of potato mixture. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Either serve hot from oven or cold from frig next day.

Acini di Pepe salad

1/2 lb Acini di Pepe macaroni, 1 can Tidbits pineapple chunks, 1 can fruit cocktail, 1 can Mandarin oranges, 1 (12 oz.) tube Cool Whip, 2 ripe bananas.

Drain fruit & reserve juices. Refrigerate fruit until ready to mix together. Cook macaroni.

In a medium sauce pan mix juices with 2 beaten eggs, 3 T. flour & 3/4 cup sugar or Splenda. Cook & stir over medium heat until thick. Mix with cooked macaroni. Place is a large covered Tupperware style bowl and refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours before continuing with recipe.

In the morning or when ready to serve slice up 2 ripe bananas (but not soft). Mix fruit, macaroni and bananas together in a favorite large serving bowl. Fold in Cool Whip. Refrigerate until ready to serve or serve immediately.

Note: Every time I've brought this to a dinner party or picnic, everyone wants the recipe! Bring a copy of it with you!