Monday, December 26, 2011

Ham Fettuccini

I'm back after a wonderful Christmas with my parents that was only marred by my mom getting the flu.  Unfortunately this means a lot of ham leftovers for me to create different recipes with for a long, long time because you can only eat some many ham sandwiches.

Ham Fettuccini

1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp paprika
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded marble jack cheese
2 cups ham, diced
1 cup peas

Lightly toast the Panko bread crumbs in 1 tbsp butter,  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and 1/4 tsp paprika.

Melt 3 tbsp butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir in the flour.  Very gradually add in the milk.  Let thicken.

Gradually add in cheese.  When combined in sauce, add in ham and peas.

Serve over fettuccine and top with Panko crumbs.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Frangelico Balls

This is my spin on rum balls and they turned out really, really well.

Holiday Frangelico Balls

1 package Napolitanke Hazelnut wafers
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
3 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 cup Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur
1/2 cup  powdered sugar (for rolling)

Put wafers and nuts into a food processor and blend until crumbly.  Pour into a medium-sized bowl and add in 3/4 cup powdered sugar and cocoa.  Stir well.  Pour in light corn syrup and Frangelico.  Mix well.

Roll into 1" balls and roll in 1/2 cup powdered sugar.  Store in an airtight container.

Servings: 36

Sunday, December 18, 2011


 I have fond memories of my Grandmother always having krumkaka at Christmastime.  I love the sweet taste and the crunch.  It's easy to make and I only suffered a little burn on my finger.  Note...krumkaka irons stay hot long after you make the last one.  This is another treat that I wonder why I only make them at Christmas. 


2/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla
1 dash cinnamon

Heat water to boiling.  Add in butter and stir until melted.  Add in sugar and stir until dissolved.  Let cool.

When cool add in egg, flour, vanilla and cinnamon.

Bake per your krumkaka iron instructions.

Toffee Bark

Here's another of the sweet treats I'll be giving out this year~

Toffee Bark

50 Ritz Crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
6 regular Hershey's Chocolate bars

Line a jelly roll pan with Reynolds non-stick aluminum foil.  Put 2 layers of Ritz crackers on top of foil.

In a large saucepan, cook butter and dark brown sugar until it starts to boil and thicken.  Pour over crackers and put in the oven at 325°F.

When it starts to boil, remove from oven and let cool for two minutes.  Put chocolate bars spread out on top of toffee.  Let melt and spread out like frosting.  Let cool a few minutes and then put in refrigerator to completely cool.

Break up in pieces and store in air-tight containers.

Sausage N' Cheese Meatballs in a Bun

I'm always trying new things for breakfast.  Today it was a combination of bread, sausage and cheese.

Sausage N' Cheese Meatballs in a Bun

1 pound pork sausage
1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
12 frozen bread dough buns

Divide out sausage into twelve equal patties.  Place a generous pinch of shredded cheese in the middle of each patty and roll into a meatball.  Cook completely.  Let cool on a paper towel.

Wrap thawed bread dough around each meatball.  Let rise again.  Bake until a nice golden brown.  Rub top of each bun with butter and return to the oven for another 2 minutes.

Servings: 12

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Date Balls

This is a recipe handed down from my grandmother.  I used to wait for her to make these every Christmas.

Date Balls

30 Dates, cut fine
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp butter

Boil mixture until thick in saucepan,  Remove from heat and let cool down until it's warm to the touch.  Add 3 cups crisped rice cereal.  Butter hands so it's easy to roll into 1" balls.  Roll each ball into coconut, chopped pecans or a combination of both.  This year I used chopped hazelnuts.

I could use the work logic to classify these as healthy since they contain dates.  At our work potluck yesterday, monster bars were classified as healthy and as breakfast food since they contained oatmeal.  :-)

Christmas Snack Mix

I'm finishing up my Christmas holiday baking today to give as gifts.  This is the first thing I made this morning ~

Christmas Snack Mix

4 cups popped popcorn
4 cups Crispix cereal
1 cup pretzels
1 cup salted peanuts
20 oz almond bark, melted
9.9  oz mint chocolate M&M's or plain M&M's

Mix together popcorn, cereal, peanuts and pretzels in large bowl or roaster.  Pour melted almond bark over top and make sure everything is evenly coated.  Add in M&M's.  Let cool and set.  Break apart and store in air-tight containers.

It's really easy to make.  Enjoy ~

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Parmesan & Bacon Green Beans

I'm back after a little woman cave remodeling project. 

Parmesan & Bacon Green Beans

1/2 pound green beans, cooked, drained
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 dash garlic powder
1 dash paprika
1 dash grated ancho chili pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated

Melt butter in a small pan and add in Panko bread crumbs and spice and lightly toast.  Remove from heat and add in Parmesan cheese.  Cook green beans, drain and add in crumbled bacon.  Add in salt and pepper to taste.

Put green beans in a serving dish and top with Panko crumbs.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chicken Cheese Tortellini Soup

The temperatures are dropping and that means soup season is here.  I wanted to try something new and this is what I created with the ingredients that I had on hand.

Chicken Cheese Tortellini Soup

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cubed and cooked
8 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup carrots, peeled, sliced
1/2 cup peas
1 pound cheese tortellini
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme, crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Braise chicken until no longer pink.  Add into chicken broth along with vegetables and spices.  Cook over medium heat until vegetables have softened.  Add in cheese tortellini and cook for another 10 minutes

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mozzarella Cheese Bread

This is a nice side to an Italian dinner or soup (or just a meal in my case this evening).

We start off thawing a loaf of Italian bread dough or you can make from scratch.

Roll out the dough and top with 4 tbsp melted butter with 1/8 tsp garlic powder mixed in, slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, 1 tsp. Italian spices and freshly ground pepper.  Roll up jelly roll style and cut into 8 even pieces.  Let rise for a half hour in your greased baking pan.

Bake at 325°F  for 20 minutes

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Eggnog Waffles

The start to the holiday season and I'm in overdrive.  The presents I've already gotten are wrapped and now I'm creating holiday foods.  I bought some eggnog.  I'm not fond of how it's normally served but it does have good alternative uses and here's one.

Eggnog Waffles

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp  cinnamon
2 large eggs, separated
2 cups eggnog
2 tbsp canola oil

Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl.  In a small bowl, beat egg whites until light and fluffy.  Gradually mix eggnog, egg yolks, canola oil and beaten egg whites into dry ingredients.

Bake per your waffle makers instructions.

Makes 10

I served it with my cinnamon syrup.  Great combination.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Italian French Fries

I was looking for a new side dish for my turkey sandwich since most of my Thanksgiving sides are now history (for this I'm thankful).  I attempted pierogies last night with the leftover mashed potatoes.  They were ok but the recipe wasn't blog-worthy.  This one is...

Italian French Fries

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp extra light virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp Italian seasonings
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 tbsp Parmesan cheese freshly grated

Place potatoes in a small bowl.  Mix spices in a separate small bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over potatoes.  Toss in spices and make sure the fries are evenly coated.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350°F

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cranberry Brie Bites

The day after Thanksgiving is more than Black's the day to get creative with your leftovers too.  I'm starting off using up my leftover cranberry sauce for breakfast. 

Cranberry Brie Bites

15 mini Phyllo Cups
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
1 small brie

Cut up brie to fit into bottom of phyllo cups.  Put cranberry sauce on top and around the brie.

Bake and enjoy!

Servings: 15

Cooking Time: 20 minutes at 350°F

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hot Malted Cocoa Mix

I spent this chilly weekend doing a bit more holiday baking and making this cocoa mix to give out as gifts.

Hot Malted Cocoa Mix

2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups powdered milk
3/4 cup malted milk powder
1 cup cocoa
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients together.  I used a 2 quart pitcher with a lid to mix together the ingredients by closing the top tightly and then shaking it.  Let the ingredients settle before you open the lid.  Include a card that says to use 3-4 heaping teaspoons of mix in your cup of hot water. 

Makes 3 pint jars.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hazelnut Caramels

I started my holiday baking today.  I made peanut blossum cookies and hazelnut caramels. 

Hazelnut Caramels

1/2 cup whipping cream
2 1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped and toasted

In a small saucepan, combine cream, butter and salt and bring to a boil.  After it begins to boil, reduce heat to keep warm.

Pour into mini muffin papers that have been lightly sprayed with cooking oil spray in a mini muffin pan about half full and sprinkle toasted hazelnuts on top.  Let cool.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bacon Pancakes

It's definitely a Monday.  I accidentally took my leftover bbq chicken to work today so that became my lunch leaving me with no dinner leftovers.  I'm one of those people that enjoys having a salty protein with my pancakes.  So tonight I wanted something different so I put bacon into my pancake batter and it turned fantastic.

Bacon Pancakes

1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 dash salt
2 large eggs
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine dry ingredients.  Add in buttermilk, eggs and melted butter.  Serve with your favorite syrup or topping.

Makes 16 pancakes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

BBQ Chicken In Potsticker Wraps

I made an easy dinner tonight after a weekend of trying to clear out my kitchen for a little remodel project. 

BBQ Chicken in Potsticker Wraps

24 potsticker wrappers
8 chicken breasts strips
3 tbsp your favorite bbq sauce
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp fresh oregano, chopped

Place two potsticker wrappers in a greased muffin cup.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

Cook chicken breast strips and cut down into small pieces.  Place at bottom of cups.  Top with cheese, bacon and oregano.  Heat for 2 additional minutes.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sour Cream & Paprika Chicken

I'm always trying new ways to cook chicken.  It's one of my favorite meats, edged out only by filet mignon.  It's much more versatile and cheaper so I have it quite often.

Sour Cream & Paprika Chicken

1 pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp flour
1 tbsp paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Brown chicken strips in olive oil until golden brown and clear juices run when cut.  Remove from pan.  Bring the chicken broth to a boil and stir in sour cream with flour blended into it.  Add paprika, salt and pepper.  Add back in chicken strips and heat until serving.

Serve on your favorite pasta or mashed potatoes.

Spice Cupcakes

I made a treat today for one of my friends that will be moving away soon.  

Spice Cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup corn starch
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp  allspice

Cream butter and sugar.  Add in buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.  Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl and gradually add into butter mixture.

Servings: 15

Bake for 20 minutes at 325°F

You can make this as a cake or in regular size cupcakes.  I chose to do the jumbo cupcakes this time.  I frosted them with a standard cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together until smooth.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Peach Pound Cake

Peach Pound Cake

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4  large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups peaches, peeled and diced (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup peach preserves

Cream butter and sugar.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  Combine all the dry ingredients in a small bowl and gradually add into butter mixture.  Add in peaches and peach preserves.

Grease a loaf or tube pan generously.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes at 325°F

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Italian Sausage Stew

I love Italian food.  It's so easy to make and tastes so much better than any sauces that are in a jar.

Italian Sausage Stew

1 pound Italian sausage, cooked
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 cup chicken broth
14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
19 ounces cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp Italian seasonings
1 tsp parsley
3/4 cup Ziti, Mostaccioli or other medium pasta shape, uncooked
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook Italian sausage with onion and garlic.  In a medium saucepan, add in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, cannellini beans and spices.  Add in cooked Italian sausage, onion and garlic and cook for a half hour on a medium low heat.  Add in ziti and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Servings: 6

Sweet with a kick snack mix

If you're looking for a snack that has a warming spice afterglow...this is for you.

Sweet with a kick snack mix

1 cup peanuts
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup honey wheat crackers
1/2 cup craisens
1/4 cup brown sugar firmly packed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Whip egg white until frothy.

Combine in a gallon plastic bag - peanuts, pecans, crackers and craisens.  Pour egg white over, close top and shake.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and spices.  Pour into plastic bag.  Shake well.

Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Yield: 4 cups

Bake for 15 minutes at 325°F

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Monte Cristo Buns

A couple months ago a co-worker presented me with a challenge.  She brought in a sandwich that had meat baked on the inside.  One of my favorite sandwiches is a Monte Cristo so I decided that was the sandwich I wanted to create as a stuffed bun.

Monte Cristo Buns

3 1/2 cups  bread flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp bread machine active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ham, cubed
1/2 cup turkey breast, cut thin strips
1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
1/8 cup strawberry jam

Melt butter and add milk, heat until warm.  Combine all dry ingredients in a bread machine.  Slowly pour in milk/butter mixture.  Set to dough setting.

When dough cycle is complete, roll out on floured surface until 1/8" thick.  Cut out in 4" circles.  I used a Pampered Chef Cut-N-Seal to cut the dough with.

Fill the center of each circle with a few ham pieces, turkey slices, a pinch of cheese and 1/4 tsp. strawberry jam.

Pinch together dough and place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheets.  Let rise for a half hour before baking.

Serve warm.

Servings: 26

Bake for 20 minutes at 325°F

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Honey BBQ Sauce

I've been wanting to make my own bbq sauce for quite awhile.  I'm not sure why I waited until it really isn't the nicest weather outside to do this but luckily I have a few indoor grills. 

Honey BBQ Sauce

3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp raspberry vinegar
3 tbsp onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp brown sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan.  Cook on low heat until onions and garlic are tender.

Yield: 2 cups

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

It turned out to be a beautiful day after the early morning rain moved on.  I've bought mixes for this soup and I thought it was about time I made it from scratch.  The next time I'll be using my Thanksgiving turkey leftovers with this recipe.  You can use a stalk of celery in place of the celery flakes.  I'm not a celery eater but I do like to have some of the flavoring so flakes are the perfect substitute for me.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

2 cups chicken broth
2 cups  Half and Half cream
2 cups chicken breasts, cooked and cut into small pieces
3 cups wild and long grain rice cooked according to package directions
1 cup carrots peeled and diced
1 tbsp celery flakes
1/2 tsp pepper or to taste
salt to taste
4 dashes hot sauce

Cook rice per package directions.  Braise chicken breasts and cut into small pieces when cool enough to touch.  Heat broth and milk and gradually add in remaining ingredients.

Heat until carrots are cooked.

Cinnamon Muffins

There's nothing like the smell of cinnamon to brighten a rainy Sunday morning. 

Cinnamon Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter melted
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 large egg slightly beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter melted

Combine the first six dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add in buttermilk, egg and 1/3 cup cooled melted butter.

Fill muffin tins 1/2 full and bake until golden brown around the edges.

Remove muffins from pan and cool for a couple minutes.  Then dip tops in second 1/4 cup melted butter and then dip into cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Turn right side up and let cool the rest of the way.

Servings: 12

Oven Temperature: 325°F

Monday, October 17, 2011

Black Raspberry Cookie Ice Cream

I got the cutest ice cream bowls today from a school fundraiser.  Add in the fact that I had a quart of cream a few days from it's expiration date and you get a new recipe. 

Black raspberry cookie ice cream

3 cups cream
1 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks lightly beaten
1 cup black raspberry preserves, seedless
8 Pepperidge Farm Milano raspberry cookies, crushed

Cook cream and sugar until warm.  Add 1 cup of mixture to the beaten egg yolks to temper before adding to saucepan.  Stir constantly.

Cook until mixture coats the back of your spoon.

Strain and pour into your ice cream maker.  Add preserves to strained mixture.

Right before it's finished, add in the crushed cookies.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Nutella filling

Another nice fall day here.  I've been wanting to try making whoopie pies for a long time and even purchased one pan specifically made for making them.  That was a waste of money.  After one pan, I went back to my standard parchment lined baking sheets.  The cookie part is good but the filling is excellent and I'll be using that recipe for more than just this recipe.

Dark chocolate whoopie pies

1 stick butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup dark cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp  baking soda

1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup Nutella

Cream sugar and butter.  Add in egg, vanilla and buttermilk.  Gradually add in dry ingredients.

Using a medium scoop, put on parchment lined cookie sheets leaving plenty of room between scoops.

Bake until when you finger test and it doesn't leave an indent.

Let cool completely.

Whip cream until soft peaks form.  Add in mascarpone and Nutella.  Spread a level amount between cookies.

Servings: 18

Bake at 325°F

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cevapecici/Cevaps and Cheese Burek

I decided to have a taste of Toronto for my dinner tonight.  It's not really a Toronto only meal, it's just where I was introduced to it. 


1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1  pound ground veal or lamb
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Vegeta
1 tsp baking soda

Mix all the ingredients together.  Roll meat into 3/4 inch rolls and approximately 4" long.

Broil or fry links.

Cheese Burek

1 package phyllo pastry sheets defrosted according to package directions
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese shredded
1 large egg slightly beaten
1 tsp parsley
6 tbsp butter, melted

Mix together ricotta, cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, egg and parsley together in a small bowl.

Melt butter in a small bowl for brushing on phyllo dough.

Take 2 sheets of phyllo, fold in half and brush with butter.  Put a scoop of cheese mixture at one end and fold in triangles up the length of the phyllo sheet.

Place packets on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush outside with butter.

Servings: 9

Bake for 30 minutes at 325°F

Chocolate Raspberry Ricotta Mousse

The name of this is definitely a long one but easy to make, delicious and not very high in calories so it's a win-win dessert.

Chocolate Raspberry Ricotta Mousse

15 oz ricotta cheese
3.5 oz Ghirardelli Intense Dark Evening Dream chocolate
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp raspberry syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt chocolate in a double boiler and let cool.  Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Mix until all ingredients are blended completely.

Refrigerate for 3 hours.

Serve with whipped cream, fresh fruit or chocolate shavings.

Servings: 6

Today was a nice relaxing day.  I took the time to carve a pumpkin which I haven't done in a long time.  It took longer to convince my cat to pose with it than it did to carve it. 

I'm off now to make dinner.  I'll be back later with recipes.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pear Crumble

I wanted to create a small dessert to use up some pears that I have on hand.  It turned out my pears were so large that I only could use one in my one quart casserole.

Pear Crumble

1 large pear, peeled, cored, and diced
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp brown sugar firmly packed
4 tbsp rolled oats
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 dash ginger
1 dash nutmeg
2 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 dash cinnamon

Grease a 1 quart casserole.  Peel, slice and dice one large pear or 2 medium into the casserole.  Mix lemon juice into pears.  In a small bowl, combine 3 tbsp brown sugar, oats, flour, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and ginger and nutmeg.  Stir into pears.

Mix together butter, 2 tbsp brown sugar and the dash of cinnamon.  Dot top of pear mixture in casserole.

Servings: 2

Bake for 30 minutes at 325°F

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Butter

My Saturday afternoon fun ~

Pumpkin Butter

3 cups pumpkin, fresh (preferred) or canned
1 cup apple juice
1 1/2 cups brown sugar - I used 1 cup light and 1/2 cup dark
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp  salt (optional)

Cook all of the ingredients in a crock pot or a sauce pan on low heat for 1 hour.  Store in refrigerator or freeze.  Pumpkin does not can.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Italian Beef Roast and Smoked Gruyere Smashed Potatoes

Sunday is a wonderful day for slow cooked meals and relaxing.  Here's what I created in the woman cave ~

Italian Roast Beef

1 3 pound beef roast - use your favorite cut
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup your favorite red wine - I used Pinot Noir
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil

Place beef broth and wine at bottom of crock pot.  Place roast in and place all the spices on top.  Cover and cook for 6 hours on low.

Smoked Gruyere Smashed Potatoes

2 pounds small red potatoes
1/4 cup  milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded smoked gruyere cheese
2 tbsp chives, snipped or minced
pepper to taste

Cut potatoes into 4 pieces and cook in a heavily salted sauce pan.  When fork tender, drain and mash.  Add in milk and sour cream.  Fold in cheese and stir until melted.  Add in chives and pepper.

Pumpkin Bread

This is the first thing that I'm baking from the 2 large pumpkins that I baked and froze.  I have been thinking about getting another to make a batch of pumpkin butter next weekend.

Pumpkin Bread

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 cups raisins (optional)
1/2 cups walnuts finely chopped (optional)

Mix together sugar and pumpkin.  Add in eggs, oil and water.  Gradually mix in dry ingredients.  Add in raisins and walnuts last.  Bake in a greased loaf pan.
  Bake for 1 hour at 350°F

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Caramel Peach Sweet Potatoes & Grilled Ham and Brie Sandwich

I needed a simple meal tonight after another Saturday of canning, freezing and cleaning.  This is what I came up with -

Grilled Ham & Brie

2 slices of your favorite bread
ham slices
brie thinly sliced as possible
peach preserves
butter (on outside of the slices of bread)

Grill until a golden brown on both sides.

Caramel Peach Sauce for Sweet Potatoes

1 large peach, fresh or frozen, peeled and diced
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Cook all the ingredients together in a small saucepan until it thickens.  Put on top of cooked sweet potatoes.

Servings: 2

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Crunchy Crock Pot Chicken

After a weekend of making soups and butters to restock my freezer and pantry, I was ready for some comfort food.  I channeled my inner-Minnesotan love for hot dishes and my cookbook file for this recipe to share.

Crunchy Crockpot Chicken
This is good served either with egg noodles or rice.

6 small Chicken breasts -- boned and skinned
1 can Cream of chicken soup
1  cup sour cream
1 cup frozen baby peas
1/4 small onion, chopped fine

1 tsp dehydrated celery flakes
3/4 cup milk
2 cups chow mein noodles

Brown chicken lightly and place in bottom of crock pot.  Mix peas into soup mixture and pour over chicken breasts.  Top with chow mein noodles and cook in crockpot for 1 hour on medium heat.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Apple Pear Butter

Fall is definitely in the air but it was a sunny day today.  I baked a large pumpkin and froze 8 - 1 cup packages and made some apple pear butter both of which made the house smell wonderful.

Apple Pear Butter

6 large pears, peeled, cored and diced
6 large Fuji apples, peeled, cored and diced
8 large Red Delicious Apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice

Peel, core and dice all fruit and put into slow cooker.  Cook on high for 1/2 hour and then turn down to low.  Cook until soft.  Run fruit through fruit mill and return to slow cooker.  Add in sugar and spices and cook until thickened.  Can while still hot.

Yield: 7 half pints

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Italian Bread

Soup and a slice of warm bread is the perfect meal on a cold and windy night.  I'm ignoring the carb content due to the weather and going to enjoy my potato and ham soup and italian bread.

Italian Bread

3 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp bread machine active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp extra light virgin olive oil

1 large egg slightly beaten
1 tbsp water

Put flour, yeast, warm water, brown sugar, salt and olive oil in bread machine and set to dough setting.

When done, remove from machine and put on a baking stone that has a thin coating of corn meal.  Cut an inch deep down the length of the dough with a sharp knife.  Let rise for about a half hour in a warm area.

Brush top of bread with the mixture of 1 beaten egg and 1 tbsp water.  Bake until a golden brown.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mint Brownies & Frosting

Birthday time at work tomorrow again for a kindred spirit cookbook and cooking magazine coworker.  I decided to make her one of her favorite combinations ~ chocolate and mint.

Mint Brownies & Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup dark cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup mint chips
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup mint chips, melted
1/3 cup dark cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together butter and sugar.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  Gradually add in dry ingredients.  Spread evening in an 8 x 8 greased pan.

Cool brownies.

Frosting - melt mint chips and mix into butter.  Add in whipping cream and vanilla and mix with hand mixer.  Add in cocoa and powdered sugar and beat for 3 minutes.

Servings: 16

Bake for  30 minutes at 325°F

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken

This is a super easy way to make chicken with lots of flavors.  This is a beginning picture at 10 a.m. this morning.

Crock Pot Chicken (you can double or triple recipe)

2 chicken breasts
4 apple smoked bacon slices
1 apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup blackberries
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup of your favorite bbq sauce

Wrap 2 slices of bacon around each chicken breast.  Mix the diced apple, blackberries, lemon juice and bbq sauce and then spread over top of breasts.
Bake on medium low setting for 5 hours.

Final outcome ~ I served on white rice

Pumpkin Cinnamon Muffins hot from the oven

The aroma of fresh baked goods is a wonderful experience, especially when cinnamon is involved.  These muffins have a cinnamon streusel topping and cinnamon chips inside.  Double the flavor.  A treat for your eyes when just out of the oven and the little pockets of molten cinnamon chips are visible on top of the muffin.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Muffins

1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg slightly beaten
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup  sugar
3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup cinnamon chips

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp butter, softened

Mix together pumpkin, buttermilk, canola oil and egg.  Add in white sugar, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.  Hand mix in 1/2 cup cinnamon chips.   Fill each muffin cup 1/2 full.

Mix together brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and butter to make the streusel.  Sprinkle on top of muffin batter.
Servings: 12

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pumpkin Waffles & Cinnamon Syrup

I think I should spend some time decorating my home in a fall theme since it has taken over the kitchen.  Tonight I made pumpkin waffles to try something new and different.  They were so good that I'm looking forward to making this recipe over and over.  I'm glad now I bought the new liquid freezer containers for the extra syrup that I made.  The waffles and syrup were the perfect compliment for each other.

Pumpkin Waffles

1 cup pumpkin
1 cup buttermilk
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 dash nutmeg

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  In a larger bowl, combine pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter and buttermilk.  Add in egg whites.  Gradually add in dry ingredients.  Bake as per waffle manufacturers instructions.

Servings: 8

Cinnamon Syrup

1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
1 cup evaporated milk

In a large saucepan, mix together corn syrup, sugar, water and spices.  Bring to a boil for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.  Stir in evaporated milk.  Serve warm

Crock Pot Chili ~

I'm getting ready for the cooler temperatures forecasted for next week and what better way to do that than with chili. 

Crock Pot Chili

1 - 15 oz can Light Red Kidney Beans, drained
1 - 15 oz can Cannellini White Kidney Beans, drained
1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
1 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, cooked
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
chili powder to taste
1 tsp oregano

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Add all ingredients to crock pot.  Cover and cook on low 4 hours. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Caramel Apple Butter & Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

Fall is in the air and it's my favorite season for weather and the harvest of fruits and vegetables.  Here's a snack that I like to make and I give the caramel apple butter as gifts.

Caramel Apple Butter

3 lbs apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
25 caramel candies (about 1 ounce)

Put chopped apples into a crockpot with water and lemon juice.  Cook until apples are tender. Puree apples in a food mill or food processor.

Add sugar and bring to a low boil.  Add spices.  Add in caramels and stir well.

Put into clean, dry jars leaving 1/2" head space.  Put into boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

Great with caramel apple butter.

8 small Flour tortillas
3 tbsp butter melted
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Cut flour tortillas like a pizza into 8 wedges.  Brush with melted butter.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake for 5 minutes at 325°F

The cute bowls are from the Food Network Store.  I can't say I recommend them.  They look nice but they do not stack very well at all so they take up way too much cupboard space.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Iced Orange Muffins

I've wanted to make an orange muffin/cupcake to expand upon a family orange cookie recipe that is one of my favorites.

Iced Orange Muffins

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp grated orange peel

Beat egg whites until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Add in orange juice and vanilla.  Add in egg yolks.  Gently fold in beaten egg whites.  Gradually add in dry ingredients.  Bake for 15 minutes at 325°F or until tops are a light golden brown.  Let cool and then ice.  Makes 12 jumbo muffins

Orange Icing

2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp orange rind
2 tsp melted butter
1 tbsp Patron Citronge (optional but fun)
orange juice to spread