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