Friday, May 22, 2009

Puff Pancakes

1 TB butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 TB butter

Heat oven to 425 In the oven heat 1 TBs butter in 10 inch pie pan for 10-13 minutes or until butter is all melted and starts to sizzle.
Mix all dry ingredients and eggs at medium speed. Gradually add milk and remaining butter. Pour batter into hot pie pan. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 bake for an additional 10-12 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. A well will form in the center and edges will puff up.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Magic Peanut Butter Middles


INGREDIENTS (Nutrition)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
DIRECTIONS
In small bowl blend flour, cocoa and baking soda. Mix until well blended.
In large bowl beat sugar, butter or margarine and 1/4 cup peanut butter, until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beat. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Set aside.
To make Filling: Combine confectioner's sugar and 3/4 cup peanut butter. Blend well.
Roll filling into 30 - 1 inch balls. For each cookie, with floured hands, shape about 1 Tablespoon of dough around 1 peanut butter ball, covering completely. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with glass dipped in sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7-9 minutes. When cookies are done, they should be set and slightly cracked.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hash Brown Quiche


Ingredients
3 cups, shredded frozen hash browns, thawed and drained
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
1/2 cup diced green onions
1 cup shredded Cheddar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. In a 9-inch pie plate, toss the hash browns with the melted butter into the plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Creole Shrimp and Lobster Bisque


Ingredients
2 steamed fresh lobster tails or I will use lobster meat from COSTCO (in season)
4 tablespoons butter
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound steamed medium size fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
Directions
Remove lobster meat from shell; coarsely chop and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Add lobster meat and shrimp. Stir in half-and-half and Creole seasoning; cook for 10 minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately.

Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup


Ingredients
nocoupons
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup sliced carrots (about 3 small)
2 1/2 cups sliced zucchini (about 2 medium)
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
2 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth
Grated Parmesan, optional
Directions
In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion and carrot, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Top each serving with grated Parmesan, if desired.

Lemon Blossoms



18 1/2-ounce package yellow cake mix
3 1/2-ounce package instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Glaze:
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray miniature muffin tins with vegetable oil cooking spray. Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil and blend well with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour a small amount of batter, filling each muffin tin half way. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn out onto a tea towel

To make the glaze, sift the sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 tablespoons water. Mix with a spoon until smooth.

With fingers, dip the cupcakes into the glaze while they're still warm, covering as much of the cake as possible, or spoon the glaze over the warm cupcakes, turning them to completely coat. Place on wire racks with waxed paper underneath to catch any drips. Let the glaze set thoroughly, about 1 hour, before storing in containers with tight-fitting lids.

Pig on a Stick


Ingredients
2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dora's Jerk Seasoning, recipe follows
Caribbean Dipping Sauce, recipe follows
Special equipment: 2 dozen (10-inch) wooden skewers soaked in water for 20 minutes, then drained well.
Directions
Cut tenderloin in half crosswise. Cut each half lengthwise into 4-inch thin strips. Place pork in a heavy duty re-sealable plastic bag.

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, and jerk seasoning. Pour over pork. Seal bag, and marinate pork in refrigerator, 1 hour.

Turn on broiler.

When ready to cook the pork, line a broiler pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease rack and place on pan. Remove pork from bag; discard marinade.

Thread pork onto skewers in an "s" shape. Place skewers in a single layer on a prepared pan. Broil 5 inches from heat for 8 minutes, turning once. Serve warm with Caribbean Dipping Sauce.

Dora's Jerk Seasoning:

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed Scotch bonnet pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried chives

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 1/2 cup


Caribbean Dipping Sauce:

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 (18-ounce) jar orange marmalade

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add pepper and ginger, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in marmalade, lime juice, and salt. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

*Cook's Note: Jalapeno peppers are extremely hot. We recommend wearing disposable gloves when handling them.

Yield: 2 cups

Caribbean Dipping Sauce

Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 (18-ounce) jar orange marmalade
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add pepper and ginger, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in marmalade, lime juice, and salt. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

*Cook's Note: Jalapeno peppers are extremely hot. We recommend wearing disposable gloves when handling them.

Spicy Cinnamon Cake


Ingredients
1 (18-ounce) package spice cake mix
1 (4 serving) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup corn oil
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 10-inch tube pan. Combine cake mix, instant pudding, sour cream, eggs, and corn oil and beat together well. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Pour half of batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with sugar mixture, reserving a little to sprinkle on top. Pour the rest of batter into pan and sprinkle with the rest of sugar mixture. Bake 1 hour. Let cool and remove from pan.

Banana Split Brownie Pizza


Ingredients
1 (20-ounce) box fudge brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
2 tablespoons sugar
2 bananas, sliced and tossed in lemon juice to prevent browning
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup chopped nuts
Chocolate ice cream topping or chocolate syrup, for drizzling
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 15-inch pizza pan. Prepare the brownie mix according to box directions. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until done. Remove from the oven and cool. Beat the cream cheese, pineapple, and sugar together in a bowl. Use any reserved pineapple juice at this time, if needed, to soften the mixture to a good spreading consistency. Otherwise dispose of or save the juice for another use. Spread the mixture over the cooled brownie crust. Arrange the banana and strawberry slices over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts and drizzle with chocolate ice cream topping. Refrigerate. To serve, slice as you would a pizza, and enjoy!

Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich



1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 to 3 ripe bananas
8 slices white bread
Topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Directions
In a frying pan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Make sure butter does not burn. In a small bowl mix together the peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon. Slice the bananas into 1/4-inch thick slices. Spread the peanut butter mixture on 4 slices of bread and cover with banana slices. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Spread the remaining butter on both sides of the sandwiches. Grill the sandwiches in the frying pan until each side is golden brown.

For topping, combine the sugar and cinnamon in shallow plate. Coat the grilled sandwiches with the mixture. Cut diagonally and serve hot.

Lobster Rolls


Ingredients
4 (1 1/2-pound) cooked lobsters or 4 lobster tails or 1 1/2 pounds lobster meat
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 inner celery stalks and leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 rolls, split and lightly toasted
Melted butter, for brushing
Directions
Remove the meat from the lobsters, chopping any large chunks into bite-size pieces. In a bowl, combine the lobster meat, mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook's Note: Place lobster salad in refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes. This allows the salad to absorb the flavorings.

Brush cut sides of the rolls with melted butter and fill with the lobster salad.

Orange Brownies


Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 recipe Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

Orange Brownies:
Stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and orange zest. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven, allow to cool and pierce entire cake with a fork. Spread the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting over completely cooled brownies. Cut into squares.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons softened butter
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter and cream cheese together with a hand-held electric mixer. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until it is all combined and smooth. Beat in the orange zest and juice. Spread over brownies.

The Best Bread Pudding


Ingredients
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large beaten eggs
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups cubed Italian bread, allow to stale overnight in a bowl
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans
For the sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup brandy
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and pecans.

Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

For the sauce:
Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. Pour over bread pudding. Serve warm or cold.

Lemon Cake


Ingredients
Cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups sifted self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Lemon wedge, for garnish
Mint sprig, for garnish
Frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Filling:
8 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 lemons, zest grated and juiced
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.

To make the cake: Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter, then dropping flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks. Cool completely.

To make the frosting: Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

To make the filling: Place the ingredients in the double boiler over boiling water. Don't let top pan touch the water. Cook and stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To assemble, add 1 tablespoon of filling to the cake pedestal. Run hands along the side of the cake to remove excess crumbs. Place the cake layers on the pedestal, spreading filling between the layers and on top. Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining filling. Frost top and sides of cake with frosting. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of mint.

Hidden Treasure Cookies


Ingredients
18-ounce roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough, sliced 1/4-inch thin
14-ounce package chocolate mint wafers, mini snickers, mini pb cups, or any treat you want to hide in the middle
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, or enough to cover top of cookies
Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Slightly grease a cookie sheet. Place slices of sugar cookies on sheet, about 2 to 3 inches apart. Top each with a chocolate wafer. Cover wafer with another slice of cookie dough. Brush dough with a beaten egg. Press nuts into top of dough. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Italian Chicken Sticks


Ingredients
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
11/2 teaspoons dried thyme
11/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch ground red pepper
8 boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
Marinara sauce or honey mustard, for dipping
Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a pie plate or platter, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, thyme, basil, oregano, salt, garlic powder, and red pepper. Dip the chicken strips in the melted butter, then dredge them in the bread crumb mixture. Place the chicken strips in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken sticks hot with marinara sauce, or serve hot or cold with honey mustard.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle


Ingredients
2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional
Directions
Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl.

Pumpkin Cheesecake


Ingredients
Crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick melted salted butter
Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust:
In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

For filling:
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.

Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Buttery Fingers

Ingredients
1 cup chopped pecans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1(16-ounce) box powdered sugar
Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients except for powdered sugar. Roll into small "fingers" or balls. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Roll immediately in powdered sugar.

Almond Chocolate Balls

Ingredients
2 (16-ounce) boxes confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 (14-ounce) package shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
1 (12-ounce) package chocolate chips
Directions
Cream together sugar and butter in a bowl; add milk. Stir in almond extract, coconut, and nuts; mix well. Form candy into 1-inch balls. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler, stirring well. Remove from heat but allow chocolate to remain over hot water. (If chocolate becomes too thick, return to heat for a minute or so to thin). With a toothpick, dip each ball in chocolate and place on waxed paper until set.

Pecan Praline Morsels

Ingredients
2 cups whole pecans
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream
Cooking spray
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine pecans, brown sugar, and heavy cream. Spread into a square baking pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until coating is dry, and slightly crystallized, stirring once. Remove from oven to cool and stir once more. If not serving immediately, store in an airtight container.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pumpkin Bars


Ingredients
Bars:
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Icing:
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

Almond Danish Swirls

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup slivered almonds, chopped fine
2 (8-ounce) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 egg white
1 teaspoon water
Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, almond extract, and sugar until fluffy. Fold half of the chopped almonds into the cream cheese mixture. Separate 1 can of dough and assemble into 4 rectangles. Firmly press the perforations to seal. Press or roll each piece of dough to form a 7 by 4-inch rectangle, and spread each with about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese filling to within 1/4-inch of the edges. Starting at the short end, roll each rectangle tightly into a cylinder. Repeat with the other can of dough and remaining filling.
Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F while the rolls are chilling.
Remove from the refrigerator and cut each roll into 4 slices. Place 1/2-inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. In a small bowl, combine the egg white with 1 teaspoon water. Brush over the swirls. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped almonds. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until light brown.
While the swirls are baking, combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Cool the swirls for 3 minutes on wire racks placed over a sheet of waxed paper. Drizzle the icing over the warm swirls.

White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies


Ingredients
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup candied cherries sometimes I use cran-rasiins
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks
Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Set aside.

Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add milk to the butter mixture and then add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Batter should be stiff.

In another bowl, combine nuts, cherries, and white chocolate. Then add to batter, stirring only to blend. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for approximately 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Grilled Pineapple Pound Cake a la Mode


Ingredients
1 (20 ounce) can sliced pineapple
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 slices pound cake
Raspberries, for topping
Nuts, for topping
Whipped cream, for topping
Directions
Drain pineapple, reserving 1/3 cup juice and 6 pineapple rings (save remaining juice and pineapple for another use).

Combine butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Brush half of the mixture on both sides of pineapple rings and cake slices.

On an uncovered grill over medium heat, cook pineapple and cake for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown, brushing occasionally with remaining pineapple juice mixture.

Top each slice of cake with a pineapple ring. Top with raspberries, nuts and whipped cream, if desired. Serve immediately.

Cherry Cream Cheese Pie


Ingredients
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling, chilled
Directions
In either a stand mixer fixed with a paddle attachment or using a hand held electric mixer, cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly add the milk mixing on low speed until well combined. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla and pour into the crust. Place the pie into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours up to overnight, until well chilled and set.

Top the pie with the pie filling just before serving.

Three Cheese Hot Artichoke Dip


Ingredients
1 (8 ounces) block cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (14 ounces) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Dash hot sauce
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand held electric mixer until smooth. Then beat in the mayonnaise until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and stir together until combined. Transfer the dip to a pie plate or shallow gratin dish. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the dip is bubbling. Serve hot with crackers, tortilla chips, crostini or veggies.

Cheese on the Cob


Ingredients
1/2 cup mayonnaise
5 ears corn, husks and silk removed
1 cup shredded Parmesan
Chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Prepare grill.

Brush a thin layer of mayonnaise on corn. Sprinkle the corn with cheese, chili powder, salt and pepper. Wrap each corn with foil and place on the grill. Turn occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes (until kernels begin to brown). Serve warm.

Smoky Portobello Soup


Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 cup chopped sweet onions
8 medium portobello mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 cup white wine
8 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 cups white roux (1 stick of butter and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour; cook slowly over low heat)
1 quart heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Croutons, sour cream, and sliced chives, for garnish
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine 1/4 cup of olive oil and 3 drops of liquid smoke. Toss 4 of the Portobello mushrooms in oil mixture and roast them in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. Chop mushrooms into cubes. In a large pot, saute the onions in olive oil. Once onions are sauteed, add uncooked portobello mushrooms and garlic. After mushrooms and garlic are cooked add roasted mushrooms, white wine and chicken broth and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and place mixture in blender. Add roux to pot. Blend in heavy cream. Place mixture back in pot on stove and add roux. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with croutons, sour cream and sliced chives.

Country Fried Steak with Biscuits and Gravy


Ingredients
Steak and Gravy:
1 1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 (4-ounce) tenderized beef round steak (have butcher run them through cubing machine)
1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
2 cups buttermilk
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 quart whole milk
1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (recommended: Ac'cent), optional
1 bunch green onions, or 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
Basic Biscuits:
1 package yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup solid shortening (recommended: Crisco)
2 cups buttermilk
Directions
Steak and Gravy: Combine 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle 1 side of the meat with the House Seasoning and the other side with the seasoning salt, and then dredge the meat in buttermilk and then flour. Heat 1/2 cup oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 or 4 of the steaks to the hot oil and fry until browned, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove each steak to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining steaks, adding up to 1/4 cup more oil, as needed.

Make the gravy by adding the 2 tablespoons remaining flour to the pan drippings, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the flour is medium brown and the mixture is bubbly. Slowly add the whole milk and the Ac'cent, if using stirring constantly. Return the steaks to the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and place the onions on top of the steaks. Cover the pan, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Biscuits: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside. Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening. Add yeast and buttermilk and mix well. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and roll out to desired thickness. Cut with small biscuit cutter and place on greased baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Split biscuits in half and top with country fried steak and drizzle with gravy.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Zucchini Custard Bake


Ingredients
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 pounds zucchini, cut into small pieces
3 eggs
1/2 cup undiluted evaporated milk or light cream
2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine melted butter and zucchini. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside and let zucchini cool before adding eggs to avoid them becoming scrambled. Beat eggs with milk; add bread crumbs, onion, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Mix well. Let zucchini cool. Combine mixture with zucchini, stirring until blended. Turn into a buttered 1 1/2 quart casserole. Sprinkle top with remaining Parmesan. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes. If the dish has been refrigerated, allow about 10 minutes longer baking time.

McCall's Plantation Shrimp Salad

Ingredients
2 pounds shrimp, cleaned and de-veined
1 package shrimp seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
1 cup rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green olives
Black pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
Directions
Boil shrimp in water, to cover, with shrimp seasoning just until pink. Drain and reserve the shrimp boil water. Chop shrimp into bite-size chunks, put on paper towels; set aside to cool. In the reserved water, boil the rice according to package instructions until tender, drain and set aside. Add the onion, olives, and black pepper, to taste, to the rice. Then stir in the mayonnaise. Add the cooled, dry shrimp last. Toss and serve.

Thyme Mustard Catfish

4 fillets of catfish
1/4 cup dry thyme
2 cups yellow mustard
Seasoned flour, enough for dredging
Directions
Spread mustard and thyme over catfish. For best results marinate overnight.

Preheat grease to 350 degrees F.

Dust fish with seasoned flour patting off excess. Deep-fry until golden brown.

Chicken Empanadas


Ingredients
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
Water
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and next 7 ingredients. Unroll 1 piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining piecrusts, making 12 to 15 circles total. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture. (Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month). Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Mixed Greens Tossed in Honey Vinaigrette


Ingredients
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup walnut oil
1 (10-ounce) package mixed salad greens
1 mango, seeded, peeled, diced
1 cup goat cheese (Chevre) crumbled I use feta cheese instead
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions
In a blender combine vinegar, mustard, honey, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, and some fresh ground black pepper. Cover and blend for 30 seconds. With the blender running slowly, add oil in a thin, steady stream. (If necessary, stop blender and scrape down sides.) In a salad bowl, combine greens, mango, goat cheese, and cranberries. Add mint sprigs, to liking; drizzle with dressing. Toss gently to coat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Chocolate Delight

Ingredients
1 (18 1/2-ounce) package devil's food chocolate cake mix
3 (3 1/2-ounce) packages instant chocolate pudding mix, regular or sugar free
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Chocolate sauce or syrup, any variety, for garnish
1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
Directions
Prepare the cake mix according to package directions and bake in a 13 by 9-inch pan. Let it cool thoroughly, then cut the cake into cubes about the size of walnuts.

Prepare the chocolate pudding according to package directions.

In a medium bowl, whip the cream with the sugar until stiff.

To assemble: In a trifle bowl, layer half the chocolate cake cubes, pudding, whipped cream, chocolate sauce or syrup and nuts. Repeat, layering the remaining ingredients, ending with whipped cream and nuts. Drizzle decoratively with chocolate sauce or syrup.

Fruit Punch

Ingredients
2 (6-ounce) cans frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 (6-ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (48-ounce) can pineapple juice
3 cups water
3 cups sugar
2 pints strawberries, hulled
1 (1-liter) bottle lemon-lime soda (recommended: Sprite)
Directions
Combine the orange juice, lemonade, and pineapple juice and stir well.

Bring 3 cups water and the sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan and boil until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Add the syrup to the fruit juices.

Place the whole strawberries into a ring mold. Pour in enough fruit juice to fill the mold. Freeze. Refrigerate the remaining juice.

When ready to serve, pour the fruit juice into a punch bowl and add the soda. Float the strawberry ice ring in the punch.

Spinach and Bacon Quiche

Ingredients
6 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Salt and pepper
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach, packed
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust, fitted to a 9-inch glass pie plate
Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Layer the spinach, bacon, and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. Cut into 8 wedges.

Taco Chili with Mix


Directions
Taco Chili Mix:

Ingredients
1 cup dried kidney beans
1/2 cup dried pinto beans
1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1-ounce) package buttermilk salad dressing mix
3 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups corn or tortilla chips
Taco Chili:

1 packet Taco Chili Mix

4 cups water
1 (11 3/4-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
For the mix: In a 1-quart wide mouth jar, layer kidney and pinto beans.

In a small bowl, combine taco seasoning mix, dried salad dressing mix, onion, chili powder, and cumin. Wrap seasonings in plastic wrap or cellophane and place in jar.

Put chips in a bag and place in jar. Decorate with ribbon or fabric.

For the chili: Place beans in a large bowl, cover with water and soak 6 to 8 hours, or overnight. Drain and add to a Dutch oven. Add seasoning packet, water, diced tomatoes and green chiles, tomato sauce, and ground beef.

Heat to boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours, or until beans are tender. Serve with corn or tortilla chips.

English Toffee


Ingredients
14 tablespoons (1 stick, plus 6 tablespoons) butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 chopped pecans
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Dash salt
1 (6-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips or thin chocolate bars
Directions
Generously butter a cookie sheet.

Put butter, sugar, and water in a heavy pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a bubbling boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove spoon from pan, and cook to a very brittle stage (300 degrees to 310 degrees F on a candy thermometer). Or, make a cold water test: candy will separate into hard, brittle threads when dropped in cold water. Remove from heat and add nuts to mixture. Add vanilla and salt. Pour onto prepared cookie sheet and spread to 1/4-inch thickness. Cool slightly, top with chocolate chips or chocolate bars, and spread as it melts. Cool completely and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Southwestern Dip


Directions
Southwestern Dip Mix:

Ingredients to make the sw dip mix to give as gifts in a jar
1/2 cup dried parsley flakes
1/3 cup dried minced onion
1/3 cup chili powder
1/4 cup dried chives
1/4 cup ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons Southwestern Dip Mix to make actual dip
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
In a medium bowl, combine parsley, onion, chili powder, chives, cumin, and salt. Package in decorative jar or cellophane bag.

In a medium bowl, combine dip mix, sour cream, and mayonnaise; stir until smooth. Refrigerate at least 2 hours for flavors to blend. Serve with chips or fresh vegetables.

Five Layer Bars


Ingredients
Five Layer Bar Mix:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butterscotch morsels
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 jar Five Layer Bar Mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Directions
In a decorative jar, layer pecans, butterscotch morsels, coconut, and chocolate morsels. Spoon graham cracker crumbs into a small plastic or cellophane bag and place on top of the layers.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove graham cracker crumbs from jar. Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle remaining ingredients of mix over crumb mixture. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the layers. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into bars.

Creamy Apple Butter

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 cup apple butter




Whip the cream cheese and apple butter together. Serve with bread.

Lemon Linguine


Ingredients
nocoupons
1 (8-ounce) package linguine
1/4 cup minced onion or shallot
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, divided
1 tablespoon milk
1 3/4 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 medium lemon)
1 whole lemon, zested
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
Directions
Cook linguini according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

In a skillet, cook onion or shallots and garlic in butter, stirring constantly until tender, not brown. Stir in sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, milk, lemon-pepper, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over linguini. Toss gently, adding chopped parsley, chives, and remaining Parmesan. Serve warm.

Sour Cream Muffins

Ingredients
2 cups self-rising flour
2 sticks butter, melted
1/2 pint sour cream
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients and spoon into small, un-greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Cheese Noodles

Ingredients
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 grated onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 (6-ounce) package very fine egg noodles, cooked
1 cup grated Parmesan
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together cottage cheese, sour cream, grated onion, Worcestershire sauce and garlic salt. Add noodles and place in greased casserole. Sprinkle top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for 45 minutes.

Jacket Potato with Bacon, Mushroom, and Peppercorn Sauce

Ingredients
4 medium-sized russet or other baking potatoes, well scrubbed
12 ounces bacon, chopped
8 ounces sliced button mushrooms
1/4 cup brandy
1 tablespoon green peppercorns, drenched in cold water
1 cup cream
Salt and pepper
Butter, for topping
Directions
Potato: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prick potatoes with a fork and bake until soft, about 1 hour.

Sauce: Saute bacon, add button mushrooms and cook until golden brown. Pour brandy first into a measuring cup (for safety) and then into the pan and carefully ignite with a long match. After the alcohol burns off and the flame has died, stir in the peppercorns. Stir in the cream and heat through, without boiling. Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cut open baked potatoes. Top each with a spoonful of butter, then cover generously with sauce.

Banoffee Pie

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
10 tablespoons butter, softened
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
3 large bananas
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix graham cracker crumbs with softened butter and press mixture into 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes.

Lower the oven to 300 degrees F for the toffee filling.

To create toffee filling, caramelize the sweetened condensed milk. Pour the condensed milk into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Cover with foil and place dish inside a larger poaching pan. Add water to poaching pan until half way up sides of baking dish. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Once both the crust and toffee filling are cooled, spread half of the filling evenly inside crust. Slice the bananas and layer on top of filling. Pour remaining half of filling over bananas, spreading evenly. Whip the cream with the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and spread on top of toffee filling and bananas.

Hot and Spicy Salsa


Ingredients
2 fresh jalapenos
1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic
1 banana pepper
1 lime, juice
1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 can diced tomatoes
Directions
Put everything but the tomatoes in a food processor. Chop until diced. Add the tomatoes. Serve with chips.

Cook's Note: This recipe can be very hot. And can be made without the jalapeno seeds and veins to make it less hot.


House Seasoning:

1 cup salt

1/4 cup black pepper

1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

BLT Appetizer Dip

Ingredients
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
Iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 large vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 pound lean bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Sea salt bagel chips or crackers whatever you like to dip into
Directions
Combine the mayonnaise and sour cream in a small bowl with a snap-on lid. When well mixed, refrigerate until serving time. When ready to serve, place the mayonnaise mixture in a large serving bowl. Top with the lettuce, tomatoes and bacon. Serve with bagel chips.

Banana Split Cake

Ingredients
4 cups crushed graham crackers
3 sticks butter, room temperature
2 eggs
16-ounce box powdered sugar
20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
2 to 3 bananas, sliced
12-ounce container whipped topping
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust, mix crushed graham crackers and 1 stick of butter. Line bottom and sides of a 13 by 9-inch pan with mixture. Bake crust for 5 to 8 minutes.

Beat the eggs, 2 sticks butter, and the powdered sugar until fluffy. Spread mixture on cooled crust. Add layer of crushed pineapple and layer of sliced bananas. Cover with whipped topping and sprinkle with nuts or graham crackers. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Coleslaw

5 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cups almonds, toasted
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon honey mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper
Directions
Combine cabbage, almonds, cranberries, celery, green onions, and green pepper in a large plastic bowl with a snap-on lid. Combine all dressing ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour dressing over slaw just before serving. Stir well.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Garnish with chopped pecans and a fresh raspberry or strawberry.

Cook's Note: Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip.

Baby Back Racks


Ingredients
2 racks baby back ribs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
Directions
1 recipe Barbecue Sauce, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the racks of ribs in half crosswise. Rub the ribs, paying special attention to the meaty side, with 1/2 cup of the sauce. Lay the rib pieces meat side down in an 11 by 13-inch baking dish. The pieces will overlap slightly.

Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the meat begins to pull away from the ends of the bones and the ribs are just tender, about 1 hour.

*Cook's Note: You can bake the ribs up to a day before and keep them refrigerated. Bring refrigerated ribs to room temperature about 1 hour before you grill them.

Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.

Grill the ribs, brushing them with about half the remaining sauce, until they're crispy and heated through, about 10 minutes. Move the ribs around as they grill; the sugar in the barbecue sauce makes it easy for them to burn. Let the ribs rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting them into 1 or 2-bone pieces. Put out the rest of the sauce for dipping or brush it over the ribs.

Barbecue Sauce:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
3/4 chopped onion
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons yellow prepared mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons paprika
Pinch garlic powder
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Stir all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks.

Yield: 3 cups

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

German Chocolate Bars


INGREDIENTS
1 (18.25 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix
1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
optional: 1 cup coconut
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 13 x 9 inch pan.
Melt caramels with 1/3 cup condensed milk.
In a separate bowl, combine cake mix with melted butter or margarine and 1/2 cup of condensed milk. Stir well.
Spread 1/2 of the cake mix mixture in pan and bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and cover with caramels, chips and nuts and coconut. Put remaining cake mix on top. Bake for another 10 minutes.

Coconut-Cornflake Cookies


INGREDIENTS

3 egg whites
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups cornflakes cereal

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C).
Beat egg whites until stiff (the egg whites not your arm).
Stir in sugar, salt and vanilla.
Blend coconut and cornflakes and add to egg white mixture.
Drop on ungreased parchment paper. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Spring Lime Tea Cookies


INGREDIENTS
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons lime zest
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup white sugar

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine the 2 teaspoons of lime juice with the milk, let stand for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the lime zest and milk mixture. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda, blend into the creamed mixture. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges are light brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the glaze, stir together the remaining lime juice and sugar. Brush onto cooled cookies.

Lemon Sugar Tea Cookies


INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon lemon extract or 1 TBS of fresh lemon juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar

DIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl, cream together butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, corn syrup, and lemon extract. Stir in flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Cover dough, and chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll chilled dough into walnut sized balls. Roll balls in remaining sugar, and place on the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.

Cookie in a Jar


INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tps vanilla or almond extract

DIRECTIONS
In a 1 quart jar, layer the ingredients in the order listed. Pack down firmly after each addition.
Attach a tag with the following instructions: Cookie in a Jar 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 2. In a large bowl, cream 1/2 cup margarine until light and fluffy. Mix in 1 egg and 2 tablespoons water. Add the entire contents of the jar, and stir until well blended. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. 3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Cinnamon Cookies


INGREDIENTS
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Cream together butter and sugar.
Mix in egg and molasses, blending well.
Mix flour, baking soda and cinnamon; add to creamed mixture, mixing well.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Gooey Butter Cookies


INGREDIENTS
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add cake mix, and stir until well blended. Roll into 1inch balls and roll the balls in the confectioners' sugar. Place 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Cake Mix Cookies 2


INGREDIENTS
2 eggs
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS
Mix together cake mix, eggs and oil in a large bowl.
Make little balls with the dough and set on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 4 - 10 minutes.

I have also used strawberry cake mix and added in white chocolate chips and pecans

Cake Mix Cookies


INGREDIENTS
1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, butter and eggs until smooth and well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie


INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Pork Chops with Raspberry Sauce


INGREDIENTS
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 (4 ounce) boneless pork loin chops
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C). In a small bowl, combine crushed thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Rub evenly over pork chops.
Melt butter and olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Cook pork chops for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, turning once. Remove from skillet and keep warm in preheated oven.
In the skillet, combine raspberry jam, orange juice, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until sauce is reduced to desired consistency (sauce will thicken as it cools). Spoon sauce in a pool onto a serving plate, and top with pork chops. Garnish with sprigs of thyme.
FOOTNOTE
You may substitute 1 teaspoon minced fresh herbs for 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon Fillets


INGREDIENTS
6 (5 ounce) salmon fillets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Coat a small saucepan with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook and stir garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Mix in white wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Arrange salmon fillets on foil-lined baking sheet. Brush fillets with balsamic glaze, and sprinkle with oregano.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 14 minutes, or until flesh flakes easily with a fork. Brush fillets with remaining glaze, and season with salt and pepper. Use a spatula to transfer fillets to serving platter, leaving the skin behind on the

Monday, May 4, 2009

Chili in a Biscuit Bowl


Ingredients
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups biscuit baking mix (recommended: Bisquick)
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Flour, for dusting the work surface
1 pound ground chuck
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 (14-ounce) cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
Toppings:
Shredded sharp Cheddar
Sour cream
Sliced green onions (white and green parts)
Corn chips
Directions
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Invert a muffin tin and spray the underside with vegetable oil cooking spray.


Stir together the baking mix, milk, and cayenne. Shape into a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 3 or 4 times. Divide the ball into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a 6-inch circle. Place a dough circle over the back of each muffin cup. Press around the cup to form a bowl shape. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool slightly. Remove the biscuit bowls and reserve.


Brown the ground chuck over medium heat in a Dutch oven. Add the onion and green pepper and continue to cook until the meat is completely browned and the vegetables are tender. Drain off any fat and discard. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, chili powder, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 35 minutes.


When ready to serve, spoon the hot chili into the biscuit bowls. Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, and corn chips.

Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole

Ingredients
1 (8-ounce) package wild rice
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 (10 3/4-ounce can) condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar
Salt and pepper
Directions
Cook the rice according to package directions minus 1/4 cup water. Drain and cool.

Bring 2 cups water and 1/2 tablespoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan and cook the shrimp for 1 minute. Drain immediately and set aside.

Heat the butter in saucepan and saute the pepper and onion until soft, about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the rice, soup, 1 1/2 cups of cheese, shrimp and vegetables. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well. Spray a 9-inch square aluminum cake pan or an 11 by 7-inch glass casserole dish with vegetable spray. Place the mixture in the pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Crab-Stuffed Shrimp

Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 1/2 teaspoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Dash cayenne pepper
1/2 cup saltine cracker crumbs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 pound crabmeat, picked over
1 pound extra-large or jumbo shrimp (about 24 shrimp), peeled, deveined, tails on
12 slices bacon, halved crosswise
Steamed white rice, for serving, optional
Basil Cream Sauce, recipe follows
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook green onions, green pepper and garlic powder until peppers are limp. Place in mixing bowl and add cream, mustard and cayenne pepper to sauteed vegetables, mix well.

Add cracker crumbs, mayonnaise, egg, parsley and lemon juice; mix well. Gently fold in crabmeat. Form into small patties sized to stuff into shrimp; set aside.

Split shrimp down the bottom center to tail, being careful not to cut through. Stuff each shrimp with crabmeat mixture. Wrap shrimp in bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place on a baking pan and cook at 350 degrees until bacon is crisp and shrimp are pink, about 15 to 20 minutes.

To serve, arrange 6 shrimp on each plate on a bed of rice, if desired. Drizzle with Basil Cream Sauce.

Basil Cream Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup diced onions

1/4 cup white wine

1/2 quart heavy cream

1 teaspoon chicken base

3 tablespoons Pesto, recipe follows

1 teaspoon Roux, recipe follows

Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add garlic and onion and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and reduce by half. Add heavy cream and chicken base and reduce by half again. Add pesto and roux, bring to a simmer and heat until slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings

Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1 cup walnut pieces

1 cup grated Parmesan

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup olive oil

In a food processor, blend all ingredients until a coarse paste is formed. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

Roux:

4 ounces (1 stick) butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Slowly add flour and stir until lightly browned. Leftover roux can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Yield: about 1 1/4 cups

Potato Soup with Shrimp

Ingredients
1/2 stick butter
1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced about the same size as the onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups milk, whole, reduced fat (2 percent) or low fat (1 percent)
2 chicken bouillon cubes, dissolved in 1/2 cup hot milk
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups salted water
1 pound medium shrimp
Crumbled bacon bits, for garnish
Grated sharp Cheddar, for garnish
Dill sprigs, optional garnish
Directions
In a 4-quart saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion and carrots until both are slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, milk, and dissolved bouillon cubes. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft and some of them have begun to dissolve into mush. Add the half-and-half, salt, and pepper.

In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups lightly salted water to a boil. Add the shrimp all at once and stir well. Watch the shrimp closely; as soon as they all turn pink, about 2 to 3 minutes, turn off the heat and drain. The shrimp should be slightly undercooked. When they are cool, peel them, and chop roughly into big chunks. Add the shrimp to the soup and stir well. Serve soup sprinkled with bacon bits and grated cheese. Garnish with dill sprigs, if desired.

Cook's Note: If you don't have access to shrimp, use corn.

Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes


Ingredients
6 large Idaho potatoes
Vegetable oil, for coating
8 tablespoons butter
2 cups grated cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling
2 cups grated Monterey Jack
2 cups sour cream
Salt and pepper
1 pound shrimp, peeled and Sauteed
Paprika
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Begin by washing potatoes, drying them, and gently pricking them with a fork on the sides. Coat each potato with vegetable oil, place on foil covered pan, and bake for approximately 1 hour.

Place the butter in a large bowl. Remove the potatoes from the oven and slice each potato in half. Gently scoop out the potato and place in the bowl. Using a mixer on high, mix the potatoes, butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Fold the shrimp and both cheeses into the mixture. Gently stuff the mixture back into the potato shells, making sure not to break them. Pile the mixture as high as you can on top of the potato shells. Sprinkle each potato with cheese and paprika for color. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 to 30 minutes until browned on top.