Monday, November 8, 2010

Homemade Hot Fudge

Dresses up your brownies and ice cream, making it "an occasion". This recipe makes a quart of fudge, and will keep in the fridge for several weeks. Also good eaten cold with a spoon when you just need "a little something chocolate"! :)

1 stick real butter
6 oz. chocolate chips
1 - 13oz. can evaporated milk
2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Melt butter and chocolate chips in medium saucepan. Stir until smooth. Add evaporated milk and powdered sugar. Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Makes one quart. (I keep mine in a glass quart canning jar) To reheat, microwave for 20 seconds, stir, and pour.

Easy Minestrone Soup

Turns out the Williams-Sonoma Kids' Cookbook has some of the easiest, most delicious recipes around. Like this one.

1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 lb. sausage (I use Jimmy Dean Reduced Fat pork sausage in the soft tube)
1 T. butter
1 medium zucchini, diced with skin on
4 c. chicken broth
1/3 c. dry spaghetti, broken into short pieces
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 can (24 oz.) crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Shredded Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in large pot. Add carrot, onion, celery, and sausage and saute over medium heat until sausage is cooked through (no pink left). Add chicken broth, tomatoes, zucchini, spaghetti, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a LOW BOIL and cook until spaghetti and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Plum Apple Crisp

One time my mom made apple crisp for some sort of Young Women activity at the church. I was about 12 or 13. This was my all-time favorite dessert, so when it came time to serve it up, I took about a third of the pan. Hey, there were other desserts too! My Beehive advisor told me (I remember it being more of a snapping) to put back about half of what I had taken. "Leave some for everyone else!" she exclaimed, astonished that I would have the audacity to take such a greedy amount.

Hmph. What can I say? Fruit crisp is my absolute fave. I found this new rendition tonight and after tweaking it a little, here it is! I liked the idea of tossing the fruit with some of the cinnamony mixture first. Enjoy it my friends, and may you always unabashedly take large helpings.

2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 medium plums, pitted and thinly sliced
1/2 C butter, melted, divided
1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar, divided
1 T lemon juice
1 T + 1/3 C flour, divided
3/4 t ground cinnamon, divided
1 C rolled oats
1/4 C chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 t ground ginger
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, lemon juice, flour and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Add apples and plums; toss to coat well. Place in an 9 x 12 inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl combine oats, remaining 1/4 cup butter, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, nuts, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and ginger until well blended. Crumble over fruit. Bake 30 minutes or until fruit is tender and topping is lightly browned.

Serve warm with softened ice cream, if desired.

Makes 6 servings (or about 3 big-bowl servings).

You can also use 2 sliced peaches or nectarines in place of the plums.

Punkin Pancakes

These little guys are thick and to die for. I stole the recipe from Women's Services, but the picture is my own! This will satisfy your pumpkin fix without a problem. A perfect way to begin your Saturday...or any day!

Makes 12 pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar (I left this out...)

1. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

We topped our lil stack with chopped pecans, sliced apples, and maple syrup. Wash it down with apple cider with cinnamon. Mmmmm, fall.

Baked Potato Soup

Just made this last night and was reminded how much we love it! Tastes like a baked potato "with everything" on it ... serve with a green salad and crusty French bread.

4 large potatoes, scrubbed and baked (best if baked in the oven v. the microwave: 400 degrees for one hour)
4 T. butter
3 T. flour
6 c. milk
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, grated
8 slices crisp bacon
4 green onions, sliced

In large pot, melt butter. Add flour to make a roux, and cook while bubbling for one minute. Add milk and stir. Halve baked potatoes and scoop out centers into a small bowl. Partially mash. Cut up HALF of potato skins into bite-sized pieces and add, with mashed potato, to warm milk mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Stir over medium heat until soup starts to thicken, a couple of minutes. Add sour cream, cheese, bacon, and green onions. Heat through. Serve with a sprinkle of green onion on top, for color of course!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Holiday Trifle

I chose holiday trifle to be the treat after my baptism. I've loved it since I was a wee girl of eight and I don't love it any less now! When I made it for the first time, the layers were not as beautiful as when my mom makes it, but it still tasted divine. I guess I just need to practice.

Also, Mom says she doubles this recipe for Christmas festivities. All parenthetical notes are from her.

A mini version of the real thing. From Google. Don't chya know?

1 angel food cake (I prefer pound cake, found in the bakery or frozen section of grocery store)
1 large package vanilla pudding (COOK & SERVE), prepared and slightly cooled
1 large package berry-flavored Jell-o (I usually use raspberry)
1 - 10 oz. package frozen berries to go with Jell-0 (raspberries)
Whipped cream (or Cool Whip)
Sliced bananas
Sliced almonds (optional)

Prepare pudding and set aside.  Prepare Jello-o half-way by just adding boiling water, dissolving by stirring for a couple of minutes, then adding FROZEN berries.  (Don't add cold water) (It will start to thicken up immediately)  Layer three times in trifle dish:  bite-sized pieces of cake, partially-set Jell-o with berries, partially-cooled pudding.  Top with whipped cream and sliced bananas (right before serving).

Chinese Chicken Salad

This can be added to Kaylie's bridal shower salad category. Woot woot! I loved to sneak little bites of ramen when my mom made this growing up. I love how easy and fast this is to make: just slice up the stuff and throw it all into a bowl together. Love it.

1 head green cabbage, diced
8 green onions, chopped
2 packages Ramen noodles, dry and crumbled (set aside seasoning packets)
4 chicken breasts, poached and chopped
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
4 T. sesame seeds

4 T. sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
6 T. white vinegar
2 t. salt
2 t. pepper
Contents of BOTH Ramen seasoning packets

Combine ingredients for dressing in a jar with a lid.  Shake and set aside until right before serving.