Friday, February 20, 2009

White Chocolate Fondue

White Chocolate Fondue

1 cup heavy cream
½ stick unsalted butter
2 packages (12 ounces each) white chocolate morsels

Dippers: Sliced apples, bananas, strawberries, cookies, pretzels, and cubed pound cake

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and butter. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat.
Add white morsels. Stir til melted and smooth. Cool slightly.

Transfer to a fondue pot, Serve with dippers.

Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup

Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 (15 oz.) can whole kennel corn, drained
2 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth
1 (10 oz.) can chunk chicken
1 (15 oz.) can black beans
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green Chile peppers, drained

Open the cans of corn, chicken broth, chunk chicken, black beans, and diced tomatoes with chiles. Pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I hate mac and cheese from a box. My mom used to make it from scratch and cook it in the oven, but her recipe requires an entire block of Velveeta cheese and it not my favorite. I found this online and everyone seemed to like it pretty well! I read all of the reviews at the end and made a few changes. I'll put them at the end. Enjoy!

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 45 min
Serves: 6-8 servings (there was plenty for our family of 5 with at least 2 servings left over)

-1/2 pound elbow macaroni
-3 tablespoons butter
-3 tablespoons flour
-1 tablespoon powered mustard
-3 cups milk
-1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
-1 bay leaf
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-1 large egg
-12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-fresh black pepper

-3 tablespoons butter
-1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour & mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it is free of lumps. Stir in the onion, milk, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving.

I used twirly pasta because I had it in the pantry. I also used less than 1/2 an onion and sauteed in a tiny bit of olive oil before adding it to the macaroni. I usually don't like onion but I'm trying to broaden my horizons. LOL

Make sure you don't cook the pasta too long. I pulled it out of the water when it was still a little crunchy in the middle. You don't want it to get mushy. Definitely use the sharp cheddar and use the full amount it calls for. I didn't get a big enough block so I substituted some 4 cheese blend and it wasn't "cheesy" enough. So I might use the full 12 oz in the mix and then use extra on top.

I could taste the butter in it later so next time I might half the roux.

And finally- the 1 cup of bread crumbs was WAY too much. Maybe it was the dish I used, but everyone said there were too many. I'll probably leave them out next time.

Let me know if you make any other adjustments!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Coconut Treats (samoas)

Coconut treats

(samoas-from food network magazine)

I did not order any cookies this year, trying to be better and resist temptation! However, when I came across the recipe, I could not resist trying it out! This way, I can make them year round, right??

3 TBS cold unsalted butter

1/3 cup flour

1 and ½ cups shredded coconut

2 tbs packed brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

5 oz. semi or bittersweet chocolate-finely chopped

Caramel or dulce de leche ice cream topping

Toast coconut in oven until golden brown, let cool for a few minutes. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with butter. Pulse the flour, ¼ cup coconut, brown sugar and salt in food processor until combined. Add the cold butter and pulse about 5 times, or until the mixture resembles wet sand with pea-sized pieces. Put 1 heaping tbs of the mixture in each muffin cup and press down. Bake until the crusts are golden about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from oven and sprinkle the chocolate evenly over each crust. Turn off the oven; return to pan to the oven to melt the chocolate, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle each crust with 1 TBS of the remaining coconut. Drizzle caramel topping over the coconut. Cool slightly, then freeze crusts in the pan until set, about 15 minutes. With a thin spatula, gently remove each crust from the muffin pan.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

1 1/2 C Warm Water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C oil
1/4 c sugar or honey
2 tsp dough enhancer (opt)
1 1/2 T vital gluten (opt)
1/4 C instant dry milk (opt)
1 Tablespoon yeast
4-4 1/2 c Wheat Flour (or 3 Cups wheat, 1 cup white flour)

Add all ingredients, except only 2 cups of flour. Mix Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until dough does not stick to bowl. Mix (knead) for 6 -8 minutes. Form into loaf. Place in greased loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Let rise until double or 1 or 2 inches over top of pan. Bake at 350 degress for 30 minutes. Larger loaf might cook in center better at 325 for 40 mins.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Three-Cheese Beef Pasta Shells

I got this recipe from - it makes lots of dirty dishes and took a bit longer than I expected it to, but it was SO YUMMY.

Three-Cheese Beef Pasta Shells

Prep time: 25min
Start to Finish: 1hr 20min
8 servings (3 shells each)

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 jar (26 oz) chunky tomato pasta sauce
1/4 cup water
1 container (8 oz) chive and onion cream cheese spread
1 1/2 cups shredded 6 cheese Italian cheese blend (6 oz)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 to 2 tablspoons chopped fresh parsely, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and drain pasta shells as directed on package.
2. In 10 inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. In large bowl, mix pasta sauce and water. Pour 1 cup of the pasta sauce in bottom of ungreased 13x9 inch (3 quart) glass baking dish. In medium bowl, mix cheese spread, 1 cup of the Italian cheese, the Parmesan cheese, egg, and cooked ground beef. Spoon heaping tablespoon mixture into each shell. Arrange stuffed shells over sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over top, covering shells completely. Cover with foil.
4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and cheese filling is set. Sprinkly with remaining 1/2 cup Italian cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley.
8 servings

Monday, February 2, 2009

Peanut Butter Bars

Thanks for giving me the chance to join you!  This recipe is one we've recently tried and love - I have a stash of these hidden in the freezer that I'm sneaking when the kids aren't around. :)

1/2 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 c peanut butter
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
2 c chocolate chips

Combine butter & brown sugar in saucepan, I did this until it started to bubble and combined. Pour into a big bowl with all the other ingredients except chocolate chips, stir to combine and press into greased 9x13 pan. (I did use an extra 1/2 c powdered sugar.) Melt chocolate chips & pour over top, spread. Chill but defrost a minute before cutting or they'll probably be too hard.

* 2 cups of chocolate chips is too much, I did one heaping cup and it was plenty. Next time I would also mix the 1 c chocolate chips w/1 T peanut butter then melted it so the chocolate layer didn't crack when cold. These are similar to peanut butter cups.