Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hot Corn Dip with Poblano Peppers


I saw a few versions of this recipe on the internet and had been wanting to try it out for quite a while. On my treat-the-office day I thought I would give it a try. But I tweaked it a bit, I used the Pioneer woman's recipe for a guide line to start with but I tweaked it bit to what I was dreaming about. I LOVE roasted poblano peppers, they are spicy but not as spicy as jalapenos and I LOVE smokey paprika and smokey cheese. I thought all of those flavors would be so awesome in a corn dip. So this is what I came up with. Also rather than cooking in the oven in a dish that would cool off later, I made mine in the crock pot and kept it warm all day. This dip was the first thing to go at my office party. This would be a yummy dip for a New Year's Eve party or even a super bowl party. Enjoy!!

Hot Corn Dip with Poblano Peppers
Recipe adapted from  Ree DrummondIngredients:
3 poblano peppers, roasted and diced (see directions below for roasting)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced (you can either roast this with the Poblano's or buy already roasted in a jar)
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
1 medium onion, finely diced

1 heaping teaspoon minced  garlic
1-- 2-lb.  bag frozen corn, thawed
1/2 teaspoon smokey paprika
Salt and pepper

8 ounces cream cheese, softened.
1/2 cup mayonnaise, I did a heaping half cup
1/2 cup sour cream, I did a heaping half cup of this too!

1  cup grated Monterrey jack cheese
1/2 cup smokey cheddar

Tortilla chips or pita crisps, for serving

Directions
To roast the Poblano peppers and the red bell pepper, heat the broiler in your oven for a few minutes with the rack about 5 or 6 inches away from the broiler. Place peppers in the oven and let broil about 3 to 5 minutes or until they start to bubble and blacken, turn, and let broil until that side starts to bubble and blacken. When all sides are roasted, remove peppers from the oven and place in a glass bowl and cover tightly with saran wrap--this helps the peppers steam so you can remove the skins easily. In about 10 to 15 minutes when the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the skins, the seeds and stem. Then cut into strips and dice. Set aside.

Melt one tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes, until they start to turn translucent, add the garlic and saute for another minute. Remove from the skillet into a bowl and set aside.

Melt the rest of the butter in the skillet and add the thawed corn, the paprika, and a dash or two of salt and pepper; saute and stir until the corn gets browned a little.

In a crock pot bowl, combine  the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream and stir until combined. Add the Monterey jack cheese, the smokey cheddar, the corn mixture, and the roasted peppers and stir to combine thoroughly. Taste at this point and add more salt and pepper or a little ground chipotle pepper if you desire more heat. Heat in the crock pot over medium or high heat (depending on your crock -pot) until the dip is hot and bubbly. Turn down to warm and serve with tortilla chips or pita crisps for dipping.
Enjoy!

**You can adjust the heat of this dip by adding ground chipotle pepper, or using a few jalapeno peppers as desired.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cordelia's Roast Beef

I love watching the food network. I watched Trisha's show where she cooked this pot roast and it looked so amazing I had to give it a try. I did tweak it a bit; I added rosemary and thyme, love those 2 seasonings with roast. I also cooked mine in the oven instead of on the stove top and it worked just fine! I loved this roast. It does make a lot of gravy, but that's good warmed up with a little leftover roast served over toast for a hot roast beef sandwich! Hope you enjoy as much as we did! YUMMO

Cordelia's Roast Beef
Adapted from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood (c) Clarkson Potter 2010


Ingredients:
2 to 3 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1 teaspoon crushed thyme
One 3-pound eye of round beef roast
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Two 10-ounce cans French onion soup
One 10-ounce can condensed Golden mushroom soup,
3-3/4 cups water

1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cold water


Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.Rub the salt, rosemary, and thyme into the meat very well. Coat the meat with the flour.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven and sear the roast on all sides. Transfer the roast to a platter and scrape the pan to loosen the drippings. Add the French onion and mushroom soups and 3 3/4 cups water to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Return the roast and its juices to the pan, cover and cook in the oven until the meat is tender, about 3 hours. Remove the roast to a platter or cutting board to rest. Mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and stir into gravy, let gravy boil while stirring. 

Gravy should be slightly thickened
Slice and serve with the pan gravy.

This gravy makes a lot! it's great on Garlic mashed potatoes !

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Here's another cookie you may want to add to your Christmas baking list..... it was YUMMO! I ran across this recipe here and they looked too good to not try. My grandma Lucy used to make chocolate cookies with Marshmallow's on them and then frosted with chocolate icing, I Loved them when I was a kid. I have a similar recipe posted from a while back, but these were a richer chocolate and not so cakey of a cookie as those. Plus I love the fact that you put sprinkles on them. One thing I found was my icing stiffened up while waiting for my cookies to finish baking...either wait till they are all baked before icing (I couldn't, I wanted to taste one) or if it stiffens up, just add a 1/2 teaspoon hot water and stir till smooth; that should fix it, if not add just a drop or two more water. Leave a plate of these out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve... I guarantee there won't be any left in the morning!! Enjoy!

Hot Cocoa Cookies
Yield: Makes about 50 (small) cookies

INGREDIENTS:

For the cookies-
1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter, softened
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1- 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 -1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
25 (apx.) large marshmallows
For the icing -
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Assorted sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

Make the cookies-
1.) In a medium saucepan (or in a microwave safe bowl, using 50% power), melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
2.) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
3.) In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until well combined.
4.) Add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend until just combined.
5.) While mixing, add the flour mixture slowly and blend until just combined.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then cover the dough and refrigerate about 1 hour. If making the dough a day ahead, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping.
6.) Preheat oven to 325*F. and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat type liner. Use a tablespoon (or a tablespoon sized cookie scoop) to scoop the dough, then roll the dough in your hands to create balls. Arrange the balls about 2 inches apart on your baking sheets, then flatten slightly.
Bake cookies about 12 minutes.
7.) While the cookies bake, cut the large marshmallows in half (crosswise). When the cookies have baked, remove from oven and press one marshmallow half (cut side down) into the center of each cookie. Return the cookies to the oven and bake another 2-3 minutes. Allow the pan of cookies to cool a few minutes, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.
8.) Prepare cookie icing by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl and mixing together with a whisk. Place wire cooling rack (with cookies on it) over a baking sheet (to catch any excess icing). Spoon a small amount of icing onto the top of each marshmallow, and use the back of the spoon to spread it a bit. After icing just a couple cookies, top with sprinkles before the icing dries.
9.) Allow icing to set up about 30 minutes before serving.
Recipe source- Cookie base adapted from Rachael Ray, final cookies by Glorious Treats
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 days. Change the sprinkles to coordinate with various holidays.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cocoa Kiss Cookies


I can't believe I haven't posted this recipe yet! It's been a favorite of mine for a long time! I used to make these at Christmas time every year when my kids were little. We always made 8 to 10 different kinds of cookies and bars and take plates to neighbors and send baskets to family living far away. How did I ever find time for all of that??? Anyway, if you are making cookies for Christmas treats, these are a good one to try. LOVE 'em! You could make with any kind/ flavor of Hershey's kisses, I usually use the kisses with Almonds, but I've used the Hugs,  and caramel kisses would be yummo, oh and maybe even the peppermint ones! Enjoy!

Cocoa Kiss Cookies
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (9 ounce) bag milk chocolate candy kisses (I like to use the ones with almonds in the middle too sometimes)
1 cup powdered sugar (for coating when done)






DIRECTIONS:
1.In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour and cocoa, add to the flour mixture, mix until all of the flour is absorbed. Finally, stir in the pecans. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1/2 an hour.
2.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap chocolate kisses. Mold about 1 tablespoon of dough around each chocolate kiss. Place 1- 1/2 inches apart onto a parchment lined cookie sheet
3.Bake for 10 - 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Roll cooled cookies in powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

Snowflake Sugar cookies

I figured since it's close to Christmas I had better do some baking-- I have done some baking but have been too busy to post any of the recipes!! This is my favorite sugar cookie recipe! Ever since I learned how to decorate sugar cookies this way at one of my kitchen meetings I love experimenting with it. I have posted this recipe before but I will post again in case you missed it.

Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter (no substitutions), softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream together butter and sugar in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy--about 2 minutes. Add egg and flavorings and mix to incorporate.
In a separate bowl whisk together  the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add slowly to the butter mixture and mix to combine. 
When your dough is made, instead of putting it in the fridge, immediately roll between 2 sheets of waxed or parchment paper until it's about 1/4 thick. Place on a cookie sheet and then put in the fridge. Chill for about 20-30 minutes. This way it chills faster and the bonus is that you don't need to add extra flour to roll it out. Just remove the top layer of wax paper and cut with your desired cookie cutter. Move from the wax paper to another cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for baking with a spatula. Continue until your cookie sheet is full (you can roll out the scraps again between the two pieces of wax paper.)
Bake at 350 for 8 to 12 minutes. The baking time really depends on how you like them and how thick your dough is. If you like  them slightly chewy, about 8 to 9 minutes does it --this is what I do. If you like them slightly crisp and buttery, then go for 10 to 12.
Cool completely before icing.

Glace Icing
1 pound powdered sugar (about 3 and 3/4 cups)
6 Tablespoons whole milk
6 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
A Dash of salt

With a whisk or electric mixer, combine sugar and milk until smooth (no lumps!) Then stir in corn syrup and extract and dash of salt. 
You will use this same recipe for both glazing and piping. The way it is right now is the consistency you want for glazing (or flooding). It's smooth and thin. It easily runs off the whisk in a pretty thin drizzle.

To prepare the icing for piping (or outlining) you just add more powdered sugar. Just eyeball it. You can't really mess it up because if it's too thick you just add more milk and if it's too thin, you add more powdered sugar. I add it in small amounts until it's a good consistency. For me it's when it gets to a point where it's relatively hard to whisk by hand. When I pick up the whisk, it still runs off, but in a very slow, thick stream.... also you should almost be able to count to ten when you run a spoon through the middle of it by the time it runs back together.
Take your glazing icing and color to whatever colors you like. I use colored piping icing in decorator bags for adding details after the cookie has been flooded and allowed to dry for about half an hour. 

To see some of the other cookies I have done go here and for a quick tutorial on how to flood and ice cookies go here. I only wait about 15 minutes between outlining and flooding... and dragging a toothpick in your flooding icing on the cookie will help you fill in the area. I hope you have as much fun decorating cookies this way as I do, and that they turn out for you! :)

Baklava



I love Baklava, every year or most every year one of the ladies I work with brings this for our 'Treat the office" day, and I can't stay away from it. While this is not her recipe, I did find a good one here, I followed the recipe pretty much as it is. The only thing I did different was use both Walnuts and Pecans... love them both! Also I didn't bake mine for 45 mnutes... it looked good and brown with 35, everyone's ovens are different so start with 35 minutes and go from there. Enjoy!

Baklava
Ingredients
  • 1 package Phyllo Dough
  • 4 cups Chopped Walnuts Or Pecans, finely chopped
       (use both! I did 2 c. Pecans, and 2 c. Walnuts)
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 stick Butter, Melted
  • 2 cups Honey
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Preparation Instructions
Remove phyllo dough package from freezer and place in the fridge for 24 hours to thaw. Remove from fridge 1 hour before using.
When working with the phyllo dough, only remove the sheets you immediately need, keeping the other sheets covered in plastic wrap, then a damp cloth.
Toss together the chopped walnuts and cinnamon. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly butter a rectangular baking pan. Make sure the sheets of phyllo will generally fit the pan (if they're a little bigger, that's okay.) If they're much bigger, just trim them with a sharp knife.
Butter the top sheet of phyllo with melted butter, then grab it and the unbuttered sheet below it. Set the two sheets in the pan, buttered sheet face down. Press lightly into the pan. Repeat this twice more, so that you have six sheets of phyllo in the pan, three of the sheets buttered.
Sprinkle on enough walnuts to make a single layer. Butter two sheets of phyllo and place them on top of the walnuts. Add more walnuts, then two more buttered phyllo sheets. Repeat this a couple more times, or until you're out of walnuts. Top with 4 more buttered phyllo sheets, ending with a buttered top. Cut a diagonal diamond pattern in the baklava using a very sharp knife.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the baklava is very golden brown.
While the baklava is baking, combine 1 stick of the butter, honey, water, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
When you remove the baklava from the oven, drizzle half the saucepan evenly all over the top. Allow it to sit and absorb for a minute, then drizzle on a little more until you think it's thoroughly moistened. (You'll likely have some of the honey mixture leftover, which you can save in the refrigerator... I mixed mine with a little left over cinnamon syrup and used it for pancakes YUM)
Allow the baklava to cool, uncovered, for several hours. Once cool and sticky and divine, carefully remove them from the pan and serve with coffee (or give as gifts!)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

my my my, Key Lime Pie

oh my goodness... I LOVE key lime anything, and when I ran across this recipe here I just had to try it. I made it for Thanksgiving and man oh man, was it good. It was light and not too sweet! Perfect for Thanksgiving especially when you have Pecan pie and pumpkin pie as well. I followed the recipe to a 'T' except I couldn't find bottle Key lime juice, so I used regular, but with extra lemon juice in it, (I filled my measuring cup almost to the 1/2 cup mark with lime juice, then topped it off with lemon juice, besides the 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice that the recipe calls for) It was YUMMO!! Top it off with Redi Whip and your set! Enjoy!!

My, My, My, Key Lime Pie
For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs, crushed with a food processor
(about 1 ½ packages)
1/3 cup butter melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix together in a large bowl. Press onto bottom and 1” up the sides a 9” greased spring form pan or a pie plate. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool.


For the filling:
3 large eggs, separated
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup key lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
2 tablespoons sugar

Whisk egg yolks; add condensed milk and next three ingredients. Beat egg whites until foamy with mixer. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar beating until soft peaks form. Fold into yolk mixture, spoon into prepared crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until set. Cover and chill for 4- 8 hours. 

When ready to serve, place a piece of pie on a plate and top with whipped cream! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving leftovers...

If you are looking for things to do with Thanksgiving leftovers, here is a couple of ideas. Besides the yummy leftover sandwiches, and just warming everything up and eating Thanks giving all over again, I like to make Turkey Jambalaya, or Turkey pot pie (see recipe for Chicken pot pie) just substitute turkey for the chicken and add any leftover vegetables you have, and mashed potatoes are good added to the broth to thicken it and make it a little more creamy.
This year, I made Shepherd's Pie, I used my leftover mashed potatoes of course, but I added my leftover green bean casserole to the meat mixture! It was delicious! Then for lunch yesterday we made these Pannini sandwiches for lunch!! so delicious! You have to give them a try! YUMMO! (we loved them so much, I had eaten mine before I took a picture, so I had to 'borrow' one from the internet)

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pesto Pannini's
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 loaf of French bread, cut into 3-4 equal pieces (or I used a Square loaf of  California Sourdough bread, love it for Pannini's)
1/2 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought
Sun dried Tomatoes, sliced in Olive Oil (Optional)
4-8 ounces mozzarella, sliced
2 cups chopped leftover Thanksgiving turkey
2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and sliced

Instructions
Heat olive oil in a grill pan over medium-high heat. Slightly toast bread in toaster if you are using the Sourdough bread, you don't have to, but I think it helps it be less soggy.
Spread 2 tablespoons pesto over 1 side of of the bread and top with  a few sun dried tomatoes. Next add mozzarella, turkey, sliced roma tomatoes, avocado and top half of bread. Repeat with remaining slices of bread.
Add sandwich to pan and grill until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes
per side. I don't have a pannini press, so I grill in a regular skillet and place a heavy cast iron skillet on the top so you get that squished pannni sandwich. So Yummo!