Friday, December 26, 2014

Cinnamon Nuts

I Love candied nuts... almonds, pecans, peanuts you name it. My favorite Dairy Queen blizzard is the butterfinger blizzard and one time when I lived in Albuquerque I got one and they had candied peanuts in it... LOVED it. But since I have been unable to find a Dairy Queen that makes it like that. But that's beside the point. Don't you love walking in the mall during the Christmas season and you smell those cinnamon nuts cooking?? This recipe is like that. I always wondered how they did those and this recipe was it! I found it on You tube... you can watch the video Here and then I have written the recipe down for you. So easy and your home will smell YUMMO!

Cinnamon Nuts
2 cups raw nuts (almonds, pecans or peanuts are all good)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water

Vanilla extract
Cinnamon
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Place the nuts, sugar and water in a large heavy duty skillet. Heat over medium high heat and stir, bringing to a boil. Keep stirring and letting boil until it crystallizes. You want this to crystallize so keep stirring. Now you will think you are ruining the nuts, but keep stirring after about 5 or so minutes you will see the sugar start to melt again, this means it's caramelizing. Keep cooking and stirring, if you think the nuts are burning lift off the heat once in a while. After the nuts look glazed with the caramelized sugar, remove from heat. Add a couple of splashes of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon or so cinnamon. Stir to coat. Pour the nuts out onto the prepare cookie sheet and separate with your wooden spoon or spoon you stirred the nuts with.
Let cool and enjoy! Can be stored in a zip lock baggie in a cool dry cupboard.

I did dry roasted peanuts with just vanilla and they were delicious just like the candied peanuts in that Dairy Queen blizzard.  My favorite nuts are a mix of almonds and pecans with the vanilla and cinnamon. These are better than the ones you get in the mall at Christmas time.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

Ok, if you like anything chocolate you have to try this recipe out. It's my niece's recipe, which you can find here. I tweaked a bit, I found I could make 14 cookies rather than 12 easy. I also added mini chocolate chips since I thought regular would be too bulky to wrap around the marshmallow. LOVE them. These are a rich dark chocolate cookie that is amazing. I think Santa would even enjoy these cookies. YUMMO!

Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
Adapted slightly from  Home Sweet Spice
~Ingredients~
Makes 12 to 14 Cookies 

1/2 cup softened butter
6 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used a Dutch dark chocolate cocoa powder)

1 cup Mini chocolate chips
6 or 7  marshmallows (cut in half)

Pre-heat oven to 350 F (176 C)
Cream together the butter and sugars.
Add in the egg and vanilla. Mix well.

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add dry ingredients slowly to wet.
Add chips.

Once chips are mixed, make cookies balls about 2 tbsp in size.
Press 1/2 a marshmallow into the center and make sure to wrapped the dough all the way around. You don't want the marshmallow "leaking" out.
Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will crack open, but that's ok.

These things are amazing :) Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cranberry Pear Pie

I have a pear tree in my yard and to this day I have never used my pears... I didn't realize pears don't ripen on the tree! I think of the past years I threw my pears away and feel way sad. But this year I figured out how to pick them and let them ripen. So of course when I found this recipe in my Food Network magazine I had to give it a try. It's amazing!! I did tweak it just a bit and I used a prepared refrigerated crust. For some reason I just can't seem to make a very good pie crust and it's quicker to use the prepared ones and they are good if you ask me. I added a few more pears and less cranberries than the original recipe too. It was awesome served warm with vanilla bean ice cream . Enjoy!

Cranberry Pear Pie
recipe adapted from Food Network magazine
Ingredients:
For the filling:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 ripe but firm medium Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled and diced (about 8 cups)
1 (12 -ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
Grated zest of 1 orange (about 2 teaspoons) (I had dried orange peel and used that and it was good)
Prepared pie crust dough (enough for a double crust pie)
1 egg, slightly beaten

Make the filling: 
Heat a medium skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke lightly. Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and toss in the pears and cranberries. Return to high heat and cook until the fruit is slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup,  ground cloves, lemon juice and orange zest. Mix to blend and cook over high heat until the syrup thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and scoop into a bowl; refrigerate until cool. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Assemble the pie: Place your bottom crust into a deep dish pie plate. Pour the filling into the crust. Brush the edge of the crust with the beaten egg; cover with the top crust. Pinch around the edge to seal the top and bottom crusts together, removing the excess dough with a paring knife. Use a paring knife to cut an X opening, 1 1/2 to 2 inches across, in the center of the crust; fold back the dough. Put the pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top of the pie with more of the beaten egg or a little milk. Sprinkle the top with sugar.

Bake the pie, 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and continue baking until the crust is light golden brown, 30 more minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. 
Serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Jamaican Red Beans and Rice

I wasn't sure what to make for dinner one day after work, so I typed in something different with chicken into the search engine on google and this recipe popped up. I tweaked it a bit to what I had on hand and it was delicious!! I love recipes like this. Just plan ahead so you have enough time to let the chicken marinade, at least an hour ! The longer it marinades the more flavor it gets. I also like to stab my chicken breasts all over with a fork, lets the marinade seep into the meat. The recipe below for the Jamaican rice was amazing! I like it a bit better than the copy cat recipe for Rumbi rice. It has more flavor with the thyme and green onion added. Enjoy!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Serves 4
Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 Tablespoon allspice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground sage
  • 1/4 (heaping) teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 (heaping) teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic


Directions:
  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients (the seasonings) into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the vinegar, orange juice, olive oil, soy sauce, and lime juice.
  1. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth. Mix in onions, and garlic cloves, then add the chicken breasts into the bowl, turning over to cover completely in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to overnight.
  1. Grill or broil chicken for 4-5 minutes a side, brushing the marinade over while grilling. When no longer pink in the middle, remove to a plate, and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with your favorite BBQ or hot sauce. I like to make the rice and slice the chicken and put on top of the rice with a drizzle of BBQ sauce then a drizzle of Frank's hot sauce.  See pic above. Enjoy!


Jamaican Red Beans and Rice
Serves 4
Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or canola oil)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add garlic, green onion, and thyme, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  1. Add beans, water, and coconut milk to the pan, then stir and bring to a boil. Add in rice and salt, then place a lid on top, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the liquid as been absorbed, and rice is tender.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I'm not a really big fan of cinnamon rolls, my hubby is though. I do like them warm from the oven but the leftover ones are not my favorite. One of my favorite things to do is lay in bed on Sat. mornings with my hubby and watch cooking shows (yes we are old, not in that honeymoon stage anymore) that's how I decide what I'm cooking for the weekend! This recipe was featured on the Pioneer woman and it looked soooooo good I had to try it out. The original recipe makes 24 rolls and there was no way we could ever eat them all so I cut the recipe in half which I will post here. But if you want to make the full recipe go the the Pionneer woman's recipe here. These cinnamon rolls were absolutely Yummo! They practically melt in your mouth! I recommend making these for a Saturday or Sunday brunch when you can simple sit down with one and enjoy the deliciousness of them in peace and quiet! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

  • Dough:
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use Grapeseed oil)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1- 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring, sprinkling and rolling
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Melted butter, for buttering pans

  • Filling:
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

  • Frosting:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cups to 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup whole milk, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • Dash of salt

Directions:
For the dough: In a large saucepan, combine the milk, vegetable oil and granulated sugar. Heat until hot but not boiling, then remove the pan from the stove and allow it to cool until the mixture is warm to the touch but not too hot. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the liquid and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree until combined.

Combine 4 cups of the flour with the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Sprinkle it into the saucepan and stir until it just comes together. Cover the saucepan with a dish towel and set in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, the mixture should be very puffy and at least doubled in size. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining 1/2 cup flour until totally combined.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Drizzle butter into 3 pie pans (or a larger baking dish) and smear it all over the bottom of the pans.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and press it into a rectangular shape. If it is overly sticky, sprinkle generously with flour until easier to handle. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle about 18 inches by 24 inches.

For the filling: Drizzle the melted butter over the dough and smear it all over the surface with your fingers. Mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Sprinkle this mixture all over the surface of the dough, covering all the melted butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chopped pecans.

Starting at the top, roll the dough toward you into a large log, moving back and forth down the line of dough (in a "typewriter" motion) and always rolling toward you. Roll it tightly as you go so the rolls with be nice and neat. When it's all rolled, pinch the seam closed and turn the roll over so that the seam is facing down. Slice into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices and place the slices in the buttered pan(s). Allow to rise for 20 minutes.

Bake until the rolls are nice and golden brown around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting: While the rolls are baking, make the frosting by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, butter and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until fluffy, adding more milk if you'd like a thinner frosting.

Frost the rolls the second they come out of the oven. Sprinkle the extra pecans over the frosting, then allow them to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls.print.html?oc=linkback

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Strawberry-Coconut Freezer Jam

One of my favorite memories of my childhood is my mother's homemade bread -warm from the oven topped with lots of butter and lots of homemade jam. I loved it. I still do, just don't eat as much bread now as I did back when I was a child. It tends to stick to my hips more now.  But if you want a Yummy jam to go on homemade rolls for Thanksgiving this year this is a recipe you need to try. I ran across it on one of my favorite food blogs. That's where I got the idea for Coconut with Strawberry but I followed the strawberry freezer jam recipe in the CERTO Premium Liquid Fruit pectin box because I wanted it to turn out and just added the coconut and coconut extract.  This was delicious and yes, I made home made bread to try it out on...can you just hear Barbara Streisand breaking out in her song "Memories" about now?? I think between me and my hubby we pretty much ate a whole loaf. Enjoy!

Strawberry-Coconut Freezer Jam
2 cups crushed strawberries, (fresh or thawed and drained frozen work)
1/3 cup flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened work (i used sweetened)
4 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 pouch Certo Premium Liquid Fruit Pectin

First wash and rinse your containers with tight fitting lids. Let dry. Set aside. ( I like to use 1 cup containers, that way it doesn't get old in the refrigerator)
I put my berries and the 1/3 cup coconut in my food processor and pulsed a few times (about 5 or 6) to chop my coconut a bit and mix more into the berries. Place your berry and coconut mixture into a large bowl and add your sugar. Mix well. Let this stand for 10 minutes stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar a bit.

Add the lemon juice and coconut extract (I added about 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract--I like a bit more coconut flavor)to the strawberry mixture and stir to combine.
Stir pectin into prepared fruit. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy, about 3 minutes. (a few sugar crystals may remain and that's okay)

Pour or ladle jam into prepared containers, leaving about 1/2-inch space at the top. Place lids on containers and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set.  Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or store in freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator.
Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies

This recipe is mostly like my Peanut Butter Cookie recipe only with a little more flour and milk chocolate covered toffee bits. What could be better than that?? I love Peanut Butter cookies and these don't disappoint, just have a glass of milk on hand. Enjoy!


Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup natural chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour

1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup toffee bits (I used Heath Toffee Bits)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with  parchment paper and set aside. 
Cream butters and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla. Scrape sides and mix again. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt, add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in toffee bits by hand. Scoop dough balls onto baking sheet  (I used about a tablespoon size cookie scoop) leaving lots of room around each cookie to expand. Press down cookie dough balls using a fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 3 minutes and then remove to cooling rack. Serve immediately with a glass of milk! Enjoy!

Molten Lava Cake



I love chocolate.....Loved this recipe. I"m slow posting it but I served for dessert on my wedding anniversary. You know those desserts at restaurants that are individual chocolate cakes filled with molten chocolate? Well this is them!! This recipe is delicious and just what a lava cake should be....ooey gooey chocolaty yumminess. I served mine with raspberries and vanilla bean ice cream. Enjoy!

Molten Lava Cake
Ingredients:
  • 4 pieces (squares) Semi-sweet Baking Chocolate
  • ½ cups Butter
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 whole Egg Yolks
  • 6 Tablespoons Flour
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray 4 custard cups with Pam and place on cookie sheet.
Microwave chocolate and butter in large bowl on high for about 1 minute, until butter is melted. whisk until chocolate is also melted.
Stir in sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks. Stir in flour.
Divide between cups.
Bake about 15 minutes until sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand 1 minute.
Invert cakes on dishes and top with vanilla ice cream and raspberries. You can also drizzle with chocolate syrup if desired.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pasta with Vodka Sauce

No, I haven't started drinking..... I just went to an Italian restaurant when I was on vacation last year and had pasta with vodka sauce... oh my goodness it was delicious! And when you cook with alcohol, the alcohol cooks out when simmered..... just embarrassing going to a liquor store to buy the stuff when you don't drink. You don't know what to buy! But I found this recipe here and had to give it a try. Of course I tweaked to my taste and ingredients I had on hand, but this was delicious! I served with steak and steamed veggies. Be sure to read the note below the recipe for a delicious way to use up any leftovers.YUMMO!

Pasta with Vodka Sauce


  • 1 pound Pasta(I used the country style noodles, but you can use any that you like)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped Finely
  • 2 cloves (to 3 Cloves) Garlic, Chopped
  • 3/4 cups (to 1 Cup) Vodka
  • 1 can (About 14 Oz.) Tomato Puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Basil
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried Parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon (to 1/2 Teaspoon) Salt
  •  Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


Preparation Instructions:
Cook pasta according to package directions, being careful not to overcook.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. When butter is melted, add in chopped onion and garlic. Stir and allow to cook for two minutes. Pour in vodka. Stir and cook for three minutes. Add in tomato puree and basil: stir. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Allow to simmer, being careful not to overheat, for about 3 more minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes, Parsley, salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water in case sauce is too thick. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine. Splash in a little water if it needs it. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
Pour mixture into large serving bowl. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

If you have leftovers this is what I did:
Brown 1 lb. hot sausage in a skillet, when all browned remove from skillet onto a paper lined plate. Leave about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the fat from the sausage in the skillet and sauté 1 green bell pepper and 1 red bell pepper that has been thinly sliced. When your peppers are crunchy tender, toss the sausage back in the pan along with your leftover pasta. Stir and cook until pasta is heated through. Serve with salad and crusty french bread. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Di's Tomato Soup

I have a couple of Tomato Soup recipes posted on my blog already, which are both good. One is more Italian tasting and the other is more spicy with Orzo in it. After making and liking both recipes, the next time I made Tomato soup I slightly combined the two different recipes to my desired taste using what I liked about them both and this is the recipe I came up with. I found myself using it all the time. Since my daughter LOVES tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches and is starting to cook at home... Yahoo!!! I decided I better post the recipe how I make it. Here you go Sarah! Enjoy!

Di’s Tomato Soup
Olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth (I use a whole box of chicken broth, almost 4 cups) 
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon dried parsley (you could use fresh if you have it)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (if desired)
1/2 pint heavy cream

Garnish if desired with:
Seasoned croutons 
Grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, heat about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Then add the minced garlic and onion, saute for about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and the chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add thesugar, parsley, salt, black pepper, italian seasoning, turmeric, cumin, curry powder and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine and let this simmer for about 20-25 minutes more.
This is a slightly chunky soup, if you desire a smooth soup, puree in a blender a little at a time, or use a submersible blender. After blending return to pan.
Then stir in the heavy cream, and heat through. Serve in individual bowls topped with croutons and Parmesan cheese if desired!!  Or serve with grilled cheese sandwiches cut into strips—perfect for dipping. Yummo!


*Note-you can adjust the amount of seasoning to taste… I usually end up adding just a bit more curry and cumin…. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Creamy Mushroom Fontina Pasta

I love pasta... one weekend I was craving mushrooms and pasta. I ran across this recipe here and had to give it a try. It was delish... I did substitute and change things according to the ingredients I had on hand but we loved it. I served mine with grilled chicken and sauteed garden beans YUMMO! 

Creamy Mushroom Fontina Pasta
INGREDIENTS:
10 ounces dried wide pasta (I used Bowtie pasta)
1/2 butter, divided
20 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
½ cup finely chopped shallots (about 2 large shallots) or green onions work
⅓ cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces Fontina cheese, diced small (I used Mozzarella cheese since I had that on hand)
½ cup chopped parsley ( or 1 Tablespoon dried parsley)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain and reserve ¾ cup of the cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute half of the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes; transfer to a plate. Repeat with 2 tablespoons butter and the remaining mushrooms, transferring them to the plate with the rest of the mushrooms.
3. Add the shallots to skillet and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms back to the skillet, along with the wine (or chicken broth); cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and season with 1 teaspoon salt.
4. Reduce the heat to low and add the cooked pasta, cheese and parsley, tossing with the sauce until the pasta is coated and the cheese starts melting. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Salted Caramel Candy Corn Peanut Butter Treats

OK... I must say these are Yummo! I usually make rice crispy treats for Young Women's activities, you know, the scotch-a-roo recipe? only sometimes I don't put the melted chocolate on them. When I was in grade school on Fridays, the lunch ladies would make them only with Corn flakes ... LOVED 'em! so that is what I did to my normal crispy treat recipe, substituted Corn flakes. Also this time of the year they have Candy corns on the shelves.... and they come in different flavors! Like pumpkin spice, caramel, and s'more flavor. I bought the caramel ones YUM! So I threw in a cupful after I had added the cornflakes to the syrup then sprinkled the finished product with about 1/ 2 teaspoon of sea salt..... oh so yummy! Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Candy Corn Peanut Butter Treats

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light karo syrup
Mix together in medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, make sure it comes to a good rolling boil, don't boil too long or treats will be too hard, just . Then remove from heat.
Stir in:
1 cup peanut butter
Stir until PB is melted.
Meanwhile have 6 cups Corn Flakes measured in big mixing bowl. Pour peanut butter mixture over corn flakes and stir till they're all coated.
Stir in:
1 cup Caramel Candy Corns
Pour into buttered 13x9 can pan. Spread out with spatula coated with pam spray. 
Next, sprinkle about a 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt over the top (i pinched between my fingers and sprinkled randomly over the treats... you don't want too much in one spot but you do want a little salty flavor all over. 
Cut into squares and enjoy! YUM!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fresh Peach Pie

I love Peach Pie--this is the perfect time of year to make one too. Autumn is just around the corner and peaches are in season. I love the smell of Pie baking with the windows open and the crispy fall air coming in the kitchen on a slight breeze... Perfect! This pie was delicious! not too runny and perfect with french vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Fresh Peach Pie
INGREDIENTS:
3 pounds peaches, peeled, quartered, and pitted, each quarter cut into thirds 
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) plus 3 tablespoons sugar 
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoons low- or no-sugar-needed fruit pectin (you can find this by the canning   supplies)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
Pinch ground nutmeg 
1 recipe Pie Dough for Lattice-Top Pie (see recipe below) 
1 tablespoon cornstarch

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Toss peaches, ½ cup sugar, lemon zest and juice, and salt in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Combine pectin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons sugar in small bowl and set aside.
2. Remove dough from refrigerator. Before rolling out dough, let it sit on counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes. Roll 1 disk of dough into 12-inch circle on lightly floured counter. Transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheet. With pizza wheel, fluted pastry wheel, or paring knife, cut round into ten 1¼-inch-wide strips. Freeze strips on sheet until firm, about 30 minutes.
3. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Roll other disk of dough into 12-inch circle on lightly floured counter. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto 9-inch pie plate, letting excess dough hang over edge. Ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into plate bottom with your other hand. Leave any dough that overhangs plate in place. Wrap dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, transfer 1 cup peach mixture to small bowl and mash with fork until coarse paste forms. Drain remaining peach mixture through colander set in large bowl. Transfer peach juice to liquid measuring cup (you should have about ½ cup liquid; if liquid measures more than ½ cup, discard remainder). Return peach pieces to bowl and toss with cornstarch. Transfer peach juice to 12-inch skillet, add pectin mixture, and whisk until combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and pectin is dissolved (liquid should become less cloudy), 3 to 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, add peach pieces and peach paste, and toss to combine.
5. Transfer peach mixture to dough-lined pie plate. Remove dough strips from freezer; if too stiff to be workable, let stand at room temperature until malleable and softened slightly but still very cold. Lay 2 longest strips across center of pie perpendicular to each other. Using 4 shortest strips, lay 2 strips across pie parallel to 1 center strip and 2 strips parallel to other center strip, near edges of pie; you should have 6 strips in place. Using remaining 4 strips, lay each one across pie parallel and equidistant from center and edge strips. If dough becomes too soft to work with, refrigerate pie and dough strips until dough firms up.
6. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate. Press edges of bottom crust and lattice strips together and fold under. Folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Crimp dough evenly around edge of pie using your fingers. Using spray bottle, evenly mist lattice with water and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
7. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is set and begins to brown, about 25 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue to bake until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbly at center, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Let cool on wire rack for 3 hours before serving.


Pie Dough for Lattice-Top Pie
INGREDIENTS
  • 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour  
  •                 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 7 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled 
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and frozen for 30 minutes 
  • 10 - 12 tablespoons ice water 


INSTRUCTIONS

1. Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter shortening over top and process until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter over top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to bowl.
 2. Sprinkle 5 tablespoons ice water over flour mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to evenly combine water and flour mixture. Sprinkle 5 tablespoons ice water over mixture and continue using folding motion to combine until small portion of dough holds together when squeezed in palm of your hand, adding up to 2 tablespoons remaining ice water if necessary. (Dough should feel quite moist.) Turn out dough onto clean, dry counter and gently press together into cohesive ball. Divide dough into 2 even pieces and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sweet and Tangy Barbecued Chicken Thighs

I love a good Barbecued Chicken and tangy BBQ sauce. I ran across this recipe on America's Test Kitchen but tweaked it a bit for the kind of chicken we like and for our gas grill. We like chicken thighs, they are more moist and easier to eat since they only have one bone in them. I served this with steamed veggies and the fresh corn corn bread I posted earlier. Tastes Yummo on a chilly fall evening. Enjoy!

Sweet and Tangy Barbecued Chicken
CHICKEN:
               
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar 
4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder 
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
6 pounds bone-in thigh pieces

SAUCE :
1 cup ketchup 
5 tablespoons molasses 
3 tablespoons cider vinegar 
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1/3 cup grated onion 
1 garlic clove, minced 
1 teaspoon chili powder 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
2 large EMPTY Cans (the big 28 oz. sauce washed out with label peeled off)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine sugar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne in bowl. Arrange chicken on rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle both sides evenly with spice rub. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

2. FOR THE SAUCE: Whisk ketchup, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, and pepper together in bowl. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add chili powder and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in ketchup mixture and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Set aside 2/3 cup sauce to baste chicken and reserve remaining sauce for serving. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)


3. FOR A GAS GRILL: Place 2 empty cans each filled half way full with water, directly on 1 burner of gas grill (opposite primary burner). Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium-high and turn off other burner(s). (Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature of 325 to 350 degrees.)


4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place chicken, skin side down, over hotter part of grill and cook until browned and blistered in spots, 2 to 5 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until second side is browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Move chicken to cooler part and brush both sides with 1/3 cup sauce. Arrange chicken, skin side up; Cover and cook for 25 minutes.


5. Brush both sides of chicken with remaining 1/3 cup sauce and continue to cook, covered, until thighs register 175 degrees, (15 to 25 minutes longer.)


6. Transfer chicken to serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve, passing reserved sauce separately.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fresh Corn Cornbread



I love cornbread... in the morning with butter and honey on it for breakfast....served along side chili, or this time I made it to go with some yummo BBQ 'd chicken. I will post that recipe later. I usually used the recipe off of my box of corn meal, but when I watched America's test kitchen a few weeks ago and they made their corn bread this way, I just had to give it a try. Man, oh man it makes yummy cornbread, not too dry, not too heavy and not too caky. It is a little more work to use fresh corn and puree it but it's so worth it. I thought since gardens are producing all kinds of vegetables this time of year it's a good recipe to post. Hope you like it as much as we did. Enjoy!

Fresh Corn Cornbread
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:
1 -1/3 cups (6 2/3 ounces) stone-ground cornmeal 
1 cup (5 ounces) all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder  
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1- 1/4 teaspoons salt 
3 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs (2 1/4 cups) 
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces 
1 cup buttermilk 
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk 

Instructions:
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl, set aside.
2. Process corn kernels in blender  or food processor until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer puree to medium non-stick skillet. (you should have about 1½ cups). Cook puree over medium heat, stirring constantly, until very thick and deep yellow and it measures 3/4 cup, 5 to 8 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat. Add 5 tablespoons butter and whisk until melted and incorporated. Add buttermilk and whisk until incorporated. Add eggs and yolk and whisk until incorporated. Transfer corn mixture to bowl with cornmeal mixture and, using rubber spatula, fold together until just combined.
4. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Scrape batter into skillet and spread into even layer. Bake until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 25 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cornbread from skillet and let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving OR do as I did and cut straight from the skillet after cooling for 5 minutes and eat while warm... that's the best way. Enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2014

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

I was asked to furnish cookies for a retirement party at work. The lady that the party was for loves Macadamia Nut white chocolate chip cookies. I had a recipe but they always turn out flat so I googled Best ever white chocolate Chip macadamia nut cookies and printed out the top three. I used what was common in the three and this is the recipe I came up with. LOVE it! I think I like it mostly because of the dry roasted macadamia nuts... they have a little saltiness to them that makes these cookies yummo! and lately I am finding just a drop or  two of Butter Rum extract makes everything from banana cake and frosting to cookies extra yummo! Hope you like these as much as I did.

Soft & Chewy White Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Nut Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
INGREDIENTS:
  1. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 1 cup (packed) brown sugar
  3. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  6. 1/4 teaspoon Butter Rum extract (Optional)
  7. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 2 cups white chocolate chips or chunks 
  11. 1- 6 oz pkg.  Mauna Loa Macadamia baking pieces dry roasted (1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped roasted salted macadamia nuts)
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer affixed with paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes (or use a large bowl and a hand mixer).
Add the brown sugar and granulated (white) sugar and continue beating on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, continuing to beat each time until well-incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and butter rum.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
With the mixer on low speed, carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until the ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the white chocolate chunks and the macadamia nuts.
Scoop a generous tablespoonful of the dough and roll into a ball. Place on cookie sheet about three inches apart.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until edges of cookie begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for about 5  minutes on cookie sheet so the cookie can set. Carefully move to wire rack to cool completely.
Enjoy!!