Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sour Cherry Crumb Cake


4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour, plus more for dish
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamoon

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted, or frozen dark sweet cherries
(I don't know why you couldn't use some other kind of fruit - I think blackberries or raspberries would be great in this)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish, and dust with flour, tapping out excess.

2. Make topping, stir together butter, flour, sugars, salt & cinnamon

3. Make cakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in bowl. With a mixer, cream butter and sugar in another bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Pour into prepared dish, smooth with spatula. Dot top with cherries, and sprinkle with crumb topping.

4. Bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool before cutting.

Grilled Vanilla Peaches

I haven't tried this yet, but came across this recipe again and MAN, it sounds delish. Somebody remind me to make these the SECOND I have fresh peaches again next summer.

Peel, halve, and pit 8 freestone peaches.

Preheat grill to high. Combine the juice of 1 lemon & 1 tablespoon veg. oil in a bowl. Add peaches, toss to coat. Place peaches (with liquid) on a large piece of parchment-lined foil.

Stir together 1.5 Tablespoons packed brown sugar,
2 teaspoons water,
2 teaspoons vailla,
1/8 tsp. cinnamon, and
1/4 tsp. coarse salt.

Brush over peaches. Foil foil to form packet, crimping edges to seal, Grill, covered, for 15 minutes.

Slice peaches, and divide among 8 bowls. Top with vanilla ice cream!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cafe Rio Pulled Pork

This is a go-to at my house. I love eating it in salads, or as burritos in some good tortillas (Carolina's if you have a chance!) with fresh cilantro, sliced avocados, and Kraft Green Goddess dressing (I'm too lazy to make my own dressing, and I think this storebought stuff is GREAT with this)

Pork Loin  (Pork SHOULDERS shred the best. I buy the huge ones from Costco and cut them into four roasts)
  1. Remove Chilies from the can of adobo sauce.
  2. Rinse chilies and can with the coke to get all the sauce. You are using the sauce and not the chilies for this recipe.
  3. Add 1-2 chilies for spice, more if you're daring
  4. Put all ingredients except pork in the blender. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour over pork in crock pot.
  6. Cook on low for 7-9 hours until it pulls apart easily. After cooking, shred with forks.

Pretzel Salad

2 c crushed pretzels
3/4 c margarine, melted
3 Tbsp sugar
1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz)
1 c sugar
1 (8 oz) frozen cool-whip topping, thawed
1 pkg strawberry gelatin (6 oz)
2 c boiling water
2 pkg (10 oz) frozen strawberries

1    Mix crushed pretzels, margarine and 3 Tablespoons sugar together and press into a 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 400 for 8 minutes. Cool.
2    Mix softened cream cheese and 1 cup sugar. Fold the 2 cups thawed whipping topping into cream cheese mixture and spread over cooled pretzel crust. ( To keep the cream cheese mixture from sticking to your spatula as you spread it, just run it under hot water.)  Dissolve strawberry gelatin in boiling water and add frozen strawberries. Chill until syrupy, then pour over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate. Ccut into squares and garnish with whipped topping and a whole strawberry. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grilled Tomato and Mozzarella sandwiches

1 loaf sliced white sandwich bread   (**I think I would use Sourdough**)
2 pounds salted fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 ounces (4 T) unsalted butter, softened

1. Using a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter (cup?) cut out bread and mozzarella.

2. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Sandwich 1 tomato slice and 1 mozzarella slice between 2 slices of bread. Repeat with remaining tomatoes, mozzarella and bread to use up
loaf of bread.

3. Preheat grill to medium, or heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush outsides of bread with butter. Grill sandwiches until golden brown and mozzarella is soft but not completely melted, about 5 minutes per side.

7-Minute Frosting

1 1/2 cups plus 2 T sugar
2 T light corn syrup
2/3 cup water
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Heat  1 1/2 cups of the sugar, corn syrup and water in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Raise heat to medium high, and bring to boil. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook until syrup registers 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour into glass measuring cup.

2. Meanwhile, beat whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Reduce to medium low, and add remaining 2 T sugar. Pour syrup into whites in a slow, steady stream down the side of the bowl. Raise speed to medium-high. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ultimate Mac-N-Cheese

7 ounces elbow macaroni

For the bechamel:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups whole milk
 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

For the casserole:
2 tablespoons grated onion
3 cups grated, extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese (try Canadian version from Trader Joe's??)
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the topping:
 1/2 cup white panko bread crumbs
 1/4 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook macaroni for 7 minutes, and drain. While the macaroni cooks, prepare the bechamel by heating the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper, and stir over low heat until mixture is smooth and bubbling. Remove from heat, whisk in milk, and return to heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and let the sauce boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in nutmeg.
Spread half of the cooked macaroni in an ungreased, 2-quart casserole dish. Top with half of the onion, half of each cheese and half of the salt and pepper. Repeat. Pour the bechamel over the macaroni and cheese. Just before baking, spread the panko bread crumbs on top, and dot with butter.
Cover with foil, and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake 15 minutes longer. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Whipped Topping/Frosting Recipe

I never have whipped cream on hand when I want it - this is perfect to have in my back pocket!

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine 3 large egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, a pinch salt and 1/3 cup water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.

    Martha's Lemon Cake Recipe


    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
    2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for pans
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 Tablespoon lemon zest
    2 cups sugar

    2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
    1/4 cup plus 2 T fresh lemon juice
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
    2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
    3. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.
    4. While cakes are baking, bring remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add lemon slices and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to a waxed-paper-lined plate. Stir remaining 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.
    5. Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. Let cool completely. Prepare frosting, substituting 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for vanilla extract. Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.

    Lemon Curd Recipe

    Makes 2 cups
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 8 large egg yolks (egg whites reserved for another use)
    • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter (10 tablespoons), cut into 1/2-inch pieces


    1. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks; whisk in lemon juice and salt.
    2. Add butter and place pan over medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted, mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and small bubbles form around the edge of pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil).
    3. Remove pan from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface of curd and refrigerate until cool. (To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 2 weeks.)

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Candy Corn Cupcakes

    1 box plain white cake mix
    1 cup regular sour cream
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1/2 cup milk
    2 eggs

    Food Coloring (yellow and orange)
    Whipped topping (I think I would use some kind of cream cheese frosting)
    Candy Corn

    Combine cake mix, sour cream, oil, milk and eggs in large bowl. Mix, divide batter evenly into two separate bowls. Color half the batter with a few drops of orange food coloring (or 1 drop red to 2 drops yellow)  Color the other half with a few drops of yellow food coloring. Place cupcake liners into cupcake tins. Fill each liner with 1/4 cup of the yellow batter then top with the orange batter so liner is 1/2 full.  Bake according to package directions. Cool cupcakes completely. Just before serving, top each cupcake with a dollop of whipped topping and a piece of candy corn. Makes 24 cupcakes.

    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Ashlee's Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

    Peanut Butter Cookies with Dove centers...

    ½ cup butter
    ½ cup peanut butter
    ½ cup sugar
    ½ cup brown sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 ¾ cup flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon salt
    1 bag Dove Chocolates

    Mix above and form 1” balls. Roll in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Place chocolate Dove in center of cookie during last minute of baking. You want to pull the cookies out of the oven when they seem slightly underdone, leave them on the cookie sheet for a few minutes and then enjoy...the chocolate keeps its shape, but is completely melted inside, hence, perfection!

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    Spanish Rice

    -2 cups rice
    -3/4 c. oil
    -1/2 c. tomato sauce
    -6 stems cilantro (optional)
    -1 tsp. salt
    -1 tsp. minced garlic
    -4 cups water
    -1 tsp. chicken flavored bouillon cube
    -Dash of cumin
    -Dash of garlic pepper

    1. Heat oil in large frying pan on medium heat.
    2. Add rice and cook until golden brown.
    3. Add 1 chicken flavored bouillon cube to 4 cups water and microwave for 3 minutes.
    4. When rice is brown, add water, tomato sauce, salt, garlic, cumin and garlic pepper to pan.
    5. Stir and cover pan. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes.

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Stuffed Bell Peppers

    This recipe is different than the one I usually use. Sounds loverly with the turkey & pico de gallo...



    Top bell peppers and scoop out seeds.
    Chop up the pepper tops and sliced mushrooms and add to pico de gallo.
    Season turkey with Montreal Chicken seasoning, and sauté in skillet with olive oil and soy sauce.
    Once meat begins to brown add pico de gallo mixture (chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro and chopped bell pepper)
    Meanwhile coat the hollow bell peppers with olive oil, place in glass baking dish and roast for 15 minutes at 350℉.
    Fill roasted peppers with cooked meat and return to oven for 5 minutes.
    Top each pepper with dabs of taco sauce to taste.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    S’mores Stuffed Brownies

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions.   (I'm a brownie purist, I'll be making my own instead of using a mix)

    Line foil into an 8x8 inch baking pan and generously spray with cooking spray. Pour half the brownie batter into lined pan.

    Layer graham crackers over brownies following with Hershey bars

    And 16 large marshmallows.
    Pour remaining batter over the marshmallows.

    Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes mostly clean from center. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

    Carefully remove foil from edges and cut into 16 squares.

    Pink Fizzy Strawberry Lemonade

    1 16 oz. package frozen strawberries (slightly thawed)
    1 Can lemonade frozen concentrate
    3 Tbsp. Sugar
    1 liter Club Soda (chilled)

    In blender mix strawberries, lemonade and sugar. Puree until smooth. Chill until ready to serve. Before serving slowly add one liter of chilled club soda.

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Excellent Quiche with Peppers, Ham & Onions

    I love me a good quiche, !  I used half & half instead of heavy cream, and it turned out just great.

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    Melissa's Cookies

    These have to be the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever eaten. Seriously.

    1 Cup margarine, softened
    ≤ C. light brown sugar
    π C. sugar
    1 – 4 serving size box of vanilla pudding
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 eggs
    2π C. Flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1- 12 ounce bag chocolate chips

    Cream margarine, sugar, pudding and vanilla
    Add and blend in eggs
    Add flour and baking soda mixture
    Add Chocolate chips
    Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes

    Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    Honey-Lime Chicken Enchiladas

    I just found this recipe again, after making it several months ago. It's a keeper!

    6 Tb honey
    4.5 Tb lime juice
    1 Tb chili powder
    1/2 tsp garlic powder

    1 lb cooked chicken, shredded
    flour tortillas
    colby or monterey jack cheese, shredded
    10 oz. can green enchilada sauce

    Mix first 4 ingredients together and toss with shredded chicken. Let it "marinate" for at least a half hour. Pour some green enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 10x10 casserole dish or 9x13 pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese. Pour the rest of the can of green enchilada sauce over enchiladas then sprinkle with more cheese. (When using a 9x13 I like to use 1 1/2 10 oz. cans) Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (Put it under the broiler at the end to make the cheese brown and crispy on the top.)

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    Pretzel, Hershey Kiss, and M&M Bites

    I have always made these with the waffle pretzels and peanut butter hershey kisses, but these are so much cuter with the M&Ms too. Will definitely be making this kind next time! I will have to experiment with PB M&Ms and regular kisses, or PB kisses and regular M&Ms to see which turns out better.
    Pretzel waffle squares
    Hershey Kisses

    1. Place the pretzel squares on a baking sheet, and top each one with a Hershey Kiss.

    2. Cook for 3 minutes in a 200 degree oven.

    3. Press an M&M into the center of each Hershey Kiss. Refrigerate for approximately 15-20 minutes or until cool.

    Ham, Cheese, Mushroom and Spinach Quiche


    * 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt (depending on the ham, may not need any salt)
    * pepper
    * 1 cup half-and-half
    * 3 eggs
    * 2 slices Swiss cheese
    * 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
    * 1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
    * 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
    * Several slices of ham
    * 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Beat together flour, salt, half-and-half and eggs in a medium bowl.
    3. Layer Swiss cheese flat in the pie crust. Then ham, spinach, and mushrooms, and pour the flour and egg mixture over mushrooms. Top with Cheddar cheese. (If using canned or frozen spinach, drain very well and mix with egg mixture.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven 45 to 55 minutes, until surface is golden brown.

    •• This is excellent. I used canned spinach and just mixed it with the eggs, and used the white sharp Cheddar cheese (Cabot?) from Costco for the top.

    Colman's Spicy Pumpkin Soup - EXCELLENT

    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon red curry paste
    1 15-oz can pumpkin (or squash)
    1 15-oz can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
    1 can Green Chiles
    1 heaping cup roasted corn kernels (or canned)
    1/2 cup Salsa
    1 cup light broth
    1/2 of a 14-oz. can coconut milk (or double the recipe and use a full can)
    Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
    Chopped cilantro, to taste- dried or fresh
    1 teaspoon honey
    Juice from 1 fresh lime

    Heat the olive oil in a heavy soup pot over medium-low heat and add the garlic, cumin and curry paste; stir for one minute. Add the pumpkin, fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles, roasted corn, and salsa. Stir to combine. Add the broth. Heat through to a simmer, and begin adding the coconut milk; start with one cup. If you like it creamy, add more. Season with sea salt and ground pepper and cilantro. Heat through gently and bring to a slow simmer. Taste test and add the fresh lime juice to brighten the flavor. Stir. Add more spice if you need more heat; add more honey and/or coconut milk if you need less heat. Serve with blue corn tortilla chips. Makes four servings.