Friday, February 16, 2018

Apple Dumpling........

The winter is the time to enjoy everything apple. Apple butter, applesauce, apple pie, apple dumplings. One of my favorites is an apple dumpling w/caramel sauce. Oh right, no calories there. Ha-ha. But it's winter and so good to eat. Check out your cookbook, recipe box or head to the Internet for great apple recipes. There are thousands of them to make. 
Just a couple of the wonderful ideas for using apple. Pie with vanilla ice cream is my second favorite. Happy eating!!
Till next time......

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Time to Let Go.......

Every New Year, I choose a word that will improve my life in one way or another. This year, I chose two words, "Let Go". Sometimes to let go of things and find peace of mind; you need to face truths that are hard to face and do things that are hard to do. But if you have a strong character and a sense of integrity, you do the right thing, in order to let go.
Till next time......

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Chow Mein Clusters........


Here's a sweet and delightful project for the children on Valentine's Day, that the whole family can enjoy. You can change what you put into these little clusters. Kix cereal, Rice Chex, pretzels, M&Ms, chocolate chips, etc. Whatever suits your family's fancy.
Chow Mein Clusters
2 cups white choc chips
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups Chow mein noodles
2 cups mini marshmallows
Melt the 2 over low heat, then toss in chow mein noodles and mini marshmallows. Drop on parchment or wax paper size desired n let cool...no refrigeration needed.. store in container...I'd let cool couple hours first...


Rocky Road Chocolate Peanut Cluster
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chow mein noodles
1/2 cup marshmallows
1/2 cup salted peanuts

In a microwave, melt chocolate, stir until smooth. Stir in chow mein noodles and peanuts, marshmallows until well coated. Drop 
by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Yield: 8 clusters.
Till next time........

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Strawberry Punch.........

Here is the perfect punch for your Valentine party. It's red and delicious!  I like to use Ginger Ale instead of the lemon lime soda, though. It is not as sweet and gives the punch a little extra "punch".
Strawberry Punch
2 1/2 cups of white sugar.
6 cups of water.
2 (3 ounce) packages of strawberry flavored with Jell-O mix.
1 (46 fluid ounce) can of pineapple juice.
2/3 cup of lemon juice.
1 quart orange juice.
2 (2 liter) bottles of lemon-lime flavored soda
In a large saucepan, mix together the sugar, water and strawberry flavored gelatin and boil for 3 minutes. Add in the pineapple juice, lemon juice and orange juice and mix. Pour the mixture in two containers and freeze. In a punch bowl, mix the content of 1 container with 1 bottle of lemon-lime flavored soda and mix to combine.
Till next time........

Monday, February 12, 2018

Alone Time......

I find in order to get things done, I need "alone time", to rejuvenate and refresh. Do you feel the same way? Anyway, I think Richard Templar put it very well. Here are some thoughts from, "The Rules of Life by Richard Templar".


"It is the little space just for yourself while you do absolutely nothing.
I find time spent doing nothing really important but as soon as I complicate it, it loses something.
If I add a cup of coffeee to my solitude, then it's a coffee break and not a space just for me.
If I listen to music then it's a music break.
If I read the paper then I have moved away entirely from the concept of a little space for me.
Keep it simple. Keep it bare. Keep it pure. 
This is a little space for you, a breather, a time to sit still and do absolutely nothing. Just breathe.
I sit there, not thinking, not doing, not worrying, just being, while I appreciate the pleasure of being alive."

Till next time.......

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Cannoli Dip........


I love Cannoli and since I can't always find them. This is my answer to indulgence. So Good!! 
Cannoli Dip
2 cups whole milk ricotta
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Mix the ricotta, confectioners' sugar and orange zest in a bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips. Serve with strawberries and wonton triangles, pita chips or cookies for dipping. 8 appetizer servings. 
Till next time..........

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Whipped Cream Pie...........

I like a nice dessert that looks decadent. How about yourself? I enjoyed this lovely dessert at a friend's house one night. So I wanted to share it with you. This is perfect for Valentine's Day or anytime.
Whipped Cream Pie
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
1⁄2 pint whipping cream, whipped
1 9 inch graham cracker crust
Combine cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice. Beat until smooth and creamy. Fold cheese mixture into whipped cream. Pour into pie crust. Refrigerate until firm. Garnish with any fruit pie topping. If you are watching your carbs it's. 48.7 carbs per 1/8 of 9” pie. So if you are careful with your carbs, you, too can enjoy this dessert.
Till next time.......

Friday, February 9, 2018

What Really Counts on Valentine's Day........

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. Do I want to be remembered on Valentine's Day? Of course, who doesn't? But for me, a nice sentimental card is enough. Don't make a big show of it by sending flowers to my workplace or have singers arrive at my job to surprise me with balloons and a song. That stuff is embarrassing to me. Instead:
1. Cook dinner for me when it isn't Valentine's day.
2. Bring me flowers just because you love me.
3. Tell me I look beautiful when I've had a bad day.
4. Watch the kids one day so I can have a "Me day".
5. Clean up the kitchen after I've cooked you a dinner.
6. Leave a love note for no reason.
These things say I love you louder than anything I could get on Valentine's Day. Ask most any woman, it's the little things in daily life that say "I love you", the loudest. 
Till next time........

Thursday, February 8, 2018

How to Ripen an Avocado.........

You just got an avocado at the market and it isn't quite ripe. Did you know that if you put an apple or pear by an avocado it will help to ripen it. Try it, it works. Fruits like these give off ethylene gas which causes fruit and avocados to ripen.
Till next time........

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Bananas Foster........

One of my all time favorite desserts is Bananas Foster. It is rich, gooey and full of flavor. What more do you want in a dessert?
Bananas Foster
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 large ripe bananas, peeled and cut in half. Melt the butter in a skillet over high heat. Stir in the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until melted. Stir in the rum and cook, stirring, until the rum is almost completely evaporated. Whisk in the cream and cook until just heated through. Add the bananas and cook for 1 minute longer. Serve over ice cream and enjoy!
Till next time.......

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Beef Au Jus..........

Don't you just love that dipping au jus that you get with beef sandwiches? Now you can make your own. A French Dip Sandwich is one of my favorite sandwiches. They are so good. You don't need salt, there is enough in the beef bouillon.
Beef Au Jus
2 tablespoons granulated beef bouillon plus 1 teaspoon (can use crushed bouillon cubes)
2 teaspoons granulated onion bouillon 
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes 
1/8 teaspoon black pepper 
OR 1/8 teaspoon red pepper (for some heat)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor; whirl to a fine powder. Pour mix into a jar, label with directions and store at room temperature. To use: Put 2 1/4 teaspoons mix into a small saucepan; stir in 1 cup of cold water. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; mix in a few drops Kitchen Bouquet and, if you wish, a pat of butter. 
Till next time...... 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Beer Cheese Sauce........

If I watch what I eat during the day, I can actually eat this for supper. I love the low carb way of eating. But then I like my meat, seafood and cheese, so it's perfect!

Beer Cheese Sauce
2 cups shredded Cheddar/Jack cheese blend
8 ounces onion chive flavored whipped cream cheese 
1/2 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika 
8 to 10 ounces beer 
Kosher salt freshly ground black pepper 
In a sauce pot on medium heat, add the shredded cheese, cream cheese, paprika, 8 ounces of the beer, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring, until melted. Keep warm, adding beer to loosen if needed.
Till next time........

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Low Carbs........


Winter set in with all it's cold weather and so did the comfort foods. Guess I got too "comfortable" with my food choices. Anyway, with a Dr physical in the not to near future, I need to get rid of the "comfort food lbs." So it's low carbs for me for awhile. Below are dozens of healthy low-carb foods to fill my diet with. So you can easily see, I will not be going hungry.





Low-carb veggies.
Eggs & dairy. Cage-free eggs. ... 
Meat & seafood. All the foods below have zero carbs. ... 
Nuts & seeds. Chia seeds. ... 
Oils & fats (all have zero carbs) ... 
Condiments, herbs and spices. ... 
Huevos Rancheros
And plenty of water and frequent walks.
Does this salmon supper look like I will be starving myself. NO, just making a better choice for my supper.
Till next time........

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Pineapple Salsa........

For a nice refreshing change, try some pineapple salsa instead of the tomato salsa. It is sweet and spicy. 
Pineapple Salsa
1 can pineapple tidbits 
1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced
1/2 cup green bell peppers, diced
1/4 cup green onions, sliced thin 
OR red onion, diced
2 tsp parsley (or cilantro)
2 tsp Jalapeno chiles
1 Tsp lime zest
Toss all of the ingredients together and serve.
Till next time.........

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Apple Kielbasa.........

I always think about Kielbasa in the fall or winter. It just seems to call my name and there are so many recipes for it. This is one of my favorite recipes. It has sweetness, tang, spice and is just plain good. 
Apple Kielbasa
2 lbs. fully cooked kielbasa sausage
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chunky applesauce
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
Cut kielbasa into 1" pieces and combine with brown sugar, applesauce, mustard, and garlic in 3 quart crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours until thoroughly heated. 12 appetizer servings. 
Till next time.........

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Potato Candy.......

Potatoes were introduced from European immigrants that came from Germany, France, Ireland, Russia or Scandinavia. Potatoes were a staple in those households. So it makes sense this candy came from those regions. No potato was wasted, food was precious. This candy is not to be confused with Irish Potato Candy which actually contains no potato. It also contains coconut and is formed into small potato shapes. This is NOT that candy. This does contain potato and is rolled like a cinnamon roll and sliced.

Potato Candy
1/2 cup plain mashed potatoes
6-8 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
Pinch of salt
Add mashed potato and 4 cups powdered sugar and mix until blended (will be a sticky mess and this point). If opting to use vanilla, mix in now. Mix in more powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until mixture is very thick (slightly thicker than cookie dough). Lay down a large sheet of wax paper and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Transfer candy mixture to the wax paper and sprinkle the top with more powdered sugar. Roll out to ¼ inch thick rectangle. Spread peanut butter everly over candy. Roll tightly (long side toward long side), then wrap in the wax paper. Cut in half crosswise and put the two halves inside a large resealable bag. Seal the bag and chill for at least 30 minutes until firm, or until about 30 minutes before ready to serve. Unwrap candy and slice into 1-inch thick slices and serve or store in airtight container, chilled, up to 2 weeks.
* You can drizzle with dark chocolate if you like.
Till next time........

Monday, January 22, 2018

Egg in a Hole........

What a fun breakfast for the children. Mine loved this and your's will, too.
Parmesan Egg in a Hole
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 slices Texas toast-style bread
6 large eggs
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
hot sauce, optional
Stir together butter and cheese in a bowl. Spread on both sides of each bread slice, dividing evenly. Cut a 3-inch heart or circle from the center of each bread slice. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, cook bread until golden brown on one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and immediately crack an egg into the hole of each slice; season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and partially cover pan. Cook until eggs are set, about 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining bread and eggs. Cook bread hearts/rounds until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Till next time.......

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Bruschetta Dip.........

One of the best dips I have eaten is the Bruschetta Dip. Full of flavor and different from your ordinary dips. Give it a try, you'll like it!
Bruschetta Dip
8oz cream cheese
4 oz Greek yogurt
1/2oz Sun dried tomato
(or fresh tomatoes, diced)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced onion
Mince the sun dried tomatoes then combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix on Hi until smooth. Add a little cream or milk to thin, if necessary. 
Optional: Garnish with little basil leaves. Yields: 8 Servings 
Till next time........

Friday, January 19, 2018

Bean Dip...........

Have you just been hungry for something from your past. Vintage Bean Dip is the item for me. Liked it as a young adult and still do. We used to take it to the auto races with a bag of Fritos to dip with.
Vintage Bean Dip
1 1/2 cups white beans, precooked 
OR 15 oz refried beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Add ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
Yield: 2 cups
 Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 1week. 

Optional: 5 slices of bottled Jalapeño peppers
Till next time........

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Slow Cooker Chocolates..........

It's winter and cold outside and you need a chocolate fix. It's too cold to venture out so you can make your own delicious chocolates using your slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Chocolates
2 pounds salted dry-roasted peanuts
4 ounces German's sweet chocolate (about 4 squares)
One 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
2 1/2 pounds white almond bark

Put the peanuts in the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker. Layer the chocolate over the peanuts, beginning with the sweet chocolate, followed by the chocolate chips and then the almond bark. Set the temperature on warm and cook for 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Do not stir the mixture. After 3 hours, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth. Drop the candy into cupcake pan liners using about 2 tablespoons per liner. Allow the candy to cool completely before removing the cupcake liners. 30-40 piece cupcake size. Double if mini papers are used.
Till next time......

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Mincemeat Bars...........

I love mincemeat, always have and always will. So when I get hungry for mincemeat and I don't want to make a pie, I go to this recipe.
Mincemeat Bars
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted, cooled
1/4 cup milk
1 (27 oz.) jar None Such® Ready-to-Use Classic Original Mincemeat
HEAT oven to 400°F. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add oil and milk, stirring until evenly moistened. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture. PRESS remaining crumb mixture in 13 x 9-inch baking pan to form a crust. Top with mincemeat. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. BAKE 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Yield: 30 bars or 60 squares.
Note: I like using a 8x8 pan better.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese..........

It's cold and about to be snowy as well. So dig out the Slow Cooker and make a nice comforting dish of macaroni and cheese. What could be more comforting than that?
Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
8 oz of Elbow Macaroni (uncooked)
5 cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups of Milk
1 13oz can of Evaporated Milk
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp Salt
Dash of Pepper 
Dash of Paprika
In a large 4-quart slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray, mix the macaroni, evaporated milk, milk, butter, salt, pepper, eggs and all but 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top of the mixture and then sprinkle with paprika. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 hours and 15 minutes. Turn off the slow cooker, stir the mixture and serve hot. Serves 6-10 Depending on if this is an entree or a side.
Till next time........

Monday, January 8, 2018

Apple Crisp..........


This time of year, the apples are at their finest. Do yourself a favor and bake up a dish of Apple Crisp for yourself and/or your family.
Apple Crisp
4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Till next time.......

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Frozen Lake........

Went to the lake yesterday and could not resist taking photos of the frozen lake. It was frozen all over and so pretty.
Till next time........

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Tree Snow......

Just some snow hanging around the tree. Not covering it, just sort of hanging around.
Till next time.......

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Steak Tartare.......


SNEAK PEEK:
I like to try new things and I have never had Steak Tartare. So in the next  few days, I plan to try it. I found a recipe that sounds good, so will give it a try. I can't see buying it in a 4 star restaurant when I don't even know if I would like it. Right? These are the ingredients. Will let you know what I think of it.
Till next time.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Sweet Hawaii Chicken.......

The holidays are over and you don't want to do anymore cooking!! Right? Well, throw this in your slow cooker and forget it. Fix a pot of rice and your meal is complete without a lot of fuss.
Sweet Hawaii Chicken
2 lb. Chicken tenderloin chunks
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
Combine all together, cook on low in Crock-pot 6-8 hours.
Serve with white or brown rice and enjoy. 
Till next time.......

Monday, January 1, 2018

Slo-Cooker Carolina Pulled Pork........

First of all, Happy New Year everyone! It's New Year's and pork is generally on the menu. What could be easier than putting it all in a slo-cooker and forgetting it.  I like to add a few red peppers. But that's just a personal preference and totally not necessary. This recipe comes from the west North Carolina area. When it's done, just shred and enjoy!



Slo-cooker Carolina Pulled Pork

2 - 2.5 lbs. boneless pork loin

1/2 onion sliced
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
1/2 16 oz. bottle BBQ sauce (your choice of BBQ sauce)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup water
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.
Cook on medium for 6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
Then shred and enjoy!

Till next time........

Cranberry Lemon Almond Biscotti..........

One of my favorite cookies is Cranberry Lemon Almond Biscotti ( Bis-coat-tee). I learned how to make it last year and I love this recipe. You can dip it in chocolate or just have plain. Super good. 
Cranberry Lemon Almond Biscotti 
 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup almonds, sliced
2/3 cup dried cranberries
12 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, chopped (or about 1/2 pkg dark chocolate chips)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the almonds and cranberries.
Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes. 
Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely. 
Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip the bottoms of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes. The biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.
Till next time........

Friday, December 29, 2017

Berry Bread Pudding.........

If you are looking for that very special bread pudding for you holiday breakfast, this is it. Look no further for a delightful breakfast. This is served at the The Duke of Windsor Inn, Cape May, NJ. Try it and enjoy it.
Berry Bread Pudding
8 slices day-old white bread
6 oz cream cheese
2 3/4 tbsp sugar plus 1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups fresh raspberries, blueberries or blackberries
1/2 cups brown sugar
8 eggs
2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°  Use 9 x13 baking pan.  Spread each slice of bread with cream cheese and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Cube bread and place in bottom of pan. Distribute berries evenly over bread.  Sprinkle half the brown sugar over cubes.  Beat together eggs, milk, and vanilla; pour over cubes.  Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar. Bake 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Top with a spoonful of sweetened sour cream and garnish with sliced strawberries or blackberries.
Serves 10.
Till next time.........

Friday, December 22, 2017

Bread Tip........

I have great bread tip for you! When you are making homemade bread, add 1 Tbsp of cornstarch per cup of bread flour. It will give you a much lighter texture to your bread. I learned of this several months ago and it DOES work! I do it all the time now. Another tip I have learned is warm up your bread machine pan. That way when you add the warm water it doesn't cool off from a cold pan. Enjoy this recipe, it is so good.






White Bread
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) 
3 tablespoons white sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
3 cups bread flour + 3 Tbsp cornstarch (whisk together)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 
Place water, sugar, salt, oil, bread flour and yeast into pan of bread
machine. Bake on White Bread setting medium crust. Cool completely on wire rack before
slicing.
Till next time.........








Friday, November 3, 2017

Sex Offenders............

Yes, I know. This is not something we like to think about. But.......they look normal and they are in our neighborhoods. I am not asking you to be afraid. I am asking you to be aware; so you can protect yourself and your children. The government in each state has a website that will list all registered sex offenders in your area. Of course, those that aren't registered still remain an unknown threat. Crime is everywhere now. It has moved into the suburbs, no area is safe anymore. The states also have a website that will show the crime in your area. Check these websites out. They hold a valuable amount of information. Always be aware of your surroundings. Protect yourself!!
Till next time........

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Waterfowl........

I was privileged to see a Pelican over the weekend. So of course I had to use my camera. The Pelican was just enjoying an afternoon on the water.



Then I saw a Cormorant who decided to pose for as many photos as I wanted to take. While some waterfowl was cooperative, many were skittish.
Till next time........

Monday, October 16, 2017

Peanut Butter Eggs/Or Small Bites.........

I know it isn't time for Easter, but these are just so good, I had to post them. Shape them into little peanut butter balls if it isn't Easter season. Great for Halloween treats as well.
Peanut Butter Eggs
1 lb. (about 3 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter or marg, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix together with hands until thoroughly blended. Shape into eggs or small bites. Chill until firm. I like putting them in the freezer to chill. Dip in chocolate coating. Melt chocolate for coating, a crockpot on low heat works well. It keeps the chocolate at a uniform heat.
Till next time........

Friday, October 6, 2017

Apple Pie w/Cheddar Cheese Pie Crust..........

I never understood why my Mom always like cheddar cheese with her apple pie. Not until years later when I tasted cheddar cheese pie crust. The flavor with apple pie is awesome!! This recipe is from Nancy Fuller and she uses a food processor to blend the crust. I prefer using a pastry blender. It's just a matter of choice. Either will work, just be sure not to over process the dough if using the food processor or the pastry blender. Using 2 different types of apples, just adds to the flavor of the pie. Check out other recipes from Nancy Fuller at the link below.
Pie Crust:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon sugar 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 
1 cup (4 ounces) grated extra-sharp white Cheddar 
6 Tbsp cold water
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the food processor and give it a quick pulse to blend the ingredients. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like crumbly sand. Add the cheese and pulse again until combined and cheese is worked into the mixture and cut into small chunks. Turn the mixture out into a bowl, drizzle in 6 tablespoons cold water, and mix in with a rubber spatula until the flour is moistened. Add another tablespoon of water, only if needed. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a ball and flatten to a disc. Rest the dough to relax the gluten, 30 minutes in the fridge.
Roll out 1 disc of the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Add the apples in an even layer and dot with the butter. Lightly brush the edges with egg wash. Roll out the next dough round, slightly smaller than the first. Cover the top of the apples with the second pie dough, pressing the edges to seal the crust. Trim the crust so you are left with a 1-inch overhang. Tuck the crust underneath itself so it's flush with the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the edges decoratively. Brush the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Make 5 air slits in the center of the pie. Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. Adjust the baking racks to the center of the oven. Place the pie on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.  Lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees and bake for 45 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature, at least 3 hours, before slicing.
Apple Filling:
2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
1 1/2 pounds Braeburn apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
2 tablespoons butter, sliced into pats 
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water 
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, for sprinkling 
Combine the Granny Smith apples, Braeburn apples, sugar, flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Till next time.........

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Sweet Italian Dressing.........

As you all know, Italian dressing is oil and vinegar and herbs. But for a pasta salad, I like a little sweeter Italian dressing. I hope you like it as well. By experimenting, I came up with this recipe and I really like it.
Sweet Italian Dressing
1/4 cup Rice vinegar, scant
1/4 cup granulated sugar, scant
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried Basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 cup oil
Blend the top 8 ingredients in a blender. Then slowly add the oil with the blender on highest speed. The dressing will be thick. Put in jar and keep in fridge.
Till next time........

Monday, October 2, 2017

Zucchini Apple Bread...........

When fall arrives and the harvest is in, we make Zucchini Apple Bread. It's the perfect time of year to bake and stock up your freezer for the holidays. Save a loaf out to eat now with a little honey butter.
Zucchini Apple Bread
1 apple, shredded
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 medium zucchini, shredded
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans.   Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl.  Add sugar, zucchini, apple, vanilla and oil.  Mix well.   Combine dry ingredients,  add to zucchini mixture.  Fold in walnuts.  Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.  Cool 10-15 minutes before removing from pan.
Till next time.........