Monday, October 31, 2016

Fall Berries........

The trees in my yard are full of these red berries in the fall. The robins can strip the trees in 2-3 days of all the berries. It's an amazing thing to see and the robins really love them.
Till next time.........

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cream Puffs........

You see a cream puff and automatically you think this has got to be hard to make. Wrong! They are not hard to make and take only four ingredients.
Cream Puffs

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine

1cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs

Heat oven to 400ºF. In 2 1/2-quart saucepan, heat water and butter to rolling boil. Stir in flour; reduce heat to low. Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball; remove from heat. Beat in eggs, one at a time; continue beating until smooth.
On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls about 3 inches apart. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool away from draft, about 30 minutes. You can poke a hole in the side and fill with your desired filling. Or cut in half and put in a scoop of ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce or caramel sauce. You can also pipe the dough onto the baking sheet, if you want to. Surprise your guests next time. You can also make them savory by making them smaller and filling them with chicken salad. 
Till next time.........

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Texas Sheet Cake........

This tastes like chocolate fudge! This is so good. But....read the directions through before starting to make this. I like using the Dark Chocolate baking cocoa. 
Texas Sheet Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 heaping Tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa
1cup butter
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup buttermilk 
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Melt butter in a saucepan and add cocoa. Stir together. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool. In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into a 10 x 15″ jelly roll pan bake 22 to 23 minutes. I always butter the pan. 
100pc -1 1/2 inch square pieces
FROSTING:
1 3/4 sticks butter
4 heaping Tbsp unsweetened Dark Chocolate baking cocoa
6 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound (minus 1/2 cup) powdered sugar (about 3 to 3 1/4 cups)
 If your frosting is still a little lumpy, cook the frosting a few minutes longer over low heat, stirring until the mixture is smooth. If your cake is in a 10 x 15″ jelly roll pan, just pour enough frosting on to cover the surface of the cake. You will most likely have a little frosting left over, about 1/2 cup of frosting. Let the frosting cool and set before cutting into squares. The frosting will set between 1 and 2 hours. I like to let it set for 2 hours as it is a little firmer then.
Till next time.........

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sakana Tempura......

This is a delightful little appetizer. It is good hot, warm or cold. It is easy to make and any fish is fine. They make a great after school snack and nutritious as they are fish and veggies. We lived at the beach for a while and I was fortunate to get a lot of really nice seafood recipes. This recipe takes a little time but it is so worth it.




Sakana Tempura
(Ebi is Shrimp - Sakana is Fish - Tempura is Batter.)
This is a Japanese Appetizer and very good! 
Mix: 
3 cups ground raw fish
1 cup cornstarch
3 eggs, not beaten
In another bowl add the following:
2 cups water
3 teaspoons salt
6 Tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons Ajinomoto (MSG)
Parboil:
1 carrot, cut in thin strips with a peeler
1 large onion, chopped
Mix together all ingredients and add slowly to the fish mixture. Spoon mixture out of bowl with a teaspoon or scant cookie scoop and drop into hot deep fat carefully. Cakes will turn a golden brown when cooked. Drain cakes on brown paper bag before serving. These are good hot or cold. The size should be about the size of a 2 bite fritter.

This recipe is from a Hawaiian friend and has been used many, many times in my family. We really enjoy it.
NOTE: You can beat egg whites separately to make the fritters lighter. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Coffee Time........

This says it all. On a rainy day, just give me a mug of Salted Caramel Coffee, a good book and as any woman will tell you, my mascara. After all, a woman must look presentable at all times. Well, maybe not today. Have a great day!
Till next time.......

Friday, October 21, 2016

Hug Your Mug Coffee........

I had a Salted Caramel Mocha the other day at Starbucks. Needless to say, it was amazing. Then yesterday, I saw this coffee at a local store on sale, so I figured why not. I bought a 12 oz package of it and had a cup last night as I was watching TV. If I add a tsp of sugar the salted caramel was delightful. But if you add a little chocolate syrup, then you have a Salted Caramel Mocha!!! I paid less for the coffee than a cup of Starbucks and I have the rest of the package to enjoy even more cups of this wonderful coffee. Some days, you just live right.
Till next time.......

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bruschetta Dip........

I recently had the opportunity to taste this dip. It was amazing. I could have sat at the reception and just ate a bowl of it. I would have been extremely happy to do that.  It was that good.
Bruschetta Dip
8 oz. Cream Cheese
4oz Mayonnaise 
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil 
1 clove garlic, crushed, minced 
1 tomato, chopped fine 
1 small onion, chopped fine
black pepper to taste
Beat till creamy and serve with Fritos or Crackers. Add a little cream or milk to thin, if necessary, but you want a dipping consistency. 
Makes approx. 2 cups of dip. 7.2 grams per 1/3 cup
Till next time........

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

7-Layer Salad..........

A 7-Layer Salad is easy to make. It is just a matter of layering different veggies over a bed of lettuce. I like Romaine lettuce as it holds up better and has more flavor. Layer the following according to the size of your pan. There are no set amounts, just a layer of each ingredient. You will note, I do not count the dressing layer as a layer. Can you substitute veggies, of course. Use hard boiled eggs, green or red peppers, red onions, cauliflower, or any other veggies you might prefer. 
7-Layer Salad
Shredded Romaine Lettuce 
Celery, sliced fine 
Green Peas, thawed 
Mix Mayonnaise and Sour Cream, equal parts and put a thin layer over the three layers you already have. 
Shredded Cheddar  Cheese
Pepper Jack Cheese 
Crumbled Bacon 
Chopped Scallions 
Put in refrigerate for an hour or two before serving.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Jar Seal Breaker.........

You probably have never seen one of these. It was a gift to me when I first got married; many years ago. But it is the handiest little kitchen tool ever. Especially now that I have arthritic joints. If you put the pointed end under the edge of a jar lid and then squeeze it together, it will break the seal on a jar. There by making it easier to open. If you ever see one in an antique store, buy!!!
Till next time........

Monday, October 17, 2016

Beer Brats.........

It's October and time for Octoberfest. What goes better with a nice cold stout beer than a beer brat sandwich? This recipe is so easy to fix for a crowd and you get to enjoy the festival as well. After it is done, everyone helps themselves and the slow cooker keeps it nice and hot for everyone. 
Beer Brats
3 bottles, 12oz bottles
10 brats
1-2 sweet onions, sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 Tbsp butter
Brown brats and place in slow cooker. Top brats with onion slices, garlic, salt, pepper and butter. Pour in beer and cook on High for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours. Enjoy with your favorite brat toppings! And yes, get out the mustard for this. This will make 10 sandwiches.
Till next time...........

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Reading.........

What was the last book you read? What's that......you can't remember. Well then, it's time to pick up a book and get informed, get taken to another place or read a recipe. Reading not only improves your reading, but it improves your spelling and vocabulary. That makes it easier to work crosswords puzzles to keep your mind alert. Reading also keeps your mind alert as it gives you pause to think.
Do yourself a favor, pick up a book at the library or stop at a bookstore and get a book. You truly will not regret it and it will improve your mental health.
Till next time.........

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting.........

Don't you agree, chocolate cake calls for a marshmallow cream cheese frosting? For me, it just does. That soft luscious marshmallow we all loved as kids, can now be a frosting on cake. Yum!!
Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting
7 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
7 oz. marshmallow creme
Soften your cream cheese before you start. Beat cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Scoop marshmallow fluff out of the jar  into a mixing bowl. Beat cream cheese and marshmallow until combined. Chill cupcakes briefly in the fridge after icing them and the frosting will hold its shape. For a layer cake, double this recipe. 
Yield: 2 cups
Till next time.........

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Apple Crisp........

When Fall arrives and the apples have ripened, thoughts go to apple cider and apple desserts. One of my favorites is Apple Crisp. What are some of your favorites when it comes to apple desserts? Apple pie would be my next favorite.





Apple Crisp
4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking or 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 cream.
Till next time........


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Aruba Rum Punch........

I recently came back from mini vacation and at the Reception one night, they served an Aruba Rum Punch with Coconut Rum. It was really good. A bit sweet for me to drink very much, but still a very good drink. Both of these recipes sound really good. The first one makes 8 cups and the second is for an individual serving. I would serve it in an 8oz stem ware over ice. It can be garnished with a chunk of pineapple or a slice of orange. All I can say is, enjoy it's a very cool drink.
Aruba Rum Punch
1 cup Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum

1 cup cranberry juice
1 cup orange juice
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups ginger ale
1 cup grenadine or cherry syrup
Orange and lemon slices, maraschino cherries for garnish



Aruba Rum Punch
1 oz Dark Rum
1 oz White Rum
1 oz Rum
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 splash Grenadine
1/2 oz Sweet and Sour Mix
Till next time.......

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Pineapple Jalapeno Relish.........

Fall is here and you still have Jalapeños left from summer. What can you do with them? Here is one suggestion that is good on chicken, fish, pork and especially good on salmon. It's Pineapple Jalapeño Relish. Give it a try, I'm pretty sure you will like it.
Pineapple Jalapeño Relish
1 cup fresh pineapple
1/2 cup red onion, minced
2 Tbsp parsley or cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 lemon, juiced (or 1/2 lime, juiced)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. This is a great make ahead dish. Make it in the morning and have it for supper. 10 calories and 2 grams carbohydrates per serving. 
Yield 1 1/2 cups
Till next time……..

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Caramel Apples.........

It's October and apple time. Time for apple cider and caramel apples. So grab a basket of apples at the orchard and a bag of  Kraft caramels at the store and enjoy a treat from the season.
Caramel Apples
5 apples
1 pkg. (11 oz.) KRAFT Caramels
2 Tbsp. water 
Wash apples, then dry completely. (Note: In order for the caramel sauce to stick to the apples, the apples need to be well chilled before washing, drying and dipping in the caramel sauce.) Insert wooden pop stick into stem end of each apple. Microwave caramels and water in large glass microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 to 2-1/2 min. or until caramels are completely melted and mixture is well blended when stirred. Cover large plate with parchment; spray with cooking spray. Dip apples, 1 at a time, into caramel sauce, turning to evenly coat each apple. Hold dipped apple over bowl to let excess caramel drip back into bowl. Refrigerate 1 hour or until caramel is firm. Remove apples from refrigerator 15 min. before serving. (Note: Caramel apples can be refrigerated up to 2 days before serving.)
Till next time.........

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Mexican Cheese Ball.........

This is one of my favorite cheese balls as it has a bit of spice to it. I love adding grated pepper jack cheese to a lot of my dips and cheese balls. It's just the right amount of heat for me. Then rolling it in Doritos Nacho chips adds another layer of flavor. Adding a pumpkin stem makes it perfect for fall entertaining. Hope you enjoy it.
Mexican Cheese Ball 
1 cup pepper jack cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
3 Tbsp salsa, any kind you like
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Zest of 1 lime
1 cup Doritos chips 
Place cheeses, salsa, parsley and lime zest into a food processor and blend for 4-5 seconds. Spread a piece of plastic wrap onto the counter and pour the mixture into the middle of it. Gather up all four corners and twist, so the plastic is tightly wrapped around the ball of cheese. Place in refrigerator to firm up for about 1-2 hours. Place crushed Doritos Nacho chips into a bowl. Remove the ball of cheese from the plastic and roll it around in the Doritos chips. Serve with a variety of your favorite crackers, flat bread and cut veggies such as cucumber, celery and red bell pepper. Yields 6-8 servings
Till next time..........


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

French Vanilla Filling for Cream Puffs........

Most cream puffs are filled with a custard or a whip cream filling. Years ago, a neighbor of mine, brought me a cream puff filled with French vanilla filling. Well, to say the very least, I was in love!! It is the most delectable dessert I have ever had. The filling was a mix of pudding and heavy cream.
French Vanilla Filling
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch, plus a little
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup milk
1 beaten egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
Combine sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir till mixture thickens and boils. Cook and stir 2-3 minutes longer. Stir a little of hot mixture into egg yolks. Return that to hot mixture. Stirring constantly; bring just to boiling. Add vanilla. Cover entire surface with clear plastic wrap, cool. Beat smooth. Fold in whipping cream. 
Makes 2 cups. Double if you need more filling.
Till next time.......

Monday, October 3, 2016

Lemon Curd..........

Fresh lemon curd is a delight to the palate. If you are a lemon fan, you will love this smooth velvety lemon curd. PLEASE don't even think about using bottled lemon juice for this. Fresh is the only way to go. If you make a cookie tart and fill it with lemon curd, top with a blueberry or raspberry; your guests will be delighted.
Lemon Curd
3 lemons
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
4 extra-large eggs
Juice  of 3 to 4 lemons (1/2 cup)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar. Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined. Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd should thicken just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.
Till next time.........

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Coconut Macaroons Dipped.........



In all the years that I have made coconut macaroons, I have never dipped them in chocolate until I read it on the Internet. I mean really, shouldn't that have been one of my first thoughts. I love chocolate and it can only improve the taste of the macaroon. Right? You can dip the bottom of the macaroon in chocolate like this one. Or you can dip the top part in chocolate. I prefer dipping the top in. But let's face it, you can dip the whole thing in chocolate!! This is a prize winning recipe. So enjoy.
Coconut Macaroons
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, flour and salt. Whisked the egg whites till frothy and add to the coconut along with the vanilla; mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets or parchment paper. Bake at 325° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.

Till next time.......

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Caramel Sauce..........

There is nothing better than a good caramel sauce over ice cream or apple pie. Just for a moment, think about apple pie with cinnamon ice cream and caramel sauce. My mouth is already watering!!
Caramel Sauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 stick butter
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, while whisking gently, until thicker, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Pour the sauce into a jar and refrigerate until cold.
To serve, bring out the apple pie and cinnamon ice cream, drizzle with caramel sauce and enjoy! Makes about 2 cups and will keep in the refrigerator for approximately 2 weeks or frozen for about 3 months. But at my house, it only lasts a week and it's gone! 
Till next time........