Yum

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pasta Fagioli Soup

A simple twist on a traditional Italian Ham and Bean soup.

Hun... What's for Dinner?: Pasta Fagioli- A simple twist on a traditional Italian Ham and Bean soup.


It's been a busy time of year, but we've finally gotten our house back in order. Christmas was wonderful, though I didn't take the time to share all my wonderful desserts with you. I will dedicate an entry to them in the near future.

We baked a ham for Christmas dinner, which means we had leftovers. Anytime we have ham, I save the bone to make my Mother in Law's Pasta Fagioli Soup. She made this for me about 3 yrs ago and I fell inlove with it. It is so simple, yet so yummy. It's one of Hubby's favourites and the kids are pretty crazy about it too. It's a great way to use up ham bone and it's very easy on the budget too.


Pasta Fagioli Soup

1/2 bag of great northern beans, sorted and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
1 ham bone
2 C chopped ham
1/2 box ditalini pasta
2 cans tomato soup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large pot of water, bring beans, onion and ham bone to a boil. Simmer over med low heat, until beans are tender, 2 or more hrs, adding water when needed. Once beans are tender, add ham, ditalini, tomato soup, salt and pepper and any additional water, to almost fill the pot. Simmer, on very low heat, stirring frequently, until pasta is tender.


Hun... What's for Dinner?: Pasta Fagioli- A simple twist on a traditional Italian Ham and Bean soup.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thanks Bakerella!!!

Well one of the blogs I keep up with is Bakerella. She just amazes me with her talent. I love to bake and often turn many shades of green, when I read and see all the great creations on her blog, LOL. My mother in law came in for the Holidays and recently celebrated her 50th birthday. Last night Hubby made a wonderful seafood feast and I created, the most amazing cake I've even made. I used Bakerella's Moist Yellow Cake recipe, and took ideas from some of her cupcakes to decorate the cake with chocolate flowers, vines, leaves and MOM on top. My Mother in law was over the moon and said she had never had such a beautiful cake before. The cake was a bit dry, due to me over filling the pans, and having to over bake to compensate. It still tastes good though. So Thanks to Bakerella, for making my Mother in law's birthday more special and giving me the confidence to try new and creative things!!




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Moist Yellow Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter (room temperature)
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
3 cups of sifted self-rising flour (White Lily)
1 cup of whole milk (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (McCormicks)
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour (3) 8 inch cake pans.
Using a mixer, cream butter until fluffy.
Add sugar and continue to cream for about 7 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg is added.
Add flour and milk (alternating to creamed mixture), beginning and ending with flour.
Add vanilla and butter flavoring to mix; until just mixed.
Divide batter equally into three cake pans.
Hold each layer about 3 inches above your counter and carefully drop the pans flat onto counter several times to ensure release of any air bubbles. This will help you have a more level cake.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes (depending on your oven) until done.
Cool in pans for 5 - 10 minutes.
Remove and immediately wrap each layer in plastic wrap to seal in moisture. Cool completely on wire racks.
Once cooled, you are ready to assemble your cake.


Easy Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1b. 10X powdered sugar
1-3 teaspoons milk, half and half or cream

Using a mixer, cream softened butter and vanilla until smooth.
Add sugar gradually, allowing butter and sugar to cream together before adding more.
If you want your frosting a little creamier, add a teaspoon of milk at a time and beat on high until you get the right texture.
Then, just use icing colors to tint the frosting the color of your choice.This is usually just enough for a 2-layer cake, so I would recommend doubling this for a three-layer. But, I like a lot of frosting.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cookies, Cookies, everywhere!

I've been a busy little bee. Baking whenever I got a spare moment. My girlfriends asked me who the heck I was baking for. Easy, for us, LOL. I grew up with a mother that baked her heart out at Christmas time. Being without at least 7 or 8 dozen different types of desserts for Christmas is sacrilege!!! So I've been making some of my favorites to share with Hubby, Mr.B, my mother in law and any lucky person, who takes the time to drop in over the next weeks or so.



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Meltaway Cookies

Delicate mounds of buttery goodness.

1C butter
1/2C confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4C flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2C chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix butter, sugar and vanilla, thoroughly. Sift flour and salt into a small bowl. Blend into butter mixture, add nuts and blend well. Dough will be crumbly. Form into 1 inch balls and place onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. While warm, roll into confectioners sugar.



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English Toffee Balls

1/2C powdered sugar
1 C butter, softened
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
2 C flour
1 Tbs milk
1/2 C heath toffee bits

Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl, beat powdered sugar, margarine, and pudding mix, until light and fluffy. Add flour, milk, vanilla and heath bits, mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls and bake for 13-18 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden. Remove from cookie sheet and cool completely. Dip top into powdered sugar.



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ChowMein Noodle Cookies
1C chocolate chips
1C butterscotch chips
1C chowmein noodles
1C salted peanuts

Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips. Add chowmein noodles and peanuts and stir until completely coated. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate to set.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Spicy Chicken and Corn Chowder

I created this from leftovers the other night. I simmered my Rotisserie Style Chicken carcass in water with celery, onion, carrot and bay leaf. The result was a spicy chicken broth, due to the cayenne in the rub. I really enjoyed this dish. It was too spicy for Mr.B , a fact I over looked while simmering the broth, so he opted for his trusted PB&J, LOL. Hubby and I polished off the leftovers for lunch , yesterday. The corn added a sweet creaminess, that took the edge off the heat a bit.


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Spicy Chicken and Corn Chowder

3 C spicy broth
1/3C non fat milk powder
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 small onion, minced
1 can creamed corn
1/4-1/2 C instant potato flakes

Add milk powder to spicy broth and bring to boil. Add potatoes, onion, celery and creamed corn. Reduce to simmer and cook for 1 hr, until potatoes are tender. Thicken to desired consistency, with potato flakes. Season with any needed salt or pepper.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let the Christmas Baking Begin!!!

With only 9 days until Christmas, I figured I better get my butt in gear on the desserts. Not very gung ho about the whole ordeal today ( I'm a bit moody due to lack of sleep), I decided to make Rachael Ray's 5 minute fudge. She had showcased it on Oprah a few years back and it's so easy and very delicious. I made a batch and separated it into 2 small Christmas tins, instead of making a wreath, like she suggests. This would be a perfect inexpensive gift for teachers or neighbors.





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Rachael Ray's 5 Minute Fudge Wreath

1 bag semisweet chocolate morsels (12 ounces)
9 ounces butterscotch morsels (3/4 of a 12 ounce bag)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can or package of walnut halves (8 ounces)
1/2 cup currants (a couple handfuls)
8-inch cake pan, lightly greased with softened butter
Candied red and green cherries, for garnish (optional)

Place a heavy pot on the stove and pre-heat it over low heat. Add chocolate and butterscotch morsels and milk and stir until morsels are melted and milk is combined. Save the empty condensed milk can. Stir in the vanilla and remove the fudge from heat. Add the nuts and currants and stir in immediately.
Cover the empty condensed milk can with plastic wrap and center it in the greased cake pan. Spoon fudge into pan around can, making sure to center the can if it drifts.

The fudge will set up almost immediately. Garnish can only be added in the first minute or two that the fudge is in the pan, so work quickly. Decorate your wreath with "holly" made from cut candied red and green cherries. A wreath left plain can be garnished with a pretty fabric bow when serving.
Chill covered in the refrigerator. Slice the fudge very thin when ready to serve – a little goes a long way!
Cindy's notes: I use Cherry flavored Craisin's for the currants.
This post linked to

Rotisserie Style Chicken

One of my girlfriends was nice enough to bring me a new cook book, as a Hostess gift, Friday evening. After browsing through it, I noticed a recipe for Rotisserie Style Chicken. I had been planning on roasting a chicken, so figured I'd give it a try. This was the best chicken I've ever made!!! It was so flavorful, slightly spicy and just the correct amount of saltiness. Hubby, who wasn't feeling well, managed to eat one whole breast of chicken to himself, LOL. He suggested this be our method of roasting chicken from now on. The meat was tender and juicy and the skin crisp; better than what you would pay $6 for at any grocery store. A definite winner!!




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Rotissery- Style Chicken

1 (4-5lb) whole chicken
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 onion, quartered

Remove giblets from chicken. Rinse out chicken and pat dry. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together spices. Rub spice mixture on the insinde and outside of chicken. Place onion inside chicken cavity. Place chicken in a sealable bag and refrigerate overnight. Remove chicken from bag and place in roasting pan. Bake uncovered at 250 degrees, for 5 hrs or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees.
Cindy's notes: We were out of onion salt, so I omitted that. My chicken was a bit over 3 lbs, so I cooked it for about 3 hrs, pulling it out when the internal temperature was 165 degrees. I covered it with foil and let it rest 20 minutes before cutting into it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Cookie Swap

Friday night, I hosted a Holiday Cookie Swap, for my girlfriends. It was a great time!!! The cookies were divine and the company even better. We all ate to our hearts content and were all left with yummy treats for the rest of the week. I decided to serve a few savory appetizers, for those who hadn't had a chance to sit for a proper dinner. On the menu was Savory Parmesan Bites, Brushetta with fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Red Pepper Jelly Cream Cheese Dip. I also served a delectably rich and creamy Mocha Punch, which guests could gussy up with Bailey's for extra Holiday Cheer. I must include 2 of my girlfriends cookie recipes, for honorable mentions. Kim's Saltine Toffee Cookies are unbelievably addictive. Sweet, salty, crunchy. I haven't been able to keep my hands off them, LOL. Natalie's Chocolate Peppermint Cookies are a beautiful rendition of Thin Mints. The perfect balance of chocolate and mint.




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Mocha Punch

1/4 c instant coffee granules
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c Nestle quick Chocolate mix
2 quarts water
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
1/2 gallon chocolate ice cream

Directions:Bring water to a boil. Stir in sugar and coffee granules and chocolate mix until dissolved. Place in fridge overnight (you can do less as long as it's chilled). Soften both ice creams (let sit for a little while before mixing). Place both gallons of ice cream by scoopfuls (this helps the ice cream dissolve for the drink) and chilled drink mix into punch bowl. Mix ingredients until ice cream partially melted.


Bruschetta

4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
1 baguette, sliced
1 8 oz log fresh mozzarella, sliced

Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and olive oil in a large bowl. Refrigerate at least 1 hr, to let the flavors combine. in a 375 degree oven, toasts baguette slices, until golden brown. Top with tomato mixture and 1 slice of mozzarella. Return to the oven until cheese has melted.





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Savory Parmesan Bites
Kraftfoods.com

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 cup chopped red peppers
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

HEAT oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup Parmesan with mixer until well blended.
SEPARATE crescent rolls into 8 rectangles; press perforations together to seal. Spread each with 3 Tbsp. cream cheese mixture. Top with peppers and parsley. Fold 1 long side of each dough rectangle over filling to center; fold again to enclose filling. Cut each into 4 squares. Place, seam-sides down, on baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
BAKE 13 to 15 min. or until golden brown



Roasted Red Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese Dip

1 brick cream cheese, softened
1/4- 1/2 C roasted red pepper jelly ( depends on how spicy you like it)

Mix both ingredients well and serve with crackers, pita chips and vegetables.


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The cookies I chose to make were influenced by the fact that I had a ton of Butterfinger chocolate bars leftover from Halloween. So I wanted to use those up and found a recipe for Butterfinger Cookies, online somewhere. These were good, but not knock your socks off good. Think of a supped up peanut butter cookie.





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Butterfinger Cookies (left) and Saltine Toffee Crunch (right)



Butterfinger Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large Butterfinger candy bars, chopped

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs; beat well. Blend in peanut butter and vanilla extract.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in candy bars. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
Makes 4 dozen.
Cindy's notes: I had to add about an extra 1/2C of flour, to make the dough dry enough to roll.



Saltine Toffee Cookies
Kim

4 ounces saltine crackers
1 C butter
1 C dark brown sugar
2 C semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 C pecans or sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line cookie sheet with saltine crackers in a single layer. In a saucepan combine sugar and butter. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over saltines and spread to cover crackers completely. Bake for 5-6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let sit 5 minutes and spread melted chocolate. Top with chopped nuts. Let cool completely and break into pieces.




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Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Natalie

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
8 large candy canes or 30 peppermint candies, crushed
2 pounds white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, and add egg, then yolk, beating well after each addition. Beat in peppermint extract. Slowly add flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated. Shape dough into 2 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days). Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut out circles, and place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Roll and cut scraps once. Freeze cookies until firm, about 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining disk. Bake until cookies are dry to the touch, about 12 minutes. Transfer parchment, with cookies, to wire racks, and let cool. (Undecorated cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.) Sift crushed candy, and separate larger pieces from dust, reserving both. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water. Remove from heat. Dunk cookies into melted chocolate. Using a fork, turn to coat, let excess drip off, and gently scrape bottom against edge of bowl. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of either candy pieces or dust on top. Repeat, sprinkling half the cookies with pieces and the rest with dust. Refrigerate until set, up to 3 hours. Decorated cookies are best served the same day

Flounder stuffed with Broccoli, Cheese Rice

I've been craving Hubby's Broccoli Cheese Rice for some time now and with him working so much, haven't been able to convince him to make it. So the other night, I had flounder sitting in the fridge and decided to try and stuff it with my own version of the rice. After researching online and trying to find a darn recipe that didn't include Cream of _______ soup, I had a game plan. I made Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole, reserving half to stuff the fish. It turned out really well. The fish was tender and flaky, the rice fluffy and cheesy. I had 2 servings, a very rare occurrence for fish dishes. Mr.B loved dinner as well and ate his whole serving right up. Hubby said it was good, though not as good as his, LOL.



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Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole

1 1/2 C just cooked brown rice
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 small onion, minced
1 C cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together and transfer to a casserole dish. Bake covered at 350, for 30 minutes or until broccoli is tender.

To stuff the Fish:

Season any of your favorite white fish ( Flounder, Sole, Tilapia) with salt and pepper. Spoon a generous amount of the casserole mixture, onto the center of the fillet. Fold the 2 ends over the filling and secure with a tooth pick. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a 350 degree oven, until fish is flaky, about 10-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets. Serve with any remaining Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Easy Scalloped Potatoes

If you don't know about Kraft Food and Family Magazine, where have you been? Just go to to their site and sign up to get a free magazine in the mail, each month or so. I found this Scalloped Potato recipe in one of their issues. Looked simple, used ingredients I always have on hand and what's better than potatoes, ham and cheese??? So this is in our rotation every 4 months or so, when I'm in the mood for some comfort food. I have to leave the peas out, since Hubby hates peas, but I either serve them on the side or with Bushes Country Style Baked Beans.



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Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1 cup chicken broth
3 lb. red potatoes, thinly sliced (about 12 cups)
1 pkg. (6 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Smoked Ham, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
1 cup frozen peas

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and chicken broth in large bowl until well blended. Add potatoes, ham, 1-3/4 cups of the cheese and peas; stir gently to coat all ingredients. SPOON into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. BAKE 1 hour or until heated through and potatoes are tender.
Cindy's notes: I bake at 375 degrees, covered, for an hour, then take the foil off and bake for an additional 15 minutes. The potatoes are never tender enough at 350, for 1 hr.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hot Cocoa Santa Bags

This is another beauty from Baby Center's CFYF board. Let me tell you these little guys gave me quite a headache. I mentioned them to my girlfriends, and then mentioned making some for one of them. Well, let me tell you...... first I couldn't find the darned piping bags anywhere. After 3 days of searching, I finally found them last night. Guess where???? Super Walmart! Not Michael's or Hobby Lobby, but freakin Walmart!! Then I couldn't find the chips anywhere, but lucked out a Target. So I have my order ready to complete and let me tell you these are really easy to make and look so darn cute. I've yet to try the cocoa/ pepermint chip combo, but think it'll make for some YUMMY hot chocolate.




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Hot chocolate santa's

Here is how to make them:

White Almond Bark
Andes Peppermint baking chips
Hot cocoa mix
Marshmallows
Plastic disposible decorator bags
Heavy duty spoons
Holiday ribbon
PomPons
googley eyes

Melt white Almond Bark and dip a ton of plastic spoons (use HEAVY duty spoons) sit them on wax paper to harden... I lined a cookie sheet with waxed paper so I could cool them faster in the fridge.
Open a decorator bag and add 1/4 cup (about) of the Andes peppermint things. Then put 1/4 cup hot cocoa into a sandwich bag and twist to seal, tuck the excess behind the bag. Shape into a circle... add to the decorator bag to make the face. Next add a small handfull of marshmallows, then the dipped spoon, add more marshamllows to support the spoon and make the beard. Tie off with a pretty ribbon. glue a Pompon to the tip of the bag and eyes to the face. Add a sticker (printed on labels) to the back with the following instructions...
Mix contents of the bags with 8 ounces of boiling water, use the enclosed spoon to stir well. Enjoy your Santa Cocoa!

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Works for me Wednesday

Holly Bloggy Christmas~ Homemade Gift Ideas

Baked Chicken Teriyaki

I made this for dinner last night. Chicken Teriyaki is one of my favorite, when we go out to eat, so I thought I'd give this recipe a try. My girlfriend Christine posted this on Baby Center's CFYF board and it was receiving rave reviews. They were right. The chicken was tender, salty, sweet, garlicky...... perfect! I only used 4 skinless thigh, since well it was just Mr.B and I for dinner. I kept the sauce the same, using some to stir fry some fresh Broccoli, to tender crisp. I served it over white rice, which I drizzled with some of the pan drippings. It was quite nice. A sprinkle of sesame seeds on top, would have topped it all, but we were out. Mr.B was being picky, he ate a bit of chicken and rice, avoided the broccoli, all the while saying it was the best dinner ever ( hmmmm....).



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Baked Teriyaki Chicken
Christine

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 skinless chicken thighs

DIRECTIONS

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cornstarch, cold water, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and ground black pepper. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place chicken pieces in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Brush chicken with the sauce (I pour it over). Turn pieces over, and brush again. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn pieces over, and bake for another 15 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Brush with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking (I skip this step).
Christine's notes-Line your pan with foil. Double the sauce! Make stir fry veggies and toss the veggies in one cup of reserved sauce. Serve over Rice

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Good ole Southern Comfort Food

At the beginning of last week, I found myself watching an episode of Paula Deen's, on Food Network. She was sharing recipes on how to stretch a buck. She made this amazing looking Mustard Thyme Catfish and Black Eyed Pea cakes. I have been wanting to cook with fish more often and knew Hubby loves Catfish, so I decided to give it a try, since he was off the next day. I must say it was a pretty darn good dinner, LOL. The catfish was crispy and flaky. The mustard and thyme paired perfectly with the fish, without over powering it. Both Hubby and I thought the Pea Cakes could use an extra little something, maybe some grated onion or such, but they were good none the less. Slightly salty, smoky, creamy and crispy. Mr.B tried it all and loved the fish, but wasn't too fond of the pea cakes, LOL.


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Mustard Thyme Catfish
courtesy of Paula Deen

4 fillets of catfish
1/4 C dried Thyme
2 C yellow mustard
Seasoned flour, for dredging

In a large dish slather fish with mustard and thyme. Marinate a few hrs, to overnight. Heat oil to 350 in a deep fryer. Dredge fillets in flour, shaking off any access. Fry until a deep golden brown.
Cindy's notes: I used fresh catfish nuggets, to make it more kid friendly. The pieces were perfect for Mr.B.





Black Eyed Pea Cakes
courtesy of Paula Deen

3 C cooked Black eyed peas ( best if cooked with ham hock), or 2 cans peas cooked with ham hocks
1/2 C cooked chopped bacon
1/3 C roasted red pepper, chopped
flour to help bind
salt and pepper
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, coarsely mash beans with a fork, adding bacon and roasted red pepper. Add just enough flour to bind, season with salt and pepper. Shape into 4 patties and fry in oil/butter until golden and crispy.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Crock pot Baked Potatoes and Spareribs

I made the best dinner tonight!!! We had a super busy day, so I let the crock pot do all the work. I had purchased a rack of spareribs on sale last month, so decided to try a rub, courtesy of Sandy, from good old CFYF on Baby Center. I rubbed the ribs, last night and let it marinate in the fridge until this afternoon. The meat was perfectly seasoned. The perfect balance of heat, sweetness and saltiness. Not to mention the melt in your mouth aspect of the ribs... To Die For!!!! I had read somewhere about making baked potatoes in the crock and decided to give it a try, since the ribs would have burnt to a crisp otherwise. So I wrapped my potatoes in foil and placed them at the bottom of the pot and placed the ribs on top. 6 hrs on low and the potatoes were perfectly baked and oh so delicious.



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Barbecue Rub
Sandy

2 cups sugar (I use superfine)
1/4 cup paprika
2 t chili powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 cup salt
2 t black pepper
1 t garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and use as a rub for any barbecue meat. Yields about 3 cups.
Sandy's notes: Rub this into chicken, ribs, fish, or pork chops before grilling, broiling or pan frying. I sprinkle it on beef brisket and cook in the crock pot all day... OK, this rates at the very top for my favorite seasoning!
Cindy's notes: I slathered the ribs with our favorite BBQ sauce and broiled them until bubbly.

This post linked to Crock Pot Wednesday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sweet and Sour Turkey Balls

This recipe comes from my Mom. Every year, ever since I can remember, she would make Turkey Balls with our leftover holiday turkey. In Canada, we call them Chicken Balls, you know those fluffy battered pieces of chicken, served with sweet and sour sauce, at the Chinese Buffet. Well, somehow my Mom found a batter recipe and started making some at home. It was one of my favorite nights for dinner, and we often fought about how many turkey balls we would each get, LOL. Today my Mom uses a different batter, which is fluffier and makes for a quality ball. So I tired my hand at these little bundles of goodness and was happy that they tasted just like Mom's. This recipe is just as good with leftover chicken breast.




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Sweet and Sour Chicken

Leftover chicken or turkey breast, cut into 1 inch chunks
1C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C of water ( add slowly, you may need more or less)
oil for frying

In a deep fryer, bring oil up to 350 degrees. Mean while cut chicken into 1 inch chunks. Combine dry ingredients into a small bowl and slowly add the water. You may need more or less, what you are looking for is medium thick batter ( a bit thicker than pancake batter). Once oil is up to temp, dip chicken into the batter and fry until dark golden brown. Remove and let drain on a brown paper sack or paper towels. Serve with your favorite Sweet and Sour sauce from the Asian aisle of your grocery store.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

When I was in second grade, our teacher showed us how to make Christmas ornaments, using a simple dough, that hardened when baked. I remember bringing the recipe home and settling in with my family to make these. We made them from time to time growing up, and it is one of my fondest memories of Christmas, as a child. So this year, I decided to start the tradition with Mr.B. He really enjoyed mixing the dough, rolling it out and cutting with his cookie cutters. He did a wonderful job too, he is growing up so fast. I let them dry an extra day, since they were still a bit soft, after baking them. We finally painted them this morning, and they turned out wonderfully. Mr.B is so proud of his ornaments for the tree. What a great way to start the Holiday Season.


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Baker's Salt Dough Ornament Clay

1C flour
1/2 C salt
1/3 C water

Mix all to form a dough. Add food colorings, if desired, or paint once baked and dry.Roll out and cut with cookie cutters, or shape as desired. Make a hole in the dough, before baking, or insert an ornament hook. Bake in a 275 degree oven, for 1 hr.
This post linked to

Turkey Rice Soup and Chocolate Brownie Waffles

I love Turkey leftovers! The rest of this week will center around using up leftover turkey. Yesterday was chilly, so it was a perfect opportunity to make a nice pot of soup. I had leftover turkey broth, so decided on Turkey Rice Soup. It was comforting, hearty and delicious. Mr.B gobbled it up, much to my surprise, since this child stays clear of any cooked carrot or celery. This is a great way to use up that dark meat, for I find it imparts a richer flavor to the soup.Quick, easy and healthy, due to the use of brown rice.


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Turkey Rice Soup

1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, grated
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
3 C turkey broth ( chicken is fine as well)
1 C water
1/2 C brown rice
2 C dark meat turkey, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium soup pot, heat oil over Med heat. Add in onion, celery and carrot and cook until onions become soft and translucent. Add turkey broth, water, thyme, bay leaf, brown rice and turkey. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hr, until the rice is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.

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Sometimes a girl just needs chocolate. In any way, shape, or form. I love this recipe because it gives you the chocolate flavor, without too much sugar. I must admit I've served this for breakfast on an occasion or two, but I think it serves as an elegant dessert. Served with fresh strawberries and/or bananas to make it a bit less of a guilty pleasure.


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Chocolate Brownie Waffles

2 Tbs butter/ margarine, melted
1 egg
2 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs cocoa powder
1 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 C milk
1/4 C chocolate chips
whipped cream
chocolate sauce
nuts
fresh strawberries or bananas

Warm up waffle iron. Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk together butter, egg, sugar, salt and cocoa powder. Add in flour and baking powder and slowly add in milk, until batter is smooth ( a bit thicker than pancake batter). Fold in chocolate chips. Pour onto hot waffle iron and cook for 5 minutes. Serve with fresh berries or bananas, a dollop of whipped cream, chocolate sauce and nuts.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Revisiting Thanksgiving

Turkey..... let's face it, you can never get enough. So when Hubby mentioned he could get a Turkey dirt cheap, at work, we pounced on the opportunity ( one of the rare times I enjoy Hubby moonlighting as a butcher, at our local grocery store). Since we don't have a 2nd freezer, we needed to roast this baby up. So we revisited Thanksgiving, last night for dinner.

The turkey was simple, I'm not a fancy girl. I mixed a stick of butter with sea salt, poultry seasoning and pepper. I then slathered the breast, underneath the skin with as much butter as I could. The remaining butter was rubbed on the skin and seasoned with salt and pepper. In the pan and in the oven, Done. I served it with mashed potatoes, Sweet Potato Crunch ( courtesy of Baby Center's CFYF board), corn, a half batch of butter horn rolls, gravy and Turtle Pumpkin Mousse Pie. We ate too much, I felt so sick and even skipped dessert, LOL.


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When I grew up, I'd never seen, let alone tasted, a sweet potato. So 6 yrs ago, when I had Thanksgiving at my Mother in Law's house, she had a sweet potato casserole that I fell in love with. I never did ask her for the recipe, but was fortunate enough to find a similar one on Baby Center's CFYF board. Creamy, sweet and crunchy, perfect.

Sweet Potato Crunch
Michelle

3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potato
½ c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ c butter, melted
½ c milk
½ tsp vanilla

Combine above ingredients and spoon into a greased casserole.

Topping: ½ c brown sugar
1 c pecans, chopped
1/3 c flour
1/3 stick butter, melted

Combine topping ingredients and spoon over potato mixture. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 35 minutes.



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This pie was a total fluke, LOL. I originally planned to make a Turtle Pumpkin Pie, from Kraftfoods.com, but got carried away, when adding the whipped cream. I LOVE whipped cream. So I created a light creamy pumpkiny pie, perfect after a heavy meal.

Turtle Pumpkin Mousse Pie

1 box instant vanilla pudding
3/4 C milk
1 C pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 C fresh whipped cream
1/2 C caramel sauce
1/2 C chopped pecans
1 baked pie shell, or graham pie crust

In a bowl, combine pudding mix, milk, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk until smooth. Fold in fresh whipped cream. It the bottom of your pie shell, pour in caramel sauce and top with chopped pecans. Pour mousse into pie shell and refridgerate at least 2 hrs before serving. Garnish with extra whipped cream, caramel sauce and pecans, before serving.

This post linked to

This Week's Craving

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Imperial Chicken

I made this simple beauty last night for dinner. I was sure I'd love it, I mean bread crumbs, cheese and butter. Helloooo! This was such a simple recipe and it tasted so good. The only thing I'd change is seasoning the chicken before coating it with butter. This is another find from Baby Center's Cooking CFYF board. The top crust was crunchy and the chicken moist. Is it a bad thing that I kept picking at the toasted buttery crumbs, as I was getting ready to clean the pan, LOL. I had split chicken breast to use, so I boned them and used the bones to make chicken broth, which I will share below.


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IMPERIAL CHICKEN
Melinda

500g/1lb chicken breasts, boneless
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
½ cup chopped parsley
1 cup melted butter
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (dried can be used but tastes much better with fresh !)

Mix cheese, garlic, breadcrumbs and parsley.Dip chicken in butter and then in breadcrumb mixture.Place in single layer in shallow dish and drizzle with remaining butter.Bake in moderate oven (180C/350F) for 50 mins.
Cindy's notes: I just grated up a leftover Hoagie roll that was getting stale. I also reduced the butter to 1/2C, since I only used 2 breasts. I packed on the bread crumbs, before drizzling with butter.

Chicken Broth

Any roasted or raw chicken carcass/ bones
2 large carrots, rinsed and chopped into chunks
2 ribs celery, rinsed and chopped into chunks
1 med onion, quartered ( throw the peel in there too)
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
6 C water

In a large pot, bring all ingredients to a boil. Simmer for a minimum of 3 hrs, adding water if needed. By the time it's all done, the mixture should have reduced by half to three quarters. Remove bones, and vegetables, let cool and store in the fridge for 4 days or throw it into the freezer. The longer this simmers, the more flavorful broth will be produced.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Leftovers made over

I was thinking of our Thanksgiving leftovers all day. The juicy turkey, creamy potatoes, rich green beans. Then about an hour before dinner, I got inspired to make a Turkey Shephard's Pie out of it all. I must say it turned out pretty darn good, LOL. Mr.B inhaled it and I had to stop myself after a huge helping. I wanted stuffing in my pie, so I made a quick pan stuffing that I had seen Rachael Ray make on her show, 30 minute meals, a few years ago. I don't have the exact recipe, so I'll just share my own.


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Pan Stuffing

4 slices of toast, buttered
2 Tbs butter
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 C chopped bacon, or real bacon bits
1/4- 1/2 C chicken broth

Toast your favorite bread and butter it generously. Cut it into small cubes and set aside. In a skillet, melt butter and add onion, celery and poultry seasoning. Cook until onions soften, add in bacon bits. Add in toast cubes and moisten with chicken broth, to desired consistency.


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Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Shephard's Pie

2C chopped cooked turkey
2 C leftover or pan stuffing
1-2 C leftover veggies ( I used green beans)
1 C leftover gravy
2 C leftover mashed potatoes
butter

In a large bowl, combine turkey, vegetables, stuffing and gravy. If too thick, thin out with a bit of chicken broth. Transfer to a casserole dish and top with mased potatoes. Dot with butter and bake at 375 degrees, for 30 minutes or until top is nice and golden.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving this year. I haven't been feeling 100%, so it was nice to enjoy a day of good food and friends. We were invited to one of my girlfriend's houses, so we graciously accepted. We split the menu and it was all delicious. To tell the truth, it was the most I've eaten in a month, LOL. You can find recipes to the dishes she served on her blog here. Thanks Judy, it was wonderful!!

I had found some simple recipes, so was anxious to try them. The first was for Green Beans au Gratin. Hubby hates green bean casserole, so I wanted an alternative, since I'm a green bean fan. This was so simple and delicious, a real no brainer, LOL. No picture of this one ( unless I take one of the leftovers tomorrow), since I baked it at Judy's house. The beans were tender crisp and the cheese and breadcrumbs seasoned them beautifully.


Green Beans au Gratin

1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1 pt whipping cream
3 oz blue cheese
3 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
1/2 C seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 C butter, melted
pepper

Simmer green beans in a large pot of boiling water, for 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined cookie sheet, to drain. Mix bread crumbs, pepper and melted butter. Sprinkle 1/3 of crumb mixture onto bottom of casserole dish. Place beans onto crumb mixture. Pour cream over beans and sprinkle with blue cheese and remaining bread crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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A few weeks ago, Mr.B saw a picture for cupcakes that looked like Turkeys. He got a real kick out of them, so I decided to try my hand at them, letting him help decorate them. I used cake mix and canned frosting to make my life easier. These were so cute and Mr.B was so proud of making his turkey cupcakes.

Turkey Cupcakes

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® devil's food cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
2 containers (1 lb each) Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy milk chocolate frosting
1 tube (4.25 oz) Betty Crocker® white decorating icing
1 tube (0.68 oz) Betty Crocker® brown decorating gel
Candy corn
Chocolate candy sprinkles

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Make and cool cake as directed on box for 24 cupcakes. Frost cupcakes with frosting. Place remaining frosting in corner of resealable freezer plastic bag. Snip off small corner of bag.
To decorate each cupcake, pipe 1-inch mound of frosting on 1 side of cupcake to look like head of turkey. Make eyes with white decorating icing and brown decorating gel; add candy corn for beak. To make feathers, pipe frosting on opposite side to hold candy corn; place candy corn upright on frosting to look like feathers. Sprinkle chocolate candy sprinkles near head and at base of feathers. If desired, add candy corn at base of cupcake for feet. Store loosely covered.
Cindy's notes: 1 used 1 container of frosting, omitted the sprinkles and used a Rolo candy for the head.

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I receive email newsletters from a site called HomeCook'n. This email contained a recipe for a no knead roll, that looked so delicious. I wasn't sure if I wanted to take the time on these, with the rolling and such, but couldn't resist trying them. They were so easy to make!! I am so not a patient person and hate making pie dough, rolled cookies, etc; but these came together in the matter of minutes, once the dough had risen. They were light fluffy and oh so buttery. I am definitely making these my Holiday 'go to' rolls, from now on.

Butterhorn Rolls
Recipe by Kathy Oaks


1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup butter

Dissolve yeast in warm water, add melted butter and remaining ingredients , reserving 1/4 cup butter. Let rise until it doubles in size. Separate into 2 balls and roll out into 2 circles. Slather each circle with remaining 1/4C of butter. Cut each circle like a pizza into 16 equal pieces (use a pizza cutter). Roll them up crescent style and at this point you may flash freeze them on a cookie sheet and then dump them in a freezer bag to eat in the coming weeks or months or you can let them rise again for about 2 hours. Bake at 375 degrees, on a buttered cookie sheet for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. (When serving them from the freezer just pull them out and let them thaw and rise for about 3 hours on a buttered cookie sheet and bake as directed.)

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I'm a Food Network junkie, so when I saw Sandra Lee make this bundt cake, 3 yrs ago, I had to try it. It was a huge success and I've made it every Thanksgiving since then. The recipe makes 2, but I cut the cake mix in half and freeze the remainder, for later use. The cake is moist, rich and I love the warmth the pumpkin pie spice brings to it all. I wasn't too pleased with the glaze result this year, but it still tasted great, LOL.

Spiced Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Citrus Glaze
Sandra Lee

Cake:
6 eggs
2/3 cup oil
1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 box moist spice cake mix
1 box moist yellow cake mix

Glaze:
Yellow food coloring
Red food coloring
1 pound powdered sugar
1/3 cup orange juice, no pulp

Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12-cup bundt cake pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, oil, pie mix, water, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat until well blended. Add the cake mixes and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack.

Glaze:
Combine 2 parts yellow food coloring with 4 parts red food coloring to make orange food coloring. Whisk the powdered sugar, orange juice, orange liqueur, and food coloring in a saucepan on low heat for 5 minutes or until the sugar melts. If the glaze seems too dry, add more water or orange juice to reach the right consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.

This post linked to

Days of Thanksgiving Holiday Party

This Week's Craving

Cupcake Tuesday

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Deli Ham

I had some deli ham that needed to be used up. Mr.B isn't a big ham sandwich kind of guy and with Hubby working ridiculous hours, I needed a game plan. So I thought of adding some of the chopped ham and peas to some homemade Mac N Cheese. This was really good. Creamy, smoky and salty, YUM. My secret, a squeeze of spicy brown mustard, to give it a little zing.


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Mac N Cheese with Ham and Peas

1/2 lb macaroni or favorite pasta
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
2 C milk
1 3/4 C shredded cheese, divided ( I used extra sharp cheddar and mozzarella)
1 Tbs spicy brown mustard
salt and pepper
1 C chopped deli ham
1 C frozen peas
1/4 C seasoned bread crumbs

In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta until al dente, adding peas to pot, 1 minute before draining the pasta. Meanwhile in a medium sauce pot, melt butter and whisk in flour. Cook flour for 1-2 mins. Slowly whisk in milk, making sure to whisk away all lumps. Cook over medium heat, until it comes to a boil and thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 1/2 C of shredded cheese and mustard. Stir until combined and add chopped ham. Toss with hot drained pasta and peas. Transfer to a casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 C of cheese and bread crumbs. Place under a hot broiler, until cheese bubbles and crust browns.

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This is a recipe I learned while working at Country Style Donuts, in Canada, during my teenage years. I often make this when I'm in the mood for an egg sandwich. Quick, simple and delicious.


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Ham and Egg English Muffins

1 egg
2 slices deli ham, chopped
salt and pepper
dab of butter
1 English muffin, toasted

In a microwave safe bowl, scramble egg, season with salt and pepper and add ham. Add butter to side of bowl. Microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds, until eggs are no longer wet. Place egg onto a toasted English muffin, with preferred topping; cheese, tomato, ketchup, mayonnaise and lettuce.
Cindy's notes: you could add cooked sausage, bacon, sauteed onion, peppers, to egg before microwaving, for endless sandwich possibilities.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cranberry Orange Bread

I'm a total comfort eater. Whenever I'm stressed, disappointed or sad, I'm searching for something sweet to nibble on. So when my babysitter called to cancel, yesterday, I needed something sweet and I needed it now. I remembered the ladies on Baby Center's CFYF board had started a thread on Cranberry Orange Bread. I took a gander and decided to try one of the recipes. The only problem is I didn't have fresh or frozen berries, only dried. Then I remembered DH reconstituting cranberries a few years ago, to make stuffing. So I steeped the cranberries in 3/4C of warm water for 30 mins, until they plumped up a little. The bread worked out wonderfully. It was light, moist and not too sweet ( although that may be due to the fact that we only had 3/4C of sugar in this whole house!!). So once the kids were in bed, I snuggled in to watch Survivor and eat some warm Cranberry Orange Bread and sip some tea. A great way to take my mind off of the fact that I was suppose to be out enjoying some food, friends and shopping.



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Cranberry Orange Bread
Lori

1 cup sugar
1 Tbs grated orange peel
¾ cup water
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbs oil
1 large egg
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup halved fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Grease bottom only of 9x5" loaf pan. In large bowl, combine sugar, orange peel, water, orange juice, oil and egg; blend well. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Pour into greased pan. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
Servings: 12 Yield: One loaf
Amy’s Notes: I can’t get cranberries this time of year so I used 1 cup of whole cranberry sauce and it came out perfect!
Cindy's notes: I reconstituted 3oz dried cranberries in 3/4 C of warm water for 30 minutes. I then used the cranberry water, for the water measurement in the recipe, adding any needed water to make 3/4C. I also used 3/4C of sugar, as opposed to 1 full cup.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cheesy Garlic Flat bread

This is like heaven on earth for me. I'm a huge bread fan and to add cheese and garlic is just the thing to make something so delicious, superb. This is another 'Sandy' recipe from the CFYF board on Baby Center. The first time I tried this recipe was a year ago. I make it at least once every 3 months or so, when we are having pasta for dinner. It is a great alternative to garlic bread or toast. Even better in fact. I love the fact that it can be done in the bread machine and it uses AP flour, instead of bread flour. That way if I'm low on bread flour, I can still make this warm, delicious loaf of goodness. I always form it into a circle, like you would a pizza and cut it into slices once it is cooked. I left it in the oven a bit too long, this time, due to a diaper emergency. But it turned out deliciously, regardless.


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Cheesy Garlic Flat bread
Sandy

BREAD
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

TOPPING:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Layer bread ingredients in bread machine pan, select the dough cycle. Prepare a baking stone or sheet - spray with non-stick spray, sprinkle with cornmeal. When dough is finished, remove from pan and stretch into a rectangle, lay on prepared pan. Brush the dough with butter, sprinkle with garlic salt. Top with cheeses. Set in a draft free location to rise for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, place oven rack in lowest rack position; heat oven to 450ºF. Bake 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cindy's notes: I use salted butter and a good tsp of minced garlic (from a jar), for the topping. I add the garlic to the melting butter and let it sit for a few minutes to flavor the butter. I find it imparts a more pure garlicky taste.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Creamy Chicken Crescents

This is one of my favorite recipes, to use up leftover chicken. It's so simple, yet tastes so good. I got this recipe from Sandy, on Baby Center's CFYF board. There is a joke among us ladies that if it's a 'Sandy' recipe, it must be good. She shares the most awesome dishes with us and is a vital part of our little online community. So Thanks Sandy for sharing such yummy recipes!!! Mr.B really likes this dish. I always half the recipe, so that we don't have a ton of leftovers, but use the same amount of soup, milk and cheese. I also add broccoli to the soup mixture, for a one dish meal.



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Crescent Chicken Bake
Sandy

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 can cream of mushroom and roasted garlic soup
1 cup milk
2 (12-oz) cans chicken, drained or comparable amount of cooked cubed chicken breast
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls

In sauce pan combine milk, soup, and 1 cup cheese, heat slowly until cheese is melted. Pour into an 13x9 casserole dish. Separate crescents into triangles and on the wide end add a spoon full of the chicken and roll up. Set each crescent bundle into the soup mixture. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until rolls are browned. Top the crescents with remaining cheese and put in the oven until cheese is melted.
Cindy's notes: I made this with cream of chicken and add garlic powder to it. It's is just as delicious as with the cream of mushroom soup. I also add fresh broccoli florets to the baking dish, before placing the crescents in.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I knew I said I wouldn't be cooking but....

The ladies on Baby Center made me, LOL. The question of the day on the What's for Dinner thread was " what is your favorite kind of pie?". Well I mentioned Butterscotch Pie that my grandma use to make all the time. She passed away 5 yrs ago, so my Mom makes this once in a blue moon, when I request it, LOL. So I called my Mom for the recipe, which is totally confusing. So she suggested I make the pie, so I could better explain how to make it. Plus she was giving me a French recipe, that I had to translate into English. So I made the pie, taking pictures to better explain the spots I thought were 'weird'.




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Butterscotch Pie

1C brown sugar, packed
3 Tbs flour
2 Tbs butter, room temperature
1 1/4 C milk
1 pre baked pie shell

In a medium saucepan, thoroughly mix the flour and brown sugar and then mix in the butter. Place sauce pan on medium heat, to melt sugar. Stirring constantly, cook sugar mixture until it become hard to stir and looks crumbly, about 5-10 minutes.



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Remove from heat and add milk.



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Return to medium-low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring accosionally. Cook until all lumps have dissolved and mixture thickens to the consistency of a very thick gravy. Let cool 15 minutes and pour into baked pie shell. Refridgerate 2 hrs, until set, before cutting.
Cindy's notes: You will totally think you've messed up this pie. I thought so when I was making it, but it turned out wonderfully. I used a Graham crust, since I can not make pie crust to save my life, LOL.

Leave of absence

I will not be posting often in the next few weeks/ month. I have Crohn's Disease and am experiencing a major flare up. I see my GI specialist on Friday and hopefully we can get this under control. I can't wait to get back into the kitchen and eating the foods I love!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Brown Sugar Chicken and Banana Crumb Muffins

Well, you know that one of my favorite blogs to follow is Crockpot 365. It's become quite popular among the women on Baby Center's CFYF board. A few weeks ago, one of the girls reviewed this recipe. I immediately copied it, since I was sure it would be a winner with Mr.B. I made it last night, using chicken breast, instead of thighs. The chicken was wonderful! Sweet, tangy, garlicky and oh so tender. I served it with white rice, as suggested. I also took Rachel's advice, from BBC; and sauteed some green beans with a bit of the broth, from the chicken. Mr.B loved it. He even ate all his rice, which is a very rare occurrence for him, LOL. I plan on using the leftover chicken in a stir fry or lo mein. Thanks to Stephanie from crockpot365.blogspot !!!!



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Brown sugar chicken
crockpot 365 blog

--12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or 6 boneless, skinless breast halves
--1 cup brown sugar (it's okay. you can brush your teeth after.)
--1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (stay with me...)
--2/3 cup vinegar (I used white wine, but think regular white would be fine)
--3 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
--2 T soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari wheat free are GF)
--1 tsp ground black pepper

The Directions.
Use a 5-6 quart crockpot for this recipe.
Plop the chicken into your crockpot. Cover with the brown sugar, pepper, chopped garlic, and soy sauce. Add the vinegar, and pour in the soda. It will bubble!
Cover and cook on low for 6-9 hours, or on high for 4-5. The chicken is done when it is cooked through and has reached desired consistency. The longer you cook it, the more tender it will be.
Serve over a bowl of white rice with a ladle full of the broth.
Cindy's notes: I sauteed some fresh green beans with a laddle full of the broth, which coated the beans with an amazing sweet and garlicky glaze.

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Last night I also made Banana Crumb Muffins, for breakfast this morning. As you know from a previous post, I have a never ending pile of bananas in my freezer, so I was anxious to try these muffins. Once again, this recipe comes from one of the great ladies on Baby Center. The muffins are moist and the crumb topping adds just the right amount of sweetness. The cinnamon adds a little warmth to the muffin. Definitely in my banana recipe repertoire.


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Banana Crumb Muffins
Rachel via allrecipes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tips on saving money

With the cost of everything sky rocketing lately, I thought I'd share some of my money saving tips, for grocery shopping.

  • meal plan- What is that you ask? Well, every 2 weeks, I look through my pantry and freezer, to see what I have left on hand. Then I sit with the flyers of the 2 grocery stores we shop at, and I plan our dinner menu, for 2 weeks. First I try to come up with dishes using what I have on hand, then I see what is on sale and come up with dishes using that. I write a list of items I need for those specific dishes, if I do not already have them in the house. This helps me from over spending, when I'm at the store. Plus I'm not rushing at the last minute to figure out what's for dinner.
  • Shop the manager's specials in your meat section. This meat is perfectly good. The only reason it is on special, is they only have a certain number of days that they are allowed to sell meat, once it's been cut and packaged. We often pick up $10 steaks, for $3. Use them within a day or two and if you can't, throw it in the freezer, it'll be good for a few months.
  • Don't be afraid of store brands. Now there are certain things I refuse to buy store brand, but beans, pasta, canned tomatoes all taste the same whether they are a name brand or not. Garbage bags, storage bags, cling wrap and foil are also just as good as name brands.
  • Clip coupons. Coupons are your friend. There is no shame in using coupons. My Hubby use to be so embarrassed if I used coupons, until we had children and our grocery bill doubled, LOL. Now he asks if I have the coupons, before we're out the door. Today alone I saved an extra $6.25 on our grocery bill, by using coupons.
  • Shop the sales. Look at those grocery flyers and shop the sales. If you don't get grocery flyers you can check them out online here .
  • Never go shopping when you are hungry. It's sad but true, you always indulge in extra items when you are famished.

I hope these tips can help some of you shave an extra few $$ off your grocery bill. It has helped us out alot and I'm glad I could share these with you.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

I had tonight's dinner planned to a T. I had found a spaghetti squash in the fridge, that I had bought a few weeks ago. It still looked fine, so I had planned on baking it, then sauteing it with butter, garlic and tossing it with Parmesan. So 4:30 rolls around and I wash the squash and pierce the skin a few times. In the oven it goes for 1 hr. Thirty minutes later, I throw the chops in the oven, as well. Five thirty rolls around and I pull the squash out of the oven and cut it in half. It smelled HORRIBLE!!! The middle was all slimy, there was no way we could eat it.

I had 15 minutes to come up with a side dish to the pork chops. Mr.B is not very fond of rice, so that was out. We've been eating pasta all week, so that was out..... this is one time where I wished we bought instant mashed potatoes, LOL. So I peeled up some potatoes and chopped them up into small chunks. The chops had 10 minutes to rest, before the potatoes were done. All came together well and Mr.B ate all his dinner, mashed potatoes, peas and all.

This is one of my favorite ways to cook pork chops. Kids love it, because it's sweet, but not sickeningly sweet. I got this recipe from my sister and it is so simple. I add a splash of fresh lemon juice, to add a nice fresh taste in the back ground.


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Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

4 loin chops
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C ketchup
squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chops with salt and pepper. Place chops onto a foil lined cookie sheet. Slather chops with half the sauce. Bake in oven for 30-40 mins, or until internal temperature of chops reaches 165 degrees. Halfway through the cooking time, flip the chops and slather with remaining sauce.

Spaghetti Cupcakes

Well, Hubby made us a spaghetti dinner, a few nights ago. True to form, he cooked up a whole box of spaghetti, for 3 people. I have a ton of cooked spaghetti left, so last night I wanted to use some up. I found a cute recipe, in a tiny Ragu Kids cook book, that I received in the mail, last year. It was the quickest dinner I've ever made, apart from PB&J, LOL. It was a miss with me, I think because of the pasta sauce I used. Mr.B loved his and gobbled one and a half muffins up. He thought it was silly that spaghetti was turned into a muffin. I may someday try this again, when I have my favorite pasta sauce on hand, or my mother in law's sauce to use up.




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SPAGHETTI CUPCAKES
Ragu

8 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups Ragu® Old World Style® Pasta Sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 8 oz.)

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease 12-cup muffin pan; set aside.2. Combine spaghetti, eggs, Parmesan cheese and pepper in large bowl. Evenly press into muffin cups to form a “crust”. Evenly top each cup with Pasta Sauce, then mozzarella cheese.3. Bake 15 minutes or until bubbling. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 280, Calories From Fat: 110, Total Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 135mg, Sodium: 560mg, Total Carbohydrate: 26g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 4g, Protein: 17g, Trans Fat: 0g, Vitamin A: 10%, Vitamin C: 2%, Calcium: 25%, Iron: 10%

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mushroom Spinach Lasagna

This is one of the recipes I had posted on Baby Center's CFYF board, when it was my turn to choose the meal of the week recipes. I'm a little bummed that none of the other ladies tried it. I understand, because after seeing how expensive Gruyere cheese is, I may have decided against it, LOL. But I bought a small chunk of expensive cheese and mixed it with mozzarella and Parmesan. Also the recipe is quite long, so one may be turned of by that. Once the cheese sauce is made, the rest comes together quickly and easily.

I halved the recipe, in case we wouldn't care for it, since I really didn't want more leftovers in the fridge. I used my 8X8 square pan and it was the perfect size for us. Hubby was in love. He commented on how he loves his meat, but would be willing to eat this lasagna, once a month. Mr.B was leery about the spinach and avoided the red pepper, but ate pretty much his whole serving. I enjoyed it very much and it reminded me a lot of Alfredo Pasta. The Gruyere brought a sharpness to the dish, that complemented the earthiness of the mushrooms and spinach, and the sweetness of the roasted red pepper.


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Mushroom-Spinach Lasagna
via Cooking Pleasures Magazine

This creamy lasagna is studded with nuggets of mushrooms and bright bits of spinach and roasted red bell pepper. You can make the entire dish ahead of time and freeze it or, if you’re tight on freezer space, you can prepare just the vegetables and sauce in advance to keep on hand.

SAUCE
1/2 cup minced shallots
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. assorted mushrooms (not portobellos), sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons dry sherry, if desired
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese

VEGETABLES
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (10-oz.) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (6- or 7-oz.) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, patted dry, julienned

LASAGNA
9 oven-ready lasagna noodles (12 if using 2 (8-inch) baking pans)
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Cook and stir shallots and sage in 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes or until shallots are slightly softened. Add mushrooms; cook 7 minutes or until mushrooms are softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.
2. Add butter to skillet; stir until melted. Whisk in flour; cook 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly add broth, whisking until mixture boils. Add milk, sherry and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg; return to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in Gruyère cheese until melted. (Sauce can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerated or 1 month ahead and frozen.)
3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Cook and stir garlic 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add spinach; cook 1 to 2 minutes, tossing to coat with oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. Place in bowl; cool. (Spinach can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
4. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.* Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in bottom of dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread spinach over noodles; cover with 1/2 cup of the sauce. Top with 3 noodles. Spread bell peppers over noodles; cover with 1/2 cup of the sauce. Top with 3 noodles; spread with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. (Lasagna can be made to this point 2 days ahead and refrigerated or 1 month ahead and frozen. Defrost; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.)
5. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake, uncovered, 45 to 50 minutes or until lasagna is bubbling and cheese begins to turn golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
TIP *Or spray 2 (8-inch) pans with cooking spray. Spread 1/4 cup sauce in each pan; top with 2 lasagna noodles. Spread spinach over noodles; cover with 1/4 cup of the sauce. Top with 2 noodles. Spread with bell peppers; cover with 1/4 cup of the sauce. Top with 2 noodles; spread with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

8 servings
PER SERVING: 450 calories, 29 g total fat (14 g saturated fat), 21 g protein, 28.5 g carbohydrate, 80 mg cholesterol, 935 mg sodium, 3.5 g fiber

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tagged

My friend Tami tagged me

7 Weird Things About Myself

  1. I can wiggle my right ear and it freaks people out.
  2. I believe in ghosts and have seen a few. It freaks me out, so I've asked them to leave me alone.
  3. I love to top a few Tbs of brown sugar, in a bowl, with heavy cream and dip fresh bread in it.
  4. I don't like to drink coffee.
  5. I hate hamburgers and any form of ground beef.
  6. I refold laundry, after Hubby has done it.
  7. I slept with my baby blanket, until I was 23 yrs old, and would still, if Hubby would let me.

Here are my 7 tagged friends ( I don't even have 7 blogger friends :s )
Judy, Danielle and Jenn

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Creamy Shells with White Beans and Tomatoes

I am not a big meat eater. I don't hate meat, but am not overly crazy about it either. So I'm always on the look out for high protein, meat free dishes. I found this one in an issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray. It consisted of ingredients Mr.B loved, so I gave it a try. This has turned out to be one of my favorite recipes and I make it every other month. The combination of the creamy beans and sweet tomatoes are a perfect match. The shells trap the beans inside, for a nice creamy suprise. I've used other cuts of pasta, but prefer shells or bowties best. This is a delicious and comforting meal, that you can make in minutes.




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Creamy Shells with Tomatoes and White Beans
From Every Day with Rachael Ray August 2007


1 pound jumbo pasta shells
6 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped
One 16-ounce can navy beans or other small white beans, rinsed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup snipped chives
Salt and pepper

1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain and set aside.2. In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved pasta, the tomatoes and beans and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Toss with the 1/2 cup parmesan and chives, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Pass more parmesan at the table.
This post is linked to

Halloween cookies and Snake Bites

About 3 years ago, I saw Paula Deen make the cutest snake sandwich, out of crescent rolls and deli meat. I planned on making it for a Halloween party that Mr.B and I were invited to. It was so easy to make, and turned out so great, that I've been making it for dinner, on Halloween, ever since.

This year Mr.B was more aware about Halloween. A few weeks ago, while we were all grocery shopping, Mr.B asked if we could buy some of the slice and bake Halloween cookies. Hubby, forgetting what an amazing memory Mr.B has, suggested we wait until Halloween to make some. The night before Halloween, while putting Mr.B to bed, he reminded me, that we were suppose to make Halloween cookies the next day. So I jumped on line, to my trusted CFYF board on Baby Center, and found a simple Sugar Cookie recipe. The next morning, we rolled out the dough and cut out pumpkins, witches hats and circles. Mr.B enjoyed frosting his cookie, as did I, LOL. They were very delicious and I managed to take a picture of our creations, before they were all gone.


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Photo Courtesy of Food Network


Snake Bites
courtesy of Paula Deen

1 can crescent rolls
Flour, for dusting
4 tablespoons spicy mustard
10 ounces thinly sliced ham
10 ounces thinly sliced salami
10 ounces bologna 12 ounces
Monterey Jack, grated
Liquid food coloring
3 egg yolks
2 whole cloves
Toothpicks
2 small pimiento-stuffed olives
1 (1-inch) strips jarred roasted red peppers

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with foil. Grease the foil and set aside.
Dust a flat surface lightly with flour. Spread out the crescent dough — do not separate. Pinch together the seams so that you have 1 piece of dough. Roll out to make a large rectangle. Make sure the dough is not stuck to the surface at all.
Brush the dough with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border. Layer the meats down the center of the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border on either end. You can feel free to use your favorite cold cuts.

Top the meats with the cheese. Fold 1 side of the dough over the filling, lengthwise. Then, fold the other 1/2 over and press the seal the filling inside. Take 1 egg yolk, and beat lightly with a fork. Brush the egg yolk over the top of the dough. The yolk will act as the glue to hold. Fold the dough in 1/2 again lengthwise. Pinch the seam with your fingers to seal. Press the outside of the dough to make sure everything is sealed tight and to make an even thickness for the body of your snake. Taper 1 end of the dough to form a tail shape. Form the other end into a head shape.

Beat the 2 remaining egg yolks together. Transfer to 3 separate small bowls. Add some food coloring to each bowl — whatever colors you like! Using a clean paintbrush, "paint" the snake with the egg yolk/food coloring mixture.
Transfer the snake to the foil lined sheet tray. Form into an "s" shape so it looks like the snake is slithering. Insert 2 cloves into the head to look like nostrils and 2 stuffed olives for eyes. Create a mouth or tongue with the roasted red peppers. Bake the snake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through

Cindy's Notes: I use a combination of ham, turkey and provolone cheese. I have never "painted" the snake with food coloring, and it looks great regardless.




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Rolled Sugar Cookies
~ Pillsbury

1 Cup sugar
1 Cup margarine or butter 3
TBS milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Heat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine sugar, margarine, milk, vanilla and egg; mix well. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt; mix well.
On lightly floured surface, roll out 1/3 of dough at a time to 1/8 in. thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Place one inch apart on ungreased cookies sheet.
Bake 5-9 minutes or until edges are light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets.
Cindy's notes: I simply used good old canned frosting to decorate the cookies.

This post linked to

All Halloween Bash

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Salmon Cobb Burgers

On my quest to find recipes for the Meal of the Week, I came upon this Burger recipe, in the November issue of Rachael Ray's magazine. I'm always looking for new ways to use canned Salmon, so I thought I'd include it in to my recipe selection. These were really good. I especially like the way the lemon mayo, complimented the salmon and didn't taste gross with the tomato and bacon. The salmon was not overwhelming, so I was happy about that too. I used seasoned bread crumbs with cheese, since that is what I had on hand. I also used sour dough bread, instead of callagh bread. MIL injoyed hers as well, though she thought it could use onion and lettuce. DS ate his up, starting with the bacon, then tomato and then the salmon, LOL. I'd make these again.



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Salmon Cobb Burgers
via Everyday with Rachael Ray

one 14.7oz can salmon, drained and picked over
1/2C bread crumbs
1/4C flat leaf parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs EVOO ( extra virgin olive oil)
1/4 C mayonnaise
1 lemon, halved, plus grated peel from 1/2 lemon
Eight 1/2 inch thick slices challah bread, toasted
1 tomato, sliced
4 slices cooked bacon

In a large bowl, combine Salmon, breadcrumbs, 2Tbs parsley, the egg and mustard. Shape into 4 patties. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat, turning once, until golden, about 4 mins on each side. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon peel and remaining parlsey. Spread the lemon mayonnaise on 4 slices of toast. Top each with a tomato slice, a squirt of lemon juice, a salmon patty, a bacon slice and a toasted bread slice.

This post is linked to Saturdays with Rachael Ray over at Taste and Tell and January 2011 Culinary Smack Down.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Caramel Pear Scones

This week was my turn to contribute recipes for the Meal of the Week game on my Baby Center cooking board. I chose 3 recipes, which I have never made before and the Caramel Pear Scones was one of them. I made these Sunday morning for breakfast. I wasn't sure how they would turn out, since I ended up having to add and extra 1/2 C of flour, to the dough, since it was super sticky. I was pleased when I bit into a warm, light and airy scone. The flavors were wonderful. The nuts added a much needed savoriness to them, since the frosting is super sweet. My mother in law commented on how lucky my children are, to have a Mommy that can cook so well. I guess she really enjoyed them.




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Caramel-Pear Scones via Cooking Pleasures Magazine

2 C flour
1/3 C brown sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbs butter, chilled and cut up
2-3 pears, peeled and chopped ( about 2 1/2C)
1 egg
1/2 C plus 1 Tbs whole milk
1/4 C chopped walnuts

Frosting:
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C butter
2 Tbs whole milk
1 C powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 425ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in 6 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles large peas. Stir in pears.
2. Beat egg and 1/2 cup of the milk in small bowl; stir into flour mixture until moistened. (Mixture should form soft ball. If too wet, add 2 to 3 tablespoons flour. If too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons milk.)
3. On lightly floured surface, roll or press dough into 11-inch round 3/4 inch thick; cut into 8 wedges. Carefully lift wedges out with floured spatula; place on baking sheet. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon milk; sprinkle with walnuts. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool.
4. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is melted. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk; return to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Drizzle over scones.
8 scones

PER SCONE: 465 calories, 18.5 g total fat (10 g saturated fat), 5.5 g protein, 71.5 g carbohydrate, 65 mg cholesterol, 460 mg sodium, 3 g fiber