Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cherry Chicken

4 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 (6 oz) chicken breasts
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
2 c. chicken stock
4 T cold butter
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 c dry white wine
1 c dried cherries

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 3 T oil. Season chicken with thyme, salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook for until done on the outside, then move to one side of the skillet.

Add pignoli to the skillet and toast over moderate heat. Add 1T oil, onion, celery, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the celery and onions are tender. Add the stock, and cook until the pan is almost dry. Add the white wine, and cherries continue to cook until there is only about 1/2 cup of liquid left in the pan. Turn the heat off the under the pan. Add butter in small pieces and whisk until it has completely melted.

Serve over rice.

Giffords' Really Good Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup butter-flavored crisco (buy it in sticks and you won't have the measuring mess)
1-1/4 cups firmly packed brwn sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
1 egg
1-3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1- 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Heat 375
Combine crisco,brwn sugar,milk,and vanilla in bowl.Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into creamed mixture. Stir in chips.

Drop onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes

NOTES: They brought these to this year's 4th of July picnic and they were pretty fantastic. Don't overbake and they'll be the nicest cookie texture you've ever had.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Old-Fashioned Caramel Buttermilk Cake

  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 2 c buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Soda
  • 5 Tablespoons Hot water
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

Cream sugar and eggs. Sift together flour and cocoa, dissolve baking soda into water, and combine all ingredients.
Grease and flour pan. Bake at 350 until done (55-60 minutes for a bundt pan).


  • 1 lb powdered sugar (3-4 c.)
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients and pour over cake while still warm, but not hot.

Note: I made a half batch of glaze, and it was plenty. I also had to microwave it for 30-40 secs to get it to a pourable consistency.

Look at how well this came out of the pan. I just let it cool for half an hour and it came right out!

Source: Someone on Ravelry's grandmother

Monday, August 23, 2010

Key Lime Gelato

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, preferably Key lime
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup (about 5) crushed graham crackers (optional)
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn't form, until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges and the mixture reaches a temperature of 170°F.

Meanwhile, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Temper the egg yolks by very slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture while whisking continuously. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185°F. Do not bring to a boil.

Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Gently whisk the lime juice and zest into the base. Pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream machine and churn. (Optional: Just after churning quickly stir in the graham cracker crumbs.) Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cannoli shells

This is the original recipe, found here:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Marsala
1 egg white
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
Combine the flour, cinnamon, shortening, sugar and salt, and wetting gradually with the wine, knead together with fingers until rather hard dough or paste is formed. Form into a ball, cover with a cloth and let stand for about 1 hour. Cut dough in half and roll half of the dough into a thin sheet about 1/4-inch thick or less and cut into 4-inch ovals.

Place a metal tube diagonally across each oval lengthwise. Wrap dough around tube by overlapping the 2 sides, sealing the overlapping sides with a little egg white. Meanwhile heat vegetable oil in a large deep pan for deep frying. Drop 1 or 2 of the tubes at a time into the hot oil, fry gently on all sides until dough turns a golden brown color. Remove from pan, let cool a little, gently remove shell from the metal tube. Set shells aside to become cold. Repeat procedure until shells are all made.

  1. The flavor was really good and the marsala added a nice, distinct flavor.
  2. We made the first ones about 1/4" thick as indicated, and they were BAD! (Didn't get crispy and too tough.) It worked much better to roll it as thin as possible (we could practically see through the dough).
  3. Instead of ovals, we'd roll them more into circles to give a nicer finished look. (More filling exposed to dip into pistachios or chocolate shavings.)
  4. The egg white is essential to make it all stick together while frying, but try to keep the it off the cannoli tubes so it doesn't make them stick.
  5. The oil was heated to about 380 F. There was nothing indicated in the recipe and we just guessed.
  6. The filling made about 16 cannoli, and there were more shells than that. I've put some in the freezer to see if that works well.
  7. DO NOT FILL THEM TOO FAR AHEAD OF TIME. They were pretty soggy by the next day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Queso Blanco

1 gallon whole milk
1/4 cup vinegar

  1. In a large pot, heat milk to 190 degrees, stirring to keep the bottom from scorching.
  2. Once the milk reaches 190, slowly add all the vinegar. Stir until white curds separate and are floating in the yellow-ish whey.
  3. Pour curds and when into a colander lined with 3-4 layers of cheesecloth. Let drain for several hours. Store cheese in an air-tight container. It will keep for up to two weeks.
  • This is a good, spreadable cheese and can be flavored with herbs, garlic, etc.
  • I used about 3/4-1 cup of powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk or cream (maybe less, depending on the texture), and the outer peel of one lemon (grated on a micro-plane) to make canolli filling. I whipped it with the whisk attachment of my Kitchen-aid. Very good!
  • I've also salted it a little (herbs and garlic are also good here) and used it for lasagna or manicotti - basically, wherever you'd use ricotta.
  • Sometimes it's necessary to add a little more vinegar to make the curds separate. If it doesn't happen within a minute, add the extra.
YIELD: About 2 1/2 cups of cheese.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Spinach Salad

1 bunch spinach
1 8 ounce can water chestnuts (slivered)
6 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
4-6 thinly sliced green onions

1/4 c sugar
1/2 c oil
2 1/2 tsp ketchup
2 1/2 tbls vinegar
1 tbls Worchestershire sauce

Mix dressing ingredients and set aside. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl; toss with dressing.

Source: Anoka County 4-H cookbook, p. 296

Notes: When we made this tonight, we made a couple substitutions: no green onion and water chestnuts, instead some chives and 2 sliced, hard-cooked eggs.
Also, I think there's too much dressing for the amount of salad, so I begin by pouring 1/2-2/3 of it on. That's typically enough unless you make a huge batch.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Applesauce Bran Muffins

(The other bran muffin recipe I'd highly recommend.)

1 1/2 c Nabisco 100% Bran
1 1/2 c applesauce (chunky applesauce is really good)
1 egg
1/4 c melted margarine
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1 tbls. baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c raisins
Mix bran, applesauce, egg, margarine and brown sugar; let stand 5 minutes. In large bowl, blend flour, baking powder and cinnamon; stir in bran mixture just until blended (batter will be lumpy). Stir in raisins. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until done. Cool slightly. Drizzle with apple sauce glaze; serve warm.

Glaze: Blend 1/2 c confectioner's sugar into 1 tbls applesauce until smooth.

Note: I've never used the glaze, but I've made this muffin recipe many times. Very moist and nice!

Great Bran Muffins

A favorite old recipe I used to make all the time.

Soak together for about 5 minutes:
  • 1 1/2 c Nabisco 100% Bran cereal
  • 1 1/4 c milk
After cereal has soaked add:
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c oil
Mix dry ingredients together:
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c sugar
Mix dry with wet ingredients. Don't over mix.
Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Makes 1 dozen.

Breakfast Burritos

Based on a Sonic recipe, this version comes from Pioneer Woman.

8 whole Flour Tortillas, Fajita Size
1-½ cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
8 whole Eggs Beaten
2 Tablespoons Half-and-half
1 pound Breakfast Sausage
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
½ cups Jarred Jalapeno Slices
3 whole Roma Tomatoes--sliced
Salsa, On The Side
1 Tablespoon Butter

Preparation Instructions:
  • Bake or fry tater tots according to package directions. Make sure they’re a little on the crisp side. Warm tortillas in the oven or microwave; keep warm and soft.
  • Brown breakfast sausage in a large skillet, breaking it up as you go along.
  • Mix eggs, half and half, salt, and pepper, and beat with a fork or whisk until totally combined. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook the eggs, scrambling them until they’re in smaller pieces and no longer wet.
  • To assemble, add ingredients to the middle 1/3 of a warm tortilla in this order: cheese, eggs, sausage, tater tots, chopped onion, jalapeno, and tomato slices. Wrap one side of the tortilla, then the other. Wrap burrito tightly in a square of foil and keep warm. Reheat in the oven if necessary.
Serve with salsa on the side.

NOTES: I used banana peppers (yum!) for those who like such things. These were better than my usual bb's due to the additional step of baking them for a few minutes. It really made a nice difference and the oven was warm because Holly baked muffins anyway. There were a couple left over, and they microwaved nicely the next morning.

French Toast Bake

1-2 day-old French bread
5 eggs
2 ½ cups milk
1 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Arrange bread in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, 3/4 cup brown sugar, vanilla and nutmeg; pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

2. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Sprinkle pecans over egg mixture. Combine butter and remaining sugar; drizzle over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with blueberries. Bake 10 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Granola Bars

(recipe source)
  • 8 oz old-fashioned rolled oats (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 oz sunflower seeds (1/2 cup)
  • 3 oz sliced almonds, (1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 oz wheat germ (1/2 cup)
  • 6 oz honey (1/2 cup)
  • 1 3/4 oz dark brown sugar (1/4 cup packed)
  • 1 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 oz chopped dried fruit*
Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish** and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds,*** almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.†

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter††, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down,††† evenly distributing the mixture in the dish. Place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

*I used dried blueberries, cherries, and golden raisins
**A batch and a half works well in a 9x13 pan
***The original recipe calls for raw seeds in the shell. I used regular roasted seeds and added them with the fruit.
Make sure you stir them together before toasting; the wheat germ will burn if it's left out on its own.
†I substituted peanut butter, and it was pretty yummy.
†††Pack mixture very firmly into the pan, or you will get granola instead of granola bars.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grandma Rose's Refrigerator Pickles

7 cups sliced cucumbers
1 small onion (optional)
1 tbsp. salt
Mix and let stand 1 hour. Drain.

2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. whole celery seed
Boil and cool. Mix with the cucumbers. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Properly stored, these will be good all through the winter.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts

4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 can Cream Of Chicken Soup (10 Ounce Can)
2 Tablespoons Red Wine (or Red Wine Vinegar)
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
1 cup Cheddar Cheese (or Any Kind You Like)
1 cup Croutons

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Wash and pat dry the 4 chicken breasts. Place them in a small casserole dish.
  3. Sauce: Combine cream of chicken soup, red wine (vinegar), and melted butter & mix together. Spoon over the chicken.
  4. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese & croutons (optional) over sauce.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil & bake, covered for 45 minutes. Remove aluminum foil & bake an additional 15 minutes, uncovered.

NOTES: Obviously you could alter this sauce recipe a thousand different ways. I made it exactly as called for and it was good. I did forget to cover it and the cheese was very crusty but the chicken was still moist. (I didn't take a photo for this reason.)

Easy. Tasty. Ingredients I had on hand. A+

From Tasty Kitchen