Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

I'd like to thank my preschool teachers for instilling a strong love of toasted pumpkin seeds in me (also for having me dig around in the front lawn of our school searching for peanuts and pretending to be a squirrel.)

Here's whatcha do...separate the seeds from the guts. Rinse. Dry. Toss them in a shallow pan with about a stick of butter and plenty of salt. Toast them in the oven (400 degrees) for about 20-30 minutes mixing often.

Result is crunchy, salty, Halloween goodness...a great compliment to Halloween candy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ranch Chicken Melt

3 cups chicken breast, boiled and cubed
1 celery, thinly diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 green onions, diced
1 shake garlic powder
1/2 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix, dry
3/4cup mayonnaise
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 tomato, diced
1 French bread loaf, sliced 2 inches thick

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all the ingredients, except the tomato to the consistency of dry tuna and then carefully add the tomato. Spread butter on the bread slices and then place chicken mixture on the top of each slice. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Makes about 8 slices.

Dawn's Chocolate Chip Brownie Cheese Cake

Yep...I have officially taken this recipe over! haha. Although, as the story goes, Mom got it in her Family Home Evening Group as a dessert. Years later, she mentioned it to Kitty and her daughter(Julie...who had actually originally submitted this dessert to the group)...and Julie had no recollection of having made it ... nor her mom. And they asked for the recipe since Mom raved about it and told them that I make it all the time. Anyway...it is now:

Dawn's Chocolate Chip Brownie Cheese Cake

1 pkg. Brownie mix (8x8 size)
3 - 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

9 inch spring form pan

Mix brownies according to box directions adn Bake 35 minutes @ 350 degrees in spring form pan, till set, just done but not gooey or shakey. (I line the pan with parchment paper on the bottom.
Beat cream cheese till fluffy.
Add milk and eggs and vanilla...and beat, beat, beat. Make sure it is competely and utterly mixed together!!
Stir in chips. Pour onto of cooled (not cold) brownie layer. Bake 50 minutes at 300 degrees...till center is set. Cool, remove from pan. Garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

These are delicious! And don't let the "pumpkin" deter you from trying them. Super easy as well. Yesterday, I took them to Cora's baby blessing, then made another batch for Ken to take to work today. And now, batch #3 is cooking so Adelle can eat them to her heart's content!

Preheat oven to 350 degress. Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners. (I get more like 20-22 muffins out of this recipe.)
In a large bowl, sift together:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups white sugar
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
In a separate bowl, mix:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Add this pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Fold in 2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together:
2 T flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 t cinnamon.
Cut in 4 T butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffin batter.

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Delicious! (Pix may be coming....)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

That's right, PUMPKIN cinnamon roll. Now before I go any further, I would like to acknowledge the fact that there are many very talented cinnamon rollers in this family. These families. Consider yourself acknowledged.

But do your recipes have PUMPKIN GUTS in them?

Mine didn't. You may think that referring to cinnamon roll recipes that I don't actually possess is misleading, and you're right. But these rolls are right, too. So do what you will with them.

1 packet of active yeast
1/2 cup of warm water
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp course salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Mix yeast and warm water in a large bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Add in the rest of the dough ingredients and thoroughly combine. Add a little more flour if it needs a more doughy consistency.

Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, then allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Mix filling ingredients together in a small bowl until you have a sugar paste.
Roll dough out in a large rectangle to 1/4 inch thick then spread the sugar filling evenly over the dough. Roll up longways.

Get out some dental floss. Use said dental floss to help you cut the roll into sections (in place of a knife). This is the best idea ever, and of course it's not mine. If you slide the floss under the log, then lift up both ends of the floss, and cross them over one another and pull, the dough log severs a clean, not smooshed section of itself, easy as pie.

Stick the rolls in a greased pan, let rise for 45-60 minutes, cook for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Mix frosting ingredients, slap it on those babies and EEEEAAAAAAT! These rolls are so good, they need no butter. MOM! step away from that butter. Put down the knife. There you go, easy...easy...

P.S. In my last post, I asked you to guess what the mystery meal was, and the answer is............

......................chopped up pork fat!!!!!

EWWWWWWWW! I know, I know. Hank wanted to try doing something or other with rendering fat on his own for use in his homemade refried beans.

Why, people, why?!?

Some of your guesses were incorrect, but A-MAZING, altogether.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mystery Food Again!

So, Hank and I were having such a nice Saturday, I thought I'd share with you Hank's latest concoction. Can anyone guess what this is a picture of/what Hank is whipping up?

I'll give you a hint:

It's not ambrosia salad.

It is mildly disturbing to children under the age of 13.

Or 29 11.5/12ths.

Friday, October 9, 2009

loaded Baked Potato Chowder (PC)

3 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 lb/1.1 kg)

3 1/2 cups (875 mL) milk, divided

4 oz (125 g) cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp (30 mL) butter

2-3 green onions with tops (1/4 cup/50 mL sliced)

4 oz (125 g) sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt

1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarsely ground black pepper

Optional toppings such as chopped cooked bacon, sour cream or steamed broccoli florets

1. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise with Santoku Knife; place in Deep Covered Baker. Pour 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the milk over potatoes. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 11 minutes. Remove baker from microwave. Move center potatoes to ends of baker and outer potatoes to center. Cover; microwave on HIGH 8-11 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Remove baker from microwave. Coarsely mash potatoes with Mix 'N Chop.

2. Meanwhile, whisk cream cheese until smooth in Classic Batter Bowl. Slowly add remaining 3 cups (750 mL) milk, whisking until smooth. Add cream cheese mixture and butter to baker. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until mixture is hot. Slice green onions with Chef's Knife.

3. Carefully remove baker from microwave. Grate cheddar cheese over chowder using Rotary Grater; add green onions, salt and black pepper and mix using Small Mix 'N Scraper(R) until cheese is melted. Serve with toppings, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings (8 cups/2 L)

Nutrients per serving: (about 1 1/3 cups/325 mL): Calories 390, Total Fat 19 g, Saturated Fat 11 g, Cholesterol 65 mg, Carbohydrate 43 g, Protein 14 g, Sodium 880 mg, Fiber 3 g

Cook's Tip: For a lighter version, omit butter. Substitute fat-free (skim) milk, reduced-fat (Neufchâtel) cheese and light cheddar for the 2% milk and full-fat cheeses.

U.S. Nutrients per serving: Calories 300, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 30 mg, Carbohydrate 43 g, Protein 16 g, Sodium 890 mg, Fiber 3 g

South of the Border Meat Loaf (PC)

1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped poblano or green bell pepper

1 medium onion (1/2 cup/125 mL finely chopped)

1/2 cup (125 mL) very finely crushed authentic restaurant-style tortilla chips (about 1 1/2 cups/375 mL whole chips)

1 cup (250 mL) ketchup

2 tbsp (30 mL) Chipotle Rub

1 1/2 lbs (700 g) 85% lean ground beef

1 egg

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. Finely chop peppers and onion with Food Chopper. Place chips into large resealable plastic bag; very finely crush using Meat Tenderizer to measure 1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbs. Combine ketchup and rub in Small Batter Bowl; stir with Small Mix 'N Scraper(R). In Stainless (6-qt./6-L) Mixing Bowl, combine pepper, onion, tortilla chip crumbs, 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the ketchup mixture, beef, egg and 1 cup (250 mL) of the cheese; mix well.

2. Place meat mixture in Deep Covered Baker; form into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-in. (22 x 12-cm) loaf. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 14-17 minutes or until Digital Pocket Thermometer inserted in center of meat loaf registers 145°F (63°C). Remove baker from microwave. With Chef's Silicone Basting Brush, brush remaining ketchup mixture over meat loaf. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C) in the center.

3. Sprinkle remaining cheese over meat loaf; cover and let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Sprinkle cilantro over meat loaf, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 460 g, Total Fat 29 g, Saturated Fat 13 g, Cholesterol 135 mg, Carbohydrate 21 g, Protein 29 g, Sodium 1050 mg, Fiber 1 g

Cook's Tip: For best results, choose authentic restaurant-style tortilla chips, found in the ethnic section of the supermarket.

Meatloaf can be baked, uncovered, in a 400°F (200°C) oven for 65-70 minutes. Brush with sauce 15 minutes before end of bake time.

If desired, 2-3 tbsp (30-45 mL) chopped, canned chipotle peppers can be substituted for the Chipotle Rub.

mexican chicken lasagna (PC)

1/4 cup (50 mL) lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

1 pkg (8 oz/250 g) cream cheese

2 cups (500 mL) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided (8 oz/250 g)

1 medium onion (about 2/3 cup/150 mL chopped)

1 can (28 oz/825 mL) enchilada sauce (see Cook’s Tip)

12 (6-in.) corn tortillas

3 cups (750 mL) diced or shredded cooked chicken

Additional chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

1. Chop cilantro with Chef's Knife. Place cream cheese in Classic Batter Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30-45 seconds or until very soft. Add cilantro and 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of the Monterey Jack cheese; mix well. Chop onion using Food Chopper; set aside. Spread 2/3 cup (150 mL) of the enchilada sauce over bottom of Deep Covered Baker. Pour remaining enchilada sauce into Stainless (4-qt./4-L) Mixing Bowl; set aside.

2. To assemble lasagna, using Sauté Tongs, dip four of the tortillas into enchilada sauce in mixing bowl and arrange over sauce in baker, overlapping as necessary. Scoop half of the cream cheese mixture over tortillas using Small Scoop; spread using Small Spreader. Top with 1 cup (250 mL) of the chicken and one-third of the onion. Repeat layers one time. Dip remaining tortillas into sauce and arrange over second layer. Top with remaining chicken and onion. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over lasagna and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) Monterey Jack cheese.

3. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 12-15 minutes or until center is hot. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro. Cut into squares using Utility Knife; serve using Mini-Serving Spatula.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 400, Total Fat 23 g, Saturated Fat 12 g, Cholesterol 105 mg, Carbohydrate 24 g, Protein 26 g, Sodium 680 mg, Fiber 2 g

Cook's Tip: If desired, 1 bottle (22 oz/650 mL) medium salsa combined with 1/2 cup (125 mL) water can be substituted for the enchilada sauce.

Teri's copy cat recipe of Starbuck's Hot cocoa

Mix and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave:

1/4 cup water
2 T. Cocoa
2 T. sugar

Add to mixter and cook for 3 minutes longer, in microwave:
1-1/2 cup milk
1/4 t. vanilla.

Served with a covering of whipped cream...yum.

Wonder how this would brew up in the cocomotion machine?

another Teri-- Delightful chicken

Teri took her Covered Stoneware Baker from PC but you could use any covered whatever.

Placed 3 (or how many) again frozen chicken breasts in the bottom. Poured over a full, large bottle of Kraft Classic Caesar Salad Dip and Dressing and let 'er bake. I'll correct the time and temp when next I chat with her

The chicken falls apart so nicely. Great over pasta.

Teri's Crock pot soup

Thanx to Teri Stencil, we have a crock pot soup for tonight. She brought the fixins', tossed them in my crock and we spent the day sewing and chatting, along with Rebecca Stay. So here goes:

1 can Black Beans
2 cans Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilis (but you can just get Diced Tomatoes if you don't like spicy)
1 can corn
3 cans Chix and Rice soup
2 large chix breasts (she tossed these in frozen)

Place Chicken breasts in the bottom and then toss on the rest. Bake all day on Low

Garnish with sour cream, fritos and cheddar cheese. (as Teri stated....Cheddar makes it better)