Thursday, December 24, 2015

Caramel Sauce

5 Minute 5 Ingredient Caramel Sauce

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 heavy cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt

1. In a medium saucepan set over medium-low to medium heat and melt butter.  Mix in brown sugar and stir for 2 minutes (or until the sugar has completely dissolved).  Mix in heavy cream and stir for 2 more minutes.  Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and salt until well incorporated.
2. Pour hot caramel sauce in a jar and allow to cool completely.  Store in refrigerator for up to a month.

I made this at Laura's for Thanksgiving.  We were looking for a "fruit dish" to bring over to the Vigesaa's.  I found this recipe and it seemed simple enough.  The sauce was a hit served with green apples.  It also goes well with ice cream or just on a spoon!  So easy, and I usually have the ingredients on hand so it's easy to whip up a batch quickly to bring to someone's house.

Tuscan Soup

Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana Soup

1lb. ground Italian sausage
1 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
1 large diced white onion
4 Tbsp. bacon pieces
2 tsp. garlic puree
10 cups water
5 cubes chicken bouillon
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb. sliced russet potatoes, or about 3 large
1/4 bunch of kale

1. Saute Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot.  Drain fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
2. In the same pan saute bacon, onions, and garlic over low-medium heat until the onions are soft.
3. Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
4. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
5. Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
6. Stir in the sausage and kale, let all heat through and serve.

I found this recipe while living in Japan.  I was craving Olive Garden and this soup is better than the restaurant.  The first time we made it Dale and I were licking our bowls!  I now make it often, even in the summer.  I shared it with the family at the lake during Christmas 2013.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Taco Pie

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef. (About 3 3/4 cups)
1 / 3 cup finely chopped onion
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1    4 ounce can diced green chilies, drained.  ( I've omitted this and it's tasted OK, too)

1 cup mild
1 cup biscuit baking mix
2 eggs

2. Tomatoes, sliced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Sour cream
Chopped tomatoes
Shredded lettuce

Directions- brown ground beef and onion, spoon into 10 inch pie plate. Mix eggs, milk and biscuit mix together with hand mixer.  Pour over ground beef.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Top with sliced tomatoes and cheddar cheese, bake an additional 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted. 

Serve with sour cream, diced tomatoes, and shredded lettuce.  This is good with chips,and fresh fruit.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Subway HoneyOat Bread

1 and 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup butter

Heat the above ingredients to 120 - 130 degrees F

5 cups bread flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon yeast (or use one package of yeast, I buy it in jars so would use about a Tablespoon)
2 eggs
2 cups wholewheat flour (about.....I add whole wheat flour to the mixing bowl until it no longer sticks to the sides as it goes around during mixing.

1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water. (Whisk together water and egg whites until frothy)
1/2 cup crushed oatmeal flakes

Process. Heat water, butter and honey, pour into mixing bowl (I use the big stand Bosch mixer for breads)
Add flour, oatmeal, salt, and eggs, mix well and add yeast ( I added this last just in case the water mixture is too hot because I left it in the microwave too long, and I don't want to kill the yeast) and lastly add the whole wheat flour, about 2 cups, or until the dough doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl as it is mixing.  

Mix for 8 minutes or so on a medium speed. 

Grease a large mixing bowl, put dough in bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until double is size.
Punch down and divide into 7 -  1 1/4 inch X 12 inch bread sticks, let rise covered with a clean dish towel.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, Brush egg white / water mixture over dough, sprinkle crushed oatmeal on top.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes

Serve and enjoy with meat, cheese, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, banana peppers, green peppers, black olives, onions, and whatever else you would like on your 'made at home- subway sandwich'

Story; Roger and Ardis called one evening to let us know they would drive over for a visit the next day. Well,we live 15 miles fro. The nearest town, so I looked for a recipe to make sub sandwiches for lunch. Ryan, Stephanie, and the boys were here. Everyone liked how this bread turned out, a keeper recipe.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Not as Quick as Mom's Chili but Good in a Different Way

(Recipe mostly from SmittenKitchen -- check out her photos to see how great it looks!)

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 peppers, whatever spicy-ness you can handle (I do 2 Bell and 1 jalapeño, seeded)
1 t minced garlic
2 T chili powder
2 t cumin
1 1/2 t table salt
1 T unsweetened cocoa
1/2 t oregano
2 15 oz. cans fire-roasted tomatoes
3-4 cans beans, whichever kinds, drained and rinsed
1 pound hamburger

Heat oil in pan; saute onions on med-low about 10 minutes. Add peppers, saute additional 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, cocoa, and oregano; cook until browned and just starting to stick to the pan. Throw this mixture and the tomatoes and beans into the crockpot with a cup of water. In the pan you just emptied, brown the hamburger and add to the crockpot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar, lime slices, extra diced onion, fresh cilantro, and tortilla chips. Serves 4-6.

Story: Like the moth to a flame, I'm drawn to recipes that meet these criterian: 1. Can be prepped during Zane's nap.  2. Makes a large amount, which can be easily frozen and reheated later.  3. Don't require a ton of dishes.  4. Are just a little unusual.  Hope you try this one! Or, come over -- I'll make it for you! :)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sweet & Spicy BBQ Pork

Menu Idea:
Mexican Rice (easy version: Replace half the water with salsa when cooking.)
Shredded lettuce
Sour Cream
BBQ Pork
to fill a warmed tortilla

3 pounds pork (I usually use stew meat or a combo of chicken/pork if that's what's in the freezer)
1 can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
1 cup Coke
1 cup brown sugar
1 T chili powder
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t dried oregano
1/2 t paprika
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt

Put the thawed meat in the crockpot with about 4 cups water. Cook on high for around 5 hours. Drain off the liquid and shred the meat. Add the rest of the ingredients, continue to cook on high for about 4 more hours. Finish shredding meat right before serving.

I first tried a recipe similar to this after experiencing Cafe Rio's Sweet Pork, and this is my favorite version yet -- and this is the meal Blair requests more than anything else I make. I like how easy it is, and how versatile the leftovers are -- we eat them in quesadillas, on sandwiches, and over salad. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole

This is absolutely fantastic!

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans preferred)
  • 1/3 stick butter, melted
Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.

Sweet Potato Mixture
  • 3 cups mashed yams
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a medium-size casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a large mixing bowl in the order listed. Beat thoroughly with a hand mixer to increase the fluffiness of the sweet potato mixture.
  3. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. (At this point, dish can be covered and refrigerated.)
  5. Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture and return to oven for 10 minutes. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.
The brown sugar and pecan crust should be slightly browned and crunchy.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Broccoli Salad

1 head of Broccoli cut in pieces
1 cup sun flower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
6 strips of bacon fried and crumbled
Minced onion to taste- I've used green onions, and red onions,

1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

Mix together dressing, pour over broccoli, onions, raisins, sunflower seeds, and bacon
There are many variations of this recipe, some add shredded cheddar cheese, green peppers, green grapes, celery, water chestnuts, cauliflower, and one recipe has carrots too. The dressing is much the same for all of the recipes, though. 
These variations and the recipe are from the 'Taste of Heaven' cook book from Lisbon. (2004)

Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
2 cups peanut butter
2 cups softened butter

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. soda
5 cups flour

Mix first 6 ingredients, add next 4 and mix together. Cover dough and let it set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, lightly grease cookie sheets. Rill dough in balls and roll in sugar (if you like, I skip this step).  Make a fork print 2 directions to flaten the cookies somewhat,
Bake about 12 minutes. Watch to not over bake.

Good recipe, a 1/2 of this recipe makes a lot of cookies!

Pistachio Ice cream Dessert

45 Ritz crackers (crushed)
1 stick butter (melted)

Mix melted butter and crushed crackers together and put in a 9 X13 inch pan, bake 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool

2 packages pistachio instant pudding (can use chocolate or what ever flavor you would like)
1/2 cup milk

Mix milk and pudding together with a hand mixer

Stir in......or use the hand mixer....
1 quart ice cream (softened)
Spoon over cooled crust and freeze until ready to serve.

Top with
1 large container of cool whip
Sprinkle top with crushed Heath bars or chocolate shavings

This is from a cook book published from the Sheldon community in the 1960's. Even though we eat mostly whole foods now, and few desserts, frozen desserts are wonderful to have on hand when company is here.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Date Dessert

From Kate Pizzey

18 Oreo cookies-crumbled
3/4 cup water
1 cup chopped dates
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup whipping cream

Spread all but a 1/4 cup of the Oreo cookie crumbs in a 8x8 pan. Mix dates, water, and salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer slowly until thick. Mash while cooking. Remove from heat and add the marshmallows and and stir to melt. Cool. Add the pecans and spread over the crumbs. Whip cream and add a little vanilla. Pour over dates. Top with remaining 1/4 cup crumbs. Refrigerate.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pioneer Woman's 2 Pizza Crust

1 1/2 c warm water
1/3 c olive oil
1 teaspoon yeast
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

Pour the warm water in the mixer bowl. Sprinkle yeast over; wait a few minutes until frothy. Add olive oil, flour, and salt. Mix with the dough hook until a sticky ball forms. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

When ready to make: divide into two equal portions. Oil the baking sheet. Stretch the dough until it nearly fills the sheet. Add toppings and bake at 500 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is done to your preference.