Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lemon Pie

Zesty Lemon Pie Recipe

So I'm getting my hair cut last night and we're talking about Thanksgiving . . .

 . . .and all of the crazy things that happen when family is around!

We talked about what we had . . .

 . . .and didn't have.

In the midst of that conversation, the guy who cuts my hair said that after they went home on Thanksgiving, he made a pie.

A really GOOD pie.

He made a lemon pie!

When I think "lemon," I don't usually think "Fall!"

But he said it was soooooo yummy!

Well, he didn't say "yummy!"

He said, "good!"

When they finished the last bit of it the other night, his wife said, "you're going to have to make another one of these!"

Naturally, when I hear someone talk about a new recipe, I ask for it!

Scripture says, "Ask and you shall receive!"

I asked.

I received!

When Darren was telling me about the pie and how good it was, he said, and I quote, "What can be bad with Eagle Brand Milk?" 

And honestly, I agree!

But what he DIDN'T say was that this recipe has

2 cans of Eagle Brand Milk!

It must be doubly yummy!

Lemon Pie
Southern Living, 2010

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
6 egg yolks
2 (14-oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 2 ingredients; add butter, stirring until blended. Press mixture on bottom and up sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).
Whisk together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. Pour into prepared crust.
Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 4 hours.
Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form; dollop over chilled pie. Garnish, if desired.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Southwest Chicken Enchilada Soup

Image from the Internet

Thanksgiving has come and gone.

And while Thanksgiving was leaving, our company was just coming!

It was a busy and fun weekend with The Nutcracker performances, friends and family, and getting back into the routine!

Because our schedule included many hours spent at the theater for our girl cherub dancing in The Nutcracker, I wanted to serve something easy to our friends who were staying at our house.

I found this recipe for soup and it sounded perfect.  What caught my attention is that it wasn't a "brothy" chicken enchilada soup.  I liked the thought of that!

What I wish I had known was that it wouldn't really be soup weather!
Oh well!  We just turned on the air and pretended!

I'm going to give you the recipe as I made it.  However, we decided while we were eating that it could have used a bit more "stuff" in it!  I'll make that notation for you! 

Then!  You decide how you want to make it!

Southwest Chicken Enchilada Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can chopped green chilies, undrained
1 can beef broth
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz cooked chicken, chopped (it called for 1 small can of chunk chicken . . . but I didn't use canned)
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp.cumin
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
12 oz. Velvetta cheese, cubed

Place the onion, garlic, and next 10 ingredients into a crock pot.  Turn on high and heat thoroughly, and until the onions are cooked. 

About 30 minutes before serving, place the cubed Velvetta cheese in and stir to melt.

Serve with cornbread and a salad.

*I doubled this recipe, but didn't double the Velvetta and it was great!

**I would considering adding:  corn, black beans, and/or hominy (all drained), diced tomatoes (drained), or chopped carrots.

Top with shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, and chopped avocado, if desired.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving

We are thankful for the abundant blessings the Lord has given to our family.
Whether we are in times of trial or walk in pleasant pastures, God's faithfulness is true.  During this time of  "Thanksgiving" -- we know that it's not just a day to set aside, but it's a way to live.
Happy Thanksgiving Living; from our family to yours!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pine Cone Cheese Ball

Image from the internet

It's not often that the Mr. cooks at our house.

The Mr.'s job in the kitchen is "helper."

As in:
  • help clean the dishes as we go
  • help get out the things I need
  • help put things in the oven
  • help take things out of the oven
 . . .you get the idea!

It's not that the Mr. can't cook . . .

it's just that most of what he cooks isn't the tastiest!

In all fairness, there are four things the Mr. does very well in the kitchen
  1. breakfast
  2. coffee
  3. grilling
  4. helping
When we were in college, he was proud of pasta noodles with "flaked" tuna.

As in, he'd cook plain 'ol spaghetti, drain it.

Open a can of tuna and drain it (see the common thread here?)

Put the noodles in a bowl and "flake" the tuna onto the noodles.

Toss and serve.

Seriously.

That's what I ate at his apartment one night.

I'm not sure that he ever cooked for me again!

But at the holiday time, the Mr. would make this.

For a college boy, this was very fancy!

I remember it tasting good.

But remember what I had to compare it too!

We found the recipe the other night and I've whipped it up to serve with crackers on Thursday.

We'll see if it really is good or if I was just so in love I didn't know any better!  (Wink, Wink!)

However, I didn't ever eat the tuna and noodle mess again . . . so at some point I was in my right mind!

Pine Cone Cheese Ball

1 8oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/2 tsp. dried dill
1 TBSP chopped green onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/4 cups whole roasted almonds
rosemary for garnish

Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise; mix until  well blended.  Add the bacon, dill, and onion.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and chill for an hour.

Form chilled mixture into a pine cone shape.  Starting at the bottom, press almonds into the cheese mixture at a slight angles, forming overlapping rows to resemble a pine cone.  Insert rosemary sprigs at the wide end and cover loosely until ready to serve.

Serve with assorted crackers and crudites.



Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Caramel Sauce I can Make



Now you know my true confessions of my unsuccessful attempts at making Ina's caramel sauce.

I'm sorely disappointed in myself!

But I didn't stop trying . . .

I just stopped trying her recipe!

I went for something a little more simple.

Not so simple as to use condensed milk . . .

but sort of a cheaters way of making caramel sauce!

I searched the web and found different recipes . . . read the mixed reviews and finally decided to
try a combination of 3 recipes!

And I was successful!

It tasted delicious on my favorite apple!

It also tasted delicious directly off of the spoon.

It took three spoonfuls to know I liked it.

Sometimes I'm a slow learner!

Caramel Sauce

4 TBSP butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 TBSP vanilla

In a sauce pan, over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar together, until the sugar is dissolved.

Add in the heavy whipping cream.  It will sizzle and bubble -- but don't worry.  Keep stirring and everything will be fine!  Cook over medium heat, for 2-3 minutes, to thicken slightly and incorporate ingredients.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Allow to cool slightly before pouring into a jar or container.

I stored our in the refrigerator. 





Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holy Cow! Caramel

Picture of Caramel Pecan Sundaes Recipe
Ina Garten's Caramel Sauce, from the Food Network


I idolize Ina Garten. 
When I was young, and didn't know to appreciate things.

She bored me.

Seriously bored me.

I didn't get her.

Now I'm grown up and mature  and I have seen the errors of my ways and I'm just here to say that Ina Garten R.O.C.K.S!
I think I'd rather meet her over Paula Deen.

Serious!

The other day, I caught the very end of her making a "basic caramel sauce."

I didn't know there was a "basic caramel sauce."

This stuff looked like a pot of gold just waiting to be devoured!

Get the biggest, prettiest serving spoon a girl can handle and scoop out a glop of that stuff and eat it up! 

I'm just saying, this stuff is probably not safe in my refrigerator if I'm at home by myself!

This sauce will make a perfect gift anytime of the year!

So I made the sauce.

The recipe is listed below.

I made it twice.

Failed both times.

Failed.

But I'm listing the recipe, because maybe one of you can succeed.

Let me know.

Ina's Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Mix 1/3 cup water and the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.  

Cook, without stirring, over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a warm chestnut brown (about 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer), 5 to 7 minutes, gently swirling the pan to stir the mixture.

Be careful; the mixture is extremely hot! Watch the mixture constantly at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt very quickly.

Turn off the heat. Stand back to avoid splattering and slowly add the cream and vanilla. The cream will bubble violently and the caramel will solidify.

Don't worry!

Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. It will thicken as it sits







Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kim's Spicy Chicken Pasta



My friend, Kim, is a great cook.

Matter of fact, when we have dinner together, my boy cherub wants her to make biscuits.

It doesn't matter what we're having, he wants to know if she can do the biscuits.

I've tried to make her biscuits -- and honestly, they don't taste the same.

But close.

But not the same.

I keep trying!

This pasta dish is one of Kim's "go to" dinners at her house.

She has a house of boys and this is a crowd pleaser!

What I like about this is it's easy and tasty!

Two very important things!
It also reheats beautifully!

So for lunch the next day, people will be drooling over your impressive left-over dinner.

 . . .and you can keep it a secret that it's easy!

Kim's Spicy Chicken Pasta

Noodles (I prefer linguine because it holds sauce well)
chicken (left-over grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, roasted or baked chicken)
onions, chopped
bell peppers, if you want them, chopped
mushrooms, if that floats your boat, sliced
olive oil
Tony Chachere's Creole or Blackening spice, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated, to taste
heavy cream . . . oh heck, you can use 1/2 & 1/2 or evaporated milk, amount depends on how much   sauce you want/need.

Cook your noodles according to the package directions.  Drain.

In a skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil and saute the onions, peppers, mushrooms, and any other veggie you want to add!  Throw in the diced, pulled, or chopped cooked chicken.  Cook until hot.  Add the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted.  Add the creole spice and red pepper flakes to taste.  Dump in the noodles and stir until well coated.

Serve.

**I made the chicken cream sauce and then divided it to season one mild, for the girl cherub, and one spicy for the rest of the family.  It was totally easy and tasted great.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Peanut Butter (and Something) Muffins

Peanut Butter muffin filled with Nutella!


This was time change weekend.

By the time we left for church on Sunday morning, I had:
  • tried a new coffee
  • done three loads of laundry
  • dealt with e-mail
  • found a new muffin recipe and made it before the cherubs woke up
  • put the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher before we left
Do you know what the Mr. said when I told him all I had done?

"We need time change every weekend!"

That's not funny.

Because my cherubs love peanut butter, I decided to make peanut butter muffins.

My idea was to make peanut butter and jelly muffins.

I thought that sound fun.

So I baked some with jelly in the center and some were just plain.

But on my way to church I thought "filled muffins would be good."

So after lunch today, I hollowed out the center of the plain and filled some with strawberry jelly and some with nutella spread.

Actually, I thought that I would mix the peanut butter and jelly together and fill the hole, because both of the cherubs said the muffins needed more "peanut butter taste."

But when I gave them the option, they just wanted jelly or chocolate.  No peanut butter.

So, maybe next time . . .but for now, we have peanut butter muffins filled with jelly or nutella.

That can't be all bad, can it?

Peanut Butter Muffins
(Adapted from Kids Health)

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (I used buttermilk)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2¼ cup flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a small bowl, break the eggs and use a fork to beat them a little bit.

In a large bowl, combine the milk, peanut butter, vegetable oil.  Stir until well mixed.  Add the eggs and mix with a  spoon until the mixture is creamy.

Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into the large bowl. Mix until the dry ingredients are moistened, but do not over stir.

Line a muffin tine with paper liners or lightly spray with nonstick spray. Spoon in the muffin mix. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 of the way up.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until done.

When your muffins are finished baking, remove from muffin tin and cool them on the wire rack.

I was able to make 15 muffins.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

State Fair-Like Indian Tacos



As soon as the weather changes, I start getting inspired to try new things.
This week, on the menu, are Indian Tacos.
I'm not sure that I've ever made these for the Mr. and the cherubs.
But as a kid, I remember going to the Oklahoma State Fair and getting an Indian Taco.
We could only buy our tacos from one certain Indian Taco stand.
Oh, there were others at the fair.
But they were impostures, I tell you!
But I am not at the fair this week, so I had to make my own.
There are several recipes on-line, so I just picked one. 
I'm listing it here.
After we make it, if we aren't particularly fond of it, I'll try another recipe; but until then, here's what we've got!

We topped the fry bread with taco meat, cumin-seasoned pinto beans, shredded lettuce, chopped onions, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, and some salsa. 

It was good!
Indian Fry Bread
(slightly adapted from the original recipe)
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup water
Vegetable oil for frying
Extra flour to flour your hands

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Pour the water over the flour mixture all at once and stir the dough with a fork until it starts to form one big clump.

Flour your hands well. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball. You want to mix this well, but you do NOT want to knead it. Kneading it will make for a heavy Fry Bread when cooked. The inside of the dough ball should still be sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured.

Cut the dough into four (4) pieces. Using your floured hands, shape, stretch, pat, and form a disk of about 4 to 5 inches in diameter.  

In a deep heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees F. You can check if you oil is hot enough by either dropping a small piece of dough in the hot oil and seeing if it begins to fry, or by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in and seeing if that bubbles. Your oil should be about 1-inch deep in a large cast-iron skillet or other large heavy pot.

Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil, being careful not to splatter the hot oil. Press down on the dough as it fries so the top is submersed into the hot oil. Fry until brown, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to cook. Place the cooked Fry Bread on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Indian Fry Bread can be kept warm in a 200 degree F. oven for up to 1 hour. They refrigerate well and can be reheated in a 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Is It Really November?

I'm not sure about where you live,

but where I live you'd have no idea that it's Fall if you're using the weather as your guide.

Not that I do that.

Oh heck, what am I saying!

Of course I do!
Thanksgiving is in the Fall.  It's time to wear sweatshirts.

Christmas is in the Winter.  It's time to wear sweaters.

Fourth of July is in the Summer.  It's time to wear as little as possible!

But here it is, November 1st, and where I live it's in the mid 80's.

As in -- that's great weather for Summer.

But it's terrible weather for Fall.

Thanksgiving is coming, but who'd know?

Except for this little Turkey.

Click on the turkey and get in the holiday mood!


http://images.businessweek.com/ss/05/11/egreetings/image/01.swf