Sunday, December 22, 2013

Trifle Cream

We hosted a dinner for lots of friends this past weekend.

I had planned an easy dinner and had pre-made the desserts.

All I would have to do is take the cakes from the freezer and thaw.

That's it!

But!  When I opened one of my cakes, it didn't look pretty.


What to do!?!?!

25 people for dinner in just a few hours and there's no time to make a brand new dessert!


I'll make a trifle!

I have never made a trifle before!

I didn't really know what cream stuff to put in with it, but I'd figure that out as I went along, right?

My cake was a coconut pecan cake.


I found an easy Martha Steward recipe for a coconut cream filling.

I adapted it only slightly and the result was fantastic!

This is one of those recipes that you'll want to keep around because it's so versatile and easily adaptable to your recipe and only your imagination is the limit to what can be done with it!

I made the cream and cooled it.  Then I took my ugly, but tasty, cake and broke it into pieces, placing a single layer in a large glass bowl, dolloping some of the cream around in a layer, then placing some cool whip on top of the coconut cream.  I repeated the layers and ended with the cool whip on top.  I refrigerated the dessert until it was time to serve.

Trifle Cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated)
10 TBSP butter     
1 tsp. extract (flavor depends on what you're needing:  vanilla, coconut, almond, orange, etc)      
4 large egg yolks   

Place the condensed milk and butter in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and combined with the milk. 

Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl, and while whisking constantly, tempura them with some of the hot milk mixture.  Whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens slightly.  Cook about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, and stir in extract. Cool completely, and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 2 days.
**You can add coconut or nuts to this cream mixture when adding the extract, if desired.
** This can be used with any flavor cake or brownie.  I used 2, 8 oz containers of cool whip for my dessert. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Warm Jalapeno Dip

With the holidays in full swing,

sometimes you need a fast, throw-together-appetizer

for your guests . . .

or dinner for your family!

Sometimes, during the holiday, that's what my family gets to eat for dinner!

Some quick appetizer!
Hey!  Don't knock it!  At least they're getting food!

You may even want to make it for your "family movie night!"

It's that easy!

Warm Jalapeno Popper Dip

1 package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4-6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
3-5 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (depends on your jalapeno flavor "want!")
1/2 cup crushed ritz crackers or panko crumbs
2 TBSP melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and mayonnaise together.  Stir in the cheddar cheese and jalapenos.  If you are wanting a bit of heat, leave some of the seeds in your cheese mixture.

In a small bowl, mix the cracker crumbs and butter together. 

Place the cream cheese mixture in a small baking dish or pie plate.  Top with the cracker mixture.

Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until thoroughly heated, bubbly, and golden brown on top.

Serve hot with tortillas chips.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar Glaze

Seriously, my kids are getting tired of sweet potatoes!

We are having them at least once a week!

First, it's the season for this great vegetable.

Second, they're $0.25 a pound!

That's practically free!

Yesterday, I was trying to think of a vegetable to put with our lunch and I had one lonely sweet potato left.


What a lonely number!

What can one potato do for a family of 4?

It can make us happy!

I washed it,

cubed it,

tossed it with olive oil,

roasted it,

and then crowned it!
We all devoured this delicious new side dish!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/ Brown Sugar Glaze
(Slightly Adapted from Pillsbury)

1-3 sweet potatoes, (depending on the number of people you are serving & the size of the potato)**
olive oil
1/4 cup butter                        
1/4 cup packed brown sugar                        
2 teaspoons milk                        
1 teaspoon corn syrup                        
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon      

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash, peel, and cube the sweet potatoes.  Toss with a small amount of olive oil.  Place on a foil lined baking sheet and roast until golden and done.         

While the potatoes are cooking, place the butter, brown sugar, milk, and corn syrup in a pan over medium heat.  Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  Mixture will slightly thicken.  Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon.  Keep warm until ready to pour over the potatoes.

Remove potatoes from the oven and place in a serving bowl.  Drizzle the syrup mixture over the potatoes and toss to coat. 

Serve immediately.

***The butter, brown sugar, milk, syrup, and cinnamon is enough to cover 2-3 potatoes!  For my extremely large, one potato, I cut the syrup mixture in half and it was plenty!!!     

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pumpkin Dip

Image from Pinterest . . .
we finished our dip before I could snap a picture!

Many years ago, I worked with some ladies from the church we attended.

We started an event called "Seasonal Sensations."

It was a little Winter get together -- just a time to have fun and raise money for mission work.

Here was the hair-brain idea:

invite some ladies in the church to cook and serve samples of one of their favorite holiday dish.

Something easy -- something that's a family favorite!

The event was promoted and tickets were sold --

more than 300 ladies attended that first event!

That was nearly 15 years ago and they're still doing that event.

It looks a little different now, but they're still raising money for missions!

That first Seasonal Sensations, I made a pumpkin pie dip.

I found the recipe the other day after telling my mother-in-law about it.

It had been years since I had made it!

Matter of fact, my cherubs don't even remember the last time we've had it!

This is great to have around for parties, snacks, or dessert!

I serve it with gingersnaps or graham sticks.

If you want to be healthy, you could do pears or apples too!

Pumpkin Pie Dip

1 -- 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 -- 15 0z can pumpkin**
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tsp.cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. nutmeg

Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl.  Add the pumpkin and mix well.  Add the spiced and incorporate into the cream cheese mix.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix well.

Chill until ready to serve.

**If you don't have a can of pumpkin, you can use pumpkin pie filling and omit all of the additional spices except for 1 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. of ginger.