Monday, September 21, 2009

Slow Cooked Corned Beef for Sandwiches

This is an excellent recipe for party sandwiches. I always make 2 (and sometimes 3) briskets because it goes so fast. The meat should cook slowly for a minimum of 4 hours--cooking longer will just make it more tender. It sounds like a LOT of garlic, but it is NOT too garlicky! Serve with brown mustard on rye or kaiser rolls. Can also add cole slaw, or sourkraut and swiss cheese with Thousand Isalnd Dressing to the sandwich for a uniquely delicious sandwich."

• 2 (3 pound) corned beef briskets with spice packets
• 2 (12 fluid ounce) bottles beer
• 2 bay leaves
• 1/4 cup peppercorns
• 1 bulb garlic cloves, separated and peeled
• Place the corned beef briskets into a large pot. Sprinkle in one of the spice packets, and discard the other one or save for other uses. Pour in the beer, and fill the pot with enough water to cover the briskets by 1 inch. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic cloves. Cover, and bring to a boil.

• Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 4 to 5 hours, checking hourly, and adding more water if necessary to keep the meat covered.

• Carefully remove the meat from the pot, as it will be extremely tender. Set on a cutting board, and allow it to rest until it firms up a bit, about 10 minutes. Slice or shred to serve. I discard the cooking liquid, but it can be used to cook cabbage and other vegetables if desired.

Just be sure to slice it against the grain.

To cook w/veggies:  Cook the corned beef exactly as written and cook for 6 hours on the stove top. I then remove the meat (which falls apart) and add 3 pounds quartered new potatoes, 2 pounds baby carrots (cut in half) and an onion. Let that cook for 20 minutes and then add a head of cabbage. Cook an additional 15 minutes. Then remove the veggies and make a gravy out of the leftover stock using a slurry of stock and corn starch.

Sweet and Hot Tomato Pasta Sauce

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 tablespoon crumbled dried red chile pepper
• 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
• 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
• 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
• 3/4 cup brown sugar, divided

• In a saucepan, combine olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and red peppers and lightly saute over high heat.
• Reduce heat to low and mix in tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir in celery salt, salt and pepper. Start with 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and mix into the sauce. Gradually add brown sugar, depending on acidity of tomatoes. First taste of sauce should be sweet.

Sour Cream Burgers

• 2 pounds ground beef
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
• 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper

• In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, sour cream, onion soup mix, bread crumbs and pepper using your hands. Refrigerate (overnightl so the flavors have a chance to blend)

• Preheat a grill for medium heat. Form the ground beef into 8 balls, and flatten into patties.
• Grill the patties for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until well done.

Friday, September 18, 2009

English Toffee

• 1 pound Butter, Do Not Substitute Margarine
• 2 cups Sugar
• ½ cups Water
• 2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
• ½ cups Almond Powder (ground Or Finely Chopped Almonds)
• 1 package Nestle Semi Sweet Chocolate Morsels
• 2 cups Chopped Pecan, Walnuts OR Almonds (Use Whatever You Prefer, But Have 2 Cups)

Preparation Instructions

Butter or spray a 24 x 12 (or smaller) foil pan with Pam and set aside.

Butter the sides of a heavy 2-qt saucepan. Melt the butter in the saucepan; add sugar, water, corn syrup and almond powder. Bring to a boil.

Clip candy thermometer to pan. Cook and stir constantly over medium heat until the temperature reaches 290 degrees (between soft crack and hard crack stage, depending on your thermometer). Mixture will turn somewhat darker, but be extra careful after 280 degrees to make sure it doesn’t scorch.

Pour mixture into foil pan. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle top with chocolate morsels. Let stand for 2 minutes until chocolate begins to melt. Spread chocolate, then sprinkle with nuts. Chill overnight, or until toffee becomes breakable.

Yield: 3 lbs.


1 (4- to 6-pound) beef brisket, trimmed
1 (5-ounce) bottle liquid smoke
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 (12- to 18-ounce) bottle barbecue sauce ( I use KC Masterpiece )

Place brisket in a large shallow dish or extra-large, heavy-duty

zip-top plastic bag; pour liquid smoke over brisket. Sprinkle evenly with onion, garlic salt, and salt. Cover or seal, and chill 8 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove brisket, and place on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, discarding liquid smoke mixture. Pour Worcestershire sauce evenly over brisket, and fold foil to seal; place wrapped brisket in a roasting pan.

Bake at 275° for 5 hours. ( I put the lid on also )

Unfold foil; pour barbecue sauce evenly over brisket. Bake 1 more hour, uncovered

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Roasted Tomato Salsa

7 medium chilled tomatoes (not too ripe)
1 small jalapeno pepper
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons white onions (diced)
2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped
1 lime
How to:

1. Roast tomatoes on Broil. Place only 6 of them stem side down in pan. (Remove stems)
2. Roast for 30 minutes on each side until charred. When you turn them over, add the jalapeno until all are blackened.
3. Remove tomatoes/pepper and place in a bowl to cool for 10-15 minutes.
4. Once cooled, dump contents of the bowl into a blender, add the garlic and salt. Then puree.

5. Add water and blend again for 30 or so seconds.
6. Pour the contents of the blender into a bowl.

7. Dice the remaining tomato and add it to the pureed salsa

8. Stir in the onion and cilantro

9. Stir in the juice of 1 Lime. Chill before serving.

I usually let the salsa marinate in the fridge overnight...that is if it even makes it through the night! Let me know if you try it!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This lovely stuff comes together in less than an hour, including baking time. And unlike more conventional quick breads, which are best when allowed to cool fully before slicing, this one doesn’t suffer when it’s eaten warm. That makes it, in my book, a perfect last-minute dessert or afternoon treat.

Let’s talk about frozen bananas. I always keep a stash of them in the freezer, and I highly recommend it. I chuck them in there, peel and all, and when I want to use a few, I just pull them out, sit them in a bowl, and let them defrost at room temperature for a few hours. It doesn’t take long. You can then use them in place of fresh ripe bananas in any baked good, and they’re easier to mash, to boot. The only bad thing is that they look pretty nasty. Think wet, slippery, and slug-like, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.


3 very ripe bananas (the size doesn’t much matter; medium to large works)
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For Topping:

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter or spray an 8-inch square pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork or potato masher. Add the eggs, and stir well to combine. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and vanilla, and stir to mix. Add ¾ cup of the chocolate chips, and stir briefly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter in the pan, and top with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Note: This bread, like many banana sweets, freezes beautifully.

Hominy Casserole

8 slices thick bacon
1 large onion, finely diced
4 14.5-ounce cans white hominy, drained
2 4-ounce cans diced green chilies
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 seeded, finely diced fresh jalapeno (optional, for heat)
Extra cheddar, bacon, and chilies for sprinkling

Fry the bacon until almost crisp; remove from skillet and drain all but a couple of tablespoons bacon grease. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Add onion to skillet and cook for a couple of minutes. Pour in hominy and stir for a couple of minute until warm. Add cheese, chilies, jalapenos (if using), and bacon and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.

Pour mixture into a large baking pan and sprinkle with a little more cheese, bacon, and green chilies, if desired.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until hot and heated through.

Cheesecake Brownies

Makes 16 2-inch square, thick brownies

Brownie Batter

1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake Batter

8 ounces cream cheese, well softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Make brownie batter: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Heat butter and chocolate in a 3-quart heavy saucepan — though I did mine double-boiler style, placing the mixing bowl I was using over simmering water, thereby creating one less dirty dish and melting the chocolate more gently — over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, just until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread in baking pan.

Make cheesecake batter: Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over cheesecake/brownie batter swirl. Although it might be more logical to just mix them into the cheesecake batter

Bake brownies: Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Slicing tip: I like to chill my brownies until they’re almost frozen before cutting them. It makes it much easier to get a clean slice. I also like to eat my brownies super-cold, but that’s just personal taste.

Red Velvet Cake

Yield: 3 cake layers

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring or 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring dissolved in 6 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.

2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.

3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Be careful not to let it splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.

4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.

5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.

Cupcake variation: Yield is approximately 35 cupcakes, with the liners filled only 3/4 of the way, and the baking time should be between 20 to 25 minutes

Cocoa Notes

• Some red velvet cakes have no cocoa, others have up to half a cup. The less cocoa, the brighter the red, and the less food dye is needed to give it the desired hue. This cake has more cocoa and quite a bit of red dye, but as you cans see from the picture, it is a real stand-out red. Feel free to use less, but make sure you dissolve it in 6 tablespoons of water to compensate for any moisture lost.

• Dutch versus Non-Dutched cocoa: This recipe uses baking soda, so it calls for non-Dutch-Processed cocoa. The reason is that Dutch-Process cocoa is neutral and will not react with baking soda, so it can only be used in 1) recipes with baking powder or 2) recipes with enough other acidic ingredients that will compensate for the lack of acidity. However, you’ll notice that this recipe has both vinegar and buttermilk in it, or quite a bit of acidity, leading me to wonder if either kind of cocoa could be used with success. I

Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 6 cups

8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter room temp
3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. With a handheld electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat, on low speed to combine. If too soft, chill until slightly stiff, about 10 minutes, before using.

Icing Notes:

• Technique: Cake decorators will always tell you to ice a cake in two batches, first a “crumb layer” and then the more decorative one. Though I rarely bother, in this cake in particular, with its dark hue barely disguised by a thin layer of frosting, it is especially helpful. To do this, place a small amount of frosting on the cake and spread it over the entire surface that will be iced, thereby anchoring wayward crumbs in place so that they will not mess up the final product. A few minutes in the freezer or longer in the fridge will firm this up so that you have an ideal surface to build the real layer of frosting upon.

• Quantity: The recipe here creates an amount of frosting that allows for a thin coat between and over the cake layers. I found it to have the ideal cake-to-frosting balance for this recipe. However, you might want to double the recipe if you prefer a more decadent, padded frosting layer.




• 1/2 cup(s) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
• 4 large egg yolks
• 3 tablespoon(s) red food coloring
• 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup(s) cocoa
• 1 teaspoon(s) salt
• 1 cup(s) buttermilk
• 2 1/4 cup(s) sifted cake flour
• 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
• 1 teaspoon(s) white vinegar


1. Make the batter: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a small brush, lightly coat two 9-inch cake pans with butter or vegetable-oil cooking spray. Dust the pans with flour, tap out any excess, and set aside. In a large bowl, using a mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar until light. Add the yolks and continue to beat for 1 more minute. In a small bowl, stir the food coloring, the vanilla, and the cocoa together. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the cocoa paste to the batter. In a glass measure, mix the salt with the buttermilk and add it to the batter by thirds, alternating with the flour. In another small bowl, mix the baking soda with the vinegar and blend into the batter.

2. Bake the cake: Divide the batter equally between the pans and spread evenly. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until a tester inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean -- about 30 minutes. Cool in the cake pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a knife, loosen cake layers from the sides of the pans and invert the layers onto wire rack to cool completely.

3. Ice the cake: Use a serrated knife to split each layer into 2 even layers. Line the edges of a cake plate with 3-inch-wide strips of waxed or parchment paper and place a cake layer, trimmed side down, on top. Evenly spread 1 cup of icing over the layer and repeat with 2 other layers. Top with the final layer and cover the top and sides with remaining icing.

Cooked Vanilla Icing

• 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoon(s) all-purpose flour
• 2 cup(s) whole milk
• 2 cup(s) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
• 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract


1. In a medium saucepan, whisk the flour and milk together until smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thick -- about 5 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and set aside. In a medium bowl and using a mixer set on high speed, beat the butter and sugar until light.

3. Add the vanilla, reduce mixer speed to medium, and slowly add the cooled milk mixture. Beat for 1 more minute.

Snickerdoodles II

Makes three dozen 3 to 4-inch cookies, but will vary by the size scoop you use.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 stick or 8 ounces) unsalted     butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus more if needed
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 400°, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.

Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine. At this point, I chilled the dough for an hour (or overnight) before scooping it, otherwise it’s too difficult to scoop into balls and roll.
Once dough has chilled, in a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small ice-cream scoop* to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after five minutes. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about five minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack. In theory, they can be stored in an airtight container up to one week, if they last that long!
* size 30 (1 1/4 ounce) ice cream scoop but I used a size 40 (3/4 ounce) and they came out 3 to 4 inches across, or plenty huge.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baked Potato Soup

• 4-5 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
• 2/3 cup all purpose flour
• 6 cups of 2% reduced fat milk
• 3/4 cup reduced fat extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
• Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
• 1 cup reduced fat sour cream (I used non fat)
• 1/2 cup green onions, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the potatoes with a fork; bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash. Discard skins

Lightly spoon the flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add the milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, cheese, salt and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Turn the heat to low. Stir in the sour cream and the green onions. Cook for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated - DO NOT BOIL.


• 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
• Green onions, chopped
• Cheddar cheese, shredded
• Sour cream with chives

Ladle soup into serving bowls and top with bacon crumbles, green onion and shredded cheddar cheese. Enjoy!

Corn and Fingerling Potato Chowder with Bacon

• 3 slices lean bacon
• 1 3/4 cups diced onion
• 4 cups fresh corn kernels (about 7 ears)
• 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
• 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
• 1 cup half-and-half
• 16 oz fingerling potatoes, diced
• Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add onion to drippings in pan; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add corn, chopped thyme, and garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, milk, half-and-half, and potatoes; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

Transfer 2 cups potato mixture to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth; return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in salt and black pepper; sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Enjoy

Crockpot Tamale Pie

1 lb. lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. cumin
15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can corn, drained
15 oz can of rotel, drained
10 oz. can enchilada sauce
6 oz. pkg. corn mufifn mix (or jalapeno corn muffin mix)
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp. oil or butter
1 egg
1 cup shredded Colby cheese
4 oz. can chopped green chilies, undrained
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In nonstick skillet, cook ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat
until meat is cooked. Drain thoroughly and stir in drained kidney beans and
enchilada sauce. Pour into 4-5 quart crockpot.
In large bowl, mix together corn muffin mix, milk, butter and egg just until
combined. Then add cheese and chilies, including chili liquid. Spoon over
beef in crockpot.
Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until a toothpick inserted
in the corn bread mixture comes out clean. In small bowl combine sour cream,
salsa, and cilantro; serve with pie. 4 servings

Southern Sweet Tea

• 1 Gallon Water, divided

• 7 Regular Size Tea Bags (with paper tag removed)
• 1 1/2 Cups Sugar


Fill a medium sauce pan half way with water and place over medium high heat. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of sugar and stir until dissolved. Once sugar water mixture reaches a rapid boil, remove from heat. Place 7 tea bags in saucepan and dunk into sugar water mixture a couple of times with a spoon. Place lid on sauce pan and let steep for 5-6 minutes. Fill a 1 gallon pitcher half-way with cool water and ice (this will help your tea cool much faster). Once your tea has steeped for 5-6 minutes, pour tea into pitcher and throw tea bags away. Add water to pitcher to reach 1 gallon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
• 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans


1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in confectioners' sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

2. Shape chilled cream cheese mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

3. Roll the cheese ball in finely chopped pecans* before serving.

* Other Options for rolling the cheesball are: half mini choc chips / half nuts, just nuts, toffee

Marshmallow Fondant

• 1/4 cup butter

• 1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows **
• 4 tablespoons water
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 pounds confectioners' sugar, divided

1. Place the butter in a shallow bowl, and set aside.
2. Place the marshmallows in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High for 30 seconds to 1 minute to start melting the marshmallows. Carefully stir the water and vanilla extract into the hot marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Slowly beat in the confectioners' sugar, a cup at a time, until you have a sticky dough. Reserve 1 cup of powdered sugar for kneading. The dough will be very stiff.

3. Rub your hands thoroughly with butter, and begin kneading the sticky dough. As you knead, the dough will become workable and pliable. Turn the dough out onto a working surface dusted with confectioners' sugar and continue kneading until the fondant is smooth and no longer sticky to the touch, 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Form the fondant into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. To use, allow the fondant to come to room temperature, and roll it out onto a flat surface dusted with confectioners' sugar.

**I made this with MARSHMALLOW FLUFF!!!! I definitely recommend to do it this way! Instead of having to wait till the melted marshmallows cooled, I skipped the melting the marshmallows and water step and I placed a whole container of marshmallow fluff into the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, I sprayed my kitchen aid very well with PAM, dumped the whole container of Marshmallow fluff into the KA and food coloring and confectioner/powdered sugar as needed. This really was not that difficult or messy at all. When the fondant was at a good consistency, I placed it into plastic wrap and into the freezer for about a 1/2 hour. I then rolled it out and it rolled really nicely. I used this fondant to cover a barbie doll cake than I made for my daughter's birthday! I spread a very thin layer of regular frosting onto the cakes surface to make sure the fondant would stick to the cake. It came out great!

I use vegetable shortening (Crisco) instead of melted butter to coat my hands and the counter when working with it, works wonders. Also this recipe comes out more ivory than if you want a white fondant you can get the Wilton's Icing Color White-White (comes in a small 2 oz. bottle) to add to your fondant. Works wonders!

Au Gratin Potatoes

• 1 tablespoon butter
• 3 russet potato, peeled and cubed
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• salt and black pepper to taste
• 1 cup grated medium Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9x13 inch baking pan with butter. Spread potatoes evenly in the pan.

2. Whisk together heavy cream, milk, garlic, flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Pour cream mixture over the potatoes. Cover with foil.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then remove the foil. Continue baking until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. Remove potatoes from the oven and sprinkle Cheddar cheese on top. Return to oven and bake until the cheese is melted, 5 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

• 10 ripe tomatoes

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 green bell pepper, chopped
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
• 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1/4 cup Burgundy wine
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 stalks celery
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste


1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Have ready a large bowl of iced water. Plunge whole tomatoes in boiling water until skin starts to peel, 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon and place in ice bath. Let rest until cool enough to handle, then remove peel and squeeze out seeds. Chop 8 tomatoes and puree in blender or food processor. Chop remaining two tomatoes and set aside.

2. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook onion, bell pepper, carrot and garlic in oil and butter until onion starts to soften, 5 minutes. Pour in pureed tomatoes. Stir in chopped tomato, basil, Italian seasoning and wine. Place bay leaf and whole celery stalks in pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 2 hours. Stir in tomato paste and simmer an additional 2 hours. Discard bay leaf and celery and serve

Thursday, September 10, 2009


• 1 whole chicken, cut into parts
• Salt
• 1 red onion, sliced in half
• One large 6-pound 9-ounce can of hominy, drained and rinsed
• 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled
• 1 to 2 Tbsp dried oregano (Mexican oregano if you have it)

• 1/4 whole cabbage, thinly sliced
• 1 tomato, cored, chopped
• 1 avocado, peeled, chopped
• 1 red onion, peeled, chopped
• 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped
• 1 large bunch watercress, chopped
• Mexican cheese, Queso Fresco, sliced
• Several red radishes, thinly sliced
• 2 limes, cut into wedges
• Chopped seeded jalapeno or serrano chiles, or other chile peppers
• Tostadas or tortilla chips


1 Place chicken pieces in a large pot, cover with about 3 quarts of water. Add one onion, sliced in half, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.

2 Remove chicken from pot, let cool so that it is cool enough to handle. Use a fork to pull chicken meat away from the bones. Set the meat aside and return the bones to the stock pot. Continue to simmer the bones, uncovered, for another half an hour.

3 Take 4 cups of the hominy (about half of the can) and place into a blender. Scoop 2 cups of the chicken stock from the stock pot and add it to the blender. Add 4 peeled cloves of garlic to the blender. Place the lid on the blender, cover with a towel so that you don't get burned, hold down the cover and blend until completely puréed.

4 Skim foam and excess fat from the top of the surface of the stock. Remove the bones and any solids from the stock pot and discard. Pour in the blended hominy to the pot. Add the remaining whole hominy to the pot. Add 2 Tbsp of crumbled dried oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

5 While the hominy is cooking in the stock, prepare the garnishes. Arrange on a large platter or in several small bowls. Right before serving, shred or chop the cooked chicken meat and add it back to the pot. Add salt to taste.

Serve pozole in individual bowls topped with the garnishes of your choice. Serve with tostadas (flat fried corn tortillas) or tortilla chips.

Serves 6.

Delilah’s Version

1 whole chicken or several chicken breasts (boiled and shredded)
12 tomitillos
1 onion
1-2 jalapenos
Bell pepper
4 peeled garlic cloves
Shredded lettuce
1 can hominy
Salt, pepper

Place chicken pieces in a large pot, cover with about 3 quarts of water. Add ½ of one onion, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.

Cool and shred, save broth.

Boil tomatillos, jalapenos, ½ of the onion and bell pepper, and 2 garlic cloves. When tomatillos are tender, pulse in blender or food processor. Take 4 cups of the hominy (about half of the can) and place into the blender. Scoop 2 cups of the chicken stock from the stock pot and add it to the blender. Add 2 peeled cloves of garlic to the blender. Place the lid on the blender, cover with a towel so that you don't get burned, hold down the cover and blend until completely puréed.

Add chicken, tomatillo blended sauce and rest of the hominy into the chicken broth.

Top w/ shredded lettuce to serve

Friday, September 4, 2009

Blenda's Cornbread Salad

1 (16 ounce) package corn bread mix (or favorite cornbread recipe)
10 slices bacon **
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped green onion
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 (11 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained

Prepare corn bread according to package directions. Cool, crumble, and set aside.
**Place bacon in a large deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside. (I sometimes use the real bacon bits in the salad dressing isle)
Whisk together the dressing mix, sour cream, and mayonnaise.
Crumble half the corn bread in the bottom of a large serving dish. Top with half the beans. Layer the beans with half of the tomatoes, green bell pepper, and green onions. Sprinkle with half the cheese, corn, bacon, and the salad dressing mixture. Repeat the layers. Cover, and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Corn Bread Salad I

1 recipe Crispy Corn Bread (below) or 3 cups of 1-inch cornbread cubes
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (4 to 6 medium)
6 cups roughly torn sturdy fresh lettuce, such as Bibb, butter or Boston
2 cups bitter greens, such as arugula or dandelion greens
1 large Vidalia onion, trimmed, peeled, sliced crosswise as thinly as possible and separated into rings
1 recipe Buttermilk-Lime Dressing (below)

Preheat oven to 250°. Scatter the corn bread in a single layer on a half-sheet pan and bake until the pieces are lightly toasted, about 7 minutes.

If you wish to peel the tomatoes: Cut an X in bottom of each tomato and blanch in a large pot of boiling water 10 seconds. Immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to cool. Peel tomatoes and chop them. Otherwise, just chop the tomatoes with the skin on.

Place lettuce, greens, 3 cups of toasted corn bread, onion and tomatoes to a large bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle with buttermilk dressing, season with salt and pepper, and toss again. Serve immediately.

Do ahead: If you’re making this for a picnic or pot-luck — and oh, you should — I suggest keeping the croutons in one container, the dressing in another and the salad mixture in a third; this is best freshly assembled, or in the 30 minutes after.

Buttermilk-Lime Dressing

Less heavy than a traditional green goddess dressing, but oh-so-much “greener” than my standard buttermilk dressing, this would be equally good on a salad as it would be as a dip (add 1/3 cup sour cream and a bit more salt) for something deep-fried. (Okra, green tomatoes, oysters or hush puppies. I say “yes, please”.)

3/4 cups whole or lowfat buttermilk (whole preferred)
5 tabespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (they say from 3 to 4 limes; I only needed 1 1/2)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (optional, this was my addition to give it more zing)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup finely minced fresh basil
1/4 cup finely minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup finely minced green onios
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until combined. Can covered tightly and stored in the fridge up to two days.

Thin, Crispy Corn Bread

1 tablespoon lard or unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups whole or lowfat buttermilk (whole is preferred, here’s how you can make your own)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a 12-inch skillet with one tablespoon of the lard or butter, leaving any excess in the pan, and place it in the oven.

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until frothy and then whisk in the buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix thoroughly. Melt the remaining butter in a small skill (or your microwave) and whisk the butter into your batter.

While the fat in the large skillet is smoking, carefully remove the skillet from the oven and swirl the fat around to coat the bottom and sides evenly. Pour the batter into the skillet; it should “sizzle alluringly”, says the Lee Brothers. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top of the bread is golden brown and the edge has pulled away from the side of the skillet. Remove from the oven and either serve hot, in six wedges, or let cool and reserve for Corn Bread Salad (above).

Glass Candy

Powdered Sugar
3 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 1/4 cup light karo syrup
red food coloring
1/2 t. cinnamon oil

Sprinkle powdered sugar onto 2 cookie sheets.  Use a sifter for even coverage. 

Combine sugar karo, and water in a heavy saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, not stirring until it reaches 290 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Remove from heat and add a few drops of food coloring and the cinnamon oil.

Pour onto cookie sheets, and sprinkle again with powdered sugar. Cool and break into pieces

Fruit Salad

1 bunch purple grapes, halved (no seeds)
1 bunch white grapes, halved (no seeds)
3-4 bananas
1 medium can peaches (drained)
**1 medium can pineapple chunks (drained)
1 medium can pears (drained)
1 8oz jar cherries, halved (drained)


**juice from pineapple
1/4 - 1/2 cup lemon juice
1 pkg vanilla pudding (not instant)
1 T sugar
1 T corn starch

Section all fruit and place in a large glass bowl.  Bring pineapple and lemon juice to a boil.  Mix pudding sugar and corn starch together, adding small amounts of water bits at a time, until it becomes a smooth mixture. 

Pour into boiling juices, stir until it becomes transparent.  Pour over fruit while hot.  Chill/Serve

Pepper Steak

1 round steak
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup oil
1 8oz can tomatoes
1 3/4 cup water
1/4 cup onion
1 minced garlic button
1 1/2 t. worcestershire sauce
1 green pepper (sliced)

Pound steak to tenderize, season with salt/pepper.  Dredge meat in flour and brown in oil, in a large pot.  Add tomatoes, onion, water, garlic, worcestershire.  Simmer on stovetop or place all in a crockpot.  Serve over rice.

Copper Coins ~ AKA Carrots

2 cans sliced carrots
1 onion sliced
1 bell pepper sliced

1 can tomato soup
1/2 - 1 cup sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup vinegar
1 t. each salt, pepper, mustard

Mix carrots, onions, and peppers.  Bring sauce mixture to a boil and pour over carrots.  Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

Crockpot Corn

5 cans whole kernel corn (drain)
(or large pkg of frozen corn)
1 8oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
sliced/chopped jalapenos to taste

Mix all ingredients in the crockpot and simmer until hot.

Banana Split Cake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter
3-4 bananas
2 eggs
2 cups powdred sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 can crushed pineapple
1 carton kool whip
pecans/ cherries

Mix graham cracker crumbs with 1 stick of melted butter and pat into a 9x13 pan.  Slice bananas on top of crust. 

Mix:  eggs, powdered sugar and vanilla (beat for 15 minutes).  Pour on bananas, add drained can of pineapple and top with koolwhip.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans and top with cherries

Seven Layer Salad

1/2 head lettuce (chop)
1 cup chopped celery
2 chopped green onions
1 bell pepper (chopped)
1 box frozen green peas
4-6 boiled eggs
* Bacon
*shredded cheese
Layer all ingredients:
2 cups mayo
sugar to taste
Spread dressing on top and top with bacon and shredded cheese
**I use real bacon bits if I don't want to take the time to fry bacon, also reserve the bacon and cheese for top, do not layer

Mexican Ceviche

  • 4 pounds shrimp 
  • 1 pound scallops 
  • 6 large limes, juiced 
  • 1 large lemon, juiced 
  • 1 small white onion, chopped 
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 large tomato, coarsely chopped 
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped 
  • 1 serrano pepper, chopped 
  • 1 bunch cilantro 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt 
  • ground black pepper to taste  

 In a large glass or ceramic bowl, gently toss the shrimp and scallops with the lime juice and lemon juice. The scallops should be completely immersed in the lime juice. Chill the lime juice and scallops all day or overnight until scallops are opaque (you cannot see through them).

Empty 1/2 of the lime juice from the bowl. Add tomatoes, green onions, celery, green bell pepper, parsley, black pepper, olive oil, and cilantro to the scallop mixture. Stir gently. Serve this dish in fancy glasses with a slice of lime hanging over the rim for effect.

Snow Ice Cream

• 1 gallon snow
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups milk


1. When it starts to snow, place a large, clean bowl outside to collect the flakes. When full, stir in sugar and vanilla to taste, then stir in just enough milk for the desired consistency. Serve at once.

Chicken Marinade

• 2/3 cup olive oil
• 2/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
• 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
• 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
• 2 teaspoons garlic powder
 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


1. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, liquid smoke, mustard, pepper, and garlic powder. Place chicken in the bowl, and coat with the marinade. Cover, and allow chicken to marinate a maximum of 4 hours in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat the grill for high heat.

3. Oil grill grate. Discard marinade, and place chicken on grate. Cook 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear

Chicken Thyme Marinade

• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
• 1 tablespoon dried thyme
• 1 teaspoon garlic salt
• 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves


1. In a 1-qt. saucepan, combine the first four ingredients; cook over low heat until mixture bubbles and foams, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool. Place chicken in a glass baking dish; brush with sauce. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Drain, discarding marinade. Grill chicken, uncovered, over low coals for 10-15 minutes or until juices run clear.

Fajita Marinade

• 3 limes, juiced
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1/4 teaspoon ground anise seed (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice, green onions, garlic, cilantro, oil, red pepper, coriander, and anise. Whisk until well blended.

2. Pour mixture over your favorite meat, cover, and marinate for 12 to 24 hours before cooking as desired.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Spinach Madeline

2 pkg frozen chopped spinach
4 T butter
2 T flour
2 T onion
½ cup evap milk
½ cup vegetable liquor (drained from spinach)
½ t pepper
¾ t celery pwdr
¾ t garlic pwdr
6 oz roll jalapeno cheese
1 t. worchestershire
Red pepper to taste
Or 6 oz pepper jack

Cook Spinach according to pkg directions, (reserving liquid)
Melt butter, add flour, stir to blend, add onion and cook until soft, but not brown. Addf liquid slowly, stirring constantly. Cook until smooth and thick. Add seasonings and cheese (cut into small pieces).
Combine with spinach, put into a casserole w/ butter breadcrumbs on top

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples
2 Cans crescent rolls
2 Sticks butter/margarine (yes, TWO sticks!)
1 1/2 Cup sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Sm. can Mountain Dew (the mini size works great, or you can just use a little bit of a 1 liter bottle (it’s cheaper that way)

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9X13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges and middle of pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 Degrees for 40 minutes or until tops of crescents are golden brown. Serve with ice cream and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Chocolate Bowls (Paula Deen)

• 10 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate divided
• Small balloons, filled with air
• Greased cookie sheet or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

Place 5 ounces of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until completely melted. Remove it from heat and stir in the remaining 5 ounces chocolate until thoroughly smooth. (You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave…that’s what I do and it’s a lot easier and faster. Just microwave for about 30 seconds at a time stirring after each 30 seconds, until chocolate is completely melted). Spoon 1/2 teaspoon melted chocolate onto prepared pan to form a small disk.

Dip the balloon into the disk of chocolate, coating about a third of the balloon. Place the dipped end of the balloon on the chocolate disk. Repeat with remaining chocolate and balloons. Place in the refrigerator to set, about 30 minutes.

In order to release the air from the balloon, pinch the balloon just under the knot and cut a small hole in the surface between fingers and knot. Very gradually release air; if air is released too quickly, the bowls may break. Carefully peel the deflated balloons from the chocolate bowls.

Fill with whatever your heart desires! YUM-O!!