Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies



Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In electric mixer, beat butter, shortening, granulated sugar, and 1 cup light-brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully combined between each addition. Add vanilla, and beat to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients, and mix on low speed until fully combined. Remove from mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill until firm, about 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, using a rubber spatula, stir together peanut butter and remaining 1/4 cup light-brown sugar.

Using a 1 1/4-inch scoop or heaping tablespoon, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Make a thumbprint in the center of each cookie. Fill thumbprint with 1 teaspoon peanut-butter mixture. Top with a second scoop of dough, and carefully mold dough to cover "surprise."

Bake until firm, about 12 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks.

Caesar Pockets

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pizza and Breadsticks


2 T yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 T sugar

1/2 cup milk
3 cup very warm water
3 T oil or melted butter
3 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar

11-12 cups of flour



Mix first three ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. Mix next 5 ingredients in electric mixer. Add first mixture, mix. Add flour and kneed for approximately 5 minutes. Take dough out, and put in a greased bowl. Put towel over the bowl and let dough raise until it has doubled, around an hour. Divide into 4 pieces for 4 full sized pizza's.

Classic Pepperoni Pizza:
Spread tomato sauce over pizza. Sprinkle basil and garlic powder, or Italian seasoning. Top with mozzarella cheese. Spread with Pepperoni.
Healthy Pizza:
Spread french onion dip over pizza. Sprinkle basil and garlic powder, or Italian seasoning. Cover entire pizza with one layer of spinach. Then add chopped green peppers, sliced mushrooms, and top with Canadian bacon.

Roll dough out 1/4 inch thick. Slice with pizza cutter to desired length. Take two pieces and wrap one around the other. Brush on a generous amount of melted butter. Sprinkle garlic powder.



Divide dough into 6-8 pieces for smaller individual pizzas.
Make pizzas and then freeze.

Bake fresh at 425 for 15 minutes. For frozen pizzas, bake for 20-25 minutes.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Crunch Oriental Beef Salad

1 1/2 pounds beef flank steak
2 TBS each: vegetable oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar (I just used "Rice Vinegar" I don't know if it's the same thing or not, but it tasted great)
1/2 cup water
1 cup each: thinly sliced celery and shredded red cabbage
4 green onions, sliced
1 package (3 oz) beef flavor Ramen noodles
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp each: instant beef bouillon and garlic powder
1 head romain, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 TBS toasted sesame seeds*
Ginger dressing (recipe follows)

Partially freeze flank steak by placing in freezer two hours prior to preparation time (this isn't a MUST-it is only to make it easier to cut, I didn't do it today and was just fine). Make marinade by combining water, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, bouillon granules, and garlic powder; mix well. Stir in beef flavor packet from soup mix. Slice steak diagonally across the grain into 1/4 inch thick slices; cut slices crosswise into 1 1/2 inch strips. Place beef and marinade in plastic zip-loc bag, turning occasionally. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. Prepare Ginger dressing. Drain beef; heat large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Stir-fry beef, 1/2 at a time, 5 to 6 minutes or until brown. Remove beef from pan after each batch is cooked. Drain beef, add Ginger Dressing and toss with lettuce, celery, cabbage, almonds, and broken ramen noodle. Place in serving bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Makes 6 servings.

*To toast sesame seeds, heat sesame seeds in small pan over medium heat until golden, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour into small dish to prevent further browning.

Ginger Dressing

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp ground ginger (this is in the spice section in the store)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt

Combine sugar, oil, salt, vinegar, ginger, and pepper in small bowl, whisk until blended. Yield: about 2/3 cup.

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Easy Parmesan Chicken

Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides. Sauté in a little olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat for 5 minutes a side.

Add the garlic and let cook 30 seconds or so.

Add the crushed tomatoes. Turn heat down to medium or medium low. Turn the chicken in the sauce until covered. If using dry basil go ahead and sprinkle some in now. Cover with a lid or foil and cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on how big the breasts are.

When chicken is cooked through, sprinkle a few tablespoons of cheese on top of each breast. If using fresh basil, sprinkle it in now. Cover with lid and cook until cheese melts, no more than a few minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe makes 2-3 pies, depending on the size of the pie pan.

1 whole chicken
1 large onion, whole--quartered
3 celery leaves
3 sprigs parsley
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
10 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
1 pound baby carrots
15 small pearl onions, peeled
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 dashes pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 double pie crust

Put first 8 ingredients into pot and bring to boil and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken let cool. Remove chicken from the bones in large pieces. It should measure 5 cups. Strain stock, skim fat, and add water to make 4 cups if necessary. In stock, cook carrots and onions covered 20 minutes or until tender. Strain, liquid should measure 3 cups. In small bowl combine flour, salt and pepper. Stir in milk until smooth. Add to stock in pan; bring to boil stirring. Reduce heat simmer 8 minutes or until sauce is thick. Add chicken and vegetable, let cool and put in pie crust. Put slits in the top of the pie. Bake 375 for 45-60 minutes or until bubbly. You may freeze this pie before you bake it. Wrap up the pie in freezer foil. When you are ready to bake it take off the foil. If the pie plate is glass, put the pie in the oven first, then turn the oven to 375. Bake for at least one and half hours, possibly two, until bubbly.

Chicken and Rice

1 1/2 pounds breasts and thighs or whole chicken
1 1/2 cups brown and wild rice
3/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 dashes granulated garlic
2 cube chicken bouillon
1 cube beef bouillon
3 tablespoons dried onions
baby carrots
3 cups water

Put rice in large pan, add seasonings and onions, layer baby carrots if desired, then put chicken on last. Pour water over chicken. Cover and cook at 350 for 2 hours or until rice is done. Rice is done when it has absorbed most or all liquid and is soft.

If you have a timer on your oven you can put your chicken pieces in frozen.

Fudge Truffle Cheesecake


1 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or 5 1/3 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 ounces white chocolate, chopped (1/3 cup)
powdered sugar
cocoa powder

Make the chocolate crust:
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325. Remove the sides from a 10x3 inch springform pan. Trim a 10 inch cardboard cake circle so that it fits snugly with the curved lip of the bottom of the springform pan. Cover the circle with a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang all around the edge. Carefull attach the side of the pan so you do not tear the foil. Wrap the foil overhang halfway up the outside of hte pan. (Lining the bottom of the pan in this way will give the cheesecake an even flat base, making it easy to remove from teh pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and melted butter, stirring until well combined. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the ganache and filling.

Make the ganache:
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small pan over med heat, bring the 2 cups of cream to a gentle boil. You may also use the microwave for this. Pour the got cream over the chocolate and allow the mixture to stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of the ganache for the cake filling and set aside. Measure out 1 cup of the ganache for the truffles, cover and refrigerate until firm enough to pipe. Cover the remaining ganache and set aside at room temperature.

Make the filling:
Place the cornstarch in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the cream and the vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

In a large bowl beat cream cheese on low speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugar in a steady stream and beat at medium speed until blended. At low speed, one at a time, add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in teh reserved 2 cups of ganache. Beat in teh cornstarch mixture. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and, using a rubber spatula, smooth the top.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the center is set. (There will probably be cracks in teh top of the cheesecake; they will shrink as the cheesecake cools and then will be covered with frosting.) Turn off the oven. Prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for an hour.

Set the cheesecake in the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

Make the truffles:
Transfer the chilled 1 cup of ganache to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip. Pipe 16, 1 inch mounds with pointed peaks onto a clean baking sheet or use a spoon to make mounds. Refrigerate or freeze the truffles for 15-20 minutes, or just until firm enough to roll.

Sift a light dusting of powdered sugar over the truffles. Lightly coat your palms and fignertips with powdered sugar. With your fignertips, pinch a truffle in a round. Then roll it gently between your palms in a round ball. Place the truffle on the baking sheet, and form the remaining truffles into rounds. Refrigerate or freeze for about 10 minutes, just until firm.

Roll the truffles in sifted cocoa powder to coat. Refrigerate.

Decorate the cheesecake:
Run a thin bladed knife around the edge of teh cake to loosen it from the side of the pan. Remove the side of the pan. Slide two metal cake spatulas under the cheesecake and transfer it to a serving platter.

Using a metal cake spatula, spread the reserved room temperature chocolate ganache evenly over the top and sides of the cheesecake. Place the chocolate truffles around the outside edge of the top of teh cake, and spacing them evenly.

Melt the white chocolate over double boiler or low heat. Using a fork, drizzle the warm white chocolate ina decorative zigzag patern over the top of the cheesecake. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 6 hours or overnight, before serving. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. While cutting the cake, dip the blade of the knife in hot water and wipe dry after each slice.

Chocolate Peppermint Sandwiches

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, egg. Mix dry ingredients. Add to wet ingredients alternating with the milk. Shape dough into logs on waxed paper or parchment. Roll up and freeze. Slice into cookies, not too thin and bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes. Don't over bake. Don't brown. Cook only until no longer doughy.

Make frosting, add peppermint flavoring, and add food coloring. Sandwich cookies with the frosting.

Chocolate Crinkles and Chocolate Clouds

1/2 cup shortening
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
powdered sugar

Mix shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Melt butter and mix with cocoa. Add to sugar mixture. Then add all teh dry ingredients. Roll in powdered sugar.

Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes.

For Chocolate Marshmallow cookies omit milk. Put marshmallow on cookies one minute before done.


1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
2 cups canned milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine salt, sugar, syrup. Stir until boils. Add butter and bring to boil. Drizzle milk into mixture to keep the mixture boiling. Cook 246 degrees or firm ball stage. Take off heat and add vanilla. Pour into greased 9x9 or 9x13 pan. This makes a lot of caramel, so you may want to half recipe and put in 8x8 or something smaller.

Almond Roca-Grandma's

1 pound butter (has to be real butter)
2/3 cup water
3 cups sugar
3 cups almonds, sliced
3 cups milk chocolate

Put water in a saucepan first. Add butter and sugar. Cook until 320. Put 1 1/2 cups of nuts in the bottom of a greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch pan. Pour roca on nuts. Put chocolate on and allow to melt. Spread evenly. Sprinkle on the remaining nuts. Cool and break into pieces. Store loosely covered, not tightly in a tin.

When cooking the roca if it smells like it is burning but hasn't gone to 320 yet, it is probably done and your thermometer isn't accurate. Must stir constantly towards the end.

Shirley's Crescent Rolls


2 packages yeast, or 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups milk, scalded
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup butter
7 cups flour, or more if needed
6 eggs
extra butter, softened

Add the yeast to the warm water, and scalded milk (very warm milk). Add sugar, salt and butter. Add 4 cups of the flour and eggs to the mixture. Mix well. Add 3-4 cups more flour until dough is soft and sticky.

Let rise until double or in the fridge overnight.

Divide into 3 parts. Roll into three 16 inch circles. Spread with soft butter. Cut with a pizza cutter into 16 wedges each. Roll up each wedge starting with the wide end. Let raise. Bake at 350 10-15 minutes.

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Wraps

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (can be frozen!)
1 can black beans
1 can corn

Put 4 chicken breasts, can of black beans, can of corn, and a can-worth of salsa into crock pot. Don't drain any of the juices before putting in, and don't add any water. Put lid on, and leave in crock pot for 3-4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low. After cooked, shred chicken and add back to the crock pot. Spoon into tortillas, wrap up and enjoy!