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Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Favorite Recipes!

GREAT RECIPES FOR THOSE WINTER BLAHS!!!

Asiago Herb Pinwheels

1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and/or parsley)

Heat the oven to 375°F.
Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14 x 11-inch rectangle.  Sprinkle with the cheese and herbs. Starting at a short side, roll up like a jelly roll.  Wrap the pastry roll with plastic wrap and freeze for 45 minutes or until firm. Cut the pastry roll into 75 (1/8-inch) slices.  Place the slices, cut-side down, onto baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.  Remove the pastries from the baking sheets and let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes.

APPLE OATMEAL BREAKFAST PUDDING  

1 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 apples, sliced & peeled
1 tbsp. butter

Combine all ingredients in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. For the crock pot, double the recipe, cover and cook on low 6 to 10 hours (turn crock pot on before you go to bed and wake up this delicious breakfast pudding and wonderful aroma.)

Red & Yellow Pepper Soup
Serves 6

4 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp butter/margarine
1 large red onion, diced (I used my food processor)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 large red peppers, diced
3 large yellow peppers, diced
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup white cooking wine
1/2 pint heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste (I used ground sea salt)
**(optional fresh chives or sour cream)

Place 1/2 the olive oil, butter, onion and garlic in a large saucepan, place remaining olive oil, butter, onion and garlic in another large saucepan, saute for 3 minutes.
Place red pepper in one pan and yellow pepper in the other saute for another 3 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup white cooking wine into each pan. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Divide the stock and puree between the two pans. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Process or blend one mixture into a puree and return to saucepan. (If using a blender, fill 3/4 full and to hold lid on tightly to prevent steam and splattering of hot liquid, start on low speed then increase to medium until pureed). Rinse blender, then puree next mixture and return to it's saucepan.
Divide the heavy cream between the two pans. Simmer on moderate heat until thickened. Add salt & pepper to taste. (If too thick you can add water to thin, if too thin you can mix flour and water in a cup and slowly stir into soup and simmer until thickened).
To serve: carefully pour a ladle of the red pepper soup into 1/2 bowl(holding bowl at an angle, then carefully using another ladle to gradually add yellow pepper into the other half (slowly bringing bowl back level).
**Decorate with fresh chives or add a dollop of sour cream in the center of the bowl for added flavor.


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Here is my latest & greatest SUMMERTIME RECIPES:

This first main course recipe was taken from a Good Housekeeping magazine, while waiting for a friend at the dr's office, of course, I tweek all my recipes to fit my taste or as in this case, to make it an easy and quick cook plus I added nuts & onions because it just needed it!


For dessert, my niece made these Strawberry Pretzel Squares at a family get-together and I happen to find this recipe for them online @ kraftfoods.com!!

They are both delicious summertime recipes!!!

CHICKEN (or beef) IN LETTUCE CUPS (not your usual wrap)! Serves 4-6 depending on how much filling you put in the lettuce leaves.

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken breast (fat removed) or beef (thin sirloin or round steak works well after removing the fat) cut into 1/4" chunks
2 tbsp oil (sesame if you have it, I used canola, it was fine)

2 tbsp soy sauce
3 stalks chopped green onions
2 medium stalks chopped celery
1 cup soy beans (edamame) frozen shelled ( I can only find them frozen with the shells so I thaw them and remove the beans and discarding the pod).
1/2 cup ginger and sesame salad dressing
1/4 cup pine nuts or sunflower seeds
8-10 Boston lettuce leaves or any lettuce that will enable you to fill and roll up, to be eaten with your fingers, I tried romaine which was ok, iceberg which tasted great, they were quite messy but worth it!!


Directions:

In frying pan heat oil on medium for 1 minute, add chicken (beef) chunks and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add soybeans (edamame), celery and cook 2 minutes longer. Add sesame ginger dressing, soy sauce and green onions, cooking 1-2 minutes longer or until chicken (beef) is cooked through, stiring occasionally to coat with sauce. Add pine nuts (sunflower seeds) and remove from heat. Arrange lettuce leaves on 4 dinner plates, divide filling among the leaves about 1/4 cup per leaf. Fold leaves over the mixture and eat out of hand.


STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SQUARES (serves 1) hahaha just kidding!!! Serves a crowd!
Ingredients:
2 cups finely crushed pretzels
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1-1/2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
1 cup thawed whipped topping
2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. (6 oz.) Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
1-1/2 cups cold water
1 qt. (4 cups) strawberries, sliced

Directions:
heat oven to 350°F.
Mix pretzel crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter. Press onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 min. Cool. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar and milk until blended. Stir in whipped topping; spread over crust. Refrigerate.
Add boiling water to gelatin mix in large bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 1-1/2 hours or until thickened.Stir in strawberries and spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Serve by cutting into squares with spatula.

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I'm posting 3 of my favorite recipes this time, they may not be the healthiest but they sure are tasty!!! We used to have the beef recipe sometimes for breakfast when we were kids (don't ask me why we thought this was an appropriate breakfast food, we just know it tasted great and filled you up and I still serve it for breakfast sometimes but serve it anytime!), the next is actually a recipe my mother-in-law used to make for all of our holiday dinners (sometimes served as an appetizer). She only used cauliflower, I use other vegetables too and they are great!

CREAMED BEEF (serve on toast points, optional dill recipe included)

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup-1 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
salt & pepper to taste
optional (dill recipe) add 1/2 tsp dill weed

Brown beef in a large saucepan, drain. Add butter, flour and worcestershire sauce, stir in 1/2 cup milk (if using dill recipe add herb here). Stir continuously, add sour cream and add more milk up to one cup if needed until creamy. Simmer for approx 3 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste. Serve on buttered toast points.

DEEP FRIED VEGETABLES

1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tbsp oil
1 cup milk
1 c flour
2-4 cups (if needed add more milk and flour, or if there is too much batter left, cut more veggies!) raw vegetables cut in bite size chunks or slices, any or all of the following: cauliflower, zuchinni, yellow squash, broccoli, onions
1/2 tsp salt
oil for frying


Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, drop cut/sliced veggies into the batter. Heat oil in pot or heat deep fryer. Carefully place coated veggies into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil when done and place on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve warm. If there are leftovers, you can put them in a ziploc baggie and keep them in the fridge or they can be frozen and reheated in the microwave or oven but the aren't as crispy as fresh made.


BEER BATTER FRIED ONION RINGS

1 cup beer
flour
1 large onion sliced (valencia or red onion is great for this)
salt
oil for frying

Pour beer in mixing bowl add enough flour to make a thin batter. Add onion slices to batter and stir to coat. Place carefully in hot oil or deep fryer, fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve warm.

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This time i'm posting my favorite HOT DRINKS tonight, first of all because it's a cold rainy, windy night outside and secondly because i'm enjoying my Bailey's coffee right now!! Perfect nightcap!

Mint Chocolate Coffee: easy to make just add the Bailey's and sugar to your coffee!

1 cup/mug of hot coffee

1 shot Bailey's Cream Mint Chocolate

2 tsp sugar (optional, i'm a sugarholic I use 2 heaping!)

Top it off with whipped cream


Tea with Honey Lemon (mom's medicine)

I have had to use this recipe lately just as a soothing hot drink for the sore throats i've been having!!! It's really a great tasting hot drink though! Just add the ingredients to the hot tea!

1 cup/mug hot tea

2 tbsp honey (I use sugarless-somehow I think it makes up for all the
sugar I use in my coffee-haha)

lemon juice to taste (I use a lot when it's for a sore throat-gotta get that
vitamin C in there)

My hubby loves this when he's got a cold, he says it makes him sweat the illness out of him! Don't know if it helps cure either but any comfort when you are feeling blah is a good thing!

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Today we celebrated Valentine's day at the day care center where I work, here is the cake I made for the occasion, i'm no cake decorator believe me but I think I did alright, the kids were WOWED!!! I have always done this for Valentine's for my kids and work parties. It's cute! Just bake the cake in one square pan and one round pan, slice the round cake in half. Place the square cake in the diamond shape place each round cake half on top of the square, putting a little frosting on the inside edges to keep it together. Then decorate! I tried using the rose maker but they came out a little off, still can tell they are flowers though, the stems and leaves came out better than I expected!

WELL I HOPE YOU ALL ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY! LOTS OF LOVE TO EVERYONE!







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So today I thought of a couple of my favorite side dishes, both are quick and easy and most of all YUMMY!!!! The cucumber and pea salad is from a recipe in Quick Cooking magazine it was just for a pea salad and called for a 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese too, but I changed it a little by adding the cucumber which makes a nice flavor and crunch and removing the cheddar cheese, didn't need the fight of flavors, I did leave the bacon in because it just HAS to be there! Ok so now that your mouth is watering, copy and paste these on paper and keep them in your recipe box, because you'll be making these over and over again like I do!!

FRIED CABBAGE WITH ONIONS

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter/margarine
1 small onion sliced thin
1 small or 1/2 large green cabbage sliced thin
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large chicken fryer or deep saute pan, melt butter and add onions, fry until carmelized, stirring as needed. Add cabbage and salt & pepper to your own taste (i'm bad I use a lot of salt!) and continue to fry until cabbage is tender and has picked up the caramalization from the onion, serve warm. Maked 4-6 servings.

CREAMY CUCUMBER AND PEA SALAD

Ingredients:
1 pkg (16oz) frozen peas thawed
1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until serving. It's that simple!!!! Serves 6-8.

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Here are two Won Ton wrapper appetizer recipes JUST IN TIME TO PREPARE FOR SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!! I listed these together since you might want to make both for the BIG GAME!!!

The first recipe is my own take on a tasty tidbit I get at a local Chinese buffet restaurant, I couldn't find a recipe to make them so I created my own and they taste pretty darn close to the original!!!

The ranch stars were actually from a recipe in a magazine I found back in the 80's but I still make them occasionally for appetizers or work party food! The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup chopped red pepper but I didn't care for them in these, so I eliminated them from the recipe (add them back in if you prefer) now these are a favorite hearty appetizer of mine!! Bon Apetit!!

CREAM CHEESE FILLED WON TONS:

Ingredients:
2 pkg cream cheese
1 pkg won ton skins (thawed) I usually only find them in the freezer section of our grocery store.
Your choice of the following:
1/2 cup green onions
1/2 cup chives
Peanut or Canola oil for deep frying

Directions:
Mix cream cheese until soft, fold in green onions or chives.
place a small teaspoonful of the filling into the center of a won ton skin and fold over twisting the top squeezing softly to seal, so it resembles a tied bag. Repeat with the rest of the the won tons or until all of the cream cheese mixture is gone.

Heat oil on medium high heat, drop the won ton bags into oil carefully, turning with spatula until golden brown, remove and drain on paper towels.

This will make a good size batch for a party or snacktime!

RANCH SAUSAGE STARS:

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked crumbled sausage (approx 1 lb)
1 1/2 cups grated Montery Jack cheese
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup ranch dressing mix (dry packet)
1 can sliced black olives
1/2 pkg won ton skins thawed
Canola or Vegetable oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blot sausage with dry paper towels to remove any remaining grease. In large bowl combine sausage with both cheeses, dressing mix and black olives. Lightly grease muffin tins and press 1 won ton wrapper skin in each cup. Brush with oil lightly. Bake 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove baked won tons from tins and place on a baking sheet. Fill the won ton cups with sausage mixture. Bake 5 minutes untl bubbly. Makes 4-5 dozen.

NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME OF THE GAME.............. THESE WILL BE THE WINNING TEAM FOR GAME TIME EATS!!!
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This is a recipe I used for Christmas dessert and it was a BIG BIG HIT!!! I found this online by Womans Day recipes and was it ever easy!!!

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE CAKE

Ingredients:
1 Pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 sticks butter (I used margarine)
6 Large eggs, at room temprature

Directions:

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat an 8X3 round cake pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom with wax paper circle. Have a large roasting pan ready. Melt chips and butter together; stir until blended. (I used my double boiler for this). Beat eggs in large bowl with mixer on high approx 7 minutes or until tripled and soft peaks form. (This took longer with a hand mixer). Fold in chocolate mixture until blended then pour into cake pan.

Place large pan in oven;place cake pan inside then pour boiling water in roaster to come up halfway to sides of cake pan (make sure you don't spill any water on cake, use a tea kettle if possible or something with a spout). Cover the cake pan loosely with foil and bake 40 minutes (Cake looks soft but sets when cold). Cool cake pan on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Invert onto cake plate and shake down sharply to release cake. Peel off paper.

If desired lay five 3/4 inch strips of paper on cake and sife cocoa between strips, carefully lift paper and repeat in opposite direction using confectioners sugar.

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Here are 2 great crockpot hot Holiday drink recipes which will fill your home with a wonderful old Christmas aroma! ENJOY!!

CHRISTMAS IN ENGLAND WASSAIL : This recipe from CDKitchen serves/makes 18 (I changed it a little replacing aromatic bitters with vanilla extract)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup sugar
2 quarts apple juice
1 pint cranberry juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup rum
2 sticks cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 small orange -- studded with cloves

Directions:Dissolve sugar in juices in crockpot. Add remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 1 hour. Simmer on low for 4 to 8 hours.HOT MULLED WINE (this I think is the easiest)Ingredients3 orangeswhole cloves2 cinnamon stickssugar to taste1 gal. red wineDirectionsPierce oranges with cloves, put in crock-pot with cinnamon sticks. Start with 1/4 cup sugar, honey or sweetener; adding more if desired. Pour wine over all. Let simmer on low, the longer the better. Remove oranges and cinnamon before serving.

Hot Mulled Wine
Ingredients:
3 orangeswhole cloves
2 cinnamon stickssugar to taste
1 gal. red wine

DirectionsPierce oranges with cloves, put in crock-pot with cinnamon sticks. Start with 1/4 cup sugar, honey or sweetener; adding more if desired. Pour wine over all. Let simmer on low, the longer the better. Remove oranges and cinnamon before serving.

2 comments:

  1. Those recipes sound awesome.You have a awesome blog.i am following you blog.Thanks fro sharing it with me

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Chocolate Truffle cake was delicious! A new favorite ;)

    ReplyDelete