Friday, December 15, 2017

Corn and Tomato Casserole in a Crock Pot

Here's another Crock Pot Side Dish.

Corn and Tomato Casserole in a Crock Pot

Here's what you'll need:
1 - Crock Pot

1 - 15 oz. can of Creamed Corn
1 - 14 oz. can of Diced Tomatoes
3/4 C Saltine Cracker Crumbs
1 Egg, beaten.
2 tsp Granulated Sugar
3/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 C Chopped Fresh Parsley

In the Crock Pot:
Black Pepper
Stir to Combine Well.

Cover and Cook on Low for 4 hours.

Transfer to a Serving Bowl.
Sprinkle evenly with Parsley.

Serve immediately.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Layered Tex - Mex Casserole in a Crock Pot

This is just the latest in my collection of Crock Pot recipes.
Our Christmas menu, here in Texas, is Tex - Mex. It always consists of Tamales, Tex - Mex Side Dishes, Salads and Desserts.
Here's my newest Side Dish.

An option for Hominy

An option for Hominy

An option for Queso Quesadilla Cheese.

An option for Queso Quesadilla Cheese

Here's what you'll need:
A Crock Pot that will accommodate a (9" in diameter) Tortilla.
Foil, this will be folded to create a cradle in the Crock Pot to help remove the Casserole.

2 - 15 oz. cans of Hominy, drained
1 - 15 oz. can of Black Beans, rinsed and drained.
1 - 14 oz. can of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
1 C of Chunky Pace Piquante Sauce
1 - 6 oz. can of Tomato Paste
1/2 tsp Cumin
3 - 9" Flour Tortillas
2 C Shredded Queso Quesadilla Cheese, divided.
1/4 C sliced Black Olives

Foil Handles:
3 - 18" Strips of double folded Heavy Duty Foil.
Place them in the Crock Pot in a Criss Cross  Spoke position to help lift the Casserole out of the Pot.

In a Large Mixing Bowl:
Piquante Sauce
Tomato Paste
Mix to Combine Well.

In the Crock Pot:
1 Tortilla, pressed and tucked into the Bottom.

1/3 of the Hominy Mixture.
1/3 of the Cheese
Repeat layers with remaining Tortillas, Mixture and Cheese
Reserve the last 1/3 of the Cheese to be used later.

Cover and Cook on Low for 6 hours.
Turn off the Pot.
Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/3 Cheese.
Top evenly with Olives.

Cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

Use the Foil Strips to help lift the Casserole out of the Pot and transfer to a Serving Bowl.
Serve immediately.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Wild Rice and Mushroom Casserole in a Crock Pot

We have several Crock Pots and we use them all.  I think everyone knows the convenience of them and how diversified they can be. You can make anything from Appetizers, Dips, Soups, Side Dishes and even Entrees. We even have a unit with 3 small Pots in it for Appetizers or Side dishes. We also use it to keep Tamales warm. We divide the Tamales by ingredients, keeping the vegetarian ones in their own pot. It's very convenient for serving 3 different types of dips or 3 different types of Soup.

Here's a great side dish made in a Crock Pot.

Here's what you'll need:
1 Medium to Large Crock Pot coated with a Vegetable Cooking Spray or brushed well with Vegetable Oil.

2 TBS Olive Oil
1 Small Red Onion, diced.
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced.
8 oz. White Mushrooms, thinly sliced.
1 - 14 oz. Can of Diced Tomatoes
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Paprika
2 TBS Butter
2 TBS Flour
1 1/2 C Whole Milk
2 C Shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp Pepper
2 C Dried Wild Rice cooked according to package directions.

In a Large Skillet in Medium Heat:
Oil, until hot.

Bell Pepper
Sauté 5 Minutes. stir well.

Cook and Stir until Hot.
Transfer to a Large Mixing Bowl.
Set aside.

In the same Skillet on Medium Heat:
Butter, until melted.

Whisk until well combined.
Cook 4 - 5 minutes until creamy smooth and Golden in color.

Whisk well.
Bring to a Boil.

Whisk until melted and creamy smooth.
Whisk in Pepper.

Cooked Rice to the Bowl of Vegetables.
Fold in the Cheese Mixture.
Stir to combine well.
Transfer to the Crock Pot.
Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours.

Transfer to a Serving Bowl.
Serve Hot.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cinnamon Roll Cheese Ball

I'm on a Cheese Ball kick this Holiday Season. I have several recipes on the Blog and I'm making them for Christmas.
Most of them are Savory but here's a Dessert Cheese Ball.

Here's what you'll need:
A Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment
Plastic Wrap

Cinnamon Roll Cheese Ball

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature.
8 TBS Butter, softened to room temperature.
2 TBS Brown Sugar
1 TBS Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 C Confectioner's Sugar
2 C Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal

In  the Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Cream Cheese
Mix just until well combined.

Brown Sugar
Granulated Sugar
Confectioner's Sugar
Mix well until creamy smooth.

Spoon onto a piece of Plastic Wrap.
Shape into a Ball.
Cover completely and Freeze for 45 minutes.

Put the Cereal in a Zip Lock Back and finely crush it with a Rolling Pin.

Remove the Ball and roll it in the Cereal.

Transfer to a Serving Platter if serving immediately, otherwise transfer to the refrigerator and keep it wrapped in the Plastic Wrap until ready to serve.

Serve with Short Bread Cookies or Graham Crackers.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Orange Ginger Bars

These Bars remind me of my time in Germany when I was a Backpacking College Student. There's nothing quite like Christmas in Germany.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" X 9" Baking Pan (I have a Calpalon Pan with straight sides), greased with a Vegetable Cooking Spray. I use my Pan Release Mix. The recipe is on the Blog.

1/2 C Honey
1/2 C Dark Brown Sugar
1/3 C Granulated Sugar
3 TBS Butter
1 1/2 C Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
3 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 Egg
2 TBS Grand Marnier
1 tsp Microplaned Orange Zest
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 C Sliced Almonds
1/3 C Candied Orange Peel, finely diced.

1 C Confectioner's Sugar
2 TBS Grand Marnier
1/4 tsp Fresh, finely grated Ginger
1/4 tsp Vanilla

In A Large Saucepan on Medium Heat, Large enough to eventually hold the Dry Ingredients too.
Brown Sugar
Granulated Sugar
Stir until the Butter Melts and the Sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove from Heat, Set Aside for at least 15 minutes.

In a Medium Mixing Bowl:
Baking Soda
Whisk well.

Add to the Honey/Sugar Mixture in the Saucepan:
Orange Juice
Orange Zest
Orange Peel
Stir until completely incorporated.

Flour Mixture
Stir by Hand to form the Dough.

Transfer to a Mixing Bowl.
Cover the surface of the dough with a piece of Plastic Wrap and an additional piece to cover the bowl.

Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Spread the Dough evenly into the prepared Pan.
I flatten it with the bottom of a Stainless Steel Measuring Cup.

Bake 20 - 30 minutes. (Prepare the Glaze while the Bars are Baking.)

A toothpick in the center should come out clean.

Remove Pan to a Rack and Glaze while still hot.


In a Medium Mixing Bowl:
Grand Marnier

Whisk until creamy smooth.

When the Bars are still warm, spread the Glaze evenly over the Bars with a Silicone Spatula.
Allow it to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Perfect Poached Eggs

I make my Poached Eggs this way. I've never thought about posting it on my Blog.
I realized that others love Poached Eggs but find it difficult or annoying to make. They have tried the traditional saucepan, on the stove with boiling water and trying to swirl them with a spoon to keep the eggs in shape, with a spoon. After realizing that that's really a hassle, I started making them using the following method.

Start with Hot Water in a small Pyrex container with a lid.

Crack 2 Eggs into the water.

Just loosely put the lid on.

Heat for 45 seconds to 1 minute in a Microwave. Keep an eye on them until they reach the consistency that you like. They can be very soft yolks to a yolk that's set.

Remove with a slotted spoon. I turn the eggs out onto the spoon and transfer to a bowl.

It's easy, quick and foolproof.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Rustic Apple, Fig & Custard Pie (Pear, Almond and Honey Option)

Rustic Apple, Fig and Custard Pie

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
9" X 13" Sheet Cake Pan, brushed with Pan Release Mix (recipe to follow) or Greased with Butter and Flour. Tap Pan to release excess Flour.

Pan Release Mix:
Equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour.
I start with 1 C of each mixed well and refrigerated in a Jar.
I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

1 Box of Puff Pastry (6 pieces) room temperature, divided.
3 TBS Butter, Softened to Room Temperature.
1/2 C Granulated Sugar, divided
4 Large Jonagold Apples, peeled, cored and sliced into thin wedges.
1/4 C Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Large Eggs, divided
1/3 C Heavy Cream
1/3 C Whole Milk
1/4 C Bonne Maman Fig Preserves
1 tsp Apple Pie Spice
1 TBS Turbinado Sugar

Place 5 pieces of the Puff Pastry onto the Pan. It will overlap the sides of the pan.
Reserve the last piece.
Brush the Pastry evenly with Softened Butter.
Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 C of Sugar.

In a Mixing Bowl:
Apple Slices
Lemon Juice
Gently toss to evenly coat them.
Cover the Pan evenly with the Apple Slices.

In a Small Bowl:
Two Eggs
Fig Preserves
Apple Pie Spice
Whisk Well.

Evenly pour over the Apples.

Cut remaining Sheet of Pastry into 1" Strips.
Lay them over the Apples pinching the ends into the edges of the Pastry.
Just create a Rustic look with the Pastry.

Whisk remaining Egg and Brush the tops of the Pastry Strips.
Sprinkle evenly with Turbinado Sugar.

Bake 35 minutes.

Remove Pan to a Rack to Cool for 10 minutes.
Serve Warm with Vanilla Ice Cream or Homemade Whipped Cream. (recipe to follow)

Homemade Whipped Cream:
1 C Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla
1 TBS Confectioner's Sugar.
Whip the Cream in a Stand Mixer with a Whisk Attachment.
Beat to Soft Peak.
Confectioner's Sugar
Beat to Stiff Peak.

You can also make this with Pears.

3 Pears, cored and sliced.
2 TBS Butter, melted.
1/4 C Bonne Maman Apricot Preserves
1/8 tsp Almond Extract
A Pinch of Salt
1/4 C Toasted Almond Slices (I toast them in a Dry Cast Iron Skillet on the Stove)
Honey for Dripping

In a Large Glass Mixing Bowl:
Melted Butte
Almond Extract
Whisk Well.

Add Pears and Gently Toss to Coat Well.

Arrange Pears in the Pan.
Bake according to directions above.
Remove Pan to a Rack.
Sprinkle evenly with Almonds.
Drizzle evenly with some Honey.

Serve Warm with Vanilla Ice Cream or Homemade Whipped Cream.

Peace in the Kitchen!