Friday, May 31, 2013

White Barbecue Sauce....... Try it Y'all!

I don't know how I get on these food kicks, but my latest research has been about White Barbecue Sauce..... Who knew?
White Barbecue Sauce was developed in the Southern United States, or as we say, "in the South"
In Alabama it's the sauce of choice for a marinade and a dip. Fans of white sauce claim that once you try it on grilled meats and vegetables, you'll never go back to a red sauce. I suppose you can use it for a dip with Buffalo Wings. I would use it on Veggie burgers cooked on the grill, and I'd use it as a vegetable dip. I will also use it on my vegetarian Chik'n Breasts.
I'm open to new food ideas and this intrigues me.
I'm going to give it a try!
There as many recipes available and after intensive research, this is my choice.

White Barbecue Sauce:

3/4 C mayonnaise
1/3 C apple cider vinegar
1/4 C apple juice
1 TBS garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBS horseradish
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
1 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp salt

Whisk all ingredients together and pour into a jar.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dallas Morning News Recipe of the Week!

Here's my pick for the recipe from this week's Taste section in the Dallas Morning News.
Super Lemon Bars , Alicia Ross  

There was a recipe for  Real Banana Pudding too, but I've posted my recipe for the Best of the Best Banana Pudding. I've tried many recipes and I'm convinced that mine is truly the best Banana Pudding!
So, I chose to post the Super Lemon Bars.

1 stick of butter, room temperature
1/4 C powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 C flour, divided
pinch of salt
4 eggs
1 C sugar
1/2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 TBS lemon zest

butter the bottom of an 8"x8" pan.
The recipe recommends that you cut two pieces of parchment paper that rises over the sides and cut to fit the edge to prevent fire, buttering both sheets of paper.  It helps to lift the bars out of the pan.

I simple grease the pan with my Pan Release recipe and cut & serve the bars from the pan. Choose which method you prefer.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In  a Stand Mixer, cream:
butter and 1/4 C powdered sugar, with the paddle attachment.
With the mixer on low, add 1 C flour and salt, combine until just mixed

Using floured hands, shape the dough into a ball and press into the pan, spreading to the edges.
Place in the Freezer for 10 minutes
Bake 20 minutes
Remove from oven and leave the oven on

While crust is baking, use the whisk attachment and whisk the eggs and 1 C for two minutes on high until light and fluffy.
Reduce speed to medium - low, add lemon juice, zest and remaining 1/2 C flour. Mix well.

Pour filling over crust and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
Cool to room temperature on a rack

If using the parchment paper liner, lift the bars from the pan, using the paper.
If not, cut the bars and remove to a serving platter.

Using a small sieve, dust the tops of the bars with powdered sugar before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Frosted Tropical Salad

This is another vintage recipe from a family recipe file.
It's another All American Dessert that's crazy but delicious!
I could certainly write and entire segment on Jello Salads.

1 package( 6 oz.) Lemon Jello
2 C boiling water
2 C Ginger Ale ( I was raised on Vernor's and it's the only one I'll use.
1 can ( 20oz.) crushed pineapple ( drain and save the juice)
1 C miniature marshmallows
2 bananas, sliced
1/2 C sugar
2 TBS flour
1 egg, beaten
2 TBS butter
1 C heavy cream, whipped

In a bowl , dissolve Jello in boiling water
Stir in Ginger Ale
Refrigerate until partially set

Fold into Jello:

Pour into a 9"x13" casserole dish
Refrigerate until firm

Make the Topping:
Combine sugar and flour in a saucepan.
Whisk in pineapple juice and egg
Cook on low heat until thickened,, stirring constantly

Remove from heat , add butter until well combined, transfer to a bowl
Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until completely cooled
Fold whipped cream into cooled mixture and Frost the Jello with the topping and chill overnight.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Eggs Baked in an Avocado!

These were baked for about 23 minutes. The yolks are firm

I recently read about eggs baked in an avocado.
I adapted this recipe from several variations.

For each person, plan on 1/2 avocado and 1 egg.
lime juice
salt & pepper to taste
chopped green onion
bacon bits

Cut each avocado in half and remove the pit.
Remove some of the center of the avocado just to make room to accommodate an egg. This step is important so the whites don't overflow and burn.
Slice off a thin portion of the bottom so they lay flat
Drizzle with lime juice
Season with salt and pepper

Place them in a casserole or a small cast iron skillet to hold them snugly!
Crack 1 egg into each half.

Bake at 450 for 15 - 20  minutes. ( mine took 20 minutes) longer if you want a well cooked yolk.

Serve topped with sliced green onion and bacon bits.
Serve with your favorite Salsa.

Peace in the Kitchen!

These were baked for 20 minutes

Dutch Buttercake / from Lovefoodies

I  saw the recipe this morning on a blog that I follow called Lovefoodies
You can access the blog from mine listed on blogs that I follow or at the following link:
The cake looks amazing. I'll certainly make it and post a picture. I just got permission from lovefoodies to post her photograph of the cake. It was very generous of her to allow me to do this.
I still have plans to make it myself. I'll post my photograph at that time.

1- 9" Springform Pan ( grease with my Pan Release recipe or butter the bottom and sides, cut a round piece of waxed paper for the bottom and butter again)

1/2 C butter
1 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1 Egg, beaten (reserve 1 tsp and mix with 1 tsp of water to create an egg wash for the glaze)
1 1/2 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 C Slivered Almonds

In a medium bowl , mix together:
Almond Extract
Beat well until creamy and smooth

Add 1 Beaten Egg, continue mixing well
Add Flour and Baking Powder and mix until well combined

Pour batter into the pan and spread evenly with the back of a spoon
Score the surface in a 1" criss-cross pattern with a sharp knife
Brush the surface with the egg wash

Sprinkle surface with Slivered Almonds

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes

The top will be golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean

I serve it with Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, Lemon Curd or Fruit Jam.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Raspberry Vinaigrette / Trisha Yearwood

Sometimes I spend hours researching a recipe. Sometimes it comes to me quickly and I can create my own.Other times I can be watching my favorite cooking shows and I see the perfect recipe.

Today I was watching Trisha Yearwood on the Food Network and she was making a Raspberry Vinaigrette. I began researching Raspberry Vinaigrette and I decided that  I would consider this one to be a Best of the Best!

Raspberry Vinaigrette:

1 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

 Combine the raspberries, vinegars, sugar and mustard in a blender until smooth. Slowly stream in the oil until combined.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Vegetarian Products that I endorse !

As a Vegetarian blogger, I thought I should post a list of the best Vegetarian alternative products that I endorse.
I know that we all have different tastes, likes and dislikes when it comes to food. I also know that it's more diverse when it comes to meat substitutes.
I've tried most of them and I admit that there are many that I do not like.
I decided to put together a list of Vegetarian Brands and Products that I use in my meatless recipes.
I hope this gives everyone a chance to try a meat free recipe using one of these products in place of meat.
I also state that in any of my meat free recipes, a non vegetarian can substitute the same measurements with a meat product.
I have made and served many meat free recipes to my non vegetarian friends and family and honestly.... they couldn't tell the difference.
I know that may sound odd to most non vegetarians, but you'd be surprised how good these recipes can be when using a meat free product. The health benefits alone are attractive.
When I first became a vegetarian, almost 20 years ago, the options were not as vast as they are now. I tried all of the available "burgers" and I soon discovered that there wasn't really a good one on the market. I'm not a fan of bean burgers and that was one of the most available burger replacements available. There were other "vegetable" based burger that were horrible.
Being vegetarian today is much easier with such a wide variety of replacement ingredients available.
The only vegetarian burger that I eat now is Morning Star's Griller's 1/4 Pounder.

Here's my list of favorites.

Field Roast Sausage:
Mexican Chipotle
Smoked Apple Sage

For all of my Soup Bases, Gravy and Sauces I use a product called Better Than Bouillon. It's available in Chicken Free, Beef Free and Vegetable.

Quorn Products:

Baked Chik'n Cutlets
Chik'n Tenders ( fully cooked)
Grounds ( for Chili and Spaghetti Sauce)
Spaghetti and Meat Balls
Cranberry and Goat Cheese Chik'n Cutlets
Gruyere Cheese Cutlets
Jalapeno & Three Cheese Stuffed Chik'n Cutlets
Garlic and Herb Chik'n Cutlets
Buffalo Bites

Yves Products:
Jumbo Hot Dogs

Deli Items:
Bologna / slices
Ham / slices
Turkey / slices
Salami / slices
Roast Beef
Smoked Chicken
Classic Brats
Zesty Italian Brats
Canadian Bacon
Breakfast Patties
Ground Round

Morning Star Products:

Bacon Strips
Breakfast Sausage Patties
Breakfast Sausage Links
Griller's 1/4 Pounder ( the only Burger that I eat)
Hickory BBQ Ribs ( I use these in my Hobo Beans recipe too)
Hot & Spicy Sausage Patties
Grillers Crumbles
Sausage Links

Lightlife and Gimme Lean Products:

Jumbo Smart Dogs
Smart Sausage / Italian and Chorizo these are fresh bulk similar to Jimmy Dean products
Gimme Lean fresh Beef and fresh Sausage ( also a bulk product like Jimmy Dean ) These are my favorites.

Tofurky Products:

Deli Slices
Roast ( I serve this at Thanksgiving, Christmas and I bake it and cube it for Chicken Salad. I also use it in my King Ranch Casserole)
Andouille Sausage
Spinach and Pesto Sausage
Chicken and Apple Sausage
Gourmet Sausages:
Beer Brats

Sophie's Kitchen / Vegan Seafood
Crab Cakes
Fish Fillets ( breaded)
Calamari (breaded)
Shrimp (breaded)
Breaded Fishless Sticks
Coconut Shrimp (breaded)
Smoked Salmon

Beef less Tips
Beef less Strips

You can see that the options are amazing.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Roasted Provencal Potatoes

This is a very simple Provencal recipe.
The end result is a very flavorful potato.
There are many varieties of Herbes de Provence.
The one I used has a blend of garlic, herbs, spices, sea salt and lemon peel.
The fragrance is incroyable!

Cut 1 1/2 pounds of Red Potatoes into 3/4" wedges

Toss in a bowl with 2 TBS oil, a pinch of salt, t TBS Herbes de Provence.
Place potatoes , flesh side down on a baking sheet
Cover tightly with heavy duty foil

Bake covered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
uncover and bake for 15 minutes
Turn over the wedges and bake for a final 15 minutes ( i use 2 forks to turn them)

Serve with Sour Cream and Bacon Bits

Peace in the Kitchen!

Taza Mexicano Chocolate Discs

I discovered Taza Mexicano Chocolate Discs when I created a recipe for an original Chocolate Cookie to enter in two competitions. I ended up a finalist in both contests. The cookie is delicious. I thought I had already posted it on the blog, apparently I haven't.
I will do that some day. Until then, here are three recipes using this amazing chocolate.
I realize that it's not really the best time to post a recipe for Hot Chocolate , but we often drink it on a cold night in summer when camping in the mountains.
I did add an Iced Chocolate version too. I'm also posting a different chocolate cookie recipe. If you love chocolate, you should love Chocolate Mexicano!

Taza Mexicano Chocolate was inspired by a passion for Mexican traditions, they hand carve granite millstones to make the rustic, organic chocolate discs with bright tastes and bold textures.
They are available in the following flavors and can be enhanced with liqueurs to further boost the flavors.

Oaxacan Mole
Salted Almond
Cacao Puro
Chipotle Chile
Guajillo Chile
Salt & Pepper

You can see that there are some amazing options when deciding on a recipe that calls for chocolate.

Taza Mexicano Hot Chocolate for One!

Choose your favorite flavor of chocolate discs
Grate 1 disc ( they come 2 to a package) with a micro plane or cheese grater

It takes 1 disc for 8 ounces of water or milk
In Mexico, Hot Chocolate is typically made with water. For a richer thicker version, use milk. I make it with milk.

In a saucepan, heat milk until just below boiling.
Remove from heat and add grated chocolate.
Mix to prevent chocolate from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add any flavoring if using unflavored chocolate or liqueur to enhance a flavored chocolate. ( Rum, Bourbon, Tequila, Vanilla)

Pour the chocolate into an earthenware pitcher and whisk.
Taza de Chocolate is typically served frothy with a head of foam.

Vigorously whisk the chocolate about 2 minutes.
Pour into mugs and garnish with whipped cream and additional grated chocolate .

Peace in the Kitchen!

Taza Iced Chocolate for 2!

1- 2.75 oz. package of your favorite flavor ( 2 discs)
2 C milk
1/4 C water
1/4 sugar
Shaved Chocolate
Whipped Cream

In a saucepan or kettle, heat water to boiling.
Finely shop or grate chocolate and place in a bowl with sugar

Pour boiling water into the bowl & whisk until melted and smooth.
Slowly add cold milk, whisking constantly until smooth.

Fill 2 glasses with ice and add the chocolate.
Top with whipped cream and additional grated chocolate

Peace in the Kitchen!

Taza Chocolate Cookies:

2 packages (4 discs) of your favorite flavor of Taza Chocolate Mexicano
3/4 C flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 C sugar
1/4 C butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Grate or chop chocolate into a glass bowl and microwave for 1 minute , almost melted.
Stir until smooth.
Cool to room temperature

In another bowl, combine flour, cinnamon & baking powder

In another bowl, cream sugar and butter with an electric hand mixer until creamy and smooth.
Add egg and beat well
Add cooled chocolate and vanilla and continue to beat until well blended.
Add flour mixture and continue beating until well combined.

Drop spoons full of dough onto a parchment paper lined baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, they will be almost set

Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes or until set.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Caramel Apple Bars

Caramel Apple Bars

1/2 C cold butter, cubed
1 pouch ( 1lb. 1.5 oz.) Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix
1 egg
1 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 C  peeled and finely chopped apple ( i prefer Jonagold)
3/4 C caramel topping
1/4 C flour

Spray a 9"X13" pan with a vegetable cooking spray

In a large bowl, cut butter into cookie mix using a pastry blender or 2 forks
Stir in egg until mixture is crumbly

Reserve 1/2 C cookie mixture
Press remaining cookie mixture into bottom of pan
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes
Sprinkle apple evenly over crust

In a small bowl, mix caramel topping and flour
drizzle over apples

Spread reserved cookie mixture over apples
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes
Cool 2 hours
cut into 9" X 4" rows

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars:

Cookie Base:
1 pouch (1 lb. 1.5 oz.) Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix
1/2 C crushed gingersnap cookies
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/2 C cold butter

2 packages (8oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 C sugar
1 C canned pumpkin ( not pie filling)
2 TBS flour
1 TBS pumpkin pie spice ( my homemade recipe is under Tips,Hints and More on the blog)
2 TBS heavy cream
2 eggs

1/3 C Chocolate Topping ( store bought in a jar)
1/3 C Caramel Topping (store bought in a jar)

In a large bowl, stir together:
cookie mix
crushed gingersnap cookies
Cut in butter using a pastry blender or 2 forks, until crumbly
Reserve 1 C of the mixture for topping

Press remaining mixture in the bottom of an un greased 9"X13"pan
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
Cool 10 minutes

In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until smooth
Add remaining filling ingredients
Beat until well blended
Pour over warm cookie base
Sprinkle with reserved topping

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes or until center is set
Cool 30 minutes
Refrigerate 2 hours

Before serving, drizzle with chocolate topping and then caramel topping

Cut 6 rows x 4 rows
Store covered in refrigerator

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Walnut Crust

I know this sounds like a Holiday recipe, and it is...... but it's never too early for me to plan a Holiday menu. I'll serve this at Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger Walnut Crust:

  • 4 oz gingersnap cookies (20- 1 3/4-inch cookies)
  • 1 C walnut halves, divided
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 12 oz. cream cheese 
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp  pumpkin pie spice ( my homemade recipe can be found under Tips, Hints and More on the Blog) I keep it in a jar in the pantry.
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1 16-oz container cottage cheese 
  • 1 15-oz can unseasoned pumpkin puree

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Tightly wrap the outside of the pan, bottom and sides, with heavy-duty foil to help keep the water bath from leaking into the cake. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath.
  2. Blend cookies and 1/3 cup walnuts to a fine meal in a food processor. Drizzle in oil and process, scraping the sides as needed, until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Place the pan in a roasting pan and set aside. Clean the food processor.
  3. Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer on medium-low speed until the spice is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until completely smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally. Add in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides occasionally. Add vanilla.
  4. Process cottage cheese in a food processor until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides once. Gradually beat the cottage cheese and pumpkin puree into the cream cheese mixture on medium speed with a hand mixer. Scrape down the sides and beat a final time to make sure no streaks remain. Pour the batter into the crust.
  5. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come 1 inch up the side of the springform pan to create a hot water bath for the cake. Carefully transfer the roasting pan to the oven. Bake the cheesecake until it’s set around the edges but the center still jiggles slightly, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.
  6. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Let the cake cool in the water bath until the water is room temperature. Coarsely chop the remaining 2/3 cup walnuts. Toast them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the water bath. Remove the foil. Sprinkle the walnuts on the top of the cheesecake.  Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 4 hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight if desired.
Peace during the Holidays!

Fruit Bars

Fruit Bars

2 pouches (1 lb. 1.5 oz. ea.) Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1 C butter, softened
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 eggs

1 can (21oz.) can of cherry pie filling or your favorite flavor

1 C powdered sugar
1 TBS milk
1/4 tsp almond extract

Spray a 9"x 13" pan with vegetable cooking spray

In a large bowl, stir:
base ingredients until soft dough forms
Press half of the dough in the bottom of the pan

Spread pie filling over the dough
Drop remaining dough  by  teaspoonfuls over the filling

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes
Cool 10 minutes

In a small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth
If necessary add additional milk (1 tsp at a time) until thin enough to drizzle
Drizzle glaze over warm bars
Cut 6 rows X 4 rows

Store in an airtight container

Peace in the Kitchen!

Double Chocolate Rocky Road Bars

Double Chocolate Rocky Road Bars

1 pouch (1 lb. 1.5 oz.) Betty Crocker Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix
1/4 C vegetable oil
2 TBS water
1 egg
1/2 tub ( 16oz.) Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Chocolate Ready-to-Spread Frosting ( 1 C )
1/3 C miniature marshmallows
1/2 C crushed pecans

Stir together in a medium bowl with a spoon:
cookie mix

Press into an un greased  8"x 8" pan
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, or until set
Cool 30 minutes

Stir together frosting and marshmallows
Spread evenly over bars
Sprinkle with pecans

Cut 4 rows x 4 rows

Peace in the Kitchen!

Peanut Butter Bar Cookies

The majority of these recipes are adapted or inspired by Betty Crocker and Pillsbury.

Cookie base:

1 pouch (1lb 1.5 oz.) Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix
3 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS water
1 egg


1/2 C light corn syrup
3 TBS butter, softened
3 TBS peanut butter
1 TBS + 1 1/2 tsp water
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
3 1/2 C powdered sugar

Caramel Layer:

1 bag (14 oz.) caramels, unwrapped
2 TBS water
1 1/2 C dry roasted peanuts


1 bag (11.5oz) milk chocolate chips ( 2 cups)

Spray a 9"x13" pan with vegetable cooking spray

In a large bowl, stir cookie base ingredients until soft dough forms
Press dough in bottom of pan
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes
Cool 30 minutes

In a large bowl, beat filling ingredients except powdered sugar, with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth
Gradually beat in powdered sugar until well blended ( it will be thick) 
Press filling over cookie base
Refrigerate while preparing caramel layer

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat caramels + 2TBS water on low heat.
Stir constantly until melted.
Stir in peanuts
Spread evenly over filling 
Refrigerate 15 minutes

In a small microwavable bowl, microwave the chocolate chips uncovered 1-2 minutes, stir once until melted
Spread evenly over caramel layer
Refrigerate 1 hour

Cut 9 rows by 4 rows
Store covered at room temperature

Peace in the Kitchen!

Asparagus and Herb Tart

I previously posted:

Asparagus Quiche
Asparagus and Hard Boiled Egg Casserole
Asparagus Bread Pudding
Provencal Cream of Asparagus Soup

They are all considered Best of the Best Recipes.

Here's one more to add to the list.
My wife recently bought the perfect rectangular Asparagus Tart Pan.

Asparagus and Herb Tart:

7 TBS cold butter, cubed
1 1/4 C flour
1 egg yolk

1 dozen spears of asparagus ( in a pot or skillet, boil just until tender, about 5 minutes)
Remove , drain and set aside

1 1/4 C heavy cream
2 eggs
2 TBS of your favorite fresh herbs, chopped ( thyme, rosemary, tarragon or  herbes de provence)

Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender of 2 forks, until crumbly and pea sized bits are formed.
Add egg yolk + 1-2 TBS ice water

Roll out dough to fit the pan you have, either a 9 inch round or a 6x16 rectangle.
place it in the pan and leave an overhang for now
Pearce  dough with the tines of a fork
Refrigerate for 30 minutes

Remove overhang with a rolling pin by running it over the top of the pan
Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven  and leave the pan on the baking sheet , reduce heat to 350 degrees

In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and eggs
Stir in herbs
Season with salt and pepper

Lay the asparagus spears, alternating the tips, in the tart pan

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the asparagus to coat well

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes

Peace in the Kitchen!

Christmas in Connecticut !

Christmas in Connecticut:
You're wondering why I have a post titled Christmas in Connecticut? Christmas in Connecticut is my favorite Christmas movie. I've added the synopsis here , explaining the craziness surrounding the plot.
As you read it you may figure out how it relates to my food blog.
I've had several friends ask if I cook and bake every recipe that I blog about, I do not!

Just like Elizabeth Lane, I too sit in the kitchen of my home, research and write about food and cooking, and post my favorite recipes. Unlike Elizabeth Lane, I can cook and bake and I absolutely enjoy it.
I can't imagine that I'm alone in the fact that I don't cook everything I blog about. 
As I watch the film, I enjoy the process that Elizabeth goes through, to come up with her weekly column. I could do that! 
The plot thickens when Elizabeth is expected to entertain and cook the perfect holiday meal for an injured soldier returning from the war. She's also expected to do all of this on her farm in Connecticut, that she has created in her column. Elizabeth can't cook, she can't entertain and she doesn't have a farm in Connecticut, but she is very convincing to everyone, that she can do it, and she does!

I also hope that what I create on my blog is very convincing to my readers. You're probably wondering if I truly was a hippy, do I really have a kitchen and do I enjoy peace in the kitchen ? ...... the answer is yes to all of those questions!

I hope you enjoy the story about Elizabeth Lane and her world of cooking and entertaining and I hope you have the chance to see the film this Christmas. In the mean time..... Enjoy! Peace in the Kitchen!

Christmas In Connecticut:

Although Elizabeth Lane, author of the popular magazine column "Diary of a Housewife," lives alone in a New York apartment and cannot cook, she writes about a bucolic life on a Connecticut farm with her husband and child and publishes as her own recipes she obtains from her chef friend, Felix Bassenak. During his recovery, Nurse Mary Lee reads Elizabeth's column to injured war hero Jefferson Jones and, hoping to interest Jeff in marriage, writes to Jonathan Yardley, the magazine's publisher, asking him to arrange for Jeff to spend Christmas on Elizabeth's farm. Yardley, who is a stickler for the truth, has no idea that Elizabeth has been inventing the details in her column and insists that she invite Jeff for the holidays. To make matters worse, Yardley invites himself to join them. Convinced that she is about to lose her job, Elizabeth accepts the marriage proposal of her friend, architect John Sloan, even though she does not love him. When Elizabeth's editor, Dudley Beecham, learns that John owns a Connecticut farm, however, he suggests that they use it to recreate the situation she has devised for the column. John arranges for the local judge to marry them at the farm, and Felix agrees to do the cooking. The practical John even arranges for a stand-in baby--one that his maid Norah cares for while its mother is at work in a defense plant. The planned marriage ceremony is interrupted when Jeff arrives earlier than scheduled. Elizabeth is immediately attracted to him and begins to regret her promise to marry John. Yardley's arrival completes the party. Elizabeth successfully carries out her deception despite a slight setback when she learns that the baby is a girl, not a boy as she first assumed. Felix, pretending to be Elizabeth's uncle, cooks a wonderful meal, and while Elizabeth decorates the Christmas tree, Jeff sings Christmas carols. After everyone has gone to bed, the judge returns, but once again the wedding is canceled when Yardley and Jeff sneak downstairs for a snack. When Jeff helps Elizabeth put the cow in the barn, she discovers that he is also attracted to her. On Christmas morning, Elizabeth confides in Felix, who eagerly comes to her aid. When the judge returns, Felix lies that the baby has swallowed a watch, and once again the wedding is postponed. That evening, at a community dance, Jeff and Elizabeth have eyes only for each other. They take a walk outside and sit in a sleigh to continue their conversation. Feeling their weight, the horse wanders off, and the couple is arrested for stealing the sleigh. Meanwhile, Yardley has returned to the farm and sees the baby's mother carrying her out. He believes that the baby has been kidnapped and notifies the police. In the morning, Elizabeth and Jeff return home, and Elizabeth tells the incredulous Yardley the truth. Furious at the deception, Yardley fires Elizabeth. Then Elizabeth and John quarrel and break up. The way seems clear for Elizabeth to marry Jeff, but her hopes are dashed when Mary arrives and announces that she is Jeff's fiancée. Soon, however, Felix learns that Mary has married another man and then convinces Yardley to rehire Elizabeth. Although Yardley offers Elizabeth a raise and offers John a contract as well, Elizabeth refuses to return. Then Jeff proposes, even though Felix warns him that Elizabeth cannot cook.

Campfire Recipes

Just a few recipes for the campfire.
I could do an entire series on campfire cooking and I may do that soon.
We have a place in the mountains in Colorado with an outdoor fire pit.
It's a large circle of very large rocks. We burn wood and charcoal and use grill racks on stones to cook.
We also have several stones with flat surfaces that we can set pans or coffee mugs on to keep them warm.
Here are just a few of my favorite campfire recipes.

Campfire Breakfast Potatoes:

This recipe serve 6

16 Yukon Gold Potatoes, quartered
3 TBS Salt
2 TBS Olive Oil
1 Red Bell Pepper, roughly diced
1 Green Pepper, roughly diced
1 Large Onion, roughly chopped
1 TBS fresh chopped Thyme
1 TBS fresh chopped Rosemary

Place potatoes in a saucepan add water to cover by 1 inch
Add salt
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes
Remove to a bowl
Add Oil, Herbs, Peppers and Onion
Toss to coat
Salt and Pepper to taste

Create 6 squares of double layered  Aluminum foil , at least 12"X12"
Divide potatoes evenly
Crimp well to seal completely
Place on grill or hot coals
Cook 45 minutes , turning once. Check for tenderness and adjust cooking time as needed.

Peace Around The Campfire!

Campfire Bread on a Branch:

2-3 C flour
1-2 TBS baking powder
1 tsp salt
2-3 TBS vegetable oil
2/3 C warm water

Mix all together with your fingers, except for the water, until crumbly texture
Slowly add water
Work the dough until it holds its shape
Do not add additional water

Pinch off a ball the size of a large marshmallow
Wrap around the end of a green branch/stick
Cook over coals about 10 to 12 minutes
Rotating to cook evenly

Serve with butter and jam

Peace Around The Campfire!

Campfire Fried Pies:
Pre heat a cast iron skillet on the grill or coals

1 can of biscuits
1 can of your favorite pie filling
butter and vegetable oil for frying
powdered sugar for dusting

Roll each biscuit into a circle about 6" in diameter
Place a TBS of pie filling in the center of each biscuit
Fold and crimp edges with a fork
Heat the butter and oil in the skillet
Brown one side of the pies
Flip and brown the other side

Serve warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar

Peace Around The Campfire!

Campfire Baked Potatoes and Onion:

large baking potatoes
large onions
butter, melted
fresh chopped herbs ( dill, parsley, rosemary, thyme, or herbes de provence) your choice!

Make a row of 6 slices across the potato, almost all the way through, leaving enough to hold its shape
Slice onions and place 1 slice into each slit in the potato
Brush with melted butter
Sprinkle with herbs

Wrap tightly in a double layer of foil, sealing completely
Place on grill or coals
Cook 45 minutes
Check for tenderness
Adjust cooking time accordingly

Serve with additional butter and sour cream

Peace Around The Campfire!

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Next Big Thing!

I posted many recipes based on All American Picnic Food. I'm working on posting recipes dedicated to the Best Traditional American Recipes.
Instead of posting them all together in a project, I'll begin posting them individually.
More to come........

Egg Salad Opened Face Sandwich

I love Egg Salad and I've previously posted and talked about Egg Salad.
Here is this week;s recipe from the Taste section of the Dallas Morning News.
The article and recipe were written by J.M Hirsch / The Associated Press.

Something about this was intriguing to me. It may be the fact that it has Cornichons , a bit of Hot Sauce or the simply that it's served open faces on toasted Sourdough Bread.

1/2 C Mayonnaise
2 TBS Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Hot Sauce ( Tabasco)
1/2 C finely chopped Cornichons (pickles) ( 12 pickles)
1/2 C finely chopped Celery ( 1 stalk)
8 Hard Boiled Eggs, roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper
4 slices of Sourdough Bread

In a bowl, whisk together:
Hot Sauce
Stir in:
Season with Salt and Pepper

Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight

Toast the slices of bread, while it's warm, top each slice with 1/4 C of the Egg Salad.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rhubarb Buckle with Ginger Crumble

This recipe is adapted from :
Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber & Julie Richardson
I discovered this recipe on a blog that I follow: Food52

Typically a Buckle is baked in a Casserole Dish. I like the fact that this one is made in a Cake Pan.
I love anything that is "Rustic" and this is a Rustic Dessert.

Rhubarb Buckle with Ginger Crumble:

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" Round Pie Pan brushed well with Butter.

Ginger Crumb Topping:
1/3 C Granulated Sugar
1/4 C Flour
1/4 C Finely Chopped Candied Ginger
2 TBS Butter, melted.

1 3/4 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Dried Ginger
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
12 TBS Butter, softened
1 C Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs
3/4 C  Buttermilk, room temperature
1 pound of Rhubarb, Thinly sliced. (4 C)

In a small mixing bowl:
Mix well by hand.

Melted Butter
Stir to combine well.
Cover with Plastic Wrap and put it in the Freezer.

Cake Batter:
In a large mixing bowl:
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Whisk well.

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Beat on Medium Speed until Light and Fluffy. (3 - 5 minutes)

Eggs, one at a time.
Mix until completely incorporated.

Flour in Three Additions, alternating with Buttermilk in Two Additional.
Begin and End with Dry Ingredients.

Gently Fold in the Rhubarb by hand.

Spread the Batter into the Pan.
Sprinkle the Top evenly with the Crumble.

Bake 45 - 50 minutes, until Golden Brown.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Blueberry Muffin Cake

This recipe is from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn.

Use my Pan Release, found on the blog under Tips, Hints and More,

to grease a 10" Tube Pan.

1 box of Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix
1 box (3.4oz.) Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
1 C Vanilla Yogurt
1/2 C Vegetable Oil
1/4 C Water
4 Eggs
1 C Fresh Blueberries, rinse and drain
Powdered Sugar for Dusting

Measure 2TBS of the Cake Mix and set aside

Place remaining cake mix, yogurt, oil, water and eggs in a large bowl
Mix in a stand mixer on low for 1 minute
Scrape the sides , increase the speed to medium and mix 2 more minutes
Batter should be thick and well blended

Toss the berries in the reserved cake mix

Pour 2/3 of the batter into the pan
Scatter blueberries over the batter
Spread the remaining batter over the blueberries so it covers all of the berries

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes

Remove to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes
Invert onto the rack
Cool for 30 minutes

Place on a serving Platter and dust with powdered sugar
Serve with Whipped Cream

Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fruit Brown Bettys / 7 recipes

Brown Betty is an American type of cobbler dating back to colonial times. It was based on a crumble of British origin.
In 1864, the Yale Literary Magazine printed an article with "brown" in lower case, making "Betty" the proper name. It's believed that Betty may have been the name of a slave cook or servant that first prepared the dish and brown was a reference to her complexion.
Brown Bettys are made with bread crumbs or cubed pieces of white bread, graham crackers crumbs and fruit, usually sliced apples, in alternating layers baked to the consistency of a bread pudding.
It's usually served with a sauce, whipped cream, custard, heavy cream or ice cream.

The following recipes are a variety of fruit Brown Bettys.

Apple Brown Betty is probably the most familiar recipe. Many of the recipes here are Amish or Mennonite.
They are very common recipes and can be found in many vintage cook books. I haven't researched recipes in newer books. I've adapted some of these recipes to make them more current. I've even changed some of the pan sizes, some recipes ask to bake it "in a pan". Older recipes have a tendency to be vague. It's not unusual to come across ingredients that no longer exist. I often see a recipe that says to use a "lump" of butter. Many recipes call for lard or oleo and I simply replace it with butter. If it said to bake "until".... I took the liberty to either putting in what I consider a basic direction or I  left it as stated.

Apple Brown Betty:

4 C sliced apples  ( I use Jonagold )
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 C cubed bread
2 tsp butter
1/4 hot water

Grease an 8"x8" pan with butter
Layer the pan in the following order:
a  layer of  half of the apples
a  layer of half of the bread
1/2 of the sugar
sprinkle with cinnamon
add the hot water

Cover with foil
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

Remove foil and bake until browned

Serve with a Lemon or Brandy Sauce.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Blueberry Brown Betty:

5 C fresh blueberries
1 TBS lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 C flour
1 C sugar
1/2 C butter

lemon juice
Place in an 8"x8" baking pan greased with butter ( I use my Pan Release , or you could use a vegetable cooking spray) Since Cooking Spray didn't exist when some of these recipes were written, most of them stated butter as the ingredient for greasing the pan.

Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl and spread over the berry mix.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  I would probably bake at 350 degrees and adjust the time...

Peace in the Kitchen!

Peach Brown Betty:

1 28oz can of sliced peaches
3 C stale bread crumbs
1/2 C butter, melted
1 C packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
zest of one lemon and the juice of 1/2 of the lemon

Place peaches and crumbs in a bowl
Add butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, zest and lemon juice

Butter an 8'x8' baking pan
Pour batter into the baking pan

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.

Enjoy! Peace in the Kitchen!

Pear Brown Betty:

6 C cubed fresh white bread
1/4 C butter, melted
2 cans ( 15 1/4 oz. ea.) sliced pears in heavy syrup. reserve only 1/2 C of the syrup
3/4 C firm pressed brown sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Butter an 8"x8"
Toss bread with melted butter in a large bowl

Combine pears, 1/2 C brown sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves

Layer :
1/3  bread
1/2 pear mixture
1/3  bread
repeat with remaining bread and pears

Top with reserved syrup
Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 C brown sugar

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pineapple Brown Betty:

15 graham crackers, crushed
3 C crushed pineapple
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 TBS butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Layer 1/3 of the graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of a buttered 8"x8" baking pan
Add half of the pineapple

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle half of it over the pineapple

Repeat crumbs and pineapple layers and sprinkle with remaining sugar
Dot with butter

Bake 30 minutes until brown and crusty

Serve with whipped cream

Peace in the Kitchen!

Banana Brown Betty:

2 1/2 C plain white bread crumbs
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick (8TBS) butter, melted

1 C heavy cream
2 eggs
1/2 C packed brown sugar
2 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C dark rum
4 bananas, sliced

Prepare Crumb mixture in a small bowl, mix well:
bread crumbs

Prepare filling:
In a saucepan bring milk to a simmer

In a small bowl,beat with an electric hand mixer:
beat until it thickens
Pour half of the warm milk into the egg mixture, whisk constantly
Whisk the mixture back into the warm milk in the saucepan
Simmer, whisking constantly until it thickens (about 1 minute), do not overcook

Remove from heat and whisk for another minute

Whisk in vanilla and rum

Fold bananas into the custard mixture

Press half of the breadcrumbs into an 8"x8" baking pan
Top with banana custard mixture
Top with remaining crumbs

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 mnutes
The top should be golden brown

Serve with whipped cream

Peace in the Kitchen!

Rhubarb Brown Betty:

1 C plain white bread crumbs
1/4 C packed brown sugar
2/3 C white granulated sugar + 1C
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
a pinch of cloves
4 C  (1" pieces of diced rhubarb)
zest of one lemon
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 C sliced almonds
4 TBS cold butter, cut into pieces + more for the skillet

Whisk together in a small bowl:
bread crumbs
brown sugar
1/4 C granulated sugar

In another bowl:
Toss rhubarb with remaining 2/3 C granulated sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice

Butter an 8"x8" baking dish

Sprinkle 3 TBS of the bread crumb mixture in the baking dish
Top with rhubarb
Sprinkle with remaining crumbs
Top with almonds
Dot with butter

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes
Cool slightly
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cobbler: This most popular rustic dessert is basically any fruit topped with a biscuit-like batter that's baked.

Crumbles and crisps: These two desserts are basically the same. They're fruit topped with a crumbly mixture of sugar, flour, and usually oats and/or nuts, which is then baked.

Grunt and slumps: Specialties of New England, these desserts are like cobbler, but they are cooked on the stove top, basically steamed under a lid.

Pandowdy: Also like cobbler, except that halfway during baking, the biscuit crust is pushed down into the fruit to absorb the liquid.

Betty: Similar to the crumble and crisp, a betty is made with fruit (usually apples) topped with bread crumbs or cubes.

Buckle: This dessert features layers of cake-like batter, fruit and crumbs.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Chex Mix..... My new Kicks! Here are 15 of my favorite Chex Mix Recipes!

As I got into the research for this project, I discovered too many recipes. I started posting them and I realized that I had to edit my list. I narrowed it down to 16 recipes. I've chosen the ones that I like best. I've included Savory and Sweet.
I hope everyone takes some time to read these, pick out some favorites and make them.
I've been eating Chex Mixes for ...... I can't even tell you how long!

Chex Mix
An American snack made from breakfast cereal as a major ingredient. Chex cereal was created in 1937.
By 1952, a recipe for "Chex Party Mix" appeared on the cereal box.
The party mix became popular as a holiday treat when in 1955, the wife of a Ralston Purina executive in St. Louis served the snack at a holiday party.
I remember having the Original Chex Party Mix at every holiday when I was young.
All of the commercial Chex mixes contain one or more of Chex cereals.
Here are some of the most popular Iconic American Chex mixes. There are so many that I could never post them all. It was difficult to choose, Most of them are from Pillsbury, a division of the General Mills Corporation.

I have to start with the Original recipe that I remember as a child.
This is the recipe that my mother made.

Original Chex Party Mix:

melt 1/2 C butter in a shallow baking pan
stir in 1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
add 2 C Wheat Chex
2 C Rice Chex
1/2 C mixed nuts
sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic salt
mix well

Heat 30 minutes in a 300 degree oven
stirring every 10 minutes

Peace in the Kitchen!

Apple Pie Mix:

3 C Rice Chex
3 C Corn Chex
1/2 C chopped Walnuts
1/2 C packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
2 C Dried or Freeze Dried Apples, roughly chopped if necessary
1 tsp Crisco ( shortening)

In a large microwavable bowl, mix Cereals and Nuts

In a microwavable 2 C measuring cup:
melt Butter 30 seconds
Stir in :
Brown Sugar
Microwave 1 minute until bubbling
Pour evenly over Cereal and mix well

Microwave the Cereal again for 4 minutes, stirring every minute

Spread mixture on Waxed Paper or Foil and cool completely
Sprinkle Apples over mixture

In another microwavable bowl, melt Vanilla Chips and Shortening. Stir until smooth
Drizzle over Cereal
Cool completely
Break into bite sized pieces

Peace in the Kitchen!

Taco Chex Mix:

3 C Rice Chex
3 C Corn Chex
2 C bite sized Cheese Crackers ( CHEEZ - IT Crackers )
2 C bite sized Pretzel Twists
1 C Salted Peanuts
3 TBS Vegetable Oil
2 TBS Water
1 package of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix

In a large microwavable bowl:
Mix well

In a small microwavable bowl:
Mix well
Pour over Cereal mixture
Stir to coat well

Microwave the mixture uncovered for 5 minutes
Stir every 2 minutes, it will begin to brown
Spread onto waxed paper
Cool completely

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cheesy - Ranch Mix:

3 C Corn Chex
3 C Rice Chex
3 C Wheat Chex
2 C bite sized Pretzel Twists
2 C CHEEZ - IT Crackers
3 TBS Butter, melted
1 package of Ranch Dressing / Seasoning Mix ( 1 oz.)
1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a large microwavable bowl:

In a smaller microwavable bowl:
melt Butter
Poor over Cereal mixture
Mix well
Mix in Ranch Seasoning, mix to coat well

Microwave the Mix uncovered for 3 minutes, stirring every minute

Spread on waxed paper to cool
Cool completely

Peace in the Kitchen!

Chili & Garlic Mix:

8 C Rice Chex
1 bag Butter Flavored Microwave Popcorn, popped
1/4 C Dry Roasted Peanuts
3 TBS Vegetable Oil
1/3 C grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tsp Chili Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder

Heat oven to 300 degrees

In a large bowl:
Mix well
Drizzle  with Oil and toss to coat well

In a small bowl:
Mix remaining ingredients
Sprinkle over Cereal
Toss to coat well

Spread out in a large Roasting Pan
Bake 15 minutes
Stirring once

Spread onto waxed paper to cool completely

Peace in the Kitchen

Barbecue Chex Mix:

6 C Corn Chex
1 1/2 C bite sized Pretzel Twists
1 1/2 C CHEEZ - IT crackers
3/4 C Honey Roasted Peanuts
1/2 C Barbecue Sause
1 TBS Vegetable Oil
3/4 tsp Garlic Powder

Preheat Oven to 250 degrees

In a large bowl:
Mix well
Set aside

In a small bowl:
Remaining ingredients, stir well
Pour over Cereal mixture and mix well to coat
Spread in a roasting pan
Bake 1 hour , stirring every 15 minutes

Cool completely

Peace in the Kitchen!

Mexican Chex Mix:

This one is easy to make and one of my favorites!

1 bag Buttered Flavored Microwave Popcorn, popped ( remove un popped Kernels)
8 C Corn Chex
4 C Corn Chips ( Fritos), use spicy if you want more heat)
2 C CHEEZ -IT Crackers
3 TBS Butter, melted
1/3 C grated Parmesan Cheese
1 package ( 1 oz.) Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix

In a 2 gal. resealable plastic Food Storage Bag:
Corn Chips
Drizzle with Butter
Seal and Shake to coat well

Add Crackers and Taco Seasoning to the bag
Seal and Shake again to coat well

Store in an airtight container

Peace in the Kitchen!

The Big Game Mix:

This is another favorite!

3 C Corn Chex
3 C Rice Chex
3 C Wheat Chex
2 C Honey Mustard flavored Pretzel Nuggets
1 C Smoked Almonds
1/4 C Butter
2 TBS Yellow Mustard
2 TBS Honey
1 tsp Seasoned Salt ( Lawry's, Morton, Bodia, Great Value )

In a large microwavable bowl:

In a microwavable measuring cup, uncovered, until melted ( about 1 minute)
Seasoned Salt
Pour over cereal mixture
Stir to coat evenly

Microwave the Mix for 5 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes
The mix will begin to brown

Spread onto Waxed Paper and cool completely

Peace in the Kitchen!

Lemon Rosemary Mix:

2 C Corn Chex
2 C Rice Chex
2 C Wheat Chex

1/4 C Butter
2 TBS Fresh Rosemary, minced
1 TBS Lemon Zest
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 C Raw Almonds
1 C Parmesan Flavored Crackers ( CHEEZ -IT , Stonewall Kitchen)

In a large mixing bowl, melt Butter
Lemon Zest
Garlic Powder
Mix well

Mix well

Microwave 5 minutes
Stir every 2 minutes
Spread onto a cookie sheet to cool completely

Peace in the Kitchen!

Hot Buttered Rum Mix:

3 C Cinnamon Chex Cereal
3 C Honey Nut Chex Cereal
1/4 C Butter
1/4 C Packed Brown Sugar
2 TBS Honey
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 tsp Nutmeg
3/4 tsp Clove
1 tsp Rum Flavoring
2 C Miniature Marshmallows

Combine Cereals in a large microwavable bowl

In a 2 C microwavable measuring cup, melt :
Brown Sugar
Until bubbling

Blend in:
mix to coat well

Cool about 5 minutes
Add Marshmallows

Spread on Waxed Paper
Cool completely

Peace in the Kitchen!

Caramel Corn Mix

4 C Popped Microwavable Popcorn, discard un popped kernels
4 C Corn Chex
1 C Mixed Nuts, no Peanuts
1/2 C Butter ( 8 TBS or 1 Stick), cut into pieces
3/4 C packed Brown Sugar
1/4 C Light Corn Sugar
1/2 C White Vanilla Baking Chips
1/2 C Dried Cranberries

In a large microwavable bowl
mix well and set aside

In a 2 C microwavable measuring cup, uncovered
Brown Sugar
Corn Syrup
Heat until bubbling, stirring often

Pour over Cereal
mix to coat well

Microwave the Cereal uncovered about 5 minutes, stirring and scraping the sides of the bowl every minute just until it starts to brown
Spread on Waxed Paper or Foil
Stir to break up

In a medium microwavable bowl:
heat chips until melted and smooth
Add 3/4 C of the Cereal mixture to the melted chips
Toss gently to coat well

Spread on Waxed Paper or Foil
Cool 30 minutes

In a large serving bowl:
Combine both bowls of Cereal
Stir in Cranberries

Peace in the Kitchen!

Chocolate Caramel Mix:

8 C Chocolate Chex
3/4 C packed Brown Sugar
6 TBS Butter
3 TBS Light Corn Sugar
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 C Vanilla flavored Baking Chips or Chocolate

Place Cereal in a large microwavable bowl and set aside

Line a Cookie Sheet with Waxed Paper and set aside

In a 2 C Microwavable Measuring Cup:
Brown Sugar
Corn Syrup
Heat for 1- 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until smooth
Stir in Baking Soda until dissolved

Pour over Cereal, mix to coat evenly
Microwave 3 minutes, stirring every minute

Spread out on the Cookie Sheet
Cool 10 minutes
Break into pieces

In a medium microwavable bowl:
Vanilla Chips
heat 1 minute or until melted and smooth
Drizzle over Cereal Mix
Refrigerate until set

Peace in the Kitchen!

Muddy Buddy Mix:

9 C Chocolate Chex
1 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 C Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 C Powdered Sugar

Place Cereal in a large bowl

In a 1 quart bowl:
Chocolate Chips
Peanut Butter
1 minute, or until melted and smooth
Stir in Vanilla
Pour over Cereal and stir until well coated

Place Cereal into a 2 gallon resealable Food Storage Bag
Add Powdered Sugar
Seal and Shake until well coated

Spread onto Waxed Paper
Cool completely
Store refrigerated in an airtight container

Peace in the Kitchen!

Chex Brittle:
8 C Rice Chex
1 C Salted Peanuts
1 C (14oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk ( not Evaporated Milk)
1 tsp Vanilla

Heat oven to 300 degrees

Spray 2 - 15"x10"x1"  Baking Sheet Pans with Vegetable Cooking Spray

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until evenly coated
Spread onto the Baking Sheet Pans in a single layer

Bake for 20 - 22 minutes until golden brown ( be careful not to over bake)
Spread on Waxed Paper
Cool completely ( about 15 minutes)
Break into pieces

Peace in the Kitchen!

Campfire Popcorn Mix:

6 C Popped Buttered Flavored Microwave Popcorn ( 3oz. bag) remove un popped kernels
4 C Corn Chex
1- 7oz Jar of Marshmallow Creme

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Spray a Baking Sheet Pan with Vegetable Cooking Spray

In a large bowl:
Mix well and set aside

Empty the jar of Marshmallow Creme into a medium sized microwavable bowl
Heat 2 minutes , stirring after 1 minute, until smooth and creamy. Stir well
Pour over the Cereal and stir until evenly coated

Spread on Baking Sheet
Bake 10 minutes
Stirring after 5 minutes
Cooking will be complete when the coating begins to turn Light Golden Brown ( do not over bake)

Spread on Waxed Paper
Cool completely

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pumpkin Chex Mix:

1/4 C well packed Brown Sugar
1 TBS Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 TBS (1/4 C)  Butter
2 tsp Vanilla
2 C Cinnamon Chex Cereal
2 C Wheat Chex Cereal
2 C Honey Nut Chex Cereal
2 C Pecan Halves

In a small mixing bowl:
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Whisk well.
Set aside.

In a large 6 C or 8 C Microwave safe bowl (I use an 8 C Pyrex Measuring Cup):
Cinnamon Chex
Wheat Chex
Honey Nut Chex
Toss well.
Pour Butter over the mix and toss again.
Sprinkle with Sugar and Spice Mix.
Toss until well mixed.
Heat in a Microwave for 5 minutes in 1 minute increments, stirring every minute.
Remove and spread evenly onto a Parchment Paper lined Sheet Pan.
Cool Completely.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Eggs....... a new category of recipes ! Here are 9 of my Favorite Texas Egg Recipes!

This is a series on Egg recipes.
I happen to like most recipes made with eggs.

Here's a twist on the popular Mexican dish called Chiles Rellenos.
It becomes a breakfast recipe.

Chiles Rellenos Breakfast Casserole:

4 slices white bread
Softened butter
2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
6 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
  1. Lightly butter bread slices and place into a greased 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle cheeses evenly over bread slices, then sprinkle chilies over the cheese.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, mixing well. Pour over bread and cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Bake at 325°F (160°C) for 50 to 60 minutes. Garnish with more cheese, if desired and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Egg Skillet:

1 TBS Vegetable Oil
2 C Frozen Potatoes O'Brien
4 Eggs
1/4 C Milk
1/4 TSP Salt
1/4 TSP Pepper
1/2 C shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
1/4 C Crumbled Tortilla Chips
1 TBS chopped Cilantro

Heat Oil in a Cast Iron Skillet medium heat until hot
Add Potatoes, cook covered, stirring occasionally , about 8 minutes

Whisk Eggs, Milk, Salt and Pepper in a bowl
Reduce heat 
Pour Eggs over Potatoes
As Eggs begin to set, gently pull them across the pan with a spatula.
Continue cooking until Eggs are thickened and no visible liquid remains

Sprinkle with Cheese
Remove from heat and cover the pan
Let stand until the Cheese has melted
Top with Chips and Cilantro

Serve with my homemade Salsa

Peace in the Kitchen!

This is one of my favorite Mexican Breakfast Recipes.

1C Pace Chunky Salsa
2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
6 (6-inch) Corn Tortillas halved, cut into thin strips
12 large Eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Queso Fresco, crumbled

Coat a 10" Cast Iron Skillet with a Vegetable Cooking Spray.
Heat over Medium heat until hot.
Add Salsa and Tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
Add Tortilla Strips, stir to combine and cook about 1 minute.
Pour Eggs over the mixture.
Gently move the Eggs and continue to cook until Eggs are soft.
Cover the mixture with the Cheese
Broil about 2 - 3 minutes until the Cheese softens.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Huevos Rancheros:
Another Traditional Mexican Breakfast Recipe

10 fried Eggs
2 TBS Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, cut into thin wedges
1 cup sliced Green Bell Pepper
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 (16-ounce) jar of Salsa
1 (4-ounce) can diced Green Chiles
10 8" Corn Tortillas
1 cup shredded Queso Quesadilla Cheese

Heat Oil in a skillet over medium heat 
Add Onion, Bell Pepper and Garlic
Cook stirring until tender
Add Salsa and Chiles 
Bring to a boil
Remove from heat
Top each Tortilla with Salsa, 1 Egg and Cheese
Peace in the Kitchen!

Texas Crock Pot Breakfast:

2 TBS Vegetable Oil
2 - 14 oz. packages of Lightlife Gimme Lean Bulk Sausage
6 Yukon Gold Potatoes , peeled and cubed
1 Red Onion, diced
1 Poblano Pepper, seeded and diced
1 dozen Eggs
1/3 C Milk
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 C shredded Queso Quesadilla Cheese

Brown the Sausage in a skillet in Oil
Spray the Crock Pot with Vegetable Cooking Spray

In the Crock Pot, mix together:
Poblano Pepper
Cover and cook on low for 6 hours

In a bowl, whisk together:

Pour this mixture over the mixture in the Crock Pot
Top with Cheese
Cover and cook another hour

Serve with my homemade Salsa

Peace in the Kitchen

Cowboy Scrambled Eggs:
3 TBS Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, diced
1 Jalapeno, finely diced
1 Roma Tomato, diced
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 Eggs, beaten
2 TBS chopped Cilantro

Heat Oil in a 10" Cast Iron Skillet
Add Onion, Jalapeno, saute until Onions are translucent, about 6 minutes
Add Tomato
Season with Salt and Pepper 

Add Eggs and Cilantro
Cook about 4 minutes

Peace in the Kitchen!

Chuck Wagon Breakfast:

1- 14oz. package of Lightlife Gimme Lean Sausage
5 C Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns ( from a 32 oz. bag)
1 4oz. can of diced Green Chiles, undrained
3 C Shredded Queso Quesadilla Cheese
6 Eggs 
1 1/2 C Milk
1/4 tsp Salt
1 C Pace Chunky Salsa

Spray a 9'x13" baking dish with Vegetable Spray

In a skillet, cook Sausage on medium heat about 8 - 10 minutes, stirring often

Spread Frozen Potatoes in the dish
Sprinkle with Sausage, Chiles and 1 1/2 C Cheese

In a bowl, whisk:
Pour over the Potatoes

Sprinkle with remaining Cheese

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 50 - 60 minutes

Let stand for 10 minutes
Cut into squares
Serve with my homemade Salsa

Peace in the Kitchen!

Texas Hash Brown Casserole:

4 TBS Vegetable Oil, divided
1 - 12oz. package of Yves Vegetarian Chorizo Sausage ( a 2 link package, casing removed)
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 C Enchilada Sauce
1/3 C diced Onion
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
3 pounds of Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 Egg, beaten
1 C Shredded Queso Quesadilla Cheese
1 1/2 tsp Lime Juice
1/4 C chopped Fresh Cilantro
1/4 C diced Onion

Heat a 10" Cast Iron Skillet on medium heat
Add Oil
Add Sausage and Saute 3 minutes, stirring to crumble
Add Garlic, saute 3o seconds more
Remove Sausage from pan and combine with Enchilada Sauce in a bowl and set aside

Add remaining Oil to the skillet
Combine Onion , Salt, Pepper, Potatoes, and Egg
Stir and press it down gently with a spatula
Cook 10 minutes more without stirring again

Spread Chorizo mixture and spread evenly over the Potato mixture

Sprinkle with Cheese
Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes
Let stand for 10 minutes

Cut into 6 wedges

Combine Avocado and Lime Juice, toss gently
Add remaining Onion to this mixture and mix well
Serve this with each wedge

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Tortilla Cups:

1 6C Muffin Tin
6 6" Corn Tortillas
Vegetable Cooking Spray

6 tsp Adobo Sauce from a can of Chipotle Chiles
6 Eggs
1/2 C Shredded Queso Quesadilla Cheese
1 Avocado, diced
Chopped Cilantro for garnish

Spray Muffin Tin Cups with Vegetable Spray

Microwave Tortillas for 10 seconds to soften
Tuck 1 Tortilla into each cup
Place 1 tsp Adobo Sauce in each cup
Crack 1 Egg into each cup

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

Remove from oven
Sprinkle with Cheese

Return to oven for 5 minutes more

Remove cups from Muffin Tin
Top each one with Avocado and Cilantro

Serve with my homemade Salsa

Peace in the Kitchen!