Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hot Dogs with Cheddar Cheese and Sautéed Apples from Food and Wine

I'm vegetarian and I love Veggie Dogs. I like different combinations of condiments and accompaniments with Hot Dogs. I like idea of a Pretzel Bun with my Hot Dog.
This recipe that, I adapted from Food and Wine, is very appealing to me.

  1. 2 TBS Butter
  2. 3 large Granny Smith Apples—peeled, halved, cored and cut into scant 1/2" wedges
  3. 3 TBS  Brown Sugar.
  4. A pinch of Cinnamon
  5. 6 Hot Dogs ( I use a Veggie Hot Dog)
  6. 6 long Pretzel Rolls 
  7. Thinly sliced Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  8. Preheat the oven to 450°. 
  9. In a large skillet:
  10. Melt Butter. 
  11. Add the Apples and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until barely softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  12.  Add the Brown Sugar and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the Apples are tender and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes longer. 
  13. Stir in the Cinnamon and keep warm.
  14. Heat a grill pan. Grill the Hot Dogs over high heat until lightly charred all over, about 5 minutes. 
  15. On a baking sheet, place the Hot Dogs in the Rolls and top with the Cheddar Cheese. Bake for about 3 minutes, just until the cheese is melted.
  16.  Top with the Apples and serve at once.
Enjoy! Peace in the Kitchen!

Crockpot Chocolate Nut Clusters

I created this recipe after doing research on many different variations of Holiday Crockpot Nut Clusters.
I wanted a version without Peanuts. I decided to make mine with Cashews, Almonds, Pecans and Hazelnuts.

2 C Whole Salted Cashews
2 C Whole Roasted Almonds
2 C Pecan Halves
2 C Whole Roasted Hazelnuts
1 - 12oz. bag of Hershey's SemiSweet Chocolate Chips
1 - 12 oz. bag of Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips
2 - 10 oz. bags of Reese's Peanut Butter Chips
2 - 1 lb. packages of Log House or Plymouth Pantry White Almond Bark
1 TBS Crisco
1 tsp Vanilla

Layer in a large crockpot in the following order:
Semisweet Chocolate Chips
Dark Chocolate Chips
Peanut Butter Chips
White Almond Bark
Do not stir.

Cover and heat on Low for 2 hours.
Add Vanilla and Stir to mix well.
Cover again and heat for 30 minutes.

Pour onto Waxed Paper to cool completely.
Break into clusters to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries Cereal Cookies

I happen to love Cap'n Crunch Cereal. It was always my favorite cereal as a child and continued to be as an adult.
What a perfect cookie recipe for me, and........ maybe for you too!

Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries Cereal Cookies:

1 1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 C butter, softened
1 C granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange extract
2 C Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries Cereal. (for Halloween I use Peanut Butter Crunch Cereal)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl:
Baking Soda
Whisk well and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer:
Beat until creamy.
Orange Extract
Beat well.

Gradually add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Fold in the cereal by hand.

Using a 1 1/2" cookie scoop, drop cookies 2" apart onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
Bake for 11 - 13 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to the rack and cool completely.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Apple,Cinnamon, Raisin Bread Pudding

Apple, Cinnamon, Raisin Bread Pudding

I've made the same Bread Pudding recipe since the early 70's. It's basic and it's my favorite. It's posted on the blog. I never thought I would ever make another one.
It's Fall, the weather is getting cooler and Apples are abundant. I decided to create this Fall Bread Pudding. I took parts of my original recipe and added to it, adapting it to create this recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9"X13" pan
3 TBS of Butter
Make a Cinnamon/Sugar mixture with 1/4 C Granulated Sugar and 1 TBS Cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

2 C Heavy Cream
2 C Whole Milk
1 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar
6 Eggs
2 TBS Vanilla
1 TBS Cinnamon
1 Day Old Baguette , 1/2" slices
1 C Golden Raisins
1/2 pound of Jonagold Apples. Peeled, Cored and roughly chopped.

Place the pan in oven with the 3 TBS of Butter , melt the butter and brush the pan evenly on the bottom and sides.
Leave the pan in the oven.

In a large mixing bowl:
Mix Bread and Milk by hand
Add all other ingredients.
Pour the mixture in the pan.
Sprinkle evenly with Cinnamon/Sugar Mix.
Bake for 45 minutes

Another option is to bake the Pudding in Muffin Tins lined with paper cups.
If you bake the Pudding in Muffin Tins, make sure to break up the bread into small pieces, not slices.
Spray the paper cups with a vegetable cooking spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Serve with The Queens Sauce:
1 Pint Heavy Cream
3 Eggs
1/2C Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 C Brandy or Whiskey

In the top of a doubler boiler,  place the Cream and Eggs and whisk well
Add Sugar and Vanilla
Stir constantly for 10 minutes
Slowly add the Brandy or Whiskey and whisk until incorporated

Here's another Whiskey Sauce :

In a sauce pan, over medium low heat:
1/2 stick of butter
The juice of 1 lemon
1 C apple cider
1/2 C brown sugar
a pinch of salt
1 C Bourbon Whiskey

Cook to reduce to 1/2
Serve on the side with Bread Pudding.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Friday, October 31, 2014

What to do with all of that left over Halloween Candy!

Turn it into yummy desserts.

Sticky Finger Squares:

If I had to live with the cookbooks of just one chef, it would have to be Rebecca Rather. I'm enthusiastic about every recipe she creates. She used to have a restaurant in a nearby town and I regret having never had the opportunity to visit the restaurant before it closed. She is at the top of my list of great chefs.

Here's an adaptation of her recipe for Sticky Finger Bars.
I haven't changed the integrity of the original recipe. I only re wrote the recipe in my own words and style.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" pan, lined with foil extending over the edges and sprayed with a cooking spray. ( I cut 2 separate pieces of foil for this and layer them in the pan. One piece fits along the length and the other runs the width of the pan.


16 TBS (2sticks) Butter, room temperature
1 C granulated Sugar
1 TBS Vanilla
2 C Flour
1/2 C roughly chopped Peanuts
4 - (2.7oz.) Snickers Candy Bars, cut into 1/4" slices


3 large Eggs
1 1/4 C granulated Sugar
1/4 C Lyles Golden Syrup ( I buy Golden Syrup at our local British Emporium)
2 TBS Butter, melted
1 TBS Vanilla
A pinch of Salt

Other ingredients:
1 C Creamy Peanut Butter
1 C coarsely chopped Peanuts
3 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, roughly chopped.

Crust Directions:

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Add and beat on Low Speed:
Beat just until mixed.
Press evenly into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.
Remove the pan to a rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Cover the Crust with the Snickers Bars. Leave about 1/4" between each piece.

Filling Directions:

In a large mixing bowl:
Whisk by hand.
Pour ove the Crust.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.
Remove pan to a rack to cool for 30 minutes.

Spread Peanut Butter evenly over the top of the filling.
Sprinkle with an even layer of Peanuts.

Melt the Chocolate in a Microwave Oven until completely melted and smooth.
Check and stir often.
Drizzle evenly over the Peanuts.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Pull the bars out of the pan using the edges of the foil.
Peel away the foil and transfer the bars to a cutting board.
Cut into squares to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cowboy Pie:

This recipe is very vague as is the original from Hill Country Chicken in New York City.

I saw a story about the restaurant with a brief description of the pie. It sounded interesting to me.
I tried to find the recipe and was unsuccessful so I wrote to the restaurant and received a response from
Alexis Lenhart.
She gave me a brief description of the preparation of the pie. Apparently there really isn't a "recipe", but here's the suggested ingredients and quantities:

The recipe was inspired by the Restaurant's Founder's childhood memory and his passion for the Texas style home cooking of his mother and grandmother.

1 pre-baked Graham Cracker Crust, Oreo Crust, or Shortbread Crust.
Fill the crust with 2C of your favorite Chocolate Chips, such as Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or White Chocolate , or a combination of any of them. Also 1 C of any alternative chips such as Butterscotch, Toffee, Peanut Butter or Caramel . 1 C of your favorite chopped up Candy Bar.
1 1/2 C Sweetened Coconut Flakes. 1 1/2 C your favorite chopped Nuts.

To bind everything, mix 1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk with 1C of Dulce de Leche and a little bit of Sea Salt. Or 2 cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk if you can't find Dulce de Leche.

Mix together all of the ingredients until everything is coated well with the milk and pour into the crust.
Pat down the top of the pie to make it even and fill in any holes.
Tap the Pie Pan to settle the mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cool completely before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies:

I just saw these on an episode of The Pioneer Woman. It may not be new to some of you, I've never seen these before.
They are simple, quick and delicious.
I decided to simply re post her recipe.

Refrigerator Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
Miniature Reeses Pieces Peanut Butter Cups


  • Refrigerator Cookie Dough
  • Miniature Chocolate Candies

Preparation Instructions

Slice the cookie dough into 1 to 1 ½ inch slices. Lay the slices on their side and cut them into quarters. Place each quarter into a greased mini-muffin tin. Peel the wrapper from as many pieces of candy as cookies you’re going to make. 
Bake the cookie dough in a 350-degree oven for just a few minutes, about 6 to 8 at the most. You’ll want to take them out just when they start to turn golden.
Almost as soon as you pull the warm cookies from the oven, begin lightly pressing one piece of candy into each cookie. The warmer the cookies, the better. They’ll grab onto the pieces of candy and work their magic, making the candy nice and soft and melty. And ridiculous.
When they’re all done, carefully remove from muffin tins with a spoon and arrange on a nice decorative platter.

Peace in the Kitchen!

5 Cent Chocolate Candy Bar Pie:

Another of the archived recipes from my Aunt. ( I am definitely going to try this one after I research the size of the candy bars) I haven't checked yet....... I'll add a note if I find out.

Note: Apparently the recipe was well known, there are many variations of the recipe. It looks like the size was 1.5 oz / 43G.
A variation was definitely made with the Almond Bar, I will probably do that

I'm trying to figure out if that 5 cent chocolate candy bar was as simple as a Hershey's candy bar.
It states that you can make it with plain or almond.
It doesn't state the size, maybe there was only one size in those days.

So, here's the recipe:

5 - 5 cent Chocolate Candy Bars, plain or almond
16 - full sized Marshmallows
1/2 C Milk
1 C whipped cream ( about 2/3 of a 1/2 pint bottle of Heavy Cream) I find this amusing!
1/8 tsp salt
1 - 8" shell, either cracker or crum pastry.  )Do you think it was Graham Cracker)?, I don't know!

Melt Candy Bars, Marshmallows and Milk in the top of a double boiler.
Add salt and fold in Whipped Cream.

Fill the Pie Shell and garnish with Slivered Almonds.
Chill thoroughly.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Chocolate Butterfinger Cake:

A friend of mine sent me this recipe. Thanks Lauren. I changed the name.
It sounds like another family gathering, church function cake.
I would make it in a 9"X13" pan.

Prepare your favorite boxed Chocolate Cake recipe as directed in a 9"X13" pan.

You'll also need:
1 (14oz.) can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 - jar of Caramel Topping
5 Butter Finger Candy Bars, crushed
1 (8oz.) package of Cream Cheese , softened
1 (12.oz) container of Whipped Topping

Mix Caramel and Sweetened Condensed Milk together.
Poke holes in the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Pour Caramel mixture evenly over the entire cake.
Sprinkle 1/2 of the crushed candy bars evenly over the Caramel.

Chill completely in the refrigerator.

Mix Cream Cheese and Whipped Topping together  with a hand mixer , until smooth.
Spread evenly over entire cooled cake.
Sprinkle with remaining crushed Candy Candy Bars.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Hot Onion Dip and a collection of other dips on my blog

I love Onions in any recipe. I have an entire cookbook dedicated to Onions.
Here's one more great Onion Dip.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1 - 2 quart casserole dish,  seasoned with a vegetable non stick spray. (I use a Terra Cotta Clay Bram) There's a photograph of it at the end of this page.

Hot Onion Dip:

2 - 8oz. packages of Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 package of Boursin Cheese or Goat Cheese, softened
1 1/2 C Sweet Vidalia Onions, diced.
1/4 C shredded Gruyere Cheese
An assortment of crackers for serving.

In a large Mixing Bowl, and an electric hand mixer.
Blend all ingredients well.
Spoon into the casserole dish.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Serve warm with crackers.

Peace in the Kitchen!

This does not need an introduction. I love dips!
If you haven't made my Tex-Mex Corn Dips, be sure to search them on the blog. They're still our favorite dips to take to an event or to serve to the family. Check out the list at the bottom of this page for all of the dips you can search on the blog.
This dip is very easy and delicious.

Baked Onion Dip:

2 C chopped Vidalia Onions
2 C Mayonnaise
2 C grated Parmesan Cheese or Swiss Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Prepare a 2 quart baking dish with a non stick vegetable spray.
Pour the mixture in the dish and bake for 45 minutes.
The top should be slightly browned.
Serve hot with a variety of crackers, pita chips, bagel chips........ etc!

I posted  other recipes for  Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip and another Red Pepper Dip made with fresh Peppers, which I really like.  I'll repost them at the end of this one. This is my favorite Roasted Red Pepper Dip without the addition of Eggplant.
Traditionally I would serve this with Pita Chips or on Toasted Slices of French Baguette Bread. However, I'm eating healthier now so I serve this with fresh vegetables ( Celery, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower , Cucumber Slices, etc.)

This version is easy to make and packed with spices for a great flavor.

You'll need a Food Processor.

1 - (15oz.) Can of Garbanzo Beans
1 - (4oz.) Jar of Roasted Red Peppers, drained
3 TBS Tahini
1 Garlic Clove, minces
1/2 tsp Chile Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt

Combine all ingredients in a Food Processor.
Pulse until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Refrigerate before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I've been looking for a good Roasted Red Pepper Dip.
I haven't had much success finding something that impresses me.
I decided to create my own, based on several that I researched, here's what I came up with.

Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip:

3 medium eggplants, cut in half long ways
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 TBS olive oil, divided
1 C Roasted Red Peppers, (you can purchase them in a jar)
1 TBS chopped fresh oregano
2 TBS lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Arrange the eggplant, cut side up on a baking sheet pan
Make slits in the eggplant and insert pieces of garlic
Drizzle the eggplant with 2 TBS of olive oil
sprinkle with salt
Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour

Remove the eggplant from the oven , cool completely, scoop out the interior and add to a food processor.
red pepper
1 TBS olive oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Puree until smooth.

Serve with pita chips, toasted baguette slices...... etc!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Red Pepper Dip:

I'm fascinated with red peppers right now. I've been searching for good dips. Here's one that I like. It's flavorful, it goes together quickly, it has few ingredients and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand except the peppers.

2 red peppers, cut in half and seeded
3/4 C cream cheese, softened.
1 C sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Put the peppers, cut side down in a covered microwavable dish.
Microwave the peppers for 8 - 10 minutes, they should be tender.
Remove them to a bowl of ice water and remove the skin.
Place everything in a food processor and puree until smooth.
Chill completely.

Serve with chips or toasted sliced of baguette bread.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Here's the other dips available on the blog:

Christmas Queso
Baked Artichoke Dip
Vegetable Dip
Artichoke - Spinach Dip
Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip
Red Pepper Dip
Queso Fundido (recipe to follow)
Ranch Vegetable Dip
Knorr Spinach Dip
Another Texas Bean - Cheese - Chiles - and Other Stuff Dip
Rosemary Baked Cheese (recipe to follow)
Beer Mustard Dipping Sauce
Tex - Mex Bean Dip (Vegetarian Version)
Cheesy Jalapeno Popper Dip from Wisconsin Cheese
Fry Sauce

Peace in the Kitchen!

Rosemary Baked Cheese:

This is baked and served with Toasted Baguette Slices, Breadsticks or Chunks of Artisan Bread.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

1 large clove of Garlic, halved
3 C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 C Shredded Fontina Cheese
1/2 C Grated Parmesan
2 tsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper

Rub the inside of 2 Mini Cast Iron Servers with the Garlic
Gently mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl

Divide the ingredients evenly between the pans
Place the Pans on a baking sheet
Bake about 8 minutes, until the cheese

Serve warm as a dip with the breads mentioned above.

(The red cast iron dish is 6" long and the grey Calphalon pot is 4.5" across)

Peace in the Kitchen!

I experienced Queso Fundido for the first time while on a Scuba Diving trip to Mexico.
It is a traditional Mexican dish often compared to Fondue.
It's baked in a shallow Terra Cotta heat proof baking dish and traditionally served with Corn Tortillas. Texans have adapted the recipe and serve it as a dip with Tortilla Chips.
It can also be topped with Rum, Brandy or Tequila and flambeed. This is how I first had it in Mexico and I recommend it flambeed if serving at a party. The guests will be impressed with the presentation.

I make it vegetarian with Soyrizo, but it's made in Mexico with Chorizo Sausage.

Queso Fundido:

Vegetable Spray
2 TBS Vegetable Oil
6 oz. of Soyrizo or Chorizo Sausage, casing removed
1/4 C finely diced onion
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 small can ( 1.25 oz) diced Green Chiles, un-drained
2 C Queso Quesadilla or Oaxaca( Asadero ) Cheese. Not Cheddar! It should be a White Mexican Cheese.
Corn Tortillas or Tortilla Chips

Spray a shallow ( Terra Cotta, if you have one) baking dish with a vegetable spray
Heat oil in a saute pan and cook the sausage until almost crispy, well done
Remove the sausage to a bowl and set aside

Add onion and garlic to the saute pan and cook for 5 minutes
Return the Sausage to the pan with the Onion and Garlic and mix well
Add the Green Chiles and stir.

Place 1/2 of the Cheese in the baking dish and top with 1/2 of the Sausage
Repeat with remaining Cheese and Sausage

Bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes
Stir well before serving

Optional to Flambe as directed above.

Serve on 6" Corn Tortillas or dipped with Tortilla Chips.

Peace in the Kitchen!

This is the dish that I bake mine in. It's called a Bram.
It's a Terra Cotta, clay baking dish.
I can double the recipe when I make it in this Bram.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chick Pea and Date Tagine

I have a clay Tagine Pot. I heat this recipe in the oven, in the Tagine Pot. It makes a great presentation for serving.
I simply re posted the link to this great dish.

Peace in the Kitchen!