1.20.2016

Flat Enchiladas

Brown 6 TBS. shortening and 5 rounded TBS. flour
Add 3-4 coups water.  Bring to a boil.
Add 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil again

Add:
1 tsp. salt
2 TBS. sugar
2 TBS. chili powder
2 TBS. vinegar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2-1 tsp. cumin
pepper

Layer friend corn tortillas (just slightly fry the tortillas to make them soft) with sauce and cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Top with a fried egg.

1.19.2016

Buttermilk Banana Bread

  • This is my favorite banana bread.  It comes out white, not brown-flecked.  Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.   

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (I use about 3 average sized bananas)
  • 4 tablespoons buttermilk (here is a guide for making your own buttermilk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

  1. Grease and flour 1 large loaf pan (9 1/4 X 5 1/4-inch) or whatever combination of pans you'd like (several commenters have said this recipe works great made into muffins or smaller loaf pans).
  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, bananas, buttermilk and vanilla until the batter is well mixed. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt and soda. Mix until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

NOTE:  I made this into muffins and then dipped them in melted butter and then cinnamon and sugar while they were still hot.  YUMMY!

1.16.2016

Meyer Lemon Curd

Ingredients:
3 to 4 medium Meyer Lemons (about 1 lb.)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Preparation:
Finely grate enough zest from lemons to measure 2 teaspoons and squeeze enough juice to measure 1/2 cup. Whisk together zest, juice, sugar, and eggs in a metal bowl and add butter. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmer water and cook, whisking. Once mixture gets warm, add the butter in 4 additions, whisking well after each until incorporated. Continue whisking until thickened and smooth and an instant read thermometer registers 160 degrees F. This can take anywhere from 6 to 15 minutes (depending on how well your bowl is conducting heat). Force curd through a fine sieve set into another bowl. Serve warm or cover surface of curd with plastic wrap and cool completely.

*Of course you can make this recipe with regular lemons as well. In that case increase the sugar to 3/4 cup. This curd will keep well covered in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Lemon Berry Tart

Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed but still cold
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
1/3 cup lemon curd (recipe here or buy it in the store)
1 pint raspberries
1/4 cup good seedless raspberry jam, warmed
Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions:
For the tart: Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. Unfold the thawed out puff pastry on a lightly flour dusted area and gently roll into a 10x11 inch rectangle. Carefully transfer to your baking sheet.

Brush edges with a little bit of water and fold over all 4 sides to create a lip. Using a fork, poke holes all over the center of your tart. Gently brush the entire tart with an egg wash and sprinkle about 2 tsp. of sugar over the center. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully with the back of a spoon press the center back down if it has puffed. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the filling: In a bowl combine softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Mix with a hand-mixer or by hand until smooth and the sugar is well incorporated. Add the heavy cream and mix for about 1 minute. Fold in the lemon curd. 

To assemble the tart: Carefully spread your lemon cheesecake mixture over the center of your cooled tart crust. Arrange berries decoratively over the curd and drizzle with the warmed jam. Dust the tart with powdered sugar.

Notes: This tart is best made and eaten on the same day. You can prepare the tart along with the cheesecake filling ahead of time. Refrigerate the filling and assemble the tart right before eating.

1.14.2016

Lime Cilantro Pork Tacos

1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly grounded black pepper
2 tsp. olive oil (or veg oil)
1 ½ cups thinly sliced onions
½ cup green pepper, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup fat free, less sodium chicken broth
½ cup chopped plum tomato
3 TBS. chopped cilantro
2 ½ TBS. fresh lime juice
8 (6 inch) flour tortillas

Heat in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.  Add oil to pan.  Add pork, and sauté 4 minutes or until browned.  Remove pork from pan, place in bowl.  Add onion and jalapeno to pan, sauté 5 minutes or until tender.  Add broth; reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Stir in tomato, and simmer 2 minutes.

Return pork and accumulated juices to pan.  Stir in cilantro and lime juice; cook 1 minute or until pork is done.


Heat tortillas according to package directions.  Spoon ½ cup pork mixture into each tortilla; roll up.

Browning the pork improves its color, and the browned bits enrich the sauce’s flavor, increase the amount of jalapeno pepper if you enjoy spicy foods.  Serve with lime wedges.
Total Time: 30 minutes
Quick Tip: To make the pork tenderloin easier to cut into thin strips, partially freeze it first.

12.27.2015

Hot Corn Dip (or Casserole Main Dish)

1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
1/2 c. diced red pepper
1 T. minced jalapeño
2 T. sliced olives
1 c. mayonaise
1 c. grated Monterey or Pepperjack cheese
1/2 c. grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Mix corn, chilies, jalapeño, olives and  red pepper in a medium bowl.  Add  mayo and stir well.  Add cheeses and stir.  Pour/spoon mixture into small casserole dish and bake at 350 until hot.  Serve with corn chips.

You can add cooked, shredded chicken to this to make it a main dish.

Cranberry Fluff - a different version

2 c. raw cranberries, ground
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. diced apples
1/2-3/4 c. chopped pecans
3 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks and sweetened to taste with powdered sugar

Combine cranberries and sugar. Cover and chill overnight. Add apples and pecans.  Fold in whipping cream. Chill.

12.21.2015

Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball

Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds or chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients, except nuts, thoroughly.  Form into one ball or two smaller balls.  Roll in nuts and refrigerate.  Serve with crackers.  This definitely tastes best when refrigerated overnight before serving.

Shelly's note:  Triple this recipe to make 9 one cup balls, although I didn't measure the nuts, just bought a huge bag and used what I needed.     

12.15.2015

Christmas Crack

1 (12.8 oz.) box of rice chex cereal
1 (12 oz.) box golden graham cereal
1 (7 oz.) bag shredded coconut
1 (4 oz.) bag slivered almonds
1.5 cups butter (3 sticks)
2 cups sugar
2 cups corn syrup

Combine first 4 ingredients in large bowl and mix well.  In large sauce pan, cook butter, sugar and corn syrup until it comes to a "soft ball" stage.  234 degrees on cookie thermometer.

Pour over cereal mixture and stir until well coated.
Pour onto 2 large cookie sheets to cool.  Stir occasionally to prevent clumping.  Store in air tight container.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Cookies

Cookie

1 Devil's Food cake mix
2 eggs
3/4 cup shortening (I use 1/2 shortening and 1/2 coconut oil and it still turns out)
Combine and roll into balls, flatten slightly, bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

Frosting is the Wilton Class Buttercream Icing:
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. clear vanilla extract

4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar 

2 TBS. milk

In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla.

Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.  Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.  When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.

Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Add meringue powder so the frosting stiffens up.

Take part of icing and add mint extract and green food coloring.  
Add cocoa powder and more water to the rest of the icing until it tastes good and is spreadable.

Frost the cooled cookies with the mint icing, let dry (meringue powder helps with this) then frost with chocolate icing.


12.03.2015

Meatballs for Meatball Subs

From Shelly

1 lb. extra lean turkey
1 lb. mild italian sausage
2 eggs
1/4 cup  very small diced zucchini
1/4 cup very small diced carrots
1 cup panko
onion powder, garlic powder to taste

1 TBS. italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. salt
chicken broth (3/4 cup+ per pan)

Mix all ingredients except broth.  Form into small meatballs and brown on all sides in oil.  Add 3/4 cup broth.  Cover, reduce heat to low.  Cook about 7 minutes (5 for smaller meatballs.)

10.19.2015

Chicken Enchilada Soup..

1 can diced tomatoes
1 rotisserie chicken
1 large can enchilada sauce
1 can black beans drained
1-2 cups frozen corn
1 cup chopped zucchini
2 T lime juice
1 medium onion chopped
4 oz. diced green chili
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt and pepper

Throw all ingredients in the crockpot.  Simmer.  Serve with sour cream, cheese, and scoop with tortilla chips.

Apple Crisp...

10 cups of your favorite baking apple
1 cup white sugar
1 TBS. all purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 - 1/4 cup water
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup butter melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C)

Place the sliced apples in a 9x13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.

Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.

4.04.2015

Lemon Blueberry Poppyseed Bundt Cake

1 box white cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup oil
zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup milk
1 cup plain yogurt
1 (3.4 oz-3.9 oz) pkg. lemon instant pudding mix
1 TBS. poppy seeds
1 1/2 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh

Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 TBS. lemon juice
2 TBS. butter, melted
Fresh blueberries for decoration


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a bundt cake pan.

1.  Sift cake mix into a small bowl to remove any lumps; set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, milk and yogurt.
3.  Add cake mix and instant pudding mix;  stir well.
4.  Stir in poppy seeds
5.  Gently fold in blueberries
6.  Dump into bundt cake and and spread evenly
7.  Bake for 38-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
8.  Let cool in pan and then turn out.
9. Lemon glaze: whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice, and butter.  Add more lemon juice if you want a thinner glaze or more powered sugar to make it thicker.
10. Pour glaze over the cooled cake and serve with fresh blueberries.

3.10.2015

Beef with Broccoli

1.5 lb flank steak, thinly sliced into 1/8-in (3-mm)-thick strips
3lbs lbs broccoli, cut into bite-size florets (Buy three lbs. of broccoli, it will be less once you cut off the florets)
2 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
BEEF MARINADE
3 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cooking oil
Freshly ground black pepper to season the beef
STIR-FRY SAUCE
6 tablespoons oyster sauce
4 teaspoons chicken broth
4 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
1 In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the Beef Marinade. Add the sliced beef and let marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.
2 In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the Stir-fry Sauce.
3 In a wok or large sauté pan, add 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cover to steam for 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green, crisp tender and you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Drain.
4 Discard the water in the pan and dry the pan well. Set the pan over high heat and when hot, add the high-heat cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and fry for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the steak strips, keeping them in one layer and fry 30 seconds. Flip the strips and fry the other side.
5 Pour in the Stir-fry Sauce and stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked broccoli back into the pan and toss to coat well.
6 Serve over steamed Jasmine (or white) rice.