December 31, 2009

Poppy Seed Pancakes

adapted from Lick The Bowl Good

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1 TBS almond extract (or zest of 4 lemons if you want lemon poppy seed pancakes)
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 TBS butter, melted
butter, to serve (and for pan)

1. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

2. In another bowl combine the buttermilk, eggs, butter, almond extract ( or lemon zest) and poppy seeds.

3. Add the wet to the dry. Stir all the ingredients until they are just combined. Don't worry if the batter is a bit lumpy, you don't want to over mix.

4. Heat your skillet, pan, or griddle to medium-hot (about 350 ℉) and brush it with a bit of butter. Test for the right temperature. If a drop of water dropped onto the pan starts to dance, you are in the ballpark. Pour about 1/3 of a cup of batter into the skillet. Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Yield 12-16 pancakes. Serve warm with macerated berries. We had them with Dutch Honey Syrup.

December 24, 2009

Sesame Chicken

adapted from Betty Crocker's New Chinese Cookbook

2 whole chicken breasts (about 2 pounds) (I use boneless skinless instead)
1 egg
2 TBS flour
2 TBS Cornstarch
2 TBS water
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. white pepper
oil for deep frying

1. Remove bones and skin from chicken breasts; cut chicken into 2 x 1/2 -inch strips.

2. Mix egg, flour, cornstarch, water, salt, oil, baking soda, and white pepper together in a large bowl.

3. Stir in chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

4. Heat oil to 375℉. Fry chicken until golden brown. Serve covered with sauce. (Recipe follows)

Sesame Sauce:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp chili paste (less if you don't want it as spicy)
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp. sesame seeds

1. Mix water and cornstarch together, and set aside.

2. In large saucepan heat sugar, broth, vinegar, soy sauce, chili paste, vegetable oil, and garlic. Bring to a boil.

3. Stir in cornstarch mixture; Cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat; add sesame seeds. Keep warm until ready to serve over chicken.

Ham Fried Rice

8 to 9 cups cooked rice, cooled
2 eggs, scrambled
3 pieces bacon cooked and crumbled (I left the bacon out in the picture)
1/2 to 1 cup diced ham
1/2 cup soy sauce or more to taste
2 green onions, chopped

1. In large skillet or microwave safe bowl mix rice, eggs, bacon, ham, soy sauce and onions.

2. Heat until warm. (In microwave it takes a couple of minutes; on stove top it takes a couple more, stir a few times so it doesn't burn on bottom)

3. Serves about 15-20 people

Egg Rolls

1 lb. ground pork sausage
4 cups finely shredded cabbage
1/2 cup finely shredded carrots
3 green onions sliced thin
1 cup celery sliced thin.
1 TBS sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sesame oil or vegetable oil
30-40 Egg roll wraps
1 egg, well beaten

1. Brown pork and crumble in small pieces.

2. In food processor or salad shooter shred all vegetables until they are tiny. Add to browned pork and stir fry together until everything is warm.

3. Put in a large bowl and add sugar, salt, pepper, and oil. Stir together. Let cool.

4. Wrap in egg roll skins. Seal edge with egg. Deep fry until lightly browned. This works best if egg roll wrappers are at room temperature.

December 22, 2009

Oreo Truffles

1 package Oreos (1 lb 2oz.)
12 oz. cream cheese, softened (1-1/2 packages)
2 bags (12 oz each) white chocolate chips or almond bark

1. In food processor finely chop Oreos. Place crumbs in mixing bowl.

2. Add cream cheese to crumbs and mix together using the paddle beater, until well combined.

3. Shape into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet with waxed paper to cool. Refrigerate overnight.

4. Melt white chocolate in microwave; stirring after every 30 seconds. (I did mine in 2 batches and each took about 90 seconds.) Dip Oreo ball into chocolate with 2 forks. Let excess chocolate drip off. Place on wax paper to let set up. I put them back in the fridge.

5. If desired you can drizzle with semi-sweet chocolate.

December 21, 2009

Ginger Snaps (Soft and Chewy)

from Sisters' Cafe

2 c. sugar
1- 1/2 cups shortening
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. (12 oz.) white chocolate chips (optional)

1. Mix sugar, shortening, eggs, and molasses well, then add the remaining ingredients.

2. Roll into balls and roll in sugar. Crystal or raw sugar is the prettiest.

3. Bake at 350℉ for 11 to 13 minutes.

Yield about 4-1/2 dozen

December 20, 2009

Peanut Buttery Chocolates

adapted from Paula Deen

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 bag (12 oz) milk chocolate chips

1. In a medium bowl, combine butter, peanut butter, cracker crumbs, and sugar, stirring well.

2. Make into balls and then flatten a little if desired. Put them on wax paper and refrigerate until firm. (about 2 to 3 hours)

3. In microwave safe bowl melt chocolate until you stir and it is smooth. (about 90 seconds in my microwave; stirring after every 30 seconds).

4. Dip peanut butter balls in chocolate with 2 forks or a spoon letting excess drip off. Place on waxed paper to let the chocolate harden. I put them back in the fridge.

Yield: About 20

Chocolate Coconut Candies -Almond Joy

from Simple and Delicious Nov/Dec '07

1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1-3/4 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (12 oz.) milk chocolate chips (or semi-sweet)
2 TBS. canola oil (or shortening)

1. In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, coconut, almonds, and milk. It will be stiff.

2. Shape into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

3. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chcolate chips and oil; stir until smooth. It take about 1-1/2 minutes. (I stir after every 30 seconds).

4. Dip balls in chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.

Yield about 30

December 19, 2009

Rocky Road Popcorn

8 quarts popped popcorn

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda
dash salt
pinch cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup cashews (I don't measure I just add until I think there are enough)
1 cup mini marshmallows (or more to taste)
2 bags (12 oz. each) white chocolate chips
1 bag (12 oz.) milk chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or half milk and half semi-sweet)
1-1/2 TBS canola oil, divided

1. Put popped popcorn in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. In heavy saucepan mix brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter together. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Stirring constantly.

3. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla. Stir until foamy.

4. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir gently until well coated. Pour on waxed paper and let cool.

5. When popcorn has cooled completely put it back in large bowl. Add cashews and mini marshmallows and stir.

6. Melt white chocolate chips and 1 TBS oil together in microwave (or double boiler) until it is smooth when stirred. Don't overcook. Pour over popcorn caramel popcorn and stir to coat. Pour back on waxed paper to cool again.

7. When white chocolate popcorn has cooled and set up; melt chocolate chips and 1/2 TBS oil together until smooth. Drizzle over white popcorn mixture on waxed paper. Let set up.

December 18, 2009

2 Minute Fudge

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 (6.8 oz) Symphony candy bars (plain or with toffee and almonds)

1. In glass bowl pour sweetened condensed milk.

2. Break candy bars in pieces and put in milk.

3. Microwave for 1 minute; remove and stir. Return to microwave and cook 1 more minute. Stir until smooth. (Microwaves vary; don't overcook)

4. Pour into a greased 8x8 inch pan (or 7x11 inch etc.). Let cool. Cut into pieces.

December 17, 2009

Caramel Pops

1 bag (8 oz.) corn pops (or sometimes called corn puffs)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda

1. Put corn puffs in a large bowl and set aside.

2. In a heavy saucepan mix butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until just starts to boil. When it just barely starts to boil cook for 2 additional minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Add baking soda and stir until it foams. Pour caramel over corn pops and stir gently to coat completely.

4. Pour out on waxed paper to cool. When cool break up big chunks and enjoy.

This recipe can be doubled.

December 16, 2009

Chocolate Covered Cashews

1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cups milk chocolate chips
2-1/2 to 3 cups cashews (or mixed nuts or dry roasted peanuts)
1/2 to 1 cup toffee bits, optional

1. Mix chocolate chips altogether in a glass bowl. Microwave for about 30 seconds and stir. Microwave again and stir. (You could use your microwave at 60% power to do this) Do this until chocolate is smooth. Don't overcook

2. Pour in nuts and toffee bits (if using) a little at a time and stir. Use as many nuts as you like until you get the desired look.

3. Drop spoonfuls to make clusters on waxed paper, parchment paper, or on a Silpat. Let cool and set up. Store in between waxed paper in a cool dry place in a container.

December 15, 2009

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

1 cup shortening
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream (can use fat-free)

1. Cream together shortening and sugar.

2. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well

3. In another bowl mix flour, soda, powder, and salt together

4. Alternately add some sour cream and some flour mixture to dough and stir well after each addition until everything is incorporated.

5. Roll out dough on floured surface and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silpat. Bake at 375℉ for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. They will expand when cooking so leave room in between them.

6. When cooled decorate with favorite frosting.

December 11, 2009

Pudding Cookies

from Sunday Baker

4- 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), softened
1-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 oz.) pkgs. instant vanilla pudding (I used sugar free)
4 eggs, room temp
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups of add-ins you want to use like chocolate/butterscotch/peanut butter/white chocolate chips, candy bars, m&m's, nuts, andes mints etc.

1. Preheat oven to 350℉.

2. Stir together flour and baking soda in seperate bowl and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream butter, brown and white sugar. Beat in pudding mix until well blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla.

4. When smooth, slowly add in the flour mixture. Make sure it's well incorporated into mix.

5. Add your favorite mix-ins. This time I divided the dough in 4 and used chocolate chips in 1/4, Reeses peanut butter cups, cut up in 1/4, Snickers, cut up in 1/4, and raisins in 1/4.

6. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper and drop 1 inch balls of dough. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden. (If using snickers make sure dough covers the snickers so they don't all melt out.)

7. Makes about 8 dozen cookies

December 10, 2009

Pumpkin Layer Cheesecake

2 pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash of each ground cloves and nutmeg
1 ready-to-use graham cracker crumb crust ( 6oz. or 9 in.)

Mix: cream cheese, sugar, vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix until blended

Stir: Pumpkin and spices into 1 cup of batter; pour remaining plain batter into crust. Top with the pumpkin batter.

Bake: @ 350℉ for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours overnight. Makes 8 servings

French Bread Pizza and sauce

1 loaf french bread
any pizza toppings desired

Pizza Sauce:

Pour 1 can tomato sauce approximately 10 3/4 oz. into mixing bowl

Add: 1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. accent (optional)

Blend Well!

December 9, 2009

Perfect One Bowl Brownies

from Sisters' Cafe

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
4 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1- 3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips (white chocolate chips are good also)
1. Preheat oven to 350℉.

2. In a medium bowl melt butter in microwave, then stir in oil, sugar and cocoa. With a wooden spoon stir in the remainder of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips.

3. Spread into a 9x13 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes. If your toothpick comes out clean you have cooked them too long! DO NOT OVERCOOK!