February 25, 2010

Caramel Brownies


1 (18.25 oz.) German Chocolate Cake mix, dry
2/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup evaporated milk (use cream or half and half if you don't have evaporated milk)

Carmel center:

1 (14 oz. ) pkg. of carmels unwrapped
1/3 cup evaporated milk (or cream or half and half)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 9x13 in. pan

2. Mix melted butter, evaporated milk and dry cake mix together. Press half the cake mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before adding carmel mixture.

3. While your brownie layer is baking put carmels and evaporated milk in a microwave safe dish. Melt together until it is smooth with no more carmel lumps. (I microwaved 1 minute; stirred then microwaved 1 more minute and stirred). Pour evenly over your brownie layer. Lightly spread if you need to even it up. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

4. With remaining brownie batter take small portions and flatten in your hands. Place on top of carmel and chocolate chips layer. Patch the top layer of brownie together. It's okay if you have a little carmel showing in between pieces. When they bake the brownie spreads a little.

5. Bake for 18-20 more minutes. Let cool and cut into squares. Store in fridge.

Note: If you don't have time to unwrap carmels etc., you can use a jar of carmel ice cream topping and spread it on. Kraft also has carmel bits now. I am going to try those next time.

February 24, 2010

Chicken Spaghetti

3 cups chicken
1-12 oz. pkg. spaghetti noodles (Whole wheat works also)
3 TBS butter or margarine
1/2 cup celery, chopped small
1/2 cup onion, chopped small
1 TBS. green pepper or red pepper, diced small (or pimentos if you prefer)
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1-1/2 cups Velveeta
salt and pepper to taste
cheddar cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 350℉.

2. Boil chicken until done, drain; save water. Shred cooked chicken and set aside.

3. Use the water you drained from the chicken and cook the spaghetti noodles. Drain noodles and set aside.

4. Melt butter and saute celery, onion, and green pepper. When they are transluscent; add chicken, cream soup, milk, Velveeta, salt, and pepper. Warm and stir occassionally until Velveeta is melted. Add noodles. Mix well. Place in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

5. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

The pictures look terrible; the food is pretty good.

February 22, 2010

Magic in the Middle Cookies

from King Arthur Flour Blog

Chocolate Dough:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for dredging)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg -plus 1 large egg yolk

Peanut butter filling:
3/4 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, your choice
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease 2 cookie sheet or line with parchment or silpat.

2. To make the dough: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

3. In another medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg, beating to combine, then stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.

4. To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth. With floured hands or a teaspoon scoop, roll the filling into 26 one-inch balls.

3. To shape the cookies: Separate the dough into 26 pieces like the filling. Smash dough with your hand. Bring the cookie dough up and over the filling, pressing together to seem. Roll the cookie in the palms of your hand to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

4. Roll each rounded cookie in granulated sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick. (I just used my hand and flattened them a bit).

5. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, or until they're set. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a wire rack.

Note: The cookies work best if you roll them immediately after making dough. In the cookies in the picture above I had to wait about an hour after I made the dough and they cracked a lot because it dried out a little. Click on the link King Arthur Flour Blog link above to get step by step pictures.

February 18, 2010

Tater Tot and Rice Casserole

1 lb. ground beef, uncooked
1 cup rice, uncooked (I used brown instant)
2 (15 oz) cans of vegetables, any kind drained (I used corn for this picture)
2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans cream of chicken soup (or your favorite kind)
1/2 soup can of milk (fill empty cream of chicken soup can 1/2 full)
1 lb. tater tots
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Press ground beef in to bottom of a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.

2. Mix soup, milk, rice, and vegetables together in seperate bowl. Pour over ground beef.

3. Top with tater tots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.

4. Bake at 350℉, uncovered, for 90 minutes.

Note: Sometimes I add onions chopped really small to the hamburger. You can also put shredded cheese on top of the soup mixture before you add the tater tots.

February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day Kisses

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
1-3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz) box of crisp rice cereal

1. Put crisp rice cereal in large bowl and set aside.

2. In heavy saucepan mix brown sugar, butter, and light corn syrup. Stir with wooden spoon constantly. Bring to a boil. Boil together for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Add sweetened condensed milk. Stir to incorporate well. Put back on heat and while stirring bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly.

4. Pour the carmel over the crisp rice cereal. Stir until cereal is evenly coated.

5. Grease a funnel (First time only). Pack the crisp rice cereal mixture into the funnel. Turn over and pour out onto greased wax paper. Continue doing so until all of the mixture is used up. (I made about 11 using a medium funnel).

6. Let cool and set up. (couple of hours)

7. Wrap with saran wrap and then with tin foil, to resemble Hershey's kisses.

8. Tape, glue, or slide in tinfoil a paper with a saying such as I Love You on top of the kiss.

February 11, 2010

Whipping Cream Biscuits

from Coleen's recipes

2 cups self rising flour (see note)
1 TBS sugar
1-½ cups heavy whipping cream

1. Mix all 3 ingredients together until dough forms a ball. Turn out onto lightly floured counter and knead 5 to 7 times.

2. Pat dough out to ½ inch thickness and cut biscuits with a 3 inch cutter.

3. Place on greased baking sheet (with 1" between biscuits) and bake at 500℉ for 10 minutes

NOTE: I never have self rising flour, so for EACH CUP of self rising flour, I substitute 1 cup of all purpose flour + 1¼ teaspoon baking powder + 1/8 teaspoon salt.

You can brush you biscuits with butter when they come out of oven.

February 10, 2010

Easy Cinnamon Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup (8 ounces) warm milk (I did mine 30 seconds in microwave)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup (6 ounces) cinnamon chips
Cinnamon-sugar, for topping

1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and salt.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, and egg.

3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, beating until smooth.

4. Cover and let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour, then stir in the baking powder and cinnamon chips.

5. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spoon the batter into a greased 9 X 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon sugar.

6. Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it from the pan to a rack to cool completely. The bread slices much better when it's completely cool. This bread makes delicious toast.

Source: The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion

February 9, 2010

Soft Sugar Cookies

from Studio 5

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
3-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1. Beat together butter and sugar.

2. Add sour cream, eggs, and vanilla; beat well.

3. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.

4. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

5. Pre-heat oven to 350℉. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Dip cookie cutters in flour then cut dough into desired shapes. Place cookies 1-inch apart on un-greased cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes (cookie will be a very light tan on bottom - tops will still be pale). Remove to wire cooling rack. Frost when cooled. Yield about 24 cookies

Butter Cream Frosting

1 cup butter, room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt (I left this out)
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
4-6 TBS cream or milk (I used evaporated milk)
gel or paste food coloring (optional)

1. Beat together butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and 1/4 cup cream or milk. Add additional cream, 1-2 teaspoons at a time and continue to beat until frosting is smooth, creamy and is desired spreading consistency. Beat in food color, one drop at a time, as desired.

Color Flow Icing (for a smooth shiny cookie)
1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
2 TBS color flow icing mix
1/4 cup, plus 1 tsp water
Food color paste or gels

1. Combine all ingredients in grease free bowl. Using grease free beaters and on low speed beat for 8 minutes. Stir in desired color. When not in use, cover icing with a damp cloth to prevent drying and crusting of surface.

February 8, 2010

Cashew Chicken

5 onions, cut into the size of quarters
6 green bell peppers, cut into the size of quarters
2 TBS oil
10-20 pieces boneless skinless chicken, cooked and diced
3 tsp. soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup yoshida sauce
2 (10 oz each) cans of chicken gravy
1-2 cups cashews

1. Put the onions and peppers into a pan with about 2 Tbs. oil. Saute until the onions are almost clear.

2. Add big cooked diced chicken breasts. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup of yoshida sauce. Then add 2 cans of chicken gravy, this will hold it together.

3. Just before serving add cashews. Serve with rice.

February 5, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

adapted from Shanna H.

1/2 cup onion, chopped small (I use dried sometimes)
1 lb. hamburger
2 cloves minced garlic (I use dried sometimes)
2 TBS flour
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup sour cream
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

1. In skillet add onion, garlic, and hamburger. Cook until hamburger is browned and crumbled.

2. Add flour, salt, and pepper.

3. Add cream soups, sour cream, and paprika. Heat until warmed through.

4. Serve over noodles or rice.