Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow Log

from Company's Coming 150 Delicious Squares


4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/2 Cup Confectioner's Sugar
1 1/4 Cup Vanilla Wafer Crumbs
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Maraschino Cherries well drained and chopped
Vanilla Wafer crumbs for coating (I used shredded coconut)

~ Beat Cream Cheese until smooth, work int he rest of the ingredients, but be sure to blot all the moisture fromt he cherries with paper towel. You may need to add more icing sugar, you can safely add as much as you can work in. Shape in a log 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches in diameter and roll in crumbs to coat. Store in waxed paper in a plastic bag in refrigerator. Slice in thin slices to serve.

Yorkshire Pudding

from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until well blended. Whisk in the flour one cup at a time until frothy and well blended. Set aside.
  3. Distribute the oil equally among 12 muffin cups, a little over a teaspoon per cup. Place in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until smoking. Remove from the oven and quickly ladle about 1/4 cup of batter into each cup.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven. Serve immediately. I turn my oven off and leave the door partially open with the yorkies inside to keep them from deflating while waiting for everyone to ask for seconds.

Marinated Pork Chops

adapted from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry by Janet & Greta Podleski

Sauce
1/2 Cup Ketchup
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Molasses
2 Tbs minced Shallots or Onions
1 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp minced Garlic
1 tsp grated Lemon Zest
1/2 tsp dried Rosemary
1/4 tsp Black Pepper

4 boneless pork loin chops

~ Mix the sauce ingredients and put it in a resealable plastic bag along with the pork chops and marinate in the fridge overnight
~ Preheat oven to 350* and place pork chops on a wire rack on top of a foil lined baking sheet. bake for about 8 minutes each side depending on thickness of the chops. Do not overcook! Pork chops should be slightly pink in the center or it will be dry.

3 Cheese Beef Pasta Shells

from Betty Crocker.com

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 jar (26 oz) chunky tomato pasta sauce
1/4 cup water
1 container (8 oz) chive and onion cream cheese spread
1 1/2 cups shredded 6 cheese Italian cheese blend (6 oz)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, if desired









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  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Cook and drain pasta shells as directed on package.
  2. In 10-inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  3. In large bowl, mix pasta sauce and water. Pour 1 cup of the pasta sauce mixture in bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. In medium bowl, mix cheese spread, 1 cup of the Italian cheese, the Parmesan cheese, egg and cooked ground beef. Spoon heaping tablespoon mixture into each shell. Arrange stuffed shells over sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over top, covering shells completely. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and cheese filling is set. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Italian cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley.

Straw and Hay Pasta

from Betty Crocker.com


1 tablespoon margarine, butter or spread
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (4 ounces)
4 ounces fully cooked smoked ham, cut into 1x1/4-inch strips
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/4 cup brandy or chicken broth
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated fettuccine
1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated spinach fettuccine
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper









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  1. Melt margarine in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms, ham, parsley and onion in margarine, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender. Stir in brandy. Cook uncovered until liquid has evaporated.
  2. Stir in whipping cream, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.
  3. Cook and drain fettuccines as directed on package. Mix fettuccines and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with pepper.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

White Chocolate Haystacks


12 ounces good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts
1 1/2 cups thin pretzel sticks, broken into 1 1/2 inch pieces


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
Melt the white chocolate in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth and creamy. (Watch carefully as white chocolate burns easily.)
Remove from heat and add the nuts and pretzels, stirring until well coated. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. (If you find that the white chocolate mixture is too runny to form into haystacks, place in the refrigerator for a couple minutes)
Store the haystacks in an airtight container. They can be refrigerated for several weeks.

Chocolate, Coffee and Oatmeal Pie

from Pillsbury.com


INGREDIENTS
Crust
1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
Filling
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
3 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
2 tablespoons butter, melted, cooled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
DIRECTIONS
  • Heat oven to 450°F. Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell using 9-inch glass pie pan; do not prick crust. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. If crust has raised in center, press down gently with back of spoon. Cool 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  • Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat eggs with wire whisk. Beat in sugar, corn syrup, liqueur, butter and salt. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.
  • Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until top is golden brown and center is almost set. Cool at least 3 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Oreo Mini Cheesecakes

from Kraft Canada


What You Need

2 pkg. (250 g each) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
12 Oreo Cookies
3 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1 cup thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping

Make It

HEAT oven to 350°F.
BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each just until blended.
PLACE 1 cookie in bottom of each of 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Fill with batter.
BAKE 20 min. or until centres are almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours. Melt chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over cheesecakes. Top with Cool Whip.

kraft kitchens tips

Size-Wise
With their built-in portion control, these oh-so-easy cheesecakes make great treats.
How to Soften Cream Cheese
Place completely unwrapped package of cream cheese in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 15 sec. or just until softened. Add 15 sec. for each additional package of cream cheese.

Hot Artichoke and Parmesan Dip

from Kraft Canada

What You Need

1 cup Miracle Whip Dressing
1 cup Kraft 100% Parmesan Grated Cheese
1 can (398 mL) artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
2 green onions, chopped

Make It

HEAT oven to 350°F.
MIX ingredients.
SPOON into shallow ovenproof dish.
BAKE 15 min. or until hot and bubbly.

kraft kitchens tips

Serving Suggestion
Serve with Triscuit Thin Crisps Crackers and fresh vegetable dippers.
Seafood Variation
Substitute 1 cup chopped cooked shrimp, or 1 drained and flaked can (170 g) crabmeat or salmon for the artichokes.
Special Extra
Add prepared horseradish and/or a dash of hot pepper sauce to the dip ingredients before baking as directed.

Breakfast Cookies

from Allrecipes.com


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (about 3/4 Cup)
  • 2 cups cornflakes
  • 1/2 cup raisins or Craisins
Directions
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Add flour and baking soda; mix well. Stir in bacon, cornflakes and raisins. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 - 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks. Store in the refrigerator.

Two Bite Pumpkin Pies

from Bake Me More


Pumpkin Pie Pockets
Ingredients:
  •  –       ½ baked Pumpkin Pie (can be crust-less, you only use the filling)
  • –       2 – 3 Pie Crusts (I used Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts)*
  • –       1 egg white, lightly beaten
Directions:
 Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the crust and cut 2 – 4” circles with a glass or cookie cutter. Place about 1 – 2 tsp of pie in the center of the circle and fold over. Use a fork to close edges and a small sharp knife to cut a couple of decorative vent holes. Place them on a coated baking sheet then brush the tops with egg white and sprinkle with sugar (if desired).
 Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Tops of pies will brown slightly. Remove and let cool completely, store in refrigerator.
 *Each crust will make about 17 – 2 inch pies.

Peppermint Bark

from Joy of Baking


Peppermint Bark:

6 ounces (170 grams) semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
6 ounces (170 grams) white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 - 1/2 cup (50 - 80 grams) crushed candy canes

Peppermint Bark: Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan with aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles.
Melt the semi sweet chocolate and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Immediately pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan and tilt the pan so the chocolate makes an even layer. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.
Then, melt the white chocolate and remaining 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Immediately pour the melted white chocolate over the dark chocolate and tilt the pan so the chocolate is in an even layer. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes evenly over the white chocolate. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.
Remove the Peppermint Bark from the pan by lifting the edges of the aluminum foil. Peel back the foil and break the bark into small irregular pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Makes about 25 pieces.

Chocolate Peanut Squares

from Joy of Baking

Chocolate Peanut Squares:

1/2 cup (120 grams) smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup (80 ml) light corn syrup
1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
1/2 cup (45 grams) cocoa powder, unsweetened or Dutch-processed
1/4 cup (55 grams) light brown sugar
3 cups (180 grams) miniature marshmallows
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups (80 grams) crisp rice cereal
1 cup (120 grams) peanuts
Topping:
8 ounces (230 grams) semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter


Butter or lightly spray with a non stick vegetable spray, an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) square pan. Set aside.
Place the peanut butter, corn syrup, honey, cocoa powder, and light brown sugar in a large saucepan. Place over medium high heat and bring this mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the marshmallows, and stir constantly until mixture is melted and smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, rice cereal, and peanuts. Press this mixture into the prepared pan and allow to set.
Topping: In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread over the squares and refrigerate until chocolate has set. Cut into squares with a sharp knife.

Serve cold or at room temperature.
Makes about 24 squares.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
  3. Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
  5. Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool. 
  6. (I drizzled with melted white chocolate)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quick Cheese and Pepper Bread

from Pillsbury Best Muffins and Quick Breads

2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Tbs Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Coarse Ground Pepper
1 Cup Buttermilk*
1/2 Cup Margarine or Butter, melted
2 Eggs

~ Heat Oven to 350*F. Grease bottom only of a loaf pan. In medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper and cheese. mix well.
~ in small bowl, mix together buttermilk, butter or margarine, and eggs. blend well. Add to flour mixture; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into greased pan.
~ Bake at 350*F for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and remove from pan. Serve warm or cool completely. Wrap leftovers tightly and store in refrigerator. 

* to "make" buttermilk. put 1 Tsp of lemon juice or vinegar in a container and fill to make 1 Cup.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jill's Dirt Cake




1pktchocolate cake mix (or spice cake)
3pktchocolate pudding mix (I used 1 Butterscotch and 2 Vanilla)
1containerCool Whip
2pktOreo cookies (crushed) (I used one chocolate and one vanilla)
1bagSkor bits
New garden trowel (to scoop out the "dirt")

How to cook :


Bake the cake according to package directions and then cool.
Crush the Oreo cookies by placing them between wax paper and crushing with a rolling pin (or use a bottle if you don't have a rolling pin).
Once cake is cool, break the cake into pieces.
Layer the bottom of a flower pot or deep clear container with some cake, then put a layer of pudding, sprinkle on Skor bits, then top with a layer of whipped cream.
Repeat the layers until you have reached the top of the flower pot or container, ending the top layer with the pudding (not whip cream).
Place the crushed Oreo's on top of the pudding (this will look like "dirt").
Put a flower in the center, and place the trowel on the side. (or in my case top with construction trucks) 

Make sure to make this as last minute as possible as it will go soggy if sitting too long.

Black Bean Soup

from Weight Watchers - 20 Minute Recipes - Fall 2008


Yield - 4 servings

Cooking Spray
1/2 Cup chopped Onion
1 tsp bottled minced Garlic
2 (15 oz) cans Black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8 3/4 oz) can whole-kernel corn, drained
1/2 Cup Salsa
1 (14 oz) can fat-free, less sodium Beef Broth
1/2 tsp ground Cumin
1/4 tsp ground Red Pepper
2 Tbs Lime Juice
1/4 Cup preshredded, reduced fat, 4-Cheese Mexican Blend Cheese
chopped Fresh Cilantro (optional)
reduced-fat Sour cream (optional)

~ Spray large skillet with cooking spray and heat. Add onion, cook 1 minute. Add garlic and cook 3 minutes or until tender.
~ Mash 1 can of black beans; add to onion and garlic. Add remaining can of beans, corn and next 4 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until thoroughly heated. Stir in lime juice. ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with cheese and cilantro. Top with sour cream.

Low-fat Beef with Spinach and Rice

from http://www.angelfire.com/journal/wwrecipes/360.htm


1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
10 ounces spinach, thawed
3/4 cup white rice
1 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a large non-reactive skillet, saute beef, onion and garlic over medium high heat about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until beef is browned and crumbly. Drain off excess fat and stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 30-35 minutes or until rice is tender.
Makes 4 servings.
Per Servings WW Points: 7
Calories.....361.....Fat.....5.4 g.....Carbs.....49 g....Sodium....506mg.....Fiber....2.2 g.