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Jennae Can Cook!
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Date:2012-04-22 12:57
Subject:Tropical Fruit Tart

I was going to a girls' game night party & was trying to think of something to bring. I came across this recipe in the May 2012 issue of Everyday Food. The end results were interesting - the top ended up being a beautiful mango lattice that I wish I would have taken a picture of. However, the edges of the tart were quite ugly, as I'm not that great at working with phyllo. Everyone at the party seemed to like it. I thought it was alright, but for the effort, I don't know if I'd make it again.

Tropical Fruit Tart

  • All-purpose flour (for work surface)
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 lb frozen pineapple chunks, thawed (I actually used fresh pineapple. I couldn't find frozen, & I thought fresh would taste better anyway)
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbls lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tsp powdered, unflavored gelatin (one 1/4 oz packet)
  • 3/4 c. cold, heavy cream
  • 1 mango - peeled, pitted & thinly sliced
  • 4 oz toasted, unsweetened coconut flakes (about 2 Tbls.) (I doubled this.)
Preheat oven to 400'. On a floured surface, roll puff pastry into a 10x14" rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet.With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry 1" from edges, creating a border; with a fork, prick dough all over inside border. Bake until golden, 12-15 min. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook pineapple, sugar, and lemon juice over medium-high until pineapple begins to break down, 10-12 min. Transfer to a blender & puree' until smooth.

Pour blended pineapple through a fine-mesh sieve back into saucepan, discarding solids, and sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand until gelatin softens, 5 min. Bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring, then pour into a medium bowl set in a bowl of ice water. Stir until cool & thickened, 4 min. (To store, cover & refrigerate up to 3 days).

Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Stir pineapple mixture until smooth; fold in whipped cream until combined. Spread on pastry & top with mango & coconut.

Serves 8-10
Calories 345 / Fat 23 g / Protein 4 g / Carb 32 g / Fiber 3 g

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Date:2012-04-22 12:40
Subject:Pumpkin Chocolate Dessert Cake

I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com. I was asked to bring a chocolate cake to my grandpa's birthday party. I chose this because the pumpkin somewhat makes it healthier & we have a few super health conscious in my family. It is fantastic! Very moist. The only thing I would change is that I would leave the glaze off or make it a chocolatey one instead.

Pumpkin Chocolate Dessert Cake


  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9 inch Bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and baking soda. In a large bowl, beat together 3/4 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, applesauce, and eggs. Mix in 1/2 cup heavy cream and pumpkin. Stir into the flour mixture just until blended. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan over a wire rack. Invert cake onto a serving plate.

Place the brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/3 cup heavy cream in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring to blend until smooth. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the confectioner's sugar, and drizzle over the cake immediately.

Serves 12
Calories: 613 / Total Fat: 27.7g / Cholesterol: 126mg

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Date:2007-10-11 14:25
Subject:Lightened Waldorf Salad

I love Waldorf Salad, and this was a welcome recipe (again from the October 2007 Cooking Light). I doubled the nuts and raisins, because that's just the kind of gal I am.

Lightened Waldorf Salad

1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. apple juice
1 c. finely chopped celery
1 c. chopped Granny Smith apple
1/4 c. coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
2 Tbls. fat-free mayonnaise
2 Tbls. fat-free apple flavored yogurt

  1. Combine raisins and apple juice in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Let stand 2 minutes; drain.
    (I actually left a tiny bit of the juice in the mix.) Combine raisins, celery, apple, and walnuts in a medium bowl. Stir in mayonnaise and yogurt.

Serves: 6 1/2 c. servings

Calories: 93 (31% from fat), Fat: 3.2g (sat .2g, mono .7g, poly 2g), Protein: 2g, Carb: 16.1g, Chol: 1mg, Iron .5mg, Sodium: 60mg, Calc: 25mg)

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Date:2007-10-11 14:10
Subject:Ham and Bean Soup

Cain and I have really been excited about Fall - comfort food season! Lots of soup - and with October 2007's Cooking Light we found another winner! The fresh herbs really add that special something to it.

Ham and Bean Soup

1 (12-oz) package variety dried seven-bean mix - I could only find 15 bean mix, but that was just fine with me!
Cooking Spray
1 c. medium chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
4 c. fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 c. chopped carrot (about 2)
1 c. chopped celery (about 3 ribs)
1 c. chopped green bell pepper
1 c. chopped red bell pepper
1/4 c. chopped resh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbls. chopped fresh basil
1 Tbls. chopped fresh oregano
1 Tbls. chopped fresh thyme
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 smoked ham hock (about 4oz.)
1 (14oz.) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf
1 Tbls. fresh lemon juice

  1. Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain beans.

  2. Heat a large Dutch oven over med-hi heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic to pan; saute' 3 minutes. Add beans, broth, and remaining ingredients except juice; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 21/2 hours. Remove ham hock from bones; finely chop and return meat to pan. Discard bones, skin, and fat. Discard bay leaf. Stir in juice.

    Serves: 8 11/3 c. servings

    Calories: 231 (18% from fat), Fat: 4.5g (sat 1.4g/mono 1.7g/poly .8g), Protein: 15.6g, Carb: 33.8g, Fiber: 10.9g, Chol: 15mg, Iron: 4.1mg, Sodium: 478mg, Calc: 87mg

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Date:2007-10-11 14:06
Subject:Southwestern Pork Soup

This is another recipe from the September 2007 Cooking Light - it was the winner of the "Best Soup" category. Very spicy and tasty. It went really well with some spicy chedder corn muffins (just like the recommendation promised). This will be a nice addition to a fall comfort food rotation.

Southwestern Pork Soup

1 c. chopped onion
2/3 c. chopped green bell pepper
1 Tbls. bottled minced garlic
1 seeded & minced jalapeno pepper
1 lb. pork tenderloin (trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces)
2 c. fat-free less-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (15-oz) can pink beans, rinssed and drained
1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbls. chopped fresh cilantro
1 c. diced avocado

1. Heat a small nonstick Dutch oven over medium-heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeno to an; saute' for 2 minutes. Add pork; cook 3 minutes. Add broth and next six ingredients (through tomatoes); bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until pork is done, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro. Serve with avocado.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 3/4 c. soup and 1/4 c. avocado).

Calories: 310 (30% from fat) / Fat: 10.5g (sat 2.4g, mono 5.5g, poly 1.4g)/ Protein: 30.6g / Carb: 24.5g / Fiber: 8.3g / Chol: 74mg / Iron: 3.7mg / Sodium 911mg / Calc: 82mg

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Date:2007-09-05 15:46
Subject:Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

This recipe was in this September's Cooking Light - they had a feature on the 25 best recipes of the last 20 years. This was the Best Salad Recipe winner - I was skeptical, but this salad is FANTASTIC!


1 lb. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups chopped green onions, divided
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 Tablespoon sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
6 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 cup matchstick-cut carrot
3/4 cup (3x1/8-inch) julienne-cut red bell pepper
3/4 cup (3x1/8-inch) julienne-cut yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped dry roasted peanuts
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Place chicken and 1/2 cup green onions in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Drain and discard green onions. Place chicken on a work surface or cutting board, and shred chicken with 2 forks.
  2. Combine juice, sugar, and garlic in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; microwave at HIGH for 20 seconds or until sugar melts. Cool to room temperature; stir in fish sauce.
  3. Combine remaining 1 cup onions, chicken, cabbage, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with juice mixture; toss well to coat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1-1/2 cups) Calories: 215 (25% from fat); Fat 6g (sat 1g, mono 2.6g, poly 1.9g); Protein 22.4g; Carb 20.4g; Fiber 4.6g; Chol 44mg; Iron 2mg, Sodium 625mg; Calc 90mg

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Date:2007-08-06 11:28
Subject:Raspberry Delight

This is really good and great for potlucks....doesn't last long!

Raspberry Delight

2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 Tbls. sugar
3/4 c. softened butter
1/2 c. crushed macadamias
8oz package cream cheese
1 c. confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. whipped topping
1 package (6oz) raspberry gelatin
2 c. boiling water
2 (10oz each) packages sweetened frozen raspberries
Additional whipped topping
Fresh mint

In a bowl, combine flour and sugar; blend in butter until smooth. Press into an ungreased 13/9/2" baking pan. Bake at 300' F for 20-25 min. or until set (crust will not brown). Cool. In a mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over crust. For topping, in another bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water; stir in raspberries. Chill for 20 min. or until mixture begins to thicken. Spoon over filling. Refridgerate until set. Cut into squares; garnish with the whipped topping and mint.

Makes 12-16.

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Date:2006-11-07 18:23
Subject:Chile Cheese Chowder
Mood: sick

Cain & I have been craving soup bowls lately. In a quest to find "the best" cheesy potato soup, this is the first one we decided to try. Doesn't it look fantastic? It smells great simmering and tastes even better. I did make one addition to this particular recipe - I browned some chorizo and tossed it in there while simmering - then we served it in a bread bowl. I thought it would go nicely with the southwestern flavors....and it did!

2 bacon slices
1 c. chopped carrot
3 large poblano chiles, seeded and chopped
1 c. chopped onion
2 Tbls. minced seeded jalapeno peppers
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (16-oz. size) fat free, less sodium chicken broth
5 c. diced peeled baking potato
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 c. low fat milk
3/3 c. shredded pepper jack cheese
1/2 c.p shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 cup sliced green onions


Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1Tbls. drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside.

Add carrot and the next 5 ingredients (carrot through garlic) to the drippings in pan; sauté 10 minutes or until browned. Stir in the broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add potato and salt. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until potato is tender.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and milk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add to pan. Cook over medium heat until thick (about 12 minutes), stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add cheeses, stirring until cheeses melt. Ladle into soup bowls; top with green onions and crumbled bacon.

Note: This soup will freeze well for up to two months. Pour into an airtight container, leaving enough room for expansion (usually an inch or two at the top). To reheat, thaw completely in the refrigerator; then place contents in a saucepan over low heat, adding some liquid if necessary

Serves 10

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Date:2006-10-31 13:57
Subject:Antipasto Salad

I've been meaning to post this (and a few others up) for quite some time now. This salad is something that Cain's family LOVES - almost too much so! It's based off of this recipe and is fantastic!

Antipasto Salad - Serves ~8


  • 6 c. torn lettuce leaves

  • 8 oz. hard salami, julienned/cubed/sliced

  • 8 oz. pepperoni slices

  • 6 oz. provolone cheese, julienned/cubed/shredded

  • 1 c. shredded/cubed mozzarella cheese

  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or equivalent in halved cherry tomatos)

  • 1 small diced yellow bell pepper

  • 1 (6 oz.) can pitted ripe olives , drained, halved

  • Small jar of drained pepprocinis or banana peppers

  • 1 sliced cucumber

  • 1/2 red onion sliced in rings

  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

  • 1/2 c. olive oil

  • 1/4 c. red wine or balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tsp. sugar

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. dried oregano

  • 1 tsp. dried basil or a bunch of fresh chopped basil

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

  • Croutons, fresh ground pepper and shredded parmesan, to taste


Place the lettuce on a large serving platter. Arrange the salami, pepperoni, cheeses, tomatoes, peppers, olives, pepprocinis, red onion and cucumber over top. In a blender, combine the remaining ingredients; cover and process until smooth. Drizzle over salad and toss. Serve with croutons, fresh ground pepper and shredded parmesan cheese.

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Date:2006-03-23 19:15
Subject:Peanut Butter Cupcakes

This last week, I found myself with a ton of birthdays and occasions to where I needed to make a cake or some such. I decided that since I had to spread this all around, I would make cupcakes</i>! I made a few alterations to the AllRecipes recipe, but still pretty close to the original. My only changes were that I added a dash of cinnamon (I might skip that next time) and I frosted them with chocolate frosting. Tasty!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
(I used a mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 pinch salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350'F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners, or grease and flour cups.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, shortening and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top of the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

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Date:2006-03-02 19:29
Subject:Winter Vegetable and Chicken Curry

I've been craving this awesome curry recipe that I have used in the past, but I haven't been able to locate it all winter. So I went online and found Winter Vegetable Curry and gave it a whirl. I did need some protein in there, so I added some chicken to the recipe. The other alteration I made was to use Granny Smith's instead of turnips. It turned out pretty good - not as good as the recipe that is lost, but it filled in nicely. :)

Winter Vegetable and Chicken Curry

5 cloves garlic
1 (3-inch) chunk peeled, fresh ginger
3 Tbls. unsalted butter
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 bay leaf
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tsp. Madras-style curry powder
1 c. whole, peeled tomatoes (in juice) roughly chopped
1 c. whole milk yogurt
2 c. water
2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 pound butternut squash, seeded and cut into small wedges)
1 small zucchini, cut into 2-inch-long rounds, (about 8 oz.)
1 (14-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2-3 cooked and diced chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
Serving suggestions: Jasmine rice and Mango chutney

Puree the garlic and ginger in a small food processor (mini-chopper), into a paste. Set aside.

Heat the butter in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the cinnamon and bay leaf, garlic-ginger paste, curry powder and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato and yogurt and cook, stirring, until they separate from the oil and there is a distinctive sizzling sound, as the sauce "fries" in the oil, about 7 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring, for about 1 minute more.

Add the water, salt, chicken and vegetables; bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the chickpeas, bring to a boil, and cook, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender and the liquid thickens, about 5 minutes more. Season the curry with salt and pepper, to taste, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with basmati rice and chutney.

Cook's Note: You may add or substitute any number of vegetables as you like in this recipe. Okra or any sort of sturdy green, such as kale, would be welcome additions. Cauliflower and green beans are also good, (but add later, after the root vegetables have simmered for 10 minutes.)

Serves: 4

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Date:2006-01-31 18:37
Subject:Chocolate Sin Raspberry Truffle Brownies

I got these from a post in cooking while trying to find a yummy birthday dessert for evwan and issokimi. I think it certainly fit the bill! I did make a few tweaks to the recipe, however, because I'm Like That. Also, we ate the brownies hot, even though the recipe poster claimed: Decadent, delicious, but be sure to keep in the fridge! I think they were better warm. :) Thanks for your assistance, melinza!

Chocolate Sin Raspberry Truffle Brownies

1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. margarine
(I used butter.)
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. instant coffee crystals
2 Tbls. water
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
1 package cream cheese -- 8 oz
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. seedless red raspberry preserves

1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. shortening
(I used butter.)
1 Tbls. Kirsch
1/4 c. seedless red raspberry preserves

Brownies: In saucepan over low heat, melt morsels and margarine; cool slightly. In large mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs. Add chocolate mixture and coffee dissolved in water. Mix well. Stir in baking powder and flour; blend well. Spread in greased 9x9" pan. Bake at 350' for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick tests clean.

Raspberry Truffle Filling: Melt chocolate with coffee in pan over low heat. Set aside. In small mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese until fluffy; add powdered sugar and preserves. Beat until fluffy. Beat in melted chocolate mixture until well blended. Spread over cooled browned layer.

Glaze: In small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and shortening. Blend in Kirsch and preserves. Drizzle over truffle layer. Chill 1-2 hours. Cut into bars.

Serving Size : 9

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Date:2006-01-18 11:53
Subject:Black Forest Cake

I've never made a Black Forest Cake, and it sure sounded good, so when I saw this recipe in cooking, I thought it would be a winner! However, it was a rather TESTY day when I made it, and I had a whipping cream fiasco. I never did get that resolved, so I sent Cain out to get replacement heavy cream for the unset batch. He didn't hear that I needed two cartons, and ended up bringing home only one. I was in a hurry, and so I didn't have time to go get the other carton. Went ahead and just omitted the whipped cream layers between the cake. The amount he did bring back was more than enough to frost the cake, and I honestly think that if I'd used the double batch of cream, it would have just been too much - the cake was incredibly rich as it was! Turned out tasty too! Note: The cake comes out a tad dry, but I think that is the intended result, as the cherries and cream make it soften up considerably. I took a picture of the cake to, and I'll post it, but I can't seem to find my camera cable!

Black Forest Cake

</i>2 c. sifted cake flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. cocoa
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. sour cream, divided
1/2 c. milk
1/3 cup kirsch or other cherry-flavored brandy
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
4 c. whipping cream
1/3 c. sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. kirsch or other cherry-flavored brandy
2 (21 oz. each) cans cherry pie filling</i>

Grease two 9" round cakepans; line bottoms with wax paper. Grease and flour wax paper and sides of pans. Set aside.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Add shortening and 1/4 c. sour cream. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds or until blended. Add remaining 1/4 c. sour cream, milk, and 1/3 kirsch. Beat at medium speed 1 1/2 minutes. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating 20 seconds after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 350' for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans. Peel off wax paper,and cool layers on wire racks.

Split cake layers in halfhorizontally to make 4 layers. Position knife blade in food processor bowl. Break 1 cake layer into pieces and place in processor bowl. Pulse 5 or 6 times or until cake resembles fine crumbs. Set crumbs aside.

Beat whipping cream until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Add 2 Tbsp. kirsch, beating until stiff peaks form. Reserve 1 1/2 cups whipped cream mixture for garnish.

Place1 cake layer on a cake plate, cut side up; spread with 1 cup whipped cream mixture and 1 cup pie filling. Repeat procedure once and top with remaining cake layer.

Frost sides and top of cake with whipped cream mixture. Carefully pat cake crumbs generously around sides of frosted cake. Pipe or spoon reserved 1 1/2 cups whipped cream mixture around top edges of cake; spoon 1 cup pie filling in center. Cover and chillcake for 8 hours before serving. Store any leftovers in refrigerator.

Yield: 16 servings

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Date:2006-01-18 11:33
Subject:Shrimp Kisses

I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com and since bacon is the most perfect food, and with cheese and shrimp as well - it seemed like the perfect appetizer! My only alteration is that I can't really do without putting some sort of seasoning on things, so I added a dash of Old Bay Seasoning on the cheese before wrapping in the bacon - it melted into the shrimp and was fantastic!

Shrimp Kisses

1 (8 ounce) package Monterey Jack cheese, cut into strips
40 large shrimp - peeled, deveined and butterflied
20 slices bacon, cut in half
Old Bay seasoning, to taste.

1. Preheat the oven to 450' F (220' C).
2. Place a small piece of cheese into the butterflied opening of each shrimp, then add a dash of Old Bay. Wrap half of a slice of bacon around each one to conceal the cheese, securing with toothpicks. Place on a cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until bacon is browned.

Serves 8.

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Date:2006-01-13 18:30
Subject:Chocolate Rum Balls

For frootijen! These are a holiday staple of mine. I usually use this basic recipe from Allrecipes.com, but sometimes I use melted semi-sweet chocolate (instead of the cocoa powder). I also sometimes roll the balls around a candied cherry.

Chocolate Rum Balls

3 1/4 c. crushed vanilla wafers (about one standard box)
3/4 c. confectioners' sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
(I prefer pecans.)
3 Tbls.light corn syrup
1/2 cup rum
(You can also use other spirits - like Brandy.)

1. In a large bowl, stir together the crushed vanilla wafers, 3/4 c. confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and nuts. Blend in corn syrup and rum.
2. Shape into 1 inch balls, and roll in additional confectioners' sugar, candy decorations, nuts or cocoa. Store in an airtight container for several days to develop the flavor. Roll again in confectioners' sugar (or appropriate coating) before serving.

Makes: 48 balls

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Date:2006-01-09 17:49
Subject:Gingerbread Waffles

I saw this on a recent 30-Minute Meals (I think it was the Holiday in a Hurry episode. I'm not at all a fan of pumpkin, but I tried this anyway, and I really LOVED it. There was also a mulled syrup that goes with this, I made my own version of that (with what I had on hand). She also made chicken/apple sausages that sounded fantastic, but Jimmy Dean was my buddy yesterday.

Gingerbread Waffles
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter, plus some to butter the iron
Syrup, whipped cream or fresh fruits for topping, to pass at table

Preheat waffle iron.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl,
beat eggs and brown sugar until fluffy, then beat in pumpkin, milk, molasses and melted butter.
Stir the wet into dry until just moist. Do not overstir the waffle batter. Brush the iron with a
little melted butter and cook 4 waffles, 4 sections each. Serve with toppings of choice.

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Date:2006-01-04 09:39
Subject:Beef and Barley Stew

I don't recall where this recipe came from, but I've been making it for over a decade. It's my favorite beef stew recipe - simple and delicious.

Beef and Barley Stew

1/3 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp dry mustard
3 c. water
2 lbs. stewing beef
1/2 lb. cooked crumbled bacon
1/4 c. barley
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 tsp. honey
1 (13.5 oz. can tomato juice
(I use spicy V8 instead.)
2 c. each: sliced and peeled potatoes, carrots, celery

Combine flour, salt and dry mustard. Dredge beef cubes in mixture. Fry and crumble bacon. Remove from skillet. Add beef and brown on all sides. Drain fat. Put all ingredients into crock pot, except for the barley. Cook on low 6 hours. Add barley and cook 2-4 hours more.

Note: Sometimes I also add a can of corn, some dry red wine, a bit of sliced onion, and/or mushrooms.

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Date:2005-12-29 15:38
Subject:Macadamia Fudge Torte

I don't remember exactly where I got this one, I've had it so long, but I *think* it was from a mid-1990's Pillsbury Bake-Off Winner. I took this to our family Christmas dinner, as my aunt Nancy's mother Lois asked me to bring one of my famous desserts.

Macadamia Fudge Torte

1/3 c. low fat sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
18.25 oz. package Devil's Food cake mix (with the pudding in the mix)
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 c. vegetable oil
16 oz. can sliced pears in light syrup (drained)
2 eggs
1/3 c. chopped macadamia nuts
2 tsp. water
17 oz. jar butterscotch or caramel fudge ice cream topping
1/3 c. milk

Pre-heat oven to 350' F. Spray a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a small saucepan, combine condensed milk and chocolate chips. Cook over med. low heat until chocolate is melted; stirring occasionally. Set filling aside.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, cinnamon and oil; blend at low speed for 20-30 seconds or until crumbly (mixture will be dry). Place pears in blender/food processor with a metal blade and cover. Blend until smooth.

In another large bowl, combine 2 1/2 c. of the cake mixture, pureed pears and eggs; beat at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Spread batter evenly in pan. Drop reserved filling by spoonfuls over batter.

Stir nuts and water into remaining cake mixture; sprinkle over filling. Bake for 45 - 50 min. or until top springs back when touched lightly in the center. Cool 10 min.

Remove side of pan. Cool 1-1/2 hours until completely cooled. In small saucepan, combine ice cream topping and milk. Cook over med-low heat for 3-5 min. or until well-blended; stirring occasionally. To serve, spoon 2 Tbls. warm sauce onto each serving plate; top with a wedge of the torte.

Serves 12.

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Date:2005-12-29 15:35
Subject:Pecan Orange Coffee Cake

This was in a magazine, but I don't recall which. I found it in June, 2005. The recipe states that it is from the Stonyfield Farm Yogurt Cookbook by Meg Cadoux Hirshberg. I also took this to our Christmas Eve brunch.

Pecan Orange Coffee Cake

2/3 c. butter, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. low-fat plain yogurt
(I couldn't find plain at the store for some reason - unless I wanted to get the huge container of it, so I just used a lemon yogurt.)
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. whole-wheat flour
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
Juice of 1 orange
Mandarin orange segments, peeled
(I used 2 clementines.)

Preheat the oven to 350'. Grease a 10-in. Bundt pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter with 3/4 c. of the sugar. Beat in the eggs. Add the yogurt, orange zest, and vanilla. Stir to combine. In a separate small bowl, combine the cinnamon with the remaining 1/4 c. sugar. Set aside. In a third bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, soda and salt. Add to the creamed mixture and stir to combine.

Pour half the batter into the Bundt pan. Sprinkle with half the pecans and half the cinnamon-sugar mix. Add the rest of the batter. Top with the remaining nuts and cinnamon-sugar. Bake the coffee cake for 40-50 min., until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 min., and then remove it from the pan. While the cake is still warm, combine the confectioners' sugar and orange juice for the glaze. Drizzle it over the top of the cake. Top with fresh mandarin oranges, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 16.

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Date:2005-12-29 15:10
Subject:Bacon, Gruyere, and Ham Strata

I made this upscale version of breakfast casserole for a Christmas Eve brunch at my mom's house. You are supposed to let the casserole set and soak overnight, but I started late and didn't have time for that. It turned out great nonetheless. This recipe was in the December 2005 Cooking Light.

Bacon, Gruyere, and Ham Strata

2 c. fat-free milk
1 c. chopped green onions
1 c. egg substitute
1 Tbls. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
12 oz. sourdough French bread, cut into 1/2 in. cubes (about 10 c.) toasted.
(I used this fantastic garlic loaf from Fred Meyer.)
3/4 c. diced ham
Cooking spray
1 c. (4 oz) shredded Gruyere cheese
4 slices cooked and crumbled bacon (drained)

1. Combine milk, green onions, egg substitute, mustard and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add bread cubes and ham; stir well to combine. Pour into a 2-qt baking pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Cover and chill 8 hrs or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350'.

3. Uncover dish, and bake at 350' for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon. Bake an additional 15 min. or until bread mixture is set and cheese is bubbly.

Yield: 6 servings.

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