Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Homemade Pudding (No Gelatin!)

This recipe is for vanilla pudding but you could add any flavoring you desired, just substitute it for the vanilla. For chocolate add cocoa powder along with vanilla.

2 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs butter

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk until bubbles form at the edges.
In a bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Pour this sugar mixture into hot milk, add a little at a time, stirring to dissolve.
Continue to cook, stirring until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.
Do not boil!
Remove from heat, stir in butter and flavoring(extract).
Pour into serving glasses and chill.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Thai Style Chicken Satay

2 Tbs creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
1 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs curry powder
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed

In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, curry powder, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and refrigerate. Let the chicken marinate at least 2 hours, overnight is best.

Preheat a grill to high heat.

Weave the chicken onto skewers, then grill for 5 minutes per side.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Candied Orange Peel

1 large navel orange
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Using a vegetable peeler, cut the orange part of the peel from the stem end of the orange down to the navel end, forming long 3/4 to 1-inch-wide strips. Bring a heavy small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the peels and cook for 1 minute. Drain and then rinse the peels under cold water. Repeat cooking the peels in the saucepan with fresh boiling water and rinsing under cold water.

Stir the sugar and 1/2 cup of fresh water in a heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Add the orange peels and simmer over medium-low heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the peels to a sheet of parchment paper to dry slightly, about 1 hour.


These are a thin candy like cookie. The orange with the chocolate topping is amazing.

3/4 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 pound candied orange peel, very finely chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 bars (4 ounces each) sweet baking chocolate

Heat oven to 350ºF. Generously grease and flour cookie sheet.

Stir whipping cream and sugar together until well blended. Stir in almonds, orange peel and flour. Dough will be very thin.

Drop by scant teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Flatten with knife or spatula.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or just until cookies brown lightly around edges. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Melt chocolate bars over low heat. Turn cookies over; spread with chocolate. Allow to dry 8 hours at room temperature or until chocolate becomes firm. Store in covered container or in refrigerator.

To speed up the firming process you could stick them on the cookie sheet and put them in the refrigerator.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Chocolate PB Floats

Yes more peanut butter! I found this one on a pb website.

4 cups of chocolate milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tbs vanilla
1 pint vanilla ice cream
2 cups carbonated water (optional)

In blender container, combine 2 cups chocolate milk and pb. Cover and blend till smooth.

Stir in remaining 2 cups chocolate milk and the vanilla.

Pour into six tall glasses; add a scoop of ice cream to each.

Gradually pour carbonated water down side of glass; muddle with spoon.

Makes 6 servings

Friday, July 27, 2007

PB Milkshake!

I heart peanut butter. So for everyone else that does this is a must try recipe!

1 cup cold milk
1/4 cup peanut butter (creamy)
1 cup vanilla ice cream

Place milk and pb in blender container. Cover and blend till smooth.

Add ice cream, blend till smooth.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fast Tuna Melt Salad (Lazy Meal)

1 can tuna, drained
hot sauce (optional)
cheese (of your choice)
salad base of choice

Put your salad base in a bowl and set aside.

In a microwave save bowl place the tuna, onion, pepper, and hot sauce. Top with cheese and microwave for one minute, or until the cheese is melted.

Add this tuna mixture to the top of salad and enjoy. This will make enough for two salads.

You could always change up the combinations of ingredients mixed with the tuna. I sometimes add pecans or sunflower seeds. But with any combination, the warm tuna on the cool salad makes for a yummy quick meal.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fahrenheit to Celsius For Baking

225°F = 110°C
250°F = 120-130°C
275°F = 140°C
300°F = 150°C
325°F = 160-170°C
350°F = 180°C
375°F = 190°C
400°F = 200°C
425°F = 220°C
450°F = 230°C
475°F = 240°C

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Toffee Crunch Cookies

1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups toffee baking bits
1/3 cup chopped pecans

1. Sift and combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl cream butter, add sugar egg and vanilla; mix until smooth.

2. stir in dry ingredients, and then stir in toffee bits and pecans.

3. Drop tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350°F until done, 12-15 minutes. Remove from baking sheets and cool.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I came across this recipe about 4 years ago. It's almost like an smoothie with alcohol.

1 fluid oz run cream liqueur
1 fluid oz coffee flavored liqueur
1 fluid oz milk (vanilla soy milk works good here too)
1/2 fluid oz strawberry flavored syrup
1/2 banana
1 cup crushed ice

Combine the rum cream and coffee liqueur, milk and strawberry syrup in a blender. Add the banana and crushed ice, continue to blend until smooth. Pour into glass and serve.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Perfect Manhattan

2 fluid oz bourbon
1/2 fluid oz sweet vermouth
1 maraschino cherry
1/2 cup ice

Put ice into a shaker and pour the vermouth and bourbon over it. Mix well, and pour into martini glass with the maraschino cherry.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Banana Smoothie

1 banana
1 1/2 cups milk or soy milk
1 Tbs honey
1/4 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated tastes amazing in this but ground works too)

Just combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

It takes less than five minutes and it's an tasty way to get breakfast in a hurry.

It's also a good way to use those browning bananas!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Blarney Stone Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. Beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until well blended.
Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl; gradually add to butter mixture. Beat until well blended.
Divide dough in half and place each half on a separate piece of wax paper.

2. Shape each half into a log with squared sides, about 7 inches long and 2 1/4 inches wide (you want to end up with rectangle shaped cookies). Wrap each log in wax paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, it takes at least 8 hours, or you could leave it over night.

3. Heat over to 325°F. Cut logs into 1/4 inch slices. Bake on un-greased cookies sheets for 15 minutes or until set. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheets to a wire rack. Cool completely.

These cookies can be iced or left as is.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pistachio Lemon Biscotti


1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups unsalted pistachio nuts (6 oz)

1. Line an large cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease and set aside.
In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder and salt; beat until combined, scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Then beat in lemon peel and most of the flour. It will become hard for the mixer to handle so use a wooden spoon to mix the rest of the flour. Then hand stir in the nuts.

2. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 3 even pieces. Shape each into an eight inch long loaf. Flatter loaves to 2 1/2 inches wide. Place 3 inches apart from each other on the cookie sheet. Use an extra cookie sheet if you have to.

3. Bake at 375° F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and the tops become cracked. Cool on cookie sheet for 30 min.

4. Transfer leaves to a cutting board and cut each diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Place slices cut side down back onto the same cookie sheets, and bake at 325­° F for 8 additional minutes. Turn slices over and bake another 8 minutes or until they are crisp and a bit dry. Cool on a wire rack.

Icing for this Biscotti:

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon peel
milk or lemon juice

Stir together powdered sugar and the lemon peel. Stir in enough milk or lemon juice (1 or 2 Tbs) to get to your desired consistency.

Dip or drizzle over cookies.

If you want to make these ahead of time don't ice before you freeze. When you are ready to use them thaw for 15-20 min and then ice and serve.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Yummy Tres Leches Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 cup whole milk or evaporated milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 container Whipped fluffy white frosting

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease and flour or spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan.

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.

3. Bake 29 to 35 minutes or until edges are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes. Poke top of hot cake every 1/2 inch with long-tined fork, wiping fork occasionally to reduce sticking.

4. In large bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, whole milk and whipping cream. Carefully pour evenly over top of cake. Cover; refrigerate about 1 hour or until mixture is absorbed into cake. Frost with frosting.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cucumber Sauce

It took quite a bit of research to find a good cucumber sauce. But I think I finally found one.

We make lamb burgers often and this sauce rocks on them!

1/2 large cucumber, peeled, grated and squeezed dry
3/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbs minced mint leaves
1 tsp vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste

Mix cucumber, sour cream, mint, vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. If you need to smoosh down and lumps with a fork only! Refrigerate sauce until ready to serve.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Authentic Hummus

1 clove garlic
1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans, half the liquid reserved
4 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs tahini
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
2 Tbs olive oil

In a blender, chop the garlic. Pour garbanzo beans into blender, reserving about a tablespoon for garnish. Place lemon juice, tahini, chopped garlic and salt in blender. Blend until creamy and well mixed.

Transfer the mixture to a medium serving bowl. Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil over the top. Garnish with reserved garbanzo beans.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Citrus Grilled Chicken

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tbs chopped fresh oregano
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh-ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 cup yogurt
2 tsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin

1. Marinate the chicken: Combine olive oil, 2 Tbs lemon juice, 2 Tbs oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and marinate for 20 minutes.

2. Make Citrus Sauce: Stir together the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

3. Cook the chicken: Heat grill to medium high. Run skewers through chicken pieces and grill for about 4 minutes, turn over, and grill until cooked through — about 4 more minutes. Serve with Citrus Sauce.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tangy Chicken

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 (.7 ounce) packages of dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced

In a large glass bowl combine the oil, vinegar, lime juice, and dry salad dressing mix. Mix together. Add chicken strips, onion and bell pepper. Cover dish and refrigerate. Marinate for 3 to 6 hours.

In a large skillet, heat oil. Remove chicken, onion and bell pepper from marinade and saute in oil until chicken is cooked through (juices run clear) and onion is translucent.

This recipe is great with pasta or on warm tortilla shells.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Chocolate Cream & Caramel Pie

8 Tbs unsalted butter
2 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies (about 5 oz.)
2 Tbs Cognac
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 Tbs cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups plus 2 Tbs heavy cream
1 cup plus 2 Tbs whole milk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Caramel Sauce
1 Tbs cocoa powder

1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir the crushed cookie crumbs, melted butter, and Cognac in a medium-size bowl. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and all around the sides of a pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and cool completely on a wire rack.

2. Make the pudding: Place the chocolate in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks, 2/3 cup brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Heat 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream, milk, and remaining butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat and, whisking continuously, gradually add the hot milk to the egg mixture. Return the milk-and-egg mixture to the saucepan and, whisking continuously, cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook for 1 more minute, whisking continuously, and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Remove from heat and strain the pudding into the bowl with the chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes and fold the chocolate into the pudding with a spatula. Cool to room temperature.

3. Finish the pie: Pour Caramel Sauce into the bottom of the pie crust and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Spread the pudding over the caramel and chill for 2 hours. Beat the remaining cream, brown sugar, vanilla, and the cocoa powder in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Top the pudding with the cream and chill for 30 minutes or up to 6 hours.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Almond Chip Scones

3 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbs sugar
5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter
4 eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 to 2 tsp almond extract
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a bowl, whisk 3 eggs, cream and extract; add to crumb mixture just until moistened. Gently stir in chips and almonds. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 6-8 times.

On a greased baking sheet, pat the dough into a 10 1/2 inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges. Beat remaining egg; brush over dough. Slightly separate wedges.

Bake at 425° F for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Breaded & Baked Yellow Squash

3 Tbs seasoned bread crumbs
1 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 medium unpeeled yellow squash
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbs water

Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper together on a sheet of waxed paper.

Cut the squash into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place in a plastic bag and add the oil and water. Close the bag and shake until the squash is lightly coated.

Roll each in the bread crumb mixture until lightly coated.

Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed liberally with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake at 475°F for seven minutes or until brown.

Sautéed Yellow Squash

I don't know about yours, but some of my yellow squash are ready to eat already! So I thought I would get crackin' on the squash recipes!

1 Squash
2 Tbs butter or olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 Palm full of sunflower seeds (peanuts would work well too)
1/2 onion diced

Peal the squash, then cut it in half length-wise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then cut into chunks.

Warm the butter or oil over med heat. Add in the onion and saute for a few mins. Add in the squash, salt & pepper and saute until the squash starts to soften. Add in the sunflower seeds and finish sautéing.

The squash will become very soft almost mushy when you cook it this way. It's really great when tossed with pasta and a little bit of parmesan cheese.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Chocolate Covered Cherries with Pistachios

1/2 cup pistachios, shelled, skinned, and finely chopped
4 ounces dark chocolate, grated
4 ounces heavy cream
1 pound sweet cherries (about 50), pitted, stems intact

Make the cherries: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place the pistachios in a shallow bowl and set aside. Place chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside.

Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds, stir until the chocolate melts completely.

Holding by the stem, dip the bottom of a cherry in the chocolate mixture, gently shake off excess chocolate, and dip the cherry in chopped nuts. Transfer to the prepared sheet pan.

Repeat with remaining cherries, refrigerate for 10 minutes, and store in a cool, dry place. Cherries will keep for several hours.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Cheese Fondue

2 cups milk
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp ground dry mustard
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
6 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

In a medium saucepan over low heat, mix together milk, Worcestershire sauce, ground dry mustard, garlic and flour. Heat until almost boiling. Gradually stir in Cheddar cheese. Continue heating until all the cheese has melted. Keep the mixture warm and melted in a fondue dish.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Super Quick Ambrosia Salad

I'm making this for the picnic tomorrow, it's simple, it takes no time to prepare, and it's delicious!

2 pkg Pistachio instant pudding mix
2 reg size containers of whipped topping
1 small can of mandarin oranges (drained and patted dry)
1 bag of miniature marshmallows (white or colored)

Mix all of the whipped topping and all of the pudding mix together thoroughly. Add in as many marshmallows as you like, I prefer the whole bag. It makes the salad fluffier.

Save about 7 of the orange sections for garnish, and mix the remaining oranges carefully into the pudding mix. If your oranges seem to be too big you can cut them in half. Put the 7 oranges you saved on the very top in any pattern you wish, I usually do a circle and lay the sections all the same way.

I prefer to make this ahead of time so it gets nice and cold when you're ready to serve it. But you could also make it that day. As your making this the pudding will start to set up in the whipped topping making it a little harder to stir, and if you're like me a little messy.

There are also lots of variations you could make to this salad. Lots of people prefer shredded coconut in their ambrosia salad. You could also add any fruits, or even change the flavor of the pudding.