"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fried Ice Cream


Boy of boy! This was a dangerous recipe for me to discover I could do! I loved it, as did my family. Got 5 stars all around! Now I can make it from the comforts of my own home; everyone can have their own serving at a fraction of the price of our favorite Mexican restaurants. If you love fried ice cream you will thoroughly enjoy this sweet find. There are several fried ice cream recipes I have pin from pintrest, I started with this one from The in The Loft House blog and modified it to our liking. I may not be trying an others because this is so simple and so delicious! And it doesn't require I get my big fryer out!

Fried Ice Cream

6-8 cups of Corn Flakes crushed (you need 3-4 cups total after it is crushed.)
3/4-1 cup sugar
3/4-1 cup ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup toasted sweetened coconut flakes (I do this separately in a fry pan until its golden brown)

Combine corn flakes, sugar,  and cinnamon. Melt the butter in a large fry pan then add the cornflake sugar mixture. Pan fry for 5 minutes on medium high heat, until the cereal starts to toast. Watch it carefully, stirring frequently, you do not want to let it burn which it can do quickly. When cereal is done frying toss in the toasted coconut and stir until mixed in.

Press half the cornflake mixture into a 9 x 13.  Top with a quart of your favorite vanilla ice cream, then top with the second half of the fried cornflakes.  Transfer to the freezer until it hardens. Top with drizzle of chocolate sauce, a dollop of whipping cream (I like to use the spray can kind on desserts like this.) and top with a Maraschino Cherry.

Note:
If you really love the cinnamon flavor you can soften your ice cream and stir in another 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a tub of cool whip if desired. (I have tried it both ways. I don't think that the cool whip really adds that much to the dish other than more expense and calories.) If you choose to soften the ice cream to spread it into the pan than plan for 5 hours to set back up.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Garlic Oven Roasted Cabbage

My sister-in-law EC asked me if I had ever tried or seen the roasted cabbage idea on Pintrest.  I hadn't so I went looking.  We enjoy cabbage one of my 10-year old sons loves it! It just wants to crunch and munch on it plain.  When I am shredding it up for a salad or a stir-fry he has a hard time keeping his little paws out of the pile.  Makes me happy that he enjoys a few healthy things in his diet to balance out our sweet tooth we all have.

This recipe was great.  I made one modification to it. I minced my garlic and put it in a small bowl with olive oil then brushed it on both sides of my cabbage before roasting.  I did note that if it isn't slices thick enough it tends to roast a little to quickly and dries out, turning brown and tasting a little burnt. So learn from me don't throw those loose ends on the pan with it, toss them in your salad bowl instead.  This got rave reviews from my family.  Thank you Everyday Maven for a great recipe to add to our favorites.


Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Steaks
By: Everyday Maven via Pintrest
Serves: 4

Ingredients
1 (approx 2lb) head of organic green cabbage, cut into 1″ thick slices
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 large garlic cloves, smashed
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
spray olive oil OR non-stick cooking spray


Instructions
Preheat oven to 400F and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Pull outer leaf off cabbage (it’s usually dirty and nasty looking), cut cabbage from top to bottom (bottom being root) into 1″ thick slices.
Rub both sides of cabbage with smashed garlic.
Use a pastry brush to evenly spread the olive oil over both sides of the cabbage slices.
Finally, sprinkle each side with a bit of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Roast on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Carefully flip the cabbage steaks and roast for an additional 30 minutes until edges are brown and crispy. Serve hot and Enjoy!




Rueben Deli Sandwiches

I got inspired by the Taste of Home website when I was looking for a easy main dishes to feed my family for St. Patricks day.  It was a toss up between a Reuben Soup or a Reuben Sandwich.  With March madness of all sorts whirling around on our calendar I opted for the quickest and easiest meal plan.  We served it with oven roasted garlic rubbed cabbage and a lime/pear green jell-o.  It really hit the spot.

Knowing that my children love a good Rueben like their daddy I may just have to try the original recipe that has more of a kick to it and is made more like a chicken salad but with corn beef.   





Reuben Deli Sandwiches Recipe

The classic Reuben sandwich. The filling is easy to prepare and keeps well in the fridge. Add a salad and dessert, and you have a delicious meal

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

Ingredients
Wishbone Thousand Island Dressing
1 can (14 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
3/4-1 pound sliced deli corned beef
        Swiss cheese Deli Slices
Slices rye bread
Butter, softened
Directions
Spread Thousand Island dressing on bread like you would a mayo.  Top one slice with cheese, sauerkraut, corn beef another small piece of cheese (I like to put a small slice of cheese on both sides of meet when I made grilled sandwiches to make them hold the bread and toppings together.) top with remaining bread. Lightly butter the outsides of bread. Toast sandwiches on a hot griddle for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. 

Yield: 6-8 servings (depending on how much meat you use per sandwich)


Friday, February 6, 2015

Chicken Tortilla Soup



Chicken Tortilla Soup (Nicole Hendershot via Girlfriends Kitchen Group)

I got this recipe from a good friend Nicole in our month Girlfriends Kitchen group I recently started up.  I started this group for many reasons 1- to get out of the house and have lunch with friends and 2- to exchange menu ideas to help me get out of a funk I was in.  It has proven to be meeting both of those needs.  This recipe got 5 stars from all but one of my kids whom gave it a 4.5 so you know it is now one of our favorites! I love that there is no pre-cooking, just open the cans and pour everything in. The *'s are what I did for our adaptations.


4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (I usually put in about 8 tenders) 
     *I used a 1 lb. breast meat that I diced into small pieces while frozen
1 (15oz) can crushed tomatoes *I used a can of petite diced tomatoes with chiles
1 (10oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (4oz) can diced green chiles *I eliminated this because I used the tomatoes w/chiles
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. onion powder (or you can put in real onions) *I used 1 cup sweet onions, diced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf
1 can black beans
1 package frozen corn (Nicole usually just put in one can of corn) 

      *I used half a bag of frozen corn so roughly 8 oz.
1 TBSP. chopped cilantro (I don't add this).


Directions: Pour all ingredients in slow cooker and cover and cook on high 2-3 hours until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and shred then place back into cooker. Continue cooking on high 1-2 hours. Remove bay leaf before eating. (Nicole usually just cooks it until everything is done and shred the chicken and put it back in and eat it right away) Top with crushed tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream. She also suggest trying it with fresh diced onions and avocado on top! 

Love avocados in any Mexican flavored soups! Thanks for sharing this amazing soup recipe with us Nicole!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Carmelitas

Photo to be added soon :-)
Carmelitas
Found this recipe on pintrest. My family is in love with it! These remind me of a caramel version of our much beloved "Fudge Nut Bars".  I have waited a long time to try this and it was well worth the wait.  You can see the original recipe on Averie Cooks below I listed the way I adapted it for a larger pan- we always need larger than an 8x8 for family dinners! This Quick and simple layered bar cookie.  The crust and topping are an sweet brown sugar, vanilla (heavy on the vanilla), oatmeal and flour mixture. The middle there's layers of rich chocolate and caramel sauce. This cookie is chewy and just oozing with caramel. We served it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and they are a match made in heaven.  Averie suggested that "You can add salt, to taste, to the caramel sauce for salted carmelitas" I chose to add a little kosher salt and loved it. You must let these bars set up for at least 4 hours before slicing or even overnight. I put mine in the fridge to help with the set up time too. These got rave reviews and 5 stars from all.

Carmelitas 
1  cup margarine, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cup whole-rolled old fashioned oats (not instant or quick cook)
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, optional and to taste
58 caramel squares, unwrapped (I used one bag Kraft caramels) 
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste, if you prefer salted caramel sauce
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
1 Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 11.5 x 13.5-inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Lining your pan is highly recommended for ease of cleanup due to the stickiness of the caramel; set pan aside..
2 Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
3 Add the flour, oats, baking soda, optional pinch salt, and stir until combined. Mixture will be quite thick.
4 Add half of the mixture to the prepared pan (just eyeball it), and smooth it with spatula or the back of a spoon, to create an even, smooth, flat layer; set remainder aside.
5 Bake for 10 minutes. While it bakes, make the caramel sauce.
6 In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl or in a sauce pan. For the microwave: combine the caramels, cream, and heat on high power in 60-second bursts to melt caramels, stirring after each burst. It will likely take about 4 to 5 minutes total to melt; heat until mixture can be stirred smooth. Alternatively, combine caramels and cream in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat to melt, stirring nearly continuously, until mixture can be stirred smooth.
7 Optionally stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste, for salted caramel sauce; set sauce aside.
8 After 10 minutes, remove pan from the oven and evenly sprinkle with the chocolate.
9 Slowly and evenly pour caramel sauce over the chocolate.
10 Evenly crumble reserved oatmeal-brown sugar mixture over the top.
11 Return pan to oven and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes (I baked 16 1/2), or until edges are lightly browned and center is bubbling slightly.
12 Allow bars to cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving, giving the molten caramel time to firm up. This can take up to 4 hours, or overnight, at room temperature. You can speed it up by placing pan in fridge with a sheet of foil over the top to prevent fridge smells. If you don't wait for bars to cool completely, they'll be a literal hot mess. They'll taste fine (don't burn yourself), but they won't slice neatly with clean cuts. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

THANK YOU AVERIE FOR A NEW FAMILY FAVORITE!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Salted Caramel Pecan Bars

Something fun, quick, easy, and tasty for a quick dessert.


Salted Caramel Pecan Bars
Makes 4 dozen. From Southern Living

1 cup chopped pecans
12 Whole graham crackers
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 Tablespoons Whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single later in a shallow pan 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Stirring halfway through.

Line a 15 x 10-inch jellyroll pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper; lightly grease.  Arrange graham crackers in a single layer in prepared pan, slightly overlapping edges.

Combine sugar, butter, and cream in a medium-size heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.  and stir in vanilla and pecans. Pour butter mixture over crackers, spreading to coat.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 11 minutes or until lightly brown and bubbly.

Immediately sprinkle with salt, and slide foil/paper from pan onto a wire rack.  Cool completely (about 30 minutes). With a knife, cut bars.

**Chocolate-Peacan-Carmamel variation: Prepare recipe as directed until removal from oven. Once removed from oven, top warm bars with 1 cup dark chocolate morsels. Let stand 3 minutes, spread chocolate over bars, then sprinkle with salt and proceed with recipe as directed. Chill 20 minutes before serving.

** Our favorite (Tried this recipe out during Christmas 2014 season.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cinnamon Churro Chex Mix Treat

I saw these on pintrest and they sparked my interest as a fun treat. At my house Muddy Buddies or AKA Puppy Chow or many other names are beloved and evil all at the same time.  My favorite is still the original Muddy Buddy flavors, but it didn't take long for these little munchies to disappear either.  


Cinnamon Churro Chex Mix 

9 cups rice Chex cereal
3 cups cinnamon chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Pour Chex cereal into a bowl. Set aside. Combine sugars and cinnamon in another small bowl. Set aside.

In a microwavable bowl, melt the cinnamon chips. Heat for 1 minute then stir. Heat for an additional 30 seconds. Stir. Continue with additional 30 seconds until completely melted. Pour melted cinnamon chips over the cereal. Stir until cereal is well coated.


Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Toss to coat. Pour out the cereal onto a cookie sheet. Continue to sprinkle and toss the cereal with the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture.