Monday, May 30, 2011

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

Peanut butter and chocolate...need I say more?


Brownie Base:
1 box (1 lb 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp milk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom only of 9x13 pan.

In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, pouch of chocolate syrup, water, oil and eggs until well blended.  Spread in pan.  Bake 28-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Spread mixture evenly over brownie base.  (I found that using my fingers worked better than a spoon).

In small bowl, microwave topping ingredients uncovered on High 30-60 seconds; stir until smooth.  Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling.  Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set.  Cut small as these are very rich...9 rows by 4 rows.  Store covered in refrigerator.



Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pistachio Salad (or Dessert)

This is a delicious family favorite.  This salad can also be served as a dessert. 


1 - 20 oz can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 - 3 oz package instant pistachio pudding mix
2 cups miniature marshmallows (I prefer a little less)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 - 8 oz carton Cool Whip

Place pineapple in bowl.  Sprinkle with pudding mix. 
Add marshmallows and pecans. Fold in Cool Whip.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Garnish with fresh sliced strawberries.


Yum Yum Brownie Muffins

This is a super simple 2 ingredient recipe.  It sounded so crazy I just had to try it.  They are actually really good!  Can't get any easier than this.

1 box devil's food cake mix
1 15 oz can solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

Mix the two ingredients together. Don't add anything else that may be mentioned on the box, such as eggs, oil, or water. The mixture will be very thick and you will be tempted to add in other things to make the batter smoother. DO NOT DO THIS AS IT WILL RUIN EVERYTHING! Place batter into muffin tins (or mini muffin tins) lined with paper, or sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. (don't overbake!) Makes 16 regular or 36 mini muffins.

(1 Muffin, or 3 minis - 181 calories, 3.5g fat, 37g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g protein)

My muffins stuck to the paper a bit so you may want to lightly spray the muffin papers or just put them in greased muffin pans without the paper.

*** My Mom made these in mini muffin tins.  She poked 3 Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips into each muffin.  I prefered them this way instead of the large muffins.  Also, the chocolate chips were a yummy addition!



Monday, May 16, 2011

Cheddar Potato Strips

Very easy and very good!

3 large potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 cup milk
2 TBS butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 TBS minced fresh parsley, optional

In a greased 9x13 baking dish, arrange potatoes in a single layer.  Pour milk over potatoes.  Dot with butter and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.  Bake, uncovered 5 minutes longer.


Saucy Garlic Chicken

This chicken dish is wonderful!  I definitely will be making this one again!

4 whole garlic bulbs
2 TBS olive oil (divided)
1 pkg (9 oz) fresh baby spinach
3/4 tsp salt (divided)
1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper (divided)
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 oz each) - butterfly or pound them if they are thick
6 TBS butter, cubed
6 TBS flour
3 cups milk
2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
Large box sliced fresh mushrooms
Hot cooked bow-tie pasta
Chopped tomato and fresh parsley, optional

Remove papery outer skin from garlic.  (Do not peel or separate cloves).  Cut tops off of garlic bulbs; brush bulbs with 1 TBS oil. Wrap each bulb in heavy-duty foil.  Bake 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until softened.  Cool for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place spinach in a greased 9x13 baking dish; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper.  In a large skillet, brown chicken in remaining oil on both sides; place chicken on top of the spinach. Top with sliced mushrooms. 

In a large saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in flour til smooth; gradually add milk.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in 2 cups cheese and remaining salt and pepper.  Transfer to a blender; squeeze softened garlic into blender.  Cover and process until smooth.   Pour mixture over chicken. 

Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees and sauce is bubbly.  Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 5 minutes longer.  Serve with pasta.   Sprinkle with tomato and parsley if desired. 

Makes 6 servings

Source:  Taste of Home


Saturday, May 14, 2011

White Turkey Chili

This chili is delicious and good for you!  The sour cream, lime and cilantro add the finishing touch to this chili.

1 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
3 medium poblano peppers, seeded and white ribs removed, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pound ground white meat turkey
2 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth *
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1 (15.5-ounce) can hominy, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream or nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt
2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges

Heat the oil in large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, poblanos peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds.

Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink about 2 minutes. Add the white beans, broth and oregano. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

Add the hominy and salt and more cayenne pepper, to taste. Continue cooking, partially covered, for an additional 10 minutes. Ladle into individual bowls and top each serving with 1 tablespoon of sour cream or yogurt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cilantro. Squeeze lime wedge over the top.

*  The original recipe calls for 4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth.  However, I prefer my chili with less liquid so I only use 2 cups.

Source: So Easy – Ellie Krieger


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sweet Pickles

You can't get any easier than this! These pickles go great with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Since the jars are not sealed in a hot water bath, these must be kept in the refrigerator. 

2 1/2 to 3 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced thin
1 medium Vidalia onion, sliced thin
3 cups sugar
2 cups white vinegar
4 tsp salt
2 tsp celery seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
diced red pepper, optional

Place all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl.
Cook uncovered on High for 4 minutes.
Cook 3 more minutes, until bubbly.
Put into jars and refrigerate.

Makes 8 to 9 half-pint jars


Chicken Pot Pie

This delicious recipe is from a dear friend of mine, Suzanne.  She has since passed away.  I think of her every time I make this. 

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of potato soup
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1 16 oz bag of frozen mixed vegetable or 1 16 oz can of Veg-All
4 cups chicken, diced or shredded (about 3 chicken breasts)
Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie crust (top & bottom crust) 
1 egg white, slightly beaten

Mix together the soup, milk and pepper.
If using frozen vegetables, partially cook them in the microwave for about 7 minutes.  Drain off the water.
Add the vegetables and chicken to the soup mixture. 

Roll out the crust and place in a 10" pie plate. Pour chicken mixture into crust.
Top with the second crust and crimp the edges to seal.  Cut several slits in the crust to allow the steam to vent.
Brush top of crust with egg white.

Bake at  375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Let rest about 10 minutes before serving. 


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Orange and Cream Gelatin

This can be served as a salad or even a dessert.

2 boxes (3 oz each) orange Jello
1 can (8-10 oz) Mandarin oranges (save juice)
2/3 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed

an additional can of Mandarin oranges for garnish, optional

Place 1 1/2 cups of water in a 1.5 quart (or 8x8) glass dish.  Microwave for 2 minutes, until boiling hot.

Add 1 box of the orange jello to the boiling water and stir for 2 minutes, until completely dissolved.

Drain the juice of the can of Mandarin ranges into the hot jello mixture, stirring to combine.  Evenly drop the Mandarin oranges into the gelatin.  Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until almost completely set.

In a large mixing bowl, add 3/4 cup of boiling water and the second box of Jello.  Stir for 2 minutes until dissolved.  Add 3/4 cup of ice cold water and stir.  Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes, just until very cool but not set.

Place the Cool Whip into the bowl of cold jello that was in the freezer.  Whisk together until smooth.

Pour this second, creamy mixture over the Mandarin orange jello that is in the refrigerator and refrigerate all for about 2 hours or until well set. 

Garnish with Mandarin oranges or sprinkle with fresh orange zest if desired.

This is also pretty served in parfait glasses.

You can also make a Strawberries and Cream Gelatin by replacing the orange Jello with strawberry, the Mandarin oranges with 3/4 cup of sliced strawberries, and the Mandarin orange juice with 1/2 cup of cold water or white grape juice.


Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars

These bars are a delicious and healthy way to start the day.

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour (or whole-wheat pastry flour)
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 large egg white
3/4 cup chopped dried tart cherries
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup "Fruit Only" apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, oil, egg, and egg white until well combined. Stir in the oat mixture until well combined. Add the dried cherries and walnuts.

Coat an 8" square pan with cooking spray. Spread mixture into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When bars are almost done, put the apricot preserves in a small microwaveable bowl and heat until preserves start to boil. As soon as the bars are taken out of the oven, brush with the preserves.

Cool completely and cut into 12 bars, about 4 x 1 1/2 inches each.

Source: So Easy - Ellie Krieger


Beef Stew

This Beef Stew is a hearty warm-me-up meal for a cold Wisconsin night...or even in May when it's still freezing cold outside!

3 lbs stew beef
3 TBS vegetable oil
3 cups beef broth (or 2 1/2 cups broth and 1/2 cup red wine)
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 - 2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
3 - 4 large carrots, sliced
3 ribs celery, chopped
4 - 5 russet potatoes, cut into chunks
8 oz bag of frozen peas
8 oz sliced mushrooms

Toss meat in flour.  In a large pot, brown the floured meat in hot oil.  Add broth/wine, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper and paprika.  Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours.  Remove bay leaves and garlic clove.  Add carrots, celery and potatoes.  Cover and cook 40 minutes longer.  Add peas and mushrooms and cook an additional 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Serves 6-8


Meatballs with Grape Jelly

Christmas Eve would not be the same without Dad's meatball appetizers.  These are wonderful! 

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup cornflakes, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp pepper
2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 (6 oz) jar grape jelly (1/2 c.)
2 TBS lemon juice
1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce (1 1/2 c.)

Combine meat mixture; shape into 1" balls and place on an ungreased 10x15x1 pan.  Bake in oven at 375° for 25-30 minutes.  Combine sauce in a large pan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add meatballs to sauce; stir to coat.  Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes; stirring occasionally.

Keep warm in a crockpot. 

Serves 34 people (2 ea)


Chocolate Scotcheroos

I have been making these bars for years. It's been a tradition that when we go on vacation I have to make a pan of Chocolate Scotcheroos.

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup (or honey)*
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispies

Combine sugar and syrup (or honey) in 3 qt. saucepan.  Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to bubble.  Remove from heat.  Stir in peanut butter; mix well.  Add Rice Krispies; stir until well blended.  Press mixture into buttered 13x9 pan.

1 c. (6 oz) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 c. (6 oz) Butterscotch Chips

Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together over very low heat or over hot but not boiling water, stirring until well blended.  Remove from heat; spread evenly over Rice Krispies mixture.  Cool until firm.  Cut into bars.

* I use 1/2 c. syrup and 1/2 c. honey

Makes 48 bars