Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spice Cookies with Pumpkin Dip

These are one of my favorite cookies...especially when they are warm right out of the oven.   The dip goes perfect with these cookies.  I started making these about 18 years ago when I first saw the recipe in a Taste of Home magazine.  This recipe was a 2nd place winner in the Taste of Home cookie contest, however, in my opinion, Kelly should have received 1st place!

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
Additional sugar for dipping

Pumpkin Dip:

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin pie mix
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground ginger

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.  Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt; add to the creamed mixture and mix well.  Chill overnight.  Shape into 1/2 in balls; roll in sugar.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets (or parchment lined baking sheets).  Bake at 375 degrees for 6 to 7 minutes or until edges begin to brown.  Do not over bake unless you like crispy cookies.  Cool for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack. 

For dip, beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth.  Add pumpkin pie mix; beat well.  Add sugar, cinnamon and ginger; beat until smooth.  Serve with cookies.  

Store leftover dip in the refrigerator.

Makes about 7-8 dozen cookies and 3 cups of dip

Source:  Taste of Home - October/November 1995  


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Soup

I absolutely love Chicken Enchilada Soup.  This recipe uses 2% milk American cheese singles instead of a full-fat cheese so it is healthier for you than a traditional enchilada soup.  There are only 3 grams of fat in a one cup serving. 

I prefer to make this soup the day before and re-heat it the next day.  I think some foods taste better the second day.  Sitting in the refrigerator overnight helps blend the flavors together.

1 tsp oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup enchilada sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 TBS cornmeal
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
4 slices 2% milk American cheese singles
1 1/2 cups frozen corn (my addition)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (my addition)

Heat the oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until translucent.  Add the garlic and saute until soft, another 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, 1 cup water and enchilada sauce, and bring to a low boil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornmeal and 3/4 cup water.  Add the cornmeal mixture, chili powder and cumin to the pot.  Let simmer until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken, cheese, corn and black beans and simmer over low heat for an additional 10 minutes.  Serve with diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro and wedges of lime, if desired.  You may even top the soup with fried tortilla strips if you wish.

Makes four 1 1/2 cup servings

Source:  Eat More of What You Love - Marlene Koch


Chili's Salsa

I like Chili's Salsa so when I saw this recipe I really wanted to make it.  However, I don't think it tastes like Chili's Salsa at all...I think it is much better! 

1 (10 oz) can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies (mild), drained
1 (14 1/2 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, not drained
4 tsp jalapenos (canned, diced, not pickled) I omitted because I wanted a medium salsa
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 - 3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp sugar
3 TBS fresh cilantro (my addition)
1 clove garlic, minced (my addition)
1 TBS lime juice (my addition)

In a food processor, place the jalapenos and onions.
Process for just a few seconds.
Add both cans of tomatoes, salt, cumin, sugar, cilantro, garlic and lime juice.
Process all the ingredients until well blended but do not puree.  (you want it a little chunky)
Place in a covered container and chill.
A couple of hours of chilling will help blend and enrich the flavor.
Serve with your favorite thin corn tortilla chips.



Creme Brulee

This was the perfect dessert for our Easter dinner.  Creme Brulee is one of my favorites.  It's simple yet elegant.

1 extra large egg
4 extra large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 TBS for each serving
3 cups heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 TBS orange liqueur, optional (Grand Marnier or Triple Sec)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar together on low speed until just combined.  Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan until it's very hot to the touch but not boiled.  With the mixer on low speed, very, very slowly add the hot cream to the eggs.  Pour in a slow trickle.  If you add the hot cream too quickly to the eggs you will have scrambled eggs.  Add the vanilla and orange liqueur and pour into 6 or 8 ounce ramekins until almost full.

Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken.  Carefully, remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm. (I refrigerated mine overnight).

To serve, sprinkle 1 TBS of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar caramelizes evenly.  Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.

Serve with fresh berries if desired.

I filled five 8 oz ramekins.  These were fairly large so I had to bake them a little longer than 40 minutes.  

You may also add a split and seeded vanilla bean to the cream while it is scalding.  You may also use almond extract instead of vanilla and the orange liqueur.

Caution:  Baking using a waterbath may discolor your pan.  It may leave circles where each ramekin was.

Source:  Barefoot in Paris - Ina Garten


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Strawberry Jello

I have been making this jello recipe for many years.  It goes perfect with a Sunday roast dinner.  It is also very pretty on a holiday table.  I made this jello for was delicious with our ham dinner.   

1 (6 oz) pkg strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water
1 (16 oz) container frozen sliced strawberries in sugar (do not drain)
1 (9 oz) can crushed pineapple (if you use the pineapple juice, cut down that much on the water)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 to 1 1/2 cups sour cream

Dissolve jello in boiling water.  Add slightly thawed strawberries and pineapple.  Chill for a few minutes until slightly thickened.  Stir in the mashed bananas.  Pour half of the jello into a lightly greased jello mold (I use vegetable oil).  Chill this in the refrigerator for a few minutes until slightly set, just enough so the next layer of sour cream doesn't sink into the jello.  Leave the other half of the jello on the need to put it in the refrigerator or it will set up too much.  Spoon sour cream on top of the set jello and spread evenly to cover.  Add the rest of the jello on top.  Fill the jello mold all the way to the top.  Chill overnight or until completly set.

To unmold the jello, run a knife around the edge of the mold.  Place a platter or dinner plate on top of the mold.   Carefully, flip over, shake back and forth and slowly remove the mold.  If it doesn't unmold easily, place a warm wet dish towel over the mold for a few minutes.  Or you may carefully dip the mold in a sink filled with a couple inches of warm water.      

This recipe fills a 5 cup jello mold with just a little bit left over.  This also looks pretty if you double the recipe and serve it in a 9x13 glass dish.


Cherry Ripple Rave Cake

This cake can be served as a dessert or even for breakfast.  It is so delicious! 

3/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla

1 can cherry pie filling
1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
1/2 tsp almond extract

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon

Cream butter, sugar and eggs thoroughly.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternating with milk and vanilla.  Blend well.  Spread half of the batter into a greased 9x13 pan.

Combine pie filling, nuts and almond extract.  Spoon filling onto batter, spreading evenly.  Spoon remaining batter over cherries.  Spread evenly to cover. 

Mix the crumb topping ingredients together until crumbly.  Sprinkle on top of cake.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.  Cool.

Top with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Source: More Family Favorites - Mary Beth Roe