Friday, April 30, 2010

White Bean Chili

I am sad to say it is still 'soup weather' in Utah. The good news is I have a great pantry soup recipe to share with you. I was asked to be a judge at a cooking contest, when I tasted this soup I just wanted to stop and eat a bowl. I gave it a blue ribbon. Use rotisserie chicken and this soup comes together in minutes.

White Bean Chili

2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 can (15 oz) Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
1 package (9 oz) frozen shoe peg white corn
1 can (7 oz) salsa verde
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Mix chicken, broth, beans, corn, and salsa verde in a 3-quart saucepan.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Stir in cilantro.  Thin with additional chicken broth if desired.  Garnish with sour cream and/or guacamole.

Monday, April 26, 2010

TWD Chockablock Cookies

Perfect timing on this TWD recipe. Just last week I recieved my order from King Arthur Flour, it contained just the goodies I needed to bake these wonderful cookies. I used all butter, walnuts, dates and a special dried fruit mix from KAF. I used Burgundy Chunks and a semi-sweet baking bar. These cookies were loaded. These cookies were delicious. Hubby said they were the best cookie he has ever eaten. I would have to give this recipe a full 5 stars. I will keep it at the front of my cookie file.

This weeks hostess is Mary from Popsicles and Sandy Feet. Check out her blog for the recipe and the TWD site for all the reactions to this unique cookie.

Delicious Hot Fudge Sauce

I will say it--this is the Best Hot Fudge Sauce I have ever eaten.  It is made with items in my pantry so warm, gooey fudge is never far away. If you keep vanilla ice cream in your freezer Hot Fudge Sundaes can be your Family Home Evening treat tonight. Use top quality semi-sweet chocolate and this just might become a family favorite too.

Hot Fudge Sauce
In a saucepan gently melt :
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (no, milk chocolate does not work)
1/4 cup buttter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup canned, evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed)
Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.
For a change add 1/4 cup peanut butter to sauce after it has cooked.
Serve over ice cream, top with sliced almonds. Go wild and add sliced bananas, whipped cream and a cherry. It's all good.

"Always serve too much hot fudge sauce on hot fudge sundaes.
 It makes people overjoyed, and puts them in your debt." 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Day Nana said "No"

We don't see our 10 grandchildren often enough, they all live out of state. So Grandpa Greg and Nana's house should be a magical place where nothing but fun is allowed. We eat Cocoa Puffs and chocolate milk for breakfast. There is Mango Juice in the refrigerator, ice cream and popsicles in the freezer. There is always a cube of butter sitting out so cookies can be made at a moments notice.

My reading glasses are a little crooked, high heels and jewelry are fair game. There are finger prints on the windows and Grandpa is always willing to watch Cars or Incredibles. We eat snacks while watching movies, naps may or may not happen. Life is good.

Then it happened. Grandpa Greg left his binoculars out, EJ found them, put them around her neck and began spotting deer on the mountain. This was allowed. But then EJ insisted on bringing the binoculars to Costco.

Nana had to say 'no' and our granddaughter suffered a meltdown. Could this be a side effect of  Cocoa Puffs and chocolate milk?

TWD Swedish Visiting Cake--Revisited

I really don't like cooking failures, who does? It seems that 99% of TWD bakers loved Swedish Visiting Cake, it was quick to make and bake. Many voted it among the top 5 recipes in Dories cookbook. It was a simple recipe that did not work for me.

So I had to try it again; this time making a few minor adjustments for my high altitude. I am happy to say my Swedish Visiting Cake was a success. It was delicious with vanilla ice cream  and whipped cream. It was good for breakfast. This is a cake I will certainly make again. The recipe can be found on Nancy's Blog.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

30 Minute Chicken Noodle Soup

In Utah April Showers are often snow so a bowl of soup is tasty on chilly spring days. This is a great recipe for busy days, it really comes together in 30 minutes. Adapted from the "Queen of 30 Minute Meals", Rachel Ray this is a recipe you will make often. I usually have everything in the pantry for this quick soup. I love to have chicken tenders in my freezer, they thaw quickly and are so versatile.

30 Minute Chicken Noodle Soup
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 pound (about 6) chicken tenders, diced
2 bay leaves
6 cups canned chicken broth
4 ounces thin noodles (I buy them them on the Hispanic aisle--they come in 7 ounce packages)

Saute veggies and chicken in oil for a few minutes till chicken is brown and veggies crisp tender. Add broth, bay leaves and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in noodles and cook till tender, about 6 minutes. Do not overcook, this is a quick soup. Remove from heat, salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle a handful of fresh chopped parsley on top. Enjoy!
Printable Recipe

Monday, April 12, 2010

TWD Swedish Visiting Cake

This recipe was easy to make, had two of my favorite flavors, almond and lemon. It looked and smelled delicious but.....I must have under cooked it. The cake browned nicely, Dorie said it would be somewhat moist. I cut a warm piece, it seemed too moist. I let the cake cool; it was still too moist and quite greasy.  Will I try and perfect it? Probably not--there are too many other recipes I want to try.

Check the TWD site, others had good luck with this simple recipe. This recipe can be found on Nancy's Blog, she is our gracious host this week.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Little Citrus Muffins

Here is another Pampered Chef recipe that uses the mini muffin pan. These little muffins are refreshingly good. Use lemon, lime or orange; you really can't go wrong. They are quick, easy and look wonderful on any dessert table. Good for breakfast, brunch or as an afternoon snack. They are just delicious.

Little Citrus Muffins
Beat 1/4 cup softened butter and 2/3 cup sugar, add 1 egg and beat till smooth. Add 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 teaspoons citrus zest. Stir together 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Gently add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Do not over mix.
Spray mini muffin pan with Pam, using small cookie scoop fill each muffin cup with a rounded scoop of batter.
Bake at 375 for 11-12 minutes. Let cool a few minutes and remove from pan. Cool and glaze or frost with citrus frosting. I mix citrus zest, a little butter, powdered sugar and fresh citrus juice to desired consistency. Drizzle or frost. I have been known to add some softened cream cheese to the frosting. Makes 24 yummy citrus bites.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pecan Tassies

This recipe comes from The Pampered Chef Cookbook entitled 'All the Best'. It is a fun cookbook with several recipes to liven any gathering. I love pecan pie but for some reason pies intimidate me. I am afraid of making pie crust; it seems so big. JoJo where are you?? I have tasted your pie crust, I know you have mastered it. Please help me!
In the meantime I can make Pecan Tassies which are described as 'a chewy pecan mixture that fills buttery pastry cups'. These mini treats taste wonderful, are simple to make and look beautiful on any dessert table.

Pecan Tassies

Tart shells
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup flour
Beat butter and cream cheese until well blended, add flour; mix until a soft dough forms. Using small scoop shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place balls of dough in mini muffin tins. Dip mini-tart shaper in flour; press into dough with even pressure until dough rises slightly above rim of pan.

2 Tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecan halves, finely chopped
Mix together butter and brown sugar, add egg and vanilla, stir is chopped pecans.
Using small scoop, fill each tart shell with level scoop of filling (do not overfill). Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes untill edges are light golden brown. Remove from oven, cool in pan 3 minutes. Remove from pan and place tarts on cooling rack; cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or top with whipped cream to serve.
This recipe makes 24 tarts. Since this is a Pampered Chef recipe several PC tools are used. These are all great products, so useful in any kitchen. I use my mini muffin tin often, little bites are so much fun! The mini scoop is the perfect size for mini muffins, cupcakes and tarts. I also use it when making cookies for my grandkids, it is the perfect size for little hands.

Yes, I do sell Pampered Chef because I love their products and I like to encourage cooking! It is a good thing. I will place an order soon for Mothers Day, let me know if I can help you.
If you like these be sure and try my favorite pecan pie bar, it's amazing!

Spring Showers bring Ribbon Sandwiches

I love a little sandwich, a bite size dessert, chocolate covered strawberries all served on a dainty glass plate. A shower, brunch or luncheon is the perfect time to serve 'a bite of wonderful'. I dream of a Amy Atlas party, but here are a few of my real life favorites!

Nothing says 'lady' like a Ribbon Sandwich!  These delicious delights were popular in the '70's. They were on the menu at the first bridal shower I attended.  It was love at first bite; I have been making Ribbon Sandwiches for almost 40 years. I think my original recipe came from a Betty Crocker Cookbook.
I have updated this simple sandwich many times as trends and products have changed. I have made these sandwiches on pink and blue bread for baby showers. The sandwiches are best made a day or two before the party. I like to make the fillings and invite a friend to help make the sandwiches 'assembly line' style

Ribbon Sandwiches
Golden Cheese Spread
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Bon Appettie
Mix well

Ham Salad Filling
2 cups ground cooked ham (I use my food processor)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup minced celery
2 Tablespoons sweet pickles, minced
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix well
To make sandwiches, use 3 slices of sandwich bread. Butter one side of each slice, spread ham salad on one slice, cheese spread on another and top with the third slice of bread. Trim crusts off each sandwich stack. At this point I put the sandwich stacks in a plastic bag. They can be refrigerated for a few days. To serve slice stack in half, then slice each half into 3 'ribbons'.
This makes about 8-9 sandwich stacks or about 50-60 ribbons. I alternate wheat and white bread, look for 'square' sandwich style bread. Have fun....Make peanut butter and jam for the kids! I will post more fun and easy shower foods soon.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

TWD World Peace Cookies--Rewind

This delicious cookie recipe was made before I joined TWD. The reviews were so positive I just had to make them (and I love chocolate).
We celebrated  Easter at home this year. Children are miles away and the weather was nasty; we enjoyed a quiet Easter watching General Conference. Counsel from inspired leaders is always welcome. The love and encouragement I felt from Prophets of God was just what I needed.

I decided not to buy Easter candy but I did make Dorie's World Peace Cookies. Wow can I just say these cookies are delicious. These butter-rich, sandy-textured slice and bake cookies are a member of the sable family. Chocolate is the star ingredient so I chopped a bar of Scharffen Berger Chocolate that I had been saving for just the right recipe.  This is a simple cookie with few ingredients, handle the dough as little as possible, chill the dough thoroughly, slice and bake. This just may be the best cookie I have ever eaten!

Check this blog for the recipe and great tips for baking World Peace Cookies. I am thinking that a well stocked freezer should always contain a roll of this delicious cookie dough. You never know when a chocolate craving will hit!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Oatmeal Carmelitas

These rich, chewy bars were in the 1967 Pillsbury Bake-Off. They have become one of the most requested recipes ever according to Pillsbury. It takes just one bite to see why this is true. They are addictive. I suggest you make them the day before a large family gathering. These yummy bars need to be shared, they also freeze quite well.

Oatmeal Carmelitas
2 cups flour
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups softened butter
1 12.5 oz. jar caramel ice cream topping
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips, I chop up a Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Baking Bar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan--I use stoneware. Blend all crust ingredients at low speed until crumbly. Press 2/3 of the crumb mixture in the bottom of sprayed pan. Reserve remaining crumb mixture for topping. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile combine caramel
 topping and 3 tablespoons flour. Remove partially baked crust from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Drizzle caramel mixture evenly over top; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Press down gently.
 Return to 350 degree oven and bake for an additional 18-22 minutes or until golden. Cool completely.
Refrigerate 1-2 hours until filling is set. Cut into squares and share.