Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ambers Scalloped Potatoes

This dish originates from Williams and Sonoma. Amber found the recipe, made a few modifications, and I made a few more. It is a great recipe for leftover holiday ham.

1 lb chopped ham (we used spiral cut ham this time, it is also delicious with diced ham steak)
3 1/2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and sliced thin, this is what the mandolin is made for.
3 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
6 T flour
4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz smoked cheddar cheese
2 T Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9x13 baking dish, layer the ham and sliced potatoes.  (Really I just put the ham on top of the potatoes and mix it a bit - it really will be fine.)  In a sauce pan, melt butter, add flour, cook for a minute or two, then add the milk.  Stir and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until thick.  Remove from heat and add cheeses, mustard, and cayenne pepper.  Stir over low heat just until the cheese melts.  Season to taste with salt and pepper - don't forget the ham is usually pretty salty, so don't over salt!  Pour cheese sauce over potatoes and ham.  Bake, uncovered until the top is crusty and brown, and potatoes are tender - this usually takes 90 minutes. Once or twice during baking, if needed, gently stir the top of the potatoes so they do not become too brown.  And yes, this recipe could be made lower fat, but it is a comfort food and is best made the "real" way for a tasty occasional dinner.

Monday, December 27, 2010

TWD Brownie Buttons--Rewind

Why did I rewind Brownie Buttons?
-- I love chocolate and orange, it is a great flavor combination.
--This recipe can be made in one pan, very easy.
--You can have 16 mini brownies ready in about 30 minutes.
--Brownie Buttons are delicious.
--Complete recipe can be found on Two Scientists Blog.
--Brownie Buttons will be a frequent treat at our house.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Treats

Just a few of my favorite Christmas Treats. A wonderful day visiting with family and celebrating the Birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oven Chili

I found this recipe in a Pampered Chef Stoneware Cookbook. I like the flavor of chili but have never been a bean lover. This recipe is full of onions, tomatoes, peppers and lean beef. Just one can of beans to serve 10 people. I knew it would be a winner. It was and continues to be a family favorite. I have had requests to add more beans. Sometimes I do. 

2½ Pound boneless beef rump roast—trimmed of excess fat and cut in ½ inch cubes
4 garlic cloves, pressed
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1½ teaspoons dried oregano leaves
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoons black pepper
2 cups onions, coarsely chopped
2 cups green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
3 cans (14½ ounces each) diced tomatoes, I give them a spin with my Immersion Blender
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1-2 cans (15.5 ounces) pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed

Sprinkle garlic and seasonings over beef cubes; stir to coat meat. Add vegetables and beans. Put in stoneware baker or heavy pan. Cover and bake at 350 for 2½-3 hours until meat is tender. Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sliced olives, chopped green onions and sour cream. Serves 10
This can also be cooked in a large crock pot on high 4-6 hours or until meat is tender.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wedding Cookies

I volunteered to make six dozen Wedding Cookies for a church party. I've tasted these buttery, sandy cookies but have never made them. This is one of those recipes that seems to get pushed to the back of the recipe box. The cookies came together quickly in my Kitchenaid. I used my small Pampered Chef cookie scoop to portion the dough. Rolled the dough in cute balls and they were ready to bake. Rolling the warm cookie in powdered sugar was messy and took time. But when you make 6 dozen of anything it takes time!
This was a tasty cookie, melt in your mouth goodness.

Wedding Cookies
1 cup butter, soft
1/2  cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, chopped
powdered sugar for rolling
Cream together butter, sugar and flavorings. Mix in salt, flour and nuts. Use small cookie scoop and form into balls. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool cookies for a few minutes and roll in powdered sugar. Makes 3 dozen.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Bites

We had just moved into our new home. We also had a new born (why do moves and newborns seem to go together?) There was a knock on our door one winter morning in 1978. Three sweet ladies were on our doorstep. They wanted to welcome us to the neighborhood and get to know our little family. We had a nice chat, details have long been forgotten. But they left the best treat--Baked Apple Donuts. Not really a donut but a muffin. So light and delicious. They were happy to share their recipe, I have been making them for 32 years. I have updated the recipe and bake them in mini muffin tins. These are always a hit!

1 ½ cup flour
1 ¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
½ cup sugar
Buzz together in Food Processor about 20 seconds.
Add 1/3 cup cold butter process a few seconds

Mix together:
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
½ cup grated apple
Add to food processor and just buzz a few seconds. Please don't over mix.

Lightly spray  a 24 mini muffin pan—use small scoop of rounded batter in each cup. Bake 350 degrees for about 12-13 minutes. While warm dip muffin top in melted butter and then in cinnamon sugar mixture (1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Advent Calendar

When the Harris Girls are not cooking or going to lunch we just might be crafting! We had a few kid free moments after Thanksgiving so we made these cute Advent Calendars. I saw them on Miranda's blog and quickly ordered the supplies. They are made with 'watchmaker cases', super strong magnets, vinyl numbers, cute paper and plenty of bling. They are filled with small treats and family activities. I think the Grandkids will love them!

I did a simple version of an Advent Calendar with my sweet nieces. We decorated small bags with vinyl numbers, stamps and some colored paper. We put a few pieces of candy in each bag, attached the bag to a clothesline with a clothes pin. They happily went home with their very own Advent Calendar. Their colorful bags looked fun hanging all in a row! We had a magical evening.