Friday, April 4, 2014

Strawberry Punch


1 can (46 oz.) pineapple juice, chilled
2-1/4 cups water
3/4 cup thawed pink lemonade concentrate
3/4 cup sugar
1 qt. strawberry ice cream
2-1/2 quarts ginger ale, chilled
1 pt. Fresh Strawberries

In a punch bowl, combine the first four ingredients.  Add ice cream; stir gently.  Add ginger ale; stir gently.  Cut Fresh Strawberries and add to punch.  Serve immediately. Yield: 6 quarts.

Crock-Pot Cheesecake


3 8 oz. pkgs. of cream cheese
3 Eggs
3/4 Cup Sugar
6 Graham Crackers (full pieces), pulverized into crumbs
3 Tbsp. of Stick Butter, melted

Allow cream cheese to get to room temperature.  Open cream cheese and place in large bowl.
Add Sugar.  Mix until sugar and cream cheese are well blended.  Add the 3 eggs one at a time. After adding an egg, blend, then add the other etc.  In a separate bowl, add graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.  Mix well as this will form your crust.  Choose a pan or small crock type cooking pan that will fit in the bottom of your crock-pot with room left on the side. You want to be able to pull the pan out without too much difficulty.  Add the graham cracker crumbs mixture to the bottom of the pan.  With a spoon, pat the graham crackers out til you have a smooth layer.  Add the cream cheese mixture to the top of the graham crackers.  Add 2 to 3 cups water to the bottom of the crock-pot. You need enough to last 2 hours but not too much that it will get in your pan.  Place the cheesecake pan in the crock-pot and place the lid of the crock-pot on.  Cook on high for 2 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes or until the center does not have a watery consistency when you stick a knife into it.  The cheesecake will begin to crack on the sides.  Let cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Remove and let set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli


2 lbs. broccoli, cut up into florets
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. whole coriander seeds (or 1/2 tsp. ground)
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp. ground)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. hot chili powder

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.  On a large cookie sheet toss together the ingredients listed above.   Spread into a single layer and pop into the oven for 10 minutes.

1 lb. large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Lemon zest from one lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Toss the above ingredients together in a bowl.  When the broccoli’s been in the oven 10 minutes, add the shrimp to the broccoli and toss (carefully.)  Roast another 10 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until the broccoli is tender and golden around the edges. 

Mexican Stuffed Shells


1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 pkg. low-sodium taco seasoning
4 oz. cream cheese
16 jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese

For toppings:
3 green onions
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a pan brown the ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Stir together and mix well. Set aside and cool completely.  While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to package directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board or baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.  Pour salsa on bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Stuff each shell with 1-2 tablespoons of the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Evenly cover shells with taco sauce. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes with the foil removed. Top with green onions or olives if desired. Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa!  Serves 16 shells.

Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes


1 lb. ground beef
1 small sweet onion chopped
1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
1/4 cup steak sauce (like A1)
1 cup beef broth
Provolone cheese

Crumble the ground beef into a skillet and add the chopped onion and pepper. Begin to cook, when the beef is about half cooked, add the broth and steak sauce. Cook until all items are done and allow to simmer and cook down/thicken.  You can use hoggie buns from the bakery. Slice them open and filled 6 with the meat mixture. Then each was topped with a slice of provolone cheese. This was placed under the broiler for 3 minutes.

Crock-Pot Cheddar Garlic Bread


2 Cups Bisquick
2/3 Cups Milk
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1/2 Cup Stick Butter, melted
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

In a bowl, mix the Bisquick and Cheese.  Stir in milk until mixed well.   Add the mix to a well greased bread pan (or put a piece of foil on the bottom of the crock-pot for ease of removal).
Cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle.
Brush the butter-garlic mix on the top of the bread.  Serve.


Sausage Muffins


1 cup of Bisquick
1 lb. cooked sausage
4 eggs beaten
1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix ingredients together and place in muffin pans.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Wine Gummy Hearts


1 cup wine
4 Tbsp. gelatin
1/2 tsp. stevia (optional)
2-4 Tbsp. maple syrup

Note: The amount of maple syrup you use will depend on (1) how dry your wine is and (2) how sweet you want your gummies! You’ll have to taste it as you go and add more as needed.
Also, you can double or triple this–it works just the same!

In a saucepan, warm the wine on low heat. I put a thermometer in it and made sure it didn’t go much above 90 degrees. Wine boils at 159 degrees F, and so I definitely wanted to keep it well below that so the alcohol wouldn’t burn off. You don’t need a thermometer though, just keep it on the lowest heat and don’t take your time with the process. Add the gelatin one Tbsp at a time, and stir very well before adding more. Stir the gelatin/wine with a whisk and the white wine version will got very frothy. This is ok! It still works, and the froth gels too–but if you want your gummies not to have a little froth on the bottom, you can scoop it off. After the gelatin has completely dissolved, add the other ingredients. Taste the mixture after adding each one—you’ll have to use your taste buds as a gauge for how much sweetener to add!  Also keep in mind that the more sweetener you add, the less you’ll taste the flavor of the wine! In my mind, these should be a little less sweet than a regular gummy bear—they are for grown-ups after all!

Garlic & Chive Potato Dumplings


2 good size russet potatoes (you should have approximately 3-4 cups when mashed)
1 3/4-2 1/4 cups white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
3 Tbsp. soy milk or other non-dairy milk
2 Tbsp. minced chives
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt, divided
Olive oil for browning
1 cup pasta sauce (optional)

Cut potatoes into chunks and cover with water. Add 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, approximately 15 minutes. Drain and let cool until able to peel off the skin. Rice with a potato ricer or process in a food processor until smooth and there are no lumps.  Transfer to a large bowl and add 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 tsp salt. milk, chives and garlic. Mix well and then add more flour as needed until you have a soft yet firm dough. The dough should hold together but not be sticky. Divide into 4 equal pieces and form into balls. Cover and let rest 3-5 minutes.  Fill a large pot with water and the remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil.  While the water is heating lightly flour a dry, flat surface. Channel your inner child or get your children to help you roll 1 ball of the dough into a 1/2 inch thick rope just like when you used to play with play dough. With a sharp knife cut the rope into 1/2 inch pieces. Drop the dumplings into the boiling water and simmer for 3 minutes.  Scoop out with a slotted spoon and lay on paper towels. Don’t worry if the dumpling are a little sticky. They will firm up as they cool. Continue with the remaining dough balls until all have been poached.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil per batch (1/4 of the dumplings). Add the dumplings, reduce heat to medium and let brown 7-8 minutes before flipping over and browning the other side for another 7-8 minutes. Add additional salt and/or chives to taste. Serve with pasta sauce for dipping if desired.  Makes approximately 100-120 dumplings.

The dumplings are best kept poached but not fried until ready to serve. Dumplings can be stored in a single layer in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Once fried serve immediately.

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake


For the cake:
1 cup cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for dusting pan
7 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup boiling water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
20 Tbsp. (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

For the ganache:
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.  Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the bundt cake pan and dust with cocoa powder; tap out the excess.  To make the cake, in a bowl, combine the 1 cup cocoa powder and the chocolate. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and blended. Set aside.  Over a sheet of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 30 to 45 seconds. Reduce the speed to low, add the brown sugar and beat until blended. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating until incorporated before adding more and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla until incorporated, about 1 minute.  Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour, beating just until blended and no lumps of flour remain. Slowly pour in the chocolate-cocoa mixture and beat until no white streaks are visible, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are about 1 inch higher than the center. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached to it, 60 to 65 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely, at least 1 hour.  Return the cooled cake to the pan. Using a serrated knife, gently saw off any excess cake that extends over the edge of the pan. Set the wire rack on a parchment paper lines baking sheet. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan.  Meanwhile make the ganache: In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until the melt and the mixture is smooth.  Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing the ganache, to drip down the sides. Let the cake stand until the ganache is set, at least 15 minutes.  Serves 16

NOTE: This makes a TON of batter and is designed to fit into a NordicWare 15-cup Bundt Pan. If you don't have one large enough then only fill up your pan 3/4 of the way full and bake the remaining batter into a smaller pan or cupcakes.

Salted Pretzel Caramel Brownies