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Friday, June 30, 2006

Peanut Butter Fudge

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup evaporate milk (do not use low-fat!)
1 Tbsp. butter

Mix & bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook it to soft ball stage.

4 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Mix well. Pour into oiled, paper-lined pan. Cool, slice, & enjoy.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Vanilla Raspberry Pavlova

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
1 1/2 cups cold fat free milk
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Jello Vanilla Sugar-Free Instant Pudding
1 cup thawed Cool Whip Lite
2 cups raspberries (can substitute any berries)
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 225 F. Beat egg whites & cream of tartar in medium bowl with electric mixer on high 5 minutes or until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form.

Spoon onto parchment-lined baking sheet (or use silicone mat). Using large spoon, make a 10-inch circle (or other shape) of meringue, slightly indented in the center to form a "crust" or shallow "bowl". Bake 1 1/2 hours. Cool.

Pour milk into large bowl & add dry pudding mix. Whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Fold in whipped topping. Refridgerate 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Place meringue on serving plate. Spoon pudding mixture onto meringue, leaving a border of meringue showing. Place raspberries over pudding. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if using.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Chinese Noodle Salad

After making this salad for a while, I thought I'd better update the recipe. It seemed like the dressing made way too much for the salad ingredients and ended up making everything soggy. So, here's the updated recipe with better salad/dressing proportions. This makes a lot, however, so if just for a family meal, you might want to cut everything in half.

Chinese Noodle Salad

2 packages coleslaw mix (or 1 cabbage, shredded & 2-3 carrots, grated)
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup shelled sunflower seeds
2 packages Beef Ramen Noodles (dry), crushed

1 cup salad oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
2 seasoning packets from Beef Ramen Noodles

Mix first set of ingredients and add dressing ~30 minutes before serving.

Caution: it's very addictive.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Easiest Cheese Ball

2 8 oz packages cream cheese (do not use low/non-fat), softened
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 package dried beef, 1/4 inch dice (I use Armour)

Once cream cheese is soft, add dried beef, and use mixer to combine. Add half of green onions, mix, and taste. Add remaining green onions to taste. Form into ball, cover, and refrigerate overnight for flavors to combine. Serve with crackers.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Nutella Ganache

Note: This recipe has been updated here.

Nutella Ganache

1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup heavy cream

Cook in heavy-bottomed sauce pan over MEDIUM heat*, stirring constantly until the mixture is completely smooth (~7-10 minutes). Let ganache cool slightly (~ 5 minutes). Pour over warm Nutella Bundt Cake (or any kind of cake). Let the ganache cool completely before serving.

*Do NOT use HIGH heat; if you rush this, you won't like the results.

Nutella Bundt Cake (with Nutella Ganache)

I made this cake for Sam's 28th Birthday.

1 cup Nutella, divided
4 large eggs, divided
1 (18.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour 10-inch Bundt pan.

In small bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup Nutella and 1 egg. Blend until completely smooth and set aside. In large bowl, using electric mixer on low speed, stir together cake mix, remaining 3 eggs, buttermilk and remaining 1/3 cup Nutella until moistened. Scrape down sides and beater(s) and increase speed to medium, beating for another 2 minutes.

Remove 1 cup batter and mix with reserved Nutella-egg mixture. Pour leftover batter evenly into prepared cake pan. Spoon reserved Nutella batter over it and, using a knife, gently swirl batters together to create marble pattern. Smooth top of cake and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. (Cake is done when moist crumbs cling to inserted wooden pick.) DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR TO PEEK; THE CAKE WILL FALL!

Allow cake to cool in pan for 15 minutes. When ready to handle, carefully invert onto cooling rack and remove pan. While cake continues to cool, make Nutella Ganache. Pour Nutella Ganache over cake, allow ganache to cool completely, and serve.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Indiana Garden Salad

I always double this recipe for gatherings.

1 can party peas
1 can French green beans
2 stalks celery, finely cut
1 medium onion, finely cut
1 can pimento, finely cut

Mix above and drain.

1 cup sugar (I use 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup salad oil
1 tsp. salt
dash paprika

Pour solution over salad. Let set overnight in fridge. Drain in colander over a bowl. Serve on lettuce leaves. You may use the solution again.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Islander Cheese Ball

2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
8 oz. can (can use more) crushed pineapple, well drained
1 Tbsp. green onion, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. (I use 1 Tbsp) Seasoned Salt
2 cups Chopped Pecans (or other nuts)

Mix cream cheese and pineapple with mixer. Stir in onion, green peppers, and seasoned salt. Add 1/2 cup pecans to mixture. Use remaining 1 1/2 cups of chopped nuts to roll ball in. Cover and chill. Serve with crackers.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Caramel Sauce

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine in sauce pan; bring to rolling boil over medium heat. Cool. Serve with Apple Cake (on individual slices or pour over cake). Also good on ice cream (and anything else you can think of).

Apple Cake

3 cups sliced or chopped apples (can peel apples first, but not necessary)
1 ½ cups sugar

Pour sugar over apples, set aside, and stir occasionally for one hour. It will make its own syrup.

Combine in bowl:

2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon

Add to dry mixture:

Apples and syrup
¾ cup oil
2 beaten eggs
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix thoroughly by hand. Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees (or until done).
Best served warm with Caramel Sauce.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Caramel Cookie Bars

½ cup margarine (I use Blue Bonnet)
½ cup butter (one stick)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
18 graham crackers, halved

Line a jelly roll pan (15x10x1) with graham crackers. Combine margarine, butter, brown sugar, and nuts in medium saucepan. Bring it to a full boil over medium heat; boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Spoon boiled butter and sugar mixture over graham crackers. Bake at 350 F degrees for 13-15 minutes. Cool. Cut caramel graham cracker cookies into squares (or whatever shape you prefer).

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cranberry Crunch Bars

1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
½ cup water
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup raisins

Combine sugar, cornstarch, water, vanilla, cranberries, and raisins in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Crumb Topping:
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup butter (melted)

Mix oats, brown sugar, flour, and melted butter until combined. Sprinkle ~ ½ of crumbs in bottom half of a greased 8-inch square pan.* Spread cranberry filling over the crumbs, and top with the remaining crumbs. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until edges are slightly brown and caramelized.

*For a 9x13 pan, I use one whole bag of fresh/frozen cranberries, 1 1/3 cup sugar, ~¾ cup raisins, 1 Tbsp cornstarch, 1 to 1 ½ tsp vanilla, and ½ cup water for the filling; for the crumbs, I use 1 ½ cups oats, 1 ½ cups brown sugar, ¾ cup flour, and ½ cup (one stick) melted butter. Bake at 375 F for ~ 35 minutes or until edges are slightly brown and caramelized.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zesty Quinoa with Broccoli & Cashews

1 TB extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned or chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth (could substitue chicken broth for non-vegetarians)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used more vegetable broth)
2 TB lemon juice
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1 cup broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup roasted cashew pieces (I used chopped, unsalted pieces)
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, vegetable stock, wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Stir in the quinoa and salt. Reduce heat, and simmer covered about 20 minutes. Add the broccoli on top and simmer an additional 5 to 6 minutes.

Remove from heat, toss gently until combined. Add ground pepper and additional salt, if desired, to taste. Garnish with cashews and scallions before serving.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Strawberry Cake

This is the best Strawberry Cake I've ever eaten. Many thanks to C. Lang for the recipe!

1 box white cake mix
1 pkg. strawberry Jell-O
1 c. oil
½ c. water
½ c. strawberries (from semi-thawed 10 oz. pkg. frozen strawberries)
4 eggs

1 box confectioners sugar (1 lb.)
1 stick butter
rest of pkg. of strawberries (better if still frozen)

Mix cake ingredients for 4 minutes until smooth. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes (or until done). Test for doneness with toothpick. Bake in oblong 13 x 9-inch pan (or three 8-inch round pans), which has been greased and floured.

For icing, beat butter and add sifted sugar and strawberries. Cream together. Frost cake in pan, if desired, or as a layer cake.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mary's Moist Banana Bread

3/4 c. butter
3 c. sugar
3 eggs
7 ripe bananas
1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 c. flour
3 tsp. soda
1 12 oz. container sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla
Pecans (optional)

Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs, pureed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix well. Then add salt, soda, and flour. Mix. Add pecans (if using). Pour into greased and floured loaf pans (2 or 3) and bake at 300 for 1 hour.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Paul Bunyan Cookies

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup sugar
½ cup molasses
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 12-once bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, and salt in medium bowl.

In bowl of electric mixer, cream vegetable shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses, and beat to combine. Add eggs and mix until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture, one cup at a time, beating on low speed until dough comes together. Remove bowl and, using a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips, oats, raisins and walnuts.

Using a 2-inch scoop, drop dough onto prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. Bake until firm, 15-18 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.