Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chocolate Pecan Pie

from Allrecipes

This is one of my all time favorite pies. It is sweet and nutty with just a hint of chocolate. My only complaint is that there are never any leftovers.

makes one shallow 9" pie

1 pie crust
1/3 cup butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 375 (190 C). Heat butter and chocolate over low heat, stiffing constantly, until chocolate is melted; cool slightly. Beat eggs, sugar, salt, chocolate mixture and corn syrup. Stir in pecans and pour mixture into pie shell.
Bake until set, 40-50 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve with whipped topping.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

BLT Salad with Tomato Dressing

adapted from Kayotic Kitchen

I love BLT sandwiches, they are so simple and delicious. Unfortunately right now I am trying to go carb free so when I saw this variation online I had to try it out. The dressing is packed with flavor and goes perfectly with the rest of the ingredients.

Lettuce, shredded
2-3 tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 small purple onion, diced
1/2 lb bacon, crumbled

3 roma tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
4 Tbsp oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook and drain bacon and combine with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and onion chunks.

For the dressing, begin by cutting an "X" at the bottom of each tomato. Then plunge them in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then take them out and quickly immerse them in cold water. This makes the skin separate so it slides right off. Once the skin is peeled, squeeze out most of the seeds, chop roughly and transfer them to a blender along with the garlic clove, red wine vinegar, and oil. Pulse blender until everything is smooth. Serve alongside salad and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Meat and Potato Pie

This is serious comfort food. Like a chicken pot pie made for a mountain man. I would love to try it with chunks of beef rather than mincemeat, but for the time being it will have to do.

1 lb beef
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups carrots
1 cup peas
1 cup corn
1 can mushrooms
1 can cream mushroom soup + 1 can of water
1/2 cup milk
pie crust (two, for top and bottom)

Preheat the oven to 350 (176 C). Saute beef onion, garlic, spices, carrots in a large pot until soft. Drain excess fat. Then add potatoes, soup, peas, corn, mushrooms and milk. Simmer on low for 30 min until the liquid is reduced. Then spoon the mixture into the crust, seal edges and bake 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Persimmon and Pear Salad

I had never really tried Persimmons before, but a lady in our ward gave us some so I had to find a recipe to use them in. Persimmons are great, I can't believe it took me 26 years to actually try one. We will definitely be eating them again soon.

1 cup pecans, candied (1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp butter)
1/2 cup swiss cheese, grated
2-3 ripe persimmons
2-3 ripe pears

1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp orange marmalade
1 tsp oil
sesame seeds

Chop and wash lettuce. In a frying pan, heat butter and toast the pecans with sugar and salt until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Peel the pears and persimmons and chop them into chunks. Combine all salad ingredients. To make the dressing, mix all ingredients until well blended.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mom's Vegetable Soup

from Mom

This is a soup that my family grew up on. It is cheap and easy to make and has lots of lovely vegetables that moms love. It is perfect with a big hunk of fresh corn bread.

1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sliced carrots
1 lb ground beef
2 cups tomato juice
6 cups beef broth
2 cups potatoes, diced
1 cup peas
1 cup corn

In a large soup pot, saute the onion, garlic and carrot with the ground beef until beef is cooked through. Drain grease and add the tomato juice and beef broth along with the potatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the peas and corn and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Martha's Lime Meltaways

from Martha Stewart

These are a version of the Italian wedding cookies. The lime gives a great tang to the sweet sugar, and I love how dainty they look once you are finished.

12 Tbsp butter (156 grams)
1 cup confectioners sugar
zest and juice of 2 limes
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Cream butter and 1/3 cup of sugar until smooth. Add lime zest, lime juice and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Sift together dry ingredients and mix into lime mixture. Roll the dough into two logs about 1 inch in diameter and chill in the fridge for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 (176 C). Once chilled, cut into 1/8 inch slices and place on a cookie sheet about one inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes or when the cookies are turning golden brown along the edges. Let cool for 1-2 minutes. Place the remaining 2/3 cup confectioners sugar in a ziplock bag. Shake the cookies in the bag to coat in sugar and serve.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Carrot and Molasses Muffins

from Mom

This is a very wholesome muffin. I grew up eating them, so I am used to the flavor, but Ben said they have a decidedly "healthy" taste... I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not, but if you put a little butter and honey on them I think they are fabulous.

1 slightly beaten egg
1 cup bran cereal
2 medium carrots, grated
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 up molasses
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup rasins (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 (204 C). Combine the egg, bran, carrots, yogurt, tomato juice, molasses and oil and let sit for 10 minutes until the bran cereal is soft. Mix well. Then add the flour and baking soda and spoon into a prepared muffin tin. Bake at 400 for 18 minutes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Roasted Garlic Vegetables

adapted from please pass the pie

In my effort to someday fit comfortably in my pre-pregnancy jeans I have started cooking a virtually all vegetable diet. I tried this recipe for roasting them and was blown away by the flavor. In reality, any combination of vegetables would work well so feel free to alter the ingredients.

1/2 lb potatoes, chopped into large wedges
3-4 carrots, chopped into large bits
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
1 stalk broccoli, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
5 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp pepper, divided
5 cloves garlic (listed above)
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 400 (204 C). Whisk together 2 Tbsp oil with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Toss the vegetables in the oil mixture and spread out on a baking sheet. Take the 7 cloves of garlic, still wrapped in the papery skin and place them on top. Bake for 35 minutes.

In the meantime, assemble the rest of the oil, salt and pepper with vinegar and mustard. After the 35 minutes are up, put the vegetables in a bowl, remove the garlic, take off the skin and put the now soft pulpy center in the small bowl with the vinegar/mustard mix. Blend the mixture until it is smooth and pour the contents over the vegetables. Toss to coat evenly and serve warm.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Puppy Chow

from the Chex website

Called puppy chow because of the brown kibble look, this stuff tastes much better than it looks. And it is probably very bad for you. But it is so very good. Perfect for road trips or slumber parties or any time you are getting lots of people together. It is so easy to make and so hard to resist!

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla
9 cups chex cereal (or other similar cereal)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips together in a saucepan over low heat. Mix in the vanilla, and then pour over cereal and mix in a large bowl. Once cereal is coated with chocolate/peanut butter mix place in a large ziplock or sturdy paper bag and dump in the powdered sugar. Shake up mixture until thoroughly coated with powdered sugar.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Olive Garden Style Breadsticks

adapted from Allrecipes

These are as close as you can get to the breadsticks at Olive Garden. They are soft and tasty and were great with soup and salad.

.25 oz yeast (about 7 grams)
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 cups warm water, divided
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp salt
3 tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano, crushed into a powder
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup melted butter (113 grams)
2 Tbsp parmesan (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 (200 C)
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 Tsp sugar in 1 cup of warm water. Leave until foamy. Then add oil, egg, salt, spices and remaining sugar and water.

Mix in 3 cups flour and then slowly add the remaining flour a little at a time until you come up with a soft dough. Knead for 6-8 minutes, then put in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for about 45 minutes (or until doubled).

After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, and divide into 36 pieces. Roll each piece into a small snake (about the size of a cigar) and place on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Let rise for about 30 minutes (or until doubled) Brush with butter and sprinkle with parmesan (optional) and salt and bake for 10-12 minutes when the breadsticks are a golden brown.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lemon Pudding Cookies

This is a twist off of Symphony Cookies from the Sister's Cafe website. I had a box of lemon pudding and white chocolate and an urge for something sweet and these cookies were the result of my experiment.

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 3.5 oz box lemon pudding
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
7-8 oz white chocolate, chopped roughly

Preheat the oven to 350 (176 C). Cream butter and sugar, add in the lemon pudding mix. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat well. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt then add to the wet lemon mixture. Fold in the chocolate and spoon into small golf ball sized balls onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookie starts turning golden brown. Let cool for several minutes before serving.