Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Magic Ice Cream Topping

I love magic shell and it is so good over fresh homemade summer ice cream.
Here's my version...

1 cup virgin coconut oil (virgin oil gives that slight coconut flavor)
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (you can use peanut butter or other flavored chocolate)

Combine the oil and chocolate chips in a microwave-proof bowl. Microwave for 1 minute on HIGH. Stir until smooth. Pour melted chocolate mixture into a chocolate candy melting bottle. Place bottle in a cool dry place. You will not need to refrigerate. If this sets up or begins to thicken; heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

*Note: You can add a couple of drops of flavoring oil. You will find this in the chocolate melt supply isle of your local craft store. Experiment with your favorite chocolate and flavoring oil. I love white chocolate melts and creme de menthe flavoring oil. Another favorite is dark chocolate and raspberry flavoring oil.

S'more Tarts

Krystan, daughter #1, is off to YW girls camp and she asked if we would have s'mores at reunion. I don't know, I told her but she might get lucky at camp!
So this is for you Krystan...

1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Peheat oven to 375F degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and press into 24 bite-sized tart molds. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool and set in the refrigerator to chill. When they are completely cooled, remove from pans.

1/2 cup vanilla soymilk
pinch of ground chipotle pepper
pinch of salt
Place in a saucepan and heat until the mixture is hot, but do not boil. Stir in...
6 ounces of fine quality chocolate (preferably 70% cocoa) I like Scharffen Berger!
Stir until smooth and glossy. This will thicken as it cools. Let cool for about 20 minutes, then pipe into each tart shell.

2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups water, divided
4 packages unflavored gelatin
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 egg whties at room temperature
Combine 2 cups granulated suar, light corn syrup and 3/4 cup water in a large saucepot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Boil this mixture until it reaches 260 degrees on a candy thermometer. Warm the remaining 3/4 cup of water. To the warm water add the vanilla extract and 4 packages of gelatin. stir briefly to allow the gelatin to bloom. Beat the egg whites utnil firm peaks form. Slowly add the gelatin mixture to the egg whites, beating at hight spead. Now add the sugar syrup slowly and let the mixture beat on HIGH for approximately 10 minutes. Pipe this mixture from a pastry bag onto the tops of the choclate truffle mixture. Let rest for for about 45 minutes. This will allow the marshmallows to set up. Take a culinary blow torch and lightly toast the tops of the tarts. Serve immediately.

Easy Summer BLT Mini's

Looking for an easy summer luncheon food that is simple and looks great. The best thing is they taste amazing and it looks like those cute little sandwiches at an upscale tea shop. These are the best when summer's bounty is within your reach. There is nothing like the taste of a garden fresh tomato in the summertime. And BLT's are the best!!!

24 baguette slices, 1/4-inch thick
1 package (8 wedges) Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb Cheese wedges
2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced and drained on paper towels
12 slices applewood smoked bacon, cooked, drained
1 small bunch watercress

Spread one side of each bread slice with Garlic Herb Cheese. Top half the slices of bread with tomato slice, watercress, and bacon. Top with other half of bread slices, cheese side down. Skewer each sandwich with a food pick and serve immediately. Makes 12 sandwiches

Monday, June 28, 2010

Quick Chicken and Broccoli Pockets

1 can grands biscuits
1 can cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped broccoli
grated parmesan cheese
Optional: sliced dry roasted almonds and dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Mix chickenm mayonnaise, dill weed, broccoli, lemon pepper, salt and almonds and or cranberries, if desired. Flatten out each biscuit and place a large spoonful of mixture in the middle. Press the seams of biscuit together to seal. Brush the butter over each biscuit and shake the parmesan cheese over them. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 8

Dilled New Potato Salad

1 (5 pound) bag red skinned new potatoes, cut into quarters
1 (16 ounce) bag of frozen green peas
1 (32 ounce) container plain non-fat yogurt
1 package Knorr Dill Dressing dip Mix
1 package ranch dressing dip mix
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 (2 cup) package grated sharp cheddar cheese

Mix together the yogurt with the dill dip mix, the ranch dressing mix and the black pepper. Set aside. Bring the new potatoes to a boil in one and one half the times of water as potatoes. Cook about 10-15 minutes until they are fork tender. During the last 2 minutes of cooking the potatoes add the bag of frozen peas. This is to blanch them, not cook them through. Remove from the stove and drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water until they are cool. Then drain thoroughly. Toss cooled potato/pea mixture in the yogurt dressing. Fold in the cheddar cheese. This recipe is best when prepared the day before and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Candied Jalapeno Turkey Burgers

I love turkey burgers and love jalapeno peppers. I love them combined even more. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare both.

Turkey Burger Recipe
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup candied jalapenos, chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
5 whole wheat flat bread sandwich rounds
2 sliced ripe avocados
2 sliced tomatoes
lettuce for each burger

Preheat grill. In a large bowl combine ingredients, mix until combined. Using your hands shape into 5 burger shaped patties. Press your finger through the middle of the pattie. This will help the center to cook evenly with the rest of the burger. Brush the grill with olive oil. Place the patties on the hot grill and cook about 4 minutes per side. Place one slice of Monterey Jack cheese on top of each turkey burger and let melt slightly. Place cooked burgers on buns and top with avocado, tomatoes and lettuce.

Candied Jalapenos
1 1/4 cups fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Combine jalapeno slices, sugar and water in saucepan. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until jalapenos are cooked and liquid is reduced to a thick syrup. Remove from heat. Place in a clean jar and refrigerate for up to a week.

Carmelized Onion and Garlic Jam

About 11 years ago we lived in California and I loved Stonewall Kitchen's Jams and Jellies that they had in the stores there. I loved them so much that I tried my version of making copies of them. This is one of our favorite. Gilroy wasn't far from where we lived and wild garlic, artichokes, and asparagus grew in the field behind our house. I make this once a year and if family finds out; I am left with maybe one or two jars. This is especially good on a turkey sandwich with smoked gouda cheese.

8 large onions, thinly sliced
1 head garlic gloves, sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 can concentrated frozen apple juice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 box pectin

In a large skillet, saute onions and garlic with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Simmer until reduced and onions are carmelized. Add black pepper. In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup granulated sugar and pectin. In a saucepot, sugar/pectin mixture with onion/garlic mixture. Add apple juice and water. Your mixture of onion garlic and juice mixture should be about 5 cups total. Bring this mixture to a full rolling boil for one minute. Spoon off any foam. Ladle quickly into sterilized jars and place on lids and rings. Water bath according to altitude requirements.

Brackner Family Salsa Recipe

In the summer, our family makes salsa fresh from the ingredients in our gardens. We love salsa and the men eat hoards of it while playing Domino's until all hours of the night.

*If you have a lot of leftover juice, it makes a really good vegetable soup or chili base, so don't waste it. Can it in quart jars according to your altitude. It is a great way to make really tasty soups and stews in the winter.

5 gallons fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
4 large onions, chopped
6 large jalapenos, chopped with seeds
1/4 cup fresh chili powder, make sure the chili powder has no other ingredients in it, only ground chilies [our favorite is chipotle, a dried smoked jalapeno pepper]
1 whole head of fresh garlic, crushed (about 8 to 10 cloves of garlic)
2 large bunches of fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup ground cumin
6 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons salt

Blanch to peel the tomatoes. Remove the skins and chop the tomatoes. Add onions and pepper. Stir in spices and juice. Simmer for about 1 hour. Puree the salsa if you want a smooth salsa. For our family the cooking for an hour breaks the salsa ingredients down enough for our preferences. You can now fill sterilized pint jars with salsa. Place on lids and rings. Water bath pint jars according to your altitude.

4th of July Wonton Poppers

I usually make these in the summer for the 4th of July for my family. They are so addictive. The sweet from the plum jam and the spicy from the chilies and jalapenos are a great combination. Just a warning...You will need to make lots as you and your guests will want "just one more" over and over again!

Mexican Cheese Wonton's

1 package wonton wrappers
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups grated Monterey Jack Cheese
4 ounce can chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon chopped pickled jalapenos
Red Plum Jam

Mix together cream cheese, jack cheese, chilies and jalapenos. This should be a thick spreading consistency. Place filling into a quart size zip-lock bag. Snip one bottom corner off the bag so you can pipe the filling. Pipe about 1 teaspoon worth of filling about 1 inch from the edge of each wonton wrapper. Moisten edges to help seal the filling in when wrapping. The water will help create a glue. Roll up folding edges to center and then roll. Freeze on paper towel lined plate. Fry in hot oil for about 45 seconds or until golden brown. Serve with Red Plum Jam that you have warmed in the microwave to make a dipping sauce.

Creamy Cheddar Cheese Spread

This is an amazing cheese spread that was served about 12 years ago at a baby shower I attended. When you want an easy and tasty cheese spread for a last minute get together,this is one to keep as you probably have most of the ingredients on hand in your pantry.

1 small container of Cool Whip non-dairy topping, thawed
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 cup strawberry or raspberry preserves

Mix together cream cheese and cool whip, stir in cheddar cheese. In a plastic wrap lined loaf pan, place half of cream cheese mixture in bottom of lined loaf pan. Spread to corners and even out. Place remaining cream cheese mixture over preserves. Spread to corners and even out. Sprinkle toasted pecans over the top. Cover with overhanging plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or over night. Serve with wheat crackers or sweet bagel chips.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bulk Cooking Pasta Recipe

I usually have a bulk pasta cooking session once a month. This is a really easy and nice looking pasta dish. I usually make 4 recipes and freeze to finish cooking later.

Cheese Lover’s Pasta Roll-ups

1 egg beaten
1 container (16ounces) ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Italian 3-cheese blend
4 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp dry Italian seasoning
1 jar (26-ounces) spaghetti sauce, divided
16 lasagna noodles, cooked
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first 5 ingredients until well blended. Spread ½ cup spaghetti sauce on bottom of 9”x13” pan. Spread each noodle with 3 tbsp cheese mixture. Roll up. Place, seam-sides down, in dish. Top with remaining sauce and parmesan. Cover. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until heated through. Uncover the last 10 minutes to brown the top.

You can freeze this for up to one month. To serve; thaw out overnight in refrigerator. Bake, covered, 1 hour. Uncover last 10 minutes to lightly brown the top.

Ravin' Raspberry Crepes

Today I entered a really good recipe, that I made last week, at http://atseasonspeak.publix.com/?utm_source=publix+asp&utm_medium=email&utm_content=asp+logo&utm_campaign=publ+asp+berries

I have included it here...
Ravin’ Raspberry Crepes

Batter if you are making your own crepes…
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 ¾ cup skim milk
3 eggs
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
pinch of salt
In the jar of a blender combine milk, butter and eggs. Pulse on HIGH for 10 seconds. Add flour, sugar and salt. Pulse for about 30 seconds of until batter is smooth. Let batter sit for 10 minutes on counter until bubbles dissipate. Cook crepe batter according to manufacturer directions

½ cup fresh raspberries, gently mashed with a fork
1 cup FAGE Total 0 plain yogurt
2 tablespoons 10X powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Fold together 1/2 cup raspberries, yogurt, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Refrigerate.

1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 cup Haagen Daz Vanilla Honey Bee Ice Cream, melted to room temperature
Measure ice cream into a bowl and allow to melt to room temperature. Fold in whipped crème.

Additional items…
1 cup fresh raspberries
shaved chocolate curls
12 prepared crepes

To assemble crepes…
Place filling into a large zip-top bag. Snip corner to pipe filling. Pipe a long rope of prepared filling down the center of each crepe. Roll each into a cigar shape. Place two crepes onto each plate. Gently ladle sauce over crepes and garnish top with additional fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings.
Enjoy! Makes 6 servings