Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Soft Ginger Snaps

This recipe is from my mom, and may be by way of Grandma Nelson, but anyways...they are my favorite fall cookies.

Ginger Snaps (soft kind)

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
(Also add 1 T. water for nicely crackled cookies, especially if it is a dry day.)

Beat well and add:

2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. each cinnamon, cloves, ginger

Mix well. Roll tablespoon sized pieces of dough in sugar and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Butterfinger "Eyeballs"

Jolene sent me this recipe last year. I hope she won't mind if I post this, she's got a lot going on. Thanks Jo. These look so fun and yummy.

Wax paper
1 cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Premier White Morsels
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 small tube red decorator icing
Wooden pick or skewer for dipping
Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper.Beat peanut butter and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar until mixture holds together and is moistened. Stir in chopped Butterfinger. Shape into 1-inch "eyeballs." Place on prepared baking sheets. Freeze for 1 hour.Melt morsels and shortening in large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute 30 seconds; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted.
Remove one baking sheet of frozen "eyeballs" from freezer (keep other sheet in freezer until ready to use).Dip one "eyeball" into melted morsel mixture using a wooden pick or skewer. Shake off excess and return to baking sheet. Gently press 1 Butterfinger BB on top of "eyeball" to make a "pupil." Repeat procedure with remaining "eyeballs" on baking sheet. Refrigerate until coating is set. Repeat with remaining sheet of "eyeballs" and coating. You may find it necessary to reheat morsel mixture before dipping second batch. Before serving, pipe decorator icing around eyeballs to create bloodshot markings. Store in covered container in refrigerator. Best served cold.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Homemade Nut Roll

My sister-in-law and I came up with this recipe after some experimentation. It's the wonderful taste of a Pearson's Salted Nut Roll using the finest, freshest "homemade" ingredients. This recipe only makes one serving (literally one serving), so you may want to triple or quadruple it . . . for each person.

1 Kraft caramel
2 salted roasted peanuts (4 if they are broken in half)
3 candy corn

Pop all ingredients into your mouth at the same time and enjoy all of that delicious salty nougat chewy goodness!

You may think I'm joking, but I'm really not. We tried it. Tested it. Perfected it. And shared it with you!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sandy's Breadsticks

Here's the recipe for breadsticks that Mary mentioned in her broccoli soup recipe post. I call these "Sandy's Breadsticks" because . . . well . . . I got the recipe from Sandy, my mother-in-law. (I'm thinking her recipe card says "Leora's Breadsticks.") She's been so nice to pass along recipes that she got from her mother-in-law. Isn't it nice when people share their best recipes? That's why I love this recipe blog.

These breadsticks are easy and take less than an hour, start to finish. Perfect to serve with spaghetti, chili, soups, etc.

1 1/2 c warm water
1 T yeast
2 T sugar
1/2 t salt
3 cups flour
1 cube margarine
garlic salt
parmesan cheese

Sprinkle yeast and sugar in water. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Mix in salt and flour until barely mixed. Handle as little as possible. Dough might be a bit sticky. Cover and let rise 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375. Melt margarine in 11 x 13 jelly roll pan. Roll dough to roughly the size of the jelly roll pan on counter coated with flour. Cut using pizza cutter once down the middle and then into 1-inch strips. Dip both sides of each strip of dough in margarine and place on pan. The sides of the dough strips should be touching in the pan, just like on the counter. Sprinkle with garlic salt and coat with parmesan cheese. Let raise 10 minutes. Bake at 375 for 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned.

Another variation that we like to serve with Italian dishes: sprinkle mozzarella cheese on breadsticks the last few minutes of cooking time . . . just enough to melt the cheese.

Butternut Squash Soup

Matt's sister gave us a home-grown toddler Butternut Squash from her garden. When I say it is toddler sized, I mean it was as big as a toddler, weighing in at 30 lbs. Needless to say, we needed butternut squash recipes like we would need water in a desert. This is one winner that we found. It does take some effort, but it is very much worthwhile.

Butternut squash Soup
by:Emeril Lagasse
1 large butternut squash, about 3 pounds, halved, seeds removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus 12 whole leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram
6 cups light chicken stock or broth
1 teaspoon cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream, or more to taste
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly coat the squash halves with 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil. Season the inside with salt and pepper and place cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until very tender, about 45 minutes. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and reserve. Discard the peel.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the remaining vegetable oil and, when hot but not smoking, add the sausage. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until the onions wilted and starting to caramelize, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, sage and marjoram, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cooked squash and chicken stock, stir well to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

With a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor or blender, puree the soup. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean saucepan. Add the cider vinegar and stir to combine. Add the cream and adjust seasoning, to taste.

In a small saute pan, cook the butter over medium-high heat until it begins to turn brown around the edges. Add the whole sage leaves and cook until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the leaves to paper towels to drain.

Serve the soup in bowls, garnished with the crispy sage leaves.

Broccoli Cream Soup

Oh my. This recipe melts my icy cold heart into puddles of goodness. I cannot describe how happy this makes me. I waited until the kids were in bed last night and made this for dinner along with Carol's Breadsticks (have you posted that recipe yet Carol?) and was in HEAVEN. Then I had the leftovers for lunch today and made more for dinner tonight. I should probably say that I only made 1/2 of the recipe each time so I don't sound like an uncontrollable broccoli monster. Annalise told me that this is her favorite soup. All my kids like broccoli (I know, what?), but Kyle didn't like it with the "stuff on it". Kait just ate leftover breadsticks for dinner. Carb-monger. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it a smidgen as much as I do. Fair warning: This is a soup. Not a chowder or stew-like concoction. The sauce will be thin and delish.

9 cups fresh broccoli florets *
4 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped *
8 Tbsp butter or margarine, divided *
1 bay leaf
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp onion salt *
1/4 tsp garlic salt
pinch of basil, thyme, sage
dash hot pepper sauce *
7 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whipping cream

In large saucepan bring broccoli and broth to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. In a small skillet, saute onion in 2 Tbsp of butter until tender; add to broccoli mixture. Stir in the bay leaf and remaining seasonings. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir into broccoli mixture; add buttermilk and cream. Heat through (do not boil). Discard the bay leaf.

* Mary's notes:
1. I really enjoyed using the * while typing tonight.

2. I have never used 9 cups of broccoli. That seems excessive to me who just wants more of the creamy nectar. I chop until it seems like enough for my taste.

3. It's good with the sauteed onion, but it'll cut out a full step (and pan) if you just grate frozen onion into the broccoli/chicken broth mixture. Worth it for me. If you do this remember to only add 6 Tbsp of butter to the roux.

4. Onion salt and hot pepper sauce. Yeah, like I've ever remembered to buy those. I'm sure they'd be great, but you're not missing out if you forget to add them.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin Cake

Most of you probably have this, but I wanted to post it for any friends who might just need a scrumptious Autumn Treat. Carol always finds such awesome recipes. Thanks Carol!

Pumpkin Cake (Carol Reed)

2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Mix oil, eggs, pumpkin and sugar. Sift and add all remaining ingredients. Pour into greased jellyroll pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting:

¾ cup margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp milk
4 ounces cream cheese
3 ½ cups powdered sugar

Combine ingredients and beat thoroughly. Add additional powdered sugar until the right consistency.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Dinner Crepes

Dinner Crepe Ideas

I heard a request for our dinner crepe ideas. Jimmy's dad served his mission in France and they got this idea from all the yummy crepes there. There is a restaurant here in Tennessee, The Crepe Maker, that makes so many different kinds of dinner/dessert crepes some with cheese, green peppers, bacon, tomatoes, chicken, ham, etc, etc. I love making crepes and it is 1,000 times easier with a Crepe Maker (such as pictured above) because it makes them thin and very even.

All we've done for dinner crepes is this:
Seasoned Taco Meat
Sour Cream
Chopped Tomatoes
Mustard (that's definitely optional for me)

But I'm sure there are a slew of variations that would be extra tasty. But please don't forget to have a yummy dessert crepe to follow up... like cinnamon sugar, or raspberry pie filling, vanilla pudding, and chocolate sauce drizzled on top.

Here is the Smith Family Basic Crepe Recipe (we usually half it for our small family)

4 eggs
4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 tblsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1 stick butter (melted)

Put all the ingredients except the butter into a bowl and mix well with an electric beater. When it is mixed together well, mix in the melted butter while stirring. Use a big spoon to scoop the batter into the middle of an electric frying pan. Pick the pan up and spread the batter around (making it look like a big, thin pancake). After a 30 seconds or so flip the crepe over and cook for a little less time on the back. (or use the crepe maker and it will be waaaaay easier). Take the crepe off and put the desired toppings in a line down the middle and roll it. Wa-la!