Archive for October, 2015

Halloween Caramel Apples

Halloween Caramel Apples

1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
2 packages (14 ounces each) caramels
1/4 cup water
8 large tart apples, room temperature
8 Popsicle sticks
3 to 4 Butterfinger candy bars (2.1 ounces each), coarsely crushed

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth and set aside. In another microwave-safe bowl, microwave the caramels and water, uncovered, on high for 1 minute; stir. Heat 30-45 seconds longer or until caramels are melted; stir until smooth.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside. Wash and thoroughly dry apples. Insert a Popsicle stick into each; dip into caramel mixture, turning to coat. Place on prepared pan. Drizzle with melted chocolate.

Sprinkle with crushed candy bars. Refrigerate until set. Remove from the refrigerator 5 minutes before serving; cut into wedges. Yield: 8 servings.

Recipe found here: Halloween Caramel Apples

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Skillet Potato Medley

Skillet Potato Medley

2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3/4 pound)
2 medium red potatoes (about 3/4 pound)
2 small purple potatoes (about 1/2 pound)
5 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cut Yukon Gold, red and purple potatoes into 1/4-in. cubes. In a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add cubed potatoes; cook and stir 5 minutes.

Peel and cut sweet potato into 1/4-in. cubes; add to skillet. Add remaining ingredients; cook and stir 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Yield: 8 servings.

Recipe found here: Skillet Potato Medley

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Skillet Shepherd's Pie

Skillet Shepherd’s Pie

1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup sour cream
3-1/2 cups mashed potatoes (prepared with milk and butter)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the corn, peas, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Combine the cornstarch, bouillon and water until well blended; stir into beef mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in sour cream and heat through (do not boil).

Spread mashed potatoes over the top; sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook until potatoes are heated through and cheese is melted.

Freeze option: Prepare beef mixture as directed but do not add sour cream. Freeze cooled meat mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a large skillet, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary. Stir in sour cream and proceed as directed. Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe found here: Skillet Shepherd’s Pie

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Simple Corn Chowder

Simple Corn Chowder

1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups fresh or frozen corn, divided
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray. Add onion; cook and stir over medium heat for 4 minutes or until tender. Add 4 cups corn; cook and stir until corn is softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until corn is tender. Cool slightly.

In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth; return all to the pan. Add the red pepper, rosemary, thyme, pepper, cayenne and remaining corn and broth; cook and stir for 10 minutes or until the corn is tender. Yield: 6 servings (about 1-1/2 quarts).

Find recipe here: Simple Corn Chowder

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Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake

Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies)
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened, divided
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Chocolate syrup, caramel ice cream topping, whipped topping and additional crushed gingersnap cookies, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.

In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs, pecans and butter. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

For filling, in a large bowl, beat 1 package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time until smooth. Add remaining sugar and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.

Place 2 cups filling in a small bowl; stir in pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Remove 3/4 cup pumpkin filling; set aside. Pour remaining pumpkin filling over crust; top with remaining plain filling. Cut through with a knife to swirl. Drop reserved pumpkin filling by spoonfuls over cheesecake; cut through with a knife to swirl.

Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake 55-65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

Garnish with chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, whipped topping and additional crushed gingersnaps if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

Recipe found here: Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

1/4 cup butter, cubed
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter, cubed
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a microwave, melt butter and chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, water, sour cream and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; add to the egg mixture and mix well. Add chocolate mixture; beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool for 10 minutes. With a portable mixer, beat in the confectioners’ sugar, sour cream and vanilla on low until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.

Recipe found here: Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

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Hearty Chicken Cacciatore

Hearty Chicken Cacciatore

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds) , cut up
1/4 cup canola oil
1 medium green pepper, cut into strips
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup water
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 jar (6 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
Hot pepper sauce to taste

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt, paprika and pepper. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.

In a pressure cooker, brown chicken in batches in oil over medium-high heat. Return all chicken to cooker; add the green pepper, onion, garlic, tomatoes and water.

Close cover securely; place regulator on vent pipe. Bring cooker to full pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 8 minutes. (Pressure regulator should maintain a slow steady rocking motion; adjust heat as needed.) Remove from the heat; cool immediately according to manufacturer’s directions until pressure is completely reduced.

Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken to a platter. Add tomato paste and mushrooms to pan juices; cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Add hot pepper sauce and chicken; heat through. Yield: 6 servings.

Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested at 15 pounds of pressure (psi).

Recipe found here: Hearty Chicken Cacciatore

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