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Archive for October, 2015

Halloween Caramel Apples

Halloween Caramel Apples

Ingredients
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

Directions
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

Ingredients
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

Directions
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

Ingredients
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

Directions
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

Ingredients
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

Directions
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

Ingredients
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

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

Directions
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

Ingredients
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

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

Directions
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

Ingredients
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

Directions
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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Cinnamon Pumpkin Pie

Cinnamon Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup milk
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)
Whipped cream in a can, optional

Directions
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin and sugar mixture. Gradually stir in milk. Pour into pastry shell.

Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake 45-50 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Top with whipped cream if desired. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe found here: Cinnamon Pumpkin Pie

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Apple Walnut Pancakes

Apple Walnut Pancakes

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups fat-free milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Maple syrup

Directions
In a large bowl, whisk flours, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk egg whites, egg, milk and oil until blended. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Fold in apple and walnuts.

Heat a griddle coated with cooking spray on medium heat. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook until bubbles on top begin to pop and bottoms are golden brown. Turn; cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with syrup.

Freeze option: Freeze cooled pancakes between layers of waxed paper in a resealable plastic freezer bag. To use, place pancakes on an ungreased baking sheet, cover with foil and reheat in a preheated 375° oven 6-10 minutes. Or, place a stack of three pancakes on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 18 pancakes.

Recipe found here: Apple Walnut Pancakes

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Caramel Banana Dessert

Caramel Banana Dessert

Ingredients
4 medium firm bananas, sliced
4 to 6 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
4 to 6 tablespoons chopped pecans
Whipped topping, optional

Directions
Place the banana individual serving dishes.

Top with caramel topping and pecans.

Garnish with whipped topping if desired.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

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