Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pie Crust

This is my Aunt Jeanie's pie crust recipe!  This past Thanksgiving she made 5 different pies!  Each was delicious!  She says the beauty of this recipe is that it's so moist.  It's super easy to roll out without splitting and cracking.  The recipe makes two two crust pies.

3 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup of butter, softened (use butter not shortening)
scant tsp. of salt
2 Tbsp. white sugar
1 oz. vegetable oil (not olive oil, more like Canola)
5/8 cup cold water (5/8 cup =1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp.)

My aunt doesn't bother sifting the flour, but you can.  Put flour, salt, butter in large mixing bowl.  Cut with a pastry blender until mixture resembles cornmeal.  Drizzle oil over it all.  Toss lightly from underneath with fork to moisten.  Drizzle water over.  Toss in the same manor again to thoroughly moisten.  Mixture should be quite wet.  If it's not you can add a little more water. 
Here's where you use a gentle touch.  Pat it all into a ball with floured hands.  Divide into two balls.  Roll out one ball for one pie.  Fold and arrange on top seal and flute the edges.  Make slits in the top crust to let the steam escape.  Roll out the other ball to use and make another pie crust.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jell-O Cookies

These are light and tasty!  They are easy to make and you can make them in whatever color or flavor you want.  I'm already thinking about making them in school colors or team colors.  Your cookies can now match your party color scheme!  Only a girl would get excited about stuff like this!

3 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
2 pkg. (4 serving size each) jell-o brand strawberry flavor
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a separate bowl mix flour and baking powder, set aside.  Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add sugar and one package of dry jell-o.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla, mix well.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating until well blended after each addition.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls.  Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Flatten with bottom of a clean glass.  Sprinkle lightly with remaining dry jell-o.

Bake 8-10 mins. or until edges are lightly browned.  Remove from baking sheets to wire racks to cool completely.  Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

Makes 5 dozen cookies or 30 servings, 2 cookies each.
Create a festive cookie platter.  Make a second batch using jell-o lime flavor.


This fabulous recipe is from the kitchen of Kim Reno (my high school best friend's mom)  I spent many years eating her delicious treats.  Actually anything she made was awesome!  Thank you for the recipe.  I saved it and have made this almost every year!  These are great with tea or coffee.  

1 cup of butter
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
5-6 cups of flour

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  In a sauce pan heat the butter, corn syrup, sugar, cinnamon, all spice, cloves and ginger, till the butter is all melted.  Remove from heat and add the teaspoon of baking soda.  Stir till foamy.

Add 5-6 cups of flour.  Just stir in 1 cup at a time.  Dough will be really thick.  Use your muscles!  Roll into 1/2" thick ropes and cut into 1/2" pieces.

Place on cookie sheets, spaced so they don't touch and have room to expand a little.

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven.  Peppernuts will be soft when you first pull them out.  As they cool they become crunchy.  I'd guess this recipe makes 200 peppernuts.  I put them in cute bags and give them as gifts.

Potato Soup

This is my mother-in-laws recipe.  It's a creamy and hearty soup!  One of my husband's favorite soups.

4 potatoes (medium size, peeled, cut bite size)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 minced garlic clove
6 slices of bacon (cooked and crumbled)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
5 Tbsp. butter
5 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
1/3 cup chopped green onion
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook bacon in stock pot.  Remove bacon and drain some of the fat.  Crumble bacon.  Keep half the bacon out for the topping.  The other half goes back in the stock pot.  Using the left over bacon drippings, sweat the onion and celery for 5 mins.  During the last minute add the minced garlic.  Add cut potatoes, pepper and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 mins.

In a separate sauce pan, melt butter.  Whisk in flour for 1 minute.  Stir until thick.  Slowly stir in milk.  Keep stirring, no lumps.  Stir over medium heat until thick, 4-5 mins.  Pour milk mixture into the potato stock pot.  Stir well.  Cook soup another 15 minutes.  Serve in soup bowls with crumbled bacon on top, shredded cheese on top and green onions on top.

Ham can be subbed in for the bacon.  Or you can keep the bacon out completely.  Just use olive oil when sweating the vegetables.  It's up to you!  Enjoy! 

Apple Cider

Here's an easy hot apple cider recipe.  It's yummy and makes the whole house smell delicious!

4 qts. (1 gallon) apple juice or apple cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. whole allspice
1 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
2 orange slices
caramel ice cream topping
whip cream
cinnamon to sprinkle

Pour apple juice or cider into a 4-5 quart crock pot.  You can add the brown sugar at this point, but I never do.  I think it makes it too sweet.  Tie whole allspice, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks in cheesecloth.  Place your cheesecloth spice packet in the crock pot.  Put orange slices in.  They will float on top.  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.  Remove orange slices.  Remove cheesecloth spice packet.  Ladle apple cider into mugs.  Top with caramel ice cream topping, whip cream and cinnamon. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Scalloped Potato Gratin

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for broiling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a saucepan, heat up the cream with the rosemary, chopped garlic and nutmeg.

While cream is heating up, butter a casserole dish. Place a layer of potato in an overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper. Remove cream from heat, then pour a little over the potatoes. Top with some grated Parmesan. Make 2 more layers. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle some more Parmesan and broil until cheese browns, about 5 minutes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Apple Pie Enchilada's

Wow, what a surprise this recipe was!!

At first I wasn't sure how it would turn out (apples and tortillas) but to my surprise it was very tasty and a great way to use up any apples I didn't use for our Thanksgiving apple pie! 

1- (21oz.) can of Apple Pie Filling (or your left over apple pie mixture)
6- (8inch) flour tortillas
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar 
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup water

Preheat your oven to 350. 
Spoon apples evenly onto one tortillas, sprinkle with cinnamon.

Roll up totillas and place seam side down on lightly greased 8x8 backing pan. 
Bring butter, sugars and water to a boil in a medium sauce pan . reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Pour sauce evenly over tortillas, sprinkle with extra cinnamon on top if desires. 

Bake for 20 min. 
Sever hot with Ice Cream ...... Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey & Barley Soup

This is a great way to use your left over turkey from Thanksgiving.  It's a delicious & hearty soup.  My dad makes this soup every year the week after Thanksgiving.  Thank you dad for this recipe.

Soup Stock Ingredients
1 - 20lb. turkey carcass & any left over turkey meat
4 qts. of water
1 whole yellow onion (quartered)
4 whole carrots (cut in half)
4 whole celery stocks (cut in half)
3 whole garlic cloves (peeled)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. pepper

Place your turkey carcass in a large stock pot.  Cover the whole carcass with water.  I'm guessing it's about 4 qts. could be more, could be less.  Add in the remaining ingredients above.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 4 hours, till turkey meat is falling off the bones.  Remove chunks of veggies, remove bones.  Strain the soup stock through a large colander into a large bowl to make sure you get every bone out of the soup stock.  Throw away all the veggie chunks.  Let the carcass cool.  Pick over the cooled bones and remove all meat.  Shred the turkey meat with your hands so that everything is bite size.  Keep turkey meat with the soup stock in the large bowl.

Turkey & Barley Soup Ingredients
soup stock from above
left over turkey meat
1/4 cup butter
1 large yellow onion (chopped)
6 celery stocks (sliced)
4 whole carrots (sliced)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 cup pearl barley
1 Tbsp. italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. thyme
sprinkle of cumin
1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste

In the large stock pot, melt butter.  Saute yellow onion, celery and carrots for 4 mins.  Add minced garlic for the last minute so it doesn't burn.  Sprinkle in all the italian seasoning, bay leaves, thyme and cumin.  Pour in the turkey and soup stock.  Bring to a boil.  Add the barley into the soup. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour to cook the barley.  Add fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste.  Then serve.  Makes 8-10 servings.  Serve with soup crackers or fresh bread or garlic bread.  Which ever you like best.  Enjoy! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving! 

  This is a quick and easy meal you can put together and use up any leftover stuffing you may have.... If you don't have leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving, below I have posted my recipe for stuffing.

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp. butter
7- pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped
 1- clove of garlic, minced
1 cup of chicken broth
2 cups of pepperidge farm stuffing

In a large saucepan melt butter. Add onion, celery and garlic cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add broth, bacon and stuffing. Mix altogether, set stuffing aside.
 Take two pork tenderloins and butterfly. Spoon stuffing into the middle of the tenderloin. At this point you can wrap the sides of the tenderloin around the stuffing and secure with kitchen string or you can leave open (like I have) and bake, uncovered, in the oven at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Let meat stand for 10 min. before serving.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monkey Bread

This is perfect for a big crowd!  Usually it's made for breakfast or brunch but why limit yourself?  It's good anytime! 

2-16 oz. cans of flaky layer refrigerated biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped or whole pecans
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 12 cup fluted tube pan or bunt pan with butter or cooking spray.  Separate dough into biscuits; cut each into quarters.  In a medium bowl or large storage bag, mix sugar and cinnamon.  Roll each quarter of dough around in the sugar cinnamon mix.

In a sauce pan over low heat melt the butter.  When melted add brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.  Stir over low heat for 1 minute.  Sprinkle pecans in the bottom of the bunt pan.  Pour a small amount of the butter brown sugar mix over the pecans.

Start layering the biscuit pieces.

  Once all the biscuit pieces are arranged.  Evenly pour the remaining butter brown sugar mix over the biscuit pieces.

Bake at 350 for 30 mins.  Cool in pan for 10 mins.  Turn upside down onto serving platter.

Pull apart to serve.  Serve warm.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken Stir -fry

This week I'm trying to keep things on the lighter side, because I know things will be on the heavy side next week during Thanksgiving!  This is probably not a true stir-fry but, I couldn't think of another name to call it.  You can use a bottle of teriyaki sauce to marinate your chicken or there is a teriyaki chicken(Samoan Style) marinade here on this website that's delicious!  Serves 6.

6 teriyaki marinated boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1-8oz. can water chestnuts, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. peanut oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1-8 oz. pkg. thin rice noodles
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook noodles according to the package and then drain and set aside.  Broil or grill your chicken.  While your chicken is cooking start heating up a large skillet. Add peanut oil to the skillet.  Once oil is hot add broccoli, water chestnuts and carrots.  Saute for 2 mins.  Add spinach, green onion, garlic and sesame seeds.  Saute for another 3 mins.
Add rice noodles to the skillet.  Pour soy sauce over the noodles.  Stir together.  Once chicken is finished slice it up and add it to the rice noodles and vegetables.  Serve in a bowl.

Lemon Herb Chicken Marinade

This recipe is light and easy.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. dried basil or 1 Tbsp. fresh basil
1 tsp. dried parsley or 1Tbsp. fresh parsley
1 tsp. thyme or 1Tbsp. fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. chili pepper flakes

Place chicken and all the ingredients in a air tight container or zip lock gallon freezer bag.  Marinate for at least 30 mins. No longer than 24 hours.  You can broil, grill or bake the chicken.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gwen's Lemon Cake

Gwen was my great-grandma Duggan's nursing school friend.  I am told that Gwen was very funny.  She had a beautiful smile and a great laugh.  Thank you for this recipe aunt Sue.  This cake is a family favorite!  It's light, sweet and tart!  So delicious!

Make the icing first

Juice from 2 lemons
1 cup of powdered sugar

In a small bowl, mix thoroughly.

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 small pkg. lemon jello
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine cake ingredients and beat for 4 minutes.

Pour batter into a 9x13 greased baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 mins.
Let it stand for 5 minutes.

Prick the cake all over with a large fork

Spoon icing over the top and smooth it in.

Let the cake completely cool before cutting and serving


Pot Roast

This recipe was passed down from my grandma Haynes, to my mom, and now to me.  I've been making pot roast this way for 10 years.  Serves 4.  We usually have this with a side of warm french bread.

1- 3.50 lb boneless beef chuck pot roast
1/4 cup flour
salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, quartered & sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 -12oz cans of light beer
2 russet potatoes, thick sliced
4 carrots, thick sliced

In a 12" skillet heat olive oil.  Add sliced onions to oil and saute (4mins.)  Remove onions from skillet.  Sprinkle both sides of the meat with salt & pepper.  Coat both sides of the meat with flour.  Add a little more oil into the skillet if needed.  Place meat into a hot skillet and brown on both sides.

Once meat is browned on both sides.  Add the sauted onions back to the skillet and add the minced garlic.  Pour 1 can of beer over the meat.  The beer should just barely come to the top of the meat.

Cover and simmer for 4 hours.  (This is where there was a communication breakdown.  I continue to cook my pot roast in the skillet.  My mom takes it out of the skillet once browned and simmers it in a crock pot. Either way works.  You get to choose how you'd like to simmer it) 
Check it once an hour to adjust the temperature or add more beer.  If you choose to cook it in a skillet, you should also flip the meat at least one time.  Wear an apron, flipping it can be a little tricky.
When you only have an hour and a half left add the potatoes on top of the meat.  Last hour add the carrots on top of the potatoes and meat.  Add more salt & pepper. Cover and simmer all together for that last hour to cook the veggies.
After potatoes and carrots are cooked, remove everything from the skillet.  If you want you can use the remaining liquid to make a gravy. 

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