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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Jan 23, 2017

Slow Cooker Garbanzo Bean Stew

You can use dried or canned garbanzo beans for this stew.  If you use dried, soak them overnight (at least 8 hours).  I like to use concentrated vegetable stock - I use the water from the beans to make my stock.  If you use canned stock, save the bean water for adding as necessary as follows:  when cooking, watch the slow cooker to ensure that the water level stays over the top of the stew.  Add hot water or hot broth as necessary to maintain level.

45 Ounces Canned Garbanzo Beans OR 1 Lb Dried Garbanzo Beans
1 Lb Red Skinned Potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
14.5 Ounce Petit Diced Tomatoes
3/4 Cup Chopped Pepper - any color
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbl Cumin
1/2 Tsp Hot Hungarian Paprika
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
28 Ounces Vegetable Broth

Put all ingredients, in order, in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 9 to 10 hours or hight for 4.5 to 5 hours.  Enjoy!

Jan 21, 2017

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

A cold, blustery day for book club meant hot chocolate.  Even better?  Put everything in the slow cooker and have it ready for the entire time.  Top with marshmallows - even make your own ( )

You'll need a 4 quart slow cooker or larger and I do not recommend a slow cooker liner for this recipe.

4 Ounces Unsweetened Chocolate, Grated
1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips, Chopped
14 Ounce Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Half Gallon Milk
1 Tbl Vanilla
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

Turn slow cooker on low.  Combined chocolates and sweetened condensed milk in slow cooker - whisk to combine.  Cover, turn slow cooker to high, cook for 30 minutes.  Stir every 5 to 10 minutes to prevent sticking and combine.  When chocolate is melted, whisk in about 2 cups milk until smooth.    Whisk in vanilla and cinnamon.  Gradually stir in remaining milk.  Cover again, cook for an additional 2 hours.  Stir with whisk before serving, turn to warm or low if keeping slow cooker on for a long time.

Jan 19, 2017

Chickpea Poppers

While knitting at Little Owl's Knit shop, my friend mentioned making Chickpea Poppers for a camping trip and they sounded wonderful - so I tried making them and they were as wonderful as they sounded.

30 Ounces Chickpeas
2 Tbl Olive Oil
1 Tsp Salt

Spicy Spice Mix:
3/4 Tsp Chili Powder
3/4 Tsp Cumin

Italian Spice Mix:
1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tsp Garlic Powder

Rinse and drain chickpeas - set aside until oven is heated.

Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil.

Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil, salt and ONE of the spice mixtures suggested above.  Spread on baking pan.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.  Remove to a paper towel lined bowl to remove some excess oil.  They will harden slightly and crisp up as they cool.  If they don't, return them to the baking sheet and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes.

If you want to make two pans, you can.  Put on two different baking racks in your oven - bake 30 minutes.  Switch racks.  Bake another 30 minutes.

Jan 18, 2017

Peppermint Patties

These are a wonderful mint - not too sweet, good flavor and a nice size.

1/4 Cup Butter, Softened
1/3 Cup Light Corn Syrup
2 Tsp Peppermint Extract
3 Cup Powdered Sugar
Dark Dipping Chocolate

Combine all ingredients except chocolate in a mixer bowl.  Mix until a ball is formed - ingredients will be well blended and held together.  Use a 1 tablespoon scoop an form balls.  Press with the bottom of a glass.  Layer on a plate with waxed paper between layers.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.  

Melt chocolate over a double boiler.  Remove mints from refrigerator and dip in chocolate.  Cool on parchment, silicone mats or plastic, flexible cutting boards.

Jan 17, 2017

Apple Butter Bread

I was not a fan of apple butter until we started making it with friends.  Now, I find multiple ways to use it.  

2 Cups Flour
1 Tbl Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Large Eggs - Room Temperature
4 Tbl Melted Butter
6 Ounces Vanilla Yogurt
3/4 Cup Apple Butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour the bottom of a 9 inch loaf pan, set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon - set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine eggs, butter, yogurt and apple butter and beat well.  Mix in dry ingredients until smooth.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 70 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Jan 16, 2017

Individual Cheese Balls

Serve with your favorite pretzels or crackers. I initially put pretzel rods in the middle, but the pretzels got mushy.

16 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
2 Tsp Garlic Powder
2 Tsp Hot Hungarian Paprika
12 Slices Bacon, Cooked Extra Crispy and Crumbled
1/2 Cup Pecans, Finely Chopped

Mix together cheeses and spices, set aside.

Mix together bacon and pecans in shallow bowl.

Use a 1 or 2 tablespoon scoop and roll cheese  into balls then roll in bacon mixture.  Put on plate.  When all rolled, refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up.

Jan 15, 2017

Caramel Snickerdoodles

Getting together to discuss books requires  snacks, right?  The next few days will feature recipes tested on our book club.  This week - Caramel Snickerdoodles.  This process takes two days - so plan ahead!  You can use one or two cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk - two cans makes the caramel as thick as the cookie layer.

14 Ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1 or 2 cans, depending on taste (see above)
1 Cup Butter, Softened
2 Cups Packed Light Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs (Room Temperature)
2 Tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 Cups Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tbl Ground Cinnamon

Day 1:  

Remove label(s) from sweetened condensed milk.  Place on its side in an extra large pot and fill with water.   You need to cover it with at least two inches of water.  Put on stove and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 2.5 hours.  Check every thirty minutes and add more boiling water as necessary to keep at least one inch of water above can.  At end of cooking time, use tongs to place on a cooling rack.  DO NOT try and open before completely cool.

Day 2:

Heat oven to 350.  

Line a 9 X 13 plan with parchment paper - make sure it overhangs the two long edges.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Add flour, baking powder and salt until combined.  Spread in bottom of prepared pan.

In a small bowl, combine Sugar and Cinnamon.  Sprinkle 2.5 tablespoons over the batter in the pan.  Bake 30 minutes (edges should be light brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

When cool, open sweetened condensed milk and spread evenly over top of cookie crust.  Sprinkle with remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Refrigerate at least one hour.  Remove from pan and cut.  Keep leftovers in refrigerator.