Thoughts

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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.

Feb 3, 2017

Slow Cooker Tuscan Soup

Spinach, Garlic Potatoes, a little spice...all whipped up in a slow cooker.



32 Ounce Chicken Stock
24 Ounces Hot Italian Sausage, cooked and crumbled3 Cups Water
4 Cups russed potatoes cut in 1/4 inch cubes
2 Tbl Onion, minced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbl Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
2 C Spinach, chopped
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
8 Slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Pepper to taste

Place Stock, 1/2 the sausage, water, potatoes, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes in a slow cooker.  Cook on high for 3.5 or low for 7 hours - potatoes should be tender.  Stir in remaining sausage and kale - let cook for another 30 minutes.  Stir in heavy cream and cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in bacon, add pepper to taste and serve.

Feb 2, 2017

Butter Pecan Cheesecake

With a sugar cookie crust and topped with fresh whipped cream, this was a wonderful Christmas dessert.



Crust:
1 1/4 Cup Cake Flour
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter cut into pieces

2 Cups Pecan Pieces
2 Tbl Butter
3 Tbl Sugar
16 Ounces Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2 Tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Heavy Cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the crust ingredients and mix with a pastry blender OR pulse in a small food processor until thoroughly combined.  Will be crumbly, but should hold together when pressed in pan.  Press into the bottom and part way up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan.

Bake about 25 minutes - should be lightly browned.  Set aside to cool completely.

Melt the 2 Tbl butter in a large pan over medium heat, stir in sugar.  Stir pecans in the mixture and continue cooking (stir often) over medium heat until the pecans are toasted and the sugar sticks.  Set aside to cool.  When cool, lightly chop about half the pecans.

Put the cream cheese, remaining sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl.  Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.  In a separate bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture 1/3 at a time.  Stir in the pecans.  Spread the mixture in the cooled crust.  Refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.

Feb 1, 2017

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Hubby is a champ - this is the cake I asked him to make for my birthday.  It was WONDERFUL - and not too sweet.  However, make sure you have room to store any leftovers in your refrigerator.  If you will not have room - layer the cake and cherries only.  Put whipped cream on each individual piece as cut.



1 Cup Whole Milk
3 Large Room Temperature Eggs
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
3 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Cups Cake Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Dutch Cocoa
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
3/4 Tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Tsp Salt

29 Ounces Pitted Tart Cherries
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
3 Tbl Grenadine

3 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1/3 Cup Confectioner's Sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9 x 3 cake pans, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat milk, eggs, oil and vanilla until well blended.  Blend in sugar.  In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder baking soda and salt.  Gradually beat into milk mixture.

Transfer to prepared pans.  Bake about 35 minutes - a toothpick inserted in center should come out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes then remove to a rack.  Cool Completely.

Drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup juice.  In a small saucepan, whisk sugar, son starch and reserved juice.  Add cherries.  Cook and stir until thick and bubbly (about 15 minutes).  Cool Completely.

In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken.  Add confectioner's sugar;  beat until stiff peaks form.

Use a long serrated knife to cut both cakes in half.  Place one cake layer on a serving plate.  Top with 1 1/2 cups whipped cream and 1/3 cherries - stop within 1 inch of edge.  Repeat twice.  Top with remaining cake layer.  Frost sides and top of cake with remaining whipped cream.