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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.

Nov 24, 2010

Cranberry Sauce

12 oz fresh cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 cup sugar

Mix orange juice, sugar and cinnamon stick in a 2 - 3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium low heat.  Add cranberries.  Return to a simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the cranberries have burst.

Remove from heat, remove the cinnamon stick, cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nov 20, 2010

Bread Making Pointers

My favorite website to get bread recipes is cooking bread is cooking bread and can be found by clicking the blog title above.

If you have a recipe that calls for self rising flour but don't have any, you can make your own.  Mix 1 cup of the flour called for (bread, all purpose or cake) with 1 1/4 tsp baking powder.

If you want to make muffins but only have a bread recipe, use the same oven temperature and reduce the baking time to 20 minutes.  If not done, cook another 5 minutes and check again until done.

If you want to make bread but only have a muffin recipe, use the same oven temperature and increase the baking time to 45 minutes.  If toothpick inserted in the center is not clean, check at 5 minute intervals until done.

English Muffin Bread

  2 Cup milk                                                                      1 Tbl sugar
  1/2 Cup water, Lukewarm                                              2 Tsp salt
  3 Cup whole-wheat flour                                               1/4 Tsp baking soda
  3 Cup all-purpose flour                                                   Cornmeal
  4 Tsp yeast                                                                     

Put water in a large bowl and add yeast.  Meanwhile, Heat the milk over low heat in a small saucepan until
 warm, stirring frequently - test on arm.  Should be not too hot.
Meanwhile, place 3 cups of whole-wheat flower, 3 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and  baking soda in a large bowl. Stir to mix.
Pour the milk into the water mixture and stir gently.   Stir in the flour mixture about 1/2 to 1 cup at a time  until a dough forms and it becomes too difficult to stir.
Place dough on lightly floured cutting board and knead in the rest of the flour (including remainder of all-purpose flour, if needed). The dough may be slightly sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth  and elastic.
Divide dough in two, shape into logs, and place in two rectangular pans (9" x 5" x 3") that have been oiled  and sprinkled with cornmeal.
Cover the loaves with a tea towel and let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake loaves for 25 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped on the  bottom. Remove from pans right away and cool on wire racks.

Nov 18, 2010

Slow Cooker Chicken with Cranberries and Apples

  6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts                            
  1/2 Cup dried sweetened cranberries                            
  1/2 Cup chopped dried apple                                        
  1 Clove garlic very thinly sliced                                    
  2 Tbl brown sugar
  2 Tbl water
  1 Tsp lemon juice
  2 Tsp butter

Place chicken breasts in a 2-quart (or larger) crockpot. Add remaining ingredients in the order given, dotting
evenly with the butter last. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.  Serve over rice.

Nov 15, 2010

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

  2 Cup cooked chicken, deboned and                               1 Cup canned corn, drained
  -cut into bite size pieces                                                   2 Clove fresh garlic, minced
  14 Oz can low sodium chicken broth                               3/4 Cup sour cream
  1 1/4 Cup canned, petite diced tomatoes                          3 Tbl fresh cilantro, chopped
  1 Tsp chili powder                                                            1 bag tortilla chips
  1/2 Cup canned diced green chilies                                   2 limes cut in wedges
  1 Tsp cumin                                                                   

Put chicken, chicken broth, tomatoes, green chilies, cumin, chili powder, corn, and garlic in crock pot. Cook on low for four hours. At end of the cooking time add cilantro and stir in sour cream. Serve topped with tortilla chips and a squeeze of lime.

Nov 14, 2010

Southwest Meat Loaf

2 Lb Ground Pork                                                            1 Tsp Cumin
  1 Tsp Cooking Oil                                                          1/4 Tsp Dried Thyme
  2/4 Cup Onion, Finely  Chopped                                   1/2 Tsp Cayenne
  4 Cloves Garlic, Crushed                                               1/2 Tsp Hot Hungarian Paprika
  1 Tablespoon Jalapeno, Chopped                                   1/2 Cup Panko
  4 Tablespoon Smoked Dried Tomatoes                         1/2 Cup 1% Milk
  1 Tbl Chili Powder                                                        

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Sautee onion and garlic until soft.  Remove from heat.  In a food processor, mix Tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, thyme, cayenne, Paprika, Panko and milk.  Pulse until tomatoes are chopped.  Add Onions and Garlic, pulse to mix.  Add Ground Pork - mix thoroughly.  Press into a 9 x 4.5 bread pan and bake for 1.5 hours.  Remove from  the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before removing from pan and slicing.

Nov 12, 2010

Cinnamon Chip Cheesecake

  1 1/2 Cups Cinnamon Graham                                       
  -Crackers, Crushed                                                         
  5 Tablespoon Butter, Melted                                          
  16 Ounce Cream Cheese, Softened                               
  3 Large Eggs, Slightly Beaten                                        
  1 Cup Sugar
 10 Oz Cinnamon Chips
 1 Tsp Almond Extract
 1 Tablespoon Cake Flour
24 Ounce Sour Cream
1 Teaspoon Shortening

Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and 5 Tablespoons melted butter and press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.  Bake 8 minutes

Increase oven to 350 degrees
Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, cake flour and almond extract on medium speed until well blended.  Add sour cream, beat on low speed until blended.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat on low speed until blended.
  Do not overbeat.
Pour half of filling in prepared crust.  Reserve 1/3 cup of the chips, put remaining chips evenly over the filling.  Carefully spoon remaining filling over the chips.  Place on a shallow baking pan and bake for 1 hour or until center is almost set.  Remove from oven.  Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack then use a knife to loosen the cheesecake from the  side of the pan.  Cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine shortening (MUST use shortening, not butter, oil, margarine or spread) and reserved chips.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir until melted.  Drizzle over cake.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Nov 8, 2010

Award Winning Orange Creamsicle Fudge

This is the fudge that won second place in a Tailgate recipe contest.  It was tied and edged out by Asian Meatballs with Tofu, Ground Chicken and Ground Turkey.  Enjoy!

1 1/2 Tsp Butter                                                                7 ounces marshmallow creme
  3/4 Cup butter                                                                3 Tsp orange extract
  3 Cup sugar                                                                    12 Drop yellow food coloring
  3/4 Cup heavy whipping cream                                      5 Drop red food coloring
  12 ounces vanilla or white chips                                    

Grease a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. pan with 1-1/2 teaspoons butter; set aside OR line the pan with non stick  Reynolds foil then butter the pan. In a heavy  3 to 4 quart saucepan, combine the sugar, cream and remaining butter. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil; cook  and stir for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in chips and marshmallow creme until smooth.  Remove 1 cup and set aside. Add orange extract and food coloring to the remaining mixture; stir until blended. Pour into prepared pan. Drop reserved marshmallow mixture by tablespoonfuls over the top; cut  through with a knife to swirl. Cover and refrigerate until set. Cut into squares. Yield: about 2-1/2 pounds.

Nov 7, 2010

Candy Corn Cookies

  3/4 Cup shortening                                                         2 Tbl Corn Syrup
  6 Tablespoon butter, softened                                        1/4 Cup honey
  3/4 Cup granulated sugar                                               1 Tbl vanilla
  3/4 Cup packed brown sugar                                          2.5 Cup + 2 Tbl All Purpose Flour
  3/4 Cup yellow cornmeal                                                12 Oz Butterscotch Chips
  1.5 Tsp baking soda                                                        3/4 Cup chopped honey-roasted
  3/4 Tsp salt                                                                     -peanuts
  1 Tbl Oil                                                                         Coarse sugar or turbinado sugar
  1 egg                                                                              

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease cookie sheet; set  aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine shortening and butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, honey, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as  you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour, the caramel bits, and peanuts.
3. Place coarse sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1-1/4-inch balls. Roll balls in coarse sugar to coat.
 Place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until tops are golden and edges are firm. Cool on cookie
 sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.


  2.5 Cups All Purpose Flour                                            2 Tbl Sour Cream, Full Fat
  1 Tsp Salt                                                                        1/2 Cup Water, Lukewarm
  1 Large Egg, Beaten                                                      

In a medium or large bowl, mix all the ingredients together and knead just a little.  The dough should not be very smooth and should be a  little sticky.  Cover the dough and lest stand for 1/2 hour before using.
Cut the dough into 6 sections and roll out or run through a pasta press.  Use flour as necessary on the counter to prevent the dough from sticking.  Flip the dough several times while rolling.  The dough should be very
 thin.  Cut 3 - 4 inch circles from the dough.  Add a spoonful of filling to the center of each circle.  Do not over fill.  Wet the edge of the dough circle and seal.  Be sure that no filling has leaded out of the sealed edge - the
 pierogi will come open during boiling.

Place the sealed pierogi on a floured surface until they are boiled.

To Cook: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil - add a couple of Tablespoons of salt.  Taste the water - it should be slightly salty.  Carefully place a batch of pierogi into the boiling water, careful not to crowd, and boil 1 -  2 minutes.  Place the pierogi in a buttered tray and brush with additional butter.  t this point, you may freeze the pierogi.  Or you may cook them - either fry in butter or put pan in 350  degree oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

To reheat:  Remove from the freezer at least 24 hours in advance and thaw in the refrigerator.  Cover the dish with foil and heat for 30 to 40 minutes in a 275 degree oven.

Filling:  Pierogi can be filled with whatever you like.  I use a mix of mashed potato - just the potato, no butter, sour cream, etc and an extra sharp cheddar.  I have also used the buffalo chicken dip below.

Buffalo Chicken Dip:
  2 Chicken Breast, cooked                                               
  12 Ounce Cheddar Cheese, Shredded                          
  6 Oz Hot Sauce
  8 Oz Cream Cheese                                                       

Pre-Heat Oven to 350.   

If making Dip:  Shred chicken with two forks.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl and spread evenly in a greased pan.  Bake for 35 minutes and serve with crackers.

If using to fill pierogi:  Chop chicken in a food processor.  Add remaining ingredients to to the food processor and mix thoroughly.

Nov 4, 2010

Butterfinger Candy

  1 Cup Jif                                                                         1/3 Cup Water
  1/3 Cup Light Corn Syrup                                              Dipping Chocolate
  1 Cup Granulated Sugar                                                

Cook corn syrup, sugar and water to 310 degrees F.  Remove from heat and stir in warmed peanut butter until completely blended - but be quick.  Pour onto greased cookie sheet or silicone mat and score into pieces.  When cool and hard, dip into melted chocolate.

Pork Stew with Black Beans (Crock Pot Recipe)

1 Lb Pork Roast cut into 1 inch cubes
2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
30 Ounces Black Beans, rinsed and drained
15 ounces chicken stock/broth
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Garlic Powder

Coat pork cubes in salt, pepper and flour.  Brown on stove top and transfer to crock pot.  Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours