Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oatmeal Caramelitas

I got this recipe years ago from some friends in Utah. I LOVE it. Pioneer Woman recently posted a similar recipe on her website.

1/2 C. Butter (softened)
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
Cream together then add:
2 C. Flour
2 C. Oatmeal
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
After mixing, press 1/2 of mixture onto edged 9x13 (or slightly bigger) cookie sheet and bake 8 minutes @ 350*.
Remove from oven & sprinkle on top:
1 C. Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. Butterscotch chips
1 C. Chopped pecans or walnuts
Drizzle over top:
1 Jar butterscotch or caramel ice cream topping + 3 TBSP flour.
Then crumble remaining flour mixture over top and return to oven & bake 15-20 more minutes (still 350*).
Oh heavens.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Pioneer Woman Lasagna

Oh, ladies! This is delicious!! While I was visiting Shelley in NJ last week I told her that I would make her favorite dinner. She wanted lasagna. So, I made this recipe from Pioneer Woman. Her boys who normally can't stand lasagna even seemed to like it!

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 pound hot breakfast sausage
2 cloves minced garlic
2 14.5-oz cans of whole tomatoes
2 6-oz cans of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
10-oz package of lasagna noodles
3 cups lowfat cottage cheese
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup Kraft Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound sliced mozzarella cheese (I used shredded)

In a skillet, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook until brown. Drain off about half the fat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, basil, and salt. Mix together thoroughly and simmer, uncovered, about 45 minutes... stirring occasionally.

(Here PW instructs the boiling of the lasagna noodles... I don't boil my noodles. I just bake my lasagna a little longer.)

Mix cottage cheese in a bowl with eggs. Add Parmesan cheese, parsley, and salt. Mix together well.
Let the assembly begin! Lay four cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of the pan, overlapping as you go. Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture evenly over the noodles. Then lay 1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese slices on top of the cottage cheese mixture. With the spoon, make a line through the middle of the meat mixture so you’ll distribute it evenly. Spread a little less than half of the meat mixture over the mozzarella cheese slices until it’s evenly distributed. Repeat the process. Top with a pretty generous layer of Kraft Parmesan Cheese.
Now pop it in a 350-degree oven for 20-30 minutes (or 1 hour if you don't boil the noodles), until hot and bubbly.

Easy Dinner Rolls

I got this recipe years ago and it is the only recipe that I use. They always turn out delicious and they are SUPER easy to make!

1 cup water(110 degrees F)
2 pkgs yeast (Do not use the quick rising in this recipe)
1/2 cup butter melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp salt
4 1/4 cups flour

Combine water and yeast in lg bowl; let stand for 5 minutes.
With wooden spoon, stir in butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Add flour, 1 cup at a time and beat in as much as you can (you will probably be able to use all the flour). Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
Grease a 13x9 baking pan. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Divide into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth round ball. Place in rows in prepared pan. Cover and let rise for 1 hour; until doubled. Heat oven to 375*. Bake until golden brown, about 17 minutes.

Crabby Patties

I had a bunch of crab meat in the freezer so I searched around for Crab Cake recipe and this is one that my kiddos loved. They also loved that I called them Crabby Patties.

1 lb crab fresh meat (or 2 cans)
1 egg
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 TBSP mustard
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP fat-free mayo
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp old bay seasoning
1/2 tsp dry mustard

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Place in refrigerator for minimum 30 minutes.
Spray skillet with cooking spray, brown about 4-5 minutes each side.
Makes 6 crab cakes.

Super Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 C. peanut butter
1 C. sugar
1 egg

Mix all ingredients and form small balls. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Press balls with a fork to flatten. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes until golden brown.

Easy Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup oil
2 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Stir ingredients together in pie plate, then shape by hand for crust. Enjoy!

Irresistable Peanut Butter Cookies

3/4 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. Crisco
1 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
3 TBSP milk
1 TBSP vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda

Combine peanut butter, Crisco, and brown sugar, milk & vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with mixer till well blended. Add egg. Beat just until blended. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just till blended. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto un-greased baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes at 375*. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Magic Milk Shakes

I got this recipe from The Hillbilly Housewife. It's a really good alternative to using ice cream and it really does taste like a Wendy's frosty!

1-1/2 to 2 cups ice water
1-1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 1-1/2 trays of ice cubes, as much as you can spare
2 tablespoons corn oil plus a 5-second squirt of non-stick spray for emulsification purposes

Place all of the ingredients into the blender, including the oil and the non-stick spray. Use less water for thicker milk shakes and more water for shakes that are easy on your blender motor. The blender should be about 3/4's full. Place the lid on. Process for a full 2 minutes. Pour into cups and serve. Makes 4 - 12oz servings.
I love this recipe because it makes very rich milk shakes without any ice cream. I don't always have ice cream in the house because the kids eat it so fast. With this recipe we can have delicious frosty milk shakes for a fraction of the cost of those using ice cream. And all the ingredients are on the pantry shelf.

Chocolate Caramel Candy (Snickers)

I'm posting this for Shelley. It's a family favorite for them. I've been the recipient of this concoction a couple of times and it was mouth-watering!

Bottom layer:
1 c. Semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. Butterscotch chips
1/4 c. creamy butter
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. evaporated milk
1 1/2 c. marshmallow creme
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. chopped salted peanuts
Caramel Layer:
1 pkg (14 oz) caramels
1/4 c. whipping cream
1 c. (6oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. Butterscotch chips
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter

Combine the 1st 3 ingredients in a small saucepan; stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Spread onto the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Refrigerate until set.
For filling, melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sugar & milk. Bring to a boil; boil & stir for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in marshmallow creme, peanut butter, & vanilla. Add peanuts. Spread over 1st layer. Refrigerate until set.
Combine the caramels & whipping cream in a sauce pan and stir over low heat until melted & smooth. Spread over the filling. Refrigerate until set.
In another saucepan combine chocolate and butterscotch chips with peanut butter. Stir over low hit until melted & smooth. Poor over the caramel layer. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut into 1 inch squares. Store in fridge. Yield about 8 dozen.

Broccoli Salad

This salad is so delicious! Just a little secret, though, I really DO NOT like raisins. So, anything that calls for them I just pretend that I put them in!

1 lb bacon (I use turkey bacon)
1 c. mayo
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP bacon drippings
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. raisins
1 c. sunflower seeds
Bite-sized broccoli (I guess at how much.. you can too)
Chopped red onion(I guess here too. About 1/2 of an onion)

Night before: Fry up the bacon and crumble. Mix mayo, vinegar, drippings (with turkey bacon there might be any-just omit), and sugar.
Day of serving: Combine raisins, seeds, broccoli, onion, and bacon with sauce and serve.

Eskimo Joe's Honey Mustard

YEARS and YEARS ago I used to work at Eskimo Joe's as a waitress while I was in college. For those of you who do not live in Oklahoma and do not know about this place it is a really cool place to eat in Stillwater, OK. It was a lot of fun to work there, too. Well, they had this scrumptious honey mustard salad dressing that they offered and I got hooked on it! One day when I was working, I asked one of the prep cooks if he would give me the recipe to the honey mustard (they make it by the 5 gallon buckets from scratch). He told me that if he gave it to me he would have to kill me and then he pointed to the binder that the recipe was stored in and looked the other way!! You didn't get this information from me! :)

5 c. spicy mustard
3/4 c. white vinegar
2 tsp onion salt
2 tsp red pepper flakes
7 TBSP yellow mustard
9 c. mayo
4 c. light karo syrup
5 c. honey
4c. salad oil

Mix first 5 ingredients. Add last 4 ingredients. Blend well.

Okay, okay! So you probably don't want to make 5 gallons of this stuff! Here's what I have when it's divided by 4:

1 1/4 c. spicy mustard
.1875 c. (little less than 1/4 c.) white vinegar
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 3/4 TBSP yellow mustard
2 1/4 c. mayo
1 c. light karo syrup
1 1/4 c. honey
1 c. salad oil

(This fills a couple of mason jars)

If you get a chance you should read up on the restaurant's history it's pretty fun!

Banana Bread

I try to make this as often as I have rotting bananas. Everybody raves about it and asks me where I got the recipe. Well... I got it from that red and white checkered cookbook that everybody and their mother has!

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 c. mashed bananas (3 medium)
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. cooking oil
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Grease loaf pan.
In a medium bowl combine first 4 ingredients. Make a well in the center; set aside.
In another bowl combine next 4 ingredients. Add wet mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir just till moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in nuts.
Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a 350* oven for 50-55 minutes.

Pioneer Woman Chocolate Sheet Cake

Oh heavens! Shelley and I made this last night! Delish!

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup pecans
1 3/4 sticks butter
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lb minus 1/2 cup powdered sugar

flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa. Stir together. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.
Pour buttermilk
in measuring cup. Add eggs, baking soda, and vanilla.
Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking, make icing:
Chop pecans finely.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat.
Add milk, vanilla, powdered sugar and stir together.
Add pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.
Cut into squares, eat, and totally wig out over the fact that you’ve just made the best chocolate sheet cake. Ever.

The Black Beast

Le Bete Noire...a.k.a. The Black Beast
This phenomenal take on a classic flourless chocolate cake lives up to its name. This cake is a labor of love. It is a little labor intensive but well worth it in the end. You can usually find bittersweet chocolate in little bars by Ghirardelli.

1 C water
3/4 C sugar
9 TB (1 stick plus 1 TB) unsalted butter, diced
18 oz. bittersweet (not UNsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs

1 C heavy whipping cream
8 oz. bittersweet (not Unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

lightly sweetened whipped cream

For cake: Preheat oven to 350*
Butter 10 in. diameter springform pan. Line bottom with parchment round; butter parchment. Wrap 3 layers of heavy duty foil around outside of p an, bringing foil to top of rim. Combine 1 C. water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 min. Remove from heat.
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs to choc. mixture and whick until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.
Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 min. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.

For ganache:
Bring whipping cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hrs.
Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.
To serve, run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake; release sides. Cut cake into wedges and serve with whipped cream.

Swiss Steak with Mushrooms

1 TB olive oil
2 TB butter
6-8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
2 TB finely chopped onion
1/3 C. flour
1 1/2 lbs. boneless round steak, 3/4-1 in. thick
1 C.beef broth
2 cans diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and butter. Saute the chopped onions and sliced mushrooms for about 5 minutes, until onions are tender. Remove onions and mushrooms; set aside. (We don't saute the mushrooms because we like them a little bit firm when we eat them. They cook enough later on).

Cut round steak into serving-size portions.

Pound the flour into the steak pieces; transfer to the skillet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper; brown round steak thoroughly, turning to brown the other side, When browned, add the beef broth, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms and cover. Simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes, or until meat is very tender. Check for drying out and add a little water if needed. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve Swiss steak with pan drippings.

Swiss steak serves 4 to 6.

Ramen Cabbage Salad

Dave and I loved this salad. I added cooked chicken to make it a meal. My kids wouldn't touch it.

1/2 large head cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 (3 oz.) package ramen noodles, crushed
1/2 C. sunflower seeds or slivered almonds
1 bunch chopped green onions
1/2 C. vegetable oil (I used half vegetable oil and half olive oil)
3 TB. white sugar
3 TB. distilled white vinegar

Toss together the cabbage, onions, noodles and sunflower seeds or almonds. Whisk together the ramen flavor packet, oil, sugar, and vinegar. Pour over cabbage mixture and toss evenly to coat. If you think you're going to have leftovers, only pour dressing over what you think will be eaten right away.