Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Maple Pecan Popcorn


A fun variation on caramel popcorn. Warning: watch the syrup & butter closely so it doesn't burn!! I had to throw out my first attempt {I think I had the heat up too high the first time, too}.

1 cup pecans (3 1/2 oz), toasted and coarsely chopped
About 8 cups plain popcorn
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
a candy thermometer


1. Toss together pecans and popcorn in a large bowl.

2. Line a large shallow baking pan with foil, then lightly oil foil and a wooden spoon.

3. Melt butter in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Add syrup and salt, then boil, without stirring, until mixture registers 300°F on thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Pour syrup over pecans and popcorn, stirring briskly with oiled spoon to coat. Immediately spread popcorn in baking pan. Cool completely, then break into bite-size pieces.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Buttermilk Syrup

Here is the syrup for the wafffles. It is to die for. Very fattening. Enjoy.

Buttermilk Syrup

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk

melt butter, add sugar, buttermilk. Bring to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling put in 1/2 tsp baking soda. Stir one or two times. Boil 1 min. Watch it. Take off heat. Add 1 tsp vanilla. Serve hot. Store in refrigerater.

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Overnight Yeast Waffles

I had someone bring me these waffles when I had Payton. They are hands down the best waffles you will ever taste. We love to eat them on Sunday mornings when it is General Conference.

Overnight Yeast Waffles

1 (1/4 oz) pkg active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 tsp sugar
2 C warm milk (110-115 degrees)
1/2 C butter, melted
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt

In a LARGE mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and sugar; let stand for 5 min. Add the milk, butter, and eggs; mix well. Combine flour and salt; stir into milk mixture. Cool and refrigerate overnight.
Stir batter. For each waffle, pour by 1/4 cupfuls into heated waffle iron; bake according to manufacturer's directions until golden brown. Yield: 10 servings

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Freezer Meals

I just did a freezer meal exchange with some of my ward friends. We each made 3 meals & ended up with 15 meals. It was fun! I thought I'd post a few of the recipes I made & received. You can freeze almost anything, I've learned. I also learned a few tricks....1. you can freeze almost any dish in gallon Ziploc bags- lay them flat to freeze & they take up much less space {although they don't look too appetizing!}. 2. to get all the air out of the bags before freezing, close all but one end of the bag & use a straw to suck out the air, then seal quickly {this is a bit tricky with soups, but you can make it work}! Anyone have a good freezer meal they want to share???

Marvelous Minestrone Soup
Serves 10

*1 lb ground sausage
1 quart water
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large onions, chopped
2 to 3 carrots, cut up
2 stalks celery, cut up
2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 (10 oz) cans beef bouillon broth
½ tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 TB dried parsley flakes
¼ tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (15 oz) can cut green beans
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained (I always leave this out)
1 handful dry macaroni (uncooked)
Grated Parmesan cheese for topping

•Bring water to a boil in large kettle
•Add sausage by breaking it up and dropping it
into boiling water
•Stir and mash sausage as it cooks, boiling
until it loses its pink color
•Add remaining ingredients, except the canned beans
and macaroni
•Simmer slowly 3–6 hours
•At least 20 minutes before serving, add cans
of beans and macaroni.
•Stir occasionally so macaroni doesn’t stick
•Top with Parmesan cheese when serving
This soup is excellent, even after being reheated.

*I’ve used drained hamburger or no meat at all, and the soup is
still delicious. The hamburger or vegetarian method is much
easier than using the sausage—but I must admit, the sausage
adds a more complex, richer taste.


Meat Loaf Muffins with Barbecue Sauce
Serves 6

Vegetable oil, for pan
1 pound ground beef
1 small yellow onion, cut into quarters
1 small green pepper
A Splash of Milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup plain bread crumbs
2 TB. Grill seasoning (Montreal Steak Seasoning)
1 Cup smoky barbecue sauce
½ cup salsa
1 TB. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush a 6-muffing tin with oil.

Put ground beef into a big bowl. Put onions into food processor. Cut the bell pepper in half, remove seeds, cut into pieces and add to the processor. Pulse to finely chop onion and pepper. Add to the meat bowl. Whisk the milk into the beaten egg and add to meat. Add bread crumbs and grill seasoning.

In a small bowl, mix together barbecue sauce, salsa, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour half of mixture into the bowl with the meat. Mix the meat loaf together with your hands.

Use a large ice cream scoop to put the meat into muffin tin. Top each muffing with a spoonful of reserved sauce. Bake about 15 min (it always takes mine longer to cook). Test with thermometer for doneness. Serve with extra sauce.


Spanikopita

30oz frozen chopped spinach
1 onion, minced

1 tsp dill weed
¼ c. fresh parsley or 1 heaping Tbl of dried parsley
1 tsp salt
½ lb feta cheese, crumbled

½ lb cottage cheese
4 eggs, slightly beaten
3 Tbl Olive oil
phyllo dough
butter for layering

First, sauté onions in Olive Oil. Cook until soft, then add dill and parsley. While onions are cooking thaw spinach and squeeze out all excess moisture.

When the spinach is thawed, add the butter, onions, and herbs with the spinach. Then add feta and cottage cheese. Mix well. Then add eggs and additional olive oil if desired; stir well.

Melt butter. Butter a 9x13 pan. Place six layers of phyllo in the bottom of pan, making sure to butter between each layer. Then pour the spinach mixture on top of the phyllo layers. Add six more layers of phyllo on top of the spinach mixture. Again, make sure you butter each layer. At this point you can score the top into smaller serving sizes to it is easier to cut when serving.
Bake in the oven at 375 until top layer of phyllo is golden brown.


Wild Rice Chicken

1 6 1/4-oz. package quick-cooking long grain and wild rice
1 cup cooked, chopped chicken
1 8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Cook rice according to package directions. Combine rice with chopped chicken, water chestnuts, celery, and onion; put mixture in a 1-gallon freezer bag.

To prepare for serving, thaw rice and chicken mixture, remove from bag, and place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 325. Stir mayonnaise and cream of mushroom soup together, and spread over top of chicken. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Makes 6 servings.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Gourmet Night

So, I see (from Darla's and Jill's blogs) you had another Gourmet Night last night. Does the chef want to post recipes (who hosted?)? Love to see what yummy things you guys had.
By the way, I wanted to mention that the Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese frosting in the Favorites cookbook are really good. I made them last week. I love pumpkin stuff. I'd post the recipe, but most of you have that cookbook anyway, right?

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Favorite Soups!

I just got back from the store where I stocked up on all of the ingredients to make all of your yummy soups! Looks like the perfect forecast for a soup week! I made Jaime's Califlower Soup today and it's great. Looking forward to the others...

So here are my two favorite soup recipes.

Potato Pepper Jack Soup (all time favorite!)
4 Cups diced potato
3 Cups shredded chicken breast
4 strips thick bacon chopped
1 or 2 large jalapenos diced (I just use 1 and it still had kick)
1 med. Red bell pepper diced
1 carrot peeled and diced
1 yellow onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. thyme
1 lb. shredded pepperjack cheese
3 Cups Chicken broth
1 Qt. heavy cream
1/2 Cup flour
1/2 Cup butter

Cook bacon in the bottom of pot thoroughly. Add to the bacon: peppers, onion, garlic, and carrot. Saute on medium heat until vegetables are soft. Add chicken broth and let simmer. In separate pan boil potatoes in water until tender (about 15 minutes). Drain and add to soup. Add cream, cheese, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Prepare roux by melting butter and stirring in flour to make a paste. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add roux to soup mixture, stirring to desired thickness.


Vegetable Cheese Chowder

4 cups potatoes
2 cups diced carrots (I like to grate mine)
½ cup minced onions
2 tsp. salt
4 cups water
1 10 oz. package frozen broccoli
3 T chicken base or 1 bouillon cube
3 ½ cup milk
½ cup margarine
½ cup flour
1 T dry mustard
1 pound cheese (I don’t use this much, just add to taste)
Optional-2 cups chopped celery

Prepare potatoes, carrots, and onions. Place in large pot and add salt and water. Cook till vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add broccoli, chicken base, and milk. Simmer for 5 more minutes. In separate pan, melt margarine and add flour and dry mustard; stir to make roux mixture. Add to soup and stir till thickened. Add cheese to soup. Stir till cheese is melted. Keep hot, but do not boil, until ready to serve. Makes 8-10 servings.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Butternut Squash Soup

I love this soup and have to make it every fall.

3 leeks (white portion only), sliced
4 medium carrots, chopped
5 tablespoons butter
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed
6 cups chicken broth
3 medium zucchini, peeled and sliced (I sometimes do less)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 cup milk
Grated parmesan cheese and chives, optional

In a Dutch oven (large pot) over medium heat, sauté the leeks and carrots in butter for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash, broth zucchini, salt, thyme and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. In a food processor, puree soup in small amounts until smooth and return to Dutch oven. Add cream and milk and mix well. Heat through but do not boil. Garnish with parmesan and chives if desired.

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New Fall Recipes

I loved this soup with the bacon in it. It is very good and less fatty than most creamy soups.


Potato, Cheese & Bacon Chowder

Half of a small onion chopped
2 T. butter or margarine
1 T. flour
3 cups fat-free milk
1 can (10 ¾ oz.) condensed cream of potato soup
16 oz. frozen Southern-style hash browns
Dash of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste (use white pepper to not get the black flecks)

Garnish with:
1 cup cheddar cheese grated
2-3 slices crispy bacon, crumbled
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)

Melt butter in large sauce pan on medium heat. Sauté onion in butter till transparent. Add flour and mix together, cooking mixture for a couple minutes. Add milk and can of soup to onion mixture. Stir in hash browns. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add dash of garlic and salt and pepper to taste. If soup is too thick, thin with more milk.

Serves: 6 (one cup each)



This recipe was out of the Deseret News and I tried it for our General Conference family dinner. It was a hit!

Cranberry Goat Cheese Spread

4 oz. chevre (soft goat cheese, usually sold as a log)
¼ cup lightly tasted pine nuts
¼ cup dried cranberries
3 T. balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, or less to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Process until mostly smooth. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl several times during processing. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Spread will thicken when refrigerated. Serve with Wheat Thins or cracker of your choice.

Makes about 1 ¼ cups



This recipe my sister passed on to me from a cousin on her husband's side of the family. I have had it for over a year and finally just tried it. It is a keeper! Super simple.

Black Bean Soup

1 cup jarred fresh tomato salsa (can use regular jarred salsa)
2 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken broth
1 lime
sour cream-optional

Heat the salsa in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 min. Sir in the beans and broth. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Spoon half of the soup into a food processor or blender and puree. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan and heat through. Add a squeeze of lime into each serving. Garnish with sour cream, additional salsa and tortilla chips.

Serves: 2 or 3

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

While the cat's away....the mice make chili!

Matt's out of town for a few weeks, so I took the opportunity to make one of my favorite chili recipes. He doesn't like it much because there is no meat in it {which is why I like it so much!}. It's delish & makes a lot....I'll be eating it all week, which is fine by me!

Half-Hour Vegetarian Chili
from the Recipe Rescue Cookbook

1 TB. Vegetable oil
3 Onions, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
1 TB. Minced jalapeno pepper (can leave out)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
3-4 tsp. Chili powder
1 tsp. Cumin
1 can Chopped tomatoes (28 oz.)
1 can Chopped tomatoes (14 oz.)
1 tsp. Brown sugar
2 cans Kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup bulgur

1. Heat oil over medium heat; add onions, carrots, jalapenos, garlic, chili powder and cumin.
2. Saute 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes and sugar; cook for 5 minutes over high heat.
3. Stir in beans and bulgur and reduce to low heat.
4. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes.
5. Garnish with plain yogurt, scallions, and cilantro if desired.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cauliflower Soup

Hello girls! I have a wonderful Cauliflower Soup recipe you just have to try during this cold weather that we will be having this weekend. Everyone just loves it, including my children. We included this for our Christmas Eve dinner last year. It is super easy! Enjoy!!!

Cauliflower Soup

1 head Cauliflower (cut into small florets)
3 – 4 celery stalks (chopped)
4 cups water or chicken broth
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 15 ounce can evaporated milk
5 T butter
5 T flour
salt and pepper to taste

Dissolve bouillon cubes in water in a large pot. Chop cauliflower and celery into small pieces. Add veggies to water/broth and cook until tender. This usually takes at least 20 minutes or more. In a separate bowl, melt butter and mix with flour. Once veggies are tender, add evaporated milk and whisk in butter and flour mixture. Cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. This soup in not too thick.

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