Friday, October 31, 2014

Menu Nov 2-8, 2014

Weather is cooling down.  By Wed it is supposed to be rainy...great soup weather, eh?


Monday
Nancy's Viva La Chicken Casserole--This one is a hold over from last week.  I didn't get some things done in time last week and we ended up getting pizza!  So, this is the week for Nancy!  :)

Tuesday
Crockpot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Wednesday
Calico Bean Soup

Thursday
Upside Down Pizza

Friday
Grill Day!!!!!  Burgers and fries--yep!  :)

This week, the yummy I am thinking of comes from the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke.  This one is from the Key Lime Pie Murder.  I bring you....Cappuccino Royales!  They had me at coffee... :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Christmas Lace Cookies (another Gluten Free)

This is another recipe from the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke. Again, note that any notes in here from Hannah or that begin with "I" are from the book series and not ME. If it is my note, it will say from Yvonne....K? 

Hannah’s 1st Note: I used a 2-teaspoon cookie scoop to form these cookies. It was just the right size. 
Hannah’s 2nd Note: These cookies look delicate, but they travel well if you pack them correctly. Start with a layer of Styrofoam peanuts (or bubble wrap) at the bottom of your box. Cover that with a layer of wax paper. Put down a single layer of Christmas Lace Cookies. Cover that with another layer of wax paper and cover with another single layer of peanuts (or bubble wrap.) Keep on layering peanuts (or bubble wrap), wax paper, Christmas Lace Cookies, wax paper, and peanuts (or bubble wrap) until your box is full. Top off with a layer of peanuts (or several layers of bubble wrap), seal, and send to your lucky recipient. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. 

Ingredients:  
1 and ½ cups rolled oats (uncooked dry oatmeal—use the old-fashioned kind that takes 5 minutes to cook, not the quick 1-minute variety) 
½ cup melted butter (1 stick, ¼ pound) 
¾ cup white (granulated) sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon flour 
½ teaspoon salt 
1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 beaten egg (just whip it up in a glass with a fork) 
½ cup chocolate chips 

Directions:
Measure out the oatmeal in a medium-sized bowl. 
Melt the butter and pour it over the oatmeal. 
Stir until it’s thoroughly mixed. 
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, baking powder, flour, and salt. 
Mix well. 
Add the sugar mixture to the oatmeal mixture and blend thoroughly. 
Mix in the vanilla and the beaten egg. 
Stir well. 
Add the chocolate chips and stir the mixture until it is well combined. 
Line cookie sheets with foil, shiny side up. 
Spray the foil lightly with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. 
Drop the cookie dough by rounded teaspoon (or 1-2 tsp cookie scoop) onto the foil, leaving space for spreading. 
Don’t crowd these cookies together, no more than 6 or 8 per sheet. 

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 12 minutes. 

Remove them from the oven and cool them on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes. 
Pull the foil off the sheet and over to a waiting wire rack. 
Let the cookies cool completely. 
When the Christmas Lace Cookies are cool, peel them carefully from the foil and store them in a cool, dry place. 
If you want to dress up these cookies for special company, wait until they’re cool and then drizzle them with melted chocolate chips mixed with coffee. 

Start with ½ cup of chips mixed with 
6 Tablespoons coffee and microwave for 30 seconds on HIGH. 

Stir it until smooth. 
If the mixture is too thick to drizzle, add additional coffee and microwave in 20-second intervals on HIGH until it is thin enough to drizzle over the cookies.
 
Yield: One batch of Christmas Lace Cookies makes about 2 and ½ dozen cookies. This recipe can be doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled if you wish.

Fluke, Joanne (2010-10-01). Plum Pudding Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery Book 12) (pp. 185-188). Kensington Publishing Corp. Kindle Edition.




Chocolate Drizzle for Cookies

This drizzle was used in some of the Hanna Swensen Mysteries on her cookies and would be good on any cookies or on caramel dipped apples or ice cream or....well, you get the picture, right?

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

Ingredients:
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate chips, or white chocolate chips— it’s your choice) 
6 Tablespoons juice, milk, or liqueur or coffee 

Directions:
Before you start, lay out sheets of wax paper and place the completely cooled cookies close together on the wax paper. 
Place the chips and the liquid you chose in a microwave-safe bowl and heat them on HIGH for 30 seconds. 
Let the bowl sit for at least 15 seconds and then stir it smooth with a spoon or a heat-resistant spatula. 
If you can’t stir it smooth and the chips are still lumpy, microwave the mixture in 20-second intervals until you can stir it smooth. 
Check the consistency of your mixture. 
If it’s too thick to drizzle, add additional liquid until it’s the proper drizzling consistency. 
If it’s too thin, add a few more chips and microwave again until those are melted and can be stirred into the drizzling mixture. 
Place the bowl right next to the wax paper with the cookies and use a big spoon to drizzle the cookies with lines of chocolate sweetness . 
You can go all one way to make parallel lines or you can drizzle lines that crisscross each other. 
The design is up to you. 
Let the chocolate drizzle harden on top of the cookies and then store them between sheets of wax paper in a cool, dry place. 
Yield: One batch of Airy Berry Cookies makes about 2 and ½ dozen cookies.

Fluke, Joanne (2014-02-25). Blackberry Pie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery Book 17) (Kindle Locations 2091-2134). Kensington. Kindle Edition. 

Airy Berry Cookies (Gluten Free Mostly)

This is another recipe from the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke.  Again, note that any notes in here from Hannah or that begin with "I" are from the book series and not ME.  If it is my note, it will say from Yvonne....K?  

Hannah’s 1st Note: I once used cherry-flavored Craisins in these cookies. That means I had to rename them Airy Cherry-Berry Cookies. 
Hannah’s 2nd Note: Lisa and I use a 2-teaspoon cookie scoop to form these cookies down at The Cookie Jar. It’s the perfect size. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. 

Ingredients:
1 and ½ cups rolled oats (uncooked dry oatmeal— use the old-fashioned kind that takes 5 minutes to cook, not the quick 1-minute variety) 
½ cup salted butter (1 stick, 4 ounces, ¼ pound) 
¾ cup white (granulated) sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon flour (that’s not a misprint— it’s only one teaspoon!) (from Yvonne--with so little flour this should be easy to do gluten free!) 
½ teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 large egg, beaten (just whip it up in a glass with a fork) 
½ cup sweetened dried cranberries (I used Craisins) 
½ cup white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli’s) 

Directions:
Measure the oatmeal and place it in a medium-sized bowl. 
Melt the butter and pour it over the oatmeal. 
Stir until it’s thoroughly mixed. 
In a small bowl, combine the white sugar, baking powder, flour, and salt. 
Mix well. 
Add the sugar mixture to the oatmeal mixture and blend them together thoroughly. 
Mix in the vanilla extract. 
Add the beaten egg and stir until everything is combined. 
Mix in the half-cup of sweetened dried cranberries. 
Then add the white chocolate chips and stir them in thoroughly. 
Line cookie sheets with foil, shiny side up. 
Spray the foil lightly with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. 
Drop the cookie dough by rounded teaspoonful (or 2 tsp cookie scoop) onto the foil , leaving space for spreading. 
Don’t crowd these cookies together. 
Place no more than 6 or 8 cookies on each cookie sheet. 

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 12 minutes. 

Remove them from the oven and cool them on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes. 
Pull the foil off the cookie sheet and onto a wire rack. 
Let the cookies cool completely on the sheet of foil before you try to remove them. 
When the cookies are completely cool, peel them carefully from the foil and store them in a cool, dry place. (Your refrigerator is NOT a dry place.) 
If you want to dress up these cookies for special company, wait until they’re cool and then drizzle them with melted chocolate chips mixed with juice, milk, or a berry or coffee liqueur. The recipe is below:

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

Ingredients:
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate chips, or white chocolate chips— it’s your choice) 
6 Tablespoons juice, milk, or liqueur 

Directions:
Before you start, lay out sheets of wax paper and place the completely cooled cookies close together on the wax paper. 
Place the chips and the liquid you chose in a microwave-safe bowl and heat them on HIGH for 30 seconds. 
Let the bowl sit for at least 15 seconds and then stir it smooth with a spoon or a heat-resistant spatula. 
If you can’t stir it smooth and the chips are still lumpy, microwave the mixture in 20-second intervals until you can stir it smooth. 
Check the consistency of your mixture. 
If it’s too thick to drizzle, add additional liquid until it’s the proper drizzling consistency. 
If it’s too thin, add a few more chips and microwave again until those are melted and can be stirred into the drizzling mixture. 
Place the bowl right next to the wax paper with the cookies and use a big spoon to drizzle the cookies with lines of chocolate sweetness . 
You can go all one way to make parallel lines or you can drizzle lines that crisscross each other. 
The design is up to you. 
Let the chocolate drizzle harden on top of the cookies and then store them between sheets of wax paper in a cool, dry place. 
Yield: One batch of Airy Berry Cookies makes about 2 and ½ dozen cookies.

Fluke, Joanne (2014-02-25). Blackberry Pie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery Book 17) (Kindle Locations 2091-2134). Kensington. Kindle Edition.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Shepard's Drunken Pie

-This is my version of a savory Shepard's pie with Cabernet Sauvignon!  This one is a more refined taste.


In a pan on the stove add:
1 lb ground beef
Crumbled Bacon--about 2-3 slices
1/2 c plus Cabernet Sauvignon (I prefer Hess Select for it's oaky quality)
1/8 c Chives
2 cloves fresh minced Garlic
Fresh Ground Pepper

3/4 c grated Cheddar Cheese (mild or sharp doesn't matter)

About 4 cups mashed potatoes or 1 package Bob Evan's Ready to Eat Mashed Potatoes.  I like to use garlic mashed potatoes or sour cream and chive mashed potatoes.
1 c grated Cheddar Cheese (mild or sharp doesn't matter)

Cook Bacon in a saucepan.
Remove and crumble
Brown ground beef in bacon fat.  
Drain fat.
Add wine, bacon, chives, garlic and pepper.
Simmer until wine is reduced and thickened.
Enjoy and sniff the great aroma of the wine!  

Dump everything into an 8x8 pan, mix in 3/4 c grated cheese.
Cover with mashed potatoes.  If using the refrigerated Bob Evan's mashed potatoes, just stir them up so that they aren't stiff and cover the meat mixture with the potatoes.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 min.

Pull pan out of the oven and top with 1 c Cheddar Cheese and place back into the oven for another 10-15 min until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to toast.

Remove and enjoy!  :)

Shepard's Pie

This is my version of a savory Shepard's pie with wonderful gravy and garlic and veggies that you WANT to eat--and eat--and eat!


My Thrive version which I LOVE:
In a pan on the stove add:
3 c freeze dried ground beef crumbles
1/8 c FD Green Onions
shy 1/4 c FD Green and Red Bell Peppers
1/4 c FD Carrots
1/2 c FD Peas
1 pkg Swanson Flavor Boost Beef Flavored or equivalent beef bouillon
5 c Water
2 cloves fresh minced Garlic
Fresh Ground Pepper

Fork full of Corn Starch

1/2 c grated Cheddar Cheese (mild or sharp doesn't matter)

About 4 cups mashed potatoes or 1 package Bob Evan's Ready to Eat Mashed Potatoes
1 c grated Cheddar Cheese (mild or sharp doesn't matter)

Place all of the Freeze Dried products into a saucepan.  Squeeze Beef Flavor Boost over the top and pour water over the top, give it a stir and then add the garlic and grind pepper over the top of everything.  Allow to simmer for 10-15 min.

Mix a fork full of corn starch into about 1/8 cup cool water in a cup, mix until smooth and then pour into simmering pan.  This will create the gravy for the pie.  Stir and simmer for a few minutes until it starts to thicken.

Dump everything into an 8x8 pan, mix in 1/2 c grated cheese.
Cover with mashed potatoes.  If using the refrigerated Bob Evan's mashed potatoes, just stir them up so that they aren't stiff and cover the meat mixture with the potatoes.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 min.

Pull pan out of the oven and top with 1 c Cheddar Cheese and place back into the oven for another 10-15 min until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to toast.

Remove and enjoy!  :)








Monday, October 27, 2014

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING FOR RED VELVET SURPRISE CUPCAKES

This is another recipe from the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke. Again, note that any notes in here from Hannah or that begin with "I" are from the book series and not ME. If it is my note, it will say from Yvonne....K?

Ingredients

4 ounces cream cheese (I used Philadelphia Brand in the rectangular silver package— half a package was 4 ounces)
¼ cup salted butter (½ stick, 2 ounces, pound)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)

Directions:
Place the cream cheese and the butter in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl. (I used a quart measuring cup.)
Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds.
Stir.
If you can stir the cream cheese and the butter smooth, take the bowl out and put it on the counter.
If it’s still not soft enough to stir, microwave on HIGH in 20-second intervals until it is.
Add the vanilla extract to your bowl and stir that in.
Add the powdered sugar, a half-cup at a time, stirring after each addition.
Continue to add powdered sugar until the frosting is spreadable, not runny.
Work from the center out when you frost your Red Velvet Surprise Cupcakes.
Don’t go all the way to the edges. Leave a little of the red cupcake showing all the way around.

Yield: This recipe will frost 24 cupcakes. (If there’s any frosting left over, spread it on graham crackers or soda crackers for the kids.)

When Lisa and I baked these for the grand opening of the Albion Hotel, we sprinkled the top of the Cream Cheese Frosting with red decorating sugar.

Fluke, Joanne (2014-01-28). Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery) (pp. 25-26). Kensington. Kindle Edition.

Red Velvet Surprise Cupcakes

This is another recipe from the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke. Again, note that any notes in here from Hannah or that begin with "I" are from the book series and not ME. If it is my note, it will say from Yvonne....K?


If you’re going to make these cupcakes right away, preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. 


Hannah’s Note: To make these cupcakes, you must first make Chocolate Apricot Surprises. Don’t worry . They’ll only take you 15 minutes at the most. If you’d prefer to make them at night and not bake the cupcakes until morning, preheat the oven at that time. 

CHOCOLATE APRICOT SURPRISES 
Ingredients:
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (that’s one cup of chips) 
2 Tablespoons apricot jam 
2 Tablespoons salted butter 

Directions:
If the apricot jam has big pieces of apricots, cut them into smaller pieces before you measure out the jam. 
You can also simply pick them out and only use the clear part of the jam. 
Place the 3 ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. (I used a 2-cup measuring cup.) 
Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. 
Take the chocolate mixture out of the microwave and stir the contents smooth. 
Tear off a piece of waxed paper and place it on a piece of cardboard or a cookie sheet right next to the chocolate mixture. 
Use a quarter-teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop out the chocolate mixture. 
Scrape it out of the spoon with your impeccably clean finger and drop it onto the waxed paper in little mounds. 
If it spreads out too much and won’t mound, let it cool for a minute or two longer. 
Once you start making the chocolate mounds, keep in mind that you will need 24 Chocolate Apricot Surprises for your cupcakes . 
If you end up with less, pinch a little off the larger mounds and transfer it to the smaller mounds. 
If you end up with too much chocolate left, either make the existing mounds bigger, or make several mounds on a different piece of wax paper and hide them in a small container in the back of your refrigerator for the times you have a chocolate deficiency. 
Refrigerate the Chocolate Apricot Surprises until you’re ready to use them in your cupcakes. 
(You can make them the night before you make your cupcakes, but only if you live alone. If you have a family, someone is bound to get up in the middle of the night to eat them.) 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. 
Cupcake Ingredients:
1 and ½ cups white (granulated) sugar 
½ cup salted butter (1 stick, 4 ounces, ¼ pound) softened to room temperature 
½ cup vegetable oil 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon cocoa powder 
2 teaspoons red food color gel (if you can’t find gel, you can use liquid food coloring, but gel is best— I used Betty Crocker Classic Gel Food Colors) 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 large eggs 
2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it) 
1 cup buttermilk 
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (or white vinegar if you can’t find red wine vinegar) 

Directions:  
Line 24 cupcake cups with cupcake papers . (My cupcake pans hold 12 apiece so I used 2 cupcake pans. I also used double cupcake papers in each cup.) 

WARNING ABOUT FOOD COLOR GEL: Make sure you don’t buy red decorating gel instead of red food color gel. The decorating gel comes in individual tubes and is used to write on the top of cakes in various colors of gel frosting. You need to buy the concentrated food color gel that will color your cupcake batter red. If you can’t find food color gel, you can use liquid food coloring, but you’ll have to use double the amount. 

Place the white sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. 
Add the softened, salted butter and vegetable oil. 
Beat until the resulting mixture is nice and fluffy. 
Mix in the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder. 
Mix it in thoroughly. 
Add the 2 teaspoons of red food color gel and the vanilla extract. 
Beat until the color is mixed in evenly. 
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. 
Add one cup of flour to your bowl and mix it in thoroughly. 
Then shut off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. 
Pour in a half -cup of buttermilk and mix that in thoroughly on LOW speed. 
Add a second cup of flour to your bowl. 
Mix it in thoroughly and then shut off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl again. 
Add the rest of the buttermilk (½ cup) to your bowl. 
Mix well. 
Mix in the rest of the flour (½ cup) and mix thoroughly. 
Mix in the red wine vinegar. 
Shut off the mixer, remove the bowl, and give your cupcake batter a final scrape and stir with the rubber spatula. 
The vinegar may make your batter foam up a bit. That’s perfectly all right. 
Fill the cupcake papers full of batter. (Lisa and I used a 2-Tablespoon scoop to do this at The Cookie Jar.) 
Take the Chocolate Apricot Surprises you made out of the refrigerator. 
Peel them off the waxed paper one by one , and put them in the center of each cupcake. 
Push them down slightly , but be careful not to push them all the way to the bottom of the cupcakes! 
Fill the cupcake papers with batter until they’re ¾ full. 
These cupcakes don’t rise very much so you don’t have to worry about them overflowing. 

Bake the Red Velvet Surprise Cupcakes in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 20 to 23 minutes. (Mine took 21 minutes.) 
Take the cupcake pans out of the oven and let them cool completely on a cold stove burner or a wire rack. 
Do not remove the cupcakes from the pan until they are completely cool. 
Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ice with Cream Cheese Frosting for Red Velvet Surprise Cupcakes.

Fluke, Joanne (2014-01-28). Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery) (pp. 19-24). Kensington. Kindle Edition.

Easy Fruit Pie

This is another recipe from the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke.  Again, note that any notes in here from Hannah or that begin with "I" are from the book series and not ME.  If it is my note, it will say from Yvonne....K?  


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F., rack in the middle position. 

NOTE from Yvonne 10/28/14:  I made this last night and topped it with cool whip.  I used my own homemade apple pie filling and found that the "crust" part was really kind of tough.  I think the crust part could use some sugar or vanilla or something as well.  Not entirely on board with this dessert.  Also, I had full slices of apples in my pie filling.  If I made it again, I would cut the apples up into more bite sized pieces and perhaps have more liquid in my filling as my filling tends to have less liquid than perhaps store bought canned fillings do.

Note from Delores: I got this recipe from Jenny Hester, a new nurse at Doc Knight’s hospital. Jenny just told me that her great-grandmother used to make it whenever the family came over for Sunday dinner. Hannah said it’s easy so I might actually try to make it some night for Doc. 

¼ cup salted butter (½ stick, 2 ounces, pound) 
1 cup whole milk 
1 cup white (granulated) sugar 
1 cup all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it) 
1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder 
½ teaspoon salt 
1 can fruit pie filling (approximately 21 ounces by weight— 3 to 3 and ½ cups, the kind that makes an 8-inch pie) 

Hannah’s 1st Note: This isn’t really a pie, and it isn’t really a cake even though you make it in a cake pan . It’s almost like a cobbler, but not quite. I have the recipe filed under “Dessert”. 
You can use any canned fruit pie filling you like. I might not bake it for company with blueberry pie filling. It tasted great, but didn’t look all that appetizing. If you love blueberry and want to try it, it might work to cover the top with sweetened whipped cream or Cool Whip before you serve it.
I’ve tried this recipe with raspberry and peach . . . so far. I have the feeling that lemon pie filling would be yummy, but I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet. Maybe I’ll try it some night when Mike comes over after work. Even if it doesn’t turn out that well, he’ll eat it. 

Place the butter in a 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan and put it in the oven to melt. 
Meanwhile . . . Mix the milk, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium-size bowl. 
This batter will be a little lumpy and that’s okay. 
Just like brownie batter, don’t over-mix it. 
Using oven mitts or potholders, remove the pan with the melted butter from the oven. 
Pour in the batter and tip the pan around to cover the whole bottom. 
Then set it on a cold stove burner. 
Spoon the pie filling over the stop of the batter, but DO NOT MIX IN. 
Just spoon it on as evenly as you can. (The batter will puff up around it in the oven and look gorgeous!) 
Bake the dessert at 375 degrees F., for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until it turns golden brown and bubbly on top. 
To serve, cool slightly, dish into bowls, and top with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream . 
It really is yummy. 

Hannah’s 2nd Note: The dessert is best when it’s baked , cooled slightly, and served right away. Alternatively you can bake it earlier, cut pieces to put in microwave-safe bowls, and reheat it in the microwave before you put on the ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. 

Yield: Easy Fruit Pie will serve 6 if you don’t invite Mike and Norman for dinner. 

Variation noted in the book: I’ve made this by adding ¼ cup cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the batter. If I do this , I spoon a can of cherry pie filling over the top.

Fluke, Joanne (2014-01-28). Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery) (pp. 89-91). Kensington. Kindle Edition.

CHICKEN TETRAZZINI HOTDISH (Casserole to those of us outside of Minnesota!)

This is another recipe from the Hannah Swensen Mystery series by Joanne Fluke.  I find it humorous that in Minnesota (according to the book series) a casserole is called a Hotdish!  Love it!  :)  Anyway, I have had recipes for Turkey Tetrazzini in the past, but have misplaced them, so I think I may try this one.  Please note that unless I say that Yvonne made a change, all changes that say I used this or that are as they are in the book and "I" refers to the Character, Hannah.  K?

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. 

Ingredients
1 and ¼ cups spaghetti (I used Ronzoni, half of a one-pound package) 
1 and ½ to 2 cups cooked chicken, cut up in cubes 
¼ cup diced, canned pimento (approximately 1 small jar —you can buy it already diced) 
¼ of a green bell pepper, diced 
1 small onion, diced 
Dash of sherry (optional) (Yvonne note:  I think I will try out some dry vermouth.  Not sure I have any sherry with me in the camper)
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (I used Campbell’s) 
½ cup chicken broth (I used a bouillon cube dissolved in a half-cup of hot water) 
½ teaspoon salt (I used Lawry’s garlic salt since there’s no other garlic in the recipe) 
teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground is best) 
2 to 3 cups grated cheddar cheese (or grated Italian cheeses) 
1 clove garlic finely minced (optional) 
1 small can sliced black olives, drained (optional) 
1 small can Ortega diced green chilies, drained (optional) 
“Slap Ya Mama” hot sauce (optional, for Mike) 
From Yvonne:  Ree Drumond Pioneer Woman Cooks adds 
4 slices bacon crumbled and tops hers with 
1 c Panko for some crunch.  She also uses 
8 oz cream cheese in lieu of the soup and thickens by making a roue with 
1/4 c flour in a couple of T of butter.  
I am including her recipe at the bottom of this to compare.

Hannah’s 1st Note: Florence likes things on the bland side and while this hotdish is delicious just the way she made it, I spiced it up a little for Norman by adding a clove of garlic and a small can of diced green chilies.  (from Yvonne--yeah--I'm adding the fresh garlic, leaving out the olives because Jim is not an olive eater so why bother? and using some green chilis--that does sound good!  I think we can safely leave out the Lap Ya Mama hot sauce though.  LOL) I also added a small can of sliced black olives to add interest. I served this with a bowl of freshly grated parmesan to sprinkle on top of each serving. When Mike unexpectedly joined us for dinner, I put a bottle of “Slap Ya Mama” hot sauce on the table for him. 

Directions:
Break the spaghetti into pieces approximately 4 inches long . 
Cook the spaghetti in boiling, salted water, according to the package directions. (Mine cooked for 10 minutes.) 
Drain it and rinse it. 
Place the cooked spaghetti, cubed chicken, pimento, green pepper, and onion in a large bowl. 
At this point, add any optional ingredients you decided to add. 
Pour the sherry (if you decided to use it), the condensed soup, and the chicken broth over the top.
Sprinkle on the salt and the pepper and stir them in. 
Add HALF of the grated cheese, and lightly toss everything together with a fork. (I gave up on the fork and used my impeccably clean fingers instead.) (From Yvonne--have you noticed that all of her recipes use Impeccably clean hands and fingers?????  I just wash my hands normally!  Snicker!) 
Spray a 1 and ½ quart casserole dish with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. 
Set it on a drip pan, just in case. 
Transfer the contents of your mixing bowl to the casserole dish. 
Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on top. 
Bake the Chicken Tetrazzini Hotdish at 350 degrees F., for 45 minutes. 

Hannah’s 2nd Note: To double this recipe , just double the ingredients and bake it in a larger casserole dish. You don’t have to double the baking time , but I’d give it an extra 20 minutes or so. When I make this for a potluck dinner, I use a disposable, half-size steam table pan. (Use 2 nested together, if the ones you buy are flimsy.) Since it spreads out in the disposable pan, I only give it an extra 15 minutes, bringing the baking time up to one hour . The reason I use a disposable pan is that I don’t have to wait around for my pan to be washed at the end of the evening. 

Yield: This hotdish serves 4 if you pair it with a nice salad and rolls or garlic bread. 

Hannah’s 3rd Note: This recipe is so easy I’m going to tell Mother to add it to her repertoire of entrees.

Fluke, Joanne (2014-01-28). Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery) (pp. 78-81). Kensington. Kindle Edition.



Turkey Tetrazzini
Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Turkey Tetrazzini
Total Time:
1 hr 5 min
Prep:
30 min
Cook:
35 min
Yield:8 to 12 servings
Level:Easy
Ingredients
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound white mushrooms, quartered
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more
1/4 cup flour
4 cups turkey or chicken broth, plus more if needed
One 8-ounce package cream cheese
3 cups leftover Thanksgiving turkey, shredded or diced
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup finely chopped black olives
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
4 slices bacon, fried and chopped
12 ounces thin spaghetti, broken in half and cooked
1 cup panko
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat and add the garlic.
Throw in the mushrooms, wine, salt and pepper, and cook them, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces by half, 3 to 4 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour all over, then stir to combine.
Pour in the broth, stir and continue to cook until the sauce is nice and thick, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the cream cheese and stir until it mixes in. (Don't worry if it seems a little lumpy at first. That will go away!)
Add the turkey, peas, Monterey Jack, olives, Parmesan and bacon.
Stir until everything is well combined, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the spaghetti and stir to combine. If the mixture is too thick, splash in 1/2 cup of broth.
Pour the whole shebang into a large casserole dish and even out the surface.
Sprinkle on the panko breadcrumbs and bake it until the crumbs are golden brown and the casserole is bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve it to hearty appetites!
Recipe courtesy Ree Drummond

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/turkey-tetrazzini.print.html?oc=linkback

Menu Oct 26 - Nov 1

Just got back from a long and mileage packed vacay.  For some reason, I am thinking Breakfast!  LOL  And Easy...  ;)

Monday
German Pancakes  (never mind!)

Tuesday
Snow on the Mountain (Shepherd's Pie)
Making my version, but this one is close...

Wednesday
Martin's Roadkill Breakfast

Thursday
Nancy's Viva La Chicken Casserole

Friday
Grill Day!!!!!  Burgers and fries--yep!  :)

I am thinking about something yummy too.  Perhaps this Easy Fruit Pie...Hey!  It's fall and apples and pumpkin and all just seem right!  :)



Nancy's Viva La Chicken Casserole

On our recent vacation, we ran by our storage unit and what did I find?  My old recipe box.  You know, the little box with a flip top that holds 3x5 cards with recipes?  I was idly going through mine and what did I find?  This casserole that was from my bestest friend, Nancy!  It is dated 9/91!  I also wrote it out in calligraphy, so this is during my phase when I was learning to write in Calligraphy.  Fun!   As I recall, it is delish!  Gonna add this to the repertoire SOON!!!!  Brings back such great memories of good friends and great times!

Ingredients:
4 Chicken Breasts
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 1/2 Cans Ortega Green Chili Salsa
12 Corn Tortillas
1 Cup 1/2 & 1/2
1 Onion-grated
1 lb Cheddar Cheese-grated

Directions:
Cook chicken, debone & cut in pieces,
Cut tortillas in 1" squares
Mix soups, half and half, onion & salsa together
Spray 9x13 pan bottom with Pam
Place 1/2 of tortilla strips on bottom; 
cover with half of pieces of chicken. 
Add about 1/2 of sauce; 
repeat with balance of tortilla strips, chicken and balance of sauce. 
Top with shredded cheese. 
Refrigerate 24 hours. 
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

NOTE:  One time I forgot which way to layer the ingredients and put the chicken, sauce, tortillas, repeat and then topped with cheese.  The top layer of tortillas with the cheese on the top made a nice crispy top which was rather tasty!  That was made with flour tortillas, rather than corn.

I put this note on the card:  I substituted chili verde for salsa & flour tortillas for corn.  VERY GOOD!!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

10 Secrets To Baking The PERFECT Chocolate Chip Cookie!

I found this here.  Good ideas.  I tend to get the mushy one second from the left on top but would rather have the one labeled baking soda or dough chilled 24 hr.  So, I guess it's good to make dough ahead and freeze or refrigerate.  Quick and easy!  :)



Every chocolate chip cookie batter starts with the same basic ingredients, but did you know there’s actually a science behind making the perfect cookie?

Whether you like it chewy and gooey or crispy and flavored, here are 10 no-fail baking tips, so you can create the most delicious cookies ever. Courtesy of Handle The Heat!

1. Ooey-gooey: Add 2 cups more flour.

2. A nice tan: Set the oven higher than 350 degrees (maybe 360). Caramelization, which gives cookies their nice brown tops, occurs above 356 degrees.

3. Crispy with a soft center: Use 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

4. Chewy: Substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour.

5. Just like store-bought: Trade the butter for shortening. Arias notes that this ups the texture but reduces some flavor; her suggestion is to use half butter and half shortening.

6. Thick (and less crispy): Freeze the batter for 30 to 60 minutes before baking. This solidifies the butter, which will spread less while baking.

7. Cakey: Use more baking soda because it “releases carbon dioxide when heated, which makes cookies puff up.”

8. Butterscotch flavored: Use 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (instead of the same amount of combined granulated sugar and light brown sugar).

9. Uniformity: If looks count, add one ounce corn syrup and one ounce granulated sugar.

10. More. Just, more: Chilling the dough for at least 24 hours before baking deepens all the flavors.

Egg Replacement (for those who can't have eggs)

I found this in the comments section of this blog post: It is for those who cannot use eggs.


Egg Replacement - equals one egg
1/3 cup water
1 Tbls whole or ground flaxseed

Place the water and flaxseed together and allow to gel for about 5 minutes.

This mixture will bind patties, meat loaves, cookies and cakes as well as eggs do, but it will not leaven like eggs for souffles or sponge cakes.

Increase amounts accordingly for additional egg replacement.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe here:  This one is interesting because it uses MELTED butter...a bit different...

Ingredients
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, melted (yes, I said MELTED)
1 Cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar (granulated)
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 Cups Milk chocolate chips

NOTE:  Comments on this recipe indicated that refrigerating or freezing for 24 or more hours is best unless you like flat disk like cookies!


Instructions
First, gather all of your bad boys together into one place. This is partly for convenience, and partly to be sure you HAVE everything in the house that you need BEFORE you start making the dough!


Slap that butter into a microwave-safe bowl and start melting it. Okay, this went against everything I thought I knew about cookie-making. Melt the butter? Wha?!? Yes, melt that baby, melt it good!


While that butter is melting (it’s okay, breathe, it will work out) you can start to combine your dry ingredients into another bowl. Tip: When measuring flour, take a large, heaping cup full, then use a ruler or other straight edge to carefully skim off the top. Do NOT do the “tap tap tap down” thing as you’ll compact the flour instead of getting 1 cup of light fluffy goodness. 


Add to the flour the baking soda and salt. Whisk it together to combine.

Your butter should now be melted, so take it out of the microwave and be prepared to mix in the sugars. Tip: when measuring your brown sugar, you want to cram as much into that cup measurement as possible! Pretty much exactly the opposite as you did with the flour. Pack it in, baby, pack, pack, pack! Add the brown sugar and white sugar to the melted butter and beat until smooth.


Then add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Tip: When baking, it’s actually BETTER to use the artificial vanilla. When the real stuff get’s super heated (like, oh, 350 degrees or so) it actually loses some of it’s flavor! So feel free to be cheap here. It’s like my mantra, any way.


You whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl, then add to the butter/eggs/sugar/vanilla mixture.

Okay, now we’re going to add the chocolate chips. PAY ATTENTION! You only want to a
dd about HALF of the chocolate chips now. Don’t be tempted to add all of them… trust me. Put aside 1/3 – 1/2 of the chocolate chips in a small bowl and mix the rest in with the dough. You’ll thank me in a minute… 

Tip: Milk chocolate chips taste the BEST, but if you find the cookies a little on the sweet side, substitute half of the chips with semi-sweet.

Don’t get all excited now that your incredibly delicious dough is ready and waiting. Here is the rub: you need to stick that bowl of doughy goodness in your fridge for about an hour. If you bake it right now, you’ll end up with thin, frisbee-sized cookies that are not very appetizing (although, let’s be honest… anything involving chocolate is appetizing). So, stick that dough in the fridge, and walk away. Walk away before you are tempted above that which you can withstand. Oh, alright, have a little taste and THEN walk away. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll walk away now. Don’t worry, I’ll watch it for you. It’s not going anywhere. Come back in an hour.


Hey, you’re back! Wait… is that cookie dough on your cheek? Huh. 


Anyway, nab that bowl of chocolate chips that you put to the side, get out your baking sheets, and let’s start rolling! 

Tip: use a scoop to measure out balls which are uniform in size. This will prevent some from over-baking while others are undercooked. 

Okay, roll some dough to form a ball, then (ooh, you’ll love this) dip the top of the ball into the bowl of reserved chocolate chips. 

Then place a couple of inches apart on your baking sheet. This is what will give your cookies that “perfect” look. 

Stick them in a pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for about 13 minutes. You want to remove them when the tops are just the tiniest bit shiny.

Voila! Everyone ooh and ahh with me for a moment. These are melt-in-your-mouth good. I warn you, they will go fast. Sooo fast.

Friday, October 24, 2014

German Pancakes

This is another recipe from the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke.  It sounded great so I am making it this week!  AND I'm German--at least part of me is!  :)

Note from Yvonne 10/28/14:   I don't know where to begin with this one.  I made it last night for supper and to begin, it was kind of rubbery.  The way it puffed up when cooking made me think it would be light and fluffy, but it is really quite dense.  Also, apparently Minnesotans like foods to be a bit bland as this has very little flavor.  The parts that had the cream cheese chunks were okay and edible but the rest really had no flavor.  If I were to make this again, I would either cream the cream cheese so that I could pour it throughout the dish or cut it into much smaller chunks so that the flavor is more uniform throughout.  I actually added some sausage as well as the bacon and still the flavor was lacking!  This dish might be salvaged with some chilis, and some spices would be helpful.  I liked the idea that there was not a lot of cheese in this one and that the cream cheese has less fat and sodium than cheese.  It just really needs some flavor.  This is far from quiche like in lightness, so if you are thinking quiche--don't. 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F., rack in the middle position.

Prepare an 8-inch square pan by spraying it with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray, or coating the inside with butter.

Hannah’s 1st Note: You can double this recipe if you like, so that it will serve 8 people.
If you double this recipe, it will take approximately 55 minutes to bake.

Hannah’s 2nd Note: This dish works best if you use an electric mixer.

Ingredients:
6 strips bacon (I used applewood smoked bacon) 

4 large eggs 
1 cup whole milk (I’ve used heavy cream and that works also) 
1 cup flour (Just scoop it up and level it off with a table knife.) 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 teaspoon salt 
4 ounces cream cheese (half of an 8-ounce package) (from Yvonne--I am going to use fat free Cream Cheese)
minced parsley to sprinkle on top (optional) 

Directions:
Fry the bacon in a frying pan on the stovetop until it’s crispy . 
Let it cool to room temperature , and then crumble it into the bottom of your baking pan. 
In an electric mixer, beat the eggs with half of the milk (that’s ½ cup). 
Continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. 
Add vanilla extract and salt. 
Beat until they’re well combined . 
Mix in the flour and beat for 40 seconds. 
Add the second half of the milk (another ½ cup) and beat until everything is light and fluffy. 
Pour half of the mixture over the bacon crumbles in the 8-inch square pan. 
Cut the cream cheese into 1-inch-square cubes. 
Place them evenly over the egg mixture in the pan. 
Pour the second half of the mixture over the cream cheese. 
Bake at 375 degrees F. for 45 to 55 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and puffy on top. 
Hannah’s 3rd Note: This breakfast entree is excellent when served with biscuits or crispy buttered toast.

Fluke, Joanne (2012-02-28). Cinnamon Roll Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries) (Kindle Locations 2397-2411). Kensington Publishing Corp. Kindle Edition.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cake Mix Rolls (No Bread Machine Recipe)


This one is from AllRecipes.com and does not use a bread machine.
Cake Mix Yeast Rolls



Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Ready In: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Servings: 20

"Yellow cake mix added to the usual fixings for yeast rolls yields these light and delicate sweet crescent rolls sprinkled with poppy seeds."


INGREDIENTS:
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F
/45 degrees C)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (9 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/4 cup margarine, melted
2 egg whites, beaten
2 tablespoons poppy seeds


DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.


2. Stir in the flour and cake mix. Beat until dough is smooth. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Lightly grease two baking sheets.


3. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form into rounds. Let rest for 5 minutes and then roll into 12 inch circles. Cut each circle into 10 wedges. Brush melted margarine onto the circles. Roll up the wedges, beginning at the wide end. Place on prepared baking sheets with the end of the roll on the bottom. Brush the rolls with margarine and beaten egg white. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).


4. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cake Mix Dinner Rolls (Bread Machine Recipe)

This recipe came from here. It surely sounds strange but looks fantastic!



Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus, bread machine cycle, and, additional 30 for rising

Baking Time: 15 minutes

Makes: 12-15, depending on size

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, melted, plus additional for topping
1 cup yellow cake mix
3 1/3 cup flour
1 TBSP active yeast

Directions:
Add ingredients into your bread maker, according to manufacture instructions and select your dough setting.
Once cycle is complete. Remove from machine and let dough rest for 5-10 minutes
On a well floured surface, knead dough a bit, then, divide into 12 separate pieces. Shaping into ball form.
Place on a greased baking sheet and cover. Let them rise in warm place till doubled in size (about 30 minutes)
Brush rolls with melted butter, then, bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until browned.

- See more at: http://www.ourtableforseven.com/2014/10/cake-mix-dinner-rolls.html#sthash.wqty1HxX.dpuf

Western Burgers (Mrs. Brown's Western Burger)

I found this recipe here.  The filling is more involved than Mrs. Brown's Western Burger from Robyn and the Dough is also more involved.  This one sounds really good.



Recipe type: Entree
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
The cafeteria favorite of many a north Texan!
Ingredients
Dough
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • ½ ounce active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 500 grams all-purpose flour (about 4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (reserve 2 tablespoons for brushing at the end)
Filling
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • 2 to 3 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in the warm water and let it sit for five minutes. It should become frothy on top if the yeast is active (if not, check the date on the packets). In a large bowl, combine the flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add the water mixture, the milk, and the melted butter and stir to thoroughly combine. It will be somewhat lumpy and sticky. Place a damp towel over the bowl and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in volume.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the meat and the onion in a skillet. Remove it from the heat and drain the excess drippings from the meat. Allow the meat to cool to room temperature. Add the cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. This will be the final flavor of the filling so taste it and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  3. When the dough has risen, remove it to a well floured surface and knead it until it is no longer sticky, adding flour as is necessary. The goal is to have a ball of dough that is not sticky and that will rebound when you press on it with your finger, so keep adding a pinch of flour here and there, and kneading, until you achieve this. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into the shape of a square of about 16” by 16”. Cut the rectangle into 16 square pieces of dough by cutting it into 4 columns, and then cutting each column into 4 equal pieces. Each square should be roughly about 4” by 4”. Roll each piece until it is slightly larger.
  4. Place an equal scoop of the meat mixture on 8 of the squares. Form the meat into a fat patty with your hands before placing it on the dough. Cover each with another square of dough and pinch it around the edges to fully seal the pillow that you create. Tuck the edges underneath the pillow and gently pinch the seam into the bottom of the pillow a bit. Place each burger onto a lightly buttered cookie sheet, separated by 2”. Set aside and allow the dough to rise again for 20 minutes, until the burgers are puffy and enlarged.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the burgers have finished rising again, place them in the oven and bake until they are golden, about 30 minutes. Brush the tops with a little melted butter and serve hot with mustard and ketchup on the side.

Mrs. Brown's Western Burger Recipe

I received this from our cousin Robyn Cassity Hedges.  From the feedback on her FB page, this is a MUST HAVE!

Mrs. Brown's Western Burger Recipe
(for those of you that don't have it)
Ingredients:
1 lb hamburger meat
1 sm onion
2 tsp. dried mustard
1/2 c miracle whip
1/4 lb grated cheese

1 1/2 c water
4 T oil
4 T sugar
1 tsp salt
2 sm pkgs yeast
4 c flour

Directions:
Saute' hamburger and onion, drain. 
Add mustard, miracle whip and grated cheese. 
Remove from heat and chill. 
Combine remaining ingredients. let rise, knead. Roll, cut round pieces. Put scoop of chilled meat mixture in the middle. Pull up sides of dough around mixture to form a bun. Turn over and place in greased pan. Let rise. Bake at 350 F until brown. Brush with melted butter occasionally as it cooks.
Enjoy


(NOTE from Robyn)  I normally use the frozen yeast roll dough and thaw it then roll it out instead of making the above dough.  Much easier and faster.  I roll 1 out put meat mixture on it then cover with another rolled out and seal edges.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Snow On The Mountain


This is similar to my Shepherd's Pie Recipe but my recipe is better.  :)  Different flavoring though.
Ingredients
1 1/2 lb Ground Beef
1 t Greek Seasoning
1/4 t Onion Powder
1/4 t Salt
1/4 t Garlic Powder
1/4 t Pepper
10 oz can Reduced-Fat Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 c Shredded 2% Cheddar Cheese
7 oz Box Instant Mashed Potatoes


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook ground beef in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat until beef is browned and crumbles; drain.
Add Greek seasoning, onion powder, salt, garlic powder and pepper.
Spread Soup over beef and sprinkle with cheese.
Prepare potatoes according to package direction; dollop over cheese.
Bake for 20-30 min or until potatoes are lightly browned.