"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Peanut Brittle - Betty Crocker Recipe

Here is my first try at peanut brittle.  A good candy thermometer is a must!  All I had was dry roasted peanuts, my husband said they worked..but the unroasted peanuts would make it even better.

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 pound shelled unroasted peanuts
Heat oven to 200ºF. Butter 2 cookie sheets, 15 1/2x12 inches, and keep warm in oven. Mix baking soda, 1 teaspoon water and the vanilla; reserve.
Mix sugar, 1 cup water and the corn syrup in 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to 240ºF on candy thermometer or until small amount of syrup dropped into very cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from water.
Stir in butter and peanuts. Cook, stirring constantly, to 300ºF or until small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard, brittle threads. (Watch carefully so mixture does not burn.) Immediately remove from heat. Quickly stir in baking soda mixture until light and foamy.
Pour half the candy mixture onto each cookie sheet; quickly spread about 1/4 inch thick. Cool completely, at least 1 hour. Break into pieces. Store in covered container.
Makes 6 dozen candies

Cookie Trick

My brother sent this to me.  What a neat simple idea.  The possibilities are endless what you can fill these little guys with!

Turn your muffin pan upside down, bake cookie-dough over the top and voila – you have cookie bowls for fruit or ice-cream.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Southwestern Nachos Potato Skins

There are many great Potato Skin Recipes on this website.  The food photography is truly amazing.
Southwestern Nachos Potato Skins
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine, part of 32 Team Potato Skins
Prep Time:20 minInactive Prep Time:--
Cook Time:1 hr 15 min

Toppings: Salsa, pickled jalapenos, chopped scallions and cilantro, and sour cream on cheesy skins
How to Make Classic Potato Skins:
Pierce 4 large russet potatoes with a fork. Bake directly on the oven rack at 350 degrees until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool, then quarter lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Brush both sides with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Bake, skin-side up, at 450 degrees until crisp, about 15 minutes. Add your favorite team toppings. (For cheesy skins, flip the baked shells over before topping, sprinkle with 1 cup grated cheddar cheese and bake an extra 5 minutes.)
See all 32 Team Potato Skins

Photograph by Karl Juengel/Studio D

Southwestern potato skins-By Mayo Clinic Staff

Dietitian's tip:Serve these potato skins, which are a very good source of iron, vitamin B-6 and fiber, with chunky salsa. Two tablespoons of salsa adds less than 10 calories.By Mayo Clinic staff
Serves 6
6 large baking potatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
6 slices turkey bacon, cooked until crisp, chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Scrub potatoes and prick each several times with a fork. Microwave uncovered on high until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the microwave and place on a wire rack to cool. When cool to the touch, cut each potato in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/4 inch of the flesh attached to the skin. (Save potato flesh for another meal.)

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, chili powder and hot sauce. Brush the olive oil mixture on the insides of the potato skins. Cut each half of the potato skin in half again crosswise. Place the potatoes onto the baking sheet.

In a small bowl gently mix together the turkey bacon, tomato and onions. Fill each potato skin with this mixture and sprinkle each with cheese.

Bake until the cheese is melted and the potato skins are heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)
Serving size: 4 wedges
Calories 181 Cholesterol 20 mg
Protein 6 g Sodium 199 mg
Carbohydrate 28 g Fiber 5 g
Total fat 5 g Potassium 424 mg
Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 93 mg
Monounsaturated fat 2 g

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cheesy Corn Spoon Bread

Here is another comfort winter dish.  I have to watch my husband...he'd make a meal out of it...and not share.

12-15 Servings
Prep: 15 min. Bake: 35 min.
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 eggs
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package (8-1/2 ounces) corn bread/muffin mix
1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
In a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs; add sour cream, both cans of corn, salt and pepper. Stir in corn bread mix just until blended. Fold in sauteed onion, jalapeno and 1-1/2 cups of cheese.
Transfer to a greased shallow 3-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean; cool slightly. Yield: 12-15 servings.
Editor's Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 264 calories, 15 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 77 mg cholesterol, 477 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 7 g protein.

Originally published as Cheesy Corn Spoon Bread in Taste of Home August/September 1999, p29

Apple Walnut Cake

I first saw this recipe in the October/November 1993 Taste of Home Issue.  I make it for just about every winter office pot luck.  Always a huge hit.  I changed how the cake was baked..tried baking it in a Cast Iron Skillet.  I used a #8--- 11" skillet.  Be sure that you use a very well seasoned pan using Bakers Secret or Crisco and dust flour so the cake does not stick.

16-20 Servings Prep: 15 min. Bake: 50 min. + cooling

1-2/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups chopped unpeeled apples
1 cup chopped walnuts

2 packages (3 ounce each) cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs. Add oil and vanilla; mix well.
Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; gradually
add to sugar mixture, mixing well. Stir in apples and walnuts. Pour
into a greased and floured 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at
350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack.
For frosting, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a bowl.
Gradually add confectioners' sugar until the frosting has reached
desired spreading consistency. Frost cooled cake. Yield: 16-20
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 283 calories, 13 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 31 mg cholesterol, 281 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cantonese Meatballs

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
12 ounces lean ground pork
2 slices lean bacon, coarsely chopped
1 egg
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup Argo® or Kingsford’s® Corn Starch
3 to 4 cups Mazola® Corn Oil
12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
1 pound Napa cabbage, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
4 ounces snow peas, trimmed and halved diagonally
1 tablespoon Argo® or Kingsford’s® Corn Starch mixed with 1/4 cup water

Combine broth, sherry, light and dark soy sauces in a small bowl; set aside.
Combine pork, bacon, egg, cilantro, ginger, sherry, soy sauce and corn starch in a large bowl. Divide mixture into 12 equal portions. Roll each into a ball.
Heat oil in a wok or large deep skillet to 375°F. Cook meatballs in batches for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Lift out and drain on paper towels.
Transfer meatballs to a large pot. Pour sauce over meatballs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add mushrooms, cabbage and carrot; cover and simmer for 8 minutes. Add snow peas, cover, and simmer for 2 minutes or until tender-crisp.
Stir corn starch mixture until smooth. Add to meatballs; cook and stir until sauce boils and thickens.
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