August 30, 2013

FRIED PICKLES


Pickles:
peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups pickle chips

Sauce:

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon drained horseradish
2 teaspoons ketchup
1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

To make the pickles: Heat oil in a deep fryer or large deep pan until oil sizzles when a water drop is placed on top. Combine flour, salt, pepper, sugar and cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to incorporate all the dry ingredients.

Drain the pickle chips to remove excess water. The pickles do not need to be completely dry as some moisture is needed for the battering process.Toss a portion of the pickle chips in the seasoned flour mixture until the pickle chips are well-coated with the flour.Transfer the pickle chips to a wire strainer. Shake to remove excess flour from the pickle chips.

Carefully place the pickle chips in the hot oil. Cook for three to four minutes, or until the pickles float to the surface. Remove from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.

To make the sauce:  Mix the mayonnaise, horseradish, ketchup and Cajun seasoning in a bowl; set aside.

Yellow Split Pea Ham Soup



1 pound dried yellow split peas, rinsed and sorted
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 medium celery stalks, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken stock, plus more to thin
2 cups cooked ham, cut into 1/2 inch dice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, bring the split peas, vegetables, thyme, bay leaf, and stock to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, the split peas have broken down, and the soup is thickened-- about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
 Add the diced ham and cook just until warmed through. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
*The soup thickens if stored in the refrigerator, so you will need to thin it with additional stock when reheating.

August 18, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies



Bring to boil:
1 cup butter
1 cup water
2 Tbsp cocoa

Remove from heat; let cool.

Mix in bowl:
2 cups sugar
1 tsp soda
2 cups flour
½ cup buttermilk
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or grease 40 mini-muffin cups. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups, about 1 heaping teaspoon in each.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top is set and toothpick inserted into center comes out slightly moist.
After brownies are out of the oven, wait for centers to fall. This will happen upon cooling. If not then tap the centers with teaspoon, this will make a indent for peanut butter.

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Over low heat, warm creamy peanut butter. While brownies are still warm spoon about half teaspoon warm peanut butter into the center of each brownie; top with chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Cool completely in pan. Remove from pan and serve

August 14, 2013

STUFFED BREAD



1 Italian loaf, about 12 inches long
1 stick butter, melted
1/8 cup olive oil
3 tsp minced onion
2-3 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp poppy seeds
3 tsp chopped parsley (add more if you wish)
12 oz grated cheese (I used a mix of white cheddar and monterey jack.)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Mix the melted butter, olive oil, onion, garlic, dijon mustard, poppy seeds and parsley in a bowl.
Cut the bread into cubes with X slices without cutting all the way through the bottom crust.
Pour the butter-onion garlic mixture carefully into those X cracks using a small spoon and over the top of the bread. Fill those delicious cracks with the grated cheese.
Wrap the entire loaf with foil, sealing the sides properly and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and unwrap. Bake for another 10 minutes until the cheese is melted

August 13, 2013

Old Fashioned Caramel Pie




1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 cup white sugar

Directions
In a medium saucepan, mix together 1 cup sugar, flour, salt, milk, and egg yolks, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Sprinkle remaining 1 cup sugar in a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is caramelized. Remove from heat and carefully pour into warm cream mixture. Stir until smooth. Pour mixture into pastry. Chill completely and serve with whipped cream

August 10, 2013

Peanut Butter Pie



1 chocolate graham cracker or cookie pie crust
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and grated chocolate; optional garnishes
With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Blend in peanut butter and vanilla. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon mixture into prepared pie crust. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate syrup, with a sprinkling of grated chocolate. Keep refrigerated.

August 9, 2013

DR.PEPPER CAKE


1 c. butter
1 c. Dr. Pepper
4 tbsp. cocoa
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. soda
2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Heat butter, cocoa and Dr. Pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Cream eggs, sugar and butter, milk and soda. Add flour and cinnamon alternately with Dr. Pepper mixture, then vanilla.

Pour into greased and floured 9 x 12 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Ice with Dr. Pepper Icing.

DR. PEPPER ICING:
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. Dr. Pepper
3 tbsp. cocoa
1 (16 oz.) box confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts

Heat butter, cocoa and Dr. Pepper and blend well. Stir in other ingredients. Mix thoroughly and ice cake.

August 8, 2013

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake




Cake Base Layer
1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Filling Layer
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Topping
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well. Pat into the bottom of prepared pan and set aside. Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs and vanilla.

 Dump in confectioners' sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well.
Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped nuts on top of filling. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Don't be afraid to make a judgment call on the cooking time, because oven temperatures can vary. You want the center to be a little gooey.

August 5, 2013

Bacon Bombs


1 can (8 ct.) Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits
Cubed Mozzarella Cheese (1-1″ cube per Bomb)
2 lbs. of Bacon (1 slice per Bomb)
Sticks
Oil for frying (I used Canola)

Directions:
Cube up the Cheese, and cut each Biscuit into fourths. Place one piece of Cheese inside a Biscuit quarter, and roll it up in there, nice and tight…
Wrap each rolled Bomb in a slice of Bacon, and secure it with a skewer or toothpick…
In a med/large pot, heat up approx. 2″ of Oil (to 350 degrees) and fry them up in small batches.
 Maybe one or two at a time, the oil will expand so stay close…
Drain them on some Paper Towel, but
serve them up good and warm.

August 3, 2013

BEST LASAGNA EVER




1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices.

 Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

August 1, 2013

PEANUT BUTTER CAKE WITH PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING



2 1/4 CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
2 CUPS LIGHT BROWN SUGAR (packed)
1 CUP PEANUT BUTTER
1/2 CUP BUTTER (room temperature)
1 TEASPOON BAKING POWDER
1/2 TEASPOON BAKING SODA
1 & 1/4 CUPS MILK
2 TEASPOONS VANILLA EXTRACT
3 EGGS


Preheat your oven to 350 and grease and flour a 10 x 15 cake pan. In a large bowl, mix the first 4 ingredients with an electric mixer; blend at low speed until crumbly. Add the next 5 ingredients and blend at low speed until everything is wet, then beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.
Pour into prepared pan and bake, in the middle of your oven, for 35-40 minutes or until the toothpick test comes out clean.
Let the cake cool (in the pan) for 10 minutes, then spread the frosting on the hot cake (recipe follows) and sprinkle one cup of mini-chocolate chips over the frosting.

PEANUT BUTTER-HONEY FROSTING

1/2 CUP PEANUT BUTTER
 2 TABLESPOONS HONEY
 1 TEASPOON VANILLA EXTRACT
 2 CUPS POWDERED SUGAR
 4 to 5 TABLESPOONS MILK

Warm the peanut butter and honey in the microwave just until it gets soft and easy to stir, then add everything else and beat until smooth. Spread over hot cake and sprinkle with one cup of mini-chocolate chips.
NOTE: You might like to double the frosting -- but still only use one cup of mini-chocolate chips.