Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pork Wontons

1 lb. ground pork

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 t. chili garlic

½ inch ginger root peeled and chopped

3 T. soy sauce

1 bunch cilantro, stems removed and chopped

4 whole water chestnuts, minced or 1/3 can sliced chestnuts, additionally minced

1 ear corn or ½ c. frozen corn

2 wonton wrapper packages

Oil for frying

Sweet and Sour for dipping

Guacamole for dipping

Combine pork, garlic, chili garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. You want the meat still pink with a hint of brown from the soy sauce. Add the chopped cilantro, the water chestnuts, and corn. Prepare wonton wrappers with meat mixture as directed on the package. Fry on med-high for 5 minutes, making sure that both sides of the shell are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with dipping sauces.

Italian Cheese Bread

2 ½ c. flour

1 t. salt

1 t. sugar

1 T. quick-rise yeast

1 c. warm water (120 – 130 degrees)

1 T. vegetable oil


1/3 c. Italian salad dressing

¼ t. salt

¼ t. garlic powder

¼ t. dried oregano

¼ t. dried thyme

Dash pepper

1 T. grated Parmesan

½ c. shredded mozzarella

In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Combine water and oil; add to flour mixture. Add additional flour if needed to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.

Punch the dough down; place on a greased 12-in. circle. Brush with salad dressing. Combine the seasonings; sprinkle over top. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Ham and Apple Strata

3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced.

Sugar and Cinnamon to cover the apples

6 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed

2 T. butter, room temperature

1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

¾ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 ¼ c. half and half

1 ½ c. cubed ham

8 eggs

1 T. ground mustard powder

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. In a large bowl combine the sliced apples with the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Spread one side of the bread with butter. Arrange slices in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, buttered side up. Layer ½ Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, cubed ham, and apple slices. Top with the remaining ½ cheeses.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, half & half, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour mixture over the cheese. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

Raspberry Coffee Cake


1 T. active dry yeast

1/3 c. warm water (110-115 degrees)

½ c. warm sour cream

1 egg

¼ c. butter, melted

¼ c. sugar

1 t. salt

2 ¼ - 2 ½ c. all-purpose flour


1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 egg

½ c. sugar

1 t. vanilla extract

1/8 t. salt

½ c. raspberry jam


1 ¼ c. powdered sugar

1 t. vanilla extract

2 T. milk

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sour cream, egg, butter, sugar and salt. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface, knead 20 times or until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 11/4 hours.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth; set aside. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Spread filling to within ½ inch of edges. Spoon jam lengthwise over half of filling. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with the long side with the jam. Pinch seams to seal; tuck ends under.

Place loaves seam side down on a greased baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut shallow slashes across the top of each. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over warm coffee cakes.

Pound Cake

2 Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden Cake Mixes

1 ½ c. water

2 ½ sticks butter, softened

3 T. vanilla

1 T. almond extract

6 eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour or spray a 10x10x3 pan. Height of pan is important, cake will rise. If you don’t have a 3” pan use two different pans.

Combine cake mixes, water, butter, and flavoring. Mix until blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes. Rotate the cake 180 degrees and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out on to cooling rack. If you let it stay in the pan longer it will break. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, lemon glaze, or chocolate ganache.

Peach Cobbler

1 stick butter

1 c. flour

1 c. sugar

2 t. baking powder

¼ t. salt

¾ c. milk

1 large can peaches in heavy syrup

Melt butter in large baking dish (3 quart). Mix sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and milk to make batter with melted butter. Pour fruit with juice over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour – let cool for 10 minutes or longer before serving.

Miniature Boston Cream Pies

1 yellow cake mix (or any homemade yellow cake recipe), cooked in mini muffin tins


1 c. cold milk

1 small package vanilla pudding

Mix together and let it set up. Add 1 ½ c. cool whip and fold gently into pudding.


1 oz. unsweetened chocolate

1 T. butter

¾ c. powdered sugar

2 T. cold milk

Melt butter and chocolate together in microwave, careful not to burn. Whisk other ingredients into melted chocolate.

To assemble:

Cut cakes horizontally (use a serrated knife). Place a dollop of filling on cake bottom(about a tablespoon). Put cake on top. Drizzle with ganache. Repeat. You may want to double the ganache recipe if you prefer more chocolate.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


3 avocados—peeled, pitted and mashed

1 lime, juiced

1 tsp salt

½ cup diced onion

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1 tsp minced garlic

1 pinch ground cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.

Goat-Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Olive oil, for baking sheet

3 slices white sandwich bread

1 small garlic clove, coarsely chopped

1 log (5 ounces) soft goat cheese, crumbled

½ c. fresh parsley

¼ t. red pepper flakes

4 slices bacon

Coarse salt

2 packages (10 ounces each) white button mushrooms, stems removed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.

In a food processor, pulse bread and garlic until fine crumbs form; set ½ cup aside. Cook bacon, crumble and set aside. To food processor, add goat cheese, parsley, red pepper flakes and bacon. Season with salt, and pulse filling until combined.

Spoon filling into each mushroom, and roll filled side in reserved breadcrumbs. Place on prepared baking sheet; bake until mushrooms are tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Feta Crostini with Tomato, Bacon, and Apple Jam

½ lb. smoked bacon

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, drained

1 c. sugar

1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and diced

1 small yellow onion, diced

3 T. cider vinegar

1 ½ t. salt

¼ t. ground pepper

1 loaf baguette-style French bread, thinly sliced and toasted

1 8-oz block feta cheese, crumbled

Snipped fresh chives

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until it is just browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain excess fat. Crumble or cut into small pieces.

In a large saucepan combine the drained tomatoes, sugar, apple, onion, vinegar, salt, pepper, and bacon. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring often, for 12 minutes or until apples are tender and most of liquid is reduced. Remove pan from heat; let sit for 5 minutes.

Arrange baguette slices on a serving platter, top with a dollop of warm jam, feta, and chives.

Denise's Stuffed Mushrooms

So simple and yet soooo good.

1 case mushrooms

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened

1 tube sausage

Wash and remove stems from mushrooms. Dry on paper towel. Mix cream cheese and sausage, then stuff mushrooms with mixture. Cook at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Every time I make these cookies I think of Michelle - I know these are one of her favorites.

1 c. butter

½ c. sugar

2 t. vanilla

2 t. water

2 c. flour

1 c. chopped pecans or almonds

½ c. powdered sugar

Cream butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and water. Add sifted flour and nuts, mix until well blended. Cover and chill for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Shape dough into balls or crescents. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Roll in powdered sugar.

Lemon Tea Cakes

I know these were a favorite. Just ignore the amount of butter and cream cheese that goes into them and ENJOY!

1 ½ c. butter, softened

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

2 ¼ c. sugar

6 eggs

3 T. lemon juice

2 t. lemon extract

1 t. vanilla extract

1 ½ t. grated lemon peel

3 c. flour


5 ¼ c. confectioner’s sugar

½ c. plus 3 T. milk

3 ½ t. lemon extract

(I usually cut the glaze in half, you don’t need this much)

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the lemon juice, extracts, and lemon peel. Gradually add flour.

Fill greased miniature muffin tins two-thirds full. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until cakes pull away from sides of cups. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire races to cool completely. IN a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Dip tops of cakes into glaze; place on waxed paper to dry.

Italian Sodas

Fill a tall drinking glass half way with ice.


8 oz Sprite or some kind of carbonated base drink (club soda, sparkling water)

1 oz (1 shot) cream

1 oz flavored syrup (if you’re mixing syrups, they should combine to make 1 oz, i.e. ½ raspberry syrup, ½ oz white chocolate syrup)

Serve with a long spoon so that as the ice melts, you can continually stir to keep the drink mixed.

Flavor Suggestions:




Huckleberry-Crème Brulee

White Chocolate-Caramel

English Scones

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp baking soda

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp salt

1 cup butter

1 egg

1 cup raisins or craisins

In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda, and set aside. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in the butter. Stir the sour cream mixture and egg into the flour mixture until just moistened. Mix in the raisins. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Roll or pat dough into a ¾ inch thick round. Cut into 12 wedges, and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom. Optional: Once cooled, drizzle with icing. (For icing, I usually just mix up a little milk, vanilla, butter, powdered sugar mixture.)

Elegant Chocolate Truffles

1 ½ pounds (about 4 ½ cups) milk chocolate, melted

1 cup whipping cream

1 ½ t. vanilla

Place melted chocolate in a medium-size bowl. In a 1-quart saucepan, scald cream. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Beat chocolate with an electric mixer. Stop mixer and pour cream all at once over chocolate. Continue beating, cleaning sides and bottom of bowl several times with rubber spatula, until mixture is smooth and well-blended; this takes no more than 1 to 2 minutes. Refrigerate 6 hours or until firm.

Shape into balls with spoon and hands or with small ice cream scoop; if mixture becomes too soft to form, wash and thoroughly dry hands and dust lightly with cornstarch. (I had to do this about every 5-7 balls.) Arrange truffles on waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Roll in unsweetened cocoa. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Makes 24 to 36 truffles. (I think I made more than that.)

Note: The chocolate-and-cream mixture may sometimes develop a rough, somewhat “curdled” look as the truffles are beaten. To correct this situation, simply beat in more milk or cream – it does not need to be heated and may take anywhere from 2 tablespoons to about ½ cup – and continue beating until smooth.

My apologies to any who may have been waiting for more recipes. All the books I requested lately have come in from the library and I have shut myself off from the world to read. Not surprising, but I'll post extra recipes to make up for the dearth.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cucumber Sandwiches

White bread, no crusts

Thinly Sliced Cucumbers

Cream Cheese

Salt and Pepper

Cut crusts off bread, you can cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Spread with softened cream cheese. Add cucumber. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Denise's Cucumber Salsa

4 cucumbers, sliced without seeds

6 roma tomatoes

1 medium white onion

1 green pepper

1/2 can chopped olives

1 clove garlic

1/2 c. white vinegar

1 lime, squeezed

1 packet dry Ranch

Chop, mix and serve with scoop chips.

Crescent Rolls

2 c. warm water (110-115), divided

2 ½ T. dry yeast

2/3 c. sugar

4 eggs

2/3 c. oil

2 t. salt

8 c. flour

Put ½ c. warm water in large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1 T. sugar on top of water. Stir until dissolved.

In another bowl beat sugar, eggs, oil, and salt. Use electric mixer to beat until eggs are lighter color.

When yeast is foamy, add remaining 1 ½ c. water and egg mixture. Beat gently only until mixed. Add 6 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each. With wooden spoon or spatula mix in the last 2 cups of flour. Knead the dough a little in mixer to incorporate all the flour.

Put in an oiled bowl. Turn to coat top. Cover and raise until doubled, (about 2 hours).

Divide the dough into thirds. Using a covered rolling pin and pastry cloth roll out dough into a large circle, approx. 14” across (3/8 in. thick). Brush with melted butter. Use a pizza cutter to cut into 4ths then 8ths then 16ths. Roll into crescent rolls. Place on greased cookie sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 1 hour).

Bake at 400 for 6-7 minutes.

**Here is where I deviate. I generally use only 2 T. yeast. I have to add at least 9 cups of flour – probably ends up being almost 10. I add until the dough is still sticky but can retain its shape. On the first rising an hour is usually all it takes for it to double and a half hour for the second rising. My oven tends to be cool so I bake my rolls for 10-11 minutes

If you want rolls to be larger just divide the dough in half instead of thirds. This bread recipe also makes good cinnamon rolls.

Easiest Chocolate Cake

1 chocolate cake mix

4 eggs

1 c. water

1 c. sour cream

1 c. chocolate chips

3 oz. chocolate pudding

¾ c. oil

Combine all ingredients and pour into bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 45 min – 1 hour. Invert onto a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Earl Grey Chocolate Tarts

Pastry Dough

5 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ c. confectioner’s sugar

2 T. almond flour

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

pinch of salt

1 c. cake flour

  1. In a mixer, beat the butter, confectioner’s sugar, almond flour and the egg yolk on medium speed until just mixed.
  2. Slowly add the flour, at low speed, until the dough begins to clump together.
  3. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and press into a thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and begin to roll it out until it is 1/8 inch thick. Loosely roll the dough around a rolling pin and place it into a round tart pan or springform pan. Make sure you press the dough into all corners. Pierce the bottom with a fork several times. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough and bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Cool completely in the pan.


1 ½ c. heavy cream

¼ c. Earl Grey tea leaves, decaffeinated

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate good quality, finely chopped

3 T. honey

3 T. unsalted butter

  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tea. Let stand for 3 minutes. Strain the cream into a bowl. Try to allow time for as much cream as possible to drip through but do not press the tea. This will result in a bitter tasting filling. Return the cream to the sauce pan and reheat to a simmer.
  2. Place the finely chopped chocolate into a medium bowl. Pour the simmering cream over the chocolate and let stand for about 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the honey and the butter. Pour the mixture into the tart shell and refrigerate until the filling sets, about 1 hour.
  3. Serve chilled. If you like you can add vanilla ice cream, or fresh whipped cream.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cordon Bleu Melts

¾ c. (4 oz.) chopped deli ham

1 green onion, finely chopped

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 t. prepared mustard

1 c. (4 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Finely chop ham. Slice green onion; combine ham, green onion, cream cheese, and mustard. Mix well. Stir in ¾ cup Swiss cheese. Spread on flat tortillas. Roll and slice in 1 inch slices. Place on baking sheets and sprinkle with remaining Swiss cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Decadent Brownies

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened

4 large eggs

2 c. sugar

1 t. vanilla

1 c. flour, sifted


4 ounces (4 squares) unsweetened chocolate

1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened

½ c. egg substitute

1 t. vanilla

1 (1 pound) box confectioner’s sugar, sifted

4 c. mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch pan. Melt the chocolate and butter in a 2 quart bowl in the microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring every 20-30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla and mix well with a spatula. Add the flour and stir to combine. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes.

While the brownies are baking, make the frosting. Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl in the microwave on high for 3 minutes stirring every 20 to 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the egg substitute, vanilla, and sugar and stir with a spoon until smooth. Stir in the marshmallows; they will soften, but not melt completely. Spread the frosting over the warm brownies. The frosting will set up when the brownies are completely cooled. When cool, cut into 1 ½ inch squares and store in a refrigerator if not serving immediately.

Cheesy-Garlic Herb Bread

1 loaf (16-24-oz.) crusty bread (we recommend sourdough)

8 oz. mozzarella*

1 of the following toppings:

–1/2 c. pesto

–1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil mixed with 3-4 cloves pressed garlic (allow to stand for at least an hour before brushing onto the bread)

–1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil mixed with 3-4 cloves pressed garlic and 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

–1/2 c. butter mixed with 3 tablespoons Garlic Bread Seasoning

–1/2 c. butter mixed with 2 cloves pressed garlic, 1 tablespoon each fresh, chopped basil, rosemary, and parsley

*If you want to lighten things up a little, you can leave out the cheese and sprinkle to top of the bread with kosher salt and a little freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Slice bread into 1 1/2 slices, not cutting through to the bottom. Rotate the loaf 90 degrees and slice the bread again every 1 1/2 so you have 1 1/2 pieces that are still attached to the bottom of the bread.

Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet. Gently spread the desired filling into the cracks. Gently stuff the cheese into the cracks (you can just put the cheese going in one direction rather than on all four sides of each piece). Brush a little of the remaining filling on top of the loaf and sprinkle with a little remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the bread is toasted on top and the cheese is melted. Allow to stand a few minutes before serving.

Cheese Dip

1 lb SPICY sausage
1 small onion
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1-8 oz cream cheese
1-16 oz sour cream

Brown and drain sausage in a pan, add veggies and saute until translucent. Add in cream cheese and sour cream, melt and mix. Put in a crock pot to keep warm for serving. Enjoy with chips, veggies, bread or apples.

Creamy Lemon Squares

½ c. unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan (I used salted, worked fine)

½ c. powdered sugar, plus more for dusting

¼ t. salt

1 c. all-purpose flour

4 large egg yolks

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

¾ c. fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper.
  2. Make crust: Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Add flour, and mix on low just until combined. Press dough into the bottom and ½ inch up sides of prepared pan; prick all over with a fork. Bake until lightly golden, 15-20 minutes.
  3. Make filling; In a large bowl, whisk together yolks, condensed milk, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over hot crust in pan; return to oven, and bake until filling is set, 25-30 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
  4. Refrigerate until filling is firm, about 2 hours or up to 3 days. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares, and dust with powdered sugar.

Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars

AKA: Homemade Twix

For the crust:

9 T. unsalted butter, room temperature

¼ c. packed light-brown sugar

1 ½ c. flour

¼ t. salt

For the Caramel:

10 ½ ounces milk chocolate, chopped (2 cups)

1 ½ c. granulated sugar

¼ c. water

6 T. unsalted butter

1 c. heavy cream

½ t. salt

1 T. sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the crust: Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides; butter parchment, excluding overhang. Beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour and salt, and beat until just combined.

Press dough evenly into pan, and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Make the chocolate caramel: Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, washing sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, until amber, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter, cream, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Stir to combine, and let stand until cool, about 10 minutes.

Pour mixture over crust. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. Run a knife around edges; lift parchment to remove whole bar from pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. Trim edges, and cut into 16 bars. Bars can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.