Thursday, September 30, 2010

Apple-Pecan Crisp by Betty Crocker

2/3 cup maple-flavored syrup
1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 large baking apples (about 5 1/2 lb), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 12 cups)
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine, cut into pieces
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® oatmeal cookie mix
3/4 cup chopped pecans

1.Heat oven to 375°F.
2.In large bowl, stir together syrup, flour and cinnamon until blended. Add apples; toss until evenly coated. Spread in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish.
3.In same bowl, with pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives in opposite directions), cut butter into cookie mix until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Crumble mixture over apples in baking dish.
4.Bake 30 minutes. Very loosely cover with foil; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until apples are tender.

In my opinion: OH MY! A taste of apple Heaven with an oatmeal cookie on top. This one is really rich and didn't last long in my house. You must try this. It was super easy to make and had few dishes to clean up.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Caramel Apple-Nut Bars by Betty Crocker

2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup caramel topping
3 tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 medium apple, peeled, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large bowl, beat 2 cups flour, the oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and butter with electric mixer on low speed, or mix with spoon, until crumbly. Press about 3 cups of the mixture in pan. Bake 10 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix caramel topping and 3 tablespoons flour. Sprinkle apple and pecans over partially baked crust. Drizzle with caramel mixture. Sprinkle with remaining crust mixture.
3.Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour 30 minutes. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows.

In my opinion: These were really good bars. Even my son, aka Mr. Picky, loved them. I think I will use a little more apple and caramel next time.

Cowboy Hash and Eggs, Texas Toast and Salsa by Rachel Ray

This is another recipe that I tried long ago and lost the card for. I made it in November '04, long before I had a houseful of kids. My notes said this was good, but it looks like a lot of steps so I know I won't have time to make this again for a very long time.
12 medium sized mushrooms, quartered
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
8 small red potatoes
3 slices applewood or hickory smoked bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning) or coarse salt and pepper
Hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco), to your taste
2 cups, 8 ounces, shredded sharp Cheddar, pepper jack or smoked Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons butter, divided
4 extra large eggs
4 thick cut slices bread, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick, white, wheat or crusty farmhouse
1 clove garlic, cracked away from skins
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or several drops hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco) Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Yellow Tomato Salsa: Any flavor or variety of store bought salsa that you may have in your pantry is a fine substitute here as well
3 medium or 2 large yellow tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped

Chop all veggies for hash. Pierce potatoes with a fork and cook on high in microwave 5 minutes. Remove potatoes from microwave oven and cool for 5 minutes.

While potatoes are working, add chopped bacon to a large skillet over medium high heat and brown until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain, wipe pan and return to heat.

Preheat your broiler to high. Preheat a nonstick griddle pan for frying eggs over medium heat.

Chop or wedge potatoes. Add oil to the skillet which you returned to the heat, then potatoes. Begin to brown and crisp potatoes, 2 minutes on each side. Use this time to chop your salsa ingredients.

Combine salsa in a small bowl and season with salt.

Back to the hash: add the mushrooms to potatoes. Brown mushrooms a minute or 2, then add peppers and onions and season mixture with grill seasoning blend or salt and pepper, then hot sauce. Cook 3 to 5 minutes longer until veggies are just tender and potatoes are cooked through. Turn off heat and add bacon back to the pan. Combine bacon with the veggies then add cheese to the pan to evenly cover the mixture. Tent the skillet with foil to gently melt cheese over vegetables and potatoes and to retain heat.

Add a couple pats, 1/2 tablespoon butter, to preheated griddle pan. Crack extra large eggs on to griddle and fry to desired doneness. Eggs may, of course, be scrambled as well. As you like!

Place thick cut bread under broiler and toast 6 inches from heat on both sides. Place 2 tablespoons butter in a small cup with a clove of garlic and ground cayenne pepper or a few drops of hot sauce. Melt in microwave for 30 seconds.

Brush toast with garlic cayenne butter and sprinkle with parsley. Remove from broiler.

Transfer vegetable and bacon hash to plates. Top each portion with a single fried egg or arrange the fried eggs evenly over the platter. Serve with Texas garlic toast and serve the salsa on the side to compliment either menu item.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Creamy Corn and Turkey Soup by Kraft

I just found this recipe in a stack in my classroom. I first made it in January of '05. Thank goodness I make notes on my recipes because I don't even remember making this. My notes said that I used chicken and I might use more cream cheese next time. Overall, this was a good soup and I said I'd have it again. Now that I've found the recipe, I guess I will :)
1/2 cup chopped onions 1 Red pepper, chopped, divided
2 Tbsp. Butter or margarine
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
2 cups shredded cooked turkey
1 can (14.75 oz.) cream-style corn
2 cups Chicken broth
3/4 cup Milk
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

COOK onions and half the red peppers in butter in large saucepan on medium heat 5 to 6 min. or until crisp-tender, stirring frequently.

ADD cream cheese; cook on low heat 3 to 4 min. or until melted, stirring constantly. Stir in turkey, corn, broth and milk.

COOK 5 min. or until soup is heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve topped with remaining red peppers and black pepper.
Kraft Kitchens TipsSubstitutePrepare using PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese.Special ExtraFor more robust flavor, roast and peel the red peppers before chopping. Add to soup along with the turkey. Or, use drained, jarred roasted red peppers instead.

Make AheadSoup can be made ahead of time. Cool, then refrigerate up to 2 days. Reheat before serving.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monoprint Painting

I saw this on Family Fun and thought it would be great for my kids:
Washable, nontoxic tempera paint
Cookie sheet
2 large pieces of paper
Cotton swabs, plastic utensils


To start, ask your child to squeeze blobs of washable nontoxic tempera paint onto a cookie sheet.

Lay a large piece of paper on top of the paint and have her smooth it down with the palms of her hands. Lift off the paper, then lay the print flat to dry.

Next, encourage your tot to make designs with her fingers, a cotton swab, or a plastic utensil in the smooth surface of the paint that remains on the cookie sheet. Lift off additional prints on clean sheets of paper. You can add more paint as desired

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lime Chicken Soft Tacos by

A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was going to make this, only she was going to make the chicken in the Crock Pot. She was making lime rice to go along, I'll have to ask her how she made the rice. I can't wait to try the tacos.

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cubed
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
10 (6 inch) flour tortillas
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup shredded lettuce
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup salsa

1.Saute chicken in a medium saucepan over medium high heat for about 20 minutes. Add vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, green onion, garlic and oregano. Simmer for an extra 10 minutes.
2.Heat an iron skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the pan, warm, and turn over to heat the other side. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve lime chicken mixture in warm tortillas topped with tomato, lettuce, cheese and salsa.

Notes from my friend who made this in the Crock Pot: We really liked it. I ended up adding more of the flavorings (lime, cilantro, garlic, sugar) toward the end. I put it in (on low) around 9 am and turned it off at 4:30 pm or so. I think next time I'll put it on a little later (the edges had some burnt spots). It was really good and shredded easily with a fork. We all decided it's definitely a recipe to repeat often.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Cutest Things

Lately I've been visiting a lot of other cooking and baking blogs. I stumbled upon Bakerella and until tonight, I thought it was just another good baking blog. Today's post blew me away. The author has created the most adorable cake pops and now she has a book coming out this fall. Please go check out her amazing creations!
Bunko-The cutest things! Oh, I already said that. But they are!


There are MANY, MANY more......

You can join her group on Facebook, too! If you haven't already, join Aggieland Mommy Cooks on FB as well.