Raspberry Meringue Kisses

Ingredients

3                         Egg Whites

1/8 tsp.            Salt

3½ TBS.           Raspberry Gelatin

¾ cup               Sugar

1 tsp.                  Vinegar

1 cup                  Mini Chocolate Chips

 

Directions

Beat egg whites with salt until foamy. Add raspberry gelatin and sugar gradually. Beat until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold in vinegar and mini chocolate chips. Drop from teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets covered with brown paper or parchment paper. Bake at 250° for 25 minutes. Turn oven OFF; leave cookies in over 20 minutes or longer. The recipe states that it makes 9 dozen. I usually get about 6-7 dozen depending on the size.

The trick to this recipe is to make the cookies relatively the same size for even cooking. Do not let them brown.

If you have double ovens like I do; you can get this accomplished in one batch.

 

Posted in Christmas, Cookies | Leave a comment

Christmas Wreaths – Unbaked

Ingredients

32                    Large Marshmallows

6 TBS.              Butter

½ tsp.               Vanilla

½ tsp.               Almond Extract

2-3 tsps.           Green Food Coloring (add more depending of the shade of green you like)

4 cups              Corn Flakes

Red Cinnamon Candies

Directions

Melt marshmallows and butter in a double boiler (large bowl placed in a sauce pot with simmering water). Mix in flavorings and food coloring. Add corn flakes. Stir gently to coat. Remove double boiler from heat keeping the large bowl in place to keep mixture warm. Butter or spray (non-stick cooking spray) hands well. Spoon tablespoon of mixture onto parchment paper; spread out to resemble a wreath. Decorate immediately with red cinnamon candies (2-3 per wreath).  Depending on the size we usually get about 3 dozen per batch.

My son and I make these every year. They are quick, easy and taste like a more adult rice crispy treat.

Posted in Christmas, Cookies | Leave a comment

Peanut Butter Blossoms

This recipe is for my guy Tom from the gym.

IMG_0387

Christmas Cookies

These are his favorite cookies and I told him that I would post this on my website.

Thanksgiving is will upon us soon but Christmas is knocking on our door.This is a great Christmas Cookie and for beginners, it should be your go to recipe.

Ingredients

  • 48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Additional granulated sugar(optional)

    Directions

    1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

    2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

    3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

    4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies.

    For more information please check out Hersey Kitchen.

     

    Posted in Christmas, Cookies | Leave a comment

    Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

    Ingredients         

    • 1 box Duncan Hines® Red Velvet Cake Mix
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 can Duncan Hines® Fudge  Frosting
    • 1 can Cherry Pie Filling

     

    Baking Instructions

    1. Melt butter; set aside to cool. Place cake mix, egg, cooled butter and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until well blended and dough is formed.
    1. Form dough into a smooth 12-inch log on wax paper or parchment making sure it is even in thickness end to end. Wrap in wax paper; seal in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease baking sheets. Unwrap dough log and set on wax paper. Using a sharp knife, cut into 48 slices about 1/4- inch thick. Place on cool baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
    1. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in center of oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
    1. Spread frosting on half the cookies. Spread 1 tsp. of Cherry Pie Filling on top of the frosting. Top each frosted cookie with another cookie. Gently press together.

     

    I printed this off the Duncan Hines web site and added the Fudge Frosting and Cherry Pie filling.

     

    Posted in Cookies | Leave a comment

    Let’s Talk Turkey

    I found some valuable information in the Milwaukee/Journal Sentinel’s Food section this morning. I personally “brine” my turkey the day before I roast. You can find this recipe under “Fall/Harvest” in my blog.

    Frozen or fresh? My first decision was whether to buy a frozen or fresh turkey. Frozen turkeys are less expensive than fresh, and can be purchased weeks in advance if you have the freezer space; however, you have to be sure to allow plenty of time to thaw.

    Fresh turkeys are more often free-range or organic and can be purchased at the last minute, but they will last only a few days in the refrigerator. According to Butterball Turkey Talk-Line director Mary Clingman, you can make a fresh turkey last longer by placing it in the freezer for a few hours to drop its temperature, then returning it to the bottom of the fridge, which is usually the coldest area.

    Size: One pound per person is the general rule for selecting a bird properly sized for your gathering. This will allow for a reasonable amount of leftovers. I went with the smallest turkey I could find, an 11.5-pounder, figuring my husband and I might have a few guests over – at most – for this preholiday, practice turkey roast (you’ll see how well those plans held up).

    Thawing : If you’re going with a frozen bird, the next crucial step comes days before Thanksgiving. Butterball has declared the Thursday before Thanksgiving to be National Thaw Day as a reminder to move your turkey from the freezer to the fridge, or at least to start thinking about it.

    The general rule of thawing is 24 hours for every 4 pounds of turkey in a fridge set at about 40 degrees. To be safe, I gave mine four days, but it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to start thawing even earlier than that. You can wait up to four days to cook it once it’s fully thawed, which ensures the bird’s temperature will be between 35 and 40 degrees.

    You’ll want to place the turkey on a pan or in a plastic bag to prevent leaks in the fridge. If you find yourself without enough time to thaw it in the refrigerator, you can place the turkey in a sink or cooler (or even a bathtub, as my cousin once had to do) filled with cold water, breast side down.

    This method will take 30 minutes per pound of turkey if you’re changing the water every half-hour. If that seems like too much work, you can forget about changing the water, but it will take several hours longer (the frozen turkey cools the water).

    And if you completely forget to thaw your turkey, or it’s still a bit frozen on Thanksgiving morning, Clingman says not to worry. You can cook a turkey from the frozen state. It may take a couple of hours longer, and you won’t be able to remove the neck, giblets and gravy packets or insert the meat thermometer before placing it in the oven, but in the end it should taste perfectly delicious.

    Preparing the bird: Once thawed, the turkey requires a little preparation. Free it from its plastic wrapping, rinse it well, inside and out, and dry it with paper towels. My turkey still had some ice in the cavity, despite my conservative thawing time, but this didn’t mean the meat was still frozen; it just had some frozen liquid hanging around. A good, strategic rinse took care of that.

    You also need to remove the neck, gravy packet and giblets. This proved to be my first real challenge of the day. I easily found the neck and gravy packet tucked into the main cavity, but the giblets were elusive. After searching high and low, I concluded that our bird was missing its giblets and moved on.

    Fast forward to the turkey being carved, and sure enough, out popped a little packet with the giblets. It didn’t hurt anything to be cooked right inside the bird, as the bag is oven-safe, but it’s probably best to find it before it goes in the oven – if only to save yourself the embarrassment.

    While the neck and gravy packets are usually found in the main cavity, the giblets are stored in the neck cavity. Unfold the neck skin to get into the cavity and remove them. Then, after rinsing and drying the bird, use the neck skin to hold the wings akimbo – or lifted up as you would look holding your hands behind your head with your elbows out.

     

    Reference: Milwaukee/Journal Sentinel Food Section, Wednesday November 16, 2011

    Posted in Pot Luck | Leave a comment

    Stuffing with Hot Sausage and Cranberries

    Ingredients

    1-LB Hot Bulk Sausage

    1-14 oz. Brownberry Sage & Onion Cubed Stuffing Mix

    1-Large Granny Smith Apple, cored and diced

    1-Medium Onion, diced

    2-Stalks Celery, diced

    ½ -Bag Fresh Cranberries (buy 2; freeze 1)

    1-tsp. dried Sage or 4 Sprigs Fresh Sage, chopped

    ½-cup White Wine (use a wine you love to drink)

    3 to 4-Cups Chicken Stock

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

    Brown hot bulk pork sausage. Drain fat if needed. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add Brownberry Stuffing, apple, onion, celery, cranberries and sage. Mix ingredients. Add wine and 1 cup of chicken stock and mix. Let sit for a few minutes.  Add 1 cup of chicken stock and mix. Let sit for a few minutes. Check how the stock has been absorbed by the stuffing mix. Add chicken stock to the desired consistency of the stuffing mix..not too wet; not too dry.

    Bake for 30 minutes; stirring occasionally. I like my stuffing mix with a little brown crust on the top.

    Makes about 16 cups.

    Note: Store the left over stuffing in a freezer bag to serve with “Leftover Turkey Soup” (recipe to follow after the holiday). Save your turkey carcass in a freezer bag also or ask your hostess for the carcass and watch their face and response. Trust me; it will be well worth the effort.

    Posted in Fall/Thanksgiving | Leave a comment

    Southern Chicken & Waffles

    This is my take on the southern specialty of Chicken and Waffles.

    This is a yummy weekend special breakfast for your family!

    Chicken & WafflesIngredients
    • 12 Chicken Wings
    • ½ cup Flour
    • ½ cup Shore Lunch
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup Milk
    • 2 squirts Sriracha
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • Garlic Salt
    • Honey (optional)
    • Canola oil for frying
    • Your favorite waffle recipe
    Directions for the Chicken Wings

    Whisk eggs, milk and sriracha. Place chicken wings in mixture and marinate for 30 minutes in refrigerator.
    Mix flour, shore lunch and salt and pepper. Set aside.
    Preheat oven to 325°. Heat canola oil to 350°. Remove chicken from mixture and dredge in the flour mixture. Fry until chicken wings are browned.
    Move chicken wings to paper towel to remove excess oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes. Squeeze the top of chicken wings with honey and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
    Prepare waffles. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

    Posted in Breakfast | Leave a comment

    “Pocket” Chicken Cordon Bleu

    Ingredients
    • 3 chicken breasts
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 TBS white vinegar
    • 6 slices Virginia ham
    • 3 cheese sticks
    • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
    • 1 TBS garlic salt, dried thyme, dried sage and pepper
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 TBS unsalted butter
    • Honey (optional)

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

    Take the chicken breasts and cut a large pocket in the center. Take the milk and vinegar and pour into a large storage bag. Place chicken breasts inside and marinate for at least one hour. You can substitute the milk and vinegar for 1 cup of butter milk.

    Remove the chicken breast from the bag and place on a plate. Roll 2 slices of the ham around one of the cheese sticks and stuff into chicken breast. Salt and pepper to taste. You can seal with toothpicks if needed. Repeat.
    Season the panko with garlic salt, thyme, sage and salt and pepper. Mix in melted butter. The butter will help the crust brown. Beat together the eggs.

    Dip in the egg mixture and gently coat in the bread crumbs. Lightly coat a baking pan with olive oil and carefully transfer the chicken breasts onto it placing the pocket side down.Bake for 40 minutes. Drizzle with honey and bake for an additional 5 minutes until browned and cooked through.

    I like to use the cheese sticks instead of just cheese slices. No matter how many times I have tried, some of the cheese leaks out of the chicken. The cheese sticks seem to melt slower so more of the cheese remains stuffed in the chicken breasts. I also like the addition of the honey. It just adds a touch of sweetness but please watch so the chicken does not burn.

    Posted in Dinner | Leave a comment

    Settlers Inn Cream of Potato with Bacon Soup

    • I found this recipe in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel. It looked so delicious and easy to IMG_0377make. I did make an adjustment; instead of the sharp cheddar I use a white sharp cheddar cheese.

     

    • Tom Dorsey, chef and co-owner, sent the recipe, which he recently developed. He also included information about his restaurant, which he and his wife, Joan, opened in 1993.”We wanted to provide a place for high-quality, nutritious home cooking. Since we opened, Settlers Inn has evolved into a restaurant, deli and catering business. It is truly a family business with both of us working alongside our three children full time.”We cater seven days a week and…also offer a wide range of gluten-free options and hold hands-on cooking classes for kids.”
    • Makes: 8 to 12 servings

    Ingredients:

    2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and diced
    4 cups (32 ounces) chicken broth
    3 tablespoons good-quality chicken base
    ½ pound uncooked bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
    ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
    1 large yellow or white onion, finely chopped
    ¾ cup flour
    5 cups milk
    2 teaspoons granulated garlic
    ½ teaspoon pepper
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    ¼ cup sour cream
    Salt and pepper to taste
    8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
    2 green onions, sliced (optional)

    Preparation:

    In large pot combine potatoes, broth and base and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain potatoes, reserving cooking liquid.

    In another pan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain and reserve ¼ cup bacon fat to use later. Cool bacon and crumble.

    In a 4-quart saucepan, add butter, reserved bacon fat and onion. Cook over low heat until onion is very soft but not brown, stirring frequently. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Cook about 5 minutes, whisking frequently.

    Add reserved liquid from cooking potatoes and the milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking until smooth and thickened, about 15 minutes.

    Add granulated garlic, ½ teaspoon pepper, cayenne pepper, reserved potatoes, reserved bacon and sour cream. Heat through, then check seasonings and add additional salt and pepper to taste if needed.

    Stir in cheese and then ladle into bowls and top with sliced green onions for garnish, if desired.

    Posted in Soups | Leave a comment

    Cheesy Onion & Garlic Bread

    Bread

    Yield: 2 loaves

    Ingredients:

    1 tablespoon yeast
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 cup warm water
    2 TBS olive oil
    ½ large yellow or white onions- sliced
    5 chopped garlic cloves
    2 1/2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon dried rosemary
    1 tablespoon dried thyme
    1 cup parmesan cheese
    2 tablespoons butter
    Directions:

    1. Caramelize the onions by placing them in a sauté pan with the olive oil. Heat over medium heat until onions become browned. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn. Remove from pan and chop. Add 1 cup of water to the pan and deglaze the pan. Heat the water to 110-114 degrees.

    2. Place yeast, sugar and water used to deglaze the pan, in large bowl or food processor and allow mixture to become bubbly. This is called “proofing”.

    3. Mix in 1 T butter, salt, and 2 cups of flour to the yeast.

    4. Add rosemary, thyme, cheese and the onion and garlic.

    5. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or in food processor about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add more flour if necessary.

    6. Oil a bowl, put dough in it and cover with a towel.

    7. Let dough rise in a warm place for one hour until doubled.

    8. Punch down dough and divide in half.

    9. Let dough rest about 5 minutes.

    10. Spray baking pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray. Shape the dough into 2 small rounded oval loaves.

    11. Let loaves rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes.

    12. Preheat oven to 375°F.

    13. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.

    Carefully remove from oven, brush with remaining butter. Sprinkle tops with and salt and pepper.

     

    Posted in Bread | Leave a comment