Thursday, September 30, 2010

Buttery Caramel Sauce

This is my day of fame! My niece, Missy featured my Caramel sauce recipe on her blog, HowDoesShe.com. This recipe has a funny story. I made it years ago, even put it in my cookbook that I made, then forgot about it. Years later, I tasted a delicious caramel sauce at an ice cream shop in Provo, Utah. I think it was called Leatherby's? Anyway, I loved that sauce which started me on a search for the perfect Caramel sauce recipe. I tried many from cookbooks and the internet, but they were all too liquidy and corn syrupy. I wanted that brown sugary texture and yummy taste. I even searched and found the email for the ice cream shop and wrote and asked them for the recipe. I never got a response. Then one day I was looking through my own cookbook and found this recipe that I had had for years! Right under my own nose all that time! It's perfect and delicious. It's crazy good! I've made it a couple of times for neighbor gifts at Christmas. I just quadruple the recipe and pour it into small, decorative canning jars. Missy used it as a dipping sauce for fresh fall apples. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you'll visit HowDoesShe.com. They have great ideas every day. I'll put the printable recipe here, but go to Missy's post to see beautiful pictures of it (Missy is a fabulous photographer.)

Buttery Caramel Sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup whipping cream

In a medium saucepan, combine sugars, syrup, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes. Stir in whipping cream. Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator. It's best served warm.

Hawaiian Ham Sammies

These little guys are delicious with the Nectar of the Gods soup. I've made a similar version of these for years (where you pour a sauce over the sandwiches rather than spread it on the rolls) but I like this one I got from my sister, Patty's cookbook better. She got the recipe from my sister, Pam. Pam made them for our recent tea party and they were the hit!
1 (dozen)pkg. Hawaiian bread rolls (if your store doesn't have these, you can use very soft dinner rolls)
1/4 lb. butter, melted
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 T. prepared mustard
1tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 T. sugar
3 T poppy seeds
Ham sliced for sandwiches
Cheese slices (Swiss, Provolone, Havarti, Mozzarella- whatever you like)

Leaving the rolls stuck together, carefully slice through the rolls in half. Mix together the melted butter, onion, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and poppy seeds. Spread on both sides of the rolls. Layer ham and cheese slices over all. Put the roll tops on. Wrap up in foil, making a packet. Put in a baking dish and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Cut the rolls apart and serve.

Nectar of the Gods


I got this recipe from my sister, Pam. She got it from a Lion House cookbook. Her family named it Nectar of the Gods, and believe me, it's an appropriate name. I'm sure I've changed it a bit from the original, but I don't remember what those changes are. Kristen and Jared make it in the summer with garden tomatoes and freeze it in bags to enjoy all winter.

12 to 15 roma tomatoes
4 cans tomato soup
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup beef stock or consomme
1 big bunch fresh basil leaves
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
2-3 cups cream or half and half or whole milk
salt and pepper

Kristen and Jared start by blanching the tomatoes to remove the skins. That's a great idea as the soup does have little bits of skin in it.

Cut tomatoes in half and put on a sprayed baking sheet. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast at 350 until the tomatoes are soft and browned. Meanwhile, combine soups in a large pot and start to heat. When tomatoes are soft, bubbly and browned, put them in a blender with the coarsely chopped basil. Put a towel over the lid while you blend. OR (and this is what I do) add the tomatoes and basil to the pot and use an immersible blender to blend all together well. Heat through. When all is well blended and hot, add sugar, cream and salt and pepper. Do not boil. Heat and serve.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Summer Tomatoes


This a delicious way to use fresh tomatoes from the garden. It makes a nice pasta sauce or dipping sauce for crusty bread- or both! You need a 1/2 gallon canning jar or a large glass bowl that you can cover to set out in the sun. You could mix it in a bowl, then divide between two quart jars.
Dip 8 -12 tomatoes in boiling water for about a minute. Fill your sink with cold water and put hot tomatoes in there after the minute. The skins will come off easily. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and put in the 1/2 gallon glass jar. Add:
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 green onions, chopped OR 1 onion, chopped
3/4 - 1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Big bunch of fresh basil, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped (opt.)
1-3 T. sugar (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Mix all together in the jar. Shake well. Put jar in the sun for several hours. Occasionally shake the jar if you're around.
Serve with crusty bread for dipping or mix with cooked pasta and top with Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

O'Charley's Salad Recreated


A couple of months ago I had an amazing salad at O'Charley's. So I tried to re-create it. I couldn't copy their amazing Balsamic Viniagrette, but the one I found online was pretty good, just not as thick as O'Charley's. Here are the ingredients for the salad.

Mixed Greens (I used romaine)
Bleu Cheese crumbles (I used Feta, also good, but not quite as strong and I think I prefer the bleu)
sliced strawberries
pecans
mandarin oranges
dried cranberries
Grilled chicken or shrimp (optional)

Mix together and serve w/ balsamic viniagrette.

Viniagrette
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 T garlic (I used 1/8 tsp garlic powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 c olive oil

Notice the rosemary bread that I served w/ it, so good.

Molasses Wheat Bread

I've found a new hit in the bread department! Blake and I just love this recipe I found in my sister's ward cookbook. The recipe was submitted by Kaylene Craig, did you know her Lu? So delicious! We make it in our bread maker so I have to put it in a certain order for our machine. So I'll list the ingredients, but put them in your bread machine according to it's directions. If you have a Welbilt "The Bread Machine" like ours you'd put the yeast in first, then all dry ingredients, then wet.

1 1/2 c. warm water
3 T gluten (I used only 2 and it was great)
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 3/4 c. white flour
2 tsp. salt
3 T sugar
3 T dry powdered milk
2 tsp. yeast
3 T melted butter
2 T molasses

Place ingredients in order into bread machine. Set machine on dough or manual setting and start. When bread machine is finished, remove dough, cut in half, and shape into loaves. Place dough in loaf pans; let raise in warmed oven (set at 175 degrees, then turn off when heated) for 35 minutes. Carefully take bread dough out and heat oven to 350. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then remove bread to cooling rack. When cooled, store in airtight bag or container.

Tip I learned some time ago: To tell if bread is fully cooked, take one loaf out of the pan w/ hot pads and knock on the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow it's done.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

If you go to food blogs, you've probably seen this one. Everyone who tries it wants to post it, because it is so good( and their pictures look a lot better than mine!). I think it originated on The Sister's Cafe blog (see sidebar) , but I've seen it on a couple of others, too. It's just a great combination of flavors, and pretty easy to make.

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
Two whole (or four halves) boneless, skinless Chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
Put breasts in sauce to marinate:
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or can use fresh garlic- that's what I did)

Mix ingredients together and let the meat soak in the delicious sauce for at least 30 minutes.

Other ingredients:
2 cans green enchilada sauce (I used bottled)
Flour tortillas
Grated Cheese (Mexican mix, cheddar, Mozzarella- whatever you like)
One of the bloggers suggested adding 1 cup sour cream. I think I'll try it next time.

Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray and pour in enough green enchilada sauce to cover bottom.
Fill tortillas with cheese and chicken mix. Roll up enchiladas and nestle together in the pan. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with more cheese. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, turning on broiler at the end to brown the top. It's yummy! Oh, and the recipe said you could use pork instead of the chicken.




Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rosemary Bread

I was in the mood to make some bread yesterday so I found this recipe for Macaroni Grill bread on my friend's blog. It's the link on the right sidebar called "My Recipe Box." I'll paste her instructions (w/ my additions) here.

1 1/2 t active dry yeast
1 C warm water
3 T olive oil
1/4 t sugar
2 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 t McCormick Italian Seasoning Grinder
1/4 t cracked black pepper
3/4 T fresh rosemary, snipped
1 egg (white)
butter and salt

1. In the bottom of your mixer combine water, yeast and sugar. Mix it around a bit with a spoon and let it sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add the salt, oil and 1 C flour. Mix for 30 seconds to incorporate.
3. Add the rest of the flour about 1/2 C at a time, while the mixer continues to mix.
4. When all of the flour is incorporated mix on high for about 7 minutes.
5. While your mixer is doing it's fine work, get your herbs and seasonings ready to go. You don't want to eat any of the thick stem that rosemary comes on, only the little needles. Pull the needles off backwards off the stem...they come off easily. (I used a bit more than 1/2 tsp of dried rosemary.)
6. When your dough is done mixing add the rosemary, pepper and Italian seasoning. Mix just until incorporated.
7. Cover your mixing bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.
8. Divide the dough into 2 parts. Shape into balls and place on a sprayed cookie sheet, or a cooking stone with a bit of olive oil on it.
9. Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray and cut 2 slits in the top of the bread.
10. In a small bowl whisk an egg until frothy.(Next time I'll just use the egg white.) Brush the egg all over the top of the loaf and into the cracks.
11. Place the loaves into a warm oven. (I set mine to 175) Let them rise until doubled in size, about 15 minutes.
12. Turn your oven up to 375 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
13. When the loaves come out of the oven, place them on a cooling rack. Brush butter over the tops and sprinkle a little bit of salt over the top of the butter. Be careful to not get too much. I used my salt grinder.
Serve w/ balsamic vinegar and olive oil as a dip. Enjoy!