Thursday, March 31, 2011

Praline Cookies

Sorry. I begin this post with a huge apology for giving you a recipe for absolutely irresistible cookies. These are SO SO good. I got the recipe off a food blog a couple of months ago, and now don't remember whose. They are definitely on my list of Ten Best Cookie Recipes that I have.
Note: Be sure when you're browning the butter to put it in a BIG saucepan or it will boil over.

2 cups browned butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
2/3 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup pecan halves (or you can use 1/3 cup chopped pecans- pictured)

Preheat oven to 350. Place four sticks butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Melt, cook and stir frequently for about 5-8 minutes until butter is a deep brown with small flecks. Butter will melt, then bubble and foam, then starts to turn dark. Watch carefully at this point. Remove when brown. Take out 1/2 cup and set aside for the frosting.

Slightly cool the butter and mix it with the brown sugar. Beat until it is no longer hot, then add eggs, vanilla, soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat thoroughly. Add the flour and pecans.

Roll into balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Don't over bake. Frost with Brown Butter Frosting when cool and put a pecan half or chopped pecans on top of each cookie. Makes 4-5 dozen.

Brown Butter Frosting
1/2 cup reserved brown butter
2 tsp. vanilla (I always add a little more vanilla than it calls for)
3 cups powdered sugar (more or less)
1/4 cup hot water

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Add a little hot water if it's too thick.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hungarian Beef over Baked Noodles

I've been making Hungarian Beef for years. It's one of my favorite Crock pot recipes. It's easy and delicious. I've always served it over plain noodles. But the last few times I've made it, I've served it over these baked noodles- a recipe I found in my sister Patty's cookbook. They go so well together. The cheesy creaminess of the noodles balances with the tangy sweetness of the beef. It's yummy. I also like that the noodles hold forever, so if you have people coming to eat and are not sure when they're coming, it will be delicious even hours later.

Hungarian Beef
Oil for browning the meat and onion
2# beef round, cubed
2 onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 c. ketchup
2 T. worchestersire sauce
3. T. brown sugar
2 tsp. salt (this, of course, is to taste)
2 tsp. sweet paprika (I use Hungarian paprika)
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
Few dashes Tabasco sauce or any hot sauce
1 1/2 cup water
Coat beef with flour (I add some Montreal steak seasoning, too, but it wasn't in the original recipe) and let sit while you saute the onions in oil. When onions are soft and golden add the beef and brown on all sides. Put in crockpot and add all the other ingredients. Cook on low for about 6 hours (or longer or shorter- don't you love crock pots?) Serve over regular noodles or rice or Baked Noodles.

Baked Noodles
1 8 oz. pkg. noodles
1 small carton cottage cheese
1 onion, finely chopped
1 c. sour cream
1-2 tsp. minced garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tsp. chopped parsley
Parmesan cheese

Cook noodles el dente (do not overcook). Drain and Rinse. Mix in all other ingredients. Put in a greased casserole dish or 9 x9 square pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan chees.e Bake for 30 minutes at 375.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chicken Wonton Salad

This is yummy. It has lots of little steps that can take a while, but it is worth it!
3-4 chicken breasts
2 heads of lettuce
½ pkg. wonton wraps (found in the produce section)
¼ c sesame seeds
Also the ingredients for flavoring the chicken if you choose to and for the dressing (found below).
Prepare each section and combine right before serving.
ChickenThe original recipe said to boil and then brown in a fry pan. I like the chicken to have a little flavor so I used this recipe from for teriyaki chicken:
· 1 tablespoon cornstarch
· 1 tablespoon cold water
· 1/2 cup white sugar
· 1/2 cup soy sauce
· 1/4 cup cider vinegar
· 1 clove garlic, minced
· 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
· 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
· 12 skinless chicken thighs (I, of course, used the chicken breasts)
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cornstarch, cold water, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and ground black pepper. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles.2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).3. Place chicken pieces in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Brush chicken with the sauce. Turn pieces over, and brush again.4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn pieces over, and bake for another 30 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Brush with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking.
Once the chicken is cooked and cooled shred or chunk it.
LettuceWash and tear into small pieces.
WontonsFry in hot oil. I use my electric fry pan and do 4 at a time. I use my tongs to flip them and put them on a plate covered with paper towels and dab them with paper towels to remove excess oil. Once cooled, crush into small pieces.
Sesame SeedsSpread on a pan and broil until lightly browned. Watch them carefully as they burn quickly and easily.
Dressing½ c sugar
½ c white vinegar
5 t salt
1 t Accents (found in the spice section)...This is MSG and SO not necessary. I have made the dressing without this the last 2 times and it is just as good. I'm never adding it again.
Combine and boil until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
Add ½ c salad oil or vegetable oil and ½ t. pepper.
Keep in fridge until it is time to serve.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shout Out!

Shout out for Shonna's Tomato Herb Focaccia Bread. I made it to eat while we watched the BYU game the other night and it was delicious. It's like pizza except you don't want to throw away one single bite of the crust. It is very tasty. I made it just like the recipe except I threw on some green onions that I needed to use. I'm thinking it would be good with other veggies and even meats, too. I think I'll try mushrooms and maybe caramalized onions along with the tomatoes next.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Custard Slice

This is a favorite dessert in the Mackrory family. Try it out and you will see why!
1 packet Saltine crackers
1 can condensed milk
3 cans (use condensed milk can) of fresh milk
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
5 tsp. butter or margarine (about 2 T?)
1/3 cup custard powder
Spray 9x13 pan with Pam. Put one layer of crackers along the bottom. Mix milk, condensed milk, and butter in bowl and microwave until it boils, stirring occasionally. Beat together in seperate bowl eggs, custard powder, and vanilla. Add a little of the hot milk mix and mix into the egg mix. Then add egg mix to the milk mix and beat in. Then microwave for about 3 min. and stir. Microwave about 2 more minutes and stir. Pour over crackers. Put a layer of crackers over the top of the custard mix. Cool. Then frost:
1 cup of powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons of boiling water
Mix and pour on.
Chill in fridge and then serve.

Croque Madame

Easy, Yummy, Easy, Tasty. This is a Rachael Ray hot sandwich, and it is really good. I think it needs double the sauce, though from Rachael's original, so that's how I'm giving it to you. This makes two sandwiches, so double it if you need four.

Butter (total you'll need about 5 T.)
2+ Tablespoons flour (round the measurement)
1 cup milk
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg, just a pinch
2 tsps. Dijon mustard (I just put two squirts)
2 or 4 slices bread (depending on if you want open face or closed, like a grilled cheese)
2 large eggs
Sliced deli ham
Sliced deli Swiss cheese or other white cheese of your choice (the pictured one had Mozzarella)
Fresh Parsley or chives for garnish for top, opt.

For the bechemel sauce: Place a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Melt 2 T. butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk. Bring to a bubble and drop the heat to low. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. When thick, turn off the heat.

Heat 1 T. butter in a skillet on medium- low heat. When the butter melts, crack the eggs into the pan. Keep the white separate. Cook to desired doneness. Sunny-side up, over easy, or over hard.

While the eggs cook, butter the bread. Keeping the buttered side out, spread the other side with some bechamel sauce,then add cheese slice, and ham (two slices per sandwich.) You can then put on another slice of bread and butter outside, or you can leave it open-face. Heat another skillet and grill sandwiches over medium heat until sandwiches are golden and cheese melted. If using two breads, flip and cook until golden. Transfer to plate and top with eggs and remaining sauce over top. Garnish , if desired.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fudgy Chocolate Silk Pie

This year for Valentine's Day, I made my sister's chocolate dipped strawberries and this delicious Fudgy Chocolate pie. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It honestly is my favorite of all the pies I make, and I have a lot of good recipes. My husband would say my apple or strawberry or lemon are better, but I loved this. I got the original recipe from Lauren's blog (see sidebar), but I made some changes, which I will note:

Fudgy Chocolate Silk Pie
Chocolate Cookie pie crust OR regular baked pie crust (I much prefer the regular crust. I like the contrast of the flaky, salty crust with the sweet chocolate filling)
5 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsps. vanilla
10 oz. semi- sweet chocolate chips (almost a whole bag) OR, and this is what I used- 10 oz. baking chocolate, cut up
Whipped cream for garnish

Make and bake pie crust.
Separate eggs. Lightly stir yolks and set aside. Heat cream in a double boiler (I just put a metal bowl that fit over a pot of simmering water). Stir in sugar and salt until dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stream some hot cream into yolks to temper. Whisk and Stir tempered egg yolks into double boiler with remaining cream. Cook over double boiler, whisking occasionally until it starts to thicken and coat spoon, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and chocolate chips or pieces. Pour into prepared shell and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the filling and put in the fridge for 4 or more hours. Pull the plastic wrap (it should come off clean), cut and garnish with fresh whipped cream.

Note: Your pie will not set if you do not thicken the cream and egg mixture long enough. If it doesn't feel thick, cook an extra 5 minutes or so.
I thought it was cute in Lauren's post that she said it was this pie that "sealed the deal" in her husband asking her to marry him. She made it for him, and it wasn't long before he proposed. I can see why . . . I can see why.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Peach Cobbler

This time of year, I always see peach season (we have two trees) just around the corner, so I think about how to use the peaches I canned or froze last year. An easy and delicious way to use canned or frozen peaches is this simple cobbler. I got the recipe years ago from my college roommate (believe me, that was YEARS ago), but I've written so many notes and changes and additions in the margins, that I think I can say that this recipe is truly mine. It is delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Stir together the following:
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup evaporated milk (if you have some you need to use in the fridge. Otherwise, regular milk works just fine)
1/2 cup butter
1 quart bottle canned peaches (can use store-bought) or 1 quart frozen peaches
Turn the oven to 325 while you gather the ingredients. Cut the butter into 8 or so pieces and put it in a square 9x9 casserole pan. Put it into the pre- heating oven to melt. Pour about 1/2 of the juice off of the bottle or can of peaches, if using canned. Mix together the sugar, flour, bp, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Put the peaches in over the melted butter, then spoon the flour mixture over the top. Bake at 325 for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. It comes out gooey- cakey and is really yummy. Again, best served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Easy Cheesy Rolls

If you haven't tried Kristen's Creamed Sausage and Tomato Pasta, get the stuff for it at the grocery store THIS week and try it. It is easy and so delicious. It tastes like one of those fancy schmancy pasta dishes at an Italian restaurant. AND kids like it. To go with it, make these Easy Cheesy Rolls. I got the recipe from the Worldwide Ward Cookbook, but have done SO many variations- and all are good. I'll give you the original and add in my own suggestions. Enjoy a yummy pasta dinner!

Easy Cheesy Rolls

2-3 T.butter, melted
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese-the kind in the green can (I usually use fresh shredded)
1 Tbsp. dried basil and 1 T. olive oil (OR Pesto sauce from Costco, OR 1T. olive oil with 1 T. Italian Seasoning)
1 tsp garlic powder (my husband is a garlic salt addict, so we prefer garlic salt)
(I also often add parsley to the butter mixture- either dried or fresh)
Grated cheese, any kind (I actually prefer to use string cheese sticks. I just cut up two of them in 1/4th and put a fourth in each little packet. It's less messy. You can add grated cheese, too if you want them more cheesy)
1 pkg. Pillsbury Grands Biscuits (Biscuits are great, but one night I didn't have any and substituted a can of Pillsbury Crescent rolls and we like them even better)

In a bowl, combine melted butter, Parmesan cheese, dried basil or pesto, and garlic powder. Mix shredded cheeses in a separate bowl. Remove biscuits from can and separate into individual biscuits. Flatten each biscuit slightly and put some cheese in the center of each biscuit and fold the dough around the cheese to form a ball. Pinch the dough together to seal the cheese inside. Roll each ball of dough in the melted butter mixture and place on a baking sheet. if there is any left over butter mixture, spoon it on top of the rolls on the baking sheet, Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes until rolls are golden brown. Makes 8 rolls.