Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Most Delicious Caramel Apple Crisp

This is a delicious/ perfect for the season dessert . . .and it's easy! It has three parts: Caramel Sauce, Apple filling, and oatmeal topping.
Caramel Sauce You have three choices:
1. Buy a jar of caramel sauce at the store
2. Melt 1 (14 oz.) pkg. of caramels with 1 (5 oz.) can of evap. milk
3. Last the best of all the game. Make my buttery caramel sauce. It is easy and you'll have leftover to put on ice cream or dip fruit or dip finger or whatever you'd like. It's our most popular recipe.

Apple Filling
5-6 large apples (Granny Smith's are wonderful. I like to mix 4-5 granny smiths with 1-2 other kind) Peel, core, and thinly slice or even dice
1/2 cup sugar
1-2 Tablespoons flour (depending on how juicy your apples are)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1-2 T. lemon juice (depending on how tart the apples are.)
1/4 cup water
Mix the filling ingredients well in a bowl and then transfer to a sprayed 9x13 pan. Pour 1/2-1 cup caramel sauce (or the melted caramels) over the apples. You can use more or less sauce to your taste.
Mix together in a bowl:
1 cup flour
1 small pkg. butterscotch pudding ( you can use instant or cook and serve kind- doesn't matter)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup quick cook oats (or you can use 2-3 pkgs. instant oatmeal)
2/3 cup butter, softened (you can soften it in the microwave)
Use your hands to mix this all together. Crumble the mixture over the apple/caramel mixture.
Bake in 350 oven for about 45 minutes until topping is golden and apples are bubbly and caramely and yummy. Serve warm with ice cream and more caramel sauce on top, if desired. That may be overkill . . . or it may not. You decide. Happy Fall!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash

I LOVE butternut squash- always have. For years, I've simply cut it in half, seeded it, and filled the seed space with butter and brown sugar, wrapped it in foil, put it in a baking dish,, and baked it. It's very good that way and very easy. I recently bought some butternut squash all peeled and cut up from Costco. On the box was this delicious recipe. We loved it. As usual, I've made a few changes.

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash
1 lb. Butternut squash, cubed
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cubed (opt.)
Olive Oil (the recipe called for 3T. Butter. I substituted olive oil to make it healthier)
3 T. honey (more or less)
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped (I used almonds-unchopped)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I used more)

Preheat oven to 400. The original recipe said to roast the squash and apple for 20minutes by themselves. Then mix the other ingredients in a bowl and pour over the almost roasted squash. I just mixed it all together on my baking tray (with my hands) at first and roasted it for about 20-25 minutes. I'm all about easy. It was SO good.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Grilled Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

This is a delicious Italian Chicken Sandwich made on the grill, but I'm sure you could do it in a fry pan as well. It's easy and very tasty.
Adapted from Lauren's Latest
Pound out:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (Pictured is actually a boneless, skinless thigh because that's what I had. It was good, too)
Sprinkle with garlic salt, salt and pepper.
Heat the grill and brush some olive oil on the grill. Put the breasts on the hot grill and reduce the heat to medium. Close the lid and cook about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over. Put on each breast:
A couple of Tablespoons of marinara sauce
1 thick slice of mozzarella cheese
Sprinkle fresh parmesan cheese on each one.
Close the lid and cook another 5-7 minutes until done.
Hard, Kaiser roll
Grill. Remove rolls when browned and spread with butter and rub with fresh garlic clove. It leaves the garlic flavor. You could just sprinkle it with garlic salt if you would rather.

Put chicken breasts in the rolls and top with more fresh parmesan cheese and more sauce, if desired. Delicious!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Banh Mi Sandwiches

I got this recipe from my sister's/ nieces blog several months ago. It sounded wonderful, but because it had some unknown ingredients, I didn't get around to making them until Sara (the niece in the blog) moved and donated all of her perishable food to me. Amongst the delicious items were these two sauces that this recipe requires. I made them a few days later and have been making them ever since. We love these Vietnamese sandwiches. They are easy to make, healthy and delicious. I like to plan to have them on the day I go to Costco because I can get the rolls and the rotisserie chicken there. We've tried several different rolls/ buns (all have been fine) but we especially like the Torta sandwich rolls from Costco. It calls for baguettes. Okay, so here's the recipe.
Make a pickling sauce with:
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
Mix well. Add:
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 or 2 carrots, grated
( We always have leftover of everything but the cucumber and carrots to make more sandwiches later, so if you want to have them again soon, do more cucumber and carrots)
Cover and put in fridge to marinate. The longer the better, but just a few minutes is fine.
When ready to make your sandwiches:
Spread the two sides of the roll/ baguette with light mayo
Fill with sliced chicken ( rotisserie is great, but any cooked chicken will do)
Chopped lettuce, cilantro, and chopped mint leaves
Then add the cucumber/ carrot mixture
Then drizzle with (here comes the weird sauces! But they are SO good and so worth the investment)
Siracha Sauce (Thai hot sauce) Go easy with this one. It's HOT!
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce -this stuff is delicious! Both of these sauces can be found in regular supermarkets. To see a picture of them, and much better pictures of this sandwich, go to Sarah, another niece does recipe posts for and did this one. All of her recipes are easy and delicious- well, at least the ones I've tried. And as Sarah says, Bahn appetit!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lemon Bars

I've been making lemon bars for years, but recently tried a new recipe I found and adapted on Jamie Cooks It Up blog. I really liked the buttery lemony- ness of this recipe and decided it beats the Martha Stewart version I've made in the past. A word to the wise: Don't inhale while taking a bite!

1 cup cold butter
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup flour
1 few grates of lemon zest
For the crust: Chop the butter into small cubes. In a bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and flour. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and with a pastry blender or your hands (I've always used my hands- just work fast and don't heat up the butter), combine the ingredients. When they are mixed, press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile: In a mixer bowl, beat the eggs until frothy- at least two minutes. Add sugar, baking powder, salt and flour and mix well. Add the lemon juice and zest. Beat for at least three more minutes. Pour the filling over the hot crust and return it to the oven for another 25 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let cool completely, then cut into bars.