Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Caramel Apples

Caramel Apples

2 cups butter
2 lbs. brown sugar
Dash salt
2 cups light corn syrup
2 15 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter, add brown sugar & dash salt. Add corn syrup. Mix. Combine over medium high heat. (7 on electric stove) Add sweetened condensed milk. Stir constantly to about 235-238 right between soft and hardball stage. Stir in vanilla at the end. Start dipping apples after caramel has had just a minute to set. (if the caramel is too hot it will slide off the apples.)

For ice cream-less than softball stage 230
For carmels hardball 245-250 hardball stage

Tips: de-wax, insert sticks and chill apples prior to making caramel. Wax will prevent caramel from sticking to apples, inserting sticks and chilling will make apples ready to go as soon as caramel is ready.

½ this recipe will do about 12 apples, 10 pretty ones and 2 with not so smooth caramel…

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Southwest Cheesecake

11/2 cups finely crushed blue tortilla chips (Use regular if you can't find the blue)
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 (8-ounce) containers sour cream, divided
3 large eggs
1 cup thick and chunky salsa
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 cup fresh or frozen guacamole (thawed)
1 medium-size tomato, seeded and diced
Tortilla chips or crackers

PreparationCombine crushed tortilla chips and 1/4 cup softened butter, and press into bottom of a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan.Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.Beat cream cheese, shredded cheese, and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add 1 container sour cream, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in salsa and chiles. Pour over prepared crust.Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove pan from oven; let stand 10 minutes on a wire rack. Gently run a knife around edge of pan to loosen sides. Remove sides of pan; let cheesecake cool completely.Stir together remaining 2 containers sour cream until smooth; spread evenly over top of cooled cheesecake. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or up to 1 day. Spread evenly with guacamole; sprinkle with diced tomatoes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.

YieldMakes 25 appetizer servings
Recipe from Southern Living Magazine

Lindsay Family Cheese Cake

1-3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (boxed)
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar

Mix well. Pat into bottom of 9X13" pan.

3 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 14 oz.can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sweetened condensed milk; blend thoroughly. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into crust. Chill 3 hours or until firm. Top with desired amount of pie filling (Raspberry, Cherry, etc). Refrigerate leftovers.

Notes: Best if made at least a day ahead.

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

1 Ready Crust Chocolate Pie Crust
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 egg
3 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Chocolate Glaze:
2 squares (1 oz. each) semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/4 cup whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 350*. With mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in Condensed milk until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well.

2. Arrange raspberries on bottom of crust. Slowly pour cheese mixture over fruit. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool.

3. In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate squares & whipping cream. Cook and stir until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat. Top cheesecake with chocolate glaze; chill. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftovers. Servings: 8

Recipe from: Ready Crust

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

17 miniature ice cream sandwiches, divided
1 jar (12 oz.) caramel ice cream topping
1 carton (12 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1 Symphony candy bar (7 oz.) chopped

Arrange 14 ice cream sandwiches in an ungreased 13X9" pan. Cut remaining sandwiches in half lengthwise to fill in the spaces in the pan.

Spread with caramel and whipped toppings. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Sprinkle with chopped candy bar. Cover and freeze for at least 45 minutes. Cut into squares. Yield: 15-18 servings.

Notes: I buy the normal size sandwiches (box of 12) and cut them to fit. (It just gives you less to unwrap.) Also, I've used hot fudge topping instead of the caramel, & I've used Heath candy bar on top too and that was good.

Recipe from: Taste of Home Simple & Delicious

Caramel Apple Pizza

Grease & flour 15" pizza pan. Preheat oven to 350*

1pkg. 18 oz. refrigerated sugar cookie dough, soften.

Shape dough into a ball. Place dough in center of pizza pan & flatten slightly with palm of hand. Roll out dough to a 14" circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Bake 16-18 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool completely.

1 pkg. 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine & mix well. Spread mixture evenly over top of cookie.

2 med. Granny Smith apples
ground cinnamon
1/2 cup Litehouse Caramel Dip
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped (optional)

Peel, core & slice apples very thin. Dip apples in lemon lime soda, or lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. Arrange apples over cream cheese mixture, sprinkle with cinnamon. To heat caramel topping, microwave on high 30 seconds, or until warm. Drizzle over apples. Chop peanuts and sprinkle over apples.

Notes: I don't add the nuts.

Recipe from: Carolyn

Stuffed Mushrooms

24 large fresh mushrooms
1/4 c. sliced green onions
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 c. margerine or butter
2/3 c. fine dry bread crumbs

Wash and drain mushrooms. Remove stems. Reserve caps. Chop stems. In a medium saucepan cook stems, onion, and garlic in margarine or butter till tender. Stir in bread crumbs. Arrange mushrooms in a baking pan. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes or until they are heated through.

Options: (I usually do this.)
Add 1 c. chopped fresh spinach with the stem mixture. Stir in 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried marjoram into crumb mixture. Bake as above.

Oreo Mint Dessert

24 crushed oreo cookies
1/4 c. melted butter
1/4 c. milk
2 drops of peppermint extract
1 jar Kraft marshmellow cream
2 c. whipping cream

Mix butter and crushed oreos. Layer in a 9x13 pan. (Save enough cookie to crumble over the top.) Mix milk, extract and marshmellow cream well. Add whipped cream to mixture and pour over cookie crust. Sprinkle with oreo crumbs and freeze. Take out 10 minutes before serving.

Cherry Angel Food Cake Dessert

1 angel food cake cubed
1 2lb can cherry pie filling
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding (3 oz)
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup milk

Put cubed cake pieces in 9x13 pan. In a bowl mix pudding, milk and sour cream. Beat until smooth. Spoon pudding mixture over cake. Spread cherry pie filling over the top. Chill.

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

(Lion House Cookbook)

1 c. margerine
2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 -1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 -1/2 c. quick oats
1 14 ox. can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1/4 c. margerine
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream margerine and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture. Mix in oatmeal. In heavy saucepan mix sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and margerine. Heat until just melted. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Spread 2/3 of the cookie dough into a greased 9x13 pan. Spread with chocolate mixture. Drop remaining 1/3 dough on top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Chocolate Truffle Dessert

1 package budge brownie mix (8 in. square pan size)

3 cups (18 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided

6 T. butter, cubed

1 T. instant coffee granules

3 T. vanilla extract

14 Pirouette cookies, cut into 1-1/2 " pieces

1. Prepare brownie batter according to package directions. Spread into a greased 9 in. spring form pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Place chocolate chips in a food processor. Cover; process until finely chopped. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 cup cream, butter, and coffee granules. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until butter is melted; stir until smooth. With food processor running, add cream mixture in a slow, steady stream. Add vanilla; cover and process until smooth.

2. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag. Fill with 1/4 cup chocolate mixture; set aside for garnish. Transfer remaining chocolate mixture to a large bowl.

Remove sides of spring form pan. Spread half of the chocolate mixture over brownie layer, spreading evenly over top and sides.

3. In a small mixing bowl, beat remaining cream until soft peaks form; fold into remaining chocolate mixture. Spread over chocolate layer.

4. Gently press cookies into sides of dessert. Pipe reserved chocolate mixture on top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 5 minutes before cutting.


I do not use the coffee granules.

I use the mint Pirouette cookies and it tastes great. I didn't cut them to the size the recipe said, I just broke them up the size my dessert ended up being. (It was a bit messy)

This is a very rich dessert!

Recipe from: Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious Nov/Dec. 2007

Grasshopper Pie

1-1/2 cups cold milk
1 package (3.9 oz.) instant chocolate pudding mix
2-3/4 cups whipped topping, divided
1 package (4.67 0z.) mint Andes candies, chopped, divided
1 chocolate crumb crust (9 in.)
1/4 tsp. mint extract
2 drops green food coloring, optional
In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in 3/4 cup whipped topping. Fold in 3/4 cup candies. Spoon into crust.
In another bowl, combine extract and remaining whipped topping; add food coloring if desired. Spread over pudding layer; sprinkle with remaining candies. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set. Yield: 8 servings
Notes: I used the packaged Andes mint chips (so they are already chopped). One package will make 2 pies. Also, I left out the mint extract, and it was plenty minty for us. I don't add food coloring either.
Recipe from: Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious Nov/Dec. 2007

Turtle Shortbread Cookies

Makes 4 dozen cookies

1 ½ cups butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
24 caramels
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons shortening
1 cup chopped pecans
4 dozen pecan halves

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar and almond extract. Stir in flour and salt. (If dough is too crumbly, mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons additional softened butter.)
2. Divide dough into 12 equal parts. Roll each part into ¼-inch-thick circle. (If dough is sticky, chill about 15 minutes.) Cut each circle in 4 wedges. Place wedges 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in 1 quart saucepan, heat caramels over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until melted. (Or microwave for 1 minute, and then at 50% power for 30 second intervals.)
4. Dip 2 straight edges of each cookie into melted caramel, then into chopped pecans. (If caramel thickens put it back into microwave as needed, 15-30 second intervals at 50% power.)
5. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on high for 1 minute. Stir then return to microwave for 30 second intervals until melted and thin enough to drizzle. Put chocolate in a plastic bag and snip the corner. Place a dot of melted chocolate on top of each cookie; place pecan half on chocolate. Drizzle remaining chocolate on tops of cookies.

Notes: This is a shortbread cookie…the dough is very crumbly, mix it well, even by hand if you need to, just until it sticks together and you can form it into a ball. I don’t use the shortening with the chocolate chips. I do use Peters caramel (Gygi sells a 5 pound block, and it microwaves great!) The original recipe instructs that each circle be cut into 6 wedges, giving you 72 finished cookies. I don’t dip all my cookies into the pecans, since some of my kids won’t eat nuts. They are pretty with just the caramel and chocolate.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rocky Road Bars


1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows

1/4 cup butter
1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup milk
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, baking powder, vanilla, 2 eggs and walnuts. Stir until well blended. Spread evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

For the next layer, in a medium bowl, beat the 6 ounces of cream cheese (reserve 2 ounces of the package of cream cheese for the next layer) with the 1/2 cup of sugar, egg, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/4 cup of butter. Mix until fluffy and smooth. Spread evenly over the first layer.

Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of chopped nuts and chocolate chips over the second layer. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven. Then sprinkle the miniature marshmallows over the top and bake for 2 minutes longer.

Begin to prepare the icing while the bars are in the oven. In a medium saucepan, melt together the 1/4 cup of butter, 1 square of chocolate, remaining 2 ounces of cream cheese and 1/4 cup of milk. Remove from heat and stir in 3 cups of confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pour over the marshmallows and swirl together. Refrigerate until firm, cut into squares.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mint Thins

Prep Time: 20 min
Makes: 3 dozen

1 pkg. (8 squares) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1 sleeve RITZ Crackers (36 crackers)
1 peppermint candy cane (6 inch), crushed

MICROWAVE chocolate in small microwaveable bowl as directed on package. Stir until completely melted. Blend in extract.
DIP crackers in melted chocolate, completely coating crackers with chocolate. Carefully scrape off excess chocolate. Place on waxed paper-covered baking sheets; sprinkle with crushed candy.
REFRIGERATE 30 min. or until chocolate is firm.


Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies
Omit peppermint extract and candy cane. Spread each cracker with a thin layer of peanut butter before dipping into the melted chocolate.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cornbread Encrusted Tilapia

4 tilapia fillets
1/2 cup dried cornbread crumbs (below)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
1. Rinse fillets, pat dry. Mix all dry ingredients together and place on a shallow dish or plate. Dip fillets in egg wash, then dredge in dry coating mixture.
2. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Spray one side of fillets with cooking spray, too.
3. Saute fillets on the sprayed side until golden. Spray second side and flip. Cook until fish is cooked through (3 to 5 minutes per side).
Yields: 4 servings.
Tarter Sauce
2/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise.
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish.
2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle.
1 tablespoon capers (rinsed and drained).
2 tablespoons minced shallot or green onion.
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
Freshly ground black pepper.
Mix all ingredients together. Chill and serve on the side with the fillets.

Homemade Breadcrumbs
Make a batch of cornbread, place in food processor and process until fine crumbs.
Let air dry for a day or two or toast in 300-degree oven until dry.
Store in an airtight container (or process a couple of store-bought corn muffins), dry (air or oven) and store in an airtight container. These will keep for several months.

Recipes copyright ©2000 Cut the Calories Cook-Off Contest.

Turkey or Chicken Bake

7 oz. (2 C.) elbow macaroni
1/3 C. butter
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1-3/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 T. minced garlic (in oil or water)
3-1/2 C. warm milk
2 10-oz. cans chicken gravy or 2 packets gravy mix- made
4 C. cooked turkey, cubed
1 15-oz. can early June peas
2 oz. diced pimento, drained
2 4-oz. cans mushrooms, drained
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 C. breadcrumbs
1/2 t. crushed parsley flakes

1. Cook macaroni in salted water (1 tablespoon salt per 2 quarts of water); drain.
2. In a 4-quart saucepan, melt 1/3 cup butter. Blend in flour, salt, pepper and garlic. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken gravy. Stir in turkey, peas, pimento, mushrooms and cooked macaroni.
3. Turn into a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, at 350° F. for 30 minutes.
4. Add bread crumbs to 1/4 cup melted butter and combine with whisk in small bowl; sprinkle over casserole. Crush parsley flakes in your fingers and sprinkle over top. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Lighter Chicken Pot Pie

Prep: 40 minutesTotal: 1 hour 10 minutes

2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (12 to 14 ounces each)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups low-fat (1%) milk
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 phyllo sheets (each 12 by 17 inches), thawed

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly; discard skin and bones. Shred meat, and set aside.
2. While chicken is roasting, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add carrots, onion, and thyme; season with salt and pepper, and cook until carrots are crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens.
3. Remove from heat; stir in peas, lemon juice, and chicken, and season with salt and pepper. Pour filling into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.
4. Stack phyllo on a work surface. Using a paring knife, cut out an 11-inch circle from the stack; discard trimmings. Stack 2 circles on work surface, and brush gently with 1 teaspoon oil; repeat with remaining circles and oil. Place phyllo stack over filling, and press down about 1/2 inch from the edge so phyllo fits inside rim of pie plate. Bake until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. 5. Let potpie cool 15 minutes before serving. Delicious!

Easy Sugarplum Treats

14-ounce bag of candy melts
Craft sticks
10-ounce package of marshmallows
Assorted sprinkles, sugars, nuts, flaked coconut, and candy decorations

1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Melt the candy coating according to the package directions.
3. Insert a craft stick into each marshmallow. Working one at a time, dip them into the melted candy coating, then into one of the decorations (for easy dipping, put the decorations in shallow bowls), and place them on the cookie sheet.
4. Once all the sugarplums are made, chill them in the freezer for 15 minutes. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If you like, wrap each treat in a cellophane candy bag (available at craft and party stores) tied with a ribbon, as shown.
Makes 3 dozen.

Delicious! Grandma's Simple Roast Chicken

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 1 hour
1 (4-5 lb) roasting chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 onion, trimmed and quartered
1 celery stalk, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 carrot, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400*
2. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken under cold water; pat dry. Trim fat from chicken.
3. Combine salt, pepper, and paprika. Sprinkle seasoning mixture over breast, drumsticks, and into the body cavity. Place onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and bay leaf in body cavity. Tie ends of legs together with cord. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken.
4. Place chicken, breast side up, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone.
5. Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until meat thermometer registers 180°. Cover chicken loosely with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin, vegetables, and bay leaf.
Yield 8 servings (serving size: 3 ounces of chicken)
From Complete Cooking Light Cookbook

Easy Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies

1 18-23-ounce Brownie Mix
1/2 cup Peanut Butter (creamy or chunky)

1. Prepare brownie mix batter according to package directions. Pour into a 9-inch baking pan.
2. Place peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds, or until melted. Stir, then drizzle peanut butter over brownie batter and swirl with a butter knife to marble.
3. Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
makes 16 servings

Healthy Mini Mushroom Meatloves

1 lb. Ground Turkey or Beef
2 4-oz cans Mushrooms (Stems and pieces, drained)
1 cup Rolled Oats
1 Egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup Chopped Onion
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Ground Pepper
1 tbs Wocestershire Sauce
2 tbs Ketchup
1/4 tsp Dried Thyme

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix together turkey (or beef), mushrooms, oats, egg, onion, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, ketchup and thyme.
3. Divide the mixture into 12 balls, or even easier, use an ice-cream scoop, and place in muffin tins.
4. Bake for 30 minutes
makes 6 servings