Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tex-Mex Quiche

One of my sister's traditions is to have a neighborhood breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. It's always a treat when we're in town visiting and able to go. Here's her "new" recipe for this year. It was delicious!

Tex-Mex Quiche

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, well drained
1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Sprinkle chili powder over the inside of the pie shell. Combine cheeses with flour and place in pie shell. Combine eggs, cream, chilies, olives, salt and pepper. Pour over cheese. Bake at 325° for 45-55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

M&M Bar Cookies

This looks like the other recipe my sister was going to make. It looks pretty yummy!

M&M Oat Bar Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen small bars

2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (could use half whole-wheat)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups candy-coated chocolate pieces (M&M’s), divided
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Combine oats, flour, pecans, brown sugar, salt and baking soda, stirring well. Add butter and beat at low speed with an electric mixer until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture; press remaining crumb mixture into a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan. (Mixture will be thin in pan.) Bake for 10 minutes at 375°. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Place 1 cup chocolate pieces in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high 1 to 2 minutes, stirring after 30 seconds. Press chocolate pieces with back of spoon to mash them. (The candies will almost be melted with pieces of color coating still visible.) Stir in condensed milk. Spread mixture evenly over crust in pan, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Combine reserved 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture and remaining chocolate pieces; sprinkle evenly over chocolate mixture and press lightly. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden; cool and cut into bars.

Pistachio No Bake Cookies

My sister said she was going to make these cookies for her cookie exchange. We left town before we could try the ones she made, so I decided to make our own, and take them to my cookie exchange. Since mine was supposed to be helping us use our food storage, these were the perfect cookie.
Pistachio No-Bake Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
6 oz (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
1 package (4 serving size) instant pistachio pudding
3 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

In large saucepan, combine sugar, butter and evaporated milk. Bring mixture to rolling boil. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add pudding mix and oats; mix thoroughly. Cool 15 minutes; drop from teaspoon onto waxed paper lined tray.

The cookies didn't look "fancy" enough as dollops, so we tried a few variations. This first one probably should have had some melted white chocolate or frosting drizzled on it, but there wasn't timeDo you think the cookies could have been turned into wreaths?I think I liked the nut in the center best. If I'd had pistachio nuts hanging around, that would have been perfect.
Give them a try. They're perfect for when your oven's not available.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Loaf

This recipe came from cousin Aislynn's pre-school cook book. She's graduating from high school this year, so we've been able to enjoy for a long time!



Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Loaf

2 cups flour (can use part whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup nuts, chopped and/or 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. Blend eggs, pumpkin, sugar, milk and butter. Add dry ingredients and nuts/chocolate. Mix until just moistened. Pour into greased 9x5" pan. Bake at 350° for 60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.


Note: I usually double this and bake in 6 mini loaf pans for 35-40 minutes. 1 1/2 times into 5 mini loaves works great as well.

Another note: Tried with 2/3 cup sugar and didn't notice any problems.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Eggplant, Zucchini & Red Pepper Stew

We received several eggplants in the co-op basket this week and so I went searching to find some new recipes to try. This one was a success. In fact, Child #5 didn't even realize there was eggplant in it and pronounced it as tasting good. We're trying it again without rice (which several seemed to think wasn't necessary) and we'll see if now that he knows there's eggplant in it it's still good. We also added some leftover chicken fajita filling to the leftover stew and that was delicious! Give it a try some time :)Eggplant, Zucchini & Red Pepper Stew

1 eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup Basmati rice
1 zucchini, cut into large chunks
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
3 fresh tomatoes, diced
1 cup Marsala wine
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped

Place eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 30-40 minutes, then rinse and pat dry. Sauté in olive oil until slightly browned. Stir in onion and garlic and sauté until transparent. Stir in rice, zucchini, red bell pepper, tomatoes, wine, water, salt and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture reaches a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and stir in basil, parsley and rosemary. (Oh, and we used canned tomatoes and dried herbs this time around.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pie Crusts

The other day I experimented and tried Pioneer Woman's "perfect" pie crust; I didn't notice that it was any better than my normal recipe. (But be sure and click here to find her recipe and the beautiful tutorial pictures!) I've used her trick of freezing pie dough for later use for a long time. Anytime I can cut shortening into flour once and benefit from it several times is a good thing to me. Anyway, here's the recipe I use - tried and true from Betty Crocker.

Pastry for a Two-Crust Pie

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
up to 1/3 cup cold water

Combine flour and salt and cut in shortening. Sprinkle in cold water and stir gently until it forms a ball. Divide in half and roll out on floured surface to use in pie recipes.

Note: I usually double (or triple) this. What I don't use immediately, I wrap (in one crust portions) in wax paper and then put in a freezer bag and freeze for later use. It doesn't take long to thaw.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Inside Out Ravioli

Inside Out Ravioli

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
1 can (4 oz) mushrooms, drained (reserving liquid)
1 can (16 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1-2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound macaroni, cooked and drained
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten

Brown beef with onions and garlic; drain. (Or use 2 cups of Wheat/Meat.) Cook spinach and drain, reserving liquid. Combine spinach and mushroom liquids and add water to equal 1 cup. Stir this into the meat mixture with the tomato sauce, paste, and seasonings. Combine drained spinach, cooked macaroni, cheese and eggs. Spread into greased 9x13" pan. Top with meat sauce. (Can freeze at this point.) Bake for 30 minutes at 350°.This recipe is nothing fancy, but it's filling and good and it makes a lot.

Empanadas Times Two

The other day at Relief Society we had a cooking class with ideas on how to use the shortening/oil in your food storage. The main idea was to share pie recipes, but we also had a demonstration on how to make empanadas. Thanks Jennifer!
Empanadas

½ lb ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tsp cumin
½ C milk
½ C shortening
4 C flour
½ tsp salt
green olives
hard-boiled egg
raisins

Brown ground beef. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is tender. Add cumin. Cool. Warm milk with shortening. When melted put in mixer and add flour a little at a time. Mix until dough pulls away from sides (3-5 min). Separate dough into roll sized balls. Keep covered with damp cloth. Roll each ball into 6-7 inch circle. [Jennifer rolled out a large ball of dough and then cut out the circles with a bowl.) Put 2-3 Tbsp filling on one half. Top with 1 olive, slice of hard-boiled egg and 4-5 raisins. Seal with water press firmly to form a rolled border. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash and bake 20-25 minutes at 375° until golden brown. These tasted great, and I was thrilled to finally get this recipe, because Wayne's been raving about empanadas ever since we got married, and I have yet to find something that meets his expectations. (Although I'll admit I never tried really hard to do so.) When we were in Argentina, I even tried empanadas several times but didn't really like them, so figured they were an acquired taste. However, one afternoon when I was out and about, Brad decided to make us some. I got home in time to take a few pictures of the assembly process:
Roll the dough into a ball and pinch off a walnut-sized piece. Stretch and flatten that into a thin circle.Fill it with a spoonful of filling. (His contained ground beef, onions, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and salt. I don't know if there were additional spices. He also added a teaspoon of grated cheese to each empanada.)
Fold the dough around the filling, pinch it tightly shut, and then fold over the edges to make it look pretty.
Fry them in about a 1/2" of hot oil for just a minute on each side, drain on paper towels, and serve warm. Brad said they eat them with ketchup in Resistencia; we opted for salsa. And I decided the "magic" ingredient was frying them, even if baking is better for you. These were delicious!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pumpkin Pureé

Trying to learn from my mistakes (learn all about the Great Pumpkin Mess here), I was determined to take care of our Halloween pumpkin before Thanksgiving this year. And for those of my children who have never paid attention to how it's done, here you go: Using a sharp knife (and watching out so you can keep all your fingers intact), slice the pumpkin in half.Scoop out all the seeds and stray strings, or "guckers" as they're called in our house.
This handy carving scoop works particularly well for this task. And you can save the seeds for roasting if you want, but you'll have to ask someone else for directions. Once again I over-cooked them, so I'm obviously not the person to ask.
Place the two halves upside down on a cookie sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes at 350° (or until they're quite soft).
Scrape the pulp off the skin and process (using a food processor or blender) until it's smooth. Then put the pureé into smaller containers and freeze. Thaw and use just like you would canned pumpkin. Don't be surprised that it's more liquid and a lighter color compared to Libby; it still tastes great in pumpkin bread and cookies.

Butternut Squash Bisque

We had butternut squash in our last co-op basket, and a friend sent this recipe so we'd have an idea of how to cook it. It was so good, we've had it twice this week. Give it a try! Regina's Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash, cut up
1 medium to large white onion
3-4 cloves garlic
1 large peeled carrot
4 ounces cream cheese
approx. 1-3 cups chicken broth
approx. 1 cup half-n-half
1-2 teaspoons salt
fresh ground pepper

Boil vegetables together until soft, about 30-40 minutes, and drain. Pureé cooked vegetables together in blender with cream cheese. Slowly add chicken stock until it's the consistency you like. Add the half-n-half and season to taste.

Note: The first time I did this, I cut and peeled the butternut squash before cooking it. That was hard work. Tara suggests boiling it witht he skin on and then peeling it before putting it in the blender. However, the second time I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds, placed it upside-down on a cookie sheet and baked it until it was soft. Then I peeled it. I cooked the carrots and onions in the chicken broth and then combined everything together to pureé it. I also used cream instead of half-n-half, because that's what we had in the refrigerator. If we'd had neither, I would have used some milk and I'm sure it would have tasted fine.

Southwestern Chicken Pie

Southwestern Chicken
(from BHG's New Dieter's Cook Book)

1 cup cubed cooked chicken or turkey
1 (8 oz) can corn, drained
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chili peppers, drained
2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup skim milk
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup greated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt

Combine chicken, corn and chili peppers. Spread in a lightly greased 9" pie plate.
Combine eggs and milk. Beat in flour, salt and pepper. Pour over chicken mixture. Bake, uncovered, in a 400° for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 2-3 more minutes.
Serve with salsa and yogurt (or sour cream). Serves 4-6.

Chocolate Bread Pudding

It's not meatloaf, beef stew, barbecued ribs, or any other type of meat. David's guess of apple crisp was the closest. It's Chocolate Bread Pudding! And although it doesn't necessarily look very appetizing, it actually tastes okay. Think hot chocolate with unflavored croutons :) Chocolate Bread Pudding

2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups hot milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups diced stale or day-old bread

Melt the chocolate over hot water. Add the sugar and salt and stir until smooth. Slowly stir in and thoroughly blend about 1 cup of the milk. Beat the eggs slightly. Stir the remaining milk into the eggs. Combine the two mixtures. Put the bread in a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Pour the milk mixture over the bread and let stand about 5 minutes. Set the casserol in a baking pan. Pour in hot water to a depth of about 2 inches. Bake the pudding at 350° for about an hour, or until a silver knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pudding from the pan of water. Serve the pudding warm or cold, plain or with cream.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Which is Which?

I thought I could keep these two pies straight, but I didn't do this soon enough and now I don't know which is which! Both of them were very good, and really similar to one I tried myself a few weeks ago. They're both basically chocolate-pecan pies, although one is made with evaporated milk and the other with corn syrup. If anyone wants to identify which picture goes with which recipe, I'd appreciate the help!

Derby Pie
from Janette
1 unbaked pie shell
6 ounces chocolate chips
3/4 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sprinkle chocolate chips in bottom of pie shell and set aside. Heat milk and butter over low heat. Combine eggs, sugar, flour and salt and slowly stir into hot milk mixture. Cool. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes, or until firm.
Rich Chocolate Pecan Pie
from Lissette, via Emeril Lagasse

1 1/2 cups pecans
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 unbaked 9" pie shell
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spread the pecan pieces and the chocolate chips evenly on the bottom of the pie shell. In a mixing bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together. pour the filling over the pecans. Bake until the filling sets, 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Cut into individual servings and serve with a drizzle of Caramel Sauce (recipe below) and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.
Caramel Sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
2-4 tablespoons whole milk
Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium heavy saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. let boil without stirring until the mixture becomes a deep amber color, 2-3 minutes, watching closely so it doesn't burn. Add the cream (be careful; it will bubble up), whisk to combine, and remove from heat. Add 2 tablespoons of milk, then add up to 2 more tablespoons, until the desired consistency is reached. Let cool until just warm before serving. (The sauce will thicken as it cools.)

White Chocolate Pie

I don't particularly care for white chocolate; I prefer milk chocolate. However, I had to give every pie a chance, and this was actually very good. So, if I must have white chocolate, this is the way I want it.1-2-3 White Chocolate Pie
from Missy


4 oz. white chocolate (preferably imported), finely chopped
1/2 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 banana, thinly sliced (Missy left this out)
One 9" graham-cracker crust (and she used an Oreo crust)

Warm the chocolate in a bowl set over a pot of lightly simmering water. Remove from heat when only partially melted; stir to melt completely. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the chocolate, then the sour cream. Whip the heavy cream until firm; gently fold into chocolate filling. Put the banana slices on the crust, top with the filling, and chill at least 2 hours. If you’d like, sprinkle with grated dark chocolate before serving. Serves 8.

Per serving: 350 calories, 34g carbs, 5g protein, 40mg cholesterol, and 21g fat.

Chicken Pot Pie

Everyone else thought "dessert" when they heard the word pie, but someone was smart and brought something that wasn't sweet at all. It was still very, very good!
Chicken Pot Pie
from Tara

2 Cans Cream of Potato Soup
1 Can Veg-All (16 oz)
2 Cups Cooked Chicken
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Pepper

Mix all ingredients together and put in an unbaked DEEP DISH pie shell. Top with a 2nd pie crust and make air slots. Bake at 375° for about 45 min.

Variation: You can use leftover homemade potato soup and add your own veggies to the pot pie as well.

Creamy Lemon Pie

Allison wanted to try some new recipes before Thanksgiving. This one was delicious and guilt-free as well.Creamy Lemon Pie
(from Allison)

6 whole reduced fat cinnamon graham crackers
2 tbsp butter (I used reduced fat butter)
11 oz fat free sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350°. Grind graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Or place crackers in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Place crumbs in small bowl. Melt butter on stove top or in microwave and pour over graham cracker crumbs, mixing with a fork until completely moistened. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom of a 9 inch pie pan; place crust in refrigerator while preparing lemon filling. In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk and eggs; mix until smooth. Add lemon juice and zest; stir until incorporated and pour into prepared crust. Bake pie for 15 minutes. Cool completely and for best flavor, serve chilled.

Serves 10 - 3 points each (Weight Watchers)

Ginger Pumpkin Pie

This doesn't look low-calorie, does it? But it is, so you don't have to feel guilty about giving it a try!
Ginger Spiced Pumpkin Pie
from Allison

1 large egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 table salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
15 oz canned pumpkin
3/4 cup fat free evaporated milk
6 oz pie crust, 9 inch, unbaked

Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, lightly beat egg. Stir in sugar, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger and nutmeg. Add pumpkin and evaporated milk. Stir until well combined. Pour into pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool 1 hour before serving.

Serves 12 - 2 points each (in Weight Watchers)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Butter Tarts

Butter Tarts
from Peggy
Pastry:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
7/8 cup shortening
1 Tbsp milk
1 egg, beaten

Filling:
4 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup melted margarine
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1/2 cup coconut

For pastry: Mix dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until blended. Add milk and egg. Form into balls and press into small muffin tins to line sides and bottom.

For filling: Beat eggs, add sugar and vanilla. Pour margarine over. Add other ingredients. Mix well. Put 1 Tbsp in each tart shell.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.