Friday, May 21, 2010

Easy Banana Bread

I've never been able to determine if the fact that this recipe has no butter or shortening was intentional or just a typographical error, but it works, so I keep making it. (The original recipe was submitted to the Hollister Relief Society Cookbook by Zola Tayler.) Easy Banana Bread

3 ripe bananas
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Crush bananas; add eggs and beat until light. Then add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Pour into 3 mini loaf pans (or one large one).
Bake at 325° for 35 minutes (or one hour for the large size).
Remove from pans to cool.
Slice and serve.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Clam Wontons

I copied this recipe from someplace (sorry I have no clue where) about 3 years ago, and we decided it was "very good." Since I bought more wonton wrappers than what I needed for the mini quiches, it was time to try this recipe again.
Clam Wontons

12 oz cream cheese
2 cans clams, drained
1/4 cup green onions
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
3 drops sesame oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
14 oz wonton skins

Combine everything but the wonton skins for the filling. Place 1 teaspoon on each wonton. Fold in half and seal. Bake for 12 minutes at 425°. Serve with Sweet and Sour Sauce for dipping.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Classic Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise Sauce

Stir 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice vigorously and set aside.

Cut 1/2 cup of cold, salted butter into 8-12 chunks.
Add water to the bottom of a double boiler (don't let it touch the top pan) and bring to a slight simmer. Add a couple chunks of butter to the top of the double boiler and let it melt.
Stir in the egg mixture and blend well with a whisk.
Continue to stir and slowly add the rest of the butter chunks.
Be sure butter melts slowly; this gives eggs time to cook and thicken sauce without curdling.
Sprinkle with a dash of paprika or cayenne pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.
from Better Crocker's Cookbook

Note: if you don't have a double boiler, you can try this on direct - but extremely low - heat.

Another note: Using frozen egg yolks does NOT work!

Dutch Oven Chicken

I think everything that Wayne cooks from his Dutch Oven Cookbook is a success. This one was no different. It was a little time consuming - and very high calorie! - but definitely delicious. Dutch Oven Chicken/Sausage Casserole

4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 pound pork sausage
1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons beef bouillon
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste

On top of the stove, brown the sausage lightly with the carrots, celery and onions. Then remove the excess grease. Add the chicken breasts and brown briefly. Turn off the heat. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and bake in the oven at 250° for 2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked and tender. To serve, place a chicken breast on a serving of rice and pour the sausage "gravy" over it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pineapple Punch

Here's our standard party punch - something that matches whatever color your theme is and doesn't stain the carpet red, yet still tastes delicious. It's also very forgiving - you don't have to measure anything if you don't want. Pineapple Punch

1 can (46 oz.) pineapple juice
2 quarts lemonade (koolaid mix works just fine)
2 2-liter bottles of Sprite or 7-Up
1 carton pineapple sherbet

Mix everything together. As the punch bowl empties, alternate adding just one or two of the ingredients at a time.

Wayne's Chicken Bites

Wayne wanted chicken wings served at the open house; I didn't want to deal with the mess of bones. So, we tried making his Special Dutch Oven Chicken Wings using chunks of boneless chicken breast. They were just as delicious.
Start by dredging the chicken chunks in flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
Then brown them in a little vegetable oil.This step did take some time, but not too much. Cover them with the "special sauce" (see below) and either simmer on the stove until cooked through or bake in the oven - we tried about 45 minutes at 350° and that worked perfectly.
Special Sauce
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce

Combine all the ingredients. Isn't that simple?
And the leftovers are just as delicious, especially served over rice.

They made the perfect Mother's Day dinner.

Party Kielbasa

When we were coming up with the wedding open house menu, Michelle said "Make those yummy things you made at Jeff's graduation open house." After some more questions, we figured out she was talking about these yummy treats.Start by cutting 3# of kielbasa into 1/2" slices. This time I decided that it made them taste even better and didn't take that much time to brown them first. Place in a crock pot and add 1/2 cup brown sugar, one can (20 oz.) pineapple (crushed or chunks - but drain first unless you want a lot of sauce) and one jar (12 oz.) chile sauce.
Stir in all together and cook on low for several hours. You could also bake in the oven, about one hour at 325°.
Serve with toothpicks.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mini Quiches

I tore this recipe out of a grocery store ad ten years ago. Here's the introduction to the recipe:

"Hey kids, Mother's Day is Sunday, and here's a tasty breakfast dish you can make for Mom with little or no adult supervision. These pretty flower-shaped quiches are sure to be a hit. In fact, you may want to double the recipe!"

So, although my kids didn't see the ad and decide to make them for me, I did make them for the family, and they turned out to be delicious. I thought they would be the perfect thing to serve at our "finger foods only" open house.

Mini Brunch Quiches

12 wonton wrappers
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons cooked and crumbled bacon
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 eggs
1/3 cup half & half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°. Spray a 12-cup mini muffin pan with nonstick spray. Press a wrap into each space. (I bought egg roll wrappers and used my pizza cutter to slice each one into four smaller squares.) Fill wraps evenly with cheese, bacon and green onions. In a small bowl, beat together eggs, half & half, salt and pepper. Pour over cheese mixture. Cover loosely with a sheet of foil to prevent overbrowning. (This is a necessary step.) Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 12, which serves about 4.

Mom's Fruit Dip

Mom's Fruit Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
7 oz. marshmallow creme
1/3 cup orange juice concentrate (1/2 of a 6 oz. can)
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Serve with fresh fruit.Yummy!!!

Mini Cheese Balls

Mini Cheese Balls

8 oz. cream cheese
2 cups grated Mozarella cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (or 1/4 cup bacon bits)
1 tablespoon dried onion
1 tablespoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, ground finely
Combine everything except walnuts. Form small balls, using 1 teaspoon mixture. Roll in walnuts. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Makes about 50.

Caramel Ice Cream Sauce

Caramel Ice Cream Sauce

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup cream or evaporated milk

Melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil. Add the cream and return to a boil. Cool. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

In addition to serving over ice cream, it makes a yummy dipping sauce for brownie bites and miniature cream puffs. So does Hot Fudge!