Irish Creme Brownies

I made up some brownies for a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon, thought I’d share the recipe. This recipe makes 16 brownies.

Irish Creme Brownies

Ingredients:

4 oz semisweet chocolate (I used one Ghiradelli baking bar)
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-3/4 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup Irish Creme (plus some for the glaze)
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar (for glaze)

Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray an 8″x8″ square baking dish with cooking oil spray.

In a medium or large bowl melt chocolate and butter (make-shift double boiler) over medium-high heat.

Once all melted, take off heat, stir in sugar and let it cool down a bit.

In a measuring cup or small bowl beat eggs senseless. Stir in Irish cream and beat again. In another measuring cup/bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

Once your chocolate mixture has cooled a bit add the egg/creme mixture and then beat in the flour mixture until well blended.

Pour batter into the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Cool then slice.

Place your brownies onto a serving dish and then mix 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with enough Irish cream to make a drizzle…take a spoon and drizzle away! Add green sprinkles.

New Recipe to try ~ Stuffed chicken rolls with mushrooms and onions

Ok…originally it was Stuffed VEAL, but I don’t eat veal so I switched to chicken. Pork would be great too! 🙂

The Sunday’s issue of the Reno Gazette Journal has an insert on What’s For Dinner Tonight? Last Sunday, March 4th, had a yummy looking recipe for Stuffed Veal Rolls with mushrooms and onions. But as I said above, I don’t eat veal so changed it to chicken and next time I’ll try pork chops.

First I’ll give the original recipe and then my substitutions.

Ingredients:

4 thin veal cutlets, about 2 ounces each
1 slice of bread, diced small
2 TBSP freshly grated Parmesan
2 TBSP chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, basil or oregano (optional)
1 tsp coarsely ground Italian seasoning
1/2 TBSP butter
1/2 Cup chopped red onion
1 Cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 TBSP olive oil

Place veal between sheets of waxed paper and pound to 1/8-inch thickness. Mix crumbled bread, Parmesan and herbs in a medium bowl. Sprinkle mixture on each cutlet, then roll and secure with toothpicks. Sprinkle with italian seasoning. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Move vegetables to the sides. Pour oil in skillet and let heat for about 30 seconds, cook veal rolls, turning often, about 12 minutes or until all sides are evenly browned and rolls register 145 degrees on a meat thermometer. Serves 4.

MY VERSION ~

I used 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts…cut filet style then SMASH SMASH SMASH with a hammer. 🙂 Boy that really feels good.
1 slice of whole wheat bread, crumbled
1/4-1/3 Cup shredded Italian cheese mix (had in frig so used it)
1 tsp EACH of dried oregano, thyme, and Italian flat-leaf parsley (dried from my garden)
1/2 Cup red onion and 1/2 Cup yellow onion
1-1/2 Cup of sliced mushrooms
1/4 Cup plain panko crumbs, plus some for sprinkling over the chicken rolls as they go into the skillet.

I smashed the chicken pieces and then peppered them. In a small bowl I mixed the whole wheat bread, dried herbs, cheese and 1/4 cup panko crumbs…then placed on chicken and rolled, secured.

The rest is the same…only I used 1 TBSP of butter with the veggies as I used more and 1 TBSP olive oil. I cooked the veggies a little longer as I like them caramelized. 🙂 The chicken didn’t take long to cook.

This comes together really fast! Enjoy with a salad or whatever else floats your boat!

Thanksgiving Quiche and Winter Squash Bisque Recipes

I’m in a group of twelve women, at work, that meet once a month for a potluck lunch. It was my turn as the ring-leader today. I did some searching online to find a few different items that I could make to add with a salad, rolls and dessert. I found a Thanksgiving Quiche from Hillbilly Housewife (is that a cool name or what?) that uses stuffing for the crust of the Quiche! It was a HUGE hit! Also great for all those leftovers from Thanksgiving.

I pretty much followed her recipe and used the following:

3 cups cornbread stuffing with one egg for crust
layered 1 cup of chopped cooked turkey breast
1.5 cups of shredded swiss, cheddar and Monterrey cheese
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup of sliced green onions
then mixed up 4 eggs with 1 cup of non-fat half and half

I wanted to make a soup/bisque to add with the Quiche. Couldn’t really find one that sounded “great” so I combined a few recipes with some ingredients I had on-hand. This recipe served 16 people with small bowls…so if you have nice size bowls at home, 8-10 people would be a good guess.

Winter Squash Bisque

1 Butternut squash, quartered and seeded
1 Acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 large Sweet Potato, halved and wrapped in foil
4 large carrots, chopped (leave skin on)

Place squash upside down in a roasting pan with water in it…throw in the potato and carrots too. Roast in a 425F oven for 45 minutes.

In a stock pot saute, in 1/4-1/2 cup of butter, the following:

2-3 green apples, peeled cored and chopped
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4-5 stocks celery, chopped
Fresh Ginger, shredded (I used one the size of my thumb…2″ long?)

Add scooped out squash meat, carrots and sweet potato. Cover with 6+ cups of either veggie or chicken stock. Bring to boil then simmer for 30 minutes.

I don’t have a large food processor nor an immersion blender…so the whole kit n’ kaboodle went into my blender, which took me a bit longer to smash everything together. Once I got it all smooth I added my spices:

1-2 teaspoons of Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon of Nutmeg
1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
LOTS of Fresh ground pepper

It all goes back into the pot to simmer until it’s time to eat. You can add more stock until it’s as thin or thick as you want it to be. This is pretty creamy without cream or milk…but you could add some Almond Milk if you’d like.

Pumpkin Cobbler Recipe

This is a great alternative to Pumpkin Pie…

PUMPKIN COBBLER

3 eggs, beaten
15-oz can pumpkin
12-oz can evaporated milk
1 C. sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1 pkg yellow cake mix
1-1/4 C butter, melted (I usually cut this down to one cup)
1 C chopped pecans (you can use whatever nuts you like)

Mix the first 9 ingredients together;

pour into an ungreased 13x9x2 baking pan. Sprinkle cake mix over the top; drizzle with butter. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.

Top with nuts and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Guard it and stab people with your fork while you eat it all yourself….OR…you can be nice and share it…like I am, with folks at work. 🙂

Monday Rambles ~ 29 June 2010

It’s been a very long week already… NOTE: (((Told you it was a long week…it’s Tuesday and I posted Monday Rambles!)))

We’re moving again. Out of Sun Valley back down to the Truckee River near the River Walk. Not a bad area to move to…just hate moving.

Had a furlough day yesterday…one of 12 for the year…as well, you know, the State of Nevada seems to think they can balance the budget by cutting the pay of state workers. What pisses me off is that while I, the administrative assistant, the one and only one running the department, has to take a day off with no pay…the faculty do not. The person who makes less than $40,000 a year takes a pay cut …but the guys who make $90,000-$232,000 do not. Great for the morale, folks!

Spent my furlough day at the dentist…I thought for just a cleaning, but ended up an all day thing with an appointment for July 1st to have a tooth pulled and set up for an implant. Which by the way, my LOVELY state insurance will not pay for. They’ll pay for a procedure to destroy two healthy teeth to set a bridge for the bad tooth…but won’t pay to have the bad tooth pulled and have an inplant therefore saving two healthy teeth. Hooorah!

While at the dentist I was flipping through Food & Wine magazine and came across this recipe. It looked great…sans the curry and the fact you had to heat your oven up to 425F. Not a curry fan. So I put my own twist on things.

This was how hot it was in my kitchen…and the rest of the house yesterday. So I cranked up the bbq outside. Recipe follows!

Michelle’s version of Cauliflower & Green Bean Salad with Lemon Yogurt:

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1/3’s (about 2″ long)
1 large red onion, sliced

toss with about 3 TBSP of olive oil, a few sprinkles of sea salt, and lots of fresh cracked pepper (I use the jar with 3 types of pepper corns that has the grinder on top).

Put foil onto your grill and toss the veggies on to the grill…bbq for about 20 minutes.

While that is bbq’ing…in a food processor I added 6 cloves of garlic (you can downsize if’en you want to…but why would you?!), about 2-3 glugs of olive oil, 3 shakes of balsamic vinegar (hmmm…maybe a teaspoon), some sea salt, lots of cracked pepper, about a cup of Greek yogurt ( I had Greek Gods Honey Yogurt in the frig), and probably 1/3-1/2 cup of cheese (I had a mix of Asiago, Parmesan, Romano)…mix it all together and put into the frig.

Next…take the veggies off the grill put into a large bowl and add half of the yogurt sauce…toss and put into the frig.

BBQ some chicken…get a loaf of Pugliese bread…your bbq veggies…bottle of red wine and enjoy!

Which by the way, I picked out this bottle of wine, pro*mis*Q*ous…it was on sale and it was red and I loved the name. 🙂 It’s a mix of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.

Tastes Like:
Ripe red and dark berry friut with hints of black pepper.

Yummy with:
Meat — grilled, roasted and pan-seared. Pizza. Any time you want a red that’s not ridiculously serious.

Quilts and Peanutbutter Chocolate Recipe!

I finished a group craft challenge…the colors this time around were cobalt blue, brown, avocado and yellow. It’s an ebay Crafter’s group…colors are chosen by the challenge leader and we can make anything we like with any medium.

I picked a modified Bento Box pattern and used from my stash: two yellows, one cobalt, two avocados (the skin and inside) and two browns. I didn’t have enough yellow to make an outer border, so that was bought…as was one yard of yellow flannel for the back. I decided to go with flannel as I’m donating this quilt to the Kids Kottage here in town. All 100% cotton as is the batting. It ended up being 28×44…I had to cut it down a bit because I was running out of the cobalt blue to bind it.

Now onto a WONDERFUL recipe I found in Raley’s Something Extra magazine….Chocolate Peanutbutter Bars. (not sure of the name nor what page it was on as my magazine is at work) Here is what I scribbled down as the recipe ~

Preheat oven to 350F.

Butter an 8×8 pan and crumble 6-7 graham crackers into the bottom of pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup of honey roasted nuts.

In a pan bring to boil 3/4 cup peanutbutter, 6 TBSP butter, and 2/3 cup honey. Cook for 1 minute after boil. Pour over crackers and nuts.

Put in oven for 10 minutes. Take out and pour 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanutbutter chips each over the top of the baked mixture. Let set for a few minutes and smooth out the melted chips.

Stick in frig to let the chocolate and peanutbutter set up. Cut and EAT!

Chocolate Cola Cake with Cola Frosting

I found this recipe in the February 2009 All You ~ a magazine I got in one of my niece’s fundraisers.

Chocolate Cola Cake with Cola Frosting

In a pan, combine 12 TBSP Unsalted Butter, 2 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa Powder and 2/3 Cup Coke Cola ~ cook over low heat and stir until butter is melted.

Whisk together 2 Cups Flour, 2 Cups Sugar, 1/2 tsp Baking Soda and 1/4 tsp of Salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk 2 Large Eggs at room temp, 1/2 Cup Buttermilk at room temp, and 1-1/2 tsp Vanilla.

Once chocolate mixture has melted, stir in flour mixture and then the egg mixture…whisk together.

Pour cake batter into a 9×13 greased and floured baking pan (I used the PAM Baking Spray). Bake in a 350F oven for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes clean.

For the Cola Frosting ~

Cook 4 TBSP Unsalted Butter, 2 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa and 6 TBSP of Coke Cola in a small pan until all ingredients are melted and well combined.

Sift 2 Cups Powdered Sugar into a medium bowl.

Whisk chocolate mixture into sugar and add 1 tsp vanilla.

Once cake is out of oven ~ poke holes all over top of the hot cake with a fork (just don’t go VooDoo on the cake like I did…most of the frosting ending up inside the cake!) and pour warm frosting over cake.

Let cool in pan on a wire rack.

EAT!

It’s a very tasty and moist cake!

Favorite Apple Recipes ~ It’s Fall Harvest Time!!!

So…how many of your favorite recipes look like this? 😀 Below is my favorite apple pie recipe…

I LOVE this pie…most excellent. It’s from Knudsen’s Cooking for Compliments, 1977. (They have an awesome cream puff recipe too…I’ll share that one later!)

French Apple Pie ~ This is apple pie with the a la mode built in!
1 egg
1 cup sour cream, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
2 TBSP flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
Dash of salt
2-1/4 cups chopped, peeled apples
1/4 tsp grated lemon peel
1 unbaked pie crust (use your favorite recipe or store bought…shudder)

Crumb Topping
1/4 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
Cut butter into sugar, flour and cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 450F (232C). Beat egg in large bowl, blend in sour cream, sugar, flour, vanilla and salt. Fold in apples and lemon peel. Pour into pie crust and bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350F (177C) and bake 30 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown. While pie is baking, prepare crumb topping. Sprinkle over the pie and bake 15 minutes more. Serve warm or cool.

The next two recipes are from Granny’s Apple Recipes ~ Parrish Pioneer Ranch, Oak Glen, CA. ~~~

Nadine’s Favorite Family Recipe…Nothing could be more beautiful than apple blossom time in Oak Glen or the fall when apple season is in full swing. The aroma of fresh apples amidst the beautiful wooded mountain scenery really helps a person unwind and recharge his soul.

Among my most cherished memories as a child and as an adult were my mother’s apple sauce cakes. They always made Christmas extra special and the aroma for weeks before, gave everyone the holiday spirit. Mom always made heart shaped or little loaves for her grandchildren and Christmas morning they were the most prized gifts under the tree.

Below is mom’s recipe that we would like to share with you,
Nadine Lowrey

Evelyn Hanson’s Apple Sauce Cake ~ this will make 2 cakes using loaf pans.

2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg, heaping
2 tsp cinnamon, heaping
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 tsp soda dissolved in
2 cups of hot apple sauce diluted in
1-1/2 cups of hot water
2 cups ground nuts (pecans are the best!…my insert!)

Cream shortening, add sugar, stir in apple sauce with soda dissolved in it. Sift flour, salt and spices together about 3 times. Add to apple sauce mixture. Add the nuts. Pour into greased floured loaf pans and bake in a moderate oven, 325F-350F for 1 hour.

Glaze:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk

Combine in a sauce pan, stir until it comes to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes exactly without stirring. Remove from heat, add flavoring (I’ve used vanilla, almond, lemon, and orange flavoring and I think I like the vanilla and the lemon the best) and 1 TBSP butter, beat together well. Pour over cake to glaze.

This is really good with pork chops or a pork roast ~

Spicy Apples and Red Cabbage

2 yellow onions, minced
1/4 cup butter
1 cup seedless raisins
3-1/2 to 4 lbs. red cabbage, cored and shredded
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 tsp mixed pickling spice
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 TBSP sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Saute onion in butter in large kettle until lightly browned, add raisins, cabbage and apple. Tie pickling spice in a wet piece of cheesecloth. Add to cabbage mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for about 45 minutes. Mix sugar and vinegar; stir into cabbage. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove spice bag.

The next recipe is from my favorite cookbook ~ Cooking from the Quilt Country.

German Apple Pancakes ~ German Apple Pancakes are sometimes called puff pancakes and can be made without the apples. Either way, this is an unbeatable breakfast or luncheon dish and great for company.

2 large cooking apples such as yellow delicious or granny smith
1/4 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
Confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 475F. Peel, core, and very thinly slice the apples; you should have approximately 1-1/2 cups. Melt 2 TBSP of the butter over medium low heat in a small fry pan, and sauté the apples until they are just tender, about 3 minutes. Keep warm while preparing the batter. Place a 9″ or 10″ cast-iron skillet or very heavy ovenproof pan in the oven to heat for at least 5 minutes – the pan has to be VERY hot for this recipe to really work properly. When it is well heated, add the remaining 2 TBSP of butter to melt and put skillet back in oven; the butter should be very hot but not brown when you add the apples and the batter.

While the skillet is heating, place the flour, milk, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg in a blender, and whiz until smooth. Remove the skillet from oven, quickly arrange the warm sautéed apple slices over the melted butter, and pour the batter evenly over all. Bake for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 375F, and bake 10 minutes longer. The pancake will puff and climb up the sides of the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, then cut in wedges and serve with maple syrup and crisp bacon.

NOTE: if you do NOT use apples, add 1/4 cup of butter to the hot skillet.

Broccoli Salad Recipe

This is my favorite broccoli salad…it’s great year-round, but since it’s warming up again, I thought I’d share it.

2 bunches broccoli (~2-1/4 pounds)
10 thin slices of bacon
1 large red onion
2 carrots
1/3 cup raisins (or currants)
1 cup mayonnaise (I used reduced fat)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds (I use raw pumpkin seeds that I sprayed olive oil on and stuck them under the broiler in the oven to toast)

Cut broccoli flowerets into smaller bite-size pieces. Cut off the tough outer layer of the stalks and chop up the tender part into bite size pieces. You need about 8 cups of broccoli. Shred carrots. Slice onions into julienne strips. Cook bacon until crisp and then crumble.

Place all in a large bowl, add raisins.

In a small bowl whisk together mayo, sugar, vinegar and pepper. Combine dressing with veggies and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving, mixing once during this time. Top with seeds.

Vegetable Garden Pictures and some Recipes

The green onions and carrots have FINALLY popped their wee green heads out of the soil…peas are growing too.  Below are shots of the green onions, carrots, pumpkins, squash, peas, corn and black beans. 

Yes, I know…it’s like a parent showing off their kiddos, but I’m so excited everything is growing. Had to bundle up the tomatoes the last few nights as we went from 96 degree weather to 61 degrees in two days…night time is getting nippy again. I added some redwood mulch around the squash and pumpkins to keep them toasty too…I’ll wait until sometime in June to remove it.

Worked on two hammered copper wire Ichthys last night, one for my husband and one for his dad. First photo shows both ~ second one shows the “antiqued” look using liver of sulphur and hot water.

No onto some very good recipes!

Strawberry & Spinach Salad

1 box of strawberries, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 ripe avocados, chunked
2 bundles of spinach
3-4 green onions

Dressing:
1/4 c. sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Worcestershire
1/4 c. white balsamic vinegar
1/4-1/3 c. olive oil
1-2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

I like adding feta cheese into this salad. And it goes GREAT with grilled chicken and some good bread.

This is one of my favorite muffin recipes…I’ve adapted it to whole wheat flour. You need a little more milk than the original recipe and I’ve added bananas. I also like to add currants if I have them on hand. You can add lots of different fruit!

Flaxseed Morning Muffins

1 c. Fiber One cereal
1 c. vanilla soy milk
1-1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. gound flaxseed or flaxseed meal
1 large chopped apple
1/4 c. brown sugar & 1/4 c. honey
or (1/2 c. brown sugar only)
3/4 c. shredded carrot
3 tsp baking powder
1 over riped banana, smashed
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c fat-free egg product
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 375. Place paper baking cups in tins and spray bottoms of cups with baking spray. (muffins will stick to paper cups if not sprayed).

Crush cereal, place in bowl and add milk. Let soak for about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Scoop batter into muffin cups.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick comes clean. Cool on rack. Good warm and cold, but especially warm. 🙂

I made some muffins when I got home and took pics ~ here they are. I didn’t have carrots, but did have a zucchini, so I shredded it and used it. Oh…and Pink Lady apples are VERY GOOD in the muffins!

Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp sea or kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. canola oil
2/3 cup water

Sift dry ingredients, stir in oil and water ~ I mix with my hands. Knead well on floured surface and make into balls about the size of a golf ball. Put into plastic ziplock and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes.

Flatten balls and start rolling out on floured surface. You can make them as fat or thin as you want! Place tortilla on ungreased frying pan that has been heated to medium high heat. Flip ’em. (about 2 minutes and another minute on the other side) I like them with lots of brown spots so I keep flipping them until they look purrrty.

While cooking the rest of them, I slap some butter on the first one and eat it all up! 😀 I put the others on a dish towel until cooled and then put them in a ziplock bag until ready to use. They last under a week in my frig as I make breakfast burritos and tacos all the time.