Monday, June 8, 2015

Aunt Ruby's Baked Beans

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. bacon, chopped up
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 tsp salt
4 TBSP mustard
4 TBSP molasses
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp pepper

2 16 oz. cans red kidney beans
2 16 oz. cans pork and beans
2 16 oz. cans of butter or Lima beans

Instructions:

Brown beef, bacon and onion. Drain. Combine rest of ingredients and add to the drained beef mixture.
Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Comments:  The thing I love about hand written recipes is that they are often written in the hand of the person who gave them to you, or there is a little tag line on the recipe card that says who it's from. Typed Internet recipes just don't have that personal touch.

This recipe is from our beloved Aunt Ruby, who is no longer with us. I always think of her when I make them. She was a great cook!

Note: I usually don't add the meat, but that is how I originally had them and it sure makes them delicious.


Friday, June 20, 2014

No-Bake Cookies

2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
Waxed paper

 Directions

In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 3 minutes then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal.

On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, until cooled and hardened.

Recipe from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/chocolate-peanut-butter-no-bake-cookies-recipe.html#sni-reviews?oc=linkback

Comments: I forgot how good these are.  I was desperate for chocolate and realized I had all of the ingredients to make these and boy did they hit the spot. I made half a batch and it  produced 15 good sized cookies.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tyler's Homemade Brownies

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup) or coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 8 pieces
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Bake in an 8 X 8 pan, greased and floured or lined with aluminum foil.

Combine the chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.)

Combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a rubber spatula until just evenly incorporated.

Add the chocolate mixture and stir until evenly combined.

Add the flour and fold in until just incorporated, about 20 strokes (no white streaks should remain).

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, push it to the edges in an even layer, and smooth the top.

Bake until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let the brownies cool for at least 20 minutes.

Recipe from:http://www.chow.com/recipes/30376-easy-brownies

Comments: My son makes these brownines and they are the best home-made brownies I have ever had.We usually double the recipe  as this only makes an 8X8 pan.

Farmers Market Pasta Salad

2 cups halved baby heirloom tomatoes
2 small zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons
1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips $
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup diced firm, ripe fresh peaches (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Parmesan Vinaigrette
1 (8-oz.) package penne pasta*
2 cups shredded smoked chicken (about 10 oz.)
1/3 cup torn fresh basil
1/3 cup torn fresh cilantro

Preparation
1. Toss together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, and let stand 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Add hot cooked pasta and chicken to tomato mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter, and top with basil and cilantro.

*1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini may be substituted.

Recipe from: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/farmers-market-pasta-salad-50400000128248/

Parmesan Vinaigrette

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation:

Process Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, pepper, and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add basil and cilantro; pulse 5 or 6 times or just until blended.

Comments:  This is a beautiful pasta salad and delicious!  I don't use cilantro because of personal preference, but I'm sure it would be delicious.  I have not made it with the chicken, but this too would be a delicious addition.  This is a great family reunion, picnic or potluck salad as it has no mayonaise in it.  I ended up using a whole box of pasta and the balance was fine.

Parmesan Vinaigrette

Parmesan Vinaigrette

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation:

Process Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, pepper, and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add basil and cilantro; pulse 5 or 6 times or just until blended.

Recipe from myrecipes.com

Comments:  I make this vinaigrette (without the cilantro at my house because the men don't like it) for a pasta salad, but I posted it separate because it is so good and I might like to use it on something else someday.

Twiced baked baby potatoes

24 baby Yukon Gold or red potatoes, each about 2 inches across (2 to 2-1/4 lb.)
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
 3 oz. bacon (about 3 thick slices), cooked until crispy and crumbled
 6 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

 Heat the oven to 425°F. Put the potatoes on a large baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of the thyme, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and toss again. Bake the potatoes until they feel perfectly tender when pierced with a skewer, 20 to 25 minutes. ( It took my potatoes 45 to 50 minutes to be fork tender.)

Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. You need to mash the potatoes while they are warm or they will be lumpy or turn into glue.  If you step away too long and they get cold, gently reheat the pulp of the potato in water on the stove-top, do not boil and then mash.

 If not working ahead, increase the oven temperature to 450°F.

Carefully hollow out each potato: Begin by slicing off the top; use a small spoon or a melon baller to scoop out most of the flesh inside, transferring it to a large bowl. Discard the tops. Mash the potato flesh with a masher or a fork, then combine it with the bacon, 1/4 cup of the chives, the crème fraîche, the remaining 1 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Using a small spoon and your fingers, fill the hollowed potatoes with this mixture; it should mound a bit. Sprinkle on the cheese.

Return the potatoes to the 450°F oven and bake until the filling heats through, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and serve warm.

 Make Ahead Tips You can stuff the potatoes up to two days ahead as long as you wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate them; bring them to room temperature before the second baking.

 Recipe from: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/tiny-twice-baked-potatoes.aspx

Comments: I made 50 of these for my daughters high-school graduation party and by the time dinner was over there were only 5 left!  Needless to say, they are fun to look at and delicious to eat.  And really not that hard to make. I made them the night before.  The melon ball scoop is a must as the skin on a Yukon potato or red potato is fragile.  I let my potatoes get cold and had to reheat them.  I wasn't sure how this would work out, but it worked out fine.  If you love bacon, it could use a little more.  Rolling the potatoes in the kosher salt , pepper, thyme and oil made them extra delicious so don't skip this step.

Pineapple-Basil Cocktail

Recipe from Southern Living

Ingredients:
Ice
1 cup Pineapple-Basil Simple Syrup
3/4 cup gin
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 (12-oz.) bottle club soda, chilled

Preparation:

Fill a 2-qt. pitcher with ice. Stir in Pineapple-Basil Simple Syrup, gin, and lemon juice. Add chilled club soda just before serving.

Pineapple-Basil Simple Syrup

2 cups sugar
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup water
1 cup firmly packed basil leaves

Preparation:

Bring sugar, pineapple juice, and water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring just until sugar dissolves. Boil 2 minutes. (Do not stir.) Remove from heat. Add basil leaves, and steep 10 minutes. Press through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, using back of a spoon to squeeze out liquid; discard solids. Cool completely (about 20 minutes). Transfer to a jar; cover and refrigerate up to 3 months.

Comments: I always have more basil than I know what to do with in my herb garden, so I thought I'd try this cocktail one weekend and boy was it delicious.  It offers an interesting flavor, is light and refreshing and taste like summer!