Friday, June 29, 2012

SIMPLE HOMEMADE VANILLA ICE CREAM

1 quart whole milk
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
dash of salt, optional
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat but only until tiny bubbles start to appear; do not boil.  Stir in the sugar and salt.  Lower temperature to low.

Stir a tiny beat of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, mixing well.  Stir the egg mixture back into the mixture in saucepan and cook over low heat while stirring for a couple of minutes.  Be careful you do not allow mixture to boil.  Stir in the cream and allow the mixture to cool down; add the vanilla.

Pour into ice cream freezer and follow manufacturer's directions.


Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

PEANUT BUTTER-CHOCOLATE CHIP PARFAIT

2/3 block (3-oz size) cream cheese, softened
6 tbsp creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup whipped cream
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp granulated sugar
4 1/2 tsp butter, melted
1 1/4 cups miniature chocolate chips

In a small mixing bowl, beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese until smooth; fold in a half cup of the whipped cream; set aside.

Combine the cracker crumbs with the sugar; stir in the butter until coarse crumbs are formed.  Press a tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture into each of four parfait glasses.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter mixture over the crumbs and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the chocolate chips.  Repeat the layers.

Divide the remaining whipped cream among the four parfaits then top each with the remaining chocolate chips.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

TRIPLE BERRY SMOOTHIE

1 cup frozen triple berries
1 cup soy milk (vanilla-flavored will make smoothie too sweet)
1/2 large banana, sliced
2 tsp honey

Place the berries, milk, banana, and honey in blender container.  Blend on high until smooth but thick, about half a minute.  Should be served immediately.

Note: This recipe makes 2 servings of 10-oz each.  Cut ingredients in half for 1 smoothie.


You can "fancy up" this drink by giving your glass a sugar rim.  Wet the rim of glass with water or by running a lemon or lime on the edge.  Dip the glass into sugar.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

OH-SO-PEANUTTY LAYERED BROWNIES

The statistics show that this blog has been unindated with readers looking for brownie recipes.  So today I am adding another brownie recipe, this one for the peanut/chocolate fans out therer!  How about this chocolate brownie sandwiched between layers of peanuts and peanut butter?  Yum!

CRUST:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray foil with a nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a small mixing bowl combine the butter, both flours, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar.  Press the mixture over the sprayed foil in the pan.  Bake crust for 10 to 12 minutes until set; remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool.  Sprinkle the peanuts over the crust.  Prepare the brownie layer while crust cools.

BROWNIE:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 squares (1-oz each) unsweetened chocolate, chopped up
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a microwave-proof bowl, in the microwave; stirring until completely smooth.

In a large mixing bowl combine the the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract together; add the chocolate mixture and mix until well combined.   Add the whole-wheat flour, mixing well.  Add the all-purpose flour and mix until well combined.  Spread the brownie mixture over the crust and peanuts. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or more until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool again on the wire rack.  While brownie cools, make the topping.

TOPPING:
1 cup creamy peanut butter, warmed in microwave for 30 seconds to soften
1 carton (12-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
12 miniature Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped coarsely for garnish

Gradually stir the whipped topping into the warmed peanut butter until well blended.  Spread topping over the brownies; cover and refrigeratate for at least an hour.

Before cutting to serve, sprinkle the chopped peanut butter cups over the top.  Cut into 24 squares and serve.

Any leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator.

Note: The basic idea for this brownie is from an old TOH.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

CRUNCHY WHOLE-WHEAT PASTRY

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup regular oats, raw
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp cold water
nonstick cooking spray

In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon.  Combine the butter and water; sprinkle over the flour/oat mixture, mixing together with a fork.

Spray a 9-inch pie plate with the nonstick cooking spray.  Flour hands then use to press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of the sprayed pie plate.

Bake shell for approximately 15 minutes or until golden in a 450 degree oven.

Allow shell to cool before adding pie filling!

Friday, June 22, 2012

ORANGE ICED TEA

2 large oranges
4 cups boiling wate
5 black tea bags
Ice cubes
honey to taste

Use a vegetable peeler to peel the oranges, being careful not to include the white part. Keep peel in a continuous piece if possible as you don't want to deal with a lot of little pieces of peel.  (Eat the oranges or use sections or slices in the tea.)

In a large heat proof pitcher, pour the boiling water over the tea bags and the orange peel; cover pitcher and allow tea to steep for 5 minutes.  Using a large slotted spoon, remove the tea bags.  Leave the peel in the tea and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To serve, remove the peel and pour over ice into glasses.  Use honey to sweeten to suit your taste.
A great treat on hot summer days!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

CHOCOLATE BANANA STREUSEL MUFFINS

MUFFINS:
1/3 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or grease; set aside.

Combine the brown sugar and butter in large mixer bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy.  Add the bananas, egg, and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed.

Combine both flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture just until moistened.  Divide the batter evenly among the 12 prepared muffin cups.

STREUSEL:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl, combine the two flours, brown sugar, and butter mixing well.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Spoon evenly over the batter in the prepared muffin tins.

Bake 18 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown.  Let muffins stand for 5 minutes then remove muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

BROWNIES WITH HAZELNUTS

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-whea flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; set aside.

Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla with the last egg.

In a small bowl combine the two flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, mixing until well combined.  Fold in the chopped nuts.  Spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan. 

Bake brownies at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Never overbake brownies!  Cool completely on a wire rack then frost with the following frosting.

Brownie Frosting:
1 pkg (12-oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup hazelnuts that have been coarsely chopped

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and whipping cream in the microwave until the chips are melted and mixture is smooth.  Stir in the butter until completely melted.  Cover bowl and refrigerate about a half hour or until the frosting is set enough to spread.  Stir about every 5 to 10 minutes during the chilling process.

Frost the cooled brownies and sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts.  Cut into 24 squares.

The basis of this recipe is from a quite old TOH.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CREAMY ORANGE FROSTY

NOTE: While this is a delicious recipe for anyone, cancer patients or others who are seriously ill, may find this frosty helps when having difficulty swallowing or foods are tasting metallic.  Make, refrigerate, and sip on it thoughout the day if necessary.
8 cups orange or vanilla frozen yogurt (8 cups = 1/2 gallon)
1 can (6-oz) frozen calcium-fortified orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 cup milk (whole, fat-free, soy, etc; whatever suits your needs)

Place half the ingredients in blender container; cover and blend on medium speed about 45 seconds or until thick and smooth.  Stop and scrape down sides as needed.


Repeat with remaining ingredients or save remaining ingredients for another day.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

BASIC CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW-BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

This recipe follows the same amounts, etc as the vanilla recipe below.  The only additional ingredient:

6-oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted as pkg directs and cooled

Beat the butter in a medium mixer bowl until creamy with mixer on medium speed.  Beat in the melted, cooled chocolate and marshmallow cream until blended.  Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract; increase mixer speed to high and beat an additional 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy.

Frost your favorite cake or cupcakes.

Friday, June 15, 2012

BASIC VANILLA MARSHMALLOW BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

1 cup butter, softened
1 jar (7 to 8-oz) marshmallow cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
food coloring, if desired

In medium to large mixer bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy; beat in the marshmallow cream until well blended.  Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.  Turn mixer speed to high and beat until fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes).  Beat in a few drops of desired food color if you wish to have tinted frosting.

Yield: Approximately 3 cups of frosting.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

QUICK AND EASY PRALINE BARS

24 Graham cracker squares
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange the Graham crackers in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan.

In a 2-quart saucepan, cook the brown sugar and butter to boiling; boil 1 minute while stirring constantly.  Remove pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.  Pour the mixture over the Graham crackers and spread out evenly.  Sprinkle the pecans over the hot mixture.  Bake about 10 minutes or until bubbly.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Yield: 24 bars


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

BASIC CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE

We all need a good basic cake recipe and this is a good chocolate one.  You can add special fillings, frostings, and flavors to make this basic recipe your own!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat 2 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.  Line the bottoms of the pans with circles of wax paper and spray the paper before adding batter.

In a small saucepan heat the butter, water, and oil just until the butter is melted.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt using a wire whisk. 

Whisk the milk, eggs,  and vanilla into the lukewarm butter mixture.  Add all at once to the flour/sugar mixture; whisk to blend.

Pour the batter equally into the two prepared pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Run a thin knife or spatula around the edges to loosen cakes.  Invert onto the wire racks, remove the paper, and allow to cool completely before frosting with your favorite frosting.


Friday, June 8, 2012

BANANA CREAM BROWNIE

1 box family size fudge brownie mix
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
3/4 cup dry roated peanuts, chopped and divided
3 medium-size firm bananas
1 2/3 cup milk
2 pkgs (4-serving size each) instant banana pudding mix
1 small-size carton frozen whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and set aside.

Using the directions for fudge-like brownies, prepare brownie mix according to the directions on the box.  Stir in half the chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of the chopped peanuts.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, level out, and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Never overbake brownies.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Slice the bananas and sprinkle with some fruit fresh or lemon juice.  Arrange in a layer over the cooled brownies.

Chop the remaining chocolate chips.  Sprinkle half the chips and half the remaining peanuts over the bananas.

In a large mixing bowl beat the milk and dry pudding on low speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes.  Fold in the whipped topping and spread over all.  Garnish with the remaining chips and nuts.

Any leftovers should be refrigerated.  This dessert may also be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Note: I got the general idea for this recipe from a TOH magazine several years ago.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

DELICIOUSLY REFRESHING PLUM ICE CREAM

2 cans (30-oz each) whole plums
6 cups whole milk
4 cups heavy cream
2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Drain the plums but save 1 cup of the juice.  Peel the plums and remove the pits; place plums in food processor.  Put cover on food processor and process until smooth.

Combine the whole milk, cream, sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Add the processed plums and the 1 cup of saved juice.  Stir together until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Fill ice cream freezer cylinder 2/3s full and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.  Refrigerate any remaining mixture until ready to freeze.

Allow the frozen ice cream to ripen in the ice cream freezer cylinder or remove and place in regular freezer for at least a couple of hours before serving.

Yield: 1 gallon

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

MINT MOUSSE LAYERED BROWNIES

Brownie Layer:
1 cup butter, cut up
4 squares (1-oz each) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 pkg (6-oz) dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan; set aside.

Over low heat, melt the butter and bittersweet chocolate squares in a small saucepan; allow to cool slightly.

In large mixing bowl beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together; stir in the chocolate-butter mixture.  Gradually add the flours until well blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Bake brownies at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (It is important to not overbake brownies.)  Place pan on a wire rack to cool.

Filling Layer:
4 squares (1-oz each) white baking chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup liquid Irish creme nondairy coffee creamer
1 cup heavy cream
15 chocolate mint candy squares, chopped

In a small saucepan combine the white chocolate and the coffee creamer.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted; remove from the heat and refrigerate for a half hour or until chilled.

In a mixer bowl beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form (soft peaks will turn under when mixer is removed).  This will take approximately 4 minutes.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the chilled white chocolate mixer.  Stir in the chopped candies.  Spread the mixture over the cooled brownies.

Frosting:
12 squares (1-oz each) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter

Combine the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the butter until the butter is melted.  Cool the frosting to room temperature and very carefully spread over the mint filling.  Cover the brownies and refrigerate at least an hour or until the icing is set before cutting.
Garnish each brownie with a chocolate mint candy, if desired.

Keep brownies stored in the refrigerator.


Monday, June 4, 2012

CREAM CHEESE RASPBERRY COFFEE CAKE

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease the bottom and a couple of inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside.

Combine the flours and sugar in a large mixing bowl; cut in the butter until crumbly.  Remove 1 cup of the mixture and set aside.  Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, egg, and extract to the remaining crumb mixture; mix well.  Press mixture on the bottom and 2-inches up the sides of the prepared pan.

Filling:
1 block (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/2 cup slivered almonds

In a small mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar, and egg, beating well.  Spoon filling over the crumb mixture in the pan.  Spread the raspberry jam (heat a few seconds in a microwave if necessary) over the filling mixture.  Sprinkle the almonds and remaining crumb mixture over all.

Bake cake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Carefully run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake.  Remove the sides of the pan.  Cool completely then store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 12 servings
Note: My original inspiration for this recipe was a cake in a quite old Country Woman magazine.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

CHOCOLATE DROP COOKIES WITH MARSHMALLOW

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
18 large marshmallows, cut in half

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar.  Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla until smooth.

In a small bowl combine the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture.  Stir in the pecans.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonsful approximately 2-inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 6 minutes.  Pull out of oven enough to reach cookies and place a marshmallow half, cut side down, in the center of each cookie.  Bake a couple minutes longer or until marshmallows are softened.  Remove from oven, remove from cookie sheets and place on wire racks to cool completely.  When completely cooled, drizzle the following over the marshmallow.

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE:
1/2 stick butter
2 squares (1-oz each) unsweetened baking chocolate
1 square (1-oz) semisweet baking chocolate
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp (or more) brewed coffee

Microwave the butter with the chocolate squares in a microwave-safe bowl stirring until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar.  Add the coffee (enough for a drizzle consistency) and stir until blended.  Drizzle over the marshmallow centers of the cookies.


Yield: 36 cookies