Thursday, November 13, 2008

Candy Apple Pie

*This is a fun twist on a regular apple pie. It does take a little time, but its definitely worth it!

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 cup chopped pecans

Apple Filling:
5 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, sliced very thin)
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream Cheese Topping:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Mix well and press into a 10-inch pie plate and up the sides. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until golden in color. Remove pie shell from oven and cool completely. Pour caramel into pie shell and sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped pecans. Refrigerate pie shell while making apple filling.

3. In a large (12-inch) skilet over medium heat, melt butter and add brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir with a wooden spoon. Add apples and stir. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes until apples are softened and tender. Let cool for 10 minutes and pour into pie shell. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.

4. In a medium bowl, using a hand-held mixer on low speed, combine cream cheese and sugar for about 1 minute until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla and beat for 1 minute or until fully blended. Pour over apple filling in pie shell. Bake for 30 minutes until an inserted knife comes out clean. Remove pie from oven and let cool. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Let stand outside the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

5. Top with whipped cream, caramel and pecans, and swirl with a knife. Slice and serve.

Baked Ziti with Sausage and Peppers

*This is one of those that takes a little longer the first couple of times you make it, but once you get used to the recipe, you can breeze right through it. It's so good, and you can freeze half of it and have it again in a couple of weeks!

1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage
1 T olive oil
1 green bell pepper, cut into ½ inch slices
2 red bell peppers, cut into ½ inch slices
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
2 (28 oz) cans Italian diced peeled tomatoes
½ cup dry red wine
2 tsp paprika
1 lb ziti
1 ¼ cups (6 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
¾ cup ricotta, dry if available
3 oz. grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving

Heat a large nonreactive skillet. Add sausage and cook over moderately-high heat, turning, until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Prick the sausage as it cooks to release the juices. Remove from the skillet and let cool slightly.

Reduce heat to moderately-low. Add oil, green and red peppers, and garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic. Add salt and red pepper. Cook just until peppers begin to soften, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the sausage into ½ inch slices. (The sausage will not be cooked all the way through.) Add the sausage pieces, tomatoes with juice, red wine, and paprika to the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes

Preheat oven to 375. Cook ziti in boiling water for about 7 minutes or until barely al dente. Drain and toss with some sauce to keep noodles from sticking.

Spread 1 cup of the sausage and pepper mixture in the bottom of a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Cover with 1/3 of the pasta, 1 ½ cups of the sausage and pepper mixture and 1/3 of the cheeses. Continue to layer the remaining ingredients, ending with cheeses. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot. Serves 6 to 8.

Chicken Parmigiana

*This recipe is from my friend, Christi Duncan. It's really good and simple. I paired it with linguine.

1/3 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash black pepper
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 to 1-1/4 pounds)
1/3 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (1 ounce)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1. For sauce, in a medium saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot butter until onion is tender. Carefully stir in the undrained tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or to desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil. Keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, with a meat mallet, pound each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness.
3. In a shallow dish stir together bread crumbs, the 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, and oregano. In another bowl stir together the egg and milk. Dip chicken breast halves in egg mixture, then in crumb mixture to coat. In a 12-inch skillet cook chicken in hot oil over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer chicken to a serving platter.
4. Spoon sauce over chicken. Top with shredded mozzarella and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Let stand about 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Amish Cinnamon Bread

*This recipe is not at all original with me, nor is it quick & easy, but it is so delicious, that its worth the 10 days it takes to make it!
Important Notes:

Do not use any type of metal spoon, bowl, or pan.
Do not refrigerate
If air gets in the bag, let it out
It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment.
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk

Day 1 – Do nothing (this is the day you receive your batter. Go by the date on the bag.)
Day 2 – Mush the bag
Day 3 – Mush the bag
Day 4 – Mush the bag
Day 5 – Mush the bag
Day 6 – Add to the bag: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk – Mush the bag
Day 7 – Mush the bag
Day 8 – Mush the bag
Day 9 – Mush the bag
Day 10 – Follow the instructions below:

1. Pour entire contents of the bag into a large non-metal bowl.
2. Add: 1 ½ cups flour, 1 ½ cups sugar, 1 ½ cups milk. Mix well.
3. Label four one-gallon Ziploc bags with “Day 1” and the date. Fill each of these four bags with 1 cup of the batter mixture. These are the starters for you to pass onto your friends. If you would like, you may keep one for yourself. (Note: if you don’t keep one for yourself, you will have to wait until you receive another starter from a friend)
4. Preheat the oven to 325.
5. To 1 cup of the remaining batter add:

* 3 eggs * 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
* 1 cup oil * ½ tsp. baking soda
* ½ cup milk * ½ tsp. salt
* 1 cup sugar * 2 cups flour
* 2 tsp. cinnamon * 1 large box instant vanilla pudding
* ½ tsp. vanilla

6. Grease bottom and sides of 2 large loaf pans. Mix ½ cup sugar and 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl. Dust the insides of each pan with half of the mixture, making sure to cover bottom and sides well.
7. Pour batter evenly into the 2 pans and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon & sugar mixture.
8. Bake about 1 hour (until toothpick comes out clean). Cool until bread loosens from pan easily. Turn onto serving dish.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Aussie Chicken

*Very similar to Outback's Alice Springs Chicken.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
2 teaspoons seasoning salt
6 slices bacon, cut in half
1/2 cup prepared mustard
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (I substituted green peppers)
2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Rub the chicken breasts with the seasoning salt, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until crisp. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the mustard, honey, corn syrup, mayonnaise and dried onion flakes. Remove half of sauce, cover and refrigerate to serve later.
4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the breasts in the skillet and saute for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned. Remove from skillet and place the breasts into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Apply the honey mustard sauce to each breast, then layer each breast with mushrooms and bacon. Sprinkle top with shredded cheese.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken juices run clear. Garnish with parsley and serve with the reserved honey mustard sauce.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

*This is a great fall recipe! It makes a great substitute for pumpkin pie if you like a little more substance. It's best hot!

1 large can pumpkin pie filling
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
Mix above ingredients together and pour in bottom of greased 9x13 pan.


1 box yellow cake mix
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) melted butter

Mix topping together and crumble on top.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until brown. Can top with whip cream.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Best Banana Pudding

*This is the best version of banana pudding that we have ever had, and that's saying a lot coming from a Southern girl...Contributed by the infamous Kimberlee Joy (my cooking inspiration).

2 bags Peppridge Farm Chessman Cookies
6-8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
15 oz box instant French vanilla pudding
1 8 oz package cream cheese, whipped
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz whipped topping (cool whip)

Line bottom of 9x13 dish with 1 bag of cookies and put bananas on top. Blend milk with pudding. Mix well with mixer. Beat cream cheese, then beat in condensed milk together in a bowl until smooth. Fold in cool whip. Add to pudding mixture, stirring until well blended. Pour mixture over cookies and bananas. Cover with remaining cookies. Refrigerate.

*Recipe from Paula Dean's Dessert Cookbook.

Easy Fettuccini

*You can add shrimp, grilled chicken, steak or whatever you like!

8 oz. fettuccine noodles
½ c. butter
½ c. heavy whipping cream
¾ c. grated parmesan cheese
½ t. salt & dash of pepper
Parsley for garnish

Heat butter and whipping cream over med. heat. Stir frequently until bubbles. Reduce to low and simmer 6 minutes. Stir frequently until thick. Remove from heat. Stir cheese, salt and pepper in. Garnish with parsley.

Ham & Tomato Pie

*Think Chicken Pot Pie remade...This is one of Clinton's favorites.
Prep Time: 20 min.
Servings: 4

1 (8-oz.) package diced cooked ham (I use ham steaks)
1/2 cup sliced green onions (about 4 onions)
1 (9-inch) frozen unbaked pie shell (There's no need to thaw the crust before assembling.)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 medium plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 large egg
1/3 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Garnishes: fresh basil sprigs, tomato slices

1. Sauté ham and green onions in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until ham is brown and any liquid evaporates.
2. Brush bottom of pie shell evenly with mustard; sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon ham mixture evenly over cheese, and top with single layer of sliced tomatoes.
3. Beat egg and half-and-half with a fork until blended; pour over tomatoes. Sprinkle evenly with basil, pepper, and remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
4. Bake on lowest oven rack at 425° for 20 to 23 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Cool on a wire rack 20 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve; garnish, if desired. Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

Oven Roasted Corn

Put corn on the cob in aluminum foil. Top with butter, little lime juice, cilantro, and a pinch of sugar. Cook for 45-60 minutes on 375. Open foil and broil corn for 2 minutes, turning corn half way in between broiling.

Potato Casserole

*I usually cut this in half. A whole recipe is about 6-8 servings.

2 lbs frozen hash browns (I buy the little square has browns)
2 cups sour cream
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
grated onion and salt to taste
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
parmesan cheese

Thaw potatoes slightly.
Mix all except parmesan cheese in a 9 X 13 baking dish.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours
Freezes well if you want to make it ahead of time.....taste like FRESH!