Monday, January 30, 2012

Cool Veggie Pizza

I was dreaming of summer today and wishing for it's quick arrival.  It was with this in mind that for book club today I made this cool and fresh veggie pizza.  If you know Pampered Chef, you  may recognize this recipe.  It was with memories of their pizza that I made this one today.  I'm not sure how close I got to their recipe, but it still tasted awesome.  I could have easily eaten the whole pan and probably would have if no one had shown up, but they did so I didn't.

2 can crescent rolls
8oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp miracle whip
2 cloves garlic, minced or to taste
2 tsp dill weed or to taste
2-3 cup chopped fresh veggies or to taste

Unroll the rolls and place on lightly greased cookie sheet.  Press seems together.  Bake at 375* for 10 min; set aside to cool completely.  When crust is cool, cream together the cream cheese, miracle whip, garlic and dill weed.  Spread on crust.  Top with chopped veggies.  Slice and eat.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tex-Mex Casserole

I've really been cooking by the seat of my pants the last couple of weeks.  Normally I plan out a menu for the week, shop for it, and then serve it.  However, my computer has been crazy and wouldn't let my writing program work, so hence I've been cooking with whatever and making it up as a go.  Sometimes great things come from this type of cooking and sometimes dissaster.  I'm pleased to say that this was one of the good times.  A taco casserole.

1 lb hamburger
1 pgk taco seasoning
1 cup salsa
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 can corn
1 can kidney or black beans
2/3 cup pumpkin or squash puree
1 cup shredded mexican mix cheese
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro - optional
1 cup bisquick
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400*F.
Brown the hamburger and drain of fat if any.  Stir in the seasoning, cilantro if using, salsa, cream cheese, corn, beans, and squash.  Stir to melt the cream cheese.  In medium bowl, stir together the bisquick, milk and eggs until blended.  Stir in the cheese.  Transfer meat mix to a 7X11" greased pan.  Pour the bisquick mix on top of meat.  Bake for 20-25 min until top is golden brown and meat mix is bubbling.

Monster Cookies

These are indeed monster in size.

3 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
2 cup brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp Karo syrup
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
4 tsp baking soda
6 eggs
8oz chocolate chips
16 oz M&M's
9 cup oatmeal
3 cup peanut butter
2 cup Rice Krispies

In large bowl cream together the sugars, peanut butter, and shortening.  Mix in the vanilla, eggs, Karo syrup,and baking soda.  Stir in the oatmeal, Rice Krispies, chocolate chips and M&M's. 

(This makes a big batch of cookies.  This is my 42 cup Tupperware bowl and it is full)

Place on cookie sheet using 1/4 cup of batter per cookie.  Bake for 15 min at 325*F

Ovens vary and so does this size of cookies you wish to make just watch them so they don't get over done and adjust baking time accrdingly.

Mexican Brownies

1 cup cocoa
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cup sugar
1 TBSP vanilla
7 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup melted butter

Mix the cocoa, flour and seasonings; set aside.  In medium bowl mix the butter and the eggs.  Add vanilla.  Stir egg mix into the flour until just combined.  Pour into a greased 9X13" pan.  Bake for 35-40min at 350*F.  Makes 24 bars

*Optionally you can frost them like I did.  Just make your favorite chocolate frosting and add 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of black pepper.  Spread on cooled brownies.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cherry Chocolate Bread Pudding

I love reading cookbooks.  It's almost a fetish I have.  I'm like a stalker of cookbooks.  So, having said that, while at the library I came across this book titled "Double Delicious!" by Jessica Seinfeld.  I'm not sure why I grabbed it but I did and there are some interesting ideas in there.  I may end up buying the thing but that is for later.  Right now I want to tell you just a hint about it and then share the recipe I adapted.  Her whole thing is about how to sneak healthy into what your kids will eat.  By healthy I mean veggies and they even get into dessert.  This morning for breakfast I made her Chocolate Bread Pudding.  A little strong on taste so I've adapted it for this post, but delicious and the best part is you can't even tell that there are pureed carrots in it.

3 cups milk (whatever you have even soy will work)
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup carrot puree
8 oz soft whole-wheat bread (I made mine), cubed
1/2 cup dried cherries
2 lg egg whites (I used 1/4 cup egg beaters)
1 lg egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat the oven to 375*.  Grease a 8X8" baking dish or equivalent in size.  Whisk the milk, cocoa and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a near bowl.  Remove from heat and stir in the carrots.  If your pan is big enough toss in your bread and stir to coat, if not then pour into a bowl and add the bread.  Let sit for 10-15 min, until the milk is cool enough to touch.  In small bowl whisk together the egg, egg whites and extracts.  Pour over milk mixture and toss in the cherries.  Stir well, until the liquid becomes smooth and bread is evenly coated.  Transfer to baking dish and bake for 45-50 min or until pudding is crusty on top and puffy in the center.

I made this yesterday and then just warmed it up at 350* for 30min this morning.  Turned out great.  The only complaint was the strong flavor of almond and so I have cut it in half here.  If you want to try her way out it was 2 tsp almond extract.