Aunt Donna’s Popcorn Balls

popcorn 2015-12-27 004

2 cups sugar
1 cup cream
1 cup Karo syrup
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 drops food coloring

1 C popcorn – pop it before making the syrup

Mix together sugar, cream, Karo and butter in a medium sized sauce pan.  When it starts to boil add vanilla and coloring. Boil slowly until the syrup forms a soft ball in cold water.  In the Salt Lake Valley the perfect temperature is 230º.  Pour over popped popcorn and stir until thoroughly mixed.  After the popcorn has cooled a little, butter your hands and form the popcorn mixture into balls.  If they don’t stick together, wait another minute or two.

Essential Home Kitchen Equipment–RSVP, Int.

I’ve always appreciated well made kitchen equipment – especially anything used to precisely measure ingredients.  Endurance measuring spoons and cups made by RSVP International have become beloved old friends.  Those pieces have survived like new over the last decade and I find that they’re my go-to items for wedding and shower gifts. They’re  both quite substantial.  I love the shape of the spoons, as they’ll fit into most any spice jar – unlike the round variety that have you cleaning up expensive spices from your countertop.  Plus, they have long handles, great for reaching into the bottom of spice jars. 

They’re easy to find on Amazon or in local kitchen stores.  Also, RSVP has a list of online retailers

RSVP Endurance Spice Spoon Set_thumb[3]

Made from 18/8 stainless steel with long 4-1/4″ handles and narrow measuring spoons. Set includes: 1 Tbl., 1, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8 tsp. Dishwasher safe.

RSVP Endurance Measuring Cups_thumb[2]

Their best selling heavy gauge 18/8 stainless steel measuring cups have long, rounded handles and are dishwasher safe. Set of 7 cups in 1, 3/4, 2/3, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 and 1/8 measures.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

FlourlessChocCake
3/4 C butter
8 oz. Guittard extra dark chocolate chips
1/2 C sugar
4 whole eggs
3 T dark rum

Line 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper.  Spray with Pam.

Melt butter in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Add chocolate chips and stir, then microwave for another 30 seconds.  Stir in sugar.

Whip eggs with a fork and then add to chocolate mixture.  Stir well until completely blended and then stir in rum, mixing until smooth.

Pour into prepared cake pan and bake at 325º for 30-40 minutes.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle top with powdered sugar and turn onto plate.  Remove parchment paper. 

Top with whipped cream and berries then sprinkle with a little cocoa powder.

I usually cut the cake in 12 small slices as it’s quite rich.

Grandma Nelson’s Mustard Sauce

Mustard sauce was frequently on my Grandma Nelson’s menu and as a child, I wasn’t impressed, but as I grew older, I found it to be quite good.  It’s flavor really enhances roast beef and ham.

2/3 C sugar
1/4 C vinegar
4 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup heavy cream – whipped

Mix gently, but well and serve.

Hold the Potatoes Salad


1 large head of cauliflower
6 boiled eggs 
1 chopped medium onion
1 C chopped celery
2 T chopped chives
1 2.25 oz. can of sliced black olives (optional)
1 C full fat mayonnaise
3 T yellow mustard
two sprinkles of dry mustard
3 T dill pickle relish 
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried dill

Microwave cut-up chunks of cauliflower in a covered dish with a couple of tablespoons water until tender.  Drain and let cool, then chop to the size you’d see in regular potato salad.  Cut eggs and remove yolks – but leave one sliced for garnish.  Chop whites and add them with the onion, celery, chives and olives to the cauliflower.  Stir.

Mash the yolks and mix with the mayonnaise and the rest of the ingredients.  Add to cauliflower mixture, then pour into a serving bowl and garnish with sliced egg, plus a little more dill and paprika.

Makes two quarts or about 16 half cup servings.  143 calories each including 3 net carbs

Bûche de Noël–Low Carb Yule Log

BucheDeNoel

Cake:
Vegetable oil spray for pan
1 C granular sugar substitute
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T coconut flour
9 large eggs, separated
1/4 t salt

Filling:
1 C heavy cream
1/4 C granular sugar substitute

Frosting:
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/3 C heavy cream
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 C + 1T granular sugar substitute
1T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a jellyroll pan with oil spray; line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch border, spray again. Set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup sugar substitute, 4 tablespoons cocoa powder and coconut flour.

3.  In another large bowl, beat egg yolks with an electric mixer on high speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn speed down to low and slowly mix in cocoa mixture until just combined.

4.  In another bowl, beat egg whites and salt with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Fold 1/3 of the whites into yolk mixture until just combined. Fold in remaining egg whites. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly touched and pulls away from sides of the pan. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

5.  While cake is cooling, prepare filling and frosting. For the filling, whip 1 cup cream and 4 tablespoons sugar substitute in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat).  Keep cold until needed.

6.  For the frosting, gradually combine 1/3 cup heavy cream and melted chocolate in a large bowl. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat in butter, 5 tablespoons sugar substitute, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and 1/2 t vanilla. Beat until smooth and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

7.  When cake is cool, slide cake from pan with parchment underneath. Place on counter top. Spread filling over cake. Roll up cake from narrow end, using parchment to help. Cut 1-inch pieces from each end. Transfer roll to a serving platter; place cut diagonal pieces on either side to form log stumps. Set aside.

8.  To assemble: Use a generous dab of frosting to attach stumps to main log. Frost entire log, and run fork tines through frosting to create a bark-like texture.

Fiesta Stuffed Chicken Breast

Chicken 001Chicken 002

3 handsful of spinach
1 C shredded Parmesan
1 large chicken breast
2 T butter
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dressing Mix
pint of sour cream

Wilt three handfuls of spinach in a covered pot with a couple of tablespoons of water over medium heat.  Drain and chop it, then add about a cup of shredded Parmesan. 

Skin and debone one chicken breast, then pound until 3/8 – 1/2” thick.  Cut it in half and spread the spinach mixture on one half.  Put the other half of the chicken on top, press to seal, and cut that in half.  Drench each piece in a beaten egg, then place in a hot pan with about 2 T of butter.  Cover and cook on medium for 10 minutes, flip over and cook 10 minutes more.

For the topping combine Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dressing Mix and a pint of sour cream.  Heat about 3/4 cup of the mixture and spread on the cooked chicken.  Yummy!

Low-Carb Clam Chowder

ClamChowder_thumb1
We have served this every Christmas Eve
for as long as I can remember

1 1/2 cups butter, melted
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup ground flax seed
3/4 cup almond flour

2 cups cauliflower, diced
2 cups celery, diced
2 cups onion, diced
2 cups green pepper
2 cups leeks, diced

2 1/2 cups chopped clams, undrained – see hint below 
2 tsp coarse ground black pepper 
3 T salt
1 1/2 T whole thyme 
12 bay leaves
2 shakes Tabasco
1 1/2 cups sherry wine 
4 T chicken base – Costco has this
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups clam juice
3 tsp xanthan gum

4 quarts half-and-half

Combine melted butter, flours and flax in oven-proof container and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. (Don't try to skip this method, it doesn't taste the same.) In a large saucepan, combine remaining ingredients except half-and-half and xanthan. Simmer until vegetables are thoroughly cooked.

(At this point you can refrigerate it and then reheat and finish the next day.)

Mix the xanthan with a couple of cups of soup broth in a blender, then stir into the pot.  Stir butter-flour mixture into chowder and keep stirring until thick. Stir in half-and-half until blended. Heat to serving temperature, stirring occasionally. I usually make plenty for Christmas Eve and then freeze the rest for later in January.

Hint:  I use a 51 oz can of clams from Costco, divide it in half and freeze the remaining portion for later use.  Then I add two small cans of clams to bring the measure to 2 1/2 cups.  Half of the liquid in the Costco can measures 1 1/2 cups.  Use that for the soup.  If you’re using a scales, the total in one can is 26 oz of clams and 3 cups of clam juice.

Makes about 32 one cup servings.

331 calories, 9 gr protein, 26 gr fat, 13 net carbs – the brown rice flour accounts for 3 of the net carbs.

Muffins in a Minute

mim

This recipe allows for a lot of experimentation.  Try adding cranberries, chopped apples, shredded cheese, nuts . . . the options are endless.

1/4 cup Premium Gold cold milled flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 sweetener packets
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg
1+ teaspoon butter

Put the dry ingredients in a coffee mug and stir until thoroughly mixed.  Add the egg and butter and stir again.  Microwave for 1 minute. 

I made these the other day when I was craving a peanut butter sandwich.  Sliced one open while warm, spread peanut butter and drizzled a little honey.  Memories of childhood!

Low-Carb Italian Sausage Soup

image
1 pound Italian sausage
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 med onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
2 bay leaves
2 T salt
1/2 t pepper
1 can garbanzo or red kidney beans, drained
1/2 lb fresh sliced mushrooms
1 large can petite diced tomatoes
1 qt water
3 T chicken base – purchased at Costco
12 oz V-8® vegetable juice
couple squirts of Worcestershire sauce
1 bag frozen cauliflower
2 large handsful baby spinach leaves

Form sausage into meatballs. Put oil in soup pot and brown sausage in it. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cauliflower and spinach and bring to a boil. When onions are tender, add the cauliflower and cook on medium heat until it’s warmed.  Turn off the burner, add spinach and cover for 3 minutes. Stir and serve with a sprinkling of shredded parmesan cheese.  As with all soups, this one is fantastic the next day.  I don’t drain the fat as it adds a lot to the flavor of the soup.

Wonderful Low-Carb Waffles

waffles
1 C Premium Gold cold milled flaxseed
1 C vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C powdered Stevia sweetener
1 TBSP baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 C heavy cream
3/4 C water
2 eggs
4 TBSP melted butter

Preheat waffle iron.  Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Combine wet ingredients.  Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until it looks like batter.  Bake according to your waffle iron directions.  My Belgium waffle iron takes about 1/2 C per waffle.  Makes 6.5 good-sized waffles.  Serve with sugar-free syrup, whipped cream or a sugar-free jam.  Our favorite topping is Cold Hollow Cider Mill Horseradish Jam from Waterbury, VT, even though it's not sugar free.  We’re far away in Utah, so we order seven jars at a time.
 
Hint:  This recipe works quite well for pancakes, also.  They each take about 1/4 C batter @325º.  The full recipe makes 13 pancakes.
 
For hurried mornings, I prepare several baggies in advance with a 1/2 recipe of the dry ingredients, then list 1/2 measures of the wet ingredients on the bags to be added later.  I toss them into the freezer to maintain nutrients. 
image

Low-Carb Lasagna

I made this last night and both of us raved over how good it was.  Best lasagna I’ve ever made and no white flour noodles.

1 lb. Italian sausage – cooked and drained
1 24 ounce jar Classico Fire Roasted Tomato & Garlic Sauce
2 medium eggplants sliced 3/16” in either direction
2 eggs
16 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 C grated Parmesan
2 T parsley flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb. grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 325º.

Beat the eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper together.  Layer 1/3 of the sliced eggplant in a 9x13x2 oiled pan, add 1/3 of the following: ricotta cheese mixture, sausage, sauce, and mozzarella.  Repeat twice more.  Bake for one hour.  I like to put the pan on a larger cookie sheet to catch drips.  Let rest 10 minutes, then serve.  Feeds 8-10.

Best Meat Loaf–Low Carb

image2 lb ground beef 
1 lb mild pork sausage
1 c crushed plain pork rinds
4 oz diced mild green chilies
1 med onion chopped
8 oz Monterey Jack shredded
3/4 c mild salsa
1 egg
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 T dried oregano
1 T ground cumin
1 tsp salt
Mix everything together.  Pour into a 9x13 cake pan and form into a loaf.  Bake at 350º for 1 1/2 hours.  Or use 2 bread pans and bake for 1 hour.  Hint: line the pans with aluminum foil for easier cleanup.

Broccoli, Ham & Cheese Soup

Broccoli-Ham-Cheese-Soup-00

The soup goes great with Gary Taubes new book, “Why We Get Fat, And What To Do About It”.  Both the soup and the book are good for you.  Great use for a leftover ham bone from a spiral cut ham that had been frozen since Christmas.  (This site is not endorsed by Gary Taubes.  His books, however, are endorsed by me.)

1 ham bone with about 1 1/2 c ham attached
2 quarts water

1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp course ground black pepper
3-4 c fresh broccoli
1 qt heavy cream
2 c milk
12 oz shredded cheddar cheese – room termperature

Boil ham bone in water in a soup pot for 3 hours.  Remove ham reserving liquid.  Pull ham from the bone and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Return to the pot with the liquid.  Add onion, mustard, pepper and broccoli then cook on medium heat until tender.  Add cream and milk then heat until steaming, stirring constantly.  Add cheese and continue stirring until cheese has melted into the soup.  (The cheese at room temperature will melt into the soup more evenly.)

Macadamia Nut Herb-Crusted Fish

imageI served the fish with spaghetti squash and fresh buttered broccoli.  We ate until we were ready to explode.

Serving Size  : 4     Preparation Time :0:35

4 tilapia -- (6 oz size)
1 pinch kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted macadamia nuts
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
           
Lemon-Butter Wine Sauce with Capers
1/4 cup dry wine
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon chopped dried chives
1/4 cup lemon juice.
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup softened butter
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1/4 cup capers
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest.

Lemon-Butter Wine Sauce with Capers - make this first

In a saucepan, heat wine, onion, parsley, chives, and lemon juice.  Cook until liquid reduces to half.  Add cream; simmer for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter, a little at a time.  Add salt, capers, and lemon zest.  Makes about 2 cups sauce.

Season fillets with salt and pepper.  Combine remaining ingredients except olive oil; coat fillets with mixture and press into fish.  In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Sauté fillets until golden brown, about 2 minutes then turn.  Add 1/4 C water to pan, cover with lid and cook for additional 2 minutes, or until fish is flaky.  Serve with Lemon-Butter Wine Sauce with Capers.

2g Carbohydrate per serving

Low-Carb Cauliflower Mock Mashed Potatoes

IMG_0986

1 head cauliflower
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

up to 2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Break cauliflower into small pieces and steam.  Pour off water.  Place in food processor with cream cheese, butter, garlic salt and pepper.  Process.  Add enough cream for desired consistency. 

Low-Carb Killer Stuffing

2008-12-25-Christmas-015_thumb4
This is a low-carb remake of a favorite dish. 
 

2 ex-large eggplants or 3 smaller ones, peeled and cut in 1/2” cubes – then microwaved and drained

3 c heavy cream
2 heaping tsp chicken base – Costco has this
1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
1 1/2 Tb Italian seasoning
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp black pepper
2 large eggs 
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
25 oz artichoke hearts - Costco sells these in large jars and Sam’s carries smaller hearts that don’t need cutting
40 oz fresh spinach
2 c yellow onions, chopped – microwave them until tender
1 lb Jimmy Dean sausage – crumbled and cooked

1 1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a deep 9 by 13-inch baking dish with Pam.
 
Wilt the spinach in a steamer basket or divide it in thirds and microwave each third for 4 minutes. Squeeze as much water from spinach as possible, then chop and put aside.

Warm a cup of the cream and add the chicken base.  Stir until smooth.  Whisk cream/chicken base with the remaining cream, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, eggs, lemon juice in a large bowl (or blender then pour into a large bowl). Add 3/4 C cheese, artichokes, spinach, onions, sausage and eggplant, then stir to combine. Pour the eggplant/custard mixture into the prepared dish. Bake 1 hour.  Remove from oven and top with 1 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese, then bake another 45 minutes or so until the center is set.  Serve warm. PUT A COOKIE SHEET LINED WITH FOIL UNDER THE BAKING DISH TO CATCH DRIPS BECAUSE IT WILL MAKE A REAL MESS OF YOUR OVEN.  I make this dish a couple of days ahead when I’m doing it for the holidays.  About 30 servings – 6 net carbs per serving.
 
You can halve this recipe and reduce the cooking time to about an hour.

Low-Carb Christmas Menu 2010

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December 24th
Pesto-stuffed mushrooms
Berry, Pear, Pecan Green Salad
Homemade Clam Chowder
Cheesy Corn Bread (not low-carb)
Atkins Buche de Noel

December 25th
Dips: Ranch and Spinach/Artichoke w/ Crudités
Smoked Cheddar Cheese Ball
Spicy Nut Mix

Savory Artichoke, Eggplant & Spinach Stuffing
Cheesy Cauliflower
Cranberry, Orange, Tri-berry Jelled Salad
Broccoli Slaw
Buttered Green Beans with Bacon
Southern Yams with Pecans
Hickory Smoked Ham

Individual Cherry Cheese Cakes (not low-carb)
Pumpkin Pudding

Low-carb White Chicken Chili

White Chili

This is the low-carb version of a favorite.  Pretend those are green beans in the photo instead of northern.

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2” cubes (Hint: When in a hurry, I use Costco’s canned chicken and don’t drain it)
1 onion chopped
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 (15 oz) cans of cut green beans (drained)
4 T chicken base (organic variety at Costco) 
2 C water
1 (7oz) can chopped green chilies 
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper OR 1/2 tsp. chili powder (If you’re feeding small children, you might omit this ingredient.) 
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream

Sauté chicken and onion in oil. Add garlic, beans, chicken base, water, chilies and seasonings. Heat to a soft boil.  Remove from heat. Stir in milk and cream.  Yield: 6 servings

Low-Carb Funeral Potatoes

Funeral-potatoes-004We’ve been on Atkins for three months now and have had great results – 18 pound loss each.  Last night I started reworking some of our old favorites.  This recipe comes pretty close.  I used cauliflower instead of hash browns.
 

1 huge head of cauliflower
8 oz fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 to 1 chopped onion 
32 oz real sour cream – not the light stuff
10 oz shredded cheddar
1 sm can chopped green chilies, drained
2-3 tsp garlic salt (I use the California variety)
1/4 C. brown mustard

Break apart and steam the cauliflower for 18 minutes.  Chop it into small pieces about the size of diced potatoes.

Microwave the onion and mushrooms in a small covered dish for a minute.  Combine all the ingredients and place in 9x13 pan.  Microwave for 15 minutes.  Or probably 30 minutes in a 350º oven would do – or until it’s bubbly.  15 servings, 223 calories, 8g protein, 7g carb, 1g fiber, 19g fat.

Low-Carb Barbecue Chicken

I found this recipe earlier this week on a low-carb website.  Without a doubt, it’s the easiest and tastiest chicken I’ve made in a long time.

barbecue-chicken-00112 oz Diet Rite Cola
1/2 C low-carb catsup
3 good-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Mix the cola and catsup and pour into a medium sized pan.  Place cut up chicken in the sauce.  Cook covered on medium heat for 30 minutes.  Uncover, stir to turn over the chicken and cook on medium for another 10 minutes.  Divine and less than three carbs per serving.  The breasts I used were around 250 calories per.  My guess is that this would be just as good using country style ribs.  3 servings

Broccoli Salad

broccoli-salad

2 bunches of broccoli cut into small pieces
1 sm red onion finely chopped
10 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1 c sunflower seeds
1 c raisins

1 c mayo
1/2 c sugar
2 T vinegar

Combine the first five ingredients.  Mix the last three together and then pour over the broccoli mixture. 

Hint: You can microwave the bacon for about 8 minutes to get it crisp.  Also, for a twist, swap the sunflower seeds for cashews.

Christmas Menu 2009


image
Christmas Eve

Pesto Crostini 

Strawberry, Pear, Pecan Salad
Clam Chowder (Market Street Recipe)
Cheesy Corn Bread 


Cranberry Bread Pudding with

Daffodil Lemon Sauce

image
Christmas Day

Marinated Mushrooms
Dips: Ranch and Spinach/Artichoke
Crackers


Brown Sugar and Maple Ham
Savory Artichoke and Spinach Stuffing
Cranberry, Orange, Tri-berry Jelled Salad
Snappy Cheese Potatoes
Buttered Carrots
Frog Eye Salad
Southern Yams 
Broccoli Slaw 
Rolls

Divinity
Pecan Pie
Dipped Pretzels
Cereal Sticky Treats
Individual Cherry Cheese Cakes
Cranberry bread Pudding with Lemon Sauce

Merry Christmas

Here’s hoping all of you, who have made this endeavor worthwhile, have a wonderful Christmas.  It’s been very gratifying seeing my humble recipes spread around the globe.  May God be with all of you this holiday season and may you bask in the warmth of His love.  Diane

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut-squash1 chopped onion
1 Tablespoon grated ginger root
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Large butternut squash -- peeled, seeded and cubed
2 apples -- peeled, cored and chopped
4 cups water
4 teaspoons chicken base
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion and ginger in the oil.  Add squash, apples, water and chicken base.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until squash is tender.  Puree with a stick blender until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Depending on the size of the squash, makes about 4 two cup servings.

Hint:  I microwave the squash, apples and onions for a hurry-up option. 

White Chicken Chili

White Chili

This was a taste treat served two weeks ago for “Souper Saturday” at church and quite a sensation.  Thanks, Linda.  I've modified it a bit to reduce the calories.


1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2” cubes (Hint: When in a hurry, I use Costco’s canned chicken and don’t drain it)
1 onion chopped
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 (15 oz) cans great northern beans OR 2 (15 oz) cans of cut green beans (drained)
4 T chicken base (I use the low-sodium variety)
2 C water
1 (7oz) can chopped green chilies
1 tsp. salt- adjust if you use a regular chicken base
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper OR 1/2 tsp. chili powder (If you’re feeding small children, you might omit this ingredient.) 
1 cup sour cream – to cut calories I use non-fat OR 8 oz buttermilk
1/2 cup light cream OR 1 (5 oz) can of non-fat evaporated milk

Sauté chicken and onion in oil. Add garlic, beans, chicken base, water, chilies and seasonings. Heat to a soft boil.  Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream or buttermilk and either the light cream or evaporated milk. Yield: 6 servings

Popcorn Balls

Popcorn This popcorn reminds me of my grand-
mother's, only it’s much easier to make.

1 C light corn syrup
1/2 C sugar
1 sm pkg raspberry Jell-O
12 C popped popcorn - about 5/8 C. unpopped

Combine syrup and sugar and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add Jell-O and stir until dissolved.  Pour over popped popcorn, mixing well.  Let cool.  Spray hands with Pam.  Shape popcorn into balls.  Store in covered container.

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin-Soup  Comfort food for a Fall afternoon

1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 small onions -- chopped
2 cloves garlic -- finely chopped
4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
4 T chicken base (I use the low-sodium variety)

5 2/3 cups water
2 1/2 teaspoons salt - use less if your chicken base isn't low-sodium
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

29 ounces canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
24 fluid ounces evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, chicken base and sugar; cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until soft. Add water, salt and pepper; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, evaporated milk, ginger and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

This next step is optional.  Transfer mixture to food processor or blender, a couple of cups at a time; process until smooth. Return to saucepan. Serve warm. Serves 10

Hint: Don't fill the blender all the way.  It will find a way to splatter out of your lid.

Val Smith's Cheesecake

cheesecake-001
Our family has enjoyed this very light
cheesecake hundreds of times since 1975.

12 oz can evaporated milk.

Pour milk into small bowl, cover and set in freezer for a couple of hours.

2 C graham cracker crumbs
6 1/2 T sugar
1 cube butter

Melt the butter, stir in crumbs and sugar. Press all but 1/4 cup of crumbs into 9x13 pan. Set aside.

3 oz lemon Jell-O
1 C boiling water

Mix Jell-O in water and cool on countertop.

8 oz cream cheese
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Whip cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add sugar and vanilla. Slowly add Jell-O/water mixture while beating. Set aside.

Remove bowl of milk from freezer and pour into large bowl. Whip until peaks form similar to whipped cream. Fold in Jell-O/cream cheese mixture. Pour over 9 x 13 pan of crumbs. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of crumbs on top. Refrigerate for several hours.

Cereal Sticky Treats

ChexGG
You'll have trouble walking away from this.

1/2 of a 12.8 oz box of Rice Chex
1/2 of a 16 oz box of Golden Grahams
2 c flaked coconut
1 c sliced almonds

3/4 c butter
1 c sugar
1 c corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Mix the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a small pan. Stir in sugar and corn syrup and heat on medium high until mixture begins to boil. Stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until all of the ingredients are coated with syrup.

Hamburger Soup

HamburgerSoup
Back in 1970 Tracy Collins Bank employed a cook who charged a minimal amount for lunch. This was one of her recipes which I fed my growing family many times.

1 1/4 lb lean ground beef
1 c chopped onions
48 oz V-8® vegetable juice
1 c celery -- sliced
2 c potatoes -- chopped
4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp basil
28 oz canned tomatoes
1 c carrots -- sliced
4 beef bouillon cubes
4 c water

Options: garbanzo beans, zucchini, cauliflower, mushrooms, or a handful of frozen mixed veggies.

Brown hamburger with onions. Drain and add all the ingredients. Cook on medium-high for 20 minutes. You can use water instead of V-8, but the juice is better.

Raisin Filled Cookies

Raisin-cookies-017
They're a little labor-intensive, but worth the time.  No
eggs, no sugar other than a dusting of powdered sugar.

1 C cottage cheese
1 1/3 C butter
2 C flour
Raisin filling
Powdered sugar

In large bowl of electric mixer beat cottage cheese and shortening together until fluffy; gradually stir in flour with spoon.  Wrap in waxed paper and chill in refrigerator overnight.

Divide dough in 4 parts.  Work with one part at a time and keep remaining parts refrigerated.  On floured board with floured hands, roll each part into 12-inch log.  Cut 1-inch pieces off log and flatten with well-floured fingers into 2-1/12-inch rounds; mound teaspoonful of filling in center of each and pinch edges closed.

Bake on greased baking sheets (or ungreased silicone liners) in preheated 350º oven 18-20 minutes; cool on racks.  Store loosely covered.  Will keep several days, or freeze for later use.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.  Makes 4 dozen.

Raisin filling:  In small saucepan combine 1 1/2 C raisins and 1 C water; bring to boil and simmer 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Add 1/4 C chopped walnuts and set aside to cool.  Makes about 1 1/2 C.

Slow-Cooker Barbeque Pulled Pork

This can be the start of so many great meals. Pork enchiladas, taco salad, chili, .... the list is endless. Even add some to canned soup for an easy, quick dinner. -- Carole, this is for you!
 
Rub a 6 pound pork loin with a good steak rub. Place in a slow cooker. Pour 4 ounces of liquid smoke over the roast. Cover and set to high. Cook for 7 to 8 hours until roast can be pulled apart easily. (On low, plan on at least 12 hours.) Remove meat and pull apart. Cool the liquid, skim off the fat and discard. Pour the juice onto the shredded meat.
 
For a change, omit the liquid smoke and add a few squirts of lime juice, cilantro and garlic.  Yummy!

Nicole's Saran™ Wrap Ribs

ribs 
I was very dubious about this idea, but you can't
argue with success. These are way too easy.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Lay the ribs out on a heavy duty plastic wrap. Saran is good for this use. Season ribs with salt, pepper, garlic, whatever suits your fancy. Brush with your favorite barbecue sauce -- we use Stubbs.

Seal each rack separately in the plastic wrap. Seal again tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil. Place on a baking dish or cookie sheet and bake at 325º for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Remove both wraps and if desired, brown under the broiling element in your oven. These are fall-off-the-bone good.Stubb's Original Bar-B-Q Sauce

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies
These cookies were standard fare at Christmas when the
kids were home.  They can be made round or rectangular.

1 C butter, softened
1 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 C flour
1 C very finely chopped pecans

Powdered sugar (optional)

In large bowl of electric mixer cream butter and sugar until fluffy; blend in vanilla and salt.  With wooden spoon gently stir in flour and nuts.  Cover and refrigerate the dough for one hour or until firm.  Form the dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet OR divide dough in 5 portions, shape each in 12x1-inch roll, wrap in plastic and chill thoroughly.  When ready to bake, slice in 3-inch lengths; cut in half lengthwise and place cut side down on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 375º for 12-14 minutes, or until light brown.  Cool on racks.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Makes 40 cookies.

Chilled Corn Salad

Corn salad

16 oz frozen or canned (drained) corn
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 c chopped green pepper
3 T minced parsley
3 T cider vinegar
1 1/2 T oil
3/8 tsp salt
dash of pepper

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Refrigerate several hours.  Makes about 3 1/2 cups or 5-6 servings.

Raisin Grilled Cheese

PecanRaisinBread
Pecan Raisin Bread

I had forgotten this lunch treat from long ago until last week while buying a panini grill at Macy's. Forty years ago my friends and I frequented a tiny place in the garment district of LA that served grilled cheese on raisin bread with a slice of tomato. That sandwich was a frequent item on the menu as the kids were growing and then somehow was lost in my brain's recipe box.

Harmon's in Utah carries a wonderful artisan pecan raisin bread which I bought and had sliced on #11. I coated both sides of two pieces of bread with butter, layered a slice of sharp cheddar and tomato, then toasted it in the grill. You could do the same with a frying pan, turning the sandwich until it was done on both sides. Add a side salad for a tasty meal.

Carrot Cookies

Carrot-cookies-009b
This is my mother's recipe that she
picked up at church years ago.
 
1 cup butter - softened (20 seconds in the mw will do it)
1/2 C applesauce, shortening, or butter 
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups carrots
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon orange flavoring
4 cups flour
4 cups powdered sugar
orange juice

Cook the carrots until soft and then mash, or chop raw carrots finely in a food processor and don't cook.  Cream butter, applesauce and sugar. Add eggs. Mix well. Add carrots, baking powder, salt, vanilla and orange flavoring. Stir well. Add flour and stir well. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 13 minutes at 350º. While baking, mix powdered sugar with orange juice -- enough to make the glaze runny. Spread on hot cookies as they come out of the oven. Cool.
 
You can also make these using 2 C butter and omit the applesauce.

Chinese Cabbage Salad

Cabbage salad 4
3 C cubed chicken breast
1 med head cabbage chopped
1/2 C slivered or sliced almonds
2 pkgs Top Ramen noodles
3 chopped green onions

Cook chicken in frying pan with 1 T butter and seasoning packet from Top Ramen. Let cool. Soak noodles for 2 minutes in water. Drain and then break apart. Combine above ingredients.

1/2 C oil
2 tsp salt
4 T sugar
1/3 C rice vinegar
1 pkg. seasoning packet from noodles
3 T sesame seeds

Combine above ingredients and pour over salad mixture. Toss. 

Hint: On a busy day, I use canned chicken and don't fry it.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

I tore this recipe out of the newspaper 30 years ago.  I never have sweetened condensed milk on hand, but I do have all the ingredients and it's easy to make.

1 c sugar
1/2 c minus 2 T water
1/2 stick butter
1 1/3 c dry milk (the kind in the box - I keep this on hand for cooking)

In 2 cup glass measure, combine sugar, water and butter.  MW on High for 1 1/2 minutes until mixture boils, stirring every 30 seconds.  Combine in blender (or stir vigorously) with dry milk until smooth.  Makes 1 1/2 cups or same amount as one 15 oz. can.

Hot fudge sauce
For an easy hot fudge topping, stir six ounces
of chocolate chips into the heated ingredients.

Fideo Laredo

fideolaredo 
This is what I would call a "comfort food".
It has a lot of flavor and is simple to make.

10 oz angel hair pasta - uncooked (You can use coiled vermicelli as well.)
1/2 c butter
1/4 c chopped onion
3 1/2 c beef broth
1/2 c salsa
1/4 c chopped green pepper
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
Parmesan cheese to taste

Sauté onion in butter w/ pasta. Add broth, salsa, garlic and salt. Simmer stirring constantly about 7 minutes until pasta is tender and sauce thick. Top with parmesan. 4-6 servings.

Tortilla Chip Enchilada Casserole

EnchCasserole
2 pounds ground turkey or hamburger if you prefer
1 diced onion
1 large bag of tortilla chips (I save the broken chips from several bags for this dish)
Grated cheddar cheese
28 ounce can of red or green enchilada sauce
small can of sliced olives

Preheat oven to 400º. Brown turkey and onion, then drain. Layer 1/2 tortilla chips (push them down into the dish), 1/2 meat/onion, 1/2 sauce, a layer of cheese in 9 x 13 pan. Repeat with another layer then top with olives. Bake 20 minutes until cheese is melted.  This is one of those dishes that is even better the next day, or something you can assemble in the morning and bake for dinner.

Raspberry Torte

Raspberry-Torte-006
This is a sweet treat -- meringue shell with
whipped cream and raspberry Danish Dessert.

6 egg whites
2 t vanilla
2 t baking powder
2 c sugar
1 c crushed soda crackers (no kidding)
1 c chopped nuts

Whipped cream:
1 1/2 c whipping cream
1 1/2 t vanilla
6 T sugar

1 box Junket Danish Dessert - raspberry flavor

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease 9x13 pan - I use Pam. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks then add vanilla and baking powder. Slowly add sugar. Fold in crackers and nuts. Spread in pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool overnight. Top with whipped cream and Danish Dessert. (See box above. If you've never made it, you'll wonder why after you see how easy and tasty it is. You can add 2-3 cups of fresh or frozen berries to make this dessert even better. I like the frozen tri-berry mix from Costco.)

Hint: There's another recipe for this dessert floating around the Internet. The ingredients vary by adding an extra cup of cracker crumbs and substituting 1/2 t cream of tartar for the baking powder. You know the old adage, "If it's not broken, don't fix it?" I tried that recipe last night and it wasn't nearly as good.

Buche de Noel

BucheDeNoel
Today has been a trial of nerves. This recipe has been tweaked until it works EVERY time. The original recipe was too frustrating.
Cake
3 eggs
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c water
1 tsp vanilla - LorAnn is the best
1 c flour
1/4 c cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Whipped cream
1 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
4 T sugar
Whip the cream until it's fairly stiff and then fold in vanilla and sugar.

1/4 c walnuts -- finely chopped

Chocolate Frosting
2 oz unsweetened chocolate squares
1/2 c butter or margarine -- softened
2 tsp vanilla
2 c confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp milk

Line a 15x10x1 jelly-roll pan with well-greased foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang at each end of pan. In large bowl beat eggs until foamy; gradually add sugar and beat 10 more minutes. Stir in water. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Sift again into egg mixture and fold using a whisk making sure to break up any powdery lumps. Spread in pan and bake at 375° 12 minutes or until pick comes out clean. Don't overbake. Loosen edges and lift from pan by ends and invert on a flour sack towel (not terry) sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove foil carefully. (Actually, mine fell right off as I turned it onto the towel.) Cool 5 minutes, sprinkle with powdered sugar, then roll with towel in between. Cool. Unroll and spread with whipped cream and sprinkle nuts on cream. Re-roll without towel. Place on plate and frost. If you're creative, draw bark lines or wood grains in the frosting with a toothpick to make the log look a little more realistic. Sprinkle some finely chopped walnuts on the frosting. Chill. Cut in 1-inch slices.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING: Melt chocolate in microwave. Cream butter until fluffy. Blend in chocolate and vanilla, beat in sugar and milk. This stuff is deadly. Try to get most of it on the Yule log. OK to lick beaters afterward. This freezes well, but SLICE BEFORE FREEZING OR THE FROSTING WILL CRACK.

Hint:  There's usually a little leftover frosting that you can spread between graham cracker squares for grandkid treats.  Chill in an airtight container.

Pine Nut Brittle

PineNutBrittle
2 C sugar
1 C corn syrup
1/2 C water
1 C butter
2 C pine nuts -- Costco carries these
1 tsp soda

Stir sugar, syrup, and water in 3 quart saucepan. Heat until it boils, blend in butter. Stir frequently. Add nuts at 271º in Utah or 280º sea level. Stir constantly to hard crack stage - 294º in UT or 305º sea level. Remove from heat. Quickly stir in soda, mixing well. Pour onto 2 cookie sheets. Stretch thin by lifting and pulling from edges with forks or wooden spoons. After it hardens, pry off cookie sheet and break into pieces. Makes about 2.5 pounds. If you eat it all, you will gain way more than 2.5 pounds. Don't understand the science behind that, but it happens.

Hint: A couple of years ago I invested in a digital oven roasting thermometer that has a probe that tracks the internal temperature of a roast on an external monitor. I discovered last year that the gadget works quite well for candy-making. You set the desired temperature and the monitor beeps when that level is reached. You can use a wooden closepin to attach the probe to the side of the pan keeping the tip just above the bottom.

Shredded Beef Mexican Soup

Mexican-Jumbo-002
Bob and I ate at Qdoba's in Springfield, MO yesterday and fell in love with this dish. They call theirs "Naked Burrito®"The following recipe is as close as I could come to reproducing it. Wish they'd open a restaurant in Utah.

Pulled Beef

First thing this morning I threw a pot roast into the crock pot with a good dose of lime juice, cilantro and garlic. It cooked covered on high for 7 hours and then I pulled it apart.

Soup Base

6 C chicken stock
1/4 bunch of cilantro
3 cloves garlic
1/2 small chopped onion
1 15 oz can tomatoes
1 sm can chopped green chilies
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 t salt

Heat the chicken stock in a medium sized pot. Put cilantro, garlic, onion, tomatoes, chili and spices in a blender and blend until smooth. Add to stock and heat.

Lime Cilantro Rice

1 3/4 C chicken stock
1 T butter
1 C long grain rice
1/4 C lime juice
2 T lemon or lime zest
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 T dried cilantro

Heat stock to a boil. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. When it returns to a boil, turn down to low and cover saucepan. Cook for 20 minutes. Don't stir. Don't look. Leave it alone.

Salsa Verde

15 oz can tomatillos, drained
1 small chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno -- small or larger depending on the amount of heat you want.
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 lime juice

Process in blender or food processor until smooth.

Assemble in large flat individual bowls:

Lime cilantro rice, pulled beef, black beans, a scoop of soup base, some broken tortilla chips, a couple of tablespoons of salsa verde, cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Thank heavens for leftovers. This is going to be even better tomorrow!

Lazy Daze Pumpkin Cookies

pumpkin cookies
It doesn't get any easier than this! My friend, Mary, came up with this one. Add nuts, grated carrots, raisins, chocolate chips, or whatever suits your fancy. They're soft and good.

1 box spice or carrot cake mix
1 15 oz can pureed pumpkin

Mix cake mix and pumpkin. On cookie sheet, drop dough by generous tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart.  Bake at 350º for 14 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes.  Drizzle with glaze when they’re cool.

Glaze:
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir until smooth.