Friday, March 27, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Cabbage Wedges!

 
 
 
This is a really great way to cook cabbage.  It has so much flavor and the cabbage comes out tender, but not cooked to death.  I do not like my cabbage over cooked.  You can do these on the grill or place the bundles on a cookie sheet and do them in the oven.  Here is what you will need:
 
1 large green head of cabbage, cut in 6 wedges
butter
1 large sweet onion, cut in 6 slices (Vidalia is great for this)
6 slices thick cut bacon
salt
black pepper
garlic powder
soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce
6 Tbs. brown sugar
 
Cut the cabbage in six equal wedges.  Cut around the core in the center so that it's not included.   Place each wedge of cabbage on  a double thickness of aluminum foil large enough to close it up in.  If you are doing these on the grill, the heavy duty foil works best.  Spread butter on one side of the cabbage.   Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and garlic powder to taste.   
 
Place a slice of onion on top of the cabbage wedge.
 
Wrap the slice of thick cut bacon around the cabbage wedge and onion slice.  It sort of holds it together.  This is best if you use the thick cut bacon and not the paper thin type, because if you use the thin cut it doesn't cook up as well.   Drizzle each wedge with a little soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  Don't drench them, just a little drizzle.  Then sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar on top.   Sort of press it into the bacon.   This give the cabbage such a good flavor.
 
Close your little bundles up good and tight.  If you are cooking them in the oven, place them on a baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes.  If you are grilling them on the grill, you can place them directly on the grates or even better, if you have one of those grilling sheets with the holes in it, use that.  It will be much easier to move them off the grill.  Place over medium heat for about 30-35 minutes with the cover closed.  Turn them over several times during grilling with tongs so they don't burn on one side.  Mine usually take less time on the actual grill than in the oven, but it depends on how hot your grill is.
 
Be careful when you remove and open these little pouches, because they are really hot and full of steam.   The best way I have found to open them is to cut them open with my kitchen shears or you could use a sharp knife.  Remove to a serving plate with a spatula!  Serve while good and hot!  These are so yummy! 
 
 



Monday, March 23, 2015

Black Forest Cake!



The "Black Forest Cake" is a dessert that originated in Germany as so many great desserts and baked confections did.  Black Forest is the English name for the German dessert called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, which literally means Black Forest Cherry Torte.  

This is a really elegant looking cake that's perfect for the holidays or for a special occasion.  Here is what you will need to make it:

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1  1/4 cups water
4 (1 oz. each) squares of unsweetened baking chocolate
2 tsp. vanilla
1  3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Chocolate Filling
6 oz. German Chocolate
3/4 cup butter

Cream Filling
3 cups heavy whipping cream
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. almond flavoring

Topping
1 cup cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Beat in the water just until blended.

Microwave the 4 ounces of chocolate just until melted and stir until smooth.  Stir in vanilla until blended.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the melted chocolate.   Beat after each addition.

Line four 9 inch round cake pans with parchment or wax paper and spray them liberally with nonstick baking spray, even the paper.   Divide the batter evenly between the pans.  Place in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.   Cool in the pans for ten minutes before turning out and cooling on a wire rack.

To make the chocolate filling, melt the German Chocolate in a the microwave until melted.  Stir until smooth.  Stir in the butter until melted and smooth.

For the cream filling, place the cream in a glass bowl and beat with a mixer until it starts to thicken.  Add sugar and almond flavoring and beat until peaks form. 

To put this together, place on cake layer on a cake plate.  Spread with 1/4 of the chocolate filling and 1/4 of the cream filling on top.  Repeat the same layers two more times with the filling.  Top with the remaining cake and top it with the chocolate filling. 

Place the rest of the cream filling in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.  Pipe a border around the top edge of the cake.  This sort of serves to hold the cherry filling on top and it looks pretty!  Carefully spoon the cherry pie filling on top.  Spread the remaining cream filling on the sides of the cake and smooth with a cake spatula.  Store in the refrigerator until time to serve!

Slice and serve!  Doesn't this make a pretty presentation? Your guests will be so impressed!




Thursday, March 19, 2015

Holy Cow Cake!

 
I guess this cake got it's name, because when you taste it, you will say "HOLY COW" that is good!  It's similar to another cake they used to call by various names.....Robert Redford cake was one of them.  However, this cake kicks that recipe up a notch or two and it is to die for!  This also keeps for up to a week in the fridge, if it lasts that long.   Here is what you will need for this cake:
 
1 box chocolate cake mix, plus the ingredients called for on the box to prepare it (eggs, oil, water)
8 oz. caramel topping
14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand Milk)
1 cup Butterfinger Candy Bar or Heath Bars, crushed
12 oz. frozen whipped topping
1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box and bake for the time recommended for a 9"x13" baking pan.  Remove from oven and while warm poke holes evenly over the top of the cake with a wooden skewer or the end of a wooden spoon.  I have even used a meat fork.
 
In a bowl, mix the caramel topping and the sweetened condensed milk and pour evenly over the top of the cake while it is still warm!
 
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the crushed candy bar pieces evenly over the top.  Allow the cake to cool for about an hour on the counter.
 
With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, whipped cream and 1 tsp. vanilla until fluffy.  Drop by spoonful on the top of the cake!
 
With a cake spatula, spread over the top.  This frosting is fairly thick and stiff so it works best to do it this way! 
 
Sprinkle the other 1/2 cup of the candy bar pieces evenly over the top!  Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour!
 
Cut in squares and serve!  Holy Cow this is good!!!  This cake just gets better each day also.  It can be kept up to a week in the refrigerator, if it last that long!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Apricot White Chocolate Fudge!

 
 
 
This is a really easy fudge to make and the addition of the apricots makes it something just a bit different.  This one turns out great every time!  Here is what you will need:
 
1/2 cup butter, plus 2 tsp., divided
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups sour cream
12 squares of baking chocolate (1 ounce each), chopped
1 (7 oz.) jar of marshmallow cream
1 (6 oz.) pkg. of dried apricots, chopped
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
 

Line a 9" square pan with foil and butter it with 2 tsp. butter.   Place the sugar, sour cream and remaining butter in a heavy saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 234 degrees or soft-ball stage.  If you drop a little of it in cold water it will form a ball.  This takes about 5 1/2 minutes of cooking time.  Be sure to stir it the whole time.
 
Remove from the heat.  Stir in the chocolate until it's melted.   Stir in the marshmallow cream until blended.   Fold in the apricots and nuts.   Pour into a prepared pan. 
 
Cover and refrigerate overnight.   Using the foil, lift the fudge out. 
 
Discard the foil and cut in 1 inch squares.
 
Place the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate to maintain freshness!



Roasted Rosemary Potatoes!

 
This is a really simple recipe, but the combination of ingredients makes it so tasty!  These are good with almost any main course...pork, chicken, or beef!   I grow most of my own herbs and I usually always have tons of rosemary so I like to incorporate it in as many dishes as I can.  I think it just adds the best flavor!   If you don't have fresh rosemary available, you can use dried, just use less.  Here is what you will need for this recipe:


5 cups of quartered or halved small red or Yukon yellow potatoes, skins left on
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped or 2 tsp. dried
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. Parsley

Wash the potatoes and depending on how big they are, quarter them or halve them. Leave the skins on.  Place them in a zip lock bag with 1/4 cup olive oil or canola oil, 1 package onion soup mix and the chopped rosemary.  Make sure the bag is zipped and shake the mixture with the potatoes.  Place in a baking dish in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, turning them over once at 20 minutes. 

 When they come out of the oven sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and Parsley!


Friday, March 13, 2015

7-Up Biscuits!


This is one of those recipes that has circulated all over the Internet and Pinterest and I get asked for it a lot, so I thought I would make these and post them.  This recipe does produce a really fluffy and light biscuit due to the addition of the soda.  They also have just a hint of sweetness.  If you do not have good luck with making homemade biscuits, this is a good recipe to use, because I don't think you can mess it up.  

As with all of the Pinterest type recipes, I have to experiment and see if they really work.  This one works, but I did adjust just a bit for best results.   Here is what you will need:

2 1/4 cups baking mix (like Bisquick o Jiffy)
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup 7-Up or any clear carbonated soda will work
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Place the butter in a 9"x9" baking pan and place it in the oven to melt the butter.  Watch it carefully or it will burn.

Place the baking mix in a mixing bowl.  With a pastry cutter or fork, cut the sour cream into the baking mix.  Pour in the 7-Up and mix.   This makes a very soft dough. 

Sprinkle a board or sheet of wax paper with more baking mix and then turn your dough out onto it.  Knead and work the dough until it is covered with baking mix.  Do Not over work the dough.  This is why biscuits turn out sort of tough and not flaky. Just knead enough that you can roll the dough out to cut it.
  I use a baking mix that I get at GFS (Gordon Food Services) and it is so much better than any I have ever tried.  It has little bits of butter in it.  If you have a GFS in your area, check it out.  I think they are mostly in the southeast.


Roll it out, leaving it fairly thick for thicker biscuits. Cut with a biscuit cutter or glass or whatever you have. You should get about 9-10 biscuits out of this.

Place each biscuit in the pan, turning them over in the melted butter so that each side gets buttered.  Place in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes or until browned on top!

Serve hot out of oven!  They are delicious!




Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cheesy Brown Sugar Pork Chops!

 
 
These "Cheesy Brown Sugar Pork Chops" are something different to do with boneless chops and they are scrumptious, which is like delicious plus some!!!   The flavors just really go well together and takes no time to do!  These make it look like you went to a lot of trouble, but really didn't!  They are special enough for company or a special dinner and will probably become a much request main course!    Here is what you will need:
 
5-6 boneless pork loin chops, cut about 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup Teriyaki or soy sauce (I used Kikkoman Teriyaki)
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs. butter
1 cup shredded Cheddar Monterrey Jack cheese blend
 
Place the pork chops on a baking sheet with a lip on it that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or I lined mine with nonstick Reynolds Wrap, which worked great!   This tends get a little sticky so you must do one other the other. Evenly sprinkle the Teriyaki or Soy Sauce over each pork chop, then sprinkle evenly with the Seasoned salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne if using it.  I like the little kick it gives them, but if you don't like spicy, leave it out.
 
Sprinkle each pork chop evenly with the brown sugar.  You will need to sort of press in on the top so it stays in place.  Drizzle each one with the melted butter.   Boneless pork chops are very lean nowadays, so this little bit of butter really moistens these up and adds flavor.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and spoon some of the juices back over the pork chops.  They will render some juices as they cook.  Now evenly divide the cheese and place on each chop. 
 
Place back in the oven on the highest rack for about 5- 7 minutes or until the cheese is just nice and melted.
 
Plate and serve immediately!  These are really very easy, but it looks like you fussed!
 


 
 
 



Green Bean Bundles!

 
 
Green bean Bundles are a perfect side dish for a holiday meal.  They are also a favorite with all boys...big boys and little boys.  My son, his friends and all of my nephews...my twin nephews, my oldest nephews and even my itty bitty great nephews,  love these green beans wrapped in bacon.  I am not sure why they are such a hit with boys, but my son's theory is that it makes green beans taste like barbeque and he might be on to something there. 
What you will need:
 
2 cans whole green beans, garlic salt, Nature's Seasoning, minced garlic, soy sauce, Wosteshire  sauce, Tabasco sauce, bacon, brown sugar and butter.
Melt 1/2 stick butter in skillet with 1Tbs. minced garlic.  Add 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup Worsteshire sauce, 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp Nature's Season or salt and pepper, dash of Tabasco, and 1 cup brown sugar.   Simmer until it is all combined and the sugar is melted. Add the liquid from 1 of the cans of green beans to this mixture.  Drain both cans of beans.
 
Cut bacon strips in half and wrap each half around a small bundle of the green beans.  You should get about 10 bundles from two cans of beans.   Stick a toothpick through each bundle to close.  Place in a casserole dish or pan and cover with the sauce.  You can make these early in the day or even a day ahead and refrigerate them to marinate.  I think they are actually better if they sit for a few hours.  Just spoon the sauce back over them before baking.  Put them in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, then move to the top rack for about 10 minutes to be sure the bacon is browned.
These will disappear fast!  I never have left overs no matter how many I make. 
 
Ingredients
 
2 cans whole green beans (you can do more green beans if you are serving a lot of people)
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1/2 stick butter
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. Nature's Seasons or salt and pepper
1 cup brown sugar
dash Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
5-6 slices of bacon (cut each in half)



Monday, March 9, 2015

Buttered Stewed Potatoes!

 
 
I am not sure why I haven't posted this recipe before.  I guess it might be because it's so simple, it's not even really a recipe.  However, I kept getting questions about them, especially from younger cooks, whose grandmothers probably cooked these and they never asked what was in them.  
 
Growing up, these were my favorite potatoes, even more than mashed potatoes.  I just loved them and I still do.  When I was growing up and smelled these cooking, I knew supper would be so good.  Every now and then I would get fooled though, and what I thought were potatoes boiling, turned out to be buttered turnips!   Oh my gosh, that was disappointing. As I got older and was tall enough to actually see what was on the stove I knew better. 
 
There is no set recipe for these "Buttered Stewed Potatoes", but this is my recipe and it is just slightly different than my own mother makes them.  I add seasoned salt to mine at the end.  It just gives them such flavor.  Here is what you will need:
 
5-6 nice size potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
 
Place the diced potatoes in a large sauce pan.  I like to dice these in a large dice, not too small.   Cover the potatoes with water, about an inch above the potatoes.  Add the regular salt to the water.  Cover and bring to a boil.   Watch them, because they can boil over.  Turn to medium and cook for about 20 minutes or until fork tender.   Stick a fork in one and it should be soft.  Don't let them cook too long though, because you will have mashed potatoes.
 


Carefully drain most of the water off of the potatoes, but not all.  Leave about an inch or two in the pan.  The water blends with the butter to make a sauce of sorts.  Some drain all of the water, but then you have to use more butter and they just aren't as good to me.  Add the butter, pepper and seasoned salt to the pan and cover until the butter melts.  You do not need the heat on these at this point.  Just put the pan on the warm burner with the lid on it. 
 
With a large spoon, gently toss the potatoes until the butter and seasonings are distributed.
 
Serve immediately!!!  These are my go to potatoes when I am in a hurry and just want something good and fast!  They go with just about anything, but especially good with pinto beans, pork chops, meatloaf, salmon patties, you get the picture...lol.   They are just good down home food.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pizza Crescents!

 
 
This is a simple little recipe really, but the results are so yummy!   It turns canned crescent rolls plus a few other ingredients into something so good!  These are great served with pasta or soup or as an appetizer.  Two of them are also a good lunch!  The kids will love these for an after school snack and they can even assemble their own.   Here is what you will need:
 
1 can crescent rolls (I used Pillsbury)
1 cup pepperoni slices
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
garlic powder
1 cup pizza sauce or marinara sauce, warmed for dipping
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
 
Separate the rolls into triangles. Place about three pepperoni slices at the end of the widest part of the triangle. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese and a little of the Parmesan cheese. Then roll them up.  You need to roll them pretty tight so the cheese doesn't leak out.  Place them with the pointed end down on a cookie sheet.  I lined my cookie sheet with nonstick foil, which is the best thing ever.  If you don't use that you might want to spray your cookie sheet lightly with nonstick spray. 
 

Sprinkle the tops with a little garlic powder and little more Parmesan!  Place in a 375 degree oven and bake for 13-15 minutes or until browned.
The cheese will be ooey gooey!  Place on a serving plate with the warmed pizza sauce or marinara sauce for dipping.
 
These are so good and you can add other ingredients you might like...browned sausage or beef, olives, jalapeno, or mushrooms!  Get creative!!! 



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Asparagus Casserole!

 
 
 
I love asparagus prepared just about any way.  It's hard to find good recipes for using it though it seems.  I just think some are hesitant to serve it, because they are not sure about it.   This is a really old recipe we have been making for years for "Asparagus Casserole"!  I always associate it with Easter for some reason, maybe because of the eggs in it or because we serve it for Easter some years!  It is a good recipe to use up those hard boiled eggs.  The flavors in this are just excellent.  You can also used canned asparagus or fresh that has been blanched.   Here is what you need for this recipe:
 
1 (15 oz.) can asparagus, drained (can use an equal amount of fresh asparagus, blanched and cut in 2 inch pieces)
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced thin
4 Tbs. butter
4 Tbs. flour
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers, crushed
4 Tbs. butter, melted
 
Layer the drained asparagus in a 2 quart casserole that has been buttered or sprayed with nonstick spray.   Cover the asparagus with the egg slices. 
 
Melt the butter in the microwave in a glass bowl.   Whisk in the flour and microwave about 30 seconds.  Whisk in the milk, salt pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice.  Microwave on high for about 3-4 minutes or until it's starting to thicken.  Whisk until smooth and add the cheese.  Microwave one more minute and whisk. You can also do this in a sauce pan on the stove top.
 
Pour the sauce evenly over the eggs and asparagus.    Mix the melted butter with the crushed Ritz crackers and sprinkle over the top. 
 




 Bake, uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
 

This is really good with baked ham or turkey!