Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies
AKA: Russian Tea Cakes, Sandies,
these are also known by other names.

1 C. butter, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Cream together butter, powdered sugar & vanilla. Add flour, salt & nuts, mix well. Chill for 1 hour.
Roll into small balls & bake @ 350 for 12-15 min. When done, cool for 5-10 min & then roll in powdered sugar.

Caramel Apple Salad

Caramel Apple Salad

• 1 pkg. butterscotch instant pudding mix (3oz.)
• 1 cup dry roasted nuts
• 1 can crushed pineapple (8oz.)
• 1 cup mini marshmallows
• 3 cups chopped unpeeled apples
• 1 container whipped topping
Combine all ingredients in bowl; mix well. Chill until serving time.

Mexican Sloppy Joes

Mexican Sloppy Joes

My daughter and I made this recipe up one day, it's like a kicked-up version of Frito Pie. Marie & Kaiya Van Orden

• 1 lb. ground beef
• 2 cans chili with beans
• 1/4 cup mild salsa (or to taste)
• 1 can Niblets corn, drained
• 1 package Frito's Scoops chips (optional)
• 1 package tortillas (optional)
• Grated cheese (colby jack is good - it's not oily as it melts)
• Sour cream
• Chopped onion/scallions
• Sliced olives
• OR anything you want - get creative!
Crumble ground beef into pan and cook until done (season as desired). Drain beef and return to pan. Add 2 cans chili, salsa (enough to moisten mixture to desired consistency), and corn - heat until warmed through. Serve in tortillas (roll up in burritos) or over Frito's Scoops and top with desired garnishes. Serve with a salad - this is a dinner that can be pulled together in less than 30 minutes! The ground beef mixture freezes well for future meals.
TIP: I like to buy ground beef in bulk - when I get home, I take 1/2 - 3/4 of the package & cook it (seasoned with only salt and pepper) for use in recipes like sloppy joes, spaghetti, tacos, etc. I freeze it in one pound portions - then for a quick meal, I thaw and season it for the recipe - then dinner is on the table even faster!
Also, I usually buy extra-extra lean ground beef, but if ground chuck is on sale, I snag up as much as I can! It has such a great flavor, especially for burgers and tacos!

Neely's Pigs in a Blanket

Neely's Pigs in a Blanket

Recipe courtesy The Neelys

• 1 (8-ounce) can original crescent dough
• 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
• 20 mini hot dogs or cocktail franks
• 1 egg , lightly beaten
• Poppy seeds or sesame seeds
• Tangy Dipping Sauce, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut each triangle of crescent roll dough into thirds lengthwise, making 3 small strips from each roll.
Brush the dough strips lightly with Dijon mustard. Put the mini hot dogs on 1 end of the dough and roll up.
Arrange them, seam side down, on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with the dipping sauce.

Tangy Dipping Sauce:
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving. Can be made a day ahead.

Candied Apple Pork Chops

Candied Apple Pork Chops
From Home Cooking Magazine

2 medium red apples
4 boneless pork loin chops
Cooking oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons pecans, chopped
Core and slice apples. Heat skillet, brush pork chops with cooking oil and cook until brown. Combine brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Add butter to skillet and stir in brown sugar mixture and apples. Cook until apples are tender. Remove apples with slotted spoon and arrange on top of chops. Continue cooking sauce until it thickens. Spoon sauce over apples and chops. Top with pecans.
Serving quantity: Serves 4.

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Crushed candy canes or starlight mints, to yield 1 cup
2 pounds white chocolate
Peppermint oil (NOT EXTRACT!!!!), optional

Place candy canes in a plastic bag and hammer into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave (CAREFUL! White chocolate scorches easily, especially in the microwave. Melt in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval.) Combine candy cane chunks with chocolate (add peppermint oil to taste at this point if desired – start with 5 – 7 drops to start.) Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces (like peanut brittle.) This also looks beautiful in chocolate lollipop molds!

Candy Cane Truffles

Candy Cane Truffles
Serving: 36 Prep time: 30 minutes Chill time: 4 ½ hours
8 ounces chocolate chips
½ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
½ cup cocoa powder for dusting
½ cup crushed candy canes or peppermints
1. Place the chocolate chips in a small mixing bowl.
2. In a microwave-safe glass measuring cup, combine the peppermint extract and heavy cream, then heat in your microwave on full power for 1 minute.
3. Pour the hot peppermint-cream mixture over the chocolate chips, then whisk (don’t beat) until smooth and well blended. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until firm, at least three hours.
4. Line your baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Using a teaspoon, drop small, rounded spoonfuls of the mixture onto your prepared baking sheet.
5. Place your baking sheet in the freezer for approximately 45 minutes, or until the rounds are firm. Remove your sheet from the freezer and quickly roll each spoonful into a ball with clean hands.
6. Place the cocoa powder in a small dish. Gently roll each chocolate ball in the dish to coat it with cocoa powder.
7. Chill the chocolate pieces in the freezer until firm.
8. Next, place the crushed candy canes or mints in a small dish. Remove the chocolate balls from the freezer and roll each in the crushed candy canes.
9. Chill the truffles again until firm and repeat candy cane coating for a second time.
10. Store the truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving. Place the truffles in paper candy cups and serve.
Tip: Stored in an airtight container, your truffles will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or an entire month in the freezer. Be sure to let truffles stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Presentation Tip: Add dimension and whimsy to your dessert presentation with stackable cake stands and footed trays. Try mixing and matching assorted sizes, styles and colors for a funky, stylish effect. Get eclectic by browsing local flea markets and vintage shops for one-of-a-kind pieces. If you’re giving treats to family, friends or neighbors, pump up the charm and place them in a gift-wrapped box or bag.