Archive for the 'Recipes' Category


Carol’s Famous Apple Pie

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

I don’t want to brag, but I’m famous for my apple pies.  Well,  famous within my family circle, anyway.  I have a secret that makes my apple pies better than any others I’ve ever tasted.  Not bragging – just stating a fact.  -) Here’s the recipe and the secret:

CAROL’S FAMOUS APPLE PIE

2 unbaked pie crusts

About 3-5 pounds of apples (get a variety of red and golden delicious, granny smith, gala – whatever is on sale.  Having a variety is important)

1 cup sugar (more or less depending on your taste)

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons plain flour

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Apple pie spice – the more, the merrier

a few dabs of butter or margarine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Spray a deep dish pie pan with Pam and spread one of the pie crusts on the bottom.  Set aside.

Peel the apples and cut them into very thin slices and place in a large microwave safe bowl.  It will be a lot – but it will cook down.  Add the sugar, flour, cornstarch and spices to the apples and mix thoroughly.  Add about 1/2 cup water and stir again.

Place the bowl in the microwave and microwave on high for about 10-15 minutes, pausing occasionally to stir.  Pre-cooking the apples is my secret step.  It makes an enormous difference!

Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan.  Dot with butter.  The apple mixture should reach the top of the pan. 

Place the second pie crust over the top, fold the top crust under the bottom one and crimp the edges with your fingers or with a fork to seal the two crusts together  Take a knife and cute a few X’s in the crust so that steam can escape.

I usually dot the top with butter and sprinkle a little sugar on top to make it look prettier, but that’s  optional

Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.  You will probably want to put a cookie sheet or aluminum foil under the pie pan before baking since the pie tends to bubble over during baking.

Serve the pie warm with a little vanilla ice cream, and you’ll swear you’ve died and gone to heaven.

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The Best Southern Pecan Pie

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

I’ve had this pecan pie recipe for probably 35 years.  It is so easy but so good.  I’ll be making several of these tomorrow to take to my mother’s and to mother-in-law’s for Thanksgiving. 

THE BEST SOUTHERN PECAN PIE

1/2 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 cup light corn syrup

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans

one unbaked pie crust

Beat the eggs.  Add the other ingredients (except pie crust – duh!)  Pour into the unbaked pie shell.  Bake 45 minutes at 300 degrees.  It is done when the center is firm.

You can add a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips or some flaked coconut for a different twist.  However, in my opinion, plain pecan pie is the best.

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Taco Soup – Ideal for a Cold Day

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

I’ve been on a recipe kick recently. I just made a pot of taco soup to take to church tomorrow. A group from another church will be there, and so we’re having a pot luck dinner for them (and us) after the church service.

This a recipe I got from one of my nieces about five years ago. I’ve made it many times since then – for family and for company. It is delicious, and it’s ridiculously easy. Here it is:

TANTALIZING TACO SOUP

1-pound ground beef
1 chopped onion
2 cans diced tomatoes (not crushed)
1 can corn
1 can tomato soup
Up to 2 tomato soup cans of water (as desired)
1 can kidney beans
1 can tomato sauce
1 package taco seasoning (hot or mild, depending on your taste)

Brown the ground beef and onion together. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer. Serve with toppings like corn chips, sour cream, salsa, grated cheese. You can also substitute salsa for one can of diced tomatoes.

Don’t get too hung up on exact quantities of everything. Tonight I “kinda” doubled it – I doubled some ingredients and added just a little extra of others, depending on what I had on hand – and it still tastes wonderful. It’s nice to serve with little bowls of grated cheese, salsa, sour cream and corn chips beside it. That way everyone can “doctor it” the way they like it.

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Sweet Potato Souffle’ – Best Sweet Potato Recipe in the WORLD!

Friday, November 17th, 2006

Sweet Potato Souffle'
Sweet Potato Souffle’

Here is a recipe that’s been in my family for ages. I think it was my mother-in-law’s originally. I’m not sure where she got it. However, it is the most delicious sweet potato dish in the world. It is almost like a dessert. Actually, at times I have had an extra serving of this rather than eating dessert after a meal. I’ve made dozens of times, my daughter has made it dozens of times, and my mother-in-law has probably made it hundreds of times. It’s PERFECT for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

SWEET POTATO SOUFFLE’

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick margarine
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt

Topping:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick margarine
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix together the first seven ingredients, blending until smooth. Pour into a large casserole dish. Combine the topping ingredients and spread over the top of the potatoes. Bake in 350 degree oven until topping is a light brown. Makes 8-10 servings.

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Thursday Thirteen – 35th Edition – Thirteen Recipes I’ve Posted

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

THIRTEEN RECIPES I LIKE THAT I’VE POSTED

Cooking is one of my hobbies. I enjoy trying out new recipes and preparing meals for family and friends. I’ve posted some of my favorite recipes. Here are thirteen of them.

1. Rice Bowls (Freeze for quick meals later)

2. Hoppin’ John (So easy – so good)

3. Easy (and MOIST) Coconut Cake (double the frosting, though, to have enough to cover the cake)

4. Pesto Dip (Fancy for entertaining)

5. Chicken Cobbler

6. Ricky and Lyn’s Sweet and Sour Chicken (Great to freeze for quick meal later)

7. Easy Fruit Cobbler

8. Chicken Noodle Soup (The ultimate comfort food)

9. Corn Salad (This is so good I plan to make it for Thanksgiving)

10. Chicken and Dumplings (My favorite!)

11. Chicken Enchiladas (Absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS!)

12. Blueberry-Orange Jam (great on bagels)

13. Orange-Feta-Walnut-Field Greens Salad (Light, elegant, EXTREMELY easy and delicious)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Chicken Enchiladas – DELICOUS!

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

I made chicken enchiladas for lunch today.  I actually made them last night, and then after church I just had to heat them in the oven.  We had both kids with their spouses, along with the two granddaughters over for lunch. 

Here’s the recipe.  You’ll LOVE it!

YUMMY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

5 large chicken breast halves (cooked, deboned, chopped, set aside)

3 T butter

1 medium onion, chopped finely

16 oz. chopped frozen spinach, thawed, drained and patted dry with a paper towel

4 oz. can green chiles, chopped

2 cans (10.5 oz each) cream of chicken soup (undiluted)

16 oz. sour cream (I actually FORGOT this ingredient when I made them last night – and the dish was still wonderful)

1 tsp. ground cumin

2 cans enchilada sauce (red is what I used, but green would probably be good, too)

16 oz. shredded Mexican cheese, divided

20 flour tortillas (I used whole wheat, and they were good)

Melt butter in a skillet and saute’ the onion.  Remove it from the heat and let it cool.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the onions, drained spinach, green chiles, soup, sour cream, cumin and about 2/3 of the cheese. Mix well.  Fold in the chicken and blend well.

Take one tortilla and spread a large spoonful of the chicken mixture down the center.  Roll up the tortilla and lay it folded side down in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish (spray dish with Pam first).  Do the same with the other tortillas.  You’ll end up using 3 or 4 pans, depending on the size of the pan.  Pour the enchila sauce evening over the enchiladas in all the pans and then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

I probably used a lot more cheese than the recipe calls for – just follow your taste.

You can refrigerate overnight or bake immediately.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until the cheese bubbles.  Serve with salsa and sour cream.  It makes 20 enchiladas, and two of them are more than most people can eat.

Since this recipe makes so much, you can easily half it – or go ahead and make the full recipe and freeze some for another meal.

This meal served 6 adults and two children at lunch today.  There was enough leftover that I sent a pan home with my son and his wife for a meal later this week, and RT and I will get at least two meals out of the leftovers.

One thing I like about the recipe is that it makes enough that it provides more than one meal.  This is the kind of recipe to make on a weekend – put in three or four different containers and freeze.  Then on a busy evening after work, just pop it from the freezer into the over – and you have a ready made dinner.

If you try it, let me know.  It really was one of the most delicious dishes I’ve made in a long time.

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Chicken and Whole Wheat Dumplings – back to the drawing board

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

Yesterday when I got home from work, it was cold and rainy – perfect chicken and dumpling weather.  Since I had been looking for a recipe for whole wheat dumplings I decided that it was time to try.

I started a pot of water boiling on the stove, added lots of chicken tenderloins, and then I seasoned it with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.  I got two onions, some green, yellow and red pepper strips and several stalks of celery.  I chopped it all finely and added it to the water.  To that I tossed in some grated carrots.  I like my chicken and dumplings with some color and flavor, and all the little bits of veggies do that.  When the chicken was well-cooked, I removed it from the boiling water.  Now for the dumplings.

All the recipes that I had found for whole wheat dumplings had half whole wheat flour and half white flour.  However, I wanted entirely whole wheat.  After all, I reasoned, in the olden days whole wheat flour was all they had.  So surely it’s not that difficult to make whole wheat dumplings.

I mixed up a couple cups of whole wheat flour with some buttermilk and seasonings.  I added baking powder and baking soda and salt as leavening so the dumplings wouldn’t be so dense.  I rolled out the dough, cut it into strips and pinched off little pieces into the boiling broth.  Once the dumplings had boiled awhile, I chopped the chicken and added it back to the pot.

Once it had all simmered awhile, I was ready for the taste test.  My anticipation was high.  Alas, I was disappointed.  I was looking for SCRUMPTIOUS, and I got nourishing.  They’re healthy and nutritious, but they didn’t qualify for the delicious rating.  

Sigh.  RT has been out of town this week and will be home in a couple hours.  I’ll get him to try them and see if his opinion is the same as mine.

However, I trust my taste buds enough to know that it’s back to the drawing board to find a truly delicious recipe for whole wheat dumplings.

 

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I need a recipe for Coconut Cake

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Does anyone have a WONDERFUL Coconut cake recipe?  I have a couple, but I’m looking for one that is super moist – but easy to make.  Tomorrow is  my daughter-in-law’s birthday, and she wants a coconut cake for the family get-together.  I actually posted a coconut cake recipe once, but I wanted to try something new.  So, if you have a great coconut cake recipe, please send it to me!   THANKS!

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Chicken and Dumplings

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Yesterday, RT and I flew to Georgia to visit my mother for awhile.  Out of our seven siblings (of which I’m the median one) – five were there.  My sister-in-law, Vicki, made a HUGE pot of chicken and dumplings.  I love chicken and dumplings.  It’s the ultimate comfort food, and it’s really good for  you.   Here’s an easy recipe for homemade chicken and dumplings.

You’ll need:

1 can refrigerated biscuit dough  (If you really like dumplings, you can use 2 cans.  It just depends on how much  you’re making.  There’s no hard and fast rule here.  Vicki made such a huge pot of chicken and dumplings, she probably used five or more cans!)

chicken (a package or two of boneless chicken or a whole chicken)

chicken stock (one or two cans of chicken broth)

salt, pepper, poultry seasoning

1 onion

2 carrots

2 stalks celery

1 cup plain flour

Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with water.  Add the chopped onion, grated carrot and finely chopped celery to the water.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.  Simmer until the chicken is well cooked.  Remove the chicken from the pot and let the chicken cool.  Leave the vegetables in the pot with the liquid.  Once the chicken is cool, remove the meat from the bone and cut or tear into bite size pieces.  Set the chicken aside.

Place the flour in a small bowl.  Open the can of biscuits and cut/break each biscuit into about 8 pieces.   Put the pieces into the flour and coat well.  The flour is what thickens the liquid.  So use it generously.

Bring the reserved liquid to a boil.  Add additional chicken stock, if desired.  It depends on how much chicken and dumplings you are making.  Sometimes I add a drop or two of yellow food coloring to make it “prettier.”

Once it is at a rolling boil, drop the biscuit pieces into the liquid one at a time.  Stir gently to keep them from sticking to the bottom.  Make sure each biscuit piece is well coated with flour before dropping it into the liquid.  After it has simmered for awhile, add the chicken back to the liquid, and it’s ready to serve.  Prepare a salad or vegetable, and you’ve got a perfect meal. 

I’m looking for a good recipe for whole wheat dumplings so that RT will eat them.  Since he is pre-diabetic, he doesn’t eat hardly anything that has plain flour in it.  When I get a good recipe for whole wheat chicken and dumplings, I’ll let you know.

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Ice Cream Recipes – No Sugar – No Fat

Monday, August 21st, 2006

Last Thursday I wrote about wanting some no-sugar and low-fat ice cream recipes to make for our church’s ice cream get-together. I found a BUNCH of recipes, and ended up making two of them – with my own variations. They turned out REALLY delicious!

Here’s the first – my favorite:

Peach Ice Cream (no sugar recipe – however it ISN’T low fat)
2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup instant nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 cup Splenda
1 cup cold water
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
4 Tablespoons cornstach
4 cups crushed peaches (or 4 cups crushed strawberries)
Whisk together the evaporated milk, cream, whole milk, nonfat dry milk, and Splenda in a large mixing bowl. Stir well and set aside.
Stir gelatin and cornstarch together in a microwavable bowl. Pour the cold water into the gelatin and cornstarch mixture. Stir well using a small whisk until the mixture is very well blended and there are no visible lumps.
Microwave the gelatin mixture on high about 2 minutes, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds, or until a thick clear gel forms. Remove cooked mixture from microwave. Slowly add 1 cup of the ice cream base into the gelatin. Stir well, making sure the gelatin and cornstarch are evenly distributed and there are no visible lumps. Pour back into the remaining ice cream base and mix well.
Pour into an electric ice cream maker and follow the directions for freezing.
This next recipe is delicious, too – very light and refreshing. It has no sugar AND no fat. And it is actually GOOD for you – no guilt whatsoever required!
Orange Pineapple Sorbet (no fat and no sugar)
1 cup water
1 cup Splenda
4 cups orange juice
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 (20 ounce) cans crushed pineapple (in pineapple juice)
4 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
Stir the Splenda into the water and stir until it is completely dissolved.
In a blender or food processor, puree pineapple with its juice until smooth. Transfer to a metal bowl, and stir in the lemon juice, orange juice and orange zest.
Pour into an ice cream maker and follow the directions for freezing. This is a very refreshing dessert.
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