Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reuben Party Spread

This makes a LOT so I would cut it in half and also make sure the ham is well chopped, my chunks were too big. Pretty fatty but tasty if you happen to like Reubens, which I do.

Reuben Party Spread

1 lbs. fully cooked ham, chopped
4 c. (1 lbs) shredded Swiss cheese
1 can (8 oz) sauerkraut, drained
½ c. Thousand Island salad dressing
Rye bread

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the ham, cheese, sauerkraut and salad dressing.
Cover and microwave on high for 1 to 1 ½ minutes or until cheese is melted, stirring once.
Serve on rye bread.

Yield: 6 cups

3 in 1 Italian Dip

This was fine. I think my standards are too high, I have a recipe for atrichoke dip that is REALLY good, and this just doesn't measure up. But like I said, it was fine.

3-in-1 Italian Dip

1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
½ c. oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, drained, chopped
1 c. marinated artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 c. jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained, sliced

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix cream cheese, mozzarella, mayo and garlic in medium bowl until blended.
Spoon into 9” pie plate or casserole dish.
Bake 10 minutes. Stir. Arrange tomatoes, artichokes and peppers on top of cheese mixture in 3 separate sections. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve with crackers (Wheat Thins or Triscuits).

Yield: 12 servings

Tex Mex Won Tons

These were also, just okay. I think it's a good concept but a little bland upon execution.

Tex-Mex Won Tons

½ lbs. ground beef
¼ c. chopped onion
2 Tbsp. chopped green pepper
½ of a 15-ounce can refried beans
¼ c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. catsup
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. ground cumin
4 dozen won ton skins
Cooking oil or shortening for deep frying
Taco sauce

For filling: in a large skillet cook, ground beef, onion, and green pepper till meat is brown and vegetables are tender. Drain off fat. Stir beans, cheese, catsup, chili powder and cumin into meat mixture; mix well.
Place wonton skin with one point toward you. Spoon a generous teaspoon of meat mixture onto center of skin. Fold bottom point of skin over filling; tuck point under filling. Fold side corners over, forming an envelope shape. Roll up toward remaining corner; moisten point and press to seal. Repeat with remaining wonton skins and filling.
Fry, a few at a time in deep hot fat (375˚) about 1 minute per side. Use a slotted spoon to remove won tons. Drain. Serve warm with taco sauce.

Yield: 48 won tons

These can be frozen. To reheat: loosely cover the appetizers and heat in a 350˚ oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Spinach and Cheese Cups

These were okay, nothing to write a song about.

Spinach and Cheese Cups

2 (2.1 oz) packages frozen mini Fillo shells
1/3 c. frozen, chopped spinach (thawed, and squeezed dry and loosely packed)
½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ c. parmesan cheese
¼ c. ricotta cheese
¼ c. sun dried tomatoes, drained
2 Tbsp. chopped prosciutto
¼ tsp. garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 375˚ and place fillo shells on a large, flat baking sheet.
2. Stir together remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and spoon into the shells.
3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and tops are lightly browned.

Yield 30 cups

Crab Cakes with Lime Sauce

The Italian dressing made them a bit salty to me, so I would decrease that by half. Also, I had to add more crushed crackers since they were way to wet to hold together with just half the crushed crackers. The lime sauce was really very good.

Crab Cakes with Lime Sauce

1 medium lime
1 c. mayonnaise
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 cans (6 oz each) crabmeat, drained, flaked
24 finely crushed Ritz crackers, divided
2 Tbsp. chopped green onion
¼ c. sour cream

Grate the peel and squeeze the juice from the lime. Mix half of the lime juice, ½ c. of the mayo, salad dressing mix and mustard in medium bowl until well blended. Add crabmeat, ½ c. of the cracker crumbs and onion; mix lightly.
Shape into 16 (1/2 inch thick) patties; coat with remaining cracker crumbs.
Cook patties, in batches, in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 2 minutes on each side or until browned on both sides and heated through. Meanwhile, mix remaining ½ c. mayo, remaining lime juice, lime peel and sour cream until well blended.
Serve with crab cakes.

Yield: 16 servings

Apricot Glazed Coconut Chicken Bites

These were good, I think the bake time is a bit excessive as they turned out kind of dry. If I made them again I would only bake them 15 minutes initially then maybe 5-8 minutes on the last baking.

Apricot-Glazed Coconut-Chicken Bites

½ c. sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 ½ c. baking mix
2/3 c. flaked coconut
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. paprika
1 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1” pieces
¼ c. margarine or butter, melted

½ c. apricot spreadable fruit
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. white vinegar

Heat oven to 425˚. Mix milk and Dijon mustard. Mix baking mix, coconut, salt and paprika. Dip chicken into milk mixture, then coat with baking mix.
Pour 2 Tbsp. of the melted margarine in jelly roll pan (15 ½ X 10 ½ X 1 inch). Place coated chicken in pan. Drizzle remaining margarine over chicken.
Bake uncovered 20 minutes. Make Apricot glaze (mix all ingredients until blended). Turn chicken; brush with glaze. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink in center and glaze is bubbly. Serve with hot mustard if desired.

Yield: About 3 dozen appetizers

Appetizer Meatballs

I would decrease the amount of oats by half or use breadcrumbs instead, and I would increase the amount of sauce by half again. I also added more garlic powder, because I like garlic and a squirt of grainy mustard since I had it in the refrigerator, needing to be used, and a generous dose of cayenne. These were very tangy. 5 stars!

Appetizer Meatballs

2 lbs. ground beef
1 lbs. pork sausage
1 (5oz) can evaporated milk
½ tsp. ground pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
½ c. chopped onions
2 c. old-fashioned oats

2 c. catsup
1 ½ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. liquid smoke
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ c. chopped onions

1. Mix all meatball ingredients together; shape into small 1” diameter balls.
2. Place in baking pan in single layer.
3. Combine sauce ingredients and pour over meatballs.
4. Bake at 350˚ for 1 hour

Hot Cranberry Punch

Adam says this needs to become a Christmas staple at our house. It was yummy!

Hot Cranberry Punch

8 c. hot water
1 ½ c. sugar (I tend to use less, stir in about 1 cup then if need be ad the other 1/2 cup)
4 c. cranberry juice
¾ c. orange juice
¼ c. lemon juice
12 whole cloves, optional
½ c. red-hot candies

1. In a 5 quart slow cooker, combine water, sugar and juices; stir until sugar is dissolved. If desired, place cloves in a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag.
2. Add spice bag and red-hots to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through.
3. Before serving, discard spice bag and stir punch.

Yield: 3 ½ quarts

Baked Lemon Pudding

This came out a lot like a souffle. Not my favorite...

Baked Lemon Pudding

3 eggs, separated
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 ½ c. milk
¼ c. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 ½ c. sugar, divided
½ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
Whipped cream
Garnish: grated lemon zest, fresh blueberries

Beat egg yolks at medium speed with an electric mixer until thick and pale; add lemon rind and next 3 ingredients, beating well.
Combine 1 c. sugar and next 3 ingredients; add to lemon mixture, beating until smooth.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; add remaining ½ c. sugar and beat until blended. Fold into lemon mixture. Pour into greased 2-quart baking dish. Place baking dish in a large shallow pan. Add hot water to pan to depth of 1”.
Bake at 350˚ for 45 minutes or just until center is set. Remove baking dish from water bath; cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Top with whipped cream, and garnish, if desired.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Warm Apple Buttermilk Custard Pie

Brent Horrocks said this was 'awesome!'

Warm Apple Buttermilk Custard Pie

1 9” pie shell
¼ c. butter
2 tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced
½ c. white sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ c. butter, softened
1 1/3 c. white sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. flour
¾ c. buttermilk
¼ c. white sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
½ c. flour
¼ tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 300°.
To make filling: Melt ¼ c. butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add apples, ½ c. white sugar, and ½ tsp. cinnamon. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
To make buttermilk custard: In a large mixing bowl combine ¼ c. softened butter with 1 1/3 c. white sugar. Beat until creamy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until yellow disappears. Mix in vanilla, then 2 Tbsp. flour. Combine thoroughly then pout in buttermilk, beating until smooth.
Fit pastry into pie pan and prick the bottom with a fork. Spoon apples over crust then pour buttermilk custard over it. Bake in preheated oven to 30 minutes.
To make streusel topping: While pie is baking, combine ¼ c. white sugar, brown sugar, ½ c. flour and ¼ tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine until crumbly.
Remove pie from oven after 30 minutes and sprinkle with the streusel toping. Return to oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 1 hour before serving.

Caramel Pecan Chocolate Dessert

This was my favorite of the desserts

Caramel-Pecan Chocolate Dessert

1 pkg. (1 lbs 3.8 oz) fudge brownie mix
¼ c. water
½ c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 c. chocolate chips
½ c. whipping (heavy) cream
20 caramels (from 14 oz bag), unwrapped
1 egg, beaten
1 c. broken pecans
¾ c. whipping (heavy) cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350°. Grease bottom and side of 10” springform pan. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, water, oil, and 2 eggs until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread in pan.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until puffed in center and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat ½ c. whipping cream and the caramels over medium heat, stirring frequently, until caramels are melted. Stir small amount of the hot mixture into beaten egg, then stir egg back into mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in pecans. Spread over brownie. Refrigerate uncovered at least 3 hours until chilled.
Run metal spatula around side of pan. Transfer dessert on pan base to serving plate. In chilled small bowl, beat ¾ c. whipping cream and the powdered sugar with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon whipped cream in 12 dollops around edge of dessert. Cut into wedges to serve. Store covered in refrigerator.

Yield: 12 servings

Peppermint Cheesecake

I would double the amount of chocolate wafer crumbs, or just use a store bought chocolate graham cracker crust. I also forgot to fold in the whipped cream, so I just whipped it up with some ground sweetened chocolate and spread it on top. They said it was fine, but I'm not sure how it could have been....

Peppermint Cheesecake

1 c. chocolate wafer crumbs
3 Tbsp. margarine, melted

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
¼ c. cold water
2 pkg. (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
½ c. sugar
½ c. milk
¼ c. crushed peppermint candy
1 c. whipping cream, whipped
2 (1.45 oz) milk chocolate candy bars, finely chopped

Combine crumbs and margarine; press onto bottom of 9” springform pan. Bake at 350˚, 10 minutes. Cool.
Soften gelatin in water; stir over low heat until dissolved. Combine cream cheese and sugar; mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Gradually add gelatin, milk and peppermint candy, mixing until blended; chill until thickened but not set. Fold in whipped cream and chocolate; pour over crust. Chill until firm. Garnish with additional whipping cream, whipped, combined with crushed peppermint candy, if desired.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Maple Sugar Frosting

Maple-Sugar Frosting

2 ¼ c. confectioners’ sugar
½ c. dark brown sugar
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/8 tsp. salt
½ c. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2-4 Tbsp. whole milk

In a medium bowl with a mixer set on medium speed, beat sugars, butter, and salt until combined. Continue beating and add the maple syrup in a slow stream. Add the vanilla. Increase the speed to medium high and continue to beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, add up to 4 Tbsp. of milk to achieve a smooth spreading consistency.

Maple Walnut Cake

Maple Walnut Cake

2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ c. unsalted butter, softened
½ c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ c. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ c. water
1 c. finely chopped walnuts
6 walnut halves
Maple-Sugar Frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease and flour two 9” round cake pans; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl using a mixer set on high speed, beat the butter and sugar for one minute. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Add 1 cup maple syrup and vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to slow and add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the water and ending with the dry ingredients. Gently stir in the walnuts
2. Divide the batter equally between the two prepared pans and spread evenly. Bake on the middle rack of oven until a tester inserted into the center of each cake layer comes out clean – about 30 minutes. Cool in the cake pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the layers onto the wire rack to cool completely.
3. Lightly coat a sheet pan with cooking spray and arrange the walnut halves about 3” to 4” inches apart. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining ½ c. maple syrup over medium-high heat. Cook the syrup until it reaches hard-crack stage (300˚). Remove from heat and carefully spoon boiled syrup over the walnuts, allowing it to run in streams around the sheet pan. Set aside to let cool completely.
4. Use a serrated knife to level the mounded sides of the cake layers, if necessary. Line the edges of cake plate with 3” wide strips of waxed or parchment paper and place a cake layer, trimmed side down, on top. Place 1 c. of maple sugar frosting on top of the layer and spread evenly. Place the second layer, trimmed side down, on the first and cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining icing. Decorate the top of the cake with candied walnuts and the hardened maple sugar. Remove paper strips and serve. Store at room temperature for up to 4 days.