Vegie Bars

These bars are fresh tasting, nutritious, and have always been a family hit.  They are great to take to parties, too.

vegie bars

2 tube packages crescent rolls
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 packages dry mix Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
3/4 cup grated cauliflower
3/4 cup grated carrots
3/4 cup grated celery
3/4 cup grated broccoli
3/4 cup grated radishes

Mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, and Hidden Valley Ranch mix.  Let the mixture sit overnight.

Grate the vegetables, mix and put in a calendar.  Cover, refrigerate, and let drain for 2 hours or over night.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pop the Crescent Rolls, pat them out on a large, cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake 7 minutes until golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool.

After the dough crust has cooled, spread Mayonnaise mixture on it.  Squeeze the remaining moisture from the vegetables and spread evenly over the mayonnaise layer.  Best if the vegetable layer is applied as close to serving it as possible so the bars don’t get soggy from vegetable juice.

Cut into 3 inch bars and serve.  I have found it easier to cut using a pizza cutter.

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Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 Vegie Bars No Comments

Vegetable Dip

After this dip, you will not go back to using ranch dip to dip your vegetables in.  Use a verity of vegetables, including carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, celery,  radishes, green onion, and cucumber.  Making the dip at least 8 hours in advance is optimal; it lets the flavors blend.

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbs. dry minced onion
1 Tbs. Dry parsley flakes
1 tsp. Dill Weed
1 tsp. Beau Monde Spice

Measure the ingredients and put them all in a bowl, mix thoroughly, cover and refrigerate until served.  Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.  Serve with an assortment of vegetables.

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Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 Vegetable Dip No Comments

Oatmeal Refrigerator Cookies

These oatmeal cookies have great flavor and are soft and chewie.  Forming the dough in a log shape and wrapping it in plastic wrap and refrigerating it allows you to cut off what you need to make cookies and bake a panful, refrigerating the rest of the log, so you can have fresh baked cookies any time you wish.

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening (Crisco)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal

Cream together sugars and shortening.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Combine flour, soda, and salt, add to sugar mixture and mix well, until all is combined.  Stir in the oatmeal.  Form into a log on plastic wrap, the diameter you wish your cookie be.  Put the dough in the refrigerator.  When you want to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Unroll the plastic and cut off about 3/4 inch and put them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the edges start to get golden brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and leave them on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes then remove them from the pan and put on a cooling rack.  Let them cool…  if you can.

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Saturday, December 5th, 2009 Oatmeal Refrigerator Cookies No Comments

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

For Tami.

I have been using this sugar cookie recipe for years.  They are a soft cookie full of butter flavor.

1 cup butter, room temperature (not margarine)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbs. cream
1 1/2 cups flour (more for rolled cookies)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
butter cream frosting (recipe following)

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the egg, egg yolks, vanilla, and cream and mix till smooth and creamy.  Combine flour, salt, and baking powder and mix into sugar mixture.  Stir well until well combined.  To make rolled cookies, slowly add more flour, one Tablespoon at a time until dough looses it’s stickiness; careful not to add too much or the cookies will be hard and dry.  You can cover and refrigerate at this time if you want to bake them later. (if refrigerated, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling it out).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly flour your work surface and put about 1/3 of the dough on the floured area, keeping the remaining dough covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out.  Lightly work the dough until it can be easily rolled out, making sure the surface is floured enough so the dough doesn’t stick to it.  Fold the dough several times, keep the dough floured so the rolling pin doesn’t stick and roll it to about 1/2 inch thick (don’t roll too thin).  Put about 1/4 cup of flour on your work surface.  Tap the cookie cutters in the flour and cut your shapes, making sure to tap the cookie cutters in the flour before cutting the dough each time so they don’t get dough stuck to them.  Transfer each cookies to an ungreased cookie sheet with a pancake turner and bake for about 8 minutes or until the cookie just starts to turn a golden color on the edges.  If baked too long, the cookie will be crispy instead of soft.  After removing the cookies from the oven, let them sit on the pan for a couple minutes then remove them and place on a cooling rack.  Add another bit of fresh dough to the rolled out left over bits and mix them together then roll the dough as before.  After cutting more cookies, continue adding fresh dough until all dough is used.

After the cookies are cooled, make frosting and frost them and decorate them.  put the frosted cookies in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer until the frosting is hard.  Put the frozen cookies in a bag and store in the freezer.  When ready to serve, put the cookies out on a plate and allow to thaw.  I find freezing the cookies keeps them soft.

Butter Cream Frosting

2 Tbs. butter, melted
4 Tbs. cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
powder sugar

Mix the butter, cream, and vanilla in a bowl.  Add powder sugar starting with one cup of powder sugar, then add a little more at a time until frosting is slightly firm but not too stiff to spread easily.  After frosting each cookie, sprinkle with colored sugar sprinkles.  If you wait until after all cookies are frosted before decorating, the frosting will be too dry and the sprinkles won’t stick.  Make more frosting if needed.

* Make sure you use pure vanilla extract for best flavor.

Cookie recipe from an old Fanny Farmer Cookbook.

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Saturday, December 5th, 2009 Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies No Comments

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wanted a pumpkin and white chocolate chip cookie that was a delicate cake-type cookie  filled with pumpkin and spice flavors.  Adding the white chocolate chips gave them a creamy accent.  I found that the combination made a tasty cookie.  I had some left-over pumpkin at Thanksgiving and came up with this recipe to use it.Pumpkin Cookie

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 (12 oz) package white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray; set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together flour through baking soda; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars.  Mix in pumpkin, egg and vanilla until well combined.  Stir in flour mixture, mixing thoroughly.  Add chips.  Stir in nuts, if desired.  Cover and put in refrigerator and chill for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Put spoonfulls of dough on cookie sheet, flatten slightly.  Bake for 12 minutes until the edges of the cookies start to brown slightly.  Remove from oven and let cookies remain on the cookie sheet for two minutes then remove to a cooling rack.  Spray cookie sheet again and continue baking cookies until finished.  Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

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Saturday, November 28th, 2009 Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies No Comments

Hot Pumpkin Spice Drink

Today I was making some Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip cookies and had some pumpkin left over.  I was wanting a hot, lightly spicy drink and decided to experiment.  I ended up with a tasty hot drink that could even be served cold.  I’m trying to keep down my sugar intake and decided to make it with sweetener instead of sugar.

1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg
1/4 cup sweetener
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbs. pumpkin
dash of salt
McCormick Chai Spice Blend (or Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend)

Scald the milk.  Whisk the egg until slightly frothy.  While whipping the egg, slowly pour in the scalding hot milk.  Make sure you add it slowly so the egg doesn’t get cooked, you don’t want little egg floaties in your drink.   Add the Sweetener, vanilla, pumpkin, and salt to the egg and mix well.   Pour back into the pan and heat to desired temperature, mix in the Chai spice to taste, less than 1/8 teaspoon, it doesn’t take much.  Pour into cups and enjoy.  If desired cold, cool and refrigerate. (Use 1/4 cup sugar instead of sweetener, if desired)

Serves 2

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Saturday, November 28th, 2009 Hot Pumpkin Spice Drink No Comments

Quick Cinnamon Knots

FinishedRollWhen I was working as a substitute teacher, the school had cinnamon rolls on Fridays.  I was friendly with the cook and she showed me how they made so many that fast.  I also love orange rolls and have come up with a way to make them this easy way, and also, lemon works as well.
1/2 package Rhodes Bake and Serve Rolls
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter

Thaw rolls.  To thaw the rolls, spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, place the desired amount of rolls out to thaw, spray the top of them with the cooking spray. Cover them with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator.  For this recipe I use 18 rolls.

ThawKnot1Unglazed

Plan to make the rolls about two hours before you want to serve them if you wish them to be warm when you serve them.  Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let set at room temperature while you make the sugar mixture.   Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.  Melt the butter in another bowl.  Spray two round 9 inch cake pans with cooking spray.

Roll one bun between your hands to form a 6 inch log shape. Dip it in the butter, then roll them in the sugar mixture.  Tie them in a knot and place them in a pan; one in the center and the other eight around it.  There will be a little of the sugar mixture and butter left over.  Sprinkle it on the knots and in the pans.  Drizzle the remaining butter over the knots as well.

Set the pans in a warm spot and cover them with plastic wrap or a dish towel.  Let raise until double in size.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes then drizzle with icing.

Icing for Cinnamon Knots
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbs. soft butter
1 1/2 cups powder sugar
milk to make desired thinness

Put cream cheese, vanilla, and soft butter in a bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the powder sugar and 1 Tbs. milk.  Beat and keep adding milk a little at a time until the consistency of the icing is thin enough to drizzle on the knots.

Orange Knots
1/2 package Rhodes bake and Serve Rolls (18 rolls)
2/3 cup sugar
finely grated zest of one orange (orange part only)
1/2 cup butter, melted

Thaw the rolls as for the cinnamon knots.  Melt the butter in one bowl.  Combine sugar and zest in another bowl, mixing them with your fingers until you have an orange colored sugar. Form the dough into logs, dip in butter, roll in sugar-orange mixture, and tie in knots.  Place in pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Let raise, then bake as the directions for the cinnamon knots.

Icing for the Orange Knots is the same except instead of using milk, use the juice from the orange.

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Thursday, November 26th, 2009 Quick Cinnamon Knots No Comments

Three Bean Italian Sausage Stew

This bean soup with the Italian Sausage is a very flavorful soup.  A woman that went to the same art class as I, gave me this recipe.

1 Lb. Italian Sausage
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can great northern beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small sweet red pepper, diced
1/2 Lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Salsa
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped (optional)

Brown the sausage in the oil.  Remove the sausage from the pan, Pour all but 1 Tbs. oil from the pan and add onion and garlic, cook about 3 minutes, until onions are translucent; stirring frequently.  Return the sausage to the pan, stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add water to desired consistency. Dish up the soup and sprinkle with cilantro if desired.

makes 6 cups

Note: Turkey Italian sausage may be used or half Italian sausage and half ground beef.

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 Three Bean Italian Sausage Stew No Comments

Cranberry Sauce

This cranberry sauce is not your ordinary cranberry sauce.  The taste is derived not only from the cranberries but several different fruits; yet the cranberry taste still prevails.  I got my idea from a couple different recipes.Cranberry Sauce

1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 (12 oz) package fresh cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1 apple – peeled, cored, and diced fine
1 pear – peeled, cored, and diced fine
1 cup dried mixed berries
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Clean and sort the cranberries, discarding green and soft ones.  In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar, bring to a boil until the sugar dissolves.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the cranberries, orange juice, apple, pear, dried berries, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occassionally, until the cranberries burst.  Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 Cranberry Sauce No Comments

Strawberry Pie

Strawberries are my favorite berry and I love the freshness of this strawberry pie and the twang of the cream cheese.

1 prepared 9 inch gram cracker crust pie shell
1 small box strawberry jello
1 – 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1 medium container of Cool Whip
1 cup crushed strawberries

Desolve strawberry jello in 1 cup of boiling water.  Let cool, refrigerated, until partially set.

Mix together softened cream cheese with sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  Fold in Cool Whip, jello mixture, and strawberries. Mix well and mound into gram cracker crust.  Refrigerate until set.

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Monday, November 23rd, 2009 Desserts, Pie, Strawberry Pie No Comments

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