Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Pie a' la Easy

1 1/4 c. All Purpose Flour
3/4 c. Quick or Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 c Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Pecans, chopped
2/3 c. butter or margarine, melted
4 eggs
2 cans (15 oz. ea.) solid pack pumpkin
2 cans (14 oz. ea.) sweetened condensed milk--not evaporated milk!
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. salt

Whipping cream or frozen whipped topping
Pecan halves (optional, but you'd be a fool not to)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and chopped pecans. Add melted butter and mix well. Press this mixture onto bottom of a bar pan. Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly beat eggs in bowl; add pumpkin, condensed milk, spices and salt. Whisk until smooth. Pour over crust. Bake 30-35 minutes or until filling is set and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into squares, garnish and serve. Makes 24 servings. Refrigerate leftover squares.

If you cut the recipe in half you can use a 9 inch square pan and bake as directed. You may also substitute 3 1/2 tsps. pumpkin pie spice for the ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Easy English Toffee

1/2 pound of butter
1 cup sugar
2 TB water
1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 to 1 cup milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
one 9 x 13 buttered glass pan

Cut up butter in small sauce pan and pour in sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir constantly the entire time. Boil and stir until the mixture turns a medium to light golden brown color (real butter does not ever get very dark). Immediately take off heat and pour over chopped walnuts and chocolate chips in the glass pan. Place pan in freezer and break into pieces after it has cooled, hardened, and changed to a lighter color. This candy is best served cold and can be stored in the freezer for several weeks.

Million Dollar Fudge

4 1/2 c. sugar
1 can evaporated milk
6 large (4.25 oz each) of Hershey chocolate almond bars
1 1/2 jars of marshmallow creme
1/2 pound of butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups chopped walnuts

1. Bring sugar and evaporated milk to a boil and boil for 9 minutes stirring constantly
2. Take off burner and stir in marshmallow creme, butter, and chocolate bars
3. Stir in vanilla (be generous with the vanilla) and walnuts (be generous with those also)
4. In a large buttered pan, spread fudge out and place in freezer.

It is best to cut when it has been kept in the refrigerator or freezer. May serve cold or room temperature.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Olsen Stress Cookies

I wish Stephen and I had thought to keep a tally of how many times we have made these cookies. I am betting it would be in the triple digits (I don't know if I should say that with pride or shame). We have also added ingredients as time and stress have compounded. We think they have reached their peak of perfection at this point.

1 stick butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. flour
1 c. oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Chocolate Chips
Butterscotch Chips

Preheat oven to 375.
In a medium sized bowl cream butter and sugar, add peanut butter then stir. Add egg and vanilla. Stir.

In a small bowl mix dry ingredients. Add to wet. Add chips. Mix together until barely combined. Mound them on cookie sheet. They do not spread out. Eat half immediately. Feel sick and promise to eat healthier. Eat the rest for breakfast the next morning.

Shredded Pork and Beans

This is my latest creation. I've eaten it at almost every meal for the last three days. Even Madeleine likes it, which is saying a lot. I like to cook a big pork tenderloin in the crock pot for Alex's lunches, but I'm always at a loss for how to use it for dinner. So, I shredded it and fried it up with a can of (drained) black beans and some green salsa (you could also use a can of diced green chilies). I added salt and pepper, and in the future I will either add onion powder or fry some chopped onions with it. I've been eating it on Roti (Indian tortillas), but regular tortillas work fine too (I really like the flavor of Roti, plus they're made with whole wheat and no lard, so they must be healthier, right?). Add grated cheese and sour cream. It's kind of like a healthy chimichanga. If you're really adventurous, you can add a fried egg on top of the bean mixture (I totally would, if I could eat eggs).

Best Ever Lemon Cake

1 pkg. lemon cake mix
3-6 lemons (depending on size)
powdered sugar
1 stick butter (I use less)
Optional: Kool Whip, cream cheese, and lemon juice for topping.

Make cake mix as directed and bake in 9x13 pan. Start making the glaze while it bakes. Squeeze several lemons into bowl, melt butter and mix together with powdered sugar until it is "glaze" consistency. While the cake is hot, poke holes all over cake and pour lemon glaze all over.
For extra YUM, beat 1/2 carton Kool Whip with 4 oz. softnened cream cheese and lemon juice to taste. Frost top and store in the refrigerator. Eat for breakfast, lunch , snack, and dinner.

crockpot dressing

Note: I usually just make 1/2 this recipe.
1 cup butter or margarine melted (or a little less)
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
1/4 cup parsley (fresh or dried)
2 cups canned (drained) or fresh mushrooms
8 Morningstar light sausage links, sliced
2 eggs beaten
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups chicken broth, or enough to moisten well.
13 cups cubed dry bread. Note: if you buy seasoned bread crumbs you can delete or go easy on the seasonings.
1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sage
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. marjoram.
Optional: delete mushrooms and add chopped tart apples or dried chopped apricots or dried cranberries.

Melt butter or margarine in large fry pan and saute onion and celery until soft. Mix with remaining ingredients and toss well. Pack in large crock pot. Cover. Cook on high for 45 minutes, then turn to low and continue cooking for 4-6 hours. (For 1/2 recipe, cut down cooking time).