Friday, October 30, 2009

Oatmeal Crispies

These cookies have turned out to be my husband's favorite. They are light, tasty and filling.

1 cup shortening (or butter)
1 cup brown sugar packed
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans)

In a large mixing bowl mix shortening with both sugars until creamy.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs together and add vanilla. Add to shortening and butter mixture.

In a separate bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly mix into the shortening mixture until well combined. Stir in the quick oats until well blended and then add nuts and mix well.

Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in waxed paper in log shape. You can freeze one half or refrigerate for several days.

When you are ready to bake, slice the dough and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Peppermint Cake

I saw this recipe today and wanted to share it before the busyness of the Christmas season got here!

Peppermint Cake
A festive dessert for the family or to share during holiday parties.

Peppermint Cake Recipe

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9″ round cake pan with nonstick vegetable spray. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar and softened butter with a mixer at medium speed. Whisk in the applesauce, milk, egg whites and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to the applesauce mixture and stir until well combined. Pour batter into your prepared cake pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake on a wire rack. Once cool, split the cake in half horizontally to make 2 cakes.

Peppermint Frosting

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 tablespoons peppermint starlight candies, crushed

Tip: To crush candies, place 6 of them in a plastic zipper close bag and then wrap the bag in a clean dry kitchen towel. Use a maillot to smash candies.

In the top of a double boiler, whisk together granulated sugar, water, egg whites and cream of tartar. Cook over simmering water for 4 minutes or until mixture is hot and sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Remove from heat. Stir in peppermint extract. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed for 3 minutes or until mixture forms stiff peaks.

Place one cake layer on serving plate. Spread frosting on top of the layer. Top with the second layer and spread frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the crushed peppermint candies on the top and sides of cake.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken Chili

For white bean chili, use all white northern beans - easy to make from dried beans. Soak overnight, pour off water and rinse, add fresh water and simmer until soft. Add salt only after the cooking, since adding salt beforehand will require longer cooking.

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 large onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
4 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans, drained,rinsed (or cooked dried kidney beans)
2 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 (8 oz.) can diced green chiles
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. cilantro
1 Tbsp. sweet basil

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and brown in a saucepan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serves 10. If this amount is more than needed for your family, freeze the rest for another quick and easy meal.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Banana Bread

Everyone needs a good banana bread recipe to hold on to. This one is simple and delicious!

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. (Additional spices may be added - cinnamon, nutmeg or ground cloves for added flavor). Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

This is a versatile recipe, can add walnuts, chocolate chips etc.