Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sunday Boston Cream Pie

This is one of my favorite recipes of my Mom's.  As children we would get this every year on my Dad's birthday because it was his favorite.  Well now I have started making it on Sunday for my Husband because he loves it so much.  (He probably wishes I wouldn't make it so he wouldn't have to run those extra miles every night to keep it from staying on his cute little body.)  It really is so delicious, so easy, and nothing like what you're thinking!  I can't wait for you to try this and fall in love like we have! (Oh and the picture will be coming.  I just have to take come this Sunday when I make it.)

For the Crust
1 Cup Flour
1 cube Butter

For the Filling
1 small pkg. Instant Vanilla Pudding
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 8oz. carton Cool Whip divided
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 small pkgs. Instant Chocolate pudding
3 cups Milk

For the Crust
Mix ingredients with hands and press into a 9x13 greased baking dish.  You want it to be as thin as possible.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Let cool completely.  While cooling make your pie filling.

For the Filling
Mix 1 small pkg. instant vanilla pudding according to it's pkg. instructions.  Add it to 8oz. softened cream cheese, 1 cup Cool Whip, and 1 cup powdered Sugar.  Spread this mixture over cooled crust.

Mix 2 small pkgs. instant chocolate pudding with 3 cups milk, until thick.  Then spread that on top of the vanilla layer.  Spread the remaining Cool Whip on top of the chocolate and sprinkle on crushed nuts of your choice or chocolate shavings  :)

Green Pepper Jelly

It's that time of year again, where we start to bottle of our delicious garden bounty.  One of my favorite things to make is jam and jellies.  2 really fun jellies that are my absolute favorite. 

I know most people would never think of using peppers to make jelly, but I promise you that this recipe is amazing!  With one taste you are going to be hooked!  My favorite way to eat this is on a ritz cracker with a little spread of cream cheese and a dollop of this jelly.  It's delicious, and pretty cute too.  So here's the recipe for my Green Pepper Jelly....
7 sweet Green Peppers
1 Jalapeno Pepper
1 1/2 c. vinegar divided
1 1/2 c. Apple Juice
1 pkg. powdered Pectin
1/2 tsp. Salt
5 c. Sugar
A few drops of Green Food Coloring

Wash peppers.  Remove stems and seeds.  Cut into 1/2 inch pieces. 

Puree 1/2 the peppers and 3/4 cup Vinegar in a blender.  Puree remaining peppers and vinegar.  Combine the puree in a large bowl, and stir in apple juice.  Cover and refrigerate over night. 

Take your mixture out and strain through about 6 pieces of cheese cloth.  Measure 4 cups of the mixture and if you don't have 4 cups add a little apple juice until you have exactly 4 cups. 

Combine your mixture, pectin, and salt, in a large sauce pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  Add sugar until dissolved.  Return mixture to a boil.  Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and skim the foam off.  Add a few drops of food coloring if you want. 

Ladle hot jelly into sterilized jars.  Leave 1/4 inch head space.  Process for 5 minutes in boiling water to seal the lids.
For this batch I used red food coloring

Monday, September 12, 2011

Croque Madames with Asparagus

So I have a new twist on Croque Madames, which in my opinion is the best sandwich for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I normally serve this on Easter morning for my sweetheart, but today was one of those days where I was craving it, so here we go.  It's beautiful, and delicious!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

1 Bundle of Asparagus cut into 4 inch tips
3 Tbs. butter or oil, plus more for cooking the eggs
3 Tbs. Flour
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 Cup Half and Half
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
8 slices Thick White Bread
3/4 lb. thinly sliced Ham
3/4 lb. Gruyere Cheese grated, (you want 2 cups)
4 Large Eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a sauce pan, bring a few inches of water to a boil. Add salt and asparagus, and cook a couple of minutes to tender-crisp. Cold-shock the asparagus in bowl of ice water and remove them to a kitchen towel to dry.

Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add flour, cook a minute then whisk in milk. Season with salt and pepper and thicken sauce over low bubble until very thick, 7-8 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in mustard.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and arrange 4 slices of bread on it. Top them with half of the Bechamel sauce, all of the asparagus tips, the ham and half of the Gruyere cheese. Set another slice of bread on each sandwich and cover them with the remaining b├ęchamel and Gruyere. Transfer to the oven and bake 15 minutes, until bread is toasted on the bottom and cheese is deep golden on top.

When the croque's are almost done, heat a medium, nonstick skillet over medium heat with a pat of butter. Add 4 eggs, season with salt and pepper and cook eggs according to preference.  Serve with a little bit more of Dijon mustard in a little side dish.  Voila!  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pork Loin Roast

I love it when I absolutely nail a dish!  My poor Dad has been so sick this week and I have been at his house every day taking care of him.  He lives about 40 minutes from me, and so every morning I have woken up, gotten my husband out the door to school, and then headed down to take care of my Dad until 10pm.  So if you are wondering why I haven't posted much that is why.  But I did have a chance to cook while I was down there, and man I did I rock this pork loin roast that they had in the fridge just waiting for me to come along and cook it!!  :)  

Just a little knowledge on pork loin, if you are not cooking in the crock pot you want to bake in a shallow baking dish and you MUST, MUST, MUST cook it with a thermometer in it.  You have to be able to tell what the temp. is at all times.  You insert it into the thickest part of the roast and when it hits 155 degrees you take that sucker out.  Then probably the most important piece of advice I can give for cooking a pork loin is once it is cooked, take it out of the pan and put it on a plate or cutting board, let it sit and rest for at the BARE minimum 6 minutes.  I normally let mine sit for 10 before I cut into it.  If you ever cook a roast or a steak you have to let it rest.  You are missing out on so much delicious flavor and moistness if you just cut right into it.  So there are my tips for cooking your pork loin, now to get to the recipe!

1 1 1/2-3lb. Pork Loin roast
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 garlic cloves cut in half
2 tsp. dried Rosemary
1 Tbs. Fresh Parsley (or 2 tsp. dried)
1 Tbs. Fresh Basil (or 2 tsp. dried)
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp. Seasoning Salt

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Squish your garlic cloves into random places in your roast.

In a mix bowl mix all your ingredients together except the salt and pepper.
Cover your roast with your Olive Oil, and then rub your roast with all your ingredients except on the bottom fatty side.

Line your baking dish with aluminum foil, and dump your chick broth into the bottom of the baking dish.  Place your roast in the baking dish and insert thermometer.  Sprinkle the top with Salt and Pepper.

Place the roast in your oven.  You are going to bake it for about 20-30 minutes per pound until done.  It depends on how big your roast is.

What I do is I set my timer for 30 min. increments and go and check it when the timer goes off.  How you check it is by looking at the temp.  You want it to read 155 degrees.  You don't want to go over.  Then take it out, let it rest for 5-10 minutes and you're done!  I serve mine with some yummy mashed potatoes and chicken gravy.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Summer Spinach Salad

This is my all time favorite salad, and a staple of my sister's.  So even though I can't take credit for it, I though every one of you should have it.  We all crave a good old fashioned salad every once in awhile, so here is the spiced up version!  Enjoy!

Spinach and Fruit Summer Salad 
(serves about 4)
10 oz bag of fresh spinach
1-2 chicken breasts, grilled and thinly sliced
1 pint of strawberries, sliced
1 pint of blueberries
4-5 kiwis, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 oz crumbled feta cheese** (or crumble some yourself)
**substitute for another cheese if desired

2/3 cup oil (I use extra virgin olive oil...use what you like)
4 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
6 Tbs. Strawberry Jam  (or any berry variety)
1 1/2 Tbs. poppyseeds
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients minus the chicken.  With the dressing whisk everything together in a bowl and then pour of the salad and toss, and then lay your chicken on top, sliced up to make it pretty!  :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Strawberry Cobbler

 Seriously the best guest dessert on the planet!  Just pull out those cute little ramekins, and you're going to have an amazing dessert to end off your Labor BBQ celebration with friends.  I'm so excited about this dessert, because not only is it easy, but it is amazing on your taste buds!  Here you go folks, some good 'ol comfort food from this little Utah girl...

Ingredients (serves 4)
Strawberry Filling
1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp water
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups strawberries, washed and hulled
1 tsp unsalted butter, softened

Biscuit Topping
3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp shortening
1/4 cup cold milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Butter 4 deep ramekins and place on the cookie sheet.

First, prepare the strawberry filling. In a large saucepan stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the water and lemon juice. Stir in the strawberries.

Cook over medium heat, stirring often until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pour filling into ramekins.

Prepare the biscuit topping. Stir or sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Rub in the shortening with your fingers. Using a fork, gently stir in the milk, just until the dough cleans the bowl.

Toss on a lightly floured surface until no longer sticky, and then pat or roll out to a shape that fits the top of the dish being used.  Place on top of the ramekins, and place on your lined baking sheet, and put them in the oven.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Enjoy with some fresh whipped cream or ice cream, but they really are good enough to just eat alone!

A little of this a little of that

Good morning all you Nummy little readers!  I'm sorry I have been away for a few days.  I came down with some funky cold in the middle of the summer.  I know, I'm so weird.  But I am back!!  I have some new Nummy recipes that are going to knock your socks off.  I have 1 for a cake lover, and 1 for the breakfast/vegan lover.  So here we go...

Banana Breakfast Bar/Vegan Free

Combine in a blender (or mash and mix by hand):
2 Tbsp flax seeds (grind in blender or coffee grinder first) or 3 Tbsp pre-ground flax
3 large very ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 c)
1/4 - 1/3 c oil or melted butter (coconut oil tastes great)
1/4 c unsweetened apple or white grape juice concentrate (or maple syrup, or agave syrup)
2 - 4 tsp vanilla

Combine seperately:

2 c large flake / old fashioned oats rolled (for gluten-free use gluten-free oats)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
*1/8 - 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Mix wet with dry. Then add:

1/2 c walnuts (chopped roughly)
1/2 c dates (chopped roughly)
*2 Tbsp candied ginger or candied orange peel (chopped finely) OR 1 tsp finely grated lemon or orange zest
*1/3 c dark chocolate chips OR 2 ounces of dark chocolate (chopped roughly)

*optional ingredients

(If you have the time, let the batter sit for 10 minutes or longer.)
Grease a medium-sized pan and press mixture in. Bake in a pre-heated
oven at 350 for about 40 minutes. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes
before cutting.
Enjoy these superb bars!

Easy Vanilla Cake

All purpose flour - 3 cups
Sugar - 2 cups
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Buttermilk - 1 1/2 cups (I used thinned yogurt)
Oil - 1 cup
Vanilla - 1 TBSP
Eggs - 2 large

For the glaze: (optional)
Cream Cheese - 4 Oz (1/2 the standard block) I used 1/3 fat cheese at room temperature
Confectioner's sugar - 4 TBSP or more per taste
Milk - 2 TBSP or as needed
Vanilla - 1/4 tsp

Preheat the oven to 350 F (I baked mine at 325 F since I was using a dark colored pan). This batter is enough for a 10" bundt pan or tube pan. Or use two 9 X 5 loaf pans. Grease the pan with vegetable oil spray and flour or use shortening and flour. Set aside. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar. Set aside. In another bowl, mix oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. I actually mixed the liquid in a 4 cup measuring cup. Start with 1 cup oil, top it off with 1 1/2 cups buttermilk. Crack two eggs into the measuring cup and whisk them all together. Stir in vanilla. Now mix the liquid into the dry ingredients. Stir till everything is combined. Try not to over mix. Folding is the best way to go here. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 - 55 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn on to the wire rack to cool completely. You can make 24 cupcakes out of this. In that case bake for 20 - 24 minutes. I don't see why this cake can't be baked in 2 8" round pans and stacked. I don't know how tall cake you will get, but should be easily able to make this into a layer cake.

For the glaze: Mix all the ingredients mentioned in the for the glaze section till creamy. When the cake is completely cool, pour the glaze.