Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Green Beans with Sweet Mustard Sauce

These were good. They are a bit tart, so adjust the sugar to your liking.
Green Beans with Sweet Mustard Sauce
Gustavus Inn, Gustavus, Alaska from The American Country Inn and Bed and Breakfast Cookbook

2 T prepared mustard
2 T sugar
1/4 c sugar
1/2 t salt
3 T cider Vinegar
2 T lemon juice
2 1 pound cans green beans, drained

Combine all ingredients in a pan and heat well until warmed.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ranch Cauliflower Bites

I was a bit worried about getting these out of the muffin tins.  Some came out nice, others, not so nice.  While this tasted good, I would make it in a 2 qt baking dish next time.

Ranch Cauliflower Bites

1 head of cauliflower
2 large eggs 
1 packet ranch seasoning mix
1 1/4 shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided into 1 c and 1/4 c
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp. chives, plus more for topping

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until it forms large crumbs.

3. Place cauliflower in paper towels or cheesecloth and wring out any excess water. Pour cauliflower crumbles into a large bowl.

4. Add eggs, 1 c cheese, ranch seasoning, about 3/4s of the bacon, and chives.

5. Spritz a muffin tin with cooking spray, then fill each one about 2/3s full. Top with a sprinkle of cheese and crumbled bacon. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until lightly golden. Garnish with additional chives before serving.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Smoked Pork Chops

I made these for my folks and Don's mom.  The girls don't care for pork chops and were still at the beach.  They turned out great----even if I forgot to ad woodchips to the smoker!

Smoked Pork Chops


Package of Pork Chops
All Purpose Rub
Dark Brown Sugar Beth did not do this since I had brown sugar in my rub
Pork Brine or Italian Dressing

Use a Pork Brine, or some cheap Italian Dressing. Let the chops marinate for at least 30 minutes, or several hours.

Remove from Brine/Marinade and place on a tray. Pat dry
Dust both sides with All Purpose Rub. Sprinkle a bit of dark brown sugar on the exposed side for sugary glaze if you like.

Set up your grill for indirect cooking and throw on some fruit wood. Beth used an electric smoker at 225 for 2. 5 hours.

Place the pork chops far away from the heat. You'll want to smoke these at 225-250 for 1.5 - 2 hours.  Add woodchips to the smoker, if using. 

If you want to achieve a good smoke ring, make sure smoke is billowing the entire time.

You'll need to add coals after probably an hour or so to keep your temp above 225.

When they are somewhat firm (internal temp of at least 160), they are done. Your pork chops should NOT be hard. I stop smoking them a little early and sear them above direct heat for a couple minutes. Seals the juices and I like grill marks.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lemon Meringue Bars

My parents came for Easter and my dad loves anything lemon.  These were AWESOME!  We took them to the beach(4 hour drive) and they transported well!

Lemon Meringue Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
3/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into chunks

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp baking powder

4 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350F.
To make the crust, combine flour, sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor (or a large mixing bowl, if you prefer to work by hand). Pulse in butter (or rub in with fingertips) until butter is well distributed and the mixture resembles moist sand. Pour into a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread evenly. Press down to create a firm, even layer.
Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

While crust is cooking, prepare the filling. Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until smooth (can also be done in a food processor). When crust is done, pour filling into hot pan and return to oven.
Bake for about 17-20 minutes, until filling is set. Edges may be lightly browned, depending on the pan.

While filling is baking and getting close to finished, prepare the meringue. Beat egg whites to soft peaks in a large, clean mixing bowl, adding the sugar and salt in gradually while beating, beginning when the egg whites are foamy. Spread evenly onto hot, cooked filling and return pan to oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned at the peaks.

Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Use a slightly damp knife to cut through the meringue cleanly when ready to cut into bars.

Makes 24 bars.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Milky Way Brownies

I made these to have while my parents and sister were here at Easter.  We tasted them before they came......YUMMY!

Milky Way Brownies

Brownie layer adapted from Hershey's

½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
½ cup cream
1 cup flour Beth used gluten free flour
⅔ cup cocoa, sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
2 cups sugar Beth used splenda
2 teaspoons vanilla

Chocolate Fluff Layer

2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups Marshmallow Creme (I used a 7 ounce jar)
3 tablespoons cream

Caramel Layer

1 pound caramels, unwrapped I used a 13 oz bag
3 tablespoons cream

Chocolate Topping

2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 9 x 13 pan with nonstick foil and set aside.

Stir together butter, sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, eggs, cream and vanilla in large bowl; beat till all combined. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake 40 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely.

Make fluff layer by melting chocolate chips in microwave with cream. Zap for about a minute, stir, then continue microwaving and stirring at 15-30 second increments till chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in marshmallow creme till well combined. Spread over cooled brownies.

Make caramel layer by melting caramels with cream in the same manner as for chocolate chips. It will take a little longer to melt the caramels. Drizzle over fluff layer, then spread into an even layer.

Make chocolate topping by melting chocolate chips with oil in microwave till smooth. Pour over caramel and spread with an offset spatula. Chill at least 2 hours before cutting (use a knife dipped in very hot water, then dried to cut). Chill until ready to serve.

Yield: approximately 60 depending on size

Total time: 4 hours

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rosemary Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Salad

I needed a quick salad for dinner just before Easter.  I had all the ingredients.  This was simple, yet tasted great!
Rosemary Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Salad

Yield: serves 2

4 slices thick-cut bacon
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
6 cups spring greens and/or butter lettuce
1 bunch watercress Beth didn't use
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large avocado, thinly sliced

Rosemary Vinaigrette 

2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the bacon. Cook until it's crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel to drain any excess grease.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cover with the rosemary. In the same skillet, over medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until golden and crisp on both sides, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and let sit for a moment while you assemble the salad, then slice it.

Toss the greens with the watercress and the tomatoes. Top with the sliced chicken, the bacon and the avocado. Drizzle with the rosemary vinaigrette!

rosemary vinaigrette

Whisk together the mustard, oil and vinegar. Whisk in the rosemary and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cheesy Snack Mix

Ii had made a sweet mix for the beach trip, so wanted a savory mix.  This fit the bill.  I adapted the recipe to what I had on hand.  It is very good.

Cheesy Snack Mix
adapted greatly from http://www.thecreativebite.com

11 c Chex cereal
2 c peanuts
2 c pretzels
12 oz box cheezits
1 c butter, melted
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
2/3 c parmesan cheese
2 T Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 

Mix Chex, peanuts, pretzels and cheezits in a roaster.

Mix melted butter, ranch, parmesan cheese and worchestershire together.  Pour over the cereal mixture. 

Bake for 45 minute, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool on  wax paper.