Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cottage Cheese Salad

I had copied this recipe back before I got married, so over 28 years ago.  This time I made it with Splenda, and much prefer regular sugar.  Splenda made it rather bland and I usually don't think of this as a bland recipe. 
Cottage Cheese Salad

2 envelopes plain gelatin
1/2 c water
1/2 c boiling water
1 scant c sugar
1 lb small curd cottage cheese
1/2 pt (1 c) whipping cream
1/2 t vanilla

Dissolve the plain gelatin in 1/2 c water.   Add 1/2 c boiling water and stir well.  Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. 

Beat the cottage cheese and add sugar.  Beat well.  Add the gelatin to the cottage cheese and beat.  Next add the whipping cream and  beat until well combined(2-3 minutes.)  Add vanilla and beat well. 

Can be put into a mold or just in a bowl and refrigerate until set.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Pecan Cheesecake Squares

These bars were full of flavor!  We loved them.
Pecan Cheesecake Squares
For the shortbread layer
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

For the cheesecake layer
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the pecan pie layer
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecans

Preheat oven to 350.

For the shortbread layer: In a medium bowl, combine flour and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans. Press mixture evenly into bottom of a greased 9x13" baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from oven, and cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

For the cheesecake layer: Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with a paddle attachment, and beat at medium speed until smooth. Beat in sugar. Add milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla, and beat until combined. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cooled shortbread layer. Bake for 15 minutes; remove from oven and cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

For the pecan pie layer: In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, and melted butter. Gently stir in the eggs, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir in 1 1/2 cups pecans. Pour pecan mixture over cooled cheesecake layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until center is set and pecan pie layer is a rich brown color.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Cheddar Potato Rolls

These were EXCELLENT rolls.  They came together quite easy and tasted wonderful.

Cheddar Potato Rolls
1 cup warm water (110°F)
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
4 cups (18 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 medium russet potato (7 to 8 ounces)
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon mustard powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups (8 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided Beth used mild
2 tablespoons melted butter

In a medium bowl, combine the water, yeast, and 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) of the flour and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size with large bubbles on the surface, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prick the potato all over with a fork. Microwave until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then peel the potato and grate on the large holes of a box grater.

Combine the butter, sugar, salt and mustard powder in a stand mixer. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and grated potato until combined, then beat in the yeast mixture and 1 1/2 cups cheddar until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour until the dough starts coming together in a soft, sticky ball. Shape into a loose ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 24 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, dusting with flour as needed, and arrange in the baking dish so they are slightly touching. MAKE AHEAD: At this point the shaped rolls can be covered and refrigerated overnight, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until puffy. If already at room temperature, let rise for about 30 minutes, or until puffy.

Spray a sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and loosely cover the rolls, oiled-side down. Bake until just firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Uncover, brush with the 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar. Continue baking, uncovered, until the rolls are golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 20 more minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

Another make-ahead option: Parbake, covered, for 30 minutes, then let cool and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature, brush with the butter and bake, uncovered, 40 minutes, sprinkling with 1/2 cup cheddar during the last 15 minutes.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Traditional Tejano Carne Guisada (Braised Beef for Tacos)

I had 2 pounds of stew meat in the freezer and this recipe was perfect!  I did NOT brown the meat and onions, just put all ingredients in the crockpot and let it cook all day.  Tender and perfect for supper!
Traditional Tejano Carne Guisada (Braised Beef for Tacos)

salt and pepper
2-3 pounds cheap steak or roast, chopped into bite size pieces*
1 large onion, chopped well
3 cups water
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/2 or 1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons good quality beef bullion
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Stovetop Instructions:
Heat a large, high-sided skillet (or a wide-bottomed pot), over medium high heat.

Salt and pepper the beef chunks.

Add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl. It should start to shimmer if the pan is hot enough.
Add 1/3 of the seasoned meat to the pan. Place the pieces of meat so that they are not touching each other
Turn the pieces with tongs to brown all sides. Remove to a plate and repeat 2 more batches, adding more oil as necessary.
Remove the final batch of meat, then add the onions to the pan, adding more oil first if there is none left.
Saute the onions over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, or until mostly cooked through. Do your best to scrape up the browned bits.
Return the meat to the pan. Add the water, tomato sauce, garlic powder, salt**, beef bullion, pepper, and cumin.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. You want there to be some movement. If the mixture is completely still, turn it up a little. I had my burner set just below medium.
Simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the meat is tender and the gravy has thickened. Stir occasionally.
To serve authentically, put the meat, some rice, cheese, and guacamole in a warm flour tortilla.
It's important to note that this is not a shredded beef recipe; "Carne Guisada" literally means "Stewed Beef" so you want it to be just like beef stew, but without any veggies.

Slow Cooker Instructions:
Don't add 3 cups of water! Read on:
Brown the meat and saute the onion as instructed above.Beth did NOT brown the meat---just put it in the crockpot. Add the meat and onion to a crock pot. In a glass measuring bowl, measure out 1/4 cup HOT water. Add the beef bouillon and dissolve. Add the tomato sauce, garlic powder, salt**, pepper, and cumin to the measuring cup. Stir and combine, then pour over the meat in the crock pot, stirring to coat.
Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
Remove the lid for the last half hour of cook time, and turn the heat up to high. This is to burn off some of the excess liquid. If it's at a consistency you like, you can skip that step.
It's important to note that this is not a shredded beef recipe; "Carne Guisada" literally means "Stewed Beef" so you want it to be just like beef stew, but without any veggies.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Salsa Cube Steaks

I had some cube steak in the freezer and hadn't planned ahead to put them in the crockpot. This was quick and easy.

Salsa Cube Steaks

Submitted By: Tracie Commins on

1 pound beef cube steak
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
water as needed

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Place the steaks in a 9x13 inch baking dish and season with cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the pepper and onion over the meat and pour salsa over all, adding some water as needed to the bottom of the baking dish. Cover with foil.
3. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Soft-Baked Andes Mint Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I made these so we could send some with Don on his last work trip.  They are delicious, but we forgot to send them.  They freeze well, so maybe he will get some on his next trip!
Soft-Baked Andes Mint Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups and 1/4 cups (285g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups (340g) chopped Andes Mints OR Andes Mints Creme de Menth Baking Chips
1/4 cup (60ml) milk (if needed, see note)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With an electric or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, then the egg yolk, mixing for about 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, flour, and unsweetened cocoa powder. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix for about 1 minute on low speed. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. By hand, fold in the Andes Mints.

Drop by rounded tablespoon-fuls* onto ungreased baking sheet or silicone mat. Bake for 10-12 minutes until sides *slightly* begin to brown. I took mine out of the oven at exactly 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. Cookies stay fresh & soft in a sealed container at room temperature for 1 week. Cookies freeze well, up to 2 months.

Additional Notes:

*The dough is very, very thick and should come together easily. However, if it is TOO thick to handle, add up to 1/4 cup milk before adding the Andes Mint Chips.

*If making larger cookies, I suggest dropping dough by 1/4 cup measurements and shaping into a ball. Bake for 11-12 minutes.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Low Carb Spinach Lasagna

Kathleen made this for dinner one night for just the two of us.  I LOVED it.  It is good for breakfast, too.  It would cut easier if one would let it sit for 15 minutes after it comes out of the oven....if you can wait that long(which I couldn't )

Low Carb Spinach Lasagna

Submitted by: SAVANNAH_ANN03 on       

1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
8 ounces cream cheese
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon pepper
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Brown the hamburger with the onion; drain off the fat. Mix in the garlic powder and spaghetti sauce; season to taste and heat until bubbly. Meanwhile, soften the cream cheese in a medium-size microwaveable bowl for about 40-60 seconds. Stir until creamy; beat in the egg and pepper with a spoon until well mixed. Blend in the spinach. Spread half of the meat mixture evenly in the bottom of a greased, 8 x 8" glass baking pan. Spread the spinach mixture over the meat; top with the mozzarella, then the rest of the meat. It may not completely cover the top, but that's ok. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Bake at 350ยบ about 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Number of Servings: 8