Thursday, December 15, 2011

Home for the Holidays: Creamy Apple Cider Sauce

Creamy Apple Cider Sauce

2 TBS Butter
2 TBS Flour
1 cup Apple Cider
½ cup Heavy Cream
2 TBS Dijon Mustard
2 TBS Chopped Parsley

In heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add flour making a roux. Slowly add cider while whisking, bring to boil to thicken. Add cream and mustard. Salt and pepper to taste. Fold in parsley before service. 

Serve with a roasted Pork Loin or Roasted Chicken Half.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Home for the Holidays: Melt in your Mouth Caramels

Makes about 2 1/2 pounds
1 cup butter or margarine

1 pound brown sugar

Dash salt

1 cup light corn syrup

1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Add brown sugar and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in corn syrup and mix well. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly.

Cook and stir over medium heat until candy reaches firm ball stage. 245 degrees on candy thermometer; about 12 to 15 min.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour into a buttered 9-inch square pan. Cool and cut into squares.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Home for the Holiday: EGG NOG PANCKAES

So we have pancakes at least 2-3 times a month for dinner. So for the holidays I thought I would "Spice" it up with some egg nog flavor in our pancakes. It adds a creamy texture and a wonderful sweet/spicy taste. There are two versions of this recipe, the homemade variety and the mix alteration version. ENJOY!

2 Eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Beat Eggs in a medium bowl until well blended, stir in egg nog. add remaining ingredients until all incorporated. Don't over mix! Let batter sit for 5 min, this allows the flour to properly absorb the liquid, adjust batter if needed.

Heat skillet or griddle on medium. Let it heat throughly!!! don't start until its properly heated, your pancakes will not cook properly! pour batter on to skillet, cook for 2-3 min, or until bubbles form on top and bottoms are golden brown. Flip and cook other side for 1-2 min. Serve with favorite syrups, jams or fresh fruit... or like me... butter and that is all!

If using a mix, follow instructions on package, but swap water or milk for  egg nog. adjust if needed. Cook the same as above.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Home for the Holidays: Savory Cream Corn

Ah yes.... Cream corn... so many people have destroyed this poor side dish. I think people forget that its not mashed pulverized corn but a beautifully cut kernels smothered in a bed of a cheesy cream sauce garnished with fresh  herbs and a wonderful option of red peppers. This is a simple recipe, but fills my heart with memories of family gatherings that have passed.


3 TBS Butter
2 TBS Flour
1 1/2 Cups milk or half and half (HALF AND HALF IS BETTER)
4 Cups Fresh Corn Kernels (about 8 ears)
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper To taste

garnishes/ seasonings
1/2 tsp COHO MOJO (from Summit Spices)
1/2 cup small diced red peppers
2 TBS minced Italian Parsley

Make It

in skillet or fry pan, melt 1 TBS butter, add corn, Coho Mojo, and red peppers. Saute for 3-5 min till peppers have sweated.

In sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and make a roux. Add Milk or Half and half whisk! whisk! whisk! Turn heat up slightly till white sauce thickens. season with salt and pepper to taste. Add Parmesan Cheese. When cheese is melted, ladle cheese sauce into corn mixture. cook over medium heat for 3-5 min, until all the corn is incorporated into the cream sauce. garnish with parsley.

Left over?
Take cream corn mixture and fold it into a corn bread batter, add to a spicy chili recipe. serve as an appetizer with a warm flat bread.

how to cut kernels off the cob:

place cob in bowl, with knife, carefully cut the kernels off the cob. by having them in a bowl, you protect your kitchen from unwanted mess and lost kernels for your tasty dish.

New Series: Home for the Holidays

I know its been 800 years since I wrote any posts. Volleyball kept me really busy this year as well as my oldest daughter with her many appointments. But since Holidays are my favorite, I really wanted to share some meals from memories as well as inspire those around to change things up a little. We will have tutorials, recipes and hosting tips for the next 30 days! Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Brownie Mix cookies

I know! Too good to be true? I went a little crazy on this one too..... I figured, if I could use Jello mix... what over mixes could I use? Well my next favorite thing... BROWNIES!!!!! SO enjoy!


1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp. white vinegar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 - 1/4 cup brownie mix, dry (straight from the box)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, sugars, vanilla, salt, and vinegar. Beat in the eggs, then the baking soda and flour. Stir in the brownie mix and chips. Drop the dough by a small tablespoonful onto baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

Tips: The dough will be a little dry and stiff, but not crumbly! add a little milk if needed!

Jello Pudding Mix Cookies

I Really love these cookies! So there is this wonderful Mom, who has baked well over 100,000 of these cookies over the years for her kids sports teams and family gatherings. I have been a fortunate partaker of these cookies. Well we went to State for Track and Field a few weeks ago, and I wanted to make her cookies, since her last kid graduated the previous year and I was in charge of the food. I thought Ms. Hanley's cookies would help our boys and girls relax... and have a tasty treat! These cookies are soft, and chewey... and oh so tasty! You will love them! Also experiment with different Jello flavors, like butterscotch, Oreo and Fudge!

Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3.4 oz. package vanilla instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and set aside.
2. Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slight golden and set. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Some Tips: Use a portion scoop for your cookies.... it does wonders!