Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sour Cream Lemon Pie


1 C. sugar
3 oz. cream cheese
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 lemon, juiced, and zested
 *1/2 c. lemon juice
 *1 Tbs. lemon zest
1 C. milk
4 Tbs. cornstarch
1/4 C. butter
1 c. sour cream
**whipped cream
                                                   
Using a hand mixer process cream cheese and sugar until smooth before adding anything else; then add in eggs and process until homogenized. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, milk, and cornstarch.  Place in heavy saucepan; cook over medium heat until thick.  Stir in butter and cool mixture to room temperature. Stir in sour cream and transfer filling into baked 9-inch pie shell.  Cover with whipped cream.  Store in refrigerator. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes


CRUST:
1 ½ cups finely crushed Oreo cookie crumbs (about 22) (You can also use sugar cookies)
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  1. Place one row of the cookies into a resealable plastic bag on a flat surface. Pound them with a hammer until crushed into crumbs. It is easier to crush the cookies when there is a smaller amount in the bag. Measure out one and a half cups.
  2. Mix the cookie crumbs and butter in a bowl with a spoon until they're properly mixed and have a consistent texture.
(ALTERNATIVE: I used my food processor and just pulsed it until the crumbs were fine and then added the melted butter and pulsed it until it was incorporated, scraping the sides a couple of times)
  1. Use your fingers to press 1 tablespoon of crumbs into each of the lined muffin tins (I used silicone liners. I recommend it.)
Makes 18-24 depending on the size of your liners.  (I used silicone which narrowed the space enough that it made 24 instead of the originally stated 18.)
HEAT oven to 300°F.
FILLING:
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
  1. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl frequently, until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. (NOTE: Do not whip at high speed or mix too long. Introducing too much air will cause cakes to fall after baking.) Stir in vanilla. Pour about 1/4 cup of the filling on top of each of the cookie crusts.
  2. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until edges are set and centers are still slightly jiggly. Turn oven off, and open door slightly. Cool cheesecake in oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool at room temperature 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until cheesecakes are chilled. If desired, carefully peel off liners. Top with raspberry sauce and sweetened whipped cream.
TOPPING*:
1/3 cup raspberry preserves (or jam)
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. cornstarch (dissolved in the lemon juice)
In a small saucepan, heat preserves over medium heat till melted. Add raspberries and lemon juice/cornstarch. Cook and stir until slightly thickened (about 1 minute for fresh fruit or 3-4 minutes for frozen fruit). Transfer to a small bowl. Cover; quick-chill in the freezer for 10 minutes or chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Spoon raspberry sauce over cheesecake.


(*DISCLAIMER:  I kind of made up this topping recipe as I went along based on a couple of other recipes I consulted. I was also making 72 cheesecakes at the time and I waaaaay overdid the amount of topping I made.  Soooo, I’ve backed way off on the amounts and I’m hoping that it’s actually enough for one batch of 24 cheesecakes.  You might have leftovers; you might have to make a bit more.  You’ve been warned!)


 

Mini Grasshopper Cheesecakes


I forgot to take my own picture so this is a small
clipping of a picture someone else took of my
cheesecakes. Thus, the low resolution!
CRUST:
1 ½ cups finely crushed Oreo cookie crumbs (about 22) (You can also use sugar cookies)
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  1. Place one row of the cookies into a resealable plastic bag on a flat surface. Pound them with a hammer until crushed into crumbs. It is easier to crush the cookies when there is a smaller amount in the bag. Measure out one and a half cups.
  2. Mix the cookie crumbs and butter in a bowl with a spoon until they're properly mixed and have a consistent texture.
(ALTERNATIVE: I used my food processor and just pulsed it until the crumbs were fine and then added the melted butter and pulsed it until it was incorporated, scraping the sides a couple of times)
  1. Use your fingers to press 1 tablespoon of crumbs into each of the lined muffin tins (I used silicone liners. I recommend it.)
Makes 18-24 depending on the size of your liners.  (I used silicone which narrowed the space enough that it made 24 instead of the originally stated 18.)
HEAT oven to 300°F.

FILLING:
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. peppermint extract
4-6 drops green food coloring
  1. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl frequently, until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. (NOTE: Do not whip at high speed or mix too long. Introducing too much air will cause cakes to fall after baking.) Stir in flavoring and color. Pour about 1/4 cup of the filling on top of each of the cookie crusts.
  2. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until edges are set and centers are still slightly jiggly. Turn oven off, and open door slightly. Cool cheesecake in oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool at room temperature 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until cheesecakes are chilled. If desired, carefully peel off liners. Top with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Refried Beans - Pressure Cooker Method

THESE ARE AMOUNTS AND INSTRUCTIONS ARE SPECIFIC TO MY WEIGHTED 5 QUART PRESSURE COOKER. 

4 cups dry beans (½ pinto & ½ pink is what I like)

2 scant Tbs. dry, minced onion
1 scant Tbs. dry minced garlic
2 Tbs. oil
2 Tbs. vinegar
2 tsp. salt
4 oz. butter
2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbs. chili powder


Place rinsed beans in a 5 qt. pressure cooker with the onion, garlic, oil (oil helps prevent scorching but mainly it keeps foaming to a minimum. Foaming can cause the vents to get clogged up.), and enough water to come up to the maximum fill line. (Don't add the salt yet. It inhibits softening!) Bring to pressure.  Cook 45 minutes.  Let cool naturally.


Depending on the desired consistency, drain off some of the water but reserve it to add back if necessary. The amount of liquid you remove will depend on the consistency you want (thin vs. thick).  It will thicken somewhat as it cools.  (EDITED TO SAY, I no longer remove any of the liquid.  I've found it's much too thick if I do. 4-22-16) Spoon out and reserve about one cup of the beans (optional).  Add the butter, salt, cumin, chili powder, and vinegar.  Blend with an immersion blender or food processor until smooth.  Add a few tablespoons (or all!) of any reserved liquid if the beans are too thick to blend.  When beans are smooth stir back in the whole beans.                                                    

 Makes approx. four 20 oz. portions.

You'll have to play around with amounts based on the size of YOUR pressure cooker. 



Rinse the beans
Add water, bring to pressure and cook for 45 minutes


Drain off excess liquid (if desired)
Add butter, vinegar, and spices

Blend with immersion blender or food processor

Taste test!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Cream of the Crop (How I separate milk and cream)

Place raw milk in the dispenser and wait 12-48 hours. We like some cream left in the milk so I usually wait about 24 hours. Works for me. I put a dotted line where the cream has separated in case it's hard for you to see it.

A close-up of the milk/cream separation line. It's just above the butterfly's upper wing.


Drain off the milk from under the cream. I really need to get a spigot I can flip up rather than have to press down.
It's hard to keep that button pressed down after a few minutes!


When it gets down to the spigot, you have to tip it to keep the two from mixing.

I drain it off until I am getting straight cream for a few moments.
(I've noticed the sound changes when it becomes straight cream streaming into the bottle.)
We don't care for skim milk and like some of the cream to remain in the milk so
I allow cream to run into the bottle for a few seconds.
This also helps ensure that you are getting the most milk out of the cream.

Then I mix the 2-3 bottles of milk that I've drained off to make sure that there is some cream in all of them.



 Lovely cream is what is left over. I'll wait a couple days and make butter!! :-)


Monday, January 21, 2013

Minestrone Soup

3 Tbs. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
3-4 carrots, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
15 oz. canned tomatoes, undrained.
16 oz tomato sauce
15 oz. canned kidney beans, drained
½ cup frozen corn
15 oz. can green beans
2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
1 zucchini, cubed
1 Tbs. Italian seasoning
¼ cup barley
¾ cup small seashell pasta

In a large pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add onion, celery and carrots, saute for 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, canned tomatoes, and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, corn, green beans, spinach, zucchini, and Italian seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for at least 1 hour, the longer the better. Add barley for the last hour of cooking. Cook pasta separately and add just before serving.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Easy Enchilada Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1/2 - 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 cups broth or bouillon
8 oz. tomato sauce



In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour to make a smooth paste.  Add spices and continue to stir until bubbly.
Whisk in broth and bring to a boil.  Cook and stir 1 minute, until thickened. Stir in tomato sauce.

Makes 5-6 cups, enough for (1 or 2*) 9×13 pan of enchiladas.

Source:
Kim @ Life In A Shoe http://inashoe.com/2012/02/easy-homemade-enchilada-sauce/
*Kim says it's enough for TWO pans of enchiladas but my husband likes a LOT of sauce.  You'll have to figure out what works for you!! :-)