Thursday, March 1, 2018

Orange Julius



Orange Julius                                                      

6 oz. orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ cup sugar
15-20 ice cubes
 
Place all ingredients in a blender.  Cover and whirl until well blended.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

Into a saucepan put: 

½ c. butter (one stick)
2 c. white sugar
¼ c. cocoa
¼ c. light corn syrup
½ c. milk


Bring to a ROLLING boil and boil 60-90 seconds*.  Remove from heat and add:

1 tsp. vanilla
¾ c. chunky peanut butter
3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats


Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls (or medium scoop) onto wax paper-lined** cookie sheets.  Refrigerate until firm.

NOTES:

*Most recipes like this call for boiling for one minute, but it always turns out too soft for me.  I boil it longer and it's still pretty flexible after it cools.

**Instead of wax-paper, I now use reusable silicone baking mats.  It doesn't peel off from the cookie quite as easily, but it's reusable and I just use an inverted spatula to release the cookie.


Using a scoop to portion these cookies has revolutionized my life.  I use a scoop to do other cookies, but I hadn't thought of it for these until a friend suggested it.  Oh my goodness.  So fast.  So clean.  So perfect!  I  love it!  


Monday, November 20, 2017

Chicken Tortilla Soup


6 c. water/chicken broth
3 tsp. (+/-) chicken bouillon*
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 ½ c. chopped onion
1 ½ c. frozen corn
12 to 15 oz. can beans, rinsed & drained
1 c. cooked rice
1 ½ c. chunky salsa
1 small zucchini, small dice
1 Tbs. lime juice
1 quart canned chicken thighs, drained**
tortilla chips
 -Monterey jack cheese
 -sour cream
 -chopped green onion
 -avocado

In a large pot over medium heat, bring to boiling the water/broth (use liquid from canned chicken), bouillon (if used), garlic, cumin, chili powder, onion, corn, beans, rice, salsa, zucchini, and lemon juice.  Reduce head and simmer 20-30 minutes.  Gently stir in chicken and heat 5 minutes.  Break up some tortilla chips into individual bowls and pour soup over chips.  Garnish with Monterey jack cheese, sour cream, green onion, and avocado.

*If you don't have enough chicken broth and you need to use water, then add as much bouillon as you need to get the flavor right. 

**Don't forget to use the drained liquid from your chicken as part of your broth.  Waste not, want not!

Serves 6-10 depending on the size of your people. :)

 

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, use bottled juice if needed
 ~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!