Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Seasoned Ranch Pretzels.

Seasoned pretzels

I had to post a Super Bowl worthy recipe seeing that the big game is only a few days away.

I'm from Rhode Island so I don't think I even have to tell you I'm rooting for the Pat's to win this one. Even if we weren't absolutely pumped for the big game, we still watch and I still make "football food".

Munchies are a must and these Seasoned Ranch Pretzels will certainly we served.

We love the Snyder flavored pretzels but I thought I they would be just as easy to make, so I made some. My boys are all about ranch everything, so I based the recipe around the ranch. Feel free to throw in whatever spice makes you happy, you can even add in some heat if you'd like.

Seasoned Ranch Pretzels
Printable recipe
1 bag hard pretzels (Snyder’s is what I used. They range from 12 – 16 oz.)
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 packet dry ranch seasoning
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
3 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dill weed

Preheat oven to 200. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
Break the pretzels into pieces. Combine the oil and whatever spices you are using bowl, or you can just add the spices to the measuring cup that you placed the oil in like I did. Pour over the pretzels in the bag. Shake until all the pieces are well coated.
Spread the pretzels onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 50 minutes, turning every 15 minutes or so. Allow to cool completely. Keep in a covered container.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

There are a few foods that my husband loves above all others.

Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken Gizzards (yup, I said gizzards)
Chicken Pot Pie

I think Chicken Pot Pie is right up there with Mac & Cheese when it comes to comfort foods.

It's downright homey. It's frigid here in New England.  We are barely making it into the teens, so Chicken Pot Pie(s) are on the menu.

This is a recipe I've been using for ages. Just like most of my soup recipes, I kind of made it up along the way. Feel free to tweak it anyway you like.

This recipe makes enough for 2 pies for one BIG pie made in an 9x13.

Chicken Pot Pie 2

Chicken Pot Pie - makes 2 pies or one 9x13!
recipe from Lisa@ The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
Printable recipe

4 pie crusts (Either 4 store bought- 2 tops and 2 bottoms or make your own)
3 pounds chicken breast, cooked and chopped (I used 3 extra large breasts* see note)
1/2 an onion, finely chopped (you can also use shallots like I did)
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
salt & pepper
1 egg, beaten

Add onions and the butter to a heavy bottomed pot and sauté about 3 minutes, just until they get a bit tender. Add in the flour and cook for a minute more just until the flour turns golden. Slowly add in chicken broth, whisking the whole time. Add in the milk whisk to combing. Continue cooking on medium heat, uncovered until sauce thickens. Stir this frequently so it doesn't stick to the bottom and burn.

When sauce has thickened, add chicken and mixed vegetables, and stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.

Now you can make this pie two ways. You can make 2 traditional pies in a pie plate, or you can use a 9x13 and made one big pie. No matter which one you choose to make, put in your bottom crust then fill it with the filling and top it with another crust. Press the top and bottom pie crust together to seal them. I just fold mine over a bit. I like the rustic look. Cut slits in the top to let the steam escape. Brush the beaten egg over top of pot pie. I highly suggest you bake your pies on a baking sheet covered in foil or parchment in case there is any spillage. Bake in a 375* for 30 minutes. The crust should be golden at this point. Take the pie(s) out of the oven and cover with foil so they don't get burned. Return to oven for another 20-30 minutes (or until hot and bubbly). Let the pie sit for 15-20 minutes before cutting.

* To cook the chicken breasts I placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet. I drizzled some olive oil over then and added some Italian seasonings and baked for about 40 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Once cool enough to touch I diced them up for the pies!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Homemade Hot Chocolate! Yes you can!

Hot Chocolate

My youngest son is a hot chocolate fanatic. As soon as there is a nip in the air he's looking for a mug of the stuff. For years I bought the mix in the little bag and he was just fine with is, but as he got older he started looking for something different. We tried some of the upscale hot chocolate, with the upscale price tags and I decided they way he drank the stuff I'd be spending a good chunk of change every week to keep him supplied.

That wasn't going to happen.

So I went looking for recipes. I found a bunch. I experimented. I took a little from each one and BAM.....delicious, easy to make hot chocolate. Better than any gourmet hot chocolate on the market.

We have made 6 batches of the stuff since October. I keep a big jar of it in the pantry with a 1/3 cup measuring cup right in the jar. All they boys do is take a scoop and add it to a cup of hot milk.

I made up a few extra batches, jarred them up and got them all pretty for the UPS driver, the mail lady and the paper boy as little thank you's for them at Christmas. Who doesn't want a mug of delicious, creamy hot chocolate?

Hot Chocolate2

Hot Chocolate
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
Printable Recipe
3 cups nonfat dry milk
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
12 ounce bag white chocolate chips

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Working in two batches, pulse the ingredients in a food processor until the chips are finely ground. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

For a cup: Stir 1/3 cup unto 1 cup of hot milk.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

December 2014 12

Well it's Christmas time again.

Thank you for checking in with me and for all your heartfelt comments, emails and messages to me over the past year. I might not have as many followers as some blogs, but I think I have the best followers! So I thank you for that.

I'll be busy in the kitchen for the next few days but I wanted to take a moment to wish you all the happiest of holidays. I hope it's filled with good food, laughter and the people you cherish.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Soft Molasses Cookies

Soft Molasses Cookies 1

How;s everyone doing with their Christmas preparation? I'm just about finished.

I'm an early shopper so I was done way back in October. I spend December wrapping and baking and working on my Christmas menu. Yesterday I cooked and baked all morning and then I wrapped up the last of my presents. I look forward to a lazy few weeks before Christmas. I stressed myself out for too many years and ended up sick every holiday until I vowed that I wouldn't let it get to me anymore, so I shop early, I plan ahead, we keep the buying to a minumum, and really try and enjoy the season. I hope you all do the same!

Now on to cookies!

We all have that one cookie or dessert that just screams Christmas for us. The one you have to make or it's just not Christmas without it.

Well here is that cookie for me. Soft Molasses Cookies.

I blogged about these ages ago. I've been making them for years and years. They are always on my Christmas cookie list.

The whole house smells like Christmas when you make these. Cinnamon, cloves, just makes the whole room come alive.

I have a few friend who have added these to their "must make" list and it just warms my heart to know that they have become a part of their Christmas tradition too.

Soft Molasses Cookies 3

Soft Molasses Cookies
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
Printable recipe
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups flour
1/2 tea. salt
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
sugar for rolling ball into

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and eggs.

In another bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder and spices. Blend thoroughly with a wire whisk. Gradually mix flour mixture with the creamed mixture until dough is blended and smooth. Roll dough into balls about the size of a walnut, roll into sugar, and place on greased cookie sheet or use parchment. I used parchment and they came out perfectly. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE! You really want to take these out when they look underdone. Trust me they will set up perfectly.

Cool on wire rack and store in tightly covered container.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Old Fashioned Molasses Cake

Molasses Cake

So Turkey Day is fast approaching and I know many of you have your menus done and you're desserts planned already but I can't help but share this delicious little cake with you now.

I love molasses. I love the smell of it and the taste of it. It instantly makes me think of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This is the perfect little cake to whip up on a whim. It's like the baby bear of cakes. Not too big, not too little, just right. All it requires is a few bowls and few minutes and you have a little cake to enjoy with a warm cuppa tea on a chilly afternoon. If you love gingerbread, you'll love this!

I've been watching my sugar, so I used Stevia in place of the sugar and sugar free whipped topping. It tasted plenty sweet to me!

Molasses Cake2

Old Fashioned Molasses Cake
Recipe from Taste of Home
Printable recipe.
2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup hot water
9 tablespoons fat-free or sugar free whipped topping

In a small bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg. Beat in molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt; add to butter mixture alternately
with water, mixing well after each addition.

Transfer to a 9-in. square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares;
garnish with whipped topping. Yield: 9 servings.

Nutritional Information: (based on using sugar, not a sugar substitute) 1 piece with 1 tablespoon whipped topping equals 148 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 28 mg cholesterol, 205 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fat.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Creamy Veggie Casserole

Creamy Veggie Casserole 4

I got some powerful Thanksgiving mojo going on lately. The internet is all abuzz with talk of turkeys and Thanksgiving sides. It's everywhere I tell ya.

I get excited about Thanksgiving. I love that it's a holiday where gifts are not involved. In my house it's all about food, football and naps.

I host Thanksgiving dinner every year. I love the weeks building up to Thanksgiving. I love planning my menu and making my shopping lists. I just love everything about it.

While I do stick to a few tried and true my Roasted Parmesan Creamed Onions....just take a look at these beauties....

Parmean & Cream Baked Onions

They are out of this world! You can get the recipe here.....I do venture out and try some new recipes. I found this recipe back in September and let me tell you, it's a winner.

I made this for a party we hosted when my in-laws were here from Ohio and everyone raved about it. I doubled the recipe and I'm glad I did cause it was a huge hit. It will now grace my Thanksgiving table.

I used a broccoli and cauliflower combination, but feel free to chose whatever veggies you like.

Creamy Veggie Casserole 2
Creamy Veggie Casserole
adapted from a recipe at The Gunny Sack
Printable recipe
2 – 14oz bags of mixed veggies (broccoli/cauliflower/carrots or any combination of these work well)
¼ cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
Small diced onion
1 cup milk
4oz flavored cream cheese (garden veggie or chive work well)
4oz shredded cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper
½ cup French Fried Onions

Cook the veggies (the microwave works fine for this) and place them in a large bowl to cool a bit.  I squeeze any excess water out of them at this point too. Place butter and onion in pan and cook over medium high heat until slightly tender (about 3 minutes). Add in the flour and milk and whisk until thickened. Add in the cream cheese and stir until smooth. Pour the cream sauce over the veggies. Add in the shredded cheese and stir to combine. Pour into a greased deep dish pie pan and bake at 350 for 20 –25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with French Fried onions and place back in the oven for 5 minutes.

* If doubling the recipe, place in a 9x13 inch pan and add about 5 - 10 extra minutes to the cooking time.