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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chocolaty Shortcake Wedding Cookies


1 cup butter softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour (not self rising)
1 cup very good milk chocolate chips (Guittard is a good one)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer at low to medium speed until light in color.
Gradually add the flour and mix till well combined.  Stir in chips and chopped pecans by hand.

Shape into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 13-15 minutes.  Cookies will still be pale in color.   Let the cookies cool for about 2 minutes then remove from cookie sheet and roll in powdered sugar.
Enjoy

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hot water pastry


Ingredients for the Hot Water Pastry:
1 pound (500g or four cups) plain flour
6 ounces (175g or ¾ cup) lard
6 fluid ounces (225ml or ¾ cup) approximately of water
Pinch of salt
Milk for glazing

You will also need glasses or jars, approximately 3-3½ inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter to shape the pie.

Method:
Create the filling of your choice, lamb mince is the traditional filling.
Make the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a warm bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Melt the lard in a scant measure of water and, when it is bubbling, add to the flour and mix thoroughly. Take a small amount (remember the mixture should make 8/10 pies, with their tops) and form into a ball and keep the rest warm while making each pastry case. This is done by rolling a suitable amount for each pie and shaping the crust round the base of a glass or jar approximately 3-3½ inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter. Make sure there are no cracks in the pastry - you can trim round the top of the case to make it even. As the pastry cools and gets cool, remove the glass and continue until you have about a quarter of the pastry left to make the lids.
Fill the cases with the meat and add the gravy to make the meat moist.
Roll the remaining pastry and use the glass to cut the lids. Wet the edges of the lids, place over the meat and press down lightly over the filling. Pinch the edges and trim. Cut a small hole or vent in the centre of the lid (to allow the steam to escape).
Glaze with milk and bake for about 45 minutes at 275F/140C/Gas mark 1. If the pies are not eaten immediately, they can be stored in the 'fridge but always ensure they are properly reheated before being eaten.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

SCANDINAVIAN KRUMKAKE

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. freshly ground cardamom
6 Tbsp. water
Preparation:
Cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and ground cardamom. Stir in flour, mixing well. Add water until batter is the consistency of a thick cream sauce.

Lightly grease the two sides of a krumkake iron with cooking spray or melted butter (Alternative: if using an electric krumkake baker, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer). Heat iron over medium to medium-high burner just until a drop of water sizzles on the surface; to prevent damage to the iron and to keep the cookies from scorching, do not heat over the highest setting. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of batter onto the center of the iron. Close iron, squeezing handles together lightly to spread the batter (but not so tightly that the batter leaks down the sides of the iron. Note: Because of the batter's butter content, leaks that hit the burner cause some interesting flame action. Keep a damp towel on hand to swiftly wipe up any leaks and to prevent baking krumkake flambé!). Bake for 30 seconds, flip iron over, and bake an additional 30 seconds. Flip iron back to initial position, open, and immediately roll cookie around a krumkake cone or the handle of a wood spoon. Slip off cone and allow to cool on rack.

Store in tightly sealed container in order to retain crispness.

Krumkake are equally delicious when served alone or when filled with whipped cream and/or fruit.

Yield: 24 krumkake.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Crepes

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tbl spoons melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
oil spray for pan

In a blender or using a hand emulsifier combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds till completely smooth. (if you get lumps, stain them out)
Heat an 8 inch non-stick skillet and spray lightly with oil. add about 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl around to spread evenly over the entire pan bottom. Will be very thin. Cook for 30 seconds or till lightly brown, flip over and cook for another 10 seconds. Lay onto a flour sack towel or cutting board to cool slightly. Cook all the crepes then add the filling of your choice and roll up into little cigars....dust with powdered sugar if your making sweet crepes....
The crepes pictured above are raspberry crepes with chocolate raspberry sauce drizzled on top....so good.
enjoy.

Red Velvet Cake

½ cup shortening 1 ½ c. sugar
2 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. butter flavor 1 oz. bottle red food color
3 level TBSP. Cocoa 2 ½ c, sifted flour
1 cup buttermilk 1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vinegar 1 tsp. soda

Cream shortening, sugar, eggs, butter flavor.
Make a paste of cocoa and food coloring.
Add to first mixture.
Alternately add flour and buttermilk.
Mix soda and vinegar in small bowl.
Add to batter, Blend.
Bake in three (3) 9”-10” pans for 20-25 minutes on 350.
Let cool completely, cover with frosting/icing (recipe below).

Red Velvet Cake Icing
3 Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp butter flavor

Cook milk, flour, salt until thick.
Stirring constantly
LET COOL
Cream shortening and sugar very well, add butter flavor.
Combine with the first mixture, beat well.

Empanadas



Empanadas
Things to get...
Pork butt or a nice flavorful piece of beef such as a chuck roast or something similar.
2 bunches of cilantro
2 poblano peppers
2 large Jalapeño’s
3 very large tomatoes
3 bunches green onions
2 med yellow onion
3 packages (couple of ozs. each) of GOYA Sazon con azafran seasoning
Salt
Pepper
Pepper flakes
Cumin
2 tomatillos (for dipping salsa only)
1 large head of garlic
P.A.N. precooked Corn meal

You might want to make the dipping salsa first the day before because it gets better with time.

Dipping Salsa
In a large food processor bowl add:
2 large cloves garlic
½ med onion
2 tomatillos
1 large tomato
1 poblano
1 jalapeño
All the leaves from one bunch of cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp cumin
Process till smooth
Taste for seasoning
Place in fridge

Put meat in oven
Place meat in a baking dish cover with 1 cup of water
Season with 1 package of the Goya Sazon Con Azafran ,
Salt, Pepper, and pepper flakes.
Coarsely chop 1 ½ med onions and place on top
Add 1 large clove of garlic minced
Let the meat cook till very tender and falling apart. Set aside to cool

****Put 3 med peeled potatoes on the stove and cook till tender

Hogao or Tomato sauce for filling

This is part of the filling for the pies
Put a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a fry pan
Put the following ingredients into the pan and fry till the water has all evaporated.

2 bunches of chopped green onions
2 minced large cloves of garlic
1 finely chopped Poblano
1 finely chopped Jalapeño
2 large tomatoes chopped
½ tsp cumin
1 package of the Goya Sazon Con Azafran
Salt and pepper and pepper flakes to taste

Mix the Hogao and the potatoes and slightly mash together leaving the potatoes very lumpy
Let the meat cool and drain the meat juices and set aside to use to make the masa dough later.
using a food processor or knife shred the meat with the onion and garlic that it cooked. Add the meat to the potato mixture and let cool completely. Set aside

Using P.A.N. precooked white corn meal (this is dry not a wet product and is normally on the flour isle of your grocery or in the Spanish section)

Using the directions on the back of the P.A.N. and using the meat juices that your reserved and enough water to so that you have the two cups of liquid needed for the recipe on the back of the package and 1 package of the Goya Sazon Con Azafran. Mix as directed so that you have a smooth masa dough.

The best Chili Con Queso Ever

I'm giving directions for using 1/2 each of the cheeses using the large boxes of the cheeses. But you can make a large batch if you have a large double boiler.

1/2 of a large box of Kraft american cheese
Velveeta cheese
1 large onion sliced into long strips
1 and 1/2 large bell peppers seeded and ribs removed and cut into thin strips.
1 fresh jalapeño seeded and ribs removed and cut into thin strips.
3 table spoons of a picante sauce.. this was not part of the recipe but I found it makes is delicious.


Purchase equal amounts of Velveeta cheese and Kraft american cheese... don't spare expense here buy these cheese the plain sort. Kraft american is in a blue box. it doesn't matter how much you use as long as it is equal amounts and if fits in the double boiler with enough room to add the veggies and whole milk.
I purchase the large ones and cut each in half for making the queso two times.
Prepare a double boiler by placing enough water in the bottom but not to touch the bottom of the pan make sure the pan is large enough for the amount of queso your making.
Cut both cheeses into 1 inch cubes and place into the double boiler, add the onions and the jalapeño and Bell pepper and SIMMER ON LOW for several hours until onions and bell pepper are very soft and making sure to stir often and add milk as necessary. NEVER let it boil or it will be grainy.
Once the peppers and onion are soft add the picante at this time. Do not let cook much longer after the picante addition as it will curdle the sauce if not careful.
If your sauce is starting to curdle add more milk to the cheese and water to the double boiler pan and turn down the heat.

Bourban Pecan Pumpkin Butter Pie


Ingredients:
4 eggs
2 cups (about 1 1/3 jars) pecan pumpkin butter (Us the recipe that follows or you can get this at Williams Sonoma)
1 3/4 cups plus 1 Tbs. evaporated milk
3 Tbs. bourbon
1 prebaked and cooled deep-dish piecrust (see related recipe at left)
Whipped cream for serving
Directions:
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven. Place a cookie sheet on the rack. Preheat the oven to 325°F. (The pie dish will sit on the cookie sheet, which will help the bottom of the crust to brown.)

In a large bowl, gently whisk the eggs. Add the pecan pumpkin butter, evaporated milk and bourbon and whisk until well combined. Pour the filling into the prebaked piecrust and bake until the center of the pie is just set, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Check the crust after 30 minutes; if the edges begin to brown too quickly, cover them with aluminum foil.

Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 4 hours before serving. If making in advance, cover the cooled pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to overnight.

To serve, cut the pie into slices and serve with whipped cream. Serves 8 to 10.

Pumpkin butter just in time for the Holiday's

Pecan Pumpkin Butter

Zest (outer peel only, no white pith) of 1 orange, or zest of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon, removed in wide strips with a swivel peeler
1 large can (29 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin plus 1/2 cup water, or 3-1/2 to 4 cups pumpkin puree prepared from scratch (see the headnote)
2 cups (packed) light brown sugar or
1-1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar plus 1/2 cup mild honey or light corn syrup
3 tablespoons strained fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted and grated or very finely chopped
Makes about 5 cups
1. Simmer the orange zest in 2 cups water in a sauce pan for 10 minutes, then drain it and mince it to a fine pulp. Measure out 1 tablespoon and reserve.
2. Combine in a heavy-bottomed stainless-steel or other nonreactive saucepan the pumpkin (and water, if canned pumpkin is used), orange zest, sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, allspice ginger, and cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; lower the heat and simmer the mixture, stirring it very often with a wooden spatula, until it has become very thick, about 15 minutes. Sample the butter and add a little more of any or all of the spices, if you like (remember, the flavors will blossom in storage). Add more sweetening if your tastebuds request it.
3. Stir in the nuts and continue to cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Ladle the boiling-hot pumpkin butter into clean, hot half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Seal the jars with new 2-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's instructions. Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Cool, label, and store for up to a year a cool cupboard. [Note: Instead of canning refrigerate or freeze for long-term storage.]

Monday, August 1, 2011

69 Years of Marriage and still in love.


I think we all aspire to having loved and being loved by someone till the end and if it lasts 69 years well then we can say that we truly were.  Here sit the Hunters, now in a retirement home together taking a cat nap after breakfast.  Do you see Mr. Hunters hand....even asleep he wants to make sure his wife is right next to him...this is a picture of what true love is...I couldn't help but snap the picture of this precious moment as I too aspire to having lifetime of lasting love such as this..