Thursday, December 20, 2007

New recipes!

Thanks to everyone who has sent in recipes for the holidays. Our list is expanding! Here is the new updated list!

Pepperoni Dip
Rum Tum Tiddy
Herb-Coated Mini Cheese Balls
Apple Kielbasa Coins
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
Five Minute Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge
Seven Pound Fudge
Almond Biscotti
Gingerbread Biscotti
Tiger Butter
Pizza Popcorn
Gorgonzola Cherry Cheese Ball
Confetti Squares
Portugese Sweet Bread
Raspberry Ganache Cake

Raspberry Ganache Cake

Raspberry Ganache:

⅓ c. heavy cream

1 c. chocolate chips

¼ c. seedless raspberry preserves

2 tablespoon butter

In a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer; remove pan from heat. Add the chocolate chips, preserves, and butter, shaking the pan to immerse the chocolate and as much of the preserves and butter as possible. Let stand for 1 1/2 minutes, or until the chocolate has melted. Beat the mixture with a wire whisk until smooth. Cool until thick enough to use as a glaze; or, cool completely and whip to desired spreading consistency using an electric mixer on medium speed.

For cake batter:
½ cup boiling water
cup plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
¼ cup whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup seedless raspberry jam (about 3‚ ounces)
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Make cake batter:
In a bowl whisk together boiling water and cocoa powder until smooth and whisk in milk, vanilla, and jam. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy and add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Into another bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt and add to egg mixture in batches alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating well after each addition.

Pour batter evenly over frosting mixture and bake in middle of oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted into cake comes out clean (frosting on bottom will still be liquid). Cool cake slightly in pan on a rack, 10 to 20 minutes. Once cake has cooled completely, frost with ganache, and top with toasted walnuts, if desired.

St. Louis, MO

Portugese Sweet Bread

2 envelopes yeast
½ cup warm water
¾ cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon. salt
½ cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 c. well sifted flour

Mix yeast, water and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl and let stand until bubbly.
Put sugar, salt, milk and butter in a sauce pan. Heat until butter melts. Pour in large bowl and let cool until lukewarm. Beat eggs in small bowl until frothy. Add eggs, yeast mixture, butter mixture and three cups of the flour in an extra big bowl and beat until smooth. Add remaining four cups of flour, one at a time mixing well between each. Knead for 10 minutes. Place in buttered bowl, rolling dough so all is covered with the butter. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 2-3 hours until dough has doubled or tripled. Punch down and let stand 10 minutes. Divide in 2, put in greased pans.

Let rise two hours. Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes.

St. Louis, MO

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Confetti Squares

This recipe can be halved – but why? – I guarantee they will all be eaten - a family favorite!

2 tubes of pillsbury crescent rolls
2 bricks of philadelphia brand cream cheese (softened to room temp)
1 c. mayo
1 envelope hidden valley ranch salad dressing mix (dry)
1 c. mild cheddar cheese (fancy shred)
celery (2-3 stalks)
scallion (about 5-7)
mushroom (about 3-5)
carrot (about 2)
red and/or yellow bell pepper (about 1 bell pepper total)
broccoli (about 1 small head – just shave the floret tops to get teeny tiny dark green “balls” )


Unwind crescent rolls and lay out flat on a shallow 11X14 baking sheet. Pinch the perforations together and shape to fit/cover the bottom of the pan. Prick generously with a fork to prevent bubbles forming when baked per package directions (something like 375 for 11-13 minutes - just til golden brown) and let cool.

Thoroughly mix softened cream cheese, mayo, and dry ranch dressing mix. Spread mixture evenly on cooled crust. Now starting with celery and continuing in the same order that the veggies are listed- sprinkle finely chopped veggies evenly onto crust spread with cream cheese mixture.


Finally, sprinkle entire dish with finely shredded mild cheddar (also gently press the cheese onto the top of veggies) and ENJOY!

Kalamazoo, MI

Gorgonzola Cherry Cheese Ball

8oz. philadelphia brand cream cheese
4-8oz gorgonzola cheese

one big greedy handful of dried cherries (coarsely chopped)

4-5 green onions (finely chopped)

about a tablespoon of dried parsley

about 1/2 teaspoon lawrey's seasoned salt

1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Soften cheeses to room temp. Mix together with fork. Stir in cherries/onions/parsley/salt. Transfer onto a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap, using the wrap to keep your hands clean, shape to a ball and chill.
Once firm, turn the ball out onto chopped walnuts and roll to cover. Allow cheeseball to come to room temp again before eating.
Traditionally served w/ crackers - but this is also REALLY good to stuff celery ribs with!

Kalamazoo, MI

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


1 cup bulgur
2 cups boiling water
3 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
2 T sliced green onions (tops only)
1 T minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced fresh mint
1 medium tomato, diced

Place bulgur in bowl. Stir in boiling water. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Drain and squeeze dry. Stir in lemon juice, oil, onions, parsley, salt, and mint. Cover, refrigerate for 1 hr. Just before serving, stir in tomato. Serve with bread or chips.

Pizza Popcorn

2 1/2 qts. popped popcorn
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Place popcorn in an ungreased 13 x 9 x 2 in. baking pan. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add remaining ingredients. Pour over popcorn and mix well. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Tiger Butter

1 lb. white almond bark
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
4 tsp. half-and-half cream

In microwaveable bowl, heat almond bark and peanut butter on medium heat for 3-4 minutes until melted. Mix well. Pour onto a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spread into a thin layer.
In another bowl, heat chips and cream on high for about 30 seconds or until chips are soft. Stir until smooth. Pour and swirl over peanut butter layer. Freeze for 5 minutes or until set. Break into pieces.

Gingerbread Biscotti

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
3/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and molasses. In another bowl, combine flours, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; mix into egg mixture to form a stiff dough.
Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a roll the length of the cookie. Place rolls on cookie sheet, and pat down to flatten the dough to 1/2 inch thickness.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.
When cool enough to touch, cut into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices. Place sliced biscotti on cookie sheet, and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until toasted and crispy.

Ice with a mixture of powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little milk.

Seven Pound Fudge

3 large bars (8 oz. each) milk chocolate, broken in small pieces
2 pkgs. (11 1/2 oz. each) milk chocolate chips
1 large jar (13 oz.) marshmallow creme
4 cups sugar
1 tall can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
1/2 lb. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped black walnuts, walnuts, or pecans

In large mixing bowl of heavy-duty electric mixer, combine broken chocolate bars, chocolate chips, and marshmallow creme. Set aside. In large, heavy saucepan combine sugar, evaporated milk and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils. Boil 5 minutes. Pour hot mixture over chocolate mixture. Beat until ingredients are thoroughly blended. Beat in vanilla. Remove beater and stir in chopped nuts. Quickly pour mixture into buttered 9x13 inch pan. Cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate until firm enough to cut into small squares. Flavor will be best after 1 or 2 weeks of storage.
Yield: 7 lbs. fudge

Five Minute Fudge

1 package (12 oz.) chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
nuts, if desired

Melt chocolate chips, milk, and vanilla together in saucepan over low heat. Once completely melted together, turn off heat. Add nuts, if desired. Transfer to greased baking dish. Refrigerate until firm and cut into squares.

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe doesn't call for any flour!

1 cup chunky-style peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

In large bowl, mix peanut butter and sugar; stir in egg and vanilla. Shape into 1-in. balls and put on ungreased cookie sheet. Press with fork to flatten slightly and bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Yield: 3 dozen

Apple Kielbasa Coins

1 1/2 lb. cooked kielbasa, cut into 1/4 in. slices
1/4 cup apple jelly
1/4 cup apple juice
2 T maple syrup

In large skillet, bring sausage and apple juice to a boil. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook 5 minutes longer. Drain. Add jelly and syrup. Cook and stir until jelly is melted and sausage is coated.

Yield: 6 servings

Herb-coated Mini Cheese Balls

Ever since a friend introduced me to feta cheese, I crave the stuff. Haven't tried these yet, but you can be sure I'm going to...simply for the feta.

4 oz. cream cheese (use 1/2 of 8 oz. package), softened
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 oz.)
1/2 tsp. coarse ground pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 T finely chopped fresh basil
1 T finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

Mix cheeses and 1/4 tsp. black pepper, using back of spoon to mash feta, until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate 45-60 minutes or until firm enough to shape into balls. In small shallow bowl, mix herbs, lemon peel, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Shape cheese mixture into 1 in. balls (about 1 tsp. cheese mixture per ball); roll in herb mixture to coat (some cheese will show through the herbs).
Serve with crackers or bagel chips.

Rum Tum Tiddy

1 can (10 1/2) oz. condensed tomato soup
1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup salsa or taco sauce
salt and pepper
crackers and chips

In saucepan, mix tomato soup and small pieces of cheese. Cook and stir over low heat or in double boiler until cheese melts. Add salsa and heat approximately 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with crackers and chips.

Yield: 5 servings


2 sticks (4 oz. each) butter
1 cup mayonnaise
2 cans (4 oz. each) diced green chilies, undrained
1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
thinly sliced French bread or crackers
1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Soften butter and blend with mayo. Food process chilies until smooth. Add chilies and garlic to mayo mixture. Spread on thinly sliced French bread or crackers of your choice. Top each with cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Toast under broiler until melted and browned.
This spread can be refrigerated indefinitely.

Yield: 3 cups spread

Pepperoni Dip

3/4 can french fried onions
2 (8 oz. each) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 small minced green pepper, optional
1/4 lb. ground pepperoni
pinch garlic

Mix well. Place in small casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 can of onions over. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with chips or bread.

Waiting on Christmas...

While the rest of the world may be getting sick of Christmas music, most Catholics are just getting started! We've refrained from listening to any Christmas music, decorating, or doing much else during this Advent season. We're waiting...just waiting to celebrate His birth. In the kitchen, though, I've started preparing. I've already made fudge and am getting ready to make a killer batch of Kolache, a Czech pastry that my husband's family has had in their family throughout the years. Tiger butter, cream puffs, and Cinnadoodles will round out our Christmas sweets this year.
Because Christmas is approaching, I'm posting dishes and sweets that would be great for such a celebration...but could be used at other times, too.
You will find:

Pepperoni Dip

Rum Tum Tiddy
Herb-Coated Mini Cheese Balls
Apple Kielbasa Coins
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
Five Minute Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge
Seven Pound Fudge
Almond Biscotti
Gingerbread Biscotti
Tiger Butter
Pizza Popcorn
Gorgonzola Cherry Cheese Ball
Confetti Squares
Portugese Sweet Bread
Raspberry Ganache Cake