Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Paula Deen's Grits Pie

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a great holiday. I had a very nice Christmas. Christmas is always merrier when there are little ones around. This was my first Christmas as a grandma. My youngest is also 10 so Christmas is a very exciting time around here! We are supposed to be going away to Chincoteague for the new year tomorrow and I am just hoping we don't have any snow or ice. I don't like driving in that. Keeping my fingers crossed.

This recipe was another husband request. Do you like grits? I'm not crazy about grits at all and never even heard of them till I married my husband. We don't have grits up north. Maybe farina or cream of wheat....grits is similar to that. However, this pie is really great. I love it! Paula has come through for me once again. I had my doubts but shouldn't have. It's so easy to make. If you like custard pie, then you will like this. Custard pie is one of my favorites. The only thing different with this is the texture. If you want to try a different pie, then give this one a shot. It's easy and really good.

Hope all of you have a very happy and healthy New Year!!! I'll see you all again in 2010!!!!

3/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quick cooking grits
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup buttermilk (I used lowfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) frozen pie shell, thawed
Whip cream, any fruit, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the grits and cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the butter and cook for 1 additional minute. Set aside and cool slightly.
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Slowly stir into the cooled grits. Pour into the pie shell and bake for 35 - 40 minutes or unti set. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream and fruit as garnish, if desired.

Monday, December 21, 2009

White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies

What a long weekend this was!!! All it did was snow, snow and then it snowed some more. I just have a "feeling" this is going to be a very long winter. I certainly hope I'm wrong though! The schools here are now closed till after the new year. They are just not able to get all the parking lots and roads cleared enough for it to be safe for the schools to open. Of course, my son is absolutely thrilled. I remember going through this with my older boys when they would be glued to the TV for a school closing announcement and how excited they'd get when they found out school was closed. My youngest is beside himself since he is getting 3 extra days off!!!

Here is a great cookie that I made that is definitely a winner any time of year but especially pretty on a Christmas cookie tray. Of course, it's from Paula Deen, and our girl comes though again! I have yet to make anything of hers that has not turned out great. I have learned to trust Paula. Remember to bake these only till slightly golden brown around the edges so they come out very chewy. These cookies will not disappoint!!!

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup candied cherries
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks (I used white chocolate chips)

Preheat over to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Set aside.

Sift together flour, soda and salt. Add milk to the butter mixture and then add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Batter should be stiff.

In another bowl, combine nuts, cherries and white chocolate. Then add to batter, stirring only to blend. Drop heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for approximately 11 to 13 inches. Cool on wire rack.

Makes approximately 4 dozen.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Eggnog Pannetone French Toast

This is a recipe that my husband had been asking me for weeks to make. Well, after I had seen it on Cooking, Dunkin Style I knew it was about time that I try this. I have to say it was delicious!! I used Pannetone Italian bread and that really bumped it up a notch. This alone could be a meal. I didn't even use maple syrup. You really don't need it. Just some powdered sugar on top will do. Not only is this a great breakfast but it could be a delicious dessert using the Pannetone bread.

It has snowed about 18 inches here in the past 24 hours. I am not a fan of snow and I'm hoping this is not a sign of things to come for the winter. I'm having some majors problems here with my dog, Selena since she doesn't care for the snow either. Since she is so tiny I have to dig an area where she can do her business and carry her there because she just sinks into the snow. Not fun. I did do a bunch of baking today though. I made my usual cut out sugar cookies and I'll post them soon. I am glad that is behind me. They are so good and are one of my favorites but boy are they a mess to make. Flour everywhere!!! I am still trying to decide which other ones to make for Christmas. I love Christmas cookies and always eat way too much of them!

Eggnog Pannetone French Toast

5 thick slices of Pannetone bread
3 eggs
1 cup eggnog
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
powdered sugar

Melt 2 to 3 tablespoons butter in large skillet. Mix eggs, eggnog, cinnamon and nutmeg together in large bowl. Dip slices of Pannetone into egg mixture and coat well on each side. Place slices in large skillet and fry for several minutes on each side till browned. Remove and place on platter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This would be great alongside some bacon and cut up fruit.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Easy Eggnog Pound Cake

Here is a pound cake that is just perfect for this time of year. I had found several eggnog pound cakes I'd like to try but started with this one since is was the easiest. It starts with a cake mix and it doesn't get easier than that! Because of the cake mix this is not as dense as the usual pound cake and some of you may prefer that. I would definitely make this again and it's a recipe you can play around with and add your own things to. I found this at Recipezaar. I will be making another eggnog pound cake in a few days with the addition of coconut extract and coconut. It will be one from scratch and I will post that before Christmas. Enjoy!

1 (18 1/2 ounce) box yellow cake mix
1 (4 oounce) package instant vanilla pudding
3/4 cup eggnog (thicker the better)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (I also used 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon)
confectioners' sugar
(ice cream, optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, eggnog and oil; beat at low speed until moist.
Add eggs and nutmeg (cinnamon, if using) and mix on high for 4 minutes.
Pour into greased and floured fluted, bundt or miniloaf pans. (I used bundt pan.)
Bake 40 to 45 minutes (20 to 30 for minis) or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.
Cool completely and sprinkle with confectioners's sugar if desired.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cottage Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

Several weeks ago I made Pioneer Woman's Lasagna using cottage cheese and it turned out really well. When I was looking for a different chicken enchilada recipe I came across this one at allrecipes. This intrigued me since it once again used cottage cheese like the lasagna did. Well, they were terrific. I would definitely make this again and again. My husband and I really enjoyed them but my son was not at all crazy about them because he found them to be too spicy. Must have been the green chile peppers!!!

Well, I am still not done with my Christmas shopping. We have a few things for my youngest son but all he seems to want are video games! Ugh!!! I don't mind getting one or two but he is asking for several - including Rock Band 2....We already bought that in fact, and another video game but that's as good as the video wishing is going to get. There's more to life than just video to figure out what else to get. It's easier when they are grown. My two older sons are very happy with gift cards and my granddaughter will be thrilled with anything!!! How's your shopping going???? Are you done yet or a last minute shopper?

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, boiled and shredded
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups cottage cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch fresh ground black pepper
12 (6 in) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce

For Meat Mixture: Heat oil in medium skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, onion and green chile peppers and saute until browned. Add taco seasoning and prepare meat according to package directions.
For Cheese Mixture: In a medium bowl mix sour cream with cottage cheese and season with salt and pepper; stir until well blended.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To Assemble Enchiladas: Heat tortillas until soft. (I put mine in microwave 2 at a time for 25 seconds). In each tortilla place a spoonful of meat mixture, a spoonful of cheese mixture and a bit of shredded cheese. Roll tortillas and place in a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. (I spooned some sauce on bottom). Top with any remaining meat and cheese mixture, enchilada sauce and remaining shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

I served this along with refried beans and rice.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Grandma's Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

When I first finished baking these cookies and placed them all in my tupperware container, my husband looked at me and wondered who was going to eat all these cookies. This recipe must have made 4 to 5 dozen! That is a lot of cookies considering that my son doesn't care for oatmeal cookies and it would just be me and my husband eating these. Well, not to worry - these were gone in a few days! We literally could not stop eating these. Once you start munching on these, it's all over!!! They are one of the best oatmeal cookies I've ever had. These were so soft and chewy - and believe me I've made many a cookie so hard you could bang them against the wall! Not these. I found the originial recipe in a Favorite Brand Name Cookbook Series. It's titled Incredibly Easy Cookies. My husband spotted this book as we were checking out at TJ Maxx.....they "conveniently" place them right near the cashier. The price was right so how could we resist!

I changed the original recipe a bit by omitting raisins and adding craisins instead. I also added a cup of chopped walnuts and a cup of white chocolate chips. I subbed the 2 cups of white sugar for 1 cup white and 1 cup dark brown sugar. I think that softened these up even more. I hope you give this a try if you enjoy oatmeal cookies. So easy and good!!!!

2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups uncooked old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup raisins (I omitted these)

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
Beat sugar and shortening in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until mixture is light and fluffy.
Combine flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in separate bowl. Beat into shortening mixture, 1/3 at a time, alternating with buttermilk until well blended. Stir in raisins.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on cookie sheets. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Serve at room temperature in airtight containers.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gina's Chocolate Pound Cake

This recipe is courtesy of The Neely's from Food Network. My husband really enjoyed this cake but I thought it was just okay. I would make it again because he really raved about it but it wasn't a favorite of mine. I like a plain old pound cake. My favorite is a 5 flavor pound cake, which I blogged about last year. This just didn't do anything for me. I prefer a chocolate layer cake....with rich chocolate frosting! This did call for a chocolate glaze but I didn't have any heavy cream to make it with so I just melted white chocolate chips and that definitely did the trick. Funny, I tried to thin the glaze a bit but when I added a tablespoon of milk all it did was turn to a paste. I had to start all over again! Anyone know why this might have happened? I don't have a clue but I certainly won't do that again!

I went down to Richmond this past Friday and saw my little granddaughter. Well, she really isn't so little - at 4 1/2 months she has become a 15 lb little butterball!!! Just cute, cute, cute! It's funny because every time I went to hold her my little chihuahua Poncho would just keep barking at me! Could we be jealous!!!!

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pan
3 cups sugar
5 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Glaze: (I just melted white chocolate chips)
4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10 inch Bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder.
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and the sugar. Using the paddle attachment, cream together until light and fluffy and the volume has increased. Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating after each addition.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.
Add the dry ingredients alternatively with the buttermilk to the butter and egg mixture ending with the flour. Stir in the vanilla and pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack before turning out onto a serving plate and slicing. (I let mine cool for 10 minutes and then turned it out).
Add the chocolate to a medium-sized bowl. In a small saucepan over low heat, add the cream and bring to a low simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate and add the corn syrup. Once the chocolate melts, whisk together to combine. Drizzle over the cake and serve.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes

I found this recipe at The Pioneer Woman Cooks and it is so delicious. This one is not in her new cookbook, only on her website. It is so simple to make but so tasty. I'm a huge fan of artichokes and this is a great way to use them. I will definitely be making this again and again. Of course, hubby is not a big pasta lover and this is not a Paula Deen recipe so he was not impressed. I could eat pasta at least several times a week. Could be all those Italian Sunday dinners at my grandmothers house growing up.....I cannot live without pasta (or chocolate or coffee or cake or cookies........etc......).

Hope you all have a great weekend. They are calling for a chance of snow flurries here in Virginia this Saturday and I'm hoping that doesn't happen. I am NOT a fan of snow....I'm a warm weather and sunshine person!

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 whole medium onion, finely diced
1 can artichoke hearts (14.5 oz quartered or whole), drained
1 can diced tomatoes with juice (14.5 oz can)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicked broth (more as needed)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound thin spaghetti
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons fresh chives, or other herbs, chopped

Cook spaghetti till al dente. Drain and set aside. Melt olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add artichokes hearts and tomatoes. Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not undersalt). Cook over low heat until heated through, then turn off heat. Place drained pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 cup Parmesan. Pour sauce over the top. Add chives (or other herbs). Toss lightly to combine and coat; add a tiny bit of reserved pasta water if sauce seems to thick.