Sunday, February 27, 2011

Killer Kahlua Brownies

The title of this recipe says it all ....these are definitley Killer Kahlua Brownies! My favorite brownies yet and my son's favorite also. They were gone in no time at all. You can barely taste the kahlua but it does kick up the chocolate flavor. I'm telling you that these brownies, to me, are over the top good!!! I found the recipes on Anna's site Cookie Madness. I've made a number of recipes she has posted and have never been disappointed. Hope you visit her site a if you are not familiar with it.

I had something happen to me this morning that was very upsetting. Went with a good friend to IHOP for breakfast and had my usual Swedish crepes with Lingonberries. Well I was almost done with my meal and wham I chewed on something hard. It looked like a piece glass to me about the size of a small tooth. Of course I immediately called over the managment who assured me this was just very hard plastic. They asked if I had used any syrup, since that is served in hard plastic dispensers. I didn't since they have those delicious lingonberries on the crepes along with lingonberry butter. They were very apologetic and didn't charge for my crepes but it was very eye opening for me. Wonder how much goes on in restaurants that we aren't aware of and don't see. Anyhow, the whole thing just was very unsettling to me.

Getting back to these brownies, please make these if you enjoy brownies. I think you'll love them!!!

1/3 cup butter, unsalted (divided use)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa, unsweetened
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water and 2 tablespoons Kahlua
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans (I omitted these)
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch meta pan with foil. Grease bottom of pan.

Melt the butter and set aside to cool. In mixing bowl, stir together the cocoa and baking soda. Add HALF of the butter, then add boiling water and Kahlua. Stir until well blended. Stir in sugar, beaten egg and remaining butter. Stir in flour and salt followed by the chocolate chips and nuts. Pour chocolate brownie batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 27-30 minutes or until brownies appear firm and begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool before cutting into squares.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chicken Casserole

Another Paula Deen recipe here and another success!!! I've yet to have any of her recipes fail. I made this a few weeks ago and it was delicious. This dish will go a long way and is perfect for a large family or a potluck. It's pretty rich (hey it's Paula Deen!) but you can use low fat ingredients and that should help with the fat grams a little anyway. I found this in Paula Deen's Kitchen Classics.
We've used up another snow day here. I just don't understand why schools close for a 1/4 inch of snow. Seriously, that was the amount the news reported that we'd gotten overnight. But, I am not going to complain because I don't feel all that great today so I am glad to be home from work. Everyone around me lately has been sick - especially at work. I am sooo ready for spring and just thinking ahead. We did have a touch of it recently. It was near 70 on Friday and a great weekend too!
Anyhow, this casserole is the perfect dish to make if you are home snowbound. It will keep you warm and full!!!

1 fryer cooked, boned and cut into small pieces (reserve broth)- I baked my chicken and used store bought broth
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 package Pepperidge Farm corn bread stuffing mix
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup

Combine chicken, mayo and chopped onion and set aside. Combine 2 eggs, the butter, chicken broth and corn bread stuffing mix and set aside. In small bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs and milk. Spray large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. In bottom of dish, spread half the stuffing mixture; then layer with chicken mixture. Add second layer of stuffing mixture. Pour egg and milk mixture over top layer of sutffing mixture. Refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread cream of chicken soup on top of casserole and bake for 45 minutes.

*I baked this covered loosely with foil for 30 minutes and uncovered for the last 15 minutes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Coconut Custard Pie

Another pie recipe and another good one! This one comes from the first cookbook I ever owned - The Doubleday Cookbook. It's at least 30 years old and I still refer to it. Now that has to be the sign of a really good cookbook. The recipes are timeless. Whenever I am confused about something to do with cooking, or am looking for something specific and can't find it, this cookbook will usually have it. It came from the Doubleday bookclub which I belonged to many years ago and don't even know if they are still in existance!

This pie was originally supposed to be just a basic custard pie, which I love. However, below the recipe were different variations and the coconut caught my eye. I love coconut custard pie and so does my husband so this was gone pretty quick. I tried my best not to eat too much of it, and didn't. He ate most of it and that's just fine with me! If you are looking to make a really good custard pie which has coconut in it, I would suggest trying this. It's more of a custard pie with coconut than the other way around. Enjoy!

I used a store bought pie much easier...

1 unbaked pie shell
4 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. With your hand mixer, beat eggs lightly, add sugar and salt and beat until thick and cream colored. Gradually beat in milk and vanilla, then strain through a fine sieve. Add 3/4 cup flaked coconut and pour into pie shell and sprinkle with 1/4 cup coconut. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake 12 - 15 minutes more. (I needed to bake this for a good 30 minutes.) Insert knife in center of pie; knife should be clean when pie is done. The center will be soft but will set upon standing. Do not overbake or custard will curdle. Bring to room temperature then chill in refrigerator for several hours.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fudge Cream Pie

I saw this recipe on Coleen's blog and when she stated how easy this was to make I was sold on trying it. It is definitely easy and delicious. I've made this twice already in the past few weeks and see me making this many more times in the future. My husband thought this was a perfect pie!!! My son said it was too chocolately (where did HE come from - nothing is ever too chocolately!). I agree with my husband - it is perfect. This is a great pie for chocolate lovers and perfect to go with Valentines day!

9" baked pie crust (I used a store bought one)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 Tbs flour
4 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
4 egg yolks
2 one ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
1 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. In a medium bowl beat milk and egg yolks until smooth. Gradually stir the milk mixture into the saucepan that has the sugar mixture in it. Cook over medium heat (stir constantly) until mixture comes to a boil and stir for a minute or 2 until very thick.

Remove from heat and stir in chocolate, butter and vanilla and stir until butter is melted. Pour into pie shell.

Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the hot filling. This will prevent a skin from forming. Chill overnight. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and serve.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Minestrone Soup

I was planning on having my next several posts be about sweets but since so many parts of the country are experiencing such cold weather I thought this would be more appropriate. I'm not big on soups and rarely make them. My husband and son both enjoy soup though so I thought I would try this one. It looked interesting and to be honest I had two big bags of spinach I needed to do something with already. You know how that buy something with every intention to use it in something and a week later it still sits in the fridge. I found this recipe in Woman's World. Have any of you ever checked out that magazine? It's been around for years and is so inexpensive! I can't get over how expensive some cooking magazines have become. My husband really enjoys buying cooking magazines and I tell him that he is just crazy to spend so much on them. Some of these magazines are as much as $10.00! That used to be the price of a book! I have subscription to some magazines - Woman's Day, Family Circle, Simple & Delicious....all pretty reasonable. Anyhow, Woman's World is a weekly magazine that has a nice little selection of recipes in every issue. They are always at the check out at your local grocery store.

Hope everyone is keeping warm. The good news is that the groundhog did NOT see his shadow and I am hoping it means an early spring!!!!

8 oz. dried or canned cranberry beans or 1 can (15.5 oz) cannelloni beans - Iused the cannelloni beans
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 lb. chopped green leaf vegetables - I used spinach and cabbage, about 12 cups
2 zucchini, cubed - did not use this
1 potato, peeled
2 carrots, cubed
8 oz. short pasta, I used elbow
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese
(I also threw in 4 chicken bouillon cubes for extra flavor)

If using dried beans, soak overnight in cold water. Drain beans; cook in water, 5 minutes. Drain and rinse, then cook in water according to package directions until tender. (Do not use salt water until beans are tender or skins will toughen). If using canned beans, drain and rinse in cold water before adding to soup.

In large pot, cook onion in oil over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in green leaf vegetables, zucchini, potato and carrots; cook 5 minutes. Pour in cooked beans and water (about 10 cups) to cover. Simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring often, topping off with additional water as necessary to maintain enough liquid to cook the vegetables.

When vegetables are cooked, add pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Serve as soon as pasta is tender. Dress each serving with oil and Parmesan.