Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Crock Pot Corn On The Cob

I have discovered a wonderful way to cook corn on the cob.  In the crock pot. The corn comes out moist and tasty.  The family enjoyed the taste and texture of the corn.    I am constantly amazed  at what you can cook in this wonderful device.

This is a very easy recipe to make.  You place the ear o corn on a piece of foil and put a pat of butter on top.  Wrap the corn tightly in the foil and place in the crock pot. Once you have wrapped all the corn in foil place them in a crock pot.  Turn the crock pot on low and cook for 4 hours.  The corn is ready to serve.

Serve the corn with butter, salt, and pepper, if you wish.

Crock Pot Corn On The Cob
Special Equipment: A 6-quart crock pot

4 ears fresh corn, husked
4 tablespoons butter
Salt Pepper and extra butter


1. Place an ear of corn on a piece of foil.  Add a tablespoon of butter on top of the corn.

2. Wrap the corn tightly in the foil and place in the crock pot.   Repeat until all ears are wrapped in foil.  Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

3. Remove the corn from the crock pot and unwrap carefully.  Serve with salt, butter, and pepper.

Makes 4 servings

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Spicy Basil Tomato Soup

Soup weather has arrived.  Nothing takes the chill off a fall day like a nice bowl of Tomato Soup.  Pair this delicious soup with a grilled cheese sandwich and you have one tasty and satisfying meal.

Tomato Soup is easy to make and very budget friendly.  I use canned plum tomatoes with basil added, butter, onions, some vegetable broth, garlic, some brown sugar,  seasoning and a half slice of white bread.    I cooked all of the ingredient together in a heavy bottom saucepan for about 10 minutes.   I let the soup cool and then removed the bay leaf and processed in a blender.  I reheated the soup, tasted, and added some more salt and pepper.  Ladled the soup into some bowls and topped with fresh basil ribbons.  That's all there is to making this creamy  soup. 
Make yourself some and enjoy a cup:)

Note:  If you cannot find plum tomatoes with basil just add a fresh sprig of basil to the soup. 

Spicy Basil Tomato Soup

1/2 slice white sandwich bread
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, mined
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled plum tomatoes with basil
1 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh basil cut into ribbons or torn

1. Tear the 1/2 slice of bread into 1-inch pieces and set aside.  Melt the butter in a heavy bottom saucepan  over medium-low heat.  Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf,  and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook until the onion is soft - about 5 minutes.  
2. Add the pepper flakes, the tomatoes and their juice, broth, sugar, and bread pieces to the sauce pan.  Break up the tomatoes and stir.   Cook the soup for about 10 minutes or until the bread pieces break down.
3. Remove the bay leaf.  Turn off the heat and let the soup cool.  Once cooled process the soup in small batches in a blender.  
4. Pour the soup back into the saucepan and reheat.  Taste and season if necessary with salt and pepper.  
5. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with fresh basil ribbons or torn basil leaves.  Serve.

Makes 4 servings


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall Favorite: Sparkling Indian Corn Cookies

My son, Tim, needed a treat for his Boy Scout meeting.  A great excuse to bake and try something new.  I saw these cookies last year and I made a note to bake them.
These cookies are slice and bake.  I don't do that well with slice and bake cookies but these weren't that hard.  Instead of rolling the dough into a log you press three different colors of dough into a 9x5-inch loaf pan.    You refrigerate the dough then slice and bake. Nothing could be easier.
The dough is made by beating together butter and sugar.  You add an egg, orange juice, orange zest and salt.  You then add flour and baking soda to the mixture.  The dough is then divided into thirds.  You color one part of the dough orange with orange paste or gel food color.  If you use liquid food coloring it will mess up your dough.  For another third of the dough you incorporate melted semisweet chocolate.  I recommend melting your chocolate using a double boiler.  That way it won't burn.  Believe me, burnt chocolate will ruin the best of recipes.    Once the dough has been refrigerated, you remove it from the pan.  First, you slice the dough crosswise about 1/4 of an inch thick.  You then cut each slice into six wedges (they look like little pie pieces) or triangles.  Put on a baking sheet and bake.  The aroma of  these cookies when are baking is wonderful.  In fact, two of Becky's friends came over when I was baking the cookies.  They told me my house sure smelled good.  Remove the cookies for the oven, cool, and  then coat with sugar.
These cookies are little gems of goodness.  The orange juice and orange zest added such a wonderful flavor to the cookies.   You can't eat just one.  These cookies are great for any occasion.  You just color the dough to match the occasion.

Sparkling Indian Corn Cookies 
From Land O Lakes


1 cup Land O Lakes Butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Orange paste or gel food color
1 (1 ounce) square  semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup sugar

1. Line bottom and sides of  9x5-inch loaf pan with waxed paper or plastic food wrap.  Set aside.
2. Combine butter and 1 cup sugar in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy.  Add egg, orange juice, orange zest and salt.  Continue beating until well mixed.  Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking soda.  Beat until well mixed.

Butter and Sugar

Flour and Baking Soda
3. Divide dough into thirds.  Press one-third of white dough evenly into bottom of prepared pan.  Add a small amount of orange color to another piece of dough.  Mix until well blended.  Press orange dough evenly over white dough in pan.  Incorporate well, the melted chocolate into the remaining one third of the dough. Press the chocolate dough evenly over the orange dough in pan.  Cover with plastic food wrap.  Refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours or overnight).

White Dough Pressed in Bottom of Pan
Orange Dough
Orange Dough Pressed in Pan
Melting Chocolate in Double Boiler
Chocolate Dough Placed On Top of Orange Dough
4. Place 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl; set aside.
5. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Invert loaf pan to remove dough.  Peel off waxed paper.  Place layered dough onto cutting surface.  Cut loaf crosswise into 1/4-inch slices using a sharp knife.  Trim edges to make even, if necessary. Cut each slice into 6 wedges.  Place 1-inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Cutting Dough
6. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned.  Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.  Immediately place warm cookies in bowl with sugar; roll in sugar to coat.  Place cookies onto wire cooling rack.  Cool completely.
Cookies Rolled in Sugar
7. Store in loosely covered container.

Makes 15 dozen cookies

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Fall Favorite: Autumn Crunch Snack Mix

This snack mix has some of my favorite tastes of fall -  apple cider, maple syrup, candy corn, and dried cranberries.  I make it for snacking, lunches, fall parties, movie nights,  just about anytime.  It has a sweet crisp flavor with a hint of apple.

Autumn Crunch Snack Mix                                 


2 cups Wheat Chex
2 cups Corn Chex
2 cups stick pretzels
1-cup corn nuts
1- cup mixed nuts
½ cup butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 package (.74 ounce) Spiced Apple Cider Mix
¼ cup maple syrup
1-cup candy corn
1- cup dried cranberries


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Spray lightly with cooking spray.  Set aside.
3. Toss together the Wheat Chex, Corn Chex, stick pretzels, corn nuts, and mixed nuts in a large mixing bow.   Set aside.
4. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Once butter has melted, stir in the brown sugar, Spiced Cider Mix, and maple syrup.  Bring to a boil.
5. Boil the syrup mixture for 3 minutes (4 minutes for high altitude) stirring frequently.
6. Pour the syrup gradually over the Chex mixture stirring until the mix is well coated.

7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.

8. Bake for 30 minutes stirring every 10 minutes.
9. Remove mix from oven and let cool.

10. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the candy corn and dried cranberries.
11.  Store in an airtight container.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fall Favorite: Maple Pudding

Maple a wonderful fall flavor.  To me, it is right up there with pumpkins and apples.  Usually when I think of using maple syrup it usually is on pancakes, waffles, in hot cider, french toast, etc.  I never thought of it used as a main ingredient in pudding.

I found a recipe for Maple Pudding in Good Housekeeping magazine that is super easy to make.  Start by whisking together some milk, and cornstarch until they are smooth.  Then you heat up some milk, maple syrup, butter, vanilla extract and salt until the mixture begins to boil.  The recipe instructed to stir occasionally, but I stirred continuously.  I didn't want the milk to stick to the bottom of the pan.  Next the heat is reduced to a simmer and you whisk in the cornstarch mixture.  The pudding is cooked until the mixture thickens.  Pour the pudding into 6 parfait or other serving dishes, cover with plastic wrap against the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until cold.

I served the pudding with a gingersnap cookie but a nice dollop of whipped cream would do nicely.  This pudding has a deep rich maple flavor which is  perfect  for the holidays.   The family enjoyed this dessert.  The rich maple flavor hit the spot and it was so easy to make.
Maple Pudding

Maple Pudding
Good Housekeeping Magazine


2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup whole milk and cornstarch until smooth.  In a 3-quart saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups whole milk, maple syrup, butter, vanilla extract, and salt to boiling on high, stirring occasionally (I stirred constantly).

Cornstarch and Milk
Milk, Maple Syrup, Butter, Vanilla Extract, Salt

2. Reduce heat to simmer.  Whisk in cornstarch mixture; cook until mixture thickens whisking constantly.
3. Transfer to 6 parfait glasses (or other serving dish) cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.

Pudding Covered With Plastic Wrap
Makes 6 servings

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fall Favorite: Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte in My Favorite Mug
Today I am going to share a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Latte with you.  I love this fall beverage.  It has fall in every taste, the pumpkin, the spices. MMM - delicious:) The warmth of the beverage  takes off the morning or evening chill with every sip.  In fact, as I am writing this post, beside me is a cup  Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Now, to the recipe.  I found this recipe from a blog named "the Kitchn".   I modified this recipe ever so slightly.  You begin by heating milk, pumpkin spice syrup, and sugar just until steaming.  You then stir in some vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.  With either a stand or a immersion blender, blend for 15 seconds or until foamy.  Pour mixture into a large mug and add 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee or espresso.  Top with whipped cream.  That's it.  Sit back and enjoy:)

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Adapted slightly from "the Kitchn"

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for garnish
1 to 2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee
Whipped Cream, to garnish

1. In a saucepan whisk together milk, Pumpkin Spice Syrup, sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring until steaming.

2. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.  Blend mixture for about 15 seconds or until foamy.

3. Pour into a large mug or two mugs.  Add the espresso or coffee on top.
4. Top with whipped cream, if desired, and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.
Note:  If you do not want to use sugar, use sugar substitute to taste.

Makes 1 to 2 servings

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hot Maple Apple Cider #Fall Favorites

Autumn is here and that means it is time for hot apple cider.  This is a family favorite drink on crisp autumn days/nights.  After the first servings, I  keep the cider warm  in a carafe.  This way we can help ourselves to it whenever we want.

Hot Maple Apple Cider


1 orange
10 whole cloves
1- (64 ounce) bottle apple cider
1 ginger tea bag
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
1/3-cup pure maple syrup
Whipped cream
Ground nutmeg


1. Stud the orange with the whole cloves.  Set aside.
2. Pour the apple cider into a large stockpot.  Add the orange, ginger tea bag, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.
3.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 60 minutes.
4. Remove the cider from the heat and add the maple syrup.  Stir until the syrup is dissolved.  Taste and add more syrup if needed.
5.  Ladle the cider into mugs and top with whipped cream and ground nutmeg.

Makes 8 servings