Thursday, August 29, 2013

Orange Dreamsicle Crispy Treats

Orange Dreamsicle Crispy Treats
It ceases to amaze me the delicious cookies you can make with cereal.  Today's recipe is no exception. Your basic rice treat recipe is dressed up with Orangesicle cookie mix (the recipe called for orange cake mix but after going to three stores I was unable to find it).  In addition to the cookie mix, you throw in some white chocolate chips and frost with a delicious orange frosting.  As I was making these cookies, I felt like I was in an orange grove.  When the Orangesicle cookie mix was mixed in with the melted marshmallows the kitchen was filled with the scent of orange.  The same wonderful aroma happens as you make the frosting.    To make these citrusy treats, you proceed like you were making regular rice crispy treats.   When you have melted the marshmallows with the butter, you add in your orange cake or cookie mix, vanilla extract and blend well.  Then you add you crisp rice cereal and white chocolate morsels.  Be sure to coat well.  The mixtures is then pressed into a lightly greased baking pan and cooled for 30 minutes.  While the treats are cooling, I made my frosting.  Powdered sugar is mixed with softened butter, orange juice, vanilla extract, orange extract and peach fool coloring gel.  The frosting is then spread over the cooled rice mixture and you let it stand 1 hour before cutting into bars.  
These treats were love at first bite for the family and myself.  This recipe is going into my must make again real soon cooking file.

Orange Dreamsicle Crispy Treats
From Southern Living Magazine

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat.  Add 1 (10 ounce) package miniature marshmallows, stirring until melted.  Remove from heat.  Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.  Add 1/2 cup orange cake mix (or cookie mix), blending well.  Stir in 6 cups crisp rice cereal and 1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate morsels until well coated.  Spread mixture into a lightly greased 13x9-inch pan. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).  Meanwhile, stir together 3 cups powdered sugar, 6 tablespoons softened butter, 5 to 6 tablespoons orange juice, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon orange extract, and desired amount of peach food coloring gel.  Spread over cereal mixture.  Let stand 1 hour before cutting.
Makes 32 bars

Marshmallows and Butter


Pressed in Baking dish



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tuna Patties

Tuna Patties
Need something quick, inexpensive, and tasty to serve your family?  Try Tuna Patties.  A cousin of Salmon Patties, Tuna patties are basically made the same  way and you probably will have most of the ingredients on hand.  Canned tuna is mixed together with bread crumbs,  Dijon mustard, chopped fresh cilantro, chives, salt,  lemon pepper, a raw egg,  Tabasco sauce, and some olive oil.  The mixture is then formed into  a patty and cooked until  nice and  brown on both sides.   Garnish with a lemon wedge and you have your main course. Add a veggie and some rice and you have a meal.  If you want, you can serve the patty on a bun and have a tuna burger. Which ever way you decided to serve  -  these  patties are simply delicious and very flavorful.



2 (7-ounce) cans of tuna, drained and flaked
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon lemon pepper
4 drops of Tabasco sauce
1 egg slightly beaten
1-teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil


1. Mix together  the tuna, Dijon mustard, breadcrumbs, cilantro, chives, salt, lemon pepper, Tabasco sauce, egg, and 1-teaspoon olive oil in a medium mixing bowl.
2.  Divide the mixture into 4 balls. Gently flatten each ball into a patty.

3. Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron or non-stick skillet on medium high heat.  Place the patties in the skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side.

Makes 4 servings

Note:  You can make the patties ahead of time.  Wrap patties individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cocoa-Coconut Coffee Cooler

Cocoa-Coconut Coffee Cooler
Iced coffee is a refreshing summertime drink. Add some cocoa, coconut milk, vanilla extract, half-and-half to your coffee and you have yourself a delicious and thirst quenching hot weather beverage.  This recipe makes about 8 cups and is easy and quick to make. The preparation time is about 15 minutes.  Chilling time is 1 to 24 hours.  "Southern Living" magazine describes this beverage as  being almost dessert.  If you want a more festive sipper, they suggest stirring in 1 cup of dark rum or bourbon.

Cocoa-Coconut Coffee Cooler
From Southern Living Magazine

Whisk together 4 cups strong brewed hot chicory coffee, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa in a large pitcher until cocoa and sugar dissolve.  Whisk in 2 cups half-and-half, 1 (13.5-oz) can coconut milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract until blended.   Chill 1 to 24 hours.  Stir just before serving over ice.

Makes about 8 cups
Coffee, Sugar, and Cocoa Powder

Friday, August 23, 2013

Boulevard Raspail Corn On The Cob

Corn on the Cob
Today, we made corn on the cob in French Fridays With Dorie.  I  love  fresh corn on the cob.   Instead of grilling or boiling the corn we roasted it in a very hot oven with the husk on.  I must admit, I was skeptical.  Would the corn be dry, would the husk catch on fire?  I could imagine a lot of things happening to the corn.  Well, Dorie  has another winning recipe.  The corn was so easy  to make and so  moist, and tender like delicious corn on the cob should be. The corn was served with butter, salt, and pepper.
This recipe can be found on page 336, in "Around My French Table." 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Slow Cooker Pear Butter

Pear Butter

I had some pears I needed to do something with.  The family got tired of eating pears.  Before I would even ask if they would like a fresh pear, I got a resounding NO!  I thought of canning them but I wanted to try something different.  The family loves Apple Butter, so I decided to try making some Pear Butter.   A tasty thick spread that is spiced with star anise, cinnamon, and lemon zest.  A perfect spread for toast, scones, muffins, biscuits, etc. To begin you peel, core, and chop pears and place them in a crock pot.  To the crock pot add brown sugar, star anise, a cinnamon stick, and some lemon zest.  Cover the crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours.  I let the pears cool for an hour before I pureed them in my food processor.  Once the pears were pureed, I put the mixture back in the crock pot and cooked them another  4 hours on high uncovered.  The mixture was thick and browned.  You can refrigerate your butter if you are going to use it in the near future.   It can keep up to 3 weeks in the fridge. You also "can" the pear butter.

Slow Cooker Pear Butter

Special Equipment:  Crock pot – round 3-1/2 quart
6 half-pint canning jars with rings and lids


5 pounds chopped pears that have been peeled and cored
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon lemon zest


1. Place all of the ingredients in the crock pot and stir.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
2. Cool pear mixture for 1 hour.
3.  Remove cinnamon stick and star anise. Set aside. Process pear mixture (in batches) in a food processor.
4. Return pureed pear mixture, cinnamon stick, and star anise to the crock pot.  Cook on high, uncovered, for 4 hours or until the pear mixture is thick and brown.
5. Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise.  Pour the mixture into air tight containers and refrigerate or pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.  Leave about ¼ - inch space between the pear butter and the jar rims.

Makes 6 half-pint jars

Sterilize Jars:  Run the jars through the short cycle of you dishwasher.

Canning Pear Butter:  Pour boiling water over the canning lids.  Wipe the rims of the jars clean before putting on the lids.  Once the lids and rings are on the jars, place them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Hot Water Bath:  A steaming rack is place in a large pot of boiling water that covers the jars by an inch.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

Easy Chicken Tetrazzini
Tonight for dinner we had  Chicken Tetrazzini made in a Crock Pot from a recipe I found in Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  It was super easy to make and it tasted like I  spent hours cooking over a hot stove.  Chicken and canned mushrooms are placed in the crock pot.  In a bowl, you mix together a jar of your favorite Alfredo sauce, chicken broth, sherry, ground nutmeg, and black pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and mushrooms, stir, cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.  Before you serve you stir some Parmesan cheese into the chicken mixture.  Serve over spaghetti.  The original recipe suggests to garnish the dish with thinly sliced green onions.  I knew I would not be able to get the kids and spouse  to eat it with green onions, so I garnished the dish with some fresh chives.  The family loved this dish. Rich and creamy goodness with a delicious cheesy flavor spooned over spaghetti.  Delicious.   I was hoping to have some leftovers for  my lunch, but my family ate it all.

Easy Chicken Tetrazzini
From Better Homes and Gardens


2 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves and/or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 (4 1/2 ounce) cans sliced mushrooms, drained
1 (16 ounce) jar Alfredo pasta sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
2 tablespoons dry sherry optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
10 ounces dried spaghetti or linguine
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (6)
Toasted French bread slices (optional)


1. In a 3-1/2 -or- 4-quart slow cooker combine chicken and mushrooms.  in a medium bowl stir together pasta sauce, broth, sherry, nutmeg and pepper.  Pour over mixture in cooker.

Chicken and Mushrooms
In Crock Pot Ready to Cook
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.  Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain.
3. Stir cheese into chicken mixture.  Serve over hot cooked spaghetti.  sprinkle each serving with green onion.  if desired, serve with French bread.

Makes 8 servings

Saturday, August 17, 2013

FFWD: Dieter's Tartine

Dieter's Tartine
This week  for French Friday's With Dorie it was make-up week.  I was happy- I could use a few make-up weeks.   For my cooking assignment, I decided to make Dieter's Tartine.  I read reviews on this recipe from various members of the FFWD cooking group and the majority loved this recipe.  After making it, I can taste why.  This tartine is delicious.  A slice of toasted bread is spread with a delicious cheese spread made from cottage cheese and sour cream.  The cheese spread is them topped with a mixture of cucumbers and tomatoes that have been seasoned with salt and white pepper - mmmm.  The cucumber tomato mixture is then sprinkled with chives and Herbs de Provence.    Your tartine is ready to enjoy. The flavors compliment each other and it is ever soo  good.

This recipe can be found on page 30 in "Around My French Table."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Homemade Fudge Pops

Fudge Pop
Homemade Fudge Pops - I have been meaning to try this recipe since last summer.  Today, I finally got around to making the recipe.  I found this recipe on the "Brown Eyed Baker" website. The pictures which were posted on the blog made my taste buds wishing they could have a bite of these delicious looking pops right know.  I don't know why it took me so long to make them.  Time just got away from me.   This recipe is well written and very easy to follow.  You start by melting some chocolate chips in the microwave.  Then you add the melted chocolate chips to a saucepan with sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and milk.  You stir the mixture and heat it until the mixture thickens, which takes about 10 minutes.  Remove the mixture from the heat and add some butter and vanilla.  Before you pour the mixture into Popsicle molds let the mixture cool a bit.  I used regular Popsicle molds you get at Walmart. Pour the mixture into the molds and freeze for 30 minutes before inserting the sticks.  After the 30 minutes insert the sticks - I used the one that came with the molds.  Freeze and serve.  Your family is in for a great treat.  These Fudge Pops are fantastic.  Rich n creamy fudgy goodness is in every bite.

Homemade Fudge Pops
From Brown Eyed Baker Blog


1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 wooden Popsicle sticks


1. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.
2. Combine the melted chocolate, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the vanilla and butter, and stir until well combined.

3. Let the mixture cool slightly (it should still be warm but not hot to the touch), and then pour into 8 Popsicle molds.  Freeze for 30 minutes, and then insert sticks.  Freeze completely before serving.

Makes 8 pops

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blackberry-Lime Agua Fresca

Blackberry-Lime Agua Fresca
The kids and I went on a bike ride and were in great need of a cool beverage when we got home.   Luckily, earlier in the day, I made some Blackberry-Lime Agua Fresca.  I poured  each of us a cold glass of this refreshing beverage.  It tasted cool and  quenched our thirst.  The lime and the blackberries were a  great combination of flavors.   This drink is very quick to make.  In a blender you puree blackberries, powdered sugar, and lime juice.  Strain the mixture into a pitcher  and add chilled water.  Stir, pour into glasses and enjoy.  If you wish, you can pour the agua fresca over ice - I did.

Blackberry-Lime Agua Fresca
From Southern Living

Process 1 (12-oz.) package fresh blackberries, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 cup fresh lime juice in a blender until smooth (about 30 seconds).  Press mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large pitcher, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice.  Discard pulp and seeds.  Stir in 4 cup chilled water or club soda.  Garnish with lime wedges.

Makes 6 cups

Ready to Blend


Friday, August 9, 2013

Radish Salad With Pine Nuts

Radish Salad

Radishes were one of the first veggies I grew as a kid in my garden.  They were easy and they grew fast.  They also tasted pretty good. I still grow radishes in  my garden and set them on the kitchen table with some salt and pepper for the family to enjoy.   Today, I deviated from my traditional course for serving radishes.  I made a radish salad with pine nuts.  This recipe is a little of this and a little of that from various recipes I researched on the Internet.   I started with about a pound of radishes cleaned and cut into quarters.  To the radish wedges I added lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and some minced shallot.  I  let the radishes marinate in the lemon juice for 30 minutes.   I drained a little of the liquid out because there was too much.  I then tossed the radishes with some olive oil and added some pine nuts.  The salad was served immediately.  It had a refreshing slightly tangy flavor with  crunch.   I loved the refreshing flavor the lemon juice added to the radishes.   The shallots added a nice but not over powering flavor to the salad.  I plan on making this salad again - delicious.

Radish Salad With Pine Nuts


1 pound of radishes, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon minced shallot
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pine nuts


1. Mix the radish wedges, shallots, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Strain some of the excess liquid from the radishes.  Toss the radishes with the olive oil and pine nuts.
3. Serve.

Serves 4

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Slow Cooker Maple Banana Bread

Maple Banana Bread
I have been using my slow cooker a lot this summer.  Today, I made some banana bread  in my slow cooker.  At first, the kids thought this wasn't a good idea,  but then they got a slice of the bread. A rich, moist, and flavorful quick bread drizzled with a tasty maple glaze. It was yummy according to my youngest, Tim.  The ingredients to make this delicious bread are all-purpose baking mix store bought or you can make your own.  Click here for recipe.  In addition to the baking mix, you will need very ripe bananas, sugar, butter, pure maple syrup, vanilla, eggs cinnamon, chocolate chips, walnuts, milk, and powdered sugar (for the glaze).  The ingredients, except for the powdered sugar and milk, are combined together and baked in the slow cooker for 1-2 hours. Be sure to keep an eye on your bread as it is cooking.  You do not want it to get overdone. The bread is then cooled and  drizzled with a maple glaze. MM - a wonderful tasting bread straight from your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Maple Banana Bread
Adapted from Pillsbury


2 2/3 cups original all-purpose baking mix
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons  pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts


2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1-3 teaspoons milk


1. Grease bottom only of 3 1/2-4- quart round slow cooker with cooking spray.  Sprinkle lightly with 2 teaspoons of the baking mix.

2. In a large bowl, stir bananas, granulated sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, the vanilla and eggs until well blended.  Stir in remaining baking mix, the cinnamon, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of the walnuts until well blended.  Pour into slow cooker.

Bananas, Sugar, Butter, Maple Syrup, Eggs, Vanilla

Mixed Together

Remaining Ingredients  Added To Banana Mixture

Bread Batter

Poured into Slow Cooker

3. Cover; cook on high heat setting 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.  Turn off slow cooker; uncover, and remove ceramic base from cooker to cooling rack.  Let cool 15 minutes.
4. Loosen edge of bread with thin metal spatula.  Remove bread from slow cooker to cooling rack.  Cool 1 hour.
5. In small bowl, mix glaze ingredients until smooth and consistency of thick syrup.  If you need to thin, add  more milk a teaspoon at a time.  Drizzle over top of bread.  Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts.

Makes 1 loaf

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Slices

Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Slices
Cucumbers Tossed With Salt
Cucumbers are plentiful in our garden.  I've been putting them in salads, pickling them, making cucmber salads, etc.  I found this recipe on the Blog "Our Best Bites" for sweet and spicy cucumber slices.  They sounded wonderful.  Sweet and spicy -  what  great flavor combinations.  The recipe is very simple to make.  You slice cucumbers very thin, place them in a colander sitting in a bowl.  Sprinkle the cucumber slices with koshr salt and toss.  Put the sliced cucumberrs in the fridge for about 1 hour.  While the cucumbers are chillin - you make the marinade.  Heat together, rice vinegar - you can use regular vinegar, water, sugar, and red pepper flakes.  Reduce until the mixture is approximately 1/3 cup.  Remove from heat and add some minced red onion.  Let marinade cool.  Add cucumbers to the marinade, toss and enjoy.  If you wish you can refrigerate them until they are well chilled.
These cucumbers are  fantastic.  I loved them.  The flavors were wonderful  and very tasty - sweet with a hint of spiciness.  You can find the recipe here.


Friday, August 2, 2013

The BA Biscuit Mix

BA Biscuit Mix
I like having a well stock pantry.  One thing I always keep on hand is Bisquick.  It is great for mixing up  biscuits, shortcake, pancakes, cobbler, etc.  A few months ago, I found a recipe in Bon Appetit for making your own biscuit mix.   How great is that:)  It costs little to make and you can store it in an airtight container up to 6 months.  The ingredients are ones you will have at home, flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  You place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.  Place the mixture in an airtight container - I used a ziploc bag and you have your biscuit mix ready when you need it.  

The BA Biscuit Mix
From Bon Appetit


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt


1. Whisk all ingredients in a large bowl to combine.  DO AHEAD:  Can be made 6 months ahead.  Store airtight at room temperature.

Recipe Suggestion: Slow Cooker Maple Banana Bread
7-Up Biscuits
Makes 4 1/2 cups

All Ingredients 

Whisked Together