Monday, December 30, 2013

Red Velvet Marble Bundt Cake

I found this recipe in the December 2013 issue of  "Southern Living" and thought it looked good. We were having company and decided to make this cake to help Clint celebrate his birthday. I thought it turned-out a little dry.  I tested it after 55 min. and the toothpick did not come out clean. I also tested it at 60 min. and still looked like it needed more.  I took it out at 1 hour and 5 min. Maybe it would have finished cooking after the 55 min. and been much better.  I probably won't make this cake again.

Printable Version
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon red food coloring
Snowy White Vanilla Glaze
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Grandually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
2. Stir together flour and next 2 ingredients. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Transfer 2 1/2 cups batter to a 2-qt. bowl; stir in cocoa and food coloring.
3. Drop 2 scoops of plain batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (16 cup) bundt pan, using a small cookie scoop (about 1 1/2 inches) top with 1 scoop of red velvet batter. Repeat around entire pan, covering bottom completely. Continue layering batter in pan as directed until all batter is used.
4. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or using a long wooden pick inserted in center it comes out clean.
Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour). Drizzle with Snowy White Vanilla Glaze.
Snowy White Vanilla Glaze
Whisk together 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Italian Sausage with Tortellini

This soup comes from Is it Soup Yet? It is written by Dot Vartan. I used Italian sausage that was not in casing. I made the soup up to the point of putting in the tortellini. My choice is to ladle out the soup for a meal and then add the tortellini. That way you eat all the pasta at one sitting.  Then the next time we have it, I add more pasta and reheat what I need for that meal.  This will make enough soup for 3 meals of two bowls each time.  Try it!  It is a great soup.

Printable Version
1 pound Italian sausage
1 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 (13- 3/4 oz.) cans beef broth
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28oz) can peeled whole tomatoes, cut-up
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 cup sliced zucchini
9 oz. package of fresh cheese-filled tortellini
1 medium-sized green bell pepper, chopped
Parmesan cheese
Remove the casing from the sausage. In a 6 quart stock pot, brown the sausage over medium heat. Set aside, reserving drippings in stock pot. Cook the onions and garlic in the sausage drippings for about 10 minutes. Add the cooked sausage, beef broth, red wine, crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, carrots, basil, oregano, and parsley flakes. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, tortellini, and bell pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes or until the tortellini is tender. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese

Friday, December 13, 2013

Stollen Or Christmas Bread

About 30 years ago a neighbor, Jackie Fossum, made this bread and gave us a loaf.  Now that I make it, I realize what a gift it was.  She moved away many years ago, but I think of her every Christmas when I make this bread. It is pretty labor intensive, but I love it so it is worth it to me. She got it out of "Farm Journal."  It makes 4 loaves.

Printable Version


2 cups milk                          1 teaspoon salt                     1 pkg. mixed fruit (I used 2 pkg. apricots
1 cup sugar                          2 pkg. active dry yeast         1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup lukewarm water      2 eggs                                  1 teaspoon nutmeg
8- 81/2 cups sifted flour
Scald milk. Pour over sugar, butter, and salt. in a mixing bowl. Cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast on 1/2 cup lukewarm water and stir to dissolve. Add yeast, fruit, eggs, nutmeg and 2 cups of the flour to milk mixture. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth about 2 minutes. Scraping the bowl occasionally.  Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough that leaves the side of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and Kneed until smooth (about 8-10 minutes).

Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning dough over once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1-1 1/2 hours.

Divide dough into 4 portions. Divide each portion into thirds. Roll each into a 10 inch strip. Braid the strips and place on 2 greased cookie sheets.  Let rise until doubled.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. While warm, drizzle with Almond glaze. (Blend 2 cups confectioners sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring.) Decorate with cherries.  I didn't do this.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cheddar Chicken Corn Chowder

Cold days call for warm soup.  This is a soup that I have made several times, but for some reason it is not on my blog.  It is worthy of a 10.

I put the Parmesan cheese on top just to make the picture look better. If I had some parsley, I would have added that for a little color.
One day I cut the chicken breast off the Rotisserie chicken for a meal. The next day I use all the left-over in a soup or casserole.

Printable Version

3 slices bacon, diced
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 cups unpeeled cubed red potatoes (about 2 medium)
1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast (I used a Rotisserie chicken from grocery store)
1 cup seeded, peeled, chopped tomato
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Transfer bacon to a plate, leaving 1 tablespoon drippings in Dutch oven. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in corn.

In a bowl, blend flour and milk. Stir into soup. Increase heat to medium-high and stir until thickened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add chicken, reserved bacon, tomato, cheese, salt, and pepper. Simmer uncovered, until flavors are blended and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes longer.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce

This was a real winner.  Jud couldn't say enough good about this dish.  He asked me how I knew something should be stared and I told him that I usually just wrote that he loved it and wanted it again very soon. I cut this recipe in 1/2.             

This recipe came from Jennifer Segal's blog--Once Upon a Chef
Printable Version
Ingredients for Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders
1-1/4 cups pecans
1-1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2- 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds chicken tenderloins
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for cooking

Ingredients for Honey Mustard Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's
1/2 cup whole grain mustard
1/4 cup honey

1. Place the pecans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped ((go easy-- you don't want a paste). Add the panko, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, sugar and cayenne pepper and pulse a few more times to combine. The panko should be broken down slightly but not finely ground.

2. Set up three large shallow dishes in an assembly line. Place the flour in the first dish; beat the eggs in the second dish; and place the pecan/panko mixture in the third dish. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to hold the breaded tenders, and place at the end of the assembly line.

3. Season the chicken tenders with the remaining teaspoon salt. Working with one tender at a time; dredge first in the flour, shaking off any excess; dip in the egg to coat evenly; and then dredge in the pecan/panko mixture, pressing down to make the coating adhere. Try to use one hand for the dry breading (the flour and pecan/panko mixture) and one hand for the wet (the eggs) mixture---otherwise, your hands will end up a mess. Place the breaded tender on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining tenders.

4. Heat about 1/4" of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. While the oil heats up, line another baking sheet with paper towels to soak up grease from finished tenders.

5. Add half of the chicken tenders when oil is hot and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Tongs are a helpful tool in flipping the tenders. Transfer cooked tenders to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tenders.

6. Make sauce by combining the 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Serve alongside the chicken tenders.
You could use barbeque sauce if you don't like honey mustard.