Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lemon Cream

Last Thanksgiving, I surprised Brian by ordering a Pandoro pan. Pandoro is an Italian Christmas bread and is a staple among Italians during the holidays. Since going on his mission to Italy, he longed for the treat every Christmas. Some years we dropped the $20 it cost to purchase one here, in the middle of the country. We couldn't justify it most years. Last year, I decided to invest the $25 it cost to buy the pan and learn how to make it myself. I'm still trying to perfect the bread, I'm not Italian after all. It still tastes great, even if it's not perfect. The problem came when we had lots of loaves of pandoro to eat as I was perfecting the recipe. Now, that's not a problem in and of itself, since it's seriously tasty, but we started wanting some variety. We often used Nutella, which makes a seriously tasty treat, but we wanted more! I started out on a quest looking for a good, light, creamy filling for the bread. I took some ideas from here and there and came up with this recipe. I find the vanilla and lemon are great echos for the pandoro flavors, but it's great on so many other things. Today, we're having it with homemade cream puffs and fresh blueberries!

Lemon Cream

1 1/2 c (or 3 sticks) butter
2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c evaporated milk
1 tbsp vanilla (Good vanilla makes all the difference in cooking. Please use it!)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon

Place all ingredients in your mixer. Start slow, since the milk will slosh around. Once it starts to incorporate, kick up the speed and beat until fluffy and creamy. This will take awhile, maybe 10 or 15 minutes. Don't be discouraged early on - it will look lumpy and weird and not tasty at all. Stick to it, keep beating and your patience will be rewarded with light, dreamy, perfectly flavored cream.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stuffed Acorn Squash

We just consumed one of the yummiest dinners!! It was healthy, flavorful, affordable and I made it up! I thought I'd share a picture and the recipe with anyone who wants to try it, because, Dang! it was good! Here's what I did:

2 acorn squash
1 cup of rice
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 lb ground turkey
1-2 handfuls of fresh or frozen spinach
1-2 roma tomatoes
4 oz cheddar (or fontina would be yummy!) cheese in 1/4 inch cubes
2 handfuls of parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Put cup of rice on to cook.
Cut squash in half. (Brian would tell you to use a samurai sword or a circular saw to accomplish this task.) Season with salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Place cut side down in a baking dish. Place in oven for 30 min.
While the rice and squash are cooking, chop onions, garlic and tomatoes. In a skillet, sautee onions and garlic until slightly caramelized. Add ground turkey (season with some salt and pepper) and sautee until brown. Add spinach (season with some salt and pepper) and cook until spinach is done. Add cooked rice and both cheeses and stir until well incorporated. Taste test for seasoning level. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
When the timer goes off for the squash, remove from oven. Turn squash over in baking dish to form bowls. Fill each squash with the meat mixture. Cover dish with foil and bake for another 30 min.

That's it! It was beyond yummy! Everyone loved it. We'll look forward to making this dish again several times this fall while squash is in season.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Emerald Isle Dessert

1 pk graham crackers, crushed
5 tb melted margarine
2 tb powdered sugar
1 3 oz pkg lime jello dissolved in 1 c boiling water
1 13 oz can evaporated milk
1 8 oz bar cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
1 ts vanilla
4 tb lime juice
green food coloring

Mix graham crackers, powdered sugar & margarine to make crust. Pat into 9x13 pan.
Put dissolved lime jello into fridge to begin to set.
Put milk into large bowl and put into freezer until ice crystals form. Whip until stiff. (Like whipped cream.)
Mix cream cheese with sugar, lime juice, vanilla. Add food coloring and jello. Mix well & add whipped milk.
Pour onto crust.
Set for several hours.

Yum!!! This is what we had for dessert on Loretta's Birthday. I think everyone loved it! You could do this with any flavor of Jello. I've been wanting to try it with half lime and half raspberry, swirled. I think it would taste fabulous!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chicken Crescent Rolls

One of my very favorites growing up and I still make it all the time!

Chicken Crescent Rolls

3 Pkgs of Crescent Rolls
1 Pkg of Cream Cheese
1 lbs shredded or cubed chicken
1 small can of mushrooms (I leave these out because I don't like mushrooms!)
1 tbls of chives (fresh or dried)
1 tsp lemon pepper
Bread Crumbs

Soften cream cheese and mix in chicken, mushrooms and seasonings. Unroll crescent rolls and stretch each one out just a little to make plenty of room for the filling. Put a tablespoon in the middle of each roll and roll up! Cover each roll in bread crumbs and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 15 min.


1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth (you won't use the whole can...use your judgment on thickness of gravy)
1/4 cup sour cream

Wisk all ingredients together in a sauce pan and heat until warm.

Brian likes rice under the rolls with gravy on top of everything.
I like to make a big batch and freeze them in separate baggies and reheat in the oven for a fast dinner.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 or 5 medium potatoes cubed
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots chopped
4 to 6 cubes chicken bullion
2 cups chopped celery
2 1/2 quarts water (10 cups)

Boil together till potatoes are almost tender.
Then add 1 lb broccoli ( frozen or fresh) and boil for another 12-15 min.

While the above mixture boils, melt and mix together:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp yellow mustard

Pour mixture over cooked vegetables. Stir and add 2 lbs. velveeta (or generic brand) cheese cut into cubes. Heat till cheese melts. This makes a lot of soup and it can be frozen to use for later.

French Bread

In a small bowl combine:
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbs. yeast

In the mixer combine:
2 cups hot water
1/3 cup oil or melted shortening
3 Tbs sugar
3 tsp. salt

Stir 3 cups flour into water, oil, sugar and salt mixture. Add yeast. Beat until smooth. Add 3 cups more flour. Rest 10 min. Stir down. rest and stir every 10 minutes for a total of 5 times. ( by the end of the fifth rising the dough will be about doubled in size.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Divide into 2 loaves. Shape and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cut diagonal slashes with a sharp knife. Brush with beaten egg white. Let rise. ( I usually let it rise as long as it takes the oven to preheat and then put it in.) Bake for about 20-30 min at 400 degrees.

* you can also divide the dough in two and put it into two loaf pans.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Play Dough

Okay, I know this isn't food, but it sure is a life saver when you have a bored child at home.

1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp oil
1/4 cup salt
food coloring

Mix all ingredients, (add the food color last) in saucepan. Stir over medium heat until it becomes a ball. Remove from pan and knead until smooth.