Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Touch of Coffee Chocolate Frosting

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 5 cups of confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon instant coffee crystals
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  1. With a mixer on low speed, cream butter and cocoa powder together.
  2. Add confectioner's sugar a bit at a time and mix.
  3. Add vanilla extract, coffee crystals and salt to warm water and stir.
  4. Add liquid mixture a little at a time to the butter-sugar-cocoa mixture a little at a time and mix until creamy. Add a little more water to make it spreadable at room temperature if necessary.
  5. Frost a completely cooled cake.

Note: Cake was a Duncan Hines Devil's Food cake baked according to package directions for a Bundt pan. Then cooled and sliced in half into layers. Then frosted with the above frosting.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sausage, Green Beans, and Potatoes Slow Cooker Dinner

  • 1 smoked sausage ring or 2 links of smoked sausage
  • 2 15 ounce cans of cut green beans
  • 8 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters or smaller
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon powder or 2 cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

  1. Cut sausage in quarters long ways. Then cut it crosswise in smaller pieces across.
  2. Put in crockpot.
  3. Add green beans. Do not drain them.
  4. Add potatoes.
  5. Add onions.
  6. Add bouillon powder.
  7. Add water.
  8. Add pepper.
  9. Cover and cook in slow cooker for 6 hours on high.
  10. Serve and enjoy.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Salted Caramel Bars

For the crust:
  • 1 pound salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 4 cups all purpose flour

For the filling:
  • 1 bag (14 oz.) caramel candies (about 50 caramels), unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup milk or cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon course sea salt

Addition to the top crust:
  • 1/3 cup sugar

To make the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugars by using a mixer until creamy. Add the vanilla, and beat a little bit longer.
  3. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and beat until a soft dough forms, but don't overbeat.
  4. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  5. Press a third of the dough to cover the pan and try to make the layer as even as possible.
  6. Bake the crust until the edges are a pale brown. This takes approximately 25 minutes.
  7. Store the rest of the dough in the refrigerator.

To make the filling layer:

  1. Using a microwavable bowl, place the caramels and cream in it.
  2. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
  3. Remove from the microwave and stir.
  4. If the caramels are not completely melted, repeat the stirring and heating for 30 seconds at time.
  5. When smooth, add the ½ teaspoon of vanilla and stir.
  6. Pour over the bottom crust, spreading until it is evenly covered.
  7. Sprinkle the teaspoon of sea salt over the top of the filling.

To make the top layer:
  1. Crumble the remaining dough over the filling layer.
  2. Sprinkle the dough with 1/3 cup of sugar.
  3. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filing is bubbly and the crumbled shortbread topping is firm and lightly golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven.
  5. Let cool before cutting into squares.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Six Veggie Salad

Thought it was strange that this salad didn't have any vinegar in it. But it was still good.
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 package of grape tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 can black olives, drained
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

  1. Peel onion, cucumber, and avocado.
  2. Chop coarsely all the vegetables.
  3. Place in a refrigerator container that has a lid.
  4. Add olive oil and the lid.
  5. Shake.
  6. Add the seasoned salt.
  7. Shake again.
  8. Enjoy.

Kale Chips

  • ½ bunch of kale leaves, patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread cleaned and patted dry kale leaves on sheet.
  4. Sprinkle with olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle with seasoned salt.
  6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Enjoy this healthy snack.

Zuppa Toscana

  • 1 lb. ground sausage
  • ½ teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ½ bunch kale (at least 2 cups), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dry chicken bouillon
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 potatoes, peeled quartered and then sliced into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish
  1. Brown sausage and crumble. Soak up any grease with paper towels and discard them.
  2. Add sage and chopped onion. Sweat onions, but do not brown.
  3. Add garlic, chopped kale, chicken bouillon, and water.
  4. Stir and cook for one half hour.
  5. Add potatoes and cook another 15 minutes.
  6. Add cream and stir.
  7. Continue heating approximately 5 minutes.
  8. Serve and garnish with Parmesan cheese

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bourbon Glazed Pecans

  • 6 oz. pecan halves
  • ½ cup sugar
    2  tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  1. In an omelette sized skillet, cook the first six ingredients on medium high heat, constantly stirring for 7 minutes. Medium high heat is setting 8 on the small burner of my induction cooktop.
  2. Spread them on a silicone cake pan.
  3. Allow to cool.
  4. Enjoy.