Monday, December 28, 2009

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Chocolate Mint Brownies
Recipe from Elizabeth's mother

2 sticks margarine
4 one ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate
Melt together.

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
Beat together and add melted chocolate and margarine.

1 tsp vanilla
Add to above.

1 cup flour
Blend in.

Bake in a 9x13 pan at 350 for 20 minutes. They may need a little longer.

2 TBS margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 TBS milk
1 tsp peppermint flavoring
green food coloring

Cream sugar and butter. Add milk, mint, and food coloring. Spread on cooled brownies and refrigerate them for 20 minutes.

2 one ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 TBS margarine

Melt and spread on top FAST! Cut into small squares.
**Use the back of a spoon to spread on glaze. Spread quickly because it hardens fast.

Unfortunately I don't have pictures of these brownies because I forgot to take some when I made them for the in-laws over Christmas. My mom has been making them for years and I recently started making them when I want to impress people. Believe me, everyone you make these for will rave about them and want the recipe. They make a good amount and should be cut into small squares because they're pretty rich. My mom has dyed the frosting pink/blue for baby showers, and a co-worker has used orange flavoring rather than mint on occasion.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pecan Crescents

Pecan Crescents
From The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

1 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 cups powdered sugar

Pulse pecans in a food processor 5 or 6 times or until ground.

Beat butter and 3/4 cup powdered sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Stir in vanilla and ground pecans. Gradually stir in flour until a soft dough forms. Cover and chill dough 1 hour.

Divide dough into 5 portions; divide each portion in into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a 2-inch crescent. Place on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on wire racks. Roll warm cookies in 2 cups powdered sugar. Roll cookies again in remaining powdered sugar.

Yield: 5 dozen cookies

I made these for a cookie exchange at work. Yum! These are a variation on wedding cookies and taste just like a recipe my mom makes at Christmas. Nutty and sugary, you can definitely eat a handful at a time.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas House Decorations

Turkey and Cheese Enchiladas

Turkey and Cheese Enchiladas
Adapted from Betty Crocker's Quick & Easy Cookbook

1 lb ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 16oz container reduced fat sour cream
1 15oz can yellow corn, drained
1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
8 8-inch flour tortillas
1 10oz can enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook turkey and onion in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until turkey is no longer pink; drain. Stir in sour cream and corn.

Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/2 cup turkey mixture onto each tortilla. Roll tortilla around filling; place seam side down in baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake uncovered about 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Serves 4-6.

Very easy and tasty! Not much else to say about this other than we loved it and it heated up well for leftovers.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies
Recipe from Elizabeth's Grandmother

1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 ts salt

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream butter. Add sugar gradually, creaming 'till light & fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together. Add gradually to creamed ingredients. Chill thoroughly (3-4 hours).

Roll on well floured surface to 1/8" - 1/4" thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 375 6-8 minutes. Cool.

I have never been able to perfect this recipe, but this was the closest I've come. When my mom makes these cookies, they come out golden and buttery. When I make them, they come out dense and floury. I used butter, but maybe margarine will work better next time. They're still good though, one of the best sugar cookie recipes!

Creamy Fettuccine with Shrimp and Bacon

Creamy Fettuccine with Shrimp and Bacon
From Cooking Light, August 2005

1 lb uncooked fettuccine
2 bacon slices (uncooked)
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 garlic clove, minced (I used bottled)
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
1 cup shredded carrot (I omitted)
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk (I used 1 cup fat free milk & 1 cup fat free half & half)
2 TBS all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well; keep warm.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 6 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from the pan, reserving 1 TBS drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside.

Add shrimp and garlic to pan; saute over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add peas and carrot; cook 2 minutes or just until shrimp are done. Transfer shrimp mixture to a large bowl; keep warm.

Combine milk (or milk and half & half), flour, salt, and pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan; cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until thickened and bubbly; stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove pan from heat; add cheese, stirring until blended. Add milk mixture to shrimp mixture; stir until combined. Add pasta and 1/4 cup parsely, tossing gently to coat. Transfer pasta mixture to a platter, or divide evenly among each of 8 plates; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup parsley and crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.

Serves 8.

This fettuccine recipe rivals what I've had in a lot of restaurants. I liked that it wasn't heavy and I didn't feel ill after eating as often happens when ordered in restaurants. It doesn't taste low fat and is very filling. Definitely something we'll make again!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup
From Southern Living, November 1998

2 4oz skinned and boned chicken breast halves, cubed
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 14 1/2 oz cans low sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 10 3/4 oz can tomato puree
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
4 5 1/2 inch corn tortillas (I omitted)
Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro (I omitted)

Combine first 13 ingredients in a 4 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on High for 6 hours. Discard bay leaf.

Cut tortillas into 1/4 inch wide strips; place on baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes. Stir and bake 5 minutes more until crisp. Serve with soup. Garnish if desired. (I skipped this part.)

Yields 10 cups.

Great healthy soup recipe for the slow cooker. We sprinkled with shredded mexican blend cheese before serving.