Saturday, August 30, 2008

Jill's Melon Cups

This is a BUNCO recipe from 2005. My friend Jill made it with fresh fruit and poured the glaze on right before serving. It was so GOOD!

4 cups watermelon balls
2 cups cantaloupe balls
2 cups honyedew balls
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
2 cups fresh raspberries

1 cup water and 1 cup sugar (melt in microwave for about 1-2 mintues)
1/2 cup pink lemonade concentrate
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate

Mix well and toss over fruit. Refrigerate leftovers.

Ranch Cheese Ball

I make this often. The simple taste is great for kids. It will last 1-2 weeks in your fridge.

2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (dry mix)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
sliced, toasted almonds

Mix cream cheese, ranch mix and grated cheese. Form into a ball and roll in almonds. Wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with crackers.

Geri's Cheesy Chili Dip

Back when K and I were first married, we use to hang out with a bunch of fun couples. Those were the days before babies, diapers, piano lessons and ball games. My friend Geri made this dip one Halloween and brought it to our costume party. I LWTR (Left With The Recipe).

1 large (or two small) can(s) chili (your favorite brand)
1 small can diced green chili's (mild)
1 (14 oz.) can stewed tomatoes with onions
1 small pkg. Velveeta cheese

Place chili, green chili's and tomatoes in a crockpot and cook on low until heated and bubbly. Just before serving, add Velveeta and stir until melted. Great for Nachos or to serve over baked potatoes.

Jeannie's Spinach Dip

This is a "Bate Family" recipe, so you know it's good. We often have it at our New Years Eve Party.

1 pkg. frozen spinach (chopped and drained)
2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayo
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. Salad Supreme
1/2 c. minced green onion
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of salt and pepper

Thaw spinach and drain well. Place between paper towels and squeeze out excess water. Mix in all other ingredients. Refrigerate several hours before serving. Serve with bread, crackers and veggies.

Shawn's Shrimp Cheeseball

This is another "faculty party" recipe, given to me by my friend and favorite 4th grade colleague, Shawn. His wife Kerri is an amazing cook. I have several of her recipes on my blog.

2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 (5 oz.) jar Kraft Old English cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chives
1 T. parley, chopped
1 can tiny shrimp (drained)
1 T. mayo

Mix well. Divide and make two balls. Chill. When firm, roll in nuts (chopped almonds or walnuts or pecans). Rewrap and refrigerate. Serve with crackers.

Jill's Artichoke Dip in Bread Bowl

When I worked at PV, once a month (on payday) we would have a "pig out potluck" and would take turns bringing yummy foods for lunch. One month, our secretary Jill made this dip and I swear we were licking our plates clean and fighting over the crispy sections of the bread bowl. Oh man - I want some right NOW!

1 loaf of sourdough or french bread
1 can or bottle of artichokes (drained and chopped)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped very fine
1 cup mayonnaise

Cut the top off and hollow out the loaf of bread. Mix all other ingredients together and scoop into the center of the loaf. Replace top, wrap well in tinfoil, place on baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. If you remove it from the oven and it isn't browned and bubbly, unwrap the tinfoil, take the top off and return to the oven until it is. Serve warm with cubed bread, crackers or veggies. ***I buy an extra loaf of bread and cut it up for serving. The scooped out pieces of bread are never enough.

Melinda's Stuffed Mushrooms

A girl in my ward made these for a primary party one Christmas and the recipe became a party favorite. KellyB also makes them and she "kicks it up a notch" by sprinkling a generous amount of powdered parmesan cheese on top before browning.

25-30 large button mushrooms
1 lb. ground sausage (I buy Jimmy Dean Original)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese

Wash and stem mushrooms. Fry sausage, then drain. Add cream cheese to sausage and stir until it melts and is well incorporated. Scoop a small amount of meat mixture into the center of the stemmed mushroom. Arrange on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve warm. Can sprinkle powdered parmesan on top before browning.

Jeanette's Easy Slush

My Aunt Shirlene's friend Jeanette should be a caterer. She makes the most amazing food ever and when she is in charge of a baby or bridal shower, you go just to see (and sample) the food. She made this slush at a baby shower.

Mash 2 bananas in the bottom of a punch bowl.
Add 1 pkg. frozen strawberries in syrup and mash again.
Add 1/2 gallon raspberry sherbert
Add 2 liters Kiwi-Strawberry Shasta

Stir and mash until slushy.

Diane's Holiday Slush

My first boss, Lynn, invited us to his home at Christmastime in 1991. His wife Diane made this slush, which I thought was so classy and beautiful in her punch bowl. I left with the recipe written on the back of a grocery receipt in my purse and have been making it ever since.

The night before:
Make simple syrup: Bring 4 cups hot water and 4 cups sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup lemon juice and 4 cups cold water. Stir well. Pour into a large bowl and freeze overnight. ***Make sure your bowl will fit in your freezer beforehand. If not, freeze in two smaller bowls.

1 hour before guests arrive:
Take frozen molds out of the freezer and set on counter to begin thawing.

15 minutes before guests arrive:
Turn mold over into a large punchbowl. Add:
1 pkg. frozen raspberries
1 pkg. frozen blueberries
1 can crushed pineapple

As it thaws, mash around with a potato masher or fork. Add 1 liter 7-up and continue mashing to create a fruity slush. Add more 7-up as it gets low.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

My sister-in-law brought this recipe to a family party years ago. I like to make it in the fall when the apples are super crisp. It's a nice change of pace; colorful and delicious.

1 green apple, finely chopped
1 red apple, finely chopped
1 cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped
2 kiwi fruit, finely chopped
1-2 T. brown sugar

Mix ingredients together. Serve with cinnamon chips.

Cinnamon Chips
Lightly butter several flour tortillas. Cut them into thin strips. Roll buttered tortilla strips in cinnamon and sugar. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until browned.

Strawberry Limenade

So I got this recipe at a Pampered Chef party. I wrote it on the back of my catalog because I didn't want to buy the cookbook (guilty!). I did buy the Quick Stir Pitcher to mix it in, so it's all good.

1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 pkg. frozen strawberries (in sugar)
4 1/2 cups lemon-lime soda

Place juices and sugar in a pitcher and stir well. Add strawberries and mix again. Slowly add lemon-lime soda. Serve immediately.

Orange Julius (Kristie's)

My friend Kristie gave me this recipe. On Sunday nights, we often whip up a batch of homemade scones and a blender full of this foamy drink. We consider it a family tradition recipe. I could make it in my sleep :0)

1 can frozen orange juice
1 cup milk
1 t. good vanilla (I use Watkins)
1 tray (12) ice cubes
1 cup water
2 T. sugar

Put all ingredients in a blender. Mix until smooth and creamy!

Toffee Caramel Apple Dip

My old boss, Sara, brought this dip to a faculty party once. We were all impressed because Sara isn't a big fan of cooking or baking, but this was a hit. Later, I learned to soak the fresh apples in Sprite before serving. It keeps them perfectly fresh (no browning) and the apples assume a sweet taste as opposed to the bitter taste you get soaking them in lemon juice. Great trick!

1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup Skor Candy chips (found by the chocolate chips)

Mix cream cheese till smooth. Stir in brown sugar and Skor chips. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with fresh sliced apples (soak in lemon-lime soda to keep fresh).

Creamy Fruit Dip

If you can believe it, I wrote this recipe in my journal when I was in High School. I was visiting my aunt in California and she made this dip. I had never had marshmallow creme before, and I loved it so much I was eating it plain (who needs fruit?).

1 (8 oz.) brick of cream cheese
1 (7 oz.) jar Marshmallow Creme
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest (optional)

Whip up until light and fluffy. Serve with assorted fresh fruit.

Warm Vanilla Syrup

Eating breakfast at Magleby's Fresh (a local restaurant) is always a treat, especially when you order a stack of homemade buttermilk pancakes. They serve them with warm vanilla syrup. Their recipe is beyond delicious, but this comes VERY close. My kids love it.

1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 T. vanilla
1 T. corn syrup
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Bring first five ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Add baking soda (it will foam up and triple in size). Boil ten seconds more. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Chicken Marinade

Here are two of my favorite marinades for chicken. The first is a recipe we've been using for the past 17 years whenever we barbecue chicken (we also use it to marinate turkey breast meat).
The second marinade is a little sweeter.

Chicken/Turkey Marinade

2 cups 7-up
1 c. canola oil
1 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 T. Horseradish (optional)

Stir well (it will be foamy). Marinade chicken anywhere from 2 hours to overnight. Grill chicken on grill.

Sweet Marinade

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 chicken breasts

Marinade chicken from 2-4 hours. Grill on grill. Discard leftover marinade.

Thanksgiving Blessing Mix

I made this last Thanksgiving and put 1 cup of mix into a clear cellophane baggie and tied it with a fall ribbon. I attached the saying (at the bottom of this post) and placed a baggie at each place setting.

In large bowl, mix:
2 cups bugles
2 cups small pretzels
1 cup candy corn
1 cup craisins
1 cup peanuts
1 cup M & M's
Hershey's Kisses (1 per bag)

Attach the following:

Thanksgiving Blessing Mix

Bugles are shaped like a cornucopia or horn of plenty, a sign of our nation's abundance.
Pretzels look like arms folded in prayer, a freedom we should never take for granted.
Candy corn reminds us of the sacrifice of the pilgrims. During the first winter, food was so scarce, they survived on just a few kernels of corn each day.
Nuts and seeds are a promise of a future harvest which we can only reap if seeds are planted and tended with diligence.
Dried fruits are harvest gifts from a bountiful land.
M & M's remind us of the memories of those who came before us.
A Hershey Kiss symbolizes the love of family and friends that sweetens our lives.

Pick & Choose Trail Mix

Sometimes when we go camping, we fill a big bowl with the following "mix". Really, you can add anything you want.

Dry Roasted Peanuts

Sometimes we also add craisins (my kids don't like raisins) or Goldfish crackers. Store this mixture in baggies to keep fresh.

Cynthia's White Chili

From the pot......
To the bowl.....

This recipe is simple and delicious! It was given to my by my friend Lanae and her mom Cynthia. They fixed it one fall night when I was over visiting. We sat out on her porch, talked and laughed, our hands cupping warm bowls of soup (does it get any better than that?). Of course, I wouldn't leave until I had the recipe in my hand. I use rotisserie chicken from the grocery store (a favorite "quick" trick for many chicken recipes).

1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 T. olive oil
1 small can diced green chilis
2 cans (15 oz.) Great Northern Beans (or any white bean you like)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1-2 cups shredded chicken

Saute onion in olive oil. Add green chilis and saute 2-3 minutes more. Add broth, seasonings, beans and chicken. Simmer 15-20 minutes. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fresh Peach Dessert

I always wait for the peaches to come on so that I can make this delicious dessert. You can make it in a 13x9 pan or in two pie plates. Don't substitute canned peaches - they must be fresh! I got this recipe from my good friend, Susan, she use to make it for faculty parties when I worked at Park School. It was always the first dessert to be gobbled up.

2 cups water
2 T. corn starch
1 cup sugar
1 pkg. peach jello (small)
4 cups peaches
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 T. powdered sugar
1 square margarine, melted
1 8 oz. cream cheese
2 envelopes dream whip (made up) OR 1 cup cool whip
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Boil water, corn starch and sugar until it is thick. Add peach jello, cool. Add sliced peaches and put in refrigerator to chill. Mix graham cracker crumbs, 6 T. powdered sugar and melted margarine. Press 1/2 of the graham cracker mixture onto the bottom of a 13x9 pan (save other half for the top). Fold together the cream cheese, cool whip and powdered sugar. Pour all of the chilled peach mixture onto the graham cracker crust. Top with the cool whip mixture. Top with the rest of the graham cracker mixture. Chill for several hours before serving.

***You can also make this using 2 small pie plates instead of the 13x9 pan.

Easy Creamy Lemon Bars

These lemon bars are rich, creamy and super easy to make.

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar + more for dusting
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
4 large egg yolks
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8x8 square baking pan and line with parchment paper leaving an overhang on two sides.
Beat together the butter, sugar and salt until fluffy. Add flour and mix on low until just combined. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the pan and about half way up the sides. Poke the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork. Bake until lightly golden (15-20 minutes).
In a large bowl, make the filling by whisking together the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over hot crust in pan and return to the oven. Bake until filling is set (about 25-30 minutes). Cool completely in pan. Refrigerate until filling is firm (at least 2 hours or up to 3 days). Using paper overhang, lift bars onto a work surface. Cut into 16 squares and dust with powdered sugar.