Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Christmas Table

These Santa plates were Evelyn's and she gave them to Korry a couple of years before she died. They are much beloved by both of us since Korry is a Santa fanatic and I, a lover of all things vintage. It makes me feel nostalgic to see this Christmas table set. It's funny how this fancy table actually reminds me of simpler times. I think of Evelyn and how she hated paper plates; how she cared about the details. I loved the details....I miss the details.

Honey Bee Cake

Lyndsie's Young Women's leader brought over this DARLING cake today. Not only was it beautiful, it tasted delicious; moist, dense and covered with an almond flavored glaze. I'm calling for the recipe tomorrow!

Caramel Brownies

Taylor went to a birthday party the other night and came home raving about the caramel brownies they served. I called for the recipe the next day. These are delicious served warm with a scoop of ice cream.

1 box German chocolate cake mix
3/4 c. butter, melted
5 oz. can evaporated milk, divided
12 oz. pkg. caramels, unwrapped
1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips

Combine cake mix, butter and 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk. Spread half of the batter in the bottom of a greased 13x9 inch pan )this layer will be very thin). Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, place caramels and the rest of the evaporated milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir until caramel is melted and smooth. Remove brownies from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Pour caramel over the top, then place spoonfuls of the remaining cake mix on top of that (do not mix). Bake again at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes.

Chocolate Lava Cake

We went out to dinner with Daryl & Amie last night and I asked if she had a good cake recipe. She asked, "Do you like chocolate? Cause I've got the cake if you do!" I called her as soon as I got home for the recipe and boy was she right. This cake forms a pudding layer at the bottom and a dense, creamy cake on top. It was indescribably good!

1 1/2 c. water

3/4 c. brown sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 (10 oz.) bag marshmallows

1 box chocolate cake mix (plus ingredients to make it)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large oven safe dish, place water, brown sugar and cocoa powder. Mix until well blended. Pour marshmallows on top of that. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour cake batter all over the top to cover the marshmallows. Sprinkle chocolate chips all over the top. Cover the dish with a lid (or with tinfoil) and bake at 350 degrees for about50 minutes.

Italian Sodas

This Christmas I went crazy making Italian Sodas. I made them for a work party, I made them for our family parties, we invited friends over and made some more. I like to use the Torani syrups which can be found in the coffee section of any grocery store. In Utah, Harmon's has the best selection.

Italian syrup in your favorite flavors (vanilla, cherry, strawberry, raspberry, peach)

club soda

half & half

crushed ice

small plastic glasses & coffee straws

In a glass packed with ice, pour 2-3 oz. of Italian soda flavoring. Fill the glass 3/4 full with club soda. Add a 2-3 T. (a shot) of half and half. Stir well. Can also top with whipped topping!

Homemade Hot Fudge

This is my favorite hot fudge recipe. I make a big batch and we use it and later reheat it without it turning sugary. For our Moore Family Christmas party this year we served breakfast and these hot fudge pancake stacks were a hit. Get ready to lick your plate!

1 cup butter
3 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. It will seem a little thin, but will thicken as it cools. Can be refrigerated and reheated.

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores

This is a summer flashback recipe, so I'm posting it in honor of the sunny days that await us. We were making S'mores at our family reunion this past summer and Korry's aunt Sue got the idea to stick a peanut butter cup in the middle. It was magical.

Graham Crackers
Reeces Peanut Butter Cups
A roaring fire.
Marshmallow on stick. Hold just in the right spot. Once marshmallow is brown, place on graham cracker and top with peanut butter cup

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

This ain't yo mama's green bean casserole! It's got lots of extras like cheese whiz, mushrooms, almonds, and a dash of Tabasco. It's so flavorful and hearty, once you try it you'll never make the old "mushroom soup" version again.

1/4 c. butter
1 (2 oz.) can mushrooms
1 small onion
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. cheese whiz
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. light cream
pinch Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. slivered almonds
2 cans green beans (regular or french cut)
French's French Fried Onions
In a skillet, saute the onions and mushrooms in butter until tender. Add the flour and stir for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Add the milk, cream, and cheese whiz. Heat and stir until mixture thickens, but don't boil for long or it could scorch. Remove from heat and add Tabasco sauce. The mixture will be thick. Open and drain the green beans, but reserve the liquid. Stir in the green beans, salt and pepper. Use alittle of the liquid from the beans to thin the sauce mixture if it seems too thick. Pour mixture in to a casserole dish and sprinkle slivered almonds on top. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven, sprinkle Frenches Onions on top and return to the oven until fried onions are browned (about 5 minutes).

Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

The crust for this pie isn't homemade, but the filling is. We love to bake up a couple of pie shells and make one coconut cream and one banana cream. Here's the recipe for our favorite coconut cream.

1 pkg. Marie Calendar's frozen pie shells

2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. milk
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. butter, cut in to pieces (use REAL butter, not margarine)
1 cup coconut + more for toasting

Remove frozen pie shells from the freezer and cook according to package directions (this recipe only makes one pie). Cool pie shell. While oven is on, sprinkle a little bit of coconut on a cookie sheet and bake for about 3-5 minutes until nicely toasted. Remove from oven and cool.

In a saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in milk, a little at a time and stir well to dissolve the cornstarch. Next, whisk in the egg yolks. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture starts to thicken and bubble. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for one more minute. Remove from heat. Stir butter and vanilla in to the hot pudding. Slowly stir in the 1 cup coconut. Pour mixture into the pie shell and allow to cool. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).

**TIP. I often bake up both of the pie shells and make one coconut and one banana cream. You can even use this same recipe for the banana cream, but instead of stirring in coconut, cool the pudding first and stir in fresh sliced bananas instead and sprinkle the top with a bit of crushed graham cracker crumbs.