Thursday, December 31, 2009

Banana's Foster... Fancy but SIMPLE!

Kam got this recipe from The Inn at Southwest Bed and Breakfast in Maine. I have served it at many a dinner party and for the holidays during the past few years.  It is drop dead delicious, but is super easy to make.  I like to fake people out that way...  Anyhoo, give it a try.  You'll want to lick the pan, I swear.

Banana's Foster
1/2 cup butter (use the REAL stuff, please!)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon banana extract

3-5 firm bananas, medium size
ground cinnamon
French vanilla ice cream
Whipped cream, optional 

In a medium skillet, melt butter over med-low heat.  Add the sugar and the extracts and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  (I like to use my whisk.) Remove from heat and and slice bananas into sauce and stir gently. Scoop ice cream into a small bowl and spoon the banana mixture over the top. It doesn't really need it, but you can top with a bit of whipped cream, if you want. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon and serve immediately.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Million Dollar Fudge

This is another family classic.  Papa (Mom's Dad) would be in charge of stirring ...and eating... back in the day.  This recipe comes from Mom's long time friend Linda Hungerford, and is rich and delicious... and perfect for the holidays!

Million Dollar Fudge
Combine in large saucepan:
4-1/2 cups sugar
1 large can evaporated milk
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir until blended well over medium-low heat. Bring to a rolling boil and and cook exactly 10 minutes more, stirring often.  Pour cooked ingredients over:

12 oz Baker's German Chocolate
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
16 oz marshmallow creme (I just use 2 jars... they make the jars smaller nowadays...)
2 cups broken pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir well until blended. Pour into a lightly buttered 9 x 13 cake pan. Let set, and do NOT cover until cool. Cut into small pieces. Makes approximately 5 pounds of candy.  Linda notes that this stores well in covered Tupperware, and to use a good quality margarine. She also says to have a man handy to help stir... it takes a lot of muscle!  Sorry I didn't take any shots of finished products... I need to get better at that...   Enjoy!

London Broil

We aren't big ham lovers, and we just had turkey at Thanksgiving, so to the recipe box I went to find a tasty dinner for Christmas.  I made Mom's London Broil for Christmas last year, and everyone enjoyed it. So, why not do it again?  Some of you might think it odd to grill on Christmas, but this IS Arizona... but this can be (and is) enjoyed year round in any neck of the woods.

I use a top round London Broil cut of meat, which is often on sale. The one I bought was only $2.49 a pound, and will feed the whole family (with leftovers) for under $10.  (Don't tell!) The key to London Broil is the marinating... so you have to plan ahead.  :-)

Mom's London Broil
Marinade London Broil in the following for 24-48 hours:
     1 cup soy sauce
     1/2 cup water
     1/4 cup lemon juice
     1/4 cup honey
     2 stalks green onions, chopped
     1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Cover and place in the refrigerator.  Turn every 6-8 hours or so.
Cooking Instructions: Microwave meat for 5 minutes.  (I know... shameful... but it helps cook the inside so it won't get too crispy on the grill.)   Grill meat until medium-rare.  Slice meat crosswise (1/2" slices) to serve. Yummy!

*Mom's recipe says you can broil it, too.. but we usually grill it.  :-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chicken Wontons

Hands down, our MOST requested recipe.  Mom was randomly given this recipe by a checker at the grocery store. It has been a family favorite and favorite of our guests ever since.  

Chicken Wontons
1 package wonton wrappers
1 lb shredded chicken breast ( I use 2 LARGE cans of cooked chicken from Costco)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise (BEST FOODS!!)
5 stalks of chopped green onions
8-12 oz shredded colby/ jack cheese
1 package dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

Place wontons in mini-muffin tins, pressing down in the hole to form a cup.  Bake wrappers in a 350 degree oven until tips are slightly golden in color, 8-10 minutes. Immediately remove wrapper from tin, repeating until they are all baked.  (See notes below..)

Meanwhile... make filling by combining rest of ingredients.  Fill baked wontons with a spoonful of chicken mixture.  Bake filled wontons again in the mini-muffin tins for 10-15 minutes @ 350 degrees. Be careful not to overcook!

**Notes:  When I am making these for a party, I usually bake the wrappers the day before, and store them in Ziplock bags.  I also mix the chicken stuff up and keep it in the fridge.  Then before the party, I just have to fill the cups and re-bake.  :-)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sausage, Peppers and Pasta

This is a recipe that mom had in her box that is from an old magazine.  I am not sure which one, but mom wrote "Keeper!!!" (yes, 3 exclamation points) on it. We had it tonight, and Brandon agreed.  It is a "Keeper!!!"

Sausage, Peppers and Pasta
1 pound smoked keilbasa or Polish sausage
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 of a medium chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 T.  olive or vegetable oil
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 T. oregano
3/4 lb dry angel hair pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. butter

In a large skillet, saute sausage, peppers, onion, and garlic in oil until sausage is lightly browned. Stir in tomatoes and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  Stir in cheese and butter. Serve with sausage mixture.  Yummy!

Peg's Eggs

Not sure who Peg really is... but this dish has been served at many Christmas mornings throughout the years.  I would make it, trying to lighten mom's load... since Christmas was her birthday, too.  This can be made in a large or half size, depending on your crowd.  Enjoy!

Peg's Eggs- Large
Butter a 9 x 13 glass baking dish, then layer in order with:
1 large can of chopped green chilies
Cheddar cheese (enough to cover the chilies evenly)
 Now crack open 12 eggs evenly over the cheese, and pinch the yolks.
Sprinkle with Tobasco, salt, and pepper.
COVER with foil and bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Peg's Eggs- half size
Butter a 8 or 9" square glass baking dish, then layer in order with:
1 small can of chopped green chilies
Cheddar cheese (enough to cover the chilies evenly)
Now crack open 6 eggs evenly over the cheese, and pinch the yolks.
Sprinkle with Tobasco, salt, and pepper.
COVER with foil and bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

***It is really important to cover the eggs while baking... just trust me on this one....  :-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crock-Pot Sweet Potato Casserole

Why don't I ever remember to take pictures? Today we had our annual Thanksgiving Potluck at school.  I made my crock-pot sweet potato casserole.  I can't really say that this was one of "mom's" recipes, but Thanksgiving was the last holiday we spent with mom, and she liked it.  I have fond memories of that.  About 17 people asked me for the recipe... so here it is.  I  love it because:  1) It is yummy.   2) I can make it the day before I need it, then just put the "crock" in the pot, and turn it on.  3) I don't have to worry about using the oven... or juggling the turkey... and 4) It is yummy.  Oh.  I said that.  Happy Thanksgiving! 

Sweet Potato Casserole
2- 18 oz cans sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 T. granulated sugar
2 T. brown sugar, packed
1 T. orange juice
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 T. flour
2 T. butter, melted

Lightly butter or spray the crock pot.  Mix sweet potatoes, butter, 2 T. granulated sugar and 2 T. brown sugar together in a large bowl. Beat in eggs, juice and evaporated milk.  Transfer to the crock pot.  Make topping by combining pecans, brown sugar, flour and 2 T. of the melted butter. Spread evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes.  Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours.

Callie's tips: For a large crowd, I use 4 LARGE (29 oz) cans of sweet potatoes, and TRIPLE everything else.  I also make it the night before and put it in the fridge.  I even mix the topping together (except the butter)  and put it in a baggie, too. Less to do the next day.   I prefer to cook the potatoes for 2 hours or so... give them a stir... and then put the topping on.  I think it looks prettier that way, and the potatoes cook a bit more evenly.   Enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kam's Roast

Not sure this would really be called a "roast" but that is how mom had it written down.  Even funnier is that this recipe comes from my sister Kam... who will be the first to tell you she does not enjoy cooking.  She says she didn't get the "cooking" gene.  Anyway... this is a great little crock pot gem.  I get it all ready the night before, then Brandon takes it out of the fridge and flips on the crock pot in mid morning. Dinner is done when I get home.  I love it! 

Kam's Roast

Layer the following, in order, in the crock pot.  (I don't like scrubbing, so I usually spray my crock first. )

1 diced Roma tomato
4 potatoes, peeled and chunked
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped

Place 2-1/2 lb round steak (roast) on top.  (I usually trim and cut into pieces.)

Mix in a bowl and pour over meat:
1 can tomato soup
1/2 can of water
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon basil
1 Tablespoon  oregano

1 Tablespoon parsley
1 Tablespoon  vinegar
salt and pepper

Cook in crock pot on low for 5-6 hours. Just plain yummy. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Comfort Food- Chipped Beef on Toast

For most kids (and adults) it is the same.  Your birthday rolls around and you get to choose whatever you want your mom to make for dinner. My mom got off easy.  For me... it was always chipped beef on toast.  I know. It sounds strange, but it is my comfort food.  I would NEVER order it in a restaurant, and like so many things...  I just like it the way my mom made it.  I finally found her recipe.  I am sure when I was younger she would make it on the stove top, but this recipe comes from the cookbook that came with our first microwave.  Early 80's... I am sure. Happy Birthday to me!

Basic White Sauce for Chipped Beef

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

pepper to taste
1 jar Armor dried beef 
bread (for toast)

Put the butter in a microwave safe 1 quart bowl and melt on high for 15 to 30 seconds. This may take a bit longer if the butter is cold. Stir in the flour until blended and smooth. Stir in the milk and pepper.

Microwave on high for about 2 minutes. Stir and microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes more or until thickened. Rinse HALF of the chipped beef to remove some of the salt.  Tear the beef into small pieces. Add to sauce.  Microwave in 30 second intervals until desired thickness.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Aunt Polly's Caramel/ Caramel Apples

Ok... so I don't have an Aunt Polly, and I am pretty sure this recipe came from an old cookbook.  It is that time of the year to start thinking about leaves changing, crisp air, and of course... caramel apples!  I like this recipe because it uses cheap ingredients with good results.  I used to make it with my home ec kids, then pass them along to all the teachers.  Boy did everyone look forward to caramel apple day!  You'll need a candy thermometer for this one... Happy fall!

Aunt Polly's Caramel

2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups light corn syrup
2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large pot, combine sugar and corn syrup.  Heat to 300 degrees, stirring often. Add milk and margarine.  (Temp will drop) Re-heat to 250 degrees, again stirring constantly*. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

*The recipe says to stir constantly, but I don't.  I do keep an eye on the temp though... it seems to take FOREVER... then jumps up really fast.  

Tips:  When I would do this on my classroom, I would pour the caramel into my crock pot to keep it warm.  I would also thin it down with a bit water. It seems to make it cover the apples better.  Don't panic if you add water and it looks milky--just keep stirring. MAKE SURE YOUR APPLES ARE DRY before dipping!  I would also use styrofoam bowls, and SPRAY them with Pam before putting the covered apple in.  Once set, the caramel apple pops right out.  You could do the same with foil @ home.  Just SPRAY it...  it makes life so much easier! You can also refrigerate the left overs and re-heat in the microwave.  :-)  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Papa's Favorite Ice Cream

How about little ice cream to go with all the hot fudge? I couldn't post all those fudge recipes without a little ice cream to go with them!  This was my Grandma Bailey's recipe.  It was a favorite of my grandfather "Papa." That man LOVED ice cream.  I think my addiction to the cold, creamy stuff came from him. This is as old-fashioned as it gets... almost like a frozen custard, but better.  Pop and Gram used an old fashioned bucket-style ice cream freezer.  I used my Cuisinart 2 quart machine, and it worked great... I just had to half the recipe, using 5 egg yolks.

Papa's Favorite Ice Cream... makes 4 quarts

Cook together in a saucepan to 170 degrees:
     2 quarts milk
     3 tablespoons corn starch
     3/4 teaspoon salt
     2 cups sugar
     9 egg yolks

When above mixture is cooled, add:
     1-1/2 cups cream
     2-3 teaspoons of vanilla

Freeze according to your freezer instructions.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hot Fudge Throwdown

So... it is obvious that we Carmans (and Baileys) liked dessert.  I found 4 Hot Fudge recipes in Mom's collection.  One, was Grandma Bailey's and I remember her making it in the summertime when Chip was visiting. The second is similar, but uses cocoa powder instead of the chocolate squares.  The third is a microwave sauce, which I think is my favorite.  This one must have come in the late 80's or 90's. It is super quick and easy.  The 4th recipe, I THINK might be from Mom's cousin, Sharon Flack. (Sharon you'll have to let me know.)  Anyway, they are all good yummy, so here are the recipes.  Decide for yourself. We have enjoyed testing them. 

#1- Rich Chocolate Sauce (from Grandma's Box)
4 squares (4 oz) unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt chocolate over hot water. Add sugar, milk and salt; stir until smooth. Add butter and cook over hot water for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add vanilla. Serve on ice cream.  Store in refrigerator.

#2- Mom's Sauce
6 Tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup evaporated milk

Melt butter, add sugar and cocoa. Add milk gradually, beating until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium hat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Store in refrigerator. Heat when ready.

#3-Mom's Microwave Sauce
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1- 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine cocoa, condensed milk, and milk in a medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave 1 minute. Stir with wire wisk. Microwave for another minute, stir again.  Stir in butter and vanilla until butter is melted.

#4- Mystery Sauce
Combine on stove top:
     1/2 cup sugar
     1/4 cup cream
     1/2 cup corn syrup
     1-1/2 tablespoon butter
     pinch salt
     1/2 teaspoon vanilla
When sugar is dissolved, add:
     1/4 cup cocoa

Boil for 2 minutes on medium.  Cool slightly.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Kam's Birthday White Cake

This is one recipe card from the box that is barely legible. It has stains from years of use.  On top of that, I couldn't find the icing recipe, and I had to call my sister, Kam.  I have no idea where this one originates.  Uncle Bud said that Grandma used to make a white cake, but served it plain or with chocolate sauce.  This one has a light, fluffy frosting. It is Kam's favorite, and Mom would always make it for her on her birthday.

White Cake 
1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cup flour- sifted 3 times
1 cup buttermilk with 1 teaspoon of baking soda, mixed
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter, add sugar. Add eggs, milk and flour a little of each at a time and beat well.  Pour into 8" greased and floured cake pans.  Bake for 20-30 minutes @ 350 degrees.

Fluffy Frosting
(Mom wrote "good luck" at the end of this recipe when she gave it to Kam, but it really isn't that tricky.)

Shake in a jar:  1 cup of milk and 5 tablespoons of flour.  Then, cook mixture in a small pan... stirring constantly until thick like paste.  Let cool.

Cream together 1/2 cup Crisco and  1/4 cup margarine for 4 minutes.
Add 1 cup of sugar and beat for 4 more minutes.
Add paste and beat for 4 more minutes.
Add  1 teaspoon of vanilla, and mix until incorporated.

"Good Luck!"

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, I will have to finally admit it.  I am a cookie snob, especially when it comes to homemade chocolate chippers.  My Mom's were the best.  They are a bit fatter, and chewier than the "flatter-than-a-pancake" Toll House jobs. I think the recipe comes from my Grandma's ORIGINAL Betty Crocker cookbook. It's the extra flour that makes the difference.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mix together:    2/3 cup shortening
                          2/3 cup butter or margarine
                          1 cup brown sugar
                          1 cup sugar

Add:                  2 eggs
                         2 teaspoons vanilla

Sift together and stir in:
                         3-3/4 cups of flour
                         1 teaspoon soda
                         1 teaspoon salt

Add:                12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips
                        1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls about 2"apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  (These days I line my pans w/ parchment.) Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Cool slightly before removing.
Makes 4 dozen or so.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mom's Chicken Enchiladas

So, as another family staple I must post the recipe for Mom's Chicken Enchiladas.  I think mom started making this in the 70's when making soup based casseroles were all the rage. Growing up in Arizona, you would think we would be eating Mexican food all the time.  Well we do now, but this was the closest thing we got back then except for a night out to Don Ruben's. You would NEVER find this on a menu in a Mexican food restaurant, but we love it nonetheless.  It can be made to serve a crowd, and is pretty economical, too.  This is one even my sister Kam can make and we always get requests for the recipe.

Chicken Enchiladas
3-4 chicken breasts
2  cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can diced green chilies
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 pkg shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg (12) corn tortillas
1 T. oregano
onion, salt, pepper

Boil the chicken until cooked, about 20 minutes. (I usually throw some onion, salt, and and pepper into the water to season)  Let chicken cool and shred. RESERVE the chicken broth.  Make "sauce" by combining soup, green chilies, chili powder, oregano, and about 2 soup cans full of the chicken broth. (I strain the broth, but I don't think mom ever did.)

Spray 9 x 13 " casserole dish with cooking spray.  Layer in this order:  tortillas (cut to fit, if needed), soup mixture, pieces of the shredded chicken, then cheese.  Repeat.  In a usual casserole dish, I can get 3 layers.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes @ 350 degrees or until bubbly.  Can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until cooked, which is nice for parties.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grandma's Spaghetti Sauce

Without a doubt this recipe floats to the top when it comes to family favorites.  Grandma Bailey made it before mom did, but for me it tastes the same, and I don't DARE deviate from the recipe.  My Uncle Bud told me that Grandma got this recipe from Italian friends Tony and Noreen Trippe, when they lived in Oswego, NY. Mom was just a little girl when they lived there. According to Bud, they had an Italian restaurant at one time, and this was their sauce recipe.

Spaghetti Sauce

1 small onion- chopped
2 cloves of garlic- chopped

Saute above in large pot with enough olive oil (Pompeian is what mom used) to cover the bottom.

     1 (28 oz) can of tomato puree
     2 puree cans, filled with water
     1 (6oz) can of tomato paste
     1/2  paste can, filled with water

     1 palmful (1-1/2 tsp-ish) each of dried basil, oregano, and fennel seeds*
     3 T. sugar
     3 whole cloves of garlic
     few dashes of pepper

Simmer on low for 3-4 hours .

* Mom said don't add fennel if you are adding Italian sausage in later.