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.  :-)