Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sweet Sunday

I have a tried & true banana bread recipe that I have used for years, but with the twist of cream cheese added, this recipe became very intriguing to me.

Cream Cheese Banana Bread
3/4 c. butter softened
1 (8-oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 c. self rising flour
3-4 medium sized mashed bananas
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease & flour 2 8x4-inch bread loaf pans; set aside. Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time beating until just blended. Gradually add the flour to the mixture, beating at low speed until just blended. Stir in bananas, nuts and vanilla. Spoon batter evenly into loaf pans. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack. -- Yields: 2 loaves

Click HERE for printable recipe

Recipe Source: Kelli @ There is no place like home
Originated From: Linda @ LBP Sews and Grows

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Walnut Praline Syrup

Walnut Praline Syrup
1 1/2 c. corn syrup
1/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. water (plus 3 Tblsp.)
1 c. walnut pieces & halves
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 pint size canning jars, seals & bands

Sterilize jars, seals and bands. Keep jars hot until ready to use.

In a medium size sauce pot add brown sugar, corn syrup & water. Stir to combine.

Bring mixture to a boil and allow to boil hard for 1 full minute.

Reduce heat to low, then add in vanilla & walnuts. Let Simmer for 5 full minutes.

Immediately ladle hot syrup into hot sterile jars; leaving a 1/4" head space. Using a damp towel, wipe rims clean of any drips. Top each jar with clean, sterile seal and then screw band on until fingertip tight. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN!

Process jars in a water bath for 10 full minutes (timing begins once water has come to a full rolling boil.) Remove jars using jar tongs and allow to cool.

Great served over pancakes, waffles, biscuits, french toast, ice cream cake, you name it. The possibilities are endless.

Click HERE for printable recipe

Chocolate Walnut Brownies

I have so been in the mood for something sweet the past few days, so this afternoon I decided it was high time to make a batch of brownies.

Chocolate Walnut Brownies
3/4 c. butter
1-½ c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350*

Grease a 9x13" baking pan; set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter.

Add eggs to melted butter, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.

Next add in sugar, vanilla, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Mix well.

Stir in nuts.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Allow brownies to cool before cutting into squares. Garnish with powdered sugar if desired.

Click HERE for printable recipe

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

I admit, I am not a fan of seafood gumbo one bit. However, Hubby loves it. So when he is in the mood for gumbo what am I to do? I'll tell ya what...make gumbo that we can both enjoy! Back in 2007 I tweaked a few existing recipes to come up with the following for Chicken & Sausage gumbo, that turned out to be Hubby's new favorite! This is certainly not a fast recipe, but it is well worth the time and effort that goes into it. I urge you not to rush any of the steps and it will turn out wonderfully.

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
lb. jalapeno smoked sausage (or andouille sausage), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs or drumsticks will work too)
Olive Oil
3/4 cup King Arthur's whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 Hatch chile, diced
2 cups hot water
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup vegetable stock
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
4 green onions, sliced
Hot cooked rice

Cook sausage in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly (about 5 minutes or until browned.) Remove from pot and set aside. Reserve drippings in pot.

Cook chicken in reserved sausage drippings over medium heat 5 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken and set aside, reserving drippings in pot.

Add enough oil to drippings in Dutch oven to measure 1/2 cup. Add flour, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 20 minutes, or until roux is chocolate colored. Stir in onion, bell pepper, and celery; cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until tender.

Gradually add hot water and stocks. Bring mixture to a boil; add chicken, garlic, spices and green onions. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.

Remove chicken; let cool.

Add sausage to gumbo; cook 30 minutes.

Cut chicken into cubes then return to gumbo, and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Remove gumbo from heat. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Click HERE for printable recipe

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Sundries In The Kitchen

What's that old adage..."when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Yesterday we went to the local vegetable farm to pick up a few things that we needed and they had some beautiful juice oranges on sale. So of course I had to pick a batch of them up. So in my case, "when the LORD puts oranges on sale for you, make orange juice!" Boy did it taste great this morning with our breakfast. Fresh is definitely the best.

After a relaxing but full day yesterday, I really wasn't in the mood to cook. So here's a quick little something that I made to satisfy our hungry family. It's a one pot meal that can easily be served up two ways.

Italian Sausage & Onions
1 lb. Italian sausage
1/2 an onion, sliced
1/2 Tblsp. olive oil

Slice a pound of Italian sausage into rounds & place into a medium size skillet. Heat until browned.

Once sausage has browned, drain grease. Add 1/2 Tblsp. olive oil to skillet. Return meat to pan and add onions. Saute until onions are golden. (feel free to season with salt & pepper at this point if you like.)

Serve meat and onions as a sandwich or with left over pasta noodles. Garnish with fresh sliced tomatoes.

Click HERE for printable recipe

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Don't Trash That Carcass

Just because the turkey dinner is finished doesn't mean that your bird has to go in the trash. Before you throw it out, why not re-purpose it!?!

Homemade Turkey Stock
1 poultry carcass (turkey or chicken)
fresh herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, sage)
salt & pepper to taste
1 pouch dry poultry bullion powder
spice seasonings of your choice
1-1/2 c. rough chopped carrots
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped

Place carcass into a large roasting oven. I use a 20 qt. Rival roaster but it can be easily done in a large crockpot as well. Add in all ingredients.

Fill with water until almost full.

Cover and let cook at 350* for 8 hours. Or if doing this overnight, as I am, cook at 225* overnight and then turn heat to 350* come morning time to continue cooking if need be. What you are wanting to do is allow mixture to reduce and broth to enhance in flavor.

Once broth is to the flavor you like, strain juice and pressure can it up for later use. If you don't have a pressure canner or want to mess with that, leave a 2-inch head space in your jars and they will freeze nicely as well.

Click HERE for printable recipe