Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cappuccino Biscotti

Cappuccino biscotti

2 cups flour
2 envelopes of cappuccino mix (I used Nescafe instant)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of finely chopped nuts (I used pecans, hazelnuts would be great, too!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Gradually beat in dry ingredients; flour, cappuccino mix, baking powder and salt. Stir in nuts.  Divide dough into 2 equal portions.  Shape into 2 logs approximately 14 inches long, (I use a floured surface and sort of roll and shape them) and place on cookie sheet covered with parchment (about 2 inches apart).  Bake 25 minutes at 325, or until lightly browned.  Remove from cookie sheet, cool about 5-10 minutes.  Put on large cutting board, and slice the logs on a diagonal about 3/4 inches wide.  Place on cookie sheet, and bake again for about 10 minutes, or until slightly dry. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

White Trash for Christmas!

White Trash - Funny Name, Great Snack!

4 1/2 cups of Cheerios cereal
4 1/2 cups of Rice Chex
4 1/2 cups of Corn Chex
2 1/2 cups of small pretzels (I use alphabet letters - at Wegmans)
2 cups of lightly salted roasted peanuts
1 lb. bag of Holiday colored M & Ms
2 bags of white chocolate chips, or one large bag
3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
Put oil in large glass bowl.  Add chocolate, and melt in the microwave for approximately 1 minute.  Stir.  Continue to melt about 1 more minute.  Do not overcook - white chocolate burns easily!  Once it is mostly melted, take it out and stir - the remaining morsels will melt each other.  Add peanut butter and stir till blended.  Mix all remaining ingredients together in a very large bowl.  I have a big Tupperware bowl with a cover I use for this - a 32 cup size.  Pour melted chocolate mixture over all, and stir well to coat.  Spread wax paper on the counter (several sheets - this makes a lot!) and let dry.  Break into pieces and ENJOY!  PS - This white trash won the white trash contest in Susan's DECA class at Mercy.  Just sayin'!  This is also great at Halloween or Valentine's day parties.  Thank goodness for the Holiday colored M & M's!

Sugared Pecans

Sugared Pecans for Christmas

1/2 cup butter, (1 stick) melted
2 egg whites - room temperature
1 cup sugar
dash of salt
4 cups (1 pound bag) of good quality pecan halves (I get the Delta Gamma ones from Georgia right before the holidays - yum!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Beat egg whites at room temperature until soft peaks form.  Gradually add in sugar and salt, beating until very stiff.  Fold in pecans.  Spread pecan mixture in greased pan, (use some melted butter).  Drizzle the remaining butter as evenly as possible over pecans.  Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes, tossing and turning pecans about every 10 minutes or so to allow the pecans to brown evenly.  When finished, the nuts should be browned and all butter is absorbed.  Remove nuts and cool on wax paper.  Store in airtight container.  These are great to just eat, for hostess gifts (I wowed my then future mother-in-law with these years ago, and are fantastic on Christmas salads as a crunchy, sweet topping. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kielbasa Chowder

Kielbasa Chowder, with potatoes, corn, and red bell peppers

(Sarah's soup!)

1/2 package of turkey kielbasa, quartered and sliced
1/2 of a large sweet onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 small to medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
about 32 ounces of chicken stock or broth (I used the low salt, non fat variety)
3 medium red potatoes, unpeeled and cubed into bite sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 1/2 cups (about a half a package) of frozen corn kernels
1 cup of half and half
1/4 cup of freshly chopped parsley

In a large soup pot on medium heat, combine sausage, onion, garlic and bell pepper.  Saute until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.  Use olive oil if needed.  Add the chicken broth, potatoes, salt, pepper, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add corn, half and half, and parsley and simmer, uncovered until flavors are blended - about 5-10 minutes longer. 

Recipe from The Big Book of Soups and Stews by Maryana  Vollstedt