Sunday, November 22, 2015

Apple and Cranberry Crisp

There is this great spice company that we love to buy from when we get the chance.  It is called Penzey's and is headquartered out in the Midwest.  There was at one time a kiosk in Grand Central Station that we would always stop at to purchase what we might need but has now moved to a mall outside of the city.  Their prices are very good and the quality is the best.You are able to buy what you need in all sorts of sizes.  Once you start shopping through them you would receive a catalog on a quarterly basis that not only has all of their spices and extracts but great recipes too.  This recipe came from a recent catalog I picked up when I was in their Buffalo store.  I had to be in Buffalo for my job and I made it a point to stop by the store with my list of needed spices and extracts.  Hubby found the recipe and made it for dinner last weekend.It is a great fall recipe, maybe even for Thanksgiving this week because it features both Apples and Fresh Cranberries.

Apple and Cranberry Crisp

1 3-lb. bag McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 1/2 Cups cranberries, optional
3/4 Cup sugar (you might use a bit more if adding cranberries, which are quite tart)
1/2-1 tsp. GROUND CLOVES (recipe calls for full teaspoon)

2 Cups flour
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1 Cup shortening


Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries (if using), sugar and spices. Toss to coat. In a second large bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Add the shortening and cut with a fork until the mixture resembles pebbles. Spoon the filling into a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with the crust crumbles. Gently press the crust to form a flat surface. Bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Pasta with Portobello Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

This recipe has been lingering in my Pinterest feed for awhile with a note that the kids would love it.
When I was browsing my board "Looks yummy, have to try" I quickly forwarded the pin to hubby and said what do you think?  Two days later, this is on the Table for dinner.  Delicious and easy with such a great flavor.  Brings pasta to a whole new level.

Pasta with Potobello Mushrooms and Goat Cheese


2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 pound portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved and then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
3/4 pound ziti
3 ounces soft goat cheese, such as Montrachet, crumbled
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. Add the onions, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are well browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from the pan.

In the same pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and brown, about 8 minutes. Add the reserved onions, the parsley, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ziti until just done, about 13 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta water and drain. Toss the ziti and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water with the mushroom mixture, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the goat cheese, and the Parmesan. If the pasta seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta water. Serve with additional Parmesan.

The best chocolate chip cookies ever!

When our daughter came home to go to a football game and tailgate with her cousins, This weekend she asked me what should I bring to the tailgate?  My reply was to check with her Aunt who coordinates the food part of the tailgating.  The response was "Have her bring her Chocolate Chip Cookies!".

Her cookies are delicious and probably the best Chocolate Chip Cookies out there.  They actually got there start with my mother and the Betty Crocker Cook Book. This was probably the one cookie recipe my mom used out of a cookbook that was a family recipe passed down.  Our daughter started making them about 5 years back and would take them to school and  basketball practices as a treat for the girls.  Then she decided to enter them in the State Fair Cookie competition when she was about 15.  No prizes there, but it could of been that it was so hot the day we took them over the chocolate was melting on the plate.  I have to admit they are delicious.  You can't eat just one. And, they were a big success at the tailgate.  We know that because the container came home empty and we heard that her cousin was walking around and passing them out.  But don't worry, we took a handful out before she left for our own private stash. 

Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookies - 1970's recipe


2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/2  cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts
2 (6 ounce) packages semisweet chocolate pieces (She used Chunks)

Heat oven to 375° degrees.

Mix thoroughly shortening, butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Blend in remaining ingredients. 

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto un-greased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly before removing from baking sheet.

NOTE: If using self-rising flour, omit soda and salt.
SPECIAL NOTE:  Too keep them soft, place a piece of bread in the container.  It works!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Creamy Crock Pot Italian Chicken

The crock pot is a staple in our weekly cooking.  It is 24 years old, well used and runs good.  Maybe cooks a bit too hot at times so we have learned to cut back on cooking times.  I have thought about replacing it with a newer model, but in our house, if it ain't broke, don't replace it.  So on some things it takes us awhile to catch up to what is the latest and greatest.
For this recipe, we made it a couple of weeks ago.  It is a quick and easy go to recipe that is filling and pleases the young man in our life, our son.  This recipe has floated around Pinterest and the internet and everyone tweaks it a bit to make it there own.  We added the garnish for this recipe, but we can see adding possibly mushrooms.

Creamy Crock Pot Italian Chicken


1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup water (or chicken broth)
1 (0.7) packet dry Italian Salad Dressing Mix
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened
1 (16 oz.) box Rotini pasta, cooked
green onion, sliced


Cut chicken into cubes. Place chicken in the crockpot and sprinkle with Italian Dressing mix. 
Add water or broth and stir.  Cover and cook for 4 hours on low. 
 Spray a large saucepan with cooking spray and cook onions and garlic for a few minutes.   Add soup, broth and cream cheese.  Stir until smooth and add to crock pot.  Cover and cook for an additional hour.  (Do not cook for more than an hour.)
  Add cooked pasta to crockpot to coat.  Transfer to dish, top with green onion and serve.  

Monday, November 2, 2015

Corn Dip

Pick up some Fritos Scoops or corn chips and have a fiesta with this dip! This will make a ton for your next tailgate or holiday party and is very easy to make.  I found this on the Inspired By Charm Blog and adapted it for my house.  It has been awhile since I made this (note that it is an outside photo) but a definite make again dip for fall and holiday parties. The other dip is my Rosemary White Bean Hummus that is so so good!

Fiesta Corn Dip

3 (11-oz.) cans Green Giant Mexican Corn, drained
7-oz. can chopped green chiles
6-oz. can chopped jalapeno peppers, drained and liquid added to taste
1/2 c. green onion, chopped
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
16-oz. pkg. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, Taco flavored
2-3 bags scoop-like corn or tortilla chips

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except chips. Chill two hours to overnight. Serve with your favorite chips (I used Fritos and Tostitos) for scooping. Makes 6 cups.