Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BLP Tortillas

One of my favorite recipes!  

BLP Tortillas

1 cup Ranch dressing
1/4  tsp. Crushed red pepper
8 Tortillas
1 lb. Bacon -- fried
1 Red Pepper -- julienned

Mix the crushed red pepper with the ranch dressing. Spread dressing mix on tortillas. Layer remaining ingredients on tortillas and wrap.

Bleu Cheese and Teriyaki Meatball Sandwich

This is pretty easy.  Not healthy, but tasty!

Bleu Cheese and Teriyaki Meatball Sandwich

1 lb. Frozen meatballs
6 English muffins
6 slices Swiss cheese
 Bleu cheese dressing
 Teriyaki sauce

Prepare meatballs according to package. Toss with teriyaki sauce to taste. Toast English muffins. Spread with dressing. Top with meatballs, Swiss cheese, and close with other muffin.

Black Bean Slaw with Soy Ginger Dressing

Tangy and crunchy, with a pretty unique flavor.

Black Bean Slaw with Soy Ginger Dressing

1 can Black beans -- drained and rinsed
1 bag Coleslaw mix
2 Granny Smith Apples -- chopped
1 Red Pepper -- chopped
3 1/2 tbsp. Cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Oil
1/2 tsp. Ginger
2 tsp. Honey
1/4 tsp. Pepper

 In a huge bowl, combine beans, cole slaw mix, apple, and red pepper. In a seal-able container, add remaining ingredients, seal, and shake well to mix. Pour over veggie mix and toss to coat.

Kentucky Mountain Tavern

When I was growing up, "tavern" was another name for "sloppy joe."  Maybe it's a Northwest Iowa thing, I don't know.  Anyway, this is basically sloppy joes.  We had them for supper again tonight, and I decided to post them.  We've had this recipe since the early days of our marriage.  I don't like the taste of beer, but it blends really nicely with everything else in this.

Kentucky Mountain Tavern

2 lbs. Ground beef
1 can Tomato paste
3/4  tsp. Garlic powder
3/4  tsp. Tabasco Sauce (optional)
2 tsp. Paprika
6 tsp. Chili powder
3/4  cup Cornflakes -- crushed
12 oz. Beer
1 tsp. Salt
Hamburger buns or rolls

 Brown meat and drain fat. Add all other ingredients. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add water as needed.  Serve on buns/rolls.

Black Bean Enchiladas

I have no idea how "authentic" these are, but they're yummy :-)

Black Bean Enchiladas

2 Tbsp. Oil
2 cloves Garlic -- minced
2 Tbsp. Flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. Chili powder
1/4 tsp. Cumin
2 cups Chicken broth (or vegetable stock)
1 8-oz. can Tomato sauce

1 can Black beans -- rinsed and drained
1 can Caribbean black bean soup
3 cups Shredded Mexican cheese blend -- divided

6 large Tortillas
1 bunch Green onions -- chopped

In a large mixing bowl, mash black beans. Mix in soup and two cups of cheese. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, sauté garlic in oil. Add the flour, chili powder, and cumin and stir into a paste. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth. Bring to boil and stir until slightly thickened. Spread 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Fill tortillas with about 1/2 cup of filling, roll up, and place in pan. Pour sauce over tortillas and top with remaining cheese and onions.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cherry-Chocolate Cake

I made this years ago for a family get-together.  When Tootie asked for a chocolate cake with cherries for her third birthday, I knew just what to make!  I'll be mixing this up for her in a few minutes.

Cherry-Chocolate Cake

1 chocolate cake mix
1 cup water
1 egg
1 can (21oz) cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, water, and egg until smooth. Fold in cherry pie filling. Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Unbelievably Easy Fudge

I found this recipe in a recent issue of Taste of Home, and I couldn't believe it could possibly be any good because it's so simple!  But it actually is rather good.  I've changed it just a teensy bit to make it even easier.  This is not the best fudge recipe I've ever used, but is definitely the fastest and easiest.  If you're daunted by fudge, try this!

Unbelievably Easy Fudge

1 Tbsp butter PLUS a little more for greasing (see instructions)
1 pkg (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 pkg (11 1/2oz) milk chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Line an 8" or 9" square baking pan with foil and grease it -- I suggest taking a cold (frozen is great) stick of butter and using it like a crayon to grease the foil.  Set aside.  In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt all the chocolate chips and the 1Tbsp of butter, stirring after 1 minute and then after every 30 seconds until thoroughly melted.  Stir in milk and vanilla until smooth.  Spread into pan and refrigerate until firm.  Lift fudge out of pan, peel off the foil, and cut the fudge into squares.  Store in the fridge.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Caramel Apple Cider

 I based this on a recipe I found here, but tweaked to my own tastes.  The proportions I list here make enough for 3 adult mugs or two adult mugs and three little kid portions.  Adjust to suit your own devices.

Caramel Apple Cider

3 cups apple cider
2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together in a saucepan and heat to simmering.  Stir before pouring into mugs.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Chocolate Pudding Fudge

I love fudge.  I love making fudge.  And this is my absolute favorite fudge recipe.  When I was pregnant with my second child during the Christmas season, I ate two batches of this by myself over the course of three weeks.

I got this from a recipe book put out by the Jell-o company, years ago.

Chocolate Pudding Fudge

1 pkg (8 squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate -- divided
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) -- divided
1/3 cup water
1 pkg (4-servng) instant chocolate pudding mix
3 cups powdered sugar

Microwave 4 of the chocolate squares, 6 Tbsp of butter, and the water in large (microwavable!) bowl on high for 2 mins or until the butter is melted.  Stir. Add the pudding mix and stir until well blended. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, stirring until well blended after each addition. Press into afoil-lined 9-inch-square pan. Microwave the remaining 4 chocolate squares and 2 Tbsp butter in a medium (microwavable!) bowl on high for 1 1/2 min or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Spread over pudding mixture. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until firm. Cut into 36-48 pieces, depending on how generous you're feeling.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Blissful Cranberry Bars

So... I really love the Cranberry Bliss Bars at Starbucks.  So for our Advent potluck at church last night, I decided to try making them myself.  I started with this recipe, doubled it, and made a couple of changes.  They are delicious!  Friends of ours asked to take some home with them last night because they liked them so well.  I think they're a little better than Starbucks' because they have more frosting and the bars are moister.

I don't usually take time to do pictures for this blog, but since I just made these yesterday and knew I wanted to post the recipe, I grabbed the camera and snapped one.

(Makes about 40 medium-to-large triangular bars, or more than that if you cut them smaller!)

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2/3 cup butter -- melted
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups Fresh or Frozen Cranberries (thaw them if they're frozen)
2/3 cup chopped white chocolate (white chocolate chips worked fine)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9"x13" baking pan.  Line with parchment paper.  Beat eggs for about 1 minute. Gradually add sugar, beating until thoroughly blended. Stir in flour, spices, and melted butter; blend well. Add cranberries and white chocolate, mixing gently just until combined. Spread evenly in pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool before frosting.

8 ounces cream cheese
4 tsp butter
2 tsp orange zest (basically the zest from one good-sized orange)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange juice

1 cup dried cranberries -- chopped
1 cup white chocolate -- melted (again, white chocolate chips worked fine for me)

Mix all of the frosting ingredients together and spread a thin layer over the cooled cake. Immediately sprinkle with the chopped dried cranberries.

Melt the 1 cup white chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave for 1 minute.  Stir.  Microwave again for ten seconds at a time as needed until totally melted, stirring between each session in the microwave.  Pour the melted chocolate into a sandwich Ziplock bag. Cut a small hole on a bottom corner of the bag. Pipe the white chocolate over the frosted bars.

To cut, simply lift out the bars by holding the sides of the parchment paper.  Place on a flat surface and cut away!  I cut it into 20 rectangles and then cut those into triangles, and some of them got really big, so I cut those again to make smaller ones.  Size options are always good at a potluck!

I recommend cutting these before the chocolate hardens because once it's hardened, it gets hard to cut nicely.  I ended up with a few ruined ones thanks to it.  (Which means... some left at home to eat with my morning coffee!!!!)