Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Salted Caramel Candy Corn Peanut Butter Treats

OK... I must say these are Yummo! I usually make rice crispy treats for Young Women's activities, you know, the scotch-a-roo recipe? only sometimes I don't put the melted chocolate on them. When I was in grade school on Fridays, the lunch ladies would make them only with Corn flakes ... LOVED 'em! so that is what I did to my normal crispy treat recipe, substituted Corn flakes. Also this time of the year they have Candy corns on the shelves.... and they come in different flavors! Like pumpkin spice, caramel, and s'more flavor. I bought the caramel ones YUM! So I threw in a cupful after I had added the cornflakes to the syrup then sprinkled the finished product with about 1/ 2 teaspoon of sea salt..... oh so yummy! Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Candy Corn Peanut Butter Treats

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light karo syrup
Mix together in medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, make sure it comes to a good rolling boil, don't boil too long or treats will be too hard, just . Then remove from heat.
Stir in:
1 cup peanut butter
Stir until PB is melted.
Meanwhile have 6 cups Corn Flakes measured in big mixing bowl. Pour peanut butter mixture over corn flakes and stir till they're all coated.
Stir in:
1 cup Caramel Candy Corns
Pour into buttered 13x9 can pan. Spread out with spatula coated with pam spray. 
Next, sprinkle about a 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt over the top (i pinched between my fingers and sprinkled randomly over the treats... you don't want too much in one spot but you do want a little salty flavor all over. 
Cut into squares and enjoy! YUM!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fresh Peach Pie

I love Peach Pie--this is the perfect time of year to make one too. Autumn is just around the corner and peaches are in season. I love the smell of Pie baking with the windows open and the crispy fall air coming in the kitchen on a slight breeze... Perfect! This pie was delicious! not too runny and perfect with french vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Fresh Peach Pie
3 pounds peaches, peeled, quartered, and pitted, each quarter cut into thirds 
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) plus 3 tablespoons sugar 
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoons low- or no-sugar-needed fruit pectin (you can find this by the canning   supplies)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
Pinch ground nutmeg 
1 recipe Pie Dough for Lattice-Top Pie (see recipe below) 
1 tablespoon cornstarch


1. Toss peaches, ½ cup sugar, lemon zest and juice, and salt in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Combine pectin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons sugar in small bowl and set aside.
2. Remove dough from refrigerator. Before rolling out dough, let it sit on counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes. Roll 1 disk of dough into 12-inch circle on lightly floured counter. Transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheet. With pizza wheel, fluted pastry wheel, or paring knife, cut round into ten 1¼-inch-wide strips. Freeze strips on sheet until firm, about 30 minutes.
3. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Roll other disk of dough into 12-inch circle on lightly floured counter. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto 9-inch pie plate, letting excess dough hang over edge. Ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into plate bottom with your other hand. Leave any dough that overhangs plate in place. Wrap dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, transfer 1 cup peach mixture to small bowl and mash with fork until coarse paste forms. Drain remaining peach mixture through colander set in large bowl. Transfer peach juice to liquid measuring cup (you should have about ½ cup liquid; if liquid measures more than ½ cup, discard remainder). Return peach pieces to bowl and toss with cornstarch. Transfer peach juice to 12-inch skillet, add pectin mixture, and whisk until combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and pectin is dissolved (liquid should become less cloudy), 3 to 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, add peach pieces and peach paste, and toss to combine.
5. Transfer peach mixture to dough-lined pie plate. Remove dough strips from freezer; if too stiff to be workable, let stand at room temperature until malleable and softened slightly but still very cold. Lay 2 longest strips across center of pie perpendicular to each other. Using 4 shortest strips, lay 2 strips across pie parallel to 1 center strip and 2 strips parallel to other center strip, near edges of pie; you should have 6 strips in place. Using remaining 4 strips, lay each one across pie parallel and equidistant from center and edge strips. If dough becomes too soft to work with, refrigerate pie and dough strips until dough firms up.
6. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate. Press edges of bottom crust and lattice strips together and fold under. Folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Crimp dough evenly around edge of pie using your fingers. Using spray bottle, evenly mist lattice with water and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
7. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is set and begins to brown, about 25 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue to bake until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbly at center, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Let cool on wire rack for 3 hours before serving.

Pie Dough for Lattice-Top Pie
  • 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour  
  •                 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 7 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled 
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and frozen for 30 minutes 
  • 10 - 12 tablespoons ice water 


1. Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter shortening over top and process until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter over top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to bowl.
 2. Sprinkle 5 tablespoons ice water over flour mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to evenly combine water and flour mixture. Sprinkle 5 tablespoons ice water over mixture and continue using folding motion to combine until small portion of dough holds together when squeezed in palm of your hand, adding up to 2 tablespoons remaining ice water if necessary. (Dough should feel quite moist.) Turn out dough onto clean, dry counter and gently press together into cohesive ball. Divide dough into 2 even pieces and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sweet and Tangy Barbecued Chicken Thighs

I love a good Barbecued Chicken and tangy BBQ sauce. I ran across this recipe on America's Test Kitchen but tweaked it a bit for the kind of chicken we like and for our gas grill. We like chicken thighs, they are more moist and easier to eat since they only have one bone in them. I served this with steamed veggies and the fresh corn corn bread I posted earlier. Tastes Yummo on a chilly fall evening. Enjoy!

Sweet and Tangy Barbecued Chicken
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar 
4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder 
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
6 pounds bone-in thigh pieces

1 cup ketchup 
5 tablespoons molasses 
3 tablespoons cider vinegar 
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1/3 cup grated onion 
1 garlic clove, minced 
1 teaspoon chili powder 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
2 large EMPTY Cans (the big 28 oz. sauce washed out with label peeled off)


1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine sugar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne in bowl. Arrange chicken on rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle both sides evenly with spice rub. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

2. FOR THE SAUCE: Whisk ketchup, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, and pepper together in bowl. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add chili powder and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in ketchup mixture and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Set aside 2/3 cup sauce to baste chicken and reserve remaining sauce for serving. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

3. FOR A GAS GRILL: Place 2 empty cans each filled half way full with water, directly on 1 burner of gas grill (opposite primary burner). Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium-high and turn off other burner(s). (Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature of 325 to 350 degrees.)

4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place chicken, skin side down, over hotter part of grill and cook until browned and blistered in spots, 2 to 5 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until second side is browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Move chicken to cooler part and brush both sides with 1/3 cup sauce. Arrange chicken, skin side up; Cover and cook for 25 minutes.

5. Brush both sides of chicken with remaining 1/3 cup sauce and continue to cook, covered, until thighs register 175 degrees, (15 to 25 minutes longer.)

6. Transfer chicken to serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve, passing reserved sauce separately.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fresh Corn Cornbread

I love cornbread... in the morning with butter and honey on it for breakfast....served along side chili, or this time I made it to go with some yummo BBQ 'd chicken. I will post that recipe later. I usually used the recipe off of my box of corn meal, but when I watched America's test kitchen a few weeks ago and they made their corn bread this way, I just had to give it a try. Man, oh man it makes yummy cornbread, not too dry, not too heavy and not too caky. It is a little more work to use fresh corn and puree it but it's so worth it. I thought since gardens are producing all kinds of vegetables this time of year it's a good recipe to post. Hope you like it as much as we did. Enjoy!

Fresh Corn Cornbread
Serves 6 to 8

1 -1/3 cups (6 2/3 ounces) stone-ground cornmeal 
1 cup (5 ounces) all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder  
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1- 1/4 teaspoons salt 
3 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs (2 1/4 cups) 
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces 
1 cup buttermilk 
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk 

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl, set aside.
2. Process corn kernels in blender  or food processor until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer puree to medium non-stick skillet. (you should have about 1½ cups). Cook puree over medium heat, stirring constantly, until very thick and deep yellow and it measures 3/4 cup, 5 to 8 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat. Add 5 tablespoons butter and whisk until melted and incorporated. Add buttermilk and whisk until incorporated. Add eggs and yolk and whisk until incorporated. Transfer corn mixture to bowl with cornmeal mixture and, using rubber spatula, fold together until just combined.
4. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Scrape batter into skillet and spread into even layer. Bake until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 25 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cornbread from skillet and let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving OR do as I did and cut straight from the skillet after cooling for 5 minutes and eat while warm... that's the best way. Enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2014

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

I was asked to furnish cookies for a retirement party at work. The lady that the party was for loves Macadamia Nut white chocolate chip cookies. I had a recipe but they always turn out flat so I googled Best ever white chocolate Chip macadamia nut cookies and printed out the top three. I used what was common in the three and this is the recipe I came up with. LOVE it! I think I like it mostly because of the dry roasted macadamia nuts... they have a little saltiness to them that makes these cookies yummo! and lately I am finding just a drop or  two of Butter Rum extract makes everything from banana cake and frosting to cookies extra yummo! Hope you like these as much as I did.

Soft & Chewy White Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Nut Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
  1. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 1 cup (packed) brown sugar
  3. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  6. 1/4 teaspoon Butter Rum extract (Optional)
  7. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 2 cups white chocolate chips or chunks 
  11. 1- 6 oz pkg.  Mauna Loa Macadamia baking pieces dry roasted (1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped roasted salted macadamia nuts)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer affixed with paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes (or use a large bowl and a hand mixer).
Add the brown sugar and granulated (white) sugar and continue beating on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, continuing to beat each time until well-incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and butter rum.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
With the mixer on low speed, carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until the ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the white chocolate chunks and the macadamia nuts.
Scoop a generous tablespoonful of the dough and roll into a ball. Place on cookie sheet about three inches apart.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until edges of cookie begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for about 5  minutes on cookie sheet so the cookie can set. Carefully move to wire rack to cool completely.

Hawaiian Haystacks

Hawaiian haystacks... hmmmm I don't really think they are Hawaiian, but they are yummy. The first time I had Hawaiian haystacks was at girl's camp years ago. I have made them a time or two since then although I can't remember what recipe I used. My office made them for an office pot luck one day and I loved the recipe for the gravy so that's what I'm posting here. This is a good recipe when you need something yummy, easy and to feed a lot a people (it's easy to double). My committee that I was on for the Community Dinner Table made these one year and had a Hawaiian theme going on, was fun and yummy. For that recipe we used a country gravy mix and pineapple juice in the gravy... kind of added a different flavor. But here's my recipe, I got it from a friend I used to work with, only I added the seasonings.... reminds me of thanksgiving the way it smells. Enjoy!

Hawaiian Haystacks
3 cans Chicken broth (the ones that are about 16 oz.) (see *Note below)
2 Tablespoons Chicken bouillon

Heat the chicken broth and bouillon until hot but not boiling.

While it's heating:
Mix together in a quart canning jar:
1-1/2 cups cold water
5 heaping Tablespoons flour.
Shake well until all the lumps are gone...(if you can't quite get rid of the lumps use a strainer when pouring this mixture into the broth).

Once your broth is hot... pour the water / flour mixture into the broth, stirring constantly and let it come to a boil. It will thicken just a bit so give it a minute. If it is not thick enough you could add an additional 1/4 cup water mixed with 2 Tablespoons flour... but be careful. If you add too much the gravy will end up tasting like glue. :) As the gravy cools it will thicken a bit too.

Now add:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed thyme
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk this up so there are no lumps then add:
 2  or 3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken (or turkey works too) you can add more or less depending on how thick you want your gravy to be.
Let this simmer for 5 to 10 minutes so the flavors get mixed together.

*Note: I usually cook up a chicken or some chicken breasts in a crock pot and I will add that to the gravy... so go ahead and add the drippings from cooked chicken as part of your broth. Or if you are in a hurry canned chicken works, or sometimes I will just grab a rotisserie chicken from the deli and that is always good too.

Serve the gravy over hot cooked rice.

Then add any of the following toppings:
Chopped Celery
Chopped Onions
Diced green pepper
Diced Tomatoes
Pineapple tidbits
shredded coconut
Slivered almonds
Chinese noodles
Soy sauce
sliced olives
and anything else you can think of ...it's all good

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Loaded Potato Salad

  • I love potato salad. Sunday I decide to make Ribs and BBQ pork tenderloin since I was in the mood for BBQ sauce. I always love potato salad with ribs and grilled things but I was tired of the usual potato salad. I can't remember how I ran across this recipe but I thought I'd give it a try. I did tweak it a bit for my taste but it's yummy. My husband was skeptical at first  but he liked it as well. I thought it wouldn't be good cold but it is and reminds you of a loaded baked potato. I thought I better hurry and post this recipe since the 4th of July is coming up fast and it's grilling season! This is yummy. I just might have to make at my 4th of July BBQ. Enjoy!

  • Loaded Potato Salad   --Serves 8
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, quartered and sliced into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 pound bacon strips, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until tender.
  • Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, until
  • crisp. Remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 3 tablespoons
  • drippings. Chop bacon when cool enough to handle.
  • Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl. Add bacon and reserved drippings; toss to coat. Refrigerate until chilled.
  • Whisk the mayonnaise, dressing, sour cream and mustard in a small  bowl. Pour over potato mixture; toss to coat. Stir in onions and cheese. Sprinkle with  salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Yield: 8 servings.