Friday, July 21, 2017

Chocolate Ice Cream and Nut Pie

Chocolate Ice Cream and Nut Pie
Chocolate Ice Cream and Nut Pie
Have I mentioned it's hot around here lately? Well, it is. This is another warm-weather recipe to help you cool off. Chocolate and peanuts and pie ... what's not to love? This requires tempering eggs, so it's not the easiest recipe, but it sure is delicious when it's all done!

Chocolate Ice Cream and Nut Pie

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 5 hours and 15 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups finely chopped peanuts - divided
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream - whipped


Directions:

1. Combine 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together.
Blend well and press evenly into a 9 inch pie plate. Set aside.
2. In a heavy saucepan combine water and sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring until sugar
melts. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Add chocolate chips to sugar water and stir until chips are melted and mixture is
smooth.
4. Beat eggs together and add 1/4 cup of hot chocolate mixture to eggs. Stir quickly so
eggs do not cook and add back to original chocolate mixture. Blend well.
5. Fold whipped cream into chocolate and spoon half into the prepared pie shell. Top with
1/2 cup chopped peanuts.
6. Add remaining chocolate mixture to top of pie. Garnish with remaining peanuts.
7. Chill for 5 hours or until fully set before cutting.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Veggie Wednesday: Maque Choux


Maque Choux

This traditional Native American dish is very popular in Cajun country (and pronounced 'mock SHOE'). It's so simple that it's easy enough for every day meals. Fresh corn is the usual for the 'milk' leached from the kernels, but frozen will do in a pinch. The colors are beautiful and the sweetness of the corn plays very well with the flavors of the peppers and onions. This is a great side for summertime meals.


Maque Choux 

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ears fresh corn
1/4 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced peppers - red, yellow and green
3 cloves garlic - minced
1 cup seeded and diced tomato
2 Tablespoons light cream
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Directions:

1. Remove corn from cobs and set aside
2. Heat butter in a medium skillet. Add onion, peppers, corn and celery. Cook for 10
minutes, or until onions and celery begin to soften.
3. Add tomatoes, thyme, cream and salt. Stir and cook for 5 minutes longer. Serve hot.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Bacon and Egg Stuffed Tomatoes

Bacon and Egg Stuffed Tomatoes
Bacon and Egg Stuffed Tomatoes

Everyone who really knows me knows tomatoes are my absolute favorite food. I mean, when I'm asked the deserted island question about which foods I would want forever if I were stranded, it's tomatoes hands-down.

This is an excellent recipe for those hot and humid no-cook days. No cook? What about the eggs and bacon? Well, if you find yourself making deviled eggs for a picnic or other summertime gathering, set aside a few for other recipes, like this one. Or, with the wonder of modern groceries, you can simply purchase eggs already hard-boiled and be done with it. To that end, you can also buy bacon that is already fried - you just need a few seconds in the microwave to crisp it up and you're ready to go. See how simple that is?

Add other herbs like dill, if you like, and you can play with this in so many ways! There are several different types and flavors of mayo out there these days, and you can add other chopped veggies, as well.

Bacon and Egg Stuffed Tomatoes
Makes 6 tomatoes

Ingredients:

6 medium tomatoes
salt and pepper

Filling:

6 hard boiled eggs-chopped
3/4 c finely diced celery
1/3 c mayonnaise (reduced or fat free is fine)
6 slices turkey bacon (or regular bacon)-cooked and crumbled
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1/2 t Kosher salt
1/4 t large grind pepper
paprika for tops (smoked paprika adds a lovely dimension!)

Directions:

1. Wash tomatoes thoroughly and dry well.
2. Cut tops from tomatoes; scoop out pulp and seeds, leaving shells intact. Chop tomato pulp only, discarding seeds.
3. Drain tomato shells, and sprinkle inside with salt and pepper.
4. Combine tomato pulp, eggs, celery, mayonnaise, bacon, parsley, 1/4 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper; stir well.
5. Fill tomato shells with bacon and egg mixture. Sprinkle with paprika.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Strawberry Milkshake Popsicles

Strawberry Milkshake Popsicles
Strawberry Milkshake Popsicles

As of the last few weeks it has become glaringly apparent that it's summer. The kids are showing it, too. The higher the mercury goes, the more often they ask for cool or frozen treats. Popsicles are the perfect answer to their pleas, but store-bought varieties can be full of sugar, artificial colors and flat-out expensive sometimes.

The solution to that problem is to create your own. Homemade Popsicles are one of the easiest things to make. If you have your own Popsicle molds it's even easier, and if not, all you need are paper cups, Popsicle sticks and plastic wrap. Any liquid that freezes well is fair game. You can test your ideas by filling a section or two of an ice cube tray and freezing until firm.

We've used everything and had lots of fun experimenting. We've had popsicles from fruit juice, pudding, flavored gelatin, pureed fruit, and yogurt. These Popsicles were made to taste like one of our very favorite summertime treats - strawberry milkshakes.

Strawberry Milkshake Popsicles

Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Ready In: 6 hours
Servings: 6-8 Popsicle

Ingredients:

16 ounces (2 cups) vanilla or strawberry flavored yogurt (blended type, any fat percentage works well)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (leave out if you are using vanilla yogurt)
5-6 large strawberries - hulled and cut in half

Directions:

1. Puree all ingredients together for 30 - 34 seconds in a blender.
2. Strain well to remove seeds. You can leave out this step, but the seeds will settle at the bottom of the mold and will be visible at the top of the Popsicle when un-molded.
3. Pour into Popsicle molds and attach lids with sticks or, if you are using cups cover each cup with plastic wrap and insert the stick through the plastic. Don't let the stick touch the bottom of the cup. Settle sticks evenly in the center of each mold before freezing.
4. Freeze for 6 hours or overnight before un-molding. Check after half an hour and re-settle Popsicle sticks if necessary.
5. Run the underside of the molds under warm water momentarily before un-molding.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Veggie Wednesday: Un-stuffed Vegetarian Peppers

Unstuffed Vegetarian Peppers
Un-stuffed Vegetarian Peppers

In this house we all love stuffed peppers, but sometimes I need a quicker and healthier alternative and this casserole fits the bill. This is full of colorful peppers, tomato and your choice of brown or white rice. Top with cheese and all you need is a salad to complete this veggie friendly menu.

Un-Stuffed Vegetarian Peppers

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cups diced peppers, red, yellow and green - 1 cup each
1/2 cup diced onion
2 Tablespoons olilve oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
15 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups cooked rice, brown or white

Yields 4-6 servings

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions and cook until veggies start to soften, 5 minutes or so.
3. Add garlic and stir well.
4. Add rice, tomato sauce and salt and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
5. Pour rice into a greased casserole dish, about 10 x 6 in size and top with cheese.
6. Bake fore 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.