Wednesday, December 26, 2012

buttermilk pecan waffles

I am about to leave the world of Internet for a few days, but before I did, I wanted to share with you this great recipe find!  It's perfect for those cold days after Christmas when all you want is a warm meal.  It takes just a few minutes to prepare, feeds several, and is special enough for company.  I introduce to you Buttermilk Pecan Waffles!

These are better than a basic waffle - the buttermilk and pecans take the texture and flavor to a whole new level.  We love them served with Buttermilk Syrup, but just about any topping will do.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.  Happy New Year!

Buttermilk Pecan Waffles
Adapted from Gooseberry Patch's Merry Christmas
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine first four ingredients; set aside.  Beat eggs in a mixing bowl until light; mix in buttermilk.  Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and beat until smooth.  Stir in melted butter and pecans.  Pour 3/4 cup batter onto a greased and preheated waffle iron.  Cook according to manufacturer's directions, and repeat with remaining batter.  Makes about 7 waffles.

Friday, December 21, 2012

cookies and cream fudge

So...I had this dilemma.  Cookie Bandit was turning 30 years old (a BIG birthday, you know), and we were going to be leaving town the next day.  I was already up to my ears in laundry, cleaning, packing, and all of the other chores that go along with leaving town for a week.  Trying to bake a birthday cake in addition to that would have been INSANE.

And then there was this other problem - if I bake a cake, who would eat it?  We weren't going to have a party, so it would just be two of us with a huge cake.  And if we left town the next day, we'd have to basically trash the cake (there wasn't room for it to go with us). 

I decided to do something a bit fun and fanciful to make his birthday special.  I made fudge!  He'd been eying this fudge recipe in one of my magazines, so I figured now was time to give it a try.  It didn't disappoint.  It only took me about 10 minutes (and two separate runs to the grocery store to get forgotten ingredients...ha!).  It was absolutely delicious, and it's small enough that we'll be able to take our leftovers out of town...if there are any leftovers, that is.

To top off the fun, I actually cut a big 3-0 out of the fudge in honor of his big day. :)

 Oh, what's that?  You want the recipe, too? :)

Line a square dish or baking pan with aluminum foil (makes it easier to get the fudge out later).  Spray it with cooking spray and toss in a bunch of broken Oreo cookies.

In a saucepan, combine a can of sweetened condensed milk, butter, and white chocolate chips.  Stir over LOW heat until melted, and then add some vanilla.

Pour this deliciousness over the top of the Oreos, and then top with more broken cookies.

Refrigerate for at least an hour before lifting the aluminum foil out of the pan and cutting the fudge into pieces.

Happy Birthday, Cookie Bandit! :)

Cookies and Cream Fudge
adapted from Taste of Home's "Food Gifts"
  • 24 Oreo cookies, broken into chunks, divided
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 2/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 t. vanilla

Line an 8-in. square dish with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.  Place 2/3 of the broken cookies in pan.  In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, butter, and chips; cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.  Pour over cookies in pan.  Sprinkle with remaining cookies.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into pieces.  Makes about 3 dozen pieces.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

cheesy ham and corn chowder

It's finally cold here!  I'm soooooo excited.  I've been able to bust out my sweaters, and Miss Pebbles caught her first glimpse of snow. :)

When the weather gets cold, there's nothing I like better than a bowl of soup.  This one is a real winner.  It's cheesy, creamy, warm, hearty, filling, and simply delicious.  It's also very economical and takes less than half an hour to prepare.  What could be better?

Serve it up in a bread bowl to stretch your servings and give it a rustic touch. 

Cheesy Ham and Corn Chowder
2 T. butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 T. flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 t. sage
1/4 t. pepper
1 cup cooked ham, cubed
1 1/2 cup milk
10 oz. package frozen corn
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed

Melt butter in a large saucepan; stir in onion and cook over medium heat until tender.  Stir in flour until blended.  Add chicken broth, potatoes, sage, and pepper; stir to blend.  Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients; cook and stir until heated through, about 8-10 minutes.  Serves 4.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

alpine cheese melts


I just love taking a simple concept (like a grilled cheese sandwich), souping it up into something spectacular, and adding a special holiday touch!  Don't you?  I mean, how often can you say that a grilled cheese sandwich is good enough to serve company?

This recipe came from Taste of Home's fabulous special edition magazine, "Best Holiday Recipes." 

To make these sandwiches, you want two different types of bread.  It really doesn't matter which two you pick as long as there is some color variation between the two.  I went with the pumpernickel and white bread recommended by the recipe.

Grab your favorite Christmas cookie cutter, and cut a shape out of each slice of bread.

Put the pumpernickel shape into the hole in the white bread, and vice versa.  How cute!

Whip up the remaining ingredients - cheese, mayo (or Miracle Whip), green onions, basil, and garlic powder.  Spread the creamy concoction on a slice of bread and top with the other slice to make a sandwich.

Butter both sides of the sandwich and toast on a skillet over medium heat until both sides are lightly browned and the cheese has melted.

This sandwich is oh-so-creamy, and the flavors are delicious.  And what I especially love about it is that the filling is quick to put together and will make several sandwiches at once.  Since there were only two of us eating them, I made the batch of filling and kept it in the refrigerator, only dishing out as much as we were going to eat each evening.  It made us dinner for four nights!

Alpine Cheese Melts
From Taste of Home's "Best Holiday Recipes"
9 slices white bread
9 slices pumpernickel bread
3 cups (12 oz.) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup plus 2 T. mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 t. minced fresh basil or 1/2 t. dried basil
1/4 to 1/2 t. garlic powder
butter, softened

Using a 3-1/2 in. cookie cutter, cut a shape in the center of each slice of bread; remove cutouts.  Place a white bread cutout in each slice of pumpernickel.  Place a pumpernickel cutout in each slice of white bread.

In a large bowl, combine the cheese, mayonnaise, onions, basil, and garlic powder.  Spread over nine slices of bread; top with remaining bread.  Butter outsides of sandwiches.

In a small skillet over medium heat, toast sandwiches on each side until golden brown and cheese is melted.
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