Thursday, December 24, 2009

Figgy Pudding

The last few Christmas Eves, we've made this "figgy" pudding (really chocolate pudding) to have after our tradition of "Rum Tum Piddly" which is a silly name for potato soup in bread bowls. We also borrow from the Danish the tradition of hiding a single almond in the pudding (theirs is rice). Whichever lucky soul who happens upon the almond gets to open the first present of Christmas Eve. One of our tastiest traditions, to be sure.

Figgy Pudding
(sans figs)

2 cubes butter, softened
2 C. flour
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 C. powdered sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups whole milk
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine butter and flour and press into bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, til golden brown. Let cool. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1/2 the whipped cream, set aside.

For the pudding: Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Whisk often. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

When crust is cool, spread on cream cheese mixture. Pour pudding on top and spread evenly. Top with sweetened whipped cream. Chill til served.

Pudding recipe from Smitten Kitchen, all the rest from friend Laurel.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Cinnamon Honey Butter

This is what I am making to take to neighbors and the staff at the dental office. A loaf of yummy bread from The Whole Grain Bread Co. will accompany it. I knew I had to make the butter when the blog author said, "If you never try another recipe from this blog, TRY THIS ONE." Sold.

Cinnamon Honey Butter

4 sticks softened butter
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. honey
4 tsp. cinnamon

Blend all ingredients thoroughly. Spoon into jars and give oh give away. Or keep it all to yourself, up to you.

Recipe adapted from here.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lunchables and a menu

This is what we eat for lunch round here just about every day (or some variation of it). Lunchables, homemade style. Multigrain crackers, sliced deli meat, cheese, a veggie and a fruit. We all love it- if you ask my boy his favorite food he will say "peas open and crackers closed", because he likes me to open his snap peas and eat just the insides and he makes bite size sandwiches out of his crackers, turkey and cheese. This particular day, after the photo was snapped, he made a towering sandwich which included one piece of everything on his plate, including the orange. He stuffed the whole thing in his mouth and had us laughing for a good 5 minutes.

Here's whats for dinner at our house this week:

Sun- Mexican feast of tostadas with all the fixins, enchiladas, spanish rice, and cheesecake

Mon- leftover pulled pork, rice, zucchs and carrots

T- Corn chowder and whole wheat rolls

W- green chile burros, pineapple, salad, hot cocoa ice cream

Th- leftovers

F- tin foil dinners

Sat- St. Francis sounds good to me...
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Southwestern Egg Rolls

This is one of my very favorite recipes. Amanda made these for a Sunday dinner back when she and Mason lived in Utah, and I was lucky enough to partake. They were so so good, and I knew I had to have the recipe.

I know the ingredient list looks long, but don't let that deter you from trying these. I usually make a big batch and keep them in the freezer. They are easy to grab and take to work, or perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. I've never deep fried them as the recipe directs. I will just bake, or sometimes microwave them, depending on how hungry I am.

Southwestern Egg Rolls

  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half
  • 2 Tbs minced green onion
  • 2 Tbs minced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 c frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 c black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbs frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 Tbs diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2 Tbs minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 5 (6 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 quart oil for deep frying
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook chicken approximately 5 minutes per side, until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender.
  3. Dice chicken and mix into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix in corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until well blended and tender. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese so that it melts.
  4. Wrap tortillas with a clean, lightly moist cloth. Microwave on high approximately 1 minute or until hot and pliable.
  5. Spoon even amounts of the mixture into each tortilla. Fold ends of tortillas, then roll tightly around mixture. Secure with wet toothpicks. Arrange in medium dish, cover with plastic, and place in the freezer. Freeze at least 4 hours.
  6. In a large, deep skillet, heat oil for deep frying to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Deep fry frozen, stuffed tortillas for 10 minutes each, or until dark golden brown. Drain on paper towels before serving. (Instead of deep frying, you can bake them in the oven at 425 degrees F for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chocolate Mint Cookies

I saw this recipe on Becoming Betty, and thought it would be the perfect dessert to take to my enrichment activity tonight. If you like chocolate and mint, then you will love these cookies. Delish.

Chocolate Mint Cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Andy's Mint baking chips
  • 1 bag Candy Cane Hershey's kisses
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in mint chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 8 to 9 minutes. (Do not over bake; cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.) Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack and place a kiss on top.