Friday, October 30, 2009

Caramel Apple Spice

Caramel Apple Spice is one of my favorite drinks from Starbucks. 
Unfortunately it's kind of expensive
I was really craving some this fall season 
but didn't want to spend 5 bucks on one cup. 
This recipe tastes almost exactly like the one from Starbucks 
and it's a lot cheaper too.

You will need:
Apple Cider
Meltable Caramels (6 per cup)
Whipped Topping

Mix a pinch of cinnamon (per taste) into your cider.

Heat up the cider using either microwave or stove top.
Pour into individual mugs.

Using a double boiler melt your caramels over the stove. 
Follow the instructions on the caramel packet.

(Remember it's about 6 cubes per cup.)

Once the caramels are liquid begin pouring equal amounts into the mugs.
Stir well, until you can no longer scrap caramel from the bottom of the mug.

Add whipped cream on top.
Drizzle any remaining caramel on top of the whipped cream.

Enjoy... It's delicious. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

I made this salad for Megan and Chris when they came to visit. They wanted to eat it everyday they were here. It is so good and fresh.

Spinach Salad

Baby spinach
sliced fresh strawberries
canned mandarin orange segments (drained)
sliced fresh avacado
sliced purple onion

Poppy Seed Dressing

1/2 small onion chopped
3/4 C sugar
1 t dry mustard
1 t salt
1/2 C white vinegar
1 C oil
1t poppy seeds

Place the onion in the blender and give it a whirl. Add the sugar, mustard salt and vinegar. Give it a whirl until everything is smoothe and pureed. Add the oil slowly while continuing to process. Add the poppy seeds but dont process anymore. Pour the desired amount over your spinach salad and toss. Refrigerate the remainder. You will want to make this again!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween Dessert

When I was at Disneyland after my freshmen year of college, I got a free recipe book from the Mission Tortilla Factory. This is my favorite recipe in the book. It is fun to serve to a party because everyone gets to participate in making their dessert. I did this at BYU and everyone liked this dessert even though it is simple.


Flour tortillas
1T Sugar
1T Cinnamon
Vegetable oil for frying

"Carve" each tortilla into a jack-o-lantern face with a knife. Combine cinnamon and sugar mixture and set aside. Heat oil in a pan. When hot, fry each tortilla. The tortillas will puff up. After the tortillas are a golden color, take out of the pan and put on a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle each tortilla with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Eat while hot. This is good when served with ice cream.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Corn Chowder

I made this for the first time last night and both Eric and I really liked it. It is very similar to the Mimi's Cafe corn chowder and that is one of our favorites. This makes 4 servings.

Corn Chowder

2 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. chopped onion
1/3 cup diced celery
1 1/4 cup water
1 cup cubed potatoes
1 1/2 cup corn
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1 1/2 Tbs. flour
1 pint Half and Half

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add celery and onion and saute for about five minutes. Add water, potatoes, corn, sugar, salt and pepper, making sure the water covers everything. Add more water if needed. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Whisk the flour into a 1/2 cup of the half and half. Stir the flour mixture into the soup. Add the remaining half and half and simmer until thickened and creamy- about fifteen minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding is a simple, old fashioned dessert.  It tastes kind of like french toast on steroids.  It is the kind of dessert you might crave in the fall or the heart of winter.  When I was a little kid my father would make bread pudding out of bread that was going stale, like hot dog buns.  He never used a recipe so it tasted different each time depending on the bread he used and the number of eggs we had in the house.  He always used raisens in the pudding.  I really like to make it out of croissants after Christmas or Thanksgiving.  I never add raisens, but if I did I might use golden raisens.  This recipe is a little more up scale.  I really like the crispy, sugary buttered croutons on top.  I was at a restaurant the other day and we ordered a bread pudding for dessert and split it between three people.  This is really filling and soul satisfying!

5 large eggs
1C sugar- divided use
2 1/2 C 2% milk
2 1/2 C evaporated milk
1 T vanilla
3/4 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon- divided use
1/4 t salt
2 T Melted butter
12 oz bread cut into 1 1/2 inch peices(5 or 6 large croissants or 8 slices of high quality sandwich bread)

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly coat a 9X13 inch baking dish with Pam.

Whisk the eggs and 3/4 cups of sugar in a bowl. Whisk in the milks and the vanilla, nutmeg, 1/2 t cinnamon, and the salt.  Add 6 Cups of the cubed bread and toss together until the bread is soaked.  Pour the mixture in the baking dish, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. 

Toss the remaining 2 cups of bread with the melted butter and the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the bread pudding , pushing down to partially submege.

Bake until the pudding is a golden brown, puffs around the edges, and jigglesslightly in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes.  Let cool for about 30 minutes before serving.  Serve wth Carmel sauce.

Carmel Sauce

1/2 C water
1 C sugar
1 C evaporated milk
1/8 t salt
1/2 t vanilla

Pour the water in a large sauce pan.  Add the sugar to the center of the pan taking care not to let the granules adhere to the sides of the pan.  Cover and bring to boil over high heat. 

Once boiling, uncover and continue to boil until the syrup is straw colored and registers 300 degrees on a candy thermometer( about 7 minutes).  Reduce to medium heat and continue to cook until the syrup is a deep amber color and registers 350 on the candy thermometer( about 1 or 2 minutes.) This last step goes really fast. Watch it, or you may find yourself throwing it away beacause it is burned. 

Mean while, bring the milk and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan.

Remove the syrup from the heat.  Pour about 1/4 of the milk into the syrup and let the bubbling subside.  Add the remaining milk and the vanilla.  Allow to cool a little.  Serve over the bread pudding. If you have leftover sauce it is great for dipping crisp fall apples.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Deanna's Spaghetti Sauce

I married an Italian. Not an I-talian, but an Italian. When we were first married, I tried making homemade spaghetti sauce. I remember spending all day chopping fresh tomatoes and cooking up a potful of sauce. I wanted to impress my Italian husband with this sauce I had spent so much time preparing. When I served it the Marty he wasn't impressed. He doesn't remember what he said after he took his first bite, but I do. He said it was kind of bland--in fact he called it
"Chef-Boy-are-Deanna" after the Chef Boyardee store brand. I was kind of mad. I had spent an entire day making this sauce and it tasted like something that came out of a can. So I made a decision that day.

If after spending all day cooking and it still tasted like a store-bought spaghetti sauce, why not just buy a store-bought spaghetti sauce and start from there.

I experimented with lots of brands and finally decided on the one I liked the best. Barilla. It has been a family favorite for many years. I have served it to lots of people, and the one Italian that I tried to impress many years ago loves it.

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves of fresh garlic--crushed
1/2 tablespoon of dried basil
1/2 tablespoon of dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon of dried oregano

1 pound of hamburger
2-3 mild Italian sausages
2-3 pieces of lamb... optional (I put it in there because Marty likes lamb)

5 bottles of Barilla spaghetti sauce. I usually buy a combination of tomato basil, mushroom, and marina.

First, saute the herbs in the olive oil until it is golden over a medium heat. This only takes about 3-4 minutes. (Do not brown the garlic, it won't taste very good) Once the herbs have been cooking for a few minutes, add the meat. If you are using Italian sausage links, remove the casings before add it to the pot. Stir the meat as it browns.
Once the meat has browned, add the jars of spaghetti sauce. After the jars are empty, I add a little water to each jar and swirl it around to get the rest of the sauce out. Add the water to the rest of the sauce and cook over a low heat for a few hours. I usually cook the sauce for about 4 to 5 hours stirring every so often.

Serve this over your choice of pasta. Freeze the remaining sauce in ziplock bags. It freezes really well and is a wonderful quick dinner that can be enjoyed for months later.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cheddar Ham Soup

I decided that I would post my favorite soup recipe as well, while I'm sitting with my recipes all over the place. Eating this soup just reminds me of that contented feeling of being inside and watching the rain or snow coming down.

Cheddar Ham Soup
2 cups diced, peeled potatoes
2 cups water
1/2 cup sliced carrot
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cupu flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups cubbed, fully cooked ham
1 cup frozen peas, thawed.

In a large saucepan combine the potatoes, water, carrot and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minues or until tender. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add the milk, salt and pepper. Boil and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the cheese until melted. Stir the cheese sauce into the undrained potato mixture. Add ham and peas, heat through.

Tuna Cheese Sandwiches

For my first post ever on a blog, I decided that I would post one of Eric's and my favorite quick lunches. It only takes about 10 minutes to make and that's if you are pretty slow. I got the recipe out of a Taste of Home cookbook but have added to it and adjusted it so that now, I think it's about perfect. So, here goes:

Tuna Cheese Sandwiches:
2 cans (6 oz.) tuna, drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 Tbs. milk
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups of finely shredded lettuce
Wheat bread

In a small bowl combine the first 10 ingredients. Put the mix on bread and enjoy!