Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lemon Bars

  "My Mom knows how much my husband loves these lemon bars so she made them for his birthday treat this year and of course I had to help him eat them (wink, wink)!"   
1 cup butter, softened
dash of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
Combine butter, salt, powdered sugar and flour and press into the bottom of a well greased 13x9 pan (You can grease pan with shortening or spray with non-stick cooking spray.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Allow crust to cool slightly and then cover with lemon filling. 
Lemon Filling
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
Mix together eggs, sugar, flour and lemon juice and pour over slightly cooled crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into bars.
"A plate of HAPPINESS!"


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Creamy Clam Chowder

"My sister shared this recipe with me and it was given to her by my aunt, so it's definitely a family favorite.  One Fall, I made it and sent it with my husband and his buddy to hunting camp.  It was a hit!"
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 or 3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 or 4 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) of minced clams in clam juice (We like to use Snow's brand.) *Do not drain.
1-1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1 quart half-and-half
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Oyster crackers or crackers of your choice

Put onions, celery, potatoes and clams (with clam juice) into a large stock pot.  Add just enough water to cover ingredients.  Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender (about 15-20 minutes).  In a small saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Stir into vegetable and clam mixture and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and add half-and-half and vinegar.  Season with desired amount of salt and pepper.  Cook until soup is heated through and thickened to desired consistency.  Serve with oyster crackers. 

TIP:  I have also made this yummy soup in a slow-cooker.  You just put the onions, celery and potatoes in the slow cooker with just enough water to cover them.  (Don't add clams now or they will become overcooked.)  Season with desired amount of salt and pepper.  Cook on High heat for 4-5 hours or until the vegetables are tender.  When vegetables are tender, melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in flour. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes on medium heat until thickened.  Stir into vegetables.  Add clams (with clam juice), half-and-half and red wine vinegar and continue to cook in the slow-cooker on High heat for about 1 hour or until soup is thickened to desired consistency.  Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.  Serve with oyster crackers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pick Your Toppings Mini Pizzas

"Every Friday night is movie night at our house.  We often order pizza from our favorite pizzeria, but sometimes we take the time to make our own.  To make it easy, we start out with store-bought crust and sauce and then we top our individual pizzas with our favorite toppings.  We wait all week to enjoy our pizza and to relax together while we watch our movie picks of the week!"

Mini pre-baked pizza crusts (We like to use Boboli brand 8-inch mini crusts.  They come 2 in a package so we can individualize each pizza the way we want to.)
olive oil
1 (15 ounce) can of pizza sauce (We love Contadina brand.)
Italian-blend shredded cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese or your favorite shredded cheese
Your favorite pizza toppings like:
sliced pepperoni
sliced olives
sliced pickled jalapenos
sliced mushrooms
garlic powder
Grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

Place mini crusts on foil lined cookie sheet.  Brush crusts with olive oil.  Spread on desired amount of pizza sauce.  Sprinkle on desired amount of shredded cheese.  Top with desired toppings.  Sprinkle on additional shredded cheese, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder.  Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and toppings are bubbly.  Cut into slices and Enjoy!

"Top Your Mini Pizzas any way you want to and they're ready for baking."
"Ready for Movie Night!"

Friday, September 7, 2012

Chia's Chipotle Chili

"My husband created this recipe and it's my all-time favorite chili!  It has a smoky and spicy taste that warms you up on those chilly Fall and Winter days.  It's a great dish to make for tailgating to keep you warm while cheering on your favorite football team or to enjoy at your next Superbowl party too!"    

1 pound ground beef
1 roll Jimmy Dean Premium Pork Hot Sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
6 jalapeno peppers, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely minced (from a 12 ounce can)  *We use La Costena brand.
1 can (28 ounce) diced tomatoes
1 can (6 ounce) tomato paste
2 cans (16 ounces each) red kidney beans
2 cans (14 ounces each) beef broth
1/2 cup white or red wine
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large saucepan, stock pot or dutch oven, brown ground beef and sausage; along with onion, green pepper, jalapeno peppers and garlic, until browned.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Simmer chili on medium heat for about 1 hour.  Ladle into bowls and top with grated pepper jack or cheddar cheese and sour cream.  Serve with oyster crackers or corn bread muffins.

TIP:  This makes a large pot of chili so we often freeze part of it to enjoy at a later time.

Simmered to perfection!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

"My Hubby created this delicious cheesecake years ago.  It brings together two of my favorite desserts, cheesecake and caramel apples.  It's a perfect Fall dessert!"    

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1- (21 ounce) can apple pie filling

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.  Spoon a single layer of apple pie filling on top of the crust and spread to within 1-inch of the edge of the pan.  Prepare cheesecake layer.

Cheesecake Layer
4- (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Combine cream cheese, sugar and flour. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Blend in sour cream and vanilla. Pour over apple pie filling.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Lower the oven to 250 degrees and continue baking for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for approximately 4 hours before removing rim of springform pan.

1- (12 ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping (We like to use Smucker's Hot Caramel.)
1- (4 ounce) package of chopped pecans, toasted*

When ready to serve, top slices of cheesecake with heated caramel topping and toasted pecans.  

*To see how to toast pecans, please visit my Kitchen Know-hows page:

Visit my MooseCreek CheeseCakes page for more delicious cheesecake recipes.