Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mama B's Caramelized Onion and Gorgonzola Bruschetta

1-2 French baguettes
5 Medium-large onions
2T Butter
4 Cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4C Soy sauce
1/4C Balsamic vinegar
2T Worchestershire sauce
1/4C Beef stock
1/2C White wine
1/2C Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Thinly slice the onions and mince the garlic. Melt butter in large saute pan and add onions and garlic to pan.

2. In a medium bowl, mix soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, worchestershire sauce, beef stock and white wine. Mix and add to onions.

3. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for at least 2 hours, until all the liquid has been absorbed and onions are a dark brown color. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Slice baguettes to about 1/2" thickness, on the diagonal. Place on ungreased cookie sheet in a single layer and bake at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes, until nicely crisped on outside.

5. To serve, place about 1-2T of onions on baguette slice and top with gorgonzola crumbles. Serve hot.

*As usual, measurements are approximate, as I do not measure when making my creations!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sea Salt Caramels

Adapted from the Country Living Magazine

Vegetable oil, for greasing

1C Sugar
1C heavy cream
1/2C (1 stick) butter at room temperature
1C light corn syrup
1T Grey Fleur De Sel (I get mine at Penzeys), or a coarse ground white sea salt

Line an 8 inch pan with foil, and generously brush with oil. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, cook sugar, without stirring, until it begins to melt and bubble. Using a metal spoon, stir slowly until sugar has completely melted, about 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add cream (sugar will seize into a solid mass).

Add butter and corn syrup, stir. Fit a candy thermometer to saucepan (****making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan****), return to stove top, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until mixture liquefies, about 30 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high and cook until caramel mixture reaches 238 degrees F. Do NOT stir. Immediately remove pan from heat. Carefully pour hot caramel into prepared pan. Using a spatula coated in vegetable oil, smooth any bubbles on surface. Sprinkle as much or as little of the salt as you'd like using your fingers.

Cool caramel until firm but still slightly warm, about 35 minutes.
Lift caramel from pan and peel away foil. Place on an oiled cutting board Sprinkle sea salt on the back side if desired and cut into 1-inch squares, using an oiled knife. Wrap individual caramels in waxed paper. Store in an air-tight container.

Mama B's TIPS:
1. Stirring the caramel when in its 2nd boil introduces more air and therefore takes longer for the caramel to reach 238 degrees.

2. When making any caramel, make sure you don't scrape the bottom of the pan. It will release any burnt pieces and make your whole batch of caramel taste burnt.

3. To make salted caramel sauce for cakes, ice cream etc, follow all instructions, but add 1 tsp sea salt to the caramel mixture, and let boil to 225 degrees. Remove from heat and place in glass jars.

4. Invest $10 in a digital food thermometer. It has an adjustable clip that holds the probe on the side, and you can set an alarm to go off when your food reaches the desired temp, which is so important in any candy making.

5. Placing salt on both sides of the caramel gives every bite a nice salty crunch!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hershey's Kisses Peanut Butter Blossoms

From: The back of the Hershey's Kisses bag

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

48 Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
1/2C Shortening
3/4C Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3C Sugar
1/3C brown sugar
1 egg
2T milk
1tsp vanilla
1 1/2C Flour
1tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
~3T sugar, in small bowl

1. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until blended

2. Add 1/3C sugar and brown sugar, beat.

3. Add egg, milk and vanilla, beat.

4. Mix flour, baking soda and salt together, and gradually add to wet mixture.

5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, roll in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet.

6. Bake 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press one hershey's kiss into the center of the cookie. Move to wire rack to cool.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla.
Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets and place on cooling rack.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pretzel Rolls

taken from CHOW

1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp salt, plus more for sprinkling
Vegetable oil
6 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda

1. Place warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Set aside to rest until mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. (If the mixture does not bubble, either the liquid was not at the correct temperature or the yeast is old.)

2. Place flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk briefly to break up any lumps and combine. Once yeast is ready, fit the bowl on the mixer, attach a dough hook, and dump in flour mixture. Mix on the lowest setting until dough comes together, then increase to medium speed and mix until dough is elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes.

3. Form dough into a ball, place in a large oiled mixing bowl, and turn dough to coat in oil. Cover with a clean, damp dishtowel, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 30 to 35 minutes.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat paper with vegetable oil, and set aside.

5. Once dough has risen, punch it down and knead it on a floured, dry surface just until it becomes smooth and springs back when poked, about 1 minute.

6. Divide dough into 8 pieces and form into oblong rolls. Place rolls on the baking sheet and cut 4 (2-inch) diagonal slashes across the top of each. Cover with a damp towel and let dough rise in a warm place until almost doubled in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.

8. Once rolls have risen, stir baking soda into boiling water (water will foam up slightly). Boil two or three rolls for 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove rolls, drain, and place on the baking sheet, cut side up.

9. Sprinkle well with salt, and repeat with remaining rolls.

10. Once all rolls are ready, place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.

The Frenchy Burger

This is my rendition of the fabulous burger from the Blue Door Pub.

Makes 4 large burgers

1.25lbs ground hamburger
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
6 slices provolone cheese
5-6 basil leaves, minced
1 sprig oregano, leaves removed and minced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 pkg baby bella mushrooms, sauteed in butter and garlic
3/4tsp Lawry's seasoned salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
1tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 white wine
2T olive oil
1 jar Au Jus (I use Jimmy's)
4 good buns - See recipe for pretzel rolls

1. Saute onion, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and white wine over medium heat for 30 minutes, until onions are translucent.

2. In the meantime, combine hamburger, basil, oregano, Worcestershire, seasoned salt and pepper in bowl.

3. Form hamburger mixture into large, flat patties - I am talking cake plate sized.

4. Place sauteed onion mixture in center of patty and top with 1/2 slice provolone. Wrap the sides of the burger up on top of the mixture and pinch all seams closed well, or they will open when cooking.

5. Place on grill, seamed side down first. Cook for about 8 minutes on each side, to ensure meat is fully cooked on inside. 2 minutes prior to removing burgers from grill, place full slice of provolone on top to melt.

6. Place on bun and serve with a side of Au Jus.

Sides at the Blue Door Pub include sea salt french fries, beer battered green beans and tater tots. I opted to serve our burgers with tater tots and seasoned sour cream.

Mama B's Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad

1 lb chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1/2 C Louisiana Hot Sauce, or other Buffalo sauce
1- 1lb package bow tie pasta, cooked
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 small purple onion, finely chopped
3/4C blue cheese dressing - I use Lighthouse brand, in the cold case
1/2C real mayo
1/2C sour cream
1/4C blue cheese crumbles
1/4tsp celery seeds
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp black pepper

1. Add the hot sauce to uncooked chicken pieces, let marinade in refrig for 1-2 hours before cooking. Saute in frying pan with small amt of olive oil. Cool.

2. Mix wet ingredients.

3. Add everything together in large bowl. Place in refrig for at least 1 hour.

This is best prepared in advance and eaten on day 2, 3 etc.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Jerk Chicken

From LV

1 large onion, cut into 8 pieces
1 teaspoon ground ginger or tablespoon minced crystallized ginger
1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, & finely minced
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cloves garlic, crushed & minced
2C chicken stock
3 to 4 pounds chicken breasts

1. Combine onion & ginger in food processor, process until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients except chicken, & pulse until well blended.

2. Place chicken in slow cooker & cover w/ sauce, cover, set on low, and cook for 6 to 8 hours, or until chicken is tender (3-4 hours on high).

3. Shred and serve on buns.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Smothered Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts
1 pkg baby bella mushrooms
1/2C feta cheese crumbles
1 small onion
1 package (5oz) Prosciutto, grilled and crumbled
1/2 C white wine
2T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Grill chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

2. Meanwhile, saute mushrooms and onion in white wine, olive oil and garlic.

3. Crisp prosciutto on grill with chicken

4. When chicken is done, place on plate. Top with feta cheese, prosciutto, mushrooms and onion. Excellent with white wine!

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Preheat over to 375 degrees

1 lb ground hamburger
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz medium cheddar, shredded
1 C pretzels, blended to crumbs
2 eggs
1/4C mayo
1/4C ketchup
2T mustard
1T Worcestershire

Stick your hands in there and mix it all together. Form 2 loafs on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for approx 30 minutes. Slice and serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Homemade Marshmallows

1/2C cold water
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin

1/2C water
3/4C corn syrup
2C sugar

1. Place the 1/2C cold water in a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer). Add 3 envelopes gelatin and set aside.

2. In saucepan, combine 1/2C water, 3/4C corn syrup and 2 C sugar. Stirring continuously, heat over med-low until sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil with the lid on for 3 minutes.

3. Take lid off and boil until syrup reaches 240 degrees.

4. Slowly add syrup to dissolved gelatin with hand mixer, or stand mixer. When everything is mixed, increase speed of mixer to high and whip for about 15 minutes until white and fluffy.

5. Pour into greased 9X13 pan, let set.

6. Cover in powdered sugar and cut into squares. Cover cut sides with powdered sugar. Keep in sealed container.

So they're a bit time consuming, but they are SO worth it. They are soft and wonderful, but very dense. YUM!

Monster Cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3 eggs
1 1/4C packed brown sugar
1C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 12-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter, softened
3/4C m&m's
1/2C chocolate chips
4 1/2C quick-cooking oatmeal

1. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

2. In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well.

3. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well.

4. Stir in the chocolate candies, chocolate chips, baking soda, and oatmeal.

5. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

6. Bake for 8 minutes. Do not over bake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool. When cool, store in large resealable plastic bags.

PS: No, there is no flour in these cookies! It's not a typo friends!

Crock Pot Garlic Chicken

1 head garlic - peeled and kept whole
6 chicken breasts, dredged in flour
1/2 bottle white wine
2 C chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1/4C chives, chopped
1/2 tsp Lawry's seasoned salt
Rind of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2C flour
1/2 jar capers

1. Pour white wine and chicken broth in bottom of crock pot.

2. Add garlic

3. Add chicken

4. Top chicken with seasonings, capers and chives.

Cook in crock pot on high for 3 hours. Add lemon rind and lemon juice in last 15 minutes of cooking. Transfer chicken to serving dish.

In saute pan, pour in cooking liquid from crock pot. Bring to boil. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid in separate bowl. Whisk in flour until completely mixed, then add to boiling cooking liquid. Mash garlic cloves into gravy. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Pour gravy over top of chicken.

Serve with sour cream mashed potatoes and asparagus sauteed with scallions and prosciutto.

You can also use cooked garlic cloves to make garlic butter to eat with no-knead bread!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mama B's Banana Bread

Heat oven to 350 degrees

1 1/2C flour
1 1/2tsp baking powder
1/4tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
1/8tsp cinnamon
1 egg
3 overripe, mashed bananas
3/4C sugar
1/4C canola oil
1tsp finely grated lemon peel
1tsp finely grated orange peel
**optional** 1/2C walnuts, toasted pecans or chocolate chips

1. Combine dry ingredients.

2. Add egg, bananas, oil and peels. Mix well.

3. Fold in nuts and/or chocolate chips.

4. grease loaf pan. Pour batter.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Store covered at room temp for 4-5 days.

** This makes amazing French toast! Slice thick, batter and cook on griddle. Top with butter and Nutella. Seriously?? Ahhhhhh.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Puff Pancake

From La Fuji Mama
Makes approximately 12 servings (9x13-inch pan)

1/2 cup (1 cube) butter
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
6 large eggs
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
powdered sugar, for dusting when finished
strawberry/raspberry jam, to use as topping

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Melt butter in a 9x13-inch pan (I do this by putting the pan with the cube of butter in it in the oven while the oven is preheating).

3. In a blender, combine flour, milk, eggs, salt, sugar, and orange juice concentrate.

4. Pour over hot butter in pan. Bake for about 20 minutes until brown and puffy.

5. Sift powdered sugar over the top after removing from oven.

6. Dilute jam with a bit of warm water until obtaining a syrup-like consistency. Serve pancake warm with jam syrup drizzled over the top.

Fuji Mama's Sopa Pollo

Makes approximately 8 servings
From La Fuji Mama

1 Tbsp. oil
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
8 cups chicken broth
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 can (4-oz./113 g) green chilis, diced
2 cups cooked long grain rice
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 roma tomatoes, diced
2 avocados, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
sour cream, to taste
lime wedges, for garnish

1. In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, and cumin in the oil until the onion is soft and translucent.

2. Add in chicken broth, shredded chicken, and green chilis. Heat over medium-high heat until chicken is heated through. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in rice, lime juice, tomatoes, and cilantro.

4. Garnish with avocado, a dollop of sour cream, and a lime wedge.

Rainbow Potato Gratin

Adapted from Super Natural Cooking, by Heidi Swanson
Taken from La Fuji Mama, my foodie blogging hero
Serves 4-6

3 Tbsp. olive oil
4 small red potatoes, unpeeled and cut into wedges
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 carrots, cut into 2-inch long pieces (and cut in half lengthwise if thicker than your thumb)
4 green onions, trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pear, unpeeled, cored, and cut into 6 wedges
1/2 cup panko (or bread crumbs)
2/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese (grated or shaved)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and position a rack in the middle of the oven.

2. Heat olive oil in your largest ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. In a single layer, add the potatoes, onions, sweet potato, carrots, and green onions and toss to coat. Try not to overcrowd the pan, or the vegetables will steam and not brown. If you don't have a big enough pan, split the ingredients between two skillets. Saute over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan a couple of times along the way. The vegetables should start to brown a bit and be tender but not mushy.

3. Remove from heat and sprinkle with a generous dose of salt and pepper. Stir in the pear wedges.

4. If you don't have an ovenproof skillet, transfer the ingredients to an ovenproof baking dish or casserole. Sprinkle with all the panko and half of the Parmesan cheese (don't stir).

5. Place uncovered in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, tossing the vegetables with a metal spatula about halfway through. The potatoes and carrots should be golden, crispy, and caramelized where they touch the pan and soft and tender inside. When everything is caramelized and fragrant, remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Serve.

40 Clove Garlic Chicken

From a Year of Crockpotting
Take from La Fuji Mama
6 servings

3-4 pounds chicken
1 large onion, sliced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. pepper
20-40 garlic cloves, peeled, but intact

1. Place onion slices on the bottom of the crockpot (mine is a 6-quart oval crockpot).

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper, and garlic cloves. Add chicken and toss to coat. Pour into crockpot on top of the onion slices. Do not add water.

3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6. The longer you cook chicken-on-the bone, the more tender it will be. If you use drumsticks, the ones on the side will brown and may stick to the sides of the crockpot, burning a bit. To avoid this, you can rearrange them with tongs an hour before serving.

Potato Focaccia "Cupcakes"

Potato Focaccia Cupcakes
From La Fuji Mama

Adapted from The Wednesday Chef
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 medium Yukon Gold potato
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 tsp. active dry yeast
A pinch of sugar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for salting water
2/3 cup warm water
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (the kind packed in oil), drained and chopped
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Coarse sea salt

1. Wash the potato and place in a small saucepan along with enough water to cover the potato by an inch. Place the pot over high heat, covered, and bring to a boil. Add a handful of kosher salt to the water. Simmer until the potato is tender when pierced with a knife, around 20 minutes. Drain the potato and let it cool. Peel the potato and mash finely with a fork. Set aside.

2. Put the yeast in a large mixing bowl along with a pinch of sugar. Add the warm water in a thin stream over the yeast, using a fork to help dissolve the yeast entirely. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes.

3. Pour the flour into the yeast mixture and stir with a fork, then add the mashed potato, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and dried oregano. The dough will be relatively thick and shaggy. Use the fork to incorporate the potato into the flour. Add sun dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and begin to knead the dough by hand. It will come together quite quickly. Knead against the bowl for a minute or so, until it is relatively smooth. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest, covered with a kitchen towel, in the bowl for an hour.

4. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners and spray over the top with cooking spray. Divide up the dough into 12 equal balls and gently tug and pat each ball into a cupcake liner so that it fits into the liner.

5. Sprinkle a small pinch of coarse sea salt over the top of each cupcake and then drizzle with 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil, and let rest for another hour.

6. While the focaccia is resting, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cupcake pans in the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Let cool on a rack.

Onion Herb Cheese Frosting
1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Mix everything together and let sit at least 2 hours in the fridge before using.

Spread generously over focaccia cupcakes.

Mama B's Tomatillo Salsa

This is another original recipe - as always, measurements are approximate!

1/2-1lb tomatillos, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small purple onion, chopped
1 jar mild green chile's, chopped fine
1/4C cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 bag arugula, chopped fine
1/2 jar green olives, chopped fine
Rind of 1 lime
Juice of 1-2 limes
1tsp salt, more to taste
1-2Tbsp Tequila
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Combine everything and let sit in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, best of left overnight.

This is a great salsa to use for my Margarita Enchiladas!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Greek Pockets

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1 pkg premade pizza dough (I use Trader Joe's)
1 bag prewashed spinach
1/2 onion, minced
3-4 chicken breasts, seasoned with lemon, salt and pepper and cooked (I grilled). You can also use rotisserie
1 small container feta cheese
2 cups Basmati rice, cooked
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lemon, wedged
1 container Trader Joe's Taziki sauce

1. Sautee spinach, onion, garlic, salt and pepper until spinach is wilted and onions are translucent. 2. Flour a work surface and roll out pizza dough. Divide in 4.
3. Place 1/2C rice, 1/2C chicken, scoop of sauteed spinach mixture on dough center
4. Sprinkle with feta
5. Bring edges of dough together and pinch. Turn upside down and brush with egg white.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until bread is browned. Remove from oven and plate, top with Taziki sauce and drizzle with lemon juice.

Katie's French Bread

From La Fuji Mama

Makes 2 large loaves

1 1/2 Tbsp. or 2 packets (1/4 oz./7 g each) dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 cups hot water
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 cup oil
5 - 6 cups all-purpose flour

1. Dissolve yeast, warm water, and sugar in a small bowl.
2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine hot water, granulated sugar, salt, and oil. Add 3 cups of flour to the mixture in the large bowl/mixer and mix well. Stir in yeast mixture.
3. Add 2 - 3 cups more flour and mix until well blended. (At this point your dough will still be quite sticky). Leave in bowl and let rise for 1 hour, mixing a few strokes a couple of times during the hour.
4. Divide dough into 2 (or 3 if you want smaller loaves) pieces. Roll out each piece on a floured surface into the length desired then roll up length wise like a jelly roll.
5. Put on a greased cookie sheet, sealed side down, and tuck the ends under. Slash the top diagonally across the top every couple of inches with a sharp knife. Brush with egg white. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Let loaves rise 30 more minutes.
6. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lemon Marinade

Juice of 2 lemons
Rind of 2 lemons
1/4 C Olive Oil
1/2 C White wine (I used Chardonnay)
Fresh basil, finely minced
Fresh oregano, finely minced
1tsp crushed garlic (I use Trader Joe's)
1T stone ground Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

Whisk together for approx 2 minutes. Pour over chicken or fish and marinade for 3-4 hours. Grill over low heat. You can also use this as a vinaigrette for a lettuce, veggie or pasta salad.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Almond Sour Cream Pound Cake


1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, plus more for pan
3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup sour cream
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 eggs
2 teaspoons almond extract (yes this is a lot, but much of the flavor will bake off if you dont use this much.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 cake rounds (I used a 12 inch and a 8 inch springform).
In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar together and then add sour cream. Sift flour and baking soda together. Add to creamed mixture, alternately with eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add extracts and stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cool cake in pan for about 10 minutes and then unmold and cool completely on a wire rack. Frost cake when completely cooled.

Almond Buttercream Frosting:

1 stick butter, softned
1/2 pkg cream cheese
3 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
With an electric mixer, cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Slowly beat in the sugar until smooth and creamy and sweetened to your liking (about 2 minutes). Add almond extract and stir to blend. Frost cake when fully cooled. If you are not using the frosting immediately, store it, covered, in the refrigerator and then bring it to room temperature just prior to using.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake

1 box devils food cake mix
1 box instant chocolate pudding (3.4 oz.)
4 eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. Wesson oil
12 oz. milk chocolate chips
Combine ingredients in large bowl. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed with electric mixer. Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. When cool, turn on to cake plate and dust with powdered sugar.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Adapted from Skip To My Lou

1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives
1/2 cup drained kalamata olives
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup roughly chopped pickled cauliflower
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped carrot
1/2 cup pepperoncini, drained
1/4 cup marinated cocktail onions
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil (I omitted)
2 (1 pound) loaves Italian bread
8 ounces thinly sliced Genoa salami
8 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
8 ounces sliced mortadella
8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
8 ounces sliced provolone cheese

To Make Olive Salad: In food processor, combine the green olives, kalamata olives, garlic, cauliflower, capers, celery, carrot, pepperoncini, cocktail onions, celery seed, oregano, basil, black pepper, vinegar, olive oil and canola oil. Mix together and transfer mixture into a glass jar (or other nonreactive container). If needed, pour in more oil to cover. Cover jar or container and refrigerate at least overnight.

To Make Sandwiches: Cut loaves of bread in half horizontally; hollow out some of the excess bread to make room for filling. Spread each piece of bread with equal amounts olive salad, including oil. Layer ‘bottom half’ of each loaf with 1/2 of the salami, ham, mortadella, mozzarella and Provolone. Replace ‘top half’ on each loaf and cut sandwich into quarters.

Serve immediately, or wrap tightly and refrigerate for a few hours; this will allow for the flavors to mingle and the olive salad to soak into the bread.

For the bread, try my recipe for No Knead Bread

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chicken Noodle Caserole

From: The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

1 package of egg noodles
6 tablespoons butter
½ small onion, chopped
1-10 oz package of mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 - 16 ounce container of sour cream
4 cups chicken, cubed (1 rotisserie chicken, meat picked off the bone, shredded)
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
salt and pepper


2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 350.
Bring water to a boil and cook noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside in colander.
Melt 2 tablespoons of better in a sautee pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, ½ teaspoon salt and some pepper. Cook until most of the water has evaporated out of the mushrooms. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and let it melt.
Add the flour and stir until it becomes lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds.
Gradually whisk in broth and sour cream. Let it cook 5 to 7 minutes, but don’t let it boil, you just want it to thicken.
Stir in the chicken, noodles, parsley & thyme. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Transfer the filling into a greased 3-quart baking dish while you prepare the topping.
To make the topping:
Mix all the topping ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle on top of the casserole.
Bake until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Antipasto Squares

From: The Cutting Edge of Oridinary

2 large packages Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1/4 lb ham, thinly sliced
1/4 lb Provolone cheese, thinly sliced
1/4 pound Genoa salami, thinly sliced
1/4 pound, Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
1/4 pound pepperoni, thinly sliced
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
Dash pepper
Dijon Mustard, for dipping

Lightly spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Open one package of crescent rolls, unrolling in one piece and press it into the bottom of the pan. Make sure you push together all the little perforations. Layer meat and cheese in the order listed above. The 1/4 pound is an estimate. Just keep layering until it covers the pan. Do not overlap the pieces. One note - try to use baked ham instead of cooked ham. Cooked ham can sometimes be too watery. If you do use cooked ham, microwave it on paper towels for a few seconds to get some of the wetness out of the meat.In a medium bowl add eggs, cheese, pepper and Mrs. Dash. Pour most of the egg mixture on top of the meat and cheese, reserving a small amount. Top with second package of crescent rolls and brush and brush with remaining egg mixture. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until top is golden brown. Let cool a bit before cutting into squares so the cheese does not ooze out the sides. Serve warm or room temperature. Dip in Dijon Mustard or your favorite Italian dressing.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

From: Big Red Kitchen

2- 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 - 4 ounce can chopped green chili's (do not drain)
1 - 4 ounce can sliced jalapenos (do not drain) - double if you like heat
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup butter, melted

In a food processor add cream cheese, mayonnaise, Mexican cheese, green chili's, jalapenos and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Spread the dip into a greased (I used butter) 2-quart casserole dish. In a bowl mix bread crumbs and the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Pour melted butter over the crumb mixture and mix well.Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the dip and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. The top should be browned and the dip bubbling on the edges. Do not over heat or the mayonnaise will separate and a grease puddle will form in the middle of your dip. Serve with buttery crackers, French baguette or chips. Serves 8-10.

Corn Chowder

From: Good 2B Me

1/3 cup butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3 large potatoes, cooked, peeled and cubed (I used 2-1/2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes and cubed them small enough to cook in the soup)
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large package frozen sweet corn, thawed
4-1/2 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup sour cream
In a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté onion until it is clear. Add chicken broth.
Whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Stir until smooth. While stirring, gradually add milk.
Add in potatoes, bacon, corn and parsley flakes.
Continue to heat over medium to low heat, stirring frequently until chowder has thickened, about 30 minutes.
Remove from heat. Whisk in grated cheese and sour cream, stir until cheese has melted.
Serve in hollowed out bread bowls.

Cousin Jack Pasties

From La Fuji Mama

Medium Rich Pie Crust
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 c. shortening
ice water, as needed

1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in half the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Cut in the remaining shortening until the mixture is the size of peas.
2. Add ice water a little at a time, toss gently and push to the side of the bowl. Repeat until all the flour is moistened. Knead the pastry lightly with fingertips until the pastry cleans the bowl. Form pastry into 2 flat rounds, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.

Grind, measure and mix together:
1 1/2 cup raw potatoes
1 cup raw carrots
1/2 cup raw turnips
3/4 cup raw onions1
1/2 lbs. hamburger
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Assembling the pasties:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Pat out 1 round of pastry on a lightly floured surface, then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out dough into a rough 11-inch square about 1/8-inch thick. (It does not have to be perfect!) Using a knife cut the dough into 4 pieces.
3. Place a scoop of the filling (1/8th of the mixture) in the center of each of the 4 pieces. Pull the sides of the pastry up around the filling and pinch on top, forming a ball. Prick tops to allow steam to escape.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with second round of pastry. Place pasties on baking sheets and bake in oven for one hour. Serve with ketchup, chili sauce or gravy.

Not your Mama's Potato Soup

From one of my FAV blogs, La Fuji Mama

4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup diced cooked ham
1 quart chicken stock
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
8 slices bacon, cooked to a crisp
crumbled goat cheese, finely sliced green onions, salt, and pepper--for garnishing

1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and chicken stock in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon.
2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk, as not to allow lumps to form, until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Top each bowl of soup with one slice of crumbled bacon, a tablespoon (or more!) of crumbled goat cheese, some sliced green onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Take a bite . . . swoon . . . enjoy!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Egg Noodles

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter

In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the beaten egg, milk, and butter. Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Let rest in a covered bowl for 10 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut the noodles in desired width with a pizza cutter. You can also use small cookie cutters to cut different shapes. Lay noodles out on stacked cookie sheets and allow to air dry before cooking, 30-40 minutes (until no longer moist and sticky).
Cook pasta in a large pot with boiling salted water cook until al dente.
This is also a great quick dough for ravioli......Butternut squash with sage brown butter perhaps?? Mama B's FAV!

Fettuccine Carbonara

Adapted from the bon appetit magazine

4 large eggs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 oz thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon), finely chopped
12 oz egg fettuccine
1 medium bunch broccoli rabe (rapini), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
grated rind from 1/2 of a lemon

Whisk 4 eggs, both cheeses, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl; set aside. Cook pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to small bowl.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender (about 3 minutes less than package directions); add broccoli rabe. Cook just until broccoli rabe is crisp-tender and pasta is tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain pasta-broccoli rabe mixture, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Return hot pasta-broccoli rabe mixture to pot (off heat). Immediately add egg-cheese mixture, pancetta, and 1/4 cup hot cooking liquid; quickly toss to combine, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten as needed. Season to taste with salt and more pepper, if desired. Sprinkle with lemon juice and rind. Serve hot.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tortellini Ala Fini

My rendition of my favorite dish from Mama Maria's in Hudson, WI

1 package dry cheese tortellini
1 pkg prosciutto, crisped and crumbled
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1 package baby mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1C baby sweet peas
1/2C white wine

Parmesan Bechamel:

5T butter
1/2C flour
4C whole milk, warmed
3/4C Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cook tortellini as directed on package. Saute mushrooms, onion and garlic in white wine. Add peas at end to warm. Meanwhile, melt 5T butter in sauce pan. Slowly add flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Gradually add WARM milk. Whisk constantly for 5 minutes, but do not boil. Add salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Place tortellini in a large serving bowl. Add mushroom mixture, prosciutto and bechamel sauce and combine. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese and serve hot.
Can add chicken sauteed in white wine for complete meal.

Stuffed Peppers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

4 large green peppers, tops cut off and cleaned out
2C basmati rice, cooked
1lb hamburger
2 cans tomato juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
1 can stewed herbed tomatoes (I use Muir Glenn organic)
1/2C shredded Parmesan cheese
1tsp salt
1tsp pepper
1 egg

Saute hamburger, onion and garlic in 1 can tomato juice. Turn heat off. In same pan, add rice, stewed tomatoes, cheese, salt, pepper and raw egg. Stuff peppers with rice mixture and pour 2nd can of tomato juice over top (can use a jar of marinara sauce instead). Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Plum Chicken Kabobs and Fruited Bulgar

Chicken Marinade:

1/2 jar plum jam
2T soy sauce
1/4C olive oil

Whisk together and add raw cubed chicken. Best to marinade in refrigerator overnight. Place on skewers and grill over medium heat.

3C cooked bulgar
1/4C olive oil
1/2C orange juice (make from concentrate, and have dilution strong)
1 can mandarin oranges
1C purple grapes, halved
1T sage, minced
3T parsley, chopped

Combine and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Roasted Citrus and Garlic Turkey

1 turkey

Brine Injection:

1C chicken stock
1C fresh orange juice
1T orange zest
1T lemon zest
1/4C kosher salt
2T light brown sugar

Fresh springs rosemary
8-10 clove garlic, halved
1 bunch fresh sage
1 bunch fresh basil

Lift skin from turkey without removing. Slide rosemary, garlic, sage and basil evenly under skin.
Combine brine injection and place in injector. Inject into turkey in several places. Place in roasting pan and roast as directed on turkey. When finished roasting, remove herbs from under skin, slice and serve.

This is also great for chicken, using breasts with skin on and baking @ 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

1 rotisserie chicken or 1lb chicken breasts, cooked and diced
3C wild rice, cooked
1/4C white wine
2C carrots, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
3-4T fresh parsley, minced
1 container (16oz) sour cream
2 family sized cans cream of chicken soup
20-24oz chicken stock
6-8 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer carrots, garlic and onion in chicken stock and white wine until carrots are soft and onions are translucent. Add chicken, wild rice, parsley, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, bacon, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 20-30 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning on bottom of pan. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. If soup is too thick, add milk or more chicken stock to achieve desired consistency.

Greek Orzo Chicken

1lb chicken breasts or 1 rotisserie chicken
1pkg orzo pasta (looks like fat grains of rice)
2C frozen spinach or 1 bag fresh spinach
1-2T olive oil
1/2C feta cheese
1T lemon peel
1-2T lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2tsp black pepper
1/2tsp salt
1 tomato, diced

Saute spinach, garlic, salt and pepper, lemon peel, and lemon juice in olive oil. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and grill, bake or saute. If using rotisserie chicken, remove meat from bone and slice. Cook pasta. Drain and add feta cheese. Place orzo in large serving bowl. Top with spinach mixture and chicken. Sprinkle with feta and tomato. Can add lemon wedges to the side to use if wanted.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Split Pea Soup

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

1C chopped yellow onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8C good olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2C medium-diced carrots (4 carrots)
1-2C Ham, diced small
1T fresh lemon juice
Rind from 1 lemon
1C medium-diced red boiling potatoes, peeled (3 small)
1 lb dried split green peas
10 cups chicken stock

In a large stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, ham, potatoes, split peas, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 60 minutes, or until peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Blend with hand mixer if desired. Serve hot.

Dill Meatballs

From LV

Meatballs, 5 lbs. pre-made (I use 6 lb. club store bag)*
¾C chopped onion (one medium)
1/4C melted butter (use a little more)*
2C chicken broth
¼C flour
¼ tsp salt
1T dill weed (yes, this is a lot)*
16oz Top-the-Tator or sour cream

Heat meatballs in large roaster with a small amount of water on bottom. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. You do not have to pre-roast the meatballs, but you might have a lot of grease in the sauce if you don't.

While the meatballs are roasting, saute onion in butter until tender. Whisk a small amount of chicken broth and the flour together, then add that mixture and the rest of the chicken broth, salt, dill and Top-the-Tater to the pan with the onions and butter.

Drain excessive water/juice from heated meatballs and dump meatballs into very large crock pot (if serving as an appetizer). Pour warm sauce over heated meatballs and stir.
If making for dinner, serve over egg noodles.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Puppy Chow

9C rice chex cereal
1C chocolate chips
1/2C peanut butter
1/4C butter
1tsp vanilla
1 1/2C powdered sugar

Combine everything but cereal in bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and continue to microwave in 30 second increments until smooth. Add vanilla. Place cereal in large bowl, pour warm mixture over cereal and mix. Place in brown grocery bag, add powdered sugar and shake well to coat. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in air tight container.

Margarita Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3/4C pre-made margarita mix (I use Williams-Sonoma)
3 egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2C crushed graham crackers
1/3-1/2C butter, melted

Mix crushed graham crackers and butter (start with 1/3C butter) until it forms a loose, crumbly dough. Pat crust mixture into 9"X9" pan. Mix remaining 3 ingredients together and pour into crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool and refrigerate.

Raspberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Adapted from a recipe from my mom
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 loaf french bread, cubed (about 1")
4C milk
3 eggs
2C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3T butter
1/2 bag white chocolate chips
1/3C raspberry preserves or 1 container fresh raspberries

1C sugar
1/2C butter, melted
1 egg
1/4C whiskey

Beat milk, eggs, sugar, raspberry preserves and vanilla. With large spoon, mix in bread and white chocolate chips and let sit for 20-30 minutes. In the mean time, melt butter and pour in the bottom of a 9"X13" pan. Place pan on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Mix all ingredients together in sauce pan, making sure egg is fully mixed in. Simmer on stove, stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes, until sugar is fully melted.

For a traditional bread pudding, omit raspberry preserves and white chocolate chips, and add 3/4 C raisins (soaked in 1/2C whiskey for 1 hour) and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

Unbaked Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

3C Sugar
1/3C cocoa powder
3/4C milk
1/2C butter
1 tsp vanilla
3/4C peanut butter
5C quick oatmeal

Mix sugar and cocoa in large, heavy pan. Stir in milk. Bring to boil over medium heat. When at a full boil, add butter. Do not stir. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla, oatmeal and peanut butter. Drop spoon fulls onto waxed paper and allow to set (at least 2 hours, up to 12 hours). Store in a covered pan.

Lemon Bars

From my mom

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2C flour
1C butter
1/2C powdered sugar
4 eggs
2C white sugar
3T flour
1T brown sugar
4T lemon juice
2T lemon rind (from about 2 lemons)

Mix flour, butter and powdered sugar. Pat into 9"X13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Mix in remaining ingredients and pour over crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and loosen edges with knife. Let cool fully - cut and serve.

New Orleans Sugar Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1/2C butter
1C sugar
1 egg
1T milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2tsp baking soda
1 3/4C + 2T flour

Sift salt, baking soda and flour together*. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk, vanilla and 1/4 C of the flour mix at a time. Place dough on plastic wrap and form into a tube. Chill for 8 hours. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 minutes.

*If you don't have a sifter, you can sift the flour mixture in a wire kitchen strainer. Just add the flour mixture and tap the sides. Repeat 2-3 times.

Graham Cracker Toffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2pkg graham crackers, snapped in half (to make 2 squares)
1C butter
1C brown sugar
1 bag chocolate chips
1 1/2 C toasted pecans

Line cookie sheet with graham crackers. Melt butter over medium heat and add brown sugar. Bring to rolling boil and cook for 2 minutes without stirring. Pour hot mixture over crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with choc chips and toasted pecans. remove from pan and place on cooling rack immediately. Let fully cool before serving.

Raspberry Almond Squares

From NK
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

1/4C sliced almonds
1/2C butter
12oz white chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/2C sugar
1C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp almond extract
3/4C raspberry preserves

Grease and flour a 9" square pan. Toast almonds. Melt 1C choc chips and the butter in a pan over low heat, stirring constantly. Set aside.
Beat eggs until foamy, adding sugar gradually. Beat at high speed until mixture is lemon colored. Stir into melted chocolate mixture. Add flour, salt and almond extract - mix on low speed. Spread 1/2 the batter into pan and bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and add remaining chocolate chips to top. Melt jam and spread on crust. Add remaining batter and almonds. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes.