Sunday, January 31, 2010

Toffee Dip

From: Jess

1 8oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1/2C brown sugar
1/4C granulated sugar
1tsp vanilla
1 bag Heath toffee chips (w/o chocolate)

Place cream cheese, sugars and vanilla in bowl and mix for 2 minutes. Fold in toffee chips 1/2 hour prior to serving. Serve with tart apples.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mama B's Marinara Sauce

Makes 12, 16oz jars

1 stick butter
4 large onions
8 cloves garlic
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
1/4 C soy
3T Worcestershire sauce
1C Cabernet (I use 3 buck Chuck from TJ's)
2- 6lb cans crushed tomatoes (the institution sized can at you're local warehouse store - they're less than $3/each)
10-12 leaves of basil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1. Slice your onions and place in large stock pot (I'm talking LARGE). Mince garlic and add to pot as well. Add butter, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire and Cabernet to onions and garlic and simmer covered over low/medium heat for 1 hour.

2. Remove stock pot from heat and spoon onion mixture (juices included) into blender of food processor and puree until smooth (unless you like chunky sauce, then just set to grind for 20 seconds). Pour mixture back into stock pot.

3. Puree crushed tomatoes if desired. Add to stock pot with onion mixture.

4. Chop and add basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to sauce. Cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours. Be sure not to scrape the bottom of the pot with the spoon. If there is any sauce burnt to the bottom and you scrape it up, it will ruin the sauce.

5. Remove from heat and spoon into 12 quart sized containers (I have been using these and LOVE them - they have a twist top). Freeze for future use.

This sauce ended up costing me $0.83/jar vs. the $5 I usually spend. I use red sauce in cooking about once/2 weeks, so this is a cost savings of over $100/yr!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

2 days, 3 More Dresses for the Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Design Challenge

Biron, WI - Population: 810.
The majority of this dress was cut from a 34 yr old t-shirt previously worn by my MIL, who grew up in Biron. I re-purposed the original sleeves into the current sleeves, and had enough left over to cut out and applique the remaining sleeve fabric on the skirt of the dress - front and back. I appliqued and embroidered the white star on the side. Yesterday the Pink Floyd dress (pictured below) was my hubby's favorite - today it is this one!

Next up is the Pink Floyd dress. My hubby found this t-shirt (yes, I have him searching out t's now) and had to have a dress made out of it. It was a 3T - not quite big enough - so I had to cut out the logo and embroider it onto a different chest piece.

Check out those baby blue eyes! You can just see the sassy is her face....

The waist piece is cut from a pair of 3T leggings.

The last dress for today comes from a men's Scooby Doo tee. The waist piece and sleeves are cut from a long sleeve. The neckband and skirt are from a t-shirt we tie dyed for PBJ's birthday party favors.

I have 5 more dresses cut out. I don't think I am ever going to buy clothes for PBJ again!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ginger Soy Glaze

1/4C honey
1/4C soy sauce
1/4C balsamic vinegar
3T olive oil
1 1/2tsp ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2T parsley, finely chopped
chives, for garnish

Combine all ingredients. Pour over your favorite fish or chicken. Cover dish and refrigerate for several hours. Place in baking dish and bake in marinade. When serving, pour remaining from baking dish over meat and top with chives.

My experience:
Bake salmon at 400 degrees for 18 minutes.
Bake chicken at 400 degrees for 22 minutes.

This would also make a wonderful dipping sauce for pot stickers or egg rolls, or a stir-fry sauce.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Design Challenge

Here are my first 2 attempts at the Lil Blue Boo "Sienna Dress" pattern. All you need to make a dress are a couple of old t-shirts and an hour of your time! I am so happy with how they turned out, and more importantly, PBJ loves them! Get your {fab} pattern at Lil Blue Boo.

I drew out a pattern for the sock monkey and then appliqued it onto this dress. I added button eyes and a heavy ruffle to the bottom hem. Yes, PBJ is being a monkey in this photo......shocker, I know.
Miss PBJ was actually cooperative for this picture! She loves this dress.

The chest piece is from a Paul Frank t-shirt I got at the Goodwill for $2. I appliqued black hearts on the skirt, and a double heart on the back.
I have plans to make many, many more of these dresses! They are quick, and unique.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mama B's Tomato Basil Soup

6lb canned, crushed tomatoes (I used the industrial sized can from Sam's Club - it was only $2)
1 pint half & half or cream
1 stick butter
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch fresh basil -OR- 3-4T pesto
1/2 can of OJ concentrate - DO NOT add water
1C chicken stock
1/2C milk
salt and pepper

1. Chop onion and garlic, saute in stock pot with butter until onion becomes translucent. Meanwhile, get out your blender or food processor.

2. Puree the onions, garlic and butter. Start adding tomatoes 1 C at a time to the blender, puree until smooth and pour into large stock pot. Continue working in batches until all of the tomatoes are pureed. Be sure to toss in your fresh basil or pesto with some tomatoes and puree as well.

3. Place on stove top over low heat. Add cream, OJ concentrate (just the concentrate, do not add water), chicken stock and milk. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Let simmer for 2-3 hours, the longer the simmer at the lowest heat makes the best soups.

5. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches - My fav uses the No-knead bread recipe I have posted here - topped with smoked gouda and apple slices.

**Add apples to the puree mixture for a sweeter soup.
**Add 2C of cooked, pureed carrots for a heartier soup.

This soup freezes very well.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Apple Pannekoeken {Puff Pancake}

1C flour
1C milk
6 eggs
2 apples
2T butter
Powdered sugar for dusting

1. Peel, core and thinly slice apples. Set aside.

2. Melt butter and pour into 9X13" baking dish. Spread butter thouroughly, including sides of dish.

3. Combine eggs and milk in large bowl. Add flour slowly, whisking continuously to avoid lumps.

4. Pour batter into buttered dish. Top batter with layers of apple. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until pancake is puffed and golden.

6. Dust with powdered sugar or top with maple syrup.