24 December, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Butter

Crock-pot Spiced Pumpkin Butter ingredients (12)
Makes about 1 to 1.5 cups
1 navel orange, washed and dried
1 (29-oz) can pure pumpkin purée
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1.5-oz (3 Tbsp) fresh orange juice (about 1/2 medium navel orange)
1.5-oz (3 Tbsp) apple cider
1.5-oz (3 Tbsp) Frangelico® Hazelnut Liqueur
0.5-oz (1 Tbsp) unsulphured molasses
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1.5 tsp freshly-ground dried orange peel

Notes:  (Since I fell asleep,) I cooked for a total of 12.5 hours on the Low setting. Next time, I suspect 10 hours will be sufficient.

Crock-pot Spiced Pumpkin Butter directions
Cut and dry fresh orange peel
Preheat oven to 200ºF. Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to remove the orange zest in long strips about 1/2-inch wide without the white part underneath. After the first strip, stop and take a minute to look at the back; adjust your pressure to avoid the white part because it is bitter. Remove all of the bitter white part from all of the strips; it will ruin this dish.

Spread the long strips on a foil-covered baking sheet; bake in the preheated 200ºF oven until dried, about 30 minutes.

When the orange zest is dried (crunchy, but not burned), remove from the oven; set aside briefly. Hold dried peel strips over mortar and use kitchen shears to snip into 1/8-inch-wide pieces. Then, use a pestle to finely grind the dried orange peel; you should have about 1.5 tsp.

Cook down pumpkin
While you are drying the orange peel, add pumpkin purée and next nine (9) ingredients (through cloves) to the crock-pot. Stir well and cook, uncovered, on High.

Stir the ground orange peel into the crock-pot mixture; cover and reduce heat to Low setting. Cook until mixture thickens to desired consistency, about ## hours more; stir about every two (2) hours. Be sure to run spoon around the edge and turn over towards the center of the crock-pot. Adjust spices and sweetness if necessary; keep in mind the flavors will strengthen as it cooks down and then cools.

Purée and ladle into jars
Turn off crock-pot; purée using an immersible blender. If it's too thick, add a splash of apple cider; stir in and purée again. Once cooled, you can store either in the freezer or the refrigerator.

For freezer storage up to ## months, ladle into clean and dry freezer-safe containers.

For refrigerator storage up to ## days, spoon through a funnel into clean and dry glass jars, pressing the mixture with the back of a spoon to eliminate air-pockets; cap securely.

Inspired by Helen Witty, The Good Stuff Cookbook (New York: Workman Publishing Company, 1997), 302 - 303 and Kevin at Closet Cooking.

23 December, 2012

Cream Cheese Spreads

This post contains six recipes for cream cheese spreads to accompany bagels or breakfast breads. 

  • Cinnamon-Raisin Spread
  • Creamy Cinnamon Spread
  • Espresso Spread
  • Pumpkin Spread
  • Tropical Spread
  • Zesty Pineapple Spread

Cinnamon-Raisin Spread ingredients
Makes about 1 cup
1 (8-oz) container soft cream cheese
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For serving
Pumpkin Bread (View Fay's recipe.)

Process all ingredients in a food processor until raisins are coarsely chopped and the mixture is well blended. 

The Cinnamon-Raisin Spread recipe is from Christmas Gifts of Good Taste: Book 1 (Little Rock: Leisure Arts, Inc, 1997), 30. 

Creamy Cinnamon Spread ingredients
Makes about 1 cup
1 (8-oz) pkg Neufchâtel cheese, softened
3 Tbsp sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For serving
Bagels or
Brownie Nut Bread

In a small bowl, use an electric mixer to beat all ingredients until well blended. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

The Creamy Cinnamon Spread recipe is recipe is from In The Nick of Time Edited by Anne Van Wagner Childs (Little Rock: Leisure Arts, Inc, 1994), 106.

Espresso Spread ingredients
Makes enough for 14 muffins
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules, crushed
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Small amount boiling water
4-oz Neufchâtel cheese, softened

1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Dissolve coffee granules and sugar in the vanilla and a small amount of boiling water; cool. Blend together all ingredients.

Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Slightly adapts original recipe.

Pumpkin Spread ingredients
Makes enough for 6 servings
8-oz Neufchâtel cheese, softened
1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
5 Tbsp brown sugar honey to taste

For serving:
Toasted bagels or
Whole wheat toast

In a medium bowl, beat all ingredients until smooth. Cover and refrigerate to allow the flavors to marry, about an hour. Serve on toasted bagel or warm biscuits.

Slightly adapts Barns and Noodles.

Tropical Spread ingredients
Makes 2/3 cup
8-oz Neufchâtel cheese, softened
2 Tbsp apricot preserves
1/4 cup crushed pineapple
2 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup flaked coconut

For serving
Banana nut bread slices

Combine all ingredients except coconut; mix until well blended. Add coconut and mix well; chill.

Bring to room temperature before serving.

The Tropical Spread recipe from my card files is marked 1985.

Zesty Pineapple Spread ingredients
Makes about 4 cups
2 (8-oz each) pkgs Neufchâtel cheese, softened
2 (8-oz each ) cans crushed pineapple, well drained
1 (8-oz) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
3 Tbsp finely chopped green onion
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp garlic salt

For serving

In a medium bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Stir in remaining ingredients (through garlic salt). Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Slightly adapts Zesty Pineapple Spread recipe is from Christmas Gifts of Good Taste: Book 1 (Little Rock: Leisure Arts, Inc, 1997), 37. 

Breakfast and Brunch > Sweet Dips / Spreads

Page Last Updated 29 April 2015

22 December, 2012


Gala apple image credit

Crock-Pot Applesauce #1
Makes about ....  
5 medium Gala apples (photo above)
4 medium to large Braeburn apples
1 medium to large Pacific Rose apple
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup apple cider
Pinch of ground cloves

Freshly ground nutmeg, no substitution

Notes:  The flavors will become more concentrated as the applesauce cooks down; however, if you think it's too tart, add a bit more sugar during the later cooking hours.

Near the end of cooking, if you think there's too much liquid, leave the lid off so it can evaporate.

Next time, dice the apples.  View Apple Butter recipes and Test Results.

Wash the apples; dry. Remove apple peels and set aside in a soup-size bowl.

Quarter and core apples; evenly slice and place in large bowl. In a small bowl, toss together sugar and cinnamon; add to sliced apples and toss.

Pour seasoned apple slices into crock-pot; sprinkle the cloves over the top.

Cook on High for 5 hours, periodically checking.

Stir, taste and adjust at 2.5 hours; use a slotted spoon to gently bring the apples from the bottom to the top. Continue in a clock-wise fashion, up and over until all of the apples are coated with the hot cinnamon-cider mixture.

Two hours later (hour 4.5), and tilting the cover sideways to retain heat, use a slotted spoon to gently stir the apples over from bottom to top. Then, with the edge of the slotted spoon, break larger apple pieces. Taste and adjust flavor; cover and continue cooking.

After the apples are completely soft, and if you desire a smoother consistency, purée using an immersible blender. The mixture is very hot so be careful!

Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any remaining servings.

Crock-Pot #1 apple selection and cooking time inspired by the Cookin' Canuck Family Recipe


Granny Smith apple image credit

Granny Smith (photo) Test — Use 10 to 14 apples (about 5-LBS), 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon, 0.5 to 1.5 tsp ground allspice, dash of Kosher salt and 1/3 cup apple cider.

Rome apple image credit

Rome Apple (photo) Test — 

Page Last Updated December 24, 2012

Black & Red Bean Soup

Black & Red Bean Soup ingredients
Makes about 6-quarts
4-quarts Smoked Ham Stock with vegetables
2 (15.5-oz) can black beans, rinsed well
1 (15.5-oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed well
1 (10-oz) can Original Ro-Tel Tomatoes & Green Chilies

About 1.5 to 2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
About 1 tsp dried basil
Lemon-Pepper to taste
Granulated garlic to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley

Use Andouille Stock instead of the Ham Hock Stock. Reduce black beans to 1 can and increase red beans to 2 cans.

Bring the Smoked Ham Stock to a boil.

Add all remaining ingredients and cook for about 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to Medium; cover and cook for 3 hours.

At this point, serve or (fans of soft beans cook for at least 4 more hours) reduce heat to Low and continue simmering overnight. Refrigerate any remaining portions.

Savory Cheesecake

This post contains two links and two recipes.

Blue Cheese, Dried Cranberry
and Pecan Cheesecake

Cheddar Bacon & Chive
Savory Cheesecake

Mexican Cheesecake ingredients
Makes 16 servings
1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
2 Tbsp butter, softened
8-oz cottage cheese
24-oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
8-oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 small can green chilies
8-oz sour cream
8-oz jalapeno cheddar cheese dip

Chopped tomatoes
Sliced black olives
Chopped green onions

Combine the chips and butter and press into the bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

Process the cottage cheese, cream cheese, eggs (added one at a time), cheddar cheese and green chilies. Pour into the springform pan and bake for 1 hour at 325ºF.

Remove from the oven. Mix together the sour cream and cheese dip; spread over the cheesecake. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour before removing from the springform pan.

Before serving, sprinkle the top with the tomatoes, black olives and green onions.

This recipe makes a dozen savory cheesecakes, each the size of a cupcake.

Mini Herb Cheesecake ingredients
Makes 12 servings
12 pumpernickel crackers
2 (8-oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp flour
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp chopped chives
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/8 tsp salt
Dash of pepper

Optional garnish
Red and green pepper strips

Place crackers, flat side down, on bottom of each of 12 foil or paper-lined baking cups. Combine cream cheese and flour, mixing at Medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Add egg and sour cream; mix well.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into baking cups, filling each cup almost full. Bake at 325ºF for 25 minutes. Cool before removing from pan. Chill. Garnish, if desired.

The Mini Herb Cheesecake recipe was published in The Picayune-Times (December 21, 2012).

Page  Last Updated 7 April 2015

Dipping Oils

Rosemary Parmesan
Makes enough for 4 servings
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced (or grated)
1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/8 tsp Kosher salt
1 to 2 Tbsp grated or finely shredded Parmesan cheese

18 December, 2012

Cranberry Condiments

This post contains two Ocean Spray® recipes.
  • Cranberry Chutney
  • Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry Chutney
Makes 2.5 cups
1 (16-oz) can Ocean Spray® Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup peeled, diced apple
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp vinegar
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Dash ground cloves

In a medium saucepan over Medium heat, combine all ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.

Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish
Makes about 3 cups
1 (12-oz) pkg Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
1 unpeeled orange, cut into eighths and seeded
3/4 to 1 cup sugar to taste

Divide the fruit in half and place in food processor container; evenly chop. Transfer to a bowl then repeat with remaining fruit. Stir in the sugar; spoon into a covered container and store in refrigerator or freezer.

You might like:
Cranberry-Lime-Jalapeño White Wine Vinegar

Page Last Updated 14 April 2015

Southwest Olive Bread | In the Nick of Time

Southwest Olive Bread ingredients
Makes 4 Mini-Loaves
3 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal mix
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1.5 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup (4-oz) shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 (5.75-oz each) jars whole stuffed green olives, drained well and lightly tossed with flour

Southwest Olive Bread Directions
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease and flour four (3- x 5.5-inch) loaf pans; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal mix, cumin and red pepper. Add milk, eggs and oil, stirring until well blended. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.

Spoon batter into the prepared pans and bake in preheated oven until golden brown (about 35 to 40 minutes) and a toothpick inserted in center of bread comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes; then, run a knife around pan edges to loosen bread; remove from pans and serve warm.

Southwest Olive Bread Notes

In The Nick of Time Edited by Anne Van Wagner Childs (Little Rock: Leisure Arts, Inc, 1994), 102. 

Page Last Modified 11 June  2016

17 December, 2012

White Chili (recipe roundup)

Anyone have the White Chili recipe from 6th Floor Christmas luncheon in 1993 or 1994? In the mean time, this post contains two other recipes we may choose to adapt.

  • Holly Clegg's White Chili - A Trim & Terrific Louisiana Kitchen (1993)

  • Karen G's Alabama White Chili 

Holly Clegg's White Chili ingredients
Makes 8 to 10 servings at 230 calories each
No-stick cooking spray
1 Tbsp olive oil
2-lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5-oz) cans no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped
2 (14.5-oz) cans no-salt-added chicken broth
2 (4-oz) cans chopped green chiles
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 (11-oz) cans cannellini beans, drained

For finishing
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp pepper

For serving:
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
Salsa (optional)

Holly Clegg's White Chili Directions
Get ready
Assemble ingredients and equipment.

Cook chicken
Coat a large pot with no-stick cooking spray; add olive oil. Cook diced chicken breasts, stirring until done. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Sauté aromatics and build base
Add onion and garlic to pan and sauté until tender. Stir in next five (5) ingredients (tomatoes through ground cumin) and bring to a boil; simmer for twenty (20) minutes.

Finish and serve
Add chicken and beans; cook until heated.

Stir in lime juice and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with the cheese and then, salsa, if using. Serve warm.

Holly Clegg's White Chili Notes

I found the following recipe crediting Karen G from Eutaw, AL, handwritten on a piece of paper, in a second-hand cookbook I purchased online. 

Karen G's Alabama White Chili ingredients
Makes 20 (1 cup) servings at 169 calories each
2-lbs dried Great Northern Beans, sorted and rinsed
1.5 cups diced onions
1 Tbsp cooking oil
4.5-quarts Fat-Free Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cubed
1 Tbsp ground oregano
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1.5 tsp Seasoned Salt
0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
2 (4-oz) cans chopped green chilies

Karen G's Alabama White Chili Directions
Get ready
Assemble ingredients and equipment.

Quick-soak beans
Place beans in a saucepan; cover with water and bring to a boil for two (2) minutes. Remove from heat and soak for one (1) hour; then, drain and rinse.

Sauté aromatics and build base
In a 5-quart Dutch oven, sauté onion in the oil for one (1) minute. Then, add the beans, broth and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for two (2) hours.

Season and bake chicken
Coat chicken with remaining seasonings. Place in (15- x 10- x 1-inch) baking dish and bake at 350ºF until juices run clear, about fifteen (15) minutes; then add to beans.

Simmer and serve
Stir in green chilies; simmer for ninety (90) minutes to two (2) hours.

Karen G's Alabama White Chili Notes
  • I found Karen G's recipe, handwritten on a piece of paper with her name and address, in a second-hand cookbook purchased online.

Page Last Modified 18 June 2016

13 December, 2012

Test! Red Beans & Rice (Crock-Pot Version)

Please note: This recipe is still being tested.

For friends prompting me for a "shorter version" of the Red Beans & Rice with Andouille recipe (to replicate a dish from a beloved late aunt in Louisiana), I'm testing this crock-pot version using ingredients I have on-hand -- without promising "shorter." The aroma is wonderful! 

The flavor is a bit different from what I served at our department Christmas lunch and later at February dinner party (both of which I cooked for a very long time), but my tasters tell me it's quite good. For more specific test results, see Notes below.  

Please post any suggestions below in Comments.

Test! Crockpot Red Beans & Rice
Makes 16 (2/3 cup) appetizer servings
(About 2.7-quarts)
1 (16-oz) bag dry red kidney beans, sorted and rinsed
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery with top and leaves, chopped
1 small carrot, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp granulated garlic
4 bay leaves
1 bone-in smoked ham hock
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme 
1/2 tsp dried marjoram 
[Testing 1/2 or 1 tsp?? ground sage]
1/2 tsp coarse grind black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp Tabasco® Original Red Sauce (yes, Tablespoon)
1 Tbsp Lee & Perrins® Worcestershire Sauce (yes, Tablespoon)
6 cups home-made Chicken Stock + more as needed during cooking 

For finishing
8-oz (1 cup) red wine (Justin Wilson used Claret)
?? 1/2 cup or 1 bunch?? green onions, thinly sliced

For serving
Hot cooked white rice
1-lb Cajun smoked sausage, sliced and browned (or grilled)

3 Tbsp (total) chopped fresh parsley and/or green onions

Test! Crockpot Red Beans & Rice Directions
Getting started
Crumbling dried herbs in your hands as you go, place first twenty ingredients (dried beans through Chicken Stock) in a 4-quart (16 cups) capacity crock-pot and cover; cook on High setting for one hour. 

Either continue cooking on High for about 4 more hours (= total 5) or reduce to Low setting and cook for five to nine (5 to 9) hours more (= total 6 to 10 hours).

Always check periodically and adjust liquid level to keep it about two-inches above the beans. Add stock (or water) as needed. If there's too much liquid, remove cover for several minutes; then, cover and cook for several more hours. In total, I added 8- to 10-oz more of  Chicken Stock.

During last 1.5 to 2 hours of cooking
Use a slotted spoon to remove the bay leaves and ham hock(s); cool. Be careful because the mixture will be very hot, and watch for small pieces. Of the 14 or 15 pieces I removed from one ham hock, five were the size of pea gravel.

Use an immersible blender (mine is 200-Watt Braun MR400 Multiquick Hand Blender) to purée about one third (1/3) of the beans. If you don't have an immersible (stick) blender, use a slotted spoon to remove several cups of beans to a heat-proof bowl and mash them with a mallet (or fork). As needed, add a few Tbsp of the stock.

Chop meat and continue cooking until creamy
Once cooled, chop any meat left on the bone(s) and return to the crock-pot. Add the wine and sliced green onions. Cover and continue cooking until the mixture is creamy and the beans are very soft.

To serve, spoon some hot cooked white rice on each plate/bowl; ladle over beans with liquid.

Add sausage slices; sprinkle with the green onions and parsley. Serve warm.

Test! Crockpot Red Beans & Rice Notes

  • You may freeze these beans in an airtight container. 

  • Next time, and for comparison, tweak recipe temperature and ingredients in the next test as follows:
    • Temperature: Cook only on High.
    • Meat: Add Andouille. Gotta have it to faithfully replicate the dish from a beloved late aunt in Louisiana.
    • Tomato Sauce: With a smaller can, (4-oz), probably add after puréeing the beans. 
    • Booze or wine: Decide whether to continue omitting to save cooking time (see Chesman comments in first bullet above) and avoid tough texture, or add according to our original recipe. If used, defer to end. 
    • Time: Combined with higher cooking temperature, I hope to reduce total time by at least eight (8) hours.

    You might like
    Crock-Pot Red Beans | Tell Me More via My Friends Cook Louisiana
    Red Beans and Rice | Creole Slow Cookin' via My Friends Cook Louisiana

    R > red beans
    T > Test

    Page Last Modified 19 June 2016

    12 December, 2012

    Eggnog French Toast


    Overnight Eggnog French Toast ingredients
    Makes 24 pieces
    9 eggs
    3 cups half-and-half or milk
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1.5 tsp rum extract
    24 (3/4-inch) slices French bread (about 1.5-lbs loaf)

    Confectioners' sugar

    Advance preparations
    Grease two (15- x 10- x 1-inch) baking pans

    In large bowl, combine eggs and the next five ingredients (eggs through rum extract); beat until well blended.

    Arrange bread slices in greased baking pans; pour over the egg mixture. Lift and move bread slices until all egg mixture is absorbed. Cover with pans with foil; refrigerate overnight or freeze up to one week.

    Bake casserole
    Preheat oven to 500ºF. Remove pans from the refrigerator or freezer (do not thaw); remove foil. Bake 1 pan for at 500ºF until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve warm.

    Repeat with second pan. If baking both pans at the same time, switch pans in the oven halfway through baking time.

    The Overnight Eggnog French Toast recipe is from Classic Cookbooks from Pillsbury® #118 (Minneapolis: The Pillsbury® Company, 1990), 78.

    Page Last Updated 9 April 2015

    11 December, 2012

    Cranberry Dessert

    Cranberry Praline Pudding ingredients
    Makes 6 to 8 servings
    Baked pudding
    1/2 cups fresh cranberries, cleaned and dried
    1.0-oz (1/8 cup) Praline New Orleans Style Pecan Liqueur
    1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    1 cup pecans
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup sugar
    2/3 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/8 tsp salt
    1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

    For serving
    Vanilla ice cream
    1.0-oz (1/8 cup) Praline New Orleans Style Pecan Liqueur

    Getting started
    Soak cranberries in 1/8 cup of the liqueur for thirty (30) minutes. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

    Prepare pudding
    Arrange cranberries evenly over the bottom of a buttered 1-quart baking dish; sprinkle with the brown sugar and pecans.

    In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick. Add flour, cinnamon, salt and butter; mix until smooth and pour over cranberries.

    Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean, about forty-five (45) minutes. Cool for fifteen (15) minutes.

    Serve warm with ice cream, drizzling with remaining liqueur.

    Page Last Updated 15 April 2015

    10 December, 2012

    Sweet Dips

    This post has two brand name recipes for sweet dips to serve with fruit, bagels or even some crackers and cookies.
    • Cinnamon-Orange Dip
    • Coffee-Toffee Dip

    Cinnamon-Orange Dip
    Makes 1 1/3 cups for 8 servings
    1 (8-oz) pkg cream cheese

    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

    For serving
    2 cups (1-pint) fresh strawberries, small or halved
    1 red apple, cored and sliced
    1 green apple, cored and sliced

    In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in remaining ingredients. 

    Refrigerate until ready to serve with the fresh fruit.

    Slightly adapts Come & Eat! Vol. 1 No. 1 (Minneapolis: The Pillsbury® Company, 1999), 76. 

    Coffee-Toffee Dip
    Servings not stated
    1 (8-oz) pkg of Neufchâtel
    3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1 Tbsp vanilla
    0.5-oz (1 Tbsp) Kahlúa®
    3 SKOR® Toffee Candy Bars crushed

    For serving
    Lemon juice
    Granny Smith apple slices
    Red apple (your choice) slices
    Bagels or toast

    Advance preparation
    Make this dip a day ahead and refrigerate before serving.

    Use an electric mixer to whip the Neufchâtel until light and fluffy. Then add the brown sugar and vanilla; briefly beat to incorporate. Fold in the candy pieces. 

    Refrigerate overnight

    Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving with apple slices or graham crackers. 

    Store any unused portions in the refrigerator.

    Breakfast and Brunch > Sweet dips / spreads
    Cinnamon-Orange Dip
    Coffee-Toffee Dip

    Page Last Updated 29 April 2015

    Apple Butter

    This post contains four (4) Apple Butter recipes.

    Contrary to its name, apple butter is not a dairy product; it is a concentrated distillation of fresh apples (and usually spices) having a smooth, thick (buttery) texture. It's delicious on warm biscuits and toast. In some regions of the United States, apple butter is also served as a condiment with pork or chicken. 

    Apple butter may be refrigerated or preserved using water-bath techniques. 

    Here's the Apple Butter recipes in this post:
    • Cinnamon Apple Butter (Rome)
    • Crock-Pot Apple Butter #1 (blend) *
    • Crock-Pot Apple Butter #2 (Granny Smith)
    • Crock-Pot Apple Butter #3 (McIntosh)

    Rome apple image credit

    Cinnamon Apple Butter ingredients (8)
    Makes about 8 cups
    6-LBS Rome or other cooking apples (about 12), peeled, quartered and cored
    1/3 cup water
    1.5 cups firmly packed brown sugar
    1 cup apple cider
    2 Tbsp lemon juice
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp ground allspice
    1/4 tsp ground ginger

    Cinnamon Apple Butter directions
    In a Dutch oven, combine apples and water; cover and cook over Medium heat until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Process apples in a food processor until smooth.

    In Dutch oven over Low heat, combine cooked apples with the remaining ingredients; cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 1 hour. Stirring constantly, cook until mixture thickens to desired consistency, about 15 more minutes.

    Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

    The Cinnamon Apple Butter recipe is from Christmas Gifts of Good Taste: Book 1 (Little Rock: Leisure Arts, Inc, 1997), 32.

    Pacific Rose apple image credit

    Crock-Pot Apple Butter #1 * ingredients (7)
    Makes about 16-oz
    2 medium Gala apples
    2 medium Pacific Rose apples
    2 medium Granny Smith apples
    1/8 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/8 cup apple cider
    Pinch of ground cloves

    Notes:  View Test Results. This 1/2-batch recipe for 1 jar follows Crock-Pot Applesauce #1 recipe. Slice (not dice) apples if making applesauce.

    Crock-Pot Apple Butter #1 directions
    Wash the apples; dry. Remove apple peels and set aside in a soup-size bowl for other uses.

    Quarter and core apples; evenly dice and place in large bowl. In a small bowl, toss together sugar and cinnamon; add to diced apples and toss.

    Pour seasoned apples into crock-pot; sprinkle the cloves over the top. Cook on High setting for 10 hours, periodically checking.

    Stir, taste and adjust every 2 hours; use a slotted spoon to gently bring the apples from the bottom to the top. Continue in a clock-wise fashion, up and over until all of the apples are coated with the hot cinnamon-cider mixture.

    After stirring at hour 6, use the edge of a spoon to break larger apple pieces. Taste and adjust flavor; cover and continue cooking until mixture thickens to desired consistency, about 4 more hours (I cooked for a total of 10 to 11 hours on High setting). 

    After the apples are completely soft, purée using an immersible blender. The mixture is very hot so be careful!

    Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any remaining portions in a dry, sterilized covered glass jar for up to 6 months; discard immediately if  you notice any mold.

    Crock-Pot Apple Butter #2 ingredients (6)
    Serving size not stated
    10 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup apple juice
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp freshly-ground nutmeg
    1/4 tsp cloves

    Crock-Pot Apple Butter #2 directions
    Place all ingredients in a crock-pot. Cover and cook on High heat until the apples are soft, most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is thick and dark brown. Purée using an immersible blender; the mixture is very hot so be careful!

    The Granny Smith apple butter recipe adapts Closet Cooking.

    McIntosh apples image credit

    Crock-Pot Apple Butter #3 ingredients (5)
    Makes about 1 pint
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp all-spice
    12 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and cubed
    1/2 cup apple cider

    Crock-Pot Apple Butter #3 directions
    In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and spices; set aside. Toss in the sugar mixture; place in the crock-pot.

    Add the apple cider; cover and cook on High for 6 hours, stirring every 2 hours (or cook on Low overnight).

    Then, carefully, use an immersible blender to purée the hot mixture. Continue to cook down until mixture thickens to desired consistency. If desired, uncover the crock-pot for the moisture to evaporate.

    Set aside to cool. Ladle into clean glass jar(s) and store in the refrigerator.

    Adapts Changing My Destiny.

    You might like:
    Canning FAQ
    View our Test Results 
    Apple Green Chile Butter (Golden Delicious) Chile Pepper Institute PDF (Dead link 02.05.2013) (see page 3)

    Page Last Updated February 5, 2013

    07 December, 2012

    Chicken Stock

    Good broth makes all the difference when making soups or stews, gumbos or gravies. These are some of our favorite recipes.

    • Chicken Stock

    I  usually make dark chicken stock, however, I like this Chicken Stock brightened by lime. 

    Chicken Stock
    Makes about 5.25-QTS (more than 20 cups)
    1 (3.5-LB) chicken, neck and giblets reserved
    Cold water to cover, about 4-QTS
    4 Vidalia (or other sweet) onions, unpeeled and halved
    4 whole cloves
    8 garlic cloves, unpeeled or equivalent minced
    2 celery ribs, halved
    4 carrots, halved

    06 December, 2012

    No-Bake Booze Candy: Rum

    This post contains three recipes.

    • Bacardi® Rum Balls
    • Karo® Holiday Rum Balls
    • Chocolate Rum Balls

    Bacardi® Rum Balls
    Makes 30 pieces
    1.5 cups vanilla wafer crumbs, about 50 cookies
    1/4 cup 80-proof Bacardi® dark rum
    1/4 cup honey
    8-oz ground walnuts, about 2 cups
    Confectioners' sugar

    Cocoa and Pecan Rum Balls 
    Spiced Rum and Pecan Balls

    Notes:  NoraA probably used white rum and increased amount.

    Combine all ingredients except sugar; blend thoroughly.

    Shape into small balls about one-inch (1-inch) in diameter; roll in the sugar.

    Store in tightly covered container.

    The Bacardi® Rum Balls recipe is from Bacardi® Imports, Inc, The Bacardi® Party Book (Miami: Bacardi & Company Limited, 1969), 29.

    Karo® Holiday Rum Balls
    Makes 54 pieces (4.5-dozen)
    3.5 cups vanilla wafer crumbs, about 12-oz
    1.5 cups powdered sugar (divided use)
    1 cup finely chopped pecans
    1/4 cup cocoa powder
    1/3 cup Karo® Light or Dark Corn Syrup
    1/3 cup light or dark rum

    In a large bowl, combine the crumbs, 1 cup powdered sugar, pecans and cocoa. Stir in corn syrup and rum until blended.

    Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Store in tightly covered container.

    This recipe is from Karo® Syrup.

    Chocolate Rum Balls
    Makes 18 to 24 pieces
    1 (16-oz) pkg vanilla wafers, finely crushed
    2 cups confectioner's sugar + more for finishing
    1/4 cup baking cocoa
    2 cups finely chopped pecans
    1 cup light corn syrup
    1/2 cup rum

    In a large bowl, combine the vanilla wafers, 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar and the baking cocoa; mix well.

    Add the pecans, corn syrup and rum; stir until stiff.

    Coat hands with confectioners' sugar. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls; place on waxed paper and set aside for 1 hour. Then, roll the balls in confectioners' sugar.

    Store between waxed paper layers in a tightly covered container.

    This recipe is from the Junior League of Mobile, Inc, Bay Tables: A Collection of Recipes from the Junior League of Mobile (Nashville: Favorite Recipes Press, an imprint of FRP, 1999), 234.

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    Page Last Updated 9 April 2015

    03 December, 2012

    White Chocolate Fudge

    This post contains one recipe for white chocolate fudge.

    • White Chocolate-Macadamia Fudge - Southern Living (2001)

    White chocolate, toasted macadamias and orange essence make this fudge fabulous.

    White Chocolate-Macadamia Fudge ingredients
    Makes 2-lbs.
    3 cups white chocolate morsels (18-ozs)
    1.5 cups miniature marshmallows
    1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
    2 tsp grated orange rind
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/8 tsp salt
    1 cup chopped macadamia nuts, toasted

    Prepare pan
    Line a (9-inch) pan with aluminum foil; lightly grease foil.

    Melt chocolate morsels
    In a heavy saucepan, cook first three ingredients (chocolate morsels through milk) over Medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth, about ten to eleven (10 to 11) minutes.

    Remove from heat; stir in next three ingredients (orange rind through salt) until blended. Then, stir in nuts. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

    Refridgerate and serve
    Cover and chill until firm, about four (4) hours, before cutting into squares.

    Store, covered, in refrigerator.

    The White Chocolate-Macadamia Fudge recipe is from Christmas with Southern Living 2001 (Birmingham: Oxmoor House, 2001), 156 - 157.

    Dessert > Candy

    Page Last Updated 9 May 2015