8/26/06

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

My 10 year old wanted to make pudding this week. There was only one box in the cupboard, which happened to be a 'cook & serve' style. I try to keep instant on hand for quick last-minute pies for summer dinner desserts, but I don't like the chemical taste of instant puddings so I have found myself not buying pudding at all, or just the cook & serve. My daughter wasn't happy to know it was going to take more 'work' than normal to make pudding, but I talked her into doing it and it turned out fine.

The problem then? There are 5 of us, and one little box of pudding really only serves 3. No problem, I whipped up some homemade. Now typically I only make homemade pudding for two reasons; 1. The filling for cream puffs and pies or 2. lemon curd style pudding for various desserts. I rarely serve plain 'pudding' for dessert.

Now that I remember the creamy goodness homemade pudding is, I will have to remember to make it more often.



VANILLA PUDDING

3/4 sugar
1/3 c flour
3 c milk
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 T vanilla
1 1/2 T real butter

In a saucepan combine the sugar and flour, stir with a whisk. Turn on the heat and stir in milk. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is thick and bubbling. Cook for 2 minutes at a slow boil. Drizzle 1 cup into the beaten egg yolks while whisking the whole time. When incorporated, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the pudding. Stir in the butter and vanilla, and cook over a low/medium heat at a simmer while stirring. Pour the pudding into a large bowl or smaller serving bowls. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding surface while it cools if you don't want a 'skin' on the top of the pudding. (Or just eat it right away like I do, while it's still warm!)

You can slice ripe bananas into this pudding for a heavenly banana cream pudding that can't be beat!
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8/20/06

Turkey Burgers

1 1/4 lb. good quality ground turkey
1/2 c bread crumbs
2 t hot sauce (like Frank's brand)
2 t fresh minced garlic
fresh cracked black pepper
dash of salt


Mix together with your hands and form into patties. Cook over medium heat in 2 T olive oil. Cook approximately 5 minutes, flip and continue cooking another 5 minutes until done.

Serve on a bun with fresh lettuce, sliced tomatoes and kechup. My kids love to put homemade Ranch dressing on theirs!


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8/18/06

Greek Pizza


Necessity is the Mother of Invention
So... I invented this!


Craving... feta cheese and spinach pizza
Checked 1 recipe, didn't have the ingredients so I made up my own.
Here is what I came up with and I have now deemed it
my current favorite pizza in the world.

1 c mayonnaise
1 1/2 T minced garlic cloves
1 c crumbled feta cheese
8 small cherry tomatoes or 1 roma tomato
1/3 c black olive paste (or chopped black olives, if you can't find the paste)
2 t dried oregano
1 c baby spinach leaves, ripped
1 small red onion, thin sliced
2 T olive oil
1 recipe for homemade pizza dough (below) or a precooked crust of your choice (Boboli)

If using the homemade dough from below you will only need 1 of the 3 doughs it makes. Precook as usual for 12-15 minutes at 425 until golden brown and crisp on the bottom. In the meantime mix the mayonnaise with the garlic and feta cheese. Spread over the baked crust. Mix the thinly sliced tomatoes with the onion and oil. Top the pizza with this and then using your fingers crumble the olive paste over all.

Bake for an additional 4 minutes until heated through and the onions are soft.


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8/17/06

Seafood Enchiladas

Once Upon A Time... I bought Walmart's brand White Salsa Con Queso thinking it would taste just as good as the Tostito's brand white con queso. Wrong. After two bites dipped with torilla chips I knew I had to come up with a recipe to use it up in. The flavor of it and the bits of red pepper reminded me of a dish I had about 4 1/2 years ago in a small Mexican restaurant in a tiny Iowa town. It was a seafood enchilada and I had never since had one to match the yummy entree' I had that night even though I've tried a couple times over the years to reproduce it. Here is my latest attempt - a creation I came up with tonight on my own. It's good enough I won't need the restaurants version anymore!


Seafood Enchiladas

1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped red pepper
1/2 t minced fresh garlic
2 T butter
12-16 oz. cream cheese
1 c good quality lump crabmeat
1 8 oz. package cooked salad shrimp
8 oz. imitation crab meat, chopped
1/4 t Bay Seasoning
1/4 t cumin
1/4 t paprika
1 jar white salsa con queso dip for tortilla chips
1 c finely shredded mozzarella, asiago, monterey cheeses mixed or optional kind

Flour tortilla's

In a pan over medium heat melt the butter and add the onion, pepper and garlic. Saute' until soft but not golden brown. Add the cream cheese and spices. Stir until melted. Remove from heat, add the shrimp and both crab.

Spoon about 1/2 cup mixture into a flour tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in a greased 9X13 inch pan. Continue until all the mixture is gone. This usually makes about 12 enchiladas. Pour the cheese sauce over all and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes of bake time to brown the top to a golden color.



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8/10/06

Onion Ring/Petal Dip

If you are serving onion rings or petals in your house any time soon, make this dip first! Similar to the kind you'll taste if you order a Bloomin Onion, it's so good you might never want to serve onion rings without it.


1/2 c regular mayonnaise
2 t ketchup
2 T Kraft horseradish sauce
1/3 t paprika
1/4 t salt
dash of oregano, black pepper and cayenne pepper


Mix and refrigerate it for at least an hour before serving but it's even better the next day.
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8/5/06

Let's Make Homemade Pizza!

I make homemade pizza every Friday for my family. In the past couple years we've usually had 1 or 10 extra people here (now that we have teenagers!) and I'm told by the kids friends that I should open a pizza parlor as my pizza is "so good".

A pizza compliment from teenagers... I take that as a good sign.


Pizza Dough

1 pkg. (2 1/4 t) dry active yeast
1 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 c dry powdered milk
1 1/3 c warm water

Put into the bowl of a mixer or mix by hand. Wait 2 minutes.

2 T olive oil
4 c flour

Knead in a Kitchen Aid style (heavy duty) mixer 5 minutes or knead 10 minutes by hand. Let rest 10 minutes.

Use in 3 greased, average 'home' sized large pizza pans or 1 extra large and 1 large. Let raise about 1 1/2 hours and top with your choice. Bake at 400 approximately 16-25 minutes depending the size of your pan and how many toppings you have on it. Bake until golden brown.










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8/2/06

Zucchini...

I just found this recipe and I don't have any black ink to print it so I'm saving it here so I don't lose it. I have a ton of zucchini to use up from the garden (they are HUGE this year!) and I don't think I can stomach making yet another zucchini chocolate cake or bread... even though my family just finished off the last one and is clamoring for another. I want something more 'vegetable' based and am thinking a yummy 'down home' casserole or zucchini fritters.

So.. I'm 'holding this one here' and will let you know what I think if and when I make it.


Down Home Zucchini Casserole


2 lb zucchini
¼ chopped onion
1 cup sour half & half
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg stuffing mix

Cook sliced squash and chopped onion in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain.

Combine soup and sour half & half. Stir in carrots and chicken. Fold in squash and onion.

Combine stuffing mix and butter.

Spread half of stuffing mix in bottom of 12 x 12 x 2-inch baking dish. Spoon all of vegetable mixture on top. Sprinkle remaining half of stuffing mixture evenly over vegetables. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
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