Sunday, December 15, 2013

Caramels-Pretzel Rods

This recipe was given to a group of us at a church activity along with a baggie with a few of these delicious treats.  They are amazing, and the perfect treat to give out to your friends and family!

Also, if you'd rather not make the pretzel rods, you can just make caramels.  They are oh so good!

Notes:  This recipe made about 60 rods and still had a little caramel left over for a tiny batch of caramels.
You will need a candy thermometer.
I used about 3 lbs of candy melts for as many pretzel rods as I made.


Bring to a boil and then turn down and simmer for 10-15 minutes:

2 C sugar
2 C light Karo Syrup
dash of salt

Meanwhile scald together:

1/2 can of evaporated milk
3 C whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla

Slowly (very slowly) stir the milk mixture into the sugar mixture while it is cooking.  Watch closely so it doesn't boil over.  Continue to stir and cook to 232 degree for soft caramels.  Pour into greased 9x13 glass dish.  Cool slightly- cut into squares.

Dip rods in caramel.  Lay out on parchment paper.  Let cool.  Dip in chocolate or vanilla (white) candy melts.  Lay back on parchment paper.  Dip fork in melted chocolate or vanilla candy melts (opposite to the main flavor used) and flip back and forth on top.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Flan con Requeson (Ricotta Cheese)

Pretty much your typical recipe for flan but the added requeson/ricotta cheese adds a nice texture and yummy taste.

4 Eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 small container of requeson or ricotta cheese.
1/2 cup sugar for caramel

In a small saucepan, melt the sugar on medium heat until it becomes caramelized, pour on the bottom of a bundt pan.
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with a mixer until everything is well mixed.  Pour mix into a bundt pan.

Bake flan a Bain Marie for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, let cool, invert onto a cake platter. Enjoy!!!!

Note: To bake a cake/custard A Bain Marie, you just need to insert the bundt pan into a larger container and partially fill the large container with water.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

 Amazingly good, easy and perfect for the cold weather season.
Adjust the ingredients to your liking

1 Rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 medium onion, chopped
2-4 stalks of celery, finely chopped
3 jalapenos, seeded, chopped
1/2-1 red pepper, finely diced
1/2-1 green pepper, finely diced
2 cans (14.5 oz) chicken broth
salt and Pepper to taste
1 can RO*TEL Original Diced tomatoes & green chilies (or just dice some fresh tomatoes, that's what I  usually do)
3 Tbsp tomato paste

Green onions
Tortilla strips

Place a little bit of olive oil to the bottom of a large pot and saute the onions, celery, jalapenos, red and green peppers.  Add the shredded chicken, chicken broth, can of diced tomatoes & green chilies, tomato paste, and extra water to your liking.  Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes and serve.  Top with avocados, cilantro and tortilla strips.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rustic Bread

While at a church activity, a friend and neighbor gave a presentation on crock pot cooking.  At the end of her presentation she provided samples of several dishes including this bread which is simply AMAZING!!!!!!
Not only is it delicious, it is also pretty easy to make.  You will need the insert to your crock pot (the stone bowl) to bake it in.  Of course since you'll stick this in the oven, use aluminum foil instead of the regular pot lid (because the plastic in the lid is not oven proof!)  I've made it twice already :)  Give it a try, I promise you will love it. 
As you will see in the recipe, there's different variations.  The one I made (and pictured above) is Crasin White Chocolate.  If you try any of the other kinds, let me know how they turn out.
Here is the recipe in her own words!
3 c Flour
1/4 tsp Instant yeast (if you add other ingredients increase to 1/2 tsp.)
1 1/4 tsp salt
Mix above ingredients (if desired, this would be the time to add any spices, nuts, or other condiments to the bread) then distribute evenly.
1 1/2 c water (add an extra tablespoon if adding additional ingredients)
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
Stir all the above until combined
1.  In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, and salt.  Mix ingredients to distribute evenly.  Add vinegar to water.  Mix with flour mixture and stir until flour is incorporated.  Dough will be pretty stiff.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let dough rise at least 12 to 18 hours at 70 degrees.  When surface is dotted with bubbles, dough is ready.

After the 12-18 hours of rest, place dough on floured surface, sprinkle dough with a light dusting of flour, gently knead dough 7-8 times.

Spray bowl with non stick spray.  Place dough inside, cover and let rise for about 2 hours until it has doubled in size.

After dough has been rising for 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 435-450 degrees for 30 minutes with a covered crock pot (don't place a lid with plastic on it inside) or dutch oven.  Oven and pot should be blazing HOT.  Pot needs to be 4- 8 quart.

When dough has risen for the 2 hours, carefully remove HOT pot from oven.  Dump dough out of bowl and into HOT pot.  Place lid on (I use foil with my crock pot) and bake for 27 minutes.  Uncover, and continue baking for an additional 6-10 minutes or until browned on top.  Dump bread out onto wire rack to cool.


ITALIAN: add to one loaf 1 TBSP Italian seasoning, 1 TBSP dried garlic

PARMESAN/KALMATA OLIVES: add to one loaf 1 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup pitted Kalmata olives

CRASIN WHITE CHOCOLATE:  add to one loaf 3/4 cup white chocolate chips, 1 cup crasins

PECAN/CRASIN: add to one loaf 1/2 cup crasins, 1/2 cup pecans, 1 tsp cinnamon

GRAIN: add to one loaf 1 TBSP Millet, 1 TBSP Quinoa, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lime & Garlic Tilapia

Hungry and not sure what to make?  How about this delicious, super quick to prepare fish!
It turned out pretty tasty and I dished it up with some Spanish rice, salad and some pineapple salsa!
6 Tilapia filets
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Minced garlic (about 1.5 tbsp)
2 limes
salt & pepper
Parsley flakes
Spray some PAM on a 9x13 baking dish.  Rinse the filets and pat dry with a paper towel.  Salt and pepper the filets and lay them on the greased baking dish.  Pour lime juice over each filet, evenly pour the melted butter. Spread some garlic on each filet and finally sprinkle some parsley flakes on top.  Bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (uncovered) for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!
If you want to make some pineapple salsa just make some fresh salsa and add some small pineapple chunks!