Monday, November 30, 2009

Pretzel Jell-o Salad by Terri

One Christmas dinner, not long after Jerry & I were married, Mark's girlfriend (later to be his bride), Kim, made her mom's Pretzel Jell-o Salad as her donation to our meal.  She generously shared this delicious recipe and it became another family favorite for each special holiday.

Thanksgiving morning Pretzel Jell-o Salad was the first dish I started preparing even before I put the turkey in the oven.  I thought you might like to try this yummy unusual salad.

From the kitchen of: Kim Roberson Fonville

2 cups broken or crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted lite butter
3 T Baking Mix Splenda

Pam the bottom of a large rectangle Pyrex dish.  Cover bottom of dish with pretzels.  Sprinkle Splenda on top.  Drizzle lite butter over top.  Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

Fourth layer:
1 6oz. box Sugar Free Strawberry Jell-o
2 cups boiling water

Mix Jell-o and water.  Set mixture in refrigerator until almost congealed. (Do not pour onto top of strawberries until totally cool or your crust will get soggy!)

Second layer:
8 oz. softened fat free cream cheese
1 cup baking mix Splenda
8 oz. Fat free Cool Whip

Cream together these 3 ingredients.

 Spread over top of cooled pretzel mixture.

Third layer:
1 10oz. pkg frozen strawberries

Slice frozen strawberries in half (Do not thaw first!)

Place on top of cream cheese layer.

Spoon Jell-o over strawberry halves. Place in refrigerator and let Jell-o continue to set.

I think once you give this recipe a try it will soon become a family favorite for your family too.  Enjoy!

Walk with God.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pie Making 101 - Pecan Pie by Terri

Lori and I began our holiday baking today.  We started by making 2 pecan pies.  Pecan pies are so easy as long as you have a great recipe.  Several years ago Martha, a friend from church, shared her Pecan pie recipe. It was so delicious that it quickly became a family favorite. I thought you might like to try it for yourself.

Pecan Pie
From the kitchen of: Martha Wright

3 eggs, the fresher the eggs the better the pie
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light Karo Syrup
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 tablespoon lite butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1 1/2 cups broken pecans, completely cover bottom of pie crust
1 9 inch unbaked pie crust

Roll out pie crust into pie pan.  Crimp edges.

Pour broken pecan pieces into bottom of pie crust.

Mix together all the remaining ingredients and stir well.

Pour egg mixture over top of pecans.

Bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes then turn oven down to 325 degrees. Continue baking for 10 minutes.  Cover pie crust with pieces of aluminum foil and continue to bake for 15 more minutes.  Check at the end of 35 minutes.  Some ovens cook hotter than other.  Pie is done when egg mixture firms and appears a golden brown.  Be careful not to overcook!

Enjoy!  Happy Holidays!

Walk with God!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Candy Making - Oreo Truffles by Terri

One of my favorite traditions of the holidays is candy making.  Each year Jerry & I try to make candy for our family and friends.  This year Aunt Delpha asked me to make candy for her Sunday School Class Christmas party so we are beginning our candy making a little early. She asked us to make Butterfingers, Texas Millionaires and Oreo Truffles.  As soon as mom heard we were making candy she asked us to make Carmel Popcorn - her favorite - so looks like we'll be busy this holiday season.

On Sunday we began making Aunt Delpha's candy.  The first candy we made was Oreo Truffles. We made a triple batch in order to get the 80 pieces of each type of candy Aunt Delpha needed. This is a new recipe for us.  I first saw this recipe in the Kraft Food & Family magazine last December.  Not long after I saw it in the magazine Kim, a friend from church made it for our Lifegroup Progressive Dinner.  It was delicious!  Each time I try a new recipe there is a little trial and error that goes with it and invariably I usually make a few changes when I make it the second time.  This is one of those recipes.  I followed the  recipe fairly closely the first time but wasn't really happy with the way they looked once we had dipped them in the vanilla almond bark (the Oreo center shows through the Almond Bark). They tasted incredible - but looked a little messy. For the next batch we plan to try the double stuff Oreos and  use chocolate almond bark to dip them in.  I'll let you know which we like best.

Oreo Truffles
From the kitchen of Kim Crawford & Kraft Kitchens

2 pkg. Oreo Cookies, finely crushed, divided
3 pkg. (8oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
3 pkgs. Vanilla Almond Bark

Crush 2 pkgs. of Oreos, measure out 9 cups and place in mixing bowl.

Add 3 pkgs. cream cheese.

Mix until well blended.

Using a small cookie scoop form 80 balls place on waxed paper - covered baking sheet.
Place in refrigerator for 1-3 hours.

Dip balls in melted Almond Bark.

Place in an air tight container with parchment paper between layers and store in refrigerator.

Any leftover melted almond bark can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.

I hope you take a little time out of this busy season to start some new traditions for your family. Candy making has truly been a fun tradition that Jerry and I started on our first Christmas together 32 years ago. You can find my butterfinger recipe by looking at my earlier post about family traditions. Happy Holidays!

Walk with God!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Love to Cook Thursdays - Rice Cooker Jambalaya by Terri

Several months ago Kim,a friend at church introduced me to Jambalaya. Kim is from Louisiana and fixed her grandmother's Jambalaya for our Lifegroup. The first time she fixed it I must admit I took a very small portion since I'm not crazy about spicy Cajun seasoning. Needless to say I went back for more after tasting this delicious dish. She generously shared her recipe with me and I have already made it twice. It is quickly becoming one of our favorite dishes. With the cold weather we've been experiencing lately, I thought it would be the perfect recipe to share with you.
From the kitchen of: Kim Crawford
2 cups raw rice
1 can beef bouillon (beef broth)
1 can beef consommé
1 stick butter or margarine
1 lb. smoked sausage (I prefer skinless smoked sausage)
1 lb. raw shrimp (optional)
1 can mushrooms
1 medium chopped onion
1 bell pepper (chopped) (I use mini orange and yellow peppers)
1 bunch green onions (chopped)
Place rice, beef broth, beef consomm√© & mushrooms into rice cooker.
Thinly slice the smoked sausage.
Add sausage to rice cooker.
Thinly slice a stick of butter & a green onions and stir into rice cooker.
Finely chop bell peppers and stir into rice mixture.
Top with Cajun seasoning. (I added about one and a half teaspoons.)
Add Worcestershire Sauce. (I added a couple tablespoons.)
Mix all ingredients together.
Press Cook. (On my cooker you have to choose white or brown rice.)
Cook until buzzer goes off.
Serve straight out of cooker or spoon into serving dish.
Walk with God!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Love to Cook Thursdays - Sweet and Sour Meatloaf by Terri

For our 6 month anniversary, Jerry & I took a trip to visit Jerry's sister Aleta & her family. While we were there Aleta fixed Sweet & Sour Meatloaf. Although Jerry & I don't usually care for meatloaf this recipe has become one of our family favorites. I think you'll enjoy it also!
Sweet and Sour Meatloaf
From the kitchen of: Aleta Fonville Tittle

1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon French's mustard

Mix sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Meat Mixture:
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 small finely chopped onion
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup crushed crackers
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tomato sauce mixture

Mix meat ingredients together. Shape into a ring and place in a shallow dish. Pour remaining tomato sauce over top of ring. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 400 degrees, basting occasionally.
Oops! I forgot to take photos of this while I was making it on Tuesday night! I'll try to remember next time I cook it and add them later.
Walk with God!

Monday, November 2, 2009

M&M Pumpkin Cake by Terri

On the cover of the November 1, 2009 Family Circle magazine was the cutest m&m pumpkin cake I've ever seen.  As soon as I saw it I knew I had to make one for my October Crop.  On Thursday night before the crop I made the cake - baking it in my Pyrex mixing bowls.  After both layers had cooled I put them in the freezer to firm up before decorating it.  (A former neighbor who is a professional cake decorating instructor for Kroger Stores told me she always freezes her cake before decorating them, so I thought I'd give that a try.) On Friday night, after letting the cake thaw a bit, I iced and decorated it. It didn't look quite like the one on the magazine cover, but it was still quite a hit with my scrapbooking friends. I couldn't resist sharing the process with you.

M & M Pumpkin Cake
From the kitchen of: Family Circle Magazine

Cake Ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (15oz.) pumpkin puree
1/2 can milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 eggs

1 can (16oz.) vanilla frosting (Next time I'll use Cream Cheese flavored frosting)
Orange gel food coloring
2 bags(7oz. each) orange m&m's candies (about 2 cups)
34 yellow or brown m&m's
1 chocolate-covered candy bar (such as Snickers)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour two 1.5-liter Pyrex bowls; set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon & salt.  Mix the pumpkin, milk and vanilla in a small bowl to blend.

Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.  Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the pumpkin mixture, ending with the flour mixture.  Beat just until smooth.

Note:  I was tired on Thursday after work when I was making my cake so I just dumped all ingredients in my Kitchen Aid mixer and blended at relatively high speed until light and fluffy.  The cake was delicious despite my laziness!

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared bowls.  Bake at 350 degrees in the center of the oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of cakes comes out clean.

Trim the top of the cakes with a serrated knife to make level.  Tint the frosting orange with the food coloring. Place one cake layer, cut-side up, on a serving platter. Spread the cut side with 1/2 cup of the frosting.  Place the other cake layer on top, cut-side-down.  Trim any excess to make round.

Place a thin layer of frosting all over the cake.  Gently press orange m&m's onto frosting.  Use yellow or brown m&m's to form eyes, nose and mouth.  Continue covering the pumpkin with orange m&m's until the entire cake is covered.

Cut the candy bar in half crosswise on the diagonal to fashion a stem.  Make a small hole in the top of the cake and press the candy bar half, cut-side down, into the top of the cake, for the stem. Refrigerate to firm the frosting.


Walk with God!