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Monday, August 20, 2012

Garden and tomatoes

Sorry for the lull in recipes.  I've had to take a break from getting recipes on here due to the fact that my garden has been producing like crazy.  Every year I lament that I don't have canning supplies.  I have yet to get canning supplies which every year I ask for my birthday but my husband thinks that's a ridiculous idea.  But here's the kicker...I was thinking I could get by on just a water bath canner.  Turns out if you're doing things that have a low acidity you have to have a pressure canner, otherwise it won't kill the bacteria.  The difference is HIGH COST.  I have a ton of green beans.  I know how to freeze them, it's just a pain in the backside to blanch them.  I'm trying something new tonight with one of my quick recipes resulting in making it not so quick but with fresh ingredients.  It's goulash and usually I just throw in canned tomato sauce and canned stewed tomatoes.  With all the hundreds of roma tomatoes I've gotten off of my 2 plants I've needed to use them so I've been learning how to cook with them.  The taste is amazing.  Instead of canned tomatoes for the lasagna recipe I have on here, I did fresh and it tasted so good.

In order to substitute canned tomatoes you want to throw your tomatoes in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds.  I read somewhere to make a little X mark on one of the ends before you toss them to make removal of the skin easier.  After they boiled for the amount of time stated earlier you need to put them immediately in a ice water bath to cool them down and the skins will slip right off.  After that I sliced the tomatoes in half(or you could even do quarters) and took my finger and ran it down the inside to remove the seeds.  I placed the seeds and mushy stuff in a mesh strainer over a little bowl to let any left over juice drip in it.  Then I diced the halves of the tomatoes.  I don't like too big of chunks....just me.  After I got all my tomatoes cut I took all the left over guts and pressed out the remaining juice and added it back to the diced tomatoes.  Then to get some liquid in it put water just to the brim of the cut tomatoes.  I do also remember reading you could put in chicken broth.  I really need to pay more attention to the articles I read.  I made the mistake of putting salt in and next time I think I'm going to hold off because it was a little too much for me.  Seriously the taste was really good in the lasagna and didn't mess up the recipe at all!  I'm hoping for similar if not better results for the goulash.  I found a tomato sauce recipe that I'll be trying out and if it works I'll be throwing that up here too.  My freezer will be full.  I gotta do pizza sauce too since we have it practically every Friday!

Hope you're gardens are doing just as well!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Makeover Chocolate Truffle Dessert

Photo by Deb M.

Recipe from

This is really time consuming and very rich.  It makes a great center piece for your meal.  It calls for instant coffee granules.  I just left it out because I don't drink coffee.  It's more for the flavor but it will taste just fine without it.  This is a dessert that needs to be eaten the first day.  The Pirouette cookies get rather soggy over time.

Makeover Chocolate Truffle Dessert

1 box fudge brownie mix (8-inch square pan size)
3 cups (18 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
14 to 16 Pirouette cookies, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
Prepare brownie batter according to package directions. Spread into a greased 9-in. springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Place chocolate chips in a food processor; cover and process until finely chopped. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 cup cream, butter and coffee granules. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until butter is melted; stir until smooth. With food processor running, add cream mixture to chocolate chips in a slow, steady stream. Add vanilla; cover and process until smooth.
Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag. Fill with 1/4 cup chocolate mixture; set aside for garnish. Transfer remaining chocolate mixture to a large bowl.
Remove sides of springform pan. Spread half of the chocolate mixture over brownie layer, spreading evenly over top and sides. In a small bowl, beat remaining cream until soft peaks form; fold into remaining chocolate mixture. Spread over chocolate layer. Gently press cookies into sides of dessert.
Pipe reserved chocolate mixture on top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 5 minutes before cutting. Yield: 16 servings.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Chocolate Pudding Dessert

Recipe from Sheryll M.

This is my mom's recipe.  She has this humongous jolly green giant size pan she would make this for church functions.  Some of the variations I have tried are as follows:

Butterscotch topped with toffee and caramel topping
Banana cream topped with toasted coconut
Chocolate Mousse topped with chocolate chocolate curls
Chocolate Pudding Dessert

Mix: 1st layer

1 cup flour
1 cup walnuts
1 cube butter

Mix together, bake in oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Cool. Set aside.

2nd layer

8 oz. cream cheese
½ cup sugar
2 cup cool whip

Use softened cream, mix sugar and then add cool whip together. Spread on top of 1st layer.
3rd layer

2 regular packages of instant pudding, or 1 large package
(chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, lemon…be creative)
2 2/3 cup milk

Add milk to the pudding, stir until blended. (I use one large packet of pudding)
Pour over 2nd layer before it sets up.

Last layer

Cool whip and chopped nuts

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Apple Betty

Recipe from old BHG cookbook

Apple Betty

4 cups pared tart apples
¼ c. orange juice
1 c. sugar
¾ c. sifted all-purpose flour
½ t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. ground nutmeg
½ c. butter

Mound Apples in 9-inch buttered pie plate; sprinkle with OJ. Combine sugar, flour, spices and salt; cut in butter till mixture is crumbly; sprinkle over apples. Bake @ 375 degrees for 45 minutes or till apples are tender and topping is crisp. Serve with warm cream.