Saturday, November 5, 2011

Baked Apricot Spread

During the holidays, I entertain a lot. I like to serve different foods at each event. I really don't like to duplicate. Sometimes, a few of my guests might be invited to several of the get togethers, and I want them to have something different each time. The only exception is if someone requests that I make something they had at a previous party. Then I happily try to accommodate them.  As a result, I need a lot of recipes. Through out the year I try to find recipes that I think will work. This is the case with today's baked Apricot Spread. I borrowed this appetizer from the Kraft Foods web site. I am so glad I did. It is tasty and delicious. It goes together quickly, and there are only 5 ingredients. Truthfully, I put this together in  about 5 minutes. (+ the cook time). Also, I'll bet that you have most of these ingredients in your fridge and pantry right now.!

Baked Apricot Spread
(serves 8) 
(preheat oven to 350 degrees)
4 oz. Cream Cheese~softened
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup sliced, dried Apricots
1/3 cup Sliced Almonds
Crackers
The recipe called for sliced Dried Apricots. 
I used the dried Apricots~YUM!, but I chopped them instead
of slicing them. I thought they might be easier for guests to handle
if they were smaller. I don't know?? It's just my paranoia coming
out like it does every time I entertain.
Anyway, I chopped them by slicing them first, and then...
turning the slices around, and chopping them up.
Set them aside for a minute.
Put the softened cream cheese, and the cheddar into a bowl.
Mix it up really well. 
I like to do this by wearing food safe gloves, and using my hands.
It really gets things mixed perfectly, but a mixer will do the job also!
Add the sour cream and apricots.
Mix again like above.
Place mix in a baking dish.
Top with the sliced almonds. 
The recipe called for 1/3 cup. I just put them on the 
top of the dish until I thought there were enough. 
I did not make them thick, and I tried to 
cover the entire surface.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Serve with crackers of your choice. 
Delicious!
This recipe is great tasting, hot or cold!

Thanks for joining me today!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

This Weeks Menu and Grocery List

This week is getting off to a rough start, so I will try to hurry and catch up! Here is the Menu and Grocery List for this week.

Menu and Grocery List

Appetizer~Baked Apricot Spread
(serves 8 people)
4 oz Cream Cheese Spread
1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Sliced Dried Apricots
1/4 cup Sliced Almonds
Crackers for spreading

Salad~Favorite Fall Fixins' Salad
(serves 1 person)
Romaine Lettuce
1 Granny Smith Apple
1 Roma Tomato
Golden Raisins

Entree~ Hearty Beef Stew
(serves 6-8 people)
2 3/4 pound Boneless Chuck Roast
Flour
Vegetable Oil
Worcestershire Sauce
Garlis Salt
Pepper
Ground Allspice
Bay Leaves
4 Carrots
2 Celery Ribs
4 medium Red Potatoes
3 small Onions
Flour


Dessert~Gingered Pear-Apple Cobbler
(serves 10 people)
Cornstarch
Butter
2 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Gingerroot
Lemon Zest
Apple Juice
Lemon Juice
3 1/2 cups Granny Smith Apples
6  cups Bosc or Bartlett Pears
Vanilla
Flour
Sugar
Baking Soda
Sour Cream
Sugar

Thanks for joining me!!
There is no side dish this week because the stew pretty much takes
care of the entree and the side dish!



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Club Baked~Caramel Apple Cake

It is Club Baked time again!! This time we made the Caramel Apple Cake from the book we have been baking through, Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. This cake is beautiful! There is a picture in the book, and it is the ultimate cake. Triple layer, perfectly iced, no wayward crumbs in the icing~perfect! Mine looks nothing like this one.
Take a look.....
This cake is delicious!
It was moist, and easy to make, although time consuming.
 I did make a few changes in the recipe.
Here is what I did :
I made the cake in this pan, so it is a sheet cake.
 I did make the applesauce. Sooo yummy!!
I did make the caramel sauce, but I did not make the frosting.
 
I was going for something a little less sweet, so I 
used the caramel sauce as a topping.
It is wonderful, and you are going to love this recipe!
It reminds me of fall!


 For the recipe please stop by and see Melissa at her blog, Lulu the Baker.
Thanks Melissa for being such a great hostess!


Don't forget to stop by Club Baked to see how fantastic
everyone's cakes are!!
Think about joining us! You will have fun!!

See you next time!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Chocolate Spider Webs

This is so simple, yet so delicate and pretty. It's also a reminder to me that the spider is very artistically talented!  Way more so than me!!
Chocolate Spider Webs!
(to make 1 spider) 
 
12 Thin Pretzel Sticks
1 Gummie Spiders
2 blocks of White Chocolate( or something similar)
Chop some of the white chocolate, and
melt the white chocolate in a double boiler.
To make your own double boiler, place a small saucepan
over a large saucepan. Put a couple inches of water in 
the large pan and bring the water to a low boil.
Make sure the top sauce pan sits on the large pan, 
and does not fall in.
While the chocolate is melting, set your pretzels
on a piece of parchment paper, on a baking 
sheet, to look like a wheel spoke.
Fill a pastry bag with a #3 (Wilton) tip. Pipe a center
that will connect all the pretzel spokes. 
Then starting at the center, make circles around
the pretzels, and continue the circles all the way out.
Place a spider in the center of the web.
Put in the refrigerator(still on the baking sheet)
until it chills and hardens.
Once hard, carefully peel off the parchment paper.
Happy Halloween!!

BBQ Pork Sandwiches w/ Slaw

BBQ Pork sandwiches is THE Halloween meal to me. When I was a little girl, we would have BBQ sandwiches every Halloween. And so, the tradition lives on.  It just so happens that I love BBQ of any kind, so this is one tradition that I love continuing!!
Spray a baking pan with pan spray.
Place a pork loin in the pan. 
Sprinkle with garlic powder.
Fill the pan with water, to cover 1/4 of the pan.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap.
Then cover the plastic wrap with foil.
Cook at 350 degrees until a thermometer placed in
the pork loin reads 145 degrees.
Take out oven and let pork rest for 30 minutes.
To let the meat rest you are allowing the juices to stop flowing.
Cutting into the pork to soon will make the meat dry.
To make the pork sandwiches,
cut thin slices from the pork loin.
A slicer works great for this, or just cut by hand.
Build your sandwich by toasting the bun, then piling on the 
pork, topped with a taste of BBQ sauce.
Add some cole slaw.
We made some back in May.
Your BBQ sandwich is done!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Garlicky Bonesticks!

These garlic bonesticks are sure to ward off even the nastiest of Halloween villains. They are easy to make, using Rhodes Frozen Bread Loaves, and they are very tasty. Serve them with a side of pizza sauce, and you have a delicious addition to your Halloween feast!
Garlicky Bonesticks!
1 loaf of Rhodes Frozen Bread Loaves
Garlic Powder
Pizza Sauce
Thaw one loaf of Rhodes Bread Loaves by placing it in
the refrigerator for about 1-2 hours. When it is thawed,
place the loaf on a cutting board, and slice into 8 slices.
Roll each loaf into a 9'' roll.
Turn the ends of each bone into a knot, and place on
parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Cover the baking sheet with plastic and let rise for about
2-3 hours or until doubled in size.
Once they are doubled, sprinkle with garlic powder.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees until golden brown, 18-25 minutes.
Serve with warmed pizza sauce.

Happy Halloween!

Come back soon for more 
Halloween Goodies!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cheesy Pumpkin Appetizer!

These cheese pumpkins are so cute, and they are not just for Halloween. They would be a perfect starter for Thanksgiving also! I paired them with Ritz Buttery Thin Munchables. I have never had these crackers before, but they are light and bite size, making them perfect for the strong cheddar taste of the pumpkins!
Cheesy Pumpkin Appetizer
(Makes 10 Pumpkins)
10 tablespoons Cheddar cold pack Cheese
2 teaspoons finely chopped Nuts
5 butter flavored Pretzel Sticks
10 pieces tiny fresh Parsley leaves

Chop up the nuts until very fine.
Scoop each tablespoon of cheese into a ball. 
I wore gloves, and rolled the balls between my 
hands to get the correct look.
Place the balls of cheese on a piece of wax paper
or parchment paper. Place in freezer for about 5 minutes,
so they can become firm.
Start scoring lines on the cheese balls, 
so that they resemble pumpkins. Start
in the center, and draw a line from the top
to the bottom center. Do this about 7- 8 times
around each cheese ball.
Here is the completely scored cheese ball.
Snap each of the pretzel sticks in half. On each cheese ball,
place a parsley leaf at the top of the cheese. Take the
pretzel stick and insert it in the top of the cheese to
resemble the pumpkin stem. As you insert the pretzel,
grab a piece of the parsley to secure it as the pretzel goes in.
Tap the bottom of the cheese ball on the chopped
nuts. They should cover the bottom.
All done. Do this to each cheese ball.
If at any time the cheese becomes too soft to
work with, pop it in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
You can serve them all together on one plate,
or go for the homespun look, and serve on a 
cutting board. You could put several on a cutting board.
That would look great! or,
a cheesy pumpkin on an fall inspired appetizer plate.
There is no wrong way!

You could also use cheese that is flavored, such as a
smoked cheddar or a port wine cheese. Of course, your favorite
crackers always fit this recipe!

Happy Halloween!!

Stop by later for more Halloween Happenings!