Monday, November 7, 2011

Gingered Pear~Apple Cobbler

This Gingered Pear and Apple Cobbler is the dessert from last week. 
But this is worth waiting for. 
I used two of falls favorite fruits and they are scrumptious together.

Gingered Pear and Apple Cobbler
3/4 cup Sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted Butter, cut into chunks
2 1/2 teaspoons peeled and finely grated Gingerroot
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated Lemon Zest
6 tablespoons Apple Juice or Water
1 1/2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
3 1/2 cups of Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
6 cups of Bartlett Pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Cobbler Topping
1 1/3 cups Flour
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted Butter, cut into bits
1/2 cup Sour Cream, plus 1 1/2 tablespoon for top
1 tablespoon Sugar
Vanilla Ice Cream

 Peel the ginger.
Slice the ginger off into small pieces by using 
your peeler.
Take the small pieces and chop them until fine.
Zest the lemon. Do this by pulling the lemon along the 
microplane. Let the zest fall into the bowl. But don't 
zest any of the white skin. It will make your dish bitter.
Peel and core your apples.
Slice your apples.
Peel and core your pears.
Slice your pears.
Put the sugar and the cornstarch in a
pot for cooking on the stove.
Add the butter, cut into chunks.
Add the chopped ginger.
Add the lemon zest.
Turn the burner on medium high,
and mix until thickened slightly.
Add the apples. Let the mix boil, and cook stirring often
for 3 minutes.
Add the pears and vanilla. Cook, stirring often for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.
In a food processor, place the flour...
salt and baking soda.
Pulse to mix.
Take the butter bits....
add to the flour mixture.
Pulse until mix comes together. To test it, put some on your
fingers and pinch. You want it to stick together. If it does not come
together, add small amounts of water and then pulse until it
does come together.
Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper.
Knead until smooth.
Place some flour on the parchment. 
Turn the dough over so it can be lightly floured on both sides.
Top with another piece of parchment paper.
Roll or press the dough until it is in the shape of your pan,
just slightly smaller.
This is the pan I used.
Place the dough over the fruit.
Tuck in or cut off the extra dough.
Cut a design in the top so the steam can vent.
Brush the 1 1/2 tablespoon of sour cream on the top.
Sprinkle sugar on top.
Bake on a baking sheet with sides, in a 400 degree
preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until brown.
Let cool for at least 30 minutes.
Add ice cream (it's required!)

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What are we cooking this week?

This week we are cooking some delicious things! I am still in search of many new appetizers for several upcoming parties, so we will be making a new appetizer, a delicious sandwich with fries for the side, and a fall dessert, that is sure to become a family favorite. Let's get cookin'!!!

Menu and Grocery List
Appetizer~Chutney Cheese Ball
8oz. Cream Cheese, softened
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 tablespoons Dry Sherry
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
Hot pepper Sauce or Cayenne~dash
1/4 cup chopped Scallions
1/2 cup Mango Chutney
Mango Chutney
(to go with cheese ball recipe)
2 1/2 cups Mango
1" piece of fresh Ginger
1 Serrano Chili
1 clove Garlic
1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
 1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup dried Cranberries
Black Pepper

Entree~French Dip w/ a side of Steak Fries
Top Round~purchase enough to put 5-6 oz per sandwich
Soft Buns for Sandwich
Garlic Powder
Idaho Potatoes

Dessert~Pumpkin and Cranberry Bread Pudding
Brown Sugar
1 cup Milk
2 1/4 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
Ground Cinnamon
Ground Ginger
Ground Allspice
5 1/2 cups crusty French Bread
3/4 cup dried Sweetened Cranberries

Thanks for joining me!

Crazy Cooking Challenge~Mashed Potatoes

This month at Crazy Cooking Challenge the recipe search was on for a mashed potato dish. I never realized how many different ways there are to make mashed potatoes!! I searched quite a few sites and looked at a lot of recipes, but the one that intrigued me the most was the Mashed Potato Casserole at Lynn's Kitchen Adventures. This is a wonderful site that is is written by Lynn, a busy wife and mother. Her site is full of creative recipes, kitchen tips, and some knock off recipes (Yum~I love those!) She also writes a blog called Lynn's Recipe Adventures,  her journey of  learning to cook gluten free and allergy  free. I chose Lynn's Mashed Potato Casserole for a couple of reasons. First of all, I have never had mashed potato casserole, and second, it seemed different, but true to the mashed potato! And it was. It was delicious! It had lots of flavor, it was easy to prepare, and I think you could serve this dish at Thanksgiving for a welcome change of pace. Thanks Lynn for a great recipe!

Mashed Potato Casserole
3 tablespoon Butter
3 pounds Potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Eggs 
1 1/4 cup Milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese
Wash the potatoes, then peel.
Cube potatoes, by cutting them in half. Cut each half in fourths,
then turn them around, and slice each one resulting in cubes!
Place the potatoes in a pot, and cover the potatoes with water.
Add the butter.
Bring the potatoes to a boil, and then lower the temperature,
and cook until they are done.
Drain the potatoes.
Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl.
Add the eggs....
and the milk.
Mash the potatoes. Add 1cup of the shredded cheese
and mix well.
Place the potatoes in a baking dish.
Spray the dish first with pan spray.
Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the top of the potatoes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Cut and serve!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Favorite Fall Fixins Salad

These weeks salad is simple, simple, simple. It comes together in a flash, and it tastes great. It's got a little bit of fall in it too!

Favorite Fall Fixins Salad
Romaine Lettuce
Granny Smith Apple
Golden Raisins
Roma Tomato
Clean and wash your lettuce, then chop it into small
bite size pieces.
Chop the ends of of the tomato.
Cut a slice off, and then cut it into quarters.
If you like more tomato, cut another slice.
Cut some of the apple off and cut it into bite size pieces.
Slice some onion, and grab a handful of raisins!
Put everything together, and squeeze some
lemon juice on for a tangy bite.


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Stop back for this weeks dessert!

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
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. 
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
Vegetable Oil
Worcestershire Sauce
Garlis Salt
Ground Allspice
Bay Leaves
4 Carrots
2 Celery Ribs
4 medium Red Potatoes
3 small Onions

Dessert~Gingered Pear-Apple Cobbler
(serves 10 people)
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
Baking Soda
Sour Cream

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!