Friday, October 28, 2011

Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Jar

After seeing all the wonderful things that can be made in mason jars, I thought that it was time I delved into this art myself.  Why not make something that I've been craving so much, in a mason jar and see how it turns out?

The truth is, pretty much anything you can bake, can be made into smaller portions and adapted to work with mason jars.

Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Jar

I love that, I think it not only makes for a cute presentation but it's the right amount for each person, just the perfect serving size.

Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Jar

One of my favorite desserts on earth, is Sticky Toffee Pudding, I drool just talking about,  I guess it's the combination of dates (which I love) with the molasses, the soft warm cake soaking up the caramel sauce and then the added flavor from freshly whipped cream.  It's just one of those desserts that is so easy to make but amazingly tasty.

I'm talking, licking the spoon and plate clean when you're done.

I have been messing around with different Sticky Toffee Pudding recipes, tweaking a little here and a little there and combining a few and seeing which I liked the best, and I think I finally got it right for me.

The result was these delicious little puddings in cute little mason jars.  These are 8 oz size that I'm using.

Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Jar

Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Jar


1 stick butter, room temperature
8 oz pitted dates (I use the boxed kind that are 4 oz each, so you need 2 of those)
1 cup of sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tablespoons molasses
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the inside of the mason jars with nonstick spray....or just use butter to grease and a little flour.

In the kitchenaid mixer (or just use a hand mixer if you don't have it), add the sugar and butter, beat for a minute or two. Add in the 2 eggs and beat well.

Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Jar

Chop the dates finely, place them in a bowl and add a half a cup of boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes, then add to the sugar, butter and eggs.

Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Jar

Next, add in the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix and while the machine is mixing, add in the vanilla, and molasses, just let it stir long enough to get those mixed in well then turn off. Don't over mix.

Fill each jar about halfway full. Just make as many as the batter will allow, I ended up with 8.

Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Jar

Place the jars on a cookie sheet, and pop in the oven. Cook for 50 minutes or until done, check with a toothpick inserted in the center, if it's clean, it's ready.

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Remove from the oven and set aside.

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Caramel Toffee Sauce

2 Sticks of butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all 4 ingredients in a saucepan, stir and cook on low until the mixture reduces....about 10 minutes.

Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Jar

Immediately poke holes all over the still warm cake, and spoon the toffee sauce over.

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Let it sit for a bit, at least another 10 minutes so that the cake absorbs all that goodness. You can eat them straight out of the jar, or you can pop them out onto a plate.

Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Jar

Serve with more toffee sauce poured over and some freshly whipped cream. Some people will use vanilla ice cream, but personally for me, it HAS to be cream.

Enjoy!

BTW, these are best eaten right away and honestly I doubt you'll have any leftover, but if you do, just wait until the jars have cooled completely, then put the rings and lids back on and store it in the refrigerator. When you want to enjoy it, just remove the cakes from the jars, they should pop right out, and pour some warmed leftover toffee sauce over.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Recipe Round up

That's right, it's just around the corner and I know a lot of people have company over, throw Halloween parties or, like myself, just like to make a few yummy Halloween inspired treats for the kids.

So, with that in mind, I'm going to give you links to some of the yummiest, coolest looking recipes you can whip up for your family this year.

Spider Web Seven Layer Dip @ Divine Dinner Party

Halloween Hors d'ouvres

To make, use mini Halloween-theme cookie cutters to cut out pieces of cheese and meat. Place cutouts on top of various crackers, along with lettuce leaves; use olive pieces to decorate the faces.

Halloween Nachos

Grinning jack-o'-lanterns made from taco ingredients keep the buffet line moving. To make, start with large round crackers, spread with sour cream and/or salsa, and top with cooked taco meat and shredded cheese. Use tomatoes, peppers, and olives to make the jack-o'-lantern faces.

Jack-O'-Lantern Cheeseball

A tasty cheese ball turns into a Halloween-worthy appetizer when costumed in nacho-cheese-flavor chips. To make, roll cheese ball in crushed chips and place on a bed of kale. Cut a black olive into two triangle-shape pieces for the eyes and press into the cheese ball. Press three olive halves into the cheese ball to form the grin. (You might need to remove chips from these areas so the olives stick.) Place a dill pickle on top for a stem.

Tombstone Sandwiches

For a quick Halloween appetizer so good it comes from the graves, serve guests tombstone sandwiches. To make, cut chicken salad sandwiches into tombstone shapes, roll the edges in chopped pecans for a pebbly look, and serve from a graveyard covered in creepy cabbage.

Mummy Dogs

Cook up some 'dogs for an all-wrapped-up take on finger foods. Refrigerated breadsticks do the legwork. Make the appetizer lighter with cocktail wieners and a pinch of the breadstick dough rather than a full breadstick.



Candy Corn Cupcakes @ The Sugar Turntable



Pumpkin Candy Corn Cupcakes @ A Law Student’s Journey

Magic Potion Punch @ Fun and Facts with Kids

Ghoul Punch @ Fun and Facts with Kids

Meatballs with Sauce

Another great recipe for meatballs.  The recipe itself called for the sauce to simmer for an hour and to make the meatballs separately and then add them to the sauce, but in an effort to save time, I put the meatballs in from the beginning and simmered everything for about 45 minutes to an hour on medium low.

Meatballs with Sauce

Meatballs with Sauce

2 sm. onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
t tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oregano
2 tsp salt
2 8oz cans tomato sauce
1 7oz tomato paste
3 cups of water
2 slices of bread
2 lbs ground beef
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook 1 onion and garlic in olive oil: add sugar, salt, oregano, tomato sauce, tomato paste and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat.

Simmer for 1 hour. Combine remaining ingredients; shape into balls. Brown meatballs in skillet; cover with sauce. Cover for 30 minutes.

Meatballs with Sauce

NOTE: I placed all the sauce ingredients in the pan, turned the heat on and then got the meatball mixture combined and the meatballs shaped, then just dropped them into the pot and covered.

There's nothing quite like a bowl of spaghetti with tons of sauce and delicious meatballs, is there?

Meatballs with Sauce

Mason Jar Stromboli

That's right, stromboli in a mason jar.

Mason Jar Stromboli

I couldn't make this up if I tried, but the queen of mason jar cooking is always surprising me with awesome stuff, like this recipe which left my kids drooling and begging for more.  Truth be told, it didn't last long at all and right after homeschooling, I'll be making a double batch to freeze.

Mason Jar Stromboli

Mason Jar Stromboli

For the dough...
2 T. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup very warm
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tsp. Kosher salt

about 12 Provolone Cheese slices
about 18 slices Genoa Salami
Italian Seasoning for sprinkling
Garlic Salt for sprinkling
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

In a large bowl place yeast and sugar. Pour warm water over yeast and let set for 2 minutes, then stir in flour and salt. Kneed until a soft dough ball forms. You may have to add pinches of flour if the dough is still sticky. Roll out on a large floured surface into a big rectangle 1/4 inch thick.

Mason Jar Stromboli

Lay out 2 rows of cheese, you can use provolone or a blend, I used provolone and Munster because that is what I had. Then lay out three rows of salami. Sprinkle with garlic salt, Italian Seasonings, and Parmesan cheese.

Mason Jar Stromboli

Starting at the end farthest from you, start rolling the dough toward you being sure you are making a tight roll. Pinch the seam closed. Using a sharp knife, cut the stromboli into 12 rolls.

Mason Jar Stromboli

Place in greased 8 ounce wide mouth mason jars. (she uses baby food size, but I don't have those, I used the smallest ones I had)

Mason Jar Stromboli

Bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Mason Jar Stromboli

Cool completely before lidding. Store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use. Serve with a small jar of Marinara Sauce. Reheat unlidded in the microwave for 30 second increments until desired temperature. Jar will be hot, use caution. Makes 12.

Chicken Pot Pie with Drop Biscuits

Not much to say on this one, other than you'll be surprised at how delicious it is using the simplest of ingredients.

Chicken Pot Pie with Drop Biscuits

Another winner from one of my really old cookbooks.

Chicken Pot Pie with Drop Biscuits

Chicken Pot Pie with Drop Biscuits

1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
2 and 1/3 cup flour
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup shortening

Melt butter in large saucepan; saute celery and mushrooms slowly for about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper; add 1 cup milk and chicken broth gradually (I used the broth from when I cooked the chicken), stirring constantly, till thickened.

Chicken Pot Pie with Drop Biscuits

Stir in chicken; pour mixture into greased casserole dish.

Chicken Pot Pie with Drop Biscuits

Sift remaining flour, baking powder and remaining salt together; cut or rub in shortening till mixture is crumbly.

Chicken Pot Pie with Drop Biscuits

Add milk to make drop batter; drop by spoonfuls on top of hot chicken mixture.

Chicken Pot Pie with Drop Biscuits

Bake in 425 degree oven about 30 minutes.

Baked Stuffed Tri-Tip

So here's tonight's dinner. I still have a ton of meat in the freezer so I have to get creative when it comes to making things that I would usually just roast in the oven or stove top.

One of my favorite things to eat is stuffed Pork Tenderloin, I don't even care what kind of stuffing, I just love it, and it might be because I find Pork to be an extremely tasty meat without having to add much to it at all.

So, Tri-Tip, stuffed with bread cubes, onion etc. You could totally make up whatever filling you want, but I decided to keep it easy and went with another recipe from the old cookbook.

Baked Stuffed Tri-Tip

Baked Stuffed Tri-Tip

2 lb Tri-tip
2 cups cubed bread
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
garlic clove, sliced
chives

In a medium bowl combine the bread, butter, onion, salt and pepper and chives, combine well.

Baked Stuffed Tri-Tip

Cut the Tri-Tip in half, not all the way through so that you can open it and lay it out like a big rectangle.

Place the bread mixture in the middle and spread it out over the meat. Roll up carefully using toothpicks to close and keep the filling inside.

Baked Stuffed Tri-Tip

Make slashes on the meat and insert the garlic slices.

Baked Stuffed Tri-Tip

Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 2 hours or until meat is tender.

Baked Stuffed Tri-Tip

At this point, I like to unwrap it and pop it back in the oven for a few more minutes just to get nice and brown.

Baked Stuffed Tri-Tip

Remove the toothpicks, slice and serve immediately.

Baked Stuffed Tri-Tip

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Creamy Chives, Onion and Parsley Potatoes

I don't even try to hide it anymore, I'm like the biggest potato fan on earth.  You could give me potatoes everyday and every which way and I would be one happy girl.

Creamy Chive, Onion and Parsley Potatoes

I probably eat more potatoes than I should, but I can't help it, it's my weakness.

This is very easy way to put together some of the most yummiest potato side dish you'll ever have, or at least in my opinion.

Creamy Chive, Onion and Parsley Potatoes

Creamy Chives, Onion and Parsley Potatoes

1 lb potatoes, washed well and quartered
salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons butter
4 oz Philadelphia Chive and Onion Cream Cheese
Parsley
Pepper
chopped chives

Boil potatoes in salted water until done. Drain the water, add the garlic, butter, cream cheese and parsley, chives and pepper,

Creamy Chive, Onion and Parsley Potatoes

stir well,

Creamy Chive, Onion and Parsley Potatoes

turn the heat back on and stir for a few minutes longer until the cheese is melted.

Serve immediately!

Creamy Chive, Onion and Parsley Potatoes

Cheesy Meatloaf

I just had a leftover Meatloaf sandwich for lunch, have you noticed how the meatloaf seems to taste even better the next day???

I love meatloaf, it's pure comfort yumminess for me, and I also like trying different combinations, a little of this, a bunch of that and see what turns out.

I've made a few meatloaves in my time and I've posted them on the blog, but this next recipe comes from an old cookbook.  It's pages are turning yellow and becoming really thin to the touch, the cover is slowly pulling away from the binder, but inside text is still ripe with amazing comfort foods, good home cooking using what you have in your pantry.

I adapted the recipe slightly from the book which is a compilation of Elementary School Parents, dated back to 1968.

Cheesy Meatloaf

Cheesy Meatloaf

2 lbs ground beef
1/3 cup milk
1/2 onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
Shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)
1 tsp. salt

Soak bread in milk;

Cheesy Meatloaf

mix with onion, eggs, beef, about 1 cup of shredded cheese and salt.

Cheesy Meatloaf

In a baking pan, spray with non stick spray. Add half of the meat mixture,

Cheesy Meatloaf

shape into a rectangle. Sprinkle another cup of shredded cheese on top (you could also do slices).

Cheesy Meatloaf

Top with the remaining meat mixture, press down on the sides to seal and shape into a nice loaf.

Cheesy Meatloaf

Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.

Cheesy Meatloaf
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