Monday, August 30, 2010

Party Ideas..

I love this idea..little wax paper bags you can get at the party store, trim tops with scalloped scissors. Fill with what ever you want, But I love the cherries..
What a great idea..remember these fortune makers, I loved these as a kid..Go here for the pattern..cute idea. Just in time for Labor Day fun..

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Croissant French Toast with Vanilla Sauce

Croissant French Toast

Several croissant halves per person
6 to 8 eggs, beaten

Prepare vanilla sauce first (recipe below). It can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated. Warm before serving. To prepare the Croissant French Toast, slit the croissant in half and dip in beaten egg. Allow several croissant halves per person.. Cook on an electric griddle or in a fry pan until both sides are set. Top with berries if desired and serve with vanilla sauce.

Vanilla Sauce

1 T. flour
4 egg yolks
1 T. vanilla
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 scoops vanilla ice cream

In a small bowl combine flour, egg yolks and vanilla; set aside. In a saucepan combine cream and sugar; bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir a small amount of cream mixture into the egg mixture..Return all to pan. Stirring constantly, bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for two min. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla ice cream until melted. Serve warm. YUM!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2 Tortilla Soup get to decide or try both..

Fall is in the air, Time for soup (almost)

Tortilla Soup #1

3 T. butter
1T. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 T. flour
2 cartons (32 ounces each) chicken broth
1 pkg. (1.25ounces) mild taco seasoning mix
1 can corn, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 pound chicken breasts cooked and shredded P.S. I've used cooked Ground Beef either one.
(canned chicken can be substituted)

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Sour cream
Avocado, diced
Broken tortilla chips
Fresh cilantro, chopped

Sauté' onion in butter and olive oil. Add flour, and mix will. Add remaining ingredients,
and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 min. To serve, place a small amount of chicken in each bowl and add soup. Top with garnishes
Yield: 6 servings
Tip: for a thicker soup add an additional 1 to 2 T. flour, mixed with a little cold water during the last five min. of cooking.

Tortilla Soup #2

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1 Big bottle mild picante sauce (4 pounds?) enough to cover chicken breasts during cooking.
1 box (32 ounces) chicken broth
2 cans (11 ounces each ) corn, drained
2 cans (15.25 ounces each) red kidney beans, drained

Grated cheese
Broken Tortilla chips
Black olive slices
Sour cream
Sprig of cilantro
In a large pot, cook the chicken in the picante sauce on medium heat for 2o to 30 min. Add chicken broth, corn and beans. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with any or all of the garnishes listed above.
Yield 10 to 12 servings.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Silly Social

Life is good celebrate with friends..have a Silly Social..

*Mail or hand deliver invitations to each guest or couple, inviting them to your Silly Social..Encourage them to wear the funniest combinations of clothing they own, telling them a prize will be awarded to the silliest. Invite them to dinner, but tell them they will need to bring the ingredients for dinner and also help prepare it..Assign each couple or person to bring one of the ingredients for the "Group Effort Soup" (you provide the hamburger).
*Let your imagination run wild as you set the table. Mix and match paper cups, paper plates and napkins (or paper towels) from a variety of holidays. A decorated paper tablecloth would be a nice addition (florists are usually glad to give you their wilted flowers).
*When the guests arrive direct them to the kitchen and assign them a task to help with dinner. Some could brown the hamburger, others peel and cut the vegetables and others could get the bread sticks ready. Have some prepared fresh vegetables in a container and some cheese and crackers for your guest to munch on as they are cooking.
*Take candid pictures of your company.
*After dinner, clean up will be a breeze and leave plenty of time to watch a silly movie or play silly games.
*Award the silliest get-up with a prize.

Group-Effort Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups hot water
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups quartered potatoes
2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 can whole tomatoes
1 T. beef bouillon

Brown beef; add onion and cook until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the tomatoes. Bring to boil, cover and simmer 20 min. Add tomatoes, and if necessary, more water; simmer 10 min. longer.
Yield 4-6 servings..double as needed per guest list..
This is a great Youth activity..they learn to work together..Remember to have fun..

Crunchy Cheese Sticks:
24 frozen dinner rolls, thawed but still cold (thaw in refrigerator)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 t. garlic salt
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 t. parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter and garlic salt in a bowl. In another bowl combine the cheeses and parsley flakes. Shape each roll into a rope 5 inches long. Dip in butter mixture and then roll in cheese mixture. Place on a cookie sheet and let rise 30 min. Bake 15 to 20 min. until cheese starts to brown. Serve warm.
Yield 24 sticks.

Adapted from the book: The Domestic Diva's Party Cookbook..

Monday, August 16, 2010

Toffee Pecan Bars..

Okay these are the BEST ever.. getting ready for the holidays and this will be included in my holiday baking for sure..

Toffee Pecan Bars:

2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cold butter
1 egg
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 t. vanilla
1 package (8 ounces) English toffee pieces (they sell them at walmart, but couldn't find them at Winco)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour and powdered sugar; cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Press into a 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 15 min. Meanwhile, beat egg; add milk, vanilla, English toffee pieces, and pecans. Spread over baked crust; bake for another 20 min.
Yield: 24 bars..

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Be a whipping Cream Whiz

*Add powdered sugar to whipping cream before beating, the whipped cream stands up well, even if it is not used immediately.

*Whipping cream retains its shape longer if when whipping you add one teaspoon of light corn syrup for each half pint of cream.

*For whipping cream with a heavier texture that does not separate, add 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix along with powdered sugar and vanilla for each pint of cream.

*try flavored whipping cream

Chocolate Whipped Cream:
1 pint heavy cream
3 heaping Tablespoons cocoa mix
3 heaping Tablespoons sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whip with a mixer until the cream forms peaks.
Yield 2 cups..

Nutmeg Whipping Cream:
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 T. sugar
1/4 t. finely shredded orange peel
1/4 t. vanilla 1/8 t. ground nutmeg

In a chilled small mixer bowl, combine all of the ingredeients. Beat with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks from. Serve immediately, or cover and chill.
Yield: 1 cup

Easy Lemon Cream:
1 cup whipping cream
1t. vanilla
1 cup purchased lemon pudding

Beat whipping cream and vanilla until soft peaks form..Fold in lemon pudding and stir gently until combined. For a creamier texture stir in one T. of lemon juice or milk.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bridal Shower

I catered the food for a very dear friend whose son will soon marry a super sweet girl..why do brides look younger and younger, couldn't be because Im getting older and older..they are such a cute couple..and I loved doing the food for her party..
Hit of the party...Pasta Chicken Caesar Salad..
1 Lg. head Romaine Lettuce, washed and dried
1 pkg. (8oz.) Penne Pasta, cooked and rinsed with cold water
3 chicken breasts, grilled and cubed
Bottled Caesar Salad dressing
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Herbed croutons

Tear Lettuce into bite sized pieces and place in salad bowl; cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, combine the lettuce, chicken and cooked pasta; toss with enough salad dressing to coat, and top with Parmesan cheese and croutons.. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6 servings.

another hit, and super easy.

Raspberry Fruit Dip

1 Lg. tub of Cool Whip
1 sm bag frozen raspberries

Defrost in fridge and right before serving mix together..serve with fruit.

Tip: Fresh fruit combinations of the same color add a different twist. For instance, combine honeydew melon, kiwi, Granny Smith apple slices, and green grapes; or cantaloupe, sliced peaches and nectarines, mango chunks, and papaya slices; or watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010