Thursday, August 24, 2017

EASY CROCKPOT PICNIC BEANS

I've been making these beans for my family for 30+ years and they are always a hit. Now that we are empty nesters, I make a big pot of these and then freeze them in 2 cup containers for a quick and yummy addition to any meal. 


I put the following ingredients (which are always in my pantry) into the crockpot before I go to bed and let them cook on LOW all night.


2 cups DRY navy beans (do not soak)
6 cups water
1/2 cup dark brown sugar  (light brown sugar works well too)
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
3/4 cup sweet onion chopped small *see note below
(1) 8 ounce can tomato sauce
6 slices crisp cooked bacon

Now, a word about the beans:  Over the years, I've tried every kind of DRY bean there is and they ALL work, however, the tiny little "navy beans" work the best and tolerate re-heating without going mushy. I highly recommend that you use navy beans.

Saute onions and fry bacon until almost crisp then drain well. Put everything into a large crockpot and cover with 6 cups of water. Stir well and set on low for 12 hours. 

At the end of 12 hours, if it seems like there is too much liquid in the beans, you can prop a spoon under one side of the crockpot lid and let the sauce cook down for a couple hours. I seldom have to do this, but it HAS happened with certain types of beans.

Note about onions: When I decide to make these beans and I'm out of fresh onions, I use a scant tablespoon of dehydrated onion flakes, they work well.

ENJOY !!!

Friday, August 18, 2017

APPLE SNACK CAKE with CARAMEL FROSTING

This is a super easy, single layer (stir and bake) snack cake. It is VERY moist (even after 3 days) and truly delicious (we can't seem to stop snacking on it!!)


The frosting in this photo is still
hot, so it looks a little strange, but
as it cools, the frosting turns into a very
SOFT fudge-y consistency...delicious !!!

APPLE SNACK CAKE
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1  1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups chopped Red Delicious apples 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix the oil, sugar, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir in the flour and baking soda.

Peel and chop the apples fairly small (I use my food processor)

Red Delicious apples

Stir in the apples and nuts until well mixed. 

Spray a 9" cake pan with cooking spray AND line the bottom with parchment paper, then spray it again. If you do this, the baked cake will pop right out of the pan.

Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 35-40 minutes (test for done-ness with toothpick). My electric oven takes exactly 35 minutes.

Let the baked cake sit IN pan for 20 minutes before you turn it out.
Cool the cake completely, then frost.



CARAMEL FROSTING
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/3 cup evaporated milk*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the brown sugar and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down so that it boils softly for 1 minute, whisking the whole time.

Remove from heat (add the vanilla) and keep whisking until it starts to thicken up just a little (you can do this step with your electric hand mixer if you want). 

Keep in mind, that as the frosting cools, it will thicken even more. Let cake and frosting cool completely before cutting the cake.

NOTE: If you don't have evaporated milk, I would think that whipping cream would work just as well (but I haven't tried it that way).

ENJOY !!!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

LIGHT AS AIR PEANUT BUTTER PIE

Most peanut butter recipes like this are way to "heavy" and way to sweet, but this one is PERFECT, it's more like a light mousse. 

Double the ingredients and put it in a 9x13 dish and it will disappear from ANY buffet table in a wink, followed by lots of requests for the recipe. IT IS LIGHT AS AIR !!!!!




9" Pie or double the ingredients and
make a 9" x 13" size for a crowd 


CRUST
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Combine all crust ingredients and press into a 9" pie pan (pushing up the sides) sit it in the fridge while you are making the filling.

FILLING
8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cups creamy peanut butter  (I use Jiff)
1 cups sugar
1 tablespoons soft butter
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 cups whipping cream

Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth, then add the peanut butter, sugar, butter and vanilla.  Beat on high until the mixture is very well mixed and smooth.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream until you get stiff peaks, then gently fold it into the peanut butter mixture by hand, making sure that it is well mixed and you don't see any streaks of white.

Spoon filling into the crumb crust. Chill the whole thing for 3-4 hours or overnight.

NOTE: For the chocolate decoration on this pie, I heat 1/4 cup of milk to boiling, then pour it over 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Stir until well melted and smooth. drizzle over the finished pie and then sprinkle with a few graham cracker crumbs and chopped peanuts for decoration....(not  necessary, but fun).

NOTE: OK......here's a warning.... if you are like me and you like to lick the beaters and spoons, you will notice sugar grains in the filling.....don't freak out. After it chills in the fridge for a couple of hours, they will totally disappear and the filling will be SILKY SMOOTH!! I promise!!!



This stuff is totally addicting!!

ENJOY !!!