Monday, July 9, 2018

BROCCOLI and BACON SALAD

This is my new FAVORITE salad, I can't seem to get enough of it. It's super easy to make and is TWICE AS GOOD the 2nd day which is very handy.

I still can't get picky-picky husband to even try it (he has a war against broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts) but that's OK, it leaves more for me 👍



This isn’t really a traditional recipe where you have to measure everything (well...except for the dressing). It’s more of a guideline  (add/exchange any ingredient to your liking). Here is where I start:

5-6 cups bite size RAW broccoli pieces
very thinly sliced green onion (as much as you like)
8 slices bacon fried crisp and crumbled
1 cup SHARP cheddar cheese (grated)
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup  craisens (or) raisins

If there is an ingredient you don’t like....leave it out.  If there is an ingredient you REALLY like...add more...I add extra bacon 😉 

Dressing:
3/4 cup mayo (not Miracle Whip)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
pinch cayenne
Whisk together
Note: This tastes weird right after you make it, but mellows and blends overnight.....very tasty.

Toss the salad ingredients and cover with the dressing. It looks like there is too much dressing, but there isn’t........after it sits overnight.........somehow, it all works together.






Before serving, I gently toss it again and top it with a little extra crisp bacon and sunflower seeds.


ENJOY !!!

NOTE: I've tried adding the crisp bacon pieces just before serving, with hopes it would stay crisp.  I've also added the bacon to the salad BEFORE it sits overnight.  I like BOTH approaches....so what I do, is add half the bacon to the salad immediately, so it flavors the dressing overnight.....then I add the other half of the crisp bacon just before serving and it stays crisp.

Friday, June 29, 2018

CARAMEL APPLE CRISP

I've been baking apple crisps for decades and this is BY FAR the best tasting one I've EVER made. It is SO yummy that picky-picky husband immediately gave if FIVE STARS. I can't tell you how rare that is !!!

The thinly sliced apples, which bake in a rich, mellow, caramel sauce, are topped with a sweet, crunchy, nutty layer that is to die for.....and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.....WOW !!!  




CARAMEL APPLE CRISP
THE BEST EVER !!


MIX THE TOPPING INGREDIENTS FIRST
2/3 cup light brown sugar packed
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and cut in the cold butter until it is crumbly, stir in nuts. Set aside.

MAKE THE APPLE LAYER NEXT
5 large cooking apples (I like to use an apple called Envy)
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract + enough water to = ¼ cup

Peel and slice the apples (very thin). Place them in a large bowl and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt the butter. Remove from heat and add the flour and corn starch and stir until smooth.  Measure 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract into a quarter cup measure, and then fill the rest up with water (total liquid 1/4 cup). Add the water/extract liquid, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to the melted butter mixture. Bring it all to a very low simmer (just let it start to boil around the edges of the pan for about 30 seconds).

Take off the heat and pour over the apples and toss until they are well coated.  Set aside.




PUT IT ALL TOGETHER

Put the coated apples into a chilled - unbaked pie shell. NOTE: it is important that you use a DEEP dish pie plate or you will get spill over.

Sprinkle apples with the brown sugar crisp you made earlier and bake in preheated 375° oven for 40-45 minutes or until filling looks bubbly.

Let cool until you can hold your hand (comfortably) on the bottom of the pie plate before cutting.

The pie tastes almost like a mellow caramel apple, it is scrumptious!!

ENJOY !!!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

HOME MADE CREAM CHEESE

HOME MADE CREAM CHEESE


This is fun to make, quick and surprisingly tasty !! It only takes 3 ingredients and makes almost 5 1/2 ounces of cream cheese.


4 cups WHOLE milk
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (see note below)
1/4 teaspoon table salt (OR) 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

Use a heavy saucepan (so it doesn't scorch), heat the milk (stirring constantly) until it comes to a boil.

Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium (keep stirring) and add the lemon juice one tablespoon at a time...........waiting one minute between each addition (important, keep stirring). (see note below about amount of lemon juice.

Fairly quickly (less than a minute) the milk will start to curdle and the curds will float, leaving a fairly clear, faint green liquid under the curds.  

Pour everything through a strainer that is lined with cheesecloth. Let it stain and cool for about 20 minutes. The strained curds will look like this:


After the curds have drained and cooled, put them in a food processor and process for about 3 minutes, or until very smooth.  Add the salt and process for another 15 (or so) seconds. 

Cover tightly and chill.
This recipe makes almost 5 1/2 ounces 
of cream cheese

Note about the lemon juice: With the WHOLE MILK that I use, it only takes 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to get perfect curds, but you might need that 3rd tablespoons with a different brand of milk (just have that 3rd tablespoon ready, just in case).

There is no lemon flavor in this finished cream cheese. If you are going to add herbs or other flavors, add them before you chill the cheese.

Store in fridge.

ENJOY !!!