Thursday, December 25, 2008

Warm Apple Cider

Very Merry Christmas to all my loyal Yummy Fun followers!

This warm drink is just nothing but holiday sweetness. After serving those I love with this yummy winter time drink I often let it simmer on the stove to create an unforgettable aroma.

4 C Pineapple Juice
1 1/2 C Apricot Nectar
4 C Apple Cider
1 C Orange Juice
1 Cup Water
10 whole cloves (in wire basket if available)
6 sticks of cinnamon
1/4 tea heaping Cardamon
pinch of ginger
pinch of nutmeg

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cream Puffs

These are one of my FAVORITE desserts.... impossible to resist. If I REALLY love someone, they will get these as a token of my affection:)



1 cube butter
1 C water
1 C flour
1/4 tea salt
dash of sugar
3-4 eggs

In sauce pan bring to a slight boil water and butter. Remove from stove top and add flour stirring with a wisk, mix well. Let stand 5-10 minutes to cool down. Add well beaten eggs ONE at a time. Use wooden spoon to mix, once it is completely incorporated add another egg. The important thing about puff pastry's is the egg... if you add too many eggs it will ruin it. Watching the consistency of the batter is essential! It needs to be pasty and hold its form. If it spreads out then there are too many eggs and will likely not work so be careful. Eggs are not a perfect measurement, Rarely do I ever use 4 eggs, sometimes I use 2 eggs and other times I use 3 1/2, just watch it VERY carefully. Once blended well and mixture is still pasty, spoon mixture into your pastry bag and pipe onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden. Bake times may vary depending on the size of your pastry. These will turn the corner quickly and can burn easily so be watchful. Resist the temptation to open the oven, they may flop especially if opened early on. Once golden remove from oven and immediately remove from cookie sheet and let cool completely.

Cream Filling

1 Lg package vanilla instant pudding
1 C milk
2 C whipped cream
1 tea vanilla

Beat for 5 minutes until very thick.

Slice open puff pastry with sharp knife and spoon cream into pastry.

Chocolate Frosting

4 Tbl butter - melted
4 oz cream cheese
1-2 tbl milk
4 Tbl cocoa powder
1 tea vanilla
powdered sugar until desired constancy

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Herb Roasted Turkey

I was watching a show the other day and was amazed how many times they talked about ALL the things you should do to avoid a dry turkey and I could not help myself from shaking me head and thinking to myself..."those silly people... have they not found the turkey canon yet??? they need my turkey canon!" There is NO such thing as a dry turkey with this. I love the herbs, it makes an amazing turkey and wonderful gravy. Enjoy!



12-16 Lb Turkey

* Dry Rub
3Tbl Kosher Salt
2 Tbl Sage
2 Tbl Rosemary
1 Tbl Thyme
1 tea Pepper

* Pour into Turkey Canon
1 ¼ Cup White Cranberry Juice (other juices may substitute)
Onion slices
Orange slices
2 sprigs of fresh sage if available or dry sage as a substitute.
1 tea garlic clove
1 sprig of rosemary
½ a lemon squeezed into cylinder

Prepare turkey as directed. Remove giblets and neck, rise well and pat dry with paper towel. Use dry rub to thoroughly rub the inside and outside of turkey. Fill cylinder with juice, spices, onion and orange slices. Place turkey onto canon, drizzle with olive oil or butter and bag with a turkey bag (very important). Place in preheated oven at 450 for 30 minutes, decrease temperature to 375 and bake 90 more minutes.  That's 2 hours people....(yipee!) The turkey cooks twice as fast because it cooks from the inside out and virtually gets steamed ans infused with moisture from the cylinder. Check internal temperature, once turkey reaches 175, remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mom's Yummy Stuffing



* Combine in bowl
1 Bag seasoned stuffing or coarse bread crumbs
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can chicken broth
1/2 square melted butter
1 can water chestnuts finely chopped
1 egg (blended)

* Season to taste
sage
thyme
marjoram
salt
pepper
dash of ginger
dash of cloves

* Saute and combine to the above
1 C celery
1 C sweet onion
butter

* Brown in same pan and combine to above ingredients
1 pkg sausage

Pour into a lightly oiled n]baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes covered and an additional 15 minutes uncovered.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cranberry Jello Salad

This is the BEST Cranberry Jell-O salad I have ever had. It is a family staple for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Love it!

Bring to a boil to dissolve
3 pkgs strawberry Jell-O
2 ½ C water

Blend in a separate bowl – then combine to above Jell-O
1 can jellied cranberry
1 can whole cranberry
1 can crushed pineapple (drain most of the juice)
(you can also use your immersion blender to puree the chunks)

Pour ½ of Jell-O mixture into a bunt pan arrange sliced bananas on top and place in refrigerator until set. Then pour cream cheese filling onto Jell-O and then the remaining Jell-O mixture. Place in fridge and let set up completely.

Once Jell-O is set up and ready to serve, place bunt pan into sink with warm water for approx 15 seconds to help release Jell-O from sides of pan, be very careful not to leave it in the water too long or you will melt the Jell-O, you just want to loosen it from the sides then place upside down on the serving dish and it will release. Yummers!

Cream Cheese Filling

1 pint sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbl sugar
½ cube cream cheese

Blend well until smooth and creamy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Gingerbread Cake

Oh my.. this is yummy! A perfect Christmas time dessert. Thanks to my awesome sister Diane I have this nugget of pure perfection!

GINGERBREAD
MIX WELL
1 C dark molasses
2 tea baking soda
1 tea cinnamon
1 tea ginger
1/4 tea nutmeg
1/8 tea salt
1/2 tea vanilla
1/2 C sugar

THEN ADD and MIX WELL
1/2 C melted butter
2 C flour
1 C boiling water

2 eggs - separate, add yolks
whip egg whites until stiff peak and fold into batter

Pour into well greased bunt pan. Bake 350 for 30-40 minutes - my nose is the best gauge.... I struggle with setting the timer because I always know when "it" is done by the smell. Just watch it and when it smells and looks done check with toothpick and when it comes out clean, it is done. Next time I will pay more attention to the time and correct this post.

Carmel Drizzle Sauce
1 C brown sugar
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C melted butter
1 C water
2 Tbl flour - heaping
2 tea vanilla
1/4 tea Nutmeg
dash of salt

Dissolve on stove: sugar, butter, water. The add the remaining ingredients, stirring constantly (may be foamy). Bring to a low boil for a few minutes and let cool.

Top with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream and drizzle he caramel sauce on top.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Lasagna

This is my ultimate favorite comfort food. I really like this recipe. It is simple, kid friendly and rather basic but I love it.


1 Lb ground beef or turkey or sausage
1/2 medium sweet onion
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 can tomato paste
1 1/2 tea salt
1/2 tea pepper
1 Tbl basil
1 tea garlic
3 C cottage cheese
1 cup parmasan cheese
2 Tbl parsley flakes
2 beaten eggs
10oz whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 lb mozzarella cheese - grated

Saute the onion and meat until meat is no longer pink and onions are transparent. In sauce pan bring to simmer - tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garlic and seasoning. In bowl mix, 2 beaten eggs, parmasan cheese, cottage cheese and parsley. Boil noodles - this is totally optional. Most the time I do not boil the noodles I just reserve some of the tomato sauce and moisten the bottom of my pyrex pan, the noodles cook up just fine.

Layer in large greased Pyrex pan - noodles, 1/2 cottage cheese mixture, 1/3 grated mozzarella, 1/2 meat mixture and repeat - top with grated cheese. Spray your foil with Pam before covering so your cheese won't stick to the foil, I hate that when that happens.

Bake covered at 325 for 30 minutes and uncovered an additional 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Creamy Artichoke Chicken

Some days I really do feel like the little Ratitoulli mouse. I put on my apron and before you know it, it is a little of this and a little of that and WHAA-la! This is what you get, Creamy Artichoke Chicken. I have about a dozen varieties of this but here is one. We loved this one too!


4 chicken breast - thawed, saute in frying pan with olive oil, seasoning salt and generous pepper.

2 C Whole Grain Penne Paste - Boiled al dente

SAUCE - you can add all ingredients and puree them (good idea for young kiddos) or blend the sauce then add the chopped artichokes if you like them chunky.
1 C Milk
1 C 1/2 & 1/2
1/4 C melted butter
1 Tbl dry onion flakes
1/2 C mayo
1 C grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C marinated artichokes (I use the kind from Costco)
1 tea pepper
2 Tbl sugar
1 tea garlic
Seasoning salt to taste
Dash of nutmeg

1 Bell pepper (optional) - thinly sliced
1 tomato (optional) - sliced into thin wedges

1 C fresh parmesan cheese

Boil noodles, drain and pour onto greased 9x13 Pyrex dish. Top with cooked chicken and arrange sliced vegetables on top and then pour sauce on top and garnish with 1 C fresh parmesan.

Bake 350 30 minutes.

*** VARIATION*** You can skip the baking part and serve more Alfredo style. Just bring your sauce to a boil on med-high heat and let simmer for 10 minutes on low. Saute your bell peppers (you can also add onion too) until barely tender then put in the tomato wedges for only 1-2 minutes. Then layer your noodles, chicken and vegetable and pour artichoke sauce on top, garnish with fresh parmesan. YUM!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pumpkin Drizzle Cookies

Aren't these just the prettiest little holiday cookies? Delish too!


1 3/4 C sugar
1/2 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tea vanilla
* blend well - then add

2 1/2 C flour
1 tea baking powder
1 tea baking soda
1/2 tea salt
2 tea cinnamon, slightly heaping
1/2 tea nutmeg, slightly heaping
1/2 tea cloves, slightly heaping

Blend again until smooth and creamy. Scoop batter onto greased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 13-15 minutes. Reomve immediately from cookie sheet, let cool slightly on cooling rack until ready to for frosting.

FROSTING:
2 Tlb butter, soft (not melted)
2 oz cream cheese (1/4 block), soft
3 Tbl milk
1 tea vanilla
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
dash of cinnamon

* The idea here, is you want the icing to be cool and thick upon preparation so you have an idea how it will set up. Once well blended microwave 30 seconds to melt and then with fork, drizzle frosting on top of cookies.

*** VARIATION - omit the frosting and add chocolate chips.

These are the best little pumpkin cookies. Most pumpkin cookies I have tried are great the day you make them but then they sweat and get sticky. These little nuggets of yumminess stay soft, flavorful and if you are lucky enough to have some the next day, they are still great!