Friday, September 21, 2018

Old Fashioned Caramel Frosting







This recipe has been in our family for a long time. It is really delicious on chocolate cake or vanilla cupcakes. It is the perfect topping for fall bake goods.



Ingredients:


  • 1 and 1/2 cup white sugar (i use coconut palm sugar)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon real butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla



Directions:  


  1. Heat sugar and milk to a soft boil.
  2. Add butter and remove from heat.
  3. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Add vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until creamy.


Makes enough to frost a three layer cake, between layers and the exterior
I usually sprinkle the top with nuts or mini chocolate chips. A cake with this frosting is especially good served with butter pecan ice cream. 


If you want the cake to be caramel as well, I found this recipe in my Mom's cookbook, but I have to confess, I have never made it.  I prefer this caramel frosting on chocolate cake!


Caramel Cake


Ingredients:


  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter (two sticks)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs 
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


Directions:


  1. Put butter out until it is room temperature
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Spray three 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray and set aside
  4. With an electric mixer beat butter on low for a couple minutes until fluffy  
  5. Add brown sugar and beat slowly then add white sugar and beat for about 5 minutes
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat till combined
  7. Add half the flour and then the buttermilk and then the rest of the flour
  8. Add vanilla and beat until thoroughly incorporated
  9. Divide among pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Do NOT overbake!
  10. Turn out of pans onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
  11. Frost with the delicious caramel frosting!




I hope you enjoy this tasty delight for fall.



Jade    :)


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Image Credit:  
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ebarney/5298585575/sizes/l

Friday, September 14, 2018

Spicy Potato Corn Soup







Spicy Potato Corn Soup is one of my favorite foods for fall. Not only is it beautiful and colorful, but it is hearty and you can make a meal of it. Just serve it with cornbread or crackers and some celery and carrot sticks and you're done. All the colors of fall on your table, and it's delicious too! It can also be made vegan, if that is your preference.



Ingredients:



  • 4 cups of cubed potatoes (peeled or unpeeled, your choice)
  • 1 15 ounce can of creamed corn
  • 1 15 ounce can of whole kernel corn
  • 1/4 cup of diced green chilies (canned or fresh) minced
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup milk (soy milk for vegan)
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped small
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup green or red bell pepper, chopped small
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (optional, but I LOVE this stuff!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash of black pepper



Directions:



Peel and dice the potatoes and place them in a pot with the water or stock.
Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
In a skillet, saute the onion, garlic and peppers until soft.
Add the basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and cumin and stir to mix.
Take half the potatoes and put them in a bowl with the creamed corn and mash (or use a food processor).
Add the onion mixture to the mashed potatoes and corn mixture with the cup of milk and stir to mix.
Add drained whole kernel corn and drained chillies to the remaining unmashed potatoes and stir gently
Add the mashed mixture to the unmashed mixture and stir. Add more milk if you prefer the soup to be thinner.
Simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently so it does not burn.


If you prefer less spice, you can omit the chilies.  Sometimes I add more vegetables to this soup.  It is great with sliced carrots and celery.  Just about any vegetable that you like can be added.  My husband is a big meat eater, and he likes to put meat in this soup.  It's really good with smoky ham, bacon or shredded chicken.  Any type of meat you like can be added and I bet it would be delicious, this soup is just that versatile!

This soup is wonderful comfort food for lunch or dinner on a crisp fall day.  I hope you enjoy it!


Jade    :)


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Image Credit:  
https://www.flickr.com/photos/chiotsrun/4884744029








Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Thai Chicken Soup






Do you like spicy food?  Then you should cook up a pot of this Thai soup.  It has a deliciously unusual flavor with a spicy bite!


If you want more spice and heat, leave the seeds and ribs in when you cut up your jalapeno peppers.  Much of the heat of a hot pepper is in the seeds, so leaving them in or removing them is an excellent way of controlling just how hot you want a dish.  If it isn't hot enough for you even with the seeds in, then you can use habanero peppers, but take my advice and be careful; habanero peppers are dangerously hot, so wear gloves when slicing and seeding them.


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ginger root, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
1 cup carrots, chopped fine
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced and seeded
1/3 cup green bell pepper, julienned
1 pound chicken, cubed
4 cups chicken broth
1 14 oz can of coconut milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup sugar snap peas, sliced long ways
1 lime, juiced and half the peel zested
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:


Lightly salt and pepper the chicken cubes and set aside
Saute green onions, garlic, cilantro and ginger in olive oil until soft
Mix in carrots, peppers and mushrooms and saute all for 3 minutes
Pour in chicken broth, add soy sauce, and then slowly add coconut milk
Bring to a boil then then lower heat to medium
Add chicken cubes and cook on medium heat about 15 or 20 minutes until cooked through
Toss in peas, lime zest and juice and heat on medium for 5 minutes
Serve hot immediately with wheat crackers, pita chips, or torn bread pieces

If you want to make this soup into more of a dinner entree, simply serve it over noodles or rice.  It is a delicious addition to your  recipes to make regularly, because once you make it, you will want to make it again and again! 


Have a great week!


Jade    :)

_____________________________________________________

If you like this recipe and want to try other Thai recipes, I recommend this book! 
It has some of the most delicious Thai recipes I ever tasted 
and they are very easy to make!


Simple Thai Food Cookbook



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Image Credit:  http://tinyurl.com/kstgrrf

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Easy Recipe for Homemade Tomato Sauce to Freeze or Can





Including My Personal Recipe for Buttons an Bows Pasta



Making tomato sauce is easy, the way I do it.  I have tried many different ways of making tomato sauce over the years, but I finally struck on a way that is both easy and quick.  It also makes really delicious sauce.  I freeze mine, but you could just as easily can it.  I used regular dried herbs because I feel they flavor stays stronger than fresh herbs, after being frozen or canned.

Ingredients:

  • 10 or 12 tomatoes, cored and cut in chunks (no need to peel or seed)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil


Directions:
Take the tomatoes and put them in the blender on puree
Take a large mixing bowl and put a strainer in it
Pour the pureed tomatoes into the strainer, stirring until nothing is left in the strainer but tomato skins and seeds
You may need to do this twice, depending on how large your blender is.
Toss the skin and seeds or give them to your chickens
Place the strained tomato sauce into a large sauce pan on medium heat
While your sauce is heating, stir in the rest of the ingredients
When thoroughly mixed, turn the heat to low and cover
If you want thinner tomato sauce, heat for 30 minutes.  If you want thicker, cook for 1 hour
I stir mine, every 15 minutes or so so make sure it is cooking evenly and not scorching
When it is the consistency that you want, remove from heat and let cool until it is room temperature or colder (do not put in refrigerator)
I use a pint mason jar to measure how much tomato sauce to put in my food saver bags, seal them and put them in the freezer

When I want to use it, I remove it from the freezer and cut the bag off and put it in my Ninja Cooker or you can use a slow cooker.  This is what I use to make all my pasta meals.  If you don’t have a slow cooker or Ninja, you will have to wait for it to thaw on it’s own.  I would not recommend thawing it in the microwave, but you can if you like.  There are so many things that you can make with tomato sauce, but I would like to share my favorite pasta recipe that I make in my Ninja.  It’s called Buttons and Bows.

Buttons and Bows Pasta

The cool thing about my Ninja Multicooker is that it can act as a stove top, oven or slow cooker.  That is how I can make this delicious meal all in the Ninja.  For more info on the Ninja, see the link below to check it out.


Ingredients:

  • 1 table spoon olive oil
  • 2 cups of chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup of fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 cup of diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1/3 cup of green pepper
  • 1 pint tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves of diced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste


Directions:
Turn the Ninja on  the Stove top setting and brown the sausage in the tablespoon of olive oil
Leaving the sausage in, turn the Ninja to Oven and set it to 350 degrees
Pour in 4 cups of warm water and the uncooked pasta
Add the the rest of the ingredients except the spinach and cover.
Set the timer for 30 minutes
When the 30 minutes is up, dump in the spinach and stir to mix
Cook for another 5 minutes
Serve immediately

Could this recipe be easier?  A delicious one pot meal, one of many that I make in my Ninja.  The Ninja is a bit pricey, I am not going to say it isn’t.  What I am going to say is that it makes cooking so many things faster and easier.  It really is worth the price.  Take a look at the video below and you will see what I mean.





I cannot recommend the Ninja highly enough.  My sister was so impressed, she went out and bought one of her own.  She is the one that told me that she uses it to cook cakes and other desserts.  She bought a Ninja cook book and really was getting creative.  I had to buy the cook book too, and ever since then, there is no stopping me.  If you need any more convincing of the versatility of the stuff you can cook in your Ninja, just go to You Tube and search Ninja cooking system recipes.  You will be shocked at the number of videos there are.  Ninja cooking system has a ton of fans and users!

Jade    :)



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Ninja 3 in 1 Cooking System



Friday, August 17, 2018

Funeral Potatoes - a Side Dish to Die For!





If you are like me, you have seen the recent advertisments on Facebook by Walmart for "Funeral Potatoes."  I could not help but wonder what the heck funeral potatoes were and why they would be called such a morbid name.  So I decided to Google it and see what I could find out. 


Most all places that I read agree that the expression "Funeral Potatoes" comes from the Relief Society of the LDS.  They would frequently make the dish to serve at after funeral dinners.  After a while, they began calling them funeral potatoes, even when they were not served at funeral dinners.  Some articles I read stated that this potato casserole dish was also referenced as funeral potatoes in the south as they were preparted for after funeral church gatherings.  I cannot say that this is correct, at least not in Arkansas and Missouri, as I lived there for almost ten years and I never heard the expression.



Anyway, while perusing the recipes for these potatoes, I noticed a strange familiarity with the ingredients.  Furneral potatoes are nothing but another name for my familiy's favorite holiday potato dish Potatoes Deluxe!  There were a few differences, but the base ingredients were the same:  potatoes, sour cream, cream soup and cheese.  Just about everyone that cooks has their own version of this recipe.  I have heard them called cheesy potatoes, supreme potatoes and potato cheese casserole.  They are all pretty much the same, a comfort food recipe based on potatoes and cheese.  


Here's my recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup onion, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 small potatoes peeled and shredded
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings (basil and oregano mostly)
  • 2 cup cheese, shredded (I use cheddar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips



Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray
In a medium sized skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté onions and garlic and for 2 or 3 minutes
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl, combine shredded potatoes, condensed soup, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, Italians seasonings and 1½ cups cheddar cheese.
Add onions and garlic and stir to combine.
Pour mixture into your 13 x 9 baking dish and pat down with a spoon to even out.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, evenly
Pour crushed potatoe chips on top and spread evenly.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, checking to make sure the potatoes are cooked through.

I usually make my potatoes with raw potatoes, but you can save some time by using a bag of frozen shredded hash browns.  The taste is close to the same, I just use real potatoes to save money and because I usually have a lot of potatoes on hand. 

Our family usually makes this dish for holidays, usually Easter and Christmas Day dinner.  I have to say we have never made them for a funeral, however, they are so delicious I would eat them wherever they are served! 


Have a great weekend!


Jade    :)


_________________________________________________________________


If you love potatoes like I do, this is the cookbook for you!  Dozens of great recipes all based on potatoes.  Lots of recipes for a very frugal price!  I recommend it!


101 Things To Do With A Potato




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Image Credits:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/30399149@N07/12042846314/sizes/m/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/meseidyrivera/3524664065/sizes/o/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mommyknows/8139199009/sizes/o/

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Chicken Teriyaki Stuffed Peppers

 



A Low Carb Recipe


Recently my doctor told me I needed to go on a low carb diet.  I was not terribly pleased to hear this, since I am a big fan of carbs.  However, it has to be done, so I have to embrace it.  As a result, I will be sharing some lower carb recipes on this blog.  I hope you enjoy them.  My first recipe that I tried was a real hit with the hubby.  He is not a fan of rice, so I decided to forgo putting rice into these stuffed peppers, and I have to say, I liked them much better!  The chicken, the peppers and cheese complimented each other perfectly.  With these peppers, I served my cool cucumber salad with the oil dressing (find out how to make that here) and iced tea.  


I am thinking this low carb thing might not be all bad!



Ingredients:


  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 green onions cut in 1/8 inch pieces (white and green)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2/3 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped small but not diced
  • shredded mozzerella cheese
  • 4 red bell peppers with the top 1/4 cut off, interior cleaned of seeds and ribs


Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a non stick skillet, heat olive oil
Add garlic and saute for 2 or 3 minutes
Add mushrooms and saute till they begin to brown
Add water and teriyaki sauce and stir to almost boiling
Add shredded chicken and onions a bit at a time while stirring
Reduce heat to simmer and let it cook while cutting and cleaning the peppers
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and place the peppers in it
Sprinkle mozzerella cheese generously in the bottom of each pepper
Remove chicken mixture from heat and spoon the chicken into the peppers
Bake stuffed peppers for 15 minutes, remove from oven
Generously cover the top of each pepper with shredded mozzerella cheese
Return to oven and back for another 10 to 15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly


If you are not partial to teriyaki, you can make this with other flavors like lemon chicken, or barbecue.  Just replace the teriyaki sauce with whatever you prefer.


Have a great weekend!


Jade    :)

____________________________________________________



I love the taste of Red Shell Teriyaki sauce.  Since 

teriyaki sauce is salty by nature, I usually mix it with 

water in the recipe to cut the sodium.  Thats one reason 

I like Red Shell, it is thicker to start with, so adding a 

bit of water does not make the sauce thin and flavorless.  

I recommend Red Shell.



Red Shell Teriyaki Sauce




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Image Credit

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Roasted Tomato Spread




A "Use Your Harvest" Recipe


If your garden is anything like mine, you are started to get snowed under in tomatoes.  Tomato plants are pretty prolific, so I am always looking for recipes that use tomatoes to take advantage of the harvest.  Last week I made some really delicious salsa which I posted about in my blog Homemade by Jade:  Smooth and Thick Homemade Salsa


I have a lot more tomatoes this week, so I decided to make some roasted tomato spread.  While is does look kind of like salsa, the taste is totally different.  Roasting the ingredients give it the most wonderful deep flavor!  It's also not spicy, it has a mild, robust flavor and the texture is really even thicker than my salsa.  I use it as a spread, but it can also be used as a dip.  


Ingredients:


  • 1 head garlic
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper
  • 1/2 sweet onion, peeled but left whole
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 5 basil leaves, torn
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Directions:


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
Line a cookie sheet with a lip with parchment or tin foil, lightly spray with cooking spray
Cut tomatoes from stem to bottom, in half and remove stem and core.  Place cut side up on the cookie sheet
Cut pepper the same way and remove stem, seeds and ribs, place on cookie sheet
Place cut half onion on cookie sheet
Cut the top off a head of garlic so that all the cloves are exposed
Put olive oil in a small bowl and add oregano, salt, and sugar.  Whisk till mixed.
Brush a heavy coat of olive oil mixture on the cut portion of the garlic cloves and wrap the entire head in tin foil.
Brush the insides of the pepper and the cut top of the tomatoes and onion with a thick coat of olive oil mixture
Place the cookie sheet and the foil packet of garlic in the oven and bake for one hour.
Remove the garlic from the oven and set aside to cool
Turn the tomatoes, onion and pepper over and brush with the olive oil mixture and bake for another 20 minutes
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let everything cool for at least 20 minutes




Peel the garlic cloves and place in a blender or food processor 



Place cooled pepper, onion and tomatoes into the blender or food processor
Add torn basil and pulse a few times and then blend until smooth.  Do NOT overblend, it will make the spread too thin.
Salt and pepper to taste
This spead will last in the refrigerator, if tightly covered, for about a week

There are so many ways to use this spread!  My favorite is to spread it on toasted, crusty bread.  It is also delicious on wheat crackers or pita chips.  I have also spread it on a tortilla and then sprinkled with cheese and heated for a short time in the microwave, or even eaten cold.  This spread is great cold or hot. 

 
Another great way to use your harvest!  Have a great week!


Jade    :)

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Image Credits:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/llstalteri/7798629572/sizes/l
https://www.flickr.com/photos/66252478@N02/6521365179/sizes/l/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/veganfeast/3371026229/sizes/l
https://www.flickr.com/photos/66252478@N02/6521365665/sizes/l