Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Heavenly Baking

It is chilly outside and using the oven to bake makes our homes so warm, cozy, and inviting.  I love it when my husband comes in from outside and gets hit with a wave of warmth and the smell of goodies coming out of the oven.  There's really nothing better to accompany the enjoyment of a warm home and family.  So that's why I'm calling it Heavenly baking! 

Apple season is here and what better way to celebrate than to make Apple Crisp topped with fresh whipped cream?  I used Martha's recipe for it this time and it was superb!

Who doesn't need a chocolate fix every now and then?  My Aunt made this recipe of Hershey's Chocolate Cake for a baby shower and it really hit the spot.  My husband doesn't even like chocolate cake and he loved this.  It's so moist, chocolaty, and really easy.  I put mine in a really big, oblong pan because I wanted to have smaller pieces than a layer cake provides.  I don't know the dimensions of my pan, but I think you could use two 9 x13 pans and it would work just fine.   This is definitely Heavenly especially with a glass of cold milk!!!

BLT Sandwich Board

I really don't care for sandwiches, but I LOVE a good BLT!  There is a trick to making them I have found.  The mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip!) really absorbs flavor if you let it.  So, here is my version of a good BLT sandwich:

First, set up your sandwich board.  Mine is complete with bread that MUST be toasted, real mayonnaise (mine is light), cooked bacon (I found the microwave makes this process really fast), fresh lettuce, and sliced tomatoes.

Then, spread a generous amount of mayonnaise on the toasted bread.
Next, place the tomato directly on the mayonnaise, then add the lettuce, and top it off with the bacon.  The mayonnaise will absorb the flavors of the bacon and tomato so you want these on the outer sides of the sandwich.  This is the KEY to a good BLT!  ( I really wasn't trying to rhyme - it just worked out that way.)

Squish it down a little and cut it in half diagonally.  This makes for a delicious lunch!  (Sorry for the chipped plate!  They're 11 yrs. old and used everyday - what can I say?)

Our local Cider Mill sells fresh Concord Grape Juice, so this accompanied my sandwich this day.  Oh, what a treat!

Time for Soup

It's Fall and in this neck of the woods you look forward to a hearty, hot bowl of soup after running errands and working out in the cold all day.  So, here are a few of the soup recipes that we've been enjoying.  Serve these with fresh Italian bread and a salad - Voila!  Dinner is served!

1. Corn Chowder:  The corn was from our garden this year.  We froze it and it tastes so amazing and fresh.  This recipe is really good: Tyler Florence's Corn Chowder  

2. White Chicken Chili:  My grocery stores stopped selling the McCormick's Seasoning for this.  This is the result of a home-made recipe which did turn out pretty good though a little thin.  However, our town just opened a new Super Walmart and they carry the McCormick packets.  Hooray!  I just bought 5 of them.

As you can see in the background, I also served this with avocado, sour cream, and cheese. 

3. French Onion Soup:  This recipe was from my mother's Betty Crocker Cookbook.  Sadly they don't have this recipe anymore.  I'm convinced that the key to this recipe is the Worchestershire Sauce.  Here is the long lost recipe:

Vintage Betty Crocker Recipe for French Onion Soup:
3 Onions sliced
2 tbsp. butter
4 cups beef boullion
1 tsp. Worchestershire Sauce
Beef Consume

Recipe for Beef Consume:
2 cans (10 oz) beef broth
1 can (10 oz) water
1/4 cup onion, carrot, & celery - cut in large chunks
parsley to taste
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. thyme

Cook the onions in the butter until very tender, slightly browned and translucent in large dutch oven.  Then add the beef boullion, Worchestershire Sauce, and Beef Consume.  Boil and then reduce heat to simmer until ready to eat. 

Toast thick pieces of fresh French bread covered in cheese under broiler until cheese is melted.  Place in bowls on top of soup.   

Beef Consume Instructions:  Add everything to large pot and boil.  Turn down heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.  Remove the vegetables and bay leaf with slotted spoon.  Add the Consume to the Soup. 

Food That Sticks To Your Ribs

Every once in a while you need some good, comfort food that really sticks to your ribs.  I feel like I've been drawn to it more and more, but I've been putting up a good fight.  However, here are a few instances where I lost the battle and just had to make them!  They were very good and I did at least serve them with a good helping of veggies on the side. 

First, I made Spaghetti Carbonara, but I substituted Penne pasta for Spaghetti.  It was delicious!  I used a different recipe than the one of Emeril's here:  Spaghetti Carbonara but the link to my recipe disappeared the  other day.  I also used proscuitto instead of actual bacon.  YUM!!!

Needless to say, it hit the spot!

Several days later I made Chicken and Cheese Enchilladas.  This recipe from Campbell's works really well for me and my family because we're really wimpy and can't handle spicy foods too well (except my husband).  Campbells Chicken & Cheese Enchillada Recipe

This is a hit every time.  Even my 4 yr. olds love it!