Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

I looooove a good crock pot recipe. They are so easy and usually super hearty. You can make loads at a time and usually have great left-overs for a few days after, which John and I also loooooove. There's nothing like wanting to grab a snack and discovering delicious savory dinner food in the fridge to indulge in mid-morning. That's typically how it goes in our home when we have left overs. And John likes to take the left-overs to school for a good lunch so he doesn't starve. Ok, enough about left-overs, let's get cookin!

This is a delicous stroganoff. Possibly my favorite, especially with loads of extra mushrooms. I trippled the mushrooms in this recipe and could have put even more. We just loooooove mushrooms. Thanks to my second mama, Julie McDonald, for this winner!

{What you need}
1 lb. stew meat
1/4 cup onion, minced or dried
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup, condensed
1 can mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup red cooking sherry
1 cup sour cream
cooked noodles of your choice

Combine all ingredients except sour cream in a crock pot, cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add the sour cream right before you serve it. Serve over noodles.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fry Bread (Scones)

A Durrant family regular. When I was in high school we would have "scone parties" all the time. My siblings and I would have dozens of friends over and my mom would make us scones all night long. It was a major hit. We'd also have them on Sundays a lot as a family treat. I have so many wonderful memories associated with these delicious scones! Thank you, Mom, for giving me this wonderful recipe.

{What you need}
3 cups boiling water
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 teaspoons salt
1 or 2 packages yeast
enough flour to make a soft dough
3 cups vegetable oil

In a large bowl or bosch mixer put boiling water. Add shortening and let it melt. Add yeast and stir. Stir in sugar and salt and mix for about 30 seconds. Gradually add flour, about a cup at a time, until a soft dough forms.

In a medium sauce pan heat the oil over medium low until it crackles with a drip of water.

Take the dough and roll it out into a large slab on a greased countertop. Cut the dough grid style into squares about the size of large dish sponge (this is harder to explain than I thought it would be---I can't think of anything the size of the squares! Dish sponge will have to do...)

Take each square of dough and stretch it out just a little, and place in the heated oil with tongs. It will begin to bubble. Repeatedly push the scone under the oil until the underside is a golden brown. Turn over and repeat dunking until the other side is golden brown, too.

Let the scones drip off on a plate with paper towels on it. Serve hot with honey butter, jam, powdered sugar, whatever you desire.

Compliments of Jackie Durrant

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cream Cheese Oreo Truffles

Thanks to my dear friend Krista I can now stuff my face with these sinfully delicious balls of delight any time I choose. Krista is a fellow recipe enthusiist and was willing to give me this incredible recipe that has proven to be a major hit on several different occasions at our workplace. Some recipes are hard to give away, and I was sure this would be one of those. But Krista is so willing to share the love! Bless her heart. These are great for entertaining or for family gatherings or to just have on hand any time you need a fix. I have this fantasy of making them for my first born's first birthday party, and decorating them all cute like. Enjoy, eh?

{What you need}
1 package oreo cookies
1, 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
23 oz. milk chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips, if you choose)
4 Tablespoons vegetable shorting
lolli pop sticks (found at a craft store)

{Optional topping ideas}
shredded cocount
nut crumbs
fruity pebbles
candy bar crumbs

In a food processor crush the oreo cookies until there are no big chunks. Pour into a large mixing bowl and mix in softened cream cheese until it is all evenly mixed. Mold the dough into little balls (about golf ball sized, or smaller) and place on a wax paper-covered cookie sheet. cover with tin foil and place cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour.

Meanwhile, combine chocolate chips and veggie shortening in a large sauce pan and melt together, taking care to not burn the chocolate. Once the oreo balls are frozen enough to allow for easy handling, jab the lolli pop sticks in and dip each ball in the chocolate, (dip in other toppings at this point, if desired) returning them to the wax paper-covered cookie sheet. Freeze for another hour. Serve chilled, and keep the leftovers refridgerated
(if there are any leftovers. Not very likely).

Aren't they just adorable?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tomato Tortellini Soup

My beautiful and talented sister Andee made this soup the other day and I snuck a taste--It blew my mind. I stole the recipe from her, modified it a wee bit, and I think it is my new favorite soup. It's delicious!! And once the tortellini was cooked it took literally less than three minutes to throw everything together. You really can't get any easier. It's great for busy nights, and you can make a ton at a time and have it for lunch for the rest of the week! It tastes even better the next day, believe it or not! And with Fall just around the corner, this will be perfect for you and your family when you feel it's time to get your soup on.

{What you need}

1 package frozen cheese tortellini
1 family size can (16 oz I think) of Campbelle's Tomato Soup, undiluted
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook tortellini according to package directions. While the tortellini is cooking combine the soup, broth, milks, and seasonings in a large pot. Heat through, stirring frequently. Drain the tortellini and carefully add it to the soup. Stir in the cheese. Enjoy!

Keeps great in the fridge!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Editor's note:  you'll need to at least quadruple this if you're planning on making it for a shower.  One batch makes enough for 4 or 5.

If you've ever been to PF Changst than you've probably at least heard of their mean lettuce wraps. This recipe is inspired by those delicious apetizers but has a few extra flairs to it. I served this at a wedding shower and it was a major hit! And they turned out so pretty, it was perfect for entertaining. Classy and delicious, that's how we roll. This recipe easily multiplies and freezes well if you want to make extras to whip out on a busy night. Enjoy!

{What you need}
(Don't be intimidated...)
at least 8 dried Shiitake mushrooms
(I got mine in the asian food isle in a package, there were like 16 in it. I used all of them
because we're kind of obsessed with mushrooms in my household. )
1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped in small pieces
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
3 chopped green onions
8 oz. can bamboo shoots, chopped
8 oz. can water chestnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 can of Chinese Rice noodles
iceberg lettuce leaves

{Lettuce wrap sauce}
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cooking sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Reconstitute the shiitake mushrooms by boiling water and soaking the mushrooms in the hot water for thirty minutes. Once they have been soaked, drain and dice them, removing any woody stem. Set aside.

While the mushrooms are soaking, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a large bowl (you'll eventually be adding the chicken to this bowl, too), making sure the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat add 3 tablespoons oil. Once heated, add the chicken pieces and fry until chicken is no longer pink, stirring constantly, about three minutes. Remove cooked chicken from skillet, place in the large bowl with the sauce in it and coat chicken evenly with the sauce.

In the same skillet, add 2 more tablespoons of oil. Ad the fresh ginger, garlic, and green onions and stir fry for about 1 minute, or until the garlic is golden in color. DON'T OVERCOOK GARLIC. Add the mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. Stir fry for an additional 2 minutes or so.

Add chicken and sauce mixture to the skillet and stir fry until the sauce thickens. Add the cashews right before you serve it.

Serve on chilled iceberg lettuce leaves with rice noodles.

*And the crowd goes wild!!*

Citrus Water

Refreshing and delicious. And so elegant! Great for parties or showers.

{What you need}
5 quarts water
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons citric acid
1 teaspoon lemon extract
4 lemons, sliced
4 limes, sliced
pellet ice*

Mix together all ingredients and serve with lemon and lime wedges and pellet ice.

*pellet ice can be purchased at Sonic Drive In for under $2.00 for a ten pound bag. It is a great touch to this drink and is highly recommended for it!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Coconut Cream Cheese Cake

This is my new favorite cake! It is so refreshing and has a unique flavor that you don't find in a lot of desserts. It is sooo easy, too. You can make it in a 9x13, too, if you don't want to bother with presentation. I served this at my girlfriend's wedding shower and it was perfect!

{What you need}
2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter
5 eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 cups flaked coconut

1/2 cup butter
2, 8 oz packages cream cheese
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two round cake pans, set aside. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beat well. Mix in coconut flavoring. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, mixing well with each addition. Fold in 1 cup coconut. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool completely once baked. (I put it in the freezer for a few hours)

While it is baking, cream powdered sugar and butter, adding in the rest of the frosting ingredients after. Tear off 4 thin strips of foil or waxed paper and place them around the edges of a cake stand. Once the cakes are cooled completely, remove and place one on the foiled cake stand, making sure that the foil covers all parts of the stand. Frost the top of the cake on the stand and place the other on top. Frost the rest of the cake, all sides covered. Sprinkle the remaining coconut on the top and sides of the frosted cake, covering as much as you'd like.
Remove the foil and reveal a beautifully clean cake stand with a gorgeous cake on it, with no frosting smudges on the stand! It looks amazing and tastes even better! Such a classy dessert, great for showers or parties. Let me know what you think!

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