Saturday, December 29, 2007

Marsha's Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
2 1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini

Mix seperately:
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon

Combine mixtures.
Spray 2 bread pans with cooking spray.
Cook at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Potpourri (for the stove-top)

1 Orange
1 lemon
1 Bay leaf
1 Cinnamon Stick
1/4 cup Whole Cloves
Cut orange and lemon into pieces. Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and cover with water. Simmer on stove, and add additional water during the day, when needed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Vegetarian Penne

This pasta has the best flavor! I devoured it. It's pretty filling even w/out meat, but would also be good with sauted diced chicken mixed in. You could also experiment w/different veggies. Yum!

half of a 16 oz. bag of pasta (penne, spirals, etc.)
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 small yellow summer squash, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 t minced garlic
3 T butter
2 t flour
1 t salt
1/2 t dried parsley
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t pepper
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (this is what makes it taste so good!)

Cook pasta according to package. Meanwhile in a large skillet, saute the onion, squash, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic in butter until tender.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, seasonings, and cream until smooth; add to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta and add to the vegetable mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. I usually end up adding in a little more cream so that it's not too dry.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Homemade Marshmallows

I got a couple requests for this recipe last night, so here ya go!

Vegetable oil (for brushing)
4 packets unflavored gelatin (equals 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Brush a 9x13 inch glass baking pan with oil and line with parchment. Leave a 2 inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil. Set aside.

Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirruing, until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer (about 9 minutes or so).

While mixture is cooking, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften for 5 minutes.

Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with a whisk attachment*. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin. Gradually raise speed to high, beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm (about 3 hours).

Sift 1 cup confectioners sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto sugar and remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife (or cookie cutter!) with oil then cut marshmallow into 2 inch squares. Roll each marshmallow in the remaining confectioners sugar to coat. Can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

Kayla's notes:

-I don't have a stand mixer, but my hand mixer does have a whisk attachment. This got very tiring (12 minutes is a long time to stand there with a mixer) and I'm not sure the syrup and gelatin got beaten enough. Maybe if you do it by hand, mix it longer? It was marshmallowy when I finished but probably needed to be a bit thicker.

-If you're planning on using cookie cutters, maybe try refrigerating it for a couple minutes for you get started to firm it up a bit more. I had a heck of a time wrestling with the marshmallow and my cutter and my gingerbread men weren't very pretty (they tasted good though!).

Friday, December 7, 2007

Microwave Caramel Corn

This is my friend Bobbi's recipe:

1 stick margarine (or butter)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
16 cups unsalted popped corn

Combine in an 8 cup microwaveable bowl: margarine, sugar, salt, and corn syrup. Stir together and microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring after each minute. Add vanilla and stir. Place popcorn into a brown paper bag (like a big grocery store bag) - non recycled bags hold up best, or use 2 paper bags, one inside the other. Pour mixture onto popcorn in the bag. Fold top of bag down and microwave on high 1 minute, then shake the bag, then micro for 1 minute, and shake, then 30 seconds, and shake, and another 30 seconds, and shake. Pour the popcorn out into a bowl or large cookie sheet to cool. Break apart when cool and serve.

Holiday Cheese Ball

2 8 ounce packages cream cheese
1 (41/2 ounce) can deviled ham
1/2 of a .4 oz package dry ranch style dressing mix (or to taste)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 can diced green chilies
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
chopped olives
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (without shells)

Mix all ingredients except the sunflower seeds. Refrigerate until firm, then form into two balls and roll in sunflower seeds. Serve with crackers. This is a Thomson holiday favorite!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Betty's Cowboy Cookies

1 C melted butter
2 t. vanilla
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 C oats
2 3/4 C flour
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3/4-1 C chocolate chips (depending on how many you like)
*1/2 C coconut
*1/3 C toffee bits
*1/2 C pecans

Cream together butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs. Add remaining ingredients. Drop large tablespoon sized cookies on greased cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until tops of cookies (and edges) are lightly browned.

*These items are optional...I add everything, but usually not nuts.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bran Muffins

* 1 cup shortening
* 2 1/2 cups sugar
* 4 eggs
(beat well first)

*5 cups flour
*1 qt. buttermilk

* 4 cups All-bran
* 2 cups bran flakes
* 5 tsp. soda
* 1 1/2 tsp. salt
* 2 cups boiling water
(let this cool before adding it to the above mixture)

......BEAT WELL IN MIXER......

Preheat oven at 400 degrees and bake for 20 minutes! I have greased the muffin pan and done it that way, but they don't turn out quite as good. Use miffin cups in the muffin pan for best results! This recipe is AWESOME and so yummy! The best part of it is that it will keep in your fridge for 6 weeks! ENJOY!