Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

Summer Chillers: Snickers Apple Salad

August 26, 2008

This is the last installment of Summer Chillers for the season.

Labor Day marks the official end of summer around here even though there are still a few weeks left according to the calendar. But the days are already getting shorter, and the nights are getting cooler. So next Tuesday Cookie of the Week will be back.

My husband and son will be happy to see the weekly supply of fresh baked goods make its return. I’m always looking for new recipes to try, so if anyone’s got a great cookie recipe to share I’d love to hear from you.

I always make the recipes before I share them here. I don’t want to pass on a recipe that doesn’t work. There are a lot of recipes out there that just don’t turn out even if you follow the instructions to the letter. And I’d be a fraud if I said I made this stuff for my family, and didn’t really.

But this week is the one exception. I’m not feeling well today, and whipping up a batch of something just is not high on my list of things to do right now. I’ve never made Snickers Apple Salad before, but I have eaten it, and it’s yummy. The salad is so simple to make, I don’t think this recipe could fail. Since it is almost fall and fresh picked apples are, or will be, available soon, I thought this would be a good one to share.

Snickers Apple Salad Recipe

1 8 oz. container Cool Whip
3 apples, diced
3 regular size Snickers candy bars, frozen

Mix together the Cool Whip and apples. Smash the Snickers bars and add to the salad. Let stand at room temperature for a few minutes before serving to let the carmel in the candy bars soften.

Enjoy what’s left of summer!


What’s for Dinner: Whole Wheat Pancakes

August 25, 2008

I love bacon, eggs and pancakes. But, quite honestly, there’s a better chance that Ralph Nader will win the presidential election then there is of me getting up at the crack of dawn to fire up the griddle. Cereal and coffee are about all I can handle that early in the morning. So, sometimes, I make breakfast for dinner.

Breakfast for dinner is easy, cheap and you generally have all the ingredients laying around.

I’ve been trying to incorporate more whole grain into my family’s diet, and whole wheat pancakes are a great way to do that.

I bought a bag of King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour, and went in search of a whole wheat pancake recipe. I came across several warnings that whole wheat flour made pancakes that were too dense, and suggested using half wheat and half white flour or adding some other ingredients I didn’t have on hand.

I ignored all the warnings, and got out my Fannie Farmer cookbook with my favorite pancake recipe. I made them like I always do, but with whole wheat flour. How bad could it be, really?

Not bad at all. The whole wheat pancakes turned out fine. They weren’t dense at all, and raised up nice and fluffy. I don’t know what all the fuss was about. They have a slightly nuttier flavor that goes great with maple syrup, and they get just a little crispy on the outside. A nice touch.

The only difficulty I had was telling when they were done, since they’re already brown to begin with. You just have to keep a close eye on things.

Now, the whole wheat is good for you, but if you really want to turn this into a super food, pour some homemade blueberry sauce over them in place of your Aunt Jamima. Blueberries are full of antioxidants, and all sorts of other good stuff. Since you’re being so healthy, splurge a little and top it all off with some whipped cream. Homemade if possible.

Oh, yum!

Now, if you like these, make a double, triple, even quadruple batch, then freeze the left overs. You can pull one of two out of the freezer at a time, and warm them up in the microwave. I can handle that at 6 a.m.

Keep you extra blueberry sauce in a mason jar in the fridge for up to a month, or freezer for up to a year.

Whole Wheat Pancake Recipe

1/2 – 3/4 cup of milk

2 tbs butter, melted

1 egg

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tbs sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Lightly beat the milk, butter and egg in a mixing bowl. Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and add all at once to the first mixture. Stir just enough to dampen. Grease a frying pan, (non-stick cooking spray on a cast iron skillet works best) and set over moderate heat. Test the pan by sprinkling with a few drops of water. It’s ready when the water beads up and sizzles away.

Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into pan. Cook until cake is full of bubbles on top, and slighlty browned on bottom. Flip and cook until the other side is browned.

Blueberry Sauce Recipe

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of blueberries

Dissolve sugar in water and bring to a boil. Add blueberries. Bring to boil again. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened. If sauce seems too thin, add a little corn starch to thicken more.

Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe

1 cup heavy cream

2 tbs powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Chill whisk or mixer beater and mixing bowl in the freezer for a few minutes. Pour the cream into the chilled bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Gradually whip in the sugar and vanilla.

Summer Chillers: Chunky Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

August 19, 2008

I had cherries and whipping cream left over from last week’s Summer Chiller. I’ve made ice cream a few times this summer, and I thought I’d try making it with cherries. Nothing goes better with cherries than chocolate, so I threw in some milk chocolate chips. I actually cobbled together a few different recipes to come up with this. I also used a no-cook, eggless ice cream base this time.

Chunky Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

2 cups milk

1 cup sugar

2 cups whipping cream or half and half

2 tbs almond extract

1 cup pitted and chopped cherries macerated in 1/4 cup of sugar

1 cup of milk chocolate chips

Pit and chop cherries. Stir in 1/4 a cup of sugar. Refrigerate for one hour.

Combine milk, cream, sugar and almond extract. Stir briskly, about two minutes until sugar is dissolved. (Undissolved sugar crystals may be a cause of large ice crystal formation.)  Pour into a 1-gallon ice cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. When ice cream is partially frozen, add in cherry mixture and chocolate chips. (Again make sure all the sugar in the cherry mixture is dissolved.) Finish freezing. Put in a covered container and place in the freezer several hours to harden.

Summer Chillers: Classic No-bakes

August 5, 2008

I don’t know if Classic No-bake cookies are technically Chillers, but they are a great summer cookie since they only require the use of the stove for a few minutes.

Chances are you’ve eaten these, and probably even made them yourself before. But if you’re not familiar, here’s the recipe.

Classic No-bake Recipe

1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.

There are several versions of this recipe out there. This is the only I’ve ever gotten to work. My mom has a recipe, but I can never get her’s to turn out for me. These can be a little tricky, because if you boil the chocolate mixture to long or not long enough, it won’t harden right. If it’s too humid in your house, that can also prevent the cookies from setting.

Summer Chillers: Blueberry Torte

July 29, 2008

You’ll have to fire up the oven and the stove for this one today, but it’s worth it.

Blueberry season is in full swing around here. I brought home 10 lbs from a local farm last week. Most are to freeze for winter. But I thought I’d enjoy a few now with this dessert.

Blueberry Torte Recipe

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 C crushed Graham crackers

1/2 C margarine, melted

4 Tbs sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together graham crackers, margarine and sugar. Press into bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan. Par-bake 5 minutes. Leave oven on for the next step.


8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

1/2 C sugar

1 tsp vanilla

While crust is par-baking, beat together cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Pour into par-baked crust. Return to oven for 15 minutes.

Blueberry Topping

1 quart blueberries

4 tbs corn starch

3/4 C sugar

While filling is baking, put corn starch and sugar in a large sauce pan. Add enough water to cover bottom of the pan. Put pan on a burner over medium heat. Stir until corn starch is dissolved. Add blueberries. Cook until thickened. Stir occasionally.

Let the blueberry mixture cool a bit then pour over cheese filling. Chill in fridge. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream.

This is another fast, easy recipe. If you have all your ingredients close at hand, and remember to take the cream cheese out to soften ahead of time, this should take you about a half an hour to put together.

Kids love to help crush the graham crackers. I put the whole crackers in a large Ziploc bag then let my son pound away with the rolling pin. And any crumbs left over just store in the bag for another day.

Don’t have time to wait for the topping to cool? Take the pan off the stove and place on top of a large bowl of ice cubes. Stir the mixture. You won’t believe how fast this cools things down.

Recipe came from my Grandma Awald