Monday, April 24, 2017

VEGETABLE PIZZA

I do enjoy winning! I admit it. Don't get me wrong. I have fun just getting together with friends. BUT it is a little more fun to be on the winning side. Thursday our quilters' canasta group met at Friend Dorothy's house and I had a LOT of fun. After we finish the game, we always have time to play a hand or two we call a "revenge round" where hopefully the losing team will have better luck and win. 

After dessert (Marie Callender's chocolate pie - OMG), I dealt out the cards for the revenge hand. Then I picked up a cookbook that Dorothy thought I would be interested in checking out. Each time it was my turn to play, I had no idea what cards had been discarded. I could see what cards my partners had laid down and that was easy to add to. The hard part was trying to decide if I should pick up the pile. One time when I could but it didn't feel like many cards in the pile, I said, "Oh well, we are supposed to let them win this time, aren't we?" Dorothy, Ellen, and Janice didn't think that was as funny as my partners did. I ended up drawing two new cards and one of them gave us a clean canasta. "Good choice, Partner. Good choice," said Sharon. We ended up playing two extra hands, but we won anyway. As I said it was a really fun afternoon. (Right, Fran and Sharon?!)

But to the real purpose for this post...to share the Vegetable Pizza Dorothy made to share. This is a great appetizer for your next gathering or even a light lunch.



VEGETABLE PIZZA

2        8-oz cans crescent rolls dough
1         8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1         teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8     teaspoon garlic powder
fresh vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, carrot strips, mushrooms, tomatoes, radishes,...

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Press the dough into a ungreased 15 x 10 x 1 - inch baking pan to form the crust.

Bake for 13 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.

Combine the cream cheese, dill, and garlic powder til smooth and well blended.

Spread over the crust. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Top with sliced or chopped fresh vegetables.

Cut into squares to serve.

Friday, April 21, 2017

WHITE PEPPERMINT CRISPERS

Friend Fran has three adorable grandchildren locally - Jude, Harrison, and Stella Blue. Don't you just love their names?! She decided each Friday that she was going to have one of them come over and bake something with them. Jude, 9, did fairly well but would get distracted with "things" in her kitchen. Harrison, 6, she discovered, preferred cleaning up the flour on the counter and floor. He also had fun smashing the peanut butter balls with the fork. Fran said he would say, "Oh, I'm so sorry - smash." over and over as he flattened the balls. Stella Blue,4, was the most involved. She had fun measuring and stirring even though the stirring was a little difficult because the mixture was thick. (I would have loved being a "fly on the wall". What memories she was making with her grandchildren!)

I had shared a couple of easy recipes with her that might work well with them but then one Friday when Friend Janice and I were out going to estate sales, we ran across two cookbooks for cooking with children. Yes, you know what I did....I bought them and gave them to Fran. Last week she returned them to me along with some other things I had "given" her to see if she could use, but didn't realize the cookbooks were there until a day or two ago. (I had told her I was interested in checking them out but never intended for her not to keep them.)

Since the cookie jar was empty again, (When you only bake about 2 dozen cookies at a time and you have a husband like I do who enjoys cookies, they don't last long.) I thought I would see what cookie recipes were in the cookbooks. The one I chose to make from the Kids Cook Fabulous Food for the Whole Family by Sarah and Zachary Williamson was actually called Chocolate Chip Crispers. I changed the title because I had some White Peppermint M&Ms I had bought after Christmas I needed to use. They would be good with peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips....you name it. Make them your own. I did make a little over 3-1/2 dozen cookies though so that means they will last a little longer in the cookie jar. Well, maybe. Will see what my husband says. He loves peppermint.



WHITE PEPPERMINT CRISPERS

1/2        cup butter, softened
3/4       cup sugar
1            egg
1            teaspoon vanilla
1-1/4     cups flour
1/2        teaspoon baking soda
1/2        teaspoon salt
2           cups Rice Crispies
1            cup White Peppermint M&Ms (or chocolate chips, or peanut butter chips, or butterscotch chips...)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Beat butter and sugar in bowl til nice and smooth. (Don't forget to scrape the sides of the bowl.)


Add egg and vanilla and beat well.





Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in another bowl.


Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix well with mixer.


Stir in Rice Crispies and candy.


Using a cookie scoop, drop dough about 2 - 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. (I never put more than 12 cookies on a cookie sheet.)


Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly brown.


Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

ARTICHOKE CHEESE DIP

Artichoke Cheese Dip is a popular dip brought to gatherings of our friends. The other night Friends Jan and Byron brought it to share when we met to play cards. Byron told me how to make it.




ARTICHOKE CHEESE DIP

2    cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1    cup grated Parmesan cheese
1    cup mayonnaise
12  oz jar of artichoke hearts, drained and cut up

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

Spread in baking dish and bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly.


Serve with crackers or crunchy baguettes.

DRUMSTICK PUDDING

If you like the Drumstick Ice Cream, you will love this Drumstick Pudding. That's what Ella Derweiler from Atlantic, Pennsylvania said about her recipe in Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Cookbook - Desserts.

I had to make this twice before I could share it with you. Don't get me wrong - it is definitely good enough for me to want to make it again. I had to make again though because I messed up the first time. 

I made it to share with our Sunday school class the first time. We went to see A Case for Christ and then gathered for dessert and discussion afterwards at Friends Connie and Jerry's house. I wasn't happy with the way it looked and it didn't dawn on me why until the next day.

You see in the recipe the instructions just say to layer the chocolate and vanilla puddings on top. Reading it literally, I layered the chocolate pudding first and then the vanilla pudding on top of it. I wasn't thinking about the Drumstick Ice Cream or I would have realized the vanilla pudding went first and then the chocolate last. So it didn't look anything like it was supposed to. That's when I decided I would make it again and just wait to share pictures of it the "right" way.

Knowing the volunteers at Hillcrest Thrift Shop and what they like as far as types of desserts go, it didn't take much thinking on my part to know I would be making it again to take to them. (The dessert had to stay in the refrigerator at the thrift shop so I think some volunteers didn't realize I had brought something. When my shift was over and I was ready to go home, there were about 6 servings left. I just brought the dish home and gave them to the boys next door to enjoy.)


DRUMSTICK PUDDING

1-1/2       cups graham cracker crumbs (all but one graham cracker in a "sleeve" if you are making your own crumbs)
1/4           cup sugar
1/4           cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

2              8 - ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature (I used 1/3 less fat Neutchatel)
1/4           cup peanut butter
1               cup powdered sugar
2              cartons (8 - oz each) whipped topping, thawed
1                4 - servings size instant vanilla pudding mix + 2 cups milk
1                6 - servings size instant chocolate pudding mix + 2-3/4 cups milk


In a 9 x 13 - inch dish, combine the cracker crumbs and sugar and then add melted butter. Stir with fork until all crumbs are moist. Flatten in the bottom of the dish. Set aside.


In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter til smooth and well blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.


Add powdered sugar and beat the mixture til smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. (Guess I forgot to take a picture. Oops.)


Add whipped topping and beat again til smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl.


Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the crust.


In a medium size bowl, combine milk and vanilla pudding mix and whisk for 2 minutes. Let it rest.


In a large bowl, combine milk and chocolate pudding mix and whisk for 2 minutes. Let it rest.


Spoon vanilla pudding over the cream cheese mixture and gently spread evenly to cover entire mixture.


Spoon chocolate pudding over vanilla pudding and spread evenly to cover.





Can add nuts on top if you like.




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

BLACKBERRY COBBLER WITH A PECAN COCONUT COOKIE TOPPING

I almost forgot that I had bought four 6 - oz packages of fresh blackberries a week or so ago at Aldi. They were only 99 cents each so I couldn't pass them up. The problem, or almost problem, was I had other things to make right then and just put them in the crisper with the other fruit in my refrigerator. Saturday while looking for something else in the refrigerator, I saw them. The funny thing was right after that I found a recipe for this Blackberry Cobbler with a Pecan Coconut Cookie topping that I had printed sometime. Not sure when and not sure where I saw it. It was inspired by Kathleen Smith from gonnawantseconds.com.

I made a few changes and my husband and I were very pleased with the outcome. We started reducing our sugar intake a number of years ago and actually have a hard time eating desserts that are really sweet (like ones I used to make). I was telling my husband the changes I had made and he suggested I tell you that it wasn't real sweet. I reminded him that anyone who likes things "sweet" won't be using unsweetened coconut. Using just a little bit less sugar doesn't make that much difference, but using unsweetened coconut will.

Since the cobbler was cooled when we finally ate some, we heated our servings (one at a time) in the microwave for 30 seconds. Didn't have any ice cream, but I bet it would taste really good with a scoop if you like ice cream with your cobbler.



BLACKBERRY COBBLER with a PECAN COCONUT COOKIE TOPPING

4         6 - oz pkgs fresh blackberries (a little more than 4 cups)
1/2      cup sugar
2         tablespoons instant tapioca
1          tablespoon fresh lime juice (I used the bottled kind)
            pinch of salt

Topping:

1         cup flour
1         cup coconut (I used unsweetened coconut)
1/2     cup sugar
1/2     cup pecans, chopped
1/2     teaspoon baking powder
1/4     teaspoon salt
1/2     cup cold unsalted butter
1         large egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl sprinkle the lime juice over the berries. Then gently toss the berries with the sugar, tapioca, and salt. 

Pour berries into a 1-1/2 quart baking dish. (I used a shallow 1-1/2 quart dish

In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut, sugar, pecans, baking powder, and salt until ingredients are evenly distributed.

Cut butter into thin slices and cut them into flour mixture.
(I think the best way to do this is with your fingers. Mash up the butter slabs until the butter is in small pieces.)
Keep working with the mixture until no ingredients are dry.


Beat the egg, slightly.

Add to mixture and stir with a fork until
no ingredients are dry.

Crumble the dough over the berries.

Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is turning brown.

Cool completely before serving.

Heated a little....


Monday, April 17, 2017

CRESCENT CHICKEN ROLLS

You will love these Crescent Chicken Rolls if you love chicken and want dinner that is super easy to make and best of all so delicious!

I was going to use one of my huge chicken breast, but found some chicken tenders I had frozen that needed to be cooked and decided to use them instead. I think I cooked about 10 - 12 tenders in the slow cooker. It didn't take all of them for the recipe, but I just made some chicken salad for our lunch with the leftover chicken. Depending on the size of the chicken breast, you probably would need 1 to 2 breasts. (If you had leftover chicken, you could use it.) I also used sharp cheddar cheese and skim milk. The cream of chicken soup was also a "healthy" one. I almost forgot - I used "reduced fat" rolls, also.

All that being said, they surely were good. I know I will be making them again.


CRESCENT CHICKEN ROLLS

1      6 - 8 count package of refrigerator crescent rolls (I did use reduced fat ones.)
2     cups cooked chicken - chopped or shredded
1      cup (4 - oz) shredded cheddar cheese (I used sharp cheddar cheese)
1      cup cream of chicken soup
1      can milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the soup and milk in a medium size bowl, and mix until well blended. Set aside.

Open rolls and separate into 8 pieces.

Fill the large end with chicken and
then top with some cheese.

Bring the narrow end of the roll up and over to the back side of roll. (If you are generous with the chicken and cheese as I was, the narrow end will just go around to the back (bottom) side.)

Place in an 8 or 9 - inch square baking dish. (I fit two rows with three rolls and then laid the last two down the side.) If you have some chicken and cheese left, just fill in the spaces between the rolls with them.



Pour the soup mixture over the rolls to cover. (They won't be submerged but make sure that you pour the soup mixture over each roll.)

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.  


Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

They do come nicely out of the dish and hold their shape.




I think I saw the recipe on Facebook. It was from 77 Easy Recipes.