Sunday, December 28, 2008

Glazed Walnuts

These are some of the best glazed walnuts you can ever make. But it might take some perfecting to get them just right.

Warm walnuts (how much, I don't know) in oven for about 10 minutes.

Grease jelly roll pan.

In a skillet type pan combine
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar

Bring to medium caramel color. (will get bubbly)

Add small handful of black pepper (freshly ground is best) and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Combine with walnuts and let cool.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mint Julep

Who has been to Disneyland? Of those of you that have been to the Land of Mouse, who has had the Mint Julep in the French Quarters? Oh, if you haven't you need to! And if you can't easily get to Disneyland, I'm here to help! I'm here to help increase your sugar intake, by a lot!

This is the original recipe that is given to guests upon request.

1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups soda water
3 tsp lime juice concentrate
6 oz. thawed lemonade concentrate
6 tbsp creme de menthe (syrup available at liquor stores, or check stores like Smart & Final or Cash & Carry. Do not confuse it with creme de menthe liqueur.)

mint leaf
lime slice
maraschino cherry

  1. Dissolve sugar into the soda water in a 3 quart saucepan.
  2. Add lime juice and lemonade and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and add creme de menthe.
  4. To serve, combine 3 parts syrup mix to 5 parts chilled water.
  5. Transfer beverage to pitcher and enjoy!
  6. Garnish each serving with mint leaves, lime slice and a maraschino cherry.
Makes 2/3 gallon.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookie

Being as the QA Christmas party was at a Mexican, Latin, restaurant; someone was so kind to bring these cookies for dessert. Man were they good! I begged for the recipe. Tada!

Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies

1 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups dried fruit
1 (750 ml) bottle tequila (Jose Cuervo or your other favorite brand)

  1. Sample the tequila to check quality.
  2. Take a large bowl; check the tequila again to be sure it is of the highest quality.
  3. Pour one level cup tequila and drink.
  4. Turn on the electric mixer.
  5. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
  6. Add one peastoon of sugar.
  7. Beat again.
  8. At this point it's best to make sure the tequila is still ok, so try another cup just in case.
  9. Turn off the mixerer thingy
  10. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
  11. Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.
  12. Mix on the turner
  13. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pry it loose with a drewscriver.
  14. Sample the tequila to check for tonsisticity.
  15. Next, sift two cups of salt, or something.
  16. Who geeves a sheet.
  17. Check the tequila.
  18. Add one table.
  19. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink.
  20. Whatever you can find
  21. Greash the oven.
  22. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.
  23. Don't forget to beat off the turner.
  24. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the quetila and make sure to put the stove in the wishdasher.
  25. Cherry Mistmas !

Ok, who really thought those sounded good and was ready to make them?!? Fooled ya!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Corn & Wild Rice Soup

My Aunt Megan is a wonderful cook. And she used to cater. Occasionally I would help her with catering jobs. For one of her events, which was a Christmas open house, they customer wanted an assortment of soups. I fell in love with this soup. After much begging, she gave me the recipe, which I immediately gave to my mom in case I lost my copy. Which I did! So now I'm sharing the recipe with you.

So... Now not only can I refer back here for it, but I can also get it from you!

12 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups wild rice (7 1/2 oz.)
6 1/4 cups frozen corn kernels (2 1/2 pounds)
2 tbsp oil
10 oz. cooked smoked sausage
3 carrots, peeled, diced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups half and half

  1. Bring 5 cups broth to a simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add wild rice and simmer until all liquid evaporates and rice is almost tender, about 50-60 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, blend 3 3/4 cups corn and 1 1/2 cups chicken broth in processor until thick, almost puree forms.
  3. Heat oil in heavy large pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage (already cut into 1/2" cubes) and saute' until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add carrots and onions and stir 3 minutes. Add remaining 6 cups of chicken broth and bring soup to simmer.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer soup 15 minutes. Add cooked wild rice, corn puree and remaining 2 1/2 cups corn kernels to soup. Cook until wild rice is very tender and flavors blends. About 30 minutes. Mix in half and half.
  5. Thin soup with more chicken broth, if desired.
  6. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
(Soup can be prepared 2 days ahead. Refrigerate until cold, cover and keep refrigerated. Add half and half at the last minute.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Asian Lettuce Wraps

1 Package Ground Turkey
1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ C. green onions, sliced
1 ½ T ginger root, finely grated
½ tsp. Red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T Soy Sauce
1/3 C Hoisin Sauce
8 Iceberg Lettuce Leaves
¼ C Sliced almonds, toasted

In a skillet over Med-High heat, sauté bell pepper in oil for 2 min. Add turkey, green onions, ginger, red pepper flakes and garlic. Stir while cooking until turkey is no longer pink, about 5 min. Add soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Heat thoroughly for 1 minute. Place 1/8 of turkey mixture into each lettuce leaf and top with almonds. Roll up tightly and serve immediately.

While making the base, make a pot of white rice. On piece of lettuce, put a scoop of rice and a scoop of the turkey mix. Sprinkle with almonds. Yum!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Can't Believe it's a Cookie

Ready for simplicity...?

1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg

Heat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients. Place on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Grilled Jumbo Shrimp

2 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, uncooked with tail
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup diced green onion
3 tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried basil
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
Bacon slices, cut in half one per shrimp

Precook bacon slices, but not to a crispy doneness. They will finish when grilled.

Peel (unless already peeled) shrimp and put into zip lock bag. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour mixture over shrimp. Seal bag and allow to marinate 2-4 hours. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Wrap bacon around shrimp and put on skewer. Place on grill and allow to cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and skewer, and serve.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pumpkin Muffins

I'm all about simple recipes. Quick and easy. For that reason, I love Semi-Homemade by Sandra Lee on the Food Network. This is not one of her recipes, but it's simple enough to be!

Are you ready for this simplicity...?
1 box spice cake mix
15 oz. canned pumpkin
1 cup water (optional)

Mix ingredients and pour into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

The water makes them more doughy, softer. I personally like them better without the water.

For those of you on Weight Watchers, they are only 1 to 2 points each!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hot Buttered Rum

OMG this recipe is so good! My aunt and uncle make it every year when we go down there for Christmas.

Make the whole recipe or cut in half. Store in the freeze and it will last you awhile.

Rum Mix
1 lb. butter
1 lb. brown sugar
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 qt. french vanilla ice cream
3 tsp. vanilla

Freeze mix for later use.

Add 1 tsp. rum mix to jigger rum and 1 cup boiling water. Top with more nutmeg and cinnamon.

Me, personally, I like it with about 2 tbsp. mix and no rum.

Prepare to wear it on your hips.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Latin Lover

I know it's a bit too chili outside for a recipe like this. But it's too good to wait for warm weather to share. I had this first while attending a bachelorette party about...oh, 7 years ago...

4 tbsp. frozen pineapple juice concentrate*
2 tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tbsp. frozen cranberry juice concentrate
1 tbsp. lime juice
2 oz. Malibu rum
1 1/2 cup small ice cubes.

Combine ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth.

Serves 2.

*I've had a hard time finding frozen pineapple juice. So I'll get frozen orange/pineapple and put 6 tbsp. of that in place of the pineapple and orange juices.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Taco Bake

Mom makes this probably about once a month. Or at least she did while I was growing up. So good, and so easy!

1 pound hamburger
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup water
1 pkg (1.25 oz. or 1/4 cup) taco seasoning
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 pkg (8 oz.) macaroni, cooked and drained
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chiles
1 can (or 1 cup thawed) corn (optional)
1 can kidney beans (optional)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Brown beef and onion over medium heat.
  2. Mix in the water, taco seasoning, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer 5-to minutes.
  3. Stir in macaroni, chiles, 1 1/2 cup cheese, and optional ingredients.
  4. Pour into greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until heated through.