Vietnamese Pickled Vegetables

1/4 lb. cucumber, julienned
1 lb. daikon, peeled and julienned
1 lb. carrots, peeled and julienned
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
2 tsps salt
1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Make sure the vegetables are fairly dry (pat them dry) so they don’t dilute the pickling liquid with excess water. Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, and water together until the sugar dissolves. Place the vegetables in a jar large enough to fit them all and pour the pickling liquid into the jar so that all of the vegetables are submerged. Store them sealed in the jar in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Orange Italian Cream Cake

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Fresh Orange Curd (recipe below)
3 cups Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (optional)
Glazed Pecan Halves (optional)

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla; beat until blended.
Combine flour and soda; add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in 1 cup flaked coconut.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Fresh Orange Curd
Yield: Makes about 3 cups

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups fresh orange juice (about 4 pounds navel oranges)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon grated orange rind

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a 3-quart saucepan; gradually whisk in fresh orange juice. Whisk in lightly beaten eggs. Bring to a boil (5 to 6 minutes) over medium heat, whisking constantly.
Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture reaches a pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter and grated orange rind. Cover, placing plastic wrap directly on curd, and chill 8 hours.
Spread 3/4 cup chilled Fresh Orange Curd between layers; spread remaining Fresh Orange Curd on top of cake. (The Fresh Orange Curd layer on top of cake will be very thick.) If desired, loosely cover cake, and chill 8 hours. (Cake may be frosted with Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting immediately after adding the Fresh Orange Curd, but the cake layers will not be as steady. Chilling the cake with the curd between the layers helps keep the layers in place and makes it much easier to spread the frosting.) Spread 3 cups Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting on sides of cake, reserving remaining frosting for another use. Sprinkle 1/2 cup toasted coconut over top of cake, if desired. Arrange Glazed Pecan Halves around top edge of cake, if desired. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Arrange Boxwood Garland around bottom edge of cake before serving, if desired.

Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: Makes about 4 cups

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed until smooth; stir in pecans.

source: Sugar and Spice by Celeste

Hamburger Hash Brown Casserole

2 lbs. Ground beef
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
1 can condensed cream of cheddar soup
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 package hash browns
salt and pepper, to taste

Brown ground beef. Mix together in a large bowl, Cheese, soup, milk, butter, salt and pepper. Add in the hash browns.
Layer ground beef in the bottom of a Casserole dish or 9x13 baking dish.  Spread mixture over the ground beef.
Bake in 350 degree oven for one hour.

Source: This Girl's Life Blog

Steven's Chocolate Cake

2 cups flour
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 cups sugar
4 oz. Unsweetened chocolate
6 T butter
1 t vanilla
2 Eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 cake pans. Line bottom with waxed paper.
In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Add chocolate and butter and then let it sit, stirring occasionally, until melted and slightly cooled. Stir in vanilla. Temper the eggs by adding a small amount of the hot chocolate mixture into the eggs. Beat until blended. Add the tempered eggs to the rest of the chocolate mixture and beat at medium speed until combined. Add dry ingredients all at once and beat at medium speed until smooth. Divide batter evenly into pans and bake for 25 minutes. Invert onto a rack to cool.

1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 Tab butter
1 1/2 tea vanilla
Pinch salt

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally about 6 minutes or until liquid reduces.
Pour mixture into a medium bowl and add chocolate, butter, vanilla and salt. Let stand, stirring occasionally until chocolate and butter are melted.
Set bowl in a larger bowl of ice water.  Using a mixer. beat frosting on medium speed about 5 minutes or until the icing is thick and glossy. You may need to scape down the sides occasionally. Use at once.

Brenda's Chocolate Frosting

This recipe frosts one layer cake or 12 cupcakes. Double for a double layer cake.

1 oz. Unsweetened chocolate square
1 1/2 Tab. Margarine or butter
1 1/4- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 cup hot (boiling) water
dash salt
1/2 tea. Vanilla extract

Melt chocolate and butter together. Stir together. Stir in water until thoroughly combined. Add powdered sugar, beginning with 1 cup, and combine. Looking at the texture, judge whether you need to add 1/4-1/2 cup more powdered sugar. Add salt and vanilla and check consistency to judge whether you need to add more powdered sugar, 1 Tab. at a time.

Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens

Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens

10 ounces mustard greens
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
4-6 tablespoons vegetable broth, divided
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Remove any large stems from the greens and discard. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
In a deep pot or wok, sauté the onion in a tablespoon or two of vegetable broth until mostly faded to pink, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and red pepper and another tablespoon of broth and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the mustard greens, 2 tablespoons of broth, and cook, stirring, until greens are wilted but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the salt, if using. Remove greens and onions from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish, leaving any liquid in pan.
Add the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and agave or sugar to the liquid in the pan (if there is no liquid, add 2 tablespoons of broth). Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about half. Spoon the chickpeas over the greens and drizzle the sauce over all.
Serve warm, with additional balsamic vinegar at the table.

Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Pot Pie

Everyone thinks that "Chicken Pot Pie" is a meal that is served in a pie crust of some sort. This is not true. Those are "meat pies". Chicken pot pie is actually a Pennsylvania Dutch dish and is more of a soup or stew.

4-5 chicken breasts
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp celery seed
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or dried parsley flakes
5 chicken bouillon cubes
1 package Annie's Dumplings
1-2 cans Cream of Chicken soup

Fill a large dutch oven with about 2 quarts of water. Add the chopped onion, celery seed, garlic powder, parsley, bouillon cubes and the chicken. Bring to a boil, cover with lid, and then turn down to simmer for about an hour, or until chicken can be easily removed from the bones.
When chicken is done, remove from the pot, reserving all of the stock.
Remove chicken from bones and cut into small chunks and set aside.
Bring stock to a rolling boil, add potatoes and carrots, and a handful of the noodles at a time. Stir soup after each addition of noodles to help keep them from sticking together. Add the Cream of Chicken soup.
Cover again with lid, and let cook for about a half hour to 45 minutes, or until noodles are cooked completely through and the vegetables are done.
When all is finished, add the chicken once again, to heat through, and serve. 

modified from the recipe: Just a Pinch

Spicy Mushroom Rice


4 c. of cooked white rice
10 oz. white or button mushrooms
2 T. butter
1 shallot, sliced
1-3 jalapeno, diced
1/4 c. Marsala wine
1 T. soy sauce
1 t. salt
1/4 t. fresh ground black pepper

Start by melting the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add in the sliced mushrooms and let brown, stirring, for 10 minutes.
Next add the shallot, jalapeno, salt and pepper and let cook for another minute or two.
Deglaze the skillet with the Marsala wine and let reduce for 2 minutes.
Add the soy sauce and stir, then add the cooked rice.
Stir together and then season with more salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Slow Cooker Smoky BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

3 pounds pork roast ( 3-4 pound pork shoulder butt roast (can have bone-in) )
3 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/3 cup liquid smoke
16 ounces (or more) barbeque sauce
8 hamburger buns

Spray the inside of slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray (or use a slow cooker liner). Combine paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, mustard and liquid smoke in a small bowl. Rub all over the roast, covering all sides. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours (or high 5-6 hours). Shred meat when finished and add bottle of BBQ sauce. Serve on buns and enjoy!

source: My Recipe Magic

Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce - Crisp-tender chicken in the most amazing cream sauce ever. It's so good, you'll want to guzzle down the sauce!

8 Chicken breasts
salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
2 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Season chicken breast with salt and pepper, to taste.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; set aside.
Melt remaining tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream, sun dried tomatoes, Parmesan, thyme, oregano and basil.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet.
Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.
Serve immediately, garnished with basil.

Middle Eastern Chickpea Burgers

Photo by Leo Gong.

Makes 17 patties

2 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15-ounce can, drained, rinsed, and mixed with a spritz of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 cups cooked brown basmati rice
3 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup loosely packed minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the chickpeas, salt, turmeric, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth and well combined, scraping the sides occasionally. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the rice, bell pepper, and parsley.

Moisten your hands to keep the mixture from sticking, then shape the mixture into 1/4-inch-thick patties about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Place them on the prepared pan and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until the patties start to get dry and crisp on the outside. They will firm up as they cool.

Variations: For a crispy burger, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the patties for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

Want a delicious dip for fresh, raw veggies? The chickpea and spice puree from the food processor makes a delicious hummus.

Prep Time: 15 minutes o Cook Time: 25 minutes

source: The Cancer Fighting Kitchen, Rebecca Katz

Pear, Walnut and Ricotta Crostini

Pear, Walnut, and Ricotta Crostini
1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese
Pear slices
Walnut pieces
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Divide ricotta cheese among crostini. Top each piece with several ripe pear slices and some walnut pieces. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle each with honey. Serve immediately.

Hot Artichoke Parmesan Dip

2 cups grated parmesan cheese
2 14oz. cans artichoke hearts
2 cups mayonnaise
salt, pepper to taste

Drain, rinse and chop artichokes into smaller pieces. Combine all ingredients including a little salt and pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cheese for the top. Bake in an oven safe dish at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with crackers or thinly sliced baguettes.

source: Hip to Save

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