Friday, December 24, 2010

Cinnamon/Cranberry Bread Pudding

I'm sorry I've been so absent this week, but workwise, this is one of the busiest times of the year, so I 've stayed away from the kitchen. Last night I got up enough energy to make this bread pudding. I didn't go through the whole picture process as I have posted bread puddings before (click here), but for this one I used some re-hydrated craisins (leftover from Thanksgiving) instead of raisins. I'll be back with more recipes soon. In the meantime, here are some pictures of the snow that fell today.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Semi-Homemade Crackers

So on my last post I told you about everything defrosting in my Garage freezer, well among the defrostees was a package of flat bread.

I had originally bought the bread planning to make pinwheels for a small get-together that was cancelled at the last minute because of a snow storm, so I put the bread in the freezer figuring I'd make something with it sooner or later... I guess it's sooner.

The package came with 4 flat breads. I baked 2.  I layered a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

On one of them I brushed on some olive oil and sprinkled it with sea salt, pepper and fresh rosemary. The second, I brushed with olive oil and sprinkled it with parmesan cheese.  I scored them all with a knife and baked them (one at a time) at 350 F for about 8-10 minutes each. Really good!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dates Wrapped in Bacon

I  usually make dates wrapped in bacon on New Year's Eve. For no particular reason this is the only time of the year that I prepare them. (I made an exception for the blog)

Years ago, late in December, I went to the local supermarket with my daughter (she was about 11) to shop for our New Year's Eve tradition.  The supermarket was packed with last minute shoppers. We could barely get our cart through the masses, and when we reached the produce department we couldn't spot the dates anywhere.  I glanced up and noticed a produce boy wearing his apron.  He must have been about 17 years old.  "Yoo  hoo, young man!"  I waved to get his attention.  "Can you help me? My daughter and I are looking for dates for New Year's and can't seem to find any."  The kid took off through the swinging back doors (to retrieve my dates I assumed), but alas, he was never to be seen again... at least not until we left! LOL

This is very simple to do, and almost silly of me to describe. All you need are dates (preferrably pitted), bacon strips and toothpicks.

If your dates are not pitted (as mine weren't) slice them down the middle and you will see that the seed can be removed very easily. Cut your bacon strip into three equal parts. Wrap your bacon strip around a single date and insert a toothpick. Repeat.  Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.  Place your dates on a rack (if you don't have one, don't worry, just place them on a baking pan) and roast for about 20-30 minutes, just keep your eye on them. You may have to turn on the broiler for the last 3-4 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oreo Truffles

I had never made this before, but it's really simple, only three ingredients: oreo cookies, cream cheese, and chocolate.

Okay, you know I can't eat this stuff, just looking at it makes me gain weight, so I'm going to make half the recipe. For about 16 truffles you will need:

21 oreo cookies (I actually counted)
4 oz cream cheese (half a package)
8 oz. chocolate morsels (more or less)

Put your Oreo cookies in a plastic bag and crumble them, you can bang them with a rolling pin, or if you wish, you can put them in a food processor. Small chunks are okay. Combine your crumbled cookies with the cream cheese, honestly, you'll have to use your hands to form a ball that sticks together. Place wax paper on a cookie sheet and take one tablespoon of the mixture into your hands and form a small ball. Place your truflles on the cookie sheet. Refrigerate them for one hour.

As for the chocolate, I had never melted chocolate for dipping before and I didn't do a very pretty job, but the instructions say to.... melt your chocolate over medium heat in a double boiler. When all the chocolate is melted turn the heat down to low. Use toothpick inserted into the truffles to dip them one by one into the chocolate. Place them back on the waxed paper and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

That's it, you can be creative with these and add sprinkles, or crumbled cookies, or whatever your heart fancies.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Meatless Monday: Sopa de Papas • Potato Soup

4 medium potatoes, diced
2 cups vegetable broth (I made my own, but canned is fine)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup sour cream
shredded cheddar cheese (optional

In a soup pot boil your potatoes in 2 cups of vegetable broth until tender but not mushy. In the meantime, sauté your onion, celery and garlic in butter. Add this to your soup pot, add the milk and sour cream and season with salt to taste. Stir. Bring to a gentle boil, cover and turn off the heat. Serve in soup bowls and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. (You can refrigerate leftovers but may have to add more broth if it thickens too much when reheating).

P.S. My husband, of course, wanted bacon bits. So if you're not doing the vegetarian thing, go right ahead and sprinkle some bacon bits on top with your cheddar cheese.