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Friday, May 30, 2014

Taco Lettuce Wraps

There seems to be a surge in lettuce wrapped foods these days, and I had to jump on the bandwagon to see what the big fuss was all about.  I like the idea of eating something wrapped in lettuce, but I must confess it isn't as easy as it seems.
This is done a little differently today.  Start with your favorite taco meat.  I like to add black beans to mine for added fiber.  Maybe I shouldn't have with this recipe. It might have made it a little too heavy.
Get the rest of your taco fixings ready.  The recipe called for Bibb lettuce and I could not find any so I just got a large leaf lettuce. I may have needed something a little more heavy duty.
Make sure the lettuce is nice and dry.
Add some of the meat mixture in the middle.  

Add the fixings.
And eat.  I might should have doubled the lettuce.  I like this idea but I need to play with it a little more. It is a great way to eat a little low carb.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Crunchy Grape Salad

This is a nice side dish that is easy to make and can be made a day ahead of time.
If you can find small sized grapes in red and green use those so the grapes won't be too big.  I have had it before with the grapes cut but this recipe says not to cut them.
This was the time consuming part.  Wash the grapes then take them all off the stems.  Make sure no little stems stay behind.  Dry them well. I used two dish towels to dry them.  I laid them out on one and then covered with the other and rolled them around to dry them.  Use about 3 pounds total.
In a mixing bowl place two 8 oz packages of cream cheese that has been softened.  You can use low fat or fat free.
Then add 1 cup sour cream.  You can use low fat or fat free in the sour cream as well.
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix well.  I used a mixer because it makes it much easier to mix.
Add the grapes.  Gently stir the grapes to coat them.
I actually had to put them into another bowl to coat the grapes.  Needed more room to stir.  Then kind of flatten them out on top.  Or you can put it in a 9x13 dish.
Sprinkle the top with born sugar.
And chopped pecans.  Cover and store in the fridge until you are ready to eat.  I set it out a little bit before I was ready to eat so the chill was off.

Crunchy Grape Salad Recipe

3 lbs red and white grapes
2 8 oz blocks of cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
brown sugar for top
rough chopped pecans

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Abby's Magic Bars

A couple of weeks ago I was looking for a dessert to take to a family gathering.  I wanted some kind of bar or brownie type thing.  I found this recipe and it looked good but that is not the reason I picked it.  I picked them because this is Pauley Perrette's recipe.  You might not know who she is but for watchers of NCIS you know her as Abby.  She owns a bakery in New York and this is their most requested recipe.  That is actually what made me want to make them.  I had to see what was so special that the people of New York kept requesting them.  They were good and an interesting take on the usual magic bars that you are familiar with.
These bars have a little of everything in them from cranberries to white chocolate to Reese's pieces.
Start with 2 cup plain flour in the food processor.
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and a pinch of salt
Add 2 sticks cold butter that have been cut into pieces.
Pulse the food processor
Until the butter is incorporated
Press the flour mixture into a sprayed 9x13 baking pan.
Press out into the bottom.  Press firmly so it will stick together.  Place in a preheated 350 oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and let set for just a minute or two.
Measure out 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Sprinkle on top.
1 cup Reese's Pieces
Sprinkle on top.
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Sprinkle those on top.
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Sprinkle on top.
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Sprinkle those around on top.
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk.
1/2 cup evaporated milk
Pour that on top. Place back in the 350 oven and make for 10-15 minutes longer.
And enjoy.  Let the cool completely or even over night before cutting and they will cut much better.

Abby's Magic Bars Recipe
2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
pinch salt
2 sticks cold butter
Cook crust 350 for 25 minutes
3/4 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup Reece's Pieces
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Oven Roasted Corn

One of my favorite things about summer is fresh corn on the cob.  There is nothing better than a nice ear of corn dripping with butter and covered in salt and pepper.  I found this recipe the other on Facebook and knew I had to try it for Memorial Day.  I will confess something.  I did try this first with one ear of corn before I made it for a bunch.  It is a great way to do corn.  When I boil it I never know how long to cook it. This way there is no questioning if it is done or not.
Corn, butter, salt and pepper is all you need to make this delicious corn.
Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Then coat the corn with softened butter.
Then pepper the corn well.
Add salt.  Then place in a preheated 400 oven.  Bake for 30-45 minutes.  I turned mine about every 10 minutes.  You don't want one side to get too brown.  Also when you use the tongs to turn it you can baste it in the butter as well.
The corn when it came straight out of the oven.  You can spread a little more butter on it then if you would like.  The kernels just come off the cob so easily.  Great way to fix corn for a BBQ.

Oven Roasted Corn Recipe

8 ears of corn
1 stick of softened butter
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400.  Bake for 30-45 minutes

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pecan Pie Muffins

These little muffins are so good, and the only thing better is how easy they are to make. I think I had these first at a little tea room that served chicken salad.  The chicken salad came with a quarter pimento cheese sandwich and one of these little muffins.  I like making them when I make my own chicken salad.
Just some basic ingredients for these little muffins.
Start by melting 1 stick of butter which is 1/2 cup.  Let it set for a few minutes so that it can cool off.
And I went ahead and chopped the cup of pecans.  I used the small food processor because you want them cut into pretty small pieces.
Add 1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Two eggs
Mix everything really well.
You can use regular muffin pans but I like making them in the mini muffin pans.  Spray the pans really well.  They will still stick around the tops.
Fill the cups. Place in a preheated 350 oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
They spread pretty well and around the edges will still.  Carefully remove them from the pans after they sit for about 5 minutes.  Let cool completely.
I trimmed the extra from around the edges.  And then store in a air tight container.

Pecan Pie Muffin Recipes

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bake in a preheated 350 oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.