Squash Apple Casserole
- 2 1/2 cups fresh winter squash peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices.
- 1 1/2 cups cooking apples, pared and cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Alternate layers of squash and apples in an 8x8 pan, ending with apples on top layer. Sprinkle spices over top layer. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake in 350 oven for about 45-60 minutes, until squash is tender. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes to remove any excess liquid that might have accumulated. Cool slightly before serving.
With the recent cooler temperatures and the autumn season fast approaching, it seems the perfect time to gather recipes that will provide warmth and comfort so enjoy!
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tsps)
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus extra as needed
- 2 cups water
- 1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup half and half
- Salt and ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, and nutmeg and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the broth, water, pumpkin, and maple syrup, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the flavors have melded, about 15 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the soup to a clean pot.
Stir in the half and half and additional broth, as needed, to adjust the soup’s consistency. Heat the soup gently over low heat until hot (do not boil). Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
If you want to get a chocolate fix in a very easy way that looks quite impressive, here is how:
1) Grease Bundt Cake Pan
2) Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
3) Mix together
- 1 package Devil Food Cake Mix
- 1 (5.9 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 cup sour cream (low fat tastes just as good)
- 1 cup vegetable oil (canola oil is better for you)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4) Bake for 50-55 minutes, until top is springy and wooden toothpick when inserted comes out clean
5) Cool cake thoroughly in the pan for at least 90 minutes before inverting onto plate
From here you can keep it tame and serve with a little powdered sugar on the top, or go on to make it an amazing cake by topping the cake with the frosting as per below:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter or margarine (again, use the lowest fat content you can)
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Alternately add portions of ingredients listed below until all mixed in:
- 1/3 cup milk (skim milk works fine)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
Put on the top and let it run down the sides of the chocolate of all chocolate cakes. Enjoy!
- 1 box cake mix (any flavor- chocolate, red velvet, lemon, etc.)
- 1 tub Cool Whip (8 oz.)
- 1 egg
Mix ingredients. Drop spoonfuls into powdered sugar to coat.
Back at 350 F on lightly greased cookie sheet for 12 minutes.
Cool before removing.
Every year for summer family gatherings my mother always makes her famous Taco Dip. It serves as the perfect dip for any nacho, and it tastes absolutely excellent. If you're looking for an easy and quick recipe for your nachos, look no further!
- one 8 oz. bottle or Ortega sauce (mild or medium)
- two 8 oz. bars of cream cheese
- sliced or shredded lettuce
- chopped tomatoes
- shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- sliced black olives
Mix the Ortega sauce and the cream cheese together in a bowl; it should be an even light orange color. Pour your mixture into whatever dish you will be serving the dip in. (We typically use a wide circular Tupperware that isn't very deep- you get more of the non-dip ingredients that way, plus it's easier for dipping nachos.) Layer the lettuce, the tomatoes, the cheese, and the black olives in that order. Chill.**
**If you have time beforehand, chill the ingredients so that the dip is ready immediately after preparation.
Enjoy! And be sure to check out our other recipes!
The s’more is a camping classic. Its elegance and beauty come from the simplicity and timelessness of its recipe; marshmallow, chocolate, and graham crackers are cheap and delicious, but together they make so much more. Any combination of these three ingredients will be delicious, and everyone has different preferences, which I can tough upon, but I will focus on the classic.
The place where it will all happen. The right fire can make or break your whole s'more experience, so it's important to start right.
Make the fire in a proper fire pit, with distinct boundaries around the fire. The boundaries will come into play later.
- Use newspaper only as fire starter and wood as fuel, avoid lighter fluid or charcoal.
- Keep the fire rather small; it's no help to anyone if the fire is too hot to get close to.
- Once the fire is lit, allow it to settle and develop embers, the glowing orange pieces of wood. They will be found on the underside of the logs.
- When there is a fair mix of embers and medium to small flames, pull your chairs up (away from the smoke) and get ready to roast!
Everyone knows that the mallow is the most finicky piece of the food puzzle, and the most easily ruined. These steps will help you get that ooey-gooey inside and golden crisp that you're looking for.
- Assuming you don't want to hold molten sugar over an open fire with your bare hand, you're going to want to get a roasting stick, long enough for you to comfortably reach the fire, without compromising the strength of the stick. The straighter, the better.
- Put 1 to 3 marshmallows onto the end of your stick, any more and the heating will be uneven.
- Find a region of the fire where there are ample embers and set your marshmallows 3 to 6 inches above. *Note:* The closer you set the marshmallows to the heat, the faster the outside will roast, but the insides may stay cool. If you're feeling adventurous, find a "cavern" of embers, where the logs form a roof of embers above a pit of embers, for a more even heating.
- Set the stick to sit on the boundaries mentioned earlier, it will allow you to hold your marshmallow steady without tiring your arm.
- Slowly rotate the stick, making sure to account for any curves of the stick. This will ensure even melting. Be wary of the top of the marshmallow, it is the most likely to burn.
- You can either stop when you reach an ideal golden crisp, or when the mallow no longer rotates with the stick, signifying a fully liquefied interior.
The Chocolate and the Cracker
There are a number of styles for the chocolate, here are a few:
- After spearheading the marshmallow, take one piece of milk chocolate and insert it into the hold made by the stick. This will allow the chocolate to melt with the mallow. Be warned however, that this compromises the structural integrity of the marshmallow.
- Set the marshmallow and the graham cracker aside from the fire, away from open flame, but close enough to the radiating heat. The chocolate won't melt quite as well, but you can get more chocolate per mallow in your s'more.
- Or if you're feeling impatient you could do the simple method of dropping a few un-melted slabs of chocolate onto your mallow before.
And lastly, for the graham cracker, set one half of the cracker down on a table or other hard surface and set the mallow stick on top. Set your second graham cracker over it and slide the stick out of the marshmallow. Now all that's left is to enjoy.
Note: If your marshmallow catches fire at any point, pull it up from the fire slowly and blow it out. Do NOT shake it back and forth to put it out; you may launch the molten sugar ball into the woods, or your soon-to-be-ex-best-friend's face.
My favorite time to cook is in the summer, especially outdoor barbeques. Here's one of my quick and easy favs- Apricot Barbeque Sauce:
- 2/3 apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup of ketchup
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 4 whole chicken legs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Prepare grill with medium hot coals, or heat gas grill to medium high.
- Stir all above sauce ingredients until combined and set aside
- Remove skin from chicken legs. Season with salt and pepper.
- Grill 25-30 minutes, turning occassionally or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees F.
- Brush chicken with half the sauce during the last five minutes of cooking. Serve remaining sauce on the side.
- 1 Package of Cream Cheese
- 1 Package of Italian All Seasoning Mix (not the zesty type)
- 1 Package of Cocktail Bread (usually found in the deli section of the market)
- Mix the Cream Cheese and Italian All Seasoning Mix together until sort of creamy
- Skin and Slice the Cucumbers (not too thin)
- Spread some of the Cream Cheese mix on the top of the Cocktail Bread
- Put a slice of Cucumber on top
- Sprinkle a little Dill Weed on top
Keep chilled and cover with wax paper until ready to serve. Enjoy!
Summer has arrived and the ultimate summertime treat? S’mores of course! Of course we are all familiar with this treat consisting of a toasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker. But S’mores has come a long way. They can be assembled, wrapped in foil, and placed on the coals or grill or wrapped in foil and baked in the oven at 325 degrees F until the ingredients are warm and melted. There’s even a new twist – S’mores Cones – layer the ingredients into sugar cones, wrap the cones in foil and place them on the grill until everything is nice and melty – approx. 5 minutes.
Summertime is perfect for gathering around a campfire with friends and family and toasting marshmallows. I’m a traditionalist – I remember all of us kids running to find the perfect stick for marshmallow toasting! There is an art to creating the perfect toasted marshmallow – browning it and not setting it on fire and charring it! You must be patient, rotate the marshmallow and resist the urge to speed up the process by putting it too close to the fire or coals.
Yes, S’mores has come a long way and there are lots of variations to try! Don’t like graham crackers? – try cookies (ginger snaps, oatmeal, chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, etc.) With a variety of candies (peppermint patties, rolos, peanutbutter cups, variety of chocolate bars), fruits, nuts and even flavored marshmallows – the possibilities are endless! Invite the neighborhood over for an old-fashioned campfire night then impress them with your S’mores Bar!!! Here’s a list of variations to get you started:
- Chocolate grahams with white chocolate, a toasted coconut marshmallow and sliced strawberries
- Chocolate grahams with toasted marshmallow and a peppermint patty or Andes’ mints
- Chocolate or classic grahams with toasted marshmallow and a peanut butter cup
- Classic grahams with peanut butter, sliced strawberries and a toasted strawberry marshmallow
- Classic grahams with white chocolate, fresh pineapple and a toasted coconut marshmallow
- Classic grahams with caramel kisses, toasted marshmallow and banana slices
- Cinnamon grahams with caramel sauce, toasted marshmallow and apple slices
- Classic grahams with Nutella, sliced strawberries and a toasted coconut marshmallow
FYI- National S'mores Day is August 10th!!!
Here’s a recipe for a simple Easter treat so easy and tasty that it might well become an annual tradition.
All that you need is a refrigerated roll of "crescent rolls", a package of large marshmallows, a little butter, and an oven.
Commemorating the events of Easter, the rolled out crescents represent the linen cloth that was wrapped around Christ, who is depicted by His culinary equivalent: a large, snow-white marshmallow. Each cloth is “anointed” with a touch of butter before entering the “tomb” at about 400 degrees and baked as desired.
A miracle occurs when the tomb is opened and the shroud is empty! Children will love this, the rolls will be a delicious and sweet addition to an Easter breakfast and the preparation parallels the Easter tradition.
Have a Happy Easter and a happy spring to all!!!