Sunday, March 13, 2011

Easy Eclair Dessert. {Winner!}

Easy Eclair Dessert from Kristen:

2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
3 cups milk
27 whole graham cracker squares
1 (16 ounce) container ready to spread fudge chocolate frosting

1. In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the pudding mix and milk. Gently add whipped topping.

2. Arrange a single layer of graham cracker squares in the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan. Break to fit, if necessary. Evenly spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers (running the other direction) and remaining pudding mixture. Top with a final layer of graham crackers. Don't forget this last layer of crackers. If you do, it's not pretty).

3. Remove top and foil from frosting container. Put the opened tub of frosting in the microwave for 45 seconds to a minute, until pourable. Stir and pour evenly over the whole cake up to the edges of the pan. Cover, and chill at least 4 hours before serving to allow time for crackers to get soft. Best if made the night before.


Hummus from Jenn:

4 garlic cloves, minced and mashed
2 (15-oz.) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup tahini (roasted, not raw)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

In food processor, combine garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, water and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt 1/2 tsp. at a time, to taste. Serve with crackers, chips, pita or raw vegetables.

marshmallow popcorn.

Marshmallow Popcorn from Jocelyn:

Pop 1 1/2 cups unpopped popcorn and set aside.

1 cup karo syrup
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 bag mini marshmallows

Bring first three ingredients to a boil, then cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Take off heat then add marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows have melted and pour over your popcorn.

BLT Bites.

BLT Bites from Tosha:

16-20 cherry tomatoes
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup mayo
1/3 cup chopped green onions
3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp snipped fresh parsley

Cut top of tomatoes. Scrape out pulp and discard. Invert tomatoes on paper towel to drain. In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Mix well. Spoon mixture into tomatoes. Refrigerate. Makes 16-20 appetizers.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cowboy Salsa.

Cowboy Salsa from Erin:

1 can of each (drained):
garbanzo beans (sometimes I sub canned corn instead)
black beans
white hominy
yellow hominy
diced green chiles

1 green pepper chopped
4-5 tomatoes
bunch of cilantro (to taste)
2 sliced avocados
Italian dressing (to taste)

Mix together and serve.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salsa.

Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salsa from Tamara:

1 mango - peeled, seeded and diced
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
2 T fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 T olive oil

In a medium bowl, combine the mango, avocado, tomatoes, jalepeno, cilantro and garlic. Stir in the salt, lime juice, red onion and olive oil. To blend the flavors, refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.

Spinach, Blue Cheese, Pecan and Cranberry Wraps.

Spinach, Blue Cheese, Pecan and Cranberry Wraps from Tamara:

1 - 8 oz container light spreadable cream cheese
2 T nonfat buttermilk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
4 oz package crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas (I use the ones you cook yourself from Costco, because that's what I usually have on hand)
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
4 cups baby spinach leaves


1. Stir together first 4 ingredients until blended. Add in blue cheese, pecans and cranberries.

2. Spread about 1/3 cup mixture evenly over each tortilla. Layer with apple slices and spinach. (Pears, instead of apples, are also yummy!) and roll up.

3. These can be made up to 4 hours in advance and wrapped individually in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge. You can also slice into 1 inch "wheels" to serve.


Hummus from Shalee:

2 cups canned chickpeas
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup reserved bean liquid
1/4 cup sesame tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Pulse chickpeas and garlic. Add the reserved liquid, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Blend to desired consistency. Chill for two hours before serving.

*Add anything additional that you like: parsley, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, paprika, cumin, tabasco, olives, etc. Serve with crackers, veggies, lettuce, bread or pita chips.

Oven Baked Cheese Crackers.

Oven Baked Cheese Crackers from Shalee:

1/4 cup butter
1 cup cheese
3-4 T water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup white or whole wheat flour

Pulse flour and salt, add butter and pulse until mixed well. Add grated cheese a little at a time. Pulse in 3 to 4 Tablespoon of water, one Tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms into a ball. Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. Roll the dough out to 1/8th - inch thickness directly onto a baking sheet. Cut and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Bean Salsa.

Bean Salsa from Beckie:

Drain and rinse:
1 can red kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can Rotel tomatoes (mild)
1 bunch chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can supersweet corn (or 8 oz. frozen, rinsed with warm water)

Mix. Cut in chunks of aocado and serve with chips. **Will last about 3 days in fridge. (add avocado just before serving)

Homemade Chips and Salsa.

Homemade Chips and Salsa from Kelly:

1 package of white or yellow corn tortillas
corn oil
kosher salt

1/2 medium onion
1/3 cup cilantro
1/4 cup fresh jalapeno pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vinegar
5 roma tomatoes - quartered
3 drops Tabasco sauce
3/4 tsp salt

Put enough corn oil into a wok and bring to boil. Cut the corn tortillas into pie shaped quarters and drop about 15-20 pieces into oil. Let them cook until the edges start to brown and place them into a big bowl lined with a paper or regular towel. Once in bowl sprinkle salt on and repeat process until you have the desired amount.

Put the first three ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse 3 to 5 times. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until you've reached your desired consistency.

Jalepeno Cheddar Cheese Bread.

photo credit: my mother in law

Jalepeno Cheddar Cheese Bread from Brittany:

1 1/2 T dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
4 cups flour (more as needed)
2 large jalepeno peppers, coarsely chopped, and seeds removed
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 T sugar
1 egg (room temperature, let egg sit in hot water for about 5-7 minutes to warm)
1 cup milk, warmed
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (chopped into about 1/2 inch cubes or a little larger if desired)

Prepare heavy duty stand mixer with a kneader blade. Proof yeast in water with 1 tsp sugar for 8-10 minutes, or until foamy. Heat milk in the microwave for about 50 seconds on HIGH. In the stainless steel bowl, add in 4 cups flour, chopped jalepenos, salt, sugar, egg, and warmed milk. After yeast has proofed add to the bowl and start kneading, adding in more flour as needed to create a soft smooth semi-sticky dough, keep kneading for about 8-10 minutes, add in cheese by hand. After kneading, let the dough sit out on a board or counter top to rest, covered with a clean tea towel for 8-10 minutes. Gather up dough and knead gently for 30 seconds. Then place the dough in a well greased bowl, and let rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours or could take a little longer). Punch down and slice into two even pieces. Shape into two large balls and place on a cookie/baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with a clean tea towel and rise again for another 1 hour or more, until doubled. Brush tops with an egg white that has been mixed with 1 teaspoon cold water. Sprinkle on grated parmesan cheese or sesame seeds. Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes or until crust is dark golden brown.

I typically make this bread in two loaf pans. I love it as toast with butter, or open faced sandwiches toasted with turkey, bacon and avocado. Also makes delicious breakfast sandwiches with eggs, salsa, bacon etc.

*Don't let the directions scare you, this bread is fool proof!