a cooking blog from one foodie to another... I rarely if ever use real measurements... my recipes are more like guidelines... but along the way we usually land on something kinda delectable...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Slow Cooker Hot Caramel Apples

[I'm reposting this because when I made it yesterday, I took a bunch of pics.  If you try only ONE recipe from this site... you should try THIS! It is the BEST fall dessert!  YUMS.]

Mkay... I gotta fulfill a couple of requests to post recipes... Here's the first request.... the Hot Caramel Apples.  I can't even remember where I found this recipe... I think a Taste of Home magazine.  Regardless...  it is a Fall favorite in the Kastner household.

Hot Caramel Apples

4 large tart apples, cored
1/2 cup apple juice
8 Tbsp brown sugar
12 red hots
4 Tbsp butter
8 caramels
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream
whipped cream

Peel 3/4" off top of apples. Pour juice over apples.

Fill each apple with 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 3 red hots,

1 Tbsp butter, two caramels.

Sprinkle apples with cinnamon.  Cook 4 - 6 hours on low in slow cooker.  Serve over vanilla ice cream; top with whip cream.

Friday, October 14, 2011

White Chili

By request of the lovely Amanda Starkweather:

Years ago I came up with this recipe after falling in love with Tumbleweed's White Chili (idk if Tumbleweed even exists anymore... does it???) I searched through recipes, tweaking and trying, until we settled on this one. We LOVE it!  (Apparently Amanda does too...)

White Chili

2 to 3 cups cooked chicken breast, cut or shredded
6 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. oregano
2 cans of chiles
3 cups navy beans (or great northern beans)
1 cup onion

Toss this hodgepodge in a BIG pot and simmer away.

[We garnish with sour cream, cheddar jack cheese and crushed tortilla chips.]

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited! We have a guest blogger!!!  Let me introduce the lovely, the talented:

Amanda Gean Starkweather (nee Kastner) 

Sorry boys! as you can see... she's TAKEN!
My step-daughter is quite the foodie with STRONG tendencies toward the gourmet.  OHMIGOSH! You shoulda tasted the mac & cheese she brought to T-giving!  Maybe I will convince her to guest blog again and we'll post that one too.

Today she is sharing with my blog community Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting... I haven't tasted them yet but just the name makes me drool!

Apple Cupcakes

2 large apples, chopped (I used four JONATHAN apples because mine were pretty small)

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
Place apples and water in a medium pot; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until softened, 15 to 25 minutes. Transfer apples, using a slotted spoon, to a food processor; puree until smooth. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add apple puree and vanilla; beat until smooth.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture, slowly beating to incorporate, until just combined.
Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Bake until tops are springy to the touch, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. (I didn't have a wire rack, how many people do?!?! So I used a pizza pan.)

These are SUPER dense cupcakes. They are not light and fluffy like store bought cupcake mix. Very filling!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I have to admit; I had Betty Crocker Cream Cheese frosting on hand and decided to mix in some ground cinnamon. I am SURE there are more wonderful recipes for this, but I used what I had at home and "cheated" that way. The cupcakes were enough work! ;)

They turned out pretty darn good and are a prefect fall treat.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gourmet Saturday

We started something new today -- Gourmet Saturday. We were inspired by watching some Hell's Kitchen. Everyone kept wondering, "What is Beef Wellington?" Which was when we decided.... Saturday's should be our attempt at Gourmet.  Here's the menu for our first Gourmet Saturday (recipes will be separate links).

Appetizer: Mushroom Risotto

Espresso Brownie Sundaes

We added espresso to our regular brownies. Made a sundae out of them.

Brew 2 shots of espresso with the coffee grounds for 4 shots. Add espresso to this recipe. Serve topped with ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream.

Beef Wellington, Roasted Asparagus and Boiled New Potatoes

I tried Simply Recipes version of Beef Wellington. It did not turn out very well. It tasted okay GREAT, but the bottom didn't get crispy. The juices made it all mushy.

Beef Wellington
(we used egg whites instead of egg yolks)

Roasted Asparagus

Toss asparagus in olive oil
Season with salt and pepper

Roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Boiled New Potates 
(all we did was boil new potatoes... smother them in butter... and eat)

Mushroom Risotto

This is Jami's version of risotto... it is EASY because I don't enjoy hard.

Mushroom Risotto

1 lb. fresh mushrooms
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp EVOO
salt & pepper
garlic powder
3 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
3 cups water
2 cups minute rice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus some to garnish

Saute mushrooms in butter and EVOO; season them with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Add water, chicken bouillon, water and rice. Bring to a boil.
Boil until all liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly to avoid rice sticking to the pan.
When all of the liquid is almost absorbed, sprinkle cheese into rice and mix it in.
Serve garnished with more Parmesan.

Quick chickeny noodle soup....

It's a chilly fall day. My sinuses are making me MISERABLE and my Aunt... well she's FREEZING anytime it dips below 85 degrees.  Didn't have any condensed soup or box mixes... So I made up my own from my pantry staples. Tasty! Quick! and WARM!

Quick Chickeny Noodle Soup

1 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules
3 cups filtered water (I'm a little OCD about my water filtering)
dash of garlic
dash of celery salt
(woulda added a dash of parsley but couldn't find it in my spice cabinet... I have GOT to get an organizational system for that!)
2 - 3 handfuls of wide egg noodles

Brought the bouillon, water and seasonings to a boil. Tossed in handfuls of egg noodles. Boiled for 8 minutes. Served it. Yummy! Piping hot! and opening up my sinuses as we speak!

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