Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Crunch Topping

Crunch Topping

1/2 C butter, melted
1/2 C brown sugar
1 C flour
1 C chopped nuts (I prefer pecans)
1/4 t salt

Mix all ingredients together and spread loosely on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or less near the end (burns quickly right at the end), until golden. Let cool on baking sheet and crumble when cool to the touch.

**This is one of my favorite additions to a bowl of ice cream.  I love the salty and sweet crunch!  This also makes up the crust of two of my favorite desserts my Mom makes.  Frosty Strawberry Squares and Chocolate Delight.  Recipes coming soon.

Heather's Pioneer Mac & Cheese

Heather's Pioneer Mac & Cheese

6 C hot drained boiled macaroni (approx. 12 oz uncooked)
3 T butter
1 1/2 t slat
1/2 t pepper
3/4 lb shredded sharp cheddar (white Cabot is our favorite!)
3 eggs, beaten
4 C milk

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter a 9x13 baking dish.  Mix butter, salt and pepper in with noodles and place in pan.  Top with cheese.  Mix eggs and milk well.  Pour over cheese and noodles.  Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes until golden.

**Original recipe uses Colby Jack instead of cheddar. Both are kids like the cheddar.
**Such a fun mac and cheese, felt a little quiche-like and not near as greasy as others.  Everyone devoured it! And if it happens to be August and your garden is full of tomatoes, there couldn't be a better combo than tomatoes with mac and cheese. Serious, try it!  Thanks Heather!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Grandma's Pink Squares

Grandma's Pink Squares (my version)

1/2 C butter
1 16oz bag of mini marshmallows
1/4 t salt (heaping)
1 t vanilla
4 drops red food coloring
8 C puffed rice cereal

Melt butter in a large pot over med low heat and cook until just browned. Turn off heat and add salt, marshmallows, vanilla and food coloring.  Mix until thoroughly combined and smooth.  Add the puffed rice cereal.  Mix well.  Press into a buttered 9 x 9 pan. Let cool and cut.

**At every 4th of July parade, every Pinegar and Jolley reunion and a few random Sundays, Grandma Pinegar made her famous Pink Squares. I don't even know if that's what she called them, but that's what I always did.  They are just like rice krispie treats, but you use puffed rice cereal and a few drops of red food coloring.  They truly don't taste the same if they aren't pink, and believe it or not, they taste very different than rice krispie treats.
**I made these today for a Pinegar reunion and Josie informed me that she needs these for her birthday and that they are her absolute favorite.  I'm sure the fact that they are pink had nothing to do with it!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blueberry Raspberry Pound Cake

Blueberry Raspberry Pound Cake

5 large eggs
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ cup (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, at room temperature, plus a bit more for the pan
1 t almond extract (or 2 if you so desire)
2 cups plus 8 Tbs cake flour, plus a bit more for the pan
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries

Generously butter a 9-cup Bundt pan, and dust it with flour, shaking out the excess. In the bowl of a food processor, blend together the eggs and the sugar until smooth and thick, about 1 minute, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the butter and almond extract, and blend until the mixture is fluffy, about 1 minute, stopping once to scrape down the bowl. Add 2 cups plus 6 Tbs flour, baking powder, and salt, and pulse twice or so to just combine. Do not overmix.

In a large bowl, toss the raspberries and blueberries with the remaining 2 Tbs flour. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter into the berries. Transfer this finished batter to the prepared Bundt pan, spreading it evenly across the top. Place the Bundt pan on the center rack in a cold oven, and turn the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted in the cake’s center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes; then invert it onto a rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature.

**Adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
**The original recipe called for Kirsch, however, I love, love, love the almond with this combo. Next time I'll serve it with a dollop of whip cream for fun and flare.

Truman's Quick Chili

Truman's Quick Chili

1 onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
2 cans Nalley's Chili
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can black bean drained
1 can great northern beans drained
1/2 C ketchup
2 T brown sugar (or more to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Brown ground beef in large pot.  Add onion and cook until translucent.  Add chili, tomatoes and beans.  Mix well and bring to a simmer. Add ketchup and sugar.  Simmer for a few minutes and then taste.  Add salt and pepper.  Serve with cheddar cheese and sour cream.

**Truman requests chili for almost every dinner, so I told him I was going to name it after him.

**I'm pretty sure there is a way better chili recipe out there, but I love that I can throw this one together in about 20 minutes or less and there are never left overs.  And I usually bake some corn muffins too, it's a kid favorite!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Left Over Rice Pudding

I wish I could give measurements, but I have never measured and never plan to.  That's what makes this a treasure. This is a recipe that I learned from my Mom, just by watching.  I don't ever remember having a conversation about what goes into it, I've just always known.  I've never made it from scratch, it seems to only be made when there is left over rice. If the rice is cooked in water and is just buttered and salted, it works just fine, but when the rice is cooked in chicken stock or bouillon, it's a no go.

Left Over Rice Pudding

cooked rice
milk (the creamier the better, but still works with skim)

Place rice in a heavy pot. Just cover rice with milk.  Stir in sugar, vanilla and cinnamon to taste.  Place on med-low heat and cover with lid.  Cook, stirring often, until milk is absorbed. If rice sticks to the bottom of the pot, don't scrape off or you'll have brown bits in your pudding.  Serve warm or cold.

**Add raisins, pecans or a big scoop of ice cream.  It is a fave around here. Grayson is the biggest fan...he loves it with a scoop of Breyer's vanilla!
**This picture reminds me of my Dad.  With any treat he ever ate, he always grabbed a few pecans out of the freezer and added to his sweet roll, rice pudding or bread in milk. He still loves pecans and so do I, but I prefer mine toasted!

Thursday, August 11, 2011



1 C sugar
1 C karo syrup
1 C peanut butter
8 C rice chex (or 6 C rice crispies or Special K)
1 1/2 C butterscotch chips, divided
1 1/2 C milk chocolate chips, divided

Cook sugar and karo syrup until boiling, let boil about 1 minute.  Take off heat and add peanut butter, stirring until smooth.  Pour over cereal and mix well.  Mix in 1 C butterscotch chips and 1 C milk chocolate chips.  Press in a 9x13 (or a 9x9 if you want them thicker).  Then sprinkle with the 1/2 C butterscotch chips and 1/2 C milk chocolate chips, pressing down to adhere to the top of the scotch-a-roo.  Let cool and cut into squares.

** These were quite a regular at my house growing up.  They were made with special K and didn't have any chips in them, so I'm not entirely sure how they got their name.  Over the years I've had several variations. Some people melt the butterscotch and chocolate together and slather it on top, some only use chocolate and some skip the chips altogether.  Most people use rice crispies, but I really like the rice chex texture, a little more to bite into! Any way and with any combination, they are yummy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad

BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad

grilled chicken chopped in 1 inch or smaller pieces (marinate in lowry’s mesquite lime and grill)
1-2 C shredded cabbage
1 head romaine lettuce chopped
1-2 tomatoes chopped
4 green onions chopped
1 C thawed frozen sweet corn
1 C black beans drained and rinsed
1 C jicama diced or julienned
1 C red pepper diced
1 C shredded jack cheese
1 C avocado diced
1 C coarse crushed corn chips

Mix ½ C BBQ sauce with ¼ ranch dressing (lighthouse peppercorn ranch or homemade ranch). Toss together all ingredients and mix in dressing to taste.  Serve with extra chips and fresh lime juice.

** This recipe was created 10 plus years ago after my first trip to California Pizza Kitchen and having this salad.  I studied it, had my friend Shannon order it the next week and list off the ingredients to me over the phone, and I made it.  Now we have CPK here, but funny thing is...I like my salad better!

** I find that this salad is best served at a party with the cheese, avacado, chips and dressing on the side.  Then if the salad isn't eaten in one sitting, it stays fresh. Great for a big group and so yummy at a BBQ!

*PS Thanks Kate for the photo!