My little buddy

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day Nine

So, since I've been so bad about posting the last few days, here's another recipe for you. I got this one from an old friend. It sounds odd to put crackers in it, but it is soooo good!

Breton Brittle

28 Dare Breton crackers
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. butter (I've used margarine too)
1 pkg. (300g) Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 c. chopped nuts (I use pecans) or it can be optional

Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil. Arrange a single layer of crackers over bottom of pan. Arrange a second layer of crackers to cover spaces between crackers in first layer, breaking some crakers if necessary.

In medium saucepan combine sugar and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat; pour evenly over crackers in pan.

Bake in 400F pre-heated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips and allow to sit for a few mins. When chips are soft and melty, spread evenly over top. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Chill until chocolate is set. Break into pieces to serve. Store in refrigerator.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day Eight

Here's the second post I promised yesterday but forgot to do until I was in bed last night ... one of my absolute FAVOURITE THINGS for Christmas is Peanut Brittle. I've made it both ways - the long, more labour intensive stovetop method and the easy microwave method. Guess which one this recipe is?

Microwave Peanut Brittle

1-1/2 c. dry roasted peanuts ( I just used the cheap blanched, salted NoName peanuts)
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup (I used what I had on hand - golden corn syrup)
1 tbsp butter OR margarine
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda

1. Grease a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and, here's the big tip, put it in a 250 degree oven. This will allow you to spread the brittle a little easier later.
2. In a glass bowl (I used a Pyrex 8L glass measuring cup/bowl), mix sugar and corn syrup. It will look like sand, because there is so little moisture. Pour the peanuts on top. No need to mix them in. Microwave for 6 - 7 minutes (I went with 7).
3. While the mixture is in the microwave, measure out the rest of your ingredients. This is important because you won't have time to do it later as you go through the steps.
4. When the 7 minutes are up, remove from the microwave and stir in the butter/margarine and the vanilla. Microwave for 2-3 minutes (I went with 3).
5. Remove your cookie sheet from the oven just before the timer goes off on the microwave.
6. When the 3 mintues are up, remove from the microwave and quickly stir in the baking soda. Pour the mixture onto the cookie sheet and quickly spread it around.

That's it! No candy thermometers, no soft and hard boil stages. Just set it and forget it!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day Seven

So sorry ladies! It totally slipped my mind yesterday to post! It was a crazy day! So I will post twice today - two recipes even!

Zesty Cheese Spread

8oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp green onion, sliced thinly
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers

1. Mix cream cheese and Miracle Whip together until well combined.
2. Add cheese and onions; mix well.
3. Spread into a 9" pie or quiche plate (or dip baker).
4. Sprinkle top with crumbled bacon and crushed crackers.
5. Bake in a 350F pre-heated oven for 15 mins or until bubbly round the edges. Serve with a variety of crackers.

NOTES: You can use a 1/4 cup of Maple Leaf or Oscar Mayer bacon crumbles instead of cooking your own bacon. Use Miracle Whip instead of mayo to give it that extra tangy-ness. You can also use low-fat or reduced-fat products to save a few calories.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Day Six

Today's MFT is a list of My FAVE Claymation and Cartoon Holiday Shows. Christmas just isn't Christmas without seeing these.

My Top 5 Christmas Claymation/Cartoons
1.Frosty the Snowman ... I watch this every year. I cry like a baby at the end every year. It's a tradition!

2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer .. what's Christmas without Rudolph and Hermey the Elf who wants to be a dentist?
3. Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas .. I even have a CD of this to listen to in the car!

4. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town ... it's how Santa came to be! Need I say more?

5. And finally ... A Charlie Brown Christmas ... no holiday is complete without a Charlie Brown tree!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Day Five

So today is another recipe! It's my Faux Eggs Benny - I make this every year for Christmas morning. It's one of those "wife-savers" that you prepare the day before you need it and keep refrigerated. There is some work to it, but it's sooooo worth it!

In the past, I have added VE Fine Herbs and a dash of VE Poultry Seasoning to the sauce and it was super tasty! My version calls for Cheddar cheese. I have also used a combo of Cheddar and Gouda which was superb! You can also use Swiss or Havarti.

Faux Eggs Benny

4 English muffins

16 bacon slices

8 large eggs

1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups grated Cheddar
1/2 cup white wine

1 tbsp margarine or butter
1/2 cup crushed cornflakes

1. Split English muffins and toast. Arrange English muffins in a greased 9x13" pan.

2. Fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel. Arrange two slices of bacon on each muffin half.

3. Heat water in a large saucepan until it comes to a simmer. Poach eggs, one at a time, just until set. Remove egg with a slotted spoon and arrange over bacon slices. (Further poaching instructions below)

4. For the sauce, melt the butter/margarine in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Mix in flour, paprika, and pepper. Cook flour mixture for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in milk. Stir until it comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Add cheese and wine. Stir until cheese melts. Spoon over the eggs.

5. Melt second butter/margarine in a medium bowl in the microwave until melted. Stir in cornflakes until combined. Sprinkle over sauce.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, preheat oven to 375F. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 20-30 minutes or until heated through.

Poaching An Egg
This can be easy or tricky. Just depends on the method! The easiest way is the egg poacher. It comes in many different forms, from a stand-alone appliance for the counter to a saucepan with egg cups to silicone cups that float in any saucepan. If you are able to use any of these methods to poach your eggs, go for it!

If not, here are a few tips that I've picked up along the way:
1. Use a a medium saucepan - you don't want a pan that's too small. And make sure your pan is half full - you don't want the water too shallow.
2. Bring your water to a good simmer, not a rolling boil otherwise you will lose most of your egg white.
3. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water when it comes to a simmer - this will help keep the egg together.
4. Crack your egg into a small prep bowl. This will allow you to quickly and gently slip your egg into the simmering water. When slipping the egg into the water, do it all at once - no hesitating!
5. No matter how many times you've poached an egg this way, you will ALWAYS loose some of your egg white. It's inevitable.
6. When poaching an egg for recipes like this, always cook the egg until the white is **just** set and the yolk is still runny ... you still have to bake the eggs in the oven so they will have more cooking time.

Well, that's it! Hope you enjoy it!