My favorite mag --- Cookbook Digest. Check it out, it's great!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pecan Pralines

This is the easiest pecan praline recipe ever. It's rich, creamy, and wonderful, and it's very simple to make. The recipe is very easy to halve, and if you don't want a whole house full of candy to tempt you, that's a good thing.

* 1 1/4 cups of sugar
* 3/4 cups of brown sugar
* 1/2 cup of milk
* 4 tablespoons frozen butter
* 1 tablespoon vanilla
* 1 1/2 cups pecans

Put sugars and milk in cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed pan, and cook to soft ball stage.*see note below* Take off burner and add frozen butter, vanilla and pecans. Beat with wooden spoon until shine leaves mixture. Drop by spoonfuls onto buttered dish or waxed paper.

*soft ball stage is when mixture is dropped into cold water, it can be formed into a soft ball and sticks together.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

This is a hearty vegetable soup that can serve as a whole meal. Serve it with lots of crusty bread and a small salad. It's great for cool nights, and it's even better the next day with a sandwich. Kids will love it because of the cheese; adults will know it's good for you because of all the vegetables. You can experiment with the vegetables a bit if you want. I often use asparagus instead of broccoli, or cauliflower instead of potatoes.

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

* 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1 cup chopped celery
* 1 cup potatoes, chopped (about two large)
* 1 cup diced carrots
* 1 cup fresh chopped broccoli
* 3 cups vegetable stock
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 2 tablespoon dried
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 1/2 cups milk
* 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large pot, saute the pepper and onions in butter until tender.
Add remaining vegetables, vegetable stock, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer covered for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are
Combine flour and milk until smooth; stir into pan. Bring soup to a boil; cook
and stir for 2 minutes, or until soup thickens slightly. Mix in the parsley. Just
before serving, stir in the cheese until melted.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Apple Pie

With good, fresh apples, an apple pie is simple. You don't want it too sweet or too spiced. I know a lot of people make it this way, but I want the taste of the apples to come through. The apples themselves will make a juice that thickens with the sugar in the recipe, so you don't have to do a thing but add the ingredients directly into the unbaked pie crust.

A good apple is crucial to a good pie. I've been hooked on Pink Lady apples lately. I'd never eaten them before, and found some in my local grocery. They're delicious to eat raw or cooked. Slightly tart and very crisp, the taste and texture is amazing. Use your favorite apple and make this recipe uniquely your own.

Apple Pie

6 cups thinly sliced apples
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pastry for a double crust pie, either store bought or home-made

Combine sugar and cinnamon. You can lessen or raise the amount of sugar in this recipe based on the tartness of the apples you are using. Use an amount to your taste. Arrange apples in layers in pie shell. Sprinkle each layer with sugar and cinnamon. Dot top layer with small pieces of butter. Cover with top crust.
Place on lowest rack in oven preheated to 450 degrees F. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer. Serve warm or cold.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fresh Strawberry Pie

It's strawberry season here in Florida again. And nothing beats fresh strawberries. Don't you just love 'em? I could eat them every day.

In addition to tasting delicious, strawberries are great for you: low in fat and calories, strawberries are naturally high in fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium and antioxidants. They're the perfect fruit.

The recipe below makes two pies, but you can easily cut it in half to make one. I use a graham cracker crust, but you can substitute a regular pie crust if you wish.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1/2 cup water with one tablespoon lemon juice added
* 1/2 cup apple juice
* 4 pints strawberries, hulled
* 2 9-inch graham cracker crust pie shells

Cook sugar, cornstarch, apple juice, and water with lemon until thick; cool. If the sauce gets too thick upon standing, you can thin it with a little apple juice. Place whole berries in the pie shells. Pour sauce over berries and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping.

That's it. Eat and enjoy.