Friday, December 25, 2009

A New Christmas Dinner Tradition

I found the perfect dish to compliment any meat served for Christmas dinner - Corn Pudding. Sounds rather gross, doesn't it? In actuality, it is really just a corn souffle. Really tasty and not really heavy. Not heavy like a casserole - light like a souffle.

The recipe I tried is called Tee's Corn Pudding, Southern Living, August 2006. Here it is:

Tee's Corn Pudding

Yield: Makes 8 servings

1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 large eggs
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup butter, melted
6 cups fresh corn kernels (about 12 ears)*

1. Combine first 4 ingredients.

2. Whisk together eggs, whipping cream, and butter in a large bowl. Gradually add sugar mixture, whisking until smooth; stir in corn. Pour mixture into 8 lightly greased 8-oz. custard cups.

3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until pudding is set and deep golden. Let stand 5 minutes.

*6 cups frozen whole kernel corn or canned shoepeg corn, drained, may be substituted.

Note: You may substitute 1 (13- x 9-inch) baking dish for ramekins. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes.

Southwestern Corn Pudding: Stir in 1 (4.5-oz.) can chopped green chiles and 1/4 tsp. ground cumin.

This is definitely going to be a future annual tradition. Most delicious as you will soon find out! Pin It

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And More . . .

For today's grazing table I made Artichoke Tarts and No-Bake Cookies. Both are fabulous recipes. The Artichoke Tarts actually came from Weight Watchers, however, I failed to use Fat-Free Cream Cheese or Low-Fat Cheddar Cheese, so I guess my batch really isn't diet friendly at this point. Delicious nonetheless and quite a hit with my co-workers! Oh, and I substituted a Monterery Jack blend cheese instead of Cheddar.

Artichoke Tarts

6 spray(s) cooking spray
16 pieces wonton wrapper(s)
1/4 cup(s) low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp sweet red pepper(s), chopped
7 oz canned artichoke hearts, without oil, drained and chopped
1/4 cup(s) parsley, fresh, sprigs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 16-hole miniature muffin pan with cooking spray. Gently press 1 wonton wrapper into each muffin hole, allowing ends to extend above cups. Coat edges of wrappers with cooking spray and set aside.

Combine cheeses, cayenne pepper and mustard in a medium bowl; mix well. Stir in red pepper and artichoke hearts; spoon about 1 teaspoon of cheese mixture into each muffin cup.

Bake until cheese mixture is set and edges of wrappers are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve. Yields 2 tarts per serving. 2 points per serving.

And the No-Bake Cookies are fabulous. Some call them "Cow Patties". This is a recipe I've made for years and is one of my favorites. It stems from a chocolate, oatmeal, peanut butter concoction I remember being served weekly with our hot lunches in elementary school. The lady in charge of our lunches was Mrs. Baggett. She was the nicest lady and she served the best tastiest lunches I can ever remember being served in a school lunchroom. Many moms would happily come eat with their children just to enjoy her wonderful cooking.

Long after elementary school was over, I searched high and low for the recipe for many years and I finally found it. It is quick and easy and I find I usually have the ingredients on hand so whipping up a quick batch is always possible.

No-Bake Cookies

2 cup(s) sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cup(s) quick cooking oats
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup nuts (optional)

Combine sugar, milk, cocoa, and butter in saucepan. Heat to boiling point, stirring constantly. Boil one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter, oats, vanilla, and nuts, if desired. Drop on to parchment paper. Let cool. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Holiday Baking

For our munchie table today at work, I bought in delicious homemade cake donuts. Yum, yum is all I can say. They were enjoyed by all! Pin It

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ginger Snaps

Last night I hunkered down in the kitchen to make the most wonderful holiday cookies - Ginger Snaps. I'm taking these to work for our "grazing" table. Actually, if you can believe it, I had a request from a co-worker to make them again this year.

Instead of rolling in sugar, I use the little white round candies. They are much more festive this way, don't you think? Besides looking good, they are most delicious! :)

Ginger Snaps

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses Grandma's Molasses
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup shortening


Mix all ingredients. Roll into balls, then roll in sugar. Cook on top rack in 350 degree oven for 8 minutes. Pin It

Friday, December 11, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

A classic performed by Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews in December 2008.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Begun . . .

Yes, the holiday season is upon us which means what for Patti? Yep, lots of hours in the kitchen "making and baking". I'm not complaining at all as most of you know I love this stuff. And my office mates love it too as I usually bring the fruits of my labors to the office for all to consume.

As well, here at work we customarily volunteer to keep a munchie table fully stocked for the last two weeks leading up to Christmas. It's actually called the "grazing" table. I think I've signed up to bring something at least four of those days, if not more. But I love it! I think I missed my calling - I should have been a pastry chef!

In any event, the first thing I made this season really isn't edible at all - well, not unless you're a canine. And, yes, my Greyhound Lucy ate her fair share of these last year hence why I'm making more this year. The item in question is Cinnamon Ornaments!

No Christmas tree should be without these fabulously aromatic ornaments. Cinnamon is a fragrance that is so typically associated with the Christmas holiday season and I, for one, love that aroma when I walk into my home. It's a comfort thing for me as I vividly remember the scent of cinnamon wafing through the air of my childhood home. Such memories!

The ornaments are fairly easy to make - you just have to be very careful with them because they are very delicate. Here is the recipe:

Cinnamon Ornaments

1 C. ground cinnamon
1 t. allspice
1 t. ground cloves
1 t. nutmeg
1 C. applesauce

Mix dry ingredients. Add applesauce a little at a time. Mixture should have consistency of playdough. If too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons applesauce. Roll 1/4 inch thick on ungreased surface. If too sticky, sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on level surface to dry 4-5 days. Insert fine wire at top of ornament before drying. Tie with ribbon. Yield 2 dozen.

Here is the blob of spices after mixing.

Here is the blob rolled out. This does get a bit messy but the end result is well worth it!

Here are my little Gingerbread boys and stars all ready for the drying period.

I added a few white buttons for the Gingerbread boys and lastly I have to add ribbon bows. The wire hooks were inserted in the beginning prior to the drying period. They will be ready to hang tonight! Once the holiday season is over, be sure to carefully pack these away in Zip Lock bags to ensure their aroma keeps for years and years to come.

Each day until New Year's I'll be able to enjoy the robust fragrance of these delightfully easy to make ornaments. But alas, after the holidays they are packed away with the other ornaments until next year when I'll pull them back out for another season of reminiscing.
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