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Frozen Key Lime Pie

This recipe could not have come at a better time.  With the temperatures in the high 90’s a frozen dessert is one of the best refreshers after a long hot day of either working around the house and garden, tart and cold from the freezer.  This happened to be our contribution to our dinner club last Saturday.  I loved how this came out.  One tip: lightly grease the pan and use a pie plate without ridges.

Easy Frozen Key Lime Pie

For the Crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)

For the Decoration:
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Thin lime wedges

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until thick. With the mixer on medium speed, add the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour into the baked pie shell and freeze.

For the decoration, beat the heavy cream on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. Spoon or pipe decoratively onto the pie and decorate with lime. Freeze for several hours or overnight.

Note: Remove the pie from the freezer fifteen minutes before serving.

side dish

Homemade Creamed Corn

Our most recent dinner club theme was Soulful Saturday and Eric and I were assigned the vegetable dish.  With the dinner in late January we had no real options on fresh corn co I substituted 3 bags of frozen corn that I let thaw on the counter.  Because it is frozen there really wasn’t a pulp mixture so I added a bit more heavy cream to taste.  This turned out delicious so we remade it on Sunday for our dinner with our son.  Recipe is a keeper! 

Ingredients

1/2 onion, diced
1 tablespoon butter
2 pinches kosher salt
8 ears fresh corn, or 3 bags of frozen corn
1 sprig fresh rosemary, bruised
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 cup heavy cream
Fresh ground black pepper

Directions

In a saucepan over medium heat, sweat the onion in butter and salt until translucent.
If using Fresh corn:
In a large mixing bowl, place a paper bowl in the middle of the bowl. Resting the cob
on the bowl in a vertical position remove only the tops of the kernel with a knife, using
long smooth downward strokes and rotating the cob as you go. After the cob has
been stripped, use the dull backside of your knife to scrape any remaining pulp and
milk off the cob.
Add the corn and pulp mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium high until the
juice from the corn has tightened. Add the rosemary. Sprinkle the corn with the sugar
and turmeric. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the cornmeal onto the
corn, using a whisk to combine well. Add the heavy cream and cook until the corn
has softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the rosemary. Season with freshly
ground black pepper.
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

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Happy New Year! Prime Rib Dinner Anyone?

Our first dinner club dinner many years ago I made my favorite Marinated Prime Rib.  I think that dinner was one of our best ones.  The recipe is from a clipping I found in Better Homes and Gardens and has always been very easy to make and now a holiday standard.

 This past weekend, being the New Years Holiday, we had our daughters boyfriend visiting.  We all went out to dinner at a local steak house for New Years Eve.  The kids went to a party after, while Hubby and I stayed awake until 12:03 a.m.  Just in time to watch the ball drop and then turn out the lights and head to bed.

For our New Years Day dinner I decided I wanted to make  prime rib with a hash brown casserole out of my recipe archieves.  Our daughter topped this off with saute’d asparagus and cherry tomatoes. It was a wonderful dinner to end the holiday week.

So Happy News Year and get cooking!

Marinated Prime Rib

Ingredients

3/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 4 pound beef rib roast

Directions

For marinade, in a small bowl stir together wine or broth, onion, water, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, marjoram, and garlic salt.

Place meat in a self-sealing plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Pour marinade over meat. Seal bag. Marinate in refrigerator at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally. Drain meat, discarding marinade. Place meat, fat side up, in a large roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into center without touching bones.

Roast in a 325 degree F oven to desired doneness. [Allow 2 to 2-1/2 hours for rare (140 degrees F) or 2-1/4 to 3-1/4 hours for medium (155 degrees F.] Transfer meat to a cutting board. Cover with foil and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. (The temperature of the meat will rise 5 degrees during standing.) If desired, garnish with additional fresh rosemary.

Hash Brown Casserole

Ingredients

1 cup thinly sliced green onions 
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese 
2 tablespoons stick butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (32-ounce) package frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes, thawed 
1 (16-ounce) carton lowfree sour cream
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted 
Cooking spray 
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; spoon into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until bubbly.
Happy New Years from my family (& Mike) to yours!

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Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip for Dinner Club

(I forgot to get the picture of it completed before it was devoured!)
We had dinner club last night at our neighbors across the street.  The theme was pot luck, with just the main course recipe provided.  Each couple was assigned a course and told to bring their favorite recipe.  Ours was the appetizer and we made our Blue Cheese and Artichoke Dip and served it was Kettle Chips.   This is inspired from a appetizer we got a few years back at a place called Tin Pan Galley in Sacketts Harbor.  Homemade Kettle Chips with a warm Blue Cheese dip.  
Several other restaurants now make this and when we see it on the menu we have to order it.  A few years ago I had to make an appetizer for our family Christmas dinner and I made this.  Topped it off with kettle chips and sat it down in front of my mom who just loved it.  If she liked it I knew it was a hit! As you can see from my picture, it was well received at our dinner. 

Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip with Kettle Chips

1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup Light Mayonnaise
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Light Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup crumbled  Blue Cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
4 green onions, sliced

Kettle Chips

Preheat oven 350°F. Place all ingredients in food processor container; cover. Process just until blended, but not completely smooth.

Spoon into 9-inch pie plate.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with Kettle Chips

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Dinner Club Time – Tres Leche Cake

Last weekend was our dinner club dinner at our neighbors across the street.  It was a Fajita Fiesta night that also included a little pool party time to cool down from our run of 90 degree plus days. Our assignment was dessert.  And what betther way to cool down that a Tres Leches Cake that is light and refreshing.

Now I have never made this before and was a bit puzzled on the size of the platter needed to serve it on.  The cake was baked in a 10″ pan and need to go on a platter with 1 inch sides to capture the “juices” of the 3 milks (Tres Leches) and Grand Marnier.  I could not find one and ended up using the casserole dish that was just a tad bit bigger than the cake pan.  Having now made this I know that I could use a different plate for presentation.

The recipe was also very approprate for me.  I work in the dairy industry and what better way to support it than a recipe which actually had 4 types of dairy products involved.  So, for a international flair and somthing that is refreshing and moist – give this recipe a try.

Tres Leches Cake

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray, for the cake pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the cake pan
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 tablespoons orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray and flour a 10-inch cake pan with 2-inch high sides and then line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper.

Mix the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until frothy. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and beat to stiff peaks. Beat in the yolks, 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the whole milk in 2 additions.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cake slightly, about 10 minutes, then invert onto a platter with 1-inch high sides.

Pierce the top of the cake all over with a thick skewer. Mix the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, 1 cup heavy cream and orange liqueur in a medium bowl. Pour the mixture over the cake while warm. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours or overnight.

Combine the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream onto top of the cake and sprinkle with the ground cinnamon.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/marcela-valladolid/tres-leches-cake-recipe.html?oc=linkback

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Corned Beef and Cabbage

March is just around the corner and for all you foodies that means green beer, Irish fries, Corned Beef and Cabbage to celebrate St. Patrick’s day.  Corned Beef to me is a unique dish to make and serve.  I remember a dinner club that was scheduled just around St. Pat’s Day where the hostess decided to cook a corned beef for the first time and was unsure when to say the meat was done.  I got a call saying ” I have been cooking this for quite awhile and the meat is still red”.  
For years we have been cooking our corned beef in the crock pot with a recipe that came from the cook book that was included with the pot.  It was simple and used an orange peel for some additional flavor.  My mom had given me a corned beef she had purchased but thought it was too big for he.  She told me when I made it save her some.  In looking for a new way to cook the beef, I found this recipe online that included the potatoes and onions right from the start and then added the cabbage and carrots at the end. 
 Hubby was coming home from an overnight business trip. He called on his way home and I told him our dinner plans.  He advised me that he would stop for the cabbage and was surprised to learn that I already taken care of it.  When I got home from work that night, he was home as well.  I checked on the meat and found a cutting board and paring knife close by.  Hubby was sure I hadn’t included the potatoes to my recipe and after adding two small potatoes  he realized that I had already done so.  I told him that the recipe was right next to the crockpot  and he could of read it to see that I was well prepared. 

This recipe turned out great and Mom enjoyed her cooked corned beef.  I think I will be making this again soon.  

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 (4 lb.) corned beef brisket with seasoning packet, rinsed, trimmed
2 whole cloves
1 small onion
24 baby carrots
1 small white cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
Arrange potatoes and garlic on bottom of slow cooker. Place corned beef on top of vegetables and sprinkle with seasoning from packet. Push cloves into onion and add to cooker. Add enough water to just cover meat; cover and cook on low until tender, 6 hours and 30 minutes to 8 hours.
Transfer meat to cutting board and cover with foil to keep warm. Transfer potatoes to bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Add carrots and cabbage to cooker, turn to high, cover and cook until just tender, about 30 minutes.
Slice beef across grain and serve with potatoes, carrots and cabbage.
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Easy Apple Strudel

My husband dressed the part! 

When you think of fall you remember the leaves changing colors, apple picking, pumpkins, Oktoberfest and hearty meals. Well that is what we had at our last dinner club dinner a few weeks ago. Giada and hubby from across the street created an Oktoberfest menu that included some traditional German foods including  Sweet and Sour Cabbage, Jagerschnitzel (Pork Cutlets with mushroom gravy), Zwiebelkuchen (Onion Pie) and Apple Strudel.  

Our dinners are decided by the host and recipes are distributed and assigned to each couple.  Our contribution was the apple strudel.  Pretty easy recipe but I had some difficulty with the puff pastry that I decided to make a second one.  I thought the first one just didn’t look right and luckily the pasty comes in two rolls, so I was able to remake it with a little help from a video from the Pepperidge Farms website on working with the dough.  The end result was delicious topped off by my homemade vanilla ice cream. 

Apple Strudel

1/2 of a 17.3 ounce package of Puff Pastry (Pepperidge Farm), thawed
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 egg beaten lightly with 1 tablespoon water
Confectioners’ sugar for serving (optional)
Ice Cream (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Add cranberries and walnuts and stir to combine. Add apples and lemon juice and toss, stirring until the apples are well coated; set aside.

Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll puff pastry out to a 16 by 12-inch rectangle. With the short side facing you, sprinkle 1/2 of pastry with apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border at the end closest to you. Roll the pastry up, jelly roll-style, and crimp to seal edges. Transfer strudel to prepared baking sheet and brush top with egg wash. Cut three slits on top of the pastry to let steam escape. Bake until top is golden, about 35 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving and serve with ice cream, if desired.