Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Our Last Common Table

A HUGE thank you to Melissa for the time she spent compiling recipes for our common table this summer! Baby Girl, as much as I tease you about it, I know that your true love is the Holy Scripts and not the kitchen so I appreciate the willing distraction. Great job! Now, get back to research!

On our last Siesta Summer Bible Study gathering, it is only fitting that we have a CHOCOLATE FREE-FOR-ALL! So, the only requirement for our common table this week is c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e! Here are some ideas from Melissa if you’re game.

Make any main course or appetizers you desire, just be sure to end it all with a beloved chocolate dish!

Here are a few ideas:

First, for an easy and elegant dessert, follow this link to All Recipes for a fun chocolate mousse recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-Mousse-2/Detail.aspx

For those of you experimental types who may want a little less chocolate and a less typical dessert (Please see my comments below):

Tiramisu Affogato (from Gourmet August 2008)
Parfaits with Hot Espresso and Ladyfingers
Serves 6
Active Time: 20 min. Start to Finish: 20 min.

¾ cup chilled heavy cream
1 Tbsp sugar
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 pint coffee ice cream
9 savoiardi (Italian crisp ladyfingers), coarsely crumbled
1 ¼ cups freshly brewed espresso (10 oz)
Or 1 ¼ cups boiling water and 3 Tbsp instant-espresso powder
A small piece of bittersweet chocolate

Directions:
*Beat cream with sugar until it just holds stiff peaks.
*Divide vanilla and coffee ice creams among glasses, then top with ladyfingers. Pour hot espresso on top and dollop with whipped cream. Grate chocolate on top.

Melissa’s Notes: Each of these desserts should be served in individual clear cups or glasses. Also, savoiardi are a type of Italian cookie closely resembling lady-fingers. They are crisp, so if you substitute regular ladyfingers my guess is that the dessert will end up soggy. If you don’t have access to them or don’t care, go for the All-Recipes Chocolate Mousse.

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Tuesday’s Common Meal!!!

Hey there ladies! Howdy from Atlanta! Here is this week’s Common Meal. The main dish is Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti. If you haven’t made this already, it really is a wonderful recipe and not to mention, it is very convenient for a group gathering. Convenient and good wins brownie points. I am listing two desserts to choose between: Barefoot Contessa’s Apple Crostata and Kimberly Meyer’s Banana Pudding. Kimberly Meyer is a super-employee at Living Proof and when I first tried her banana pudding, I passed out in ecstasy. Both desserts are wonderful, but obviously with the banana pudding, you won’t have to roll out a pie crust. And lastly, because I love you ladies with my whole heart, I want to add something for those meeting around brunch or lunch-time (in place of the Chicken Spaghetti). I am adding my favorite Mini Cucumber Sandwich recipe. I must admit that I am a sucker for Cucumber Sandwiches. I don’t particularly enjoy bridal showers but one thing I always look forward to is the Cucumber Sandwiches. As soon as the hostesses start making us play games like pin-the-tail-on the-Groom, I run to the Cucumber Sandwich Table. And if there aren’t Cucumber Sandwiches, I find my way to the exit door. A fun fact for you: when I got married a few months ago, I requested to have zero bridal showers thrown for me. No, I am not anti-social, I simply have played one too many bridal shower games. Enough banter…on to the recipes!!!

Pioneer Woman Chicken Spaghetti

2 cups cooked Chicken
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup finely diced Green Pepper
1/2 cup finely diced Onion
1-4 oz jar diced Pimientos, drained
3 cups dry Spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cups reserved Chicken Broth (from pot)
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 additional cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (for the top of the casserole)

Directions:
Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick enough meat off the bones to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar. Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil)

Melissa’s Notes:
What sets this recipe above the average chicken spaghetti recipe is that 1) the spaghetti is cooked in the chicken broth not water 2) the chicken broth is not from a can but is reserved from the actual pot the chicken was boiled in. In my opinion, this recipe lacks without these two elements. The chicken spaghetti feeds approximately 6 people.

Apple Crostata (Barefoot Contessa Parties!)

For the pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
1 1/2 pounds McIntosh, Macoun, or Empire apples (3 large)
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

Directions:

For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough becomes a solid mass. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.

For the filling, peel, core, and cut the apples into 8ths. Cut each wedge into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.

Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Melissa’s Notes: This is what some call a “free-form” tart or galette, which means simply that it isn’t baked with the support of a pie-dish or tart-pan. You just fold the 1 1/2 inch border up and crinkle it in about two inch intervals, to partially cover the fruit and then bake it straight on a baking-sheet. Try looking at pictures of similar recipes online if you have never made anything like this before. I think that this dough is pretty forgiving, though. I have made it numerous times and even when I think the dough has failed, it ends up tasting flawless.

Kimberly Meyer’s Banana Pudding
(seriously, it has the ability to change your life)

5 Bananas, sliced
1 14 oz Can Eagle Brand (Sweetened Condensed Milk)
1 Large Cool Whip
1 Large Instant Vanilla Pudding
3 Cups Whole Milk
1 Box of Vanilla Wafers
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Trifle Bowl or a REALLY deep dish (much prettier in a trifle bowl)

Directions:
-Put entire box of Vanilla Wafers on the bottom of a deep dish.
-Take can of Eagle Brand, 1 tsp. of Vanilla Extract & ½ of the large carton of Cool Whip and blend it all together.
-In a second bowl, mix instant vanilla pudding & 3 cups of Milk.
-Fold the two mixes together by hand (the pudding mix & Eagle Brand mix)
-Pour HALF of this mixture on the layer of wafers
-Put all of the sliced bananas on top of the layer of pudding mixture
-Put the other half of the pudding mixture on top of the sliced bananas
-Finish with the other half of the Cool Whip on top.
- Chill and Serve!

Melissa’s Notes:
I have found that this recipe makes a bit too much pudding mixture, so when I get to the step after layering the sliced bananas, I do not use the entire other half of the pudding mixture. Since I don’t like for it to be too sweet, I use a little over ¼ of it. Just make sure you taste it, and modify it according to your desires.

Mini Cucumber Sandwiches
Recipe from “Southern Entertaining for a New Generation” by Rebecca Lang

Ingredients:

1 8-oz package Cream Cheese, Softened
¼ cup of Sour Cream
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon fresh chopped Dill
¼ cup finely diced sweet Onion
20 thinly sliced white sandwich bread slices
1 Large English Cucumber (seedless cucumbers) or 2 Cucumbers, thinly sliced
20 thinly sliced wheat sandwich bread slices

Directions:

-In a medium mixing bowl stir the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add the salt, dill, and diced onion.
-Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the white bread slices. Top the cream cheese mixture with one slice of cucumber, then top with the wheat bread slices.
-Slice the sandwiches in half diagonally or cut with your favorite cookie or biscuit cutter.
-Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 hours before serving.
-Makes 20 Servings.

Melissa’s Notes:
I buy Pepperidge Farm “Very Thin Sliced” bread in the bread section of the grocery store. This brand has both white and wheat varieties and they fit perfectly together for this recipe (buy one loaf of wheat and one loaf of white) Sometimes I add one really thin slice of turkey if I am serving them around lunch-time. Using a really sharp cookie-cutter or a biscuit cutter makes them look the prettiest!

Until next time….Bon Appetit!

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Tuesday’s Common Meal

Here’s our common meal for this week, Siestas! We’ll do something fun from the “No Other Gods” workbook for our main dish and I’ll give you one of my old stand-by favorites for dessert.

Main dish: Let’s all make the Sicilian Pizza Crust on p.119 then each of us decide on our own toppings. Perhaps ask each of your group members to bring their favorite topping then throw them on and bake them when they arrive. Let us know if you’ve got some really creative ones. If you’ve got a larger group, you might need at least two. One pizza has NEVER served 6 Moores!!

Dessert: This is the recipe I’ve used for years for the best old fashion pound cake you’ve ever tasted in your life. Your house will smell like Heaven. It is in an old church cookbook posted by a dear woman of God named Bea Brock from First Baptist Church of Victoria, Texas. (Might we call her Aunt Bea? Isn’t that perfect for a pound cake baker?) It may not sound exciting but I promise you, it is a crowd pleaser. FYI: these portions always make a little too much for a standard bundt pan so leave some in the mixing bowl as you see it’s getting too full. You can just eat that part with the beater like Jackson and I do.

5 Flavor Pound Cake:
2 Sticks Butter Softened
1/2 Cup Crisco Shortening
3 Cups Sugar
5 Eggs Well Beaten
3 Cups Flour
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Cup Milk
1 Tsp. each of vanilla, lemon, almond, coconut and butter flavor extracts.

Combine butter and Crisco. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs; mix flour and baking powder and salt, alternately with milk. Add extracts. Pour into well greased and floured tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 and 1/2 hours. Let cool completely before you turn it out of the pan. That means you’ll need to make it about four hours in advance of class to be on the safe side. You can put a glaze on it but it doesn’t need it. You can also throw some fresh strawberries or blueberries on it with whipped cream. You’ll be back at your great grandmother’s house again with the first bite, tasting one of your sweetest childhood memories.

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Siesta Cookbook

Ladies, our siesta Holly/CrownLaidDown is compiling a cookbook from the recipes we have all shared on the LPM blog. Isn’t that fun? You can find out all the details (cost, how to get one, etc.) on Patty and Kim’s Siesta Fiesta blog, specifically here and here.

The cookbook is going to help raise money for the drilling of a water well through Life Outreach International. Isn’t that awesome? You may recall that my parents have done some mission trips to Africa through LOI. (Read here and here.) In fact, they are at the Life Today studios taping some programs this weekend.

Holly will not publish any of the recipes without getting permission first. If you would like the recipe(s) you’ve posted to be included in the cookbook, please email her directly with your recipe at chrishollysmith@msn.com or simply write “yes” in a comment. She will match your comment to recipes that have been posted. If you do not comment or email Holly, she will not use your recipe.

Holly also needs some pithy family sayings to go along with your recipes, about 32 words or less, including some good advice or just downright funny things your family or your grandma says. You can include these in your comments or emails.

There will be a contest for the cover design in case anyone is interested in participating. Once again, check out Patty and Kim’s Siesta Fiesta blog for details. Surely we have some artists out there! Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Why Do You Worry?

Hey, Darling Siestas!

It’s 4:00 or so on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Keith has gone to play a round of golf with his buddy, Roger Parker, and Beanie and I are sitting out on the back porch. It’s hot but beautiful and I have a ceiling fan on the porch wearing itself out on my humble behalf. I’m having a cup of coffee and Beanie’s trying to have a squirrel. She’s had the hardest time since Sunny died. She’d been really lethargic before she and Keith left town for a few days but when she got back and still no Sunny, she decided to wage a hunger strike. It’s not like she doesn’t know where Sunny is because Keith purposely let her see that he was burying her. The sweet girl’s just never been alone before. Curtis and Amanda let us borrow Beckham (the Golden Retriever version of Clifford the Big Red Dog) last weekend and that helped. Maybe they’ll let him spend some time over here again this week. Until then, we’re throwing out a few handfuls of dried corn to attract squirrels in the yard to fire up some enthusiasm in our depressed birddog. And it’s working. She wants squirrel meat for supper in the worst way. Keith might be a redneck with a spade in the Bluebell but he’s not liable deep fry a squirrel and stir up some brown gravy in the skillet with it. We’re just giving Beanie something to dream about.

This morning in my quiet time before church, I read something that spoke to me and I thought I’d share it with you. Pastor Gregg has our whole congregation go through the same devotional book every year and this year he chose the classic “Streams in the Desert.” (L.B. Cowman) Like many of you, I’ve done it before but not in five or so years and it’s well worth doing again and again. You can tell from the title that it’s geared particularly to people going through very difficult trials and sufferings. If that’s you right now (and I’m so sorry if it is and love you so much), you really ought to look into getting ahold of a copy. Restoration after a deep hurt or loss can take longer than our flesh and blood encouragers can stand sometimes. They can wear out in the length and breadth of our need and, to be honest, rightly so. They were never meant to be saviors for us. A book like this can be used of God to encourage you through a painful time every single day for a solid year. And, oh, what a difference a year makes!

The lead verse for this morning’s entry was Isaiah 28:12. Of God the prophet Isaiah wrote, “He said, ‘This is a resting place, let the weary rest'; and, ‘This is a place of repose’ – but they would not listen.” Here’s a little of what followed (originally written by Charles Spurgeon):

“Why do you worry? What possible use does your worrying serve? You are aboard such a large ship that you would be unable to steer even if your Captain placed you at the helm. You would not even be able to adjust the sails, yet you worry as if you were the captain or the helmsman of the vessel. Be quiet, dear soul – God is the Master! Do you think all the commotion and the uproar of this life is evidence that God has left His throne? He has not! His mighty steeds rush furiously ahead, and His chariots are the storms themselves. (Pause, Siestas, and hear the sound of those mighty steeds in your spirit. Feel their hoof-beats pound in your chest. He’s on His mighty way!) But the horses have bridles, and it is God who holds the reins, guiding the chariots as He wills! Our God Jehovah is still the Master! Believe this and you will have peace. ‘Don’t be afraid’ (Matt. 14:27).”

My favorite line: “You are aboard such a large ship that you would be unable to steer even if your Captain placed you at the helm.” So, we might as well stop trying. Anyway, with the best intentions we’d steer that Titanic smack into the next iceberg with all our loved ones on board. You don’t let your two-year old steer the car no matter how she might kick and scream from the backseat. God’s too wise to let our control issues work out for us. If we keep insisting, He might let us give it a hand for a while but, sooner or later, we’ll hit the iceberg. And the iceberg is He.

Regardless of how convinced we are, God has not placed us in control of our environments nor are we responsible for how everyone is behaving or how things will turn out. He is still God and, yes, even over “this,” whatever your “this” may be. His, Beloved Siestas, is a LARGE SHIP. Something much bigger than we can picture is going on from a God’s-eye view. Our trials are allowed so that Christ may be formed in us and then, through us, serve that greater purpose. Worry always and only forms thicker flesh in us and weights us down until we cannot walk where the Spirit would take us.

I’ve come to learn from God that worry is a waving red flag to the enemy. It is a dead giveaway that the person owning it does not trust God. The shield of faith is down. So fire when ready. Every time we’re tempted to take it all on and worry something to death, let’s say aloud from the depths of our souls, “I choose to trust You, Lord. I choose trust. I choose You.”

Be quiet, Dear Soul! God is the Master! Don’t be afraid.

With dearest love,
beth

PS. Melissa just called me and said, “Mom, be sure and tell the Siestas how proud we are of the ones who tried making the tarts!” So, because I love her and love you, here’s a huge “hats off!” to each of you and especially to Katie and His Treasured Possession for posting links to their pictures! I’m floored at this multi-talented group! And hungry. I think I’ll get off here and go check the fridg for a can of whipped cream.

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Sopapilla Cheesecake

I hope you girls feel loved because as soon as I post this, my secret is out! I teased my gourmet chef sister about this having all kinds of exotic ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce. Does “crescent” qualify as a hard-to-pronounce word? This is a really simple, yummy recipe that is more impressive than it should be. It’s a favorite fellowship dinner dessert from First Baptist Irving. Thanks, Janelle, for supplying me with the recipe! In fact, she may be making this tonight for her bunco group.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

Ingredients:
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
2 (8 oz) packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (combine about 1/2 cup sugar with 1 TBS cinnamon)

1) Using a 9×13 baking pan, unroll one package of refrigerated crescent rolls and line the bottom of the pan.
2) Flatten.
3) Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and extract.
4) Spread over the crescent rolls.
5) Unroll the other can of crescent rolls and place on top of cream cheese mixture.
6) Pour one stick of melted butter or margarine over the top and sprinkle with about 1/2 cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
7) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Makes 12-20 servings. My recipe provides the fat and calorie content, but I promise you don’t want to know! Enjoy, ladies!

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You’re Killing Me

OK, so I just got back from the Kroger where I, under the terrible sway of Christian peer pressure causing a wretched relapse into approval addiction, attempted to get the ingredients (I hate that word) for an impressive (so-easy-anybody-can-do-it!) recipe. I not only want y’all to like me (y’all nearly killed me this week). I want Melissa to like me. And right now she likes cooking. Hence, my trip to the grocery store. Here are just a few of the things that happened to me while I was there:

1. The recipe was, of all things, in a Bible study (is nothing sacred?? The Bible study I’m taking is another story and something I’ll tell you about soon. Now is not the time. I’m too traumatized). SO, rather than copy the recipe on a shopping list (who has time for that?) I had the Bible study propped open in the grocery basket, pushing it around and staring at it all bug-eyed like I was in a nervous trance. A little while later I realized that several people were staring at me (the butcher, for one, watches on Wednesdays) and, as if those people don’t think I’m a big enough freak, they now think I can’t even go to the grocery store without doing Bible study. Deep sigh.

2. I’ve never bought a sun-dried tomato in my life and couldn’t find them for the life of me. I finally called my friend, April, who happens to be friends with the person who wrote the recipe and tried to enlist her able assistance. She produces music videos and was currently wrapping up a shoot with Miley Cyrus, to which I said, “Miley Schmiley! I’m cooking here! Get off your Hillary Duff and help me!” She did. I finally rounded up seven varieties of sun-dried tomatoes and ended up so confused that I bought all of them just in case.

3. I got so nervous and undone that I began perspiring and inexplicably felt compelled to do that thing the woman used to do on Saturday Night Live when she’d put her fingers under her arms. (No, I didn’t do it but I wanted to. And, no, I don’t watch it. I only know that scene by hearsay. I have a close relative who will remain unnamed that used to imitate her doing that under-arm thing to make me laugh. Well, every now and again I sometimes watch that “Best of SNL” show during prime time but I hold the remote control in my hand and prepare on an instant’s notice to push mute. I’m sorry. I talk too much when I feel compulsive.)

4. I then got so baffled at my own ignorant self that I started laughing out loud which, added to the Bible study open in my basket, made people nervously stand back and offer me full sway of the pickle aisle. (I was there looking for chopped black olives)

5. I bought my first Romano Cheese of my whole life. I then bought three containers of feta cheese because I didn’t know how much was enough. I then bought two jars of pine nuts because April said they’re easy to burn and I’m easy to burn things. They were a stinking fortune. A pine nut! A PINE NUT!

6. After spending an hour in the grocery store getting things I’ve never gotten in my life (pepper corns, for instance), I sped recklessly though the frozen goods and grabbed a package of Skinny Cows. Clutching them in my arms, I took a cleansing breath, reaching deep within for someone I thought I knew.

7. As if I hadn’t been through enough, an old man then flirted with me in the check-out line. Mind you, I don’t care to be flirted with by anyone but my man but this nearly put me over the edge. He had white hair and his golf shirt was tucked into a pair of sky-high-waisted blue-jean shorts which were accessorized with a leather belt that could have stood to be one notch looser. (Where was his wife when he left the house?) I think he had on dark socks and light tennis shoes but I was scared to confirm my suspicions with a stare. And all the while, he would not quit talking to me. The worst part is that I think he thought we were the same age. And I had flat-ironed my hair, for crying out loud! Where has he been? The experience was so troubling that I’m probably going to have to take something tonight to sleep. I’ve never been more thankful for my man.

8. To top it off, my checker rang me up at a whopping $168.76. Are you kidding me????? I was so upset that I almost left my Bible study in the cart. A startling thought that sent a shock-wave of adrenalin through me because I’ve written some private stuff in those blanks that I’m not ready for the Wednesday-watching butcher to get hold of! A woman’s Bible study is sacred! And there’s enough material in there for a whole season of “All My Children.”

9. By the time I got my groceries into my car, I was almost too exhausted to take my cart to the “Return cart here please” section. Alas, I did roll my weary self over there. After all, I’m a rule keeper.

It was a terrifying trip but then God did the nicest thing in the world to take the bitter edge off. I called Melissa to tell her that I’d gotten all my groceries for a new recipe so she’d be all proud of me and, before I could tell her, she said (brace yourself now because this is really good. The climactic part of this blog entry really), “Hi, Mom!”

“Watcha doing, Baby?” (Small talk before trying to impress her. Telling myself not to be too anxious.)

“I’m studying my Greek.”

I was awash with emotion.

God is better than He has to be.

PS. Making dish now. Wasn’t Al Dente the name of a Christian contemporary artist back in the 80’s?

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A Recipe From Beth’s Kitchen

This is the recipe for my mom’s Texas sheet cake – our family’s favorite holiday treat. It’s simply amazing and it’s even better the next day. I’m having my second piece tomorrow for breakfast. Merry Christmas!

Beth’s Texas Sheet Cake

Grease a sheet cake pan. Sift:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar

Bring to a boil:
2 sticks butter
1 cup water
4 tbsp. cocoa

Pour over dry mixture and mix in:
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Bake at 400 degrees, 20-25 minutes.

Icing
Heat:
1 stick butter
4 tbsp. cocoa
6 tbsp. milk

Add anywhere from 1/2 to 1 box of powdered sugar to acheive desired consistency (Beth prefers close to 1 box) and 1 cup pecans. Spread on cake while it’s hot.

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