Nanny’s Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

  • 8 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter (no substitutes)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream, whipped

Directions:

In a microwave or double boiler, heat chocolate, 1/4 cup water and butter until the chocolate and butter are melted. Cool for 10 minutes. In a small heavy saucepan, whisk egg yolks, sugar and remaining water. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees F, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat; whisk in chocolate mixture.  Set saucepan in ice and stir until cooled, about 5-10 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon into dessert dishes.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

For a PDF of this recipe click here: Chocolate Mousse

Thanksgiving Recipe: Nana’s Apple Pie

Apple PieMy mom makes the best apple pies in the world, hands down.  When I was a little girl, I would sneak a few of the raw apples coated in cinnamon sugar to snack on.  To this day, the smell of her apple pie baking in the oven is one of my favorite things in the world.  I used to be the one standing next to my Mama in the kitchen helping to roll out the pie crust, but I’ve been replaced my precious five year old.  Grace loves to bake and Nana loves her help. 

Nana’s Apple Pie

 

Ingredients:

  • Two recipes for pie crust (Nana uses Pillsbury Ready Made Refrigerated Pie Crusts)
  • 8-10 Granny Smith Apples (sliced thinly)
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sifted flour
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Combine sugar, flour and spices and mix together with apples. 
  3. Line 9-inch pie plate with pastry.
  4. Fill with apple mixture (piled high).
  5. Dot top of apples with the butter
  6. Place top crust on top of apples and seal.  Pinch edges of pie crust.
  7. Make a few slits on top for escape of steam (or make a decorative design on top of pie crust….again with some cuts allowing for steam to escape) 8.  Sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar or plain sugar ( I use cinnamon sugar ).
  8. Place pie plate on a lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes or until done

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Note:  Nana suggests using Granny Smith Apples for best results.

For a pdf of this recipe click here: Nana’s Apple Pie

Thanksgiving Recipe: Gigi’s Rice Stuffing

Rice Stuffing

Chop chop chop! Sometimes I like to throw in extra veggies for good measure.

My mother in law makes this amazing rice stuffing at all of our holiday celebrations.  It is incredibly simple and so delicious.  For my clean eating friends, brown rice and olive oil can be substituted (but it’s not quite the same).  I will be making a nice batch of this delicious stuffing on Thursday for my family.

Gigi’s Rice Stuffing

Ingredients:

  • ½ stick butter
  • 2 c. finely chopped celery
  • 2 c. finely chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt (more or less to taste)
  • 6 c. cooked white rice
  • 1+ tablespoon of dried poultry seasoning to taste

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in the bottom of a large pot over medium heat.  Add in onions and celery.
  2. Cook the onions and celery until they are translucent.
  3. Add in the rice and stir to ensure that all of the rice is coated with the butter.
  4. Stir in the poultry seasoning and salt.  Adjust to taste.
  5. Heat the stuffing until the rice is hot.

For a pdf of this recipe click here: Gigi’s Rice Stuffing

Tuesdays with Mama: Derby Pie

Derby PieThanksgiving is just around the corner and that means pie.  Lots of pie.  We usually have between twenty and thirty people at my house for the big day and there are always a plethora of desserts around the table.  I usually make this chocolate & bourbon infused pecan pie the weekend of the Kentucky Derby (hence the bourbon), but I love it as a Thanksgiving dessert as well.  I made it last year for one of Madison’s teachers and he LOVED it.  I might make one for him again this year.  Enjoy!

Davis Derby Pie Recipe

NOTE: This is a large batch of batter so it is best to use a 10” pie pan with high sides.  When fluting the pie crust, be sure to bring the sides up high enough to hold all of the filling.

Ingredients

  • Recipe for 10-inch Single Crust Pie Crust
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup good bourbon (lesser quality bourbon makes the pie taste funny and a little off)
  • 3/4 cup gourmet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, shelled and chopped in half if desired

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Roll out pie crust according to directions.  Line a 10-inch deep dish pie pan with the dough, and flute the edges.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, on medium speed with whisk attachment, whip butter, sugars, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla and bourbon together until frothy.
  4. Remove bowl from mixer, and fold in chocolate chips and pecans or walnuts. Blend well.
  5. Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until set.
  6. Cool completely before serving.  Accompany with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Makes 10 slices.

For a PDF of this recipe click here: Davis Derby Chocolate Pecan Pie Recipe

 

Tuesdays with Mama: Stuffed Mushrooms

sausage-stuffed-mushroomsThese stuffed mushrooms are one of my favorite Thanksgiving appetizers and my dad absolutely loves them.  A hybrid of about a dozen recipes I have tried over the years, these appetizers really capture the richness of many flavors in one small bite.  Make sure you have extra ingredients on hand for a crowd.  These babies tend to go quickly!

Papa’s Favorite Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 3 small (8 oz.) packages White Button Mushrooms
  • 1/3 pound Breakfast Sausage (plain)
  • 1 Medium Onion, minced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, grated on a micro plane grater
  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 8 oz. package Cream Cheese
  • 1 egg (yolk only)
  • 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese (grated using the largest hole on the grater or shredded in the package)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions

  1. Rinse mushrooms in cold water. Remove stems and reserving parts separately.
  2. Finely chop the mushroom stems and set aside.
  3. Brown the sausage, crumble, and set aside to cool on a paper towel (to drain excess fat).
  4. Add onions and garlic to the same skillet; cook for 2 minutes over medium low heat.
  5. Pour in wine to deglaze pan, reduce down until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Add in chopped mushroom stems, stir to cook for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set mixture aside on a plate to cool.
  7. In a bowl, combine cream cheese and egg yolk. Stir together with Parmesan cheese.
  8. Add cooled sausage and cooled mushroom stems.
  9. Add in just enough bread crumbs to make an easy to work with consistency.  The amount will be entirely dependent on the liquid content of your filling.
  10. Stir mixture together and refrigerate for a short time to firm up.
  11. Scoop mixture into the cavity of each mushroom top, creating a mound  of filling over the top.
  12. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
  13. Allow the mushrooms to cool for at least fifteen minutes before serving.

For a pdf of the recipe click here: Stuffed Mushrooms

Homemade Cream of Crab Soup

cream_of_crab_soupToday was a half day of school for the big girls.  Generally Madison chooses to eat lunch at home on these days so I decided to do something special for her.  I made cream of crab soup.  It was amazing.  I looked around online and saw some recipes, but none of them was what I was looking for.  I combined a few different recipes to make mine and I hope you all will have the opportunity to enjoy it as well!

 

Mama Beth’s Cream of Crab Soup

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 medium onion finely minced
  • ¼ c. butter
  • ½ c. sherry
  • 1 lb crabmeat
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. old bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. flour*
  • 4 c. heavy cream and 2 c. milk or 6 c. half and half*

*If you choose to use half and half instead of the cream, increase the amount of flour to 1 ½ tsp.

Instructions:

  1. Add the butter and minced onion to the pan over medium heat.  Stir often to prevent burning.  Cook until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the sherry to the pan and reduce by about half.
  3. Add crab meat to the pan and cook until the meat is warmed through.
  4. Add the salt, pepper, old bay and parsley to the pan.  Add the flour and mix in thoroughly.  Cook until it comes to a simmer.
  5. Pour in the milk and cream (or half and half) and stir.
  6. Simmer on medium low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve with bread or crackers.

For a PDF of this recipe visit: Mama Beths Cream of Crab Soup

Tuesdays with Mama: Recipe Edition Sin-amon Rolls

Cinnamon RollsThese cinnamon rolls are amazing.  In my community, I’m sort of the cinnamon roll queen.  And it’s awesome.

I try not to make them too often.  Otherwise they might not be as special.  I adore these cinnamon rolls and I have made them on multiple occasions for teacher breakfasts, pot luck brunches and other gatherings.

I hope you enjoy!

Mama Beth’s Sin-Amon Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packets Active Dry Yeast
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • Melted Butter (I usually wind up using more than I should.  Start with 2 sticks.  You’ll get the idea)
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Melted Butter
  • 1- 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt

7-8 disposable aluminum pie pans

 Instructions for Dough: 

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to a warm temperature.

Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)

 Assembly Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.

To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar! Gooey is the goal.

Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.

Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife; make 1/2-inch slices. One “log “will produce 20 to 25 rolls.

Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls into round pie pans. This recipe makes about 7 pans worth of rolls.  Be careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)

Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans.

Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking.

Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the cream cheese icing:

In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the icing. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more vanilla, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still pourable.

Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor.

For a pdf of this recipe click here: Sin-Amon Rolls

Homemade Chinese Food (With Recipes)

It has been a while since I got really involved in cooking a meal for my family.  The kids have all been busy and my schedule is nearly bursting with all of the things I have on my plate from day to day.  On Sunday, I started a one week spending fast and yet I was really in the mood for Chinese takeout.  Instead, I whipped up my own Chinese food feast.

Fried rice and General Tso’s Chicken, all from scratch, graced our table last night and they were delicious!  I started four o’clock and made a mess of my kitchen.  Frying chicken and mixing up what would eventually become quite a nice sauce took me what remained of the afternoon.  At 6:00, we sat down to dinner.

Madison said that my fried rice looked “realistic” and gobbled it down along with a helping of General Tso’s chicken.  Gracie and Mike, not so much.  I neglected to make the rice with chicken included so Grace had no interest and Mike, well, he’s Mike.  I understood.

Below are the recipes I used.

Fried Rice:

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked rice*
  • 2 tsp. oil (I used olive, but traditionally you use sesame)
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • ¾ c. frozen peas and carrots, thawed
  • 2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green onions (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat a large skillet or wok to medium heat. Pour sesame oil in the bottom. Add white onion and peas and carrots and fry until tender.
  2. Slide the onion, peas and carrots to the side, and pour the beaten eggs onto the other side. Using a spatula, scramble the eggs. Once cooked, mix the eggs with the vegetable mix.
  3. Add the rice to the veggie and egg mixture. Pour the soy sauce on top. Stir and fry the rice and veggie mixture until heated through and combined. Add chopped green onions if desired.

*Rice should be cooked and cooled

General Tso’s Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups green onions, sliced
  • 8 small dried chilies, optional for spicy chicken

Chicken Fry

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • ½ c. fry oil (vegetable or canola work well)

Sauce

  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon French ginger, grated
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • 1c. water

Directions

  1. Place sauce ingredients in a quart jar with a lid and shake to mix. If you make this ahead of time just refrigerate until needed, shaking it again when you are ready to use it. This also keeps your dirty dishes down.
  2. Heat fry oil over the stove until it starts to shimmer.
  3. Batter chicken pieces by first dipping in egg and then into the cornstarch to coat.  Add chicken to the hot (350 degree) oil and fry until crispy. Only cook 7 or 8 chicken pieces at a time. You do not want to lower the temp of the oil by cooking too many at a time. You can use a simple cooking or candy thermometer to judge the temp of the oil.
  4. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm- I just put them in the oven with the oven off. Repeating until all chicken is fried.
  5. In a separate wok or large skillet add a small amount of oil and heat,
  6. Add green onions and hot peppers (if you want to use them) and stir fry about 30 seconds.
  7. Stir sauce mixture, and then add to pan with onions and peppers, cook until thick. If it gets too thick, add a little water. The thickness of the sauce should be similar to what you get when ordering this at a restaurant.
  8. Add chicken to sauce in wok, and cook until all is hot and bubbly. The quicker this is done the crispier the chicken stays.
  9. Serve over rice.