Thursday, May 10, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

My future son-in-law loves Buffalo Chicken wings.  Whenever I say what would you guys like for dinner, he says, "Buffalo Chicken Wings."  So, a friend of mine, Lori, recently made a recipe in the Crockpot and the sandwiches looked great.  I did a little research, and here is my version of the sandwich.

4 pounds         Boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups              Frank’s Hot Sauce
1/4 cup            Butter
1 pkg.              Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix

Wash and trim chicken.  Salt and pepper the chicken then place whole chicken breasts in the Crockpot.  Sprinkle with ranch dressing mix and pour 1 cup of the hot sauce over the chicken.  Cook on the low setting for 5 hours.  Remove cooked chicken breasts, place on a plate to cool.  Drain all the liquid  from the Crockpot, except for about ½ cup.  After chicken is cooled, shred using 2 forks. Return to Crockpot, add 1 cup of the hot sauce and ¼ cup butter.  Cook on low for 1 hour.

I serve the chicken on a Kaiser roll and top with blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.  The chicken is moist and very flavorful. 

This recipe will make 6 to 8 good size sandwiches.  Serve with celery sticks,  carrots sticks and a serving of potato salad.  Yummy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Apple Butter

15 pounds of Jonathon apples 
2 cups Apple Cider
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups of granulated sugar
2 cups of brown sugar

Peel and thinly slice apples and place in 6 qt. slow cooker.  Add apple cider and spices.  Cover and turn to low.  Cook approximately 24 hours.  The apples will be soft and will turn an amazing deep color of cinnamon and caramelized sugar.

Remove the lid and continue to cook until desired consistency.  Depending on how much juice your apples have it could take 5 to 6 hours.  Stir occasionally.

If you like your apple butter chunky and natural you can put in a container and refrigerate.  If you like it smooth, use a hand blender.  Fifteen pounds of apples makes about 2 quarts.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

These are so yummy.  My family loves the Ande's Mints at Olive Garden.  So when I came across this recipe, I couldn't have been more excited.  I had the opportunity to cook for my daughters and their college roommates.  Needless to say, these were a big hit.

Cupcake Ingredients & Directions

Devils Food Cake Mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup brewed coffee (be sure it is cool)

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Mix to combine, scrape the bowl.  Beat for two minutes on high speed.  Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full with batter and make for 14-16 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack

Filling Ingredients & Directions

2/3 cup mint chocolate chips
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar (sifted)

Place chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup.  Heat until chips are melted.  Stir to combine, add powdered sugar and mix completely.  When mixture is cool, place in a plastic squeeze bottle or decorater bag with round tip.  When cupcakes are cool, fill each cupcake with chocolate mixture.  Save a small amount of chocolate for garnish

Frosting Ingredients & Directions

8 oz. cream cheese - softened
1/2 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon mint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
green food coloring (optional)

Beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Add extract and mix.  Add powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy.  If frosting is too thick you may had a small amount of heavy cream or milk.  I also put in a small amount of green food coloring.

Use a large tip in a decorator bag to frost cupcakes.  Drizzle reserved chocolate over frosted cupcakes and garnish with unwrapped Ande's Mints.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

I am blessed to have a beautiful great-niece and she loves to cook with me.  Tonight, we made pumpkin cupcakes and iced them with cream cheese frosting that we tinted orange.  We added some of those sugar cupcake decorations for halloween.  What a blast.  The best part was licking our fingers!

We will bring these to the family reunion (or family unit as Ali calls it).  She will be very proud to serve her fancy cupcakes. I can't wait until my granddaughter Leah is old enough to cook with me!

 Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
1 Can Solid Pack Pumpkin (I like organic)
3 Eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. nutmeg

Place all ingredients in large mixer bowl.  Mix on low speed to combine.  Scrape down the bowl and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.  Line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners.  Fill each liner ¾ full.  Place in a preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.  This recipe makes 24 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 8oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
½ Cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
4 Cups Powdered Sugar (sifted)
½ tsp. almond extract
2 tbsp. orange juice
2 tbsp. grated orange rind (optional, but great)

Cream the butter and cream cheese for three or four minutes.  Add extract and orange juice, mix to combine.  Add sifted powdered sugar all at once.  Turn mixer on low speed to combine mixture.  Turn mixer to high and whip until frosting is light and fluffy.  This recipe will generously frost 24 cupcakes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate and Cranberry

My crew loves homemade cookies.  While browsing through the October/November issue of Taste of Home magazine, in an advertisement, I found this recipe.  Of course, I had to modify it a little bit, but the result was a soft, chewy cooky.  The sweetened dried cranberries are more flavorful than raisins and the white chocolate and almond extract flavors compliment the oatmeal nicely.  Even my chocoholics raved about these cookies.  Oh yeah, there was "chocolate" in the title.  Bake of a batch, crack open the milk jug and enjoy.  We certainly did.

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 6-ounce package sweentend dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add almond extract and combine.

In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt.  Add to creamed butter mixture and combine.  Add sweetened dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoons full on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cooky is just done.  Remove from baking sheet right away and cool.  This recipe yields about 3 dozen cookies.