Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sweet & Savory Cheese Spread

Creamy sweet and savory spread that makes a great party food.


Sweet & Savory Cheese Spread
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or paprika)
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
kosher salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Mix or stir all ingredients to combine thoroughly; refrigerate.
Serve with crackers, bread, rolls, olives, and/or veggie sticks.

Adjust all spice amounts to your taste.

My favorite crackers are Triscuit Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Split Pea with Ham Soup

Another really good soup to add to your recipe box!



Split Pea with Ham Soup
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com
(Yield: 8-10 servings)

Ingredients:
1 pound dried split peas, rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken broth*
4 cups water
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large raw potato, peeled and chopped
Ham or Smoked Sausage, cut in chunks*
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Homemade Cajun Seasoning

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a slow cooker; cover and cook on high for 6 hours, or until peas are soft.
Serve.

*Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and omit meat for vegetarian split pea soup.


Homemade Cajun Seasoning



Cajun Seasoning
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or paprika)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
Combine all ingredients; store in airtight container.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Recipe Review - Back for Seconds: Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes & Peaches

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Peaches - Tastes like candy and it's HEALTHY!! perfect holiday side dish! @Backforseconds #sweetpotatoes #holidaysidedish #thanksgivingsidedish
Just in time for the holiday dinners, Stephanie at "Back for Seconds" posted this unique recipe on her blog.  It looks delicious and a nice alternative to the usual marshmallow, sugar-laden fare! Why not make 2 dishes and see which one your family prefers!

Read more at Stephanie's blog
Back for Seconds: Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Peaches
u are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post
Read more at http://backforsecondsblog.com/#9FcIoQcRpjRMqWPh.99
you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post
Read more at http://backforsecondsblog.com/#9FcIoQcRpjRMqWPh.99

Check out her recipe and enter the giveaway while you're there!

(please note: I am receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing this blog post)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Proverbs 17:1


Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
    than a house full of feasting, with strife.

                                                      Proverbs 17:1 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Butter Nut Shortbread Cookies

A crisp, buttery cookie just right for serving with tea, coffee, or milk. 
These would make a nice gift for neighbors or to ship to family.


adapted from Dixie Crystals

Butter Nut Shortbread Cookies
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com
(Yield: 4 dozen cookies)

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black walnut flavoring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 teaspoon sweet dough bakery emulsion, optional (purchased from K.A.F.)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Sift flour and set aside.
Mix butter just until creamy (about 30 seconds).
Add all of powdered sugar, salt, flavorings, and bakery emulsion, if using; mix well.
Add flour and chopped pecans, all at once, and mix until just combined.
Divide dough into two parts, forming each into logs two inches in diameter; wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and chill the rolls in freezer for at least 20 minutes.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice the log into 1/3 inch slices and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake just until edge of cookies are light golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and continue to cool cookies on cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
Once cooled, store in airtight container to maintain crispness.

Note: The black walnut flavoring will be somewhat strong in the completed dough, however; it will mellow out during baking.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Speechless Banana-Walnut Bread




I call this "Speechless Banana-Walnut Bread" because it is super-moist and
super-delicious...and Mama told me not to talk with my mouth full!

Mmmmmmmmm!


Speechless Banana-Walnut Bread
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com
[Yield: 2 (9x5) loaves]


Ingredients:
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice (optional)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sweet dough bakery emulsion, optional (purchased from k.a.f.)

1-1/2 cups ripe mashed bananas (about 3 large)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup raw sugar (a.k.a. turbinado sugar)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease loaf pans; I use two (9x5 inch) loaf pans.


In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices; set aside.

In  large mixer bowl, blend together on low speed the eggs, sour cream, oil, vanilla extract, sweet dough emulsion (if using), and bananas. Add both sugars and mix well. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Stir in chopped walnuts (if using).

Pour batter into prepared pans, and bake for 42 to 47 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (with a few dry crumbs attached).

Place pans on wire rack and allow bread to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan;
continue to cool loaves on wire rack. 


Freezes well.



Friday, October 11, 2013

Pecan Craisin Broccoli Salad

 
This salad has great texture and a fresh taste with bacon bits and cheddar cheese to round out the flavor.


Pecan Craisin Broccoli Salad
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com


Ingredients:
1 large head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
6 Tablespoons bacon bits - Hormel brand*
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 or 3 handfuls of toasted pecans, chopped
1/3 cup Craisins
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 to 2 Tablespoons sugar (to taste)

Directions:
Wash broccoli pieces and steam for about a minute (or just until bright green).
 

Drain broccoli and rinse with cool water. Drain well.
 

Combine broccoli, bacon bits, onion, cheddar cheese, pecans, and Craisins in a large bowl.
 

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar to make dressing.
 

Pour dressing over broccoli mixture and stir to coat evenly.
 

Store the salad in covered container and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

*You can substitute freshly cooked bacon.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Smoky Chipotle Ranch Dressing

 
 
Dressing so good you may be tempted to drink it!


 Good for salad, veggies, tacos, burritos, etcetera.




Mix the spices together ahead of time, then add to the wet ingredients when ready to serve.



Smoky Chipotle Ranch Dressing
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com

Dry Mix Ingredients:
(makes approximately seven Tablespoons of spices*)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon dill weed
2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika**
1 1/2 Tablespoons McCormick Southwest Chipotle Blend**

Wet Ingredients:
(makes approximately 3 cups dressing*)
1 cup mayonnaise
6 ounces plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions:
Combine all dry mix ingredients in small bowl; store in airtight container in cool place until ready to use. 

To prepare dressing, shake or stir together the dry mix ingredients, and then add 1 Tablespoon of dry mix to all of wet ingredients listed in recipe. Serve.

Dressing may be stored in airtight container in fridge for up to 3 days.

*For every 3 cups of wet mix, add 1 Tablespoon of dry mix (be sure to stir dry mix before measuring). Increase the amount of any spices to suit your taste.


Recipe yields approximately 3 cups of prepared dressing and enough dry mix to season approximately 21 cups of dressing.

**Omit smoked paprika and SW Chipotle Blend to make plain, yet delicious, ranch dressing




Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Doggy Delights

 P.o.o.c.h. P.a.r.t.y!

Today is Sadi's 12th Birthday! 
She is a Boston Terrier and a wonderful pet!

So, in her honor...

 
    Birthday Cookies! 




First taste...will she like them?



Let's see...
(click on pic)



oops, mama wasn't quick enough with the video...let's try again...



hey...why is there a piece missing? ...hmmm
(click on pic)



Well, I would say that's a yes.



Here she is begging for more...

Guess these "Sadi Snacks" will be a regular around here...
oh, and they are fit (just barely) for human consumption.
 *Warning...some dogs have peanut allergies and may have itching and redness (or something more severe) from eating even a small amount of peanuts or peanut butter.

adapted from Allrecipes

Doggy Delights
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com
(makes approximately 36 small cookies) 

Ingredients:
1 egg
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
1/2 dry oatmeal

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, add the egg, peanut butter, banana, and honey and stir until thoroughly combined. Add in the flour and dry oatmeal. Stir thoroughly.*

Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a cookie cutter or knife, cut into small shapes.
Place cookies on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, depending on size or until crisp. Remove from oven and let cool. Store the cookies in airtight container in fridge.

*Freeze dough at this point for baking later.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Orange-Banana Protein Shake


Nutritious, delicious, and quick to make.
Perfect for rushed mornings!


Orange-Banana Protein Shake 
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com
(yields 1 to 2 servings)

Ingredients:

8 ounces (1 cup) premium orange juice
1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen)
1 heaping scoop (approx. 1/3 cup) vanilla whey protein powder
2 cups ice
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)


Directions:
Place all ingredients (with ice on top) in blender.
Pulse or blend until mixture is thick and ice is blended.
Serve immediately.

My notes & preferences:
1) I like "Simply Orange" brand juice
2) Peel ripe bananas...store in freezer baggies ahead of time for usage in shake
3) I purchase the protein powder from Wal-mart 



Monday, September 23, 2013

Meyer Lemon-Buttermilk Loaf


This wonderful quick bread has a delicate crumb containing just the right amount of real lemon flavor and a simple lemon glaze. 

Use Meyer lemons if you can find them, but regular lemons will work too.


Adapted from Dixie Crystals

Meyer Lemon-Buttermilk Loaf 
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com 
(Yields: 1 loaf)

Bread Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Grated rind of 2 Meyer lemons
1 Tablespoon lemon juice from Meyer lemon
1/2 cup buttermilk

Lemon Glaze Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons lemon juice from Meyer lemon
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. (335° degrees F. for dark pans)
In a large mixer bowl, cream together butter, sugar and eggs.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to butter/sugar mixture, along with lemon rind, lemon juice, and buttermilk. Stir until thoroughly blended.
Pour into large greased loaf pan and bake for 43 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean or with a couple of crumbs attached. (If baking at 335 degrees, baking time will probably be at the higher end.)

For glaze: Stir together the lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth and drizzle over the hot loaf.



Friday, September 20, 2013

Tender Cinnamon Rolls














The latest in my quest to make the perfect cinnamon roll. This may be the winner...soft, soft, soft!


Tender Cinnamon Rolls
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com
(Yield: 9x13 pan)

Dough Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (or 2 pkgs. yeast)
2 Tablespoons warm water (115 degrees)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs or 3/4 cup Egg Beaters product
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup slightly warm buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sweet dough emulsion, optional (purchased from KAF)
4 to 6 cups all-purpose flour

Filling Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

    
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
    4 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened
    3 Tablespoons butter
    1-1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

       
...OR...

    
Vanilla Frosting Ingredients:
    4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, unsalted
    Few grains of salt, optional
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups powdered sugar
    Milk to desired consistency

    ...OR... 

    
Glaze Ingredients: (may want to double glaze ingredients)
    1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
    3 to 4 Tablespoons milk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional   

Directions:
Add 1 Tablespoon sugar and yeast to water. Stir to dissolve yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Mix together butter, 1/2 cup sugar, eggs and salt. Beat well.
Add buttermilk, vanilla extract, sweet dough emulsion (if using), and yeast mixture to butter/sugar mixture.
Using a dough hook, mix in flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from side of bowl. Continue to mix for 5 minutes.
Remove dough from bowl and knead on lightly floured surface for about a minute.
Place dough in lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and then a clean towel.
Let rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.

Roll out dough into a large rectangle.
Spread dough with butter and then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Begin rolling dough by starting at the opposite side of rectangle and rolling tightly towards you.
Seal seam by pinching together. Slice dough log in half, then in half again, then in thirds, making 12 rolls. Place rolls in greased pan and allow to rise about 30 minutes.

After 20 minutes of rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, approximately 22 to 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F. on an instant read thermometer.

Mix the frosting ingredients for approximately 5 minutes...OR, if using glaze, whisk ingredients with fork until smooth. Glaze rolls while still warm, but wait till rolls are cool if using frosting instead of glaze.

Tips:
Refrigerate baked rolls if using cream cheese frosting
Powdered (confectioner's) sugar yields best results when fresh.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Velvety Cheesecake



Creamy, decadent, and elegant! Made with a sour cream topping, but feel free to add an additional topping, such as strawberry, blueberry, lemon, lime, or caramel.



Velvety Cheesecake
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com 

Ingredients-
Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Filling:
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Topping:
16 ounces minus 1/3 cup (1-2/3 cups sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil, and then pour water into a 9x13 pan placed on the bottom rack of the oven*. This will remain in the oven the entire cooking time.
*Place the 9x13 pan on bottom rack and then pour water into pan, being careful not to splash.

To make crust:
Line the (inside) bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
Thoroughly combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a medium bowl, and then press mixture into the entire bottom and 1 inch up the sides to form crust.

To make filling:
In a large bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese and sugar on medium-high until smooth and fluffy.
Gently and thoroughly fold in the eggs, vanilla extract, and cream of tartar to the cream cheese mixture with a fork and then with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared crust.
Place in preheated oven on middle rack. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes.
The cheesecake may appear undone, but it is not. Remove cheesecake from oven (leave oven on) and cool for 10 minutes (in the pan).

To make topping:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vanilla extract, and sugar.
Pour mixture over baked cheesecake. Bake additional 10 minutes. Turn oven off and immediately remove cheesecake from oven. Set on wire rack to cool to room temperature, approximately 2 hours.
Refrigerate cheesecake (while still in pan) for at least 4 hours, and when ready to serve, remove side of springform pan. 
Refrigerate leftovers in springform pan.


RECIPE: Fresh Strawberry Sauce 



Fresh Strawberry Sauce


Great sauce for topping cheesecake, pound cake, 
pancakes, crepes, ice cream, and more.


Fresh Strawberry Sauce
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com 


Ingredients:
2 pounds fresh strawberries

1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Wash strawberries and remove stems. Cut largest berries in half.

Combine strawberries, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently.
Cook until sauce thickens.
Remove some of the berry mixture and set aside.
Mash remaining berries with a potato masher a couple of times, and then add the separated berries back in to the mixture, along with the vanilla extract.
Remove from heat. Store the sauce in refrigerator.


Authentic Mexican Salsa

Delicioso!


Authentic Mexican Salsa
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com 


Ingredients:
6 to 8 Ripe Roma Tomatoes
1/2 Fresh Jalapeno Pepper, or to taste
1/2 Fresh Serrano Pepper*, or to taste
1 Clove of Garlic
1 to 2 teaspoons Lime Juice
1 to 2 Tablespoons canned Tomato Sauce, optional

Directions:
Add all to blender and puree. If you like chunks of tomato, add in additional diced tomatoes after blending. 


Store salsa in refrigerator; it will last up to 3 days.

*Serrano peppers are hotter than jalapenos.





Friday, September 6, 2013

Sweet Italian Sausage Lasagna

 
Great dish for the cold winter nights ahead and to share with a crowd; I also enjoy this as spaghetti sauce!


adapted from allrecipes.com


Sweet Italian Sausage Lasagna
 www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com 
(makes 9x13 pan)

Ingredients-  
Sauce:
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
3/4 pound lean ground beef*
1/2 cup minced or chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Filling:
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, optional
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsely 

and...
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Several handfuls of freshly washed and dried spinach leaves, optional

and...
12 lasagna noodles

Directions:  
In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat, breaking up meat with a spoon, and until meat is no longer pink. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 7 minutes (noodles will cook some more while in oven). Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with nutmeg, egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

To assemble:
Spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Arrange 3 to 6 noodles (or however many it takes to cover bottom of pan) lengthwise over meat sauce.
Spread with a third of the ricotta cheese mixture, and top with a third of the spinach leaves in a single layer.
Top with a third of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Repeat layers (up to twice more), and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Cover pan with non-stick foil, or spray regular foil with non-stick cooking spray to prevent cheese from sticking. Place pan on baking sheet to catch any drips.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes.
Cool for 15 minutes before serving.  Optional: Sprinkle fresh or dried parsley on top before serving.

*Definitely use lean ground beef, as this will result in less grease and prevent the need to drain the meat.



Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies


Soft, Chewy, and Not-Too-Gooey!

I'm not a big fan of the Toll-House Chocolate Chip cookies, partly because of burnout.
These are a great alternative.

Levain Bakery (New York) is famous for their chocolate chip cookies, and this is a copycat recipe, which I found on Michelle's blog, "Brown Eyed Baker." I left out the walnuts and used milk chocolate chips rather than dark chocolate chips. 


Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com
(yield: 2 to 3 dozen, depending on size)

Ingredients:
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
¾ cup plus 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, cold, lightly beaten in a separate bowl
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups milk chocolate chips

Directions:
Do not preheat oven until after dough has refrigerated for 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for 1 minute...will be one big ball.

Add both sugars and mix for 2 minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla and continue mixing on medium speed for 1 minute; batter will be lumpy.
Scrape sides of bowl and stir gently.

Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and gradually add flour mixture until just a little bit of flour still remains.

Add chocolate chips to remaining flour and stir to coat...add chips to dough and stir thorougly to combine.

Drop 2 Tablespoons of dough (for each cookie) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; do not smooth the dough.

Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until very light golden brown. Remove immediately from cookie sheet and let cool.

Store cookies in airtight container.



Saturday, August 31, 2013

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas



Chicken in creamy, spicy sauce, wrapped in warm tortillas and covered with tomatoes and cheese!

adapted from allrecipes.com

UPDATE: To reheat, whisk together 1/2 can cream of chicken or cream of celery soup with small amount of milk and pour over top of enchiladas in pan. Cover pan with foil and bake at 425 degrees F. for 20 minutes, then remove foil, increase oven temperature to 475 degrees F. and bake for an additional 10 minutes. 


Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 cup sour cream
1 or 2 Tablespoons cream cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 cup salsa (homemade is best)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or paprika)
1 or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
dash of ground cayenne pepper (optional)  
1 small can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chilies
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 can (10 oz) Ro*Tel® Mexican Diced Tomatoes with Lime Juice & Cilantro, drained
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Cooked rice (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat, saute onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil for a few minutes to soften.

Add in cooked chicken, sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano, and black pepper. Heat until cheese melts.

Stir in salt, salsa, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, if using, and green chilies. Heat through.

Spoon hot mixture onto tortillas and roll tightly. Use all tortillas.

Place tortillas in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover with Ro-Tel tomatoes and 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese.

Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve over rice, if desired.



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting











Very moist and chocolatey cake topped with creamy frosting.



Chocolate Cupcakes
Paula Deen
(Yield: approximately 30 cupcakes)

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
3 large eggs
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.

Brew one cup of strong coffee and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 

Add oil, cooled coffee, and eggs. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.

Mix in the sour cream and vanilla.

Spoon the batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each 1/2 to 2/3 full.

Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 15 to 19 minutes.

Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes, and then remove cupcakes from the pans and cool completely.


Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
5 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened & 1/2 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar (not Powdered Sugar)

Directions:

In a small or medium saucepan, add milk and whisk in flour over medium-low heat. Whisk continually until mixture is very thick...almost as thick as brownie batter; It must be thick, or the frosting will not set up properly. 

Remove pan from heat. Set aside to cool completely on counter; I place on cool, wet dishtowel. 
Place plastic wrap directly ON top of mixture while cooling. For the next step, the milk/flour mixture must not be warm AT ALL, but if you cool mixture in refrigerator, then bring back to room temperature before proceeding. Once mixture has cooled, add in vanilla extract.

In large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and granulated sugar on low for 2 minutes, then on medium-high speed for 6 minutes.  Add in the cooled milk/flour mixture and continue beating on medium-high for 8 minutes until resembles whipped cream. Frost cake/cupcakes and store in refrigerator (for firmer texture) or at room temperature (for softer texture).



Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

The texture of this frosting is similar to whipped cream...luscious.


Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
5 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened & 1/2 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar (not Powdered Sugar)

Directions:

In a small or medium saucepan, add milk and whisk in flour over medium-low heat. Whisk continually until mixture is very thick...almost as thick as brownie batter; It must be thick, or the frosting will not set up properly. 

Remove pan from heat. Set aside to cool completely on counter; I place on cool, wet dishtowel. 

Place plastic wrap directly ON top of mixture while cooling. For the next step, the milk/flour mixture must not be warm AT ALL, but if you cool mixture in refrigerator, then bring back to room temperature before proceeding. Once mixture has cooled, add in vanilla extract.

In large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and granulated sugar on low for 2 minutes, then on medium-high speed for 6 minutes.  Add in the cooled milk/flour mixture and continue beating on medium-high for 8 minutes until resembles whipped cream. Frost cake/cupcakes and store in refrigerator (for firmer texture) or at room temperature (for softer texture).

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sausage Potato Chowder

Hearty and filling. I hope you don't wait for cold weather to try this one!

Adapted from allrecipes.com

Sausage Potato Chowder
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com 

(Yield: approximately 6 quarts*)

Ingredients:
20 small red potatoes, leave skins on & cut in chunks
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 (14 ounce) package smoked sausage, sliced
3 to 4 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
3 quarts water (12 cups**)
(**note: use 3 cups less than this if using chicken broth or chicken bouillon cubes rather than bouillon paste)
4 Tablespoons chicken bouillon paste
[(or 3 cups chicken broth) (or 3 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 3 cups hot water)]
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt, to taste (I use 2 teaspoons)
Pepper, to taste (I use 1 teaspoon)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
3/4 cup (approx.) flour
12 ounce can evaporated milk (or milk), slightly warm

Directions:
Combine the potatoes, onions, sausage, carrots, and water in a large stockpot.
Bring to a boil, and then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in the chicken bouillon paste (or broth, or bouillon cubes dissolved in water), celery seed, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
In a separate medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.
Whisk in flour, a little at a time, and cook, stirring constantly until thick. Slowly whisk in milk.
Continue whisking over medium heat for 2 minutes.
Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup for 10 minutes on low. Serve.

*use half of all ingredients for 3 quarts





Not-Too-Sweet Peanut Butter Cookies


Satisfy your craving for something sweet with these delicious, one-bowl cookies.


Slightly adapted from kingarthurflour.com


Not-Too-Sweet Peanut Butter Cookies
www.whispersofthyme.blogspot.com
(makes approximately 24 cookies)

Ingredients:
1/3 cup shortening
1 Tablespoon margarine
1 egg
3/4 cup raw sugar (a.k.a. turbinado sugar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup peanut butter
1 Tablespoon water
1-1/2 cups (3/2) cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, combine shortening, margarine, egg, sugar, vanilla extract, peanut butter, and water. Mix well.
Add in flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix on lowest setting just until combined.

Form cookies into a ball with small scoop or by hand, and place 2 inches apart on either greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets. Flatten each ball with tines of fork making a criss-cross pattern.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10-16 minutes (depending on size of cookie), or until slightly browned on outside edge only.

Note: I baked mine for approximately 15 minutes, as I like them with a slight crunch.