Saturday, November 14, 2009

What I have been cooking....

I love buying bananas. If I don't eat them, they become a fabulous banana creation. I have a core group of friends at the office and they love helping me out by eating my goodies. Thursday night I made banana muffins. These had a great struessel topping and were very moist. I was able to make 12, unlike the recipe which says only 10.

I recently bought a lodge iron skillet. It is enamel coated and other than it being blue when I wanted red, it is perfect! And it was on sale, which is why it is blue when I wanted red. I made this corn bread recipe tonight and it was wonderful! I feared it would be too sweet, but not at all. The pan cleaned easily with some hot water and a dish towel. Next I want to make an apple pie in it, or maybe a cake. Whatever the pioneers would make in their skillets.

The corn bread was served with mashed potatoes, asparagus, cranberry sauce and TURKEY. HEB had a special where if you buy a pre-cooked turkey you get all kinds of other items for free. The turkey was very good and I will be eating on it the rest of the week. Which is fine, because I will be in Mexico for Thanksgiving and most likely eating fish tacos rather than poultry.

My mom joined us for our pre-Thanksgiving feast and she brought the dessert. It was chocolate mousse torte made with nilla wafers. It was very good and very pretty.

Chocolate Mousse Torte

Nilla Wafers
4 squares Baker's semi sweet chocolate, divided
2 packages (3.9 oz) jello chocolate instant pudding
2 cups plus 2 tbs cold milk, divided
1 tub (8 oz) cool whip, divided
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
raspberries for garnish

Line wafers on the bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie pan.

Melt 3 squares of chocolate.

Beat pudding mixes and 2 cups of milk with whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in melted chocolate and 1 cup of cool whip. Poor into prepared pan.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and remaining milk with mixer until blended. Stir in 1 cup of the remaining cool whip. Spread over pudding.

Garnish with raspberries and chocolate curls from remaining square of chocolate. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Teresa’s baby shower, November 7, 2009

For our November gathering, we hosted Teresa’s baby shower at Carol’s house. Tonya had this thoughtful idea and we were able to showcase our skills!

We had a full spread, masterfully displayed by Carol. (Imagine pickles and olives on the empty tray).

On the menu:

Fresh fruit with Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 7 oz. jar marshmallow cream
Zest of 1 orange
Juice from orange

Mix together the cream cheese and marshmallow cream.
Add zest. Add orange juice to get desired consistency. (smooth and creamy)

Crudites with Cilantro Dip

Crudites is the word of the day.

cru⋅di⋅tés  / kroo-di-tey; Fr.

–noun (used with a singular or plural verb) French Cookery. an appetizer consisting of a variety of raw vegetables, usually cut into strips or bite-size pieces, and served with a dip.

Gazpacho Salad Pasta
(Serves 10-12)

1 - 16 oz box Bowtie pasta
1 large cucumber, chopped
1 - 4 oz can sliced black olives, drained
2 tsp garlic salt
½ cup sliced salad olives
1 cup cilantro, chopped
6 green onions finely chopped (green and white ends)
1 – 8 oz bottle Ranch dressing
1 - 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped

In a large pot, bring water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to directions on package. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water. Combine pasta with the remaining ingredients (except cheese). Mix. Chill overnight to let flavors marry. Just before serving, top with shredded cheese if desired.

Also served were:

Mary’s Chicken Salad Croissants

Cream Cheese with Cranberry Pepper Jelly

Yellow Cupcakes with Butter cream Icing. These were beautifully decorated by Tonya with green leaves and pink, blue and purple flowers. The icing was so light and very delicious.

Watermelon Buggy with fruit. Carol is gifted and so creative!

Fruit Punch (which mixed really well with white wine)

Congratulations, Teresa and Charlie! We can't wait to meet your little girl (who I hope comes on January 25, 2009, weighs 6 pounds and is 22 inches long).