Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tropical Strawberry Pie

    One of my favorite desserts has always been strawberry pie. Months ago I discovered a recipe that blended strawberries with pineapple to create a tropical flavor. I had been just waiting to try this until I could find a good batch of berries. Sorry to say, they're out of season and a bit pricey right now. 
   For a recent holiday, I was determined to give it a try anyway. Unlike the original version which calls for making the crust from scratch, I took the easy way out and used a pre-made graham cracker crust. I also used strawberry/banana gelatin because that's what I had on hand. This was easy to do and even easier to eat.

Tropical Strawberry Pie
1 graham cracker crust
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups whipped topping
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, juice drained
3/4 cup boiling water
1 pkg. small pkg. strawberry banana gelatin
1 cup ice cubes
2 cups strawberries, sliced

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with mixer until well blended. Gently fold in 1 cup of whipped topping and pineapple. Spread on top of crust. Refrigerate until needed.

In smaller bowl, pour boiling water over gelatin powder. Stir until completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add ice and stir quickly until ice melts, mixture will start to thicken.

Remove any lumpy ice cubes. Mix in strawberries. Refrigerate 5 minutes. Spoon over cream cheese layer.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Top with additional 1 cup of whipped topping.
Serves 4-6.

* Note: the hubby says the more strawberries the better!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Cheddar Burgers with Beer BBQ Sauce

Photos courtesy of the Cooking Corner.

     One day recently I was in the grocery store check out lane and saw a small recipe booklet called, "Cooking with Beer." Yes, I was intrigued. After giving the little cookbook a really good glance-over as I waited in line, I went for it. The impulse buy was going home with me.
     While eating lunch that day, I studied my new purchase and bounced all kinds of ideas around my mind. Finally, I decided to try the "Western BBQ Burgers with Beer BBQ sauce." (That's what I had most of the ingredients for - notice I said "most.")
     As far as dinner that night . . . the burgers tasted just like my normal burgers because the beer was in the sauce. I'm not really sure why beer was in the sauce, because once you bring it to a boil, it's not really a factor except for liquid. It seems to me, that I just made the BBQ sauce a bit thinner. So I just slathered the sauce on both sides of the bun so that everything was coated, gooey and down right sloppy. Some things are just best eaten messy and this was one of them.
Cheddar Burgers with Beer BBQ Sauce
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. McCormick's hamburger seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup smoky BBQ sauce*
1/4 cup Michelob AmberBock beer
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper 
1 vidallia onion, sliced in 1/2-inch thick slices
4-5 slices cooked bacon
4-5 slices cheddar cheese, smoked if possible
4-5 buns
lettuce and tomato, optional

Preheat grill or skillet to medium-high heat. Shape burger into 4-5 patties. Sprinkle with hamburger seasoning and garlic powder. 
Combine BBQ sauce, salt, pepper and beer in small saucepan. Bring to boil for 1 minute and then set aside.
Cook burgers 8 -10 minutes, turning occasionally, until desired doneness.
On grill or in same skillet, cook onions 4-5 minutes until soft and slightly charred. Lay onion slice on top of burger.
To serve - drizzle 1 T. BBQ mixture on bottom bun. If using, place lettuce and tomato on bottom bun. Add cooked bacon and sliced cheese on top of burger. Drizzle with 1 T. BBQ. Close sandwich up and get a napkin.
* I used Stubbs Sweet and Heat.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Spicy Honey Chicken Kabobs

Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner.
     A little while back I was watching a food TV show that has a collection of chefs that give their twists on certain food topics, dishes or methods. This time the topic was the beginning of summer grilling and marinades.
    What I found educational was the make up of the marinades. What ever your flavor combination, they should all have part oil, acid, sweet and heat. That's balance. 
    On the food show, the dish that caught my eye was the teriyaki pork. However, one of the problems was that I didn't have a pork tenderloin just laying around as a spare part. There was also the small issue of weird ingredients. So the art of substitution once again came into play.
    By the time I did all of the recipe substituting, I was past the point of messing with the grill. When I did these teriyaki glazed chicken kabobs, they got popped in the oven for a bit and were easier than all of the thinking I did to figure it out.

Spicy Honey Chicken Kabobs
1 medium onion, sliced in wedges 3/4 inch thick or so
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast tenders, cut in 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 tsp. ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup honey
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 T. water
4-5 bamboo skewers

 Soak skewers for 30 minutes in water.
 In a medium sauce pan, combine garlic, soy, honey, chicken broth and peppers. Whisk to mix well. Heat over medium and simmer 8-10 minutes, stirring often.
 In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water until well blended. Add to sauce and simmer 3-4 minutes more until sauce is thickened and reduced by about half. Remove from heat and let cool.
 Place chicken and onions in a plastic container with a lid. Pour half the sauce over the chicken and onion and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until needed. Save the other half of the sauce for basting.
 Place onion and chicken alternately on skewers and then in a foil lined pan. Heat broiler to high. Brush remaining glaze over kabobs and broil 5 minutes. Turn skewers and broil 4-5 minutes more watching carefully. Serves 4.

Taste Of Home Recipe of the Day