Tasty Tuesday–Apple Cider Milkshakes

After we went apple picking last week, and came home with a gallon of apple cider, I decided I wanted to make apple cider milkshakes. I couldn’t really find a recipe that I liked, so I played around with it a little bit until I had the proportions right. I used two scoops of Edy’s Washington Apple Pie ice cream, and four scoops of Caramel Delight (I have a pretty small ice cream scoop, so you may use fewer scoops than I did), but there are so many ways you could prepare it to your taste…vanilla, caramel, apple pie, and cinnamon ice creams would all work well, in whatever proportions you prefer! I garnished mine with a cinnamon stick because I was feeling fancy…you could also drizzle some caramel sauce on top, or add an apple slice, or whatever else sounds good to you!

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  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 6 scoops of ice cream

Blend cider and ice cream until smooth. Garnish as desired.

Tasty Tuesday–Roast Beef Sandwich Pizza

There are some summer days (like all of last week) where you just don’t want to turn on the oven. This cold pizza is a good dinner option for days like that. If you don’t like horseradish as much as I do, feel free to cut back the amount.

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4 oz. cream cheese with chives and onion (from 8 oz. tub)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. creamy horseradish sauce
14 oz. prebaked Italian pizza crust
8 oz. deli roast beef, cut into bite-sized strips
1 1/2 cups plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1/3 cup zesty Italian salad dressing

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and horseradish sauce; mix well. Spread evenly over pizza crust.

In medium bowl, combine roast beef, tomatoes, lettuce and dressing; toss gently to coat. Top pizza crust with roast beef mixture.

To serve, cut into wedges.

Tasty Tuesday–Blackberry Smoothies

I love blackberry season at Eckert’s! They are by far my favorite fruit to pick…and eat! I’m always looking for new recipes to try with our bounty, and this time, the children really wanted me to make smoothies. I had fun putting this recipe together…I think the nutmeg makes it extra special. The following recipe makes about 3-4 servings, so I had to double it for our family. You could also easily halve it if you only want to serve two!

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  • 2 cups fresh blackberries (frozen would work, too)
  • 16 oz. vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar (more or less depending on how tart your berries are)
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Serve immediately.

Tasty Tuesday–Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know this is going to sound silly, but I have worked long and hard to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. Basic, I know, but none of the ones I made in the past were quite good enough. Last summer, however, I finally perfected a recipe that met my standards and pleased everyone in my family. A recipe like that is definitely worth keeping! I love how big they are, and the fact that you can customize them to suit your tastes. I’ve used many combinations of baking chips in subsequent recipes, and I like them all. Dark and white chocolate chips have been especially popular, as have milk chocolate chips and chunks. You can use whatever your favorites are, too!

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  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • sea salt

Preheat the oven to 325. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, eggs, and egg yolks until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets (cookies should be about 3 inches apart). Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Tasty Tuesday–Turkey, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

I modified this recipe from one our local grocery store suggested as a way to use up leftover turkey…the combination of flavors is amazing! I will definitely be adding this one to our Thanksgiving leftovers permanent collection!

  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup leftover or whole berry canned cranberry sauce
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 8 oz. package chèvre (goat cheese) with herbs, softened
  • 2 cups chopped leftover or cooked turkey
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • salsa and/or guacamole

Zest limes. In small bowl, stir together cranberry sauce and lime zest.

Place tortillas on work surface; evenly spread each with one ounce chèvre, then cranberry sauce mixture. Evenly top four tortillas with turkey and jalapeño; top with remaining tortillas to close quesadillas.

In batches, spray 12-inch skillet with cooking spray; add 1 quesadilla and cook over medium-low heat 2 to 3 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Spray top of quesadilla with cooking spray; turn and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until bottom is golden brown. Cut each into 6 wedges; serve with salsa and guacamole.

Tasty Tuesday–Pumpkin Tiramisu

If you’re looking for a unique Thanksgiving dessert that still falls into the mandatory “pumpkin” category, you’ve come to the right place! Plus, you can make this pumpkin tiramisu as early as today, and refrigerate it until the big event…always a bonus when you can work ahead!

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I tried this recipe out last week, and was amazed by both how easy it was to make (I’ve previously been afraid of trying to make a real tiramisu ), and how delicious it was. The crystalized ginger is what really takes it the holiday level, but I imagine even without that, it would still be amazing!

  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups coffee, cooled
  • 2 7 oz. packages Italian ladyfingers
  • Crystalized ginger

With whisk attachment of stand mixer, whisk pumpkin, brown sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Add mascarpone and 1 1/2 cups cream; beat at medium speed until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.
Dissolve 2 Tbsp. sugar in coffee. Dip both sides of approximately 8 ladyfingers in coffee and arrange them in a single layer in a  4-quart trifle dish. Spread one cup of pumpkin mixture on top. Repeat layers five more times, ending with pumpkin mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Beat remaining cream and 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar until soft peaks form. Dollop over tiramisu and garnish with crystalized ginger.

Tasty Tuesday–Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole

Thanksgiving is almost here! It’s hard to tell if we like the holiday meal better, or all the leftovers meals that follow. Today, I’m sharing my favorite of our leftovers dinners (other than turkey soup)…it uses four different Thanksgiving foods (all of which I make from scratch)! I’ll be honest, though, and admit that I always end up making a fresh batch of mashed potatoes for this recipe, because we never have leftovers of those! Also, the amounts are fairly flexible, so if you have a little less stuffing, or a little more turkey, you can still make it work.

  • 4 cups leftover prepared stuffing
  • 3/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 4 cups leftover cooked turkey (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan. Spoon in stuffing, then top with cranberry sauce and turkey.
Combine mayonnaise with cheese. Evenly spread 1/2 of the mayonnaise mixture over turkey. Top with potatoes, then evenly spread with remaining mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Bake 40 minutes or until golden brown and heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Tasty Tuesday–Diet of Worms a.k.a Dirt Dessert

It’s been a good 20 years since I first made this popular-with-children dessert, but I never even thought of renaming it for the Diet of Worms until CPH made the suggestion this fall. So, here’s my familiar recipe, with a new name, just in time for Reformation Day!

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  • 1 family-size package Oreo cookies
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 cups milk
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip (can use chocolate)
  • 2  3.9 oz. packages instant chocolate pudding
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Gummi worms

Crush Oreos in a bag with a rolling pin, or pulse in food processor until fine crumbs. Put 1/3 of the crushed Oreos into a glass trifle bowl. Add a few “worms” to the “dirt.” Set aside.
Mix butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and well blended. Set aside.
Combine milk and pudding mix as directed on pudding box. Let stand about five minutes, then fold Cool Whip into the pudding.
Fold together pudding mixture and butter-cream cheese mixture.
Layer half of the pudding mixture on top of the cookie crumbs in trifle bowl. Add another 1/3 of the Oreos with “worms,” then remaining pudding mixture. Top with remaining Oreos and “worms.”
Chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Tasty Tuesday–Cheddar and Beer Fondue

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Last week I shared my homemade pretzel recipe, so I figured it would only be fitting to share the fondue we like to dip them in this week. Other things we like to dip, besides the pretzels, include baby gherkins, cooked brat pieces, and rye bread.

  • 10 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 6-8 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup German lager beer
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • A few drops Tabasco
  • 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Combine cheeses in a bowl and toss with flour. Add beer to a small pot and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in a figure-eight pattern with wooden spoon. When the cheese has been incorporated fully, stir in the mustard, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Transfer fondue to warm fondue pot.

 

Tasty Tuesday–Homemade Pretzels

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I mentioned that we had our family Oktoberfest celebration recently. The format changes some from year to year (we picked pumpkins this year, which was a nice, new addition), as does the date (anywhere from late September to, well, any point in October), but the children have a favorite activity that we make sure to do every year…make pretzels! It’s a fun, child-friendly activity, and everyone can enjoy the results (they’re especially delicious with the cheddar and beer fondue I also make every Oktoberfest!). If you’re interested in adding this tradition to your family’s celebration, here’s the recipe I use:

  • 4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two more tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease baking sheets.
In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water; set aside. When dough is done rising, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape (other fun shapes can be made, as well). Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution and place pretzels on baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes.