recipes

toasted pine nuts

by jani on April 1, 2013

HB and I love pine nuts. If you  follow my blog, you will know that we add them to as many recipes as we can.  One of my favorite snacks is a handful of these wonderfully tasting toasted nuts. Toasting brings out the savory flavors found within these delicious morsels.

toasted pine nuts 3We usually buy our raw shelled pine nuts in a 1.5 lb bag from Costco. Spread them out on a cookie sheet. Place in a preheated 325 F oven and toast for 12-13 minutes or until they are golden brown.

toasted pine nuts 1Place cooled pine nuts in a freezer bag and they should stay fresh for about 6 months (we always run out of them before six months is up!)

toasted pine nuts 2Here are a few of our favorite pine nut recipes:

blue corn blueberry piñon waffles

best ever chocolate chip cookies

cherry pine nut cookies

le creuset  mini cocottes – sausage-pine nut dressing

There are so many ways to experiment with pine nuts. We add them to our egg scramble and grilled cheese sandwiches… pretty much everything is better with pine nuts! And an added bonus… they’re super nutritious! How do you use your pine nuts other than in pesto? As always, I welcome your comments! 

{ 0 comments }

Another fun recipe that I found in my mom’s 1960 recipe file is called “Corn Custard Mexicana”. I decided to try baking this recipe in my Le Creuset mini cocottes. I love experimenting with these old recipes! We like our food picante, so I added about 1-1/2 teaspoons chile powder (or I would suggest to taste).

green chile casserole 3

Here’s the original recipe that my mom had. I have no way of knowing what publication in the ’50s or ’60s it came from.

green chile casserole 2

green chile casserole 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 c frozen corn kernels (thawed)
  • 1/2 c butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1-2 tsp chile powder (or to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped pimiento
  • 2 Tbsp chopped celery
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 c diced monterey jack cheese
  • 1- 4 oz can chopped green chiles

Dice the cheese very small (as you can see in the photo above each cheese dice is about double the size of a kernel of corn). Add corn in a medium mixing bowl and mix in melted butter (you can use a smaller amount if you desire to cut the fat). Add beaten eggs, cornmeal, salt, chile powder, pimiento, celery, sour cream, cheese, and  chiles, Mix well with a spoon. Pour into buttered casserole or 5 mini cocottes (or ramekins) and bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes or until set. Use a toothpick in the center – if it comes out clean it is set. Double the recipe if baking in a 9×13 casserole.

green chile casserole 5

This is so easy to make and it is absolutely delicious! We will definitely be adding this to our Easter feast with ham. It is a perfect complement to any meal!

Have you found a treasured recipe that has been passed down through generations or one that you just happened upon in someone’s old recipe box? They truly are treasures because so few women were welling to trade their secret family recipes. It seems so peculiar in today’s world, but it was very much a thing of the past, that is, guard those recipes and never share them!  I welcome any comments – and have a great week!

{ 4 comments }

cherry pine nut cookies

by jani on February 13, 2013

Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d dedicate this post to my loving companion of almost 30 years, HB! This recipe is a team effort… my idea… HB makes it! It works for us.  We love cooking with toasted pine nuts and add them to many of our recipes;  they just enhance the flavors.

cherry pinenut cookies 7

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (toast in oven for 12 minutes at 325F degrees or until golden brown)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries
  • 2-4 Tbsp drained maraschino cherry syrup
  • 1  stick of unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In electric mixer beat butter, salt, sugar, honey, cherry juice, flour in that order. Fold in chilled toasted pine nuts and chopped cherries. Roll into balls (a little over an inch in diameter). Chill for 5 minutes in freezer. Dip fork into cold water and flatten each cookie. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

cherry pinenut cookies 1

 

cherry pinenut cookies 2

 

cherry pinenut cookies 3

HB was a bachelor in 1983 –  I was a widow with four young children. We met, fell in love and were engaged within three weeks of meeting. Three months later we were married. He became instant husband and daddy to four little munchkins! It truly is a fairy tale romance and we are more in love today than we were on our wedding day, May 28, 1983!

our wedding

I hope you enjoy these wonderful cookies. They are easy to make and taste scrump-dee-a-lishous!

This is for all you romantics in the world. Wishes do come true… and they can happen to you! Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my readers… and Honey Brent, I love you!

{ 6 comments }

three cheese shrimp and mac

by jani on January 7, 2013

This is a perfect meal for a chilly night and it’s easy to prepare. Who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese? This recipe that HB adapted from the Food Network which uses three type of cheese – but it’s the shrimp that will have  you asking for more!

mac and shrimp 7

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, raw, deveined, tails on
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, if desired
  • 1 Tbsp salt, plus 1 tsp for pasta water
  • 1 pound large elbow macaroni
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound white Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (preferably Panko)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In large pot filled with water add 3 pinches of salt and the macaroni and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

In large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp butter, add garlic and optional wine, sauté for 3-4 minutes or until wine is absorbed. Add shrimp, cook until pink and slightly browned. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Sprinkle flour over butter and cook 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, whisking until a roux or paste forms. Add cold milk and whisk vigorously until dissolved. Cook sauce on medium-low heat until thick and bubbly. Add heavy cream, all cheeses, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Cook until cheeses are fully melted, stirring occasionally.

Add shrimp to cheese mixture and mix thoroughly. Add macaroni and place mixture in a 13×9 casserole dish and top with bread crumbs. Place in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

And the cheese is bubbling!

And… voilá… you’re delicious mac is ready to be served!

mac and shrimp 8

This is a great dish to serve for company or just a great meal to prepare for your family. We ate the leftovers for days… they were just as good as the first night!

Have you ever made mac and cheese with shrimp? Do you like it from scratch like we do or do you use the super easy blue Kraft box of Macaroni and Cheese? Hey, our kids grew up on that, so no complaints! It’s just that the homemade version is so much more savory! I’d love to hear back!

{ 5 comments }