Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nutty Butter Cream Cheese Cake with Buttered Pecan Frosting

(Nutty Butter Cream Cheese Cake or Carrot
Muffins) Pg. 57

1 stick unsalted butter,DIVIDED, room temperature,
1 lb. powdered sugar
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1-2 T. evaporated milk
1 1/2 c. pecans, chopped
In a medium saucepan, melt 3 T. butter and add pecans. Brown the pecans. Allow the
pecans to cool. (I spread out on a cookie sheet. Cream together 5 T. butter, cream
cheese, and powdered sugar. Add milk to bring frosting to desired creaminess. Ice the
cakes as you normally would. Be generous between the layers, as you usually have
leftover icing. Layer the cakes (it's a 3 layer cake). Take the cooled pecans and lay
them on the outside, pushing into the frosting, but not the top of the icing, so that it's
coated all around with buttered pecans. Keep in a cool area.
Note: I make this at Christmas or any "special occasion". I think this icing would be
awesome on the carrot cake muffins, (just don't use the pecans).


1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 c. sugar
1 c. buttermilk, room temperature
4 egg yolks (reserve the egg whites!)
1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. rum flavoring (located near
vanilla in spice aisle)
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 egg whites

Heat oven to 350 degrees. *Grease and flour 3 cake pans. Cream together butter,
cream cheese, and sugar. Add egg yolks, vanilla, rum, water, and buttermilk. Sift all
dry ingredients together, and add to the mixture, mixing well. In a separate bowl, beat
egg whites until fluffy and soft peaks form. Fold beaten egg whites into the cake
mixture. Place into the 3 pans evenly and bake for 40 minutes. Cool on racks.* Serve
with butter pecan frosting.
Note: Awesome cake recipe with a great "WOW" factor when this is served. I not
only grease and flour the pan, I also add a circle (pan-sized) piece of wax paper to the
base of a greased and floured pan. Remove the wax when the cakes cool.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cincinnati Sauerkraut Balls Page 2

I brown the sausage a little first, then add the onions.Chop the sausage up, with the spatula, into tiny bits, so each ball has a bit of sausage.

I like to mix in all the smaller ingredients into the cream cheese first.

Make sure the sauerkraut has been squeezed very dry. I use a colander and the base of my hand. Don't rinse the sauerkraut, either!

I like to add the warmed sausage and onions as it sort of melts the cream cheese and allows for a thorough mixture.

Refrigerate for a few hours so you can form the balls easier.

It goes flour, water/egg (I only used 2T. water & 2 eggs for 35 balls!)Place on cookie sheet.

Be ready to go with very hot oil! Paper towel on cooling racks. Be careful! We did 4-5 balls at a time until they were browned and crunchy.

Outside is hot and crunchy and the inside is warm and creamy. You can cool them and freeze at this point.

1 (32-oz.) jar sauerkraut, drained and pressed
2 T. sweet hot mustard
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 1-lb. breakfast sausage (Like Bob Evan's)
1/2 c. chopped onion
4 T. fine dry bread crumbs (in the mix)
1 (8-oz.) cream cheese at room temperature
4 T. chopped flat leaf parsley
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 c. all purpose flour
4 eggs
4 T. water
1 c. fine bread crumbs (for rolling) 1 bottle Cooking oil for deep fat frying
In a large skillet cook sausage and onion until sausage is brown. Drain.
Drain sauerkraut, pressing out as much liquid as you can. In a large mixing bowl add sauerkraut, sausage mixture, 4 T. bread crumbs, cream cheese, parsley, mustard,
garlic salt and pepper. Cover and chill several hours or overnight. (You can freeze it at this stage, but I freeze after frying) Put flour in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat eggs with water until combined. Put 1 cup bread crumbs in a third
container. Using about 2 T. of sauerkraut mixture, form into balls. (It’s easier to do all at once). Roll the balls into the flour, then the egg mixture, and then the bread crumbs.
Fry a few at a time in deep hot fat (365 degrees) for about 2 minutes or until brown.
Remove from fat with a slotted spoon. Drain on a paper towel. Transfer to a baking
sheet. You can keep these warm in an oven at 275 degrees. I freeze mine at this stage
and reheat in an oven 350 degrees until warmed with no problems. This recipe yields
50-60 balls. That is a "2 bite ball" we made a 1 inch scoop and it yielded 35 "3 bite balls".

How To Cut a Pepper

The goal is to have a nice even dice, with no seeds.
First cut off the top, then then bottom. Then cut through the side and go around the pepper, careful to not disturb the seeds! Cut away in "squares" and make even julienne strips. Cut the strips into even diced peppers. Tah-dah! You can freeze this for quick soups and stews. They will be a little mushy....but it's stew, who cares?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

From Rita Heikenfeld ~ Freezing Food

To freeze - or not to freeze? Foods that freeze well & those that don't
Posted by RitaHeikenfeld at 9/7/2009 12:55 PM EDT on
Here's the deal:
Foods that freeze well:
Red meat - 4-12 months
Poultry - 9 to 12 months
Seafood - 3 to 6 months
Raw bacon - 1 to 2 months
Some casseroles - 1 to 4 months
Soups, stews & stocks - 2 to 4 months
Cooked legumes 4-6 months
Whole berries - 8 to 12 months
Peeled ripe bananas - 2 to 4 weeks
Blanched veggies - 2 to 12 months, depending on the veggie
Bread - 6 to 8 months (wrap well!)
Pie dough - 6 to 8 weeks
Nuts - 6 to 12 months
Butter - 6 to 9 months
Egg whites - 12 months
Flour (like whole grains, all purpose, etc.) - 6 to 12 months (check whole grains after 6 months)
Foods that don't freeze well:
High moisture veggies like lettuce, celery & cabbage get watery.
Cream and custard fillings separate.
Meringue toughens.
Milk undergoes flavor changes
Sour cream and yogurt separate (i've had luck whisking them a bit before using)
Heavy cream usually won't whip after it's been frozen, but it's OK to use.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


They say you eat with your eyes first!

I line up my veggies in order of cook time.

I had my lagest skillet and still made a mess.

Love these noodles!

Adding pesto to the veggies

Making the bechamel sauce, thickening

Adding the nutmeg

Chopping basil in a "chiffonade"

Ricotta cheese mixture ingredients

Layering the lasagna

The finished produce with a fluffy top ~ Yum.

olive oil salt pepper to taste
2 c. onions chopped nutmeg to taste (for bechamel sauce)
4 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 lbs. whole milk ricotta
3 zucchini, diced 8 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 cup shredded carrots optional
6 oz. mushrooms, sliced 2 T. fresh basil, chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, diced 2 1/2 c. mozzarella, divided
1/2 c. pesto, home made or prepared 1 1/2 c. Parmesan, divided
3 T. unsalted butter 3 eggs
2 T. flour 1 box of Barilla no bake lasagne noodles,divided in thirds
2 c. whole milk
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, add carrots and cook a few minutes more. Then add zucchini, peppers and garlic and cook. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Place all veggies in a large bowl, set aside. Heat more olive oil and cook mushrooms. Add cooked mushrooms to vegetable mixand stir in 1/2 cup pesto sauce and coat well. Set aside. Bechamel Sauce: In a heavy saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat. Whisk in flour. Return to heat and cook flour 1-2 minutes, don't let it brown. Remove from heat and whisk in milk. Return to heat and whisk until thick. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg (to taste). Set aside.

Ricotta mix: Combine ricotta, spinach, basil, 1/2 c. mozzarella, eggs,and 1 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Grease a 9 x 13 and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take 1/3 of the bechamel sauce and place in the bottom of the pan. Lay 1/3 the noodles over the sauce. Layer 1/2 of the vegetables next and then the ricotta mixture. Spreading evenly as you go. Place 1 cup of mozzarella over next. Lay another 1/3 of the noodles. Repeat bechamel sauce layer, vegetable layer and then the
last 1/3 of the noodles. Spread the ricotta over noodles and cover with all of the remaining cheeses. Bake 45 minutes until nicely browned.

Note: You can find the home made pesto recipe in the "This and That" section of this
book. Don't be afraid to season each layer. Careful on the nutmeg, as it can over
power the dish.