Thursday, December 17, 2009

BBQ Beef

This recipe came from my sister-in-law, Cara. We had it a few years back at a family gathering and it's become a family favorite. The best part is that you fix it and then forget it for the rest of the day.

3 lbs. boneless chuck roast
1 ½ cups ketchup
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup white vinegar
2 TBL Dijon-style or regular mustard
2 TBL Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke flavoring
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder

Place chuck roast in Crockpot. Combine remaining ingredients in mixing bowl. Pour barbecue sauce mixture over chuck roast. Cover and cook LOW 8-10 hours. Remove roast and shred meat with fork. Place shredded meat back in Crockpot. Stir meat to evenly coat with sauce....usually best if it can sit for about 30 minutes after you've shreeded the meat. Spoon meat onto sandwich buns...or if you're picky like my kids, you can just eat the meat without the bread.

This seriously makes SO MUCH! We ate this twice this week, and I still had plenty to put another meal in the freezer.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Balls

This is a treat I remember my mom making almost every Christmas. Maybe this is why my favorite candy is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Sydney and I made the peanut butter balls while the kids were at school. We dipped them in the chocoloate later that night. When searching for the recipes, I found out they are actually called "Buckeyes"...who knew!? :)

1 1/2 cups peanut butter + 2 TBL
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. The dough will look dry (VERY DRY!!!). Roll into 1" balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Press a toothpick into the top of each ball to be used later as the handle for dipping and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. (I just put mine in the fridge since it was several hours until we would be dipping them...I should have put them in the freezer for a few minutes just before we started. A few balls fell off the toothpicks as we were dipping them.)

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth. When chocolate is melted, stir in 2 TBL of peanut butter. (This is my own addition to the original recipe :). Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like buckeyes. Put back on cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.

My mom always put the peanut butter balls in mini muffin cup liners and just spooned the chocolate over top.

Candy Cane Cookies

I wanted to make a cookie the kids could help with...and make something different than sugar cookies since we'll already make these w/ our nativity cookie scene next week. I remember these cookies from treat plates when I was little. I've always thought they were tasty and thought they would be fun and do-able for the kids. By far, they are not perfect candy cane shape but we had lots of fun! Here's the recipe I used. I made the recipe twice...once for the red dough and once for the white dough.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp almond extract (I didn't have to I just used more vanilla)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red food coloring

Cream together the shortening, butter, sugar, egg, and extracts. In a separate bowl, mix flour and salt and add to shortening mixture. Divide dough in half (or make another batch of dough:). Blend red food coloring into one half. Roll about 1 tsp of the red dough and 1 tsp of the white dough on a lightly floured surface into about 4" strips. Place strips side by side and press lightly together and twist like a rope. Curve top of rope down to look like the handle of a candy cane. Bake 9 minutes or until lightly browned at 350 degrees. Remove while still warm. Sprinkle w/ 1/2 cup of crushed candy cane and sugar...we used peppermint sprinkles mixed with sugar. When searching for a recipe of these cookies, I found a lot that just used a sugar cookie recipe w/ an extra 2 TBL of flour...think I'll give that a try next time.

Frog Eye Salad

This salad has always been a family favorite. I took this salad once for a preschool event and no one had EVER heard of it. They were all quick to try it out because of it's unique name. One of my friends likes it so much that she makes it before they go camping and takes it with them. Since it makes a HUGE salad, they eat it the whole camping trip. Dave loves to take it to work potlucks also because of the name...always a conversation starter. 'Tis the season for potlucks so I whipped up this batch of "Frog Eye Salad" yesterday. ETA: Can you believe there was another frog eye salad at his work lunch??? Needless to say, we ate this salad for a long time! The recipe comes directly from the Acini de Pepe box. Here is a picture of what the box looks like that the pasta, acini de pepe, looks like.

1 cup sugar
2 TBL flour
2 1/2 tsp salt (divided)
1 3/4 cup pineapple juice (from canned fruit)
2 eggs, beaten
1 TBL lemon juice

Combine sugar, flour, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Gradually stir in pineapple juice and beaten eggs. Cook over moderate heat, stirring until thickened. Add lemon juice and cool mixture to room temperature. Set aside.

3 quarts water
1 TBL cooking oil
1 pkg (16 oz) Acini de Pepe
3 cans (11 oz each) Mandarian Oranges (drained)
2 cans (20 oz each) Pineapple tidbits (drained, save)
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple (drained, save)
1 carton (9 oz) cool whip
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup coconut

Bring water and remaining 2 tsp of salt and oil to a boil. Add Acini de Pepe. Cook to a royal boil until done. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and cool to room temp. Combine egg mixture, Acini de Pepe mixture lightly but thoroughly. Refrigerate overnight in air tight container. Add remaining ingredients. Mix lightly but thoroughly. Can be refrigerated up to one week. Serves at least 25.

Banana Bread

It's baking season at our house and yesterday was a busy day! I made two batches of this yummy banana bread. It's my mom's recipe so it's always the stand-by.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3-5 bananas (did you know you can FREEZE over-ripe bananas? I just stick them in a ziplock until I have enough to make banana bread or have time to do it :)
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour
1 cup nuts

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add mashed bananas. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add nuts. Pour into 2 well greased bread pans (I usually do one large pan and then 5 mini loaf pans). Bake at 350 for 1 hour...the mini loafs usually only take about 35 minutes so keep an eye on them.