Saturday, December 31, 2011

marinated cheese









This marinated cheese is one of my favorite appetizers served with Triscuits, of course. 

marinated cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons minced green onions
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2 ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained
1 (8 ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese
1 (8 ounce) block any white cheese


Chop green onions and parsley until fine.
Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, basil, salt and pepper.  Add garlic, onions, parsley and pimiento and combine well.  Set marinade aside.
Slice cheese into 1/4-inch slices.  Arrange cheese slices alternately in shallow dish.  Pour marinade over cheese slices.  Cover and marinate 8 hours.

 


 

favorite scrubber ever!









Last week my husband and I went on a date.  A real date.  Just us, no kids.  It was FUN!  We had lunch then went shopping downtown.  The last time we went downtown our kids were with us and we decided to pop into an overpriced furniture store.  Our younger two were admiring themselves in an expensive mirror and broke it.  For not intending on buying anything that day we ended up buying something after all, darn it.  This time we were alone (just the two of us) so we put our disguises on and stepped into the overpriced furniture store.  This store has a neat kitchen section so my husband began his quest for the perfect scrubber.  Most of the bristles were far too stiff which causes water, food and grime to splatter everywhere but this felt absolutely perfect.  We took it home and filled it with soap and went to work on a sink full of dirty dishes (actually, we had to wait until we had a sink full of dishes).  This scrubber has to be the perfect scrubber.

favorite scrubber ever!
Made by OXO 
You probably do not have to go into an overpriced furniture store with a kitchen section to get one which means your children will not break an overpriced mirror so this purchase will cost you a mere $7.99 (plus tax if you do not live in Oregon) and worth every penny.  I think the refills were 2 for $5.  You can get one at Amazon.com!

Friday, December 30, 2011

chocolate eclair dessert

















This is a dessert recipe that my friend Ruth used to make when she hosted WACAMOA and PIM events.  I've always wanted to make this recipe but never got around to it due to a few bad swans.  You see, I learned how to make pate a choux (fancy name for cream puffs) in college and enjoyed making something so fancy...that is until one day my beautiful pate a choux swans didn't work out.  My heart was crushed and I never made them again.  That sounds pretty pitiful.  Anyway, I rolled up my sleeves this afternoon and decided not to fret.  This dessert turned out to be a big hit.

chocolate eclair dessert (my friend Ruth D.)
1 stick butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup flour
4 eggs
2 small packages instant vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounce container Cool Whip

Bring to boil water, butter and salt.  Remove from heat, cool slightly and add the flour.  Stir well with a wire whisk.  Add the eggs 1 at a time stirring well between.  Spread the mixture onto a large greased baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  It bakes up puffy and lumpy.  Mix the pudding with 3 cups milk, add the cream cheese and beat well.   Spread the pudding onto the cooled crust.  Top with Cool Whip.  Drizzle with chocolate syrup and nuts.

What I have to say- I cooked my pastry on two half-size baking sheets because my refrigerator is not wide enough to store a full size baking sheet...just something to keep in mind.  Makes a ton!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

fried ice cream









My girls made won ton tacos tonight so I thought we should definitely give this recipe a try for dessert.  This dessert is terrific!  My husband took a bite and said, "This is amazing!"  This will be a fun dessert to pull out when guests are over because it is really good and it's unique.

fried ice cream (blog: Cookbook Junkies
2 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened
5 cups Rice Krispies or cornflakes
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, optional
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Melt butter and add brown sugar and cinnamon.  Add cereal and nuts.  Put 1/2 of mixture in bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Scoop softened ice cream over mixture.  Put remaining cereal mixture over ice cream and freeze 4-5 hours before serving.  Cut into squares and serve with caramel, chocolate and strawberries.


What I have to say-  Instead of using a 9x13-inch pan I used two 8x8-inch pans so I can pull one out another time.

artichoke cheese squares









I have always loved these.  They are soft, savory, tangy and just down-right.  My mom used to make them for all sorts of special occasions when I was a kid- baby showers, bridal showers, etc.  When she made them I always got one and only one before she was off to the event.  One artichoke cheese square?  One?  I was always so disappointed.  So this time I ate half the pan as an appetizer before dinner and since my kids don't care for them I ate a few more at 2am when I couldn't fall back to sleep.  Now that I'm the mom I can have as many as I want.

artichoke cheese squares (my mom)
2 jars marinated artichoke hearts
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 eggs
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon oregano
dash hot sauce
1/2 pound grated Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Drain the marinade from one jar of the artichokes into a large skillet.  Drain and discard the marinade from the second jar.  Chop the artichokes and set aside.  Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook and stir until the onion is tender then add the artichokes.  Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the crumbs, salt, pepper, oregano, and onion mixture.  Stir in the hot sauce, grated cheese and parsley.  Turn into a 7x11-inch greased baking dish.  Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool in them pan then cut into 2-inch squares.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

thai ribbons

















This is one of the very first recipes I made in college as part of my meats class.  I took this recipe home and made it for my family during Christmas break that first year and my family loved it.  I think they still make it.  My own little family loves it.  You really do have to buy the flank steak- it's very tender and you can eat it right off the skewer, which kids love.  They'll eat anything on a stick!  Serve it up with some nice jasmine rice and broccoli or you can serve it with our wedding salad which was a huge hit.

thai ribbons (meats class with Carma Sutherland)
1 pound flank steak
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon each finely chopped ginger root and vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, can be toasted

Soak 30 6-inch bamboo skewers.  Combine teriyaki sauce, ginger root, oil, garlic and red pepper.  Cut steak, across grain, into 1/4-inch thick slices; place slices in a plastic bag.  Pour marinade over steak, turning to coat.  Tie bag securely and marinate 15 minutes.  Pour off marinade.  Thread each slice onto a bamboo skewer.  Place ribbons on rack in broiler pan so surface of meat is 3-4 inches from heat.  Broil 2 minutes on each side.  Sprinkle with sesame seed.

Monday, December 26, 2011

tricolor tortellini salad









When I started teaching in the state of California I was hired with an emergency credential with the intention of becoming credentialed in that state.  I decided to take coursework in reading instruction and ended up enrolling in that master's program with my mom!  All of us were working during the day and taking our courses in the afternoon/evening so often times our instructor would let us bring in dishes to share.  One gal brought in this dish and I said to my mom, "I want this salad at my wedding!".  I think I may have met my husband several weeks prior to this comment and the sweet girl whose heart he broke a couple months previously was in a master's program just down the hall!  I remember feeling really guilty when I used a pay phone to call him and she walked past.  It turns out we did end up serving this salad at our wedding about a year and a half later.


tricolor tortellini salad
2 package (10 ounces each) tricolor tortellini
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 green onions, cut into 2" pieces
2 tablespoons parsley
1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
8 ounces feta cheese
1/3 cup sliced black olives


Cook tortellini as directed on package.  Drain and cool.
Chop basil, onions, parsley and dill and place in a blender.  Add salt, pepper, oil and vinegar.  Process until well blended.  Toss tortellini with dressing, tomatoes, cheese and olives.  Refrigerate until serving.

yummy, fattening, delicious rolls









Yummy, fattening, delicious rolls.  Yep, that's what my friend Leslie named them.  She brought them to a Christmas party (or was it Thanksgiving? or was it just a dinner for no particular reason?) our family hosted a couple years ago.  I remember thinking they were gorgeous and almost felt guilty that she spent so much time on them.  She said she just used Rhodes rolls.  That's when she and our friend Annie had a little conversation about how great Rhodes rolls are and why would you ever make homemade when you can buy them just as good or better.  I had never heard of Rhodes before but I believe just about everything these good women tell me.  We enjoyed these rolls with our Christmas dinner last night.  We had raclette.

yummy, fattening, delicious rolls (my friend Leslie S.)
Rhodes rolls, frozen (you can buy a bag of 36)
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons onion flakes
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Dip frozen rolls in herbs/butter, thaw and cook according to package directions.

What I have to say- Leslie also uses a "Jamaican Jerk" or creole seasoning.  Simple dip the rolls into butter then into the creole seasoning.  She says those are pretty darn tasty too.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

peanut butter cream cheese brownies









I had forgotten about these brownies until a friend dropped off a Christmas treat and mentioned that she would like the recipe.  Here it is!  I am sure I copied it from the blog Brown Paper Packages then adapted it a bit but I can't find it on the site anymore.

peanut butter cream cheese brownies 
1 box family-size brownie mix, baked according to package directions
1 package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
5 tablespoons butter


Bake your brownie mix according to package directions then let cool completely.  Beat the cream cheese until fluffy then add peanut butter and mix well.  Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the brownies evenly.  Refrigerate until you are ready to cut and serve.

seasoned salmon steaks









Hall of Fame!  These seasoned salmon steaks are outstanding.  My husband said, "This is the best salmon I've ever had."  He helped himself to two salmon steaks.  I love it when that happens.

seasoned salmon steaks (my friend Shelli got the recipe from Taste of Home's Quick Cooking, Jan/Feb 2000)
6 salmon steaks (Costco sells delicious salmon!)
1/2 cup butter, melted (I used 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Place salmon on greased broiler rack.  Broil 8-10 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a bowl; mix well.  Brush some over salmon.  Turn and broil 10 minutes longer.

What I have to say- I do not like cleaning broiler pans so I simple placed some foil in a casserole pan.  Worked great!

mint truffles









When it comes to fancy desserts, my friend Kiana is a rock star.  She was embarrassed to give this recipe to me because it is clearly not her fanciest of recipes but I had to call her immediately after trying them for the recipe.  These truffles are absolutely delicious.  Let me make one thing clear- I will not be dipping truffles or go through any more effort than is required to make these- why would I?  My family was in heaven.

mint truffles (my friend Kiana)
1 bag Guittard milk chocolate chips
1 bag Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (8 ounce) tub Cool Whip topping
bag of mint M&Ms, crushed

In a glass bowl placed over a pot with simmering water, melt chocolate chips.  Take off the stove and beat in (by hand) Cool Whip until smooth and creamy (will go through an "ugly lumpy" stage).  Freeze for 1-2 hours.  Form into balls then roll into crushed mint M&Ms.

What Kiana has to say- you can roll these beauties into whatever you want.  She likes to roll them into crushed red and pink M&Ms at Valentine's Day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

sugar cone christmas trees









I completely forgot we made these last year until I took a little walk down memory lane by looking at last year's photos.  These were so easy (from a hostess point of view) and really fun.  In our family we have a tradition- we don't eat the candy off our gingerbread houses, sugar cone trees or sugar cookie trees until New Year's Eve.  At that time it's a total free-for-all and I am always sure to have my video camera ready.

sugar cone christmas trees
sugar cones
royal icing to secure trees to plates (but I think I boiled down sugar)
tub of commercial icing
food coloring (if you wish)
lots of candy!

All you do is secure the trees to the paper plate with royal icing.  Decorate the trees with icing and candy!  The bigger the forest the better.

Friday, December 16, 2011

bavarian mint fudge









I decided I needed another chocolatey minty treat to send to my niece who is serving a mission in Nebraska (one of the luxuries of a state-side mission- packages are easy to send!) so decided to try this recipe.  Am I glad I did!  This fudge is absolutely delicious.  My husband had a piece last night and said, "Wow this is good."  He had another piece today and his response was just as good.  I had almost forgotten that it was not his first time tasting it.  This fudge was a hit with the entire family!

bavarian mint fudge (Taste of Home)
1 1/2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon butter, divided
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 package milk chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
peppermint sugar sprinkles "sparkles" for the top

Line an 11x7-inch pan with foil and grease the foil with 1 1/2 teaspoons butter; set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and remaining butter until smooth (I did this on the stove).  Stir in milk and extracts until well blended.  Spread into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with "sparkles".  Refrigerate until set.  Store in the refrigerator.  Yield: about 2 1/2 pounds

What I have to say- I was afraid this fudge wasn't going to turn out.  When I added the milk the fudge wanted to start setting right away!  I did my best to quickly get it into the pan and spread out.  This fudge got harder than any fudge I've ever made but if you leave it at room temperature before you cut it, it will soften perfectly.

mom's chocolate crinkle cookies









These are a variation of a choco-nut crinkle recipe my mom used to make.  They are a cinch to make and taste rich and chocolatey.  I decided to make these for my niece who is serving a mission in Nebraska.  When I asked her what she likes she said chocolate + mint.  I just got back from the post office where I sent a whole lot of Christmas Merry"mint".  I hope she has a sweet tooth!

mom's chocolate crinkle cookies (my mom)
1 chocolate cake mix
1 stick butter. melted
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or white or mint or butterscotch...)

In a bowl, combine chocolate cake mix, butter, egg and water.  Add 1 cup chocolate chips.  Form into 1-inch  balls and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

What I have to say- my mom always used oil but I find that they stay fresh longer if you use butter instead.  This time I dipped the cookies in crushed candy canes before baking.

hello dolly cookies









This is another cookie my grandma always made at Christmastime.  It's super yummy!  This cookie reminds me of my Grandma's and Grandpa's love for both Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.  They used to take me places in their VW Westfalia and pop in cassette tapes and hum along while we drove down the highway.  My personal favorite was always The Gambler.  I cherish those simple memories.

hello dolly cookies (my grandma Betty Mae)
1 stick butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 (6 ounce ) package chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Melt butter in a 9x9-inch baking pan.  Layer the rest of the ingredients and pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until light brown.

What I have to say- I doubled the recipe and put it in a 9x13.  Baking time was the same.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

star cookie tree












I pulled this photo from our archives.  This was two moves ago when we decorated sugar cookie trees with our good friends.  Aren't those two little girls darling?  They were BFFs (from 18 months to 4 1/2 years old) and I still wonder if they will hook up again in college someday.  As luck would have it, a few years ago we hooked up with them briefly at our hotel room after missing a connecting flight and our girls were giggling like old times within minutes.  The good 'ol days.

star cookie trees
I used my grandma's sugar cookie recipe and cut out stars of different sizes then we stacked them using thick icing (royal icing works best).  For taller trees, use two stars of each size.

favorite old fashioned gingerbread cake

















It was my turn to teach preschool today so I chose the book "The Gingerbread Boy".  We decorated gingerbread boy ornaments and decorated real gingerbread cakes.  This was the first gingerbread cake I've ever made.  I have to say this is a great recipe and I anticipate it will become tradition.  After baking five of these cakes I could've made another in my sleep!  Every year we like to decorate something- gingerbread houses, gingerbread boys, cookie trees, sugar cookies, etc.  It's the most wonderful time of the year!

favorite old fashioned gingerbread cake (allrecipes.com)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan.  In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter.  Beat in the egg and mix in the molasses.  In a bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  Blend into the creamed mixture.  Stir in the hot water.  Pour into the prepared pan.  Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven (it took mine 45 minutes), until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan before serving.

P.S. I am sure that I only used 1/2 cup of molasses because I was distracted!  Nevertheless, it was perfect so I'll probably stick with that (molasses is expensive!).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

grandma's peanut butter cookies

















My grandma made these peanut butter cookies every year at Christmastime.  They are delicious!  She always used Skippy peanut butter and that's what was in our pantry while growing up and that's what is in my pantry now.  Some things never change.  I am baking like crazy and plan to send all of Grandma's favorites to my family just in time for Christmas.


grandma's peanut butter cookies (my grandma Betty Mae)
Mix together:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
Stir in:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


Chill cough.  Roll into balls the size of large walnuts.  Place 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet.  Flatten with fork- criosscross.  Bake until set but not hard at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

sundae with marshmallow peppermint sauce
























My oldest is loving life right now.  Smoothies, milkshakes, Bowl Noodle (her favorite soup), sodas and now a sundae with marshmallow peppermint sauce!  Oh I forgot to mention how comfortable she is on the couch watching movie after movie.  After having 6 teeth extracted this kid hasn't dozed off once.  Not once.  She's not going to sleep through two days out of school.  No way.  She's going to enjoy every minute of her time off.
This peppermint sauce is great and festive too!  I think the next time we try it we ought to pour it over some chocolate ice cream.  Is two sundaes in one day too much?  I think not.  Or try it on top of a gingerbread waffle.  Delightful!

sundae with marshmallow peppermint sauce (blogs: Taste and Tell and Cafe Zupas)
1 cup crushed candy canes
1 cup cream
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the candy canes have melted.  Sore in the refrigerator.  Serve over ice cream.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

What I have to say- it didn't get as thick as I wanted to I added about a tablespoon of  Wondra to thicken it up a bit.

graham cracker & applesauce delight









I just had to add this "recipe" to the cookbook for two reasons- my kids love it and this treat brings back old college memories.  My very first roommate introduced me to layering graham crackers, applesauce and whipped cream, something I'd never seen before.   When I bring this treat out after school for a snack my kids go wild with excitement.  It also makes a great snack for any 9-year old who has recently had 6 teeth extracted, like my oldest.  She had a few of these yesterday afternoon!

graham cracker & applesauce delight (my first roommate Liz)
several graham crackers, broken in half
several big spoonfuls of no-sugar-added applesauce
several big squirts of aerosol whipped cream

Simply layer it all on a plate or in a bowl (I prefer a bowl).  The best way to eat it is to make a mess out of it, breaking up the graham crackers with your fork or spoon and making sure the whipped cream gets spread in, out and all around.

Monday, December 12, 2011

fresh christmas potpourri









This potpourri is fresh, beautiful and delightful.  I have a habit of saving gifts until the perfect moment in which to use them.  This morning my oldest had six teeth extracted so today was the perfect day to receive this gift.  We aren't going anywhere so will stay indoors and enjoy the fragrance of Christmas all day long.

fresh christmas potpourri (my friend Shelli)
1 orange wedge
1 lemon wedge
1 tablespoon whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 handful of fresh cranberries
2-4 cinnamon sticks

Combine ingredient with water and simmer for as long as it smells good!

pumpkin spice steamer (steamed milk drinks)












This year I couldn't wait to give my husband his birthday present.  On our first date he took me to a symphony followed by steamed milk at a little corner cafe on a busy street in his funky college town.  I'd never had steamed milk before but I liked it and I certainly enjoyed being with him, chatting in a cafe.  It sort of felt like we should have the starring roles in a romantic movie.
I thought I'd have to buy an appliance that would cost a few hundred dollars to create a frothy drink at home- I am pleased to report that I was wrong.  I saw this post and knew I had my answer.  This aerolatte is awesome!  We spent the morning drinking all sorts of fluffy, frothy drinks, both hot and cold.  Mmmmm!  The following recipe is great...or you could use Almond Roca syrup with whipped cream and chocolate sauce drizzled on top!

pumpkin spice steamer (idea from blog: Your Home Based Mom)
milk
pumpkin spice syrup
whipped cream
caramel sauce
aerolatte (I got my husband's at amazon.com or Bed, Bath and Beyond has them!)

In a latte cup (now I know I need to pick those up!), fill 1/3 full with milk.  Warm in the microwave if you'd like your drink warm or hot.  Add some syrup then use your aerolatte to foam it up.  Top with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

curried couscous with peas and carrots









I love to eat whole grains but they whole can get rather boring after a while.  This was a really nice way to add a little more flavor and complimented our grilled steak quite well.

curried couscous with peas and carrots (cookbook by Robin Miller)
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup couscous (I used whole grain)
1 1/2 cups mixed frozen peas and carrots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the broth and curry in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the couscous and peas and carrots and stir to combine.  Remove from the heat, cover and let stand until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Fluff the couscous with a fork and fold in the cilantro.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

leslie's italian soup









Absolutely delicious!  Leslie sent this recipe as a bonus along with a roll recipe that I requested and said "You will thank me for this one.  It's awesome."  She's totally right.  She said it's huge so either freeze some or give some to lots of friends.  Yes, it's huge but no, I'm not sharing.  My family loves soup.  We're going to eat the whole batch ourselves...but don't feel too bad because now you have the recipe so you can go and make yourself some.  Big hit!

leslie's italian soup (my friend Leslie S.)
2 pounds Italian sausage
2 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons garlic

12 cups beef broth
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon basil
16 ounces tomato sauce
4 cups tortellini

Brown sausage with onion and garlic in a very large pot.  Drain (oops! didn't see that part).  Then add broth, vegetables, spices and tomato sauce.  Simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.  Then add tortellini. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese

curried chicken salad

















I was in the mood for this sandwich and it just so happened I had all the ingredients on hand from plain shredded chicken to the cashews that I just picked up from Costco!  These delicious sandwiches should be served on croissants but I am on a whole wheat bagel kick so that's what I had and it was fabulous.  Healthier too.

curried chicken salad (adapted from my cousin Emily)
4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
3/4 cup each mayonnaise (I used light) and Miracle Whip
1 teaspoon curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
cashews


Mix together chicken, parsley, green onions, mayo, Miracle Whip, curry powder and salt and pepper.  You can either add some cashews and serve right away or you can refrigerate it over night for more flavor.  Add cashews before serving (inside the chicken salad, on top or both!).


What I have to say- I like to cook my chicken in a slow cooker because I find that it always tastes better and is more tender than boiling it as the original recipe called for.  I also like to add the cashews right before serving so they stay crunchy and keep their flavor- another way I adjusted the recipe.

marshmallow road fudge









This is the fudge that my grandma made every year at Christmastime.  Some with nuts and some without.  This was the first time I'd made her recipe and hers was definitely more attractive.  She had marshmallowy bumps on the top and all throughout.  Practice makes perfect, I suppose.  I used to insert my favorite recipes at the end of our monthly family newsletters and I remember my mom telling me that my grandma made my fudge recipe and really liked it.  I was honored and surprised that after all those years she would try my recipe.  Yesterday my 1st grader invited two friends to come over after school.  They were wild and crazy like 1st graders are and when I asked if they wanted a treat they came running.  They gobbled it right up and didn't leave a trace.  Kids and marshmallows always agree.

marshmallow road fudge (my grandma Betty Mae)
3/4 cup broken walnuts
2 cups sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (12 ounce) package or 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups tiny marshmallows

Sprinkle walnuts evenly over bottom of prepared 9x9x2-inch pan; set aside.  Butter sides of heavy 2-quart saucepan.  In it, combine sugar, milk and salt.  Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring to rolling boil and boil 2 minutes (222 degrees), stirring frequently to prevent sticking.  Remove from heat; immediately stir in chocolate and vanilla.  Beat until chocolate is melted and blended.  Cover walnuts with half of fudge mixture.  Top with tiny marshmallows pressing them gently into fudge.  Spread with remaining fudge.  Chill and cut.

Below is the fudge recipe I like to use.  I think the butter and marshmallow cream make a creamier texture.  I will use my recipe with the idea of the marshmallows for marshmallow road next time.

fantasy fudge (found on the back of the jar of marshmallow creme- maybe Kraft?)
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
5 ounces evaporated milk, about 2/3 cup
1 bag chocolate chips
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat sugar, butter and evaporated milk to full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil on medium heat until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees, about 4 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in chocolate and marshmallow creme until melted; stir in vanilla.  Spread in a greased 9-inch square pan.  Cool at room temperature at least 4 hours.  Cut into 1" squares.  Makes 3 pounds or 40 servings, 2 squares each.