Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Category Archives: Holidays

BBQ Jalapeno Poppers

As you can see, it’s been a long time since my last post.  Summer was a crazy whirlwind that just flew by for me and now we are almost at the end of September!  Life just got in the way of my postings here.  Thank you to all of you who emailed me to ask if everything was okay.  I’m back to share some delicious recipes with you.

I’ll start by sharing one I know many of you have tried.  If you haven’t tried them, you must!  I’ve seen a number of recipes for these online and I actually have a traditional version of these Jalapeno Poppers I normally make.  The ones that you deep fry.  They are to die for as well, but I’ll share those with you on another day. 

This version I used was from Ree Drummond’s book The Pioneer Woman Cooks.  I looked at them so many times and finally this summer I made them for the first time.  Ree is not lying when she tells you how addictive these things are.  I’ve made them several times since, and most recently to use up all the peppers I had overflowing my plants in the garden. 

BBQ JALAPENO POPPERS

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond

  • 18 Fresh Jalapenos
  • 1 – 8 oz. Package Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese ( I grated mine finely and probably used about 3/4 cup)
  • Green Onion, sliced (I omitted this)
  • 18 Slices Thin Bacon, cut into halves
  • Bottled Barbecue Sauce
  • 36 Toothpicks
  • **Rubber Gloves for working with peppers

**The reason I put those two ** next to “wearing gloves while working with the peppers” is because I’ve seen many people suggest this when working with hot peppers.  I have never had a problem using bare hands when cutting up hot peppers.  However, I’m probably just not sensitive to them as some people are, so if you aren’t sure or if you know you are sensitive to them, take the advice and use the rubber gloves.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  (Ree’s recipe suggests 275 degrees, but I found that to not work for me.)

Wash and dry the peppers and cut into halves.  I cut off the stems as well, but you can leave them on.

With a spoon, scrape out the seeds and membrane from each pepper and throw away.

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and the green onions if you are using them.

Fill each pepper half with the cheese mixture and set to the side.

Take a piece of bacon and wrap it around each pepper.  Secure with a toothpick.

Brush each pepper with some barbecue sauce.

I place these on a baking rack and cover the sheet pan the baking rack sits in with aluminum foil.  This way when the bacon fat drips you won’t be scrubbing it off the bottom pan.  Just throw away the foil and your job is done.

Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes. 

Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly and serve. 

I promise you that Ree is right.  There is no way you can stop eating these things!

Enjoy!

 

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Cornbread Casserole

When I was cleaning my bedroom the other day I came across a book I had forgotten I bought.  Last year my son’s school had a book fair and I picked up Taste of Home’s “Fast Fixes with Mixes”. 

I sat looking through it that night and found several easy and tasty looking recipes I wanted to try.  I knew exactly which one I would try first and that was their version of Cornbread Casserole.

It took about 5 minutes to throw together and about another 25 to bake.  Everyone in my house loved it except, of course, my 8-year-old son.  He loves cornbread but was upset that there was real corn in this recipe.  Go figure.  My oldest tore through it.  I served it with my Taco Soup and it was an easy meal on a busy night.

Mix everything together in one bowl!

Pour into greased baking dish.

Bake, scoop and eat!

 

Cornbread Casserole:

From Taste of Home “Fast Fixes with Mixes”

  • 1 – 8.25 oz. Box Cornbread Mix (I used Jiffy)
  • 1 – 14.5 oz Can of whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 – 14.5 oz. Can of Creamed Corn
  • 1 – Large egg
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Paprika

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together well.

The recipe calls for a 11 x 7 x 2 baking dish.  I have a CorningWare dish that is right around that size so I used that.  Grease the baking dish and pour in the mixture.  Spread the mixture with a spatula until level.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until just slightly brown on the top.  You aren’t looking for a deep golden brown because you want this to remain moist.  Mine took 25 minutes exactly on the middle rack.

Serve while hot.  This is moist, rich and sweet, just like I like my cornbread.

Enjoy!

Broccoli, Chicken & Cheese Braid

If you have ever been to a Pampered Chef party you have probably eaten this simple but delicious dish.  The first time I ever had it was at my sister in law’s house one Christmas a few year’s back.  Not long after that I attended a Pampered Chef party my friend had and enjoyed it once again. 

If you have never tried it than you must.  It’s great as an appetizer or as a meal in itself.  Not to mention, it’s an easy way to get broccoli into your children without them complaining.   Even my husband who hates broccoli will eat this and not complain.

And don’t let the presentation intimidate you.  I’m far from artistic and even I can throw this together in a matter of minutes and have it look pretty.

Begin by mixing up all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Set this to the side.  On a large cookie sheet, or better yet, a baking stone, unroll the first package of crescent rolls.  Placing them with the widest part across the top of the cookie sheet. 

Open the second roll of crescent rolls and roll them out the same way, placing them directly under the first roll and pinching the seams together.  Roll out with a rolling-pin until all seams are sealed together and you have a large rectangle.  You can use your hands to shape this out better once you have rolled it together.

Using a sharp paring knife, begin slicing 1 1/2″ – 2″ wide by 3″ long strips down each side of the dough giving you 8 slits on each side.  This should leave you approximately 6″ of solid space down the center of the dough.  Place your filling in this center spot and shape into a rectangle.

Now begin your braiding from the top down.  At the very top you should have a small piece of dough in the center.  Take this and fold it up to the top of the filling.  Then take a strip from the left and cross it over to the right.  Take the strip on the right, and cross it over to the left, overlapping the first strip.

Continue this pattern until you have reached the bottom and have crossed all your side strips of dough over one another.

Once you reach the bottom, fold the bottom flap of dough up to the top and press together to form a seam.

When done, your loaf should look like this.  Or something like it anyway.

Beat 1 egg and brush along entire surface and sides of the dough.  Place in the oven and bake until golden brown.

BROCCOLI, CHICKEN & CHEESE BRAID:

Recipe from Pampered Chef

  • 2 Cups Cooked Chicken, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Fresh Broccoli, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Bell Pepper (I just used 1 small red pepper)
  • 1 Garlic Clove Pressed (I used 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Dried Dill (they call for 2 tsp. of their own dill mix but it tastes just as good using just dried dill)
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • (2) 8 oz. Packages of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 1 Whole Egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. Slivered Almonds (*optional I did not use them)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.. Chop chicken, broccoli and bell pepper and add to a large mixing bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients, except for the egg and the almonds.  Mix together well.

Unroll 1 package of crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of 12″ x 15″ rectangle baking stone or cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining package of dough. Using roller, roll dough to seal perforations. On longest sides of baking stone, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 inches apart, 3 inches deep using a paring knife.. Spread filling evenly over middle of dough. To braid, lift strips of dough across mixture to meet in center, twisting each strip on turn.  Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends under to seal at end of braid. Brush egg over dough using pastry brush. Sprinkle with almonds.  Bake 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.  Using a thin spatula, gently run it along the bottom of the loaf on the pan to loosen.  Place on a cutting board.  Allow to rest for another 5 minutes.  Slice into pieces using a serrated knife. 

Enjoy!

 

Two-Layer Pumpkin Pie

Back in 1993, the year I was married, I received a little holiday recipe booklet put out by Jello-O, Baker’s Chocolate and Diamond Walnuts.  I have that booklet to this day and it’s falling apart.  It has so many wonderful and decadent desserts in it and I think I’ve made all but two of them over the years.  One recipe I’ve made over and over is their Two-Layer Pumpkin Pie.  It’s easy, no bake and a perfect pie to make when someone says they don’t like pumpkin pie.  I’ve had many people say that, try this pie, and change their mind.  It’s not your traditional pumpkin pie – which I love just as much as this one – but is instead a creamy version that I’ve never had a complaint over.

When I decided to post this recipe I looked at the Kraft Recipes site to see if they had it listed and sure enough they did.  The odd part is they’ve changed the recipe a bit and although I haven’t made the newer version of this, I have to wonder how it would work.  The original recipe calls for 4 oz. of cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups of cool whip added to the mix and layered in a 6 oz. graham cracker pie crust.  The new version uses 8 oz. cream cheese and 1 tub of Cool Whip.  I know from making the original version so many times that the two layers just fit into the 6 oz. pie crust, so I’m not sure how the additional amounts would work in that same size crust. 

So please take note that the recipe I share here with you today is the original version of this.  I’m thinking next time I’ll just make the newer version posted at Kraft and then not have an ounce of guilt for eating half the filling before filling the pie shell.  Works for me!

TWO-LAYER PUMPKIN PIE

Recipe from Kraft

  • 4 oz. Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. Milk or Half and Half
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping
  • 1 6 oz. Keebler Ready Crust Graham Cracker Pie Crust
  • 1 Cup Cold Milk or Half and Half (I use 1% milk)
  • 1 packages Jello-Vanilla Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
  • 1 15 oz. Can Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves

Mix cream cheese, 1 tablespoon milk and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer set to low until smooth.  Gently stir in the whipped topping until well combined.  Spread evenly on the bottom of pie crust.

Pour 1 cup milk into bowl.  Add pudding mix.  Using a wire whist beat pudding mix for 1 to 2 minutes or until well blended.  The mixture will be thick.

Stir in the pumpkin and spices with the wire whisk and mix well.  Spoon the pumpkin mixture over the top of the cream mixture in the pie shell and gently spread to evenly cover the cream bottom.  Chill well for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.

Serve with some extra cool whip.  Enjoy!

 

Carmella’s Cookies

When I was a little girl we sometimes went over to Carmella’s house to visit.  Carmella was the sister of my mother’s friend.  Whenever we visited, Carmella always had these cookies on a covered plate on her dining room table.  I would wait patiently for her to grab the plate and ask me, “Would you like one?”  The answer was always yes, and I’m sure she knew it always would be. 

These cookies probably have a hundred different names, but no matter what you call them they are delicious.  I don’t make them often because to me they are a special cookie.  In fact, it’s been a few years since I have made them.  They are cake-like, light yet rich, not too sweet, and just perfect.  Not to mention they are so simple to make, and one recipe yields a ton of these little suckers. 

Start by mixing up your dough.  I use the Kitchen Aid mixer and not the hand-held for this one.  It’s a stiff dough to mix up, and the power of the Kitchen Aid handles it best.

Once the dough is mixed it will be stretchy, not sticky.  Begin grabbing teaspoon sized pieces of dough and rolling them into approximately 1″ size balls.  Place them on an un-greased cookie sheet.  You can space these pretty close together since they are not going to spread, but they will puff up.  I got about 20 of them on this cookie sheet.

 Place them in a pre-heated 350 degree oven and watch them.  These took me about 10 to 12 minutes to finish.  You want them still light-colored  on the top and a light golden brown on the bottom.  These are perfect.  Don’t mind the cracks.  That’s normal for these cookies, and when you glaze them, you are not going to see it anyway.

Set the cookies out on wire racks to cool.  Once cool mix up your glaze.  Your are looking for a consistency like thick, warm syrup.  Dip each cookie into the glaze and swirl it around. 

After dipping, place the cookies on a wire rack with some aluminum foil or wax paper underneath to catch any drips.  Before the icing dries, shake on some sprinkles.  Even if I made these for Christmas, I always use the rainbow-colored nonpareils.  Just call me weird. 

Let them dry and then place them in an airtight container.  Then try not to eat ten of them in one sitting, and yell at your children and their friends when they come over and start stealing your cookies!

CARMELLA’S COOKIES:

  • 1 Cup (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 Cups Sugar
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 4 tsps. Anise, Vanilla OR Almond Extract
  • 6 Cups All Purpose Flour Sifted
  • 6 tsps. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt

GLAZE:

  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1/2 tsp. Almond Extract **Optional**

Wait until you are just ready to glaze the cookies before mixing up the glaze ingredients.  Begin with your powdered sugar in a large bowl and add in 2 Tbsp. of milk.  Stir well.  You are looking for a thick and warm syrup consistency.  If you need to add milk, do so by adding it in 1/2 Tbsp. increments until you reach the desired thickness.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar.  After well blended, add in the eggs one at a time, followed by the extract of your choice.   In a large bowl mix together by hand the sifted flour, baking powder and salt.  Begin adding this to the egg mixture one cup at a time, blending well before adding the next cup. 

Once your dough is completely mixed together, begin pulling off teaspoon size amounts and rolling them into balls.  Place each ball on an ungreased cookie sheet.  You only need about an 1 1/2″ between each cookie.   They won’t really spread, but they will puff up higher.  I am able to get 20 on a standard size cookie sheet.

Bake for anywhere between 10 – 12 minutes, watching cookies closely once you get to the 8 minute mark.   The tops will remain light-colored, but you are looking for a light golden color on the bottoms.

Allow to cool and then mix up your glaze.  Line your surface with some aluminum foil or wax paper, and place your cooling racks on top.  Dip each cookie into the glaze, swirling as you lift it out.  Place each cookie on the wire rack for the icing to cool and harden.  Before glaze hardens, top with sprinkles or colored sugars.   Allow to fully cool and place in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

NOTES:  This original recipe called for 6 egg whites.  Years ago I decided I was going to try these with 6 whole eggs.  The result was EXACTLY the same.  Poor Carmella probably had to find other ways to use those 6 egg yolks all those years, when she could have just been throwing in the whole egg.

The original recipe called for Anise flavoring, but I’m not a real fan of  Anise.  Although, even in these cookies I like them.  But I’ve used Vanilla and Almond extracts since then, and they always come out great.

Don’t be concerned with the tops of the cookies cracking once they are baked.  That’s normal and won’t effect the cookie at all.

Recipe will yield 60 – 70 cookies.

 

 

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