Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ham and Cheese Souffle Roll

Pic courtesy of Our Best Bites

I kinda went out on an adventurous limb when I made this. I mean, we've all heard tales of souffles and how temperamental they can be. But, I'm telling you, this was surprisingly easy and SOOOO good. It was such a refreshing departure from the regular old scrambled eggs, quiches, and frittatas that usually grace our tables for breakfast. I actually made this Christmas morning and everyone raved. I have to note that the recipe on Our Best Bites where I got it, called for a parsley sauce (basically it was a really oniony Ranch dressing) over the top. I made it and I really didn't love it and no one else was a huge fan. So, what I would recommend is a simple, light cheese sauce, like an alfredo sauce that can even be found here or maybe a light smooth red sauce or salsa. Or, it was also REALLY good plain, if sauce isn't your thing. It is such a pretty meal, and very sure to impress.

*For a wonderful tutorial and step by step pics and instructions, go to Our Best Bites.

Ham and Cheese Souffle Roll
Our Best Bites from Better Homes and Gardens 15th Edition Cookbook
Prep: 50 min, Bake: 65 min, Chill: 2-24 hours, Serves: 8-10 slices

4 Tbs butter (this is for the actual recipe. Use additional butter for greasing pan)
1/2 C flour
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 C milk
6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 oz thinly sliced ham (go to the deli counter and ask for thin slices)
6 oz thinly sliced Swiss or provolone cheese
Sauce-see suggestions in notes above
*Heavy Duty foil (really, that's what it's called. Heavy Duty! It's larger and stronger than normal foil and that's what you'll need.) I used my silpat in a jelly roll pan and it worked wonderfully.

*Some of you asked about using parchment paper instead of foil. I asked our friend Juli from the BHG test kitchens and she tested it out for us! Here are her notes: We didn’t ever test it using parchment, but I tried it today and it worked very well! You do still have to work slowly, and coax the souffle with a spatula to get it to release, but it does, and with most of the lovely browned surface intact. I also inverted onto a sheet of parchment, and that worked fine for rolling up, and now I can bake on that same sheet of parchment.

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with foil (a large rimmed baking sheet) extend foil about 1 inch over edges of pan. Grease well with butter and lightly flour the foil.

2. In a medium saucepan melt 4 Tbs butter. Stir in flour and pepper. Gradually and slowly stir in milk while whisking to remove lumps. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly; cool slightly. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl; gradually stir in milk mixture. In a large bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight.) Fold some of the beaten egg whites inot the egg white mixture. Fold egg yolk mixture into the remaining beaten egg whites. Spread in the prepared baking pan.

3. Bake about 20 minutes or until souffle is puffed and a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

4. Meanwhile, place a long sheet of heavy foil (about 22x18 inches) on a large baking sheet. Generously grease teh foil. After baking souffle immediately loosen edges of souffle from baking pan. invert souffle onto the foil-lined baking sheet. Carefully peel off foil.

5. Place ham and cheese slices in single layers on top of souffle. Starting from a short side, use foil on baking sheet to lift and help roll up souffle. Don't roll the foil inside. use the foil to lift souffle roll onto another flat baking sheet. Cover souffle with foil and chill for 2-24 hours.

6. Before serving, preheat oven to 350. Bake souffle roll, covered with the foil, about 45 minutes or until heated through. To serve, uncover and transfer souffle roll to a warm serving platter (a giant spatula works well, you can sort of slide the whole roll while helping it with the spatula). Slice with a serrated knife and serve with sauce of choice, if desired.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eggnog Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce

Pic courtesy of Sister's Cafe

This has to be one of the richest desserts I've ever eaten. And, all you have to do is look at the ingredient list to see why. I browsed all my favorite recipe sites for days looking for the perfect Christmas Eve dessert and decided to go with this one and I'm so glad I did. Everyone loved it. Even I loved it which is saying a lot because 1) I detest the taste of eggnog and 2) I detest the taste of nutmeg. But, not only did it turn out beautifully, but the caramel sauce did the perfect job of subduing the strong nutmeg flavor of the cake. I know it's a little late for a Christmas cake, but this would also be fabulous for New Year's!

Eggnog Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce
from Sister's Cafe

1 yellow cake mix (preferably with pudding in the mix)
3 T. flour
2 c. eggnog
¼ c. butter, softened
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ tsp. rum extract
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Beat until smooth and creamy. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. Dust lightly with powdered sugar for presentation (optional, I didn't do this).

Caramel sauce:
½ lb brown sugar (~1 1/8 c.)
½ lb butter (2 sticks)
½ lb powdered sugar (~2 cups)
½ T. cinnamon
½ qt. rich vanilla ice cream

Add all ingredients to a medium sauce pan and melt together over medium heat. Pour warm over individual servings immediately before serving.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Aunt Elisabeth's Hot Fudge Sauce

This is the hot fudge that we grew up on. Its creamy, rich, and delicious- whenever you need a chocolate sauce for your ice cream that includes ingredients you have in your pantry, look no further.
picture courtesy google images
Aunt Elisabeth's Hot Fudge Sauce

1 stick butter
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (if you use milk chips, it will not thicken!)
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter on low heat. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Add milk and sugar, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil on medium-low heat (still stirring constantly). Once boiling, allow to boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Sauce will thicken upon standing.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Finally--a bread recipe I can do!  I have made these twice and they have turned out both times!  I know, it's amazing!  I finally feel like I am grasping the ability to bake!!

Molly's Rolls
From The Sisters Dish Blog
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 package yeast(2 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 T salt
  • 1 egg
  • flour
Directions: In mixer combine yeast, sugar, and warm water; let grow until bubbly(about 5 minutes). Add milk and mix. Mix in oil and egg. Slowly add 2 cups flour, mix and then add salt. Add 1/2 cup flour at a time until it comes away from side of bowl. Let rise in mixing bowl for about 30 minutes. Form rolls as desired and place on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise and additional 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. (Rotate pans after 7 minutes.) Brush hot rolls with melted butter.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Basil and Currant Spread

I'm telling you, this is the PERFECT Christmas dip for not only it's deliciousness, but for it's color. I wish I had a picture, but I don't. My SIL, Macy made this as an appetizer for Thanksgiving and I could not stop eating it. It was soooooo amazingly good. I would never think to put these things together, but it was the perfect combo. If you don't already have a dip picked out for your Christmas festivities- make this, and I'm telling you, you will "wow" your guests for sure.

Basil and Currant Spread
from Macy Bell (who got it from a friend in D.C.)

1/3 cup olive oil
3 T. fresh basil, minced (must be fresh)
2 t. garlic, minced
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
3 T. fresh parsley, chopped
2/3 cup pecans, chopped
2/3 cup currants (dried)

Stir the olive oil, basil and garlic in a small bowl. Then whip the already softened cream cheese and parsley in a stand mixer, and then add the oil mixture and mix until combined. Then chill for a few hours, preferably. Serve with crackers.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cinnamon Syrup

I loved having something new, rich, and delicious to douse my homemade waffles in.  This was a yummy and different syrup option.  It would also be good on ice cream.  Mmm!

Cinnamon Syrup
From Your Homebased Mom Blog

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup whipping cream
In medium saucepan, stir all ingredients together EXCEPT cream.  Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in cream.  Cool 30 minutes.  Syrup will thicken as it cools.  Serve warm.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Giant Eclair Dessert

Just look at it.  Do you need to ask?  For how fancy this looks it was actually quite easy and really big.  Perfect church dessert sign-up thingy.

Giant Eclair Dessert

From The Mother Huddle Blog


1 cup flour (don’t try and use wheat here)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup water
6 eggs
Preheat oven to 400°.  Bring water and butter to a boil, remove from heat and whisk in flour. Transfer to a plastic or glass bowl and using a hand mixer or a very strong arm, mix in eggs one at a time. Batter will be very glossy by the sixth egg. Spread evenly on a large greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes until light golden brown. Let cool completely before topping.


1 large box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 8 oz cream cheese
3 cups milk
1 8 oz cool whip—or 12 oz if you want a thicker layer and an easier time
spreading it. :)
Chocolate Syrup
Soften cream cheese by leaving it out at room temperature for a few hours or microwave it for 30-45 seconds. Add the milk to the pudding mix and mix thoroughly. Let stand a few minutes until it thickens and then beat in the cream cheese. It is really hard to get the cream cheese all the way blended into the pudding. Don’t worry if there are tiny little dots of the cream cheese that have not been blended. If they are small you won’t notice them when you are eating the dessert. Spread pudding mixture on the completely cooled crust and then immediately top with cool whip. Using the chocolate syrup bottle, drizzle syrup over cool whip in a back and forth pattern from one end to the other. Take a Knife and drag it one direction and then the other every two inches until you have completed a nice zebra looking pattern on the entire eclair. Keep refrigerated.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cheesy Skillet Chicken and Rice

This was so kids and hubby loved it, and it makes a lot. You can use whichever veggies you have on hand for this dish...I happened to have broccoli and carrots. You can use brown rice, but it will take quite a bit longer to fluff up so make sure you account for that when you're making it.
picture courtesy Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Cheesy Skillet Chicken and Rice
Adapted slightly from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
8 ounces white button mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced (I used more)
4 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 ½ cups long grain white rice
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 large broccoli head, cut up into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 cup shredded sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until the oil is rippling and hot. Carefully lay each chicken breast in the skillet and cook until the chicken is well browned on the first side, about 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken with a pair of tongs and let it brown on the second side, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Drain all but about 1-2 tablespoons oil from the pan.

Return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom and edges of the pan, until the mushrooms begin to soften and start to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the rice and continue to cook until the edges of the rice turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken to the pan and cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the rice is mostly cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the skillet again, brushing off any rice that sticks to the chicken back into the skillet. Stir the veggies into the skillet well, cover and continue to cook on low until the beans and rice are tender, about 10 minutes. Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces and stir in the chicken and cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Warm Vanilla Milk

I'm sure most of you already know about this, but its my favorite wintertime drink. I cannot even drink hot chocolate anymore! I love it and now that the Texas temps are dropping, this is exactly what I need. I love to drink it right before bed because I swear it makes me sleep better. And, if you don't have one already, you need to invest in a hot chocolate machine. Its worth it, especially for this. Enjoy!
picture courtesy google images

Warm Vanilla Milk
Rachel Crofts

1 1/2 cups milk (I use a fat free/1% combo)
2 Tbs. Vanilla Syrup *

Mix your milk and syrup in a hot chocolate machine or microwave until hot. You might need to adjust syrup proportions, based on your desire for flavor. I like a slight hint instead of being overpowered by the sweetness.
* Vanilla Syrup can be found in the coffee section of your grocery store. Brands are Torani or DaVinci and they are flavor syrups, not extracts used in baking!!