Monday, May 28, 2012

Thousand Island Salad Dressing

Everybody has a preferred salad dressing, and for Mamma, when she's in the mood for a "real" dressing--meaning not a vinaigrette-- Thousand Island is her go-to.

Me? I don't even like it, but she does, so that's why I make it!

To tell the truth, I have no idea where I got the original recipe, but I do know it called for chili sauce, which we usually don't have, so I tweaked it and now use ketchup and hot sauce! I also changed the recipe to make about a pint-- enough for salads for a while, but not enough that it will go bad.

It is a wonderfully simple recipe-- you just mix everything together. And it has only five ingredients, so it has to be healthier than what is in the grocery stores!

Thousand Island Salad Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
4 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
3 Tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp. hot sauce

Combine all ingredients. Chill.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summertime and Ice Cream

 My Grandpa and Grandma with my Uncle Johnny.

If you know me, you know I love ice cream.

You might also know that I whole-heartedly believe that it is best to eat ice cream all year, not just in the summer.

But I do have one stipulation-- I only, only, only eat ice cream on days that end in y. You know, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday... anyway, you get the idea, right?

However, my fondest memories of ice cream are in the summertime, when it is hot, and humid, and icky-sticky, thanks to our lovely Mississippi weather.

Back when my Grandma was alive we would get together with family and fix two huge containers of ice cream.

I'm talking about those gigantic, lots-of-ice-and-salt-to-make ice cream makers, not the tiny, countertop kind we use now.

And we always had two flavors. Always. At least it seemed that way.

My Grandma would make her Peanut Butter Ice Cream, and my Grandpa would make his mother's recipe for Orange Pineapple Ice Cream, and it was like heaven.

With all that Orange cooking earlier this month, I couldn't help but think about homemade ice cream and my grandparents, and so I wanted to share these two recipes with you!

Grandma's Peanut Butter Ice Cream
From my Grandma, Irene Bufkin Parker.

1 (oz) jar crunchy peanut butter*
2 cans evaporated milk
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs

Heat the jar of peanut butter with one can of evaporated milk. Meanwhile, heat the sugar and remaining can of evaporated milk. Beat the eggs, and pour the milk and sugar mixture into the eggs. Strain into the ice cream freezer. Add the peanut butter mixture and finish filling the ice cream freezer with milk.

Grandpa's Orange Pineapple Ice Cream
From my Great-Grandmother, Vermont Massey Parker.

2 cans evaporated milk
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
2 Tbsp. orange extract
2 1/2 cups sugar

Mix first four ingredients. Pour into ice cream freezer. Finish filling the ice cream freezer with milk, and stir to combine.

*It is imperative to use crunchy peanut butter for this ice cream! My family has always used Jif brand, but now we use Jif Natural, which works just as well, since it does not require stirring. Peanut Butter that requires stirring before use does not work in this recipe.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Orange Chocolate Chip Cake

As I mentioned in a previous post, my Mamma loves orange. I mean, really loves orange. You add chocolate, and she will love you forevermore.

So when Mother's Day drew near, I asked her what she wanted for dessert on her special day. After a bit of searching, she finally decided on the Smitten Kitchen's Orange-Chocolate Chunk Cake.

Well, I ended up tweaking it a bit, so below is the recipe I made. And by the way, it was well received by my orange-and-chocolate loving Mamma!

Orange Chocolate Chip Cake
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen's recipe.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening*
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 tsp. dried orange peel
1 Tbsp. Orange Triple Sec
3 cups all-purpose flour + 2 Tbsp.**
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed Orange Juice
2/3 cup Buttermilk
2 tsp. Orange Extract
2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed Orange Juice
2 Tbsp. Orange Triple Sec
1 tsp. Orange Extract

Chocolate Glaze:
8 oz. Semisweet Chocolate Chips
7 Tbsp. Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Tbsp. black Coffee, prepared
1 tsp. Orange Extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.

Cream butter, shortening, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 7 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add orange peel, and beat until mixture is very light and smooth.

Sift together 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, orange extract, and triple sec. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to creamed butter, beginning and ending with flour. Toss the chocolate chips with the 2 Tbsp. flour, and stir into the batter. Pour into pan, smooth the top, and bake for 1 hour, or until the cake tests clean.

Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. While the cake cools, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the orange juice, extract, and triple sec, until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove the cake from the pan and set on a cake plate. Spoon the syrup over the cake, being sure to spread it over the entire cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.

For the Chocolate Glaze, melt the chocolate chips, heavy cream, coffee, and extract in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm. Stir occasionally. Drizzle over the top of the cake.

* I used Spectrum Naturals Organic shortening.
** I made the cake with Better Batter gluten free flour, and it turned out wonderful!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chicken a la Redneck

My family loves spicy food. Well, some of us more than others. Really, it's just that we prefer different 'levels' of spicy food.

Anyways, here is a recipe that we all love-- loaded with chicken and cheese! The original recipe we have, created by my Godfather's wife, used Doritos chips, which we don't use, so I set out on a quest to create a casserole that tasted the same, but was healthier.

However, when I gathered my ingredients, I realized I didn't have any cream of chicken soup! We don't use the regular canned kind from the grocery store since it isn't gluten free, so I tweaked the recipe some more. Overall, we were very pleased, and decided this recipe was a keeper!

Chicken a la Redneck
Serves 8 to 10

3 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped*
1 onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. butter + 2 Tbsp. butter
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
16 oz. Velveeta cheese
1 bag corn tortilla chips
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
2 Tbsp. flour**
2 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp. sour cream
Black Pepper to taste
Paprika to taste

Saute chopped onion in 3 Tbsp. butter until tender. While onion is cooking, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in separate pan. When melted, stir in flour. Cook for two minutes, or until beginning to brown. Gently whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Cook until thickened, and add sour cream. Stir well to combine.

Add chicken, tomatoes, Velveeta cheese, and gravy to sautéed onions, and season to taste with black pepper. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Put a thin layer of cheese mixture in the bottom. Put a layer of tortilla chips. Sprinkle chips with paprika and jalapeño seasoning. Put half of remaining cheese mixture over chips. Repeat the layers. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the top of the casserole, and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and beginning to brown around edges, about 20 minutes.

* Cooked, chopped turkey breast also works well.
**I used White Rice flour, but any kind of flour should work fine.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Orange Breakfast Rolls

My Mamma loves orange-flavored foods, and so for Mother's Day I decided to try and make from scratch some Orange Breakfast Rolls for her. I knew what I wanted them to taste like-- those ooey-gooey, super-sweet, cinnamon rolls from a can with that yummy orange icing slathered on top... but I didn't know how to make them. Especially gluten-free!

So, after a couple of days of thumbing our stash of cookbooks, and reading numerous recipes online, I combined a few recipes, crossed my fingers, and gave it a try.

And, boy, did they turn out fine! So Mamma will get to have her Orange Breakfast Rolls after all. And she won't have to worry about what all is in them, either.

Do be forewarned, though-- this recipe uses nearly a whole jar of orange peel! But it's worth it. Trust me.

Orange Breakfast Rolls
Makes about 15 rolls.

Orange Roll Dough:
2 cups warm milk (needs to be 110 degrees)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup salted butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. orange peel
1 tsp. orange extract
4 1/2 cups Better Batter gluten-free flour*

Orange Filling:
1/2 cup butter, very soft but not melted
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. orange peel

Orange Sugar:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. orange peel

Orange Frosting:
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. orange peel
1 1/2 tsp. orange extract
2 cups powdered sugar


Mix all of the dough ingredients in your mixer on high speed for three minutes. Set aside and cover with plastic wrap and lay a bread cloth over the plastic. Let sit in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

Lay out a 16x24 inch rectangle of plastic wrap. Lightly flour the plastic and turn dough out onto it. Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough, then roll dough out into a 16x20 inch rectangle.

Combine sugar and orange peel. For the filling, spread the butter evenly over the dough, then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon, sugar, and orange peel. Roll up dough and cut into rolls, should make about 12 to 15. Roll each breakfast roll in the Orange Sugar. Place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 45 minutes, or until doubled.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While oven is preheating, mix all of your Frosting ingredients until well blended and smooth. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Spread frosting on tops of rolls while warm out of the oven.

*I used Better Batter gluten-free flour, but any gluten-free all purpose baking flour should work fine.