More quarantine cooking! This time I made it for the folks in my neighborhood who came by a block party hosted at my house with Lobster Dog and Eleven Lakes Brewery. We all sat at a safe distance and shouted our greetings to one another! My deal was if they showed up, I gave them treats for their desserts. This is one I made.
Salted Butter Pecans Bites
1 cup chopped pecans
Nonstick cooking spray
12 graham crackers
1 cup packed brown sugar
3⁄4 cup (6 ounces) salted butter
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15×10-inch rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray.
2. Bake the pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan, stirring halfway through, until toasted and fragrant, about 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Arrange the graham crackers in a single layer in the prepared baking sheet, slightly overlapping the edges.
4. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, butter, and cream. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla and pecans. Pour the butter mixture over the crackers, spreading to coat.
5. Bake until lightly browned and bubbly, about 10 to 11 minutes. Immediately sprinkle with salt, and slide the foil from the pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Break into bite-sized pieces.
I have NO idea why I keep gaining weight during this time of Quarantine! What could it be???
On a completely unrelated note, here is a Lemon Meringue Pie I made today that is amazing.
Lemon Meringue Pie
- 1 1/2 cup sugar (plus 6 Tbsp. for meringue)
- 3 Tbsp. Cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp. Flour
- dash of salt
- 1 1/2 cup hot water
- 3 slightly beaten egg yolks (save the whites for meringue)
- 2 Tbsp. Butter
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 9″ pie shell (I prebaked mine)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cream of tartar
In saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt. Gradually add hot water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over hgih heat until mixture comes to boiling. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes. Stir small amount of this hot mixture into the egg yolks, then add these tempered yolks to your hot mixture. Bring back to boiling and cook 2 minutems more. Add butter and lemon juice, mixing well. Pour into pastry shell. Make meringue (see below). Spread meringue over filling. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
Beat 3 reserved egg whites with vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add 6 Tbsp. of sugar, beating until stiff peaks form and all sugar is dissolved.
I don’t get the chance to cook too many seafood dishes because I’m practically the only one in my household who actually eats seafood these days. I decided this weekend to cook something from Paula Deen that I found in one of her magazines, JUST FOR ME! It was actually pretty easy, all things considered, and very tasty.
Creole Shrimp and Lobster Bisque
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 teaspoon Paula Deen’s Creole Blend Seasoning
- 1/2 lb steamed medium size peeled, deveined, steamed and chopped fresh shrimp
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 stalks finely chopped celery
- 1 small finely chopped white onion
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 steamed fresh lobster tails
Remove lobster meat from shell; coarsely chop and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
Add lobster meat and shrimp. Stir in half-and-half and Creole seasoning; cook for 10 minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately.
Pasta is from God. It can’t be bad, I refuse to believe it. Dinner the other night for us was Spaghetti Carbonara. Delish! I clipped the recipe from a magazine a few years ago, but found a link to it online: Spaghetti Carbonara
12 ounces spaghetti
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces), plus more for topping
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Add the spaghetti and reserved pasta cooking water to the skillet and toss to combine.
- Add the eggs, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper; toss to coat. Cook, tossing continuously to avoid scrambling the eggs, until the sauce is creamy, about 1 minute. Stir in the parsley. Serve topped with more Parmesan.
I have a TON of potato casseroles in my recipe files. You need them. Perfect for taking to potlucks, always welcome at cookouts, and the perfect comfort food to take to new parents or sick loved ones. This one is creamy and delicious and I’d even eat it with eggs and bacon the next morning.
1⁄2 – 1 garlic clove, minced
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, cut in cubes
1 (10 1/2 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup or (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of celery soup
3 -4 cups southern style hash browns
1⁄2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F Butter a 1 quart casserole dish. In sauce pan, sauté onion and garlic in butter over med heat until tender. Stir in cream cheese cubes and undiluted soup; cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and hot. In casserole, alternate layers of frozen potatoes and cream cheese sauce, ending with sauce layer. Cover and bake 45 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Cinnamon French Toast Bake
Christmas morning is probably the only morning that I’ll prepare a delicious and indulgent breakfast casserole. I’ll pull bacon and eggs together on special occasions: a niece spending the night, overnight guests visiting and the like, but the rest of the year we eat cereal or just wait for lunch hours to roll around.
This casserole is super sweet and decadent. The kids loved it. Christmas is a time for happiness, that’s my only excuse for making this delicious sugar bomb!
Cinnamon French Toast Bake
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 (12.4-ounce) cans Pillsbury(R) refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
Icing, from cinnamon rolls package
Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pour the melted butter into an ungreased 13 by 9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish.
- Separate both cans of dough into 16 rolls and set the icing aside. Cut each roll into 8 pieces and place the pieces over the butter in the dish.
- In medium bowl, beat eggs. Beat in the heavy cream, cinnamon, and vanilla until well blended. Gently pour the mixture over the roll pieces. Sprinkle with pecans and drizzle with 1 cup maple syrup.
- Bake 20 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove covers from cinnamon bun icing and microwave on Medium (50-percent), 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle.
- Drizzle the icing over top and sprinkle with powdered sugar. If desired, spoon the syrup from the dish over the individual servings. Serve with the remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup, if desired.