Sunday, December 14, 2008

Grandma's Shortbread

This is my favorite Christmas treat. This recipe is from my grandmother who just celebrated her 103rd birthday in September! Nobody makes it as good as her but every year I try.

1 pound butter (at room temperature)
1 C. sugar
4 ½ C. flour
½ tsp. salt

Knead all the ingredients together with your hands. Knead it until it is like bread dough. Press into a 10" x 14" pan. Sprinkle some sugar on the top. Bake it "with love" at 325 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes. Cut into squares when cool.

By: Allison Arsenault

Hot Fudge Sauce

2 C. powdered sugar
½ C. butter
1 C. evaporated milk
2/3 C. chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1 Tbsp. vanilla

In saucepan, combine sugar, butter, milk and chocolate chips. Bring to a boil. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool slightly. Serve warm over ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container.

By: Allison Arsenault

Lion House Cheese Ball

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 ½ C. grated cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. dried chives
2 tsp. dry ranch dressing mix
½ C. chopped pecans (optional)

Mix all ingredients together. Form into a ball (this may be easier once the mixture has been refrigerated for about 1 hour) and roll in chopped pecans. Serve with assorted crackers.

From the Lion House cook book.

Party Cheese Ball

2 packages cream cheese (8 oz. each), softened
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (you may add more to taste)
1/8 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped pecans (or other nuts) - optional

Mix cheeses together. Add seasonings and mix well. To form into a ball, you may want to chill in the fridge for about an hour. Form into 2 balls. Roll cheese ball in nuts. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor. You may want to remove from the fridge prior to serving so that it can soften a little. Serve with crackers.

By: Allison Arsenault

Easy Chocolate Fondue

16 ounces sweet or semi-sweet chocolate
1 ½ C. light cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Break chocolate squares into smaller pieces and drop them into the fondue pot. Add cream (which will prevent the chocolate from going lumpy) and stir gently but constantly until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add vanilla extract, and stir it in.

By: Allison Arsenault

Toblerone Fondue

3 (3-ounce) bars Toblerone
1/2 cup light or heavy cream

Heat chocolate and cream over low heat (you can use a crock pot) until chocolate is melted . Stir frequently. Serve with various "dippers" such as strawberries, pound cake, Rice Krispie Treats, bananas, cream puffs, cookies, etc.

By: Allison Arsenault

Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1 ½ C. gingersnap cookies, finely crumbled
1 ½ Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. nutmeg
Zest of 1 lemon
6 Tbsp. butter

Combine all ingredients and press firmly down in large spring form pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

½ C. sugar pumpkin puree
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 ½ C. sugar
3 large eggs
1 C. heavy cream
1 tsp. lemon juice, fresh
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. nutmeg

Beat softened cream cheese, and add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time. Alternately stir in cream and pumpkin puree. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into the baked crust and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes. Turn oven off, leaving cake in the oven for an additional 15 minutes. Remove and chill.

Garnish each slice with a swirl of whipped cream, gingersnap cookie and fresh ground nutmeg.

By: Patricia Newell

Fall Orzo

¾ C. virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 C. dry white wine
¾ C. dried apricots, slivered
¼ C. golden raisins
¼ C. dried cranberries
2 tsp fresh oregano, shopped
¼ C. fresh Italian parsley, minced
¼ C. pine nuts, toasted
1 pound Orzo pasta

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain. Set aside. Meanwhile, in heavy bottom medium saucepot heat olive oil, then add garlic and stir until browned, discard garlic. Add dried fruits, then wine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce heat and add cooked orzo pasta to pot, fresh oregano, half of the parsley and pine nuts. Simmer about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place on serving platter and sprinkle remaining parsley. Serve warm.

By: Patricia Newell

Salad Greens with Stawberries and Pralines, Served with Peppercorn Dressing

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
6 C. greens, mixed
1 pound strawberries, sliced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 C. pralines, large crumbles
¾ C. peppercorn dressing (see below)

Peppercorn Dressing
(makes 1 ½ Cups)

½ C. sugar
1/3 C. rice wine vinegar, seasoned
1/8 C. white vinegar
1 ½ Tbsp ground black pepper, fresh
1 C. salad oil
Salt to taste

Mix sugar, both vinegars and ground pepper. Whisk in salad oil, then salt. Drizzle over prepared salad. Lightly toss and serve.

Reserve left over dressing in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

By: Patricia Newell