SANDRA’S LEMON POPPY SEED GLAZED AND ICED POUND CAKE

 

If you're a lemon lover like I am, this recipe is for you!!

Yield: (1 Loaf)
Prep: 25 Mins.
Bake: 50 Mins.
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
Cake:
½ cup salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 TB lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
½ cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TB poppy seeds
½ tsp double-acting baking powder (or regular)
¼ tsp baking soda
 
Syrup:
¼  cup granulated sugar
2 TB lemon juice
 
Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 TB lemon juice
 
METHOD:
 
Preheat oven to 375F. Use baking spray to spray an 8” loaf pan; set aside.
 
In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to cream butter and sugar together at medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Incorporate the eggs one at a time on low speed, then add the lemon zest, vanilla paste and sour cream; mix to combine while scrapping sides of bowl as needed.
 
Place a sieve over the wet ingredients (use a wooden spoon beneath it to prevent it hitting the wet ingredients if needed), and add the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and baking soda and shake to sift over wet ingredients. Mix on low just until incorporated (do not over mix or pound cake will become dry).
 
Add batter to prepared loaf pan and smooth out with spatula, then bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on baking rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan to baking rack to further cool.
 
Meanwhile, prepare the lemon syrup in a small heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the sugar and lemon juice and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and continue to simmer while stirring for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Brush syrup over pound cake on top and all sides, then let cake cool at room temperature for 1 hour.
 
While cake is absorbing syrup, prepare the glaze by combining the sifted confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Drizzle the glaze over the pound cake, then serve. ~ Enjoy!
 

SANDRA'S ONE-BOWL APPLE CAKE in ONE-HOUR

This the most amazing and flavorful cake; simply incredible...

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep: 20 Minutes
Bake: 55-60 Minutes
 
INGREDIENTS

2 large eggs
1-13/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large honey crisp apples (or 6 medium), peeled, cored, and diced)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
 
Garnish:
Confectioners' sugar
 
METHOD
 
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a glass 9x13" baking dish; set aside.
 
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla extract and lemon juice.  Switch to a large spatula and fold in the diced apples; mixing to combine. Place all remaining ingredients into a sieve and sift over wet ingredients in bowl; fold to combine.
 
Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish, and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
 
Move cake from oven to a cooling rack, cover with paper towels to let cool, then serve garnished with a generous dusting of confectioners' sugar. ~ Enjoy!
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Tips:

1) Store remaining cake that has been cooled, covered in plastic wrap, in the glass baking dish, and
2) If you bake the cake in another ceramic, metal, aluminum, etc. baking dish that is not glass, your baking times will vary (that is, will take either longer or a shorter time to bake). 






SANDRA'S MINI KEY LIME PIES

 


Yields: 5 Mini Pies [5 (8-oz./1-cup size) Ramekins]
Prep: 15 Mins.
Bake Crust: 8 Mins.
Bake Filled Pies: 8 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

Crust:
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons salted butter melted

Filling:
1 (14 oz. can) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup key lime juice (or lime juice)
1 key lime zested (or a regular lime zested)
1 large egg yolk, beaten

Whipping cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350F. Place 5 ramekins on a baking sheet; set aside. Place a medium glass bowl in the refrigerator to chill for whipped cream preparation.

For the crust, place the butter and sugar in a small glass bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Add the graham cracker crumbs and mix to combine. Spoon the crust mixture equally amongst the 5 ramekins and press to form crust-like bottoms.  Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling by zesting the lime (divide in half, as you'll use 1/2 for the filling and the other 1/2 for garnishing the pies).  In a 4-cup glass measure, add the lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, beaten egg yolk, and 1/2 the lime zest; whisk to combine until smooth.

Once the crust are baked, pour the filling equally on top of the crusts in the 5 ramekins; bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven to a baking rack and let mini pies cool for 30 minutes.

Once cooled, place in refrigerator, uncovered, for 3 hours to fully set and for flavors to meld.


Meanwhile, prepare the whipped cream in the prepared chilled bowl and whip until peaks form, add the vanilla extract and confectioners' sugar; whip to incorporate until it reaches the stiff-peak stage. Place, covered, in the refrigerator until pies are ready to serve (along with the remaining lime zest for garnish).

After 3 hours, remove the pies, top with whipped cream, sprinkle each pie equally with the remaining lime zest. ~ Enjoy!

___________

Tip: If you are not going to serve all of them after the 3-hour refrigeration time, please cover any remaining pies with plastic wrap and feel free to store up to 5 days.



SANDRA'S UPSIDE-DOWN PEACH CAKE (from scratch)

 

My husband says,
"This is my favorite upside-down cake, don't change a thing"...

Servings: (9-12)

Prep: 20 Mins.

Bake: 35 to 37 Mins.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs, beaten

⅓ cup peach nectar (I prefer Kerns)

1 stick salted butter, melted

¾ cup light brown sugar, packed

1 (24-oz. jar) peach slices (Kirkland brand from Costco)

--Homemade whipped cream for serving

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside an 8x8x2" square, dark baking pan.

For the cake batter: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger.  Add the vanilla extract, beaten eggs and peach nectar; mix until well blended, and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in the microwave, covered, in a glass bowl for about 1 minute and 20 seconds.  While hot, whisk in the brown sugar for 1 minute, pour the mixture into the bottom of the baking pan.

Line peach slices in a nice pattern on top of the butter-sugar. Pour cake batter on top of the peach slices, gently so as not to disturb the sliced peach layer.

Bake cake for 35 to 37 minutes (turning half way for even baking) or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Cool cake for 10 minutes then invert the cake onto a serving plate and serve with homemade whipped cream!



SANDRA’S HEALTHY PAISLEY MINI MUFFIN PB TREATS

 

A healthier treat you know that's good for your pup and
it's ongoingly freshly made; Paisley loves 'em...


Yields: 19 Mini Muffin Treats (I make 2 batches at a time, yielding 38 treats…aka 1 qt.)

Prep: 10 Mins.

Bake: 16 Mins. (Turning ½ way for even baking)

 Cool: On baking rack covered with a clean kitchen towel overnight

INGREDIENTS

 

2 large eggs, beaten

½ cup Skippy peanut butter (no artificial sweetener like ‘xylitol’ – ck label plz)

¾ All-purpose flour

½ cup old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)

½ cup water

 

METHOD

 

Preheat oven to 350F. Place a non-stick mini muffin baking pan aside (if not non-stick, spray w/canola spray). Also, place a baking rack for removing mini muffin treats to after baking for cooling.

 

To a medium bowl, add the eggs and whisk until fluffy; add peanut butter and continue whisking until thicker and emulsified. (Switch to a spatula at this point).

 

Add the A-P Flour, oats, and water; stirring just to combine.

 

Using a 1-TB-size mini scoop, drop mounds into the mini muffin tin cups (should yield 19).

 

Bake in preheated oven for 16 minutes total; turning half way for even baking.

 

Remove from oven. Use a teaspoon promptly remove mini muffins to the baking rack in order to cool completely (on baking rack covered with a clean kitchen towel overnight) before storing treats in an airtight container to safely store up to 2 weeks.


 



 

Tip: I make a double batch, which stores in a 1-qt.-airtight-container perfectly for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

 


SANDRA'S MINI STUFFED ARTICHOKE AND PARM YUKON GOLD POTATOES

 

These are fantastic served hot,
warm or at room temperature...


Yield: 10 mini potato halves

Prep: 10 Mins.

Microwave 5 Mins.

Bake: 25 Mins.

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

5 (2-1/2" in size) Whole Yukon Gold Potatoes, scrubbed, dried, and pierced a couple of times

 

Filling

2 artichoke bottoms, finely chopped

--(these are found in the area near the artichoke hearts in the store)

1 green onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon seasoning salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic granules

1 TB grated parmesan

 

Topping prior to baking

--Shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan, and paprika for sprinkling on top prior to baking

 

METHOD:

 

Place whole, pierced 2-1/2" potatoes into a medium glass heatproof bowl, cover with a heatproof plate, and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F. Set aside a 2-qt. baking dish.

 

Using tongs and an oven mitt (as the potatoes will be hot), cut each of the potatoes lengthwise in half (10 halves). Place potato half in your hand (which you've covered with a mitt), and use a melon baller to remove inside flesh until a 1/8" wall remains (while placing potato innards into a separate medium bowl); repeat with remaining 9 halves.

 

Place the potato skins flesh-side down in the baking dish and spray skin with canola. Turn potato halves over and spray the flesh inside. 

 

Filling: Smash the potato flesh placed into the bowl, add the filling ingredients in order listed; mix to combine. Use a small spoon to fill the potato skins with the filling; top with shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan and paprika.

 

Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 25 minutes (turning half way through baking).  Let rest 5 minutes prior to serving. ~ Enjoy!

 

SANDRA’S ASIAN CABBAGE MANDARIN RAMEN SALAD


This healthy salad is

just as vibrant as it is delicious…


Servings: 10-12

Prep: 30 Mins.

Refrigerate: Min. of 1 hr. before serving

 

INGREDIENTS

 

Salad

 

6 cups shredded green cabbage

1 cup shredded carrots

1 pkg chicken ramen noodles broken into small pieces, reserving seasoning pkt for dressing

½ red bell pepper, julienned

¼ cup sliced green onions, both white and green parts

2 (13-oz) cans mandarin oranges, drained

¼ cup toasted and chopped almonds

 

Dressing

 

½” piece of fresh ginger, grated

1 garlic clove, grated

Seasoning pkt from ramen

½ cup canola oil

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 TB rice wine vinegar

¼ c lemon juice

2 TB low-sodium soy sauce

1 TB agave

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

 

METHOD

 

Place all the salad ingredients into a large bowl. 

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until emulsified.

 

Pour the dressing over salad mixture and toss coat evenly.

 

Cover and store in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour before serving. ~ Enjoy!

 

SANDRA'S HEARTY LENTIL and SWEET POTATO STEW

A delicious and fulfilling stew
to prepare for your loved ones on a fall/winter day...


Yield: 8-10 Servings

Prep: 20 Mins.

Cook: Appx. 1-1/2 hrs.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

2 TB canola oil

1 LB moose meat cut into bite-size pieces (or beef)

2 TB flour

6 cups beef broth

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

4 medium carrots, scrubbed and chopped

1 medium yellow onion, diced

My live rosemary plant
 (this is 1 of 3 that are thriving)...
2 stalks celery, sliced

1 (14.5-oz. can) diced tomatoes with juices

1 cup organic dry red lentils (*See note below)

1 TB chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dry cracked needles, or 1/2 tsp ground)

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 ruby red sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 3/4" cubes

 

METHOD

 

Place a medium heavy-bottom pot over high heat and add the oil; wait until oil shimmers.  Add the meat, garlic powder and onion powder, and cook until meat is browned. Add the flour, cook 1 minute stirring constantly.  Add the broth and bring to a boil while scraping bits from bottom of pot, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.

 

Add the carrots, onion, celery, diced tomatoes, lentils, rosemary, salt and pepper. Bring stew to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, while stirring at 10-minute intervals.

 

Add the sweet potato cubes, cover, and cook for a final 20 minutes, stirring at 10 minute intervals. Taste for seasonings, and add additional salt/pepper only if needed. ~ Enjoy!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(* Note: Place the 1 cup raw red lentils on a white plate to sort out any unwanted matter before adding them to the pot of stew, just the same as you would do with dry beans before cooking them.)


SANDRA'S APPLE PECAN RAISIN BREAD

 

The best quick and easy bread to prepare
with a super lovely apple flavor
that's rich and moist...

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep: 20 Minutes
Bake: 1 hour and 25-30 minutes
 
Ingredients
 
4 Honeycrisp apples, peeled and grated (should yield 4 cups)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 (5.3 oz container) Chobani peach yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract (Click this link for Sandra's homemade recipe)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup raisins
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tb baking powder (I use double-acting)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp apple pie spice blend (Click this link for Sandra's homemade recipe)
 
Method
 
Preheat oven to 325F. Spray 1 loaf pan with baking spray; set aside.
 
In a large bowl, grate the peeled apples directly into bowl using a box grater. Fold both sugars with the grated apples; let sit for 15 minutes (a lot of liquid will form during this time, do not drain).
 
To the large bowl of apples and sugar, add oil, beaten eggs, vanilla extract, pecans and raisins; stir to incorporate.
 
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apple pie spice blend.
 
Stir dry ingredients into the apple mixture; do not over mix.
 
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
 
Bake, turning half way through, for a total of 1 hr. and 25-30 minutes, or until the center tests done using a toothpick.
 
Remove from oven and let bread cool in loaf pan on a baking rack for 10 minutes. Remove from loaf pan and place back on baking rack, cover with clean kitchen towel(s), and let bread cool completely. ~ Enjoy!
 


SANDRA’S HUMMINGBIRD BUNDT CAKE

A delightful and easy cake to prepare and is super flavorful...

Servings: 12
Prep: 30 Mins.
Bake: 1Hr and 5 to 15 Mins.
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
CAKE:
 
WET
1-1/2 cups canola oil
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 mashed ripe bananas
1 (8-oz can) crushed pineapple with its juice (do not drain)
 
DRY
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp ground ginger
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp double-acting baking powder (or regular)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
 
ADDITIONS
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
 
METHOD:
 
Preheat oven to 325F (not 350F).
 
Generously spray a bundt pan with baking spray (or use oil and then flour the pan).
 
In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine all the wet ingredients. Place all the dry ingredients in a sieve and sift over wet ingredients in large bowl; use a wooden spoon to just to combine (do not over mix).  Fold in the additions.
 
Pour cake batter into the bundt pan. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 5 to 15 minutes (turning half way for even baking), just until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Do not overbake or the cake will be dry).
 
Remove hot cake from oven and place upright in bundt pan on a baking rack to cool for 30 minutes.  Invert pan to remove cake, and place on baking rack to fully cool.
 
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting shown below.
 
BUTTER CREAM FROSTING:
 
8 TB salted butter, at room temp
8 TB cream cheese, at room temp
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
 
METHOD:
 
Place all frosting ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Use a hand mixer to combine, then continue beating until smooth and fluffy for about 3 minutes. Cover and set aside at room temperature until cake has fully cooled, then frost. ~ Enjoy!

MAX'S RED CURRY CHICKEN

 

Max says,
"This is the easiest, quickest and tastiest Red Curry Chicken recipe I have ever made"...

Servings: 4-6
Prep: 20 Mins.
Cook: 20 Mins.
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 (13.6 oz.) cans unsweetened coconut milk
1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium yellow onion, largely diced
1 carrot, sliced
3 ribs celery, sliced diagonally
¾ of a medium green bell pepper, diced
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 
--Prepared steamed rice for serving
 
METHOD:
 
If using, cook rice according to package directions.
 
Place all curry ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to boil; reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 10 minutes, or until vegetables reach your desired doneness (Max likes his cooked about ½ way). 

Serve over steamed rice. ~ Enjoy!

I get this Red Curry Paste
by the case
from Amazon Prime...


 

SANDRA'S CHOCOLATE BROWNIES with PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING


Servings: 9
Prep: 20 Mins.
Bake: 30 Mins.

INGREDIENTS:

Brownies:
1/2 cup salted butter, cold
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Splash of milk (only, if needed, to achieve right consistency)

METHOD:

Melt butter and chocolate chips in a small heavy-bottom saucepan over medium low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon constantly until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add the sugar, stirring until completely dissolved.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare an 8x8" square, dark baking pan by spraying the bottom with baking spray, then lining it with parchment paper allowing it to drape over the sides (for handles); set aside.

Now that the chocolate mixture has slightly cooled in the saucepan, add the remaining brownie ingredients and stir until fully incorporated (do not over mix). Spread batter evenly into prepared baking pan, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on baking rack, let brownies cool completely in baking pan.

While the brownies cool, prepare the frosting. In a small bowl, add all the frosting ingredients and use a hand mixer to beat for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Frost the brownies while still in the baking pan. Remove the brownies (using the parchment handles to do so) to a cutting board. Cut into 9 equal squares and place them on a nice serving platter. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA'S ROSEMARY-THYME-AGAVE NO-KNEAD OVERNIGHT CAST IRON BREAD

The best savory herb yeast bread that is so quick and easy to make...


Yield: 1 Loaf - (12 Servings)
Made with my fresh Rosemary (above)
and Thyme (below) plants...




Prep: 15 Mins.
Rise: 1 Hr.
Bake: 35 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups lukewarm water
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (not rapid or instant)
1 TB agave
4-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
Mazola oil
1 TB chopped fresh rosemary (tender leaves only)
1 TB chopped fresh thyme (tender stems and leaves only)

Brushing (during and after baking):
2 tablespoons of butter, melted

METHOD

In a 2-cup glass measure, add 2 cups lukewarm water, yeast and agave; stir to combine and set aside to proof for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add 2 cups flour and mix with kosher salt, rosemary, and thyme using a wooden spoon.  Add the proofing mixture and stir to combine, and then add the remaining 2-1/3 cups flour and stir to incorporate until mixture begins to form a ball. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed on the underside, and let proof for 8 hours (or overnight).

Oil a pre-seasoned 10" cast iron skillet on its inside bottom and sides; set aside.

Use Mazola oil to coat clean hands. Punch down dough, and it over on itself working from outside to center about 10 times. Pick up dough ball with oiled hands and form dough into a smooth ball by tucking edges underneath itself. Place into prepared 10" cast iron skillet, pressing it slightly toward the skillet edging.  Spray underside of plastic wrap, cover, and let proof for 1 hour (or until doubled in size).

Meanwhile, when there are 15 minutes left of proofing - preheat oven to 400F.

When 1-hour (or doubled in size) rising of loaf is compete, use a sharp knife to cut and 'X' 1/4" deep across the top of loaf.

Bake for 15 minutes, and removed hot bread to brush top evenly with melted butter.  Return bread to oven and continue to bake for 20 minutes longer (internal temp should be 192F).  Remove from and brush with melted butter a second time.

Let loaf rest 5 minutes in cast iron skillet. Use a knife to ensure edges are loosened. Flip bread out onto a baking rack, and turn right side up. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let cool. ~ Enjoy!

Tip: 

If you do not have fresh herbs and are intending on using dry:

--When converting fresh herbs to dry, it's 1TB fresh (or 1 tsp dry). 

That is, 1 TB of fresh rosemary above would be converted to 1 tsp dry rosemary; same for the thyme.

SANDRA'S CHRISTMAS MORNING CASSEROLE

 
This was a new creation this Christmas Eve 'evening,' and
I baked the casserole off Christmas morning.

The husband had two helpings and I loved it as well, so this recipe
will be a new tradition as it's a keeper...

Servings: (8)
Prep: 20 Mins.
Bake: 60 Mins.
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
Layers:
2 tablespoons softened butter
7 slices whole wheat bread, cut into ½” cubes
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped into bits
 
Custard:
6 large eggs, beaten
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
 
Topping:
½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 large roma tomato, cut into 8 slices (reserve, will be added in the morning just before baking)
 
METHOD:
 
Using baking spray, spray a glass 9x13” baking dish; set aside.
 
Lay out the 7 slices of whole wheat bread and evenly spread one side with softened butter. Stack the slices and cut all into 1/2“ cubes.  Spread cubes evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the bacon bits evenly over the bread cubes.
 
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, whisk in the milk, 1 cup of shredded cheese, the dry mustard, and ground pepper until evenly combined. Pour custard mixture evenly over the contents of the casserole.
 
Top with remaining ½ cup of shredded cheese, cover with parchment then foil, and place in refrigerator a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.



In the morning, preheat oven to 350F.
 
Uncover the casserole and add the tomato slices on top (see photo).  Re-cover the casserole and bake for 45 minutes, turning halfway through this baking time.  Uncover and continue baking for 15 minutes.  Remove hot casserole to a baking rack to cool for 10 minutes prior to slicing and serving. ~ Enjoy!
 



SANDRA'S HOT ARTICHOKE BASIL DIP

I have quite a few fresh basil plants always growing,
so decided to try it in my traditional hot artichoke dip recipe
(instead of spinach) and we love it...




Yield: 6-8 Servings
Prep: 10 Mins.
Bake: 25 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (not grated)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
1 (14 oz.-can) quartered artichoke hearts, drained, then chop each heart crosswise 4 times
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9 x 9" baking dish with oil; set aside.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, stir together cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, granulated garlic, parmesan, mozzarella, lemon juice, and pepper. Fold in artichokes and basil.


Spread mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Serve with Ritz and/or Club crackers, toasted baguette slices, tortilla chips, bagel chips, pita chips, etc. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA'S RASPBERRY ALMOND BUTTER COOKIES


The ultimate butter cookie with a sweet treat of
raspberry flavor in its center and the added crunch of finely diced almonds...



Yield: Appx. 4 doz.
Prep: 15 Mins
Chill: 1 Hr
Roll: 30 Mins
Bake:

INGREDIENTS

1 cup salted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup raspberry jam, cold
1/3 cup finely chopped raw, unsalted, almonds (from Costco)

METHOD

In a stand mixer with the beater attachment, cream together softened butter and sugar for 5 minutes until light, yellow and fluffy; scraping sides of bowl several times throughout.

Add the beaten egg and vanilla extract; mix to combine. Again, scraping bowl to evenly incorporate.

Add the flour. Start mixer on low to begin combining, then on high just until incorporated (do not over mix dough).

Place dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, cover completely and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare to bake the cookies. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Pinch off small pieces of dough and form 1-teaspoon-size balls. Place balls 1" apart on a silpat-lined baking sheet, and flatten slightly with your hand.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Remove baking sheet from oven, use a wooden spoon to indent the center of cookie half way through, place 1/4 teaspoon of cold raspberry jam in the indent center, and top that with finely chopped almonds. Place cookies back in oven, and continue baking for an additional 8 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven and let them cool for 1 minute on baking sheet. Remove cookies to a baking rack to completely cool.  Repeat with remaining batter. Once cookies are fully cooled, place in an airtight container. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA’S EASIEST and BEST APPLE PIE EVER

Best compliment ever, the hubs said,
"This is the best apple pie I've ever had,
I need to go back to Fred Meyer and get more apples!"...


Servings: (8)
Prep: 20 Mins.
Bake: 1 Hr.

INGREDIENTS:

Filling:
7 medium apples 
    (I used Kroger, aka Fred Meyer Brand), peeled, cored and cut into 1/8-1/4" slices=about 5 cups sliced
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 TB all-purpose flour

Topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old fashion oats (not quick cooking)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup melted, salted butter, slightly cooled
1 large egg, beaten

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350F. Set a 10" glass pie plate aside.

Add all filling ingredients to a medium bowl, toss to combine and set aside to allow them to meld for 10 minutes; toss occasionally.

In the meantime, add all the topping ingredients to a small bowl; mix to combine (it will be paste-like in appearance).

Pour filling mixture into the pie plate, and press slightly to evenly distribute.  Add the topping using a fork to evenly distribute and cover apple filling mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, turning half way for even baking.  

Let hot pie cool, uncovered, on baking rack for 4 hours before serving to allow filling to fully set. 

Serve with French vanilla ice cream. 

Store any leftovers covered in refrigerator. ~ Enjoy!

----

Tip: To reheat at room temp, microwave for 30 seconds; from frig it takes about 50 seconds!


SANDRA'S TERRIFIC TACO SOUP

Such comfort on a rainy day...been our favorite for years...
Servings: (8)
Prep: 15 Mins.
Cook: 30 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. lean ground moose, venison, or beef
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, scrubbed and grated
2 TB dry taco seasoning
1/2 TB chili powder
1 TB dry ranch seasoning
1 14.5-oz. can diced Mexican tomatoes, do not drain
1 14.5-oz. can chili beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
4 cups water
1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 2.25-oz. can sliced black olives, drained (optional)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2-1 TB diced jarred pickled jalapeƱos, depending on your desired spiciness

Toppings:
--Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
--Lime Crema (1 cup sour cream mixed with 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon lime zest)
--Tortilla chips

METHOD

In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, brown the burger over medium-high heat. Add the onions and shredded carrots and continue cooking for 5 minutes, while occasionally stirring. Add the remaining ingredients in order listed. Stir, bring soup to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes; stir occasionally. 


Ladle soup into serving bowls.


Top each bowl with shredded cheese and a dollop of lime crema, then place tortilla chips on the side. ~ Enjoy! 

SANDRA'S STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB BUNDT CAKE with BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

A cake you will probably want to prepare 'yearly' when
rhubarb and strawberries
 are in season
that your family is bound to love...
 

Prep: 25 Mins.
Bake: 65 to 70 Mins.
Yields: (1) Bundt Cake| 12-16 Servings

INGREDIENTS

Wet:
3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups granulated sugar
*2 (5.3-oz. containers) Chobani Peach 99% Greek yogurt - (Costco) = neutral flavor
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Dry (Sifted through a sieve atop wet ingredients):
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder, or regular
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Fold-in:
1 cup finely diced fresh rhubarb
1-1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries (Alaska Wild, or domestic)

------

Buttercream Frosting:
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup room temp. cream cheese
1/4 cup room temp. salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons 2% milk (more or less to your desired consistency)

METHOD

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (not 350 degrees or else the loaves will become too dry).  Prepare bundt pan by spraying it generously with baking spray; set aside.

In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add eggs and canola oil and beat on medium speed until light and foamy.  Add sugar, yogurt and vanilla extract; mix on medium speed until fully incorporated.

Place a sieve over wet ingredients in bowl, add all dry ingredients and sift over top of wet ingredients. Mix batter on low speed to begin incorporating dry ingredients, then on medium just until moistened (Try not to over-mix).

Using a large spatula, fold in "fold-in" ingredients above, just until combined while scraping edges and bottom of bowl.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared bundt pan, tap pan on a hard surface to release air bubbles and shake to it even out.

Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted in center of bundt cake comes out clean.

Remove bundt cake to a baking rack upright in pan and let cool for 10 minutes.  Turn out bundt cake from pan to rack so cake is dome-side up; cover with a clean kitchen towel, then allow cake to cool completely.

-----

Meanwhile, prepare frosting:

In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer. Place all the frosting ingredients into the bowl and start hand mixer on low speed, then increase to medium when ingredients are starting to incorporate. Turn mixer to high to fluff the frosting. Cover frosting with plastic wrap until ready to frost cake. Frost cake once it's fully cooled, and enjoy!


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