Monday, February 14, 2011

Yummy Recipes

I received some emails requesting the recipes that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago and then never came through on providing! Shame on me for leaving your mouth watering. 

In my defense we have been on a family ski vacation and are just returning ... SO ... as I unpack and deal with a broken waterheater and a strange buzzing sound coming from our modem (how do things break when we're not here using them?!) I'm going to keep you busy cooking.

Homemade Samoas Bars (AKA: Girl Scout Cookies)
Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
First, make the crust.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together. Pour crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)
Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).
Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.
Makes 30 bar cookies.
Note: You can simply drizzle chocolate on top of the bars before slicing them up if you’re looking for yet an easier way to finish these off. You won’t need quite as much chocolate as noted above, and you won’t quite get the Samoas look, but the results will still be tasty.

CrockPot Yogurt Recipe

--8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk--pasteurized and homogenized is fine, but do NOT use ultra-pasteurized. (I used 2% milk and added one packet of plain KnoxBloxs Gelatin to help thicken it up after stirring in the yogurt with active cultures. )

--1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)

--frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring

--thick bath towel

The Directions.

This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home to monitor.

Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. (**
added one packet of plain KnoxBloxs Gelatin to help thicken if you are using 2% milk.) Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.

Put the lid back on yourcrockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.

Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.

In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.

Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. I did mango, strawberry, and blueberry. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren't a big deal, and will settle eventually. (I added the fruit per bowl to keep it from getting too runny.)

Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.

**Oh yes, if you prefer Vanilla flavored yogurt like me, you're going to want to add 1 Tbsp vanilla extract and 4 Tbsp. of honey. Also ... if it's still a bit on the runny side you can try adding 1/2 Cup of powdered dry milk to help thicken it up a bit. I'm going to try this with my next batch. 

CrockPot Mongolian Beef
Original Recipe with homemade Hoisin Sauce found here:

Easier Recipe that I used ... found here:

1 lb beef flank steak, sliced thinly across the grain

Total Time: 6 1/4 hrs
  1. 1 Slice the flank steak thinly across the grain - the strips should be 2 to 3 inches long each; set aside.
  2. 2 Combine the onion, soy sauce, sherry, broth, garlic, hoisin, brown sugar, ginger, and pepper flakes, then put the mixture into the crock pot.
  3. 3 Put the cornstarch in a large Ziploc bag; add the sliced beef and toss well to coat.
  4. 4 Add the coated beef into the crock pot, gently pushing it into the liquid to cover; pour the white wine over - do NOT stir.
  5. 5 Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours; an hour before you're going to serve, turn the crock pot to high, add the cut scallions, stir, and cook for an additional hour.
  6. 6 Stir, and serve over white or fried rice or noodles.


The Sanders Family said...

Yummy! I'm definitely gonna try these! :) Hope you all had a wonderful trip home, and hope you're feeling better (and are less swollen for your valentine, even though he wouldn't notice anyway, ha!)

Girly Girl Mommy said...

Those look so good!! I'm all about the bars and I just got home from a Valentine lunch with Paul at PF Changs and I had my favorite Mongolian Beef. Now I can attempt to make it on my own!!
Happy <3 Day!!


Football and Fried Rice said...

Yum, yum, yum!! I LOVE the Samoas - hate only getting like two in the box ;) might have to try your recipe!

The family

The family