Thursday, November 20, 2014

Recipe of the Day! Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

Okay I love popcorn. I have it for a snack at least 3 or 4 times a week. This is a new one on me though and it sounds fabulous! - Gale


5 quarts plain popped corn (freshly air-popped recommended.)
1/2-1 lb thick cut bacon, chopped, fried to just about crispy and well drained
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup or 1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 ounces Bourbon (cheap is good)


1 Preheat your oven to 250º.

2 Melt 1 cup of butter over medium heat. Mix in brown sugar, corn syrup and sea salt and then stir until boiling at the edges. Lower the heat slightly and let boil until the caramel is 250º. Remove from heat and add the baking soda and bourbon. Once fully incorporated, stir in the bacon.

3 Divide the popcorn into two very lightly greased roasting pans and coat with the caramel. Mix well and then put the popcorn into the preheated oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, mixing every 10-15 minutes so the kernels of popped corn is coated in bourbon bacon coating.

4 Once done, pour onto either parchment paper or wax paper to cool and break into pieces.

5 Refrigerate.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Recipe of the Day! Chocolate Pecan Pie

by David Lebovitz

Pecan pie is decadent enough as it is but what if it were chocolate? Could it be any better? A great recipe for thanksgiving! - Gale

David says:

I often prefer to use chopped chocolate in place of standard chocolate chips in recipes because in this case, the chips work a little better because they have less cocoa butter and make the pie easier to slice. But feel free to use either. I don’t pre-baked the pie dough before adding the filling—I like the way to sticky filling fuses to the crust during baking. The generous dose of bourbon cuts the sweetness of the pie and if you choose omit it, expect the pie to be denser. You can swap out another liquor in place of it if you wish.


Makes: one 9" pie

The crust:

1 1/4 cups (175g) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
4 ounces (115g) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1-inch (3cm) cubes
4 tablespoons (60ml) ice water

The chocolate-pecan filling:

3 large eggs
3/4 cup (150g) packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup (200g) light corn syrup, rice syrup or golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (30g) melted butter, salted or unsalted
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 2/3 cups (190g) toasted pecans, very coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (120g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

1. To make the crust, mix together the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. (Or use a food processor.)

2. Add the cubed butter and mix until the butter pieces are broken up and about the size of small peas.

3. Add the ice water and mix just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes. 4. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch (30cm) round. Transfer the dough into a 9-inch ( cm) pie plate letting the dough ease into the pan, rather than pressing it in. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath the area above the rim of the pie plate, to create a double width of dough, then crimp the edges and refrigerate until ready to fill.

5. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC) and position the oven rack to the center of the oven.

6. In a large bowl, which together the eggs, brown sugar, syrup, vanilla, salt, melted butter, and bourbon.

7. Stir in the pecans and the chocolate chips then scrape the filling into the pie shell and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling puffs up slightly but still feels slightly jiggly and moist in the center.


Let pie cool completely before slicing. Serving: Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream is a good accompaniment to pecan pie.

Storage: Dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days, or frozen for up to two months. The pie is best eaten the same day although will keep for up to three days, at room temperature.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Recipe of the Day! One Pot Spanish Chicken & Rice

by French Tart

With winter finally here, I am most interested in comfort type food. This next dish is something that looks mouthwatering and I hope it tastes the same. - Gale


Servings: 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 skinned and boneless chicken thighs
150 g spicy chorizo sausage, peeled and cut into slices
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and roughly diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
200 g long-grain white rice, rinsed under cold water
450 ml chicken stock
1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
2 tablespoons pitted black olives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme


1 Heat the oil in a large pot or pan over a medium heat and then add the chicken pieces and brown for 2 to 3 minutes, before adding the chorizo sausage and sautéing for a further 2 minutes.

2 Add the onions, garlic and red pepper, and sauté for a few minutes until the chorizo sausage releases red oil and the vegetables have softened slightly.

3 Add the rice and mix thoroughly and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to coat it all in oil.

4 Add the stock and smoked paprika, and place a lid on the pot/pan. Simmer over a very low heat, with the lid on, for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and tender and the rice is soft and has absorbed all the liquid.

5 Adjust the seasoning and gently fluff up the rice and mix all the vegetables and chicken through, before adding the olives and the chopped thyme.

6 Serve immediately, setting the pot/pan on the table, with crusty bread and salad if liked.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Recipe of the Day! French Bread Taco Pizzas

by Betty Crocker Kitchens


1 loaf French bread
1/2 lb ground beef
2 tablespoons Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix (from 1-oz package)
1/3 cup water
1 can (16 oz) Old El Paso™ refried beans
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2
cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (6 oz) 1 cup shredded lettuce
1 tomato, chopped


1 Heat oven to 425°F. Line large cookie sheet with foil. Cut bread in half lengthwise, then in half crosswise. Place on cookie sheet, cut sides up. Place in oven to lightly toast, about 5 minutes.
2 In 6-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat until brown, stirring frequently; drain. Add taco seasoning mix and water; cook until thickened.
3 Spread refried beans over toasted bread. Top with beef mixture, bell pepper, onion and cheese. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with lettuce and tomato.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Recipe of the Day! Cowboy Casserole

by Betty Crocker Kitchens


1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 can (16 oz) baked beans
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups Original Bisquick™ mix
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)


1 Heat oven to 425°F. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.
2 Stir baked beans and barbecue sauce into beef. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole.
3 Meanwhile, in medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk and butter until soft dough forms.
4 Drop dough by 12 spoonfuls onto beef mixture.
5 Bake uncovered 18 to 22 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake about 3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Recipe of the Day! Cinnamon-Banana Bread Pudding

by Betty Crocker Kitchens

I love bananas. They're so good for you. If I were offered a banana or apple I'd choose the banana every time. Apples have a lot of fructose in them which can cause stomach or digestive problems in people that suffer from IBS (like me) yet bananas have less plus they contain potassium, which I for one, need. This dessert looks heavenly, so why not give it a try! - Gale


3 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 loaf (1 lb) cinnamon-swirl bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium bananas, chopped
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons dark rum


1 Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 1/2-quart casserole with cooking spray.
2 In large bowl, slightly beat eggs with whisk; beat in granulated sugar and half-and-half. Stir in bread cubes, bananas and pecans. Pour mixture into casserole. Let stand 10 minutes.
3 Bake uncovered 1 hour 20 minutes or until center is set. Let stand 10 minutes.
4 Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring until melted. Stir in whipping cream and rum with whisk; cook 3 minutes or until thick and reduced to 3/4 cup. Serve warm bread pudding with warm sauce.