Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sweet Potato Flan with Candied Pecans

My hubby made this for me a couple of weeks ago as a surprise at the end of a very busy week for me. It was so delicious.
Look who has the time to experiment with recipes now. Unfortunately, for the same reason I started this blog......... he's unemployed.
recipe from Publix Family Style magazine
2 medium sweet potatoes
4 large eggs
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely shredded tangerine peel
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
Rinse and pierce the  sweet potatoes with a fork. Microwave, covered for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out pulp. Mash pulp (you should have 1 cup); set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Mix in the sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, sweet potatoes, vanilla and tangerine peel. Set aside.
To caramalize sugar, in a small nonstick skillet, heat the 1/3 cup sugar over medium-high heat until it begins to melt, shaking the skillet occasionally; do not stir. When the sugar starts to melt , reduce heat to low and cook about 5 minutes or until all of the sugar melts and is golden, stirring as needed with a wooden spoon. Immediately divide caramelized sugar into five 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups. Swirl to cover the bottom. Add 3/4 cup custard mixture to each ramekin and cover each with aluminum foil.
Add 3 cups of water to a large pot. Gently palce ramekins in pot and place on burner. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove and cool on wire rack.
Refrigerate the flans for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to loosen. To serve, use a butter knife to release the sides of each flan. Place on a dessert plate upside down to unmold. Top with candied pecans (instructions below) and serve.
Candied Pecans
(can be made anytime ahead of serving)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake pecans for 8 minutes in a shallow baking pan. While the pecans are toasting, heat 2 tablespoons sugar in a small skillet. Shake occasionally to heat sugar evenly; do not stir. Heat until the sugar starts to melt and then stir just the melted portions, until it is all melted and golden. Add butter and stir until combined. Remove from heat. Add pecans to skillet, stirring to coat. Pour the nut mixture onto a baking sheet and cool completely. Break up into pieces.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Toffee Dip with Apples

recipe adapted from From My Kitchen to Yours
2 (8 ounce) tubs soft light cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (10-12 ounce) bag Heath toffee bits
Mix everything together, chill for a couple of hours and serve with apple slices!
This is really great with Granny Smith apples, the sweetness of the dip and tartness of the apples goes great together.
I cut the recipe in half, that's enough to have around the house for snacking, but for a party, go ahead and make the entire recipe.

Senatorial Bean Soup



2 cups dried navy beans
2tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups chopped leek
2 cups sliced or chopped carrot
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup diced, cooked ham
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups water
2 teaspoons chicken base
1 teaspoon beef base
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
2 bay leaves

Sort and wash beans and place in a large pot. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans, and bring to a boil. Cook the beans 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let beans stand one hour. Drain beans.

Melt margarine in a pan over medium-high heat. Add leek and next 4 ingredients (leek through garlic); sauté 10 minutes. Add beans, 8 cups water, chicken and beef bases, sage and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until beans are very tender. Discard bay leaves.

Place half of soup in a blender; process until smooth. (You may want to blend smaller amounts in batches depending on your blender size or use an immersion blender if you have one.) Pour pureed mixture back into remaining soup, and cook over medium heat 30 minutes.

 Yield: 4 large servings

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pineapple Orange Cranberry Sauce



1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1 (14 ounce) can pineapple tidbits in juice
orange juice
1 cup sugar

 Drain pineapple tidbits, keeping juice separate. Add enough orange juice to the pineapple juice to bring to one cup. Pour into saucepan with all other ingredients. Cook on stovetop at medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until desired consistency. Allow to cool and then refrigerate overnight.