Sunday, October 3, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert


I believe this recipe comes from a college roommate of one of my sisters.  It has become another popular family treat for birthdays, etc.  Warning though...this stuff is delicious and RICH.  A little goes a long way.

YIELD: 12 - 16 servings

20 chocolate cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, divided
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
½ cup peanut butter
1½ cups powdered sugar, divided
1 (16-ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
15 (sometimes we do a few more) miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
1 cup cold milk
1 (3.9-ounce) package instant chocolate fudge pudding mix

Crush 16 cookies; toss with the butter. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch square dish. In mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and 1 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping. Spread over crust. Sprinkle with peanut butter cups.  

In another mixing bowl, beat milk, pudding mix and remaining powdered sugar on low speed for 2 minutes. Fold in remaining whipped topping. Spread over peanut butter cups. Crush remaining cookies; sprinkle over the top. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Honey (Whole) Wheat Bread


Homemade bread is one of my favorite foods...especially hot out of the oven with butter and honey.  All of the credit for this recipe goes to the mother of a college friend.  It is absolutely delicious!  I generally do half or three-quarters of the recipe (3 or 4 loaves). It makes THE BEST grilled cheese sandwiches.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread (from the kitchen of Joyce Taron)
YIELD: 6 loaves

This recipe requires a large capacity mixer equipped with a dough hook.

Combine the following ingredients in the mixer bowl, using the dough hook attachment:

11 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour
3 cups rolled oats
½ cup gluten flour (optional, but this helps the dough to be more elastic and rise better)
2 tablespoons dry yeast
2 tablespoons salt

Add liquids:

½ cup vegetable oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
9 cups hot (but not too hot) tap water

Mix for 3 minutes. Let sponge for 10 minutes. Add, 1 cup at a time:

10 cups white flour (or whole wheat, for a delicious but heavier bread)

Knead by machine 5 minutes. Cover the bowl of dough with a dish towel and let rise until doubled. Stir the dough down and shape into 6 loaves. Place in greased bread pans and let rise until almost doubled. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Turn loaves out of pans to cool on rack.

NOTE FROM JOYCE: This is a genuine Taron family recipe. Rick and I developed this recipe about 20 years ago, experimenting with other favorite recipes, until we came up with a whole wheat bread that isn’t crumbly. It makes great sandwiches, and even better toast.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Macaroni and Cheese


This is one of those homemade comfort foods from my childhood.  'Nuff said.

2 quarts water
1(8-ounce) package elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
¾ cup fresh bread crumbs or saltine cracker crumbs
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon flour
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
⅛ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat to boiling water and 1 teaspoon salt.  Add macaroni; cook until tender but firm; drain.  Grease 2-quart baking dish.  Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine; add bread or cracker crumbs and toss to coat; set aside. 
  3. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt remaining butter; add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Blend in flour, mustard, pepper and salt.  Stir in milk; cook, stirring, until thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in cheese.
  5. Mix sauce with macaroni and pour into baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle crumb mixture over top.  Bake in over 20 - 25 minutes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Double Chocolate Banana (or Applesauce) Muffins


This is my favorite recipe for using up the overripe bananas that inevitably hang around past the point of enjoyable consumption. You can use banana, applesauce, or a mix of the two. They've always been a hit!

YIELD: 1 dozen

1½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1⅓ cups mashed bananas (or applesauce)
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup (6-ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a small bowl, combine bananas (or applesauce), oil and egg; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350°F for 20 - 25 minutes or until muffins test done.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spicy Shredded Pork


I'm cheating this week and pulling a recipe I discovered on Pioneer Woman's cooking site directly from the site (and using her photo instead of my own).  I've made this Spicy Shredded Pork a handful of times....LOVE IT.  It is so ridiculously tasty!  I always use my crock pot (just put the rub-covered roast into a Crockpot with a little water and let it cook until fork tender).

4 pounds (up To 7 Pounds) Pork Shoulder
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Salt
Pepper To Taste
3 cloves (to 4 Cloves) Garlic
1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons (to 3 Tablespoons) White Wine Vinegar
¼ cups Brown Sugar
1 whole Onion
Lime Wedges

Rinse and pat dry the pork shoulder.

To begin, just throw the dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper, garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar and brown sugar into a food processor or blender. (I happen to love brown sugar in my cooking, but you can decrease or omit it if you like.)

Cut one onion into quarters and put it in the food processor with the spices. Blend mixture until totally combined and then pour it over the pork shoulder.

Now rub it into every nook and cranny of the meat, tucking it under folds an in crevices. Let no stone go unturned.

Then place the pork into a roasting pan or Dutch oven and add a couple of cups of water. Cover tightly and roast pork at 300ยบ for several hours, turning once every hour.

When it is fork tender, crank up the heat, remove the lid, and roast it, skin side up for another 15 to 20 minutes to get the skin crispy. When it’s done, let it rest for 15 minutes before shredding.

Shred the pork shoulder (two forks work well). When it’s all shredded be sure to pour the juices all over the meat.

Serve with warm tortillas, lime wedges, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, tomatillo salsa … whatever makes your skirt fly up!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chocolate Cheesecake


Cheesecake has become the family favorite for birthdays and my youngest sister whipped this one up for my birthday recently.  This recipe came from my Aunt Linda Acton. Note that we tried using the Demarle at Home Large Round Mold and it worked fabulously!

⅓ cup margarine or butter, melted
1¼ cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs*
¼ cup sugar
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk**
16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine margarine, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar. Pat firmly in bottom of spring form pan. Beat cream cheese until fluffy, add sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth; add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into pan and bake for 65 minutes (cheesecake will not be set in the center). Cool on cooling rack.

*If using regular graham crackers add 3 tablespoons cocoa and increase the sugar to  cup.

**You can substitute sweetened condensed milk with: cup canned milk, 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) margarine, and 1½ cups sugar heated until sugar melts.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rhubarb Muffins


When I was a kid, growing up in Alaska, we always had plenty of rhubarb growing in the garden.  It seems like it is one of those things that people either love or hate.  I'm definitely a fan!

1½ cups brown sugar
2/3 cups oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2½ cups flour
1½ cups rhubarb, chopped


½ cup finely chopped nuts
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all muffin ingredients and mix. Pour into lined or greased muffin tins. Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle top of muffins. Bake for 25 minutes at 400°F.