Monday, May 30, 2011

Meringue Cookies

This recipe is one that I have had for years that I got off of It is an emeril recipe and turns out great every time! Tip....Separate your egg whites while cold and then let them come to room temperature in a bowl. Also you can make these with or without the chocolate chips and nuts...however you like it.

2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup superfine granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or finely chopped semisweet chocolate
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (I don't do the walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until fluffy but not at all dry. (Be careful not to over beat.) Add the sugar gradually, about 3 tablespoons at a time. When 1/2 of the sugar has been added, add the vanilla extract. Continue beating and adding remaining sugar in batches, until all of the sugar is dissolved and the meringue is very shiny and tight. Gently fold in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Working one teaspoon at a time, push a teaspoonful of meringue from the tip of 1 teaspoon with the back of another teaspoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving 1-inch of space between cookies. Place baking sheets in the preheated oven and turn the oven off. Leave the cookies (undisturbed) in the oven for at least 2 hours and up to overnight, or until cookies are crisp and dry.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I Love Love Love Muffins! These are sooooo good. I found these by typing in "best blueberry muffins" in my Google search bar. There were 426 reviews and it got 4 and 3/4 stars. I made a few adaptations and the result was fabulous!

Yields 12 regular muffins or 6 jumbo muffins.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 pint fresh blueberries - rinsed, drained
and patted dry (frozen works too)
3 tablespoons raw or torbino sugar

1. Position rack in the middle of oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray the top of a muffin pan with non-stick coating, and line with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix together 1 3/4 cup of the flour and baking powder. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated. Mix the whole blueberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of the flour, and fold into the batter. Scoop into muffin cups. Sprinkle tops lightly with sugar.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 23 minutes, or until golden brown, and tops spring back when lightly tapped.

I bake these in the texas size muffin tins without liners and they pop out just fine.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mexican Stuffed Shells

I have been meaning to try these for a while now and I finally got around to it and they were a bit hit! My kids and family loved this dish. A fun twist on the usual stuffed shells. I split this dish into 2 8x8 pans and popped one in the freezer for a great freezer meal later on.

*Recipe curtosy of Taste of Home

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
2 cups salsa (I used 1 cup)
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend

8 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
8 tablespoons salsa
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Cook pasta shells according to package directions; drain. In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the salsa, tomato sauce, corn and beans. Spoon into pasta shells.
Place in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Top with sour cream, salsa, olives and onions. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving (3 stuffed shells with 1 tablespoon each sour cream and salsa and 1-1/2 teaspoons each olives and onions) equals 323 calories, 10 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 36 mg cholesterol, 787 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 23 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

Mexican Stuffed Shells published in Light & Tasty June/July 2002, p29

Birthday Cake Pancakes

Finally,an excuse to have cake for breakfast!!!! (yes there is cake mix in these pancakes) These are so fun for a child's birthday. They are extra special and sweet for their special daughter loved these and I have a feeling it will be a new tradition at our house!

1 1/2c flour
2/3c white or yellow cake mix
1 T sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1-2 cups milk
(the little crunchy ball type worked better than the bigger oblong ones.)
Stir together dry ingredients, then add eggs vanilla and milk. Start with adding one cup milk and then add more until you have a pancake batter consistency. Pour batter over hot griddle and sprinkle sprinkles before flipping pancake.

1 T melted butter
2 c powdered sugar
2-4 T milk (I like you use evaporated milk for better flavor if you have it)

Stir together and add milk until you reach desired consistency. Pour glaze over cooked pancake. Shake a few more sprinkles on....and don't forget the candle on top!
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