Hunka Hunka Elvis Recipes!

Ran across some postcards I purchased in Memphis a few years ago, including a couple that have recipes that are supposed to be from Elvis’ kitchen. They sound delicious. I hung the postcards in the kitchen at my old house, but the pictures went into storage in the garage when I moved. Here are the two favorites that I chose (the gift shop had several others).

Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches

2 large bananas

6 slices of white bread

1 stick of butter

1 cup peanut butter

Peel and mash bananas. Mix peanut butter with bananas thoroughly. Toast bread lightly and spread mix on bread. Melt butter in skillet and brown sandwiches on each side slowly until golden brown.

Sweet Potato Pie

2 large sweet potatoes

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon nutmeg

1 stick butter

1/2 cup milk

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Bake the sweet potatoes until tender. Cool, peel and mash. Combine the potatoes and other ingredients. Pour into pie shell. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes or until done.

 

Light Fare for Summer Evenings, Part II

Fantastic salads are a great addition to the menu rotation during the summer heat. They are lighter than so many dishes, don’t tend to heat up the kitchen, and can often be made ahead so they are ready to serve whenever needed.

Here are 3 more great salads culled and adapted from the Brand Name Light & Natural Cookbook I picked up recently at a garage sale. Quick, light and easy – that’s my plan for August meals!

Primavera Pasta Salad

1  1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1  1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1  1/2 cups broccoli florets

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

3/4 cup julienned zucchini

1/2 cup julienned carrot

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup lemon juice

1  1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

3 3/4 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

6 ounces linquine or fettuccine noodles, cooked

Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and garlic and stir fry 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add tomatoes, zucchini, carrot, honey, lemon juice, lemon peel and seasonings. Simmer and 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring gently. Toss with noodles. Cool. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Serves 6.

Spicy Cucumber-Orange Salad

1 cucumber, sliced thin

1 large orange, peeled, sliced thin and cut into quarters

1/2 red onion, sliced thin and separated into rings

1 large Anaheim chile, seeded and chopped

1 cup white vinegar

1/3 cup salad oil

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped or 1 teaspoon crushed dried oregano

2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon ground dried sage

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a deep glass bowl toss together the cucumber slices, orange pieces, onion and chile.

In a covered container place the vinegar, oil and remaining ingredients; shake together until blended. Pour over salad mixture, stirring occasionally. Serve wiht a slotted spoon as a side-dish salad or relish. Marinade can be saved and used for salad dressing. Yields 3 cups salad, serves 3.

Chilled Dilled Carrot Salad

2 cups carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup diced shallots or red onions

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2-3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

Parboil carrots until tender yet crips, about 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain. Combine carrots and onions. Mix remaining ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Pour over carrot mixture and toss well. Refrigerate at least 3 hours to blend flavors. Serves 4.

For more great fast, delicious dinner recipes and ideas, try 25 Quick & Easy Quesadilla Recipes, available online for only 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony or Smashwords.

Take Ice Cream to the Next Level with Sauces!

We’ve posted several great ice cream recipes to help us all survive the heat of summer. But we’ve decided that’s not enough. Man cannot live by ice cream alone. We need sauces too!

So here are our favorite ice cream sauces. They are all quick and easy to whip up and will compliment your homemade (or store bought, if you must) ice cream beautifully.

For more great frozen treats, check out our latest cookbook, Gourmet Ice Pops for Kids & Adults. It’s available online for only $2.99 exclusively at Amazon.

Okay, now for sauces – get out a saucepan, and let’s get to work!

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce

1 cup chocolate syrup

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

In a saucepan, mix together syrup and peanut butter. Cook, stirring, until blended. Serve warm or cool.

 

Chocolate Marshmallow Sauce

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup cocoa

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup small marshmallows

In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, milk and cocoa. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar melts and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla and marshmallows. Serve warm or cool.

 

Blueberry Sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 cup water

10-ounce package frozen blueberries, thawed and undrained

In a saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg and water. Cook, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add blueberries and cook, stirring, until well combines, Serve warm or cold.

 

Butterscotch Sauce

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

In a saucepan, mix brown sugar, corn sytrup and butter. Cook, stirring until well blended. Cool. Beat in 1/2 cup heavy cream.

 

Maple Syrup Sauce

1 1/2 cups maple syrup

1/2 cup heavy cream

Combine syrup and cream in a saucepan and cook, stirring, until well blended. Cool before serving.

 

For more great frozen treats, check out our latest cookbook, Gourmet Ice Pops for Kids & Adults. It’s available online for only $2.99 exclusively at Amazon.

There are few treats more satisfying than a frozen popsicle on a sunny day. But why eat the boring same-old pops from the grocery store? They tend to be filled with sugar, corn syrup, and chemicals.

Making your own ice pops is quick and easy and it opens the doors to a world of great flavors. When making pops yourself, you can be sure to only include healthy ingredients or adjust recipes to include your kids’ favorite foods or to eliminate an ingredient your kids just won’t eat.

Although they are a dessert item, by creating pops make from fresh fruits, fruit juices, yogurts and natural sweeteners like honey, you can indulge in delicious treats that are still very healthy!

Ice Pops can be decadent and heavy, but many of the recipes included here are light and healthy. Starting with juices or teas, many of these delicious pops are low calorie and low fat or even no fat! (Don’t worry, we’ve included plenty of naughty Pops as well.)

This book is full of recipes and ideas for delicious, gourmet ice pops, divided into 3 sections — kids favorites, gourmet flavors, and adults only (recipes with alcoholic ingredients). Skim through the Table of Contents and you’re sure to find your new favorite!

Gourmet Ice Pops includes more than 50 delicious recipes with tips and notes to help you create your own variations! Includes color photos and illustrations to make the book more entertaining plus a hyperlinked table of contents for ease of use.

 

Grandma Newcomb’s Peanut Butter & Cereal Cookies

Guest post by D.E. Newcomb, author of Mortal Choices

When I was a kid, I often spent a couple of weeks with my grandmother during the summer. She lived in a nice trailer out in the country in Missouri and I loved staying with her. She had a pump well for extra water, which was interesting. And when we went to grocery she let me pick whatever cereal I wanted. At home we only had Wheaties, Cheerios, and such. I will never forget my disappointment the time I picked Lucky Charms. The tiny marshmallows were super fun and delicious, but the actual cereal was disgusting (to my 7 year-old taste buds, at least).

One of my favorite activities with grandma was cooking with her. And the best thing we made was peanut butter and rice cereal cookies. My older sisters say she got the original recipe off a box of cereal back in the day. I don’t know. I only know these are wonderful, easy-to-make cookies, and as far as I know nobody makes them anymore. Except in my family. We don’t do the Rice Crispies and marshmallow bar cookies. Oh, no. These are so much better.

Peanut Butter & Rice Cereal Cookies

1 cup clear corn syrup (Karo)

1 cup sugar

Bring syrup and sugar to boil in a large pan. Remove from heat.

Add:

12 ounce jar peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

Stir until combined, then add:

2 1/2 cups Rice Crispies (store brand works fine)

2 1/5 cups Rice Chex (store brand works fine)

Once mixed, drop onto waxed paper. This is easiest if you use 2 soup spoons. Scoop out cookie with one and use the other to swipe it off the spoon and onto the waxed paper. This recipe also works for bar cookies. Just press cookie dough into a greased square pan, let it cool, and cut into squares.

These cookies are addictive, and I insist that they are also breakfast bites. They are primarily peanut butter and cereal after all. I know that sounds a little crazy, but these have to have more nutrition than a donut. Try these out. You’ll also be looking for ways to justify eating 10 or 12 a day.

D.E.

(D.E. Newcomb is the author of Mortal Choices, now available for $2.99 on Amazon)

Amanda Miller, an inquisitive journalist, is looking for distraction from a troubled home life when she crosses paths with Detective Terry Walkingstick, newly promoted and eager to prove himself.

Local police have just linked the disappearance of several area residents. A task force is created to investigate, but no one yet realizes a killer is hunting on the quiet suburban streets, snatching his victims without witnesses and seemingly at random.

 

For a Quick & Easy Dinner, Try Enchilada Casserole

I first had this dish last spring at my friend Jan’s house. She adapted it from an old recipe. This dish is awesome! I’ve made it a couple of times since and everyone who’s tried it loves it.

Shhh. Don’t tell Jan. I didn’t get permission to share it, but it’s just too good to keep secret!

Jan’s Enchilada Casserole

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion (chopped)

1 small can green chilis (chopped)

1 can medium-flavor enchilada sauce

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 soup can of milk

1/2 bag tortilla chips (crushed)

Grated mild cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef with onion. Drain grease. Add in and stir together: enchilada sauce, green chilis, soups, and milk.

In a large casserole dish or Dutch oven, layer Doritos, meat mixture, then cheese. Repeat layers.

Bake at 350 until heated through. Time needed will depend on size of dish and depth of layers. It’s generally good to get the casserole bubbly hot and the cheese browning.

Notes: Can be made with a large can of green chilis. Recipe can be doubled for large groups.

We don’t usually use brand-names in recipes, so feel free to use any brands you like, but we prefer Old El Paso Medium Enchilada Sauce and Doritos chips in this dish.

Casserole reheats nicely in the microwave.

This casserole is not very spicy. For more heat, add some diced jalapeños or some hot pepper sauce.

For more easy Mexican recipes, try our 25 Quick & Easy Quesadilla Recipes, available online for only 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony or Smashwords.

Light Fare for Summer Evenings

With the heat of summer, heavy foods lose some of their appeal. We naturally want lighter food. That’s what got me digging through a cookbook I picked up recently.

The Brand Name Light & Natural Cookbook is no light book. The one I picked up at a garage sale is a hardback and weighs about 5 pounds or so. Or at least it seems to.

I flipped to the salads section to see if there were any fresh new salads hiding there. And there were!

Black Bean Salad

3 cups black beans, cooked

2 cups corn, cooked

1/2 cup red onions, minced

1 cup red peppers, diced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup parsley

1 teaspoon chile peppers, crushed

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup flax seed oil

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

Combine beans, corn, onions, red peppers, cilantro, parsley and chile peppers. Mix garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, and sea salt. Pour dressing over salad and mix. Serves 7.

The recipe doesn’t specify, but canned black beans would work just fine here and make this salad very quick and easy.

Sesame Chicken Salad

3 cups cooked rice

2 cups cooked chicken breast, sliced

1/4 pound snow peas, sliced into strips

1 medium cucumber, cut into strips

1 medium red pepper, cut into strips

1/2 cup sliced green onion

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Sesame Dressing

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon peanut oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Combine all salad ingredients. Stir well then toss with dressing. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. Serves 6.

Dressing: Combine all ingredients in jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously. Yields 3/4 cup.

Waldorf Chicken Salad

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup salad oil

12 dried apricots, moist packed preferred

4 cups bite-size pieces cooked chicken

1 apple, cored and diced

1/4 cup diced celery

1/4 cup minced green onions

1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds

Stir together honey, mustard, poppy seeds, lemon peel, juice, and oil. Add apricots and let stand 30 minutes. Remove apricots and set them aside. Add chicken and toss lightly. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve: Add apple, celery, green onions. and almonds to chicken mixture. Divide onto lettuce-lined plates and garnish with apricots. Serves 6.

 

July 4th Celebrations Deserve Great Ice Cream

When I think of July 4th and food, the first items that come to mind are corn on the cob, watermelon, and ice cream!! The corn on the cob and watermelon pretty much take care of themselves, but not the ice cream. So many choices, so many flavors!

I think I made a great find at a garage sale when I purchased the Complete Book of Homemade Ice Cream for a quarter! It also includes Milk Sherbet and Sherbet recipes. This book dates from 1973 and boasts 300 recipes!

With the 4th right around the corner, I thought I’d share a few recipes from this book that look the tastiest!

First, a few ice cream making tips from Carol Anderson, the author of the Ice Cream book.

  • If no cooking is required, often the ingredients can be combined right in the freezer can, which means fewer dishes to wash.
  • If ice cream is to be hand-stirred during freezing, or if it is to be removed from one container to another, use a wooden spoon to prevent transfer of heat to the mix.
  • Always allow space in the freezer can for expansion of the ice cream when it freezes. Approximately 1/3 of the can is needed for the swell.
  • Cool the mix to room temperature or slightly lower before freezing. Churn-freezing a warm mix may cause a buttery texture due to the increased freezing period.
  • Rock salt can be saved for later use by pouring the used ice and salt mixture into a burlap sack. The the ice melt to leave the salt.
  • Lightly whipping ingredients such as egg whites or cream before adding them to the mix makes a creamier frozen product.
  • Chill serving dishes for 5 minutes in the freezer if the frozen dessert is not too firm.
  • To decorate ice cream, work on a cookie sheet over a pan of ice.

Okay, ready to make some ice cream? Try these recipes on for size.

World-Famous Philadelphia Vanilla

6 cups light cream

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 vanilla beans (3-inch size), split

1/8 teaspoon salt

In top of a double boiler, combine 3 cups cream, sugar, vanilla beans, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Remove beanpods, scraping pulp and seeds into the cream. Cool.

Add remaining 3 cups cream to the cooled mixture and mix well. Churn freeze. Makes 1/2 gallon.

Anderson notes that this is a key recipe, so cooks can use their own imagination to add fruits, nuts or flavorings to the vanilla to create many other great ice cream treats.

Banana Marshmallow Ice Cream

Anderson marked this one as a favorite of hers. It is certainly unusual.

1 cup milk

30 marshmallows

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 cups sliced bananas (about 4 bananas)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3 1/2 cups heavy cream

In an electric blender, combine milk, marshmallows, sugar, sliced bananas, and lemon juice. Blend on high speed.

Whip heavy cream and then stir into blended banana mixture. Still-freeze. Makes 1/2 gallon.

Anderson notes that still-freezing is just what it sounds like. You make the ice cream mix, put it in a container, and freeze it in the freezer. No churning required. You can churn ice creams mixes that are made for still-freezing, but don’t still-freeze a mix that was created for churning. The still-freeze mixes have a lot more air whipped into them.

Blueberry Ice Cream

2 pints fresh blueberries

1 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups heavy cream, lightly whipped

1 cup evaporated milk

Mash berries and cook with sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

Press berries through a sieve. Cool.

Add salt, lightly whipped heavy cream and evaporated milk to the berries.

Churn freeze. Makes 1/2 gallon.

For more great freezable flavors, try Gourmet Ice Pops for Kids and Adults. It’s full of great flavors, from kids’ favorites, to more sophisticated flavors, to naughty but delicious alcohol-infused party pops. Available exclusively through Amazon. On sale for the 4th at 99 cents. Now that’s a great party waiting to happen!

Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Gourmet-Pops-Kids-Adults-ebook/dp/B007SPP0I2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341240133&sr=1-1&keywords=gourmet+ice+pops+for+kids+and+adults

Slow Cooker Relief for Summer Heat

Slow Cooker Relief for Summer Heat

Summer heat has arrived with a vengeance so I’ve been trying to remember any and all great dinner ideas that won’t heat up my kitchen. Digging around, I found a fun little recipe book full of slow cooker recipes. A lot of the recipes are awfully heavy for summer fare, but some are not.

Slow cookers offer tender, delicious meals without heating up the kitchen. Score!

This booklet is from General Electric and no doubt was included with a slower cooker at purchase. The booklet gives 2 sets of quantities for each recipe. One set for 3 to 4 1/2 quart cookers and one set for 5 to 6 1/2 quart cookers. I am using the quantities for the smaller cookers here, but the quantities GE gives for the big cookers is double that for small. So if you have a large cooker and want to fill it, just double these recipes.

Hawaiian Chicken

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved

16 ounce can pineapple slices, drained

15 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained

1/ cup cornstarch

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

14 teaspoon ground ginger

Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or on high for 2 to 3 hours. Makes about 6 to 8 servings.

Tex-Mex Beef Barbecue

3 pounds beef brisket

18 ounce bottle hickory-smoked barbecue sauce

1 package chili seasoning

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup chopped onion

Combine all ingredients, except meat, in the crock. Stir well. Add meat and stir well to coat. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours or high for 5 hours. Remove the meat and shred. Return the meat to the crock. Stir well to combine. Serve on soft rolls. Makes 8 servings.

Orange-Juiced Pork Chops

6 ounce can frozen orange juice, undiluted

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

6 1-inch thick boneless, center-cut pork chops

Combine all ingredients, except the meat, in the crock. Stir well. Add the meat and stir well to coat. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 hours. Makes 6 servings.

Asian Spareribs

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

10 ounce jar duck sauce or sweet and sour sauce

3 pounds country-style pork spare ribs

Dissolve cornstarch in teriyaki sauce. Add duck sauce and put in crock. Stir well. Add the meat and stir well to coat. Cover and cook on low for8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Makes 4 servings.

Time to get the old crock pot out of the cupboard and dust it off. Quick and easy meals that won’t heat the kitchen are on their way.

Quesadillas are my go-to quick dinner at home, and they are great when I didn’t have a plan for dinner in advance. Slow cooking requires planning. Not my strong suit. Quesadillas don’t require planning. For  lots of great takes on the old quesadilla, check out 25 Quick & Easy Quesadilla Recipes. Only 99 cents for lots of inspiration.

 

Bleu Blue Nachos For a Change of Pace

The local newspaper recently ran a recipe for Bleu (or Blue) Nachos and it caught my attention. I decided to give it a try. I just love nachos, but don’t have many variations that are terribly interesting. Sometimes I add sliced olives – Oooh. Sometimes not.

So the blue cheese sauce idea sparked my interest. Plus it called for blue tortilla chips. I just love those!

Here’s the adapted recipe. Give it a try for a change of pace.

Blue Nachos

Blue corn chips

Blue cheese sauce (recipe follows)

Bacon, chopped

Onions, chopped (Sweet onions or green onions are prettier)

Walnuts, chopped – optional

Place chips on a large plate and cover with the cheese sauce then add toppings. I used Vidalia onions because they are in season, but green onions would add a lot more to the color and presentation of the dish.

To serve for a party, set out cheese sauce in a small crock pot or other container that will keep it warm with a bowl of chips on the side. Add the toppings to the cheese sauce or set them out in small bowls also.

Blue Cheese Sauce

2 cups milk

1/2 stick butter

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon honey

5 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Heat milk in a saucepan until simmering. (I used skim milk because it’s what I had on hand. Whole milk would doubtless make a richer sauce, but the skim milk worked just fine.)

Add pepper, honey and cheese and cook on low heat until cheese has melted.

In a separate sauté pan, heat the butter until it melts, then stir in flour to make a roux. Cook the roux for a few minutes on low heat.

Add roux to milk mixture a little at a time, whisking to blend and thicken the cheese sauce. Continue adding roux until the desired thickness is reached.

This recipe made enough sauce for 2 big platters of nachos with generous sauce and toppings.

For more great party food ideas, check out Touchdown Treats: Quick & Easy Dips and Cheese Ball Recipes for a Winning Party. It is currently free online for a limited time promotion. Pick up a copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, Kobo or Smashwords.

Strawberry Shakes for Adults Only

Memorial weekend is always such a blast. A mini-vacation with friends to kick off the summer. Beautiful! And this weekend I discovered a new treat — Tequila Rose liqueur. It’s strawberry flavored and delicious. A friend was making delicious little shots with it. The bottle she brought was in a box with a couple of pretty little shot glasses – and recipes on the back!

The recipes look delicious. We were at the lake without the ingredients to make the interesting adult beverages in these recipes, but I thought I’d share them.

These frozen beverages call to mind the adult ice pops in Gourmet Ice Pops for Kids and Adults. It would take some adjustments to get these to freeze solid, but I bet they are a taste treat just the way they are. Here are the 3 that look the most delicious.

Tequila Rose Adult Milk Shake

2 ounces Tequila Rose strawberry

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Whipped cream

Chocolate syrup

Red sprinkles

Drizzle chocolate syrup in a hurricane glass, blend Tequila Rose and ice cream, pour into glass, top with whipped cream and red sprinkles.

TR Banana Split

Tequila Rose strawberry

Double chocolate flavored vodka

Banana liqueur

Half and half

Pour equal parts of each into a beautiful glass in layers.

Strawberry Smore

1 1/4 ounce Tequila Rose strawberry

1/2 ounce vanilla flavored vodka

1/4 ounce butterscotch schnapps

Hot chocolate

Whipped cream

2 marshmallows

Chocolate sprinkles

Drizzle chocolate syrup into glass mug, then add Tequila Rose, vodka and schnapps. Top with whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles and garnish with marshmallows.

For more great adult treats, check out Gourmet Ice Pops for Kids and Adults. It contains recipes for homemade ice pops in assorted flavors, more unusual gourmet flavor pops, and a section of adults only alcohol infused ice pops.

Gourmet Ice Pops for Kids and Adults is available online for only $2.99 exclusively at Amazon.