Easy Peach And Apricot Cobbler

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Easy Peach Apricot Cobbler

Easy Peach Apricot Cobbler

Years back, before the internet became the place to go to get every recipe known to man, as well as some known only to The Mirthful Mermaids of the Planet Playtex (quick! Where’s that from?!), there were lots of options to get recipes via snail mail. Although it wasn’t called snail mail back then… just mail. πŸ˜› One of the options came from various companies hawking recipe cards. They would come in a cute little hard see through plastic case or binders. I was subscribed for a while to one called The Great American Baking Company. It was like Christmas every month as I opened up the new cards and got to look through them to find ones I wanted to make.

The fly in the ointment? Out of a year of doing this, at what I realize now was a ridiculous price (I believe it was like $9.99 a month for about 12 recipe cards), I have now about 5 of those cards that, through various moves, I felt were worth saving. The rest either got thrown out over time, colored on by children over the years or peed on by cats because cats are Satans Spawn.

One that I will always keep is this one. I’ve changed it up a little bit through the years (the vanilla and almond in the fruit are my own idea and I use extra cinnamon in the fruit plus add vanilla to the whipped cream), but not much really in the way of changes at all. This is another one of those recipes that I’ve seen in various places on the web with this person or that claiming credit, but nope… came from a mail order company πŸ˜€ I love this one because, in the middle of Winter (or the tail end, like now) I can still have a yummy fruit dessert. This uses canned fruit and couldn’t really be any easier. Plus, I absolutely adore the whipped cream topping. It uses honey and cinnamon instead of the typical sugar and that adds such a unique twist to it. So if you have like 15 minutes to throw this together and an available oven….

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Easy Peach And Apricot Cobbler

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 28 ounce can sliced peaches in syrup, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 15 ounce can apricot halves in syrup, juice drained and combined with the peach juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Topping-
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 egg
  • Whipped cream topping-
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons honey (depends on how sweet you like it. Start with the lower amount.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium pot, combine the sugar and the cornstarch. Stir in one cup of the combined juices from the fruit, along with the vanilla and almond extracts. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the butter, cinnamon and nutmeg, then add in the fruits. Pour this all into a 1 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish or casserole dish.
  4. For the topping, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt butter and egg. Spoon this over the fruit. It’s a thick mixture, but it will spread as it cooks.
  5. Bake at 400 until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly, about 30 minutes. You may want to either place foil on the rack below or put the baking dish into a larger pan to catch drips. When done, let cool slightly.
  6. For the topping, simply beat together the cream, honey, cinnamon and vanilla and top each serving with a nice big dollop.

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Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese

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Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese Once upon a time, I made atrocious mac and cheese. It tasted ok, but the texture was kind of grainy and gritty. Every once in a while, I would hit it and it would be good but those times were few and far between.

For years, I had seen recipes for it that used eggs to make a sort of cheesy custard but something about using eggs in mac and cheese just seemed weird to me, not to mention that, even to ME, it was like “whoaaaaa… like mac and cheese isn’t fattening enough as is without adding a bunch of eggs to it?” But I kept running into recipes with them in it and the photos I saw always looked good so I broke down and tried it.

I’m sorry I waited so long.

And looking back and thinking in a logical cooking way, it makes sense. Make an egg custard and put cheese in it and you’re going to have something delicious. I do it when I make Pastitsio (the love child of Greek mac and cheese and Greek lasagna) so I don’t know why I hesitated in this. Adding the eggs to the milk and cheese one might normally use to make a white sauce for M&C simply gives you a smoother, richer, better textured final product. If you’ve never used a custard base for pasta, don’t be nervous. If you remember to temper your eggs, you’ll be fine. All that means is to beat a little of the hot milk/cheese mixture into the eggs to heat the eggs up. That way they don’t immediately scramble when you add them to the milk. After that, it’s a breeze. You’ve got this! Β  For the life of me, I don’t recall where I got the un-changed up recipe originally. I had it hand written on a piece of paper with no info.

You know the drill… in this case, it’s go make some outrageously cheesy and creamy mac and cheese!

Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese

  • 2 lbs macaroni
  • 20 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated (don’t use the preshredded)
  • 20 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated (don’t use the preshredded
  • 2 lbs Velveeta, cubed
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (use whole for this or 2%. There is really no use using skim or 1%. I mean… really… with all the cheese?)
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

 

  1. Cook your pasta, drain well and set aside.
  2. While it’s cooking, combine your cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Pour your milk into a medium, preferably non stick, pot. Over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer.
  4. Add in the Velveeta cheese and stir constantly until smooth and completely melted.
  5. Take about 1/2 cup of the hot milk/cheese mixture and SLOWLY drizzle it into the bowl of beaten eggs, whisking with a fork constantly. When you have it all tempered, slowly pour the egg mixture back into the milk mixture, again stirring constantly.
  6. Butter a 4 to 6 quart baking dish (this has been edited since I first posted this as I have been told by people that that wasn’t big enough. So I came to check because I wasn’t sure why they were saying I said 3 quart and saw that I, in my idiocy, didn’t realize I had typed 3 and not four. I’m so sorry!!) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Don’t use a smaller one… this makes a LOT of mac and cheese. Pour half of the pasta into the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and layer the sliced butter all over the top.
  7. Sprinkle half of the cheddar/jack cheese mixture over the top of the pasta, then pour half of the hot milk/cheese mixture over the top. Repeat this layering one more time.
  8. Bake at 350 until mac and cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

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I’ve Been Told I’m An Airhead

That must be why I like nice airy souffles so much. Wait. Does that mean I’m a cannibal if I eat one? Ehhh, who cares; they’re tasty (wonders suddenly if I was a member of the Donner Party in a past life).

Once upon a time, I wouldn’t eat souffles. I also wouldn’t eat sushi, anything with Acai Berries, Quinoa or any sort of thing touted as an ancient grain,. Nor would I touch Risotto, anything “Blackened” (unless I accidentally burned it) Avocados, Organic Foods, bottled water, artisan anything or anything bought at the “it” store of any given moment. I had/have a thing about being trendy.

Ok, really, I have this slight quirk when it comes to being non-conformist. Fine! I admit it! I really really hate to follow the crowds. I think it comes from being that “bully target” when I was a kid. If I wasn’t good enough then, I’m sure as hell not changing and being like everyone else just to fit in NOW. πŸ˜› That stupidly extended to what I would eat.

Yeah. I need therapy.

I have however gotten to the point of eating most of those things. I still tend to roll my eyes at organic simply because I’m too cynical for my own good and don’t believe that 1) the vast majority of organic/clean foods are any better for you (unless you raise them yourself) than other foods and a lot of studies agree with that idea and 2) I’m not rich. Plus, unless it is in a California roll piece of sushi, I still don’t care for avocados. Nor will I buy 99.9% of anything labeled artisanΒ  simply because I hate snooty foods lol and that I’m not rich thing again πŸ˜›

I have learned to love souffles. Sweet, savory, whatever, I’ll try them. I admit to a fondness for the sweet ones though. Whoda thunk it huh?

I have always loved the chocolate mint combo. I have mentioned that on a number of blogs recently because it tis the season for that combination right now. However, even there, I have to be different. It’s a sickness; I swear. I need rehab. Or chocolate. Whichever.

So I didn’t make mine with milk or dark chocolate (or the real stuff as my friend Bel would say. According to her, white chocolate isn’t real πŸ˜› ). I made it with white chocolate. But being me, I had to mess with it even more. So I added that nice minty Christmas mint flavor by adding some Peppermint Schnapps.

This turned out really really good. I was kind of tickled with myself to be honest. It would be a perfect fit on Christmas or just whenever you want a treat. So try this one. I insist. Or I’ll make you eat raw liver. This is a change up from a white chocolate souffle recipe I found at thatsmyhome.com

White Chocolate & Peppermint Schnapps Souffle

  • 5 large eggs, room temp & separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (USE this… it helps stabilize the egg whites which is important in souffles)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (no, that’s not a typo)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (or just mix a little cream into lighter milk. Just use milk with some fat. It helps add richness and height)
  • 4 tablespoons peppermint schnapps
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 8 ounces good quality white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 crushed candy canes
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the white chocolate, cream. 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, 2 tablespoons of the schnapps and butter. Microwave in one minute increments, stirring after each, until melted. Set aside.
  2. In a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan, beat the egg yolks with the 4 tablespoons sugar. Add the flour and beat just until blended.
  3. Slowly beat in the milk & 2 tablespoons of the schnapps.
  4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick. Don’t boil. Do NOT get bored and walk away. You’ll regret it. Please don’t ask how I know this.
  5. Cool the egg mixture until it is barely warm. Stir the white chocolate mixture into it.
  6. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter and sugar 4 individual souffle dishes.
  7. In a VERY clean preferably glass, bowl (make sure it is squeaky clean or your whites won’t rise), beat your egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the 1 tablespoon sugar. Beat until stiff.
  8. Pour the egg and chocolate mixture into a large clean bowl. Fold the beaten whites into the yolk mixture; about half at a time. Make sure no white streaks remain.
  9. Bake at 375 for about 35 minutes or until they are puffy, set and lightly browned. They can move but they shouldn’t jiggle. The center should look dry. Use just your oven light to check them because it doesn’t take much in the way of cool air to deflate a souffle.
  10. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the crushed candy canes. Serve immediately. Souffles wait for no one. πŸ˜€

Egging You On

Boo!!! Hiss!!! There I go again with the completely lame puns. Hehehehe. You wouldn’t love me anymore if I stopped.

I’ve always been so so on eggs. When it comes to your typical fried, scrambled, etc, I eat them maybe three or so times a year. About the same amount of times I get a strange craving for a PB&J on mushy store bought white bread. No, I’m not a major peanut butter fan either, unless one counts Reeses peanut butter cups. Then, yep! I’m a peanut butter fan! That counts right? Right? Huh? Tell me it counts.

With eggs however, ehhhh. A scrambled or fried egg sandwich every once in a great while (again; must be on mushy store bought white bread and nothing on it but salt and pepper. I think it’s a nostalgic thing.) and I will do the breakfast for dinner thing at times and make eggs, toast, sausage, yada yada. But as I have crudely joked to my husband, one reason I don’t like eggs is because egg burps are the grossest things on earth (watches my readership bottom out). C’mon now; this is ME! You know I don’t pull punches in here. πŸ˜€ Anything for a laugh…or in this case, a groan and a shudder. You know I’m right on that though; they really are gross. πŸ˜›

But one egg dish I do love is Deviled Eggs. I could happily eat my weight in them. I’m not sure why I am willing to eat them but yet really don’t care for eggs in general. I would guess it is that it isn’t as “eggy” with all the contrasting flavors. So today I made something I had been planning on trying to create for a while; Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs. They turned out really good if I do say so myself. Good enough that I now have absolutely no interest in cooking or eating dinner because I am filled up on deviled eggs. Ummm…oops? One thing they didn’t have however was the extra smoked salmon I had planned to garnish them with. Why you ask? Because when I went to get it from the fridge, I noticed that the chub of salmon I had was ten days past it’s “best by” date. Sigh. That will teach me to not check things like that when I buy them. So when you make yours (and you ARE going to make them right? Because I’m adorable and batting my lashes at you right now.) they will look different from my picture because YOURS will have yummy pieces of smoked salmon on top of them. So try these. They would make a perfect appetizer for the fourth of July because 99% of you planned on making deviled eggs anyway so why not give these a whirl?

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

  • 1o hard boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 8 ounce tub smoked salmon cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed (yes, dried. It has a stronger flavor. Save the fresh for the garnish.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 4 ounce chub of smoked salmon, cut into 20 pieces
  • fresh dill and smoked paprika for garnish
  1. Slice eggs in half. Take out the yolks and put them into a medium sized bowl along with the cream cheese spread, mayo, mustard, lemon zest & dried dill. Set the whites aside. Beat the yolk mix well until it is pretty much lump free. I say pretty much because I don’t know about you, but short of using a ricer or food mill which is FAR too much trouble for deviled eggs, I’ve never been able to get them lump free.
  2. Pipe or spoon the mixture back into the reserved egg white shells. Garnish with the smoked salmon pieces, smoked paprika and a sprig of fresh dill.
  3. Eat. Realize YOU no longer want to make dinner. Listen to your family gripe because they don’t get dinner again because you filled up on blog post type food.
  4. If you have any extra, it is wonderful on an everything English muffin. Don’t ask me how I know that too. *Groans* I think I ate too much.