Sunday, June 8, 2008

Chocolate Eclair Icebox Dessert

This dessert is so good! Perfect for serving in the summer because it is nice and cool.

Chocolate Eclair Icebox Dessert

1 box graham crackers
3 c. milk
2 3.4oz pkg vanilla instant pudding
1 8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
1 8 oz. container Cool Whip
1/4 c. milk
2 Tbs. butter, softened
2 Tbs. honey
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese until smooth, add milk and vanilla pudding, beat until thick. Fold in Cool Whip. In separate bowl beat 1/4 c. milk, butter, honey, and chocolate together, gradually add add the powdered sugar, beat until smooth.
Arrange one layer of graham crackers onto bottom of a 13X9 pan. Pour half of pudding mixture over top of grahams and smooth out with a spatula. Top with another layer of graham crackers and pudding and top off with another layer of graham crackers. Pour chocolate mixture over top and spread to edges of the pan. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Thanks Elly (my mother-in-law) for this recipe! I made it in the slow cooker this morning so it cooked while we were at church and when we came home, as soon as walked in the door, there was this delicious aroma. It was great, I got rave reviews from our dinner guests!

Spaghetti Sauce

1 c. finely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. sugar
1 small can tomato paste
1/4. tsp salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
28 oz. (2 cans) diced tomatoes, plain or Italian style, undrained
2 Tbs. chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, or 1/2 tsp dried
1 pkg. (tube) of Jimmy Dean regular sausage (optional, you could also use ground beef or ground turkey)

Brown sausage and drain fat.
Turn on slow cooker to low heat. Add sausage and remaining ingredients, stir well. Let cook on low 4-6 hours. Right before serving, check consistency. You may want to add a little water if it is too thick. This made enough to cover 1 whole pkg. of spaghetti noodles.

It's great served with my garlic breadstick recipe that I posted in May.

Strawberry Shortcake & Buttermilk Biscuits

For dessert tonight I wanted to make strawberry shortcake, so I took my regular buttermilk biscuit recipe (which is killer by the way) and added a little more sugar. I'm going to give both the regular buttermilk biscuit recipe and the modified shortcake recipe. I found this recipe a few months ago on the Food Network website, and I will never go back to rolled and cut out biscuits again! These are so moist and yummy. I love finding and trying new recipes that are so good, you know you'll be making them the rest of your life! It's like finding a treasure! :) Between my pancake recipe and this biscuit recipe, buttermilk has become my new best friend! (I know I'm a freak)

Killer Buttermilk Biscuits

2 c. cake flour, or all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 c. shortening (not butter flavored)
2/3 c. half and half, or 1/3 c. milk and 1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. or more of flour for rolling
2 Tbs. melted butter

Preheat oven to 425. Butter an 8 inch square or round cake pan.

Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add shortening, mix until pea sized pieces remain. With a wooden spoon stir in the half and half (or cream and milk), and the buttermilk.
Let sit for 2 minutes. The dough should be very wet and look like cottage cheese.

Place the 1 c. or flour in a 13X9 baking dish. Working with an ice cream scoop or large cookie scoop, scoop out about 6 mounds of dough at a time into the flour. Carefully toss the scoops of batter into the flour so they are completely covered. With a spatula carefully lift the coated pieces of batter and place them along the edge of the cake pan, packing them tightly, then place some in the center of the pan.

Bake in the center of the oven for 15-20 minutes. As you take them from the oven brush them with melted butter and serve them hot with butter and jam.

"Shortcake" Variation
Instead of 2 Tbs. of sugar, add 1/2 cup of sugar. After letting the batter rest for 2 minutes, pour all of the batter into the buttered 8X8 cake pan and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 425. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut into squares, and then half each square to serve individual strawberry shortcakes. Makes 9.