Monday, June 30, 2008

Doris Abel's Brownie Recipe

This is my mother's brownie recipe. It really is a no-fail, crispy on top and soft in the center brownie. She was well-known in our area for them.

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
3 /4 cup oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup nuts of your choice

Sift dry ingredients together. Mix in eggs, oil and vanilla. Fold in nuts. Grease a 9X12 pan and spread mixture. It will be thick like cookie dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

These are excellent with or without icing. You can make mint flavored icing with peppermint extract and green food color, chocolate, cherry flavored with pink food color, or just plain vanilla white icing to go on these. Or just dust them with powdered sugar.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Italian Stuffed Artichokes

In Hammond, Louisiana we have many people of Italian descent. They share their recipes which they have adapted from the old country. I share one of my favorites that my mother learned from one our neighbors Mrs. Fresina. I made some today -- prep time maybe 10 minutes. The cooking takes about 45 minutes.

4 whole artichokes
1 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese finely grated
1/2 cup romano cheese finely grated
Olive oil
one half lemon

Using a sharp knife, cut off the stem at the base. This will make a flat surface so your artichoke will sit upright. Next you will cut off the top pointed part of the artichoke. Using the sharp knife, lie the artichoke on its side and cut about 1 inch of the top off -- removing most of the pointed tips. This will remove most of the prickly points on the artichoke. Next, you want the artichoke to open up or bloom. Turn it bottom side up and hit the base with the palm of your hand. This will cause it to open up and give lots of room to stuff the artichoke.

In a large bowl, mix the bread crumbs and two cheeses. Then place an artichoke in the bowl and fill it with the crumbs and cheese. Stuff it as full as you can. If you run out of mixture, make more. (this may happen if your chokes are large).

Place the stuffed chokes in an eight quart pot with a lid. Put about one inch of water in the bottom of the pot to steam the chokes. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over the stuffed chokes. Bring water to boil, reduce heat to medium low, and cook with lid on for about 45 minutes or until the leaves pull off easily.

Serve with marinara for dipping.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sensations Salad

Cindy Abel Pack found this recipe -- I may have changed it a little. But, it is really a great salad.

1/3 c. salad oil
1/2 c. olive oil
2 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp. vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. Blue cheese, crumbled
Ground black pepper to taste
1 c. Romano cheese, grated finely (parmesan can be substituted)

Mix first 8 ingredients thoroughly then mix in Romano cheese. Use on your favorite greens -- we like hearts of romaine. Slivered almonds in the salad make this especially tasty.

Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is popular at pot-luck dinners, etc. We got it from Beth's scrapbooking friend Holly.

½ Cup Milk
8 oz. softened cream cheese
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup finely chopped onions, sautéed
½ tsp salt and pepper (to taste)
15 – 18 small flour tortillas
2 cans green enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar-jack cheese (or your favorite)
1 can of chopped black olives (4 oz.)
1 can of chopped green chilies (4 oz.)

Mix cream cheese and milk until well blended. Add chicken, onion, seasonings, most of the cheese, olives, and chilies. Spray two 9X12 pans with cooking spray. Pour a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pans. Arrange chicken mixture in tortillas, rolling each up and placing in pan seam side down. Spoon enchilada sauce over the top of both filled pans of enchiladas. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover pans with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Serve with sour cream and salsa and chips!