Monday, November 8, 2010

Prepared Horseradish & Shrimp Dip

Horseradish patch, June 2010
Last year we decided to grow horseradish, because we love it on sausage and beef.  We grew lots of tops, but the roots themselves were pencil thin.  We left it in the ground and were rewarded with thick, heavy roots when we harvested in October this year.  After washing, trimming and peeling, we had 2 pounds of horseradish root.  I went to my favorite internet site hoping someone had posted a recipe for prepared horseradish and wasn't disappointed. 

Walt used the fine shredding blade on our food processor, which made quick work of it. After shredding, he added the remaining ingredients and switched to the S blade to get a fine chop. It didn't process to a puree because the roots were older and a bit woody.   I can hear you asking: "Deb, you love to cook.  Why was Walt making this?"  It's because the fumes sent me running in pain several times.
See the lid in his hand?  He used it to keep the fumes somewhat contained.
We've already used up two jars and given away one.

I wasn't quite cautious enough when I opened the processor, so we labeled our jars Howling Wolf Horseradish.

We made this in 1 pound batches; one with and one without garlic.  Here is the recipe link: Fresh Horseradish Sauce, and here's how we did it:

Prepared Horseradish
1 pound horseradish root, well scrubbed and peeled (put them in a bowl of water to keep them from browning)
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, optional (don't substitute fresh garlic-there's a miniscule risk of botulism with it)

Wash and sterilize 8 4-ounce jelly jars (or 4 half pint jars).
Using a food processor fitted with a fine shredding disk, or a box grater, finely grate the horseradish.  I recommend you do this in a VERY well ventilated area (preferably outside). 
Pour into a bowl, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. 

Switch out the shredding blade to an S blade, pour back into processor and process until it is as fine as you want it.  Older, woody roots will not puree, but you will get a nice fine mince.
Funnel into jars, cap and label with date.
Keeps in the refrigerator for one year.  It is NOT safe for shelf storage.
Yield: 4 cups

To make Horseradish Sauce
1 cup sour cream
2-4 tablespoons Prepared Horseradish
Stir together.  Serve immediately.
To make Cocktail Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 - 1/2 cup Prepared Horseradish
Stir together. Serve immediately. Horseradish loses it's heat if it's held in the sauce. To prepare ahead combine all ingredients and add the horseradish just before serving.
To make Shrimp Dip
1 8 ounce block cream cheese
8 ounces cooked, chopped shrimp (not from a can)
1 recipe Cocktail Sauce
Water crackers

Combine Cocktail Sauce and shrimp.
Spread cream cheese in a thin layer (1/4") on a serving plate.
Pour shrimp and sauce over cream cheese.
Serve with water crackers.

Crockpot Oatmeal & Oatmeal Muffins

My women's Bible study meets Wednesday mornings.  We all take turns bringing breakfasty treats.  Last week was my turn.  We had enjoyed a unusually warm early autumn until then, but Tuesday was looking and feeling like autumn.  It was briskly cool and windy, with low skies full of dark puffy clouds, hinting at the possibility of cold, soaking rain. All of which put me in the mood for oatmeal.

I've heard friends talk lovingly of crockpot oatmeal, but had never sampled it.  The recipe wasn't on the back of the oatmeal canister, so I hit the internet and found several.  None of them was quite right for what I wanted - basic creamy oatmeal.  I read the reviews of each, picked the most likely candidate and made it mine.  Here's the recipe I started with:  Crock Pot Fruited Oatmeal and this is what I did:

Basic Creamy Crockpot Oatmeal
Day 1 (the night before serving)
2 cups 1% milk
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup steel cut oats
Day 2
1/2 to 1 cup milk
1/4 to 1 cup water
1 cup chopped apples
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Spray the inside of the crock very well with nonstick.  Add all Day 1 ingredients, stir.  Cover. 
Use the delay feature on your crockpot and set it to cook on low for 6 hours, to be ready in the morning.  I don't have a delay feature, so I plugged my crockpot into a timer (the kind you use for holiday lights).
The next morning, stir in the Day 2 ingredients.  Use a much or as little as you like. Don't worry if you have a brown crust coating the inside of your crockpot.  It's not burnt.  Scrape a bit off and taste it to reassure yourself that it doesn't taste burnt.  Then scrape it down and stir it into the oatmeal.  It gives a nice toasted "oatmeal cookie" flavor.
Makes 5-6 1 cup servings.

I made a double batch, because my Bible study group has 12 members.  Unfortunately, only half of them attended last week.  I had 5 cups of leftover oatmeal.  BUT, I have a really great muffin recipe.

Oatmeal Muffins
1 cup flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts OR raisins OR dates
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup leftover oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.  Place paper liners in a 12 cup muffin tin.
In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and nuts or raisins.  In another bowl, combine oil, eggs, oatmeal and vanilla.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Fill muffin cups two thirds full.  Bake 18-22 minutes or until muffins test done with a toothpick.  Muffins will be flat on top.
Makes 12 - 13 muffins.

I made 5 dozen muffins.  I used walnuts until I ran out of nuts, then raisins until I ran out of raisins, then finished up with dates; using up the last of the eggs, brown sugar, dates and oatmeal.  These muffins freeze well, and taste fresh baked when thawed.  Walt took a dozen to work, I took a 1/2 dozen to the Extraordinary Women conference and we have 3 dozen in the freezer.  The last 1/2 dozen?  Yum.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Love Dessert!

I'm famous for my sweet-tooth.  Chocolates are blissful.  I make my own at Christmas and I'll blog about my favorite recipes in a few weeks.  But, for everyday sweets, you can't beat sugary carbs.

 My very first successful  Cinnamon Rolls.  Found at Our Best Bites.  Soft, fluffy, moist, with cinnamony goo that stays inside the roll.  I have these filed under 'Breakfast', but they're good anytime.  Very easy to make!  Ask my daughter, I can't roll dough to save my life - except for these incredible rolls.

Ultimate Triple Berry Bars

This one is too easy.  Prepare Krusteaz Raspberry Bars according to the package, except scatter a 4 ounce package of dried mixed berries on the filling before adding the crumb topping. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Serve warmed with a scoop of ice cream.

Cake Mix Cookies
The basic recipe:
1 (18.25 oz.) boxed cake mix (any flavor)
2 large eggs
1 stick margarine, room temperature (You can use butter, but the cookies will be flatter)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups assorted dry mix-ins (such as chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, dried fruit) any combination

Combine cake mix, eggs, margarine and brown sugar. Stir in remaining ingredients.   Roll level tablespoons into balls.  Place onto greased (Pam) cookie sheets 2 inches apart; flatten and even up any ragged edges with your fingers.  Bake at 350F for 11 minutes, or until cookies puff.  Cool on pan 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.  Store airtight between wax paper.  About 4 dozen cookies.

Mix-in Variations:
Chunky Bar Cookies 
use a chocolate fudge cake mix
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped dried dates
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Black Forest Cookies
use a devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1 cup chocolate chips

Yum-Yum Cookies
use a yellow cake mix
1/2 cup cashews, salt rinsed off and dried
1 cup white chocolate chips

Chocolate-Chocolate Pudding
I don't have a photo for this, because it never occurs to me to get the camera before diving in.
Warning: You'll never be content with pudding mix again. 

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably dutch processed)
2 tablespoons PLUS 2 teaspoons cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk (can use reduced fat)
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

Combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Gradually whisk in half of the milk until smooth.  Whisk in remaining milk. Switch to a spoon.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until pudding thickens and comes to a boil, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Watch carefully, it can scorch easily.
Boil one minute longer, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat; add chocolate chips, vanilla and butter.  Stir until chips melt and pudding is smooth.
If you don't like skin on your pudding, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding.
Cool. If you pour it into serving bowls it will cool faster.  ;-)
Makes 4 servings.