Oatmeal Creme Brûlée

Oatmeal Creme Brulee

 

For someone that isn’t crazy about eggs, I sure do love breakfast.  French toast, pancakes, waffles, scones, muffins, carbs, carbs, carbs!  From everything I have read though, it appears that oatmeal is a good carb.  Shape magazine recommends that we eat nutrient-dense carbs with at least two to three grams of fiber per 100 calories since our bodies break down fiber more slowly, keeping us feeling full for longer.  You can replace the sugar in this recipe with Splenda brown sugar and still have the same great taste.

This is delicious served with fresh fruit!

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Oatmeal Creme Brûlée
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1½ c. low-fat milk
  • 1 c. low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • ½ c. Eggbeaters (or 2 beaten eggs)
  • ⅔ c. brown sugar, divided
Instructions
  1. Spray a 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl mix the melted butter, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, milk, yogurt, eggs, and ⅓ c. brown sugar. Add oats and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until cooked through. The oatmeal should still be moist, but not soupy.
  3. Remove from oven and set it to broil. Sprinkle evenly with remaining ⅓ c. brown sugar and place under the broiler and broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sugar is caramelized.
  4. Remove from oven and let stand a few minutes to allow the sugar to harden. Cut into squares and serve with fresh berries.
Notes
To prepare individual ramekins follow steps 1 and 2. Place ramekins on a baking pan. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Remove oatmeal from oven and spoon the baked oatmeal into individual ramekins. Divide brown sugar between ramekins, sprinkling on top. Place under broiler and broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sugar is caramelized.

Remove from oven and let stand a few minutes to allow the sugar to harden.

Serve warm with fresh berries.

 

 

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Japanese Chocolate Pie

Japanese Chocolate Pie

I love coconut!  However, I’m the only person in our house that likes it.  Therefore, I never make recipes with coconut in them.  That is, until recently when I was craving a pie that my mother made often when I was growing up.  It’s a Japanese Chocolate Pie, made with chocolate, pecans, and coconut.  I mean, what could be better than that?  I gave in to the craving and made myself a pie.  Yes, I hate to admit that I made a whole pie for myself, but I did.  It was a delicious as I remember and I don’t regret it one bit!

I used an already pie crust to save time and I thought it worked just fine.  Watch the pie crust closely, my crust was a little brown before I realized it and covered it with foil.

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Japanese Chocolate Pie
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ c. flaked coconut
  • ½ c. chopped pecans
  • ½ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ tbsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter and stir in the chocolate chips, stirring until the chips melt. Add the sugar, eggs, pecans, coconut and vanilla. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350°F about 45 minutes or until firm.

 

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Zucchini Fritters

zucchini fritters

 

 

To end FRIENDS week on NJSD I have an excellent recipe from Cindy for zucchini fritters. You’ll have the kids eating their vegetables without a fuss with these babies!

Cindy and I go way back. So far back, that I think we were destined to be friends before we were even born. Before I was born, Mama carried two babies (two different pregnancies) to around seven months when she lost them. Around the same time, her mother was having difficulty getting pregnant. They were friends and were there to support each other during those sad days.

Cindy and I grew up in the same small North Georgia town. Our friendship is one of the most genuine and unpretentious friendships that I have. Maybe that comes from being friends so long. We learned to drive together, had long talks about boys (which brings to mind some hilarious times), we’ve been there for weddings and births and have supported each other in hard times too. She is an only child, but I spent so much time at her house growing up that I’m sure her parents often felt that they had another child. Our friendship is priceless, and I cherish it more than Cindy will ever know.

She gave me this scrumptious recipe a while back. It comes together so fast, and these fritters taste great. Here are a few tips for flying fritters:

1. Do not overcrowd the pan when frying the fritters. If you drop too many into the pan at one time, you’ll cool the oil, and the fritters will not cook through.

2. Fry fritters at 350°F, they’ll cook fast enough not to absorb the oil and get soggy, but slowly enough not to burn before they have cooked completely.

3. They are best eaten right away. The longer they sit, the heavier and less crispy they’ll get. Sprinkle with salt and parmesan immediately so they’ll melt into the hot fritters, and then serve as soon as possible.

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Zucchini Fritters
 
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Ingredients
  • 3 medium zucchini, grated
  • ½ c. onion, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ c. plain cornmeal
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Grate zucchini into a medium size bowl. Toss with a pinch of salt and place in a mesh strainer. Place the strainer over the bowl and let stand for about 15 minutes. Remove strainer and reserve the water in bowl. Place zucchini in a mixing bowl and add the grated onion. Add egg, salt and pepper and mix. Sprinkle the flour and cornmeal over the zucchini and mix together. Let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, heat canola oil over medium-high heat to 350°F.
  3. Stir zucchini mixture, the consistency should be a little thicker than pancake batter. If it seems too thick you can add a little bit of the reserved water.
  4. Drop by heaping spoonfuls into the hot oil cooking 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side until golden. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Immediately sprinkle with salt and grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top. Serve immediately.

 

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Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

 

red velvet cake with whipped cream cheese frosting picture

I have lived in 8 different cities in my lifetime. I know what it feels like to be the new family in the neighborhood. Since I was surrounded by family when I was growing up, it was a bit intimidating when I moved away for the first time. I have wonderful friends at each stop on the road, and I keep in touch with many. When we moved to Garfield six years ago, there were many families that welcomed us. One family, in particular, was Mrs. Martha and Mr. Nick’s family. They invited us to family gatherings and made us feel as if we had been part of this community forever.

Recently, while at a friend’s wedding, who also happens to be Mrs. Martha’s daughter, I tried a cake frosted with this light and airy whipped cream cheese frosting. Mrs. Martha was nice enough to share the recipe with me. I prepared a red velvet cake for the picture, but Mrs. Martha says that this frosting is great on chocolate, strawberry, and lemon cakes too. This frosting is not your typical cream cheese frosting. It isn’t as rich or sweet as traditional cream cheese frosting, which makes it perfect for a summer cake. Whip up your favorite cake recipe today and try this simple and fabulous frosting.

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Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 (16-oz.) container Cool Whip
Instructions
  1. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and Cool Whip, beating until mixed well.
  2. Frost your favorite cake between layers and on top and sides. Keep cake refrigerated.

 

 

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Philly Cheesesteak Queso Dip

philly-cheesesteak-queso-dip

FRIENDS week continues with Sherri.  I met Sherri when I was five or six years old. We met at a church my dad pastored of at the time. We stood next to each other in a Christmas play and held up one of the letters in CHRISTMAS. We may have said something like “C stands for…”, but I can’t remember that part. We grew up in the same small town but went to different schools until we were in high school. Still, I knew who she was. When you live in a small town, you are familiar with who everybody is. Even when we got to high school, she was a grade ahead of me and we never actually became friends.

Fast forward about five years, when I took a job with a dermatologist in Atlanta. Sherri happened to work there, and we hit it off from the start. She was married (to my first boyfriend), and I married Greg while working there. Neither of us cooked very much in those days, but we would have them over for spaghetti, and they would have us over for lasagna. We gave each other baby showers and talked every day during the early years of our kids lives. A lot of things have changed over the years, but our friendship remains. There was a time in our lives that we would go months without talking. We can chalk that up to raising our kids, one bad marriage, and a few moves. Still, when we did talk, we would pick up right where we left off. That’s a sign of true friendship.

A few years ago Sherri’s second husband, Dale, was diagnosed with cancer. Our talks started to become more frequent, funny how difficult times will do that. Dale lost his battle almost a year ago. Sherri’s example of faith, love, and resilience has been an inspiration to me.

Sherri is another friend that does not cook a lot. She occasionally hosts Bunco at her house and will cook for then but other than that she is just not into it. Some of my favorite recipes have come from her, though. My apple dumpling recipe, her grandma’s chewy chocolate pies, a delicious oriental dip, and this amazing Philly cheesesteak cheese dip!

This recipe is very simple to make and can be heated in a crock pot. An iron skillet makes a lovely presentation though. After heating in the crock pot, transfer to an iron skillet. Top with shredded Provolone cheese and stick under the broiler. Watch carefully and remove when melted. I prefer this recipe made with leftover roast beef. I finely chop and freeze in 1 cup portions for convenience.

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Philly Cheesesteak Queso Dip
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ½ c. diced green bell pepper
  • ¼ c. diced onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 c. finely chopped leftover roast beef or deli roast beef
  • 4-oz. can diced green chiles
  • 1 lb. white Velveeta Queso cheese, cubed
  • ¼ c. milk
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • baguette, slices or cubed and very lightly toasted
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat; saute the bell pepper, onions, and garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Add to the crock pot on low heat. Add the roast beef, green chiles, Velveeta, milk, and black pepper. Stir to combine. Cover, stir occasionally until the mixture is smooth and creamy and the cheese has melted. Serve with very lightly toasted baguette slices or cubes.

philly-cheesesteak-queso-dip

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