Recipe Swap: Recipes good for warm or cold weather

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

With spring officially here, I am ready to move into my spring and summer recipe files. However, the weather just won't allow me to do that yet. One day is warm and sunny and the next cold and dreary, so I want to keep soups and crockpot recipes close by. Today I have a variety of recipes for you to have on hand no matter what the weather brings. There is one dessert recipe and a few entree recipes that might help you plan for the days ahead. Remember to send in your favorite recipes to share with others so they might enjoy them.

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Cake:

1 cup butter, softened

3 eggs

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cut up dried cranberries

6 ounces cut up chunks of white chocolate

Frosting:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

4 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup cut up dried cranberries

Drizzled icing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger and salt and beat well. Gradually mix in flour until smooth. Mix 3/4 cup cut up dried cranberries and white chocolate into the batter. Pour batter into a well-greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until light brown around on the edges. Cool. For frosting combine softened cream cheese, 3 cups powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread frosting over the top of the cake. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cut up cranberries over the frosting on the cake. Whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and shortening. Drizzle icing over the cranberries. Slice the cake lengthwise through the middle. Then slice the cake across the width three times making a total of eight rectangular slices. Slice each rectangle diagonally to create 16 triangular slices.

Beef Tips

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup 7-Up or Sprite

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

2 pounds lean chuck roast

Place beef in crockpot. Pour mushroom soup over meat and top with onion soup mix. Add 7-Up and mushrooms. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Serve over buttered noodles for best results.

Sour Cream Pork Chops

6 pork chops (1-inch thick)

2 cubes chicken bouillon

2 cups boiling water

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 (8-ounce) container sour cream

1 large onion

Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic powder to taste

Season pork chops with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then dredge in 1/2 cup flour. In a small skillet over medium heat, lightly brown chops in small amount of oil. Place chops in crock-pot and top with onion slices. Dissolve bouillon cubes in boiling water and pour over chops; cover and cook on low 7-8 hours. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. After the chops have cooked, transfer chops to the oven to keep warm. Be careful, the chops are so tender they will fall apart. In a small bowl, blend 2 tablespoons flour with sour cream. Mix into meat juices. Turn crock-pot to high for 15 to 30 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve sauce over pork chops. Makes 6 servings.

Chicken-Leek Casserole

8 to 10 leeks (about 2 pounds)

1 tablespoon olive oil

12 ounces skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into thin strips

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup whipping cream

1/4 to1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash ground nutmeg

1 baby leek, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and rinsed (optional)

1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup soft bread crumbs

Trim and discard root ends from the 8 to 10 leeks. Remove several inches from the tops and any tough outer leaves. Halve leeks lengthwise. Clean trimmed leeks thoroughly under cold running water to remove any sand. Bias-slice leeks into 1/4-inch-thick slices. (You should have 3 cups sliced leeks.) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add sliced leeks. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or just until tender. Remove leeks from skillet; set aside. In the same skillet, cook and stir chicken strips for 3 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove skillet from heat. Add the wine. Return skillet to heat. Bring mixture just to boiling and reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, for 4 to 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Add whipping cream, salt and nutmeg. Return to boiling. Cook and stir about 3 minutes more or until slightly thickened. Add sliced leeks to chicken mixture. Pour into a lightly greased 1-quart au gratin dish or casserole. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Uncover casserole. If desired, add baby leek halves. Sprinkle cheese and bread crumbs over. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until topping is golden and leek mixture is heated through. Makes 6 servings.

Irish Stew

Lamb is a great source of protein and adds a delicious flavor to this classic stew. If you can't find it at your grocery store, try using beef stew meat instead.

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided

1 1/2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 medium onions, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup frozen peas

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons water

Place 1/3 cup flour in a large resealable plastic bag. Add lamb, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a Dutch oven, brown lamb in batches in 2 tablespoons oil. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, saute onions in remaining oil until tender. Add garlic. Cook 1 minute longer. Add broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Return lamb to the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender. Add potatoes and carrots. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in peas. Cook 5 to 10 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Add seasonings and Worcestershire sauce. Combine remaining flour with water until smooth. Stir into stew. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Yield: 8 servings (2 1/2 quarts).

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at smcclanahan@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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