Monthly Archives: December 2008

Cream Cheese Mints

I misread this recipe when I went to make these and added 8 ounces of cream cheese, so I adjusted the powdered sugar and just added enough to make a dough I could work with. I would say I ended up with somewhere around 7 cups. Then I upped the peppermint extract until I had enough minty flavor. I just kept testing it after each teaspoon. I have no idea how much I ended up adding. I made these over a month ago! 🙂 FYI, these freeze WONDERFULLY! Big hit at the open house!

And, honestly, I have never in my entire life ever seen a 3 ounce block of cream cheese!! Where art thou, oh mysterious smaller cream cheese block?? LOL.

CREAM CHEESE MINTS (Recipe Source: allrecipes.com)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 drops peppermint oil (I used peppermint extract, added it one teaspoon at a time)
  • any color food coloring paste (optional)
  • granulated sugar, for rolling

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and confectioner’s sugar. Mix in peppermint oil. Color as desired with food coloring paste, or leave white.
  2. Roll mixture into small balls, roll in sugar, and place on waxed paper. Flatten with a fork dipped in confectioners’ sugar. (I skipped this and just used my thumb) Let dry for about 2 hours on waxed paper, then freeze or refrigerate.

Yields 8 dozen (I, obviously, had way more than that! LOL!)

ENJOY! 🙂

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Branching Out

As I’ve said before, I’m really like using my love of cooking and being in the kitchen as an avenue to force myself to try to make things I may not have cared for in the past. Not only is it challenging, it’s a great way to branch out and try new things.

My biggest Achilles’s heel when it comes to food is the dreaded white and creamy. This includes things like mayo (that’s by far the worst offender), cream cheese (except for in desserts), ranch salad dressing, cream-based sauces (like alfredo), even things like vanilla pudding! HA! I don’t know what it is…the white and creamy scares me.

So, one of the things I never thought I’d really be interested in eating is stroganoff. Sour cream FOR SURE falls into the white and creamy category, and honestly, I just don’t love the taste of it. However…I am not one to back down from trying something new, so when I saw this recipe for a stroganoff with an Italian twist, I thought what the hell – I’ll try it.

The results were pretty good. I think Eric enjoyed it a bit more than I did, but I still ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. If you really enjoy stroganoff you will probably like this a lot. I guess I just couldn’t get past the sour cream. LOL. The orginal recipe calls for beef, but I used turkey instead. If you do use turkey be sure to season the meat real well, it will be bland otherwise.

TURKEY MEATBALLS STROGANOFF (Recipe Adapted From: The Essential Pasta Cookbook)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. pasta (I used penne)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 3/4 oz. butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. small button mushrooms, halved
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of rapidly boiling water until al dente. Drain; keep warm
  2. Combine the turkey, garlic and some salt and cracked pepper in a bowl. Use your hands to mix well. Roll two heaped teaspoons of the meat into balls. Combine the flour, paprika and some freshly ground black pepper on a clean surface or sheet of greaseproof paper. Dust the meatballs with the seasoned flour.
  3. Heat the oil and half the butter in a frying pan. When foaming, cook the meatballs over medium heat, in batches, until brown. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
  4. Melt remaining butter in the pan, add the onion and cook until soft. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender. Pour in the combined tomato paste, mustard, wine and stock. Return the meatballs to the pan and gently reheat. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste. Stir the sour cream through until smooth. Sprinkle with a little parsley and serve over the pasta.

ENJOY! 🙂

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