Friday, November 18, 2016

Meatless Meatloaf and Grilled Corn Salad

I haven't done a blog forever! Sue here, by the way.
I just had to share this delicious dinner that is completely vegetarian. We are normally pretty big meat eaters around our house so I was worried my hubby wouldn't be a fan of this. Turns out I worried for nothing. This "meat"loaf is amazing. Totally fooled my hubby. And the cashew gravy - don't even get me started!! I think I might replace my regular gravy with this. So smooth and creamy and flavorful!
We paired the "meat"loaf with a grilled corn salad and some steamed broccoli for a complete, delicious, vegetarian meal. 
First up: our meatless "meatloaf"

Meatless "Meat"Loaf

2 cups cottage cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 pkg (1 oz) dry onion soup mix
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 cups corn flakes
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
2 clove garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, oil, soup mix, walnuts, cereal, onion, and garlic. Spread in the prepared loaf pan. 
Bake at 350 for 60 - 70 minutes. Remove from heat, let rest for about 10 minutes. Turn out onto serving tray. 

Serve with cashew gravy, if desired.

Now for the cashew gravy: 

Cashew Gravy

2 cups water (divided)
1/2 cup cashews
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp soy sauce

Blend 1 cup of water and remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the other cup of water to a boil. Pour in the blended ingredients and continue whisking over medium heat until thickened. 
Serve hot. 

We added even more veggies to the meal with this colorful corn salad.

Grilled Corn Salad

4 heads corn
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp sour cream

Grill the corn on the BBQ about 10 or so minutes, rotating every 2 - 3 minutes. 

When done, remove from heat and let cool. Cut corn from the cob. 
In a mixing bowl, stir together the corn kernels, finely diced jalapeno, shredded cheddar, and salt & pepper. In a small dish, stir together the cream cheese and sour cream. Stir into the corn mixture. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

This meal just looks so pretty on a plate.

The entire meal can be ready in about an hour and a half from start to finish. 
You can use canned or frozen corn to make the salad but it won't have that lovely grilled flavor! Also, you can add some crispy bacon to the corn salad but - of course - then it's not vegetarian. 
I love the "meat"loaf. It has the feel of a regular beef meatloaf - which I find crazy because it's just cottage cheese and walnuts. Weeeeeeeird! 
Weird, but delicious. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Buttermilk Apple Cake

The other day I had the end bits of a carton of buttermilk sitting in the fridge just begging me to use it up. I also just happened to have 2 apples getting soft on the counter.
I decided to use up my dying ingredients and turn them into a delicious snack. 
This cake can be whipped up in about 10 minutes, That's it. 
10 minutes.
Your welcome.
It's very good cold/room temp but it is crazy good when it is warm. Serve it with a scoop of ice cream. Trust me. You won't regret it!

Buttermilk Apple Cake

1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups chopped apple (about 2 large), peeled and cored

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly spray a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray, set aside. (You can also line with parchment paper if you prefer to remove the cake from the pan to serve it!) 
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla until well mixed. Add in the flour, baking soda, and apples, and stir until just combined.
Spread in the prepared 9 X 13 pan.

Prepare topping - in a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and butter until mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the cake batter.

Bake at 325 until cake is done - top should be brown and toothpick inserted near center should come out clean - about 45 minutes to an hour. 
Remove from heat and set on wire rack.

You can serve this cake warm or you can wait until it is room temp. Either way is delicious.

This is a wonderfully moist cake that has hints of tangy buttermilk and a wonderfully crunchy, sweet topping. A perfect recipe if you have last minutes guests coming over as it only takes a few minutes to make. FYI - It also freezes well. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

No Bake Eclair Dessert

This is one of the easiest and tastiest desserts on the planet. Not even lying. It takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and then just has to chill. And, don't even get me started on how delicious it is. I could go on and on and on. It is rich and creamy with a wonderfully decadent chocolate topping yet somehow isn't too sweet. 
Combining two classics - vanilla and chocolate - is a brilliant idea. 
The next time you have to bring a dessert to a family gathering I recommend this one. You'll be the hit of the party. 

No Bake Eclair Dessert

1 box (3 sleeves) graham crackers

Cream/pudding layer
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
2 boxes (4 servings each) instant vanilla pudding
3 cups milk

Chocolate topping
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla

Line the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan with graham crackers. Set aside. 

In a mixing bowl, whip the 1 3/4 cup whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat together the milk and pudding until smooth, about 2 minutes. 
Fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until smooth.

Drop half of this mixture on top of the graham crackers in the 9 X 13 pan and spread evenly.

Repeat another layer of graham crackers and then the remaining pudding mixture.

Top with the remaining graham crackers.

Set aside while you prepare the chocolate topping.
Prepare chocolate topping - In a medium saucepan whisk together baking cocoa, milk, and sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
Remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter and vanilla until smooth. 
Immediately pour over the graham crackers on top of the dessert. Use the back of a spoon to spread the chocolate glaze to complete cover the dessert.

Chill, covered, until ready to serve - at LEAST 6 hours, but overnight is even better. 

How easy was that, am I right?
You do have to dirty 2 bowls and a pot to make it but, seriously, totally worth it. We have this at a lot of our family gatherings and it is perfect for a work potluck too. 
You can easily change it up by using a different flavor of pudding. 
OH, yes, and I should mention another shortcut that Sue discovered. When she makes this she simply buys a container of Betty Crocker Chocolate Frosting, microwaves it for about 20 - 40 seconds (until it is pour-able), and pours it on top of the dessert instead of the chocolate glaze I mentioned here. Sue's way saves you a step and tastes almost completely the same. (I still like the chocolate glaze a little bit better but it's pretty hard to tell the difference!)  

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Dinner 2016

Sue and I had so much fun with this year's Halloween Dinner party. 
We can't wait to share some photos with you. Most of the creations are fairly simple but for a few we will link to more complete "how-to's". Sue, once again, gets credit for most of this year's spooktacular food. I did a few things and some of our guests brought a few things but Sue went above and beyond!
We hope you enjoy the pics and we would love to hear what your thoughts are. Simply leave a comment below to let us know what you think. 

First up: Blood and Guts Salad.

A mix of Jello, mandarin oranges, pineapple, cherry pie filling, and Cola makes for a rather scary looking Jello salad that is crazy delicious! 

Our sister, Orra, made these adorable bread stick snakes. So cute!

A few days before the party I made this owl veggie tray for our mom to take to the Seniors' Center for their Halloween lunch. It is a super colorful and healthy way to celebrate Halloween. 

All it takes is a little prosciutto wrapped around a hand shaped cheese ball and *voila* grossest cheese ball ever. Definitely a conversation starter.

If it's something  little simpler you are looking for then all you need is a dollar store skeleton filled with cut up meat and cheese. It looks fabulous and spooky!

Sue made these super cute hot dog spiders. They were definitely one of my favorites of the evening.

Another one from the Seniors' Center lunch - puking pumpkin spinach dip. Another simple and healthy treat that makes a colorful impact on the table.

Shrimp Brain Dip in a mummy. It turned out so cute you almost didn't want to eat it. Almost...
It was shrimp in a lemon gelatin base that Sue simply molded and let set in a cereal bowl that fit on top of our mummy decoration.

These guys were my creations.
Baked new potatoes stuffed with spinach dip to make some puking potato monsters. Gross and cute, am I right?

Each one had it's own personality. So much fun. 

Some super easy but super nasty looking layered shrimp dip. Sue's hubby's favorite. I love the mini bird skeleton we found at the dollar store for decoration. 

Some olive spiders on devilled eggs. Very easy, very inexpensive, and they look fantabulous.

Our mother black widow spider egg. Her legs are are mushroom pieces and her head is a pickled onion. Another easy appie.

Sue made these brains in a jar. Pre-made won-tons mixed with a little Thai chili sauce and BBQ sauce. Soooooo good. And they really do look like teeny brains.

The main event. The Rat-Loaf. Sue's creation was amazing. We will be doing a how to on this guy so be sure to check back. He ended up looking a little cuter than we thought he would. We were expecting 10/10 on the grossness scale but he was about a 7/10. Meatloaf stuffed with French's fried onions and cheddar cheese. *So good!*

One of our guests (Steph) brought these terrorific peanut butter cookies with chocolate chip faces. I loooove peanut butter cookies. Even more so when there is chocolate involved.

Sue happened to find some Skeleton puffs on a visit to a friend's house. They were a perfect addition

My contribution to dessert. A dark chocolate cake with marshmallow fondant and edible blood splatter. 

Throw in a knife and *boom* ready for Halloween dinner.

I also made a few sugar cookie tombstone cookies filled with mini M&M candies and mini skull candies. They were a bit fussy but the result was pretty cool!

Of course there was several drink choices available at the party. The above was a non-alcoholic punch with a black skull made of ice.

Our drink cups for this year. Thanks to We've ordered from there the last several years as they have a great selection of Halloween stuff!

Butterscotch pudding shots with Bailey's and butterscotch schnapps. Probably my favorite of the night.

Margarita swamp shots. Very lime-y. I could definitely have had a few more of these!

Baileys and tequila shooters. Who doesn't love Baileys and tequila?

We froze little plastic ants in ice cubes for people to use. Turns out this isn't the best idea. When the ice melts the ants float and people had to pick them out to avoid swallowing them. 
You probably don't want to try this.
Lesson learned.

The dinner table all laid out. 

Looked pretty spooook-tacular.

The dessert and drink table.
Another Halloween dinner done and we can't wait for next year! Let the planning begin!