December 31, 2009
I thought long and hard about what posts you, my blog-reading friends, told me you liked and about what I had made multiple times during the year. And so, I bring you the first annual Best of 2009 Maple Macaroni awards. I played with fancier foods in some posts, but it seems that the best recipes are new twists on the basics.
Best Crowd-Pleasing Dessert
Gooey Butter Cookies
Best and Most Versitile Snack
Black Bean Hummus
Oatmeal Toffee Cookies
Most Innovative/Easiest and Most Simple Meal
Most Decadent Finger Food
Chunky Chocolate Brownies
What were your favorite new recipes from 2009? Please comment and let me know, be it from this blog or wherever else.
December 29, 2009
The recipe came from my mom's Mee-maw's files, but no one remembered her ever making it, or any other dessert. Thankfully, my grandmother revived this maple-infused gem of a recipe recipe back when she cooked and my mom made it years ago. Then last year I again brought it back to life and showed off the heirloom first for a friend's birthday and again this Thanksgiving.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup canola oil
4 cups grated raw carrot (8 medium carrots)
½ cup chopped pecans
1 recipe cream cheese frosting (below)
Thoroughly stir together flour, sugar, soda, salt and cinnamon.
In large bowl, beat eggs till frothy: slowly beat in oil.
Gradually add flour mixture, beating till smooth. Mix in carrots and nuts. Pour into 3 greased and floured 8 inch round cake pans.
Bake in 350 oven for 25 or 30 minutes.
Cool pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on racks.
Fill & frost with cream cheese frosting. Decorate top with pecan halves if desired.
Cream cheese frosting
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1-lb. box powdered sugar, sifted (I skip sifting because I am lazy)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
In small bowl, blend softened butter and softened cream cheese with a mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating till smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla and maple flavoring.
December 25, 2009
My mom made a squash casserole regularly growing up, but the cream corn in this recipe made it the special-occasion squash casserole. Now I only make this one. My memory of the taste even convinced me to break my preference for seasonal eating to make a giant recipe of the crowd-pleaser -- half for community group everything-but-turkey Thanksgiving dinner and half for a dinner to serve residents of a low-income housing facility.
2 cups cooked and drained yellow squash
1 cup cream corn
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cups breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (I like Kashi 7-grain TLC crackers), optional
Sauté onion with butter until tender. Mix everything together. Pour into a casserole dish and addcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
December 18, 2009
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
3/4 cup warm water
1 (10.75-ounce) frozen pound cake, thawed
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
2 (1.4-ounce) English toffee candy bars, coarsely chopped
Stir together coffee and 3/4 cup warm water until coffee is dissolved. Cool.
Cut cake into 14 slices. Cut each slice in half diagonally. Place triangles in bottom and up sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pieplate. Drizzle coffee mixture over cake.
Beat mascarpone cheese, sugar, and chocolate syrup at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add 2 1/2 cups whipped topping, and beat until light and fluffy.
Spread cheese mixture evenly over cake. Dollop remaining whipped topping around edges of pie. Sprinkle with candy. Chill 8 hours.
December 13, 2009
December 10, 2009
December 4, 2009
Chicken Tomato Bisque
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes with juice
1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp chopped oregano
1/2 cup heavy half and half
1 tsp salt
In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine olive oil, carrot, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is soft, 6 to 8 min. Stir in flour until vegetables are coated; then add tomatoes. Add broth and 1/2 tsp oregano and stir, breaking up tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 8 to 10 min.
Working in small batches, puree soup in a blender or food processor and transfer back to pot. Stir in half and half and salt and heat through. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper and serve garnished with remaining oregano.