Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Russian Creme

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This is another recipe that came from my Grandma.  I called her today to ask her where she got it and she said it came from a cookbook a long time ago and she changed it a bit to her liking.  If you are still looking for a great sweet salad to make for Christmas this is it!  We have it every Christmas and I usually make two of them.  One for the Mortenson Christmas and one for the Anderson Christmas.  Most of the time there isn't any left to have the next day.  It's not a quick thing to make because it has to set a few times in the fridge but it is really easy with just basic ingredients.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does and if you take it to a Christmas dinner somewhere let me know the reviews!!

Russian Creme

3/4 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin for the bottom layer plus another 1/2 envelope for the top layer (or 1 teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup sour cream (I use light sour cream)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup thawed cool whip (again, I use light here)
15-16 ounce package frozen, sweetened sliced strawberries

In a small saucepan mix sugar, 1 packet gelatin and water.  Over low heat whisk constantly until sugar and gelatin is dissolved.  Water will have a clear look to it.

Add sour cream & vanilla to the water/sugar mixture and whisk until fairly smooth.  Chill until slightly thickened - about 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from fridge and blend in 1 cup cool whip then put into about a 2 quart glass bowl.  It also looks pretty in a glass pedestal.  Put back into fridge for a few hours so it can set.  Here's how the first layer looks before adding the strawberry top.

Finally take 1/4 cup of the strawberry juice from the frozen strawberries and add the 1/2 packet of gelatin in a small bowl.  Microwave for 30 to 40 seconds at a time stirring in between each time until the gelatin is dissolved.  Let sit for about 2 minutes to cool then add the rest of the strawberries and mix well.  Pour over top of the creme base and let sit another couple of hours until the top layer is set.  ENJOY!!


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This was Oh-Em-Gee good.  I haven't ever had the original Sabra Hummus - I have only tried the Roasted Red Pepper Sabra Hummus and I LOVE it.  I tried one Hummus recipe from a cookbook I had and it wasn't nearly as good as I thought it was going to be.  I have read that one of the secrets is to actually put the garbanzo bean juice in with the mixture.  I found this recipe online stating it's supposed to be a 'copy' of the orignal Hummus by Sabra.  I was sooooo happy with the results.  This will forever be my base for hummus now.  Next time I'm going to throw either some roasted red peppers or sun dried tomatoes in with it.  I bet it will taste fantastic.  It's not as smooth as Sabra.  Maybe they remove the shells from the beans before they mix it in the food processor.  Doesn't really matter to me because it tastes good anyways.  Get yourself some preztel crisps or cut up veggies and DIG IN!!  I couldn't even wait for it to chill!!  Ava even gave me the thumbs up for this batch.


1 16-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), strained
1/2 cup liquid from garbanzo beans (you can use slightly less than this if you want it a bit thicker)
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon citric acid - like Fruit Fresh
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (you can use black pepper too - that's all I had)

Drain the garbanzo beans into a 1/2 cup measuring cup and throw out the rest of the liquid.  Pour the 1/2 up liquid and beans into a food processor.  Add all the remaning ingredients and let your food processor run for about 10 minutes then put in a covered container in refrigerator and chill.  Store in refrigerator.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Queso Chicken Pasta

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It's been a while since I've had some time to sit down and blog some recipes.  I have quite a few photos waiting for me so I'll try to get going on some.  Here's the first one and I only took one photo with my cell phone and it was during the evening so not the best looking picture.  It doesn't do the meal justice.  It was very good.  It had a nice creamy sauce and was quite simple to make.  It uses rotisserie chicken so you don't even have to worry about preparing chicken for the dish.  However you can probably use whatever chicken you have.  This would be a great dish to serve to company with a nice side salad or a broccoli casserole.  Don't forget your Frank's Red Hot sauce!  It goes great on this pasta!

Queso Chicken Pasta

8 ounces penne pasta
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon freeze dried cilantro (or fresh minced)*
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/3 cups milk
3 tablespoons cream cheese
2 cups  shredded Colby-jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup drained Ro-Tel Tomatoes
2 cups cooked shredded rotisserie chicken

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a medium casserole dish with cooking spray.  You don't need quite a 9x13 pan, but an 8x8 is too small.  Cook the pasta according to the directions in one pot and drain.  In another medium saucepan melt butter then add onion, garlic and jalapeno.  Saute until softened about 3 minutes.  Add cumin and cilantro and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Add flour and mix well then gradually whisk in milk and stir until smooth.  Bring mixture to a simmer and allow to thicken.  Turn off heat and add cream cheese and 1 cup shredded cheese and stir until melted.  Stir in Ro-Tel.
Dump the drained pasted into the casserole dish and top with chicken and sauce mixture.  Mix with a fork to blend sauce with pasta.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until pasta is bubbly and cheese has melted.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

*I found freeze dried Cilantro in SuperTarget.  It's in the refrigerated section in a glass jar.