Friday, December 19, 2008

Betty's Caramel Candy

Plan on sharing these or plan on putting on 10 pounds, you decide! Buttery, caramel heaven!

2 cups sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup butter
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine all the ingredients except for vanilla in a large pot. Cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook until temperature reaches 250, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into a well buttered 9x13 pan. When firm but not completely cool, flip out of pan onto parchment paper and cut into pieces with a pizza cutter. Wrap in wax paper or cellophane. I make turtles with these caramels but placing the squares on top on pecan halves and then letting them melt over the nuts in a warm oven. It is a lot easier than spooning hot caramel over the pecans!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Betty's Corn Chowder

This is my favorite homemade soup. It is so simple and perfect for a cold winter day. A one pot meal that you can have ready in about 40 minutes.

1 boneless ham steak, cubed
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 16 oz. cans of chicken broth
1 can of creamed corn
1 can of whole kernel corn
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, cubed
3 Tbs. flour
2 cups milk
4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar
salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1-2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil in a stockpot. Add ham, potatoes, carrots and onions and cook on medium to medium high heat for about 5 minutes, I add fresh ground pepper at this time. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add creamed corn and whole kernel corn and bring back to low boil. Taste for seasoning at this time, the amount of salt you will need depends on how salty your ham was. In separate bowl, slowly whisk milk into the flour so that you will not have any lumps. Add milk and flour mixture to pot, stir. Add cream cheese. Bring back to a low boil while stirring and breaking up the cream cheese. Once the cream cheese has dissolved, add the grated cheddar. Keep at a low boil, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender. Enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Betty's Cherry Pie

There is nothing like a mouth watering, cherry pie. I like this recipe because you can make it all year long since you don't use fresh cherries. Also, it does not have the traditional cornstarch goo that most cherry pies have. If you are feeling up to the challenge then do the traditional lattice top. If not, just be creative and cut a few shapes in the top crust before placing it on the pie. It will still turn out delicious. Oh, and bake on a cookie sheet or over some foil to keep any sticky messes out of your oven.

Pie crust for a double crust pie.
You can use my Grandma's crust recipe that I have posted or the refrigerated, store bought crust that you just unroll and place in the pie plate.

3 cans pitted sour cherries, drained.
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. plus 2 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. orange juice
zest from one orange
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Gently stir all filling ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Make sure that everything is well combined. Pour filling into pastry lined pie plate. Place top layer of crust on and cut in several places to vent. Trim and flute edges. Brush with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 F for 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool almost completely before serving. (If you can wait!)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Betty's Monster Cookies

These cookies will make a cookie monster out of you. Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, they are the perfect. Most Monster cookie recipes make a very large batch but this one is nice because it just makes 3 dozen. You can double the recipe easily, but don't double the eggs, just add one more. Enjoy!

1/2 c. plus 2 Tbs. lt. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. granulated sugar
6 Tbs. butter flavored vegetable shortening, like Crisco
2 eggs
3/4 c. peanut butter, I recommend smooth but you can use crunchy
1/2 Tbs. light corn syrup
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. quick oats
1/2 cup m&m's

Preheat oven to 350 F. If you have the convection feature, I highly recommend it. Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar and shortening in mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until well blended. Beat in eggs. Beat in peanut butter, corn syrup, baking soda and vanilla. Add oats, mixing on low speed. Stir in m&m's by hand.

Drop by teaspoon full onto an ungreased baking sheet. (I line with parchment, easier cleanup.) Bake at 350 F for 11 to 13 minutes or until just beginning to brown. let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes and then move to wire racks or sheets of foil to cool completely before storing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Betty's Meatballs

I have never had a better meatball. Proudly, I came up with this recipe. They are so good that I could just skip the pasta all together and just eat the meatballs with some sauce. Try using ground turkey or chicken instead of beef, they are still delicious. I like to pour a jarred vodka sauce over them when I am in a hurry, my favorite is Emeril's. I'll post my own pasta sauce recipe another time. I would love to know if anyone tries these and if they liked them!

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
3 cloves garlic, minced or ran through a press
1 shallot, minced
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs
1/4 cup cream or whole milk
3 Tbs. fresh Italian parsley, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil or 5 fresh basil leaves minced
1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix all the ingredients well and then form into 1" to 1 1/2" balls. Using a large skillet, brown in olive oil, turning several times so that all the sides are brown. Pour your favorite homemade or jarred pasta sauce over the top and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve over pasta.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grandma's Pie Dough

This is my Grandma's pie dough recipe, it is pretty basic and works great with a lot of pie recipes. It's also on my mom's blog,, you will noticed that my recipe is a half recipe, it makes 2 pie shells with a little left over. Tip: Keep the pie dough as cold as possible, the warmer it gets, the harder it is to work with.

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. Crisco vegetable shorting
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. ice water

Mix shortening and salt into flour until in starts forming small pea sized balls. You can do this in the food processor or by hand with a pastry cutter. My mom uses the mixer. Slowly add the ice water until the dough binds into a ball that is not sticky, you may not need all of it. Roll out on a floured surface in a circle shape until it is between 1/4 and 1/8 inches thick. Sprinkle lightly with flour. Carefully fold the dough in half and then fold in half again in the other direction and you should be able to easily pick up the dough and place it into your pie plate. Unfold the dough once it is in the pie plate, make sure that their is no air anywhere between the pie plate and the dough. Trim the edges, crimp and you are ready for your filling!

Betty's Pumpkin Pie

Well, a lot of us are feeling the pressure to get our Thanksgiving menus together. Here is one more Pumpkin Pie recipe to add to the plethora of them already out there. What make this one different? It's delicious!

For the crust:
You can use a store bought or my Grandmothers recipe, it's posted on this page.

For the filling:
1/2 c. light brown sugar, dark brown will work fine in a pinch.
1/4 c. honey
2 Tbs. real maple syrup
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 eggs
1 15 oz. can of pure pumpkin
1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, honey, syrup and spices, beat well. Add pumpkin and evaporated milk, beat for 1 or two minutes to ensure that all is well combined. Pour into pie shell and bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature and bake for 45 more minutes or until firm. I bake on a cookie sheet because it's easier to get the pie in the oven with out spilling it if it's on a cookie sheet.

Makes one pie and this recipe doubles very nicely.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Layered Mexican Dip

I came up with this one for the last Superbowl. Besides my wings, it received the most compliments. You could substitute the ground beef for turkey or chicken.

For the meat layer:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning

For the cream cheese layer:
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cumin

For refried beans layer:
1 can refried beans, pinto or black beans
1 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

For topping:
8 oz. colby/jack, shredded
jalapeno slices

Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning, following directions on package. Spread beef mixture in the bottom of a 8x8 baking dish. Add onion powder, garlic powder and cumin to cream cheese, stirring to combine. Spread over beef layer. Add hot sauce and garlic powder to refried beans, stirring to combine. Spread over cream cheese layer. Top with colby/jack and jalapenos and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oriental Cucumber Slaw

This is another recipe that I tried to recreate. There is a delicious Chinese restaurant about an hour from where I live and they always serve a small portion of this as an appetizer to every customer. It's so light and fresh; a great side to any type of meal.

3 cucumbers, grated or very thinly sliced
4 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. white vinegar
3 Tbs. finely minced onion or scallion
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

To toast the sesame seeds, place them in a small skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes. You will see them pop or start to lightly brown, give them a stir and they are ready to use. Mix all the ingredients together and store in refrigerator for one hour before serving. Approx 4-6 servings.

Easy Pizza Sauce

I created this recipe because I don't like how much sugar and corn syrup is in the store bought sauces. The first time I made it, it was a hit. You will love how simple this recipe is.

1 28 oz. can CRUSHED tomatoes
2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced or put through a press
1 tsp. dried oregano, crush in your palm before adding to pot
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Place all ingredients together in a sauce pan and heat to simmer. Simmer several minutes and then it's ready to use! This is enough sauce for 2 large pizzas with a little left over for dipping.

Hearty Vegetable Beef Stew

This is also on my belikebetty blog. When I worked outside the home I used to love to make this vegetable beef stew for dinner. Now that fall is here I will be making it often. It's so simple, you'll need a crock pot to make it and you will want to start it in the morning. The only labor intensive part is peeling and dicing 2 small to medium potatoes, dicing half an onion and cutting up a carrot or two. Do that the night before if you are pressed for time in the morning.

Hearty Vegetable Beef Stew
1 lb. beef stew meat
2 small to medium potatoes, diced
2 carrots peeled and sliced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz. can of beef broth/stock
1 14 oz. can of cut green beans, undrained
1 14 oz. can of corn, undrained
1/4 to 1/2 c. red wine
salt and pepper to taste

Dump the ingredients into the crock pot in the order listed. What I love about this recipe is that you can put the beef in completely frozen, straight from the freezer if you want to. You can stir, but it's not necessary. Set on the low, 8 to 10 hour setting and enjoy when it's time for dinner. If you are home during the day you can give it a couple stirs but it's not really necessary until right before serving.

Let me know if you try it and how you liked it!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Betty's Asian Dipping Sauce

This is the sauce that goes with Betty's Asian Style Pot Stickers. It has such a wonderful flavor, you could also just use it as a dressing on some shredded cabbage and make a yummy slaw.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 Tbs. chili garlic sauce
3 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped fine
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

Whisk all ingredients together and serve with pot stickers. Yum!

Betty's Asian Style Pot Stickers

These are really worth the effort, full of flavor and just delicious! I came up with this recipe after I had bought the pot sticker wraps. They were in the produce section; they looked fun and ended up inspiring this dish!

1 lb. ground chicken or pork
½ onion, minced
1 ½ Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
2 tsp. garlic, minced
3 Tbs. chili garlic sauce or chili sauce (found in the oriental section of most grocers)
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 ½ cups cabbage, shredded. I use the bagged coleslaw mix with the carrots in it.
3 green onions, sliced fine
Salt and pepper to taste
30 Pot sticker wraps

Fry the chicken or pork with the onion ginger and garlic until the meat is fully cooked. Add the chili sauce, rice vinegar, cabbage, green onions, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Spoon about one tablespoon of the mixture onto the center of a pot sticker wrap. Dampen the edges of the pot sticker with water and then fold it in half, sealing the edges by pressing them. The pot sticker should look like a little half moon.

To cook the pot stickers, heat two tablespoons of peanut oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Place all of the pot stickers into the skillet and cook undisturbed until the bottoms are browned, one to two minutes. Add ½ cup of water to the pan and immediately cover. Allow pot stickers to steam for two to three minutes and then remove the lid. Continue cooking until the water is completely evaporated. Serve with Betty’s Asian Dipping Sauce.

Blender Salsa

I created this salsa recipe when I was trying to recreate my favorite Mexican Restaurant's salsa recipes. I've never had someone say they didn't like it and it's constantly requested by all my teenage daughter's friends!

6 ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 mild onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and halved
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 jalapeno, seeded

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until well blended. Serve with tortilla chips or on a bed if iceberg lettuce with guacamole and sour cream. <--- Yum, my favorite way to eat it.