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It's Not Just Popcorn!

It’s Not Just For Christmas Fudge

(I am reposting this from a few years ago, still LOVE this fudge!)

I used to make this recipe for fudge quite a bit for the holidays when I worked at WLNY in New York. I remember CJ asking for it quite a bit! It’s simple and pretty fool-proof. I could eat the whole pan if it were left in my vicinity! Fudge is good anytime of year not just at the holidays so make a batch today and take a break from the diet. If you are allergic to nuts, leave them out. Have fun!

INGREDIENTS:

3 (6 oz.) packages semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 cup chopped walnuts (or other favorite nut)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Line an 8″ square baking pan with waxed paper or aluminum foil.

2. In a heavy two-quart saucepan, combine chocolate chips, condensed milk and salt.

3. Cook over low heat until chips melt. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts and vanilla.

4. Spread mixture evenly into lined pan. Refrigerate for two hours or until firm. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Makes 36 pieces

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Parisian Green Beans

Ok I have no clue why these are called “Parisian”. Maybe because they dress up plain old frozen green beans into something fancy? I’ve never been to Paris, maybe this is how they serve them there. It could be because the French were the first ones to put green beans on their menus! No matter what the reason, this recipe is great. It’s different from your normal ho-hum green beans. As you all know I normally double or triple the garlic amounts in recipes but this one already has 3 cloves in it so I think that’s enough. It’s also got bell pepper flakes, which is something you don’t see too often in recipes. (It should be in the spice aisle). Dill weed and walnuts round out this recipe giving it that something extra. It’s a very low-calorie recipe, low carbs, and good fiber! If you have nut allergies, leave out the walnuts. My husband would also insist on putting parmesan cheese on top of these as well. Making it Italian/French! Bon appetit!

INGREDIENTS:

32 ounces frozen green beans, cooked

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup bell pepper flakes

1 tablespoon dill weed

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cook beans as directed on the package. Drain any liquid off.

2. Heat a skillet on medium with the olive oil. Add beans to skillet. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes.

Makes 6 cups


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Sandwich Spreads

When we make sandwiches we usually put either mayonnaise or mustard or both on them. I’m the last person to put down mayonnaise but why not try something different. I actually use guacamole sometimes if I have leftovers in the fridge. Have to use it before it turns brown so I use it on sandwiches, hamburgers and even hot dogs! So good! I have a few other substitutes that we can all use on our sandwiches that will definitely give them more pizzazz! Don’t be scared, try it, you may like it. And I of course will use the light versions of most of these items if they are available. These spreads will last up to a week in the fridge!

BLUE CHEESE & WALNUT BUTTER

This is great on roast chicken, beef or apple sandwiches.

Beat ½ cup soft butter and ½ cup crumbled blue cheese in a bowl. Stir in ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts. Makes 1 cup

CREAMY PEPPERY GREENS

This is great on roast beef or corned beef sandwiches.

Stir 1/3 cup minced arugula, 1/3 cup minced radicchio, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and pepper  into 1 cup mayonnaise. Makes 1 2/3 cup.

FIG JAM

This is great for turkey or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Plump 1 cup chopped dried figs in 3 cups hot water for 25 minutes. Drain the figs, reserving some liquid. Puree in a food processor. Add the saved liquid until the mixture is spreadable. Like jam! Stir in ¼ teaspoon orange zest. Makes 2/3 cup.

ZESTY WHITE BEAN

This spread is delicious on ham, veggie or tuna steak sandwiches.

Blend one 15-ounce can rinsed cannellini beans in a food processor with 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Makes 1 cup.

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Easy Bark Candy

Bark Candy is a really tasty snack if you like chocolate and nuts. I love both so it’s a win-win! And when you make it in the microwave it’s even better because it only takes a few minutes! Quick, easy, delicious! You can use any kind of confectioners’ or candy coating flavor and any kind of nut you want! So decide what you want and get nuking!

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound confectioner’s or candy coating (vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch or caramel)

1 cup of any of the following nuts: roasted, salted nuts (unblanched almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans or mixed nuts), sunflower seeds, soya nuts or raisins! Or mix it up and use a little of each or whichever combo you wish!

DIRECTIONS:

1. If the candy coating is in a solid block/piece break it into squares. Place in a single layer in a 2 quart casserole.

2. Microwave at 50% power (medium) for 3-5 minutes, until pieces are soft. Stirring after 3 minutes until all softened.

3. Add nuts, seeds or raisins. Stir until candy coating is smooth and completely melted.

4. Spread on wax paper (on a flat cookie sheet) to ¼” thickness. Cool until hard, then break into pieces.

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(Amish) Friendship Bread

As promised here is the recipe for the actual Friendship Bread or Amish Friendship Bread as it’s called sometimes. Amish Friendship Bread has been around a long time, and some people claim that the recipe did indeed come from the Amish. However, there is no real connection to the Amish people. No matter where the original recipe came from, the fun is in the sharing. You create a bread mixture and after it is ready to bake you share some of the dough with your friends or family. You give your friends parts of the dough, and you keep some of it so that you can continue to make it. You can keep the chain going on your own, and your friends can start chains of it as well. No matter what, the Amish Friendship Bread is something that you can all share.

If you get a starter from a friend, you can easily follow the instructions that come with it. There are also so many things you can do with the mixture once you are ready to bake it! I will give some examples of what you can add to your bread at the end. It’s up to you, be creative! Have fun!!

Friendship Bread

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup starter mix

2/3 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl combine starter, oil, eggs and vanilla. Stir well.

2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

3. Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

4. Spoon mixture into 2 well greased loaf pans and bake in a 350º oven for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

VARIATIONS:

– use chopped pecans & dried apricots in place of the walnuts and chocolate chips

– substitute 1 teaspoon rum extract for the vanilla and add 1 cup of flaked coconut and 1 cup well-drained crushed pineapple

– substitute raisins for the chips

– omit the chips and add 1 cup applesauce and 1 cup raisins

– omit the chips and nuts, substitute 1 teaspoon nutmeg for the cinnamon and add 2 cups fresh blueberries

2 Comments »

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcake/Muffins

If you want a quick and easy muffin recipe than this is the one for you. Once again since I am not the best baker I came up with this easy muffin recipe. There is very little measuring involved, anyone can do it!! This recipe also calls for walnuts so if anyone is allergic, just omit them. Also feel free to substitute the walnuts for another nut if you wish. This is one of the few things I’ve baked that my husband said I could make again! It’s got lots of fiber also which is a plus for us all! I have been using canned pumpkin in recipes for awhile now and it’s so versatile you can use it in so many things! Not just pumpkin pie! This past holiday season there was a huge shortage of the canned pumpkin. The crops were hit hard and it made the pumpkin supply in strong demand. I stocked up. And if you try and find it now you may be lucky, look for Libby’s. I think they are the only ones who carry it. I haven’t seen any other brand.

INGREDIENTS:

1 box (any brand) of Spice Cake Mix

1 15oz can of pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filler)

1 cup water

1/2+ cup chopped walnuts (adjust to your liking)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl mix all ingredients together.

2. Line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

3. Pour batter evenly into cupcake liners.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for length of time on box. Check for doneness with toothpick. Let cool.

Yield: 24 medium cupcakes

6 Comments »

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