Christmas Tradition

A long time ago when I was in the 8th grade I took Home Economics as one of my electives. We learned how to make a recipe called Cream Cheese Braids. They are similar to a Cream Cheese Breakfast Danish. That year I made them as Christmas presents for friends and family. Little did I know 20 plus years later it would be a family tradition.

Every year we make them and give them to family, friends, neighbors, and teachers. I took a count yesterday and we are making 3 batches this year which will give us 12 loaves.

Since I can not make them for everyone that stops in and takes the time to read my blog I will post the recipe. My Christmas present to all of you. 🙂

braided_bread

 Cream Cheese Braids

 

1 cup sour cream                                       2 pkg. dry yeast

½ cup sugar                                              ½ cup warm water

1 tsp. salt                                                   2 eggs

½ cup melted butter                                   4 cups flour

 

Heat sour cream over low heat, stir in sugar and butter.

Dissolve yeast in warm water (NOT HOT).

Combine sour cream and yeast; add eggs, salt and flour.

Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

 

The next day, divide dough into 4 equal parts.

Roll out each on well-floured board into 12” x 8” rectangles.

Spread ¼ of the filling on each rectangle.

Roll jellyroll style, beginning on a long side.

Pinch edges together and fold ends under slightly.

Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet.

Slit each roll at 2” intervals about 2/3 of the way through to resemble a braid.

Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.

Spread with glaze while warm.

 

Filling: Mix all ingredients together

 

16 oz. cream cheese, softened

¾ cup sugar

1 egg beaten

2 tsp. vanilla

 

Glaze: Mix all ingredients together

 

2 cups powdered sugar

4 tbsp. milk

2 tsp. vanilla

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t toss those pumpkin seeds! Toast or roast pumpkin seeds in your oven in no time at all. They can be salted or spiced to suit your palate. The shells are edible and are a good source of fiber. Use this method with other seeds such as acorn squash and butternut squash.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:
Pumpkin seeds
Cooking spray, olive oil, or butter
Optional: Salt, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, or other seasoning of choice
Preparation:

Rinse pumpkin seeds. Use your fingers to remove all the pulp. Drain pumpkin seeds and discard pulp. Spread out on a cookie sheet to dry overnight.pumpkin seeds in olive oil, butter, or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, or your choice of seasonings. Toss to coat.pumpkin seeds before eating. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 months or refrigerate up to 1 year.pumpkin seeds extra-salty, soak overnight in a solution of 1/4 cup salt to 2 cups of water. Dry an additional day, then proceed as above. 

Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil.

Toss

Bake about 1 hour, tossing every 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool

If you like your toasted

Pepper Shrimp Scampi

Pepper Shrimp Scampi Recipe

Pepper Shrimp Scampi

6 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup reduced-fat butter, cubed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a largenonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute the zucchini, onion, peppers and garlic until tender. Add the shrimp; cook and
stir for 2-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Stir in the butter, oregano and basil. Drain pasta; add to skillet and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 6 servings.  

 Nutrition Facts

  • One serving: 1-1/3 cups
  • Calories: 258
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 183 mg
  • Sodium: 275 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 27 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Diabetic Exchange: 3 very lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat. 

Ribs To Die For…

I found this recipe over at The Kitchen Sink. The ribs came out awesome! I will admit that being a bit lazy, I did not make the Bourbon Glaze but I instead used a really good BBQ sauce. The key is to cooking the ribs in the pineapple juice! My youngest daughter doesn’t like BBQ sauce so we left hers plain and she ate every last piece!

Bourbon-Glazed Baby Back Ribs
Bon Appetit

5 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup bourbon
1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon plum sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 2 1/4- to 2 1/2-pound racks baby back pork ribs
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

Whisk first 11 ingredients in small bowl.

Do ahead: Glaze can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place long sheet of heavy-duty foil on each of 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Sprinkle rib racks on all sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 rib rack on each foil sheet. Fold up sides of each foil sheet around rib rack to form boat-like shape. Pour 1/2 cup pineapple juice over each rib rack. Fold up foil to seal packets. Bake until ribs are tender, about 2 hours.* Remove ribs from foil packets. Transfer to roasting pan; pour any juices from foil over and cool.

Do ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Cut each rib rack in half. Grill until browned, brushing frequently with glaze and turning often, about 10 minutes. Cut racks between bones into ribs.

* The original recipe calls for baking the ribs for 1 hour, but Epicurious commenters suggested 2 hours.

Kielbasa & Cabbage Soup

Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup

1 Tbs (15 ml) vegetable oil
1/2 lb (225 g) kielbasa or other smoked, cooked sausage, diced
1 onion, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 cups (1.5 L) beef or chicken stock
1 Tbs (15 ml) red wine vinegar
1/2 medium cabbage, chopped
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 Tbs (45 ml) finely chopped fresh dill
1 bay (laurel) leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot over moderate heat and saute the kielbasa until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

Baked Tilapia

Baked Tilapia

Go easy on the capers, they can over power the fish if you use too many.

4 tilapia fillets (6 ounces each)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Place tilapia in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the butter, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt; pour over the fillets. Sprinkle with capers, oregano and paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Yield: 4 servings.

Makeover Swiss Chicken Supreme

Makeover Swiss Chicken Supreme

This is a great recipe that does not dry the chicken out!! To make this recipe even lighter I omit the Swiss cheese and the sour cream. I also use spray butter instead of the melted butter. I use cream of mushroom soup instead of the cream of chicken soup. We have tried cream of celery soup as well which works pretty good. Just depends on your taste buds.
 

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 slices (3/4 ounce each) reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup crushed reduced-fat butter-flavored crackers (about 8 crackers)
1 teaspoon butter, melted.

Place the chicken in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Sprinkle with minced onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Top each with a slice of
cheese. In a small bowl, combine the soup, sour cream and milk; pour over chicken.
Toss the cracker crumbs and butter; sprinkle over chicken.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and crumbs are golden.Yield: 4 servings.
 

Baked Lemon Shrimp With Garlic

BAKED LEMON SHRIMP WITH GARLIC
Serves 6.
Ingredients
2 pounds large shrimp (about 30), peeled
1/4 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon mined garlic, or to taste
1/2 cup flat-leafed parsley leaves, washed well, spun dry, and chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Preheat oven to 450°F.
In a flameproof baking dish large enough to hold shrimp in one layer melt butter with salt over moderately low heat. Stir in garlic and half of parsley. Add shrimp and bake 5 minutes. Turn shrimp and sprinkle with remaining parsley and lemon juice. Bake shrimp until just cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes more. Serve shrimp with rice.
 

New England Boiled Dinner – Corned Beef & Cabbage

New England Boiled Dinner – Corned Beef & Cabbage

2 1/2 pounds corned beef brisket
The spice packet that comes with the corned beef or 3 tablespoons pickling spices, 3 bay leaves and 5 black peppercorns, tied in a cheesecloth bag
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 carrots, cut into 4 pieces
1 onion, quartered
1 small cabbage, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon salt
  

In a large pot combine meat, spices and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours. Add vegetables and salt. Simmer 30 minutes more.