Monday, December 20, 2010

white chocolate peppermint fudge

My sister Jessica is pretty brilliant. For many reasons, but for the purpose of this post, because she created a spin-off of my late Great Aunt Lil's fudge that has been passed throughout my {Cajun} family for many, many years. Tradition in our family was to have this fudge every Christmas time {and also while watching/judging every Miss America/USA/Universe/etc pageant with my mom and sisters all growing up}. It's delicious, and it is my favorite. It has marshmallow cream, cream cheese, choc chips, peanut butter - and sugar & butter, too, of course! You can find the original recipe on my sister's blog in the middle of this post.

We were all together for Thanksgiving a few years ago and Jessica decided to experiment with the "base" of this fudge, and substitute the semi-sweet chocolate chips for white chocolate chips... and eliminate the peanut butter and instead add crushed candy canes and peppermint extract!! And this is what I'm talkin' 'bout!!! soooooo creamy good... and FESTIVE, too!!

Jessica's White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

2 sticks of butter
12 oz. PET brand evaporated milk
4 cups sugar
7 oz. jar of marshmallow crème
8 oz. white chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)
2 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
6 or so crushed/chunky candy canes

1. Cut and place parchment paper in pan and then butter.

2. Combine butter, evaporated milk, and sugar over high heat in a heavy-bottomed pot, stirring constantly, until it begins to boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the soft ball stage (its easiest to use a candy thermometer. Also I like to continue to stir during this part so that the bottom doesn't burn). In a large bowl, combine the marshmallow cream, chocolate chips and cream cheese and microwave for about a minute. Stir a few strokes by hand until slightly mixed together.

3. When the candy mixture reaches the soft ball stage, remove from heat and add the vanilla and also add the bowl’s contents to the pot and begin to beat with a mixer on high. Pour in the peppermint extract after a few seconds of mixing all the ingredients and then continue to beat until thick and creamy and it begins to lose its gloss. You can add some of the crushed candy canes into the mix or just save it for on top only. Pour into a buttered pan and then sprinkle the crushed candy cane on top immediately and let cool. After its completely cool you can cut into squares and get ready to serve. A pizza cutter actually works really well to cut the fudge. Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Luscious Lemon Bars

have you ever wondered what the best thing on the planet taste like? well, here it is. these suckers almost didn't get a picture because we ate them so fast. My mother-in-law made these while I was up in Seattle and it was love at first bite. they have a lovely thick crust (like a buttery pie) and a juicy and "luscious" lemon top. I couldn't wait to come home and make them myself. this recipe was handed down to her from her mother.


Dorothy Throssell's Luscious Lemon Bar Cookies
1 cup soft butter          1/2 cup powdered sugar
dash salt                      2 cups flour
-Combine all ingredients and mix well. Press mixture into 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until nicely browned.

4 eggs, beaten                    1/4 cup flour
2 cups granulated sugar     6 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
-Combine flour and sugar, mix in beaten eggs and lemon juice. Pour into the slightly cooled crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until set.
-Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa

Image Courtesy of
I've held onto this recipe for a couple years now, waiting until the day I would have enough time to make something so labor intensive. When I first saw Tyler Florence on TV making this, I could smell the roasted tomatillo sauce and enchiladas through the TV. I'm a sucker for enchiladas, and a bigger sucker for "green sauce". This was just as good as I imagined and smelled it to be a couple years back. Well worth all the effort!! And it knocked Jeremy's socks off, too!! =)

So here is the modified recipe that I did:

Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa:
1 pound tomatillos, husked
1 white onion, peeled and quartered
4 to 5 garlic cloves
2 jalapenos
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 lime, juiced

Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock, store bought
Chopped cilantro leaves
3 Chicken breast, cooked and shredded (or you could use 1 deli roasted chicken, meat shredded)
Freshly ground black pepper
14-16  medium flour tortillas
1/2 - 1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 cups sour cream
Chopped tomatoes and cilantro leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the salsa:
On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.

Meanwhile heat a 2 count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized - this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin then cook for a further minute. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn't burn then gradually add the chicken stock to make a veloute. Continue stirring over a low simmer until the flour cooks and the liquid thickens. Turn off the heat, add half of the roasted tomatillo chile salsa, some additional fresh chopped cilantro and fold in the shredded chicken meat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Change the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and begin assembling the dish. Take a large baking dish and smear the bottom with some of the reserved tomatillo salsa. Now take the flour tortillas and briefly flash them over the stove-top flame (or put them briefly under the broiler if using an electric stove). Using a shallow bowl, coat each tortilla lightly with the reserved salsa mix. Put a scoop of the shredded chicken-enchilada mix on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and roll like a cigar to enclose it. Using a spatula place the tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the tortillas. Finally pour over some more of the salsa and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cracked on top. Garnish, cilantro and tomato.

Serve hot with the remaining tomatillo salsa and sour cream.