Southwestern Onion Rings

Author: The Caldwells // Category:

I was expecting this to be spicy and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't. It was the right amount of spices for me! Rich liked them also and ate 1/2 of them!

2 large sweet onions
2-1/2 cups buttermilk (I used my fresh buttermilk from making butter!)
2 eggs
3 tablespoons water
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Cut onion into 1/4 inch slices and separate the rings. Place in a large bowl; cover with buttermilk and soak for 30 min. stirring twice. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs and water. In another shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, chili powder, cayenne, sugar, garlic powder and cumin. Drain onion rings; dip in egg mixture, then roll in flour mixture. In an electric skillet heat 1 in of oil to 375 degrees. Fry onion rings, a few at a time, for 1 to 1-1/2 min. on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Yield: 8 Servings

Mac N Cheese with a twist

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
8 ounces elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
2 cups milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups fully cooked ham, cubed
1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
13 Ritz crackers, crushed
Parsley flakes, optional

Cook the macaroni. While noodles are cooking melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth;; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 min. or until thickened. Reduce heat. Add the cheese; cook and stir until melted. Stir in the ham and mushrooms. Drain macaroni and stir into the cheese/ham mixture. Transfer to a greased 9 x 9 pan. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 for 25-30 min. or until heated through and bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Author: The Caldwells // Category:

This is sooooo good. Owen said it is the best one we have made yet. Tabatha kept eating more and more of it. Now to just figure out how to get the graham cracker crust in it without the graham cracker getting soggy and gross!

16 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sugar (if using sugar or syrup packed frozen berries, omit the sugar in the recipe)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/4 cup fresh strawberries, pureed
2 cups half-and-half

Blend the sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Add lemon juice and vanilla. Stir until mixed. Blend in half-and-half. Fold in strawberries. Chill for 1-2 hours. Pour into ice cream machine and freeze for 30 min. Serve as soft serve or freeze in the freezer for 2-4 more hours if you prefer to have your ice cream harder.

Yields: 2 quarts

Chocolate Belgian Waffle

Author: The Caldwells // Category: ,
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1-1/4 cups milk
2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat the waffle iron. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Melt butter, stir in milk, then egg yolks. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine. In a small bowl with an electric mixer, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into batter just until blended. Pour about 1/2 cup batter over the bottom of each hot waffle grid. Close lid and bake until golden (when almost all the steam stops flowing out of the iron) about three to four minutes.
Yields: 4 servings


Author: The Caldwells // Category:
4 teaspoons yeast
3-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk, or more
1 pound unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour, for dusting
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
mini-chocolate chips (optional)

In a mixer with a dough hook, place the yeast, flour, sugar, salt and the milk and mix for 2 minutes until a soft moist dough forms on the hook. If most of the flour isn't moistened with this quantity of milk, add more, a tablespoon at a time until it is moistened and smooth, using up to 4 tablespoons. Turn mixer on high and mix for another 4 minutes until very smooth and elastic.
Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured board, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the towel and roll the dough into a 10 by 9-inch rectangle 5/8-inch thick. Wrap in plastic then chill for 1 hour and up to overnight.
Ten minutes before the dough is done resting in the refrigerator, prepare the butter. Beat it with your rolling pin on a floured surface to soften it and form a rectangle 6 by 8 1/2 inches. Place it between parchment paper or plastic wrap and set aside.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it on a floured work surface into a 10 by 15-inch and 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Brush any excess flour off the dough. Place the shorter side of the dough parallel to the front of your body on the work surface. Place the butter in the middle, long-ways. Fold the bottom up over the butter and brush off any excess flour and then fold the top down over the butter to overlap and encase the butter. Press down lightly with the rolling pin to push all the layers together and make sure they have contact.
Continue rolling the dough to form a new 10 by 15-inch rectangle, patching any holes with a dusting of flour where butter may have popped through. Fold into thirds, like a letter, brush off any excess flour and mark it with an indentation made by poking your finger once at the corner of the dough meaning you have completed the first "turn". Wrap well in plastic and chill 1 hour and up to overnight. Do this again three more times marking it accordingly each time and chilling in between each turn. After the fourth turn roll it out to a 13 by 24-inch square that is a little less than 1/4-inch thick and cut out your croissants and shape them. If using chocolate chips sprinkle the inside of croissant with chocolate chips and roll them up inside the croissant.
I roll out my dough and cut it with a pizza cutter into 6-inch strips then cut them into triangles, 6 inches wide at the base of the triangle. Stretch these triangles again 9 inches long, then place on the work surface and put a piece of scrap dough in the center of the wide end to enclose, which will plump up the center. Roll the triangles up towards you starting at the wide end and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment lined sheet pan with the tip tucked under and the ends slightly curved in to make a crescent shape. You may freeze the croissants at this point, or, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk and brush the croissants with this egg wash.
To proof the croissants, place them in an oven that is warm but not turned on, with a pan of hot water in the bottom to create a moist environment like a proof box. Set aside to proof for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours until puffed up and spongy to the touch. Remove from the oven.
Spritz a preheated 425 degree F oven with water, close the door, and get the croissants. Place the croissants in the oven and spritz again, close the door and turn the oven down to 400 degrees F. After 10 minutes, rotate your pan if they are cooking unevenly and turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. Bake another 5 to 8 minutes until golden brown.
Yield: 20 croissants


Author: The Caldwells // Category:
In the summer around 15 years ago we went to my Aunt Darla and Uncle Bill's house for dinner. My Aunt had eclairs to go with our dinner (all I can remember is playing in the basement and the eclairs. Guess nothing important happened). They were amazing. I don't remember eating eclairs before that and the frozen ones at the store just don't compare! So, I decided to try and make them myself and I succeeded:SHELL:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2-1/2 cups cold milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons hot water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter melts completely. Reduce heat to low, and add flour and salt. Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and begins to form a stiff ball. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate completely after each addition. With a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a No. 10, or larger, tip, spoon or pipe dough onto cookie sheet in 1 1/2 x 4 inch strips (I cut a whole in the bottom of a pastry bag at the size I thought would be correct and it worked well). Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake 20 minutes more, until hollow sounding when lightly tapped on the bottom. Pierce ends of pastry with fork and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the filling, combine pudding mix and milk in medium bowl according to package directions. In a separate bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Fold whipped cream into pudding. Cut tops off of cooled pastry shells with a sharp knife. Fill shells with pudding mixture and replace tops.
For the icing, melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until icing is smooth and has reached desired consistency. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and drizzle over filled eclairs. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Yields: 9 Eclairs

Easy Bagels

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
4 ½ cups of flour
2 packets of active dry yeast
1 ½ cups of water, at 110°F
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
1 gallon of water
1 tablespoon of sugar

In a medium sized bowl combine 1 ½ cups flour and the two packers of yeast. Combine the 1 ½ cups of warm water, 3 tablespoons of sugar and salt; then pour over flour mixture. Beat at low speed for about thirty seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat for three minutes on high speed. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Continue kneading until smooth and elastic; then cover and allow to rest for fifteen minutes. Cut into twelve portions; then shape into smooth balls. Punch a hole in the middle of each with a floured finger. Pull gently to enlarge hole to about two inches. Place on a greased baking sheet; cover; and allow to rise for twenty minutes. Heat 1 gallon water and 1 tablespoon sugar to boiling; then reduce heat. Cook bagels, about three at a time, for 8 minutes, turning once. Remove from water with slotted spoon onto towels. Transfer to a greased baking sheet (if you want cinnamon or poppy seed bagels sprinkle with topping). Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Yield: 12 Bagels

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
This recipe uses an ice cream maker. Do not make unless you are prepared to sit and eat the entire thing its that good!
2-1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup mini-chocolate chips
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

In a sauce pan over medium heat, stir together 2 cups whole milk, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Heat until the milk start to steam, but before it starts to boil. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup of whole milk and the cornstarch. Stir until no lumps remain. Add the cornstarch mixture to the heated milk and chocolate mixture and bring to a low boil. Boil until thickened. The mixture will look the consistency of chocolate pudding. Remove from heat.
In a small sauce pan, heat 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 1 minute, then stir the cream and chocolate mixture until incorporated. Stir the cream and chocolate mixture into the cooling chocolate ice cream base. Place in a bowl, covered with a lid, and put in the fridge for 6 hours.
Once cool, follow the manufacturers instructions on the ice cream maker to churn ice cream. Once the mixture has chilled and thickened in the ice cream maker, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup of peanut butter. Don’t over mix (which I did!!). You want a nice ribbon of peanut butter running through the ice cream.
Transfer the ice cream into a freezer safe container and fold in the remaining 1/4 cup of peanut butter. Cover and freeze until solid (about 4 hours).

Yield: 1-1/2 quarts

Parmesan chicken

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
3 pounds bone-in chicken

In first shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, paprika, and pepper. In a second shallow bowl, beat the eggs and milk. In a third shallow bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Coat chicken with the first bowl, then dip in the second bowl, and roll in the third bowl. Place on a well-greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 50-55 min. or until chicken juices run clear.
Yield: 4 servings

Easy Egg Noodles

Author: The Caldwells // Category: ,
1 egg plus 3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg and egg yolks. Add the water and salt; mix well. Stir in the flour. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth. Divide into thirds. (I used my pasta maker from here on out, but this is what the directions say if you don't have one) Roll out each portion to 1/8 in. thickness. Cut noodles to desired width and cook immediately in boiling salted water for 7-9 min. Drain. (I then added butter, parsley and Parmesan, but you can add your favorite sauce).
Yields: 5 1/2 cups

Butter and Buttermilk

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
In honor of Pioneer Day (for more info visit: ) I sat in pj's all day with my family and made home made butter. It was really easy and I have a recipe for tomorrow that needed buttermilk. How exciting to have fresh butter and fresh buttermilk!

1/2 pint heavy cream, very cold
Pinch salt, optional

Find a large jar with a tight-fitting lid that will hold the cream about half full. Refrigerate the jar for at least 1 hour. Pour the cream into the cold jar. Tightly secure the lid and shake as hard as possible until chunks of butter start to form, 15 to 30 minutes (it took me 20 min. and you go from hearing nothing mixing as you shake to hearing a whole bunch of liquid!). Pour into a strainer set over a bowl. The chunks in the strainer are butter, and the liquid in the bowl is buttermilk.
Pour the buttermilk into a clean container, cover, refrigerate, and reserve for another use. Turn the butter into a clean bowl and cover with very cold water. Pour into a strainer, discarding the liquid. Continue rinsing the butter with very cold water until the water runs clear. (The cloudy water is buttermilk which will make the butter turn sour.) When the butter is clean, work with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to press out any remaining liquid. Discard this liquid. If desired, add salt to the butter. (Salted butter will keep longer and I salted ours. It was really good!)
Transfer the butter to a clean container for keeping, pressing with a wooden spoon or spatula to dispel any air bubbles. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Yield: about 3 ounces

Bread Machine Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Author: The Caldwells // Category:

Tips: to make bread easier to slice, after it has cooled put it in the freezer until it starts to harden (about 1 hour). Then slice it and bring it back to room temperature!

1-1/8 cups warm water at 110°F
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1-1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Add ingredients according to the manufacturer's directions to your bread machine. Use the wheat bread cycle and light color setting.

Yields: 1-1/2 pound loaf

Fettuccine Alfredo

Author: The Caldwells // Category: ,

8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
½ cup butter or margarine
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper

Cook Fettuccine as directed. While fettuccine is cooking heat butter and whipping cream in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until butter is melted and mixture starts to bubble. Reduce heat to low, simmer 6 min., stirring frequently, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Drain fettuccine. Pour sauce over fettuccine; toss until fettuccine is well coated.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
These are oh so good!!! Owen has his last day of summer school tomorrow and they are having a breakfast. He requested to bring these babies in:

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sour cream, water, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Yield: 1 dozen large and 2 dozen small!!

Strawberry Jam

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
Great recipe and it was supper yummy!!! It was my first time making homemade jam and this recipe is the only one I will try! So much better than store bought!
1 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 2 cups of mashed berry (food processors work well also!). In a heavy bottomed large saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F. While waiting for temperature process unsealed jars in a water bath (10 min. in hot boiling water). Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Turn jars upside down for 10 min. Jam will be fully set in 48 hours. (however, we waited 12 before eating and it wasn't runny)
Yields: 5 1/2 small jars

To test for jelling-Place three plates in a freezer... after about 10 minutes of boiling place a tsp of the liquid of the jam onto the cold plate. Return to freezer for a minute. Run your finger through the jam on the plate... if it doesn't try to run back together (if you can make a line through it with your finger) it's ready to be canned!

Apple Mallow Salad

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 to 2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 egg, beaten
1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 medium red apples, diced
2 medium green apples, diced
4 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup honey-roasted peanuts

Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set pineapple aside. In a saucepan, combine sugar, flour, vinegar and reserved juice until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 min. Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 min. Remove from heat and cool.
Fold in whipped topping. fold in the apples, marshmallows and reserved pineapple. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Just before serving fold in the peanuts.
Yield: 16-20 servings

Pita Pocket Chicken Salad

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1 cup chopped cucumber
3/4 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup poppy seed salad dressing
6 pita breads (6 inches), halved

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, grapes, cucumber, almonds and mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Fill pita bread with chicken salad.
Yields: 6 servings

Italian Bow Tie Bake

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
(This was good, but I wish I knew how to make home made bow tie pasta noodles!!! I'm not ready to share my spaghetti sauce recipe though!!)

16 ounces uncooked bow tie pasta
32 ounces spaghetti sauce
1 envelope Italian Salad Dressing mix
16 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti sauce and salad dressing mix. Add pasta; toss to coat.
Transfer to a greased 13 X 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 15-20 min. or until heated through.

Yields: 8 servings

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
I substituted my own Pizza crust recipe (we don't get fresh things so even Boboli is really dry!), but I am sure this is good how it is!

1 envelope zesty herb marinade mix
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1 prebaked Italian bread shell crust (14 ounces)
1/2 cup prepared Alfredo sauce (I used my own and it was great!)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup (4 ounces) finely shredded pizza cheese blend
1/2 medium green pepper, julienned
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons marinade mix, water, vinegar and oil. Pour 1/3 cup marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add the chicken. Seal and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.

Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 5-7 min. on each side, basting occasionally with reserved marinade. Cool. Cube chicken and set aside.

Place bread shell crust on an un-greased 12-in. pizza pan. Spread with Alfredo sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, 1/2 cup pizza blend cheese, green pepper, onion, mushrooms, cubed chicken and remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 45o degrees for 8-10 min. or until cheese is melted.

White Chocolate Berry Dessert

Author: The Caldwells // Category:
I substituted white chocolate chips because the commissary didn't have white baking chocolate and we all loved this recipe
8 squares (1 ounce each) white baking chocolate
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3 squares (1 ounce each) white baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 squares (1 ounces each) white baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate and butter at 70% power; stir until smooth. Cool.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar until lemon-colored. Beat in melted chocolate mixture and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; beat into egg mixture. Spread into greased 13 X 9 pan; set aside.
For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and white chocolate. Beat in the egg, sugar, sour cream and vanilla just until combined. Carefully spread over bottom layer. Cut through filling with a knife to swirl.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 min or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Just before serving, fold whipped topping into white chocolate. Fold in strawberries; spread over dessert. Cut into squares. Refrigerate leftovers.
Yields: 15 servings