SANDRA’S APPLE PIE SPICE BLEND (soooo many uses)…

The perfect combination I use in all my apple recipes.
Also, tea or oatmeal addition, desserts, etc…
Yield: 1/2 cup
Prep: 5 Mins.
INGREDIENTS:
12 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
3 teaspoons cardamom
3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon allspice
METHOD:
Combine all dry ingredients, mix and store in a 1/2-cup mini mason jar, label, store in a dark place, then enjoy!
I use this in my homemade pies, oatmeal, apple bread, apple pies, cookies, teas, cocktails, homemade ice cream, and everything apple!
Note: I use organic spices, so have toned down the amounts because organic spices are fresher, therefore stronger; adjust to your liking folks. ~ Enjoy!

 

SANDRA’S MILK CHOCOLATE COCONUT BARS (Easy and Tasty)

The ultimate and most addicting bars ever,
and it’s a quick and easy recipe…

Yield: 3 Doz.

Prep:30 Mins.
Bake:28 to 30 Mins.
INGREDIENTS:
Crust
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 stick (1/2-cup) unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Middle Layer
1 cup (6 oz.) milk chocolate chips
Topping
2 whole large eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TB all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1-1/2 cups sweetened coconut
METHOD:
Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 13×9″ baking dish; set aside.
In a large bowl and pastry cutter or two butter knives, combine crust ingredients until it resembles small peas.  Pat evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish, and bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven.
Sprinkle with milk chocolate chips over hot crust; return to oven and bake for 1 minute, then remove and spread using an offset spatula evenly over crust.
In the interim, in a medium bowl, whisk eggs until light in color. Beat in sugar and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking powder and salt; mix to combine. Use a wooden spoon to add the coconut to combine mixture. Spread topping evenly over chocolate layer.
Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, until golden, brown  
Place hot baking dish on wire rack to cool, completely. 
Cut evenly into 36 (3×1″) bars. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA’S TRI-CITRUS COCONUT CREAM CHEESE TART

The most delicious and decadent dessert, as is…
or with or without any type of topping…

Yield: (One 11″ Tart) – Serves: 8-10
Prep: 20 Mins.
Bake: 20 Mins.
–Cool:  2 Hrs. at room temperature
–Refrigerate: Overnight
INGREDIENTS:
Nilla Wafer Crust:
2 cups finely crushed nilla wafers (about 50 wafers)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of salt
Filling:
1 (14-oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk, chilled overnight
—-(you’ll use only the solid coconut cream on top of can,
—–NOT liquid coconut milk underneath it, which I save for using in my cereal vs regular milk)
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
8 oz. whipped cream cheese
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
METHOD:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Crust – In the bowl of a food processor, add the wafers and pulse until fine crumbs are formed. Drizzle in the melted butter, while pulsing, into the feeding tube; do the same with the confectioners’ sugar and salt.  Pour into a dark round nonstick 11×1″ tart pan with a removable bottom. Press into a even layer in the bottom and up the sides. Set aside.
Filling – Add all filling ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bulb-whisk. Whip until all ingredients are incorporated and a creamy filling forms, about 2 minutes. Pour into prepared crust.
Bake tart, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Remove tart from oven and place on a baking rack to cool for 2 hours at room temperature.
Remove outer ring of pan, leave center portion under tart, then place atop a large, flat serving plate.  
Place cooled tart into the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, and let chill to allow flavors to meld overnight. ~ Enjoy!
Served, as is…

Served with a dollop of my
homemade
Strawberry-Rosemary Jam…





SANDRA’S OVERNIGHT NO-KNEAD AGAVE ROSEMARY ARTISAN BREAD

The easiest bread recipe I’ve created to date,
and it’s very versatile in that you can substitute the herbs,
i.e. instead of rosemary, use thyme, fennel seeds, etc…

Yield: 1 round loaf

Prep: 10 Mins.
1st rise: 9-12 Hrs.
2nd rise: 1-1/2 Hrs.

INGREDIENTS:

Wet:
1-1/2 cups warm water

1/2 teaspoon active/rapid dry yeast (not regular)
1 TB amber agave (or honey)

Dry:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dried rosemary (not ground)
1-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

–1 TB melted butter, (to brush top while hot out of oven)

METHOD:
Note: I proof my bread (let it rise) in the oven, no heat ~ A must in Alaska as this method provides for more of a consistent, non-draft environment.
Turn on pilot light in oven (no heat).
In a 2-cup glass-measuring cup, measure the warm water. Add the active/rapid yeast and agave, and stir to combine; set aside.
In a medium bowl, add the flour, salt, and pepper; whisk to evenly incorporate.  Add the wet mixture  and use a wooden spoon to combine, until the dough has pulled away from the sides and is somewhat shaggy.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap that has been sprayed on its underside.
Turn off pilot light in oven (no heat or light), then place the bowl of bread into oven to rise overnight.
The next morning, after 9-12 hours, remove the bread dough proofing in oven.
Turn on pilot light in oven (no heat).
Spray hands with oil and fold dough from outside to inner side (over on itself), working around in circles about 20 times.  Spray hands again, then place the dough ball into a sprayed 10″ heavy round ceramic baking dish, Dutch oven, or cast iron skillet. Cover with plastic wrap with underside sprayed, then let rise for 1-1/2 hours, once again in the oven, turning off pilot light (no heat).
15 minutes prior to last rise, remove dough from oven to finish rising on counter top, then preheat oven to 450F.
After second rise is complete (the last 15 minutes) and dough has doubled in size, remove plastic wrap. Use a sharp knife and cut and ‘X’ on the top 1/4″ deep to control its expansion area while baking.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the internal temp reads 190F with an instant read thermometer.
Remove dough to a wire rack, brush with melted butter, then top with clean kitchen towels to cool.  You can either serve the bread warm or at room temperature.
Store leftover bread in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or refrigerate up to 5 days. ~ Enjoy!
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Tips: If you like your bread with a crispy crust this is how it is when it comes out of the oven. If you like your bread with a softer crust, place it a plastic Ziploc bag and it’ll soften overnight stored on the counter top.

SANDRA’S EASY CHOCOLATE COCONUT MARSHMALLOW FUDGE

The most creamy and decadent fudge ever!
You can also sub out the coconut and marshmallows for chopped nuts,
or the chips for other flavors…

Yield: 36 squares
Prep: 10 Mins.
Cook: 5-10 Mins.
Chill: 2 Hrs.
INGREDIENTS
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14-oz can) sweetened condensed milk (not unsweetened evaporated milk)
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup finely shredded sweetened coconut
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
METHOD
Line an 8″ square baking dish with foil, leaving extension handles over edges of about 2″.
Place a heavy bottom medium saucepan over low heat, add the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and salt. Stir constantly, gently, until all chips have melted.  Remove from heat.
Fold in vanilla, then the coconut and marshmallows.
Spread mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
Chill, uncovered, in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours before removing foil, then cutting into 36 squares (*see below).
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. ~ Enjoy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tip:

*How to cut into 36 even squares: First, cut across the middle each way, and then cut each of the four squares into thirds each way (9×4=36 squares).

SANDRA’S INDIVIDUAL PEACH COBBLERS IN JARS

Another of my recipes I’ve modified for serving at a single setting,
as in its whole form goes south when refrigerated should there be leftovers.
All my recipes (as each are kitchen-tested) take many modifications until perfected.
These individual desserts are cute, decadent and comforting

to serve during those cold winter months…

Yield: Four (1/2-pint or 8-oz) Mason Jars
Prep: 15 Mins.
Bake: 40 Mins.
INGREDIENTS
Cobbler Batter:
–Dry:
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
–Wet:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 medium egg
Filling:
1 (24-oz. jar) sliced peaches (from Costco), drained and roughly chopped
–(reserving 1/3 cup of liquid)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
METHOD
Preheat oven to 350F.
Rub four 1/2-pint glass Mason jars with Mazola oil and set aside, along with a foil-lined baking sheet to place them on while baking.
Cobbler Batter:
In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In another small bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry ingredients in the medium bowl; stir to combine, and set aside.
Filling:
Add peaches to a medium bowl and sprinkle the flour and sugar on top. Stir until all of the peaches are well coated and flour has thoroughly been incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon and ginger; mix to combine.
Pour one-quarter of batter into each prepared jar, and spread evenly over bottom. Spoon one-quarter of peach mixture over batter in each jar. Place in pre-heated oven, and bake until cobblers are set, about 40 minutes, turning half way for even cooking. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. Serve warm in jars. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA’S SOURDOUGH and AVOCADO PANZANELLA

It’s terrific how these pickled red onions become so crispy
while being refrigerated in this flavorful brine

giving you a delicious sweet-salty vib…

Servings: 4
Prep: 10 Mins.
Toast bread cubes: 12 Mins.
Let stand: 10 Mins.
Sourdough Baguette (recipe)
INGREDIENTS
Panzanella:
2 cups cubed sourdough baguette (measure after cubing)
2 cups chopped tomatoes (measure after chopping)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sliced pickled red onions
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Final addition:
1 avocado, cut into 1/2″ cubes
METHOD
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Arrange the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until lightly toasted, about 12 minutes.
Pickled Red Onions (recipe)
Meanwhile, place chopped tomatoes in a colander placed over a bowl, and toss them with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Let stand 10 minutes to allow excess liquid to drain, discard juices in bowl.
Whisk the olive oil and vinegar together in a large bowl. Add the toasted sourdough cubes, chopped tomatoes, pickled red onions, basil, and pepper; toss to coat.  Let stand for 10 minutes for flavors to meld.
Just prior to serving, gently fold in the cubed avocado, and then serve. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA’S REFRIGERATED PICKLED RED ONIONS

It’s terrific how these pickled red onions become so crispy
while being refrigerated in this flavorful brine
giving you a delicious sweet-spice vib…
Yield: (6) 1/2-Pint Size Mason Jars, or (3) Pint-Size
Prep: 15 Mins.
Cook Brine: 30 Mins.
Refrigerate: Min. of 3 days, or up to 1 month
INGREDIENTS:
Brine:
(*Note: I prepare pots of brine about 6 hours beforehand to ensure it has sufficient time to cool so it’s ready when I began the jarring process. Or, to speed up the cooling process; once the brine has cooled somewhat, carefully place entire pot in sink filled with cold water, just so water is about 1/4 the way up from outside bottom of pot.)
4 cups water
2 cups white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup pickling spice
3/4 cups white granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Onions:
3 medium red onions, thinly sliced from top to core direction to 1/8″
METHOD
Add all brine ingredients to a large non-reactive pot (I use stainless steel); stir to combine. Bring brine to a boil, cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Let cool completely with lid on – Important! (See *note above.)
Strain the brine through a colander, lined with a double layer of paper towels, into a large bowl to catch the pickling spice and provide for a clear brine when jarring the red onions.
Pack sliced red onions into jars. Use a glass heatproof measuring cup to assist in pouring the brine mixture from the bowl into each jar to within 1/4″ of rim.
Use a teaspoon to press the onions down into the vinegar and pop up any air bubbles in the jars. Let the pickled onions cool to room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate a minimum of 3 days, or up to 1 month. Always keep them chilled in the refrigerator (do not store in pantry). ~ Enjoy!
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Tip: These pickled red onions are fabulous and incredibly delicious when added to appetizers, tacos, burritos, nachos, burgers, sandwiches, salads, etc.

SANDRA’S QUICK ASIAN VEGETABLE STIR-FRY WITH NOODLES

There are times when I have a craving for Asian food,
and this quick entree fits the bill perfectly…

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep: 10 Mins.

Cook: 10 Mins.
INGREDIENTS
Noodles:
8 oz’s (half a box) thin spaghetti noodles, cooked according to package directions
Pre-steam broccoli:
2 cups fresh broccoli florets, cut smaller
–(Pre-steam on high for 3 minutes in a covered microwave-able bowl with 2 TBs water)
Vegetables:
2 tablespoons Mazola oil
2 cups pre-steamed (above) broccoli florets, drain water beforehand
1 small yellow onion, julienned
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 orange bell pepper, julienned
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
–2 green onions, white and green parts sliced on the diagonal (added last)
Sauce:
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
Garnish:
1 TB roughly chopped fresh cilantro
METHOD
Prep all stir-fry ingredients, including pre-steaming broccoli in microwave, and mixing the sauce in a small bowl, prior to making stir-fry; set all aside.
Begin cooking noodles, according to package directions.
Heat a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat; add oil. When hot, stir-fry pre-steamed broccoli, onion, bell peppers, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes for 7-9 minutes until broccoli is crisp-tender. Stir in sliced green onions.
Whisk the sauce, then add to the skillet. Cook, while stir-frying for 2 minutes.  Add hot noodles to the skillet, toss, using tongs, to combine.
Transfer stir-fry to a serving platter, garnish with fresh cilantro and serve family style. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA’S SOURDOUGH SMASHED-AVOCADO BRUSCHETTA

A little bit of heaven in every bite,
and these snacks are so easy to prepare 

with ingredients I generally have on hand…

Yield: 8 slices as a side, or 16 as an appetizer

Prep: 10 Mins.
Bake: 10 Mins.
INGREDIENTS
Sourdough:
Click here for recipe:
sourdough baguette

1 (12″) sourdough baguette

1 fresh garlic clove, halved crosswise (for rubbing on hot toasted bread)
Spread:
1 smashed avocado
Bruschetta:
1 (14.5-oz can) diced Italian seasoned tomatoes*, drained (then squeezed with hands, and chopped finer)
3 large fresh basil leaves, julienned
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Mazola oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Garnish:
Feta cheese crumbles
METHOD
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a small bowl, add the tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Smash the avocado in a separate small bowl; set aside.
Cut baguette in half lengthwise, place on a baking sheet, and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, while bread is hot, rub each slice with garlic clove halves. Spread each with smashed avocado, then top with tomato mixture. Garnish with feta crumbles. Slice crosswise into 8 (to serve as a side), or 16 pieces (to serve as an appetizer). ~ Enjoy!

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Tip:

* Feel free to use (as I sometimes do when I have them on hand), fresh roma tomatoes vs canned – it will take about 1-1/2 cups, de-seeded and juiced, then finely chopped.