bookmark_borderSANDRA’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!

 

bookmark_borderSANDRA’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!

bookmark_borderSANDRA’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…





bookmark_borderSANDRA’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!

bookmark_borderSANDRA’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!

bookmark_borderSANDRA’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.

bookmark_borderSANDRA’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!

bookmark_borderSANDRA’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.

bookmark_borderSANDRA’S JALAPEÑO-LIME JAM

My vibrant Jalapeño-Lime Jam is flecked with tiny bits of peppers
that adds a jewel-like flair to appetizers.
Spread on a block of warmed cream cheese and serve with crackers,
or as stated below with Smoked Wild Alaska Salmon…

Yield: 7 (8 oz) half pints

Prep: 20 Mins.
Process: 10 Mins.
INGREDIENTS
12 medium jalapeño peppers, with ribs and seeds, roughly chopped
1-1/2 cups cider vinegar, divided
1/2 cup bottled lime juice
6 cups granulated sugar
2 (3-oz pouches) of Liquid Pectin
1 TB cold unsalted butter
10 drops natural green food coloring
7 (8 oz.) sterile glass canning jars with lids and bands
METHOD
Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
Pulse peppers in food processor or blender with 1 cup cider vinegar until small chunks are present. Do not strain purée.
Combine purée with remaining 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup lime juice and sugar in a large heavy-bottom pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add 1 TB butter and 10 drops natural green food coloring; stir to combine until butter has melted (this rids the jam of foam, so no skimming is required).
Add pectin, immediately squeezing entire contents from pouches. Continue to boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Ladle hot jalapeno jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Wipe rims with damp paper towel. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is finger-tip tight.
Place jars right side up in canner ensuring water is 1” above them. Bring to boil and begin timing processing for 10 minutes.
Remove jars and place to cool upright on a clean kitchen towel for 15 minutes.  Use a potholder to turn over for 15 minutes (so the speckles evenly distribute and don’t float to the top), then turn upright to cool completely. The jars will ‘ping’ as they seal, but double check lids to ensure they’re sealed after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed. ~ Enjoy!
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TIPS:
—Great when layering Ritz crackers with whipped cream cheese, pickled salmon, pickled onions, then top with a dollop of this jalapeno-lime jam as an appetizer.


—Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place an uncovered 8-oz. block of Cream Cheese on a baking dish and bake for 12-15 minutes; top with jalapeno-lime jam. Serve with crackers on the side.


bookmark_borderSANDRA’S HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE (in 5 minutes)

Making homemade mayonnaise is incredibly easy
when you use ‘key’ room temperature ingredients!

Simply follow my step-by-step instructions below…

Yield: 1 cup (1/2 pint)
Prep: 5 Mins.

Stand: 4 Hrs. at room temperature
Refrigerate: Up to 1 week
  
INGREDIENTS
1 large pasteurized egg yolk, room temperature (save egg white, see a recipe to use it below*)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 teaspoons white wine vinegar (unseasoned), room temperature
1 cup Mazola Oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, room temperature
1 Tablespoon amber agave
1/8 teaspoon dry ground mustard
1 Tablespoon boiling water
METHOD
Lay out all ingredients, according to the preparation order listed below, also ensuring egg yolk, white wine vinegar, and lemon juice are all at room temperature. Place a small saucepan of water on stove to boil.
Place the egg yolk, salt, white pepper, and vinegar into the bowl of your food processor fitted with the metal blade.
Put your oil into a 1 cup liquid measuring cup so it is easy to pour.
Remove the feed tube insert if it doesn’t have a ‘drizzle hole’ (one of mine does, the other does not). With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the oil, starting with a few drops at a time and continuing with a very slow and steady stream. As the mayonnaise begins to thicken, continue pouring, slowly, until all of the oil has been used.
Once the mayonnaise is thick, slowly blend in the lemon juice, agave, dry mustard and boiling water, just until incorporated.
Place the mayonnaise in a covered 1/2-pint Mason jar and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours to allow the acidic chemical reaction to sufficiently take place, including preventing it from separating when refrigerated later on.
Place mayonnaise in the refrigerator and use within a week. ~ Enjoy!

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Tip:
* Save egg white and use to make Sandra’s Sweetly Spiced Candied Pecans shown here: