To-dos for 2012

I am not a neat freak.

That’s a statement to which my husband will readily attest.Bryanis much more apt to pick up something around the house and put it away. He likes things orderly.

I, on the other hand, just don’t notice the object.

Cleaning is something I generally look at as a necessary evil. It’s not something I enjoy. I dust and do other chores as necessity arises. My main complaint about cleaning is the snowball effect: You start out doing one little chore, and then you see another thing that needs to be cleaned, and then another, and another. Pretty soon I’m feeling overwhelmed by all that needs doing. It’s easier to just ignore it.

But, after several weeks of being caught up in the holiday hustle-bustle, I find it’s time for a bit of recipe housecleaning. I’ve been hanging on to a few recipes for way too long, so it’s time to share.

First on the to-do list is a treat that dates back to Thanksgiving. I utilized some of the wonderful pecans sent by our good friends, Erwin and Annette Rath, purveyors of nuts at The Pecan House inCuero,Texas, in this bar/dessert that took the place of our traditional pecan pie.

Pecan Surprise Bars

Reserve 2/3 cup of a dry yellow cake mix for filling. In a mixing bowl, combine remaining mix with 1 egg and ½ cup margarine or butter. Mix until crumbly. Press in the bottom of a greased 9- by 13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees until lightly brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

For filling, combine the 2/3 cup dry cake mix, ½ cup brown sugar, 1½ cups dark corn syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 eggs. Pour over partially baked crust and sprinkle with 1 cup (or more) pecan halves or pieces.

Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

 The students in her yoga class knew that Melissa Remme was a good teacher, but now we are also aware that she’s a fantastic cook and hostess. Melissa hosted a pre-Christmas gathering at her abode and served up these appetizers, which drew me back to the buffet table more than once. For the gathering, Melissa made the won ton cups ahead of time and stored them in a zip-top baggie.

Ranch Sausage Stars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook and crumble 1 pound roll of regular pork sausage (about 2 cups cooked sausage). Drain and combine with 1½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese, 1 cup (or a bit more) prepared original ranch salad dressing mix, ½ cup chopped red bell pepper and one 2.25-ounce can sliced, ripe olives (optional).

Lightly grease a mini or regular muffin tin and press 1 fresh wonton wrapper into each cup. Brush lightly with vegetable oil. Bake for 5 minutes until golden.

Remove wontons from tins and place on baking sheet. Fill with sausage mixture. Bake 5 minutes, until bubbly. Makes 4 to 5 dozen appetizers.

 

I know that the holiday entertaining season is past, but Super Bowl Sunday isn’t too far off, and the Sausage Stars would also make good football food. For dessert, how about this slow cooker option, which Melissa also experimented with for her yoga gathering?

Blueberry Dump Cake

Dump a 21-ounce can blueberry pie filling into the bottom of a slow cooker.

In a separate bowl, cut ½ cup butter into 1 package yellow cake mix. Spread mixture over top of blueberry filling. Sprinkle ½ cup chopped nuts over top.

Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours. Serve warm in bowls with ice cream or whipped cream.

 Now I can cross “get caught up on recipes” off my list of New Year’s resolutions. Next one down is to eat healthier in 2012, and I’m sure that’s one that some of you out there might share. Do you have some favorite low-fat, low-cal dishes that you’re willing to share? Please email to me at brickers@dglobe.com; or send via regular mail to Lagniappe, Daily Globe,Box 639,Worthington56187.

I am not a neat freak. That’s a statement to which my husband will readily attest. Bryan is much more apt to pick up something around the house and put it away. He likes things orderly. I, on the other hand, just don’t notice the object. Cleaning is something I generally look at as a necessary evil. It’s not something I enjoy. I dust and do other chores as necessity arises. My main complaint about cleaning is the snowball effect: You start out doing one little chore, and then you see another thing that needs to be cleaned, and then another, and another. Pretty soon I’m feeling overwhelmed by all that needs doing. It’s easier to just ignore it. But, after several weeks of being caught up in the holiday hustle-bustle, I find it’s time for a bit of recipe housecleaning. I’ve been hanging on to a few recipes for way too long, so it’s time to share. First on the to-do list is a treat that dates back to Thanksgiving. I utilized some of the wonderful pecans sent by our good friends, Erwin and Annette Rath, purveyors of nuts at The Pecan House in Cuero, Texas, in this bar/dessert that took the place of our traditional pecan pie. Pecan Surprise Bars Reserve 2/3 cup of a dry yellow cake mix for filling. In a mixing bowl, combine remaining mix with 1 egg and ½ cup margarine or butter. Mix until crumbly. Press in the bottom of a greased 9- by 13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees until lightly brown, 15 to 20 minutes. For filling, combine the 2/3 cup dry cake mix, ½ cup brown sugar, 1½ cups dark corn syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 eggs. Pour over partially baked crust and sprinkle with 1 cup (or more) pecan halves or pieces. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. The students in her yoga class knew that Melissa Remme was a good teacher, but now we are also aware that she’s a fantastic cook and hostess. Melissa hosted a pre-Christmas gathering at her abode and served up these appetizers, which drew me back to the buffet table more than once. For the gathering, Melissa made the won ton cups ahead of time and stored them in a zip-top baggie. Ranch Sausage Stars Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and crumble 1 pound roll of regular pork sausage (about 2 cups cooked sausage). Drain and combine with 1½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese, 1 cup (or a bit more) prepared original ranch salad dressing mix, ½ cup chopped red bell pepper and one 2.25-ounce can sliced, ripe olives (optional). Lightly grease a mini or regular muffin tin and press 1 fresh wonton wrapper into each cup. Brush lightly with vegetable oil. Bake for 5 minutes until golden. Remove wontons from tins and place on baking sheet. Fill with sausage mixture. Bake 5 minutes, until bubbly. Makes 4 to 5 dozen appetizers. I know that the holiday entertaining season is past, but Super Bowl Sunday isn’t too far off, and the Sausage Stars would also make good football food. For dessert, how about this slow cooker option, which Melissa also experimented with for her yoga gathering? Blueberry Dump Cake Dump a 21-ounce can blueberry pie filling into the bottom of a slow cooker. In a separate bowl, cut ½ cup butter into 1 package yellow cake mix. Spread mixture over top of blueberry filling. Sprinkle ½ cup chopped nuts over top. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours. Serve warm in bowls with ice cream or whipped cream. Now I can cross “get caught up on recipes” off my list of New Year’s resolutions. Next one down is to eat healthier in 2012, and I’m sure that’s one that some of you out there might share. Do you have some favorite low-fat, low-cal dishes that you’re willing to share? Please email to me at brickers@dglobe.com; or send via regular mail to Lagniappe, Daily Globe, Box 639, Worthington 56187.

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