Friday, March 23, 2012

Stuffed Banana Peppers

The above is a picture of some of the peppers we grew last year, including banana peppers, pictured on the left. We had a bumper crop of peppers last summer and I wanted to be able to make something besides pickled peppers. I found this recipe on the web and modified it some for our tastes. Bob loved this. I was afraid it would be too hot, but it was not hot, and it was really tasty. There are a lot of ingredients, but don't let that deter you from making these as they are easy to prepare, can be put together in about a half hour and then baked. This is a nice dish to take to a pot luck, tail gate party, or to serve for guests as an appetizer. I froze half of these and we ate half of them. They freeze well for up to 2 months. These could be made into an entree if you added a salad and some crusty bread. These are delicious!!! And I am usually not crazy about peppers or Italian sausage, but I liked them.

Stuffed Banana Peppers

8 Banana peppers
2 Tbls. butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 egg
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage
1/2 pound mild Italian sausage
1- 28 ounce can tomato puree'
1- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp real sea salt (pink kind)
1/4 tsp pepper

Cut off tops of peppers, and remove ribs and seeds. Chop edible portions of tops and measure out 1/4 to 1/2 cup of peppers; set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add peppers, reduce heat, and simmer until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.            
Heat butter in a medium skillet. Saute reserved chopped pepper, onion and celery until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and garlic. Season with basil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan. Mix in hot sausage, mild sausage, bread crumbs and 1 cup of the tomato sauce mixture.              
Using a piping bag or sausage stuffer, fill each pepper with the meat mixture. Place in a 3 quart casserole dish, and pour remaining tomato sauce mixture over peppers.               
Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 1 hour.               

Tips: You can double this recipe for a larger crowd.
          These freeze well.
          Mushrooms could be added, if you like them.
          I just use a spoon to stuff the meat into the peppers.

Chocolate Oat Snack Cake


I can't remember where I picked up this recipe, but it is an easy cake to throw together and it is quite tasty and brownie-like. It is also a good way to incorporate some good old-fashioned oats into your family's diet. You will not know the oats are in this cake as the soaking keeps them from being chewy. This cake whips up in no time and your kids and hubby will like it. So will you. Enjoy!

Chocolate Oat Snack Cake
                                                            350 degree oven
1 3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup real butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup unbleached flour
2 Tbls. unsweetened cocoa*
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp real sea salt (pink kind)
12 ounce pkg chocolate chips (2 cups), optional
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
Powdered sugar, optional

In bowl, combine water and oats; let cool 10 minutes.
Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Add oat mixture to creamed butter mixture, then add dry ingredients and blend well.
Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips, if used. Also stir in 1 cup nuts, if used.
Grease a 13" x 9" pan. Pour batter into pan, leveling top. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup chocolate chips, if used. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, till toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar, if desired.

* I like mine made with 3 Tbls cocoa, but that seems to be too strong of a chocolate flavor for most people. It makes it very rich.
Tip: If you want to make a nice design with the powdered sugar, get a paper lace doily and lay over the cake, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Carefully remove paper and you will have a lace design.

Lori's Pumpkin Roll

This is my take on pumpkin roll. This is a basic recipe, but with the addition of cloves and ginger, just like one would add to a pumpkin pie. I think it gives the recipe more pizzazz as it has more flavor than those made with only cinnamon. My husband likes this, too, as it is one of his favorite desserts. I've gotten many compliments for this pumpkin roll over the last few years and hope you will like it also.

Lori's Pumpkin Roll                                            
                                                                  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp. real sea salt (pink kind)
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin (canned or fresh)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
Additional powdered sugar (optional)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
4 Tbls. real butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
Blend together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin and lemon juice. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.
Filling: With electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Tips: Make sure you use enough powdered sugar on towel that the cake will not stick when you unroll.
You can make up several pumpkin rolls, cool completely, wrap well and freeze for up to 2 months in the freezer. Make sure the rolls do not touch sides of freezer or they will become freezer-burned.