The Firelands Kitchen

The Firelands Kitchen by Erin Howarth

Dessert First Thank You...

 

 

Courtney has a friend named Braylee who she met when they were three years old at Trinity Shining Lights Preschool here in Shelby. It was Braylee’s grandma who introduced Courtney to Upside Down meals, also known as having-dessert-first meals.

I don’t know of many other simple things that bring such a smile to our kids’ faces than to surprise them with, “Hey, I think it’s an Upside Down Dinner kind of day.” Thank you, Braylee’s grandma!

With that said, let’s start out this week’s column with dessert first. Have a great week, everyone!


Rhubarb Meringue Dessert

Submitted by Linda Early, Greenwich, Ohio

2 cups flour

1 cup cold butter

Filling:

2 cups sugar

1/3 cup flour

1 tsp. salt

6 egg yolks, beaten

1 cup whipping cream

5 cups sliced fresh or frozen (thawed) rhubarb

Meringue:

6 egg whites

1⁄2 tsp. cream of tartar

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

In a bowl combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a greased 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool. In a bowl combine sugar, flour, and salt. Stirl in cream and eggs. Add rhubarb. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until set. In a bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff. Spreak over hot filling. Bake 12-15 minutes until brown.


Baked Orange Chicken

Chicken:

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cup cornstarch

3 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup canola oil

Sauce:

2/3 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup orange juice

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

2 tsp. sriracha

3 Tbsp. white vinegar

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until lightly browned. Place the chicken in a 9x13-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, orange juice, sriracha, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy sauce, garlic salt, and cornstarch. Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour. Serve over rice, if desired.


Layered Cobb Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped

4 roma tomatoes, diced

1 red onion, minced

2 (15 ounce) cans corn, drained

12 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced

12 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled

4 avocados, diced

1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preferred salad dressing

Use a large glass bowl or trifle bowl and place chopped lettuce in the bottom. Layer with tomatoes, onion, corn, eggs, bacon, avocado, and cheddar cheese. Serve with your favorite salad dressing.


Cheeseburger Buns

2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)

3/4 cup warm whole milk (110 degrees to 115 degrees)

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup shortening

1 large egg

1 tsp. salt

3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 pounds ground beef

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

8 slices process American cheese, quartered

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, shortening, egg, salt and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 4-6 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomato sauce. Remove from the heat; set aside. Punch dough down; divide into 16 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, gently roll out and stretch each piece into a 5-in. circle. Top each circle with two pieces of cheese and about 3 tablespoons beef mixture. Bring dough over filling to center; pinch edges to seal. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.


Chicken Bacon Ranch Spaghetti Squash Casserole

1 medium-sized spaghetti squash (about 2-1⁄2 lbs.)

6 strips bacon, chopped

2 chicken breasts (14 oz.), cut into bite-sized pieces

homemade seasoned salt (or regular salt) and pepper

1 shallot or 1/2 onion, chopped

5 oz. baby spinach, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

Scant 1 cup ranch dressing

3 eggs, whisked

Preheat oven to 400 degrees then line a half sheet pan with foil. Slice spaghetti squash in half using a large, sharp knife then scrape out the seeds with a spoon and place cut side down on the prepared sheet pan. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the squash shreds relatively easily with a fork (don’t overcook or the squash will become mushy.) Set aside to cool then turn heat down to 350 degrees. Once spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, shred squash with a fork then add to a large bowl. Can be done a day ahead of time. Meanwhile, add chopped bacon to a large, 12” skillet then place over medium heat. Saute until bacon has browned then transfer to a plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons bacon grease from skillet then turn heat up to medium-high. Add chicken and shallots or onion, season with seasoned salt and pepper, then saute until the chicken has cooked through. Add spinach and garlic then saute until spinach has wilted, 1 minute. Scrape mixture into the bowl with the spaghetti squash. Add ranch, eggs, and half the cooked bacon to the bowl, plus additional seasoned salt and pepper, then mix well to combine. Pour mixture into an 8x8” baking dish (or similar sized baking dish) then top with remaining bacon. Bake uncovered for 45-60 minutes or until the center has completely set and sides are golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


Easiest Fruit Salad

1 lb. strawberries, sliced

15 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained

1 cup mini marshmallows

2 large bananas (or 3 small bananas,) sliced

Combine strawberries, mandarin oranges, mini marshmallows, and bananas in a large bowl then chill and serve. Can make several hours ahead of time, but add sliced bananas just before serving.


Best Fruit Dip Ever

7 oz. tub marshmallow fluff

8 oz. 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature

2 Tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

Fruit for dipping: strawberries, grapes, pineapple, apples, berries, melon

Spoon marshmallow fluff into a large, microwave safe bowl then microwave for 15 seconds. Whisk in softened cream cheese and orange juice concentrate until very smooth then chill for several hours or overnight. Serve with assorted fruit.


Peanut Blossom Cookies

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 cup sugar

48 milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter in bowl. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and salt; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour and baking soda; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. If dough is too soft, refrigerate 30-60 minutes. Roll balls in 1/4 cup sugar. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until very lightly golden brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate kiss in center of each cookie. Remove to cooling racks.


Frozen Yogurt Bark

Ingredients for the Fruit Yogurt Bark:

1 container Yoplait Original Peach flavored yogurt (or favorite fruity flavor)

1/4 cup fresh raspberries

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

2 Tbsp. freshly diced mango

For the Cereal Yogurt Bark:

1 container Yoplait Original Vanilla flavored yogurt

1/4 cup granola (or favorite cereal)

For the Chocolate Yogurt Bark:

1 container Yoplait Original Vanilla flavored yogurt

1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips

For the Rainbow Yogurt Bark:

1 container Yoplait Original Raspberry flavored yogurt

1 container Yoplait Original Orange Cream flavored yogurt

1 container Yoplait Original Lemon flavored yogurt

1 container Yoplait Original Key Lime flavored yogurt

1 container Yoplait Original Blueberry flavored yogurt

2 Tbsp. sprinkles

Instructions for the Fruit Yogurt Bark:

Fruit Yogurt Bark:

Place a piece of parchment paper on a freezable flat dish (a small baking sheet works great). Spread the yogurt in an even layer about 1/3 of an inch thick. Drop the fruit pieces all over the yogurt and carefully place in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Use a knife to cut into pieces and store in a zip close in freezer.

Cereal Yogurt Bark:

Place a piece of parchment paper on a freezable flat dish (a small baking sheet works great). Spread the yogurt in an even layer about 1/3 of an inch thick. Sprinkle the granola all over the yogurt and carefully place in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Use a knife to cut into pieces and store in a zip close in freezer.

Chocolate Yogurt Bark:

Place a piece of parchment paper on a freezable flat dish (a small baking sheet works great). Combine the yogurt and cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Spread the yogurt in an even layer about 1/3 of an inch thick. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips all over the yogurt and carefully place in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Use a knife to cut into pieces and store in a zip close in freezer.

Rainbow Yogurt Bark:

Place a piece of parchment paper on a freezable flat dish (a small baking sheet works great). Drop the yogurt in 1 tablespoon increments in a varied pattern, but so the yogurt drops are all still touching. Use the back of a spoon to spread the yogurt in an even layer about 1/3 of an inch thick. Sprinkle the sprinkles all over the yogurt and carefully place in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Use a knife to cut into pieces and store in a zip close in freezer.









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