SANDRA'S ARTISTRY ALASKA [retail online store items for purchase]

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SANDRA'S MOOSE-MEDITERRANEAN-MEATBALLS and SPAGHETTI

This entree sounds fancy
but it's a breeze to make in about 1/2 hour
with typical on-hand ingredients...


Servings: (6 to 8)
Prep: 15 Mins.
Cook 25 to 30 Mins. (= Total time)

INGREDIENTS

Meatballs:
2 slices wheat bread, left whole
1/2 cup milk
1 lb. ground moose (venison, caribou, elk, beef, poultry, and so on)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
--1/4 cup olive oil (for searing, reserving some after searing meatballs for sauce)

Sauce:
--2 tablespoons drippings (reserved, as stated above)
2 (14.5 oz. cans) diced tomatoes, with juices (do not drain)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2-1 teaspoon dried chili flakes (depending on how spicy you want it -- I like 1 tsp.)
1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano

--1/2 box thin spaghetti, prepared according to package directions

METHOD

Meatballs:
In a small and flat dish, add the bread slices and cover with the milk; set aside to absorb.

In a medium bowl, add the ground moose, parsley, salt, pepper, cumin, beaten egg and garlic, use clean hands to mix and  combine. Slightly squeeze a tiny bit of milk off and break the bread into small pieces while adding to the meat mixture. Mix mixture lightly, just to combine, then form into 1" meatballs. (Form all the meatballs prior to cooking to ensure even searing.)

Add the olive oil to a Dutch Oven and set heat to  medium-high. When oil is hot, add the meatballs in 2 separate batches and gently sear on all sides (top, bottom, and around sides of meatballs), about 1 minute on each side, until dark golden brown. Transfer meatballs from Dutch Oven to a plate, using tongs. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in pot; reduce heat to medium.

Sauce:
Add the tomatoes, red wine vinegar, chili flakes and oregano and stir. Bring to a boil; reduce to a very gentle simmer (so the addition of the meatballs is undisturbed). Using tongs, gently add the meatballs to the pot of sauce in an even layer.  Leave pot uncovered, and let simmer happen very gently to allow sauce to reduce and meatballs to cook through.

Pasta:

Meanwhile, prepare your favorite pasta (I adore thin spaghetti). ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA'S CHEESY SCALLOPED POTATOES with BACON

This incredible scalloped potato side dish
is a brilliant addition to any main course year-round...


Servings: (6)
Prep: 15 Mins.
Cook: 15 Mins.
Bake: 50 to 60 Mins.
Set: 10 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

2 slices bacon, sliced into strips, browned and crumbled

Sauce:
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 TB Flour
1 to 1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese

6 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8" wide

Topping:
1/4 cup shredded sharp Wisconsin cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded dubliner cheese (at Costco)

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a glass 8x8x2" baking dish; set aside.

Heat a medium skillet to medium-high. Brown the bacon, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate, while reserving drippings.  Add the onion to the skillet and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium, add the flour and let cook for 1 minute.  Pour in milk and bring to a simmer, just until sauce thickens.  Remove from heat and add the 1/4 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese, gently mixing to combine.

Layer 1/2 of the potato slices in the bottom of prepared baking dish. Sprinkle bacon on top of potato slices, then half the sauce. Layer on the remaining potato slices, then remaining sauce.

Cover baking dish with parchment, then tin foil.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover, sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar and 1/4 cup shredded dubliner, and continue baking for 20 to 30 additional minutes, just until potatoes pierced with a fork are tender. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes to set. Serve and enjoy!


SANDRA'S ALASKAN MOOSE STROGANOFF


 Moose Stroganoff is a family favorite and this recipe is the best by far!

Be sure and try it folks,  you'll be happily surprised...

Servings: (6 to 8)
Prep: 15 Mins.
Cook: 2 Hours and 20 Mins.

INGREDIENTS:

Tenderize moose meat by par simmering:
1-1/2 lbs moose meat, cut into 1/4 x 2" strips
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a Dutch Oven over high heat, add the above ingredients and bring to boil; reduce to simmer, cover, and gently cook to tenderize meat for 1-1/2 hrs.

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

Add onion to pot, cover, and continue simmering for 1/2 hour.

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon worcestershire
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
12 large button mushrooms, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tablespoon dried parsley

Add the above ingredients to pot, stir to incorporate, continue cooking for 20 minutes to let flavors meld and allow sauce to slightly reduce.  Remove from heat.

2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon cold butter

Add the sour cream and butter while off heat; gently stir to combine to add a nice sheen to the sauce, including imparting additional flavor.

--Prepared wide egg noodles:

Meanwhile, prepare 3 to 4 cups raw wide egg noodles, according to package directions.


Serve moose stroganoff over wide egg noodles with a side of green beans. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA'S ALASKAN HALIBUT FRIED RICE

An incredible and  tasty one-pot-wonder that is quite versatile
in that you can change it up by substituting halibut with
shrimp, chicken, or pork, and so on..
.

Servings: ( 8 to 10)
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 10 min

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 eggs, lightly beaten
8 oz. fillet halibut, cut into 1" cubes
2 cups *pre-steamed carrots and sweet petite peas (See How To TIP below)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
5 cups cooked white rice
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar

METHOD

In a Dutch Oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the beaten eggs and stir fry, while breaking into large bits; remove to a plate. Wipe out pot clean, and add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add the halibut, and stir fry until opaque. Remove halibut to same plate as eggs; set aside.

Wipe out the skillet, place it back on heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add the mixed vegetables, ginger, garlic powder, and dried minced onion, pepper and rice, and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar; stir to combine, and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Gently add back in the halibut and chopped egg and fold for another 2 minutes to combine and heat through. Serve immediately. ~ Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tip:

*PRE-STEAM VEGGIE PREP:

Finely dice the carrots to equal 1 cup. Add the carrots and frozen petite sweet peas to a microwave-able bowl with 1 tablespoon water. Cover bowl with a plate, and microwave on High for 3 minutes to pre-steam. Drain.

SANDRA'S EASY PRUNE PLUM GINGER JAM

Prune plums have a slight tang and are less juicy than other plums
and are fabulous cooked, as the heat concentrates their flavor.

It's divine drizzled over pancakes, ice cream and cheesecakes
or spread over toast, bagels, scones and muffins...




Yield: (Approximately 3-1/2 cups)
Prep: 5 Mins.
Cook: 20 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds (appx. 7 large) quartered, pitted prune plums (Found at Costco in a 4 lb container)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons Dole orange-pineapple-banana juice
Salt
--1 tablespoon cold butter

METHOD

Over medium heat, bring prune plums, sugar, ginger, juice, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a pot, while stirring constantly then let cook for 10 minutes.  Begin mashing prune plums with a potato masher, until mixture has the consistency of jam.  Use tongs to remove skins, and continue cooking until you reach your desired consistency.  Remove pot from heat, add the cold butter and incorporate using a wooden spoon (this eliminates the foam while adding flavor).

Let jam cool completely, uncovered, in the pot (if you're not using the water-bath method). Ladle jam into mason jar(s), add lids and rings, then refrigerate, until ready to use (up to 1 month)...or freeze (up to 3 months). Alternatively, water bath sterilized, filled with hot jam, then seal jars by immersing in boiling water for 10 minutes to store up to 1 year in pantry. ~ Enjoy!

Perfect balance of flavors, not too tart nor too sweet...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tip:

I refrigerated 1 jar of jam for us now, and water-bath sealed the remaining 3 jars to store in the pantry. It's up to you as to what method you choose to store your newly made jam.

SANDRA'S STRAWBERRY-BANANA-ORANGE SMOOTHIE

A perfect, sinfully scrumptious afternoon snack...



Serving: (1)
Prep: 5 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Dole Pineapple-Orange-Banana juice
1 ripe banana
1 cup frozen, whole strawberries
1 (5.3 oz container) Chobani Greek Yogurt (I used strawberry)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons Organic Light Agave (or honey)

METHOD


Add all ingredients in order listed to the blender pitcher, cover, and blend until smooth. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA'S BAKED RICE PUDDING with RAISINS

Each time I prepare this heavenly dessert
 it brings back numerous and comforting memories...
Servings: (6-8)
Prep: 15 Mins.
Bake: 1 Hr. 30 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups 2% milk (or regular)
1/2 cup raisins
1-1/2 cups cooked, cold basmati rice

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 qt. casserole dish; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Add sugar, bourbon-vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, whisk to combine. Switch to a wooden spoon and add the remaining ingredients (making sure to un-clump rice beforehand).

Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Place casserole in a larger baking pan, then pour hot tap water (1-1/2" deep) so it surrounds outside of casserole for a water bath.  Bake for 45 minutes, then gently stir, and continue baking the remaining 45 minutes until set.


Remove casserole from water bath to a cooling rack. 

Serve rice pudding warm or cool, including with sweet whipped cream if you so desire. ~ Enjoy!

MAX'S ALASKAN MOOSE-SWEET ITALIAN SAUSAGE SPAGHETTI

A comfort-food dish that you and your family are bound to love
as much as my husband Max and I do...


Servings (8 to 10)
Prep: 20 Mins.
Cook: 2 Hrs.

INGREDIENTS:

Sauce:
1 lb (or so) moose, venison, or beef burger
1 lb (or so) ground Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 of a large red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (29-oz can) tomato sauce, plus
--1 (16-oz. can) tomato sauce
1 (16-oz. can) Italian Stewed Tomatoes, do not drain but chop tomatoes
3 to 4 tablespoons honey, to taste
1 tablespoon dried sweet basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley, or a small bunch of chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning

Finish:
--Balsamic Vinegar

Serve with:
--12 oz. prepared thin spaghetti, according to package directions
--Freshly grated parmesan
--Loaf of prepared garlic bread

METHOD

In a large, heavy-bottom pot, brown the burger and sausage, then drain. Add the remaining ingredients, in the order listed above, to the pot.  Simmer, covered, for a couple of hours; stirring occasionally. Finally, add several good shots of Balsamic Vinegar.

In the meantime, prepare thin spaghetti noodles.


Serve sauce over pasta and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan, including a side of warm garlic bread.

SANDRA'S ALASKAN SWEET-N-TANGY MEATBALLS

Moist and tender meatballs simmered in a delectable, sweet and tangy sauce.
~~~
You may also choose to serve these scrumptious meatballs with a meal as a side
or over prepared steamed rice!


Servings: (4 to 6)
Prep: 15 Mins.
Cook: 20 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

1 large egg, beaten
1 cup barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's), divided
1 lb. lean ground moose (or venison, elk, caribou, beef, poultry)
3 tablespoons minced yellow onion
3 tablespoons peeled (Yes, peeled) and minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup panko
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt (I used Johnny's)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 (8 oz can) pineapple tidbits (or crushed) in juice, undrained
1/4 cup water

For a meal (serve with):
--2 cups of rice, prepared according to package directions

METHOD

In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Add 1/4 cup barbecue sauce (reserving remaining 3/4 cup), ground meat, minced onion and bell pepper, panko, seasoning salt, and pepper; gently mixing just until blended. Using a mini scoop for uniformity; roll firmly into 1-1/4" balls (approximate 28 to 30 meatballs). [You may prepare the meatballs ahead of time, just cover and refrigerate for a few hours.]

Add 1 tablespoon canola oil to a large, heavy-bottom skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Brown meatballs, about 3 minutes per side. Remove, using a spoon, excess oil from bottom of skillet while retaining drippings.  Place remaining 3/4 cup barbecue sauce, pineapple with juices, and water in skillet; gently stirring to combine. Bring to a boil. Place cover slightly ajar over skillet, and reduce heat to low. Simmer 12 to 15 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through (160-degree internal temperature) and sauce has slightly thickened. Gently shake skillet occasionally while cooking so as not to disturb and break apart the meatballs.

Meanwhile, if using, prepare rice according to package directions. 

Serve meatballs as an appetizer with toothpicks, as a side to your meal, or over prepared rice. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA'S BAKED DONUT HOLES


A delightful and airy confection!
I guarantee you won't be able to stop with just 1, 2, 3 or 4...


Yield: (Appx. 60 Donut Holes)
Prep: 10 Mins.
Bake: 10-12 Mins. per batch

INGREDIENTS

Special equipment: Mini Muffin Tin (24/batch)

Batter:
1 large egg, beaten
1-1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder (or regular)

Finishing:
Brush warm donut holes with:
--1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (in microwave-proof bowl for 30 secs)

--Place in large Ziploc bag (for shaking warm donut holes to coat)
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spot spray with Bakers Joy each mini muffin tin cup; set aside (or with oil then dusted with flour) -- this process will be repeated for each batch to prevent donut holes from sticking.

In a medium bowl, add egg and beat with a fork. Add in milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract, mix to combine. Add in remaining batter ingredients; and using a wooden spoon mix to just combine. Using a 2-TB-size scoop, fill each cup in mini muffin tin, about 3/4's full.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until they're light golden on top and slightly brown on edges, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, place 1 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg in a large 
Ziploc bag, shake to combine and set aside. Also, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small microwave-proof bowl for 30 seconds; set aside with a pastry brush.


Place a clean kitchen towel on counter. While hot, tip muffin tin over on its side so hot donut holes fall out onto kitchen towel. Flip them over and lightly brush tops with melted butter. Gently add warm donut holes, 6 at a time, into Ziploc bag with spice-sugar mixture, shake to coat, then place onto a wire rack to cool. Store completely cooled donut holes in an airtight container. ~ Enjoy!

TIP:

If you'd like to make mini donuts, do so in the same method; same baking time but use a mini non-stick donut pan (I purchased mine through Amazon-Prime).



Chocolate Glaze

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk or water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.

In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa powder.  Slowly stir in milk and vanilla extract.  Whisk until silky and smooth.  If you need a touch more milk to make this a dippable glaze, add a bit more.

Dip doughnuts in chocolate glaze and let rest to harden slightly.


Doughnuts are best served the day they’re made.  They also freeze just fine!

SANDRA'S ALASKAN SLOW COOKER MOOSE STEW

A soulful and hearty slow-cooker stew you'll be making often, I'm sure!

It's very versatile; you're able to change up the vegetables to use what
you have on-hand in your refrigerator, as did I...


Servings: (10-12)
Prep: 20 Mins.
Slow Cook: 6 Hrs.

INGREDIENTS

In skillet (pre-sear meat - takes about 20 mins.):
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 lbs moose meat, cut into 3/4" cubes (or other meat, i.e., venison, beef...)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup hot tap water (to deglaze skillet)

1st addition (add to crock pot along with prepared meat, cover, and cook 3 hours on high):
1 heaping teaspoon beef base (I use Better Than Bouillon)
4 cups hot tap water
2 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon worcestershire
1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2nd addition (add to crock pot, cover, and cook 3 additional hours on high):
1 (14.5 oz. can) diced Italian seasoned stewed tomatoes, with juices
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4" cubes
2 cups baby carrots (or same amount of chopped carrots)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 cup fresh, sweet baby snow peas
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from cob

METHOD

Plug in a 6-qt. slow cooker, and preheat, covered, on high.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. Add meat and sear on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle in flour to coat the meat and let cook for 1 minute. Add the sea salt, pepper and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup hot tap water to deglaze the pan, while scraping bits from bottom of skillet. Carefully add contents of skillet to slow cooker, including the "1st addition" ingredients, cover, and let cook on high for 3 hours.

After 3 hours, add the "2nd addition" ingredients, cover, and let cook on high for 3 final hours. ~ Enjoy!


SANDRA'S BOURBON-KISSED BANANA BREAD


A super moist and lovely banana flavor in each and every bite
that's sure to become your go-to recipe...


Yields: (1 loaf)
Serves: (10-12)
Prep Time: 10 Mins.
Bake: 60-65 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 ripe, medium bananas, smashed
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder (or regular)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine kosher salt

METHOD

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a loaf pan (I used glass); set aside.

Using a hand mixer, in a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, smashed bananas and bourbon-vanilla extract; combine well.

Place a sieve, elevated, over wet ingredients and sift flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, and salt. Gently mix just until dry ingredients are incorporated, while scraping bowl.


Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place on wire baking rack in pan to cool 5 minutes. Carefully remove loaf from pan and let cool completely, covered with a kitchen towel, on baking rack. Using a serrated knife, slice and enjoy!

I made a double batch:
1 for a kind friend that recently helped out my husband; and
1 for us...

SANDRA'S FRESH APPLE STREUSEL COFFEE CAKE

A delightful change-up to an old  coffee cake classic
with the addition of thinly sliced fresh Fugi apples.

It's so amazing the incredible enhancement of flavors
that predominately come through 

once this dessert is allowed to sit overnight...


Servings: (12)
Prep: 15 min.
Bake: 45 to 50 mins.

INGREDIENTS

Streusel:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped candied pecans
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cake:

-Wet Ingredients -
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 (6-oz. carton) Chobani Greek Yogurt (I used strawberry, found by the case at Costco)
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon bourbon extract (or vanilla)

-Dry Ingredients-
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain kosher salt

Fruit:
2 Fugi apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

METHOD

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a glass 9x12" square baking dish and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk streusel ingredients; set aside.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, yogurt, sour cream and vanilla until combined (while stopping mixer periodically to scrape sides of bowl). Place a sieve over top of large bowl of wet ingredients, adding flour, and sprinkling in baking powder, baking soda and salt; sift dry ingredients over wet ingredients, and mix until batter is fully incorporate (batter will be somewhat thick).

Using the back of an offset spatula, gently spread batter into prepared baking dish working from the center to outer edges; sprinkle 1/2 of streusel evenly over batter and gently press to adhere. Layer sliced apples in an overlapping fan fashion to form 3 rows lengthwise (see photo below), and gently press to adhere. Sprinkle remaining streusel over top.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour-10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and apples are tender. 

Cool coffee cake on a wire rack for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to slicing into 12 squares. ~ Enjoy!

Oh, the anticipation until it cools...




SANDRA'S ALASKAN HEARTY MOOSE LASAGNA

I created this lasagna recipe
using ingredients I had on hand this morning.

It turned out fabulous just in time for lunch!
We'll be enjoying this for dinner as well...

Servings: (12)
Prep: 15 Mins.
Bake: 1 Hr.
Let Stand: 15 Mins.

INGREDIENTS:

Moose meat sauce: 
--(When using no-boil lasagna noodles, it's imperative that the sauce be thinner than normal so the correct lasagna consistency is achieved):
1 lb. extra-lean moose burger 
--(or other types of meat, although drain after browning if non-extra-lean burger is not used)
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped button mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
2 teaspoons balsamic
1 teaspoon worcestershire
2 teaspoons amber agave
1 (24 oz jar) Newman's Own Organic Tomato Basil marinara sauce
1/4 cup water (to rinse marinara jar, as this sauce is rather thick)
1 (15. oz. can) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained

Cheeses:
4 cups shredded fiesta blend cheese, divided
1 (15 oz. container) ricotta
1/4 cup finely shredded fresh parmesan, plus more for final topping

Pasta:
12 no-boil lasagna pasta sheets

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set aside a 9x12" glass baking dish sprayed with oil, and place atop a slightly larger foil-lined baking sheet.

Moose meat sauce:
In a medium saucepan over medium high-heat, brown the burger half way about 3 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper and onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to boil; reduce heat to simmer, cover, and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, and set aside.

Cheeses:
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, gently combine 2 cups of fiesta blend cheese, ricotta and parmesan. Set aside, along with remaining 2 cups of fiesta blend cheese.

Pasta:
Lay out no-boil lasagna sheets; set aside.

ASSEMBLY:

Lightly cover bottom of prepared glass baking dish with a bit of sauce.

Then begin layering with 3 sheets of no-boil pasta, 3/4 cup of sauce, 3/4 cup of cheese mixture; repeat 3 times.

Final layer: Place 3 sheets of no-boil pasta, the remaining sauce, and top with reserved 2 cups of fiesta cheese, including a final sprinkling of parmesan.

Assembled lasagna, ready for the oven...
BAKE:

Cover baking dish with foil (sprayed underneath with oil to prevent cheese from sticking while baking). Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking for 15 minutes, until lasagna is bubbly and golden on top. 

Remove lasagna from oven and let stand on wire rack, uncovered, for 15 minutes prior to slicing. Serve lasagna with your favorite dressed garden salad. ~ Enjoy!


SANDRA'S TROPICAL BANANA SPLIT DESSERT

Prepared this decadent dessert this morning,
and now enjoying it this evening...


Servings: (9-12)
Prep: 20 Mins.
Chill Crust (Freezer): 10 Mins.
Chill Dessert (Frig): 4 Hrs.

INGREDIENTS:

Crust
4-1/2 graham crackers, crushed (equals about 3/4's cup of crumbs)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pudding filling
1 (5.1 oz pkg) Vanilla Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pudding filling toppings:
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2 sliced bananas (plus 1 more banana for serving)
2 tablespoons prepared chocolate sauce in squeeze bottle (plus more for serving)

Whipped topping
1/2 cup cold, fresh whipped cream  + 1 tablespoon sugar + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, whipped
1 (8 oz. pkg) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Just before serving - toppings
1 final sliced banana
1/4 cup chopped candied pecans
2 tablespoons chocolate sauce

METHOD:

Mix graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 8" square glass baking dish. Freeze 10 min.

Meanwhile, prepare whipped cream in stand mixer with sugar and vanillla. When done whipping, add softened  cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup sugar and whip with mixer until blended and smooth. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat pudding mixes and milk with whisk for 2 minutes. Spread filling carefully over crust; top with pineapple and coconut flakes. Slice 2 bananas; arrange over pineapple, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of chocolate sauce.

Top with whipped cream mixture using an offset spatula.

Refrigerate dessert, covered with plastic wrap, for 4 hours to set and allow flavors to meld.

Heading to the refrigerator to set for 4 hours...
Slice the final banana just before serving. Cut dessert into squares to serve. Arrange banana slices over each dessert serving, drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate sauce, and sprinkle with chopped candied pecans. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA'S EASY NO-KNEAD DUTCH OVEN BREAD

An easy 5-minute no-knead dough to prepare the night before,
then quick to prepare upon waking the next morning
to enjoy throughout the day...


Yields: (1 loaf)
Prep: 5 Mins.
Total rising time: 9 hours
Bake 45 to 50 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon active yeast (not rapid or instant)
1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 cups slightly warm water (tepid)

--2 teaspoons olive oil
(For top and bottom of dough ball so it doesn't stick or form crust while rising)

--Dutch oven (should be at least 4 quarts in size) with its lid.
Note: (Do not oil Dutch Oven, bread will not stick while baking).

METHOD

Add flour to bowl. Add yeast and sea salt and stir thoroughly. Add barely warm (tepid) water and stir thoroughly. The dough will look rough and shaggy.

Lightly oil top of dough with olive oil. Spread a thin layer over top with a paper towel, then oil your hands (to prevent dough stick to them) to turn the dough in the bowl so the whole ball of dough is coated with the oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Throw a kitchen towel over top and underneath of bowl and set it in a warm corner. Leave it alone for 8 hours. (Save plastic wrap).

When risen, in the bowl, fold dough over on itself at 3 times, then reform into ball. Using a bit more olive oil on hands and bowl, if need be to prevent sticking.

Cover dough with same plastic wrap and let it sit for 1 hour.

About 20 minutes before the hour is up, turn on oven to preheat at 450 degrees. Place an oven-safe Dutch Oven in oven to preheat at the same time as well.

After the full hour, the dough will have risen and nearly doubled in size. Quickly shape the dough into a round ball and drop it into the preheated Dutch Oven (be careful because it's really, really hot). Slash an 'X' on top of the dough with a sharp knife. Place lid on Dutch Oven and carefully place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Note: When removing Dutch Oven lid/pot from hot oven, 
be sure to do so using heavy pot holders, 
to a baking rack as they will be hot enough to scortch standard kitchen towels.

Remove the lid from the Dutch Oven and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Bread is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the top reads 210 degrees.

Remove bread from oven. To keep warm for serving, wrap loaf in a clean kitchen towel. Slice and serve! ~ Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tips: 

This bread is quite forgiving and can be left to rise from 6 to 12 hours, although the longer you let rise the more yeast flavor you'll end up with.

To make wheat, rye, etc., versions...simply change out, when initially mixing, 1 cup of all-purpose flour with your desired alternate flour.

To make artisan...simply add, after the first rising of dough and before the last 1-hour rise, a few of your favorite sugar, spices, herbs, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate or other chips, zest,  flavorings, cheese, etc. in modest amounts.

SANDRA'S MOOSEY ALASKAN SLOPPY JOES (Quick N Easy)

A surprisingly quick and easy method to prepare terrific sloppy joes for a crowd
that's nearly as fast as opening the traditional store-bought canned version, 
but tastier...


Serves: (6-8, depending on bun size)
Prep: 5 Mins.
Cook: 10 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. lean moose burger (or venison, buffalo, caribou, elk, poultry, beef...)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon finely chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
1 teaspoon worcestershire
1 (15 oz. can) tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
6-8 potato buns (or your preference)

Side options:
-Potato Chips
-Dill Pickle Spears
-Sandra's Best Coleslaw (click for recipe)
-Sandra's Best Potato Salad (click for recipe)

METHOD

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the burger (drain if using non-lean).  Add the remaining ingredients; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low.  Cover skillet and simmer for 10 minutes, while occasionally stirring.

Meanwhile, lightly toast buns either under the broiler for a couple of minutes or in the toaster using the 'bagel' setting.

Serve immediately by generously spooning Sloppy Joe sauce onto bottom toasted bun, top with other half of bun. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA'S ALASKAN RHUBARB UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE ~ from scratch

Newly created recipe
thanks to my neighbor for providing me with fresh rhubarb and my sis Tina for the inspiration.

This is guaranteed to be my best recipe to date of the most
succulent, moist and flavorful homemade rhubarb cake, ever! 


Servings: (9-12)
Prep: 15 Mins.
Bake: 25 to 30 Mins.

INGREDIENTS:

1st Layer: Rhubarb Mixture:
2-1/2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb (about 1/2" pieces; measure after chopping)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) 1/2" cold unsalted butter cubed pieces

2nd Layer: Cake Batter:
--Wet:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (not margarine), at room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups milk
--Dry:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder (or regular)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13" glass baking dish; set aside.

Spread the rhubarb evenly over bottom of prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar, drizzle with lemon juice, then dot with cold butter cubes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or hand mixer and large bowl), slowly beat sugar and softened butter for several minutes until light and creamy. Add the eggs, mayonnaise, vanilla extract and milk, then slowly beat to incorporate.

Sift dry ingredients through a sieve over wet ingredients in mixing bowl of stand mixer. Very slowly, pulse mixture to incorporate. Scrape sides of bowl and beat batter a final time.

Pour batter over rhubarb mixture in bottom of baking dish; spread batter out evenly using a spatula, then tap baking dish to level cake.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until top is golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cake stand for 5 minutes on a cooling rack. Release sides with a knife before inverting onto a rectangle cake platter (or large baking sheet). Serve warm or at room temperature. ~ Enjoy!



SANDRA'S HOMEMADE APPLE-BANANA-CRAN BARS with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Very moist and flavorful homemade bars,
with a distinct hint of banana, apple and cinnamon,
including the pop here and there of delicious craisins... 


Yields (32 bars)
Prep: 10 Mins.
Bake: 20 Mins.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder (or regular)
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain kosher salt
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (1 medium banana)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup craisins, roughly chopped
--Cream cheese frosting (recipe below)

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 10x15" baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray top; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, then stir in sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter. Finally, mix in the mashed banana, applesauce, and chopped craisins.

Pour and spread batter onto prepared baking sheet, then gently shake side-to-side and tap baking sheet to distribute batter evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Allow bars to cool completely for 30 minutes in pan place atop a baking rack.  Place baking rack on top and flip over to remove parchment paper.  Place baking sheet atop, then re-flip over to cool completely in baking sheet before frosting, then cut into 32 squares. ~ Enjoy!

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (Yields 2 Cups)

Prep: 5 Mins.

1 (8 oz. pkg.) of cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups of confectioners’ sugar (sift through a sieve to prevent a lumpy frosting)
1 tablespoon milk (adding more or less, depending on your desired consistency)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer cream together the cream cheese and butter, and mix in vanilla. Gradually stir in (with a spoon) the milk, and then the confectioner’ sugar; mixing until smooth.


SANDRA'S ALASKAN AMBER BEER BATTER CLAM FRITTERS

A crazy-good clam fritter recipe I created for lunch today!
It's like a party in your mouth, really...


Yields: 16 to 18 fritters
Prep: 10 Mins.
Cook: 4 to 5 Mins.

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup raw, minced clams (fresh, or thawed if frozen) that were soaked and cleaned (do not drain)
1 cup all-purpose flour
Locally brewed
Alaskan Amber...
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon old bay seasoning'
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice (from 1 fresh lemon)
1/3 cup Alaskan Amber Beer
1 large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil for deep frying

Servings options:
--Fresh lemon wedges
--Sandra's Homemade Tarter Sauce (I made the dill version)
--Steamed fresh broccoli
--Steamed rice

METHOD

Preheat oven to 225 degrees (warm). Place in oven a foil-line baking sheet topped with a wire baking rack.  Also, set a paper towel-lined aside on counter top.

In a medium bowl, use a fork to combine flour, baking soda, old bay seasoning, garlic and onion powders, sea salt, pepper, and parsley. In a measuring cup, add the beer, beat in egg, and add the lemon juice. Mix to combine. Stir in minced clams with their juices into the dry mixture, followed by the wet ingredients. Mix just until ingredients are incorporated (do not over mix), then set aside to let batter rest.

Meanwhile, heat 2" of vegetable oil to 375 degrees in a heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat (use a candy thermometer). [Frying will commence in 3 batches, hence keeping fritters once they're fried in a warm oven.] When oil reaches desired temperature, use a mini (2-TB size) scoop to carefully drop batter mounds into hot oil. Deep fry until fritters are golden brown, turning once, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel-line plate, sprinkle while hot with sea salt, then place hot fritters into oven on prepared rack to keep warm. Repeat.


Once all fritters are finished cooking, serve with fresh lemon wedges, Sandra's Homemade Tarter Sauce (I made the dill version), steamed broccoli, and basmati rice. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA'S PUMPKIN TOFFEE OAT COOKIES

An amazing combination of ingredients all rolled into once terrific cookie recipe, 
you're going to love, love these yummy morsels!


Yields: (Appx 5 doz)
Prep: 15 Mins.
Bake: 10 to 12 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

Wet
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
Pinch of salt

Additions
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup toffee bits

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a couple of baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle, cream butter, and sugars until light and fluffy for a few minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add eggs, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract; beat until combined.

Place a sieve over mixing bowl of wet ingredients, and sift in flour, spices, baking soda and powder, and salt; mix on low speed until well combined. (Do not over mix). Add oats and toffee bits, mix on low just until combined.

Using a mini scoop (I use a 1/2-tablespoon size) and place dough in mounds onto prepared baking sheet, spacing at least 1" apart. Bake for 12 minutes (turning half way through baking) until slightly golden brown around edges. Cool on baking sheet for one minute; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. ~ Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tip:
Store cookies, once they're completely cooled, in an airtight container.


SANDRA'S SPICE 'N EVERYTHING NICE COOKIES

I was in a creatively baking mood today when I came up with this new recipe for these
light, lovely, and spicy cookies!

I've made this recipe so it creates only 3-1/2 dozen,
which works incredibly nice in a smaller batch for our 2-person household...

Yields: (3-1/2 doz)
Prep: 15 Mins.
Bake: 10-12 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus more for rolling cookie balls)
1/2 cup quality molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain salt

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Set a couple of baking sheets aside lined with silpat liners or parchment paper. Set a baking rack aside as well for cookies to fully cool. Place a 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl (to roll formed cookies into prior to baking).

In a stand mixer bowl, add butter, sugar and molasses, and beat to combine. Add egg and vanilla extract; mix to combine. Place a sieve over wet ingredients and add flour, baking soda and powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; sift over top. Mix dough just until fully combined. (Do not over mix or cookies will become tough.)


Using a miniature scoop, scoop up dough to evenly form 1" balls and roll in sugar in the small bowl. Repeat until all cookies are formed. Place cookies 1" apart on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes (softer cookies) or up to 12 minutes (crispier cookies). Once cookies are done, leave hot cookies on sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to baking rack to fully cool prior to storing in an airtight container. ~ Enjoy!

SANDRA'S BEST-EVER PECAN-STREUSEL COFFEE CAKE

Nice, warm pecan-streusel coffee cake on a foggy Juneau, Alaska day
with a freshly brewed latte is simply divine...
Servings: (9-12)
Prep: 15 min.
Bake: 45 to 50 mins.

INGREDIENTS

Streusel (halved):
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped candied pecans
--2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (added to 2nd half)

Cake:

-Wet Ingredients -
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

-Dry Ingredients-
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain kosher salt

METHOD

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a glass 8" square baking dish and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk streusel ingredients (except melted butter, not yet) together and set aside.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, yogurt, sour cream and vanilla until combined (while stopping mixer periodically to scrape sides of bowl). Place a sieve over top of large bowl of wet ingredients, adding flour, and sprinkling in baking powder, baking soda and salt; sift dry ingredients over wet ingredients, and mix until batter is fully incorporate (batter will be somewhat thick).

Using the back of an offset spatula, gently spread half the batter into the prepared baking dish working from the center to outer edges; sprinkle 1/3 of streusel evenly over batter and gently press to adhere. Spread remaining batter in the same manner, and sprinkle remaining streusel over top and gently press to adhere.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Hot out of the oven,
I wish you could smell its scrumptiousness!
Cool coffee cake on a wire rack for a minimum of 15 minutes prior to slicing into 9-12 squares. ~ Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tip: This breakfast-type dessert is best if baked and allowed to cool overnight, the flavors that are allowed to develop are even more amazing!



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