Jalapeño Cheddar Crackers

Jalapeno Cheddar Crackers | Pinky's Pantry
I saw Ina Garten make these crackers on Food TV and they looked so good that I just had to try them. I decided to make them for our next movie night. They were sort of a cross between a cracker and a savory shortbread. Delicious with a chilled glass of crisp, white wine. I think they’ll also make a great accompaniment to the cocktails at our next cocktail party. Yummm….. Definitely a keeper!

JALAPEÑO CHEDDAR CRACKERS

  • 2 cups all-­purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ⅛ tsp. baking powder
  • 1¾ sticks cold unsalted butter, diced into 1/2-­inch cubes
  • 5 ozs. extra ­sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. minced and seeded jalapeño pepper
  • ¼ tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp. ice water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. milk, for egg wash
  • Fleur de sel or sea salt
  1. Place the flour, kosher salt, and baking powder in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse to mix.
  2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Add the cheese, jalapeño, and chipotle chili powder and pulse again.
  4. Add the ice water all at once and continue pulsing until the mixture begins to form a ball.
  5. Dump the dough onto a floured board, gather and press it into a ball, then roll it into a 14­-inch log.
  6. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  8. Cut the dough in 3/8-­inch ­thick slices.
  9. Place the crackers on the prepared sheet pan, brush tops with egg wash, and sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel.
  10. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Cherry Cobbler

Cherry Cobbler | Pinky's Pantry
It’s cherry season and the cherries are out in full force. I see them everywhere – at the farmer’s market, in the grocery stores, on street vendor’s tables – and they’re absolutely delicious! So dark and sweet and juicy.

I picked up a sackful from the store yesterday and decided to make them into a fresh cherry cobbler. I love fruit cobblers, don’t you? Especially when they’re just out of the oven and served warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on the side. Yum! As an added bonus, they make the house smell so good while they’re baking, too!

If you have a cherry pitter, use it. It sure makes the work of pitting each cherry a lot easier. I used to be the Room Mom for my kids’ kindergarten classes and one year, as a thank you gift, the children gave me a pretty white basket filled with fresh cherries. Tied to the basket’s handle with a red-and-white checkered ribbon was a silver cherry pitter. I still have that same cherry pitter to this day. It’s proven to be a mighty useful contraption over the years.
Cherry Cobbler | Pinky's Pantry

FRESH CHERRY COBBLER

  • 4 cups fresh cherries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 can evaporated milk (or 2 cups fresh milk)
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar (or plain white sugar), optional
  1. Wash, stem, and remove the pits from the cherries. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 9×13 pyrex glass baking dish.
  3. Using a wire whisk, whisk the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
  4. Empty the can of evaporated milk into a measuring cup and add enough water or fresh milk to make it amount to 2 cups.
  5. Add the milk and melted butter into the flour mixture and whisk together well. Batter will be thin.
  6. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
  7. Scatter the cherries over the top of the batter, distributing them evenly so you get a cherry in every bite.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the ¼ cup demerara sugar, if using.
  9. Bake for about 50 minutes or until top turns light brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

NOTE:  You can make this cobbler with blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches or any other fruit you like.

This recipe can easily be halved and baked in a 9-inch square pan for a smaller cobbler.

Totchos

Totchos | Pinky's PantryThis recipe is a play on traditional Nachos, except instead of tortilla chips, you use tater tots. It makes a hearty and delicious appetizer, or can be served for a yummy brunch dish. Try to have whatever toppings you’ve chosen all ready to go so that as soon as the cheese is melted over the tater tots, you can pile on your toppings and serve right away. The longer the tater tots sit with the toppings on them, the less crunchy they become. Not that that’s a bad thing. My family just prefers them crunchy.
Totchos | Pinky's Pantry

TOTCHOS

  • 1 bag (2 lbs.) frozen tater tots
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream, thinned with a little water or milk till pourable
  • fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

Toppings:

  • chorizo, removed from casing, crumbled and cooked
  • refried beans or black beans
  • diced red onion
  • sliced black olives
  • whole kernel corn
  • sliced pickled jalapeños
  • pico de gallo, or your favorite salsa
  • guacamole
  1. Line a jellyroll pan with foil.
  2. Arrange tater tots in single layer on baking pan and bake according to package directions until brown and crispy.
  3. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese over tater tots.
  4. If necessary, return to oven and bake just until cheese is all melted.
  5. Remove from oven and top with any combination of the toppings listed above. You can use as much or as little as you like of the toppings.
  6. Drizzle sour cream over everything.
  7. Sprinkle with cilantro for garnish.
  8. Serve immediately.

Coconut Toast

Coconut Toast | Pinky's Pantry
I read about Coconut Toast on this blog called Laugh With Us Blog. It reminded me of this Filipino coconut dessert we ate all the time growing up. It was called “bukayo.” Bukayo is a native coconut “candy” made by cooking fresh grated coconut and sugar together. One of these days, I’ll have to post a recipe for you guys so you can see what it’s like. Our cusinera (cook) — yes, we had a cook when I was growing up — used to make it for us for an afternoon snack all the time. It’s usually shaped into little balls or little flat patties, but Manang Francisca used to just pile it all into a bowl and we each got to have a tablespoon or two of it. Saved her the work of rolling it into balls, I guess.

Anyway, the coconut in this recipe is prepared a bit differently as it has egg in it, but it reminded me a lot of bukayo. Of course, piling it onto bread takes it up a notch. How clever is that? Then you actually get to eat it with your fingers! No spoon needed. And eat it you will! Esther from Laugh With Us Blog wasn’t kidding when she said this was a must try. OMG! You’ll not only eat it with your fingers, but you’ll lick every little crumb off said fingers, too! It’s that good!

COCONUT TOAST

  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 9-12 slices of bread
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and coconut together.
  3. Spread the mixture onto each slice of bread.
  4. Arrange bread on an ungreased cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until toast is lightly browned.

NOTE:  The original recipe is supposed to make enough mixture to cover 12 slices of bread. Apparently, we slather it on a lot thicker than that because we only get 9 slices of bread per recipe. LOL! Just spread the mixture on as thickly as you like. You’ll get anywhere from 9 to 12 pieces of toast.

Also, for those of you looking to cut down on your sugar intake, I’ve made this recipe with only 3/4 cup of sugar. It’s just as delicious as it is with the full amount.

Yogurt Cream and Berry Parfaits

Yogurt Cream Berry Parfait | Pinky's PantryYesterday was the 4th of July. We went over to my sister Helen’s house for a barbecue. My aunt Miriam and her beau were coming over, as well as my uncle Manny, his lovely wife Melissa, and their two beautiful daughters, Sierra and Aspen. We hadn’t seen them in years so we were all looking forward to the festivities. Manny’s my uncle but he’s younger than I am. His sister, Miriam, is my age. How, you ask? Well, my grandfather was married three times and had a total of 13 children. My Mom was child #2 by his first wife. Manny and Miriam are children #11 and 12 by his third wife. Hence the huge generation gap, and that explains why I have an aunt and uncle my age and younger.

Anyway, I wanted to make something red-white-and-blue to take to the barbecue for dessert so decided that yogurt cream parfaits would be good. They’re refreshingly cool on a hot summer day. I put them in mini champagne flutes and thought they looked absolutely adorable.
Yogurt Cream Berry Parfait | Pinky's Pantry
I whipped up 30 of the little confections the day before the barbecue and had them chilling in the fridge all neatly lined up on a wooden tray like patriotic little soldiers. When we were finally ready to leave for Helen’s house the next day, I painstakingly pulled the tray out of the fridge and walked ever so slowly towards the front door, carefully balancing the tray in my two hands. I have no idea how but to my utter distress, right when I reached the door, one of the little flutes began to teeter precariously on the tray. I watched in horror as almost in slow motion, it toppled over and hit the one next to it and one by one they all began toppling over like dominoes! I screamed as I juggled the tray in a futile effort to stop the disaster which only served to make matters worse! Some of the desserts crashed to the floor while others flung their contents onto my chest and down to my feet. Nooooooo!!!

Old Goat comes running over and sees me standing there in the middle of a huge mess of red, white and blue, with yogurt cream splashed on my nose and running down my pretty blue blouse. “What are you doing?” he asked perplexed as he took the tray from my stunned hands. I took one look at him and burst into tears as I ran upstairs to our bedroom. All my hard work of the day before, gone in about 5 seconds!

I washed up and changed my shirt, then went back downstairs to find that my sweet Old Goat had mopped up the floor, and with the help of No. 1’s girlfriend, was trying to salvage and wipe clean the flutes that had just tipped over but remained safely on the tray. So, long story short, they managed to rescue about a dozen of the 30 desserts. They looked a little worse for wear, but we brought them to Helen’s house anyway.
Yogurt Cream Berry Parfait | Pinky's Pantry

YOGURT CREAM & BERRY PARFAITS

  • 1 cup plain, honey, or vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp. or ¼ cup sugar
  • strawberries, washed, dried and hulled
  • blueberries, washed and dried
  • extra sugar (optional)
  1. Chop strawberries into small pieces. If strawberries aren’t sweet, sprinkle a little extra sugar over them, toss together and set aside.
  2. Place greek yogurt and whipping cream in bowl of electric mixer.
  3. Beat until soft peaks form.
  4. Add sugar and beat until well combined.
  5. In little flutes or parfait glasses, layer yogurt cream, strawberries, more yogurt cream, blueberries, and end with yogurt cream.
  6. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

NOTE:  If desired, you can garnish the top of each parfait with a blueberry, a small strawberry, some finely chopped almonds, or a sprinkling of granola.

Easy Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler | Pinky's Pantry
I love peach season…. the hot summer days when the peach trees are heavy with fruit just waiting to be harvested. And what could be better on a balmy summer’s evening than a dish of warm peach cobbler with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on the side? The amazing smells that fill the kitchen as the cobbler bakes make you drool with anticipation.

If you have the time and some of those fresh summer peaches I mentioned, by all means go ahead and use them. They’re so delicious, you won’t regret it. That being said, this recipe is “easy” because it uses canned peaches. No need to peel, slice, or cook them. Can’t beat the ease and convenience of that on a lazy summer day!

EASY PEACH COBBLER

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large can (28-ozs.) sliced peaches, undrained
  • 1 medium can (15-ozs.) sliced peaches, drained
  • cinnamon, for sprinkling over top (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt butter in a 9×13 baking dish in the oven.
  3. While butter is melting, drain syrup from medium size can (15-oz.) peaches and discard syrup or save for another use.
  4. Using a wire whisk, stir sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt together very well in a medium bowl.
  5. Slowly add milk, stirring continuously until well combined.
  6. Pour batter directly over melted butter in baking dish. Do not stir!
  7. Carefully spoon drained peaches from medium 15-oz. can on top of batter. Do not stir!
  8. Then gently add the peaches with the syrup from the large 28-oz. can. Again, do not stir!
  9. If desired, sprinkle cinnamon (as much as you like) over top.
  10. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.
  11. This is great served warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

NOTE:  If you prefer to use fresh peaches for this recipe, you’ll need 4 cups of peeled, pitted and sliced peaches (about 5-8 peaches depending on how big your peaches are). Place the peach slices in a saucepan with 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will use the peaches with the syrup for this recipe.

Cool Veggie Pizza

Cool Veggie Pizza | Pinky's Pantry
This is an old Pampered Chef recipe that I learned to make many years ago when The Pampered Chef was still in its early years. The company operates on the same principle as Tupperware — people host a party where the company’s products are demonstrated and sold. I attended a Pampered Chef party where this dish was served and loved it so much that I made it myself for the party I subsequently hosted. It’s been a favorite with my family ever since. A lot of times, I make the recipe healthier by substituting reduced fat crescent rolls, fat-free cream cheese and/or lite mayonnaise.

Anyway, it’s the last day of Nurses Week tomorrow so I’m making this to take to the office. I know the nurses will love it, especially since I’m making the healthy version. Did I ever mention that I work with a bunch of nurses? Well, I do. So healthy food always goes over big at our office potlucks.

COOL VEGGIE PIZZA

  • 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 box cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ tsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed and minced fine
  • 1 tsp. dill weed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chopped assorted fresh vegetables (any combination of vegetables you like such as broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, green or red bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini or yellow summer squash, etc.)
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Unroll crescent roll dough onto a cookie sheet and pinch seams together to seal.
  3. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  5. Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, dill weed, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
  6. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly on top of cooled crust.
  7. Coarsely chop your selected vegetables.
  8. Sprinkle a layer of each vegetable over pizza crust.
  9. Cut into squares and serve.

NOTE:

  • If you don’t like dill, you can substitute Italian Seasoning mix. You can also omit the garlic if you want to.
  • My favorite combination of veggies that I use whenever I make this pizza is:  zucchini, mushrooms, green and red bell peppers, tomatoes and green onions.

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Snickerdoodle Muffins | Pinky's Pantry
I haven’t made these muffins in a long time. I don’t really know why. Maybe because my kids are grown up now? But when they were younger, I made these muffins a lot. The kids really loved them. They’re great for breakfast, brunch, or an after school snack. They’re also great packed for dessert in a school lunchbox. I love them warm with an ice cold glass of milk. Mmmmm………

SNICKERDOODLE MUFFINS

  • 1½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • extra melted butter for topping
  1. Mix flour, oats, and ¾ cup sugar together.
  2. In another bowl, mix egg, butter, vanilla, and milk together.
  3. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Fill 12 muffin cups 2/3 full.
  5. Bake at 400ºF for 12 minutes or until light golden brown.
  6. While muffins are baking, mix ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon together for topping.
  7. When muffins are done, brush tops with a little melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar topping mixture.

7-Up Biscuits

7Up Biscuits | Pinky's Pantry
I got this recipe from one of the girls at work. She said her mom makes it for them all the time. I’d never heard of biscuit dough made with 7-Up so I was really curious to try this. The biscuits turned out pretty good. The recipe makes a super sticky dough but if you sprinkle your work surface generously with extra bisquick before turning the dough out, and then sprinkle the top of the dough with more bisquick before patting it flat, it really helps a lot. You could substitute flour for sprinkling if you like.
7Up Biscuits | Pinky's Pantry

7-UP BISCUITS

  • 4 cups bisquick baking mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup 7-up
  • ½ cup butter
  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Place butter in a 9×13″ pyrex baking dish and put into oven to melt the butter.
  3. Remove baking dish from oven once butter is melted.
  4. Mix bisquick, sour cream and 7-Up together in a bowl. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
  5. Sprinkle extra bisquick onto work surface and turn dough out.
  6. Sprinkle a little more bisquick on top of dough.
  7. With your hands, gently pat the dough to about 1-inch thick or so. These biscuits don’t rise very much so you want to have your dough be fairly thick.
  8. Cut out 12 circles using a biscuit cutter or an overturned glass.
  9. Arrange biscuits on top of melted butter in baking dish. A bench scraper or spatula helps to transfer the soft dough from the work surface to the baking dish.
  10. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.

Note:   I like to cut 2½-inch diameter biscuits which fill up my baking pan nicely, but you can certainly cut them larger or smaller. It’s up to you to decide what size you want your biscuits.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake | Pinky's Pantry
It’s a lazy Sunday morning at Casa Catastrophe with nothing more pressing to do than get caught up on missed TV episodes, so my daughter, Bashful, and I decided to bake this coffee cake that we found in one of my old Pillsbury cookbooks. Not only did it taste delicious, but it looked lovely! Like something purchased from a fancy bakery. It was pretty easy to make, too. Don’t let the lengthy list of ingredients or instructions scare you. The hardest part to me was getting the crust evenly up the sides of the springform pan. But don’t worry about making it perfectly even. Ours was such a mess but it turned out looking great!

RASPBERRY CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE

  • 2¼ cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup raspberry preserves
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  1. Heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease with shortening and flour bottom and sides of 9 or 10-inch springform pan.
  3. In large bowl, mix flour and ¾ cup sugar.
  4. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture.
  6. To remaining crumb mixture in bowl, stir in baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, almond extract and 1 egg until blended.
  7. Spread batter about ¼-inch thick over bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan.
  8. In small bowl, mix cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar and 1 egg until blended.
  9. Pour into batter-lined pan.
  10. Carefully spoon preserves evenly over cream cheese mixture.
  11. In another small bowl, mix reserved crumb mixture and sliced almonds together.
  12. Sprinkle over preserves.
  13. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until cream cheese filling is set and crust is deep golden brown.
  14. Cool 15 minutes; remove side of pan.
  15. Serve warm or cool.
  16. Store in refrigerator.