I can't believe that Thanksgiving is next week! I am definitely excited for the holidays. And with all the traveling that happens around the holidays, these Pecan Pie Bars are perfect. They taste delicious and travel really well. My husband had to travel a few hours for a family get together a while back and I made these for him to take. After they were baked and cooled, I cut them into bars and put them into aluminum pans with lids. He said they traveled well and everybody loved them!
Recipe (slightly modified from Rock Recipes)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into big chunks
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
1/3 cup plus 1 Tblsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups halved pecans
Put 1 3/4 cups flour, sugar and butter in food processor. Process until it looks similar to cornmeal.
Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Line dish with foil or parchment paper and spray again. Pour flour mixture into prepared pan and press down. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.
While the crust is baking, mix together the filling. Whisk together the brown sugar, 1/3 cup plus 1 Tblsp flour, eggs, salt and corn syrup. Let the mixture sit while the crust finishes baking, at least 5 minutes. Roughly chop the pecans.
As soon as the crust comes out of the oven, stir the pecans into the corn syrup mixture and then pour over the crust while it is still hot. Bake at 325 degrees until it is no longer jiggly and it is lightly browned on top. This took 40 minutes for me.
Let the bars cool to room temperature. Then place the bars in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. When you are ready to cut them into bars, carefully pull them out of the pan by lifting up the foil. Place the bars on a cutting board and cut into squares. Check that there is no foil stuck to the bottom of the bars before serving.
A few years ago Casserole Gals Rhonda and Kristen had a testing of Dipping Apples. We tried several different types of apples, candy, chocolate and caramel. We had a blast and our family enjoyed our experiments.
We used Gala, Braeburn, Honey Crisp, and Fugi apples.
How good does this look? We melted caramel, dipped the apple, stuck as many mini marshmallow to it as we could and drizzled it with milk chocolate.
We used crushed graham crackers after we dipped the apple in melted caramel, drizzled it with melted milk chocolate and add a gummy worm on top.
Crushed M & M's make this caramel dipped apple colorful and a very enjoyable treat.
If you love pecans you will love this one. Melted caramel, rough chopped pecans and melted milk chocolate.
We even experimented with white chocolate, sugar crystals and sprinkles. You can make them gluten free and easily be careful of any other allergies.
We used treat bags and ribbon to decorate our apples. These would make a very welcomed treat for your guests for the holidays, a birthday party or teacher gifts! This is a great project for older kids.
Let your imagination go, try different candies, maybe chopped candy bars, more than one flavor of melted chocolate, different colored cellophane, bows, ribbon, have fun!
The holiday season is coming and everything gets busy. We have several casseroles that can be made a day ahead or can be made and frozen. So after a full day of shopping, decorating, wrapping etc. warm up one of these casseroles and enjoy a home made meal.
Spaghetti Casserole has been a family favorite for several years. Prepare a simple salad and you have a wonderful meal.
Chicken and Dumpling Casserole, comfort food at it's best. Dish up a bowl and enjoy a warm meal on a chilly evening.
Chicken Enchiladas this is a recipe from Casserole Gal Rachel and she makes it every time Casserole Gal Rhonda visits, because it is one of her favorite meals. Something different from the turkey and ham meals we prepare for the holidays.
Lighter Lasagna is a great casserole to prepare during the holidays. It is a meal you don't have to fill guilty about.
Alfredo Chicken Pasta Casserole gives you a few vegetables and a great taste.
Don't forget about dessert! Finish your meal with a lucious Lemon Blueberry Poke Cake!
We hope you enjoy our casseroles and have a glorious holiday season!
You read that right. Galaktoboureko. Or you could just say Greek Custard Pie. Either way, this is a tasty treat! I think it's harder to say the name, than to actually make the dish. It does take some time, but honestly very easy.
My husband loves custard based dishes, and really enjoyed this dessert. It combines the sticky, flaky crust part of baklava and an orange custard, together in an impressive dish.
I found this recipe on Brown Eyed Baker, be sure to click over and look at her wonderful blog!
Galaktoboureko (Greek Custard Pie)
6 cups whole milk
1 cup fine semolina (see my note below)
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 Tb unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange
1 package phyllo dough (see notes)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Get your pan ready! I used a 10 x 13, but she recommends a 10x13 lasagna dish or 16" round cake pan. If phyllo dough is frozen, set on the counter (still in the plastic package!!) and allow to thaw.
2. Stir milk, semolina, 1/2 cup sugar, butter and vanilla in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir gently but constantly until it becomes thick like pudding. It may take up to 15 minutes, so just keep stirring! Careful or it will stick and scorch on the bottom of the pan if you aren't stirring enough. Once thickened, remove pan from the heat and cool for 5-10 minutes. While cooling - beat eggs with remaining sugar, then stir into milk mixture. Add zest.
3. Melt the 1 cup of butter and brush it onto the bottom of your pan. Layer 1/2 the package of phyllo dough, with butter brushed between each layer, in the pan.
4. Pour slightly cooled custard over the phyllo sheets, spreading evenly. Layer the remaining sheets of phyllo on top of the custard, with melted butter between each layer. Brush butter all over the top.
5. Bake until top is golden brown, about 30-45 minutes.
6. While the custard is baking, make the syrup. Bring sugar, water and orange juice to boil in a small saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Add vanilla extract and set aside.
7. When you remove the custard from the oven, let it cool for 15 minutes. Then pour the syrup all over the top. Allow the custard to set for at least an hour before serving -- so that delicious syrup can soak thru all the layers. Mmmmmm :) You can store any the pie in the fridge for up to 3 days.
For semolina -- use Cream of Wheat! Run the amount thru a food processor to make it really fine.
Phyllo dough -- I can find a boxed phyllo dough in the freezer section of my local grocery store. The box contains 2 packages/tubes - I used only 1 tube for this recipe. The other is in my freezer awaiting a different tasty dish!
This dish is so pretty and unique! It would be wonderful for potlucks, holidays or as a baked gift!
I have been wanting to make my own Bar B Q ribs for a long time. I researched several different recipes and came up with my own. I have already made this 3 times in one month and plan to make it again in another week. I use my oven and grill, which makes them tender and as my husband says they are magnificent.
5-6 lb package Pork Spare Ribs
Rub of your choice, I use Head Country
Bar B Q of your choice, I use Head Country
Apple Cider Vinegar
Wash ribs with water and then wash with vinegar. Place in a large casserole pan, liberally sprinkle with rub and rub in. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.
Keep covered with aluminum foil and place in 350 degree oven for 2 hours. The meat should fall off the bones. Let the ribs cool enough to handle and cut in 3 large sections. Coat ribs with Bar B Q sauce and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Take off grill and cut into individual ribs.
Note: Coat your grill with a non stick spray to keep your ribs from sticking.
Go to our Recipe Section for more tasty desserts, main meals etc.
Need a simple dessert that is cool, light and can be made a day ahead? This recipe is for you. So, if you are having a Bar B Q, church event, company over or just because, this dessert will be a hit!
White Cake Mix (regular or gluten free)
(2) 10 0z jar seedless blackberry jelly
2 small or 1 large container cool whip
fresh berries for garnish
Make cake according to directions on box and bake in a 9 x 13 casserole dish. While still warm poke cake with holes, use the handle end of a wooden spoon or a fork, make a lot of holes.
In a saucepan, over low heat, melt jelly. Once a liquid, spoon over cake and let it soak in. Cover, put in the refrigerator until cool. Spread Cool Whip over cake, save come of the cool whip to add another dollop on top of each slice, it is easier when adding the fruit on top. Or, serve with vanilla ice cream. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Note: This could easily be made into a gluten free dessert, using a gluten free cake mix.
We also, have a recipe for a Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake, Lemon Blueberry Poke Cake and Poke Cake in a Jar.
I am so so happy with this recipe! It was so light and full of lemon flavor - a great chilled cake for summer.
Lemon Blueberry Poke Cake
1 lemon cake mix
eggs & oil, as directed by mix
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
3 cups water
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup sugar
3 Tb cornstarch
1-8 oz block cream cheese, room temperature
1 lemon, zest & juice
1 cup powdered sugar
8 oz marshmallow fluff
1 tsp vanilla
1 - Preheat oven and follow directions for lemon cake. I prepared my cake in a 9x13 dish. Once baked, let cool completely. Then poke holes! I used the handle of a wooden spoon.
2- While cake is baking, you can prepare the toppings. In a medium saucepan, add blueberries, water, sugar and almond extract. Stir well and let simmer till blueberries are soft and sugar is dissolved. Scoop out approx 1/2 cup of the liquid and whisk in the cornstarch - then pour cornstarch liquid back into the saucepan. Stir constantly as the cornstarch will thicken the blueberry sauce VERY quickly. Remove from heat as soon as it reaches a syrup consistency. Set aside to cool.
3 - Make frosting! Beat cream cheese till smooth in a medium bowl, then slowly add the remaining ingredients -- lemon juice & zest, powdered sugar, marshmallow and vanilla. Set aside.
4 - Once cake is baked, cooled and poked with holes, and the toppings are complete you can layer the dessert. Pour blueberry sauce over the cake, paying attention to the holes. Let sit for a moment to soak -- then carefully spread on cream cheese mixture. I like the blueberry/cream cheese marbled appearance.
5 - Keep in fridge till ready to serve!
Happy May 5th - Cinco de Mayo! If you are looking for some quick and tasty recipe ideas for today - we have a few!
Casserole Gal Rachel has a wonderful appetizer idea - Jalapeno Popper Dip. Make it as mild or spicy as you like, and be sure to make a double batch! Serve with chips, veggies and even some fresh salsa.
Another great recipe from Rachel, for a quick dinner idea - spice up her Croque Monsieur sandwiches!
Swap the mozzarella cheese for a Pepper Jack, Smoked Cheddar, or Jalapeno/Habanero variety. Sprinkle in some cooked & crumbled bacon. Add pickled jalapeno slices to the layers. Sprinkle some chili powder into the white sauce. SO many options!
Have fun and share your version on our facebook page or tag us on instagram.
And how about a nice beverage? Casserole Gal Rhonda's Snowy Beach Cocktail is sure to be a hit! If having company tonight - set up a cocktail bar.
Create a station with cups, fun straws, Sprite, the vodka, pina colada mix & juice. Add a platter of sliced oranges, cubed pineapple, strawberries, and fresh mint and let your guests create their own adult or non-alcoholic Snowy Beach beverage!
Just pretty please promise to drink responsibly. And enjoy the day!
-The Casserole Gals Rhonda, Kristen & Rachel
Want a new spring breakfast recipe? How about something new for Mother's Day brunch? Well, I have a recommendation -- this Lemon Blueberry French Toast Casserole! It can be made in advance, reheated if needed, travels well and is just so deliciously full of soft lemon flavor.
Lemon Blueberry French Toast Casserole
1 loaf French Bread (or an enriched bread, like brioche)
2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries
1 lemon - zest & juice
1/2 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
Powdered sugar for dusting
Syrup for drizzles & dips
1. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with non-stock spray. Cube the bread and place in dish.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, cream, vanilla and lemon extract, juice & zest till combined. Add 1 cup blueberries, stir and pour over bread. Carefully stir bread and egg mixture to coast all the cubes.
3. Sprinkle with other cup of blueberries. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in fridge till ready to bake.
4. When ready, remove plastic wrap and place in cold oven. Turn oven to 350 degree and bake for 30-45 minutes. Until eggs appear set and top is golden.
5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with your favorite syrup!
Flaky crust, rich pastry cream and glazed strawberries - they all come together in this elegant dessert. This dessert does require some prep but I think that makes it perfect for any special occasion, as each step can be completed a day in advance then assembled just before serving!
Classic Strawberry Tart
For the pate brisee (crust):
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb sugar
18 Tb cold unsalted butter, but into tablespoons
1) Whisk together dry ingredients. Add your butter and use your hands to break up the cold butter. I love make pie crust by hand - you get to control the texture. Continue to break up the butter and mix into the flour until mixture is 'sandy' and the butter resembles small pebbles.
2) Add cold water a couple tablespoons at a time, while working the dough by hand. It will slowly come together into a ball - be sure not to add too much water, you don't want sticky dough.
3) Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
4) Once chilled, remove one half from plastic wrap and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Line a tart pan (with a removable bottom) or 10-12" springform pan with dough, and approx. 1/2" up the sides. Cover with parchment paper, then pie weights or dry beans and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until edges begin to brown and dough is cooked in the middle. After 20 minutes, I carefully removed my paper and beans and baked the crust another 10 minutes to make sure it baked completely.
5) Let cool in pan 5-10 minutes, then carefully remove crust and finish cooling on a wire rack.
6) Use the other half to make another crust. Because you will want to eat this again. Soon.
Making the pastry cream:
1 1/2 cups milk
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tb corn starch
1 Tb vanilla extra, or 1 vanilla bean
1 Tb butter
1) Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat - do not let it boil! If you are using a vanilla bean: make a slice down the bean and scrap out seeds. Add seeds and bean to simmer with the milk. After a few minutes, you may notice the milk starts to look shimmery- that's a good sign. Heat for about 5 minutes.
2) While milk is heating, beat your eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until they are thick, pale yellow in color and when you lift your mixer 'ribbons' form on the surface. This will take a little while. Reduce speed to low, and add the cornstarch and salt.
3) With mixer still on low speed, slowly drizzle in 1/2 of the hot milk. Take it slow and steady - you are cooking the eggs with the hot milk. If you pour to fast and stir too slow, the eggs will curdle. Slow and steady wins the race and makes for a smoother cream!
4) Remove vanilla bean from remaining milk - pour egg mixture into the milk and whisk like crazy! Keep it creamy! Continue whisking - over medium heat - until cream has thickened. It may start to bubble, this is ok; just keep stirring and don't let it completely boil. You will notice the color start to change as it thickens, this is ok too. Once it is thick like pudding remove from heat and add butter and vanilla extract (if using extract).
5) Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool slightly before putting in fridge. The pastry cream needs to cool completely before using in the tart.
Amount of strawberries depends on design, I used a full pint
3-4 Tb apricot preserves or jelly
3-4 Tb water
1) This apricot with water, until it is a syrup consistency - set aside.
2) Clean and dry strawberries. You may place them whole, or slice to create a design like mine.
1) Spread cooled pastry cream evenly in crust.
2) Place fruit in desired pattern.
3) Using a pastry brush, carefully brush fruit with apricot glaze. Use just enough glaze to make the tart shiny.
4) Keep in fridge till ready to serve. Can be assembled 1-2 hours in advance, at most! Serve cold.
Crust - make 1-2 days in advance. Once completely cooled, keep securely wrapped in plastic wrap to keep dry, fresh and crisp.
Pastry Cream - make 1-2 days in advance. Keep in sealed container in fridge.
Fruit - use your favorite fruit! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mandarin orange slices, kiwi, peaches, bananas -- all wonderful!
Preserves - I had mixed reviews for using the apricot preserves (which is the traditional glaze choice.) Next time, I may try lemon preserves with strawberries & blueberries. Or strawberry on strawberry.... Or blackberry jam on all berries.... Or thinned honey on peach slices.... So many possibilities!
Cooking everything in casserole dishes!
With busy lives & sometimes quick meals, we mom & daughters team are always looking for healthy, tasty & convenient dishes to serve our family. So, please join us as we share everything from appetizers to main dishes & desserts!