Fool’s Toffee

If you visited our booth at Hollydays, you may have tasted Fool’s Toffee already and should know how awesome it is!! This is a great dessert for the Holidays or really any occasion!

Saltine crackers may seem like an unusual ingredient to use in a toffee recipe, but do not be “fooled” into thinking this is a mistake. This secret ingredient makes the toffee much lighter and crispier than using graham crackers. Teenagers love to make this candy. Makes a great gift for teachers, coaches and friends.

Ingredients:

  • 36 to 40 saltine crackers (1 sleeve)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
  • 1 cup of packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:

Line a 10 X 17 inch baking pan with foil and coat the foil with butter. Arrange the saltine crackers in a single layer with sides touching in the prepared pan. Combine 1 cup butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.

Pour the butter mixture over the crackers. Using a wooden spoon, spread the mixture evenly over the crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and let stand for 2 minutes or until chocolate chips soften. Spread the chocolate evenly over the prepared layers using a knife or metal cake spatula. Sprinkle with the pecans and press lightly. Chill for 30 minutes or until set. Break into pieces and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Here are some photos of the finished dessert!

Ernest’s Marinade for Crab claws

Ernest’s Marinade for Crab Claws, RRR 2, pg 168

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped green onions, tops and bottoms
  • 1 cup chopped celery, leaves and stalk
  • 4 pods garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cups Spanish olive oil
  • 2 cups tarragon vinegar
  • Juice of 6 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

Instructions:

Chop first four ingredients as fine as possible with French knife. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Let stand at room temperature for 48 hours. Marinate crab claws for 30 minutes before serving. This marinade is also excellent for boiled shrimp.

This is a great appetizer for the holidays coming up! Here are some more pictures below.

Adam’s Autumn Biscuits

Yay it’s finally fall! My favorite season! Since it’s fall, I decided it was time for some pumpkin! These would be great after game-day or even to serve at game-day!

Adam’s Autumn Biscuits, RRR 3, pg 97

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup margarine, chilled and cut into small bits
  • One 16 ounce can unsweetened pumpkin purée
  • 2 tablespoons 1% or less buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup white raisins
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or food processor, cut the margarine into the four mixture until it resembles very coarse meal. Add pumpkin and raisins. Pat the dough into 1/2 inch thickness on a well-floured surface. Cut into using a floured 1 inch cutter. Place biscuits on baking sheet sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Brush biscuits with milk and top with one teaspoon of brown sugar per biscuit.

Yield: 24 biscuits

I baked for about 18 minutes in the oven. The biscuits were a different consistency than I am used to, but very tasty! Great fall treat! Below are some pictures of the biscuits. Enjoy!

Magnolia Mound Punch

One of my friends was married at Magnolia Mound Plantation a few years ago. It was a beautiful day in late Spring with their nearest and dearest mingling under the oak trees as the Spanish moss swayed in the Mississippi River breeze. This punch is a perfect tribute to that day and the love my sweet friend shares with her husband. I like to load it up with some Ponchatoula strawberries fresh from the Red Stick farmer’s market to make it a truly local treat.

It also makes an insanely beautiful cocktail for the holidays. These photos were featured in our Junior League newsletter, thanks to the lovely Kaela from Kaela Rodehorst Photography.

Magnolia Mound Punch RRR Blog 1

Magnolia Mound Punch (RRR II, Page 26)

  • 1 bottle pre-chilled strawberry wine such as St. Martin’s (not strawberry flavored wine)
  • One 32-ounce bottle pre-chilled ginger ale
  • Fresh Strawberries

Mix first two ingredients. Strawberries may be floated in the punch as decoration. Makes 12 to 14 four-ounce servings.

Magnolia Mound Punch RRR Blog

Couldn’t be easier!

 

 

Cream Cheese Dainties

Snow in the Deep South is a rare sight, but that doesn’t keep us southerners from hopefully wishing for a white Christmas. These festive treats make a beautiful addition to your holiday table and add the appearance of “snowballs”. Be sure to give yourself a little time in the preparation of these treats as the 1-2 hour chill time is critical to their presentation and helps them bake evenly. Although these “snowballs” are far too tasty to throw, make plenty and enjoy them with those you love, give as gifts or bring to your next cookie swap.

Cream Cheese Dainties

Cream Cheese Dainties, (RRR II Pg. 215)

  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • One 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups crisp rice cereal, coarsely crushed
  • Red and green candied cherries

 

Cream butter, cheese, sugar and almond flavoring until light. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in butter mixture just until combined. Chill 1 to 2 hours. Shape into balls, roll in cereal and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Top each with a cherry. Bake at 350 degrees 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on racks. Makes 4 dozen.

Roast Turkey with Bourbon Gravy from River Road Recipes Cookbook

Roast Turkey with Bourbon Gravy

We don’t know about you but we are Pro-Thanksgiving girls. It seems like stores are going straight from Halloween to Christmas and skipping this wonderful holiday.

Luckily, this recipe makes it real easy to enjoy one of your favorite Thanksgiving comfort foods year round. The sweet apples combined with that rich bourbon is sure to please a crowd. Apologies in advance if your husband passes out on the couch and blames it on the tryptophan. Also, make sure you find someone else to remove the neck and giblet bag. Seems like a good job for your mother in law.

Roast Turkey with Bourbon Gravy from River Road Recipes Cookbook

Roast Turkey with Bourbon Gravy (RRR IV, Pg. 120)

Serves: 12

  • 1 (17-pound) turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cup flour
  • ¼ cup bourbon

Place the oven rack in the bottom 2/3 of the oven. Remove the neck and giblet bag from the turkey, discarding the liver. Rinse the turkey with cool water and pat dry.

Combine the onion, celery, apples and poultry seasoning in a bowl and mix well. Stuff the turkey with the apple mixture. Rub the salt and pepper over the outer surface of the turkey.

Arrange the turkey, neck and giblets in a roasting pan. Roast at 350 degrees for 2 hours in a convection oven or 4 hours in a conventional oven or until a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees. Remove the turkey to a platter, reserving the pan drippings. Add the water to the reserved warm drippings and stir to loosen any crusty browned bits. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Mix the flour and bourbon in a bowl and whisk into the pan drippings mixture. Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until thickened and of a gravy consistency, stirring frequently. Serve with the Turkey.

 

 

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

Turkey…baked, smoked, or fried? Should there be a ham, too? This is Louisiana after all, so will there be something freshly caught or hunted sitting on the table as well? Preparing Thanksgiving dinner can bring so many decisions, but one thing everyone can agree upon is that it’s simply not Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes. Published in the original 1959 River Road Recipes, Baked Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows is a dish that stands the test of time and continues to bring generations asking for a second helping. The sweet, autumn-spiced aroma is sure to fill your home welcoming guests to your table. Whether served as the essential side, or as a dessert option, it will be gobbled up by evening’s end!

Sweet Potatoes RRR Blog

Photo: Kaela Rodehorst Photography

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows (RRR I pg. 61)

  • 8 medium size sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ stick butter
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Few dashes of nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • Marshmallows

Bake sweet potatoes in a 350-degree oven until done. Peel hot potatoes and put through ricer until mashed. Scald milk and add vanilla, sugar, and butter. To potatoes add cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange juice. Stir. Add milk mixture to potatoes, a layer of marshmallows, remaining potatoes and bake at 350 degrees until very hot. Add a top layer of marshmallows and brown. Serves 8 to 10.

Caramel Apple Dip

As fall begins to show its face there are many wonderful things that come along with it. Beautiful leaves changing colors, the spirit of football, and the excitement of a new school year all warm our hearts in the fall. If any food makes one think of fall, it’s caramel covered apples. This recipe is an easy way to throw together a delicious dip conveniently for that last minute football party or when the kids decide that your house is the best hangout spot for the night. Although everyone loves a delicious caramel apple, no one enjoys the mess. This dip allows you to have the great taste of caramel apple without the mess! If kids are your crowd, consider also serving this dip with graham crackers, pretzels, ginger snaps, or vanilla wafers.

Caramel Apple Dip RRR Blog

 

Caramel Apple Dip (RRR IV, Warm Welcomes Pg. 184)

  • 4 Granny Smith apples, cut into wedges
  • 4 Red Delicious apples, cut into wedges
  • 2 liters lemon-lime soda
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ (12-ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Toss the apples with the soda in a bowl. Soak, covered, in the refrigerator for 8 to 10 hours. Beat the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a mixing bowl until creamy.

Caramel Apple Dip RRR Blog

Mound the cream cheese mixture in the center of a serving platter. Drizzle with the caramel topping and sprinkle with the pecans. Surround with the apple wedges, alternating the colors.

 

 

Member Spotlight: Dining with Our President, Kathy Victorian

Every Friday evening, my family has what we call a “special night.” I pick up our three year old daughter from daycare; we get “freats” (we are still working on that “tr” phonetic combo) – usually our favorite Talenti gelato to share and a nice bottle of Malbec for Mommy and Daddy; then we pick out a movie to watch as a family. One of her favorite  movies for nights like these is Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. At the beginning of the movie, Tiana’s dad, James, makes the following observation while helping his daughter make the perfect pot of gumbo: “You know the thing about good food? It brings folks together from all walks of life. It warms them right up and it puts little smiles on their faces.” I could not agree more!

Kathy Victorian, President of the Junior League of Baton Rouge, also knows that there is truly something special about sharing a meal with loved ones. Growing up, Kathy remembers fondly the meals she shared with her family. “My mom was an amazing cook, and I remember vividly her preparing a home cooked meal for us every day, but she made Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas magical in our home with her cooking.” Today, Kathy continues this tradition with her own family. “I LOVE to cook,” she says, “because cooking a meal is one of the most personal things I can do for someone. I’m literally providing plated ‘love’ made with my own hands and creativity – even if I’m following a recipe, I picked the recipe and planned the meal!

Kathy Victorian

Kathy Victorian, Junior League of Baton Rouge President 2016-2017

Like most of us, the typical weeknight dinner at Kathy’s house varies, depending on how busy everyone is. “The typical weeknight can consist of take out or a sit down dinner with my husband, Michael, but Sunday after church, my cooking skills are on display at Chateau Victorian!” One of Kathy and Michael’s favorite River Road Recipes is the Chicken Stew found on page 195 of River Road Recipes III – A Healthy Collection. Another favorite from RRR III is the Creamy Risotto, featured below. “I had never prepared homemade risotto until I got my hands on RRR III, and when I turned to the recipe, I found my elegant comfort food. Needless to say, I prepare this dish often.”

Kathy with friends enjoying a casual evening dinner at home.

(Left to right) Kimberly LaMotte, Kathy Victorian, Elisha Browder, and Brunetta Adams enjoying a Memorial Day Weekend cookout and surprise birthday party for Elisha! “Food always brings me and my loved ones together,” says Kathy. “Friends plus Family plus Food equals FUN!”

In addition to cooking at home, Kathy enjoys eating out. While she has several favorite Baton Rouge restaurants, Mansurs on the Boulevard takes the cake. “If I had to pick one,” Kathy says, “it would be Mansurs on the Boulevard simply because of their fantastic staff, and every meal I’ve eaten there has been Ahhhhhh-Mazing!” Whether dining out or trying a new recipe from the River Road Recipes collection like Kathy, or even just sharing store bought “freats” with your loved ones on the couch like my family, there are so many opportunities in the Red Stick to enjoy some “plated love” and create lasting memories with both friends and family alike.

Creamy Risotto, RRR III p. 132

This Creamy Risotto, as Kathy says, makes for an elegant comfort food that works well as a side or as the main dish!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tub margarine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 cup arborio rice or medium grain rice
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 3 1/2 cups defatted chicken stock, less salt
  • 1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • Black pepper for seasoning
Aborio is an Italian short grain rice and can typically be found at most grocery stores on the grain aisle. Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Aborio rice is an Italian short grain rice and can typically be found at most grocery stores on the grain aisle. Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Heat oil and margarine. Sauté vegetables for five minutes. Add rice and stir for 30 seconds. Add wine and stir for one minute. Add stock, cheese, and spices. Simmer until the rice is tender but slightly firm to bite and the mixture is creamy, about 25 minutes. Season with pepper. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese if desired.

Creamy Risotto. Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Creamy Risotto. Photo by Lauren De Witt.

This recipe has 208 calories, 6.4 grams of fat, and 511 milligrams of sodium per serving, which is over 5 grams less fat compared to the original! You can take the nutritional benefits a step further by omitting the olive oil and margarine and simply sautéing the vegetables in the chicken broth to save an additional 3.7 grams of fat and 33 calories per serving. Try using a sodium-free broth to cut additional sodium.