Friday, March 28, 2014

A Simple Act Of Kindness

Good morning friends. It is a dark and dreary day here in Maryland with lots of rain in the forecast for the entire weekend. Actually we have a lot of rain coming our way for the next 10 days...April Showers bring May flowers. Isn't that they say? At least the temperatures are finally climbing up to where they need to be for this time of year. Anything is better than snow!

My Dad told me a wonderful story this morning that really touched my heart and reinforced the fact that there are some good people in this world. I thought I would share it with you in hopes that you will get that same overall warm feeling it gave me.

My Dad is very much alone now that my Mom moved to Heaven a few years ago. They used to do everything together and it was a very hard adjustment for him to make. But he is an incredible man who found ways to move forward and to be at peace with his life after she left. One of the things he likes to do is to go to Costco and buy his favorite lunch to go and then park over under some shade trees, eat his lunch and watch planes fly over as they are landing at Martins Air Force Base. After he has his lunch, he takes out his bible and sits quietly, reading the scripture and saying his daily prayers. My Dad just enjoys life and is a devout Christian who loves God more than anyone I have ever met in my lifetime.

The other day, we had a cold Spring day with winds gusting up to 40 miles an hour. That doesn't interfere with my Dad's routine. There he was sitting in his new pickup truck, enjoying his lunch and reading his bible. All of a sudden he sees a car coming right at him at full speed. Before he could do anything the car took a sharp turn and pulled in right next to him slamming on his breaks. My Dad said there was a loud sharp crashing BOOM! He then saw the driver unbuckle his seat belt and slowly get out of his vehicle.

My Dad got out of his truck and went over to see a shopping cart laying on it's side with all its contents strewn over the parking lot and a young man in his early twenties examining a big ugly dent on the drivers door. The young man stood up and shook my Dad's hand and said, "I hope I didn't scare you too much sir."

My Dad was puzzled and asked what had just happened. The young man said, "I had just come out of the store and got in my car and started it. Someone had left their cart to go get their car and a huge gust of wind got behind it. Next thing I saw was a run-a-way cart plowing straight ahead and aiming right for your new pickup truck. You were totally unaware of what was about to happen. So I stepped on the gas, knowing if I timed it just right, I could get between that speeding cart and your new truck and take the full blunt force of the shopping cart hitting my vehicle first."

My Dad just stood there in total amazement and asked, "Why would you do that? Why would you damage your own vehicle to save mine?"

The young man responded, "I don't know why. It was just something that happened so quickly and I didn't have much time to think about it. I just knew you were sitting there so peacefully and would have been startled and frightened because you had no idea it was coming right at you. I wanted to do the right thing and I'm so happy that I was at the right place at the right time."

My Dad, shook this young man's hand and thanked him. He offered to pay for the damage to his car and buy him some lunch. The young man smiled and shook his head.

"Sir, that's not necessary. You can't imagine how good I feel right now and I can't wait to go tell my Mom what I just did. She will be so proud that I found an opportunity today to "pay it forward....something she has instilled in all us kids." He smiled and tipped his baseball cap, and got back into this car and drove away.

This story touched me. Not a big life rescue story Not a huge heroic story. But a pay it forward story that brought tears to my eyes. This young man is a true hero in my eyes and especially in my dads eyes. It doesn't always take some heroic act. Sometimes a simple act of kindness says it all. I always say, "While the world outside my window goes insane, there's always someone who reminds me, that a few good things remain.

Have a good day my friends. Pay it forward today. Stay warm. Stay safe and stay tuned for some good recipes coming your way.
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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Country Corn Bread

Sometimes I can still close my eyes and still see my Mom pouring that cornbread batter into that hot sizzling cast iron skillet. That was a sure sign that dinner was going to be on the table soon. She usually had two big skillets going at the same time. One would be in the oven with cornbread and the other would be on top of the stove with fried chicken. fried potatoes, smothered pork chops or whatever she decided to make that night. I still have that old skillet and I cherish it as if it were a fine piece of china. So did she.

Country Corn Bread

1 cup self rising cornmeal
1/2 cup self rising flour
3/4 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup bacon grease or oil for batter
2 tablespoons bacon grease for skillet
small can of Sweet Nib-lets Crisp corn or 1/2 cup sweet frozen corn

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour the 2 tablespoons bacon drippings (oil if you don't have bacon grease) in a cast iron skillet and place in the oven to heat. You want it sizzling hot when you are ready to pour in your batter.

Combine cornmeal, flour, buttermilk and eggs in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Stir in the 1/4 cup of bacon grease (or vegetable oil) and the corn kernels. Carefully remove hot skillet from oven and turn temperature down to 350 degrees. Pour your batter into the hot sizzling cast iron skillet. Bake for about 20 or until golden brown. Invert the cornbread pan over a plate.

*** Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Batter Dispenser

Batters can be messy with drips all over the papers and tins. I used to use a ice cream scoop or a big spoon before I bought this handy gadget. Now I get precisely the same amount of batter in each cup so that all my cupcakes and muffins and cakes are all uniform in size. I love this gadget! I use it for cakes and cupcakes and muffins too. I use it for my pancake batter too so that I get all the same size.

And there's no more mess! It has a quick and easy, soft grip, pull handle to dispense batter. It has a big 4 cup/1-liter capacity container with measure marks. So you get consistently sized cupcakes and muffing that will bake evenly. There's easy to read measurements on the side and it's easy to clean and store.

Remember, anything you buy through Welcome Home supports NO KILL Advocacy groups to save the lives of dogs and cats who are killed unnecessarily while they wait for their forever homes. So any purchase through my page goes to support a good cause.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cream Filled French Crullers

French Crullers are probably my favorite doughnut...well, second to a Krispy Kreme glazed that is just out of the oven and still warm. Warm doughnuts are so much I started making them at home and they are unbelievably easy. I found this recipe and made them and they turned out so light and airy. But something was missing...and since I was making them at home, I could do what I want, right? So I filled them with Bavarian Cream! And topped with a Star Fine Foods cherry! Now that's what I call a doughnut! Top that Krispy K! 

    Cream Filled French Crullers 

    1 cup water 
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter 
    2 teaspoons sugar 
    1/4 teaspoon salt 
    1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted 
    3 large eggs 
    2 egg whites, slightly beaten 
    vegetable oil for frying 

Combine butter, sugar, salt and water in a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan. Place over medium high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Stir in the flour all at once and continue stirring until the flour is completely mixed. Keep stirring over medium-high heat. When you see a thin film start to coat the bottom of the pan, the batter is ready. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to stir the dough for a minute to help it cool. Turn the mixer to medium speed and add one egg. Don’t add the next egg until the previous has been completely incorporated into the dough. Then add the egg whites a little bit at a time until the dough becomes smooth and glossy and holds a little shape (not much). Don't add to much egg white or the crullers will be heavy. 

Transfer the dough to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip. Fry the crullers in 2-inches (or more) of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. The oil should register 370°F. While the oil is heating, cut a dozen 3-x3-inch squares of parchment. Lightly grease the squares with vegetable oil on one side and pipe a ring of dough onto each of the squares. When the oil has reached temperature, carefully place a cruller, paper-side up, into the hot oil. Do this one at a time unless you like the idea of hot oil burns and other disasters. After a minute or so, I would use tongs and a sharp knife tip to gently peel the parchment off the cruller. When the cruller turns golden (about 2 minutes), flip it over and let it fry for another couple of minutes before removing it to drain on a cooling rack or paper towels. 

Bavarian Cream 

2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin 
1/2 cup cold water 
4 egg yolks 
1/2 cup white sugar 
1 pinch salt 
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 cups heavy cream 

In a small bowl, stir together the gelatin and cold water. Set aside to soften. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until smooth. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Pour the hot milk in a steady stream into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and pour the custard through a strainer. 

Stir in the softened gelatin and vanilla and stir to melt the gelatin. Allow to cool. When the mixture has cooled almost to room temperature, whip the heavy cream to medium stiffness and fold it into the custard. Split your puffs and fill with filling. Refrigerate for about an hour to set 

NOTE: Crullers can also be baked. Preheat oven to 450°F. Pipe crullers onto a parchment-lined baking sheet at least 2-inches apart. Bake for five minutes then reduce oven to 350°F and bake another 15 minutes. Turn off heat, open the oven door a crack, and let crullers sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Makes about a dozen. 

Photographs are copyrighted and the property of Welcome Home. 

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Classic Cream Puff

You remember...when we were all little, it was always so much fun to get a dessert with lots of whipped cream and that cherry on top. Well who says we've outgrown that? But not just any many today are so artificial and almost bitter. That's why I only use Star Fine Foods Cherries for my desserts. Here is a classic cream puff filled with decadent whipped cream and dusted ever so lightly with powdered sugar...and the perfect ending...a cherry on top!

Classic Cream Puff

1-cup water
1/2-cup butter
1-cup all-purpose flour
1/4-teaspoon salt
4 eggs

powdered sugar for dusting

In a saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour and salt all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Drop by rounded teaspoonful about 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove puffs to wire racks. Immediately cut a slit in each for steam to escape. Cool. Split puffs and add filling.

Cream Filling

1 pint heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat cream and sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Fill cream puff as much as you want!

Photographs are copyrighted and the property of Welcome Home

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This Child Is Different

This Child Is Different
She is beautiful. She isn't white. She isn't black. She isn't Asian or Hispanic. She is of all these nationalities. She is different. I choose this picture to make a point and to support my efforts to stop racism and bigotry in this country.

Her mother is a black woman born in Ohio. Her father is white man born in California. Her grandmother on her mother's side is a native American Indian born in Wyoming.

Her grandfather on her father's side is Japanese, born in Hawaii. Her great grandmother is Jewish, an immigrant from Germany. Her great grandfather is a Roman Catholic from South America.

So does that mean no one hates her because she is a part of every race? Or does it mean all races hate her because she doesn't belong to any specific one. Would it be hard to find the right hate group for this little girl? Because she is different and not like any of the rest of us.

We need to end bigotry and racism in America....because God made us in many different colors. We are all his children regardless of what color our skin or our beliefs or who we love.
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Motherless Daughters

“When a daughter loses a mother, the intervals between responses to grief lengthen over time, but the longing never disappears. It always hovers right at the edge of awareness, prepared to surface at any time, in any place, and in the leastexpected ways.”

"I am fooling only myself when I say that my mother exists now only in the photographs on my desk or in my albums, or in the outline of my hand or in the armful of memories I still hold tight. She lives on in everything I say and do. Her presence influences who I was and her absence influences who I am."

“There is an emptiness inside of me -- a void that will never be filled. No one in my life will ever love me as my mother did. There is no love as pure, unconditional and strong as a mother's love. And I will never be loved that way again.”

“I truly believe that the death of my mother has made me the way I am today. I am a survivor, mentally strong, determined, strong willed, self-reliant, and independent. But I also keep most of my pain and anger inside because I refuse to be vulnerable to anyone."

Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss by Hope Edelman
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Monday, March 24, 2014

♥ Ham Salad

What's for lunch today? Well I see some leftover ham...not enough to make a whole meal but perfect for just a ham sandwich...maybe a ham salad sandwich for a change. Yum!

Ham Salad

2 cups diced ham, (remove any hard rind)

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Dukes or Hellmann's)
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 hard boil eggs, chopped (optional)

Pulse ham in bowl of food processor until coarsely chopped, about ten one second pulses. If you don't have a food processor, you will want to finely chop your ham. Combine mayonnaise, relish, mustard, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add ham and mix. Serve chilled with crackers or on a sandwich roll with lettuce. 

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bacon Turkey Wrap

 Who doesn't love a good wrap now and then? Wonderful pinwheels stuffed with whatever you decide to create. This one is unique in that I added a surprise instead of mayonnaise and it turned out delicious!

Bacon Turkey Wrap

1 Tortilla wrap
Romaine lettuce or baby spinach leaves
Ripe tomato
Thick sliced turkey Breast;
slice or two of Swiss or Monterrey Jack Cheese
2 slices cooked bacon
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons strawberry cream cheese

Mix together the mayonnaise and cream cheese until well blended. 

Lay out tortilla on parchment paper spread on mayo mixture. Then layer the lettuce first, followed by bacon slices, then turkey, then cheese and finally your tomato slices. Roll into log and slice in half or in pieces and serve.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

People see God everyday.

"People see God everyday. They just don't recognize Him."

~Pearl Bailey

Photo Source: Galina Jacyna
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♥ Lobster Ravioli in a Lobster Cream Sauce

You ask where I've been this afternoon? I started craving pasta as I was posting them earlier today so I decided to go make some. This will be my dinner tonight with a nice salad and a loaf of crusty Italian bread. Keep in mind, you can buy frozen ravioli and make this recipe, but I felt adventurous today and made my own. Once you realize how easy it is to make your own ravioli, you will keep on making them. This one's a keeper my friends!

Lobster Ravioli in a Lobster Cream Sauce

Homemade Ravioli (or frozen 15 ounce bag of Lobster Ravioli)

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 whole eggs (beaten)
2 egg yolks (save the whites for another recipe)

Place the flour in a mound on a smooth work area and make a well in the center. Pour the 2 beaten eggs and the two egg yolks in the middle of the well. Then slowly bring the flour into your eggs until every thing is mixed well. Next knead the dough by hand, and add more flour if you need in order to get a smooth consistency. Cut the dough in half and roll out each half very thin. Continue to roll out as many sheets as you can get from your dough.

Lay out the first piece of pasta dough on the table and place 1/4-ounce mounds of stuffing 2 inches apart. Using a pastry brush, brush egg white around each bit of stuffing, making the dough damp but not wet. Take the second piece of dough and lay on top of stuffing. Press around each ravioli being careful not to squeeze the stuffing out. Using a round ravioli cutter with jagged edges, cut each ravioli round and lay on a sheet of parchment paper until ready to boil. Gently place ravioli in boiling water and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

Lobster Ravioli Filling (again you can buy frozen lobster ravioli)

2 ounces unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
2 cups cooked and finely chopped lobster meat (I get mine at Costco)
pinch of salt
pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of fine bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped chives
one large whole egg, slightly beaten

In a large sauté pan, add the butter and melt. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté until golden brown. Add lobster meat, breadcrumbs, and chives and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes or until room temperature. Follow directions above to fill and cook your ravioli.

Lobster Cream Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic (smashed or crushed)
1 tablespoon shallots, chopped fine
1/2 cup cooked lobster meat, chopped
1/2 cup good quality dry white wine (or use chicken broth)
1 pint heavy cream
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. salt

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute for three minutes until soft. Add the wine or chicken broth and heavy cream. Cook for 12 minutes over medium low heat. Add the salt and parsley and stir. Add the cooked ravioli to the sauce and let cook together for about 1 minute before serving.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookies

What is better than a chocolate chip cookie? A chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookie!

Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter (at room temp)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter and sugars in a mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla, making sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix on low until everything is incorporated.

Chill the dough in the refrigerate for 2 hours. Scoop out a 1/4 cup size of dough and roll it into a ball. Roll it around in some Chocolate Chips and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place 6 cookies on a sheet since they will spread due to their size. Bake for 12-14 minutes until just slightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let rest on the baking sheet. They might look a little under baked in the middle but they will continue to bake when removed from the oven.

Chocolate Dip

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons shortening

In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on High 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted; stir until smooth. Dip half of each cooled cookie into melted chocolate. Place on waxed paper until chocolate is set.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home. 
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Oatmeal Raisin Macadamia Nut Cookies

So what's your idea of the perfect cookie? I like my cookies thick and chewy. Soft on the inside with just the slightest bit of crisp all around the outside rim. I like them warm...just out of the oven....with a cold glass of milk that you sip between each bite of cookie. I likes lots of extras...nuts, and raisins, and chips, oh my!

Oatmeal Raisin Macadamia Nut Cookies

1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups of rolled oats (quick oats will work)
1/2 cup raisins or currants
1/2 cup of macadamia nuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.

Whisk the flour baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until creamy and smooth. Then slowly add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins, and nuts and mix until well combined.

Drop scoops of dough on your baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Cookies will be brown and slightly crispy around the edges. Let the cookies sit for a minute or two before transferring them to your cooling rack.

  Photographs are copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Deep Fried Shrimp

I love shrimp baskets when I order carryout. I like making my own at home even more because I can choose my bread coating and of course you always get more when you make them yourself! Tender succulent shrimp with a light crispy breading makes the perfect bite! I like to butterfly my shrimp first so that they lay flat and don't curl up when you fry them. Here's how you do that.

First rinse and drain your shrimp. Then peel them but leave the tails on. To butterfly a shrimp you simply make an incision on the back of the shrimp following the curve of the back. Remove the vein that runs along side and then gently lay out the shrimp out flat on a baking sheet. It's just that simple.

Deep Fried Shrimp

1 lb large shrimp, shelled and butterflied
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning (optional)
3 cups vegetable or Peanut oil

Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning. Heat the oil on medium high heat in a deep and heavy pot or skillet until the oil sizzles. Dredge the shrimp in flour and then dip in the egg mixture. Then dredge in flour a second time and shake off the excess. Then dip the floured shrimp back in the egg mixture a second time and dredge in Panko bread crumbs. I usually put my Panko in a Ziplock and then add my shrimp and shake it to coat evenly.

Carefully fry the shrimp for about 3 minute or until it turns golden brown. Don't crowd your pot or skillet. Fry in batches for best results. Drain golden brown shrimp on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Serve hot with cocktail sauce.
Chunky Cocktail Sauce

1 (14-1/2 ounce can) diced tomatoes with onions, undrained
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home. Please feel free to share by ONLY using the Share button that Facebook has provided. Do not download my photo and recipe.
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Corned Beef and Cabbage



Monday is St. Paddy's Day. I'm not Irish...I don't even see any of that nationality in my mostly Native American ancestry....but just like my Mom, I make my corned beef and cabbage every year to celebrate the Irish on St. Patricks Day. You might have your own special way of making it, but I follow her simple recipe using a bottle of beer and my CrockPot (she used a dutch oven) and it comes out amazing!

Corned Beef and Cabbage

1 (4 pound) corned beef with season packet
1 (12 ounce) bottle Stout Beer
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 medium head of cabbage, cut into wedges
6 small potatoes, or larger potatoes halved
1 medium onion, cut into ½-inch chunks
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 large bay leaf
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper corns

Place onions and potatoes in the bottom of your Crockpot. Add in bay leaves, pepper corns, and Dijon mustard. Pour beer and chicken stock in.

Use paper towels, pat the corned beef and absorb any moisture. Then with your hands, rub the corned beef with the brown sugar and 1/2 of the seasoning packet that came with it.

Cover and cook on low setting 6 hours. Add cabbage wedges and remaining seasoning from packet and continue cooking another 2 hours, or until beef and cabbage are tender. Remove beef, potatoes, and vegetables to a platter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

NOTE: If you would prefer not to use beer, follow the same recipe but substitute 4 cups of apple juice.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

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Homemade Deep Fried Mozzarella Sticks

I saw a recipe for mozzarella sticks on the food channel a few years ago and decided to make home made versus buying those frozen kind in a bag or box. Now I will never make them any other way. The trick is to freeze your cheese before frying it and to get your oil the right temperature. Nothing like the frozen ones you buy...these are so much better!

Homemade Deep Fried Mozzarella Sticks
1 cup Italian-style dried breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (16-ounce) blocks pasteurized mozzarella cut into 4 by 1/2-inch sticks
4 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil or peanut oil
4 cups Marinara Sauce, recipe follows

Stir together the bread crumbs, 1 cup of Parmesan and the salt. Dip the cheese sticks in the eggs to coat completely and allow the excess egg to drip back into the bowl. Roll the cheese in the bread crumb mixture, patting to adhere and coat completely. Then repeat the process a second time for each stick. Cover and place in freezer for about 2 hours or until frozen.

Take cheese sticks out of the freezer and repeat last coating of egg and bread crumb mixture. Do not thaw cheese first. Put back in the freezer for about an hour.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat to at least 325 degrees. If you oil is not hot enough, it will not bubble and sizzle when you drop the sticks in. If it is too hot the cheese will ooze out before they have fried on the outside. So keep your oil hot by frying only a few sticks at a time...maybe 8 or so.

Working in batches, fry the cheese until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the fried cheese to plates. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve with the Marinara Sauce.

Marinara Sauce (recipe from The Food Network)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
2 (32 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves

In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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