White Cream Puffs

This recipe is one that has been used in my family for as long as I can remember.  As a child, my mom would make these cream puffs for her bridge club nights.  She’d make the cream puffs, cut off the tops and fill them with vanilla ice cream, then frost them with some chocolate before serving them to her honored guests.  Occasionally, we’d be given one of these treats before the ladies arrived and they always looked so incredibly elegant.  What a gift to find out, years later, that this was a simple recipe that I could share with my own guests… and now I get to share that gift with you!WhiteCreamPuffs

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups boiling water (I like to use 2/3 cup water and 1/3 cup white wine)
  • 1/2 cup butter (don’t skimp… butter is the only way to go here)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs

Directions:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the water/wine with the butter and bring to a boil.  Once melted and fully boiling, add the flour/salt at once and stir, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough is smooth.
  2. Remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.  Drop by teaspoons onto 2 greased cookie sheets (or baking sheets lined with parchment), shaping dough to peak in center and round out on the bottom.  Place dough 2″ apart.
  3. Bake in preheated 375* oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350*  and bake for an additional 25 minutes.  Cool and fill.  Freeze or use immediately.

These cream puffs make a lovely dessert – slice off the top of the puff, fill with softened ice cream and replace the top, then frost with a bit of chocolate.  My Red Fudge Sauce is fabulous with this dessert (as seen in the photo), but you can use whatever sauce you like best.

Another alternative would be to fill the puffs with a small amount of my Nutty Chicken Salad and serve for a fancy luncheon. You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to using these cream puffs!  Enjoy!

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Recipe: Red & White Stir Fry Salad

Here’s a recipe PLUS a bonus!  Each part of this recipe deserves it’s own post, but since they are connected, I decided to post them together.  It’s a recipe for “stir fry” AND a chicken salad recipe…in one recipe!RedNWhiteStirfrySalad

I was trying something new… I wanted to make a shrimp stir fry, but wondered how it might work if I tried to “bake” the ingredients for a stir fry.  To do this, I sliced a pound of de-shelled shrimp length-wise and used them to cover the bottom of a 9×9 pan.  I sprinkled a  package of slaw (the kind with shredded cauliflower and broccoli) over the shrimp and then made a sauce of hoisin sauce, red wine, garlic, ginger, and a little cornstarch (for thickening) to pour over the entire pan.  I covered the pan with foil and allowed it to bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  A package of microwave brown rice finished off my first meal nicely (see top right-hand photo).  While the technique was unconventional, it was a great way to make a simple dinner without standing beside the stove top.

The second half of this recipe (the “Salad” portion) came about from my need to use up the half-cup of leftover stir fry.  I had a chicken breast in the fridge that also needed to be used, so I decided to try putting everything together to make a chicken-shrimp stir fry salad sandwich.  Weird, but it really was tasty.  I combined the following ingredients: leftover stir fry, one diced chicken breast, one diced stalk of celery, a small palmful of craisins, some mayo, white wine, salt and pepper.  I mixed everything until it was well combined, adding either mayo or white wine, depending on the desired texture, and then put the mixture on some toasted low-calorie bread to make a sandwich.  The threads of veggies from the stir-fry provided some interesting texture in the salad, but it was a great mix and the bits of leftover stir fry sauce added some zing to the flavor.  It was definitely a great way to use up leftovers in my fridge.

I hope this set of recipes gives you some ideas of ways to re-use foods in your own fridge.  Using red wine in the stir fry and white wine in the chicken salad was a fun inspiration as well… see what you can create when you go beyond the traditional and let your creative juices flow!

Recipe: Nutty Chicken Salad with Chardonnay

I love when a simple idea comes together to create a delicious and fairly healthy meal.  I had a roasted chicken in the fridge this week and needed to bring something to work for lunch… what came from those two separate ideas was a recipe that I will be repeating often.  Seriously, it’s *that* good.

NuttyChickenChardSalad

I started by cutting up some chicken breast – literally, I cut a portion of chicken breast off of the roasted chicken, diced it, and put it in a bowl.  I then diced two small scallions and added them to the mixture.  I emptied a mini box of raisins on top and added a handful of chopped walnuts and sunflower seeds.  The salad came together using a mixture of Miracle Whip light, a few spoons of non-fat, plain Greek yogurt, and some splashes of James River Cellars Chardonnay.  I seasoned it with salt, pepper, and a pinch of lemon thyme and let it sit overnight (or until lunchtime, whichever works for you.  Note:  Since I still have some dried lemon thyme in the cupboard from last summer, I like to add this anytime I want just a hint of that spice in a meal. 

When plating this salad, I certainly could have used any bread I had on hand or I could have used it to top some greens, if I didn’t want the bread at all.  Since we’d just been to the store,  I had a ciabatta roll in the pantry and used that for my lunch.  I actually had enough to make my own  lunch, plus share some with a co-worker, so that was a big plus in my book.   Feel free to play with this recipe and make it your own.

Alternative ingredients?  I’m sure it would be delicious with leftover turkey (yup, already planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner leftovers), and craisins would be a fun change from the raisins I used here.  I also will plan to add some celery to this recipe, but that’s not included here since I didn’t have any when I was making this particular recipe.  If you come up with any other fun ideas, feel free to let me know what you’ve used.  I love hearing about ways others make this recipe into something their family will love.

Have fun playing with your food!