Tag Archive | Ultra Gel

Simple Strawberry Topping with Ultra Gel

Recently I was asked what was the fastest way I knew to make a very fresh, easy strawberry topping. The person asking for the recipe knew about our recipe for Strawberry shortcake with kool-aid, sugar, and Ultra Gel but they wanted something simpler and something without the coloring.

So, for others who want a fast, easy topping here’s the way I do it.

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Simple Strawberry Topping with Ultra Gel

Wash, hull and slice 2 pounds of fresh strawberries. Toss with 1/4-1/2 cups sugar depending on how sweet you want it. Set aside for 20 minutes. What’s happening during that time is the sugar helping to draw moisture out of the berries, so you’ll get a nice juicy topping. Remove from the fridge and stir in 2-3 Tablespoons of Ultra Gel to reach your desired thickness. Pour over crepes, pancakes, waffles, or anywhere else you want a burst of fresh strawberry flavor. Keep topping in the fridge when not in use or if you have leftovers.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya with Ultra Gel

This year I’ve decided I want to come up with more recipes which use my slow cooker. I love the convenience of the slow cooker, and my sweet husband got me a new one at Christmas time which is even more fun. Part of what I love about this slow cooker is that, unlike my first slow cooker, it is programmable by temperature as well as setting a high or low slow cook. It has a very nice non-stick surface and I find if I tackle the dishes right after dinner just about everything cleans off easily.

This slow cooker Jambalaya recipe was the result of finding some nice spicy chicken sausage in the freezer that needed using. I also had chunked up chicken and veg on hand. Traditionally Jambalaya is a cajun dish that’s pretty much based out of cleaning out your meats and veggies, adding spice and pouring it over rice. Many versions of Jambalaya have seafood in them, but here in landlocked Utah I can’t always lay hands on excellent seafood, and chicken makes a pretty good stand in. You can make this as hot or not as you like by adding more cajun spices or a few extra shots of hot sauce, I like the Louisiana style.

Ultra Gel is a great ingredient when working with a slow cooker because we don’t have to heat everything to boiling in order to thicken it. We can just sprinkle the Ultra Gel on the top of the Jambalaya, stir it in and serve. It’s convenient and not forcing the vegetables to boil hard in order to thicken the stock means the vegetables stay in bigger chunks and taste amazing.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya with Ultra Gel

1 pound chicken chunks

1 pound spicy sausage, cut into piece (andoullie sausage is traditional and yummy)

1 medium onion, diced

1 bell pepper, chopped

3 stalks of celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1-2 cans diced tomatoes (I prefer the low sodium versions. I’ve also used 3 fresh tomatoes)

2 cups chicken broth

salt

pepper

1-3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

dash hot sauce

Ultra Gel

Combine all ingredients except for Ultra Gel in a large slow cooker. For additional flavor you can saute the onion, pepper, celery and carrot before adding to the mix. Slow cook for 4-6 hours on high. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Thicken with Ultra Gel and serve over rice.

This dish freeze well and will keep up to 6 months in the freezer.

*Shelled and deveined shrimp can be added in the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Homemade Pancakes with Ultra Gel

I love pancakes. When I was a little girl I remember finding a recipe for pancakes in a old cookbook. The cookbook was grey and fraying around the edges, and I used the recipe so often that I eventually memorized it. As yesterday was National Pancake day, or at least according to IHOP, I thought I’d share my recipe with you today.

I’ve adjusted the recipe a little over the years adding two key ingredients. I add a little bit of vanilla because yum, and some Ultra Gel because Ultra Gel helps to create a more tender pancake and makes it easy to freeze so you have pop up pancakes later! And really, who doesn’t love having breakfast breads on hand?

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Homemade Pancakes with Ultra Gel

2 cups flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

5 teaspoons baking powder

3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

Combine dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate container combine wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix just to combine. Cook pancakes by the 1/3rd cup on a hot (350 degree) griddle, flipping once. Serve with Cornaby’s Jams, Cornaby’s Syrups, Homemade Maple Syrup, or just eat as they are!

To Freeze: Arrange pancakes in layers separated with waxed paper in a gallon freezer bag. Freeze flat. Pop in the toaster to warm.

Cookie Hand Pies with Cornaby’s Jams

Lately I’ve been experimenting with things I can do with Cornaby’s newest gourmet jams. I love these jams, especially the apple pie and the cherry pie. They are delicious on toasts and in crepes, but I’ve wondered what else I could do with them. When I made some sugar cookies for Valentines, inspiration struck!

These Cookie Hand Pies are similar to thumbprint cookies but on a larger scale. They consist of two layers of sugar cookie dough, with a hole punched in the top layer which is then filled with Cornaby’s Jams. Now, I know one could argue that any jam would do for this, but it’s really not true. Cornaby’s Jams are unique in their formulation in that they include not only pectin, but heat stable starch. This means that unlike most jams Cornaby’s Jams don’t completely liquefy when they’re cooked. So in cookies and stuffed breads and other baked applications the jam stays put! And they’re delicious too!

Cookie Hand Pies with Cornaby’s Jams

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs

3 Tablespoons milk

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 cups flour (sifted)

Cream sugar, shortening and eggs and beat well. Blend in milk, Ultra Gel, vanilla and lemon extract. Combine dry ingredients and add to batter, stirring gently to avoid over beating. Add additional flour if needed to form a very soft dough. Roll 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with sugar and cut sets of circles, one bottom piece and one top piece with a shape cut out of it to make space for the jam. Align both layers of the cookie pie and press gently to seal. Fill the center with Cornaby’s Jams (My favorite for this is the blackberry raspberry, cherry pie or apple pie).

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes until cookies are golden brown and set. Move to a cooling rack to cool fully. If you like you can drizzle with a light glaze or buttercream icing!

Cut shapes in an oval to create hand pies for Easter! St. Patricks? No problem, just cut shamrocks. These cookie pies work for any holiday and are fun to make with the kids.

 

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Ultra Gel

Every evening I’m feeding a pretty full household. Teenagers, not toddlers, husbands, cats…the kitchen is always busy, and, let’s be honest, I like it that way. Usually. But sometimes I feel less inspired than others and I like having a file of easy go-tos which I add to upon occasion.

This is one such occasion and one such recipe. I love these Easy Chicken Enchiladas, and the power of Ultra Gel makes them even better. These Chicken Enchiladas are great with either chicken breasts or thighs, you just want a pile of cooked, boneless meat to start with and everything goes from there.

Because of the Ultra Gel these Chicken Enchiladas can be made days ahead of time and frozen, then baked for about an hour before dinner time. Viola! Easy, tasty, yum.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Ultra Gel

1 can (10-12 ounces) red enchilada sauce (You can make this, but this is the way easy version)

1 can (15 ounces) chicken broth (homemade will also work well here)

2-3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1-2 pounds cooked, diced boneless chicken

1/2 medium onion chopped

1-2 Tablespoons minced garlic

1/2-3/4 cups sour cream

1 small can diced green chiles

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 cups cheese

8-10 corn tortillas

In a small pan combine enchilada sauce, chicken broth, Ultra Gel and black pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 1 minute. Set aside.

In a medium pan combine 1 Tablespoon oil, chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook on medium heat until onion is transparent. Don’t over cook or garlic will burn. Add chicken, sour cream, green chiles and rinsed beans and mix until well combined and warmed through. Add salt and pepper and Ultra Gel.

Line the bottom of a 9×12 inch pan with 1 cup of the enchilada sauce. Place 2 Tablespoons chicken mixture in each tortilla and roll up. Place each roll into enchilada sauce in baking pan, seam side down. When pan is full cover all tortilla rolls with remaining enchilada sauce. If you want to freeze the batch cover with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of tin foil and move to the freezer. Otherwise, cover with cheese and bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees until bubbly and amazing.

For frozen batches: Remove from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Top with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes until cooked all the way through.

Refrigerator Lemon Rolls with Ultra Gel

January can sometimes be a hard time of year. It’s full of new beginnings, but also tend to be a little grey and cold and pregnant with that feeling that you’re really waiting for the new year to get started.

When I’m feeling this way one of the comfort foods I reach for are lemon rolls. I love this particular recipe for lemon rolls because it can be made and baked all in one day, or it can be refrigerated for up to five days after adding the first batch of flour. I’ve even been known to split the batch and bake some now and some later, and I love that flexibility!

Ultra Gel plays a leading roll in these rolls as it holds the moisture in the sponge (refrigerator state) stage and in the baked rolls to keep them soft longer. Use a fresh lemon in the lemon sugar for an amazing punch of flavor. Citrus is on sale this time of year and the lemons you get are fresh and just a little sweet and beautiful.

Refrigerator Lemon Rolls with Ultra Gel

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

1 cup hot water

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup soft butter

2 teaspoons salt

4 eggs

4 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 Tablespoons yeast

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 cup warm water

8-9 cups bread flour

Lemon filling:

1 cup sugar

grated rind of one lemon

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in 1/2 cup warm water and allow to proof for 10-15 minutes. Combine evaporated milk, hot water, sugar, butter and salt in a large bowl. Add 4 cups flour and mix well. Add eggs, Ultra Gel and yeast mixture and combine. At this point you can cover the sponge with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days. When ready to use (or immediately) remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Add additional flour until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough.

Let rise until double.

Divide into 4 portions and roll out as desired, filling with lemon filling or cinnamon and brown sugar. Shape as desired.

Let rise until doubled.

Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes.

Top with powdered sugar icing.

Christmas Chocolate Orange Cookies with Ultra Gel

So today I was totally going to talk about some Christmas candy recipes – which I’ll still do this week – but the hubs needed some cookies to take into work and I worked up this Christmas Chocolate Orange recipe. It’s a fantastic recipe that tastes so much like the chocolate oranges many of us get or give on Christmas mornings. And you can even chunk up said chocolate orange to go into the batter for even more punch.
These were a hit at work and around the house, and would be a great Christmas cookie for exchange or setting out for Santa. Right by the Gingerbread Cookies! You can never have too many you know.
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Christmas Chocolate Orange Cookies

2 cups butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 package dark morsels*

1 package mini semi sweet morsels

4-5 drops orange oil

1-2 Tablespoons milk (if needed)

Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add cocoa powder and Ultra Gel and beat to incorporate. Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and mix into creamed mixture a little at a time. Fold in chocolate and orange oil. Depending on how precise you measure you may need a little milk to get to the proper consistency. Don’t over beat.

Preheat oven to 350. Scoop dough by tablespoons onto a baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes. They’ll be puffy and dry to the touch. Move to a cooling rack for 2-3 minutes before consuming. Otherwise you’ll burn your tongue. 🙂

*A dark chocolate orange cut into tiny pieces can be used here and is excellent.