Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

By Dr. Linda Mitchell

This morning when my big husky dog stepped out into the snow for the first time in his life, he looked at me and howled…before running back into the house. I laughed as I gathered snow while he watched from the doorway. When he did venture back outside it was almost on tiptoe and slowly as though exploring a new planet. I remember how I felt as a little girl on the rare occasions when we’d have enough snow to make snow cream. It almost always combined with getting out of school so maybe that shaded my recollection a bit. Today’s tasted awesome even without the get-out-of-school perk. I had it with a side of chocolate chips. I’ve included the recipe since with this crazy weather we may have more opportunities for this infrequent treat. When the weather gets cold I crank up my crock pots. I have two because I usually want to do an entrée and a desert to go along with it. There’s just not an easier way to prepare a meal than this.

Back yard Snow Cream

1 bowl (about 6 cups) of fresh snow, not the icy stuff.

1 cup milk

½ cup cream

¼ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon REAL vanilla extract

Mix everything together and eat immediately before it melts.

Note: you can change the flavor slightly by substituting a flavored coffee creamer for the vanilla flavoring. Serve with a side of chocolate chips or top with crumbled Oreos.

Red Hot Apple Butter

(this is great stuff to eat with biscuits, toast points, or waffles or as a topper for Brie)

11-12 apples ( I use various kinds, usually whatever I have on hand)

½ cup apple cider

¾ cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

¼ teaspoon each ground cloves, nutmeg and salt

¾ cup brown sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons red hot candies (optional)

Core and quarter the washed apples. Do not peel. Place in a slow cooker. Mix together other ingredients and sprinkle over the apples. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or overnight. Apple butter will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or so. This recipe freezes well also.

Note: If you want the apple butter thicker, you can continue to cook it on low with the lid of the slow cooker slightly ajar so that steam can escape.

Apple Butter Yeast Rolls (In the crock pot-unbelievable)

2 ½ teaspoons dry active yeast (1 packet)
1/2 cup warm water
3 Tablespoons sugar
½ cup apple butter
1 egg
1 ½ teaspoons salt
4 cups bread flour
4 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar (optional)

Place the warm water (just barely over luke-warm, too hot will kill the yeast) and sugar in the mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it foam for 10 minutes. Add the apple butter, egg and salt. Slowly add the flour and then the butter. Knead the dough with your hands. Add more flour if needed. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and divide into four parts. From each quarter make 6 balls. You should have about 24 total. Line the slow cooker with parchment paper. Place 12 balls in the slow cooker on the parchment paper and place the lid on the cooker.(Place remaining dough balls in a covered container in the refrigerator for later cooking.)

Sprinkle the rolls with a little brown sugar. Turn the slow cooker on high and “bake” for 60-90 minutes. Rolls should feel firm when tapped.

Tres Leches Bread Pudding

(Tres Leches means three milk-as you will see in the recipe)

Nonstick spray for the slow cooker

2 ¼ cups whole milk

1 (14 oz ) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

½ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon each salt, ground cinnamon

9 egg yolks

1 loaf bread, cut or torn into small pieces (challah bread works well for this)

¾ cups chopped nuts, toasted

Coat the inside of a slow cooker with nonstick spray. Line the inside with aluminum foil for easy removal, letting some foil overhand for handles if you want to avoid cleanup.

Whisk together the whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and egg yolks. Toss in the cubed bread nuts and mix well. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker, cover and cook on low until the center of the bread pudding is set, about 4 hours. Use the foil handles to lift the bread pudding from the slow cooker. Drizzle individual servings with your choice of sauce and top with whipped cream.

Sauce recipes follow:

Cinnamon Sugar Sauce

¾ cup sugar

1 stick butter

½ cup buttermilk

1 Tablespoon corn syrup

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, buttermilk, corn syrup, vanilla and cinnamon and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and slowly add the baking soda. The sauce will bubble up, but just keep stirring ( I use a whisk) until it begins to thicken. It thickens more as it cools.

Lemon Sauce

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch salt
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoon butter
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
3 tablespoon lemon juice

In saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt; gradually stir in water. Boil, stirring constantly (I use a whisk), 5 minutes or until thickened. Add rest of ingredients.