Food by the Howells for the Howells...

Food by the Howells for the Howells...and anybody remotely related to a Howell, or who may have met a Howell at one point in their life, or...yeah, pretty-much anybody.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Peanut Brittle

My holiday standard. Raw spanish peanuts can be bought in bulk at Sprouts to cut down on the cost. (I use about 40 pounds of nuts.)

2 cups sugar
1 cup Karo light syrup
2 cups raw Spanish peanuts
2 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup water

Bring water to a boil on med/high heat. Remove and add sugar and karo syrup.
Bring to a boil. Add peanuts. Stir constantly. Put in candy thermometer and cook to 295 degrees on medium to medium/high heat. When 295 degrees remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Quickly stir in soda. Pour out onto two buttered cookie sheets. Break into pieces when cooled.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Strawberry Fresh Pie

I know Fall is coming on and this is really a summer dessert, but strawberries were a reasonable price here last week, so I got some and made this. It was so delicious and refreshing. I try to avoid making actual pie crusts whenever possible, so I opted for the graham cracker crust. However, I discovered we didn't have any graham crackers, so I used gingersnaps instead. It was super tasty! I just pulverized them and drizzled melted butter over them and baked for 10 minutes.

1 3-oz. package strawberry jello
1 3-oz. package cook-n-serve vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 cups water
8 oz. container whipped topping
pie shell or graham-cracker-crumb-lined dish
1 clam-shell of strawberries, sliced

Mix together first 4 ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. When cooled, add all or most of container of whipped topping and sliced strawberries. Mix and pour into pie shell. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Melissa's World-famous Broccoli Salad

Every time I make this salad and take it to a function, it gets rave reviews. I once took it to a wedding reception, and the groom said that instead of congratulating them on their marriage, people were asking who made the broccoli salad!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vinegar
2-3 bunches broccoli, chopped into small florettes
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup raisins or craisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp bacon bits, or 3 strips of cooked, crumbled bacon

Mix the first three ingredients together in a bowl and let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad. After adding the rest of the ingredients (I always just estimate the amount of craisins, onions, walnuts and bacon), mix everything together and refrigerate for at least an hour. This is very important. If you serve this salad immediately, the sugar in the dressing will still be grainy. It needs an hour to dissolve. The dressing starts out goopy-looking, but should turn milky in an hour. Stir before serving.

French Dip, or Roast For All Occasions

This is a recipe in our ward cookbook, and every time I have made it, I have just fallen in love all over again. I'm not a fan of the whole dip-bread-in-broth thing (can't stand soggy bread) but this meat is so great and can be just sliced and paired with mashed potatoes. I have used the leftovers with stir-fry and on top of taco salad. Try it the next time you make a roast. You won't be disappointed!

3-4 pound roast, trimmed of all visible fat (bottom or rump roast works best)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cube beef boullion
1 bay leaf
3-4 peppercorns
1/2 tsp ground rosemary (or 1 tsp crushed)
1 tsp garlic powder
Kaiser rolls

Place roast in crock pot. In separate bowl, mix rest of ingredients. Pour over the roast and add enough water to just cover the meat. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, or on low for 8-12 hours depending on the size of the roast. Serve on rolls and use juices for dipping.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hot Chocolate Buffet

I'd like to think it's Fall, but the temperatures here in Maryland are still in the high 70's. This is a recipe for a hot chocolate 'buffet'. Good for get togethers on cold days. Maybe if I post it, Fall will come sooner...

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated!!!)
2 quarts milk
1 tablespoon Vanilla

  • Mint chocolate chips
  • crushed candy cane/peppermint candies
  • little cookies
  • whipped cream
  • marshmellows
  • anything else that goes well with hot chocolate


  1. Chop unsweetened chocolate into chocolate-chip sized pieces.
  2. Combine unsweetened chocolate, chocolate chips, and sweetened condensed milk in slow cooker. Mix well.
  3. Cover, cook on high for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until chocolate is melted.
  4. Stir in 2 cups of milk, whisk until mixture is smooth. Add the rest of the milk and vanilla.
  5. Cover, cook on high for another 2 hours or until hot.
  6. Before serving, stir mixture again with wire whisk, reduce heat setting to low.
NOTES: Keep lid on the cooker when serving. This will keep a film from forming on the hot chocolate.