Thursday, December 9, 2010

Flood Icing Cookies

I've been wanting to try this style of icing because Bridget at Bake at 350 made her cookies look so awesome on her blog.....WOW....way too time consuming and the frosting is only royal frosting so the flavor of the cookie has to be awesome b/c the frosting is not great (edible, but not desirable). They did look neat when they dried...not as cool as the one's on Bake at 350, but I tried it and don't think that I will be doing them again anytime soon (if at all), but just in case, here's the link...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Almond Roca

I'm not much of a candy maker, but I thought I'd try this recipe out. It was pretty easy and tasted pretty good. John really liked it.Recipe from: Simply Recipes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 lb butter (2 sticks - NO substitutes!)
  • 1/2 lb. slivered almonds (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Method

Do not attempt to make this on a humid or rainy day. Do not double the recipe, make one batch at a time.

1 Melt butter with sugar, syrup and water in a pan (such as a large non-stick frying pan) on medium to medium-high temperature. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon. When butter is melted, add the almonds.

2 When mixture comes to a rolling boil, set your timer for a minimum of 10 minutes and keep stirring (no more than 15 minutes). The mixture will thicken and turn darker in color. The almonds will roast. Keep stirring and cooking until 300 degrees. (If you don't cook it long enough it will not harden)

3 When the mixture crackles, pour the mixture out onto a large cookie sheet and spread it as thin as possible with a fork. While it is still hot, sprinkle chocolate chips over the almond mixture and let them melt. Spread it evenly on the top.

4 Let it cool to room temperature. When cool you can lift the whole thing off the pan and break into small pieces.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Monster Cookies

My whole family loves monster cookies and I love that this recipe was cut down to a smaller batch. Recipe from: The Farm Girl

3 eggs
1 c. plus 2 T. brown sugar, packed
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 t. vanilla
1 t. light corn syrup
2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 c. peanut butter
4 1/2 c. oatmeal
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. plain M&Ms

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl beat eggs, butter and sugars together for 1 minute. Add
vanilla, corn syrup, baking soda and peanut butter, and mix well. Using a wooden spoon, stir in oatmeal, chocolate chips and M&Ms. Stir thoroughly.

2. Drop by tablespoon (a medium scoop is perfect for this) on un-greased cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and let sit for 2 minutes on baking sheet and then cool completely on cooling rack. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Creamy No Bake Peanut Butter Pie


This pie was really rich, but very good. It was a great way to use up some of our trick-or-trick candy. I shared this with several people to spread the calories around :)
Recipe from: Mommy's Kitchen

2 - 8oz packages Kraft Philadelphia - Cream Cheese, softened
1 - cup sugar
2/3 - cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 - cup whipped topping
14 - peanut butter cups,divided
1 c- chocolate crumb crust (9 inches) I used a Oreo crust

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Fold in whipped topping. Coarsely chop half of the peanut butter cups; stir into cream cheese mixture. Spoon into crust. Quarter remaining peanut butter cups; arrange over the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Easy Pizza Pasta Casserole

A little twist on pizza. We really liked it...serve it up with a big green salad. YUM!Recipe from: food.com
  • 1 cup cooked ground sausage
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 quart spaghetti sauce
  • 8 ounces rotini pasta, cooked and drained
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • sliced pepperoni

Cook garlic in a little olive oil. Stir in pasta, spaghetti sauce and 1 cup cheese. Place mixture in a greased 9x13x2 inch baking pan. (I used my round corningware pan) Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Top with pepperoni. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until heated through.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chicken Fajita Crescent Braid

Sometimes when I do my couponing, I get Pillsbury Crescent rolls for really cheap and can use them to do some quick meals when I need them. I needed a quick meal and found I had all of the ingredients to make this one with minimal effort (at least I didn't think it was too much work) The flavor was great. Serve this up with a big green salad. Yum. Sorry this is a poor picture:

John's Rating: 8 ("almost 9")

Recipe from: food.com

1
(8 ounce)
can Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated flaky dough sheet
2 small boneless chicken breasts, cut into small strips
1
teaspoon chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped (I used dried)
1/4 cup salsa (I used my canned salsa and I think I used more than the 1/4 cup)
2 cups monterey jack cheese
1 Heat oven to 375°F. Spray cookie sheet. Unroll dough onto cookie sheet (I used my pampered chef bar pan); press to 8x12 inches.

In 10-inch skillet, add chicken; stir in chili powder, salt and garlic; cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper strips; cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink in center and vegetables are crisp-tender.

Spoon chicken mixture in 4-inch strip lengthwise down center of dough. Top with salsa; sprinkle with cheese. With scissors or sharp knife, make cuts 1 inch apart on long sides of dough within 1/2 inch of filling. Alternately cross strips over filling; press edges to seal.

*Can brush top with
Brush with egg white. (I did not)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

This is another great way to get John to eat some green beans. It makes a great side dish and is super easy to put together. I served this as a side dish on Thanksgiving last year and plan on making it again this year.

Recipe from: Kraft Foods

2 pkg. (16 oz each) frozen green beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz Velveeta cheese, thinly sliced or cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/4 cup butter
1 pkg. (6 oz) Stove Top Stuffing

Heat oven to 350.

Combine beans and soup. Top with velveeta.

Put water and butter in a bowl and microwave until butter has melted. Stir in stuffing mix until moist. Spoon over bean mixture.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through.

**You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Just add a few minutes to the bake time. (Great for Thanksgiving!!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Herbed Turkey

I loved the flavor of this Turkey....I will definetly be making it this way again!! It was really good to eat the garlic on top of the turkey as well. I served mine with some garlic herbed potatoes and garlic tender green beans. I'm looking forward to using the leftovers :)

1 turkey
1/2 cup butter
1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 to 1/3 cup dried Rosemary

Soften butter and mix in garlic and Rosemary.

Rinse turkey and place in roasting bag. Carefully separate the skin from the meat and spread butter mixture between the skin and meat.

Seal bag, punture 6 holes and bake at 350 until done.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Coconut Cream Pie

This is the best coconut cream pie! Mmmm....

Recipe from: Favorite Family Recipes

1 1/2 c. half-and-half
1 1/2 c. coconut milk (a little less than 1 can)
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. flaked coconut, toasted
1 tsp coconut (or vanilla) extract
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked

Topping:
Ok...I know it's strange, but I don't like the homemade whipped cream, so I just used Cool Whip, so if you want the recipe for the real stuff...click here.

In a medium saucepan, combine half-and-half, coconut milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to a boil over LOW heat (using a double-boiler works best), whisking constantly. When it starts to boil a little bit and thickens up to about the consistency of a thick pudding, remove from heat. Stir in 3/4 cup of the coconut and the coconut (or vanilla) extract. Pour into pie shell and chill for 2 to 4 hours, or until firm. While pie is cooling, whip together topping ingredients with electric beaters. When pie is completely cooled, top with whipped topping and sprinkle on remaining toasted coconut.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fresh Tortillas

It's sure nice to be able to make tortillas for dinner that are fresh tasting and don't require a special trip to the store.


Recipe from: food.com

2 cups flour (you can get creative with your flour choices like whole wheat, spelt, soy, or a mixture of flours)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening or 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola oil)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup warm water (may possibly need to add more, up to 3/4 cup) or 1/2 cup milk (may possibly need to add more, up to 3/4 cup) (I used water)

Sift the flour, salt & baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Into the dry ingredients cut in the shortening, or add oil if you are using this option, & mix to combine. Add the milk or water, working the liquid into the dough until a sticky ball forms.

Wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8-10 balls (for small tortillas) or 6-8 balls for larger ones, cover them again with the damp cloth.

Lightly dust a counter or pastry board w/flour & roll out each ball of dough into a circle or oval approximately 1/4" thick. If you want nicely rounded tortillas, trim off any ragged edges & discard. Don't roll the dough out more than once or the tortillas will be tough.

Heat a dry griddle or heavy skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Cook the tortillas 30 seconds on each side or until the dough looks dry & slightly wrinkled & a few brown spots form on both surfaces. Do not over cook or they will be hard.

Wrap each tortilla in a damp tea towel to keep warm as you cook the other tortillas. Place cooked ones wrapped in the damp towel in a low 200 oven to keep warm, while I am cooking the rest. Serve warm.~~.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Our Favorite Breadsticks

John said this is his "favorite" breadstick and my kids were all super excited about these as well. I loaded on the garlic, but we all loved it!
John's Rating: 9Recipe from: Favorite Family Recipes

1½ cups warm water

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. yeast


Let that sit for 5 minutes. Then add:

3½ cups flour

1 tsp Salt


Mix until smooth then let raise for 40 minutes. Roll out dough into a large square on a floured surface. Brush with melted (real) butter mixed with garlic (I think I used 6-8 cloves, finely chopped) and then sprinkle with kosher salt. Fold in half and cut into 1 inch strips. Twist and place on a cooking sheet. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes to raise. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately after baking, brush with more garlic butter and sprinkle with kosher salt and grated parmesan cheese.

Serve with marinara, alfredo sauce, or ranch for dipping.


*Dough also makes a great pizza dough, just roll out into a large circle, add your favorite toppings, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Oatmeal Scotchies

I really liked the pumpkin and the oatmeal in a cookie together, but I think I'd swap out choc. chips for the butterscotch chips next go round for my personal taste.


Recipe from: Make and Takes

1 1/4 cup cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Beat butter, sugar and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Next, add in pumpkin and mix until combined.

4. Slowly add in flour mixture. Stir in oats and butterscotch chips.

5. Drop dough by the tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are set and golden. Remove cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spider Web Dip

7 layer bean dip with a Halloween twist:

Candy Corn Cookies

A cute cookie fall, but it wasn't my favorite for taste. I think I would cook the cookies a shorter cook time and see if I liked them as a soft cookie...they were too crunchy for me. I served these at our "kids" party and they were gone in a flash.
Recipe from: Bake at 350
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c dutch-process cocoa (or regular unsweetened cocoa)
  • About 36 candy corns
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment.

Beat/stir the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in the egg yolk, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Add flour & cocoa, and mix until a dough forms.

Scoop out level teaspoons (a measuring teaspoon, not a cereal teaspoon) of dough, and place balls on baking sheets, 2 inches apart. (It looks like too little dough for each cookie, but it works.) Roll into balls.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are firm and cookies are dry to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes.

{While these are baking, start going through the bag of candy corn to find 36 good ones. You'll want to work quickly when they come out of the oven and it is very frustrating to keep grabbing broken candy corns. Trust me on this.}

Remove from oven; gently press a candy corn into center of each cookie (surface of cookies may crack slightly). The candy corns will stick once the cookies heat them up..they seem like they will fall off at first, don't worry.

Cool on sheets 1 minute; transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Shaped Pizzas

By simply using some cookie cutters and cutting your pizza dough with them...you can surprise your kiddos with something like this for dinner:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yummy Chicken Pizza

I can't find where I got this recipe...or what the actual name is, but it is different and very good. This makes 2 pizzas...but it's good so 2 nights in a row we ate it :)

John's Rating: 8

2 large prepared pizza crust (1 batch of this dough...made into 2 crusts)
Sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon jalapeno, diced
Chicken
4 chicken breasts
Poultry seasoning
Toppings
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
canned corn, to taste
green onion
cheese, of choice (I used Mozz.)

Directions
Sprinkle chicken with seasoning. Cook until chicken is done, turning once.
While chicken is cooking, prepare sauce (I blended mine in my VitaMix) and spoon over pizza crust.
Next put a thin layer of selected cheese.
Slice chicken and distribute evenly over crust.
Add onions, peppers, corn and a little more cheese.
Bake on hot pizza stone at 425 until edges are browned and cheese is all melted.
Top with green onion.

Candy Corn Rice Krispy Treats

I was thinking about making a little treat to bring to our last VT appt for this month, when I saw these posted at A Little Tipsy love how cute these look!
So long story short: or you can go to her blog and get step by step instructions...
Make Rice Krispy Treats:
10 oz bag mini marshmallows
3 Tbsp butter
6 cups Rice Krispies

Do you really need the directions?? *If you want them to look more orange in the middle, use some food coloring in the melted marshmallow before adding it to the rice krispies. Shape them in a pie dish (I used my round corningware dish) Let them sit for a few hours. Then you can cut them with a pizza cutter, getting 8 triangles. Dip the ends in chocolate:

Monday, October 25, 2010

CinnaBun Pancakes

These pancakes were AWESOME (and a big hit at my house!) It's like a cinnamon roll in pancake form. Make sure you use the syrup...it is yummy!
Recipe from: How Does She?

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp Cinnamon

In a medium bowl, combine these dry ingredients together, using a whisk.

2 eggs, beaten
1 Cup of milk (or a little more if your batter isn’t runny enough for you)
2 Tbsp Corn Syrup
1/4 Cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp vanilla

Beat together these wet ingredients, then add them to the dry. Mix well.

Syrup (I slathered all my pancakes in the syrup and then served them on the table.)

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cups butter – melted
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/4 cup milk (more if you want it a little runnier)

Combine all of these ingredients and pour over your cinnabun pancakes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Easy Broccoli and Beef

This really had a nice flavor. I also liked that it was easy to make.
Recipe from: food.com

2-3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 lb boneless round steak, cut into thin 3-inch strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 cups broccoli florets
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
hot cooked rice

Toss beef in corstarch and garlic pwd. In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry beef in 1 tablespoon oil until beef reaches desired doneness; remove and keep warm.

Stir-fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes. Return beef to pan.

Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, water and ginger. Cook and stir until sauce is thickened (it doesn't take very long).

Serve over rice.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chocolate Witches Hats

This recipe wouln't have to be for Halloween time, but that is why I made them. I skipped rolling the balls of dough in sugar and thought they looked fine, but I think I should have shortened the cooking time if I'd wanted softer cookies. They weren't overcooked, but they were a crunchy cookie. Maybe that is how the recipe was supposed to be, though. My family really liked them, esp. warm out of the oven when the kiss was all melty.
Recipe from: Food Network

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9-ounce) package of chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped (recommended: Hershey's) I used 60

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In mixer bowl, place the chocolate hazelnut spread, butter, and both sugars. Add the
egg and vanilla and blend until incorporated. Stir in the dry ingredients, just until incorporated.
Shape the cookie dough into walnut-sized balls (I used my smallest cookie scoop). Roll the balls in sugar, pressing to adhere (yeah, I skipped adding the extra sugar this time). Place the cookies on a heavy cookie sheet about 4 inches apart. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven. Quickly place a chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another 3 minutes. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Italian Pasta Bake

The flavor was fantastic I tried it another time using hamburger instead of sausage. It tastes much better with sausage, although the beef was good. Recipe from: Delectable Edibles

1 1/2 c. uncooked pasta
1/2 lb. bulk pork Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small yellow squash
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz.) (I blended fresh tomatoes for the sauce)
1 cup diced tomatoes (I peeled them first)
1/2 tsp basil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 cup shredded Italian cheese

Heat oven to 350 F. Spray 8 in. square pan (I used a round corning ware dish). Cook and drain noodles according to package directions.

In skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium-high heat, stirring occassionally until sausage is no longer pink and onion is tender. Drain. Stir in zucchini, squash, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and seasonings. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cook 5-10 minutes until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in pasta. Pour into baking dish. Cover and bake 15 minutes.

Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered 5-10 more minutes until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cheesy Garlic Bread Swirls

Wow! We all love some good warm garlic bread with dinner, but these were the best! With melted cheese and garlicy good butter wrapped in some french bread dough...you can imagine. They reheated really well...several days later they were still really moist (I stored them in the fridge) I love the recipes I try on Our Best Bites and they have awesome step by step tutorials with tons of great pictures!

Recipe from: Our Best Bites

French Bread Dough:
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4-5 1/2 c. flour
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg yolk

Garlic Butter:
1/2 c. (1 stick) of real butter, no substitutions
1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning (I just used some I had from Costco)

Shredded mozzarella cheese
Combine yeast, water, and sugar in large mixing bowl and allow to stand 10 minutes or until bubbly. Add salt, vegetable oil, and egg yolk (set white aside for later) and combine. Add 3 c. flour and mix well until combined. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough that barely sticks to your finger. Knead, either by hand or in mixer (my personal and very lazy choice) for another 2-3 minutes. Cover and allow to rise 1 hour.

While dough is rising, combine butter and garlic bread seasoning. Set aside.

Now...here's a little trick I've been using a lot lately. I really, really hate cleaning up flour on my work surface after I've been working with dough, but I obviously have to use SOMETHING to keep it from sticking. If you spray a little non-stick cooking spray on your work surface and your rolling pin, your dough won't stick and clean-up is super easy!

Anyway, roll your rough into a rectangle that's about 18-20 inches by 6 inches. Smear garlic butter over the entire surface of the dough and then sprinkle with cheese.
Roll up jelly-roll style and then use dental floss to cut into 12 equal slices. Of course, I kind of forgot to take pictures of this whole process, but if what I'm saying makes no sense, check out the orange roll recipe to see what I'm talking about. Place each slice in a muffin tin. Cover with a clean cloth. Preheat oven to 350 and allow rolls to rise while the oven is heating.

When the oven is ready, bake for 18-22 minutes.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin French Toast

You can go lighter on the pumpkin if you don't want to taste it, but I add this much pumpkin and we all really like it.

Recipe from: Real Mom Kitchen

6 eggs
1/3 cup pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 loaf Texas Toast

Blend eggs, pumpkin and cinnamon together in blender until mixed. Pour into a shallow dish. Dip bread into egg mixture and cook on griddle.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Truffles

I can bribe my boys to do anything for these...they LOVED them! John said he didn't care for them, but he's pretty picky when it comes to pumpkin....but this recipe made a ton...so I shared and shared with people and bribed my boys several times, too :)


Recipe from: Bake at 350

1 box French Vanilla cake mix (I used a yellow cake mix)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
cream cheese frosting:
1 box cream cheese (8 oz)
1/2 cup butter
3 cups pwd. sugar
1 tsp vanilla
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
dark chocolate candy melts or almond bark

Beat everything together (ending with the eggs) according to the package instructions and bake in a 13 X 9" pan. Make sure the cake is completely baked (no gooey middle) before removing from the oven. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Make cream cheese frosting in kitchen aid. Crumble the cake apart into bowl with cream cheese frosting. Mix until it is well incorporated. Roll into balls of about a 2 bite size. This should make about 50 (I used my bitty scoop and I know I got more than 50...it made a lot!!). Place on cookie sheets lined with wax paper and freeze 1-2 hours.

When ready to dip, melt the candy melt a 1/2 bag at a time following the directions on the package. (I used the microwave method) Roll with a spoon and place on another waxed paper lined sheet. Scatter on sprinkles if using while the chocolate is still wet.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spider Cookies

Peanut butter cookie dough, pretzel sticks, M&Ms and 2 sizes of cookie dough scoops and we had super easy and fun spider cookies :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Chicago Style Garlic and Butter Crust Pizza

Super thick crust with a soft center, crunchy crust and loads of toppings. Very filling!

Recipe from: Real Mom Kitchen

Dough:

2 tsp. yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
3 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 garlic cloves, ground to a paste


pizza toppings, your choice

Make dough in kitchen aid. Let rise 1 hour.

Punch dough down, then knead for 2-3 minutes (again let the kitchen aid do this part).


Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (I used glass), then press in dough to cover the bottom and 2 inches up the sides; let rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Top the pizza dough with your favorite toppings.
Lower the oven to 450 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mater Cake: Fondant Recipe

So...it's got some flaws...don't look too close, but this was my first time doing a cake with fondant...It was awesome! I made it from scratch using the tutorial from Make it and Love it. I used rubber gloves when I kneaded the fondant together and when I added colors. It worked great. I made the brown fondant by mixing some cocoa powder in. You may need a teeny tiny bit more water. I will say I think I had enough fondant to make two of these cakes using the recipe, so it makes a lot!

To form the cake I used 2 cake mixes.and baked them in loaf pans..one cake mix baked in each loaf pan. After the cakes cooled, I cut one loaf in half and placed one half on the end of the first and the other on the top to be the cab. I used choc. covered doughnuts for the tires, gum for the teeth, M &Ms for the head and tail lights, bottoms of candy corns for the top lights, twix for the tow bars (I should have cut them down a bit) and a rolled out tootsie roll for the tow rope. The mirrors are 2 Hershey choc. bar squares slightly melted together with toothpicks in the middle. Then you stick the toothpicks in the cake.
My kids were all super excited and it was much easier to work with than I had thought. We will be doing more cake decorating with fondant now :)


Fondant recipe
: (go to Make It and Love It for the awesome tutorial with tons of great pictures!)
(This recipe will make about 3 lbs of fondant.)
Two pound bag of powdered sugar
16 oz bag of mini marshmallows
1/2 cup shorting (Crisco brand)-- put this in a container you can get your fingers into....like the measuring cup shown above.
2-4 Tablespoons of water (I used 3 1/2)
Clean your counter really well and spread 1/2 of your shorting in a thick layer on your counter about the size of a basketball.Sift your powder sugar into a pile on top of the shorting. I hate sifting when I bake but in this case it is really helpful. If you don't do it you will end up with clumps of sugar in your fondant.Make a crater in the middle of your sugar, keeping high sides all around and a layer of powder sugar on the bottom.
Place your marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl. Add your water. Start with 2 tablespoons. I used 3 1/2 tablespoons. If your fondant is dry (cracking) when you knead it later on, you know you need to add more water. Once you figure out how much you need you can add it during this step. Put your bowl in the microwave. Heat until your marshmallows melt. This takes about 2 1/2-4 minutes. They will look like this:
Fold the marshmallows until it is all incorporated and smooth.
Pour your mixture onto your powdered sugar crater, making sure to scrape and add the excess from the sides of the bowl.These next steps can be hot, please be careful.You can let the marshmallows cool a bit if needed.
Put on some rubber gloves and coat your hands with shortening. On the front, back, in between fingers, up to your wrists, everywhere. Ha! That which it's not coated will have fondant stuck to it. So take off your rings too.And I am sure there are many ways to do this.....but this is what works for me.Start to fold the powdered sugar on top of the marshmallows....
...and keep folding and combining it until it all starts mixing together.
Now I scrape the counter with a pastry scraper or spatula, put the extra sugar on the fondant.Apply a thin layer of shortening onto the counter to prevent sticking and keep kneading the fondant.

Keep going until everything is worked in and smooth. If it doesn't get smooth right away just keep kneading.
** If you still have some shortening left, work all but 1 tablespoon in.Now you're done.Use the fondant right away or coat your finished fondant with a thin layer of shortening and seal tight in a zip lock bag.
This can be left out for a few days without a problem or for several weeks in the refrigerator.Keep in mind that making your fondant ahead of time is a real timer saver.
Coloring Fondant:
I used my candy coloring I had that is made for chocolates and it worked great. Just start with a few drops and knead it in. Add more drops until you get to your color.
For chocolate I needed in cocoa pwd and added a tiny bit of water to work it in. (The fondant then tasted like chocolate)
You cover your cake in buttercream frosting to stick the fondant to, so here's that recipe:
Buttercream Frosting Recipe:
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk
Makes: About 3 cups of icing.
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Crock Pot Pizza Sauce


Saute in 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil:
5 cloves of garlic
1 med. onion

Put in blender.
Add 12 Roma Tomatoes

Blend together until desired consistency (my kids don't like chunks, so I run mine longer)

Pour into crock pot and add:

1 Tbsp Basil
1 Tbsp Oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Potato Cinnamon Rolls

These were super yummy and very moist!
Recipe from: food.com


3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup hot mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cups water (110 to 115 degrees)
1 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

FILLING
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make dough in mixer. Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour. Combine filling ingredients and set aside. Divide dough in half (I have a huge board I use for making bread, so I just rolled mine as big as the board instead of dividing the dough) On a floured surface, roll each portion to 9 by 12 inch. Divide filling and spread over each square to within 1 inch of the edges. Roll up jelly-roll style. Place on greased baking pans. (I used my pampered chef bar pan and an 8x8 pan) Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until golden. Top with some cream cheese frosting.

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tsps. milk (I left out the milk)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Potato Rolls

These rolls were super moist! We really liked them....

Recipe adapted from: food.com

4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 1/2 cups water (105 to 115 F)
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Mix warm water and yeast. Let sit for a minute. Add melted butter, sugar, salt and mashed potatoes. Mix well. Add flour one cup at a time and knead in mixer.

Let dough rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Shape into 12 rolls. Let rise until doubled again...around 45 minutes. Bake 350 until golden brown.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ravioli Casserole

My family really likes this easy dish...Recipe adapted from: Erika's Sweet Tooth

1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 package frozen cheese ravioli, cooked and drained
1 small (2 cups) bag of kraft Italian Cheese blend (or mix 1/4 cup parm. cheese with mozz. to make 2 cups)
Browned sausage, optional

In a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish, layer half of the ravioli, 1-1/4 cups of sauce, and 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. (Add browned sausage if you are using it)

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cobweb Cups


1 pkg. brownie mix plus ingredients to prepare mix
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Line 18 regular-size muffin cups with paper muffin cup liners. Prepare brownie mix according to pkg. directions for cakelike brownies. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into muffin cups, dividing evenly.

Combine cream cheese and egg in mixing bowl; beat until well combined. Add sugar, flour and vanilla; beat until well combined.

Place cream cheese mixture in resealable plastic food bag; seal bag. Snip corner of the bag with scissors-small hole. Pipe cream cheese mixture in concentric circle design on each cupcake; draw toothpick through cream cheese mixture, out from center, 6 to 8 times.

Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Crispy Shoestring Onions

These were so good and easy to make. John was super happy because he loves these things at Chili's (but they make them too peppery for me!) So these were much better and easy to make...probably too easy :)
John's Rating: 9
Recipe from: Our Best Bites

6 oz onion slices (1 large onion)
1 egg
1 Tbs milk
3/4 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
vegetable oil for frying

Heat oil in fryer to 350 degrees. Working with a handful of onions at a time, dip in egg mixture and let excess drip off. Then dredge in flour and lightly toss to coat. Place onions in hot oil and cook until golden brown. Remove and place on folded paper towels to absorb oil. Repeat process until all onions are fried.


*I've also cut the onions into rings and used the same batter:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Taco Stuffed Peppers

This is our favorite stuffed pepper recipe. John does NOT like stuffed peppers, but liked these!1/2 pound ground beef
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup black beans
1/4 cup water
1/4 heaping tsp. cumin
1/4 heaping tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese
3 medium green peppers, halved lennthwise

Brown hamburger in a pan. When meat is done cooking, add salsa, corn, beans, water, and seasonings. Heat until thickened. Pour into peppers and set peppers on a microwave safe plate. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 15 minutes or until peppers are done to your likeness.

Serve with sour cream.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Peach Cake with Caramel Sauce

This tasted like a super moist spice cake with a hint of peach flavor. It was Really good! My boys really enjoyed eating this one!
John's Rating: 8

Recipe from: Worldwide Ward Cookbook
I improved the directions a bit...

Cake:
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 1/3 cup mashed peaches (I mashed fresh ones)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together sugar, eggs, oil and peaches. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until browned and inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. flour
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter over med. heat in a saucepan and add sugar. Whisk in milk and bring to a simmer. Slowly temper egg yolks with the heated milk mixture, a little at a time. When the egg yolks are warm, to the saucepan. Add flour and vanilla. Heat to a boil and boil for about 5 minutes or until thickened how you want.

Pour caramel over the cake. Can be served warm or cold.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fruit 'n Yogurt Blend


1 container of vanilla yogurt (6 oz)
1 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
3/4 cup peaches, peeled
1 cup strawberries
1 banana, peeled
1 cup ice

Blend together in VitaMix and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fast and Easy Waffles

This recipe is so simple and easy to make.

Recipe from: Reliable Recipes

2 eggs, beaten
2 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp. shortening

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl or your Kitchen Aid and mix well until smooth.
Cook in Waffle Iron.

*I got 12 waffle squares with this recipe (so half it if you only want 6 squares)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Grilled Ham, Montery Jack, and Raspberry Sandwich

This is one of my new favorite grilled sandwiches! I'm not a fan of ham, but I will be making these again! I really liked the blend of flavors. Plus, it's a super easy meal!

Recipe from: Haylee's Food

Bread of your choice
Dijon Mustard
Ham
Monterey Jack Cheese
Raspberry preserves
butter

Spread dijon mustard on one side of bread. Layer ham, the raspberry preserves, then cheese, then ham on bread. Spread outsides of bread with butter. Grill until cheese melts.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bundin de Pan

This was a great new breakfast. It is kind of a mix between having french toast and german pancakes, but somewhat like a muffin because it is sweet and does not need syrup or jam. It was really good! My kids liked it, too!
John's Rating: 8

Recipe adapted from: Worldwide Ward Cookbook

8 slices of bread (I used a homemade white bread)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Cut up bread into small cubes, place in a large bowl and set aside. Blend remaining ingredients in a blender. Pour over cubed bread and mix. Let it sit for a few minutes to soak up the egg mixture. Grease a 1 1/2 quart pan and pour mixture into pan. Bake 350 for 55 minutes.

Cool slightly and serve.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pico de Gallo

Another great fresh salsa while the garden is overflowing with goodness...

Recipe from: Our Best Bites

About 3 Roma tomatoes
1 smallish jalapeno pepper
1/2 small onion I used a red one
Freshly squeezed lime juice (use 1/2 lime for a little zing, use the whole thing for distinct lime flavor. I used the whole thing)
A very generous pinch of chopped cilantro, about 1/4 c.
Kosher Salt, to taste

Chop tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno.Add the fresh-squeezed juice of 1/2 of the lime. Taste. If you want to walk on the limey side, add a little more.

Add cilantro. Combine well. Add a generous sprinkling of Kosher salt, taste, and add more if desired.

This is best if it stands for a few hours before you serve it, but it also may (okay, will) get a little wet in the bottom of the bowl, so you might want to strain it before serving it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Grandma's Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This is one of my favorite zucchini breads. It's super chocolaty and very moist. My kids also like it.
Recipe from: My Grandma Egan

Mix together:

½ cup margarine
2 cups sugar
Blend in:
3 eggs (one at a time)
Stir in:
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons orange rind
3 cups grated zucchini
Stir in dry ingredients alternately with ½ cup milk:
2 ½ cup flour
½ cup cocoa
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
1 ½ cup chocolate chips (I use the mini ones in the bulk section at WinCo)

Pour batter in 2 greased loaf pans or one Bundt pan and bake 1 hour at 350.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fresh Mango Salsa

This was really good. The jalapeno I used was super hot, but the mango really lessened the heat. We ate this with chips as well as eating it on some chicken fajitas and really liked it.
1 mango, peeled and diced
10 roma tomatoes, cored and diced
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped, seeds removed
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

Mix together and serve.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Roasted Tomato Salsa

This was a nice variety to our salsa recipe collection. We make salsa a lot this time of year, so it's nice to have several good recipes!

Recipe from: Real Mom Kitchen
  • 10 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise (remove the seeds and ribs, if you’re concerned about heat – I did)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro (I used parsley..it's all I had)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped red onion
  • Juice from half a lime
  • sea salt, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 450. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, peppers and garlic with the oil, salt and pepper. Transfer the oiled vegetables to the prepared baking sheet and spread them into a single layer. Bury the garlic cloves in the tomato halves to prevent them from burning.
  3. Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes.(Mine took longer) Remove once the peppers have started to blacken and the tomatoes have begun to collapse. Allow all of the vegetables to then cool slightly.
  4. Transfer the slightly cooled vegetables to a food processor, fitted with a metal blade. Add the cilantro, red onion and lime juice. Pulse about a dozen times, to achieve the texture of a chunky puree (I used my VitaMix). If the salsa is too thick, add more lime juice. Add cumin. Salt to taste (be generous!). Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. These flavors need a little time to mesh together.