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.