Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snowman on a Stick

I saw this cute idea on Pinterest, so I bought the supplies and let the kids get creative.  They LOVED it!

Idea from: Dukes and Duchesses

Mini white donuts (3 per snowman)
Candies, we used Christmas M&Ms (buttons)
Mini Chocolate chips (eyes and mouth)
Candy corn (nose)
Fruit roll up (scarf)
Stick Pretzels (arms)
skewer sticks

Caramel Popcorn

My kids love popcorn, so we made a Christmas Caramel Popcorn.  We made enough to give some with gifts, so we made 3 batches and left one caramel colored, colored one batch red and the last batch green. 

12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup unpopped)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring butter, brown sugar and corn syrup to a boil, stirring often to until it reaches a boil.  Stop stirring and boil over medium heat 5 minutes. 

Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla.  Stir.  Add food coloring if desired.  Pour over popcorn and mix until all the popcorn is coated.

Bake for 30 minutes at 250, stirring every 10 minutes.  Break apart after removing from oven. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

PB & Jelly Reindeer Sandwich

I made these PB & Jelly reindeer sandwiches for our annual family party.  I let the kids help make them and they were super excited about them.  Plus it is a food that all 4 would eat :)

We used cocoa puffs for the eyes and a red M&M for the nose. 

Idea from: And Everything Sweet

Monday, December 24, 2012

Peppermint Cookies and Cream Muddy Buddies

This is a Christmas version of the Muddy Buddies.  I was not sure if my kids would love this Christmas version of muddy buddies.  Candy Canes can make my kids turn down goodies. Maybe it's because they really couldn't see them...but they gobbled it right up and begged for more!

1/2 lb. white chocolate melty chips

5 cups rice chex
1/2 cup crushed oreos
1 candy cane, crushed
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Mix crushed oreos with curshed candy cane, set aside.

Melt chocolate and pour over rice chex and stir until chex is covered.  Pour oreo and candy cane mixture over chex.  Stir until covered.  Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and toss until coated.  Allow to cool and serve.  Store in an air tight container.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Raspberry Cheesecake Truffles

John really liked this truffle.  They have a very soft center, making it a little bit of a challenge, but the taste made up for that :)

Recipe from: Cooking Classy

8 oz cream cheese, softened slightly
14 graham cracker sheets, finely ground in a food processor
6 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam 
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1/2 tsp raspberry or vanilla extract
6-8 drops red food coloring

Dipping Chocolate

In a mixing bowl, mix together cream cheese, 14 ground graham cracker sheets, raspberry jam, and powdered sugar.  Stir into well combine.  Mix in 1/4 cup melted white chocolate chips, raspberry extract and food coloring.  Blend well.  Cover mixture with plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour, or until firm enough to form mixture into balls.

Remove mixture from freezer and scoop mixture out by tablespoons and form into balls.  Place on a wax or parchment covered baking dish or plate.  Cover truffle balls with plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour, or until firm enough to dip in chocolate.

Melt chocolate in microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals stirring after each interval until melted and smooth.

Remove truffles from freezer, using a toothpick or fork, dip truffle balls into melted chocolate.   Store truffles in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Egg Nog Truffles

These are a perfect truffle for the holidays.  They taste like egg nog, even though there the recipe does not call for any egg nog.

Recipe from: Mom's Crazy Cooking

1/2 pound white melting chocolate
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg, extra for sprinkle
1/4 tsp Rum Extract

Melt 8 ounces of the chocolate as directed on package. Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, nutmeg and extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed mixer until well blended and smooth. Add melted chocolate; beat until well mixed. Cover. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm.

Shape into 24 (about 3/4-inch) balls. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Refrigerate until ready to dip.

 Melt white chocolate in small microwavable bowl for 1-1/2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Using a fork, dip 1 truffle at a time into the melted chocolate. Tap back of fork 2 or 3 times against edge of dish to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place truffles on wax paper-lined tray. Sprinkle truffles with nutmeg.

 Refrigerate 1 hour or until chocolate is set. Store truffles between layers of wax paper in airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gooey Chocolate Coconut Truffles

I love coconut, John does not.  With the holidays here, I decided to make a batch of these so I could have a few and share the rest.  I loved how moist these were.  They would also be good with an almond on top.  If you like coconut, you are sure to love these.

Recipe from: How Sweet It Is

makes about 24 teaspoon-sized truffles
3 cups sweetened, shredded coconut, chopped fine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/2-2 cups milk chocolate chips, melted

In a large bowl, combined coconut and sugar and mix to combine. Add in milk and coconut oil, mix constantly until a gooey coconut filling results. Scoop using smallest cookie scoop or make teaspoon-sized (or a little larger) balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes, then remove from freeze and roll again between your palms to smooth any coconut edges. Freeze for 10-15 minutes more. While freezing, melt chocolate chips in a double boiled or microwave. Remove coconut balls from freezer and immediately dip.
Refrigerate until ready to serve – at least 15 minutes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Orange Truffles

At first these are a little gritty from the cookie crumbs, but after they sit for an hour or so, they are a nice creamy texture.  The original recipe did not call for cream cheese, but I found the cream cheese was needed  :)  

Recipe adapted from: Melle Cotte

11 oz. vanilla wafer cookies, crushed
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled
½ cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
½ tsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. cream cheese

Combine cookie crumbs and confectioners’ sugar. Stir in butter until the dry ingredients are coated. Some clumps will form. Stir in orange juice concentrate, add vanilla, and cream cheese.

Form into balls.  Freeze for 15 minutes and smooth out rough spots.  Dip in melted chocolate.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cinnamon Almonds

These are a nice crunchy treat.  Sweetened, but not overly sweet.

2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
6 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
4 cups almonds  

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Lightly grease a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan. 

Lightly beat the egg white; add water, and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts, and stir until well coated. Mix the sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat, and spread evenly on the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring every 20 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool, then store nuts in airtight containers.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Avalanche Bars

My kids were wanting to make a treat one night and I picked this recipe to try because it was simple.  They turned out to be a really good treat.  Rich, but good.
John's Rating: 10

Recipe from: Cookies and Cups

12 oz bag of White Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips + 2 Tbsp for garnish.
Lightly butter a 9x9 pan

In microwave-safe bowl pour in white chips and heat on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir and continue in 30 second increments until chips are melted.  Combine the peanut butter with the melted chips and add the krispies. Add the marshmallows and allow to cool some before adding the mini chocolate chips (so they won't melt) and stir to combine.  Pour mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly, pressing lightly with the back of your spoon, but do not compact too much, otherwise they will get hard.  Press the remaining chocolate chips into the top for garnish.  When the bars are completely cooled cut into squares and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Whipped Cream

I needed some whipped cream for the pie we made, so I made some fresh whipped cream.  Kyla was really impressed we could make our own.  :)   So here is the recipe for the next time I need some whipped cream. 

2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup whipping cream

Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the sugar into the mixing bowl and add the whipping cream. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Store any unused portion in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, rewhisk for 10 to 15 seconds.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Whipped Cream

I let my daughter pick a pie to make and this is the recipe she chose to try.  It was easy to make and the whole family loved it.  

Recipe from: Texas Recipes
for the Crust:
1 1/4 cups salted pretzels
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar

for the Filling:
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whipped cream

for the Chocolate Whipped Cream:
3/4 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate
2 cups whipped cream
Chocolate shavings, optional (Kyla opted for white whipped cream on top instead)

For the crust:

Pulse the pretzels in a food processor until finely ground. In a large bowl, combine the pretzel crumbs, butter and brown sugar. Mix together.  Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Cover and refrigerate.

For the Peanut Butter filling:

Combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Spoon the filling into the pie shell, cover and return to the refrigerator.

For the chocolate whipped cream:

Melt chocolate in the microwave.  Allow to cool a little and mix it in with the whipping cream.  Layer on the Peanut Butter Layer.  
**If your chocolate is too hot and melts the whipped cream, cover and refrigerate it for 2 hours. Once cooled, beat the chocolate cream with a mixer until thick and spreadable (do not overmix).

Cover the pie with the chocolate whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate shavings if using.

Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Turkey in my Electric Roaster Oven

I have had my roaster oven for many years, but this Thanksgiving was the first time I used it to cook my turkey.  It was so nice to have the oven to cook fresh warm rolls while the turkey finished cooking.  I will be cooking turkey this way from now on.  It was really easy and I didn't have to worry about basting it.

Recipe from:

1 whole turkey, thawed up to 20 lbs
1/4 cup olive oil or 1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
Take the insert pan out of the roaster and pre-heat the roaster to 450.

Prep the turkey by rinsing and patting dry. Sprinkle salt in the cavities. Stuff your turkey if desired. (I did not stuff mine. I did slice 3 onions and toss those inside to add some flavor.)
Place the bird in the roasting pan on top of the wire rack that comes with your roaster. Make sure the handles are up, not tucked below.
Rub the entire bird with olive oil.  Doctor up your bird with whatever special seasonings you wish. I used some rosemary and thyme.
Finish with a good sprinkle of seasoning salt and black pepper. The olive oil will help the skin brown nicely.
Roast at highest setting for 30 minutes. The oil, seasoning salt and the searing time will make the skin beautifully browned and perfect!
After 30 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 325.
The bird will self-baste if you do not lift the lid, so you don't have to baste it every 20 minutes like you do in your conventional oven. DO NOT LIFT LID during cooking time! Lifting the lid will increase cooking time because roaster ovens lose their heat unlike regular ovens. 

Check your Bird - Figure your total cooking time from the time you first put the bird in the roaster. FINAL TEMPERATURE FOR SAFETY AND DONENESS IS: 180 DEGREES IN THIGH AND 165 DEGREES IN BREAST AND STUFFING. Juices should be clear, not pink. 
Your turkey will almost certainly be done at the earliest of the suggested times on the chart. Lift lid only slightly and quickly to check the pop-up thermometer or use your meat thermometer. If necessary, check after another 30 minutes, but you shouldn't have to do that. If the pop-up thermometer isn't popped, double check with your regular meat thermometer because those little plastic things stick sometimes. Check after 30 minutes because it's really OK to let the bird roast a little extra - you won't dry it out using this method if you let it go for 1/2 hour.
Figure your total cooking time from the time you first put the bird in the roaster. Check your bird at the EARLIEST of these times:.
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours.
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours.
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours.
 18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours.
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3½ hours. 
12 to 14 pounds 3½ to 4 hours.
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4¼ hours.
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4¾ hours.
When done, remove the bird from the roaster, tent with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes. This allows the juices to really seep into the meat, so they say.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Great Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I don't know if this tastes like Great Harvest's pumpkin bread, but it had a great texture with the fresh ground wheat and a fantastic flavor.  My kids gobbled it up!  

Recipe from:  The Recipe Link

2 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
16 oz cooked or canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup oil
4 eggs, beaten lightly
2/3 cup water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two (9x5 inch) loaf pans or three (8x4 inch) loaf pans.

Mix flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl; set aside.

Mix pumpkin, oil, eggs, and 2/3 cup water together and stir into dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Place batter in prepared pans.

Bake 60 or 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

This dessert was so good....better than pumpkin pie!  So, let's just think that this is at least somewhat healthy because it has pumpkin.  And it's ok to make because you're going to share it with people this Thanksgiving, right?  John does not care for pumpkin pie, but he did like this cake.  My kids were all super excited about it, too. 

Recipe from: Take the Day Off via Paula Deen

  • 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (I used fresh cooked pie pumpkin instead of canned)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, (I mixed all of my ingredients in my VitaMix instead to get the pumpkin nice and smooth)  beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  Check on them after about 35 minutes so you make sure not to overbake them. (I cooked mine 47 minutes)  The center should be a little gooey. 

Let the pan cool completely before you cut the squares.  I usually cut them pretty small since they are so rich.  Dust them with powdered sugar to make them extra pretty before serving them.  We liked our topped with whipped cream.  :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Apple Fritter Coffee Cake

This was another great recipe for our fall apples.  John really liked it and I caught him sneaking another piece before bedtime :)  I think the cake tasted even better the next day when the flavors blended a little more.  Although this cake is great cold or warm, we liked ours slightly warmed before eating.  

Recipe from: Nerdy Baker


For Apple Filling:
1 heaping cup of sliced apples
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
small pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
Crumb Filling
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a 1/4 cup each of dark and light)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For Cake:
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup greek yogurt
For Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk


For filling:  Make your filling by combining apples, sugar, water, cinnamon and cornstarch in a small saucepan.  Cook on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickend and the apples are a bit soft.  Set aside to cool.  In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together until well combined and set aside.
For Cake:  Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour a 9×13 baking dish.  Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add applesauce and vanilla and mix till combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift the dry ingredients together.  Add the dry ingredients to the batter in three parts alternating with the yogurt in two parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat until just combined.
Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan.  Spoon the cooled apple mixture over the batter carefully and spread as evenly as possible.  Sprinkle 2/3 of brown sugar cinnamon mixture over apples and cover with the rest of the batter.  Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar cinnamon mixture over the top.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
For Glaze:  While the cake is baking, make the glaze.  In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until the glaze is desired consistency.  When the cake comes out of the oven, wait 5 minutes, then carefully pour icing onto hot cake.  Try to pour as evenly as possible.  You might have to pick up the cake and tilt it to spread the icing.  Let the cake sit for awhile for the glaze to set.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Muffins

These muffins were a huge hit with my kids.   Of course they love chocolate muffins, but these have a great peanut butter swirl on top that made them an extra special treat. 

Recipe slightly adapted from: Eat Drink Pretty

Yield: about 24 muffins


For the muffins:
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ cups buttermilk (I used lemon juice/milk)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the peanut butter swirl:
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. To make the chocolate muffin batter, combine the butter and 1/3 cup of the chocolate chips in a saucepan. Using LOW heat, melt the chocolate and butter and stirring until smooth. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk or mix briefly to combine. Add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the buttermilk mixture just until combined. Blend in the melted chocolate mixture. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips with a spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each no more than 2/3 full. (These muffins will rise a lot!)

To make the peanut butter swirl, combine the peanut butter and butter in a heatproof bowl and microwave briefly until smooth. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Drop a small spoonful of the peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate muffin batter. Swirl together using a skewer or knife.

Bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken

This chicken was a nice change of pace.  It was too spicy for our kids, but John and I enjoyed it.  I served it with some rice.  The breading turned out nice and crunchy, but the chicken was tender and moist.  
John's Rating: 9

Recipe from: Rock Recipes

2  large boneless chicken breasts

Slice the breasts by placing them flat on a cutting board and using a very sharp knife to slice them into halves horizontally.
Mix together:

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup corn starch
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1-2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chipolte chili powder

Egg wash: 
Mix one egg with 2 Tbsp of water
Dip the breast into the flour/spice mix, then the eggwash and then a final time into the flour/spice mix, pressing the mix into the meat to get good contact.

Heat a skillet on the stove with about a half inch of canola oil covering the bottom. You will want to carefully regulate the temperature here so that the chicken does not brown too quickly. The thinness of the breast meat practically guarantees that it will be fully cooked by the time the outside is browned. I find between the medium and high heat works well. I use a burner setting of about 7 1/2 out of 10 on the dial and fry them gently for about 4 or 5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.

Drain on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before dipping the cooked breasts into the Honey Garlic Sauce.  (or you can just drizzle them with sauce).  Serve with noodles or rice.

Honey Garlic Sauce

In a medium saucepan add

 1tbsp olive oil
 4 cloves minced garlic

Cook over medium heat to soften the garlic but do not let it brown. Add:

3/4 cup honey
¼ cup soy sauce 
1 tsp ground black pepper

Simmer together for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Watch this carefully as it simmers because it can foam up over the pot very easily.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Apple Fritter Bread

Since it's apple harvest time, I will be trying out some new apple recipes.  This is the first recipe I tried.  It is best warm, out of the oven.  John LOVED this bread.  He said it was better than eating an apple fritter.
John's Rating: 9

Recipe from: Flour Me with Love (She has lots of step-by-step photos if you need them)

3 C flour
1 package yeast
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C water
1 egg, beaten
3/4 C milk
1/4 C butter

6 small apples, peeled & diced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 C brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. cornstarch

1 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C powdered sugar
3 tsp. half & half (I used  milk instead)
 In a skillet, cook apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, vanilla, butter, cinnamon & cornstarch until mixture is thickened.  Set aside to cool.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles; remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until melted; set aside.
Put flour, yeast, brown sugar and salt in a bowl, mix well.
Add the water, egg and milk/butter mixture.

Mix until dough forms into a ball; knead for an additional five minutes.
Preheat oven to 350.
On a well floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle. 
Evenly spread apple mixture over dough.
Cut dough into even squares (I cut 20 squares).

Carefully stack pieces of dough onto each other forming four piles.(use a spatula, it makes stacking much easier!)

Place piles of dough into prepared pan.
Bake 45-50 minutes; until golden brown.  Wait a few minutes and  remove from pan.

Mix butter, vanilla and powdered sugar into a bowl.  Add half & half; stir until you get a creamy consistency. 

Pour on glaze and allow to setup for a few minutes.

Pull some apart and enjoy!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstein Pudding Cups

Halloween is sneaking up on me!  We made these fun pudding cups this weekend.  Kyla and Nathan had fun decorating their own cups.  Everyone enjoyed eating them :)

Idea from Pinterest

Vanilla pudding, colored green
Crushed oreos

Monday, October 22, 2012

Baked Potato Soup

This is one of my favorite, easy soups to make.  I just throw some extra potatoes in the oven when I do baked potatoes for dinner so I can make this soup.  Normally I would have bacon on top, but I was out.  It still tastes great without, though.

Recipe from:  NP Ward Cookbook

6 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp flour
3 cups milk
2 crushed chicken bouillon cubes
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz sour cream
1-2 green onions
3-4 large baked potatoes, cubed (I like to remove skins)

Melt butter in a pot and then stir in flour.  Add milk.  Nest add chicken bouillon cubes, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Add chopped onions, cheddar cheese, and cubed potatoes.  When potatoes are heated through, turn off heat and stir in sour cream.

Garnish with shredded cheese, green onion, and cooked bacon pieces. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Raspberry Bars

At first glance, these raspberry bars seemed like a lot of work, but once I decided to make them, I was surprised at how easy and fast they were.  They were a great treat that lasted for days, stored in the fridge.  
John's Rating: 8

 Recipe adapted from:  The Way the Cookie Crumbles

2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
 ½ teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons, cut into ½-inch pieces and softened to cool room temperature
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats, old-fashioned
¾ cup rasberry preserves
 2-3 cups fresh raspberries (I used 3)
 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with flat beater, mix flour, granulated sugar, and salt at low speed until combined, about 5 seconds. With machine on low, add 16 tablespoons butter one piece at a time; then continue mixing on low until mixture resembles damp sand, 1 to 1½ minutes.

Measure 1 ¼ cups flour mixture into medium bowl and set aside; distribute remaining flour mixture evenly in bottom of prepared baking pan. Using hands or flat-bottomed measuring cup, firmly press mixture into even layer to form bottom crust. Bake until edges begin to brown, 14 to 18 minutes.

While crust is baking, add brown sugar and oats to reserved flour mixture. Work in remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Combine preserves, raspberries, and lemon juice in small bowl; mash with fork until combined but some berry pieces remain.

Spread filling evenly over hot crust; sprinkle streusel topping evenly over filling (do not press streusel into filling). Return pan to oven and bake until topping is deep golden brown and filling is bubbling, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature on wire rack, 1 to 2 hours; remove from baking pan by lifting foil extensions. Using chef’s knife, cut into squares and serve.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Beef and Zucchini Enchiladas

This recipe gets a "10" from John.  We ate it 2 weekend nights in a row and he still requested it to be on the menu the next week!  

Recipe (slightly adjusted) from: Recipe Girl

1 pound lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 1/2 cups (about 2 medium) finely diced zucchini
12 corn tortillas, heated or fried in oil to soften
2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, homemade
3 cups cheddar- jack shredded cheese
Serve as desired with: shredded lettuce, avocado, cilantro, sour cream


Brown ground beef with onion over medium heat.  When meat is close to being done, add diced zucchini. Saute until softened (and meat is done), about 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray.

Add 1/2 cup of sauce to the prepared pan. Spread it around so it coats the entire bottom of the pan.

Assemble the enchiladas: Place tortilla on a work surface. Spoon 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the meat mixture down the middle. Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of cheese on top of the meat. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of sauce on top. Wrap the tortilla around the filling tightly and place it seam-side-down in the pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling until you have finished filling 12 tortillas. Place the tortillas side-by-side in the pan- it's okay if they are all snuggled in there tightly.

Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the stuffed enchiladas. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove pan from the oven and take off the foil. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top; return to the oven and let the cheese melt (about 5 minutes).

Serve immediately with desired condiments.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

This is the BEST enchilada sauce!!  It's pretty simple to make, too!

Recipe from: Recipe Girl

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a large skillet to medium heat. Whisk in flour and chili powder. Reduce heat to medium and continue to whisk until lightly browned. Gradually whisk in tomato sauce, chicken broth, cumin, garlic powder, onion salt and salt. Stir until smooth, and continue simmering over medium heat about 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

**Serve immediately, or keep in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

I had lots of fresh raspberries this fall and created this delish frosting to put on some cupcakes.  John declared this is "favorite cupake".  His favorite part was the raspberry on top mixed with the frosting and cupcake, so if you have raspberries, throw some on top :) 
The first time I made it, I used seedless raspberry jam (homemade of course) and it was good, but very sweet....jam has sugar, so added to the powdered sugar=very sweet.  So I made these one more time and used raspberry puree (no sugar added) and it was very good. 

24 cooled chocolate cupcakes

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup Seedless Rasp Jam or Seedless Raspberry Puree

Cream the cream cheese and butter together.  Add powdered sugar one cup at a time.  Alternate adding some raspberry jam or puree for flavor.  Add enough powdered sugar to make a frosting consistency.

Spread on your cupcakes and embellish with a fresh Raspberry if desired.   Refrigerate to set frosting. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

This bread was great, especially warm out of the oven!  It has a great moistness and texture that comes with zucchini bread with the wonderful flavor of pumpkin.  Mmmmm...perfect for fall!  I know it's a big hit with the kids when they ask me to make more after just a few bites, even though there is still plenty left :)  

 Recipe from: Six Sisters' Stuff

3 eggs, lightly beaten 
1 cup sugar 
1 cup brown sugar 
1 cup canned pumpkin*
1 cup butter, melted (or 1 cup oil or 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce) 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
3 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
2 cups shredded zucchini 

In a bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Add pumpkin, butter (or oil/applesauce) and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in zucchini . Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until breads test done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack. Yield: 2 loaves.

*Note to self: My pumpkin I freeze is a little thinner than the "canned pumpkin" so I added 1/4 to  1/2 cup more flour and it worked great

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Foil Packs

This recipe was a simple one to toss together and throw in the oven for dinner.  It tasted great and had everything in one packet. 
John's Rating: strong 8
Recipe from: Best Life 4 Moms

1 package Stuffing mix; chicken flavor
1 1/4 cups Water
4 Boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 cups Broccoli Florets
1 cups Shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices Cooked bacon; crumbled
4 tbsp Ranch dressing divided

Heat oven to 400.  Spray 4 large sheets of heavy-duty foil with oil.  Combine stuffing mix and water.  Spoon 1/4 of the stuffing mixture onto the center of each foil sheet.  Top stuffing with a 6oz. chicken breast half. Top chicken with 1 c. broccoli. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese and 1 slice of bacon, crumbled. Drizzle with 1 T. ranch dressing. Bring up foil sides and fold to seal, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Place packets on a cookie sheet and bake 25-30 mins (until Chicken is done)  Remove packets and let stand 5 mins.  Cut sits in foil for steam before opening.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Double Chocolate and Caramel Rice Krispy Treats

Take a simple rice krispy treat and dress it up with drizzles of caramel, white chocolate and dark chocolate.  My kids LOVED them.  They were asking for me to make another batch a few bites in.  I told them we still had more in the pan, they responded "I know, but can you make some more?"  Yep, they're that good.

Recipe from: Makdoodle

1/4 cup butter
1 pkg. mini marshmallows
5 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
White Chocolate
Dark Chocolate

Melt butter in a large bowl.  Stir in marshmallows and coat the marshmallows with butter.  Microwave 2 minutes on power level 4.  Stir until smooth.  Pour over rice krispies and stir until all the rice krispies are coated.

Lightly coat an 8x8 pan with butter.  Then press the rice krispies in the pan.  Drizzle with melted caramel, then the melted white chocolate, followed by melted dark chocolate.  Allow the caramel and chocolates to set before serving.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cheese Bread

This is a "Pizza Hut Knockoff recipe".  It is better than Pizza Hut.  It made a lot, so I served this as the main dish with a side salad.  I knew my boys would want some pepperoni, so I did chop some pepperoni up and sprinkled it on some of the cheese sticks before baking.  The whole family was pleased with this meal.  It was pretty easy to pull together, too.

Recipe from

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 Tbsp yeast
3 cups flour (more as needed)
1/2 cup melted butter (half for the bottom of pan, half on top of breadsticks)
Mozzarella cheese
Garlic powder
Garlic salt
Italian Seasoning
Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add sugar, pwd. milk and salt. Add enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Knead the dough until smooth. ( I did this in my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook).
Roll the dough out in a large rectangle. Mine filled a jelly roll pan (you could divide the dough in half and do two 9x13 pans.  Spread half of the butter onto the bottom of the pan and then place the dough into the pan. Let raise in warm, draft-free place for 15 minutes.
Spread remaining butter on the top of the dough.  Top dough with cheese.  Bake at 350°F for 20-25 or until golden brown.  Sprinkle hot breadsticks with seasonings.  Cut into breadsticks and serve with marinara sauce.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Super rich and chocolatey.  My kids were super excited about this treat.  I didn't mention it had one needed to know :)   I tried this with oil and with subbing the oil out for applesauce. It was great both ways. 
Recipe from:  Babble, The Family Kitchen

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canola oil (or apple sauce)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 packed cups grated zucchini (don’t peel it)
1 cup chocolate chips (I used mini)

Preheat oven at 350 F. Spray two 9×5 inch pans with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Add the oil and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients along with the zucchini and chocolate chips. Stir just until combined, and divide between the loaf pans.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the tops are cracked and springy to the touch. Makes 2 cakes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Waffles of Insane Greatness

John's favorite waffle recipe.  They are really good.  I usually double the batch for my family.  I have thrown leftovers in the toaster and they are nice and crisp.  I have thought about making some and freezing them when school starts, if I do I will have to add an update. 

Recipe from:  Annie's Eats

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup buttermilk (I use Greek Yogurt instead)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Whisk together to blend.  In another mixing bowl, beat together the whole milk, buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and whisk just until incorporated and few lumps remain.  Set aside to rest for 30 minutes. (I don't always have time to let it rest)
Preheat a waffle iron.  Fill waffle wells and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Cook until crisp and golden.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Strawberry Nutella Milkshake

It's summer time and the perfect time to make milkshakes. family would think anytime of year is perfect for milkshakes.  I doubled this batch to share as a family.  It was a huge hit.  Big smiles all around!

Recipe from: two peas & their pod

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup strawberries
2 big scoops of vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup Nutella

Add milk, strawberries, vanilla ice cream, and Nutella to a blender. Blend until smooth.
Pour the milkshake into the glass. Garnish with whipped cream and serve immediately.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

{No Bake} Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

I was looking for a no bake recipe to take to a good friend of mine and looked through her pins on pinterest to find this sweet recipe.  This size recipe makes a 9x13 pan, my family was pleased that there was some to eat for several days even after delivering a plate of these yummo treats.  They taste like a Reese's PB cup and they are very simple to make.


Recipe from:  Bakerlady

1 cup butter melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (use the boxed kind, or grind them in a food processor. Tiny granules.)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup + 4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Maple Twists

There are so many tempting recipes out there I bookmark or pin and then they sit, forgotten.  That was the story for this recipe until she reposted it and reminded me of my desire to make it.  My family loved this!!  The maple and cinnamon flavors were great together.  I made this on my pizza stone.  You can bearly see it peeking through...

 Recipe from: The Farm Girl

1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp maple extract
1 Tbsp yeast
1 egg, beaten
4-5 cup flour

1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp maple extract
1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 tsp maple extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
1-2 tbsp milk

1.  Heat milk, butter, salt, water, sugar and maple extract until warm.  Pour in the bowl of your stand mixer that is fitted with a dough attachment.  Add yeast and eggs.  Let sit until frothy (1-2 minutes), then add enough flour to make a soft dough.  In my mixer, this is when the dough pulls away from the side.  Cover and let raise until double in size.

2.  Preheat oven 375°F.  Mix sugar, cinnamon, and maple extract in small bowl.  Punch down dough and divide into 3 equal parts.  Roll each part into about a 12 inch circle.  Place first circle on greased baking sheet (I used my round pizza stone), spread with 1/3 softened butter and sprinkle with a 1/3 of sugar mixture.  Place second circle on top of the first and repeat with butter and filling.  Place the third circle on top of the other two and spread with remaining butter and filling.

3.  Place a 2-inch glass, top down, in the center of your dough circle and press down lightly, making ONLY an indentation.  Cut (I used my pizza cutter) 16 equal wedges from indentation to outer edge.

4.  Each piece should still be attached to inner circle.  Pick up each wedge and twist five times, creating the look of a poinsettia.  Let rise 30-45 more minutes. Bake 18-20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.

5.  While twists are cooling, combine glaze ingredients and whisk until smooth.  Drizzle over warm maple twists and serve.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

This pasta had great flavor and was easy to make.  Perfect side dish for all the grilling we've been doing.   It was also a hit with the kiddos.
John's Rating: 8...almost 9
Recipe from: My Tiny Oven

3 Tablespoons Butter
1 1/2 cup Orzo
3 cups Chicken Stock
6 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo and saute for a few minutes, until the orzo starts to get golden brown. Add the broth and cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the broth has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, add the basil and Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lime Coconut White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

Mmmm...these cookies have a fantastic flavor!!  They also freeze well, so you don't have to eat them all in one sitting.  Or share them...they will impress.

Recipe from Our Best Bites

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled until luke warm
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
1 cup coconut (I did NOT toast it, but you can.)
1 cup toasted macadamia nuts
1 1/2-2 tablespoons grated lime zest (1-2 limes)

If you haven’t melted your butter yet, do that so it has time to cool off.
Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients;mix until combined.

Add white chocolate chips, coconut, macadamia nuts, and lime zest.  Mix to distribute.
Scoop cookie dough into balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake until cookies are set around outer edges, yet centers are still soft and puffy, and appear slightly under-baked, about 9-10 minutes (all ovens are different, keep an eye on them!)  Cool cookies on cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rosemary Ranch Chicken

 Summer is in full swing and we are doing a lot of grilling.  This was some moist, flavorful chicken.  
John's Rating: 9
Recipe from Plain Chicken

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ranch dressing
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon white sugar, or to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves -

In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pound chicken breast to 1/4" thickness. Place chicken in the gallon size ziplock bag, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (all day). Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Grill chicken for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Creamy Garlic Pasta

John loves the boxed flavored pastas, so I pinned the recipe to try.  This pasta had a wonderful flavor.  It is like the boxed pastas with much better flavor.  He oohed and awed that they had improved their flavor, then I told him it was not from a box.  He said he couldn't go back to boxed pasta now :)

Recipe from: The Cheese Pusher

2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
¼  tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream (I used 1% milk and it worked great)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used some dried..enough to add color)

In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil. 
Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook until pasta is done.  Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream (or milk) and parsley. Serve immediately.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Buttery Dinner Rolls

These are some really good, moist dinner rolls. This recipe makes 4 dozen rolls. Perfect for a large crowd. They freeze great, too so you can make a batch and have warm rolls for later. I love it.

Recipe from: How Does She

1 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 cups of warm water
about 9-10 cups of all purpose flour
at least 1 cup of butter

To start out: Scald 1 1/2 cups of milk, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of butter, in a microwave safe bowl, for about 2 minutes. Cutting the butter into pieces helps it melt faster. There will probably be some little cubes of butter still floating in the hot mixture, they will melt.
We are going to add yeast to this hot mixture, but it will be too hot to just dump the yeast straight in (it would kill it!). To cool it down stir in 1-2 cups of flour, then add 1 egg and 1 Tablespoon of salt, and leave it to cool for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, in a measuring cup dissolve 2 Tablespoons of yeast in 2 cups of warm water and 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Let it sit for a couple of minutes until it is bubbly.

Make sure your milk mixture is just warm, not boiling and add the yeast mixture!

Gradually stir in 9-10 cups of flour (counting the flour you have already added to cool it earlier).
At the end the dough will be dense and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave it in a warm place and let it raise 1 hour or until doubled.
When your dough is close to raising completely, butter 2 cookie sheets and set them aside.
Cover your working space with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Dump your dough out and divide it into 4 balls.
Using one ball of dough at a time: roll the dough into a circle on a floured counter. Once it is rolled out spread the top with butter from edge to edge. You will use about 2-4 Tablespoons per circle of dough. Cut dough into 12 equal triangles, roll them up and place on a cookie sheet.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the pans of rolls in a warm place (on top of the oven if possible) to let them rise. Once they are touching and full in size, cook (one pan at a time) in the oven ’till they are golden brown. About 10 – 15 minutes.
While they are still hot and fresh out of the oven run a stick of butter over the tops of the rolls for a delicious buttery glaze.
We sometimes make 12 of these rolls into cinnamon rolls by sprinkling some cinnamon and sugar on the butter and them glazing with some frosting after they are baked. They are really good, too!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fruit Dip

This was a really good fruit dip. I think it tasted better after if sat in the fridge for a day. It was really thick and had a wonderful flavor.

Recipe from: Cafe Zupas

1 cup water
1 can condensed milk
1 pkg. vanilla pudding mix
8 oz. cool whip

Mix water and condensed milk together, add pudding mix until dissolved. Whisk in cool whip. Refrigerate.

**You could also sub different flavors of pudding mix...lemon, coconut....

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cinnamon Twists

A perfect treat!! These were fantastic!! They were even great reheated.
Recipe from: Lemon Drop

3/4 cup whole milk (I used 2% and it worked fine)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp yeast
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 tablespoons very hot water


IN SMALL SAUCEPAN, heat butter and milk until foamy but not yet boiling. Remove from heat
WITH STAND MIXER fitted with paddle attachment, slowly combine 2 1/2 cups flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and yeast
SLOWLY pour in hot milk/butter mixture
BLEND on medium speed 2 minutes
ADD eggs and vanilla
MIX on medium speed 2 more minutes
ADD remaining 3/4 cup of flour and continue to beat on MED speed for one more minute
SCRAPE dough off paddle, leave dough in bowl and cover with a tea towel
LET rise 45 minutes

LINE 2 COOKIE SHEETS with waxed paper
SPRAY wax paper with cooking spray

ON FLOURED WORK SURFACE, roll dough into 18" x 9" rectangle
WITH PIZZA CUTTER or sharp knife, cut into 18 strips 9" long x 1" wide
FOLD strips in have and twist 3-4 time to make tight spirals
PLACE ON lined cookie sheets
COVER with tea towels and let rest 30 minutes

PLACE 2 cooling racks over paper towels to catch any drips
POUR OIL to depth of 2 inches into saucepan
HEAT oil to 350F
FRY twists 1 minute per side
WITH slotted steel spatula, transfer twists to cooling racks


IN LARGE wide mouthed bowl, sift in powdered sugar
WHISK in all remaining glaze ingredients until smooth
DIP tops of warm twists into glaze and place back on cooling rack, glaze side up, until set (about 5 minutes).

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Best Broccoli Beef

I know I already had a broccoli beef recipe on here, but this one is better!! (Hence the name) I loved the sauce and it was quick and easy to make.
John's Rating: 9Recipe from: The Farm Girl

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp low-sodium chicken broth
5 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch

Beef and Broccoli:
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 pounds flank steak, cut into 2-inch-wide strips with the grain, then sliced across the grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices
2 tbsp minced garlic
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 tbsp)
1 tsp peanut oil or vegetable oil, plus extra for cooking
1 1/4 pounds broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup water

1. In a medium bowl, combine beef and soy sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour. Meanwhile, whisk the sauce ingredients together in a liquid measure or small bowl. In another small bowl, combine garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon peanut oil. Set aside.

2. Heat 1-2 teaspoons peanut oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot and rippling. Add half of beef to skillet and break up clumps; cook, without stirring, for 1 minute, then stir and cook until beef is browned around edges and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Don’t overcook the meat – cook until just barely cooked through so the meat stays tender. Transfer beef to a medium bowl and cover with a lid and tin foil. Heat another 1-2 teaspoons peanut oil in the skillet and repeat with remaining beef.

3. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to now-empty skillet; heat until rippling and hot. Add broccoli and cook 30 seconds; add water, cover pan, and lower heat to medium. Steam broccoli until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Push the broccoli to the sides of the skillet and add the garlic/ginger mixture. Cook, mashing the mixture with a spoon, until fragrant, about 15-30 seconds. Stir the mixture into the broccoli. Add the beef back to skillet and toss to combine. Whisk the sauce to recombine and add to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 1-2 minute. Serve with white or brown rice.